Monday, October 22, 2012

Poetry in Motion

I feel like the personification of poetry in motion today.  I wrote two posts for my Premium Cable Reviews blog.  One for Showtime’s Homeland "New Car Smell"(#204) and one for Showtime’s Dexter "Run"(#704).  Two examples of my very best reviews, if you will excuse me for saying so myself.  I hope when you read them, you will leave a comment telling me whether or not you agree. 

Then I knocked out my news print poetry poem entitled “Gridiron Girls” for my NewsPrint Poetry 2012 blog.  And then, I took that poem and reworked it without the restrictions of news print poetry for my poetry class on Tuesday. The assignment was to write a protest poem. My protest is about telling little girls they have to be all “sugar and spice” instead of telling them to be whoever, whatever, they want to be. 

My thoughts –a blur of motion in my brain; my fingers—a blur of motion over the keyboard.  Later, I’m going to design and create some jewelry. 

It feels so good to be creative.
This picture is from
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This is the correct link for the writing class: 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A New Milestone

It has been 300 days since I started my News Print Poetry 2012 blog project. I posted a poem every single day.
However I have written about 250 of these poems.  Some I put on this companion blog as bonus poems and some I just kept on file in my computer.

I have published two books,  News Print Poetry 2012 Volume 1 January to March and News Print Poetry Volume 2 April June.  News Print Poetry Volume 3 July to September will be sout soon.

I decided that each of those books should have 101 poems. It just seemed like the right number and it gave me the opportunity to use the poems that didn’t make it to the blog.

300 poems, but who’s counting? I am, for one. This is a major commitment.

I found this picture of callendar pages truneing at

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Haiku Happiness

I’m getting a little carried away with news print haiku.  They are so quick and easy to do.

October 18, 2012

Scenic Cobbs Corner,
A slice of Old Florida,
The beauty at sunset

October 19, 2012

SeaWorld performers
Show off water-borne footwork,
Spectators gather

October 20, 2012

The little acorn
Grows into the mighty oak
By setting goals high

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© 2012 Catherine Giordano

This woodcut by Katsushika Hokusai known as the “The Great wave was done in circa 1829-32.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

News Print Haiku

A friend wrote a great haiku the other day and that got me to thinking about whether I could do a news print haiku.

I decided I would use the traditional three line form with a “turn” after the second line. (The turn resolves the issue set up for the first two lines.)  Traditional haiku uses 5 syllables for the first line, 7 syllables for the second line, and five syllables for the concluding line.

Here’s what I came up with from a section of the newspaper on the editorial page entitled “The Needle.” It usually includes three very short political jokes.

The Ten Commandments

It’s over-regulation

Repeal five of them

I found this picture at

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My Brief Brush with Fame

Fame is fleeting. 

Last week, Showtime put a link to my review of “Dexter” on their web page for the show.  It was for episode 2 of season 7, “Sunshine and Frosty Swirl.” It was on a page called “In the News.”

This week I was so excited by the prospect of being recognized again that I got up early Monday morning and wrote my reviews for “Dexter" episode 703 that I named "Necessary, Greater and Lesser Evils" and “Homeland” episode 203 that I named "Wired."  It takes me about 3 hours to write a review and get it posted, so unless I want to pull an all-nighter, the reviews have to wait for Monday.  Also, I think the review is better if “I sleep on it” and let the ideas percolate through my brain.

But fame is fleeting.

Both “Dexter” and “Homeland” now have an “In the News” link.  Now the link takes you to a whole list of reviews. My review of episode 702 for Dexter is still up, but neither of my reviews for this week made the cut.  I think my reviews this week are just as good as the one I wrote last week.

Why didn’t I make the cut?  Fame is fleeting.
This picture is from

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Showtime Dreaming

It was a great thrill to have Showtime put a link to my blog: Premium Cable Reviews on the Dexter home page.They linked to my review of season 7, episode 3, “Sunshine and Frosty Swirl.”  On the bottom right hand side of the home page was a link that said “In the News.”  I thought it would be a link to a page of links of news stories. I was so surprised that it linked to only one thing—my blog.

My blog got so many hits and, even though the link is down now, I’m still getting an above average number of hits.

I think Showtime liked my review because it is more than just a review and more than just a recap, although it is, in part, both of those things. What I think is special about my reviews is that I comment on the themes of the show.

Have you noticed that as soon as you get something totally nice and totally unexpected, you start wanting something more? That’s what is happening to me. I’m daydreaming now about more.

I’d like to be recognized as a professional reviewer. I’d like to get a an opportunity to view each episode in advance so I could have my review ready and posted as soon as the show ends on Sunday night.  (It takes about 3 hours to write each review.)

