October 6, 2010

The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival

Four days of peace and poetry is one slogan that could suit pretty well for The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, dubbed "Wordstock" by The New York Times. Based in Newark, New Jersey, and arriving this year to its 13th edition, the biennial event is North America's largest poetry festival. Sharon Olds, Martín Espada, Kay Ryan and Bob Hicok are only a few names from the long list of poets taking part in the evening programs, which are the centerpiece of the Festival. If you're nearby, don't miss it!

The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival
October 7-10, 2010
NJPAC and Newark's Downtown Arts District

Further reading:

Festival 2010

Festival Poets

Scheduled Readings

October 5, 2010

little red riding hood feels the tingle

"I want to be notorious,
infamous, androgynous,
barely innocent,
vaguely inconsistent
Giovanni Anderson (1742-1801)

Behold, a nightmare!
a porn star, a turtleneck, and no poet
So much energy towards a useless revolution,
Mother said -- What a waste of time!

And the higher the buildings rose the deeper we were drowning
Into recession, anxiety and Civil War, which was anything but Civil
The Rat Race was over, the triumph of Evil inevitable,
The smell of your panties, unforgettable


The story of Little Red Riding Hood, everybody knows -Or should know-
Is not about a girl shuttling a piece of cake for her grandmother, no
It is about the innate curiosity of the young
About the dawn of sexual arousal

So when The Wolf living in the dingle
Makes Little Red Riding Hood feel the tingle
From his signature swinging schlong
You can't help but remembering Anderson's words:
barely innocent, vaguely inconsistent

Because both Wolf and the red hooded girl are hungry
And she may not be as strong as him, but you know she has the instinct
To devour the black animal using teeth and nails
Were it needed -- and you can comfort yourself saying:

Poor little thing!
Just a little girl!
Good heavens!
Dear Lord!

The higher the buildings rose, the bigger our despair
Just like when you came back home -- just like
Only to grab your belongings
And walked out the door without saying goodbye.

richard krauss (Missoula, MT, 1975)

October 2, 2010


I washed the Honda Odyssey
just yesterday-and now
the bumper’s splattered.
I dread the clean-up process.

Surveying the wreckage, I try to
recall the last time I witnessed
any expression on your pyrite face.
The trail of tears was absent
at your mother’s burial,
so why is your salt spilling
on the tabby's mangled body?

Fascinated, I study the feline's
anatomy: crushed skull bone,
intestines strewn across the
steaming pavement.

I wonder: should I be touched,
or annoyed by the tears that
dampen your graying beard?

I wrap the tabby in a
flowered picnic blanket
that hides the matted fur.
And from the right angle,
she looks peaceful.

stephanie gustafson (St. Paul, MN, 1988)