Posted: September 29, 2017 in Ink's Poetry

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It’s been a long time coming, and it’s still got a little ways to go yet, but 61 Central will be available as of January 2018 from the folks over at Finishing Line Press!

Put in your pre-order now!

It may only be autumn now, but the chills start in January.

 

 

Some kind words about 61 Central from some fantastic people:

“In 61 Central, Ink explores an old Central Pennsylvania coal town turned ghost town by a man-made environmental disaster and the highway that runs through it. Using language that’s both concise and cinematic, he at times evokes the suspense of Steven Spielberg’s classic film debut Duel and Muriel Rukeyser’s poetic document of environmental disaster, The Book of the Dead. He empathizes with what was and what remains, while his description of the all consuming eternal inferno that rages just below the surface is chilling.”

–Tony Gruenewald, Poet, The Secret History of New Jersey

 

61 Central makes interesting work of winter—how gentle weather casts a devastated and haunting terrain, due mostly to the human impact within that landscape. Ink frames a reality not for fallen snow, but it’s aftermath. This is why we yearn for warmer months.”

–Patrick Boyle, Features Editor, The Rumpus

 

“In 61 Central “this much is obvious: no-one is home.” An empty town, like absence, has “no vocabulary,” yet Ink’s poetry outlines the shapes of ghosts. The concrete of empty houses turns to “bones” and abandoned couches become “almost-alters.” This collection beautifully leads us through an abandoned town evoking an ache and yearning for all those we will never know.”

–Nicelle Davis, Poet, In the Circus of You, The Walled Wife

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Now, about that new(nes)s…

Posted: May 15, 2017 in Ink's Poetry

Planning projects is great, but personally speaking about planned projects seems to equate to officially submitting their obituaries. Ink’s Blot v4.0 is up and running, and if you go there now, you’ll notice a link to an address-gathering submission box tool thingie. That is for an actual newness.

Last year, my head wasn’t doing so well, and I basically went to a dead town to see if I would come back. What came to me, instead, was a frantic bit of writing spurred by a fantastic sense of intense and earnest responses to the situation in which I placed myself. I dwelt on my experience and worked on the poems like none before and created new ones in the original theme. In the end, I wound up with writing that surpassed my every expectation of competency to the point where I feared the message was lost. I was wrong; advanced reader copies have reaped nothing less than gushy praise.

The old newness, which is entitled 61 Central, has been picked up by a fairly major independent publisher. It’s the first time someone outside of my good friends at Piscataway House Publications is publishing one of my collections, so I’m stoked for you all to read it. The collection is essentially a segmented ambient horror poem written via observational narrative. I wanted it to be creepy, and I’m told it’s a fantastic winter read. Go on over to this page and put in your snail mail address to get a promo postcard announcing the chapbook’s availability.

It feels good to be back.

rejuvination

Posted: February 7, 2016 in Ink's Poetry
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look closely; in purple: “Centralia”

life is all about studying and emulating routine until you get so sick of it that the only recourse is to smash it to smithereens.

nearing 40 years on a planet, i imagine it so incredibly sick of spinning that it brought about its own destruction by hosting such a self-destructive species as man. i’ve never felt more a want for an end to everything just because that would be something previously inconceivable.

a couple weeks ago, i went on an annual pilgrimage to see a weather-prognosticating groundhog. i’m beginning to see the value of the insanity — buying into something completely nonsensical for the sake of celebration; everything’s basically an excuse for a party. but when every day is an exercise in trying to kill yourself through normal means, an outright attempt seems (at least to oneself) courageous.

this year, instead of riding in a motorcade of fellow poets and artists, i made the trek out to Puxsutawney on my own with one very specific purpose in mind: i was going out alone so that I could drive home alone. that drive home was to include a town that’s been on fire for 50+ years: Centralia, PA.

toxic gas and sinkholes are the very real possible methods of conveyance into the afterlife (if one exists) that exist in this all-but abandoned town — population five and dwindeling. basically, i went to Centalia to see if the universe still wanted me. i called bluffs by wandering everywhere; steam vents and sink holes were investigated with an almost grotesque wanderlust, and yet i type this.

funny thing: as i explored Centralia, i felt my poetic senses coming back. it wasn’t a fear of god sort of thing but simple experience. (how insidious entertainment as distraction is!) while walking around, i scratched lines and impressions in a tiny yellow notepad. i had no idea as to whether or not i’d be able to input them into my computer back home or if anyone, should the pad and myself become separated, could even make out those last scribbled impressions.

as it so happened, the lines conceived upon that metaphorical precipice were some of the first i allowed to take their own course in some time, and i’m extremely glad of it. while writing poems inspired by my own situation as backdropped by Centralia, i managed to let go and overcome my fear of the keyboard — something that’s been plaguing my output for quite some time.

New Shit!

Posted: January 4, 2016 in Ink's Poetry, Misc

A while back, my keyboard became a source of anxiety. There was simply too much possibility, and indecision choked my ability to output. The coward I was decided to turn my writing efforts towards the safety of the analytical. And while that was fun for a while, I realized over time that I became bored with writing simply to write — something that became clear as I increasingly failed to lend anything substantive to an existing and growing discourse. Even a column initially undertaken for fun turned into something that felt, at least from the grip of my own pen, dry and manufactured — uninspired. In other words, I became comfortable, bored, and, even worse, irrelevant.

My venture into pop media analysis, specifically dealing with Japanese cartoons, at least deepened my appreciation for poetry on some level. While consuming mass quantities of brightly colored animated series and movies, I noticed many instances of the honor given to poets and poems. Upon further investigation into name drops and quoted lines, I traced poetic evolution in Japan, discovered new favorite poets and poems, and became enamored of various poetic forms. I even toured a two-hour presentation on the importance of instances of poetry in Japanese animation (anime) to nothing but applause. (Plans are in motion to make a blog of “Poetry in Anime: the Power of Words in a Visual Medium,” as I believe the presentation has value for introductions and reference as well as generating general interest in poetry and animation.) But all of that effort was ultimately homesickness in the guise of big doe eyes gushing elephant-sized tears.

I honestly don’t know if I have anything original to say anymore (or anything unoriginal to say originally). I know I certainly regret, or at least disagree in part with, (how I’ve said) some of the things I’ve published previously. To that end, I announce the forthcoming Delinkuencies: Legacies, Corruptions, and Future Shame — a collection of revisions and new poems. I’ve also retooled my website, Inksblot.com (v4.0), with a cleaner look as well as a freelance editing services section. While on writing hiatus, I’ve come to realize how much I enjoy working with others to make their words the best they can be. Doing so calls to me almost as much as creating original works does.

So stay tuned. Newness is coming, but progress is a minute hand under constant watch.

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It’s finally happening! “Death loves a Drinking Game” has a street date! and a party! But before all of that, I’ll be featuring at a lovely spot in Red Bank, NJ alongside two astounding poets from New Jersey’s Asbury Park scene: Joshua J. Ballard and Josh “Dogmatic” Matson. There’s even going to be a contest for a giveaway of an advanced copy of the new book! Details for that reading are here.

And now, the biggie: “Death Loves a Drinking Game,” one half of the Duel Book with Keith Baird’s “Before I Die I Want to Swim with Sharks,” is officially being released by Piscataway House Publications on January 18. There’s gonna be a party with poetry and music and a haiku deathmatch! Details are here. If you love me, I’ll see your face and sell you a book.