Thursday, June 29, 2006

Google Trends
Google has a site where you can trend one keyword against another to gage the relative popularity of each. Just go to the site and enter two searches separated by a comma. The URL is

Here's how I stack up against cat poop:

I'm on a mission to become more popular than cat poop.

If you really want to watch a battle... check out cat poop versus presbyterians. They're neck and neck each month.

God only knows why.

** On a positive note: Frost is kicking Bukowski's arse.

Invisible Technorati Tags:

posted by Carl Bryant @ 4:25 PM   11 comments Literary Shirts

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I trade my soul for pennies
My advertising experiment was a dismal failure. I'm forbidden to reveal my earnings over the two-week trial, but I can tell you that it rhymes with "smixty-smix sments." I smuck at advertising.

Anyhoo - now I'm hawking poetry gifts. I probably smuck at poetry gifts, too.

I'm pretty sure having no pride is some sort of sin, but hey - I'm going to hell anyway. Why not shoot for a management position?

I've just realized something... if I take my hands off the keyboard… less idiocy comes out.

posted by Carl Bryant @ 6:07 PM   16 comments Literary Shirts

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Wanna buy a Campaign Shirt?

posted by Carl Bryant @ 4:29 PM   18 comments Literary Shirts

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Poetry in the Bathroom
I’ve been toying with the idea of creating a cheap paperback bathroom book. It would be a sort of word-find, but with poetry. I think a series of these could make me very wealthy.

The book would contain at least 25 boring poems and only 1 interesting one. Readers would sit in the bathroom for twenty minutes and try to find the good poem. If they found it, they could circle it with a pencil.

The only thing holding me back is a fear of being sued by Poetry magazine for stealing their concept.

posted by Carl Bryant @ 12:32 PM   13 comments Literary Shirts

Friday, June 23, 2006

Problem Solved
The literary blogosphere is abuzz with harsh criticism of our new Poet Laureate, Donald Hall.

Few Poets Laureate can please everyone, but I think it’s possible to please far more people – and to save the exorbitant salaries we pay these uber-poets. 35K / yr would go a long way toward eliminating our national debt.

I will be using my mainly imagined blogging influence to force a restructuring of the office of Poet Laureate.

Instead of a Poet Laureate, we will now have a Dead Poet Laureate – preferably somebody dead enough to be above reproach.

The appointment shall comply with the following provisions:

  • The Dead Poet Laureate shall be appointed for life.

  • The DePo Laureate shall be solely responsible for approval of changes to literary educational policy.

  • Declarations of war shall henceforth require a two-thirds majority vote of congress – and the verbal approval of the Dead Poet Laureate.

  • In the event of a disputed presidential election, the Dead Poet Laureate shall assume the Presidency.

I will probably appoint Robert Frost as the US DePo Laureate, but if someone knows a dead-er American poet, I'm open to ideas.

posted by Carl Bryant @ 4:43 PM   19 comments Literary Shirts

latest strategy for taking over the world
I recently joined a few online blog communities, hoping to learn and thereby improve my blogability. I don't know if it'll help my poetic blogitude or not, but I have something like 36,000 banner adverts running on blog community sites such as blog explosion (I won some kind of lottery thing.) I created this banner after about four bottles of stout:

It doesn't take an idiot to figure out what's wrong with today's poetry, but he has.

So... if you've followed an alcohol-induced banner here in hopes of finding a few poems that don't suck, I sincerely apologize. Beer makes for strange bedfellows.

posted by Carl Bryant @ 12:36 AM   2 comments Literary Shirts

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Poetry Thursday
Well, it's poetry Thursday, and I must post a poem. Again.

Michi Gabriel says my next poem must be titled "The Brandenburg Nightmares, Part I: Watermelon Quickstep." I've been working on this now for several minutes, but a poem of such sweeping scope deserves at least a half-hour's effort.

Whilst you wait... here's another Frost-y poem from the archives:

The Pie Not Taken

Two pies seduced in a yellow fridge
And sorry I could not eat both
And be on Atkins, I stood a smidge
And looked down long on the crusty ridge
and gave foul Atkins a vile oath;

Then took one from the fridgidaire,
And meeting perhaps the diet claim
'Cause it was thinner, stuffed with pear;
Though as for that the syrup there
Had made them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
with crusts no knife had tried to hack.
I kept the peach for another day!
Yet knowing how children eat away,
I worried I'd not get that snack.

