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Friday, March 31, 2006

Are you ready for NaPoWriMo?

NaPoWriMo is the official unofficial alternative/supplement to National Poetry Month. It's a bunch of people writing poems, one or even two a day all throughout the month of Apil, just because they wanna. There are no rules; there is no membership fee. It starts tomorrow.

Our Mistress of Ceremonies, Maureen Thorson, has gathered a list of particpants here, if you'd like to follow along. Maureen has been doing this for the last three years, and this year she's upped her quota to 2 poems a day, the old pro! I played in 2004 and 2005, but each year fell shy of a poem a day. However, I still wrote more poems than I usually would, and even spared some of them from the wastebasket. So hooray for failure! This year, I'm determined to do it.

So this is how it will work here on this here blog with my name on top: in a single evolving post, each day's new poem will replace the poem from the day before. (This is only slightly different than my usual 24-hour expiration policy. The practice of disappearing drafts eases my embarrassment over too-raw poems & keeps them from being bot-napped for search-engine caches. Trust me, it's better this way.)

Sure you don't wanna play?

PSA: Ashbery festival next week!

John Ashbery Festival
Thurs.-Sat., April 6-8

The New School
66 West 12th Street

212.229.5611 or writingprogram@newschool.edu

The Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery

(between Houston & Bleecker)

[NOTE: I don't have info on admission/tickets yet, if any. I'm trying to get that now. In the meantime, you might call the program at the number above, or the New School box office at Tishman Auditorium: (212) 229-5488, M-Th 1-8 p.m., or F 1-7 p.m.]

The New School graduate Writing Program is pleased to sponsor this three-day festival honoring the great American poet John Ashbery. Ashbery has won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award, as well as MacArthur, Guggenheim, and other fellowships. He is the author of more than 20 books of poetry, including Some Trees (1956), Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (1975), A Wave (1984), Can You Hear, Bird (1994), and Where Shall I Wander (2005). He is also the author of three books of critical prose and co-author, with James Schuyler, of the novel A Nest of Ninnies. In 1988 he served as the inaugural editor of "The Best American Poetry" series. He holds a titled professorship at Bard College. During the three days of the festival, poets, critics, and scholars from far-flung places will discuss various aspects of Ashbery's achievement.


Thurs., April 6

1:00 p.m.
Ashbery's Landscapes: Marit MacArthur, Timothy Gray, Ann Mikkelsen, and Kacper Bartczak on an Ashbery poem, room 510.
2:30 p.m.
Selected Prose and Selected Translations: David Kermani, Micaela Morrissette, Eugene Richie, and Rosanna Wasserman, room 510.
4:30 p.m.
Poets and Artists: Jane Hammond, Archie Rand, Jane Freilicher, and Karen Wright, Tishman Auditorium.
7:30 p.m.
Homage to Ashbery: A Group Reading: introduced by David Lehman. Mark Bibbins, Star Black, Marc Cohen, Billy Collins, Douglas Crase, Jacek Gutorow, Daniel Halpern, Vicki Hudspith, Tomoyuki Iino, Deborah Landau, Ann Lauterbach, James Longenbach, Geoffrey O'Brien, Ron Padgett, Robert Polito, Pawel Marcinkiewicz, David Shapiro, James Tate, Susan Wheeler, Dara Wier, and John Yau, Tishman Auditorium.

Fri., April 7

11:00 a.m.
Roger Glbert, James Longenbach, Meghan O'Rourke, Jacek Gutorow, and Melcion Mateu-Adrover, room 510.
2:00 p.m.
Tomoyuki Iino, Jennifer Quilter, Andrew DuBois John Emil Vincent, Pawel Marcinkiewicz, and William Burgos, room 510.
4:30 p.m.
John Koethe, Dara Wier, John Yau, and Lacy Rumsey room 510.
7:30 p.m.
John Ashbery introduced by James Tate, Tishman Auditorium.

Sat., April 8

2:00 p.m.
The Heroes: Bob Holman, Vicki Hudspith, and David Lehman, Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery (at Bleecker).
3:00 p.m.
"Litany": John Ashbery and Ann Lauterbach, Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery (at Bleecker).

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Instant Replay

The highlight was Gabe not showing up.
That was not really the highlight.
The highlight was talking into a teeny 'chine.
The highlight was learning I was talking to you.
The highlight was Mark's poem w/ embedigram.
The highlight was too much teevee.
The highlight was Amy introducing her doppleganger, twice.
The highlight was her latter-day presidential removal.
The highlights were beads of sweat & lusty whistles.
The highlight was it's tough to be on Broadway.
The highlight was David, in Paris, in 1971.
The highlight was cheering the year.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Kate beats me to a report on the Burning Chair reading

...which I also enjoyed, though I was feeling particularly shy in the crowd. The walk over from Fort Greene was beautiful and it was almost mild out, so I didn't mind the G not running. It was terrific to meet her--I recognized the back of her head, her braid!--and hear her read the poems I know from Learning the Language and the newer poems from her forthcoming Ahsahta book, case sensitive, and even newer work. (We could hear you fine, Kate!) And I got a better bead on Joe's poems aloud too, in a less noisy/beery atmosphere than in Austin. UPDATE: Joe's own report is here. Brenda's polyvocal arrangement promised to be interesting--a little like a Richard Foreman chorus, but way less blunt--but it didn't quite come off (for me) as successfully as it surely would have in a larger, slightly more organized performance space like the Bowery Poetry Club (without the unfortunate interruptions of sirens and the distractions of an overcrowded room) but this is no fault of hers.

Another update: Wait, I don't like how that sounds. I mean no criticism of the Fall Cafe nor Brenda & her choir, but wanted to get across that a long, complex, piece like Brenda's probably would have fared better in another setting, not that it didn't come off at all despite the noise from without. It did. Indeed, the reading was originally scheduled for the Cloister Cafe, which probably would have made that difference, venuewise. OK.

I did catch a few stray lines for you (guessing at the breaks, obviously):

"...see a building cut in half
its ribs exposed.
How vulnerable the building is."


"There's always that moment
with people, right?
You look back...

you can't believe
how they just
don't love you.
And how, in the minute before that,
you didn't know."


"If we realized the extent to which
no one understands
what anybody else really means
by anything they say, well,
you say we'd all go crazy.
But aren't we crazy already?"


"We learn to speak by hearing sounds
and deciding what they mean."

      --Kate Greenstreet

Brenda read from one long piece.

[I'm going to start with a statement. I hope this doesn't sound pretentions. Because that would be deadly.]

"The beautiful beautiful boys slay,
the beautiful boys they slay, she says."


"...lagoon, lagoon..."

[Brenda, off script: Someone shoot that car please!]

[One of the male duet, off script: Too much rehearsal made us stiff!
Joe from the audience: I'm stiff right now!]

"...vestigial hind legs..."

[Stacy, from the female duet: ...MAMMARY GLANDS!]

      --Brenda Iijima

It's not so much that Joe reads fast--he actually doesn't seem all that nervous, but I know how that goes--but his poems are so short, they're harder to catch. I wished sometimes he'd read them twice. I just have to apologize now, because I didn't get Bramble or Frame and my notes are mostly banter.

[I'm going to start from the beginning, well, not the beginning.]

[That was a half-assed burp.]

[Effing. Effing FUCKING PRESS, man. ...we punched each other in the face and we're still friends.]

"In vines'

lattticed over
the sunk shed roof

gnats or bees
--both --blur."

[After a better belch, from Brenda's table: That was a full-assed burp!]

[Joe: Some lady in a bonnet in Silliman's comment box said she was "sludge bludgeoned" by the alliteration in that poem.

From the audience: Did you punch her in the ear?]

      --Joe Massey

This is a really good essay.

(Yeah, it prominently features Christian Bok and SSP is about to release Eunoia in the US. But besides that, I like what she is saying about hybridized language, aural amping, and verbal hedonism.)

Monday, March 27, 2006

Ditties for kiddies?

Some of you parents, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and inner children must have good recommendations for children's poetry, right?

I'm interested in contemporary single-author books or nonfuddydud anthologies (no thanks on the Bloom and the Bennett, less didactic, por favor). The classics I think I've got, pretty much, (Silverstein, Stevenson's Child's Garden--that comes as a coloringbook now--et. al.) though if there's something you think's really essential don't keep it to yourself. Poetries from other cultures would be really really helpful. Most of what I know rhymes (and that's great, but), so bonus points for fresher takes on style, etc.

