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Thursday, July 29, 2004

Did you catch that?

If ever the pot-smoking, tax-evading redheaded stranger calls, I already told Shawn, I'd consider it.

It wasn't a fabulous performance, and frankly one of my least-favorite Nelson hits (probably because he didn't write it), but I missed nylon-stringed Trigger the most. I guess his hand is still healing. He couldn't play on the 4th either.

Lest you think I missed the political import of tonight's convention--Alexandra Kerry's tear-jerking speech jerked tears. And Morgan Freeman was a right fine narrator. But half way through the Kerry-intro film, I smelled Spielberg. Please don't manipulate me with your slo-mo, dude.

That is sooooooo Reagan-era.


Update: More balloons. Stand by, confetti!

Chapping my hide

Stephanie, you'll love my latest customer service experience:

Dear Orbitz,

You may want to consider dumping Dollar rental cars from your service. I called them to add a day to my existing 9-day rental and the price tripled. When I asked why I could not get the rate I confirmed on Orbitz (57.99 for additional day) the customer service agent claimed it had to do with my zip code in New York City. I live in Brooklyn and was picking the car up in Manhattan (there are no Dollar outlets in Brooklyn). This ridiculous policy (which I had him confirm because I couldn't believe it) would have increased my total from $350 to more than $1000! I canceled the car and reserved another car with Alamo (also through Orbitz--thanks!) for slightly more than my original reservation--and with less than a full day's notice. I won't rent from Dollar again. They do not seem to have the travel needs of your customers in mind. Why continue to work with them? They make you look bad.


Shanna Compton

Brooklyn (a whole 3 miles from Manhattan in the same city), NY

Luckily, the "policy" was so unbeliveably stupid that I just laughed at the guy rather than get upset.

I said: You mean people who live in Brooklyn pay three times more for the same car than people in Manhattan?

And he said: Yes ma'am.

Uh, not this Brooklynite.

Shawn has a unique way (to put it mildly) of dealing with unhelpful customer service folks and telemarketers--he pretends to be an insane evangelical talking about how Jes*s doesn't want him to use sinful credit cards. They can't get him off the phone fast enough! Works every time. I can't do it. I crack up.

Your Massacre-weekend forecast

Highs in the mid-80s, lows in the 60s, with partly cloudy skies until Sunday, when there's a chance of scattered thunderstorms.

And free-speech area be damned, we'll all say whatever we please wherever we happen to be.

Another ugly word:


Unfortunately they're going to be big this fall, fashionwise, and they come attached to everything from coats to sweaters, so I have to type this a lot.

I think it's the misleading vowels. You actually can spell it broach according to Webster's, but I'm a preferred-spelling kind of gal. I don't like broach as in "to broach the subject" either. Who can say why? It's not the ch--I love lots of words with ch, in fact I refer to "good language" as "crunchy" sometimes. Love crunch. It's not the br--look at brim, broom, breakage, (especially breakage--that nice soft g.)

Another word that gives me pain in the fashion lexicon: lustre. We spell it the British English way, with re, as do most catalogs. Luster just looks terrible and evokes one who lusts. But then I guess silk charmeuse has been known to have that effect. (Timbre on the other hand, I like very much. Go figure.)

Now that's a nice word, charmeuse. But you should only wear it at night or for formal occasions.

All of this to say: I am having trouble concentrating on my job today because I am so flipping excited about the Massacre. Big old poetry nerd, right here.

"a slightly Goth version of Carlos Santana"


(roughly when I usually arrive at freelance gig)


Update: Check Scott's cool visuals here. Neat.

Have you heard about the proposed Anti-Clinton Library?

Oh ho ho ha ha ha. Interview by Robb Corddry on The Daily Show. (Video with sound, for those of you at work.)

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Two Soft Skull books up for Stonewall Awards!

So why not go see T. Cole Rachel read next week at Barnes & Noble?

Bend, Don’t Shatter: Poets on the Beginnings of Desire

T. Cole Rachel, Editor

Barnes&Noble, Greenwich Village

396 Avenue of the Americas

Wednesday, August 4th


Bend, Don't Shatter is a way-fab Soft Skull poetry anthology--and it's just been nominated for this year's Stonewall Award for Literature (and our book Kings & Queens: Queers at the Prom has been nominated in nonfiction). Yay!

Read Betsy Andrews' beautiful review here.

The Four-Faced Liar...

has a new web site. And if you look sharp, you can glimpse my photos of Matt Cook, Sean McNally, Betsy Andrews, and others in the animated bar on the events page, plus Frequency hosts Rachael & Shafer.

Bad mailman...

but good mail!

Invisible Bride by Tony Tost (Louisiana)

New Years by David Perry (Braincase Press)


Jaywalking the Is by Noah Eli Gordon (Margin to Margin)

Meme Me Up, Scotty by Chris Murray

But damn it, the mailman crammed them into our small box, completely mangling the poor bride. The chaps fared better and will be okay after a couple of days under the dictionary, I think. MMUS escaped harm by arriving the previous day.

There is no reason to shove large packages into our tiny box. There is a ledge above the boxes for oversized envelopes, and boxes and packages can go on the carpeted, interior-hallway floor if they don't fit.

Luckily, I have a pristine copy of Tost's book already (thanks to a friend who got me my AAP copy early). So this one will find a good home with a fellow who can nurse it back to health. The poems inside are still unscathed!

Since I am on the subject, I should also note that I received these several weeks ago, which I ordered in June:

Struggle and radiance by Jill Jones (Wild Honey Press)

eleven 747 poems by Pam Brown (ditto)

I have been so busy with GAMERS and other things, I haven't had much time to read poetry (except the little bit of the Dylan Thomas bio every night before bed, alongside the poems). Oh blessed vacation! I'm taking the Spicer and some of these too, plus I plan to pick up everything possible at the Massacre.

Congrats to Matt & Jess!

Matt just sold his Raymond Queneau-inspired comics Exercises in Style to Penguin/Chamberlain Bros. (We excerpted them in LIT 7, for which Matt was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by the PP editors.)

Jessica also sold her young-adult graphic novel, so this is one kick-ass comics couple. (More of Jessica's work here.)

Yeehaw, y'all!

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Almost there!

This time Friday, I'll be pulling into Boston and the start of my well-earned (I must say) ten-day vacation. Naysayers on the BPL beware, NY-poet contingency determined to bring good cheer (and awesome poems)! We have fun like we mean it, damn it. And we've never heard of you, either (that's why we're coming).

Rainy weather = old-school tunes

Have listened to every REM album on my iPod today. Damn, Green is good.

I don't care what you think about Michael Stipe, neither.

From the frontlines and the free-speech zone...


Monday, July 26, 2004

Vacation countdown

We're getting on the road with Shafer to head to Boston on Friday. I should be able to report from the Massacre over the weekend, but then Sunday night Shawn & I are heading for the wilds of Maine with no phone line/internet access for a week.

Boy, do I need it! Don't you just love how your to-do list gets extra long right before you go away?

Sunday, July 25, 2004

From the living room (where hubby is playing a game):

"It's not upsetting me. I just wish I could kill him!"

He frequently voices the same sentiment when watching the news and you-know-who comes on.

List of games discussed (so far, unedited)








Bachelor Party




Beany Bopper

Beat 'Em and Eat 'Em


Big Buck Hunter

Big Buck Hunter II: Sportsman's Paradise

Blades of Steel


Caverns of Mars



Chopper Command

Claim Jumper

Commando Raid

Condor Attack

Congo Bongo

Cosmic Arc

Cosmic Corridor

Cosmic Swarm

Crazy Taxi

Crypts of Chaos

Crystal Castles

Custer’s Revenge

Dance Dance Revolution (series)

Dark Castle

Dead or Alive 3

Deadly Duck



Deja Vu

Demon Attack

Demons to Diamonds

Dig Dug

Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong, Jr.

Double Dragon

Double Dribble

Dragon's Lair





Eastern Front 1941

Evil Dead: Fist Full of Broomstick

Fantastic Voyage


Fast Eddie


Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy XI

Final Fight

Flying Shark

Flying Tiger

Fort Apocalypse





Genetic Drift

Golden Tee


Grand Theft Auto

Grand Theft Auto 3

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City



Haunted House

Hello Kitty's Cube Frenzy

Hitchhikers's Guide to the Galaxy

Hitman: Codename 47

I Want My Mommy


Jet Grind Radio

Journey Escape



Karate Champ

Knight on the Town, A


Link (series)

Lunar Lander

Madden NFL Football

Mario Brothers (series)

Mattel Football

Max Paine



Miner 2049er

Mines of Minos

Missile Command

MoCap Boxing

Moon Patrol


Mortal Kombat

Mountain King, The

Ms. Pac-Man

Munch Man




No Escape

Oregon Trail



Piece O' Cake


Plaque Attack

Pokemon Snap

Pole Position

Police 24/7


Prince of Persia





Rally X


Red Barron

Resident Evil

Resident Evil 2


Riddle of the Sphinx

Robot Tank

Salmon Run

Scarab of Ra




Silent Hill 2

Sims, The




Space Age

Space Cavern

Space Chase

Space Gun

Space Invaders

Space War

Space Wars


Star Raiders

Street Fighter

Street Fighter 2

Stunt Cycle


Super Mario

Super Mario Brothers

Survival Run



Tecmo Bowl

Tecmo Super Bowl


Tennis for Two


Tiger Heli

Time Pilot

Tomb Raider

Track and Field

Twin Cobra

Two Tigers


Wizard of Wor




Yar's Revenge



Zoo Keeper


Have I even told you guys about this yet?

GAMERS contributor Jim Andrews is the creator of Arteroids--a poetry-based video game!

You can play it online here.

My fave photo of Louise Bourgeois (for Katey)

[I took it down because some art site was stealing my bandwidth. But you can probably Google it.]

By Robert Mapplethorpe, of course. With her sculpture "Fillette," 1982.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

99 Rooms

Go exploring now.

Less a game than just an interactive art gallery, where grafitti-style paintings are "real." Very beautifully done.


I'll bet...

you didn't even know there were dental-hygiene themed video games.

Jawbreaker & Plaque Attack!

This bit of pop-culture enlightenment courtesy of Mark Lamoureux.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Haiku Year blog

I stumbled across this group blog--Haiku Year.

I think (though they don't say) the members must be referencing our Soft Skull book The Haiku Year, which we recently rereleased with a new introduction by Steve Earle. (Steve writes poetry himself!)


If you ever see...

one of these, specifically the Gravitar pin, get it for Drew.


Calamity / Calamity Annex by Maureen Thorson

The Collected Books of Jack Spicer edited by Robin Blaser (Cloth, Black Sparrow, 1975--as a surprise from my hubby!)


I live on the best block in the world

The Jazz Mobile was amazing, as were the tacos (from Pequena).

Screenshot of Shawn as Party Guy #3 to come. See shoe-related story at Miss Meghan's.

And poor Maureen, we forgot to order her chocolate cake! But at least she got a poem out of it!

Go Josh!

The new Failbetter...

is up, and features poems by Daphne Gottlieb and Katey Nicosia! Check it out.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

The Jazz Mobile is here!

No musicians yet. But they're setting the stage!

Just finished the layout...

for GAMERS--well, minus two essays, the intro, and the screenshots and photos. But all I have to do now for the galleys is go back and fix the italics and other special formatting. Woohoo.

Also, the Jazz Mobile comes to park in front of my house (RIGHT in front) tonight for a super-groovy 40th annual block party! Yay!

Maybe Cecil Taylor will show up. He lives in the hood.

24-hour poem

[time's up]

The Razorwire!

Come on, everybody. Dance!

[expurgated]'s got some good ones going.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

a.k.a. Bill Spratch

Bookslut reports that one "Will Scratch" posted a sestina starring A$hcroft & DeL@y on Craig's List. But I happen to know this bit of raunchiness is by Bill Spratch, because I read it when he submitted it to Dan.

(Warning: As Bill himself says, it's "way too blue" for McSweeney's!)

Dear Miss Meghan,

Do you think anybody will remake Yo-Yos?

Please say yes.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004


Jolk, 2004, SH (1972- ), Brooklyn, NY. Cast iron skillet, nonstick coating, acrylic discs, Post-It note, ink. Collection of the artist.

Everything you ever wanted to know about Tigers.

Here, over at Shafer's place.

Dear everybody,

If you recently ordered a Spooky or a Confetti or arranged to have one sent in trade, I must apologize. (Meaning misters Meetze, Lott, Golaski, McDonald, et. al. Miss Murray, yours went a couple of weeks ago--you should have them by now!) I have a whole stack of each ready to sew, but haven't had the time. After I turn in GAMERS on Thursday, I will send them out Friday, I swear!

Also, I will bring extras of each to the Boston Poetry Massacre. So if you want to trade something, let's do it then. (Also, I really really hope to have at least a few copies of Daniel Nester & Chris Connelly's collaborative chapbook Percapella ready too.) I'm so excited about hearing so many cool poets I've never heard read read. I am going to miss most of Saturday because of a wedding in Wellfleet but will be back that evening to hang out. Somebody will have to report on those for me.

Is anyone videotaping or audio recording? Also, there are 1-2 spaces left in our car for the ride up (but not the ride back--we're heading for Maine on Sunday night).

Holler if you want a ride!

Monday, July 19, 2004

Yours, for just 15K!

Lynne Cheney's second novel, Sisters, about a lesbian love affair, is hot stuff over at Alibris.

"Daniel Nester Is Afraid of Bats"...

as he himself admits in the comment boxes a few posts below. But here's the poem Charlie Orr wrote the day after we encountered the bats, which nobody else was scared of.

I hope Charlie got a "best non-poet poem" free beer award for that!

Fall fashion report

Lots of plums and purples, ladies. Pink is evergreen (as they say). And cropped pants in tweed. Flower pins and rhinestone brooches. Girly and vaguely retro. The ubiquitous poncho.

I can't get over, however, viewing a cropped three-quarter sleeve jacket and matching cropped pant on a tall lithe model. The suit just looks like it's too small for her.

"She be floodin! She all Ichabod Crane n' shit."


the GAMERS page is up at Amazon.

Gotta update that description though. Some of those essays turned into different topics, lots more new contributors, one contributor listed there didn't make it in, etc.

But still!

Here's an ugly word for you:


Dude, where's he been?

Dan reports a Nick Iacovino sighting!

If his novel is as funny as the story he read at Frequency last year, I can't wait.

Superhero poems

Maureen, have you seen this?

Also, did you hear Charlie Orr's poem "Dan Nester Is Afraid of Bats" at the Liar yesterday? It has Batman in it!

GAMERS galley copy due on Thursday. Busy busy busy.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Not yet, but thinking...

I'd like to edit an anthology of "genre" poetry. Perhaps more on this later.

Before blogs...

In middle school, my friends and I kept shared notebooks. We would write notes to each other, or journal entries, or whatever in them, then trade them around between classes. The next person would write, then pass it back or on. Some were between two people--my friend Cassie and I kept one that was confiscated (later we broke into the principal's office to steal it back). Some were between whole groups of kids.

Kind of low-tech protoblogs. Group protoblogs, even.

In high school, in our Humanities class, we also kept semi-public journals. We were instructed to write once a day, about anything we wanted. Then at the end of each semester we turned them into the teachers who would either read them (if you gave permission) or not (if you denied permission). This class was taught by a group of teachers who rotated as the subjects changed--one would teach art history, one would teach philosophy or whatever. I allowed permission to all but one teacher. When it came time to turn my journal into her, I counted the pages, folded them over and stapled them shut. I wrote the page number (so she could verify that I'd been writing daily--we received a grade for this) on the front. I just didn't like her, though now I can't remember why not.

I guess this might sound weird to some, but these teachers were popular and we loved them, and we liked writing things knowing they would read them. At least I did. One of them wrote (they had the option to write back to you in your journal if they were so moved), "I could read your writing all day." The best encouragement ever. A couple of troubled students confessed things they might not have otherwise had the courage to confess, asked for help they may not otherwise have had the nerve to request.

I wonder if I still have those books.

I kept my own journals too--from age 14 to about 24, then kind of drifted out of the habit. I have all of those old journals somewhere. I keep notebooks now, but not journals. Just notes for poems, and on whatever I'm reading. I've talked about those here before.

I stopped journaling because I didn't need to anymore. I turned the journaling impulse outward, toward another person.

He still listens.

Exactly what I don't need today

I might miss Shafer Hall's "Alcohol & Cigarettes" free-for-all reading at the Liar today.

But if you're going, you should bring something to read, and arrive by 3:00. Maybe I'll be there. We'll see.

Later, Dan & I are going to see Walter Day & Billy Mitchell (among others) at the NY Video Festival, both of whom Dan interviewed for his GAMERS piece.

Last night in Prospect Park at dusk

Fat robins chased fireflies under the trees, traffic starting and stopping with the blinking lights. Just after dusk, dozens of little bats appeared, swooping and diving above us. A lightshow and aerial stunts!

Friday, July 16, 2004

Somehow I missed this...

photo of Erica with her beloved frogs. Sweet!

Allow me to be the first to complain...

about the changes to the Blogger interface. Once again, they seem to be problematic for Safari/Mac. And even switching to Netscape hasn't improved things much.

In Safari, when I type a post and hit "publish" only my title is transferred. The body of the post disappears, despite everything looking fine in preview.

Typing posts in the Edit HTML pane works better. But, um, that's the old way. Though, I like coding my own formatting, personally. One can't refuse to learn basic HTML forever.

The upgrade also seems to have erased some of my post-format settings.


The candidate with the man-sandals wins.

Hubby's on his way out to run errands and can't find his man-sandals. I'm sitting on the couch reading GAMERS essays.

"Where are my flip-flops? I thought they were in here."


"My flip-flops." Beat pause. "Maybe John Kerry has them."


"Because, you know, he's a flip-flopper."

Say hello to Sean McNally...

of Get to Know Your Presidential Pets fame. Sean now has a blog, And a Chimp Shall Lead Us.

And joy is general all over Brooklyn.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Gets it everytime

Love & Happiness. Try it and see.

Publishers Weekly to stop reviewing poetry

This just in from Jeffrey Lependorf of the CLMP:

Dear Friends of Poetry: Some of you may already have heard that Publishers Weekly has decided to cease offering a Forecast review section dedicated to poetry. I spoke with Michael Scharf, the Poetry Forecast Editor, who confirmed the news; I then spoke with Jeff Zalesky, the Editor of the Forecast section, to find out exactly what is going on.

Jeff confirmed that there will no longer be a dedicated Forecast for poetry. They do not intend to offer a press release or formal statement to this effect, either. He did make a point of saying that they will "not be giving up on poetry." According to Jeff, they will still offer reviews of poetry titles, though these will only amount to 2-4 reviews a month. The reviews will most likely concentrate on "bigger name" poets, and PW will continue its policy of not reviewing first books. Jeff says that they do still plan to periodically present a special section of the Forecast devoted to poetry.

He gave multiple reasons for this decision, which were primarily bottom line-related. He stated that he has to put his "resources where the subscribers ask for them--and that's not poetry." He went on to say that because so many of the big stores and chains now have people dedicated to poetry, and there is so much readily-accessible online commentary about poetry, that the "PW reviews have become redundant." He also acknowledged that poetry makes up a very small base in terms of their advertising revenue.

Certainly we believe that PW has made a bad, "penny-wise, pound-foolish" decision. Here are some recommendations we have toward convincing them to reinstate the Poetry Forecast:

1) Direct letters/emails to Jeff Silesky expressing your disappointment in light of PW's historical support of the independent press community can't hurt. I don't believe that complaints or expressions of anger from you will have a tremendous effect, but you should make the importance of PW reviews to you known. Jeff made a point of saying to me that he had "hardly heard form anyone." (On the contrary, Mike Scharf did hear from many of you, but it is clear that this is not his decision.)

2) More importantly, I believe that if Jeff Zalesky hears from his constituents--namely, booksellers and librarians--this may have a much greater effect. Urge booksellers and librarians that you have a relationship with to contact PW to reinstate the Poetry Forecast.

Here's is the contact for Jeff Zalesky:

Jeff Zalesky, Forecasts Editor

Publishers Weekly


Clean up the office day!

Today at the freelance job is "Clean up the office day." This means "Feel free to wear jeans!"

Never have I seen so many adults--who work in the fashion industry, mind you--get so excited about their dungarees.

My first thought after stepping out of the shower this morning? "Oh cool, I can just wear jeans today."


Wednesday, July 14, 2004


Link courtesy of Jordan, courtesy of Brian.

I love it!

Crouch! Punch! Peck!


Guess that was bound to happen sooner or later.

Digging report

Found to-do list. Can see at least one corner of desk and partial floor.

A*Hole proofs to Soft Skull & author

LIT copyediting packets to staff members

So that's 2 down. Just 837187598748957487 to go.

Space-Invaders street art!

Pretty cool project. You can buy the kits to make your own here.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Get to Know Your Presidential Pets!

This just in from the talented and tropical-shirted Sean McNally (aka Mr. Jennifer L. Knox):

As some folks have already heard, I recently entered a short musical play

entitled Get to Know Your Presidential Pets into the Third Festival of

'Wrights, a series of staged readings to be held at the Makor/Steinhardt

Center of the 92nd Street Y, located at 35 W. 67th Street in Manhattan.

I'm delighted to say that my piece has been selected for inclusion. How's

that for something? Pretty good for a first try. Here's what the press

materials say: "Get to Know Your Presidential Pets: An absurd

presidential race pits a president who has a constant erection against a

garbageman who makes sound effects."

Yep, that's pretty much what it's about, all right.

The reading of Get to Know Your Presidential Pets will be performed on the

first night of the Festival, Sunday, August 1st, at 7:30 pm, along with six

other short plays. Total run-time is under 75 minutes. Admission is $12,

if you're looking for something theatrical to do that evening. And if

you're among the far-flung friends, it's an excuse to jump a plane to Nowy

Jork, as we say in Greenpoint.

If the evening's lame, it's an excuse to sock me in the eye. And my eye

hasn't had a good socking in a long time.

Further information can be found here.

So. There you go. Come on down or up or over, if you've a mind to.

Your pal,


Also, I am extremely tickled to announce that the hilarious poem-thangs on which this musical was based will be making their print debut in LIT 9: 3 "Get to Know Your Presidential Pets" pieces and 2 "Questions and Podiums" pieces. Here is just a teensy taste:

"Eisenhower had a weimaraner, and that's fun to say. Eisenhower had a weimaraner. Eisenhower had a weimaraner!


Reagan had a sharpened piece of wood named Jabby."

(BTW, I've secretly started referring to LIT 9 in my mind as the "political ire & cussin" issue. Goes with the times, I suppose.)

Where the...?

I am so buried in proofs and manuscripts it looks like a paperbomb went off in my house. I cannot even find my to-do list, much less cross anything off yet.

Commencing digging.

But dear vacation--I can see you from here!

Ada Calhoun, new at UES

Ode to America

We do lots of bad things.

We are like a big-haired girl in a tight shirt at a party.

We cannot be stopped.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Rainy Monday update

Train station a mess and my train running on a local track. Phooey.

Then, I got trapped in the elevator at my freelance office building. For five minutes. While a piercing high-pitched alarm was going off. I took turns pressing the call button and putting my fingers in my ears.

Finally, I forced the doors open myself.

The security guards were just sitting there, at the front desk, as if they could not hear bells going off at maximum decibels less than 10 feet away.

Helloooooooooooooo, Monday!

Newsy bit

"Contrast Girls" from Down Spooky has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Details (and a link to the poem) here. Thanks David & Didi!

Not a bad way to start a rainy Monday, I must admit.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

My husband, the DJ

So we've both been home working all weekend, much to do. But it's 5:00 on Sunday and the wine bottle is out and we watch another Bush documentary, then I hop in the shower. Shawn's off to his office to make CDs for his dad.

I check on him a few minutes later.

"Check this out," he says. "Disc three."

I scan the playlist & burst into laughter.

Tenacious D's "F*ck Her Gently" leads into "Until She Comes" by the Psychedelic Furs.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Elbow, one funny bone

Maybe you've seen this before, it's been around awhile.

Many many more hilariously disturbing videos here.


saw Fahrenheit 9/11 yesterday at BAM.


UPDATE: I think I hid my face about a third of the time. Trembled in anger, cried, laughed, cried some more, winced. Went immediately for a drink. So did most of the other audience members--the neighborhood wine shop was crowded! In fact, the employees asked if we had just come from seeing F9/11. They said they can tell when the movie lets out by their sudden spurts of busyness (and mascara-streaked faces)!!!

GAMERS unite!

Dan & I are going to this next weekend:


As video games continue to emerge into and energize mainstream culture, the stereotype of the gamer as a basement-dwelling shut-in is giving way to a new appreciation of the extraordinary talents of the teeming hordes playing games and working in the game industry. Co-organized by Taeko Baba of New York-Tokyo, this program of screenings, commentary, and live appearances will introduce the audience to the work and play of a variety of gaming amateurs and professionals-each with his or her very own brilliance, slyness, or breathtaking savantism. A special Gamers Night Groove after-party will follow at the Tribeca Grand Hotel (over-21 only). Sun July 18: 9

It's part of the NY Video Festival.

Friday, July 9, 2004

Thursday, July 8, 2004

Dang holiday

I just realized it was Thursday, not Wednesday.

