Tuesday, May 25, 2010


The Chanel Cristalle Eau Verte and Van Cleef & Arpels Oriens arrived an hour ago. I sprayed them on different arms. Gideon loves both of them. So do I.

I'm gonna smell myself all night long.

Now I have a new problem.

They came with *8* free samples.

It's a vicious cycle.

I haven't tried any of them yet (cause I'm currently wearing 3 perfumes I absolutely love and don't want to harsh my bliss), but will likely use them during my summer travels after the love affair with my two new perfumes tempers down.

Hermes Voyage d’Hermes - this is a unisex fragrance, resh wood and musk. I probably won't like it. If a dude could wear it, I doubt it's for me.

Prada L'eau Ambree - incorporates modernized amber, lemon and May rose essences. Dry-down includes patchouli, oppoponax and vanilla. Maybe

Delices de Cartier - features frosted cherry, bergamot, pink pepper, violet, jasmine, freesia, amber, Tonka bean, musk and sandalwood. Ooohhh, actually I already have a sample of this. I love this. I feel very rich when I wear it. I wore it in Tahoe a couple years ago and had a very lucky time at the casino . . . before I blew all my winnings.

Hanae Mori - features strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, red currant, rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, vanilla, praline, patchouli and sandalwood. Sounds like it has potential.

Versace Bright Crystal - top notes are pomegranate, Yuzu and frosted accord. Peony and magnolia are in the centre of the composition, while waterly fresh lotus note moderates the intensity and sweetnes of the floral accords. The opulent base introduces amber note extracted from plants, musk and red woods. Versace is one of those labels I admire from afar, but can't really connect with. I'll be interested to discover what I think of the scent.

F for Fascinating Night by Salvatore Ferragamo - opens with aromas of mandarin sorbet and pink pepper, building a floral heart of jasmine and rose, which create a finish of patchouli, amber and white musk. The fragrance is constructed as floral-woody-chypre. Dear Lord, please do not let me like a fragrance called "F for Fascinating Night." F for Fire the cheesedick who came up with that name.

Natori - opens with an effervescent bouquet of fresh rose petals enriched by deep, dark plum notes. The heart is an exotic and alluring hybrid of ylang ylang, purple peony and night blooming jasmine. The bottle is purple. I like purple.

CH by Carolina Herrera - The composition is opened with fresh notes of bergamot, orange, grapefruit and a juicy melon. In the sweet heart there are Bulgarian rose, jasmine and praline. Cinnamon, woody notes and leather lock the composition down. Another maybe.

Eau Parfumee au The Blanc by Bvlgari - another a unisex fragrance, notes are artemisia leaves, white tea, ambrette seeds, white pepper, woody amber and musk. See, I very much want to smell DISTINCTLY like a woman. I don't wish to waft ambiguously. I realize how old-fashioned this makes me, but I've been around the block a few time and realize that clarity is important. This reminds me of a recent dream where I'm a woman, in drag, pretending to be a woman, the whole time worried that someone might think I'm a man pretending to be a woman. Perhaps my aversion to unisex fragrances is a sign that I try too hard to be a woman?

No way, smell my wrists . . . I reek of divine femininity.

I want it no other way.

Reserve your scatological humor for the chick wearing Fresh Cannibis Rose.


This morning I dreamed that I was sitting in front of my bathroom vanity with a Jungian analyst, a psychiatrist and Chris. We were having a session to discuss my dreams. The psychiatrist and Chris were quiet. The psychiatrist used my ironing board as a writing desk. I went to my purse to get my dream print-out, but I forgot to bring it. I tried to recount them by memory, but all I could remember was "there was this hulk."

I think I was trying to tell them about my dream from the day before. There was a murderous giant from another dimension. At first I was thinking like Andre the Giant, but on further thought, this giant was much more like Jaws from James Bond. He was really terrifying and cruel. My dream giant didn't have a metal mouth, he did use a metal chain-like thing to kill people--including someone who turned out to be my mother from the other dimension. She was kind of carnival-like, short, blonde mullet, beard. She was working on a computer underground, accessible by a manhole. The giant came to get information (addresses) but when she failed to give him the address of a children's center, he beat her to death. Fortunately she had the ability to regenerate and come back to life, so she was able to warn me (and my grown daughter, and her baby). Anyhow there was a lot more to this dream, a painting, a Guantanamo Bay from another dimension, soldiers, teachers, a living teddy bear that needed sunshine and water that I forgot about, money, three adult children from the other dimension I recently learned of, etc. I'm dreaming a lot about other dimensions and holes. As you might assume, often these holes open up to lead to these dimensions. Or sometimes they instill fear and paranoia. Aside from man-giants, I also dream of many items that I describe as "giant" in my notes. Something big must be coming.

