Saturday, December 25, 2010
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Merry Christmas, all you elves out in internet land.
I'm at my mom's. I might go see True Grit later.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
January 1, 2011
The Poetry Project
at St. Marks Church
131 E. 10th Street (and 2nd Ave)
Poets and Performers for 2011 include: John Giorno, Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye, Philip Glass, Suzanne Vega, Taylor Mead, Eric Bogosian, Anne Waldman & Ambrose Bye, Vito Acconci, Foamola, Anselm Berrigan, Ariana Reines, Peter Gizzi, Liz Willis, Ted Greenwald, Bruce Andrews & Sally Silvers, The Church of Betty, Thom Donovan, Tim Griffin, Todd Colby, Tom Savage, David Shapiro, Jonas Mekas, Josef Kaplan, Judith Malina, Albert Mobilio, Alex Abelson, Maria Mirabal, Bill Kushner, David Freeman, David Kirschenbaum, Diana Rickard, Don Yorty, Dorothea Lasky, Douglas Dunn, Alan Gilbert, Alan Licht w/ Angela Jaeger, Charles Bernstein, Christopher Stackhouse, Citizen Reno, Cliff Fyman, Corina Copp, Aaron Kiely, Adeena Karasick, Bill Zavatsky, Bob Holman, Robert Fitterman, Rodrigo Toscano, Brenda Iijima, Brendan Lorber, Brett Price, Corrine Fitzpatrick, Curtis Jensen, Dael Orlandersmith, David Vogen, Derek Kroessler, Diana Hamilton, ARTHUR’S LANDING, CAConrad, Akilah Oliver, Douglas Piccinnini, John S. Hall, Samita Sinha, Sara Wintz, Secret Orchestra with special guest Joanna Penn Cooper, Shonni Enelow, Bob Rosenthal, Brenda Coultas, John Yau, Julian T. Brolaski, Evelyn Reilly, Filip Marinovich, Douglas Rothschild, Drew Gardner, Eleni Stecopoulos, Elinor Nauen, Eve Packer, Jo Ann Wasserman, Joanna Fuhrman, Dustin Williamson, E. Tracy Grinnell, Ed Friedman, Edwin Torres, Eileen Myles, Elliott Sharp, Emily XYZ, Erica Hunt, Erica Kaufman, Evan Kennedy, Joe Elliot, Joel Lewis, Frank Sherlock, Gillian McCain, Greg Fuchs, Janet Hamill, Jeremy Hoevenaar, Jessica Fiorini, Jibade-Khalil Huffman, Jim Behrle, Julianna Barwick, Julie Patton, Michael Lydon, Lisa Jarnot, Maggie Dubris, Marcella Durand, Marty Ehrlich, Merry Fortune, Michael Cirelli, Kristen Kosmas, Laura Elrick, Lauren Russell, Leopoldine Core, Nina Freeman, Paolo Javier, Patricia Spears Jones, Paul Mills (Poez), Michael Scharf, Mike Doughty, Karen Weiser, Lewis Warsh, Linda Russo, Penny Arcade, Peter Bushyeager, Rebecca Moore, Mónica de la Torre, Murat Nemet-Nejat, Nathaniel Siegel, Nick Hallett, Nicole Peyrafitte, Pierre Joris & Miles Joris-Peyrefitte, Kathleen Miller, Katie Degentesh, Kelly Ginger, Ken Chen, Kim Lyons, Kim Rosenfield, India Radfar, Tonya Foster, Stephanie Gray, Susan Landers, Tony Towle, Tracie Morris, Valery Oisteanu, John Coletti, Rachel Levitsky, Edmund Berrigan, Jamie Townsend, Macgregor Card, Wayne Koestenbaum, Will Edmiston, Yoshiko Chuma, Nicole Wallace, Arlo Quint, Stacy Szymaszek and more T.B.A
General admission $20/Students & Seniors $15/Members $10.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Thursday, December 02, 2010
(with apologies to Uncle Walt)
Aren't we all just tigers and lambs with austere mullets, serious zebras with Elvis hairdos?
Don't you have something better to do with your mortal time?
Didn't you eat a bagel half with wondrous capers, red onion, etc.? Wasn't the going difficult-- all that chewing-- and blessed?
Have you studied so long to be one of them? Have you been born enough?
Isn't there always a stray remark lurking to help you plumb the depths?
Didn't you tense your shoulders in gladness, keeping them near your ears?
Weren't you always one of the chosen?
Weren't you a pilgrim alone, with only mysterious racket to keep you company (that hammering, that slamming vault door, that phantom semi honking)?
Didn't you glimpse the curve of the road through the newly bare trees and wonder what amphitheater this was now? Didn't you then recognize the road and say, "Oh, it's the road"?
Didn't the lion lie down with the lamb? Weren't both of them you?
Thursday, November 25, 2010
When I woke up, my thoughts were oracular.
There's so much I've yet to be grateful for, things
like circumstance and dogged joy and birth and--
I'll say it-- death. (Is approaching grateful
the same as grateful?) This is the holiday of, "Oh,
I forgot to notice you and your labored breathing
there in the corner." But really, I did notice you--
how your eyes seemed to point in two different
directions sometimes; your hound
tendency to just want to keep moving in
a straight line, nose toward the ground, away
from the house; how you hunkered in
joy and smiled a little and were your own fur-
covered secret of small pleasures and
longing and some smelling, flop-eared version
of love. What if on your last day, you got
a bath and were talked to sweetly and chewed
two of three bones you were offered?
What of being with ones who saw you young
and saw you old, who bailed you out of jail,
who lay on the floor with your animal body,
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I’m like some freak who smells like moon tea, if only spirit
had not abandoned me, if only I could harness the power
of a single day’s frittering, I’d come back from the fourth dimension
and tell myself deep truths from there, flickering in the doorway,
saying, “Chill” and “Recognize.” I am high up in my home, bereft
of as many comforting textiles as I’d like to own, but rich in dark
haunted tree limbs moving of their own volition. Cradled
by more encroaching fog and nefarious 2 a.m. subway track
singing than I even begin to deserve. I am mourning the twentieth
century. Kids these days know nothing of Magic Fingers,
of luminous clock faces slowly going dark next to twin beds
as a dogwood tree comes on outside, shining the yard
bright in one spot, on the loneliest night in the twentieth century.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Ping Pong Launch Party
Saturday, October 16 · 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Happy Ending Lounge
302 Broome Street
Tygerburning Literary Journal Launch And Reading
Dec. 4, 2010, 7:30 PM
Upstairs at Erika's
For further information please contact Erika at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
“You have to fight every day to stop censoring yourself. And you never have anyone else to blame when you do. What happens to artists is that it’s not that somebody’s standing in their way, it’s that their own selves are standing in their way."
[Read more here.]
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
1. Bad Girls, Donna Summer
I think I got this for Easter in 1979, along with Mickey Mouse Disco. I loved Donna Summer. She was edgy and emotive.
2. Magical Mystery Tour, The Beatles
I listened to the Beatles a lot when I was a kid. And whenever I saw those creepy vans with dark windows, I would think the Magical Mystery Tour was indeed coming to take me away.
3. "Call Me," Blondie
I had a bunch of cool 45s. "Roll me in designer sheets, I'll never get enough."
4. Business As Usual, Men at Work
A kid named Scott Ferguson made a tape of this album for me in middle school. He drew cool cartoons and had to have all these surgeries on his back. I think he was from Canada. I think Cargo was on the other side.
5. Rio, Duran Duran
Seventh grade was all about Rio.
6. Zenyatta Mondata, The Police
The older sister of my best friend in 8th grade loved the Police, so I started loving them, too. I was way too into the song "Don't Stand So Close to Me." Good thing none of my teachers were at all Sting-like.
7. Golden Age of Wireless, Thomas Dolby
Strangely strong connection with the song "Europa and the Pirate Twins."
8. Sweet Baby James, James Taylor
9. 12 Greatest Hits, Patsy Cline
Patsy understands. She understands more than we understand.
10. The Best of Leonard Cohen
11. Deja Vu, CSNY
Strong, slightly eerie double-layered nostalgia for both high school and childhood associated with this album.
12. Purple Rain, Prince
13. Are You Experienced, The Jimi Hendrix Experience
14. Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables, Dead Kennedys
I don't think I totally understood this album when I bought it in high school, but it allowed me to have conversations like this:
Friend of my mom's from work: What if I named a band after your dead heroes?
15. Led Zeppelin IV
When we were teenagers, a friend from childhood once tried to hypnotize me into making out with him by playing this and telling me about how Led Zeppelin had sold their souls to the devil. I went along with it.
16. The Velvet Underground and Nico
Record store re-discovery of music I vaguely remember from childhood turns an important corner. Felt like I was cooler than everyone for about a year, until I went to college and met someone else who also liked the Velvet Underground and early David Bowie.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
1. Is that woman carrying a marijuana plant?
2. Two fauxhawks within three rows.
3. Little boy in front of me opens the window shade before we've pulled away from the gate and says, "I can see our town."
4. The first ingredient in my orange juice is apple juice.
Flight back to New York
1. Guy with a comical hat featuring an illustration of a HUGE marijuana leaf is one of the last people to get on the plane. (Problems at security?)
2. Autistic grown twins in the row behind me with their father. They seem to function quite well, until they get into an argument about how elastic is made of rubber as we're getting off the plane.
3. Young woman in my row whose carry-on has a BOGOTA tag seems to be on drugs or delirious. She puts her head on the empty middle seat between us, basically under the arm rest that my arm is resting on, then looks up at me quizzically when I keep touching the armrest to change the JetBlue tv channels. (Cash Cab-Law and Order-Cash Cab-Law and Order).
4. There's a very very old woman across the aisle from me who had to be carried onto the plane and put into her seat by two strong men. She has on a sassy green jacket and a lime green John Deere-style hat that says TABERNACLE-something-or-other. Her daughter beside her has the same hat.
Thursday, August 05, 2010
The night we moved, we ate a beige meal-- hummus and cracked wheat crackers and Chimay. It was perfect. We also watched a movie, but not one of these movies. (We watched Silkwood, which I haven't seen in years. It isn't what you'd call a celebratory movie, but watching something so well acted is comforting, at least.)
The next day we were really tired. We went to brunch and then sat on a bench and looked at these geese.
We still have a lot of unpacking to do.
Thursday, July 08, 2010
I journeyed to Brooklyn for the apartment search in the hot hot heat wave. I had an iced coffee; looked at an apartment; walked around Prospect Heights in the hot heat; had a peanut butter-banana smoothie for dinner; came back home.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
(1) Train; (2) wildflowers for my b-day; (3) looking ghostly-blurry at the b&b; (4) the ritual breaking of the Hello Kitty piñata at the wedding; (5) sculpture at Art Omi.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Then I read an excerpt from this book by John Waters.
Then I looked up some pictures of Johnny Mathis:
Then I looked up Johnnie Ray:
Then I watched some John Waters interviews:
Then I somehow got to this video called "If David Lynch directed Dirty Dancing."
Then I ate some cereal and started watching this documentary on Netflix about Bergman's cinematographer, Sven Nykvist:
Shortly after the part in the documentary where they show the clip of Max von Sydow wrestling with a tree, I went back to bed.
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
They flung me into the sea
The sunlight ran all over my face,
The water was blue the water was dark brown
And my severed head swam around that ship
Three times around and it wouldn't go down.
Too much life, my darling, embraces and strong veins,
Every sense speaking in my real voice,
Too many flowers, a too-knowing sun,
Too much life to kill.
[photo from the Academy of American Poets]
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
"cultivate and circulate" and making fake ballet arms in the kitchen.
The lady on PBS was telling me to circulate my lady molecules
for the good of all living things and men. For once I didn't feel
resentful. I was thinking "lymph and chi" when I woke up and birds
were calling loud-- between a squawk and chirp. I was reading
about Rukeyser's river and how fear of women and fear of poetry
are the same thing. "Too much life, my darling . . . .
too much life to kill" is what Rukeyser said.
Imagine saying that.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
2. Do not think about what constitutes a "pleasant environment" in the morning. Look at the light. It's probably pleasant.
3. Where does the sunlight fall on your bookshelf? It might be: Howards End, Gilead, The Morgesons, The Brothers Karamazov. I really might organize all this differently.
4. Cheech and Chong voice in my head goes, "Organize your miiiind, man." OK.
5. If you stop paying attention to good or bad things, they stop happening. Or start happening. I read that in a book.
6. Now there's light on Paradise Lost and Celestial Navigation by Anne Tyler.
7. You should try it.
Saturday, May 01, 2010
While Reluctant to Use the Word Sing, I Am Content to Say Hum
Do starlings argue about whether to put a change
jar in the bedroom? Would a starling sit on the couch
wanting to make poems of birds and light? I can hear
the city grinding itself into the earth, making something
living of itself and airplanes dropping soot from blue
blue sky. Everything is shining and in pain.
(The little girl yesterday at the restaurant looked
at me, then asked her parents, Are the grownups
going to die? Her father-- Don't worry about it.)
It's hard to be loving all the time. Let's try.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
This is me having a life of the mind
Late April and I'm almost back to swimming feeling--
swim swim--under a washed-clean sky and all
those green for real leaves out my office window.
