Saturday, April 30, 2011

Myrtle Beach

Over Spring Break (yes, at McNeese it is extremely late in the semester) i went to Myrtle Beach for some business. I only was able to spend a half day being a tourist, but luckily, the hotel I was staying at was located on Broadway at the Beach, which is a boardwalk around a lake that has lots of shopping(such as an entire stores devoted to Jeff Foxworthy, NASCAR, and Jesus), resturants/bars (like Margaritaville, Hard Rock, Senor Frogs), and things to do like Imax and mini-golf. Here are a few pics from the trip.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Music Mondays (4/25/11) - Philip Larkin and Nirvana

This Be the Verse
By Philip Larkin

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.

Collected poems (London ; Marvell and Faber and Faber, 1990., 2001)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Keep Austin Weird

Last weekend, to celebrate thesis turned in and defended, Missy, myself, Brendan, and Stacy all headed to Austin for the Old Settlers Music Festival. We ate tons of great vegan food, drank, and just had an all around great time. Please follow this link and visit my wife's blog for pictures and all the juicy details: CLICK HERE!

One of the biggest surprises of the weekend was from 11 year old, Grace London. She one the kids talent show and played a set on Saturday. She has and amazing voice and stage presence. She also played a great selection of covers, including White Stripes. Please check her out:

Another new act that I saw was Elliott Brood. The band is from Canada. They seem to take traditional instruments and play them in a non-traditional/rock and roll type way. Please check them out as well:

A few more pics of random Austin Weirdness:

This is my favorite from the weekend:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Music Mondays (4/18/2011) Carl Sandburg & The Avett Brothers


I am the People, the Mob
by Carl Sandburg

I am the people—the mob—the crowd—the mass.
Do you know that all the great work of the world is done through me?
I am the workingman, the inventor, the maker of the world's food and
I am the audience that witnesses history. The Napoleons come from me
and the Lincolns. They die. And then I send forth more Napoleons
and Lincolns.
I am the seed ground. I am a prairie that will stand for much plowing.
Terrible storms pass over me. I forget. The best of me is sucked out
and wasted. I forget. Everything but Death comes to me and makes
me work and give up what I have. And I forget.
Sometimes I growl, shake myself and spatter a few red drops for history
to remember. Then—I forget.
When I, the People, learn to remember, when I, the People, use the
lessons of yesterday and no longer forget who robbed me last year,
who played me for a fool—then there will be no speaker in all the
world say the name: "The People," with any fleck of a sneer in his
voice or any far-off smile of derision.
The mob—the crowd—the mass—will arrive then.

-from Chicago Poems

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Music Mondays (4/11/11) - Shakespeare and Ghostland Observatory

Ghostland's beat reminds me of the iambic push of Shakespeare's charged lines. (And the subject of love). What do you think?

Sonnet LI
by William Shakespeare

Thus can my love excuse the slow offense
Of my dull bearer when from thee I speed:
From where thou art why should I haste me thence?
Till I return, of posting is no need.
O, what excuse will my poor beast then find,
When swift extremity can see, but slow?
Then should I spur, though mounted on the wind;
In winged speed no motion shall I know:
The can no horse with my desire keep pace;
Therefore desire of perfect'st love being made,
Shall neigh--no dull flesh--in his fiery race;
But love, for love, thus shall excuse my jade;
Since from thee going he went wilful-slow,
Towards thee I'll run, and give him leave to go.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Stacy Lynn Austin & Brendan Egan - The Porch (First Friday Reading Series) - 4/1/2011

Here is the video I shot of Stacy Lynn Austin and Brendan Egan reading at The Porch. Information on both authors and the reading series is posted below the video.

The Porch Coffee House & Café and the Arts and Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana will present April's edition of the First Friday Reading Series on Friday, April 1st, at 7 p.m. at the Porch Coffee House & Café with a fiction reading. While the previous readings have featured local poets, April's reading will showcase the work by two area fiction writers, Stacy Lynn Austin and Brendan Egan.

The First Friday Reading Series was initiated by Billy Edwards, owner of the Porch Coffee House & Café and is coordinated by Erica McCreedy, Special Projects Coordinator of the Arts Council and local poet. It began as a way to create another avenue for poets and writers to come together to share their work with the community while helping to sustain and develop the literary scene in Southwest Louisiana.

