Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Romantic Nomad Press

If you've ordered a copy of Saltgrass and it never reached you, please email me and I will pop one in the mail to you. I think there are two orders my co-editor thought I was mailing out and vice versa. If that was you, I am VERY sorry. I did not mean to steal your $5. In fact, if you email me and let me know that your Saltgrass did not arrive, I will stick a suprise present in the package. Like a chunk of gold. Or a mix tape. Ok, it will most likely be a mix tape (CD) made with the gold of my heart.


So I'm looking at apartments in all parts of Brooklyn and some parts of Queens. Apartment hunting is hard if you're trying to avoid the beady eyes and cloying hands of a broker. A broker who wants over a grand just to help you find a small apartment. Silly broker.

My evenings go like a bad haiku:

"Back off, broker. Wait,
don't leave, I need you like po*n.
Oh, I take that back."

My contribution to National Poetry Month, folks. Anyways, I am actually trying to find places sans broker because if you divide up a $1,100 broker fee over the year, you are basically paying $100 extra bucks a month for that fee. I'd rather either save that money or find a bigger place without a broker for an extra $100 a month. Right? Right.

Today I am meeting with a broker but after that: I go rogue.


Jordan Davis tells us what to check out during NaPoMo over at Slate: http://www.slate.com/id/2190205


I assume you have all read the article that just came out about the woman, now 42, who was locked in her father's basement for 24 years and gave birth to 7 of his children? Apparently the wife/mother thought her daughter had run away and joined a cult while the father was tormenting/raping/abusing his daughter for a quarter of a century in the very same house? This is one of the most twisted news stories I have read in a while, Jesus:

For almost a quarter of century, as life unfolded in the quiet Lower Austrian town of Amstetten, Elisabeth Fritzl was enduring an unimaginable ordeal behind the plain gray walls of a nondescript house there.

Her 73-year old father, Josef, today confessed that he held his now 42-year-old daughter captive for 24 years in a concealed, windowless basement hideout, where he repeatedly had sexual intercourse with her and where she gave birth to seven of his children. The shocking case has reminded many Austrians of the fate of Natascha Kampusch, who was kidnapped at the age of 10 and kept in a narrow basement for eight years until she managed to flee in August 2006. But the senior investigator in Amstetten, Franz Polzer, said that the cruel deliberateness of Josef Fritzl's deed outstripped the Kampusch case "by far." Though cases of such longstanding hidden crimes have cropped up elsewhere in recent years, the revelation of two in less than two years has set about a round of public soul-searching in Austria.

The police became aware of the family after Elisabeth's critically ill and confused 19-year old daughter, Kerstin, was admitted to the local hospital. Kerstin, together with her brothers Stefan, now 18, and Felix, 5, had shared their mother's miserable life in the basement and had never seen the daylight. The hospital's urgent request for medical information from Kerstin's family triggered an anonymous tip, and Josef and Elisabeth were seized by police.

Having been promised protection from her tormentor, Elizabeth Fritzl told the investigators her nightmarish story. She says she was 11 years old when her father raped her for the first time. But it was only after she had turned 18 that, according to colleagues, she disappeared from her job at a highway rest stop and never returned. A former colleague told the Austrian Kurier newspaper that the parents showed up at their daughter's former workplace a few days later appearing very worried.

Another child born in the basement died shortly after its birth due to lack of medical care. The other three, Lisa (15), Monica (14) and Alexander (12) lived in the house, attended the local school, and appeared to be normal. Josef allegedly told his wife that their daughter had run away to join a cult and had left the babies on the doorstep of the house. He produced a letter allegedly from her, which was quoted in the Austrian press: "Don't try to find me, it would be pointless and would increase my suffering and the suffering of my children. Also too much education and too many children are unwanted there."

Polzer said Elisabeth looked very pale and thin and "much older than she actually is." Kerstin is described as being in stable but serious condition, while Elisabeth and the other two children who lived with her are under the care and observation of psychologists.

Josef Fritzl appears to have meticulously carried out his deed while acting like a caring father. The former electrical engineer carefully prepared what would be his daughter's and her three children's prison. The basement consisted of four windowless rooms and was equipped with a shower and a toilet, as well as a television. The electronically secured door to the prison could only be opened by entering a code number, which was known only by Fritzl. His wife, who insists that she had no idea what was going on in the house, was never allowed to set foot in the basement.

The neighbors, none of whom noticed anything unusual, are now asking lots of questions. "I was railing against the neighbors in the Kampusch case", a businessman who lives across the street told the Kurier. "Now I am in the same situation." So, perhaps, is all of Austria. "It won't be possible after this case to just go back to the usual course of things," wrote the Vienna daily Der Standard in an editorial today. "A whole country has to ask itself what it was that has gone so fundamentally wrong."


Well, on an optimistic note, there are 3 great readings this week. I am most definitely going to the Friday reading:

1) I REALLY REALLY wanted to go to this but I have to check out an apartment at the same time:

as part of the PEN World Voices Festival

Tuesday, April 29, 7:00 pm

Translators will read poetry from around the globe in English and in the original. Participants include: Brian Henry reading his translations of Tomaz Salamun and Ales Steger (Slovenian); Christina Svendsen reading her translations of Kurt Schwitters (German) and others; Bitite Vinklers reading her translations of Imants Ziedonis (Latvian); and Jeffrey Yang reading his translations of Su Shi (Chinese) and others.

