Friday, December 31, 2010

guess the dream poet - part 4

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

I'm at a table with other people. We have to decide whether or not we're going to enter into some kind of challenge. It's four parts and there are deadly consequences. For the first challenge we have to select a particular button on a dog's collar. If we don't agree to to accept the challenge, the dog blows up. If we do, we have to press the accept button on the collar. __(poet 1)__ is participating in the challenge, but I also suspect that he's the one behind it. We press the button to accept the challenge and save the dog's life. Two women are controlling the mouse, this is being timed, the second thing we have to do is click on the button to proceed or __(poet 2)__ blows up. The decision is made last minute, each woman has selected a different button. I'm not sure if that's an accident or intentional meaning if they had different opinions or just weren't working well together. We decide to save __(poet 2)__ although it seems likes the button was clicked a second after the deadline and now I'm wondering if perhaps the dog and __(poet 2)__ might not have really exploded. Maybe __(poet 1)__ is just using the threat of explosion as an incentive.

* * *

I get on a rocket ship. __(poet 1)__ is in charge of the launch. I put on soft rubber shoes and special protective goggles to get ready for take off. I notice that in my bag there's double and I assume I'm supposed to share with __(poet 2)__ who's in the pod to my right. I notice in the pod to my left is Chris, aleep. I didn't realized that Chris was coming too. There's a real chance that we might never come back, so I quickly write a last will and testament on my cell phone in regard to Gideon's care. I also note that whoever gets Gideon, gets all of our money and possessions to take care of him. I try to email this to family members, but I'm not sure if I typed in the emails addresses correctly. I panic, I get off the rocket and hurry up and try to finish the will and leave copies that can also be found.

* * *

There was a national writing cabin, but it burned down. The Obamas had a new one built. It's beautiful and amazing. It was one of the first things they did when he got into office. Obama said, "put (the large amount) on the credit card and tell them I said to do it."

I'm considering renting a writing cabin. Either the national one or another that's relatively close by or one in Vermont that's far away. I'm thinking about announcing it and inviting other writers. I consider telling ______ we're full if he/she asks to join us.

* * *

I see _____. I'm very warm and affectionate with him/her. He/she tells me I'm pronouncing his/her name wrong. I'm pronouncing it ______as I saw him/her once explain in an interview, but he/she says it's pronounced something like O -Tn - O. I keep trying to say it, but I'm not sure I'm saying it right. I tell ______ about a writer who is even a bigger, more obnoxious self-promoter than he/she is. Then I introduce ______ to Chris. _____ makes a comment about Chris' sideburns looking really American. I say that Chris is really American, except he doesn't watch football. I give _____ a kiss goodbye. I try to say his/her name again, look back to ask if I said it right, but _____ is already sitting at a table working, so we keep going.

guess the dream poet - part 3

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

Chris and I drive past a bunch of large red "clay" snakes (large, cobra shaped). We try to avoid the snakes, but we get to a large house where we meet the Queen. We try to deceive her as we get away. We run, we try to avoid the snakes, running on the road, but they're there too. There's small room that we tried to escape out of. The door has a small hole in it. I have some type of poisonous spray--Chris is angry that I didn't tell him that I had it earlier. We could have trapped the Queen in the room and filled it with poison. I go towards the Queen. In it's human form--it's ______. I start to spray her with the poison, but she has her own poison spray and she sprays me back. I become consumed and begin to fall.

* * *

There are monsters all around and nobody is allowed to fight them. We're all terrorized. I start fighting them with the help of ______. There's a penalty for fighting the monsters, but I don't care. I fight the monsters like they were fought in ancient literature. I invoke Beowulf and other mythology. There's a baby that lures people near it, but when it gets into the water, it's a large monster. The key to killing this monster is killing it as a baby on land. I shoot the monster baby.

There are three animals that help us fight the monsters. One is a cat that can turn the monsters into stone. Another animal has four teeth that are numbered. Now we're really taking care of the monsters.

A vote is held -- most people are going to vote against the elders. We agree that we all need to fight the monsters.

* * *

I come home and find _____ having sex with a woman on my stove. ______ is my husband. I go upstairs feeling very depressed and sad. A man comes out of my bathroom. He's good looking, well-built and his name is Don. He also has scars and scratches on his chest. I think I'm supposed to recognize him from somewhere.

* * *

__(poet 1)__ is leaving message on my cellphone tormenting __(poet 2)__ about __(poet 3)__ and __(poet 3's)__ penis. Like they're his lovers competing, or maybe __(poet 1)__ is punishing __(poet 2)__. I wish the messages would stop.

* * *

I meet up with _______. He/She criticizes my nails, how I removed my nail polish, how I didn't get off all the polish under my nails, how they're dry. I look at them and see that one needs to be filed and another one's tip is only attached by a small piece. I remove it. He/she says I'm pronouncing his/her name wrong, which surprises me. He/she says everyone in VA does. His/her name is pronounced like (poet'sname)elk, which is difficult for me to say, but I try.

* * *

_____ is driving a car in Leesburg. He/she gets out and lets me drive. I get into the front seat with is full of snow, everything is covered in snow. Maybe this is a convertible. I'm having a difficult time reaching the pedal or finding the wheel. My body doesn't fit the mold ______'s body made in the snow.

guess the dream poet - part 2

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

I'm running down the street to get to the radio station. There's people everywhere. I consider asking someone to do the show with me. I see ________. I ask him/her if he/she would like to say bitchy stuff about poetry on the radio. ______ agrees.

* * *

My clothing store, which is a lot like a Banana Republic, is about to open. I go there still wearing my pajamas to set up, unlock the door, turn the lights on, etc. My store is right next to _______'s store. I look at my display and compare it to _______'s. My clothes are more expensive, better quality, but they look the same, same style and colors. I try to change up my display to make it look a little different, I grab a pair of pink slack to put on it, but see that _______ has pink slacks too.

* * *

I make _______ a bridesmaid in my wedding. I make him/her carry a banana.

* * *

A man is in some kind of trouble with the law and is hiding out in an apartment building. He dies. His accomplice is in trouble too. He/she is sick. His/her face is covered in nail polish. It's _______. He/she is lying on the floor of the apartment.

* * *

I'm sitting on the floor, leaning up against a wall with my college roommate and ______. ______ makes reference to some lines in his/her book about garlic and my dismissive response (something about it being small and slight in my mouth, it almost sounded like I was referring to a small penis). _______ reads the lines. I shake my head and say I don't know what he/she is talking about. My college roommate looks at me like I'm stupid, even she knows what _______ is talking about. While I didn't immediately recognize the lines, I do know what he/she talking about, but insist that I don't. I am struck at how at the time of writing, I was totally dismissive and possibly even mean in my response. Eventually I say "look, it's been years since I read your book and I don't remember it." I spent a lot of time and energy trying to forget that stuff so he/she shouldn't be trying to make me remember. He/she seems really hurt, but I shrug. I seem heartless and cold. I'm OK with that.

