My full-length book, Where We Think It Should Go, can be yours via Octopus Books, Small Press Distribution, or Amazon. We better celebrate these hard copies while we can. When I'm not writing poetry, I teach amazing young people who are blind. I believe in a healthier future.

Monday, December 31, 2007

how to order my chapbook

My chapbook is now available from the Lame House website for $6.00. A few will be available at Pegasus Books, where I'm reading on January 12th for Pirate Pig Press. The cover is by my sister. It's based on my head. The poems inside are by me, also based on my head.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Check this out: Untoward chapbook news from Lame House: Go to Gina's blog. Click on the cover and you can see it big.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I hate Christmas.

send your kids, seriously


Pomona College, one of the nation’s premier liberal arts colleges, will eliminate loans in financial aid packages and replace those amounts with scholarships, effective 2008-09. The change will apply to both current and future students and was approved by the College’s Board of Trustees on Wednesday, December 12, 2007.

Number of students: 1520
Tuition and room and board: $45,383
Percent of Pomona College students on financial aid: 53%
Average financial aid package: $33,500
Average scholarship: $30,500
Estimated amount of college funds to be spent on scholarships: $21.6 million
Total Pomona College budget: $131.8 million


Happy birthday Mom! My mom is 58. The top photo is from the Westport Free Health Clinic in Kansas City, which my dad helped start, where my mom volunteered, and where my parents met. Founded in 1971, it was the second free health clinic in the country, I think, after Berkeley's, founded in 1969. My parents are on far right in the photo, my dad standing, my mom seated. The second photo is my mom in the early 70s. Below is my mom in New Mexico recently looking for cola and crackers.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

H _ N G M _ N # 7

I Decide to Be Alone With the Versions of Myself Who Accompany Me, Not the Versions Who Accompany You

That is the title of my poem which you may read here in H_NGM_N. You may read the other poems too.

These are the titles some of the other poems:
After the crash
The Porch
Mechanical Heart
The Dubtone
The Urge to Break Things
Lecture Notes On Wittgenstein Driving South
Poem Where Something Incredible Crashes
Wonder’s Widow
Theory of the Walking Big Bang
What Engine
Unthinking Zero

I got too tired. I cannot finish this list. There's a bunch of other stuff--reviews, longer poetry thing, comics, art, and a poem by Daniel Becker, whom I don't know.

In my poem, the speaker is not being mean. The speaker has trouble making decisions. That difficult process is reflected by the long title.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

you are a little bit happier than i am

Book by Tao Lin. "i am unemployed" is especially excellent. I didn't read this until I read it out loud to my class. They are seriously into it. Here he says a little bit about each poem in the book.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Rabbit Light Movies

Lily Brown

I like this poem because it says, "When I say we, I don't mean we're the same, I mean we fall on each other," and because it has killer "we'll"s and "it's"s.

Stephanie Young

I like this poem because it asks, "How does I not molest itself, standing there with water dripping off, standing there in the shower stall dripping," and because it says, "That was way more milk than I ever thought I could accommodate."

I like these Rabbit Light Movies from Joshua Marie Wilkinson. Rabbit Light Movies is a quarterly online journal of "poemfilms."

Episode #5: Catherine Wagner, Jaswinder Bolina, Joshua Poteat, J'Lyn Chapman, Chuck Stebelton, and Stephanie Young. Episode #6 will go up in January. Prior episodes (#1-4) are archived on the site.

blowing your nights and days

Learned from Gina Third Factory's Attention Span 2007 is up.
"a collectively-drawn map of the field" Attend!
Then to those winter shadows—green fields with long black trees. White Eucalyptus debris. It's not the rainy season yet. It's the horrible season. Turn off your TV. This TV. This is TV. Do whatever you want.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


From OED Online

1. a. A covering or sheet of canvas coated or impregnated with tar so as to make it waterproof, used to spread over anything to protect it from wet. Also, without a or pl., canvas so tarred; sometimes applied to other kinds of waterproof cloth.

