The city once again has forgotten to clean up after itself, and pieces
of last night scatter in the breezes.
Everyone broke them up, plots of land
each with their own story, their own climax and resolution—
where the Smiths lived, once
had the Browns. If you said you were one of them
no one would deny it. And telephone poles stood like students
waiting their turn. There, the new year is back
into last year’s habits, like a ghost
who frequents the haunts of his lifetime. And we could fall in love.
This poem originally appeared in Quarterly West.
I was interviewed for an hour long radio show in the Bay Area, hosted by the most excellent J.P. Dancing Bear, editor of American Poetry Journal and Dream Horse Press. It was a very good time.
Sometimes it’s easy to lose faith in poetry. It’s easy to think that no one cares, that there is no readership for it, save for the people who have the initials M.F.A. affiliated with their names. Then a little random thing like this happens:
Apparently, someone found my poem “Citrus” on the Kenyon Review website, liked it and sent it to a tumblr called Sharing Poetry. And there, with no knowledge by me, my poem, one that has never appeared in a book, was liked and reblogged by dozens of people. I think that’s awesome.
Even if most of the people who read the poem have no idea that I am alive and an actual human being, it’s nice to know such a thing can happen. In a way, a poem is more beautiful if it’s not attached to the walking flaw that is a person. Then it can just be.
I did a reading for the St. Edward’s Literary Festival, and for it I was interviewed by Sigma Tau Delta. I was asked about what superhero power I’d want and my least favorite word, among other random things.
A while back The Austin Chronicle did a brief write-up of Punchline. My favorite part:
“Using quotations from Einstein, Lorca, and Carl Sagan as jumping off points, the compact but ambitiously scoped Punchline touches on religion, cityscapes, the I Ching, absent others (departed or just not picking up the phone), and the kind of the-universe-is-expanding soul-searching that’s fueled insomniac nights for as long as that universe has had a name.”
Read the rest here.
One of the funnest and most worthwhile things I’ve done promoting Punchline was appearing on Writing on the Air, which is a weekly radio show on KOOP Community Radio in Austin. It’s hosted by Francois Pointeau, with backup from Dillon McKinsey.
A proud moment: I was actually censored by the government for saying not “fuck” or “shit” or threatening to kill heads of state, but for uttering the phrase “holy crap.” Isn’t that crazy?