Friday, May 30, 2008

The Shakiest Secret Handshake Press

Since Gina popped the questions:

What were you doing five years ago?
1.) living in nyc for the summer after finishing my junior year at Wesleyan
2.) eating broccoli & white rice twice a day (it was weird)
3.) sleeping on a balcony
4.) working at a shoe store &“interning” at Hanging Loose Press
5.) spending most of my time in Bushwick / trying not to fall in love

What are five things (in no particular order) on your to-do list for today?
1.) ask for vacation days (before it gets awkwardly close to the time I need them)
2.) consolidate my student loans while hoping this can be done in one phone call (on my list since April)
3.) read more Mina Loy / finish June issue of Harpers Magazine
4.) learn how to make new sauces for stirfry
5.) talk to my new Super about why my key won’t come out of my door without brute force & commotion

What are five snacks you enjoy?
1.) hummus & rice cakes
2.) cheese & rice cakes
3.) those giant purple grapes
4.) spring rolls
5.) fig newtons

What are five things you would do if you were a billionaire?
1.) pay off student loans!
2.) heavily invest in the small presses I love
3.) donate money to many, many international non-profit organizations (advocating for women’s rights; gay & lesbian rights; organizations that bring arts back into educational curriculums; HIV/AIDS research; world wide TB prevention, care, & medication, etc etc etc)
4.) give millions, in particular, to Penland School of Crafts
5.) buy land somewhere quite (forest/lake), move there with the person I love, & get a dog


What are five of your bad habits?
1.) twirling my hair everyday, all day long (this seems to bother other people but it doesn’t actually bother me)
2.) freaking out a lot that all of my friends have decided to hate me & that I might be crushed & destroyed by the people I love (this happens once or twice a month)
3.) not looking away from my computer often enough at work/ leaning in too close to my computer at work (will this make me go blind?)
4.) renting rom-coms when I know I could do better
5.) not putting my wet towel back on the hook when I’m done with it (sorry Mathias)

What are five places you have lived?
1.) Lincoln, Massachusetts
2.) Middletown, Connecticut
3.) Norwich, England
4.) Bushwick, NY ($500 for rent & then $425 for rent)
5.) Sunset Park, NY ($500 for rent- I am thrifty, right?)

What are five jobs you have had?
1.) publicist and media relations, Sierra Club
2.) shoe sales person
3.) used book store clerk
4.) Ford Fellow
5.) Managing Editor for Nightboat Books

Which five people do you want to tag?
1.) Sommer Browning
2.) Justin Marks
3.) Andrea Baker
4.) Zachary Schomburg
5.) Julie Doxsee

Breakfast Smoothie Press

Wow, that actually might be the worst press name.

***

I forgot that one of the weird things about moving into a new apartment is that often the person who has just moved out does not have their sh*t together, so you get their mail for a while. At 12:15am last night, I opened my mailbox for the first time to see if my netflix arrived to my new address, and low&behold, I discovered that the previous tenant had atrocious taste in magazines:



These are now proudly displayed on my coffee table.

***

Ok everyone, let's not forget about the Stain bar reading tonight.

And Sunday, at Zinc, June 1: Aaron Tieger and Michael Carr.

And Monday at the poetry project:
The Project's annual poetry mag The Recluse is published every spring. The issue will feature work by Kimberly Lyons, Karen Weiser, Uche Nduka, Erik Anderson, Donna Brook, Peter Culley, Tonya Foster, Zhang Er, Alli Warren, Larry Price and John Coletti - Five of these poets will be present to represent at this reclusive but not exclusive gathering: Karen Weiser, Kimberly Lyons, John Coletti, Uche Nduka & Donna Brook.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Pinto Press

I think pinto beans are kinda cute.

Come here, little pinto.

***

I think I really dislike hearing myself chew. It sounds feverish like I'm driving to fast on a highway when I don't even have any where important to go. I think about this when eat in my office. I don't think about this when I eat outside. This is just more incentive to eat outside in the park all the time. All The Time.

***

Oh, have you seen the new issue of Anti- ? It's good, starring such poets as Sandra Simmonds, Ada Limon, Mathias Svalina, and Jason Bredle. I haven't submitted poems anywhere in a while, but I might submit to this journal today.

Ok, now I'm really going to.

***

Today I also started a Google Calendar to keep my life in order. I think this will be more effective than just checking my own blog to see what I'm planning on doing. Because I can put doctor's appointments on this and dates to see bad movies, and notes to myself to request vacation days, etc.

***
I unpacked all of my clothing yesterday. I re-packed my winter clothing, hung up my light spring sweaters and t-shirts, etc.

Never did I think I would write "my light spring sweaters."

Anyways, now I need a trash can and some plants. Also, bookshelves. I went on a walk in my neighborhood and I found a basketball court, a movie theater, and lots of hookah bars with old men playing cards and smoking. Also this:


***

I hope you know that I had to edit my blog like 5 times to make myself sound more normal today. The first part initially went like this:

I think pinto beans are kinda cute.

Come hither, my little pinto.



Too soon?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Goldenchild Press

I've been busy packing/unpacking. I am mostly out of my old apartment and mostly into my new one. Minus the unpacking part. Mostly I stand around and admire the shiny wood floor and my new clear shower lining.

***

I've been reading Mina Loy. Have you read Mina?

She is brazen in how she throws Big words around, like:

"There is no Life or Death, / Only activity"

"And the foam on the stretched muscles of the mouth"

and even "I am climbing a distorted mountain of agony" OMG- who says that in a poem?! Mina!

This is a piece of section 1 of her poem "Three Moments in Paris":

And the only less male voice of your brother pugilist of the intellect
Boomed as it seemed to me so sleepy
Across an interval of a thousand miles
An interim of a thousand years
But you who make more noise than any man in the world when you clear your throat
Deafening woke me
And I caught the thread of the argument
Immediately assuming my personal mental attitude
And ceased to be a woman

***

I love that. Her syntax.


***

Tonight I'm going to the 6X6 reading. Meet me there. I'm the one with the gnarly hair.

***

Joe Massey has a broadside available. He tells you why you should and how you can buy it:

Dear friends:

The Cultural Society is going to publish a letterpress-printed broadside of a recent poem of mine (titled "At Once" and dedicated to Chris Rizzo, it was written during the climax of what seemed to be an endless panic attack -- it isn't what you might expect from me), and they're now taking pre-orders. Copies will go out in a couple of weeks.

Follow this link: http://culturalsociety.org/cultsocpublications.htm

... the top button.

Only a 100 will be printed. 7 bucks, S&H is included in that price. All proceeds go toward to the Society and maybe, for me, a few iced Americanos (necessary in maintaining my sanity these days).

