It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? (Aug 2nd)

Read:

White Cat (Curse Workers, Book 1) by Holly Black — This was very good. It was a crime novel full of mobsters, con games, and magic. A teen finds out that the secrets he believes he’s keeping may not be the real secrets he needs to worry about and that the family that is supposed to protect you may be the people who are playing you the most. This was so different from Black’s fairy series and yet just as good. I really like the world order she has set-up.  (Audio downloaded from Audible.com)

The Dark Tide (Adrien English Mysteries #5) by Josh Lanyon — This is the last book the series, and it was really good. It had an interesting mysteries, the resolution to Adrien’s on again off again relationship with his boyfriend Jake, more zany family members, scary temps for the agency, and old jazz music. Adrien is a character you like spending time with. I am sad this is going be the last in the series. (eBook purchased from Fictionwise.com read on my NOOK)

Reading:

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr — I became aware of Nicholas Carr with an article called “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” in the Atlantic, the ran about two years ago.  I was intrigued.  I have often thought about my Internet usage over the years. I have definitely experienced the phenomenon of my attention drifting before I get to the end of an article, print or electronic. I have on more than one occasion forced myself to read to the end and then write at least two sentences about what I read — because sometimes when skimming, I couldn’t even say what I’d just read. On the other hand, I do still love reading whole books, hopefully shown by this blog. I like books best when they have enough meat in them that I can look up words, research ideas, and copy down quotes for my journal.  I just started this book tonight on audio (somehow I think this is cheating), and so far I’m interested to see where it is going.

The Ghosts of Manhattan by George Mann — A co-worker loaned me this book. It is a lot like reading through an episode of the Shadow. I was hoping to settle in to this quickly, but it feels like I read it before which is making it way to easy to put down. The writing is nice and my co-worker LOVED it, so maybe I’m not giving it a fair chance.

ANY MANY OTHERS PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED.

Other News:

Forbes online ran an interesting article about poetry and code breaking.  The poem they are talking about can be found here.

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is organized by Sheila over at Book Journey. Be sure to stop by her site and read the great blogs of the other participates.

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Poem published today…

My newest poem “Symbols Repeat” was published today at http://twitter.com/microcosms/status/12884945606

I’m very excited! Go check it out.

Dwarf Stars 2009 available

The chapbook containing all the nominees for the Dwarf Stars 2009 award is now available for purchase from the Science Fiction Poetry Association website. It is $7 +$1S&H in the U.S.

I received my contributor’s copy a couple weeks ago. It is an honor to be among such distinguished company. In fact I’m a little over whelmed. To name a few of the other nominees who’s work I’ve long admired we have — Jeannine Hall Gailey, author of a poetry collection I like called Becoming the Villainess; Linda Jeanette Ward, whose tanka I’ve followed for a while; and Jane Yolen, a distinguished children’s author whose book Touch Magic one of my favorites, to just name of few of the other nominees.

That ladybug didn’t say trauma or grief

Slamming Open the DoorWe all judge books by there cover, even if it just a little part of the self. I chose Slamming Open the Door by Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno this way, for its bright white cover, shinny in the florescence above. The slim volume bore its title in pretty red script and below there was a singular ladybug. The ladybug was enticing. It made me pick up the book and flip through it pages, they were a sturdy 30% recycled stock, crème with black type. The majority of the poems seemed short. I gave a cursory glance at the back. There was an author’s photo of a friendly looking woman and a bunch of quotes by other people. I don’t read endorsements. I don’t trust them. I bought the book.

The heartache contained inside these poems colors my thoughts about the cover — that ladybug, is it lonely? That author’s photo, is she sad even though she smiles? I read the quotes — “the murder of her daughter.” My heart is sad and I don’t know if I want to go back inside those covers.

One more poem…page 30, “Homicide Detective”. I close my eyes against the images and then open them to read it again. I can’t bear anymore. I think I will save the rest for another day, but the poems keep calling me back. It has been a long time since I’ve read a poetry book with this much pull over my feelings.

Poetry Friday

I’ve been reading about poetry lately. It isn’t really the same thing as reading poetry. Yet, it has its own pleasures. There was a line in Writing the Life Poetic that reminded me of all the baggage words carry around. It’s that wonderful double edge sword that makes some words do the heavy lifting and other words just seem cliché. There is also the sublime way that words shift over time shedding old meanings and acquiring new ones that make prizing meaning from some poems more akin to solving puzzle boxes.

I’ve been told there was a time when poets where the rock stars of the day, but to day I would assume most people don’t read poetry. The kind collected in slim little books. I would assume most people think of poetry at that stuffy difficult to understand stuff that they were forced to read in school. They’d rather listen to there iPods, to the rock stars — the performers of poetry, and never connect the two concepts. One of the article I read recently, talks about a website selling poems for 99cents a piece and they compare it to musicians selling individual songs. They only made the mercantile connection. Even wordless songs could be compared to concert or nonsense poems where the form or lilt is more important then the meaning.

I had a high school teacher that made the leap. She made use bring in song lyrics for our poetry projects. We had to illustrate them and read them out loud to the class, no signing or music, just the words. Illustrating someone else’s poetry can be a great exercise in imagination.

I purchased two poetry collections yesterday. Songs of Love, Moon, and Wind: Poems from the Chinese translated by Kenneth Rexroth and Slamming Open the Door poems by Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno. The first I chose because I like classical Chinese and Japanese poetry and had not seen this volume before, the latter I must confess was for the cover. I did glance through both collection to make sure most of the poems where no over a page. I like short poetry best. I look forward to enjoying these today.

To me poetry is a chance to play with words like one plays with a fresh box of crayons. Today I’ll look at the pictures on somebody else’s fridge and be stunned by their beauty or sniff and say, “I can do that.” Either way I’m hoping to inspire myself to spread out my words before me and see what emerges.

Thanks

Many thanks to Ms. Amal El-Mohtar and everyone else at GoblinFruit.net for the congratulations on my nomination for the Dwarf Stars Award.  By the way the new issue of is up. Y’all should check it out.

a Sale, YEAH!

I sold a poem, for which I will be paid in money. It is for a Twitter stream that will start April 1st in honor of National Poetry Month, so my poem is very very short. It plays with some themes I’ve worked on in other poems. I will link to it when the time comes, but just thought I’d share the good news.