Friday, September 26, 2008

Expensive Potato Press

I ate a really expensive potato for lunch yesterday. It was good, but 8 dollars good? Even with a side salad?


It's supposed to rain all weekend. That might really ruin the plans to go to the Renaissance Festival in the Cloisters this Sunday. This is what I'll be missing:

I like this archer's red bandana.

I like how focused he is.

I wish I could focus like that.

What precision.

It might be nice to stay inside and get work done. Doesn't that sound kind of appealing? So much reading to do. I'm in the middle of this:

I'll tell you more about it when I'm done, but it's CD Wright so you should just get yourself a copy now.

Try me, rain.


Oh, this is happening at 10pm tonight at the Poetry Project. I'd love to see Šalamun but I don't know if I have it in me today:

Friday, September 26, 10 PM
Slovene Poetry: Cucnik, Pepelnik, Podlogar, Šalamun, Skrjanec

A book-release celebration with the participation of the following visiting poets from Slovenia: Primoz Cucnik, Ana Pepelnik, Gregor Podlogar, Tomaž Šalamun and Tone Skrjanec. A book signing for the second editions of Tomaž Šalamun’s Poker and Tone Skrjanec's Sun On A Knee. A special chapbook featuring the work of all five poets in English translation comes free with admission. *This event, a collaboration between Ugly Duckling Presse (Brooklyn) and Literatura Magazine (Ljubljana), kicks off a whole weekend of Slovene poetry in New York City.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

McCain's a Ho-bag Press

Title: Can Julia Be Pushed So Far as To Write an Overtly Political Poem Because McCain Bailing on the Debates Might Be the Most Cowardly Move He Could Make Right Now?

Dear McCain,

the longer you

wait, the older

you'll look

on camera.



Sarah Palin may lie, but numbers don't. Her record speaks for itself***all sources available on The Huffington Post:

2007: the year in which Sarah Palin first obtained a passport (Source)

312: the number of nights during her first 19 months in office that Palin charged taxpayers a "per diem" totaling $16,951 for staying in her own home -- an allowance intended to cover meals and incidental expenses while traveling on state business (Source)

$500 to $1,200: the fee that Wasilla charged rape victims to pay for post-sexual assault medical exams, after the city cut funds during Palin's tenure that had previously covered the exams (Source)

$150: the cash payment offered by the Palin administration to hunters who turn in legs of freshly killed wolves gunned down from airplanes (Source)

3: the number of times during her first few weeks as mayor that Palin inquired with the Wasilla librarian about banning books (Source)

3: the number of months after the censorship discussion that Palin fired the librarian (Source)

100: the approximate number of Wasilla residents who rallied to support the librarian, prompting Palin to withdraw her termination letter (Source)

0: the number of foreign heads of state Palin has met (Source)

0: the number of commands Palin has issued as head of the Alaska National Guard (Source)

2: the number of times in Palin's ABC News interview that she said the word "nucular" (Source)

0: Wasilla's long-term debt when Palin took office in 1996 (Source)

$18.6 million: the long-term debt Palin racked up by the time she left office in 2002, amounting to about $3,000 per resident (Source)

$50,000: the amount of city funds Palin used without authorization to redecorate the Wasilla mayor's office, including adding flocked, red wallpaper that made it look "like a bordello," according to a former Wasilla City Council member (Source)

33: the percentage by which Palin increased the budget of Wasilla during her tenure, despite billing herself as a fiscal conservative and champion of smaller government (Source)

25: the percentage by which Palin raised the local sales tax in Wasilla to pay for a sports center, despite claims that she cut taxes (Source)

$27 million: the total amount of federal earmarks Palin secured for Wasilla's town of 6,700 people while she was mayor, thanks to the help of a Washington lobbyist with ties to indicted Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) and convicted felon Jack Abramoff (Source)

3: the number of times John McCain specifically criticized earmarks requested by Sarah Palin when she was mayor of Wasilla, citing them as examples of wasteful spending (Source)

$453 million: the total amount of earmarks Palin has asked U.S. taxpayers to fund for Alaska projects over the past two years, despite McCain's insistence that she hasn't sought earmarks or special-interest spending from Congress (Source)

$506.34: the amount of federal earmarks Alaska residents will receive per capita in 2008, the highest level of any state (Source)

$223 million: the earmark secured for the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere" that Palin initially supported before opposing (Source)

$223 million: the amount of money designated for the "Bridge to Nowhere" that Palin ultimately used for other projects, rather than returning it to the federal government (Source)

20: the percentage of domestic energy that Palin claims Alaska produces (Source)

3.5: the actual percentage share of domestic energy Alaska produces (Source)

0: the number of people in America who know more about energy than Sarah Palin, according to John McCain (Source)

$600,000: the loss at which Palin sold the governor's jet after making a show of placing it on eBay. It was eventually sold to a Palin campaign contributor who paid $2.1 million (more than 20% less than the original $2.7 million purchase price). (Source)

1: the number of private tanning beds Palin installed in the governor's mansion after taking office (Source)

1.5: the approximate number of hours Palin spent on a refueling layover in Ireland, which the McCain campaign cited as part of her foreign policy experience (Source)

0: the actual amount of time Palin spent in Iraq during a 2007 visit to the region, despite the McCain campaign's claim she had visited the Iraq battle zone. She never made it beyond the Khabari Alawazem Crossing in Kuwait. (Source)

2006: the year in which Palin declared she favors abstinence-only education and that "the explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support" (Source)

2008: the year in which Palin's 17-year-old daughter was impregnated by a self-described "f***ing redneck," who wrote on his MySpace page "I don't want kids" and "ya f*** with me I'll kick ass" (Source)

