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, 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.]

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Done & next


Essay done & delivered. DIY updated again. Dishes washed. Gym attended (ouch).

Today I've *got* to gather some poems into groups to go to the lovelies who have asked for them. I don't know why I am so bad about this lately. It is difficult to let go of them, or if not difficult, just easier not to. Or I am preferring a longer ripening time. Or shit, maybe I'm just too busy, as usual. The writing is getting done. It's the revising/finishing that's drifting. A phase, whatever the matter, I suppose.

Also to continue work on my Dusie chap & the Gringo resizing & other things bloofy.

I'll have to figure a way to do these things *outside,* however. It's just too beautiful to stay in.

Our farm share begins paying out in vegetal goodness next week. We've already had some pick-your-own strawberries. Well, ok, the neighbor children picked them, but there were still delicious, sun-warmed & sticky.