Thursday, November 29, 2007


I've realized that I am less a generative sort of artist than one who just notices things and keeps track of them until I might use them. It explains a lot about how I keep tons of files that are little more than images that I arrange and rearrange until they please me. I've got about 20 pages of stuff that I think of as a long poem or sequence that is coming together faster and faster and faster, like albumen congealing in boiling water; eventually it's going to be a chapbook. And it's all due to one phrase that a friend of mine's been in my head for weeks now...and it's the ordering principle--as soon as I heard the phrase I saw the possibilities. Now all I need to do is gin up the nerve to ask permission to use it.

Meet the Feebles

I had the CNN YouTube republican debates on while I was at work. Sadly, the cable here doesn't carry Bravo, so I have to wait for one of the infinite repeats to watch Project Runway.

It was like every one of my drunk uncles got a suit and podium. Guns good! Brown people bad! Taxes bad! Hulk smash! O wait...the Hulk is a being of color, bad analogy. Surge surge surge! Send Hillary to Mars! (Sadly, I agree with that one.) Gays aren't even 3/5ths of a person! But Mike Hukabee wants their votes because they probably hate brown people too. I'm guessing that's what he means when he talks about shared values and principles that make us republican.

It's frightening to watch these hateful old white men trying to outdo one another to be the scariest and craziest. They have all the appeal of televangelists and chancre-ridden whores. Whores, however, have enough integrity not to behave as though they're fucking you because they like you. As long as they don't ooze on me, I can deal with whores.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I'm tossing this out to the greater blogosphere.

For those of you who go through the slush pile rigamarole as a route to publication, how do you pick and chose lit mags? It's tough to keep up with what's out there. I try to surf websites and snoop around before sending out packets--but I'm wondering if there's a better, centralized source?

Dos/Don'ts for Younger Poets

Via the fantublous Brent Goodman at the Brother Swimming Beneath Me this tag: four Dos and Don'ts for younger writers. If you're reading, consider yourself tagged.


1. Read. Everything.

Not just poets you love, but those that leave you cold. Especially those that leave you cold. Figure out what it is you don't respond to in their work. Sometimes the easiest way to establish who you are is in relation to who you aren't. Aside from poetry--read everything. Learn about art, music, history, politics, the world, fiction, science. Regarding art--study other art forms, become conversant in their histories, trends and technical languages; learn how they intersect with literature, exploit those similarities. Read trash. Read literature. Just read.

2. Imitate.

Find writers you respond to and set aside time just to take apart their poems and imitate them. Look at how they open their poems and end them. Middles generally take care of themselves. Don't worry about not being innovative. You're learning here. No one started out a genius.

3. Work Every Day.

Devote part of every day to your poems. This doesn't mean, necessarily, generating new poems. But spend time with them. Jot down notes, lines, questions; think about what does and doesn't work. Tend to your work like any other daily task.

4. Persevere.

Keep at it. Don't stop. Find supportive people you admire and trust, share your work with them and take their comments and criticisms graciously. Become part of a writer's group or a local workshop if you can. If there isn't one, start one.


1. Fixate on what others are doing.

Do your own thing. Don't get sucked into who gets published where, who wins what, who gets praise, etc etc etc. That way lies discouragement and madness.

2. Take Rejection Personally.

Sure, your work is an extension of thought it up, you labored, you slaved, you want it out in the world. That doesn't mean that everyone is going to respond to your sonnet sequence the way you'd like. That's just the way of the world. Taste is subjective and a given reader on a given day might not respond strongly. That doesn't mean you're not talented; that your work's not good. It just means you haven't found the right place for it yet.

3. Be An Asshole.

Faith in your abilities is crucial...but don't become an overweening egomaniac. There are always better (and worse) writers out there. When faced with a misreading or a comment that you feel is off the mark, don't be defensive, don't be dismissive. Be gracious.

4. Expect Less of Yourself.

Push yourself to try new things: new subjects, new forms, new voices. Try to top yourself every time you write.

Shoulda Coulda Woulda

I should be blogging about getting to see Brian for the last four days: about dinner with friends Saturday and Monday night; about our cat-sitting and how sweet speckly Nina loves him and drools on him in bed; about insane amounts of shopping over two days and how I've come (back) in touch with my inner Imelda Marcos (the shoe part, not the lacy black panties); about how he brought me Radish King and reading it in bed with him and how much I lovelovelove and envy parts of it so much my gums tingle. But that's all got to wait.

See, part of my job involves handling money. I account for it, I fill out forms, I do it up for deposit. Not being the most mathy boy in the free world, I tend to be meticulous about this, counting it three or four times before settling in to finish the forms. Anyway, I get home today and find a message that I need to call work. Seems that one of my deposits came up short, $250.00 short, in fact. So it's been stressfull today--how does one (dis)prove a negative? Even after getting the verdict from one of the owners that I'm still employed, I feel like I'm scooped out; I'm headachey, I'm still nauseous. I'm determined to not get down...but right's hard....And this is not what I wanted to put out here....

Saturday, November 24, 2007

In the Middle of the Night, I Steal Ideas

From Peter, at the Virtual World, I found out about the haiku blog post. Go over and check his out.

Leaving Work at 7:15 am, I Pass the Hotel Playground

Eight men stand there, proud.
They point to their bucks: hanging
from the swingset; dead.

Take the Challenge

I'm passing this along after seeing it at ]Outside the Lines[. Each word you get right in this quiz adds ten grains of rice to the bowl toward ending world hunger. It's a little challenging in places but it's for a good cause. So far they've provided 3,403,520,350 grains of rice overall. Yesterday they added 147, 385, 350 grains.

Friday, November 23, 2007

When Recycling Goes Too Far

Courtesy of Slate.

Things NOT to do with Thanksgiving leftovers

Turkey fried rice. Turkey-mushroom casserole. Turkey dinner muffins. Turkey samosas. Turkey hash. Strawberry-turkey spinach salad. Turkey and veggie lasagna. Turkey chowder with wild rice, crimini, and pancetta. Turkey quesadilla suiza,. Additionally, curried turkey salad on greens, turkey and leek risotto, turkey bundles,turkey tetrazzini, turkey pho,
moo shu turkey
Actually, I'm sort of fond of turkey hash. Especially if you use non-candied roast sweet taters instead of regular russets. The turkey abuses I remember from childhood include: turkey salad sandwiches, creamed turkey (both alone and with egg noodles,) turkey casserole (mix the turkey with cream of mushroom soup and top with old stuffing), turkey noodle soup, turkey a la king. And let me just dear sweet mama did not do ALL these...but these are ones I remember.

What did/do you do with your thanksgiving leftovers?

Jigga WHA?

I've seen this a couple of other places but felt compelled to post...just in case we don't traffic the same sites. One aspect of the Conservative Right's arguments that I've always found fascinating vis a vis both liberals and homosexshuls is that we are apparently obSESSed with filth and doing the dirty. However...over at Conservapedia, you can look at their top 10 viewed pages. And what do we find?

Most viewed pages

  1. Main Page‎ [1,929,132]
  2. Homosexuality‎ [1,622,733]
  3. Homosexuality and Hepatitis‎ [517,944]
  4. Homosexuality and Promiscuity‎ [421,993]
  5. Homosexuality and Parasites‎ [414,651]
  6. Gay Bowel Syndrome‎ [400,250]
  7. Homosexual Couples and Domestic Violence‎ [373,837]
  8. Homosexuality and Gonorrhea‎ [332,044]
  9. Homosexuality and Anal Cancer‎ [294,230]
  10. Homosexuality and Mental Health‎ [293,375]
WOW. Just....WOW. Gay Bowel Syndrome? Is there even such a thing? Paging the doctors. Is this like irritable bowel syndrome but with shopping? What would Freud say about this list? A sociologist? An anthropologist? These people (if the site stats are true) are obsessed with what homosexshuls do. More so than I am.

So. If Conservapedia was created as the conservative palliative to Wikipedia, what would the godless liberal users of that site look at? Here's the 10 most viewed pages for 11/07 so far.

1. Main Page 27 543 000
2. Wiki 825 818
3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 376 636
4. Naruto 367 636
5. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock 362 455
6. United States 301 909
7. Wikipedia 300 545
8. Deaths in 2007 292 909
9. Heroes (TV series) 280 636
10. Transformers (film) 277 091

The first mention of sex doesn’t even enter Wikipedia’s most viewed pages until number 17—list of sexual positions. And in the entire top 100 most viewed pages, there are only 8 pages that are even remotely related to sex, sexual intercourse, anatomy, etc. Most shockingly—there are no links directly to homosexuality (well…unless you count anal sex, but I’m not willing to budge on that one…it’s not strictly our domain. Even straight people have anuses.)

