I am temporarily parking archived blog posts here while I redesign my site and change servers. For current content, please visit blog.shannacompton.com.

Friday, December 31, 2004

Recent & recommended: December (partial)







I've been thinking about a way to track my reading here (excluding required reading, research, mags & browsing), and the sidebar list with monthly archives like this on or near the 1st seems like a good idea. Mostly for my own curiosity--I like lists. This is the stuff that's purely for pleasure. We'll see how long I keep it up. (UPDATE: Moved this from 1/1 to 12/31--that way the reading list will show up at the top of each archived month. More convenient that way.)

Poem for the turn of the year



[expired]

Highlights of 2004*



1. Publication of Down Spooky the chapbook (Jan)

2. Publication of "To Jacques Pepin" in Gastronomica (Feb)

3. Making final payment on undergrad student loans (Feb)

4. AWP in Chicago (Mar)

5. 10th actual/2nd wedding anniversary. Being married is fun! (Mar)

6. Writing & publication of Big Confetti + reading & party with Shafer (May)

7. Boston Poetry Massacre/vacation in Maine (Jul-Aug)

8. Writing poems, winning prize & signing contract for Down Spooky the book (Nov)

9. Editing & publication of GAMERS (for which we just sold Italian rights!) (Nov)

10. Birthday dinner at Le Bernardin (Dec)



Bonus: Learning that #2 has been chosen by Paul Muldoon for BAP 2005! (Dec)



RESOLUTION: [To come.]



*In chronological order, and with additions/revisions likely.

Texmas Photos















































Thursday, December 30, 2004

Last year at this time...



I posted this.



This weekend I will post a highlights of 2004 list. Mebbe enlightening, perhaps entertaining.



And, boy oh boy, I may just have to renew that year-old resolution this time around. We'll see.

Is this thing on?



Have been trying to post, but Blogger ain't working, dudes.

Kicking off the new year with some old school love-type action



Reen & Mark just got engaged! Congrats, y'all!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Texmas 12



1. Thursday AM: Get bumped from oversold outgoing flight, along with at least a dozen other people.

2. Thursday PM: Get on the next flight out, barely. Unlike dozen other people. Luggage is not so lucky. File report. Reach Mom's place at last. Thrill Mom & dogs. Nice tree. Have eggnog. Later: Last-minute shopping in a suprisingly successful two stops.

3. Friday AM: Still no bag. Emergency trip to Target for changes of clothes & basics. Carefully avoid the mall area by plotting intricate back-road routes.

4. Friday AM-PM: Drive to ridiculously crappy hometown of George Strait-tune/Mean Joe Green fame (3-hr drive each way) to see sister's family. Nieces & nephew treat us to a play. The angel Gabriel is played by a three-year-old in a Tinkerbell costume. The Optic Morpher is a major hit. After driving back, FedEx surprises with earlier delivery of olive tree for Mom. 6 ripe olives already! Dog eats 3. Begin 1000-piece Lord of the Rings jigsaw puzzle.

5. Saturday AM: Still no bag = no gifts for rest of family, more recycling of laundry for us. More LoR jigsaw madness.

6. Saturday PM: Turkey & fixins with Mom, sis, sis's boyfriend & hubby. Hubby & Mom butt heads about theology and science politely if somewhat drunkenly. Luggage (intact and bearing gifts!) finally arrived at 10 p.m. delivered by Santa. LoR puzzle beginning to resemble picture on box.

7. Sunday AM-PM: Drove out to see Father Figure & his wife at the ranch (1 hr each way). Greeted by them, plus various exotic deer, antelope, buffalo, emus, one rainbow trout, & one striped bass. Unable to find longhorns despite thorough search via golf cart. Hubby snapped cheapo rod & reel. [Photos to come.] Watched the Cowboys win, barely. Feasted on steaks. Returned to Mom's and LoR puzzle. That thing is a bitch.

8. Monday AM: Unable to pack pillow-top mattress pad or many additions to Pez dispenser collection despite vaccuum-assisted space saver bags. Give up. One last turkey sandwich.

9. Monday PM: Flight delayed. Mom calls from home to say she's finished the damn puzzle.

10. Monday PM later: Flight delayed. Solve two Sunday NYT crosswords. Reluctantly eat airport grub.

11. Monday PM later: Finally. Drink red wine on plane. Consider never doing this again.

12. Pretty much Tuesday AM: Arrive home just seconds before frozen wandering guests who've flown in from Portland, OR and have also been subject to many delays. Eat magic cookies and whip up early morning fritatta from meager groceries on hand.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004



I took this photo somewhere in West Texas (north of Fredericksburg) in September. Have a safe and happy week or so, whatever you happen to celebrate or not celebrate. Hopefully you'll at least get a few days free from work. See ya when we get back, darlins.

Friday, December 17, 2004

2005 shall be the year of Edward Gorey







Because Coliseum Books did not have my usual Mexican folk art datebook. So I opted for Gorey's The Blue Aspic.



The pic above is from not from The Blue Aspic The banner says "A Future Unremembered Poet of the Seventeenth Century Accepts a Christmas Cookie from the Great Veiled Bear.



Observation: despite being fairly high-tech in most areas, I still prefer a paper datebook to scribble in.



And I did see Jason at Coliseum. Running into pals in the poetry section is grand.

Dear Josh,



Playing games and writing poems bring me some of the same satisfaction.



This is why I love Harry Mathews & the other mad-hatter Oulipians. And the humor of the New York Schoolers. And taking JD McClatchy's anti-aubergine pronouncement as a challenge.



Never played AD&D, tho. Too social.



Heh heh.

Answering your rhetorical question



Why, yes. I am insane.



It just took me 25 minutes to get from entrance to exit in the gianormous ToysRUs here in Times Square.



While a couple of kids turned on the tears near the exit, I was tempted to start in immediately upon being released by the oversized revolving door.



Purchased: zip.

Hey, yo, listen in.



Adding Spaceship Tumblers, featuring audio recordings of poems by several goodly gentlemen linked at right.

Knitted naughties...

courtesy of Citizen Skein.



Too funny.

Friday Cat Blogging





This is S's desk. But Marvin thinks it's his.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Note to self:



All that burbles

must go plink!

