Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Gunna Jump You Like A Baby Koala Press


This week is about to be consumed with AWP. I have a number of meetings with scholar/poets for potential books and I'm nervous about talking theory, but also looking forward to it since my email correspondence with everyone has been so sweet. It's tiring after 5 meetings in a day, but also a little bit exhilarating to have the chance to snap up cutting edge poetry theory projects and talk with authors about them at the early, conceptual stage. Yeah, I'm a dork.

SO, besides professional work stuff, you should come to the Octopus/Cannibal/Saltgrass booth, #457, and pick up a (most likely FREE) copy of Saltgrass. Yes, I want you to read it and then fall in love with the poets/poems/format and then submit your sweet-ass poems.

Also, come say hi to me.

Please? I will smile, offer you a Saltgrass, and then make incredibly witty banter that will convince you to be Besties with me 4Eva.

4. Please also make your way to the Small Fires Press/Pilot Press booth. There you can find my collaboration chapbook w/ Mathias that just came out with Small Fires. It's hand letterpressed and has beautiful images in it, mostly of wolves. It will turn you into a wolf pup, it will turn your paws into larger paws, turn your eyes into an Aviatrix snarl.
Sneak peak at the cover:

When We Broke the Microscope

With a title and cover like that, how can you resist?
Is that God tempting you again? Do not resist, yee heathen.

No really.


Sorry about the blatant promo. But I'm really excited about this chappy.
Now I need to go home and clean my room some more. Good night.


Do you ever make the typo "food" for "good"? I do that all the time. The G and the F are too damn close. You have no idea how many times I almost email authors, "Food news!" or "Food idea!"

Monday, January 28, 2008

Mass Market That Lady Junk Press

Gearing up for AWP, Kitchen Press Prepares to Make Some Killer Joe Massey Chapbooks:

The overriding theme of this video is: "gravel pit" should be "lady junk" and thus all dance moves should repetitively point at your junk.
I hope you have the volume on LOUD so you can hear a) the music and b) these lines:

"Vary it up a little"
"You can't change it up"

"You can't stop it, you can only hope to contain it."

Camera blurs out and then comes back into focus:

End Scene.

Genius Vs. X-treme Soul-shame


I'm warning you, tomorrow my blog will basically be booth numbers where I'll be stationed for my *professional* job and Saltgrass. Please visit these numbers. In the mean time, let me tell you a little bit about my local Dollar Store.


My local dollar store kind of terrifies me. It celebrates all the holidays at once so right now they have Valentine's day stuff, St. Patrick's Day stuff, and Easter stuff. I don't even know when Easter is but I know it's not for a while:

Here comes Valentine's Day:

No wait, it's St. Patrick's Day. I think the army of leprechauns might massacre the army of happy Easter Bunnies:

Wouldn't your poems turn out better if you wrote them with a Shamrock Scribbler? No, I'm serious:

Easter. Honestly, I think there is a less morbid way to give your girlfriend a necklace than a coffin-like jewelry box:

Maybe not.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Did You Ever Call "Lapsies" When You Were A Child Press

Did you ever call lapsies when you were a kid? Please tell me I didn't make this up.

Like, when you were 8 and wanted to sit on a camp counselor's lap? Or you were fighting your sibling to sit on your mom's lap? Or you just liked sitting on the laps of strangers and your parents didn't mind that you screamed "Lapsies!" really loud and then ran away?

I've started to read The World Without Us by Weisman partly because it's a book published by my sister company and partly because I see it everywhere and partly because it did seem like an interesting "thought experiment" as "they" call it. And who doesn't want to hear how humans can disappear and make the flora & fauna flourish again. Except that Weisman's angle is also: to discover if "the world without us would miss us," which is a badly phrased inquiry. "Miss"? We shall see what he has to say. HOWEVER, the writing is full of fun words like "Forest primeval," "Puszcza," and "ghost of a log house" but has lulling affects. "I quite enjoyed what I read & then I fell asleep" would be my review so far. I'm on page 39 and looking forward to reading more this weekend. This is becoming a mushy paragraph, sorry.

I want to check out these tables at AWP, amongst others, but I'm giving myself a limit on either the # of books I can buy or the amount of money I can spend- it's probably better to limit the money, not the #:

Wesleyan University Press
Diagram / New Michigan Press
Graywolf Press
Milkweed Editions
New Directions
University of California Press
Ahsahta Press
Akashic Books
Alice James Books
Black Ocean
Calamari Press / Sleepingfish
Carolina Wren Press
Copper Canyon Press
Copper Nickel
Effing Press
The Fairy Tale Review
Flim Forum Press
Forklift, Ohio
Four Way Books
Litmus Press
Melville House Publishing
Red Morning Press
Slope Editions
Tarpaulin Sky
Ugly Duckling Presse
and University presses...

Is "browsey" and adjective? It should be. She's so browsey.

I'm going to do a serious investigation of what university presses are publishing these days.


Well, on Wednesday I broke into my roommates room to investigate his organizational/decor habits. Yes, it was a stealth mission driven entirely by boredom and a case of the giggles. Yes, I said "giggles" and I'm sorry. Not.

