Monday, June 30, 2008

I Was Attacked by the Most Beautiful Pony in the World Press

I'm back at the Palace.

But let me tell you a little about NC:

1. En route, we stayed at the V.I.P. Inn. I don't think there was anything VIP about it besides the name. Also, it was a motel:

I had a feeling that the VIP Inn never washed the outer blanket of the bed, so I had to peel it off and put it very far away from where I was sleeping:

2. We built log cabins with nieces:

These log cabins are special because they have front steps but were built without doors (cabin on the left).

3. We played some game similar to tic tac toe that involved flinging the pieces onto the board with a purple plastic spatula thing. Then we got bored and played tic tac toe with our eyes:

(By the way, up until I did spell check, I thought spatula was spelled spachla.)

4. I had my first experience of southern buffet restaurant dinners. Unfortunately, I was too engrossed in looking at all the food options to take photos, so I had to find these on the Googles:


5. MS almost grew a moustache but then I was too negative and he shaved it off:

6. I started studying for my GREs. And by "studying" I mean "looking at vocab flashcards." But it's a start. A lot of the sentences they give you to contextualize the vocab word have to do with vegetarians. I think that the President of the Princeton Review has a daughter who is a vegetarian and somehow shaped the trajectory of the vocab cards. I can imagine the President of the Princeton Review sending out a memo and thus assuring peaceful dinners at home with his family.

I'll give you a few examples:

Bilk: to cheat; defraud
When the greedy salesman realized that his customer spoke poor French, he bilked the vegetarian out of 20 euros.

Blight: to afflict; destroy
The vegetarian feared that the night's frost would blight the potato crops entirely.

Boor: crude person; one lacking manners or taste
"That utter boor ruined my recital with his constant guffawing!" wailed the vegetarian pianist.

Cabal: a secret group seeking to overturn something
The boys on the street formed a cabal to keep the vegetarians out of their tree house.

Canard: a lie; falsity
The tabloid's feature story about a vegetarian giving birth to a human child was clearly a canard.

Can you tell that I've just made it into the C section of my 500 vocab cards?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Worst Press

Oi, I'm off to NC tomorrow, and somehow that worked out to having sparse and factual things to say this week:

But you, you my pretty, you should go to this tomorrow:

The Agriculture Reader is pleased to present one of our favorite poets: Anthony McCann. He is joined by Ag.Re. editors Jeremy Schmall and Justin Taylor, and fiction contributor Mark Edmund Doten. Pleasure will be manifold, but seating is limited. It will please us to see you there and you to have come to THE KGB BAR AT 7 PM ON THURSDAY JUNE 26TH.

Go! You must!

***
When I am back from NC, meet me here on Tuesday:

Tuesday, 7/1, at 6:30p.m.,
as part of the Academy of American Poets' "Poetry from the Rooftops" summer reading series.

GC Waldrep will be reading with two other poets, Jenny Boully and Gregory Pardlo, on the roof of the Arsenal Building in Central Park, 64th St. at 5th Ave. (next to the Zoo).

For more information:
http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/383

It's free, but the website advises "Please call 212.360.1324 or email rsvp@parks.nyc.gov to reserve your free ticket."

***

Ok, I'm off. Have a lovely weekend.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Wake The Dead for Dairy Night at the Palace Press

Fantastic Realizations, Wild Updates, and Hope for Your Future:

1. Homemade malts with coffee frozen yogurt are delicious.

2. I now refer to my apartment as The Palace.

3. I got a bike! I went for a ride on Saturday with MS along the water- the bay/bike path smelled salty and fishy in the best way possible.

4. It's impossible to keep negative thoughts in your head (unless you are a sick, sick person) while watching kids on tricycles peddle/wobble by.

5. You probably own a copy of an out-of-print edition of Jack Spicer's collected books:

They're not so cheap/easy to find, unless you're lucky. I have a copy buried at my parents house somewhere. In fact, I think I have two in the attic. And an ex-boyfriend took another one of my copies in 06. I think it's bad luck to find one in a bookstore and not buy it.

This is my superstition.

So last week at the poetry reading at Unnameable books I almost made it out of the store without buying anything until I spotted a copy. Had to get it. Even though this is going to hit shelves soon (well, seemingly August, 2008):

Yes, collected poems, My Vocabulary Did This to Me, from Wesleyan University Press. Edited by Peter Gizzi and Kevin Killian. I assume they both wrote a new introduction or foreword. And maybe this edition includes some unpublished poems or poems that were published but not in his original collected books? Something new besides a re-print of the Black Sparrow Press edition?

I'm not sure, but I'm going to buy it and find out.

Mark the release date on your Google calendar (I know you have one).

I bet this means many professors will be teaching this in contemporary poetry courses. I hope it also means there might be a fun Jack Spicer reading in nyc.

6. Remember to go to the ACA Gallery for the reading this Tuesday at 6pm. Check my last post for details.

7.This Wednesday, experience the lovely poetry of J. Mae Barizo and Stephen Karl:

Location:
Home Sweet Home (bar)
The Reading At Chrystie Street
hosted by Steve Roberts

Time: 7pm

featuring:
J. Mae Barizo
Steven Karl

(Home Sweet Home
131 Chrystie St)

Friday, June 20, 2008

I Think The Window In My Shower Looks Into My Neighbor's Kitchen & Vice Versa Press

I've not been so great at keeping up with journals that have come out in the last month or two, or even where my own stuff has recently published. I have a collab poem in the new issue of Past Simple, which I found by accident earlier this week. This issue also includes a line I like in Matvei Yankelevich's poem that goes like this:
collar afloat on blue water, snug / in the commonplaces of sneaker-like / shoes

And Anne Heide has this line:
The arrival of the car / is the arrival of the car / with me not in it.

You need to read these two poems on your own because I don't know html so I can't do the actual spacing of the line/words, which are different than above.

***

I re-found my missing stamp book (the "Forever" kind, with the liberty bell, that don't need additional 2 cent stamps added to them when our lovely government raises the price of stamps every other week). Now I can submit to journals again that require sending hardcopies. Like 6x6.

Let's all send out submissions together!

***

I'm going to share with you a little New York-centric news, ok? Only because I think it is a pretty funny/awkward radio moment.

Earlier this week, on Wednesday, Ikea opened it's (GIANT) store in Redhook, Brooklyn. I don't think anyone in Red Hook or the greater Brooklyn area is happy about this (although eventually, as we all know, a number of these people will fold their moral stance and end up shopping there).

Brian Lehrer, on his radio show (WNYC 93.9fm), was discussing (live) the Ikea opening with people calling into the station:

Brian Lehrer: Next caller. Jim from Red Hook?

Jim: Hi Brian. [Prattles on about the deletrious effects that 17,000 people a day will have on Red Hook.] It's like the whole neighborhood is being bukkaked in the face, in fact…

[Jim is cut off. Short silence.]

Brian Lehrer: Ah. Okay. Next caller.

***

If you do not know what bukkake is, please do not google this term at work, it will get you fired very quickly. If you are my parents, please don't ever google this term.

Have a great weekend!

Next week I promise not to write any completely disorganized, potty humor posts. Only articulate and informative posts. My motto is now "High Brow from here on out."

"High Brow or Bust"?

Kinda.

Unibrow or bust?

What?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mongols, Mongols, & More Mongols! Press

Amazingly, 6 people came to see Mongol with me last night (thank you).

Let me tell you about 5 lessons I learned from the Mongols that I think are still applicable to our lives today:

1. When your partner leaves for work before you do, right before you hear the front door/wolfskin flap shut, you should shout from your bedroom/yurt, "Will I see you in one year? or two years?"

2. When you leave for work at the same time as your partner, you should pull his face close to yours, look doe-like into his eyes, and scream, "Stay Alive!"

3. If you are in prison, you should pay a monk to take a wishbone to your lover across many baren mountains and tundras. It's ok if that monk dies. Because your lover will most likely find the monk's dead body, see the wishbone, and know that you are alive, but just imprisoned, and then come and bribe a jailer to let you out of prison once she has spent years saving enough money by whoring herself.

4. If men on motorcycles/warhorses are chasing you, and one happens to be your mother's first husband who wants to seek revenge by stealing your new wife, after you run away from them, it's probably not a good idea to have a luxurious picnic/nap in Central Park/the tundra if you know the motorcade/galloping angry horsemen are not actually that far behind you.

5. If your child is born with a bloodclot clenched in his hand, don't freak out. He will most likely become president of the United States/Genghis Khan.

***
We have a revolving door in my building.
Today ten people came in at the same time I was trying to leave & I jumped into the spinning door wedge of someone who just got out & I said to myself, "Oh great, I stepped into a stranger's dirty pocket of air."
And then I said to myself, "Julia, of all your problems, you are not a germaphobe. Stop being negative." So now I'm not going to be negative. I ate lunch outside on the base of a statue. Tofu salad. It was good & the sun soaked into by black sweater & heated up my dress & my back so I felt like I was photosynthesizing.
***
Do you have plans for this weekend?

I want to finish the poem I'm working on. I can tell that as I'm accumulating lines/phrases on different scraps of paper, most won't fit into this particular poem & I'll have to come up with new things for it.

I also want to pick up my new bike on Friday. Well, my craigslist bike. On Saturday I would like to try riding my new bike & also see the new Guy Madden movie, My Winnepeg. That's pretty low key, no?

And on Sunday I want to be as lazy as hell. The lowest key.

On a side note, I'm waiting for someone to end a poem with the word/line "Zing!"