"Life in a Glass House"

by Shelley Jackson appears in this week's Village Voice. It's an abbreviated version of her GAMERS essay. Check it out!



Also, there's a nice new review in the Detroit Metrotimes.

The new Poets & Writers



Well, hell. This issue is downright collectible.



Ascend Mount Sestina with Mr. Nester. His new article is here.



Congrats to the ladies of No Tell Motel for their MagNet mention too!



And...my second-husband-in-waiting Thomas Kelly gets a nod in the Page One New & Noteworthy section too with his third novel! (Empire Rising comes out in February.)

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Google to begin scanning every book in sight.



Wow.



Not a good sign for my internet addiction though.

Chapbook party this Friday!



Ugly Duckling Presse invites you to a holiday party like no other:



Friday, December 17 at 8:00 PM

DRINK ME

620 E. 6th Street

Between Avenues B & C



Join us to celebrate the release of UDP's two newest chapbooks:



O NEW YORK by Trey Sager

NOVELTY ACT by Maureen Thorson



Maureen Thorson lives in New York City, where she is a lawyer, when not knitting rather tortured-looking stuffed animals. Her work has appeared in Exquisite Corpse, LIT, canwehaveourballback? and is forthcoming in Good Foot and the tiny.



Trey Sager's poems have been or will be in the Canary, Aufgabe, Fence, Insurance, FO A RM, BlazeVox, Aught, canwehaveourballback, and Fell Swoop. He lives in Brooklyn.



Maureen's chaps are some of my favorites from my stash--plus she makes a mean chocolate-chip muffin. Trey and I used to work together many moons ago on a certain preppyish fashion catalog. Yay for Trey & Maureen! And Ugly Duckling simply rocks. So go, buy chapbooks, and be merry.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Holy 600 pages, Batman!



How would you like, all in one hugenormous volume, poems by Agha Shahid Ali, K.E. Allen, John Allison, Jorge Carrera Andrade, Rae Armantrout, Simon Armitage, John Ashbery, Jan Baeke, Coleman Barks, Benno Barnard, Jeanne Marie Beaumont, Joshua Beckman, John Beer, Josh Bell, Charles Bernstein, Javant Biarujia, Mark Bibbins, Linda Bierds, Judith Bishop, Bruce Bond, Charles Borkhuis, Marianne Boruch, Janet Bowdan, Peter Boyle, Andrea Brady, Lucie Brock-Broido, Lee Ann Brown, Pam Brown, Oni Buchanan, Joanne Burns, John Burnside, Siobhán Campbell, C.S. Carrier, Hayden Carruth, Paul Celan, Maxine Chernoff, Kate Clanchy, Pura Lopez Colome, Shanna Compton, Gillian Conoley, Clark Coolidge, Matthew Cooperman, Joshua Corey, Cynie Cory, Robert Crawford, Keki N. Daruwalla, Jordan Davis, Olena Kalytiak Davis, Cort Day, Sarah Day, Ales Debeljak, Gerardo Deniz, Ray DiPalma, Milan Djordjevic, Joseph Donahue, Timothy Donnelly, Michael Dumanis, Marcella Durand, Russell Edson, Gunter Eich, Elke Erb, Luciano Erba, Clayton Eshleman, Jenny Factor, Paul Farley, Michael Farrell, Gary Fincke, Mark Ford, Graham Foust, David Gascoyne, Amy Gerstler, Melanie Giles, Ray Gonzalez, Noah E. Gordon, Arielle Greenberg, Lavinia Greenlaw, Vona Groarke, Allen Grossman, David H.W. Grubb, Barbara Guest, Judith Hall, Barbara Hamby, Joshua Harmon, J.S. Harry, Kevin Hart, Matthea Harvey, Steve Healey, Michael Heller, Kris Hemensley, W.N. Herbert, Tracey Herd, Bob Hicok, Jessica Hornik, Christine Hume, David Ignatow, Alojz Ihan, Phillipe Jaccottet, Ervin Jahic, Kathleen Jamie, Christopher Janke, Lisa Jarnot, Eugen Jebeleanu, Kimberly Johnson, Peter Johnson, Barbara Jordan, Hedi Kaddour, Joy Katz, S.K. Kelen, Karla Kelsey, Richard Kenney, Venus Khoury-Ghata, Marzanna Bogumila Kielar, John Kinsella, August Kleinzahler, Caroline Knox, Kenneth Koch, John Koethe, Yusef Komunyakaa, Nancy Kuhl, Kevin Larimer, John Latta, Radmila Lazic, Katy Lederer, David Dodd Lee, David Lehman, Alissa Leigh, Ben Lerner, Phillis Levin, Emma Lew, Petter Lindgren, Timothy Liu, Lisa Lubasch, Roddy Lumsden, aonghas macneacail, Paul Maliszewski, Claire Malroux, Malinda Markham, Dionisio D Martinez, Pierre Martory, Ted Mathys, Glyn Maxwell, Susan Maxwell, Medbh McGuckian, Jerry McGuire. Heather McHugh, Paula Meehan, Richard Meier, Jennifer Militello, Matthew Miller, Peter Minter, Edwin Morgan, Paul Muldoon, Judy Nacca, Daniel Nester, Eilean Ni Chuilleanain, Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill, Geoffrey Nutter, Conor O’Callaghan, Julie O’Callaghan, Dennis O’Driscoll, Caitriona O’Reilly, Jena Osman, Ruth Padel, Eric Pankey, Ethan Paquin, Seth Parker, Don Paterson, Ricardo Pau-Llosa, Vera Pavlova, Alexandria Peary, Peg Peoples, Simon Perchik, Teresa Pfeifer, Peter Porter, Kevin Prufer, Carol Quinn, Justin Quinn, Amudha Rajendran, Peter Ramos, Heather Ramsdell, Claudia Rankine, Srikanth Reddy, Peter Redgrove, Donald Revell, Rebecca Reynolds, Peter Richards, Aleksander Ristovic, Ana Ristovic, Yannis Ritsos, Robin Robertson, Matthew Rohrer, Rachel Rose, Peter Rose, Catie Rosemurgy, Carol Rumens, Tessa Rumsey, Gig Ryan, Tracy Ryan, Tomaz Salamun, Mary Jo Salter, Mukta Sambrani, Fiona Sampson, Standard Schaefer, Robyn Schiff, Susan M. Schultz, Leonard Schwartz, Jo Shapcott, Laurie Sheck, Reginald Shepherd, Craig Sherborne, Spencer Short, Eleni Sikelianos, Martha Silano, Charles Simic, Bruce Smith, Iain Crichton Smith, Gustaf Sobin, Laura Solomon, Gary Soto, Peter Steele, Ales Steger, Jesper Svenbro, Cole Swenson, James Tate, Emily Taylor, Jeet Thayil, Tony Tost, John Tranter, Lisa Turner, Lee Upton, Nanos Valaoritis, Karen Volkman, Diane Wald, Steven Waling, Mark Wallace, Chris Wallace-Crabbe, William D. Waltz, Joe Wenderoth, Jason Whitmarsh, Dara Wier, Lucy Wilks, Diane Williams, Terence Winch, CD Wright, Charles Wright, John Yau, David Yezzi, Dean Young, Kevin Young & Ivana Zuzul?



Well then, click on over to the Verse blog for details on how to order their stupendous 20th Anniversary issue! Wowee!

Authors I would not have sex with



Shoot straight with me guys. Does the word otorhinolaryngological turn you on?



I didn't think so. But somebody does.



UPDATE: Link fixed. Sorry 'bout that.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Desktop Poet 1.0 for Mac



Download this cool app and play free for a week!



Here. I wrote you one:



cook this pink

to brown some language



less television next dream

to bare pretty honey



let crush be worship

and want be ought



a dress of chain

a suit of sleep



roses like fernish fiddles

essential fluff

Hanukah Harry sighting!

Supernerdy poet confession relating to Ashbery



Since S is a fiction writer, we often get into the whose-genre-is-better tussle--playfully, of course. But a few years ago, in the heat of the discussion, we each pulled a book off the shelves and let random lines duke it out. Just flip & pick, flip & pick.



Ashbery beat the crap out of just about anything S's team could bring. He changed books a couple of times, even.



The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens consistenly beat Ashbery's The Mooring of Starting Out though, in a poetic head-to-head.



UPDATE: Care for a little rematch, hubby?

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Eric, here I come!





Eric Ripert, hunky chef



S just said he's taking me to Le Bernardin for my birthday!



If you have eaten the salmon spread at one of our parties...yeah, that's his.



Will I die of dehydration if I drool from now till Monday 12/20?

Reuse, recycle, reinvent...and how!







Check out Rehabilitated Dishware by Sarah Cihat [click photo]. Very beautiful designs. Punk-goth-pirate tea sets too.

Charlie Orr does it again



Creator of the GAMERS cover, the Karaoke + Poetry = Fun logo, and the infamous D!ck-or-Ball logo, among other things, Charlie Orr now presents the spiky and lethal new logo for Bookninja.



And you can get it on a t-shirt or pair of undies too.

Friday, December 10, 2004

The Aubergine Anthology







I got mine today. Looks great!



Email Josh if ya want one for a mere three bucks.

Editing music



That's two years in a row!



Bless the VLS. For the second time, Soft Skull has two--count 'em--two books on the Top 25!



Go, us! Congrats to David & Derek.

Friday Grinch blogging







Isn't this amazing? He's a story tall--and he's lit from the inside like a beacon of grinchiness! I went out in the drizzle in a bathrobe for this, people.

Thursday, December 9, 2004

Sleep well, Jackson Mac Low.

Observations while early for work



Someone on my block thinks pillows are recyclable.



I enjoy the sound of jackhammers, from a distance.



This notebook is almost full.



So this is the morning rush. I'd forgotten.



Sometimes I long to see a genuine Ft. Worth-style cowboy. In faded Wranglers.



You can tell they've been friends for years by the way they laugh together.



I adore naturally curly hair. And redheads.



Men actually love plump thighs.



No seat, no Solitaire.



People can't seem to help themselves.



I always smile at nurses. I like their white stockings.



Tweety Bird has a very long cultural shelf-life.

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Tuesday, December 7, 2004

GAMERS updates



Just a little reminder to peek over at the GAMERS page now and then. A bunch of recent reviews have gone up in the last couple of days, including a launch party report from musical guest Gene Cawley. Plus we'll be adding a reading at Barnes & Noble at Court Street and one at BookPeople in Austin soon! Check it out.



PS: A kind reader pointed out that the off-white text on grey on that page is difficult to read for folks with night blindness. I thank him, and shall fix it ASAP. If anybody else has similar accessibility issues, please let me know. I learn as I go. Thanks!

Monday, December 6, 2004

"American Poet" by P0lo Jeans Co.



Yeah, well, you know, I gotta have a day job. This is from a press release I just read for a line I am about to start writing about.



American Poet. American poet is our most romantic group. Never girly, it strikes the perfect balance between soft woven and knit tops and harder-edged woven bottoms and outerwear. A washed down twill palette of greens and khakis form the groundwork for this group, while a pretty palette of rosewater pink, pale blue, willow green and whitewash sets the mood. Knits and sweaterss are sheer and drapey--perfect for layering under our more structured woven pieces. Our high-count military twill jacket looks equally great with our flowy chiffon dresses, skirts and camis as it does paired with our denim surplus capri. [...continued ad nauseum] American Poet stays true to the juxtaposition of hard and soft.



So, if P0lo Jeans Co. were a poet, which one would it be?

Vancouver, anyone?



Looks like I might actually be able to swing the trip to Canada for AWP in March/April. It's right around our anniversary, as always, but S actually thinks it would be fun. So...are you going?

Color me PURPLE!



That's delicious news. Thanks, Josh!



Reserve yours today. (And I hope J'll put aside at least one for Mr. McClatchy!)



UPDATE: Broken link fixed. Sorry 'bout that!