My nieces & nephews did enjoy these two books with an emphasis on concrete/visual poems & poetic forms, respectively. They were intrigued enough to try some of their own. (I haven't checked this by the same author out yet, but if you're a teacher, you might wanna. I also haven't seen this one.)

This book of insect poems for two voices
works a performance angle that seems interesting. Naomi Shihab Nye has also written several, including this one, which my niecephews are getting next.

I keep meaning to just go to the library, but haven't had a chance yet to do it right. And I sometimes feel kinda creepy hanging out childless in the kids' section of the bookstore, you know?


Jack's offering a discount deal for preorders on Bay Poetics, edited by Stephanie Young.

No excuse would be sturdy enough. (Click that cover!)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Yesterday at the Liar...

...we all enjoyed some very good readings, as expected. When Shafer announced we were about to hear some poetry and "if that bothers you, you should be moving along," the full house bar crowd stayed put. (The chance attendees at the FFL are generally pretty good about hanging out, actually. This is Shafer's peculiar gift and one of the main charms of the series, bringing poetry to the nonpoet peoples.)

Justin celebrated his birthday by reading from his chapbook, and also from his manuscript-in-progress, including this sestina, with its remarkably weighty teleutons, and this prose poem spoken by a diffident dissident from the chapbook:


Makeshift landmines were all the rage. For reasons beyond my control, people had it in for me, set up mines on a stretch of road close to home, where they knew I'd have to go, eventually. Driving, I hit one. A couple tires blew out, the hood flew off. I was going to hit another. So I jumped from my car, which proceeded to blow up, completely.

I found my mother. She was concerned, a little, sent me to live with a family that I soon discovered also had it in for me. Their grievances were most likely a result of circumstances beyond my control. They had the same affinity for explosive devices as the people at home, planted them around the house. The furniture was arranged to limit alternate routes around the mines. The family also put mines in my bed as I slept. I became adept at never fully sleeping.

Nearing total exhaustion, everything out of focus, they put me in a little room and made me watch videos of people in the past who had acted like me. They were suffering similarly. Landmines were featured prominently. I, however, was faring much better, I thought. Then a bell rang in the room where the video was being taped. Those people looked toward that sound. The room I was in gave way to city streets. Mines were going off all over the place. Another explosion. Then another. Whatever they wanted me to confess, I was nearly ready.

Chris Tonelli read a couple of these from his new chapbook of self-described "fart jokes" which "veer toward the toilet." He's half kidding when he describes them that way, I think, though admittedly a few do live up to that hype. The other work he read was longer, bird-studded, elegant, and less jokey. I liked both modes, which sometimes come together in the same poem. For instance:


I fucking love
the lily on the window sill.

It's yellow.

That might be my favorite from Wide Tree, though it's hard to choose. The top-heavy title is deflated by that "fucking" in the first line, and the -ows in window and yellow just seem perfect to me, as do the doubled ells in lily, sill, and yellow. Hey, look, Chris has a new blog.

Carol Novack was the only reader I hadn't heard before and she made me laugh very hard with this line from her short story "Blah Blah":

"By night he looked enough like Elijah Wood to get me greased."

After the reading she confessed that he didn't know who Elijah Wood was, actually, only that he was popular with younger women. (Her character was about 30.)

You can read some of Carol's work at her blog, and find links to other pieces in her sidebar here.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Bye Buck

Buck Owens, 1929-2006

My Nanny Compton used to say of poor old Buck, every week without fail during Hee Haw: "He's a durn ugly man. But he really can sing." (Her favorite singer was Charley Pride, but Buck was a close second.)


This is an oyster-bacon[*] pie.

Laurel's bustin out of her bandwidth.

Heading to Frequency in a little bit. Hope to also make the Cloister Cafe reading tomorrow. (Though really I have too much to do, but ain't that always the way. Sometimes you just gotta rebel against yourself.)

*[This post has not been modified, but I have since gone vegan. Today I'd make a veggie pot pie with smoky tempeh bacon or seitan instead. Mmmm.]

Tonight in Santa Cruz

Ada Limón's debut book Lucky Wreck is a wonder, and reading from it she will charm you nearly to intoxication and mean every bit of it.

