Sunday, December 07, 2008

Winter Break Reading List + 1 Question

OK. So now that I am close to done, I am about ready to declare what I will read over break that has nothing to do with SCHOOL!! I decided that I would read books by friends and almost-friends over break. I hate having not read my friends' books because of school. School. Sometimes it stops you from reading.

1) Aaron Kunin -- The Mandarin
2) Michelle Koerner -- First dissertation chapter in manuscript form on Deleuze and American Lit (roughly speaking)
3) Fred Moten -- Hughson’s Tavern
4) Lucy Corin -- Everyday Psychokillers: A History for Girls, A Novel
5) Ali Liebegott -- The Beautifully Worthless

Alright, if I get through that by January 8th and write my Melville paper, I will be psyched.

Real Question: So, how do I get free new books? I have to spend all my money on school books and thus feel like I can't keep up with all the new poetry and fiction I want. I know a bunch of you are poor like me, and yet I see on GoodReads etc, you all get your hands on the new stuff. Tell me, please.

Friday, December 05, 2008

The Wound of Things

Hello. It seems like my life of finals keeps extending itself. I am finishing up a paper on Arnold's "Culture and Anarchy" and starting to think about a Melville paper, which I image as a talk to writers rather than academics. I am thinking about Meliville's Billy Budd as a corrective to the problem of my book (or maybe I just mean "of writing") in relationship to the real world. Something I keep thinking about. For more on this, see the X Poetics feature (link to the left). But until I turn into the Handsome Sailor (I would like to exist that way, minus the hanging), my interview on the local NC public radio station show (The State of Things) can be heard

Also, I want Jacob Russell to be my own personal critic. I feel like he really gets my book and I am grateful for all the time he has taken to write about it on his blog. It's very generous of him. And makes me feel understood, which is a rare feeling for anyone, I imagine. His latest post is

And NY, I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday. Until then, think kindly of me.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


Next Tuesday—at a triple book party—the final QT of 2008—the pleasure of your company is requested—

QT: Queer Readings at Dixon Place presents:

Your Body, Figured (Nightboat)
So Many Ways to Sleep Badly (City Lights)
The Bruise, winner of the Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize (FC2)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008 at Dixon Place: 161 Chrystie Street, between Delancey and Rivington doors (+ snacks + drinks + hangouts) at 7 / reading at 7:30

DOUGLAS A. MARTIN is the author of two novels, Outline of My Lover and Branwell; a book of stories, They Change the Subject; a lyric narrative, Your Body Figured; three volumes of poetry, most recently In The Time of Assignments; and a new novel, Once You Go Back, forthcoming in 2009. He is an English professor at Wesleyan University and teaches in the low-residency MFA Program at Goddard College in Vermont.

MATTILDA BERNSTEIN SYCAMORE is an insomniac with dreams. Unfortunately sometimes the dreams are awful and the next day is worse. This pattern may have influenced Mattilda's new novel, So Many Ways to Sleep Badly (City Lights 2008). Mattilda is also the author of Pulling Taffy (Suspect Thoughts 2003) and the editor of four nonfiction anthologies, most recently Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity (Seal 2007) and an expanded second edition of That's Revolting! Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation (Soft Skull 2008). She is currently at work on a new anthology, titled Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots? You've probably asked that question yourself.

MAGDALENA ZURAWSKI was born in Newark NJ and grew up in Edison NJ, but Providence RI feels like home because that's where she started writing and meeting writers and thinking of herself as a writer. Currently, she lives in Durham, NC, where she is studying 19th-century American literature at Duke. The Bruise, out now from Fiction Collective Two, is the winner of the 2006 Ronald Sukenick prize for innovative fiction. It is her first book.

QT: Queer Readings at Dixon Place

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I'm Working On Finals

I will be in my bunker, procrastinating and working, but will emerge on Thursday, November 20th. At 12:40pm you'll be able to here me on WUNC, 91.5 on the local NPR show "The State of Things." Hopefully, all this paper-writing will not have reduced me to a blob of incoherent flesh. If you hear lots of static, that might be me. More likely is that I'll blather on shamelessly and regret it later.

At 7pm that same day, I'll be reading at The Regulator bookstore in Durham. Information is at the left.

Also, of you are on FB and like my novel, please become a fan

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Two Coats

This week I saw "On the Waterfront" for the first time. I know. It's terrible. I am the opposite of Frank O'Hara. I never watch any movies. I've hardly seen any movies. When I lived in SF, Jocelyn Saidenberg would take me to the movies and because of her I saw La Dolce Vita, which I think is the best movie ever, but that's another story. But anyhow, I am TAPPING this semester and that's basically like being a TA in training. It's for a Cold War Culture class. So I had to go to the screening of "On the Waterfront". And it revealed a lot to me about my childhood. See, when I grew up in NJ it was the '70s. There weren't many white immigrants coming in from anywhere. We were sort of a fluke that way. At first we lived in an older suburban neighborhood that still had traces of its farmland roots. But by the time I was ten, Edison was all suburban sprawl.

My family was the only family in the neighborhood that I knew of, until my early teens, that wasn't American. My parents were professionals, so we didn't have any need of living in an urban area in a Polish community, or at least not after my mother got pregnant with me. So we were this Polish family in the suburbs. I had to go to the mall and ask the saleslady questions for my mom. She was embarrassed of her accent. That kind of thing. Of course there was a Polish neighborhood in Brooklyn (Greenpoint before the hipsters came) but my mom always spoke of it as this terrible place filled with lowlifes. We never went there. So clearly there was a class thing separating my parents from the Polish community we could have had. I guess all I am trying to say is that we lived in the suburbs and everyone around us was non-ethnic white. Or at least that's the way I saw it as a kid.

So when I was watching "On the Waterfront" this weekend it felt really familiar in this strange way and I started to remember that when I watched TV alone as a kid I sought out films that I thought were set in "Brooklyn". Like, I think, I must have watched a lot of James Cagney movies without even knowing it. And I am wondering now if I hadn't watched "On the Waterfront" by accident. Because I remember always wanting to be a guy like that. A guy with a Jersey or Brooklyn accent and kind of tough and working class. I remember going into the basement and looking through old clothes, hoping to find a leather jacket and then finding some seventies blazer and putting it on and looking in the mirror and feeling like I was sexy like the Fonz. I was maybe six. But it makes sense now. All the guys in those movies are Irish or Italian. It's the closest thing to being Polish in NJ. It's like I watched this old black and white world to try to understand my own immigrant experience, which was neither urban nor working class. But that Hoboken or Brooklyn world seemed like where a family like ours should have landed and didn't. Of course all the guys in those movies were Catholic and Catholic School I had plenty of. I understood the role of the priest in all those films. Those people were white like me, I thought.

And so it was especially interesting to notice Marlon Brando's coat this week because it is a plaid coat not unlike the one in my novel. And the one in my novel is based on a real coat I bought on the men's sales rack in the mall in RI. But the coat, it was so much like Marlon Brando's and when I got it at 19 or 20, I felt like I did in the basement in that terrible blazer as a kid. And so I am wondering now, if I hadn't seen the film as a kid and if Marlon Brando's plaid coat is the only thing I remembered from it. And then there was another coat. A leather coat that I dreamed of in college. And after I woke I walked out of the dorm onto Thayer Street and bought a coat just like the one in my dream. And a few days later I realized it was just like the coat Springsteen wears in the band shot on the back of The River. And of course I wanted to be like him, too, when I was a kid. And even now, but I avoid playing air guitar in front of mirrors, lest I be caught. But Springsteen -- he was Irish/Italian Catholic, much closer in age and place to me, and the coolest thing ever.

So in college I got these two coats. One was for Brando and the other for Springsteen. But when I bought them I was really buying them for my six-year-old self, who really wanted to believe "I could walk like Brando, right into the sun, and dance just like a Cassonova." But, of course, I was just a nerdy middle-class Polish school girl, reading books and stuff. In my mind, though, I looked better. I was much cooler.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Philadelphia, etc.

Saturday late afternoon my friend Mary Kalyna picked me up at the Philadelphia airport, then we picked up CAConrad and we all went back to Mary's place for a sleepover party. Mary and Conrad are what I miss most about living in Philadelphia. We spent the night eating pierogis, stuffed cabbage, and borscht, all made by Mary's mom. We talked about scary things like Nostradomus, nuclear winter, and how Bush might bomb Iran, if Obama is elected. And we talked about annoying things, like bad dates and lazy neighbors. And then we watched Sarah Palin on SNL. Totally boring, we thought. The next morning we saw Colin Powell endorse Obama on "Meet the Press". Mary and I nearly wept. I was grateful for Powell's criticism of the Republicans' derogatory use of the Muslim religion. It was nice to hear a general criticize his own party for being racist. Can't exactly say that Powell is part of the liberal media or has a leftist agenda. Seems like his criticism would most likely be taken seriously by the people who need to hear it most.

That afternoon we spent in the museum with the Australian poet Pam Brown, the poet Frank Sherlock, and my parents. We were killing time until 4pm, when Pam and I were scheduled to read with Ron Silliman. I was excited and antsy about my reading, so the thing I remember most about the museum is the chocolate pudding. It's hard to look at art when you are getting ready to perform. My dad managed to tell us his entire history with Hooter's (the restaurant). It's a story I'd like to get on video tape and post to youtube. I was also grateful to have a little time to talk to Pam. I always enjoy hearing what foreigners find odd about our country. See was shocked by the gossipy article on Cindy McCain in the New York Times and was bringing it back to Australia to show people that such things counted as news here.

The reading itself was well-attended. Pam and I struggled with the microphone, but it seems from the audience response that we managed ok, despite our own discomfort at the stage. Pam's work is published by Salt Press. Short angular poems, spirited with a sense of humor, though not overly comical, just enough to handle the gravity of the work, something I very much respect in poems. I am looking forward to reading her work on the page. I usually absorb a lot at readings, but less so, when I am one of the readers. I'm not generally able to overcome my own nervousness to be a great listener.

Ron's reading I heard more of, because he read after me and there was a short break between our two readings. I am always reminded when I hear Ron's work that LANGUAGE poetry is realism, an extension of the Williams tradition. It seems that the idea of LANGUAGE poetry in the poetry world at large seems at odds often with the actual work. People love to hate what they haven't read in this case. But they most likely would dig it. I mean, who doesn't love poetry with lots of concrete nouns in it? My mother, whose native language is not English, had an easier time understanding Ron's work than mine. So to all of you who like to call any "cryptic" poetry, Language Poetry, do your homework and update your vocabulary.

My dad played official photographer. It was a little embarrassing. As soon as I get the photos, I'll post them.

My next readings are in Durham on November 20th and in NYC on December 9th. After Christmas, the reading schedule gets more intense, so lookout, especially if you live in the mod-west.

Jacob Russell wrote a nice review of the Philadelphia reading

Monday, October 13, 2008

Philadelphia Reading on Sunday, October 19th!

Pam Brown
Magdalena Zurawski
Ron Silliman


Hosted by CAConrad

108 S. 13th St., Philadelphia

Sunday, October 19th, 4pm

Pam Brown lives in Australia and is co-editor of Jacket Magazine. She has published many books and chapbooks including Text thing (Little Esther Books, 2002) and Dear Deliria (Salt Publishing, 2003) which was awarded the New South Wales Premier’s Prize for Poetry in 2004. She collaborated with Seattle-based Egyptian poet Maged Zaher on a collection of poems called farout library software (Tinfish Press, 2007). Her most recent book, True Thoughts, was published by Salt Publishing in September 2008. Her next collection, Authentic Local, is forthcoming from Papertiger Media in 2009. She keeps a blog you can see HERE.

Magdalena Zurawski was born in Newark, NJ in 1972 to Polish immigrants. Her work has been published in American Poet: The Journal of the Academy of American Poets, The Poetry Project Newsletter, Rattapallax, Talisman, and other magazines. She lives in North Carolina where she is working on her PhD at Duke University. The Bruise is her first novel and won the Ronald Sukenik Innovative Fiction Prize. Her blog is HERE.

Ron Silliman's long awaited collection THE ALPHABET will be available for sale and for signing. He is the author or editor of twenty-six books of poetry or criticism, among them The Age of Huts (compleat), Tjanting, ABC, Demo to Ink, Paradise, ®, What, Woundwood, and the memoir Under Albany. He edited the landmark poetry anthology In the American Tree, and has received a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, two Fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts, and three arts commission grants from the state arts councils of California and Pennsylvania. His widely read Silliman's Blog, a daily journal devoted to contemporary poetry and poetics, has become a major force in online literary criticism. He is a member of the Grand Piano collective.

This note shamelessly stolen
(and somewhat adapted)
from CAConradEvents

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Why Hobbes's LEVIATHAN is Worth Reading...

...even if you are not a monarchist:

1) This passage reminds me of the opening scene of Proust:

The most difficult discerning of a mans Dream, from his waking thoughts, is then, when by some accident we observe not that we have slept: which is easie to happen to a man full of fearfull thoughts; and whose conscience is much troubled; and that sleepeth, without the circumstances of going to bed, or putting off his clothes, as one that noddeth in a chayre. For he that taketh pains, and industriously layes himself to sleep, in case any uncouth and exorbitant fancy come unto him, cannot easily think it other than a Dream.

2) And this is where Lisa Jarnot found her lemur (maybe):

The unformed matter of the World, was a God, by the name of Chaos.

The Heaven, the Ocean, the Planets, the Fire, the Earth, the Winds, were so many Gods.

Men, Women, a Bird, a Crocodile, a Calf, A Dogge, a Snake, an Onion, a Leeke, Deified. Besides, that they filled almost all places, with spirits called Daemons: the plains, with Pan, and Panises, or Satyres; the Woods, with Fawnes, and Nymphs; the Sea, with Tritons, and other Nymphs; every River, and Fountayn, with a Ghost of his name, and with Nymphs; every house, with its Lares, or Familiars; every man, with his Genius; Hell with Ghosts, and spirituall Officers, as Charon, Cerberus, and the Furies; and in the night time, all places with Larvae, Lemures, Ghostof men deceased, and a whole kingdome of Fayries and Bugbears. They have also ascribed Divinity, and built Temples to meer Accidents, and Qualities; such as are Time, Night, Day, Peace, Concord, Love, Contention, Vertue, Honour, Health, Rust, Fever, and the like; which when they prayed for, or against, they prayed to, as if there were Ghosts of those names hanging over their heads, and letting fall, or withholding that Good, or Evill, for, or against which they prayed. They invoked also their own Wit, by the name of Muses; their own Ignorance, by the name of Fortune, their own Lust, by the name of Cupid; their own Rage, by the name Furies; their own privy members by the name Priapus; and attributed their pollutions, to Incubi, and Succubae: insomuch as there was nothing, which a Poet could introduce as a person in his Poem, which they did not make either a God, or a Divel.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Jocelyn Saidenberg & Guillermo Parra


Saturday, October 4, 7:00 pm
The Broad Street Cafe
1116 Broad Street, Durham, NC 27705

Please come out and support our series as it moves to a public all-ages venue. Admission is free.

Jocelyn Saidenberg is the author of Mortal City (Parentheses Writing Series) and CUSP (Kelsey St. Press), and Negativity (Atelos). She is the founder and editor of KRUPSKAYA Books. Born and raised in New York City, she lives in San Francisco where she is active in the queer arts communities and works as a catalog librarian for the public library.

Guillermo Parra was born in Cambridge, MA in 1970. His poems, essays and translations have appeared in Effing, The C.L.R. James Journal, Fascicle and 6x6. In 2006 he published Caracas Notebook (Cy Gist Press). He lives in Durham, NC and writes the blog Venepoetics.

Broad Street Café now has a full hot food menu, wood-fired pizza, 15 beers on tap and full bar. Check out for hours, menu, directions and more.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Moby Dick

I am half-way through Moby Dick. It is my third time this far into the novel, though this is just about where I have always stopped reading. Under no circumstances will I not make it through to the end this time. The book means too much to me now. I have always loved the language, but the speed always belonged to another world. I think now I am a part of that other world, operating at a different speed than, for instance, the office worker, sitting long hours in the library, that vessel of boredom, waiting for the next mammal to upset my evening, but until then, just reading. Slowly reading. The book is slow because it is so beautiful. Or, technically, sublime. One cannot have enough adequate thoughts for each sentence, and yet, one must read on. Luckily, this time I am in a melancholic mood that allows me to read with a teenage feeling, which, in some ways, is the most satisfying of reading styles. The sentences matter then. I can't help but want to use each clause for myself, as if Melville could help me feel differently. It opens me up to the book, at the same time that I distort it for my own emotional ends. It turns Moby Dick into an experience not unlike the one described in the first few pages of Proust where the book and the dream and the dreamer are all confused. Perhaps this kind of reading is the experience I am best at initiating, though I am still not sure if reading is an experience or what one does until one can have experience. In any case, my favorite sentences thus far are pasted below:

“The sovereignest thing on earth is parmacetti for an inward bruise.” – King Henry

“Look ye now, young man, thy lungs are a sort of soft, d’ye see, thou does not talk shark a bit. Sure, ye’ve been at sea before now; sure of that?”

“But I am one of those that never take on about princely fortunes, and am quite content if the world is ready to board and lodge me, while I am putting up at this grim sign of the Thunder Cloud.”

“Hear him, hear him now,” cried Peleg, marching across the cabin, and thrusting his hands far down into his pockets,--“hear him, all of ye. Think of that! When every moment we thought the ship would sink! Death and the Judgment then? What? With all three masts making such an everlasting thundering against the side; and every sea breaking over us, fore and aft. Think of Death and the Judgment then? No! no time to think about Death then. Life was what Captain Ahab and I was thinking of; and how to save all hands—how to rig jury-masts—how to get into the nearest port; that was what I was thinking of.”

“A soul’s a sort of fifth wheel to a wagon.”

“But when a man suspects any wrong, it sometimes happens that if he be already involved in the matter, he insensibly strives to cover up his suspicions even from himself. And much this way it was with me. I said nothing, and tried to think nothing.”

“Never did those sweet words sound more sweetly to me than then. They were full of hope and fruition. Spite of this frigid winter night in the boisterous Atlantic, spite of my wet feet and wetter jacket, there was yet, it then seemed to me, many a pleasant haven in store; and meads and glades so eternally vernal, that the grass shot up by the spring, untrodden, unwilted, remains at midsummer.”

“But as in landlessness alone resides the highest truth, shoreless, indefinite as God—so, better is it to perish in that howling infinite, than be ingloriously dashed upon the lee, even if that were safety! For worm-like, then, oh! who would craven crawl to land! Terrors heart, take heart, O Bulkington! Bear thee grimly, demigod! Up from the spray of thy ocean-perishing—straight up, leaps thy apotheosis!

“For small erections may be finished by their first architects; grand ones, true ones, ever leave the copestone to posterity. God keep me from ever completing anything. This whole book is but a draught—nay, but the draught of a draught. Oh, Time, Strength, Cash, and Patience!”

“For what he ate did not so much relieve his hunger, as keep it immortal in him.”

“For the most part, in this tropic whaling life, a sublime uneventfulness invests you; you hear no news; read no gazettes; extras with startling accounts of commonplaces never delude you into unnecessary excitements; you hear of no domestic afflictions; bankrupt securities; fall of stocks; are never troubled with the thought of what you shall have for dinner—for all your meals for three years and more are snugly stowed in casks, and your bill of fare is immutable.”

“And it is much to be deplored that the place to which you devote so considerable a portion of the whole term of your natural life, should be so sadly destitute of anything approaching to a cozy inhabitiveness, or adapted to breed a comfortable localness of feeling, such as pertains to a bed, a hammock, a hearse, a sentry box, a pulpit, a coach, or any other of those small and snug contrivances in which men temporarily isolate themselves.”

“With the problem of the universe revolving in me, how could I—being left completely to myself at such a thought-engendering altitude,--how could I but lightly hold my obligations to observe all whaleships’ standing orders, ‘Keep your weather eye open, and sing out every time.’”

“For nowadays, the whale fishery furnishes an asylum for many romantic, melancholy, and absent-minded young men, disgusted with the carking cares of earth, and seeking sentiment in tar and blubber.”

“There is no life in thee, now, except that rocking life imparted by a gently rolling ship; by her, borrowed from the sea; by the sea, from the inscrutable tides of God. But while this sleep, this dream is on ye, move your foot or hand an inch, slip your hold at all; and your identity comes back in horror. Over Descartian vortices you hover. And perhaps, at midday, in the fairest weather, with one half-throttled shriek you drop through that transparent air into the summer sea, no more to rise for ever. Heed it well, ye Pantheists!”

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Reading Report Etc.

So Asheville and Providence, the first two readings with novel in hand, were great. Chall Gray's house reading series was one of the friendliest ever. The crowd was small, as it was Labor Day weekend, but they were there and along for the ride. Brian Howe recorded us and kindly uploaded my reading here.

Last weekend's reading in Providence was extra special. Friday afternoon I got to visit many of the places actually in the novel. I saw the Bridge above the Seekonk River, was able to sneak into my old dorm where I found the door of my room open and I met its newest resident, but was unable to verify if there was still a white plastic bucket in the closet. I saw the statue of Marcus Aurelius, but, alas, was unable to get a ham steak in the refectory for dinner.

On Friday night I did have a lovely evening of Thai Food and wine with Rosmarie and Keith Waldrop and Susan Bernstein, all of whom were important mentors. I was moved by their welcome and their excitement for the book and reading. The reading on Saturday itself was great. A packed house full of friends and old teachers. Thanks again to Kate Shapira for making it all happen. Providence still feels like home in many ways.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Next Stop: The Promised Land! (Providence, RI)

Dear listeners, stretched and refreshed,

Please come and rock the new Publicly Complex season with poetry and prose:

Magdalena Zurawski
Dorothy Albertini
Jeremy Hoevenaar

will read to you on Saturday, September 6th, 7:30 pm
at Ada Books, 330 Dean St. at Westminster,

We'll regale you with eatables and drinkables as well as fierce writing.

About them:

Magdalena Zurawski is the author of The Bruise (Fiction Collective 2), a novel, and maintains the blog Minor American. She lives in Durham, NC.

Dorothy Albertini's work has appeared in Shifter Magazine, Flux, Textsound and other places. She works for the Bard Prison Initiative at the college's satellite campuses in New York State prisons, and has her MFA in writing from Bard College.

Jeremy Hoevenaar is in a band called The Lisps. His poetry has appeared in Forklift, Ohio.

Please come start the fall off right.

Your excited, delighted organizer,
Kate Schapira

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Advancing on the First-Aid and Metaphysical Fiction Bestsellers Lists!

Dear Readers, The fact that my book is a real object in the real world makes me feel like the recipient of a miracle. Is that how I would say it? Is the receiver of a miracle the "recipient" of a miracle? Does one "receive" miracles? In any case, I mean 'the book as miracle', in a Monkees kind of "I'm a Believer" way. I still fear that love might be for someone else, not for me, but up until the book arrived on my doorstep, I also thought that book publishing was for someone else, not for me. And since I acquired my copy of my book, I have kept it at my side, like a small child I must guard. And show off, like a little cousin visiting from Bratislava, for instance. And for instance, if I were to meet you on 9th Street in Durham, I would most certainly pull my bruised cousin from my bag and force you to look at him. If you should be the victim of these actions, please note that it is not arrogance, but rather disbelief that causes me to do such things. I feel like a person with coronary disease who has managed to win a marathon. In any case, the writing of this book often felt like trying to run a marathon with coronary disease. It, in other words, feels like a personal triumph.

What is also quite wonderful is that the book is already deeply misunderstood. For instance, here you can see how the book is being marketed as a first-aid device. This is even better.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ugh -- Friedlander linebreaks

Blogger screwed up the linebreaks below. They are not flush against the left, but staggered inwards. How do I fix that? Where is Ron Silliman when I need him?

Summer Reading

The problem when I try to read without an authority figure telling me that such and such a text must be read by such and such a day is that I begin reading three books which then end up being seven which then end up being ten and then I don't feel like I'm reading anything. I get the mathematical sublime when I am left to my own devices. I started reading "Call Me Ishmael" and I need to finish that in the next couple of days because Jocelyn Saidenberg and I are doing a Melville reading group this summer. We're going to read all the Shakespeare Olson talks about in relationship to Moby Dick then we're going to read Moby Dick. Then it will probably be September and it will be time for my Melville class with Priscilla Wald. Jocelyn is going to come read in the fall and then sneak into our class on Monday. Melville. All poets love Melville. Or at least they should.

Anyhow, in non-official reading last night, I opened Benjamin Friedlander's "The Missing Occasion of Saying Yes" and read "Covenant" (the book is a collection of F's early books, so "Covenant" must have been a chapbook). In any case, it's unbearably beautiful in that Dickinson way of syntactic twists. Given that I couldn't sleep and was thus reading poetry late at night, it is appropriate that my favorite poem from last night is called "Insomnia". It ends with the following passage:

a mad hatter
opens, I-Alice unawares,
the ruddy
punisher, deplored did
queer the deal
no one, nowhere else
no home
is ours is ours
to keep, is shown

stillness, ferrying bitch, take me through th rapids,
lash light--shine on

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

I hope those linebreaks happen right (as in correct) when I hit "publish post". In any case, I am teaching creative writing this summer, starting at the end of June. I am trying to get some ideas for fiction readings. Alexander Chee, a super-cool guy and great novelist who I met at the "Emerging Writers Conference" at USF (we were suite mates and shared facial scrub) suggested I read Miranda July after he heard me read. I've been wanting to read her, as it seems everyone was walking around with her bright yellow book last summer, but, alas, I was reading things written by dead people all year. Not that I'm complaining. I love reading dead people. So yesterday my used copy of July's "No one belongs here more than you." came in the mail and I read the first story right before my first shift of sleep (pre-Friedlander Insomnia) and I really dug it. I read "The Shared Patio". The prose is spare, the settings banal but the storytelling very strange. The narration is sparely strange. Does that make any sense? The prose isn't ornate, the setting seems suburban, and yet everything is slightly surreal mostly because the narrator needs a hug. It works pretty well and I wish I was imaginative enough to come up with some of the situations July thought of for this story. I saw her feature film the other night. It had similar qualities. Most moving was the depiction of the loneliness of children. The least interesting narrative thread, I thought, was the one she played in herself. She was a lonely performance artist who worked as a cab driver for the elderly. She falls in love with a shoe salesmen. That storyline seemed the most strained, mostly because I couldn't figure out what was so interesting for her about the shoe guy. But the kids of the shoe salesmen were amazing. And the writing she did for their parts was wonderfully crazy. Especially the littlest kid. He is amazing. What's the movie called? "You and Me and Everyone we Know"

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

ashley howe & brian howe have made another great film!

you can see it here

the color is amazing.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Today It All Sucks...

By 5pm tomorrow I'll be done with my last paper. By 8:30 I'll be drinking with David Buuck. It's been rough, but the ride is almost over. And I took no incompletes.

Friday, April 25, 2008


how are you all?

i'm good.

i'm off to
View Larger Map>kill devil hills, nc for a weekend of writing and flying kites.... all by my lonesome.

very excited.

anyway. the birds are still getting up at 4 am. i saw my first NC tick today. i screamed. i made my friend Tom kill find it. kill it. Des brought it into the building and very irresponsibly flicked it into the office. and that FREAKED ME OUT.

ticks are browner than i imagined them to be.

now i'm terrified of what i'll see.... my first trip to the Outer Banks and the NC coast.

have a good weekend.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

i'm trying

to understand what it is about the birds ... in durham... in Spring.

this is my first SPRING in NC.

things i've noticed:

1. there is a thick green-yellow layer of pollen covering the entire city. if you leave yr windows open [as you must, it was 93 yesterday] then this layer will also be on every surface in yr house. it is like the black dust from the bus system in sf. only it is green-yellow.

1a. i realize that most people would write "yellow-green." i do not know why. it occurs to me that it is, for some reason, more acceptable to write "yellow-green" than "green-yellow," however, upon observation, i am first struck by green and second struck by yellow, thus: green-yellow.

2. since about two weeks ago i find myself again waking to the chirping of birds. this was once a devastating experience for me, as i had so linked the morning birdsongs to a particular woman who ultimately broke my heart. now, though, i once again am able to enjoy this phenomena. 

2a. i wake rather early in the morning and i use the sound of birds to gauge whether or not i should actually get out of bed. i don't mind getting out of bed if it is, say, 6 am. i do mind getting out of bed if it is before 6 am because then i feel as if i will be way too tired that day. my friend, chris vitiello, he subscribes to the belief that if one is awake one should get out of bed and maybe read a book or write poems. chris doesn't have a dog named bear that immediately springs into action the second he knows yr awake, though. 

all of this to say:

the birds start to sing at 4 am in durham.

2b. i don't understand why they are singing so early. the sun is not awake yet. but the birds are. this morning i thought... well, maybe the birds in the South are responsible for waking the sun.
but then i thought maybe the porch lights are too bright and somehow i am participating in a complete re-wiring of the birds' brains... nervous system.... and what might that mean for the future of, not just birds and bird life as we all know it, but, let's say squirrels? rabbits? or, more importantly, my waking habits?

Saturday, April 12, 2008


my mom died fifteen years ago today.

hi mom!


my relationship w/ running has returned to its pre-injury status, and i'm grateful. it seems that jamie and i were both put out of commission for the same length of time, and guillermo went on vacation and decided to use his brain more than his legs ... so we are all in the same place, again, although, i think i'm the least fit [don't tell the boys.].

st. louis was surreal. i'm not sure i will explain that. i will say that all the kates, i think, gave really stellar and interesting readings. i was really into all of them, and not a single word / line / tone sent my attention elsewhere, which is something because, there were 8 [well, i sat for seven]. i could even hear the poets before me, which is usually hard because i'm nervous.

and, after the reading, i stayed in st louis all weekend w/ my best friend from junior high. 

that was so fun and great and we got into the same sort of mishaps we would get into back in the day. 

but i was reminded of myself as a 12 year old which, honestly, i'm not as mean nor as insecure, but, i'm not that different either. i was reading my 8th grade journal and damn.... every day i wanted to die, or i was going to be killed, or my grades sucked, or my boyfriend was a jerk, or i  hated my best friend. or loved her too much. i'm pretty sure i was a lesbian in junior high, but i had no idea what a lesbian was, so i was just miserable.... and very unsure of the people around me. when my best friend moved away when we were 14 or 15.... i was so devastated, and i cried for days and days... because she was the only one who understood me.


see, this is an example of a post that has words but doesn't really say anything.

Friday, April 11, 2008

i have nothing to say.

i'm writing a novel.

it is 80 outside. 

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

the arch from wine

the arch from wine
Originally uploaded by minor americans
my photos. i was too busy chatting to take very many.... i do have some films, though, to upload....

Monday, April 07, 2008

more 8 kates

Originally uploaded by ktc131
that's james, kate schapira, me, and my best friend since junior high, patrice! thanks kate colby!

the eight kates

the eight kates
Originally uploaded by abelz
i'm home.

Monday, March 31, 2008

the ants are back.

apparently it is their house and we only rent it from them over the winter break.


Sunday, March 30, 2008


sometimes i wish sitemeter could give me REASONs for certain google / netscape searches.


especially YOU, UC Santa Cruz person persons!

and the woowie


and the people who always google search raleigh/durham craigslist and come here, instead of going to craigslist.

but you, UC Santa Cruz...

you i am quite curious about.


what should i do in st louis? i'm there the whole weekend hanging out with my best friend from jr high. Saturday night i'm watching basketball in the hotel. otherwise i'm free.


Friday, March 28, 2008

i like when people google search woowie and find our blog, it really is quite wonderful, really.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

hey, ST LOUIS!

Observable Readings presents
April 3, 2008 - 8PM

Kate Colby, Cate Marvin, Katie Ford, Kate Greenstreet, Katie Peterson,
Kate Pringle, Kate Schapira, and Katy Lederer
will fly to St. Louis and read
together on one unprecedented occasion!!

Okay, so it's not entirely unprecedented.
You may remember the
Ten Jens...

The Five Aarons...

and maybe even the Three Stephanies.
But who knew there were so many Kate

*At the Bottleworks in Maplewood* *FREE!*

For directions and more info:

* * * * * * *

Kate Colby is author of Unbecoming Behavior (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2007) and
Fruitlands (Litmus Press, 2006). Recent work can be found in Bay Poetics,
New American Writing and Vanitas. She lives in Providence.

Cate Marvin's first book, World's Tallest Disaster (Sarabande, 2001), was
awarded the Kathryn A. Morton Prize by Robert Pinksy. She is co-editor with
Michael Dumanis of Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century
(Sarabande, January 2006). Her poems have appeared in The Paris Review,
Poetry, Slate, and elsewhere.

Katie Ford is the author of Deposition and Colosseum (Graywolf Press, 2002
and 2008), as well as a chapbook, Storm (Marick Press, 2007). Her work has
appeared in The American Poetry Review, Poets & Writers, Partisan Review,
Seneca Review, and Ploughshares. She is Poetry Editor of New Orleans Review
and currently teaches at Franklin & Marshall College.

Kate Greenstreet is the author of case sensitive (Ahsahta Press, 2006) and
Learning the Language (Etherdome Press, 2005). Visit her online at

Katie Peterson is the author of This One Tree, published by New Issues.
Beginning in the Fall of 2007, she will be the Robert Aird Professor of
Humanities and Poet in Residence at Deep Springs College. She was born in

Kate Pringle has
TWO chapbook: Temper and Felicity are Lovers, out on TAXT and, The Stills on duration press. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Fence, 580 Split, Fourteen Hills, 42opus, AliceBlue, Denver Quarterly, Dusie, foursquare, string of small machines, etc.

Kate Schapira lives and writes in Providence, where she organizes the
Publicly Complex reading series, and teaches throughout Rhode Island. Her
chapbook, Phoenix Memory, is available from horse less press.

Katy Lederer is the author of Winter Sex (Verse Press, 2002) and The
Heaven-Sent Leaf (BOA Editions, forthcoming 2008), as well as the memoir
Poker Face: A Girlhood Among Gamblers (Crown, 2003).

Eileen Myles vs. Justin Timberlake

This is old, but I just found it and thought it HYSTERICAL. How can this guy be serious:

I, Necrophiliac
By Rich Baiocco 02.12.07

I’m not a native of San Diego—and chances are neither are you—but I’ve lived here long enough to call it home, and long enough to take offense to Eileen Myles’ dismissive comments about San Diego’s arts scene in the City Beat cover story (Alone In San Diego, a few weeks ago. First of all, who cares about Eileen Myles? Secondly, who cares about poetry? It’s 2007, and unless you have a band or a movie, it’s extremely difficult to make an artistic impact on society, or cultivate the type of vibrant, thriving scene that Myles was apparently looking for in San Diego. I can’t remember the last time I was so moved by a poem that I bothered to memorize it, yet I know all the words to almost every Justin Timberlake song and I don’t even really like him that much; it’s just saturation, numbers. Sure there are poetry readings here, but what usually comes out of them is less an awakening or a revolution and more a fleeting sense of community perpetuated by likeminded lonely poets desperate to be a part of something; maybe an inspiration or two, and maybe, just maybe, a good poem. And NYC, the “artist-friendly” mecca that Eileen Myles fled, is filled with so many more desperate loners per city block that a poet with even the slightest bit of hustle and enthusiasm can build a scene; but then what? It’s just numbers. It’s just poetry.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

i live in a red state.

i have yet to meet any Republicans.
maybe our mortgage broker is a Republican... if he is, i don't want to know.

i was told by WRAL news that North Carolinians prefer McCain. over half the state will be voting for him.

they must live in Charlotte because i don't think they let Republicans into the Triangle.

Monday, March 24, 2008


thanks jeff, for this jonathan williams post

i was

going to tell you all about my blood last week while it was still fresh
in my mind, but then i saw that my beloved magdalena had actually posted
something [and it was much more interesting than my blood] so i didn't.

but now that i have a green bruise and three needle marks on my right arm i
am reminded that i want to tell you about how i got them

so, i walk into the INJECTION ROOM and i'm thinking, WHAT? and also, wow, i still think of the breakfast club when i hear/see the word INJECTION [i'm old?] and i'm like... aren't i just suppose to drink the contrast? but, no, i get to drink it and get injected with it [and i did say "i've been injected with contrast" all day after that]...

so the guy is getting my veins IV-ready and i'm waiting and he says "you have trouble with needles?" and i say, all tough, "nah, that tattoo took 18 hours. i'm fine with needles." and he's like, "okay."so he goes in the wrong vein and makes some joke about my veins not being very generous and i say something about that being bullshit because i bleed quite well and so he goes in another vein and it works and he is putting the catheter in for the IV and i'm not looking because needles are fine but catheters freak me out.

and then i hear HIM scream...

look down

and my blood is spraying out all over the him.

and. after i am done squirting blood all over the room and him,

that's when i notice he's not even wearing those latex gloves that he's fucking supposed to be wearing.

so i say, "DUDE. aren't you worried that my blood just sprayed all over you?"

and then, yeah, he doesn't have an excuse so it doesn't matter what he says next.

but, damn.

i was so distracted and worried about reacting to the contrast that i completely failed to notice the lack of latex.

that's my story.

anyway. my spleen is fine. i just really wrenched a muscle and am not going to be able to run in that race on the 3/29... and i haven't been able to run for two weeks... which is quite depressing.

i'm writing a lot.

a lot a lot.

what are you doing?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

For the Record...

I just listened to several Jeremiah Wright sermons and I can't say that I thought he said anything that was untrue. What do white people think is going on in this country? My dad just tried to tell me that Wright was a radical. I think my dad just doesn't know any black people or any black history. Why is it so hard for Americans to admit that there is something wrong in this country?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

tried to go to work but almost puked and was so woozy all the letters were spinning on the screen. 


maggie picked me up from work. came home. passed out. now i am awake and not woozy.

going to try and do some work at home now.

i love my job. 

i hate my ribs.

codeine is the kiss of death.
i busted my ribs.

codeine is fine to sleep but such a wretched morning makes.

i can't run in saturday's 5K w/ ken. i am going back to work today, thank god.

been on the couch trying to read and lay flat for two days.

weiner, berrigan, kafka, & hardy.

a lot of CNN and 5 episodes of the sopranos.

how're you?

Sunday, March 09, 2008

the lovely eden reads

the lovely eden reads
Originally uploaded by feeb
more photos from the reading.

molly's gay parrots

molly's gay parrots
Originally uploaded by minor americans
minor american reading: osucha & nicholas at molly rowe's.

Late Night Crowd

Late Night Crowd
Originally uploaded by Ken Rumble
swedish fish photo

Friday, March 07, 2008

tonight !!!!!

you'll have to email me
to get the location folks...
it is someplace ELSE this time!

Tessa Joseph Nicholas' poems have appeared in journals such as Sul
fur, Seneca Review, and Talisman. She received her MFA from Cornell University and her PhD from UNC-Chapel Hill, where she still teaches English and creative writing. She lives in Chatham County, North Carolina, with her husband, baby son, and dogs.

Eden Osucha teaches American literature and culture, and Women's Studies at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. Before her current incarnation as an openly feminist English professor, and all the time in graduate school that preceded it, she worked as a waitress, copy editor, white water rafting guide, office manager,freelance writer,rape crisis hot-line counselor, dental assistant, artist's model, barista, flute instructor, and production assistant for the History Channel. Her writing has appeared in online and in print in MiPoesias, The Village Voice, Talisman, and The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel, and a few other places.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


a while back we had a sestina writing contest at work //we wrote them off-the-clock boss// and chris vitielloposted his on his blog and i didn't post mine because, well, because his is so damn good and writing in the wake of chris vitiello is like touring at the same time as Nirvana [some of you know what i mean]... but now i'm going to post it just because i had fun and i kind of like it // we were supposed to write really bad ones but mine isn't too bad. so here you go.

garbage boomed on ( a cross ( all dilated almos’ twice sunken city
resemble on the wall she say:
itiz da URINISKI, a downy co-llect
where dj equals pirate equals protagonist equals a little scranton-agile
dusted an’ smooth going down, jest like deys told so, possible
but isn’t so much the orifice of the nose that is nether-bloom, nor bud
but that language is a one-room efficiency

suite. o, so sweet an’ all efficiency.
not so loud, how a tree plant itself there. there, there, o , city
crackin’ it at dawn, blessed be thy chains, thy bicycle, and thy bud.
we isn’t goan ta’ pretend no more that is a collection
of all the little things we could a been, Moses, even, possibly
or that wild animal theater attendant, all ‘ceptional an’ agile

smiling no matter what reptile is shredding at yer pants, you ack all agile
then, don’t ya? or else you is stuck in the absolute INefficiency
of yer own damn SELF. possibly, or no possibly
this city
is gonna collect
taxes from yer poor, budding

ass, bud.
one night i hadta walk ‘long the damn telephone line, all agile
an’ shit jest to collect
my money from da’ tenants who is not-so-efficiency
paying me my rent. holla’ dat you city
dwellin’ possibles

first you gots to get fluent. ‘til then it be p to the izzo (possible)
jest like la chupucabra an’ church, lady-bud
you think this is the small time but i tells you, this here is CITYcity
and you jest have to scrum and agile
one up. no, thank you sir, might i have another INefficiency
the US is guardin’ dem collectors.

poor is poor, but one day you might have yr dream : a cul-de-sac, a small collection
of swimming pool possibilities
a righteous appetite and a disaffected one-hit wonder. efficiently
lassoing – hey, what version of lasso do you use, bud?
you is just an anvilparachute portrayin’ all agility
like this is what city is when you knows it all CITYcity

hey, tho. anx, but call collect, next time that lady-bud
you been budding for, possibly? she be all Beowulf on yo’ agile
.(yet delectable) efficiency. remember it when yo’ broke: this here is CITYcity

The John Holmes of Baltimore

The John Holmes of Baltimore
Originally uploaded by Ken Rumble
getting to know jamie g-p is an experience i will never forget.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


you'll have to email me
to get the location folks...
it is someplace ELSE this time!

Tessa Joseph Nicholas' poems have appeared in journals such as Sul
fur, Seneca Review, and Talisman. She received her MFA from Cornell University and her PhD from UNC-Chapel Hill, where she still teaches English and creative writing. She lives in Chatham County, North Carolina, with her husband, baby son, and dogs.

Eden Osucha teaches American literature and culture, and Women's Studies at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. Before her current incarnation as an openly feminist English professor, and all the time in graduate school that preceded it, she worked as a waitress, copy editor, white water rafting guide, office manager,freelance writer,rape crisis hot-line counselor, dental assistant, artist's model, barista, flute instructor, and production assistant for the History Channel. Her writing has appeared in online and in print in MiPoesias, The Village Voice, Talisman, and The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel, and a few other places.
guillermo parra, jamie lewis, & i...
are east-campus-running rockstars.

we made it before the storm.

now there are tornado watches.

i have no clue how to deal with tornados.

i much prefer earthquakes. 
)no warning(

i am sweating profusely.

blog: i think if you got a facelift we could maybe work something out.

if you would just stop trying to be so damn cool and name-droppy we'd get somewhere...

Irresponsibility is good. damn good.

i think i saw a dead bear just off the freeway on the way home from work.

i think i am going to run outside in the almost-rain.

i have been extremely irresponsible.

maybe the bear was not dead, just sleeping.

are there california bears in north carolina?

i'm still not speaking to my blog.

i meant bear bears not gay bears.

Monday, March 03, 2008


i'm crawling into bed with Irresponsibility tonight and you can't stop me.
dear blog.

in some ways i pity you. you seem so empty now without me. as if you had no prior identity. no true sense of self. even so. you shouldn't have torn up all my books while i was in baltimore. that was really uncalled for. the pants i don't mind. they're too big for me now anyway. but... my books? what were you thinking? you are such an asshole blog. our therapist said you might "act out" like this. 

yr so fucking predictable. 

and typical, really, it is so OBVIOUS why you, BLOG, would tear up my books... jealous of other pages getting my attention. what an asshole.

i want you to know i had such a good time without you this weekend. and the fact that you sabotaged my cameras...... did nothing to dampen my mood. pictures were still taken. films were still made. all without you.


Friday, February 29, 2008

dear blog.

i know our therapist told us to take a break from each other while we were breaking up... but i just want you to know that i'm angry and hating you.

dear blog,

why are you dragging ken and chris into all this?


i totally resent you. you just piss me off.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

dear blog,

since we broke up last night i have started running. and i am going to Baltimore with Ken Rumble this weekend to see him read with Gina Myers & justin sirois. i'm going to get to hang out a little with ryan walker, too, i hope. i'm moving on blog. moving on.

i'll probably have a film when i get back. maybe we can talk about it? that's all we ever did well blog. that's all.
dear blog:

i'm breaking up with you because you are a filmmaker and you don't understand me.

it seems like you should, but you don't.

chris says i must explain this. that you won't understand right away.

you'll have to wait.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

as you can see

i'm not so into the blog lately.

it has been fun. but maybe it is over? maybe we can be friends.

maybe i just need some space. do my own thing. you do yrs. maybe get in touch again in a few months. o, sure... we can still meet up for poetry readings. totally. but... i just feel... a little... i don't... stifled. it isn't you. it's me. i'm going through a thing. i just want to be free to do whatever i want. take a break. run a marathon. write some poems. maybe even finish my books. you know... i'm going to be 36 soon. i have things i need to do. i just don't want to be linked to you so much. i've got so much to do and you .... you have all the space in the world to be whatever you want to be... 

i don't know what else to say.

i'm just not feeling it.

it isn't you.

it's me.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Capital Theater, Passaic, 1979

"Meet me in the fields behind the dynamo!"

my mixtape list.

last night i read w/chris vitiello in brian howe's MIXTAPE series. it was a lot of fun. chris and i decided to switch off reading AND riff off what the other had last read... so... it was even more fun.

here's what i read:

SET 1 [responding to Chris's set 1]

"what i know about henry darger" (Collage History of Art) JOHN D'AGATA, excerpt from Halls of Fame

"Penrod and the Rattlesnake Boy" HENRY DARGER, excerpt from The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glendeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion

"The Collector" passages H4a,1 & H4a,2. WALTER BENJAMIN, The Arcades Project


Spoke, HANNAH WEINER, first 15 pages.

"Sonnet L," and "The Secret Life of Ford Maddox Ford," TED BERRIGAN, The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan


Memoirs of My Nervous Illness, BRANDON BROWN

"A Red Wheelbarrow," excerpts from Homage to Creeley, and "8" from Language (for Maggie), JACK SPICER, The Collected Books of Jack Spicer

"Literature and the Right to Death," MAURICE BLANCHOT, The Work of Fire


"Fugitive State" SUZANNE STEIN, Both Both in loving memory of PZA issue.


Conference, STACY DORIS.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


jack peyton eli manning pringle-zurawski!
and, yes, we are reading the fucking awesome new book from chris vitiello ... which you can order HERE.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

haysi fantayzee - shiny shiny

this was THE song.

haysi fantayzee

i used to love these guys when i was a kid.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

SATURDAY FEB 2nd @ 8PM : david need & elise ficarra!


elise ficarra is a writer/poet who lives in san francisco and is an affiliate artists at headlands center for the arts. she co-edits minor/american and manages the poetry center at sfsu. swelter, her first book, came out in 2005 and she expects to complete her second book this year. her work has appeared in 26, bird dog, 14 hills, parthenon west and
other journals. one spring she had a blog for two weeks.

[photos by me!]

grew up in Cleveland and Massachusetts and has been living in Durham since 1994. He teaches South Asian religions at Duke, as well as classes on Religion and Poetry, Siberian Literature, the films of Andre Tarkovsky and Stanley Kubrick, and Beat Generation and Russian New Wave writing. A one-time participant in Boston’s long-running Stone Soup series (1976-82), David’s poetry, memoirs, translations and essays have recently been published in Talisman, Fascicle, and Mipoesias.

Things you might not know about David.

1) When David was five, he and his older brother would walk to school. His brother had been blown away by reading the story of Joan of Arc in a comic book, and, for about a week, read from a longer biography while they walked. Although they were not Catholics, for months afterwards, David and his brothers would talk about Joan after the lights were off, imagining pilgrimages to the place where her ashes fell into the Seine. David would later write a story called “St. Joan and the Bear”.
2) Two of David’s first loves were older women, one of whom was a professional astrologer. As a result, David can do the astrological dozens with the best of them.
3) Between the ages of 17 and 24, David hitchhiked across country five times, once making it in four days in order to catch Patti Smith’s Wave tour concert at UMASS Amherst. His worse ride was with a van load of Viet Nam vets, and one hippie from Oregon who’d been living in a tree for three years. The driver was going to Minneapolis to sign up to fight with the Contras against the Sandinistas. As the sun set, the Van picked up a girl, hitchhiking East, carrying two shopping bags full of rocks she’d been picking up alongside the road. At the outskirts of Minneapolis, the van ran out of gas. David looked around at the guys and the girl, and got out and started to walk. A little later, the van stopped; they’d gotten gas, did David want a ride to the interchange? The girl wasn’t in the van. Getting in, David asks, “Where’s the girl? “Oh,” they said, “she got out and ran across the highway and started hitching the other way.”
4) When David was in high school, Dostoyevsky’s “The Idiot” stood out in his mind among books he read; now he is sweet married to a Massachusetts girl who teaches Dostoyevsky and whose favorite book was “The Idiot”.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

maggie says:

preliminaries! that's when katie gets pregnant!


aw, come on! edwards has such a boner for the presidency!


i love my new job. i do. i love it. thanks cv.

Monday, January 21, 2008

there has been a lot of crime around here lately. a lot of gun crime. we're both feeling less safe than we did in the Haight. mostly armed robberies, but a Duke PhD was found shot to death in his apartment, some of the Latino victims of armed robbery have been shot [not clear as to why only the Latino victims have been shot, so far], an increase of door-to-door panhandling...

i actually got crazy mad at a guy for coming up to me in front of my house asking for money to pay his rent. we've had so many burglaries, robberies in the area.... i told him to look around... asked him why he was in this neighborhood looking for money since it is obviously NOT the neighborhood with any expendable income... told him to go to the other side of town for it and to get away from us. 

i felt a little bad. i was quite loud & mean & fed up with it. but, truthfully, scared. we're very happy to have such a LOUD dog. but we are very unhappy with our neighborhood right now.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

OLD Photo

A friend of mine from college just put this on Facebook. It must be from my junior or senior year of college. I'm with my friend Tony Morgan. I'm shocked at how much I've aged. It's the first time that I really "see" myself aging. Scary. Kate says I look "too gay" and that she wouldn't have dated me then. Mean. It's on the main green at Brown.

o, my dear suzanne pleshette, i will miss you so. you and james garner all western and making me all gay. with that deep, sexy voice of yrs and yr dark hair...

o, suzanne pleshette. i will always love you.

I Miss Percy, Too!

