I am temporarily parking archived blog posts here while I redesign my site and change servers. For current content, please visit blog.shannacompton.com.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Texmas break




I'm doing laundry & packing for my annual sojourn to the native state for Texmas, where we'll sit in shirtsleeves in the backyard but still build a fire in the fireplace on Christmas Eve just because. It doesn't get dark till 7:00PM and the rooster crows (um, a literal rooster) around 5:30AM on beautiful scarfless, gloveless days. I'm looking forward to seeing my family & to sleeping without wool socks.

Be safe, if you are traveling.

Before I go, a few things:
A review of For Girls (& Others) at Allen Bramhall's new review blog. (Thanks, Allen!)

Three poems from For Girls (& Others) are up at Sina Queyras's blog, with a mini interview to follow. (Thanks, Sina!)

Somehow I've managed to hang in through the elimination rounds in C. Dale's year-end Caption Contest. Today will be the final showdown between myself & RJ Gibson. We've received the pics and they're great, but I gotta say, this is the most difficult contest so far. The audience voting puts contestants in a position to campaign, but it's really tough to come up with something original when you get one shot per photo and can't see what the competition is offering. (In the past I tended to get lucky with judge Joseph, who seems to share my sense of humor, and always took a blanket approach with multiple captions!) Anyway, check Avoiding the Muse throughout the day today to vote in the final rapid-fire rounds.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It's my party & I can blackmail you if I want to


You could vote for me because you like my caption...

or, you could vote for me because it's my birthday.

This is the only day of the competition I will campaign. I have a strict it's-all-about-me policy each Dec. 18th.


Update: Thanks, y'all! :)

Monday, December 17, 2007

You've got nothing better to do


Sez Jennifer L. Knox:
"I'm reading tonight at KGB with Billy Collins.

That's right, I am! for the anthology,
Great American Prose Poems
along with some other very cool poets.

Like Mark Bibbins, Charles Bernstein, Jenny Boully,
Mark Strand, Paul Violi, Susan Wheeler, and others.

KGB Bar
7 p.m.
85 West 4th St NYC 10003

It would be awesome to see your friendly,
or short of that, familiar face.

Knoxoxoxo"

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A winter storm


A good day for household chores & cooking long, slow stews with plenty of greens & beans.

Even if I wanted to go out (which the weatherwoman insistently advises against) it'd take a lot of hot water & scraping & salting just to get out of the driveway.

I look forward to a spotless living room, redolent of soup, some cinnamon tea & a thick book this afternoon.

Maybe an icy trudge in the village park to listen to the tsussing of the sleet.

Anyway, it suits my hermitic mood.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I've gotta get my camera fixed


Because at times like these in the past, I'd just post photos.

But at least my tube is unstuck now & the internets are freely flowing.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Euphemism, anyone?


One of the things I love about living out here is that I can disappear into the woods (a feeling I've greatly missed the past dozen years in Brooklyn). To have my line of sight completely free of buildings, my auralscape completely free of traffic noise, music, construction machinery, or any other sounds of so-called civilization. It's difficult to describe, but the sensation is one of blankness and fullness simultaneously, of relaxation and stimulation at once. Probably seems a bit hokey, but folks who grew up or spent formative years in rural areas likely know what I mean. (I've met native NYers who are utterly creeped out by natural sound--which is never silence!--and open spaces.)

There's a great park a couple blocks away that's about 1/4 landscaped and 3/4 open field & woods, complete with wild fruit trees, berry bushes, & critters. Within a 5 minute drive in any direction there are public lands, farmland & wildlife preserves, trails on the watershed, and privately owned parcels that nevertheless remain open to walking visitors.

But the past two weekends I have been thwarted by ominous flourescent signs suggesting I wear Safety Orange on my hikes.

Because "deer management" is in progress.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Catching up


Yesterday I finally tackled my in-box. Sheesh. Since my email app crashed in September I've been using webmail, and in a horrendously disorganized fashion, just procrastinating until I chose a new app. In the end I decided against switching to new software, to free my machine from the burden of stored mail. So webmail it is for the forseeable future, but I made some folders and set up new filters to make it manageable. Anyway, sorry for the severly delayed responses, folks. I'm embarrassed!

Also catching up with the DIY blog, which I've been neglecting while I was busy with the Bloof launch, etc. There's a fresh round-up post (with more to come ASAP) & Sandra's posted a couple of times recently too. Also, reviews are in the works! Check it.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Remains of the feast


[This post has been modified because I have since gone vegan.]

"Jennifer L. Knox is pure magic."


Who sold 40 books (you heard me) at FSU? Jen Knox, that's who.

If you wish you'd been there, check out the podcast here.

Additional evidence of CAConrad's genius




CAConrad reads from the tub in Dorothea Lasky's apartment, as part of her continuing Tiny Tour. Introduction by the berobed Frank Sherlock.

(NSFW "mild language," as they say...)

& may I point you (shamelessly) to where you can purchase the book? It's on sale for $8.37.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I know...


...it does seem rather obvious. But.

To opine about work you have not read...


... = utter horseshit.

Whether you opine enthusiastically or dismissively doesn't matter. (Though dismissing work you are in fact ignorant of is much easier, as you will not have to elaborate much or get very specific.)

This maxim applies whether are just some guy (or gal) with a blog, a really good poet with some kind of institutional platform, or even--perhaps especially--if you are one of our nation's leading literary critics.

i.e. we can tell you don't know what the hell you're talking about.

Uh, that makes you irrelevant.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"The Look" by Jean Valentine


As featured on Ron's blog today...

I am a fan of hers, poems like this one being a good reason why.

The Look
__


Pain took me, but / makes ref to "being taken" sexually, perhaps, and the pain that is sometimes associated with a first sexual experience, though also the passiveness of being taken suggests perhaps the pain was an absence of feeling (hollowness, detachment, it is later compared, I think, to "shade," i.e. the absence of light) rather than one of excess

not woke me--no, / but this introduction to sensual pleasure was void, and she was not "woken" to its finer points

years later, your
look
woke me:
/ she speaks as if to a lover, recognizing his (assuming) look/gaze as a different form of taking, but turning that about and also doubling the word as a noun: his look, or appearance--she looks back, the taking and giving becomes mutual in this experience
each shade and light: / the visual opposites seem to tie back into to the looking that's now going both ways, and also to sort of echo the contrast (as between shade and light) of the experience in paragraph 1 and this one in paragraph 2, "light" being necessary for looking

to earth-love then / another, even more expansive, form of love is introduced, and also a larger sphere of experience is sensualized now that she is "awake" and mutually engaged, feeling attracted/appreciative/responsive to/toward earth, i.e. everything, but also the physical world--the body of the planet--via this new sense of connectedness
I came, / pretty obviously a sexual refrence, but also harkens back to "woke" as in the sense of "coming to" or even "coming to know or being introduced to"
the first
beach grasses.
/ and this third experience of love encompasses not just the speaker and her lover but their environment, perhaps a romantic location near the shore. i could make a witty remark re: pubes but i'll refrain.

So in this miniature poem, three experiences of sensual love, each deeper than the last, and the "look" that "woke" her serving as the key to her maturing/expanding perspective/experience.

Letter wow fan clever


Whoops. I forgot to post this (very nice!) review of Down Spooky by Adam Fieled, which appears in the new issue of Moria:

Under This Umbrella... is funny and erotic, Contraposto (which begins "To my dear and loving head wound") is funny and poignant, Laundry is funny and knowing, Elegy for a Fictional Strongman is funny and sad, Voluntary Cinderella is funny and corrosive, Hooray for the Differently Sane is funny and anti-moralistic. And so on. The most salient thing about this collection is how entertaining it is. Not that it isn't art; it is art; but it is also capable of giving immediate, unmediated pleasure. This is a profoundly human poetics, that any sensitive person with a sense of humor and a taste for the absurd could enjoy.


& so on. Pink to my toes, & naturally really pleased.

(NB: even tho the press that pub'd poor Spooky has faded, the book remains available via these booksellers, (some of those are used) or directly from me. If you wanna cut a 2-for-25 with For Girls I'd be cool with that.)

Big Game in the Big Apple...tonight!


Tues. Nov. 27,
6:00 p.m. sharp
free!

D.A. Levy Lives series, sponsored by BOOG City

ACA Galleries
529 W. 20th St., 5th Flr.
NYC

Event will be hosted by Big Game Books editor Maureen Thorson

Featuring readings by
Sandra Beasley
Shafer Hall
Ada Limón
Logan Ryan Smith

and music from Alex Battles

See you there?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Linkies Go Clicky


Arlo Quint conducts a terrific interview with Ted Greenwald in the latest Poetry Project Newsletter. [Not yet online, but will eventually be here, if you don't get the hard copy.]