This is what I found:

Exhibit a)
A Map of the world from 1988. Apparently Ludwig can't let go of the Berlin Wall.


When I was in 5th grade my geography teacher let us all pick countries we wanted to write a report on and give a class presentation about. I picked Java. Then we had to make a dessert from that country and share it with the class. Well, in my research, which I think consisted of looking in the J Encyclopedia volume, I found out that one of the popular desserts was this banana based dish. It involved mushing bananas. And yes, because I made the dessert with my Mom the night before, when I brought it to class, the dessert was distinctly brownish. That old Banana trick. Apples are tricky like that, too. Anyways, I had a very hard time persuading my classmates that it tasted better than it looked. It was delicious.

A Piece of Canada. I want to take a road trip through Canada:

Exhibit b)
This photo is a realtor's dream. It makes the room look like it can legitimately hold a full drum set:

Note how from this angle, the drum set actually hangs over the bed:

Better not kick in your sleep.

Cameras on a green beauro:

I got busted at the end of my investigation:

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Flat Top vs. Flat Screen TV Press

So many readings beginning this weekend and all through next week, courtesy of AWP happenings. I'm going to post some of the readings I want to go to below. This is really so I can keep track of them. Although some rival each other for date/time so there will be a few audience show downs. Hopefully all will be well attended.


This Friday:

Friday, January 25th @ 7:00 p.m.
Stain Bar – Williamsburg, Brooklyn

WILLIAM STOBB is the author of Nervous Systems, a 2006 National Poetry Series selection and For Better Night Vision, a limited edition chapbook produced by the Black Rock Press at the University of Nevada. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Colorado Review, American Literary Review, Denver Quarterly, and online at MiPOesias, Three Candles, Cricket Online Review, and nthposition. 1.

TAO LIN is the author a poetry-collection, you are a little bit happier than i am (Action Books, 2006), a story-collection, Bed (Melville House, 2007), and a novel, Eeeee Eee Eeee (Melville House, 2007). Melville House is publishing his second poetry-collection, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, in 2008. His web site is called Reader of Depressing Books.

MIKE YOUNG is the co-editor of NOÖ Journal, a free literary/political magazine. His work has or will appear in MiPOesias, Backwards City Review, realpoetik, Juked, elimae, BlazeVOX, 3:AM and elsewhere. A chapbook of his work is forthcoming from Transmission Press. He sleeps most of the time in Massachusetts.


(I wish it well, but I'm not going. Many reasons, one being that I'm going to have a quiet Friday and clean my apartment, starting with the kitchen. This will involve bleaching the floor. Is it bad to treat your kitchen floor like a bathtub?

Saturday i'm going to finish cleaning and then write some belated essays. THEN I'm going to celebrate a friend's birthday.


This Saturday:
Susan Howe & James Thomas Stevens
January 26th, Saturday
4 pm-6 pm (punctual)
The Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery, just north of Houston

Susan Howe’s most recent books are The Midnight (New Directions) and Kidnapped (Coracle Books). Two CDs, Thiefth and Souls of the Labadie Tract, in collaboration with the musician/composer David Grubbs were recently released on the Blue Chopsticks label. A new collection of poems, as well as a re-print of her critical study My Emily Dickinson will be published by New Directions.

James Thomas Stevens is the author of seven books of poetry, including A Bridge Dead in the Water, Combing the Sadness from His Hair, and Bulle/Chimere. Stevens is a 2000 Whiting Award recipient and a 2005 National Poetry Series Finalist.

December and January curated by Brenda Iijima & Evelyn Reilly

Again, this sounds awesome but it interferes with me trying to finish those bloody essays. They are literally bloody, I cry academic blood tears over every page I read for the third time of Coetzee's Elizabeth Costello. Just kidding, Polito.


Next Monday:

A & B reading, JANUARY 28
St. Petersburg Review &
Ugly Duckling Presse present
Peter Gizzi
Aleksandr Skidan
Genya Turovskaya


I AM SO GOING TO THIS OR I WILL BE ANGRY WITH MYSELF. The lovely poet Keith Newton promised to make sure I go. Right? Right?


Next Tuesday:
Boog City presents

d.a. levy lives: celebrating the renegade press

Instance Press
(Boulder, Colo.; New York City; Oakland, Calif.)

Tues. Jan. 29, 6:00 p.m. sharp, free

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

Event will be hosted by
Instance Press co-editor Stacy Szymaszek

Featuring readings from

Kimberly Lyons
Kevin Varrone
Craig Watson

and music from

Toby Goodshank

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

Curated and with an introduction by Boog City editor David Kirschenbaum

Maybe? I'm kinda thinking it would be good to stay home and read my Harpers, The World Without Us, and The Totality for Kids- the three things I'm juggling between right now. I told myself on Monday that this week would be quite time.

