I’ve never really taken to updating this site with any regularity. That will probably never change. Now that I no longer perform comedy and seem to be publishing new poems at a more reasonable snail’s pace than I was back in 2013, it doesn’t make much sense to bother the Internet with what I’m up to.
I’m still writing poems and ditties. The new news, if there is any, is that I recently invested in a new guitar.
I never really saw myself owning a Martin, because I never saw myself as the kind of player who deserved one. But I got a deal. And I’ve got to tell you that an instrument this well-crafted makes me want to raise my game in the fingerpicking ditty department. Which is news, because I’ve never been a big fan of self-improvement.
Which also reminds me, I have given a few readings lately. Poetry, of course. But also a series of monologues written for a collaboration with photographer Craig VanDerSchaegen. He put photos into a software program that translated them into soundscapes, over which I read my writing. We debuted it at Small Art‘s Spring Fling.
I’m always happy to find interesting new venues for my work. Hint, hint.
For the right venue, I’d even write a new joke or two. Hell, I trimmed my beard. What else have I got to lose?
As my 44th year on this giant rock winds down, it seems a fitting time to finally publish some of my real, literary-ish poems between two covers with my name on the front. (The “poems” in DUCK! don’t count.)
Well, good news. Ravenna Press just added a selection of my poems to its lovely Artefakta Pamphlet Series.
Earliest Bird Calls includes earlier drafts of poems that found their way into my full-lengh debut manuscript, Coyotes I Couldn’t See, as well as poems available nowhere else.
The entire series is worth checking out, if you ask me — important literary stylists doing interesting work. You don’t find that in the pages of many magazines these days. And who doesn’t want to support small presses?
What else can I tell you? My pamphlet is also a bargain at just $2.50 (or $4.00, including shipping). If you’re a Brian Beatty completist, get yours today.
I’ve been posting even less than usual because I’ve been busy working on poems that might make a book. While my work continues to underwhelm the gatekeepers of university-affiliated lit journals, I’ve been able to get my poems published without their approval.
I’ve had great good luck internationally, too, with poems accepted for publication in magazines and anthologies in Australia, Britain, Ireland, New Zealand and Scotland.
Right now the book I’m trying to build from all of these poems is titled Coyotes I Couldn’t See. Wonder how long that will last.
I’ve not been up to much, comedy-wise, in a very, very, very long time. If that’s why you’re here, I apologize. My time these days is mostly spent writing and reading little poems to people. For example, the video below is from when I got to read my poem “Requiem for a Revenant (in Memory of John Fahey)” at the 4th annual Great Twin Cities Poetry Read last April at Hamline University in St. Paul.
I ramble on at the start about John Fahey, but his music and writing mean a lot to me. Just play it. Thanks.
I recently started publishing photos at the literary website Midwestern Gothic. I realize I’m no Ansel Adams, but I’m happy-ish with how the four below turned out. They were snapped during treks through the woods with the girlfriend and our dog. Until I can get some new words out, it’s nice to have a new publishing venue. Of course, as soon as I know if I have a show in this summer’s Minnesota Fringe Festival, I’ll know if I have a future as a hack nature photographer or if this was just phase to go through between stories and poems.
As usual this time of year, I’m pretty much passing the three hours of daylight wondering if I’ll survive another winter’s interminable darkness and sub-zero cold. I’ve been writing and publishing and working out some storytelling ideas, too. Because I’m doing December’s Two Chairs Telling at the Bryant-Lake Bowl. Jokes are on the back burner for now. So at least they’ll stay warm.
Online yoga/mindfulness magazine Elephant Journal recently published my poem “Whirligigs.” [Click the link.]
Revolver, force-feeders of pudding last summer, just published my poem “The Last Diving Horse in America.”
The above pic was taken the day before snow and temperatures fell as if tied to Wile E. Coyote’s ACME anvil. My face is too frozen to smile now. I’m sure people think I’ve gotten Botox. Take my word for it.
Turned out I wasn’t cut out to be an arts columnist — and that two years was all I had in me as a podcaster. The prospect of turning 44 in January has me taking inventory of my creative pursuits. I’m looking forward to doing more storytelling, playing more music and keeping my hand in comedy.
There will be more poems, too, whether anybody wants them or not. In fact, here’s one:
A jar of fireflies
on a shelf abandoned
years ago to dust
gives this place
(a barn) a glow a guy
could read by
if he’d brought a book.
But no one would believe me.
does my story become
instead? That I was
lit inside (warmed, too)
by a little something shared
from a different jar.
No wonder I can’t
remember how I got here.
Maybe that’s why I’m alway so blurry.