Posts Tagged ‘Henri Sophie & the Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound: Poems Blasted from the Vortex

10
Jan
12

Rob Carney and Tom Holmes Poetry Reading (1-27-12)

Friday, January 27 at 7:30 p.m. –  Rob Carney (from Utah) and Tom Holmes at RIT Liberal Arts Faculty Commons (06-1251), right across from the Wallace Library.

That’s right I’ll be reading with Rob Carney. One of the three people to whom I dedicated Poems for an Church. So if you like my poetry, you’ll love his poetry even more. Plus, he’s an awesome reader. And if love mythic poems, this is a reading that shouldn’t be missed.

Rob CarneyRob Carney is the author of number of books, including Story Problems (Somondoco Press, 2011),  Weather Report (Somondoco P, 2006) and Boasts, Toasts, and Ghosts (Pinyon Press, 2003), winner of the Pinyon Press National Poetry Book Award — and two chapbooks, New Fables, Old Songs (Dream Horse Press, 2003) and This Is One Sexy Planet (Frank Cat Press, 2005). His work has appeared in Mid-American Review, Quarterly West, and dozens of other journals, as well as Flash Fiction Forward (W. W. Norton, 2006). He lives in Salt Lake City. To hear an interview with him, the Poet Laureate of Utah, Katharine Coles, and the editor at Sugar House Review, John Kippen, click here. He is also a former guest editor of Redactions: Poetry & Poetics.

Tom Holmes – Wine Never BlinksTom Holmes is the editor of Redactions: Poetry & Poetics (www.redactions.com). He is also author of: Poems for an Empty Church (Palettes & Quills Press, 2011), which was nominated for The Pulitzer Prize; The Oldest Stone in the World (Amsterdam Press, 1-1-11, 12:00:00 a.m (the first book released in 2011)); Henri, Sophie, & the Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound: Poems Blasted from the Vortex (BlazeVOX Books, 2009); Pre-Dew Poems (FootHills Publishing, 2008); Negative Time (Pudding House, 2007); After Malagueña (FootHills Publishing, 2005), and Poetry Assignments: The Book (Sage Hill Press, forthcoming). And he has thrice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

This event is sponsored by RIT and Palettes & Quills.//

10
Aug
11

in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day ninety-nine (Two Hands Angel’s Share Shiraz 2008)

I got this bottle of Two Hands Angel’s Share Shiraz 2008 back in April, which you can read about here, and tonight is the night I’m going to drink the Angel’s Share. What is the angel’s share, and why am I drinking it tonight? The angel’s share is the portion of wine that evaporates from the barrel during fermintation. It’s the portion of wine that goes straight to the angels. It’s for them and them only, but perhaps they save it for us, so they can drink it with us when we get to heaven.

What if the angels don’t drink
their shares at all,
but instead save them,
so that later,
when we check in,
or perhaps at judgement day,
we’ll find samples
of all the wines and all
the days, all the lost
friendships, everything
we thought had evaporated away,
lined up and displayed,
not as an appreciation
or a rebuke,
but simple a testament,
to what we tried to make
with our lives.

– Joseph Mills. “Some Questions about the Drinking Habits of Angels.” Angels, Thieves, and Winemakers. Winston-Salem, NC: Press 53, 2008.

(By the way, I’m plugging this book again. It’s fun. If you like poetry and wine, you’ll like this book. If you don’t like poetry and only like wine, you’ll like this book. If you don’t like wine, why are you here?!)

So why am I drinking it tonight? Because I wonder about these angels. I wonder about god. I wonder about the universe. But mainly because my newest collection of poems, Poems for an Empty Church (Palettes & Quills) is going to the printer in a day or two.

Poems for an Empty Church full cover

Click the cover to see it better and read some blurbs.

It’s my newest because it will the newest collection published, but my other collection, Henri, Sophie, & The Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound: Poems Blasted from the Vortex has newer poems.

