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Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

  1. Blog Tour!

    April 12, 2014 by Carley

    Cheap Trick at Landshark StadiumimgresWoah!  Apparently, I’m on a blog tour!  I’ve always dreamed about being part of one of these, and now thanks to my good friend and fellow poet, Nicole Callahan, I am!  Special thanks to Iris Jamahl Dunkle for hosting the tour, and to Zoe Ryder White, who is next up.

    So maybe you’re old fashioned like me and when you hear the word tour, you think of a hedonistic, multi-city journey on a tour bus with a bunch of unruly musicians, desperate groupies, and a lotta drugs.  If that’s the case, the above pictures are for you!

    For those of you who already know how the whole blog tour thing works, I’ll just add that it’s a cosmic, interspace journey across the exciting landscapes of the interwebs into the minds of writers, artists, and their blogs.  Yay!  Who says we can’t have as much fun as a rock band in 1990!??&$#

    So everyone on the tour answers the following questions:

    What am I working on?

    Well, I write in a couple of genres; poetry, essays, and fiction.  I just finished my first novel, Live at Roseland, which is about a young woman who thinks she can change her life by running away in a band.  It’s set mostly in 1990 at the height of the indie music scene and is an artist’s tale–a story about leaving a small town and moving to New York city, and trying to figure out how to be an adult.  Much of the book is set on the road and on tour with the band, which explains my obsession with tours, groupies, and debauched musicians.  I’ve also been working on a revisions for a new poetry manuscript, My Pretty, which is among other things an investigation of mythological hags and witches, motherhood, divorce, and aging.  Lastly, I’m starting a new reading series at a bar I love in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, Dynaco, with fellow poet and bartender, Ryan Folan.  It’s called Studio Dynaco and will feature in-progress work in all genres.

    How does my work differ from others of its genre?

    Hmmm…this is a tough one.  My joke sometimes about my work in all genres is that I’m too experimental for the mainstream and too mainstream for the experimental.  I do think my work has a kind of in-between quality that can make it hard to pin down or classify.  I often write about uncomfortable subjects (girlhood, aging, hags, drugs, hard living) in a pretty straightforward, albeit, lyrical way.  Not sure if this makes me different from most of my favorite writers, but I don’t think my work is particularly comfortable or pretty.

    Why do I write what I do?

    I’m interested in all things subterranean.  I like underworlds, small town weirdos, painters, punks, queer kids, and adults who hold onto a particular scene or style for too long.  I love musicians and poets, parents who don’t know how to do everything, corporate resisters, and anyone on the margins or who makes a mess from the middle.  So, I guess I write to get underneath the surface, to chronicle underworlds, and to figure out what I think about a given subject or time period or feeling.

    How does your writing process work?

    It depends on the genre.  For poems I tend to write about my daily experiences, though I try to put them in conversation with what I’m reading or images I see around me.  For many of the poems in My Pretty, I became interested in some of the witches and hags in fairy tales and how they related to certain uncomfortable moments in my own experiences of mothering.  For novels, I work scene by scene, not knowing too much in advance about where I’m headed plot-wise until about half-way into the project.  For essays and blog posts, I write to figure out a text or an event in my life.  I have a blog/essay piece coming out in Brainchild magazine later this month about nit picking and co-parenting, which was very much my attempt to deal with the lice infestation in my daughter’s kindergarten class and the huge industry around lice removal these days.

  2. Skiffs, Sheet Shaking, and Tarot

    December 23, 2013 by Carley

    Skiff and River

    The holidays over, so I guess that means I can’t eat candy for breakfast anymore.  Sigh.

    I’ve got a bunch of events in January and February…they’re listed on the events page of this site and I hope you’ll come to one or all.  I’ll read new sad poetry, old Stalker stuff, even newer, dirty, nostalgic, indie rock n’ roll fiction, and a sestina!!

    My dear friend, fellow poet mom, and partner-in-crime, Caitlin McDonnell, had a tarot card-induced vision last week and has started this exciting new performance piece/installation/incantation called Shaking Sheets.  I think you should check it out!  It strikes me as a particularly good way to start the New Year.  Shake out a sheet!  Shake out shame!  I made one of these little movies in a blizzard and it felt good (opened up my shoulders and my heart)!

    Speaking of tarot cards and the new year, another dear friend and fellow poet mom, Hoa Nguyen, is offering a series of virtual and in-person tarot reading workshops in the next month.  Here’s the link to her site and the Facebook events page if you’d like to sign up.  She’s practically giving away these workshops!  And you could learn about the tarot deck!  Hoa gave me an on-line, over-the-phone-reading last fall that opened my eyes in some significant ways.  Tower energy anyone!??

    Oh, and finally here’s a new poem:


    The Skiff


    My heart is a skiff,

    pirated in swells. 

    You sail it.

    You race it.

    You win.


    I rig up a tattered sail,

    and send out an S.O.S. 

    All is lost. 

    All is lost.


    I see through squall.

    I’m an icy gambit.


    I dream big in the wolf’s lair.

    The shape of it is airport hanger.

    The heat of it is hair dryer.

    I stumble towards a nursery school.

    There are kids outside of it—singing and shouting.

    Their high voices are honey, Calypso, sirens, all of it.

    I step onto the frozen river that moats their yard.

    It splinters, groans, and opens up.


    Underneath the ice is more ice.

    Underneath the boat is more boat.

    Underneath the heart is more heart.