Friday, December 21, 2007

I'd Rather Vote for a Potato Than Mike Huckabee Press

Yes, rememember Mike Huckabee? Remember how Chuck Norris endorsed him in an ad? I mean, if you'v forgotten then watch this:

It's like a bad SNL sketch.

But what amazes me more than this clip is that he's still running for president. From a NYT article about Huckabee:

“Who is your favorite author?” Aleya Deatsch, 7, of West Des Moines asked Mr. Huckabee in one of those posing-like-a-shopping-mall-Santa moments.

Mr. Huckabee paused, then said his favorite author was Dr. Seuss.

In an interview afterward with the news media, Aleya said she was somewhat surprised. She thought the candidate would be reading at a higher level.

“My favorite author is C. S. Lewis,” she said.

***

Sad, man, sad.

***


Remember, if you're going to be at MLA in Chicago next week let me know!

***

Oh, photos from my office party. I'm obviously not going to put that many since I don't want to "cross any lines" but:

This is a drink!:


JM:


Me and my previous boss:


Eevryone looks so nice!:

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Pub Crawls Are Lame Press

Seriously, though, if you ever find yourself telling someone you're going on a pub crawl, you should never speak again. Like, ever.

Ok, this post is just to say that if you are going to this year's MLA conference in Chicago, you should let me know.

I will be there.

HANG OUT WITH ME. You, poet.

I will never make you go on a pub crawl. Ever.

My Paddleboat Was Carried off by the Paddlewagon Press

I came home last night and watched the news. The news that was on TV was about a man who had turned blue, Smurf style:

The 57 year old started making the transition from fair skin and freckles to this about 14 years ago. "The change was so gradual I didn't notice it. A friend I hadn't seen in months saw me when I was at my parents' house and said, 'what did you do to your face.'"

What Paul did was use a substance called colloidal silver.

Made by extracting silver from metal, into water with an electrical current, and drinking it, it's billed as something that will cure just about everything that ails you.

Paul swears by it.

"After it turned your skin blue, your still drinking it?"
"Yeah, but much less," said Paul.

Actually Paul doesn't believe drinking this potion caused the discoloration. He believes it happened because he rubbed it on his face to treat a skin problem.
But a medical condition called Argyria has been linked to such discoloration since the days when silver solutions were used as antibiotics.

Whatever the cause, Paul Karason says it's not easy living life as a blue man.
"I do tend to avoid public places as much as I can."

His girlfriend, Jackie Northup says she was surprised at first, but is now used to it. "The only time now I really think about it or notice it if we're out in public and people start staring."

Paul moved to Madera about six months ago after living in Oregon. He says too many folks there weren't nice to him. He thinks people here will be different.

"I hope that they just accept me and learn to like me. And I think that will happen here. Where I was, I rather doubt it would have. This is a different kind of community here," said Paul.

Paul Karason says he hasn't sought medical attention for the condition. He's prepared to live with it for the rest of his life, and he hopes the people who see him out and about will realize he's just like them, only a really different color.

Here is the clip:


What they don't say is if he stopped taking the silver, would his skin stop being blue? And are there actually real medical benefits from ingesting this silver?

I like how his girlfriend holds up the Shrek doll and compares him to Shrek ("lots of heart").

***

I'll be home tomorrow. Have I not been home-home since last spring? Maybe longer?
Mom & Dad, can you make sure we have lots o' wine?! Time to party.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Office Party Press

Tonight is the office party. Which should be entertaining. We all had to get dressed up because, "The Today show will be filming footage of the bar 'in full swing' for a New Year’s Eve segment during the beginning of our Holiday party." So maybe if you are home watching the Today show after New Years you'll see me rocking out, Office Party Style (ok, please don't watch).

If you are not going to my office party, you can go to this:

New York City Small Presses Night

with

Belladonna Books, Cuneiform Press, Cy Gist Press,

Futurepoem Books, Kitchen Press, and Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs


Tues. Dec. 18, 6:00 p.m. sharp, free

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

This is our one event each season in our non-NYC small presses series where
we honor NYC small presses.

Featuring readings from poets from
six of the city's finest small presses:

**Belladonna Books
--Latasha N. Nevada Diggs
--R. Erica Doyle

**Cuneiform Press
--Bill Berkson
--Ted Greenwald

**Cy Gist Press
--Mark Lamoureux

**Futurepoem Books
--Jill Magi
--Shanxing Wang

**Kitchen Press
--Erin Burke

**Portable Press @ Yo-Yo Labs
--Tonya Foster
--Julie Patton
--Nathaniel Siegel

as well as publications available from each of the presses.

There will be wine, cheese, and crackers, too.

Curated and with an introduction by Boog City editor David Kirschenbaum

***

You really can't go wrong by going to that reading. Yo-Yo Labs, run by the fabulous and adorable Brenda Iijima. I bet you she will be wearing a very cute hat tonight. And then Kitchen Press, run by nyc's only Poetry Bear, Justin Marks. And Cy Gyst, with Mark Lamoureux holding down the (ekphrasis-oriented publishing) fort.

Let me know how it goes.

***

I'm heading back to MA on Friday, but if you're in the city check out the reading at The Lucky Cat:

*Friday, December 21st, 2007 at 8 PM*
Hosted by Nicole Steinberg

Featuring:
Daniel Magers
Chloe' Yelena Miller
Adrian Van Young (Columbia University)
Traci Brimhall (Sarah Lawrence College)
Jeanie Gosline (Brooklyn College)

Go Magers, go Magers.

