Blogosphere, Movies, and Poetry

Friend and poet, Collin Kelley, has been nominated for 2007 Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere, and today is the last day for voting. Take a moment to check out his blog, and I’m sure you’ll want to cast your vote for him. (CK, hope you win!)

Within the past few weeks I’ve seen Notes on a Scandal, Thank You for Smoking, The Last King of Scotland, and finished season two of Carnivàle. NOTES kept me on the edge of the couch; Judi was amazing in her role. THANK YOU kept me laughing– “The great state of Vermont will not apologize for its cheese!” THE LAST KING depressed me because a dear friend of mine has loved ones who’ve experienced atrocities in Uganda. Carnivàle didn’t leave me too happy. I didn’t realize HBO pulled the plug on the show after season 2; now, I must live my life without Carnivàle closure.

In honor of National Poetry Month I posted a few poems in my Myspace blog:
Tragedy

All of the Way Over to a Blog, Oh MY!

For a few weeks, I have been planning and working to start a blog that will serve as a free speech and info forum for Dekalb County citizens. The plan is for people to send me articles to post in the blog– I’m interested in anything from simple announcements to political rants and everything that falls between— I only ask that the articles/announcements/etc. pertain to Dekalb County.

I thought I would mention the blog concept on Livejournal and let people who use the site know they can submit articles if they wish. I’ve received messages comparing LJ and blogspot, and I’ve made my goal is not to have a battle of LJ and blogspot— the goal is about being involved in the community in which we reside! And I actually had a person reply to that comment with, “True, but it also doesn’t mean that those interested want to travel all of the way over to a blog to read or write about such topics,” in regard to my

WTF? “All the way over to a blog.” When did typing a web address become such difficult labor? For the love of Dolly, type it once and bookmark it. I didn’t realize a web address was like hitching the horses to a wagon and making the full day trip to town for a sack of flour and feed.

"A Wreath for Emmett Till" ~ Marilyn Nelson

Since last week was crazy, I am posting two Marilyn Nelson poems this week to keep with my POTM series. However, this entry is different from the other entries because I am not posting the words to the poem— instead, I am posting a link to NPR so you can hear Marilyn Read “A Wreath for Emmett Till” and including a Youtube clip of Marilyn reading a selection from the poem.

Click here to access the NPR article on “A Wreath for Emmett Till” and hear Marilyn read her work!

Other interesting news– “A Wreath for Emmett Till” was the center of some controversy in California. Check out fellow poet Robin Kemp’s blog entry for more information. I interviewed Marilyn before the drama occurred; however, I’m doing an update with Marilyn to include the “controversy.”

Poetic Inspiration AKA Beth Gylys

In honor of National Poetry Month, Collin has written a few posts regarding inspirations. I thought I’d follow and mention a local muse of mine, Beth Gylys. Simply put: she rocks me. After working with her I often joke about my work being BBG or ABB— before Beth Gylys or After Beth Gylys. It is with great pleasure that I share one of her poems and announce two of her poems will appear in the May issue of ToasterMag:

Photographer

Framing, you crouched, focused, captured, shot,
I watched you where I stood, your movements slow,
measured. Sparring with the light, you hoped
to hold the thing, to catch the proper angle,
came back along the path where arches rose
and sunlight burned my face. We walked a while,
then stopped again for ten or fifteen minutes.
Patient, I’d learned it takes a lot of time,
confining bits of world within squares.

At home, we relived Arches by the window,
holding each slide up to see the image.
“Look,” we said, “this one’s really good,”
and passed them back and forth across the table,
the cat meowing at our feet, and you,
annoyed. “Shut up!” you yelled, and grabbed for her.
I loved the colors of those slides, the orange–
pink of rock, rising from the sand,
the one of us standing by a bush,
your arm around my waist, your silly grin.

In albums of your many trips and visits,
there’s more of me than you. Waist-deep in leaves,
I wave, or showing of my strength, I hold
your friend piggyback on the lawn—I’m bent,
laughing, his elbow hooked around my neck.
At Crater Lake, I stand in shorts and seem
exhausted, my hair flying loose, my eyes
squinting at such rich shades of blue.
That was before I flipped the car. You took that
too, the metal crushed like foil or paper
while I lay miles away in ICU.

