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Sunday, October 30, 2005


A magnolia pod, on the UGA campus, Athens, GA.

UGA, Athens, GA.

Sports bar, Athens, GA. All "dawgs" all the time.

More magnolias.

Detour through Great Smoky Mountains National Park, somewhere near the NC/TN border.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Safety Orange Awards

Jen & I have decided to give Safety Orange Awards in various categories to the outstanding folks & cities we've visited on our tour. Stay tuned. They'll be announced shortly after our homecoming reading on November 12 here in NYC.

Every day there's a Creeley memorial...in my mind.

So I'm going to this TODAY and you should too:

Reb Livingston, Max Winter & Rob Ostrom
Saturday, October 29 at 2:00
Four-Faced Liar
165 West 4th Street (near 6th Ave.)

Take the B/D/F/V or A/C/E to West 4th. Map.

Friday, October 28, 2005

How freqy are you?

Reb Livingston, Max Winter & Rob Ostrom are so freqy that they're reading opposite the Creeley memorial tomorrow. Well, kids. One can't be everywhere at once. I'll be at Frequency with the aforementioned superstars and my pals Shafer and Sam. (The memorial reading starts at 1PM; Frequency starts at 2PM. So come on over when you can't find a seat! The Freq is always free and we have a bar.)

Jen Knox is also reading tomorrow, with Katie Degentesh, for the Segue series at the Bowery Poetry Club, a little after the Creeley memorial. (4PM) Gonna try to catch that too. Details here.


Heh heh. S'long jackass.

Things I learned on my book tour

Still haven't had time to report on the last few cities of the tour-so-far. Too much to do to catch up after being away so long. Probably I'll get to it sometime this weekend. But here're a few things I picked up along the way, in case you find them useful.

1. Wisconsin is the only state in which I have ever been accused of not drinking enough. Tip: Hold an empty bottle and pretend to drink unless you want somebody to force one on you or find you suspicious.

2. The Midwest is much more lax about speeding and other traffic violations than the South and Northeast.

3. Mars Cheese Castle[*]

4. There are indeed plenty of reasons to visit Muncie, Indiana. (Peter Davis being one of the most compelling.)

5. It is possible to burn one's mouth on a salad.

6. Rest stops are the creepiest places on the planet, daytime, nighttime, no matter. Even a Burger King with an out-of-order toilet and no TP is better.

7. Midwesterners (except Chicagoans) like their pizza on a thin crispy crust, and cut it into little squares, even from a round pie.

8. There's a big difference between a poet performing and the host just talking...and talking...and talking. And if there are more than five rules, and the explication of these rules requires several minutes plus multiple signs, it's probably not possible to have any fun.

9. There is not a single available parking space anywhere in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

10. 7 hours is about as much driving as I can personally perform before I start to hallucinate.

11. Gabriel Gudding did not study martial arts for nothing.

12. I thought EVERYBODY read Ron Silliman's blog. Turns out, I underestimated!

*[This post has not been modified, but I have since gone vegan. Yeah, I miss cheese, but this book has made it nearly painless!]

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Home is where the decent coffee is...

...among other things.

Got back to Brooklyn around 5:00 yesterday. Whew! Roadweary, but glad to be here.

Reports on Milwaukee, Chicago, and Normal to come, with perhaps a few photos. (Didn't take many. The rain and cold meant I had umbrellas and scarves and coats to carry.)

In the meantime, Gabe Gudding has posted a brief report on our Normal reading (which was lots of fun) here.

More more more later. Gotta get to the freelance desk.

We'll be around here till November 4, when we leave for the West Coast!

Monday, October 24, 2005

General American vs. Texas Smoothvoice

Thanks to Geof Huth, for pointing to my MiPo MP3 poems!

UPDATE: Oops. Link fixed. Sorry about that. And hello from Normal! No time to blog about Milwaukee and Chicago yet. Might have to wait till I get home or tomorrow night, when we don't have a reading. Now's naptime, see?

