Monthly Archives: July 2011

From Children’s Forts to Writers’ Cabins

Every poet should write an ode to forts. Here’s mine: Defending the Fort In the dryer my wet sneakers thump like dinosaur heartbeats. My model glue dries in my Messerschmidt. Upstairs, my mother’s feet walk on kitchen linoleum that sounds … Continue reading

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Bobbi Katz’s “Encounters With a Mitzvah Machine.”

(In May Bobbi Katz gave an enchanting reading at Cafe Mezzaluna of this memoir. In recent years she has published many children’s poetry books—Nothing But a Dog, The Monsterologist: A Memoir in Rhyme, Once Around the Sun, Trailblazers: Poems of … Continue reading

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Saul’s Gifts, Part Two

(The July/August 2011 issue of The Country and Abroad has published my earlier reminiscence about my late friend and mentor, Saul Bennett. There’s one more piece to the story…) Saul’s Gift, Part Two I dreamed I stood outside my death … Continue reading

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Michael Perkins Praises the Unabomber Manifesto

(In blogging about David Kaczynski’s fine poetry book, A Dream Named You, I admitted to a dark fascination with his brother’s terrible crimes, but dismissed The Unabomber Manifesto as “turgid, dogmatic, hostile, and pretty quickly unreadable.” Lo and behold, my … Continue reading

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The Goat Hill Poets

Once I was a Goat Hill Poet. On the first Sunday morning of the month I drove up the sweeping curves of Goat Hill Road, then turned into the driveway for the slalom course of puddled potholes to Leslie Gerber’s … Continue reading

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“A Million Distant Glittering Catastrophes”

How easily we forget. Gathered on a porch on Wheeler Hill in western New York, we introduced ourselves as FootHills poets from near and far, with Danny Kerwick from New Orleans having come the farthest. After I mentioned my two … Continue reading

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Matthew J. Spireng’s “What Focus Is”

Years ago, the answering machine message was an art form in itself, an opportunity to be witty, creative, the star of your own little ten second show. My all-time best? “We ain’t got time for no fancy message rhyme. So … Continue reading

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The Rap Version of “My Late Mother as a Ruffed Grouse.”

What converted me, a middle aged white guy with the jangling guitars of 1980s indie rock forever stuck in my ears, into a dabbling hip hop fan? Step one. A compelling review in Bookforum by Kevin Young, an excellent poet, … Continue reading

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Susan Deer Cloud wins a NYFA

My friend, the big hearted Susan Deer Cloud, has just won a New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) grant, sending a much needed $7,000 her way. Though she lives in Binghamton, she returns often in her poetry to her … Continue reading

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Visiting Wheeler Hill

In late June I drove more than four hours due west through the Catskills and across the southern tier of western New York to visit Michael and Carolyn Czarnecki of FootHills Publishing at their unpainted house in the back corner … Continue reading

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