Tuesday, January 21, 2014

word of the day: slazy

context: Bucky and his friend Davy Jones the Wooden Whale are careening down a slippery slope. Bucky is clinging to the deck rail on the whale’s chin when he realizes that the slick surface consists entirely of soap. “At the moment of his discovery, they were bounding through a slazy ravine, shut in on either side by cliffs of soap stone.”

source: Lucky Bucky in Oz by John R. Neill

definition: Couldn’t find one.

“Slazy” appears in some online dictionaries as an alternate form of “sleazy,” which doesn’t seem at all to be the way John R. Neill uses the word. It may be a coinage of Neill’s own. Perhaps he is putting together the words “slick” and “mazy” …

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

The Best Poems of 2013

If you’ve visited one of my “Best Poems of” posts you know the deal. I read a lot of poetry. When I’m working my way through a book or magazine I have at hand a stack of placemarks. If a poem strikes me, strikes me in a particular way such that I really want to come back to it, I slip a placemark in. If, upon revisiting the poem, it still works for me, seems, indeed, as fresh and interesting as the first time, I read the poem again. If, after a few reads, I am increasingly reluctant to see the last of it, I hand copy the poem onto loose leaf binder paper and add it to the personal anthology I’ve been gathering since 1989. Some years I copy out many poems. Some years, no. This is very much a personal selection. I’m not looking to be representative or comprehensive or to highlight a period or movement or style. My selections may include poems written by children and by Nobel Prize winners, by the living and by the long dead.

I read about 50 “sources” in 2013, books, chapbooks, magazines. I culled at least one poem (usually just one poem) from 21 of them. I discovered and fell in love with Taneda Santoka, the Japanese haiku poet. I read through Alicia Suskin Ostriker. As with last year’s read of Denise Levertov I found Ostriker less simpatico than I’d hoped, but there were certainly rewards. I’m always pleased to like a local. Kit Kennedy, Jan Steckel, and Julia Vinograd live nearby and I’ve attended their readings.

Maria Banus …..Wedding
Ellen Bass ….. Tigers and People
Jim Cory ….. Memoir: Spring ’77
Horacio Costa ….. XV: Black Hole
Gavin Geoffrey Dillard ….. Orange Kitty Bleeding
Stanford M. Forrester ….. haiku: “summer afternoon”
Kit Kennedy ….. “each room”
Matilda Koen-Sarano & Ester Navon Kamar ….. The Girl Who Was Born from an Apple
Elizabeth Searle Lambe ….. haiku: “the sound / of rain …”
Joan Larkin ….. Rape
Marcus Larsson ….. haiku: “autumn colors”
Martin Lucas ….. 2 haiku
A. A. Marcoff ….. haiku: “the way / the temple”
Joseph Massey ….. a “lune” from Bramble: a gathering of lunes
Joseph Massey ….. A Line Made by Walking
Joseph Massey ….. No Vehicles Beyond this Point
Joseph Massey ….. “Spider web”
Murathan Mungan ….. Mask
Peter Newton ….. haiku: “standing in the middle …”
Cathal O’Searcaigh ….. Night
Alicia Suskin Ostriker ….. The Glassblower’s Breath
Alicia Suskin Ostriker ….. from A Birthday Suite for Eve: Hair
Papago Song ….. Song for a Young Girl’s Puberty Ceremony
Alexander Perdomo ….. I’ll Come to You
Phan Nhien Hao ….. Autumn Song
John Phillips ….. Snow Fall in Fog
Juan Pablo Raya ….. Un Dia
Michael Robbins ….. Downward-Facing Dog
Michael Robbins ….. Money Bin
Saniya Salih ….. Exile
Taneda Santoka ….. 24 haiku
Tomas Santos ….. A Wish
Jan Steckel ….. Hard as Nails
John Tranter ….. At Naxos
John Tranter ….. Metro
John Tranter ….. On La Cienega
Julia Vinograd ….. Happiness Is a Mugger
Rod Willmot ….. 2 haiku
Virginia Brady Young ….. haiku: “on the first day of spring”