Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A couple more RICELAND poems accepted by SubtleTea. I'm coming down to the wire on these. But I added something like 15 poems to the collection, so I've been trying to drum up a little interest by placing them. So far, I've placed quite a few.

My publisher and I have been working on the cover. My sister took the photo, my wife will probably design it, and I', I guess.

Not to sound redundant, but the poem that was accepted by 13 Myna Birds just went up here.
Mud Luscious Press is releasing an anthology of all the chapbooks they've published.
This will, Shane Jones, Brandi Wells, Michael Kimball, Jac Jemc, Kim Chinquee, Norman Lock, Randall Brown, Aaron Burch, PH Madore, Charles Lennox, Kevin Wilson, and many more.


title: MLP [ FIRST YEAR ]
cost: $15 (includes shipping)
release: 1.1.10

Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Here's the text:

a review of C. L. Bledsoe’s Anthem by J. A. Tyler

A long-awaited release from Červená Barva Press, C. L. Bledsoe’s Anthem feels much more like a full-length collection than a perfect-bound chapbook sized tour of poetry. Bledsoe nails another selection of poems, creating some meaty rhythms and a nice evolution from his previous works.

from ‘July’:

Whip-snap of the sun on skin. We’d go swimming, but all the
water’s green, and I don’t know how. The trees are whispering
how human it is, today. Their needles drip boredom. The clouds
speak of shopping that needs doing, things to clean, laundry.

One point to highlight is how different and alter-ego Anthem is in comparison to the previously released _____ want / need. _____ want / need was a structurally playful, linguistically challenging chapbook of poetry arranged in definitive and precise waves of poetic art. It showcased C. L. Bledsoe’s daring with language and his longing to rearrange the structure of the sentences, much like his homage in the same vein with fish / ghoti literary journal.

from ‘February’:

Use your eyes like shovels; dig through the smog, the muck
in your head and see the mountains beyond the skyscrapers.
Something is rising like bread within you, but the slightest noise...

In this new collection, the arrangement seems far more free-wheeling, much akin to simply collecting Bledsoe’s words rather than presenting them in any sort of poetic narrative or super-connected thematic umbrella. And though there seems little of that kind of organization here, the overall feel of Anthem is interesting, a clear and sharp portrayal of a poet who can move from side to side, who can give us the driven poetry in _____ want / need as well as the wonderful and direct poems captured in the plentiful and fantastic pages of Anthem.


And here's an older one from Doug Holder's blog:

Tuesday, June 02, 2009
"Anthem" by C.L. Bledsoe
C. L. Bledsoe
Cervena Barva Press

Review by Renee Schwiesow

Beneath the madcap stitch Bledsoe takes us on from hopeful to sardonic there is a thread that unravels to offer us more as each month poem within “Anthem” reveals its season. I was drawn into his unique observations with “Awakening,” an appropriately titled opening work that leads us toward “January.”

This is the month of lying
to ourselves
on couches
Life is waiting
for the bone toes to clip-clip through the door
find us sprawled about the business
of next

Just before “February” he pulls me into the life of a school janitor who makes me ask myself if Schneider could, just possibly, have had an internal depth that we were unaware of during our viewings of One Day at a Time.

And as March, “the Wednesday of months” rolls by, television makes its appearance on the page in the work, “Growing Pains in Syndication.” I was grinning by the time I read “Dr. Seaver, you never came for me,” and tearing up with laughter when reading the line, “Mike, you bastard, I trusted you,” which led to

Sat through Left Behind, for your
special message at the end, and it was all about the marketing.

I have to admit that by the time I reached,

And Maggie, what is there to say
between the two of us? Is your hair even blond?

I was still rollicking, holding onto “Mike, you bastard, I trusted you,” when I was slammed with, “Your eyes, empty and waiting.” And I recollected myself to absorb the impact of the entirety of the work.

While Bledsoe has been published in over 200 journals and anthologies, “Anthem,” published by Cervena Barva Press, is his first full-length collection. He is a three-time Pushcart nominee and his poetic resume is well expanded upon with works such as the title work

slough it off like skin. . .

find a place or make it in yourself
they’ll never touch
wrap it in lead fire make it hot
to touch hate can motivate
but it burns out like a bad light bulb
and must be replaced. . .

Behind the frogs and death and absinthe squirrels, beneath a how-to on what to do with locked doors, Bledsoe’s words jar us from January’s couch, beg us to read between his lines before we become the aging starlet of December’s grey light. They beg us to sing from his Anthem

. . .if it helps
hot showers loosen muscles
cold showers loosen hate

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I've had some interest from a publisher for a poetry manuscript, so I've been trying to find some time to work on it. He likes some of the poems in an unfinished collection I don't have a good title for. He likes the poem "Driving Around, Looking in Other People's Windows" the best and likes that for the title of the book, as well. I'm not sold. I've been calling it Habit of Doubt which isn't very good either. It's around 55 pages right now. I just added 3 or 4 poems. It needs about 15 more. It deals with the early days of my marriage (before it was a marriage) and the testing I underwent for Huntington's Disease, which runs in my family. Pretty brutal stuff. The poems are more formally inventive than Riceland, though also more accessible than, say, _____(Want/Need). Lots of lists and things. Really, it's some of the best stuff I've ever written. 2 sections--one on the relationship, one on the testing. It needs more on the testing, but it's difficult stuff.