Birds picking their mites and students doing some spring
frolic thing I don't even want to know about on the beach
(lawn) by the admin building. It's all good vibes and secrets.
I'll climb the shallow concrete steps, branches curving
up like scythes. If I learn to build on what came before
there are cool places to hide.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
[poem found in the back of this semester's teaching notebook]
the way a nun in no habit will bend at the waist
cock her head a little and clasp her hands
smiling a little comic smile of God and understanding
when she sees you at the bathroom sink
(or is that woman a nun at all?)
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Morning and “Opaline” Light after Three Days of Rain
These birds are calling machines, sound spinning on a string,
and then there’s the real machine—something cutting through
the last real rock Manhattan has. Yesterday was dumb
and not in a good way. An artist might be simple and strange,
lovely and dumb. Yesterday was not an artist. (I’m scared
of ugly animals, people with shopping bags and masks who
step in your way to cough in your face on Central Park South
remind me to walk on the other side of the street next time,
the park side where raccoons and lost schizophrenic sons
will watch over me.) I was on the 1 train thinking of you
after reading “Beware of bone-tiredness/ that brings sickness.”
Oh, friend who is my heart. For real. Come see me
someday before we’re dead. We’ll shuffle along together
and swing our arms bent a little, like you like to do.
The light’s a slow kaleidoscope. I can see one stunted
branch and a wall of light on brick through the grate.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Today Was Cold April Sunday
Walking under the arms of new full leaves in the spitting drizzle,
everybody-- even the kids and dogs-- looked hungover.
It's still drizzling on the subway. A man is taking my picture
with his phone, or watching porn on his phone, or reading
text messages. Later I see him in the potatoes at the store.
A lady there follows me, walking in front of me and stopping
to block my way at the ends of aisles. Back home the sky
glows violet gray in my kitchen. My soup barely turns out.
Every single time I look at the clock today,
it's 52 minutes past the hour.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
At a student reading, I hear
the line "I dream that my skin
is new" and take heart.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Tonight for dinner-- crackers (cracked wheat) with aged parmesan, small container of blackberries, dark chocolate, a few pecans, two glasses of good, inexpensive red wine. These foods the result of sunny day mania.
Shaker spirit drawings. Their founder was a woman.
The hands of someone familiar-- "someone's hands familiar."
"Who do you think you are? You're not a star boarder." Something my great-grandmother used to apparently say.
Reading Mom's People as a kid, I was puzzled by "Liz Taylor's violent eyes." Such passion! But seemed to judge her for it. Years later: "Oh. 'Violet.' "
Ice in Italian: il gelo.
My security words: "Unbity" and "and pendulum."
Small girl on the bus saying "ever ever ever."
Jim Carroll and James Schuyler before bed. Life is short. I don't know how to live it.
The nice empty feeling when you cull and organize.
That guy I dated who'd make a face of mock-disgust when he was glad to see me. It was funny at first.
Bench in Central Park. Tourists from eastern Europe (acting their idea of American?). Bird whistle like the disco cop whistle in Donna Summer's "Bad Girl."
Dream: Archive of everything. What it leaves out.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Here are some recent/upcoming/ongoing developments:
1. On Saturday, I will be reading a poem or two at the THE LUNGFULL GALA RELEASE RAUCOUS AUCTION & READING SPECTACULAR. Last year's event was indeed somewhat raucous and spectacular. This year's event promises to be even more so. (An authentic Devo hat will be auctioned off!)
2. My poetry book, How We Were Strangers, was a semi-finalist for the Beatrice Hawley Award from Alice James Books. Even better, two of my friends (Ross Gay and Rebecca Howell) were finalists, too!
3. On Saturday May 1st, I'll be reading in Brooklyn in the CROWD reading series.
4. My new chapbook, Mesmer, will be available in May from Dancing Girl Press.
5. We are nearing the end of National Poetry Month. What have we learned? I've learned that when trying to write a poem a day for National Poetry Month, I tend to write in all sorts of ways-- poemy poems, prosey poems, compressed/lyrical fragments, talky pieces, found poems. I've also learned that while it probably isn't against nature to try to produce a draft per day, it may in fact be against nature to post them on your blog.
6. The image is a jackalope, an animal I first learned about from the KU Natural History Museum. I'm not sure if they still have the jackalope on display, but they still have the horse Comanche.
[Jackalope image found on blogulate.com.]