This is a frame-worthy broadside designed by Zach Barocas and printed up on a real letterpress-machine, blue ink on sturdy stock, etc. You'll want to eat it but you won't eat it because it's too handsome to just chew up and digest. You'll want to digest it in other ways, dig.

Feel free to spread the word.

Love you long time,

Joe

***

It's that time: time to submit to Sink Review:

Dear Friends,

Sink Review will be accepting submissions of poetry and critical prose until August 1. Send 3-6 poems or one piece of scholarly prose to editors@sinkreview.org in .doc or pdf format. Simultaneous submissions are accepted – just let us know if they're taken elsewhere.

In the meantime check out new reviews of Sam Starkweather's The Photograph, Gunnar Björling's You Go the Words, and Fredrik Nyberg's A Different Practice.

Our next issue comes out on August 31, but before then we'll be publishing reviews of Graham Foust's Necessary Stranger, Shanxing Wang's Mad Science in the Imperial City, and much more – so make sure to visit Sink in the interim!

Please feel free to pass this along to others who'd be interested in submitting.

Best Wishes,

Douglas Hahn
Richard Scheiwe
Dan Magers

***

Friday, May 23, 2008

I Bought A Nail Polish Called "Ruby Kisses" And Now I Am Embarrassed for My Fingers Press

Remember how I told you about my moustache dream? I drew a picture for you:


Happy Friday. If anyone feels like having a drink in the afternoon, I'm going to Continental right by St. Marks bookstore w/ a few friends and anyone in the world who reads this who has a half day Friday or is unemployed or freelancing is welcome to come.

***

Most Confusing coversation I had all morning:

me: see you soon?
when are you actually going to lunch?

Joanna: are you skipping the lunch?

yeah, i think so

or wait

no, i do want to go to lunch, i'm hungry

me: um, i asked you WHEN
not if you were

Joanna: i'm confused.
i answered your question (incorrectly) and then answered mine
haha. 1pm

me: nice

**

This is why I am only good at going to poetry readings, because anything else gets confusing.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Computer Proficiency Press

1) I had an uncomfortable dream last night that I had a moustache. Yep.

2) I had six pieces of toast with hummus last night for dinner.

Ludwig came home after I ate, saw the knife with hummus on it in the kitchen, and went crazy, "WHAT IS ON THIS KNIFE? WHAT KIND OF VEGETABLE DOES THIS ON A KNIFE?!"

And I was like, "It's hummus, dude."

I think because I used a cutting knife instead of a butter knife, he got confused about what i could have been "cutting into." Maybe?

3) I'm packing this weekend for the move. I need to be really packed this weekend so I can move my stuff in minimal time next weekend.

4) Have you noticed that the google logo that pops up when you go to google.com has gotten more eccentric this month? They used to just spice it up for holidays and now it's crazy everyday. Like today:


Tuesday's:


Monday's:

Ok, I couldn't find Mondays.

5) When you get back from your long weekend, there are lots of readings happening next week:


A) Well, actually starting Saturday, Frank Sherlock tells me:

Saturday May 31 @3:30pm
The Enclave presents
Frank Sherlock, Yew Leong Lee & Brandon Holmquest
Kenny's Castaways
157 Bleecker Street NYC

I'll be reading with translator/ poet/ editor/ all'round practitioner of the important work of the word Brandon Holmquest. I'm also looking forward to meeting/hearing Singaporean sensation Yew Leong Lee, a fiction & nonfictioneer that has appeared in many publications we read, from H.O.W journal to New York Times Magazine.

See you there!
Frank


b) WEDNESDAY: There is no way in hell I am missing this. David Goldstein who teaches at York U. in Canada, is coming down to read. You in?

6X6 Salon @ The Kitchen
Wednesday, May 28, at 7 pm
512 W. 19th Street, NYC
--
music and readings in celebration of the
brand new issue of 6x6 poetry periodical
from ugly duckling presse; copies of 6x6 will be on sale
--
readers (alphabetically): Corina Copp, Lawrence Giffin,
David Goldstein, Will Hubbard, Jibade-Khalil Huffman,
Douglas Rothschild. music: I feel tractor & The Quavers
--
for more info on 6x6 see http://www.uglyducklingpresse.org/orders_periodicals.html

c) FRIDAY. My PARENTS are coming to this reading. The stakes are high:

The Stain of Poetry: A Reading Series
Friday, May 30, 2008 (7:00 PM)
May 30th @ 7 p.m. - Stain Bar - Williamsburg, Brooklyn

** Stein, Marks, Edmiston, Klassnik, and Peterson **


Leigh Stein is the author of many chapbooks, including How to Mend a Broken Heart with Vengeance (Dancing Girl Press, June ‘08). Other work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Bat City Review, h-ngm-n, Diagram, No Tell Motel, and MiPOesias. Originally from Chicago and briefly in Albuquerque, she now lives in Brooklyn and works for a comic book publisher.


Justin Marks’ latest chapbook is [Summer insular] (Horse Less Press, 2007). His poems have recently appeared in Cannibal, Soft Targets, Tarpaulin Sky and the Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel – Second Floor, and are forthcoming in Handsome, the New York Quarterly and Wildlife Poetry Magazine. He is the founder and Editor of Kitchen Press Chapbooks and lives in New York City.


Will Edmiston’s poems have appeared in The Tiny, Mipo and Lungfull!. Most recently he did a book collaboration entitled “Greetings & Salutations” with a Parsons Communication Design class.


Rauan (Ron) Klassnik was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. After moving to Dallas and then dropping out of college he traded sports and gaming cards, beanie babies, pogs and memorabilia. He now spends most of his time down in Mexico with his wife Edith where, besides writing, he plays around with the family birds and dogs. His poems have appeared in many print and on-line journals including The Mississippi Review, The North American Review, No Tell Motel, MiPoesias, Sentence, Handsome, Pilot Poetry, Sleepingfish and others. His debut book of poems, “Holy Land” released April 1st from Black Ocean Press.