Poems for an Empty Church was completed in 2007ish, but it began in 1989ish, maybe 1988. There’s one poem in there, “The Three Voices of Creation,” that took 17 years to write, and if you count some edits I made to it the other day, then it took 22 or 23 years to write. (You can read it here: pages 40-42.) That also may have been the first poem I read aloud to a crowd. I read it at the Autumn Cafe, a wonderful little restaurant in Oneonta. I went to the restaurant by myself. (I didn’t really know any poets then. I didn’t even really know if I was one.) I signed up. I read it. I read it well. An older couple loved it. They said they hadn’t heard anything like that in years. I was too shy and nervous to respond well. Now that I think about it, I may have only read the first section. The other two sections may not have been written yet. One version of this poem was also turned into a play. Actually, I tried on two different occasions to make it play. The second time I did it I forgot about the first time I tried to make it a play. I’m just remembering this now.

So anyway, I do freelance work for Donna M. Marbach, who runs, edits, and owns Palettes & Quills. I helped market and advertise her poetry chapbook contest with judge Dorianne Laux. I did the layout and design for Michael Meyerhofer’s Pure Elysium. And I helped with the marketing and advertising for Pure Elysium. During this whole process, I half jokingly and 80 percent seriously suggested to Donna that she should publish my book. I told her all the poems had been published in journals and I had the perfect cover art for it, Brian Warner’s “The Kiss.” (From the About the Artist section in the book:

“The Kiss” was inspired by the Tom Holmes’ poem “Death Has His Say.” The poem “There are some places you can’t find God” is, in turn, a response to the “The Kiss.”

“There are some places you can’t find God” is the concluding poem to the book.) Anyway, Donna eventually, after releasing Michael’s book and reading my book, said she would like to publish my book but I had to do the layout and design. Cool by me. I can make the book perfect and exactly like I want it. Who’s going to respect how my poems should appear on a page more than me? No one. I think I’m awesome at laying out a book of poems. When you layout a book of poems, you need a poet to do it. No one else can get it. I love layout and design, and I’m happy I got to layout my book.

So after Donna finishes editing the book, it’s good to go. There’s hardly anything to find. I’ve been working on this for years, editors at other journals have seen the poems, my girlfriend gave it a good read, I gave it another good read. In fact, when I read it again, for the first time in about two or three years since I last looked at it, I realized how tight this book is. How poems from across the book talk to each other. How ideas travel through the book, and images, too. Objectively, it’s a pretty solid book. It surprised me. I was engaged. I think you’ll like it to. When it comes out in September, I’ll let you know. It will be on sale on Amazon, Lift Bridge Books, and other book stores.

Enough of that. I could go on for quite some time about this book. Needless to say, if you believe in God or don’t believe in god, if you have a religion or need a religion, if you’re empty or spiritually full, Poems for an Empty Church will speak to you and help you experience the Other.

Two Hands Shiraz Angel's Share Shiraz 2008To the wine. This is not the one that is number two on The Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines of 2010, which I’ve had and is delicious. I suspect this won’t be as good, but that it will be good. However, the Wine Spectator gave this one 86 points, which doesn’t make this seem promising, but it better be since I spend $30 or so on it.

This is a dark, dark maroon colored wine. The nose is meaty, smoky, thick, and with mushrooms. I want to eat it. My girlfriend picks up the spices from Shake N Bake. I haven’t had Shake N Bake since the early 80s, so I don’t know what those spices are.

Wow that was weird. It was almost fizzy for a second.

It doesn’t taste as it smells or as good, but it’s big and tasty. It’s juicy on the front of the mouth and shortly after the finish. The finish is also of grapes. Like grape jam. It’s jammy.

I also pick up some chocolate and plums. And I also get hints of spice, especially on the finish.

My girlfriend picks up chicken and cranberry and says it is thick on the finish – it coats the back of the throat.

I asked my girlfriend how much she’d pay for a bottle of this, as she didn’t know the actual price, and she said, “$8. It’s not that extraordinary.” She’s right. It’s not extraordinary, but I’d pay $15 for this, but not $30 again.

This will go good with pasta, chicken, pizza, and steak and hamburgers and a peanut butter jelly sandwich.

So what do I say about this wine. I say it’s definitely an 88 or a B, but you can find better for half the cost, or hold it for a few years.//

11
May
11

My June 14th Poetry Reading with Adam A. Wilcox

Happy 30th Anniversary, Writers & Books!!!