But Think of the Chiiiiildren

Even though it means I'd have to go to Kentucky, I'd like to shake this restaurant manager's hand.
From WAVE-3 in Louisville.

Woman says restaurant kicked her out because of crying child

It seems to happen all the time: an unhappy child causing a scene in a public place. But one Louisville mom says a Springhurst restaurant went too far, throwing her and her family out of the restaurant. WAVE 3 Investigator Lindsay English spoke with the mom and the restaurant's representatives to sort out what happened.

Amanda Williams says her lunch at O'Charley's in Springhurst ended before it began, with her and her family being shown the door.

"I was so upset," Williams said. "I cried. I was devastated. I was embarrassed. Everybody was looking at me."

Williams says her tears came, after the restaurant's general manager asked her, her three sons and her sister to get out.

"He told me that if I could not hush my son, that he was going to have to ask us to leave," Williams recalled. She says her 20-month old son continued to cry, despite efforts to calm him. She claims that's why General Manager Joe Houle gave them the boot.

"He stood there with a very serious look on his face, and he says 'if you can't control your child, then we'll have to ask you to dine at another establishment," Williams said.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


This is the latest poem. It won't be here long.

[and scene.]

A Passage to Indian

I had my first Thanksgiving dinner of the week last night and it was remarkably tasty. Shlee found an Indian-inspired/flavored Thanksgiving menu in a recent Food & Wine magazine; so she and Eric and Tommy and I decided to take recipes, prepare them, then get together and have at it. We made almost the entire suggested menu, excepting a Rosewater and Mango cocktail and Indian popcorn. If you enjoy Indian food at all, you should try this. (The pumpkin and yellow split pea soup that Eric brought is delish. The roasted curried butternut squash and chick peas is going to become a staple...I let my mom sample some...she's not the most adventurous eater, but she loved it. Tommy's chai caramel fondu was just decadent...and it's perfect with bananas.) It was one of the best at home, sit-down meals I've had in years. We ate until we were near-immobile. It was beautiful. The yogurt-and-spice marinaded turkey breast (Shlee's first turkey ever) was perfect: moist on the inside with a lovely crisped skin. I'm convinced that the marinade must enhance the properties of tryptophan because we all just zombied out for a bit, marshalling our stregnth until we could tackle the dessert course. Seriously...hit the hyperlink and check it. They also have two other full who knows what you might find.


Posting will be heavy the next two days...probably three posts a day...maybe more. I've found a lot of fun, quirky, irritating stuff that I wanna share. I'm a giver like that. I'm also prone to cold sores...but I digress. I'll be off cavorting with Brian over the weekend and won't be back to (semi)regular blogging until Tuesdayish.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Just Click on the Link

Men Who Look Like Old Lesbians.

This is genius. And they have t-shirts!

That's Me!

From Today's Horrorscope:

You like to think of yourself as easygoing, but even you know that that description really doesn't apply to anything about you -- try fiery, ornery, combative, stubborn or even pig-headed.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Mmmmm Tasty

From Yahoo News.
Reuters Photo

What Brings You Here

A list of recent keyword activity that brought fellow travelers to my l'il corner of the web. These are in order...I'll let you guess which is my favorite.

Elissabeth Hasselbach baby

What do poppers mean on Craigslist.

Ash and misty gaying.

Fluffy maribou feathers bulk.

How can increase pamela's boobs size video.

Mens room art book.

8 Down

I finished a new poem today, bringing my total to 8 for the month...not all of them new new...some have been in the works for months maybe years. I'd get to a point where I couldn't go on with them...where I knew if I kept going I'd overwork them, over-control them (and controlling a poem is my greatest vice, sad to say), wring any vitality from them so I leave them in my drafts/fragments file until the time seems right to finish them. Today's poem is new new and I sort of love it and sort of see its limitations...but I'm sending it off to people I trust to see what they say. 20-odd poems to go and my drafts file is empty.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

O Sweet Jeebus

The winsome (wince-some?) Camille P. is back in the virtual pages of Salon, bringing her own interesting mix of wit and wisdom...does she want to be the lesbian Harold Bloom? (Or is Harold Bloom already the lesbian Harold Bloom.) Seriously...if she wishes to be such an emasculating scold she should be wearing stilettos and brandishing a riding crop.

I'm not even going to TRY and take her down or call bullshit. TRex at Firedoglake has already done it. Just go here.

Done and Done

This has been a frightfully productive week. It's unnerving.

I got my aquarium broken down, re-substrated, replanted and functioning pretty well. At least none of the fish are dead. Got my car serviced (well...they're still waiting on a part for the radiator.) Got some poems done and am just about ready to send out more packets. I'm spent.


I'm working a graveyard shift. 11pm to 7 am. I sleep while it's still light out. Better than at night. It's bizarre. Most nights I wake up 3 or 4 times. Twice if I'm very lucky. Lately I only wake up once (unless I forget to turn off the phone which happened today "Hello?" (background noise static static) "HELLO." "Hi, this is LaShawn from Verizon, could I speak to Rob." "There's no Rob here." Click. I hate when people ask for Rob, or Bob, thinking that those are the default settings for the name Robert. All you're doing is pissing my happy ass off, insuring that I won't listen to your spiel or even consider buying what you're selling. Seriously--who tells these poor people that sort of plastic familiarity is charming? I feel the same way about overly-attentive, perky, chatty wait staff. I don't want you crouched down at my level. I don't care what you think about an entree unless I ask. It's not going to help your tip. Actually, I'll be more likely to tip better if you come and go as unobtrusively as possible. Check on our drinks, see if we want coffee or dessert then get the hell outta there. I know I'm not like most people--but seriously, this aggressively friendly, overly familiar stuff has got to go.


Project Runway Season 4 started tonight. All I can say is "Meh." I've got no real dog in this fight...which is strange, because I usually latch onto people the first episode. Way way way too much metallic fabrics. Very 80s cuts and proportions on a lot of the outfits. If this is where fashion is heading, then I'll just check out til next season. I lived through the 80s once. I don't want to go back. It's fun to have this back though. Brian and I always post mortem the episodes on the phone before he goes to bed. We don't agree on things...and we rarely like the same people, but it's fun. Just being able to be snarky and funny together is a great gift. Best line of the night: Heidi Klum saying "She looked like she was pooing fabric down the runway."

My arrangements are all set for AWP. I got all my confirmations via email today. Huzzah! I'm frightfully excited. It's my first one. And I'm trying to remember the last time I was in NYC. It had to be at least 10 years, 12 hair colors and 3 dress sizes ago.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Poem for the Day

Not done one of these in aaaages, so I'm here to rectify it. It's an odd choice, because Sharon Olds is not a touchstone poet for me; I admire her, but she's not a poet I think of as influential or informative to my own process. All that aside, this is a poem that gut punched me when I first read it years ago, it's one I think about often, especially lately.

The Language of the Brag

I have wanted excellence in the knife-throw,
I have wanted to use my exceptionally strong and accurate arms
and my straight posture and quick electric muscles
to achieve something at the centre of a crowd,
the blade piercing the bark deep,
the haft slowly and heavily vibrating like the cock.

I have wanted some epic use for my excellent body,
some heroism, some American achievement
beyond the ordinary for my extraordinary self,
magnetic and tensile, I have stood by the sandlot
and watched the boys play.

I have wanted courage, I have thought about fire
and the crossing of waterfalls, I have dragged around

my belly big with cowardice and safely,
my stool black with iron pills,
my huge breasts oozing mucus,
my legs swelling, my hands swelling,
my face swelling and darkening, my hair
falling out, my inner sex
stabbed again and again with terrible pain like a knife.
I have lain down.

I have lain down and sweated and shaken
and passed blood and feces and water and
slowly alone in the centre of a circle I have
passed the new person out
and they have lifted the new person free of the act
and wiped the new person free of that
language of blood like praise all over the body.

I have done what you wanted to do, Walt Whitman,
Allen Ginsberg, I have done this thing,

I and the other women this exceptional
act with the exceptional heroic body,
this giving birth, this glistening verb,
and I am putting my proud American boast
right here with the others.

