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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Oh nine

In January embarrassment is a virtue and a lot of people are wonderful. A motheaten, a thankgoodness of blank space. Smell nice for the new president. It's just crushed nuts you know. Cut hours, OK. In February, shopped in the bitter glitter for fake Fendis purple kneehigh boots with Anne and we ate Indian with Jen. Laughter would be our vocabulary. Everytime I close my eyes I see Chinatown baubles. A brief interlude with a minor flu. Snowblown at the sculpture garden. In March the birds are back, and that means it's nearly finally spring. I'm a bit trepid, worrying about a family matter that hopefully will turn out to be nothing [but didn't]. Flexing muscles. We're looking at April as 30 opportunities to stun, amuse, titillate, annoy, confound, flatter, coddle, creep out, harrass, tickle, flay alive, and smooch you. (In other words, we wrote some poems.) This kind of wanton abundance must be bad for literature. WE DESTROY CULTURE. Dental surgery. One year vegan, never better. Tyrant May brought a rough week for the homeboys, a former love an overdose, another friend lost, and Mom in a tangle of surgeries. I hopped an airplane. A cancer removed. A fever too high. A panicked infection. I missed two weeks of work that felt like years, in a hospital, driving on a highway in a rented van, a clan of worriers, a pack of women. But then a wedding, dear friends discovered their best fit, in a green dress in the rain, in a clearing mental weather, a resettling home. So it wasn't all bad, some running and hiking, plenty of flowers and pets and a husband who makes breakfast to take out on the patio. But of hospitals I've had enough, and bad news too. Please hurry, June, with your vegetables boxed and bouncy, white-lit weekends of woods and finally some good news for my mother, no chemo or radiation to come. Snapping turtle warning on the farm, overly raindrenched, luxuriantly muddy. Come July, my dreamed tee shirt said I RAN TRACK AT MINEOLA PREP. A new hammock. Some visitors. A blueberry hunt in the pine barrens, a full flat of harvest, a colony of bees, a rescued turtle, a few sunburned spots. A decade of LIT. Sultry August, we headed for Maine in a pair of kayacks with stacks of books and good pens. Surprised to discover a book has mostly written itself, under my unknowing nose. Commit to it. The argument is love. September brings our reconstructed mother, lovely and healthy. We pick apples. We go to Philly to show her the Liberty Bell. She likes the murals. Our sister comes too. October seems empty, though it wasn't. And we'd gathered hickories and walnuts. Dug sassafras. We skull-decked the house and portioned out sweets. November, remember, already rolling the downward the slope to the end went so fast. We drove to the Catskills. Built some fires, played silly games with friends. December, still sliding, a birthday an airplane a Christmas two snowstorms a deep breath a reset an end.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Last chance to score a free book!

The Bloof Bundle special ends December 31. ($45 includes our 4 latest books, free shipping, donation to POETS IN NEED & a matching donation from Bloof! Quite a deal!)

Details here.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Bloof news

Crossposted from the Bloof Blog:
The blurbs for Peter Davis's forthcoming book Poetry! Poetry! Poetry! are rolling in.

Mairead Byrne says "Passing Professor Davis's office door yesterday--Professor Davis’s closed office door--I found myself wishing he was on a Fulbright like before, not a MacArthur, so that he would be back among us sooner, casting his brilliant (and humane) light. Because how is our intellectually restless little ivied community to survive without him? This book will help. From a time when he was young, full of hope, teaching in Muncie, it looks us straight in the eye, inviting us to identify with this nubile and insouciant David--before he became the giant that is Peter Davis."

Check the others (by Kenneth Goldsmith & Daniel Nester, with more on the way) out on Peter's new PPP-related blog here. We expect to have copies in time for AWP.

Becca Klaver reviews Warsaw Bikini in the latest edition of h_ngm_n:

"Simonds’ poems are rocket-speed soliloquies. They’re the opposite of Wordsworth’s 'emotion recollected in tranquility': instead, they are acts projected out of anxiety, revealing the artistic propulsion of that psychic state—the prismatic, sometimes madcap voices and visions waiting where its arrow touches down.

If the turns of Warsaw Bikini’s diction and imagery dazzle as consistently as the book’s title leads you to believe they will (and they will!), there might be some room for the forms to better direct their glint. Many poems consist of dense, imagistic leap-laden stanzas snaking thickly down the page ('A System of Sufficient Complexity,' 'The Truth About the Pills I Took,' 'The America You Learn From'), but I tend to prefer the ones that use shorter lines and more white space, the ones that visually alert their leaps, deftly place their puns, and provide a defined, if rugged, structural landscape for the speaker to climb up or ski down (e.g., 'You Should Put a Neighborhood on That,' 'I Am Small,' and 'Tomorrow’s Bright Bracelets')."

Read the rest here.

Anne Boyer on Warsaw Bikini: "Sandra is a fellow-traveler to some celestial organization, a down low ideologue for the heavens, as if an aesthete were mistaken for an astronaut and given, as a costume, scuba equipment, and given, as reading material, Das Kapital." Read the rest here.

Sandra's chapbook Used White Wife (Grey Book Press) makes Nate Logan's Best of 2009 list at No Tells.

And she's got a new poem up at The New Post-Literate: A Gallery of Asemic Writing.

Carrie Lorig reviews My Zorba for Lesser of Two Equals:

"Some poets take language out for a long, leisurely lunch and a stroll. Danielle Pafunda drags language out of bed in the middle of the night and takes it on a desperate mission through the war-torn house of the body.

Mirrors explode and shattered glass rains down on the mostly female narrator of Pafunda’s book, My Zorba, as she fights with an imaginary, mostly male character named Zorba. 'I could only think in small pieces!/I could not speak in first person! The copper wire/strung!/From my armpit, a personality exam, a pelvic diatribe' (In the Museum of Your Two Halves). Confusion, urgency, shape-shifting, and struggle maims every poem in My Zorba, producing language that is fragmented and mysterious, that jolts and halts like an ancient amusement park ride. It is as terrifying and difficult as it is beautiful; a drunk horror story covered in glitter."

Read more here.

And watch for Danielle's appearance on the Delirious Hem 2009 Adventskalendar on the 21st.

Jennifer L. Knox's poem "Why We Came and Why We Stayed" from A Gringo Like Me appears in The Lineup an annual chapbook of poems from Poetic Justice Press. Mystery Scene Magazine reviews the collection in their latest issue:

"Hardly representing the 'roses are red' school of poetry, these 20 poems smash into the dark heart of murder like a bullet into bone. Especially effective is Jennifer L. Knox's 'Why We Came and Why We Stayed,' which reveals a 'White-gloved, big-boned, wide-eyed wife.'

More info here.

Jen gets a nod from Mark Bibbins in this interivew with Bomb Magazine: "The person wearing the sweater in a Currin painting might also be naked from the waist down, which will always make someone uncomfortable, so he’s a good artist to invoke. John Waters and Gabriel Gudding and Jennifer Knox and Eileen Myles and Andy Warhol are others. Taste needn’t be merely 'good.' Solemn reverence is the default 'good taste' mode, and such poems look like parody to me at this point. On the other hand, if snark is your default and you don’t somehow tweak or transform it, that’s just as dull." Read the rest of the interview (and info on Mark's new book, The Dance of No Hard Feelings) here.

And she's got a new poem in InDigest and three more (including one from Drunk by Noon in The Awl. Don't miss 'em.

Anne Boyer on For Girls (& Others):

"Appropriation is always a slant authorship, aggravating to those who want to believe a poem is something with which we can disagree. This technique always has exactly a feminist cunning, and always a feminist heritage (the Baronness, Acker). We steal shit. It's not okay. It is sideways and deflecting and done with our under-hand out. [...] So Shanna Compton in For Girls & Others, steals shit, specifically from an old-fashioned instruction manual For Girls, also a little from that great heaving machine of cruel instruction, The Internet. To steal words to screw them up and then to self-publish them is for a girl (subjected to cruel instruction) like doing everything you were instructed against. This is a book made from elegant defiance. Compton means almost nothing of what she steals and says, not directly. She does not want us or our girl-offspring, to remain "soft / pink / forlorn."

Shanna also reads a poem for day 13 of the Delirious Hem 2009 Adventskalendar, curated by Susana Gardner of Dusie. Direct link.

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Message from Jennifer "El" Knox

Hey everybody, I just started this group on FB called "Art not Live Trees for Rockefeller Center."

I sure hope you all sign up, aside from those of you not on FB (website tk), and I hope that you invite thousands of people.

But even more than that, I hope those of you with blogs and media connections and whatnot give this a holler.

You should know I've never done anything like this (asked for your blog/talk space) in my life. But here's why I'm doing it:

I can't end dog fighting or sunbear bile harvesting or seal hunts.
I can't end open pit strip mining or the genetic modification of our food.
I can't end Rwandan genocide.
I can't stop red state puds from buying Sarah Palin's book.

