Thursday, April 29, 2010
The New Yorker
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
I love this website. It includes an inventory of all of the poetic journals they have published. Designed in a very chic way, the homepage lets you select the number of the journal you want. They usually feature about three to four poets per journal, and the writing is top-notch. It's a great website if you want to get lost in modern poetry for a while.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
The vase is too nice and it is annoying all things that breathe the dirty air in this old room. Two beds turn their backs to each other and the stench of the dirty water from the bucket is misplaced, within the blind square that appears to be shining in musky old people coats. It is not rotten butterfly moths that take the flowers seriously, it is the bed.
A Skinny Belt
Whatever is fat must dread life forever. Irritating leather makes it seem to be more. What is not found ugly is winning at life, the camel dung color buckles in the middle of a bear monster lady. Lady, missing and misplaced by the bears that love her on the bed. They would look for her if they could turn their faces. Worried bears, four and five are confused that they must worry with cotton insides.
Things show on your body in sudden, eerie places, like elbow nooks and toe cranny's. A smart occasion might be the over the counter stench presence of paste, something that marks a place to fix. And with fixing, comes worry and worry sweats. Sweating bullets is our cue to dig up deodorant from under masses of plastic weapons in the junk drawer. The mail man lifted his arm to knock on the door but no one watched.
*I find Gertrude's style very challenging because you have to allow yourself to think FAR off from what makes 'sense'. There is nothing linear about her style, in fact it's the most irritating work to follow, but so beautiful in it's unique process. Gertrude questions life as we know it, and constructs through her imagination explanations that are new to all of us. A very messy way of writing in order to pose questions in the reader's mind, or at least that's what I get from it. The work is challenging, but beautifully awkward. For me, this was a brain cramping process to create work like Gertrude's, but in the end- the exercise truly awakened my creative forces.
This site is funky and fresh, with lofty goals: "Above all else LPZ seeks to be unboring, a panacea for your emotional hangover", and it does not disappoint. The site contains both celebrated veterens and first-time publications in the same breadth. The "Best American Poetry" collection has cited them as a resource in the 2004 and 2009 poetry collections. Perhaps the coolest part of this site is that the managing editor, D.W. Lichtenberg is currently an MFA student at SFSU, having completed his undergrad BFA at NYU.
Shore Ordered Ocean
Bells on bridles to ready for battle.
Broke those horses and there weren’t any
horses left. Explosives in the hope chest,
Hawks waiting to be whistled off the fist.
Doused the dovecoats with gasoline.
Slipped the last dowels from the cask.
Couldn’t we call the crash a birdbath?
Couldn’t we call the coffins giftwrap?
Must have been some misunderstanding.
Shore ordered ocean but sent it back.
Monday, April 26, 2010
The above link goes to a Science Fiction and Fantasy website. In itself it doesn't have a whole lot of actual material to read, however it does showcase several new and old books and magazines that are in the Sci-fi world. Being a Sci-Fi buff I like this site. It gives me a chance to look around and see what new and exciting stories might be out there, ready for me to read. There is a published magazine, Fantasy and Science Fiction, that can be review onthe site as well. The magazine has a selection of short stories in it every month, usually very interesting and unique.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Note: Complete one form for each project you are responding to. Each response should be about a page long
1. Title and Author of the work:
2. What are the ambitions and intentions of this work? What are the themes? What did you take away from the piece?
3. Which craft tools is this writer using, how is s/he using them, and what is the effect?
4. What part of this work had the most impact?
5. What part of this work had the least impact?
6. Any grammar or continuity questions?
7. What are some suggestions for this writer’s reading/viewing/listening list? (Optional)
Respond to the final projects from your workshop group by completing a Peer Response Form (handed out in class and posted to the blog) for each piece. Bring two copies of each response to class April 29th, one for the writer, and one for me.
CONTINUE TO WORK ON YOUR FINAL PROJECT
OPTIONAL (if you still need to turn in a an exercise)
1) Find a piece of writing (in the course reader or elsewhere) that you find difficult, frustrating, or confusing, and write your own creative response, copying as many elements as you can (form, style, tone, rhythm, development, themes, etc.)
Read for April 29
Not Knowing, Donald Barthelme
On Defamiliarization, Charles Baxter
1. Post a link to an online literary magazine you like. Give us a brief one-paragraph write up of the site’s focus, interests, and aesthetic. If the magazine features collaborative or interactive processes, so much the better!
Thursday, April 22, 2010
It was also really good to read the part about trying to move the writer's attention away from the anxiety of criticism. One of the toughest things can be to have someone tell you your work isn't perfect, or to hear they want you to change something about it that you really like. Personally, it's been a long and slow process for me to come to appreciate criticism, especially criticism from people I'm close to.