***

Are you feeling a little overwhelmed by the prospects of so many poetry readings? Do you need a vacation? Do you indulge in escapism? Do you like to paddleboat across vast oceans? Are you human? Well, why don't you travel to Indonesia to see the new GIANT rat species they discovered:
Giant rat:


JAKARTA, Indonesia - Researchers in a remote jungle in Indonesia have discovered a giant rat and a tiny possum that are apparently new to science, underscoring the stunning biodiversity of the Southeast Asian nation, scientists said Monday.

Unearthing new species of mammals in the 21st century is considered very rare. The discoveries by a team of American and Indonesian scientists are being studied further to confirm their status.

The animals were found in the Foja Mountains rainforest in eastern Papua province during a June expedition, said U.S.-based Conservation

***

In Germany this old man breeds giant bunnies. I have to say the rat might be more exciting in terms of biodiversity, but these bunnies are damn cute:


***

There are few things I can brag about, but I really want to brag about the Xmas presents I bought for people. I guess I need to wait until after Xmas to get my braggin' britches on.

***

Why am I such a dork this morning?

Monday, December 17, 2007

My Roommate Woefully Calls Himself Captain PukeBeard Press

Ludwig watched Ratatouille yesterday and was inspired to go to the co-op and buy lots of fresh vegetables to follow along with the movie, or rather, the recipe in The Joy of Cooking. He spent a few hours cooking the meal, went to a pot luck dinner, and came home feeling incredibly ill. We think he gave himself food poisoning, although I do secretly believe it must have been something he sampled at the potluck. He spent the next few hours in the bathroom. Sick. At 2am he came out and said, "If I was a pirate I would be Captain PukeBeard." I will never figure out how this man's brain works, but hopefully he's slept off the sickness.

I returned the movie for him.

***

Now for a serious question:

If this movie already exists:
(Breathless, 1960, starring Jean-Paul Belmondo))


Why would you let this happen?
(Breathless, 1983, starring Richard Gere):


Yes, I watched the latter just to see what would happen. Apparently it's possible to dislike Richard Gere even more than I previously thought possible.

***

I was writing long over due papers for a lit seminar class on Ludwig's computer, a refurbished Mac, and it died. Like TOTALLY died. Safe mode died. The death that means you can SEE your word document but you CANNOT open it, get it off the computer, nor have access to the internet since it shut down all systems. I'm losing heart, I don't know if I can re-write these papers again and I can't exactly use the excuse that my computer died, since that sounds like BS.

I feel feverish.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I'm Not Sure Your PaddleBoat Belongs On My Waterbed Press

I've been reading Occasional Work and Seven Walks from the Office of Soft Architecture by Lisa Robertson. I highly recommend you buy this pocket sized book. It looks like this:

Nice, eh?

I'm going to past some quotes from the book below but most of them are more serious in tone and I think it's important to know that there are some terrific moments of humor throughout the essays. These moments of wry wit and self awareness extend an invitation to us to be a member of the Office of Soft Architecture or at least engage in the "office's" discourse. They counteract or balance the other times when it may seem that we're reading a manifesto and its continuation instead of actively being asked to participate and consider where we fit into such a "movement." In the essay Rubus Armeniacus, which discusses the history of the blackberry and nature as ornament to mortality, Robertson writes, “After some study the Office of Soft Architecture has reached the opinion that our alien is the dystopian epitome of the romance of botanical pattern as applied architectural decoration. To illustrate our opinion we’ll ramble through a picturesque landscape of quoted fragments (127).” The "alien" is the blackberry and the "dystopian epitome of the romance of botancial pattern" relates to how blackberries tend to cover, take over, and smother the surfaces they initially seem to decorate and fuse with organic life. Here, you can see Robertson winking at the reader, enjoying her self indulgent, uneconomical language.

The essay, "The Fountain Transcript," begins with photographs of "fountains" seen around the Vancouver area, such as this lackadaisical polar bear spitting water:


5 Specific Quotes I Think Are Important To This Text:

1) “The object of architecture is to give happiness.”—162

2) “The shack is the natural language of architecture.”—179

3) ‘”From the hearth to the field is a great distance.” It is the task of the shack to minimize this distance, in the service of an image of natural liberty.’—179

4) “The shack demonstrates the site-specific continuum between belief and the perception of necessity. We like to remember that politics are collective experiments in belief.”—180

5) “The city is the shack inside out. It choreographs the delicious series of our transience. This is the future.”--185

It’s commonly accepted that often we are unable to disassociate the saccharine coatings of nostalgia with actual historical events and how these lead to an idealized, utopian, false version of the past. When Robertson researches historical landmarks or artistic trends we now romanticize, she consistently finds how commercialism and materialism have corroded the initial concepts while we simultaneously create sentimental associations that become affixed to them. In an essay on the Arts and Crafts-era Ceperly Mansion in Burnaby (British Columbia), she explains, “Arts and Crafts philosophy…created an identifiable style whose formal integrity ironically could eclipse its own concern with regional context to become a highly marketable commodity, advertised through their commission (107).” While she began her project to trace “the city of Vancouver dissolve in the fluid called money,” the essays that compose Occasional Work are far from studies on the dissolution of a city and they are not angry or despondent in tone. Instead, they chronicle, question, and deconstruct different strains of belief in utopias in which we, often unknowingly, become enmeshed.