***

This is happening on Tuesday:

Boog City presents d.a. levy lives: celebrating the renegade press
ixnay press (Philadelphia)
Tues. June 24, 6:00 p.m. sharp, free
ACA Galleries
529 W. 20th St., 5th Flr. NYC

Event will be hosted by ixnay press editors
Chris and Jenn McCreary

Featuring readings from
Jen Coleman, Brenda Iijima and Jenn McCreary

with music from Brian Speaker

Wine, cheese, and crackers, too, curated and with an introduction by Boog City editor David Kirschenbaum

Zing.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I Went Into A Bar Last Night & All The Women Looked Like Sad Dental Hygenists So I Left & Went Somewhere Else Press

Books I have read in the last week (or am just about to finish) that I hope you will read as well:

The Known World, by Edward P Jones (historical fiction)

The Meat and Spirit Plan, Selah Saterstrom (fiction)

Saline, by Kimberly Lyons (poetry)

***
Remember how I said I was on an airplane with Brian McKnight and you were probably like "I don't care"? Remember that? Well, now you have to care, because I know that some part of your brain, probably the part you are embarrassed for, recognizes this song AND loves the chorus (to "Back at One):

My favorite part of the chorus (after numbers 1-3):

And four, repeat steps one through three
Five, make you fall in love with me
If ever I believe my work is done
Then I'll start back at one, yeah
yeah
***

Went to sleep with talk radio on & I woke up listening to a discussion on the current sub-prime mortgage crisis. Fun!

Then I drifted back to sleep for a little bit & had this dream:

The swing in my backyard I remember swinging on, but mostly remember from a photo where I'm sitting in the swing. It is a wooden, boxy swing- almost like a wooden egg crate with slats missing so that child-legs can dangle down & kick around. My father pushing me. My mother pushing me. I always wanted them to push harder so I would swing higher. I was fearless. Then, I was. I was. Now I'm standing in my backyard staring at the swing. The thick rope holding it up rots, is black with rot like pirate teeth. Like the trail slugs leave behind them, the reason we never want to be slugs when we think of other things we could be besides human. I yank the rope & I sense that it wouldn't hold my weight if I leaned more heavily on it.

***
I woke up for a second time feeling unnerved & slapped off the talk radio. Then I lay in bed & thought about the dream. How nothing really happened besides putting weight on an old swing. I know that swing hasn't existed for maybe 15 years. There is just the space between two trees in the backyard of a house my parents are trying to sell right now.

I want to go home & I want to visit my grandmother in Rhode Island. I miss those smells, of old pillows, of the soap closet, of the dirt in the plants hanging in front of the windows. I miss the act of returning & matching up the images & scents in my head/memory with the reality of the actual space. Does the soap closet still smell like almonds?

***

Two readings tonight. Which one are you going to?

1)
Uncalled-For Reading Series, First Reading!
@ Unnameable Books

Wednesday June 18 2008
7:00 pm
free

Tamiko Beyer
Ana Božičević
Tisa Bryant
& Daniel Lin

*TAMIKO BEYER'S work has appeared numerous journals including Calyx, Crab Orchard Review, Gay and Lesbian Review, The Progressive, and the anthology Cheers to Muses: Contemporary Work by Asian American Women. She is a Kundiman Fellow and a member of Agent 409, a multi-racial, queer writing group based in New York City. Through the NY Writers Coalition, she leads writing workshops for homeless LGBTQ youth, and she works as a freelance writer. She will be pursing an M.F.A. at the Writing Program at Washington University in St. Louis, beginning in the fall.

ANA BOZICEVIC emigrated to NYC from Croatia in 1997. She's the author of chapbooks Document (Octopus Books, 2007) and Morning News (Kitchen Press, 2006). Fresh poems are forthcoming in the Denver Quarterly, Hotel Amerika, absent, typo, and elsewhere. Ana co-edits RealPoetik with Caroline Conway.

Poet, writer and radical cineaste TISA BRYANT makes work that often traverses the boundaries of genre, culture and history. Her first book, Unexplained Presence (Leon Works, 2007), is a collection of hybrid essays that remix master narratives in film, literature and visual arts to zoom in on the black presences operating within them. She teaches writing at St. John’s University, Queens, lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and is a founding editor/publisher of the hardcover annual, The Encyclopedia Project.

DANIEL LIN has published poems in Chelsea, Verse, Washington Square, Agni and Indiana Review, as well as a chapbook, Tinder, with Nightboat Books. He was a Tennessee Williams Scholar at Sewanee Writers Conference and a NY Times fellow in NYU's graduate writing program. He is currently working on a campus novel.*Unnameable Books can be found at 456 Bergen Street (between Flatbush Ave. & 5th Ave.) in Brooklyn, NY, one half block from the 2/3 at Bergen, or a short walk from 4/5/B/D/N/Q/R at Atlantic/Pacific.Readings are held down one flight of stairs in the basement.

