I had the pleasure of reading from my story “In the Kitchen with Johnny Albino” from Hit List at the East Harlem Cafe, at Lex and 104th Street last night. I read with (left to right) Carlos Hernandez, Liz Martinez, and Sergio Troncoso. Great little place, terrific audience. The event was sponsored by the good people at La Casa Azul Bookstore. Buy their books! People actually bought books — so we must be doing something right. Thanks to everyone who showed. And to those of you who didn’t, you have been de-friended from my Facebook list. Cheers! I think you can see my haircut here. Photo supplied by Aurora Anaya-Cerda. Thanks, Aurora!
Huzzah! Yesterday I was interviewed by Victor Cruz (you know that face) and Gil-T (no relation to Mr. T, but possibly to Royal T?) on Urban Latino Radio, a very cool and hyper-fun (and intellectual-like) Internet-based radio show. Studio over in DUMBO, right by the water — lovely view. Anyway, you’ll be able to hear the interview via their podcast. I was there to chat about Hit List and the La Casa Azul-sponsored reading at the East Harlem Cafe. I think, among all the odd directions our conversation took, I got to mention those things. I was there along with Aurora Anaya-Cerda of La Casa Azul Bookstore and the talented Sergio Troncoso, one of the other writers from the book. It was a lot of fun, reminded me of my old days in college radio. But it smelled a lot better and I was sober. Thank, fellas!
CrimeWAV impressario Seth Harwood gracefully hosts The Lineup: Poems on Crime on his podcast.
Hear it! Hear it now!
I read my poem “Metro” as well as Patrick Shawn Bagley’s “110 M.P.H. in a Stolen Pickup.” Gerald So reads his poem “Four Minutes,” “Prayer of an Arson Investigator,” by Sarah Cortez, “Don Henley Will Be Mine,” by Misti Rainwater-Lites, and “Visiting Hours, State Pen” by Amy MacLennan. Stephen D. Rogers reads his poem “A Whisper of Smoke.” And Christopher Watkins reads his poem “A Wild Flaw Amongst Us.”
Murder. Prison. War. What better subjects for poetry? The second issue of The Lineup: Poems on Crime is now available. This issue features work by Patrick Carrington, Reed Farrel Coleman, Sophie Hannah, John Harvey, Janis Butler Holm, Jennifer L. Knox, Amy MacLennan, Carol Novack, Deshant Paul, Karen Petersen Manuel Ramos, Stephen D. Rogers, and Christopher Watkins. The cover design is by my pal John Collis, using a photo taken by Erich Wood, also a pal.
Of this issue, former Poet Laureate of Maine Baron Wormser wrote, “Since poets are by definition metaphysical detectives, this collection makes brilliant sense. The poets never flinch nor do they romanticize. Rather they write tersely and deftly of violence large and small, motives confused and clear, endings bloody and mundane. Collectively, they show how poems are bullets of essence that can pierce some very dark shadows.”
Recent events have reminded how Big Brotherish all this new social networking technology is. A friend at work was vilified for honestly speaking her mind on Twitter. She didn’t lose her job, but she got the modern equivalent of the stocks. I’ve always known that corporations have more rights than people, but to see it in action is pretty damned scary.
In related news, after that I went onto Twitter just to see what damage I could do to my career and actually I was “followed” by a new Twitter-size literary magazine, Baby Trotsky, so I sent them a less-than-140-character story (character meaning letters and spaces, not protagonists), and, holy Winston Smith, it got published. Try and find it if you can. After all, everything is findable on the Interweb.