Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Autumn Dreaming

My favorite season is upon us, the season of my birth.  My energies are at their best during this time of year.  I'm fortunate to have plenty of work set for publication this fall at places as varied as James H. Duncan's Hobo Camp Review (Google Mr. Duncan, he is an amazing poet and writer), Clockwise Cat, Katie Moore and Co.'s The Legendary, Jack T. Marlowe's Gutter Eloquence, Full of Crow, the print editions of Side B Magazine and Electric Windmill Press, and countless others.  I'm mostly looking forward to all of the writing I haven't done yet, and the experiences that precede my endeavors as a young and fledgling scribe.  Thought I'd stop by and throw a few cents in this silly little blog, and get back to watching "Double Indemnity" for the umpteenth time.  And dream of pumpkins.    

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The End of a Long Intense Summer

It's been a long and especially hot summer.  Hard work and personal setbacks--but this cooled head has prevailed.  I've watched people die in my life, but so many people have slipped into the Great Mystery this summer, people I knew personally, people I knew professionally--and people I didn't know at all.
It started earlier this month with the death of a good friend's other half, the father of her child--very sudden and way too young to exit.  RIP Andre Botta, the Great Saint of the East to the West.
Scott Wannberg, the legendary poet of the Southern California variety followed soon after.  Unfortunately, I had no personal connections with Mr. Wannberg, but there are many in my growing network of writers who did.  I've been on a marathon reading of the work available online that he contributed to the world, as well as the blogs attesting to his genius and amazing warmth--a giant of the small press.  He was indeed a genius.  I plan on buying every book of his that I can, and of course you certainly should, too.  His poetry is something so incredible and moving to savor--fiercely eloquent, exciting, poignant and brilliant.  Man, I wished I had contacted him and told him so!  I recently wrote an elegy for Warren Zevon, and lo and behold--an elegy for him from Scott Wannberg in plain sight here online that blew away my monster stanzas of meager interest into the eye of the staggering hurricane of his brief and heart stopping words.  The best I can do is continue to read his work, and support the writers living who are just as wonderful.  And work on an elegy for him.  And work on my Zevon poem--Scott's was beyond anything to surpass, as is all of his work.  RIP Scott Wannberg, a titan of written expression.     
If that wasn't enough, Mr. Nobius Black, aka Matt Evelsizer, passed on.  He was an incredibly charming and generous editor, publishing some of my earliest stutters as a poet on his literary weblog Calliope Nerve.  We exchanged pleasantries regarding that occasion--a really nice guy.  I told him how much I admired his prodigious output and my admiration for his work.  He was gone three weeks after that exchange, even before my wee poem appeared in his publication.  The best that can be done in the wake of his death is to support the small press, the literary underground.  My thoughts go out to his family, his friends and his legion of fans.  RIP, Matt.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Upcoming Publications

It has been a busy summer for Mr. Ridgeway, writing up a storm and submitting away.  Look for my work in the August editions of The Orange Room Review, Gloom Cupboard and on August 9th a poem of mine will be in Calliope Nerve.  Breadcrumb Scabs issue 30 will also feature a piece of mine and September offers work in Larks Fiction Magazine and Underground Voices.  These are all mighty fine publications and check them out not only for my work, but many greater writers they feature.  It's my honor to contribute to these journals!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Summer Reading Rant

I was fortunate enough to meander up to Uptown Whittier a few weeks ago and run across Half Off Book's quarterly "fire sale."  Half Off used to be known as The Little Olde Bookshop, a Whittier mainstay for several years--the new owners have done a fine job with the place.  The discounts at this sale were obscene...I snatched up a copy of Carson McCullers' "Reflections in a Golden Eye" for fifty cents and a Michael McClure collection called "September Blackberries" I suppose that's where my reading list began.  I'm an enormous fan of Carson McCullers and "Reflections" is the one book of hers I haven't read--it was made into a film with Marlon Brando around '67 or '68...fantastic word feast as always.  I know McClure from his play "The Beard" and as a member of the beat poetry scene...and he was also in "The Last Waltz" (the film of The Band's final concert in 1976) reading from Chaucer.  His work is very interesting and is something I'd recommend to fans of the second half of 20th Century poetry--I'm glad I was able to scoop it up for two bits, because as an out-of-print book the original price tag was daunting and I otherwise would have passed it up.  I guess the main point I want to make here is that books should only cost fifty cents.  Then we'd all be scholars.
I might re-read Voltaire's "Candide".  But who cares?
The truly wonderful thing about the internet other than my ability to open a blog and drone on publicly for the entertainment of one and a half people is the diverse and epic scope of literary magazines that are online--there are so many amazing poets and writers out there that can be discovered free of charge or for a lot less here on the internet than a new hardbound Barnes and Noble buy.  So there's the point to this ramble:  Check out the up-and-comers and unknowns that are churning out fantastic literature and support the small presses--that's where the gold is.  Make that a part of your summer reading list.  Skip "The Girl Who Jumped into the Fire Trampolines Waving a Bee's Nest" for now and spread the love and appreciation to the small presses out there.  You'll be glad that you did.