Friday, January 30, 2015

"one of literature’s most unreliable narrators: a murderous, narcissistic, yet oddly appealing young woman"

Brent Terry reviews Bombyonder at Cleaver Magazine:

Welcome to the crater. Keep your head down, your eyes open, and try not to lose your lunch…or your mind. Your guide on this journey is one of literature’s most unreliable narrators: a murderous, narcissistic, yet oddly appealing young woman on a quest through the bombed-out wreckage of her own psyche, in search of a past she can hang her hat on, a future that tells the truth, the real nature of her bomb-maker father’s legacy, and a little birdy that might make everything turn out okay.

Reb Livingston’s literary forbears are legion. In this compellingly daft, lyrical, and mind-expanding novel we find traces of Sophocles, Lewis Carrol, Vonnegut, the Nabokov of Pale Fire, Hunter S. Thompson, Gertrude Stein, and Shelley—both of them—all run through the cerebral cortex of Tim Burton, put in a pill and swallowed whole by Livingston, the effect of which is an acid-trip of a novel that requires every bit of guile and courage a reader can muster. Livingston is best known as a poet, (with two critically acclaimed books and a Best American Poetry appearance to her credit) and her poetic sensibilities guide this book: not magical realism, but hyper-realism smashed to bits and reassembled, reanimated, and turned loose among the unsuspecting villagers.


Friday, January 16, 2015

All Kinds of Hijinks at Queen Mob's



Russell Bennetts and I talk about Bombyonder, coffee and Kid Rock as part of his on-going series, Poets Online Talk About Coffee.

Spoiler: I don't like coffee.



By popular demand (snort) I did a Tarot Spat regarding a Patton Oswalt tweet from earlier this week.



I asked the Bibliomancy Oracle to make some literary prophecies for 2015. As usual, it did not disappoint.

Queen Mob's Teahouse has only been open for a little over 2 months, but I'm in awe of all the pieces appearing there. I'm not aware of any arts/literary magazine with both the range and willingness to cover important subjects all while being so vibrant. Of course, I'm biased, but I'm really thrilled to be a part of it.

There's poemsfiction and weird advice, oh my!

Here's just a handful of recent posts I'm recommending (it's in no way a complete list):

Essay: NEW YORK, 2014 by Rebecca Loudon
Essay: 2015: THE YEAR WE GET ANGRY AGAIN by Sarah Certa
Satire: ‘JE SUIS!’ STARRING THE KU KLUX KLAN: A VERY (VERY) POORLY DRAWN COMIC STRIP by Rion Scott
Essay: WARMAN WRITES ABOUT SEX by Laura Warman
Review: FORCE MAJEURE (2014): A PORTRAIT OF DISHARMONY by Jacqueline Valencia
Essay: SHAME AND THE RUIN OF THE ARISTOCRACY by Daniel Tutt
Interview: PUTIN TEST: VLADIMIR SAVICH (interviewed by Russell Bennetts)
Review: I WENT TO THE SAME MFA SCHOOL AS JOANNA RUOCCO by Mark Baumer
Art: HAUTE PORTRAITURE by Greg Bem 
Sight Unseen Review: ANTICHRIST 2 by Gary J Shipley
Sight Unseen Review: TARZAN (2016) by Rachel Milligan
Sight Unseen Review: MR TURNER by Erik Kennedy
Poems: POEMHACK: “BELTED GALLOWAYS OF FEARRINGTON VILLAGE” by Donald Dunbar
Essay: ZONE HOLES ARE REAL, OR POET PARENTING: AN EXAMINING POLEMIC IN COMPARISONS by Russell Jaffe
Essay: WOLVES & SHEEP: SOME “BAD” SEX WRITING – WISDOM – by Rauan Klassnik
Fiction: THE HEALER by João Cerqueira (translated by Chris Mingay)


Ok, I better stop, I could go on forever.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Queen Mob's Teahouse



I have a new Dreamsplaining with Jeannine Hall Gailey up at Queen Mob's Teahouse where I discuss the dreaded "death" dream.