I'm up at Women of the Web. (Thanks, Didi!)

See also: Men of the Web

The new issue of Eoagh

Aaron McCollough on being a poet

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Thanksgiving poem by my niece


Cooking Turkey

Busy, crazy, fast moving
Burning the turkey in the flames
Oh no! Look at the fire on it!
Burning Gobbler


Like my own poem "Post-Texas Expressive Heat" from Down Spooky, Kiki's diminutive jingle captures the je-ne-sais-quois re: my mother in her annual struggle with the bird.

Can't stop laughing.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I spied...




...a flock of wild pheasants across the road from the orchard this morning, quizzically pecking, with the maples blazing above them, the valley rolling upward in autumnal waves to meet the furzy sun.

...the new issue of the most open/most various/most unusual reviews-only journal around today, Galatea Resurrects. Plenty of leftovers to enjoy over the holiday & coming weekend.

...Allen Bramhall reading For Girls (& Others). (Thanks, Allen!)

Enjoy the holiday, dear readers. I'll be in the kitchen if you're looking for me.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Tonight...


Monday, November 19 at 7:00 PM
in Manhattan

Jennifer L. Knox and Kenneth Goldsmith read for Readings Between A & B

11th Street Bar
510 East 11th Street
New York, NY

__

Quiet around here because I've been both busy & sick. Back soon.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Go, if you know what's good for you


I think I'm gonna go to this tomorrow night. Especially since the stars have predicted the audience will be full of "enemies."

I've been reading Reb's book at breakfast every morning and it kicks ass. You can get it here.

If you're in NYC, you can also catch Reb on Friday night at Earshot. (Always a good time.)

Monday, November 12, 2007

If you missed the party...


...you've got another chance to catch Jennifer L. Knox this week.

She's the featured poet at tomorrow night's Urbana Slam:
Tuesday, November 13 at 7:00 PM

Jennifer L. Knox features at the Urbana Poetry Slam, hosted by Shappy

Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery
New York, NY


Also, next Monday:
Monday, November 19 at 7:00 PM
in Manhattan

Jennifer L. Knox and Kenneth Goldsmith read for Readings Between A & B

11th Street Bar
510 East 11th Street
New York, NY

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The party...


...was a lot of fun, & we sold a million* books, ate 200 chicken wings***, were seranaded by a giant ear & a beautiful poet singing Conway Twitty, awarded/received a trophy for "asskicking the yahoos", & made some new friends.

& there are photos, probably not very good ones,** to be posted later.

But right now I go in search of eggs [scrambled tofu***] of the brunch variety.

* Only a slight exaggeration
** Phone-cam, real camera still broken


***[This post has been modified because I have since gone vegan.]

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

WTF is wrong with Blogger?


I keep getting old views of this page, despite clearing caches, using different browsers, etc.

Something is stuck in a tube somewhere. Maybe it's my webhost, because the exact same post shows up fine over here. (That's hosted by a different company.)

Can you see the invitation to Jennifer L. Knox's book party this Saturday below?

If not, here's the scoop, text-only style:

Join us as we chell-o-brate the release of
DRUNK BY NOON
a brand-spankin' new book of poems by
JENNIFER L. KNOX

Saturday, November 10, 2007
7-9 PM
at STAIN BAR
in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
766 Grand Street
(L train to Grand, 1 block west)

With your host ADA LIMÓN
Featuring MIXT TAPE,
FEATHER UNDERGROUND and more.
Plus yo-yo tricks, interpretive dance, Todd Colby,
a brief recitative, and other rare entertainments.
Chicken wings. Karaoke may follow.


Sunday, November 4, 2007

OK, so now, Sunday afternoon, having done...


...most of my weekend cooking and cleaning and errands, and having been to the gym, and having decided to take the rest of the day to rest, I have finished both articles and all the blog responses I can find.

So now I can say that I mostly agree with Stephanie and Juliana's essay. (And I found myself puzzled, for mostly the same reasons they did, by both the claims and the conclusions drawn from them, in Jennifer Ashton's.)

Like Stephanie and Juliana, I'm surprised by the numbers.

I especially identify with their questions/remaining uncertainties, including their assertion that the numbers alone tell only one story, and that even statistical equity would not necessarily indicate that "feminism is irrelevant or outdated or just plain over or boring or pathetic or whiny" or that a 50/50 ratio in the mags/anthologies/prizes "necessarily means that these things are feminist or progressive." And when they said "we had a constant feeling that we had better and more exciting, i.e. non-gender specific, work that we wished we could be doing," I was like I KNOW!

The most important part of their article though (which they also say themselves--how could anybody miss that?) is not the number crunching but the owning up--to our own ambivalences about what feminism is or does or should be or should do, our complicity and "first-world privilege," and our failure(s) to be the change we wish to see in the world.*

And when I say "our" I do definitely mean "my."

The essay ends with a call for suggestions about how poets and/or communities of poets can do more to engage the living/working conditions of women in a national/international arena.

That's a good fucking question (which a handful of people attempt to answer in the last section of the piece, including Kasey, Anne, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Eileen Myles, &tc.)

I'm gonna keep thinking about that.

To order a copy of this issue of the Chicago Review (currently the only way to read the essays), go here. (The Mid-Manhattan branch of the NYPL does not yet have the Autumn 2007 issue, but should get it soon; but hey, maybe your library is quicker.)

* Uh, to quote Gandhi as quoted by the issue of Yoga Journal I flipped through on the ellipitical this morning.


UPDATE! The Chicago Review has made the essays available on their website (linked above). Rocking. (Be sure to read the notes too, particularly the methodology section, which addresses already some of the issues raised in a few responses elsewhere.)

On purity


Says Ange: "Most women I know who withhold their work are proud of not hustling, not playing the game, keeping themselves pure."

Update: use this link instead. (So much for permalinks at the Harriet blog.) This repost has a different URL and more comments.

Yeah, it's a neat trick, isn't it? Convincing women to internalize their own marginalization by "disapproving" anytime they ask for the attention of a reader or reviewer simply by putting their work out there, as if that's not the most natural thing in the world for a writer to be doing. Sniping at them for their ambition or "careerism" or self-promotion. Telling them they are "naturally reticent" or "ambivalent about ambition" so that if they are not it becomes clear they should consider themselves freakish.

Having spent the last year and a half reading 19th century books addressed to young women filled with loads of advice on remaining chaste, appearing ladylike, etc., I am struck (as Ange is) by the word choice: purity.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

I have too much to do..


...too much to finish-reading-slash-tell-you-what-I-think-about Juliana Spahr & Stephanie Young's article in the Chicago Review, ditto for Jennifer Ashton's in the same issue, ditto for the blog discussions about the articles and surrounding issues at Lorraine's, Simon's, and now at the Poetry Foundation blog. I also don't have time to tell you about the most unintentionally hilarious thing I have ever read on the internet, involving "encouraging women to write and applauding them when they do."

(I will take a second to say I cannot stand the phrase "I applaud" which always sounds insufferably condescending. Depsite this revulsion, I'm sure I've used it myself. Never again.)

I have too much to do to write new poems, or send old ones out. I can't even manage to feel guilty about these things. Even though I am supposed to.

The arguments about whether the internet is killing books, or digital printing resulting in crapbooks, luckily, are already over, despite some dogged participants not yet realizing it. So that saves me some time.

But I will count nothing, plan nothing, do nothing, say nothing much.

"I ain't got no kids" either, so that's not my challenge/dilemma/limitation/excuse.

I am simply too busy. With, you know, stuff.

Like sending out review copies of my book and Jen's book (& crossing my fingers a few women respond in print or pixels, you know, like in public, to either).

& helping with a feature for Delirious Hem.

& cooking: mashed turnips, a minestrone, a kohlrabi pudding, salmon with roasted-poblano-spinach-sauce.

& reading: Ben Friedlander's new collection, Laurel Snyder's and Reb Livingston's debuts, and that behemoth (and very masculine) novel Infinite Jest.

Last night I dumped my poetry "career" to go on a date with my husband. Because I like hanging out with him.

But maybe later.

If I feel like it.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The spook within


Definitely treat


Just finished making the Pumpkin-Tomato Soup I started the other day (see below). Delicious, if I do say so myself.

For Halloween, I'm giving you the recipe:
PUMPKIN-TOMATO SOUP*

For a speedier, pantry-based version, you can make this with canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling tho), but come on, bake a pumpkin!

