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setlist from All-New poetry feature at Words In The Alley

Oct. 20th, 2010 | 09:46 am

Finally got around to doing an all-new feature.
It wasn't possible back when I was a part of that great weekly open mic series with Jack and
[info]campana , because I needed some new poems each week, just so those guys wouldn't scoff at me.
But since that got put on ice for a little while, I had some poetry stacking up.

I decided to break it all out, when I featured at Words In The Alley, the other night.

My full 30 minute set:

Oncoming Traffic

Nepal Is All Antiques

Unwelcome Signs

Daily Allowances


Love Poem #9

Swivel & Squeak

untitled postcard project poem

Scrambled Over Easy

Facebook Suggestions - See All

The Existential Chef

Living Will

Morning Theft (for cksterling )

Promise Of Night

Opening Weekend

Series of Famous Real Life Hai-Clue

Summer Blockbuster

Elementary Graduation

Mystery Left Intact

Mutual Friends As Community Property

Attention Required

New Haiku


It was a great experience, so I'm glad I finally got to do one of these. It seems like
[info]scottwoods does five or six of them every year, so I'm glad to be able to say that I've done one, at least.

It was exciting to be nervous about each poem, not having the safety net of a few old favorites sprinkled throughout the reading, in case I needed to fall. I'm sure I will learn much more from the process and the outcome, once I've had more time to reflect.

But in the end, I don't write new stuff in order to bury old poems.
I feel like writing new stuff gives me the right to still read old pieces whenever I want.

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one of my goddamn poems in the current issue of New York Quarterly

Jul. 27th, 2010 | 02:17 am

One of my poems (The Geometry Of Truth) is in the current issue of New York Quarterly

This issue also has an interesting craft interview with Bruce Weigl.
He admits that his impatience attracted him to poetry. He "liked how you could
cause a huge ruckus and then settle things up in a matter of lines."

He was also asked about the idea that nothing new can be said. "My response
would be so what...what's wrong with saying the old stuff again, hopefully in a way
that contemporizes the old ideas and makes them relevant again in our lives."

Reading that was comforting, because I often feel that its far easier to stumble
onto something "new." I am usually more impressed by instances
where something old is re-imagined or approached in an inventive manner.

There's another craft interview with Steve Cannon, who talks about his tendency to yell
"Read the goddamn poem" whenever poets preface their poems with background info
or explanations at live readings. "I'm a strong believer, if it ain't in the poem,
it ain't happening."

I considered writing in this blog about where my Geometry Of Truth poem came from,
but Cannon's words still echo in my head.

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change of address

Jul. 17th, 2010 | 05:37 pm

Let the record show that I clearly prefer the format here in livejournal land

but there seems to be so much more activity and interaction over on facebook, nowadays.

So that's where I usually end up (feel free to add me over there, if I haven't already found you).

I still like having a place where I can make posts that aren't confined to twitter-sized updates, 
but LJ is using more and more annoying advertising pop-ups. So I will still check in here occasionally
to catch up on some of you, who still keep good blogs going and I might post something every now and then.

But most poetry updates will now be posted at my new blogspot:



let me know if any of you have blogspots that I should add over there,


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Poem Of The Day

May. 13th, 2010 | 12:51 am

At this month's Glendale Community College reading, I read several poems
from Beth Ann Fennelly's 2008 book, "Unmentionables."

I read "When Did You Know You Wanted To Be A Writer?"
and "Because People Ask What My Daughter Will Think Of My Poems When She's 16"

But I also shared this one, since it was right after Mother's Day:

"I Provide For You, Boy Child, Like God"

and like God, I will cast you out.

Your eyes blue as a drowned thing.

Your harshest lesson:
you are no part of me.

Learning that
will cost you ages in which

your eyes take on the human color: grief.

Coming to words won’t even help you
name your suffering.

You will embrace
false idols.

Yet those women can let you
back in that primal crawl space

no more than I can.

~Beth Ann Fennelly

(originally published in American Poetry Review)

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Highlights from last night's Mesa Slam-Off (for me, at least).

