Thursday, 29 April 2010
and there's no way I'll have 30 poems completed. I have, however, written more than I would have otherwise, and played around with form more than I have in a while, so I'm grateful for the poem a day exercise for those benefits. Others?
Tuesday, 27 April 2010
How cool is that?
of novels, as collected by American Book Review, can be read here. If there are any you consider missing, I'd be grateful if you posted them as a comment on this post--I'd be delighted to read them.
Monday, 26 April 2010
Two poets I'm fond of are warmly reviewed in the current Boston Review, one of my favourite magazines: Lytton Smith, for his first collection, The All-Purpose Magical Tent (Nightboat Books), and Sophie Robinson, for her first collection, a (Les Figues), both published last year. Congratulations to both!
Sunday, 25 April 2010
Ave Maria polishes the background, while I tidy up out front.
Want to enjoy some majesty? Come on by, rain or snow, any evening.
last lines of "An Ambiguity"
In the hollow, the hollow was everything.
We oohed and aahed appropriately.
We learned sandstone versus limestone versus
what might have been.
What we liked best was anticipation,
which was fortunate since that was what we got.
I like my emptiness with a bit of elbow room.
You like yours with a convenient hatch.
from "Content / Content"
Another dazzling finale
and then I get to choose the braver way.
Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
are the questions.
Remembering is such a thrill
the rain does it all day long.
from "Her Sun Was Blue, Her Tree Was Green,
Her Line Was Very Straight"
For heaven's sake, don't worry. It's just Wal-Mart: paintbrushes and paint, some talent and a little hey why not.
from "I Want You to Scream It"
Thank goodness for tomorrow, which held today, squirming a little
but secretly loving it.
the last stanza of "In the Countryside of The"
Will I always be lonely in towns with small-time civic pride?
At least I've done a good job not filling the nothingness
with more of the same.
I consider the berries on the ivy: each one a little entrance
My strength I learned a long time ago.
end of "It's Been a Lovely October Thus Far"
My mother wants to know, am I in town?
Infinite Crisis #5.
I'm temper, underneath.
I'm pacing all the way through.
from "Riskier Still"
Little by little is one way to row a boat. Mine is blue and white
and very very sleepy.
Yours I cannot say. But I'm betting on the unimaginable,
and the painfully obvious.
last stanzas of "Smack-dab"
How will you know me dressed as I am
in rhetoric and light?
last stanza of "Suppose We Make That Assumption"
In real life, I hold up one hand to show my city.
On the map, Michigan leaned a little drunk. Tipsy mitten.
from "THIS IS NOT AN ENTRANCE"
Feeling is active, I now realize.
Meaning lags behind, like thunder.
Intuition tells me I'm fine.
I've not exceeded the day's maximum
dose of anything.
A song I like repeats in my mind.
from "Tuesday Progress Report"
Two calm thoughts in a row. Personal best.
I'm a sensible nonsensical girl, not the other way around.
Mostly, I defer to you.
In a fit of wisdom, you chose me.
What more can I say?
beginning and ending of "When You Reach an Obstacle"
Beauty Breaks In is available with free worldwide shipping at The Book Depository.
Friday, 23 April 2010
Here is the obituary from The Guardian. I only met him once, at a lovely reading he gave in Bath Spa's poetry reading series, and found him to be as relaxed and amiable as he was intelligent; a delightful conversationalist.
Thursday, 22 April 2010
Wednesday, 21 April 2010
As it begins with Mr B's in Bath and ends with the Poetry Bookshop in Hay-on-Wye, I'm pleased to refer you to The Telegraph's article on Britain's best independents. I'm also wondering, of course, what stores the author missed and hope some readers will fill me in.
Monday, 19 April 2010
Here's my last selection from the work I saw at the Whitney Museum early this month.
Tauba Auerbach's work from the exhibition has to be seen in person to be fully appreciated, as the Whitney's description makes clear (I hope). If you click on the painting beside the description so as to enlarge it, you'll appreciate how much her paintings look like real fabric. You can see more of her work on her website.
Lesley Vance's paintings suggest layers in intriguing relationships that render their still lives a greater sense of intimacy. Here are a couple images: "Untitled (12) (2009)"; "Untitled (21) (2009)".
The last artist I want to mention is photographer Stephanie Sinclair, who took photographs of Afghan women who set themselves on fire. The series, titled "Self-Immolation in Afghanistan: A Cry for Help," is intimate and moving. You can see it on the artist's website here.
Saturday, 17 April 2010
Friday, 16 April 2010
"President Obama has asked the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a rule that would prevent hospitals from denying visitation privileges to gay and lesbian partners."--CNN (read more)
I'd be glad to receive more examples of Obama's good work since he took office--feel free to post in comments or backchannel your message to carrie dot etter at gmail dot com.
Thursday, 15 April 2010
Click to enlarge any picture.
Matt and his little sister Sara
Where is she going?
the best thirty dollars I've ever spent
Monday, 12 April 2010
A day with many of my nieces and nephews. Click on any picture to enlarge it.
Austin, Brandon and Matthew
Sunday, 11 April 2010
I've been awed by the work of a poet new to me, Katie Ford, whose second collection, Colosseum, I came across in New York. Here are some choice passages.
