Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Review of Paper Guillotines in Emprise Review

In 2009, Emprise Review published my poem, "Bottle Rockets," a somewhat political narrative that references 9/11, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Challenger explosion and the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr and President John F. Kennedy (and all in twenty lines!). It's a poem and a publication I'm intensely proud of.


Today, Emprise Review released a sequence of mini-reviews written by Adam Tavel. Tavel Reviews three books: Selected Poems by Mary Ruefle, No Permanent Scars by Michael Hemery and my chapbook, Paper Guillotines. It is a lovely review and I couldn't be happier (How could I complain when someone writes about me, "Frame’s mature and searching voice conjures the righteous invective of early Auden and the terse muscularity of middle-era James Wright."


Many thanks to Tavel and everyone at Emprise Review for their continued support of my work.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Silent Silence

The busy season has started at my job. I’m working long days and mandatory Saturdays, which leaves me little time for the computer - or anything else. But, to be honest, I live for this time of year. Not only is the money good, but it’s impossible to get bored. Yesterday, I had eight hours worth of bee work in Ann Arbor. Plus an hour and fifteen minute drive from the office to Ann Arbor (repeated on the way back). And it’s quiet. Just me and the road and the spray truck and a bag of books for my lunch break.

I’ve estimated that the construction caused by The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 adds between two and five hours of drive time to my work week. Therefore, I am partially funded by The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

I’ve been working on quitting smoking. It’s going well. I’ve been using the Nicorette Lozenges. They work really well. I should get a kick-back for writing that. I won’t get a kick-back for writing that because of this: the Nicorette Lozenges taste like hell. Seriously, if the surface of hell was covered with tin foil and your punishment for whatever it is you did that sent you to hell was to chew on the crust of hell for eternity, then the Lozenges taste like hell.

I don’t believe in hell. It is illogical

A study by the UC Berkley Center for Labor Research and Education claims that if Wal-Mart decided to pay all of its underpaid workers a living wage of 12 dollars an hour and then passed every cent of that increase on to the consumer, it would result in an increase of roughly 46 cents per shopper, per shopping trip, or about 12 dollars a year, per shopper.

Ignore me. I’m a scary socialist. Boo.

I love that my GPS pronounces the word “Wagner” like the composer.

This is true. I heard about it on the radio and I read about it online. So it must be true: recently, an 18 year old went into a WalMart dressed in a cow suit, walking on all fours and mooing. He proceeded to put 26 gallons of milk into a shopping cart and then walk out of the store without paying for them. When police found him, he was a few blocks away giving the milk away. According to police, there is no surveillance video of the theft.

I walk to work, sometimes very early in the morning, at around 3:30 or 4:00 AM. There are two ghosts living on or near the path I walk to work. I can confirm two ghosts. There may be more but I can only confirm two. They are shadowy. I’ve seen them twice. I don’t know if they are intelligent ghosts or residual spirit activity. This will require further study and research, which is sadly impossible right now because the path I use is flooded and will remain flooded until late summer. My family is worried the ghosts are actually muggers. They are ghosts. I have a flashlight which I use to check my surroundings. Plus, muggers mug.

Seriously? A man in a cow suit crawls into a store, mooing, and no one finds this suspicious enough to turn the cameras on him?

Here is a poem by Yannis Ritsos I really like (the translation is by Edmund Keeley):

“Maybe, Someday” 
I want to show you these rose clouds in the night.
But you can’t see. It’s night - what can one see? 
Now, I have no choice but to see with your eyes, he said,
so I’m not alone, so you’re not alone. And really,
there’s nothing over there where I pointed. 
Only the stars crowded together in the night, tired,
like those people coming back in a truck from a picnic,
disappointed, hungry, nobody singing,
with wilted wildflowers in their sweaty palms. 
But I’m going to insist on seeing and showing you, he said,
because if you too don’t see, it will be as if I hadn’t -
I’ll insist at least on not seeing with your eyes -
and maybe someday, from a different direction, we’ll meet.

I love that poem but I want there to be exclamation points. After the word “pointed” in line six, after “singing” in line ten and after “eyes” in the penultimate line.

I hate exclamation points and never use them when I write. But I’ve been reading a lot of Whitman which fills my head with exclamation points.

I’m terrified of tornadoes (who isn’t?). There are obvious reasons and I don’t think this fear is irrational. Still, I’ve tried to pinpoint when the fear began. I think I was young, at a cousin’s house, being babysat (I don’t know if I was being babysat by the cousin or if we were both being babysat together). There wasn’t a tornado. I don’t think the sirens went off. But I thought there was a tornado. There was a serious storm. The rain hit the house hard as a heavy metal drummer. The wind screamed until it tore aluminum siding to the ground. The window shutters shuddered (I’ve always wanted to say that). I hope the weather down south isn’t a prediction of this year’s Spring weather in the upper Midwest.

The first rule of French Symbolism is: Don’t talk about French Symbolism. Okay, that’s the first rule of Fight Club, but it should also be the first rule of French Symbolism.

Why did they decided to use the old nuclear war sirens as the tornado sirens? Why is the tornado protective teaching the same as the old nuclear war protective teaching (duck and cover)? Do they know what the hell they're talking about?

I hate the song "Silent Night."

I need to buy another box of Nicorette Lozenges.

Here’s a song that uses the word “silent” (or “silenced,” I’m not sure):

I think every song on The Smashing Pumpkins’ album Siamese Dream is about child abuse. Billy Corgan would probably say I’m wrong but screw him. His new music sucks.

Here is a Nirvana song that doesn’t use the word "silent", but I love it anyway. I don’t know what it is about. I can’t understand the lyrics. I bet it’s about his father.


Nirvana wasn’t be best band of the 90’s. Blind Melon was.
Kurt Cobain wasn’t the best lyricist of the 90’s. Tori Amos was/is.

Kurt died at the age of 27. This year he would have turned 42. This year I turn 30.

Here are four songs that use the word “silent” or “silence.” None are by Blind Melon or Nirvana. Two are by Tori Amos.






“Come down.
Get off your f**king cross.
We need the f**king space
to nail the next fool martyr.”

This is from the Tool song “Eulogy,” lyrics by James Maynard Keenan. Some people think the song is about Kurt Cobain. Some people think the song is about the comedian Bill Hicks. I think Maynard is heavily influenced by the French Symbolists, which means everything he writes is about himself. Maynard is originally from Ravena, Ohio. I wonder how he feels about tornadoes.

I promise to check in again before winter.