…I've been in a bit of a tailspin lately. Or maybe I've been floating. Whatever it is, I haven't been making much progress. I did, however, write three pretty good poems in the bathtub yesterday. It's where I get most of my best work done. Something about the rumble of the jets and the suds (good suds are really hard to come by, you wouldn't think so but it's true) and reading while sipping cabernet gets my mind working. I wrote a poem with this opening line-- "I dream of the snow storm again, that we die when we run out of footprints." I borrowed the second half of the line from Billy Collins. I had no idea where this poem would go, but as can be expected with me, it took a very sharp, tragic turn at the end.
…Speaking of Billy Collins. Some of his poems are good, but many are just sort of blah. Yet he's a poet laureate. Go figure. I'm almost done with the second of two collections by him, so I think I can have an opinion.
…My son asked me what a nomad is today. Yesterday at McDonald's we debated what is worse for a person--cigarettes or marijuanna. Not that either are good. I said ganja is worse, because a person can smoke a cig and drive the same but on pot you can become unnerved and dangerous and do stupid things. Last night he and I watched "Arrested Development" and it was a pleasure to hear him talk about how brilliant the show is/was.
…It's fun to watch my son growing and learning. It's the definition of joy.
…I no longer have good hair days. I had one in, like, somewhere around the second week of November. But that was it. Something has happened to my hair. It looks like the top of a bamboo tree hut after a windstorm. And product doesn't seem to help either.
…I want to see the film, "Little Furniture." You should go see it if you can. Go tonight or tomorrow. Take a date and friends and talk it up, put your fab reviews on Facebook and tweet about it.
…What would we do without Indie films? It seems the 3-D big budget Avatar types are pushing out the little guys the way Barnes and Noble and now the Kindle are crushing mom-and-pop book stores.
…The new Kanye West disc is really good, but not 5 Stars good, as Rolling Stone would have you believe. The new Kid Cudi is growing on me. It's pretty different for a rapper. Today I listened to all of a Keane album while on the treadmill. Florence and the Machine takes lots of repeated listens. She's a cross between Annie Lenox, Chrissie Hind and the girl that sings Black Horse and the Cherry Tree, or whatever that song I'm thinking of was called.
…I sent a submission to Litsnack recently. They have published me before. I like them a lot. I like this a lot as well (It's printed in their submission guidelines):
THE LITSNACK PHILOSOPHY 11/13/2009
• Great poems explode like fireworks
• Great stories explore change--specifically in people, places, or ideas. There must be transformation!
• In great language, syntax is lean, word choice economical
• Use specific nouns and strong verbs
• Kill adjectives and adverbs
• Great stories use all of the traditional plot points (exposition, inciting moment, rising action, climax, falling action, conclusion)
• Or, if not, they at least answer all of their own questions (that's Chekhov, baby!)
• In poems, create emotion through imagery, figurative language, and specific, evocative details
• Same for stories, except add strong characters and vivid setting
• Do the above, and theme takes care of itself
• In short, good literature doesn't have to be long
• Our motto at LITSNACK: "Easy in. Easy out. Nobody gets hurt."
See ya at the watering hole.