(THIS READING BETTER START ON TIME BECAUSE I HAVE TO LEAVE AT 8PM TO GO SEE A MOVIE. I CANNOT TELL YOU WHAT THE MOVIE IS. MAYBE I WILL ONCE I FIGURE OUT ON MY SHAME SCALE, WHAT NUMBER SHAME IT WOULD BRING ME)

2)

EMERGING VOICES: Writers Published by Groundbreaking Independent Presses
Presented by The New York Center for Independent Publishing
The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen
20 W 44th Street
New York, NY 10036
Wednesday, June 18, 6:30 PM

HANGING LOOSE PRESS, supporting poetry since 1966, has evolved from a magazine of loose sheets into one of the country's most significant publishing houses. The press publishes fiction as well as poetry, and is dedicated to finding new writers and distinctive voices. Poets and writers, TONY TOWLE (Winter Journey), SHARON MESMER (The Virgin Formica), STEVEN SCHRADER (What We Deserved), and DONNA BROOK (A More Human Face) will read from their work and join editor/poet ROBERT HERSHON (Calls from the Outside World) to discuss the past, present and future of the press.

Romantic Rhythms Press

First, I want to thank my secret Canadian guest blogger. Thank you.

It's good to be back in the US (minus my continued desire to walk on sand, wear dresses all the time, and hear the ocean as I fall asleep).

My trip had a funny start. We were on the first (ever!) direct Delta flight from JFK to Antigua (a novel adventure, like the Titanic- so I was, of course, a bit anxious). There were dancers in neon outfits, free tambourine and maraca give-aways, and a speech at the airport by the Prime Minister of Antigua before we boarded. So by funny I mean awkward.

(look, my very own maraca, which says "I Fell In Love at Romantic Rhythms"):

We were also going to the wedding at the same time as the Antigua Romantic Rhythms festival featuring Shaggy, Lionel Richie, and Brian McKnight.

Brian McKnight & the Prime Minister were on my airplane as well. You can see by the cameras waiting for us when we landed:


Can I torture you with a few Antigua/wedding photos? Please?

If you want to scroll past the photos, I promise to talk about poetry. I'm going to talk to you about my new found love for Cole Swensen as well as my enjoyment in reading Anna Moschovakis's book, I Have Not Been Able to Get Through to Everyone.


Ok, so some photos, round 1:



Round 2:
This is honestly the view from my room balcony. How insane?:
This wedding looks like an out-take from a J Crew catalog, no?:
Too many Tequila Sunrises:


In sum, I am very happy for my friend who got married, I think he is settling down with a woman who truly understands and adores him. So it was lovely to be there to witness their marriage.

Uh oh. I am running out of hours in the work day to blog about Cole and Anna. I might need to do that tomorrow. Right now I will say this, though:

Congrats to Kazim Ali for the release of his new book, The Fortieth Day, which you can buy right now.


Publisher Comments:
From the Bible to the Quaraan, the fortieth day symbolizes the last moment before deliverance, a moment in time when a supplicant or prophet or stormbeaten passenger knows there is no state "after,"but finally accepts the present state as a permanent one. In The Fortieth Day, Kazim Ali follows the fractured narratives and moving lyrics of his debut collection, The Far Mosque, with a deeply spiritual and meditative book exploring the rhetoric of prayer.
Kazim Aliwas born in the United Kingdom and raised in an Islamic household. He holds degrees from the University at Albany and New York University. He lives in Oberlin, Ohio.

Review:
"Ali's second collection continues the project he began in his debut, The Far Mosque (2005). Through these associative and sometimes disjunctive lyrics, Ali explores Eastern religions — Islam, Hinduism — as well as his relationship with a more personalized 'God' who represents the unknown while still providing a sense of belonging in the world. In 'Afternoon Prayer,' Ali asks, 'God, a curt question or a curtain.' In the opening, 'Lostness,' Ali describes his particular notion of deity — 'dear God of blankness I pray to dear unerasable' — and then asks, 'how could I live without You if I were ever given answers'; later, God is equated with the sparseness of daily life: 'dear afternoon God dear evening God my lonely world.' Sometimes Ali arrives at mysterious, striking assertions: 'A person is only a metaphor for the place he wants to go'; elsewhere, one finds well-rendered images: 'the ocean will receive itself / opening its green pages to glass and sand.' A lack of mooring in the physical world makes some poems a bit slight. Nonetheless, Ali eloquently draws attention to the strange, dislocating home we make in human experience, in which 'you are being whipped // around the galaxy's center / at 25 million miles a second.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Would You Believe I Write Poems Press

Al Purdy died in 2000, age 82. He was (and is) one of Canada's most important poets, a good guy, and an utter counterpoint to Leonard Cohen. Bukowski once said of him: "I don't know of any good living poets. But there's this tough son of a bitch up in Canada that works the line."


(Is it just me, or is that the coolest compliment of all time?)

