* new essay up at Art + Money!

keroseneJust a quick post to announce the publication of my essay “Snapshots From a Year Without Electricity” in Art + Money!

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“Snapshots From a Life Without Electricity” moves in small “snapshot” paragraphs through some of the pivotal moments of the year I lived in my friend Dennis’ house, sans electricity but with plenty of words to keep us going.*

Here’s an excerpt from my essay:

*

In this snapshot you recognize the field mouse as you last saw him. Your friend laughs at you whenever you come to him agitated after hearing the mouse scurry through the unused kitchen. There’s nothing for him there. Let him look around. After months of the mouse eating through books, shelves covered in what could be mistaken for confetti, the aftermath of words being ripped and ground until they weigh thick in ink and pulp inside his belly, you stand frozen here, as if mirroring the mouse. Anyone else looking in would think each still figure waited for the other to begin explaining everything; anyone else would wonder who in this snapshot is unable to move on.

*

Art + Money is published by my longtime friend and fellow writer Catherine Baab-Muguira. My essay has the honor of being the second installment.

Be sure to sign up for the newsletter to check out the rest!

See you Friday!

José

*(This friendship is also the subject of one of the sequences of my chapbook Corpus Christi Octaves).

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Everything We Think We Hear by Jose Angel Araguz

Everything We Think We Hear

by Jose Angel Araguz

Giveaway ends December 04, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

* old friends from Australia

* candy of two kinds *
* candy of two kinds *

The above book and treats arrived yesterday from my friend in Australia, Catherine Baab-Muguira – poet/novelist/and overall amazing person.  She has been kind enough to send along the book Poser by Claire Dederer across many miles between continents because a good book should travel far in so many senses of that phrase.

Those are also chocolate bars up there: those only have a day or two left of travel *ahem*.

Cat and I met each other in 2004 during the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets.  I was an insufferable young poet in my twenties (mind you, I continue to be insufferable in my thirties, no slacking there) and she was one of a gang of good people with which I had the gift of a month of writing/reading/talking poetry.

The poem below, by Australia’s legendary Les Murray, came to mind as I thought about doing this post in gratitude to my friend who lives in such a faraway and cool place (her beach photos are the best).  The poem came to mind because of the youthful drama of being a young poet that played out during the seminar in 2004 – a drama that still continues today.

Those last two lines:

As usual after any triumph, I was
of course, inconsolable

pretty much describe me after any particularly productive writing jag.

As a poet, you are never closer to the stuff than in the writing and rewriting.  The before and after, well, that’s the rest of your life.

**

Performance – Les Murray

I starred that night, I shone:
I was footwork and firework in one,

a rocket that wriggled up and shot
darkness with a parasol of brilliants
and a peewee descant on a flung bit;
I was busters of glitter-bombs expanding
to mantle and aurora from a crown,
I was fouettés, falls of blazing paint,
para-flares spot-welding cloudy heaven,
loose gold off fierce toeholds of white,
a finale red-tongued as a haka leap:
that too was a butt of all right!

As usual after any triumph, I was
of course, inconsolable.

**

Happy triumphing!

Jose