Posted by: Joelle Jameson | November 1, 2010

Hitting the metaphorical “bong of disorientation”

Even Curtis' modes of transportation are disjointed

Please note: no bongs were harmed (or used) in the making of this show.

As you are aware, every episode is different here on High Volumes, but no matter who my guest is, or what we’re reading, it’s basically always a big love fest. Which is great. There really aren’t many convenient avenues for hearing work read aloud. However, being constructively critical of others’ work is just as important as reading and appreciating it, in terms of growing as a writer. So this show a little more critical, in a good way.

My classmate and fellow poet Curtis Perdue joined me in doing this. Curtis is a third year poetry student at Emerson College, where he is also a teacher. He is the assistant poetry editor of Redivider, a literary journal I’ve featured on the show a number of times. He is now in his last year at Emerson trying to fill his thesis with poems that explore “the perceptive and deceptive workings of the imagination”–some of which we are treated to in the course of this episode.

Curtis directed my attention to an article published in the September 2010 issue of Poetry magazine by Tony Hoagland, “Recognition, Vertigo and Passionate Worldliness” (which is where “the bong of disorientation” came from). Devotees will remember that Tony read for the show back in February. I think it’s safe to say he’s one of the best-known American poets writing today. He has published four other poetry collections and a book of essays and has won many prestigious awards and grants over about the past 20 years, and he is the head of the creative writing program at the University of Huston. The essay is called “Recognition, Vertigo and Passionate Worldliness” and can be found at

This show will be archived on Sunday, November 7.


“Elective Surgery” by Lewis Warsh

“A WALL IS TORN DOWN” by Ben Lerner

“The Building of a Skyscraper” by George Oppen

“Less and Less Human” by Wallace Stevens

“Expensive Hotel” by Tony Hoagland

“Food Court” by Tony Hoagland

“Memory” by Curtis Perdue

“Neon Jungle” by Curtis Perdue

“For the Record” by Curtis Perdue

“Confessing my ignorance” by Yusef Komunyakaa

“Midalo” by John Murillo

“The Special People” Peter J. Shippy

“Post-Burial” by Joelle Jameson


“Sick and Wrong” by Built to Spill

“Beyond Words” by Wax Tailor

“Use What I Got” by Jimmy Cliff

“There is Danger” by Wax Tailor

“Who By Fire” by Leonard Cohen

“Sound and Vision” by David Bowie

Transition Songs

“Positively Inclined” by Wax Tailor

“Sometimes” by Wax Tailor

“This is Hardcore” by Pulp


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