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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Smoked glasses & feathered hair

Been working on cover sketches for Sandra's book this weekend. Should have options for her soon.

Had my first margarita of the summer yesterday and it was damn tasty. But it was also $7.75 and I didn't even call the tequila. Kind of bum deal. I guess in NJ they're considered exotic or something. At least the salsa was not Pace. Even the Ronnie Milsap on the jukebox hit the spot.

Looking forward to a shorter workweek this week. Feels like that's all I've been doing lately. I hope they hire a replacement for the person who quit soon.

Might go out of town, or just to Brooklyn for the holiday. Not sure yet, and I'm not feeling particularly patriotic.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

On the Gurlesque: Part 2

Or to start at the beginning, click here.

New review

The new Rain Taxi features a lovely review For Girls by Nate Pritts:
Though Shanna Compton's second full-length book will probably get noticed first for its quasi-gender studies focus, the ironic tone and muscularly discursive lines of For Girls (& Others) mark it as first-rate poetry first, a lesson in articulating individual identity in a public sphere.
     Compton owns her project--a kind of contemporary primer for girls that, in revealing how far we've come, indicates we haven't strayed far enough from the ideas of the 19th-century handbook that serves as impetus for some of the poems. Luckily, we have Compton's voice to help guide us: "Might you unlearn / to resent the joy / the world takes in you, // learn to return its gaze." The ending of "Pride in Having Small Feet" sets up the interesting tension of employing the rhetorical style of these outdated manuals in the service of offering some real insight. Moments like these, handled with grace and forcefulness, define the book, and provide the truest sense of a purpose here.
     Lingustic virtuosity is a solid draw as well. Those who've read Compton's first collection, Down Spooky, already know her to be adept at torquing language in a way that reveals not simply multiple meanings, but multiple registers. "The Dome Is It" is a good illustration of Compton's ability to move into a realm where language becomes a reference to itself, where moods are the words used to describe them:
The opposite of no within
the curved, complete shape
of your dreamed conveyance.
Everything you've said lately
so similar to immediate
but not quite so.
Throughout, Compton uses syntax and lineation to provide some of the punch. In "Opening Address," she begins the book with a pronouncement about girls "upon whom the universe / bestows fullness / in all the right places." Both biblical sounding and funny, it's a good read on the tone used throughout the book. Simultaneously reverent and irreverent, For Girls (& Others) is a complex work on identity and the forces we all work against to assert it.

Pick up a copy or subscribe to Rain Taxi here.

Also, please stop by the Bloof Blog for more news & reviews of My Zorba!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

After a year and a half...

...I met a neighbor. He called me over to the back fence to apologize for cursing loudly while working on his car.

If you have ever met me & my potty mouth in person, you will know why I find this so funny.

I really should...

...just apologize to my entire inbox.

But that would put me *even more* behind.

Jeez. Who invented this working 2-3 jobs thing?

Happy longest-day-of-the-year, summerfesters.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008


1. (n.) A gassy, bloated feeling one sometimes gets from reading blogs; often temporary

2. (n.) A blog, blog entry, or recurring topic in the blogosphere that induces a feeling of blugh in the reader

3. (n.) An unidentified crumb stuck between the sole of the foot and the shoe's inner lining that is uncomfortable enough to make the shoewearer consider removing her shoe, but not so uncomfortable as to provoke her to actually do so

Caution: Knees may hurt from too-frequent jerking

Seriously, there are so many other fun things to jerk.

Peace, peoples.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Perhaps should mention...

...that I'm hosting this reading tonight, as the final night of our Summer Writers Conference class on Major Jackson's Hoops.

But all are welcome.

Friday, June 13 at 6:00 PM

Hosted by Shanna Compton
New School University
66 West 12th Street
Room 510, 5th Floor

Note: You will probably be asked to sign in at the security desk on the first floor and show an ID of some kind.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Not ignoring you...

I know, I'm a terrible correspondent. I haven't even had time to peep the blogs in almost a week.

I'm just so busy right now with freelance work, and teaching this week, and a panel next week, and trying to get Sandra her first set of proofs, and whew!

Also, gotta get the second installment of the Gurlesque interview laid out.

But really, after this week things should calm down considerably. Maybe it will finally feel like summer in ways other than the heat?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Been working...

...on Sandra's book this weekend, more. Tracked down & replaced the troublemaker font. (So the only things making trouble now're the poems, as they are wont.)

Everyone who turned the book down before I got to it = nuts.

Also, it's hot out. Downright steamy. But I enjoy that.

Friday, June 6, 2008

By the way, the global crisis

It's less the biofuels than the meat.

It takes 16 lbs. of grain to produce 1 lb. of beef.

70% of the grain grown in the US--enough to feed 800 million people--goes instead to feed livestock animals.

Of which our population of 300 million eats 10 mbillion a year.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Semi hiatus mode

It's probably pretty obvious by now. But it's temporary. I just have a lot going on.

Also, I'm in a dry spell, poetrywise. This is nothing to stress about. It just happens, especially when I am very busy.

My finger injury has healed nicely, and I can mostly type without it bothering me. (Yay!) Still looks a little weird, but it's not like I'm a hand model.

I'm teaching next week so may not post at all.

I've been reviewing books, but posting them at Facebook rather than here. You can read them without having an account. Mostly nonfiction lately, but I've got some more poetry titles in my queue.

Monday, June 2, 2008

June poem


Admit you don't love aimless June,

the midsummer month, too hot to stress

& sweat & fidget beneath the moon.

The bullfrog's oboe tones obsess

the reeds, throaty come-ons for copper snakes.

Well, that's pretty nice. Perhaps the month is moot.

& there's the namesake bug, its anticake-

walk leavings, chairs for former marchers, beaut-

iful jewels clipped to the screens, as if bedecking Garbo's

swanny neck, the dramatic arc of a sultry drive-in play.

She could save all summer. She could kiss the hobo,

then he'd go on to earn it, to get a designer day

job tying hankies to sticks. They'd lie under rhinestone

skies off the tracks to Texas. She'd learn to love his rank cologne.

From For Girls (& Others), originally published in Court Green as part of their bouts-rimes dossier in issue #3.