9: the number of U.S. Geological Survey studies concluding that the habitat of Alaska's polar bears is threatened by global warming, which Palin discounted as "insufficent evidence" when she sued the Bush administration to overturn its decision to list polar bears under the Endangered Species Act (Source)

5: the number of colleges Palin attended over six years before graduating in 1987 from the University of Idaho with a major in journalism (Source)

500: the number of Fortune 500 companies Sarah Palin is not qualified to run, according to McCain adviser Carly Fiorina (Source)

50: the number of days after Palin announced she "will fully cooperate" with an ethics investigation into the "Troopergate" scandal that the McCain campaign announced she was "unlikely to cooperate" because it had been "hijacked" by Obama operatives. The probe was unanimously authorized by a bipartisan panel of eight Alaska Republicans and four Democrats. (Source)

28: the number of days prior to accepting the vice presidential offer that Palin said she couldn't entertain the idea "until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day" (Source)

15: the number of minutes McCain and Palin spent together during their only meeting prior to the interview in which McCain offered her the vice presidential slot (Source)


Oh wait, this is a poetry blog. Ok. I can do that.


Buy this hot little number:
They All Seemed Asleep
Matthew Rohrer

I'm going to this on Friday:

September 26th, at 7pm
Cecily Iddings, Brett Price, Cynthia Arrieu-King & Linda Bamber

Cecily Iddings received an MA from the University of Georgia and an MFA in poetry from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her poems and reviews have appeared in Harvard Review, jubilat, Meridian, Pleiades, Spinning Jenny, Verse, and Verse Daily, among other places. She is working on the second issue of The Blue Letter with Chris Hosea and is a former managing editor of Slope Editions.

Brett Price is an assistant editor of Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking, and Light Industrial Safety. He is working toward an MFA at Bard College. His writing can be found in such journals as H_NGM_N, Octopus, The Incliner, and Milkmoney. He lives in Brooklyn.

Cynthia Arrieu-King is assistant professor of creative writing at Stockton College in New Jersey. Her work has or will appear in Prairie Schooner, Black Warrior Review, New Orleans Review, Jacket, Diagram, Octopus Magazine, Forklift Ohio, and elsewhere.

Linda Bamber was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up both there and abroad. She teaches literature and creative writing in the Tufts English Department. Her essay "Reading as a Buddhist," included in Buddha Mind in Contemporary Art, came out of her participation in a multi-year consortium on Buddhism in the arts. Her poems, stories, essays and reviews have appeared in The Harvard Review, The Kenyon Review, Tikkun, The Nation, and Ploughshares, which awarded her the Ploughshares Prize for her story, "The Time-to-Teach-Jane-Eyre-Again Blues." She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Take off My Shirt, Then You Do; I Take off My Pants, Then You Do; I Take off My Hands, Then You Do; I Take off My Face, Then You Do Press

I went to see Danielle Pafunda and Caroline Knox read this monday. I've read Danielle's poems before in journals and whatnot but I hadn't read her first book so I didn't quite know what to expect. She was reading from her new, second book (from Bloof) called My Norba:

If the sentence is a tree, than Pafunda has chopped up the trunk, rearranged the branches, and clipped the limbs together with bird beaks and candles to form poems that rustle and glow.

What does that mean? Well, I like her sentence structure, I like her noun-as-a-verb use ("I halo painstakingly / for shore"), and I like her inventions of compound words ("praise-shack"). I haven't read the whole book thoroughly at all yet, but this is what I'm thinking so far:

These poems feature a young female narrator who's constantly engaged by but also in conflict with Zorba, a gender-shifting, controlling, older, alter-ego/invisible playmate. Maybe. In some sense, Zorba is a guide through a baffling adult world who encourages testing boundaries of etiquette and customs ("She devoured / a [nightbird] and chucked its bones from the [precipice]," when others choose to repress gut-desire and awe. Yet in other scenes, Zorba manipulates the narrator, "When I tried to cover the hair with pancake, Zorba intercepted" or forces her into roles that create priorities she doesn't necessarily accept ("She asked for a profit margin"). In living with and then in exorcising Zorba from her body/psyche, she battles the urge to internalize the standards and irrationality of the familiar. The process of extrication (if that's possible) and realization of culpability/positioning in our culture is agonizing and exhilarating: "When Zorba prayed for me, I ducked."

I'm not usually drawn to narrative or character driven poetry (there are some big exceptions here, like Anne Carson etc) because often I find it too cluttered or gimmicky. But Pafunda's poems read as though someone has ripped up a Polaroid of an image and then taped the fragments together with gaps and in a new design. I think the emotional disconnect and the emotional pursuit of the self in these poems mirrors the fragmentation in identity the narrator careens into, and works to create a sense of urgency as you read the book. So, you know, buy it: Bloof Books.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I Killed the Beast & Then I Became the Beast Press

Starting Thursday, I've seen 500 poets read and 500 small presses. Well, something like that, these are the poets I saw in action:

Samar Albuhassan
Andrea Rexilius
Ken Rumble
Diane Timblin
Jim Behrle
Daniel Nester
Arlo Quint
Bob Holman
Andrew Bishop
Celena Glenn
Mark Lamoureux
Ariana Reines
Adam Golaski
Damian Weber
Virna Teixeira
Jaye Bartell
Jeff Downey
Melissa Christine Goodrum
Ryan Eckes
Eric Gelsinger
Douglas Manson
Elise Ficarra
Kristianne Meal
Kathryn Pringle
Maureen Thorson
Tisa Bryant
Ana Božičević
Corrine Fitzpatrick
Nick Piombino
Stacy Szymaszek
and in a panel on race and experimental poetry:
Amy King
Tisa Bryant
Jennifer Firestone
Timothy Liu
Mendi Obadike
Meghan Punschke
Christopher Stackhouse
Mathias Svalina

Thanks to Boog City for pulling together a great small bookfair, readings, panels, etc. Thanks to those who crashed at our place and slept on air mattresses and couches. Also, thanks to those who came to my reading. I took some photos:


So, I'll show you the cool journals, books, and chapbooks I picked up over the weekend very soon.