Tim Peterson is the author of SINCE I MOVED IN, which received the Gil Ott Award from Chax Press. Tim lives in Brooklyn, edits EOAGH: A Journal of the Arts, and curates a portion of the Segue Reading Series in New York. Photo by Stacy Szymaszek.

~~~~

stain
766 grand street
brooklyn, ny 11211
(L train to Grand Street,
1 block west)
718/387-7840
open daily @ 5 p.m.


***

Well, that's all I'll post for now. These are the ones I'm going to.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Nerd Press

Oh, just a few good things in the air, they smell like cookies baking (what?):

1) Andrew Hughes's chapbook: Sweethearts of the Great Migration is now out.

"If Catullus had lived in the age of skateboards his name would be Andy Hughes. Let's call him a young, lyrical, New Englander who crafts the line into a bloom of self-effacing, reflective, and always funny-sad passages. These poems are indeed passages� passages into a creative life filled with promise, and passages into a forthright sympathy for the wobbly human heart." -- Lisa Jarnot

Andrew Hughes divides his time between New York City and Vermont. His work has appeared in Forklift, Ohio, Cannibal, Spell, Can We Have Our Ball Back, Bimbo Jim, and others. He is an editor for TIGHT, a literary journal.

ISBN 978 1 897388 22 8; 35pp
Stapled and bound into printed wrappers.

***

2) A lovely full length feature you most definitely need to own, and you will be the coolest kid on the block, since it just came out:

That Tiny Insane Voluptuousness
by Elisa Gabbert & Kathleen Rooney

104 pages
Cover design by Catherine Bourassa-Hébert
ISBN: 978-0-9804541-4-7
Otoliths 2008
$12.50 + p&h
URL: http://www.lulu.com/content/2210697

"Just more entertaining than poems are supposed to be. And I'm not using the word 'entertaining' as some kind of sly putdown either. These poems have more human interaction going on in a couple of lines than many writers manage in a couple of books. The linguistic energy and, really, virtuosity, can be stunning. These are poems that know what people are like when they're around people." —Mark Wallace

***

My time as a dogsitter comes to and end (Goodbye, Manca). I'm covered in dog hair:


My friend Sam came over and helped. He cooked dinner while I walked the dog, and then he roughhoused with Manca:


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

And 1,000 Babysnakes Shalt Flow out the Door as You Open It Press

I am extremely pleased to let you know, (if you didn't know already,) that Justin Marks won the New Issues Poetry Prize this month. Read the deets here: New Issues

This is what the Judge, Carl Phillips, had to say:

“‘I wake, my not-yet-self/projecting back on the life I rise into.’ That’s but one example of the kind of logic (and syntax) that informs the poems of A Million in Prizes, a logic that often resists initial sense, only to reward with a clarity and maturity of insight that make these poems more powerful—more persuasive—with each reading.” —Carl Phillips

In celebration, I am resurrecting (this is the second time I have used/typed the word "resurrecting" today) my favorite Justin Marks clip. Turn up the volume, dude:

God, this never gets old.

***

If you have chapbooks or books or cool journal issues I don't know about that are releasing soon, feel free to send me the release info and I'll post it. I only know about what gets sent/emailed to me.

***

I was very exhausted after the Poetry Goose Up! on Saturday. But it was a great turn-out. Even though it went from 4pm-8:30pm, there was always between 30-50 people present. THANK YOU to everyone who braved the treacherous subways on Saturday to come to Greenpoint. (Like any long reading, there were some ups and downs, but) the readers were amazing, focused, and gracious, and the audience was supportive and very attractive. I mean, supportive and very attentive.

Thank you. I was blown away by the poets I already know as well as the ones I heard read for the first time.

***

Again, if there is anyone who ordered a copy of Saltgrass and didn't receive theirs, let me know and I'll send it to you ASAP and include a mix tape.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I'm Going To Wear You Like a Puffy Vest Press

Well, it's been a long week, hasn't it? Wouldn't you like some random movie footage I've filmed in the last few months to entertain you?

Zachary Schomburg, author of The Mansuit (Black Ocean), gives you 5 seconds of a little hip action:

**

I had a very odd day and saw an elephant committing suicide:

Very sad.

**

The dialogue of this video goes like this (turn up the volume):

Me (inaudible): "Why is writing poetry so hard???"
MS (through his armpit): "Are there flowers in the garden still?"


**

Justin Marks, editor of Kitchen Press, tries to fly a pink helicopter:


Ok, I never said I was a film maker. I also had to delete a lot of 5 second "movies" where you can just hear me saying, "Why isn't this camera taking a picture?"
***

Last night I ended up going to this:

ROOF Books, United Artists, Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, Granary,
Cuneiform, Bootstrap, The Figures & Ugly Duckling invite you
to a small press party,
May 15, 2008,
at Max Protetch Gallery, 511 W. 22nd, NYC, from 6-8 PM,

and I bought 6 books for about $25.00. I will tell you more about those books a bit later once I read them.

Ugly Duckling Presse:

ROOF books:

Yo-Yo Lab:

Profound Underground Following Press

1) I'll see you Saturday, right? At the Poetry Goose Up, right? Goose Up info here: Info!

2) I had the grossest walk to work today. First I passed a condom filled with black goo. And then right after that, I passed a garbage bag that had tipped over and a giant ball of gnarly hair was rolling around the pavement like a hair follicle tumbleweed. I almost barfed at 7:30am.

3) An explosion of new journal issues are up:

a) RealPoetik features Mary Lyon.

b) typo issue 11. Check out Kristi Maxwell's poem Says Otherwise. And while you're at it, you should most certainly read Eleni Sikelianos's poem (SECOND HOUR'S RESIDUE)(public), with lines likes these, how can you not fall in love?:

a piece of an hour I mean
this piece of its index is
equipped
with ratios, reasons

“old as I look,” says the hour,
speaking through a woman at the counter

c) The new issue of Diode is up. I have three poems in that puppy. I love Sueyeun Juliette Lee's first poem A Devastation of Unknown Magnitude.

4) My horoscope told me I was going to have to "multi-task" to get my work done today. Thanks.

5) Ok, I am calling upon anyone in the world who owes me a favor.

Please listen up.

This is me, calling in my favors:

No matter what I tell you I want to do, do NOT let me see THIS MOVIE.

Do you understand? If I say things like:

"No, I want you to use the favor you owe me to buy a water buffalo and calf for a family in a third world country, instead, by clicking here"

or

"I've changed my mind, this is the best thing that will happen to us. Really"

or

"Look, it's ok, my horoscope told me I'm going to see this movie today"

or

"I love you, let go of my arm so I can enter this giant cinema complex"

or even the more subtle

"It will be funny, in an ironic sort of way...and we can drink whiskey in the theater together"

Stay strong, resist my manipulation.

I never want to see this movie:

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Queen Size Bed of Nails Press