In most, I seem content, holding the cat
or drinking coffee with my high-school pal.
What did I know or did I lose from then
to now? Here’s one in Maine, the two of us
on bicycles—Acadia Park—the ocean
neating the shore beneath the road we ride.
is that the way we lose ourselves in time:
a wind or ocean chips away the land;
we wake one day to find ourselves surrounded,
water to our hips, the island gone?

Last year my parents came to see the house.
You and Mom installed an extra phone line
to run the modem that you’d bought. “You two
can talk through e-mail,” said my mom. Her smile
stung; she never read me very well:
our own strained smiles still trying to believe
in what we were, still trying to deceive.
there are no pictures of that visit; you hardly
took the camera out all year. We never

did get copies of the wedding proofs.
The photos with the shadows that you hate,
and hardly any of our guests. We shrugged
and said, “What can we do? He is our friend—
he took them all for free.” We rolled with things.
That was our way. When Sara came, the time
her husband threatened to find a whore, we made
the extra bed, drank tea and talked till late.
and when my cousin told us he was gay,
we gave him hugs, played Scrabble all night long.

The pictures end in New Orleans. Your friend
got married there last June; there’s only one
of us together, riding the train, your hand
holding the rail above my head. We smile,
of course. We had to smile—this was a picture!
And then blank pages after that. I turn
and turn as if to find a future there—
us headed West, or fixing up the house—
as if the slots of plastic might be filled
with answers to the questions: what went wrong,
why loves leaves us, or how to carry on.

from Bodies that Hum

Fundraising with Atlanta Pride

COLLECT & EARN

JOIN THE BUCKET BRIGADE

Volunteers from Community Organizations walk throughout the park and along the parade route and ask folks to give a little or a lot!

WHO GETS THE MONEY?
YOUR ORGANIZATION GETS 50%
and the rest helps pay for the expense of putting on Pride weekend. APC attracts the crowds & supplies the T-Shirts, buckets & I DONATED stickers; you provide the volunteers.

HOW DOES IT WORK?
Throughout the weekend, your group volunteers for at least one, 2 hour minimum shift. Walk through the festival and collect from the 100,000 people who come to the park each day.

$55,000 AND COUNTING!

For the last 6 years The Atlanta PRIDE Committee has partnered with other organizations to help them fundraise during the PRIDE Festival. This program has allowed APC to move more than $55,000 back into the community.

CALL THE PRIDE OFFICE 404-929-0071 OR APPLY ONLINE NOW!

AJC Eliminates an Editor Position — Email from Ellen Lindquist

Below, in italics, is an email I received from writer Ellen Lindquist. Please take a couple of minutes to read the information circulated by Ellen.

here you go……

I haven’t received any group emails on this topic so I don’t know how much word has gotten out but in a really stupid move, the Atlanta Journal Constitution has just eliminated Teresa Weaver’s position as book page editor. Supposedly, the page may shrink down to just wire copy.

EVERYONE …. needs to write an email of protest to AJC Managing Editor Julia Wallace and Publisher John Mellott: jwallace@ajc.comjmellott@ajc.com

Here’s the info from the blog Critical Mass:http://bookcriticscircle.blogspot.com/2007/04/atlanta-journal-constitution-eliminates.html

Last week the Atlanta Journal Consitutition did a staff reorganization, eliminating its book editor position, which is demoralizing beyond speech. The AJC’s section was run by long-time NBCC member and former board member Teresa Weaver, who put together one of the best-edited literary pages in the country, giving Atlanta — which was #15 on the list of most literate cities in the U.S. (far ahead of New York(#49) — the cultural dialogue it deserved.

Those on the NBCC board know Teresa’s commitment to literature, especially novels and narrative nonfiction which meditated on America’s complicated and shameful racial legacy. She was an early champion of writers like Edward P. Jones, William T. Vollmann, and Colm Toibin, not to mention Paul Hendrickson. I had the pleasure of writing for her, and I found Teresa’s edits and reviewing assignments an education in and of themselves. I will miss working with her dearly.

