Tuesday, July 31, 2007

What Is A Humaniterrarium? Press

So, the new Octopus issue is up and at 'em. This time it's composed of all reviews, essays, and recovery projects. I haven't had time to delve into them but I have started reading Keith Newton's recovery project on Duncan. This is what the current issue gives you:

http://www.octopusmagazine.com

Featuring reviews of

Paige Ackerson-Keily's In No One's Land, Geoff Bouvier's Living Room,
Evan Commander's A Thing and its Ghost, Katie Degentesh's Anger Scale,
Danielle Dutton's Attempts at a Life, Sandy Florian's 32 Pedals & 47 Stops,
Graham Foust's Necessary Stranger, Peter Gizzi's Outernationale,
Shafer Hall's Never Cry Woof, Christian Hawkey's Citizen Of,
Andrew Joron's The Cry at Zero: Selected Prose, Joseph Lease's
Broken World, Ben Lerner's Angle of Yaw, Mark Levine's The Wilds,
Susan Maxwell's Passenger, Catherine Meng's Tonight's the Night,
Eileen Myles' Sorry Tree, Geoffrey G. O'Brien's Green and Grey,
Cole Swensen's The Glass Age, Sarah Vap's Dummy Fire
& Jon Woodward's Rain

by

Hadara Bar-Nadav, Nathan Bartel, Claire Becker, Lily Brown,
DJ Dolack, John Ebersole, Anna Eyre, Elisa Gabbert, Matt Gagnon,
Heather Green, Anne Heide, Alisa Heinzmann, Dan Hoy,
Melanie Hubbard, Gina Myers, Adam Peterson, Brett Price,
Brandon Shimoda, Mathias Svalina & Joshua Marie Wilkinson.

Recovery projects of

Joseph Ceravolo's Transmigration Solo,
Robert Duncan's The Opening of the Field,
John Lillison's Pointy Birds and Other Pointy Creatures,
Jack Myers' I'm Amazed That You're Still Singing,
N.H. Pritchard's The Matrix & Eecchhooeess,
Stan Rice's Some Lamb
& Robert Sullivan's Star Waka.

by

Hugh Behm-Steinberg, Sommer Browning, Keith Newton,
Craig Perez, Nate Pritts, Zachary Schomburg & Amish Trivedi.

Essays by


Geoff Bouvier, Kathryn Cowles, James Engelhardt,
Ian Ganassi, Dean Gorman, Noah Eli Gordon,
Anthony Hawley, Karla Kelsey, Sam Starkweather
& Gabriel Gudding.

***

Sweet. We have our reading cut out for us, don't we.

I've been swamped so this post is short/belated. I was just about to send a thank you to someone who had a meeting and served food they knew I could eat (i.e. wheat-free) and I realized that the two adjectives that would best describe me from that email were "dorky/allergic."

Oh boy, it's time for Google Image Idiom Search:

"Straight From The Horse's Mouth":


"Straight From The Horse's Mouth II":


(There were actually surprisingly few horse images that came up with this one).

Thursday, July 26, 2007

My Flashlight Won't Reach The Darkness Inside You, Press

As I said, I spent last weekend hanging out with my family & brother's friends at my Grandma's house:

Her Garden. She loves flowers but can't walk around that easily so it makes me really happy to pick a basket of flowers for her so that she can arrange them for the kitchen table. I spy some lillies and Echinachia


Oh dear, I forget what these are called:

Me and my Dad lookin a little goofy together:


Ah yes, my brother's friend fixed the two seriously badass lawn mowers and then they all drunkenly raced each other around the driveway and yard. I was a bit nervous because they were no where close to sober, but:

My brother, looking a bit devilish:

Adam, for the record, your friends were incredibly sweet, and that is the reason I am not posting photos of them with their faces contorted with gluttony as they devour pounds and pounds of ribs with their rudy young cheeks lathered in bbq sauce. But if one of them runs for Republican office, I might reconsider..."j/k, j/k"

Cows in the yard, cows in the yard!I feed them apples:


See the boxy structure covered in ivy? A century ago they used to keep a "fire truck" there. Although if we saw it now, it would look more like a wagon filled with warm water:

Your Box Turtle Is, Um, Getting Pretty Boxy Press

So I went to this last night because I have a mild comic-crush on Eugene Mirman:

A weekly show produced by Eugene and Bobby Tisdale at Cinema Classics (332 E 11, between 1st and 2nd). Each show will feature about 5 performers (standup, sketch, video and who knows) creating something fun and weird for every show. 8 PM, $5. Many of the performers have appeared on television! (Holy shit, yes!) Including: Conan, Comedy Central, Letterman, Mr. Show, Daily Show, Dr. Katz and movies and such. Some have not. Always delightful and special.