I also watched Blood of Beasts on Saturday:

I really like the reviews on netflix:

"My husband and I rented this film, watched it, and it was awful. just terrible. We don't know why we put it in the player a second time. We can't explain why we watched the movie 4 times in that first 4 days of renting it. I can't explain why we can't seem to get enough of this horrible movie. I now own the film, and have given copies as gifts to my medievalist larper and gamer friends. We love this awful film."

"This movie would more aptly be called 'Curse of the Beast', since there was only one beast and he was cursed by Viking God Oden. The movie is basically a retelling of the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast, though many of the scenes are slow and the acting strained at times. Still, I gave it 3 stars because I like stories of Medieval and Norse lore and because it loosly follows the Beauty and the Beast storyline, appealing to the hopeless-romantic in us all."

"If I hadn't been playing World of Warcraft at the same time as watching this there is no way I would have been able to make it through to the end. I found it to be quite bad."

Typo 12 is out. Starring such poets as:


Also, the fall issue of Blazevox is up. Check out poems by Paige Taggart, I especially like the one titled "there’s a cable car leading to my face."
Add Image


Jess Mynes' chapbook, If and When, just came out from Katalanché Press. I suggest you buy a copy:


I can't help but think you're really kickin'.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My New Assistant Cracks Her Neck Press

So I found out that a few good things will happen to you if you come to my reading this Sunday:

1) A fly will land on the sweaty neck of your nemesis!

2) You won't have to walk down dark corridors anymore!

3) Smoked Oysters in a can will no longer exist!

4) You can flick off old doilies!

5) Your loved ones will stop smelling like butter!

6) You'll find a funny mushroom!


Unnameable Books
456 Bergen St.

1:00 p.m.-Julia Cohen
1:15 p.m.-Tisa Bryant
1:30 p.m.-Ana Božičević
1:45 p.m.-Yoko Kikuchi (music)
2:05 p.m.-Corrine Fitzpatrick
2:20 p.m.-Nick Piombino
2:35 p.m.-Stacy Szymaszek

2:50 p.m.-3:00-break

3:00 p.m.- Race and Poetry: Integrating the Experimental

Amy King (curator and moderator)
Tisa Bryant
Jennifer Firestone
Timothy Liu
Mendi Obadike
Meghan Punschke
Christopher Stackhouse
Mathias Svalina

4:30 p.m.-4:40-break

4:40 p.m.-Yoko Kikuchi (music)
5:00 p.m.-Lee Ann Brown
5:15 p.m.-John Coletti
5:30 p.m.-Rachel Levitsky
5:45 p.m.-Eileen Myles
6:00 p.m.-Yoko Kikuchi (music)
6:20 p.m.-Edward Foster
in conversation with Simon Pettet
6:50 p.m.-Simon Pettet
7:10 p.m.-Edward Foster

Directions: 2, 3 to Bergen St.; 2, 3, 4, 5, M, N, Q, W, R, B, D to Atlantic Ave./Pacific St.; C to Lafayette Ave.
Venue is bet. 5th/Flatbush aves.


Ok, tomorrow I'll tell you something.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Traveling 377mph on a Jet, Reading Paul Reiser's Memoir Press

Busy week. It's only Tuesday? I went to the KGB last night and very much enjoyed Kevin Young's reading. He predominantly read from his new book, Dear Darkness:

I think my review of the reading will be posted on the Best American website soon. It's funny to review reading events instead of books. Anyways, Young began with an elegy/anti-elegy for Reginald Shepherd and David Foster Wallace who both passed away last week. He read "Wait" by Galway Kinnell:


Wait, for now.
Distrust everything, if you have to.
But trust the hours. Haven't they
carried you everywhere, up to now?
Personal events will become interesting again.
Hair will become interesting.
Pain will become interesting.
Buds that open out of season will become lovely again.
Second-hand gloves will become lovely again,
their memories are what give them
the need for other hands. And the desolation
of lovers is the same: that enormous emptiness
carved out of such tiny beings as we are
asks to be filled; the need
for the new love is faithfulness to the old.

Don't go too early.
You're tired. But everyone's tired.
But no one is tired enough.
Only wait a while and listen.
Music of hair,
Music of pain,
music of looms weaving all our loves again.
Be there to hear it, it will be the only time,
most of all to hear,
the flute of your whole existence,
rehearsed by the sorrows, play itself into total exhaustion.


I love, "You're tired. But everyone's tired. / But no one is tired enough."

I have a reading this Sunday. But first, you should come to this, as Ken Rumble knows how to party. And by "party" I mean "read his poetry in an eloquent fashion":

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

Event will be hosted by
minor/american editors
Elise Ficarra and Kathryn Pringle, eds.
featuring readings from:

Samar Albuhassan
David Need
Andrea Rexilius
Ken Rumble
Diane Timblin

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

Directions: C/E to 23rd St., 1/9 to 18th St.
Venue is bet. 10th and 11th avenues


Then you can rest up and come to my reading on Sunday. And yes, I am reading dead first, so get there on time. I don't think anyone will be awake by 1pm so maybe I shouldn't be nervous.

I'm trying to finish a poem so I have something new to read. Now wouldn't that be a gas.


