Saturday, March 31, 2007

Socks in Bed is like Hats Outside Press

Recently I've been seeing these ads for toothpaste where they keep telling me that bad teethcare is linked to heart disease and other such medical problems that will effect you 30 years from now. Also, bad gumcare will also kill you, studies now find.

Today we will learn about flossing, so we can live forever:

Once you're done taking care of your gums, come out to see the band Ara Vora play tonight at Ace of Clubs in Manhattan. I think that's the bar, and this is the band, if you don't want to go into it blind:

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Take Out My Recycling For Me Right Now, Press

Time for a journal update in crazytown:

1) I have two poems in Forklift, Ohio. Please buy a copy and support a B*tchin' journal. It's in print, too, so you can take it to bed with you, take it in the bath, take it skiing, etc. I've cottoned to Betsy Wheeler's poems in this issue so make sure to read hers. Forget stocking stuffers, think Mind Stuffers:

2) I have a poem in Cannibal. This is also a print journal (I am mainly saying this so my parents can buy a copy for my Grandma, hint hint). You can take it on the trampoline, on a roadtrip, you can make it makeout with Forklift, Ohio. The options are wildly endless. Check out Jane Gregory. My poem is across from Amy King's, yeah. Buy it here, please:

3) and coming at you online, 3 poems in the second issue of Sawbuck. It's a minimalist design and they give you slightly weird feeds into the poem so mine begins "By the method of shake...." You should check out all the poems, also the first issue is 'banging," too.

If you read all the way down to the third poem of mine in Sawbuck, you'll see that I use the word "eavesdropper," which I love and luckily get to use twice in this poem. I just wanted to say that until last year, I thought the word was "easedropper." And it made sense to me. Right?
(I also wanted to say that Bill Cassidy helped write this poem via weird emails we sent to each other.)

So, Passover is almost here. I can't take two days off of work; sadly I will not be going home for Passover. Let me just tell you that I love Matzah ball soup, "Dude, I love Matzah ball soup." Sigh. Below is a good lookin bowl of it. Maybe the Ghost of Elijah will come visit me in Brooklyn. Someone should write a children's book story called, "Elijah Comes to Brooklyn" and it could be about contemporary interpretations of Judaism that little kids could understand. It could also be a sad story about an alcoholic Jewish mother who uses the excuse of Elijah to explain why the bottle of wine is always empty. Oh dear.

This is just a terrible picture of food put out for a Seder. If you have this on your table, take it off the table:

On this night, little children should not be allowed to build snowmen from their Matzah balls. Jeez:

I didn't do spellcheck so you're going to have to suffer through mee errs. I'm hoping I spelled Judaism correctly.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Wolfhaus Press

Meet Rachel Zucker:

Meet the Fact that I like Marzipan:

Rachel Zucker is way, way wolf. She smells the bird-eggs and rolls them down the hill, licking worms that surface to look. She is the kind of wolf that doesn't know she is a wolf, she just enjoys eating your marrow.

I've seen her read twice, and these times were years apart, but both times she was pregant. This leads me to believe that she is always pregnant. Because I believe what I see, you optical illusion, you. Anyways, this is her bio straight from the poet's webpage:

Rachel Zucker was born in New York City in 1971. The daughter of storyteller Diane Wolkstein and novelist Benjamin Zucker, she was raised in Greenwich Village and traveled around the world with her parents on Wolkstein's folktale-collecting trips. After graduating from Yale with a B.A. in Psychology, Zucker attended the University of Iowa where she received her M.F.A in poetry. Zucker's first full-length collection is Eating in the Underworld (Wesleyan 2003), a series of poems that follows the narrative arc of the myth of Persephone. Her second collection, The Last Clear Narrative, a cross examination of marriage and motherhood, was published by Wesleyan in 2004. Zucker is the winner of the Salt Hill Poetry Award (1999, judged by C.D. Wright) and the Barrow Street Poetry Prize (2000). In 2002 she won the Center for Book Arts Award (judged by Lynn Emanuel) for her long poem, "Annunciation" which was published as a limited edition chapbook. Her poems have appeared in many journals including: 3rd Bed, American Poetry Review, Barrow Street, Colorado Review, Epoch, Fence, Iowa Review, Pleiades and Prairie Schooner as well as in the Best American Poetry 2001 anthology.