It was a cornicopia of laughter. I went with PT and bummed into a bunch of old friends. You should come with me next Wednesday, it's only $5 bucks. "We can get to know each other" whoever you are.

****

I missed this:

Opium Magazine's Literary Death Match in Washington Square Park

TONIGHT, Wednesday, July 25, 6:30 pm
Washington Square Park, Garibaldi Plaza

Featuring readings by: WILLIAM WALSH, TONY O'NEILL, TAO LIN, and MAUREEN
TKACIK

Judges: WESLEY STACE, LEIGH NEWMAN, and BEN GREENMAN

Host: ANTHONY TOGNAZZINI

Opium's Literary Death Match is a fun, hip, happy competition that features
reader representatives from four different literary publications (online
and print) in a gut-busting, tear-jerking read-off. Each reader has eight
minutes to dazzle the panel of three guest-star judges (and the audience)
with literary merit, performance and everything in between. The series,
launched in the summer of 2006, currently runs bimonthly in both San
Francisco and New York City.

Reading for lit mag NY Tyrant is William Walsh

Reading for online lit mag 3:AM is Tony O'Neill

Reading for Opium Magazine is Tao Lin

Reading for The Crier is writer Maureen Tkacik

Reading for Ballyhoo Stories:Joshua Mandelbaum

Judges:
Leigh Newman's fiction and non-fiction have appeared in journals such One
Story, Tin House, Opium, The Northwest Review, Fiction, National Public
Radio's The Sound of Writing and The New York Times City section. She has
received fellowships from the Corporation of Yaddo and The University of
Massachusetts, Amherst. Currently, she teaches fiction at Pratt Institute,
curates The Reader's Room reading series at Mo Pitkin's, and spends a lot
of time writing her novel.

***
Did any of you go? Please tell me how it was. I was curious, but I guess not curious enough to go. I've never been to a "fun, hip, happy competition" before...

***
THIS FRIDAY:

MiPOesias presents
[ http://www.mipoesias.com]

RICHARD PEABODY ~ NICOLE STEINBERG ~ CATE PEEBLES ~

Friday, July 27, 2007 @ 7:00 PM

STAIN BAR
766 Grand Street Brooklyn , NY 11211
(L train to Grand Street Stop, walk 1 block west)
718/387-7840
http://www.stainbar.com/
Hosted by your ever glorious Amy King

***
Dear JMcG came with me for moral support as I tried to get my bloody cell phone replaced last night. More trouble than you'd think. Turns out my plan doesn't run its course until Oct 1st but I still can't get my old numbers, no texts, and now it beeps and hisses at me like a mouse in the belly of a rabid snake.

Obviously I gave up and drank my sorrow away and then hit up the comedy show, so now I need to go back to Verizon on my lunch break and either playfully beat an employee into giving me a new phone for free or suck it up and buy a new one.

***
I have like 2 photos of myself. And I was looking at one of these photos and just realized that in my favorite sweater, I actually look like A Despondent Mime:

The only good thing about winter in NYC is that I get to wear this sweater. But now, maybe not. Now it has to stay summer forever?

I know that mimes are an easy target for jokes, but if you ever want to hear about the most ridiculous mime encounter, ask me and I promise to make you laugh. And I am not the mime in the story. But it does involve a foreign country, my ex, and an overly affectionate mime.

***

My plants are needing more water than ever. I think I'm watering them everyday. Is that normal? Everyday? It's like they got spoiled and now make these high demands and when I don't feed them everyday they throw silent tantrums and get all limp and floppy. It's sad. I'm going to go water them now.

Oh, this is what a box turtle looks like:

This is actually an "ornate" box turtle.

***
One more thing. Two of my friends are going but I don't think I'll make it...but if you are in nyc and can take a long, luxurious lunch break, you might want to check out this:

DEMOS FORUM - THURSDAY, JULY 26

Sisterhood, Interrupted: From Radical Women to Grrls Gone Wild

Thurs., July 26, 2007
Program from 12:15-1:45 pm
at NYRAG
79 Fifth Ave, 4th Floor
(between 15th and 16th St)
New York, NY
Co-sponsored by:
National Council for Research on Women
Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership
Ms. Foundation for Women

Please join Demos, the Ms. Foundation for Women, the National Council for Research on Women, and the Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership in welcoming Deborah Siegel, author of Sisterhood,
Interrupted: From Radical Women to Grrls Gone Wild.

