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Monday, July 31, 2006

Diane: I am holding in my hand a small box of chocolate bunnies

A Slice of Cherry Pie is now available for preorder from Half Empty/Half Full! (Publication date: August 2006)

A Slice of Cherry Pie
Poetry inspired by David Lynch's Twin Peaks
Edited by Ivy Alvarez

5.25 x 8.5, 28 pp.
Strathmore Laid or Wove 24lb in Natural White interior
     (Acid-free, 25% cotton & 30% pcw recycled, produced with windpower)
Pegasus 80lb Cover in Museum White cover
     (Acid-free, chlorine-free, archival, 30% pcw recycled)

Featuring poems by Emilie Zoey Baker, Jilly Dybka, Collin Kelley, elena knox, Jared Leising, Daniel Lloyd, Siobhan Logan, Eileen Tabios, Maureen Thorson, Andrew J Wilson & Maike Zock.

$6.00 includes US shipping

Private Press will be publishing a UK edition.

Go here to order. Oh, & stay tuned for a call for submissions for the next chap in Ivy's Lynchian series.

Sunday, July 30, 2006


Retain control of your own reprint/anthology rights.

It is a giant bureaucratical pain in the ass to deal with publishers regarding reprint rights for anthologies. The permissions departments frequently 1) require insanely arcane request procedures, 2) willfully obscure the identity and location of the proper contact human(s), 3) ignore repeated written requests, and/or 4) charge ridiculously exhorbitant fees.*

The benefits for you, the poet, of signing over reprint/anthology rights to your publisher: hmm, none.

The benefits for you, the poet, of retaining those rights yourself: 1) you are able to grant (or deny) reprint rights yourself, which means 2) you will know when and where your work is being reprinted, and 3) your work will reach a wider audience, and/or 4) you will receive payment for your work instead of the press you signed the rights over to (& they probably didn't pay you for them anyway) if the requesting press's budget allows it. (Yeah, in the case of anthologies payment is usually just a complimentary copy, but still!)

And for goodness sake, if you become "famous" do appoint a literary executor who isn't reclusive, insane, or liable to vanish into thin air.

* For example: Say an anthology is collecting collaborative poems by American poets, ranging from 1940 to the present. Say the anthology contains more than 150 poems written by well over 200 contributors (since each poem has 2 or more authors). Say the press producing such an anthology is a small independent press with a budget to match and no nonprofit funding. Say they're hoping to break even, but not even really counting on it. Say the staff editor has been volunteering her time for the last year so she can finish this project. Say the anthology editors didn't run screaming in horror when they heard what their piddly advance would be. Say the contributor payment the press is offering for reprint rights is in complimentary copies. How many copies is that? How much does each copy cost to produce? How much does it cost to mail each copy of this 400+ pp. tome? Now . . . how in the f*ck do you expect said press to be able to afford $130 per poem in permissions fees? If you can answer these questions without losing your everloving mind, give me a shout.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Lessee now

So paper is purchased & printing shall commence maybe this weekend if I get some time away from le projet interminable, insides first with covers to follow next weekend after the cover stock arrives. Still determining unit cost/break even point, hold please.

What else? Uh.

Reading novels, mostly. Tho I have heaps of new poems to read (that some of y'all have mailed me kindly, thank you) but. Uh. Prose is where I'm at. More than one voice, more than one period style, AND multiple narrators! Hey look, it's a plot! And another! A subplot too! Characters going around doing stuff. It's all so exciting.

Oh, these things are cyclical.

Reading some new stuff by the Resident Fiction Expert too.

Will gladly note an exception for certain bats, orphans & oranges, too, dear Reen.

Other mail: today some new etiquette books, hooray. I shall finally achieve my dream of becoming a proper young lady!

And now, a motto: Ornery critters are bitter in the spoon.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Diane: Remind me to tell you how much that is

Hopefully getting the paper I need for A Slice of Cherry Pie today, then I can put up the order info.

From Scott Pierce:


We could really use some cash for some printing projects so for $12.00 you can receive any 3 effing books that are in print as well as a handful of broadsides, postcards, and bookmarks.

See details here.

Already have all the effing books? Consider making a donation of any amount and still receive at least a handprinted postcard as well as our love.

C'mon, you know you don't have enough love, do ya.

Please spread the word."

Happy birthday to Anne.

