Solid Quarter

Blood Jet Poetry Series in New Orleans, weekly poetry and music as well as open mic performances

Visit Trembling Pillow Press for poetry books, broadsides, chapbooks, and Solid Quarter Magazine.

Megan Burns' Poeticsofbone&city project on Tumblr

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Below is a copied source from Lynda BelieveDat Woolard on facebook. It's very informative as to Gulf Information and resources regarding this BP disaster. Thank you to Lynda for compiling all of these great resources:


"For those of you who have the romantic vision of scrubbing turtles and rinsing off pelicans with Kevin Costner or Sean Penn, I'm afraid to tell you (Michael) that it isn't going to happen. The workers BP has hired as well as the volunteers with non-profits working on the response have all had hazmat or wildlife rescue training. If you have those skills, they definitely want you (call Tri-State Rescue: 866-557-1404)... otherwise there is a list of ways you can help below (which I will add to as more info becomes available)... it may be long, but come on man, I've done most of the research for ya... lol.

EASY TO DO: First the simplest thing you can do is text WILDLIFE to 20222 to donate $10 to the National Wildlife Federation. 97% of funds raised through this text drive will go directly to efforts rehabbing animals in the Gulf. (More info: http://www.nwf.org/Wildlife/Wildlife-Conservation/Threats-to-Wildlife/Oil-Spill/Mobile-Giving.aspx )

Second easiest thing to do is eat Louisiana seafood. There are still areas that are safe to fish in the Gulf and our fishing communities need the support. Whatever they're catching, go buy ya some!

VOLUNTEER: I did speak with someone at the main response center today and volunteers are needed now. Tasks that untrained people can do include administrative work, taking inventory, pre-beach cleaning (no idea what that means), and translating.

Sign up here: http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/page/2931/46359/ and call to follow up if you get antsy: 1-866-448-5816.You can also sign up with one of the various groups working in the area. Efforts seem to be largely coordinated through the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana. Visit http://www.crcl.org/ and fill out a volunteer form or call 1-800-LACOAST (1-800-522-6278) or 225-767-4181.

Alternately you can see the other groups they are working with and sign up through their websites here: http://lagulfresponse.org/home.html or here: http://action.sierraclub.org/Oil_Spill_CleanUp

Birdwatchers have a special job being asked of them through eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/news/survey-gulf-coast-birds. They are looking for people to visit beaches and report findings on the state of the birds there... this does not include touching or disturbing the wildlife... watching and monitoring only. You can also have a nice meal at a restaurant in the beach community while you're visiting and help support the locals.

Organize a food drive. I know I've been banging this drum for a year now, but because of state budgetary cuts made last year, our food banks have been depleted for quite some time and need more food than ever now. The Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana is leading this charge: http://no-hunger.org/ There is information on their website about how to conduct a drive or you can give them a call and they'll be happy to set you up. If you live in Marrero, the West Jefferson Medical Center is collecting cans. Bins for food donations will be located in the hospital's atrium, the Fitness Center, Cafe Jefferson and the Physician's Center through May 31.

Here are some additional specific volunteer hotlines to call: To report oiled shoreline : 866.448.5816 To report oiled wildlife: 866.557.1401 To submit alternative response technology, services or products: 281.366.5511

To submit your vessel as a vessel of opportunity skimming system: 281.366.5511

Additionally, if you are in an effected area or have a boat and are going out in the Gulf, the Louisiana Bucket Brigade has created an "Oil Spill Crisis Map" that will allow Gulf Coast residents to report fishers out of work, endangered wildlife, oil on shore, oil sheens and other effects of the oil spill. The map can be viewed at http://oilspill.labucketbrigade.org/.

Reports can be made at that site, or by texting 504.272.7645, e-mailing bpspillmap@gmail.com or tweeting with the hashtag #BPspillmap. Eyewitness reports for the map require a description, and location information such as an address or GPS coordinates.And while there is debate as to whether or not these will ever be used (why the heck not, I ask???)