But this tree thing, it's totally doable!!!!!!!!! Can't you hear the clock running out on this "tradition"?
I'm working on a website.
I hope you'll join me. Let's see how many signatures, and god willing, any press we can get.


For those of you not on FB, details below.

"Art not Live Trees for Rockefeller Center"
The world needs living trees--especially giant ones--and the world needs art! What a coincidence!
Let's collect thousands of names supporting this alternative to Rockefeller Center for their annual Christmas Tree:
1) Invite artists from around the world to submit proposals for a 76 ft-high (the height of 2009's tree) ILLUMINATED art installation.
2) All proposed installations must be created from 100% recycled materials
3) For the money that Rockefeller Center and NBC spend on cutting down a living tree, an artist can create an amazing, one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime work of art.
The time is now to usher in sustainability and environmental consciousness as the new tradition!
Website's coming soon. Please tell your friends and your friend's friends. Let's tell NBC and Rockefeller center that there is an alternative!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Delirious Hem's third annual adventskalendar...

...curated by the lovely Susana Gardner is now up for your (delirious) delectation.

Take a peek...erm, a listen!...every day in Dec. through the 24th!


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Film studies

To Live & Die in L.A. had a really really really really REALLY stupidbadawfulimpossible ending, but Gil Grisom was pretty hot and I enjoyed the wardrobes, cars, hairstyles, the "evil artist" as played by Willem Dafoe, and even the music by Wang Chung.

In other words: 1985.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

OK, enough

The "mundane" project has run it's course.

Probably you were not actually reading all that.

It's hard to stay strictly "action-oriented"--and difficult not to embellish or edit for effect, etc. These are literary habits. Eh, so I'm a writer. Knew that.

But I really shouldn't complain about my job so much. I've been doing it too long to find it challenging, true, but that's sort of the benefit of it. I can leave it at the office. I almost never think of the office when I am not there. And the people in my department are creative and easy to get along with. It's flexible, yet steady, and the pay is fine. I actually do enjoy it too. Describing things is a pretty decent job for a poet.

I sound grumpier than I really am in these, which is sort of funny. I think because I tried to intentionally cut myself off from writing much about how I was feeling/thinking and focus on what I was doing. Somehow that was easier with more contented thoughts and observations. The grumpiness, in other words, seemed more remarkable. I suppose that's lucky.

On the other hand a few "sweet" moments with S came through too. So I guess the middle-register stayed mostly out and the highs/lows snuck in. OK.

I'm going to work on being more organized (especially on commuting days--there's lots of "wasted" time, even if I feel like I'm always going going going). And that procrastination habit--alas, lifelong--well, I'll work on that too.

Hi blog.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Decided not to record any activities unless they are sufficiently different from previous days; so insert "morning routine"
Except: checked election results while drinking coffee. OMG Maine, you suck! But OK, Washington, we'll take it; and NY-23 too, I guess. VA not surprised, and I knew that last night.
Morning routine continued
Breakfast: S had bowls of rolled outs with dried fruit set out when I came downstairs, so I finished them with frozen strawberries, cashews, soy milk & zapped them while making lunches
Morning routine continued; S grumpy about elections too, but also because he's going to miss the 8:57 train
Morning routine/train commute/etc. Nothing of note, except that I am once again not in the mood to work on the train, especially with that raucous 12-man party on their way to the World Series a few seats ahead, spanning both sides of the aisle
Walked from Penn to office, stopping for coffee cuz I guess I need extra today
Arrived at work; hit by too-high heat the moment I entered the floor, ugh
Finished "status updates" for yesterday, quickly
Decided not to call these "status updates" anymore, & thought about how difficult it's turning out to be to be strictly "action-oriented" and "purposefully mundane"
[Worked (that blouse from yesterday is still UGLY); hours passed]
Had trouble concentrating; frittered away time with poetry blogs via Google reader, vegan blogs, not really interested in anything, news, etc.
Emailed with Jen
Ate lunch at desk: big green salad of arugula and butter lettuce, with tomatoes, carrots, and smoked tofu, with lemon; 1/2 red pepper stuffed with hummus; should have put in some cucumber, forgot
Then went out to park to read, setting timer for remaining 20 minutes; too cold to really be enjoyable, and they're putting those "holiday shopping" kiosks up in the park
Back to work 3 minutes before alarm; sun behind cloud = too cold
Emailed with S; again with the vacation stuff; frustrated he won't make a decision but also glad we habitually decide things together, so opt not to be annoyed
Worked through afternoon, mostly [hours passed]
Forgot to say what outfit I picked: short/wide-sleeve mulberry cowl-neck sweater with buttons on the shoulder (liked it so much I also got black), with chocolate cords & chocolate ankle boots (all footwear is vegan unless otherwise mentioned--i still have a few pregan pairs i wear to work sometimes); felt the need to be a little tough today because of my pouty mood
RE: this MOOD the past couple of days...hormones don't play. Can I get a secular equivalent to "amen"?
Starting to spend parts of my day mentally listing things for this "mundane project;" which is *almost* like living in the moment, except sort of stupid & self-conscious
Already fantasizing about how to spend my next two "free" days, when I "work from home"--alternating between determination to be productive to romantic thoughts of lounging, reading, writing and cooking; interesting that I consider writing a leisure activity, but when I start thinking of it as work I'll probably procrastinate; deep mental sigh
As it stands now, I procrastinate on work and practical shit, and leisure time, i.e. writing time, gets frittered away in stall tactics; hmm, yes, this *is* illuminating but I am breaking my project rules
Because my habit is to try/hope to be interesting, even here, which is supposedly not the point of this project; I CAN'T STOP PERFORMING
Worked some more; thought how silly very tall models over 30 look in frilly dresses, i.e. this is how I feel in them and I am projecting? No, they really seem too girly for grown women; I do not like this trend.
Considered sponsoring a turkey from Farm Sanctuary; cue "running a sanctuary" fantasy, briefly
Worked some more; shit it's 3:15, get busy! Must demonstrate productivity in status update at end of day.
Stopped working at 6:00, status update sent; walked to Penn
Caught train; read news/emails on the train, read some more Why They Kill
Rode home in car
Changed; watched news, half-assedly
Made dinner: artichoke hearts, arugula, tomato, black olives w/ ww spirals
S cleaned up; Michael Musto's Palin gag was dumb; Dan Savage on Obama re: gay rights: "not a fierce advocate...not doing squat"--gotta agree there
Turned down heat, washed, brushed, etc.
Read in bed; lights out at 10:30ish

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Status updates

Woke after only one snooze, because we had to make time to vote
Chilly, dressed in robe
Went downstairs for coffee; not ready yet
Saw unopened package from poet on table; eek! reminded me I needed to send her something back
Opened package and looked through chapbook while waiting for coffee; received coffee
Drank coffee while reading chap, checking email (deleting, not answering), checking weather, & looking over sample ballot
Campaign-worker friend texted to remind us to vote; joked with her about opponent & wished her good luck at her site today
Read candidates' statements on back of ballot by previously unheard-of candidates: libertarian likes pot legalization and gay marriage but also wants to abolish public schools and all taxes; one of the independents bills himself as "one man on the Internet" and spends part of his 500 words recommending his favorite you-tube videos, ooooookay; finished coffee :(
Jumped up to go shower; washed hair (roots only), conditioned, combed, etc.
More grooming; moisturizing
Dressed in outfit chosen during shower; not pleased; changed into alternative outfit; still not pleased; added belt. That's better: short-sleeve turtleneck sweater in "Prince Purple" (remembered the tag), black ponte knit trousers (admired fit), black flats with trouser socks, wide black faux reptile belt (yay Betsey Johnson) over sweater; considered; judged uninspired but serviceable for work & I gotta get movin
Downstairs to make breakfast x 2: half grapefruit, half banana, watermelon chunks, whole grain toast with peanut butter, carrot juice
Ate breakfast with S; took multivitamin, D2, and vegan DHA; discussed grapefruit's weird interaction with some drugs, none of which we take, and some other estrogen-related effect I can't remember but am not worried about
Cleaned up breakfast things, sort of; no time to empty & reload dishwasher
Brushed teeth
Repacked bag with book (from bedside), all other things still in bag from yesterday
Put on coat
While waiting for S, went to front porch and used ladder to finish removing skull banners from Halloween
Folded ladder; no time to put back in closet on back porch
S came out; grabbed my bag and two packages for post office
Walked to post office on the way to our polling place
Walked to polling place; damn, we could have driven and saved a few minutes--plenty of parking
Chatted with elderly election day volunteers, one of which asked about my accent
Voted, #157
Waited for S to vote
Walked back to house; got in car
Rode in car to train station; applied makeup in car; listening/discussing Atlas Sound CD
Parked, waited for train
Caught train; read news on phone; checked political blogs, mildly fretting re: election in NJ and gay rights initiatives in ME and WA
Stared out window, enjoying sun on my side of train
Listed to S laugh; noticed his ears turned red he was laughing to so hard and his book; adorable, said so, receiving embarrassed mock scowl
Messed around on phone some more; didn't feel like pulling out book or Bloof MS with only 15 minutes left
Arrived at Penn Station
Walked to office--warmer today! Sunny!
[Hours passed, uneventfully]
Thought about where to get lunch, and wondered if it were warm enough to sit outside
Decided, left building; answer to warm enough question: not really
Realized that right now is best time to be walking though Times Square; summer/fall tourism seems slack, Xmas madness not yet begun
Smiled at a family posing for pics with Spongebob Squarepants (with cute pedicab driver looking on, laughing)
Got lunch; scored a small table by window
Ate lunch: steamed collards, kale salad with pumpkin seeds, marinated mushrooms, hummus & small carrot-ginger soup
Browsed Facebook accounts, made a couple comments; looked through high-school friend's retro photos
Browsed news; no election updates
Finished lunch; walked back to office without zipping coat; the sun was awesome today
Washed hands, primped, etc.
Made green matcha tea (thought how sweet it was for S to pack tea box for me last week because I always forget--this experiment is making him look good! :))
Got back to work, enjoying tea
Boredom soon set in
Problems with photo server
Browsed recipes for cabbage on Vegetarian Times (great free database and you can click vegan)
Worked some more; not many emails today (to go unanwered, ha ha)
S emailed re: possible vacation spot; I agreed, but we decided to wait for more replies
Worked some more
Hit the proverbial wall upon seeing a top and thinking "Wow, that's hideous" and deciding I should stop writing for the day
Texted S to see if he could leave yet
Walked to Penn Station
Waited for & caught train
Checked for election results on phone; nothing yet
Read on the train: Savage Season (almost finished); too brain dead to work on Bloof stuff; My attention span for anything technical is pretty short after a full day of describing garment details, them's the breaks

