I’m happy to share a few pieces that have appeared online in the last few months.
r.kv.r.y is a great journal whose sole theme is recovery–broadly construed, in a host of contexts. Naturally, it seemed like the perfect place for some of the cancer sonnets I’ve been writing. They published a brief moment of our family going to Goodwill. Then, I was grateful to be interviewed for r.kv.r.y by Sarah Sadie about the experience of writing an accumulation of sonnets which all circle around the same cancerous subject. At one point I use the phrase “inchoate vitriol,” which seemed apt for certain days of treatment, especially in the beginning.
Speaking of sonnets about cancer, The Maynard published two of them, along with recordings of me reading them mellifluously. Both are about seemingly small things: how I slept on an air mattress immediately following my wife’s first surgery, and about the calendar she used to compartmentalize the number of days remaining of radiation.
And finally, I continue to explore and publish surreal little works of flash fiction. I’m grateful to have two new pieces up at The Cossack Review: one about a widow who leaves behind an inheritance of seven million dollars entirely in dimes, the other about someone who claims to be an agent who represents the stars–actual stars that are giant balls of fiery gas, not non-combustible Hollywood ones.
In a case of life imitating art imitating life imitating art imitating life (or something like that), Fox Adoption has published the virtually true story (in sonnet form) of “the band that i’m in.” I am indeed in a band (I play banjo, mandolin, dulcimer, accordion, and whatever else they tell me to play), and we indeed have a song about William Henry Harrison. In fact, you can listen to a live version of the song right here! We’ll throw in a kazoo solo for free.
Also, Roanoke Review was kind to interview me on the basis of one sonnet I wrote about Legos (and, to be fair, growing up and cancer and my son and healing and stuff). I say, “I get tired very quickly of poetry that’s all broken. I want poetry about being whole,” and I think that accurately reflects my feelings about a lot of poetry today.
I’ve been a little lax with the posting recently, but I’m happy to share a few new things that have popped up around the web:
- Daniel Shapiro wrote a thoughtful review of But Our Princess in Arsenic Lobster. (Scroll to the bottom of the page.) “He continually reinforces an important notion, that the finest poems are not about what they seem to be, that telling readers how they’re supposed to feel is far less valuable than guiding them through their own game.”
- An interview I did a while back with KMSU, out of Minnesota State – Mankato, about But Our Princess, which also fetaures the real-life story about how I beat Super Mario Bros. on a pontoon boat, is now available for your listening delight in handy MP3 form.
- “everything about breathing,” a summery poem amidst all this wintery bluster, was published at Gulf Stream.
- “catchy door and sticky drawer,” a poem about weather, thinking about having kids, and a song from 1949, is up at Ascent and subsequently got a little NewPages love.
- I had a whole series of postcards about weather and thinking about having kids published in Verse Wisconsin. It includes the word zugzwang.
- And this person who clearly has abundant time gives “Ms. and Super Pac-Man” a thorough academic dissection.
Looking forward to 2014. My chapbook, Yes, is forthcoming from Parallel Press in May, and my next full-length book, I got off the train at Ash Lake is also due out from sunnyoutside.
I was asked to contribute this essay about my writing space to The Next Best Book Blog, as part of their fascinating series “Where Writers Write.” I’m pretty pleased with how it came out; if it doesn’t explain anything to other people about how to write, at least it clarified a few things for me. Journey, then, with me to my inner sanctum known to friends and family as the Typewriter Room. Seventeen typewriters, a microscope, and an old sailing trophy full of marbles await! “We learn what matters, again and again.”