4 cups fresh (see below) or canned pumpkin, or substitute/combine winter squashes like butternut, kabocha, etc.
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 15oz can whole peeled tomatoes
1 tbsp maple syrup, or subsitute honey or molasses [This post has been modified because I have since gone vegan.]
1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, canned (optional, but really recommened; they don't make the soup too spicy, just provide a nice slight heat and smoky background for the sweet pumpkin)

See notes below for more options/subsitutions.

To Bake the Pumpkin:

Split a medium to small cooking pumpkin (not the big carving ones, which aren't all that flavorful) and scoop out the seeds. (Save those to roast.) No need to peel it, just cut it into 3x3 chunks and spread in a single layer in 1-2 lightly oiled baking dishes. Optional: add a couple of cloves of peeled garlic. Sprinkle with salt, black pepper, and smoked paprika and toss to distribute. Cover with foil, then bake for 30-45 minutes at 400 (until the flesh is soft and easily pierced with a fork). Uncover and bake 10 more minutes, until pieces brown a bit. Remove from oven and set aside until cool enough to handle. You'll want to peel the pieces (really easy now, just scrape with a spoon) before you proceed.

Depending on the size of your pumpkin, you will have 4-8 cups of cooked chunks. If your pumpkin is huge, the recipe below is easily doubled and freezes well. Or, you can just mash and enjoy the leftovers as a side dish.

You can also substitue hard winter squashes like kabocha or butternut, or use a combination. (I used a pumpkin and a hard green squash with orange flesh, whose name I didn't catch!)

To Make the Soup:

For every 4 cups of pumpkin, you'll need 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock and 1 can of whole peeled tomatoes (15 oz).

Put peeled chunks into a large bowl if you have an immersion/stick blender. (I recommend this way, easiest and less cleanup.) Or into the food processor. Add tomatoes and their juice. Add stock. Puree.

Check for seasoning. Then add 1 tbsp of maple syrup (for every 4 cups of pumpkin) and salt and pepper if needed. Optional but highly recommended: add 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. (I am a Texan, so I added four plus all the sauce in the can to my 8-cups-pumpkin batch.) Puree and check for seasonings again.

Mixture should be smooth and thinner than mashed potatoes, but not runny. It can be thinned further with stock if necessary, but will also be more fluid when it's reheated. (It's meant to be a substantial texture.)

Other options: if you don't have chipotles on hand (um, why not? food of the gods!) but would still like some spiciness in your soup, try a couple of tsps of chile powder (which vary wildly, taste yours first and add to taste) plus a dash of cayenne and 1-3 tbsp of a good smoky barbecue sauce. You may even want to skip the maple syrup if your bbq sauce is a sweeter one.

That's it, OK? You can garnish this with a dollop of [insert]Better Than Sour Cream[/insert] or even some crumbled goat cheese if you wanna get fancy, but it doesn't really need anything. Julienned spinach or chopped parsley would be good on top if you want some green.

Reheat gently, adding more stock to thin if necessary.

*This is my own adaptation of a recipe called "Pumpkin-Tomato Bisque" (despite it containing no cream or milk) from Crescent Dragonwagon's (yes, that's her real name) Passionate Vegetarian, which is a excellent book and is widely available. You should get it, whether or not you are a vegetarian.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Soup season


Yesterday I baked a pumpkin from the farm, as well as a big ugly green-hulled winter squash (not sure of the name), seasoned with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika; threw in a couple of whole garlic cloves to roast alongside. The plan was to puree the lot with some tomatoes and stock and maybe a chipotle or two for a soup.

But while the gourds were softening and carmelizing in the oven, I started in on a gumbo z'herbs, making a deep brown roux (45mins and then some); cooking some rice; chopping up the trinity veggies to saute in butter [Earth Balance*]; simmering collards, kale, mustard, and mixed braising greens (all from the farm too) with tomato juice; and whizzing up a seasoning puree of garlic, tomatoes, basil, oregano, thyme, cayenne, allspice, cloves. When the roux was ready I added it to the simmering greens and tomato juice, let it thicken on low, then added the seasoning puree and let it all mingle a while. Not that it needed it, but I browned some [soy*] sausage and put that aside. When the gumbo base was all done, it was ready to be thinned with [vegetable*] stock and ladled over the rice. OMG was that good.

But it took so long I never finished the pumpkin soup I'd started. I peeled and stored the pieces in the fridge, laid the seeds out to dry (to roast with spices later this week), and I guess I'll finish that Wednesday. I'm not going to commute, since Halloween's a half day at the office.

I can't believe we get farm veggies all the way through November. This has got to be the best deal on the organic planet.

What should I be for Halloween?

*[This post has been modified because I have since gone vegan.]

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I repeat...


...in case you have not yet heard:
"Poet Will Alexander is quite ill with cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy. He's spent his life largely off the poetry grid, taking on odd jobs, and has no financial support or, needless to say, health insurance.

The San Francisco organization Poets in Need* is coordinating efforts to raise money for him. You can make a (tax-deductible) contribution to them and send it to:

Poets in Need
PO Box 5411
Berkeley CA 94705

For those around New York, there will be a benefit reading for Will at the Bowery Poetry Club, Thursday November 1, 6-8 pm (readers to be announced)."


There's something wrong with the Poets in Need website (poetsinneed.org) right now, so I don't want to link there. (I just see the site file index, you?) But there's more info about the org here.

*Some other postings have clarified that Poets in Need (just like the Red Cross and other such orgs) is unable to earmark donations for specific cases, so there's no guarantee donations made with Will Alexander in mind will be used exclusively to help with his expenses. However, I think it's important to point out that donations there will still help!

UPDATE! Donations and/or other correspondence to Will Alexander can *now* also be sent to:

Will Alexander
400 South Lafayette Park Place, #307
Los Angeles, CA 90057

These direct donations will go to assist with medical and other expenses as Will undergoes chemotherapy. (Snipped from Stan Apps, who knows Will, etc.)

Back from Buffalo & Brooklyn


DIY Pays Off
Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher

Buffalo was a freaking blast. Kevin & Aaron are fun hosts, Rust Belt's backroom stage with its beetle-jigsawed podium, mural-painted wall, & cooler full of cheap beer constituted a real swank setup, the folks were all welcoming & funny, & I picked up some House Press stuff from the great local section, as well as Michael Kelleher's Human Scale, & Aaron Belz's The Bird Hoverer.

More photos here & some from Aaron Belz too.

The Brooklyn reading was awesome too, but I'm not sure there's photographic evidence. Nicole always packs the place with lovely attentive not-afraid-to-hoot-n-holler people. Many books were sold, then we hit Snacky & I crashed at my sister's place while the Prius napped safely in Greenpoint.

Hey, if you're near DC, do *not* miss Jennifer L. Knox tomorrow night, with Aaron Belz (again), Peter "Funcie from Muncie" Davis (with whom we overlapped Friday nite, damnit), & Michael Schiavo at Burlesque.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Today & tomorrow


Today, Jen & I are driving to Buffalo to read with Aaron Belz...



Tomorrow, we're gonna see Niagara Falls (quickly) & then we're gonna drive all the way back down to Brooklyn, for this...

Friday, October 26 at 8:00 PM

Earshot
Hosted by Nicole Steinberg

Jennifer L. Knox (author of Drunk by Noon and A Gringo Like Me)
Shanna Compton (author of For Girls and Down Spooky)
John Reid Currie (Queens College)
Seamus Scanlon (City College)
Olivia Kate Cerrone (New York University)

The Lucky Cat
245 Grand Street
(between Driggs & Roebling)
Brooklyn, NY
(718) 782-0437

$5 admission includes a drink


On Saturday, I'll probably take a loooooooooong nap.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

More women on the road


GIRLdrive

"Well, I never thought NJ looked like this." --my mother




Sham weather, trial size only


Now that October is almost over, is it ever going to be October?

I think it might help if people in NYC stopped wearing sandals.

**

I dislike experts, even while I admire them for their hard work & knowledge.

They're just no fun to talk to.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Experiment/Results


Klute, but of course

Experiment: Watched Don't Look Now & Invasion of the Body Snatchers on successive evenings

Results: Reignited mad crush on Donald Sutherland

How everybody should do anything


Please place unsolicited advice in the box below.

Now available in the Bloof store: For Girls (& Others)



For Girls (& Others)
by Shanna Compton

November 2007
Trade Paper Original
ISBN: 978-0-6151-6697-1
80 pp. | $15.00
more info


Grand opening special! For a limited time, get For Girls & Drunk by Noon for the reduced price of 2 for $25 (plus shipping). Details on the main store page.

