Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Some terrific books have been gifted to me lately. Allysa Wolf's Vaudeville and Ryan Murphy's Down with the Ship, both from Seismicity Editions/Otis Books. These books are beautiful. I've already torn through the Murphy, re-reading some of my old favs that are included, and discovering quite a few new favs. I've gone to Murphy, more than anyone else as of late, to steal ideas for poems. And Eugene Ostashevsky has sent me his new chapbook, infinite recursor or the bride of dj spinoza. This one is complete with illustrations by Eugene Timerman. I've always been an Ostashevsky fan. His poems are so delightfully strange. This is not a far departure from Kharms. Books like Ostashevsky's inspire me to create and make we want to give up at the same time.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Ok. Here's part 2 of Don’t you have a map?, a collaborative, traveling essay in letters 'twixt Erika Howsare & Jen Tynes. They started this little adventure through blogs at The Pines. Now they're stopping at the Arc.


Part 2, J to E-

"Crow is a very old word." I'll pick this straw and draw a revelatory, a revolver. Visit Steven Stankiewicz's crowbar, http://www.alicebernstein.net/Aesthetic_Realism_Fathers/crowbar.jpg,

Which sends you back to the garages, takes you out to the woodshed, determines your printer's mark. The crowbar is a deed.

The crowbar is capable of maintaining its own engine but it likes your fire/water, asks if you sign.

Asks, am I the surface for attracting these? Hobbyists, book-readers, people who bend the pre-arranged. The office is the place we go to view our propose duty.

Crowbar will: vet all the proposed animals. Put out the 'you mean business' signs.

Crowbar is always at the office, in its glass case, which can only be broken open by another crowbar.

Doubt it. Late night in the woods. At the (post) office today I was met by a treeful—loud, mystified, waiting for my shingle to fall.

Before that, from a distance, a half-deserted dog park.

Before that, below the bridge, whitecaps.

Is this being indirect? Crow + bar = parity-time. The puns are not wrong. Crowbar is a wedge. It keeps you from short circuiting.

"It meant that," uncomfortable in the belly of the form, the speaker knows their faith.

Presses their shape into the membrane of the belly of the form or else sends blowhole smoke signals.

Stop by here (http://www.mclaren.gs/whales_ear.htm) and see form in parts.

(Crowbar tells, discerns, the living from the islands when they unhinge their big eyeballs, look around and spurt....)

"Others were painted, often with a human face."

This is certainly a comic fantasy of mine. This is certainly direction.

The crowbar likes to be as instrumental as possible; in all manners of knowing this is why we're gone sweet on it.

Why we crystallize with focus. We suck on the rocks to get better. (See also through cadence, classification.)

If I darken the doorstep of the crowbar with my shadow, I grow a crowbar place.

Am I a surface that says these things? Is my crowbar on my sleeve? Sticky tack and velcro. Slip-ons and dry erase:

All manners of knowing yours. Before whitecaps, beneath a bridge, I heard a tromping which put the God in me, and I heard the tromping do it.

I heard the crow bar out.

A form-whale, when it arrives, arrives everywhere. http://manana.mccorison.com/images/040510/Beached%20whale%20bones%201.JPG When is this going to get bone-dead serious?

E responds to J at http://www.typomag.com/burningchair/ in March. Please visit http://www.horselesspress.com/amap.html for the whole hog.
Email Erika & Jen: editors AT horselesspress DOT com.

Friday, February 24, 2006

1. M & J are coming to town. Lots of fun to be had, conversations about careers, cinema, fantasy baseball, baseball. We're going to eat at a restaurant. This weekend will not be a pbj/ramen weekend.

2. I've signed up for my Fantasy Baseball league. My team, The High and Tight, has reported to camp. I'm crunching some numbers now. Bought some literature. Preparing. Plotting. Strategizing. This is my year.

3. Octopus is making some broadsheets (designed by Denny). They're a bit untraditional. Not sure you can even call them broadsheets. What you can call them, is yours (for like 5 or so bucks at AWP). Anyway, they'll be in production next week. This is a teaser. Maybe I'll show you some images later. You going to AWP this year?

4. Keep an eye out for the Jen Tynes/Erika Howsare train, Don't You Have a Map? part 2, to come rumbling through this blog in the next day or two. Its a collaborative, travelling essay in letters. Look at what they did at The Pines.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I'm dying to tell you something.

Last week, Horse Less Press accepted a chapbook manuscript of mine, Abraham Lincoln's Death Scene. It is a long poem with 16 sections. Each section focuses on a very specific physical area of the scene, as if 1/16 of a painting. Blood. Fire. Love. Whales. Siamese Triplets. Good stuff.

Jen Tynes tells me you might have to wait until December though.

I am very excited. Horse Less does beautiful work and I get to be press buddies with Adam Clay.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Another terrific Clean Part weekend. Very clean, intellectually and poetically stimulating and exhausting. My brain is full poems stolen from these three brilliant poets, but I was too burned to write any of it so I zoned out to Urban Cowboy on Sunday (with A, K, and S), drooling a bit and not wiping it off.

Jake Adam, Noah Eli, and Joshua Marie came in Friday night and we shared some pizza and beer at Yia Yia's. Soy cheese pizza. A bread popsicle. Later some good scotch at Mathias'. Black metal. Book talk. On Saturday we hit Kuhl's, the epicenter of Lincoln poetry, where all Lincoln poets (visiting or residing) get their ribeye and eggs and hashbrowns and pancakes. Sheldon Art Museum. A quick nap for Z. We were all a bit disappointed Clean Part fan and former reader Adam couldn't make it up. His absensce was heavy on all our shoulders. But we'll always have Austin. The reading went very well.

All three Clean Part poets were expert readers, polished and exuberant. About 45 people showed, and it seems our lack of space/seating turned away a handful more. Alas!

Noah Eli Gordon, everybody, holding a chunk of bread on a straw.

Jake reading from Murder Ballads in front of the Nebraska map beside the pink door. A Clean Part tee hangs in the distance.

Mathias and Z. Z holding the mysterious pie. Mathias holding a bowl of hope.

Noah. Mathias. Ashley.

Joshua looked the wrong way.

Denny rocking the No You Didn't again. And a clean part button.

Noah rocking the Noah Eli Gordon Book Jacket photo.

Noah and Joshua listening to me introduce Noah, I think.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Recent literary acquisitions: A review copy of City Eclogue by Ed Roberson (Atelos). Review copies of Poem for the End of Time and Other Poems by Noelle Kocot (Wave Books) and Shake by Joshua Beckman (Wave Books). Grace Bauer let me borrow her Anthology of New Russian Poets 1953-1968 translated by George Reavey. I'm reading Black Salt by Edouard Glissant for Postcolonial Poetics class. I'm finding that I love it and that I'm getting a lot of mileage out of it (both creatively and critically)--I'm surprised actually. And the lovely and generous Anthony Hawley just put his new book, The Concerto Form (Shearsman), in my mailbox at school. I'm very excited about this. I'm a fan and a friend and can't wait to dig in so I can later bring it up in conversation over beer. Buy his book, seriously.

Ok. Now I have to read all this stuff.

Also: a chess update: Mathias 3 - Your hero 0. Plenty of matches to be played, fans. Don't panic.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Another reason to come to Clean Part this weekend: we'll give you free buttons.

Monday, February 13, 2006

A big Clean Part is happening this weekend--so big, each of the readers have 3 names: Noah Eli Gordon, Jake Adam York, and Joshua Marie Wilkinson. This is a big one. We're giving out free peanuts and coffee, and Clean Part buttons. You'll have yet another chance at winning a pie, and a chance at meeting Jeff Tweedy (because we know he is a poetry fan, we invited him. He has a concert in Lincoln later that night. Seriously, don't count on meeting him), but your chance at hanging with Gordon, York, and Wilkinson is a sure bet. Be sure to bring some cash--all three of them have killer books (better than Tweedy's) and will likely be selling them at a good price. And this reminds me, also bring cash to buy your sweetie a Clean Part or Octopus Tee. Joey Lynch used his skills to make us some merchandise. Denny, always cool and always available even when he's not, made the rad posters.

A rocking the Clean Part tee.

Some Octopus tees.

They're all different colors and sizes. If you want one, but NYC or SF is too far a drive from Lincoln, backchannel me and I'll send you one. We're trying to make a few bucks for Octopus Books. I'll tell you about that later.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Pull up your most comfortable chair. Tony has somehow hauled another very heavy (heavier) Fascicle into the room. It is an enormous contemporary world-po and local-po classroom--a year's worth of poetry PhD school in all these links (why am I paying so much $ at UNL when I could be reading Fascicle instead for free?). A boatload of interviews, essays, collaborations, Chinese translations, non-Chinese translations, plays, fiction, poetry, poems, local po-biz news, and more. Whew.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

This weekend. A and I watched Broken Flowers and ate a 99 cent Tostino's pizza. Today I have to write a couple of recommendation letters (one for a colleague, one for myself), prepare the manny for a few open reading sendouts, write a few scholarly papers. Tomorrow, Mathias may come over for some chess and shop talk. Right now, I'm blogging and eating ranch flavored Lays and a peanut butter sandwich. I just got a little peanut butter on the F.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

This week, in the mail: The End of the Alphabet by Claudia Rankine, Sleeping with the Dictionary by Harryette Mullen, Certifiable by Pamela Mordecai, Why is the Edge Always Windy by Mong-Lan, a review copy of Moraine by Joanna Fuhrman, the last issue of Copper Nickle from Jake Adam York, my contributor's copy of Diagram's second print anthology, which looks pretty tight, and some beautiful A Rest Press books from Ryan Murphy, Brian Kim Stephans' The Window Ordered to be Made and a split book of Fred Schmalz and David Trinidad. This reminds me, Ryan Murphy's first full-length book is out now. It is called Down with the Ship from Seismicity Editions. I'll be waiting at my mailbox.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

A and I went on a little mini-date Saturday night. I took her to the Hyde Observatory to look at the stars. We saw Saturn (my 3rd favorite planet of all time) up close and learned some interesting facts about Betelguese. There was an old guy who has worked there for about 40 years who made us look at his magic eye.

Here's a pic. You can see the observatory and the beautiful night sky, including Saturn. You may have to let your eyes adjust.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Adam and Matt have cooked up some delicious meatballs for Typo #7. I can't wait to dig in tonight. But first, an explication of the Hybrid Muse. Mmm.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

This from Carnegie Mellon: "The Man Suit was in our final seven. I regret to inform you that we will be unable to publish your collection this year. Your manuscript is a publishable one. Only a lack of funds and adequate staffing prevented us from publishing it."

Ouch. Ouch. This is starting to get ridonkulous (sigh).

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Meals: I have had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day for the past two weeks. I really like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I really have had one every day for the past two weeks. Tonight, after class at 9:30, I'll have noodles de Ramen with chicken bouillon seasoning and cayenne, and some corn chips and apple slices, and a diet mountain dew.

Sports: Is it too early to be getting excited about baseball season?

Television: I don't like that I like some reality television, but I do like me some Beauty and the Geek. And I'm rooting for Moana on the Bachelor. Other than that, I'm a late-night public TV kind of guy. I like Rick Steve's Europe and Independent Lens. Next Tuesday night is Negroes with Guns: a look at Rob Williams and the Black Power movement.

Poetry: I'm reading Edouard Glissant now. Thinking about identity in poetry, in terms of relation and not isolation, multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism. Where do poets fit in cultures? Are they representative? Do they create or reflect culture? Etc.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

So, Octopus has crawled from its dark watery den. It is back in service, ladies. Read your hearts out.