Zucker is the Poet-in-residence at Fordham University. She is also a certified labor doula , CD (DONA) and has attended 8 births. Zucker previously taught at Yale, NYU and Makor. She has also worked as a photographer, day care teacher and gem dealer. She lives in New York with her husband, Josh Goren, and their two sons. She is currently working on a novel and, along with poet Arielle Greenberg, is co-editing Efforts and Affections, an anthology of essays by women poets about mentorship.

She had this poem in The Canary a while ago that you should dig up and read. It's really dark and amazing. It will give you a fever only another wolf can nurse.

This is a poem, "Diary (Surface) from an issue of 3rd Bed:

The day is too bright.

Everyone has already seen it or one just like it,
their necks like poles or bent accordions

and all around me poisonous berries on beautiful trees
not worth describing.

No one eats anymore.
No one makes mistakes.


Also, I would just like to reiterate that I like Marzipan, especially because it comes shaped like fruit. How deceitful!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Whale-box Press Check Out the Whale-box Press

Paige Ackerson-Kiely

Awesome Bones (unrelated to Paige A-K)

The reading at Earshot was weird/fun! Ana B-B was awesome, handsdown. I also learned that if you are from South Africa and write fiction, you can use the phrase "practically prancing" in your story and think it's ok.

I've been reading Paige Ackerson-Kiely's debut book, "In No One's Land." You can see the author photo before. It's creepy & great. It set me up for some dissappointment (yes, double s, double p). Some lines took me there, but for the most part, not really. I really only want to talk about books I've enjoyed, but something weird happened to me when I was reading this so:

I'm pasting below a poem by Paige that was in Jubilat:

From the Understudy

If you would look at me I would show you something.
The size of it. The size of it, ask any man and it is this big.
I don't really know what interests you, but by watching
the tick of your wrist by your side I could drum up
a thousand doves assured over Palestine, beaks tweaking
it is yours, undoubtedly. What mine. Dovecote. White
woolen snow a shameful cage on the ground. Grass
bent in grief owned by this sharecropper. Knock knock
who's there? The door is a trestle and the water's low.
My love's a gothic push straight out of the University
of Chicago. I should have asked your name. I should
have said your name out loud and answered yes?

Now, I kept wanting to turn her poems into other poems. Normally I'm interested in the twists and turns poems take, trying to infer why someone decides to go down a certain poem path, and even if I don't agree, I have enough distance to respect the decision (maybe I'm lying, I'm not sure yet). Normally, if I don't like an entire poem but there are specific fantastic lines I may make a pencil mark by the margin so that I can find the line later and read it to someone or send a little tidbit in a letter. I do this alot, actually, and probably most people do. I can still lend the book out without having my marks be a distraction, but if the reader wants to, they can note the lines that rocked my world by the little pencil marks. But I didn't want to do that with these poems, I kind of wanted to cross stuff out like the government does before they give you back your blackened files.

Since not many people read my blog, and what I say doesn't hold any weight, I'm going to show you how I wanted to change the poem above and assume that there is no consequence for doing this. Since it was just my activity on the subway ride:

If you would look at me I would
show you. I could drum up
a thousand shameful beaks.
White woolen snow a doved cage,
bent in the grief owned by sharecroppers.
Knock on the water's low.
I should have said your name
out loud. Bent grass is what is mine.

Unless a poem is full of crap, what we want to change about a poem mostly just reveals something about ourselves. What have I revealed to you today?

So, now I'll give you nice lines from this same collection:

"The fields to the left and right
full of glassy blackbirds"

"A man is known by his hunger"

"The father art
A picnic table
And a son standing awkwardly to the side"

"Good people, raise your cameras."

"sad little loaf that you are"

"I swear I would run to you if not for these legs loping & coming back together as you might punch at the air in front of someone's face, then laugh generously."

"my gnashing children"

Now I'm off the subway. It's a beautiful day, warmer than I could have hoped.
I'm feeling very "two steps forward, one step back" today.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Touch My Press, Yes, Just Like That Press

I don't have time this second to tell you about the poetry book I'm reading that is kind of rubbing me the wrong way, but I'll do that tomorrow. Today, you get to learn why I know it's spring.

It's spring because:

All the Ice Hotels are melting!!!!! (see above)

Ice Hotels exist in places such as Canada and Sweden and Switzerland. There is only one Ice Hotel that stays open all year round, but I forget where it is. The thing about ice hotels is that they are appealing because a) come on, it's pretty weird and intriguing to stay in a hotel entirely made of ice b) it's "visually stimulating" c) we all tried to build igloos when we were kids and this is way, way better d) vodka bar e) they give you bear furs to wear and sleep on since your bed is ice. There are also aspects that are unappealing and they kind of overlap with the intriguing things: a) what do you do all day?, b) I hate being cold, c) and you sleep on ice, kind of like a dead fish at a fishmonger's stand. So, my basic feeling is that if I was someone wealthy enough to take completely ridiculous, multiple vacations a year, I would want to go just once. But if you don't have much loot, you might be better off taking a road trip, for example.

Anyways, it's spring because they are melting. Road trip anyone?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

My Cold Cold Heart Built This Igloo From Your Tears Press

On Friday, I will make my way to the Earshot Reading for the first time. For some reason, I've never been to a reading here. I think mostly I've just been at some other reading. But I'm also wary of going to places I've never found before since this usually entails 45 minutes of me wandering around the general area, being lost and looking flustered. Fluster is a gross word and I'd rather not look like it. Anyways, the persuasive poetry of Ana B-B draws me to The Lucky Cat tomorrow. Ana is a Bull Who Knows The Ring. That's a compliment, I promise:

Line up:
Noelle Kocot
Craig Teicher
Matt Reeck (Brooklyn College)
Ana Bozicevic-Bowling (Hunter College)
Carla Gericke (City College)

Friday, March 23rd, 2007 @ 8 PM
$5 + one free drink

The Lucky Cat
245 Grand Street (between Driggs & Roebling)
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 782-0437

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


I've been slowly making my way through the books I hauled back from AWP. University of Califronia Press knows what's up. "What's up, Baby" It says to you. Says it so confidently there is no question mark, just a head nod.
Anyways, I'm enjoying Richard Greenfield's "A Carnage in the Lovetrees" ($16.95).

I've been reading it on the subway and am definitely not even half way finished, but I've already decided I like it. I think it's okay to be hasty to like things because what's the harm in that? If I change my mind later, than I've still had a few moments of pleasure. Often I'm hasty to dislike things, because, obviously, it's safer to keep things at arms length and not let anything new into the fishbowl. I read this ridiculous review on Double Room ( I'm pasting the first two paragraphs below. What kind of a review is this?

"You'll most quickly find the heart – the heart external, that is – of Richard Greenfield's debut collection of poems, A Carnage in the Lovetrees, by cribbing vocabulary from Donna Haraway; i.e. by examining 'the situatedness of its system.' Greenfield comes to us with two ready associations: his book shows up on New California Poetry's roster as an implicit term in its ongoing argument for a new poetry, but he also comes with certain claims made on him by the putative movement of New Brutalism. So in terms of critical reception, these two facts will do the early mediating.

To consider first his press, Greenfield is a clever fit for New California's mission statement, which persists in being the flypaper for whatever useful aesthetic debris can be sifted in the wake of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E. Meaningfully, they're a continuation of, rather than a corrective to the "Language" innovation. New California, in their own words, seeks "works that help define the emerging generation of poets – books consistent with California's commitment to the Black Mountain tradition and reflective of California literary traditions – cosmopolitan, experimental, open, and broad-ranging in their intellectual makeup." Greenfield certainly shares in the average Language poet's phenomenological bent, positioning himself as the observer whose disinterest is each moment being keened, glad if perplexed to watch "the familiar machinery of language moving by"; but at the same time, he seems invested in mimesis and Romanticism. As an amalgamation – the mongrel pet of critics – he's James Wright mixed with Lyn Hejinian. He makes good sense as a New California poet, shading more to the Haryette Mullen and Fanny Howe end of their spectrum than to the Geoffrey O'Brien and Myung Mi Kim end. But he negotiates each end, and his middle ground proves credible. "

Can I do a review of a review? If I could, it might go like this, "Think about what you're saying...and never say it again."
You can't hear me, but I'm saying it in a sweet voice. Really? Yeah maybe.

These are lines I like:

"Undercover, you are dead behind the couch when they knock."

"The citizens are trembling among the trembling."

This section of a poem:
"Where piety kneeled piety prayed through the soft textured ceiling,
speaking in the night to the king of kings in a heaven so in love

with its own perfection, it was selfish, hovering above the cries,
above the bodies of pain, ignoring all dependencies, too selfish

to take along the neglected. The inconsolable. The sometimes
stalled." ...

"After the mug shot profile of the anger bird"

"The lineup. The list of less."

"In the flame tree's system, near my window in fatal reach, a nest of
speckled eggs. What I did I was cruel."

Well, if anyone else has read this, I'd like to talk about it. Maybe? Sometimes Greenfield finds the apple core and extracts it from the apple without bruising the skin, without the apple even realizing it's now hollow. In other poems, he gets too caught up in the larger word systems and the apple is left to bob in the tin pail, being described but not bitten.

Bites are better.
That's all I got for today. See you tomorrow?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Plagerism Schmagerism Press

A new high or a new low in the Glorious/Terrible Food Combination Game. This is a game in which I am the only participant. This is the game in which I don't go to the grocery store because it is a) closed, b) too far away at the moment, or c) not connected to my kitchen and it's cold out- and I must forage in my refrigerator for combinations of food that some, not most, but some might consider edible. Although not usually together. The recent discovery was: brown rice and fat free american cheese. I felt bad for the brown rice, being so abused by me. Anyways, these are the three images that came up when I searched for "brown rice and american cheese." I'm not really sure I can contextualize the muppet with the search words, but that is one of the many mysteries of google.

Tomorrow I will tell you something interesting about poetry. As opposed to gross you out.
Off to an Irish pub and then a poetry reading. You should come.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Your Legs Look Like Your Pants Press

My home town is a quite town to which people travel to get married.
Because it is pretty. And people like wedding photos taken in rural
fields with lush, woodsy backgrounds. This is the Pierce house, which
is where people specifically like to get married. Next to it is the
lovely pond, Pierce pond, where I used to go frogging and catfishing.
I was pretty good at catching bullfrogs when I was younger. I used to
get annoyed because I would ride my bike over with a friend and we
would have nets and everything ready to go, but then a wedding would
be in mid-procession and they wouldn't want kids running around in the
weeds, putting frog eggs in mason jars. One time, my Dad and I thought
it would be funny to put the bullfrog we caught in a cookie tin and
give it to my mother. My mother screamed and threw the frog and the
cookie tin across the garage. I was young enough not to completely
understand how "there is a frog where there should be cookies, get
it?" was a suprise that could actually be a bit frightening if a
mother was actually expecting cookies from a small child with curly
blond hair and dimples. See, my hometown upbringing taught me a lesson
in...Well, what I really wanted to tell you was that the last time I
went to this pond, I brought my close friend MW to show her the area
and as we parked my car and walked closer to the pond, I felt like the
pond looked bigger than usual. Which is usually the opposite reaction
one has to re-visiting childhood sites. Anyways, as we walked closer,
it turned out that the pond hadn't expanded, but that the 5 other
people admiring the pond happened to be a family of midgets. An all
midget family. And one of the midget kids got really excited to see me
and MW and took MW by the hand to show her where the big bullfrogs
were hiding...

Look, this is either: A) a ramble that I just can't for the life of me
wrap up or B) a very circuitous scheme to get you to come to my poetry
reading in Cambridge MA on May 5th. Cambridge is 15 minutes from my
town, Lincoln, so people can come stay at my old home if they travel
from afar to hear me read. And I will give everyone a tour of this
pond, along with Walden pond, the Gropius house, and many other woody,
amazing adventures.

In fact, until May 5th, I will occasionally subject you to photos of
my hometown until you can no longer resist the temptation to come.
Also, we have a trampoline that's just calling out your name. I will
teach you how to play Last Man Standing.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

No Babies Were Directly Harmed in This Process Press

The movies I've been watching this past week have been so atrocious that I might even use the word heinous. And I use that word sparingly. So heinous, in fact, that my conclusion is there are only two people in the world who think Dane Cook is funny. And they are Dane Cook. Wait, that's only one person. And Dane Cook doesn't count because he shouldn't exist to begin with. And neither should Blockbuster, for that matter. Feel free to add to this list, right now I'm just mentioning the obvious ones.

Also, the effing F button on this computer isn't working so please note that I am working extra hard to even explain about the "effing F button."

I have a Press crush on Black Ocean Press because the outside of their books look sooo Badmother. Yes, "Badmother" is now an adjective, thanks to the Badmotherness of Black Ocean Press. See the red book by Paula Cisewski above? That's them. And the red book is "Upon Arrival."

Some sweet lines are:

"Every best thing passes through itself
like silver rings. Now ask me
to enter the box and pull the curtain."

"The natrual bridge in me.
The calculus. The birthday cake."

"Yesterday I had to try harder
to appreciate everything."

"The kitchen is supposed to be Heaven."

And I dig the poem "Upon Arrival #37." I don't necessarily think this whole collection is the specific type of poetry that jumps out at me, I kind of feel that Paula is holding back in some way, like driving a stick in first gear instead of third. I promise to never make another car analogy again- I crashed my car and now take the subway, literally. But I would buy her next book, too, because I'm interested to see where she is going with her work. Intrigued.

On Monday you should go to the Saints of Hysteria reading at KGB.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

My Press Is Cooler Than Your "Press" Press

"Scurvy Is Gross"
I am waiting to find a vegetarian restaurant with this name. Does someone want to start one with me? No takers? This was actually the least gross image of scurvy I found, but it would be my logo since it's the best.

I'm reading Evan Commander's chapbook, "A Thing and its Ghost."
My review: "It will not give you scurvy. Yes it will. No, it won't."
Wait, that's not a review at all.
There are handfuls of good lines. They do not necessarily come back to back, but I guess that would be a tall order.
Some lines I did like:

"my daily care occupies itself"

"where I say cakewalk and the icing grows petals"

"fever pants"

"I am best in Ohio in winter without you"

"I am getting dressed downtown. Wooden heels on wooden floors / in the way that Oscar Wilde is exactly like television."

And you should definitely read the poem, "Critique of the City as Family." Go, buy it from H_NGM_N B__KS. It's only 6 bucks for 36 pages. That's, like, a couple cents per page, or something.

Friday, March 9, 2007


Yes, Daniela Gesundheit aka Snowblink is performing tonight, her last performance in NYC for who-knows-how-long, tonight. 8-11pm at Jimmy's:

Directions to Jimmy's:
43 East 7th Street
Between 2nd & #rd avenues
F, V at 2nd Ave; 6 at Astor Pl

If you don't go, your soul will be a little weaker than those who do attend.
That's all. Don't be dim.

Also, don't see Black Snake Moan. Unless you are really in the mood to watch Justin Timberlake puke and cry for 2 hours while is girlfriend either comforts him or screws other men in the town. Not even whiskey can save this movie. (Sorry, Mom, I know that was a bit crass.)


Les Etiqettes Jaunes

I picked up a leaf
today from the sidewalk.
This seems childish.

Leaf! you are so big!
How can you change your
color, then just fall!

As if there were no
such thing as integrity!

You are too relaxed
to answer me. I am too
frightened to insist.

Leaf! don't be neurotic
like the small chameleon.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

L.O.L., B.R.B., T.T.F.N: A.W.P.

You know what? AWP Atlanta style was fun. Bam, there you go.

I'll post the list of bitchin' books I picked up soon. They all look beautiful, too, so I may scan them for your darling eyes. But don't look too hard, else they might rock your (new england hiking) socks off.

Poetry Presses at AWP that I did not see, but wish I had:

Indie Pork Press
Please Take Your Finger Out of My Baby's Head Press
Intelligent Design? Try Interior Design, Press
Why Do People Keep Calling My Mom Peter Press
Why Does My Mom Keep Responding When People Call Her Peter Press

You can make this happen for me next year. I'll help you apply for non-profit status.

The Images Above Are Of Two Hot Things Happening To Us In The Next Few Days.

One will be awesomely articulate, high-spirited, and well organized. You will walk towards it like a Zombie from the creek. A Zombie Poet.

The other will be awesomely uncomfortable and will involve Southern sweat, which is the shiniest kind (as I've gathered from multiple terrifying ads posted in the subways), and a very anorexic Ricci, chained. Can you guess which is which?

Come to the one involving Fanny Howe reading to you. Truthfully, I'll be doing all of the above. Because I like to put myself in situations that make me re-evaluate my decision-making process.