Housing Works Used Book Café
126 Crosby Street
New York, NY 10012
(212) 334-3324
Subway: W, R to Prince; B, D, F, V to Broadway/Lafayette; 6 to Bleecker

2) This Thursday, May 1st at 7pm,
Timothy Donnelly is reading and being interviewed
at the Lillian Vernon House at NYU, 58 W. 10th Street.

3) Please come, this Friday, May 2nd @ 7:30 pm
Jordan Davis & Patrick Morrissey & Sommer Browning

Only at The Fall Café
307 Smith Street
between Union & President streets
in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn

Take the F or G to Carroll

Come get a drink with me afterwards, ok?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Secret Handshake Press

On the subway today I was thinking about different kinds of goverments and what happens if you directly associate them, as adjectives, with love:

Imperial Love
Colonial Love
Postcolonial Love
Communist Love
Socialist Love
Democratic Love
Oligarchic Love
Theocratic Love
Plutocratic Love
Feudal Love (futile love?)
Fascist Love
Postmodern Love
Eco-anarchism Love

How does/would each goverment try to project a certain kind of love for its citizens? And the different ways a government's employees and policy makers would actualize these conceits towards your body/mind, as a citizen, within this system of love and how they trickle down to your living room, or in what ways it wouldn't be possible. And then I was thinking that "systems of love" was a very creepy phrase. And then I wanted to get off the subway.


In other news. The Canary was one of my favorite journals. I'm not entirely sure what is happening, but I believe The Canary has been transformed into Canarium, and that also emerging is Canary Books, with the first book coming out in 2009. Anyways, Canarium is just as great as The Canary and I urge you to order a copy.

ANYWAYS, I am reading Canarium One. I very much fell for Arda Collins, who has two poems that start off the journal. They're like New York School offshoot meets surrealism meets a confrontational dream-child demanding to carry out a dialogue with someone you've heard of but don't know that well. These things go together, making the more chronological day to day events seem bizarre and grounding the poem when it starts to feel a bit floaty while still allowing it to bob around in outerspace for a bit. Outerspace above Central Park. Some lines I liked, all spindling out from a poem that begins with an endodontist in Central Park South:

"There were several lifetimes to go:
log cabins, maple syrup, Daniel Boone, corpuscles of new sea life
pulsing preternatural
parts of the future, the plantation, triage,
appliances, horse muscles. Your parents..."

"...because of him, you are only four. You can't reach anything
in your kitchen and you can't read."

"You run to the next life.
You are not on time."

Following this are translations by Sawako Nakayasu of Takishi Hiraide's more prosey poems. Also awesome. You can also get backlisted copies of The Canary soon from http://www.canariumbooks.org/wp/order/. You may have to wait a bit on this, though, as their website is not yet fully equiped, but just to recap:

Canarium 1
Arda Collins, Takashi Hiraide, Sawako Nakayasu, Ed Roberson, Alan Gilbert, Suzanne Doppelt, Cole Swensen, Jibade-Khalil Huffman, Suzanne Buffam, Betsy Andrews, Erica Bernheim, Wayne Koestenbaum, Andy Carter, Eula Biss, Srikanth Reddy, Philip Jenks, Simone Muench, Dunya Mikhail

The Canary 6
Thylias Moss, John Ashbery, Ange Mlinko, Marcella Durand, Donna Stonecipher, Karen Volkman, Madeline Gins and Arakawa, others

The Canary 5
Jennifer Moxley, Brenda Shaughnessy, Joshua Clover, Alice Notley, Raymond McDaniel, Michael Morse, Matthew Zapruder, Dara Wier, others

The Canary 4
Ish Klein, Fanny Howe, Dale Smith, Susan M. Schultz, Christopher Nealon, Rachel Zucker, Aaron Tieger, G.C. Waldrep, Danielle Pafunda, others

The Canary 3
Kevin Young, Rae Armantrout, Peter Gizzi, Mark Levine, Brenda Hillman, Amir Kenan, Mark, Donald Revell, Joyelle McSweeney, other

The Canary 2
Cate Marvin, Tomaz Salamun, Michael Dumanis, Joshua Beckman, Catherine Wagner, Olena Kalytiak Davis, Katy Lederer, Terrance Hayes, others

The Canary 1 (The Canary River Review)
Robert Pinsky, Matthea Harvey, Nick Flynn, Matthew Rohrer, Rebecca Wolff, Vincent Katz, others


I was in NC this weekend visiting my younger brother. It was really nice to see him and hang out with some of his friends and roommates. College kids in general look very young to me, with their fast metabolisms and movie posters. But my brother doesn't. I feel very lucky. Maybe that's because he's so cool & mature. He gave me a walking tour of campus, we watched some TV, ate good food, and went to the Party Til Dawn Anti-Slumber Party. Very glad I got to visit before his graduation (I should have visited a while ago).

I took some photos of my brother's house. Needless to say, he lives with 5 other guys:


There are another 500 readings this week. I will post them all tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Wisdom Teeth vs. Anxiety Fangs Press

Ok, let's talk honestly.