Deborah Siegel will discuss how, contrary to clichés about the end of feminism, younger women are reliving the battles of its past, and reinventing it - with a vengeance. Drawing upon her lively and compelling look back at the framing of one of the most contentious social movements of our time in Sisterhood, Interrupted, Dr. Siegel will expose the key issues still at stake, and will outline how a twenty-first century feminist can reconcile the personal with the political and combat long-standing inequalities that continue today.

Panelists Desiree Flores and Dr. Mary S. Hartman will respond to Siegel with discussion of the experiences of younger and older feminists in relationship to the movement and each other, how multiple generations of women can learn from one another's activism to bridge generational differences, and what the future of the feminist movement looks like. This event will be moderated by Shari Cohen, Director of the Demos Fellows Program.

Deborah Siegel, PhD
Author / Consultant
Fellow, Woodhull Institute
Visit website, www.deborahsiegel.net
Link to blog, www.girlwithpen.blogspot.com

***

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Poster Child Press

This has been played in the last 24 hrs:

This is playing now:

Dylan, Robbie, Michael McLure, and Ginsberg (1965). I want to be in this photo:

Who would you want to stand next to? Dylan/Ginsberg?

KA came over last night and made a playlist that was various Wooden Wand song/albums (minus the new new one), which was lovely and hadn't happened in a while.

I missed the release party last night and if you did too, never fear, you can still buy a copy of the second issue of CapGun, featuring:

Lynn Xu
Jaye Bartell
Damian Weber
Anna McDonald
Bronwen Tate
Andrew Zornoza
Rodolfo Hinostroza (trans. Harris Feinsod)
Sam Adams
Eric Gelsinger
Lisa Flaherty
Joshua Edwards
Jackie Delamatre
Jackie Clark
Tao Lin
Will Hubbard
Rachel B. Glaser

capgunmag.com
I am interested to see what Lynn Xu, Bronwen Tate, and Jackie Clark, amongst many others on this line-up are up to these days with their writing. Are you flashin' your most recent work?

The day is so very young, it's a dappled cult with knob-wobbly knees and slick shanks. How ever will it turn out? I still have a roll of film to develop and contacts to pick up from Cohen's Optical Fashion. The people who work their are ridiculously happy. I can't even muster enough mock-enthusiasm in my voice to imitate their side of the phone call I had yesterday when ordering new eyes. If you prod me, though, I'll give it the old college try. And yes, I'm still not over how much I love that expression.

Oh yeah, watched Glen Gary Glen Ross last night. I think a few people were a little traumatized by getting yelled at by older men from the '80s but I'm glad I saw it. Alec Baldwin's monologue in the beginning is tops and Jack Lemon will make you get a bit teary. Favorite line: Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Fine Tooth Press

We've selected the new cover for the second issue of Saltgrass. Brace yourselves, cup your hand over your heart so that it doesn't pop out and sully the carpet. Courtesy of the lovely artist Kate Aspinall:



Kate is inking this for us so that it will be dark and wrenching, and I think we'll use the top 3/4ths of it. The image might not show up well on my blog, but if you have a sec you should check out her website because it rules. Yeah, she rules. Specifically look at the "bird children" section or "intimate spaces": http://www.kateaspinall.com/

How badly do you want your poem to be inside this image? Well, all you have to do is submit...

Ken Rumble has kind words to say about our first issue as well as the journal The Poker:
http://anybook.blogspot.com

The second issue will be different. No interview. All poetry, one short story, and one excerpt from a novel. Ok, I'm done with my plug. I'm listening to Morrissey right now so nothing can get me down. Van Morrison is up next. I'm resisting the temptation to make some terrible pun with "Morr" in it.

What else? What else you ask:

Coconut Nine has bloomed:

featuring new poems, translations, and collaborations by Andrei Codrescu, Bernadette Mayer, Terita Heath-Wlaz, Jonah Winter, Stephen Paul Miller, Hoa Nguyen, Meghan Punschke, Louisa Spaventa, Dan Hoy, Betsy Fagin, Andrew Zawacki, Caryl Pagel, Karyna McGlynn, CAConrad, Didi Menendez, Mark Ducharme, E. Tracy Grinnell, Olivia Cronk, Nava Fader, Megan A. Volpert, Gary Barwin & Gregory Betts, Ulf Stolterfoht, Rosmarie Waldrop, Amy Berkowitz, and Tao Lin--is now live on the web. Come visit: http://www.coconutpoetry.org!

I haven't read the issue yet, but it's on my To Do List. And yes, I definitely have one. It's a little frayed and ramshackle, creased and folded. And some of the things on my To Do List involve opening scary IRS letters (still), but Coconut Nine needs to be read and then lovingly crossed of the list.

Something is brewing at the Bowery Poetry Project this Thurs (Menasche tells me):

Hey folkies,

I'll be reading this Thursday with the Biggs Collective at the Bowery Poetry Club. Rock n' Roll!