Sat, March 25 at 7:30 PM
Ada Limón
Louden Nelson Community Center
Santa Cruz, CA

Friday, March 24, 2006

hee hee

30 poems in 30 days

April's just a week away. From my desk at the window this morning, I can see the first buds popping at the tippytop of the neighbor's flowering tree. Winter's over. Whew.

So NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month, a completely unofficial celebration unaffiliated with National Poetry Month but coincidentally scheduled) is nigh. Maureen has been doing a poem-a-day challenge in the month of April for the last three years, and I have attempted the same for the last two years [my poems have expired]. Shafer likes this game so much he plays it off-and-on year round at his blog.

Usually, I don't quite make a poem a day. I'm s l o w. I get busy or stuck or whatever. But I do write more than I otherwise would, and by the middle of the month the springy-fresh weather combined with the challenge has me going at top intensity, so the failure is actually a success. Sometimes I can keep it up into May.

You up for it? (Tell Reen, and she'll make a list of participants on her blog.)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Gabe Gudding has reposted his thoughts...

...on literary narcissism, in case you missed them the first time.

Today is our anniversary.

Four years ago today, we got married in New Orleans here.

Twelve years ago this weekend, we had our first date here.

What's really hilarious is that we both thought tomorrow was the wedding date. I think we do that every year.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The tart & varied goodnesses of ephemeral things

I was so absorbed in the Tiny yesterday on my way to work that I missed my stop. I'll tell you some more about it later.

Which reminds me:

F DIY Pub Web Ring is fresh E

Soon I hope to be able to make the time to do actual reviews over there. (I got a big stack of chapbooks and mags to get to.) Right now it's mostly just announcements.

But you can help. You can send your reviews and announcements of DIY publications, or point me to similar stuff already posted elsewhere so I can double expose it. May need some official team members at some point too.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

So if poems were people...

...we'd be talking about body language, demeanor, accent, tone, and how these extras affirm/undermine the authenticity of whatever words are coming out of mouths. Inability to meet your eyes means lying or otherwise false. Repressed smirk means a game of some kind; are we gonna play it. Eyelash batting might be cute but is there anything behind it.

I've been thinking about how shocked I feel when I get that somebody who's hating on something I've enjoyed isn't reading "for tone." That's like ignoring the look on the poem's face.

Josh is imagining a poets' union.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Bread, coffee, TP & something I'm forgetting...

You don't really approach a poem or a body of work with a checklist. Do you?

I can't answer the question "what are you looking for in a poem?"

It's not necessarily that I'll know it when I see it, but that looking is mostly what I enjoy about looking for it.

Attention (engagement) vs. the object of or occasion for attention.

Not "what am I looking for?" but "what is this thing I'm looking at?"

Yes, we're all on the same loop. Repeating.

Despised if you do, despised if you don't.

Let's hear it for that tendency of some readers/listeners to take a statement of personal preference as a pronouncement or prescription. Oh yeah, I been burned by that shit. I don't know why. Blogs are not magazines. I got my name up top.

On the other hand, I've been written plenty of prescriptions too. No thanks, docs.

Maybe it's naive to assume that disinterest would automatically express itself as, you know, doing something else instead. Disinterest is quite a bit more expressive than that. People relish going around talking about how terribly bored & annoyed they are. And that's supposed to be interesting? Who knew?

Does everybody want to be told what to do?

Just so everybody can not do what they're told?

HEY, who's driving this thing?! Are we there yet?

How many fans
has the marmoset got?

The marmoset cares not.

He just enjoys being
an off-brand monkey.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Oh, and I'm making a little stack...

...of good books in the sidebar. A new feature.

I tried in 2005 to mention and/or blurb/review everything I read and loved here. But I failed. I never have enough time to tell you everything.

So this time, hopefully I can at least manage a simple list! And I will still try to write more substantially on as many as I can.

Catching up on various things...

