Saturday, August 20, 2016

New published poems

I've had two of my poems published at Blue Shift Journal! The first poem, "fieldnotes," was a runner up in their Brutal Nation Special Edition and got Editor's Choice. It's a poem I finished up by cutting apart a fairly different poem that I began thinking about at my first Cave Canem retreat years ago. It was essentially a lot of fragmented ideas about the nature of blackness. But I began to see intersections of a number of racist events in my life that took place in fields.

Here's a shot of the poem, cut into pieces and posted in different configurations on the wall of my studio:

The second poem, called "Prayer to the Small God of Misnomers," is something I wrote at a different residency, VCCA, last year.

And it's unlikely anyone will notice, but I did a lot of work over the last few days to make this website more compatible with small displays (that is, it looks way better on cell phones now). Whew.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Processing Your Writing: Organizing Free Writing

Is there a way to automate (!) or organize free writing into system that allows the writer to focus entirely on writing instead of organization itself? I'm currently at the Millay Colony Residency, and given that I spent the last 4 days addressing this problem, I figured I'd share the system I designed. Two of the programs, PoemTag and ShortcutFixer, I programmed myself. The last program, Robobasket 3, is available online. If there's any interest, I'll release my programs, but I feel as though I may be uniquely obsessed with process in this way.

So on to it: I free write every day. Some of those "poems" are destined only to be exercises, and some I am taken by and want to pursue later. So after I free write a poem and save it into my big "Poem" folder, I click the start menu and run PoemTag, which automatically detects which file was just saved:

I rate the poem in how confident I am with its worth from 0 (the default) to 20. By clicking okay, PoemTag creates a shortcut to this file in my edit folder, and appends exclamations to the filename to reflect its importance. So if I think asterism is a 3, it will save a shortcut called !!!Asterism - Shortcut.

This way, I have a folder that only has shortcuts to the poems I think I want to edit later.

Where Robobasket 3 comes in: I have this program set up to run in the background. When these shortcuts reach a certain ripeness (1 month? 3 months? I can change it at will), they will automatically be moved to wherever I want. Say, the desktop. Now I can't avoid seeing those files.

This way, I can forget about all the poems I've written until enough time has passed that I can give them fresh eyes.

This system does not involve any of the actual poetry files. Those are safely wherever they were saved.

Finally, if I ever decide to move the original files that my shortcut system links to, I have designed Shortcut Fixer. This program takes shortcuts that can no longer figure out where a file is located and locates the file, thus fixing the broken link.

This way, I can move the actual poem files anywhere I want--for instance, if I want to move all the free writing I've been doing to a 2016 folder.

That all sounds more complicated than it is. Essentially, after I free write and save, PoemTag pops up, I tell it a number, and everything is handled automatically.

For those of us who write so wildly that we cannot be trusted to organize anything on our own...

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Site Update, Blog Revamp

This marks a radical update of both and

This blog/news feed will be used periodically to update readers on my publications, schedule updates, conference panels, teaching and editing news, and game design updates.

To new things!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

4 of my poems published at Small Doggies

Four of my poems (listed below) have been published at Small Doggies.

There's sort of a story to this collection of poems, which I'll paste and change a little around from an email sent to the Affrilachian Poets:

 When I was in Washington D.C. for Split This Rock I began this writing project.

I was thinking back to my first and only poetry professor, Frank X himself--specifically when he told us to come up with descriptions of objects in the classroom.  The room was pretty damn bare, so you ended up getting lots of people describing the same pencil sharpener.  What was interesting to me is that regardless of the quality, these were very different descriptions.

So it only made sense to me that no matter how mundane the object, a poet should be able to write a classroom's worth of poems about it.  I don't have 30 different minds, but I can inhabit that many.  Or many more.

I decided to write what I thought "13 ways of looking at a blackbird" was going to be about before I read it, that first time.  That is, I wrote 13 poems about the most boring object I could find: a single set of nail clippers, which sit here beside me even now.  As you'd probably guess, this became increasingly difficult, and by the end, it sort of taught me about how I think, because none of these poems were about the nail clippers, or at least, none of them were just about nail clippers.

Anyway, the poems are "Chapel Carter is the Inventor of the Nail Clipper," ""Clippers, as Tends to Happen, Lost in Modernism," "What Does a Nail Clipper do in Meeting a Mole?," and "Mortality and Nail Clippers."

Now I gotta find a home for the other 9.  haha

Monday, January 10, 2011

On the liberation of Lawn Jockies

I'm a little late at linking to this but my Affrilachian-sister Bianca Spriggs has one of my favorite blog posts of 2010 about her 're-purposing' of a lawn jockey (rechristened Rocko) in Lexington, KY.

A poem I wrote about lawn jockies appears on the blog as well, but honestly, check out the story and the photos first.

And spread the word!  Seriously, I love this.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I've been published in Tidal Basin Review

My poem, The Lost Quatrain of the Ballad of a Red Field has been published in the 2010 Fall-Winter issue of Tidal Basin Review.

And in a related note; probably the most beautiful cover of anything I've ever been published in.  Check it out.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I have a poem in the newest Anti-

This is a special poem for me because it's that rare poem that not only got published, but which I regularly read.  Plus, it's the poem which I named this blog for (I seriously just noticed that).  Check out the Robotto-Mulatto's own, at Anti-.