Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Somewhere in Time

Grandma Sheila labeled the photo, "Somewhere in Time"
You know, the one of you and me standing along Fall Creek
Did she snap the pic, Kyle?
I really can't remember
I’m guessing I was home on leave from the Army
And you must have been, what, about seven years old?
Damn, look how young we were
And, no, I won’t allow myself to be sad
‘Cause I can hear you saying
“Those days will come again,
They were eternal, after all…”

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Aaron Warner was Kyle Knapp's very good friend and is an outstanding poet in his own right. I'm super pleased to feature him at BEAT to a PULP this week with his poem, "Yesterday."

Thanks, Aaron.

Pluvial Gardens in Print

I know Kyle's smiling over Pluvial Gardens in print (CreateSpace and Amazon). A portion of the profits will go to, at his parent's request, Tompkins Cortland Community College where Kyle was working toward a degree in Social Sciences. I'm now in the middle of editing his second collection of poems -- Celebrations in the Ossuary -- and hope to have it completed by September 1st, in time for what would have marked his 24th birthday.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

In Praise of Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov

Speak, Memory covers Vladimir Nabokov's colorful life from his exile from his beloved Russia as Lenin's revolution scoured the land to his love of netting butterflies, and, in a poetic and absorbing way, he brings the past back to life (especially when he recalls his mentors and servants) as he traces his line from 1903 until his immigration to America in 1940.

I realized, yesterday morning, upon finishing Speak that I didn't have the chops (there you go) to review this extraordinary biography with the dexterity necessary to get you, dear friend, to buy it yourself. So, not so much of a review here as an indirect recommendation from my nephew through me with my enthusiastic endorsement to you. A clip from the opening paragraph:

"The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness."

Agree or disagree, either way, see how beautifully the words dance? The whole memoir moves at that cadence. Mr. Nabokov was a self-described synesthete, and I'm sure seeing the world through his unique prism only adds to the beauty of this biography.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Follow-Through

I'd be amiss if I didn't acknowledge Chris F. Holm at BEAT to a PULP last week with "The Follow-Through." It seems like Chris and I have been friends for forty years and he's been contributing to BTAP just as long with the most original, sharp tales. His current story is so good that I've held it over for another week. Thanks, Chris, always a pleasure.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Vladimir Nabokov

A book left behind on the front seat of Kyle's car was Speak, Memory--an autobiographical memoir by writer Vladimir Nabokov. Of course, I knew of the prominent Russian author and his impact on the world of literature but had never read anything by him. I corrected that this week and am now five chapters into Speak. Immediately the book captured my attention with:

"The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness."

I found a short interview with V.N., who died thirty-six years ago this week. The unusual clip caught me off guard with its 50's format (though oddly refreshing) and V.N.'s voice, but once I got past that, what he said about his most famous creation, Lolita, and his answer to, "Has sex become a literary cliché?" has me even more intrigued by this 20th century juggernaut. Onward I read.

Vladimir Nabokov discusses "Lolita" part 2.