* * *

guess the dream poet - part 1

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

I find a chair and sit down. I see __(poet 1)__. I pretend to be asleep. I'm concerned he/she is going to approach me. He/she goes away but I still feel like he/she will be back sometime and then he/she is back. __(poet 1)__ starts the ritual and I'm the focus. __(poet 2)__ and __(poet 3)__ are assisting. I'm really shocked to see both of them, especially __(poet 2)__ who I thought would never in a million years become friends with __(poet 1)__ again. They're all around me, holding me, hugging me, trying to get me to forgive and like __(poet 1)__.

* * *

I'm in ______'s apartment. There's a really old radio and an old television. I comment about the radio being older than my Grandmother's and point out that she had a black and white TV until the mid-80's. The only show ______ watches on the television is the Facts of Life.

I offend ______. I said "fucking" for emphasis. I apologize. I tell ______ that I have a son and an trying to cut back on my swearing. ______ tells me he/she doesn't like being around that kind of language. Later on I'm speaking and I can tell that I offend him/her again. Apparently using the words "freaking" and "effing" also offend him/her. I'm a bit incredulous at this. That's how I've cut back my swearing, by replacing "fucking" with "freaking" and "effing." He/She doesn't think any of those words are appropriate.

* * *

I'm at a poetry conference. _______ is being creepy and forward. He tells me that he's left a trail food for me to follow to find his hotel room. I run down a hall and see the trail of food. There's actually several trials of different kinds of food, meat, cheese, bread. He must have been trying to lure all kinds of women. A police officer comes to arrest _______ and in all the confusion wants to arrest, or maybe just talk to me. It turns out that _______ has a stolen a lot of gold to lure women into his room. And the sex he was offering was without emotion or anything else.

* * *

I'm standing around a table with people who are supposed to be my cousins. My grandmother is sitting at the head of the table passing out gifts. She gives me my birthday gift: a little toy car with "smart" written on it. I show ________ the car and say "see, I'm smart." I also get a pencil. I put down my used Kleenex down and grab ________'s cheeks and tell him/her the difference between me and the previous generation is that I'll put down my snot rag down before I touch someone's face. ______ seems kind of grossed out. I tell him/her not to worry, that my hands are clean. But I know that they're probably germy.

* * *

I sit down at a cafe and __(poet 1)__ comes in with a friend. He/She sees me and starts to glare. His/Her friend asks if he/she would like to leave, but he/she decides to stay. I try not to look at him/her. I take out my notebook and write "psychic jealously" and right as I write "jealousy" __(poet 2)__ comes in and sits at my table. Now I remember, I'm here to meet __(poet 2)__. I wonder if __(poet 2)__ set this up and is trying to play __(poet 1)__ and me off of each other.

The Dream Poet Anthology 2010

Below are the names of every poet who made an appearance or was mentioned in my dreams during 2010. 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.

2010 Contributors:

Kim Addonizio, Adonis, Bill Allegrezza, Lauren Kizi Alleyne, Rae Armantrout, Craig Arnold, Julianna Baggott, Jennifer Bartlett, Sandra Beasley, Hugh Behm-Steinberg, Tom Beckett, Lynn Behrendt, Oscar Bermeo, April Berndard, Remica Bingham, Julie Bloemeke, Anne Boyer, Ana Božičević, Dan, Brady, Tom Brady, Melissa Broder, Maurice Buford, Blake Butler, Mairead Byrne, Ryan Call, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon, Joshua Clover, Kelly Cockerham, Shanna Compton, CA Conrad, Eduardo Corral, Bruce Covey, J.P. Dancing Bear, Peter Davis, Neil de la Flor, Oliver de la Paz, Linh Dinh, Mike Dockins, Timothy Donnelly, Mark Doty, Thomas Sayers Ellis, Jill Alexander Essbaum, Steve Fellner, Annie Finch, Daisy Fried, Suzanne Frischkorn, Carolyn Forche, Elisa Gabbert, Timothy Gager, John Gallagher, Amy Gerstler, Bernadette Geyer, Jim Goar, Rigoberto González, Brent Goodman, Noah Eli Gordon, Lea Graham, Arielle Greenberg, Gabriel Gudding, Jeanine Gailey Hall, Shafer Hall, Nathalie Handal, Kaplan Harris, Stacey Harwood, Yona Harvey, Joseph Harrington, Terrence Hayes, Jennifer Michael Hecht, Matthew Hittinger, Brandi Homan, Dave Housley, Lacey Hunter, Donald Illich, Luisia Ingloria, Charles Jensen, Kent Johnson, Saeed Jones, Shane Jones, Kirsten Kaschock, Steven Karl, Collin Kelley, Amy King, Rauan Klassnik, Jennifer L. Knox, Jenn Koiter, David Lehman, Amy Lemmon, Tao Lin, Patricia Lockwood, Rebecca Loudon, Rob MacDonald, Marie-Elizabeth Mali, Cate Marvin, Joe Massey, Montgomery Maxton, Steve Allen May, Gary McDowell, Elaine McFerron, David McDonald, Erika Meitner, Didi Menendez, Sharon Mesmer, Kasey Mohammad, Daniel Nester, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Hoa Nguyen, Kaya Oakes, Danielle Pafunda, Shin Yu Pai, Shann Palmer, Karl Parker, Richard Peabody, Craig Santos Perez, PF Potvin, Nate Pritts, Meghan Punschke, Michael Quattrone, Barbara Jane Reyes, Adam Robinson, Anthony Robinson, Lee Ann Roripaugh, Carly Sachs, Allyson Salazar, Steven Schoeder, Lacey Schultz, Susan Schultz, Laura Ellen Scott, Paul Siegell, Ravi Shankar, Laura Sheahen, Anis Shivani, Evie Shockley, Kim Gek Lin Short, Ron Silliman, Dale Smith, Patricia Smith, Jessica Smith, John Dunn Smith, Laurel Snyder, Brian Spears, Janaka Stucky, Mathias Svalina, James Tate, Craig Morgan Teicher, Brent Terry, Maureen Thorson, Sandy Tseng, Jen Tynes, Rich Villar, Matt Walker, Jeff Walt, Fritz Ward, Joshua Marie Wilkinson, Jim Woessner, Allyssa Wolf, C. Dale Young, Mike Young, Louis Zukofsky

Frequently Asked Questions

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 2010. Resolve in 2011 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 a small percentage of poets appearing in my dreams. Your omission is a simple case of editorial bias. You were screwed, intentionally.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Astrologically speaking, I should be tucking myself away and scheming on 2011. I'm supposed to be quiet and not say a damn thing for the rest of 2010 which is how I'm already feeling inclined, so that shouldn't be too tough. Scheming I have been and I do have some major changes planned over the course of the year. I'll tell you how that all went down this time next year, but I will say making the new plans are energizing. People who are close to me won't be surprised, but some folks will be.

Last night I made a couple specific decisions and then I dreamed that I received the galleys to Bruce's (in waking life, already published) book. There were problems with the spine (there's aways problems with the spine), but the most shocking was that it was between 600-700 pages. How did I not notice that before? The book was too thick, it was falling apart. I wondered what I should do. Should I edit out poems? Shrink the font? And what would we do when it was time to publish his collected? Publish it in volumes? Then I questioned my decision to give his new book the same cover as PF's book, down to the same art and colors. And who should fix the spine, the cover designer of PF's book or Bruce's?

