Books
  • Furious Lullaby (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry)
    Furious Lullaby (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry)
  • Names Above Houses (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry)
    Names Above Houses (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry)
  • A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry
    A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry

  • Requiem for the Orchard (Akron Series in Poetry)
    Requiem for the Orchard (Akron Series in Poetry)

Anthologies

Oliver's work can also be found in the following anthologies.

  • Tilting the Continent: Southeast Asian American Writing
    Tilting the Continent: Southeast Asian American Writing
  • Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation
    Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation
  • Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond
    Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond
  • From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems that Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great
    From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems that Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great
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Still coughing

I'm still coughing. Blah. Only now I'm not having coughing fits that wake me up in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for poor Meredith. She's currently going through the same bout with the cold. Alas, we are a sickly crew.



Spent yesterday watching football again. It's such a guilty pleasure. A.J. Feeley was a kid who used to play for my high school alma mater. I remember him when he was a scrawny kid who was the waterboy for our varsity football team. Poor guy got harrassed and harangued all evening! I tell you, I'm glad I'm a poet. There's no tackling in poetry, though I've seen a few workshops where folks were on the verge of coming to blows.

Do you hear that howling wind?

That, my friends, is the collective heartbroken sigh from all the boys (and some girls) in the literary world upon hearing that poet, babe, and ultra sweetie, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, is getting married.








Congrats to Aimee and the D man!

I'm siiiiiiiiiiiick.  

I used to say that when I was a kid, pitched at just the right frequency to gel my mother's nerves. I'm actually sick at the moment. It's an early cold season here in Utica. The weather's changing. It's warm during the day and chilly at night. All the undergrads are inoculating each other in their dorm rooms. . . picking their noses and wiping them on doorknobs, desks, podiums. I'll bet one of my students infected my coffee mug while I wasn't looking. I knew I'd be getting sick this weekend. It was only a matter of time. I've been having a bit of trouble sleeping because I've been adjusting to a new teaching schedule which has me teaching 8:30AM classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with a 6:30-9:20PM class squeezed between on Wednesday. Anyway, I just got back from teaching a night class and my throat feels like I swallowed a hairbrush. It's hard to be taken seriously when you're giving feedback on someone's poem and your voice cracks in and out.



So I'm nursing my throat by drinking a combination of Echinacea tea, honey, and lemon. I regret being the son of a pragmatic woman, sometimes. I never got to experience a bizarre home remedy for a cold. Any of you have weird home remedies? Just curious.

Happy Birthday to Sarah Gambito!

Everybody . . . do the Hamster Dance!!

Torx Screwdriver, size 8.

I got an Airport card for Meredith's G4 Powerbook yesterday. I'm already on a mini-wireless network, using an Airport Express Base Station (love, love, love). I needed to remove the base of the computer in order to install the card. Anyway, I flipped over her laptop to install the card and lo . . . eight tiny screws with a star shaped impression. I'd never seen that type of impression on a screw-head before. I tried to unscrew the base using a precision flathead screwdriver. That didn't work, and I was bending the screwdriver head. After several trips up and down stairs to retrieve and return tools to my toolbox, I realized that I needed help. I looked at the Apple solutions webpage and it said that I needed an Torx Screwdriver, Size 8. At this point, I hadn't run Jake (the dog) yet, so I suited him up and plopped him in the car. It was a beautiful sunny day . . . slightly warm. With the windows lowered, we hit Home Depot first. I looked up and down the tool aisle and found a set of Torx screwdrivers, but the smallest size they had was a Size 10. I asked for help and a guy named Raoul sidled up to me, wearing his orange Home Depot smock. Together we looked up and down the aisle for the illusive Torx 8. We looked at all manner of combo screwdriver packs, tool kits, drill bits, etc. Finally, he turned to me and said, "Man, we don't have it."



I was dejected and Jake was in the car panting. Jake and I then set off to a smaller hardware store called Hallak's. The minute I walked in, a young man at the cash register asked if he could help me. I asked him about the Torx 8 and immediately he said, "We don't carry it. Go to an automotive store."



So, I jumped back into the car with Jake and we drove to Checker Auto Parts. I went to the tool section and found a Torx set, but none of them were marked with sizes. A fellow at the front desk asked if he could help me. Together, we looked up and down the aisle for the Torx 8. He finally turned to me and said, "Have you tried Home Depot?"



I hopped in my car. Poor Jake was panting and tired. His eyes were droopy. I decided to go home. When we got home, Jake drank eagerly from his water dish as I went back upstairs to retrieve the toolbox. I pulled out a precision flat head screwdriver that I had previously used in a failed attempt. This time, I pushed down a bit harder, turned a bit slower, and watched the screws from the bottom of Meredith's laptop, lift from the case. The Airport card was installed successfully.



The moral of this story? You don't need a stinkin' Torx screwdriver for nuthin'.

I'm such a guy guy.

Sunday's football day. I basically spent the entire afternoon grading papers in front of the television. I caught a glimpse of the Giants vs. Eagles. I also watched a little bit of the Redskins vs. Tampa Bay. I also watched the men's US Open tennis final. I don't particularly like Roger Federer, but man, does he have a pretty game. I flat out hate Lleyton Hewitt, so I'm glad he lost.



Right now Meredith's washing dishes while I watch the Broncos vs. KC. :-) I tell you, this has been a GOOD Sunday.

The new G4 computer!

Well, got my old G4 Tower back this morning, complete with a brand new hard drive. The drive's twice the size as my old one at 120GB. Sadly, though, they couldn't save my data. So at the moment, I'm re-installing software. *sigh*



Ah well, so much for this afternoon!

The battle against abstractions: Round 2

I've noticed that when my students switch from writing poetry to the fiction unit, they feel more compelled to describe and provide detail when they write stories than when they write poems.



My first thought is that they see poems as compressed language. Because of that compression, they need to use shorthand (abstraction), in order to say what they want to say.



My second thought is that they view poetry as closely in league with philosophy. A poem is about ideas first and not about image.



Finally, as was stated in the previous post, the abstract language will allow the readers to interpret the poem in whatever way that reader wishes. It's the idea that the poem allows the writer AND the reader freedom. However, the reader is empowered in this model and ultimately, it's the reader who's writing the poem, it seems.



So . . . what to do? More in a few. I've got to teach in ten minutes. ;-)