Robertson sights the development of the shack as a place of limbo or overlap where people can feel that they are getting closer to the (failed) pastoral utopia. Yet, if the “object of architecture is to give happiness” and architecture’s origin lies with the concept of the shack (“the shack is the natural language of architecture”), is the human construct of architecture, which is supposed to provide the possibility of happiness, then based on an unattainable utopia? Is modern happiness possible? Robertson sees us pulling out of this utopian delusion through our connection with and exploration of surface and out ability to re-think it. She sees the surface as an opening, a medium, a space that’s between the object and the beliefs we extrapolate, the politics. Robertson writes from the Office of Soft Architecture, "When we walk in the inscription-splattered street we are interested to question the relation of surface to belief. This question defines our stance as citizens. Thinking about colour we open up a space in the surface, the potent space between substance and politics. A tiny freedom drifts there and we adore it (145)." Surface becomes the place were individual minds meets the matter before we idealize it. We are in direct confrontation with the actual thing. Amongst many other goals, I see this project as a way for Robertson not only to explore the history of surface but to reconceptualize how to find and construct modern happiness, define citizenship, and develop a legitimate sense of freedom.

The following quotes have been divided into six sections: Modernity, Rhetoric, Utopia, The Office of Soft Architecture, Surface, and Nostalgia. These headings are themes that flow through all of her essays. Sometimes the statements negate each other and at other moments they build upon previous ideas and interrelate, I made these groupings to help un-confuse myself as I read the essays so I thought they might interest you.

Utopia:
“The truly utopian act is to manifest current conditions and dialects. Practice description. Description is mystical.”—16

“Nothing is utopian, everything wants to be. Soft Architects face the reaching middle.”—17

“Maybe utopia is memory, unbearably simple and symmetrical and practical. Our suburb flaunts the awkward authenticity of an origin.”—26

“…we need to gently augment the fraught happiness of our temporary commons by insisting on utopian delusion as a passage.”—67

“After some study the Office of Soft Architecture has reached the opinion that our alien (blackberry) is the dystopian epitome of the romance of botanical pattern as applied to architectural decoration.”—127

“Laugier tells a simple story: the retreat from lucid pleasure to protect opacity, then to willed structure. Is architecture a moment to the failure of pastoral utopia, whose greeny bliss only passes, like a tempest? The shack as first principle seems to be a protection against weather and against time.”—177

The Office of Soft Architecture:
“but Soft Architecture expires invisibly as the mass rhetorics of structural permanence transmit: Who can say when the astonishing complicities of the woven decay into rote?...Yet our city is persistently soft.”—15

“Soft Architecture will reverse the wrongheaded story of structural deepness. That institution is all doors but no entrance. The work of the Sa paradoxically recompiles the metaphysics of surface, performing an horizontal research which greets shred of fiber, pigment flakes….”—17

“Soft Architects believe that this site (Lot 26, New Brighton Park) demonstrates the best possible use of an urban origin: Change its name repeatedly. Burn it down. From the rubble confect a prosthetic pleasure-ground; with fluent obliviousness picnic there.”--41

“Dear Reader- A lady speaking to you from the motion of her own mind is always multiple. Enough of the least. We want to be believed.”—68

“We propose a theoretical device that amplifies the cognition of thresholds. It would add to the body the vertiginous unthinkable. That is, pavilions.”—79

“After some study the Office of Soft Architecture has reached the opinion that our alien is the dystopian epitome of the romance of botanical pattern as applied architectural decoration. To illustrate our opinion we’ll ramble through a picturesque landscape of quoted fragments”—127

“The Office of Soft Architecture finds the chaos of variation beautiful. We believe that the structure or fundament itself, in its inert eternity, has already been adequately documented- the same skeleton repeating itself continuously. We are grateful for these memorial documents. But the chaos of surface compels us into new states of happiness.”—128

Surface:
“I tried to recall spaces, and what I remembered was surfaces, here and there money was tarred. The result was emotional. I wanted to document this process. I began to research the history of surfaces. I included my own desires in the research. In this way, I became multiple. I became money.”—introduction

“Surface inflects our gestures. And vice versa. Each belief is an extension of a rhetorical space.”—53

“Consider that we need to drink deeply from convention under faithfully lighthearted circumstances in order to integrate the weather boredom utopic, with waking life. By ‘integrate’ we mean: to arc into a space without surface as if it were an inhabitable, flickering event.”—68

“The problem is not how to stop the flow of items and surfaces in order to stabilize space, but how to articulate the politics of the passage.”—78

“The chaos of surface compels us towards new states of happiness.”--128

“…the surface of the city indexes conditions of contamination, accident, and subordination. We always dream in color. This is part of the history of surfaces.”--139

“We are aligned with surface. We exchange mineral components with an historical territory, less like cyborgs than like speaking, ambulatory dirt.”--143

“Artifice is the disrespect of the propriety of borders. Emotion results. The potent surface leans into dissolution and disrupts volition- it’s not a secluding membrane or limit. To experience change we submit ourselves to affective potential of the surface. This is the pharmakon: an indiscrete threshold where our bodies exchange information with the environment.”—143

******“When we walk in the inscription-splattered street we are interested to question the relation of surface to belief. This question defines our stance as citizens. Thinking about colour we open up a space in the surface, the potent space between substance and politics. A tiny freedom drifts there and we adore it.”--145

149 “they address both substance and the future of bodies. Hence the surface poses a rhetorical index even while temporal contingency renders it partly unaccountable. We wish to face the unaccountable.”--149


