Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Dream Poet Anthology 2009

Below are the names of every poet who made an appearance or was mentioned in my dreams during 2009. Some of these poets I know well, others are acquaintances and some are complete strangers. If you find your name is on this list and you do not know me, it means that I know of you via your work or reputation and my psyche has attached some type of meaning or symbolism on you to represent something.

2009 Contributors:

Kim Addonizio, Deborah Ager, Bill Allegrezza, Clay Banes, Jeffery Bahr, Jennifer Bartlett, Sandra Beasley, Tara Betts, Frank Bidart, Remica Bingham, Julie Bloemeke, Anne Boyer, Ana Božičević, Maurice Burford, Blake Butler, Ryan Call, Laura Carter, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Joshua Clover, Kelly Cockerham, Shanna Compton, CA Conrad, Eduardo Corral, Bruce Covey, H.D., Jon Dallas, Kyle Daragan, Neil de la Flor, Linh Dinh, Michael Dumanis, Jill Alexander Essbaum, Thomas Sayers Ellis, Annie Finch, Wade Fletcher, Daisy Fried, Elisa Gabbert, Scott Glassman, Johannes Göransson, Noah Eli Gordon, Anne Gorrick, Lea Graham, Gabriel Gudding, Paul Guest, Stacey Harwood, Teri Cross Hayes, Terrence Hayes, Ginger Heatter, Matthew Hittinger, Janet Holmes, Dave Housley, Richard Howard, Theo Hummer, Charlie Jensen, Shane Jones, Collin Kelley, Amy King, Steve Kistulenz, Rauan Klassnik, Jennifer L. Knox, Dorothea Lasky, David Lehman, Rebecca Loudon, Natalie Lyalin, Tony Mancus, Cate Marvin, Joseph Massey, David McDonald, Gary McDowell, Didi Menendez, E. Ethelbert Miller, K. Silem Mohammad, Gina Myers, Dan Nester, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Hoa Nguyen, Ed Ochester, Jeni Olin, Danielle Pafunda, Karl Parker, Shann Palmer, Richard Peabody, PF Potvin, Craig Santos Perez, Jessica Piazza, Scott Pierce, PF Potvin, Ezra Pound, Barbara Jane Reyes, Tony Robinson, Ken Rumble, Carly Sachs, CJ Sage, Allyson Salazar, Michael Schiavo, Zach Schomburg, Steven Schroeder, Rebecca Seiferle, Don Share, Laura Sheahen, Evie Shockley, Jessica Smith, Laurel Snyder, Ron Silliman, Janaka Stucky, Craig Teicher, Brent Terry, Maureen Thorson, Tony Tost, Elizabeth Treadwell, John Updike, Sarah Vap, Rich Villar, Mark Wallace, James Wagner, Fritz Ward, Allyssa Wolf, Rebecca Wolff, Joshua Marie Wilkinson, C. Dale Young, Matthew Zapruder

Q: Does appearing on this list mean that I am obsessed with or stalking you?
A: Possibly.

Q: Will I tell you the details of the dream you appeared in?
A: No, absolutely not. Assume the dream was totally demented and would disturb you a great deal.

Q: I'm a poet and I'm psychically awesome, why aren't I included in this anthology?
A: There are three possible reasons you are not included:

1. You didn't appear in my dreams in 2009. Resolve in 2010 to be more ambitious psychically.
2. You did appear in my dreams, but I don't remember. I forget many dreams. Your omission is a simple case of editorial oversight. You were screwed, unintentionally.
3. You did appear in my dreams, but I am loathe to publicly admit such a thing. This applies to around 3% of the poets appearing in my dreams. Your omission is a simple case of editorial bias. You were screwed, intentionally.
The last dream I had in 2008 (one year ago today) was that I was riding in a spaceship with a man who wrote an introduction to one of Harold Bloom's books. We were flying over an arctic wasteland. The writer used some kind of oxygen spray to breathe and the rest of us had breathing attachments in our mouths. I was familiar with the writer's introduction and what he wrote of the region.

Then Chris and I checked into a hotel and asked if Harold Bloom checked in yet. He had, but refused the suite for a simpler room instead. This was consistent with his book. It was 10:49. I was worried that breakfast would end in a minute. We made arrangements with HB to meet us for lunch before the 11:30 wedding we were to attend. I still had to get ready for the wedding.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

ok, this is more terrifying than the hippie who wants me to go back to school and refinance my home



Don't even get me started on the "heart of PA" -- that is not the type of love I wish to surround myself.

What's next FB? Glue factory and pasture advertisements?

Not to get all personal here, but I can still bear children and um, wipe myself. Am I really that close to retirement age?

I miss the "hey fatso . . . prune face . . . pee-stained grin . . . pancake titty" advertisements I used to receive on FB when I was 36. Bring them back, please!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Personal Best/Suckiest of 2009

Best

Stockholm with Gideon

My niece, Tabitha

Finishing God Damsel

Publishing Karl Parkers' PERSONATIONSKIN

My awesome, demented, freakish dreams

Jeff Goldblum on Law and Order: Criminal Intent

My spiffy azurite pendulum and moldavite pendant

Losing 10 pounds via energy visualization

Breaking up with pilates and returning to yoga

New blog!

Rebeccamas with Chris, Gideon and family

37


Suckiest

Gideon's appendectomy (thankfully he made a full recovery)

Gideon's numerous childhood illnesses & emergencies (swine flu, pink eye, button stuck in ear, etc.)

Breaking my ass and the following, chronic ass pain

SWAYZE

The cancellation of The Sarah Connor Chronicles (fuck you TV execs, fuck you to apocalypse)

The ending of Torchwood: Children of Earth (Torchwood, YOU ARE DEAD TO ME)

Monday, December 28, 2009

final call for anthology

Only a few more days to psychically submit to The Reb Livingston Dream Poet Anthology 2009. Every poet who enters my psyche is accepted into the anthology.

Unless I don't want to publicly admit that you entered my psyche.

This past week I dreamed of two poets who already secured their places in the anthology. They get an A for effort, but no special prize. You only have to appear once in my dreams to make the anthology. You don't even have to really appear, just the mention of your name or book counts.

I should warn you that there's been a bit of violence in my dreams as of late: shoot-outs, murders, assaults, bear attacks, attempted murder by bug spray, boiling mice, blood-worms that look a lot like penises appearing in spaghetti, etc. . .

I cannot guarantee the safety or integrity of your psychic avatar.
I'm liking 37 a lot so far.

Definitely better than 36 which was infinitely better than 35 and so on.

To all you 20-somethings fretting about turning 30:

You're all a bunch of ninny fools.

Your 20's are a big, heaping, steaming pile of sheet.

You're just not worldly or experienced enough to realize it.

Someday, when you become worldly and experienced, like me, you'll understand what I'm saying.

Flush that sheet, wash your hands and get cooking in your creative kitchen.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas morning 9 a.m. (after 14 hours of sleep)



Christmas afternoon at 1 p.m.



Too much holiday excitement!



* * *

Today is the last day for my poems at No Tell Motel. After midnight tonight, you'll have to go slumming through the archives to read them.

I recommend that everyone spend Rebeccamas week at No Tell.

Friday, December 25, 2009

I told him he could stay up at the party until 10:00 pm.

He didn't make it to 6:30 pm.

I hope he feels better in the morning.



Too much Christmas spirit!

Monday, December 21, 2009

That's right, I'm celebrating my birthday all week long.

Really.

It's all I'm going to talk about.

Today I had a hot chocolate and split a polar bear cookie with Gideon.

He ate the bear's brain, butt and toes.

I ate the rest.

I dreamed of bears over the weekend.

A black bear went after Chris and a panda after me. As the panda approached, I fell to the ground, pretty much into a fetal position.

I was terrified.

The panda put his arm around me and snuggled.

What a nice panda.

That panda made me feel much better about myself.

I have no idea what the black bear did with Chris.

What can you do?

My high school Spanish teacher used to say: Sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the bear gets you.

But back to my birthday . . .


Steve Fellner gave me a gift in his interview at Almost Dorothy.

Thank you Steve & Neil.
I turn 37 on Friday.

So I gave myself what I always wanted.

A week at No Tell Motel.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

At the end of the year I will post my 2009 Dream Poet Anthology. Just a few more days for you to make your psychic appearance (in such a way that I remember upon waking). The deadline is December 31, 2009 8 a.m. ET.

The Reb Livingston Dream Poet Anthology series is the most coveted and prestigious list any poet can dream of making. Poets who made this list in the past went on to do very important and impressive things.

Good luck.

Monday, December 14, 2009

This morning Gideon selected his own outfit because he wanted to be really good-looking.



The shirt says Idaho.

The puppet is from Paris.

The binoculars are from Target.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My tailbone continues to cause grief, but it's considerably better now. I still can't sit for long periods of time, so if you're waiting to hear back from me, well, hopefully soon.

If you received any correspondence from me this past week, appreciate the pain I endured making that happen.

Pain I endured for you.

I no longer hate everyone.

I'm merely annoyed.

The party Friday night was fun -- and I barely felt my tailbone.

Because beforehand we had a tour of the Newsuem.

The tailbone cure: an hour of walking on a concrete floor in heels in a cold building

The foot pain and shivers created solidarity among the ladies.

We all looked very pretty in our mutual suffering.

Saturday afternoon I received a call from The Other Rebecca.

The first thing I said was "how do I know it's you?"

Life is full of surprises.

After we hung up, I said to Chris, "you have no idea what a big deal that call was!"

He assured me that he did indeed understand.

He's such a know-it-all.

It was like receiving a call saying I won Publishers Clearinghouse.

Except my bank account balance stayed the same.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

On my way out the door to my reading on Sunday, I slipped on some ice causing some serious tailbone pain. All week it's been Oh my aching ass! I can't sit for long periods of time. I can't bend very well. It still hurts, but today the pain is finally lessening. I have a pile of NTM submissions that I did nothing with, despite my intentions, because well, right now I sort of hate everybody and figure that extends doubly-so to poems. Everyone is annoying. Jokes aren't funny. I'm moving and acting like an elderly, cranky scrooge. I must be a real treat because Gideon keeps informing me that my "bum doesn't hurt anymore" -- he wants me to get over it already. He doesn't understand, healing takes time.

But things are looking up. This afternoon I found a dress for tomorrow's Google holiday party with ease. It made me really happy. Some Advil, a bunch of champagne and tomorrow I bet I'll feel outstanding.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

stalked by a hippie

Some dirty hippie keeps showing up in advertisements directed at me:


Today on FB:



and also on Weather.com:



Anyone recognize him? It kind of looks like a mugshot. Is he a famous musician or something? Or am I totally unhip to the latest and greatest advertising methods? Is this the face the government is now using to encourage people to go back to school and refinance their homes?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Saturday







and introducing my niece, Tabitha Nicole:

Friday, December 4, 2009

Open Door Reading Series: Deborah Ager and Reb Livingston

I'm reading with Deborah Ager on Sunday, December 6th at 2pm at The Writer's Center, 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD 20815

Details here

Thursday, December 3, 2009

coming to get you

Yesterday I dreamed that two women and I were protecting something. It had a Buffy the Vampire Slayer feel. There were men shooting at us. Then more elite assassins came to kill all of us. I tried to protect and hide the original assassins from the new, better ones. One lesser assassin even argued with me as I tried to hide him in a laundry basket. I was like "dude, I forgive you, let it go and let me help you." The elite assassins found us, but they didn't kill us, they held our mouths open and put in a drop of something. Was it a truth serum? A mind control tonic? Poison? I don't know. But not long after that I saw my reflection in the mirror--I was an older, frumpy red-head with HUGE dandruff flakes. I felt unattractive so when the swarmy Englishman was hitting on me, I thought it must be a trick and responded sarcastically. Then another older woman told me to just hit that already. After I announced that I hope Frodo leaves Middle Earth and comes back to Upper Earth, I went out to a car to make out with the Englishman--which was pretty gross, actually. Frumpy and dandruff aside, I could have done MUCH better. Afterwards I looked out the car window, pointed Hiro out to the Englishman and said "He's the time traveler."

* * *

Not my first Buffy-inspired dream, but my first Frodo dream. It's also my first Hiro dream, but not my first time traveler dream. In October 2008 I dreamed a bunch of annoying people were on a path looking for Dr. Who. I honked my horn and told them to get out of the way, the Doctor wasn't here. Then I mixed paints, making "hero" colors, like Wonder Woman. I tried to mix a peacock blue. The blue stood for men, red for women and white held them together, I think, or maybe the blue held them together.

I always mix up important details. Or maybe I finally got it right after all this time and that's why Hiro appeared.

My first Doctor dream was in June 2008. He was sitting at my childhood bus stop. I really wanted him to notice me. I don't think he did. I walked up the street to my home, it was a sunny beautiful day, my grandfather joyfully waited for me in our front yard. Then it became night and I was behind the house trying to park my car, but a red and white 50's car was in the spot. A woman named "MaryLou" shot at me with a shotgun. She chased me as I drove away. Then I found myself in a bedroom. I woke up and realized I was dreaming (in the dream). I heard a rustling. MaryLou was in the closet, not fully formed yet. She was this sickly, wretched humanoid. I smashed her head against a dresser and yelled for her to leave me alone. She said she'd come back from time to time. That infuriated me. I wanted her gone for good. I pummeled her harder and yelled "I'm coming to get you, MaryLou."

That's one of those dreams that when you wake up from, you go down your sanity checklist to make sure everything is in order.

Maybe I'm Smeagol and MaryLou is my Gollum?

Frodo, come back to Upper Earth!

It's time.
I got Gideon an advent calendar this year.

I never had one growing up, so it's a new concept for me, but it seemed like fun.

It was an impulse purchase. A $2 cardboard one I saw at the craft store.

This delighted Gideon.

I was delighted.

That's a lot of delight for $2!

I am a delight bargain hunter.

Yesterday we opened the first box: a piece of chocolate.

Sort of what I expected and it was exciting for Gideon.

He took a bite of the chocolate and handed it to me.

I thought, what a generous little boy! An angel!

How delightful!

Until I tasted the chocolate.

It was full of chemicals (from the plastic casing, I assume).

It was not edible.

I spat it out.

So for the next 23 days we'll continue opening the calendar, looking at the chocolate and ceremonially dropping it in the garbage can.

Then I'll give him a few jellybeans or a lollipop.

Not nearly as delightful.

* * *

So everyone is twittering about a Sherman Alexie interview on Colbert. Lots of harsh comments. I'm going to dust off the old TiVo and see what folks are talking about.

Yeah, I know I can watch it online.

* * *

I asked for a Nook for Christmas. I hear they're sold out.

I guess we'll see how magical Santa really is.

* * *

One of my projects for 2010 is making all the No Tell titles available as eBooks.

I'm kind of embarrassed I haven't done it yet, but, well, figuring out new technology and formatting stuff takes time and I've been awfully short on that.

* * *

I got a Google Wave invite a while back and couldn't figure out how to update my profile picture.

Or what I was even supposed to do with it.

One of my projects for 2010 is figuring out Google Wave.

* * *

Technology IS threatening!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

God Damsel


(Click to enlarge)

Cover Design by Mary Behm-Steinberg

Coming in January 2010

we're all villains

Yesterday Gideon told me that I was the super-evil professor of crazy-talk.

He keeps bringing up all the items that he believes his soon-to-be born cousin will steal; for instance, a small cardboard box he painted for Chris and the garbage in his preschool's dumpster. He also believes his cousin will be able to lift up the dumpster and throw it high into the sky.

It's been suggested that he's jealous and perhaps on an unconscious level he is, considering he's envisioning her as a thief with super-human strength.

The making of an arch nemesis?
C. Dale is pondering shutting down his blog.

I hope that he doesn't (for my own selfish reasons), but obviously it's his decision to make. Nobody should blog because they feel like it's expected. I sort of understand the feeling, earlier this year I was looking at Cackling Jackal, considering how it evolved and wondering if I wanted to keep doing it. I decided I wanted to do something different and made the "clean break" choice with this blog. Separating out (mostly) all the No Tell related items to the No Tells blog and Twitter makes this blog feel like less of a responsibility. I get more out of it than I was getting from Cackling Jackal. Back then I felt like I had to post on a daily basis. Here, I don't. If I don't blog for a week, there's no post for a week. I don't apologize for being busy with this or that. I am busy with this or that, but I don't need to state it. Just like I don't need to state that yesterday the cat barfed on my carpet and I have yet to steam clean it. I'm looking at the stain now. It's orange and pretty gross. I should really take care of that, yet I don't feel need to explain why I haven't yet taken care of it.

Use your imagination.

I believe more people read this blog via Facebook than by visiting the blog itself. I certainly receive more comments regarding these posts on FB. In fact, I'm pretty sure a lot of the FB readers don't even realize these posts come from a blog (it's all automated, I post here and within a few hours FB reposts it). I used to say that FB is for people who want an internet presence, but aren't interesting enough to blog. I still kind of believe that. I no longer think FB is JUST for uninteresting people.

I can count at least 10 interesting people on FB.

Judging by subscriptions on Google Reader, Bloglines and other RSS readers, it seems like a lot of people are reading these posts "elsewhere" as well.

This all changes the blogging atmosphere from what it was a few years ago. Fewer comments are left here. Statcounters are pretty useless. There's a lot less of those dull, promotional-heavy, publication-listing type blogs. That's a big plus in my book. FB and Twitter are much better for that.

Of course now I'm dealing with the steady deluge of writers inviting me to become and join their fan pages.

Sorry. I'm already Jeff Goldblum's fan.

What I'm having a really tough time with is the "death of email" part. I DO NOT want to conduct my "business" on FB. Friendly chatter is fine, but I can't believe people try to send "official" business to me that way. I also don't get how people ignore emails (with things like galleys!), but will quickly respond to my last ditch effort to contact them via FB.

I am not handing over the reigns of my communication to a company that hasn't the slightest clue how I use their service or my basic needs. Every redesign is an exercise in the architecture of suck.

I'm told the young people don't even use email anymore.

Well how are they handling organization and archival?!?

Young people are ruining everything, as usual.

Glad to finally be old and no longer part of the problem.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

poop is never funny

James Allen Hall and I are the guest judges for the Caption Contest Throwdown Round 5.

