Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

When Lightning Bolts From My Chest …
April 15, 2008

A Few Random Poets Speak on National Poetry Month –

And We Eat …

“God has a brown voice, as soft and full as beer.” —Anne Sexton

Jerome Rothenberg“As for poetry ‘belonging’ in the classroom, it’s like the way they taught us sex in those old hygiene classes: not performance but semiotics. If it I had taken Hygiene 71 seriously, I would have become a monk; & if I had taken college English seriously, I would have become an accountant.” —Jerome Rothenberg

On Clouds – “…what primitive tastes the ancients must have had if their poets were inspired by those absurd, untidy clumps of mist, idiotically jostling one another about…” —Yevgeny Zamyatin

“Poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits.” —Carl Sandburg

“For each letter received from a creditor, write fifty lines on an extraterrestrial subject and you will be saved.” —Charles Baudelaire

“I have been in Sorrow’s kitchen and licked out all the pots. Then I have stood on the peaky mountain wrapped in rainbows, with a harp and a sword in my hands.” —Zora Neale Hurston

“The purpose of art, including literature, is not to reflect life but to organize it, to build it.” —Yevgeny Zamyatin (The Goal, ca. 1926)

Elizabeth Bishop“One can smell it turning to gas; if one were Baudelaire one could probably hear it turning to marimba music.” —Elizabeth Bishop

“If the poet wants to be a poet, the poet must force the poet to revise. If the poet doesn’t wish to revise, let the poet abandon poetry and take up stamp-collecting or real estate.” —Donald Hall

Zora Neale Hurston “Nothing that God ever made is the same thing to more than one person. That is natural.” —Zora Neale Hurston

“I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart. I am. I am. I am.” —Sylvia Plath

“In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it’s the exact opposite.” —Paul Dirac

“Heaven is not like flying or swimming, but has something to do with blackness and a strong glare.” —Elizabeth Bishop

“Poetry is a rich, full-bodied whistle, cracked ice crunching in pails, the night that numbs the leaf, the duel of two nightingales, the sweet pea that has run wild, Creation’s tears in shoulder blades.” —Boris Pasternak

Anne Sexton“It doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was.” —Anne Sexton

“Wanted: a needle swift enough to sew this poem into a blanket.” —Charles Simic

“The composition is the thing seen by everyone living in the living they are doing, they are the composing of the composition that at the time they are living is the composition of the time in which they are living.” —Gertrude Stein

“Apparently, the most difficult feat for a Cambridge male is to accept a woman not merely as feeling, not merely as thinking, but as managing a complex, vital interweaving of both.” —Sylvia Plath

“There is no single face in nature, because every eye that looks upon it, sees it from its own angle. So every man’s spice-box seasons his own food.” —Zora Neale Hurston

“She even had a kind of special position among men: she was an exception, she fitted none of the categories they commonly used when talking about girls; she wasn’t a cock-teaser, a cold fish, an easy lay or a snarky bitch; she was an honorary person. She had grown to share their contempt for most women.” —Margaret Atwood

“Language is a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, while all the time we long to move the stars to pity.” —Gustave Flaubert

Allen Ginsberg -- Nude“Poetry is not an expression of the party line. It’s that time of night, lying in bed, thinking what you really think, making the private world public, that’s what the poet does.” —Allen Ginsberg

“I did not believe political directives could be successfully applied to creative writing . . . not to poetry or fiction, which to be valid had to express as truthfully as possible the individual emotions and reactions of the writer.” —Langston Hughes

Gertrude Stein“A diary means yes indeed.” —Gertrude Stein

“I think one of poetry’s functions is not to give us what we want… [T]he poet isn’t always of use to the tribe. The tribe thrives on the consensual. The tribe is pulling together to face the intruder who threatens it. Meanwhile, the poet is sitting by himself in the graveyard talking to a skull.” —Heather McHugh

“Poetry is the journal of the sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air. Poetry is a search for syllables to shoot at the barriers of the unknown and the unknowable. Poetry is a phantom script telling how rainbows are made and why they go away.” —Carl Sandburg

Virginia Woolf“When, however, one reads of a witch being ducked, of a woman possessed by devils, of a wise woman selling herbs, or even a very remarkable man who had a mother, then I think we are on the track of a lost novelist, a suppressed poet. . . indeed, I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.” —Virginia Woolf

“This cop told me, furthermore, that it had been difficult for him to follow me because I had signaled too soon. I told him that, because I didn’t know there was anyone else in the world, any signaling was an act of faith.” —Kathy Acker

