Tag Archives: fishing

I shoot a sonnet with a rifle and chili and I don’t know

Made some venison chili. As usual, I just grab whatever and throw it in the pot. I saw this massive pepper at the store.  I’m not sure what type of pepper. Anyway, I brought it home and threw it into my chili. I punctured it seven times with a knife first, to let the heat and flavor seep into my chili. The chili was level 6, so I’m not sure if this process worked. This might be my last chili for a while. Spring is not for chili. Spring is for fish tacos and shrimp nachos and golden beer. Spring is for taking my kid canoeing and fishing. Spring is for running 26.2 miles. Spring is disc golf. Spring I might try to strangle a flower to life,  if I can, I’m thinking below my mailbox. No, I will go fishing. I don’t go around saying, “I’d rather be fishing.” I am not a green ball cap in a store in TN with wonderful potato wedges. You know why? Because I am out fishing and yes I curse too often around my son and sometimes instead of a rightful dinner I give him Cool Ranch Doritos and maybe a cup of blue yogurt but damn if that boy won’t have wonderful memories of fishing and the ability to catch fish and to read the dips, curves, eddies of a river and navigate a canoe and just realize for a second that we are actually the river and the river is us, our very blood and pooling synapses and that’s why it feels good, son, feels good to leave all the nonsense behind and get a cooler, two rods/reels, a bag of roasted peanuts, a big-ass Pepsi for you, a red canoe and kiss/wave/cough the crazy world goodbye to go fishing.


I did a YASOO 800 X 14 last evening.

4 X 6:00 mile pace.     4 X 5:56     4 X 5:52     Then one at 5:49, one at 5:27 mile pace.

The last one I was so exhausted and coughing a bit and I just didn’t know if I could finish the full 800 but then I remembered years ago Lance Armstrong said, “You can surprise yourself how the mind can overcome the body’s limits.”

(I used to dislike Lance because he was dating Sheryl Crow and I have a major crush on Sheryl Crow and didn’t want to have to imagine Lance pedaling all over her.)

That seems obvious or corny or whatever, but it is actually very true. So I just told my body, “Legs that feel like dead fish, lungs that whimper glass, you are going to stop soon, OK, you get to stop soon, but NOT RIGHT NOW.”

And I finished my last 800 and stumbled into the shower. I felt very tired but very alive and anyone reading this who has really pushed their body out there, out there into what I call The Crucible, knows what I am saying. Runners run because it makes you feel alive and real and actually spending a moment in your body NOT questioning, NOT questioning, wearing yourself like your skin is indeed yours and maybe things will be OK or glow for a little while.

Pretty solid, but I have been ill lately and the training has been lame-o like a duck. I need another long run before the marathon. I am am semi-fit but certainly need more mileage. The illness (a nagging cold) cut down on my mileage. We’ll see.

[Note: running at night is never smart. My metabolism was all sped up and my body hot for hours and I sit there in bed with tired legs and a very awake mind.]


Corium Magazine be crazy like talking soda. Lauren Becker did not fuck around! Thanks for asking me aboard, Lauren.

I have a prayer in the new Divine Dirt Quarterly. It is centered and I didn’t write it centered. I have never written a centered poem in my life, but maybe it’s just an editorial decision on their part or maybe they will change it or maybe it doesn’t really matter at all. I mean I got a mortgage and this little gutter on my house that sags weird like a broken rib and my dog is so stupid and never sits or comes back and here I am blabbing about some centered poem.


Over at HTML Blake got drunk and read a selection from Drunk Sonnets.

Drunk Sonnet blog here.

My interview of Daniel Bailey (Sonnet author) here.

Damn! I can’t get Blake’s sonnet video to embed. Have no idea why. I am an idiot.

Here, go to The Faster Times and watch it. It is worth a watch. Blake is trashed. Don’t drink like that, children.

Well, you know, I am a big fan of Blake and I am basically  a lemming so waited two days and knocked back a beer or seven and read another Drunk Sonnet, # 18. I then went outside and shot the sonnet with a tricked-out squirrel rifle, as is my way.