The first time I ever encountered Purdy's most famous poem, "At the Quinte Hotel," was at a reading I'd organized. (He was in his late seventies then and I had dinner with him before he read. I've never encountered anyone so very, very angry that he was allowed to drink only near beer.)

I was taken with the poem and rushed out the next day to find it at the bookstore. I liked what I found, but after the performance the night before, it was a little underwhelming...

I am drinking
I am drinking beer with yellow flowers
in underground sunlight
and you can see that I am a sensitive man
And I notice that the bartender is a sensitive man too
so I tell him about his beer
I tell him the beer he draws
is half fart and half horse piss
and all wonderful yellow flowers
But the bartender is not quite
so sensitive as I supposed he was
the way he looks at me now
and does not appreciate my exquisite analogy
Over in one corner two guys
are quietly making love
in the brief prelude to infinity
Opposite them a peculiar fight
enables the drinkers to lay aside
their comic books and watch with interest
as I watch with interest
A wiry little man slugs another guy
then tracks him bleeding into the toilet
and slugs him to the floor again
with ugly red flowers on the tile
three minutes later he roosters over
to the table where his drunk friends sit
with another friend and slugs both
of em ass-over-electric-kettle
So I have to walk around
on my way for a piss
Now I am a sensitive man
so I say to him mildly as hell
“You shouldn’ta knocked over that good beer
with them beautiful flowers on it”
So he says to me “Come on”
So I Come On
like a rabbit with weak kidneys I guess
like a yellow streak charging
on flower power I suppose 6
& knock the shit outa him & sit on him
(he is just a little guy)
and say reprovingly
“Violence will get you nowhere this time chum
Now you take me
I am a sensitive man
and would you believe I write poems?”
But I could see the doubt in his upside down face
in fact in all the faces
‘What kinda poems?”
“Flower poems”
“So tell us a poem”
I got off the little guy a bit reluctantly
for he was comfortable
and told them this poem
They crowded around me with tears
in their eyes and wrung my hands feelingly
for my pockets for
it was a heart-warming moment for Literature
and moved by the demonstrable effect
of great Art and the brotherhood of people I remarked
“ – the poem oughta be worth some beer”
It was a mistake of terminology
for silence came
and it was brought home to me in the tavern
that poems will not really buy beer or flowers
or a goddamn thing
and I was sad
for I am a sensitive man

I still liked the poem, or at least parts of it, but what I really loved was the reading. So, what was it I liked, really? It's been years now, and I still think about it. Is it a good poem if much of its meaning comes through its proper performance?

Three years ago, the poem was turned into a short film by Bravo, starring Gord Downie, lead singer of the Tragically Hip (a band as underappreciated in the U.S. as Purdy was), and premiered at SXSW. It's fun to watch, but if you're stuck for time, Purdy reads the poem at 2:07. It's worth a listen. He is such a good reader. I'd like to know what you think.

He's also the only poet I can properly impersonate. I don't know what that means, but it's my only really good impersonation. Ask me, sometime.

***

Speaking of Canada (which we were if you didn't know it) the Canadian Consulate puts out a great listings newsletter of all the Canadian artists in town -- readings, music, art. It's called The Upper North Side, a very, very clever name.

***

That's it for me, by the way. Julia, sunburned and relaxed from her long weekend in Antigua, takes back the reins tomorrow.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I Believe in Coyotes and Time as an Abstract Press

I will answer the question "What is your favorite _______?"

Too many people, I think, demur. Too many people feel the world is a huge and overly complicated place, with too many choices, all worthy...

Not me. There are indubitably best things.

REM's "Life's Rich Pageant" for example,


or the rib steak with double spice at Schwartz's.


And Miller's Crossing


Also, Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr. Fox and Italo Calvino's If on a winter's night a traveller... Answers by the way not to the same question, but to "best kid's?" and "best novel?"

And this...

"Manna" by James Tate

I do remember some things
times when I listened and heard
no one saying no, certain
miraculous provisions
of the much prayed for manna
and once a man, it was two
o'clock in the morning in
Pittsburgh, Kansas, I finally
coming home from the loveliest
drunk of them all, a train chugged,
goddamn, struggled across a
prairie intersection and
a man from the caboose real-
ly waved, honestly, and said,
and said something like my name.

This poem is found in Tate's first collection, the twenty-second title in the Yale Younger Poets series, The Lost Pilot, published in 1967. By the time I first saw Tate read, at an outdoor literary festival in 1995, his poetry had, um, evolved. On his way to the stage, though, he walked right by me so I had to ask:

[Clearing throat, sounding hopeful.] "Could you please read 'Manna'?"

[Walking right by, not looking down. Seriously, he didn't stop.] "No. But thanks for asking."

Ever since, I've wondered: is it natural for writers to repudiate their earlier work? Is anyone proud of what they wrote at 23 when they're 25 or 37 or 57? Seriously... anyone?

How about you?

***

Are you going to the Brooklyn Book Festival this weekend? Some cool stuff happening.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Secret Guest Blogger Press

About a hundred years ago, I did indeed run a poetry journal (and press) but have since lost touch with that world. One poem I published stands out from that time, and not because it's particularly great or awful, but because its final lines were a fitting summation to my career in that glamorous world. It's from an anthology of (then-) new British poetry...

From "Ghostie Men" by Tom Leonard

would thi prisoner
in thi bar
please stand

fur thi aforesaid crime
uv writn anuthir poem
awarded thi certificate of safety
by thi Scottish education department

fit tay be used in schools
havn no bad language
sex subversion or antireligion

I hereby sentence you
tay six months hard labour
doon nthi poetry section
uv yir local library
cootn thi fuckin metaphors

I guess one of the reasons I left that world -- rewarding as it was -- was that I was tired of cootn thi fuckin metaphors. That, and I was fired.

***

My artistic sensibilities run a little more mainstream these days, and tend towards the confluence of artistic expression and candy.

This is a lovely work titled "Gum Blonde LVII" by Canadian artist Jason Kronenwald.

From his gallery's website:

"Each Gum Blonde is 100% chewed Bubblegum on a plywood backing. No paint or dye is used. The colour is inherent to the gum–the mixing of colour takes place inside the mouth during chewing. Kronenwald has a dedicated team of chewers and prefers the texture of Trident. However, he does not chew gum himself unless he must."

I've always wanted to be on a dedicated team of chewers. Where do I send my resumé?

Some of the colors are too vibrant. What flavor could that green possibly be??

Lawn?

Pine?

Might Hillary's campaign have turned out a little differently if she'd used this portrait a bit more during fundraising?


I think her aura is minty fresh. Or is it blueberry?

***

Say, that reminds me: don't forget to vote today.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Antigua & Xanax Press

So, I'm getting flown to a wedding in Antigua for the next 4 days. Pretty weird/awesome, right?

What does this mean to you?

1) While you are sleeping at 5am, I will be trying not to act upon my insane fear of flying. (The only way I can explain it is that my fear is directly proportional to the irony of the timing of death-by-plane-crash. For example, if I am just jumping on a plane to go to an academic conference and nothing else important is happening in my life at the time, I might not actually be that anxious. But if, for example, I have just moved in to a new apartment and have just unpacked, than the Irony Factor increases and I get more anxious that the plane will crash. For example, if I flew home for father's day- that would make me incredibly anxious.)

2) You will most likely see & laugh at a photo of me next week looking incredibly sunburned. Or maybe a photo of me huddled under a palm tree, wrapped in multiple white towels, trying not to get incredibly sunburned.

3) You might get a postcard from me like 5 weeks after I've actually returned from the trip.

4) Since I won't have Internet access (yes, this makes me very nervous) I have recruited a secret guest blogger. Secret Guest Blogger is not a poet, (but previously ran a poetry journal,) so for the next 4 days you might actually learn some interesting facts about the world outside of my neurotic head.

Secret Guest blogger has free range to write whatever pleases said Secret Guest Blogger as long as Secret Guest Blogger does not insult my friends or family.

This is going to be good. I won't even be able to read these blogs until I get back.

But what if you like Secret Guest Blogger more than me?

Will there be a coup?

***

Before I go, I just wanted to say that I've been reading Amanda Nadelberg's first book, which came out in 2006, called Isa the Truck Named Isadore from Slope Editions.

From reviews of Isa the Truck Named Isadore:

These poems practically beg us to read them aloud—they have the virtues, not of short stories, but of out-loud, audience-conscious storytelling. ... Nadelberg's self-confident and quirky system suggests Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons ("Myrtle will be married / and green and warm"). Her backpedaling humilities and the acoustics of her short free-verse lines, with so many anticlimaxes and charming stumbles, share much with the poetry of James Schuyler. ... No book in recent memory has sounded as waifish, as faux-naif, as given to winks and shrugs; no recent poet has made those qualities into such virtues.
- Stephen Burt, The Believer

Simple as it appears at first, Amanda Nadelberg's world becomes more involving the more time you spend with it. There is more at stake each time. The light, humorous tone is made to do double duty—comic and tragic. In this sense, the author has imagined an oddly complete emotional world by deliberately limiting its contents.
- Mike McDonough, Coldfront Magazine

Here are three poems:

Geraldine


Today is not a day to be pregnant.

The environs are such that

anything could result in an

anti-pregnancy. The air

pressure makes a

fetus impossible. On

airplanes especially. Once,

I was driving, trying not to

get pregnant in Missouri and

the billboard this one billboard

in northern Missouri almost

Iowa said if you think you’re

fat now, wait until you’re

pregnant. For the most part

the roads there are for

truckers who all go home

and tell their wives and

girlfriends and daughters.

I went home I am not

a trucker and I laughed

at Missouri and Iowa for

where they are. A face and

its belly a big belly in

the middle of the country.

Missouri is always pregnant.





*





Naomi



Spanish soap and

Dial soap were

walking through a

forest when the

spirit jumped out

from the bushes.



Where are you going?

Aruba they say.

For what?

We bought a

timeshare they say.

Take me with you.

How much do you

weigh—there’s a

weight limit. I don’t

eat much. Okay. Let’s

see. Come into my

purse. There. Perfect.



The spirit fits into

the side compartment

and weighs almost

nothing. Dial soap and

Spanish soap and the

secret spirit all go

to Aruba for two weeks

in February. The end.



*





Virág



Like a name like

flower. Like a

country like the

sound of a state.

Once we drove

in a small car

through a field of

tulips so red so

red the sky had

to leave. The sky

was not itself and

all that was left

was gray so gray

that red could

seem more red

than anything. That

day so many cars

stopped, people

ran into the

field and made

intonations to the

tulips. It was

February. A good

month for tulips.

In a small country

with a view of

the ocean.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

If You Press Up Against Me In The Summer Night You Might Get Stuck To Me For Good Press

It's summer hot. People are complaining but I love it. I'm still surprised by how hot it is and how quickly everything heats up (and how you don't want to use the oven during the summer because the kitchen gets a little sweltery) but I'm just so relieved not to be cold anymore.

***

If you could only take one, non-collection poetry book with you to a desert island (you've been exiled) what would it be?

If you could only take one, non-collection book of any kind what would it be (the same book or different)?

Let me know, I'm curious.

***

I'm working on two poems right now. One is called:

"Call Me a Grown-Up but My Five Eyes Blink at Once"

and the other is

"The Decoy Museum Is Still"

I'm not sure why I'm telling you this. I'm writing poems slowly these days but I am determined to make something out of these two. It also seems like the lines I'm writing are fitting into two different formats. In one type, the poems are longer, have airier spaces (like tab key spaces) in each line, and are split into sections. The other type has quippier, more contemporary words with short, succinct lines in couplets or 3 lined stanzas. For the last few months I wasn't sure where I was going, but now I feel like the lines I'm coming up with are getting filtered into one of the two types of poems I'm writing and it's easier for me to see lines/concepts coming together as cohesive poems. So I still feel like progress is slow, but I'm more confident about how things are developing.

***
Did you hear about this?
From the BBC news on May 30th (I'm a little slow): Isolated tribe spotted in Brazil:

One of South America's few remaining uncontacted indigenous tribes has been spotted and photographed on the border between Brazil and Peru.

The Brazilian government says it took the images to prove the tribe exists and help protect its land.

The pictures, taken from an aeroplane, show red-painted tribe members brandishing bows and arrows.




More than half the world's 100 uncontacted tribes live in Brazil or Peru, Survival International says.

Stephen Corry, the director of the group - which supports tribal people around the world - said such tribes would "soon be made extinct" if their land was not protected.

'Monumental crime'

Survival International says that although this particular group is increasing in number, others in the area are at risk from illegal logging.


Uncontacted tribe near Brazil-Peru border

The photos were taken during several flights over one of the most remote parts of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil's Acre region.

They show tribe members outside thatched huts, surrounded by the dense jungle, pointing bows and arrows up at the camera.

"We did the overflight to show their houses, to show they are there, to show they exist," the group quoted Jose Carlos dos Reis Meirelles Junior, an official in the Brazilian government's Indian affairs department, as saying.

"This is very important because there are some who doubt their existence."

He described the threats to such tribes and their land as "a monumental crime against the natural world" and "further testimony to the complete irrationality with which we, the 'civilised' ones, treat the world".

Disease is also a risk, as members of tribal groups that have been contacted in the past have died of illnesses that they have no defence against, ranging from chicken pox to the common cold.

***

So in sum, they are taking pictures and disturbing the tribe in order to ultimately protect them by proving their existence and then preventing people from developing the/encroaching upon the land. It must have been odd to be the photographer or pilot in that plane, because as the tribe members clearly put on war makeup and tried to take down the plane, might it be fair to think that the pilot/photographer are now going to be apart of that culture's mythology? Maybe? I don't know.


***

I do know that there is a great reading this Friday I won't be able to go to but I do hope you make it:

is Friday the Thirteenth at 7pm

Zachary Schomburg!
Genine Lentine!
Emily Kendal Frey!
Genya Turovskaya!

Get Very Superstitious!
Only at Pete's Candy Store
709 Lorimer Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
"L" to Lorimer, "G" to Metropolitan.

Zachary Schomburg is the author of The Man Suit (Black Ocean 2007) and
has poems from his forthcoming second book, Scary, No Scary in Denver
Quarterly, Born, and Fou. His translations of the Russian poet, Andrei
Sen-Senkov, are forthcoming in Circumference and Mantis and his poetry
collaborations with Emily Kendal Frey are forthcoming in Pilot, Diode,
and Sir!. With Mathias Svalina, he co-edits Octopus Magazine and
Octopus Books. He is wrapping up his Ph.D at the University of
Nebraska.