Bookstores, libraries, and folks who prefer Amazon et al. should be able to order Drunk by Noon any day now. For Girls should be in the system by the end of November.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Righteous Indignation While U Wait, Or Who Needs Poetry Blogs?


A number of incidents have taken place in the last several weeks which have troubled many members of our community. Although my approach may appear a bit pedantic, by setting some generative point of view against a structural-taxonomical point of view or vice versa, I intend to argue that what really upsets me is that Shanna Compton wants to replace love and understanding with stoicism and colonialism. I could write pages on the subject, but the following should suffice. You don't have to say anything specifically about Shanna for her to start attacking you. All you have to do is dare to imply that we should do something good for others. To be blunt, there is still hope for our society, real hope -- not the false sense of hope that comes from the mouths of iconoclastic grifters, but the hope that makes you eager to chastise her for not doing any research before spouting off. Shanna operates on the basis of an unremitting hatred of civility and decency. Hard to believe? Then consider the following statement from one of Shanna's wishy-washy, cankered votaries: "Delirious cowards should be fĂȘted at wine-and-cheese fund-raisers." Pretty unrestrained, huh? Well, I am a law-and-order kind of person. I hate to see crimes go unpunished. That's why I unmistakably hope that Shanna serves a long prison term for her illegal attempts to judge people by the color of their skin while ignoring the content of their character. And that's it. Shanna Compton's ventures, like opium, hashish, or alcohol, keep the canaille in a trance and oblivious of reality.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Know what a turtle is? Same thing.


About to go see it at the Ziegfeld (1927-cool), for only the second time on the big screen in muh life, one of my favorite movies ever. RAWK.

Everything is fine.


& the books are not pink this time.

This means there will indeed be books for Buffalo & Brooklyn. Rock.

Will probably go live in the store this weekend, with Amazon, Ingram, etc. to follow within a few weeks.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

When anxiety attacks


I knew something was wrong when I opened the door. The guy in the UPS uniform was somebody I used to know, somebody I didn't particularly like. He didn't seem to recognize me back though, handed me the fat clipboard and stylus to sign, turned, walked back to the truck by the curb.

I looked down at the box on the porch. I can't remember if I brought it inside or opened it right there.

They looked fine, at first. Then I picked one up and opened it.

My vision swam. Or I just couldn't read for a second. Too nervous? No. The book was full of INCOMPREHENSIBLE POEMS BY SOME OTHER POET!

Then I woke up.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Heading out of town in a bit, but...


...just wanted to point you to the Bloof Blog, which is now functionally integrated with Blogger. Rock. So Bloofy news will more likely appear over there than here, unless it's also personal.

Please bookmark & blogroll it?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

"Coral is far more red than her lips' red"


Got the test copies of For Girls today and was surprised-slash-dismayed (well a bit) to see the cover'd come out with a pinkish cast allover. My book, she blushes!

A PINK book called FOR GIRLS (particularly seeing as how it mocks exactly such girlish conventions) just will not do.

The Cover Girls were lovely in their dying sunlight, still, but the "antiqued ivory" (meant to be reminiscent of an age-foxed page) was positively rosy.

So I have had to ask them to try again, which is to say,

"I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks"!


At least not anymore.

G's snippet has provoked much hilarity already. If you don't find the totally effed metaphors as amusing as I do, perhaps it's because you really do think poetry's like golf? (As if!)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Monday, October 8, 2007

Happy Bloofday




The store is open.

Launch party details & October readings (Buffalo, Brooklyn) are on the events page.

For Girls is so next...uh, in about a week.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

They're here




They look much better in person than in this crappy phone-camera pic. (My real camera is still kaput.)

But they're here!

I'll give it one last proofread tomorrow & if everything is OK, they'll go on sale.

Hey look


Jennifer Michael Hecht has a new book on happiness.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Poll results


Some supposedly interesting findings:

A) "FillText" was preferred equally by both men and women
B) "PhysEd" was preferred by men
C) "Miss America gets a perm" was preferred by men
D) "Castle with pansies & swans" was preferred by women

Since more men than women voted, B) and C) tied for People's Choice, though I think A) may have edged them out by late yesterday.

Among the voters who have actually read the poems, C) was found to be all wrong tonewise (too funny, unless the man was cropped out).

D) raised concerns the irony might be lost (though I think the pansy-headed fairy on the back cover might have solved that problem).

B) apparently looks too much like Pattie McCarthy's Verso, which I hadn't seen.

Graphic designers & bookstore employees preferred A) as looking least like a poetry collection and as being most distinctive in general.

I have through Wed. to decide for sure, but I think I will be going with A)--it was tied with D) as my personal fave all along anyway. It will be getting a few further tweaks. I will post it when it's final.

Thanks to everybody who weighed in, here or backchannel. It was a big help.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I was blind, but now I see


I just fixed my Apple Studio Display, installing a new backlight converter.

I can see! I can see! It's a miracle!

That would have been several hundred at Tekserve, I'm sure. Whew.

I got the instructions off the internet, of course. (Than you, Bill Catambay, wherever you are.)

Bloofy



Cover design by the brilliant Charlie Orr, with painting by Charles Browning. Click to enlarge.

Just ordered the test copies of Drunk by Noon--whee! If we find no errors, it should go on sale in about two weeks, right on schedule.

The launch party has been scheduled for Saturday, November 10 at Stain Bar in Brooklyn. Details to come.

Cover options for For Girls will likely be posted for a poll here, sometime this weekend. I can't decide which one I like best.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Gotta love that


Four of the review snippets (which we are using in lieu of blurbs) on the back cover of For Girls (& Others) are signed by men. The other two are from uncredited reviews, but something tells me they might be male-authored as well.

Funny, no?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

On The Middle Room by Jennifer Moxley


I told Bill Luoma in an email that, having never been to Southern California, I kept picturing everybody in this book on the sets of Three's Company. He said that was close enough. "Everybody in this book" comprises Jennifer Moxley (of course), Steve Evans (of course), Bill Luoma (as mentioned), Helena Bennett, Douglas Rothschild, Stephen Rodefer, Rae Armantrout, Fanny Howe, and others you may or may not have heard of or met in person or read. Some are students and some are teachers at UCSD, and there are plenty of parties and readings and classes and romantic intrigues. There are scenes of stapling-and-folding tiny magazines and letterpressing chapbooks (of each others' work, naturally, as it is most fun) and rolling broadsides into cardboard tubes.

The prose style of this memoir is somewhat circuitous and purposefully mannered, which is to say rather old-fashioned, and that took some getting used to. Well it was shock at first, really; I shook my head. (This is funny coming from somebody who's spent the last year and half with her nose in 19th century etiquette manuals, I do realize.) It's literariness, however, serves the author's self-observed "nostalgic passions" and is worn by the story the very way she (the author) wears her favorite vintage dresses and seamed stockings and antique gloves and hats, even in the mid 1980s even in a mild California winter.

Some things about the book (the au pair year, the trips abroad with family) were foreign to me, meaning that I could not, as I am always tempted to do when reading biographies and memoirs especially of writers, relate them to my own experiences in order to suss out the commonalities. (Looking for clues. Am I doing this right?) However, so many other things were so familiar I couldn't really believe the coincidences. (To tell you which would be entirely too revealing, because after all I am not Jennifer Moxley and I have not written a memoir.) She admits many things that I could would rather not, because I too was once a 20-something and prone to ridiculousness in the name of ART or LOVE. But one of the best and most honest things about the book is how she looks back at herself with both tenderness and embarassment for her various pretentions and goofs. She did OK and she knows it, though she may be amazed, considering.

Because when you are 20 you may well behave in frivilous, or confused, or funny, or embarrassing, or terrifying, or horrible, or dangerous ways, then later you are 30 if you are very lucky. Even later you are 40 and I guess then you can laugh. So if you are 20 or 30 and particularly if you are trying to be a poet, you will be drawn into this book. If you are a woman at the same time, you will be drawn into this book. You will be drawn in if you are interested to know what it is like to be a woman in her 20s trying to convince herself first and others too that it is OK for her to write poems and take them seriously. You will find out, if you do not already know, what it is like to withhold crucial parts of yourself from various people you would like nothing better than to give everything to, because vulnerability is a tough fucking routine and self-deprivation really does seem less likely to kill you. You will see that sometimes when a woman seems cold she is really raging with heat. Or when she seems ridiculous she is really excruciatingly thoughtful.

Further readingwise, Bill wrote a note re: the same time and has posted Helena Bennett's chapbook also here. That chap is very good, though too short, and it is exactly what I hoped I would find when I went a'googling. Also, I am jealous of its title. Jennifer Moxley's books are easy to find too. You can go here for those.

