First of all I’m pleased to announce that New York City poet Joy Leftow — who you might recall is the production editor of the Cartier Street Review, author of Spot of Bleach, and involved so many other cool poetic endeavors I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to name them all if I tried — has been kind enough to publish my “Low Kay Shun” on her renowned poetry blog (http://joyleftowsblog.blogspot.com). Check it out! And thank you, Joy!
Here’s the permalink to my poem:
Second…. The other day I had an unintentionally close encounter with some oven cleaner. We have a self-cleaning oven — but cleaning the top of the stove requires a human touch. There’d been some baked on blackness on the stove top that I simply could not eliminate with any recommended chemical or amount of elbow grease. It was driving me crazy. Finally someone suggested oven cleaner (on the stove top?) as the one thing that could rid us of this black plaque. The bottle said to use it in a well ventilated area – so I opened the windows and doors – but I still unintentionally breathed in some of it, which made me feel a little loopy. So I came upstairs, changed my Facebook status to something like John “doesn’t like oven cleaner fumes.” And a friend responded immediately with the suggestion that I quickly write a “trippy” poem in that state. So I wrote something, for better or worse, just a stream of consciousness rhyme of sorts that I now present to you here. Whether it even qualifies as a poem, I’ll leave for others to decide. Here’s the text (which I wrote in FB comments), followed by a video that I made an hour or two later of me reading the piece.
Gotta lotta lotsa going on around here… half dozen new publications in a couple of weeks… wife home 12 of the last 17 days… Cevon’s birthday… adding daily to the Online Library… grandkids spending the night… housecleaning… three dogs… more poetry events than I usually attend in a month, and a lotta lotsa more.
Had a fanfuckintabulous night of poetry 12 February at Cleveland’s Literary Cafe (where everyone was a featured reader) – really deserves a fanfuckintabulous blog about it. But I’m inspired to read read read and write write write new poetry and memoirs and I’m gonna have to prioritize – either blog thoroughly or ride the tidal wave of these current readings/writings. Since I’m not always inspired to work on memoirs and right new poetry (write now they’re working together surprisingly well) – the LitCafe blog this month ain’t gonna be what you or I might’ve expected (plus I still wanna/gotta do a Lix and Kix 5 blog – another fanfuckintabulous night). Damn shame, but I need 30 or 40 hours a day to do all I wanna due. Not to mention the 300-some unread messages in my inbox…and that ain’t counting MySpace or Road Runner.
Good news is I’ve uploaded en masse 115 photos from the LitCafe February to my Facebook account – much quicker to get ’em online that way, and saves me the difficulty of deciding which to include in (and exclude from) a blog. If you gotta FB or know somebody who does, check ’em there. Otherwise I’ll mass upload ’em to MySpace when I have time in the coming month or so. But I at least wanted to get ’em online in some fashion for the folks who’ve waited long enough.
Add me here if you wanna and haven’t already: http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Burroughs/1072416429
To get the full effect, you really need to just show up at the Literary Cafe one of these second Thursdays before 9:30 p.m. to get you some of the best poetry in the nation. Of course you’re free not to – just like you (and I) were (and was) free to vote for George Bush or Sarah Palin. Some folks somewhere do actually prefer Republicanism to poetry. And they’re free to do so. But if their God does exist, may He protect us from them, Dadblastit!
Anyway, here’s the last little piece of a probably 20-minute marathon poetic improvisation by LitCafe emcee Nick Traenkner. I missed most of it, regrettably, but I encourage you to fill in your own context and/or see the surreal genius in it.
See more photos, video, etc. from that night at www.literarycafe.net. And be there March 12th for featured readings by Mary Biddinger and Michael Grover.
I hear the
Thing you can ever
Be sure of is
But try telling that
To a dollar bill.
Me about age 4 in Lorain, Ohio
First, Kevin Eberhardt was kind enough to publish a new poem of mine on his Rounding of the Stone site, which is one of my favorite poetry blogs. Thank you, KE! Folks can read my “CRYst” here: http://roundingofthestone.blogspot.com/2009/02/cryst.html.
