Thursday, January 29, 2009

If It Hadn't Been For This Insane FreakShow of an Experiment We Never Would Have Met Press

Hi.

So, I'm just going to say something.

There are definitely moments of each day when, regardless of what I'm doing (work emails, reading the news), I become distracted by my disbelief of how terrible and detached human to human interaction is, on a whole. How our vehicles of communication, technology, travel, etc have advanced faster than we've been able to develop our own capacities to extend our emotional (empathy, sympathy, compassion) connectivity to those outside immediate circles (if that). Sometimes my bafflement for how reckless humans are with resources, with understanding long term effects, for creating boundaries and binaries that inevitably link to structures of hierarchy and exclusion- my bafflement for this avarice and insularity gets in the way of whatever I'm trying to do. Reading experimental poetry, listening to music, seeing a film or an art show, or reading theory that puts something in this world that is beautiful, constructive, advances dialog and new avenues of understanding- these are the moments that make me feel we, as humans, can provide something positive that would not exist on this planet without us. That's the glow. For poetry, I'm intrigued by work that dismantles and then plays with the un-gendered “I,” that explores new forms of address, reckoning, and evinces culpability for the human and non-human other. Through new communication via what some may call anti-narrative, the links between fragmented image, quiet but firm declarations, and the transitive property of memory in complimenting and translating subjective experience to an other. Works that are about inclusive resistance and inclusive revolt, that emanate a destabilizing yet regenerative force, that may on the surface look surreal though are anything but. To make strange a word and circulate it through the respiratory system of a poem so that it releases with an identity that brings a new sheen to the image and the larger world in which the image applies. I guess I'm just saying thank you to everyone who works in a creative medium, thank you for your hammer, your clay, your inky nails, your lithographic shadows. For putting your minds and heart muscles where the net should be. You're the best kind.

And thanks to the person who invented this creepy yet weirdly comfortable-looking bed:



***
I'm going to this on Saturday. Please come with me and M:

Speculations on the Expanded Field of Writing
Sat Jan 31 1:30pm – Sat Jan 31 10pm
Cabinet, 300 Nevins Street, Brooklyn
FREE. No RSVP necessary.

Organized by Matias Viegener and Christine Wertheim

Untitled New York" is a day-long conversation about writing which in some manner exceeds the printed page. It assembles a notable group of experimental writers to discuss the currently expanded and still-expanding field of writing that challenges assumptions about the nature of writing and the potentials of text. While we are familiar with visual artworks constituted as a set of instructions, secrets written by visitors in a book, or one artist erasing of another artist's work, what would be their equivalents in the literary world? "Untitled New York" is composed of 2 day-time panels and an evening reading where participants perform their work. The program is as follows:

1:30 Introduction

2:00 “Appropriation and Citation” – This panel looks at the many practices of appropriation so popular in the literary world in the last several years, asking questions about whose work and what material gets appropriated, cited or resurrected, who owns texts, and if there is a difference between appropriation and citation. Panel participants include Vanessa Place, Steven McCaffrey, Kenneth Goldsmith, and Julie Patton.

4:00 “Litterality” examines how writers use what we normally consider non-linguistic elements, such as symbols, diagrams, maps, or scores placed in the context of writing. We will also look at invented writing systems, and what it might mean to think about the book as an object rather than as a collection of words or sentences. Panel participants include Christine Wertheim, Latasha Diggs, Rob Fitterman, and Shanxing Wang.

8:30 Reading with all participants.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Addendum Press

addendum to my last post

If It's No Heat vs. All-Heat I Choose All-Heat Press

How are you?

Does your building have heat?

Is it winter?

Who made my coat?

Working in a historical landmark has downsides, one being that the heat does not turn on some days and you're forced to type in gloves (or unprofessional fingerless gloves) & eat soup.

On the upside, my friend brought back a mini palm tree from her trip to Florida for me, and I dare say that my palm tree is flourishing, despite the odds.

***
What have you been reading? This week I've been trying to demolish:

Trust me, if you buy this you'll get your money's worth. I can't believe I used that expression, but I'm standing by it. The collection is jammed with short stories. Sometimes I get so immersed in them that I turn the page expecting to start the next chapter and then get sad because it's, well, a short story and not a novel. But then I cheer up because there's more amazing stories to come. Maybe if you really don't like animals of any kind, you might skip it, but besides that little side note, please buy it and talk about it with me. You'll want to make poems of some of these.
***

What have you been watching? In the last week I have seen these movies in the theater:

Happy go Lucky

Wendy and Lucy

Notorious

***

I really wish that the tag line for Notorious was "No dream is too biggie."

***

I'm going to this reading tonight. I'm quite excited to see Kate Greenstreet and Kristi Maxwell read. If you need a refresher on their poetry, get a copy of the new Saltgrass since they are both in it, rocking out:

Tues. Jan. 27, 6:00 p.m. sharp, free
ACA Galleries
529 W. 20th St., 5th Flr.

