Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lake Erie Effect Poetry Round-up

if we want to pull off the Cleveland poetry fest for 2010(some folks like the name Lake Erie Effect Poetry, or LEEP Fest, for it), we ought to begin working now!

i have set up a blog, set to private, for now, at

i figure if you want to participate in the brainstorming, and planning for this festival, send me your email, and i will make you an "author" of the blog. i will post categories, like "venues", "getting the word out", "time of yr", etc. and blog authors can put their two cents down. we can avoid having to meet in a board, in this way!

email me if you would like to be a brainstormer. maybe you would host an event, or know cool venues, have talent to suggest, or have friends in radio and print. i will add you as an author, and we can begin planning!

other reasons you may want to sign up as an author of this blog: you want to hold a workshop during the fest. you are willing to distribute flyers. you want to sell books at a book table. you play music, and want to accompany poets. you want to be involved!!


Friday, March 20, 2009

Blind Review Friday

Blind Review Friday.

The author shall remain anonymous (unless they chose to divulge themselves in the comments.)

Those commenting are also welcome to remain anonymous if they wish.

Incendiary comments will be removed.

If you would like your piece thrown to the wolves send it to with "Workshop the hell out of this poem" as the subject line.

Last week's piece - Done With - was by Nina Alvarez.

This week's offering is from a Clevelandpoetics - The Blog reader:

Distance weeps between our love;
A separation spawned from above.
Distain that drips from eye to cheek,
My heart in whisper promised to seek.
Seconds creep as sand does drip
And others’ melancholy smiles do sip;
Surrounded by brews to beat our hearts.
My blemished mind will not depart!
A fiery glow that seeks to find
Another sweet and blameless mind,
Yet happiness wilts without your glow;
Another smile, another show.
It beats for you and thrusts me near,
It calls for you, but you cannot hear
Mellifluous, it sings sweet songs
Dissolving all life’s errors and wrongs.
Chances bloom from here to you,
Each more distant; I can’t construe.
Plummeting. Darkness. And silence as well.
A beat with a whisper: “I shouldn’t have fell”.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

NEO Poet Field Guide

Full name: Theresa Marie Göttl

Age: 27

Habitat: Brunswick

Range: Insights (Brunswick); Borders (Strongsville); Muggswigz (Canton); 2nd April Galerie (Canton); Musica (Akron); Northside (Akron); The Lit Café; Columbus Poetry Forum; Collingwood Arts Center (Toledo); expanding migratory patterns have been known to reach as far as Sandusky, Mansfield, Bellville, and Orrville; unconfirmed sightings reported as far south as Louisville, KY and Nashville, TN.

Diet: Czeslaw Milosz; Seamus Heaney; Rita Dove; U2; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; Dostoevsky; Tchaikovsky; Jack London; J.R.R. Tolkein; C.S. Lewis; Ayn Rand; Neil Gaiman; Kurt Vonnegut; “Lost”; local musicians Zach and David Ullman.

Distinguishing Markings: Stretching the Window; 91.3 WAPS & 89.7 WOSU; The Poet’s Haven; Deep Cleveland; Opium Press; Wayne College Regional Writing Award.

Predators: small children; caffeine; meat; high gas prices; sleeplessness; the color Brown; auto repairs; closed-minded people.

Prey: road trips; veggie/vegan restaurants; live music; places to hang out that are open after midnight; book stores; tea; anything related to Alaska or Iceland; mountains (the ever-elusive prey); enlightenment and true love (also ever-elusive).


Indigo Freight Train

Listen to the howl of the June bug sock hop,
calling down the sparrows from their limousine stare.

Somewhere in the cemetery, bulldog freight trains
are crushing every adolescent ego in the way.

Purple ladies rocking in their back porch gasoline,
shooting at the kingfisher-perforated skies,

baking paper brownies in a supernova microwave,
sipping at their dragon’s blood and kicking over kings.

Indigo! Indigo! Weeping for the bluesmen.
Indigo! Indigo! Melting paper dolls.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Blind Review Friday

Blind Review Friday.

The author shall remain anonymous (unless they chose to divulge themselves in the comments.)

Those commenting are also welcome to remain anonymous if they wish.

Incendiary comments will be removed.

If you would like your piece thrown to the wolves send it to with "Workshop the hell out of this poem" as the subject line.

This week's offering is from an established poet (the author's identity will be revealed with next week's Blind Review)

Done With

My house is torn down--
Plaster sifting, the pillars broken,
Beams jagged, the wall crushed by the bulldozer.
The whole roof has fallen
On the hall and the kitchen
The bedrooms, the parlor.

They are trampling the garden--
My mother's lilac, my father's grapevine,
The freesias, the jonquils, the grasses.
Hot asphalt goes down
Over the torn stems, and hardens.

What will they do in springtime
Those bulbs and stems groping upward
That drown in earth under the paving,
Thick with sap, pale in the dark
As they try the unrolling of green.

May they double themselves
Pushing together up to the sunlight,
May they break through the seal stretched above them
Open and flower and cry we are living.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tres Versing The Panda Lineup and Flyer


in celebration of the poetry community small press books has forged among poets all over the map, local (but not necessarily Greater) Cleveland Area poets will party down with poets tres versing from CO, NM, NYC, WA, RI, PA, MONTREAL, TX, and ELSWHERE. take your vitamins!!!