[Finished Weds. morning:]
Rode in car from station
Arrived home; changed
Snacked on hummus & flax crackers because I didn't feel like making dinner yet
Turned on MSNBC to check election news; watched part of Keith; watched part of Rachel; fretted Christie was ahead; no news on ME or WA yet
Made dinner: quickie stir-fry (without the fry) of napa cabbage, red pepper, carrot & tofu with leftover brown rice; ate watching Rachel
Three truffles to ease election fretting
Cried out in pain when MSNBC called NJ for that asshole; retreated to bed in dismay
Washed, brushed, read until Savage Season was finished; started Why They Kill; too grumpy to get into it; went to sleep surprisingly quickly

Monday, November 2, 2009

Status Updates

Woke, oh shit a little late, when husband came upstairs to say coffee was ready
Sleepily hated Mondays
Brrrrrr, dressed in robe
Went downstairs, found coffee waiting by my chair :)
Drank coffee, checking weather and deleting email
Realized again how bad I've become at *answering* emails
Thought about what to wear to work while finishing coffee
Showered, washed & combed hair; twisted up in a bun to let down to dry on the train
Dressed, changing twice: teal cowl neck dress with black buttons, sheer black pointelle tights, black boots
Back downstairs to make breakfast: rolled oats in a bowl, with dried fruit, frozen raspberries, frozen mango chunks, soy milk & cashews (microwaved on reheat) x 2
While microwaving, made 2 lunches: green salads with tomatoes, carrots, steamed broc & cauliflower, lemon + then heated black eyed peas for 2 thermoses
Ate breakfast with husband
Brushed teeth, applied makeup
Packed bag with lunch; packed purse with Savage Season by Joe R. Lansdale (because I finished The Princess of Burundi last night), Bloof project, etc.
Cleaned up kitchen
Drove to train station with husband riding shotgun
Waited for train, laughing at a guy rocking out on his headphones
Caught train, secured good triple seat; spread out and began reading while husband worked on the laptop
[an hour goes by]
Arrived at Penn Station
Walked from Penn Station to office (brrrrr! colder than I thought! glad I have gloves in my pocket.)
Arrived at work; sifted through off-day emails, addressing in order of urgency
Checked email; worked
Wandered around the floor, bored
Noticed a new water cooler had replaced old shitty one; got a drink, reusing the paper cup I keep in my desk
Emailed with Sandra
[hours pass]
Pouted because it was too cold to take my lunch outside; decided to go downstairs to 6th floor's kitchen since 13th's is loud, small & centrally located
Read more Savage Season while eating lunch. Mmmm, beans were still hot. Mmm, I was the only person in kitchen.
Washed & dried lunch things; washed hands; primped in restroom, etc.
Returned to desk
Clocked lunch for timesheets
Peeked at a few blogs and Facebook; nothing much happening
Skimmed news headlines; ditto
Reminded myself to vote in the morning; briefly indulged in negative fantasy re: outcome; mentally threatened the state of Maine & Washington but allowed myself to feel somewhat hopeful on those
Got back to work
[hours pass]
Emailed with husband about possible vacation plans for Thanksgiving
[hours pass]
Bored to the point of sleepy by "official Olympic-themed wear" by designer brand (ugly + expensive)
Everyone seemed to be in a meeting; appreciated not having to be there too
Completed today's work
Bored (work is the only place I am ever bored)
Deleted some emails; again, answered none (too busy to spend sufficient time on them)
Left 10 minutes early
Walked to Penn Station; seemed warmer
Met husband in station; caught train
Made short grocery list; out of everything but not in mood to do full trip
Read Huffington Post on my phone; found everything irritating
Rejected reality for fiction, again; more Savage Season
[a hour passed]
Rode in car to library so husband could return a book; rode to grocery store
Shopped, including dinner fixins
Rode home, watching for deer or foxes; saw neither
Husband brought in groceries & put most away, while I got dinner together
Ate dinner: 4-grain veggie burgers with fixins, green chile seitan & Mexican squash (all from prepared foods at grocery store since the cupboards were barish)
Husband comes back from clearing dishes with 2 truffles and a bar of dark chocolate (he's psychic!)
Ohhmmmm, sharing chocolate; the bar had dried cherries in it, slightly tangy with the dark bitter 70% cocoa (swooning)
Watched part of Keith Olbermann & part of Rachel Maddow; became irritated but also laughed a few times
Gathered mailing supplies & books for package going out tomorrow
Emailed Sandra
Washing, brushing & in-bed reading (Savage Season) shall commence...now

Sunday, November 1, 2009

2 unrelated facts

1. Gathering is harder than hunting

2. Dust has a scent

Status Updates

Hit snooze
Hit snooze
Redressed in PJs
Downstairs, cat trailing
Realized only enough coffee for one, plotted against husband
Made coffee
Husband concedes, has tea
Felt loved
Warmed soy milk for coffee
Drank coffee, reading The Princess of Burundi and checking email on phone
Took down most of Halloween decorations on the front porch, but left top skull banner up, not feeling like climbing the ladder
Thought again that The Princess of Burundi is not as good as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo but realized it was not fair to compare them just because they are both Swedish
Made breakfast: Polenta with Smart Ground, red bell pepper, onions, garlic, mushroom, fresh sage + watermelon
Ate breakfast, reading & watching husband read unknown book
Cleaned up, emptied & reloaded dishwasher
Soaked a bowl of black eyed peas; soaked a jar of mung beans for sprouts
Washed, dressed for gym, brushed teeth
Paid bills while waiting for husband to dress, wrote rent check while thinking complaining thoughts about landlord
Rode in car to post office to mail rent & Netflix, husband driving
Gym: warm up, stretching, lower body, treadmill running, steamroom, shower, ahhhhhhhhhhhhh, dressed
Rode home
Made lunch: Roots & gourds soup with kale (leftovers), green salad with marinated daikon & red radish, whole wheat tortilla with Field Roast veggie sausage (chipotle)
Printed fresh copy of current Bloof project
Rode in car to coffee shop, husband sure is driving a lot lately, automatically
Abandoned coffee shop, coffeeless, when it proved too crowded
Wandered around grumpy, discussing where else we could go
Arrived at alternative coffee location, secured table, drank coffee, worked & watched husband work
Watched 40s couple on awkward public-place first date in corner; ignored less interesting college customers
Watched 40s man behind husband write in one of approx. 6 small Moleskin notebooks
Worked some more
Startled by beauty of yellow-leaved tree across the street, hit by late-afternoon sun in such a way it seemed lit from the inside--so bright!
Coffee buzz
Became annoyed at college-student girls turning up music & banging furniture to indicate nearing closing time (20 minutes)
Looked up Sunday hours for library
Packed up project
Walked toward library
Stopped at brew pub
Drank one pint Pumpkin Ale to counterbalance coffee buzz; husband had cask-conditioned Nut Brown Ale
Browsed bookstore while husband browsed record store; bought True Crime: An American Anthology (Library of America), a sociological study/collection of interviews Why They Kill, & Chester Himes The Real Cool Killers
Walked to car in parking garage, noticing awesome moon
Rode in car home (again) along back roads, watching for deer; no deer
Ew! Something in the garbage can stunk; took out trash; left kitchen door open to screen
Chopped onion, garlic, peppers, carrots to saute (mmm, much better odor) while rinsing and picking through black eyed peas
Put beans on to cook; watched for boil
Peeled remaining bundle of carrots, rinsed and refrigerated
Cleaned and trimmed 1 head each cauliflower & broccoli; turned beans to simmer & set timer
Steamed 1 head each cauliflower & broccoli
Thought "I haven't blogged in like a month; I am out of practice. I should write a status update."
Thought of George Perec's obsessively detailed food diary; Tom Beckett & Allen Bramhall's days projects
Husband poured two glassed of wine; we both briefly bitched about work tomorrow

[to be continued]

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Do you have an handheld e-reader?