NYC
Event will be hosted by
Ahsahta Press director and editor Janet Holmes

Featuring readings from
Paige Ackerson-Kiely
Susan Briante
Kate Greenstreet
Kathleen Jesme
Kristi Maxwell
Stephanie Strickland

with music from
Jesse Schoen

Friday, January 23, 2009

Let's Play Pin The Tail on the Tree House Press

I found the largest grapefuit in the world at the Korean market where I live. I think I'll just let the evidence speak for itself:
MS
JC
JC
JPH



***

It's Friday. So why do I want to go home and get sleepy? Well, these things are happening in the world:

1) reading at earshot, Williamsburg, 8pm

Justin Taylor (More Perfect Depictions of Noise)
Jeremy Schmall (Open Correspondence from the Senator)
Monica Wendel (New York University)
Dawn Marie Knopf (Columbia University)
Barbara Sueko McGuire (Sarah Lawrence College)

2) rockstar 6 guitars show

Hello Friends,

I'd like to invite you to another show of Sportsman's Paradise.

A six-guitar-one-drummer army of freak-out visionary mayhem

and revelatory explorations in dream enchantment!


We'll play one 40 minute piece and an all new short piece
(that I will be "learning" in a few hours.)


I am overjoyed to say we'll be sharing the evening with the remarkable

**Honne Wells**

whose music will baffle and astound you.


This Friday, January 23, at the Issue Project Room, in Brooklyn.

The evening starts at 8pm and costs $10.

ISSUE PROJECT ROOM
The (OA) Can Factory
232 3rd Street,
3rd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I Got a Prank Phone Call from a 480 Number (Arizona?) In Which Someone Pretended to Sound Like a Human Baby & Said My Name & Mumbled & Hung Up Press

True story. Who do I know in Arizona?

***

I wasted a large portion of my early evening on the Obamicon site that allows you to supplant the Obama poster with your own image of choice. I made one of Justin Marks dancing with beer and another of Mathias hanging out with w/ a nutcracker:


Are the slogans misleading?

Go here if you want to make your own.
***

My friend had a dream last night that he got hit by a Red Lobster truck and was dying on the pavement. He's been nervous all day because of it.

I think lobster bibs are upsetting.

I hope my friend doesn't actually get run over by Red Lobster. I thought most people woke up before they actually died in dreams, but it sounds like he was really bleeding out all over the place.

I'm not entirely sure why I'm telling you this, probably because I am so sleepy.
***

There is a new reading series in town. It has spurs and will pistol whip you to death. Or to sleep.

I'm sleepy.

Okay, here is info:

Dear Friends,

We are very pleased to announce the launch of Triptych Readings* on Monday January 26, when we will be hosting the venerable Charles Bernstein, former editor of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E magazine and myriad anthologies, author of fifteen poetry collections and four collections of essays; Shanxing Wang, author of the enthusiastically reviewed collection, Mad Science in Imperial City; and Christopher Stackhouse, visual/performance artist, author of the chapbook Slip and generator of drawings and collaborative author (with John Keene) of a collection entitled Seismosis. We are thrilled to have these three fantastic poets with us and hope you'll come out to the 11th Street Bar and listen up!

Monday January 26, 7 PM
Charles Bernstein
Shanxing Wang
Christopher Stackhouse

510 E. 11th Street
Between Avenues A & B
Closest subway: L to 1st Avenue. Also walkable: F/V at 2nd Ave, L at 3rd Ave or 14th Street / Union Square 4/5/6/N/Q/R/W/L.
Look for a small porch and the Guinness sign outside the bar.

Check out our brand-new website: www.triptychreading.com. Click on the bar's address on our site for a google map, and click on readers' names to read their poems!

Charles Bernstein's books include Blind Witness: Three American Operas (Factory School), new in 2008; Girly Man (University of Chicago Press), now in paperback; Shadowtime (Green Integer), libretto for an opera on Benjamin; Republics of Reality: 1975-1995 (Sun & Moor Press), Content's Dream: Essays 1975-1984 (Northwestern), and Controlling Interests (Roof). He is Donald T. Regan Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. More info: epc.buffalo.edu.

Shanxing Wang was born in Qi county, Jinzhong, Shanxi province, China in 1965. In 1991, he moved to the U.S. to pursue a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley. He began reading and writing poetry in 2002 while teaching Engineering at Rutgers University. His first book, Mad Science in Imperial City (Futurepoem, 2005), was the winner of the 2006 Asian American Literary Award for Poetry. He lives and writes in Queens, New York.