—Daniel Menasche

Bowery Poetry Club presents The Biggs: A Publishing Collective

Thursday July 26th at 8PM

The Biggs are writers who have met weekly for seven years to tear apart and put back together their works of poetry, fiction, playwriting, screenwriting, memoir and creative nonfiction. We have been presented at KGB Bar, Cornelia Street Café, Bowery Poetry Club, Stain Bar and innumerous dives. Our chapbooks, The Biggs Reader Volume I: Nancy's Vindication, Volume II: Cry Something, Volume III: Most Secret Engine and a poetry supplement titled 'biggs by the little' were on display in the Poets House Showcases of 2005, 2006 & 2007, respectively.

The Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery, New York, NY 10012
212.614.0505

So, I'm not really sure what's going on...but you should check it out if you're free that night. Tonight I'm watching Glengary Glen Ross (Mamet) for the first time with a bunch of friends. I need to skoot home and clean the living room before they descend upon me. Does anyone have a love seat they want to sell me? I'm looking.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Time-Tested Press

I've been in Rhode Island. My Grandma's garden is rather mind-blowing. I bought a disposable camera and took pictures of the garden as well as the 500 ribs my brother bbq-ed last night, so now I just to finish the roll and get them developed. Luckily, there are no pictures of me being roped into & playing beer pong with my brother's friends. Safe. There was a midnight game of Lawn Mower Chicken that was not so safe, but my brother's friends still have their arms attached to their torsos so all is well.

My grandma wanted to know what some of my friends do & I happened to have a copy of Massey's Property Line from Fewer & Further so I showed it to her. She basically reviewed the chapbook for me, so I'm going to post below some of her comments, slightly paraphrased. You'll need to imagine that an 84 year old Jewish Atheist is conveying these thoughts to you:

[Grandma turns book over, touches cover, then feels the first few pages. She reads the first poem out loud.]

-"What's impressive is how well the form of the books fits the form of the poems, or vice versa. If the book were larger, the poems might get lost on the page or there might be more than one poem per page, which would detract from the attention they each deserve. It has an organic hum, the font color catches the ripeness of the berry-laden hill in the first poem."



[Grandma takes a sip of Scotch with six rocks; reads 3 more poems to me.]

-"There is both a fierce energy to his poems as well as a subtle elegance. As though he crawled inside a large honeysuckle bush and is simultaneously sitting cross-legged over the roots near its base & meditating, but than also shaking the thin branches so that people walking by turn their heads away from each other and pay attention to the greenery."

[Grandma reads this poem out loud again:]

Swallows
whisk the rifts

dusk dims
between leaves

on the tree
whose name

I refuse to find.

-"What draws me into this poem are the small movements that then become magnified. Birds brush by and stir the negative space between leaves like icing. Then dusk, which I normally think of as a consequence of another action, is given the capacity to take this negative space and change it's color. And Massey selects words so carefully, it's as though he's arranging flowers in a vase for a party where they'll be the center of attention. The "i" sound in whisk and rifts carries the second line of the first stanza and then the "sk" of whisk connects with the dusk of the second stanza and so on, so that the poem never loses momentum, it's never still or merely observational."

-"The poems I respond to the most are the ones like this, where the organic and the human intersect. These are the poems that seem more complicated. It's not just a tree, but a tree "whose name / I refuse to find." At first I thought it was an angry rebellion, but then it felt more that Massey was bringing our attention to the idea that we do not need to know the name of everything in order to enjoy it on the most basic, and probably most important level. The refusal is both an act of defiance but also an act of devotion."

[Grandma puts down the chapbook.]

-"I think your friends should come here and see my garden."

I think you're right. Thank you, Grandma.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Did I Not Pay My Taxes? Press

I'm actually frozen with anxiety. Mom? Dad? You read my blog, right? I have letters from the IRS, the NY State tax department, and other places that, when I hold the envelope up to the light all say "PENALTY." I'm too afraid to open them, I get a wave of panic. What have I done? Or not done? I'm going to prison and I'm never going to be able to buy a house for my children!!

This is my cry for help. I am taking all these envelopes when I see you this weekend and you will make me open them and deal with what ever fines/problems lie inside them. Ok? Ah. Ah. Ah.

Ok, to calm down, I will start reading "The Breaks" by Christopher Rizzo. Hopefully I will have some sort of review by the end of the week.

This is not a blog entry per say, so much as it is a panic attack.

But does she pull it together for Thrilling Google Idiom Image Search Game? Please.