The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans is working with Matter of Trust: http://www.matteroftrust.org/, an environmental nonprofit group, to collect donations of nylons, hair and fur, which can be used in making booms for containing oil. Drop off donations at the Ritz-Carlton, 921 Canal St. Call 504.670.2817 for more information.Monitor other opportunities to volunteer by checking out this group on FB: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=103141509730378

DONATE: These are all fabulous groups working on the oil disaster at various levels. Please support them if you can.Gulf Restoration Network: http://www.healthygulf.org/
Tri-state Bird Rescue: http://www.tristatebird.org/
Voice of the Wetlands: http://www.voiceofthewetlands.org/
Gulf Aid: http://www.gulfaid.org/
Second Harvest: http://no-hunger.org/
Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans: http://www.arch-no.org/
The Greater New Orleans Foundation: http://www.gnof.org/

LEGISLATIVE : Without getting into the politics of offshore drilling, there is still a very important piece of legislation that calls to your congressperson and senators could help. Right now an effort to up the liability cap for oil companies is stalled. Your calls can make a difference. Find your congressman here: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml and your senator here: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

See story here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/03/robert-menendez-pushes-bi_n_561011.html and here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/25/gulf-oil-spill-frustratio_n_588556.html

STAY INFORMED

Finally, I have to say there are too many sources of info on this issue to list, but there's a pretty comprehensive list of what the Obama administration has done so far here: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/5/23/869212/-What-Obama-is-doing-about-the-BP-oil-spill (P.S. Glad he's coming to Louisiana this Friday cos I still want more!). And if you're on twitter, you can get the latest here: http://twitter.com/Oil_Spill_2010.

Also, for those of you in my district, I have to say Congressman Cao is on top of this thing and has been a great source of information. Check it out and sign up for updates here: http://josephcao.house.gov/OilSpill/"

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New Orleans This Week: Art Panel, Book Signing, and Photogrpahy!

If you are feeling helpless and overwhelmed with the destruction of our way of life here in Louisiana, please feel free to join in any of these artistic community events to restore your soul. Art may be the only thing that saves us; certainly BP, the Army Corps and the Federal Gov't will not.


Arts Education Panel:

"Please join us at The Front , 4100 St Claude St. New Orleans, on Thursday, May 27th @ 6:30 pm for the second installment of Back Talk at the Front. This month's discussion is on the topic of Arts Education in the Greater New Orleans Area. Facilitating this discussion will be a panel of arts educators from public, private, high school, grade school, university level, and extracurricular institutions. As our arts community enjoys this period of growth, we must be diligent in our support of every available opportunity to expose students to The Arts. On the 27th, we will explore some of these current opportunities, address some of the needs not being met, and discuss what can be done in the face of an ever-shrinking budget. As always, audience participation is welcomed, and everyone is invited to add to the conversation.

Back Talk at The Front is a series of monthly lectures, brought to you by The Front, focusing on topics important to the cultural community of New Orleans. This series is free and open to the public. Please stay tuned each month for more information on Back Talk."

Book Reading/ Signing:

You are invited to book reading/signing at McKeown's Books
Thursday - May 27, 2010 - 6:00 PM
That Powerless Feeling by Aaron Handy, Jr.

Local author Aaron Handy has written an autobiographical
Vietnam war narrative about the day to day interactions
of a group of young combatants. Come join us as we celebrate
the launching of this powerful anti-war book.

McKeown's Books and Difficult Music
4737 Tchoupitoulas
New Orlean, LA 70115
895-1954



New Photography Exhibit at NOMA:

NOMA presents the exhibition The Therapist: Photographs by Donald Woodman from May 22 through July 11. The exhibition consists of sixty-one photographs spanning four-year period (1997-2001) during which Woodman photographed his therapist, Dr. Donald Fineberg in Santa Fe, at the beginning of each of their sessions together. Says Woodman, "The relationship between therapist and patient served as a vehicle for exploring interpersonal relationships and personal identity. The images reflect both the tenor of the session and the emotions of the moment ranging from humor to pathos."