Stanza for iPhone or Kindle? Or something else?

Or do you often read e-books as PDFs on your computer?

If you use any of these things, do you read mostly prose or poetry? Poetry seems difficult to format for Kindle and Stanza?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"For Adults"

I guess the blog doesn't actually have the address, etc. So here ya go, from the NYPL site:
Grand Central Branch NYPL
135 East 46th Street
[between Lexington & Third Aves.]
New York, NY 10017

Sat, Oct 3 at 2:00 pm
Saturday Poets Series featuring
Shanna Compton, Nada Gordon, and Amy King — for Adults

Puhleeze come. I'm gonna read some newish poems.

Monday, September 28, 2009

This weekend / Next weekend

This weekend we went foraging in two different woods near our house. In the first, we amassed a great store of black walnuts, a couple of cups of spicebush berries, a few beech nuts, and ate wild grapes and autumn olives right off the stem. In the second, we hit a treasure trove of shagbark hickory nuts and more black walnuts.

We also met a man walking two dampened shih tzus (it was drizzling) who did for us his very funny fox imitation. They are omnivores and love the grapes. This makes sense since they are canines.

You already know some of this if we are facebook friends. There are also pictures there.

Next weekend, I am reading with Nada Gordon and Amy King at the Grand Central Library in NYC. Details here. (Scroll down to Oct 3.) Looking forward to that, even if nobody will be doing fox impressions, because the performances are sure to rawk.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sandra Simonds in NYC, October 9 & 12

FRIDAY, October 9 @7:30 PM
in Brooklyn

Sandra Simonds reads with Daniel Hoyt, Caitlin Dube, Jackie Delamatre & Tricia Taaca
Hosted by Nicole Steinberg

345 Grand Street (b/w Havemeyer & Marcy)
$5 + one free drink

Nearby Train Stops: L (Lorimer/Bedford), G (Metropolitan/Grand), J/M/Z (Marcy Ave)

MONDAY, October 12 @7:00 PM
in Manhattan

Sandra Simonds reads with TBD
KGB Poetry Series
Hosted by Laura Cronk & Michael Quattrone

85 E. 4th Street

Trains: F/V to 2nd Ave, or 6 to either Astor or Bleecker

Monday, September 14, 2009

Another reason why working at a job sucks

I would sort of like to write later about the panel discussion at the Boog festival, but I can't because I am at work.

Later maybe I will do it, but by then I will have forgotten who said what, and probably even invented some of the things that people never said.

Except Eileen Myles.

In conclusion, I am trapped in a cubicle.

But my mom (all healed up, reconstructed, & noncancerous!) is coming to visit Wednesday through the weekend.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

This weekend in Brooklyn

Saturday & Sunday, September 12-13

Welcome to Boog City Festival & Small Small Press Fair

Unnameable Books
600 Vanderbilt Ave. (note new location!)
Between Prospect Pl. & St. Marks Ave.

Saturday: JENNIFER L. KNOX will be part of the reading. She goes on at 2:10.
Sunday: SHANNA COMPTON will be part of the reading. She goes on at 5:30.

Bloof will have a table at the book fair both days, and will also be doing readings Saturday & Sunday. Full schedule (pdf) here on on Facebook here.

Poets and musical acts performing nonstop during the 6th annual small, small press fair, which will also have readings from poets representing the exhibiting presses. Day will also feature two poets in conversation with each other.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

When I said once that "I could never be rich, because I wouldn't want to do the things required to become rich," this is some of what I meant. (Though Anne means a lot of other things in her post too. I love when she writes about money.) I was told my attitude was difficult. It is.

Anything I have ever done to earn more than "enough" money has twisted me up, at least a bit, because the work I do/did caused someone/s to suffer, or upheld a wrong idea or power, or squandered a thing too beautiful or necessary to be squandered for such a stupid purpose, or caused a person to perceive a new lack. My work is getting people to believe they need and desire things.

I hate thinking about money long enough to save any, or make any plans with it. So it all just sort of comes and goes. I spend it "wastefully," on hopelessly unprofitable or ephemeral things. On getting away from the making of it (vacation) and the feeling of it (foods & drinks & fashions). And so many books.

At the same time, terrified of not having any, a fear--a real red panic--that comes from sometimes having not had any, that achy embarrassment. From the times in the kitchen my mother cried or whispered into the phone or traded her time for our new shoes or married again the wrong man.

S makes money with more determination, but also the same panic and remorse. We plan escape after escape. We pretend someday things will be different. We shyly admit we'd like to have "enough" to be able to not have to do the things required, or that we could (eventually?) make some with our writing somehow.

This is not all about money, but money has become the only recourse to shape, correct, prepare, relax, be otherwise. But to get it, you can't. And so on. When we have everything we need and too much of what we want we start to feel shitty BUT ALSO BETTER.

Poetry (and making books of it) does not twist me in this way. It helps. I confess I like that there's no money in it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It is my learned opinion that the opening
line of "Plum Poem" (circa 2009)
by Drew Gardner makes the work
instantly canonical. Also,

when the poet writes
of the "woolly peach / Hang[ing]
on thy body, that every child
may be" the poem obviously becomes

awesome, reaching new heights of literary
achievement with its poignant portrayal
of the beloved's [Gray Davis's?] testicles,
a too-little praised and downy region

capable of endangering Little Disciples Onesies.
Gardner's whimsical messages
will make friends and family smile
but plumless readers may regret their fuzzy lack.

Five stars!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Untitled whizbang doodad

          For the ladeez of Flarflist

As a poet, my disco is raging.
I felt all kind of tiny inside
reading your letter, like my brain
was too tight or as if
your decadent scent (like facial skin)
faded too quickly from the night air.
Dear I'll never forget how you
stared with that spangled string
of morning-hump drool down dangling
just below your plump
Smurfette's snatch tattoo,
an utter delight to my menses,
a paramour befitting Buck Owens.

On genre fiction, or at least that's how this began

This is all fun to read at Elisa's blog.

I started this as a comment but it got too long. I have not yet read the posts at HTML Giant.


I like a lot of genre fiction (& movies).

For instance, Peter Straub is really excellent (just read The Throat and now am going back to do Koko and Mystery (which both come before The Throat, whoops)--these are murder mysteries, not his horror stuff, though I've liked those too, the ones I've read. Straub is a poet himself and has dedicated books to Ann Lauterbach and Charles Bernstein; he also drops in lots of nerdtastic jazz, art, and fashion miscellanea.) Are my parens all closed? OK.

I began reading adult horror and scifi novels in 4th grade when I ran out of Nancy Drews and Oz series novels, so I get where Matt sits w/ the Star Treks, but it's not just nostalgia or anything. Actually, I still read young adult junk, but never ever the realist stuff (which often seems so didactic or patronizing it just makes me sad to look at and wow are the covers ugly).

Like Reen I also loved Jonathan Strange & Mister Norrell though it's more like what Jeff means by lit-w/genre elms, a shelf in which I'd include oh say Jeffrey Ford, Steve Erickson, Margaret Atwood, Haruki Murakami, and some Le Guin, etc. As for swords, I just read the whole Earthsea series by Ursula K. Le Guin (WIZARDS!!! DRAGONS!!! AWESOME!!!) and I'm an alt-reality-with-plenty-of-aliens Octavia Butler fan. I pretty regularly read crime stuff, scifi (Gibson/Dick area, no space wars I'm with you there, Elisa) and psychological thrillers, even read true crimes sometimes. But I also read "experimental" and "literary" fiction.

Books with any of these shelf tags can range from shitty to stellar--I guess that's pretty obvious to say.