Next Thurs:

A Brooklyn Book Burning
Featuring 15 authors from 6 publishers:
Thursday, January 31st
Doors @ 7 PM
East Coast Aliens
216 Franklin Street (Greenpoint neighborhood), Brooklyn, NY
tel (718) 514-7625

Killer Lineup:

CD Wright
Eleni Sikelianos
Graham Foust
Joyelle McSweeney
Joshua Marie Wilkinson
Julie Doxsee
Max Winter
Adam Clay
Zachary Schomburg
Morgan Lucas Schuldt
Lily Brown
Rauan Klassnik
Cindy Savett
Jon Thompson
Melanie Hubbard

Hosted by Black Ocean, Cannibal Books, Free Verse Editions, Kitchen Press, Octopus, Tarpaulin Sky Press & Typo.

Challenging the above Thursday reading to a dual is:

Ahsahta Press & Litmus Press present readings by:

Kate Colby, Kate Greenstreet, Brenda Iijima, Kristi Maxwell, Rusty Morrison, Heidi Lynn Staples, Stacy Szymaszek, & Mark Tardi.

Join us!

Thursday, January 31, 8 pm
Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery (at 1st St.)
New York City

And then we also have Red Hen, up to the Thursday challenge:

Red Hen Press Reading
Thursday, January 31
8:30 PM
Cornelia Street Café

29 Cornelia Street 10014
between Bleecker and W. 4th, 212-989-9319

Sarah Bein, Elizabeth Bradfield, Elena Karina Byrne, Charles Hood, Doug Kearney, Carol Potter, Eva Saulitis, Cecile Rossant


Who will bring home the trophy?

Next Friday:

When: Friday, February 1, 5-7pm
Where: at the Bowery Poetry Club / http://www.bowerypoetry.com

Who: Zoland Poetry hosts a group reading with New Directions, Ugly Duckling Presse and Zephyr Press. Zoland contributors include Forrest Gander, Mani Rao, and Jeffrey Yang. Admission is free.

Directions: 308 Bowery {foot of First Street, between Houston & Bleecker across the street from CBGBs; F train to Second Ave, or 6 train to Bleecker; 212.614.0505}




And then no need to move because after this another reading blows up the same spot:

bin ramke, donald revell, laynie browne, peter gizzi, anthony, et al. 7-10pm, bowery poetry club

I think there is also a Coconut reading Friday but I misplaced the info so I'll get back to you about it.


Next Saturday:
the Cannibal Birthday Party

poets from Cannibal: Issue Three
Phil Cordelli, Jeff Encke & Andrew Hughes

& Cannibal Books authors

Melanie Hubbard (Gilbi Winco Swags)
Ben Mazer (The Foundations of Poetry Mathematics)
Bronwen Tate (My Proust Vocabulary, forthcoming 2008)

Saturday, February 2nd 6 PM
Jimmy’s No. 43 Stage
43 East 7th Street, NYC
btwn. 2nd & 3rd Aves.



PHEW, I think I got most of the off site readings I'm aware of.


and do not forget about this hot news:

Two new chapbooks from horse less press!

Vale Tudo by Sommer Browning

A Mule-Shaped Cloud by Sarah Bartlett and Chris Tonelli

And the reading period for our collab/response anthology has almost come to an end! Send your work! Info below:


HORSE LESS PRESS will publish a print anthology in 2008. THE THEME is response. WE ARE INTERESTED in the following 1) writings that respond to, collaborate with, collage from, extend, elaborate, etc. a piece of writing that HAS APPEARED in horse less review, 2) COLLABORATIONS WITH WRITERS who've been published by horse less press or review, 3) BEGINNINGS, FRAGMENTS, PROPOSALS, HALF-MADE WORKS which desire some attention. We may also be interested in collaborative or response-based writings that do not fall into these categories. Please query early if you have an idea. SUBMISSIONS GO to horselessresponse at gmail dot com. Our deadline is January 31, 2008. Send work IN THE BODY of email or as a single word, rtf, or pdf file. IN A COVER letter please tell us a little about yourself and a little about the work you are submitting. PLEASE CLARIFY whether your submission falls into category 1, 2, 3. If #1, MAKE SURE you identify the source work. IF YOU NEED MORE information, visit our website or send questions to the above email address.


Ok, now I'm tired.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

When I'm In Bed I'm a Hi-Fiving Machine Press

Well, well, well. This weekend went more according to plans than I could have imagined:

Exhibit a) en route to opening of Melville House, according to plans:

Ok, basically I didn't take a photo of Melville House so you're going to have to trust that I made it there and that the Press's bookstore is pretty cool. Right now it just has their own imprint but soon it will be tightly packed with other independent presses' books. It's in DUMBO on the York street stop so if you're in the area, check them out. Honestly, they will not have many visitors, so I'm sure they will react exuberantly to your entrance and as you glance at their wares.

Exhibit b) JPH actually made it to nyc for Saturday night, according to plans:

He is hiding. Lame.

Exhibit c) lady boots!

Ok, this doesn't actually show that anything went "according to plans," but it does show that I stealthily took a photo of a lady's boots on the subway. And look at that lovely pink light coming out of her cuff!

Exhibit d) A rowdy crowd made it to Pete's Candy Store for Shafer's reading later that night, according to plans:

Yes, I am starting to notice a pattern that my photos of this weekend don't exactly prove I did anything at all.

