Monday, January 18, 2010

Six Months

Got my second proof corrections finished for Ghost Lights about an hour ago.

I feel like I'm way too much of a stickler in some ways, but then I realize it's necessary.

It shouldn't take more than two more proofs to get everything good to go, but we'll see.


Spinning these records a lot lately:
  • Beach House - Teen Dream
  • Owen Pallett - Heartland
  • Efterklang - Magic Chairs
  • Tindersticks - Falling Down a Mountain
  • The American Dollar - Atlas
  • Vampire Weekend - Contra
  • The Album Leaf - A Chorus of Storytellers

School starts back up officially in a week.

I'm ready to get back. Never did I think a break would be too long of a break. Until now.

But really I shouldn't complain.


Jess and I have been married for six months today. Time goes fast.


I feel like I'm repeating myself a lot.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Received the new issue of Handsome a few days ago. Beautifully designed it is. A lot of good writers within the pages. Thanks again to the editors.

I now have one more poem that needs to actually be published from Ghost Lights until they're all in journals and none are forthcoming.


I was also thrilled yesterday to get the first round of Ghost Lights galleys.

It's funny: what I never thought would be an issue is my penchant for italics and indentation.

I'm pretty sure it was Joshua Poteat who got me obsessed with how a poem can look on the page. For better or worse. And I don't know where the italics came from, but I clearly didn't realize I had that much in the book. I used it for dialogue mostly, though, and there's a lot within many of the poems. I think I just like how it looks mostly, or at least that's how the obsession started...

Thankfully I have much less italics in the new manuscript, though the crazy indentations and forms are still there. Will I ever trust myself to be strictly left-justified?

Since I start school again in exactly two weeks, I took about five hours and got about fourteen typed pages of corrections to my editor. I think I got most of it, but we'll see.

I'm doing my best to make sure everything's as perfect as can be before it goes to the printers in a few months. I suppose that kind of goes without saying.


Steve had a very interesting post recently concerning defunct journals and Acknowledgments pages:

I was looking at the acknowledgments page of Torched Verse Ends, and by my count at least five of the journals I placed individual poems in are already defunct (Cranky, Diner, three candles, Unloved Mail Order Bride, and Unpleasant Event Schedule). Plus, the journal I edited for a good portion of time while I was producing the poems, The Eleventh Muse, is either defunct or might as well be. Beyond that, a ton of the journals that were generally prominent and well regarded when I first started trying to publish poetry are gone too: Chelsea, Grand Street, Partisan Review, Ontario Review, etc. And now many university reviews are in danger: New England Review, Triquarterly, The Southern Review, etc. Is there a lesson in that impermanence, especially considering that we're clearly publishing in the age of obsolescence for the print book? I don't know. Maybe it's just that if you're really a writer, you enjoy that publication when it happens, but then consider it over and move right on to writing your next thing. Maybe something actually deep that I haven't thought of yet. What do you think?

I looked at my Acknowledgments for Ghost Lights, and right now, it looks like the only journal that will be defunct will be Diner.

It'll be interesting to see what happens in a year. How many more will be gone? I didn't know Chelsea was done either.

That said, I've always been of the mind that says, "OK, this is published, now move on." And then there's the cool thing that happens after, when it's actually published.

The best thing about getting something published, to me, is being forced to work on something new if you want to get there again. Always a good thing.


Really enjoyed A Serious Man, which I finally saw the other day. Bizarre, disjointed, and hilarious. See it.

Friday, January 8, 2010


It was weird the other day as I went to Paul Guest's blog a day earlier and saw the same comment from anonymous that he ended up commenting on himself.

The whole comment elicited a response halfway between shock and hilarity to me. I wish if people were going to masquerade as knowing something that they'd at least put their real name.

I love Paul's work. His memoir's going to be amazing too.


Speaking of poets, I have to issue a congratulations to a friend and very talented poet who just won a book contest.

Unfortunately, I can't say anything else, since the contract stuff isn't done yet. That said, there's another reason why I'm doubly excited that this particular friend one this particular contest.

More later on this front.


Saw The Lovely Bones recently. Despite the horrible reviews mostly, I actually liked it a lot. I knew I was going to like it a lot when the movie opened with the first track from Brian Eno's "Music for Airports," with snow swirling above a penguin trapped in a snow globe.

The music and cinematography are fantastic. Stanley Tucci deserves an Academy Award for playing George Harvey.

Also liked The Road a lot, though I'm hoping for a director's cut DVD so it's longer. They did a little too much on the cutting room floor.


I registered for what I hope is going to be a great class next semester, and I decided to get a jump on some of the novels we'll be reading.

The first I read was A Thousand Acres, which I didn't know much about. Liked it a lot, though I'm not sure how I can respond to the King Lear aspect of it.

I wasn't sure what was going to happen at first, but the whole thing kept building and building and building, and though it was pretty depressing by the end (which I liked), I was amazed at how she was able to build the story around the families. There's a lot I have to say about it, so that'll be good for the spring.

My goal's to read all the books and reread them for the class.

Blood Meridian and Interpreter of Maladies are the ones I'm reading next.

Hoping to get them all done by the time I got back on January 26th.


I really hope to challenge myself this semester and write stuff that isn't easy for me to write. I want to branch out and experiment, though I don't want to experiment to the point where the poems become exercises in music or form without meaning.

I need a new project for my third manuscript. Where will I find you, new project?


Decided to sell a bunch of my DVDs.

A lot of Criterions I haven't watched, (though there are many I will be keeping that I still love) mostly because I once had a crazy idea that I'd get the whole collection. Yikes.

There are bunch of Anchor Bay flicks that are out of print that I've already made good money on. Great movies, but if I paid $10 for each and get at least $40 for each now, not to mention that there will undoubtedly be new and superior versions out in the future, then why not sell them now?

Plus, Blu Ray's becoming something I want to deal with in the future, though I can't see myself spending too much money to get superior versions of already good versions of DVDs I already own.


Hoping to get to my movie and music lists before I go back for spring semester also...