Let's talk honestly about our teeth:

a) Do you brush your teeth once or twice a day? Or more than twice a day?
b) Do you use mouth wash?
c) Do you floss or just tell your dentist you floss?

I think I've been a bit panicky about my teeth this month, which has now transformed into a slightly OCD routine, BUT only because my gums still weren't happy with me and I'm trying to figure out why since my dentist recently said "everything is a-okay." My teeth are white and I haven't had cavities in years, but still, I really don't want anything bad happening to my teeth. And honestly, I think that my dentist is a little lackadaisical. Everyone in my office sees the same dentist so I don't have anyone else recommending me to someone smarter. I think they like him because he doesn't charge a co-pay. Seriously. But my dentist didn't even ask if I floss, which I didn't at the time, and I think that's in bad form. Usually dentists impress upon you the need for flossing and the need for an electric toothbrush. Dentists are supposed to guilt you into taking better care of your teeth, especially when you clearly are not.

My previous routine in the morning and before bed was a) mouth wash b) brush. Was I being too relaxed about it or is that a normal routine?
So now in the morning:

a) mouth wash
b) floss
c) brush
d) mouth wash

Then repeat this at night. I now firmly believe flossing makes a big difference (duh). I'm actively making my gums stronger. Someday I might actually go to the gym.

Anyways, this routine is good because my mouth is very happy and I am calmer. I am no longer worried. But a little worried that I sound nutty.

I know it's weird to talk about your own teeth for a long time, but I also think that I feel better when people tell me what they're doing about the same issues, in the same situation, etc, dealing with relationships, with sex, with friends, parents, with job-planning. Else it's just too lonely to be stuck in your own head, thinking that everything you're doing might be a bit off the mark. Let's talk about human to human reassurance.


I'm reading tonight at an MFA reading. 8 minutes of allotted time. I'll let you know how it goes. What crazy tricks I'll pull in 8 minutes.

Rabbits, a fog machine, tootsie rolls.

Are you guys starting to get bored because I'm not posting that many poetry books on my blog anymore? I'm sorry. Tell me if you are and I'll start talking about more books of poetry.

I just received in the mail the journal Abraham Lincoln, the second issue:

I would recommend buying an issue for five bucks and reading it yourself. It looks a little ramshackled in the best way possible, made with some serious love and editorial handywork. Edited by K. Silem Mohammad and Anne Boyer. You can send a check to:
K. Silem Mohammad
840 Park St.
Ashland, OR

Anyways, I'm going to hit you with the first 2/3rds of a poem by Linh Dinh from this issue:

Three One-Sentence Stories

Although we had slept like shit, cold, wet and hungry, I ordered the men and one boy to resume marching just before sunrise, without saying a word of comfort or goodbye to our injured, moaning comrades, left to die in that cave, our motel for the night.


Etched into the granite walls of a 6x8, windowless, single-occupancy, postmodern, maximum-security suite: love of country, sandy beach, vigilance against all & everything, sleeping teens, mossy boulders, rolling, grassy meadows, hung ferns, bright birds and dandelions.


(you need to buy the issue to read the last sentence.)

Mathias sent me the M.I.A. song "Paper Planes" this morning. It's awesome. This is the music video, at least watch it until you get to the gun shots and cash register noises, but watch the whole video if you have time:


Earlier this week I mentioned the reading at Stain this Friday. Well, there are two other rival readings tomorrow as well:

Friday, April 25, at 7pm [BROOKLYN]
UDP at The Old American Can Factory

Phil Cordell
G.L. Ford
Filip Marinovich
Elizabeth Reddin

UDP editors and collaborators share their work in a beautiful room
in the mythic building that houses the Ugly Duckling Presse workshop.

*UDP books will be sold at deep discount, as long as you can carry them away.*

232 Third Street, Brooklyn, NY
(corner of 3rd Ave and 3rd St., near the Gowanus Canal, F or R trains nearby)

2) MULTIFARIOUS ARRAY reading hosted by the lovely Sommer Browning
Well, I'm missing another reading by Evie Shockley. This bums me out. Luckily, I saw Brenda read last weekend, but now I'm mising them both:

This Friday, April 25th, 7pm

Evie Shockley and Brenda Iijima

Get Nabbed!

Evie Shockley is the author of a half-red sea (2006) and a poetry chapbook, The Gorgon Goddess (2001), both published by Carolina Wren Press. Her work appears or is forthcoming in numerous journals and anthologies, including 1913: a journal of forms, No Tell Motel, PMS:PoemMemoirStory, and others. In 2007, she guest edited "~QUEST~": a special issue of MiPOesias featuring the work of contemporary
African American poets and is currently serving as a guest editor of jubilat. Shockley is a Cave Canem graduate fellow. She teaches African American literature and creative writing at Rutgers University.

Brenda Iijima is the author of Animate, Inanimate Aims (Litmus, 2007) and Around Sea (O Books, 2004). Her book, If Not Metamorphic was runner up for the Sawtooth Prize and will be published by Ahsahta Press. A work called revv.you'll-ution, is forthcoming from Displaced Editions in 2008. She is the editor of Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs. Together with Evelyn Reilly she is editing a collection of essays by poets concerning poetry and ecological ethics titled )((eco(lang)(uage(reader). She lives in Brooklyn, New York where she designs and constructs homeopathic gardens.

