About Me

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Assistant Professor, William Paterson University of New Jersey, United States

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Various Sundries

Justin Marks has written and published a thoughtful review of Whirligig in H_NGM_N.
The two title poems from Whirligig, titled "Whirligig" and "Girligig" are published in the new print edition of Verse Magazine. It's a giant issue. The magnificent Chris Tonelli also appears courtesy of the state of Massachusetts.
This (novel written via text message) interests me, mostly for any idiosyncrasies it may contain...that and I want to study its syntax and grammar.
I've done several passes now of my new book manuscript (tentatively titled There Are Airs). It's tightening up a bit, thanks to the help of some sharp-eared pals of mine, and many exciting hours. I'm trying to have it ready for February send-out to presses.
Former Poet Laureate Billy Collins is reading on the North Carolina State University campus where I teach. I wonder the amount of his stipend.
As a counter to the Collins' shout, here's a wonderful bit of Ginsberg video that gets me out of my seat.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Russell Dillon has published a very gracious review of my own Whirligig here, at Speakeasynyc.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


Dan Coffey has tagged me for my first meme--yeah the one that's going around like influenza. I'm game, though this breaks my usual silence regarding the personal here. What the hell, it's '07. Gentle reader, five things you may not know about me:
Here goes:

1) From the Al Bundy files: In high school, I played football for Immaculata High in NJ. My senior year, I was the starting noseguard. I was a bit bigger then, and was mostly used for my speed anyway, in what was a kind of unorthdox, hybrid 4-4 defense; I was free to line up almost anywhere on the line of scrimmage. That team, that season, and to this day, holds the New Jersey record for a defense/team going a whole season unscored upon. My favorite game was against Newark Central, which took place at night in downtown Newark's old, dilapidated stadium. Several of the upper deck sections were condemned. Their school band was small but amazing. On one set of downs, I recorded all 3 tackles, after which Newark punted.

2) My first job, when I was 16, was in a liquor store. My second job was as a gas station attendant, where I once pumped gas for John Amos (father from "Good Times") as well as Joe Piscopo. I also worked as a pool-hole-digger, a guy on a road paving crew, and was a forman on a house painting crew. I also painted playgrounds.

3) I played in a gigging band for 3 years--our drummer had previously drummed for Lisa Lisa and The Cult Jam as well as Clarence Carter.

4) I have received 4 of the 7 Catholic sacraments, before I gave up. For my Confirmation, I had to do community service. My seventh grade class went to an old folks home to visit with the elderly. My friend Brian and I rode the elevator for two hours, slinging our yo-yos, until I finally realized the error of my ways. I wandered into an old woman's room where she described to me, in detail, the lush countryside of Salerno, Italy.

5) My very first memory (that lasts more than a flash) is of my father throwing a pie across the dining room table, hitting my uncle in the face.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


What I enjoy most about my own book-length writing process is the discovery of each individual piece as well as the colors of larger book-length thing itself. If you haven't already guessed, I don't force content narrative or form. I also like the fact that I relinquish nearly all control in first draft mode, and exert (a kind of) total control in subsequent/final draft mode. Regardless, I'm nearly done drafting this next manuscript (tentatively titled "THERE ARE AIRS," but w.t.f.k. at this point). I'm stopping to look back at what i've been putting down. Three immediate thoughts: 1) My process has been at times so governed by sound that i'm going to have to rethink my discussions of invention and my own drafting process in my Introduction to Poetry course. 2) I've written several poems with the title "American Funeral," though they aren't nearly as grandiose or bulging as they might seem from such a title. Oh size and scale! 3) I seem to be taken, as I finish up, with Ekman and Friesan's Facial Action Coding System. That's me in the bottom row, second from the left, next to you.