Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Sound of Music

This link right here, in these very words, will bring you to a video clip about the art of the avant-garde music-steez that are rumbling and stirring in San Diego. It features interviews on the subject with old and dear friends Jamie Godley & Zuri Waters (links to the right).

When I return to that beautiful city, you're all welcome to come by for some horchatta & fish tacos.

(Photo of OB at the top by Chris Vannoy)

NYC & Chicago (June 9th & 10th)

Click on over to Ninth Letter's blog for details on our Two-Cities-At-Once Weekend Plans for June 9th & 10th. If you're in NYC or Chicago, we'd love to see you.

Plus, the 9L Web-store is back up (but we'll have specials on the new issue, subscriptions and t-shirts at the events).

It's also Whitman's Birthday (188, but doesn't look a day over 69!)

If you remember, raise a glass to the ol' boy. Instead of a poem, click this link to get to the Prairie Home Companion show and scroll down to Segment 3 to hear "Song of Myself" read by Allen Ginsberg, Robert Bly, and Garrison Keiller....if you want. I'm not trying to tell you what to do...just suggesting.

Happy Birthday.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Kibbles & Bits

The Sleeping Giant Music Download page is chalk full of killer DJ sets, and summer is all about feelin' the breeze in ya groove. Still Life is my favorite!

In other news, I was a finalist for Bread Loaf, but I always check the box that says if I ain't waiting tables, I ain't going. There's only so much dough. But it's nice to get the complimentary "sorry." But Vermont is far, and I'm not trying to leave the house too much. Blessings in everything.

Speaking of writing and stuff, I've got an extra typewriter around this joint. It's a portable Olympia. Anyone want it? If you do, shoot over and e-mail. It'll cost a chunk to ship anywhere, but maybe if you'll be in Chicago at Printer's Row in a week or two, I'll just bring it and you can have it!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Bad Ass...

First, a poem by Steve Davenport:

Murfy Blesses The Cowboy of Drunken Love's Love

Here's some stuff from last night, cowboy. Lizard-skin moon.
Boots black. That long-finned Cadillac convertible
Oakley loaned you and Tonto outside of Tulsa.
On the hood the shrunken head of Wallace Stevens
bobbing like a compass thinking west. Accident
she said. Liquor and love make corpses of us all.
Poets' tht taxidermy of red weather.
Taxidermy's the poetry of body bags.
That much you can remember. And down the highway
Tonto calling the shots, the cigarettes flicking
like fireflies, and bodies scattering like empties.
This isn't the way you planned it. So there's no God
and things have a way of turning to massacre.
The good news is frontier. Baggage is part of it.

You can listen to him read it
right here.

Meanwhile, it's getting hot out there. So I've made good on the threats I've made to myself, and have buzzed my head:

I've never done this to my head before, so have mixed feelings. On the one hand, it makes life a little less warm, plus I get the added bonus of seeing exactly what's going on on my skull. It could have been thinner up there...but I seem to be doing better than expected. Yet, on the other hand, no matter how hard I try, I don't think I look nearly as badass as Davenport:

But I'm cool with that. I have years to work on it. Look over to the right to find a link to his book, Uncontainable Noise, and check it out for some gritty summer reading.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Art in 3-D

Geri recommended artist Marguerite Kahrl, and so I pass on this wonderful work to you. The Meek & Timid Action Figures are adorable and the Noble Savages take me back to Jim Henson Storyteller-esque memories.

Meanwhile, I recently acquired a crock pot. Never had one before. Any ideas? Recipes? I hear people make lasagna in these things, but I'm not sure if I wanna get into that. While I wait for your ideas, I'm reading Before You She Was A Pit Bull. Hot.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

A Poem by Paul Voili

Extenuating Circumstances

I don't know how fast I was going
but, even so, that's still
an intriguing question, officer,
and deserves a thoughtful response.
With the radio unfurling
Beethoven's Ode to Joy, you might
consider anything under 80 sacrilege.
Particularly on a parkway as lovely
as the one you're fortunate enough
to patrol‹and patrol so diligently.
A loveliness that, if observed
at an appropriate rate of speed,
affords the kind of pleasure
which is in itself a reminder
of how civilization depends
on an assurance of order and measure,
and the devotion of someone
like yourself to help maintain it.
Yes, man the measurer!
The incorrigible measurer.
And admirably precise measurements
they are‹Not, of course, as an end
in themselves but, lest we
forget, a means to propel
us into the immeasurable,
where it would be anybody's guess
how fast the west wind was blowing
when it strummed a rainbow
and gave birth to Eros.
If we accept that a parkway
is a work of art, the faster
we go the greater the tribute
to its power of inspiration,
a lyrical propulsion that approaches
the spiritual and tempts‹demands
the more intrepid of us
to take it from there.
That sense of the illimitable,
when we feel we are more the glory
than the jest or riddle of the world
‹that's what kicked in, albeit
briefly, as I approached
the Croton Reservoir Bridge.
And on a night like this, starlight
reignited above a snowfall's last
flurry, cockeyed headlights scanning
the girders overhead, eggshell
snowcrust flying off the hood,
hatching me on the wing
like a song breaking through prose,
the kind I usually sing
through my nose:

So much to love,
A bit less to scorn
What have I done?
To what end was I born?