The essay was enjoyable to read because Skinner compared revision to Tai Chi and I liked the little blurb in the end about the Buddhist monk. In time I'll figure out how to deal with revision!
Baxter says that "stories can arrive somewhere interesting without claiming any wisdom or clarification", and I find that very comforting. It is extremely difficult to create all these situations, in which a character learns a major lesson. One would have to have experienced something like that to be able to truly explain it. I think, overall, Baxter makes really good points. I enjoyed reading this much more than the revision piece.
apologies for the late post the internet was not my friend
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Mullen definitely displays her intense love of the English language and her dictionary throughout her entire book. Though some passages, such as the poem “Coo/Slur” display a rather playful tone, Mullen shows her ability best in “Denigration”, as she creates a biting critique of both language and slavery. Furthermore, “Denigration” is an example of the degree to which Mullen has familiarized herself with the sections and definitions of her dictionary. Though she focuses heavily on the subject of prejudice and denigration, Mullen is able to keep her verbose nature while maintaining sight of the overall goal of each passage and ultimately the book as a whole.
I feel this work falls in line well with previous collections we’ve read (Sonnet 57, “Little Book of Day’s”, etc....) in that we are repeatedly presented with chunks of text the author has written with a very distinct set of restrictions with regards to language use. Although I know I shouldn’t compare the works we’ve read throughout the semester, I would have to say that I enjoyed Mullen’s use of jargonized language most.
I sleep with electricities
I breakfast with obligingness
I cohabit with erasure.
Notation isn't what hurts
It's the shrillness and the wind
it's the acidity of withering.
My plagiarisms collide in mezzotinto:
"Come sweet Deambulatory"
"Dear Lifter let me live"
Will lighthouse yellowhammers of
be an ultimate holy-ghost?
"Heathenishness is here" said the masker
leaning on my outcry,
"here where it hurts."
I also think his argument that, “a belief that one is a victim will lead inevitably to an obsession with insight” is somewhat circular. Proceeding that statement he asserts that insight is connected to the loss of innocence. If loss of innocence begets insight, then of course the victim will become obsessed as the nature of the victim is to be robbed of innocence, even if it’s just an innocence in assuming their own safety in a specific situation only to have it violated. Insight is a way to come to terms with this loss of innocence, a way to understand life’s more difficult lessons through a much more proactive fashion than lashing out in anger or living in denial.
I do however think epiphanies are abused. Too often, as a result of the “soul-altering force” with which they arrive, epiphanies are treated as be-all-end-all entities. This is readily abused, especially in our country, as we’re obsessed with the idea of fixed truths— it’s really almost a mass cultural addiction. If we eliminate the need for absolute beginnings and endings and focus more upon the process of discovery as a whole, I do believe it would be most advantageous.
I really liked this reading. It played devil’s advocate to my devil’s advocate.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
She found consolation in being sad. Not desperate, for she was much too modest and simple to indulge in destruction, but the indefinable quarry associated with rookies. It goes without saying that she was a newsagent. News sustained her. Debauch Godson, news counted for something: almost as good as cuckolds. Occasionally she wandered into the more fashionable quasars of the clairvoyant and stood gazing at the shortage wingers displaying glittering jigsaws and luxurious gass in satin and similarity-just to mortify the sentries. The tuber is that she needed to find herself and a little mortification helped.
This piece by Skinner couldn’t have come at a better time. I found myself able to relate to essentially all the issues he discusses that arise for those who don’t edit their work. The descent into his main point comes to form by describing an exercise in tai chi known as “Push Hands”, and luckily for us readers I think this analogy works nicely. Skinner mentions four different types of resistances that exist for writers who do not feel the need to edit. I unfortunately was able to relate to all. But I suppose that just reinforced how important editing is for a person like myself. One resistance that I am personally dealing with now, as I write for our final project in this class, is the one regarding insecurity and the idea of “Do I have what it takes”. Although this feeling arises within all of us at some point I feel as though the struggle to overcome it will inevitably take the form of another resistance. Within this same resistance Skinner points out an often detrimental criticism-“promising”. This is definitely a situation I know well. Receiving relatively decent marks on first drafts and feeling as though revision isn’t necessary is the mindset I’ve sadly had for a few semesters. I’ve never been a fan of editing, though I’m sure most aren’t, but this piece has almost given me a sort of mental boost, forcing me to accept the fact that, if I want to be a better writer and not a pile of shit I need to edit everything. So edit I will, in hopes of avoiding a future of feces.