“Even in the centuries which appear to us to be the most monstrous and foolish, the immortal appetite for beauty has always found satisfaction.” —Charles Baudelaire

Frank O Hara“I am ashamed of my century, but I have to smile” —Frank O’Hara




Never a More Generous Man
April 3, 2008


Never a more generous man have I met than poet and friend, Matthew Rotando. I take great pleasure in singing the praises of his first book of poems, THE COMEBACK’S EXOSKELETON. I wish you could all know him too, as you will find that once you fall in love with this collection, you will long to meet the person who has such zest for life as well as an eye not afraid to behold our evils. It’s really a lovely collection — and I’m not just saying that because I’ve been waiting for years for it to appear. You should throw caution to the wind and take up this EXOSKELETON! Discover how well dresses up your own worldview!

What others are saying:

Incorporating the density of Spanish surrealism and a sprawling Whitmanesque line, this amazing first book finds Rotando engaged in a poetic biathlon which draws equally from maximal and minimal traditions. There are tight, economical poems, free verse forms derived from the sonnet, poems leaping about the page, but my favorites are the wonderful prose poems tumbling over and under themselves toward gnomish statements that feel both didactic and self-parodying. –Tim Peterson, from the Foreword

The rich, exultant writing in Matthew Rotando’s first collection is both comic and cosmic. Lyrics steeped in the Latin American literary tradition disclose what might be called the surreality of reality in contemporary American culture, while cadences of Stein and Barthelme make the prose poems in The Comeback’s Exoskeleton ring with laughter of great philosophical depth. This is a writer unafraid to love and to err, and to do so with irrepressible grace and humour. To read such unapologetically joyous work is a tonic for melancholy and a prescription for wonder. –Srikanth Reddy, Facts for Visitors

And a few short poems from the collection, though there are many longer ones to gleefully sink into:



Son, watch the way the eaves bend when you breathe.

They move the way a star would

If you could corral water into spheres.


Shadows play in the paint under the floor:

Tentacular spirits!

They will hold your cages and laboratory equipment.


Your time as a human is near at hand;

I am repealing all the old regulations

Regarding prostrations and guttural pronouncements.


There will be things called Souvenir Shops;

Bring back an “I ♥ Mt. Rushmore” keychain for your mother.






I snave this heaking suspicion

That the poung yoet, Tom Devaney,

Is really the mold oviestar, Lon Chaney.

If lou yisten to the way they laugh,

Or notice their hartling, storror movie eyes,

You’ll sefinitely dee

That they’re both obvious dasters of misguise.





I like trouble. I like to shoot watermelon seeds at passing barges. I wanna

put Elmer’s Glue in your hair and make it stick straight up. I wanna go

down to the docks and kick some ass! Your shoes small like skunk. And

so do mine. If we were lizards, I bet we would both be geckoes with

sticky round fingers. A friend is someone who decides to find you out.

Let’s have a broken bottle party! A Chinese dude, Shih-Wu, said, “Pine

trees and strange rocks remain unknown to those who look for mind

with mind.” So let’s not bother. Let’s just walk arm in arm through a

crumbling metropolis, clacking castanets.





In the mood for one more? Try this one, complete with a nearly naked pic!


Dusie, Dusie, Dusie CHAPS!
March 29, 2008

hands half face. (king)

a bodyfeel lexicon. (gordon/bozek) dimestore operetta say. (bowen) developing poetic ideas. (chirot)
time space repetition. (armentrout) vie et pli. (giovenale) afar buzzing stars. (scappettone)
props of henwifery. (sprague) digress into residency. (berridge)
laced with forethought. (murphy) postcard of the. (tate) I posit no. (fieled)
erratogenic paraparasitic postpoem
. (goodland) erotic false consciousness. (ward) first swifts come. (shaeppi)
will be waxing. (art) &lipstick&moss&bodice. (carignan) flamenco pierced her. (tabios)
a citizen I. (snyder) engirth, discorrupt, linger. (workman) correspondence, obscure, reveal. (fletcher)
enhanced ego-interference patterning. (orange) fairly clear the. (boyer) telephone as intermediary. (hunter)
vista of verdancy
. (stengel) pale blue twilight. (phipps) (an historical site) magi.
little decisions thrumming
. (boykoff) writing records eden. (farr) production of hormones. (marcacci)
our crops far-flung
. (sand) going not gone. (hofer) informed by light. (compton)