To teach and delight.
Delight . . . or offend.
Luck's been no lady,
Truth a sneaky friend.

Got the heater on full blast,
Window jammed down,
Odometer busted,
Speedometer dead wrong:
Can't tell how fast I'm going,
Don't care how far I've gone.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Radio is Good

Because I hear neat stuff. I spend most of my listening time between FRSD & WEFT. The latter (from Ben (who has a Fiction MFA from my program and is pretty awesome) on Transatlantica) just gave me this track. Hope you enjoy it:

Black Box RecorderThe Art of Driving

Side fact: the chairs around my kitchen table and the bowls that look like lettice both used to belong to bed, but I got them for $5 when he was doing a garage sale last year. I think I also got some fabric that I gave to someone to make something. Ben's a good man. Loving husband and father. Wonderful neighbor.

Morning Comics

Here's a copy of today's Get Fuzzy. If you're not familiar with it, Bucky (the cat) is a jerk, Satchel (the Lab/Shar Pei) is very kind and not so smart, and both are Rob's (the guy) pets. Dig (you might have to click on it to get it big enough to read it):

And to follow that up, here's a poem found in Painted Bride Quarterly #76
by Thomas Devaney


You know all those sonnets the ones where I said, “I love you,” well
This time, I mean it, this time I’m talking about
Your curly hair soaked black from October’s frozen rain.
You reading Milton and eating a BLT.
Our up-front lies about being vegetarians,
(Milton’s, “I can not praise a cloistered virtue”).
More really, all those times we never kept meeting,
Till we finally never met—giving up,
Till bacon, Milton and the rain were all we had.
Admit now I never wrote you sonnets,
And that this probably isn’t a sonnet either,
Tho’ I’ll call it one, and loud skies pour down
To live on, back-of-the-brain with you,
Milton, bacon, your face in a year of rain.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Back from Ann Arbor

I spent my weekend driving this:

2007 Mustang with less than 5,000 miles on it and a boomin' Sirius sound system. I don't know how long it'll be before I can look my MG in the eye again. I feel like I've cheated. I also can't believe how exhausting it is to drive at an average speed of 94 miles per hour. I had half a mind to drive back to Illinois from Michigan via Canada, but forgot my passport.

I'm sore...spent. It was magical, even though I didn't hear "Don't Stop Believing" at all, my favorite song to drive to. And, not kidding at all, there is a town off the 94 in Michigan called Climax. Just enjoy the puns. The Ann Arbor Book Festival was good to us. Dig Russ:

He's happily showing you the cover of the latest Ninth Letter. Have you picked it up yet?
We loved the town, saw some friends (like RHINO's Mary), and made some new friends (Ms. Ellen & Matt Bell). Always a good time chilling with Aaron, the genius behind "the Burch" (whiskey & Diet Mt. Dew).

It's going to take me a hot minute to get over the Mustang experience (I had to give it back to the rental place earlier this evening). Thanks in advance for your support in this difficult time.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

See you in Ann Arbor

Bright and early, I'm out the door and heading for the Ann Arbor Book Festival to rep 9L. We'll have specials on subscriptions, free back issues, the hot new "Blue" issue for sale at a special price, and $5 Ninth Letter t-shirts that make my breasts look awesome.

We'll be on the town tomorrow night, and up bright and early for the book fair on Saturday. I hear we're in the same neighborhood as Mary & Aaron. Come by and check us out.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Tattoo Art Show in Brooklyn

Monday, May 14, 2007

Cincinnati is a Good Cook

Spent the weekend in Cincinnati with my oldest friend, Dr. Ken:

(known him since I was 4 or so. he's got a PhD from Duke for Neuroelectrophysiology or something like that)

Ate wonderful steaks (thank 9L's Amy and see her story in Chicago Noir, where you'll also find work by Andrew Ervin. Behold, Dinner!

(that's sauteed red onion and portabello and gorgonzolla from Finley Market at Over-The-Rhine. And Ken's wife's Nana gave me a recipe for Banana Pudding that destroyed me. If you ask nicely, I'll make some and share it with you.

Yes. I'm gloating about how much I love eating bbqed meat with dear friends with wine and all. But on the 3.5 hour drive back, I thought of more stuff to add to a poem I'm working on. And the car didnt' break down--so I returned the back-up fuel pump I bought on Friday and will use that $55 to renew my membership to the Academy. It all comes back to poetry, ya see?