Only at Pete's Candy Store
709 Lorimer Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
(718) 302-3770
"L" to Lorimer, "G" to Metropolitan.

ALSO THIS SATURDAY. You can't miss Elizabeth Willis reading at Bowery. No, you really cannot:

The Segue Reading Series Presents:

Thomas Fink and Elizabeth Willis

Saturday, April 26, 2008 ** 4PM SHARP**
at the Bowery Poetry Club (308 Bowery, just north of Houston)
$6 admission goes to support the readers

hosted by erica kaufman & Tim Peterson

Thomas Fink is the author of five books of poetry, including Clarity and Other Poems. He is the author of two books of criticism, most recently A Different Sense of Power, and he is the co-editor of Burning Interiors: David Shapiro's Poetry and Poetics. His paintings hang in various collections. Fink is Professor of English at CUNY-LaGuardia.

from "Deconstricted Sestina 5"

Dialogue will swerve repeatedly before it survives
patriarchy. Thanks for not smoking inside. I
trust you to profit from any experiment
that respects the survival of those not

yet as fit. Reach into my pocket
and husband what's left. My husband assumes
immortality, but one attentive scribe is becoming
my sole access to recommencing dialogue, into

which labors or equalization should
be poured. My thanks are
colored by suspicion of vested

recollection. Lately, many fund Plato's
experiment; mine could take several

millennia to breed a profit.

Elizabeth Willis' most recent book is Meteoric Flowers. Other works include Turneresque, The Human Abstract, and Second Law. Formerly poet-in-residence at Mills College, she now teaches at Wesleyan University and lives in central Massachusetts.

"Her Mossy Couch"

I stain lengthwise all I touch. The world is so touching, seen this
way, in fleshtones, aggrieved, gleaming as the lights go out, look-
ing into the crease of relativity. We've seen this before, why? Tri-
umph arches over us like bad emotion. We were supposed to feel
more connected to it, we were supposed to feel humanly moved
by imaginary strings. All the words in the world are moving pic-
tures to the dizzy ear, fleas, inadequate deceptions of nocturnal
hair, pushing buttons, pushing papers, pushing pedals up the
long hill. Who could get over the blatant radiance of a name like
Doris Day, throwing your finest features into political relief, a
warehouse in the shadow of apples and streams?


Mosh Pit Press

I like to look at ceilings. People give me weird looks when I take photos of their ceilings, though. Shame on you. You're ceiling is lovely.
On Sunday I went to the 4 Faced Liar to hear Ada Limon and Alex Lemon read. They are fantastic readers. No mic, clear voices, carried their poems well. Were humble and confident. Lovely Sunday afternoon:

And last night I went to the Poetry Project for Frank Sherlock and Kate Greenstreet. Kate read poems from her book "case sensitive" and also her forthcoming chapbook from Lame House "This Is Why I Hurt You."

Pre-order This is Why I Hurt You here:
Sherlock predominantly read from his new book, co-authored with Brett Evans, called Ready-to-Eat Individual.

Today I'm going to eat lunch outside on the base of this statue on which I usually eat my salad when it starts to get warm again. Then walk to Whole Foods and get Gluten free bread. Once I have gluten free bread, I can start packing lunches like normal people and save a lot of money. Lots of editors bring lunch to work if they're not meeting with agents. Brownbags, just like 2nd grade, except everyone is in their 30s and it's cool not to have a lunchbox.


I've been looking for a new apartment somewhere in Brooklyn. One bedroom. One mosh pit?

I'm always amazed by how little I know the names of specific neighborhoods even though I've been living here for years. Like if you give me cross streets, I can picture it on a map. But if you say "Ditmus Park" then I have no clue where the apartment might be (I've been browsing craigslist). Also, I think that they have started to give bad neighborhoods nice names to trick you, like Kew Gardens and Leffers Gardens. Are they going to start saying "Bed-Stuy Sanctuary" and "Crown Hights Arboretum"? I'm not falling for it, I've been there.

This is very rambling. I'm sorry.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Throwdown Press

World News:
Members of the Chinese army were secretly photographed, with Buddhist monks robes under their arms after they changed out of their "disguises." The soldiers are on their way back from Tibet, where they went to run on the rampage, dressed up as Buddhist monks, in order to bring Tibet's monks into disrepute. The title that accompanies this photograph is: "Here are the false monks who caused the violence in Lhassa":

That's what I would call playing dirty.

A Few Things:

1) I'm wearing purple pants today & am a bit embarrassed by this.

2) I'm done with animal documentaries. For a bit. I watched the "Meat Eaters" episode of The Lives of Mammals and had to see a baby seal get attacked and eaten by a wild dog. I need a break. My documentary on Astor Piazzolla, the Argentine tango composer and bandoneón player, just arrived.
The bandoneón looks like this:

and you can hear/watch it here: Bandoneon

3) Um, if you live in NYC, easy targets for mockery are tourists who come here and eat at The Olive Garden to try the fine NY cuisine. I don't think further explanation is necessary. After years of speculation and derisive jokes (i.e. "Let's go some place nice for dinner, where should we go?" "The OG! The OG!"), a friend and I decided to see for ourselves if the special offer of "The Endless Soup, Salad, and Breadsticks" was as good as the tourists seemingly believe.