my embroidery she (abulhassan) ruby large enow. (gardner) composition as process. (hayes) like you tiger-shock. (smith)
distance presence print. (pusateri) certain fields escape. (muench/allegrezza) fragile engines flashing. (detorie)
the great desire. (nakayasu)
behold a glimmering. (quimba) splendid drifts of. (kunz)
salt, line, obedience.
(cox/cox-farr) eyes glass hands. (lamoureux)
template, some vicissitude
. (mauro) little red song-book. (newman) imagistic kinetic dizzy. (stamatakis)
a need for. (behm-steinberg) gaga futurism pales. (cooper) a lavish spectacle. (deming)
him, wings adjacent. (heide) hands half face. (king) presently be said. (stempleman) known as “we”. (nelligan)
underground I go. (graham) adorn honour bright. (mangold) paced awning graces. (klinger)
courting in earnest. (spahr) grew inside we. (madison) a running plotline. (janssen)

AWP New York City
March 29, 2008

* Ana and I hung out at the AWP bookfair for one day only. We paid no money, but luckily, I got to share a table with Cannibal, Kitchen Press, and Soft Targets. I saw lots of nice books, though I had no money; moreover, I chatted with lots of pleasant poets — too many to recount. But you should certainly see a few photos of said poets here.

* I’m sorry I missed Daniela Olszewska, who stopped by my table and left her chapbook for me while I was wandering. Thank you, Daniela!

* The always lovely Matthew Zapruder gave me a poetry bus t-shirt.

* William Howe slipped me Tom Orange’s “American Dialectics” hot off his Slack Buddha Press.

* Cannibal Books dropped Dustin Williamson’s “Exhausted Grunts” into my little hands.

* Matt Hart handed over “B^Sides” by his band, Travel. I’m looking forward to hearing what sounds emerge …

* John Deming passed along his Dusie chapbook, “Toadous,” forthcoming.

* Jennifer Bartlett stopped by with a copy of her most gorgeous “Derivative of the Moving Image.”

* Billy Collins came over and offered me his “dirty” candy bar, pictured below, which I accepted. I then offered him my latest book, which he politely accepted. I asked him to please not take it if he was going to give it away. He said he would read it and left. True story.



Not Thinking Alike
March 29, 2008


“It is not best that we all should think alike, it is differences of opinion that make horse races.”

–Mark Twain


A few new poems written by my non-pseudonym in Jacket Magazine:

* The Arm of Eden
* Where Bullfinches Go to Defy
* Two if by Land, I Do
* A Martyrdom Should Behave Us All

This is an early appearance as Jacket #35 is still under construction though you’ll find a little action there already.

Please enjoy!


4 Responses to “Not Thinking Alike”

  1. Jim K. Says:
    January 31st, 2008 at 5:55 pm eLooks like Mark Twain has anxiety…
    …but wait, that’s correct.
    Love those, esp. the last two.
    The face is bold, looking in and out. -)
  2. Amy King Says:
    February 3rd, 2008 at 4:05 am eYay! I’m glad you liked them, Jim! It’s funny – Ana also said she liked the last two best too.
  3. ashok Says:
    February 4th, 2008 at 8:12 am eAll your poems are amazing, but “Two if by Land, I Do” has me reading and rereading and wondering. It’s probably no stretch to say it is an important poem, where you’ve gotten at the cosmic through the personal, all by one little twist – changing “do you want” to “do you believe.”It is really astounding to me how nuanced your political views are, how they comprehend so many issues most of us would abstract from the realm of politics.I sound nuts, don’t I.
  4. Jim K. Says:
    February 4th, 2008 at 9:08 pm eheh…not at all, Ashok. There are political, personal, and
    philosophical nuances swimming in that ocean. Your
    language and cultural tuning is astute.

Kiss Me With the Mouth of Your Country
March 29, 2008


I have just finished sending out my chapbook copies for the DUSIE Chapbook Kollectiv.

The title is this post’s title. I have a few copies left over, so if you’re interested in receiving one – freely and imminently – please drop your snail mail address to me at amyhappens @ gmail . com – I’ll post it to you before the holidays.

My DUSIE chapbook from last year can now be viewed online here, “The Good Campaign“. Read a review of it by Chris Rizzo here or read another review of it by Fionna Doney Simmonds here.

5 Responses to “Kiss Me With the Mouth of Your Country”

  1. Jim K. Says:
    December 9th, 2007 at 4:00 am eI got it. I read it.
    The sound and touch are great. It’s beautiful!