I wrote something on this blog about Bruce's book--to promote it, I guess. A nasty poet immediately posted a bunch of critical comments about my post on his own blog--about how I don't know how to market poetry books and how very annoying I am. He said he wanted my blog post out of his RSS Feed.

Then the dream switched again to Chris, Gideon and I going into a diner, us not getting the booth Chris wanted, my realizing I just got out of the shower and wasn't dressed, a water-shooting video game and a disagreement with some lady about whether or not I should have sent Chris off to do our laundry all by himself. I told her that Chris could handle our laundry on his own, in fact, it was his job.

* * *

Not sure what that all means. Sometimes my psyche is annoyingly cryptic.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Galatea Resurrects #15 is out and about with 72 new poetry reviews, including a review of my book, God Damsel:

Like all mothers, God Damsel has eyes in the back of her head and other places as well. This is a woman with power. This is a sexual, strong voice and believe me, you don't want to fuck with her.

—Rebecca Loudon

God Damsel is available here. Today's coupon code at Lulu is DEC8 and that gets you a free book with the purchase of two. There's a lot of great poetry available at Lulu--take a gander at Better Homes Through Poems and see for yourself.

Monday, December 6, 2010

and now for the me stuff

Elizabeth Hildreth interviewed me for the December issue of Bookslut. I talk about writing God Damsel, the gift community and bitterness and psychic plungers.

As I mentioned here before, I gave two readings in NYC last week. If you missed them, Steven Karl gives a run down up at Coldfront of my set-list at the KGB reading. I had a different set-list for the d.a. levy lives series, so you're just going to have to pull out your God Damsel and imagine which poems I read.

And if you don't have God Damsel yet, there's a really good deal at Lulu going on today, buy one book, get the second 50% off. Coupon Code: DEC6. You could buy Your Ten Favorite Words or another No Tell Books title or any poetry title.

Or you can save 10% off your entire order with Coupon Code: PEARTREE (valid all December)

All No Tell Books titles are already discounted 15% off of retail and many of the other poetry titles up at Better Homes Through Poems are discounted too. So it's cheaper for you to buy these books from Lulu AND it's more $$ for the presses. Don't be a grinch, man.

no telling

December is always a crunch time for me. I've already missed my self-imposed deadline (today) to respond to all No Tell Motel submissions. I've responded to roughly 5/6 of the submissions and, as of this writing, accepted 13, but still have 56 to consider for roughly 15-20 slots. When I get down to the final 100 or so submissions the process becomes a lot slower because they're all poems that I can find much to appreciate (even if in the end I don't take them). So if you're still waiting for a response, know that your work is being seriously considered and you should hear from me very soon. My new deadline is next Monday, but let's just say before Christmas.

I usually try to keep "No Tell" business off of this personal blog and post this kind of stuff up on No Tells--but I'm feeling quite jumbled and mixed at the moment. Probably because most of what I've been doing this past couple months has been No Tell related.

So let me take this opportunity to point you to the annual No Tells features in progress: Best Poetry Books of 2010 (a new list everyday) and the Poetry Shopping Holiday Guides by No Tell contributors. These are awesome lists and probably best considered as a collection, but individually they're interesting too.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

dear santa

Dear Santa,

I want an iPad and an iPhone and a Google phone.

Love, Gideon

* * *

Yeah. Christmas morning has the potential to be very disappointing.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

two readings next week in NYC

Monday, November 29, 2010; 7:00pm: Monday Night Poetry Season at KGB Bar, KGB Bar, 85 East 4th Street, New York, NY
Readers: Reb Livingston & Ben Mirov

Tuesday, November 30, 2010; 6pm: Boog City presents d.a. levy lives: celebrating the renegade press, ACA Galleries, 529 W.20th St., 5th Flr. New York, NY
Readers: No Tell Books authors - Bruce Covey, Lea Graham, Karl Parker and Reb Livingston
and music from Binary Marketing Show

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

deadline for Dream Poet Anthology 2010

I begun tallying the contributors to the Reb Livingston Dream Poetry Anthology 2010 and damn, it's huge. I hate to break it to you, but if you don't appear in the 2010 edition, you should probably just hang up the poetry thing all together. This is the only relevant poetry anthology and this is a make or break year. Get to psychic work.

DEADLINE: December 31, 2010

Last year's contributors

Sunday, November 14, 2010

a postcard to my aunt

2002 wasn't "my year" either -- so glad I still don't perceive the world this way

hot poetics

I was walking Gideon to school the other day and he pointed out a boy in his class:

G: That's ____, he's cool. And hot.

I was a little take aback hearing a 5 year-old call another 5 year-old hot. Later I asked him what "hot" meant. Here are the possibilities:

Somebody who's really cool.

Somebody who dresses really fancy and all the girls crowd around.

Somebody with nice, dark clothes.

Somebody who appears on the News making the girls and other people gather around that boy.

Chris suggested a meter where someone can be so cool they go all around the meter and get to hot.

Gideon told Chris that he didn't understand because he was a man.

I asked Gideon if he was hot. He said sometimes he was hot, sometimes he was cool, but really, there's no word to describe him.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

elsewhere stuff and blogging

I'm interviewed (along with Craig Morgan Teicher, and folks from University of California Press, BOA Editions, Copper Canyon, Coffee House, Wesleyan) about poetry eBooks in Alizah Salario's "Breaking the Poetry Code" at The Poetry Foundation.

I'm given quite a bit of space, considering that I have yet to personally format an eBook myself. I've outsourced one (The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel - Second Floor) and while it's OK, there's issues and I wasn't satisfied with the technical support or communication so I won't be using the service again. But apparently I was one of the few poetry publishers Salario could find who wasn't all fuck yo eBooks. I plan to start work on converting (at least some) No Tell Books titles next year. Yep, that makes me the person to ask (and there have been quite a few people who ask me about eBooks). That's a totally sad statement on 21st poetry publishing. There are a lot of opportunities for poetry publishers. Why aren't more of us taking advantage?

Anyhow, I sort of didn't want to participate in the article because I don't feel especially qualified to speak on this . . . but I did, mostly because I have an agenda. I mentioned my agenda during my two discussions with Salario (not using the term "agenda," I am slicker than that), knowing it was unlikely to make it into the article. But the article would be a good springboard for me to launch my agenda in a response.

I feel like a poetry mastermind and am considering shaving my head to look the part.

Here's my agenda at We Who Are About to Die:

We who need an e-publishing hero.


We who need an e-publishing hero, part 2. detailing Adam Deutsch's experience trying to format Cooper Dillon's titles into eBooks

Yes, that's right, Little Miss DIY-pants is calling out the Poetry Foundation to pony up and help find a solution so our poems don't look like ass on eReaders. This is the 21st century. The technology CAN be created.

Help us Obi-Wan, you're our only hope!