But what have I dreamed of hulks? That's more specific.

8/2/2009: Gideon is running a marathon. I find an Incredible Hulk tee that I want him to wear for the race, but can't find the matching sweatpants.

7/1//2009: A caretaker at a home for children turns into the Incredible Hulk and playfully wrestles a "giant" alligator.

7/21/2008: John Ashbery lies on a bed, asserts that difficulty/complexity is superior to straight-forward, easier to understand art. I challenge him, then concede he's correct. Ashbery teaches Gideon how to play "uncle" with two pieces of cardboard, one to represent Gideon and the other to stand for another little boy. Gideon already knows how to play and forces the little boy to say "uncle" three times before he's released. I tell Ashbery that Hulk Hogan already taught Gideon how to play. I add that Hulk Hogan isn't very smart. Ashbery nods his head.

This is some powerful, freaky animus energy I'm working with and it wants my babies!

"The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets!"

Thank god for feministhulk.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


This Saturday Gideon and I will be in "The Hive" at LitArtlantic (12pm - 4pm) on Walsh Street right in front of the Writer's Center.

Recently Gideon was promoted from the position of No Tell water boy to that of "intern in-charge-of-sales." If you happen to be in the area on Saturday, please come by and buy some books. He's really excited about his new job and would be devastated if he was let go for failure to adequately perform his responsibilities. Let's all do our part to create a positive atmosphere for him to succeed.

Don't think I wouldn't can my own son for incompetence.

They don't call me Meannie Mommy for nothing.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

smell my elbow

For those of you keeping up with my fragrance escapades, I ordered (but not yet received) two new scents.

On Sunday afternoon I went to Neiman Marcus to sniff the fancy stuff. My experience was not so good. Yes, they had a nice selection, but the saleswoman was all hovery and even worse, not much help. Basically, she didn't know anything about the perfumes. She could tell me which ones were new and which ones got her the most compliments and that's about it. She kept squirting perfume on cards. I had no idea what I was smelling. Or what was in what.

There was one I liked a lot, Van Cleef & Arpels Oriens, but it smelled like a floral and the whole point of this excursion was to get something that wasn't a floral. The saleswoman insisted that it wasn't a floral, it was an oriental. I sprayed in on my wrist, loved it, really believed it to be a floral. Now, not like any of the florals I already own, clearly very different, but still, floral. I asked her to tell me what the notes were. Am I the only person who asks these things? It felt like it. Finally she found a piece of paper that listed the notes. She read down the list, naming lots of flowers, which I pointed out, but still she insisted, no, they weren't the main notes, this is an ORIENTAL scent.

I thanked her, walked out of the store and pulled up Google on my phone. In a review, I learned:

. . . the name is misleading. Van Cleef & Arpels Oriens is not an oriental fragrance. This Eau de Parfum is reportedly intended to evoke “the ever-changing mystery and magic of the exotic silk route to Asia,” and it’s being billed as a “fruity floral chypre.” Created by perfumer Bernard Ellena, it features top notes of raspberry, black currant, and praline; middle notes of jasmine and fresh-cut white flowers; and a base of patchouli


In its opening phase, a candied orange note is most noticeable. The white florals of the fragrance’s heart, despite their jasmine-centered claim, are airy and not at all animalic. The base, which gradually emerges and hovers beneath the long-lasting fruit notes, is a soft, dry cocoa with just a whisper of spice. If you’re not a patchouli fan, don’t worry; the patchouli is discreet and mild. Nor, despite the Oriens press release’s description of this scent as a “fruity floral chypre,” does it register as a chypre. “Semi-gourmand fruity floral” would be a more accurate tag.

Now I don't have any fruity florals, but my goal was something not floral.

I walked back into the store, avoided the main perfume counter I was just at and went to the Chanel counter. Elisa Gabbert recommended the new Chanel Cristalle Eau Verte, a citrus-green. The Chanel saleswoman could also confirm this was new. When it comes to perfume all you need to know is how NEW is it. All you assholes wearing scents from last year are assholes. Apparently. This saleswoman also knew that when she wore this scent she received very many compliments. I think "I get a lot of compliments" means "everyone wants to fuck me." What else could it mean?

