Monthly Archives: January 2016

The British first

Looking at my post yesterday about Robert Lowell’s book, Imitations, I commented that the first edition of that book was for sale for $35. Larry looked at the picture and said, “That must be the British first edition.” I checked … Continue reading

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Books that change your life

I’ve been reading some essays by C.K. Williams (who wrote last week’s poem). In one essay he talks about reading a book by Robert Lowell, Imitations, which broke open a new way of thinking about poetry. Imitations was influential and … Continue reading

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C. K. Williams

C. K. Williams died last year. I hadn’t read much of his work, but liked what I saw in a review of his Selected Later Poems.  His lines are often long, and his poems, too. This is my favorite so … Continue reading

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Two quick chicken recipes

Once in awhile, it seems like I take whatever is in the fridge and create something tasty. The other night it was leftover rice, a few chicken thighs, some butternut squash, mushrooms, onions, fennel, and green beans. I sautéed the … Continue reading

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Poetry readings

I go to a fair number of these. Some are transcendent–moving, dynamic, inspiring. That’s why I go, and go again. But all often, they go more like this: I Attend a Poetry Reading The fellow reading poetry at us wouldn’t … Continue reading

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Best poetry book from 2015

Troy Jollimore’s book, Syllabus of Errors, is my favorite new book of poems from last year. He’s a serious poet, and I find his work brave and lyrical.  He’s also not afraid to poke fun at himself. Here’s a sample: Lament … Continue reading

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Bad science and xenophobia

This morning over breakfast Larry told me he had been reading Five Thirty Eight, Nate Silver’s blog, and that the whole “MSG is bad for you” story is a myth, based on flawed science.  Apparently, the negative effects only occurred when subjects were … Continue reading

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Larry Levis

I’d forgotten how much I like this poet of California’s Central Valley. He often writes of farming and of his father, a farmer of small means. I think he’d be better known, but he died at 49. Winter Stars My … Continue reading

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The exemplary sentence

Here are a few excerpts from the best book I read this month, The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen. “Massacre is obscene. Torture is obscene. Three million dead is obscene. Masturbation, even with an admittedly nonconsensual squid? Not so much. I … Continue reading

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