Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Packing Snow

It's on the ground, and working.

Bloof is on top of their game, and still visiting for a reading in April. Look like a change of venue though, mostly because they're so hot, we'll need everything we can find on tap to keep ourselves cool.

Writing on a clean desk is the way to be. I highly recommend.

Do you need a drummer in LA? He's over here. I got a call last night from him and my kid sis. Now she knows a whole bunch of silly things I did in high school.

Meanwhile, I switched up the Artists and Writers on the side bars here on the blog. I figured, most of you getting here are getting here by way of writing, and probably know a decent amount of the writers I'm linking to anyway. So, in the interest of helping you get to know people who work in different media (paint, beats, ink-in-skin, etc), those folks are now a little higher on the list. But I love them all equally.

I"ll see you Thursday at the Fixx:

Or go see Ada and others in NYC on Friday:
February 29th – Ada Limon & Melissa Koosmann & Rebecca Gopoian & Lisa Sewell

February 29, 2008, 7 pm
Pete's Candy Store, 709 Lorimer Street, Brooklyn, NY

Ada Limón's first book, lucky wreck, was the winner of the Autumn House Poetry Prize. Her second book, This Big Fake World, was the winner of the Pearl Poetry Prize. She is at work on a third book dealing mainly with rivers, sharks, and how to live in the world.

Melissa Koosmann is a graduate of the University of Arizona MFA program in poetry. Her poems have appeared in The Indiana Review, Diagram, Coconut, and other journals.

Rebecca Gopoian's poems have appeared in EOAGH, elimae, the DenverQuarterly, The Cupboard, Tarpaulin Sky, Margie, and others. Her articles, reviews and collaborative comics have appeared in The New York Times, Interfaithfamily.com and LitVert. She lives in Queens with her husband, cartoonist David Heatley, and their two children, Maya and Samuel.

Oh, and pop's pretty excited about an MG in a new movie. It looks kinda cool though. The car. Not necessarily the movie (but I haven't watched the trailer yet).

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Getting More From Air

Friday, February 22, 2008

More Dallas

I've been chilling and rooming with Mr. Adam Fotos. Not only is he the man responsible for the incredible cover of the latest 9L, as well as the Basquiat piece, but he's also a pretty talented comic book artist.

Just wanted to introduce you.

Still in Dallas

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


That's were I'll be the next few days.
I'll let you know if anything exciting happens.
If you're looking for me, I'll be the guy doing breathing exercises at the 9L table.


Monday, February 18, 2008

What Engine Hoist?

Oh. That one....

Yeah....It's gone. Sold right out from under your nose. Let someone else play with it for a while, and I don't need to take it with me when I leave. Where'm I going? Not even the Shadow knows....

A weekend of grading papers is awesome when you have Nin Andrew's new chapbook on the desk with you. That's Dear Professor, Do You Live in a Vacuum?. Why, yes, sophomore. Yes I do.

Soon as I finish this up, I'm tossing a Corned Beef chunk the size of a gnome into the Crockpot for like 10 hours. I did crazy food shopping shopping yesterday, then ordered a pizza. Just like that. Horrible.

Wayne Miller has a poem on Verse Daily today, and it's out of Barn Own Review. That's good because Wayne Miller's good, but also because I'm in that mag. So's Nin Andrews. Last time I checked, so's the Shadow....

By the by, I'm really digging this song. Shatner, baby.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Coming this week:

Haven't you heard? I fixx stuff!

Friday, February 15, 2008

It Wasn't A Protest

Though I wouldn't have been surprised to see a chocolate torque wrench or something like that show up yesterday, it didn't happen.

But I did get some love from the caption contest. I'm waiting for this, and pre-ordered this.

Speaking of protests, the Writer's Strike is over, and so the banner off to the side is gone, and TV will hopefully suck a little less.

There's a 9L event tonight. If you're in the neighborhood, I'm sure I'll see you there.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

As Promised

Ok. Cheese Ravioli, but I mixed your standard red sauce with the gravy from the brisket I made a few days ago. Also let all that was left heat up in the skillet first, so it was a lovely steak-y sauce. Some lightly steamed broccoli, fresh whole wheat from the bakery:

Matt liked it, but not as much as he enjoyed the boob cake Arley made for his birthday a few weeks back:

That's a boob-cake. Still with me? Good.

In other news, the Pilcrow Lit Fest is coming together fast. Gonna get on the band wagon?

OH! oh. I got picked up my tank today. If you happen to be in Champaign, IL, and need to get your motorcycle tank worked on, bring it to Dave's on Hagen st. south of the Napa. I wanted to keep it cheap:picked a color he had sitting around the shop, forget the under-side, etc. I called him yesterday, and he was like "Yea. I got the little dings out too. Didn't see a reason not to." I told him because I wanted to keep it on the cheap. He said, "Oh. Well, it was not big deal. I'm not charging you more for it." How kick ass is that? Here it is:

I think it looks amazing. He says it looks decent. Apparently he could have made the surface much more glass-like. I'm cool with it. In fact, I feel like it's a little too nice. Doesn't mean I wanna mess it up, but really, I haven't had anything this nice since I first got my car back from the shop when I was 17--which wasn't even that cool considering I did most of that work myself, which also explains why it looks the way it does 10 years later.

Meanwhile, I've resolved to not take student papers on paper any more. From now on, all emails. It's way easier to comment on them, and I don't have to carry anything. Same formatting instructions from my syllabus apply, only they can skip the staples. And let's face it: they usually do that anyway. End up sit there dog-earing 'n stuff.

Here's a Dean Young Poem that we'll be going over tomorrow. It's from his latest, Primitive Mentor. It was originally published over at Bat City.

Sex with Strangers

I was having sex with a stranger
when I realized this was no stranger,
this was Eleanor Roosevelt,
wife of the 32nd president of the United States.
Of course I was shocked
but it seemed rude to stop having sex
so I went on having sex.
Her hair was getting rather deranged
and she was concentrating hard
like a person trying to move a paperclip
by force of mind alone
which brought out the equine qualities
of her facial structure not in a bad way.
One reason to have sex is to help a stranger
get in touch with his or her animal being
even if it's a crayfish.
In the kitchen the rotisserie was laboring,
either the chicken was too fat
or it was tuckering out. Oddly,
I didn't feel bad for Franklin Delano
even though he looked jaunty and vulnerable
in his wheelchair in the margin of the dictionary.
In general it's difficult to feel bad
about anything while having sex
which is why it's such a popular activity
and the church is against it
except in rare primarily utilitarian instances.
That pretty much covers the facts of my life.
I've never been in much of a car crash.
When I walk into the mirror of the high grass
under the tired suicide note of the setting sun,
I'm never gone long. Once I was struck
on an elevator, all of us strangers
gasping at once but there the resemblance
to having sex ended because it only took
35 seconds to get going again, each of us
off at a different floor: cardiology,
oncology, psychiatry, the burn unit,
the solarium.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Endorsments

This book. Just as I was thinking, "if only there was a book that had poems with physics and it was evident that the writer really understood physics and was being super smart and also funny with heavy presence..." Boom. There you go.

Steak and Eggs:

That's actually brisket and turkey pastrami, fresh sourdough, and eggs. (Doesn't it look like a tragic Pac-man is about to eat all that tasty animal?)
I don't get guests often, but Laura (of here, here and here) thought it was quite tasty.


That's Arthur Lyman. The record is Taboo. I wouldn't say it if it wasn't true: knowing these sounds will make your life better. Just as Dj Joemama....

-A new motorcycle tank.
-Celebrations of delicious foods.
-A few surprises to warm you up on the cold day!

Friday, February 8, 2008

A few Friday things

From a ring of chopped spinach with some basil mixed in, you can go just about anywhere. This is for when you're too lazy to eat a salad on the side of whatever you're eating, but you know you need the vegetable-goodness and some aesthetic satisfaction:

I went with ravioli. Moving on.

Let's call this the "before" shot:

I figure, I spent so much damn time looking for the tank, and had the whole inside resealed, so I might as well protect the outside. It's not so bad, but it's a little doggish. I was going to do it myself, but paint doesn't behave well in cold. And I don't have space to spray in studio, nor the ventilation in the garage-spot. It would have been cool. But I'll let the shop handle it. This is one of the few early graduation presents for myself. The other will be a bottle of single-malt scotch.

Meanwhile, I just commented on a rough draft of a student paper using Word's Comment feature. Why isnt' there a hot-key combination to put those in? See, I'm trying to use less paper, so am taking rough drafts via email. And reading off the screen doesn't kill my eyes. Yet.

The student wrote about how he likes funny poems. This is a student who obviously knows his audience. Makes me want to share a poem. It's not funny (ha-ha), but it's great.

From Resin by Geri Doran


What carried us from year to year was yield:
potatoes in, potatoes out, like rowing.
Fist-sized, firm, rich tasting and abundant--
of such abundance we could eat them all
winter long and have some left for seed.
It seemed holy even then, to harvest
red and russet, shake the moist earth
from the tuber, feel its heft and lob
it on the pile soon to be transported
to the fruit room (dirt floor and damp cement,
tomatoes on the vine, apples, potatoes).
An earthy flourish of the immanent.

Spring, and quartering the rest to plant,
one eye, at least, per chunk. Father crouched
over the hoe. When did I learn to see
paternal love in seed potatoes planted
with a grunt? Or catechism in the rhythm
beat out as he sowed, tamping down the dirt?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Making Up for the Lost Weekend

There were books that I should have picked up at AWP that totally slipped my mind. I spend a lovely little sliver of yesterday fixing that. In the mail, expect:

The Wind-Up Gods by Stefi Weisburd

A Gathering of Matter/ A Matter of Gathering by Dawn Lundy Martin

Instrumentality by Ravi Shankar

Meanwhile, check out the new shiny petcock for the cb650:

Yes. Brand new. Will not leak. I will cherish this little bastard the whole riding season long. The search all the parts to put my bike back together is over. AND I got enough for the old tank on ebay to cover the dough I dropped on the new tank. Of course, I used that money to pick up the above books, but still.

And now, I'm going to tell you a little secret: I rock-rocked a phone interview for a job yesterday. The old "leave 'em laughing" bit? Works on a committee over speaker phone too. Who knew?

Did you also know that Ada's a podsnack? Adding the word "snack" make it sound adorable. The music helps too. And, well, it's Ada.

Remember how I said I had to drive fast in the fog home? If you don't, look down. Well, I'm sitting around here last night, listening to the radio and eating stuffed grape leaves, when I get a call from American Airlines. Every flight between Monday at 11:30 am until then had been canceled. Then an operator came on, and told me they'd refund something like $45 because I didn't use the last bit of the ticket. Ain't that nice of them? To have the computer call? To give me some dough?

Meanwhile, last night was the first time I ever heard the Emergency Broadcast System actually used. It was raining hard and windy, and they used it. 27 years of that buzz and build-up, and that's how they finally use it. Anticlimactic. Indeed.

Back to work!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Back from AWP

And, boy, is my visa card tired. But it was fun. Here are some hightlights:

Got to see my brother for the first time in at least two years. Ain't he clean-cut and looking healthy?

He loved seeing Ada read at the KGB Bar. Also got to meet Knox (who is on Verse Daily today, and read the next night in Brooklyn at the Stain bar):

Matt enjoyed it too, and snapped this photo:

Matt also chilled on Saturday night after the PBQ event, and enjoyed a number of cocktails with Marion and others:

I got to spend way more time with Jason and Michael than I have in a really really long time. I didn't mean to close my eyes, but it was harder and harder to keep them open as the night wound on:

Meanwhile, after the fact (and after a kickass Giants Victory!) I discovered this morning, at Laguardia, that I somehow booked my return flight on February 20th. Yes, I was angry. Yes, I deserved the $100 fee to change it for not being more careful in early October. And in the flight-canceling fog that's descended on the midwest, I decided to rent a car home and drive, rather than wait for the next flight...which would have had me STILL waiting, right now, as I type this blog. But I got a Mustang, so floored that in 50 ft of visibility home:

But it's all ok. I give you THE TAKE:

Those top ones that are hard to see would be the latest Tuesday, Lemon's Mosquito, and Ms. Kathleen Graber's Correspondence.

All and all, I'm pretty pleased with the conference. However, I stand by my initial idea that NYC is a bad idea for an event like AWP. Too much stuff going on. I never want AWP to be in a place where I order a pint of Miller Light and get asked for $9.75. Efff that noise.

But it was great to see everybody. I have a lot of reading to get myself into now. And have to send a certain typewriter to a certain poet; these conversations happen after the open-bar events.

Isn't it nice to be home?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Give me another day

On the island.
Will share all my AWP Photos and joys when I get back to the midwest.

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