There is a review of The Middle Room here, which is perhaps more like a review and less like an entry from my diary, should that kind of thing appeal to you. I wouldn't know.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

More wonky


Machine by machine my technology has turned on me. My camera first, then our cell phones (can't text message, and I don't actually use it much to talk--can't hear a thing telephonically), some rechargable batteries that refused to recharge, my studio display, then Thunderbird, then PayPal.

Re: the backed up book orders--everybody has been emailed and everything has been mailed out except one UK order. So if you haven't heard from me & think you should have, please get in touch.

In related news, you can actually order the new edition of Jennifer L. Knox's A Gringo Like Me here. It will be available through Ingram, Amazon, B&N, and other outlets soon, and at that point I'll officially open the Bloof Books store. Fast on its heels will be Drunk by Noon, which is getting a final final final final proofs pass and new author photo. For Girls is slightly delayed, but not too delayed. There will still be copies for the first reading in late Oct. So things are moving, despite the poltergeists in the machines.

Next up: the woefully late Dusie chaps. Hopefully I will get to print those this weekend, AT LAST, after I fix my studio display and can actually see what I am doing.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Poem

[expired]

Pay not-so pal


There's something amiss with my PayPal account. I'm not getting notification emails for orders and it looks like it's been going on for a while now!

If you have ordered something from me and have not received it, please let me know? I will go through and email everybody on the recent transactions list too. I'm really sorry for the delays. I have books. I want them to be yours!

This might be related to the extremely annoying problem I am having with my Thunderbird email app. It's started doubling some of the folders (but not all of the folders) but blanking the contents sometime last week, but it seems coincidental.

Yeah, I'm annoyed. Mercury ain't even retrograde yet.

And I didn't have the right size hex wrench to fix my monitor this weekend either. Grrrrrr.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Inarticulate


With regards to process (or method or less charitably gimmick) keeping mum may not be such a bad idea. Once it's out there, it's very easy to criticize, without referring whatsoever to the work it governs or engendered. Some people just can't seem to help themselves.

But (sometimes) that's like criticizing a garden hose. Oh my god, it's too green. It's too rubbery. It's coils stupidly against the side of the house.

OK, yeah. But look at the garden.

Even if the garden sucks, that's the place for the study to be focused.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

I have to tell someone


It is finished. I have sent it to the editor/reader people (whom I adore).

OK. Whew. I have a month for further tinkering but am going to try to resist till they've had a turn with it.

We interrupt this lull . . .


...just to note that Elizabeth Zechel has a paintings blog!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

I type all day, most days


Thanks to my long career as a copywriter I type most of the day, most days. (Whether it's actually "writing" is another matter, but.) As a result I type *very* fast. My fingers often get away from me and attempt to type things I don't intend. It's a kind of physical memory that seems unconnected to my mind. For instance, whenever I begin typing "power" or "polish" or "pom-pom" or even "pewter" it often comes out "poetry" and I have to use the backspace key to correct. I do it so often, now the backspace key-strokes are part of the game.

This is why I revise on a manual typewriter. (Lots less spring, much slower pace, way more deliberate. Mind has to slow to match fingers, rather than both racing ahead.)

I'm too busy with offline things to really engage with the blog lately. One thing after another has prevented me, so far, from getting my Dusie chapbook finally printed, and getting the finalized MS of my book (For Girls (& others)) to my (bless them) reader/editors. Which is just rude. But there's no point in handing it over till I've made up my mind about most of it. The book's all there--has been there, done, complete--but because it's less a miscellany than Down Spooky there are additional considerations. (Um, plus this time, there's no one to decree but me, or enforce deadlines either.) I've changed the order several times and waffled between two sections or three. I think yesterday I nailed the first section, and decided on three sections total. This is all impossible to do on the computer. It requires me shuffling on the train, ripping spreads in half, spreading them allover the coffee table and/or living room and/or office floor, shooing the cat, picking them up, shuffling, repeat. Then there are the line breaks--working mostly a very short line in these poems and some of the enjambments are literally waking me up at night (!). I've got one cover sketch done, but want to try a few more ideas and then show them around for opinions, but I've still got time on the cover. Thank god I don't need to ask for blurbs. (Is there any process more excruciating, y'all?) By the end of this weekend I *must* have it done.

Except my damn Studio monitor needs the backlight converter replaced & the part hasn't arrived yet. My screen's so dim I may as well be a mole. If it goes out completely before I can switch it out, boy, am I screwed.

Which is (all) to say, I wish that kind of physical automoton memory could pick up the slack on a few of my other tasks.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

I love mail


Here's what I just got, lucky lucky me:



Here's a poem from it:
POETIC JUSTICE

Of course the big thing these days is invisibility implants. Invisibility is a misnomer though. They don't actually make you invisible. Sort of a blur. Well, not a blur. Not like Robin Williams in the movie. Not out of focus. Your outline is still there, available for pleasantries, and you take up the same space etc as before. It's just that there's no depth to you. People can't tangle with you & you can't tangle with them. It's a security thing. Genius. Much better than house arrest or those ankle bracelets or that gadget beside the phone. The implant lets you go about your business, take care of yourself, etc. It's just that you can't mix or mingle. Nobody notices you. I've had it done. The weird thing is I can't remember why. These days if you get the implant you get an erase chip too. The memory's gone. But I must have done something. You don't just get sentenced to implants & chips for nothing. It's kinda lonely, I grant you that. But who am I to complain. I mean I could be behind bars, right. Plenty of people are. At least I can go out & about even if I can't exactly make contact.


You can get a copy for yourself or an invisible loved one here.

I also got this:



And I will be reading that soon, because it looks very interesting too. (I can't resist writers' biographies.)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

(Almost) Drunk by Noon


Picked up the final cover files from the (genius) designer Mr. Charles B. Orr today at lunch and OH YES IT ROCKS.

Just gotta put on the spine text and the back cover Testimonials of Awesomeness.

Jen is going over the proofs again, checking the last round of corrections.

Not much longer now. It might even been a little early, and that, my friends, is a first.

To make up for it, For Girls may be a little bit late. But that's ok. What am I gonna do, fire myself? Nah.

Still booking readings for fall, and hey, we'll also come out to see you in the spring. So holler with a date or two and we'll see if it can work (for one, both, or either of us).

Sunday, August 26, 2007

& speaking of fall books...


...Reb's posted the covers for the forthcoming No Tell Books titles. Lookie.

A very good deal


The Weekly Box: Week Eleven


Buckling, as in down. Working on the fall books, including my own, realizing that September is just a week away.

Everything else has been put on hold.

Except the Jersey tomatoes. Thursday I got yet another load of them in this week's box oh cherry-grape-heirloom-beefsteak-zebras-and-yellows, along with some basil so fresh it looks fake, some fat jalapenos (I chose the hottest ones, with the white crackling), cilantro, more garlic, red and white baby onions, a gorgeous bunch of leeks, more chubby infantile potatoes, more bell peppers, two purple-and-white striped eggplants, chard with rainbow stems, and another watermelon. The gazpacho from last week is almost gone, so I may make another batch, maybe with the green and yellow tomatoes this time, and I'll also use the jalapenos, garlic, onions, cilantro and more tomatoes to make fresh salsa (really a pico de gallo the way I do it, hand-chopped, not with a blender or processor). The new neighbors will be gifted with some of that. Maybe a leek and potato soup too, which I can freeze if it's too warm to eat it, or serve slightly chilled, vichyssoise-style.

I've *got* to take my camera lens in for repair. (It's the iris blades that are stuck, and I'm afraid to open it and try to fix it myself.)

I know I owe you (and you and you and you and you and) an answer/email/poem/book/call/visit. I'll be back as soon as I can.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Weekly Box: Week Ten




The heirloom tomato harvest. Ten pounds of spotted greens, bumpy pinks, blushing yellows, coral oranges & bitty grape-tomato bites. Also bell peppers in almost as many colors. Bunches of basil & cilantro, too, & onions, garlic, yes, gazpacho. Long curvaceous eggplants to go with the more matronly ones from last week & last week's zucchini, we'll also have some ratatouille (with feta [cashew] cheese). Two pounds of potatoes too, the smallest I could choose, bright yellow inside for smashing with some of the herbs & garlic. I forgot to tell you about melon week, two weeks ago now: a black melon that opened to a seedless deep punch pink, a veiny musk melon (they're not really cantaloupes) I could smell every time I opened the back door to the kitchen, a zigzagged watermelon with golden innards, & oh the juice from all collected into a bowl & made into spritzers with mint.