I’d like to have a press kit so I would have all the information I needed at my fingertips. I sometimes have to do a little research about cast or other details while I’m doing the review.

And most of all, I’d like to get paid, even just a nominal sum. This is a labor of love and I will do it whether I get paid or not. However, nothing says you’re a professional like a paycheck.  Also I need the money. But that is probably way too much to hope for at this point.

So I'll just dream on ... and write on.
You can read my latest review of "Dexter," (season 7, episode 3) the one that aired on 10/14/12.  Showtime named the episode “Buck the System” , but I renamed it "Necessary, Greater, and Lesser Evits" to reflect what I thought was the main theme of the episode.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Wordstock:Poets in the Wilderness by Curtis X. Meyer

My first guest blogger.  Curtis X. Meyer wrote this review of Wordstock. 

Learn more about Curtis at:
First things first – I entered Wordstock miserable, on account of horrendous directions given out by Mapquest. While my information did mention dirt roads, it also said the journey would take no more than an hour and 15 minutes. Yeah, about that. I left my house in Winter Park, Florida around 8:30AM, and definitely arrived on the premises slightly past 11AM. When I finally found the dirt road I was supposed to turn on off the highway, it was marked by a series of plywood signs with the word “FESTIVAL” in all caps, pointing in the direction of what I could assume was the only, if not, at least most important festival event in town.

When I followed the last sign through the gates circling the property, I only knew I had arrived at the proper location because I recognized the familiar faces of some poets I knew, manning the front. I half-expected to be greeted by the theme music from Jurassic Park.

And grouchy though I was after my three-hour tour, I have to say, the spot chosen to host Wordstock was capital–G Gorgeous: A lush, green valley overlooked by a boathouse into an algae-thick lake; two stages for acoustic and spoken word performers; a pair of fire pits ready for drum circles by night; booths where vendors sold jewelry and told fortunes; an outside kitchen that served fruits, danish, granola bars, and lunch-wrap sandwiches by donation -- it looked like a camp for poets. Which is to say, for this poet, it was pretty much Valhalla.

Now, as happy as I was to be back on solid ground, my gelled hair, khakis, and GQ sunglasses made me feel a tad overdressed in the company of so many jeans and t-shirts. It certainly didn’t help that black button shirt was helping to melt me into a pile of wax beneath the Florida sun. Still, the shade, complimentary bottled water, and abundance of smiles provided by the staff were quick to make me feel at home.

But then, someone tells me I’m hosting a writing workshop at 1PM.


Apparently they know something I don’t.

It is now 11:30AM. Thankfully, I have my notebooks in my car to pull something quickly out of the ether, but I have only an hour-and-a-half to do it. While there was talk of me hosting a workshop before today, I definitely received no email, phone call, et cetera telling me I have officially been appointed such duties. No worries. I’ll wing it.

I spend the next 120 minutes putting together slips for my prompt. Typically, I write the names of various poetry forms – sonnet, sestina, ballad, pantoum, limerick, ghazal, et cetera – on slips of paper and put those slip in a sandwich bag. Then, I get those in my workshop to write down three to five ideas or things they think would be interesting topics for poems on slips of their own paper, and have them put these slips in a second sandwich bag. At the end of my lesson, I have everyone pick three slips from each, effectively choosing prompts for one another. “Ghazal” and “cupcakes” becomes a challenge for the recipient to write a ghazal about, in the voice of, or featuring cupcakes. “Sonnet” and “muscle cars” is meant to likewise inspire a similar poem, and so on and so forth.

I frantically cut slips with the names of poem forms from the pages of my notebook as The 1,000 Poets For Change open mic takes place onstage within earshot. In the absence of sandwich bags, I substitute with two plastic grocery bags from Wal*Greens I was fortunate to have in my car. No sooner do I finish my last page of slips, cut with a pair of scissors I was also lucky enough to have in my vehicle, than I hear that the workshop is about to go on – and be hosted by Elaine Person.

Elaine is a good friend, and a fine poet. But after hitting the ground running, and rushing to get a writing prompt together, I am more than a little curious as to what the plan is.

Elaine and I agree to host the workshop together. I begin by having everyone contribute five poetry topics to the empty bag. Elaine hosts her portion of the workshop, inspiring our peers to write rough poems inspired by a series of old t-shirts she has brought with her. I follow up with a brief lesson on elocution and the presentation of poetry as a live art-form. The conversation is lively, full of raised hands and enthusiastic questions. I wrap up with everyone picking three prompts and poetry forms from each bags, hoping everyone goes home with concepts for poems stewing their creative juices.

