Otherwise Engaged Is Here

Otherwise Engaged against a background of Christmas Eve music I was supposed to play. Taken by me.

Amidst the busy time of preparing for Christmas, made even busier because i broke my left wrist* and am effectively one-armed for six to eight weeks, this lovely journal arrived. It contains my poems, “SLOW” and “Tappan Square,” which I wrote about here. It also contains many other pieces and is a delightful thing to dip into at odd moments or pore over at leisure.

So if you missed someone on your holiday gift list or are looking for a varied volume of poetry and prose for your own delectation, check it out here.

Hope you are having a happy holiday season.

*Fell on the ice during a magnificent trip to the Grand Canyon. Small fracture in left wrist, but irksome for a left-handed violinist.

“Be Well for Life” Accepted by Ubu

Photo credit: Bruce Bisping, Old Style Cash Register and Canned Goods in a Butcher Shop in New Ulm, Minnesota. October, 1974. Wikimedia Commons. PD.

I was happy to find a quick reply to a submission in my inbox today. Editor Lori A Minor not only accepted one of my can poems, “Be Well for Life,” but also said she wished she had been quicker to accept “Koans for the Late Anthropocene,” which I had to withdraw when it was accepted by Mollyhouse. Thanks for the acceptance and kind words, Editor Minor.

“Be Well for Life” will appear in ubu., a journal of brief, absurdist poems inspired by absurdism in general and Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi in particular. Like much absurdism, therefore, the poems in ubu. upset various apple carts and expectations, including social ones. “Be Well for Life” should fit right in.

I am now up to 24 can poems out of a projected set of 25. Almost all have been accepted somewhere. This one is based on the text on a can of Bumble Bee Tuna (the third tuna can I have used–not sure what that says about me). The poem is very short and tries to represent various qualities of wellbeing in a free way on the page. The last element of the can text I used, “Non-verified,” is corporate speak, which ends the poem on a twist, encouraging readers to consider what being “non-verified” is, how it might be an ingredient in wellbeing, and in what ways it (and the poem) may defy the corporate structure that produced it.

At least, that was my intention. When it comes out, I will post about it, and you will be able to judge for yourself how well it works. In the meantime, be well.

BEST Poem Up at Angel Rust, and a Review

Photo credit: Bruce Bisping, Old Style Cash Register and Canned Goods in a Butcher Shop in New Ulm, Minnesota. October, 1974. Wikimedia Commons. PD.

I am happy to see my poem, “BEST,” remixed from text on a can of Bush’s best chili beans, up at Angel Rust Magazine. Once again, many thanks to the editors. For more information about my can poems, hit the “Can Poems” category below this post. I discussed the poem here.

I am looking forward to reading more of the work in the first issue of Angel Rust, the more so because I notice that my poem is in the fine company of works by fellow poet, visual artist, and editor of Sonic Boom, Shloka Shankar. I always enjoy her work, which is at once varied and focused on bodying forth the speaker’s inner life by mixing fragments of expressed emotion with images that blur the line between the outside world and the speaker’s inner state. Her mosaics are often composed from remixed text and often mix in visual imagery as well.

So I encourage you to hit the links, read the poetry and other offerings, and let me know what you think.

In the meantime, here is another Review of For All Mankind:

Two Can Poems Accepted by Cacti Fur

Photo credit: Bruce Bisping, Old Style Cash Register and Canned Goods in a Butcher Shop in New Ulm, Minnesota. October, 1974. Wikimedia Commons. PD.

I have written 21 poems whose texts are remixed from the text on cans. You can easily find earlier posts about them by clicking on the “Can Poems” category below. I haven’t said much about them lately because the text on most cans is limited, so it is now hard for me to find a can that has fresh vocabulary. I do hope to finish 25 of them eventually, mostly because that is a nice round number.

The quality of the can poems varies, depending on what the text on the cans suggests to me. I am grateful to Editor Jim Thompson for accepting two of them for Cacti Fur. The first, “Earth Fare,” is perhaps somewhat prosaic, but I like that it examines what we owe the earth. The second, “Apple Net,” retells the stories of Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel from a feminist perspective. I am quite pleased with it, even though it is a bit cryptic.

I am grateful to Editor Thompson for giving these works a home. This is the third time I have published in Cacti Fur, mainly because Editor Thompson has hit me up for poems a couple of times, and I know he likes my work, so I send when I can. I like the journal, which features eclectic, not overly esoteric poems, is free to submit to, and responds quickly. I would send more often, but the journal wasn’t open for submissions the last couple of times I had tried before this.

Since it’s been a while, I’ll look forward to seeing what Cacti Fur has been up to lately, and I hope you will check it out as well.

In the meantime, as a reward for your having read so far, here is a Doctor Who review: