Thursday, August 30, 2007

Every Starving Artist

Caught up with my old homie, DJ Joemama. He's got some new mixes and his throwing parties all over SD. Fliers all over the myspace. Keeping a warm spot in the house where I used to live in North Park.

Look for him and other ESA (that's Every Starving Artist) events at a hoppin' spot near you.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


It started.
I ran down there around 6 this morning--couldn't really sleep. I got it cranking, then it back-fired louder than a shotgun, so I promptly got out of there before someone in an upstairs apartment called a cop.

I went back to it this afternoon, and I had it running for a good little while, but only with the chock out a bit and leaning on the throttle a touch. My initial impulse to keep monkeying with it has been kinda squelched by the very real fact that some of the tuning instructions in the book I'm looking at are very unclear with lousy photographs. Plus it keeps mentioning "special tools" that I don't have, and am not in a position to buy. Besides, don't you think I'm cramming enough stuff in that tiny space?

The good people down at the local bike shop said they can tune it up for about $40. So, I'll let them take it on Monday. There's one voice in my head saying "Dude, just save yourself a few bucks and do it yourself" but I'd rather listen to the voice that's saying "If you keep messing with it, guessing exactly what to do next, you're gonna break it." He's right. That guy in my head, he's pretty sharp.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

6 Hours and 15 Minutes Later

Totally tackled the carbs today. Highlights:

Started by removing the seals to the head. The little yellow thing is the plug to eliminate the pesky vacuum advance.

A lovely void...and now you have part of my license plate number.

This s when i was just starting. Notice how dirty the lower halves of the float bowls are.

I was trying to shoot the grit on the jet needle cover here from the third carb, but instead you can see how much cleaner the first two are. All metal parts that weren't to be totally replaced from the rebuild kit were dunked in a cleaning solution for about 20 minutes each.

See, I'm a-scrubbin'.

Finally, this is how I left the beast at 8:30 or so with a battery charger on it. I went out for a little while (chill & return some videos), and when I came back, the charger was unplugged. I can only assume it was the person in the next spot, as their car was missing. I hope s/he doesn't unplug it when they get back tonight. Really, I hope they're not coming back tonight. Maybe they're staying out, getting some action.

I'll try to start it up tomorrow. I also have a theory on how to not replace that gas tank. It doesn't go with that body, but it looks kinda cool. More on that as it comes.

In po' news, my students knew nothing of MtvU's Ashbery-project. But they now know a good deal about Simic. Yes.


While the Coffee Percolates

As for the big carb repair, I'm doing that tomorrow. Maybe today. Teaching at 11 is the priority. But I did take apart the petcock (this valve thing) and clean it out. Also brought it down to the shop, and the guy bench-tested it. He opened it up and messed with it a little, disengaging the vacuum advance feature (which is not original to this model and more of a pain than anything else anyway). The next step is gonna have lots of photos...partially for you, mostly so I can see how things are supposed to be put back together.

Meanwhile, have I introduced you to my little friend? The plug on the front of my stove? She's kind of awesome, giving me a wonderfully simple place to plug in the coffee grinder & percolator. Fantastic.

The most interesting bit I've read today, I think, is from C. Dale Young's blog. The one about MtvU's Poet Laureate project. Further, they're promoting the National Poetry Series open contest, but it doesn't seem to be clear if Mtv is joining the list of sponsor's for the NPS, simply promoting the already-established contest or what. I think it's the latter, since the NPS website doesnt' mention Mtv at all. However, it doesn't seem to be updated for the 2008 deadline. So, we'll see? (in all fairness, I haven't read the Chris Wiman link on C. Dale's blog yet. But I'm gonna after I click "publish post.")

I watched the little clip of an Ashbery poem, and I thought it looked kinda cool. And I've very much a fan of students getting exposed to some poetry. But I kinda wish Mtv would just promote the actual Poet Leureate. Nevermind that I like Simic way more than Ashbery. WAY more. Wouldn't it be better for poetry AND the MtvU demographic that Mtv to avoid the confusion? Wouldn't it also be less work for Mtv to just go with what's already established? I've got an hour and 15 minutes of teaching today. I'll run it by my Freshmans. They'll fill me in on what the MtvU-generation is feeling.