Christopher Stackhouse is the author of poetry collected in the chapbook Slip (Corollary Press, 2005); co-author of Seismosis (1913 Press 2006), a collaboration featuring Stackhouse's drawings and John Keene's text. He holds an MFA from Bard College; is a Cave Canem Writers Fellow; and is a 2005 Fellow in Poetry, New York Foundation for the Arts. His recent essays have been published in the literary journal American Poet, and the anthology A Best of Fence: The First Nine Years. He will be a guest faculty member in the Naropa University Summer Writing Program 2009, at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in Boulder, Colorado. Currently completing a manuscript of poetry, while also doing research for the development of a non-fiction book on poetics, Stackhouse lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

*Dear Members of the Reading Between A&B Mailing List,
Reading Between A&B disbanded in May 2008, when the founders and directors, Meghan Cleary, Mary Donnelly and Jonathan Thirkield, decided to pursue other interests. At that point, the last curators of Reading Between A&B, Kaveh Bassiri and Mary Austin Speaker, decided to create their own series in keeping with the tradition of Reading Between A&B and with the blessings of its directors. The plan is to host readings on a monthly basis at the 11th Street Bar between Avenues A&B. Readings will pair emerging and established writers, and each evening we will host three readers, starting at 7 PM. We are happy to remove you from this mailing list should you decide you would no longer like to receive emails from us. For those of you who are in it to win it, we appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you in 2009!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Coors Light Girl Gave Me a Free Key Chain While I Ate Waffle Fries at a Sports Bar But I Left Before I Got The Free Beer Press

I hope you all got to watch the Inauguration today. Did you?!

I went with a few friends into a crowded bar and it was really fun to be surrounded by cheering strangers all rooting for the same thing. Now I understand why people go to football games. Or more accurately, why so many people went to DC to be there in person for the Inauguration.

-Obama looked so nervous walking down the hall of the US Capitol. It was very endearing. I think he was too nervous to give one of his great big smiles, which he didn't really do during the entire Inauguration.

-As much as I despise Rick Warren, I thought his speech was fine. I was bracing myself to be offended because he, as a human being, offends me- but he gave a standard Godly speech about love and hope. I mean, I don't really think it's appropriate to have a religious figure speak at a government inauguration at all when the intention is to invoke religion as opposed to other topics of solidarity, but it seemed run-of-the-mill for what it was.

-Senator Diane Feinstein: I liked her intro. She's an interesting lady.

-Obama's speech was stern but eloquent and ultimately encouraging. I wish he smiled more today!

-CNN did a good job of zooming in on Bush whenever Obama or anyone else mentioned the economic crisis or losing democratic ideals in the face of war.

What did you think? I'm rambling.

***

On a completely unrelated note, my new chapbook is out:

The History of a Lake Never Drowns
Dancing Girl Press
$7.00

Please by a copy of this svelte little f*cker:

order here: http://www.dancinggirlpress.com/history.html

Friday, January 16, 2009

"This Is a Video of Adults Laughing at a Towel" Press

I'm going to tell you a story.

Almost a year ago, I saw an ad for Shamwow, a magical towel product that promises to hold 20 times its weight in liquid and "you'll say wow everytime." Needless to say, I decided to make this my very first infomercial purchase (I spill things a lot). It was conditional, though, that M would make a Shamwow commercial with me once we got it. This became a group activity & M filmed:
(turn your volume up)


The amazing thing about this is the feedback in the comments box from the random 82,789 viewers who were riled up by the Shamwow demonstration. Oh, the outrage! These are some of my favorite comments:

I cannot get past that guys fly-ass mustache.

wow no kidding....

Honestly, I am not even being sarcastic, that is the sweetest 'stach ever.

I was agreeing with you and I still do, that thing is glorious!

You have to dampen it first before using it, if you're gonna use it on the carpet.

this is a video of adults laughing at a towel

hahaha niceeee thats hilarious!! did anyone actually drink it in the end??

You forgot to shout with a Bronx accent into a fake headset! That's why it didn't work.

dude ur using it wrong

If they read it, It says fold it a few times to make many layers. I am giving one for Chanukah.
P.S. IT WORKS!

If you have to fold it for it to work, then it's not really working. You can fold a regular towel and get better results than an unfolded towel.

dont make fun of the shamwow. shamwow could absorb your f*cking dog

This whole video is insulting.

lol i love how so may people weer there probably just to see if shamwow works... I WOULD TOO!

If any of you morons could read you would know how to use it and it would WORK...but like most other people they see the commercial get theirs and instantly slap in on a stain and when it doesn't work(because you're an idiot) you call it a scam and cry that you got ripped off. I feel sorry for your parents.

This video is fail.

Hahahahahaha such a good video. I'm digging the Holy Fuck in the background, too!

The one that ur using is the one for the dishes. The big orange on is for that

You should put that shamwow over your face to absorb your ugliness.

That must have been the cheap imitator. I highly doubt that was the one made in Germany because we all know Germans make good stuff.