I shall be telling this with huge thigh
Covered with hungry grandkids hence:
Two pies seduced in a fridge, and I--
I ate the thin one - the tiny pie
first, and it made no difference.

posted by Carl Bryant @ 1:57 PM   8 comments Literary Shirts

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Simple Solutions for Computer Problems
Since Sarah and several others are having troubles publishing blogger posts on their computers, I thought I'd offer a few quick fixes for common problems with the Blogger interface.

Blogger supports several computer browsers, but they only recommend Firefox. So do I. It's free and full of features. You'll be hard-pressed to find a tech anywhere who endorses Internet Explorer.

Sometimes a connection issue can be resolved by closing your browser window and restarting . This starts another browser session, grabs (hopefully) different internet hops along the way, and may connect with a different blogger server. Try this first!

Make a backup of your template! Several people have reported corrupted templates in the past few weeks (apparently, Blogger is still having database issues.) Go into your dashboard, click the template tab, then copy and paste everything you see there into a notepad file. Save the file with a name unique to the backup date. Exit blogger without saving any changes to the template (just close the window.)

To restore from backup, delete everything in the old template, paste your backup copy in the window, then save and republish the entire blog.

Often your sidebar links will slip to the bottom of the computer screen. This is usually caused by uploading an image too large for the DIV, or by using an unwrapped text anchor link that extends beyond the limits of the DIV for your particular template. To fix this, click your previous posts until the problem goes away. Identify the one post that is causing the trouble with everything else on the page, then edit - paying particular attention to photos and links.

posted by Carl Bryant @ 3:26 PM   6 comments Literary Shirts

Surfing the Po-blogs
Are you new to the blogworld of poetry? Here's a few blogs to check out:

Sarah Sloat has won Second Place in the IBPC poem of the year competition. Head over to The Rain in My Purse and congratulate her.

Julie Carter of Carter's Little Pill invites you to check out poet Steve Kronen. Scroll down to "After Viewing Twelve Versions of Madonna and Child." You won't be sorry.

Michi Gabriel is offering to name your next poem.

The somewhat weird Arlene Ang wonders why her parents named her something they couldn't pronounce.

The exceptionally weird Radish King is terrorized by her own deranged knee.

posted by Carl Bryant @ 1:28 PM   7 comments Literary Shirts

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

it's a blog-eat-blog world
Those snooty little "My blog is worth $11,084.14 - how much is YOUR blog worth" banners are really starting to irritate me.

Lest we forget:

posted by Carl Bryant @ 12:07 AM   6 comments Literary Shirts

Monday, June 19, 2006

Life as a Bryant
Snippets of a few conversations:

Brenda's Boss to Brenda: "I just asked your husband how he got you to marry him. You won't believe what he said."
Brenda: "Did he say I was retarded?"
Brenda's Boss: "How did you know?"

Brenda, at dinner: "Andrew - would you like asparagus?"
Andrew: "What makes you think an 11-year-old boy would like asparagus?"

UPS client, this morning at 4 am: "I'm sorry to call so early. I didn't wake you, did I?"
Me: "No, sir. I had to get up to answer the phone anyway."
UPS client: "I'm glad. I didn't want to wake you."

Brenda: "I sit too much. I should stand more often and lose this weight."
Me: "You never see elephants sitting around, and it doesn't help them."
Brenda: "If brains were taxed, you'd get a huge rebate."

Brenda: "I'm thinking of starting a prayer blog."
Me: "I don't think God will surf your blog, and I just can't see Him using feedburner."
Brenda: "I don't know what your problem is, but I bet it's hard to pronounce."

Brenda: "You're lucky I married you."
Me: "I could have any woman I please."
Brenda: "That's true... but you don't please any."
Invisible Technorati Tags:HumorLifeFunnyFunBlog

posted by Carl Bryant @ 10:52 AM   10 comments Literary Shirts

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Parental Love
It's Father's Day, and I've been remembering my father. I've been thinking about unconditional love; where it comes from, where it goes.

My wife loves me, and it's magic. By "magic", I mean she will kiss me and close her eyes - wishing I'd turn into a handsome prince.

I don't blame her. I wouldn't want to be caught frenching a frog, either.

Anyway - back to parental love: Is a parent's love for a child is the greatest love one human can have for another? I wonder.

When I was a child, no one loved me nearly as much as my mother did, but - if it was raining out - who did she send to get the newspaper?

I was happy to get that paper. I would have never sat by and let my mother go out in the storm. It would have been unthinkable.