"In the last few months, Lake Charles has experienced a rise in readings and in attendance at readings," McCreedy stated. "This is an encouraging fact during a time when arts budgets are being targeted throughout Louisiana and in Washington, D.C. It's important for our community to understand that by going to these readings, it shows there is a demand for arts programming in Southwest Louisiana, which increases the Arts Council's abilities to attract the necessary funding for our community's events and arts organizations."

Stacy Lynn Austin was born and raised in Austin, Texas, and she earned her Bachelor's in English and Creative Writing from New York University. Austin is in her final semester as a Master of Fine Arts candidate in Creative Writing at McNeese State University, and writes a blog at

Brendan Egan is a native of Connecticut and also earned his Bachelor's degree from New York University in Screenwriting and Playwriting. His writing for the stage has been performed at Downtown Manhattan theaters and at the University of Connecticut. His play, Nine Moons, was selected as a semi-finalist for the Eugene O'Neill National Playwright's Conference, and his fiction and poetry has appeared in The Diagram, The Georgetown Review, and Gargoyle. Egan is also in his final semester at McNeese for a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.

The Porch Coffee House & Café is located at 4710 Common Street south of East McNeese Street. For more information on the First Friday Reading Series, contact the Arts Council at (337) 439-2787 or visit

Monday, April 4, 2011

(UPDATE-WINNER ANNOUNCED) Contest - Free Book Giveaway (in honor of National Poetry Month)

(UPDATE: Nate Friedman is the winner of Willie's 1st Annual Free Book Giveaway. Please contact me by the email: Since so few entered, all I hope to do something special for everyone else, as well. Thank you all for participating and spreading the word of poetry).

In celebration of National Poetry Month, at the end of April, I will be giving away a copy of The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry edited by Alan Kaufman.

Contest Rules
  • You must upload a video of yourself reading a poem. The poem should be sonnet length (at least 14 lines).
  • To enter, either post the video link in the comment section of this post, or as a response of the youtube clip I uploaded.
  • At the end of April, I will randomly select one person as the winner. I will contact the winner through email.
Let's have fun. This is in hopes to get more people engaged with poetry. Please spread the word and repost the link.

I am going to try to keep the new video posts up to date of all the participants. Keep them coming.

1. A.D. Porter:

2. Erica McCreedy:

3. Nate Friedman

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Music Mondays: Nine Inch Nails and Arthur Rimbaud

"Season in Hell"
by: Arthur Rimbaud

A while back, if I remember right, my life was one long party where all hearts were open wide, where all wines kept flowing.

One night, I sat Beauty down on my lap.—And I found her galling.—And I roughed her up.

I armed myself against justice.

I ran away. O witches, O misery, O hatred, my treasure's been turned over to you!

I managed to make every trace of human hope vanish from my mind. I pounced on every joy like a ferocious animal eager to strangle it.

I called for executioners so that, while dying, I could bite the butts of their rifles. I called for plagues to choke me with sand, with blood. Bad luck was my god. I stretched out in the muck. I dried myself in the air of crime. And I played tricks on insanity.

And Spring brought me the frightening laugh of the idiot.

So, just recently, when I found myself on the brink of the final squawk! it dawned on me to look again for the key to that ancient party where I might find my appetite once more.

Charity is that key.—This inspiration proves I was dreaming!

"You'll always be a hyena etc. . . ," yells the devil, who'd crowned me with such pretty poppies. "Deserve death with all your appetites, your selfishness, and all the capital sins!"

Ah! I've been through too much:-But, sweet Satan, I beg of you, a less blazing eye! and while waiting for the new little cowardly gestures yet to come, since you like an absence of descriptive or didactic skills in a writer, let me rip out these few ghastly pages from my notebook of the damned.

Trans: Bertrand Mathieu


I do enjoy Louis Varese translation better. I have to at least give my favorite line from above:

"One evening I seated Beauty on my knees. And I found her bitter. I cursed her."

April - National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month, which makes it an excellent time to share poems with each other. I ask in the comments to post your favorite poet or maybe a poem that you would like to share.

Here is one of my favorite poets, Gerald Stern.


How you loved to read in the snow and when your
face turned to water from the internal heat
combined with the heavy crystals or maybe it was
reversus you went half-blind and your eyelashes
turned to ice the time you walked through swirls
with dirty tears not far from the rat-filled river
or really a mile away—or two—in what
you came to call the Aristotle room
in a small hole outside the Carnegie library.

Taken from

Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is now held every April, when publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools and poets around the country band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. Thousands of businesses and non-profit organizations participate through readings, festivals, book displays, workshops, and other events.