Jesus, Vince oughtta kick them all in their techno-music listening, white middle america asses for trying to goof on the product.

um shamwow is actually orange NOT blue

theres a blue one and an orange one.

oh



***

there are 230 more on the website if you care to read them all...

Like a Moving House on a Highway Someone Has Just Been Murdered in Press

Is something wrong with me if I sort of don't mind watching CSI New York?
Is something wrong with me if I'm annoyed by how much attention this plane crash in the Hudson river is getting?

In unrelated news:
Singer-turned-DJ Boy George has been jailed for 15 months for handcuffing a male escort to a wall and beating him with a metal chain. "Norwegian Mr Carlsen, 29, fled in his underpants and alerted police after the attack, in April 2007."

***

I'm going to this tonight:

Carlos Giffoni with Okkyung Lee, Sick Llama and Treetops
Date & Time: Fri, Jan 16, 2009, 8:30pm doors, 9:30pm show,
Location: 92YTribeca, 200 Hudson Street

Carlos Giffoni is one of the most influential, respected and hard working individuals in the modern noise scene. In addition to organizing the exceptional must-see No Fun Fest, his own work gets consistently solid reviews left and right. For example, "… Giffoni's sonic arsenal is in no danger of being depleted." (Wire) He will be performing in collaboration with Okkyung Lee, the Korean cellist/improviser/composer who's own list of collaborators includes names like Marc Ribot, Nels Cline, Christina Marclay, Laurie Anderson. This will be a unique duet, never before performed live.

***

Announcing: The Home Video Review of Books: Vol 2, Issue 1

http://thehomevideoreviewofbooks.blogspot.com/

The Home Video Review of Books is a monthly online review journal of poetry & lyric prose.


In this issue you will find reviews of:

Reviews of

What Apocalypse, by Marc McKee
Situations, Sings, By Jack Collum & Lyn Hejenian
Body Clock, by Eleni Sikelianos
[lapsed insel weary], by Susan Gardner
Policy Instrument, by Franklin Bruno
Adorno's Noise, by Carla Harryman
Holiday, by Jennifer Firestone
An Aquarium, by Jeffrey Yang
from Unincorporated Territory, by Craig Santos Perez
A Border Looks Like Making Love, by Ryan Daley
Peregrinary, by Eugeniusz Tkaczyszyn-Dycki
Face Before Against, by Isabelle Garron

***

Help celebrate the publication of Marcella Durand's two new books from
Futurepoem and Belladonna Books this Saturday with a Reading and Book Party

Saturday 1/17/09

4-6:00 pm
READING
MARCELLA DURAND & ERICA HUNT
Segue Series at Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery, NYC
just north of Houston, admission $6
http://www.seguefoundation.com/calendar.htm

6:00-8:00 p.m.
Book Release Party for Marcella Durand's
TRAFFIC & WEATHER, Futurepoem Books
AREA, Belladonna Books
6-8 p.m.
VON BAR
3 Bleecker Street, NYC
http://www.vonbar.com
There will be some FREE wine and nibbles compliments of the publishers,
convivial conversation and of course books for sale at a special, once in a
lifetime, special rate!

Traffic & Weather, Futurepoem Books,
John Ashbery writes, This multiple, seething, singing confluence rises up
out of the city of life to join the enigmatic sky and clouds in Marcella
Durand’s magnificent, brutal, delicate epic.”
http://futurepoem.com/bookpages/trafficandweather.html

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mortal Remains vs Moral Remains Press

All of these images are in the public domain and easy to find, curtesy of The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation (I like the flaming girl):



I'm so going to this next Wednesday:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009, 6:30 pm

Hemmerdinger Hall
Silver Center for Arts and Science, Room 102
32 Waverly Place or 31 Washington Place (wheelchair accessible)
New York, NY 10003

AMY HEMPEL is the author of four collections of stories: Reasons to Live (1985), At the Gates of the Animal Kingdom (1990), Tumble Home (1997) and The Dog of the Marriage (2005). These were gathered in one volume, The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel, which was named one of the "10 Best Books of 2006" by the New York Times and won the Ambassador Book Award as well as an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a United States Artists Fellowship, Ms. Hempel directs the MFA in Fiction Writing at Brooklyn College.

MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM is the author of four novels: A Home at the End of the World (1990), Flesh and Blood (1995), The Hours (1999), which received the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award, and Specimen Days (2005). He has also written the nonfiction book, Land's End: A Walk Through Provincetown (2002). The recipient of a Whiting Writers Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an NEA Fellowship, he lives in New York City.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It Gets Harder & Harder to Burp a 12 Year Old Press

I'm going to see this Wednesday night. I'm going to need the subtitles. And my eyes:

or:


***

Something else is happening tomorrow, which I would go to, but I have tickets to the movies. Anyways, WEDNESDAY:

6:00PM INTERCULTURAL POETRY SERIES
Cornelia Street Cafe 29 Cornelia Street, NYC 10014 212-989-9319
Julia Istomina, host
Mark Bibbins; John Deming; Michael Quattrone

Mark Bibbins is the author of The Dance of No Hard Feelings,
forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press, and the Lambda Award-winning Sky
Lounge.

Michael Quattrone is the author of Rhinoceroses (New School Chapbook
Series, 2006), and a curator of the KGB Monday night poetry reading
series. His work has appeared online in Octopus, McSweeney's, and
Jacket, and in the anthologies The Best American Erotic Poems
(Scribner, 2008) and The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel—Second Floor
(No Tell Books, 2007). He works with Visible Theatre and lives in
Sleepy Hollow, New York.

John Deming is Co-Editor in Chief of coldfrontmag.com. His poems have
appeared or are forthcoming in POOL, Parthenon West Review, Tarpaulin
Sky, Past Simple and elsewhere. A New Hampshire native, he currently
lives in New York City and teaches at Baruch College and L.I.M.
College. He holds degrees in journalism and poetry from the University
of New Hampshire and The New School.

***

Something is happening on SUNDAY:

WHEN: Sunday, January 18th from 4:40 to 6 pm
WHERE: 440 Gallery, 440 6th Ave. at 9th St., F to 7th Ave., Park Slope, Brooklyn
Admission Free

WHO:
Meghan Punschke is the author of Stratification (BlazeVOX Books, 2008). She is the curator and host of Word of Mouth, a reading series dedicated to poets and fiction/non-fiction writers. She is Managing Editor for the literary journal Oranges & Sardines.

Eva Talmadge is a graduate of the University of Florida and the fiction MFA program at CUNY Hunter College. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and has appeared in Subtropics, the New York Tyrant, the New Orleans Review, Sleepingfish, elimae, and elsewhere. She lives in Brooklyn.

Paige H. Taggart lives and works in a house in Brooklyn. She has an e-chapbook out with Scantilly Clad Press, Won╩╝t Be a Girl. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the Agriculture Reader, La Petite Zine, My Name Is Mud, Blazevox, Ditch, Elimae, Robot Melon, Caketrain, Critphoria, EOAGH, Sawbuck, and Eleven Eleven.

***

Sunday, January 11, 2009

So, Who Is Writing John Updike's Obit With Me? Press

I'm pleased to let you know that the third issue of Saltgrass is out, featuring these fine poets & writers:

Eric Baus, CAConrad, Jessica deCourcy Hinds, Johannes Goransson, Kate Greenstreet, Brenda Iijima, Kristi Maxwell, Sawako Nakayasu, Keith Newton, Joshua Poteat, Joy Rhoades, Ken Rumble, Matt Sumell, Chris Tonelli, and Mike Young.

It's just waiting for you to read it. The basics:

$5.00 print journal.

You can order the issue online & read sample poems at www.saltgrassjournal.blogspot.com.

Please pass on the good word.



( We're now reading for issue 4, so please submit! Also, if you have submitted a while ago and we haven't gotten back to you: sorry about that, but we'll be considering your poems for issue 4.)

Friday, January 9, 2009

When You Stay Out All Night Buying Soy Sauce It Hurts My Feelings Press

How we entertain ourselves in The Palace:

Suggested Taglines for the Year 2009, if 2009 Were a Film Rather Than a Year

In this town, you're really going to need a raincoat.
No pants, no syllabi.
Bowling has never been so gross!
Witness the birth of an antelope.
Witness protection? More like witness sexy.
Hunting season never ends.
My mom gave me a whack-ass back-scratcher.
One pill makes you… smellier?!
Just one more hug.
This tadpole just won't grow legs!
When all you can say is "pleasedontleaveme."
Impunity & Immunity!
Vegetarian gravy.
Who told you that you can't breathe under water?
You'll never eat another second-hand hot dog again.
Playgrounds aren't just for children....
Your pants won't make you happy.
He believes in karma... to death.
Milk! Miiiiiiiilllllk!
A dying planet. A fight for life.
A great year at its greatest!
Bitches, brews & broomsticks.
The shiniest faces in all of western America.
Cat calls? More like wedding vows.
What does God need with a pack of Starbursts?
No one has had pink eye more times than Nate.
All woman (kinda).
Tickle, tickle.
All woman kind(a).
Some hotpants never cool down.
Some hotpants were born to work the coalmine.
Sometimes an airplane grows a brain… and falls in love.
He didn't find his dreams... He never did.
The longest game of tag with a seamonster ever.
Thank you Dolph Lundgren for making us laugh at falling in love... again.
Living & Loving in Gator Manor.
I think I need to exit the apartment.
I'm sinking into do-nothing mode.

***

Cannibal Books has just released Keith Newton's first chapbook, Sent Forth to Die in a Happy City. I NEED TO READ THIS.

You need to read it too.

You need to read it to me.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Secret by Ari Brouillette Press

You all know about how The Secret has become a bestseller. And grossed millions and millions of dollars. And you know how baffled I am at this, as there doesn't seem to be any secret in The Secret. I think the book (featured on Oprah) just basically tells you that your life will improve if you actively do things to improve it and have, as we emo kids like to say, a little Positive Mental Attitude. So:

This is the most amusing book review I've read on Amazon. 1,385 of 1,406 people found the following review helpful: 5.0 out of 5 stars The Secret saved my life!, December 4, 2007
By Ari Brouillette

Please allow me to share with you how "The Secret" changed my life and in a very real and substantive way allowed me to overcome a severe crisis in my personal life. It is well known that the premise of "The Secret" is the science of attracting the things in life that you desire and need and in removing from your life those things that you don't want. Before finding this book, I knew nothing of these principles, the process of positive visualization, and had actually engaged in reckless behaviors to the point of endangering my own life and wellbeing.
At age 36, I found myself in a medium security prison serving 3-5 years for destruction of government property and public intoxication. This was stiff punishment for drunkenly defecating in a mailbox but as the judge pointed out, this was my third conviction for the exact same crime. I obviously had an alcohol problem and a deep and intense disrespect for the postal system, but even more importantly I was ignoring the very fabric of our metaphysical reality and inviting destructive influences into my life.
My fourth day in prison was the first day that I was allowed in general population and while in the recreation yard I was approached by a prisoner named Marcus who calmly informed me that as a new prisoner I had been purchased by him for three packs of Winston cigarettes and 8 ounces of Pruno (prison wine). Marcus elaborated further that I could expect to be [...] raped by him on a daily basis and that I had pretty eyes.
Needless to say, I was deeply shocked that my life had sunk to this level. Although I've never been homophobic I was discovering that I was very rape phobic and dismayed by my overall personal street value of roughly $15. I returned to my cell and sat very quietly, searching myself for answers on how I could improve my life and distance myself from harmful outside influences. At that point, in what I consider to be a miraculous moment, my cell mate Jim Norton informed me that he knew about the Marcus situation and that he had something that could solve my problems. He handed me a copy of "The Secret". Normally I wouldn't have turned to a self help book to resolve such a severe and immediate threat but I literally didn't have any other available alternatives. I immediately opened the book and began to read.
The first few chapters deal with the essence of something called the "Law of Attraction" in which a primal universal force is available to us and can be harnessed for the betterment of our lives. The theoretical nature of the first few chapters wasn't exactly putting me at peace. In fact, I had never meditated and had great difficulty with closing out the chaotic noises of the prison and visualizing the positive changes that I so dearly needed. It was when I reached Chapter 6 "The Secret to Relationships" that I realized how this book could help me distance myself from Marcus and his negative intentions. Starting with chapter six there was a cavity carved into the book and in that cavity was a prison shiv. This particular shiv was a toothbrush with a handle that had been repeatedly melted and ground into a razor sharp point.
The next day in the exercise yard I carried "The Secret" with me and when Marcus approached me I opened the book and stabbed him in the neck. The next eight weeks in solitary confinement provided ample time to practice positive visualization and the 16 hours per day of absolute darkness actually made visualization about the only thing that I actually could do. I'm not sure that everybody's life will be changed in such a dramatic way by this book but I'm very thankful to have found it and will continue to recommend it heartily.

***

Ok, we all know that this is fake, but still, pretty good, right?

***

Do you write poetry? Do you write fiction? Maybe you want to win something:


Contest Submission Guidelines
CutBank is pleased to announce the Montana Prize in Fiction, the Montana Prize in Creative Nonfiction, and the Patricia Goedicke Prize in Poetry.

We are honored to have three talented judges participating in the second year of these contests. The Patricia Goedicke Prize in Poetry will be judged by Noah Eli Gordon. Joy Williams will select the winner of the Montana Prize in Fiction. The winner of the Montana Prize in Creative Nonfiction will be selected by Brian Bouldrey.

Submissions are accepted December 1 through February 29. Winners receive $500 and publication in CutBank 71. All submissions will be considered for publication in CutBank.

The contests' $13 entry fee includes a one-year, two-issue subscription to CutBank, beginning with the prize issue, CutBank 71.

Please send only your best work. With all three of these awards, we are seeking to highlight work that showcases an authentic voice, a boldness of form, and a rejection of functional fixedness.

FULL GUIDELINES:

Submissions postmarked earlier than December 1, 2008 or later than February 29, 2009 will be returned unread (along with payment).