"Three Sheets to the Wind" by Google Image

"Three Sheets to the Wind II" by Google Image

"Three Sheets to the Wind III" by Google Image Search

Monday, July 16, 2007

Permanent Press, Press

Oh look how lovely it looks:

February by Aaron Tieger
from Fewer & Further Press
(c) 2006

Pamplona

Garlic soup & a film
of you,
when will you slosh
down stone steps
turning
like a spoon

My rainy self ducks
into doorways
of chainstores now.
Memories float
down streets
of missing signs.

Garlic soup
and grenadine
and ham and cheese
and flan.

Cafés disapear
every few years.

(I can't get the spacing right, sorry about that)

Have you ever been in the theater and watched a scene in a movie where a person jumps into a river? You see him somersault underwater, open his eyes, and swim towards the sunlight hitting the top waves. And when he finally burst out of the water into the steaming air, you exhale and realize that you've been holding your breath for the whole scene, for as long as the character who's been submerged underwater. And you look around next to you to see if your movie-neighbor is laughing at you as you catch your breath. And of course they don't care, and then you realize you're not embarrassed, but secretly pleased you were caught up in the immediacy of the moment. Well, that's what it's like reading February by Aaron Tieger, a chapbook of poems composed during the title month. Yet, while these poems would never be a scene in an action movie, they somehow elicit the same response. His poems seem to open drawers of sweaters he wore 5 years ago, and each sweater evokes memories and experiences so sharp that you find yourself suddenly wearing these sweaters, looking out of the winter window he is standing in front of.

While his chapbook opens with, "Waking early from/ dreams of waking early," this collection doesn't seem to be about recurrent dreams as it does recurrent memories and premonitions- and navigates how we fit into them. In the second half of the first poem, Tieger writes, “cats all over / your face on / my face / my birthday / in a month.” Without any punctuation, it’s possible simply to read the line as “cats all over your face[and] on my face” so that the cats are casually pummeling two people in bed while the idea of the imminent birthday is somehow separate, an event that does not yet touch either of them. Or you can read the line as, “cats all over your face on my face.” Here, the physical intensity is heightened, two people squished together underneath squirming felines. Yet another version emerges, “cats all over your face. On my face, my birthday in a month.” In this reading, while one person is distracted with an affectionate pet and the physicality of its playfulness, the other is much more removed, preoccupied with an impending birthday and all the things one tends to associate positively or negatively with aging and assessments. In his work lies both possibility for deep connection and isolation. And Tieger consistently succeeds with his (ambiguous) line and stanza breaks because however he personally experienced these moments, he lets you decide upon your own level of emotional intimacy and physicality with the scenes he distills- how close you want to get to the “sleeping cats / on every couch” and how many sweaters you layer on to fight the cold.

Throughout the poems in February, there is a tension between the somehow unnerving encroachment of this birthday, the shifting nature of landscape/architecture, and a comforting level of domesticity and camaraderie. We’re reminded that “Cafés / disappear / every few years,” and of “Russian tea & a view / no longer there.” Yet, as these things may now be intangible, there is still the immediacy of the “you,” tugging. Just when the sense of loneliness sharpens and flexes, it’s curbed with lines like “Garlic soup & a film / of you” or “in bed my head / you neck / & back.” Instead of holding your breath, you look down the street and hold the same observational sadness and sparseness, but these poems allow you to exhale, turn your head to watch a familiar figure entering the room.

So, basically, you should order a copy. And while you're at it, check out more chapbooks by F&F because they're all quite gorgeous.

Now it's time for your favorite game, Google Idiom Image Search
"Driving Someone Up the Wall" by Google Image

Mrs. Claus is looking young, pissed, and Medieval.

"Apple Of My Eye" by Google Image

I believe there's about to be some serious leeching going on here. Ew. Backward doctors, etc. Did I ever tell you that the creepiest fortune cookie I ever got just said, "You are the apple of my eye." Thanks, I guess.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Gravitron Makes Me Grin Press

It's true. It's my favorite ride and I am wary of people who do not have the stomach for it. Toughen up.

My friend just got back from New Orleans filming his movie. He raised a bunch o' money with the "trailer," which is really clips from the first part of the movie so that he could finish filming the second half:



I'm one of his few friends that did not go down at some point over the last year and help him with it. This is lame because I'd have liked to help- but also it would have been an insane experience- everyone sleeping in an abandoned hotel and building boats and running around the city. Sigh. If poetry paid..I could "freelance" and travel. Does any journal need a "travel poet"? I saw Porter Fox read on Friday, and he does travel writing and gets paid to go all over the place. Me? Oh boy do I love my cubicle these days.

What you should actually do is go to: http://www.court13.com/

click on Films
then click on Past Projects
and then watch Egg.