Oh. Democracy Now! did a great show focusing on Max Roach the other day. I think you can get the episode's video for free on itunes as a podcast.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

That Simple?

First thing's first: Laurel Snyder's has another baby on the way from No Tell Books. It's called The Myth Of Simple Machines.

And speaking of simple machines, I'm all over it:
The new work-space in the garage:

The focus:

And this time, I had some help:

(Dana and Laura wanted to see the bike, so I went down to show them but then I got all curious and started taking stuff apart. Tank was full of gas, so that's Dana and I (to the left with the head-tilt) trying to drain it. After a little irritation, it seems the problem might not be the carbs at all, but is more likely to be this the fuel valve/strainer:

On the menu today:
*Get new oil and filter for motorcycle
*purchase spark plug socket
*set up air tank in garage
*take apart the little bastard above and clean it
*put it all back together
*hope it starts?

This is going to be slightly frustrating because I don't really know exactly what I'm doing when I'm working on a motorcycle. It's not an MG, that's for sure. I am making pretty good guesses at best on that anyway.

Next post: "Adam and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"
(if cleaning the valve works, not only did I get this bike for an amazing price, but I have another example of how mechanics are not my friends.)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Where To Work?

The plan for last night was supposed to be stay in, write and read a whole bunch. Then Lillian came over. Then she checked e-mail and clicked on my manuscript and started tearing through it. Matt swung by and we spent a pretty solid chunk of evening talking about my poems. I didn't get a single new word down last night, but I got some of the best feed back EVER!

Then she took photos.
She's updated her website, if you like to look at pictures.

Speaking of working on poems, I need a place to work on this carburetor. No need to be on the floor of the garage, but there's only so much room in this joint. I'm going to go back into bed and figure it out.

Lots of sonnets lately. Here's on by William Matthews


"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
What the child cries out, "An Exterminator!"?
One diligent student in Mrs. Taylor's
class will get an ant farm for Christmas, but
he'll not see industry; he'll see dither.
"The ant sets an example for us all, "
wrote Max Beerbohm, a master of dawdle,
"but it is not a good one." These children
don't hope to outlast the doldrums of school
only to heft great weights and work in squads
and die for their queen. Well neither did we.
And we knew what we didn't want to be:
the ones we looked down on, the lambs of God,
blander than snow and slow to be cruel.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Carr Series for 2007/08

The Newness

It's my bike. An 1982 Honda CB650. Space to take photos was a little cramped. More to come:

The project with this is going to be rebuilding the Carbs. The bike won't run until I do that, so I'm ordering new gasket sets today, and following the directions in a book with meticulous precision and care. CARBS:

Homie-Matt is also thinking of getting a bike, and Professa Jess's got his rides, so I'm thinking its time to form a gang. Of poets. On motorcycles. I believe Jess's response to this idea was "Great. We can ride around and hurl metaphor at each other." Yes.


Meanwhile, my freshman comp class seems like a decent bunch. I don't know them too well yet, but I've got a dog in my class. He's a helper dog for one of the students--7 year old black lab. Good dog. And the room's pretty cramped, so the student is right near my desk and the dog is sitting like 3 feet from me. I wonder if the feeling is the same as when you're a kid and there's a class-pet (like a hamster or armadillo or something in a small cage in the back of the room). I don't know. Never had class pets.

Stay tuned for the Great Carb-rebuild!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Watch Out...

For new little bits of art, don't forget about Micah.
For new beats that I mean to download before sun-down today, it's SGM.
And Adam's got a new toy...
...stay tuned. the corn.

Monday, August 20, 2007

10 Years of Driving the 1972 MGB

I post pictures of different parts of my car all the time, but it was 10 years ago today my driver's license became valid.
Here we are at the East Meadow High School parking lot in 1997:

And we stopped together in Arizona on our way to San Diego in 2003:

If you find a cupcake lying around, pretend it's for the anniversary of my long standing relationship with driving my MG.

