Thursday, December 16, 2010

Lewis Carroll's "Jabbewocky" translated from English to French to English to Greek to English using Yahoo BabelFish

Take the guard Jabberwock, my son!
The chins that bite, the nails that they touch!
Take the guard l'bird Jubjub, and
l'avoid Bandersnatch frumious!

It took the sword vorpal in the disposal:
Long-term l'enemy manxome qu'seek –
Accordingly supported from l'tree Tumtum,
and kept at the duration of some time in the thought.

And, as in l'uffish thinking
qu' this s' it is kept,
Jabberwock, with the eyes of flame, emanated whiffling
from the timber from tulgey, and as it came!

Two! , Two! And straight and
vorpal snicker-fracture of blades went!
This l' left winger it died,
and with his head that went behind. "

And, thousand [katasfaxan] Jabberwock?
Comes in my arms, my boy beamish!
Day frabjous d'Callooh! Callay! It cackled in his joy.

Brillig de Twas and toves slithy
they made gyre and gimble in wabe
All mimsy they were borogoves,
and l'outgrabe raths the child.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bob Hicok poem

Poem: "Calling him back from layoff," by Bob Hicok, from Insomnia Diary. © University of Pittsburgh Press.

Calling him back from layoff

I called a man today. After he said
hello and I said hello came a pause
during which it would have been

confusing to say hello again so I said
how are you doing and guess what, he said
fine and wondered aloud how I was

and it turns out I'm OK. He
was on the couch watching cars
painted with ads for Budweiser follow cars

painted with ads for Tide around an oval
that's a metaphor for life because
most of us run out of gas and settle

for getting drunk in the stands
and shouting at someone in a t-shirt
we want kraut on our dog. I said

he could have his job back and during
the pause that followed his whiskers
scrubbed the mouthpiece clean

and his breath passed in and out
in the tidal fashion popular
with mammals until he broke through

with the words how soon thank you
ohmyGod which crossed his lips and drove
through the wires on the backs of ions

as one long word as one hard prayer
of relief meant to be heard
by the sky. When he began to cry I tried

with the shape of my silence to say
I understood but each confession
of fear and poverty was more awkward

than what you learn in the shower.
After he hung up I went outside and sat
with one hand in the bower of the other

and thought if I turn my head to the left
it changes the song of the oriole
and if I give a job to one stomach other

forks are naked and if tonight a steak
sizzles in his kitchen do the seven
other people staring at their phones


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The poem with the incisors that wouldn't let go

There was this weird day in December where I was waiting for Erin to finish studying in the Lawrence Public Library, and I was sitting around in the periodicals area thumbing through an issue of Poetry, and I found THIS poem.

After reading the poem, I immediately wrote a note in my little notebook. This morning I've been sifting through a stack of those little notebooks, looking for the story ideas I collected all semester long and haven't had time to write, and found my note. It reads: "Jill Alexander Essbaum--BOMBASS POEM IN DECEMBER POETRY!!!" Obviously, when you find a note like that, you look for the poem, read it again, and then post it to the interweb.

Here's a link to some more information about the enigmatic Jill Alexander Essbaum and her bombass Essbaum poems.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Kansas Professional Communicators conference

Yesterday I drove out to Council Grove to speak at a conference. The drive from Lawrence was amazing. I want to make a day trip out there again once the next few weeks of frenetic, end-of-the-semester activity are over. There was some field burning, and as you approach Council Grove there are a few metal sculptures on a hill that look like Native Americans on horseback. The sculpture really reminded me of Grandfather Cuts Loose the Ponies in Washington State close to the Columbia River Gorge. I can't seem to track down a picture of the sculpture in Council Grove, but that's okay. Looking for it led me to Frank Jensen's web page, and now I have ANOTHER trip I want to make, to see Jensen's sculpture garden, once the semester is finished. Way to go, internet. You score an extra point. The Madonna of the Trail sculpture is also really interesting. I pulled over to check it out and walk around for a bit before returning to Lawrence and confining myself to the bowels of the Watson library. The conference was at the Hays House. One of the more amusing moments for me, since I was already a bit nervous before the talk, was when I mentioned a number of Kansas writers, including Thomas Fox Averill, a.k.a., William Jennings Bryan Oleander and learned that his wife was in the audience. I love Kansas.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

SF novel workshop

I just found out that I've been accepted to attend the 2010 SF novel writing workshop with Kij Johnson. I'm absolutely thrilled. Kij is a phenomenal writer. I particularly suggest checking out these stories of hers:

26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss


"Spar" has been nominated for this year's Nebula Award.

Kij also maintains a blog here. I really feel like Kij is one of those writers, along with Brian Evenson, who defy any kind of categorization people try to pin on them.