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Wednesday, June 30, 2004


Remember when Zoo Press had to cancel its fiction contests and the fictioneers were pissed they didn't get their money back? Tomhop has written a nice article about it for Poets & Writers, which is now online here. High-five, T!

And...[blushing]...this blog is mentioned.

I woke up this morning singing Queen.

It's Nester's fault of course.

Last night I finished editing GSMQII--which I have to say, kicks even more rocking ass than GSMQI--and who thought such a thing was possible?

And there Freddie was bright and early, in my head, before I even cracked my lids. Crooning in his positively OTT and what?--quote vaingloriously pompous end-quote manner.

Later, on the subway platform, I saw a woman teetering dangerously close to the edge in a pair of high-heeled gold metallic pumps, circa 1982. No mere accident that as I ran through the usual horrific fantasy of her fall and subsequent rescue, Freddie continued to belt it out upstairs--perfectly dramatic soundtrack.

So go read the excerpts from God Save My Queen II up at Morning News and if Dan's made you a mix CD, pop that in the player. You'll wake up doing it too.

Hold your horses!

(I have always loved that particularly Texasism.)

If I owe you correspondence or an answer or a submission, I will do my dangdest to get whatever it is to you over the holiday weekend.

I just looked at my list and it's awfully long.

Wanda Phipps heads West!

Attention Bay Area: Soft Skull* poet Wanda Phipps is heading your way in November. She has a gig at Moe's in Berkeley (date and details to come), but is also interested in San Francisco proper and Oakland readings.

If you've never heard Wanda read, it's a real treat. Here's one of the poems from the book, posted as text + audio at Salon.

She often sings during her sets too. (Hear a sample from her latest EP here.)

Google her and you'll find tons more.

If you're interested, or know of something good, please let me know. I'll send you a copy of her new book Wake-Up Calls: 66 Morning Poems! More info here.

*Note: So you can see that my "no SSP biz on the blog" rule has been gradually eroded and pretty much thoroughly demolished, huh?

Listen up, you casual gamers...

'cos Todd Rogers can whoop yer ass. Excerpts from Daniel Nester's raw interview for his Gamers piece here.

PS: Dan, if you really have too much material, we can always run the outtakes on the web site! I'd like to have excerpts and web-only features anyway.

Poetic Brooklyn hosted by Susan Brennan

So here's the info on the show Susan records every week at Pete's Big Salmon. You can listen online!

Poetic Brooklyn

Brooklyn Heights Radio

Schedule: Thursdays at 10 p.m. & Sundays at 11 a.m.

To set the station up in your player (like iTunes or RealAudio), click the "Hear the Music" tab at the top of the schedule page. Download the goods for PC or Mac and there you go. (Your browser will take you to a Preferred Member page for a subscription service, but it's not necessary to pay $$ or subscribe to anything!)

Not sure when the reading we did on Monday night will air, but that show will have Shafer Hall, Jennifer L. Knox, Sean McNally, Ada Limon, Maureen Thorson, Gregory Pardlo, and more. Since I went first and she wasn't set up yet, Susan recorded me separately afterwards, with just her and Greg Pardlo cheering for me in the background, so she'll tack me on somehow. Heh heh.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

"My spider sense is laughing uncontrollably."

heh heh heh ha ha.

GAMERS notes

Download retro video game fonts and dingbats (!) here& here.

Still haven't found the Jon Stewart/The Daily Show interview of Denis Leary with his quitting smoking/game crack. (August 4, 2003 that's available online is not the right one. This one should be 2002 or even 2001.)

Looks like Serpent's Tail will be publishing GAMERS in the UK. Hooray!

Monday, June 28, 2004


My father figure* just called and is in town for the evening from Texas--must be on his way to somewhere from somewhere. Anyway, he's meeting us at Pete's Candy Store. This will be the first time he's ever seen me read. Fun!

*Elected by a landslide in 1983 to fill post vacated by biological incumbent.

There are strange bedfellows...and there are really strange bedfellows.

So I wrote to hubby this morning about how I thought it was funny/weird that Kerry would appear with Hunter S. Thompson at a campaign stop. But then he sent back this story, which though totally unrelated, tops mine without a doubt.

Or less

Lack of follow-through resulted in no pins down.

3AM Blog!

3AM Magazine also has a blog, Buzzwords Deux.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Saturday, June 26, 2004

What game are you playing right now?

I really want to know.

Well, hello there!

Maggie Balistreri has a blog. Go visit it!

More Rakosi here.

So long, Carl Rakosi.

Sad news, but amusing last words. And if ya gotta go, that's the way to do it. The man was almost 101!

Here's a poem. (The spacing is as close to accurate as I can get it.)

A Journey Away


I dreamed last night

that I was married.

I was scared, the woman

being very young

with green

stones in her garter.

She looked upon me wistfully

and said:

"I was a taxi dancer

with a sweetheart on a fishing smack.

I perceive by these pains

that I am condemned to die."

From Okeanos sprang

her hot breath.

Her image is an ancient blue glass,

so subtle,

it reminded me

of one I had not seduced.

She was brushing out her hair

before the mirror.

I should have been arranging

the white poppies in the window

with the coriander.


We climbed the stairs,

the white dress flowing

from the lady's sides.

She turned the pottery lamp.

How shall I wear you,

center crown stone,

great blue solitaire of sentiment?

They will say I am Jewish.

She took my hand and pointed out

the men’s shops with terrazzo floors,

the city desks, the shoe windows,

the Carleton waiters with a canape

of coral lobster, 666 for colds

and fevers, the suburban shore drive,

the old man hammering in the doll shop.

So light the room like air

about a willow branch.

A glass stands on the golden table.

Prints of St. Marks, The Bargello,

Mme. LeBrun and Her Daughters.

A glass vase with a spinning stem.

"This is my daughter Sue."

She sat academic as with jug

and towel for a painter.

A young girl's study: lace

and nimbus from the east.

She played a classical piano-forte,

clef-wandering sweet pinna tremolo,

a Chippendale in a dominoes etude:

the bird pirrikp pirriko prrrk

ia ia

the leghorn rustling in the brush,

the creek between the rockshelves,

Nancy with a bunch of wet grapes.


You were traveling through Delos

when the end came.

On the esplanade at Cannes

the awnings suddenly

went black before me.

I was carried to the belvedere

of Villa Policastro.

In the evening

in the sight of blood and bandages

I lay there like a dressed fowl.

On a marble seat

above the Ligurian

another evening.

An ideal

like a canary

singing in the dark

for appleseed and barley.

Something also from the laurel,

a tiny arsis.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Ah, the cocktail hour.

There's nothing finer than the cocktail hour on Friday afternoon. Today I'm having Hangar One Madarin Blossom Vodka with tonic and a twist.

Enjoy the weekend, y'all.

Everybody please welcome Sabrina Orah Mark.

Her blog Live Plants, Corsages has been added to the blogroll. Hello!

GAMERS is available for preorder!


I'll also link this to the cover in the sidebar, and watch for the GAMERS web site, coming soon.

How exciting.

Geof Huth's review of The Art of the Possible

is up here. (Thanks, Geof!)

(Ignore the old cover still up at Powell's--unless you just want to admire it. Charlie did several versions before we settled on the hand-lettered one above.)

Thursday, June 24, 2004

I'm reading with Marie Ponsot in September,

...she says, as casually as possible.


TONIGHT: Launch party for Wake-Up Calls: 66 Morning Poems by Wanda Phipps!

Wake-Up Calls: 66 Morning Poems

by Wanda Phipps

Published by Soft Skull Press

Readings by Wanda Phipps (w/guitarist Stephen B. Antonakos), Gillian McCain & Hal Sirowitz. Music by Rebecca Moore. Films by Joel Schlemowitz.

Thursday, June 24 at 7:00p.m.

Bowery Poetry Club

308 Bowery

(between Bleecker & Houston, across from CBGB's)

(212) 614-0505


Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Context shift

Paintings by Laylah Ali.

I've never been to a reading at a truckstop before

But guess what we're doing Friday? That's right. Details here.

Derek McCormack, another Canadian

As George Murray recently pointed out over at BookNinja (see blogroll), the Candians are making serious inroads at Soft Skull these days. There's a nice piece on Derek McCormack in the Voice today (not about our book, but we're doing his The Haunted Hillbilly this fall.) Bravo!

A pleasure to welcome...

Scott McDonald to the blogroll. Hello!


Looking at Manny Farber's painting "Have a Chew on Me" in his About Face then realized a few minutes later I was humming ABBA.

Transcendence by Campfire Films

My friend Todd Holland send along the following announcement for a new documentary film he's made on the first-ever all transexual gospel choir. Check it out!

Hello Everyone!

Hopefully you have heard about Campfire Films’ groundbreaking documentary, Transcendence. We can hardly believe that almost three years have passed since we started making this film about an exclusively transgender gospel choir—The Transcendence Gospel Choir—dedicated to promoting transgender acceptance in and outside of Christianity.

THANK YOU to all of you who have already given. Your donations have helped in so many ways and we appreciate every penny. If you haven't given yet, well...we're still here!!!

As for gospel, we have some to share:

THIS JUST IN!!!! Two weeks ago the choir received an OUTMUSIC award for Best New Album by a choir or chorus and Ashley, the choir's founder, was nominated for best producer!

Also, Campfire Films has provided footage to two different films that are currently featured in the San Francisco International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

• We recently launched our website. Please CHECK IT OUT!! For those of you who have not seen our TRAILER, we are proud to say you can now VIEW IT on our website. This trailer premiered at San Francisco’s annual Transgender Film and Arts Festival, Trannyfest, in November 2003, and has been screened throughout the US creating quite a buzz for the project.

• Transcendence was featured in the Winter issue of Release Print, the Film Arts Foundation’s magazine; and the BBC used footage from the film for a documentary aired in the UK.

• Finally, and most importantly, 2003 was a fantastic year for the Transcendence Gospel Choir, and of course for our film. Their presence at the UCC national convention garnered support for a resolution affirming transgender inclusiveness in the church—the first of its kind for a major Christian church in the US. Todd traveled to Minneapolis and captured the historical and groundbreaking events on film during an intensely emotional 3 days.

Todd and Julie are spending sleepless nights editing the film, preparing to submit to festivals in 2005. As we head down the home stretch on the film, WE NEED YOUR HELP! A major funding source for most independent films is friends and family--that’s you! Please consider contributing, $25, $50, $100, $500, $1000 or more. Here’s how:

1. Visit our website: www.campfirefilms.com and click on the “make a donation” button to contribute using your credit card or PayPal account,

2. Make a tax-deductible contribution through our fiscal sponsor by writing a check:

3. Payable to: The International Documentary Association

For: “Transcendence”, Nicole Miller, Producer

Mail to: Nicole Miller

Campfire Films

512 B Sanchez

San Francisco, CA 94114

Your support means more to us than you can even know! We’re so appreciative; we’ll even give you a credit in the film. Don’t forget to check out the website…we’ll keep you posted on our progress. Please pass this email on to anyone you know and let us know what you think of the trailer.

Campfire Films

Todd Holland, Nicole Miller, Beth Burkhart & Julie Griesert

How cool is that? Congrats to Todd and everybody at Campfire!

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Half-ass reading report

(And to be sure we're clear--it's the report that's half-ass, not the reading.)

Well, I don't really have time to write this one up properly b/c I'm busy writing about JLO's fall line of skimpy ponchos today. But last night I saw Matt Cook & Joshua Beckman at Pete's Big Salmon. I've seen Josh before and always enjoy his readings--but he read last night from his new book of very short poems Your Time Has Come. These ranged from the funny little giggle to the tiny thinker. From HA! to Hmm. I'll have to pick up a copy next time. Josh also read some new stuff, longer pieces--though being longer than the YTHC bite-size pieces doesn't take much!

Matt Cook (who I met Sunday at Frequency) was a riot. I'd never seen him before but had been pumped up to expect hilarity by Sean, Jen & Ada. Matt didn't disappoint. Jen Benka (a newly signed Soft Skull poet!) and I laughed so hard our table shook. Matt delivers his poems in a style not disimilar to Hal Sirowitz's (see below) with maybe a twist of Todd Colby's punkish 'tude, but his nasally whiney almost plodding diction gives each word time to set up the next for a series of genuinely funny turns. Never have pants & Pittsburgh been so amusing. He read several pieces from his Manic D book In the Small of My Backyard plus some newer stuff. I made him promise to send me a few for LIT.

Jen & Ada & Sean & Joelle & Susan & Matthew & everybody were also there and the garden was perfect afterward. Matthew invited me to speak to his first books class at the New School next week, so that should be interesting. Anyway, it was a great show. Very glad I made it. Jen & Sean were right--I would have been sorry!


Actually, I'm listening to California, but that album's been outta print a million years. But some of the songs are on this retrospective disc.

New songs (from the forthcoming album now that AMC's back together) also available for download from the AMC web site (linked to the album cover above).

Dear Gary,

Since you are collecting odd usages of English...have you ever been to Engrish?

Monday, June 21, 2004

Hey y'all

New stuff in the I-TX-NY shop now.

Mmmmm, Maine.

I can't wait. Can't stop thinking about it. Even dreaming about it. Saturday night I dreamed I somehow missed it and woke up distressed.

We got a li'l cabin for a week on the coast of Maine, just above Bar Harbor, near Acadia National Park. We can dig for clams in the cove. We can go fishing. We can cook al fresco and eat al fresco. We can read all day on the porch. We can walk on the beach. We can roam 14 acres. We can pick wild blueberries. We can hike in the park.

I am dying to go now.

But we can't until the first week of August!


The Collected Poems of Weldon Kees, edited by Donald Justice

Springing: New & Selected Poems by Marie Ponsot*

Dancing in Odessa by Ilya Kaminsky

I Promise to Be Good: The Letters of Arthur Rimbaud, Volume II, trans. & ed. by Wyatt Mason [oops, gotta go back for vol. I]

Figment: Poems by Rebecca Wolff

Coliseum Books on lunchbreak is dangerous.

*I might get to read with her in the fall!

I love love

Happy anniversary, John. And congratulations to newlyweds Jason & Michael!

(Coincidentally, Reen--if you follow Michael's link, you can read his Batman poem!)

Um, to clarify...

I had nothing to do with this. But Miguel the busboy did. He walked into the kitchen during the "private session."

I'm just saying. Don't blame me.

Link warning: Nudity/Stong language.

Reading reports & photos

Man, yesterday's Frequency was just kick ass. Daniel read from God Save My Queen II as well as some other new poems--as usual the Fish series from the "Mr Bad Guy" album (Freddie's solo work) was a hit. The top 10 reasons why Queen shifted to their late "fat synth sound" and into declining popularity--"10. Because they can. They're Queen, the greatest f*cking rock band there ever was or ever will be. They can do whatever the hell they want."

Laurel Snyder read from her Daphne & Jim series--which you may have sampled on her blog (see blogroll). The "choose your own adventure" endings were cool. Audience members chose the route at the end of each poem tracing the history of Daphne & Jim's courtship, marriage, and the narrator's birth--a birth that almost didn't happen. The poems were ASTOUNDING.

Then Ethan Paquin read from his new book Accumulus--beautiful, lyrical work--some movingly personal poems about his wife Kelly. The poems from Makeshift were familiar, but the work from Dead July was new to me. The impression I got was of layering and hypnotic attention to sound. Can't wait to absorb them more fully from the page.

Pretty much immediately after the readings I had to take off for the Bowery Poetry Club. Luckily I got to chat with Laurel for a while before her reading. Shawn, Charlie & I walked over to the Club with a bagful of Hal's books. As always, a good crowd gathered to see Hal--who puts on a terrific show every time--resembling the act of a stand-up comic as much as a poet. Hal was my first "poet friend" in New York. He introduced me to Steve Cannon & the Gathering of the Tribes folks, and to the late (and much missed) poet Lester Affleck, among others. That was almost 10 years ago now--right after we first moved here in 1995. Anyway, Hal read from Father Said to raucous laughter, and also did some poems from Before, During & After. Afterwards, he always gives folks a chance to ask questions, and they do. Hal's mother never knew her son was a poet--she died before he'd ever published a book--but his father read some of his work before he passed and liked it. Hal says he figures his mother would like being famous--maybe just not for what he's made her famous for. Finally someone requested "Chopped-Off Arm" from Hal's first book Mother Said. I got a pic of him doing the legendary pantomime.

After the reading I met supercharming and handsome Michael Turner, author of The Pornographer's Poem, one of my favorite Soft Skull novels. Richard was showing him around--he read with Todd Colby last night at the Club. Richard and I split duties so I covered Sunday, and he covered Saturday. If only we could both be everywhere at once!

Then Charlie, Shawn & I headed back to the Four-Faced Liar (sounding like a poetry bar crawl yet?). Dan & Maisie & Dan's college-friend Eric & Ada & Shafer were still around, but Laurel & Ethan and most of the other kids had scooted off. We ate shepherd's pies (gorgeous little pastries, made by a miraculous gentleman who delivers them hot to the Liar each evening--there's also a steak & onions version) and somehow a Joe's pizza (Dan: the best in New York!) appeared. More plans were laid for Bowlmore Writemore (coming in August).

Ah, Sunday. Tonight Matt Cook's reading at Pete's Big Salmon and I've been told I'd be crazy to miss that.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Dinner plans

We're goint to Rocco's tonight, the restaurant in The Restaurant.

I've never seen the show, though. But I'll let you know if I see Rocco.

Did I mention that last time I went to Blue Smoke I got to tour the kitchen? TK went to high school with the chef. He showed me the smokers. YUM.

Anyway, I've been reading GSMQII with absolute DELIGHT. Laughing out loud, especially at the scene where Dan & a friend dress as Public Enemy for Halloween. Oh, lord. I laughed till I hurt myself. I scared the cat.

UPDATE: Mamma Nicolina was there. But not Rocco (that we saw). The food was okay--the meatballs were the best, and my pancetta-wrapped scallops were pretty good. The cheesecake was HUGE.

God Save My Queen II!

Check out Dan's newly redesigned web site, with its updated color scheme and cover artwork, plus so many AWESOME reviews for GSMQ.

Just got the latest MS last night. Can't wait to read it. Gonna start right now. Rockin'.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Move me

Realizing I often think of particularly pleasurable books in terms of motion--repetitive casting of a fishing line, a rocking motion, a thinning and thickening, the shuffling of a stack. None of these speedy actions, but very definitely tactile, felt--or conceived of--as movement.


Blog o' Verse

Verse Magazine, that is. Stop by and welcome Brian, et. al. Bookmark it as your destination for Verse Magazine news and excerpts from new issues (to come).

Video game-themed grafitti

In the second stall of the ladies room at the Bowery Poetry Club, there used to be a row of the Pac-Man ghosts. Alas, it's been scrubbed.

Seen any?

Editor's elation!

Hal's & Todd's new books have arrived! And Wanda's is due any day now! David Ohle's novel is on the horizon too. Book day is the day I most enjoy my job.

Looking foward to fall: A*Hole by Hilton Obenzinger, God Save My Queen II by Mr. Nester, & of course GAMERS. GAMERS is even more exciting, because I (and the contributors!) made it from scratch.

I love making books!*

*Ant. I love making money!

Recommended for poets: Endicia postage

Have you guys heard of Endicia? I just started using it and may never go to the post office again. All you need is a PC, a credit/debit card (or linked checking account), a printer, and a postage scale. You can print postage directly on your envelopes, or on labels for packages. Simplifying my life, I gotta say. Thumbs up.

Which is to say, some Big Confettis went into the mail today. Down Spookies are next. And Katey's CDs--as soon as I find a box.

A little somethin' somethin'...

in the new issue of GutCult today.

Planning Your Weekend

A semi-regular feature here at Brand New Insects. Just call me Julie, your Cruise Director.

Top picks for this weekend for maximum exposure to all things Soft Skullicious and otherwise poetical:


Superstar Todd Colby launches his new book Tremble & Shine

Canadian bestseller Michael Turner launches his new book The Pornographer's Poem

& Aaron Kiely gets his metal groove on

at Soft Skull on the Bowery

Bowery Poetry Club

308 Bowery (btw Bleecker & Houston)

$7 and worth every penny


Frequency Series presents


Hosted by Shafer Hall & Rachael Rakes

Four-Faced Liar

165 West 4th Street

FREE and worth a lot more than that


Father's Day with HAL SIROWITZ

Hosted by Shanna Compton

Hal launches his new book Father Said

Bowery Poetry Club

308 Bowery (btw Bleecker & Houston)

FREE and bring your dad...or at least pick up a signed copy. It makes a great gift!

Thursday, June 17, 2004



is she

when she is?

Dirty fruit! Dirty fruit!

Don't ask me. Ask the fruit-stand guy on Hanson Place.

Father's Day with Hal Sirowitz at the Bowery Poetry Club!

Please spread the word. This will be fun--Hal is hilarious live. And I might just bring Father's Day cake.


Sunday, June 20 2004

5:00 p.m.

Hal Sirowitz launches Father Said

at the Bowery Poetry Club on Father's Day!

Looking for something cool to do with Dad?

Hal Sirowitz will be reading from his new book Father Said for Father's Day!

Bring Dad after brunch and share some laughs. Signed copies available!

Bowery Poetry Club

308 Bowery

Between Houston & Bleecker


Take the 6 to Bleecker or the F to 2nd Avenue.

HAL SIROWITZ is the outgoing Poet Laureate of Queens, NY. He has appeared on MTV, PBS, NPR, and stages across the country and the world. His international bestselling book MOTHER SAID is the basis of an animated series in Norway, and inspired the song "I Palindrome I" by They Might Be Giants. If you think Hal's poems are funny on the page, just wait till you hear them live. For more information, click here.


Why God Created Eve

In the Bible God created

a companion for Adam --

Eve -- to keep Adam from being

lonely, Father said. If it was

such a great idea how come

He didn't create one for Himself?

That was what went through my mind

while your mother was yelling at me

for not putting the pickles back

into the refrigerator. But they were

already sour. Letting them stay

at room temperature could not have

made them taste worse. Later,

when she served the cake, & there

wasn't enough for everyone & she

didn't give herself any I was ready

to forgive her until she started

to eat mine. It made me think

God may have created Eve

for the same reason the TV

needed to be invented -- He

wanted to make sure He always

had something entertaining to watch.

The Long Leash

You see the leash on that dog, Father said.

It's so long that he doesn't even know

it's connected to him. That’s what I do

with your mother. I give her a long leash.

She thinks she's the boss. But why do I

have to let her think she’s in control?

Isn't the one paying the bills legally in charge?

If that's the case then this household is

being run illegally. But try getting the police

to uphold the law. They're trained to look

the other way when there’s a domestic dispute.

I could never dream of getting a divorce.

She gives me a tough enough time as it is.

Imagine what she'd be like if she hated me.


How To Build Confidence

I'm going to teach you how to feel confident,

Father said, in one easy lesson. Repeat

after me, "Mother is a jerk." I'm

confident she can't hear us, because

I just saw her leave the house. I'm

also confident you won't tell her what

I said, because you said it too. When

she returns I'll compliment her on her dress.

If I complimented her on anything else

she'd get suspicious. That's what

confidence is in a nutshell--knowing

what you're able to get away with.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Everything You've Just Heard Was Spoken

[removed for tinkering]

Just creeped myself out...

listening to David Bowie's "I'm Deranged" from the Lost Highway soundtrack.

Recent & Recommended Reading

Kindly look to your right to see three recently read & enthusiastically endorsed chaps by bloggers Mark, Tom & Reen. I've been waiting to post till I was able to write mini reviews, but I don't when I'll get to that, honestly. And I'd hate to forget to enthuse about them all together. Get yours today!

Also still reading:

Aimee Nezhukumatathil's Miracle Fruit (congrats on the latest award, Aimee!)

Tony Tost's Invisible Bride

A.B. West's Wakenight Emporium

Paul Ferris's Dylan Thomas: The Biography (updated 2000 version)

And it's about time for my summer Sci-Fi kick. Lining up some more Octavia Butler and maybe this series Shawn's reading right now that takes place on a planet of poetry (about which more later)!

Speaking of SF + Poetry, have any of you read David Bowman's Bunny Modern? It's set during the Millennial Blackout, practically everyone's named Ishmael and wears Lit Wear: Melville shirts and pants, Dickinson blouses, "slim Jane Eyres under a Bret Harte duster--sounds like a mismatch I know. But it works." It's groovy.

Happy Bloomsday

I'm missing Irish breakfast with a bunch of Irish writers right now because I have to work. Boo work!

UPDATE: Am suddenly remembering the Bloomsday reading at B&N Astor Place a few years ago, where Tom & Shawn and I almost lost it as Colum read selections from Joyce's letters to Nora--the very naughty bits 'bout loving her @rsehole. This just a few feet from the children's section--though 'twas empty that evening. This just before Erica Jong came to the mic and very sonorously read from the Molly Bloom soliloquy. Again. Groan.

Miss Crankypants left early.

So I did not sing. The song list was different, and even though Dan never had Tammy Wynette, my back up Crazy wasn't even on the list. I signed up for She's Got You (also Patsy Cline), but then snuck out before it was my turn and still didn't get home till midnight or so.

Photos at Dan's!

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Fresh (and garlicky!)

Lisa Jarnot's Lisablog: Recipes for Reagan recovery, fortification for the October Surprise, and some bits on the ponies. Hey now.

Monday, June 14, 2004

GAMERS update

Getting together all the essays that have come in so far, and getting ready to write and badger the rest of you (you know who you are). But this GAMERS is looking really great. A kickass collection, if I do say so myself.

AND I just booked a launch reading at KGB for Tuesday, November 16. (Yep, about 6 mths in advance!)

Dang good time putting this book together. I mean where else can you find fun facts like this?



up with

one thing another


in mid-

stream to splash


the first

simultaneity ever occuring


slurring thinking

path crossing path



Is bread and butter

Pepper and salt. The depth

That young men hope for."

Instead of death.


Hal Sirowitz on the radio today at 2:00 EST!

Monday, June 14 2004


Hal Sirowitz on Cat Radio Cafe on WBAI!

Hal Sirowitz, former Poet Laureate of Queens and author of the new collection FATHER SAID, will be interviewed (and will be reading Father's Day themed poems) on WBAI's Cat Radio Cafe between 2-3 p.m. on Tuesday, June 14. Tune in for a taste of Hal's hilarious new work!

More info on FATHER SAID here.

And YES, you can listen online!

Karoke + Poetry = Fun

That's the equation for tomorrow night. Any requests?

Reen's got the ball

And four poems in Can We Have Our Ball Back. Yippee!

So...what'd I miss?

Felicia reports on the CLMP reading and the Magathon at Housing Works.

Meanwhile, I was the only poet on Long Island this weekend. Or at least in Ronkonkoma/Bohemia.

But the wedding was gorgeous--outside in the backyard with a koi pond and trellis. Yummy raw bar. Took lots of photos.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Much better, thanks!

Yay, I can go to the wedding today. Be back tomorrow, hopefully in time for Frequency.

I haven't been out of the house since Monday night!

Friday, June 11, 2004

Give the gift of music!

Come on y'all, burn some CDs for Katey! Her whole collection was just stolen.

Okay, it's a little silly, but...

Thanks for Playing*

Who wrote the poem--that diggable poem

on doing rejection? It's a cocktail movie poem,

with noisemakers and funny hats. Perhaps

it's by the Brooklyn Inn girl with her new

summer hairstyle for her round head type

and her spangle bottom. You think she

carries around an Ashton Cusher photograph?

Or one of Ann Richards on her motorcycle

from Texas Monthly? I overheard her say once

she teaches yodeling for kids, but

that she knows less about cowboy poetry

than buying a bra. She does know the email address

of every cracker in Spain and what pantaloons

look like, however. Oh look, she's off

to the Boston Poetry Massacre with

her like-new Olivetti Lettera 22 and her

Equanimity Sport Pouch filled with

new insects--red, sage green, and

red translucent each resplendant

as designer toilet seats.

*Note: See 2 posts down for spurring keyword seaches.

Very happy birthdays to...

Jordan & David!

Keyword Search Poem

[poem to come. working with these recent searches.]

red toilet seat

red translucent toilet seat

sage green toilet seat

new summer hairstyles for round head types

email address of crackers in spain

noisemakers funny hats

pantaloons look like

new insects

boston poetry massacre

brooklyn inn girl

who wrote the poem diggable

yodeling for kids

thanks for playing

poem on doing rejection

spangle bottom

like new olivetti lettera 22

on being assed

cocktail movie poem

equanimity sport pouch

ashton cusher photograph

ann richards on motorcycle texas monthly

cowboy poetry buying a bra

Thursday, June 10, 2004


Still on the couch, home from work. I usually work 2 days a week freelance, three days from home (um, not counting all the unlogged hours for Soft Skull & LIT and various other work, which really amounts to me working every day). Just can't get over it. Convinced my body & mind are trying to tell me something. Like, slow the f*ck down, girl. With the addition of the expletive, they are echoing my mother. (Who, by the way, is recovering nicely herself.)

Odd (or is it?) to feel physically miserable and at the same time emotionally relieved to have such a good excuse to shirk the to-do list.

But this weekend I have a wedding to go to!

Wednesday, June 9, 2004

Um. What the hell?

Could this possibly be a fever dream? Like the one I had about Ashcroft being a snakecharmer and being annointed with Crisco Oil by his father?...oh wait.

This is one happy dude.

Ain't he cute when he's rocking out?

For Tony & Leigh, Susanna & Arlo, Gabrielle & Cheech, Gary & Nada, and Danielle & Adam

What better way to commemorate two engagements, two weddings, and (almost) an anniversary than with this poem by Anne Waldman!? [mp3 audio file]

Says Shafer Hall: Everybody must get Estoned!

Dear Friends and Other Fishes,

On Saturday, Frequency will have the opportunity to host two of the premiere poets of ESTONIA. They've come all the way from ESTONIA. Because they‚re coming to the Four-Faced Liar from ACROSS THE PLANET, I was hoping to get them the largest audience possible. If you've never been to the Frequency

series, now is the perfect time to go. If the Frequency series has been really nice to you and let you read, and you‚ve always meant to be nice to the Frequency series back, but you are one of those people (myself included) who think that leaving the house really sucks, now is the time to open your front door. Please note that this is a special SATURDAY edition of Frequency. SATURDAY.

These are extraordinary poets, and the word on the street is that they also rather like to party. Please, please come along to this reading. And the next time that you are in Estonia, you will have two friends there who will take very good care of you.

AND! Maureen is making little Estonian flags for us to wave.

But don‚t take my word for it. Check out this English-language website dedicated to Estonian literature. Karl Martin Sinijarv is here and Asko Kunnap is here.

If you‚re feeling particularly ambitious, I'd really appreciate it if you'd help disseminate this information. Forward to friends, post on your blog, yell it from your second story window to

strangers passing in the street.

"I'm bloody-well going to survive over time"

Much Love,




Tuesday, June 8, 2004

Our fave sonneteer Mike Snider...

did some real-time blogging from the Carborro Poetry Festival. Check it out.

Can you hear me sniffling?

It could be because of this awful cold, but more likely it is because I have to miss this:

Tuesday, June 8th at 7:00.


Bowery Poetry Club

308 Bowery, New York, NY 10012


Foot of First Street, between Houston & Bleecker

Across the street from CBGBs

F train to Second Ave, or 6 train to Bleecker

$5 suggested donation

Ada will read from her manuscript This Big Fake World and then some new stuff. Then she will read her poem for Shafer Hall while he sways his hips. This is a NYFA sponsored event and it is also sponsored by The Community Word Project.

You can go, though. And you should!

Symbols in context

As usual, visit dbqp frequently for illuminating posts. Yesterday's post is a highlight, not only because Geof reads a backyard swingset as a symbol/visual poem, but also for his discussion of Je$usfish vs. D@rwinfish.