Sunday, November 7, 2010


For those of you coming here for the first time (via the Twitter #poetparty or elsewhere), here are some related links:

No Tell Motel (online poetry magazine)

No Tell Books (poetry micropress)

Better Homes Through Poems (indie-cooperative bookstore)

We Who Are About to Die (literary blog)

My books:

God Damsel

Your Ten Favorite Words

My author page (links to poems, interviews, bio, etc.)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

#poetparty in my . . .

Hey, I'll be a guest tomorrow (Sunday, 9PM, ET) at the Poet Party Twitter Chat.

Hashtag #poetparty

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ah, of course, it's the Neptunian undertow.

Woke in the middle of the night and committed the cardinal sin of not writing down my dream. Sometimes I'm so sleepy, I convince myself I'll remember and bam, bye bye dream. I woke in the morning and only remembered children announcing the death of the snake queen. I remember feeling relieved to learn of this. In January I had dreamed of an encounter with the snake queen. Let's just say her poison was much stronger than my poison.

Today I had a weird experience. All morning I thought I smelled marijuana--coming from me. Now I don't smoke, anything, there's nothing of the sort in the house, and nobody outside the house was smoking up, so I pondered if maybe that's just what my breath smells like when I eat cupcakes and apples for breakfast. Early in the afternoon I took a brief nap--now that Gideon is in school full-time, I totally can and have absolutely no guilt about that, sleep makes me pretty so who cares how productively I could be using that time. It can fucking wait is my new motto.

I had two dreams during that nap . . . one was about trying to help an old lady mystic figure out which food was poisoned (likely candidate: the pizza). There was also some possible upcoming scandal about people finding out my true relationship with a ladypoet pal of mine. It was strange because the incriminating poems were written years ago--why are people just reading them and putting it all together now?

In the second dream I walked into my "beach" bedroom. The furniture was rearranged, the blankets and curtains were white, it was really nice. I had a bunch of new clothes that I hung in the closet. Each hanger had a different woman's face. I'd tell each hanger how beautiful she was. There was a man in the room helping me. He then pulled out a map and I knew I was dreaming and it was time to pay attention because he was going to tell me something really important. First, he pointed out Neverland and told me I definitely didn't want to go there. He told me that I was currently in Ireland and that I needed to go to three places. The first place was called Homalee (Honalee?) (Homily?) and I need to get the _______ horn. I waited for him to tell me the second two places, but I knew this was all I was getting now and was about to get booted out of my nap.

I woke and racked my brain trying to remember what HORN was it that I was supposed to get. I thought, maybe it was a dragon horn, but I couldn't be sure. Then I thought hey, dragon, PUFF the Magic Dragon and it was Honalee which would totally explain my imaginary weed breath. Or it could be a reference to reclaiming something from childhood. Or it could be a reference to weed from childhood, which would totally fit too.

Last week I had two violent pirate dreams, so I think it's probably good advice to stay out of Neverland. Ireland is a fine place to visit, but I think I'd be depressed if I had to live to live there. So yeah, time I get my ass out of Ireland and on to Honalee.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

(heart) five year olds

Today, while mailing review copies of Bruce's Glass Is Really a Liquid, Gideon explained to the postal worker what it is that I do:

My mommy copies other people's poems.


If they're good enough.

* * *

Earlier this week I pointed out an early 80's Trans Am and explained to Gideon that his grandfather used to drive one.

I'm learning so much about the old days, Christopher Columbus and now Grandpa's car!

Yep, the Nina, the Pinta, the Santa Maria and KITT.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

today's obvious dream about writing

A bunch of mom-poets are meeting in my laundry room in my basement. This was planned, but I forgot. This is the grungiest room in my house and I'm worried about the litter box not being clean. I tell one of the mom-poets that I'll be right down after I finish cleaning the kitchen.

As I'm wiping down the new appliances, it occurs to me that I sent out an invite for another party at my house at 4pm on Sunday--just a few minutes from now. I hope nobody shows up. I realize I never checked the invite to see who RSVPed. The whole house is a mess and I haven't done anything to prepare. As soon as I remember, people start showing up, lots of poets. I'm quickly trying to clean the house. There's clutter everywhere. Somebody says it's a shame the remodeled kitchen isn't clean, because this would be a great opportunity to show it off. I'm yelling for Chris to do things, go run out to the store, slice some cheese, etc. I realize that I have to offer drinks to the guests. I see the floor needs to be swept, but that's just not going to happen. I tell everyone that there's a separate gathering downstairs for just the mom-poets, but don't feel left out. I joke that the mom-poets are just talking about tampons. Everyone laughs.

Then time goes back a few hours. I remember the party and while it'll be tight, I should have just enough time to get ready.

elsewhere blogging & interview & discounts

I introduce Better Homes Through Poems at We Who Are About To Die It's a cool, new storefront with over 100 poetry titles.


Tonight I'll be interviewed by Vangile Makwakwa on Speak 2B Free at 7PM EST. We'll be discussing publishing and poetry. If you're not around to hear it live, you can always listen to the recording afterwards. It's your opportunity to hear my melodious yinzer cackle.


God Damsel is now discounted 15% off as is the rest of the No Tell titles. Details here.

Monday, October 11, 2010

recent obvious dreams about writing

There was a national writing cabin, but it burned down. The Obamas had a new one built. It's beautiful and amazing. Sometimes people cry there. It was one of the first things they did when he got into office. Pres. Obama said put (the large amount, forgetting the number) on the credit card and tell them he said so. This was back when he was really popular and could do such a thing.

I'm considering renting a writing cabin and holding a retreat. I'm thinking about announcing it and inviting other writers, but there's one poet who I'll lie to and say we're all full if he asks to join.

I'm in the backyard of my childhood home. I'm playing fetch with the new owner's dog. If I don't throw the ball far enough, across the dirt road into the neighbor's yard, the dog won't bother bringing the ball back. I don't tell the new owner that I used to live here. I don't want to creep her out and make her think I'm obsessed with the place.

I'm looking online at Vermont writing cabins. I see one that advertises it's gourmet kitchen appliances. It looks nice with triangular hallways. The windows have sheepskin coverings. It looks very warm. I wonder if it'll be too warm for when I'm there. My sister thinks it'll be too hot. I say that sometimes it's really cold. I remind of her a recent blizzard. I ask, weren't you cold? She says no. She's acting like she's never cold.

* * *

I'm with a group of ragtag poets. A pudgy, long-haired man is in charge. We're getting ready to go. I go upstairs to get my books, 2 copies of Your Ten Favorite Words and 6 of God Damsel. I realize that I grabbed Rebecca Loudon's Cadaver Dogs instead. The colors are kind of similar. I consider trying to pass those off as my own, but go back up and get GD instead. I take out the books I'm done reading in my messenger bag. I leave in some I think I might read later. I meet the group, the leader has malevolent plans. One of the poets follows him -- the rest of us, not so much. We're on a field being approached by a group of children rugby players. The leader poet starts cursing their dogs and wants us to join. I say I'm not wishing anything bad on dogs. I turn to the kids and say something like "what are you looking at?" I (and the rest of the poets) keep walking. We're going to break into some kind of lab, one of the poets is going to sneak in and have some kind of experiment done on him. I know what's going to to happen, he will die unless I go against the leader and pull the poet out in time -- which I know I will do because I'm in love with him. We're going through a stairwell. We see the status of things. Kilroy is now at 10.