(Camera still broken. My phonecam will have to do.)

*[This post has been modified because I have since gone vegan.]

Monday, August 13, 2007

More Summer reading at the DIY blog


FRESH LINKS

Also coming soon: some mini reviews of this year's crop of Dusie Kollektiv chaps & even more announcements from the presses.

Sunday, August 12, 2007



Scurrilous Toy, a Dusie Kollektiv chapbook/e-book
Cover painting: Elizabeth Zechel

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Why wait


Oh, better!

Been avoiding the book (my book)

The last time I looked at it I was out of temper
& found it excruciating to witness every word
The pages embarassed me

But today--miraculous!--it's good again

& so, after all, is all

Friday, August 10, 2007

What I would show you if my camera were not still broken:


One of the test copies of A Gringo Like Me I got in the mail yesterday. (The other is on its way to El Knox for her approval.)

A few things to fix (the bloof bee logo doesn't pop enough on the spine, for instance, because of the textured background on this particular cover, and a font needs to be changed in one place inside), but otherwise I think they look blooftastic. I expect it to be available for sale within the week (which means I should really get cracking on that webstore).

Or, you could look it up


A history of moderation systems for online forums.

The documented psychological effect that makes such precautions necessary.

Frequency tomorrow


I'm probably going to miss this, but if you're in NYC...
The Frequency Reading Series presents
Saturday, August 11th, 2PM

Bruce Covey, Gina Myers & Meghan Punschke

The Four-Faced Liar
165 West 4th Street
West Village, Manhattan

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Two Magicians, er, make that three


So I'm still reading this (behemoth) novel I started on vacation (though I'll probably finish it this evening): Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. It's set mostly in England, in the mid 1800s and the two title characters are practical (as opposed to theoretical or academic) magicians.

They may as well be poets. (In fact, Clarke does set them up as literary rivals, squabbling over articles and headlines, commissions and laurels, and hoarding important rare books.) While they both hope to restore English Magic to its former glory and popularity, they are very much at odds about how to do that. Norrell is traditional and conservative, and also happens to be controlling, hypocritical, shrill, and extremely arrogant, willingly hurting others for his own gain. Strange takes a more experimental approach to magic, and is portrayed as a better, though still flawed, fellow: he's heroic in wartime, socially charming, well dressed, a generous mentor and teacher, etc. He also happens to be an arrogant prick, but his abuse of others tends to take the form of neglect rather than malice. As Strange (who's been taught/apprenticed by Norrell) gains in skill and reputation, the inevitable rebellion and break-up occurs right on schedule, and he publishes a hotly anticipated book, overturning all of his old teacher's opinions. The elder magician suppresses it (making copies disappear, enchanting them so they appear blank, and finally buying and destroying all the remaining stock), naturally. Norrell takes on no more pupils. Strange takes on several. Because the theoretical magicians and public at large are confused: when there are only *two* magicians in England, and they do not agree, how can we know which person is correct?!

I also read this in Maine & found it to be wholly awesome. And I started a certain 7 vol. kidult series too, finally. Bloom's remark that it's not really reading or dumbed-down is fucking retarded. (So far I still like P. Pullman better, but I've got 6 more to go.)

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Where I Am Not Going


To Portugal though I'd really like to, to be a star, to Hell, to be a taco next Halloween, to hug that girl like crazy, to get across to your neck of the woods so I can hold a reflector for you on one of those shoots, to cut someones balls off at microsoft, to lose it!!!!!!!, to keep up the good work, to tell you a secret (I just had to download this bad boy), to f---ing kill Google, to make it up there this time!, to rip this damn computer apart and look for the gremlins, to win big so big it's burning a hole right through me, to try every last one this time, to snap on this heifer at work, to eat this entire gallon of Blue Bell rocky road (prefer Vanilla), to read this before I die, bridezilla on some eBay seller ass in about two seconds, to bed early and sober, to give birth to a kitten if my oldest boy ever says anything like this to me I damn near fell over one evening, to cry, to be one of those ppl who turns 30 and has a midlife crisis, to end up being the 300lbs vegan if I'm not careful, to puke, to run 9 miles in a few days, to get angry if I see something like it, to bite you hard and taste your tinny blood if you don't stop the self-defeating lies you've been repeating since the day you brought me, for Lasik once I turn 21 I hate putting on spectacles, to clobber him with my Floppy Bat, to simply have them declawed, to see one more lifesize hip-wiggling plastic santa, to start a Bitches Club and it's not going to be for women only, to marry Talina Atfield, to just create a rule to bounce emails regarding Ubuntu, to jump into the line grab a book and start SPOILING ALL OF YOU IF YOU DON'T SHUT UP ABOUT THE STUPID BOY WHO LIVED, to jump in front of a bus, and I am so not going there.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Not much to say...


...apparently. Been busy catching up since I got back.

And catching up I have been, because I just uploaded and ordered test copies of A Gringo Like Me second edition. Rawk. Now it's on to correcting the proofs for Drunk by Noon. Then I'll be sending my MS For Girls out to my editorial board (i.e. some of you lovely people) for comments. Moving along nicely, yes. (Uh, except I still haven't done my Dusie chapbook. I decided I disliked the poems I'd written for it rather intensely, so I'll have to come up with something else. I don't like being late, but I really just can't put those poems out; they will not do.)

One notable happening to report from my vacation in Maine last week: one day out in the kayaks in the bay, a pair of harbor porpoises hung out with us for nearly 10 minutes, swimming all around and under the boats. We'd seen them in the distance earlier in the day, on the way out to an island, but I didn't expect them to get close. Like the harbor seals, they're usually pretty wary. On the way back in to the falls, they surfaced behind me, and I heard them before I saw them, puffing air as they arced. (They are also called "puffing pigs" or "snuffers" because of this noise. And they loooooooove herring.) Gray with a bluish tint and white sides and belly and a small triangular dorsal fin. I could have touched them they were so close, but I thought better of it. Obviously I didn't have a camera in the boat with me, but they look like this. They must have been younger ones, because they were only about 4 or 4.5 feet long, and I read they get up to six. Anyway, it was "special."

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Chicken Bucket International


Note: The participants are not actors, & have not been compensated by Bloof Books or Jennifer L. Knox in any fashion. Also, you must have a Facebook account to view the group's pages.

While I'm on the subject, A Gringo Like Me.2 should be uploading this weekend and hopefully will be ready for purchase in the next week or so. (Meant to finish it up before I went away, but was afraid I'd make a mistake with the resized cover if I rushed.)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

See ya


For the next 10 days I'll be here:



(If I don't get back to you today, it will just have to wait. Sorry.)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

We promise not to bore you, befuddle you, or drone on tooooooooo long.


Bonus: We do not read in "the poetry voice." Unless we are kidding.

Jennifer "El" Knox & I are starting to book some readings for the fall when our new books are out. Probably not as many as last time. That was nuts (but the fun kind of nuts).

Confirmed so far: Buffalo & Brooklyn (at least twice). Also Jen will be going to DC & Tallahassee.

We be driving, so allllllllll that distance to Buffalo would be better with more than one gig.

Anybody in Toronto or Saratoga Springs or Ithaca or upthataway wanna play, say late Oct?

Anybody else, anywhere else?

Holla, puhlezze. [Email in upper right.]

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

You know you're a nerd...


...when you spot an "unattended" bag of jumbo binder clips in the office and you get SO EXCITED.

I am *slammed* this week. But vacation starts Friday.

I have a voluminous post of more Summer Reading half-prepared for the DIY blog, so watch that space, I guess. Hopefully I'll get it up there before I head out, because...I WILL NOT BE ON THE INTERNET FOR 10 ENTIRE DAYS. Ahhhhhhh.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

If you have a hotmail.com account & have emailed me...


...recently, I may not have received your message.

The domain was accidentally added to my Blocked Sender list by an overzealous spam filter.

I'm not sure how long this was going on--maybe two weeks? Anything sent Friday or later has come through.

If your message was important, please resend.

Thanks (& sorry for the inconvenience)!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Radio silence


I'm OK (thank you), but busy, preoccupied with nonblog/offline things, & sort of in a sheltering mood.

Saying no isn't easy. Particularly when what you're turning down is both attractive *and* repugnant: I'd like to say yes, because I'm an idealist. But I have to say no for the same reason. Sometimes I wish I were *that person,* but (as I find it tiresome & useless to object) I am not.

Also, I had a major computer meltdown over the weekend thanks to some corrupted fonts & the generally fucked organization of the hard drive by somebody I never should have let within 10 feet in the first place, curses. I should have fixed this a long time ago, but it's gonna take DAYS, so I keep procrastinating. At least one partition needs to be completely wiped & rebuilt to really fix the mess.

