The Phenomenology of Error

The Phenomenology of Error[i] A solo Mission at the Ranger Station before group poetry night, hoping for a good napkin poem. When we read like police we make a criminal[ii] shot with red pencil corrections, the poet apprehended, booked. Pull over the rotting rhymester! Handcuff this conceptualist clown. Arrest that academic asshole. Ticket the doggerel…

Lust for Like

Just as we might ask a critic not to call not good a work for not being what it is not intended to be, we might remember expecting a like from any particular audience predisposed to dislike the chosen form doomed to deletion. We often think others think like we do, but they probably don’t….

Comedians in Line at the DMV Getting Licensed

When Seinfeld the television show was on, a guy in my office gig at the time used to come by my desk in the morning after each episode and ask me did I see Seinfeld last night. I never did. My colleague would then repeat over the course of the day practically the entire episode…

The Hep Cat Book Club

What are we reading? Joe wrote a book. Really? What’s it called? Penina’s Letters. Who’s Penina? Are there any cats in Joe’s book? One, Castus. Hmm. I hear Joe’s working on a sequel. Tell him to put more cats in it. “Penina’s Letters,” get yr copy!

Book Review: Penina’s Letters

Over at the It Kind of Got Away From You blog, Dan Hennessy has posted a thumb’s up review of my novel, Penina’s Letters. Paddle on over and check it out!

Happy Bloomsday Interview at Queen Mob’s Tea House

Russell Bennetts, editor extraordinaire (Berfrois, Queen Mob’s Tea House), interviews the Prince of the Toads for his popular series “Poets Online Talking About Coffee.” Head on over for a cup and check it out. Below: “The Dance Lesson,” 32 x 64, oil paint and oil pastel over acrylic:

Penelope Fitzgerald

Hermione Lee’s recent Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life occasioned a number of reviews in the usual places. Most touched on the questions of how did Penelope do it (the uncanny way she cleans up the mess by throwing out the novelistic clutter extraneous to her enriched needs, leaving almost every sentient sentence embering in its own…

The Audience

The audience appeared waving umbrellas from drinking happy hour beer, or hurrying from work or dropping off the kid, driving in from the aloof burb or sliding down from the hep pad on the hill, making a splash, alighting from cab or bus amid the rush. Coming from everywhere, the audience began to cohere. The…

Coelho & Doyle on Joyce

Every person alive has a story, but some don’t have voices. But there are many ways to tell a story, and stories can be told without words. Still, for the story to emerge, the storyteller must develop some kind of voice, allowing others access to their text – again, even if the text is without…

Frank Delaney On Blogging…

Frank Delaney, whose novel The Last Storyteller, just out in February, I reviewed back on Feb. 27, was featured in a Trib Local interview this morning, and what he had to say about blogging, I want to celebrate, “fur and feathers” and all. One of the questions asked of Delaney was, “How strong is the pulse…

The Art, Woe, Slop, and Toe of the Book Review

In an era of sinking readership, closing bookstores, the disappearance of newspapers, and Google making us stupid, who cares about book reviews? The book review is the grownup version of the book report, the nefarious writing assignment where students first learn to plagiarize. Publishing is in a hard market, as they say in the insurance…

Beyond Yourself: Where the Poet Hides

Clive James argues that poets should know the rules before breaking them. “Technique’s Marginal Centrality” (Poetry, January 2012, pp. 326-335) is a very conservative argument, often repeated by those who do know the rules and have come to control the prescriptions, and we find the argument in the criticism of all the arts as well…