Sunday, September 30, 2007

I got Ivan Blatny translations The Drug of Art, edited by Veronika Tuckerova, in the mail the other day and I'm pretty sure it has become my new frontrunner for best books of the year. I've had it two days and it's already bent out of shape and has had coffee (Mathias') spilled all over it. When I look for a book of poetry, this is what I'm looking for. Weird, funny, fragile. Some of the poems are multi-lingual. And I like that the existence of this book depended on so many talented editors, translators, and poets. The Introduction was fascinating. I've rarely so quickly wanted to become a total fan of a poet, to give so much of my focus over to one poet. I'm considering putting this book on my comps list (a focus on 20th century Eastern European translations) despite the fact that the list has already been signed. It is so worth the paperwork mess that move will cause.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Neighboring office colleage Emily Danforth on office-mate Dave Madden.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Today I feel like this. A Twinned Vehicle that Halves Costs.
Listening to:
Beirut : The Flying Cup Club
Neutral Milk Hotel : The Hype City Soundtrack
Palace Music : Viva Last Blues
Alicia Keys : The Diary of Alicia Keys
Now It's Overhead : Now It's Overhead
Smog : A River Ain't Too Much to Love
Jawbreaker : 24 Hour Revenge Therapy

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The top photo is the first photo A and I ever appeared in together. She was 21. I was 22. Happy 30th Birthday, Allison. You're my favorite person. I love you thirty.

Had a lovely time with M + J, and A, this weekend in KC for R's wedding. Time is always too limited with that pair, but we're planning a trip to Vegas, it seems, for later in the year. So, there's something to look forward to. And a hearty matrimonial congrats to R, thanks for the dance floor and the free booze--have a killer time being married.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The new issue of Typo (#10) has some poets that are in my fav 5. Each new issue of theirs consistently validates what I already love about the poets I already love and deepens my love for them in a new way. And every issue (I truly mean it) has introduced a poet to me who I've subsequently put in my fav 5. I trust Typo. This one also has Tony Tost, a poet to whom I owe everything, who got me started, who turned me on to reading and writing and music, and who continues and will always continue to show me where to go. Anyway, read his poems in this issue then go buy his new book, Complex Sleep, from UIowa Press' Kuhl House Series. It comes out next week. I'm very excited. Oh, and Kate, one of my best friends, who is equally important to me, provided the photograph for the cover. Oh, snap! My copy will live under my pillow.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

2 items to know if you're a local (if you're not a local, read my post on Chuck D and music file sharing because I was hoping for more comments, more conversation--I want to talk about it more):

1. Mathias is debuting his Nebraska Wesleyan Reading Series tomorrow night with featured reader Sawako Nakayasu. 7 pm. Callen Conference room. Smith-Curtis building. I'll be in the back row. Come sit by me.

2. The UNL undergrad poetry mag, Laurus, has some new blood pumping through its old veins. Submit to it, you know, if you're an undergrad here.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Have you checked out PressPressPress lately? It's warming up it's warming up.

Monday, September 17, 2007

This is how I feel today.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A and I went to see ESPN's Gameday at Memorial Stadium this morning in preparation for tonight's big game, which we'll also be at. Lee Curse-o picked the Trojans to win. That's a good omen.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I've always hedged on my opinion regarding online music sharing, but last night, Chuck D helped me shape it. He talked about Hip-Hop, and music more generally (citing the Chiara String Quartet who played before he came on stage), as an entity that brought people together, whereas Governments and Big Business, essentially, are entities that keep people apart (think borders, currencies, and two party systems). He talked about how you have to be on top of technology and not allow technology to be on top of you. Selling albums and collecting the dough for it is, or will be soon, an old money system. It can't co-exist too successfully with the new technology (and those who think change is bad and want to hold on tight to old systems have always been burned by that stubbornness). So the new technology levels out the playing field. There are more artists, which is not at all a bad thing--there is more access to all those artists. With legal file sharing, Napster-esque sites, You-Tube, Face-book, no one makes a killing and big money does not determine who our idols are. Now, big money machines like MTV, BET, Top40 and Big Music labels determine who are idols are by brain washing us and keeping their new idol untouchable and separate from the population, like some cartoon of the actual person. Chuck D made references to hip-hop's humble beginnings through blues, jazz, gospel and the connection those genres have through music that slaves would use to communicate with one another: their sorrow, their jubilation. Music was produced by the slaves, the folk, not the slave-owners for the slaves to use. It brought the folk together, whereas now big business divides. The slave-owner makes the music. Have you ever met/touched your MTV heroes? When artists make a Living, instead of a Killing, as Chuck put it, they go out to the people. They play for the people. They stand in line at McDonalds with the people. They change their own tires while the people get out and help them. This concept looks more like pre-big business music when Glen Miller played Norfolk, NE, 5 times a year or when you could stumble into clubs any night of the week in New Orleans, Memphis, St. Louis and Chicago like you were stumbling into the homes of your favorite blues musician. File sharing then makes it only about the love for the music. It becomes an art again. It becomes a way to communicate. Its like poetry is now. I don't send poems to Typo Mag for bigger rims, but if I want to make any money off poetry, I have to drive the corolla to the people and read poems from a book until my heart falls out so people will want to put $10 in my pocket. And I have to get a job.

When you make a Living, you do it within a community of other artists, you play for each other and you play for the people, but when you make a Killing, you separate yourself. You're an individual. You have 'who sold more records' contests. You're Kanye vs 50 cent. There's absolutely nothing wrong with making a Killing, but ideally, making music wouldn't be one of the ways to do it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

M and I are spending the evening together. We're going to the O'Donnell Auditorium at Wesleyan University to listen to the Chiara String Quartet (7pm) and then Chuck D (8pm) speak on "Race, Rap and Reality." This is the best thing that can happen. In the world.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Phil, when I was at your apartment in SF last week, after you went to work, I went through your desk drawer and found a blank cd, then went through your computer music files and stole (more accurately: copied) the following albums from you. This is just to say. I feel compelled to tell you this. I've listed the albums here. Forgive me. They're so sweet and so cold.

Teenage Bottle Rocket. Total
Against Me! Reinventing Axl Rose
Flight of the Conchords. The Distant Future
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. Broom
Dillenger Four. Situationist Comedy
Now It's Overhead. Now It's Overhead
Ted Leo & The Pharmacists. Living with the Living
The Arcade Fire. Funeral
Today is free burrito day at Chipotle. In Lincoln. This is something I was anticipating for 2 weeks.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Clean Part took its first defeat yesterday. Flights were cancelled and we were all made victims--and we weren't left enough time to make the proper audible. It was in the best interest of the CP then to save your eager applause until October 27.

So: apologies to John, who wasn't flying, Joyelle and Johannes, on the behalf of busted air travel, and you patrons who had to miss a reading that could have been off the charts--especially any of you who we weren't able to find a way to notify in time.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Seattle. Day #4. Woke up and a small little informal poetry workshop was in my lap, and an egg sandwich was on a plate in front of me. I think it went well--I like to talk about writing poems. Missed my chance at lunch with E. Laid low in Amber's apt for a while. Tried to walk to the ocean but turned back when I realized it was too far and that I was on the verge of getting completely lost and sleeping under a bridge in downtown Seattle. I was walking around for hours. Watched the sun go down from some public park. Found my way back to the apt. Ate a burger from Dick's and went to bed.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Seattle. Day #3. Spent most the day with Amber and Wes, Cranky folks. Vietnamese lunch. I had the #42. Open Books. This is the bookstore I've been looking for my whole life. Bought: Celan, Rilke, and Stevens. A few drinkypoos with BF Emily. An amazing reading. Brian, Rebecca and Catherine were funny and engaging and practiced readers. The crowd was responsive and eager to love. More drinkypoos into the night...

Thursday, September 06, 2007

San Francisco. Day #2. Walked up and down Polk Street by myself all afternoon. Didn't say any words outloud really until about 4:00. Ate a burrito at Nick's tacos. Bought some little plastic whales. Took the BART and chatted it up with Lily and Claire in Berkeley. Great people great poets. Lily Read. I read. Graham Foust's Necessary Strangers. Pushing Mathias' book at Pegasus. Beers with Doug (O! to finally meet you), Clay (O! to finally meet you), C, L, etc. Also: M and P are some of my very favorite people in the world.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Day 1. San Francisco. Got in last night. M picked me up and we walked around a bit. Lots of sushi and and lots of Sapporo. Scratched off lotto tickets on a stoop. Then back to the apt for Flight of the Conchords on HBO. All this made me very happy and confirmed that SF is one of my three top cities I've ever visited of all time, perhaps even #1 or #2.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The Clean Part left town for the summer and won't tell us where it went. But it's tan now, and it looks like it has been working out. If you live in Lincoln, you should come try to put your hands around its biceps.
Joyelle McSweeney! Johannes Goransson! John Gallaher! Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery. Saturday, Sept 8. 7 pm. FREE.
And we have another hot new designer for the posters this year. Sam Rapien, everybody. Come muss up his hair.