May. 2nd, 2010 | 10:28 am

It didn't rain.
In fact, it was a beautiful desert night.

Patrick Hare's hosting skills.

Getting sent to the principal's office for chit-chatting with Cat Klotsche.
We thought we were being quiet enough.

Bill Campana's rendition of When Love Met Love.
He read this in the first round and it was the poem of the night for me, so it was all downhill from there.


The guy who bought my chapbook because he wanted to have those imitation poems that I read.
He said he's never been to one of these slams before, so he wasn't too familiar with the poets I imitated, but he loved the poems on their own and he thought my Campana sendup was his favorite poem of the night.

Meeting a few of the Tucson folks.

They were very familiar with the poets I imitated, so they were howling during that performance.

The garlic cheese bread from Queen's that Cat split with me.
We were standing downwind when an order of those walked by and she immediately went to get some for us. Delicious.

The drive-home conversation with Aaron Johnson.
The perfect post-slam wrap-up...and there was no one around to shush us, like earlier with Cat.

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Bronze is the new Black

Apr. 1st, 2010 | 09:23 am

I sent in a handful of poems to the Tucson Poetry Festival and just heard

that I was awarded Third Place for this year's Will Inman Award.

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Crash Course In Phoenix Poetry

Mar. 4th, 2010 | 09:00 am

Here is a video of my series of costume poems.  I originally wrote these
for a Halloween reading, but this video is from the recent show at the Puppet Theater.

I was hoping to make little poet puppets to go along with each poem, but I just didn't have the time.

So here are my imitations of local poets from different scenes around the valley.

David Chorlton
Aaron Johnson
Cat Klotsche
Patrick Hare
Bill Campana
Jack Evans
Dogo Barry Graham

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Setlist, lessons, etc from the HEART FAILURE reading

Feb. 21st, 2010 | 03:56 am

I wanted to kick off my first feature reading of 2010 with a bunch of brand new pieces. A few of the other pieces have only bed read once before, so all in all it was pretty fresh.

-first set-

Damned Superstitions
yet-to-be-titled Jazz conversation piece                       
Approaching The Intersection                                          (NEW)
Restraint                                                                                (NEW)
Of Doves And Olive Leaves                                               (NEW)
How To Violate Every Precept As A Touring Poet
Farmville Hell pieces                                               (NEW and sprinkled throughout my set like updates)

-second set-

What The Liberal Hollywood Elite Movie Reviewers Aren't Telling You About WALL*E
My Grandmother Never Liked You
Glass Fairway
Recycling Pangaea
Things That Make Me Cry
Miscellaneous Abominations

I love reading with writers who awe and inspire me. Jeff Falk, Cat Klotsche, Jack Evans, Bill Campana, and Patrick Hare are all amazing.

We had a nice little intimate crowd for the first round, but it thinned out after intermission. There's always a bit of a let down when that happens, but I learned a lot tonight when Bill Campana came back for his second set and dedicated his EPIC Love Poem Excerpts to the empty chairs and bellowed them with sold-out-stadium intensity. It was an awesome experience that I will never forget witnessing.

I'm beginning to like when readings like this become our smug secret, our Fight Club and whoever misses out misses out.

a few more pics behind the cutCollapse )

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Zapruder would be so proud

Jan. 24th, 2010 | 11:42 pm

I didn't want that video from the Poe Show to be the only film clip of me
floating around the interwebz, so I thought I would upload a few others, every once in awhile.

In honor of Sarah Palin's addition to Fox, here is one from when I featured out at the Mesa Slam last year.

On a side note, I posted that poem on my myspace blog, sometime last year. Out of the blue,
someone posted comments on it, a few months ago. It was some hack (who calls himself "The Most
Published Poet On The Internet" BAHAHA!

I dont know what led him to my page, but he was compelled to leave THREE of his own Odes To Sarah, in her defense.
I will put a link to that blog page, in case you're dying to read his masterpiece SOLDIER FOR THE LORD
so you can put dazzling lines like "she swings our lord's swift sword" in their intended context.