If it is as Socrates says,
that locusts were human
until they heard the song of the world
and, so captured, forgot
to eat and drink and died--
and if it's true the gods
took pity on the dead
enough to resurrect them
into ashen singing things--
then, so too, our songs
will have to be plagues.
last stanzas of "Beirut"
I threw tarps over a life
and never could they reach--
still hastily I gathered
tarps more rare by the hour
in the city of nothing to spare.
eats what there is. It is
biblical: sit at the table of another
country, you must eat
what is set before you
They didn't know they were in another country
until they were left living.
from "Fish Market"
We were hardly vessels
what we took in could not be
and so we spat it out as dogs spit out
the wretched fish the only meat
the opening stanzas of "Vessel"
for when there is no storm
there is this stormed body
to keep alive in its solitary room
outside of which the snow is falling
one of us at a time.
the last lines of "Snow"
Look at the belief I can't live by, how it didn't follow
but was here before me like the fields of tall, planted cane
where anything can be hidden. I think this is
what we get when we ask to be saved:
a land where everything grows, and there are many killings.
the last lines of "What We Get"
All the films we saw there, their reels melting, the rows
where lovers went because they knew
or didn't know, it doesn't matter,
that watching the same story
could make them closer.
from "Coliseum Theater"
I listened to hymns and asked so much of them they quieted
like a body that withers when it feels itself
Evidence being that which screams its moment--
one need not even look.
from "Raised Voice"
and when those who populate your life return
to their curtained rooms and lie down without you,
you are alone, you
As for the tarpan it shall be for you.
A reckoning so slow you aren't even frightened.
the last stanza of "Earth"
Friday, 9 April 2010
A few more artists whose work intrigued me:
Aurel Schmidt's intriguing painting addressing consumerism and masculinity. There's a larger image of the work on her wiki
Kate Gilmore's (feminist) video performance. Read about it on her page at the Whitney and view it here. Other films are available on her website.
Moving on to the abstract, there are Suzan Frecon's paintings. There's an apt review of a 2005 exhibition on the New York Times website.
I'll post a final selection in a few days.
Thursday, 8 April 2010
NB: Often the spacing here is not consistent with the spacing in the book. If you're enticed by these passages, please read it yourself.
Earth has gala momentum.
In the past we listened to photographs. They heard our voice speak. Alice, active. What had been distance was memory.
The old camera refused to penetrate the unknown. Its heart was soft, unreliable.
Sound lays the structure. Sound leaks into the future.
last line of "Sound and Structure"
Opened the entrance door,
and make-believe arrived with a doll on its surface
Lived not for pleasure, to hear the cry
in a small coil
And heard through the oak panel—,
amazing to listen to speech by way of adulthood.
To articulate velvet,
without noise or spectacle
the sorrow of falling
into an historical position
Lived not for pleasure, to hear the harp-like
cry in a coil,
to live in an eccentric balloon.
An attempt to get beyond the arrangement,
the vibration of a peculiar touch.
A hint of what was going to be.
Covering and uncovering necessary.
Self pouring out of cloudedness.
from "Blurred Edge"
Advanced Book Exchange has a handful of secondhand copies of Miniatures for sale at good prices.
Wednesday, 7 April 2010
Tuesday, 6 April 2010
It's hard to excerpt from these poems as many work holistically; that is, individual passages often gain resonance because of their placement and so don't convey that power standing alone. Nonetheless, here's a sample.
I'm not stupidly assailed by moonlight
I'm an example, an experimental
Attempt to assess how a kid of my talents
Responds when she's given the life that I was
I'm the control and experiment bothly
you'll never get a result out of me
I'm total I'm all I'm absorbed in this meatcake
If I did all I could you'd shut up/be glad
Like fingers of a hand we all act as one
and aren't always needed, aren't needed as all
from "I'm total I'm all I'm absorbed in this meatcake"
Sleep for a long time and a thrust of activity: log rolling, fall off a skyscraper,
phenomenologues, cigarettes, korn, seeding herpes lip to lip.
Why LSD in the seventies, why coke in the eighties,
why Ecstasy in the nineties, why Ritalin.
To bolster the wandering mind; to bolster the wandering heart
to bolster the glamor; to glamor the wander.
The glamorous self and its story: no can do.
last 7 of 9 lines of "The divinity of man"
A day like a thing on a fork it arrives
from "A bash, and I wanna look good"
I call on creatures
Living in the sky today
I adjure you
Emerge and dive your wings and bodies
Prevail across the scary light
Cavernous several light
from "Song: Scary several light"
The prisoner is time, or my sense of it.
A great suction fattens
on my trés rich hours.
He can have vines because I can't drink wine
while I'm breastfeeding.
Tyrant. Asleep and saying huu,
fantastic waxen kicking
figurine, like a kick in the head, little
fat bag, a good drug
I see more of the
from "Perfect love"
Why was I writing so
much? Because I was impressed, & saddled up & ridden.
It's like we'll be together forever
so why should we talk. It's like parents.
As looking at yellow mountains
against blue sky. They're flaming
and it is your eyes.
last two stanzas of "Resume, face"
Macular Hole can be purchased from The Book Depository, with free worldwide shipping.
Saturday, 3 April 2010
Today I visited the Whitney Museum of American Art and encountered the work of numerous artists previously unknown to me. I thought I'd mention here those whose art interested me most, in several sets.
First, these disturbing, intriguing portraits by Storm Tharp.
Then Robert Williams' paintings combining techniques of comic books, surrealism, etc.
The most powerful work of this set and perhaps of all I'll mention is Nina Berman's photographs of Marine Sergeant Ty Ziegel, severely disfigured in Iraq, in the days leading up to and including his wedding.