Maine Escape 2007 begins next Friday though. & even though I don't need it as desperately as I usually do this time of year (we can thank county-road living for that, yes) I'm nevertheless SO READY. I've already been stacking up books to take. Big fat ones.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Blooftastic




Rock. Just finished the interior layout for Jennifer L. Knox's Drunk by Noon.

The new edition of A Gringo Like Me will be available as soon as she's proofed it and the cover has been resized too. (The SSP version was 5.5 x 7.5, and the Bloof version will be 6 x 9.)

Speaking of hilarious/tragicomic/empathic poets, check out "The Dangerfield Conundrum," a rountable discussion from the HUM-PO list in the new Jacket here.

Friday, July 6, 2007

The Weekly Box: Week Four


We did get tomatoes! Just 2 though, and they weren't deep red, more of a medium orange with greenyellow near the stem end, but mmmmmmmmm. I could smell them from the back seat as I drove them home yesterday. So we had BLTs for lunch today, on toasted whole wheat with the sliced Jersey tomato, turkey [tempeh*] bacon, [vegan*] mayo and a big pile of the farm's green leaf lettuce. Grey sea salt and fresh ground pepper--must not (never) skip that. Has there ever been a simpler, more delicious sandwich? I doubt it. (Well, maybe with pork bacon, but dang, and I didn't have it on hand.) Some leftover gilled zucchini from last week's box on the side.

We also got 2 more zucchinis, 2 more heads of lettuce (two reds, as we have some green left), a bunch each of collards (my current favorite green) and kale (okay I love that too), 2 cucumbers, 2 bunches of baby onions, and 1 head of green garlic (stalks left on--it's curing now, dangling from a hook on the back porch). They also offered cilantro and parsley in the choice groups, and more fennel, but we're good for herbs at the moment and we did fennel last week, so I got the onions instead. I have to be careful not to take my full share sometimes. It really is more than we can use, depending on how that day's harvest goes, and it's a shame to waste. (They sell the members' leftovers at the weekend farmer's markets.)

Tonight I'm making a version of this, using the escarole and ruby chard from last week's box (yes, it's still fresh as a miracle in the crisper) and maybe a bit of this week's kale. I think I'll make a batch of my [TVP*] meatballs (with fennel seed and parsley, no breading, no egg) to put in to make it a little heartier. (More thunderstorms late afternoon--the valley ridge to the north is pinked gold with bluegreen trees and zaftig damp, but cool with little puffgusts.)

*[This post has been modified because I have since gone vegan.]

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Jumps Journal



The first issue.

Shanna Compton
Andrew Epstein
Frank Giampietro
Lily Hoang
Janet Holmes
David Kirby
Rebecca Lehmann
Reb Livingston
Amber Pearson
Sandra Simonds
Jay Snodgrass
Kristine Snodgrass
Valerie Wetlaufer

...and some very cool macro-focus textural photos. Check it out.

Monday, July 2, 2007


The Weekly Box


Had forgotten about the fronded fresh fennel. Made a cioppino with that last night, sauteed with sweet onions & garlic, tomatoes, then bubbled with Pernod, fresh basil, saffron stock, steamed some shrimp & turbot, then added seared scallops right at the end. [Today I would just add more veggies like fingerling potatoes, maybe some tofu or vegan dumplings*.]

Saturday morning at another farm (not ours) I did make out the yellow-green globes of tomatoes. How many weeks to count down?

[This post has been modified because I have since gone vegan.]

Sunday, July 1, 2007

The DIY blog is fresh...


...or not so fresh, depending on how you look at it.

More than you probably ever wanted to know about how I personally feel about POD strategies and digital-printing technologies for publishing poetry right here.

When your eyes stop bleeding from all the tech-infested prose, go read Reb for awhile, why don'tcha?

Friday, June 29, 2007

Gringo Deux


Just finished the new second edition layout for Jennifer L. Knox's A Gringo Like Me! RAWK.
(We've resized it so it will match her new book, Drunk by Noon.)

TOMORROW! Garden Party with Boog City & Olive Juice Music!



Garden Party with Olive Juice Music & Boog City

This Sat., June 30, 2:00 p.m.
FREE FREE FREE

A summer series, in the Suffolk Street Community Garden
Suffolk St., bet. Houston & Stanton sts.
NYC

Readings from Shanna Compton & Corrine Fitzpatrick

Music from Yoko Kikuchi & Phoebe Kreutz

New this season: each musical act will be taking a poem from one of the day's poets and turning it into a song for the event. Phoebe Kreutz will be working with the words of Shanna Compton, and Yoko Kikuchi with those of Corrine Fitzpatrick. [Isn't that cool? I can't wait to hear them!]

Curated and with introductions by Olive Juice Music head Matt Roth and Boog City editor and publisher David Kirschenbaum.

The Weekly Box: Week Three


Hot & hazy yesterday but the farm floated a vegetal coolness upward from the rows. We picked out our lettuces (4 heads), chinese cabbage, dandelion greens, some pattipan squashes yellow & green, two big stalks of broccoli green with purplish clouds on their brains, a hardy bunch of scallions very long dark green & pearl-tipped.

From last week we still have the curly tender garlic scapes and radicchio that bites back and because they were just-picked they're still fresh, I'll use them today. The loose arugula was my favorite, I put it in every salad & sandwich (along with the red and green lettuces) and even grabbed at a bit now and then by itself just to have a spicy chew. The collards were sauteed with steamed sweet potatoes, black beans and garlic, folded into whole wheat tortillas with a dash of Uncle Brother's. The basil went into a hand-pestled pesto, usual except tamari almonds stepping in for pignolis, and we ate that stirred into rice, topping some turbot [tofu or polenta*] fillets, drizzled on a chicken [seitan*] salad (more of the green leaf lettuce and arugula).

I spied the tomato plants from the inroad. With the windows down you can smell their astringent leaves in the sun. No fruits yet, unless they are tiny and green. They are already the (ecstatic) talk of the county: wait till you have our JERSEY TOMATOES.

*[This post has been modified because I have since gone vegan.]

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

News feed


Misread the headline:

U.S. and Iraqi Troops Begin Being Offensive

Bzzzzzz


Burlesque in DC was really fun, if a bit of a whirlwind trip. (Thanks for coming out, y'all! & very nice to meet you & you & you & you, putting faces to bloggers at last.) I swapped for a couple of new books but spent all my train time back in a doze, so later for those.

Reb & Carly, I mean Gilda & Lolita, have perfected the art of seduction. Fine dining in a relaxed atmo, splashy drinks, a romantically lit private lounge in a swank hotel bar, teasingly lead up to the kill moment: 3 dozen people shouting TAKE IT OFF TAKE IT OFF at you! (I could have just as easily complied had they been shouting PASS RIGHT OUT PASS RIGHT OUT, btw, but managed to pull it off.)

+++

Hey, my sis has a buncha new earrings up in her Etsy shop.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Incommunicado


Oops, sorry. Family in town. Or rather: country.

We've been hiking, driving, grilling, & to the beach. Yesterday I spotted a fox.

Today we're going up the Delaware.

Be back soon.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Have you read...


...Conrad's reminiscences re: Gil Ott on the PhillySound blog? Cool.

(If that permalink doesn't work (doesn't for me)) scroll down to June 4.)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Under a log


One drawback of keeping the front page here nice & minimal these days (am currently in love with OPEN SPACE like my OUTDOORS) is that I have missed several recent comments that have come a day or more after whatever post they are responding to.

I like talking to y'all. So I wasn't ignoring you. Just forgot to look in my logs. Oops.

**

I love this photo. (I just got both chunky volumes too--gorgeous outards. Will report back about innards later.)

A week from today in DC & the following weekend in NYC


Shanna Compton, Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz and William Allegrezza are taking it off for Lolita and Gilda at Bar Rouge in Washington D.C. Monday, June 25. Reading will begin at 8:00 p.m. in The Dark Room at Bar Rouge.

Click linky for details. If you are near, pls come!

Also coming up: Saturday, June 30 in Manhattan, I'll be reading with Corinne Fitzpatrick at the Garden Party with Boog City & Olive Juice Music. Not sure which band(s) yet, so stay tuned. I believe they will be performing a song based on our poems as well. (How cool is that?)