Egg is an amazing short film. Only 5 minutes of your time to blow your mind. Do it.

"The Pot Calling the Kettle Black" by Google Idiom Image Search

"The Pot Calling the Kettle Black II" by Google Image Search

Don't these two images look vaguely/scarily similar?

Tonight I'm going to see Manhattan play on the big screen:

I know I've seen it before but can't even remember when.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Something In The Deli Aisle Makes You Cry Press

I've been reading Clamor (Lauterbach) as I mentioned earlier. I am more convinced than ever that you need to read this book if you haven't already (or buy her selected If In Time, because that has more diverse work). Sometimes I find myself reading a book and after its eaten my guts, made me feel like everything that needs to be said, well, has been, I'm warm because I've read something marvelous but I also feel the "Why should I even bother then" syndrome setting in. Well, Lauterbach will eat your guts but she'll make you want to keep writing, because she'll twist your brain up in ways it hasn't curled in a while.

Lines that will make you roll pincones in your hands, build mud(dy) castles on your closet floor, write on the inside of your tent-fort and shine a flashlight through it:

"Taking what you could get, like a stranger"

"A rope of trees in another country.
I could not say I am lost in the proper way.
The season is huge.
This house is haunted: I planted it."

"Appeal to us directly, distract us from it.
It we say often, and it is always the same it"

"The duck returns to the leaf.
Call these actions ourselves delayed.
We are kept by the indefinite, aroused."

"The world had sallied forth, unmeasured.
I heard it. I heard it as branch.
And I saw your eyes climb
Into their passages, little bony cups
Worn against the newest weather
Its eloquence forced upon us
As frugal, unspeakable knowledge.
A shiver of false fire"

***
Ok, that's enough for now. But come on, "little bony cups"? That rules. You can feel how seriously she takes her writing, her craft. Like she wants to crawl inside each object/concept she writes about and then build it again with new parts so that the next time you look at it/experience it, you understand it slightly differently, better.

***

I'm going to see The Muggabears tonight:
8:30pm Mercury Lounge. Come if you can. I will give you a bear hug.



***

What else can I tell you?

I miss my hair being salty. I'm going to Rhode Island at the end of the month to make a beach bonfire and have some saltwater fling itself into my hair.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

"Will Do" vs. "Done & Done" Press

Have you been missing Giddily Fun Idiom Google Image Search Game? Thought so. Chin, up. We are back in full swing here on the messier side of neat.

"Take the Bull by the Horn" by Google Image Search:

"Take The Bull By The Horn II" by Google Image Search:

Clearly, II is the more accurate representation of the idiom. You with me?

(This is in honor of the people who got totally trashed by the bulls when they ran through the streets of Pamplona last week. This is also in honor of people who listen to Motivational Speakers.)

I'm going to tell you something: Whenever I title a poem, I feel a little bad for the words like "of" and "by" that aren't supposed to be capitalized. It's like they are stuck at the kiddie table.

Another reading tomorrow that I want to go to:

ACA Galleries
529 W 20th St
Fifth Floor

more info:

Thursday, July 12
6pm, Free
Reading: Tawrin Baker, Eric Gelsinger, Matthew Klane, Adam Golaski, Damian Weber

Film: Scott Puccio
Music: White Man Much Foolish

Check out their books at
http://www.housepress.blogspot.com/
and more at
http://www.housepress.org/

I wish I could go. I want to meet these people, they seem interesting. "Let's hang."
Take out your check book and send $10 bucks to horse less press in order to get:

TWO NEW CHAPBOOKS:

Fog Quartets by Julie Doxsee
http://www.horselesspress.com/fog.html

[Summer_insular] by Justin Marks
http://www.horselesspress.com/summer.html

Buy them both here
http://www.horselesspress.com/chapbooks.html

You won't be disappointed.

If you're in nyc and you haven't been to 12th Street Books in a while, you should swing that way. I just picked up a copy of Lauterbach's Clamor for $4.50. Good people watching and clearly good browsing. They have a nice section on literary biographies and letters of/by writers you love, like Kafka. I think that made me sound like a jerk, but his letters really are quite amazing, and I bought them there.

Anyways, the first four lines of Clamor:

It was a trance: thieves, clowns, and the blind girl
passed symmetrically under the wide structure
As a floor passes under a rug.
Was this enough to go on, this scrap?

Sunday, July 8, 2007

I Want Your Mother's Milk? Press

So I missed a number of the readings on Saturday, but I did make it to Flatbush for the Ana Bozicevic-Bowling and Chris Tonelli reading w/ Kitchen Press this Sunday. Kitchen Press made the extra effort of putting a chapbook size collection of selections from their reading, which was passed out for free to all attendees. Sweet. It's really awesome when presses go the extra mile and do something like this, because now I can re-read some of my favorite poems and show you some killer lines.