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Marshes are dead. They won't come back.

Dear BP: Fuck you, you fucking fucks. May you choke for eternity on this mess.

Oil Spill Closing Beaches and Killing Marshes


The beach at Louisiana’s Grand Isle State Park was closed because of oil, according to a listing yesterday on the state Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism’s website. The state Department of Wildlife & Fisheries also announced additional recreational and commercial fishing closings yesterday.
Pictured: Paper Plate Covered in Oil on Beach, From AudubonMagazine.org
Read full article about Grand Isle Beach Closings.
"Billy Nungesser, president of Louisiana's Plaquemines Parish, toured the oil-polluted marshes of Plaquemines Parish on Wednesday and said:"Had you fallen off that boat yesterday and come up breathing that stuff, you probably wouldn't be here today.
Oil started washing ashore in Louisiana this week, approximately 50 miles northwest from where the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sank. In a part of Plaquemines Parish in an estuary called Pass a Loutre, reeds in the marshlands that were normally green with life, are now brown and dead, saturated with oil. P.J. Hahn, the director of the Parish Coastal Zone Management Department, reflecting on the environmental disaster:"It's so sad when you look around here and you just think of what was here, what's happening to it now and what's eventually gonna happen to it. Unless we stop that oil out there, it's just going to continue to keep coming in here and wipe out everything we have. ... I think we're just starting to see the first wave of what's really coming and what's really coming I think is going to be devastating."
Environmentalists are especially concerned about Louisiana's Breton National Wildlife Refuge. Established in 1904 by President Theodore Roosevelt, it's the second-oldest refuge in the country. Located north of the parish, the refuge is part of the Chandeleur Islands which are situated in the Gulf of Mexico. A nesting ground for tens of thousands of birds, including the brown pelican, the marshland has for time immemorial provided a sanctuary for the wildlife of this region. '

Biggie smalls - juicy and Alice Notley-Supa Juicy

I watched the Notorious bio on biggie smalls last week. A few days later Dave was watching a bio. on Abe Lincoln on the History channel. The announcer made some comment as to Abe's belief that a person could be anything they want to be. And I told Dave that I got the exact same impression from Biggie: "Sky's the Limit." Who knew those two had so much in common. Thanks to Dorothea Lasky who reminded me on her FB page that Friday would have been Biggie's 38th B-day.

And I have this little fantasy that Alice Notley really likes her some Biggie Smalls. It's lines like this that facilitate this fantastic notion: "The womb a vibrant/ pocketbook with a clasp to lock you in" from Dancing in the Dark (read it in your very own copy of Muthafucka 2).

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Support small press


Here's a good way to spend your money.






Muthafucka Issue 2





Sam King, John Niekrasz,Angel Escobar,Kristin Dykstra,Mohammed Khair-Eddine,Pierre Joris,Alice Notley,Dot Devota,Phil Cordelli,Norma Cole,Quinn Latimer,Matthew Klane,Hoa Nguyen,Lucas Farrell and more








100 copies, side-stapled w/ two-layer transparency/vellum coverEdited by Mitch Taylor, mitchmailer AT yahoo DOT com
Designed by Cannibal Books, flesheatingpoems AT gmail.com



Cannibal Books makes really beautiful hand sewn chapbooks. Support them as well.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Poetry Bombs and Mother's Day

From the New York News Today, an article reminding us that neither poetry nor your mother is a chore (bore?):

"Mothers Day Poems Needn’t Be a Chore

No money for a mother’s day gift- no problem all you need is a pen, some paper and some coloured pencils. Now look, your mother has been looking after you, loving you, giving you guidance, offering solutions to all your problems since before you could open your mouth to cry for some more breast milk. So the very least that you could do is show your appreciation by giving her a cheerful smile and a little poem to show your gratitude and do you know what, showing her a little gratitude will make her want to look after you until at least next mother’s day."

