Saturday, December 30, 2006

Between road trips and hanging out with M and J, I've had a lot of time to think. I have two very bankable and very big ideas, invention-wise. Of course, I'm not going to announce them here. Backchannel me if you want to invest (though know that you must pay your money up front).

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Good news from Forklift, Ohio. This will be my very first repeat-contribution to a mag.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Having fun with P's iBook
I've been reading Brandon Shimdoda's fresh new manuscript draft pretending as though I had written it. It is crazy good. It is winning. I have been winning and losing at Spades, Pitch, and Quiddler. I have been winning at getting a new tent and sleeping bags. I have been winning at the pumpkin pie.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Ok. Let the sleeping-in commence. I'm playing cards, exchanging presents, watching football, eating incredible food and desserts, cooking new (to me) desserts from an cookbook in a kitchen more equipped than my own--in Grand Island, NE, and Council Bluffs, IA. Then A and I will make the drive to southern Wisconsin to hang with M and J for like 3 days. Looking forward. The Octopus Chaps are at the printers. My beard is getting thick.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Today was an excellent mailbox day. In it (my mailbox) were no bills, no Bed Bath and Beyond coupons--only 2 packages. One from Pilot Books and the other from Black Ocean. Pilot graciously sent me review copies of Anthony Robinson's Brief Weather & I Guess a Sort of Vision and Friedrich Kerksieck & Aaron James McNally's Cruel, Yes, but Company. I've already read the latter heating up some lasagna. Lovely. These are postcards with actual poems handwritten on them. Actually handwritten. Each set have different post cards. One-of-a-kind. Betsy Wheeler and Pilot have their stuff together. Octopus note: FK/AJM have some of these poems in the upcoming online counterpart to Octopus #8. Soon, so soon.

I'm going to read Anthony's tonight, by the fireplace perhaps. I got #82 of his 200 and #39 of FK and AJM's 50. What did you get?

Black Ocean sent me the final pre-print typeset proof of The Man Suit. My last chance to figure out what exactly I want y'all to see.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Holiday Wish List #2

4. Eggers' What is the What

5. Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (33 1/3 book by Kim Cooper)

6. Kensington Digital FM Transmitter/Auto Charger (Black). This is too long a road trip to be messing with cds and hunting for the clearest NPR.

7. A used David Schrigley book or two.

8. Camping/Tenting supplies. Primarily A and I are taking a chunk of the summer to go roadtripping in the Yukon and Alaska. We're going to rent a car and Drive (capital D). We'll be doing a lot of camping/tenting. So we'll need to update our camping/tenting supplies.

9. A zip-up hooded sweatshirt (grey and/or black).

10. Socks. Mostly ones with patterns.

11. I'm not sure I have the energy to list all the music I want at this time. Itunes $?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Holiday Wish List #1

This is the first installment of Holiday Wish List. There will be one or two more as I think on it. Here is just what was in my head at the moment.

1. A Ushanka. My Cleveland Browns headscarf is not doing the trick. They're a tad more expensive, but I probably would prefer a Gorbachev-style Astrakhan.

2. A year's supply of quality fake tattoos. And not corny ones either. Cool ones, like anarchy symbols or giraffes or black panthers.

3. I am embarassed to say that I have not yet had a chance to buy these books. I should have them already, but sadly I do not. If you do not give them to me, I will buy them myself. Graham Foust, Linh Dinh, Tao Lin, Ben Lerner, Michael Earl Craig, Tina Brown Celona, and Alex Lemon.


*This image is supposed to instead represent Linh Dinh's Borderless bodies.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Hyah! I'm done for the semester (in an academic sense). I'm now wearing the first day version of the outfit that I will wear constantly for a couple weeks. I was happy with how my paper turned out. I'm not going to post it here, but you can have the title: Problematizing the Removal of the Wink Wink: A New Sincerity in the Context of the Post Avant. Thank you to the following public rhetoricians for their fuel: (straight from the Works Cited page): Aitken, Behrle, Canary, CWHOBB (have you seen what is over there now? This gave me much to consider), Corey, Hart (I just wrote Corey, Hart), Epstein, Glenum, Hoy, Jensen, Mayhew, Massey, Mohammad (2), Octopus, Robinson (3), Silliman, Snyder, Sullivan and Tost.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

There's just one more hurdle before I'm done with this semester. I'm writing a paper examining the legitimacy of a New Sincerism within the context of the Post-Avant. Maybe I'll let you know how that turns out. Maybe some of you insiders can drop me a line today--give me some fertilizer for this thing. I've got myself holed up in my dark little office for today and tomorrow. Then I'll have some time off to hit a brand new to-do list, a fun one, for the most part. One with the word Octopus on it.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I doubt you'll ever need this, but just in case: here's a detailed floorplan I created of my house labeled entirely in Russian. Right now, I'm blogging in the lower right portion of the house, in my кабинет. As you can see, this comrade got a 100.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I have 3 poems from this manuscript I'm working on in issue #1 of this impressive young po-journal called Absent. Ch ch ch check it out.

And check out UNL's undergrad mag, Laurus. It grows a little stronger right in front of us. Keep your eye on Sarah Fattig. I'm telling you this now. Mark the date.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

This weekend my sister, K, and her boyfriend, J, came over to help us decorate for the holidays. We put Kenny and Dolly on the box and drank some cider. Ate a few yuletide burritos.

Our tree as it gets netted. Its like a right of passage for a tree.

From left to right: J, tree (mid-decoration), K.

A and the man who sold us our tree. He had a nice leather jacket with a black panther on the back. He also thought I took too much rope with which to secure the tree to our vehicle. I disagreed with him.

We put lights on our fence/pillars out front.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Volume #7 of Lincoln's own, The Cupboard, is done. And it is free and ready for you to print it out and fold it up according to its new easier to use pdf instructions for assembly (or if you're in town you could find one at a local hangout). This one is all about the concept of doneness. So, a poet, songwriter, breadmaker, high school history teacher, mix cd compilationist, book editor and graphic designer all write about what it means to be done. The Cupboard!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I was invited by one of my students to attend an invite-your-professor dinner at his fraternity house. I went though I'm not exactly sure why. Perhaps because of the following reasons: it is difficult for me to turn down free food and I have never before been inside a fraternity house. It was surprisingly pleasant with the exception of the pre-dinner chanting and elaborate introductions. I was completely underdressed apparently. I was rocking my chucks and a Matt Pond PA shirt. The fraternity brothers were all wearing slacks and ties. And the other professors were wearing their gear: elbow patches and pantsuits and whatnot. So my elaborate introduction was a little uncomfortable. The food was good. A chicken & swiss dish. Apple pie a la mode. They had their own chef. I ate 3 helpings of warm vegetables. I asked questions like: so, can girls stay over? I was a little out of my element. But it was a nice gesture of this student. And they had a terrific trophy case.

Monday, November 27, 2006

I took a random selection of poetry journals and books (excluding stuff they just aren't ready for) off my office shelf and then passed them around my freshman English class and had them partake in a guided conversation about some of the stuff they were reading to each other. Based on 50 minutes of poetry perusal and discussion, the clearcut winner of the period was Chris Tonelli's Wide Tree, as perhaps expected due to its instantaneous and unabashed commitment to raw and tiny bursts of delight, and the clearcut loser was Michael Earl Craig's Can You Relax in My House. These initial reactions, for very different reasons, managed to deepen my already deep love for both books.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I'm recovering. I've been a real glutton over break. Mmmphrrrgg. Above is a pic of the aftermath of the Huskers beating Colorado on Friday. Next up: the Sooners.

Also: good po-news: I got the Denver Quarterly to bite on 3 poems of mine. It was on top of my list of mags to get into. Huzzah!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

We're going to the farm south of Norfolk for food and family and board games. Then back to Lincoln for football games. Then Grand Island for food and family and board games. Then Council Bluffs for food and family. I'm putting a sheet over the large pile of academics in the center of the room.

And know this: I'm thankful for you. Today I am thankful for you all.

Monday, November 20, 2006

We've completed our latin dance course. My hips are kinda sore. Here are my favorite latin dances in order:

1. Samba
2. Rumba
3. Salsa
4. Cha Cha
5. Tango

We've had beautiful weather the past few days. Beautiful weather for raking our flat roof, so I raked the roof.

Rake the roof!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

M and I have a lot to be thankful for. Last night's Clean Part was huggably brilliant. A healthy crowd got to hear some remarkable poets reading remarkably some of their newest stuff. I'm now so looking forward to all their new books. GC is very in command of his poems and his voice. He made me hang onto every word. One of the best readers I've heard this year since Thursday night's Robyn Schiff and last CP's Gabriel Gudding.

Here is a pic of Kerri Sonnenberg in the Sheldon elevator taking pictures of its texture/pattern. This is not a pic of Kerri Sonnenberg doing a submarine periscope-adjustment mime routine in an elevator. This is the most documented elevator trip I've ever been on.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

It is a good time to be a writer in Lincoln. I'm finding The Cupboard, a lit pamphlet full of anonymous prose stylings, free for the taking in all kinds of campus and downtown hotspots. I pick it up for my hot chocolate read instead of the newspaper (I gave up coffee as soon as I started it (see my post about a month ago)). And the undergraduate campus literary mag, Laurus, just launched a digital arm. It now has two arms, and is much more efficient and attractive (the benefit of two arms is vast).

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

GC Waldrep, Kerri Sonnenberg, and Kristi Maxwell are coming all the way to Lincoln to read their poems for you at the last Clean Part of 2006. It's at the Sheldon at 7. Don't be square, seriously.

Props to Ben for making the poster(s). We've been discussing the poster's narrative. I have my conclusions, but I don't want to give them away. Instead, please submit your own take on this narrative in my comment box. Lets do this. I want to hear it. Clean your parts! Seriously.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A is in Chicago this weekend and I am alone. I haven't left the house since Friday's No Name. The house is clean. The papers are graded. The Cornhuskers have been watched. Some new poems of mine have been born. One of my top-fav young poets sent me his new chapbook last week and I read it: Ryan Murphy's Poems for the American Revolution. These poems have an old old soul in a soft new body. I'm in a mid-90's Built-to-Spill/Modest Mouse (Interstate 8) mood. I'm rocking my Shit Happens hat, pearl buttons and new beard. Vacuuming.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A very small selection of things that should be on your to-do list:

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I've been pretty happy with my po-writing as of late, and the new manny is making progress. In fact, I sent out some poems to two mags today--something I haven't done (unsolicited) since April. Feels good.

And it is really hot here. The heat, for November, is a tad apocalyptic. I'm going to go grade papers outside in this lovely apocalyptic heat.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I voted today. I feel dirty though. The experience wasn't quite the same as it was in Ohio. In these woods, it is a little less satisfying because there is such a small number of candidates that completely represent my own beliefs. All the candidates pander, more or less, to conservative/Religious Nebraska values--even the Dems. And the third party system here is extremely broken. Regardless, I cancelled out my neighbor's vote.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Hitler's Mustache by Peter Davis
The Wash by Adam Clay (I've been going back to it)
Big Crisis by Nate Pritts
Revelated by Matt Hart
I Have Not Been Able to Get Through to Everyone by Anna Moschovakis
Cousins by Alli Warren
Octopus #8 chapbooks (in their pre-published forms)
Back issues of Skein and No
La Petite Zine #19
Student papers (Inquiry into Pop-Culture)


Jens Lekman's Oh You're So Silent Jens
The Annuals' Be He Me
Grizzly Bear Yellow House
Matt Pond PA Several Arrows Later
Smashing Pumpkins' Gish

Friday, November 03, 2006

I wrote a rough draft of an essay for my Russian language class. It is about me. My new bio.

Меня зовут Зак. Теперь я учусь в университете штата Небраска. Прежде, чем я учился в колледже oзaркс. Я английский аспирант. Я изучаю английский язык и поэзию. Я знаю английский язык и поэзию хорошо, но я знаю русский язык плохо. Моя жена, Эллисон, и я имею маленький дом в Линкольне. Перед этим, я жил в Миссури, Штате Огайо, и Штате Монтана. В Штате Огайо, я был преподавателем. В Штате Монтана, я был девятью одним одним диспетчерами. Чтобы работать как, диспетчер был труден. Я имею двух котов. Их названия Maлкmус и сaлинджeр. Мы также имеем собаку. Ее название Граки. Она живет в доме.

Мой pодители жил в Миссури, теперь они живут в Каунсил Блафсе. Мой папа удален преподаватель. Моя мама работает в складе. Я имею сестру. Ее название келси. Я люблю Эллисон, моего папу, мою маму, и мою сестру. Они говорят на английском языке только. Я изучаю русский язык в университете, потому что я хочу перевести поэзию Daниил Xaрmс. Я издаю мою поэзию в журналах и книге в феврале 2007. Это название Иск Человека.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I'm knee deep in N.H. Pritchard. The Matrix. Eecchhooeess. I'm a little bit in love. My mind is vibrating, and getting a little warm. I may have something to say about these collections later.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

This is my second Halloween as a homeowner. A will be at work until later, so it'll be my job to fire up the jack-o-lanterns and the porch light and the hot cider and have awkward exchanges with adolescent strangers in either inappropriate or underdeveloped/underconceptualized costumes. You should come by. I'll give you a small box of grape nerds.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Despite Aaron McCollough not being able to make the trip to Lincoln because of anti-poetry forces (weather/planes), the reading was sooo good. I mean that. The crowd was healthy. Matt Hart and Karla Kelsey know their poems very well, and know exactly how to read them. I was hypnotized with joy. I only regret not spending enough time with these two, and Brett (Matt's friend who came along) --again: anti-poetry forces. I have a feeling there'd never be enough time for this bunch, but I didn't even come close. I did snap some pictures though.

This was my view for a half-hour or so. Karla is studying her Forklift manuals and Matt is crushing a bird into invisibility.

Karla Kelsey reading from this.

Mathias is warming up the people.

This is the lobby of the Sheldon where the Clean Part readings happen. There's Matt and Brett and Anthony Hawley, I think, and Karla.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Carving pumpkins is something that I do.

This Clean Part pumpkin will be raffled off Saturday night. If you come to the reading, you might be the lucky sumbeeyah that wins it and has to find a place to throw it away so you won't have to haul it around all night.

I like to carve pumpkins that are sickly zombie-like pumpkins, or appear upset about some sort of injustice.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I know you are for bicameralism, but it has been over 2 months. Can we move on? Can we? I mean really.
Tonight: grocery store, reading Barbara Guest's Fair Realism and Forces of Imagination, carving a pumpkin or two, watching some Tigers/Cards, making one or two important phone calls, writing a paper.

I'm currently a little taken with this.

Monday, October 23, 2006

If you love yourself, or even if you don't, the Clean Part reading is where your self should be at 7pm on Saturday. The Sheldon Art Gallery. Some of the best poems written in this world today will be read by their poets. Aaron McCollough. Karla Kelsey. Matt Hart. They are coming by plane and 10 hour car trip from Cincinnati to read for you. And for free. And you might might win a poetry jack-o-lantern via raffle.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

I am trying to recover from the best football game I've ever been to in Lincoln, but ultimately, the most heartbreaking.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I have a very old-school old-timey construction-workerish metallic lunch pail that I bring my lunch to school in everyday. Today, as I was crossing a busy intersection, diagonally, my thigh knocked the pail's buckle and my lunch spilled out onto the street. There will quite a few people walking around me. It was very cold out and I remember looking at my hands as they collected the food--they seemed especially white--and my sandwich, apple and soda seemed so vulnerable spread out there on the concrete, and so soft, and the street seemed especially dangerous and hard. It has been a while since I've felt that small, for those few seconds.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Fall break has given me two extra days to myself and I have apples, this big lasagne, graded papers, extra sleep, some quality time with A, some extra reading, two new poem drafts, a slightly cleaner house, and clean/ironed clothes to show for it. Thank you fall break.

And thank you Cubs for giving us Lou Pinella. Lou has the know-how to take the team from apathy/empty-seated disgrace to A-Rod stocked (possibly) bitter disappointment (I'm picturing the 2001 Mariners).

Sunday, October 15, 2006

A, M, A & I went apple picking in Nebraska City. It was fun and all, despite there being almost no apples left on the trees, and the fact that we were apple hunting underneath icy sheets of rain.

Ashley threw up a whole apple.

My new favorite picture of M.

Empty bagged A, hunting for the elusive golden Jonathan.

Me. And the last apple on Earth.