For instance, the last half of Ana's poem "Paradise Underground (Train)":

No--! And now Sebastian maelstroms into the hole.
Commuters carry

umbrellas, blades of grass:
everyone's happy to have learned his name. When

the puddles have pulled back, tenderness
remains.

***
And for instance, Chris's series of poems narrated by the Gravitron, my favorite carnival/fair ride. The second half of "The Only Way to Leave the Petting Zoo":

[...] That the body
is not an ornament: whistling is rarely the same as wanting. Across the Midway, a sheep

bleats. Gravitron's ears keep ringing. He moves forward, deeper into the water
of his own circuitry, only to find that both knobs to the faucet of this other river are hot.

***
Tight.

***

Things are moving forward with the second issue of Saltgrass. Cover planning, etc. If you are an awesome person and/or poet, and you'd like a copy of the first issue, shoot me an email and include your address. Just trying to get the word out.

I was so tired by the time I walked back from the meeting, I pulled out my metro card to get back into my apartment, as though I could swipe into my apartment. No dice.

This Thurs, July12th, there is a Peel reading at Stain:
Readers are
David Sewell
Deb Olin Unferth
Porter Fox
Tao Lin

7:30pm.

Ok, I need to get some real sleep. No more fake sleep.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Noname Press?
My computer is being belligerent and won't let me give it a title/press name today.


I was at work, getting work done and then I switched over to re-reading Sleeping with the Dictionary:

“…We know this has an enormous
impact on their… Nevertheless their
behavior strikes us as…Our interactions
unfortunately have been…”
--Mullen, “Elliptical”

I covet Mullen’s command of the English language and her ability to write highly politicized poetry without it seeming off-putting to the reader, too ridden with angry agendas. Her love of words and their malleability somehow both supersedes and engages the political. Many of the poems in this collection employ heavy word play, ellipses, and grotesque representations of American objects, to show how language and word selection are continually used to exclude minorities, to make vague and hurtful statements, to undermine a sense of unity or compassion that society may be capable of engendering.

“Bilingual Instructions” is one of the few poems formed in couplets with very direct, succinct lines. The first two stanzas describe how the majority in California voted against bilingual instruction in schools and on the ballot. With these two simple summaries/statements, we learn a great deal about priorities in the state of California. The implication is that the majority would prefer the sink or swim method to helping young students whose native language is not English acclimate into the American educational system. Implicit is that only citizens who speak English should be able to vote and that maybe, if you cannot read the English instructions on the ballot, you do not derive to vote. The next stanza outlines what is appropriate to translate, “California says Yes / to bilingual instructions on curbside waste receptacles.” Spanish speakers are relegated to following instructions on how to strategically place the garbage (“arrow facing street”) and what can be put inside it (“yard clipping only”). While California cannot be bothered to encourage and facilitate the education or political involvement of Spanish speakers, California can expect these people to collect their trash and maintain their hedges. Here, Mullen illuminates how language is inextricable from social hierarchy in terms of the messages relayed about who is welcome, who is an outsider, and expectations for those who fall outside the majority. She leaves us with the irony of reading between the lines.

On the other rend of the spectrum, the poem, “Coals to Newcastle, Panama Hats from Ecuador,” presents an onslaught of disturbing images of the American lifestyle (well, some American lifestyles...). Mullen describes a “still life with fried spam, lite poundcake, nondairy creamer.” All of these foods are heavily processed and the diet-friendly poundcake and the milkless creamer are imitations of what the original food is supposed to be and indicate a level of denial in the artificial products with which we surround ourselves. Gone are the days of still life paintings with bowls of fruit. She tells us sardonically to “fax back the map of your spiritual path,” making us questions if we can get far enough away from materialism in the modern world to find some sort of spiritual solace. We can ponder this as we eat a “Petroleum jelly donut dunked in elbow grease.” Not only is the jelly filled with toxic oil and dunked in grease, but it’s dipped in elbow grease, playing off how the fruit of our labor is poisoned.

Eek. Now I must get back to Cubicle Work: eating processed food snacks and researching professors in gender studies and contemporary poetry. I'll try not to poison my labor.

Friday, July 6, 2007

I Know What Things To Take Seriously And What Things Not To Press


I want to hang out here, next to this blast furnace. I bet the stones are warm, the grass is soft. Can you pick me up after work in your blue ford truck and take me here? I don't know who you are, but if you have a pail of blueberries in the back of your truck, I'd be most grateful. I wouldn't even ask your name, we would just tell each other detailed and immencely interesting stories about our respective childhoods, climb all over the blast furnace, have a picnic, and then part ways. Honk twice. I have a pail if you have the berries.