I regret this decision.

You do understand that by "Endless" the Olive Garden means "Our waiter will come over to your table, look at you sadly with glazed eyes, and then replentish any dish you're running low on, for no extra coast."

My friend refused to have his/her head in the photos.

Cheese grater, abandoned by our waiter next to the table:

Endless salad:

Endless breadsticks:

Endless watery, meat filled soup:

I feel like I just punished you guys for making you look at those photos. But I did wait until after lunch to post them.


Ok, there are a zillion readings this week. But I'm only going to two and both are at the Poetry Project. I was there last for the Selah Saterstrom reading two months ago.

1) The Kate Greenstreet / Frank Sherlock reading tonight (Monday).
Frank Sherlock & Kate Greenstreet
Monday April 21
St. Mark's Poetry Project
131 E. 10th Street

at St. Mark's Poetry Project
Wednesday, April 23rd, 8pm

Conrad says:
I'm VERY EXCITED about this reading! HOPE TO SEE YOU THEN!

my NEW BOOK (Soma)tic Midge (Faux Press): http://CAConrad.blogspot.com
PhillySound: new poetry: http://PhillySound.blogspot.com

I made this whole word document with ALL the readings for this week and now I can't find it. I've searched my documents for "readings" and "poetry readings" and nothing is coming up. What else could I have saved it under? Anyways, I don't have the heart to compile this list again, so all I'll say is, you should also go to the reading pasted below on Friday. I'll be in North Carolina that night, visiting my brother. Adam, I challenge you to a game of beer pong. Yes, you. You're going down.

So those not challenging younger siblings to drinking games can tell me how swimmingly the reading went:

WHY: Eating, growing, and celebrating locally to find the world in a grain of Brooklyn and eternity in an hour or two!
WHEN: Friday, April 25th @ 7 p.m. – Sharp!
WHERE: Stain Bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn


ARI BANIAS grew up in California, Texas, and Illinois. He now lives in Brooklyn, NY and teaches undergraduate creative writing and literature at Hunter College. His poems are forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review, Literary Imagination, and FIELD, and have recently appeared in Mid-American Review (as a feature), Arts & Letters, and RealPoetik.

EDMUND BERRIGAN is the author of Glad Stone Children (Farfalla Press, 2008) and is co-editor with Anselm Berrigan and Alice Notley of a forthcoming Selected Poems of Ted Berrigan (University of California).

ANA BOZICEVIC moved to NYC from Croatia in 1997. She's the author of chapbooks Document (Octopus Books, 2007) and Morning News (Kitchen Press, 2006). Look for her recent work in Denver Quarterly, Hotel Amerika, absent, The New York Quarterly, Bat City Review, MiPOesias, Octopus Magazine and The Portable Boog Reader 2: An Anthology of NYC Poetry. Ana coedits RealPoetik.

TISA BRYANT is the author of Tzimmes (A+Bend Press, 2000), which collages concerns of breast cancer, Barbados genealogy research, a Passover seder and a film by Yvonne Rainer, and her first book, Unexplained Presence (Leon Works, 2007), is a collection of original, hybrid essays that remix narratives from Eurocentric film, literature and visual arts and zoom in on the black presences operating within them. She currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.

ALEXANDER DICKOW grew up in Moscow, Idaho, traveled to France, got married to a French woman, studies French literature at Rutgers, and writes poems. His work has appeared in both Yankee and Hexagonal journals including MiPO, RealPoetik, Sitaudis, Il Particolare, Hapax, can we have our ball back? and others. A full-length bilingual collection, _Caramboles_, will be published by the Parisian press Argol Editions in October 2008. Alex currently lives in bucolic central New Jersey.

DAN HOY lives in Brooklyn and is an editor for SOFT TARGETS. His poetry chapbook, Outtakes, was published by Lame House Press in 2007.

NOELLE KOCOT is the author of 3 books of poems, 4 and The Raving Fortune, out from Four Way Books in 2001 and 2004, respectively, and Poem for the End of Time, out from Wave Books in 2006, of which the NY Times Book Review deemed the long title poem, "extraordinary." She has won awards from The National Endowment for the Arts, The Fund For Poetry, The Academy of American Poets and The American Poetry Review, among others. She lives in Brooklyn, where she was born and raised, and teaches for a living. Her fourth book, Sunny Wednesday, will be published by Wave Books in spring, 2009.

JESSICA SMITH is the editor of Outside Voices Press, which publishes Foursquare magazine. She wrote a book called Organic Furniture Cellar. She maintains a blog that incites both hate mail and proposals. She recently moved to Brooklyn and is looking for a job.

SAMPSON STARKWEATHER is a small African village patrolled by dream-fed lions. They sway in the grasses when you move. His handwriting, which has been featured in several medical journals, strong-armed him into a life of asemic writing. He is the author of The Book of Sky, a wordless text published by anyone.

DUSTIN WILLIAMSON is the author of Heavy Panda (Goodbye Better), Gorilla Dust (Open24Hours Press), and Exhausted Grunts (Cannibal Books). He publishes Rust Buckle Books and is the current curator of the Zinc Talk Reading Series.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Thank You Press

I went to a killer reading last night.
Many thanks to Matt Henriksen and Katy Henriksen for organizing the event (Katy also let me take many photos of her holding the books for sale).