If you haven't been to Queen Mob's Teahouse recently, you should really check it out. Especially if you enjoy quirky. There's an engaging and diverse group of regular contributors, as well as a number of guest writers offering up a lot of compelling pieces. It's introduced to me a number of folks I wasn't familiar with before. This is something I appreciate because I'd been wanting (and working towards) expanding what I've been reading as well as hoping to expand my own audience.

If you're looking to write for a literary website, there's a number of opportunities: essays, reviews (of all kinds of things, including films you HAVEN'T seen), fiction, poetry, satire/humor, art, you name it. If there's something else you'd like to write about the editors, Rauan Klassnik and Russell Bennetts, are open to pitches.

If you're on Tumblr, please follow us there. I'm managing it and feeling a little lonely. Would love a bigger audience.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Bombyonder is a Fiction Bestseller



So says Small Press Distribution! Somehow the book managed to eek onto their bestseller list for the months of November & December 2014.

It would be wonderful to move up the list, or just remain on it during January. If you haven't got your copy yet, now would be a great time to do so. SPD is a really good option to purchase from (better for both the press & the author). It's also available elsewhere (both in paperback and ebook format), like Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Apple Bookstore and Kobo.

Thank you to everyone who helped put the book on the bestseller list!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Guess the Dream Poet - Part 5 (2014)

Guess which dream poets listed (or possibly omitted) in the dream anthology belongs in the blanks.

* * *

It's an intermission performance supposedly to promote something at a big, fenced-in wrestling ring. Writers in costumes walk by and go in. ____ wearing a costume goes in. Something with wheels goes over ____'s body and presses ____ against the fence. ____ is very injured. One of the wheels crushed part of his/her neck.

Something resets and it's right before the performance. There are some old women testing the thing with the metal wheels. I tell them to make sure they're careful, that ____  is fragile and can easily be hurt. The old woman agrees that ____ is just a tiny thing.

Then I go and try to warn ____. I even offer to wear the suit myself (although I don't really want to). ____ declines. I try to warn ____'s spouse. The spouse doesn't listen. I tell him/her that I've seen this happen already and ____ gets hurt.

I'm not sure if I did enough to prevent or improve the situation.

* * *

I'm helping ____ move. Other people were supposed to show up, but haven't, including his/her brother -- who clearly blew him/her off and drove right past and on to another state. The brother left a rope (that's connected to him?). I ask ____ if he wants to use this rope to help him/herself move and he/she says yes. I think we're going to drag some things using the rope.

A large family arrives a few minutes late,  here to help ____. There's several children. Now we have lots of help and the mood changes.

* * *

I'm collecting paper utensils for ____. I see a friend and she tells me that people who eat with forks have a higher suicide rate. I tell her that we only need four ounces of meat every few days to get enough protein.

* * *

I'm on the phone with ____. He/she asks me to read my hedgehog dreams to him/her. I search my database and it turns out that I have a few. I read one to him/her.

* * *

_Poet 1_ is talking about how he/she can't do something that he/she used to do, I think because it reminds his/her of her ex-spouse. I ask _Poet 1_ & _Poet 2_ if the horse races still happen and one of them says yes. _Poet 3_ is sad that we don't go to the horse races anymore.  _Poet 1_ says he/she isn't going to the race anymore. _Poet 3_ needs to accept this.

Guess the Dream Poet - Part 4 (2014)

Guess which dream poets listed (or possibly omitted) in the dream anthology belongs in the blanks.

* * *

_Poet 1_is a high-strung aggressive and addicted to cocaine.

I throw a party with cocaine but now _Poet 1_ has quit. _Poet 1_ is acting strange, like he/she is going through withdrawal. I make a joke to _Poet 2_ about how I bought all this cocaine, but _Poet 1_ won't use it.

