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Sunday, October 31, 2004

Harryette Mullen



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



And an excellent interview by Daniel Kane here.



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

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Just ordered...



Cynthia Sailers' Lake Systems

Chris Stroffolino's Speculative Primitive

...both from Tougher Disguises



&



Heidi Lynn Staples' Guess Can Gallop

Matthew Thorburn's Subject to Change

...both from Small Press Distribution



They can't get here fast enough.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Last call for Down Spooky & Big Confetti



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



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



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



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



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

More Texas photos: Enchanted Rock



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



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





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





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





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





A prickly pear cactus with fruit.





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





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

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Flu



Dearest New Yorkers, the damn thing has arrived. Take your vitamins and wash those hands. See you on the other side.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Blatant bragging



A rave review of The Age of Sinatra by David Ohle. Oh, yeah.

Tea + Tamale + Butter + Lard = Food Poem



Go check out Tony Robinson's poem at Verse, wonthcha?

GAMERS review in Library Journal



"In this anthology of original essays, contributors commissioned from a field of writers, artists, poets, programmers, and scholars discuss the growing impact of video games on our culture and what gaming means to them. Some wax nostalgic about their first experiences with games, while others write about the present and future aspects of a burgeoning gaming culture. The essays themselves range from intriguing to entertaining...."



Oh, and books will be in next week. Rock.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Wheet-whew!



Slip a tenner to the desk clerk and visit Laura Cronk over at the No-Tell Motel. I left a few minutes on the magic fingers for ya.

Jen & Ada say...



"Tonight at 7:30, take a load off and

let your hair down with Jordan Davis

and Brandon Downing.



Jordan Davis is the host of

The Million Poems Show; editor (The Hat,

Free Radicals), critic (Constant Critic,

Village Voice), blogger (Equanimity,

Million Poems), and oh yeah, poet (poems

 forthcoming in American Letters & Commentary,

Boston Review, and Chicago Review).

Jordan Davis is running this poetry shit.



Brandon Downing is originally from

San Francisco, California, where he owned

things and people. In San Francisco he was

a co-founder of both the 9x9 Industries Collective

and Blue Books (at the New College of California).

Founding editor of the journal 6,500

and curator of the Books Readings #1 Series,

since coming East in 2001 he has done fuck-all

but write, write, write. His poetry collections

include LAZIO (Blue Books, 2000), The Shirt

Weapon (Germ Monographs, 2002) and,

forthcoming in winter 2005 from Faux Press,

DARK BRANDON. He works as a graphic designer

and exhibit writer in New York City.



All readings are FREE. Pete's Big Salmon

takes place at Pete's Candy Store in Williamsburg,

Brooklyn.  790 Lorimer btw Frost and Richardson.

take the G or the L.  Click here for a great map.

Oh, and the MS formerly known as Miracle Fortune Fish...

shall henceforth be known as Down Spooky.



Which is a better, more intriguing title. And not similar to others' titles.



Since it contains most of the poems from the chapbook of the same title, as well as many of the Big Confettis, and other older and newer poems resonating on a vaguely southern theme, it really just seems to fit better.



MFF is planned as a chapbook and perhaps an eponymous poem.



Back from CT



Great, relaxing weekend with Shawn and Ollie and a fireplace. Beautiful views from our hotel. Several good local beers and fresh seafood. Long walks. Read lots of James Merrill, since our hotel was on Water Street where he lived for 40 years. At the Harp & Hound in Mystic yesterday I laughed aloud at one poem, and the regular next to me and bartender asked me to read it aloud:



From "Eight Bits"



5/ LIPSTICK, 1935



At Aunt Pearl's kiss the pointed head

Extruded glistening pale red

From the jet sheath where it was housed

Looked like our Labrador, aroused.





Hooting and howling ensued.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Admittedly, these food poems...

are "about" so much more than just food. But here's another favorite that's full of fruit by trusty old Wallace Stevens.

More miracles







Miracle Fair by Wislawa Szymborska

Miracle Maker by Fadhil Al-Azzawi

Radio & Other Miracles by Terrance Cox

Good Poems about Food (part 4)



This one's by Aimee Nezhukumatathil, from her Miracle Fruit. (Ah, yet another book with "miracle" in the title, but can't we share?) Actually, there are several delicious foody poems in Aimee's book.





The Woman Who Turned Down a Date with a Cherry Farmer



Of course I regret it. I mean there I was under umbrellas of fruit

so red they had to be borne of Summer, and no other season.

Flip-flops and fishhooks. Ice cubes made of lemonade and sprigs

of mint to slip in blue glasses of tea. I was dusty, my ponytail

all askew and the tips of my fingers ran, of course, red



from the fruitwounds of cherries I plunked into my bucket

and still--he must have seen some small bit of loveliness

in walking his orchard with me. He pointed out which trees

were sweetest, which ones bore double seeds--puffing out

the flesh and oh the surprise on your tongue with two tiny stones



(a twin spit), making a small gun of your mouth. Did I mention

my favorite color is red? His jeans were worn and twisty

around the tops of his boot; his hands thick but careful,

nimble enough to pull fruit from his trees without tearing

the thin skin; the cherry dust and fingerprints on his eyeglasses.



I just know when he stuffed his hands in his pockets, said

Okay. Couldn't hurt to try? and shuffled back to his roadside stand

to arrange his jelly jars and stacks of buckets, I had made

a terrible mistake. I just know my summer would've been

full of pies, tartlets, turnovers--so much jubilee.

Note about these here food poems.



So our own Tony Robinson dropped a casual line on his blog about not liking food poems but loving food, and folks started agreeing in the comment box, and this development sent me into a bit of a panic. So now I have been able to do nothing but think of food poems since about five o'clock yesterday, so I am posting some of them here. Tony, to be fair, has already ammended his comment to "most food poems." Whew.



I still don't think I have the punctuation right in that Craig Arnold poem, but I have searched high and low for my copy of Shells and can't find it yet. He actually has several fine poems 'bout edibles in there.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Good Poems about Food (Part 3)



Hot by Craig Arnold



I'm cooking Thai--you bring the beer.

The same order, although it's been a year



--friendships based on food are rarely stable.

We should have left ours at the table.



where it began, and went to seed,

that appetite we shared, based less in need



than boredom--always the cheapest restaurants,

Thai, Szechwan, taking our chance



with gangs and salmonella--what was hot?

The five-starred curries? The pencil-out



entrees?-- the first to break a sweat

would leave the tip. I raise the knocker, let



it fall, once, twice, and when the door is opened

I can't absorb, at first, what's happened



--face loosened a notch, eyes with the gloss

of a fever left to run its course



too long, letting the unpropped skin collapse

in a wrinkled heap. Only the lips



I recognize--dry, cracked, chapped

from licking. He looks as though he's slept.



a week in the same clothes. --Come in, kick back,

he says, putting my warm six-pack



of Pale & Bitter into the fridge to chill.

There's no music. I had to sell



the stereo to support my jones, he jokes

Meaning the glut of good cookbooks



that cover one whole wall, in stacked milk crates

six high, nine wide, two deep. He grates



unripe papaya into a bowl,

fires off questions--When did you finish school?



Why not? Still single? Why? That dive

that served the ginger eels, did it survive?



I don't get out much. Shall we go sometime?

He squeezes the quarters of a lime



into the salad, adds a liberal squirt

of chili sauce. I won't be hurt



if you don't want seconds. It's not as hot

as I would like to make it, but



you always were a bit of a lightweight.

Here, its finished, try a bite.



He holds a forkful of crisp

Green shreds for me to take. I swallow, gasp,



choke--pins and needles shoot

through mouth and throat, a heat so absolute



as to seem freezing. I know better

not to wash it down with ice water



--it seems to cool, but only spreads the fire--

I can only bite my lip and swear



quietly to myself, so caught

up in our old routine--What? This is hot?



You're sweating. Care for another beer?

--it doesn't occur to me that he's sincere



until, my eyes watering, half in rage,

I open the door and find the fridge



stacked full with little jars of curry paste,

arranged by color, labels faced



carefully outward, some pushed back

to make room for the beer, --no milk, no take-



out cartons of gelatinous chow mein,

no pickles rotting in green brine,



not even a jar of moldy mayonnaise.

--I see you're eating well these days,



I snap, pressing the beaded glass

of a beer bottle against my neck, face,



temples, anywhere it will hurt

enough to draw the fire out, and divert



attention from the fear that follows

close behind... He stares at me, the hollows



under his eyes more prominent than ever.

--I don't eat much these days. The flavor



has gone out of everything, almost.

For the first time it's not a boast.



You know those small bird chili pods--the type

you wear surgical gloves to chop,



then soak your knife and cutting board

in vinegar? A month ago I scored



a fresh bag--they were so ripe

I couldn't cut them warm, I had to keep



them frozen. I forget what I had meant

to make, that night--I'd just cleaned



the kitchen, wanted to fool around

with some old recipe I'd lost, and found



jammed up behind a drawer--I had

maybe too much to drink. "Can't be that bad,"



I remember thinking. "What's the fuss

about? It's not as if they're poisonous..."



Those peppers, I ate them, raw--a big fistful

shoved in my mouth, swallowed whole,



and more, and more. It wasn't hard.

You hear of people getting their eyes charred



to cinders, staring into an eclipse...

He speaks so quickly, one of his lips



has cracked, leaks a triple of blood

along his chin. ...I never understood.



I try to speak, to offer some

Small shocked rejoinder, but my mouth is numb,



tingling, hurts to move--I called in sick

next morning, said I'd like to take



time off. She thinks I've hit the bottle.

The high those peppers gave me is more subtle--



I'm lucid, I remember my full name,

my parents' birthdays, how to win a game



of chess in seven moves, why which and that

mean different things. But what we eat,



why, what it means, it's all been explained

--Take this curry, this fine-tuned



balance of humors, coconut liquor thinned

by broth, sour pulp of tamarind



cut through by salt, set off by fragrant

galangal, ginger, basil, cilantro, mint,



the warp and woof of texture, aubergines

that barely hold their shape, snap beans



heaped on jasmine, basmanti rice

--it's a lie, all of it--pretext--artifice



--ornament--sugar-coating--for...

He stops, expressing heat from every pore



of his full face, unable to give vent

to any more, and sits, silent,



a whole minute. --You understand?

Of course, I tell him. As he takes my hand



I can't help but notice the strength his grip

has lost, as he lifts it to his lip,



presses it for a second, the torn flesh

as soft, as tenuous, as ash,



not in the least harsh or rough,

wreck of a mouth, that couldn't say enough.

Oh, I am thinking of so many that it's like an instant anthology!



Lest we forget the Auberginians, I shall remind you that no fewer than a dozen poets, and perhaps more, wrote poems a la eggplant at the behest of Mr. Corey (though not everyone wrote about the purple edible, true).



But I am at work, without access to the bookshelves, so have to post these well-worn examples first!



Next up: Craig Arnold's "Hot."

Good Poems about Food (part 2)



Another famous example by WC Williams:



This Is Just to Say



I have eaten

the plums

that were in

the icebox



and which

you were probably

saving

for breakfast



Forgive me

they were delicious

so sweet

and so cold

Good Poems about Food (part 1)



And a sestina to boot! By the ever-lovely Elizabeth Bishop.



A MIRACLE FOR BREAKFAST



At six o'clock we were waiting for coffee,

waiting for coffee and the charitable crumb

that was going to be served from a certain balcony

—like kings of old, or like a miracle.

It was still dark. One foot of the sun

steadied itself on a long ripple in the river.



The first ferry of the day had just crossed the river.

It was so cold we hoped that the coffee

would be very hot, seeing that the sun

was not going to warm us; and that the crumb

would be a loaf each, buttered, by a miracle.

At seven a man stepped out on the balcony.



He stood for a minute alone on the balcony

looking over our heads toward the river.

A servant handed him the makings of a miracle,

consisting of one lone cup of coffee

and one roll, which he proceeded to crumb,

his head, so to speak, in the clouds—along with the sun.



Was the man crazy? What under the sun

was he trying to do, up there on his balcony!

Each man received one rather hard crumb,

which some flicked scornfully into the river,

and, in a cup, one drop of the coffee.

Some of us stood around, waiting for the miracle.



I can tell what I saw next; it was not a miracle.

A beautiful villa stood in the sun

and from its doors came the smell of hot coffee.

In front, a baroque white plaster balcony

added by birds, who nest along the river,

—I saw it with one eye close to the crumb—



and galleries and marble chambers. My crumb

my mansion, made for me by a miracle,

through ages, by insects, birds, and the river

working the stone. Every day, in the sun,

at breakfast time I sit on my balcony

with my feet up, and drink gallons of coffee.



We licked up the crumb and swallowed the coffee.

A window across the river caught the sun

as if the miracle were working, on the wrong balcony.

Recent & Recommended reading...

on the right sidebar is about to get an overhaul. Having to acknowledge I just don't have time to review everything here, even though I take notes on almost everything, but I still want to call out highlights. Stay tuned.



For now, a quick list:



Just finished Christian Hawkey's Book of Funnels. (Note for Maureen: star-nosed moles--twice!)

Currently reading Steve Healey's Earthling and Rae Armantrout's Veil.

Looking forward to Sowako Nakayasu's So We Have Been Given Time Or and Chad Davidson's Consolation Miracle (though a teensy bit bummed as an afterthought that my newest MS also has "miracle" in the title, but that's silly)

Must to order soon because local store not getting them yet: Heidi Lynn Staples & Matthew Thorburn!

PSA: Books for Soldiers



From the husband:



"Hi.



Any of you with lots of books to unload might consider this.



Books for Soldiers



The Strand will only give you a $1.50 for that shitty D@ve Egg*rs novel anyway.

This is especially good if any of you receive review copies. Also, for you poets,

this may be the only way of getting poetry into the hands of people who are not

poets themselves.



(It goes without saying that one can be vehemently anti-war, as I am, but still

pro-soldier, despite all the spew coming from the right wingers.)"

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Sorry, not much to say..



These speeches leave me speechless.



These acts of voter suppression turn my stomach.



These last two weeks are gonna be pretty rough.



I am feeling this, people. Feeling it deep.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

The Ear, the Liar, and Kili

Hey, I never reported on Jen & [expurgated]'s reading last week. Kili is a groovy place, and with the hypnotic Duraflame log on the fire next to [expurgated] in his Lone Ranger mask and Jen in her sequined skirt the ambiance was sexy and glamorous. [expurgated] read some recent stuff, including the one that cribs a line from the latest no-smoking campaign on the subways: "He's a quitter. And I think that's sexy." Jen did some newer stuff too, but didn't leave out the Hippy Sci-Fi Homosexual poem, which not only cracked up everybody in the audience, but cracked up Jen too; she could hardly get through it. Heh heh. Nice night, for sure. Sean McNally, Brendan Lorber, Todd Colby & Elizabeth Zechel, Aaron Kiely, Sarah Manguso, Chris Martin, and a bunch of other folks I'm forgetting to name in the house. Tracey read poems for [expurgated] & Jen before they went on, which was cool.



Saturday at the Ear was fun. I've been to lots of readings there, but it was my first attempt to battle the noise of the bar. It's no problem at all to listen, because the readers are miked, but when you're up there yourself it's more distracting than I expected--everybody at the bar behind you and the front of the restaurant going on with their conversations and laughter. I kept trying to eavesdrop and read at the same time. But after the second or third poem I pretty much forgot about it. Thanks to the regulars for coming out: Susanne & Mike, Maureen, Charlie, Rob & Jessica, Tom Kelly. Afterward I was gifted with three drawings (they have crayons and butcher paper on the tables). My scanner's broken or I'd post 'em.