Thanks to the readers:
Jim Behrle, Thibault Raoult, Andrea Baker, Dorothea Lasky, Dara Wier, Craig Morgan Teicher, Tim Peterson, Brenda Iijima.

You rock.

And also, the audience, who was very attentive and enthusiastic.

Andrea Baker showing us her accordion chapbook:

A killer reading by Andrea. Her poems are sparse and balance quiet declarations with thorny-sweet imagery. Sometimes you think you have heard it before, but then you realize that you've never heard anything like it.
The chapbook:

Well, I didn't get a photo of Thibault Raoul. But he is very tall. Very tall. And the evidence of this is how high up the microphone is, and how pointed down it needs to be for Matt Henriksen to continue with his introductions after Thibault finished:

Thibault's Chapbook:

He reads very enthusiastically, like he is at a slow-dance party with the microphone. And you feel a little bit like a voyeur watching those two make out: Thibaul & the mic.
Brenda Iijima reading:

Brenda read the most quietly of all the readers, I think. But she does so in a way that makes you lean your head forward and listen harder. Because you don't want to miss a word. Her words are secrets. And she gives them to you, which is very generous.
Brenda's book:

Jim Behrle w/ mask:

Jim Behrle reading w/ mask:

Dorothea Lasky reading:

Dorothea's book:

She read clearly and slowly, which was perfect in the echoy space of East Coast Aliens.
Tim Peterson, who I met for the first time:

I forgot to take a photo of his book. Conversely, I have a photo of Craig's book but no photo of the reading:

Dara Weir was stellar:

She has a relaxed approach to reading aloud. I love her poem about lakes. Find this poem and read it.

1)Performance Space

2)Edge of the stage

3) Phil Cordelli's face:

Friday, April 18, 2008

Mouth Text Press

Some news for Friday:

1)Bush set a target date of 2025 to reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses.

2025? I imagine the conversation in Bush's head going something like, "What would be a good date? 2100? No, that might anger too many hippies. But 2010 would anger all my friends. Wait, if I say 2025 than most of my friends will have retired and they won't be too mad at me. Wow, I'm good at this. I could go for a cheeseburger right now."

In response to the 2025 date and Bush's strategy, Germany's environment minister actually said, "Losership instead of leadership."


2) The United Nations program is distributing 80,000 tons of food to Haiti (predominantly to children and pregnant or nursing mothers).

3) While in the US, the Pope met with 5-6 young adults who had suffered sexual abuse at the (gross, gross,) hands of the clergy. That's a start...

4) The Kids in the Hall have reunited for a live comedy tour, coming this weekend to NYC.

5) The Murakami show at the Brooklyn Museum is open. I hope to go in the next few weeks:

6) Custer County Sheriff Mike Burgess resigned on Wednesday as state prosecuters filed 35 felony charges against him. Most notably, for the sex slave ring he organized involving female inmates.

7) Have you seen the article in Slate by Robert Pinksy? He responds to "frequently asked questions" by non-poets "about the business of verse.": http://www.slate.com/id/2189318/

8) I don't believe in being fashionably late. People who are late miss out. Suckers. So don't forget to go to the poetry reading at East Coast Aliens tonight. 8pm. Awesome readers like Brenda Iijima, Andrea Baker, etc etc. I'm going to get there early with SB, drink, and watch the devoted fans and stragglers get their hoodies rocked off. Please say hi, I'll be the shy one hiding behind my cup of wine on the bleachers.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Cover Story vs. Cover Band Press

Did any of you catch the Clinton vs. Obama debate last night? Obama was a little shaky, especially when talking about Israel and Iran. I just re-read the transcript and his long pauses and rather evasive answers don't come across as blatantly in written form, but you can read the whole debate here: The New York Times. Come on Obama, bring your A game.

I just finished reading Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World. (Non-fiction, biographical work by Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Kidder).

The title sounds corny, but it's not a corny book. It centers on the work of Paul Farmer, a physician and anthropologist who has taken on the crises of TB and AIDS in Haiti, Peru, and Russia. He and Jim Kim founded Partners in Health in 1987 (weird fact: the band Arcade Fire promoted this charity on their tour of the album Neon Bible). You'll learn about American drug companies, how our own country as well as other nations debates issues of "cost efficiency," different approaches to the TB epidemic, the history of Haiti and its political, economic, and social climate in the 90s and early 00s, Russian prisons, Russian oligarchs, etc. But on a basic level, political tensions aside, it's about human to human respect and what can happen when you stop blaming/disregarding those who suffer in extreme conditions.
Dr. Farmer:


Ugly Duckling Presse has some events coming up. More at the end of the month, but this is happening on Saturday:

Saturday, April 19, at 4pm [NYC]
308 Bowery, between Houston & Bleecker


Last night I read the last of Mountains Beyond Mountains and then I watched an episode of The Lives of Mammals. This time on "Chiselers." The whole season is divided up by how/what different animals eat.

So, I learned about the Capybara, the largest rodent in the world. It can run as fast as a small pony. No Joke. It also looks like a gigantic Guinea pig (is related to said animal, actually):


I took a bit of a break from reading poetry but now I'm diving back in.

