Tag Archives: DANIEL NESTER

Three disaster movie poems on Barrelhouse.

Three–count ’em three–poems are up on the website of the illustrious literary juggernaut that is Barrelhouse today. It’s part of their National Poetry Month celebration, in which they are running poems each day that are movies- or TV-inspired.

The poems, “Rescuing Bobby Brady from a Disaster Movie,” “Jack Lemmon Rewinds His Misanthropic Dialogue from a Disaster Movie,” and “Gleaning Dean Martin’s Chivalric Role in a Disaster Movie,” are inspired by, respectively, The Towering Inferno (1974), Airport ’77 (1977), and Airport (1975).

Thanks to all the Barrelhouse crew, especially Sheila Squillante, who’s one of my favorite people to see each year at AWP (as well as, you know, non-AWP times as well).

The poems were written, truth be told, more than 20 years ago when I was in grad school. I brought them into my workshops from time to time, and Sharon Olds and Galway Kinnell had no clue how to even respond to them.

“I have no idea who Dean Martin is,” Sharon Olds said at one point.

Back then, I was all like, “really?” But I think she was just saying that, as if to say, “how would people who have no idea who Dean Martin is respond to this poem?”

Which makes sense.

These three poems are part of a sequence of at least four poems. I worked really hard on these, from what I can recall. I began each poem with the last line of the one preceding it, and used the old William Carlos Williams triadic stanza thing and, what I regarded as my own innovation, staggering the stanzas in cascade fashion so the poems looked like they were falling from the sky. Those were heady times at the writing desk, I said, self-deprecatingly.

(I notice Sheila did what I have to do sometimes publishing poems that work away from the left-side margin: she took a screenshot and published it as a graphic. WordPress and other CMSs can be a cruel mistress sometimes.) (UPDATE: The screenshot formatting was too much of a pain, and it wouldn’t be read by, like, mobile devices and tablets, so after conferring with Sheila, who is a saint, we went with a flush-left margin.)

The poem that comes after this, “Leslie Nielsen Signs Autographs, Comments on His Disaster Movie,” was published in Painted Bride Quarterly a couple years back. (They put the epigraph, The Poseidon Adventure, into the title, which I guess was their editorial prerogative, or perhaps a mistake? I just noticed that.) It’s the last poem in the sequence, and it’s a story I stole from my old friend and now award-winning film director Kevin B. DiNovis.  I think that whole event took place that the B. Dutton store in the Cherry Hill Mall.

When 9/11 happened, you would be accurate in guessing that I took these poems out of submission circulation because duh. In recent years, I’ve turned into my own personal archivist because who else is going to do it, and took another look at some old poems to revise and revisit them. The disaster movie poems didn’t much more work and they still kinda-sorta hold up. It’s nice to see them out into the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This Sunday in Hoboken: “Strangers in the Night: Poets on Music, Musicians on Poetry.”

HobokenOct182

I’ll be part of a reading of music-inspired poetry with great people–Amina Baraka, Chris Carr, Ratzo Harris, Diana Gitesha Hernandez, Joel Lewis, Glenn Morrow, Daniel Nester (that’s me!), Puma Perl and Perry Robinson–this Sunday afternoon, October 18, 3pm-5pm, at the Hoboken Historical Museum in my native state of New Jersey. Thanks to Danny Shot, the great North Jersey poet and editor of the mighty Long Shot, for putting this together and inviting me on this bill.

If you’re around, please come! Details here. The plan is to read about Shader Record Nerds and maybe something about a certain rock band called Queen. You know how I do.

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Reading at Hudson Valley Community College, September 18!

sept182015hvcc

Amped to be part of this bill chock-a-block with great writers around the Capital Tech Region Valley Tri-City.

Get involved in local lit! The event will feature readings from Karin Lin-Greenberg (Fiction), Daniel Nester (Creative Nonfiction), Victorio Reyes (Poetry), Laura McCoy (Poetry), Richard Hartshorn (Fiction), and Moe Daniels (Creative Nonfiction).

Friday, September 18at 7:30pm
Hudson Valley Community College
80 Vandenburgh Ave, Troy, New York 12180

The event is free and open to the public, and will be held in Bulmer Telecommunication Center (BTC) Auditorium.

Doors at 7pm, readings at 7:30, subsequent meet-and-greet with the writers. Books will be available for purchase.

Facebook event page here.

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Notes on Mail

consumer information catalog 1979

Anything addressed to me seemed more important. Or at least personalized.

And so I filled out any pre-paid postcard I found that would send something free in return. Each day mailman arrived with Burpee seed catalogs, Columbia and RCA record clubs with gag names like (Jacques Strapp, Seymour Hiney, I.P. Daly), and brochures for travel bureaus. I sent away for The Consumer Information Catalog, checked from a list of publications—the government had to mail them to your home, I thought, it was the law—and couple weeks later, a bulging envelope from Pueblo, Colorado would arrive with “Tips for Successful Interstate Moves” (DOT, 620pp, Free) and “Women and Retirement Plans” (DOL, 587pp, Free) would arrive, too big for the mailbox. Whoever worked at the FCIC in 1979 must have thought that the Daniel Nester in New Jersey who sent for “A Volunteer’s Guide to Food Safety” (40pp, FDA, Free) and “Loss of Bladder Control” (2pp, FDA, Free) was not a ten-year-old boy, but some loony retiree or hermit.

 

 

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Just up on Poetry Foundation: “Behind the Sound,” on W. Bliem Kern’s Meditations. Here are some bonus materials.

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Just up on Poetry Foundation’s website is my appreciation of Meditations, W. Bliem Kern’s sound poetry book/cassette collection from 1974, which I have held onto for years as a private inspiration. Read the piece here.

Above: a slide show of images I collected in my research, and a few snapshots from visiting Kern in his Upper West  Side apartment last winter.

I recorded Kern perform a number of poems in his apartment. “Vulcan” is linked in the piece itself, but I have a bunch more. Below is a link to a SoundCloud collection I made with most of the performances.

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