Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weird? Cool? Both!

So, my vacation from work is over.

I got quite a bit done, though certainly not everything that was on my to-do list. And I had to shovel a lot of snow, though (thankfully) not as much as my New York friends.

I wrote a lot. Revised a lot of poems I'd been wanting for a while to really sit down with and I managed to start five new poems. Plus I got to read a whole bunch (Dan Nowak's new chapbook, Of a Bed Frame, almost finished with Lightsey Darst's book, Find the Girl, Alison Stine's book, Ohio Violence, which is phenomenal. Halfway through Philip Levine's Breath and halfway through Philip Levine's News of the World -- come to think of it, I'm halfway through just about all of Philip Levine's books!).

And I went through and cleaned/organized a bunch of my files, which uncovered some surprises. Check out this:

This are the original handwritten draft/notes of "Montage," the first poem I ever published (in issue 7 of Heliotrope). 

Here's how it turned out once it was "finished":

Then I found a weird old sketchbook of mine. It looks like it was from right after highschool, probably at the start of undergrad. Here are a few choice selections:

I don't know what's wrong with that guy, but I guess at the time I did.

This picture is of me from high school, from a writer's workshop at Kenyon College. I found this on a day I also happened to write an email to my old friend, Amy, who I met there.

It's hard to believe that was me. A past life! And apparently I was a deep thinker.

Amy emailed me about this and said, "Can you believe I ever wore those clothes." Amy, can you believe I still have that shirt?! In fact, if it wasn't twenty degrees out, I'd be wearing that shirt right now.

Strange what we find when we look.

And because I'm feeling strange, here's the weirdest damn thing I've ever seen. It's a fan video for Steeleye Span's "Alison Gross."

There used to be a killer fan video of Eve 6's "Beautiful Oblivion" made entirely of stick figures, but it seems to have been pulled off YouTube. Sadly. It would have made a great pair to "Alison Gross."

Back to work!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Paper Guillotines Reviewed Again

Christopher Frost has written a review of Paper Guillotines for Neon Literary Magazine (which published two of my poems back in 2008). Many thanks to Mr. Frost and to Neon's founder and editor, Krishan Coupland.

An excerpt:
"[N]o amount of labels can define Frame's view of the world. That's what Paper Guillotines is for, and it does the job admirably. So these poems have messages, but they're not message-poems. They stand up for themselves."

Read the whole review here:

I think what makes me most happy about this (and about Ryder Collins' review) is that they both assert the chapbook is not simply didactic. They both argue that the poems are poems first and foremost. They're also political first and foremost. Both reviews say the chapbook manages to do both at the same time, which is vital.

Obviously, I think the poems are (and must be) poetic in addition to being political, but it is lovely to know other people think so, too.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

"Prayers" (for Rane Arroyo)

I'm pleased (and quite shocked) to announce that my poem "Prayers," an elegy (of sorts) for my friend, the brilliant poet Rane Arroyo, has been accepted by Third Coast! Look for it in the Fall 2011 issue. More on this once the issue is released.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Lewd, Brood and Refined

Save the date, Toledo. I'll be participating in Lewd: An Erotic Literature Reading. Friday, Feb. 11 8:00PM-10:00PM at Glass City Cafe. Hope to see you there.

Here's the official Facebook page: