Thursday, March 30, 2006

This morning I woke up to a heavy thunderstorm. This makes me very happy. I want nothing more than to spend the morning watching Goonies. But I will forge ahead academically, do the second best thing. The finger puppets and I must read for class this afternoon. Certifiable by Pamela Mordecai. And I may slip in some extra reading between sections: Brandon Shimoda and Mathias Svalina's manuscripts, a little Fence, a little Lug Your Careless Body (returning to it), a little End of Rude Handles. Thunder. Rain on the window.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I've signed up for classes. My Fall 2006 lineup:

Poetry: "The Avant Garde" (taught by Anthony Hawley)
Poetry Tutorial (taught by Ted Kooser)
Beginning Russian

Monday, March 27, 2006

Thank you Amanda Nadelberg for your awesome book. I read it straight through the night I got it. It is a little like a Tate book for me, in that I promise myself just one more, Zach, then put it down and wash the dishes. But each poem is so easily read, so fun and quirked out, so strangely emotional, that I am compelled to read the next one, then the next, until there are only 10 more, then I tell myself that I may as well read the last 10. Many of them read really well if sitting on the floor of a bedroom, legs crossed, with finger puppet monsters. My finger puppet monsters read these well. You've made a fan of me.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Yesterday's reading went swimmingly. Some terrific people showed up. The poems went into some good ears. I like reading. Want to do it more.

Going to Omaha/Council Bluffs today to show M and J my old stomping grounds. Show them where the z became the Z. Why am I talking like a pro-wrestler today?

Friday, March 24, 2006

I'm reading at the No Name today at 4pm. Lincoln, NE. You should come. I'll be rocking some of the old standbys, the sure things, and taking risks with some of the new stuff. The stuff no one has heard/read before. Should be a great 20 minutes. For me, at least.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I am in love with Designer Denny Schmickle. He does all the pro-bono design work for Octopus (he did those broadsheets too I was talking about a few weeks back, which will soon be available at an Octopus Books site that I'll let you know about soon), and the posters for Clean Part. And many other beautiful things. Anyway he has his MFA thesis show (Universal Remote) April 3-12 at the Eisentrager Howard Gallery in Richards Hall on UNL's campus. There'll be a reception on Saturday, April 7, from 5-7 pm and Eagle*Seagull (he designed their site too) is going to bring the rock.

And I'm very very excited about the following: for part of his show, he designed these books, see, of two of my poems (The Whale and Ottoman Empire, the). I'm calling them very limited edition one-off publications from Universal Remote. You should come by then and see them. Pick them up and touch them.

Check em.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

We're buried in snow here. No school. I have a lot to do at school. Hmm. So, I'll be reading a lot today for class. Mong Lan's Why is the Edge Always Windy? and Marisol Limon Martinez's After You Dearest Language, and some other various texts.

Maybe first I'll make some hot cocoa with whipped cream. Maybe you could too. Curl up with that knitted blanket and read my review of Ryan Murphy's The Gales at Cutbank.

Monday, March 20, 2006

I have had a string of good acceptances lately: Typo, Washington Square Review, Action Yes, and a new print journal from Julia Cohen and company called Same Storm.

Getting it out there so you can see it.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

We're dogsitting for C and P. G, A, and I went for a early morning walk in the snow.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Ok. Off for a haircut. Sending off broadsheets (our printer people weren't quite on the ball here). Celebrating St. Patty's and birthdays with the 'rents tonight. Then, with less hair on my head/face, I'll grade papers this weekend, write poems.

If you're not a baseball fan, the following will bore you to death. But I promise not to use this blog as a fantasy baseball venue from here on out (except for the occasional gloat here and there).

Here's what I managed to scrounge together in my fantasy baseball draft last night (not bad for a league 18 teams deep):

C. Mike Piazza. After Victor Martinez, all catchers are pretty much the same, statistically I think. And, I'll admit, a little nostalgia is at work here. At least I didn't pick Sammy Sosa. No one did.

1B. Jim Thome. I've been hooked on this guy since I ate the Thome Triple at McDonalds. So beefy. So cheesy. Packed with homeruns.

2B. Ray Durham. Hey, the draft was low on quality second basemen, and I waited too long. Lets just hope he starts most of the time.

3B. Aramis Ramirez. 100 RBIs. 35 HRs. Solid pick.

SS. David Eckstein. He's a little twirp who has little natural ability. But the kid has heart. He's good filler. Won't kill the team.

LF. Carl Crawford. I'll be toward the top of the league in SBs because of this guy alone. Solid all around. Stongest and most dependable guy I got.

CF. JD Drew. He's either a sleeper or a bust. He's made of glass, but so is his ceiling (all these lines are mine, especially that last one. I could write for a really bad fantasy mag).

RF. Jermaine Dye. 80 RBIs. 30 HRs. In the middle of a solid White Sox lineup. This was my late round steal if I may say so.

UTIL/OF. Jacques Jones. Carl Everett. Gary Matthews, Jr. Darin Erstad (my boy).

My pitching is solid. I passed up Johan Santana to get Carl Crawford, but I think I cleaned up afterward. Lots of Red Sox. Lots of K's in this rotation.

SP. Dontrelle Willis. Josh Beckett. John Lackey. Cliff Lee. Matt Clement. Tim Wakefield.

RP. Dan Wheeler. Chris Reitsma. David Riske. Wheeler has a great chance of being the closer if Lidge gets hurt. He's lights out. Reitsma will start the season as the closer, but I don't imagine he'll last too long.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Tonight is my fantasy baseball draft. I'll be sure to show you my lineup tomorrow. Anyway, I'm very giddy about this. I'm a nerd for baseball. Have I not told you this before?

And tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day, which means I'll be shaving my beard off.

I might give myself a haircut too. I'm suspecting the transition might look like this:

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Here are 3 more leftover pics if you are interested. I consider each of them a strong candidate for bookjacket author photos.



Myself and the Podcast Pickle holding hands. He is a sweet pickle.

Here is a list of my bookfair booty. I have a lot to read. We'll try to get a review of some of these in Octopus. Anyone interested?

Poetry Society of America:
Idra Novey's The Next Country
Misty Harper's Guarding the Violin
Stuart Greenhouse's What Remains
Cecily Parks' Cold Work

Black Ocean Press:
Paula Cisewski's Upon Arrival
DJ Dolack's The Sad Meal (Eye for an Iris Chapbook - Black Ocean's imprint)

Hangman Chapbooks:
Clay Matthew's Muffler

Kitchen Press:
Matt Rasmussen's Fingergun
Chris Tonelli's Wide Tree (signed!)
Justin Marks' You Being You by Proxy
Ana Bozicevic-Bowling's Morning News

Anhinga Press:
Joshua Poteat's Ornithologies

Wave Books:
Mary Ruefle's A Little White Shadow*
Anthony McCann's Moon Garden
Eric Baus The To Sound (Verse)*
Caroline Knox's A Beaker - New and Selected Poems (Verse)*

Soft Skull:
Michael Turner's The Pornographer's Poem
Danielle Pafunda's Pretty Young Thing*
Daniel Nester's God Save My Queen I and II
Todd Colby's Tremble and Shine
Jerome Sala's Look Slimmer Instantly

Red Morning Press:
Jen Tynes' The End of Rude Handles*
Sean Norton's Bad with Faces

Shanxing Wang's Mad Science in Imperial City

University of Iowa Press:
Joshua Marie Wilkinson's Lug You Careless Body Out of the Careful Dusk*

Fence Books:
Martin Corless-Smith's Swallows
Geraldine Kim's Povel*

Slope Editions:
Jonah Winter's Maine**

The Pines Press:
Brandon Shimoda and Phil Cordelli's The Pines Volume 2*

*denotes what I am most excited about reading.
**denotes what I am most excited about re-reading (I only borrowed my previous copy).

And Brandon Shimoda should be sending me his manuscript -in-progress soon. Whew. Ok. To my favorite chair. A little lamp. Fireplace.

Monday, March 13, 2006

AWP Wrap

This is it. That table.

Mathias. Tony Robinson's lady. Adam. At the Effing Reading.

Joshua Marie and Richard Greenfield.

Betsy Wheeler. Mathias. Adam.

Tiny Adam at the Lit Reading.

Tiny Matt at the Lit Reading.

Me. I killed, I'm told. I was too nervous to know. But it sounded good from what I could tell.

Me again. My banter stance.

Joshua. Katie in the background.

Mathias. Matt. Mathias is pinching Matt's armpit.

I'm not buying what Brandon is selling.

Josh. Adam. Mathias.

Brandon. My leg.

Brandon pining through the window over Austin.

Mathias. Adam. The back of Tony Robinson's head.

AWP wrap-ups are the best. And full of linkety-links. My camera broke at mid-Austin trip. So, I'll may pirate more pics for you later.

The people are what make the conference. I love people and I roomed with the best of them: Brandon Shimoda, Adam Clay and Mathias Svalina. It was so good to share such a small space with them, one toilet and one shower. You should've seen all four of us poetry nerds manuevering for slumber space on that little double bed. It was precious I'm sure. We spent much of our time hanging with Matt Henriksen, who I have never met before, his wife Katie, and Joshua Marie Wilkinson, who I have met before as he read at the Clean Part, and forever friend Tony Tost, who I love dearly, etc.

Wednesday night, Brandon, Adam, Mathias, Joshua and I had a few drinkypoos and discussed strategy. On Thursday, the same group with Katie and Matt hit this great Cuban restaurant. Terrific cuban sandwich. Soggy fries. We passed by Anne Boyer and K. Silem Mohammed. Oh. Hello. This town was drenched in poets. If it would have blown up, the next decade of poetry would have been pretty weak. Noah Eli Gordon (who was not there) would have cleaned up on even more poetry contests. Later, we hit the Effing party. Better readers, in total, than the LIT party, I think, but they were a little more difficult to hear. So, I hung back and chatted it up, met a few people I've always wanted to meet: Reb Livingston, Jen Tynes, Nick Twemlow, Joshua Edwards, Anthony Robinson, Julie Dill, Tom Christopher (I love this guy), et al. Joshua, Mathias, Matt, Katie, Adam, Brandon, Betsy Wheeler, Katie and I went back to the hotel room and had this killer conversation while kicking back a few more brews and passing the laptop around. We pulled out some phrases from the conversation and made a brilliant long poem. Some of the best lines in town. I'm not kidding. Some of you mag editors will find this in your submit box under a pseudonym, which I will not disclose, and you will take it. And you will later nominate it for a pushcart. That night, in the room, good lines floating through the Hilton air, was a highlight--top 2.

As for the other highlight: the LIT reading. Before the LIT reading Friday night, we went to the Action Books reading. This is one of my favorite new presses. It may have broken into the top five already (top 6), at such an early age. One of my favorite younger poets killed. Lara Glenum. Yes! She read the poem from the broadsheet we did (from Octopus #7) and her "Hairiest Room" which I've read in her book about 20 times out loud to myself, wishing I had written it. Thank you Lara, for it all. From there, I walked with Danielle Pafunda to our LIT reading. I have long wanted to chat with her. It was good. The walk was too short. But her part of the reading was wonderful. I was in a trance. Also got to see a new favorite Chris Tonelli read, my favorite being the poem with a butthole in it. I won't repeat it. You should buy his book. And I got to hear Shanna Compton and Laurel Snyder and Matt Henriksen and Adam Clay too. Lovely readers. Thank you Justin for setting this all up. My part of the reading went over pretty well. I read in a jar of nerves but could hear a few hoots and hollas in the muffled background. Claps. I think I am best when I am nervous. It comes off as hilarious deadpan, to quote a few other bloggers. Anyway, some people I really wanted to hear me read were in that audience (Tony T hasn't heard me since our undergrad days). I gained some confidence reading up there, in front of the rock wall, in front of all those people. A lot of poets I truly admire, at the reading and at the fair, told me those poems are deserving of a press. I believe them. They are deserving. So.

Our bookfair home was the buzz. Octopus shared a table with Typo and Copper Nickle. And a few other wares were sold from our hub as well: Justin Marks' Kitchen Press, Matt and Katie's Cannibal, Brandon Shimoda's Pines. Mathias and I sold all 4 sets of 16 broadsheets (see earlier post - and check later: I'll give you a link to the Octopus Books site we're working on which will still sell two of the broadsheets which are not limited by signature and number). Shook some important hands and made a few tentative plans for Clean Part readers. And we did a good job of getting the word out about #8. Should be a good selection of mannies to read from in April. Oh, man. Oh, man. Looking forward. You should be too.

I missed some of my old peeps from Montana, but I met some new ones. Hit it off well with Nabil. And the rest. I had lunch with them. A chipotle burger. Brandon, fill these names in. And I hate Jake Adam York couldn't be there. Teague and the rest of us did well with the Copper Nickles. And Donald Revell. Hated that he couldn't be there to sign the broadsheets.

It is good to be home. I missed A and it'll be good to catch up with her. This is UNL's spring break. Lots of homework to do. Papers to grade. Mail these broadsheets off. I have a notebook full of poem ideers that could keep me up all night, every night this week. And lots of books. I'm going to list them all in the next post. I need to give my knuckles a rest first. Ok.
I'm just now unzipping my man-suit and crawling out. Dirty clothes. Books to my ears. I want to tell you all about my AWP in Austin and will. It was double killer. But first I must re-learn everything about my routine, and how to get back to it. And I must scramble together some pictures for you. Take a nap and come back.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Unpacking. Packing. I'm now shuffling papers and folding trousers for the trip to Austin. I'm very excited for this little adventure. If you want to ask me in person how excited I am, stop by the Octopus/Typo/Copper Nickle/StorySouth table. We'll give you a button. Sell you a cheap t-shirt or a beautiful broadsheet designed by Denny. You should see how these things turned out:

Jen Knox's "Poster in the Waiting Room: Phantom Arm" from #5

Donald Revell's "Thinking in the World" from #4

Lara Glenum's "How to Discard the Life You've Now Ruined" from #7

Daniil Kharms' "One Man Fell Asleep a Believer..." translated by Eugene Ostashevsky from #7

And we'll answer all your questions about #8.

Also, I'll be reading at the LIT reading with some of my po-heroes. See you around.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Just now back from Coloradio with the in-laws. Our little vacation went swimmingly--some quality quality time spent on the slopes and drinking alcoholic beverages illegally in the hot tub. My own highlights: the ribs at Bubba's douse in kicking mule sauce which burned a tasty and fiery hole in the back of my throat, board games, Hamlet's bookstore, the view behind my pita at Vail's mid-mountain eatery, not biffing it. Here are some pics:

Z and M. Z is downs with the Browns. M hogs the remote.

Z and A. Z is skiing for Canada.

M had a little accident the second day. She put her ski pole through her bottom lip while trying to hot dog it. I wasn't sure what to do for her, so I snapped a picture. She's alright.

Downtown Hair is alright with me. Downtown Fort Morgan Colorado.

Downtown Breckenridge. Looks like C told a joke. P thought it was outrageous. A thought it was just ok.

A. Just before she sprinted down the Rattler.

Now I'm quickly on to the next trip: Austin. Tomorrow I'll give a pre-cap before me-plane jets off.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Ok. I'm all packed and ready for our trip westward with A, M, C, and P, to the mountains. Ski ski ski drink eat soak ski.I've got my candy cigarettes, slinky eyeball glasses, tuxedo shirts, camera, and everything else important. All weekend AWP preparations for Octopus have been dumped on Mathias. I'll be back Monday, with pictures, and a tentative AWP itinerary. Then a much needed (to catch up on homework) Spring Break. The next two weeks=goodness.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Wow. Lots to do before AWP. This weekend, the in-laws are taking A and I to the Rockies for skiing, hot tubs, beer, beer in the hot tub, and food. I'm very excited about all this. Since moving from Montana to Lincoln, A and I have really missed the mountains. Our hearts ache a bit when we see pictures of them. The mountains in Nebraska aren't as impressive. So, the trip will be needed. I'll be sure to report back with pics.

This does, however, put even more pressure on Mathias and I regarding our AWP preparations. We have cool stuff to show you--hope we can pull it all off before our plane leaves. Aaaah.

AWP note: Justin Marks of Lit, invited me to read some poems alongside Adam Clay (who we'll be shacking up with (and Brandon Shimoda)), Sam Starkweather, and Randall Mann, and maybe, just maybe, Matt Henriksen. This little event is sponsored by LIT, Kitchen Press, and Redivider. It will be on Friday night, 9pm, at Club de Ville.