Nostalgia:
“The problem of the shape of choices is mainly retrospective. That wild nostalgia leans into the sheer volubility of incompetence. This nostalgia musters symbols with no relation to necessity…Containing only supple space, nostalgia feeds our imagination’s strategic ineptitude.”—16

“Yet stylistically these fountains’ nostalgia is not for omniscience but for unfashionable, minor happiness: in this sense they flood the grid with its countertext. Why shouldn’t we seek to describe happiness?”—55

“Arts and Crafts gardeners argued for the return to a cottage gardening tradition. It’s difficult to judge now the extent to which the vision of the cottage garden, intimate, overcrowded, bursting with nostalgic flora, was a retrospective fantasy of cozy rural origin.”—103

Modernity:
“If the special chronicle of the house and garden can be considered as the gradual discorporation of the propriety of the boundary or wall, perhaps the transient and beribboned rhetoric of the picnic is the most modern of architectures.”—112

“But what we have come to appreciate about this rubus, apart from the steady supply of jam, is the bracingly peri-modern tendency to garnish and swag and garland any built surface it encounters.”—127

“The limitless modification of the skin is different from modernization—surface morphologies, as Rubus shows, include decay, blanketing and smothering, shedding, dissolution and penetration, and pendulous swaggering and draping, as well as proliferative growth, all on contexts of environmental disturbances and contingency rather than fantasized balance.”128

“The economy of the shack enumerates necessity, or more exactly it enumerates a dream of necessity, using what’s at hand. This improvisatory ethos is modern. It is proportioned by the utopia of improvised necessity rather than by tradition."--178

Rhetoric (& words related to building language):
“The potential of these fountains seems to draw towards it a verbal rhetoric of heightened politesse…”—56

“Morris’s was to be a soft rebellion, implemented by art, rhetoric, and consumption. Lifestyle became an ethical category.”—98

“Nature provided an intimate stage for the family; the wall, no longer the determining icon of properties of use, became a rhetoric.”—111

“The plant’s swift rhetorical trajectory from aestheticized exotic, to naturalized species, to invasive alien, all the whole concealing a spurious origin myth, displays a typically hackneyed horticultural anthropomorphism.” 127

“We recognize the dialectic that we believe continues to structure architectural knowledge: Modification vs. Frugality.”--128

“Metaphor inflates an economy. Colour is structured like market. Both colour and market are measured combinations of sentiment and emotion. A political economy appears to contain their instability, but at any moment this structure could be flooded by the randomness of affect.”—142

“Painted, striated, gilded, and charm-decked, antiquity received gestural language, became tactile, and in turn served briefly as the authority for an architectural language of social exchange.”—146

“These architects participated in a broader discourse around polychromy, a discourse radical in its articulation of European history as a spatial accretion of social and material practice…the surface of architecture expressed a historical rhetoric of use. Surface effects were not subordinate to deeper structural ideals; rather structure partially extroverted to itself became a component in the ornamental grammar of the surface. The polychromatic surface communicated rather than suppressed corporal historicity and change.”-149

“..the shack is the natural language of architecture. By natural we mean original. If architecture is writing, the shack is speech….Architecture is derived from the unexpected shack, as language is derived from a vernacular. Or the monad is a spiritual shack. It stores belief.”--180
***

Ok! So now you want to buy it and read it for yourself, right?

***

There is a massive reading at the KGB this Monday with Mark Bibbins, Mark Strand, Charles Berstein, etc etc. BUT, if you're sick of walking up those flights of stairs, if the red painted walls is starting to give you migrains, if the overprices beers are making your wallets weep, come to this instead:

THE NYQ READING SERIES
at Cornelia Street Cafe

Monday | December 17, 2007, 6 p.m.
Joanna Fuhrman, Eileen Hennessy, Chris Tonelli

Chris is reading!

***

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Could Anyone Really Hate Sally Field Press?

Seriously, she looks like the hardest person to dislike.

When she was a teenager as Gidget:


another Gidget photo:


as the Flying Nun:


as the Mom in Brothers & Sisters (tv show, watch it):


is this supposed to be anime of Gidget? I'm confused:


***

I feel a little dirty posting this after the Sally Field extravaganza, but... click on the Spicer document and read the left hand side. A close friend of mine just reminded me of our "esoteric term of endearment." Thank you March 1974:


Welcome to the circle. Where starfish give starfish hugs.

***
I dare you to write a review of Jack Spicer that mentions anime porn and Sally Field. No wait, I really don't ever want to see that happen.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Safe Word is "Don'tEverStopWhatYou'reDoing" Press

My poetry workshop is over for the semester. Everyone had to bring their A game for the last class, which I think happened, so I took photographs of the lines that wooed me:

"Large bowl baby" What? That's awesome, bring it on:


This poem, "[Civilian Life]" is modeled after and in response to Zach Schomburg's "[Opera Singer]." I think this is a killer stanza:


"Each wrong eyelash"!:




"fire like real fire" I feel like I've heard that before, but I don't care because I like it:


I think, though, the climax of the workshop (I can say "climax" and "workshop" in the same sentence because I am not a pervy male professor, suckers) was when a student rhymed "boob" with "boob" because, as he explained, "I couldn't think of anything that rhymed with boob and this poem has to rhyme."

Monday, December 10, 2007

Abandoned baby hedgehogs are too weak to hibernate Press

Aw, poor baby hedgehogs:


There little legs are broken from "chaotic weather." The second hedgehog is more cute/pathetic than I can bear.
(thank you, Ana, for encouraging my animal-love for these guys)
***

Evidence #1: Makers Mark is way too conducive with making tears of joy/blood:


Evidence #2:


***

Shopping time:

Evidence #1 (Bosomy chicken):


Evidence #2 (Jarred fish):


***

Tonight!

DECEMBER 10

Alice Fulton
Nickole Brown
Kathleen Rooney
Elisa Gabbert


at 7:30 pm
at the 11th Street Bar
at 510 E. 11th Street (Between Avenues A & B)
in Manhattan, NY

Go, go, go!

***
and this Thurs!

Thursday, 13 DEC 07 7 pm
Kate Greenstreet with Evie Shockley, Jennifer Bartlett,
Jill Alexander Essbaum, & Jared Hohl
Word of Mouth Series
Bluestockings Radical Books
172 Allen St.
NYC

***

I'm busy reading Lisa Robertson's Occasional Work. Sorry I don't have more to say about it right now.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Your Cookies are Flat & Stuck Together Press

Ludwig looks at the Joy of Cooking but then doesn't follow the directions. Thus, his cookies come out flat, square, and stuck together (and to my pan). When my friends come over, he forces them to try the cookies and "guess what flavor they are." I'm afraid friends will stop coming over.

***
Anyways, I have mini interview on the Ploughshares blog.

Check it out (I'll tell you about beards & archeology).

Thank you Ploughshares for hooking me up.
***

"On a 104 bus headed for the Upper West Side, a spirited 6- or 7-year-old boy was being scolded by a 30-ish woman. 'Why do you insist on behaving like a a 3-year-old?' She asked sternly. His response was equally emphatic and put an absolute end to the squabble: 'Because I still remember when I was 3 years old, and it was my favorite.'"
--David Powers, NYT Dear Diary 1995

***

There is a crazy amount of poetry going on this week & weekend:

Thurs:
Thursday, December 6th 7pm FREE
Teachers & Writers Collaborative
520 8th Ave, Suite 2020
A,C,E, to Penn Station

wine, cheese reception to follow

Brian Kim Stefans' recent books of poetry are Kluge: A Meditation (Roof Books) and What Is Said to the Poet Concerning Flowers (Factory School). A book of interviews and criticism, Before Starting Over, was published by Salt Book in 2006. He teaches new media studies at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and lives in Philadelphia, PA.

Eric Baus is the author of The To Sound (Wave Books), Tuned Droves (Octopus Books, forthcoming), and several chapbooks. He is a contributing editor for PENNsound and publishes Minus House chapbooks. He lives in Denver.

***

I really wish I could go, I've wanted to hear Eric Baus read for some time now.

***

Friday:
Prageeta Sharma is having a book release party
Friday * Dec 7
5pm ---->
Katy Lederer's
331 Sackett Street 2L
Brooklyn * F-line
917-596-8162

***

Prageeta is so cute, I want to put her in my pocket. Not to mention that she's a fabulous poet. I would put her poems in my pocket as well.

***

This reading is going to be killer:
"Oni Buhanan, Adam Clay & Matthew Henriksen" on Friday, December 7 at 7:00pm.

Event: Oni Buhanan,, Adam Clay & Matthew Henriksen
What: Listening Party
Host: Petre's Big Poetry Series
When: Friday, December 7 at 7:00pm
Where: Pete's Candy Store (brooklyn)

***

If you don't go to that reading, you are a fool. A fool.

***

I'll be a fool, but I'll be a fool in Nebraska so at least I have an excuse.

***
I kind of feel like this today:

Monday, December 3, 2007

My Intelligence Is Melting Like Icecream Press

I think because I'm allergic to this weather and haven't been able to think clearly it's making me feel like I'm losing my ability to critically analyze anything I'm reading or learning about right now. There is a small part of me that actually feels part of my brain might be melting away for good. Consequently, I went on a bit of a bender and bought a lot of books. The one that just arrived that I'm most excited about is Judith Butler's Giving an Account of Oneself. The book is described as follows:

"What does it mean to lead an ethical life under vexed social and linguistic conditions? In her first extended study on moral philosophy, Judith Butler offers a provocative outline for a new ethical practice- one responsive to the need for critical autonomy yet grounded in the opacity of the human subject."

I wonder when we have not had vexed social and linguistic conditions? Anyways, I'm excited to read this. I think I might fall in love with this book.

***
The reading at KGB was awesome. Kate Greenstreet told off some drunk hecklers and then everything went smoothly. Poetry is bitchin'.

***

This weekend I saw XG who I haven't hung out with in months. I went all the way up to Columbia. I offered to give him his watch back but he let me hold onto it, which makes me happy. He makes weirder doodles than I do:

XG doodle:


XG:


Other paraphernalia in XG's apt:


***

I played battleship against SH at 4-Faced on Saturday (victory was mine) and also caught up with another long lost friend, MA. We cut the tips off of gloves:


I'm trying to catch up with long lost close friends over the next month or so. More so when classes end, as that is part of the reason they got lost to begin with. I'm working on it. I don't want the people I love to stop believing in how much I love them.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

How Much Do You Love PayPal? Press

I ask about Paypal, because I need you to love it, because I would very much LOVE for you to buy (and love you for buying) my new chapbook, Who Could Forget the Sensational First Evening of the Night.

It's out. $6 and it's yours. "For keeps."