And then the slam. Friend and fellow Orlando poet Tod Caviness.  According to the flyer/brochure and online information for Wordstock, two slams are scheduled, one for “Spoken Word” at 4PM and another for “Traditional Coffeehouse Style” at 7PM. No one, self included, knows what the difference is. (And I’ve been performing in poetry slams and open mics for almost a decade.)

twenty poets sign up for the first slam, with 12 to move on to the second round, and 5 in the final round. Deep in my brain, I think this is murder. A typical slam held at a pub or coffeehouse, should be capped at 12 poets, so as not to incur the wrath of the venue staff, who no doubt would want to clean up the spot and go home. I have no idea if we started on time, but when I looked at my cell phone to see the time, it was 6:30PM and the first round was only halfway through. Keep in mind, the second slam was to start at 7pm.

In the end, Maxine Hamilton, after beating me in the first round, took 3rd place overall, beneath myself and Peter Gordan, in 1st and 2nd place, respectively. The second slam, and a slam finals that was to occur the next morning never took place, though everyone got to see one monumental show, featuring many poets who had never graced the stage before in a competitive format. I for one, was lucky enough to be exposed to poets I had been previously unfamiliar with including Peter and Maxine, managing in the process to make not only new friends, but find new poetic influences practically in my own backyard.

And while The 1st Annual Wordstock Festival proved to be a bumpy ride, between walking away $100 richer and ending my night with a stellar bowl of chili and cornbread from the kitchen, as I watched the sun go down, I could not help but think it could only get bigger and better.

Perhaps next year more locals could be persuaded to come out, and guest poets from out-of-town could present feature sets and workshops in addition to a pair of (shorter) slams. Maybe, even a head-to-head haiku battle. Whatever lies on the horizon for Wordstock, this event proved only the beginning of things to come.  

Friday, October 12, 2012

Tooting My Own Horn Again

I went to an open mic poetry reading lately.  One of the attendees sent me this email.

“I want to tell you that your poem about Edith Piaf was magnificent. I heard her singing and could see her petite stature as you read it. I truly loved it. You conveyed it beautifully as well. You definitely should submit it for a contest or a periodical. Really nice work.”

It’s so nice when people praise my writing.  Now if I could only get people to write their praise in the comment section of my blogs so everyone could see it.

P.S.: The poem is entitled "No Regrets." I like the poem also. I like it so much that I included it in two of my books, "The Poetry Connection" and "What If, If Only's and So Whats."

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I'm a "Playa" Now

I write reviews of premium cable TV shows on my blog: 
One of the shows I review each week is “Dexter” because it is one of my favorite shows
I am so thrilled. I noticed that my review of Showtime’s Dexter Season 2 episode 2 “Sunshine and Frosty Swirl” was getting hundreds of hits, way more than usual.  I saw from my stats that the hits were coming from 
I followed that link. It went to the Dexter home page.
On the bottom right hand side of the Dexter home page, there is a link “In the News.”  That link goes to my blog.
It’s a thrill to have my review recognized by Showtime.  They liked it enough to link to it from the Dexter homepage.
As soon as I discovered this, I went to my review and proofed it.  I found some typos and fixed them.  Now that I’m a big time reviewer, a "playa", it wouldn’t do to have typos.
Please read my review.  If you like it, then like it on facebook and give it a +1 in google circles. If you haven’t watched the episode yet, but plan to see it, then take heed. SPOILER ALERT:  I discuss key plot points that you might not want to know about until after you see the episode.
I found this picture at


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Poet Blogs...Why?

The Poet Blogs…Why?

I couldn’t resist sharing this cartoon. 

Enough said.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Poeming It Up

I have coined a phrase : “Poeming it up.”
“Poeming it up” is to poetry as” hamming it up” is to acting.
Enough said.

This picture is from

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

News from Wordstock

The First Annual Wordstock Poetry Festival at the Bamboo Arts Center in DeLeon Springs, Florida was a great success.

I wasn’t able to attend, but friends who went came back with glowing reports.

You can read an article from a local newspaper about it.



Monday, October 1, 2012

Save The Ta-Tas

I found this picture at
October is National Breast Cancer Month. This month has special significance to me because I am a breast cancer survivor.  Naturally, my poem on October 1st had to be about breast cancer. 

My cancer was caught very early. Fortunately, I did not decide to put off getting my annual mammogram.  I had a lumpectomy and radiation. If I had put that mammogram off even another month, things would have gone much worse for me.  Please tell the women you love not to put off getting a mammogram.
I saw “Save the Ta-Tas” on a T-Shirt. I think it is funny.