Friday, November 18, 2011

New Poem!

...forthcoming in The Southern Review this spring. Details TK!

In fact, lots of things TK. I've been horribly remiss in my blogging lately; more soon.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


troy, when the walls fell

— 09.21.2011, 11:08 PM

The walls dissolved. Troy’s citizenry wept.
Achilles’ vengeance canceled out the day.
A man was executed while I slept.

Achilles’ men expected they’d accept
the hollow horse, the camouflaged decay.
Their walls dissolved, Troy’s citizenry wept.

He did not gentle go, and though he kept
beseeching the Achaeans, won no stay.
A man was executed while I slept.

Olympus’ gods were never so inept
as then. Their job’s to know how our hearts weigh.
The walls dissolved. Troy’s citizenry wept.

I would have dreamed through all of this, except
the television woke me up to say
a man was executed while I slept.

Measureless, his heart’s weight as he stepped
into that room. As death was underway
our walls dissolved. Troy’s citizenry wept.
A man was executed while we slept—

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Updates, &c

Two quick updates—

• I've recently been named a finalist for the 2011 Ruth Lilly Fellowship. I'm enormously thankful to the individual readers and the Poetry Foundation overall for selecting me as a finalist, and many thanks to those of you who have wished me luck for the final round. Fingers crossed!

• One of my poems will be appearing in a future issue of The New York Quarterly—details TK.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Current Soundtrack

"Fake Palindromes," Andrew Bird
"Keep the Car Running," Arcade Fire
"Holland, 1945," Neutral Milk Hotel
"Fake Empire," The National
"Deck Space," Kenin
"Calamity Song," The Decemberists
"Rappaport vs. The Jet (That Bombed the Grocery Store)," Panic Strikes a Chord
"Mistaken for Strangers," The National
"Long December," Counting Crows
"The General," Dispatch
"We Intertwined," The Hush Sound
"Cathedrals," Jump Little Children
"Teardrop," Massive Attack
"New Hampshire," Matt Pond PA
"Down by the Water," The Decemberists
"Wine Red," The Hush Sound
"Such Great Heights," The Postal Service
"New Slang," The Shins

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Recently Read/Currently (Re)Reading

Sum, David Eagleman—superb and imaginative, but not as mindblowing as I'd expected.

The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner—I'd forgotten how disorienting the first thirty or so pages are.

The Iliad, Homer—fantastic, but not as good (and, frankly, not as exciting) as The Odyssey. (I'm reading the Fitzgerald translation.)

While Mortals Sleep, Kurt Vonnegut—just started. This is his early, previously unpublished fiction, so I wouldn't be surprised to find that it's not nearly as good as his later work.

Fall Higher, Dean Young—just started. Impressions to come!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Forthcoming Poems

I recently found out I'll have poems forthcoming in Denver Quarterly (more details to come) and Ploughshares (2012). Exciting times!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Recent Poems

New poems in Prairie Schooner, Indiana Review, and Salt Hill.

Indiana Review also contains a review of Vivisection, and Salt Hill includes a mini-interview with me.

Sean Lovelace has a great "teensy review" of Vivisection up on HTML Giant, along with two other titles. Check it out!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Updated Reading Schedule

New and improved!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at 7:30 pm: I'll be reading at the Happy Ending Lounge as part of the Southern Writers Reading Series (map here).

Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 3:00 pm: I'll be reading at Sunny's Bar as part of the Sundays at Sunny's Reading Series (map here).

Friday, September 30, 2011 at 7:00 pm: I'll be reading at Goodbye Blue Monday as part of the Stain of Poetry Reading Series (map here).

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Summer Reading List

The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri
The Iliad, Homer
The Complete Poems, Anna Akhmatova
Collected Poems in English, Joseph Brodsky
Das Kapital, Karl Marx
The Pale King, David Foster Wallace
Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville
Slapstick, Kurt Vonnegut
The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, Aimee Bender
The Crying of Lot 49, Thomas Pynchon
Why Evolution is True, Jerry Coyne
L'Être et le Néant, Jean-Paul Sartre
Cane, Jean Toomer
Ulysses, James Joyce
Nox, Anne Carson

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Upcoming Readings

Two upcoming readings this fall, everyone:

Sunny's Bar on Sunday, September 11th, 2011 at 3:00 pm as part of the Sundays at Sunny's Reading Series (map here).