Admitting: I do not read romance. I have not tried in quite some time (jr. high perhaps, when my step-gran's books were lying around looking all irresistibly erotic, but pretty much all pissed me off in the end with unimaginatively stifling female roles). Has that changed? Please recommend if you know any good contemporaries, but doesn't Nora Roberts just lift whole sections out of other people's romances and nobody really notices for a while? And WTF genre does V. C. Andrews count as?


Maybe I have the opposite bias. Because I really can't stand a lot of what passes as "literary fiction" anymore, if it's that white-guy-on-a-downward-spiral kind of thing (ew, Updike's Rabbit ad Nauseum, or what Jim Harrison called at lunch once "nifty men at loose ends") or wife-recovers-from-husband's-affair-by-traveling-the-world-or-at-least-France formula (uh, a genre?). I almost require a magical creature or serial killer or feisty female detective or alien lover to relieve that sort of tedium. David Foster Wallace's absurdity will also do very well, thank you.

A lot of literary fictioneers seem more interested in "good prose" than plot or characters. Perhaps it's passe to enjoy plot and character, but I give not a fuck on that score, y'all. Genre fiction seems to favor the inverse: plot and character over "literary craft"--that's a key difference maybe? But there's now a generic idea of "good prose" that seems to translate to "serviceable but inoffensive." I'd so much rather be offended please; do go all McCarthy with the native tongue, you can't hurt it, it springs right back and we all might get lucky. I just don't want to be bored inside a book. There's a special hell for authors of meticulous craft but insipid imagination. Somehow when even when a genre book is bad I feel more inclined to forgive it, because it more than likely can at least be distilled into an entertaining summary & the movie will probably kick ass.

To be clear: I adore a really great sentence. Sometimes I swoon. But that by itself is not enough, nor is it even most important to me as a reader. I'm really fond of straight up "literary fiction" when it's good, and if it swings genreward like Thomas Kelly (Empire Rising, Payback, and The Rackets) or Jess Walter (uh, his new book is called The Financial Lives of the Poets? Sept 22 will find me in line at the bookstore) I'll stick my nose in it gleefully.

Gosh, I'm opinionated.

But Shakespeare (like Reen says too) and stuff like Don Quixote feel just like the good genre stuff to me, really.

Nowhere in this post do I say or intend to imply that writers of ___ are "worse" "craftspeople" than writers of ___. I am indeed grossly generalizing to repeat the conventional split along the plot/language line, and I am indeed sort of saying that if there must be a split, which I really would prefer there not be, I'll take the conventions generally associated with genre. It's so much fun to talk out of one's ass!

I haven't typed this many paragraphs outside the office in approximately 3 weeks. Now that I have, I realize this post could be retrofitted with a few tweaks to explain my preference for, say, Flarf or Jennifer L. Knox or Danielle Pafunda over poems about a guy at his kitchen table thinking about a conversation he once had with a squirrel he nearly hit with his ex-wife's aging father's orange Volvo (so vivid!) or gauzy phrasal drifts scattered in just the right magical configuration to allow "the reader to supply her own meaning."

And to be clear: I have nothing against orange Volvos or white space either.

guess I was wrong

thinking I haven't written
"as much as I used to"
missing the monthslong streaks down spooky

because I am giving Scrivener (go google it, a writing app for mac) a test drive,
pulling together all the stuff I can find in various folders
transcribing scraps and notebooks
& without even doing the two most current spirals yet
I find pages

in the one

& dozens of hungers
trailing fat crumb

as if I
(or someone quite like her)

indeed puts alphabetic bits
& fluff strings
into place
after place
after all

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

This post has no title

(Photo by Nicole Steinberg)

I'll be heading for the annual Maine sojourn in a couple of weeks--even further out in the islands. I hope my iPhone won't even work. Or maybe I will just make a vow not to use it at all.

I will spend most of my time kayaking and hiking and reading and cooking. I will spend a significant amount of time working on a new book, because I decided I should have one--in fact, already have one in progress.

I forgot to mention I have poems in the new behemoth LIT, the happy-birthday yellow 10th Anniversary edition. I invited Caroline Knox and Maureen Thorson to join me for the former-editors' retrospective. And the rest of the issue (huge, as aforementioned) looks to be super too. I just got my copy Saturday, and am slowly going through it. Congrats to the current staff on a terrific celebration of "our" journal's decade! (And please note and bookmark the new website.)

Seeing a couple of my own poems in LIT forced me to realize I have been a brat about sending things out, even when I have been kindly invited. I don't do this on purpose. The weeks between invitation and deadline just drift by and nothing goes in an envelope or email. I will try to be better about this. Maybe I'll think about that in Maine too.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A kid I knew, whose mother

was stabbed by a stepfather and whose brother was shot at a football game while I watched, he came down the stairs, or his lookalike maybe, was coming down the stairs in this mall we were in, with another kid behind him, and a woman, all carrying clothes with hangers dangling. So I said, hey what are you doing but the woman pulled her gun. I told everyone to get down. When the bullet ripped over the top of my head I felt my scalp open, but I knew I wouldn't die. I won't die, I assured everyone. I felt for blood and wasn't disappointed. I wondered where the inappropriate palm trees came from. Their shadows were sort of distracting.

So I looked down then, thinking I'd have blood on me. My green tee shirt said I RAN TRACK AT MINEOLA PREP. I thought, I'll have to shave my head for the surgery. It's my chance to grow it back in blond. I was thinking, It's been twenty years since I've been a blonde. And where'd that kid go? I forgot to say bye.

The argument is love.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

On "the Flarf issue"...

...of Poetry: 1) I haven't seen it, but I know many of the flarf poems included therein becuz I'm a privileged cabalist, and 2) Stan's review is funny.

Someday, maybe even someday soon, I will write a poem. Possible when the sun stops playing grabass with the clouds.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Earning for Yearning art project by Kari F.

do you miss your childhood dog/cat
do you miss your grandparents in Florida
do you miss your sister in Chicago
do you miss your lover in Louisiana
do you miss your orthodontist in Arizona
do you miss your mountain in Utah
do you miss your best friend in Maine
email EarningForYearning@gmail.com
tell them all about it they will buy you a plane ticket for the reunion

Down on the farm

Ah, country living. A snippet from this week's CSA newletter:

"This has got to be the craziest warning we have ever had to issue: Due to the wet spring, snapping turtles have been found in and around the farm market area (lSaturday night we found one on our porch stoop!). There have been three sightings in the past three days. PLEASE DO NOT APPROACH A SNAPPING TURTLE AND DO NOT LEAVE CHILDREN UNATTENDED IN THE PICNIC AREA, PYO FIELDS OR LAWN AREA. ALSO, DO NOT ALLOW CHILDREN TO VISIT THE PORT-A-JOHNS UNATTENDED."

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


It is more difficult to sustain a fling with language than a romantic might suppose.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

After great stress...

...an unmotivated feeling comes?

Cranking and cranking, but I just won't turn over.

Perhaps it's because NJ seems not to have realized it's June. Enough with the rain and chilly air!

Deviant Beach Reads

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Weekly Box: Weeks One & Two

Our CSA membership has just started up for the season. The first week our share was a mere 1/2 pint of pick-your-own strawberries and two lettuces--but OH what strawberries and lettuces. Last Friday, our second week, the haul was more substantial. Three beautiful lettuces--one green leaf, one red, and a spiky red-tipped variety--and a full-to-overflowing quart of PYO strawberries. (Not to mention the ones we ate while picking.)

So while the goods are super fresh, the menu's not too complex yet. There's really nothing more to do than rinse and eat.

However, I did make a raw strawberry tart. The recipe is based on this one from Matt Amsden's Rawvolution, but I used less agave nectar on the berries. Just enough to make 'em shine. I don't have any small pie tins, but that Pyrex refrigerator dish I found at Goodwill a couple weeks ago ($2!) redeemed the tart's fugliness somewhat & anyway one bite and who cares what it looks like? Mmmmm.
Strawberry Fields Forever
From Rawvolution by Matt Amsden

For the crust:

2 C raw almonds, finely ground in a food processor
1/2 C agave nectar

For the filling:

1 1/2 C strawberries
1/4 C agave nectar [I used much less]

To make the crust:

in a mixing bowl, combine the ground almonds and agave nectar, and mix well. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom and sides of a 5 inch pie tin.

To make the filling:

in a food processor, slice the strawberries with the slicing disc. [Unnecessary! I used me trusty knife.] Transfer the sliced berries to a mixing bowl, add the agave nectar, and mix well. Spoon the mixture into the pie crust and serve.

Things are looking up...

...and I have the next four days to spend making an effort.

Today all of my emails will begin with "I'm so sorry it's taken me so long...."

I'm reading George Sand's Journal Intimé, which I picked up at the I-forgot-to-mention-how-awesome Book Barn, a must-stop indoor/outdoor wonderland for bibliophiles in Niantic, CT.

