Tuesday, August 14, 2007

This + That

I feel like I haven't been putting enough weird, indigestible writing on this blog. Lately, it's all been nothing but advertisements of myself and friends and travelogues of Tampa. I must do better.

Today, however, will be mostly ads.

I'll be reading at Unnameable Books in Brooklyn with Ryan Daley at 8PM, Sunday the 19th. Yes, this Sunday. Please catch a bus, plane, or subway train to Brooklyn and come on by.

Joseph Mosconi now has a website for the upcoming journal Area Sneaks,; the website previews my piece in the issue.

And Mark Wallace posts a description of his encounters with LA area poets, as he's gotten to know the area; this includes the names of many people who I think are super . . . so, if you want to know super people, these are names you should know. . .

Saturday, August 11, 2007

My new book

Princess of the World in Love can now be ordered from Cy Press. Every copy is unique, and they are all very pretty (as a princess should be!) For $5, it's one of those crazy good deals that only brilliant, quixotic poet-publishers ever offer.

Friday, August 10, 2007

2 Release Parties for Fold Appropriate Text

Release party number ONE will be at Betalevel in L.A., with readings by: Guy Bennett, Teresa Carmody, Marcus Civin, Vanessa Place, Michael Smoler and more. It will be on Friday August 17, at 7:30.

Release party number TWO will be at Pegasus Books in Berkeley, with readings by: Franklin Bruno, K. Lorraine Graham, Mark Wallace, William Moor, and my co-editor Mathew Timmons. This one is Saturday August 18, at 7:30.

I will be doing other things, but nonetheless I will be picturing these events, on a small tableau inside my heart. The only thing I cannot readily picture is how Franklin Bruno will read (or otherwise present?) his bizarre piece, ournal of Philosophy.

Hopefully someone(s) will write down descriptions of these events. . .

Open Letter to William Moor

Hi William,

I had believed, incorrectly, that you might be S-- M--. But now I find there is a real S-- M--. She is a "real person."

Clearly, old friend, you are slipping. It used to be that there were no "real people," only you. But now, you have been superceded by a real person.

Still, her poems were much better when I thought you wrote them. That is because you are such a good poet!! But if you keep letting real people take your place, I do not know what will become of you. I tell you all this just to caution you, because matters of reputation matter.

I am going to post this letter to my blog, to publicly "out" you. This is only done for your edification, and encouragement, don't worry. Also, i'll edit this letter to protect the feelings of "real people."

Yours, caringly,


Thursday, August 9, 2007

This article by Jules and Maxwell Boykoff, critiqu...

This article by Jules and Maxwell Boykoff, critiquing the notion of "balance" in American journalism, is quite good, and helps to explain why many intelligent people in America believe that rising temperatures are probably natural, even though most of the world's scientists do not hold that view. It's all in the framing, baby.

The sad thing about this article is it's three years old and not much has changed. . . The temperature is changing much more rapidly than the frame is. . .

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Moving Walkways by K. Lorraine Graham

So, during this cross-country drive, all 50+ hours of it, sometimes a boy became a little drowsy. Now, naturally a boy prefers not to become dead, and therefore stern practices were employed to keep a boy awake, such as: stinging slaps to each cheek! More hot coffee! More stinging slaps! Different music! Change the channel! More stinging slaps! (Enough stinging slaps brings on a bit of a headache, unfortunately, but better a self-inflicted headache than to run into a truck.)

Now, for the first 20 or so hours of this I did not start reaching for the poetry CDs, because, it is well known, poetry CDS are notably soporific. And yet finally I was tired of hot coffee and hitting myself in the face, tired of my CDs and quite tired of classic rock and Nashville country, and so I decided to put in the one poetry CD I had with me: Moving Walkways by K. Lorraine Graham (released recently by Narrowhouse Recordings). One reason I decided to do this was that I remembered from recent readings in LA how aggro K. Lorraine's reading style has become, and she had also assured me when I bought the thing that if I enjoyed anger there would be a lot there for me. And indeed the CD was steely! Lorraine's delivery is precise and forceful, and I found myself much more alert listening to her read than I had been listening to Pecos, Texas's hiphop station. The poems offer assessments of a woman's situation in society now, using irony, charm, and unexpected associations to challenge any sense of women's situation being normal or transparent. The beauty of the poems is their whimsy, I suppose, a sort of outraged whimsy that draws associative connections very casually and lightly--making this a poetry of the everyday, but of a threatened everyday. And another part of the whimsy, it seems to me, is that Lorraine ever-so-casually threatens back--this is a poetry of response which, while you are in its spell, displaces anyone else's everyday with the everyday of this specific consciousness. This is a form of the whimsical which is ambitious and invasive and very funny--whimsy on the attack.

Due to the difficulty of quoting a recording, I won't try to do that, but I would recommend this recording, for fans of Lorraine's work, fans of well-read poetry, and those who are planning to drive at night across hundreds of miles of arid grassland.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Driving Adventure

I drove about a week and now I'm back in Tampa again. The hairiest part was in the West Texas grasslands, which in my previous drives through them were the easiest place to drive I had ever been (except for boredom): hours of driving at 80 down a lonely freeway with flat brown grass on one side and flat brown grass on the other. Imagine being at the intersection of nowhere and nowhere, driving for ten hours, and still being in the same place. There's something sort of soothing about it. But this time, about 6 hours into the arid grassland, an incredible storm whistled up and the plains were pounded by torrential rain for about 18 hours. I was crawling along at 20-25 mph, with almost zero visibility, for hours, hydroplanning occasionally, pulling over on the shoulder and stopping occasionally, out between Odessa and Big Spring. Then finally reached a place where I could rent a motel, only to wake up nine hours later and find myself still driving through the same thing. Remarkable!

It was an adventure, which was good, although the hydroplanning was not good, and the incredibly powerful, very close lightning, in the early parts of the storm, was amazing, but sometimes too close and too loud. At one point a lightning bolt hit a powerline or telephone pole across the road from me, and then a second blast went from the pole into the freeway--BOOM! A lot of very visible electricity. We should really, we would do this if we were smart, capture the lightning, and use it as a genie to move our machines.

I suggested to a friend in Texas that the fact that the arid West Texas grassland was suffering such unusual storms might be a sign of climate change. (The area is typically very dry, and I think is typically categorized as a type of desert because of the low rainfall.) My friend replied that I was probably right, but that he had read that climate change was a natural phenomenon. So I guess that's the current state of the climate change discussion in Texas. He told me that the increasing warmth was typical of the end of a "little Ice Age." And I told him that such a theory didn't really account for the fact that cardon dioxide has different chemical properties than oxygen, and that it is not hard to understand that an increased amount of carbon in the air would have certain unavoidable effects.

A few days earlier, back in LA, here are pictures from my Goodbye Party. Dana Ward and I read, and Ara Shirinyan roasted me. And many wonderful people were there! Thanks for the pics Harold!

Sunday, July 29, 2007


The Statement by the Editors of Fold Magazine is now online. Just scroll down past the pretty pictures of the cover art and the list of contributors and there it is.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Hello Princess / Goodbye Stan

All good things must come to an end. And you can come and see the end, this Friday night, at 8:30 at BetaLevel.

I'm going to miss Los Angeles. . . not so much the smog or the infinite stream of shiny vehicles. . . I'm going to miss the people. Bye, bye people!

I'm going to spend all weekend running around telling everybody "Goodbye" in person. Some people might even be told multiple times!