I read some poems at Kajun’s Pub in New Orleans. I was the warmup act for co-authors of the new wompus chapbook Super Poems, Chris Shipman and DeWitt Brinson, whose work I already loved and now I positively adore, so funny, so surprising, so smart. We couldn’t start reading because a parade stopped right in front of the bar and drunken, Halloween costumed folk were stumbling in and out while the ubiquitous marching jazz band and dancers did their loud and wonderful thing. After the reading we were regaled by Kajun’s nightly karaoke, which ran from an Otis Redding cover so spot on you could close your eyes and imagine, to a boozed up, spandex tulle and ribboned bunch of blondes whose sinuous off-key crooning elicited various anthropological observations from the literary listeners. Our reading was hosted by Mel Coyle and Jenn Marie Nunes, who also run the Tenderloin literary gallery (where you can read some of Chris Shipman’s work), showcasing one poet each month, a nifty variation on the theme of online lit journals.
When we got back from New Orleans the weather here on the north coast was not very different, a few last days of luxurious sun and warmth before heading towards the limn of our newest evolving superstorm. That’s not a new word, by the way, contrary to the talking heads. Whitley Strieber and Art Bell published The Coming Global Superstorm in 1999 and the legitimate meteorological predictive models have indicated for years a trend towards more volatile, more extreme weather (anybody not noticed this trend in your neck of the woods?). So perhaps we need to consider this the new normal. In an indie bookstore in the French Quarter of NOLA I read one local author’s reference to Katrina’s aftermath as the American Holocaust. Sandy will hit more populous areas but with more solid infrastructure and more wealth so the cleanup will happen apace. If you’re east of the Ohio River Valley and north of the Carolinas, I trust you’ve got batteries and candles at the ready for the interim (and have evacuated if you’re in flood-prone coastal areas). Here’s a beautiful satellite loop of the storm posted by the CSU RAMMB folks and linked on Dr. Jeff Masters’ WunderBlog.
I’m snowed under, metaphorically of course, with press work and travel this fall but I want to answer the question, what’s up with the publisher’s own writing life. I have a few poems in Fuck Poems, Lavender Ink’s forthcoming anthology, edited by the inimitable Vincent Celluci. I’ve got a little piece up on Red Room’s Australian literary blog Thethe Poetry (“new poems every week”) alongside Rebecca Meinyk and Laura Cronk, among others. And Cutty Wren, in Canton Ohio, has just released the first version of my limited edition chapbook, Skin Hunger (I’ll have that up here on the website eventually, which will be the only online source). I also have a poem in the nifty little hard copy zine, Durable Goods and one of the Skin Hunger poems, an homage of sorts to Julian Assange, can also be read on the new journal Quickly (no genre categories, up to 703 words).
My web guy tells me we’re almost ready to add some stuff to the wompus site, so I’m going to save some of my news till I can show, as well as tell.