Enjoy. And remember, I am trained in both firearms and poetry, so don’t try this at home, kids.


I Have Been Writing About Jenna Jameson.

I remember when I first started this lame-ass blog and I thought, “I’m not going to do this blog shit if it makes me write even less.”

So I tried to work out a way to mine my blog. The key was twofold: 1.) Go way back in time to do your mining, go deep under the layers, like a snuffling truffle dog. 2.) Use a blog as spark only. Radically edit the spark. Edit the spark like you met it at a bar and it twinkled and smelled self-sufficient. Unfetter your kidney, that type of thinking.  3.) Never blog in the present thinking I am going to mine this later.

(Uh, that’s 3-fold.)

Anyway here’s a new prose poem at The Corduroy Mtn.

Do others mine their blog? Is this “healthy” (Tao Lin quotes).

Tao Lin says he has feelings he will die by a car crash or a hurricane (soon).

Car crash I get. Your odds of dying in an automobile accident are about 1 in 84. You enter a car, or walk anywhere near cars, you are orange plaster waiting to crack. You are a girl sitting next to Jesus. Kiss your ass goodbye daily. (I suggest the morning, right after waking, but before the second Pop-Tart.)

Hurricane? Odds of dying in any natural disaster are about 1 in 500,000.

Tao, you are more likely to fall off a waterfall (or even a sidewalk curb) to your death, or commit suicide, or even die of “excessive natural cold” than by a hurricane.

Hope this makes you feel better, Tao.


I am selling a new movie. It is an Oscar winner. Buy it.


I wrote a new long poem today about the entrepreneur  Jenna Jameson. When I say poem I mean crazy-ass hybrid thing. I don’t write poetry. I did, years ago. And one day I woke hungover (when most self-honest, for many of us), looked in the mirror, and said, “Sean, your poetry sucks.” So then I quit writing poetry.


Hangover poem by James Wright here.


The new Pedestal is out. I haven’t read it all yet, but here’s a few texts  glowing catastrophic:

Neal Whitman seems fragmented enough I would drink with him.

Holy fuck I love any lit about crows. I would not only drink beer with Amy D. Unsworth (kick ass name–sounds like a Joyce character), I would drink three beers with her, order a bottle of rotgut vodka, polish that off, then invite her to climb the tree outside the bar. We would climb that tree. And the branch would break. And we would end up at the hospital in the most brilliant white rooms, rather happy, or shall I say medicated.

Her poem felt like this to me:



I watched Six Shooter today with my students and I have a new favorite movie quote:

“You ever shouted at a sheep?!”



I have more to blog but I don’t feel an epic blog groove. Without an epic blog groove, I should defer. I have disc golf discs to wax, miles to run, wine to drink, Play Station Lego Star Wars to play with my 5 year old before I sleep, with my 5 year old before I sleep…


This is How We Roll Elizabeth Bishop Style

I caught a tremendous fish
and held him beside the boat
half out of water, with my hook
fast in a corner of his mouth.
He didn't fight.
He hadn't fought at all.
He hung a grunting weight,
battered and venerable
and homely.  Here and there
his brown skin hung in strips
like ancient wallpaper,
and its pattern of darker brown
was like wallpaper:
shapes like full-blown roses
stained and lost through age.
He was speckled with barnacles,
fine rosettes of lime,
and infested
with tiny white sea-lice,
and underneath two or three
rags of green weed hung down.
While his gills were breathing in
the terrible oxygen
--the frightening gills,
fresh and crisp with blood,
that can cut so badly--
I thought of the coarse white flesh
packed in like feathers,
the big bones and the little bones,
the dramatic reds and blacks
of his shiny entrails,
and the pink swim-bladder
like a big peony.
I looked into his eyes
which were far larger than mine
but shallower, and yellowed,
the irises backed and packed
with tarnished tinfoil
seen through the lenses
of old scratched isinglass.
They shifted a little, but not
to return my stare.
--It was more like the tipping
of an object toward the light.
I admired his sullen face,
the mechanism of his jaw,
and then I saw
that from his lower lip
--if you could call it a lip
grim, wet, and weaponlike,
hung five old pieces of fish-line,
or four and a wire leader
with the swivel still attached,
with all their five big hooks
grown firmly in his mouth.
A green line, frayed at the end
where he broke it, two heavier lines,
and a fine black thread
still crimped from the strain and snap
when it broke and he got away.
Like medals with their ribbons
frayed and wavering,
a five-haired beard of wisdom
trailing from his aching jaw.
I stared and stared
and victory filled up
the little rented boat,
from the pool of bilge
where oil had spread a rainbow
around the rusted engine
to the bailer rusted orange,
the sun-cracked thwarts,
the oarlocks on their strings,
the gunnels--until everything
was rainbow, rainbow, rainbow!
And I let the fish go.

