October Readin’


Read
Originally uploaded by sabeth718

I’m feelin monster tired but with not much to show for it. I say this knowin full well that I have helped out at a number of local literary events with everything from watching the front door, putting chairs away at the end, and just coming through to archive the events in my Flickr and YouTube accounts. Aside from that I am still attending my BCC poetry class and (I think) gettin good grades. My jay-oh-bee continues to get more interesting (read: more work, more hours, more stress, more fulfillment) and I feel like it’s just going to keep gettin more interesting.

On the flip side, I haven’t been getting any writing done and it feels like I’m also reading less.  This could be just a regular dip in energy level or it could be just a reaction to a lot of negativity I keep sensing in e-world around poetry.  Mind you, I’ve never been one to pay heed to all the calls of “Poetry is Dead” or “Poetry Never Does Anything.” I always view these random editorials much the same way I view a person on the corner yelling out, “The end is near… Repent!”  But this joyless tone is draining my desire to read up about anything poetry related on the net.  So my reaction has been to fold up a little aluminum hat and ignore all my RSS feeds and that includes my own blog which has had little content in the last six weeks or so.

Now that I’ve typed that out, maybe I can turn it around and get more positive about poetics cuz there sure is still a lot of great work out there to read and enjoy.  Emphasis on the joy part.

I only read four books in October but they were all damn good.

My Kill Adore Him (The Andres Montoya Poetry Prize) by Paul Martínez Pompa My Kill Adore Him
Paul Martínez Pompa’s debut collection is subversive in the finest tradition of the word–his cycle of examination unearths layer upon layer of the Latino poet experience and results in some wondrous & dangerous poems.

Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? (Hardcover) by Neil Gaiman Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?
A mixed bag of goodies here from Neil Gaim and and company but still a fine effort and fun read in this newest addition to the Dark Knight mythos.

The Art of the Poetic Line (The Art of) by James Longenbach The Art of the Poetic Line
James Longenbach’s breakdown of the line feels like it has helped me identify what makes other poets so good.  I’m hoping to transfer those lessons to my own poems.

Angry Days (Paperback) by Sesshu Foster Angry Days
I love reading first books from established poets and this one delivers.  Sesshu Foster’s focus on humanity through a volatile and uncaring urban political landscape is high poetry with its focus on common language, shared experience, and defiance.  The book starts off a bit uneven but gathers steam as it goes and ends on a must-read essay about how real life affects poetic form.

Author: Oscar Bermeo

Born in Ecuador and raised in the Bronx, Oscar Bermeo is the author of the chapbooks Anywhere Avenue, Palimpsest, Heaven Below, and To the Break of Dawn. He lives and works in Oakland, CA.

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