With so much going on I barely have time or focus to blog, and I don’t really know where to begin. So I’m just gonna drop a pile of stuff on you in a stream of consciousness and get my ass to work.  I’ve lots of family birthdays in the past month and thru the rest of April: three grandchildren, my mom, step-dad, sister-in-law, brother Mike, uncle Bob and more.  I’ve also lots of events, in part because this is National Poetry Month. 

Dianne Borsenik posted a video of me reading Lens (accompanied by Vince Robinson and the Jazz Poets) at the last event I attended, 3/27 at St. Alban Episcopal Church.  While you’re at her NightBallet site, you’ll find granddaughter Jada’s smile on the cover of Elise Geither’s new chapbook, Monologues for Poets.  If you missed the St. Alban event — which served to launch a new series, spearheaded by Kathy Smith, focused on Being at Peace in Our Community — I encourage you to catch the next one, Introducing Ourselves, on 4/21.

Eliot called April the cruelest month, but at Crisis Chronicles Press we are determined to beat back any would-be cruelty.  So we will celebrate the 4th month of 2012 by publishing four new chapbooks.  I still haven’t made up my mind which the 4th will be, but here are the first three:

CC#21 — 12 Poems by Cee Williams (which we plan to have available on 4/14 when Dianne and I read at Cee’s venue, Poet’s Hall, in Erie, PA).  This book will be unusual for us in that its first printing will be done in Erie instead of here at home.  So I’ll see the finished product for the first time the same day you do.

CC#22 — desire lines by Chansonette Buck.  It will be officially published on 4/22, the author’s birthday.  If you’re friends with Chansonette on Facebook, you can see a video of her reading poems from this chapbook at a recent event in Berkeley.

CC#23 — This Is How I Fail by Lisa J. Cihlar.  Lisa talks about the genesis of this book and more in a recent blog on Stella Pierides’ website.

Christina Johns recently reviewed  Dianne Borsenik’s Blue Graffiti (published by Crisis Chronicles) and my own Electric Company (published by Writing Knights) for the Midwest Book Review.

Crisis Chronicles Press and friends will be performing at Wooster Jam 2012 on 4/20 and 4/21 — different poets each night — and I’ll post more details as soon as I have a chance to iron them out.  For my other upcoming readings, see the main crisischronicles.com page.

And it is with great sadness that I lament the passing of two major Lix and Kix Poetry Extravaganza venues: the 806 Wine and Martini Bar where we started it all in Tremont closed without notice a couple of months ago, and the Bela Dubby Art Gallery and Beer Cafe where we ended it all in Lakewood is being converted into a Taco joint that serves liquor. Perhaps they anticipate that a lot of former patrons will wish to drown their sorrows in the same building.

Let’s see….  What else is going on?

My job search continues.  I attended a Re-Entry Employment Seminar at Gargus Hall and a Goodwill Job Fair in Lorain in the past couple of weeks.  I’ve concluded that there are more people interested in helping people with criminal histories find jobs than there are people who have jobs to give and are willing to give them to people with criminal histories.  Maybe I’m innocent and my alleged crime dates from 1992.  No matter.  So I throw myself into more publishing projects and a few more events.  Maybe I should write about it.  But have you ever tried to write around this house?  It’s taken me 8 days to get to this poor excuse for a blog.  And I really should be working on other things instead, like finalizing the Wooster Jam details, posting event pages, finishing the formatting of Chansonette’s and Lisa’s chapbooks, and picking up essentials at the store (we’re now out of  — or almost out of — laundry detergent, Q-tips, toilet paper, toothpaste, dog food, dog treats and doggone it, that’s only the tip of the list).

The beautiful thing about a rambling blog like this is there’s something for everyone to like or dislike (or for me to imagine liked or disliked).  But it seems the same could be said of anything I say or do.  Like or dislike (or both) — it’s on you (and me too).

Okay, that’s enough spewing for now.

Peace, love and poetry (not necessarily in that order),
John

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