Goodbye Blue Monday on Friday, September 30th, 2011 at 7:00 pm as part of the Stain of Poetry Reading Series (map here).

Hope to see you there!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Utter Shamelessness

I've picked up a few extra copies of Vivisection from my publisher, so:

1. If you'd like to order a copy directly from me, e-mail me at eric (døt) q (døt) weinstein (åt) gmail (døt) com. The book is $9.00 + $2.00 S&H, PayPal or check. I'll even sign it! Which means it will one day be worth DOZENS.

2. If you'd like to review Vivisection, let me know at the above address and I'll send you a copy gratis.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Upcoming Readings

1. Friday, May 6th at KGB Bar as part of the Emerging Writers Reading Series. (Map here.)

2. TBA (July) at Sunny's as part of the Sundays at Sunny's Reading Series. (Map here.)

3. Friday, September 30th at Goodbye Blue Monday as part of the Stain of Poetry Reading Series. (Map here.)

Hope to see you at one of them!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

Website Up!

I've finally gotten around to setting up a personal website. You can find it here.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Decisions and Revisions Which a Minute Will Reverse

I didn't do a lot of revision before starting my mfa. This isn't because I didn't see the value of revision; it simply didn't occur to me as necessary. Poems were accepted for publication or not accepted. If a poem didn't work, I set it aside. Sometimes I revisited or mined lines from it, but apart from that, that was pretty much it.

I still think revision can only be applied to certain poems and within certain spans of time. Some poems "go cold" and need to be completely molten down and recast. Some can be significantly strengthened by exchanging and replacing a few parts, or altering the structure.

Either way, I've been doing a lot more of it. Three of my most recent poems have benefited enormously from the workshop and from serious revision, which I think points to a couple of things.

1. I'm bringing the right things to workshop. I think the poems are less refined than what I'd like to bring, but that's probably the point. They engender discussion, which I think is good. I'm learning to be less attached to something just because I put it on a page. Which leads to my belief that:

2. I'm getting better at revision. I'm more willing to cut something apart once it's written down, whereas I used to roll poems around in my head for weeks or months before committing them to paper. Once they were made corporeal—"made flesh," to borrow from Craig Arnold—I rarely changed them. I think going through several drafts has improved some (but not all) of my poems. Meaning:

3. I'm getting better at knowing what to revise and how. Some poems, as I mentioned, need to be entirely recast, otherwise later alterations will look "scotch-taped on" (thanks, Billy Collins). Others can have parts swapped out, and still others can benefit immensely from a small change in structure, syntax, or word choice. I also think this has to happen in a certain temporal or emotional space, meaning (finally):

4. Revision only works insofar as it's an actual "re-visioning" of the original poem. A revised poem has to get closer to what the original poem was driving at. It has to be clearer, leaner, more complete (whether by the omission, exchange, or addition of words/ideas). In order to accomplish this kind of revision, I find I can neither be too close nor too far from the poem, either temporally and emotionally. Too near the poem, and I can't be objective; too far removed, and I can't return to the state I was in when I originally wrote it. I may betray the poem in this way.

Overall, I think I'm getting better. I have, in large part, my cohort and professors to thank for that.

Friday, January 28, 2011

New Poems

Three of my poems, "Quarry Song," "Charting the Apartment," and "Love Machine" will appear in issue #27 of Salt Hill Journal (due out in May).

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

(Next) Next Reading

I'll be reading at KGB Bar on Friday, May 6th at 7:00 pm as part of the Emerging Writers Reading Series (map here).

Monday, January 3, 2011

Next Reading

My next reading will be at the Cornelia Street Café on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 6:00 pm. (Map here—close to the 1, 2, A, C, and E trains.) Hope to see you there!