Sunday, December 5, 2004

My weekend in 15*

1. LIT readers--every one a knockout!

2. Fashion report: Sean's wonderous koala bear sportscoat, Katie's boots, Mark's Dragon Slayer tee

3. Jason's gorgeous book--hot off the press!

4. Ada's KPF song

5. Shafer's KPF song

6. Everybody's KPF song...and the poems! Best KPF ever!

7. Writing a poem with [expurgated]

8. Mexican & margaritas

9. Drew's astounding Gravitar sound piece!

10. The best book launch ever (thanks to all!)

11. DANIEL NESTER forever and ever, amen

12. Gene busting out in the blue spot wiff plenty o' reverb

13. Charlie's video game art prints!!!

14. Selling out of books, then taking a cab in high heels: priceless

15. Breakfast tacos



BONUS: Maureen on stage, twice in one day, kicking ass both times



*Idea lifted shamelessly from Katey Nicosia!

Saturday, December 4, 2004

Where the cool kids will be today...

At 3:00 it's Frequency's special edition of Karaoke + Poetry = Fun at the Four-Faced Liar! Featuring Samantha Hunt, Christian Hawkey, Shappy, Shafer Hall, Gregory Pardlo, [expurgated], Joshua Beckman, Jennifer L. Knox, Ada Limon, and I heard Sarah Manguso is gonna do some Aerosmith! FREE.



At 9:00, which gives you plenty of time to get those (off-)tunes outta your head and get some dinner, join us at the Bowery Poetry Club for the GAMERS launch! Featuring musical and literary performances by Gene Cawley, Katie Degentesh, Drew Gardner, Shannon Holman, K. Thor Jensen, Luis Jaramillo, Mark Lamoureux, Daniel Nester & Mauren Thorson, plus an exclusive exhibit of video-game themed art by Charles Orr, a gaming trivia contest for signed copies and prizes, Drew's original sound piece re: Gravitar, and arcade-era cover tunes!

Friday, December 3, 2004

Friday cat blogging





This is Marvin. He likes jazz and long naps in the linen closet. He is super swanky.

LIT 9 party reminder!



Please join us tonight at the New School to celebrate the launch of LIT 9, our biggest, juiciest issue to date!



Readings by John Hennessy, Sean McNally, Amy Sickels & Chris Tonelli.

Open beer & wine bar, catered snacks, DJ.

FREE! 7-10 PM



New School University

Wollman Hall*

66 West 12th Street

New York, NY 10011



*Enter the 12th Street building, then cross the lobby and the courtyard to the 11th Street building. Take the elevator to the 5th floor, which will open directly into Wollman Hall.



See you there!

Thursday, December 2, 2004

Entertaining corporate email



"Just wanted to let you all know that the Availability Update will be ready this afternoon."

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Mercury in retrograde is extra bad if you're a Sagittarius, right?



That sure would explain a lot.



The latest mercurial mischief? The ceiling in my middle floor freelance office leaked all over my desk over the Thanksgiving holiday. Nobody seems to be able to understand the mysterious cause. And for the fourth time, somebody switched out my phone receiver with one that doesn't work.



Thanks, Mercury!

Great mail trumps gloomy weather.



Lovely weather we're having, huh New Yorkers?



I could photograph it and show it to the rest of you--because I just got my replacement camera in the mail!



I wish I'd had it for the GAMERS event last night so I could have documented the stack of books that disappeared in the eager hands of appreciative attendees*--we sold out! Whitney, Roland (who's in from Japan and I finally got to meet) & Nic (who lives here but somehow I'd also never met) were simply amazing, and Felicia hosted with her usual charm. I couldn't have asked for a better launch!



Thanks all!



*Note: "attendee" earlier was a typo! The place was packed. Thanks Flavorpill!

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Run-ins with Animals



A goat ate my dress.



A horse ate my hair.



My mother has pictures of both of these things.

Note to self:



Don't tell me what to do.

One time...

I charmed a walrus right out of the zoo!

Whoops: Last-minute reminder!



Get on down to KGB at 8:00 for the Gamers reading!



I was so busy I almost forgot to remind ya. Bad bad editor/publicist/book designer/retailer.



See ya there. Right now I gotta go kickbox.

Monday, November 29, 2004

"No Possum, No Sop, No Taters" by Wallace Stevens



He is not here, the old sun,

As absent as if we were asleep.



The field is frozen. The leaves are dry.

Bad is final in this light.



In this bleak air the broken stalks

Have arms without hands. They have trunks



Without legs or, for that, without heads.

They have heads in which a captive cry



Is merely the moving of a tongue.

Snow sparkles like eyesight falling to earth,



Like seeing fallen brightly away.

The leaves hop, scraping on the ground.



It is deep [November]. The sky is hard.

The stalks are firmly rooted in ice.



It is in this solitude, a syllable,

Out of these gawky flitterings,



Intones its single emptiness,

The savagest hollow of winter-sound.



It is here, in this bad, that we reach

The last purity of the knowledge of good.



The crow looks rusty as he rises up.

Bright is the malice in his eye...



One joins him there for company,

But at a distance, in another tree.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Link to the Boston Globe piece up on the Gamers page.

What a week!



Whew--that was fun. The reading last Tuesday, then off for five glorious days, with turkey in the middle and friends last night. Lovely time. And my house is CLEAN.



This week is gonna be killah.



Tuesday, November 30 at 8:15*

GAMERS launch at KGB Bar

Nic Kelman, Roland Kelts, Whitney Pastorek & me

(*Note later start time than usual 7:30 for KGB.)



Friday, December 3 at 7:00

LIT 9 launch at the New School

John Hennessy, Sean McNally, Amy Sickels & Christopher Tonelli



Saturday, December 4 at 9:00

GAMERS launch at the Bowery Poetry Club

Katie Degentesh, Drew Gardner, Shannon Holman, Luis Jaramillo, K Thor. Jensen, Mark Lamoureux, Daniel Nester & Maureen Thorson

Video-game sound effect music by Drew Gardner and by game-themed covers by Gene Cawley & Daniel Nester

Game-themed art by Charles Orr



And Saturday afternoon is also Karaoke + Poetry = Fun at Frequency!



I will post reminders for each, and also send an email to my list.



Contributors: GAMERS went out to you before the holiday. Expect it soon. LIT 9 will go out this week!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

If nobody bought poetry I would not have a job.



And I would not have a 7ft bookcase filled to overflowing with the stuff.