Second, you may recall that my “Tooth Telling was one of 46 finalists in a recent Writer’s Digest poetry contest. I didn’t win first prize, but they did publish my poem today. The Red Heart :: Black Heart collection that includes “Tooth Telling” is available as a free PDF download. Check it out here: http://www.writersdigest.com/upload/images/PDF/RedHeart-BlackHeart.pdf.
Peace and Poetry,
[Added note:] After I originally posted this blog, I learned that my work was actually published three places today. Third is Green Panda Press’ Crater Cleveland Erie: a Poets’ Indirectory vol.1 .09, which includes some of my photos. It’s not totally free – but it only costs two dollars, which is mighty close. For more info, see here: http://clevelandpoetics.blogspot.com/2009/02/crater-cleveland-erie-poets-indirectory.html.
On Tuesday 10 February I was privileged and pleased to attend the Collingwood reading series in Toledo, Ohio, for my first time ever. The evening’s featured readers were C. Allen Rearick (from Cleveland) and Dan Provost (all the way from Worcester, Massachusetts). Our hosts were Michael Grover and John Dorsey. There were a lot of other good poet on hand as well – some I already knew and some who were totally new to me.
C. Allen Rearick and Dan Provost [photo by JC]
This was my very first night taking photos with my new still camera. But silly me… I didn’t realize that the flash on my new camera was positioned differently than on my old one, which meant holding my new camera in the way I was accustomed to holding my old one left the tip of my index finger partly blocking the flash. So a high percentage of my photos that night were too dark for my liking.
Fortunately, I also took my video camera. And the poets there were gracious enough to let me film at will. Here’s Dan Provost’s featured reading. Be sure to watch through the very end – because when you think it’s over, John Dorsey will read a poem about Dan.
Here’s C. Allen Rearick’s featured reading:
I would have liked to have filmed the entire open mic session that followed the features, but the reading didn’t finish until 1 a.m., and there was no way my camera battery was going to last that long (next time I’ll be better prepared!). I filmed bits and pieces here and there during the open mic, trying to get a good sampling of the poetry that night. Unfortunately, I missed getting some very good poets and moments on film (including my own rather tired reading – I’d been up since 4:30 a.m. and my brain wasn’t totally functional). On the other hand, there was a lot of good open mic poetry I did get on film – and here’s a pieced-together sampling of it. Poets who appear in this video include Steve North, Nick Muska, Joseph Angelo, Alex Nielsen, Christina Brooks, Caitlin Desmond, and Big Jim the Tea Master. Next month, I intend to get everyone.
Grover and Dorsey host poetry readings every Tuesday from 9 p.m. to midnight (with features on every 2nd Tuesday) at the Collingwood Arts Center, at 2413 Collingwood Blvd. in Toledo, Ohio. Next month (March 10th, to be exact), Dianne Borsenik and I have the privilege of being their featured poets. Toledo has a poetic community that is diverse, committed and rich in talent. Check ’em out – especially on March 10th!
For more C. Allen Rearick, visit his blog at www.callenrearick.blogspot.com. Check out his As We Speak Poetry event at Bela Dubby’s in Lakewood, Ohio (13321 Madison Ave.) on 14 March 2009 (featured poets will include Rearick, Dianne Borsenik, John Dorsey, Zachary Moll, Robert Fraser, and Lester Allen). I also highly recommend C. Allen Rearick’s collection Through These Eyes, available through Tainted Coffee Press.
For more Dan Provost, I recommend his collections Fallen Empathy (available through Covert Press) and Weathered Woman (available through Inkstained Dagger Press). You can also find his work in The Beards (an excellent anthology available through Tainted Coffee Press that also features John Dorsey, Michael Grover and others). Visit Dan Provost at www.myspace.com/provost75.
No time for a real blog today – but I’ve been trying to post something every day, so this is what you get.
Four fantastic poetry readings…. Four poet-photographer friends…. Thank you all!
More words and photos of other poet folks will be forthcoming.
