Saturday, January 17, 2009

Burning Down the House by various poets

Burning Down the House: Selected Poems from the Nuyorican Poets' Cafe National Slam Champions concludes with a quote from Harold Bloom lamenting the state of the arts as the result of performance poetry. And here is a collection of some of the best of slam—a compilation of poems from the New York Champion Slam Poets including: Roger Bonair-Agard, Stephen Colman, Guy Lecharles Gonzalez, Alix Olson, and Lynn Procope. Unfortunately, this book looks and reads like a self-published nightmare including poor editing, construction, and layout. It’s hard to take slam poetry seriously when it is presented in such a slip shod manner. If this is the best out there then it should be offered in a form and format that shows it off to its best effect. And there is good stuff here, even great, perhaps brilliant. I mean, if this were crappy writing then fine, whatever. But no. I love some of these poets and poems. I would suggest reading Def Poetry Jam on Broadway or Spoken Word Revolution or Aloud to get a better flavor of what was happening in poetry in the 90s. This book just doesn’t live up to its potential unlike the poets who are included within.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Puppy Games and Rules

What? Still no pictures. Nope. I’m sorry. I should have my camera (aka my phone) back today but in the meantime . . . no pics. Now that the weather is cold, the dogs are getting a little more playful. Actually, Snowdoll is still relatively young and needs constant amusement but Romanov is older and a little more mellowed. However, when he comes back inside from being outside, he begins his “wild puppy” running. I know you all know what that looks like—low to the ground, tail tucked in and ears laid back. He runs to Snowdoll and away, trying to play “Come and Get Me!” However, Snowdoll will stand there with a bone in her mouth watching him. As he approaches her, she may let out a low growl or do a quick hop up and out of his way. All the while, her tail is wagging because she’s standing there inviting him to play “Who’s Got the Bone?” I have come to learn, however, that these two games have rules that make them completely incompatible and eventually one or the other will get bored because nobody will play with them and they just lie down somewhere. What I still love is how, when Romanov is lying down somewhere content and untroubled, Snowdoll will trot over and plop herself down to lie beside him in cuddling closeness. This always causes Romanov to let out a low rumble of growling complaint. But he won’t get up and move. I think he really likes it but he has to maintain this lone wolf persona. Shhhhh . . . don’t tell him I let you in on his secret.