1) Hello! Don't forget about the Poetry Goose Up this Saturday, in NYC, with all of your favorite poets: "MUST READ INFO"

2) On Saturday I went to a lemur center. Well, it was sadder than we all had inticipated.

For instance, my brother's face touching a lemur pelt:

I spotted my first lemur:
Just kidding.

I spotted my first lemur, "for realz." It isn't hard, they are in cages:



That was pre-graduation ceremony in NC w/ my family. Other photos:

Customized beer with fraternity label, of the Kappa Alpha Order:

Cosmic:

Brother!:

My brother is so grown up these days. I'm very glad I was able to see him graduate and lucky to have spent Mother's Day with my Mom.

***

3) Wednesday:
Wed. May 14th -- Matt Hart, with Amanda Nadelberg, and Christopher Martin
8PM
Pacific Standard Bar
82 Fourth Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11217

I'm in.

WHO'S WITH ME?

***

Thursday remember Tao lin's book release in DUMBO.

***

On Saturday, at The Poetry Goose Up, (where I will see you, right? right?) I'm looking forward to getting Andy Mister's chapbook from F&F Press (run by Jess Mynes), as well as buying a copy of Kate Greenstreet's book, case sensitive. I can't believe I don't actually own these by now. I have a feeling I may buy one of everything from all of the poets who are bringing copies of their books to sell.

***

I will give you a baby lemur if you come:

Monday, May 12, 2008

Roommate Press

Tonight I'm having an open house for my room/apt.

The ad in my head goes something like this:

You want to pay $600 and live in Parkslope, right?
You want to live next to the R and the F train, right?
You're 25-30-something and happy having two roommates, right?

Good.

One is very neat, funny, charming (female). She has a nice butt.

The other is a little odder and messier, but a good person, and living with someone new will keep him in line. He is tall.

Only $600! Parkslope! Communal: living room /kitchen/ bathroom.
Come on, live a little. Have a Parkslope adventure. Oh, there is also an awesome roof. You can have cookouts on it, sunbath (I know you need to), and nap up there.

***
Did I persuade you? Anyways, if you feel like keeping me company tonight while I meet people and evaluate their compatibility with my other two roommates, you should come over at 6pm. Email me. We can eat cookies and read the new Boog City w/ an interview with Eileen Myles: http://welcometoboogcity.com/boogpdfs/bc50.pdf.

I'm moving to Sunset Park. Unless signing the lease was a scam, I should be getting my keys at the end of this week. Basically all I have for the new apartment is a coffee table and lots of poetry books. I'm working on this. I'm determined to make this place look gracious & comfortable.

***

Matthew Zapruder and David Lehman are reading at KGB tonight. I can't go, obviously, but if you do, you should tell me how it goes.

***

I'm going to tao Lin's book launch this Thursday. It's in DUMBO, at his publisher's store, Melville House. It's very easy to get to, the York street stop on the F.

Tao invited you to "TAO LIN 'BOOK' 'PARTY' COGNITIVE-BEHAVIORAL THERAPY" on Thursday, May 15 at 7:00pm.

Event: TAO LIN 'BOOK' 'PARTY' COGNITIVE-BEHAVIORAL THERAPY
"FREE ORGANIC FOOD, ALCOHOL, CHAPBOOKS"
What: Reunion
Host: RELIEVE BOREDOM
When: Thursday, May 15 at 7:00pm
Where: MELVILLE HOUSE PUBLISHING

***

I'm going to post my brother's graduation photos tomorrow. Cap 'n gown.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Consumption Press

I had a bad dream two nights ago that lasted from 3am-4am because I couldn't make my brain switch over to a happier plot. I kept waking up and then falling back to sleep and the dream would just continue. The dream began with a drive away from the city:

I was with someone in the car, I was on the drivers side. I think we were going camping, or to visit friends who lived in the country. 10 miles out of the city, driving through dark curving roads and hills, we saw a bush fire flare up to the left of the car. Of course, we slowed down to see if someone needed help to put out the fire. There was a man jumping and shouting- he looked like he needed our help to quell the fire before it got completely out of control. We saw a house behind the fire.

We pulled over. We started filling buckets from the well and dumping them onto the flames. Other cars stopped, I guess it was a busy night on the country road. There were about 5 cars and 10 people now helping. All of a sudden, the man ran back into the house and turned on giant sprinklers or released what might have been tubs of water stored on top of a few telephone poles. The sprinklers basically poured tons of water over us, over the bushes, soaking us and smothering the fire. Before we could stand up and brush some of the water off of us, giant gates/fences starting shooting up from the ground, surrounding us and locking us in to the front lawn of this house where the man lived.

Once the gates were up he released even more water, so that we were sloshing around and could hardly keep our balance. It suddenly dawned on us all that this was a trick, we had been captured, we were all alone in the country tapped in a madman's house.

That realization was the most terrifying part of the dream- the feeling of having your adrenaline switch from being in the mode of helping someone else in a dire situation to finding yourself in an even more dire and tenuous situation.

The rest of the dream are just very quick shots of people hiding, protecting the 2 children that were caught with us, people trying to run away. Hushed voices and faces of terror. The madman moved very quickly and he wore a canvas sack over his head. So if I saw him out the window chasing someone and it seemed like a safe time to make my own move, he would suddenly appear, almost in two places at once, to loom over me while still pursuing the other person outside the window.

So I kept waking up from this dream with this looming body hanging over me. Finally I turned the living room light on and it took me like another 1/2 hour to fall back asleep and not have the dream begin again.

***

Last night I forgot to eat dinner so I woke up very hungry, but I didn't have any bad dreams.

***
So I had my thesis reading last night. I read slowly. I think I've finally figured out how to read my poems like I hear them in my head. I read three poems, and these are the titles:
"The History of a Lake Never Drowns"
"Hello, Pedestrian"
"Kick My Kickstand"

It was a nice event.

I am officially done.

***
I'm going to this tonight:

Keith Newton, Erica Ehrenberg & Robyn Art will Read or Juggle
Ectoplasm or Perhaps Just Sit There!


In All Cases, Clean Out Your Astonishment Receptors!


Keith Newton edits the online magazine Harp & Altar. His poems and essays have recently appeared in Harvard Review, Cannibal, and Octopus, among other journals. A chapbook of his work is forthcoming in 2008 from Cannibal Books. He lives in Brooklyn.

Erica Ehrenberg is a graduate of Amherst College and the Creative Writing Program (in Poetry) at New York University. Her poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Goodfoot, jubilat, The St. Ann's Review, the Center for Book Arts broadside series, and in the anthology Dancing with Joy: 99 Poems (Crown, 2007). She teaches Poetry, Writing, and Irish Literature at Montclair State University.