(Uh, I wanted to say that I'm sincerely happy about the poems here because they're all fairly recent and I think representative of what I was working on over the previous year.)

I know that you're sick of your wife, your husband, your fling, your television, your taxman, and you're just dying to fall in love with something NEW. Thus, I offer you my chapbook:

Cover:

So go here, to H_NGM_N B__KS.
That link should take you there. And by "there" I mean both the H_NGM_N B__KS website and also the glorious possibilities of discovery that lie between the neatly stapled covers of my chappy.

Ok, now that I've plugged myself to death...

Man, if I don't see you at this event, on Monday, and I know you live in NYC, you are so lame:

The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel – Second Floor
BOOK LAUNCH READING AND RELEASE PARTY

December 3rd, 2007
7-9 PM
KGB Bar
85 East 4th Street, NYC

Featuring: Hugh Behm-Steinberg, Ana Bozicevic-Bowling, Bruce Covey, Jill Alexander Essbaum, Kate Greenstreet, Shafer Hall, editor Reb Livingston, Justin Marks, Gina Meyers, Carly Sachs, Allyson Salazar, Evie Shockley, and Nicole Steinberg


Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel – Second Floor contributors:

Eric Abbott * Deborah Ager * Malaika King Albrecht * William Allegrezza * Molly Arden * Cynthia Arrieu-King * Robyn Art * Sandra Beasley * Aaron Belz * Erin M. Bertram * Mary Biddinger * Ana Bozicevic-Bowling * Timothy Bradford * Joseph Bradshaw * Jason Bredle * Jenny Browne * Jenna Cardinale * Bruce Covey * Phil Crippen * Susan Denning * Michelle Detorie * Laurel K. Dodge * Mark DuCharme * Peg Duthie * kari edwards * AnnMarie Eldon * Jill Alexander Essbaum * Julie R. Enszer * Noah Falck * Michael Farrell * Katie Fesuk * Adam Fieled * Alice Fogel * Elisa Gabbert * Eric Gelsinger * Scott Glassman * David B. Goldstein * Dean Gorman * Anne Gorrick * Lea Graham * Kate Greenstreet * Piotr Gwiazda * Shafer Hall * Josh Hanson * Nathan Hoks * Donald Illich * Salwa C. Jabado * Charles Jensen * Jim Kober * Ron Klassnik * Jennifer L. Knox * Dorothee Lang * Sueyeun Juliette Lee * David Lehman * Reb Livingston * Rebecca Loudon * Justin Marks * Clay Matthews * Kristi Maxwell * Gary L. McDowell * Erika Meitner * Didi Menendez * Michael Meyerhofer * Steve Mueske * Gina Myers * Cheryl Pallant * Shann Palmer * Alison Pelegrin * Simon Perchik * Derek Pollard * Andrea Potos * Cati Porter * Laurie Price * Jessy Randall * Kim Roberts * Anthony Robinson * Carly Sachs * John Sakkis * Allyson Salazar * Christine Scanlon * Margot Schilpp * Morgan Lucas Schuldt * Patty Seyburn * Peter Jay Shippy * Evie Shockley * Alex Smith * Hugh Steinberg * Nicole Steinberg * Alison Stine * Mathias Svalina * Erik Sweet * Eileen R. Tabios * Bronwen Tate * Molly Tenenbaum * Chris Tonelli * Letitia Trent * Jen Tynes * Michael Quattrone * Ashley VanDoorn * Fritz Ward * J. Marcus Weekley * Betsy Wheeler * Theodore Worozbyt * Kim Young

***
So many fantastic contributors. And the readers that night are great: Myers, Shockley, Covey, Marks, Hall, Bozicevic-Bowling, Greenstreet!

***

P.S. I apologize, but you will also probably get an email blast from me in the near future about the chappy. Sorry...

***

I love this painting of butchers:

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ash of My Puppies Press

So a student in my workshop had a line that blew my dome off last night:

"though it was ash
of my puppies I sowed soft."

I'd grab his shoulders and shake him for joy, but he is a tiny man and looks like a petite, french cabin boy.

***
Promise of the day:

I'll sleep between your shoulders
like a jackknife.

***

I've been reading Anne Carson's Glass, Irony, and God (1992). I bought it many years ago when I was a wee little pup and between then and now, I confused it with one of Louise Gluck's earlier books, which was rather dry and retchid, so I hadn't gone back to it until now. "My bad."

It's separated into 6 parts: The Glass Essay, The Truth About God, TV Men, The Fall of Rome: A Traveller's Guide, Book of Isaiah, and The Gender of Sound.

I was taken by The Glass Essay, The Fall of Rome, and the Book of Isaiah
(not liking The Truth About God or TV Men). I've not yet made it to the final Gender essay (later today, though).

from The Fall of Rome:

What is the holiness of the citizen?
It is to open

***

What is the holiness of empire?
It is to know collapse.

Everything can collapse.
Houses, bodies
and enemies

collapse
when their rhythm becomes
deranged.

***

For, if you think about it,
all first hatred of strangers

contains this idea of death,

of your death which will one day walk up to you
in just such a fashion.

***

What is the holiness of conversation?

It is
to master death.

***

Well, a stranger is someone
who takes dread a little too seriously.

***

From The Book of Isaiah (second page):

Yet I have invented sin, thought Isaiah, running his hands over the knobs.

And then, because of a great attraction between them-

which Isaiah fought (for and against) for the rest of his life-

God shattered Isaiah's indifference.