...including laying out this utterly enormous anthology, which feels triumphantly good to me; the book is damn fun. And also on some blogging I've missed with all the recent travel and preparation for travel, like Ange over here. Which reminds me also to mention that I've started listening to the Penn Sound stuff while pretending to freelance, and Ange's also got a really great talk on Bernadette Mayer, and some of her own delightful poems here. Hearing and seeing Jordan's video clips of Joe Massey & Stephanie Young reading at the Unassociated Garden Party is actually better than the event was in person, because I have very dull hearing and that crowd toward the back was impossibly loud. (I arrived at the beginning of Tony Robinson's reading, and later drowned in that loud crowd too, I admit it, but I stepped forward often to hear what I could catch and at least see the poets reading, confound my ears. I like looking at poets, and talking to poets, and that party was a sea of poets, a great bouncy sea with foamy edges tumbling in and away from the boaty stage captained by poets trafficking hot contraband amid shiny cargoes.) All the photos too, around and about, from Austin, make it feel more like I was there (the ones that jibe with my experience) and less like I was there (the evidence of everything I missed). Records like all of these and their keepers, thanks for new perspectives and upping my memory, which can be a funny selective thing.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Mmm hmm.

"Exactly each day is a minifacial. Each one promises
a battle hymn as though patrol control central
could ever deliver the next porous paradise."

Amy King in The Brooklyn Rail.

A new poem was here


Friday, March 17, 2006

Jasper Bernes on Danielle Pafunda's Pretty Young Thing

Yeehaw for Richard Nash,...

...the winner of the 2006 Miriam Bass Award for Creativity in Independent Publishing from the Association of American Publishers.

Without Richard the small-press world would be much smaller. Cheers, dear R!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


...from Boston. Struggling to keep my eyes open & my attention focused on the freelance job. More later.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

(This is tonight in Cambridge)

Jen Knox & I are coming to see you Tuesday today. Would you maybe come to see us? We could see each other. That would be fun, I bet.

Tuesday, March 14 at 8:00 PM
Shanna Compton, Jennifer L. Knox & James Cummins

The Grolier Poetry Reading Series
Adams House
26 Plympton Street
Entry C, Lower Common Room
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA

I think this is a free readings, sponsored by the Grolier Poetry Bookshop and the university. Your alternative is to go hear Jorie Graham, who is apparently also reading at the same time, somewhere nearby. We're your B-list event option! We'll tease our hair! Come be skanky!

(And thanks for the driving tips, y'all.)

Monday, March 13, 2006

Here is a list of people I did not meet:

Actually it's way too long to post. It's longer than the list of people I did meet, which I am also not going to make. I regret all the misses, but am glad for all the kisses. You people are charming. And funny. And so good-looking. How pleased are we that once again ignoring the "you're not supposed to be having fun" clause buried somewhere in the fine print of our official catalogs worked its usual magic? We said, "But officer we were not aware we were breaking the law!" And flashed our dimples!

Apparently I forgot...

...to take a photo of my own panel. Sigh.

Hearty thanks again to Jordan, Gary, Reb & Felicia for doing such a terrific, enthusiastic job. Cheers for the audience plants Justin & Tom Hop too, to everybody else for showing up bright & early and keeping the discussion going so long we had to be kicked out!

And more snaps.

The Painted Bride Quarterly reading & party at the Hilton. Jason Schneiderman (who'd just finished reading) at center with his parents.

Al & Janet at the Ahsahta bookfair table.

Felicia Sullivan & an enthusiastic badgeless friend whose name I didn't catch outside the convention center. (Sorry!)

The micropress ethos in action: sharing one table among many presses, including Kitchen Press, Typo, LIT, and Octopus.
That's a literal buttload of Octopus editor ass, I believe.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

To sum up

It's really not as horrifyingly gross to come together and socialize with a group of like-minded animals as has been previously reported in exaggerated anecdotes. The popular literature on this topic is simply inaccurate, and one wonders if the amateur anthropologists responsible for disseminating this false information were working under the influence of some funky bias or were simply studying a dud group. While this observer can in no way detract from or refute the myth that poets are by nature shy creatures, she is pleased to confirm that in the presence of new company and a well appointed locale (and once they are properly stimulated) many do squawk and chirp the most beautiful musical noises, create plummy shapes with their meaty faces, exchange ritually dampened appendages under the flashing of bulbs and to the humstatic of popping soundsystems, and make mutual offerings of colorfully printed bound paper and tee shirts, all accompanied by the fantastic shaking and frilling of their frothy plumage. Such displays must be seen to be believed!