1605 B. JONSON Volpone IV. i, On the one [wall] I strain me a fair tarpauling, and in that I stick my onions, cut in halves. a1625 H. MANWAYRING Nomencl. Naval. (Harl. MS. 2301), Tarpawling, is a peece of Canvas that is tar'd all over to Lash upon a Deck or Grating to keepe the Raine from Soaking through. 1626 CAPT. SMITH Accid. Yng. Seamen 30 A trar-pawling [sic] or yawning. 1652 ASHMOLE Theat. Chem. Brit. Prol. 12 To Hang a Presence Chamber with Tarpalin, instead of Tapestry. 1719 DE FOE Crusoe I. 68, I made me a large Tent,..and cover'd the uppermost with a large Tarpaulin which I had sav'd among the Sails. 1800 COLQUHOUN Comm. Thames 639 Each Lighter is furnished with a Tarpaulin to protect the Cargo from damage. 1890 W. J. GORDON Foundry 150 In the days when the London and Birmingham Railway considered it so beneath their dignity to carry coals to London that they introduced tarpaulins for the purpose of hiding the vulgar freight of which they were ashamed.

b. A sailor's hat made of tarpaulin.

1841 in TOTTEN Naval Text-Bk. (Webster). 1845 S. JUDD Margaret II. xi, A burly fellow in a tarpauling and blue jacket. 1858 in SIMMONDS Dict. Trade.

2. a. transf. A nickname for a mariner or sailor, esp. a common sailor. Now rare or arch. (Cf. TARPAULIAN, TAR n.1 3.)

1647 CLEVELAND Char. Diurnal-maker Wks. (1687) 82 He is a perfect Sea-man, a kind of Tarpawlin. 1660 HOWELL Parly Beasts 12 To be a Mariner, or Tarpaling, is one of the most servile and slavish condition of life that can be. 1687 SETTLE Refl. Dryden 21 He was too blame for making his Hametalhaz a Courtier and no Tarpolin. 1722 DE FOE Col. Jack i, Every tarpawling, if he gets but to be lieutenant of a press smack, is called captain. 1849 DICKENS Dav. Copp. xxi, What does this here blessed tarpaulin go and do? 1893 STEVENSON Catriona xxx. 366 The seamen pursued us... They were but bandy-legged tarpaulins after all. 1922 JOYCE Ulysses 610 Chews coca all day long, the communicative tarpaulin added. 1963 Australasian Post 14 Mar. 44/1 All the ‘tarpaulins’ had abandoned their lives of near slavery at sea and with fine wisdom had scattered inland.

b. Formerly applied to a sea-bred superior officer (captain, etc.) as contrasted with the military officers often appointed to command men-of-war. (Cf. 3b.) In quot. 1909 erron. taken as = ‘ranker’.

c1690 R. GIBSON (B.M. Add. MS. 11602, lf. 40), Upon the Different Conduct between Seamen and Gentlemen Commanders in ye Navy (not bredd Tarr Pawlins) since 1652. 1855 MACAULAY Hist. Eng. xvi. III. 716 There was an end of privilege if an Earl was to be doomed to death by tarpaulins seated round a table in the cabin of a ship. 1894 C. N. ROBINSON Brit. Fleet 347 Drake and his brother tarpaulins. 1909 Naval Warrant Officers' Jrnl. Dec. 138/2 It would have been deeply interesting had Mr. Hannay en passant designated those Admirals and Captains who were called ‘Tarpaulins’ because of their ranker origin. Ibid., Captain James Cook, the explorer, Captain C. Askew, and Captain J. Coglan are three of many names of ‘Tarpaulins’ which might be cited.

3. attrib. a. in sense 1: Made of tarpaulin.

1627 CAPT. SMITH Seaman's Gram. xiii. 61 A plug lapped in Okum, and well tarred in a tarpawling clout. 1688 in Daniell's Catal. Autograph Lett. (1904) July 30/2 Yesterday my Ld. Chancellour was taken at Wapping in a tarpalin habitt. 1832 C. M. GOODRIDGE Voy. South Seas 25 Carefully secured from the damp in a tarpawling bag. 1833 MARRYAT P. Simple xliii, There's many a clear head under a tarpaulin hat.

b. in sense 2 or 2b: Of, belonging to, or that is, a mariner or sailor; sea-bred. Now rare.

1647 WARD Simp. Cobler 16 A shamefull sliding into other such tarpauling tenets. 1654 WHITLOCK Zootomia 221 A learned vote that any Tarpawlin Marriner might have nulled. c1690 R. GIBSON (B.M. Add. MS. 11602, lf. 47), I finde many Accidents to have happened for want of Tarrpawling Commanders or Gentlemen throughly acquainted with Maritime Affaires. 1692 LUTTRELL Brief Rel. (1857) II. 354 Divers tarpawlin masters of ships recommended by the Trinity house, have passed examination in order to be received into the King's service. 1696 in Ab. De la Pryme's Diary (Surtees) 278 Chattam, a small tarpaulin town, joyning to Rochester. 1836 W. IRVING Astoria III. 222 John Young, the tarpawling governor of Owyhee. 1889 DOYLE Micah Clarke 23 He was one of the old tarpaulin breed, who had fought..against Frenchman, Don, Dutchman, and Moor.

