Do You Like Pop Absurdity? Lady Gaga, Beyonce and The "Telephone" Video

Lady Gaga is an artist of the pop absurd. In other words, she works with and creates absurdity designed to be consumed by a mass audience. Unlike the works of a more avant-garde artist of the absurd, her work does not demand a new way of understanding, but rather may be interpreted by the tools the audience already possesses. ...more

Well said! That's exactly the inspiration she gives to me as a video producer. When I look ...more

Violent Mother, Saintly Son

The roles assigned to mother and son in Seth Michelson's Fragments trouble me. He gives us a saintly son who clings to his mother's legs "even when kicked and cursed and kicked knowing only to forgive" and a terribly violent mother who screams to a degree unwarranted by the child's (probably) accidental dropping of a gravy boat and then kicks him when she is really raging against something else, some idea of mortality and Malthusian evolution that the poet evokes (not ...more

Poetry as Therapy

Despite great differences in our poetic styles, I strongly identify with Barbara Crooker’s conclusion at the end of her thoughts on poetry as therapy presented on the Crab Creek Review blog as part of their Writer’s Notebook series: ...more

The Reversed Transitions of Destruction

In Guernica, Robert Thomas’s visceral poem Plague presents a series of changes that portray the progress of destruction as a reversal of time. The girl who first catches the plague shows it with a sun that seems to age in reverse—from a white-haired tonsured ...more

Deathmatch: Novel vs. Short Story

In the New York Times Sunday Book Review, Steven Millhauser presents a defense of the short story's worth and ambition that unfortunately illustrates one of the most common pitfalls of defending an underappreciated art form: doing so at the expense of another. From a purely practical point of view, this might be excusable ...more

The Line Breaks of On a Light Ground: Eye Dance

The artist-craftsperson side of me is intrigued by the line breaks in the first of Maurice Scully's three "dances" in The Fifteen Project's current issue. One of the more basic pieces of advice given to poets is to make the final word of a line count; experienced workshoppers who find ...more

Tim Botta in absent magazine

Tim Botta's poems in the current issue of absent magazine, with the exception of Grid with its mythological figure, present us with people impossible to know. He gives the reader a nameless he, she, and we. "I" is more problematic in this sense because though the name of the voice is never stated, readers who have been insufficiently lectured on the incorrectness of doing so are likely to associate that ...more

One-Poem Review: Mia Yun’s Brooklyn, First Spring

Mia Yun's "Brooklyn, First Spring" in The Evergreen Review #116 could use some pruning to bring out the beauty of the dogwood and magnolia.   Read more at Daughter of the Ring of Fire ...more

Update on the Subprime Poetry Crisis

At the launch of the 2008 Best American Poetry anthology, Charles Bernstein announced an unprecedented ...more

Nicole Cartwright Denison's Purview to Undoing

Nicole Cartwright Denison's ...more