Put together a poet/foodie and a poet/oenophile, and what do you get?
A banquet of tastes, textures, and sensory delights for the literary palate.

The Genesee Reading Series, with impresario Wanda Schubmehl, continues to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Writers & Books with a program featuring Tom Holmes and Adam A. Wilcox.

Tom HolmesTom Holmes (that’s me) is the editor of Redactions: Poetry & Poetics. He is also author of After Malagueña (FootHills Publishing, 2005), Negative Time (Pudding House Publications, 2007), Pre-Dew Poems (FootHills Publishing, 2008), Henri, Sophie, & the Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound: Poems Blasted from the Vortex (BlazeVOX Books, 2009), The Oldest Stone in the World (Amsterdam Press, 2011), and Poetry Assignments: The Book (Sage Hill Press, forthcoming). He has been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize. His work has appeared on Verse Daily and has also appeared in Blue Earth Review, Chiron Review, Crab Creek Review, The Delmarva Review, The G. W. Review, Mississippi Review, Mid-American Review, New Delta Review, New Zoo Poetry Review, Orange Coast Review, Rockhurst Review, San Pedro River Review, Santa Clara Review, South Carolina Review, Sugar House Review, Swarthmore Review, and many other journals that don’t have “Review” in their name. His current poetry book reviews and writing about wine and poetry can be found at his blog, The Line Break: http://thelinebreak.wordpress.com/, which is right here!

Adam A. WilcoxAdam A. Wilcox is President and founder of Writ Wilcox, an information design company. Before that, he was a radio producer, curriculum developer, manager of technical documentation, and instructional designer for e-learning, and also ran an entrepreneurial custom-courseware business.

His poetry has appeared in Poetry, The Colorado Review, Cairn, and Folio, among other journals. For eight years, he wrote the “Gut Instincts” food column for Rochester City Newspaper, and currently writes for and edits RochesterFoodNet.com.

He also plays bass for The Dan Eaton Band and leads the Saturday Service Band at First Unitarian Church of Rochester. He lives in Rochester, NY, with his choreographer wife, Anne Harris Wilcox, their three home-schooled children, and their Bernese mountain dog.

The Genesee Reading Series will be held at Writers & Books, located at 740 University Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607, on Tuesday, June 14, 2011, at 7:30 pm. Admission is $3 for members and $6 for the general public.

Download the PDF flier for more information: Holmes Wilcox Genesee Reading Series 6-14-11.

Mark it on you Facebook calendar here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=172684909454121.//

02
Mar
11

Investigative Poetics

I had never heard of the phrase Investigative Poetry until about two weeks ago when Sean Thomas Dougherty used it to describe my poetry. When I read those words, it was immediately obvious that he was right. He didn’t define Investigative Poetry, but I knew what he meant, and he was right.

Ed Dorn

Ed Dorn

 

Investigative Poetry is, to me, studying and staring at one thing for a long time and writing poems about that thing. I learned this from Charles Olson and Edward Dorn. Olson once said to Dorn something like, “Ed, if you study something long enough and think about it long enough and write about it often enough, you will understand everything. Associations will be made through that one something that connects everything in the universe.” Ed Dorn responded by writing Gunslinger. An epic poem about the wild west. Dorn study the wild west and connected the universe. So that’s what I do.

The Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound

The Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound

I first did this with an unpublishable book of poems called The Cosmology and Particle Physics of Love. That book certainly connected things in the universe. Then I wrote After Malagueña, which is really the study of one poem which leaps outward. But there are others, Negative Time (where I studied a universe that is similar to ours but where time moves in a contrary direction to ours), The Oldest Stone in the World (which was a long stare at the oldest stone in the world), Pre-Dew Poems (which is a long, never ending stare of my girlfriend), Henri, Sophie, & the Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound: Poems Blasted from the Vortex (which looked into the lives of Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Sophie Brzeska, Ezra Pound, a statue, and Vorticism and Vorticists). And now I’m investigating Paleolithic parietal (cave) art.

Each time I do this, I gain clarity.

But it’s this latter book, the book on Paleolithic parietal art, that is making Investigative Poetry make more sense to me.