Robyn Art is a native of Lincoln, Massachusetts, hometown of the band They Might Be Giants. Her recent poems have appeared in Slope, The Hat, and Wicked Alice and her work will be included in the anthology The Bedside Guide To No Tell Motel: Second Floor. She is the author of the poetry manuscript, The Stunt Double In Winter, which will be published by Dusie Press this spring. Her text-visual collaboration with the artist Robin Barcus, "Dear American Lovechild, Yours, the Beautiful Undead" will be published by Dancing Girl Press in winter 2008.


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

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

***

The weird thing is:

Robyn Art is from my home town of Lincoln, MA (no one is ever from Lincoln, it's very small) AND she also has a chapbook coming out on the same press as me, Dancing Girl Press, for winter 08. I've never met her. Robyn, where were you during my childhood when I had no kid poet friends?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Goose Up! Press

Yes, more info for the May 17th reading that you're coming to (next Saturday).

You're coming to it because 1) it is an amazing line-up of poets 2) you can buy their books & chapbooks, 3) you can buy copies of the journals sponsoring the event, 4) you can drink and schmooze with friends, and 5) I will be very, very sad if you do not go:


Saturday, May 17th, 3-8pm
Doors 2:30 pm, $6

Ana Božičević
John Coletti
Kate Greenstreet
Sarah Gridley
Katy Henriksen
Shannon Jonas
Jennifer Kronovet
Mark Lamoureux
Timothy Liu
Chris Martin
Jess Mynes
Cate Peebles
Christopher Rizzo
Matthew Rohrer
Frank Sherlock
Joanna Sondheim
Shanxing Wang
Rebecca Wolff

& music from
The Hadacol

Hosted by Cannibal, Saltgrass, Harp & Altar, & Tight

East Coast Aliens
216 Franklin St
btwn. Green & Huron
Greenpoint, Brooklyn
G to Greenpoint Ave (exit at India St)
B61/B43/B42

Ana Božičević 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, Saltgrass, 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 co-edits RealPoetik.

John Coletti is the author of The New Normalcy (BoogLit 2002), Physical Kind (Yo-Yo-Labs 2005), and Street Debris (Fell Swoop 2005), a collaboration with poet Greg Fuchs with whom he also co-edits Open 24 Hours Press. He currently is the editor of The Poetry Project Newsletter.

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.

Sarah Gridley is Poet in Residence and a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Case Western Reserve University. She received an MFA in poetry from the University of Montana in 2000, where she was a Richard Hugo scholar and won the 1999 Merriam Frontier Award for excellence in creative writing. The University of California Press published her book Weather Eye Open in 2005. She has recently completed a new poetry manuscript, whose poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Fourteen Hills, NEO, Harp & Altar, Crazy Horse, jubilat, Denver Quarterly, New American Writing, and Chicago Review.

Katy Henriksen was born and raised in the Arkansas Ozarks. She is the design editor of the poetry journal Cannibal, which she creates with her husband Matt Henriksen in their tiny railroad apartment in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. She also helps run the Burning Chair Readings. Her music and culture writing may be found in Venus Zine, The Brooklyn Rail, Paste, Publishers Weekly, Puremusic.com, Rust Buckle, and elsewhere. Four of her poems are forthcoming in Tight.

Shannon Jonas is the author of Compathy (Cannibal Books, 2007) and lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Jennifer Kronovet is the author of Awayward (BOA Editions, 2009), selected by Jean Valentine as the winner of the Poulin Prize. Kronovet is the co-founder and co-editor of CIRCUMFERENCE, a journal of poetry in translation. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Colorado Review, Harp & Altar, Ploughshares, A Public Space, and other journals. She was born and raised in New York City, and has lived in Chicago, St. Louis, and Beijing.

Mark Lamoureux is a poet, critic and translator who lives in Astoria, NY. His work has appeared in numerous publications, both in print and online. He is an associate editor for Fulcrum Annual. He is the author of three chapbooks: City/Temple (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2003), 29 Cheeseburgers (Pressed Wafer, 2004) and Film Poems (Katalanche Press, 2005).

Timothy Liu is the author of six books of poems, most recently For Dust Thou Art. Two new books are forthcoming, Bending the Mind Around the Dream's Blown Fuse (Talisman House, 2008) and Polytheogamy (Saturnalia Press, 2009). His journals and papers are archived in the Berg Collection at the New York Public Library. Liu is currently an Associate Professor at William Paterson University and on the Core Faculty at Bennington College’s Writing Seminars; he lives in Manhattan.

Chris Martin is the author of American Music. His new book, Becoming Weather, is trying to become published. His newer book, On Song, is an ongoing investigation of song’s ontological use from the Caveman Days until Tonight. He is the editor of Puppy Flowers, an online magazine of the arts, and resides near the Prospect Park Zoo with a beautiful lady and her cat.

Jess Mynes is the author of Birds for Example, Coltsfoot Insularity (a collaboration with Aaron Tieger), In(ex)teriors, and Full on Jabber (a collaboration with Christopher Rizzo). He is the editor of Fewer & Further Press. In 2008, his If and When (Katalanche Press), Sky Brightly Picked (Skysill Press), Recently Clouds, and a second edition of In(ex)teriors (Anchorite Press) will be published. He lives in Wendell, MA where he co curates a reading series, All Small Caps. His poems have appeared in numerous publications.

Cate Peebles lives in Brooklyn and works at the literary agency, Sobel Weber Associates, in Manhattan. Her poems have appeared in, or are forthcoming from, Tin House, Octopus, La Petite Zine, MiPOesias, Capgun, and others. She co-edits the on-line poetry magazine, Fou.

Christopher Rizzo is a writer and publisher who lives in New York. Over the years, his work has appeared in Art New England, The Cultural Society, Cannibal, Dusie, H_NGM_N, and Spell among other magazines. Christopher has also authored several chapbooks, such as Claire Obscure (Katalanche Press, 2005), Zing (Carve Editions, 2006), and The Breaks (Fewer & Further Press, 2006). Full on Jabber, a collaborative work written with poet Jess Mynes, was released by Martian Press in 2007. Christopher also edits Anchorite Press, an independent poetry publisher of innovative work. He is a doctoral candidate in English at the University at Albany.

Matthew Rohrer is the author of five books of poetry, most recently RISE UP, published by Wave Books. He teaches in the creative writing program at NYU and lives in Brooklyn.

Frank Sherlock is the co-author of the newly released Ready-to-Eat Individual with Brett Evans.

Joanna Sondheim’s chapbooks, The Fit and Thaumatrope, were published by Sona Books in 2004 and 2007, respectively. Recent work appears in Unsaid magazine.