But does anyone want to recommend some good documentaries to me?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Talent Search Press

I request a very talented poet to help me with this:

I need a song called, "How Do You Solve a Problem Like the Mammals" to be written to the tune of "How Do You Solve a Problem like Maria," sung by the nuns in Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey." I mean, the nuns in The Sound of Music. The less questions you ask, the better.

I will sing the song for you if you write it (if you write it well). I'm pasting the lyrics of the original below. It should be witty and use the names of various mammals. Or by "mammals" you could mean "humans" and then really politicize it. Are you up for the challenge?

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria

She climbs a tree and scrapes her knee
Her dress has got a tear
She waltzes on her way to Mass
And whistles on the stair
And underneath her wimple
She has curlers in her hair
I even heard her singing in the abbey

She's always late for chapel
But her penitence is real
She's always late for everything
Except for every meal
I hate to have to say it
But I very firmly feel
Maria's not an asset to the abbey

I'd like to say a word in her behalf
Maria makes me laugh

How do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
How do you find a word that means Maria?
A flibbertijibbet! A will-o'-the wisp! A clown!

Many a thing you know you'd like to tell her
Many a thing she ought to understand
But how do you make her stay
And listen to all you say
How do you keep a wave upon the sand

Oh, how do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?

When I'm with her I'm confused
Out of focus and bemused
And I never know exactly where I am
Unpredictable as weather
She's as flighty as a feather
She's a darling! She's a demon! She's a lamb!

She'd outpester any pest
Drive a hornet from its nest
She could throw a whirling dervish out of whirl
She is gentle! She is wild!
She's a riddle! She's a child!
She's a headache! She's an angel!
She's a girl!

How do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
How do you find a word that means Maria?
A flibbertijibbet! A will-o'-the wisp! A clown!

Many a thing you know you'd like to tell her
Many a thing she ought to understand
But how do you make her stay
And listen to all you say
How do you keep a wave upon the sand

Oh, how do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?


Side note:
I've been watching the BBC TV show The Lives of Mammals. So far I have watched episodes on insect eaters (like the anteater) and plant eaters (like slothes and tapirs). I have a friend coming over tonight to watch disk 2 of this show.

Well, now that we got that business out of the way, you should all know that Mark Lamourex's chapbook, Poem Stripped of Artifice is out.

It won The New School Chapbook contest of 2007. The judge was Deborah Landau.

I'm not sure if you can buy a copy or if they are free. If they are free, I would be happy to pick you up a copy and send it to you, just let me know.

I couldn't find individual poems online, but he has poems in the new/first issue of Fou: http://www.foumagazine.net/ML.htm


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lists Are Just, Like, Some Things To Do Press

I left NYC this past weekend to check some important things off of my To Do List, like:

Purchase a used coffee maker (from the 80s?):

Almost purchase a game called Probe (from the 50s?):

Enjoy the wildlife
a) badger? beaver? squirrel!:

b) two headed, 4 armed, friendly octopus:

Play basketball:

Feed cows hay:


There are 500 things going on this week.

John Ashbery in NYC
David Lehman, moderator
6:30pm, Wollman Hall, 55 W 11th St, 5th Fl.

Denis Johnson
Robert Polito, moderator
6:30pm, Tishman Auditorium, 66 W 12th St, Free
Denis Johnson is author of the National Book Award winning Tree of Smoke.

Praise for Tree of Smoke:
“To write a fat novel about the Vietnam War nearly 35 years after it ended is an act of literary bravado. To do so brilliantly as Denis Johnson has in Tree of Smoke is positively a miracle.”
--David Ignatius, Washington Post

“Denis Johnson has delivered his masterpiece.”
--Chris Offutt

“Prose of amazing power and stylishness”
--Philip Roth

“Once Johnson gets his hooks into you—it takes about two sentences—it’s pretty much impossible to stop reading”
--David Gates, The New York Times Book Review

a Chair Burning Retrospective
at East Coast Aliens

Friday, April 18th
Doors 7:30 pm, readings from 8-10 pm

You know all these poets. Which is why you're coming with me, right? I haven't heard Andrea or Brenda read in a while. I went to college with Tim Peterson, he was in my poetry workshop with Maggie Nelson in 2001. He wrote fantastic poetry then but I haven't read his work since, although it seems like he's quite busy. I'm looking forward to saying hi to Tim.

Jim Behrle
Thibault Raoult
Andrea Baker

Walter Baker

Dorothea Lasky
Dara Wier

Walter Baker

Craig Morgan Teicher
Tim Peterson
Brenda Iijima

Ada Limon and Alex Lemon at Four Faced Liar, MCed by Shafer Hall, who says:

The terrific poets in question are Alex Lemon and Ada Limon. Their bios are below, but I can personally vouch for their physical attractiveness and for the extremely high quality of their poetry. The day is this Sunday. I think it's the 20th. The time is 2:30pm. The place is the Famous Four-Faced Liar, 165 W. 4th St. & 6th Ave., Manhattan, etc.

Don't miss this.
From a side way,

Alex Lemon is the author of Mosquito (Tin House Books) and Hallelujah Blackout (Milkweed Editions). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Best American Poetry 2008, Open City, BOMB, Kenyon Review, Black Warrior Review, Tin House, AGNI, Gulf Coast, Pleiades and Best American Poetry 2008. He is a frequent contributor to The Bloomsbury Review, and co-editor of LUNA. Among his awards are a 2005 Literature Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts and a 2006 Minnesota Arts Board Grant. A memoir of his is forthcoming from Scribner. He lives digitally at www.alexlemon.com .