* * *

I walk up to a table under a canopy. I'm going to have dinner with a former teacher and his wife. I talk to them about their tireless work and suggest they do too much. I mention another poet who over-exerts herself and isn't really appreciated. There's a a young male poet here. It's raining and much of it is coming into the tent. The young male poet holds an umbrella over my head. Then I hold my own umbrella. We talk about what a bummer it is that it's raining on our big dinner. The rain slows. I notice the poet's baby. Every time I touch the baby, he cries. I ask if the baby doesn't like to be scratched and the poet says he does, but clearly not when I do it. He hands the baby to another poet. The baby is happy and calm with her. There's something about me the baby doesn't like.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Equalizer

You can either subscribe to The Equalizer by sending an email to the address below, or you can read the installments by downloading at one of the links. Readers are encouraged to forward it to other readers and upload the files on their own websites.

My poems (some appear in 1.3 and some will appear in a later installment) are from God Damsel -- these are my last poems in circulation. At this writing, I have nothing coming up and no poems under consideration anywhere. I have a pile of drafts and fragments that kinda make me sad. I am reworking some, writing new pieces, trying to write something I think is good enough. Is it me or the poems? Still trying to figure that out.

The Equalizer 1.3

Joshua Corey, Stephanie Anderson, Buck Downs, Shanna Compton, Laura Carter, Peter Davis, Alana Dagen, Reb Livingston, Cody Walker, John Cotter, Craig Santos Perez, and Chris Martin.

If you’d like to sign up for The Equalizer mailing list to receive sections as theyre released throughout October 2010, please email theunrulyservant (at) gmail (dot) com.

The Equalizer 1.1 available via HTMLGiant and Maureen Thorson.

The Equalizer 1.2 available via HTMLGiant and Maureen Thorson.

Oct. 7: The Equalizer 1.4 featuring a selection of John Gallahers Guidebooks.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

elsewhere blogging cont.

We who hear the call at We Who Are About to Die
(This is about the No Tell Motel open reading period. And penises)

Presenting a Poem by Bruce Covey at The Best American Poetry blog
(My final stint as the Sunday Poetry Page editor. The whole series is here.)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

whale sound

Hearing someone else read my poems always makes them sound different to me. Hearing Nic Sebastian read them at Whale Sound is like a big whoah. She pronounces "Tabershrillville" waaaay better than I do. It doesn't even sound weird when she says it.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

stuff I'm doing this fall

Wednesday, October 13, 7pm: Vangile Makwakwa interviews me at Speak 2B Free on BlogTalkRadio

Saturday, October 16, 2010; 11am - 4pm: Western Maryland Publishing Festival, Frostburg, MD
Bookfair & Panel: DIY Publishing: Pros and Con

Monday, November 29, 2010; 7:30pm: Monday Night Poetry Season at KGB Bar, KGB Bar, 85 East 4th Street, New York, NY
Readers: Reb Livingston & Ben Mirov

Tuesday, November 30, 2010; 6pm: d.a. levy lives: celebrating the renegade press, ACA Galleries, 529 W.20th St., 5th Flr. New York, NY
Readers: No Tell Books authors - Bruce Covey, Lea Graham, Karl Parker and Reb Livingston

Monday, September 13, 2010


I'm copycatting C. Dale and updating a meme I did 5 years ago (in December):

Fifteen Years Ago:

Chris and I are doing renovations on our new "starter" home (that fifteen years later we will still live in) and planning our upcoming April wedding. Lots of bickering over silly details. Annoyed with friends and co-workers constantly asking me "why?" I want to get married. For the first (and only time), I'm excited about the projects I'm assigned in my new position as "Assistant Producer" for AOL's Reference Channel. I launch my first "major" area -- "Que's Computer and Internet Dictionary." It's a hideous design. My manager loves me. I'm the perfect corporate monkey. I believe I am going places even though an Ocean City, NJ psychic recently told me that I have already reached my career pinacle with the company and am really supposed to be a teacher. He also calls me a smart ass.

Ten Years Ago:

I'm preparing my graduate lecture on duende and editing my thesis (defunct manuscript my old blog was named after). I'm submitting my manuscript to hoards of contests that I have no chance of winning. I'm sending out resumes to rejoin the workforce I left for grad school. I'm not particularly excited about the prospect, but feel like it's something I should do. I'm seeking guidance from a psychic and disappointed when she tells me there is no book in my immediate future. She also tells me that my spirit guides are showing her the image on a doormat, implying that I'm one. I scoff at such a notion. I believe I'm one tough motherfucker. Ten years later it is very clear to me: I was totally a doormat.

Five Years Ago:

I give birth to Gideon in February. The first 10 weeks are really difficult, then things slowly get better. I'm likely suffering from postpartum depression but will not acknowledge it. Chris' work travel exacerbates the situation. During this time I receive several unprovoked hate mails from a "prize winning" poet that hurt and upset me. I do what I normally do in such situations. I pretend I'm tough and perfect my "go fuck yourself" retort giving myself the facade of awesome. When Gideon is six months old, Chris and I leave him with his grandmother and aunt and go to Europe for 10 days. Paris, Geneva and Milan. The first 6 or 7 days are wonderful and a much needed vacation (for me, Chris is working). Around day 7 I wish the vacation is over. I miss Gideon too much. For much of the year, I'm working on the first Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel that will mark the beginning of No Tell Books. I'm also writing a lot of poems that end up in Your Ten Favorite Words. In December I receive the shocking news that one of my poems will be included in BAP 2006. This conveys a message to some of my relatives that perhaps I'm not sitting around smoking pot all day. Others are still not impressed. I learn a lot about envy and the projections of poets. I begin to discover who are my true friends. This is the year I form the beginning of close bonds with several important friends (including Jill Essbaum and Bruce Covey). Carly Sachs and I start Lolita and Gilda's Burlesque Poetry Hour. I'm Gilda. I'm also a consistent blogger.

One year ago:

Gideon's appendicitis almost kills me. A few months later when he gets swine flu, I recognize in the doctor's waiting room that my demeanor (compared to the other mothers of swine flu kiddies) is a bit intense. I'm angry because the vaccinations did not get to my doctor's office in time. I silently rage against the Goldman Sachs employees who were reported to have received the shots months before most children. I'm dumbfounded by continued bailouts. I put Cackling Jackal to rest and begin this blog. I'm finishing God Damsel and am both impressed and totally freaked out at the result. I'm in the midst of making radical edits to my life and things take a turn for the better. I identify and dump a whole lot of baggage. I dream of suitcases and boxes on a regular basis, among a thousand other things. I become healthier. For much of the year I devote myself to energy visualization and healing. An unintended, but happy side effect, is that I lose 15 pounds (the rest of the "baby weight" and then some). I leave pilates and return to yoga after a four year hiatus--a needed switch. The three of us go to Stockholm. It's a happy trip and I'm both pleased and relieved to discover that Gideon can handle long distance travel. My niece, Tabitha, is born.


It's raining. Gideon has a cold and a slight fever. I'm feeling sluggish too. I give mixed signals about watching Ironman 2, but the boys really want to see it. As the movie plays, I regret exposing Gideon to "asshole as hero" at his age--he still operates in good versus evil mode. He loves the movie, of course. While it plays, I read most of Tim Gunn's Gunn's Golden Rules: Life's Little Lessons for Making It Work on my Nook. It's excessively chatty, anecdotal and kind of annoying, but I decide to take Rule 1's advice: "Make It Work!" I'm going to take my 40-50 crap poems and fragments I've written this past year and make SOMETHING out of them. I look at my "to-do" list and decide to focus on something else for the day. I realize that I gained 6 pounds back slowly this year as I slacked off the energy visualization. I console myself with the fact I now have a lot more time in the day to return to it.

An hour (or so) ago:

Flipper, Gideon's stuffed turtle, threatens to bite Chris for making a turtle soup joke. I say no, let's make turtle cupcakes! Flipper threatens to use his laser beam eyes to melt me. As the verbal violence ensues (I blame Ironman) I notice that Gideon is a rather skilled ventriloquist, his lips hardly move. I ask Gideon if he knows what is a ventriloquist. I suggest to Chris that Gideon is good enough to be in a talent show. Chris tells me to stop projecting my childhood fantasies onto our son.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010

Cami Park Reviews God Damsel

I am enthralled by and in awe of this work– God Damsel is innovative and utterly fearless in its treatment of language, yet completely accessible, and funny as hell. A superb accomplishment.
--read entire review here

God Damsel is available here. If you buy directly from Lulu, use coupon code: AUTUMN to save 10%

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

My 20 year high school reunion is this weekend. As I mentioned last month, Chris purchased new clothes for his reunion. I thought it only fair that I too get a new outfit. This afternoon I attempted to shop using the "cool" or "successful" gauge that the salesman taught Chris.

I quickly decided that was a shallow-ass way to shop for dresses. I tried on a few dresses that said "Oh look at me me, I'm totally hot, now don't you wish you asked me to prom, you pot-bellied motherfucker."

I questioned who such a message would be directed at and it struck me as a not very nice message. Besides, I'm somebody's mother now.

I found a dress that I absolutely love. It's not exactly a nighttime dress, but the first thing I thought was "this is me." The saleswoman tried to talk me out of it. She said, oh yes, the dress looks very nice on you, but everybody has a dress like that.

"Everybody has a dress with a bird and elk print?" I asked. She backtracked and said, well, no, but everyone has a dress in that style. She thought I should select one of the hottie dresses.

I know this may be my last reunion where my breasts are still north of my belly button, but I just wasn't feeling it.

Maybe I'm a big asshole and when I walk into the reunion everyone will laugh and laugh and it'll turn out like something out of Carrie, but I'm risking it. I dream of birds and elk. This is my slightly strange little dress.

And it's BEIGE, just like those $35 beige underpants.

I happen to like beige.

There, I said it.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I'm having one of the best summers of my life. Nothing momentous happened. Just a steady stream of pleasant and peacefulness, despite it's busyness. I say that despite my dissatisfaction with the paltry work I'm producing. I'm hesitant to mention my happiness for fear that I'll jinx it. But damn it, things are good and a new opportunity is on the horizon, something I long considered a far off event, but here it is:


The main source of my happiness this summer is Gideon. We spent so much time together and as corny as it sounds, it's one gift after another, really precious shit. I've always enjoyed being a mother, but there's something truly wonderful about the age of 5. I say that despite the nose picking, the stickers on the furniture, his delight in describing his poop and the increasing sassiness. And oh my god, he never stops talking, sometimes Chris and I have to ask him to take a break.

When we went to his kindergarten orientation in June, I cried. Soon, Gideon began referring to himself as "manly" and "serious." I've been conscious the entire time that this is the end of an era. It does make me sad.

But oh my fucking god, I'm going to have 8:30am - 3:20pm back to myself. It's the beginning of an exciting, new era, full of countless possibilities. Whenever I didn't have time/energy to do something, I'd tell myself that I'd get back to it when Gideon was in school. Now, I'm not so sure. Motherhood has taught me a lot of things and one of those things is that my time is really valuable. I ain't just giving it away. I'm not squandering it on things I'm not passionate about or that I don't enjoy. I'm certainly not giving it to people who don't deserve it. I'm not going to cram a bunch of things into my day. Now that I'll only have evenings and weekends with Gideon, I'll need energy for that.

I haven't decided what I'm going to do with my newfound bounty. Still taking inventory. There are so many things I can do. I'm experiencing world-is-my-oyster vibes. It's like me and Joni Mitchell finally knowing what we got.

elsewhere blogging cont.

We who get off our cheeto-gorging arses and write poetry reviews at We Who Are About To Die

We who are not The Nepotist at We Who Are About To Die

Presenting a Poem by Cynthia Arrieu-King at The Best American Poetry blog

Presenting a Poem by Steve Fellner at The Best American Poetry blog

Friday, August 13, 2010

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Regularly dreaming of sleeping through or missing classes.

Not good.

I'm supposed to be learning something, but I'm unconscious or not paying attention. Like I wake up in a drained swimming pool and realize I missed my lesson. Of course, I have to fill the pool back with water to take the next lesson, but water is the unconscious, so it's a catch 22.

I'm trying to figure out what exactly it is that I'm unconscious. I made a mental list of possible life lessons and opportunities that I should be mindful. As I did, I fell asleep. I dreamed I was back in my middle school auditorium as a symphony played. I became mindful that I wasn't really paying attention to the symphony, so I started to watch and listen. There was an enthusiastic male conductor, who then became a woman, a tall, slender woman with long limbs. She made monster mouth shapes with her hands as she conducted. She was really something. My chorus teacher sat next to me. I wanted to ask her about women conductors, but decided not to because I remembered her saying that there weren't many. Maybe I was afraid she believed women shouldn't be conductors. My chorus teacher talked about the woman conductor's husband, so I tuned her out. I didn't want to hear about him. Then a swtich, I'm at my dad's house with Chris and Gideon and I realize that I didn't make it to music class because I was waiting around for somebody to come get me.

What exactly am I just waiting around for? Well, I have some ideas.

I also dreamed that I was trying to teach Gideon how to use some high tech toilet paper dispenser in a public restroom. He wouldn't pay attention and ran into another stall. I found this frustrating. There were other women in the restroom who thought it was funny that I was calling for Gideon to come out. I was intent on teaching him how to operate the dispenser. Then I realized that I was only wearing underwear. I was pissed at myself, god damn it, why didn't I get dressed before I entered a public restroom to teach my son how to use a toilet paper dispenser? That's basic common sense.

There I was, vulnerable in my $35 beige underpants.