Check back up on MaxXiantu to hear the 4th installment of the Daily Remix. & Natalie Tjandra is gonna be an Aunt--check her art, and applaud her excitement for family, if you get a chance. Onward toward pudding.

Friday, May 11, 2007

NYC Tattoo Convention!

The 10th Annual New York City Tattoo Convention
May 2007

Fri. 18: 4pm - 12am
Sat. 19: 12pm - 12am
Sun. 20: 12pm - 8pm


In the Heart of Times Square
239 West 52nd Street
New York City, NY 10019


$18 - At The Door
$35 - Two Day Unlimited Access
$50 - Three Day Unlimited Access

Tickets Available At The Door Only
No Advance Ticket Sales

This is for the convention's official site.

If you make it there, swing by Lark Tattoo's booth, and say Hey to Sunday, the only artist in the world I let Ink me (you can find my sleeve of line-art by checking out her online gallery).

Wish I could be there. I'm spending that weekend in Ann Arbor. More on that as it comes.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Writing Eye

BEHOLD! The UIUC MFA's very own Lillian Bertram, now with a website showcasing some photos from her ever-clickin' eye.

She's also an amazing writer, reader, translater, and bike mechanic. And she's way smarter than I am. Check her photos, and keep your ear to the ground...

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Back to the Drawing Board

Max is working on a new daily remix series--he's off to the right, if you wanna click.
His art inspired/reminded me that it's not all language, linebreaks and poetry such-&-such around here. We're back in that wonderful time of year where I don't have anything close to full time work, and the idea of reading and writing for all the hours I have in the day is overwhelming. Gonna make my eyes all beady and squinty. So, I remembed that I like to paint. Here's how it's getting started:

I don't actually know how to paint. I don't know what it's gonna be when I'm done. But it's a relaxing hobby, and the absurd heat of summer seems to add to the whole thing. And cold scotch. And Bowie records. So, while Max delights your ears, I'm gonna spend some time getting reaquainted with colors other than black in the shape of letters on white paper. Hope you feel....

Meanwhile, a real painter: Miss Natalie Tjandra. Visit her and offer to build her a sweet webpage to showcase her slabs of talent.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


My favorite website for the remainder in the morning is this one right here.

I found the link at La Petite Zine--and read some really interesting Adam Clay poems.

Friday, May 4, 2007

A List-ful Morning

Mary tagged me, and--apparently--there's no turning back.

Say someone asked me, "I kind of like poetry, but I don't know anything about contemporary poetry. Who should I read?"

No blog friends
No real-life friends
No real-life mentors
Alive as of this writing

I'd say, in no particular order:

1.Dunya Mikail
2. Nicanor Parra
3. Craig Arnold
4. Adam Zagajewski
5. Tony Hoagland
6. Stefi Weisburd
7. Louis Jenkins
8. Russell Edson
9. Franz Wright
10. Alice Fulton
11. Stephen Dobyns
12. Patricia Smith
13. Nick Flynn

I read a whole bunch of dead people. I'm not sorry...just sayin'.
NOW! doing this has kept me from making coffee. I'm gonna go get on that. Then I'm going to look at an Red 1975 MGB in town with a friend. I hope she decides to get it, so I can have another MG to fix!

List in my head of things to take a closer look at:
Lines on the body
Inside panels.
Floors under the carpet
Floors behind seats (to make sure they're not rotted and the leafsprings aren't gonna shoot through)
Dog Legs (cars have these)
Rocker Panels
Under-dash electrical
Spot on the garage floor under where the car's been sitting.

I'll remember other things after coffee.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

9L Teaser & Your Monday Night Plan (if you're in NYC)

(I know the photos is tilted. Cock your head to the left)
First, BEHOLD: your preview of the new issue of Ninth Letter. I'm not going to spoil it for you subscribers, but i do believe we will know this one as the "blue issue"...or maybe the "(insert atleast 4 dope writers here)". I'm not goint to spoil anything. Just tease. I spent a good portion of the morning unpacking and preparing some to go.

If you're in NYC (Max & Manny (at least)), dig:
Cynthia Cruz & Ada Limon

Mondy, May 7, 2007, 6 p.m.
Cornelia Street Cafe, 29 Cornelia Street, New York, NY

The Quetzal Quill is a national reading series showcasing talented poets and writers in the early stages of their careers. The series is curated by Rigoberto Gonzalez and events are held across the country and twice a year in NYC. Admission to Cornelia Street Cafe is $6, which includes a beverage.

Sponsored by The Quetzal Quill

Info: 212-989-9319
Cornelia Street Cafe's Site (Great venue!)

And finally, in case you were wondering, this is how I roll:

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