John Michael Brantingham's Blog – November 2012 Archive (4)

Ten Ducks and a Poet

            My friend Scott once said that bad poets get into language poetry so they can just write the word “duck” on a piece of paper ten times and be done with it.

            I don’t know if that’s necessarily true, but it feels like it.

            By way of explaining, language poetry is a movement that started with poets like Gertrude Stein and took off in the 1970s and emphasizes the way words work together instead of…


Added by John Michael Brantingham on November 28, 2012 at 6:00am — No Comments

Sam Shepard and the Close Talker

I had just finished giving a reading in Long Beach a couple of months ago and was standing a little apart from everyone. It was a hot room, and I’d been wearing a suit and speaking for a long hour, and I think people were giving me a comfortable distance because I am a sweater in the best of times. In the worst, I’m a stick of butter on a hot day.


“So you work at Mt. SAC?” someone said behind me.


I turned to find a close…


Added by John Michael Brantingham on November 21, 2012 at 6:00am — 2 Comments

New Magazines

            Despite the fact that I post on blogs, I’m kind of a Luddite, but I have to say I love what technology is doing for our local writing communities.

            It used to be that if someone without a lot of money put out a small magazine, the result they would have terrible production (which was kind of charming) and not a lot of people would know about them. I loved small magazines. It was fun to be one of the few people who read The Chiron Review or The Small…


Added by John Michael Brantingham on November 14, 2012 at 6:00am — No Comments

In My Head, I Can Still Hear the Drums

               Last year, I opened for Officer Problem, a punk band at Pizza Supreme on Nogales in West Covina. I’m a poet, and I’m used to a certain kind of audience, which isn’t exactly refined or entirely quiet, but I’m not running punk shows, after all. And the audiences for punk bands don’t exactly expect poets. They’re all sensitive people, I’m sure, but no one goes to a punk show expecting a large, middle-aged, bearded poet. Too bad. They got me.

               But it was a…


Added by John Michael Brantingham on November 7, 2012 at 6:00am — No Comments

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