Ada Limón's first book, lucky wreck, was the winner of the Autumn House Poetry Prize and her second book, This Big Fake World, was the winner of the Pearl Poetry Prize. With an MFA from NYU in creative writing, she's won the Chicago Literary Award and fellowships from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She is the Copy Director for GQ Magazine and teaches a Master Class for Columbia University's MFA program. She is particularly fond of rivers and is at work on a third book of poems as well as a novel.

Frank Sherlock & Kate Greenstreet
Monday April 21
St. Mark's Poetry Project
131 E. 10th Street

Frank Sherlock is the co-author of the newly released Ready-to-Eat Individual with Brett Evans. Publisher Bill Lavender says, "In New Orleans, USA, during the Year 1 A.K. (After Katrina), Frank Sherlock & Brett Evans sifted through the ration fossils to put words where the food used to be. The latest development resulted in a poem that is a State-of-the-City and post-apocalyptic journal, sealed by a retort pouch and blocked from future contamination. The resulting taste and texture are much more realistic and natural than those normal dehydrated and freeze dried histories."

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, April 2008). Her second book, The Last 4 Things, will be out from Ahsahta in 2009. Her poems can be found in journals like Cannibal, Fascicle, and Handsome. New work is forthcoming in Filling Station, Practice, and The Columbia Review.


Ah, so much to do. And on Saturday I'm going up to Hastings-on-the-Hudson to hang out with my friend who got in the massive car wreck I told you about in March. There are lots of trees and soccer fields in Hastings. But no 4 armed octopi.


Oh, if I am playing a scrabble game with you on Scrabulous, I'm sorry but I don't have internet at home right now and it's blocked at work. So don't give up or think I'm copping out. Hopefully I'll be able to crush your low scoring selves by the weekend.

Friday, April 11, 2008

University University Press

They are constantly re-constructing the flatiron building. This is the floor where the ladies' room is:

A little creepy, right? I don't like staying at work too too late right now because then I have to go here and it's dark and quiet.

Recently I've been seeing pieces of people. Like, I walked past a guy in a phone booth and when I turned around to take a second look, because often you don't see people actually sitting inside those things, all I saw was a rectangular metal contraption with one spindly leg sticking out. Not even two legs. Anyways, I wanted to take a photo of it but I realized people on the street were already looking at me because I'd stopped and double backed. Anyways, here is another disembodied arm:

Last Saturday I went to a Jens Lekman show. I got a free ticket and a VIP pass because my friend is roommates with the violinist. Anyways, Jens Lekman is very charismatic and puts on an incredibly fun show, however unserious his songs actually are. And the musicians he plays with are fantastic:

The crowd (just imagine it's a poetry reading):

Apparently, in the space below the show, there was a singles dance party with a prom queen theme. I'm not kidding, I think we got a little lost and stumbled into the singles dance party. Women in their 20s who wear tiaras are terrifying:

Sorry for all those pictures. I lost my camera this whole week and I finally found it in the one place I hate to look: the space between the wall and my bed. Anyways, I'm glad to have it back.


Black Ocean just put out another book. Watch out for this press. They started humbly and are going strong. Like a poetry tsunami:

Holy Land
by Rauan Klassnik
Paperback / 86p. / Poetry / $12.95
ISBN 978-0-9777709-6-0

Rauan Klassnik’s short, terse prose poems explode like pipe-bombs on every page of this debut. Instead of killing, these violent and beautiful outbursts leave the reader staggering—wandering through the fragments of a brutal world that we can’t turn away from or deny, instead we are implicated by it. Again and again these poems forcefully drive home a direct, unflinching, uncensored vision. Klassnik is able to love and hate at the same time—to cry and to sing—as his poems struggle toward redemption while slogging through blood. Along the way, the sorrow we experience makes the joy Klassnik inevitably finds that much sweeter.

Praise for Holy Land:

Rauan Klassnik’s Holy Land is not a book for the faint of heart. His poems—dreamlike fables that conflate the domestic and quotidian with the dangerous and the perverse—are bathed in tears and blood: a trip to the bank becomes a journey to Auschwitz; bullets and gore find equivalence in rivers, birds and lush grass. In Klassnik’s startling vision, "the world knows what you want, and it knows what you need. It brings you bodies. And it brings you a gun." —Gary Young

These poems might have been written by a Catullus with a serious Ecstasy addiction, or by some genetic cross-wiring of Henry Miller and Jean Follain. Ferocious in his humor and anguished intelligence and bad attitudes, Klassnik means everything he says. The wild existence of these poems is a strange, precarious pleasure. —David Rivard

Holy Land is a primer stolen from a surreal primary school. These hypnotic prose poems are stark anatomies of stark anatomies. Imperatives that rape reverie. Instead of introducing us to new words, they make the old words new again. They might have been ripped from the dream journals of Dick and Jane. Tongues are retooled. Ears calibrated. Eyes pried open. Even the periods sing. Read in earnest and for the first time. —Michael Martone