    A leedle revu, all true:

  2. Gina Says:
    December 19th, 2007 at 4:41 pm eOh hey, if you still have copies, hook a sister up! xoxo
  3. Amy King Says:
    December 19th, 2007 at 9:01 pm eI got you, lady!
  4. Indran Amirthanayagam Says:
    December 19th, 2007 at 10:59 pm eI would love to read the poems if still available. cheers. Indran
  5. Amy King Says:
    December 20th, 2007 at 3:37 pm eIf you send me your snail mail address, I’ll send you a copy!

How Red Are Your Poppies?
March 29, 2008


If you aren’t sure, read these new ones:


“who is ghost”
“From Somewhere in the Middle”
“Find Love in Brooklyn Now!”
” If Fear Were the Teacher”



“Faulkner’s Caddy”
“Count Me In” –
“An Apology for my Father”
“The Signified”



“Voicemail Anthem”
“Fall Hopscotch”
“The Moment of Love! (a Board Game)”



“A Review of a Review of Robert Olen Butler’s Severance
“Prussian Dance Steps are Making a Comeback, Or a Review of a Review of Zoli by Colum McCann”
“A Review of Ms. Pac-Man”



MiPOesias Editor in Chief


2 Responses to “How Red Are Your Poppies?”

  1. Jim K. Says:
    November 4th, 2007 at 8:38 pm eNice posting method, Amy.
    Makes the navigation much easier.
    Your mass-email was cool too. Harks back to
    the maillist groups before the Web.
    A friend of mine (Mark Schorr) sent out
    a poetry email-Journal. to a max. list
    of 700 people! emailing links is even more
    efective. Still works.
  2. Amy King Says:
    November 5th, 2007 at 5:20 pm eThanks, Jim! I like being able to get to things quickly and easily, without too many extra clicks – I start to feel like advertisers are tying me up and holding me down … the work is great, and I want folks to be able to access it now!


Pardon My Dust
March 29, 2008


 Kevin Cornell

And my absence. I’m at work on a number of things, including a tenure application. That means lots of non-blog time; I hope you’ll come back in a few weeks to find me rising from the dust, phoenix-like. Or zombie-ish, if necessary. Either way, there’s a distant blurry plan which will narrow its retina and find something of me in focus.

In the meantime, enjoy some poems I found in a random journal, “whis*key“, as well as a post from Stephen Vincent that is timely and political. Vincent posted this to the Poetics List, where he is a regular poster of merit.


clouds like hatchets & carrot sticks

the clouds today over the sea
look like hatchets & carrot sticks,
mercury poisoning & green tea,
a frothing latte in a red mug
the teeth of a bloodhound,
throwing the i ching, rhapsody
in rebounding sheaves of gold
& glimmer, flesh & fasting
the mercilous pebble bath of
the raging ocean, french wine
marigolds on rye no mustard
the look on yr face when i
explained everything i would
do if you only gave me half
a chance, sleeves, buttons
retreating rings of the moon

mark s. kuhar


in love with a raving liar

when you fell in love with me
i told you i worked for NASA
designing space shuttle components,
hell, it sounded better than
saying i worked at radio shack.
no, i don’t shop at the friggin’ mall
i go to volunteers of america
whenever i can, cheap 1970s suits
make me look like gabe kaplan on speed,
my idea of a good time is reading
the directions on the back of cereal boxes
but i’ll read them to you, twice if you want
if you’ll stay in love with me
just don’t believe everything i say, in fact
listen carefully, i’m only going to say this once,
i’m a raving liar
i’m a raving liar

mark s. kuhar


And, as mentioned, from Stephen Vincent:

For urgent reading, go to Sy Hersh’s current New Yorker article on Cheney/Bush and Company’s apparently intractable intention to make ’surgical strikes’ on Iran and Syria.

These folks apparently want to play the Mideast like an old-fashioned juke box. Bing-Bing-Bing.

The consequences of such madness are beyond their concern or
imagination. Unless they are just committed to infinite global mayhem.

Such attacks – apart from being inevitably (more again) self-destructive of whatever remains of this ‘democracy’ – will drive gas prices through the ceiling.

Does one have to wonder much why Chevron just bought back 15 billion dollars worth of its own shares?

Are there any spines left in this ‘roll-over we serve your terror, Mr. Bush,’ Congress?