The Man, The Bison, and the Bird of the Shaft (The Shaft of the Dead Man)

The Man, The Bison, and the Bird of the Shaft (aka The Shaft of the Dead Man)

With this book, I stare back to understand today. I also understand our origins better. I study and imaginatively think and write. I’m making more connections with the universe than ever before. I’m discovering humanity. It happens because I’m investigating. I’m investigating humanity, and so far it’s not guilty.

My description of Investigative Poetry is not all the good.

A better description is in the review that just came out today on Gently Read Literature, “Khurshid Alam’s Investigative Poetry—An Interpretation on Subject, Treatment, and Technique.” This essay is wonderful. I love it. I love it because it describes very well what I am doing with my poetry. It’s got me nailed.

I never thought my poetry could be nailed down, because, until recently, I’m all over the place. But this, this Investigative Poetry nails me, and I like it.

Read this essay on Investigative Poetry and you will read me.

(I apologize if this post seems self-serving, but, damn, the review so excited me.)//

14
May
10

in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day eight

Chateau de Paraza Minervois 2007Today I received a royalty check from my publisher for the Amazon sales of Henri, Sophie, & The Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound: Poems Blasted from the Vortex, and I am happy. At the same time, I can’t wait until I get another one from what was sold through the distributor. The Po Biz ain’t very profitable, but I’ll take what ever I can.

A tip to you poets who have just had their first book released. It’s a tip I learned from a number of authors and that I have experience with. Buy as many author-discounted copies of your book as you can. If you win a prize, exchange the prize money for copies. Why? Two reasons. One, most likely there will only be one print run of your book, so make sure you have enough to get you through the rest of your life. Two, you are going to make more money from the books you sell at your readings than from your sales through Amazon and the wonderful local book store.  (Support your local book store!) Maybe later when you have a larger audience, you won’t have to do that, but for now, hoard!

I don’t know what I’ll do with my new meagre and fortunate fortune, but tonight I will be trying Chateau de Paraza Minervois 2007. The Wine Advocate gave it 90 points, and most important, it said the wine had a “lip-smacking juiciness.” I’m sold.

I also really need a drink. So allons-y.

It smells lovely. Flowery. Juicy like it might ooze all over my mouth. It shouldn’t be very tannic. It also has a nose of not quite ripe strawberries. That makes sense since it has a young and virginal feel about it. Not that the wine hasn’t matured. It has. But the feeling is of innocence. However, I am very mature, so I will drink it. (That’s the best part about being grown up – you can drink whenever, and no one can say no. Ha!)

The innocence held up amid some strawberry jelly. It’s a light body, but with no holes. It’s complete in its lightness. Yeah, I keep getting images of smuckers jelly. It’s all wobbly wubbily. Jiggily flopsy. And curvy wurvy.

Oddly, it has a salty finish like tamari. (Thanks, my wonderful girlfriend, for picking up on that. Oh, you do love salt.)

I need a little food, now. My mouth is dry. I’ll have a little piece of cheese to draw out this juiciness. The Baby Bell cheese kinda overpowered the wine, but I drank the wine away, and this wine opened up. It is in fact, quite juicy, but it needs a bigger body to make the juiciness more enjoyable. It also needs food to sustain the juiciness, so I’m off to eat and drink this  wiggly waggly wine.//

24
Apr
10

review of Henri, Sophie, and the Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound

Some one was kind enough to write a review of my recent collection of poems, and it’s a fine review, too. The people at Small Press Review just released the review today.

You can read it here: http://smallpressreviews.wordpress.com/2010/04/24/henri-sophie-the-hieratic-head-of-ezra-pound-poems-blasted-from-the-vortex/

I hope you like the book, as well.//




The Cave (Winner of The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award for 2013. Forthcoming in late Autumn of 2014.)

The Cave

Poems for an Empty Church

Poems for an Empty Church

The Oldest Stone in the World

The Oldest Stone in the Wolrd

Henri, Sophie, & The Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound: Poems Blasted from the Vortex

Henri, Sophie, & The Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound: Poems Blasted from the Vortex

Pre-Dew Poems

Pre-Dew Poems

Negative Time

Negative Time

After Malagueña

After Malagueña

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