She makes me almost miss my own journal, which I abandoned for love. (Can only withstand a single confidante.). But I'm also so relieved not to be as emotionally stormy as that former me. She's thirty in it, and "still beautiful." Exhausted at the ass-end of her affair with Alfred de Musset. In letters she never sent, she throws herself wholly into romantic indulgences, manic highs and lows. I don't agree she never meant the pages to be read--hers is a literary performance. She feels both proud and enthralled by her passion but also somewhat ridiculous, which are the times she flashes with rage.

Earlier I repaired the vacuum cleaner, and I'm feeling sneezy. What a contrast, eh?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

O, May, good riddance

Well it wasn't all bad, what with this gorgeous weather, some running & hiking, a road trip to a wedding, those lovely betrotheds & friends, & plenty of flowers & pets & a husband who makes breakfast to take out on the patio.

But of hospitals I've had enough, and bad news too.

It started in April, really. An uncle died, & though I barely knew him it hit Mom hard & only days after her own cancer diagnosis. Then Jake died (& we still don't know how), & Craig got lost, both hometowners. Hardly knowing what we were doing, we flew to Texas for the surgeries, stayed through the complications & tried to sleep despite all those beeping machines. We drove a rented van full of women back and forth and back and forth and back, along 287 to Fort Worth, twice a day. We answered the phone sometimes, forgot all the strangers' names. We were glad to be sisters.

Last week we relaxed a bit, finally at home. Then this afternoon, Mom's saying how terrific she feels, when WHAM--two aunts (her sisters) rushed to two hospitals with divergent & serious complaints. (They're stable for now.) She got in the car, split into two by the size of the state.

It's all enough to throw a girl (& I can say that) pretty far off course. But here are some pictures (just the camera phone, nothing fancy).

Mom's canna lilies blooming

Mom's more cooperative dog

Mom's cat climbing a ladder

Um, don't eat these

The river today

A deer I surprised during my run today

Saturday, May 9, 2009

On tomorrow

It's been a rough week for the homeboys, and I'm going back. Going back without going there, not revisiting rethinking redoing reliving. An urgent errand. My mom was supposed to come for a visit this week, come to us. But she needs us to go to her instead, amid a tangle of surgeons of cascading procedures the bills in a fat stack. To mow a lawn, to cook a meal, to change a dressing, to put a car in the shop. To hug a sister. To kiss a niece. To know the heat like a homestate. We think of Jake. We think of Craig. Our Mothers are insert cliche, all true. Think of yours, and tell her you mean it. Momma, we're on the way.

UPDATE: Thank you for your notes & calls, dear people! Mom is home now & doing better, though her meds make her a little nauseated. (Hopefully ginger can offer a fix; I'm going to get some now.) I should be flying home tomorrow afternoon, with back-up sister/aunt/RN friend to take my place as needed. Because there's a certain wedding I'm soooooooo looking forward to this holiday weekend. How in need we all are of a party! Yay love! xo, s

Saturday, May 2, 2009

This Monday...

Got this coming up. This very vegan-friendly restaurant looks fab & the line-up ecclectic. Um, and how can you beat free wine & appetizers?

From the organizers:

The Inspired Word
MONDAY, May 4 @ 7:00 PM

Tierra Sana Restaurant
100-17 Queens Blvd & 67th Road
Forest Hills, Queens
New York City

**Free wine tasting! Free appetizers!
Awesome ambience and food!
A great collection of writers and their work!**

Performers include:

Babette Albin
Diana Arnold
Shanna Compton
Marron Cox
Roseann Geiger
Terri Muuss
Christine Timm
Lauren Willig

MC/Host: Marron Cox.
Assistant MCs/Hosts: Laura Moisin, Aaron Wimmer, Sacia Bodden.

By subway, take the local R or V to 67th Avenue stop (and it's right there between 67th Road and 67th Avenue along Queens Boulevard).

All you need to bring is your love for the written word, but...PLEASE try to do your best to support the restaurant, your servers, and the performing writers.

Mike Geffner

Facebook event page to RSVP

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Great things

1. Last weekend I lost my keys somewhere inside a one-million square-foot Costco warehouse store. THEY HAVE JUST BEEN FOUND.

2. Yesterday was my one-year anniversary of going vegan. BEST DECISION EVER. Never felt better, in both body and mind. (More on this later.)

3. It's a beautiful day. I am going outside to run.

4. I have not yet missed a day in the April poems game. I think this is only the second year (of 5) that I have made it this far without a stumble. So they're drafty, and not all keepers, WHO CARES?

5. My friends are fantastic. I LOVE THEM.

6. These five things are doing a whole lot to buoy me up from under all the crap stuff I am not posting. Much needed!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Second week of April...

...& all we have to show for it is more poems. This kind of wanton abundance must be bad for literature. WE DESTROY CULTURE.

Sure, whatever.

Danielle's poems
Sandra's poems
My poems
Jen's poems (at Ada's blog; check out Ada's & Jason's poem there too)
Anne's stuff

And new podcasts from Edwin Torres, Todd Colby (again), Peter Davis (again), Maureen Thorson here. Plus a bunch more coming up.

Things might quiet down for me this weekend. I've got dental surgery in the morning (the first of three, oh ugh) & will have a few stitches. Since I can't take most pain meds I might be feeling unbloggy for a couple of days. We'll see.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

An Evening of Contemporary Poetry: Conceptual Writing and The Flarf Collective

An Evening of Contemporary Poetry: Conceptual Writing and The Flarf Collective
Friday, April 17 7pm
Conceived and organized by poet Kenneth Goldsmith on the occasion of the exhibition Jenny Holzer: PROTECT PROTECT

This reading presents eight writers associated with two cutting-edge movements in contemporary poetry: Conceptual Writing and The Flarf Collective. The followers of both movements employ technology to write their works, often using strategies familiar to the visual arts: appropriation, falsification, insincerity, and plagiarism. Fusing the avant-garde impulses of the last century with the technologies of the present, these strategies propose an expanded field for twenty-first century poetry. This new writing is not bound exclusively between the pages of a book and it continually morphs from the printed page to the webpage, from the gallery space to the science lab, from the social space of the poetry reading to social space of the blog. It is a poetics of flux, one that celebrates instability and uncertainty.

Featured poets: Christian Bök, Nada Gordon, Kenneth Goldsmith, Sharon Mesmer, K. Silem Mohammad, Kim Rosenfield, Gary Sullivan, Darren Wershler-Henry

This event is free with Museum Admission, which is pay-what-you-wish during Whitney After Hours on Fridays from 6-9 pm.

[Note: it appears that online reservations are no longer available, but tickets might be available at the admissions desk on the night of the event. Inquiries: public_programs@whitney.org or (212) 570-7715.]

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Movie Nite May 1st & 2nd @ Dixon Place, NYC

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More info

First week of NaPoWriMo

The daily poems & podcasts are humming along over at the Bloof blog. There's so much going on it's actually a little hard to keep up. Here's a linktrail to navigate:

Danielle's poems
Sandra's poems
My poems
Jen's poems (at Ada's blog; check out Ada's & Jason's poem there too)
Anne's poems (but start with the corresponding prose work here)

And podcasts so far from Todd Colby, Peter Davis, Reb Livingston, & Michael Schiavo here.

Also, Maureen (as usual!) has a much more complete NaPoWriMo blogroll in her sidebar, here.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Rosy Complexion

Carmen Gimenez Smith dolls up some language from one of my poems to terrific effect here.

Oh, "She will be filthy."

(Thank you for the honor, Carmen!)

NaPoWriMo already has sprung so many interesting things. But who will be the first to podcast, hmm?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Three things

1. The games have begun.

2. An awesome interview with Sharon Mesmer [TOC link; interview is pdf format]

3. I have been reading The Golden Age of Paraphernalia by Kevin Davies this week, and am of the opinion that you should also do this, to enrich your life.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Intro podcast up...

...plus a poem from For Girls (& Others) just warm up the player for next month's festivities.

bloofbooks.com/2009/03/bloof-podcast-player.html (Subscribe via RSS reader or iTunes.)

& the list of podcasters is shaping up. More soon!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spaghetti Squash with Mushroom Ragout & Swiss Chard

20 minutes
Serves 4

Another super simple but tasty odd-and-ends dish into which you can put whatever vegetables you've got on hand. (Just add them in order of hardest to softest, like I've done below.) Spaghetti squash is mildly sweet and sort of lemony, so lemon juice and thyme work well; doesn't really need much else. Here's today's version.