***

If you've sent me a text message/voice message in the last week, I haven't got it since my phone is defunct. I'm hoping to visit a cell phone store this weekend and have them revive it, because I'd really like to avoid having to email everyone for their number. Oi, that would be "the pits," as my mom would say.

***

On the brighter side,
Everyone in the world reads poetry this Saturday and Sunday in nyc:

Vox Pop¹s Declaration of Independence: A Festival of Poetry and Music

Featured Presses
(with hosts/curators and authors):

(press and author bios and urls follow this schedule)
(complete festival information is at the end of this email)

Sat. July 7

1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.
Futurepoem Books
(editor Dan Machlin)

Merry Fortune
Serena Jost
Rachel Levitsky
Machlin
and special guests.


3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs
(editor Brenda Iijima)

John Coletti
Jennifer Firestone
Martha Oatis
Marianne Shaneen


5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
Belladonna* Books
(co-editor Rachel Levitsky)

Corina Copp
Joanna Fuhrman
Nada Gordon
Tim Peterson or Trace

and

Litmus Press/Aufgabe
(poetry editor Paul Foster Johnson)

Brenda Iijima
Idra Novey


9:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
Ugly Duckling Presse
(collective member TBA)

Steve Dalachinsky
Edwin Frank
Elizabeth Reddin
Laura Solomon


Sun. July 8

1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.
Kitchen Press
(editor Justin Marks)

Ana Bozicevic-Bowling
Chris Tonelli


3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Wilderside Media
(co-editors Ian and Kimberly Wilder)

Ellen Pober Rittberg
Lois Walker
Ian Wilder
Kimberly Wilder


5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
Bowery Books
(Bowery Women: Poems co-editor Marjorie Tesser)

Tsaurah Litzky
Amy Ouzoonian
Mary Reilly
Gabriella Santoro
Tesser

***

I'm going to my first summer bbq today. Yes.

***

I'm listening to the Bowerbirds' record Hymn for a Dark Horse. And it rocks.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Fix My Wrist Press

Um, I'm seriously worried about Carpal tunnel syndrome. I don't want a syndrome. But my wrist mucles on my right hand/arm are getting more painful, burny-feeling. Like in a way that would make me take Tylenol (sp? which I hate to do). So, lovely KL took a positive/pro-active role with my terror and emailed me wrist excersizes:

Carpal tunnel exercises, exercises you can do to help prevent, and ease the pain of, carpal tunnel syndrome. Below are 6 carpal tunnel exercises that you should at the start and end of your work shifts, as well as after any breaks you have throughout the day. These carpal tunnel exercises are simple and only take a few minutes.

Stand straight up and extend both arms straight out in front of you. Extend your wrists and fingers acutely as if they were in a hand stand position. Hold this position for 5 seconds.

Now straighten your wrists and relax your fingers.

Keeping your wrists straight, make a fist and squeeze it tightly. Hold for 5 seconds.

Keeping your fists clenched, bend you wrists down. Hold this position for 5 seconds.

Straighten both wrists and relax your fingers again.

It worries me that in image E, this lady still looks disgruntled. The problem is that even if you are the opposite of "disgruntled," you're still "gruntled." Ew.

Tonight is a sushi/movie night. My roommate left last week without any sort of fanfare and 3 days ago I got a little worried that he was in a ditch or something so I called to see when he would return, and he was in a field in Maine burning wood. A bonfire, if you will. And he said he was coming home yesterday. But he has not... so I'm a bit worried again about the ditch scenario, him lying in it and all. I do hope that when I go home today, he will be sitting in his tiny neon boxers, on the couch, watching VHS. Back to normal.

I took a mini roadtrip to Wendell MA earlier this week. This trip was a very good decision: I got to eat snap peas from the vine, wade knee deep in a pond, feed 4 pigs, and drink home brewed hard cider with good company.


Ok, poetry updates will come tomorrow. My wrist is burning.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Not Okay Press Names Press

Seriously, Not Okay Press Names:

1) I'd Be Really Sad If You Shit In My Sink Again Press

2) Gowanus Canal Press

3) I Get Really Down In The Dumps When People Say To Me "Get Out The Room, Bitch, Get Out The Room" Press

4) Googling Any Kind of Giant Vegetable Is Pretty Much My Favorite Thing To Do Press

5) Everybody Loves Raymond Press


I'm off to see Man Man play in a park. Then listen to Cedar Sigo (sp?) read poetry at Zinc.

Happy Canada Day, the way. It's time to break open that box wine.

This google image is for Not Okay Press Name Press #4, "Radish Night":