You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2011.

My favorite poems from each issue along with the first runner up. Plus, my favorite line or lines from each issue.

Rae Armantrout : Just Saying
David Harsent : Moppet

Thomas Lynch : He Posits Certain Mysteries
Alicia Ostriker : Song

Paul Hoover : The Watchman of Ephraim
Kabir (tr. by A.K. Mehrotra) : Brother, I’ve seen some

Atsuro Riley : Sunder
Averill Curdy : Ovid in America

Malachi Black : from Quarantine
Sophia Cabot Black : The One Turn That Makes the New World

Edith Sodergran (tr. by Brooklyn Copeland) : The Portrait
Labid (tr. by Ange Mlinko) : Lament

David St. John : In the High Country
David Ferry : The Crippled Girl, The Rose

Reginald Dwayne Betts : “For you: anthophilous, lover of flowers”
Mary Ruefle : Shalimar

D. A. Powell : Boonies
Rae Armantrout : Spent

Olivia Clare : Enoch’s Blocks
John Rybicki : If

Dan Beachy-Quick : In a Station of the Metro
Dick Allen : With Drizzled Warm Butter, Intensely Rendered

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10. Sesquipedalian
long; characterized by the use of long words

9. Palimpsest
writing material used one or more times after earlier writing has been erased; or, something with diverse layers or aspects apparent beneath the surface

8. Discombobulated
upset; confused

7. Mellifluous
having a smooth rich flow

6. Serendipity
luck that takes the form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for

5. Callipygian
having shapely buttocks

4. Persnickety
fussy about small details; fastidious

3. Kerfluffle
disturbance; fuss

2. Flibbertigibbet
a silly flighty person

1. Defenistration
a throwing of a person or a thing out of a window; or a usually swift expulsion or dismissal



your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.


She lay. And they were, childlike arms,
of/by/from (to kowtow) : withering/languishing/wilting/sagging : bound/tied
on which they stood : the sweetened : reaching : hours
a little anxious over his many yearssometimes she turned in his beard
her face if an owl cried/screeched
and everything, what the night was, came and enlightened
with anxiety/ trembling : to long for/longing : to part/ around them

stars trembling as their peers
scent/perfume : went searching


[UPDATE: Mystery solved. Upon further reflection I remembered this Rilke translation I did and posted nearly three years ago to the day. This is my notes from that endeavor. What a relief, I thought it was some misremembered ravings.]

“Benda Hillman once described the ampersand as a pregnant woman doing yoga. &. How great is that? In an ampersand I see tenderness and love — I see a pietà. Can you see it? A mother holding her dead child. Tenderness and love.”

“Back in his beach pad there was a velvet painting of Jesus riding goofyfoot on a rough-hewn board with outriggers, meant to suggest a crucifix, through surf seldom observed on the Sea of Galilee, though this hardly presented a challenge to Flip’s faith.  What was “walking on water,” if it wasn’t Bible talk for surfing?  In Australia once, a local surfer, holding the biggest can of bear Flip had ever seen, had even sold him a fragment of the True Board.”

-Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice


Dan Beachy-Quick riffs on Ezra Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro” : In a Station of the Metro

Dick Allen : With Drizzled Warm Butter, Intensely Rendered

I enjoyed two from Linda Kunhardt despite myself : Road Work & The Jingle

Lines from Fanny Howe: ” Where does life begin and end?/ In the lamb or the cotton?”

I’m not crazy about the first line, but I enjoyed Eduardo C. Corral’s To the Angelbeast

Never eat plants with thorns.

Steer clear of plants with shiny leaves.

Don’t eat mushrooms. Many are safe to eat, but many are highly toxic and even deadly, so it’s not worth the risk.

Umbrella-shaped flowers are a bad sign. Stay away from these plants.

Don’t eat plants with white or yellow berries.

If the plant’s sap is milky or discolored, leave it alone.

Avoid beans or plants with seeds inside a pod.

If it tastes bitter or soapy, spit it out.

Avoid anything that smells like almonds.

Same as poison ivy, stay away from plants with leaves in groups of three.


Follow me on the Twittah

  • What's more embarrassing: that I'm eating gluten free rice crackers for a snack or that I'm even asking this? 1 month ago
  • Youngest son's soccer team kicks more goals than the other team. Still loses. 1 month ago
  • Hey buddy, nice purse. Yeah I know it's a baby bjorn & that you're an amazing dad, but the thing is you'll never catch me in that thing. 1 month ago
  • To forestall my midlife crisis, my wife is allowing me to put a racers stripe on the mini van. 1 month ago
  • I don't care if you think I'm crude & sexist, if I see you with two large coffee mugs and you're my wife I'm going to say, "Hey, nice mugs." 1 month ago

The Novel I’m Now Reading

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December 2011
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