Other people born today that make me feel cool: H.P. Lovecraft, Robert Plant, & Issac Hayes.

POEMS! by Pedro Pietri.

Telephone Booth Number 301

when I was very young
I used to have a many
imaginary girlfriends
now that I am an adult
I miss them very much

Telephone Booth Number 898 1/2

if you are
unable to erase it
it means that you
have not written down
anything to erase
& don't have to fear
being quoted just
when you are about
to contradict what
you didn't write down

Telephone Booth number 32439

if you hit a poet
& he doesn't hit you back
leave town immediately
take out life insurance
get a new identity
unite with transvestites
sleep with unlisted numbers.

If anyone knows were there's a book length collection of Pietri's Telephone Booth poems, I'd love to know.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

On The Menu

In case you've heard otherwise, breakfast is still the most important meal of MY day:

(that's two free-ranged eggs up, local-farmed goat cheese, homemade hummus, bread from the bakery, organic grapes, and 8OclockInTheMorning coffee).

Meanwhile, we've been busy around the building. I'm no longer the only MFA in my office space, so all the PhDs are gonna be on their toes. I think we're going to start a Typewriter Quartet, kinda like this magical group right here...

But the Ninth Letter office is sparkling. Spent 8 hours in there yesterday. Has anyone read the latest Quarterly West yet (the one with poems by Adam Clay, among many other awesomes)? Pretty wild. I should have held that one up, but the last 9L was pretty great too. And I've never believed in a t-shirt more than the one I'm wearing. In the sonic-abyss that is any kind of "club scene" in Chambana, IL, indeed, DJ Fresh One Saved My Life. This places needs a Bar Dynamite.

Slung in the hammock today, I'm reading the rest of Dean Young's Skid & Alex Lemon's Mosquito as well as a new poem by one of my wonderful new peers.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


It's that time of year again: whole bunch of new faces in the department, and I have to pound away at my syllabus, figure out what in the texts will keep me engaged. How many poems will I expose my Comp class to just to keep the whole thing nice and spicy? (there's no way I'm not going to ask them to read some journals. Maybe the last OPEN CITY with Prose by Poets.

Speaking of journals, a couple of poems I wrote are going to be in an upcoming issue of Caffeine Destiny. If you go there now, you'll see pretty hot work by Mary B, John Gallaher, and a bunch of others who can't be overlooked.

And speaking of things that can't be overlooked, while people are getting all Orientated, it's getting to the season where I live in the English Building again. If only I could find that Vespa (with or w/o a side car) or any decent bike--not ...cycle, but with an engine--so I can enjoy what's left of the driving-season. Really, there are two months or so left, but I want something new to work on, photograph, and post so, in the event you need to know, you can always look over here for mechanical tips.

Small older car tip: In really warm weather like this, if you have an electric choke on your carburetor, you'll idle smoother if you give a turn to the idle screw. The air's hot enough, and that electric choke is only doing what it wants to do when it's cold.

Last thing: I think I'm getting rid of my vinyl & turntable. Any DJs out there want some classic rock? If you want to cut it up like Still Life (download Unfadeable now!), I'll have you covered.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

This Just In...

Friday, August 10, 2007

If You're in SD

There's also this--on the band-wagon:

And, let's not forget, pre-season has begun. Jets win 31 to 16 over a Vick-less Atlanta.


If you didn't know, I happen to love radio; especially independent radio (see FRSD, WEFT, and stations that are run out of college's no matter how boring the Djs are. This one, and maybe this one too (and mad ups to stations that just play really good music while you're on their site like Ninjatune & the SGM Blog)).

There was a story on Democracy Now! this morning about how the FCC is allowing not-for-profits to secure their own radio stations for one week in Oct. Apparently it's pretty difficult for an organization to get a radio station unless you're a giant media force, so this is pretty neat. Just putting it out there. All the info is Over Here.

Wouldn't it be kinda cool if the Academy or Po' Foundation invested in stations and covered readings both big & small(er) but AWESOME?!