Luckily, I have more pictures.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Yo, go to Salon B...

...at 10:30 this AM for the DIY panel. Hilton, 4th Floor. Por favor.

I have not yet located Gary Norris because my cell phone died on me yesterday, but I do possess e-vidence of his arrival. So rock!

Last night's reading was really fantastic. There were well over 150 people at Club DeVille (which I confirmed did indeed used to be a lesbian bar called Chances back in the day). Thanks very much to Justin, Chris & Chip for putting it together and getting the word out so well. Dudes, that was the first time I got to read in Texas (way way way too pathologically shy to ever do it when I lived here). Cheers for the homecoming!

Coffee + tacos here I come.

Some snaps. (More later.)

Justin Marks debuting the three new Kitchen Press chaps.

From left: Hazel, Danielle, & Ada at the bookfair.

Tony at the Canary table with Reb to the left. And look how close I got to Peter (I think) w/o meeting him!

Tom & Hannah as the bookfair winds down Friday. The One Story table has ducks.

Joe Massey with his posse of publishers. (Best I could do in very low light. That's a limestone cliff face behind them.)

Zach reading at Club DeVille, rocking the limestone ampitheater.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Nostalgia tour complete.

Old apartments, old Eng. department, old professor (not in but left book), old haunts. Not too many big surprises.

I have not participated in the conference in any way today. Unless passing through the hotel lobby twice counts.

I think I'll go make the bookfair rounds, one full circuit. Might be my last chance. Panel's in the morning and then we're outta here.

OK, dekinked, decranked, & away we go

Somehow I managed to see about a hundred loved ones yesterday and meet about a dozen new loved ones, but how did I miss Scott Pierce during three hours at his own party? I don't know.

Didn't go to any panels yesterday, and barely bookfaired beyond our own table. But Jen & Ada shone like the stars they always are (if you don't have Lucky Wreck yet, you should make a grab for that golden life ring now) & the party was a lot of fun. I met Joe. And I met Anne! And I met Jonathan, who does not play drums and blog simultaneously all the time but yes sometimes. And I saw Reb, Laurel, Kasey, Stephanie, Catherine, Danielle, Lara, three Joshes (but not Joshua/Jane), Jordan, Tony (but not Tony), Matt, Mark, Michael, Jason, Justin, John, and on, and on.

And hi Denise & Nick in the elevator!

I think today I will take out the camera. You've been warmed. I like that typo. You have been warmed.

Also, I think I will go to two panels: The New Poetics (Peter Gizzi, Traci Morris, Joshua Clover, Juliana Spahr, Karen Volkman & Susan Wheeler) & The Originality & Influence of Kenneth Koch (Mark Halliday, Jordan Davis, Nin Andrews, Jill Rosser, Jonathan Mayhew). But it is already looking like I will miss the first one at 9:00 for lack of coffee and breakfast. Maybe I will sneak in late.

And tonight I'm reading at this (please come):

Thursday, March 9, 2006

An equation

Action divided by intention equals predicted result, but also leaves a remainder.

Grrrrrrrrr. Yay. Grr. Yay. Etc.

Bookfair NOT open to the public this year, despite it being the one part of the conference open to the public like every other year since 2 BCE. So yeah there's some kind of tax law that means a public bookfair would require payments of sales tax to the city of Austin. Mmm hmm, OK. But dudes, could you official organizers have let the rest of us know that there was a change in policy this year in advance of us reserving tables for two-fiddy a pop and inviting our entire email lists to author events they are now being turned away from? Yes, you could have. That would have maybe changed some of our minds, or at least changed our plans. These ID-checking goons suck--they're maroon-jacketed powertrippers--and we've brought WAY too many books to just sell to each other. Could you have at least made an exception for the authors, created some kind of pass for them to come in to sign their books for an hour without asking for a wad of moolah? Yep, something like that would have worked. Oh, that's right. I'm full of much better ideas than the dumb ones you got. Dumb!

Grumpy and it shows. I know. But being in Austin is all right so far, and not as distressing a dance with the past as it could have been after a decade away. It's mostly the same around here, and I've had chile rellenos and migas and maragritas and Shiner and Celis White. Tho I haven't yet been up to the campus yet.

