Thursday, February 16, 2012

checking in

I have been a poor blogger. That's not true: in point of fact, for a bit over a month now I haven't been a blogger at all. I hope to get back to it in a few days. I trust no-one's missed me.

Nothing particularly earth-shattering has happened over the last month. I did a reading for Torture Garden: Naked City Pastorelles at Our Fair University, to a really humblingly large turnout. I think it went well. I don't know whether anybody's buying the book. It can be gotten from that link there, or from Small Press Distribution.

There have been two reviews, both of them very gratifying: Lisa Lynne Moore, whose more normal field of study is 18th-century literature and the poetics of gardens (why didn't we talk about this stuff back when we were in grad school together?), noticed the book in her excellent blog Sister Arts. Patrick Pritchett, in his blog Writing the Messianic, says some very nice things indeed. I'm pleased to know that my "Osaka Bondage" is the first poem he's encountered to make use of "the perverse practice of bukkake"; truth to tell, it's the only one I've yet encountered to make any use of it. But I don't get around much.

I've had copies of the next book, Red Arcadia, for a couple of weeks now. I'm still very proud of it, and a little mystified at how I managed to write some of the poems in there. It can be gotten from the usual sources: from Shearsman, at the link there, or from a variety of sellers they've linked. By word-count, it's a much better buy than Torture Garden (more pages, more poems, more words). We'll see whether the world thinks so. I've sent out several batches of copies now, and aside from a few enthusiastic words from friends – well, the first few weeks after a book comes out one always feels that it's dropped off a cliff into a void.

I'm off to Louisville for the Conference Formerly Known as the Twentieth Century Literature Conference next week, on a panel with the most excellent Bob Archambeau and Vincent Sherry, both of whom will no doubt put me to shame as we all talk about continuities between 19th-century literature and high modernism. Yep, for me that means what else but Ruskin? Another three or four volumes of the Library Edition have rolled by since last mention. Right now I'm in the middle of Love's Meinie, his book of (what else?) ornithology. Yes, the man could write a book about any damned thing that caught his interest. The question is, should he have?

When I get back from Louisville, I have high-toned moral resolutions in place to be blogging again on a regular basis. No apologies: I still believe in this medium.