1 spaghetti squash
2 tsp-1 tbsp olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 a large red bell pepper, diced
1/2 a large zucchini, diced
2 slices grilled eggplant (leftovers in my case, but you can also just dice a bit of fresh eggplant)
1/2 tsp dried thyme, or 1 tsp fresh
8 oz crimini (aka "baby bella") mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 large bunch swiss chard, ribs removed and cut into ribbons
juice of 1/2 a lemon
pinch of salt
black pepper to taste
nutritional yeast or Spike salt-free seasoning, optional

Wash and dry the spaghetti squash and prick a few times with a sharp knife. Lay it on a couple of paper towels and microwave it for 10-12 minutes, turning every 3-4 minutes, until the outer shell gives when you press it. (Press it with a towel-covered hand. It's hot!) Remove from microwave and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium low heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add diced pepper and saute another 2 minutes. Add zucchini and eggplant, saute another minute or two. Spread sliced mushrooms over the top of the saute and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Don't touch it for a minute or so, then add thyme and toss things around. Let mushrooms cook and release juices, another couple of minutes.

When all the vegetables are softened, pile the ribboned chard on top of them, squeeze lemon wedges over the greens, and cover the skillet with a large domed lid. (Borrow one from a soup pot or wok.) Allow greens to steam and wilt for a few minutes. Then toss them with the other veggies, using tongs. Add black pepper to taste, and check for seasoning. (I don't cook with much salt; you might want to add some.) There should be juices collecting from the veggies and greens in the bottom of the skillet. Turn the heat to low and keep the lid on so these don't evaporate.

Slice the partially cooled squash in half, lengthwise. (It's still hot inside. Tongs or a towel will help you hold it.) Gently rake out the seeds, but don't go too deep. Once seeds and seed pulp is removed, rake the flesh with a fork, forming spaghetti-like strands.

Place a bed of squash on a plate, top with greens and ragout, and pour some of the pan juice around the plate. Top with nutritional yeast, Spike, or chopped nuts.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


FYI, we're looking at April as 30 opportunities to stun, amuse, titillate, annoy, confound, flatter, coddle, creep out, harrass, tickle, flay alive, and smooch you. Possibly all at once.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Spicy* Sweet Potato Black Bean Soup
6-8 large servings
20 minutes

A fast, filling soup that I make in about a hundred versions. Here's today's. It's superloaded with nutrients--especially vitamins A and C, folate, manganese, iron, and fiber. Plenty of protein too. It's definitely not fancy, but it's nevertheless one I crave regularly in fall/winter.

*Regarding "spicy," remember I'm a Texan. So I find this mildly spicy. Adjust accordingly!

1 tbsp olive oil
2-3 gloves garlic, minced
1/2 sweet yellow onion, chopped (you might like more, I supertaste onions)
1 large jalapeno, minced (remove seeds and ribs for tamer heat)
32 oz can tomatoes, crushed or chopped if you get the whole ones
4 cups vegetable stock (or low-salt commercial boxed veg stock, 32 oz.)
2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed
2 cups cooked black beans (or 1 can, drained and rinsed)
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp minced oregano, or 1/2 tsp dried
1 tsp pure chile powder (if you use a "chili" powder that has anything other than dried chiles, adjust other seasonings)
juice of one lime
3-4 huge handfuls of fresh spinach, about 10-12 ounces (baby leaves or chopped large leaves; you can also use frozen, but soup will take longer to come up to boil)
4-6 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Heat oil in large soup pot over medium heat. Saute onions until translucent. Add garlic and jalapeno and saute until soft and just beginning to brown.

Add tomatoes with juice, stock, and lime juice. Add frozen spinach now, if you're using that. Bring to a boil.

While soup base comes to a boil, microwave sweet potatoes until tender (prick them a few times with a fork first), approximately 6-8 minutes, turning once. Set aside to cool.

Slice cooled potatoes in half and slip off their skins. Dice and add to soup base, along with beans, chile powder, cumin and oregano. Return to boil.

Lower to simmer. Add fresh spinach now, if you're using that, and cilantro. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow greens to wilt and flavors to meld. Check seasonings, and salt and pepper to taste if necessary. (If your stock, tomatoes, and canned beans are salted you probably won't need any.)

Serve with warm whole wheat or corn tortilla, or crumble baked or raw tortilla chips on top.

Yes, April is coming.

And I'm a bit trepid. My poetry muscles have not seen much use lately.

Neither have my email-answering muscles.

I'm just feeling a bit quiet. (Working on some nonwriting goals--so close!--and trying not to worry too much about a family matter that will hopefully turn out to be nothing.)

But I'm going to give it a shot.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Xantippe reviews My Zorba

Danielle Pafunda’s poems dissect the body and psyche, revealing equal parts sinew, organ, scientific experiment and theatrical play. At first read, I wasn't sure if the poems in My Zorba were hilarious or devastating; now I think they map the overlap between the two. These epistolary poems are necessarily fractured and they travel at the rapid speed of thought. A huge source of pleasure is that while Pafunda grounds us in the familiar terrain of the body she destabilizes that ground with absurdity, irony and objects out of context. [...] --Jesse Nissim

Read the rest here.

And then pick up a copy here or at any of these lovely retailers.

See also: Josh Corey on Anne Boyer's Romance of Happy Workers in the same issue, here.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The birds are back

That means it's nearly really finally spring.

Also, now's a good time to check Local Harvest to find a CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) program in your area.

What's better than subscribing to a huge weekly box of delicious, nutritious, local, organic veggies? Only that they're also CHEAP. I've subscribed to a local farm for the last few years at about $14 a week for an Individual Share, which provides more than enough vegetables and Pick-Your-Own berries for the two of us. Since we're vegan, that's the bulk of our grocery bill from May to November! (Family shares generally feed 4 or more, and are priced accordingly.) We donate some of our share to a local food bank and women's shelter, and freeze/dehydrate/can the rest for less abundant months.

Even if you can't imagine a farm being anywhere near you, enter your zip code. In NYC for instance, NJ and upstate NY and LI farms deliver CSA shares into the city, including Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, Long Island City, etc. You might be surprised!

Monday, March 2, 2009


OK, it was more like a snow half-hour. Freelance job waits for no weather, alas!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Portrait by Didi Menendez

(Flickr copyright settings won't let me display it here so click the title to see it there.)

More portraits at Didi's American Poets portrait blog here.

Thank you, Didi!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Josh reports...

...on a presentation by Stephanie Strickland that seems similar to what she showed us at the Poetry Project last week. I picked up ZONE ZERO at the Boog event the week before, but have yet to sit down with it or the accompanying CD.

Been meaning to write about that, and Anne's reading that night too, but have been flustricken and so can only manage sentences like "Urrrrrrrrrmmmmmnn" for the last couple of days.

So later maybe.


One of Anne's animations

"Rates are a lush romantic tale"[!]

TheraFlu + Poetry


Friday, February 6, 2009

Every time I close my eyes

I see Chinatown baubles.

(Why isn't every time like anytime, at least sometimes?)


My lips are sunburned.

OK then

Doesn't anybody else ever giggle when something is not funny? Like when a situation is uncomfortable, embarrassing, horrifying, or simply overwhelming in such a way that a more articulate response is impossible (and would be inadequate anyway)?

If we were cats, laughter would be our vocabulary of purring but also of squeaks and wails. Those more specific, communicative meows we'd save for requesting food or reporting on mice.

Poor laughter. So misunderstood.

Nada on Warsaw Bikini (& more)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

On quality

I have no qualms with anyone using quality as a noun. But OMG it bugs me as an adjective generically meaning, well, "high-quality." As in "quality poems" or "quality publications."

There. A meaningless little rant. I feel so bloggy.

Command performance

This morning I woke up and said: "It's 6:30." But I looked at the clock and it was only 6:28.

But then S said, "You were talking. In your sleep. Again."

I remember what I was dreaming. I'd been robocalled by something like Poemfone (but not that), and mechanically prompted to read a poem--any poem--on the spot. I quickly grabbed a book, which turned out to be a pamphlet, by Ron Padgett. I happened to be at my mom's house in Texas, which is always full of sisters and nieces and nephews and so I went in search of a quiet room. All the while the recording was rolling, but I was verbally stalling, explaining I was finding someplace quiet. I tried the room I sleep in (I've never lived in that house) but it was still loud because it's off the living room where the tv was on. So then I went into the bathroom down the hall, and locked the door, and sat on the edge of the tub, and looked down at the pamphlet and the poem by Ron Padgett appeared sort of blurry, but I could make it out somewhat, so I began to read it, and then the lights flickered and faded and then I thought well I'll hold it up to the window the moon is out, and then I tried again. The whole time the recording has been running. And when I looked at it again the words were clear but the poem had changed, had sort of spread itself out across a grid of grey boxes, but I cleared my throat a bit and began to read.

So that must have been what I was saying in my sleep.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Deja verde

Right now I'm making a pot of Jim Fobel's Chili Verde, except I am veganizing it. I was googling to see if there was a link to the recipe online (because my cookbook is down in the FREEZING basement and I don't want to go get it, though I basically remember how it goes), and the results came up with a post from my own blog--an entry for February 6, 2005. I made it that day too, and it was also Super Bowl Sunday. Freaky!

