Monday, February 26, 2007

Looking for the words

The AWP conference in Atlanta will bring writers from all over the country to the Georgia's sprawling metropolis. While we'll wax on about the how's and why's of writing and argue about the minute politics of publishing and academia, most of us will be looking to reconnect with old friends, find time for a glass of wine, a smooth cigar, a good barroom conversation, a fine meal or two. We'll endure the countless jokes about Peachtree St. and enjoy the warming spring weather and think about what we do, maybe too much. Profligacy will abound and our penumbras will darken the sidewalks late into the night. Much will haunt me from the last Atlanta conference over a decade ago where someone wonderful came into my life and taught me to listen, her smoky voice a lost adventure, her eyes quick, curious, wise. More when I can bear it.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


or what happens when you don't know what this might be about, what time I'll have to work on it, why it even exists, except that my old friend Barry Spacks started a blog on poetry and I had to sign up to write to him. The title, from an XTC classic, suggests, I hope, eclecticism on the sensual side. I might talk of poems and poetry (that oldest music), new music, or I might just spill "ink" about a damn fine day in the South like today, 74 degrees right now, hawks nesting in the woods behind my house, students frolicking (do people actually frolick any more?) and sunbathing on the lawn in front of VSU.

I suppose a blog would have been useful when I arrived home exhilarated from concerts, like the recent Yo La Tengo collision with the Sun Ra Arkestra in Jacksonville, two forces blowing full speed through an intersection. The crash was spectacular, but somehow I survived.

Califone at The Earl in Atlanta for the Roots and Crowns tour, a show so fine even the muse put her beer down and listened raptly at what Jim could do with a fiddle, what Tim could do with his pen and guitar and cigarette-soft voice, Joe timing chaos, perfect, precise.

Kim Addonizio reading poems, microessays, stories, blowing her harp at the Warehouse in Tallahassee. I still say she's the sexiest poet in America.

Turley strutting fine Zin legs on our glasses when Scott Cairns was in town.

Or I may just blow my top from time to time in this time when common sense seems to have gone on a bender and passed out behind the trash bins in the alley.

Welcome. Now get off line and go change the world.