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Wilma & Betty: Episode X

Transmitted on Sunday, January, 31st, 2010 in New Stuff , Wilma & Betty

Here’s the full story read on Saturday, Jan 30th at Jengo’s Playhouse at the latest installment of The Cure for the Common Reading. I’ll leave it here for about a week, then probably take it down. I may or may not try to actually send it out somewhere!

Hope you all enjoy!

-JM

The Further Adventures of Wilma & Betty:
Episode X: How It Does or Does Not End

(Dedicated to Bill Shipman)

It was 4:59 on a Friday afternoon and outside the 1st National Bank of Bedrock the sky was gray. A steady, dreary rain was falling. The two women just did make it through the front door of the bank as the clock struck 5 pm. The security guard pulled the door shut behind them and closed the lock home.

He was a young, broad-shouldered boy. Reminiscent of a young Dennis Quaidstone.

To be sure, he was handsome. A handsome boy that might someday ripen into a handsome man—if his life was long enough and hard enough and he made just enough bad decisions.

“You ladies got lucky,” the young guard said, smiling a perfect smile.

Betty grinned, looking both guilty and disingenuous.

Wilma sighed. “Yes,” she said. “We did get lucky.” She smiled an apology.

Then she pulled out her pistol and shot the young guard just above the knee.

He crumpled with a scream.

“Here we go,” Wilma said.

*
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The Return of the Infamous Wilma & Betty

Transmitted on Sunday, January, 24th, 2010 in Uncategorized

Next weekend (January 30th) I’ll once again be co-hosting the next installment of “The Cure for the Common Reading” with my good friend Justin Edge.  Last time, I posted the opening section of my piece for folks to preview and everyone seemed to enjoy that.  So here we go again!

This time (in honor of my good friend Bill Shipman) I’ll be offering up another installment of the infamous “Further Adventures of Wilma & Betty” series. This time the girls are armed and, therefore, even more dangerous than usual!

But you gotta come out to Jengo’s (814 Princess Street) at 7:00 on Saturday to find out how the girls got to this point and, more importantly, what happens next! 🙂

The Further Adventures of Wilma & Betty:
Episode X: How It Does or Does Not End

It was 4:59 on a Friday afternoon and outside the 1st National Bank of Bedrock the sky was gray. A steady, dreary rain was falling. The two women just did make it through the front door of the bank as the clock struck 5 pm. The security guard pulled the door shut behind them and closed the lock home.

He was a young, broad-shouldered boy. Reminiscent of a young Dennis Quaidstone.

To be sure, he was a handsome boy. A handsome boy that might some day ripen into a handsome man—if his life was long enough and hard enough and he made just enough bad decisions.

“You ladies got lucky,” the young guard said, smiling a perfect smile.

Betty grinned, looking both guilty and disingenuous.

Wilma sighed. “Yes,” she said. “We did get lucky.” She smiled her apology. “I wish I could say the same for you.”

Then she pulled out her pistol and shot the young guard just above the knee.

He crumpled with a scream.

“Here we go,” Wilma said.
_______________

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Poetry Talk with Bryan Dietrich (Part 2)

Transmitted on Saturday, January, 23rd, 2010 in Uncategorized

As promised, here is part two of my interview with poet Bryan Dietrich. In typical fashion, Bryan amazes.

JM: Talk to me a little more about the sonnet crown. Your history with it, your experiences, your thoughts on its challenges, pitfalls, blind alleys, etc.

BD: The crown is a form I first discovered in graduate school. I was reading entries for the Southern California Anthology when I came across a sequence of poems that blew me away. I recognized them as sonnets, and there were seven of them, but I didn’t know at the time that this was a recognized form. I’m not even sure that I noticed the repetition of lines. It wasn’t until I passed this particular piece on to the head of the program, and he said, “Oh, a crown,” that I had any idea. All I knew was that each of the parts seemed grander than the whole. Even without knowing the form, I had instinctively intuited how each movement, each individual sonnet, built upon a common theme and came to a kind of resolution no single sonnet could have accomplished alone.
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Poetry Talk with Bryan Dietrich (Part 1)

Transmitted on Saturday, January, 16th, 2010 in Uncategorized

A very odd thing has been happening since I’ve been lucky enough to become an author. As I’ve been out promoting the book (which deals primarily with the subject of Love), I’ve found myself fielding more questions about my various superhero poetry projects than about my actual published book of poems about Love. Somehow, my unpublished superhero poetry manuscript seems to overshadow the Love manuscript which has actually made its way into print.

Strange (yet exciting) days.

One of the questions I’m asked most often is “what or who” inspired me to write superhero poetry. Well, while the answer to the question of what inspired my affinity for superhero poetry is both long and complex, the story of who inspired me to write superhero poetry is short and succinct: Bryan Dietrich.

I came across Bryan’s first book Krypton Nights in my undergraduate studies at UNCW (thanks to Lavonne Adams) and, while the idea for writing superheroes into my poetry had been there for quite a while, Bryan Dietrich and Krypton Nights gave me the “permission” I was looking for to actually begin writing it.

So, it is with great personal satisfaction that I’ve been able to meet Bryan (virtually) and form a friendship. Almost as exciting was when Bryan agreed to field a few questions for me regarding poetry, superheroes and writing in general.

The end result of that Q&A will be presented here in a two-part interview. Bryan’s comments on both poetry and writing were so rich and elucidating that a single post would not have done him justice. (Expect the second part of this interview next weekend.)

For those of you unacquainted with Bryan’s body of work, here’s the skinny on Bryan’s breathtakingly impressive body of work:

Bryan D. Dietrich is the author of a book-length study on comics, Wonder Woman Unbound, and six books of poems: Krypton Nights, Universal Monsters, Prime Directive, Love Craft, The Assumption, and The Monstrance. He is also co-editor of Drawn to Marvel, the world’s first anthology of superhero poetry.

He has published poems in The New Yorker, The Nation, Poetry, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, The Paris Review, The Harvard Review, Yale Review, Shenandoah, Open City, Asimov’s Science Fiction, Witness, Weird Tales, and many other journals. Having won The Paris Review Poetry Prize, a “Discovery”/The Nation Award, a Writers at Work Fellowship, the Isotope Editors’ Prize, a Rhysling Award, and the Eve of St. Agnes Prize, Bryan is a five-time finalist for the Yale Younger Poets Series and has been nominated multiple times for both the Pushcart and the Pulitzer.

Now, without further ado, Poetry Talk with Bryan Dietrich (Part 1):

JM: Before we get down to the topic of sonnets, I’d like to begin with a pretty basic question, something to help us get to know a little more about you as a poet: when did you begin making poetry a career goal and what made you decide to intertwine pop culture so intimately with your art?

BD: Let me first say that I always imagined I would be a comic book artist. Ever since I can remember, my life has revolved around comic books and comic-book-like stories—Star Trek, The Night Stalker, Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, The Six Million Dollar Man, Man from Atlantis, The Prisoner, etc. What excited me then, and what still excites me now, is that which haunts the edges of the unexplained, the ineffable.
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