Anne Boyer is a force of nature. She made me want to clean up my ways and be me again. Or not be me anymore. Or what I mean is she made me realize I wasn't writing enough and that I didn't have to be scared of writing (I've been scared of writing ever since I finished my novel -- it's much easier to be a grad student than to write). She made me think that writing was a way of life much like breathing or taking out the trash and that made it seem easy enough. So the day after she left I wrote all these cool things down in my notebook and today I was thinking of looking at them again and typing them up but I feel all phobic about it.

And I've been really sad about Percy. For some reason his last day with us keeps playing out in my mind. And I think I just miss his friendship. I feel strangely alone. I want my little blind dog guiding me. I miss how little he was and how he would relax in my arms and how his little body would wrap around my chest and how he would rest his chin against my shoulder. I miss the old man sigh he would let out as he was settling himself into bed for the night.

I think things would be better if Anne and Percy were here. But I must learn to carry on. Considering I haven't "blogged" in a year or so, maybe this is, as the psychologists say, "a baby step."

The publisher wrote me and said the typeset manuscript was in the mail.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

The biography tells us that Kafka once read aloud to some friends the beginning of his novel The Trial, which deals explicitly with the problem of divine justice. His listeners laughed through their tears, and Kafka too had to laugh so hard that his reading was interrupted.
Thomas Mann, Homage


i so didn't think it was funny. it really didn't even make me chuckle. it disturbed me, annoyed me, confronted me, abused me, it did many things to me but one thing it did not do at all is make me laugh.

is it not funny when you know that it really happens?

because... Kafka died before these things started happening. right?

do i have a poor sense of humor?

did you think it was hilarious? uproarious?

percy already sick of his new brother's breath.

i miss this.

Friday, January 18, 2008

i had a dream last night that i went into my neighbor's house with my neighbor and another woman... and i noticed that there were all these ghosts in her house and she was very frightened... not of the ghosts but of me for being able to see them. so, she tried to kick us out, but i pushed through the door. she said, "fine, come help me with the diabetic ghost upstairs." so i go up with her and there is this old man laying in bed. he is afraid of me, but i say "why haven't you really died yet?" and he says, "i'm afraid to die." and i say, "but you aren't really living, and you aren't really dying, yr just in bed!" and he says, "i don't know how to die." and i say, "well, was there a white light or something? why didn't you go into that?" and he says, "i was afraid of it!" and i stop for a second... look around... over his head is a large, framed, autographed, COLOR... photo of TONY DANZA. so i say, "if tony danza went with you would you be afraid?" and he says, "o, no, i could never be afraid if tony danza were with me!" so i ask the photograph of tony danza if he'd take the diabetic ghost to the white light for me... and tony danza comes out of the photo and says, "okay, fine." tony danza picks the diabetic ghost up and they disappear.

later, and this is what woke me up, i had a dream i ate a raw quarter pounder from McDonalds.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

my best friend forever from jr high [actually, she was probably my first love, too!] just found me on MySpace.

i'm delighted.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

i accidentally threw away my BLOGLINES button and now i have no idea.

i feel free.

maybe it shall have to remain thrown away because in my free time i'm trying to answer all of Kafka's questions and not-read Blanchot which of course involves Bartleby.

i forgot to tell anne that i wasn't the only one to
hey, anne, i wasn't the only one.
now i'm just an average american.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


anne boyer was and is so great we had the loveliest visit with her remembering our brains and guts. yesterday she went home and bear promptly had an acid reflux anxiety attack because she left. bear really loves anne and not just because she's so stylish. maggie was a little depressed yesterday, too, but me... i was just fine. [that is sarcasm.] the house feels completely different without anne in it.

the reading with ken and anne was awesome. i am very proud of myself for putting those two together for a reading. thank you, thank you.


jeff davis just sent me a link to some to some old ed dorn photos and thensome.

we are still reading through subs to minor american 1.2. we got so many and much and e is in india. we will get through them and back to you soon, though, and apologize profusely for thinking we'd be done by now.

i'm reading blanchot and kafka. i'm starting a new job in one week as a Copy Editor. this is very exciting as the place is full of poets which is always exciting.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

a little darger?

iris vitiello is so cool.

have you seen her santa film?

some stuff i remembered today.

i’m not going to pretend i’m not writing this. this will stand for what it is. how very much it affects my vanity. i meant to write however much it affects my vanity but i didn’t. i’m writing love poems for people i don’t love.
it is in the eyes

white letters white letterspoached in water set adrift
white letters whiteyou say she pulled them out
white letters white white whitefor modesty’s sake

i say that wouldn’t make me believe
just ill. if you force the issue
then maybe i’d agree that something there was o so
catholic. no, i’m not trying to write or anything.

the great feeling is that you ask very little and you get very little.

the language confuses it. makes you read yellow instead of gold. she said

the yellow walls remind me of the orange sweater that he took me in

meaning she was upset by this and not wanting yellow walls

but, that’s a lie, actually, because what she really said was

when my retarded cousin was 18 years old she molested me and no one in my family would do anything about it because she didn’t know any better... i was only six. see how they hurt me?

i won’t lie. it was heavy. and what that had to do with the colors of yellow and gold and orange is something she could only explain. i just didn’t wear those colors. how could i?

when someone has been hurt very badly by sex i think maybe it isn’t something someone can really get over. and how can you demand it? how can you expect it? what will you do when there is no recovery from that kind of pain? but that wasn't sex. it isn't sex when it is that.

she did recover.

i was thinking about it again the other day. it didn’t really crack the way it used to. the name escapes me but the organ is so very loud that i forget my misremembering colors.

or disease.

a plummet and then the door creaks
a voice says “what do you want”
and the door creaks some more.

i can’t think about that question without grunting. more creaks. a dog barks and a train is blowing. doesn’t the wind always hammer? just like doors always creak. and floors. and dogs always bark. the whispering will get you nowhere i’m already pissed off by all this normalcy.

all these fragments really mean is i’m an asshole and shouldn’t be trusted.
the grammar induces convulsions.
my grammar induces my own convulsions.
i hedge at the writing of you. i want to vomit into my keyboard and pull up something beautiful, something that people will want to read, but mostly i just want to pull you up out of these fonts and rub what is left of my misery all over yr body.

Friday, January 04, 2008


<---photo by hazel!
the minor american reading series is back! bring yr bottles and yr musical instruments
to 811 wilkerson ave at 7:30 for:

Anne Boyer was born in Topeka, Kansas, raised in Salina, Kansas, and educated at the public universities of Kansas. She now lives in Overland Park, Kansas, and teaches writing and other things at the Kansas City Art Institute. With K. Silem Mohammad she edits the poetry journal Abraham Lincoln and with Robert J. Baumann she curates An Actual Kansas Reading Series in Lawrence, Kansas. Anne Boyer's works include Anne Boyer's Good Apocalypse (Effing 2006),Selected Dreams with a Note on Phrenology (Dusie 2007), and The Romance of Happy Workers (Coffee House 2008). She is at work on many projects including a novel, Joan, a book of poetry, Ma Vie en Bling, a book of imagined things, Art is War, and a book of bad translations, Ill New Wave Ho.

photo by klpringle ----->

Ken Rumble is the author of Key Bridge (Carolina Wren Press, 2007) which one reviewer describes as an "exuberant free-verse tour of Washington, D.C." He works as the marketing director for the Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his daughter. His poems have appeared in the literary journals Octopus, Fascicle, Coconut, Cutbank, Parakeet, the tiny, Carolina Quarterly, and others.