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one piece from the 2010 Poe Show

Jan. 19th, 2010 | 08:56 am

Neil posted a bootleg video of one of the pieces that I performed at this year's 9th Annual Poe Show.

I will also paste the text, under the cut.

Text for the Hearing-ImpairedCollapse )

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beating a dead raven

Jan. 14th, 2010 | 09:11 am

I am still working on my pieces for this weekend's big Poe Show, but I like how they are turning out.
So I am looking forward to Saturday! It should be a fun show.

9th Annual Edgar Allan Poe birthday celebration SATURDAY

We sold out the Mesa Arts Center last year, so you should get your tickets ahead of time...

9th Annual Poe Show is THIS SATURDAY JAN 16th!

This year, the show's at the MADCAP Theaters in Downtown Tempe.

Scheduled to appear are:

The Arcana Collective featuring Provocatease
Nightwolf (Ryan Avery & Andrew Jemsek)
Jeff Falk of Deus Ex Machina
Robert X. Planet and the Planet Poe Players
HB of Homebase Poetry
Lauren Perry of the 2009 Mesa National Poetry Slam team
Neil Gearns of the 2009 Mesa Poetry Slam team
Performance artist Trish JusTrish
Aaron Johnson and the Josh Hill Quartet
Lindsey Miller of the 2009 Tucson National Poetry Slam team
Doc Luben of the 2009 Tucson National Poetry Slam team
Caffeine Corridor host Shawnte Orion

And of course, your hosts Stephen G. Roy and The Klute!

As usual, the Poe Show is a benefit for Anthology, a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to bringing poetry to the Valley for over 15 years.

This year, tickets are only 10 dollars, and can be purchased at the MADCAP box office or online. Last year, we sold out the Mesa Arts Center, and we're expecting another big show this year. Get your tickets soon!

Buy tickets at the Box Office here!

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Friday night January 8th

Jan. 8th, 2010 | 12:21 am

By the way!

Unless he has forgotten, mister_barista  will be featuring at our Caffeine Corridor poetry open mic tonight (Friday)!

Who knows how long it has been since he's featured anywhere,
so we are very excited about hearing him, again.

Back when I first started going to readings, he was hosting at the Willow House
and it was the only place I felt like I almost fit in.

Mama Javas Coffeehouse
open mic starts at 7pm!

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return of the jedi

Dec. 29th, 2009 | 10:39 am

I am nothing, if not petty

I had to return some stuff for my wife at Office Max. I just needed it put back onto her card.
They wouldnt let me do it, without the number on the back of her card. So I went outside and called her to get that number.
So I went back in to give them the 3 digit number, but now they said they wouldnt do it without her actual card. I could understand nopt allowing me to PURCHASE something with a card that I am not holding, but obviously putting a credit back onto someone else's card is not much of a scam. It's not like they would argue, even if it was a stolen card. That would be some Robin Hood stuff.

But the manager refused, saying that he was not about to violate his procedures for me.

So I went home to pick up my wife's card. I also grabbed all of the other items on the receipt. I noticed that there were also two bottles of water, so I stopped by a grocery store to buy two duplicate bottles of water, just so I could go and return every single item on that receipt.

I am not proud...but I feel much better.

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by way of jolly

Dec. 25th, 2009 | 12:52 pm

On the way home from a family Christmas Eve get together, we were listening to the holiday radio station.

They played a song from the Jackson 5's Christmas album
and the played the Beach Boys version of Frosty The Snowman.

Santa's squeezing down the chimney with a big old sack of irony.

No one conveys holiday spirit, like a bunch of Jehovah's Witnesses!
No one knows more about the magic of snow, than boys from the beach!

fa la la la la
la la la la

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until January

Dec. 19th, 2009 | 10:58 am

as read at Sound Effects last night:

Great Moments In Feminism Haiku

I hate when sexist
frat douchebags objectify
babes like that one chick

HUGE night at Mama Javas. We had such a great turnout that we could have assembled an all-star team from the poets who weren't even able to get on the open mic list. It felt like a Monday. There were even some people who couldn't find seats and ended up leaving.
It was the perfect environment for Bill's hosting capabilities.