As always, I'm working hard making friends.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Poetry Foundation's Washington, DC Poetry Tour

Over two years ago the Poetry Foundation invited me to participate in their walking poetry tour. Other poets who participated include: A.B. Spellman, Jane Shore, Naomi Ayala, Reuben Jackson, Yusef Komunyakaa, Myra Sklarew, E. Ethelbert Miller, Sarah Browning, Terrence Winch and Linda Pastan. It's narrated by Elizabeth Alexander with photographs by Thomas Sayers Ellis.

I'm not sure what exactly happened and changed in two years time, but the concept that was communicated to me was that one would physically walk around the city and listen to the various readings (on headphones?). Either I totally misunderstood or they tweaked the idea because the tour is available online. I like that it's online.

I read a poem the Poetry Foundation chose from Your Ten Favorite Words and talk briefly about No Tell Motel.

To hear it, click on start and then click RESTON.

Oh wait, Reston isn't on this map. Yes, that's right. I was told I'd be the Dupont Circle poet because that's where we held Lolita & Gilda's Burlesque Poetry Hour. That's my poetic connection to the neighborhood.

But I'm not there. To my surprise I was assigned Adams Morgan. Now, I have to be honest, the only times I've ended up in Adam's Morgan in the past decade were when I made a wrong turn. This perplexed me. I felt like I didn't belong in the tour at all and became concerned I'd be outed as a suburban fraud. There's at least 10 poets living in Adams Morgan, why am I there?

Then I remembered, I DO have a literary connection to Adams Morgan.

Adams Morgan has a lot of bars and clubs that I would occasionally patronize in my early 20's. One night after becoming bored (I find loud bars both difficult and dull, find more excitement in peaceful places where I can think, connect and easily converse), some friends and I decided to try an all-night palm reader who lived above one of the bars. It was after midnight, all of her young children were up watching TV. Immediately I felt uncomfortable.

See, back then I wasn't the blogging mommy poet you know today. In fact, I considered children to be annoying and preferred not to be in their company. Well, I still think they're annoying, but I made peace and grown to appreciate being asked the same question over and over and over and . . . also, I was rather judgmental. I believed things like if a child wasn't potty-trained (oops, first typed "poetry-trained", same thing) by age 2 it was because the parents were incompetent and lazy. I wasn't evolved, enlightened and experienced, like I am now.

BTW, childfree people who go around judging parents, there's these things called karma and comeuppance.

Tread carefully.

As I waited my turn, I sat in the living room watching TV with the kids. A little boy, about Gideon's age now, came up to me and whispered "I promise not to spit in your ear" and before I could raise my hand to cover my ear, he spit in my ear.

When it was finally my turn, I was livid pissed at the palm reader. Who knows what kind of dark, menacing energy I sent towards her and her son. What kind of mother raises a child who would spit in my ear? Really.

I don't know, what kind of mother raises a 4 year old who thieves evening gloves and protractors from his classroom? Or goes around asking people "Do you want to smell my bum?"

Judge at your own risk!

Anyhow, aside from telling me I'd live into my 80's, she told me that I was clearly a writer and whatever I was doing at that time wasn't going to last for long. My purpose in this life is to write.

That was important because at that point I was about to give up my weirdo poet fantasies and settle into my new life as a cubicle monkey. Her reading made me question my decision to walk away from poetry and my time spent in her apartment kept me off the baby-building track for close to a decade.

And that all happened in Adams Morgan.

I am legitimate.

Monday, November 16, 2009

super

Gideon: If you say that word again, I'm throwing you in jail.

Me: What word?

Gideon: "Son, stop doing that."


Gideon woke up with a belly ache last night.

Maybe because he drank 8 vanilla milks yesterday.

He's drinking another one right now.

Moderation is today's topic.

That and how people make boogies.

This week Gideon is an otter.

Last week he was a beaver.

For those of you playing at home.

Whatever you do, don't call him a monkey.

He will freak on your ass.

No Tells is all freaking poetry book lists-- during November and December.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Countdown to Rebeccamas

This evening I read How the Grinch Stole Christmas to Gideon. This was his first time hearing it so I got to relive all the disbelief and shock that some asshole would actually try to steal Christmas. Earlier this week we collected pine cones to make Rebeccamas ornaments and we finally got around to putting the potpourri into little mesh bags. As far as I'm concerned, it still smells like rose farts, but Gideon and Chris disagree. 2 against 1, so it makes it into the gift baskets. I take pride in our home being a democratic crappy-craft gulag. On Saturday we saw the 3-D Christmas Carol (we all liked it) and I bought tickets to see The Nutcracker at the Kennedy Center. It's nice to have someone around who can hold his end of a conversation about Rebeccamas. You know, in a way that's not weird.

Oh, I purchased pink tree lights to honor the impending arrival of my niece. I bought those in October.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Poem Channeling


Click to enlarge (and click again if necessary)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Tonight's Card

Slay a Dragon: Long ago, map makers sketched dragons on maps as a sign to sailors that they would be entering unknown territory at their own risk. Some sailors took this sign literally and were afraid to venture on. Others saw the dragons as a sign of opportunity, a door to virgin territory. Similarly, each of us has a mental map of the world complete with dragons. Where does fear hold you back? What dragons can you slay?

* * *

"You are a fear prisoner. Yes, you are a product of fear."
--Patrick Swayze's character, Jim Cunninham, in Donnie Darko

I recorded two dreams with dragons. In July 2009 I dreamed I was overlooking Kim Jong Il's swimming pool. It had large waves, dragon fire and was open to the public.

In October 2008 I dreamed that to escape home invaders I entered a passageway beneath a house. I became aware that this was a descent into my unconsciousness. Blocking my way was a ferocious lady dragon. Luckily there was a guy with me holding a brain floating in a bowl of water. Once I fed the dragon the brain, she became gentle and friendly. But she wouldn't let me pass. Not until we talked about some of my old poems. I didn't want to have any of it. I just wanted to move past and on to the unconscious stuff I was interested in. Then I woke up (in the dream) in a dorm room at AWP.

Ugh, I refuse to confront something so my punishment is AWP. In dorm room, no less. Guess that was the lady dragon's way of saying "very well, more suffering and school for you!"

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tonight's Card

Pause for a Bit: Poet Doug King on the value of incubating: "Learn to pause . . . or nothing worthwhile will catch up to you." Allow the Muse to whisper in your ear. What problems are you working on that benefit from a pause?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tonight's Card

Ask a Fool: That's what Renaissance kings did to break out the groupthink environment their "yes-men" advisors created. It was the fool's job to parody any proposal under discussion to make it appear in a fresh light. He might extol the trivial, trifle the exalted, or reverse the common perception of a situation. Example: "If a man is sitting backwards on a horse, why do we assume that is is the man who is backwards and not the horse?" Result: he dislodged people's assumptions. What would the fool say about your idea?
Gideon's favorite movie is Ghostbusters. We watched it back in the spring and he still talks about it.

His favorite song is "Ghostbusters," the Ghostbusters theme song by Ray Parker Jr.

We spent a lot of time talking about Ghostbusters this week. Probably an unnatural amount of time. Gideon's been staying at home, recovering from h1n1. Don't worry, he's been a brave little piggie and mostly recuperated. Although Sunday night and all day Monday were another story considering his 103 fever. Ever since his appendectomy I become kind of a wreck whenever he gets sick. But he's much better now.

Obviously I haven't spent much time pondering dreams and creativity and whatnot. I hope to get back to that tonight.

Bustin makes me feel good!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Tonight's Card

Try a Random Idea: There once was an Indian medicine man who made hunting maps for his tribe. When game got sparse, he'd put a piece of fresh leather in the sun to dry. Then he'd fold and twist it, and then smooth it out. The rawhide was now etched with lines. He marked some reference points, and a new map was created. When the hunters followed the map's newly defined trails, they usually discovered abundant game. Moral: by letting the rawhide's random folks represent trails, he pointed the hunters to places they hadn't looked. Stimulate your thinking in a similar way. Open any book at random and put your finger down on a word: "magnet." How does it relate to what you're doing? What associations can you make? What random ideas can you try?

* * *

Ok, well I'm sitting next to a spanking stack of PERSONATIONSKIN, let's give that a try:

backdrops

Associations: setting, scenery, background, eye drops, pink eye, squirming, child, 3rd grade, squirming, Visine, kitchen, resisting, standing, hallucination, fever, pass out, water fountain . . .
After selecting the "what's out of whack?" card, the only dream I remember is that I was driving a small, red rental car. I double-parked it, got out and into my own car and tried to drive away. My undergrad fiction teacher stood in my way. She asked if I was going to return the rental. I planned on doing something else that evening, but knew I really should return it. It occured to me that I've kept it way longer than I needed.

* * *

So the question is what does the red rental car represent and why am I holding on to it for so long when I have my own working car? And why am I parking like an asshole?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tonight's Card

Find What's Out of Whack: Be critical and sense what's out of whack with the idea. Remember: you don't want to put a piece of garbage out in the world with your name on it. Why won't the idea work? What's lacking? What doesn't feel right about the idea?

* * *

Oh goodness, these are going to be some cruel dreams tonight. I anticipate appearances from both my sister (one of my more harsh dream shadows) and meanie Barrelhouse Dave.
After selecting the "shield" card I dreamed:

I was driving to a book/bake sale held at a church in a small town. It was a stop on the way to somewhere else and I was two hours late. When I finally got there, I pulled into a parking garage and my car wheels became tangled in rope. The garage attendant pushed me out of the way as he went to fix the wheels. I exclaimed, "Just when I think I caught break!"

that Chris finally fessed up about the time he flew to Honduras to rescue his former girlfriend back in high school. I was hurt because it meant he lied about his "first time" (getting a passport).

that Clyde (our dearly departed cat) peed on somebody's carpet.

of pretty pair of earrings I was likely to return because I didn't want to pay for them.

that I realized a blogger poet would be on the same panel as Chris at an upcoming conference in Japan.

* * *

I should deflect negativity by:

being more conscious of time?

not having high expectations that things will go smoothly and according to plan?

staying out of the way of aggressive attendants?

being less sensitive?

letting the past stay behind me?

accepting that I have to shell out for nice things in life?

not allowing my cats to pee on people's carpets?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tonight's Card

Use Your Shield: New ideas can be threatening and they often provoke a negative reaction. For example, when Stravinsky first presented his Rite of Spring ballet with its unusual harmonies and primitive rhythms, he was met with a rioting audience. When Kepler correctly solved he orbital problem of the planets by using ellipses rather than circles, he was denounced. Be prepared for such a reaction and don't let it prevent you from acting on your idea. A German statesman Konrad Adenauer put it, "A thick skin is a gift from God." What negative reaction do you expect? How can you deflect it?
Last night I dreamed that I passed out at a literary conference and woke up with some guy's finger in my ear.

I felt violated.

Tonight I'm going to select a new whack pack card.

All this wandering is creeping me out.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Barbara Jane Reyes asks 2 broad questions about indie publishing to Eileen Tabios, Francisco Aragón, Rusty Morrison and me over at Harriet.
Didn't spend much time meditating last night.

Tummy ache.

I'm trying to figure out if my dreams "wandered" anymore than normal. It doesn't seem that way.

I dreamed:

Barrelhouse Dave was pissed about a blog post I wrote about Barrelhouse. He told me to stop trying to be funny and stick to writing about "minor" poetry

of a woman poet who wore blue face make-up

I downloaded a bunch of scary/Halloween movies to watch with Chris, but there was only one he was willing to see

I made up with a writer with who I recently had an icky interaction


* * *

Perhaps the dreams are demonstrating a resistance to wandering?


I will try wandering better today.
Not too long ago I came across my Creative Whack Pack. The guy who created it gave a creativity seminar at AOL in 1996. We all received a deck. Honestly, as far as corporate seminars go, this was a better one. Not that I ever used it for my job. I remember during a meeting with our manager, my office mate suggested we pull out the whack pack to brainstorm for some project we were discussing. Our manager was like, "um, yeah, stop fucking around." Well, he had an MBA, so he knew best.

As I've written here, I'm in kind of a transformative stage creatively. I decided to pull out the whack pack and see if it could be any use. Last night I drew this card: Change Its Name: If an architect looks at an opening between the two rooms and thinks "door," that's what she'll design. But if she thinks "passageway," she may design something much different like a "hallway," or "air curtain," "tunnel," or perhaps a "courtyard." Different words bring in different assumptions and lead your thinking in different directions. What else can you call your idea?

So last night before sleeping I mediated on "changing its name" which was difficult because I didn't feel like I was calling it any one firm thing, in fact, I'm not even sure what "it" is. But I had this dream:

An editor from the West Wind Review accepted my poems and suggested I use the nickname "Sous Rature." Then my sister told me that's a stupid idea and I shouldn't.



So I got a new name to call it! Although I kind of fucking hate it when I dream literary theory. Not sure what it all means, but hey if you can name it . . .

Tonight I drew this card: Let Your Mind Wander: Much of our thinking is associative: one idea makes you think of another--no matter how logical the connection. Use this ability to generate new ideas. Look at something, and make associations based on whatever you can think of: function, location, size, shape, sound, personal, opposite, weird, etc. Example--work: play: actor: star: sun: light: bulb: tulips: kiss: love: tennis: net: profit: prophet: oracle: auricle: heart: life. What things does your idea remind you of? What do each of these remind you of? How can you use this cluster of associations to develop your idea?

I'll let you know if my psyche wanders into any bright ideas.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Gideon said he wanted to go to a haunted house. We took him. We explained how it was going to be people in scary costumes, pretending to be monsters and using their imaginations. We asked the haunted house staff for the "mild" treatment. They obliged, the actors softened their performances, our guide didn't take us into the scariest rooms.

It was a horrible mistake. We almost made it out with just trembling and wincing, but then . . . then came the fucking clown.

It was all over after that.

Tonight we earned Gideon at least a year of therapy.

Speaking of right and wrong, Big Parade Pisser, Rauan Klassnik, interviews me at HTMLGIANT.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I have 3 poems in issue 4 of Absent along with Dan Boehl, Karen Carcia, Darcie Dennigan, Jessica Fjeld, Andrea Henchey, Lauren Ireland, Matthew Klane, Marc McKee, Daniela Olszewska, Matt Shears and Kim Gek Lin Short.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I haven't yet wrote about my visit to Hobart and William Smith Colleges last week. It was a really happy, pleasant experience. So far every college visit I've done has always been positive. I am always treated well, but HWS treated me very well. Plus there was a good turn out for the pizza social and a large turnout for my reading. AND the students asked a lot of questions.

One amusing (to me at least) highlight was at the pizza social. I was sitting at a table with Karl Parker and 20 students, eating pizza, chatting about poetry, publishing, all the stuff I love to talk about. About 45 minutes into the discussion a student asked, "What exactly is it that you do?"

I said, "Oh, did you just come in?" He said no, he'd been there the whole time. There was a hushed, sort of oh-oh, response from the rest of the students cause I just spent 45 minutes chatting about publishing Karl's book, managing No Tell Motel, writing poems, etc. But I certainly wasn't offended. I said, "Oh, you're just like my dad. He asks me that same question several times a year" and I explained the stuff that a poet, editor and publisher does. Again.

There are certain things in life I've made peace with.

Having to explain, repeatedly, what I do, is one of my lots in life.

Good thing I really enjoy talking about myself.

When I visit colleges to speak as a poet, a poet who doesn't teach, some students see me as a curiosity, like I just whipped out a tail. In many cases, the only poets they've ever met are their teachers and often they see their teachers as teachers first, poets somewhere after that. That is if they bother to think that much about it at all.

So don't feel bad, Dad. You're not the only person puzzled by my existence.

Another funny highlight is that when everyone left after my reading, I noticed that there were 4 less books than what was paid for. Nobody was watching the table, there was a sign that said $10, it was mentioned in my introduction and some people did find and give me money, so I'm not sure exactly what happened. The faculty were aghast, but I thought it was pretty cool. Four kids in the audience thought I was so awesome and they wanted my books so badly that they stole them!

I'm a hit with the youth!

Watch out Bukowski!

Or at least that was my fantasy until Rauan disabused me of that ridiculous notion.

"You don't really think they took your books to read, do you? I bet those books are already for sale on Amazon."

Rauan Klassnik is the world's BIGGEST parade pisser.
Another exhausting, taxing parenting effort on my part:

Being more aware of what I'm saying in earshot of Gideon.

Recently he asked, "Mommy, what's a dick move?"

We were in a car, listening to a radio program (not of my choosing) and I verbalized my reaction to a commenter who suggested President Obama should refuse the Nobel Peace Prize.

Come on, that WOULD be a dick move.

But there must be some other way to phrase such a sentiment.

I know in my heart of hearts there must be another way.

Is there a charm school for profane parents?

Preferably one that offers online classes.

my popeye

This week is pink eye.

Not me, Gideon.

Or at least not me yet.

You ever try putting eye drops in a little kid's eye?

3 times a day?

It got a lot easier after the first time.

When after 20 minutes I gave up with the soothing talk and jellybean bribery.

And held his head down and barked "Stop squirming!"

Some times Menacing Mommy has to make an appearance.

That's a Jungian Archetype.

Look it up.

When Gideon was done screaming he said, "Wow, that didn't hurt at all. I didn't even feel it."

How could he? What's one more drop in an eye full of tears?

I knew he had pink eye that morning when he woke and couldn't open his eye.

It was crusted shut.

He wouldn't let me put a warm wash cloth on it.

He insisted it was all good, he still had the other eye.

I let him go around the house one-eyed for 2 hours.

He insisted he was perfectly content.

But he seemed awfully happy after I finally cleaned it.

After he was done crying.

Our pediatrician better hurry up and get the H1N1 vaccinations.

Clearly the Livingston-Morrow abode would not survive the swine flu.

Clearly we are just too ridiculous.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

critic

Gideon said my poetry and book publishing make me boring.

He said I need to get all the "crazy talk" out of my head.

He also regularly criticizes my wardrobe.

He says my clothes need more flowers.

He's been experimenting with his own style lately.

Last week it was a touch of goth influence (black shirt with flame sleeves, plastic skull ring)

This is what he was wearing when he left the house today.




Maybe a little Hunter S Thompson?

(Minus all the "crazy talk")

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chinese Fortune Sticks

1st: You will soon best a rival -- Ooh boy, bring it on!

2nd: An event will soon bring you money -- Yes, on Thursday I'm reading at Hobart & Smith Colleges. These sticks are really accurate.

3rd: You will soon have to choose between 2 friends -- Should have stopped at 2 fortune sticks. I always push my luck, don't I? Ok then, I will remain in Fate's sturdy hands by making my selection via coin toss.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I haven't written a poem since I started this blog. While this break lasted a little longer than I expected, I'm have no anxiety or concern about it. Some of my friends bemoan when they go any length of time without writing. I tell them they're being ridiculous (which usually pisses them off, but I know I'm right). I don't believe we're supposed to be nonstop poem-production machines. The downtime is when we recharge, when we unconsciously incubate. We can't rush that. Not without consequences. If we don't recharge, it shows in our work. I wrote the last poem for God Damsel on April 30. This summer and early fall I've been editing and revising. I'm close to finishing. I can feel the hamsters in my brain back in their wheels. It's noisy in there again.

I mentioned here that I've been dreaming a lot of death and pregnancy these past couple months. Those are becoming fewer. Last night I had two dreams. The first one I dreamed that Gideon opened a box and let out all the animal-flies. The crocodile-fly grew full size and bit my arm. Crocodiles and snakes occasionally bite me in dreams, so I'm kinda used to it. My second dream was about writing poems again. The first one was long and ended with an exclamation to Harriet! I was quite emphatic about that. Then I started my second poem, something about that story being over in my life.

I guess that's my cue.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Delirious Lapel is a new forum curated by Danielle Pafunda and Mark Wallace addressing the issue "This is What a (Pro)Feminist [Man Poet] Looks Like." Every weekday this week three new responses are being posted. It's like the "This is what a feminist [poet] looks like" except the essays are written by gentlemen poets instead of lady poets.

We all have our preferred labels, those are mine. It's OK if you don't like my labels. Your labels are valid too.

I appreciate the gentlemen poets who took the time to think about and respond to the invitation. I understand the possible trepidation entering a conversation where one may be perceived as culpable to a problem or appearing as if one is trying to make it all about himself or take over. There's a million ways to respond to the topic and I'm approaching each response with interest and curiosity.

The response posted so far that resonates with me the most is Hugh Behm-Steinberg's because he directly addresses what some do not. I can't help it. I love a man who takes action. He's taking action on a situation some (here I'm speaking in general) spend a lot effort avoiding or denying. Hugh writes of how he sees himself fitting into both a problem and a solution and how he actively addresses it as both a teacher and editor. I find this valuable for a number of reasons.

One is it helps me frame my own part and participation as an editor in the wider scheme. I'm partial to useful and constructive. These past few years I've put my editorial work under more internal scrutiny than I had before. Where am I doing well? So-so? Where am I sucking? How do I address the so-so and suck? What am I trying to do? What message am I sending out? Where do I go from here? type stuff. Maybe every editor does this, but I don't hear a lot of editors talk about it. Well, who walks into a room and announces "Check out this huge zit on nose"? Maybe a masochist. You put that out there, you can expect others to step up and tell you exactly why you have a huge zit on your nose and what you should be doing about it. Although often that can be useful and constructive, if one can get past that the only person who said "Oh, that's really small, hardly noticeable!" is the person with a boogar swaying from his nostril.

Another reason Hugh's response gives me solace is because he perceives a role for himself. Whenever an issue affects a part of the community, is it every members' responsibility to find ways to do his small part to make improvements? Even if it he doesn't perceive it as directly affecting him? Or should he do anything at all if possibly it indirectly gives him an advantage through no fault or doing of his own? Is feeling guilt enough? And if one doesn't see it as his responsibility, is that because he doesn't consider those who are directly affected to be part of his community? Who do we consider to be part of our tribe and who are the others? Or is it one big tribe with multiple layers of hierarchy? Is it a pre-divided pie chart? Is it not his concern because he thinks other people within the community should address it, not him because ________? Or does he blame those who are adversely affected for not doing ________? Or does he view it as all circumstances out of his control?

My feeling is that if you recognize and are bothered by a problem, then you should work towards a solution, no matter how seemingly small or insignificant your role may seem. And if you don't recognize a problem and/or are not bothered by it, then do nothing and stay out of the way of those who are addressing the problem that is not your responsibility. Unless of course, you consider those addressing a problem to be creating another problem. Maybe the "problem" isn't really a problem. Maybe the "problem" is really a good thing? I suppose if one believes that, that's quite a good reason to discourage others from making their own adjustments.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Rauan Klassnik's Stupid Drawings . . . introducing Reb Livingston.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

our evolving crystalline structures and our awakening as multi-dimensional poets

Yes, I copied that text off the Tarot card packaging. But it's not Flarf, OK?

Last week at the Fall for the Book Festival Ron Silliman gave a talk on literary blogging. He opened the discussion with how he started blogging and gave some history of poetry movements and publishing in the US. If you follow his blog, you are already familiar with that part of his talk.

I asked him why he thought so many younger poets rejected his labeling a wide, varied group of poets as "School of Quietude" and why many rejected all labels for themselves and their poetry. I labeled anyone under 50 to be "younger," which he called me on -- so let's just say the two or three generations of poets after him. I'm am not desperately holding onto my youth. I embrace my middle-agedness.

It's been a week since he gave the talk and I'm School-of-I-don't-take-notes, but what I understood Ron to be saying was that he thought poets (and people in general) today view themselves more as individuals, but in doing so we're not accepting our social responsibility of considering the impact of our poems and the legacy we leave behind. He said that he thought labels were good and that if we didn't label ourselves, we could expect our "enemies" to do it for us (he listed some examples, for instance how the Beats were named by an unsympathetic critic).

I didn't take his use of the term "enemies" to be literal, but I bristled at both that and the idea being especially concerned with our legacies. Not that I don't think we're not responsible for our poems, I certainly do believe we are responsible. I just think there are different (better?) ways to be socially responsible than by attaching oneself to a group or drawing lines in the sand, viewing differing poetics and poets as opposition. That doesn't mean one can't acknowledge differences or conflicts in differing poetics. We're not all the same. Describing or even labeling differences isn't what bothers me. It's the us and them part. I don't see that as being socially responsible. I don't see that benefiting poetry or poets, not the art, the community or the individuals. I see that as funneling a lot of energy into distinguishing hair-splitting differences and defending a platform one may not entirely agree with for consistency sake or staying within a group. It strikes me as rather limiting.

Ron also said that many poets today are taking a little from here and a little from there instead of studying any one type of poetry or its history in great depth. He's probably right. That would certainly describe me. Why not do that? Why not educate oneself broadly instead of narrowly specializing? Or why not start out broad and focus in depth once feels confidence in one's own artistic identity? Why not grow organically as a poet and just see where that takes you? Why not be a blended poet? In a time when fewer people identify with a sole identity, why would we be expected to identify with one style of poetics? 30 (20?) years ago, bi-racial people were labeled as one race (usually not by their own choice, but by the culture they lived in). The same went for people's cultures, religions, politics, national identity, sexual orientation, career, family, etc. For most people, there were a set number of slots and they had to fit into one. Now that we're starting to move away from those kinds of ideas, isn't it natural that we'd begin to view other things, like poetry, as more multi-faceted?

Isn't the refusal to align oneself with one poetic an evolution of poetry? Could it be that poets are not necessarily any more self-centered or any less socially concerned than poets 50 years ago, but instead rejecting structures that are becoming less applicable and useful today? Could it be that poets are being offered opportunities at greater personal power and are using those opportunities to carve a poetic landscape better suited for poetry, themselves and yes, for future generations to modify and build on. Isn't that a way of considering one's legacy? I don't want future poets to feel constrained by a handful of categories or feel required to create one themselves?

Can't we maintain a personal poetics AND be contributing members to poetry communities and our communities-at-large? I don't need to be a Boy Scout to help a little old lady cross the street. I don't need to be a member of a congregation to donate time or money to worthy causes. I don't need to be a member of a political party to vote.

That's how I see it, anyway.


While Ron was here he went to dinner with my family. A good portion of the conversation revolved around computers and his and Chris' money jobs. Afterwards Chris made an astute observation. Ron does the same in both his money job and on his poetry blog. He identifies and analyzes trends to predict what's coming around the bend. It's an interesting, dare I say individual, way to approach poetry. Who says poets don't have marketable skills?
I better hurry up and write this before all my brilliant words slide out my ear. I wanted to write about this earlier but with my reading on Saturday, Karl Parker's PERSONATIONSKIN galley arriving (which is awesome, fyi, btw), today's deadline for Sundress' Best of the Net nominations and Gideon's fever, I had trouble making the time. Although Gideon's fever was an opportunity to have a bed-in and set him up with his own (locked) Twitter account so he will no longer be rogue/guest tweeting on No Tell's. What did parents do with their sick kids before laptops and wireless?

No, you cannot follow his twitter, although Steve Irwin (from the grave?) has already tried.

If you're really curious, most of his tweets read something like this: @notell tgjgutiuy utnfhfhf jgjjguuyyy hvhgggg hhhhhhhgg 2009 20190 PM AM

Hmm, that all reads like a Cackling Jackal post.

I'm leaving it up anyhow.

Also, I just got two new Tarot decks that I'm chomping at the bit to try out. One has a FIFTH element (an additional suit!): Fire, Water, Air, Earth . . . and Ether!

I'm going to make a new post for the Silliman literary blogging panel cause now I'm just rambling . . . cause oh my god, a fifth suit that addresses the higher vibrational gifts emerging with the shift of energy occurring through the activation of our DNA codes, our evolving crystalline structures, and our awakening as multi-dimensional beings.

I can hardly concentrate with the shrink wrapped deck one foot away.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Eh, my hopes that September would be back on a schedule were dashed. Maybe calm is in the cards for October. Or maybe I'll run away to Peru and elope with a giraffe.

Recently I offered a writing prompt and was interviewed at The Poetry Instigator.

The reading on Saturday evening went well. We had a good turn out and I finally met Cathy Eisenhower and Chris Nealon. Mel Nichols read a poem about a guy on FB superpoking her all the time. She used his name in the poem, which I recognized because I, too, was once his superpoke target. He's the reason I now block all "pokes." Well, he's one of the reasons. I think it's rude to "poke" people, especially strangers. I remember my first week on FB some other dude I didn't know gave me a "foot rub." As if. Way to alert me to your creepiness! Anyhow, it's been a long time since I heard a poem at a reading that truly spoke to my life experience.

The poem made absolutely no sense to Chris. Not because it was Flarf, but because he has no idea what is Superpoke. I know, it's like living with Andy Rooney. Chris refuses to go on FB because, as he says, the only thing on FB is stalkers, creeps and his wife.

Ya know, maybe people wouldn't be flinging their skanky thongs at me if he was there to defend my honor. Just saying.

In other Fall for the Book Festival commentary, I want to write something about Ron Silliman's literary blogging talk. Maybe in the next couple days when I make some time to compose my thoughts.

In the meantime, hey, look at me, I'm loved and stuff.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Just got back from Ron Silliman & Rae Armantrout's reading at Fall for the Book. It was the first time I heard either read and I wasn't disappointed.

I was "recognized" by the young man sitting next to me.

He's a reader of this blog.

Yesterday I learned that two students put together a No Tell Motel Fan Page.

I will be wearing a disguise and calling myself Esmerelda at the publishing panel I'm participating in tomorrow.

Poet Paparazzi, stay back.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Goblin or goofball? I realized today that "marlan" dream was a direct reference to this book I read and mentioned here a few months back.

Black sun, alchemy, art. No light without darkness. Dark containing its own light. The cure to suffering: more suffering.

Duh.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Went to the library yesterday and brought home 4 books on Heaven/death, a book on why leaves change colors, another on ancient Egyptian gods and picture book by Gary Soto about a little girl who gets a car. My favorite is the one where the fox gets sick, goes into the woods and dies. His animal family gets depressed and spends their days moping in their treehouse until one day a squirrel comes over for dinner. They start reminiscing how the fox was a really shitty cook. That makes them all feel better and decide that life goes on.

I love a happy ending.

Fall for the Book

I'll be participating in two events at this year's Fall for the Book.


THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2009: 12:00 pm, Publishing in Local Journals (Johnson Center, Dewberry Hall South, George Mason University), Fairfax, VA
PANELISTS: Dave Housley of Barrelhouse and Reb Livingston of No Tell Motel
MODERATOR: Moriah Purdy

That's in direct competition with a reading by Charles Jensen and Deborah Ager. Not sure why it was scheduled that way, but if Dave Housley is really boring I might leave our panel and walk over to the reading.

Afterwards there's a bookfair from 1:30 - 5:00, I'll be selling some books there.

* AND *

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2009: 8:00pm, DC Poets Reading (Miller's Tavern, formerly known as The Firehouse Grill, 3988 University Drive), Fairfax, VA
READERS: Cathy Eisenhower, Reb Livingston, Chris Nealon, Mel Nichols

Friday, September 18, 2009

goblin

The death discussion is progressing. Last night Gideon asked if cell phones grow up and die. I said no. Then Chris came home and said, yes, cell phones die. I had to interject and explain that while cell phones can break and stop working and someone might say "the cell phone died," it's not the same thing as when a person dies.

Chris and I really need to get on the same page with all of this.

This lead up to the age versus size discussion. Gideon doesn't buy the whole "you stop growing around age 18" concept. Just flat out thinks it's bullshit.

Last night I was shaking my booty, showing off my new jeans to Chris. You see, I lost 10 pounds and am 2 sizes smaller than I was in April. As I wrote here earlier, I attribute the weight loss to my energy visualization techniques to unblock and remove negative energy in my body and soul. Which makes me weird, I know. But you know what? Weird is working for me.

On our drive back from NYC last week, we stopped for dinner. In the Cracker Barrel parking lot I had this epiphany: My pants were going slide right down my ass if I didn't hold them up.

So yesterday, I bought jeans in a size that I haven't worn since the 90's. Then, in the excitement of the moment I bought a shade of lip gloss called "Happiness." And then, I went home and resumed our above-mentioned family death ruminations.

Gideon interprets getting "smaller" to mean that I'm getting younger. He lectured me on how this was my opportunity to finally attend preschool. I had told him that I didn't get the chance go to preschool when I was his age in one of those lame attempts at conveying to a child how fortunate he really is. It kind of backfired. He doesn't consider himself lucky, he thinks I'm a big loser. He's appalled. Listening to him go on about the importance of preschool is like enduring a parent lecture you on not getting that Ph.D., even though you're perfectly happy and doing just fine without it. I kept telling him, I have an MFA! Don't you know, that's a TERMINAL degree!

Lastly in this death update, I dreamed of another memorial service. This time for a powerful, wealthy woman who I did not know. Her name was Marlan and there was a lot of food involved. Now I'm wondering if she was Marlin, like a fish, which we all know is Jesus for the secret handshake. Right?

Or maybe it means I'm gobbling up death.

Reb Livingston, MFA, Death Goblin

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Since Uncle Peter passed away, death has become a regular theme in our abode. Gideon is trying to wrap his mind around the concept and is asking a lot of questions. I'm told it was all he wanted to talk about in speech therapy. For the last two nights in a row he's asked us to read him the book about ancient Egyptians and their embalming practices. This morning on the way to school he asked a question about a pedestrian light. I explained what it was for and reminded him that we use them often when we go into cities and cross busy streets. I said that they put them in places where there's a lot of people walking. Gideon said there was no need for pedestrian lights anymore because so many people are dying, there's just not enough people left. This all goes back to his shock over the number of graves at the cemetery.

I pointed out that while people do die, there's a lot of new people coming along. I mentioned 4 new babies he knows of and reminded him of his cousin on-the-way. I tried not to be crass by saying something like "Out with the old, in with the new" but I wanted to convey the idea of cycles. Probably way too much for a 4 year old. He's convinced we have a population shortage. It probably doesn't help that every other day I'm running into the room announcing the latest celebrity death.

Death has been on my mind as well apparently. A few days before Peter passed I started regularly dreaming of memorial services, corpses and other death-related themes. In one dream my friend died and I cried "But he's the third one this week!" And he was, according to my dreams. I think yesterday I might have dreamed that I died and was on the way to my memorial service. I had a hard time holding on to the details of that one. So I was relieved this morning when I woke with the dream of planning Gideon's birthday party, frantically running around a mall trying to find helium for balloons.

Bring on the birthday parties I say!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Wind Like Swayze

Neither swayze nor Soviets breathe
grease for they have no ghosts to reach.
Swayze meant

how to treat a lady, surfing, booby-traps,
no longer bunking with ponyboy tranquility.
Growing up, the swayze introduction,

complicated and wong foo,
my own state-of-the art double deuce, a
high-security facility I rule as swayze.

What I'm admitting to is bank robbery,
gender bends, possibly slavery, but not
a kiddie dungeon. I see the fear!

Muzzled and swayze, baby heads my wolverine,
swings me round and round Nebraska.
It's just us girls, my whoopi,
my swayze.


first published in The Scrambler (2007)
This past week I dreamed of finding a field of corpses and crying, riding a train with a corpse, being turned away from a meditation school because the guru said I didn't have the right temperament and a teenage girl with keys to my house.

Last night I dreamed that my ride arrived, it was a Kleenex box with holes cut out on top. I did my I Dream of Jeannie impersonation and turned into smoke to get inside. When we had trouble taking off, I told everyone to visualize a large rocket connected to the box. When we had trouble navigating the wind and doors, I told everybody to visualize taking control with our arms. We were doing well. Then a man told me he didn't like me pushing my visualization techniques on others.

When I woke, I asked my spiffy new pendulum if the man represented a part of me or something external. The pendulum explained that this man is part of me and that I'm supposed to ignore him. I was relieved to learn that. I bet that man attends that snooty meditation school. Yeah well, I don't need them telling me how to work my psychic powers. My visualization techniques flew that Kleenex box. It's not about the degree or who you study with, it about what you can do.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Radio Hotline - Tonight

I'll be one of the guests tonight on The Radio Hotline with Dennis Price tonight from 8-10 p.m. on WEBR channel 37.

You can listen to it live on the website or if you're in Northern VA you can listen to it on cable channel 37. I don't think it'll be archived online, so listen or miss it, I guess.
Gideon likes to write letters.

He addresses the letters to URLs.

It looks something like: wwwdjlfkajsiouvnehbdkjafnkjsh34djdfk.com

We leave these letters in our mailbox.

I haven't the heart to tell Gideon that the postman never takes them.

Gideon knows our zip code.

He uses it to check our forecast on weather.com.

Obsessively.

He told me that he Wakes Up with Al.

He said that I wake up with Al too.

I most certainly do not wake with Al.

Gideon has imaginary parents.

He says he has 100 daddies and 2 mommies.

I interpret this as a reference to his angels, spirit guides, messengers, etc.

The other day Chris pulled into a parking spot next to a jacked-up, giant pick-up truck with an inane bumper sticker that I found offensive and stupid.

I said, "Don't park next to this idiot, he's gonna ding our car."

Gideon said, "He's not an idiot! He's my daddy."

Gideon told a story about how that daddy can never sleep because his truck is always bouncing up and down, making all kinds of noise.

Then I had to assure Chris that I wasn't nailing the dipshit with the monster truck.

Parenting can be so tricky sometimes.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Chris' beloved Uncle Peter passed away so we'll be headed up to NYC sometime next week for his memorial service.

I experienced the panic I experience with every funeral, the oh my god, how am I going to travel for a funeral when I already have scheduled ________. I'm getting better at it now. After my initial panic attack, I'm now able to switch to a calmer disposition pretty quickly. It'll be OK to cancel appointments, miss a preschool orientation or even Gideon missing his first day of preschool, if need be. I missed the first day of 11th grade and look how well I turned out.

While sometimes confusing, my dreams of late are true gifts of insight and guidance. For instance, last night I dreamed that we took the train to NYC for Peter's service. Because Chris had to buy tickets at the last minute, all that was left was "deluxe" class. On the train I realized I hardly packed anything, except a few things like a toothbrush. While a little apprehensive, I decided it was a relief not have to carry a bunch of stuff around. In our cabin there were drawers and cupboards filled with "angel" chocolate bars and "spiritual" activity books for Gideon among the Reese Cups and Swiss Miss cocoa. There was even a door that led to a chapel. The attendant asked if I wanted her to show me the bar, and I was all "hell yeah!" She poured me a glass of sparkling water, which I drank as I mentally planned champagne for my next drink. Then I remembered I was pregnant and reconsidered the champagne. Chris and I walked out another door, which at first I thought was a rooftop patio on the train. There were random businessmen milling around. But we weren't outside, we were inside a dome that was showing something like a movie. It was breathtaking. It was sky and energy and who knows what else. Chris grabbed my hand and we walked around, right through some water. I wanted to turn around because I was worried I'd ruin my shoes and get blisters if they got wet. We kept walking and then the movie turned scary -- we were confronted with monsters, demons and fire, they were saying Mothra. We knew this was a movie, so we remained calm but we were unnerved. We slowly stepped back as the monsters and demons approached.


It was really a beautiful dream, going on a spiritual journey with my family, and sure, yeah, we were gonna have to face our demons and a touch of hellfire, but hey, isn't that what a spiritual journey is all about? Angel chocolate, remembering you're pregnant and Mothra?



Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My breakup with my pilates studio went incredibly smoothly, a little too smoothly.

My feelings are hurt.

Why didn't they beg me to stay or at least cry?

We were together for four years!

That has to mean something, doesn't it?

Perhaps because they know I'll be back.

Apparently my math was off and I have two already-paid-for sessions left (and no, they don't do refunds).

Still, it would be nice to at least feel like I'd be missed.

Chris says it's likely they don't do a hard sell because it's a turnoff.

He thinks the no pressure approach is smarter for them.

Of course he might just be saying that so I stop moping.


Nobody love me, everybody hates me.
I'm gonna go eat worms.
Big fat juicy ones.
Little tiny squirmy ones.
I'm gonna go eat worms.

Which interestingly enough is what Gideon was "feeding" me yesterday.

The boy has "the gift."

He gave me a reading using the tattoo cards that Rebecca Loudon sent for him.

He told me not to tell anybody what he said.

So I won't.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Today Gideon recounted another dream: It involved the three of us getting on a choo choo train that drove in the water. Then a dog pooped all over it and we had to get off while it was being cleaned. We got back on and when it was our stop, we had to pay $15.

I really hope that was his dream and not his plagiarizing another cartoon, cause I'd feel pretty disconnected if it turned out that's what he's watching on TV in the wee hours of morning.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I'm officially "reconnected" and back to life.

It was a really phenomenal summer, yet I'm happy for it to be ending, looking forward to returning to my schedule, sending Gideon to school, see the leaves change color.

I intentionally did not write a single poem over the summer. I take creative energy breaks between writing projects to recharge. I'm feeling recharged. I also just took on another project, one that is the equivalent to adding my name to the sign-up sheet for grief. I'm doing it because I feel strongly about it. More about that later.

Gideon will be doing two "activities" this fall: soccer and yoga. At the beach, he saw a cousin do yoga and was interested. This fits into my life too. We can do it together. I'm switching from pilates back to yoga in September. After Gideon was born, I switched to pilates because it was more "result" oriented. But I don't think I feel as good after pilates. And it's too loud and busy. A bunch of yack yack yack. I'd rather be somewhere quiet. I haven't told the pilates studio yet. I've been going there for 4 years and I feel like I'm dumping a friend or something. I think I'm just going to tell them that I miss yoga and only have the budget and time for one, which is the truth. I'll tell them that I'll still practice pilates at home, which will be a lie.

I've been doing some meditation, mind exercises and active imagination. I lost 8 pounds since April. The meditation and imagination stuff wasn't to lose weight, but that's been one of the pleasant side effects. Apparently I was storing a lot of people's negative energy in my ass.

I just caught up with all my blog reading and most of my email correspondence. I already feel the heaviness attaching itself. Time to visualize sending certain people to burn in the Earth's core.

It's OK, it's not really them bursting into a million flaming pieces. It's just their unwanted, poisonous energy.

No poets are harmed in the creation of this visualization.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Spending very little time online and only responding to time-sensitive emails. My internet connection is sketchy which is fine because I'm a bit weary of it all anyhow. Had some bad withdrawal symptoms this afternoon. Well, those weren't internet withdrawal symptoms, they were triggered from a hot dog. I eat like one hot dog a year and well, I think that's going to change from one a year to one a decade.

While Hurricane Bill hasn't hit the NC shores, it has affected the beach. We haven't been able to go in the water for the past two days and likely won't be able to tomorrow either. The waves are 10 and 15 feet high. It's amazing to watch. Today we took Gideon to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and he walked all 257 steps to the top. I underestimated him. I didn't make it all the way up. I was going up the hot-ass spiral stairs, crammed with breath-heaving people and stagnant air -- and some kid coming down looked at me and said, "you're almost half way there." I thought, only half way there? Fuck that. I turned around and went back down. According to Chris I was only 31 steps from the top.

If I ever find that little bastard . . .

I've been dreaming a lot about the ocean, waves, the heat, babies, fainting, cars, ultra-violet lights on an airplane, throwing a fit at Gideon's preschool and Christian spies bugging my hotel room at a feminist conference. The one thing almost all my dreams this past week have in common is some kind of gender motif. Can't we all just get along? On the upside, only three poets have appeared in my dreams since I've been down here, which is a really low number. One of those poets is a close friend, so its only two "random" poets. So this seems to be a vacation for my psyche as well.

It's good to disconnect, even if that means I have to barf up a hot dog.

Monday, August 17, 2009

All clear in the western ear

Gideon hasn't stuck anything else in his ear, so I haven't had much to write about. I have two tarot readings to do tonight before I leave town. It was a great promotion, sold over 40 books in one weekend which is pretty awesome. It's also a time-consuming offer, but I'm not complaining. I'm in much better psychic shape now than I was two weeks ago. Here, feel my psychic muscle, go on, feel it. Like an armadillo, I tell ya.

I dreamed that I wrote a psychology book that sold 200 copies in one month--and some of those were hardcover!

I also dreamed about Phil Collins. I hate dreaming about Phil Collins. Cause when I wake up I have to ask "what aspect of myself is like Phil Collins?" Some aspects of ourselves are just too painful to ponder. This was a sweaty, pit-stained Phil Collins. I don't want to integrate my sweaty, pit-stained Phil Collins into my psyche. I think I'll sweep that image right back where it belongs, into my shadow of all things unacknowledged and continue projecting that aspect onto others.

Yes, I think will. You all are sweaty, pit-stained Phil Collins, not me.

I'm Shakira dancing in a glittery vagina-like tunnel.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Gideon reads his mother's cards

"Don't go into the fortress or you will die."

Monday, August 10, 2009

Devil in my attic

One piece of advice that's appeared in several readings I've done so far, is for the readee to acknowledge, accept and embrace her demons. Depending on the placement, that's what The Devil card can mean. The idea is that once you accept a part of yourself that you'd rather not acknowledge, you become free of its hold over you. You'll stop projecting those aspects that you don't like about yourself onto other people.

Last night I dreamed:

There's a devil statue in my attic. A man approached me and offered his help to get rid of it, but I had to be careful because the devil statue could hear everything I said. Then I became suspicious that maybe the man was trying to trick me to get close to the statue. 3 people I know (1 poet/writer, a past co-worker of mine and one of Chris') were trying to build a machine to wake up the devil statue. I tried to stop them. I tried to hide parts they were using to build the machine. But it was no use. They were gonna wake up the devil.