Friday Night, May 8 6 pm (++Free)

Travis Catsull & Dirk Michener of the Charles Potts Magic Windmill Band will perform at The Barking Spider Tavern located on CWRU campus, 11310 Juniper Rd., Cleveland with the poets Ben Gulyas, Jim Lang, Wesley Eisold, Valerie Webber, George Wallace, Charles Potts, Bree, Maj Ragain, Tm Gottl, Eric Paul & Adam Brodsky


Saturday Afternoon, May 9 1 pm (++Free)

Gathering at the Daniel Thompson Memorial Plaque (outside the Lincoln Inn, 75 Public Square, Cleveland)/followed by TBA: readers will include Alex Gildzen, Jack McGuane, Jeremy gaulke, Eric Paul, Jim lang, Kisha foster, Valerie webber.


Saturday Night, May 9 7 pm (++7 dollar admittance, includes Goodie Bag)

Ray McNeice and Tongue and Groove will play, and Alex Gildzen, Angela Jaeger, Byron Coley, Charles Potts, George Wallace, Jesus Crisis, Emma Young, Mary Weems, Michael Henson, Russ Vidrick, Wesley Eisold & Bree will read at The Lit in the ArtCraft Building 2570 Superior Avenue Suite 203, Cleveland 216.694.0000


Sunday Afternoon, May 10 3pm (++Free)

Musician Adam Perry will perform his poems followed by Alex Gildzen, Angela Jaeger, Bree, Michael Salinger, Ben Gulyas, George Wallace, Eric Paul, Phil Metres & Wendy Shaffer at the Coventry Library, at Coventry Rd. & Euclid Hts. Blvd., Cleveland Heights, followed by a dinner break on Coventry Road.


Sunday Evening, May 10 6pm (++Free & Open)

An Open, Round-Robin Style, Read From Where You Sit Soiree Will Take Place At Mac’s Backs~Books On Coventry, At 1820 Coventry Rd., In Cleveland Heights. All Are Invited To Read, As Local Poets Meet Tres Versers.



(no fee)

8th annual free contest with a special twist. Fifteen cash prizes totaling $3,336.40.
Top prize $1,359.

Submit one poem by April 1 deadline. No entry fee. Winning entries published online.
Judge: Jendi Reiter.

Sponsored by Winning Writers.
Winning Writers is proud to be one of "101 Best Websites for Writers" (Writer's Digest, 2005-2008).

Guidelines and online submission at


3rd Annual Buffalo Small Press Book Fair,

March 21, 2009 - Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum,
453 Porter Avenue,
Buffalo, NY.

Event is free and open to the public and brings authors, booksellers, small presses, poets, etc. together.



New publication accepting poetry, short fiction subs, etc. Payment is publication. Submit via email as a .doc (Microsoft Word) attachment. Submit up to 6 poems per submission.
Do not submit a new submission until hearing about your original sub. Sim subs okay with notification. No previously published works accepted. Takes FNASR. Author holds rights and copyright after works are published. Include genre of work submitted and short bio with submission. Also indicate if your sub is a sim sub. No reading fee.

Email submissions to:



If there's a grant out there to enable a writer, FundsforWriters knows where it is. Subscribe to the four newsletters and jump start your writing career.

Writer's Digest labeled FundsforWriters one of its 101 Best Websites for Writers
for the past eight years. 20,000 readers can't be wrong.

Contests, grants, markets and publishing opportunities await you at


Robert Frost International Poetry Contest,

Adult Poetry Contest 1st prize = $150, 2nd Prize = $75, 3rd Prize = $50, 2 honorable mentions. Entry fee = $10 per poem.
Submit previously unpublished work.

Any style or theme. 40 lines max. Submit typed poems. Submit 2 copies of each poem with name and contact info on only 1 copy of the poem. Make checks payable to Key West Robert Frost Poetry Festival.
Mail entries to: Robert Frost Poetry
Festival, Heritage House Museum,
410 Caroline St., Key West FL 33040. htm

Deadline: March 23, 2009

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Covering the city with lines

Back in 2001,
when I launched deep cleveland, I began a weekly web feature called the poem 'o the week. The idea was simple: to publish a poem about Cleveland every week. I considered it an extension of d.a. levy's mission to "cover the city with lines." Well nine years later, I'm still doing it. Many of the poems that have appeared have been submitted by the deep cleveland tribe of poets, and many have been written my me, but i have had contributions from all over the country. It seems like every poet who once lived here or still lives here has at least one poem about their fair city. I would like to encourage anyone who has written a poem abut Cleveland to submit. Next year will mark the 10th year of continuous publication, and I would like to put out an anthology. If all goes well, I will have 520 poems to choose from. If you have a poem about Cleveland, send it my way, care of

Friday, March 6, 2009

Blind Review Friday

Blind Review Friday.

The author shall remain anonymous (unless they chose to divulge themselves in the comments.)

Those commenting are also welcome to remain anonymous if they wish.