Ball U Daily News...

...with a follow up to the "National Tour Stops in Muncie" teaser article in last Wednesday's paper, here.

Greetings from Oak Park! More later. We go to Normal today to see Gabe & co.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Funcie, IN

Had perhaps a little too much fun in Muncie last night. Ouch. "If one does shots, they should always be tequila," said someone who looked and talked a lot like me.

But the MT Cup reading was fantastic--lots of students, lots of laughing, lots of books sold for gas money. Peter Davis is tons of fun and an excellent host. If he invites you, jump at the chance to visit Muncie.

No coffee yet...or at least none that counts. Gotta go get that, and do two class visits before we hit the road for Milwaukee. Jen's a star there, so that will be fun times ten. Later.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Hopping off TomHop...

...who in turn is hopping off me!

Take a peek at Tom Hopkins' short story beginning with a line from my poem "Will That Be All, Mrs. Kickboxer" here.

Tom gave me that title for the chapbook challenge which grew into Down Spooky. I wrote the poem, now he writes a story. Delightfully dizzying!

(The multitalented Mr. Hopkins is also subbing at Jen's job and parrot-sitting Gobi while we are away. Thanks, T! Would you like anything from Indiana? Wisconsin? Illinois?)

The Red Roof Inn really has a red roof...

...and we are in Ann Arbor, where last night we read at Shaman Drum. Ray's intro was magnificently flattering and funny and had some vampires in it and I wish I had a copy to show you. He's the best, and doesn't even make a mess when eating buffalo wings. The store was dreamy--the poetry section is bigger than my Brooklyn bedroom, which is small for a bedroom, but big for a poetry section. I got The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan right away, because I might read some of those along with my own stuff for the NPR station in Normal.

Met Joshua Edwards of Canary fame. (Thanks for coming, Josh!) And a good crown of UMich students and one dude in the back who laughed so loud at Jennifer's poems he made the 14-hour drive completely worth it.

Thanks to everybody who came out and bought books. And if you missed it, we each signed a stack that Ray says he will handsell to you convincing you that's the only way to prove the existence of your human soul.

Gotta go. Muncie, here we come. Will Jen read her Muncie Man poems? Only one way to find out.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

We're off...again...

First, thanks to all of you who came out to Cornelia Street last night. It was a treat to discover Michael Montlack's poems live and in person, and to read with David, whose final Paris poem-in-progress was a wonder of "At the time" and "In Retrospect" call-and-response. (I hope to read it again soon, and take a peek at some of the collages he's been working on.)

Working a half day today and picking up Jen this afternoon. Here's the schedule for the Midwest. If you're out there somewhere, please come say hello!

May not represent actual highway route. I'd need to add little cop cars with flashing lights for maximum accuracy.

Second leg: Ann Arbor, Muncie, Milwaukee, Chicago & Normal

ANN ARBOR, MI: Wednesday, October 19 at 7:00 PM
With Jennifer L. Knox
Shaman Drum Bookshop
311-315 S. State Street

MUNCIE, IN: Thursday, October 20 at 8:00 PM
With Jennifer L. Knox
Ball State University
MT Cup
1606 W University Ave
(765) 287-1995

MUNCIE, IN: Friday, October 21 at 10:00 AM & 11:00 AM
With Jennifer L. Knox
Ball State University
Class visits

MILWAUKEE, WI: Saturday, October 22 at 1:00 PM
Booksigning (no reading) with Jennifer L. Knox
Broad Vocabulary
2241 S. Kinnickinnic
(414) 744-8384

...and later that night...

MILWAUKEE, WI: Saturday, October 22 at 10:00 PM
Reading with Jennifer L. Knox with music by DJ Flavor Dav
Cafe Lulu
2265 S. Howell Ave.
(414) 294-5858

CHICAGO, IL: Sunday, October 23 at 7:00 PM
With Jennifer L. Knox
Green Mill Cocktail Lounge
4802 N. Broadway Ave.
(773) 878-5552
$6 cover
We're featuring at this open slam. Come early to sign up!

NORMAL, IL: Monday, October 24 at 8:00 PM
With Jennifer L. Knox
Illinois State University
Beaufort Street
Center for the Visual Arts
University Galleries Room 110
(309) 438-5284

(We might be recording some poems for the local NPR affiliate in Normal, too. Stay tuned for details.)

UPDATE: I just want to show off this poster below, which one of the students at Watkins College of Art & Design in Nashville made for our visit there during the last trip. Isn't it fantastic?! We totally felt like rock stars. Jen signed them all "Good Luck in Prison." Unfortunately I've misplaced the designer's name, so I can't give her proper credit.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Soft Skull blog, yo.

Dear blogosphere,

Soft Skull Press now has a blog. I am ahooting and ahollering between shouting "well, it's about time, dagnabbit." I know you are too.

So you should probably bookmark it, and email it around, and link it up in your blogroll right now, so you don't forget. And check in all week, since Richard Nash has promised lots of dynamic lit dish re: the Frankfurt Book Fair and its attendant internationally bookish madness. Just think of him as our own Hunter Thompson, our fearless publisher on the loose in Europe, clad in his leather pants, sporting his wild curls and sexy Irish accent.

Now, who'd wanna miss that?


Review of Down Spooky

Been too busy to breathe, or even read your blogs (and O how I miss you all!), but Peter Davis just shot me an email to say Ron Silliman reviews Down Spooky today!

Wow. Now that's what I call a real kick in the pants. Thanks, Ron, for your wonderfully generous reading and for your support, which means the world.

Oops. Cornelia Street reading starts at 6:00 tonight!

Thanks to all of you who came out (and bought books!) at the Ear Inn and Four-Faced Liar yesterday!

Yesterday I got word that the reading tonight is actually at 6:00, not 6:30. (Though I suspect the Cornelia Street Cafe is no different than most NYC venues and the actual start time will be at little later than announced? One hopes. I work till 6:00, but I guess I'll leave a little early.)

NEW YORK, NY: Monday, October 17 at 6:00 PM
Shanna Compton, David Lehman & Michael Montlack
Cornelia Street Cafe
New York Quarterly Series
29 Cornelia Street
New York, NY
$6 admission also buys a drink

Hope to see some of you there, before Jen & I hit the road again tomorrow. Whee!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Now even more blogrollicious!

Please welcome Steve Roberts with whom I read yesterday. He's a swell fellow, and you just might see a DIY chapbook by him soon.

And stop by and say howdy to Clay Banes, who will be hosting Jen and me in Berkeley in a few weeks, at Pegasus Books.

Curtis Petty, whom we met in Nashville at Watkins College of Art & Design has hung his shingle here.

Finally, take a peek at Oliver East's Rolling Stock Press, a DIY chapbook operation out of Manchester, England. Oliver's also being added to the resource links at the other blog.

If I've missed you, shoot me an email or comment below.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Gringo radio!

Who ever said Friday was a slow news day?

MiPo Radio is also podcasting Jennifer's poems from A Gringo Like Me, also recorded by Laurel when we were in Atlanta. If you've not had a chance to hear her perform live, now you can. Note: she ain't worksafe.

CLICK HERE to hear Jennifer L. Knox read "Reticence in the Afterglow of a Powerfully Frisky Fit," "And Now a Message from the Sea Horses Whinnying in our Mailbags," "Hot Ass Poem," and "The Role of Taffy" from A Gringo Like Me, Soft Skull Press, 2005.

Me in MiPo

The new issue of MiPoesias is up, guest-edited by the incomparable Tom Beckett. What a cool surprise! I thought it wouldn't be ready till January.

Contributors include fellow bloggers Nick Piombino, Amy King, Jonathan Mayhew, Jilly Dybka, Eileen Tabios, Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, Alex Gildzen, Br. Tom Murphy, Jean Vengua, Stephen Vincent, and many more! Lunch-break reading for at least a week.

And I've got four poems in there, all accompanied by MP3 recordings (in which you can hear the jangling tags of Dave the Dog). Plus an interview conducted by the lovely Miss Laurel. Grab your headphones and check those here.

Thanks again to Tom, Didi, Laurel, and everybody else at MiPo! It's a treat to be a part of the amazing groove y'all got going on.

Ki-ki-ri-ki! Some kindly crowing...

...from the Crucial Rooster.

Thanks, Reb! You're one wily journalist. Had I been aware you were in rooster mode, I would have bribed and schmoozed you, plied you with complimentary mezzes. Wink nudge.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Doings in DC...

...as captured en foto by (the fiercely fun and fantastically funny) Reb Livingston.

I'll add my own report and more tour highlights as soon as I wake up from this stupor and remember the English language.

Home again, home again, jiggedy jig

Just got back to the house about an hour ago. Jen drove bravely through the torrential rain all morning, unruffled by the second speeding ticket. (I got popped pretty good yesterday near Bristol, VA. OUCH! That really digs into the booksale money.)

But we're safe and sound in Brooklyn, if somewhat sleepy and damp.

More soon...

Monday, October 10, 2005

Minor snag

Woke up really early this a.m. with a sniffly-sneezy thing so took some Advil Cold & Sinus, but on an empty stomach which made me totally sick right in the middle of our class this morning.

Missed lunch and took a power nap. Feeling better. Jen's bringing me some soup. Gotta shake it off before the rest of today's stuff!

Adam with his fake mustache* & Jilly who loves circus freaks...

...have posted reading reports about the festival yesterday. (Thanks, y'all! Fanstastic to meet you in person.)

This morning we'll be visiting a class at Watkins, then having lunch with Nancy Roche, then a Q&A at 4:15 and reading at 5:15.

After a little more than a week of this travel, I can't help thinking that I am glad this is one of our final mornings of in-room hotel coffee. The creep (creamer powder) is ineffective, and is mostly corn syrup solids.

I guess it's a Monday thing too, but I've already started thinking about all the things I have to do when we get back...before we leave again on the 18th.

*See his Blogger profile photo.

Sunday, October 9, 2005

Strategy meeting for the Southern Festival of Books

this is an audio post - click to play

"Joy in the Life of Words"...

...is how our reading at the Southern Festival of Books here in Nashville this afternoon has been billed. In Davidson, NC we appeared as "Two Tall Poets." Hey, I'm just glad folks are showing up. You can call us whatever you like.

Been in Nashville since late Friday night. We drove from Davidson in solid rain, through the Appalachians--gorgeous, fog rising off the trees. Stopped and got some apples and hoop cheese[*] at a place just before we crossed the TN state line. We detoured through Pigeon Forge, TN, of Dollywood fame (and Louise Mandrell's Theater) where we stopped at Huck Finn's Restaurant for all-we-could-eat catfish[*], chicken[*] & sides. Yum. "Can I get you some more chicken or fish, baby?" asked Sheila the waitress, pretty much singing it like a twangy old song. Huck Finn's is the restaurant the Cracker Barrel wishes it were. The guitar player was pretty good too, though I preferred the old stuff and the rest of the dining room seemed to like the contemporary covers.

Yesterday we had some barbecue[*] at Jack's downtown. We tried to go to Arnold's but they were closed--maybe today. We also hit Hatch Show Print--amazing letterpress and art printing of show posters, tee shirts, postcards, etc. They have a shop online too: right here. Hoping to meet fellow bloggers A. D. Thomas and Jilly Dybka at the festival later.

The first hotel we had here in Nashville, a cheapy deal, turned out to be a little too cheapy deal. YUCK. And I was almost eaten by a pitbull in the parking lot of the liquor store on Dickerson. So we moved over the Hotel Preston, a giant improvement, and we're moving over to the Millennium Maxwell house this afternoon, where Watkins College of Art & Design has been generous enough to get us a swanky room. We're doing a q&a and reading at Watkins tomorrow. Then we're off again Tuesday morning for the nation's capital to see Maureen, Sandra, Carly, and maybe hopefully Reb & Deborah for the last stop on this leg.

Also--we just added Normal, IL to the second leg, for Monday, October 24. Details to come. (Thanks, Gabe!)

*[This post has been modified because I have since gone vegan. If I can do it after formerly eating like this, anyone can. Wow.]

Thursday, October 6, 2005

Wanna go to Nashville?

this is an audio post - click to play

Busting the Audioblogger cherri

this is an audio post - click to play

Jon Lovitz is on teevee and we are in Davidson, NC

[10:16 AM] Whew! Not much time for bloggin' in Athens, GA. After a great Monday night reading at Emory University, we had some barbecue[*] and deafeningly loud blues with Bruce and Laura, then jumped in the car and headed for Danielle's, punchy as hell. We threatened to audioblog, but it seemed too much trouble to find the phone. Highlight from the reading: Jen says, "I've never read in a library before. In fact, I've never been in a library before. That's why my poems are like this."

Little Hazel wowed us with her newborn beauty, and while she and D went for their mommy and baby adjustments, Jen & I went vintage shopping downtown. We had some incredible food at Wilson's: chicken[*] and dressing, green beans, yellow squash, catfish[*], yams, collard greens, unsweet iced tea. We also visited the campus of the University of Georgia, where the administration building's facade read "DANTE. GOETHE. ETC. ETC. SHAKSPEARE." Jen went into to ask about it. "Just a really expensive mistake, that missing E," he admitted. The magnolias were amazing. The bartender across the street, fence-post dumb. Jen: "You know, if you gave us a 5 and five ones instead of a 10, we could tip you." He: "Uh, that's okay." So be it, dawg.

The reading at Little King's Club was fun and the dudes playing bluegrassy alt country (banjo!) afterward were really really great, kept cracking jokes about playing spirituals in celebration of Rosh Hoshana. Apparently the AC was so loud during my reading people had trouble hearing until they cut it off, despite the sound system. But the place was huge--exposed brick, big windows, nice chairs, big wooden tables. A similarly sized space in Brooklyn would have been either impossible or packed with 4 times as much furniture. Two beers = under 5 bucks. And [dark vegan*] chocolate eyeballs.

Yesterday we arrived in Davidson just in time to drop our stuff at the hotel and head to the first of two Q&As with students. Did another one at 4:00. Then [veggie*] sushi. Then a performance workshop at 10:00. The students seemed mostly intersted in slam-style performance poetry, so I wasn't much help. Jen carried that one, for sure. I was really a zombie by that time anyway. Alan Michael Parker is a brilliant teacher (and writer), and he's really working us, making the most of our time here. It's fun though. The students have been terrific--great questions. I got two today that stumped be however, from AMP: 1) After the visit, what follow up questions would you expect students to have about anything you've said here in the last two days and/or your book, and 2) what questions do you hope students would be asking themselves after reading your book/after your visit. Uh, yeah. My brain turned to instant pudding. No negative capability left in that there bucket, kids. [Feel free to give it a stab yourself in the coment box below. I said I'd phone it in.]

[4:28 PM] We're on a break now, after another class today at 1:00. We've got a dinner at 6:00 and the reading at 7:30. It's a kinda odd--though obviously pleasing--experience to see people walking around with our spanking new books under their arms (it's a very small school) and our faces are plastered on posters all over campus. We find this sort of hilarious. [Also worth a chuckle? My new one-star Amazon review. Thanks for your opinion, man. It means so much to me.]

There's an ABC Liquors, a Coin King Laundry AND a Target all on the same road as our hotel, and rumors of a lake nearby. But it's raining in Davidson, so no pictures yet. The campus is beautiful--the original buildings more and a century and a half old--and we were encouraged to fondle a Rodin (feeling his handprints in the musculature) in the brand new art building, guarded by Herb's Balls. The whole experience makes me wonder the following: if I hadn't learned to do my own laundry in college, would I be the same poet I am now?

Hey, it's my little sister's birthday today. Happy birthday, Camron!

*[This post has been modified because I have since gone vegan. Another old post that proves if I can do it, anybody can.]

Monday, October 3, 2005

Bubba's in Charlotte

Oh, and we had piles of pork with a perfect spicy-vinegary sauch for lunch yesterday at Bubba's Barbecue in Charlotte, NC. A completely accidental and totally yummy discovery. WOW.

*[This post has not been modified, but I have since gone vegan. Another old post that proves if I can do it, anyone can.]

Greetings from sunny Atlanta

We spent the first night on the road with Clover & Cochran near Goshen Pass, VA. (That's not the right town name--but Jen's asleep.) Lots more fun than a roadside motel, what with the screened porch, the burgers, the beer, and the huskies, and the river beavers. (Also got to peek at Clover's studio--her work really knocked me out.)

Then yesterday, we drove on into Atlanta, where we're staying with Laurel, her hubby, her cat Hassle, and Dave the dog. The reading at Java Monkey was tons of fun; the open mic was packed and the crowd and participants were about as a diverse a group as I have ever witnessed. Bruce made it over and we also got to meet the lovely and talented Laura, whose giggles were totally contagious. If you're ever down this way, drop by to say hello to Kodac Harrison (and bring a couple of poems).

Gas prices are murderous, as high as $3.09 and that doesn't even include a free car wash. I did notice the pay-at-the-pumps offering the opportunity to donate to the Red Cross for hurricane relief.

Today we're hanging out with Laurel and tonight Danielle joins us at Emory University for the next reading. We brought the first copies of her book with us in the electric blue Chevy Cavalier. Can't wait to show it to her.

Photos to come.

Saturday, October 1, 2005

We're off...

(May not represent actual highway route.)

First leg: Atlanta, Athens, Davidson, Nashville, DC

DECATUR, GA: Sunday, October 2nd at 8:00 PM
With Jennifer L. Knox
Java Monkey
205 Ponce de Leon Ave. #5
Decatur, GA 30030

ATLANTA, GA: Monday, October 3rd at 7:30 PM
A triplet with Danielle Pafunda & Jennifer L. Knox
Emory University
Joseph W. Jones Room
Woodruff Library
540 Asbury Circle
Atlanta, GA 303022

ATHENS, GA: Tuesday, October 4th at 7:00 PM
A triplet with Danielle Pafunda & Jennifer L. Knox!
VOX Reading Series
Little Kings Club
223 Hancock Avenue
Athens, GA

DAVIDSON, NC: Wednesday, October 5th at 1:30 PM, 4:30 PM, 10:00 PM
With Jennifer L. Knox
Davidson College
Class visit, Q&A, and performance workshop
Davidson, NC 28035

DAVIDSON, NC: Thursday, October 6th at 7:30 PM
With Jennifer L. Knox
Davidson College
C. Shaw Smith Room
Alvarez College Union
Davidson, NC 28035
More info: 704-894-2202
(Also a workshop and some other stuff. Details to come!)

NASHVILLE, TN: Saturday, October 8th
With Jennifer L. Knox
Southern Festival of Books
(We will just be wandering around the festival this day.)

NASHVILLE, TN: Sunday, October 9th at 3:30 PM
With Jennifer L. Knox
Southern Festival of Books
Tennessee Performing Arts Center
Poetry & Drama Stage
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243

NASHVILLE, TN: Monday, October 10 at 5:15 PM
With Jennifer L. Knox
Watkins College of Art & Design
Brownlee O. Currey Gallery
2298 Metrocenter Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37228
More info/directions: 615.383.4848

WASHINGTON, DC: Tuesday, October 11 at 7:00 PM
With Jennifer L. Knox
Chapters Bookstore
445 11th St., N.W.
Washington, DC 20004