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.

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)