Well, I did discover an awesome Diner menu. For a cheap-o diner in Brooklyn?!:

Nice turrets.

Exhibit e) something along the lines of Girl's Movie Night:
My giant, cavernous armchair drugged and seduced JM:

Showing off the movie choices:

Eating the movie choices:

Watching the movie choices:

Yes, that's Drew starring in a rom-com.

Wow, back to real news:
Pilot Books has something they want you to buy. So maybe you should:

We're so very happy to announce the release of Mary Ruefle's comic book , GO HOME AND GO TO BED!

To purchase this book, you can go to the Pilot Books catalog.

Or, for an even more thrilling maneuver, you could get a Season Two Subscription and receive Mary's comic, along with Sophie Klahr's VERSUS RECOVERY (available now) and Joshua Marie Wilkinson's BOOK OF FLASHLIGHTS, CLOVER & MILK (available soon) for the low low price of $25 (includes shipping).

We also want to mention that we will be sharing a book table at the AWP book fair in NYC later this month, with Small Fires Press and Factory Hollow Press, so if you are going to be there please come and find us and say hello! We would love to see and/or meet you! We are table 91 in the Gramercy Room.

Until we meet again...

Dean Gorman & Betsy Wheeler


So there you have it. Moving along:

Lame House Press is excited to announce the release of Claire Becker's
new chapbook Untoward. Untoward is available for $6.00 via PayPal or
by sending a check made out to Gina Myers, 5063 Maybrook Drive,
Saginaw, MI 48603. Please visit the website for more information,
including links to poems that appear in the chapbook:


I am really excited to buy and read this chappy, however, the cover scares me because for some reason it reminds me of this movie (Ju-on):

This somehow hightens the anticipation of actually reading the book. Come hither, book.


I suggest buying these now, especially if you plan on going to AWP, so that you can get your hands on these before you're inundated next week. Oh, so that means you should also buy the second issue of SALTGRASS: www.saltgrassjournal.blogspot.com
It will make wild blue flowers grow out of your aorta. In a good way.


So, Next Monday
A & B reading, JANUARY 28
St. Petersburg Review &
Ugly Duckling Presse present
Peter Gizzi
Aleksandr Skidan
Genya Turovskaya


Um, Heath Ledger died a few hours ago. Sorry guys:

Actor Heath Ledger Is Found Dead
By Sewell Chan

The actor Heath Ledger was found dead this afternoon in an apartment building at 421 Broome Street in SoHo, according to the New York City police. Mr. Ledger was 28.

At 3:31 p.m., a masseuse arrived at Apartment 5A in the building for an appointment with Mr. Ledger, the police said. The masseuse was let in to the home by a housekeeper, who then knocked on the door of Mr. Ledger’s bedroom. When no one answered, the housekeeper and the masseuse opened the bedroom and found Mr. Ledger unconscious. They shook him, but he did not respond. They immediately called the authorities. The police said they did not suspect foul play. Officials said pills fear found near the body.

Mr. Ledger, a native of Perth, Australia, won acclaim for his role as a co-star in “Brokeback Mountain”, a 2005 film. The film, based on a short story by Annie Proulx about two cowboys who fall in love, won critical acclaim. Reviewing the film in The New York Times, the critic Stephen Holden wrote, “Mr. Ledger magically and mysteriously disappears beneath the skin of his lean, sinewy character. It is a great screen performance, as good as the best of Marlon Brando and Sean Penn.”

Mr. Ledger met the actress Michelle Williams while filming ‘’Brokeback Mountain.” The two actors fell into a very public romance. They had a daughter, Matilda Rose, who was born on Oct. 28, 2005. They moved to Brooklyn, but then separated last year.
Calls by The New York Times to Mara Buxbaum, a publicist for Mr. Ledger, and Steve Alexander, the actor’s agent, were not immediately returned this afternoon.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Conjugal Visits Press

The new issue of the Denver Quarterly arrived in the mail today. You may want to pay it a conjugal visit:

Current Issue

With such contributors as Sam Amadon, Mark Lamoureux, Janaka Stucky, Cole Swensen, Rosemarie Waldrop, Mark Yakich. They havent' posted the Table of Contents yet so that's all the energy I have to type up some names, but you can go to: http://www.denverquarterly.com/

I'm excited to read the essays & poetry this weekend.


Shafer Hall. I have his grey hoodie and I'm holding it ransom unless he sings some bluegrass on Saturday, like his own rendition of Shady Grove. Joanna is aghast that I would threaten with ransom, she makes this face:

Actually, to get the hoodie back he can also sing either a Journey song or a The Band song. Of his choosing. I think this is a very doable ransom, I mean, if you want this hoodie back. Alive:

See you all at Pete's Candy Store this Saturday. Mr. Hall will be reading from "Never Cry Woof," his first collection. Billy Collins endorses it, "Doing great things with words, horizontally."

So I went to that George Saunders, Zadie Smith, Miranda July reading on Wednesday. It was energized. I hardly go to fiction readings and all the money went to this children's literacy organization NYC826 http://www.826nyc.org/. Very cool.

I've never been to a large reading with such a young, hip, crowd. Everyone was sleek and slightly asymmetrical in that stunning sort of way. Anyways, the friend I went to the reading with is reading the same book I am so we talked about the article on face blindness in The 2007 Best Science Writing and took the subway home to Brooklyn:

What up, it's Friday:

You're such a punk. Yes, you.

Clovefield here I come.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Pretty Shit Contract Press

Before we get down to business, I have two amazing photos to show you. Please note that these are NOT taken off the web, these are childhood photos of my friend's old friend. Apparently his older brothers really had some fun with him. What did you do in the summer when school was out? Oh, just made my younger brother stage a couple'a mass murders:


Anyways... I forgot to mention one awesome thing on Friday:

Surf guitar music! Michael Leviton is playing surf guitar and all the proceeds go to an animal shelter. Tomorrow:

Friday, Jan.18th
Bar Matchless
557 Manhattan Ave. at Driggs
We’re on at 9:30pm
$6 suggested contribution to benefit cute animals

Michael also plays a lot of sea-fairing ukulele songs and you can check these out on his website: http://www.michaelleviton.com/news.php

I forgot to mention one awesome thing happening on Sunday. Sommer Browning and Kate Greenstreet, besides being mindblowing poets, are also the most adorable people, and they are both reading, get this, at the same place! I have friends coming to my house on Sunday expecting to watch movies and eat spring rolls, but I may have to trick them into taking a break from that and coming to this reading with me. This is very close to my house:

440 Gallery and Ellen Chuse host
Brooke Shaffner's Reading Series
Sunday, January 20th from 4:30-6:00 pm
440 Sixth Avenue, between 9th and 10th Streets. TRAINS: F to 7th Ave, M & R to 4th Ave. BUS: B67 to 9th St., B75 to 6th Ave.vist us at http://www.440gallery.com

Kate Greenstreet is the author of case sensitive (Ahsahta Press, 2006) and three chapbooks, Learning the Language (Etherdome Press, 2005), Rushes (above/ground press, 2007), and This is why I hurt you (Lame House Press, forthcoming). Her poems have appeared in Conduit, Barrow Street, Pool, 26, Xantippe, and other journals. Her second book, The Last 4 Things, will be out from Ahsahta in 2009. Visit her online at kickingwind.com.


Joshua Harmon is the author of Quinnehtukqut, a novel. His fiction, nonfiction, and poems have appeared in many journals, and he has received fellowships in fiction from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. He teaches at Vassar College.

Sommer Browning writes poems in Brooklyn. Her poems have appeared in New York Quarterly, spork, Forklift, Ohio and elsewhere. Vale Tudo, her chapbook, will be out with horse less press soon. If you're ever in Williamsburg, visit her at the poetry series she hosts at Pete's Candy Store.


I've been having weird panic attacks this week about different things. Which basically means I can't, quickly enough, rationalize myself into a calm space. My space is like neon static that clings to every tree limb, pulling at the leaves, looking deceptively windy when there's hardly a light breeze. And there are 1,000 thin red kites dangling from my shoulder blades that I can't cut off nor enable them to catch a cloud & pull me up.

Pat me on the head & bring a hotair balloon basket. Let's go for a spin. And a picnic. I'll trade my panic for your picnic.

Sometimes, though, if you just wait it out, everything you want to have feel okay again actually becomes okay again. I have to remember this. For some reason, I thought looking at photos of elephants in snow would make me happy. Unfortunately, elephants do not usually hang out near snowbanks so this is what I got:
search for "snow elephants":

search for "elephants in snow":

(I'm really glad I can say I've never been to Mister Ed's elephant museum.)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Don't Spill Black Tea on Your iPod Mini Press

No really, you should be careful not to. I am trying. And I have a case of the spills and the dropsies, to boot.

I keep drinking black tea with milk for breakfast. I may have to investigate something more hardy to eat at 9am. Something that can not spill on me, or be dropped. Like a marzipan carousel. A giant halo ringing the skyscrapered city. An old fashioned deep sea diving suit.

The breakfast that cannot spill


Well, Brad Renfro died today (age 25). Most guys probably do not know who he is, or anyone for that matter who was over 12 yrs old in 1994, but I think some girls who watched The Client (in 1994, then The Cure, Sleepers, and much later, Ghost World) will be sad to learn that Brad died. Most likely drugs. When I was younger I really didn't understand how girls had crushes on TV actors. It didn't make sense to swoon over someone you didn't know because they looked a certain way on film/television. I had friends who had posters and magazine cut outs of all kinds of boy actors on their wall and I was always slightly embarrassed for them but then also felt awkward because I just couldn't relate to their enthusiasm and was left out. They sent away for signed autographs. They had boy-crush posters and I had Apple ads from 1993-5 on my wall (that's 5-7th grade). I liked those Apple ads, ok? They were "inspiring."

Anyways, Brad Renfro was one of the few kid actors I thought was cute when I was a kid:

From the LA Times:
Renfo's body was found in his Los Angeles apartment, in the 1000 block of South Ogden Drive, by his girlfriend, authorities said. Renfro was declared dead by paramedics at 9 a.m., according to coroner's spokesman Ed Winter.

