Take your Vile of Smile: Two Flash Reviews

Derivative. This is the easy response to Kurt Vile’s musical canon, including his latest, Smoke Ring for my Halo. Yes, he sounds like an earlier Jagger at his most jaded or a beleaguered Dylan, at times. But this is a bad thing? Talk to me about originality, to steal from Yeats, and I’ll turn on… More

Of Ambition and Survival (I)

It’s been some thirteen years now since I landed my first poem in a major literary journal. I heard a securely established poet recently answer a question from an audience member at a reading that he had forgotten his first significant publication. I was irritated, for sure. But jealous? I even remember cashing the $50… More

Of Stars and Their Limits

My wife and I recently watched HBO’s bold airing of Cormac McCarthy’s The Sunset Limited. Directed by Tommy Lee Jones and written for TV by McCarthy himself, the teleplay stars Jones as “White,” a suicidal Professor of Philosophy, and Samuel L. Jackson as “Black,” a self-professed ex-junky Christian. More