Shanxing Wang was born in Jinzhong, Shanxi province, China, in 1965. He moved to the U.S. in 1991 to pursue a PhD in mechanical engineering at University of California at Berkeley. While an assistant professor of engineering at Rutgers University, he began taking writing courses at Rutgers and later the Poetry Project, and subsequently received a Zora Neale Hurston Scholarship to attend the summer writing program at Naropa University in Colorado in 2003. His first book Mad Science in Imperial City (Futurepoem Books, 2005) won the 2006 Asian American Literary Award for Poetry. His current thinking and struggling focuses on intersections of poetry/poetics with physics/mathematics, history, visual arts, and continental philosophy. He is also a competitive table tennis player and a table tennis coach. He lives and writes in Queens and he has a blog: http://shanxingwang.blogspot.com.

Rebecca Wolff is the author of Manderley, Figment, and The King (forthcoming 2009). She is the publisher and editor of Fence, Fence Books, and The Constant Critic, and is a fellow of the New York State Writers Institute, with which Fence is affiliated. She lives in Athens, New York.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Master Press

1) So I handed in my MFA thesis. Since I will not be going to graduation I consider yesterday my graduation. I am now a master in poetry. Any questions regarding fine arts, come to me.

2) Just kidding. I don't like questions.

3) I think I want to learn to play the xylophone. Unfortunately, upon brief investigation, real ones are quite expensive:
$2,000

So I am thinking about buying one of these:
$20.00

I can't sing. I'm not being modest. Like, I really cannot sing. I wouldn't even sing in the shower. No, no dice. But I like to hum and I like to sing/talk under my breath. Which is what happens when the act of humming gets carried away. So I think that this 20 dollar xylophone will let me bash it lightly and sing/hum under my breath when I am home alone, and nobody can make fun of me.

**

I think I've mentioned that I live vicariously through the band Snowblink:
Listen to some songs
Well, the singer, Daniela Gesundheit, let me in on a little secret. She has a youtube video of her singing, at age 6, the Beach Boys' Kokomo:

Yes, from 1988, 6 years old! She is now all grown up and moving to Toronto and I hope to visit her in August.

***

Tomorrow, Thursday, something amazing is happening in Brooklyn:

Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, Rusty Morrison and Mónica de la Torre
Thursday, May 8th
7 pm (doors open at 6:30 pm)
Pierogi Gallery
177 North 9th Street (off of Bedford Ave)
Brooklyn, NY 11211
http://www.pierogi2000.com/

I would very much like to go, but I have my thesis reading that night. So you will have to attend and tell me all about it.

***

The new issue of Word For/Word is out, #13 online at: www.wordforword.info. Check out Kate Schapira's poems, Emily Frey's poems, Jared White's poems, and George Kalamaras' poems.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Baby Daddy Press

1) The reading last night was awesome. Anne Carson's been in nyc since January so she decided to read the pieces she's been working on here, which entailed an essay on concepts of falling, helmets, and her father's quietude, as well as a dialogue between (Beckett's character) Krapp and Heidegger.

2) I knew that I would like Graham Foust's reading because I like Graham and I like his poetry. But I didn't know what to expect from Misty Harper since I hadn't read her work or heard her read before. She was so lovely!

Two Poems by Misty:

Plot
Never Fails. Slick with ice
then thick with blossoms.

Let birds subpoena the trees.
Let Miscellany loosen her ornate plot.

I was born on my due date.
I was placed on a red plate.

A nurse said O Sawbones
this one doesn't look too good.

Arithmatic of pestilence and light,
answer my hands their questions.
Answer my questions their hands.

*

(from the review Kunundrum)
The Mouth


The difference between rats and mice has to do with the structure of their teeth.

According to my dental receipt, the films bitten down on during x-rays are called bitewings.

I began menstruating in a waiting room. My grandmother was being fitted for new dentures.

My tongue is not precise enough to count all my teeth; the bottom front ones blur.

Teeth are not quite bone.

The box at work said CELLO WRAPPED TOOTHPICKS.
Though the box was very small, there was a brief rising
in me and a lurch as I realized that cello was short
for cellophane.

I’m reading a biography of a writer who was very private.
The biographer notes that in a car accident in Paris,
the writer damaged her teeth, which were in poor shape already.
In thirteen of the book’s photographs of her, her mouth is closed.
Her lips are parted in one, and she is a baby.

Instructions on how to draw lips mostly discuss light and say
you will often want to make the corners of the mouth very dark.

***

It's spring, so poetry journals are in full bloom.

The new issue of Coconut:

Coconut 12—featuring new poems and collaborations by David Trinidad, Jeffery Conway, Gillian McCain, Reb Livingston, Chelsey Minnis, Elizabeth Treadwell, Christopher Salerno, Lauren Spohrer, Terita Heath-Wlaz, Tyler Carter, Elisa Gabbert, Michael Ball, Brenda Iijima, Sam Truitt, Jessica Piazza, Claire Hero, Matthew Zapruder, James Sanders, Linnea Ogden, Emily Kendal Frey, KC Trommer, Gina Myers, and Seth Landman—has dropped from the palm! Come visit at www.coconutpoetry.org

Check out Gina Myers' poem "Love Poem to Someone I Do Not Love," it burns.

*

Elisa Gabbert's poem, "Poem without Free Will" has a killer first stanza (so go read the rest of it):

Scatterplot of insect parts,
needle over E, karaoke

*

In the second line of Brenda Iijima's poem,"Raw Empire in the Form of Limbs" she hits you with:

...Just look at these gallant men on horses
Spears casting earthward Main marbled hallway gilded bedecked
Status says we can shave thin slices of pink
This meat that is the leg is

***

I'm going to go turn in my MFA thesis now.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Your Face Is The Highest Number I Can Count to Press

1) Let's not forget about the Anne Carson /Graham Foust reading tonight. 7:30pm.

2) Look, I am helping to organize a massive poetry reading
Saturday May 17th
in Brooklyn
sponsored by the journals Cannibal, Saltgrass, Harp & Altar, and TIGHT.

Please come.
You won't be disappointed.

Guess who is reading for Saltgrass?:

Ana Božičević, Frank Sherlock, Matthew Rohrer, and Kate Greenstreet


You just stood up on your chair and beat your chest like a bonobo, didn't you?

More info:

Poetry Goose Up
at East Coast Aliens

Saturday, May 17th, 3-8pm
Doors 2:30 pm, readings from 3-8 pm
$6

Ana Božičević
John Coletti
Kate Greenstreet
Sarah Gridley
Katy Henriksen
Shannon Jonas
Jennifer Kronovet
Mark Lamoureux
Timothy Liu
Chris Martin
Jess Mynes
Cate Peebles
Christopher Rizzo
Matthew Rohrer
Frank Sherlock
Joanna Sondheim
Shanxing Wang
Rebecca Wolff

Hosted by Cannibal, Saltgrass, Harp & Altar, & Tight

East Coast Aliens
216 Franklin St
btwn. Green & Huron
Greenpoint, Brooklyn
G to Greenpoint Ave (exit at India St)
B61/B43/B42

Make a day of it, or 1/2 a day of it. You will get to see me very flustered and running around, but also completely excited about how many amazing poets are coming together for this reading. You can point and laugh at my frenzy if that implies you will be there. Please be in the bandstand, please hang out with me between the readings, please drink yourself silly on a lovely Saturday afternoon.

Save the date: Saturday May 17th
.

***

3) I am about to get an apartment in Sunset Park, on the express N line. For anyone that lives in Brooklyn and works in the city, are you not incredibly proud of me for finding an affordable apartment by an express line? Well, think about being proud of me.