Hello, weekend!

Wait--where'd the week go?

Road Crew Girls

When my father-figure Darryl was in town a coupla weeks ago, we took him to Pete's Big Salmon to hear me read a few poems and introduce him to our buddies. Jen Knox and I were talking with Darryl when I mentioned that I had worked for Darryl's construction company in high school. Oh really? asked Jen, curiosity piqued. Yep, says I.

See what happened is that I recommended a couple of my male friends to Darryl as summer help, but they turned out to be lazy and he was stuck needing more people on the crew. So my sister & I had to step up. We spent most of that summer from 6 to 6 in the Texas sun, driving the barricade truck, setting up and breaking down barricades and cone configurations, and directing traffic while the crew paved the streets in my hometown. That same summer I managed a sandwich shop on the main drag and also worked as the "perfume sample" girl at Dillard's in the local mall.*

Then Jen says, You know what? I did that too!

That's right. Two poets of roughly the same age, living in New York City after moving here from hickish small towns, both with husbands named Sean/Shawn, both exceedingly tall for ladies, me playing editor to her poet for Soft Skull--two gals who just plain like to hang out with each other--we both worked on road crews in our youth. Street-paving road crews.

Now, I'm guessing the chances of us having that much in common are mighty mighty slim, huh?

*Note: As you can see, I've always been somethig of a workaholic. Though back then, I made pretty good money. Now I just have a well-employed hubby!

PSA re: Neal Medlyn from man of sound & light Shafer Hall

"Hey Y'all,

The now-very-famous Neal Medlyn (of Frequency reading with Jen fame) will be doing his thing at Collective Unconscious on Thursdays and Fridays over the next three weeks. & I will be running all of his lights and sounds.

So it'll be Xxxtra fun.

I think that his website (for more info) is nealmedlyn.com. Otherwise, if you Google "The Paris Hilton of Performance Art" you should be able to get the skinny. Thursdays (except This thursday, which is at 8pm) are at 10pm, and Fridays are at 8pm.


A li'l review of Down Spooky by Tom Beckett

Though it's so sweet and the hour is so wee, I think I just might be dreaming! (Scroll down to July 7 at 4:10 a.m.--I can't get the permalink to work.)

Thanks, Tom. It pleases me to no end that you like the Spookies.

And while my cheeks are still pink, may as well mention that Shafer Hall's grandfather just sent the following delightfully hyperbolic note re: Big Confetti:

Have read and re-read "Big Confetti" and am suitably impressed (I know I daren't say surprised or I would have to go into a lot of exonerating explanations) but will say the surprise was pleasant.

Don't know anything about poetry, but know what I like, and "Arbor Vitae" and the word "whirpling" are neck and neck.

Hope you and your co-poet can maintain the obvious high level of incentive and motivation--wherever it comes from--(if it has anything to do with the war between the sexes--Venus and Mars, etc. your next works will put Kipling, Service and Browning out of business).


The Coast Curmudgeon

Wednesday, July 7, 2004

You know what word I love?


[That's an E with an accent ague, in case it doesn't render for you here.]


It is freaking July and I have yet to spend any significant amount of time outdoors this summer.

If I have to edit on the stoop this weekend, I will!

Don't push me, Summer!

"She was a wonton slut."

Ho ho ho. With a side of soy sauce. Heh heh.

Also circulating:

"Let's just use an assterix and footnote it at the bottom."

Whenever I hear this I can't help but think of a dominatrix who's into @nal.

Laughing out loud in my cubicle now!

Glory glory hallelujah! LIT 9 is gonna kick ass!

Finally, finally, finally closing the Spring/Summer issue this week. If you have something pending (sent before May) and have not heard from us, you shall ASAP! There are a few page-count issues for me to work out before I can figure out if some poems need to be held over for 10. Hopefully not!

This issue, with cover art by Manny Farber (whose retrospective opens at PS1 in September), visual poetry by Geof Huth, never-before published translations of Pessoa by Richard Zenith, and AMAZING new poems from folks you know as well as folks you've never laid eyes on is going to be simply STELLAR. Really.

More soon!

Tuesday, July 6, 2004

Saturday, July 3, 2004

Magazines full of short fiction we like

In case you haven't been following the discussion in the comment boxes below, here is a handy list of recommended journals that publish fiction, drawn from various posts, in no particular order.

Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet


3rd bed

Small Spiral Notebook


I also like the new Black Clock, edited by Steve Erickson, one of my favorite contemporary novelists.

You might also like to take a look at the mags on my links page.

Friday, July 2, 2004


In the mail...


The new issue of Skidrow Penthouse, edited by Rob Cook & Stephanie Dickinson--more than 280 pp. of poems, prose & art by Andrew Kaufman, Larry Sawyer, Guy R. Beining, Tom Savage, Julie Lechevsky, Gil Fagiani, Antler, Shanna Compton, and many more!

The new issue of Field with cover postcard from Jennifer L. Knox dated September 2002, and poems by Bob Hicok, Thomas Lux, Kevin Prufer, Charles Wright, Raymond Queneau, and others.

Unrelated Individuals Forming a Group Waiting to Cross by Mark Yakich (selected for the National Poetry Series by James Galvin), and which has just a fabulous cover.

The premier issue of Cue: A Journal of Prose Poetry, edited by Morgan Lucas Schuldt & Mark Horosky, with poems by Jane Miller, David Lehman (and an interview), James Tate, Aloysius Bertrand, Barbara Cully, and others. This new little mag is very well done and gorgeous--brown on brown in an elegant typeface. A little like the first issue of Parakeet, physically.

And all this just yesterday, from my various mailboxes. Like Christmas! I've only really had time to dip into the Yakich book, so here's a nice taste of that:

Two-Pack Solitaire

That hand of yours represents

An elegant route



Where sleeves come from


(I only want you

To love me & you)

Like a perfectly potholed surface

We are

Or a cup of wine


Sometimes lovers lie


Sometimes a lay is all

We're good for

Thursday, July 1, 2004

Well, that still doesn't make them interesting.

With all due respect to Dan Wickett, who is a friend of Brand New Insects, I don't read the fiction in any of those magazines either--especially Glimmer Train. Except maybe in Playboy when Vonnegut used to regularly appear there. Just a matter of personal taste. And just because someone is widely published doesn't mean everything they turn out is of equal merit--or merit at all.

I've personally rejected all kinds of "famous" and "well-published" authors. When the personality of the press and the style of the author don't jive, there's no help for it.

UPDATE: Maud Newton has another related post here.

Zoo's not really fledgling--they published Ross Martin and Jeff Tweedy and plenty of other books, and this model has worked fine for them in the past, for poetry. So again, with all due respect to the estimable Maud Newton, I have to disagree that Neil acted in bad faith. He was just as surprised, seemingly, as the entrants that the contest didn't pan out. And all contests screen with readers before passing submissions on to the final judge--and in this case, Neil did it himself, which is probably pretty rare. Usually the first readers are students, interns, and volunteers.

I just plain believe Neil when he says he didn't feel any of the entries were worthy. I've been in that same spot, both with magazine and press submissions. It's a terrible and severely disheartening realization--all this work, all this talent, all this reading--and nothing is grabbing you, nothing is making you burn with the desire to introduce it to the world, to take a chance on a little book among hundreds of thousands. It's the worst day any editor can face. Worse than an being sued, worse than a glaring typo on the front cover, worse than being misquoted in an interview. It sucks. Editors LIKE writers, LOVE writers, and in fact many ARE writers. Editors and publishers--particularly those who work for independent presses--are in the business for no other reason. Unless they're completely batshit.

Blogging about "Writing about the Writing about God Contest"

My darling collaborator Shafer Hall is a runner-up in the Surgery of Modern Warfare Writing about God contest. Go take a looksee. (Scroll down.)

The Compton Effect

The noun compton has 1 sense.

1. Compton, Arthur Compton, Arthur Holly Compton -- (United States physicist noted for research on x-rays and gamma rays and nuclear energy; his observation that X-rays behave like balls in their interactions with electrons provided evidence for the quantal nature of light (1892-1962))


I picked up this same book just yesterday afternoon, at Coliseum Books. Then put it down.

Think I'll go pick it up again.

Watching & now listening

to Hussein's [still resistant to referring to him by his first name] court proceedings on CNN. The audio has been released and fully translated now. First thing this morning it was silent footage.

Wondered about the beard. But then a commentator explained. It's a symbol of mourning.

Another genius book cover by Charlie Orr

And did Dan mention that Cafe Press yanked the D or B T-shirts? I guess that particular design was just a little too blue. Ha!