Monday Earworm: Jonathan Coulton

Today’s my dear husband’s birthday, and in honor of such, I’m using his favorite Jonathan Coulton song for my earworm. And it really does have a catchy chorus. Aaron first introduced me to Coulton’s work with “Code Monkey” years ago, and now I’m a big fan as well. So much of his music is ridiculously funny (such as this earworm) as well as nerdy, so you know we’re going to be big fans in this house. You’ve heard Coulton’s work on this blog before, too, particularly in the form of his Christmas album, a collaboration with John Roderick; some of those songs often show up in 12 Days of Christmas Music That Doesn’t Suck.

I’m also a fan of Coulton’s because he wrote a new song every week for quite a long time and posted them online. “Skullcrusher Mountain” is one of those songs. If I’m not mistaken, this project (called “Thing A Week”) allowed him to transition from a job in IT to being a full-time musician, and let’s be frank, that kind of creativity, persistence, and dedication are just inspiring.

Have a great week, everyone!

HOMECOMING Cover Reveal

Okay, not gonna lie, this is some very exciting news. The last eighteen hours have been a mild frenzy of posting on my various social media and to my newsletter, because I am finally able to reveal the cover of the new book!

Homecoming is the second book in the Animal Affinities series, and for those of you who are fans of Finis., rejoice, because at long last the next book is coming! I hope you’ll enjoy it. It’s a bit longer than Finis. and focuses on the wolves. I’ll do a first chapter reveal here on the blog in the near future, so stay tuned for that.

But here is the gorgeous cover, designed by Lauren Volness, who also did the incredible cover art for Finis.

cover design by Lauren Volness

The pandemic has delayed the release of this book but not canceled it — so keep an eye out for it late this summer. More details as I’m able to share them!

Also, now might be a great time to remind you that if you’d like to get Finis. or my most recent book of poems, The Sharp Edges of Water, both are available from Blue Willow Bookshop!

In Which I Give A Virtual Reading For Spider Road Press…

So in case you’d like to see me reading one of my stories online, you can now.

Last year I wrote a flash fiction called “Mother” which placed in the annual Spider Road Press flash fiction contest. They even nominated it for Best Small Fictions. (This year’s contest is going on now, by the way, until June 1st, so do enter a story if you’ve got one that fits their guidelines.)

And this spring they’re posting online readings of flash fiction from their authors, and today my story went up! I hope you’ll take a look.

Have a great weekend!

Monday Earworm: Queen

I hope that you enjoyed this year’s Poem-A-Day series in honor of National Poetry Month. It’s such a popular series — maybe the most popular thing on the blog some years? — I’ll try to put more poetry up here throughout the rest of the year. But otherwise I’m already curating next year’s lineup.

Now that we’re back to Ordinary Time on the blog, though, Monday Earworms will resume. Lately this song keeps popping up on Pandora, and I love it, but also it figures prominently in Casey McQuiston’s Red, White and Royal Blue, which was one of my favorite books I read last year and which I will probably be reading again this summer as a cheer-me-up. It is definitely the alternate timeline I’d rather be living in than this one! Give it a look.

In the meantime, though, how about some Queen?

Poem-A-Day: Rukmini Kalamangalam

And so we come to the end of April, and thus the end of National Poetry Month 2020 and this series for another eleven months. It has been a wonderful series this year, and I’m so grateful to all of the poets who participated by letting me share their work on my blog. If you’re just coming to the series, I hope you’ll click through the past posts and have fun reading the poems.

There’s a note toward the end of each post this time around about participating in a cento together. Although there weren’t a lot of contributions at the end of the first post this year, there were some really good ones. Thank you to all who posted there!

I’m still interested in doing a cento, though, so I want to open things up a bit. Cooperative art is super important right now, so I’m inviting anyone who is interested to select lines from any and all of the poems in the series this year to create a found poem. Look back at the first post in this year’s series for more details on how. Then send me your cento to forest [dot] of [dot] diamonds [at] gmail [dot] com with “cento” in the subject line, and I’ll post them here.

Tonight’s oh-so-relatable poem is by another Mutabilis Press poet, Rukmini Kalamangalam. Do enjoy.

And thank you again for tuning in to this year’s series. Monday Earworms will resume next week, so you can look forward to that — as well as some very exciting new book news! in the near future.

Until then, be well. Stay safe at home as much as you can. Let’s beat this virus. Best.

 

Fishbowl

it annoys me when people say they hate
poetry
and their lips curl like
if there’s no plot there’s no point 
their eyes resembling
the Fishbowl i broke in the third grade
when it was winter
and i shivered through time out while the kids turned red
playing soccer on the field
it annoys me that they will read these words
without wondering which way
my breath left my lungs
whether it
wisped in a twisted waltz
or
tumbled out of my mouth,
wild and heavy
they’ll say it doesn’t matter
what color my jacket was
or who scored the last goal
just that
i killed the Fish
and i sat on the curb of a playground for five extra minutes
***

Go to this month’s first Poem-A-Day to learn how to participate in a game as part of this year’s series. You can have just a little involvement or go all the way and write a cento. I hope you’ll join in!

***

Rukmini Kalamangalam is a first-gen page and performance poet from Houston, Texas. She is a current sophomore at Emory University. In 2018, she was named Youth Poet Laureate of the Southwest as well as Houston Youth Poet Laureate. Her poem “After Harvey” was set to music by the Houston Grand Opera. She has been published by Jet Fuel Review, Blue Marble Review, Da Camera Museum, GASHER, and SAND Literary Journal, among others.