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Wednesday, March 31, 2004


I also met Ray McDaniel. I keep laughing about his proposal to have a panel next year all about a certain reviled online reviewer from a certain city in a certain state that begins with M.

And speaking of booty...

Nick Carbo is sizzling over at The Carbonator.

Question: How did I miss him at AWP, when I saw Denise Duhamel twice? Bummer.

AWP Booty!

And by that I mean books & mags I got, not something else, you dirty kids.

I don't know if it's the gloomy weather today or a mass-AWP hangover, the fact that many of us seem to be variously wounded, or what, but everybody seems a little down and it's catching. I tried to work on some poems today and just disgusted myself. Quit. Not sure if I should rush through the rest of the Weldon Kees bio or put it aside, because things for him are tenuous. But as Daphne says, sometimes you just can't tear your eyes from the train wreck, so I'll probably finish it. But if you're wondering why it's taking me so long to read it, that's why. His depressive cycles are fairly clear in the biography, the highs and lows triggered by his successes and (perceived) failures in poetry and painting. Kees definitely would have been a blogger--instead he wrote tons of letters.

Re: yesterday's post about hearing loss, honey said "The world is too noisy anyway." Then he said he'd never "done it" with a cyborg before, and that's technically what I'd be if I had a hearing aid. Gee, honey, I never thought of it like that.

He always makes me laugh. To finish cheering myself up, I just unpacked all my new poetry schwag and books and mags and made one big brilliant stack. (I'm also cooking tonight--that always does the trick.)

At Port Royal, poems by Christopher Edgar (AIP)

Chicago Review, journal of the University of Chicago

The Columbia Poetry Review, student-run journal of Columbia College

Court Green, new journal of Columbia College

Crazyhorse, [which came with a spiffy free book bag!], journal of the College of Charleston

Everyday Psychokillers: A History for Girls, novel by Lucy Corin (FC2)

The False Sun Recordings, poems by James Wagner (3rd Bed Books)

Mercury: A Short Story, letterpress chapbook by Jonis Agee (The Toothpaste Press)

New Orleans Review, journal of Loyola University

Practices, poetry chapbook by Barbara Maloutas (New Michigan Press)

Redivider, (formerly the Beacon Street Review) journal of Emerson College

Rhino, independent journal of Poetry Forum Inc., Evanston, Ill.

Sad Little Breathing Machine, poems by Matthea Harvey (Graywolf)

Salt Hill, journal of Syracuse University

Songs for Sky Lounge, CD companion to the book of poems by the same nambe by Mark Bibbins

The Story Behind the Story: 26 Stories by Contemporary Writers and How They Work, anthology edited by Peter Turchi & Andrea Barrett (Norton)

Teaching Shakespeare (CD), National Endowment for the Arts

32 Poems, journal published by Deborah Ager, edited by John Poch

Unfathoms, [which I mistakenly called "Unfathoming" the other day] poems by Kirsten Kaschock (Slope Editions)

Wakenight Emporium, novel by A.B. West (FC2)

The Wavering Knife, stories by Brian Evenson (FC2)

Winter Sex, poems by Kathy Lederer (Verse Press)

Also received pre-AWP and not yet noted here:

BOOGLITE, edited by David Kirschenbaum

The Portable Boog Reader, ditto

Tillie's News: Who's a Bum, ditto

Also received via Academy of America Poets membership:

The Long Meadow, poems by Vijay Seshadri

[Note: But where is my Invisible Bride, huh?]

Do I feel better now? Yes. Yes I do.

But I better start reading.

FIXED! Audio of Russell Edson reading at Pete's Candy Store 3/29/04

Click here.

Note: This is a much better recording than the staticky convos from AWP below. It's 17 minutes, 35 seconds, beginning in medias res. The close-range laughter is mostly me and Jen Knox. We couldn't help ourselves. You can also hear Russell's wife Frances telling him how many more poems to read, near the end. Please feel free to download this to your computers or iPods or whatever, but no commercial uses por favor.

He cracks himself up during "Balls." Priceless.

Unfortunately, I didn't think to record Daniel. Who rocked. The new stuff from GSMQII is excellent. Next time, I swear!

Shafer Hall & John Cotter have some new collaborations...

in Surgery of Modern Warfare.

John Cotter is reading this Sunday at Frequency.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Hearing loss...

Talking to Mom on the phone. I know I've mentioned this here before, but it's really time for me to come to terms with it. Mom says my middle sister is getting a hearing aid. She saw an audiologist and he diagnosed her with a progressive loss in the upper registers. Says she's been reading lips. Didn't even finish the test before he said she had to get one immediately. And Mom says G. Compton (my progenitor to whom I don't speak) has had poor hearing for years. He always blamed it on his stint in the marines as a gunnery seargent. I have always blamed mine on the fact that I worked at a record store in college and saw a loud show pretty much every night for five years. And band rehearsals in my house.

I do a lot of lipreading and nodding & smiling because I can't hear and am too embarassed to say so. I apologize if I have done this to you. I drive Shawn crazy.

Anyway. Looks like I can't ignore this anymore, so I'm making an appointment. (Any recommendations for NYC?) But if I guess if I had to choose one of my senses to dull, it would be hearing. I'd hate to lose my sight--and taste! oh horror!--or touch. Smell too close to taste to give up. So things could be worse.

Another airplane poem (24-hour)

Stay Seated, Buckled & Safe!

[Time's up.]

Monday, March 29, 2004

Sudden panicky sensation...

thinking I may not have remembered to grab Matthea Harvey's Sad Little Breathing Machine and Kirsten Kaschock's Unfathoming from the seat-back pocket once I closed my tray table and returned my seat to its upright position. Yikes!

Hopefully they're in one of the half-dozen book bags I haven't unpacked yet. But I really think I left them. I just got them! That hurts.

UPDATE: I found them, safe & sound on the "poetry shelves" of my office bookcase. I think hubby put them away for me. Relief. But seeing the comments from Katey & Jordan, maybe we should retitle this one Sad Little Disappearing Machine.

Tonight! Daniel Nester at Pete's Big Salmon!

Monday, March 29


Pete's Big Salmon Series, curated by Jennifer L. Knox & Ada Limon!

THIS WEEK: Daniel Nester & Russell Edson!

Pete's Candy Store

709 Lorimer

(L to Lorimer or G to Metropolitan)


Daniel Nester is the author of God Save My Queen: A Tribute (Soft Skull, 2003) and God Save My Queen II: The Show Must Go On (Soft Skull, 2004). He is the creator and cohost of Karaoke + Poetry = Fun at the Bowery Poetry Club and the editor of Unpleasant Event Schedule.

Pete's Big Salmon is cocurated by poets Jennifer L. Knox (A GRINGO LIKE ME, forthcoming from Soft Skull Press, 2005) and Ada Limón (NYFA, FAWC). The readings begin at 7:30PM and last approximately an hour. The Pete's Candy Store web site is here.

To join the email list: curators at petesbigsalmon dot com.

UPDATE: Fixed the links above. Sorry 'bout that.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Airplane poem (24-hour)

We’ve Secretly Replaced Your Blank

UPDATE: Time's up.

Also met...

Christopher Chambers of the New Orleans Review (and who has work in LIT, his friend the chef-poet-editor whose name I neglected to write down, Chris Stroffolino live and in person, Deborah Ager and her husband from 32 Poems.

I witnessed the first live and in-person meeting of Josh Corey & Jordan Davis.

Still too many to name. Every time I try I realize how woefully sieve-like my mind is on this score.

I did see Michael Broder (of the Ear Inn Series), but can't believe I never once laid eyes on Jason Schneiderman.

Ken Waldman, Alaska's fiddling poet!

Met Charles Valle at the Fence table. But not Max Winter.

Chit-chatted with Ethan Paquin (Slope Editions) and Vincent Standley (3rd Bed) and had lots of fun with Tom Hopkins, Betty, Nicole PBQ, Marion Wrenn & Daphne Gottlieb. Hashed the sestina practice with Jonah Winter, but never found Jim Cummins. Met Heidi Peppermint. Met Davis Schneiderman.

Never saw either Kent Johnson or Henry Gould. Nor Christopher Edgar, nor Dan Beachy-Quick (who has work in LIT.

Did not manage to buy most of the books I wanted, since I was too busy hawking LITs and Soft Skull wares. Richard: We need SSP t-shirts. Folks kept asking, waving money!

Missed Daniel Nester mountains. Everyone did.

Visited with David Trinidad & Denise Duhamel & Maureen Seaton. Court Green looks fabulous, by the way!

More, more, more. I wish I had seen Laurel Snyder more.

Time to pack up. Where's that coffee? Ah, thanks honey.

Too loud with lots of background noise.

So I brought the recording attachment for my iPod, intending to record the DIY Web panel we did on Friday, but I had the iPod too loaded with digital photos to get anything then. Remedied that problem by transferring the photo files to the flash card of my camera, and created space for these two audio gems. I'm just learning to use this thing. It seems to work better when you don't yell into it. The mic is very sesitive and the background noises are sometimes easier to distinguish than what we're saying directly into it. I'll have to keep experimenting.

UPDATE: Audio is posted now. Sorry about the static. Like I said, I have to keep experimenting. It seems to do best with low volume speech. It looks like our audblog from the limo Friday night never went through to [expurgated]'s site--perhaps it's just as well!

This one is a conversation between Tom Hopkins and me at the AWP bookfair. We are talking about Jessa Crispin from BookSlut, who Tom had been looking forward to meeting. I don't think he ever found her.

This one is Jordan Davis, Josh Corey, hubby, Tom, and me in the Palmer House Hilton hotel bar last night. Drinks of choice: Jordan = beer, Josh = Bombay Sapphire Martini straight up with a twist, Shawn = Bombay Sapphire Gibson (which he rhapsodizes about here), Shanna = a Californian Pinot Noir. Tom had no drink. He was just stopping by.

AWP has been so all-consuming that we didn't get a chance to do anything really Chicago. Except last night we had dinner at Rick Bayless's Frontera Grill. Our bartender (we ate at the bar) was delightful and serious and a raconteur. The man makes a mean margarita--Herradurra Silver, then a small-batch tequila, Oro Azul. We had the tamale appetizer (different every day--these were pork*) with a chipotle-based sauce. Shawn had the Cochinita Pibil--pork* slow braised in banana leaves with a habeñero salsa (a biting, smoky chile that does not play around). I had the Pato en Mole de Cacahuate--duck* breast with red peanut mole, garlicky greens, and red chile rice. The menu is here.

We also got lunch at The Berghoff yesterday--I had sauerbraten with creamed* spinach and spaetzels*, Shawn had the burger*, and a appetizer of knockwurst* and bratwurst* with sauerkraut and potatoes. The menu is here. They make their own beer--we had the lager. We'd been in the bar on Friday--really cool place.

*[This post has not been modified, but I have since gone vegan. So has my husband. If we can do it, shit, anybody can.]

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Schmoozy (perhaps somewhat boozy) notes from the book fair.

Met bloggers Reb Livingston and Laurel Snyder. Woohoo.

I saw Josh Corey for about .75 minute at Quimby's on Thursday night.

Finally met Brian Evenson in person.

Crashed an NYU alumni gathering with Hannah Tinti & Tom Hopkins. (People kept asking if I went to school there. Yes, I'm Daniel Nester. Of course.)

Saw David Trinidad briefly yesterday--hope to see him again today!

Saw Dan Machlin from Futurepoem, Vincent Standley from 3rd Bed, and Patrick Donnelly from Poets & Writers. If just seeing counts, there are too many people to name, really.

Met Eric Lorberer from Rain Taxi, a good friend to Soft Skull.

Chatted with Mark Bibbins in the hotel bar last night before we hit a party upstairs with the ever-gorgeous Miss Marion Wrenn.

Had beers at Berghoff with Matthew Zapruder, who was on lunch-fetching duty for Big Small Press Mall.

You can't turn around without tripping over a poet.

Purchased: The Wavering Knife by Brian Evenson, Wakenight Emporium by A. B. West, Everyday Psychokillers: A History for Girls by Lucy Corin (all FC2), At Port Royal by Christopher Edgar (AIP), and Juniper Fuse by Clayton Eshleman.

Received: Painted Bride Quarterly: Print Annual 2, in which I appear, and which is rightfully advertised and their book fair table as 28 oz of poetic bliss; and Redivider, a new journal from Emerson College.

Traded a Spooky for Daphne Gottlieb's new chapbook Destroyer of All Things.

Plans to hit a panel this afternoon may fall to the wayside in favor of plans to hit the modern art museum.

Hubby is sporting a fashionable new haircut, part 70s rocker, part razor-layered punk. Thanks, Chicago!

Is this the prom, or AWP?

Jordan Davis is guest-audblogging over at Jim's new place. Last night he phoned in a report from the back of a white stretch limo. We hired this conveyance to take us to the 312 Gallery for the Potion launch party (see blue postcard below). We primed ourselves for the evening with a little Marvin Gaye. He also took pictures.

Otherwise, we'd have no proof any of this actually happened.

Heidi Peppermint's poems were fantastic and funny--"Take Care Fake Bear Torque Cake" is even better aloud. Timothy Liu's poems were hot. Nick Flynn's prose poem slurred its way through an idiomatic bender in beer goggles. Matt Kirkpatrick had us in hysterics reading from his "Sea Monkey Diary."

I'm not even going to pretend this is a full report.

Friday, March 26, 2004

We are the new now. Now where is our internet?

Details about the panel discussion to come, but the highlights were a group audblog to [expurgated]'s site (which I doubt is intelligible). 9 almost instantaneous comments on Daphne's LiveJournal posted in front of a real human audience interested in online community building. And Daniel Nester's surprise contribution.


For the first 45 minutes of the panel, we had no internet connection. Which made things difficult--or we thought it would--but once we got started, things rolled along fine, I thought.

Here's a shot of Tom trying to hook us up.

And here are some shots of Daphne & Meghan from my end of the table.

And Jordan, with Daphne & Tom, once we were finally online.

I hope we stressed how easy blogging and using the internet can be, and how useful a tool we've all found it to be. And how much fun we have with it. And that we highlighted some of the creative possibilities in collaboration, discussion, etc. Always there's more to cover. I'm not sure we really got to "what's next."

Gotta prepare for my reading now. That will involve hitting at least one reception for a pre-reading cocktail, don't ya know.

Reminder...tonight in Chicago.

Lost a whole post...

I'd been writing 'bout the Quimby's reading last night. No time to redo it right now, alas. Suffice it to say, everybody rocked. I will elaborate when I get the chance.

I have offered signed apology letters from Daniel & Ben in the stead of autographed copies to everyone who's come out to see them. This usually softens the disappointment. So sharpen your pencils, boys. I'm coming home with a list. (Though your fans wish you a speedy recovery and a healthy happy newborn, respectively!)

More later. Preparing for the panel on which I will try to fill Dan's estimable shoes re: The DIY Web: What Writers Make of the New Now.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

A funny thing happened on the way to AWP...

Make that two things.

Daniel Nester is sick as a dog. So he can't make it.

Ben Greenman's wife is very pregnant and might be going into labor. So he can't make it.

Daphne Gottlieb will fill the bill at Quimby's tonight. And I'll think of something.

Hilarity to ensue.

UPDATE: LaGuardia smells like garlic toast. Mmmm. Garlic toast.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

My husband thinks I look like this...

as a South Park Character.

The ever-popular best of the keyword searches

The following keyword searches landed folks somewhere on my site.

school ticklings

can a foreigner be an exectuor on a will in NY

i am sorry poem

geodes prayer rug

Octavia rhythmic gymnastics

pissing accident

neck face grafitti

houseplants love poem

what to do water on ibook [ouch!]

noisemakers, antique chicken

kids project tricorner hats

i miss the 80s

serious poems for fifth graders

tatler magazine - february 2004 guide to best plastic surgeon

my papas waltz misunderstood affection

insects taxidermy new york city

write to a prisoner shanna west

free poems about insects

dose heaven have a phone number poem

cnn possum drop top ten places to be on new years eve

oportunity mars hole on mrs

jeff tweedy shortwave

pawpaw tunnel

And the best of all:

beautiful seahorse toilet seat

More from Vanished Act: The Life & Art of Weldon Kees

I'm at the point in this biography where Kees has achieved some success as a poet, and some success as a painter. He has not yet tackled jazz, but is on the verge. On the one hand, he seems to be struggling with notions of fame, deliberately trying to downplay his attractions to it, and on the other he craves it more than anything. Or perhaps not fame so much as acceptance--the answer to the question, "Is what I'm making any good to anyone?"

Comforted by this.

And here's an example of Kees doing what many of us have been doing lately, as evidenced by our posting of tentative TOCs, possible MS titles, etc.

A Late History, the working title of the new book, came together in April.* Kees wished Getty could have come to Brooklyn and given him a hand with the arrangement of the poems before he sent the typescript to his new publisher, Harcourt, Brace, which had recently bought out Reynal and Hitchcock. This had turned out to be a much harder book to put together than The Fall of the Magicians. He spent many hours "shifting" the poems around "without getting anywhere in particular." He wondered if they added up to "a unit" and if anyone even read books of poems that way anymore. He knew that they did not. The thirty-five poems that composed A Late History struck Kees as more personal than his earlier work. He told Getty that "1926" was "patently autobiographical." The poems also struck him as being on "a higher level" than those in The Fall of the Magicians, and there was, to him, "the undeniable fact" that the book was "much more somber in tone than The Fall, which had a moderately heavy emphasis on satire and the exterior world." He also resigned himself to their lyrical quality and to his incapacity to write a long poem. He only salvaged a portion of a hundred-line, centerpiece poem in "The Coming of the Plague," which made up for what it lacked in length in the enormity of its approaching catastrophe.

Comforting, right? Knowing Kees second-guessed himself and spread his M(es)S all over his office floor.

Then I remember his car was found abandoned at the Golden Gate and he was never heard from again.

*Fighting the near irresistible urge to edit this book as I read. I really wanted to change that clause to "as the book was known by its working title," or similar. And throughout Reidel makes (what seem to me) wild leaps from a set of factual circumstances to a questionable emotional conclusion. I'll have to get more specific about these when I write a full review. Don't get me wrong, I'm loving the book.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

I kept meaning to take Tony Robinson's test...

but never found the time. Been too busy for poetry, which is too busy period.

But the results are very interesting. Take a look.

Today is my 2nd wedding anniversary.*

So here is a love poem. I was going to post "Laundry" but the Both mag archives are offline and I don't have it with me. This one's more recent, from Down Spooky.


To my dear & loving head wound,

There is no beautiful mountain

anywhere near where you were born.

But let's just say there were,

instead of swamp & highway

instead of woods & marsh gas

instead of dualie pickup trucks

with slingshot gangs & make-up

camouflage there were a pretty mountain.

You would have climbed it first of all.

I would have too, to meet you.

*But this weekend is our 10th "real" anniversary. What a lucky girl I am.

Monday, March 22, 2004

PSA: Something to do in NYC on Thursday

Go see the fabulous Miss Hannah Tinti read from her brand new collection Animal Crackers at the B@rnes & N*ble in Chelsea. She will not disappoint!

Hannah Tinti

Thursday,March 25th at 7:00 p.m.

B@rnes & N*ble in Chelsea

6th Ave. & 21st street

I'll be there in spirit. Near the back. With the big guy.

What a week. Can I say "whew" in advance?

Today & tomorrow work freelance gig. Tomorrow night go to hush-hush reading. Wednesday pack and photocopy endless AWP materials, print & sew extra Spookies, print extra MS, print extra Shanna to help out with all this. Wednesday night go to KGB reading to hear Jonathan, John Hennesy, Glyn Maxwell, & Mark Lamoureaux and endure the Billy-Collins-induced crowd. Thursday morning get my ass and hubby's ass on the plane to Chicago. AWP for the rest of the week and weekend. Saturday celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary and 10th "real" anniversary. Sunday home again home again jiggedy jig.

Can't wait to see Josh and hang out outta town with Chris & Dan & Tom & Daphne. And still hoping Laurel will not not go. Who else will be there? Wanna help me and & Dan heckle J*an H*ulihan?

As Josh threatened, there may not be much time for blogging, but since I am seriously addicted to my internet connection and ever so mobility-enabled, I shall at least post occasional reports--with photos! Perhaps in sonnet form.

Three Spookies and a Brand New Insect...

appear in the new issue of MiPo, guest edited by David Trinidad.

I am enjoying some mighty fine company, too.

Dennis Cooper, Michael Costello, Mark Bibbins, Rachel Zucker, Arielle Greenberg, Amy Gerstler, Kathleen Ossip, Joy Katz, Elaine Equi, Ron Padgett, Jerome Sala, David Lehman, Jeanne Marie Beaumont, Soraya Shalforoosh, Karl Tierney, Patricia Spears Jones, Denise Duhamel, Lynn Crosbie, Wanda Coleman, Kevin Killian, Maureen Seaton, Jeffery Conway, Bill Kushner, Karen Weiser, Daniel Nester, Shanna Compton, Gabriel Gudding, Anselm Berrigan, and an interview with Elaine Equi.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Cracking me up...

at least once a day, ladies & gentlemen, Mr. Tom Beckett.

Taxidermy + underpants = oh ha ha hee hee.

Frequency Fotos, as promised

Hubby in front of and Shafer behind the bar.

Chris Connelly reading.

Jaime Corbacho reading. (Somehow I didn't get one of Hannah.)

Tara & the smokers.

Using natural light and a long exposure, but Marion & Tom made me laugh.

A window seat.

Chad in China: 4*

Chad is called Chad by us and the rest of his family, but is known by his first name, Wesley, to most other people.

"evidently, Wesley is the character of a novel series, gone movie.

Everytime I meet a girl, I'm constantly reminded of this fact.

I think it's a detective series, could be romance, I forget--but I'll find out and let you know.

I've been told it's popular among young girls--they all said they read it in highschool.


Also on the subject of names, Chad reports that his Chinese students like to choose English names for themselves. Many of them have asked Chad to confirm that their chosen English names are right for them. Here is a partial list:















*Chad in China: 1 here. Chad in China: 2 here. Chad in China: 3 here.

Eminem vs. Robert Frost...

today in Salon.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

More AWP!

Daphne Gottlieb is also going to AWP! She will be featuring at the UPTOWN POETY SLAM at The Green Mill on Sunday, March 28 at 7:00 p.m. We'll have flyers for all this stuff at the Thursday night event and at table #59, so we won't let you forget!

Breaking the rule again...

to post this fantastic article about Hal Sirowitz from today's New York Times.

Hal is the first poet I ever worked with--I was the assistant publicist on his first book Mother Said back in 1995 when I worked for Crown/Random House. He was also one of the first people, much less poets, we met after moving to New York and he introduced us to lots of Lower East Side writers, artists & mucisians, inviting us to parties and readings, etc. It is pure pleasure to be publishing and editing Hal's new books almost 10 years later. It's really no wonder Queens can't find anyone to replace him!

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Subway subvocal subsnow

It's a mistake to think of poetry as rarefied on the one hand or an entertainment on the other. Like all art, poems may be both. Should be both?

Or run the risk of becoming ad copy.

Stevensian, I echo they must give pleasure. Maybe you'd call pleasure truth, meaning, narrative, surprise, uncanniness, message, the word as jewel, percussive consonants, a sophisticated meter.

As it pleases you.

As syllable from sound.

The mailroom just called.

LIT 8 is in the house.

I am not in the house.

I am in the freelance house.

That means I have to wait til after work.

But still!

More free advice...

this time from Michael Costello, who just emailed me a poem beginning thusly:

"Aim your nipples at the sky

for better posture."

I feel better already.

Weather report



Miss Crankypants

Whimsy lite

Poems like sieves. Too much runs through.

Find myself thinking so what?

It's not a plesant sensation.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Stupid White Men

Since I already broke the no-Soft Skull biz rule on this one, here are the two articles that appeared today.


MSNBC (scroll down)

I totally buy, by the way, that M*ore says he didn't know about the cease-and-desist letter. It came from H@rper C*llins and we told them to forget about it. But in the Times piece he still claims to have coined the phrase "stupid white men," and that's patently ridiculous. Not that it matters.

Ahem, low-budget.

Free advice

Sometimes it's not about you. So don't take it personally.

Frequency report

What an excellent reading yesterday! Jaime Corbacho rocked the house and I solicited her on the spot for LIT. She gave away her beautifully designed chapbook Tricked into Waking for FREE after her reading. The audience actually rushed the bar. My favorites:

• "Google Search"--"Everybody does it," she said. "Old boyfriends. People from high school. You know you do it too."

• "The Belt out from Where You Rested, Raymond Chandler"--She said she wrote this one after an unemployed summer spent on the beach reading everything by RC. It begins with this terrific line: "Please excuse, when I read you I got so tan[.]"

• "Hot Soccer Mom Action"--A mostly prose-shaped poem, dedicated to Shafer Hall. In this poem Jaime is drunk on "Jack and Jim and apple juice. A drink I called the A-men. / Apple juice--o, elixir of motherhood--I had to squeeze it from a box into my glass, burped forth its juicy contents, made us juicy with laughter." And later, Mrs. Weist's "solemnity toured the house: the Hummel bric-a-brac, the mixed message of stain-resistant carpet, the curtains accenting the wallpaper flattering sofa set in a very floral, very sentimental sort of way."

Christopher Connelly then read from his memoir in progress about his experience with testicular cancer. He was very careful to not call it a memoir, but "autobiographical nonfiction." I've known Chris for a couple of years now, and knew he's been working on this, but this was his first public reading of it. He cracked a couple of jokes about people being "overly sympathetic when one reads about one's cancer of the balls," but I was very moved by the scene in the hospital waiting room. He's drinking two canisters of barium, slowly, accompanied by his mother and girlfriend. His mother is knitting, and he suddenly decides that this is the time to try to interest her in poetry, to try to relate to her on the subject that's most important to him. "She'd rather be knitting," he says. He finished up with a scene about drinking mushroom tea in Dingle (western Ireland) with an old hippy. That scene ends with him reading (and tripping on) tourist brochures in the lobby of the B&B about a local dolphin named Funghi. It's going to be quite a book!

Hannah Tinti read from her story "Preservation" in Animal Crackers. It's about a young woman who paints the murals for the dioramas for the hall of mammals at the Natural History Museum. She's been under stress--her father is very ill--and imagines--or does she?--that a taxidermied bear from one display is breathing, moving, watching her. Some wonderful moments, like this:

A group of teenage boys stops to peer in the window. They are thirteen at most--with thin arms and legs that are growing too fast to be strong. One of the boys points at her and they all turn, and Mary smiles, weakly. Their eyes travel over her body. A boy with sandy hair begins to tug at his belt. The other boys glance left and right, and then Sandy drops his pants and moons her.

The flash is brief, but in the moment when he connects his cheeks to the glass, she can see the unhealthy skin--the red bumps spreading across his lower back. Afterward the group scatters quickly. She can hear the echoes of their whoops down the hall.

She reports the boys to Dr. Fisher. He is standing on a stool, trying to reach a book on the upper shelf, when she walks into his office. He jumps down, and Mary can see that it makes him unhappy to be disturbed.

"How could they expose themselves without a teacher noticing?"

"I didn't see any teachers."

"Perhaps you imagined it."

Mary imagines her hands around Dr. Fisher's neck, but then she lets it go. She needs the job. Her father's medical expenses have drained their savings. As she walks through the hall, she slaps the black bear on the behind. She crawls into the migration diorama, picks up a brush, and paints a tiny caricature of Dr. Fisher in the corner, getting kicked by one of the wildebeests.

There. Mary as the object of the (goofy) sexual menace of randy teenagers and the dismissive sexism of an older man, on display in the hall of mammals, no less.

Sam Witt's hat threw me off at first, but he offered me a slice of orange. Marion and Nicole from Painted Bride argued over submissions with Shafer and Tom Hopkins. I snapped several new shots for the web site, and Reen Thorson and I attended the same Frequency at last!

Photos to come.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Debbie Benson's question, my answer


No more not....Talking about the world....I've noticed you're still....Alive /is your way so far so why....Did you decide to stay?



world can

be fresh and


juicy with

poems and dears


it like

you and these

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Friday, March 12, 2004

Hearty recommendation for Aimee

Sha-na-na does "Blue Moon" on the soundtrack. And they appear in the movie. I just watched it again the other day. Surprised, in retrospect, that my mom let me see it as a kid.

Extra-conference activities for AWP

Thursday, March 25: Soft Skull teams up with Fiction Collective 2

Clayton Eshleman

Ben Greenman

Daniel Nester

Brian Evenson

A. B. West

& Lucy Corin

at Quimby's

View & print the flier here: quimbys.pdf

Friday, March 26: Unpleasant Event Schedule, Slope Editions, Painted Bride Quarterly, Potion, Samizdat, Parakeet, 32 Poems, Near South, & Mayapple Press team up to bring you a bunch of other readers whose names I don't know yet & me at the 312 Gallery. UPDATE: Heidi Peppermint is reading too!

Soft Skull is sharing a table with Akashic Press and LIT/New School at the book fair too, so please drop by to say hello!

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Hay(na)k-it off, now. Come on.

For Katey Nicosia


think of

where we'd be


that little

the. no specificity.

On being assed

I asked sister for clarification on her remark about the Brits below. Here is her response:

"I can´t be Assed" means "I don´t want to" or "I´m too lazy to" but they use it so much Shanna that  it makes me want to throwup...For example, "I want tea but I can´t be assed to make it," "I really can´t be assed to go to class today," "I would go out drinking but I can´t be assed," "I have to pee but I can´t be assed to get up."

Once Feliss (my roomate) said "i can´t be assed eventhough there is nothing I can´t be assed to do."  ... Isn´t that horrible?  Thats a couple disappointments away from a shotgun to the mouth if youask me.  

anyway love ya

Making a M(es)S

Possible titles:

Miracle Fortune Fish

Big Thicket Heart Of

The Orange Show

Some others, but these are the top three now. I have to be able to call it something while I'm working on it. I have had The Orange Show in mind for a long time--it once rode atop a pre-BNI M(es)S as well as a long sequence, since junked.

Chap with Shafer still untitled. So I just refer to it those as "The Shafer Poems" for now.

Third 2004 chapbook will be Target & Mustache. Those two just won't shut up.

My little sister is in Spain.

But Barcelona, thank heavens.

No reason is good enough.

UPDATE: Sister is fine, of course. She says:

"i was surprised but I haven´t heard from Mom yet... I thought she would have called first thing.  I guess she has her hands full with all the kids.  We had class today but it was canceled so that all the students could go to the demonstration against the attacks.  It was very surreal. I am not planning to go to Madrid anytime soon... I am going to Bilboa though with Ben and we are going to go to the Guegenhiem... I figure that should be pretty safe.  Yeah, Ben is coming tomorrow.  He will be a welcome break from all these damn British people.  There all right but all that 'I can´t be assed' that they say all the time makes me want to hit them."

Attn: Gamers. Your top five?

I sent this to Ernie Hilbert today for possible inclusion in E-Verse Radio, but I figured I'd ask here as well.

So many people our age grew up playing games either at home or amid the bells and crashes of the mall arcade that I thought it might be interesting to read E-Verse subscribers’ thoughts on top five video games (favorites, least favorites, funniest, most violent, best music, best character names, etc). Who knows, the info could even spark an essay or make good incidental material for the book?

My own top five, in order of hours wasted between age 8 or so and the present:

1. Myst/Riven (no surprise there)

2. CD-Rom Scrabble (never played online with a partner)

3. Burger Time (Intellivision way back when. It was the first game I owned. Damn those pickles!)

4. Mike’s Cards Solitaire (endlessly before I got Scrabble and after I got sick of Tetris)

5. Q-Bert (always my favorite arcade game—tabletop Ms. Pac Man being close second)

Honorable mention: Frogger—how exhilarating to not get hit by cars!

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Speaking of pimp hats...

I saw an elderly Upper-Which-Side-looking woman on the Q train this evening wearing a blue fuzzy Kangaroo beret.

Not sure if she was a poet or a pool shark, but she was certainly stylin'.

Wasn't gonna. Did it anyway.

UPDATE: Heh, heh. Someone thought Noah was 60. I don't get that at all.

I didn't say Ron's test was bogus--he's teasing me I guess. I said "problematic" if the test was based on anonymity. I just thought most of y'all woulda seen LJ's poem here. 'Course, Ron has a lot more readers than I do, so what do I know. I mean I wasn't taking the size of sample into account.

I thought Nick had interesting things to say today too, about the tendency to rank the poems, though that wasn't specifically asked of participants.

Ok, back to whatever it was we were doing before.

[Original post below]

Took Ron's quiz. Though I remarked only on poem C. Poets A & B I know, and thus know these poems. I think poet B is influenced by poet A. (What do you think, poet B?) Especially in the poem I singled out to remark on here some weeks or months back.

And poem D, as I think Nick Piombino (not Crag Hill--where'd I get that?) also remarked, seems very like a poem poet A could have written. Perhaps it's in poet A's new book which I don't yet have, or an older book and it's broken free from my memory temporarily. But it sure sounds like poet A too.

Poet C then, is the only poet I couldn't identify at all. From the two couplets

in time life gives in

to affirmations

family outings birthdays bent

round the clock

I'd guess the persona (and perhaps the poet) is male and definitely older than 30, if not older. (Relax, poet C, I don't mean ancient or anything. I just mean a real grown-up.)

The fact that most of us read a certain online journal where poem A appeared and that lots of us also read poet B's disappearing musings on a regular basis must really be screwing with the whole anonymity point of this quiz, though.

What do you think, poet B?

As much as I like...

what Carl says 'bout Down Spooky please don't sell your White Stripes CD. We can trade!

Tuesday, March 9, 2004

Childish taunt just heard on CNN

"Liar, liar, pants on fire."

I don't know who said it. The teevee is in the other room.

Monday, March 8, 2004

Should've known.

Of course he has it!

(And while you're over at Dan's, check out the info on Todd Colby's book forthcoming in June. The cover painting is by Todd's wife, Elizabeth Zechel, who is also the artist behind the cover of Eric Baus's book. Very very groovy.)


I'm a big fan of Michael McKean--and I mean everything from This Is Spinal Tap to his goofy bandleader schtick on Martin Short's Glick Primetime. But I didn't know until this morning that he and David Lander (Squiggy) wrote most of the scripts for LaVerne & Shirley and that they recorded this album.

To think, he could have been responsible for that milk & Pepsi I drank as a kid.

RetroCrush rocks. Via E-Verse Daily.

Sunday, March 7, 2004



Weldon Kees as 'Zinester

Kees was a DIY publisher!

The young Kees considered cinema actors more interesting and more important than the aviators and baseball players who towered in the lives of most boys during the 1920s. He wrote and typed the copy of his own mimeographed movie magazines, with names like the Screenland Spy, Silver Screenings, and Camera Magazine. In them he listed the stars' birthdays and their addresses so that other children could write their favorite actors or send them a card. He had his own column, "Reviews of Current Pictures," in which he rated The American Venus with Gloria Swanson "fine," and The New Commandments as "terrible." As a special feature, he wrote a Hollywood murder mystery that ran over several isses. It had a leading man for its hero who was a real detective in his offscreen life.


He was often seen after school in the factory office, where his father let him type stories and rhymes and "publish" his movie magazines on the secretary's typewriter.

Reading Vanished Act by Reidel.

Saturday, March 6, 2004


Wiffle™, Inc. sux to mess with [expurgated]'s Wiffle Sox. What whiffly wafflers. Let's get Mr. Whipple to squeeze their Charmin.®

Did I ever mention here that Soft Skull got a cease-and-desist letter from the Michael M*ore camp? It concerned the title of our new book edited by William Upski Wimsatt (of No More Prisons and Bomb the Suburbs fame). M*ore's people claimed that the title, How to Get Stupid White Men Out of Office, infringed on the copyright to M*ore's St*pid White Men. Rich, coming from the author of D*de, Where's My C*untry, which sounds quite like a certain Ashton Cusher cinematic vehicle, and horrifyingly similar in nature to the F*x News "fair and balanced" bullsh*t.

We ignored the cease-and-desist request and published our book with that title anyway. Titles are not protected by basic copyright. (And in any case, ours was not even the same title and of course the phrase "stupid white men" was around long before M*oore used it). Though copyright holders do have the option of trademarking a title, and even fictional character names, this is rarely done. The Chicago Manual of Style citation on this reads: "Book titles are harder to protect as trademarks than journal or lecture titles, because of a judicial and administrative reluctance to give trademark protection to names that are used only once."

The really annoying part is that somebody is being paid upwards of $100/hr to draft those silly letters. Wiffle, Inc. is throwing money at a nonexistent problem. If they did decide to bring [expurgated] to court, which is extremely unlikely, they'd be laughed right outta there.

CNN's definition of blog

Home sick on the couch watching Martha Stewart's guilty verdicts roll in yesterday, and caught several snippets from the forthcoming CNN special True Believers: Life inside the Dean Campaign.

In one of these teasers, the subject was the campaign's innovative use of the internet. CNN helpfully defined blog--by means of a dictionary-page style graphic--as "a frequently updated web site." Their definition did not mention the etymology: web log to 'blog to blog.

They prefaced most of the teasers with something like "Please note: the language can get salty at times."

Friday, March 5, 2004

And speaking of Frequency...

Shafer & Rachael have added more dates to Spring/Summer, making the Frequency Series even more frequent. Just the way we like it. I have just posted the revised schedule and some new photos here.

Just call me Julie, cruise director, because I've planned yr weekend.

This post might look, um, recycled. That's because I posted last week info re: Shafer Hall reading at the Roxy, and I have moved that post here and retitled it. Go see him tomorrow at The Ear Inn with Nicole Hefner & Sanjana Nair.

Some of Shafer's work can be found here and here and here. And an essay on his collaborations with John Cotter is here.

Shafer & I are collaborating on a new chapbook now. Uh huh. That's right.

ALSO: Frequency on Sunday celebrates the release of the new Painted Bride Quarterly with special guest Ken Waldman, the fiddling poet from Alaska!

You can view Ken's performance at the Kennedy Center here.

Down Spooky second printing

...now in progress. Just one of the hand-sewns left. If you were supposed to get one, and have not gotten one, please let me know!

Wednesday, March 3, 2004


I've got it: it's the TO: field!

Specific (even large specified group) vs. general (some known, some not!)

Here vs. there

Might I also suggest that here we may edit, revise, repost, while there once you hit send you're screwed?

Also, the throwaway nature of email vs. the less temporary (dare I say permanent?) nature of blog posts. I consider differently--more considerately--when I write for the blog--am more conscious of being clear, poised, entertaining. Emails are often sprightly carriers of info--but are also, for this reason, frequently deletable. Same difference between postal letters or cards & emails? I save letters for years, or forever. Most email isn't worthy of such luxuriance. (Is deletable a word? I'm on my second glass of wine.)

Plus, (most, at least free) blogs take up no space on one's packed-to-the-gills hard drive!

And I would just never email a poem I wrote to a bunch of strangers. I don't particularly like it when I get them, especially when the sender asks two days later: Why didn't anyone comment? I want feedback! I feel on the spot. Put upon. Can't I direct my own reading? Can't you by choosing to visit me here? Just like I choose you?

But you, you aren't strangers.

Many poets keep separate poetry blogs--compartmentalization is another way in which the modes differ. Threads get tangled--but a permalink is forever!

Afterthought: I also like the illusion that I'm really talking to myself. It's the same feeling (I suppose other people have besides myself) of writing for oneself and at the same time for an audience one can experience in a relationship with a journal. Except that feeling that somebody cares what you have to say is justified by the public blog. All writers want to be read, and the blogsphere enables feel us to less narcissistic about it when we have evidence (like comments, trackbacks, blogrolls) that others are reading.

Oh, fie! Go read Nick. He's much better at this than I am!

So there.

WANTED: One plain white toilet seat

The hardware store? Bed, Bath & Bullshit? Home Depot? Do I have to call a plumber? These questions ran through my mind as I prepared to tackle my to-do list for today. I'm youngish, and not a home owner, so I've never had to purchase a replacement toilet seat before.

Ours got cracked during our last party. Don't ask.

Now it's broken in half.* Not exactly welcoming. It pinches!

So I went to the hardware store up the street. No luck. Next I walked over to Atlantic Center, figuring I'd get office supplies at Office Depot and maybe check the housewares department at Marshall's. No luck. No luck. And no luck with the office supplies either. Then I realized there was a place called House & Home in the building. I'd never been there, but the name had the ring of a good bet.

I found myself in toilet-seat heaven. Or hell. Depending on how you look at it. I'm tempted to go back with my camera so you can see what I'm talking about. No wonder the guy at the hardware store thought I was nuts. Toilet seats are "decorator" items, not simply utilitarian. These seats must be seen to be believed--I'd never imagined such seats! Red leatherette, embroidered with florals, embossed with whales & dolphins, faux woodgrain-printed puffy plastic, mother-of-pearl mosaics. All manner of prints and stripes, pink, burgundy, sage green, navy blue, a wan-looking grey optimistically dubbed "sterling silver." Rainbows, watercolors, appliqués of animals and sailboats. Balloons. Sunsets. Faux marble, "fashion" plastic, even translucent cast resin with floating glitter and rose petals.

But the best of all? Despite its absolute hideousness, the best of all was an aquamarine cast resin seat with sea shells and sea weed and right in the center of the lid an actual dried seahorse.

*Reminds me of one of the party scenes in William Gaddis's The Recognitions where the the Clement Greenberg character asks one of the artist characters what he's been up to. The artist (who'd been dissed by said critic before) replies something like, "My new work involves sawing toilet seats in half for half-ass critics like you."

At last. What Ann Lauterbach said.

Well, I finally found my notes. Not that they make a whole lot of integrated sense to me right now, but maybe as I type this post it'll come back together from the dustbunnied corners.

For previous post, see here.

I thought about scanning them and just letting you try to decipher my scratchings, but that's cruel & unusual.

But I think I will post faithfully, meaning adding nothing that isn't actually written on the page. Perhaps asides with [#] footnotes.



hand motions

like she's conducting herself in


joke re: podium for women [1]

she & DL aren't bored of each other yet [2]

"Instruction"--and a one...with the hands

a sort of secret sign language

"Postscript to time"

"Come" from Fence.

& poem LH chose for BAP 2004. [3]

modified same gestures with her head

not wiggly!

reads very quickly

first thought/worst though in her case [4]

"A person's biography has a certain motion."

Do not butter the toast.

Tuesdays are beautiful = WTC poem

the poem from Fence

line as refrain throughout

the weather is yesterday

things disarrayed


doll poem--funny to end. what kind of poet am i?

repetition/anaphora--her favorite device

allusion [or maybe illusion?] of "starts"

AL: "2 more? 3? Have time for 3?"

DL: "Yes."

AL: "3 is always better."

DL: "That's what Dante said."

"In my case it's never descriptive."

Boticelli painting

w/ man in turban

or headdress--

eyes are very peculiar

was assassinated

somehow not quite


"To walk slowly behind"


concentrating of formal ideas

a narrowing of space

abstract, esp. a huge effect on how we

talk about poems, gestures,


in talking she is more animated.

DL: "Some questions are better asked...and then skipped." [Laughter]

blue as note & image

The act of revision itself is inspiration?


Make rough [maybe] messes trying to figure out

where the poem is. "Sometimes I destroy

the poem revising it too much."

Lucky ones.

Don't revise.

A little febrile thing

[opening of the fingers gesture]

"Oh my poem! My poem!

They're very nice to do

b/c they're like surprises!" [5]

makes a lot of poems out of scraps

cloth vs. tie or shirt

[a fearfulness

about loss of


She wants to make this positive.

Related to [illegible]

in tune w/ revelations [maybe?]

loves narrativity

but figures in landscape

not responsible for creating a narrative for them

"The comfort of stories is one thing I disallow."

The powerful pleasure of fragments.

Heightens the pleasure.

Prohibition against them is ridiculous.

Because a bunch of theorists

were worried about it.

Assignment [6]: Use the words of a poem (the poem's lexicon) and write another poem. "That's your bank--all the money you have."


[1] AL is not tall, though not short. She said she always thinks about podiums not being designed for women. I'm 5'11", so this had not, um, occured to me.

[2] DL = David Lehman, our host. They have known each other for many years and have read together, etc.

[3] Lyn Hejinian is the guest editor for Best American Poetry 2004.

[4] Her words!

[5] Mock poet voice.

[6] DL asks each visiting poet to recommend an assignment--one they use themselves or give to their students.

Tuesday, March 2, 2004

New at Rebel Edit

New posts of edited Sudanese fiction by Tyeb Silah, mailing & email addresses for writing directly to the OFAC, and support in the form of links from bloggers and editors all over, including the estimable CounterPunch, which designated Rebel Edit "Web Site of the Day" today!

Go, Hannah!

It's today? Damn, I already went to the bookstore at lunch. Info here. Order here.

Mmmm, creamy...

and full of new reviews.

Today's writing music

False Spring Hay(na)ku


louise, they're

just my knees!

No so much a report as a piece of advice about how to spend your money.

Last night was one of the best readings I've been to in awhile. Though I still haven't written up Ann Lauterbach's, so you can't judge the truth of that statement for yourselves. That one was delicious, but during this one I fell in love.

I am in love with Caroline Knox.

Eric Baus's letters to birds & sisters were wonderful.

Get thee to your local indie or to Verse Press and snatch yourself all three of these books if you don't have them already.

Also, I met Noah Eli Gordon. Live and in person.

Chad in China: 3*

"Teaching sucks. I prepared to teach technical writing, but after my first lesson I realized no one knew what the hell I was talking about. So I'll probably be teaching oral communication skills (and correcting my own at the same time).

I just met the former head of CalArts, who's teaching animation here. Today a former student of hers, who works at Pixar, is giving a couple lectures here. I'm going to start sitting in on some animation classes.

The air here is killing me. I think it's worse than Calcutta. I should probably quit smoking, but a pack of cigarettes for 50 cents is awful tempting."


"Just wiped my ass with some napkins I had in my pocket becaue the 20 toilets in this building I just visited were all missing toilet paper...thought that only happened in India."

*Chad in China: 1 here. Chad in China: 2 here.