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Weekly Box: Week Two


The lettuces last week went into salads (orange zest white wine vinegar olive oil pepper sea salt that is all you need yum) or onto backyard [veggie*] burgers and various sandwiches. The bok choy was stirfried (the chopped white stems first, then the ribboned greens in the last few minutes) with red pepper and Gulf shrimp* with a green Thai curry paste. The kale was blanched for a couple of minutes in boiling water, cooled and used to roll leftover bulgur/brown rice/mushroom pilaf with a hunk of sharp white cheddar* in each packet, then braised in a fresh tomato sauce till they were warmed through.

This week: two more lettuces (another red leaf and a different green leaf--the pennate one that's in spring mix, what's it called?), a head of radicchio, more garlic scapes, some collard greens, two fat summer squashes (one yellow goosenecked and the other pale speckled green a zucchini variety) & a big bag of SO SPICY arugula.

Also, in the yard, ripe mulberries. In the village park, wild strawberries (ripe) & cherries (not quite ripe). Sometimes I have to wait for the deer to finish.

A litter of bunnies has been born behind the barn. There's no way to say that that's not cute.

Recipes to come.

* [This post has been modified because I have since gone vegan.]

More from Alma, or the Dead Women


        "he was a rather unpleasant man a lot of the time, but he got away with much because of a certain talent. i mean that he was a shit. he groped women and slagged them off; it was especially women he was unpleasant to. he got away with a lot, he was called divine and beautiful and lyrical. in a dream or story he becomes sick, then sicker, vomiting. he becomes nicer, in a general way, and this progress is delineated in his final poem. he is closer to dying, he is nicer, he vomits, there is another beautiful line of poetry. he becomes milder, even sweet. he vomits. there is an intermission and some of us are walking upstairs. what do you think? is this the male way? to be a sonofabitch until that last passage, and then vomit out the poison? are we supposed to forgive him or what? has Cherokee forgiven America? they say the President is growing into his job. the little cretin is telling Americans to stay calm, things like that. should we forgive him for all those executions, or the fact that he's partially caused this, or maybe just because he's trying to be nice in some way we define as nice, or because we're all in a tight spot? i say no, he is just a little shit. why should forgiveness come from us? i want a world without forgiveness, it is obviously just another thing men make necessary, another urgency."

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Email bankruptcy


File under: Declaring, thinking about.

You're a wanker


Ricky Gervais podcasts

Start at the beginning. See you in 6-8 hours.

A Flower's Whisper




This is a Lladró figurine called "A Flower's Whisper."

It is handcrafted in fine porcelain in the ancient tradition of, um, fine porcelain figurine-making.

The Lladró brothers began their careers in a tile factory in Spain, then struck out on their own to build a little Moorish kiln in the courtyard of their rustic family villa to pursue their dream of fine porcelain figurining. They describe their artistic aims in these gentle platitudes: "We want our works to be elegant, expressive, to exude life and have feelings. We want them to reflect the good side of life, the positive values of human beings, everything that dignifies life."

These soulful, creative brothers are alchemists, turning kaolin (aluminium silicate) and petunse (aluminium and potassium silicate) into accessible, beautiful, collectible objets d'art for more than 4000 worldwide points of sale. They are masters of their craft.

"A Flower's Whisper" is 14.5" tall, just as tall as it should be, perfectly scaled, handpainted, smooth, kind of glossy, both ideal and representational, and undeniably beautiful. It'll run you about $425.00 US.

Yet, I find myself unattracted. WTF is wrong with me?!?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Obligatory juncture


Deafening silence not harsh enough reprisal?

Reprise ad nauseaum.

Copious sighs, thigh-warmed.

A bit less melody, or pull back: you're sharp.

On competence


Kasey on competence (& wit) here

& then more here


**

Still thinking [first smooshed that into "stilling"] but to relate this to my own frustrations with poems (with Poetry?), my own (especially) and others (sure, often) being so "poemlike." Lately, oh f*ck, when I can see what I am going to do before I do it, and see what you're doing before I read it, it makes me groan/want to rip and ball go for the three-point go read something else (like a novel).

I'd really rather a poem just be bad. Willfully bad. Messy. (Alice Notley doesn't neaten anything, by the way.
let us substitute for you a more agreeable poet
you may substitute for me your splinter thought.
and if you ever desire to know
what your evil is composed of
the mirror is everywhere frame encrusted with
decorative carven lilies
commissioned by you. "follow your discomfort"
                                                         but you
acknowledge none. what
can the spirit say to you?
)

So yeah, there's a current type or a contemporary set of rote moves and these come fairly easily to quite a few people--once you've seen them if you're a passable mimic, well. (Not sure I'd blame the magazines for this & can say from my own mag-editing experience, that people after a while do begin to send a certain kind of thing thinking that it will "fit." It's the idea of fitting that's maybe the obstacle, for *both* the editor and the writer, yeah? Fitting works nicely though for the the critic, who attempts to describe the milieu/scene/zeitgeist by applying the concept of "fitting" either positively or negatively, once it's been identified/defined.)

Added: I think Lanny and Stan Apps both make good points in Kasey's comment streams, Lanny drawing a parallel between flora and us poetically inclinded fauna (out of all the possible shapes efflorescences could have been, they are these due to the common/shared restraints/conditions/fertilities of evolution) and Stan makes some headway with his assertion that "competence" is a "group bias." Nathan Austin's post is also a good one, bringing in ideas about art-by-committee or poll-results, i.e. what we could think of as Poetic Pandering (which is about as stunningly effective as it is in our So-Called Democracy.)

To get on with the ramble: if I/you can make a poem almost with my/your eyes shut, or like getting dressed in the morning not even awake (shirt + pant + shoes = dressed, but without flair), a particular kind of poem anyway, then it's not really a poem, is it? It's just passing for a poem?

Of course writing a poem should not be like speed-dial. When phoning it in, try to hang up. (Talking to myself, uh huh.)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Continuing


...to work on my chapbook for the Dusie Kollectiv but have not gotten it quite together yet, though I am enjoying collecting bits for it and thinking about its design (which keeps changing as the content changes; if I had time I could do alternate versions).

Alternate versions are appealing, letting me slip out of (and into) certain choices. A branching sort of progression. Interesting to play around with if ultimately (probably) indecipherable to anybody other than myself (i.e. readers, who I very much do write for), or plain impossible to execute.

I've collected a stack of the chaps that have come in so far, but have decided *not* to read them until I'm finished, because I don't want to think of mine in that context yet. (Eh, that doesn't make any sense.)

*

I've been reading Alice Notley's Alma, or the Dead Women but it's been freaking me out. Despite the escape sought (dulling, desensitizing, distraction) of Alma shooting up directly into her forehead (significant there, of course), Notley's hiding nothing, letting nobody slide. Jen Benka wrote about it as a brutal indictment of the Bush administration in the PP newsletter (and it is) but Notley indicts not just THEM but also US. It's angry, but it's true. A wrecking wreck.

So I'm alternating it with Nada & Gary's Swoon--a story so irresistibly romantic and excessive that I can't put it down even when I've sunburned both legs and one arm OH MY. I read it before but was in a different place (headspace, age, physical location, season, year) then, and this time it's even more urgent, feels more inevitable. (Or course, now knowing them I also know how it will end, but that doesn't spoil anything. It actually makes it all even more fun.)

**

I'm in a boring meeting about winter accessories, gloves, scarves, hats, mufflers, wraps, no mittens this year. Where are the mittens?

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Weekly Box: Week One




 




Green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, kale, bok choy & garlic scapes
grown at an organic farm on the watershed less than 4 miles from my kitchen.

Yum.

Update: Grilled Chicken [Tofu*] with White Peaches and Mozzarella [Almond Cheeze*] on Leaf Lettuce with Grilled Garlic Scapes

For dinner, grilled some chicken breasts [marinated tofu*] and pitted/sliced some white peaches (left skins on) to toss with ribbons of the green leaf lettuce and fresh mozzarella [almond cheeze*] bocconcini and a little olive oil, sea salt, freshly ground pepper. The juice from the peaches--oh! And the lettuce almost herblike with an actual leafy flavor. Peace juice from the bowl drizzled over the whole.

On the side, the garlic scapes. Never had these before (tho I've seen them begin from a clove, that tender green shoot that develops in the middle and will eventually poke through the pointed end). They can be prepared either like asparagus or green beans. I tossed them in a bit of olive oil, seasoned them with salt & pepper and grilled them till they brightened and softened just a little. The flavor of the raw scapes is very garlicky but it mellows when cooked. Next time I will cut them into greenbean-sized pieces and steam them. They can also be finely minced or snipped to add to dishes just like chives or scallions. Delicious, and very beautiful. Floral designers should love them, with their curly shapes and fantasy-pointed tips.

*[This post has been modified because I have since gone vegan.]