Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Bug in the ear...

Well, I actually have a lot to post, many pictures, much news. Trip: a number of mentions, of late, including Site of the Month for June at InTheFray magazine, a line in the "news" section of the homepage for Oberlin College Press,and an invitation to speak as part of a panel of online editors at Binghamton University's Writing By Degrees conference--an opportunity I'm still scrambling to find a way to take advantage of, as travel expenses need to be met by yours truly and I am, as always, strapped for the cash. After checking cheap flights, I came to the conclusion that a car--even a rental car, and even with gas prices as they are--would be cheaper than flights, as I am due in Springfield, Illinois that Saturday to attend my youngest sister's wedding, thus a three legged flight to a couple of somewhat out of the way destinations, cheapest, not counting transport from the 'nearby' airports to the venues in questions, going at approximately $400. Unfortunately, car rental agencies in Oklahoma only offer unlimited mileage for OK and bordering states at best, and it gets pretty pricey outside of that area. So tonight I'm checking on Tulsa rental agencies--it's still in OK, but I've been given reason to believe they may be an exception to the general rule, though it's nothing certain. Failing that, I need to call up my good friend Andy and see if there isn't some other car arrangements that could be made, or find someone with some frequent flier points who would be willing to help us out in attending the conference. I'd welcome the opportunity, not only to hobnob & exchange ideas, but also just to get some of my own thoughts on online publishing organized. Anyone who has been dropping in here regularly knows I don't lack for them, though the stuff posted here has never been really organized into a solid draft. I have until the 15th, at which point this is sorted or not. If anyone has ideas, don't hesitate to contact me.

Finally, and oddly enough, for this editor, probably one of the more exciting developments, the National English Literary Museum of Southern Africa recently wrote requesting that they be given the names of the authors of Triplopia's interview with Lindsey Collen, so it could be included in their database of primary and secondary material published by, and on, southern African authors. Why excited about being included in a bibliography? Well, for what it's worth, the interviews, especially, were an aspect of Triplopia that I had hoped might, in time, hold some significant literary and historic worth, and respectable citations help immensely with that. Not to mention that I thoroughly enjoyed the process of interviewing Collen, and take great pride in what that interview accomplishes. That, and I highly suspect that, MFA reject or no, there's a closet academic inside of me. Or maybe not so closet. Dunno.

That, and pictures, musings, and reviews of some recent experiences that I think just might be of interest to a few folks out there.

Speaking of pictures, Penny Rowstron, another local Aussie--who by the way gave me what I think is an exellent title for a book of poems when describing the way I dance--sends these, from Friday night:

Here's the poster, as it appears in the window of Bumpin' Bar, one of the go-to spots for anyone who's searching for Waeguks in Gangneung. It's a cozy place, lots of old wood inside, and cluttered. Funny thing, it caught my eye on my third day in town, though it wasn't for another good three weeks before I actually went in, and only then worked up the nerve when a posting at Dave's ESL Cafe netted me a response that suggested this was one of two places to go if it was English conversation I was looking for. Believe me, after three weeks of speaking v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y t-o e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e I m-e-t, I needed it. When, after being given the name, I sought it out, I recognized it immediately from my first trounce through the Shi-nae (Downtown), and kind of wondered if there isn't just some sort of second sense, in many people, of where like languaged people are likely to congregate. It's a cool bar, and only gets trumped some nights by the Warehouse (just down Munhwa-agoli, which translates into "culture street") by the fact that the latter has a) draft beer, and b) a pool table. If Bumpin had these two things, I suspect most of my nights out would have been spent in the cozy confines of Mr. Lee's fine establishment.

Dylan reading from his self-published book of poems, "Arcadian Squalor," post-kerfuffle, the stage having been more than adequately calibrated for the upcoming acts. I used to be able to throw rocks at Dylan's bathroom window from my living room/bedroom. That was before the vacant lot outside the only window in my apartment became a construction site (something I very much anticipated upon moving in and seeing the view--and the rapid way in which Gangneung seems to be expanding).

Michael Hutley, termed by Carlos--another Gangneung regular, and in attendance Friday night--as "one for the housewives" in our makeshift "band". We figured with the glasses, Dylan was deffo the keyboardist, leaving me and Dave (the two baldies) to fight over bass and drums. Personally, I'm torn between Keith Moon and Sid Vicious, though, as always, if I have to be someone else, I'd prefer it was Iggy.

Yours truly. I think Penny caught me in mid cheer, as I use and abuse my muse.

Melvin, sun-worshipper whose blog is, during these summer months, dominated by beach pictures. Of course, he's had the last week off, and it's been a little hotter than lovely outside, so he's probably got more than his usual number of late.

Dave anchors the show from behind the bar. After giving it some thought, I decided that it was neither acoustics nor lighting that prompted him to make this decision, but proximity to liquor. Dave's blog was very active during the World Cup, his being a soccer freak--though not a particularly good prognosticator: I think he made like five correct picks throughout the entire tournament. Or to quote the man himself in assessing his abilities as footie predictor: I couldn’t have fared worse in analysing and predicting matches if I’d sat out in a pasture, surrounded by mounds of bovine dung and overseen by football-ignorant constellations, and simulated each of the 64 matches in this World Cup using dung beetles as players, frozen feces as the football, and LSD-induced hallucinations to choose my formation and formulate my strategies. Believe me, it was bad.

The show, though, was good, and on the ground response has been thoroughly gratifying: it's been so long since I had the opportunities to flex my poetic muscles on such a stage, and Friday night just served to remind me of how much I enjoy doing so. I used to do it monthly in Munich, so it's been missed a lot during my stay in Gangneung. Which brings me to my final point: Dylan and I have talked it over, and we're going to try to sneak one in before I leave (that date is quickly approaching)--we approach Gyeong Sup this weekend about a possible date. If Friday's show--and the feedback we've received since--is anything to gauge the matter by, there is definitely sufficient demand for fare such as this to merit its being a much more regular event.

I'll keep you posted on developments here.


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