God washed Isaiah's hair in fire.

God took the stay.

From beneath its meat wings the nation listened.

You, said Isaiah.

No answer.

I cannot hear you, Isaiah spoke again under the Branch.

Light bleached open the night camera.

God arrived.

God smashed Isaiah like glass through every socket of his nation.

Liar! said God.

Isaiah put his hands in his coat, he put his hand on his face.

Isaiah is a small man, said Isaiah, but no liar.

God paused.

Ans so that was their contract.

Brittle on both sides, no lying.

Isaiah's wife cam to the doorway, the doorpost had moved.

What's that sound? said Isaiah's wife.

The fear of the Lord, said Isaiah.

He grinned in the dark, she went back inside.

***

There is a kind of pressure in humans to take whatever is most beloved by them and smash it.

Religion calls this pressure piety and the smashed thing a sacrifice to God.

Prophets question these names.

What is an idol?

An idol is a useless sacrifice, said Isaiah.

But how do youknow which ones are useless? asked the nation in its genius.

Isaiah ponderd the various ways he could answer this.

Immense chunks of natural reality fell out of a blue sky and showers of light upon his mind.

Isaiah chose the way of metaphor.

Our life is a camera obscura, said Isaiah, do you know what that is?

Never heard it it, said the nation.

Imagine yourself in a darkened room, Isaiah instructed.

Okay, said the nation.

The doors are closed, there is a pinhole in the back wall.

A pinhole, the nation repeated.

Light shoots through the pinhole and strikes the oposite wall.

The nation was watching Isaiah, bored and fascinated at once.

You can hold up anything you like in fron of that pinhole, said Isaiah, and worship it on the opposite wall.

Why worship an image? asked the nation.

Exactly, said Isaiah.

A memory fell through him as clear heat falls on herbs.

***
I'd like to have a conversation about this book but I'm not really in the mood to blog about it. But don't you want to be reading this book, too? You can borrow my copy next week if you ask nicely. Or at all.

***

This weekend I might be writing the essays it seems I'm not getting done this week. But if you're you, not me, and don't have to write essays, you can choose between two things this Friday:

1)
The Burning Chair Readings
can’t believe it’s

Maureen Alsop & Jean Valentine

Friday, November 30th, 8PM
Jimmy’s No.43 Stage
43 East 7th Street
Between 2nd& 3rd
New York City

Maureen Alsop’s recent poems have appeared or are pending in various
publications including: Barrow Street, Typo, Margie, Columbia : A
Journal of Literature and Art and Texas Review. Her poetry has been
thrice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She is the 2006 recipient of
Harpur Palate's Milton Kessler Memorial Prize for Poetry and The
Eleventh Muse 2006 poetry prize. Her first full collection of poetry
Apparition Wren is available through Main Street Rag.

Jean Valentine won the Yale Younger Poets Award for her first book,
Dream Barker, in 1965. Her most recent collection, Door in the Mountain:
New and Collected Poems 1965 - 2003, won the 2004 National Book Award
for Poetry. Author of eight additional books, Valentine has received a
Guggenheim Fellowship and awards from the NEA, The Bunting Institute,
The Rockefeller Foundation, The New York Council for the Arts, and The
New York Foundation for the Arts, as well as the Maurice English Prize,
the Teasdale Poetry Prize, and The Poetry Society of America's Shelley
Memorial Prize. She has taught at Columbia, Sarah Lawrence College, NYU,
and the 92nd St. Y, among other places.



or
2)
O Dewey Decimalists! Dear Bibliographic Enthusiasts!

This Friday Lynn Xu, Josh Edwards & Brian Waniewski will

Assign Call Numbers!
Discover Esoteric Subject Headings!
Defy the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules!

Friday, November 30th, 7pm -- FREE!

Lynn Xu received her MFA from Brown University. She was selected by
Fanny Howe to receive the 2007 SLS Fellowship to St. Petersberg, by
Anne Carson for the 2006 Greg Grummer Prize, and by Lyn Heijinian for
the 2004 Eisner Prize. She was also a finalist for 2007 New California
Poetry Series. Her poems have appeared in The Canary, Phoebe, UDP's
6x6, Swerve, and elsewhere. Her chapbook, JUNE, was published by
Corollary Press. She likes water. Likes gold. These are not competing
species so she is very happy.

Joshua Edwards lives in Oaxaca, Mexico, where he is a Fulbright
fellow. He co-edits The Canary and Canarium, a new press. His work has
appeared recently in Practice, Vanitas, Northwest Review, and
elsewhere. He loves his girlfriend and her name's Lynn Xu.

Brian Waniewski was educated at the College of William and Mary, the
Technische Universitaet Berlin and The University of Iowa. He has
posed as a garden designer in Africa, a food consultant in Europe, a
futurist in New York and an academic in rural Virginia, where he built
by hand a timber-frame cabin in the woods. He has written poems for
many years and is currently at work on a novel, which chronicles the
religious conversion of a young egoist.


Only at Pete's Candy Store
709 Lorimer Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
(718) 302-3770

"L" to Lorimer, "G" to Metropolitan.

***

Oi, it's 9am, work begins.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Giant Chair Press

I returned home yesterday, there was a giant chair in my living room. I've been looking for a love seat for some time now, but this doesn't exactly fit the catagory. Also, it's the biggest chair I've ever seen. Ludwig found it and somehow got it into our apartment. When I came home, it was sort of floating in the middle of our living room. And by "middle" I mean, "it was our living room.":

Please note that Ludwig is 6'4'' so the fact that he looks tiny in this chair means something. "something."

