Tag Archives: Facial Hair

I Have Never Won a Super Bowl But I Have Won Some Poetry Slams

Hi friends,

As many of you know, I have a love/hate relationship with poetry. Or maybe I should say a get it/don’t get it relationship. But poetry has made a comeback in my life the past couple of years. Take a look at my Goodreads page! It’s chock full of the stuff. I even started writing and publishing some again. This after claiming “retirement” from poetry in the late-90s, after a few years of being a Portland Poetry Slam regular (I was on the team from 94-96 and was even on the cover of the Willamette Week once).

Some of the folks who’ve inspired my new interest in poetry are hot new bloods like Ben Mirov, Zachary Schomburg, Gregory Sherl, Ariana Reines, Emily Kendal Frey, Mark Leidner, Sommer Browning, and Jenny Zhang. Not to mention my recent discovery of the legendary Sharon Olds.

Reading more poetry in the past year or two has also been a big influence on how I’ve been writing my novel, This Is Between Us, which I just finished a first draft of. Hooray for me! I hope to get it polished up over the summer and then submit it to publishers at that time. Stay tuned for more news about that.

For now though, I’m excited to announce a couple of my new poems today at Metazen. And look–I’m even growing out my “beard” so I can even look like a real poet!

The Poet at his home, June 2012.

Whenever I write poetry, I think/worry about a few things:

1. Is this worth anything? Will it ever be in a book, or does it hold the artistic longevity of a tweet or Facebook  status update?

2. Will other poets like me or do they just think of me as a poser?

3. Should I be studying what makes poetry good, like in an academic setting, and should I be trying harder at this?

4. By putting in a sports reference, am I ruining the form? Am I a ruiner?

5. How much honesty should I mix in with shenanigans?

6. What is the difference between a really good haiku and an advertisement for liquor?

7. How much longer should I not shave?

I will try to stop worrying. In all honesty though, I do write poetry to convey something and I hope you enjoy it.

What else is happening?

I am STILL talking about A Common Pornography to anyone who will listen! Hahaha. Recently, I spoke to a book club that met at the Powell’s Cafe. Photographic proof…

Some very nice Book Club members

If YOU want to talk about my book for a book club, I’m always game to come visit you and talk about it or even Skype with you! Don’t hesitate to ask: kevin@futuretensebooks.com

Also also–I’m hosting a super fun outdoor reading at the end of the month (June 26th at Colonel Summers Park at 7pm) with awesome writers Chloe Caldwell, Matthew Dickman, and Diana Salier. I hope to see you there. Maybe we can play some football in the grass before the reading.

Until later…bye bye.

The Gray Shadow

Hey friends,

What’s been going on? I’ve had a couple of things pop up recently and I wanted to share them with you, but first–a few serious words about facial hair…

I stay fairly clean cut. I shave every other day usually. If I don’t, the grayness of my stubble threatens to overshadow my face in (what I think is) an unflattering way. But the other day, I let three whole days go by without shaving. When I saw my friend Riley at the store he was like, “Whoa! Hey, that looks cool.” 

I trust he was being honest, but still–I feel self-conscious about my “gray shadow.” What do you think?

I keep expecting some former football player to come up to me with that Just For Men darkening gel and say, “Your beard is weird.”

I don’t think I’d ever use that stuff, you know, but I’ve wondered if it would work or if I would look like that weird pitcher for the San Francisco Giants.

So, unless people tell me they want to see more of my gray shadow, I’ll be doing this on a regular basis…

Anyway, now you know what I obsess over when I’m having writer’s block (which I’ve had for the last month or so).

But before I had writer’s block (or “writer’s blah”) I did write a few things that recently popped up. Check them out. A piece of reportage for Robert Lopez’s No News Today and some fresh word collage action at the great new Unshod Quills web site.

In other news, I’m part of the advisory board for this exciting new small press community called The Lit Pub. They have good taste and the books they’ll be talking about here are going to be ones you’ll remember and love.

In upcoming event news, I’ll be part of the awesome Mortified shows happening Thursday and Friday night at the Mission Theater. If you haven’t been to one of these shows (in Portland or another city), they are a lot of fun.

Later this month, I’ll be teaming up with one of my favorite Portland musicians and reading two musical narratives at Entertainment For People at the Woods (can’t tell you who this “secret guest” is just yet because she has another show that week). Catch this rare collaboration on June 22nd in Portland and then June 24th in Seattle at Theater Off Jackson (two shows, two cities!).

I wanted to end this post with a photo that I took last year when B. Frayn and I were down in Houston. I just randomly found it still on my phone.

Thanks for riding by.