Friday, January 30, 2009

I'll try to come up with 25 newer random things...

...because I feel like I've done this (or something similar) a few times before. :) I've tagged you back, Steve. But so many people have been tagged at this point, I think I'll just leave it open for whoever else on my friends list feels like responding.

1. For breakfast I had a mango/banana/peach/orange/spinach concoction, having recently joined the Cult of the Green Smoothie.

2. I'm a vegan.

3. I'm probably older than you think I am.

4. I read a lot of science fiction & "speculative" fiction.

5. I also read a lot of nonfiction, lately mostly science/technology, nutrition and food politics.

6. I haven't read much poetry in the last 6 months or so, but it's a phase. I feel it coming to an end.

7. Which also means I haven't written much poetry lately. (Though I've been writing prose.)

8. I can (hand)write with both hands, but their styles are different.

9. I generally write with my right hand though, which is slightly dominant. Many other things I do with my left.

10. I read lips, because my hearing is, shall we say, ROTTEN. But I am not yet willing to spring for 3K hearing aids. (Why, oh why, aren't hearing aids covered by health insurance? They're sure as hell not cosmetic.)

11. At one point I was enrolled in culinary school, but dropped out before my first semester. I love to cook, but didn't really want to be a professional chef. I'm too indolent.

12. In college, my minor was Religious Studies, which I changed to Philosophy because I believed none of it.

13. Most of the rest of my family is very religious. My grandfather was a preacher, and so is my brother-in-law.

14. I'm 5' 11".

15. I've never met a vegetable I didn't like. But I'm a supertaster of onions, so I usually cut them way down in recipes and can only abide scallions or red onion raw.

16. I have a high tolerance for chile peppers.

17. Seventeen is my favorite number (but was not, by any means, my favorite age).

18. I wish I had more time to sew. In high school I designed many of my own clothes, including my prom dresses. My grandmother worked as a sewist, and my mom & aunt are also excellent. I tend to buy fabric, make sketches, and collect vintage patterns, but let them sit in a box in the closet.

19. I began working at 15, to help my single mother with expenses. I worked full time to put myself through both college and grad school (along with the extremely welcome help of fellowships, scholarships & loans each time). I have only been without a job for approximately 6 nonconsecutive months since then, and I'm likely to have more than one job at a time.

20. This is because I hate money. I feel afraid when I don't have any, and guilty when I do.

21. A brief history of my (paying) jobs: restaurant jobs at Whataburger, Alvin Ords Sandwich Shop, Mazzio's Pizza, and Las Casas Mexican Cantina; perfume girl at Dillard's; paving crew for a construction company (at the same time as the perfume job--quite a double life); record store employee, then manager; bookstore employee, then manager; publicity and editorial assistant for a division of Random House; fashion copywriter for J.Crew, Banana Republic & Macy's catalogs and websites (at different times); publicity director/editor/associate publisher for Soft Skull Press; freelance writer; freelance editor; freelance copywriter; freelance book designer. (Most of the poetry-related work I've done has been unpaid.)

22. This list is taking alot of time. I need to get to the gym and then work on a book design assignment, #21 reminds me!

23. I love being outside, but hate crowds and need lots of privacy and quiet. As many things as I love about NYC, living in Brooklyn 12 years was actually quite a struggle for me! I'm happier out here (with the trees!) in NJ, but within pretty easy commuting distance.

24. My favorite color to wear (right now) is purple.

25. I enjoy reading other people's lists, so I hope you make one too.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

& then next week, there is this

Anne Boyer & Stephanie Strickland

Wednesday, February 4 at 8:00 pm
The Poetry Project at St. Marks Church
131 E. 10th St.
New York NY

Anne Boyer is the author of The Romance of Happy Workers (Coffee House, 2008), Art is War (Mitzvah Chaps 2008), Selected Dreams with a Note on Phrenology (Dusie 2007), and Anne Boyer's Good Apocalypse (Effing Press 2006). She lives in Kansas and teaches at the Kansas City Art Institute.

Stephanie Strickland’s fifth book of poems, Zone : Zero (book + CD), was just published by Ahsahta Press. Her latest collaborative hypermedia work, which she will read from, was introduced in Paris and shown at the Zaoem poetry festival in Ghent. She teaches experimental poetry and e-lit at many colleges and universities, most recently the University of Utah, and is working on a book-length sequence of poems, “Huracan’s Harp.”

All events are $8, $7 for students and seniors, $5 for members and begin at 8pm unless otherwise noted. The Poetry Project is wheelchair accessible with assistance and advance notice. Schedule subject to change. The Poetry Project is located in St. Mark's Church at the corner of 2nd Ave and 10th St in Manhattan.

Call (212) 674-0910 for more information.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Drop everything. It's here & also here.

OMG I'm so excited. I still have a purple paper stapled copy which I am never ever losing or tearing but this is the rest and I don't know how many years coming. Will it be worth the wait? I'm gonna put my rep on the line sight unseen and holler OH YES.

I'm just gonna go ahead and plan your life

Tomorrow night, I will be here, and you should probably also go so you are not regretting afterward that you did not:

27 JAN 09 * 6 pm
Ahsahta Press Reading

Kate Greenstreet
Paige Ackerson-Kiely
Susan Briante
Kathleen Jesme
Kristi Maxwell
Stephanie Strickland

d.a. levy lives series
hosted by Boog City
(music, wine, food, free!)

ACA Galleries
529 West 20th St.
5th floor
NYC 10011

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Friday, January 23, 2009

Good thing I make my own peanut butter.

It's just crushed nuts, you know. Got a blender or food processor? You too can be fancy and save several dollars a jar. Anyway, I don't like sugar or salt in mine.

You'd hardly know it from the reports, but Salmonella is fecal-borne. (I just wanted to say that.) It's not like inherent to the peanuts. The problem is cross-contamination, probably mice or something in the production facility. That's also what happened with the spinach, and jalapenos before. Contaminated water and/or wild boar hooves. The boogies are of always animal origin. These reporters should consult some kind of reference book occasionally.

There are peanut-specific contaminants though, notably a kind of mold that is a powerful carcinogen. Yum!

Food reporting is fascinating, but in a way that kind of makes my stomach hurt. I'm now officially a food-politics & nutrition wonk.

Robocall from Clif Bar

How bizarre.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

OK so like I got three immediate emails

Let me explain. No, I did not lose all of my jobs, or even a whole job. My hours just got cut a bit at my main job. But since I have a partner and no children and my partner has a job too I am fine. In fact, I am more than fine and I am really really really really not only aware of this state of things but simultaneously extremely grateful and also kind of ashamed in a way that is so difficult to explain. My only poverty is the fear that sometime I might be poor again. Once you have been poor it never seems very far away, even if it really is!


In 2009 if I do not lose the rest of my job, I would like to take another letterpress class, an advanced one or maybe a digital one where we make the polymer plates from computer layouts and press with those. But it is impractical for me to take another class in Manhattan or Brooklyn on the days that I work and commuting is too far/expensive if I am not being paid. So maybe there is a lettepress studio in NJ somewhere around here or even in Philadelphia would be closer. Do you know of any? I will start looking. Just in case.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

V. Joshua Adams on Katie Degentesh's The Anger Scale

(From the latest Chicago Review)

A thoughtful critique; i.e. one in which the writer is reading the poems in conjunction with a discussion of their formal constraints, rather than merely going on about their (usually misapprehended) methods. Awesome. But I'd add this one qualification: "This bricolage identifies her as a member of the Flarfist collective, a group that [sometimes] exploits Google as an aid to writing." Definitely not always. Maybe not even most of the time. Flarf is not "Google sculpting" or "bricolage"--though as with pretty much every other device or topic or vocabulary or subject-position, it sees no earthly reason to exclude them should they come in handy.

Anyway, get a copy already. (I wrote about it here.)

Monday, January 12, 2009

A box

It's coming on a truck, apparently. Full of photographs I haven't seen in years. Some of places (& people) I, in all honesty, remember only hazily despite enduring them for years. A moth-eaten, a thankgoodness of blank space. Or is it that some things just get crowded out.

Friday, January 9, 2009


(Thanks, Jordan!)

A long pause so far makes up the day, a tofu scramble with red peppers & spinach, mailing labels, the luxury of a second cup. In a little while run a couple miles, count the geese in the field, wash and rinse and wash and fold and make up a spare bed for sister.

I hope I write more in 2009. I feel guilty about it, and about not being able to offer any poems when asked.

Reminder: A lot of people are wonderful.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy New Year from Bloof


Warsaw Bikini by Sandra Simonds
My Zorba by Danielle Pafunda
For Girls (& Others) by Shanna Compton
Drunk by Noon by Jennifer L. Knox

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