Update: Photos, as requested by Ivy. (Actually, didn't somebody else recently propose everybody post bookcase photos?) These are snaps from my ancient Kodak digital, infinitely shitty compared to the Canon, which I have purposely neglected to mention was lost/stolen in a flu-haze deplaning incident back in September. But it's being replaced. What was my point? Oh, yes...the poetry!



The poetry shelf is the one on the far left,. As you can hardly make out because this damn photo is so crappy, it is actually 2, sometimes three deep, both vertically and horizontally. So if properly shelved, this would be more like three cases.



Top shelf: Highlights from shelf one include the New York School majors, Wallace Steven's entirety, and some random recent browsing in front.



Second shelf: Lots of standard poetry collections on this shelf, stacked horizontally in front of the entirety of Pound, Bishop, Neruda, and Charles Wright, actually, plus assorted. I note a stray BAP in the rightmost column and a children's novel in the leftmost. Hmm.



Third shelf: Yikes. What a mess. This shelf is hardcovers in the back--rare first edition of Delmore Schwartz's In Dreams Begin Responsibilities and ditto Robinson Jeffers' Medea, the entirity of James Merrill (got the omnibuses and gave away the older paperbacks), and a bunch of collecteds. The bio of Edna St. Vincent Millay. A tarot deck. And that box in the front is my chapbook collection--most of it. (Ivy--yours is right smack center, and that's Aaron Tieger & Mark Lamoureux beside you!) Two dead cell phones I keep meaning to donate and a stack of random paperbacks.



Fourth shelf: Oh lord. It just gets worse from here. This shelf is all double-deep horizontals. Mostly hardcovers in the back, paperbacks up front. No wonder I can never find anything.



Fifth shelf: Highlights include the Oulipians, John Cage, Shannon Holman's MFA thesis, a double-deep horizontal stack of random paperbacks.



Sixth shelf: The bottom shelf is supposed to be for anthologies, but since I pull those out so much it's often a catchall. All the BAPs live here, except the one I'm missing: 1995. Also random paperbacks in front, plus an antique Mark Twain I really need to send back to my mom. Whoops--also some comics in that plastic envelope.



On top: The literary journals that are not on the desk, on the floor, or under the bed live on top of the poetry case and have spilled over into top-of-the-fiction-cases territory.


The poetry case is one of three bookcases in my office. There is another one in the bedroom, and about four cases' in Shawn's office awaiting the new bookcases. And a cookbook case in the kitchen. And yes, they are all this bad. We are impossible. And possibly crazy. As my father-figure says, "Y'all got shit everwhare!"

UPDATE: Yes--the someone who asked was Zachary Schomburg. And he and Tony Robinson have posted photos of their top shelves [and they are linked at right]. Why not post yours too! I'm with Zachary--it's the first thing I want to see when I go to someone's house. Right before the pet(s) and kid(s).

Yes. That photo is real.

Last night

...at Kili was fun. Thanks to everybody for coming out, to Tracey for having me, and to Chris for putting on a great show! Everybody always wants to know who was there poetwise, so I will tell you: [expurgated], Sharon Mesmer, Boni Joi, Amy Holman, David Cameron, Aaron Kiely, Brendan Lorber, Miss McTague herself, and probably some others I am accidentally omitting, plus a small crew of my beloved regulars.



I chose to read poems from the middle section of the book, those not from either of the chaps, from which I've been reading a lot lately. In retrospect, this might not have been such a hot idea. I didn't want to bore the regulars who have heard "Elegy for a Fictional Strongman" and etc. no less than 20 times, but it was actually mostly not a regular crowd, so I could have mixed it up a bit more and been a tad smoother and less nervous, I think, if I'd read poems that were better practiced. But that's neither here nor there, really, except being nervous I twanged worse than usual and aw shucksed a little. Apparently I went a wee bit apoplectic on the preznit, whom I loathe more each day, when I mentioned that despite drooling on himself all through the debates, people voted for him anyway, and he's taken this to means he no longer needs to bother to zip his fly. Yeah, I don't remember that.



Am I making this sound like it was not fun? But, it was fun. Chris did a mixed set of rap and regl'ar poems, dedicated to his childhood friend who was in attendance. I remember in particular being so struck by his syncopated rhymes like one with fetid and bed. It... and several other amazingly cadenced phrases though I think I am unused to listening to such recitations and need more exposure because I am so caught up by the sound I often lose the sense due to sheer sonic delight. And Kili is a beautiful place to read with a receptive and attentive bar crowd and everybody is so nice and the fire is wonderful and the food smells delicious and the couches are so soft and I traded Chris for a copy of his chapbook The Day Reagan Died and Erica made it and it is fantastic.

Recipe swap



Remember those peppers I just received from Texas? They are going to be playing starring roles in tomorrow's feast.

I've dried some and am toasting them and grinding them for chile powder today, which goes in the Mexican corn tortilla stuffing for the turkey [tofurky or pumpkin*] and also the basting oil.

I'm roasting others for the kabocha squash soup (would also be great with butternut or pumpkin). Some roasted poblano peppers also go into the stuffing.

And some fresh jalapenos provide the kick to this cranbery salsa, from my sister's favorite restaurant--the Peach Tree Tearoom in Fredericksburg, Texas. She gave me the cookbook a couple of years ago for Christmas.

If you need to take something to dinner, this is super easy and everybody loves it. Also, here is a link to my Pawpaw's bourbon pecan pie.

Cranberry Salsa

3 oranges, seeded & quartered
2 jalapenos, seeded*
2 cups sugar*
1 bunch fresh cilantro
8 cups fresh cranberries

Makes 6-8 cups.

Chop the oranges, jalapenos & 1/2 cup of the sugar in the food processor (not too fine--you want a little texture for this). Put this into a large bowl.

Chop cilantro and half of the cranberries with another 1/2 cup of the sugar. Add to the bowl of oranges and peppers.

Chop the rest of the cranberries with 1 cup sugar [this is where things get a little too sweet for me--but maybe you'll like it] and add to the mix and stir.


Chill or serve it at room temperature. The jalapenos will develop the longer it sits, but the tart cranberries cut the heat nicely. (Removing the seeds makes the peppers milder, and for the mildest peppers, choose the bright green ones without the white, crackly seams). Serve the salsa in place of traditional cranberry sauce, as a dip for tortilla chips, with goat cheese on bruschetta (or with cream cheese on a bagel), or even splash a little dollop in your vodka cocktail--it's beautiful! I bet it would also be a great topping for vanilla ice cream.