Still, very much looking forward to Jen & Ada reading tonight. Then the unassociated party (which title I don't read as a partisan statement but rather a factual description of the nonmember presses celebrated by it. Membership ain't free either, ya know, and people have to purchase staples.) And hey, it's a five-dollar kegger.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Waylon, not Lefty! Alrighty.

this is an audio post - click to play

(Realized my blooper as soon as I signed off, but I was concentrating on sneaking up on that dang rooster! I just learned "Long Black Veil" last week, so I guess I just had Lefty on the brain. I blame the Shiners. Hope the Friendly State don't revoke muh citizenship. Anyway, didn't take pics, but I did snap a few last time we were out here.)

Saturday, March 4, 2006

How poems happen, pt. 2

Engaged in a title swap with yet another Texan compatriot, Steve Roberts, and his first poem is here.

We've each written 6 titles, swapped, and will post results (in my case, only if they are not too stinky).

How poems happen

Shafer Hall:     "I can write a poem about anything. There, I said it."

Me:     "please to write a poem about how you found that box of glass eyeballs in a locker and lied and told everybody you were going to put their eyes out so you were stocking up!"

Shafer:     "High School Isn't Harder on Anyone Than the High Schoolers"

Should you be looking...

I'm off to Texas, Monday morning kids. See some of you in Austin from Wednesday.

Here's a list of some of the places I will be during the conference:

Wednesday, March 8 at 7:00 PM at the Superflux reading/party

Thursday, March 9 at 11:00 AM at the Soft Skull bookfair table (#740) with Jen Benka, who will be signing her book

Thursday, March 9 at 3:30 PM
at the Soft Skull bookfair table (#740) with Jennifer L. Knox, who will be signing her book

Thursday, March 9 at 7:00 PM
at 12th Street books, where Jennifer L. Knox will be reading with Ada Limon

Thursday, March 9 after the reading above, I am so not gonna miss the Unassociated Party

Friday, March 10 at 3:30 PM at the Soft Skull bookfair table (#740) with Danielle Pafunda, who will be signing her book

Friday, March 10 at 9:00 PM at Club DeVille, I will be reading with these awesome peoples:
Friday, March 10 at 9:00 PM
Kitchen PressLITRedivider Party at AWP

With readings by Sarah Bartlett, Adam Clay, Shanna Compton, Emily Gabbert, Matt Henriksen, Reb Livingston, Randall Mann, Sharon McGill, Danielle Pafunda, Zachary Schomburg, Laurel Snyder, Sam Starkweather, Jerome Stuart, Christopher Tonelli, Paul Toutonghi & Joshua Weber

Club DeVille
900 Red River St
Austin, TX 78701

Saturday, March 11 at 10:30 AM
I will be modering a panel with these awesome peoples:
Saturday, March 11 at AWP 2006 in Austin, Texas
Associated Writing Programs Conference Panel

Saturday, March 11, 10:30-11:45 AM
DIY Publishing: Chapbooks, Micropresses, Webzines, Collectives, Blogs & More.

Jordan Davis (SubPress Collective and the Hat)
Reb Livingston (No Tell Motel and No Tell Motel Books)
Gary Norris (Burn Denver Down Press)
Felicia Sullivan (Small Spiral Notebook)

Moderated by Shanna Compton
(Soft Skull, Half Empty/Half Full, & DIY Pub Web Ring)

Austin Hilton
Salon B

Saturday, March 11 at 9:00 PM I will already be back in Brooklyn because I screwed up my reservation, but I will be at the No Tell Motel Pajama Party in lingerie-clad spirit.

Thursday, March 2, 2006

Dunno why

Squawkbox comments are offline. I'm getting ready to switch over to a new system anyway, but don't have time to fool with it right now & I don't like Blogger's built-in function.

Hopefully they'll be back up shortly.

Wednesday, March 1, 2006


I recall a dream in which I was smiling and taking pennies out of my mouth, one at a time.

That's right.

I can't do anything for you that you can't do for yourself.

I've resigned all positions.

However, my luscious pucker is always true.

Kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, shoo!

Tom Beckett is an excellent, patient interlocutor..

...even with an overly self-conscious, maddeningly slow, wriggling subject.