Poetry Magazine : February : 2013



Temple On My Knees : Lisa Russ Spaar

The Last Time I Slept in This Bed : Sara Peters

The Cricket and the Grasshopper : Dan Beachy-Quick

Sapphic Fragment : Eliza Griswold


12 Tweets You Should Love

There are many fine uses of Twitter, but to me Twitter is for jokes. And since I love Top Tweets Lists I thought I’d take a crack at my own. I’ve cherry plucked 12 from my fav list from roughing within the last month or so.

Arjun Basu tweets short stories, often bittersweet, sometimes merely bitter, but always compelling.

There’s so much fun to be had with references to the past. Ephemeral jokes work best when the subject is ephemeral, like the above Skee-Lo reference.

Vladchoc is good at breaking jokes humorously.

Ted Travelstead is pretty much the most creative joke teller ever. He eschews established funny for the unmined areas.

Seinfeld Today is flawless.

Sometimes it’s the true things that make us laugh.

If you wanted to fight me because this isn’t the funniest Matt Roller tweet in the last month then I would acquiesce, because anything he tweets his star worthy and plus I’m a really huge sissy.

This is easily the most economic joke I’ve ever seen on Twitter. Aaron Belz is one of the best.

Uncle Dynamite escalates this joke perfectly. Stunning.

One of my favorite things about Twitter is all the helpful free advice for America.

This Tweet is really scary. Pretty sure it’s the plot of an upcoming Paranormal movie.

Sometimes the painting of the picture is the best part of the picture.

David Foster Wallace on Worship

“Because here’s something else that’s true. In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of God or spiritual-type thing to worship — be it J.C. or Allah, be it Yahweh or the Wiccan mother-goddess or the Four Noble Truths or some infrangible set of ethical principles — is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things — if they are where you tap real meaning in life — then you will never have enough. Never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you. On one level, we all know this stuff already — it’s been codified as myths, proverbs, cliches, bromides, epigrams, parables: the skeleton of every great story. The trick is keeping the truth up-front in daily consciousness. Worship power — you will feel weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to keep the fear at bay. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart — you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. And so on.

Look, the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they’re evil or sinful; it is that they are unconscious. They are default-settings. They’re the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that’s what you’re doing. And the world will not discourage you from operating on your default-settings, because the world of men and money and power hums along quite nicely on the fuel of fear and contempt and frustration and craving and the worship of self. Our own present culture has harnessed these forces in ways that have yielded extraordinary wealth and comfort and personal freedom. The freedom to be lords of our own tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone at the center of all creation. This kind of freedom has much to recommend it. But of course there are all different kinds of freedom, great outside world of winning and achieving and displaying. The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. That is real freedom. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default-setting, the “rat race” — the constant gnawing sense of having had and lost some infinite thing.”

-David Foster Wallace, from This Is Water

Boccaccio on Poets

“Surely no one can believe that poets invidiously veil the truth with fiction, either to deprive the reader of the hidden sense, or to appear the more clever; but rather to make truths which would otherwise cheapen by exposure the object of strong intellectual effort and various interpretation, that in the ultimate discovery they shall be the more precious.”

-Giovanni Boccaccio

Unused Titles of Raymond Chandler

The Man with the Shredded Ear
All Guns Are Loaded
The Man Who Loved the Rain
The Corpse Came in Person
The Porter Rose at Dawn
We All Liked Al
Too Late for Smiling
They Only Murdered Him Once
The Diary of a Loud Check Suit
Stop Screaming — It’s Me
Return from Ruin
Between Two Liars
The Lady with the Truck
They Still Come Honest
My Best to the Bride
Law Is Where You Buy It
Deceased When Last Seen
The Black-Eyed Blonde