18 Blog Hits Are Like Onions, Henry Miller, and Flying Cars

Got a new dog, Mia. Named after Mia Farrow. I would include her complete picture but my father says if you take a photo of a dog, it will die. This is a hard fact to prove/disprove or otherwise. I spent years asking people I met at hardwood floor/bookshelves made of 2X4/sweating PBR in giant metal bins/this poet I know makes excellent pizza/house-with-a-cat parties if they owned a dog. If they said yes I followed with, “Have you ever taken a photo of it?” Every single person had. I am still looking for a dog that has never been photographed. A Martian dog maybe. Once that happens, I will monitor the dog for my remaining life, and then pass the project on to my son. Like a Buddhist trying to move a mountain. And so on.

I don’t want my dog to live forever because that would be horrible. So above is a picture of 1/3 of my new dog. This should lead to an annoyingly long life, but not eternal.


I just read a person say that most of Don DeLillo’s novels are about men alone in a room. I am now grinding my spleen into my left foot. As the cool kids mumble, whatever.

In other news:

Whenever want-to-be-writer folks sashay into my office and ask the good ol’ “How do I become a writer?” query, I always answer with, “Why in Lohan’s name are you asking me?” Followed by, “Get a job.”

Here’s one reason:

Matt Bell won the 2008 Million Writer’s Award. No surprise in my country. I read, re-read and passed to others Matt’s chicken-religion-eyeglasses-grief support-touch of Camus story. It’s also a good text for the classroom (at least mine), as it displays one of my “Lovelace Rules” (important rules these–right up there with slime mold) of creative writing. As I blah and re-blah and blah once again to my Intro CW students: write about work. But no. They often want to write diluted versions of the movie they saw that Thursday evening. This can be OK, but I would rather they wrote about the day they felt that throat-heat of arriving at a job, of screwing up the task at hand, of learning the back-side, the Sara, the how-sausages-are-made reality of a job, the crookedness and bolt throwing and making out in the trash compacter of a j j j job. Carl Sandburg to Jim Harrison to Barbara Ehrenreich, etc. To my great fortune, I stumbled through many jobs (poodle groomer to lifeguard to landscaper to Pizza Hut driver to shipping and delivery at an incredibly toxic chemical company owned by Quaker Oats to Mercedes plant robot scrubber to RN to on and on…) and they all taught me: humans, all humans, are weird. (Robots are weird, too.) And mean. And nice. And layered like certain tall people, or rocks, or finger sandwiches. I think this knowledge is critical to writing. Matt Bell’s characters are odd, in a night-swim honesty way readers recognize and then say, “Thank gods. It’s not only me sleeping with a Christian heavy metal band singer.”

THE LOUDEST SOUND I HEARD TODAY: 30,000 cubic meters of water caterwomping out a spillway below Kentucky Dam. Sounded like infatuation on Dexedrine, screaming.

Saw a mink scurry by my feet. I didn’t realize mink ever acclimated to humans. But they do. And this woman in really tight jeans yelled out, “Don’t you touch it! It’ll bite your ass!”