Friday, April 23, 2010
("One of these mornings, you're going to rise up singing")
I'm watching some miasmic chemical reaction between the decaf
and the regular coffee in the press and it would be easier to consider
myself awake if more light came in through the windows. (My mother
and I looking at New York apt. ads two years ago-- "Oh, look. Another
ad for light. What a selling point. Haha." Haha.) I go to the bedroom
to write down, "It would be easier to consider myself awake, etc."
and there is some light shining the white gauze curtain bright. I
shimmy a little, then try a tentative grapevine, then slouch and frown
and sit on the bed. The guy in the cranky introvert article said Sartre
might as well have said, "Hell is other people in the morning."
I'm almost my own other person.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
The friendly guy behind the desk at the storage place is telling you about Beatles Fest when suddenly it's 11 p.m. The belligerent customer who was here when you arrived is now on the other side of the glass with his two sons in gold chains. They're all looking at you like they learned it from each other. What you found in your storage space are only huge stacks of typed material you may have compiled, one disassembled chair, an unsettling misc. box (semi-precious stones, old calendars, a cartoon map), and books written between the years 1722 and 1997. Most of the people who wrote most of the books are dead. The man who is telling you about Beatles Fest is still alive. He once played with the reunion of the Quarrymen. Now he plays when someone offers him enough money. He gives you a free lock. When you go outside again, the sky is strange.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Observations, Inwood Hill Park
1. Very small child with denim skirt, striped orange tights, and preternaturally long hair: "It's like a land of birds over here."
2. Light green trees across the top of a black cliff out beyond the bridge. The cliff's fancy hairdo.
3. Duck couple.
4. Bronx-Manhattan car bridge noise, on the Not George Washington Bridge.
5. Man speaking Dutch to his bulldog. Bulldog speaking back with snorting noises.
6. River's full today and doing that shimmer-shimmer-this-is-your-consciousness thing.
7. Tiny round-headed person, a baby, trying to imitate a jogger, then lurching in another direction, toddling over like a drunk politician to greet a lady on a bench.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
This Must Be the Place
Days you get up and-- something in me has given
way-- everything feels swimming. In the mirror
an openness of aspect, a falling away and smooth-
faced forgetting. Happens maybe several times
a year. You and the air are swimming.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Looking for Myself in the Mirror of Karma at the Rubin Museum
The mirror of karma is small and dark and perfectly round
and barely lustrous and comes from some earlier century.
I'm not studying the wish-fulfilling jewel at the top.
I'm swaying in my tennis shoes a bit-- sway, sway. sway,
sway-- to see a shapeless bobbing on the surface. Something swims
around in there, and I'm looking for a "me." Here I am swaying
trying to locate my coat and my haircut. Still and again.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Ars Poetica Dream (2)
you're at the family home
and there's no one
fire goes on by itself
curtains on a timer
view of the ocean all around
you can see where it pours in
comes rushing in
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Ars Poetica Dream
you are the half-sister
of a famous artist
there is a large archive
electronic and material
the biography of you
Friday, April 16, 2010
I'm Always Misreading the Bus Schedule
I was in dream circles, from Boston to Canada back to Boston again, looking for my long-lost friend with her vintage bike basket. We were supposed to meet for tacos. I found her, and we were wearing our same skirts, but those people were following me, not to apprehend me, but just to appear at inopportune times and make me feel impatient and smothered. I never got my tacos. When I woke up, boyfriend had his sweet sleepface on and the covers up around his neck like a monk. I curled toward him and almost touched foreheads, and then he rested his fingertips lightly on one of my kneecaps. People with their beatific smiles and their "Do you have regular coffee or just decaf?"
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I have a need of silence and of stars.
Too much is said too loudly. I am dazed.
from "Home" by William Alexander Percy
(quoted in Eudora Welty's One Writer's Beginnings)
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Upper Manhattan, 4/13/10
On one side of the bridge, ghetto Target.
(Trying on sundresses, approach the dressing room
attendant: "Is that four? I think that's four."
"I don't know. I'm outta here. Count the hangers." What.)
Fat mental-patient-looking man with originally sweet face
and oddleering stare as I walk back, above the water,
under the tracks of the 1 train. On the other side, Inwood Hill
Park, view of beautiful other bridge spanning some colors
of sky, duck mud, beige and brown people with little
kids, sound of aluminum bats (thwock!). The cliff
Columbia U. colonized with a huge light blue "C"
painted on the old old rock. If you stay long enough, the sun
and everyone go away. The bridge and the Bronx high-rise
across the river, a sparkly ship.