Stephen V


2 Responses to “Pardon My Dust”

  1. Jim K. Says:
    October 2nd, 2007 at 9:00 pm eThose were nice pieces.
    “Gabe Kaplan on speed”…hahaha…reminds me
    of Napoleon Dynamite’s prom suit. Que vida.
    This is a frantic time all around, it seems.
    I did 15 things last night, and the sun cheats the
    day these days. Blah. Carry on, and good luck.
    Your conveyor belt will clear sometime.
  2. Michael Says:
    October 11th, 2007 at 12:13 pm e“I’m A Raving Liar” needs a musical soundtrack — even if only a bluesy accompaniment by acoustic guitar. I heard a college girl in the subway station last night (she was making her way through “You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman,” and I was happy to hear the news) — she could have done a good job on it. Especially like the joke-punchine at the end.

March 29, 2008


 Ross Von Rosenberg – “I Am The City”

I like these two poems, very much, from Arthur Vogelsang’s book, CITIES AND TOWNS.



The final light is the last fur and no animals left.
Listen to me as if you’ll be on earth forever.
Some lamps of the rehabilitated enriched neighborhood
Like six approaching mocking bodies in space
Are ochre, white, sorrel, sulphur blue-white,
Imitation suns of the sun letting go of us
In late winter under a big blue steel bridge
Where the warehouses and their repulsive sidewalks
Have been washed and dried as if they fit in a dishwasher.
Would you listen as if I were gone,
A time from now, but gone,
A time from now, but gone,
And you were around, not to pass on my impression
Of the lamps gathering in a darkening space
Like a round-up of suns in a solar-system prairie
Between the bridge and our building,
Not to pass on my impression
As an immortal impression (pitiful desire),
But I think it would not be too like hell
For you to travel alone by foot through the rare light
Under the obnoxious domineering bridge
Between the phonied buildings where the jobs will never come back.
Listen, I don’t know if everything’s an accident,
A continuing explosion in which the myths of eating and love are beside the point.

–Arthur Vogelsang



On the one hand, the shady side of the house,
The window built of leaves, shifting,
The rooms adequate and cool,
But the other way
The sun in the street flat and finding everyone.
They are very still in it.
A new song about Durango from next door,
They thud when they dance to it,
An American on the tape sings some verses in English,
To tell the moot story,
And sings some verses rawly in Spanish.
People you want in the mega coastal city
To the south and to the north, to be absorbed in them.
The boiling short poems of a student four years ago.
How they do everything better but three hours earlier in L.A.,
Better that the sun is like a wife, and the shade is its husband.
Durango, deep in Mexico.
The appointment rushing near,
The gin and tonics after,
The ache for certain ones never to be known,
Then bed but now the dark to the left the bright to the right.

–Arthur Vogelsang


3 Responses to “Two From CITIES AND TOWNS”

  1. Jim K. Says:
    September 9th, 2007 at 2:18 am eBy the end of 2215 Spruce it really works into
    a backstory intrigue, a sounding play, and a meaning play together.
  2. Mialka Says:
    September 12th, 2007 at 10:35 pm eSigh…your blog is so good for soothing the soul.
  3. Amy King Says:
    September 13th, 2007 at 4:01 pm eGlad to be of service, Lady Mia!

Arrivederci, Tenore Matrice
March 29, 2008

“I don’t classify myself–I let other do that. If you sing all the roles put in front of you, you are a tenor [as compared to a lyrice tenor or a light lyric tenor]. Punto [period.] If you are also an actor, or a good driver of your voice, if you have personality and a stage presence, personality in life, you become something more than a tenor, more than just a voice.” –Luciano Pavarotti

“People think I m disciplined. It is not discipline. It is devotion. There is a great difference.” –Luciano Pavarotti

“I’ve been buying the same lambrusco from Correggio [a town between Reggio-Emilia and Modena] since 1965.” –Luciano Pavarotti

Luciano Pavarotti (October 12, 1935 – September 6, 2007)

5 Responses to “Arrivederci, Tenore Matrice”

  1. Jim K. Says:
    September 6th, 2007 at 6:17 pm eDevotion: posessed of the spirit.
    “It ain’t what you say, it’s the way that you say it”..
  2. Gary Says:
    September 7th, 2007 at 5:14 pm eBeautiful. Thanks Amy.
  3. Amy King Says:
    September 7th, 2007 at 9:17 pm eWhy it makes me cry, I haven’t figured out.
  4. Jim K. Says:
    September 8th, 2007 at 3:17 am eLook how it posesses even him at the end.
    He has trouble stifling your reaction himself, and he’s sung it so much.
    A moment of emotional transcendence….just from the tone.
    Pretty amazing. (gets kleenex)
  5. SarahJ Says:
    September 9th, 2007 at 1:45 pm elove the quote about devotion.
    nessun dorma is such a gorgeousness