Still from a video poem posted on YouTube here.
Still from a video poem posted on YouTube here.
It’s great to have a new poem in online lit journal Mad Swirl. This one’s called “Feeding the Worms.” You can read it here.
Buck has a distinctive style of gnomic, fragmented poems that hint at deeper mysteries and insights. Third party presses (Edge Books, Furniture Press) have brought out collections of his work, and he has self published chapbooks, on-demand books, and his postcards. I still get poems on postcards from Buck, always a great read.
At the time, I was still trying to establish myself as a freelance writer, and I was frustrated by the lack of coverage for really cool stuff going on around town. This was a window of opportunity, of course, and this article on Buck’s postcards was one of several pieces I managed to place in the weekly alternative rag. The editors typically shoved these pieces off in the “Artifacts” section, with word counts not exceeding 500 words. Nonetheless, these little articles served as some form of documentation that interesting stuff actually happened in DC.
That time my poem “Rusty Love” won Fourth Place in the World of Poetry contest. When I wrote this one, I deliberately tailored it for what I perceived WoP would like: something rhymed and sentimental. The title was cribbed directly from the name of an actual person–the property manager of the apartment complex where I lived in Winter Park, Florida. If I’m not mistaken, the real Rusty Love was retired, like most of my neighbors there, but she seemed pretty cool, driving a convertible and wearing youthful looking clothes. Her evocative name suggested the outrageous conceit that leads off the poem: “My love is like a rusty nail.”
Here is the whole piece in all its horrible glory:
My love is like a rusty nail:
It is old but will not fail.
Tender is the tree, and I am wet;
Rain falls on me, but I won’t weaken yet;
We’ve years to go, and miles, more miles,
than can be counted on the branches of its head.
Quiet times, and times that break a smile;
Animal times, and times of flying fowl.
Quickening times, hears and times that part meanwhile.
I never doubt my love’s location;
She is in me, and I am her vocation.
As you can see, the opening analogy leads to an even weirder one, ad it spirals our of control for a while. I have no illusions about this award, either. Given World of Poetry’s modus operandi, I was probably one of about a thousand (or even more) “fourth place” winners.
This article has been delayed for months because I couldn’t track down a copy of “Rusty Love.” Finally, while going through a box of old postcards, photos, and junk, I found an index card with a pencil draft. It’s possible that I revised the piece when I typed it; the middle section, where there is no rhyme for “head” or “fowl” seems like something I might have fixed. Or I may have decided it was “good enough” for the purpose of competing in a World of Poetry poetry contest.
Very pleased to be part of Autumn House Journal with a prose poem called “The Kiss of Fog.” This poetry blog has closed.
Found this sign on the street in the 2000 block of H St. NW, WDC. The addition of gummi bears is intriguing, but I’m not sure how it relates to the apparent message about the spread of cold germs at the homeless shelter.
Very pleased to be back in Unlikely Stories today with three poems: “The Popcorn Saga,” “A Simple Shelter from the Gaze,” and “The Car Chase Comes Too Soon.” You can read them here.
Great news! Issue 56 of Otoliths was just released. Sad news: it is dedicated to the memory of Reuben Woolley, a fine poet and editor in the vast international avant garde, who published my work in his journal Curly Mind. He will be missed as a poet and peace activist, both of which are much needed today.
Otoliths 56 is chock full of the usual suspects, representing the full range of textual and visual poetics options today, always cutting edge and great fun. Never a dull moment and an essential read. I’m very pleased to be represented among such fine company with a text poem from the robotspeak series, “Making America Great Again,” which applies the linguistic logic of the Facebook AI units to the branding catchphrase of the current US delinquent-in-chief. Plus 5 visual poems with asemic writing from a recent series of tape sampling pieces that seem to represent a scientific journal from a human colony on an extraterrestrial world. You can check it out here.
Online poetry issue just released its first issue of 2020 on New Year’s Day, including a wide variety of work centered on the theme of “Co-evolution and Adaptation.” Three of my poems appear in this one: “A Bleeding Screen of Need,” “The Pieces Fail to Fit,” and “Salamander Tides.”
The editor wrote a nice introduction to the pieces, noting: “In Jeff Bagato’s poetry, speakers resist oblivion in various ways: creating digital identities, building objects as a distraction, even lashing together sticks to form a raft in a rushing current.” You can read the poems here.
X-Peri is an online blogozine for “high experimentalism,” which seems to mean really deep space language play judging by previous installments. I’m pleased to be part of it with the journal’s last post of the year, published yesterday, Dec 23. There are four poems written in “gonch” language, which means words composed from the letters of the phrase “all gonch”: “Chac Ghanagan Colhaggach Angacalla,” “Ocanongna,” “Anga Hagna Cagacna,” and “Nallanach Choc Hanol.” Plus one image from the Gonchlog made from letters drawn from some old issue of Rhapsody magazine. You can check it all out here.