Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Poem by Brian Turner


Brian Turner is the widely-acknowledged poet/witness of the Iraq war. I do not wish to further pigeonhole him into this double-edged accolade, but when it came to decide whom to feature on Poemocracy for Memorial Day, it was a great big "duh."

I've seen Turner read live from his first book, Here, Bullet. He's clearly a man wearied by the world, at least he was at that time. What sets Turner apart from most of the poets writing about the war is that Turner was actually there fighting. Perhaps for Memorial Day, it would be more appropriate to feature the work of a poet who died in a war (Keats?), but oh well, it's my blog, and I'm not waiting until Veteran's Day to feature someone as talented as this man. ~ EJP

The Hurt Locker

Nothing but hurt left here.
Nothing but bullets and pain
and the bled-out slumping
and all the fucks and goddamns
and Jesus Christs of the wounded.
Nothing left here but the hurt.
Believe it when you see it.
Believe it when a twelve-year-old
rolls a grenade into the room.
Or when a sniper punches a hole
deep into someone’s skull.
Believe it when four men
step from a taxicab in Mosul
to shower the street in brass
and fire. Open the hurt locker
and see what there is of knives
and teeth. Open the hurt locker and learn
how rough men come hunting for souls.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Poemocracy Loves Keith Morris Stegosaurus Kurzman


I would like to now bring your attention to Keith "Morris Stegosaurus" Kurzman. I first saw him perform last year, and I was swept away. Mr. Stegosaurus is a performance poet and frequent presence in the slam scene. However, while slam poetry tends to be dominated by subjects of social justice, trauma-turned-triumph, or just venting about life's petty irritations (in my own humble observation), Morris Stegosaurus shines ever more brightly as someone who is just plain funny. Hilarious, even. He's absurd, yet not so absurd as to be alienating. I once saw/heard him perform a poem about a man with five penises, each of which secretes a different salad dressing, except of course for the one that secretes a deadly neurotoxin.

Come on, poemocrats. You can't beat that.

As in my last post on the wickedly talented Sara Brickman, Kurzman/Stegosaurus is in the final round for a Write Bloody book deal. I don't really know him, other than brief meetings at readings, but I'm a big fan of his work. He's a slam poetry supervillain, offering a hearty and much needed "Get over yourself" to competitors and audiences who think that anyone who raps about cancer is "brave" and "talented." [Important note: I do not wish to criticize the hard-working and inspired poets who are there to share what they do, regardless of the results. Y'all know audience judges are at best unpredictable, and at worst entirely predictable.]

I'm rooting for Kurzman and Brickman to get books with Write Bloody this year. They each richly deserve it. Again, if you enjoy what he does in the video below, please click "like," as that accounts for 20% (twenty percent? twenty mutherf###ing percent) of the final "score" that nets them a book deal.

Slam poets can't seem to get away from a need for audience approval, even when it comes down to a book deal. Good luck, Keith & Sara.

Stay lovely,

Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys by D. A. Powell
Danse Macabre by Stephen King

Friday the 13th

Patrick Wolf

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Poemocracy Loves Sara Brickman!


My friend and poetry soldiergrrl Sara Brickman is among the 20 finalists for a book deal with Write Bloody Press. I don't know if you heard this, but Write Bloody is pretty much only interested in stage/slam poets, people who perform their asses off and tour. It's almost like a record label rather than a press.

This year, part of the selection process for the 4-8 lucky slambots who will get book deals involves posting a YouTube video of a performance and seeing how many people "like" it.

Sara is magnificent. Whether she gets the book deal or not won't change that, although this is her third year as a finalist and come on, Write Bloody, give her a f#cking book deal already.

Here's her YouTube video. If you like it, consider "liking" it. The amount of "likes" she gets has definite sway in the decision-making process.

And seriously, Write Bloody. Give her a f#cking book deal already. Or do you need her to win ANOTHER slam championship before you make up your mind?


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Jay Snodgrass + Graphic Poems


Check out what my poetry big-bro Jay Snodgrass is up to. He has been savvily uploading his chapbooks to for a while, and he just debuted his poem-comic, A Stay Against Darkness.

I love Jay. I really love the piss out of him. In addition to a shit-ton of hand-made chapbooks, Jay is also the author of Monster Zero and The Underflower. He's a special and kind friend, and he's also a talented avant garde madman.


Or this, which fills me with perverse glee:

Please go visit Jay's blog and then his Issuu account right now.

And if you know of any poetry comics I need to see, please comment on this post.


PS- big shouts to the Breadline boys, who made it into the USA Today, and Jason Conger, who gave me his H R Giger Baphomet tarot deck last night at the Breadline.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Dear lovers,

I've been so busy lately. I haven't been blogging, because I'm out and about doing things like this:

As such, I've decided to start posting videos for a while. They're strong content, yet quick for me to post. I hope you enjoy. You'll be seeing a few of my favorite poetic things.

I would like to thank Scott Adams of Birds May Bite for collaborating and writing music and lyrics with me. Also, Richard Hugo House and the Seattle Bushwick Book Club for putting on the show and selecting me to be in it. Mad love.

Love love love,

{Please google the following if you haven't heard of them--I'm a bit tight on time and won't be linking them as usual}

With Deer by Aase Berg
Final Girl by Daphne Gottlieb
The Book of Imaginary Beings by Jorge Luis Borges

My Life in the Bush of Ghosts by Brian Eno & David Byrne
Mixed Emotions by Tanlines
Suspiria soundtrack by Goblin

A Nightmare on Elm Street
Silence of the Lambs

a serial poem about the women who survive slasher movies

Fertility Cult