Monday, October 15, 2012

In Progress

I haven't been submitting too many poems lately, so why I figure no harm in sharing a piece still very much in progress:


There is a phone call that will change
your life.  No more so and so celebrity
impersonator for you, oh no.  A voice that
unlocks parts of your brain you didn't

know existed says calmly "Agent Icarus,
we have a new assignment for you."  Click.

You live in the future.  Are you
ready for your eyeballs to crackle with
raw data?  Shut up and create new

robots already.  Ray guns were forecast
by the '50s.  Come on.  It isn't the
phone that calls, it is the work.

I know you Icarus, and you are about
to learn a hell of a lot about water.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ever Lovin' Poems

What is so great about poems anyway?

Few things:

Rhythm, rhyme, meter, visual presentation, the cadence of speech, are a short list of what I'd say sets poetry apart from other word combinations.  They are the tools poetry uses to capture your attention.

Does it work?

Lets find out.  Here's a poem by Kay Ryan:

A pitcher molds
the air in it, dividing
from the air beyond
the air it holds.  And
should the pitcher
vanish, something
would take a minute
to escape, a gradually
diminishing integrity,
a thinning pitcherful
of pitcher shape.

Kay Ryan, everyone.  United States Poet Laureate from 2008 to 2010.  In other words, helping you appreciate poetry was her job for two years.

Two years is a long time to be Poet Laureate.  C'mon.  Read that again.

Here's one by Maria von Rilke (in german):

Der römische Brunnen  
Aufsteigt der Strahl und fallend gießt
Er voll der Marmorschale Rund,
Die, sich verschleiernd, überfließt
In einer zweiten Schale Grund;
Die zweite gibt, sie wird zu reich,
Der dritten wallend ihre Flut,
Und jede nimmt und gibt zugleich
Und strömt und ruht.

Howzat?  Let me know if you enjoyed these in the comments.  Also let me know if you can find a good translation of the Roman Fountain.  I'm having trouble googling it.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Super Position

The Horse has two riders, one facing forward,
one back.  Insolent, they stare at each
other.  What path did the horse take?

In a similar tale, there is a cat.
Her assassin possessed with urgent ignorance,
Don't open that box! the man said.

Ships call to one another off the waterfront,
not out of loneliness, a ship in love is a wreck.
They share a kinship of distance.

This is the natural defiance of the river strider,
it falls to the atom to observe itself.
An ocean of belief is balanced by a drop of doubt.

Words are symbols, not cement.  Call me a liar.
If there's to be uncertainty, let its mother be my mouth.

Fresh Ingredients

It has been a long time since I've posted any of my poetical endeavors here, mostly due to the fact that many publishers prefer to be the first to publish a piece. Well, a while back two of my pieces were selected, and published in "Ruckus" Volume 12 Issue 2, a UW sponsored social-justice concerned group, and "Hoarse" No. 6, respectively.

Ruckus takes the form of a zine. It contains a handful of essay's, poems, and perhaps open letters, on a background of cut and paste collage. Personally, I enjoyed the style and layout of the memoirish essay, "My Old Black Band Shirt", by Joseph Sutten-Holcomb. The poem of mine that appeared in here is called "The Japanese Garden." Interestingly enough, I was asked for revisions and came up with a new version that I feel is closer to the mark than the submitted version. They didn't use this revision, so I'm gonna shop the new one around elsewhere. In other words, I'm not ready to post it here. You can find the zine around the University of Washington, and a few of the pieces within at

Next up, we have Issue Six of Hoarse, titled "Undercover." This book is tight. That is to say, this book is elegant. Passages are redacted, and the works within fit well with the theme. Basically, great design work and great editing equals great success. Don't quite know where you can get a copy, but they sell previous editions here.

 I've made edits to "Super Position" as well, but they don't alter the poem in any profound way, so what the heck? Might as well toss it up on the 'ol blog. Maybe it will entice you to seek out more poetry to read. Maybe it will nauseate you. Either way, I won't know unless you leave me comments. I'll just create a new post for it now, because I've rambled on enough.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


In keeping with my abiding obsession with Doctor Who, I feel compelled to share with you this marvelous trailer celebrating The Doctor's upcoming 50th anniversary on television.  Enjoy it!  I know I did.

Via thelastwhovian on youtube

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Submission continued

It's been almost exactly one year since I began submitting my fiction and poetry to various publications.  This morning, I found this in my inbox:

"Hi Seth,

We'd like to include your poem 'The Japanese Garden' in our next issue of Ruckus!"

As Dale Gribble would say: "Shuh-sha!"

The letter continues, asking for a revision of the second stanza.  I am stoked that some stranger gave a close enough reading of the piece to see the need for this, but slightly stumped as to what to do about it.  I'll think of something though.

Ruckus is a local publication, run by students of the University of Washington.  You can read PDFs of past issues here.  I am intrigued to learn how my humble poem about grandmothers and frogs will fit in with the tone of the publication, and also excited.  Once the new issue is out, I'll repost the link and we can all find out.

In the meantime, I've got some revising to do.