Submissions are accepted via postal mail only. Please include SASE for reply and prepare your manuscript according to CutBank's conventional submission guidelines. The contest entry must be noted on the envelope and cover letter, i.e.:

The Patricia Goedicke Prize in Poetry
CutBank
English Dept, LA 133
University of Montana
Missoula, MT 59812

A $13 contest entry fee includes a one-year subscription to CutBank. The entry fee covers the reading of a single submission in a single genre. Prose writers, please send only a single work of no greater than 40 printed pages. Poets may submit up to five poems. Submissions that exceed these guidelines will be returned unread, along with payment. Please submit only once within in a genre, although writers are permitted to submit in multiple genres.

Please include a short cover letter that mentions your address, phone number, and email address, as well as the title of your work. Please include the author's name on the manuscript—names will be removed from the pool of submissions that goes before our contest judges.

Current subscribers may submit for the same $13 fee—subscriptions will be extended by one year.

Please submit entry fee by personal or cashier's check. Checks can be made out to CutBank Literary Magazine.

Entrants will be notified of their submission status no later than May 15, 2009. One winner in each genre, as chosen by our guest judges, will receive a $500 award and publication in CutBank 71, our summer 2008 issue. Winners will be required to complete a W-9 form to receive payment. All manuscripts are considered for publication in CutBank. All rights to selected manuscripts revert to the author upon publication. The author grants their permission to have their work electronically archived as part of CutBank 71 in EBSCO International's subscription-based research database.

Current University of Montana students and faculty and former CutBank staff are not eligible for the awards.

***

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Only Good Bones Are Broken Bones Press


I've been listening to Larkin Grimm.
***

Factory School has been busy:

Heretical Texts, Volume 4, featuring

Over Here, by Frank Sherlock (104 pages)

RIGHT NEW BIOLOGY, by kathryn l. pringle (80 pages)

Slosh Models, by Brett Evans (88 pages)

Hegemonic Love Potion, by Jules Boykoff (104 pages)

Censory Impulse, by Erica Kaufman (94 pages)

Pub Date: Jan 15, 2009
All books $15 paperback, $30 hardcover -- available Jan 15, 2009 through Small Press Distribution (www.spdbooks.org).

****

Are you busy next Tuesday? I want to go to this:

Belladonna* Celebrates the Elders with readings and events guest-hosted by some of our favorite writers who've invited writers who influence and inspire them

Tisa Bryant

hosts

Chris Kraus

Tuesday, January 13, 7:30PM
(doors at 7PM)
@ Dixon Place
(161 Chrystie Street)
Admission is $6 at the Door.

Tisa Bryant's first book, Unexplained Presence (Leon Works, 2007), is a collection of original, hybrid fiction-essays that remix narratives from Eurocentric film, literature and visual arts and zoom in on the black presences operating within them. Her work has appeared in a number of places, including The Believer, Chain, Abraham Lincoln, Sustaninable Aircraft, and in Hatred of Capitalism, edited by Chris Kraus & Sylvere Lotringer. She is currently engaged in research for her next book, SPECTRAL, an experiment with the historical novel genre, concerning the real life of Old Doll, a literate, enslaved woman on the Newton Plantation in Barbados, circa 1796. 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.

Chris Kraus is the author of three novels, most recently Torpor, and a collection of art essays. She writes frequently on cultural issues of Artforum, Texte Zur Kunst and other magazines, and received the Frank Jewett Mather Award in Art Criticism from CAA in 2008. A co-editor of Semiotexte, Kraus was recently Visiting Professor at UC San Diego, and will be on the summer faculty of European Graduate School (EGS). She is at work on a new novel about American justice and flawed reciprocity, Summer of Hate.

A Short Note About The Elders Series:
Belladonna* began as a reading and salon series at Bluestocking's Women's Bookstore on New York City's Lower East Side, in August 1999. In June 2000, in collaboration with Boog Literature, Belladonna* began to publish commemorative 'chaplets' of the readers work. This year marks the tenth anniversary of our mission to: promote the work of women writers who are adventurous, experimental, politically involved, multi-form, multicultural, multi-gendered, impossible to define, delicious to talk about, unpredictable, and dangerous with language. Belladonna* has by now featured over 150 writers of wildly diverse age and origin, writers who work in conversation and collaboration in and between multiple forms, languages, critical fields. As performance and as printed text the work collects, gathers over time and space, and forms a kind of conversation about the feminist avant-garde, what it is and how it comes to be. Our anniversary Elders Series is a continuation of this conversation, which highlights the fact of influence and continuity of the ideas, poetics, and concerns we circle through. And it is a way to honor those without whom we'd be nowhere.

***

The band Snowblink has a request for you this week:

Dear friends and could-be friends,
On day one of this, the newest year yet, I have a special request from each of you.

If you have, in some box, a letter addressed to you that you have read to the bone and if in that letter there is a section or line that has particularly emboldened, prettified, or stuck its flag in your sweet little heart, please write it on the postcard of your choice and send it to:

Daniela Gesundheit
420 Spadina Ave #2
Toronto, ON M5T2G7
Canada

Canada has given Dan (Luxury Pond) and I a grant to go into the woods for a couple of months and write songs. With your permission and participation, I'd like to incorporate those parts of letters that you hold multi-fondly. You may include your name and return address if you wish to be credited in a next album, or you may go anonymous.