4. Comb., as tarpaulin-maker, -covered adj. tarpaulin muster [MUSTER n.1], a collection or pooling of money among seamen; also transf. and fig.

1858 SIMMONDS Dict. Trade, Tarpaulin-manufacturer, one who oils or tars canvas for covers. 1889 in Cent. Dict. 1897 Outing (U.S.) XXX. 261/2 A tarpaulin-covered box of tackle belonging to Harry. 1904 E. S. EMERSON Shanty Entertainment 26 Each one in the room to sing, recite, or shout all round, and..a tarpaulin muster every half-hour for drinks, or smokes. 1907 Daily Chron. 25 Oct. 7/2 A young tarpaulin-maker of nineteen. 1907 J. MASEFIELD (title) A tarpaulin muster. 1920 P. L. WALDRON Afloat & Ashore vii. 83 The crew had a tarpaulin muster to have a last evening ashore. 1945 E. GEORGE Two at Daly Waters 102 As she had not brought a town outfit, Daly Waters had what we call in the bush a tarpaulin muster (the loan of everybody's best clothes). 1954 H. W. EDWARDS Under Four Flags xxiv. 125 With the generosity proverbial among sailors, they had a ‘tarpaulin muster’.

Hence tar{sm}paulin v., trans. to cover with a tarpaulin; intr. to shelter oneself under a tarpaulin; tar{sm}paulined a., covered with a tarpaulin.
1882 ‘F. ANSTEY’ Vice Versâ xvi, Some tarpaulined cattle-vans. 1891 C. MACEWEN 3 Women in 1 Boat 85 We discussed whether we would ‘tarpaulin’ there for the night. 1894 Outing (U.S.) XXIV. 376/2 We had another boat, but it was housed and tarpaulined on deck.

Tarpaulin Sky Print Issue

Paperback. 7"x9", 162 pages
Fall/Winter 2007
ISBN: 9780977901968

Featuring new work by Rosa Alcalá, Samuel Amadon, Lucy Anderton, Claire Becker, Cara Benson, Ilya Bernstein, Joseph Bradshaw, Popahna Brandes, Daniel Brenner, Lily Brown, Julie Carr, Laura Carter, Jon Christensen, Heather Christle, John Cotter & Shafer Hall, Patrick Culliton, John Deming, Sean Thomas Dougherty, Danielle Dutton, Sandy Florian, Hillary Gravendyk, Annie Guthrie, Brent Hendricks, Anna Maria Hong, John Hyland, Lucy Ives, Karla Kelsey, Steve Langan, Barbara Maloutas, Sarah Mangold, Justin Marks, Teresa K. Miller, Jefferson Navicky, Bryson Newhart, Nadia Nurhussein, Thomas O'Connell, Caryl Pagel, Nate Pritts, Elizabeth Robinson, F. Daniel Rzicznek, Spencer Selby, Brandon Shimoda, Lytton Smith, Sampson Starkweather, Mathias Svalina, Jen Tynes, Prabhakar Vasan, Della Watson, Theodore Worozbyt, Bethany Wright, and Kristen Yawitz.


1. A cloud. Obs.

c1384 CHAUCER H. Fame III. 1600 A certeyn wynde..blewe so hydously and hye That hyt ne left not a skye In alle the welkene.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hawks and vultures share the summit airspace with sailplanes riding the thermals, and a down-to-earth herd of feral goats roams the cliffs.

I can see these hills from my desk in my classroom (and more to the right). Our next fieldtrip will be to the top of Mission Peak, or scrambling toward it. Preferably on a day when the sky is artificially tinted.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Saturday, November 17, 2007


I'm listening to Neil Young's Trans, thanks to LCB. It's totally changing my evening. I hear he made it for his son, who had cerebral palsy and a speech impairment. I think Neil Young helped start The Bridge School, for kids who use augmentative and adaptive communication devices because of speech impairments and physical impairments. It's a really cool school. He grew up in Winnipeg!

The reading last night, Eric Baus & Dorothea Lasky was super. Both of you were so unpretentious and interesting and open. I really like D.L.'s way of reading. She reminds of Gertrude Stein reading except more awesome.

Lydia Davis, if you're reading this, my sister thinks we're related to your husband, according to Wikipedia. We are Côtés too. I told her that I think there are a lot of Côtés. I think we're related to Anthony Lane.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Glad I don't have to decide between these two readings:


Sarah Lang, Thomas Hummel, Dan Chelotti & Brett Fletcher Lauer

Friday, November 16, 7pm
Pete's Candy Store
709 Lorimer Street
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
(718) 203-3770



Paige Ackerson-Kiely, Lily Brown & Elizabeth Robinson

Friday, November 16th, 7:30 PM
The Fall Café
307 Smith Street
btwn. Union & President
Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
F/G to Carroll Street

If you're in New York, you should go to at least one and video chat with the other. I'll be here in Oakland trying to make it to Dorothea Lasky & Eric Baus at Pegasus OR Beowulf.
What if the subject starts with lowered gaze?

From OED Online

d. to stare (someone) down, out: to stare at someone without being first to blink or lower one's gaze, usu. as an expression of resistance or hostility; to outstare. Also fig.

1856 DICKENS Dorrit (1857) I. xxiv. 215 ‘She looked at the Princess, and the Princess looked at her.’ ‘Like trying to stare one another out,’ said Maggy. 1946 T. H. WHITE Mistress Masham's Repose xiv. 115 Miss Brown searched out her pupil's eyes and fixed them with her own. She had a..trick of staring Maria down. 1965 ‘T. HINDE’ Games of Chance I. iv. 110 That made me shout at Kenny a lot, and mimic him, and stare him out. 1972 R. THOMAS Porkchoppers (1974) xii. 107 He spent nearly a minute staring at Goff. Goff had stared back, thinking that he was damned if he'd let any pal of Cloke's stare him down. 1979 Guardian 12 Jan. 8/5 Some measure of fiscal ‘mid-term adjustment’ called for. So is a serious attempt to stare down the local government workers. 1979 G. SEYMOUR Red Fox iv. 56 The maid in the starched apron stared him out.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Joe Wenderoth is a great reader and singer. At Berkeley City College, it sounds like the reader or singer is inhaling deeply whenever there's supposed to be silence. It almost drove me insane. If you cackled a lot at the first part then left during Joe Wenderoth, I tried to stare you down. Now I need to look that up. Stared you down!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Get a beautiful broadside of poetry by Hazel McClure (or Phil Cordelli or Keith Newton or many others...keep scrolling down) at Press Press Press.

2 Coasts

This is a heads up for a great reading next week in Brooklyn:

The Burning Chair Reading Series

Paige Ackerson-Kiely, Lily Brown & Elizabeth Robinson

Friday, November 16th, 7:30 PM
The Fall Café
307 Smith Street
btwn. Union & President
Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
F/G to Carroll Street

AND on Sunday in San Francisco where we are cleaning up birds covered in the oil spill:

Mrs. Maybe Launch Party & Reading

Megan Breiseth
Julie Choffel
Graham Foust
Steve Kramp
Sandra Lim

food & wine

Sunday, November 11th
3:00 in the afternoon

Canessa Park Gallery
708 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94111

My students make a newspaper. It comes out every three weeks. This issue covers fires in Southern California and earthquakes and oil spills in Northern California. We also had a carnival.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

My Sister as Marcel Proust

Breaking my silence to give you a transcription of part of a segment of today's Morning Edition.

Renee Montagne: French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s two days in Washington turned out to be a diplomatic triumph, and Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank was following the events…They really embraced the notion of a Frenchman coming to see an American President.

Dana Milbank: Yes, well, you know, things are rocky with the Iraq war, so they decided they would not mention that at all and instead get into the Revolutionary War. So Sarkozy was essentially playing Lafayette, and this allowed Bush to play what he called, “The other George W., the father of our country.” …They wanted to reach back for happier times in the Franco-American alliance…In each case, they positioned themselves as the heirs. It could not have been any less subtle if they were wearing powdered wigs and false teeth. They actually brought in an impersonator of George Washington and one of the Marquis, and they acted out a little skit in the White House.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

(solidarity strike)

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Darjeeling Limited

Wes Anderson is a director I've grown up with. I have two Rushmore posters in a hall.

Talking to Julia, I was thinking about the way each time a movie comes out, many people are quick to say, This is it. This is his first bad one. This is a bad album.

I like what someone said about an author, I don't care what she's saying in this book. I just like spending time with her.

The Darjeeling Limited is amazing. At first I am unable to get lost in it (which I think maybe is the point), then as the same song is played repeatedly, I begin to love that song (Where Do You Go to (My Lovely), Peter Sarstedt), and I'm lost in the movie. Which is a lot like life.

When I read the Anthony Lane review in The New Yorker, I thought it wasn't favorable. But when I reread it after seeing the movie, I thought it was.

It's not perfect. The women should be cooler.
Lily Brown...Norma Cole. The rest looks pretty amazing as well.

Coconut 10!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Mission Art & Performance Project
Saturday, October 20, 2007 at 7:00pm- 12:00am
L's Caffe
24th St. Between Bryant and Florida
San Francisco, CA

Music, Poetry, a Play and Visual Art!

Prose and Poetry readings by Jarrod Roland, Paul Ebenkamp, Jenny Drai,
& Jack Morgan

Art showcases by Helen Tseng, Jack Morgan & V.E. Grenier

Music by Casey Speer

A one act play produced by Diana McCullough

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Mrs Maybe #1 is now available.
It includes poems written by the following ding dongs:

Jessica Savitz, Kyle Kaufman, Avery Burns,Megan Breiseth, Catherine Theis, Stephanie Young , Scott Inguito, Lauren Levin, Julie Choffel, Graham Foust , Steve Kramp, Jared Stanley, Aaron McCollough , Marisa Libbon, Sandra Lim and Tyrone Williams, plus a Robert Duncan top ten list from Lisa Jarnot, with cover art by George Chen.

Copies of the magazine are available for seven dollars postage paid.
Please email us or visit our website, for more information.

If you live in the Bay Area, please come to our reading at Canessa Park Gallery in San Francisco on November 11th, a Sunday, 3pm.


Lauren Levin & Jared Stanley, Editors
Mrs Maybe, a Journal of Skeptical Occultism
"Stop seeing things and let the scene begin."

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Reading Poems

Andrew Grace!

Pegasus Books
Downtown Berkeley
Monday, October 15th
7:30 PM!

You should go. You should read Adam Clay's book, The Wash. You should.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Reading in the Gallery


Norma Cole Michael Palmer Rebecca Solnit

recent paintings by Amy Trachtenberg

Wednesday, October 10 7pm

Brian Gross Fine Art
49 Geary Street, 5th Floor
San Francisco, CA

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Beaten Down

I was reading this article off and on for a few days at my kitchen table, and it's the best thing of anything I've read in a long time. It's a piece in the New Yorker (also on the website). Louis Menand is amazing. I trust that I will like where he’s going. This article, criticism at large, ends pretty magnificently, especially if you skip ahead. But yeah, Kerouac did write On the Road on one continuous scroll of paper in three weeks (which kind of paper he discusses in the video), but he was planning it for years. He went on the road to be able to write it. After typing the first draft, "He immediately retyped the book on regular paper, and then spent six years revising it." Read the article. It makes me want to reread the book. Menand discusses how the "beat" stereotype is nothing like Ginsberg, Kerouac, or their contemporaries really were. Beat came from "beaten down." I loved reading about being beaten down: the meaning of "beat" changing, fleshing out. It's like when I understood the word "plastic." Today my students didn't believe me.

Also great is the appearance of Kerouac on the Steve Allen Show, referred to in the Menand piece. You, of course, can watch it on youtube.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bill Callahan

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival at Golden Gate Park:

Sunday October 7th, Porch Stage:

* 2:15 Bill Callahan

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Rae Armantrout Reading Thursday

When I took Contemporary American Poetry in college, Rae Armantrout came to my class so we could ask her about her poetry. I think her son or stepson went to my school.

At the time I thought she was pretty amazing. Now I know she's pretty amazing. I also know that at the time, in early 2001, I was trying to figure out how to stop working on poems and leave them be. I know this through the embarassment-memory of having asked Rae Armantrout about it in class. I wish I could remember what she said. I do remember that she had the ability to know when one of her poems was finished. I somehow learned it too.

Rae Armantrout is reading Thursday night in the Holloway Series at U.C. Berkeley, Wheeler Hall, in the Maude Fife Room at SIX-THIRTY p.m. with graduate poet Charity Ketz with Q&A to follow.

There's a pretty interesting article by Errol Morris in the New York Times which discusses this photograph and a similar one (without cannonballs on the road) taken the same day by Roger Fenton during the Crimean War. The question sends him to The Valley of the Shadow of Death, where the photographs were taken. I recommend it.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I'm in the library at SFSU, and there's a lot going on. Amazing library books. See photos. And there's a new Typo in which I have a poem.

And two cool new Lame House chapbooks, Arlo Quint's Photogenic Memory and Matt Hart's Simply Rocket:

And I'm about to go to English language learner class. To those of you who sent poems, thanks! The Braille copies should be sent in the next couple of weeks. It's not to late to get yours. As to language,"old" is my new favorite adjective; "old abacus" is my new favorite phrase.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Dear Poets,

I would like to direct your attention to the sidebar. Please read. -->

I would love it if you'd email me a poem. Write a sentence or two about a poem,--any poem, yours or someone else's--and send it off to my class.

My class (basically high school) wants to read poetry. I read them a long poem from Coconut, and a few days later one of my students said, Will you read us that depressing poem again?

But we will also put your poem into Braille and study it part and whole.

And we'll send a Braille copy back to you (or to someone else if it's theirs & you want that).

Please repost this if you want.



Saturday, September 8, 2007

Happy 30th Birthday Lauren!

Lily Brown and Zachary Schomburg reading at Pegasus. A photo diary.
Mp3s of the reading at coming soon.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I heard there was another earthquake felt in the east bay yesterday. Then I dreamed there was another earthquake in my dream, and I began to get really scared that earthquakes were going to start happening more and more frequently and more and more powerfully. I am not prophetic. I dream scrambled things. One tiny corner of my house has a serious ant problem. It's because the hills have never been so brown. Today I read a short story about ants who eat people. I don't want to go to sleep. I am going to a wedding.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Alberto Gonzales resigns.
Earthquake in the middle of the night! I like to report them using the "Did you feel it?" feature at I feel like this was up and down movement, not side to side. It felt like the house was being pushed down from above. Sometimes it's like a car running into the house, or once I thought it was a pack of raccoons trying to break down a wall into my kitchen. In other news, I might be taking some kind of hiatus from the blog or at least posting less regularly as I get back into the school year.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Tomorrow I go back to work.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

David Lynch on Talk of the Nation

Photo highlight from my trip: the cute hammer you're supposed to use to break the bus window in case of emergency.

Second hypothetical photo highlight: a collection of empty water bottles taped together and taped onto a wall, a selection of what water you could buy from an ice cream stand in Guadalajara, with a huge "No Tocar" ("Don't Touch") sign written in black marker, taped to it. When I went back to take a picture of it, it was gone. I guess it had fallen down.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

no winner for iowa poetry prize

2007 Iowa Poetry Prize

Iowa City, Iowa—For the first time since the Iowa Poetry Prize was established, screeners and judges have been unable to find an award-winner among the manuscripts read during the month of April, Holly Carver, director of the University of Iowa Press, announced today. “I am sorry to have to say that none of the manuscripts submitted for this reading period met the standards for the poetry prize. Many contained individual poems that were very fine indeed, but collectively none of the poems added up to a unified, mature volume. We did not think that selecting a manuscript that was not yet ready to become a book was in the best interests of the manuscript’s author, the authors of the other candidates, or past Iowa Poetry Prize winners.”

The Iowa Poetry Prize was first awarded in 1990. Originally called the Edwin Ford Piper Poetry Award, the series was renamed with the 1993 award. Until 2001, the award honored only writers who had already published at least one book of poetry; the award is now open to new writers as well. Books in this series have also won such awards as the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America.

News that Emily Rosko’s Raw Goods Inventory, the 2005 Iowa Poetry Prize winner, was recently awarded the 2007 Glasgow Prize for Emerging Writers only confirmed Carver’s decision to resist awarding the prize this year. “Much as we would have preferred to publish a poetry book next spring, choosing a relatively weak manuscript did not seem fair to anyone,” she said.

“The screeners read every manuscript that had potential twice—in effect doubling their workload—and the judge read twice the usual number of finalists,” Carver added, “but even after taking extra time to read and reread promising manuscripts, we could not convince ourselves that we had a satisfactory collection.”

Candidates for next year’s prize will be read in April 2008. “If we can attract a stronger group of manuscripts,” Carver said, “we will try to select an extra winner in 2008 to make up for our disappointment in 2007.” Click here to read the guidelines for the Iowa Poetry Prize.

Awarded annually by the University of Iowa Press, the Iowa Poetry Prize is one of the leading national poetry awards. The acclaimed competition is open to new as well as established poets. Recent winners of the prize include Sunday Houses the Sunday House by Elizabeth Hughey, American Spikenard by Sarah Vap, Raw Goods Inventory by Emily Rosko, Lug Your Careless Body Out of the Careful Dusk by Joshua Marie Wilkinson, and Ledger by Susan Wheeler..

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Goodbye blog. I'm off for two weeks to Mexico.
Nothing happen while I'm gone.
And today, Antonioni. Michelangelo Antonioni.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Ingmar Bergman dies. He was 89.
A scene from Winter Light. Gunnar Bjornstrand had the flu the whole time they were filming.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Octopus Magazine #09

Reviews, Recovery Projects and Essays. A secret is revealed through repeated visits to the site.

"Reviews of

Paige Ackerson-Keily's In No One's Land, Geoff Bouvier's Living Room, Evan Commander's A Thing and its Ghost, Katie Degentesh's Anger Scale, Danielle Dutton's Attempts at a Life, Sandy Florian's 32 Pedals & 47 Stops, Graham Foust's Necessary Stranger, Peter Gizzi's Outernationale, Shafer Hall's Never Cry Woof, Christian Hawkey's Citizen Of, Andrew Joron's The Cry at Zero: Selected Prose, Joseph Lease's Broken World, Ben Lerner's Angle of Yaw, Mark Levine's The Wilds, Susan Maxwell's Passenger, Catherine Meng's Tonight's the Night, Eileen Myles' Sorry Tree, Geoffrey G. O'Brien's Green and Grey, Cole Swensen's The Glass Age, Sarah Vap's Dummy Fire & Jon Woodward's Rain


Hadara Bar-Nadav, Nathan Bartel, Claire Becker, Lily Brown, DJ Dolack, John Ebersole, Anna Eyre, Elisa Gabbert, Matt Gagnon, Heather Green, Anne Heide, Alisa Heinzmann, Dan Hoy, Melanie Hubbard, Gina Myers, Adam Peterson, Brett Price, Brandon Shimoda, Mathias Svalina & Joshua Marie Wilkinson.

Recovery projects of

Joseph Ceravolo's Transmigration Solo,
Robert Duncan's The Opening of the Field,
John Lillison's Pointy Birds and Other Pointy Creatures,
Jack Myers' I'm Amazed That You're Still Singing,
N.H. Pritchard's The Matrix & Eecchhooeess,
Stan Rice's Some Lamb
& Robert Sullivan's Star Waka.


Hugh Behm-Steinberg, Sommer Browning, Keith Newton,
Craig Perez, Nate Pritts, Zachary Schomburg & Amish Trivedi.

Essays by

Geoff Bouvier, Kathryn Cowles, James Engelhardt,
Ian Ganassi, Dean Gorman, Noah Eli Gordon,
Anthony Hawley, Karla Kelsey, Sam Starkweather
& Gabriel Gudding.

And design by

Denny Schmickle

During the month of August Octopus will be reading submissions of poetry for issue #10. Send poems in one MS Word attachment to

Click on the ABOUT link in issue #9 for more details."

Friday, July 27, 2007

Many readings this weekend:

Pegasus, 7:30:
Noah Eli Gordon & Andrew Joron

Bay Area Poetry Marathon at the Lab, 7-9 PM:
Lee Ann Brown, Anna Eyre, Kevin Killian, Erin Morrell, Stephen Ratcliffe

Back Room Live at McNally's Irish Pub, 7 PM:
Blake Ellington Larson, Vicki Hudson, Jenny Drai, Janet W. Hardy

New Yipes & Pegasus at 21 Grand, 7 PM:
Tao Lin, Stephanie Young, Ri Crawford

and I think there's a party with a sitar at my house.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

post your favorite memory from the simpsons at the new york times . before poetry, when i was younger, the simpsons was probably my most significant interest. now it's a distant favorite memory.

but really i think these nytimes comments are getting out of control.
I think my first blog poem is finished. Should I add a word? End punctuation? Feel free to comment, and I will read your comment, and maybe I'll change my mind or maybe I won't.

I think it was a good exercise, although I had to cheat a couple of times and write three words. Also I stole your words when we were talking on the phone so you might call it collaborative, but I probably wouldn't.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Laszlo Kovacs

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Here I am at the Apple store adding RAM to my parents' computer. I feel like a real computer nerd. Or just a teenager. This shopping district of Kansas City, The Country Club Plaza, is ridiculously full of touristy types from surrounding states...families oohing and aahing and shopping for back to school clothes. It used to be a more practical neighborhood with grocery stores and dry cleaners and the like. I grew up near here and my parents were always upset as more and more chain stores moved in. I think this was the first shopping mall, where one person/company owned the space and leased it to merchants. We used to come here for Thanksgiving to see the window displays with moving things and lights in the department store windows. There are some neat old Kansas City department stores still in existence, or maybe it's just Halls, but Halls is neat.

I'm now encouraging anyone in surrounding states (that includes Minnesota) to make the trip to Kansas City to see the renovation on the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. It's a really great new building, which I discussed in an earlier post. It's been written up pretty much everywhere. The photo above is from a Kiki Smith installation there, Constellation, on display through October 28th. Although I grew up blocks from the museum and took art classes there and ate lunch there and went there all the time, I had never before seen much of the museum's collection, which had been in storage due to lack of space. Now I get to see some really great abstract expressionist stuff, contemporary stuff, realism. There's an amazing American ceramics collection. There's also a super cool research library, the Spencer Art Reference library with 147,000 volumes open to the public. In the new coffee shop, all disposable containers are made of corn.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

we thought grand junction was near the end,

but grand junction to denver took about twelve hours.

burned earth in nevada

angelic reading

We read the new Jubilat. We really liked the clip art postcard insert made by contributing editor Brett Fletcher Lauer, text by Dorothea Lasky (shown above). And of course the whole magazine is excellent--full of Canada, anaphora, phosphorescence. I wish I had known about the Ashbery bridge when I drove through Minneapolis a few weeks ago.

map: alaska & hawaii

map made on the train, where we learned

click to make it bigger.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The train was amazing. We didn't want to leave the train. The train didn't take me all the way to Kansas City, but I'm here now. I ate fresh, warm tomatoes and basil from my parent's garden. It's so lush, I couldn't find the arugula. There are some people in Kansas City who watch movies, and they could talk about movies every night. Talked movies deep into the cool summer morning. List of movies-to-see not currently functioning. Back to sleep; more later about the train.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Born on a Train/Fear of Trains

I'm leaving for the train. We have many books of poetry and one camera. We have snacks, including wax-wrapped cheese; we have one sleeping bag, one quilt and some other stuff.

I'll be gone for two days on the train.

Blog posts will be handwritten and photographed for later use.

Thank you,

Monday, July 16, 2007

MARY #6, an online literary journal published at Saint Mary's College of California. MARY is dedicated to publishing excellent poetry, fiction, and nonfiction by emerging and established writers. MARY #6 is edited by Graham Foust and Wesley Gibson and is largely the product of work done by graduate students at the Saint Mary’s MFA Program in Creative Writing. This issue features art, reviews, and new work and interviews from Chris Abani, Tom Barbash, Claudia Baskind, John D’Agata, Nick Flynn, Forrest Gander, Cristina Garcia, Anne Heide, Peter Orner, Bruce Smith, and many others. Check it out at:

Saturday, July 14, 2007

I like this post from Richard Lopez's blog about publishing, putting poems on blogs, and more. He says "i'm the type of reader who wants to read yr grocery lists." Often I don't want to publish, but his post is one of those things that makes me want to.

And also sometime this fall you'll get to read my poem "Moat," which I really like and which contains some of those concerns and which ends "And I begin my twenty-sixth year. / My breasts and I are supposed to like it here." (to put some of my own poetic writing on this blog) in the print issue of Tarpaulin Sky.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


LLB takes issue with my adverb placement of "anymore" in the sentence, "Anymore I don't know anyone who lives in this neighborhood except some neighbors, whom I don't know."

I say that's totally allowed! Allowed and awesome! Please respond.

Claire: do you want to say anything?
LLB: No! you just said what I said? I said what I said. You said what i said. it's on there! .... you just want a partner in crime on this blog. i know what's going on here.

Okay, I will not delete this blog. Yet.

Off to play tennis (for half an hour).

P.S. word of the day c0-written by LLB.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

This blog is not about poetry. This poetry's about a blog.

Well you have many places to find out about poetry things. I missed a day on the sidebar poem. Is Miranda July really a scientologist? As long as she's not living for the afterlife, I guess I don't care. It's cold and cloudy, windy. That's amazing for a July day. I'm reacquainting myself with my neighborhood. Walked around, saw the old bosses, saw the renovations, saw the same lake. It's nice to be in a neighborhood for three years although I've mostly been in my house. I've mostly been inside computers or other neighborhoods. Anymore I don't know anyone who lives in this neighborhood except some neighbors, whom I don't know.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

my new students 2

Turns out I will have new students next year, a new class. I wanted to record the sounds of the world and make more auditory books. But I look forward to the unknown. And we'll be doing some poetry.

Thursday, July 5, 2007