Sunday, July 09, 2006


Hello everyone! And welcome to the third installment of The Ringing of the Bards. I apologize for the delay, but you should thank the World Cup. Were it not for the Final, this carnival might have been further delayed (for no good reason whatsoever).

Grappling to find a "theme" for this week's carnival (thank you very much, katy!), my slightly obsessive-compulsive mind--while trying to somehow "organize" the participants--latched onto the idea of mapping them on that most gorgeous of tools, Google Earth. Of course, there were enough lacunae (my brother's favorite word--I had to use it) in my logic to send a truly obsessive-compulsive person into a fit. But given that I am a sloppy-lazy obsessive-compulsive, I just made do.

We start here from Philadelphia with a poetics entry on Po´et`ship titled Back-Scratching. (katy, sorry for pinning the Ship in Philly, I just did it for representational purposes that hopefully will become clearer later--Lacuna No. 1) It seems there has been some discussion lately in this wondrous world of poetry blogging about the whole practice of commenting. So, katy and I decided it is only appropriate to comment on it; we hope that you won't hesitate to share your comments on ours, either. (Ok, I just overdid it.)

Moving east (sorry, North Carolinians, I had to pick a direction, and like cats I tend to head home, but we'll come back to you!) to upstate NY, not too far from where I went to school, to Amsterdam, with the non-average Average Poet, Bob. Bob writes with Resolve of "spew[ing] a million banal rhymes" in "this scarred container that I’m in". There probably hasn't been a more apt description of upstate NY!

Next is a stop on Cape Cod, with my dear friend katy in Sandwich (which for some reason always reminds me that I'm hungry--Corny Joke Alert!). Today we go to katy's experimental blog, pilot eye, with what I think is a gorgeously rebellious poem, the idiot box. The poem begins with one of my favorite images, "transcendental to the podium", and ends with... oh, I won't spoil it for you; I think the last two lines is where a lot of the poem's transcendent punch is. I won't say anymore about katy's work here because I am probably too devoted of a fan...

Crossing the Atlantic over to Brussels, Belgium where our dear friend Cecilia writes in clearcandy daily about something that you should know. As I told Cecilia elsewhere, I think her writing is very touching with its breakability, its fragility, that I value so much in poetry (as in humans), and this poem is an excellent example of that. (I won't quote anything here, or else I'll copy & paste the entire thing.).

Next we come to yours truly, where I decided to plug myself in if only to put my hometown, Beirut, on the map--quite literally. (Ok, so I needed an excuse for self-promotion; what else is the point of this whole exercise?). So, here is Not Now.

A bit further east (and south), hailing from Oman, is a newcomer to the carnival: please welcome Nasra from A Window Within Myself. Nasra writes in The Butterfly Story a parable "to every vulnerable woman [heck, and vulnerable man, too!]: Let go of your fears… Push yourself forward".

Going back north (and continuing east, of course) to Almaty, Kazakhstan, where Russell of Yuckelbel's Canon strips us of our defenses right on his doorstep in the ravishing Four Postcards. (I'm sorry, katy, but I think this is the best erotic male poet I've ever read!)

And then, way further east and further south, out in the middle of the green and the blue, to Aukland, New Zealand, where next week's carnival will be held. Glenn of Crunchy Weta writes a powerful Mad Woman and Dobermen (Apologies to Joe), that won me over even before it began, with its dedication line, "For Leigh Who Was There."

Back to this continent, to North Carolina, with two dear poets. First, from Monroe, is the lovely Erin of Poetic Acceptance with Fluent, our first entry with audio for this week, and a poem that is very a propos this week's theme of location and identity. Not only is it great to hear Erin's poetry, I think with this one it is necessary to do so.

And next, from Greensboro, NC, is our dear mayor, Billy The Blogging Poet with A New Era-- Maybe Not. (Sub?)titled Goodbye To Kisses Forgot, this bittersweet poem is a nostalgic personal riff off Supertramp's Goodbye Stranger. (And Billy, I think they all will care...)

Now, for the poets from "an undisclosed location" (and no, thankfully, it's not the VP--second Lame Joke Warning; one more and I'm out!). From a place she calls Sandburgs Shoulders, Scheherazade of Schadenfraulines reads her stirring ecclesiastes (for her mother), a reading guaranteed to make you melt! (There is something that is just tantalizing about audio; maybe I should get over my aversion to hearing my voice, get on that bandwagon, and try it!).

And last but certainly not least, from a "State of Delirium", "15 miles east of somewhere" (which I took to be Sandburgs Shoulders), US is Ozymandiaz of "God's favorite poetry blog", Paper Tigers. Ozy brings us the breathless Dime Store Skeleton, which comes with an incendiary bonus poem, The Day I got Gangbanged. (An obvious word of caution, Not for Kids, not that I think there are any kids reading...). Ok, now I am really at loss for the best erotic male poet I've ever read... Maybe we should have a contest! Katy? Billy? Anyone?

I hope you enjoyed this week's edition of The Ringing of the Bards. Please make sure you send your submissions to Glenn of Crunchy Weta for next week's carnival. And The Ringing #6, week of July 29th, is still open. So, as I wrote yesterday, if you haven't signed up already, please do so soon. It's simple, easy and fun (and your Frequently Asked Questions are probably already answered). Let's keep this going!




katy said...

i haven't read anything yet, but i have to tell you


what an awesome idea, brilliant!

Billy Jones said...

I love it, great idea, and very well written. I hope all who read these comments will check out the many great poets you worked so hard to promote.

poet CAConrad said...

WOW! This is wonderful!

You are helping make community in global, beautiful ways.

Thanks for spreading the word,
poet vegetarian SIN eater

Erin said...

The shot, errr... verse... heard round the world! Love the map idea!

arch.memory said...

Katy, Billy, Erin... thanks! So glad you like it!

And Conrad, thanks for dropping by, and for the comment. Always a pleasure!

iamnasra said...

It was great to bump into your blog and thank you for featuring me in the carnavl ...clap clap clap to your effort ...and yes I too loved the maps...

Bravo Alaik


ozymandiaz said...

Thanks ever so much for the inclusion. I love the way you wove this weeks tapastry and for reminding us that it is in fact
a small world
Oh, God, now that song is going to be stuck in my head
Hey Billy, does writing about this stuff help?
It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small

somebody shoot me

Cecilia said...

BRAVO, A! I love the world map theme! Despite all the distance that we all have, this has definitely brought us all down to a cozy community.

Thank you for this wonderful job!

Crunchy Weta said...

Thanks Ashraf, Great job!