Thursday, August 30, 2007

Today was a good day. I read Walter Benjamin's "Task of the Translator" with my feet in the campus fountain. The first suggestion of autumn was in the air.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Last day to send Octopus your poems.

Top Ten fav active baseball players as of today:

1. Carlos Zambrano
2 Josh Beckett
3 Carl Crawford
4 Prince Fielder
5 Dustin Pedroia
6 CC Sabathia
7 Ken Griffey Jr.
8 Alex Gordon
9 Felix Pie
10. Lastings Milledge

Top Ten fav Superchunk songs:

1. Detroit Has a Skyline - Here's Where the Strings Come In
2. Precision Auto - On the Mouth
3. Hyper Enough - Here's Where the Strings Come In
4. Makeout Bench - Incidental Music 1991-1995
5. Driveway to Driveway - Foolish
6. Her Royal Fisticuffs - Cup of Sand
7. Like a Fool - Foolish
8. On the Mouth - Mower (B side)
9. Throwing Things - No Pocky for Kitty
10. Invitation - Incidental Music 1991-1995

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Tomorrow is the first day of school.

I gave myself a haircut.

I picked out my shirt and tie.

And I bought some pants.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Octopus Books made a showing in the newest Small Press Points in Poets & Writers. Not bad. Not bad. And now that you got me talking about Octopus Books, here's a little notice: we're down to about 10 sets of Octopus #8. And we ain't making more. So. And we're sold out of Lily Brown's chapbook (though we'll put a PDF of it on the site). See what happens when you sit on your hands? We'll get the site updated soon--when we make our official announcement for the full-length we selected from the April readings. We've made up our minds--we just have to clear our throats first.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

At a party someone says "Sinbad is so white." Yet the promised land still eludes us.

I scored my copy of Mathias Svalina's chapbook Why I Am White last night and read most of it right there in front of the author. It is pretty brilliant--a mysterious and brave little book all about whiteness. It'll make you laugh somewhat uncomfortably then it'll make you laugh comfortably. In Why I Am White, Mathias is being as ironic as he is sincere, and he is being very sincere.

This is the first of Mathias' 27 collections he will publish in his lifetime. I suggest you start buying his stuff now. You know, at the beginning.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

West Coast! I'll soon be sneaking aboard a freight train for you.

Wed. Sept 5: come hear Lily Brown and I throw down at Pegasus Books Downtown in Berkeley at 7:30.

Fri. Sept. 7: come to the afternoon workshop I'm leading hosted by Cranky.

Friday, August 17, 2007

While I'm at it: a picture of my office. I'm not sure what this proves.

I have indisputable photographic evidence that Mathias is officially moving out of our office.
These photographs were taken exactly one year apart. Don't let him tell you that this isn't true.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

It looks like I'm one of the lucky few to get some grubby fingers on Dan Machlin's first full-length, Dear Body. For too long I've been showing my classes 6x7 when we talk about form --I'm looking forward to showing them a bigger chunk of what this guy can do.

Monday, August 13, 2007

For those of you with whom I've had a conversation about the school in which I earned my undergraduate degree, College of the Ozarks, and I've told you that I didn't quite have the energy necessary to tell you the complete story, to do the iniquity or backwards-ness of this institution any justice, let me refer you to my undergrad-mate's entry on the subject.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

After what seems like an arduous but successful stint with a dating service, I've decided on a Russian-language poet to translate. His name is Геннадий Айги (1934 - 2006). He fits my 5 fold set of criteria. I started on my first poem from a little book of his this past week. It's good and as far as my research tells me, yet untranslated (into English). I feel like I am having a very slow, very meaningful conversation with him. That's him there smoking a cig at his table and me hiding in what he thinks is a television.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Today I'm working on writing some poems that feel like this. You know, beautiful.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I went to the Sheldon today. I didn't want to leave. Then I left. Then I wanted to go back. But I didn't.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Dear Clean Part fanatics, I hope you've all purchased your 2007 calendars by now, because I'm going to give you a good reason to mark them up.

The 2007/8 season. 6 readings. 18 poets. All at the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery. Ayyyyy!

Sat 9-8 Joyelle McSweeney, Johannes Göransson & John Gallaher
Sat 10-27 Ana Bozicevic-Bowling & Julia Cohen & Ken Rumble

Sat 12-1 Jen Tynes & Jason Bredle, Cynthia Arrieu-King & Dorothea Lasky

Sat 1-19 Claire Becker, Lily Brown & Steve Langan
Sat 2-16 Lori Shine & Betsy Wheeler

Sat 3-8 Kate Greenstreet, Alex Lemon & Adam Clay

Sunday, August 05, 2007

If there was ever a poet whose bio I wish would be my own, it may be our new Poet Laureate's. A poet who I'll respect deep into a black hole. Simic's Unending Blues was the third full-length book of poems I ever read and I've spent the last 10 years trying to write with his confidence and clarity and grace. I'm teaching his Walking the Black Cat in class this week. Charles, if I ever meet you, would you hug me without me asking for it?

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Must add to Comps list and Crapsmypants list. Is this my second Kharms post this week? Ay yay yay.
Also, I have a pretty good idea of which Russian poet I'll be translating this fall. I don't want to jinx it so I'm not saying who. It ain't Kharms.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

I want my new poems to feel like liberal and somewhat odd translations of semi-logical poems. Like they're once removed from the original poet. The rhetorical decisions and syntax may be unexpected and a little off-putting as if it's written in a language you don't recognize but with all the words that you do.

The Cubbies are in 1st. And it's August.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Awkward stammering: Sometimes when I talk to people, I have a feeling they always think I'm about ready to ask them to the prom.