William Matthews on Money

Finished Time and Money last night. A line that keeps rolling around my head is from his poem “Money”:

What’s wrong with money is what’s wrong with love:

it spurns those who need it most for someone
already rolling in it.

On the bus to work this morning I thought about that as I read today’s Times. And again as I waited for a transfer at the bus station. Most people were there to make money—going to work. A peculiar exchange I watched as I read the paper. A man walked up to a seated woman and handed her a folded note and motioned away from the station. She waited until he left her and then she unfolded the note, read it and then lit a cigarette. Over her shoulder, I read a name and a phone number. He held the bus he was waiting for until he realized she wouldn’t follow him. Then bus 20 arrived and she boarded.

Things don’t always follow the path I might have imagined. Like the poem I wrote during Monday night’s writers group. I thought about posting it but it turned out a bit darker than I planned. It was a simple exercise: write about an empty glass.

Even this post didn’t follow the path I intended…

Notes from “World’s Fastest Readings”

A review of the “World’s Fastest Readings” featuring faculty of the Warren Wilson MFA program. Jane has been diligently requesting a review the event. I’ve been telling her to wait because I’m waiting to hear from a very nice, overworked editor if his magazine would like to publish my review/commentary of the event.

It hasn’t been two weeks yet and I’m getting impatient or obsessive. Every five to ten minutes (okay, maybe it’s not that bad) I catch myself clicking the “mail” tab on my Hotmail account hoping to see something beside a “JC Penny Winter White Sale” web banner and a “Meet Sexy People on Passion.com” web ad.

I don’t think it will hurt possible freelance efforts if I post some of my notes from the “World’s Fastest Readings.” Here ya go:

- Malaprop’s cafe very full, people standing outside café area
- sitting mid-section near condiments counter
- Malaprop’s staff member reads last lines of each writer’s book as a tribute
- Pete Turchi – dark blazer, red button down shirt, glasses, salt and pepper goatee
- 20 writers reading for two minutes from their work
- Rick Barot began with his poem “study”
- Kevin McIlvoy read “the complete history of new mexico”
- Steve Orlen reads his poem “blind date”

New Writering Group

Monday night I visited a new writers group (new to me anyway) which meets at a local university. After quick introductions, the small group (four of us) got right to work with a writing exercise. We wrote for about a half hour and then read the results of our exercise. Oddly, I didn’t feel out of place like one might expect. So, I read my selection first (thought about posting it here, but it needs a lot of work) and then listened as everyone else read their work. A talented little group… I’m looking forward to returning next Monday (if they’ll have me). It got me thinking about something I read awhile back:

There’s the poet, the audience, and the poet’s… it seems to me that the poems and poets that I love all participate in this tri-axil relationship with the audience, the poet and this third party. In Emily Dickinson, it would be the Master. Rilke’s angels. Lorca’s duende. Whitman’s America. Ginsberg’s mother. With ancient T’ang Dynasty poets it would be the Universe.
–from an interview with Li-Young Lee, American Poet, April 2004

I’m not sure I have a tri-axil writing relationship. I barely know my audience (thanks to all three of you who keep returning day in and day out). But it was nice to be in a group of writers that boldly share their work among each other. I suppose that’s a start, at least.

Six Million Blogs

Listening to The Divorce’s Redcoats and thinking about how Technorati tracks over 6 million blogs, (according to their Web site). How are magazine publishers ever going to make any money with Web logs flooding the information highway? Is this the end of print?

I scan through at least a dozen blogs daily (if not more) and I subscribe to at least four magazines (five if you include The New York Times). Why would anyone buy a paper copy if they can get the same info online for free? Halley’s Comment addresses this idea to some degree. She was pointing out that some Web sites share information while others charge you. Where would you go to get your information fix?

Do you subscribe to a magazine? If so, why?

The Traveling Bonfires

This week’s issue of Mountain Xpress features an article by Alli Marshall entitled “Playing with Bonfires.” It’s an article about poet, foreign journalist, and editor Pasckie Pascua and his organization called The Traveling Bonfires.

Pascua, with the help of communications assistant Marta Osborne, technical advisor Dale Allen Hoffman and graphic artists Justin Gostony, Matthew Mulder and Jon Teeple, has created a music community drawing bands from as far as Texas.
Mountain Xpress, “Playing with Bonfires”

It’s always nice to be recognized for behind-the-scenes work. A lot of long hours designing gig posters, emceeing shows, reading poetry and driving to NYC were shared between Pasckie and myself. The first time I met him was at a cafe, The Relaxed Reader, a block from my apartment. It was an open mic event and he read his poem “Nameless” from his laptop.