Coffee, Space Posters, Coffee, Space Western, Coffee, Sweater Weather

Some Link To Some Things You Might Like

The Steve Martin episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

This free-to-download series of 14 super-cool WPA-esque space travel posters from NASA.

mars  grand_tourenceladus

Coffee” by the late Wendy Battin  (part of the Contemporary American Poetry Archive of some out-of-print books preserved in their entirety online.)

Coffee, black coffee. How are my nerves?
The first cup is steady, the second
still as a pond in a cave.
The third begins to stir in my hand,
small mammal at the end of hibernation.

Continue reading “Coffee, Space Posters, Coffee, Space Western, Coffee, Sweater Weather”

Poetry Suggestions for Summer Book Bingo

As promised, a list of a few suggestions for poetry collections that satisfy the Seattle Public Library & Seattle Arts & Lectures’ Summer Book Bingo squares:

You Finish Reading in a Day

Geography III, Elizabeth Bishop — only 10 poems, and some of her best. (Also works for Published Year You Were Born if you were born in 1976.) “The art of losing isn’t hard to master.”

Woodnote, Christine Deavel —an utterly lovely book. It brings you right in and doesn’t let you go, in ways you possibly don’t expect. Also works for Local Author; she is co-owner of Open Books in Wallingford. “caraway     caraway”.

From Your Childhood

Shel Silverstein — “listen to the mustn’ts, child”.Continue reading “Poetry Suggestions for Summer Book Bingo”

Random Books, Forgotten Poems, Funny Podcasts, and A Forklift Whose Beep Has Lost Its Tone

Pop Culture Happy Hour, the awesome NPR pop culture podcast hosted by Linda Holmes, ends each podcast with a round-the-table of “What’s making us happy this week.” And one of the things that’s making me happy this week is their Oscars Omnibus podcast (all about the nominated pictures) — an even more awesome than usual feast of smart, clever people being intelligent and entertaining about pop culture from high to low.

Other things that are making me happy this week: having been reminded of a poem I’d somehow forgotten about, Philip Levin’s “This Be the Verse” (the one that begins “They fuck you up, your mum and dad”), the two books I’m reading, The Bullpen Gospels, recommended by a friend last summer because I liked Scott Simon’s Home and Away so much, and The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, a mystery with, as the blurb promised, a heroine who’s a cross between Sherlock Holmes and Eloise, which I picked up at Mercer Street Books on a jaunt to lower Queen Anne last weekend. Continue reading “Random Books, Forgotten Poems, Funny Podcasts, and A Forklift Whose Beep Has Lost Its Tone”

Class Registration and Film Reviews

Just a quick reminder for Portland folks that registration is still open (but the cut-off date looms!) for The Attic Institute’s Saturday morning Time to Write writing group, which I’ll be leading. Saturdays, 10am – noon, Jan 18 – Feb 15. Open to all genres and all writers. Details here.

Attic logo

And, my Film Reviews for 2014 have begun! New format this year, question and answer reviews (totally stolen from Boob Tube Dude TV critic Ryan McGee’s 5 Questions and 500 words TV pilot reviews, because it looked like a really fun form). (Last year’s reviews are archived here.)


2013 ends on a great note, with another poem of mine published in online journal  The Broken City‘s music-themed issue, just posted today! (My poem, “At the Bardot,” is on page 9). 13 was a bit my lucky number this year — I had work in Beatdom‘s #13 issue too, and (though it was doesn’t work for a number-13 trifecta) I was terribly excited to be in issue #89 of FIELD this fall.

And now, after a quick reminder that you can sign up to receive an email alert when there’s a new post in the new year towards the bottom of the page (the “Yes Please” button on the lower left under where it says “Be Alerted To New Posts”), here’s my traditional quick look back at what I read and watched this year… first the books:Continue reading “2013”

2012: A Short Look Back at What I Watched

I’m such a huge fan of movies, and taking a look now, boy did I see a lot of ’em this year! Here’s a sampling of the best and worst I watched this year:

Best 2012 Movie: (bearing in mind that I haven’t seen Lincoln or Beasts of the Southern Wild yet) A neck-and-neck tie between Moonrise Kingdom and Silver Linings Playbook. Moonrise Kingdom is such an immersive, total world, a world you want to live in, with all its quirky quixotic romantic characters, and its nostalgic colors and its delicious soundtrack. But Silver Linings Playbook, which I just saw today, is such an alive movie, and it moves you from laughing hard to nearly crying without jerking you around, or feeling contrived or unrealistic. So the tieContinue reading “2012: A Short Look Back at What I Watched”

Vanitas Motel with a bad cold

Had a bad cold this week, so I reread Jon Loomis’ 1998 collection Vanitas Motel since it contains “Watching Wings of Desire With a Bad Cold,” one of those awesome you’ll-always-remember (and wish you wrote!) titles. And poem, for that matter. (Quick definition of vanitas painting, as I know not everyone’s parents were art history majors.)

Loomis’ poetry is tough, its situations blunt.

From “Divorce”:

Half-moon. Squidlight. Fog hung like a bedsheet
20 yards out. It’s a long walk across the breakwater—
gulls doze on the flats, hoping you’ll die. […]

From “Illness”:

Late December, dawn spreads like a rash
above the parking lot. Venus smokes itself down,
stubs itself out. The house is a whistle only I can hear—

From “Aubade at Your Hospital Window,” “Tuesday’s snow still with us, old pair/of underpants.”

Not tough-guy tough or down-and-out tough. Sure, there’s swearing, Continue reading “Vanitas Motel with a bad cold”