Wait, what is this about?

I've lost my train of thought. This article is too cerebral for me. In other news...

The poet, S.A. Griffin, and the bomb, Elsie, will be in New Orleans this weekend. Read more about the Poetry Bomb project. The Poetry Bomb reading will be on Sunday, May 9th at 3 p.m. at the Maple Leaf bar.

Here's an interview with poet S. A. Griffin.

My copy of the anthology Not For Mothers Only from Fence Books came in the mail today. They didn't lie; they did get it here by Mother's Day! And it is amazing. I wish I had read some of these poems seven years ago when I first became a mother, but better late than never. I love that the editors open with Mina Loy, namesake for our first child, Mina Evelyn. At least, I had her insights into motherhood seven years ago.

And a small poem for our newest little girl, Issa Mae:

For Issa

hiccuping sigh
oil on dark water
fragile days

four fingered grasp
for one of my fingers
locked love's lullaby

rock-a-bye baby
all the world gasps
a sea barren

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

17 Poets! Featured Readers


You can now follow 17 Poets! on Facebook.


Thursday, May 6, 2010
Please join us in celebration as 17 Poets! Literary & Performance series presents a reading/performance featuring novelist and short story writer MOIRA CRONE and poet DAVE BRINKS (Dave's Birthday Party!) on Thursday, May 6, 2010, 8:00pm @ The Gold Mine Saloon. And don't forget to bring your luminous words & wisecracks for yet another amazing evening of mirth, fantasm & reverie!




Moira Crone is a widely published short story writer and novelist. She received the Robert Penn Warren Award for Fiction from the Southern Fellowship of Writers in 2009 for the body of her work.A native of Eastern North Carolina, she lives in New Orleans.

Her publications include, What Gets Into Us (2006), Dream State (Jackson: The University Press of Mississippi in 1995), A Period of Confinement (New York: G.P. Putnam and Sons, 1986, Paperback, New York: Harper and Row, 1987. French Translation: Paris: Gallimard 1986); and The Winnebago Mysteries and Other Stories (New York: The Fiction Collective/? Braziller 1982).






Dave Brinks was born in ‘67 and raised in New Orleans, poet and essayist Dave Brinks’ heritage is Acadian French and Choctaw. Brinks is editor-in-chief of YAWP: A Journal of Poetry & Art, publisher of Trembling Pillow Press, director of 17 Poets! Literary & Performance Series, and founder of The New Orleans School for the Imagination. His poems and essays have appeared in dozens of magazines, newspapers, journals and anthologies in the US and overseas, and have been translated into French and Romanian. In addition, Brinks' works have aired on NPR’s Hearing Voices and PBS’ News Hour with Jim Lehrer, and also have been featured in National Geographic Traveler and Louisiana Cultural Vistas. He is the author of six books including the acclaimed The Caveat Onus (Black Widow Press 2009), as well as two new collections forthcoming from Black Widow Press: The Light on Earth Street and The Geometry of Sound.


On Jan 19, 2010 Brinks and his wife, poet Megan Burns, celebrated the birth of their third child, daughter Issa Mae!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Post-K still and then what...

Dave took this picture when he came in to check on our house in Sept. 2005. This is the train track at the end of our block that separates us from Greenwood Cemetery.
I keep thinking back to those days in part because we have been watching Treme on HBO and in part because it's easier to go there than to sit and watch the gulf fill up with oil.
They are tearing down a house just down the street. We've watched so many bulldozers come in and level homes. We sit next to a gutted house, across the street from a gutted house, and behind us: they have finally torn down and prepared a lot for rebuilding. It's been five years and some people are just starting.
When they tore my mom's house down; they broke open the roof to find the wooden bassinet that I used as a baby sitting in the attic. She had forgotten it was up there. The bulldozer scooped it up and set it down at my mom's feet. I think about that image a lot. The cradling of the bassinet in the yellow bucket, and the hoses pumping water, and the silence after the storm, and the trees holding our memories in their rings.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Tree Removal

We had to remove a giant Hackberry tree from our backyard today, and it's Dave's birthday. What a strange gift. The trunk was infested with borer beetles, and apparently while the tree is quite hard, any damage can quickly rot the inside. The trunk, especially at the base, was almost hollowed out and extensively rotten. It took a crew an entire day to hack away at the tree taking it down. I watched from our back bedroom window, and it was like watching a death.