Incendiary comments will be removed.

If you would like your piece thrown to the wolves send it to with "Workshop the hell out of this poem" as the subject line.

Last week's piece - My Father's Coat - was by poetry slam founder Marc Smith.

This week's offering is from a Clevelandpoetics - The Blog reader:

[un]Phenomenal Woman

There she was
…souped up face
…knock off threads
…chain store acrylics
Stuntin’ throw back shades
A huge façade
A common mirage
Created to catch you slippin’
Tripped up from surface beauty (shell shock),
you failed to see her insides brewing multiple pots of
…coping mechanisms
…negative self images
…life lessons
Taught her worth was measured
by the girth of her hips
…the sway of her spine
…the size of her onion
Blessed with an abundance of pigmentation
Consistently underestimated…she’s even contemplated bleaching creams a time or three
She be talking loud and saying nothing
She be saying nothing just talking loud
She be proud…of the wrong things
The obvious Indian in her family that loosely coils her hair instead of kinks it
Yet she thinks it looks better under the latest lace-front the media encourages her to buy
And though she rocks perfect plaits beneath its weft, she’d never be brave enough to let her soul glow
She be proud…of the wrong things
Talking loud…about the wrong things
Negotiating food stamp favors to look good shaking what her momma gave her
Spittin’ venomous lyrics to soda-pop dealers for rides in pimped whips with 22 inch kicks
Be talking loud over bass rattling plastic covered windows
Be talking loud enough to echo through the boarded up homes consuming her hood
Be talking loud over sirens
…baby wails
…ringing cells
…even over the 80 year old lady that provides shelter for her baby’s daddy for free
But she just talking loud
…and saying nothing

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I fell into a burning ring of fire...

John Lundberg over at the Huffington Post Writes:

Electronic Arts is currently in production of a video game called Dante's Inferno based on Dante's great 14th century epic poem The Divine Comedy. Production costs on the ambitious attempt to fuse classic literature and "hack and slash" gaming are expected to number in the tens of millions of dollars. Think they're nuts? Early indications say otherwise. While the game is a long way from store shelves, EA has already sold its movie rights, sight-unseen, to Universal Studios for millions of dollars. The game actually sparked a bidding war.

I'm not surprised that EA would see Inferno (the first section of The Divine Comedy), with its elaborate mapping and description of Hell, as a lucrative launch point for a game about killing demons. I am surprised though, at how determined the studio is to not just make the game about killing demons--to remain, in fact, as faithful as possible to Dante's masterpiece. Jonathan Knight, the executive producer and creative director for the game, is making a point in interviews to point out all of the game's connections to the epic poem. According to Knight, the main plot line is still Dante's quest to reach Beatrice, and the Roman poet Virgil still plays his part, as do more minor characters like King Minos (the judge of the damned) and Cerberus. The team has even created new characters based on what's known of members of Dante's real-world family. Knight told the popular gaming website IGN that the team took almost all of their cues for designing Inferno's setting directly from Dante's text, and that the game features many of its landmarks. And while developers obviously couldn't fit all 14,000 lines of the poem into the game, Knight claims that many lines will be quoted (or at least paraphrased). The newly released trailer for the game, which can be seen here, indicates that he's telling the truth. It begins with a voice-over translation of The Divine Comedy's first lines.

At the midpoint on the journey of life
I found myself in a dark forest,
for the clear path was lost.

Of course, EA also wants the game to make a buck, and that means pleasing the masses of gamers who couldn't care less about poetry, and want action, blood, guts and that sort of fun. So it shouldn't be surprising that EA's Dante will be brandishing a massive bony sword-looking thing and swinging it at demons (I have to admit, I laughed out loud when I saw that). The released game play also includes--and I'm not making this up--an army of unbaptized babies with deadly, extendable arms, which the website TeamXbox describes as "perhaps the nastiest batch of enemies that you'll ever face in a video game." I guess that's how you make a buck.

While Knight acknowledges that his team took some major liberties in turning Dante into a video game hero, he points out that the Italian poet had real-life experience as a soldier in the Guelph cavalry, fighting in their war against the Ghibellines. And take heart, poets, in addition to his big boney sword, Dante sports a mean-looking set of laurels on his helmet.

I thought about whether the game (and the movie, if it's produced) might sully The Divine Comedy, but I don't think it will. EA has been upfront about the liberties it's taken, and I'm intrigued not only that they feel compelled to be faithful to the poem, but that they believe that they can do so and still make a profit. Not that it's the point, but lord knows poetry isn't very profitable in the U.S. these days. And while the game will no doubt give some a mistaken impression of the poem, those people probably currently have no impression of it. The game might also do the poem some good. It might convince some that classic literature is more relatable than it appears in English class. And it's far more likely that after playing the game a teenager would be interested in picking up the book.

That said, if you have a teenager, and this winter he tries to sell you on allowing him to buy Inferno based its connection to classic literature, just remember the army of unbaptized babies.

Dante's Inferno is set to be released later this year.

What other poem or poet's life do you think would make a good electronic game? Sonnet Hero? Grand Theft Haiku?

Whatchya think?


The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau