Monday, August 31, 2009

My Mom Swims with Pot Heads Press

My momma was in town for the last few days. We rented a car and drove to Rocky Mountain National Park. Look, I am a tourist of the mountains:




You can't see it here, but there was snow.

***
2 miles above sea level, we drove through a cloud:

It was cool.

***

Then we nap with puppies:



***

The press that is putting out my book has an open reading thing that ends today. Quick, send them your manuscript and then we can plan a reading tour together! And be BFF 4eva:

Monday is the Deadline for the St. Lawrence Book Award

Why to Submit/ How to Submit
Why:
If you win, you'll receive publication and $1,000. Enough said.

How:
In order to reduce the costs of printing and postage and in the spirit of being a bit greener, Black Lawrence Press now accepts electronic submissions rather than hard copies for our contests.

Please include the following in your electronic submission:
-A cover letter with brief bio and contact information including your e-mail address(es)
-A .rtf, .doc, or .pdf attachment including a title page, an acknowledgments page, a table of contents, and your manuscript with numbered pages.

Email your submission to editors@blacklawrencepress.com.

Please submit your $25 entry fee via Paypal. You can submit your entry fee by clicking here and scrolling half way down the page where you will find a Paypal button.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Lawyer Press

Is anyone I know a lawyer?

I need a lawyer, I think, to deal with a medical bill situation.

It goes something like this:

1)I am getting a bill from 2006 for $250. From a debt collector that claims my health insurance rejected my Dr's claim form.

2) The claim form doesn't even specify why the bill is for $250 bucks. How do I even know if they are charging accurately for anything?

3) My health insurance claims they never received the claim.

4) The Debt collector claims my health insurance is lying about the claim. Personally, I think "lying" is an idiotic word to use, maybe "incompetantly misplaced" might be accurate.

5) However, if the billing agency for my doctor did not actually file the form correctly, I don't think I should be charged for the entire bill, 3 years later.

6) The debt collector refuses to send the 1 form they do have from my doctor to my healthcare provider because they don't want it to be rejected, onow three years later, for being late. This is the form the debt collectors were claiming came from my healthcare provider when in fact, it is from the billing agency of my doctor.

7) Either way, I think both the healthcare provider and the debt collector are going to try and make me pay, even though the record of the transactions above clearly indicate that they are both incompetent & greedy.

8)I am now faxing the form to my healthcare provider while waiting for the billing agency to call me back. I need them to either prove or disprove that my healthcare provider actually received the claim form. I also want them to explain to me what the $250 is fucking for.

9) Everyone I have spoken to on the phone always assumes the doctor in question is male. Because god for bid a woman should have a female doctor. God for bid there should be female doctors.

10) All of the above issues made me cry while I was on hold for 1/2 an hour, then hung up on, and then spent two more hours on the phone.

11) So, are there any lawyers out there?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

“I’ve been approaching my own genes with measured breath (p9)” Press

When you were a child did you ever think about your breathing patterns as you tried to go to sleep? And then the act of breathing, instead of feeling automatic, transforms into something labored/conscious, an action you must focus on for it to continue? And you wonder how you’ll ever fall asleep again because you can’t stop concentrating on your lungs filling & deflating? Then suddenly it’s 8am & time to go to school once more. Sarah Veglahn’s Some Random Heart somehow splices together the moment of peril, when you actually believe you’ll need to unceasingly think through each breath for the next to follow, with the lurch into a new morning that invalidates last night’s concern & thrusts a toothbrush into your hand. In this chapbook of prose poems, Veglahn guides you to a union of precise observation & startling actions (thus a surreal yet tangible microcosm). And she does so with confident insistence.

These are some lines that I particularly like & why:

“In this scene, listen to insects (p1).”
The demand of this command pulling at the hard e in “scene,” and then the wing-flutters surrounding it with the soft i’s of “in” “this” “listen” and “insects.” The play on the preposition “in” with the later “en” of “listen” and “in” of “insects.”

“Things are left behind, thrown out with the bathwater—a clear movement in step with crystal flames can’t be cause for much concern. Not like a raw expression, a meeting of eyes (p 2).”
The “things” which are discarded become deliberately, almost violently excluded when also described as “thrown out with the bathwater.” Terror blooms when one is told that some things are expendable while withholding the names of the specific objects. And is it safe to assume that they are important items, since they are, by default, not the bathwater? Yet, we’re then told that we shouldn’t be too concerned by such a “clear movement,” this shrugging off of unspecified possessions, since the action is transparent & easily tracked. The real concern lies within a “raw expressions, a meeting of eyes.” While this meeting is unadulterated & direct, the meaning behind the expression remains elusive. So that’s where the unease rests: to receive a glance isolated from its translation. To observe & be a party to the impenetrable.

What follows, then, is the tension that emerges when the narrator pursues the secrets of the opaque. This collection demonstrates a tenuous balance between a) the perpetual hunger to seek out this meaning behind the meeting & b) knowing that the consequence could be a “mangled corpse of a heart.” The narrator is willing to have gone “walking beyond the fire-line,” out into the darker landscape. And walking towards the otherly unseen- these inquisitive steps- generates it’s own warm. Although some might see this as a positive & bold move, such action can have a toppling affect, & so “the heat, the weight of it, makes breathing underwater preferable (p9).”

“It’s 18 minutes passed the hour. It’s practically locked in place. It’s big motion sound, evaporating downward (3).”
The longer second hand of the clock, frozen, without knowing which hour it denotes. The larger than life sound emanating from the 18, “evaporating” in an unnatural direction. Can time be locked around a sound? An event signified by its very sound?

“A whole new way to move: sharp flash, back-step, forward breath, landslide, avalanche (5).”
Please, this is so good. The burst, the body moving back while the breath pushes forward, the sliding & force, the devouring & friction of landslides, avalanches. Let a person think this can be done. Let a person learn how to careen: gathering & splintering what she passes with this momentum.

Throughout the chapbook, many instances of searching, being on the lookout:
“I’m looking for angles in the waves, dragging the lake (p6).”
“You’ve got different methods for searching (p8).”
“…a watching beyond genes or wings papery and hidden behind the door (p10).

What body are we searching for? What’s being reconstructed in the search-effort? What loss is weighted down by stones in the river or suctioned to its muddy skin? Have we failed or are we just not there yet? Can we be recovered? Are we working with the bees & wasps to silence the taunting machine? Genes, chemical elements, atomic numbers, hard angles, & hives swim through the chapbook in an eclectic school until the narrator finally states, “I’ve formed the other stable compound so as to be no longer available to reaction (p19)” Is this safety inclusionary or exclusionary? Is this surfacing or diving down? Although breathing underwater may be “preferable,” and although solitude may be more “stable,” ultimately, the narrator seems to decide that the volatile has potential. It beckons. And in the last poem, from the slightly ambiguous position situated above the water but “beneath the platform,” the narrator beckons to us, “Come with me and watch the fog blinding the lake (p25).”

Whenever I read Veglahn’s Some Random Heart, variations of the same questions always project themselves onto the wallpaper in front of me. I wonder what film reel I’m sliding in & out of. I wonder if it wriggles on the cutting room floor like an eel or if it’s spliced in with everyone’s shuddering, heaving movie. These poems elicit an eerie sensation, like watching someone else’s slide show of a trip they’ve taken & then noticing yourself, offering a wave-like gesture, in all of the images that flash by.

Anyways, I may be way off base, but I'd suggest you buy a copy & read it for yourself:
Letter Machine Editions
$10.00


****

The 4th and newest issue of Sink Review (sinkreview.org) is out. An awesome lineup of poets including: Jon Woodward, Juliet Paterson, Rauan Klassnik, Paige Taggart, Amy Lawless, Keith Newton, Emily Kendal Frey, Justin Marks, Steve Roberts, Sampson Starkweather

and reviews of:
Matthew Rohrer/They All Seemed Asleep
Tao Lin/Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Mary Ruefle/The Most of It
Frank Bidart/Watching the Spring Festival
Rick Barot/Want
Kate Greenstreet/This is Why I Hurt You

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Baby Banjo Press

Today someone sent me the link to this twitter feed. I have never read a twitter feed before, but I have a feeling this is the best one out there:

Bio: I'm 28. I live with my 73-year-old dad. He is awesome. I just write down shit that he say: http://twitter.com/shitmydadsays

"You need to flush the toilet more than once...No, YOU, YOU specifically need to. You know what, use a different toilet. This is my toilet."1:07 PM Aug 23rd from web

"Don't touch the bacon, it's not done yet. You let me handle the bacon, and i'll let you handle..what ever it is you do. I guess nothing."11:15 AM Aug 22nd from web

"Your mother made a batch of meatballs last night. Some are for you, some are for me, but more are for me. Remember that. More. Me."8:57 AM Aug 21st from web

"Your brother brought his baby over this morning. He told me it could stand. It couldn't stand for shit. Just sat there. Big let down."9:35 AM Aug 20th from web

"Love this Mrs. Dash. The bitch can make spices... Jesus, Joni (my mom) it's a joke. I was making a joke! Mrs. Dash isn't even real dammit!"9:28 AM Aug 19th from web

"The dog is not bored, it's a fucking dog. It's not like he's waiting for me to give him a fucking rubix cube. He's a god damned dog."10:43 AM Aug 18th from web

"They serve Jim Beam on airplanes. Tastes like piss. You wouldn't be able to tell the difference, because you drink shit. I don't."9:23 AM Aug 17th from web

"My flight lands at 9:30 on Sunday...You want to watch what? What the fuck is mad men? I'm a mad man if you don't pick me the hell up."2:42 PM Aug 15th from web

"It's watering plants, Justin. You just take a God damned hose and you put it over the plant. You don't even pay rent, just do it. Shit."9:56 AM Aug 14th from web

(left on answering machine) "Hello? Hello? It's Sam. Anyone there? Nobody checks this god damned thing. HELLO?! HELLO?! Screw it."8:46 AM Aug 12th from web

"Tennessee is nice. The first time I vomited was in tennessee, I think."10:22 AM Aug 11th from web

If your brother comes by, tell him I'm on vacation. I already told him that, but who knows with that guy. Are you listening to me? Fuck.9:51 AM Aug 11th from web

Why would i want to check a voicemail on my cell phone? People want to talk to me, call again. If i want to talk to you, I'll answer.9:33 AM Aug 7th from web

"Jesus it's hot in here? Right? No? It's fucking hot, you people looking at me like i'm crazy. You're crazy."9:41 AM Aug 6th from web

"When I used to live in Los Angeles, I used to step in human feces a lot."9:13 AM Aug 5th from web

"The dog is an outside dog. You want an inside dog, you go get your own inside."9:59 AM Aug 4th from web

"I didn't live to be 73 years old so I could eat kale. Don't fix me your breakfast and pretend you're fixing mine."

***

Elisabeth drove me (and da Count) to Roosevelt National Park yesterday and we saw a stream. It was a beautiful stream:



Thank you for driving, E.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

For All of Its Parts, There Is Only One Sky Press

So the indomitable Kristin Naca has her first book out with HarperCollins: Bird Eating Bird. You should definitely buy a copy, so just click here.

Totally badass.

***

I recently got in touch with an old college friend who lives in denver and is an awesome musician. Laura Goldhamer. So, if you have a sec you should check out her songs here.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

International Association for the Development of Feelings Press

Rarely do I want to go back in time to see so much electricity get wasted...but...after seeing the Ric Burns' documentary, Coney Island, I very much wanted to go to Luna Park, circa 1903:





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The new issue of Saltgrass (#4) is at the printers. Weep for joy. Sneak peak of the cover image:

Friday, August 21, 2009

Like Your Sitting Shotgun in an Egg Truck Press

I was told I should get suntan lotion to put on da Count's pink ears and tip of his snout. So he doesn't get sunburned. So why does unscented suntan lotion cost 5 bucks more than scented suntan lotion? It's not like I'm paying them extra to take the scent out, only not put it in to begin with.

And why for god sakes does anyone want to smell like bananas? Why is that the predominant scent for sitting on the beach?

Bananas?

Hell no my puppy won't smell like bananas.

***

Anyways, what are you doing this weekend?

I may or may not go to Boulder.

I still sort of want to see the movie Funny People. I don't even know if it's still in theaters.

I recently saw the movie Role Models for the second time. I expected it to be less funny than I remembered, because the first time I had been in a crowded theater, and for some reason that always makes it funnier. But I think I actually liked it more the second time. I guess the first time I was afraid there would be more sexist, crass jokes or stereotypes regarding the female characters (and of course, there are some, but not as many as I was bracing myself for). I don't know. I don't know what I'm talking about. It's sunny out.

Well, come on, Paul Rudd and LARPing in one movie?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Good Puppy, Weird Angle Press

I'm reading John Ashbery and American Poetry, by Herd. I feel like I've been reading for 5 days & am only through the intro & chapter 1:

But I'm enjoying it. Learning about Boris Pasternak, who I had never heard of before (is that bad?). Apparently O'Hara had a real hard-on for his writing.

Look Inside!

Anyways, I'm hoping to make some headway today so I can move on to other books in my pile. Any recommendations?
***

The new issue of Dusie is up. You can download it here. I have a poem, although formatted wonkily, in it, but more importantly, some interesting letters between Anne Waldmen & Karen Weiser, and then killer poems by Karen Weiser later on in the issue. And poems by Ana Božičević. It's a large issue so you'll have to scroll through it to find all the goods yourself, bountiful with poems by Jim Goar, Amish Trivedi, Jennifer H. Fortin, etc.

***

Uh oh, is it time for more photos of da Count?:



Apparently at this one park at 6pm, it's "doggy happy hour," which means you do not get to drink the dogs for cheap, but rather that all the dogs come out to play once their owners get home. And they are all off the leash running around & sniffing each other. Da Count is very shy & many of the dogs were huge, so he did a lot of sitting on my feet & looking at me a bit woefully. But M & I are bringing him back today & hopefully da Count will slowly acclimate. Ok, that is all I will say about dog related news for a long while.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Heralded As the Years Most Unambitious Comedy Press

M & I watched 'Bart Got a Room' yesterday.

Have you seen it? I almost want you to watch it so we can talk about how it misses all the intended audiences for this 'flick.'

It is by far the most offensive movie I have seen in a long time. Everyone in the movie sported either a fake jew fro ( ex. William H Masey's jew fro was also balding) or had unkempt, permed, dark wavy/curly hair (Cheryl Hines- and remember how her hair is usually blond and straight?).

***

A few more photos:










Friday, August 14, 2009

My Spirit Breaks a Little Bit Listening to Ignorant Republicans on the Radio Freak out about Their Fears about Obama's Health Care Plan Press

Particularly when Fox News brain-washed people complain 1) that the bail out plan only helps the rich and they don't see any benefit from it 2) and then complain that the healthcare plan is socialist and they worry what will happen when everyone has access. Well, make up your mind about what you want. But mostly I am disappointed in the elected Democrats who are not doing a very persuasive job of explaining how we sink our money into a failing healthcare plan that neglects a large percentage of the population. Listening to our elected officials flounder at basic public meetings is like watching Bush win his second election again. STEP UP. I get the sense that republicans don't like hearing how other countries do things better than us. Nor do they like hearing how they or other people in their own tax bracket are getting screwed. So I don't see why Democrats aren't making arguments more geared towards persuading those fox-news-watching-fools, since everything else is, as they say, preaching to the choir. Not that the proposed health care plan is remotely perfect, but please.

Sorry, I've been listening to the radio since 3am. But now I'm sitting outside & I'm determined not to go inside until Puppy takes a pee. I might be outside until the sun sets (it's 11:18am in Denver now), but I'm determined to sit in the grass & lavish him with affection when he does the 'right' thing, outside.

Well, well, um, well. I have not been doing the reading I set out to do this summer, per say, but I have been reading some great chapbooks and journals:

Transparency
by Patrick Morrissey
32 pages, hand-sewn
$6, at Cannibal Books

The New DQ is out:

CONTRIBUTORS: Dan Beachy-Quick, Robert J. Bertholf, Lily Brown, Thomas Fink, John Gallaher, Matthew Goulish, Rebecca Guyon, Jeffrey Hansen, Alice Jones, Terri Kapsalis, Jesse Lee Kercheval, Joanna Klink, Caroline Knox, Gina Litherland, Alexandra Mattraw, Susan Maxwell, Eugenio Montejo, Kirk Nesset, Elizabeth Robinson, Jason Daniel Schwartz, Jessica Wickens, Joshua Marie Wilkinson, Valerie Wohlfeld, and John Yau. See:

History

Birds heel the sky I
see through the body
scamming the mind.