Genine Lentine's poems, essays, and interviews have appeared in
American Poetry Review, American Speech, Diagram, Gulf Coast, Ninth
Letter, O, the Oprah Magazine, and Tricycle. Her collaboration with
Stanley Kunitz and photographer Marnie Crawford Samuelson, The Wild
Braid: A Poet Reflects on a Century in the Garden was published in
2005 by W.W. Norton. Her manuscript, Mr. Worthington's Beautiful
Experiments on Splashes was a finalist for the National Poetry Series.
Her project, Listening Booth was recently part of Southern Exposure
Gallery's 1st Annual Public Art day. She lives in San Francisco.

Emily Kendal Frey lives in Portland, Oregon. Recent work is
forthcoming from New York Quarterly, Spinning Jenny and 42opus.
Collaborative work with Sarah Bartlett will appear in Portland Review,
Bat City Review and the horse less press anthology New Pony. Poems
from Something Should Happen at Night Outside, a collaboration with
Zachary Schomburg, will appear in Pilot, Sir!, Diode and Jubilat.

Genya Turovskaya's poetry and translations from Russian have appeared
in Chicago Review, Conjunctions, 6x6, Aufgabe, Poets and Poems,
Octopus, and other publications. She lives in Brooklyn, where she is
an editor of the Eastern European Poets Series at Ugly Duckling
Presse. She is the author of a chapbook, The Tides (Octopus Books,
2007).

***

Zach is also reading Wednesday at the New York City Library at 6:30pm. I am really hoping I can make it. I still need to buy a bridal shower gift after work on Wednesday, which makes the timing tight. But I don't have a choice about the gift. I need to take it on a plane with me Thursday morning to a wedding. But I also will be very sad if I miss the reading. Basically, I am bad at using my lunch breaks to do anything productive, but I really need to step up tomorrow and get this present thing done. Any suggestions for non-kinky bridal shower gifts?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Stay A While, Take Your Pants Off Press

Where have I been? I've been going to readings and organizing the apartment.

Did you read this article about female small press rockstars?

Oh, you'd like to see some photos? Perfect, I have a few. First, the apartment.








Second, the readings:
Elisa Gabbert, at a backyard reading in Brooklyn:

Fans:

Amy King Reading:

My Parents came to this reading with me two weeks ago:
Justin Marks:

Rauan Klassnik:

Will Edmiston:

***

What is going on tonight?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Tall Soy Latte vs. Toy Soul Latrine Press

Tough call.

Well, not really.

***

So, when I get home today, if all goes well, there should be 60 boxes of books in the apartment and 1 very tuckered out boy. Maybe I have enough ingredients in my cupboard/fridge to make pasta sauce from scratch and cook a nice meal?

***

Oh, really?

You want real news?

Not just updates on my apartment? FINE!

Yesterday's headline: Designer of Pringles Carton Buried in Crisp Tube

Fredric J. Baur, who was 89, had told his family to ensure his final resting place was the inside of one of his most famous creations.

They honoured his request by having his ashes buried in a Pringles tube – and a more conventional urn for the overflow – at Arlington Memorial Gardens in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Dr Baur, who was a retired chemist and food storage technician at Pringles owners Procter and Gamble, patented the design for the saddle-shaped crisp’s vertical container in 1970.

His daughter Linda told the Cincinnati Enquirer that the packaging was his “proudest accomplishment.”

He also invented several other products, including a freeze-dried ice cream, which didn’t enjoy as much success.

His son Lawrence Baur told the Enquirer: “Basically, what you did, you added milk to it, put it in the freezer and you had ice cream. That was another one he was proud of but just never went anywhere.”

***

WAIT, did you catch that? He also invented freeze-dried icecream. I love this man. Do you remember when I ordered $30 worth of freeze-dried icecream and I was all excited about my purchase? Update: Well, it was sent to my home address instead of my work address and then promptly returned to the seller. And by the time I followed up to see if I could still get my order, they told me that the line had been discontinued and I couldn't get the product anymore. That made me sad. I had such big plans to give you all freeze-dried icecream with each issue of Saltgrass. Well, my dream was really just to give you freeze-dried icecream every chance I got.

***

I don't have Internet at home right now and I can't finish any of my Scrabble games. I was in the middle of at least 8 good games. For once, Kasey Silem Mohammad wasn't crushing me by 5 bingos and I was holding my own in the 3 games we were playing. Dang.

***

I just read a fluff piece about John Cusack's career in Slate and kind of enjoyed the analysis-lite: John Cusack.

***

I just got the new issue of Fence. I started reading it on the train but then it got so packed I couldnt open it anymore- so I will tell you about the new issue tomorrow. It's happening.