As we slide into the Ides, Major League Baseball’s Spring Training is in full swing, and major league climate change’s premature spring is in full flower in Brooklyn, sending the Mercury into the mid-70s (23C for my overseas friends), and the heavy coats into the back of the closet. In Chicago, Trump crypto-fascists exchanged blows with Black Lives Matter activists. In Simi (or seamy) Valley at the deification of Nancy Reagan, Hilary Clinton invented a progressive HIV-Aids policy for the Reagan Administration, which, in actuality, callously ignored the epidemic. And glorious slam poet/novelist Omar Musa arrived in New York for a series of performances/readings. I had the honor and privilege of reading with Omar at the NYU Bookstore (a bit like Perry Como opening for James Brown). Later in the week, Omar visited my Creative Writing: Places workshop where he explained that he wrote 80,000 words of Here Come the Dogs before stopping to consider, cut, and revise, a process that took the word count down to 15,000, before it began its climb back to the current length of 80,000+. An important lesson in the reality of the writer’s work. Later that same day, poet-novelist-blues-harmonica-specialist Kim Addonizio visited my seminar on The Addict, where she read from the verse-novel Jimmy & Rita, and explained how important it is to consider the addict as a person, as a fully dimensional character, and not solely as a case study.
Spring Break from NYU gives me five “free” days, and Daylight Savings Time has already stolen an hour. I’m gearing up for a new round of submissions–new poems, new stories–as I finalize the manuscript of my collection Requiem for the Tree Fort I Set on Fire (which Winter Goose tells me could arrive as soon as August!). AWP in LA beckons. I’ll be on this panel, and I’ll be reading at this event. Sin Fronteras/Writers Without Borders #20 is at the printers, replete with my story “Trap,” and that should be available in April. Also due in April, the Crack the Spine Literary Magazine Anthology, which includes my story “No More Dancing.” Meantime, some of my most recent work can be found on these screens: Brooklyn Poets, Lime Hawk, Helen: A Literary Magazine, Softblow, Mulberry Fork Review, and a couple of interviews at Gyroscope Review and The Manifest-Station.