Then we had The Great ReLocation:

1)

2)

3)


I've sort of gotten attached to the chair:


Although at first it reminded me of this:


Also, I'm contemplating what to do with my hair. It's getting long. Should I give it a little part? This would be the first time since I was 17!

See the little part?

***

Ok, there are more important things to talk about:
Asterisk 3 (from Fewer & Further Press) just exploded into the world
buy it at: http://fewfurpressasterisk.blogspot.com/ .

No seriously, buy it: Asterisk 3 contains poems by Michael Carr, Andrew Mister, and Christopher Rizzo. Asterisk 1 (Aaron Tieger, Shannon Tharp, and Joseph Massey) and Asterisk 2 (John Phillips) are still available. Alll three can be purchased for $9.

***

I have a meeting with Polito this Thursday so unfortunately I don't think I can attend, but you should if you are not meeting with Polito:

Friends,


On Thursday November 29th, 2007, Dennis Cooper will read in New York City for the first time in nearly three years. Last time, Cooper read from his Lambda-winning novel The Sluts at the National Arts Club. Cooper, who now lives in Paris, appears this time on behalf of The Apocalypse Reader, an anthology of new and selected short stories about the end of the world, which I edited. The Apocalypse Reader was published in June, by Thunder's Mouth Press. The LA Times called it "a vivid collection" and Paste magazine wrote that "there may be no collection that better demonstrates the range and possibility of the story form."

Cooper's story, "The Ash Gray Proclamation," was previously only available in the liner notes to a CD and is collected for the first time in The Apocalypse Reader. This event marks the last in the series of Apocalypse Readings I have hosted since the book's publication in June. The event will be held at NYU's Fales Library, where Cooper's archives are kept.

Marvin J. Taylor (no relation), director of the Fales Library, says of Cooper's work that "Dennis Cooper is one of the most important writers of our time. In our increasingly brain-dead society where mendacity has become the special province of a government that keeps pretending everything is alright, Cooper shows us that the world isn't OK. That language fails us. That love is embattled at every turn. Our only hope is that we can reach inside an find our humanity. Call it forth from its hiding places, and help us build structures where love can survive."

This reading is a rare opportunity to hear one of our great living writers read his work. Pertinent details are pasted below. I hope to see all of you there.

Best,

Justin Taylor
http://www.justindtaylor.net/

+

Thursday, November 29th, 2007
6:30 pm
Fales Library and Special Collections
New York University
70 Washington Square South, Third Floor
New York, NY 10012


***

The new Harp & Altar issue is up and at 'em. I think that this is a very underrated on-line journal. If you don't know about it, familiarize yourself. It's in your best interest. In the new issue we have:

Poetry:
David Goldstein
Ryan Murphy
Mathias Svalina

You're going to have to check the website to read who's on prose, reviews, etc, adn to actually read the work: Harp & Altar

***

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Welterweight Press

Here at Welterweight Press, your manuscript has to weigh under 147 pounds to professionally box other poet's poetry.

***
So, my Thanksgiving weekend. Let me set the tone. Please note that behind all madness lies perfect charm and formality. Also love:

Oranges and cranberries:


Table decor: Salt carrier and a Styrofoam and feather duck, also Japanese maple leaves:


Candles, 1/2 way through dinner:


***
I actually didn't take that many photos of family. My brain stored that.
But some of the players:

Me and My Dad. On of my favorite things to do is make faces at my dad because he makes them back at me. I find this ridiculously funny. No one ever makes the same faces back at me. But my dad does. This is the face I used to make when I was younger, and we had family dinner, and we sat across from each other, every night for 18 years. And this is the face he would make back at me. It never gets old:

Actually his face is more accurate than mine, normally The Face is a Scary Smile as opposed to a Scary Snarl.

My brother giving me the One-Eye:


He'd like us to think he's contemplating something important. He's not:

My bro gets "mad props" for deep frying a delicious turkey.

Ryan, my cousin Anna's boyfriend. He is sleeping at the table after eating too much turkey. People are talking around him while he snoozes on an elbow. Very endearing:


My cousin Zoe:

I told Zoe that I've been using the term "to pound" a lot lately. As in, I'm gunna pound that poem. Or, I hope you're pounding the Scrabble game right now. So, instead of just appropriating the term "pounding" she used the whole term "pound the poem." Which means that when Zoe was asking me to eat a lot of Turkey and rice, she said, "You better be pounding that poem." This made me very happy.

A Portrait of my uncle when he was a kid (unfortunately he couldn't make it to thanksgiving this year but I think my cousins wrapped him up some turkey & chocolate cake):


Of my mom, my lovely mom:


Plant that looks like a floating lillypad:


Me & Spook:


My (very hip) aunt Judi took my to a Church thrift store on Saturday:
Mask, glasses:


Part of a lamp:


This is actually in the Boys Room at my grandma's house. I have a history with this kettle. For some reason it always rests on the furnace. For some reason, it always has a bit of water in it. No one adds the water, it's just always there. And late at night, when the furnace heats up, the kettle starts to make this hollow whistling sounds. When I was a kid it used to scare me, even though I rationally knew it was just a hot kettle. But it was in my bedroom, calling me. I don't know why I never moved it onto the windowsill or rug when I was there, but I don;t think the kettle has been moved in 20 years: