Menorahs, MOJO, and Ms. Poehler

First off, a Happy Hanukkah to those celebrating it! May your holiday be filled with happiness, family and friends, food…y’know, all that good stuff. Did you know that if you search “Hanukkah” or “Menorah” on Google, it will put a little decoration at the top of the search? Fancy. My own celebrated holiday may not be for a little while longer, but I love the whole season with a passionate fervor, so there’s no reason we can’t all get festive up in here.

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Woo!

In non-holiday news, my poem “Thereafter” is up in the new issue of Mojo, the online sibling of Mikrokosmos Literary Journal. Many thanks to the folks at Mojo and Wichita State University’s MFA program for putting this gorgeous e-issue together and including my work. The art is bold, vibrant and cool in this one. Do check it out!

We’re hard at work over at Swarm, putting all the things in place for the inaugural issue. This has meant conducting interviews with our first issue’s contributors, which has been a blast so far. Those will be rolling out on the Swarm blog in the weeks leading up to our February issue launch, so look for those sometime in January (which is crazy close, it feels).

Also, real quick before I share things: I was pleased to learn earlier this week that two prose poems of mine will be appearing in this Winter’s issue of Pear Noir!,  a wonderful print journal that I’m excited to be a part of.

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So, to keep up the habit of sharing good things with you, and because I like when items are collected in threes, I present to you (Get it? Present? It’s the holiday season? Eh? Eh??? Ah, forget it):

1. Bob Hicok’s poem,  “The Ongoing” at The Awl. Bob is one of my favorite poets writing today, and his way of mixing the specific (and sometimes the absurd) with the vagueness of reality and language often reaches a sublime result, well exemplified by this poem. “She returned to knitting/ the red scarf she’d been knitting since they were wed,/ it ran out the door, where it was joined by the other/ red scarves so busy existing.”

2. A wonderful lecture by the prolific Mark Doty over at The Poetry Foundation, “Voices; or, Why Poetry is Important”

3. Off the poetry path, but god do I love some solid comedy (hey: comedy, acting, and screenwriting are all art forms anyway!) and even more so when the comedian is clearly just a freakin’ awesome person. Here’s Buzzfeed’s “30 Lessons We Learned from Amy Poehler in 2012.” #’s 2 and 5 especially made me crack up, but there’s lots of good here. And if you aren’t watching Poehler’s Parks and Recreation, you are seriously missing out on one of the top shows on television right now. It’s in its peak the last year or two as well; the writing is clever, solid, and heartfelt, and the ensemble cast is talented and genuine and just plain funny, not to mention how memorable the recurring minor characters are. No wonder Parks and Rec has garnered comparisons to The Simpsons:   “There’s the deep bench of supporting Pawneeians (Jean-Ralphio and Perd Hapley come to mind — they’re our real-life Disco Stu and Kent Brockman), the central town’s horrifyingly racist history, and a cast of characters who are at once cartoonishly broad comic types and fully-realized, three-dimensional humans.  Seriously, watch it. And while you’re at it, watch all the back episodes of Amy’s  bestie Tina Fey on 30 Rock as well, because it’s also amazingly written…but that’s a whole other blog post.

WafflesWaffles. This is what and how a funny person eats. Take notes.

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