Of course, though, I couldn't do the whole apartment search without one incredibly awkard moment. So:

When I went to check the apartment out yesterday it was super hot out. Lovely hot. But I left my house at like 11:30am, so I wasn't wearing the right clothing since it was chilly in the morning. It was 80 degrees by 2:30pm, though, and I was still stuck in a sweater, a hoodie, a vest, and a scarf. (I hate being cold so I'm cautious, ok?) Anyways, we got to the apartment and it was really sunny but all the windows were closed. The manager showed me the place and he was sweating profusely, and since we were filling out forms there, we stayed in the kitchen for like 20 minutes.
He took off his sweater.
Then I took off my vest.
Then he took of his hat and fanned his face.
Then I took off my hoodie.
Then he wiped the sweat from his forehead.
Then I took off my scarf.
Mind you the super for the building was also hanging out in the doorframe, blocking any new air that could come into the apartment. The realtor kept apologizing and saying, "I'm sorry, don't be weirded out- I'm the manager of the whole realty company and I don't know why I'm so sweaty today." Or "Sorry, I didn't know it was going to be so hot out today. Don't be afraid of the aprtment because I am a sweaty man today." And I kept laughing and saying variations of, "Don't worry, Ihave a pile of layers on the kitchen floor of an apartment that isn't mine yet." But he kept apologizing. And I kept kicking my pile of winter clothing with my feet as I filled out the lease form stuff. To his credit, he was very professional and helpful besides the sweat.

Please wish me luck that this works out in the next few days. You have no idea how many scams there are on Craigslist. Want to see? I'm pasting below TWO separate replies I got when I sent emails. You understand that the next email they send is asking you to send them money so that they can send you keys since they are "out of town but are offering such a great deal." Yeah...such a waste of time:

A) Hello,
Thanks for your quick response and your interest in having my apartment for rent. But right now I am in Lagos,Nigeria 23401 on a Christain Missionary Mission with my wife (Madelyn) and we have the keys of our apartment right here with us. I will like to inform you that it was due to my transfer that makes us to leave the house and also want to give it out for rent and looking for a resposible and reliable person that can take very good and proper care of it as we are not after the money for the rent but want our apartment to be clean at the time and the person that will rent will take it as if i t were its own. So for now,We are here in West Africa,NIGERIA in our new house and also with the keys of the house,we are trying to look for an agent that we can give this document before we left but could not see and we are as well as don't want our house to be used any how in our absent that is why we took it along with us here.We are only willing to give the apartment out to a lovely and caring family only, so if you know you cannot give the apartment the neatness and cleanliness it deserves please don't contact me. But if you promise to always take good care of apartment,get back to me on how you could take care of our house or perhaps experience you have in renting home.Hope you are okay with the price of $650 with 2 bedroom Apartment, finished top and bottom, garage, A/C, 6 appliances included, no smoking Appliances: Dishwasher Dryer Electric Stove Freezer/Deep Freeze Fridge Microwave Washer Interior: Air Conditioning Finished Basement Hardwood Storage Area/Room Tile Floors Window Coverings
Thanks, Await your reply.
Pastor John Collins

B)Hello,

Before everything I would like to clear up some details regarding the apartment, in order that every single detail can be clear.


LOCATION: 51 Essex Street #1, New York, NY 10002

HUGE apartment with 2 REAL BEDROOMS on the LES for rent! This apartment is located at Grand and Essex streets on the Lower East Side. It is app. 1000 sq. feet, has 8 oversized windows; even the bathroom has a window! The space is light and airy has 10 foot ceilings, 2 bedrooms and 5 closets!!

Hardwood Floor
Storage Space
Parking Options: Off-site/Street

1,000 Sq.F
2 Bedrooms
1 Bathroom


Like I said before, in my previous e-mail, the lease could be between 1-3 years, or short term lease for minimum 6 months. I'm the rightful owner of this apartment, and you don't have to pay any broker fee or something similar.

I have included all the utilities in the price (rent/month), as: gas, electricity, water, trash,
internet connection, TV-cable, etc.

Everything inside is functional. If you need to do some reparations in the apartment, I will
refund the reparations cost, or I will deduct that expenses from your monthly payment. In case you brake something, for example a window or a mirror, that is not my responsibility, and you will pay for that...minor problems.

As I'm in London right now the situation has become a little bit complicated because I must come back and sign the contract with you (lease contract).

I need the deposit paid in advance, (2,850 USD), and I will book a flight to come back immediately. Unfortunately, only my wife and I, have the entrance keys, and she's here with me.

NO ONE ELSE HAVE ACCESS THERE. This is 100% legit and secure and I hope that you understand why I need that deposit for. The procedure sounds a little bit complicated but in fact is very simple and it's the only way, because we don't have any good friends or family there to help us rent this apartment.

I'm sure this is a great offer and you will have all the comfort staying there because no one will be bothering you, including me or my family, because we are far away...We shall communicate over the phone constantly.

IF YOU AGREE THE TERMS PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME TO GO FURTHER, IF YOU DON'T, PLEASE DON'T TRY TO NEGOTIATE. DUE TO MY SITUATION I'M NOT ABLE TO NEGOTIATE MY TERMS.

Phone: (011) +447031812115 anytime

Best Wishes...
Kristian


***

Really, you need my money to fly back because you can't mail your keys to a friend and have them show the apartment for you?

"Pastor John Collins" and "Kristian" can suck it.


***

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Sad Tonic Press

I've been writing this one poem very slowly. It's not long, so I don't have a lot to show for it, but hopefully it will turn into something. I think it will be the 3rd in a series of shorter, slightly more visually fragmented poems (no long lines) that I want to expand on. Hopefully, though, the combinations of images and quiet statements waterfall down the poem in a way that'll soak you real good. The only way I can describe them: Kid Sized White Undershirt Poems.

***

Little known facts:
1) When I was in 6th grade I laminated a bunch of autumn leaves to keep the season, and I hung them from my ceiling. Only a handful of red-headed leaves. When I was home this winter, they were still there. 14 years later.

2)When I was a kid, and even through high school, I used to love writing with sharp pencils. I hated pens. Now I think pencils are messy/too smeary. (Give me my precious pen.)

3) Sometimes I forget that my dog is dead.

4) Toast is underrated.

***

I've been reading Moongarden by Anthony McCann. You should read it too.