Wait, no, those underpants were from another dream last week. It was betrayal, insensitivity, insult upon insult. Her Eddie Murphyish ex-lover done her wrong for the very last time.

I tried to give some practical advice. I said, "you need to find yourself a nice accountant."

I can't believe I said that. What a moron. Luckily, Rose said no accountants for her. She planned to find a musician, one that nobody heard of or appreciated.

I said that if he didn't have a real job, he'd be living in poverty.

What a fuckwit comment. Where in my life am I being such a fuckwit?!? We're in the midst of a Grand Cardinal Cross and this is the advice I'm giving to my suffering and wronged shadow self?!? My ROSE!!!! I'm suggesting for my inner 'love, beauty and passion' to play it safe!

No wonder I hate everything I'm writing these days.
Chris and I both have our 20 year high school reunions coming up. Because I switched school districts mid-high school, I have two, but am only going to one because the other conflicts with a family beach trip. Besides, one 20 year reunion (plus tag along to spouse's) is plenty, don't you think?

This brought up the question, what is Chris going to wear? I'm easy. I have a closet full of dresses and can buy off the rack.

But Chris, Chris is a very tall man. He's 6'8. He's a 37" inseam. His shirts are 17.5" neck with a 37" sleeve -- these sizes are difficult to find, especially in something that isn't totally basic. These sizes rarely go on sale. He's a 46L suit, common enough, but it has to be a cut broad enough for his shoulders and chest. Many designers don't fit properly. Because he dresses casually for work, he doesn't need a lot of fancy clothes. Which is good because it's all wildly expensive. He has a suit, 6 or 7 dress shirts, a pair of slacks and a sport jacket. Weddings, funerals, meetings, presentations--covered. He's been covered for a long time. So it didn't occur to me until a couple days ago that that he might have wore that same sport coat to the last reunion, um, 10 years ago. Maybe not. I vaguely have a recollection of a dark green button down. Definitely the same pair of black slacks, but possibly he got the jacket closer to 8 years ago. Neither of us can remember. Because we're middle-aged.

Either way, it was clear that it was time for a wardrobe update.

Did you know that the fashionable young men wear earthtones and the old fogeys wear grays? When I worked at a men's clothing store (in the, um, late '80's) it was the other way around. Now those young men are the fogeys. Cycle of life shit. I'm falling behind.

The sales associate asked Chris if he wanted to project the message of "success" or "cool" at his reunion.

I told Chris that he didn't need to project success, he was already successful.

We decided to give "cool" a try.

Hah hah hah.

Monday, August 2, 2010

elsewhere blogging cont.

Presenting Tom Beckett's zombie poems at We Who Are About to Die

Presenting a poem by Karl Parker at The Best American Poetry blog

Presenting a poem by Daniela Olszewska at The Best American Poetry blog

Presenting a poem by Fritz Ward at The Best American Poetry blog

Presenting a poem by Evie Shockley at The Best American Poetry blog

Presenting a poem by Rebecca Loudon at The Best American Poetry blog
The past two weeks we've been to Dublin, Amsterdam, Maastricht, Brussels and Philadelphia. The layover in London doesn't count.

The summer has been one wonderful blur and there's still August to go. I'm not even going to bother saying what's on the agenda. I'll just sound like an asshole. I don't think I've ever been quite this busy, for such a long and consistent stretch, in my life. It's not an overwhelming busy, like say, caring for a newborn. It's not particularly stressful either. Or maybe I don't get stressed out like I used to. I just let stuff drop and you know what, everything turns out OK.

Back in January, the OTHER Rebecca sent a postcard saying she drew the 8 of wands for me for 2010. Pretty accurate.

Chris and I have already decided that in 2011 we're going to be couch potatoes. I know that's not going to happen. But it's a good dream.

Two dreams last night of being pregnant. In one, my dad helped me move boxes into my Grandmother's house. Guess I worked out whatever was going on back in early-mid July. Lots of pregnancy dreams -- I hope that's a positive indication about these poems I'm trying to write. I don't like anything I'm writing these days. I want that to change.

Speaking of dreams, I haven't seen Inception yet and it's killing me. I'm going to see it Weds. I've done a good job of avoiding spoilers, so don't go spoiling it for me.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


saws to cut the stone

Monday, July 26, 2010

is it you god?

Today Gideon and I toured the underground of Maastricht. They advertise them as caves to tourists, but they're really mines that are hundreds of years old with an interesting history. More information about them here. Pictures later, the internet connection at our hotel is crap.

Towards the end of the tour, the guide told us a story about some monks who tried to use a string to find their ways out, but the string snapped and they never made it. They were found with their fingertips worn off. The didn't realize it, but they were going round and round a column.

The guide left us in the dark for a couple minutes to experience how disorienting the complete darkness can be. There was some annoying girl who kept turning on the light on her watch, so I had to face the wall for the experience, but I did. I felt pulses in my eyes and saw a variety of lights and shapes that "weren't really there."

When we got above ground I asked Gideon if he saw anything. He told me he saw God. I was rather impressed and asked what does God look like. God looks like monsters with yellow eyes. They're the same monsters that live under his bed and he sometimes sees when we put him to bed. I had no idea there were monsters living underneath his bed! He never mentioned them before. Like owls, they sleep during the day and are awake at night. God sends them so Gideon can learn to be brave.

Again, I find myself in the position of wondering, is my kid really deep or is this something he saw on TV? He does have a history of claiming television experiences as his own. Of course I don't want to scar him for life with an unfounded plagiarism accusation. Especially when it comes to one's personal experience with God.

Monday, July 12, 2010

50/50: Words & Images for Didi Menendez

Edited by Grace Cavalieri, & April Carter Grant

This anthology contains poems, essays, and visual works from writers and poets who have been published by Didi Menendez in MiPOesias magazine, OCHO, Poets and Artists (O&S), or books. Each piece is about or dedicated to Didi in celebration of her long-standing commitment to advancing print and web standards for independent publishing of poetry and art. Full-color interior.

My poem, "Lament for Heart," is included along with poems by Barbra Nightingale, Diego Quiros, Ivy Alvarez, Ron Androla, Nick Piombino, Holly Picano, Michael Parker, Meghan Punschke, Amy King, John Korn, Grady Harp, Jose Parra, David Lehman, Matthew Hittinger, Cheryl Townsend, Andrew Demcak, Bruce Covey, Luc Simonic, Diana Adams, Charles Jensen, Suzanne Frischkorn, Karen Hollingsworth, Melissa McEwen, Wiliam Stobb, Nick Carbo, Pris Campbell, Denise Duhamel, Edward Nudelman, Marie-Elizabeth Mali, Geoffrey Gatza, Emma Trelles, Miguel Murphy, Jeremy Baum, Kirk Curnutt, Michelle M. Buchanan, Evie Shockley, Dan Murano, LD Grant, April Carter Grant, Tony Trigilio

about right

We're heading to Europe on Friday and I'm trying to get everything done so I don't have to think about it while I'm there. A happy madness? Perhaps.