*Personally, I cut the sugar in about half (depending on how tart the berries are) and add another jalapeno.

*[This post has been modified because I have since gone vegan.]

Hearty cheering...

for Ivy Alvarez, who's been awarded a residency at the MacDowell Colony!

Monday, November 22, 2004

Beep beep!



I have just been interviewed by the Boston Globe for a piece on GAMERS that will appear in this Sunday's paper.



I'll post a link that day. But it will be here.

Game over

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Blogrollicious



Adding Robin Reagler's beautiful Big Window. [Later: I just read the entire blog.]



Also adding Lyn Hejinian's My Life.*



And Suzanne Frischkorn's Lit Windowpane.



*Note JD's theory in the comment box. Whee.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Chuckling to myself







I have been working on Jerome Sala's forthcoming book Look Slimmer Instantly! today and I'm cracking up over here.



This book is just freaking delightful.



Four examples, for example.

Friday, November 19, 2004

The FSA-OWI photography of John Vachon







Beaumont, Texas. Miss Helen McCabe, a bus driver. John Vachon. May, 1943.




People always ask about the lady bus driver on the cover of the chapbook version on Down Spooky. I found this photo in the American Memory Project of the Library of Congress, which is an astoundingly cool and extensive online collection of photographs, sheet music, printed adversiting, ephemera, oral histories, and more.



The photographer, John Vachon, was unknown to me when I selected this image for the chapbook. According to his biography at the Farm Security Administration (FSA) Photography Project online, "John Vachon (1914- ) was originally hired in 1936 by the FSA as an 'assistant messenger' and one responsibility was to catalogue the pictures which were being taken. The more photos he catalogued the more his interest in photography grew. He was hired as a photographer in 1938. His contribution to the FSA Arthurdale collection consists of one photo. He later became a professional photographer for Look magazine, under Rothstein, and produced feature stories for almost twenty years."



The goal of the FSA Photography Project was to document American life--and from 1935-1943, a troupe of photographers directed by Roy Emerson Stryker did just that, amassing more than 270,000 negatives and 77,000 prints. In 1942, facing wartime budget constraints, the project was transformed into an extension of the Office of War Information (OWI). The FSA-OWI project also employed Walker Evans, Arthur Rothstein, and others. Rothstein & Vachon would go on to work for Look magazine, and of course, everybody knows Evans.



I'm particularly attracted to Vachon's work for the project because he was stationed for a while in Texas, capturing the "war wives" and women working jobs vacated by men who'd gone to war, in Beaumont (where hubby was born), Lufkin, and Amarillo. Here are John Vachon's photos from the project. I just love them.



I am thinking about all this because I am trying to come up with a couple of paragraphs for the designer who's been assigned my book! Not because I want to use this image, but because I am trying to articulate why I chose it, hoping that will help me articulate what I'd like. I feel lucky to be asked (another FANTASTIC thing about independent presses), but also tempted to simply point to the poems as the best articulation.



But I'll get it!

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Can you feel it?







I have holiday fever.



Now there are lots of things about the so-called Holiday Season I dislike, but the food isn't one of them. Planned the Thanksgiving meal and placed the Fresh Direct order this morning. Yum. I can smell Pawpaw Compton's Boubon Pecan Pie already.



Also REALLY looking forward to a little downtime to focus on prepping the book for Winnow (it's changed quite a bit since I submitted it back in April or whenever), making some new chaps, and also writing some new poems for the other MS.



And reading! For long periods at a time! None of this subway poems only and bit of novel or nonfiction before bed!



So forget the windows, and definitely forget the parade (I freelance for M@cy's--already sick of it), and forget the shopping (hate shopping--am making all gifts that aren't books or plants), and bring on the turkey with Mexican corn tortilla stuffing, cranberry jalapeno salsa, cilantro mashed potatoes, and chile-spiced kabocha squash soup!



That adorable cartoon comes from fabulous Sara Varon, whose comics you should collect obsessively.

In Style, indeed



I would like to give a little shout out to Deirdra McAfee, prose editor of LIT 9, who won the In Style Weekly fiction contest with her story "Age of Iron."



My, aren't we an accoladed bunch, lately?

The down low. Too slow.



Well, I was just about to blog about last night's Million Poems Show with Jordan, Lee Ann, Eddie & Gary, but both the Robot and Amy Holman have beaten me to it.



However, I am happy to do my part as a viral marketer and say that the Million Poems Show is a very pleasant way to spend a Wednesday evening! And it also coincides with happy hour at the BPC.



I am also adding Amy to the blogroll. Where have I been?

Brand new congratulations...

to Katey Nicosia, for her Pushcart Prize nomination from 32 Poems, and Tony Robinson for his Pushcart Prize nomination from No Tell Motel. (Both linked at right.)

Here come the helicopters / And I have never felt sexier.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Heidi's got photos...

from Saturday's Frequency here.



Real monkeys ARE good people. Preznit is a fake monkey, to clarify, lesser than monkey-man. So he don't count.

LIT 9 party!



Tuesday, November 16, 2004

GAMERS pages...

are going up over here.



This is just a preliminary page--will get refined and less bloggishy as I go. About to add events details, contributor info, and a section for announcements and links.



So, send me your video game-related poems, stories, art, etc. Anything really at all, as long as it's geared to the general gamer and is entertaining in nature. I will be using these as web-exclusive features, called "Power Ups" and/or "Extra Men" as a way to make the site something beyond just info about the book.



ALSO, t-shirts are now being ordered from Custom Ink (about which I've heard nothing but praise) and should arrive in time for the events 11/30 and 12/4 and will also be available online. (Book contributors get a free tee of their choice, on me!)



But before I order, I'm trying to get a sense of how many in each size I should start with. The options are:



1) Men's Hanes Beefy T, Short Sleeve: S, M, L, XL

2) Women's American Apparel Girly Cap Sleeve Tee: S, M, L, XL

And if there is enough interest in hoodies, either pullover or zip-front, I can do some of those.

All will be black, all cotton, with red cover Invader and maybe a tagline on the back.



