1. Adam Fitzgerald does a beautiful, astute review of James Schuyler's "Other Flowers", writing "his delicate splashes of color tended to stain the body more than the mind’s eye." You can read it here on the Best American Poetry Blog
2. Here is a great list of minor characters in the Peanuts. Who can resist such characters as
"Shut Up and Leave Me Alone," which is all this nameless, faceless kid ever said whenever Charlie Brown tried to be friendly with him? Or my favorite "555 95472" for short his name was "5". 5 was given a numerical name by his father, who was upset over the preponderance of numbers in people's lives, although when questioned, 5 clarified that this was not his father's way of protesting, it was his way of "giving in."
3. This is great. Shakespeare's last will and testament. For a poem once I used the fact that he only left his second best bed to his wife!
"Item I gyve unto my wief my second best bed with the furniture; Item I gyve and bequeath to my saied daughter Judith my broad silver gilt bole."
4. Ben Pease's in-depth interviews with poets on Scattered Rhymes
are insightful, funny, and wonderful to listen to.
His most recent one is with my friend, and brilliant poet Solmaz Sharif.
Scattered Rhymes presents poets an opportunity to read their work aloud and talk about it in as much detail as they care to share. The format allows insight into the poetic practice not in an attempt to wash away the mysterious veneer from the form but to find all the more reasons to celebrate and cherish it. Take a listen. Tell your friends.
5. Okay, I can't seem to convince my friends of this, but I think this is such a beautiful version of Ne Me Quitte Pas Jacques Brel (recorded in 1959). This video has a rough translation of the words. Which I'm so glad to know.
If you go away on this summer's day,
Then you might as well take the sun away
All the birds that flew in the summer sky
When our love was new and our hearts were high
When the day was young and the nights were long
And the moon stood still for the night bird's song
If you go away, if you go away, if you go away.
6. STAR TREK TNG (watch it if you know what's good for you)
7. Anne Carson's new book in a box "Nox" which is a sad, beautiful collage for her brother. What I love so much about this book, besides the poetry of the language, the use of collage, the information it give you, is that Carson shows us the capabilities of expressing loss and love. When I opened it I was struck by its originality, no one has the guts anymore to do what they want to do, or to take risks. They mill around in the safe zones, in the expected, in what they know works. Carson is so unwaveringly brilliant, in that she see that in artistic expression one medium is rarely enough.
You have to sit down and really absorb "Nox", beginning to end.