Gideon did well in Stockholm last year and I'm hoping it'll be even better this year now that he's at the manly and serious age of 5. Like last year, we're tagging along with Chris who has work and conferences. He works, Gideon and I party. It's awesome. We'll be in Dublin, Amsterdam, Maastricht and perhaps a day trip to Brussels because it's really close and I've dreamed of there several times.

Gotta follow the dream.

This weekend I dreamed I was a professional psychic and sold books and cosmetics from my office--and gave manicures. I woke up and thought, yeah, that sounds about right.

Last night I had a long, winding dream that involved spaceships, pirates, gifts from a lady poet friend, Santa and a gift of a cut-out bear on a paper bag on a stick that enraged me to exclaim, "Oh great, this reminds me of my distance to the masculine, how I never really connected and how no man has ever really been there for me." The guy who gave me the gift, Dr. Daniel Jackson (from Stargate), looked at me like I was a total asshole for saying that. He also gave me and some guy recordings of what we used to sound like way back when -- the guy's music was all AC/DC type stuff, but mine was this smooth, eery and beautiful lady voice accompanied with electronic music. I thought yeah, that sounds about right. Then I was on a bus driving through Duquesne and saw that one of the last operating stores, a hardware store, was closed. Someone suggested I open my own hardware store and I was like, um, hello and go against Home Depot? The bus dropped me off next to my grandmother's house. It was supposed to be empty, but when I got to the porch, the front door was wide open. I was frightened and called for my father. A plain-clothed policeman came instead. I think he was following me to make sure I didn't flee to Europe.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

reading Friday

I'm reading with Natalie Lyalin, author of Pink and Hot Pink Habitat (Coconut Books), on Friday, July 2 at 8 p.m. at The Poetry Lab held at The Soundry (316 Dominion Road, Vienna, VA 22180).

already losing the battle

The lyrics from one of Gideon's favorite kiddie sitcoms about a boy band from Minnesota living in a fancy LA hotel trying to "make it":

Do you want to
Ride in a big limousine?
Tell me do you want to
Take a little bite of the fame machine?
If you wanna be discovered
And end up on the cover've every star-studded supermarket magazine
You can do it
Stick right to it.
It could happen tonight.

You wanna be famous. (famous)
You wanna be the one who's living the life.
You wanna be famous. (famous)
You wanna be the one who's taking a free ride.

[Verse 2]
Do you want to
Cut to the front of the line?
Baby, do you need to
See your name in lights just like the Hollywood sign?
Come on, we gotta work harder.
Fight the fight together.
Take you to the top.
We've got the winning team.
It's your moment.
You can own it.
It's the American dream.

Prompted this discussion:

Me: Do you know what's better than being famous?

Gideon: What?

Me: Being good at what you do.

Gideon: [Eye roll. Head shake. A sound that sounded a lot like "ugh"]

Whatever happened to the Monkees? Those were nice boy actors playing nice musicians singing nice songs about daydreams and trains.

I am officially 99 years old. It's lunchtime. Goodnight.

Monday, June 28, 2010

sad owl

Over the weekend I dreamed of a couple engaged in a court battle to get the right to kill their child. She was some kind of burden to them. At first it seemed like their child was practically a vegetable and not progressing. She was very premature. They said that she only gained 1.3 pounds over the past year. At first I sort of agreed that it was their right as parents to make this difficult decision. But then I saw the child, or at first I heard her. She could speak--very well, she seemed smart. I was surprised that she could talk. She was so angry and her parents were angry for my taking any interest in her. When I looked at her, I saw she wasn't much of a human, instead very much like an owl. I told her that she was beautiful, because she was. We talked and that upset her parents more. I remembered that their last child was an owl too and she died somehow. It occurred to me that gaining 1.3 pound in a year was quite an accomplishment for an owl. I felt strongly that she shouldn't be killed. I remembered, when I was a child, hearing owls hooting at night. She's not deformed or a burden, she's an owl, you stupid fucks.

* * *

The dream struck me so deeply, I ordered this necklace to, I don't know, to remember, honor, her by? I feel very sad for her.

* * *

I've only recorded one other owl dream. On April 14, 2009 I dreamed that I was at the 2nd day of the Conversations and Connections conference. I was dreading the second day of editor speed-dating sessions, but it turned out there was a workshop instead. A strange pudgy owl floated around the tables. It was smiling and goofing around. It was in very good spirits. I mentioned to someone that I never saw anything quite like it. It seemed to be attracted to a local DC poet. It played with other animals. I took pictures. The owl with a cat. The owl with another strange bird. The owl with turtles. With a woman. I decided I took enough and stopped.

elsewhere blogging cont.

My twisted presentation of a poem by Karl Parker at We Who Are About to Die

Presenting a poem by Suzanne Frischkorn at The Best American Poetry blog

Presenting a poem by Jasper Bernes at The Best American Poetry blog

Presenting a poem by Rauan Klassnik at The Best American Poetry blog

Presenting a poem by Tiffany Midge at The Best American Poetry blog

No Tells' annual Recommended Summer Reading series is winding down. Lots of fascinating picks by lots of poets.

time is summertime is time is summer

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lots of bathroom dreams. Usually it involves me trying to find privacy so I can go, but there's always someone sashaying around. I had some version of this dream for months. But recently the dreams are advancing. In one dream I ran a mile deep into the woods with some other lady poets to find a private spot. We found one, all the other poets dropped trou and started going, but I merely staked out my "spot" and decided to come back when they were gone. This weekend I dreamed that I kept going into the bathrooms that I deemed not clean enough, but I did finally find an acceptable one -- it had a hamper full of blue jeans and cutlery, mostly steak knives.

What's that about? Is the hamper showing something that's already been used? Or something I'm supposed to be using? Should I be wearing the pants and carrying a dagger? Or that the past? And if so, is this a memory I should be exploring?

I'm reading these dreams to be about my writing process--trying to find a suitable (private?) place where I can release and my hesitancy to do so. Bathroom dreams aren't my favorite. While they're clearly not my most disturbing dreams (I think severed penis in my spaghetti gets that honor, Kid Rock sex dream where he ejaculated into a cup a close second), bathroom dreams are not so fun to talk about. "Omigod, I was sitting on the toilet and then I realized there was a guy standing 2 feet in front of me moping the floor and he was all 'Sup.'"

I mean, um, fascinating. Please, tell me more.

Last night I had four writing-related dreams. Three had (or made reference) to poets, the other had drunk dudes worried about saving a few measely beers and a surfer riding the wave in a corn field. There was a B&B and they were racing to it. Like there was just one room left. I haven't dreamed of corn since October 2008. In that dream there was a fire on the hill behind my father's house. I went up after the fire department put it out and found a few cornstalks. A man with me picked an ear of corn.

So what was going on in October 2008? According to my email records: suffering. It seemed like everyone, including me, was suffering. Yes, there were a few stalks spared, but most of it was scorched.

I like to believe those ears of corn are poems -- and now I have a whole beautiful field full of them now, so high and plentiful, you can ride them with your surf board.

I hope the surfer beat those drunk yahoos to the B&B and got the room.

I'm also grateful nobody peed in the cornfield.

Monday, June 14, 2010