Mr. Smith’s Coffeehouse in Sandusky, Ohio, 8 February 2009 [photo by Michael Grover]
The Collingwood Arts Center in Toledo, Ohio, 10 February 2009 [photo by Christina Brooks]
The Literary Cafe in Cleveland, Ohio, 12 February 2009 [photo by Dianne Borsenik]
806 Wine and Martini Bar in Cleveland, Ohio, on 17 February 2009 [photo by Suzanne Savickas]
I’ve no time to write a real blog today – I’ve a million things to do at home, and then I’m co-hosting Lix and Kix at the 806 at 7 p.m. I’ll be back in the next coupla days with some real blogs, including video from a great night of poetry in Toledo a week ago and photos from another great night of poetry at the Literary Cafe last Thursday. Meanwhile, here’s something silly I posted on Facebook yesterday, which resulted in at least a hundred often very funny comments. Maybe if no one minds, I’ll copy folks’ comments here when I have a moment later today.
Here are my unadulterated results:
1. Oct 16, 2005 … All you do is Google the phrase, “your first name needs” (as in John needs) and put the first ten entries in your blog. [You mean this has been going around since 2005? I just caught the caboose of the train.]
2. Big Bad John Needs a Hug. [I’m not big, not bad – but can I still have the hug?]
3. John Needs Help Ask John. [I get by with a little help from my friends – even if that was Ringo and not John.]
4. John needs 13 bottles of water from the store. John can only carry 3 at a time. What is the minimum number of trips John needs to make? [Little known fact – at one point in my life I was a mathematics major – seriously.]
5. John Needs Joe, Now More than Ever. [Hey Joe, where you going with that gun in your hand?]
6. Elton John Needs Rest After Throat Surgery. [I guess that’s why they call it the blues.]
7. Not EVERY John needs a plumber. [Hear that, Joe?!?!]
8. Don John needs charisma. [Charisma’s not another plumber, is she?]
9. John needs to embrace family values. Pat Robertson’s been reading…. [Quit confusing me with McCain, dammit! What is this, a vast right-wing conspiracy?]
10. Fort St. John needs workers–no experience required. [And here I had no clue any fort had named me its saint. Did Pat – or Joe – or Charisma, for that matter – have anything to do with it?]
I still haven’t finished telling you about the three poetry events I attended last week: Sunday 2/8 in Sandusky, Tuesday in Toledo, and Thursday at Cleveland’s Literary Cafe – and I won’t be able to do it today. But here’s a bit of a sampling, along with a little promo for tomorrow night’s Lix and Kix at the 806 (featuring Steve Goldberg and Nick Traenkner).
First, a Ken Kitt video of me reading “Keyed Up” at Smith’s Coffeehouse in Sandusky:
John “Jesus Crisis” Burroughs :Keyed Up: Sandusky 2009
Next, I want to share the second of three videos Literary Cafe proprietor Andy Timithy put together from Thursday’s festivities in Cleveland. Steve, Nick and I all appear in it – along with some other poets – and near the end you’ll see me kinda yell “Tooth Telling” and part of Goldberg’s “Travel Log” poem after Traenkner has a little fun with my microphone. (Watch Andy’s other two videos from that night at http://www.literarycafe.net.)
<OBJECT id=viddler_1053f3a height=288 width=437 data=data:application/x-oleobject;base64,IGkzJfkDzxGP0ACqAGhvEzxwPiZuYnNwOzwvcD4= border=0 classid="clsid
Finally, don’t forget to come out to the 806 Wine and Martini Bar tomorrow (Tuesday 17 February 2009) at 7 p.m. to see features Goldberg and Traenkner, who in addition to being quite entertaining are (all bullschticking aside) two awesome poets. I also plan to bring my 1983 Midview High School yearbook, so you can see early pics of me and Nick (sorry, Steve!). Add to that our ever-exciting open mic and some of the best beverages in the history of human consumption — for a night you won’t want to miss.
[Yesterday I posted my first I Ku (Eye Ku). Here are three more I wrote yesterday.]
You’re unhappy you
Lack things. Get them, sad still, learn
Things aren’t worth a thing.
* * *
Bottle Shock Deal Against the Dark
–night for a dollar
* * *
What you perceive as
Ominous might be nothing
Less than OM in us.