Guess I better practice making my devil kissie-face. Today I mediated on the devil statue waking up. He slid down a fireman's pole from the attic, danced on stage with a top hat, then he turned into a frog. I kissed the frog.

Who's my devil frog prince you ask? Hah hah.

Meditate on your own devils, why don't you.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Less Humorous

This evening we pulled this blue button out of Gideon's ear.



I held his head down, while Chris extracted it with tweezers.

It was almost looking like another one of those wacky emergency room visits.

The button was in there pretty good.

There was no explanation as to why Gideon crammed a blue button into his ear.


I also forgot to feed TB's cats this weekend.

I know, if I was really psychic I would have felt their grumbling bellies.

How does one make that up to a cat?

A Humorous Sunday Morning Play

Chris: [to Gideon] I have an idea. Let's wash Mommy & Daddy's cars.

Reb: Oh good, cause it looks like a dust bunny took a crap on my car.

Chris: Or three.

Gideon: Or a hundred! I never saw that before. Hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah

[END OF SCENE]

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Oracle to the Poetry Buyers

Thank you to everyone who helped spread the word about the No Tell Books free offer.

So far NTB has sold 21 books. The offer has also generated at least one book sale for my publisher, Coconut Books. Thank you to those who have purchased books.

The offer will continue until tomorrow night at midnight.

Somebody suggested that I make the offer permanent. I don't think I'll be able to do that. Each reading takes 30-45 minutes. Sometimes if the reading is about something particularly stressful, I get a tummy ache and have to lie down for a bit. But who knows, it may be an offer I pull out a few times a year.

Yesterday I did 5 readings. I have 3 scheduled for this afternoon and expect additional offer redemptions to arrive later today (a number of people haven't yet specified if they're taking the reading or dream interpretation).

I think I found my post-2012 career. Chris will be a massage therapist (healing hands, remember). As for Gideon, well, he's a bit directionless at the moment, but there's still some time to figure out his post-apocalypse calling. We will travel around the country offering our services in exchange for nuts, berries and shelter.

I can't begin to tell you what a relief it is to have plan.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Looks like I'm going to be working on Tarot readings and dream interpretations this weekend. At last, I finally figured out a way to sell a few poetry books.

So I send you here while I'm off being psychic.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

?

Is Reb Livingston unethical?

Today's milestone

This morning Gideon asked for the Stockholm guidebook I used on our trip.

He used the title on the cover as a guide to type "stockholm" into the Google searchbox on his laptop.

He did it perfectly.

But then only one result came up.

He was typing into the searchbox on the Gmail help page. (No he doesn't have a Gmail account).

I took him to the main Google page and we searched on Stockholm from there.

He's making plans to go to another Stockholm.

One with REALLY BIG buildings.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Straightening

All my dreams are relevant and timely:

Chris' 'healing hands' are successfully realigning people's backs. He realigns poets' backs, poets who I believe have lost their way, poets who I feel have hurt me. They all suffered serious back pain, but with a few deft adjustments, Chris fixes that. I make a joke that these poets should pay him homage--that Poet 1 should draw him as a statue with a very large penis and Poet 2 should give him a golden cow. Chris tells me he's a little tired. In addition to the poets, he also realigned 15 other people's backs during his walk on the beach this morning.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The way

"That's just the way it is." I think we all hear and think this a lot. Unfair, messed-up, twisted situations seemingly out of our control, trapped in fucked-up systems, rules that don't help but hinder, entities bigger than any one us. Often we have little choice but to make the best of it.

You can't fight city hall.

Steve put up this point system. It's both funny and accurate. Although unlike Steve, it does not amuse me to accept po-biz as a big game. It repulses me. It's probably healthier to approach it as a silly game and make the best of it. Laughter is good medicine. I do really enjoy laughing. I probably should be laughing. It would certainly be more practical to go with the flow. I am certainly capable of playing the game. I would get more sanctioned respect.

Except I don't want to be practical with my art. Not in that sense, at least. I have to be practical with everything else, just like everyone else. Sometimes I do things that others consider impractical, but I consider things like happiness and sanity to weigh pretty heavy on the practicality scale.

So when I asked below how people would imagine creating, learning about and sharing one's art, I'm really serious. Even if it could "never happen in real life." I want to be able to at least IMAGINE something different.

Sorry for being weird, but I'm feeling a lot less Bruce Hornsby and a lot more John Lennon these days.

Oh wait, I just looked over "The Way it Is" lyrics and Hornsby sings "Some things will never change / That's just the way it is / But don't you believe them"

I forgot about the "But don't you believe them" line.

CORRECTION: I am feeling both Hornsby and Lennon these days.

2012

It's appearing legal intimidation may have not been factor. That is a great relief.

Moving on . . .

Scenerio: It's 2012. The end of the Mayan calendar.

Apocalypse.

Every single MFA program, workshop, consulting firm, literary magazine (print and online), press, lit blog, lit website, lit radio & television program, endowment, foundation, organization, scholarship, contest, club, listserve, message board, reading & lecture series explodes into fiery flames.

All that's left for writers is paper, ink, keyboards and screens. Perhaps a few wooden planks and some cotton balls.

We still have all the poems, stories, books, essays, etc. -- the art remains, but not any of the past infrastructure.

It's a blank slate.

How do writers recreate their world and communities? How do we share our work? How do we create our work? How do we learn? How do we nurture our new writers?
Another one of those days.

It's going to be over 90 degrees here and Gideon has already nixed the pool, a movie and the library.

He's playing the guitar and singing.

Very loudly.

Last song: "My Language is Better than Yours"

You go, little boy.

To the pool.

We'll be going to the pool today.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Some, Those & Them

Some have a right to criticize others' projects and ventures.

Some have the right to accuse others of destroying, tainting or attacking something like poetry.

Some have the right to question things like ethics and motivations.

Some have the right to be scathing.

Those who defend the criticized are sycophants, toadies, opportunists or moral relativists.

Those who defend friends or people who helped them are themselves tainted.

Unless the tables are turned.

Those who create their reputations from outspokenly criticizing the projects, ventures, ethics and motivations of others are immune from such critiques on their own projects and ventures.

Because they are ethical whereas others are . . .

?

Those who self-create their role of authority on a particular subject are not open to the same criticism as other "authorities" and "culture capitalists."

Because they created their own authority, through their own hard work and dedication, whereas the others were born to poet princes and verse-y gumdrop fairies.

Those born into poetry wealth wear magic rings that others have to kiss to gain consideration.

Whereas the ethicals charge very reasonable rates.

Some people's intentions are pure and others' intentions are corrupt.

Some people's ventures are a service and not open to debate or criticism.

Some ethicals are very good at squelching dissent.

Some ethicals might be considered to be downright intimidating to those without easy access to lawyers.

Dissent and criticism are for the ethicals, not for all.

In this world some are pig farmers.

Some are pig fuckers.

Some eschew pork all together.

Some stick strange objects in their orificies.

Others just like to think about it.

God bless all of them!

Those who share and pass on unfair criticisms for discussion and debate are trouble-making flame fanners.

Whereas those who share the righteous criticisms are helping get the word out about unscrupulous behavior.

Sometimes it's difficult to be clear on who is who.

Other times, not so difficult.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Gideon is still on Stockholm time.

He woke up at 3 a.m. this morning and fell asleep at 6 p.m. AT dinner.

It was a good trip.

I'm very glad I took Gideon.

He's a good traveller.

For a 4 year old.

Two things I saw in Stockholm I certainly wasn't expecting:

1. A guy dressed as an American Indian, with a feathered headdress running around in a fountain. A crowd with him yelling that "sound" that old movies portrayed Indians making.

2. A little boy wearing a Confederate flag shirt.

American parents who hope the South will rise again?

Unaware Europeans who purchased the shirt during a vacation without any understanding of how that flag is perceived?

Ironic hipsters?

I'll never know.

* * *

Catching up on things.

Reminded today, in several circumstances, how much I hate bullies.

I do believe in karma.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

In the past three days Gideon and I did four museums, a boat tour and a bus tour. We agreed that today we're just going to walk around.

The children in Stockholm seem unusually subdued. If it's something in the water, it hasn't affected Gideon. In the U.S. he's the "calm" kid. But here, he's the rabblerouser who runs down halls and needs to repeatedly be told not to press buttons. At home that's no big deal, but here it feel self-consciously American.

Gideon says cartoons in Swedish are funnier.

Pippi Longstocking!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Butter is better

"That's Not Butter" was select for the Best of MiPOesias 10 year anniversary anthology scheduled for publication online and in print November 8, 2010.

I'll have your head

View from our room

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

deadlines

Gideon pitched a minor fit this morning.

He wants an iPhone by Friday.

He needs an iPhone.

I'm reminded of a time when I was 4, in a department store shopping for school clothing with my grandmother.

That was back in the day when they let 4 year olds enter kindergarten.

Starting kindergarten at age 4 was no favor to me.

I believe it's why I perpetually feel "behind" everyone else.

Or perhaps it was a favor.

I try harder than many.

Anyhow, back to the department store, with my grandmother, school clothes shopping.

I pitched a minor fit.

I wanted a bra.

My grandmother refused.

She said I did not need a bra.

I relented, but insisted that I better get a bra by second grade.


I hate to break it to Gideon, but I did not get a bra in second grade.