"There is no suspicion of foul play," LAPD Lt. David Evans said.

Renfro's former attorney, Blair Berk said Tuesday: "Brad was a really gifted young man. It is a tragedy all the way around."

Renfro, a native of Tennessee, began acting in skits for the anti-drug group DARE at his school. He got his big break when producers of "The Client" -- the film adaptation of the John Grisham novel -- conducted a national search to find a fresh face to play the role of a boy who encounters danger after he overhears a conversation about a murder. Renfro appeared opposite Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones in that 1994 movie.

Despite the promising start to his acting career, Renfro was known for his legal troubles. In the late 1990s, he was arrested for trying to steal a yacht in Florida. In December 2005, he was picked up by LAPD officers during an undercover drug sweep of downtown's skid row.

Renfro told a detective who arrested him that he was using heroin and methadone. He ultimately went into a drug rehabilitation program and pleaded guilty to the attempted possession of heroin. Renfro was sentenced to three years' probation.

Um, in other news, Mitt Romney won the Michigan primary Tuesday night, beating John McCain by a substantial margin. WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON. Well, I guess this is what's going on: Lots of democrats voted for Mitt to keep him in the running and weaken McCain's campain, thus weakening his chance at beating Clinton/Obama. Sneaky democrats, let's hope it works. But still, Mitt Romney and Huckabee are making me nervous/queezy.


There are a lot of things going on this weekend right here in nyc, unrelated to the primaries or drug overdoses by former pre-pubescent heart-throbs:

1) I think I've been suckered into seeing Cloverfield on Friday. Sigh/exclamation point.


2) Saturday, afternoon:
4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. 308 BOWERY, just north of Houston

Rachel Blau DuPlessis’s two most recent books are Torques: Drafts 58-76 (Salt Publishing, 2007) and Blue Studios: Poetry and Its Cultural Work (University of Alabama Press, 2006). She lives in Philadelphia and teaches at Temple University. Anna Moschovakis is the author of a book of poems, I Have Not Been Able to Get Through to Everyone, and two chapbooks. She volunteers as an editor and designer at Ugly Duckling Presse, for which she recently co-edited The Drug of Art, the selected works of Czech poet Ivan Blatny (in English translation).

I love both of their poetry. It's interesting to pair them together in a reading. I don't think I will make it to this, but who knows. I'd love to.


3) I am trying to save my energy for this: Saturday, Melville House opening, early evening:
at 145 plymouth street (F train to york street, first stop in brooklyn)

12 p.m. store opens
6 p.m. event for elizabeth little

from melville house press release:
Come see what may be the most beautiful bookstore in New York City on Saturday, January 19, 2008, as Melville House opens its new, glass-walled space with a stunning installation from artist Jeri Coppola. Meanwhile, it wouldn't kill you to buy a book while you're there ... or a Sholom Aleichem bobble-head .... And, after the bookstore closes at 6:00 pm (you can watch the bookcases revolve back into the wall) stick around for our first-ever event: a reading by MHP author Elizabeth Little from her hot new book, Biting the Wax Tadpole: Confessions of a Language Fanatic, followed by a soon-to-be-classic beer reception.


4) Later on Saturday:
Host: Shafer Hall's first collection of poetry, Never Cry Woof, is available now from No Tell Books. "Hall has an unmistakable twang, a sort of sensitive gruffness. If you've never heard him read in person, imagine Sam Elliott in his part as the Stranger in The Big Lebowski, or as Virgil Earp in Tombstone." - Dan Brady, Growler Poetry Review

Gabe The Rothschild 9pm
Gabe The Rothschild rose to prominence as Warren Moon's neighbor in suburban Houston. Gabe's songs are rooted in folk, but Gabe's specific sound spans into many more categories and genres. His music is true. Words, children's pianos, mandolins, guitars, banjos, bottles & cans, ukuleles, and many o their instruments/found objects create the full sound that can only be comparable to the feeling of joy one gets when you look into the eye of a little fluffy bunny and for that one moment, you just know, that you truly understand each other.

Andy Friedman & The Other Failures 10pm
He moonlights as a cartoonist for, most notably, The New Yorker, but the songs written by "hard-scrabble singer-songwriter" (TIME OUT NEW YORK) and "erudite redneck" (BOSTON GLOBE) Andy Friedman aren't written for laughs. The title track of his first studio album, "Taken Man," appeared on the New York Post's 207 Best Songs of 2007 at #30. "Singer-songwriter Andy Friedman has a mastery of wordy self-loathing that many white dudes with guitars would kill for," says NASHVILLE SCENE.
Alex Battles 11pm

Alex Battles is a country singer and songwriter, and the leader of The Whiskey Rebellion, a country band based in Brooklyn, NY. Originally from Chesterland, OH, Battles writes country songs by turns funny and bittersweet on his grandfather's tenor banjo. His influences are John Prine, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Tom Waits and Tom T. Hall. Battles has written a respectable 113 songs. "Brandishing a legal pad full of just-finished lyrics, and a drawling, lazy voice, Battles can wrap audiences around his knotty fingers. - Village Voice

If you manage to do all of that, you are drinking a lot of coffee and/or Red Bull. Um, or Sparks. Or jaguars. Or dragoons.