My family and I went out for a Father's Day dinner tonight, and my eleven-year-old son held the door for me. It was nothing special - he does this all of the time. He visits my blog a half-dozen times each day while I'm at work. My ex says he does this to feel closer to me.

I pick Andrew up from his mother's every Tuesday for Boy Scout meetings, and every Friday at 6 for our weekends together. He calls every Friday at 530 to make sure I am not late. He meets me at the street, even though I always go inside for a half-hour or so to chat with the ex and her husband.

Do I love Andrew? Absolutely. I love him and his sister - with all of the strength within me. Is it the greatest love there is? It would be flattering to think so, but it would also be wrong.

There is no greater love than the love of a child.

posted by Carl Bryant @ 1:40 AM   6 comments Literary Shirts

Thursday, June 15, 2006

It's Poetry Thursday!
Stopping My Pole-Dance On A Frosty Evening

Whose bills these were I do not know.
Her cash is crisp and pokes me though;
She must have caught me dancing here
And stuffed my underwear with dough.
Those hoarse gals sure must think it queer
For me to turn and stop in fear
In mid-dance of disco song,
Ignoring cries of lusty cheer.
They watch me dig inside my thong
And know there must be something wrong.
Still - cash is waved, they want to peep
But I won't move to where they throng.
Their ones are lovely - rent ain't cheap.
But I have Little-Elvis to keep,
And papercuts can go real deep,
And papercuts can go real deep.

posted by Carl Bryant @ 11:54 AM   15 comments Literary Shirts

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I heart poetry dot com

How do I know if I won your contest?
Winners are notified immediately. Congratulations! You've won our contest!

So you're going to publish my poem? In a real book?
Yes - with real paper and everything. The title will be "Trees - Shmees."

Wait a minute... Did I really just win your contest?
Yes! You're not going to believe this, but... You're about to become a semifinalist for our $1,000 and $10,000 prizes! We'll soon ask you to attend a poet's conference!

It's like you know the future. How are you doing this?
We also run a psychic friends website. Now you're thinking about......
spitting your gum so you can walk to the mailbox without falling.

Amazing! Will I find anything exciting in my mailbox?
Almost. If the government hadn't stopped Publisher's Clearing House...
we're pretty sure you might've already been a winner.

What can I do about the government cheating me of my winnings?
Write your congressman. Use the spell-check, insert a paragraph break every 12 lines or so, do not mention, and do not include a copy of your poem.

Invisible Technorati Tags:

posted by Carl Bryant @ 10:36 PM   10 comments Literary Shirts

Donald Hall
Thanks to Jilly Dybka of Poetry Hut

Donald Hall is an activist for the cause of artistic freedom, an outspoken critic of the religious right's influence on the arts, an extraordinary poet, and is also the new Poet Laureate of the United States.

Robert Pinsky, who was poet laureate from 1997 to 2000, said he welcomed Mr. Hall's appointment, especially in light of his previous outspokenness about politics and the arts. "There is something nicely symbolic, and maybe surprising," Mr. Pinsky said, "that they have selected someone who has taken a stand for freedom." -

Asked what he will do to advocate for poetry during his roughly two-year term, Hall said he hadn't figured that out yet, despite his friend Rector having forwarded a helpful list of more than 80 suggestions. ("It made me tired," Hall joked.) One of his own initial thoughts, which he called a "wild idea," was to help start a poetry channel on one of the satellite radio networks.

Should we (the blogging poets) forward our own list? What would top your list of new poetry initiatives?

posted by Carl Bryant @ 1:56 PM   5 comments Literary Shirts

Monday, June 12, 2006

Signs for the Workshop

posted by Carl Bryant @ 7:57 PM   10 comments Literary Shirts

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Dominionism, Sharia, or whatever else you want to call it
Pharmaceutical giants Merck and GlaxoSmithKline are gearing up for a bruising showdown with America's religious right after the US medicines regulator approved a new blockbuster cervical cancer vaccine last week.

Conservative groups, including the influential Family Research Council (FRC), have voiced concerns that immunising young girls against the virus that most regularly causes cervical cancer, Human Papilloma- virus, may lead to sexual promiscuity. "We would oppose any measures to legally require vaccination or to coerce parents into authorising it," wrote the FRC in a recent letter to the US government. "Our primary concern is with the message that would be delivered to nine- to 12-year-olds with the administration of the vaccines. Care must be taken not to communicate that such an intervention makes all sex 'safe'."

... -

So... let me get this straight - either: Prevent many cervical cancers with early vaccination and risk removing a deterring fear later in life, or... let women die to support a claim that cervical cancer is the wrath of God.