Just saying.
Radio is good. I like the internet the way it is too.
Eggs are good too:

Thursday, August 9, 2007

What's Been Doing

Not much at all. Been "hanging around" the apartment for many hours a day, and the widget says Sunday's supposed to be 104 degrees. If you have time like me, try making these for your coffee:

The coffee-cubes. A favorite since 2001. Chill your mud without diluting the flava.

It's Philip Larkin's birthday. My copy of his collected is protecting the bathroom ninja from rain:

Be careful. He's watching.

And a poem by Larkin:


If I were call in
To construct a religion
I should make use of water.

Going to church
Would entail a fording
To dry, different clothes;

My liturgy would employ
Images of sousing,
A furious devout drench,

And I should raise in the east
A glass of water
Where any-angled light
Would congregate endlessly.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Good Dog

My mother had to put Rocket down last night. He had a good run.

The Dog by Russell Edson

A dog hangs in the kitchen , his back stuck to the ceiling. An old woman tries to work him loose with the handle of her broom.
The dog struggles, but the more he struggles the deeper he sinks into the ceiling. He growls and snaps. He implores and whines, swallowing and chewing; his tongue curling in and out of his mouth, as though he lapped water...

Finally only the dark little dots of his footpads can be seen. They hear him whining inside the ceiling...

The dog...? says the old woman.
The dog is ruined, says her husband.
The dog...? says the old woman.
It's the ceiling, says her husband.
The dog...? says the old woman.
It ate the dog, the ceiling ate the dog, says her husband.
The dog...? says the old woman.
...The dog, says the old man.

Monday, August 6, 2007


The heat is obscene. Vilde even. Thankfully it stayed in the 80s just long enough for me to complete the requirements for my motorcycle license. So seriously, Vespa w/sidecar. Help me out.

Davenport's been spending a whole lot of time with my manuscript, and that's great. For the most part it's been constructive and positive but there's one poem that he "hates more than everything." Furthermore, if anyone likes that poem, he vows to hate them too--and I ain't tellin' which one it is.

An unusual amount of people have been talking about the
local food coop, so I checked it out today, and it ain't bad. Way cheaper than the local health food store, and directly on my way home from the English Building. They got this coffee that I've been eying, so I got a 1/2 lb. to percolate. I mostly like my cup o' mud black, no milk, no sugar, no politics, but Fair Trade seems like the right thing to do. And it's not ok to skimp on the coffee--unless you're a truck stop or a roach coach. From those heros, I expect only the dregs and am never disappointed.

Time to return to the hammock, reading Desolation Angels between naps.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

I Know I Feel Better

Everything's moved in. I've even created (from thin air) some counter space where none existed before. And put the wonderful squiggly light bulbs in--gotta think in terms of saving a few bucks for Stefi Weisburd's forth coming The Wind-up Gods. She's written some of my favorite poems 9L's ever published. EVER!

Still have much to hang on the walls, but the Bua's are up. If you wanna send small cool things to my new address, email and I'll tell you where I'm at.

PS - I don't think there's room in this place for a cat--but I'm kitty-sitting the one with abnormally short legs for the next two weeks. We're gonna watch Leaving Las Vegas together's love flying Elvi (that's more than one Elvis).

Thursday, August 2, 2007

It's Moving Day!

In case anyone was worried, Kornell is safely moved into his new spot. However, I fear there could be an avalanche at any moment as I've never unpacked a truck so full-to-the-brims.

Today's the day I move into my studio. I like to think it's my own little private room at a colony...though I've yet to go to a colony. The day is over when the hammock goes up.

Have you read Barn Owl Review's blog yet?

This just in: I'm in the market for a Vespa with a sidecar. If any of you have one that you're itchin' to get rid of, lemme know! It's like this.

Update: I'm in. My feet hurt, and the hammock isn't up. But that's for tomorrow I guess. Also have to pick up some of the same non-sense that has to get picked up every damn time a new spot is moved into.

Meanwhile, the move was entertaining as Lillian told me Simic is the new Poet Laureate (won the Wallace Stevens $100Large, etc, to which Russ responded, "Isn't he that guy who wrote that one book and then wrote it again and again like 18 more times?"

"Yup. That's the guy," and I'll defend the man with gusto. GUSTO!


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