My friend JPH is coming to town so I'm hoping to make it to Melvill House and also Shafer's reading at Pete's Candy Store.


Ok, go order the new Saltgrass issue. Scroll down to the last post for a link. Go.

I know I'm forgetting things. Oh, I'm going to spend Monday afternoon dorking out, re-ordering my manuscript. I have it in the wrong order. I've finally come around to the idea that maybe it does need sections. I can only tell by arranging it and checking it out this way: The Manuscript Manipulation Experiment. Also, I needa cut the weaker poems. Tidy things up, "clean house."

If I don't get into this on Thursday, then Monday will also be spent reading Theory of Colours by Goethe. I'm hoping to get immersed in Chapter 1 on Thursday (this means making it passed the intro, which I've been stuck on). The book has been on the back burner but it shouldn't be. I'm both intimidated by Goethe but also completely excited to get into his weirdo-head. But if that doesn't happen, then the reading will carry over to Monday. I feel like if I say it to more than myself, I will be more committed. I want to be propelled into the text.



Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Celebrity Soccer Trumps Celebrity Golf Press

Last night I trekked to the Chelsea Piers as planned (even through the rain) to see poet and soccer champion Sampson Starkweather play for Made out of Marble. This team has members of The Strokes and also Andy Samberg from SNL. But when you're out on the soccer field everyone looks the same, sweaty & busy.

Oh, and don't you go ahead and think I only went to stalk mediocre celebrities in shin guards. No way. I also got my little paws on Starkweather's new chapbook with horse less press:
The Photograph

When I say "you," I don't mean you. The poem has two hearts. Tony Hoagland can do nothing about it. Everybody knows there's no such thing as the perfect poem. Music. I have burned you out of the poem to get it just right.

You have to buy the chapbook to finish that stanza and read the others. Well, go:

So, anyways, I ate potato chips with Poetry Bear and watched the soccer game from the sideline. Oh, check out PB's new blog: http://www.justinanselmarks.blogspot.com/


So, big world news:

Saltgrass issue 2 is officially out.
Well, I have yet to plague you with a mass email, oh little darlings, but don't worry, that's soon to follow.

Cover (it's blue in real life):

Go here: www.saltgrassjournal.blogspot.com to check out the table of contents on the new issue, read a few select sample poems, and buy the hell out of the issue.

I'm totally pumped. I guarantee that at least one poem in this issue will make 1,000 blue butterflies spring from your eyes, burrow into your duck-blood heart, and then make everything for the next 14 days taste like Fuji apples & ice cream and look like a kaleidoscope bruising a stormy ocean.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Nothing Is Warmer Than The Wolf Blanket Press

Did you know the Boog Reader 2 is out? If you don't have a hardcopy, you can read the PDF of poems by your favorite NYC poets:
Inside the covers, you've got some Anselm Berrigan, Lee Ann Brown, Arlo Quin, Joanna Sondheim, Anna Moschovakis, and Matvei Yankelevich, etc. (I think that my poem in this is one of the sadder poems I have ever written.)

On Sunday I had brunch with some fine poets/people. On my way there, I passed:

A crazy straw!

Brenda I., Ana B-B, and Amy K. You can actually check out Ana and Amy's work in the Boog link above (I recommend doing this right now). Note that they are all holding/wearing their spirit animals. Well, maybe they are just rubber animals from the dollar store:

(Spirit animals, from left to right: Elephant, dog, shark)

The ladies were a bit late to arrive so M and I had to entertain ourselves by taking photos of our dollar store finds:


I saw Juno this weekend. Really bad. I apologize to all the people I made see this with me.


I've started watching Deadwood. Any comments?


Don't forget that Pierre Joris, Eugene Ostashevsky, and Michael
Loughran are reading tonight at A & B. I'd really love to go but I think that I may go watch Sampson Starkweather play on the soccer team with the Strokes at the Chelsea Piers. It's a good sign when a soccer team of indie rockers has to recruit a poet to kick some ass.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Animal Halo Press

Stella McCartney gave birth to her 3rd child and named it Beckett Robert Lee.

WTF?! Seriously?


Also, I am curious about men who are attracted to female body builders.


Also, if you want to keep your friends, you should probably not address them as "Hey, Puppet..."


My plan for Saturday is to sleep in and then organize a chapbook with Mathias that is completely finished besides the pagination. Another co-chappy, this one called Chugwater. Lots of flooding, mud, cotton fields, a mayor, and hatchets. We need to find a home for Chugwater once the pages are in order. And then I want to work on another co-chappy, Sugar Means Yes, that has a more to go in terms of writing an organizing. Need to get down to business. I'm excited to both sleep late and be productive all in the same day.

BUT, if you are not going to be sprawling lots of poems on your living room floor and ordering them tomorrow after noon, you should go to this:

Tisa Bryant & Robert Kocik

Saturday, January 12th

4-6 pm (punctual!)