This is a picture where you can see the Hackberry growing over the back of our falling down garage, post-K. The sad thing is our garage still looks like that only flatter on the roof as Hurricane Gustav dropped a huge limb from the Hackberry on it. Now you can see straight over our garage roof to the house. It's a huge vacant spot where that giant tree stood.
It's sad to think that we took this out of the picture and left in its place a small pile of wood chips and a rotten stump. I keep thinking it was our responsibility to take care of the tree and that we can plant a new tree, but it's strange to be in charge of removing something that has been around longer than you. We saved two huge slices from a healthy, thick limb for the kids. That tree stood in eight feet of water for three weeks after the federal flooding of New Orleans. I think that's when the infestation started, the toxic water probably weakened the trunk. Five years out and things are still falling victim to the storm's carnage.
In other good news though, New Orleans now has a new mayor. They said it would take five years for New Orleans to recover from the storm and here we are. Hopefully, the next five years turn a corner on lingering problems and fallout from Pre-Katrina and Post-Katrina days. And the oil spill grows and pushes its way to shore...
I felt like this portion of this Whitman poem watching our tree shrink to just a bare, naked trunk as the day went by.

From Song of the Redwood-Tree:

"But in my soul I plainly heard.



Murmuring out of its myriad leaves,

Down from its lofty top, rising two hundred feet high,

Out of its stalwart trunk and limbs—out of its foot-thick bark,

That chant of the seasons and time—chant, not of the past only, but the future."
I wonder if the birds and squirrels notice the vacancy. Where something once was is now empty space. The air has to expand to feel/feed the place where the tree sat for so many decades, and now the sun's rays fall in a different pattern across our backyard.
Whitman loved his trees, from Specimen Days:
Aug. 4, 6 P. M.—Lights and shades and rare effects on tree-foliage and grass—transparent greens, grays, &c., all in sunset pomp and dazzle. The clear beams are now thrown in many new places, on the quilted, seam’d, bronze-drab, lower tree-trunks, shadow’d except at this hour—now flooding their young and old columnar ruggedness with strong light, unfolding to my sense new amazing features of silent, shaggy charm, the solid bark, the expression of harmless impassiveness, with many a bulge and gnarl unreck’d before. In the revealings of such light, such exceptional hour, such mood, one does not wonder at the old story fables, (indeed, why fables?) of people falling into love-sickness with trees,

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Audubon Zoo: Language of Conservation, Poet Mark Doty

Poet Mark Doty has been working with the Audubon Zoo to create poetry installations that focus on celebrating nature. The exhibits will go on display May 15th. This is a wonderful initiative and puts poetry out there into the world where it should be. Thankfully, you don't need a huge grant to install your own poetry in the world. Just some chalk and a sidewalk or maybe some homemade magnets that you gift in a public place. Outside of property damage and just littering, there are numerous ways to gift the world with your words.

Write a poem on a leaf and then leave it on picnic table under a rock for someone to discover.



From the website:

Language of Conservation

"Find poems that celebrate the natural world at Audubon Zoo! As part of the "Language of Conservation" project Audubon is introducing 37 poetry installations into the Zoo's landscape. Look for writings in a water fountain, hanging from a tree or painted around a garden.

Premieres May 15, 2010
Audubon Zoo"


*******I keep writing the language of conversation instead of conservation. I would like to see an installation called the language of conversation. Maybe installed in elevators or public restrooms or gas stations....