Then David Ohle & Brian Evenson rocked the Liar with Andy Freedman, and that was just great. Thanks to Shafer for letting us put on the show.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Holy $hit! Jon Stewart is schooling Crossfire!



Am watching Crossfire right now, and Paul Begala and especially Tucker Carlson, are apoplectic at Stewart telling them, repeatedly, that their show is harming America. It's live. Oh. My. God. This is great.



UPDATE: That was the best TV ever. Ever. Jon Stewart actually called Carlson a dick. After he made fun of his bow tie. The transcript, when it goes up, will be here.



ANOTHER UPDATE: The video is up now here.



It is a must-see.

Go see Vincie.



"Eh, you American swine. Ah bet yew hev never even read ze Derrida, or ef you hev, yew did not understand eet."



I scared my cat I laughed so hard.

Weekends with Ollie







Bringing out the Olivetti today (which is reverently cased when not in use) for a series of serious revisions on the MS--on both MSS--between now and the end of the year. He's a beautiful little machine.



And, not only does he collaborate on the poems with me, but he keeps me from spending so much time on the dang interweb.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

The first step is admitting you have a problem.



I have become so addicted to constant political news, the blogs on both the left and right, and polls that I am wound too tight to sleep and etc. And I'm fairly sure that I will never eat falafel again.



Just booked a media-free getaway for next weekend. I will miss things, but right now I need to miss things.



I feel better already.



On a related topic, fellow New Yorkers: how is it the city always picks the worst time to f*ck with you?

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Elizabeth Zechel's show opens tomorrow!



I've posted here before about how groovy Elizabeth's paintings and drawings are, and you have seen them on poetry books by Eric Baus & Todd Colby (her husband), as well as over at Surgery of Modern Warfare.



So don't miss this show!



A.I.R. Gallery

511 W. 25th Street 3301

212.255.6651

Opening reception Thursday, October 14, 6-8 p.m.

Congrats to Maureen!



Ugly Ducking will be publishing her chapbook Novelty Act! Woohoo!

Reminder: Two readings this Saturday!



First, I'll be reading with Matthew Freedman, Jacqueline Lyons, & Erin Lee Mock this Saturday, October 16 at the Ear Inn (which serves great brunch & lunch!) hosted by Michael Broder & Jason Schneiderman. Details below.



Saturday, October 16 at 3:00 P.M.

The Ear Inn Reading Series

Hosted by Michael Broder & Jason Schneiderman

326 Spring Street (west of Greenwich Street)

FREE




After the reading at the Ear, you're encouraged to come on over to the Four-Faced Liar in the West Village for a special edition of the Frequency Series featuring David Ohle & Brian Evenson, hosted by yours truly. Details below.



Saturday, October 16 at 5:00 P.M.

The Four-Faced Liar

65 West 4th Street

FREE!




David Ohle's first novel Motorman was published by Knopf in 1972 and was reprinted by 3rd bed Books in June 2004 to coincide with Soft Skull Press’s publication of its long-awaited sequel The Age of Sinatra. His short fiction has appeared in Harper's, Esquire, the Paris Review, and elsewhere. A native of New Orleans, Ohle now lives in Lawrence, Kansas, and teaches at the University of Kansas. His last name rhymes with "holy." For more info, see here.



Brian Evenson's latest book is The Wavering Knife, a collection of short stories from Fiction Collective 2. His other books include Altman's Tongue, Father of Lies, Dark Property, Contagion, Prophets and Brothers, and The Din of Celestial Birds.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Kuma War







Now, I haven't played this game--I just saw a bit about it on CNN. But the developers used digital images of Kerry, Saddam Hussein, and others to create the characters.



It's just a little bit freaky.

Briefly...

Last night at Pete's with Shafer Hall, Jeni Olin & Adam Williams was a smash. Adam was romantic, as he admits, and his poems were elegant. Shafer was hilarious if not sometimes plain silly--with plenty of surprises--just how we love him. And Jeni's poems were moving and somewhat disturbing, as well as often gorgeous. Shortest reading report ever.



And don't forget, TONITE at Kili Lounge, Jennifer L. Knox & [expurgated] read for Tracey McTague's Battle Hill Series! Details below.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

LIT 9 (better late than never)





Trudy Rendall Ames, Rae Armantrout, Ellis Avery. Ben Bagocius, Daniel Borzutzky, Geoff Bouvier, Julie Carr, John Randolph Carter, Rob Cook, Jaime Anne Corbacho, Joshua Corey, Huy Dao, Ales Debeljak, Will Eposito, Manny Farber, Melanie Figg, Joanna Fuhrman, Lara Glenum, Adriana Grant, Gabriel Gudding, John Hennessy, Ernest Hilbert, Fanny Howe, Geof Huth, Betsy Johnson, Sara Kaplan, Kirsten Kaschock, Paul Killebrew, Jack Kimball, Jennifer L. Knox, John Latta. Marcia Mead Lebré, David Lehman, Ada Limón, Tammara Lindsay, Thomas David Lisk, Ted Mathys, Aaron McCollough, Sean McNally, Katey Nicosia, Kathleen Ossip, Richard Peabody, Lisa Pearson, Fernando Pessoa, Robert Polito, Jacques Prévert, Erika Raskin, Michael Robbins, Anthony Robinson, Michele Rosenthal, Jerome Sala, Christopher Salerno, Michael Schiavo, Jason Schneiderman, Amy Sickels, Bruce Smith, Laurel Snyder, Jason Stumpf, Felicia Swanson, Jean Tardieu, James Tate, Maureen Thorson, Chris Tonelli, Mike Topp, Tony Tost, Jeff Tweedy, Nicholas Twemlow, Joe Wenderoth, Phil West, Max Winter, Franz Wright, Annabelle Yeeseul Yoo, Andrew Zawacki & Richard Zenith



Wowee.

Reading reportlets

So I caught two really great readings this week, which is a 200% increase from recent weeks. Nice to be out from under the workload a little so I can get out and listen.



Tuesday night, Judith Hall read at the New School for a MFA poetry forum. She read from two of her books, and then presented a "plem" (a cross between poem and play) written especially for the occasion.



At the time, the plem appealed more than the straight poems, being a short play read by Judith and David Lehman (who played themselves) and accompanied by a Power Point presentation of collages by Judith. The collages were great--in one, W. H. Auden is grabbing the boob of either Louise Bogan or some similar personage. Many featured DL repeating the line "I write everyday," which he famously does do, and Judith humorously lamented that she can't manage. I didn't take notes, but the impression I'm left with several days later is that the plem was as lofty in places as it was silly in others, and the collages were both beautiful and cartoonish.



Afterwards, I introduced myself to Judith and bought a copy of The Promised Folly, which I began reading on the train trip home. The poems on the page (to my mind at least) are more successful than they were aloud. For instance, "White Bottom Blues," which garnered few titters at the reading, had me laughing outright when I read it myself. Another poem she'd read took the form of a mini play in several voices and was difficult to follow when recited, but perfectly enjoyable in the book. And the poems "Worship of Venus" and "Worship of Mars" (which she did not read) just blew me away, frankly. (And you can read them in Jacket, here.) I'm looking forward to the rest of the book.



Yesterday, Shawn & I met Charlie, Maureen & Mark, Erica, Dan & Maisie, Shafer, [expurgated], Aaron Kiely, Brendan & Tracey, and well, just everybody, at the Liar for Tracey's reading with Cynthia Cruz and Chad Davidson. Tracey rocked--I especially loved her poem written from language borrowed from Earthmovers, a construction-industry magazine somebody left at her house. I also enjoyed Cynthia's love poems--though I was in the back so I truthfully missed a lot because she was rather soft-spoken. Chad was great--he had some of his poems memorized and near-memorized, so could really focus on the performance, which was a real treat. I particularly liked his performance of "A" and the aplomb with which he handled a bevy of ladies who entered the bar during his reading, not realizing they should wait to order drinks until he finished. We lined up afterwards to get copies of Consolation Miracle, which is just beautifully designed. The flying house on the cover resonated with a poem he'd read featuring the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz. I look forward to reading that too.



Don't forget Shafer's reading tomorrow at Pete's & then Jen & [expurgated] on Tuesday at Kili. Both are not-to-be-missed events!



Anybody got a report from the Free Radicals party?

Friday, October 8, 2004

I would not miss this for all the ass-slapping in the world.

Jennifer L. Knox announces:



"I'll be reading some poetry with [expurgated]

THIS TUESDAY, 8 p.m. at a bar called KILI

at 79-81 Hoyt Street at Atlantic.



The G, A, C to Hoyt Schermerhorn,

or the 4, 5 to Hoyt should get you there, God willing.



But that's not the freaky part. The freaky part is:

I have had my ass slapped with [expurgated].

Not with [expurgated]'s hand, or something in [expurgated]'s hand,

but with his whole self. Some guys picked him up

and smacked my ass with his entire person.

Freaky!



Will this ever happen again?

Will it happen on Tuesday?

We shall see."



I will however miss the Free Radicals party tonite, because I am still sickly and will be in my PJs post-haste post-debate. I just gotta kick this cold, dudes.



As Reen mentions, this is one poeterrific week: In addition to the festivities this evening, Tracey McTague, et. al. read TOMORROW at a SATURDAY Frequency, then Shafer reads Monday at Pete's, then Jen & brand-spanking-new Brooklynite [expurgated] take the stage at Kili.



Have we all died and gone to poetry heaven?

Little sis aced her audition...

and landed herself a pupeteering role in the upcoming Dallas Children's Theater production of The Velveteen Rabbit. Way to go, Camron!



Those of you who've met Cammi know how funny and talented she is, but you may not know that she has an absolutely abysmal singing voice. Awful. Not one note in place. Since one part of her audition required her to sing a Xmas carol, naturally she was concerned. She opted to prepare "Jingle Bells" and hoped to charm her way through it. As if that wasn't comedic enough, she failed to realize that she would not be allowed to choose her own song, and she was forced to croon "Joy to the World." With live piano accompaniment. And she didn't know the words.



In the end, she had the director and his fellows in stitches.



"But they were laughing with me, not at me," she says. I could almost hear her grin.

Limitless hearty cheering for Matthew Thorburn!



Matthew is the author of the new book Subject to Change, winner of last year's New Issues Prize. He's also the feature today at Poetry Daily.



You may also know Mr. Thorburn through his work at the fantastic Good Foot.



(Matthew and I were classmates at the New School--so all this is extra nice news.)

Thursday, October 7, 2004

Updated and fancified...

new Frequency Schedule has just been posted.

Another GAMERS review!



Curve will be running a piece in January. Thanks, ladeez!



And did I mention GAMERS is also a pick for the December Holiday Gift Guide in PC Gamer?



My joystick is all atremble.



Meanwhile, hubby is hogging the Xbox playing the newly released Fable. For you nongamers, this is one of those character-development games, in which your avatar's appearance and personality are influenced by your actions. Yeah, like, moral consequences. For instance, if you're a oil-grubbing war profiteer, you might develop an oversized cranium, lizard-like expression, and creepy hand-clasping gestures over time. Ahem.



Shawn's "good" so far, but admits, "I have transgressed."



(Once the GAMERS site is actually up, all these posts will go over there. Still working on that. And GAMERS t-shirts too!)



UPDATE: Just in from Kristin at Soft Skull--Fuze (a soon-to-be-premiered offshoot of XLR8R) and the Seattle-based magazine Tablet are also planning reviews!

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Open letter to Dan







How's the new gig?



What are you doing this weekend?



I've only seen you once since we got back from Texas!



Love,

s

Tuesday, October 5, 2004

Art of the Possible



Hey, I think what must be Gary Sullivan's review of AOTP is in the current Rain Taxi. Print version only, so pick one up. They're free!

Go Geof!



Vis-Po blogger Geof Huth's One Million Footnotes blog is a "Blogs We've Noticed Recently" pick on the Blogger dashboard today.



Rock on, G.

Monday, October 4, 2004

"M@rital aid" or contraband?



This story reminds me of the time when, back in my days as a publicity assistant at Crown/Random House, our author Betty Dodson, on tour for her book $ex for One was stopped at airport security for trying to slip a similar device through security.



Not one to be embarassed or to have her toy taken from her, Betty stood in the airport and loudly stated, "Give me back my dild0!" Over and over. Until they did.



Ah ha ha ha ha ha.

A new blog for gamers!



With the clever tagline, "Don't get a life just yet." Check it: Kotaku.

Dear fellow editors



Are you looking for an entertaining personal essay for the next issue of your magazine or online journal?



Let me know if so. The contributors of GAMERS are negociating their own subsidiary placements, but if you're interested, I can let you peek at their pieces and put you in touch, etc. Most of the essays are funny--some even moving--and most are also at least tangentially related to poetry, writing, or other art forms. All are nontechnical and written for a general audience.



Thanks.

Saturday, October 2, 2004

Happy birthday to Josh!

A new theory



[I have removed this post because it was in poor taste and even though it was a jest, people keep landing here via Google searches. My apologies. Hope you don't miss it too much.]

More good news.



Library Journal is reviewing GAMERS in the Nov. 1 issue--and that means lots of potential library sales. Rock.

Friday, October 1, 2004

Fun with the dictionary



So, you guys know about bartleby.com, right? It's a super handy one-stop reference hub. But I just discovered a delightful new-to-me feature. The American Heritage Dictionary talks!



I was looking up a word I just discovered is misspelled in Big Confetti. (Not sure how I glossed over this so many times before--it just hit me the other night at the reading. Right in the middle of the poem.)



(If you're in a cubical, use your headphones now.)



Anyway, so I was looking up "feral." And for the first time I noticed that next to the phonetic representation there's a little speaker icon. Headphones. Click. Cool. (At least I was saying it right.)



So I listen to a few more words. Febrile, sandwich, monomania. As for "feral" the voice is serious, regal even.



But then, just for giggles, I looked up this word.



Oh ho ho ho ho. Forgive me.

The Age of Sinatra & A*hole



I haven't mentioned much about the novels I've been editing for Soft Skull here, but I just gotta today, because Shelley Jackson has written an absolute rave about my main man David Ohle in the latest BookForum. We hooked up with Vincent Standley at 3rd bed to time the release of The Age of Sinatra with their reprint of Ohle's 1972 prequel Motorman. Motorman is simply unlike any other novel I've read, and has been credited by Jackson and Ben Marcus as the precursor to much of today's speculative literary fiction. The Age of Sinatra could certainly be called science fiction, but it's also political and social satire, in which the President's radio broadcasts usher in a series of "Great Forgettings" and criminals are pardoned by virtue of generic vouchers that transfer their guilt to the nearest innocent bystander. Check it!



Also, A*hole by Hilton Obenzinger has just been released with that ubercool visual-poem cover by Charlie. I LOVE this book and jumped at the chance to publish it. Obenzinger is a poet (see New York on Fire) this experimental novel slides from prose to verse and back again as the story accrues with bits of Dante, Abraham & Isaac, Patty Hearst, Danny DeVito, a psychic movie reviewer, and more. This one's hard to summarize, but recommended for sure, especially for you poets feeling a need to scratch that fiction itch.



All puffed up with pride, I am. I'm so lucky to get to work with these authors and make these books!