Unnameable Books
456 Bergen St.

1:00 p.m.-Julia Cohen
1:15 p.m.-Tisa Bryant
1:30 p.m.-Ana Božičević
1:45 p.m.-Yoko Kikuchi (music)
2:05 p.m.-Corrine Fitzpatrick
2:20 p.m.-Nick Piombino
2:35 p.m.-Stacy Szymaszek

2:50 p.m.-3:00-break

3:00 p.m.- Race and Poetry: Integrating the Experimental

Amy King (curator and moderator)
Tisa Bryant
Jennifer Firestone
Timothy Liu
Mendi Obadike
Meghan Punschke
Christopher Stackhouse
Mathias Svalina

4:30 p.m.-4:40-break

4:40 p.m.-Yoko Kikuchi (music)
5:00 p.m.-Lee Ann Brown
5:15 p.m.-John Coletti
5:30 p.m.-Rachel Levitsky
5:45 p.m.-Eileen Myles
6:00 p.m.-Yoko Kikuchi (music)
6:20 p.m.-Edward Foster
in conversation with Simon Pettet
6:50 p.m.-Simon Pettet
7:10 p.m.-Edward Foster

Directions: 2, 3 to Bergen St.; 2, 3, 4, 5, M, N, Q, W, R, B, D to Atlantic Ave./Pacific St.; C to Lafayette Ave.
Venue is bet. 5th/Flatbush aves.


An interesting article by Elaine Scarry on the current state of American politics in The Boston Review. Go read it here. Also, a poem by Matvei Yankelevich. Also, Brian Henry.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Crappy Sharks Press

You've probably already heard that David Foster Wallace took his own life on Friday.

Sad news.

Some Publishers Weekly poetry reviews, so you know what's out:

Saga/Circus Lyn Hejinian. Omnidawn (IPG, dist), $15.95 (144p) ISBN 978-1-890650-34-6

This pair of new long works from the California-based experimental poetry master (The Fatalist) makes a fine introduction to her current powers. Hejinian—admired in avant-garde circles since the 1970s—combines epistemological investigations with deft jokes. “Circus” is both prose poem and experimental, nonlinear fiction: named characters (Sally Dover, Quindlan, the talkative Askari Nate Martin) chase one another through short nonlinear chapters (one sequence includes, in order, “Chapter Two,” “Chapter One,” “Chapter 3 and Chapter Two,” “Chapter Between” and another “Chapter Two”). Sometimes kids, sometimes gossipy wives, sometimes circus performers and sometimes figures in a whodunit; these are characters meant to dismantle expectations, in quotable sentences and baffling passages reminiscent of Gertrude Stein: “Quindlan refuses to recognize anything as a digression, to take a suggestion, to accept a designation.” Less whimsical and perhaps more profound, “Saga” comprises 37 numbered free-verse segments: each imagines a long journey on a seagoing vessel as a figure for poetry, history, life. Along with Hejinian’s usual canny smarts, this newest long poem includes unexpected Romantic aspirations, with nods to Wordsworth and Coleridge: Hejinian, or her persona, says she “felt uprooted even/ At an early age perhaps from gods, my deities/ Were streaming/ Or grinding like a boat being hauled over stony ground.” (Sept.)

The Heaven-Sent Leaf Katy Lederer. BOA (Consortium, dist.), $16 (64p) ISBN 978-1-934414-15-6

The 45 almost-sonnets in this second collection from Lederer (Winter Sex) meditate on money and commerce (“The earth is a dollar and the moon is a silvery coin”), wondering how to find meaning as a cog in a capitalist machine. At times, the poems yearn to be free of big business, but the vibrancy of this series is found in the viscous push-pull between money and Eros; the tension sings (“I’ve brought you all these presents which I’ve placed beneath this/ flowering tree:/ Bright red box, bright blue box, and a small vial of Botox”). In an era when business asks, “Who stole my cheese?” these poems are populated with superbly chosen allusions to finance and literature. “Heaven-sent Leaf” comes from Goethe; “Brainworker,” the title of several poems, was coined by the influential economist J.K. Galbraith. Nietzsche and Lyn Hejinian, among others, also appear. At times, Lederer’s verse is sparkling, though a meandering prosiness sometimes flattens the lines. But at her best, Lederer combines musical lines with excitingly jerky leaps of thought, claiming for poetry a fact that usually seems farthest from it: “There is, in the heart, the hard-rendering profit.” (Oct.)

State of the Union: 50 Political Poems Edited by Joshua Beckman and Matthew Zapruder. Wave (Consortium, dist.), $14 (144p) ISBN 978-1-933517-33-9

Politics are on everybody’s mind. Wave editors and poets Beckman and Zapruder enter this slim gathering of poems—charged with cynicism, seething, sadness, surrealism and schadenfreude—into the discussion. From big names (John Ashbery, Lucille Clifton) to contemporary favorites (Terrence Hayes, Peter Gizzi) and newcomers (like Mathias Svalina, whose “Forgiveness” is a highlight: “This is a lesson on/ forgiveness: the scar/ forgives the knife”), many of these poets come at politics with hip aesthetics and liberal leanings. In her spare, affecting opener, Noelle Kocot writes, “Look at the landscape,/ A lot of damage, no?” Matthew Rohrer, addressing Dick Cheney, admits “it is a very good thing/ to watch you die.” Yet many of these poems seem reluctant to answer what may be their central questions: What exactly is a political poem? What is a poet’s responsibility toward politics? What can a poem accomplish? Or maybe the uncertain attitude often on display is a kind of answer for an America where it’s become so hard to trust or tell what’s going on, where, as Joe Wenderoth says, we must look to “transparency after transparency/ adorning whatever it is that moves us/ no closer to knowing.” (Sept.)


I'm reading this right now:
Jelly Roll
by Kevin Young

To get me ready for this reading tonight:

KGB Monday Night Poetry Reading Series—FALL 2008
Monday @ 7:30 PM
Admission is FREE

September 15 Janice Erlbaum & Kevin Young
Hosted by Michael Quattrone, Laura Cronk & David Lehman
KGB Bar • 85 East 4th Street • New York, NY 10003


I'm going to post below the first email I received this morning. It's from my old roommate, and he cc-ed me on a job application he just submitted. This is not a joke, that's all I have to say:

Subject: Foot Model Job


I am writing to express my interest in the position of painter's foot model. I have years of experience as a nude figure drawing model and am uniquely suited to the position because my feet are not only large, hairy and white, but also unusually well-formed. Each of my toes bears its own tuft of fine black hairs. I am an amateur painter myself and enjoy the ambiance of the artist's studio, if you would permit such a generalization. My personality is easy going and predisposed to quietude. I am available indefinitely for weekend sittings and am currently employed part time so I could manage some weekday sits as well. My head and foot shots are attached along with my résumé. I look forward to hearing from you.



I have nothing left to say.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

You Face Looks Like You Took Your Pants Off Press

Last night I was listening to a podcast about the Ukrainian Genocide (Holodomor) that took place between 1932-1933.

To be honest, I really knew nothing about this and it wasn't until recently that the term genocide was 'officially' applied to these millions of deaths (The final report of the "International Commission of Inquiry Into the 1932–33 Famine in Ukraine", delivered to the UN Under-Secretary for Human Rights in Geneva on May 9, 1990, concluded that the famine in Ukraine was, in fact, genocide. But it wasn't until March OF THIS YEAR that the parliament of Ukraine and the governments of several other countries recognized the actions causing Holodomor as an act of genocide.).

In one year, over 4 million Ukrainians died (number vary from 4 million to 10 million), mainly due to starvation and diseases that stemmed from extreme malnutrition. Over 3,000,000 children born between 1932-1933 died of starvation.

While the famine was partly a result of terrible weather for crop growth (severe droughts), it was magnified both by complete mismanagement by authorities who were working to implement the new policies of collective farming (significant amounts of grain remained unharvested and a significant percentage was lost during processing and transportation, or spoiled) and by evil Soviet authorities trying to punish Ukrainian nationalists who resisted the policy of collectivization that the Soviet enforced. Documents from this period clearly indicate much higher death rates in areas of the Ukraine where resistance was visible, where food supplies where denied and re-routed to other areas.

For example, on November 8 1933, Molotov and Stalin issued an order stating "from today the dispatch of goods for the villages of all regions of Ukraine shall cease until kolkhozy and individual peasants begin to honestly and conscientiously fulfill their duty to the working class and the Red Army by delivering grain."

Anyways, people interviewed on the podcast told some very gruesome stories, like parents eating babies and rampant typhoid. It was very sad.

You can click here for the Wiki page and click here for a link to actual books on the topic.


On another note, I just started reading this:


Oh, even Ludacris has two sides:

1) Roll Out

2) Runaway Love

Um, the lyrics to Runaway Love are really depressing, each verse is about a different girl getting emotionally, physically, or verbally abused by family,relatives, peers, or community members.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

World News Press

I was home with a cold yesterday and watched:

My review:

Remember how you watch Deleted Scenes after you've just seen any movie, and you always say to yourself, "I'm kinda glad I saw these extras, but I get why they were not included in the edited movie" ?

Baby Mama is entirely composed of Deleted Scenes.


Did you know that there is a new book out called Jews and Shoes




Cute song.


I'll be going to this reading on Friday. You should come.

*Friday, September 12 @ 8 PM*

Rauan Klassnik (Holy Land)
Justin Marks ([Summer insular], You Being You by Proxy)
Eugene Hwang (The New School)
Jess Sauer (Columbia University)
Anna Carey (Brooklyn College)

Admission is a mere $5 plus one free drink (beer, wine or well drinks)!

The Lucky Cat is located at 245 Grand Street in Brooklyn, between Driggs and Roebling.


The Greying Ghost Press just picked up the chapbook I mentioned last week, Sugar Means Yes (co-written with Mathias), so I'm excited about this as I'm a fan of the chapbooks TGGP has put out as well as the ones in the works.A recent release from The Greying Ghost is:

"I Will Unfold You With My Hairy Hands"
by Shane Jones

"Shane Jones's stories are strange and audacious. Do not expect irony or the hipster's felted birds and silk-screened whales. In these stories, animals die, live in chimneys, and float overhead, caught in the neon signs of the cityscape. Intimacy is a monster unfolding the palsied body of a handicapped woman and two people speaking into each other's feet. Yet in the bald telling of these bizarre stories there is the suggestion of tenderness that only honesty can articulate-this is the bird hovering above a burning field."
- J'Lyn Chapman (Bear Stories)

and also "Walden Book," by Allen Bramhall

It seems like our chappy might be available in Spring 09.
Have you guys been following the news/research about the Large Hadron Collider (built near Geneva, on the French-Swiss boarder, 100 m underground)? It is funded by and built in collaboration with over eight thousand physicists from over eighty-five countries.

It seems like the main purpose of the LHC, world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator, is for physicists to recreate the conditions after the Big Bang. Or wiki tells us,

"When activated, it is theorized that the collider will produce the elusive Higgs boson. The verification of the existence of the Higgs boson would be a significant step in the search for a Grand Unified Theory, which seeks to unify three of the four known fundamental forces: electromagnetism, the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force, leaving out only gravity. The Higgs boson may also help to explain why gravitation is so weak compared with the other three forces. In addition to the Higgs boson, other theorized particles, models and states might be produced, and for some searches are planned, including supersymmetric particles, compositeness (technicolor), extra dimensions, strangelets, micro black holes, and magnetic monopoles."

Two beams of subatomic particles called 'hadrons' – either protons or lead ions – travel in opposite directions inside the circular accelerator, gaining energy with every lap. The first circulation of the two beams happened today, 20 years after the machine was conceived and 10 years after they started building it. The first high-energy collision is scheduled for late October.

Some scientists who opposed the Large Hadron Collider were afraid a collision creating conditions similar to those following the big bang, would also create black holes that would suck our whole earth into it. There were protests and even law suits from scientists who thought this experiment could put the planet at risk.

Well, things seem to be working out. No black holes yet.

Exciting, no?


Sunday, September 7, 2008

If You Only Blog Once a Year It's Called Christmas Press

Some things I was thinking about on Sunday night:

1) Should I change the name of Saltgrass to:

a) Therapy

b) Physical Therapy

c) The Hamburglar

d) all of the above


2) MS cracked our block of dark chocolate open with a hammer and a knife.

Ok, I wasn't so much "thinking about this Sunday night" as watching it happen.

3) When was the last time you said "Get your badonkadonk over here" or "I would rather look at your badonkadonk than read any book in the world" or just, "Badonkadonk!"


4) I've started listening to Pandora at work. No matter what band you select, it could be a recording of monks praying, Pandora will always put a The Strokes song on your playlist as a similar band. I finally figured out how to eliminate The Strokes and now things are much better. These are some of the bands I have heard only one or two songs by, and liked those songs, but don't know if I like the band as a whole yet:

The finches
Tender forever
Laura veirs
Norfolk & Western

Would you recommend downloading any complete albums by these bands?


5) You should buy this. I still need to get a copy:

Hit Wave, Jon Leon from Kitchen Press.
Is this the same Jon Leon, reading his poem? I think it is:


6) Also, I want to read this, from Futurepoem:

Your Country Is Great
by Ara Shirinyan

Available April 2008
Official Pub. Date: October 15, 2008
Paperback Poetry/Prose
ISBN-13: 978-0-97-16800-8-1
$15.00 U.S.

“Reading travel literature—not to mention postcards or emails from your friends—will never be the same after reading Ara Shirinyan’s hilarious and sardonic Your Country Is Great; Afghanistan-Guyana. Proceeding alphabetically and hence giving equal time to nations as diverse as Belarus and Belgium, Cameroon and Canada, and splicing found text to produce capsule descriptions of one “great” place to visit after another, Shirinyan exposes the fault lines of contemporary geopolitics with much wit and aplomb. In the end, maybe staying home—and reading Shirinyan—is what’s really GREAT.”
—Marjorie Perloff

“Ara Shirinyan gives us an early glimpse at the deadening effects of globalization on language. Collapsing the space between the 'real world' and the World Wide Web, this book calls into question: What is local? What is national? What is multicultural? Instead of accepting current notions of language as a medium of differentiation, Shirinyan persuasively demonstrates its leveling quality, demolishing meaning into a puddle of platitudes. In a time when everything is great, yet nothing is great, you can almost hear Andy Warhol—the king of blandness and neutrality—saying, 'Gee, this book is great.'”
—Kenneth Goldsmith

Poet, publisher and musician Ara Shirinyan was born in 1977 in, what was then, the Soviet Socialist Republic of Armenia. His writing experiments with constraints, appropriation, and reframing have been published in Word Ways: The Journal of Recreational Linguistics, Trepan, Greetings, Tuli & Savu, and The Physical Poets Vol.2. His first book Syria Is in the World was published by Palm Press in 2007, and Speech Genres 1-2, was published online by UBUWEB in 2007 as part of its Publishing the Unpublishable series. With the group Godzik Pink, he released two CDs (Es Em, Ekel Em and Black Broccoli) on the label Kill Rock Stars/5rc. Since 1987, he has lived in Los Angeles, where he edits Make Now Press, co-curates the monthly reading series at The Smell, and teaches English at local community colleges.


7) Metal Week continues:


The Master of Horror-Chocolate Press

It's Sunday.

All of my plants are growing towards the sun.

My weird dreams this morning, about immigrant dwarfs getting chased through a giant dollhouse-hotel, have ended.

I'm looking at a bar of bitter-sweet chocolate and my toe is touching a giant bottle of cold water on the coffee table.

The fan's ruffling the newspaper and it's Metal Week at The Palace.


That's the voice-over sequence that begins the script to my sci-fi thriller, Donkeyheart.

Ok, maybe it's not. Maybe it's just my Sunday and we listed to Krallice and now Pelican is playing loudly in the living room.

Metal Week began this morning around 9:30am.


Having you been jonesing for a new chapbook recently?

Have you been waiting your whole life for me to anachronistically use the term "to jones"?

Are you excited by my two part rhetorical question?


Brenda Iijima's Rabbit Lesson
Fewer & Further Press

from Rabbit Lesson

collectively by the anterior
explanation surge—-abyss told in verse
a realism that looks steely––––really––––really
heart pounding, bastion of concentration
the realm of mannerisms made modern mammals
along came an imperceptible interval
hungering, that’s what we do

tableau emphasizing emanation

dealing directly with charismatic animals

as they bestride color


no longer the cannibal teen


MS and I spent a chunk of Saturday wrapping up edits to our chapbook, Sugar Means Yes. We figured out the order of the poems, tidied it up, and now will need to find a home for it with a loving chapbook press. Some things about Sugar Means Yes: fever, coal, miners' children, no remedy, fox masks & owl masks, & sugar.

The first of the ten cards in the Rorschach inkblot test. It has been reported that popular responses include bat, badge and coat of arms:

It looks like a skeleton of a fox head dipped in tar to me. What does it look like to you?

You should read this article called 24/7 School Reform by Paul Touch in the NY Times. No, really, you should read it, it's short and may, possibly, be of interest to you.

I'm not saying that there is any one education reformer who has a new system or a mode of reform all worked out perfectly (though people like Geoffrey Canada and Susan Neuman are stirring things up in a good way), but I do firmly believe that early childhood education should be much more of a focus/concern than it is right now in the media, in policy, and in our own political involvement.

Friday, September 5, 2008

We Said Something Yesterday & Added Press to It & Laughed & Now I Can't Remember Press

Hopefully tomorrow I'll be picking out two baby turtles. I have to get to Chinatown. They will be named The Troubles. I'll show you photos if it all pans out. It's hard to leave Brooklyn on Saturdays, so turtle shopping may get waylaid until next week.

Also, I need sneakers (I lost mine, don't ask).

Do you have an extra pair? A pair that's all broken-in and comfortable, but doesn't smell?



I bought a giant tank of Old Fashioned Pretzel Sticks to entice co-workers to come to my office and say hello. That's nice, right? Nice, but a blatant manipulation of emotions/hunger via dangling free food? Please conflate your hunger and easy access to pretzels with your appreciation for my generosity, altruism, and friendliness.

You don't like me, you like my pretzels. But hopefully they can't tell the difference and: I will become a national hero.

Actually, I'm shy and that's why food as a come-hither-in-a-
completely-100%-platonic-co-worker-kind-of-way is okay.



The new issue of Sawbuck is up, featuring:
James Belflower, Sheila Black, Richard Chetwynd, Steve Dalachinsky & Jim Leftwich, Ryan Daley, {Clayton Eshleman, Dean Faulwell, Lisa Fishman, Skip Fox, Kristen Orser


Somebody send me a book/chapbook to review. Ok?


The poem I'm working on right now is called:

"Someday You'll Be Replaced By Language & Then Nothing At All"

You like, eh? Eh?

I need to get out of my office. It's 4:58pm on Friday.

Cut me some slack.

Take off your slacks.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My Mirror Steamed Up into My Dead Lips Press

I think I'm losing my memory. Basically, I just can't remember anything anymore. This isn't funny to me, it's not me being neurotic. I'm kind of concerned. For example, even though I talked about it today, I can't remember what reading I'm going to tomorrow. It's like I'm looking into a cloud and can't see what's beyond it and the cloud is just frustration and visual images of where I was when I last talked about what I am now trying to remember. Visual things, no words, no word queues to bring it back.

Cumulous clouds.

So, I only know about things to do on Saturday because I cannot remember what is going on this Friday. On Saturday I suggest you come:

Sept 6 - Howl Festival - 10:30 @ 45 Bleeker
Short Film Program curated by Benh Zeitlin
also shorts by Milos Tomic, Nicolas Provost, Rosario Garcia-Montero, Ray Tintori, Randy Krallman, Nash Edgerton.

Benh Zeitlin's film is definitely worth getting yourself to this screening for. This is an old trailer. He might be mad if I post it because it's out-dated. But, you know, suck it:
Glory at Sea

So, if you're in NY, please come.


Sunday, September 7, 2008 at 5 pm


Downstairs at CAKESHOP
152 Ludlow
(between Stanton & Rivington)

Trains to:
Delancey-Essex Sts (F, J, M, Z)
2nd Ave-Houston St (F, V)
Grand St (B, D)


Jennifer L. Knox has two books of poems in English, Drunk by Noon and A Gringo Like Me—both available from Bloof Books. Her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry 1997, 2003 and 2006, Best American Erotic Poems, Great American Prose Poems: From Poet to Present, and Free Radicals: American Poets Before Their First Books. Jennifer was born in Lancaster, California— crystal meth capitol of the nation, and home to Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart and the Space Shuttle.

Ada Limón's first book, lucky wreck, was the winner of the Autumn House Poetry Prize and her second book, This Big Fake World, was the winner of the Pearl Poetry Prize. She's won the Chicago Literary Award and fellowships from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She is the Creative Director for Travel + Leisure Magazine and teaches a Master Class for Columbia University. Her third book of poems Sharks in the Rivers, will be published by Milkweed Editions in 2010. She also sings in a band called Lucky Wreck.

Tom Haushalter, born of sturdy Midwestern stock, left the country for the city. Since the honor of an MFA from Columbia University, he has published poems in Greensboro Review, New Orleans Review, Harpur Palate, Slice Magazine and Perihelion. In the fall of 2006, Tom toured the American heartland with fellow poet Emmett Tracy, leaving them high on verse from Oberlin to Wheeling. Now he works in book publishing, and lives in Brooklyn with his bride.


Also, I want a Murphy Bed at work.

Also, I will write about amazing books very soon. Hold tight.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Not Very Funny Press

My work meeting today went past 5pm, closing time. Guess where I am? My beautiful desk. So now I get to tell you about this reading tomorrow:

The NYU Creative Writing Program and Wave Books present

State of the Union: a Poetry Reading with Voter Registration
Thursday, September 4th, 7 p.m.
Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House, 58 West 10th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues), New York, New York

with readings from State of the Union: 50 Political Poems, an anthology edited by Joshua Beckman and Matthew Zapruder --- featuring readings by Matthea Harvey, Noelle Kocot, Katy Lederer, Tao Lin, Eileen Myles, Matthew Rohrer, Tracy K. Smith, Edwin Torres, Rebecca Wolff and Rachel Zucker, with an introduction by Joshua Beckman.

