Enquiring Minds

I’m spilling guts (mostly my own) over at Neil de le Flor’s Almost Dorothy blog:

Dorothy Gale is the fictional representation of my inner person. She is a frumpy Midwesterner who wears drapes. (This is essentially how people sum me up after meeting me. Charles’s words, not mine.) (Yes, Charles Jensen is a drape. Yes, I said that.) But she years (or yearns) for so much more that she creates a fantastic dreamworld where she becomes a Christ figure. It’s positively transgressive. In the “backwards” fantasy world, all the men are impotent. Girl-on-girl violence is the only means of bringing about radical change. This is essentially how I would describe growing up in Wisconsin. I believe Wisconsin has historically developed the highest per capita instance of cannibalism in the history of America, excluding the Donner Party.

More scintilating details on the clickthru!

It means "The Smallest American Reference"

Nanopedia has grown out of a writing prompt I gave myself a few years ago. For a long time, those pieces were all individual prose poems, but I began to see that they had similar concerns, themes, and images. “The moon watches you through her veil of thin clouds” and “He brings the night into the house like a long thread of smoke” are from a clustering of other pieces that draw from horror films, while the moon piece and “When I heard sixty-three birds…” to me are both sad love poems. It’s as much about sex and violence as it is about transformation, love and shopping, I guess—all of which, to me, are decidedly American pursuits, especially together.

How I Discovered Poetry

I was over at Dustin’s place yesterday as part of his National Poetry Month series:

My school was so small we had one teacher for almost every subject, and we sat in desks like elementary school kids, even though we also had lockers out in the hall by the high schoolers. One of our daily tasks was to write something—anything—in a journal our teacher was forcing us to keep in order to make us write something each day. Although I see the value now, back then I resented it, and probably as some kind of “I’m hipper than this” statement, I started using my notebook to play around with poems rather than straightforward introspective writing.

My poet-crushes Denise Duhamel, Sandra Beasley and Mark Bibbins popped up over there too!

Hot Press

Director seeks to raise Writer’s Center profile
Focus on younger, newer writers, partnering with arts organizations

Having grown up in Wisconsin, lived in Minnesota and spent four years promoting a creative writing center at Arizona State University, Charles Jensen never pictured himself working in a place like Montgomery County.

But the new director of the Writer’s Center on Walsh Street in Chevy Chase was ultimately drawn to the creative energy emanating from Washington, D.C., and the high levels of education among adults and youth in Montgomery County.

(More behind the link.)

My Biography As Told in a Series of Facebook News Feed Updates

1977
Charles Jensen is now online.

1979
Charles joined the group “Bipeds.”
Charles turned on his chat feature.

1983
Charles joined the Eagle Elementary network.

1986
Charles kissed a girl, and he liked it. (Sort of)

1990
Charles RSVPed for the event “Moving to an island.” So far, 0 of his friends are attending.

1991
Charles RSVPed for the event “Moving off an island.” So far, 0 of his friends are attending.

1994
Charles is skipping class for the first and only time!!!!1! w00t
Charles was tagged in the album “Prom.”

1995
Charles wrote on Palmyra-Eagle High’s wall. “Peace out, bitches.”
Charles has joined the University of Minnesota network.
Charles is no longer interested in women.
Charles is now friends with Dorothy.

1996
Charles was tagged in a note: “Alcohol: the cause of and solution to life’s problems.”
Charles and Marlboro have made it clear on Facebook they are in relationship.

1999
Charles has joined the group “Summa cum laude/unemployed.”
Charles is bleeding maroon and gold. And rent money.
Charles now lives in the Downtown neighborhood of Minneapolis.

2000
Charles now lives in the Falcon Heights neighborhood of St. Paul.
Charles is no longer friends with snow.

2001
Charles became a fan of saguaro cacti, Sparky the Sun Devil, and sweltering heat.

2002
Charles is writing and reading poems.
Charles and Marlboro have ended their relationship.
Charles became a fan of yoga.

2004
Charles was tagged in the album “Hot Pants Halloween 2004.”
Charles has updated education info: MFA Arizona State, 2004.

2005
Charles posted a link: Little Burning Edens.
Charles was tagged in the album “Hot Pants Halloween 2005.”

2006
Charles has welcomed Arden to his family using the Dogbook application.
Charles updated education information: MA, Nonprofit Studies, 2008.

2007
Charles joined the group “Gay Retirement: 30+”
Charles sent a drink to Beau using the Smooth Seduction application.
Charles is moving to a new apartment for the 17th time since 1995.
Charles now lives in the Avalon neighborhood of Phoenix.
Charles was tagged in the note “New chapbooks from New Michigan Press.”

2008
Charles is ready to be done with school forever.
Charles tagged Arden in an album: “Moving to DC.”

My forthcoming book

I got a signed contract back in the mail today, so…

Here goes.

My first full-length poetry collection will be published by Lethe Press early in 2009.

Tentative title (aka what I’m calling it this week):

The First Risk