Thursday, July 30, 2009

Readings and Holy Tango II

It’s been an active summer poetry-wise for me. Not only am I beating the drum for my new chapbook (and in case you’ve forgotten, it’s called Breathing Out and is available from Finishing Line Press), but I’ve already done three readings in the past month or so, which for me is pretty busy. “Real life” keeps me from getting out to read more often, which would be weekly if I had a chance. As I mentioned before, my poem “Record Store” was published in the new issue of Philadelphia Poets, and I attended both of the book launch parties. The South Philly reading was great, but the one at Robin’s Bookstore in Center City last night was even better. Despite a stormy evening, there was a very good turnout. I was one of a baker’s dozen of featured poets reading, so I only got to read three of my poems, but they got a big, enthusiastic response, and hopefully I sold a couple of books as well. It was an excellent evening of poetry all around. Kudos to editor Rosemary Cappello for putting together both events, and for an awesome journal.
I also read with Kendall Bell for the Burlington County Poets on the 23rd, and that went very well too. Thanks to Sheila McDonald, Adele Bourne and the rest of the BC Poets for inviting us.

Music: Just got the new albums by Moby (Wait for Me) and Son Volt (American Central Dust). Moby’s album is better than anything he’s done since his 1999 classic, Play. Musically it’s not as varied or adventurous, but the man still knows how to write some gorgeous, cinematic themes. Son Volt’s last effort, The Search, was a bit disappointing after their terrific 2006 release Okemah and the Melody of Riot, but this new one is a solid effort, if a bit mellower than the last two albums.

Poem of the Week:
It feels good to say that again. Here is another offering inspired by Francis Heaney’s very funny collection, Holy Tango of Literature. Again, the premise is to take a famous poet’s name and anagram it into a word or phrase that can be a title, then write a poem with that title in the style of that poet. So here’s a poet that everyone knows well:

Dress Us
by Dr. Seuss

“We’re going next week to the Burbletown Ball,”
Said Louie and Zooie McGrundle-O’Grall.
“We need something fancy to catch all their eyes,
So do you have something that’s nice in our size?”
“Oh sure,” said the salesman, a Mr. Galoot,
“Here’s something for you sir, a wonderful suit!
It’s made from the finest Bodinka-cat hide,
with purplish stripes and green lining inside.”
“But the Bodinka-cat’s such a cute little varmint,”
said Louie, “I never would put on this garment.”
“Okay,” said Galoot, “Here’s something for madam,
a red gown spun by the silkworms of Zhaddam.”
“But the silkworms,” said Zooey, “work all day and night,
without any lunch break – I’ve heard of their plight!”
“All right!” huffed Galoot, “I don’t mean to pester,
But look at this rack – it’s all polyester!”
“Oh no, that’s from oil,” Louie said with disgust,
“Non-renewable resource – we must save it – we must!”
“I can’t help you,” Galoot sneered. “You’re both on a mission,
“So now please excuse me – I work on commission!”
So Mr. and Mrs. McGrundle-O’Grall
Finally went to the Burbletown Ball.
They never did really intend be rude,
But they shocked everyone when they came in the nude!

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