Cottage-time begins in a week's time, so act swiftly.
xo,

Snowblink
ps: you may want to send an email letting me know that you sent a postcard so I can know if it doesn't arrive. Canada post has been swallowing my mail lately...
--
snowblink.org
myspace.com/snowblink

***

I'm wearing a skirt today that has secret pockets. This makes me happy.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Big News from the Nerd Posse Press

I had a weird phone conversation with my old friend last night. The background story is that my parents came back to America temporarily and emailed me a 617 area code to call them on. I had a missed call from a 617 number in my phone and instead looking up my parents number to confirm it was the same, I decided to assume the missed 617 number was theirs, forgetting that I recently replaced my phone, hardly have any of my friends numbers, and it could have been anyone from Boston:

Phone Call #1

Julia: [listens as phone rings, rings, rings]

phone voice: Hey, yo.

Julia: Um, are you my father?

phone voice: Are you for real?

Julia: Um... [CLICK. I hang up the phone]

Phone Call #2

Julia: [Gains composure. Realizes that "hey, yo" is from her old high school friend Jon, and calls back. Ring, ring]

Jon: Hello?

Julia: HI JON, HOW WAS INDIA?

***
My computer died a week ago. It was a sad death involving a chair, a stucco floor, and lots of error signs & html code. Since 2005, when I bought my computer w/ the remaining money I'd saved from my Ford Fellowship, I've lived in 5 different apartments (Middletown CT, Bushwick, more Bushwick, Parkslope, & Sunset Park). You learn to pack light & to avoid accumulation. But computers can accumulate & it's okay. So I'm sad to have lost it & all the unfinished poems I hadn't backed up. My little home has burned up. I saved a few photos (which weren't eaten by my computer) I hadn't deleted from my camera so I'm posting those miscellaneous ones below:

This is pretty much what happened on 2009 Low Key New Years:
fingerling potatoes,
very rich tiramisu,
a hearth fire,
a raccoon-face-hat worn by all,
lots of self-portraits and portaits,
lots of champagne that culminated in forgetting how to get home even though I was already home:
















Sunday, January 4, 2009

Naked Photos of My Girlfriend Press

I circled these two stanzas when I was 16 & in love with Pablo Neruda:

The Warsong Ends (Pablo Neruda)

All at once the wheels came to a stop, the unknown ones climbed down,
and there I was, a foreigner, in the solitudes of the jungle,
there, marooned in that truck stranded in night,
twenty years old, waiting for death, shrinking into my language.

Suddenly a drum began, a torch flared, there was a stirring,
and those I had taken for certain as my murderers
were dancing, beneath the towering dark of the jungle
to entertain a traveler strayed into those far regions.
So, when so many omens were pointing to the end of my life,
the tall drum, the flowering tresses, the flashing ankles
were dancing and smiling and singing for a foreigner.
I tell you this story, love, because the lesson,
the human lesson, shines through its strange disguises
and there the principles of the dawn were grounded in me--
there my mind awoke to the sense of men as brothers.

***

I stand by my penciled circling, they are two damn good stanzas.

***

I've been reading and re-reading Anne Heide's Wiving, from Dancing Girl Press. I think you should read it, too.

***

Here are some lines I particularly appreciate:

This is the trouble:

If all of us were a body,
we would quiet down.
But we are not.

**

This is the start:

Our hands grown digits,
unfit and unfamiliar.

We are always filled of children,
and of us:

much of us is made of them.

**

was I that much under you :: oak legs you want with

**

I find you

rummaging in the bathwater &
reassure you:

no children.

**

hands of sugar
hands of legs


Be in that house, dark, and I'll rescue

and in that bed, ache, and I'll undo

**

I have mistaken you for foliage (again).

**

Her leg's up caught in the wiver-tree.


****

See what I'm saying? Go buy it.

If you're in the mood for buying, you should also check out Lily Brown's Old With You, over at Kitchen Press: http://www.kitchen-press-book-store.blogspot.com/

LEAF AT THE END


I climbed a giant leaf at the end

of my imagination. Across

the spotted water, the hill

fastened its yellow bushels.



The imagination asked for all the cities,

for the canopy to get its machines out

and tile the leaves. My friend Lily

assumes what I want and it's so unfair.



The imagination shoves in and pushes

blithely out, a belt of pelicans, a plank

of hard clouds, bunches of doorknobs

halo the street-blighted hills.



I find a pile of antlers in the woods, assembled

for burning. I crawl beneath them and stay

there when the burners come with their fire.

Up in the canopy I dangle, touching nothing.

***

Go Lily, go Lily, go.