Monday, October 31, 2005

The pumpkins I made into magical jack-o-lanterns today after work. The one on the left is telling a joke, winking, and the one on the right is looking at him, laughing. I used one of Denny and Bri's pumpkins, which they brought over last week and we never got around to carving them. A told me that what I did was wrong, but I figured no one would want a post-Halloween pumpkin. Post-halloween pumpkins bum me out--they are so sad. Denny back me up. Comment. Tell me what I did was ok.

Me in the shirt I must wear to carve my magical jack-o-lanterns.

Our neighbors, P and S. S was our first trick-or-treater as homeowners. S went as a Hershey's Kiss. We had about 20 total T-O-Ters. Best ones: Death and the kid Death killed, the Thing from the Fantastic Four, and psychotic 4th of July clown. Lamest: baseball player guy (at least be bloody baseball player guy or Palmeiro on 'roids or something), and boy-dressed-as-girl boy.

The joke-teller and the laugher out front, on their pillars. Next year, I'm putting the old rusty and creaky gate back on its hinges between these two pillars, and cobwebbing the whole gate/fence up. Oh, man.

Our spooky doorstep.

The laugher in a hauntingly bloody red photo, my bloody finger in the shot, trying to cover up the bloody flash.
If you're down with good poems, get your subscriptions to Parakeet. It looks like #2 is about ready to invade the suburbs. An interesting and unlikely collection of poets, it seems. And your boy (me) has 5 poems in there, 4 of which are from my unpublished manuscript [about 1/12 of the thing! (48 poems, but in 72 pages)]. So, if you're interested in reading my manuscript, getting a Parakeet might be as close as you get for years (cross your fingers that this is untrue).

Friday, October 28, 2005

I'm jealous of you, NYC. Don't miss Tony Tost and Lisa Jarnot read Sunday night.
Remember that commericial for Domino's Pizza, where the dog salivates Pavlovian-style and the guys on the couch say "dumb dog," and then the doorbell rings and they all sprint to open the door? That guy that says, "Whoa...Philly cheesesteak," came over to our house last night. He's pretty cool. But we ate chili together.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Reading Coconut 2, Octosubs, Wenderoth's new book of essays. Writing an explication of Rad Smith's Distant Early Warning, a poem either called "William and Mary in the Universe" or "Dirty Sanchez".

Monday, October 24, 2005

Hadara and I met over some of the remaining Octopus submissions. I now have a set list of acceptances and honorable rejections for #7. So, look out.

Today, I will sign up for Spring classes. Here's the gameplan:

1. Seminar in Poetry - Postcolonial Poetics
2. African Lit in English - Modern Anglophone African Writers
3. Creative Writing Fiction Workshop with Jonis Agee

Also, Mathias and I will cover downtown Lincoln with Clean Part posters. And I have a handful of essays to write through the evening, night, early morning. Good thing there's no baseball on tonight to tempt me away.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

My front yard full of leaves. I will pick every last one of them up tomorrow. I'll even catch the ones that are still falling in my little brown sack.

The beautiful red tree in our neigbor's back yard.

The brilliant posters I was telling you about just yesterday. A striped candle, unburned. A bowl of little candy pumpkins.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Whew. I've just finished a mini-seminar paper on DA Powell's Cocktails. Heavy stuff. My eyes hurt and I'm up to my neck in blood (meaning: I wrote a lot of Powell's important blood imagery, not that when I toil over papers, I bleed a lot). I asked him a few questions in an email and he answered them. Nothing more impressive than conducting a personal interview with the author to help advance the paper a bit--lets hope Professor Raz sees it the same way.

Denny is done with The Clean Part posters. I'm going to pick them up today. Whee! I guess I haven't officially launched the blog for this reading series, and I won't until Mathias and I get some bios and pics up there. So, if you go to this site, know that it won't be launched for a few more days. Hmm. I think that's ok.

Monday, October 17, 2005

A bit it in Wal-Mart. We were pulling apart a pair of very stuck plastic storage containers. On the last strong tug, the containers separated easily and went flying into the air. A landed hard on the cold and dirty floor. There was a lot of plastic crashing sounds and A screamed. Some customers and a blue-vest came to help. They all thought I pushed her down. I was laughing and A was not. Aaah, good stuff.

Denny and Bri are coming over tonight I think. We are going to carve pumpkins. I'm going to make mine look mean.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Today, I got my last installment from Ugly Duckling on my current subscription. Good stuff. Christmas morning feeling, but just the presents aspect, not the love and family feelings. Here's what I got:

Chinese Sun. A novel by Arkadii Dragomoshchenko translated from the Russian by Evgeny Pavlov.
Iterature by Eugene Ostashevsky. My second copy.
Indeed, Insist (a mystery) by Bethany Wright.
Further Adventures of My Nose by John Surowiecki and illustrated by Terry Rentzepis. I've already made it through this strange little thing.
And some other UDP miscellany.

It is Fall break at UNL, so I'm digging in this weekend.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Every other Monday I meet with some terrific poets for coffee and workshop: Hadara Bar-Nadav, Michael Dumanis, and Arra Ross. Yesterday's was pretty valuable--sent me to the old word processor to pound out a few revisions. Michael drove me back to my car afterward and we talked poetry anthologies, particularly anthologies of "new" or "young" poets, the successes and failures of some of the ones we'd read in common (like the Manguso/Davis one) and his own anthology he co-edited with Cate Marvin coming out in January called Legitimate Dangers. This badboy will have 80-some poets and include 3-5 poems from each. My god.

Also of note: Michael has organized a solid reading series at Wesleyan University, where we both teach, for this fall. Check this out:

Thursday, November 3 - John D'Agata
Thursday, November 10 - Dean Young
Thursday, November 17 - Denise Duhamel

Saturday, October 08, 2005

A big cyberhug and behind-the-back low-ten to good pal Adam Clay for getting his first book picked up by Parlor Press' Free Verse editions. I'm jealous as hell, but AC is deserving. A real hard working poet. And The Wash (his book) is killer, so watch out.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

I, and a small handful of other PhD students, rubbed elbows with Marjorie Perloff today. We discussed Flarf, online v print publications, Jacket magazine, Kent Johnson, poetry hoaxes, poetry blogging (Ron Silliman), etc. I had the roast beef sandwich--MP had the turkey.

Thanks be to Adam Clay for sending me the new Silver Jews album. I love it to the max. Favorite Berman line so far:

How can I love you
if you won't lay down?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

My busy days have started. This week I've added the teaching of a Comp 2 class at Southeast Community College on the agenda. So, two different classes in two different places and PhD student stuff. I can do this. I can do this. And I'm blogging now so it can't be too bad, right? I will, this week, find time to send out some poetry manuscripts to a few places on the list, and clean up the basement--make it liveable. If you come over, you'll need a place to stay.

This is what is behind me at the desk I work. This is the room where everything goes down. Meet Malkie the Cat, Pearl the Fern, and Stone Phillips, the rock that anchors our broken shade.

Monday, October 03, 2005

The reunion was strange. It was good to give an awkward half-hug to a few friends from 10 years ago and catch up on a few baby names, to see a few old friends I used to hang with, work with, old flames and crushes. But then there was a whole lot of the: You sell make-up and you want to sell me some right now? You sell karaoke machines? You still work at the go-cart track? You still do meth? To tell you honestly, the whole thing made me a tad uneasy. It was a bizarro world really. I was beginning to remember things that were never meant to be remembered.

But I came back home to hang with our out of town guests, M and J. We went to the Iowa St. v Nebraska football games. Woo-hoo. Played board games. Ate chicken wings. Ahh, people I've befriended as an adult.

Fantast Baseball is over and I got 14th! A big congrats to Jim who finished as our winner.