How do you think the religious right would feel about a cure for AIDS?
How about a cure for anything that doesn't support their agenda?

Gay marriage? Heavens no.
Interracial marriage? Okay now, but legally forbidden with religious justification until the fifties and sixties.

Evolution? Don't get me started. According to our president, "the jury is still out."
I'm waiting for them to jump on schools for teaching heliocentric models of planetary motion.

Sometimes, I wish the wrath of God was a real thing and not a direct result of the hatred of ignorant men. I could accept an act of God.

Give a moron a microphone, and most people will ignore him.
Hand that same asstard a bible, and he has instant validity.

*(note: I do NOT think all Christians are stupid. I've known many who were brilliant.)

posted by Carl Bryant @ 2:50 PM   11 comments Literary Shirts

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Blogger is Back
Wow. It's been awhile, but I'm able to add/edit content to my blog again.

I posted a poem yesterday and immediately had second thoughts (it needs revision) but blogger wouldn't let me in to delete it... so it stayed up.

Blogger is the bane of the unconfident poet.

Since there's an hour or two of poetry Thursday left, here's a poem for you:

Roses are red,
violets are blue.
Blogger is acting up
and I can't delete this crap.

posted by Carl Bryant @ 9:38 PM   6 comments Literary Shirts

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


When Father first spoke in tongues,
it started small - like the legs of locusts
on the ears of summer corn, jumping
over, and over the buzz of Baptists
until it seemed the sound
swarming through our wooden church
was coming entirely from him;
as if he was an Old Testament Samson
with a beard full of bees, feasting on honey
from the swollen rot of a lion
he carelessly fought and slew.

posted by Carl Bryant @ 7:53 PM   5 comments Literary Shirts

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

excuses, excuses
Do you obsess over poems in progress - so much so that you can't write anything else until it's out?

How do you set a troubling poem aside?

Blogging is on hold today until I get this unwritten poem out of my head.

In the meantime, here is my favorite web game. Simple, pointless, and addictive. You've been warned.

posted by Carl Bryant @ 4:53 PM   13 comments Literary Shirts

Monday, June 05, 2006

playing with my wife's camera
A few shots of an old bridge near the house

posted by Carl Bryant @ 8:25 PM   9 comments Literary Shirts

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Poetry in the classroom
Important Poet #27: Charles Bukowski

posted by Carl Bryant @ 6:42 PM   6 comments Literary Shirts

Saturday, June 03, 2006

contributions to the sum of human knowledge
Aspirin doesn't really cure headaches - it's the "keep away from children" instruction that does the trick.

Dry toast and toothpaste will remove cat stains from the microwave.

If dogs don't know it's not bacon, neither will your kids.

You can easily hide vodka by pouring it into icecube trays. It won't freeze and no one will bother it.

Diet Coke will kill sperm, but using it for this purpose raises its caloric content to that of regular Coke.

posted by Carl Bryant @ 12:26 PM   10 comments Literary Shirts

Friday, June 02, 2006

The Beginner's Guide to Online Critique
Welcome to the world of online poetry critique. You make the rest of us look less amateurish by comparison. We’re glad you’re here!

Here are a few terms and phrases you’re likely to encounter in the workshop:

Nice Poem – Literal translation: “I skimmed your poem and couldn’t find anything clever to say about it, but I have to post a minimum number of critiques. Goodbye now.”

Interesting use of enjambment – Literal translation: “I like how you’ve used the [enter] key to make the right margin all nice and even. Why didn’t I think of that?”

Good luck with this – Literal translation: “Good luck fixing THIS.”

Meter – this is a noun indicating the apparent page length of a boring sonnet.

Initial Capitals – In formal poetry, a poetic device consisting of a personal computer and Microsoft Word.

Free Verse – a type of poem that travels through the air from your hand to the wastebasket.

Tell-y – resembling the work of William Tell, famous for shooting arrows at someone’s head.

The most important thing to remember about workshopping is that the POEM is being critiqued – NOT THE POET. Unless the critique is positive. Then assume we’re talking about the poet.

Let that sink in.

posted by Carl Bryant @ 5:02 PM   8 comments Literary Shirts

Thursday, June 01, 2006

poetry thursday
Emily, at Thirteen

Beneath the shell
of her white-rust swing-set
the tracks of birds
are an ancient alphabet -
Phoenician letters
on rice-paper sand,
growing random in ways
only birds understand.

posted by Carl Bryant @ 12:09 PM   13 comments Literary Shirts