Monday, July 24, 2006


If I had anything to report, it would go something like "I did some laundry, went to the post office, cleaned the apartment, tried some new recipes, rewatched some movies, read James Ellroy, read David Mitchell, worked on the Interminable Project & acted as though there were no such thing as poetry."

I think about writing but am not doing any anyway. Attempts are lumpen, with too many legs or too few.

This space is a lull between what's back there and what's next. It's like all of Brooklyn is a waiting room.

Departures interest me, because we'll be making one. Arrivals are a category to be ambivalent about. News arrives. The phone rings and we cringe. Have no choice but to pretend the news is fiction, a long movie, bloody, yet somehow still more boring than tragic. I say fire those writers.

The five-year mark looks different from here than it did five years ago. Almost five years ago we got married in New Orleans a few months after watching the world fall down. Everybody flew for the first time after. We loved them for it.

Five years from now is an open blank. (The pen hovers.) The grass and trees are different. The bodies of water have different names. There's plenty to see, take pictures of, learn. The books are the same. We're the same, mostly, maybe a bit more ourselves. There's a kitchen window that I'm standing in, waving to you outside.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Lord help us all

Weird weather

It's currently hailing in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

Observe . . . your dollar double!

It's like magic, kids. I forgot to include this in the last DIY update, so here's the scoop. It's not too late to help out.

From Aaron Belz:
Heading into the 2006-07 season, Observable Readings is cash poor. I think we have, like, $500 in the bank. If you know anything about anything, you know that ain't much. We have 25 poets traveling here to read, a brand new small press fair, and several other events coming up...

But we've received some good news!! For every dollar you contribute to Observable, the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission will contribute another (up to $1,400).

So during the month of July we're having the first annual Observable Dollar campaign. Paypal us a buck, feel good about supporting the literary arts, and we'll also put your name and website link on our list of gentle citizens (unless you say otherwise).

Check the schedule here.

Go here to donate.

Monday, July 17, 2006



Don't forget to enjoy yourself.

Or something.

The Deep

Anne Boyer is my favorite poet.

The truth is, maybe, that I have many favorite poets. But Anne is the latest of them. She is all the rage at the moment, at my house. Again.

My anxiety surfaced on the back of a huge animal
and when it jumped out of fear, a baby deer fell from its womb.

I think one fell out of my bag at the library yesterday,
and I left another in the darkness, coming toward my car.

I screamed and spilled the rest of my beer.*


A doe jumped in great fear and ran from the river
and a deer baby fell into Kentucky.

Then I forgot the beauty of sex.

But sex is always bringing animal parts to us
and rabbits eat all the shoots, and starve,
and with a cumulative jumping and being afraid
and pleasing and protecting and fondling
the name in general is a word for a room still used
and the young shoots, peeled, are edible in most young families.*


We can't afford
raving about clean fresh philosophy.

As a method of debridement
I imprinted on hard when I was a kid.

I typed "Katie's Grace" into doll, dolls,
costume, costumes, fairy, fairies, wing, wings.

I miss that a lot in the Serb language.

I actually like Katie
lumping Russians and Jews

(they get all the airtime on cable).**

There are 5 poems in the deep, & it is decorated with toothy fish & endorsed by Abe Lincoln. I could quote the whole chapbook here, but will not, & so you're just gonna have to wish hard that her book A Romance of Happy Workers from Coffee House comes out a lot faster than promised. Or maybe she still has some copies of The Deep, but there were not that many, not nearly enough.

I watched a National Geographic special about sharks & dolphins yesterday too, which was great, but not as great as these 5 poems.

* From "The Dark Deer"
** From "Poem for Katie"

Friday, July 14, 2006

But it's true

There are two grey squirrels fighting like mad outside my window. I can only see the tails, but the branches of the tree are going crazy. They've been at it for half an hour.

The most important thing on my mind lately is giving up bottled water. It is a fact that NYC's drinking water is some of the best in the country. However, I have a psychological aversion to it. I had a filter pitcher for a while, but damn those are expensive, the filters. Then bought a faucet filter, less packaging, no plastic, but it didn't fit my stupid sink. Once I began thinking about the transport of bottled H2O, not to mention all the plastic, I could no longer justify the irrefutable fact that I must be hydrated to live. This is an utterly preposterous "problem" to have. Over there any water at all.

I drank spring water, straight from a spring, for a week in Montana. I also went swimming in it. It was fucking freezing. And delicious.