I responded in the comment boxes thusly:

"Being from the South, and from Austin, the liberal haven of Texas, I can remember when I first noticed the D@rwin fish. The Xti@n fish (my sister, a pastor's wife, dislikes the X-mas and Xti@n abbrs.) adorned about 50% of the cars in grocery store and mall parking lots, it seemed. Not that I counted. But in about 1994 I was working for Bookpeople (the largest indie bookstore in the Southwest) and we began selling the D@rwin fish that summer. Bookpeople had it's origins in a New Age/SF bookstore called Grok, Timothy Leary used to frequent it, we had sections on Tantric sex and hallucinogenic drugs and UFOlogy and channelling, and a crystal shop in the front of the store where Jimmy Dale Gilmore often shopped. (The crystal shop was run by a witch with a pet wolf.) So you have an idea of the oasis it seemed at the time; if extreme at least it was different. At least it was okay to admit there that as the granddaughter of a Baptist preacher I was never baptized. In fact, I mostly faked it through high school. Anyway, there was a HUGE outcry about the D@rwin fish. The alt weekly paper ran a story, the daily even gave it a mention, and the rightwing radio personalities and a "Xti@n" activist named Mark Weaver had his say as well, if I recall this correctly. (Of course I could have some of this confused with the outcry over a local nudist hangout--Austin okayed going topless for women in public sometime during my childhood--#ippy #ollow, or with the frequent uprisings against the queer community by the same folks). This is all to point out that in Texas at least, even in green lefty Austin, creationism is mandatorily taught alongside evolution in school cirricula. Teachers, or school districts, used to have the option of leaving out the lesson in creationism--as long as they also left out the theory of evolution. This may not have changed--I haven't kept up. We were also taught the "combination theory," a sort of evolution guided by divine hand. All this in public schools receiving Federal funds. Unfortunately, Texas often dictates textbook choices for the rest of the country, because the publishers pander to the big-T money. Anyway, I digress. My high school biology teacher practically sputtered his way through the Bible scriptures to get to what he obviously felt was the point of that semester's study. When asked, some of my relatives have answered, "Well, I don't believe Evolution happened in the way THEY say," if they give the theory even that modicum of credence.

"As usual, a symbol's meaning has much to do with context!"

Venus sighting

I actually did get up early enough to see Venus as a speck on the Sun this morning. On CNN.

Sorry we missed you guys last night at Pete's. We tried to get over there ASAP, but the readings at 11th Street weren't over till 9:30. It was fun (if somewhat sweaty!) Meghan & Mary have run a great series, and here's hoping it continues under its new direction!

Actually, it's a good thing we came home. I was in bed by 10:30 and soon came down with fever & chills to match the sore throat I woke up with yesterday. Nice. Staying home today to kick it, I think.

Monday, June 7, 2004

My response to Matthew Shindell's postcard project...

is up.

Thanks for including me, Matt. This is a really interesting set so far. Looking forward to the others.

Fashion copywriter's hedge

At the freelance gig today. Laughing to myself when I write "Hits at midthigh" to describe the length of a miniskirt. What I really want to say: "Barely covers your Baby Phat ass. Pair with matching denim blazer for a hoochy alternative to a suit."

Listening to

So what should I read?

Just doing a few. Like 3-4, maybe 5 if they're really short.

Suggestions welcome.

Reminder: Tonight!

Readings Between A & B

The end-of-season party and Mary & Meghan say goodbye! (New curators start in the fall.)

Mary Donnelly

Meghan Cleary

Jon Thirkield

Shanna Compton

Albert Zayden

John Schertzer

Amy Holman

Mark Bibbins

UPDATE: Jordan Davis is also reading!

Monday, June 7 at 8:00 p.m.

11th Street Bar

510 E. 11th Street

Between Avenues A & B



I hear that the evening will be wild, raucous, funny and have cake! Please come.

Somewhat conflictingly, may I also point you to a competing, yet equally delicious evening at Pete's Big Salmon?

Monday, June 7 at 7:30 p.m.

Pete's Candy Store

709 Lorimer Street

Williamsburg, Brooklyn


With Soft Skull poets

Todd Colby (a.k.a. Rimbaud crossed with Johnny Rotten) [audio link!]

John S. Hall (a.k.a. King Missile author of "Detachable Peni$")

Hal Sirowitz(a.k.a. former Poet Laureate of Queens)

Wow. Again, a teleporter would be really handy. Lemme know if ya got one.

Sunday, June 6, 2004

Steve Perry has a really tiny head.

Check it. Getting really excited about Gamers and all the essays that are coming in. It's gonna rock. Maybe we can have some kind of tournament as a book launch party. Everybody bring your X-box (or refurbished Atari).

Also, see Dan's excerpt from the forthcoming God Save My Queen II: The Show Must Go On! (Scroll down one post.)

Yankee's honey locust = Texan's mesquite

A little something I learned this weekend, thanks to Ranger Mike. Dave & Stacy have a HUGE one in their backyard. No more buying wood chips for me! And when Dave prunes the thorns, he can throw them right on the grill--or use them as skewers!

The brisket was awesome, if I do say so myself. (I use Jim Goode's mop and spice rub.) And the half gallon of homemade barbecue sauce. (I make Steven Pyles' but replace the ketchup [NO!] with tomato paste & sauce, use only pure ancho chile powder, cut a bit of the sugar, and add an extra jalapeƱo.) And Charlie brought tons of knockwurst, bratwurst, weisswurst, and andouille. David made shrimp kabobs, cole slaw, and black beans. And we barbecued some fresh ears of corn that Dan & Maisie brought. Super yum.

Left the smoker over there in their good hands (since we don't have a yard now), and this is gonna be one heck of a summer.

*[This post has not been modified, but I have since gone vegan. Even though I have been "mostly vegetarian" for a long time, on party occasions and road trips I often indulged my native Texan tastes, as witnessed here! Another old post that proves if I can do it, anyone can.]

Aw shucks.

Thanks, Nick. Someday we'll meet in person, I swear!

Welcome to the blogroll, people.

Folks, say hello to Danielle Pafunda, Kirsten Kaschock, Lara Glenum, and Mark Young.

Friday, June 4, 2004

Emily didn't read Walt, either.

"As for his book Leaves of Grass, I have heard Walt Whitman is disgraceful."

And I think Stevens also claimed not to read Whitman? Or rather, to have read him, and to continue to read him, but to basically dismiss or discount large chunks of his work? Yes, here it is:

"It was only a few years ago when Joaquin Miller of Walt Whitman were considered to be approximations of a typical image. But were they? Weren't they recognized by people of any sense at all as, personally, poseurs? They belong in the same category of eccentrics to which queer-looking actors belong."*

And later, this:

"In order to comment on Walt Whitman concientiously, I ought to re-read him and this is more than I have time to do at the moment. Last Sunday I read him for several hours and if a few offhand remarks as a result of that reading would be of any interest to you, here they are.

I can well believe that he remains highly vital for many people. The poems in which he collects large numbers of concrete things, particularly things each of which is poetic in itself or as part of the collecton, have a validity which, for many people, must be enough and must seem to them all opulence and elan.

"For others, I imagine that what was once opulent begins to look a little threadbare and the collections seem substitutions for opulence even though they remain gatherings-together of precious Americana, certain to remain precious but not certain to remain poetry. The typical elan survives in many things.

"It seems to me, then, thtat Whitman is disintegrating as the world, of which he made himself a part, disintegrates. Crossing Brooklyn Ferry exhibits this disintegration.

"The elan of the essential Whitman is still deeply moving in the things in which he was himself deeply moved. These would have to be picked out from compilations like Song of the Broad-Axe, Song of the Exposition.

"It is useless to treat eveyrthing in Whitman as of equal merit. A great deal of it exhibits little of none of his specific power. He seems often to have driven himself to write like himself. The good things, the superbly beautiful and moving things, are those that he wrote naturally, with an extemporaneous and irrepressible vehemence of emotion."**

*Letter to Harvey Breit, July 29, 1942.

**Letter to Joseph Bennet, February 8, 1955.

Hats off to Felicia!

A piece of hers will appear in this Sunday's New York Times. along with a photograph. Don't forget to pick up your copy!

Confessing ignorance

Jack Spicer.

Recommendations about where to start welcome.


I am smoking a real Texas-style brisket for some worthy Yankees tomorrow. That will take just under ten hours, plus marinating time. Yum.

Thursday, June 3, 2004

Panel went great...

details later perhaps. Right now it's nap time, the one thing I still miss about kindergarten.

Oh phooey.

Quitcher bitchin.

Hey everybody...

Check out this new mag: Redivider from Emerson College. I mentioned them here before, after picking up an issue at AWP and I get lots of people searching for info on them here. So here's their web site. (Thanks to Justin for the tip.)

Wednesday, June 2, 2004


Beat that, PissChrist!

Another 24-hour poem

High Bluffing

[Actually, that was more like 26 hours.]

Does this mean I get to call Shawn "Lord Plunder"?!

I mentioned before that another one of the Shanna Comptons is a vet, right? And that I wanted to be one as a kid? Anyway, being She-Devil totally rocks.

I just put this up at Rebel Edit...

but y'all probably want to know too. A gallery owner in San Francisco was attacked for displaying controversial art (depicting the torture of prisoners). Story here.


The Scarlet Witch kicks serious ass...

and so does her poem.

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

Sweet Old World

Every time I listen to this album, I make myself so homesick I could cry.

So why do I do it over and over?

Changing Lettuce Suppliers: A hay(na)ku for Erica


the salad

and alert quarantine"


frog perches

on a cuke's


lip all

those miles above

In case you missed the link a few weeks ago, here it is.

Hay(na)ku has become my preferred form for occasional poems. I really love the way the last line in the final tercet always gives me just enough room to finish up. And the three-word lines in the other tercets link up sweetly with the subsequent one-word lines--almost as if the longer lines form loops for the single stitch of the next row of stitching to come through. Turn a long hay(na)ku chain on its side--it looks like lace!

24-hour poem

Unlikely Dogtown Francis

(time's up!)

Courtesy of bookninja...

there's now an open topic here wherein folks can discuss the Jollimore review (see below) and his assertion that the avant-garde is over.

A poetry fashion report, from 1968 (& much much more!)

"Carrigan announced the readings to us: Clark, Berrigan and Padgett were there for about a week and would be doing several. I went to one reading late in the week, accompanied by my father, who seemed less alarmed than merely curious that his son wanted to go hear a poetry reading. Besides, we lived on the outskirts of town; my father had to drive if I was going to get there.

What I remember is this: terrific mod-rocker (English-style, Carnaby Street, for the most part) outfits, loud paisley and polka dots--Ted Berrigan in baby blue patent leather boots with a matching belt about four inches wide; Clark in a wide-lapel'd and striped suit with bellbottom trousers."

I have really been enjoying my stays at Hotel Point lately. Thanks, John.

More wildlife behavior in NYC

I received this email over the weekend:


I just read Contrast Girls at MiPO.

The fourth strophe is excellent.

Did you really see a capybara in Brooklyn?

I ran into one on Staten Island once at two am.

A couple of junkies were chasing it around yelling about how it was the biggest rat they ever saw.

No one ever believes me when I tell that story.

I had a good laugh at that one. Thanks!

Definitely monkey

I'd like to dedicate this photo (of Shafer Hall) to Miss Jennifer L. Knox.

Perhaps she will explain her Monkey/Otter theory to you sometime. If you're good.