July 20, 2013

Insect Dreams

Who knows what
poems he fashions
in the darkness
of a senseless life?

— Kij Johnson, short story "Mantis Wives" in Clarkesworld, nominated for Hugo and Locus awards for best short story

July 19, 2013

Her Skin

refrigerator light.

— Adam Johnson, short story "Nirvana" in Esquire's August 2013 issue

June 29, 2013

Strange Fruit

Crows gather in a tree
barren of leaves
and make its branches
appear heavy
with some black,
poisonous fruit.

— Benjamin Percy, "Red Moon"

June 14, 2013

As Is

You're going to be as good as new.

New was never all that good, he said.

— Megan Mayhew Bergman, from the title story from her collection "Birds of a Lesser Paradise"

May 30, 2013


His suitcase

on the floor.

— Benjamin Percy, "Red Moon"

May 28, 2013

Cool-looking authors No. 54

Raymond Carver, a master of the short story

Photo by Marion Ettlinger

May 27, 2013


Owing to her large, wide-open dark eyes
she had an air of permanent surprise.

— Ilya Lyashevsky, short story "Tennie" in Bull No. 2

May 18, 2013

Mother's Eyes

His mother's eyes,
intimate but

were the blue
of great distances
after sunset.

— Flannery O'Connor short story "The Comforts of Home"

May 17, 2013


Even when
the wind
the water
does not 

— Collin Kelley, novel "Conquering Venus"

May 2, 2013

Cool-looking authors No. 53

Benjamin Lytal, author of novel "A Map of Tulsa"

Photo by Annie Bourneuf

April 21, 2013

Prose poem

Many fine poets would
retain their power

even if their poems
were printed as prose:

the "poetry"
           is deep
in the language.

— Dan Chiasson, in his review of new poems from Carl Phillips (The New Yorker, April 15, 2013, issue)

April 17, 2013

Sense and Nonsense

Life makes no sense at all.
Neither does death.
But in a weird way
that I am now beginning
to understand, it all
makes perfect nonsense.

— Paul Jenkins, "DC Universe Presents" No. 4, February 2012

April 1, 2013

An Edge to Id

Waka modulates charisma
and id
like a great comedian,
his money-and-mollies
routine a strident —
or achly silly —

— Nick Catucci's review of Waka Flocka Flame's new album "Du Flocka Rant 2" in the March 28, 2013, issue of Rolling Stone

March 29, 2013

Cool-looking authors No. 52

 Sherman Alexie, short story writer, poet, filmmaker and more.
"The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven," "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" and "Blasphemy"

Photographer unknown

March 25, 2013

Cool-looking authors No. 51

James Baldwin, novelist, poet, essayist and social critic

Stamp artist Thomas Blackshear II

March 19, 2013

Cool-looking authors No. 49

Rosecrans Baldwin, author of memoir "Paris, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down" and novel "You Lost Me There"

Photo by Susie Post-Rust

March 12, 2013

Cool-looking authors No. 48

Gillian Flynn, author of the best-selling novel "Gone Girl"

Photo by Heidi Jo Brady

February 23, 2013

The Cat in Freud's Hat

Found a piece of paper in the yard apparently from a neighborhood kid's English assignment list on Lord of the Flies. One assignment option: You will create a PowerPoint presentation comparing the id, ego, and superego in Lord of the Flies and Dr. Seuss's The Cat and the Hat.

My observations: 1. We didn't have PowerPoint when I was in school (we had to use old-fashioned poster board for cool displays). 2. Why didn't they teach us there were Freudian concepts lurking in our Dr. Seuss books?  3. The book is The Cat in the Hat.

February 19, 2013

A Zombie's Reflections, or A Husband's Reflections

Her brain,
all those coils,
and her thoughts
        shuttling     through
    those       coils     like fast,
frantic      centipedes.

— Gillian Flynn, "Gone Girl"

February 9, 2013



— William Saroyan, short story "Resurrection of a Life" (from "Best American Short Stories of the Century")

February 1, 2013

Fear is a Cannibal

Fear is a cannibal
that feeds upon itself.
It lives in every dark shadow —
waits around every corner.
It can be in two places at once
... on the path ahead, yet
somehow always behind you.
Fear hides in every decision,
questioning your every move.
And it's your fault. You
are the one who gives it life.

— Paul Jenkins, Batman: The Dark Knight, No. 1 (2011)

I think of ...

Link here to a "motionpoem" - "Cogitatio Mortis" by Eric Pankey

January 23, 2013

Poetry's everywhere (or next to Megan Fox)

Esquire's February 2013 issue features ... poetry.

Heck, they even promote it right there on the cover. The tease is to the right of Megan Fox: Our annual Poetry for Men section (just kidding about the "annual" part)

From the table of contents:
Trochees, iambs, and no requests for exegesis. An enjoyable few moments with poesy.
By Matthew Dickman, Galway Kinnell, Alex Lemon, Sharon Olds, Charles Simic, Jason Tandon, and Nick Tosches

January 22, 2013

Cool-looking authors No. 47

Nam Le, author of the short story collection "The Boat"

Photo by Joanne Chan

January 15, 2013

Room With a View

Melanie looked up,
past me, out
the window.

There was
never anything
to look at
out there.

— John Brandon, short story "Last Summer" in The Oxford American's The Best of the South 2011

January 10, 2013

Poems by heart

USA Today's Pop Candy column poses the question (in light of British effort):
Do you know any poems by heart?  Link

January 9, 2013


The cool thing about poetry — and yes, there's a cool thing about poetry, so you'd better un-arch that eyebrow ...

— Jeff Giles, the start of his review of Louise Gluck's new collection, "Poems 1962-2012," in Entertainment Weekly.  And it's an encouraging sign the magazine devoted a whole page to a review of a poetry book.