Monday, July 30, 2007

Sing-Song Sonnets and '07 CD's

Still feeling like I'm in the poetry doldrums, though I enjoyed hosting my Quick and Dirty peeps last week. We had a good meeting - Kendall arrived early so we got to b.s. about music before Anna and Andrea showed up. I offered up a sonnet for critique, which Anna, our formal verse maven, liked but suggested that the meter was "too perfect". I know what she means, and it's a weakness of mine when I write formal verse - I tend to try so hard to get the meter right (iambic pentameter, in this case) that it often comes off "sing-songy". Modern formal verse likes to mix things up a little, with enjambment and variations in the meter here and there, and the best formal verse doesn't even sound like it when read aloud. Anna's quite good at it. My sonnet will be better with some tweaking. I was also asked to approach Aaren Yates Perry, an area poet whose workshop I took at this year's Philadelphia Writers Conference, to be our guest poet when we begin our readings this fall at The Daily Grind in Mt. Holly. More on that later.

My latest publication is on a new online journal called Word Catalyst, edited by one of my acquaintances, Shirley Allard. The poetry is a bit "traditional", but I'm happy to be part of it, and the August issue features two of my "older" poems, one about my Indian "e-pal" and one I wrote a few years ago about my grandmother, who passed away this year.
Also, I found out about the Shadow Poetry Biennial Chapbook Contest: I didn't win. I lost to a collection called Faerie Folk and Fireflies. Go figure. I did get 9th place, which entitles me to a 25% discount on a chapbook publication with them. I doubt I'll take them up on it, though.

Music: Finally, I'm getting up to speed on the 2007 album releases. My latest acquisitions were Hoots and Hellmouth (whom I saw at the Xponential Music Festival a couple of weekends ago) and Lily Allen's Alright, Still. I'm still deciding how much I like her, but she will probably end up on my ultimate best-of-the-year list. So far, my top faves are:

1. The Shins - Wincing the Night Away
2. Feist - The Reminder
3. Richard Thompson - Sweet Warrior
4. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
5. Peter, Bjorn and John - Writer's Block
6. Son Volt - The Search
7. John Bulter Trio - Grand National
8. Wilco - Sky Blue Sky
9. Ryan Shaw - This Is Ryan Shaw
10. Loreena McKennitt - An Ancient Muse
11. Norah Jones - Not Too Late
12. Hoots and Hellmouth - Hoots and Hellmouth
13. The Smithereens - Meet the Smithereens
14. LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
15. Various Artists - Endless Highway: The Music of the Band

I'm probably forgetting one or two others, and the list will certainly change before the end of the year, but there it is for what it's worth.

Poem of the Week: Oh, I don't know. How about this one, which was published in Mad Poets Review and The Wolf (UK) a couple of years ago:


There is no translation for silence.
For touch, there are volumes.

I have never astounded you, yet
you invite me with every look.

So often you are as close as pain.
My joints ache, as before a storm.

I am awash in your affection, but
the lightning always seems to miss.

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