The reading is free. By subway: Take the F, V, B, D, A, C, E to West 4th Street / Washington Square; Take the Q, R, W to 8th Street / NYU. For more information call 212-998-8816, or visit


Next Wednesday
(support Ugly Duckling Presse):
Reading at Park Slope's 440 Gallery
WHEN: Wednesday, September 10th from 7-9 pm, Admission Free
WHERE: 440 Gallery, 440 Sixth Avenue (at 9th St., F to 7th Ave.)
CONTACT: Brooke Shaffner at

Bryan Charles is the author of the novel Grab On to Me Tightly as if I Knew the Way. He's working on a book about the Pavement album Wowee Zowee for Continuum's 33 1/3 series, as well as a memoir about working in the World Trade Center and surviving the September 11 attacks.

Filip Marinovich is a poet living in New York. His first full-length book, ZERO READERSHIP, is just out from Ugly Duckling Presse. Filip also performs and makes paintings and plays.

Liza Monroy, the daughter of a U.S. Foreign Service officer, spent her high school years attending an international school in Mexico City. Her articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Newsweek, The Village Voice, Time Out New York, Jane, and other publications, and she was recently awarded a residency by the Kerouac Project of Orlando. She lives in New York City.


Next Friday:

Join us for the season's kickoff event at The Lucky Cat, located in sunny (sometimes) Williamsburg, Brooklyn! Friday, September 12, 2008 @ 8 PM Hosted by Nicole Steinberg.

Rauan Klassnik (author of *Holy Land*)
Justin Marks (author of *[Summer insular]* and *You Being You by Proxy*)
Eugene Hwang (The New School)
Jess Sauer (Columbia University)
Anna Carey (Brooklyn College)

Admission is a mere $5 plus one free drink (beer, wine or well drinks)!

The Lucky Cat is located at 245 Grand Street in Brooklyn, between Driggs and Roebling. Visit their website for directions:

EARSHOT is a bi-monthly reading series, dedicated to featuring new and emerging literary talent in the NYC area. Visit http://www.earshotnyc.comfor more information or e-mail Nicole Steinberg at


Pretty good, huh?

Ok, tomorrow I'll tell you something funny. Well, for now I can tell you one thing. For the last 2 weeks, ever day I had very vivid, surreal dreams that involved things like:

-being chased by a headless scarecrow

-chasing the headless scarecrow

-going to Mexico to study butterflies...and then being inside a glass house when a science experiment near by went awry...that unleashed dinosaurs...and then being trapped in the house and trying to block the light and strengthen the glass so the animals wouldn't come in and eat us...

-living in a tree house and lots of green grass and goats

The dreams finally ended. Now I'm back to the normal anxiety dreams about work and friends. For the last two weeks, I woke up with a great sense of displacement and alterity, but now I kind of miss those dreams, they were visually more fun then relearning what integers are (all whole numbers, negative and positive!)

This blog always says I'm posting at the incorrect time. For reference, it's 5:47pm now.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Is That Your Paramour or a Sleepy Fruit Bat Press

Stain Bar reading last Friday:
Michael Ball:

valzhyna mort

New York
by Valzhyna Mort

new york, madame,
is a monument to a city

it is
a gigantic pike
whose scales
bristled up stunned

and what used to be just smoke
found a fire that gave it birth

champagne foam
melted into metal
glass rivers
flowing upwards
and things you won't tell to a priest
you reveal to a cabdriver

even time is sold out
when to the public's "wow" and "shhh"
out of a black top hat
a tailed magician
is pulling new york out
by the ears of skyscrapers

Ryan Murphy:


I've been reading this:

by Zizek
Since it's a Picador paperback, I'm a little embarrassed that it's taken me a while to get through the 200 pages, and am not yet done. However, it's a cheap book (price wise) and an intriguing read on the violence inherent in language and the multiple and systemic forms of violence we ignore and have grown accustomed to living with.

Anyways, hopefully I will finish the book shortly and can go back and actually write something about it, but for now, i just wanted to let you know that this reading is going on tomorrow:

Picador’s Big Big BIG IDEAS Event

Slavoj Zizek and Steven Lukes in conversation with Rebecca Mead of The New Yorker

Wednesday, September 3 at 7:00 PM -- B&N Union Square

I'd really like to go.


I went to the Whitney with MS and my parents. My dad said Buckminster Fuller was one of his heroes when he was in architecture school:

These might look a little sci-fi to you, but it seems like the purpose of many of his inventions (designed for human use) was to create living environments that were affordable, maximized space, and minimized pollution and detrimental effects on the earth. Fuller hoped that societies would soon rely mainly on renewable sources of energy, and desired for a future of "omni-successful education and sustenance of all humanity."
Well, he also revolutionized the field of engineering with inventions like the geodesic dome:

Fuller also taught at Black Mountain College in North Carolina during the summers of 1948 and 1949, with Cage, Sartre, etc.


We saw some toy boats:

Been decorating the apartment:

Also, I went birding:


Oh, you wanted to hear about some poetry? Well, ok:

Now available from TRANSMISSION PRESS (
by Michael Slosek

Michael Slosek's INTERDICTION is a sparse, minimalist landscape of words and lines stacked upon each other, drawn from, and drawing on each other, building a space in language unique to Slosek. Within the terse lines of this string of small machines, Slosek's poems create another world in order to investigate not only language,
but itself.

Copies are only $3.50 (and that price includes the shipping!.