Briefly not alone, then
not alone, I work hard
to rearrange the sand

when I do wrong.
The table's flat tone,
my pony Christmas hope.

Beneath the microscope
we see donuts, soap,
tree bark chipped apart.

by Lily Brown

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Taste Of Your Own Dick Medicine Press

So, after many trips to different animal shelters, and a number of attempts to adopt older dogs, we are doing a 'trial adoption' of a very sweet heeler-mix puppy:


We don't have an official name yet. But might be debating between da Count (D'Count?) and La Monte. Either way, his last name will be Ankofski.

Do you have an opinion or a suggestion?

I asked a little girl in the park who wanted to "blow bubbles for the puppy" what she would name him and she said "Smelly." No, I don't think we'll go with Smelly.

**
While Puppy is very loving/affectionate/alert, he has never learned that peeing/pooing outside is better or even an option to going inside, so we have a lot of basic training to do. Tomorrow I'm taking him to the park armed with a number of books and not leaving until he has done 'his bizznass' outside in the grass. It will be a test of wills.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

But An Adult Might Want Some Too Press

This week M & I watched Last Year at Marienbad, directed by Alain Resnais, 1961. It was quite stunning so I decided to write a review of it, which I've never done for a movie before, but first, here are some stills from the movie:




Last Year at Marienbad

These people need their architecture. To watch the silverware clatter upon its marble floor. A fresh deck of cards spitting itself against the tabletop. Target shooting inside a corridor.

These people need reconstruction & denial, the act of strutting onto the balcony into a swarm of cocktails. Pine trees in the garden shaved down to knee-high pyramids.

They die like swans in bedsheets. Each stillness framed by a door.

To need a vast room, ajar. They crave a solitary act of rebellion, but only achieve it through contortion, falsification of rebelling against what one has requested and paid for in full.

Stiletto echoes, these non-committal memories click towards you, mixed with sentiment. Where the men are persistent & inadequate. So the women are persistent about something else.


*****

Chris Tonnelli's new chapbook is out with Brave Men Press. I've been reading poems from No Theater in different journals, so I'm especially excited to read the series all together:

Buy it at : http://bravemenpress.com/

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I Look Like A Man Who Looks Like A Big Man Press

1) Do you live in Denver? Want to hang out?

2) Yesterday M & I went to a shelter to look at small dogs (or as our lease specifies, dogs 30 pounds or fewer.) I think we were both looking for a dog pushing 30 pounds, but we happened to play with a shy, male, 10 pounder who we sort of fell for. We're waiting to see if the shelter accepts our application.

Also, seeing all the big dogs made me want to buy a farm & adopt them, almost every one of them. I will keep you abreast of the 10 pounder adoption, though.

3) Anyways, I've been reading some books I probably should have read a long time ago but for some reason didn't, & am enjoying them tremendously for the first time now:

An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter, by Cesar Aira. Since it's a novella, I'd recommend you dedicate 4 hours to it. There are truly some beautiful lines:


Slouching Towards Bethlehem, by Joan Didion:


Bivouac, by Laura Solomon (2002, so go read her recent work too):


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4) Now, inversely related (or "indirect variation") to the awesome books I've been reading, I've been watching some attrocious movies:

The Horsemen, starring Dennis Quaid's weather-beaten face. This movie's overt message was (spoiler alert): If you neglect your children when they are dealing with loss/grief, they will turn out to be psycho-killers. My favorite line was, "You haven't even looked in my bedroom in 3 years. All you had to do was open the door, Dad."

So, folks, if you decide to become crime-fighters, make sure to check your kid's bedroom before you embarrass yourself back at the police precinct.

The International, starring Clive Owen & Naomi Watts. Spoiler alert: 1 man cannot beat Capitalism.

Although, there is a pretty amazing shoot out in the Guggenheim.