Category: read me

Words Dance has published another one of my poems! “Texarkana Tap Water” was inspired by my time last Autumn in Texarkana, Texas. A gorgeous state – Texas is big enough to encompass many different kinds of beauty, from high desert to the hill country to the bayou. And Texans really set the bar high for hospitality. Much thanks to my friend Susan for the opportunity to immerse myself in this part of America, even if the tap water was quite…unique. My heart goes out to everyone affected by the floods. I suppose the eventual good news is that the state’s four year drought is over. I would raise a glass of tap water to that. You can read my poem here.

“Old map-Texarkana-1888” by Henry Wellge (1850-1917). – http://www.birdseyeviews.org/zoom.php?city=Texarkana&year=1888&extra_info=. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons  

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Here’s some thrilling news! My poem “Uncanny Valley Trail” has been included in the Spring 2015 issue of Star*Line, the official magazine of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. This is a major honor and I can’t believe I’m in such great company.

When I first read about the uncanny valley phenomenon in robotics, it practically broke my brain. The concept is all-at-once freaky, simple, complex and mind-blowing. It comes from a 1970 paper by Japanese professor Masahiro Mori. I urge you to go and read the new translation published at IEEE Spectrum (which is by the way one of my favorite websites for robotics and artificial intelligence).

Mori’s paper is lively and fascinating as he diagrams his interpretation of the way humans react toward robots. Specifically, robots designed to appear as lifelike as possible. Mori’s metaphors and diagrams of hills and valleys helped me to visualize the various aspects of the uncanny valley, and because I am an avid hiker, my poem takes shape around a ’trail’ where one can experience this phenomenon as a journey. My poem is both exploration and education for myself. Hopefully entertaining too – for you!

Up until recently, my poems have been published and made available for free by online magazines, blogs and journals. Print is not dead! Star*Line is a quarterly print journal of poetry, and you can purchase your own Spring 2015 copy (or more issues!) HERE. The cover art by Aunia Kahn is stunning, as you’ll see. You can also buy a pdf for $2.50 via Paypal or credit card if you would like!

Heartfelt thanks to everyone for supporting poetry and the arts.

“Donetsk robot 01” by Andrew Butko. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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Hey, so remember my blog post a couple weeks ago about PoMoSco and how I was gonna write 30 “found” poems this month?

Epic fail!  PoMoSco dropout…go back to high school….

Well, I did create 12 poems.  Some of them I like, some of them….mediocre.  But even before I hit 12 I knew something wasn’t working for me. I’d love to say that I was able to power through my lack of enthusiasm and inspiration for this project.  I love the PoMoSco site and the work from the other poets, their feedback, the creativity that went into the badges…  I encountered a form of poetry and many tricks and tactics new to me.  But I just couldn’t get into the concept of found poetry. I guess it’s kind of the way I feel about writing an epistolary novel.  Probably never will – not my style.

So I quit! BOOM!  That’s right. I went back to writing my novels, which is where I truly want to be.  And writing my own style of poetry, whatever that is, I have no idea.  Speculative Wilderness Confessional?  Anyway, I keep waiting to feel bad about totally bailing on PoMoSco.  But I don’t!  Maybe because, as someone once accused me, I’m a bit of a flake.  Well, here I am embracing my flakiness! No regrets about dipping a toe in PoMoSco – I think maybe I earned a Scribble Scout badge?  And hopefully no hard feelings from the PoMoSco staff.  I was truly impressed with the community of poets (aka Scouts) – kind, contemplative, witty.  And hey, I tried writing found poetry, like that one time I tried shiitake mushrooms and blleeghhh no thanks.  Ok kidding, found poetry is cool and tastes really good, unlike shiitake mushrooms, which taste like shiit.

And now it’s back to my usual blatherings about music, evolution, film, nature moments. Getting ready to watch Documentary numbah FOUR soon. What will I choose this time….

 

Photo: “Bouquinistesseine1” by Jebulon – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons 

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At long last, my poem “Iphigenia” will be published.  I’ve carried this poem around with me for a while, and now she has found the perfect home in NonBinary Review‘s themed issue #4: Bulfinch’s Mythology: The Age of Fable.  “Iphigenia” is my righteous take on the sacrifice of Iphigenia by her father Agamemnon.  Which in no way resembles my relationship with my own father, who is awesome.  Hi Dad!

NonBinary Review is a quarterly literary journal that’s available only via the Lithomobilus app, which can be downloaded  for free to your smartphone or ereader.  The content is free, too.  Go here to get the app.  Once you’ve downloaded the app, you will have access to Issue #4 and all back issues.

You can read more about the story of Iphigenia at Wikipedia.

 

“Feuerbach Iphigenie1” by Anselm Feuerbach – Unknown. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Feuerbach_Iphigenie1.jpg#/media/File:Feuerbach_Iphigenie1.jpg

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Well, I’m a week into PoMoSco, the monthlong poetryfest sponsored by The Found Poetry Review.  I’ve composed six poems so far, keeping to the suggested prompt schedule of badges because I need all the help I can get.  I had to skip one day because the prompt was to include an overheard conversation, but I didn’t eavesdrop on anything good!  So that one’s pending.

You can go to the PoMoSco website and look at a map of all the participating PoMoSco poets (aka Scouts) around the world (the world!!).  I am the only one in Wyoming.  No pressure. I started out doing more Wyoming-centric poems, actually (elk, the tie hacks), but now I have diverged into science fiction, climate change, and confessional poetry.  And a poem that I composed from the instruction book for my Zombicide board game!

Will I ever write “found” poems again after this month is over?  I know I’m only a week in, but even though I’m having a great time and I think I’m expanding my vocabulary (getting out of a favorite words rut, I guess), I don’t feel like it’s my milieu. That said, do I have a milieu? I do very often include overheard conversations in my poems, so maybe I’m just blathering here and I should shut up and wait for another few weeks of exploration.  One great perk is my re-discovery of Jimmy Santiago Baca’s poems.  I used his chapbook Set This Book On Fire! to earn my First In Line scout badge.  You can read my poem here.

Part of the month’s work involves community feedback via the comments on each poem’s page.  Love this!  I am discovering new poets and poems every day, like this terrific ee cummings first in line poem, and a lovely short poem composed of lines from an interview with Cheryl Strayed.  And this All Ears poem, which reveals something new to me with every read.  I am in great company.

Photo from Unsplash.

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Website-Badge-1April is National Poetry Month.  I have been writing and reading a honkin’ lot of poetry lately – more than any time in my life except my angst-ridden teenage years and the first years I spent in Wyoming in the late 90’s.

To keep challenging myself and develop new mad skills, I signed up for PoMoSco.  This is a month-long project sponsored by The Found Poetry Review.  As a participant, I get to call myself a Poetry Scout, and I pledge to complete at least 50% of their 30 poetry prompts during the month of April.  This means I gotta write at least 15 poems.  And not just poems, but found poems – crafting them from outside texts or audio sources into word collages, using erasure, white-out, clippings, overheard conversations – it’s pretty wild, man.  And not something I have ever done before.  For every prompt I complete with a poem, I post my work on the PoMoSco site and earn a badge.  It’s like being a Girl Scout again!

So I’ll keep you posted about the ups and downs of hardcore poem generation.  I am hoping to create at least a few good’uns. You can read all my poems as I post them (hopefully daily) by going to my profile page.

In the meantime, go read lots of poetry!

 

“Sonnet TP and dedication 1609” by William Shakespeare, Thomas Thorpe – Shake-Speare’s Sonnets, quarto published by Thomas Thorpe, London, 1609. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons  

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I wrote a poem about what it’s really like to be a cafeteria cashier and cook at the Grand Canyon.  It’s called “Smokenstocks” and it’s now published at Words Dance!  That’s right, for your reading pleasure, my post-college employment and my English degree hooked up and soon gave birth to a poem about smoking, Birkenstocks, smoking, cigarettes, smoking, and low wage jobs in beautiful places.  This poem is about tobacco smoking.  Some day I may follow up with other poems about…other smoking.

I’m super psyched to be published at Words Dance.  Look for my poem “Texarkana Tap Water,” coming up in May.

Hazy blue hour in Grand Canyon. View from the South Rim.  Michael Gäbler [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Issue-252-773x1024I’m really pleased to announce that my novella “Wool Rider” has been published by the online speculative magazine Silver Blade!  It’s in the February 2015 issue, and you can read the story here!  A special thank you goes out to my friend Anita, who told me all about mutton bustin’ one night over burritos at Chipotle.  If you’re asking yourself, what the heck is mutton bustin’?  Well, read the story.  It’s mostly true.

 

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Fresh snow in the valley this morning and my poem about Wyoming is published online by Silver Birch Press!  I am so honored to be included in their Where I Live Poetry & Photography series.  I hope you will take the time to discover many poems on the website – I am in such great company!

‘This is the ocean I call Wyoming’ is a poem I wrote when I first discovered this beautiful state.  Still so much to discover even now.

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Today is a landmark day! My first blog post is up at Luna Station Quarterly, a volunteer-run speculative fiction magazine.  I’m going to be doing a monthly showcase of amazing audiobooks written and narrated by women.  For my inaugural post, I review Arielle DeLisle’s narration of Melissa Scott’s novel Five-Twelfths of Heaven.  You can read the post here.  And then please take some time to explore all the wonderful work by the writers and bloggers at Luna Station!  Thanks to Unsplash for the stars photo.

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