McCann has something to say, so I think you should listen. The poems I respond to the most are not the ones with large, thick stanzas because these seem a little too preciously weird, too "look at the little story in the little world I have created." In the poems that are visualy more airier, the bizarre imagery and slow movements of the city crawl towards you like sea anemone, or like a body pulling itself out of a lake, to your porch, where you sit, about to open a book you no longer want to read because of the living body now in fron of you. And the body is carying a candle that is already lit. Like the first one in the collection, Moongarden (November):

Moongarden (November)

On the eve of the wedding
the witch arrived in the city

the great lawn

plunged
into dark
and silent pleasure

In the public forest

a man
entered the body

of a stranger

When it happened
his eyes were closed

his right hand blooms

in cold November

night cars

are converted
into light


In the distance:

recorded sounds
of ventilation

and the sea

There is no damage
to the liquid

while you sleep

the earth leaks
cold traffic

on the street


And the city?
what did the city do?

It made happiness
and codes

in the windows underground


I left my voice
inside your body

when I drowned.

****

Damn. come on: " In the distance: // recorded sounds / of ventilation / and the sea / There is no damage / to the liquid // while you sleep"

I am stealing this from H_NGM_N's website:

Anthony McCann
EP Poetry

Frankly I was a little uncomfortable writing a poetics statement (it does feel a little like applying for a job or begging you all to like my poems, or both) and it took me a long time to hit on something I felt both energized about writing and that seemed appropriate to the topic. Finally something reminded me, I can’t remember what, of one of my more powerful childhood memories—one I realized I associate very much with my having become a poet. The memory is from one Good Friday in the mid 70’s,when I was an earnestly and maybe a bit weirdly Catholic child.* It was a soggy and blustery March afternoon and I had run out into the yard after hearing an announcer during the radio broadcast of Handel’s Messiah say that Jesus Christ had just entered his agony. I was staring at the greenish-gray, low-hung sky and I remember thinking or feeling or sensing with a total terrorized certainty and clarity that right then at that very moment Christ was writhing on the cross. Right then it was happening, just in a different sector in time, and this meant that right then at that moment everything that had ever happened was happening. That thought drastically uncorked the world in its glorious terror, its absolute shining enormous simultaneity. For a minute or two anyway.

All the power of this moment, this memory, for me is contained not in my thoughts at the time but in the scene—the yard as I remember it: a single, bare and silver tree, the yellow grass, and in the green seams in the undersurface of the low-bellied sky. But remember is not really the right word for a memory so often recollected. I recall it, I re-make it, every time I “remember.” Each remembered version of this “memory” is somewhat different. I can change a detail, I can change the color of the grass. I can drop the bare tree and insert the bearded catalpa and it’s still somehow the same “memory.” Some not small details are, for whatever reason, uncrucial. For instance, I remember that it was very windy that day, but in order to recall the scene and the intensity of the sensation I oddly don’t need to include the wind at all, despite how much it doubtlessly contributed to the original experience. What I do need to have is some kind of tree, preferably one that’s a little sickly, or gnarled or just plain bare. It should be in the middle foreground and a little to the left. I also need the grass, the yard stretching away towards the back shed. And, most of all, I need that heavy sky. It can be green; it can be slate gray; it can be plump cotton brushed with ash as long as it is low, and absolute, and heavy. This is the basic grammar or, I suppose, geometry of that moment. This grammar or these shapes, these charged abstractions, feel strongly related to both the presences many of my poems try to invoke and to the language and imagery used to invoke them.

I’ve noticed that certain poems I write (there are a few example in the selection of poems here) often begin or begin to take shape through writing and re-writing and further abstracting or otherwise warping descriptions of the physical world, often of the sky, as if I were trying to rebuild that same childhood scene of hierophany over and over. I usually begin this kind of poem with a mental apprehension or mind held image of a particular space and of the larger brooding world assembling beyond it. This sensation or image is brought on by a phrase or a word, often itself an attempt to invoke or name something I have seen. The more substance the image culled from the world acquires as it resists and redirects the further descriptive assaults I’m making on it with language, the more the poem itself acquires its own substance and energy. It seems (and I feel tentative here since I am no philosopher of mind) that this resistance to description twists the language and the poem into unexpected shapes and dispatches it in unexpected directions and in doing so also gives the poem its energy or tone. To say that this is how I write all my poems or most of my poems or most of most of my poems probably wouldn’t be true. But it does seem to me to be how many of my poems begin. I also believe most of my more realized poems have in common a world charged with seething presence that is related to my first overwhelming encounter with being, presence and eternity. More than a few of these poems, often to my later surprise, rediscover, transformed in a new light and tone, some of the bare structure--the grammar, as well as the content, of that initial experience: the tree, the grassy stubble, the sky, and holy terror.

—Anthony McCann

*****

DON'T FORGET TO GO TO SOMMER BROWNING'S READING THIS FRIDAY. Ok? Ok? If you are in the state of New York, you should come to this reading. Also reading with Jordan Davis and Patrick Morrisey (sp?).

****

So, I have sent one copy of Saltgrass out to a fine patron who didn't receive their pre-paid order. Also included was a Mix Tape. Any other people who didn't receive their Saltgrass? Any other people who want a mix? My email is now in my "profile" on this thing.

***

And really, if you miss this, something is wrong: Anne Carson reads in NYC in Monday with Graham Foust.

Join us this Monday (May 5) when we are having the incomparable Anne Carson, author (most recently, of Decreation) and translator (most recently, Grief Lessons: Four Plays by Euripides), the wonderful Graham Foust, author of three book of poems (most recently, of Necessary Stranger), and an exciting young poet Misty Harper, author of Guarding The Violins (winner of 2005 PSA chapbook award). We are going to have the whole bar available for the reading, but we suggest you come early to find a seat.

Monday May 5, 7:30 PM

Anne Carson
Graham Foust
Misty Harper

11th Street Bar,
510 E. 11th Street (Between Avenues A & B)

Closest subway stops are the L at 1st Ave.;
other close stops include the L at 3rd Ave. and the 4/5/6/N/R/Q/W at Union Square.
Detailed directions can be found here: http://www.readab.com/directions.html

Hopefully I will see you there.

***