Sunday, November 14, 2010


Obviously, the press is slowing down for now.  Day job demands my focus.  I'm grateful to the authors and readers who have made this an ongoing celebration, complete with balloons and zzzzzzzzzzzzph noisemakers.  I plan to start the press up again when the day job gets back to a normal level of intensity. Until then, keep reading and writing.  And thanks.

Monday, August 23, 2010

For your Kindle: Diet Coke With Lime, poems by Emily Lloyd

Is there poetry in the e-world?  Surprisingly, yes.

Exploring, where many authors go to self-publish to the e-world, I found Diet Coke With Lime by Emily Lloyd.  I had previously found a lot of very very bad self-published poems, and very badly formatted e-publications, out there in e-world, and am delighted to find here a successful poetry chapbook, highly recommended, well worth the read.   There are some minor formatting problems, but given the competition this is still a strong standout:   If you do not tread the Kindle road, you may download it as a pdf. 

Lloyd's title poem gives a feel for where her poems are going, with glances to playful language, literary inuendo, an understated point of view, a mix of cynicism and bright hope:

Diet Coke with Lime: "Guess What it Tastes Like"

I guess it tastes like the uncut hair of graves
I guess it tastes like getting your test back
and learning you don't have AIDS
I guess it tastes like the mome raths as they outgrabe

I guess it tastes like blackberry, blackberry, blackberry
I guess it tastes like riding back and forth
all night on the ferry
I guess it tastes like Diet Coke with Cherry

I guess it tastes like world enough and time

I love the opening line on this poem, the "uncut hair" opening up the notion of death into a tangible vibrant thing in so many ways, then the line rhyming with the ominous, humorous Jabberwocky language. Perfect.

The poems are tough, and reaching--

Lamb Curry

This is what I want from prayer: to be left
streaming spices

runneled with sweat, force
glittering in my bowels

the need to chew fennel
after, the need to drink water

as no one’s face appears
in the inscrutable nan

One of my favorites, the form and references glancing at a classical past and the content reversing it all, looking through the back side of the mirror:

Drag Wisdom

In time, everyone gets a teenth of of June,
to step out of that same old shaggy stress.
Let one who has never waxed cast the first moon.

Stay calm on top; when underneath, obsess.
Let one who has never tempted cast the first snake.
In time, all lines as well as points are moot.

Let one who is without layers cast the first cake.

Butte thrives, whether it's told it's "Butt" or "Beaut."
God's dead? There will be others. Mourn for Garbo.
Let one who has never made a scene cast the first play.

Stay calm; they might have just called you a hobo.
Let one who has never dragged on cast the first day.
Let one who has never faked it cast the first rhinestone.

The Emperor of Ice-Cream wears heels and cologne.

I've got a feeling Wallace Stevens would like that.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Literary St. Louis - ah, it's mostly fiction

The local Riverfront Times is headlining a feature on St. Louis literaries, triggered by Time magazine's current cover story on St. Louis author Jonathan Franzen.  The Riverfront Times article is well worth the read, presenting many nuggets that even the most savvy probably didn't know.  Dig around through the article and the accompanying literary maps to find where T.S. Eliot found the names for Prufrock, the first meetingplace of a poetry society that included Sara Teasdale, and the home and school of Ntozake Shange.  Much fiction, a few poets.

The article:
An accompanying feature, with four parts plus maps, including a brief article on poet Howard Nemerov:

If you want more, check out the Walk of Fame in the Delmar ("Loop") area, which includes local fameratti, many of them literary:  Hint, sort by "Achievement" to easily find the literary fameratti -- will appear, no surprise, at the very bottom of the page. Sigh.

(No, "fameratti" isn't a real word...yet. Just feels right.)

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Flood Stage: upcoming readings

Now that Flood Stage: An Anthology of St. Louis Poetry is out from Walrus Publishing (St. Louis, of course), you can hear poets from the anthology at many upcoming poetry readings around town.

I will be one of the readers at the September 4 reading at Hartford Coffee Company, along with Colleen McKee, one of the Cherry Pie Press alumni.

Saturday September 4, 2010, 7:00 p.m.
Hartford Coffee Company
3974 Hartford (on the South Side of town)
St. Louis, MO  63116

Readers include:
· Michael Castro
· Colleen McKee
· Amanda Wells
· Lisa Ebert
· Dwight Bitikofer
· Becky Ellis
· K. Leighton Brown
· Brett Underwood
· Julia Bramer

And, as always, you can pick up your own copy at Left Bank Books,

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I write like Chuck Palahniuk?

I found a website that purports to analyze your writing and identify which famous author your style is closest to.  I thought, heck why not?  I submitted a few poems and got matches to James Joyce, Vladimir Nabokov, J. R. R. Tolkien.  Not bad -- no women authors in the database, I guess.  I tried a few more writing samples. 

After while I seemed to hit a consistent pattern.  Much of my prose, and many of my poems that I feel closest too -- well, let's just say they point to a match that surprised me. 

I write like
Chuck Palahniuk
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fiddler Crab Review

Fiddler Crab Review has been writing chapbook reviews for over a year.  They've reviewed a few of the Cherry Pie chapbooks. 

Their reviews cover a vast range of small presses, and the reviewers are varied in background.  It makes for an exciting mix.  The reviews have gotten better over the last year, so that often now I find the review is at least as interesting as the poems. 

Laurie Rosenblatt's recent review of Edge by Edge from Toadlily Press is exactly that kind of review -- interesting, fair, with a good sense of what the poems are about, and (this is the good part) giving specific examples of what works and what does not, and why.  I found myself stepping back every few paragraphs, remembering one of my own poems where I'd done exactly what she was faulting in the poem she was reviewing.  Hmmm. . .  Her examples, and her insights on what works and why, and where the poems fall short, are all spot-on.  For the price of a review (free, in this case!), you also get a mini-writing lesson, and a very good one.