Jonathan and Jessica were great. It was an excellent display of why we will miss them both so much.

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Dec. 3rd, 2009 | 11:56 pm

Sorry, Bill
I took the liberty of making this flyer.

I just couldn't ignore the concept.

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one year down

Nov. 23rd, 2009 | 09:14 am

A year ago, I started co-hosting the monthly Caffeine Corridor Poetry Series with Jack Evans. In some ways, it seems like only yesterday and in other ways, it seems like forever ago. Especially when you think about all of the changes we've gone through in that span. We've been forced to change venues and days several times. It's been frustrating and exhausting, but I've been very proud of the kinds of the events we've been able to put together and the quality of poets and audiences that we've been able to draw. We've had some very impressive features and its been rewarding to see who shows up from month to month to spend their evening with us. I feel lucky to have the kinds of open mics that we have been able to have and I always go home feeling inspired.

The other night we had our one-year anniversary show. Since I put together a chapbook for the debut of our series, I decided it was time to put together another chapbook for this event. Jack did some covers from some of our past feature poets and it was cool to hear how some of our poems sounded, coming from him. I read a piece that I wrote after suffering through a painful set by the uninspired touring poet from the East Coast, who at least inspired Mark to create my banner (which was one of this guy's oddities that we had so much fun mocking). Then I read my entire series of imitation poems. It was awesome to read through those to a crowd who was pretty familiar with most of the poets that I was trying to impersonate.

Here are a few pics of some of the people who helped commemorate our first year.

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(no subject)

Nov. 20th, 2009 | 09:42 am

At Chinese restaurants, our friends like to make everyone read their fortunes aloud and add "In Bed" at the end. They find that hilarious. We wondered if it is equally amusing to try that with quotes from other sources. Here are some of the quotes that I tested a few weeks ago, at the Deus Ex Machina show.
Add the "IN BED" part at the end of these:


Thou shalt love thy neighbor

Honor thy father and thy mother

Forgive them, for they know not what they do

A fool's mouth is his destruction

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

A wise son heareth his father's instruction

No one can serve two masters

Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might

let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth

The Wicked will be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth

Judge not, lest ye be judged

It is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and rains righteousness on you

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Shawnkota Darkpony

Nov. 18th, 2009 | 11:26 pm


So I had a feature at Words In The Alley, the other night...

Let me back up a bit. Earlier this year, there was a touring poet who was not very good. He became a running joke for all of us who endured his set. Among his many offenses, he had an obnoxious banner that he set up beside him on the stage!

Mark has been threatening to make me my own banner, ever since. I kind of forgot about that, during the past few months, but when I approached the mic to perform my set, he surprised me by bringing out THIS:

It was embarrassing and amazing and it took me several minutes to stop laughing and begin reading. Half of the audience was cracking up because they were in on the jokehorse. The other half just looked bewildered...like "Who the hell does this egomaniac think he is????"
Btw- all of the stars are sparkly rhinestones! hahaha.

If you want to see this in person, come to Mama Javas coffeehouse on Friday night.
We are having the big One-Year Anniversary extravaganza for our Caffeine Corridor Poetry Series.
I will be reading the entire series of my "costume poems" (like Poem Yet To Be Written By Bill Campana, Cat Klotsche, Jack Evans, and more). This banner will also be on display!

Our open mic begins at 7pm
to see the FACEBOOK EVENT page, click here

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A Shot Of Java, etc.

Nov. 16th, 2009 | 11:28 pm

So, I am featuring at Glendale's Words In The Alley Tuesday night. All of the downtown Christmas lights are up, so I am hoping they will make my poems sparkle. I am also hoping that I don't make anyone walk out. I scared a couple of people away from Bill's reading, last week. They didn't appreciate this:

Least Favorite Novelty Foods At This Year's AZ State Fair:

Piggly Wiggly Swine Fries


Roof Rat Kebabs

Ketchup Packets On A Stick

Deep Fried Chlorine

Mini Chupacabra-changas

Yard Clippings

Corn Dogs

Cotton Sunscreen

Strawberry Swackles

Deep Fried Crystal Meth

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