The Waters Run

These bits are from a week-old interview in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Q It's been your job for about the past 40 years to think up shocking ideas, and --

A No, no, no, I'll stop you on that one. I don't agree with shocking. If I was just trying to be shocking, my career would have stopped in 1972. I never tried to top it. I tried to surprise you and make you laugh at things that aren't safe to laugh at. It's easy to shock. It's harder to surprise people and make 'em laugh.

Q Anyway, surprising ideas. The question then is, does it get harder --

A No, every day I'm inspired by things. I live in Baltimore, that always inspires me. Things happen to me in my daily life that are funny every day. I was in a bar in Baltimore and I asked a guy what he did for a living. He said, "Can I be frank? I trade deer meat for crack." I can't think that up. I could think of three movies about him. I mean, does he wait at a deer crossing sign and gun it when he needed a fix? It takes a while to get deer meat so you have to plan ahead, which isn't what most junkies do. Little things like that, anything can inspire me.

Q A couple weeks ago we had a case of somebody seeming normal but behaving oddly --

A Oh, at the airport! I hear that airport is becoming a big tourist attraction. I want to make a movie about it. "The Last Stall on the Left." Sex in a public bathroom? How could you? In every airport bathroom it's very crowded. It's in the main airport, eh? I have to go there. Which stall was it, do you know?


Q But what about "Hair --

A That's the most devious thing I ever did. Middle American families are going to "Hairspray" and seeing two men singing a love song. They're clapping and encouraging their 15-year-olds to date black guys. If I ever did anything perverse, that's it.

Q But it's been very well- receiv --

A Of course it has, that's what's subversive about it! They don't see. I'm an insider now. I'm the establishment. Isn't that hilarious? I've always wanted to sell out. Nobody would buy me.


Q You're at work on a children's film?

A I'm hoping to make it. We'll see if anybody gives me the green light. I'm in the middle of it. It's a terribly wonderful children's Christmas adventure called "Fruitcake." That's about all I say about it because after you do something, you have to talk about it the rest of your life.

Q What was your favorite movie as a kid?

A Always "The Wizard of Oz," because I wanted to be the witch. In "Cinderella" I rooted for the stepmother. ... I rooted for the queen in "Snow White," I rooted for Captain Hook. Always I was on the wrong side. Which continues.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Separated at Birth II

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
George Wendt as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Charlotte Rae, Mrs Garrett from
Diff'rent Strokes
and The Facts of Life

Separated At Birth

Blogging's been minimal lately. Nothing has really struck me. I've just been working on poems, going to work, cleaning up know...usual shtuff. But in the last two days I've found some fabulous photos.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Professional Junkie, Pete Doherty

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Danny Devito as the Penguin in Batman Returns

Friday, November 2, 2007

Afternoon Robe Blogging

I am apartment/cat sitting for a friend away on a ten day cruise--I'd envy him, but he's going to be travelling through the aftermath of Noel, so now I'm just trying not to let everything spiral away into worst-case scenario mode. Hard to do when that's my default setting.

His cat is bizarre. I thought they were almost constitutionally incapable of separation anxiety...not this one. She firmly believes in near constant attention and affection. It is maddening when you're trying to sleep.
I really like this nocturnal schedule I'm on; waking up in the afternoon, once the day has settled into what it's going to be seems right to me. I've yet to work out the logistics of certain things (running to the bank, getting the car serviced) but I'm sure I'll adapt.
Going tomorrow to visit a poet friend. I'm anxious. It's always a marvellous way to spend an afternoon.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


There's been a change in my work more landscaping for the time being...I'm inside now, doing front desk shift work (and praying for the day I can rip off Rebecca's "My Glamorous Job".) I'm working from 11 pm to 7 am. This is all fine. This I can deal with. I can utilize the programs, I know where everything is, I can actually tone the snark and contempt down long enough to help someone if they have a problem. It's pretty quiet at night, so I have time to read and work on poems at odd moments with no problem. What I'm not sure I can deal with are the two idiot xtian woman who bring daily devotional books on their shifts but cannot count money. Perhaps I should write a devotional for them...something about a humble girl in no neck Missouri who enumerates her blessings....perhaps the idea of counting will carry over...thick as these two are, I doubt it.


Last night, while out sneaking a ciggy, about 1 in the am, I saw a drunk college boy staggering toward campus from one of the crap bars. He was dressed like Hulk Hogan. It was pitiful.


Sent out poems at the end of last week. Working on more. We shall see.