Donald Trump and the Chamber of Secrets, All Things Considered, National Poetry Month, and Other Miscellany

1) There’s zero content about Donald Trump in this post. But, every time I put his name in the title of a blog post people read it. This post is full of poetry because it’s National Poetry Month and I want everybody to read lots of poems. Poetry trumps Trump. You’ve been baited and switched. I’m bad but you’re reading my diary so who’s worse? The person who just wants to share some poems? Or, the person who saw their friend’s diary lying there open on the coffee table of social media and decided to read it. Tread lightly, that’s how Ginny opened the Chamber of Secrets.

Also, Donald Trump is a low-rent Voldermort but ask me how I really feel about him.

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2)
 Did you do your taxes yet? Today is the half way point for National Poetry Month, though you’re more than welcome to keep reading and writing poems the rest of the year.

Poetry Magazine (the oldest English monthly poetry magazine and my favorite) is offering this month’s AMAZING issue for free!

GET IT HERE: April 2016 Poetry Magazine, digital issue

3) From that issue is this heartwrenching poem:

When I Think of Tamir Rice While Driving

BY REGINALD DWAYNE BETTS

in the backseat of my car are my own sons,
still not yet Tamir’s age, already having heard
me warn them against playing with toy pistols,
though my rhetoric is always about what I don’t
like, not what I fear, because sometimes
I think of Tamir Rice & shed tears, the weeping

Source: Poetry, April 2016

You can read the rest of the poem here, and please do: When I think of Tamir Rice While Driving

4)  For National Poetry Month NPR’s All Things Considered is featuring Twitter poems from the #NPRpoetry thread. I had a short poem I liked but wasn’t going to do anything with (too short for the blog, too short to submit to a magazine, and, ironically enough, sharing full poems on Twitter without warrant feels pretentious) but here was this poem I’d written about the Alyssa and Atticus. I thought I’d be pretentious for a moment and share it with the hashtag. I had hoped for maybe a Like or a Retweet, what I expect was nothing to happen. Instead a PA reached out to me a few days later and asked me to record it and I read a poem on NPR’s All Things Considered last Saturday. You can listen to my “interview” and reading here: Love is a Rube Goldberg Machine.

Here’s the poem for your reading pleasure:

Love is a Rube Goldberg Machine

bits & pieces knock together
push down a chute
pins pop & strike
matches & ignite small flames

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5) From McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: SIXTEEN CLASSIC POEMS THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

“This Man Stops By Woods On a Snowy Eve… You Won’t BELIEVE What Happens Next!”
by Robert Frost

“We Should All Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Right? Here’s 10 Reasons Why You’re Dead Wrong”
by Dylan Thomas

“What Happens to a Dream Deferred? The Answer Will SHOCK YOU!”
by Langston Hughes

6) How E.E. Cummings Writes a Poem

7) If you too, like myself, are wondering how to be a poet:

How To Be a Poet
BY WENDELL BERRY
(to remind myself)

i

Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill—more of each
than you have—inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your poems,
doubt their judgment.

Source: Poetry, January 2011

Read the rest of this here: How To Be a Poet

8) Christianity Today just launched another branch of their platform called The Local Church. I follow the editor of the project on Twitter and like him plenty, he’s got a son about the same age as mine named Atticus, but I’m not really sure what The Local Church is about yet. Maybe satire? A poet I love, Aaron Belz, wrote a poem for the inaugural issue:

The Temple Market
BY AARON BELZ

III.
SALE. This week only,
buy one male lamb,
get one FREE sheaf
of harvest grain!

Best way to prepare
for the Feast of Firstfruits

SUPPLIES LIMITED

Visit Abe’s Small Ruminants

Read the rest of the poem at The Local Church: The Temple Market

9) Like bacon, Bono is perfectly fine, if not a little overrated. But! Eugene Peterson is a personal hero, a poet and a pastor. His memoir The Pastor and his book The Contemplative Pastor greatly inform the kind of pastor I hope to be one day. Also, The Contemplative Pastor ends with a large section of his poetry. The two of them are prolific artists, both in their own right, and I could not be more excited to watch them discuss the Psalms together.

10) Final lie. This version of Robert Frost’s “Stopping By A Wood on a Snowy Eve” from Rottingpost vis a vis Donald Trump is pretty dang great:

I have a pretty good idea whose woods these are, believe me.
And let me tell you something, my people say he’s a complete nobody.
This guy lives in the village.   So what if he sees me stopping here?
I dare him to sue me!   I dare him!

And by the way, this snow is pathetic.
These are by far, the least downy flakes ever!
I hear they had to import them from Canada.
I don’t know.  Maybe they did.  Maybe they didn’t.  We’re looking into it.

Read the rest of it here: “Stopping By a Wood on a Snowy Eve by Donald Trump

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Donald Trump and the Chamber of Secrets, All Things Considered, National Poetry Month, and Other Miscellany