The Bowery Poetry Club

300 Bowery

New York (just north of Houston)

As part of the Segue Series

Tisa Bryant’s work includes Unexplained Presence (Leon Works, 2007), and Tzimmes (A+Bend Press, 2000). She is currently creating [the curator], a meditation on identity, visual culture and the lost films of auteur Justine Cable, and Playing House, an exploration of work, writing and domesticity.

Robert Kocik is a poet, essayist, builder, and eleemosynary entrepreneur. His niche, architecturally, is the designing/building of missing civic services. His most recent publications are Overcoming Fitness (Autonomedia, 2000) and Rhrurbarb (Field Books, 2007). He is currently researching the Prosodic Body—an exacting aesthetics based on prosody as the bringing forth of everything.

December and January readings curated by Brenda Iijima & Evelyn Reilly


Whose chest do you touch with your triangle paws?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Nasty Classics Press

How do we get the young generation interested in the classics, you ask? I know you ask, because you ask me this a lot. Well, simply by adding the word Nasty to the title.

Round 1:
Nasty Candide by Voltaire
The Nasty Odyssey by Homer
Paradise Nasty by Milton
Discourse on the Nasty Method of Rightly Conducting the Nasty Reason, and Seeking Truth in Nasty Sciences by Descartes

Round 2, a little more modern:
Heart of Nasty by Conrad
The Nasty Awakening by Chopin
Great, Nasty Expectations by Dickens
The Nasty Color Purple by Walker
Little, Nasty Women by Alcott
The Age of Nasty by Wharton
Nasty Ulysses by Joyce
The Importance of Being Nasty by Wilde

"Paradise Nasty" by Milton sounds like a reality TV show. And "Heart of Nasty" by Conrad is like the tag line The Bachelore on ABC.

I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that poets never do this to their titles:

Round 3:
Don't Let Me Be Nasty by Rankine
Tender, Nasty Buttons by Stein
Some Values of Landscape and Nasty by Gizzi
Happily Nasty by Hejinian
Sleeping with the Nasty by Mullen
Nasty Daddy by Plath
Beginning Nasty by Wright
A Sort of Nasty Song by Williams
Fire and Nasty by Frost
He Held Nasty Light by Ammons
In a Station of the Nasty by Pound

Oh, now I feel very dirty for doing that. Sorry. Everyone should want to read those poetry books without the nasty (although I don't think Plath's Daddy needs a Nasty in front of it anyways). They are all nasty in their own right.

I might get in trouble for putting this photo up but...this is what happens when poets go to the museum:


Clearly it is time for my lunch break:

The panda's are grousing. Or they are trying to warm their noses. You can ask Ana B-B because she made my day by sending me this photo a while ago. And I compulsively feel the need to share it with everyone I love.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

You Have To See My Latin Notebooks From Highschool Press

My favorite comment made last night went like this, emphatically:

"You have to see my Latin notebooks from high school- they're covered in doodles of basketball players."--Keith Newton, poet

Yes, I would love to see your latin notebooks.


Across the subway this morning I saw this creepy black hand print smear. I had to wait until the people cleared out of that area so I could re-locate and take a photo when no one was looking:


Recently in my work emails to authors I find myself using the word "superb." I'm troubled by this. I think they like it, though. They really do.


I want to see Juno this weekend.

Next Wednesday. Peter Jay Sharp Theater. I'll be there:

Um, I totally cracked and am attending. George Saunders makes me laugh out loud in a way that suprises me. I've only read CivilWarLand in Bad Decline and Pastoralia, but I plan on reading his other work. And also, I was just so curious about how this event would play out that I'm going with a friend to spy on Maggie Gyllenhaal:

Please join us on January 16th at Symphony Space, as 826NYC and Penguin Books present a benefit reading to celebrate the release of The Book of Other People, a collection of brand new stories by contemporary authors edited by Zadie Smith. ZADIE SMITH will host this special event, which will feature readings by two of the book's contributors, GEORGE SAUNDERS, and VENDELA VIDA, plus a rare reading by actress MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL. There will be a book signing and Q & A after the reading.

All proceeds from the book and reading will benefit 826NYC. If you would like to go too, click: http://www.symphonyspace.org/event/2385

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Is My Listening Device Is Smaller Than Your Listening Device Press

My brother got me a nano for Xmas, thus thrusting me forward into the 21st century. Last night I learned how to turn it on and off. How to download music. And how to use the safety lock. I'm kind of in love with the Yndi Halda song, "A Song For Starlit Beaches." It's 19 mintues long so I listened to it twice on my way to work this morning. Now I'm about to listen to the new Jana Hunter album, There's No Home. This nano thing might grow on me.


Before I left RI, I watched my brother go on a shooting spree in the cow pasture:

exhibit a)
the cows were a bit scared at first, but they were too dumb to remain scared for long:

exhibit b)
Brother, gun:

Exhibit c)
Diet, Caffeine free coke is the lamest. So you must use it as target practice:

exhibit d)

exhibit e)
Mathias, before he learned how to hold the pistol:


I corrupted my grandmother's shopping list by turning Tin Pans into Tennis Pains. And then I felt bad and crossed it out. And then a photographed my shame:

I have not mentioned poetry once. Just tennis pain.