Feel free to comment below, and if, for instance, you don't want anyone knowing you wear a girl's small despite being Daniel Nester, it's fine to do it anonymously.



Thanks! And more soon!

Very very best wishes and thought-prayers

...going out toward the father of Tom Hop today and ever after.

Chiles are mood boosters!





And I just received a 5-pound garden-fresh box from Texas! Thanks, Darryl!

It's true: "In a nutshell, capsaicin [the ingredient in chiles that gives them their heat] can reduce pain, minimize blood glucose and cholesterol levels, lower high blood pressure, raise metabolism, and trigger the release of endorphins and seratonin, brain chemicals that counteract depression and mood swings."

I haven't read that book, but I know chiles are higher in vitamin C than citrus, capsaicin boots my mood (and is devilishly addictive), spicy stuffed chiles or salsa is THE best hangover cure, and damn it, they are also beautiful to look at--and a delightful surprise to get in the mail!

There are orange, yellow, green, red habañeros, jalpeños, anaheims, bells, and serranos. I'll be making hot sauce, chili powders, and stuffed chiles this weekend for sure. Yum.

Monday, November 15, 2004

This red color is to alert you to announcements.



Like, Hilton Obenzinger's reading with Nelly Reifler tonight at Housing Works. Get the scoop from Lauren Cerand (who's been added to the blog roll too--thanks, Lauren!), over at Maud's. You might also notice another event or two worthy of red announce status, such as next week's Pete's Big Salmon Reading, Jordan's Million Poems Show, or me & Chris Martin reading at Kili next Tuesday.

Beaver-Busted Burglar Bemoans "Dam!"

Caught on tape



Unbeknownst to the readers at Frequency on Saturday, I recorded them on my trusty iPod.



I'll need to edit down Maggie Nelson & Heidi Peppermint Staples--their readings are just a tad past my server limits. So I gotta find some software for that. Suggestions?



In the meantime and with her kind permission, here is Maureen Thorson's stellar performance, including Navy-base poems, Calamity poems, mistranslations, and monster love flarf! [File size: 9.8 MB as an mp3, so patience my pretties.]



It gets a little loud/staticky when the audience is hooting and clapping, but otherwise you can hear just fine. Most of the giggles are provided by the center-table crew of me, Dan Nester, Jen Knox, Sean McNally, the hubby, and Useless Jackoff Christopher Connelly*.



Gary Norris, in town from CO, might just have some photos to supplement later.



And Frequency ran to 4:45ish + schmooze time, so we missed the Robot & Moon show, alas. Report please!



* A name he suggests as an alternative to Nester's coinage, "Deep Image Poet CC." We aim to please.

But but...

I don't want to go to work today.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Good Poems about Food (Part 5)



"Olives" by Tim Botta just went up at Unpleasant Event Schedule with a Maine-a-licious lobster photo by little old me.

*[This post has not been modified, but I have since gone vegan. Today I would not have a lobster carcass on my plate to photograph so fetchingly. Actually, that's totally gross.]

Tony Robinson is on a roll.



Go see his new poems, and then solicit him for your journal, dudes. I'd do it, but he's got poems in LIT 9 already (out this week)!

"Tumble in November," courtesy of Paul Goyette at Locus Solus.



Thanks, Paul!



And thanks to to superfab poet Regie Cabico, for providing that title.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

The Age of Sinatra does it again.



Another kickass review, this time from the LA Weekly!



Rock. I'm telling you folks. Political satire mixed with speculative farce is better than eating glands. (Sorry, that's a ref to the book, which while not for weak stomachs, is still my current fave Soft Skull novel.)

Poetry party weekend--woohoo!



Frequency is abosultely MUST-SEE-POETREE this SATURDAY, featuring Maureen Thorson, Heidi Lynn Staples, & Maggie Nelson. That's at 2:30.



Afterward, at 4:00, hop on over to see Jordan Davis & Stephanie Young at the Bowery Poetry Club!



I have been working away on Maggie's Jane, which is two of my favorite indulgences in one--poetry & true crime--though M handles the crime in question so respectfully and personally it is powerful and not-trashy, which is even better, and wowee is it amazing stuff. Also crossing fingers that Heidi's Guess Can Gallop arrives today or tomorrow so I have a chance to read it first.



See you there!

Dear everybody,



LIT 9 will be in the house next week, with the contributors' mailing to follow as soon as I am humanly able to manage it.



Same goes for Gamers. We had two early cases of that, but they all went to publicity contacts. Even my very own copy, which I didn't even get to scan for the Inevitable Stupid Typo®. Should have more in "five business days."

Let's wire the preznit.

They had it misplaced under the jackkit in the deebates. His spine felt fantabulous but mouthy no worky.



Mebbe if he talked gooder, more people would understand he's badder.

Crag Hill calls it what it is.



BAD: Bush Affective Disorder



That and the sun slamming down before 5:00 P.M. I always forget I hate this part up north.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Tuesday, November 9, 2004

Now, I know you peeps read the Verse blog...

but I wanted to specifically point to this review of the latest Skanky Possum (see sidebar), because it features some commentary on the work of Catherine Kasper. Catherine's book Field Stone also (!) won a Winnow Press prize and is coming out in January.



More here and here.

Sorry, everybody.

Friday, November 5, 2004

See that little blue speck in the middle of Texas?







That's Travis County, where Austin is. Blue Texans are extra blue. If only we'd been able to stop him way back when.



[Sigh.]



UPDATE: Some maps by Robert J. Vanderbei of Princeton, taking population density into account here. From Tenacious T (aka Tom Hopkins).

I'm such a tease.



Watch this space for some big news regarding, well, me. I should be able to announce it late tonight or tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Delmore Schwartz on the Stevenson/Eisenhower election, 1952



"A significant topic in the fall of 1952 was the candidacy of Adlai Stevenson, whose urbane intelligence appealed to many writers and academics. Delmore was convinced the Stevenson's election would pave the way to power for intellectuals, and that he himself would be among the first to benefit. Responding to the question 'What groups might be interested in knowing about your book?' on a New Directions questionnaire, Delmore noted: 'I was told that Adlai Stevenson said to a reporter during the campaign that he was particularly interested in my work as a poet, storyteller, and critic.' He took to signing all his letters 'Long Live Adlai!' and produced improbable commentaries on American politics.