I did not touch the mink.

Saw an incredibly bell-thomp fisherman get his john-boat too near to the intake of the dam, thus pinning himself to the hulking scary rusting intake grate. Suction, you know, sucks. Very dramatic action for those of us on the bouldered shore. Some cheering for him to live, others jeering for him to die. Angler guy finally revved his motor in reverse and throttled up max, with a rooster-tail of exhaust and spray. Sounded like a chainsaw hung up on a cow. Hung, hung, treading water and froth and howl; then popped free from the grate and eddy-spun out of there. He most likely won’t visit that fishing spot again.

I also saw a fisherman GIVE UP while at the spillway. He hooked a whale/NSA submarine/bloated backup singer/minor god (???) and the fish won the battle, clearly, for about half an hour. My uncle James and I settled in to watch the battle. This fisher-guy had braided line and it wasn’t going to snap, no matter how his rod looked like this: C. The line did sing with vibration, a strum, a sweet sound that had my blood coursing. But that fish had him soul deep. Memphis blues deep. At one point, he actually placed the rod over his shoulder in a kind of Iwo Jima holding-a-flag pose, turned his back to the fish, and trudged up the hillside trying to physically tug the fish in. After this, and other attempts, he purposely wedged his gaff into the line, spun and twisted, and snapped the line. Huh? First time I’ve seen a fisherman surrender. The crowded bank of fisher-folk seemed displeased. Grumbles and head shakes. I handed out copies of Moby Dick.

Who writes better about death, Blake Butler or Philip Larkin? This (scroll down) by Butler or that by Larkin? I’ll answer the question later in this blog. Why do I keep writing about death today? Maybe it’s because I am going to die. Relax, relax, we all are…it’s as inevitable as Joyce Carol Oates.

MY BROTHER HAS A NEW CD OUT!! I have many interests, a smidgen of knowledge base, but am lowly deficient in music, so will hardly review here. But I will tell you SIX FACTS ABOUT MY BROTHER’S ALBUM.

1.) Adderall is an orange pill.

2.) There’s either a sitar or a tapir on track 3.

3.) You can write to it. Though I prefer to write to the type of music played in Mexican restaurants in Alabama. I dare you to find a southern town that does not have three Mexican restaurants, one good, one Cracker Barrel bad, one in some woman’s living room.

4.) Does my brother know the band rips off a book By Mark Vonnegut, the mentally ill physician, and son of the author-you-should-read-while-between-ages 17 to 24? If my brother does know, kick ass! If not, still kick ass!

5.) There is no number 5.

6.) To me, the music on this album sounds like going back and forth, back and forth, with your friendly guide, Roop Verma, over thread count while bartering for a rug in India while at the same time thinking, “Shelia pushed past Dalton and hurried out the door.” I liked the feeling.

In other news, the pirates of the world are in deep trouble:


Cella keeps being smart.


Maurice Manning said to me, “Sean, Kentucky is very sweet in the spring.” This was a few months ago in a library. He is an Alabama MFA grad, like me, and I put my shoulder to the wheel for all Alabama MFA folks, except for the very few I can not tolerate.

Also, Manning writes better poetry than we do.


A Psalm To Bring Remembrance
I had a friend when I was little;
he went to a different school because

he was a little slow. He lived
with a giant man and woman who weren’t

his parents, and six or seven more
he called his sisters and brothers. He had

a dog named Sister. We played in the woods
and tinkered on our bicycles.

One day, an older girl took off
her shirt and told us we could touch.

He did. He waved his hands around
as if he were trying to catch a bird.

The older girl was a Catholic,
I believe; her name was Mary; I

was a Presbyterian, and he
was nothing. Another day, we broke

a woman’s window with a rock.
He got the tar whipped out of him.

I mowed the banjo player’s yard
all summer to pay my share. You God

up there who saw it all, I hope
his life got better, but I doubt

it did. If he is dead by now,
I hope he’s resting in your bosom.

Do not be slow. Remember he
was poor and needy, more than me.