Teresa has the opportunity to apply for a job within the company, but it’s not clear what the fate of the book page will be — whether it’ll be reassigned to an existing editor, whether it will go entirely to wire copy, or whether it will be removed altogether. If you care about books, or literary events in Atlanta, or cultural discussion, this is of vital importance, especially since the paper reaches over 2.3 million readers in Atlanta per week, with over 3 million additional page views online.

Ellen

Fourth Annual Palm Beach Poetry Festival

Fourth Annual Palm Beach Poetry Festival ~ January 21-26, 2008

Old School Square Cultural Arts Centre

51 North Swinton Avenue
Delray Beach, FL 33444
Florida Poets Reading:
Lola Haskins
Spencer Reece

Performance Poets:
Roger Bonair-Agard
Marty McConnell

House Science & Technology Committee Passes SB 148

SB 148, the Saving the Cure Act, was passed yesterday by the House Science & Technology Committee. Now it will move to the House floor. While this is good news, it wouldn’t hurt to contact your House Rep to let him/her know you want to this bill passed!

I will definitely have another blog entry up tonight because I want to share an email I received last week from Representative Amos Amerson and other information around SB 148.

Also, I hope to have a quote or two from SB 148’s sponsor, Senator David Shafer, to include in the entry tonight.

Here is the AJC Article:

Stem cell bill passes in last-minute vote

By Sonji Jacobs Tuesday, April 17, 2007, 07:53 PM

A bill that would promote nondestructive stem cell research in Georgia received a last-minute committee vote Tuesday, greatly improving the proposal’s chances of passing the General Assembly this year.

The House Science and Technology Committee, chaired by Rep. Amos Amerson (R-Dahlonega), approved Senate Bill 148 with no opposition. Last week, the committee declined to vote on the measure, raising doubts about whether the bill would pass before the final day of the Legislative session. The 2007 session is expected to wrap up on Friday.

“My objective from the beginning has been to promote every type of stem cell research over which there is no ethical controversy,” said Sen. David Shafer (R-Duluth), the bill’s sponsor. “The committee substitute approved by the House committee today achieves that goal by citing federal guidelines.”

Shafer said he worked with House Speaker Glenn Richardson (R-Hiram) on reworking the bill. The measure now mirrors some of the language in a federal bill being pushed by U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga).

Isakson’s measure, dubbed the Hope Act, would provide federal funding only for research on stem cells taken from so-called “naturally dead” embryos —- those too deficient to produce a child if implanted. His bill is intended to address critics’ main objection: that taking stem cells from viable embryos destroys the embryos, an act they equate with taking a human life.
The U.S. Senate last week passed the bill.

In Georgia, Shafer’s bill needs to pass the full House and then must return to the Senate for approval of the changes made by the House.

She Charms Snakes and ME!

Not even five minutes ago Paul calls me and says, “You’ll never guess who I just met.” Next follows his evil laugh, which can only mean one thing– this is a person I would I’d sell a kidney on eBay to meet. In my excitement I demand he tell me, but calm down a little because I know Dolly isn’t in Baton Route— my sense sixth tells me when she crosses the TN border. He says, “Her name is Adrienne.” First clue–nothing for me. He continues, “She handles snakes.”

OK.

At this point I squeal like a little girl (or like a five year old Dustin when hearing a Wonder Woman episode start to air— and my parents say they didn’t know). After causing some inner ear damage for Paul, I exclaim, RUTHIE!” It is no secret to anyone in my daily life that I am currently addicted to Carnivàle, and that I have a raging gay-boy crush on Ruthie (AKA Adriene Barbeau). I love everything about her character. The way she moves when charming the snakes– now, those are moves I’d kill to master. She has some snazzy lines in the show, “No man will tell me what to do in my bed.” Her age– in my book– sexty-something years old.
I am disappointed to report that Paul is not returning with “Ruthie’s” autograph. Concerning autographs, according to him, he doesn’t do that sort of thing. Well, I’ll let it slide this time; HOWEVER, if he happens across Dolly and doesn’t come back with an autograph– he’ll sleep the study for the rest of his life.