Large groups of human beings are innately tragic & infuriating. A lone human, often ditto.

Which state of our union will coddle us sufficiently, to our peaces. Ours. The one with the most grass & the most sky. The one with the most work & the most social stimulation. (Social stimulation & overstimulation being a precarious tipping point for a partial agoraphobe with an anxiety disorder married to a habitual grump. We have lots of fun at home.) This one. That one. Any of them. Are there differences. Yes there are differences. Which differences make The Difference.

We know what home is. Have you seen it?


That's what it's called, swear.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

For the record

I do not conceal my identity on the internet. (Occasionally I have forgotten to sign a comment, like in LiveJournal or on a Blogger site that doesn't require posters to be logged in. In some cases I have used nicknames or handles, but only on sites where the owner knows who I am anyway.) I do not post anonymously. I do not use faked Blogger ids. I do not use anonymizers. I have probably peeked at you through a mirror site if your site is blocked by the web filters at my freelance office, but not for any nefarious purpose. And I certainly don't go around sending threatening messages or "warning" anybody. In the very few instances I have been involved in any kind of conflict, I have always talked directly to the other party--if *they* were being forthcoming about who they are.

I think it's creepy to expect somebody to talk to you while you're wearing a mask. Imagine doing that in "real life."

OK? I have already relayed this to the appropriate person.

If you don't have any idea what I'm talking about, consider yourself lucky!


A tornado thrashed up the Hudson last night & the teevee called the lightning "deadly" even though no one was killed. I met a touristman in line yesterday who wondered if we are anxious on a daily basis about "terrorist attacks," & I said no, that worrying constantly is too exhausting, what with terrorists (foreign or the newly prophesied "homegrown" kind), Korean missile tests, and subway saw slashers. NYers could become agoraphobic & paranoid in a few heartbeats, but then an explosive neighbor irritated with his wife might still blow up our apartment buildings. (Yeah, that's a great idea: let's add "legally armed citizens" to the mix & just all go see Jesus.) It's just too much. I'm pretty sure my Southern friend was a little horrified, but he was sure polite about it.) By 10 or so our cable had gone out, so I couldn't watch the show, alas. I guess I can catch it tonight at 8:30 repeat.

More Montana pics (to decorate this place in the absence of poetical content & to alleviate my post-vacation home-again blahs) this afternoon. I'm finally caught up with most of my email & "working from home today" so I should be able to sift through a few more.

Spend 10 days without the internet/news/etc. sometime, do. I used to schedule these fasts regularly, but somehow forgot how detoxifying they are. Next one coming up in August when we head back up to Maine. I can hear the silence already.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Colbert Report report

He's even more awesomey in person than he is on teevee. & the writers are revising lines for each act right up until the cameras roll. Mort Zuckerman was a wet noodle (though he gets a rowdy cheer for saying Bush is "the absolute worst president...since Carter"), but Colbert managed to make it a funny interview anyway.

Which is good, because we had to walk 14 blocks in the rain, then wait under a dripping awning with mosquitos (three new bites to go with my Montana welts) for two hours until they finally opened the doors at 6, whereupon we waited about another hour in an overstuffed room with a bunch of grumpy wet people & a dangling designer flytrap. It was worth it.

There was audience participation in this one. For real--you should be able to see us. In the Massachusetts gay marriage bit, look for me in the back row, just to the right of the big pride flag. We have little flags.

I won't spoil any of the jokes for you now. But I will say, he dances during the breaks. & he only effed his lines twice.

Backwoods botanicals

Sunday, July 9, 2006


Young bull moose eating roots in a creek somewhere along Thompson Pass (just over the Idaho state line).

Home again

Hi. Photos soon.

There's a single perfect word to describe reading Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore in the middle of a forest in the middle of nowhere, while using a rustically furnished cabin as homebase: WOW.

Note to Jonathan: Me too, but after a while, I started to appreciate that the novel is an attempt at a multilayered, multimedia experience--built into the narrative is a bibliography of recommended works. Going through and reading each work mentioned (while listening to the accompanying soundtrack he suggests, and even pausing to watch the films) would form an interesting complex. Murakami seems--to borrow a metaphor from the book--to be playing chords. (Of course, I was in the middle of nowhere, so I couldn't follow every reference--but at least I did know most of the music, and had my iPod. I'm planning to go back and dig up the poetry and read the Soseki novels.)