Possible titles (thanks to Chris for most of these):

Habit of Doubt
Driving Around, Looking in Other People’s Windows
Being Half-God Means Being Half-Man
The Weight of Days
Love Is Not a Flower
Everything You Know Is Dead
Only Now Is Important
Dog’s Commit Suicide Too
Ennui Is Not a Color Scheme
Trust the Water

Sunday, September 20, 2009

12 Slightly Less Well Known Labors of Hercules

To do the dishes after dinner instead of diverting a river through the kitchen.

To stop referring to problems as being of "his” proportions.

To pay attention to lesser beings regardless of electronic diversions.

To remember to water the plants instead of waiting for them to learn language and pray to him for rain.

To shake his fist or curse at bad drivers, instead of flinging them up into the heavens to become constellations.

To remember that foreplay doesn't mean penetration.

To sort laundry by color and treat hydra blood stains immediately.

To learn that veggie dinners are an acceptable substitute for lion steaks.

To stop using the excuse that he's favored by the gods to justify his obvious cheating at Yatzee.

To never refer to his sister-in-law as a lusty wench.

To smile and make conversation with his in-laws instead of cutting their heads off and burning the stumps so they won't grow back.

To remember that being half god means being half man.

(A similar version originally appeared at Cautionary Tales)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Question: What do you think would be the worst cereal to have puked into your ass?

Well, you see, that's a tricky question. I mean, if you WANT cereal puked into your ass, that leads us in one direction, and if you DON'T want it, that leads us elsewhere. If you don't want cereal puked in your ass, well, the really mushy stuff would be bad, I would think, because it would feel really unpleasing to have mushy corn flakes in your anus.

If you DO want it puked in your ass, I'd say grape nuts is the best, followed closely by granola, because it's going to maintain its consistency even in milk. Or vomit.

Of course, you could even switch these. I mean, grape nuts could be the worst BECAUSE they don't get soggy--they could be more prone to causing irritation. Likewise, you might want the soggy stuff because it's more soothing.

Also, moving beyond pure textural aesthetics into the realm of "style" could open things up a bit in there. The type of cereal you prefer to have vomited into your anus could say a lot about who you are as a consumer. The younger, hipper crowd would go for Boo Berry, or other cereals they remember from their youth. The ultra hipsters are going to go for kitsch value--Mr. T cereal, for example, or other promotional cereals. Of course, personal taste (or lack-thereof) can also factor in. These could be expressed through regional tastes (Boo Berry is only available in certain parts of the country, for example) and even nostalgia could play a part--one could prefer to have the Safeway generic brand corn flakes vomited into ones anus, for example, because this cereal reminds one of the innocence of childhood. Conversely, the picky anus might prefer the most expensive and exclusive cereals to offset the poverty one might've experienced in one's youth (when I was a kid, says this anus, all we had for breakfast is oatmeal, and I'll be damned if oatmeal will ever cross my anus again, whether it be entering or exiting!).

There are as many reasons to vomit cereal into ones anus as there are cereals to vomit, or anuses to vomit into. The important thing to remember is that if YOU aren't happy with the cereal currently being vomited into your anus, you aren't limited to just that cereal. There are a plethora of options available to today's savvy anus.

Oatmeal appeals more to the crunchy granola types. Again, though, the main concern is consistency. Is it steel-cut oats? Rolled oats? Instant? Each of this has a different consistency, and the connoisseur would see benefits and drawbacks for each. Also, preparation of the oatmeal is a concern. Is it runny or firm oatmeal? Was milk or water used? Does it contain flavoring spices or additives such as dried fruits or nuts which can irritate or even inflame the anus? Of course, the question, here, is does one WANT the anus irritated and/or inflamed, and to what degree?

Of course, the main concern with oatmeal is what we in the community call "plastering," or "aggressive clumping," which is when the substance vomited into the anus congeals and hardens, forming a barrier and effectively sealing off the anus. Many consider this a kind of transformative event, though it is much easier to affect with oatmeal than, say, honey bunches of oats cereal. It is for this reason that many eschew oatmeal which selecting breakfast errata to be vomited into the anus.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Temenos picked up a couple poems. Right Hand Pointing picked up a flash piece that's actually nonfiction, "First Day."
I try to be supportive of local boys, but this is the worst interview I've ever read. It's Ed Wood bad. It's so bad, it almost seems to transcend badness to some meta-level. It's like Andy Kaufman interviewing a writer. But Brockmeier totally goes with it. I should say--I really enjoy Hobart, in general. They're great people, and they run a great journal. I'm sure I've published something in Ghoti that made people cringe. But damn.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Tomorrow begins the first full week of classes. Of course, we've had a solid week of meetings with a couple days of classes, orientation, etc. I'm pretty well prepped and everything. But it takes most of my time to keep up, along with all the other obligations. A little worried about keeping up.

Had a great reading yesterday. Another coming up in a couple weeks.