I ask _Poet 1_ if he/she knows Noodle House Peter. _Poet 1_ does not. I tell _Poet 1_ that Peter was a teenage genius and now he's the one who sets the time. I'm trying to get to the butt crack part of the Russia House story, but I'm not getting there.


* * *

____ asks me if I'm ready to participate in the play. I say that I'm not sure. ____ says that's understandable, it can be a little uncomfortable. I'm assuming this is a reference to race relations.

* * *

A man is flirting with me. I don't appreciate it and of ease myself away from him. Later I find out it's ____.

* * *

_Poet 1__ has been watching my dog, Loki. I ask _Poet 1_ where he left Loki so I can go get him. _Poet 1_ doesn't want me to go because I'm naked. I'm Ok with being naked, but _Poet 1_ feels like he/she has to protect me. _Poet 1_says he/she'll go get Loki.

_Poet 2_ gets Loki from the pet hotel. I remember that I left Loki with the poets. To make _Poet 1_ feel better, I ask _Poet 2_ to get me something to cover myself with. _Poet 2_ comes back with a large Hello Kitty towel. 

* * *

I'm walking down a trail and come across a large grouping of babies all sitting as if they're in a group class picture. ____ is here. One of the babies is his/hers. I make a comment that all the babies are likely disturbing people, but oh well. We both go to get our babies, but all the babies are surrounded by puddles of pee. Neither ____ nor I have any shoes or socks on so we have to walk through the pee. I tell ____ that I'm used to dealing with my own son's pee, but all these different babies' pee is a bit much.

* * *

A baker is having an argument with ____. They've been friends for years, but it seems like that's ended.


Guess the Dream Poet - Part 3 (2014)

Guess which dream poets listed (or possibly omitted) in the dream anthology belongs in the blanks.

* * *


I'm a class with _Poet 1_. I mention _Poet 2_, who's been on the run from something. I tell _Poet 1_ that I've heard from _Poet 2_ since he/she's been on the run. _Poet 2_ has been leaving me messages about innocuous things, like _Poet 3_ poems.

* * *

I'm in front of a horse barn at some kind of event, like a small Woodstock. It's a yearly thing. ____ is in charge of it. ____ explains that during the event, the horse barn will be taken down and anyone performing while the barn is taken down will be given some kind of extra compensation or perk: being allowed to perform naked.

I'm nostalgic and wish the barn would remain up, but I don't feel especially strongly about it. I'm on a circular zipline that goes above the barn and I can survey the event. A few people are still coming, but it's small, like 30 people or so. I wish the event would bring more people.

There's some kind of voting that's going on,. I say that since we're Americans, we should all vote for each other. There's a box for a woman, my name is in it somehow -- it's some kind of artistic role. I'm wondering it I'll get the role, if ____ and the others will write my name in the box.

* * *

A shirtless ____ says that he/she wants to show me something. ____ lifts me up and carries me. I feel a little strange because I'm not wearing a bra under my shirt. ____ carries me around for a while and we walk out onto a busy city street, he/she gets lost and can't find what he/she wants to show me. We go into a night club with a large dance floor.

* * *

_Poet 1_, _Poet 2_ and I work for a woman who is starting a new project to help homeless gay teens. She wants us to research companies that do professional dumpster diving. This is how she wants to find food for these homeless kids. I do a google search and can't seem to find any professional dumpster divers, so I expand my search professional salvagers. But I'm troubled by this project. I talk to _Poet 1_ and _Poet 2_ about how food kitchens don't get food out of the dumpsters, in fact they won't even take expired canned food. I feel like our boss has a very narrow idea how she can help these kids.

* * *

____ is giving a lecture on collaboration. It's unlike any way I've thought about it before. I start writing notes on a sheet of paper. I'm embarrassed about the simplicity of my notes and how I'm not really prepared for this panel like I thought I was. ___ tries to look at my notes, but I cover them up.