"...it does seem as if we may be living through the last days of the Great Republic [he wrote James Laughlin] for if Eisenhower is the megalomaniac some say he is, it will be Julius Caesar all over again, and even if Thomas E. Dewey plays Brutus and assassinates him, and tries to take power himself, one of Eisenhower's nephews, Octavius Augustus Eisenhower (now a student of Blackmur's at Princeton) will win out after Dewey falls madly in love with Lana (Cleopatra) Turner (Topping!).



"Delmore's enthusiasm was echoed by his friends. One night at a dinner party given by the Schwartzes, everyone was shouting tumultuous praise of Stevenson to the accompaniment of Dwight Macdonald banging a chair on the floor. 'I don't want Stevenson to be President,' [John] Berryman shouted, 'I want him to be King.' When Stevenson lost by a landslide, Delmore was inconsolable."



From Delmore Schwartz: The Life of an American Poet by James Atlas (FSG, 1977)

Weldon Kees on the Stevenson/Eisenhower election, 1952



"After all his, they found a small but 'delightful' duplex apartment near the Berkeley campus, at 2713 Dana Street, which had room for the piano and generous built-in bookshelves. Having such a new home raised their spirits--almost as much as the presidential candidacy of Adlai Stevenson, something Weldon had started to count on, like many of his peers.



"It was one thing to count onself among the tiny readership of the Nation, reading its 'ammunition' on what would happen if there were a Republican victory. Now the polls, though, were beginning to point to a Stevenson victory. The network commentators had even picked him to win by a good margin. This even seemed possible to Kees:



"Caught S. on his appearance here in Berkeley at the West Gate of the UC campus. Bogart, Bacall, Fred Clark, Mercedes McCambridge & some local politicos also appeared. Stevenson had a remarkable sense of his audience & the speece cd. scarcely be construed to be a vote-getting one in the ordinary sense of campaigning activity. The charm is enormous & the wit, combined with an ad lib ability scarcely second to Fred Allen's, is a bit breathtaking. There seems to be such intelligence here that he scarcely needs to try: just scoops out little bits & these suffice. I cannot say I was moved, but enormously impressed & touched by the man; anyway, considering a lot of things, I'd just as soon not be moved by politicians.



[...]



"Kees, [Delmore] Schwartz, poets, and much of the rest of America's intelligentsia awoke after Election Day expecting their candidate to have won. Kees had even put a small wager on a Stevenson victory. John Berryman was so high on Stevenson that he did not want his liberal hero and champion to be merely president, but king. Instead of a coronation, though, Stevenson's supporters discovered Republican landslide. Eisenhower's victory, which had developed during the early-morning hours, ended the hoped-for chance of an administration that would be generous to writers, painters, and intellectuals. Stevenson's defeat now assured a more banal Dark Age than the one they had already imagined around them. For Kees, this setback was another thing he would have to wait out, like the circumstances preventing his book from being published: 'To me it was a fairly graphic demonstration of Gresham's law all over again, a triumph for the soap-opera & singing commercial boys; and the campaign was probably the last one within our lifetimes that a Presidential candidate will conduct himself with even a modicum of honor & intelligence. Even so, I think I have steeled myself sufficiently to take it for the next forty-eight months, although I hope people won't hold it against me if I gag a little now & then at Dick & Pat.'"



From Vanished Act: The Life and Art of Weldon Kees by James Reidel (Nebraska, 2003)

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Harryette Mullen



A very groovy reading video here. (Real Player required.)



And an excellent interview by Daniel Kane here.



To go back to that conversation of a month or ago about which women poets are important to me, Harryette Mullen would have to be on the contemporary list, for sure. But yeah, I never even rounded out my top five of 20th Century.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Just ordered...



Cynthia Sailers' Lake Systems

Chris Stroffolino's Speculative Primitive

...both from Tougher Disguises



&



Heidi Lynn Staples' Guess Can Gallop

Matthew Thorburn's Subject to Change

...both from Small Press Distribution



They can't get here fast enough.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Last call for Down Spooky & Big Confetti



Just finished sewing and stapling, respectively, the most recent printings of Down Spooky (the chapbook) and Big Confetti.



These will probably be the last ones I make up. I have 5 Confettis, which will be available at Shafer's next reading. (Shafer, when is your next reading?) And there are 10-12 Down Spookies, I think.



If you've ordered one recently (or not so recently--sorry!), they're going out first thing tomorrow. They're all packed up and ready to go--and Shawn's going to drop them in the box in a bit.



If you'd like to trade something, email me. If you want to do it the old-fashioned commercial way, use the links at right, or I'll take 'em all to my reading with Chris Martin on 11/23 at Kili Lounge.



Next up: Percapella by Daniel Nester & Christopher Connelly with cover art by Tom Hopkins, and yes, yes, yes, the Bowlmor Writemore collection with a cover by Maureen Thorson!

More Texas photos: Enchanted Rock



Since I'm still on the couch napping and obsessively watching CNN through the flu-haze, here are some photos for you.



These are from our hike up to Enchanted Rock, right outside of Fredericksburg, TX. The dome is one of the largest batholiths in the United States--basically a giant bubble of pink granite (a favorite stone for architecture in Texas, along with native limestone) that floated to the surface and then was gradually uncovered by erosion. It has been a sacred place for Tonkawas and others for 11,000 years. Pretty freaking impressive. Shawn and I camped out here once, back when we first got together, but hadn't been back. You can read more about the geology and history of the area here.





This is a view of the dome from outside the park, with some very lucky rancher's house in the foreground.





At the top of the dome, there's one scrubby tree.





A close-up of moss on a live oak. Most of the trees in these pictures are live oak, cedar, or mesquite.





A prickly pear cactus with fruit.





The top of the dome is pocked with vernal pools--indentations that collect rain water and minerals. Over decades, they gather enough soil to host sedge grasses and worts, and eventually that determined single tree. The ones with standing water also provide homes for fairy shrimp that go dormant when the pools dry out, hatch a new batch when the rain comes again.





Another vernal pool--younger--resembling a golf green and scattered with white lily-family flowers. The views from up there are amazing. That's a hawk in the right midground.