She also wanted to show me Chanel's new floral scent, but I declined, repeating that I'm was not considering florals this time. She snapped You don't like florals?!? It seemed the idea of diversifying one's perfume collection is as weird as wanting to know what ingredients are in the perfume.

I tried the Cristalle Eau Verte ("retains the “original honeysuckle accord” of Cristalle and adds magnolia--other notes: lemon, bergamot, neroli, jasmine, and abstract white flowers"). It was nice. I already had Oriens on my wrist, so I put the Cristalle on my elbow. It doesn't smell like anything I currently own. Chris really liked it. Later that evening at the Cheryl's Gone reading (Elisa Gabbert, Chris Tonelli, Chris Salerno, Julie Enszer), I went up to people and said: Smell my elbow which most interpreted as some perverted come-on or some sort of mean trick where I then break their noses and point out what fat assholes they are for smelling my elbow. Poets are so paranoid. Anyhow, all the men preferred the Chanel citrusy scent (who's the pervert now, gentlemen?).

The next day I ordered both perfumes on the the internet so I wouldn't have to go back and deal with perfume counter people. Yes, they're florals, but we're talking a fruity floral and a citrus-green floral and that's totally different.
I've been blogging elsewhere, mostly "introducing"

Presenting a poem by Shane McCrae at the Best American Poetry blog

Presenting a poem by Sawako Nakayasu at We Who Are About To Die

Presenting a poem by Neil De La Flor at We Who Are About To Die

Friday, May 14, 2010

I spent the afternoon gathering evidence proving No Tells', the authors' and my own legitimacy. This isn't the first time I've had to do so. Every so often somebody's livelihood depends on it. These situations tend to boil down to "So-in-so who holds my future in his sweaty palm says [insert poetry project] doesn't count because No Tell/Reb isn't legitimate because a) online, b) pod, c) micropress, d) not a contest (?!?!!!!), e) not affiliated with _____ f) Reb is total freakbutt, etc. If I don't make a convincing counter-argument, my career will be tug jobs in the B&N bathroom."

I know the game pretty well and as it turns out No Tell, the authors and I look pretty damn fine on paper. Like centerfold-bringing-a-tasty-milkshake-to-the-yard fine. We got enough of the grants, awards, nods by the right folks, mentions and reviews in the right places, the fancypant publications, all the bells and whistles. Yee-haw. Not that the people making these judgments really know anything about what any of that means. All they know is that they heard of the NAME and it's supposed to be prestigious or important. That's all they really want to know anyhow.

It's never: "I know the work and believe it to be shitty."

It's always: "They're doing it wrong."

No, not about the work, it's appearances that count.

This is why I have never applied for a single academic position and plan to never ever do so.

I really respect those who love and truly care about teaching, but I think artists pay a very high price to teach in an academic setting. Or at least a lot them seem to do from my vantage.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Charlie Orr writes about designing 2 book covers and an audio commercial for me at the BAP blog. I have been incredibly blessed with some of the most wonderful cover designers. Especially considering the peanuts I pay them. Or in Charlie's case, I'm not sure if I paid him at all. Definitely not for Pterodactyls or the audio. I gave him a kaleidoscope wrapped in pink fairy paper. He thought I was implying something, but honestly, it was the only non-Christmas paper I had in the house. He also might have misunderstood at first and thought the kaleidoscope was dildo.

I am forever misunderstood, even by those who understand me.

On the topic of perfume, here are some suggestions based on your astrological element. I'm a Capricorn (Earth), with Gemini rising (Air), and Virgo moon (Earth).

Earth signs like establishment scents and sedate florals. A Taurus or Capricorn feels enveloped in a peaceful aura of tranquil luxury and dignified standards when swathed in something officially classic. Don’t you think? And Virgoans never want to smell overpowering. They’re terrified of it. Better a whiff of oatmeal soap than to seem naff or worse.

Gideon was sick for most of last week, so I haven't yet gone on my perfume excursion. I am armed with last week's suggestions.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Save 10% on God Damsel and other No Tell titles

If you haven't purchased a copy of God Damsel, now is a good time. You can use coupon code: FLOWERS to save 10% at Lulu. This coupon code is good for ALL No Tell titles until May 30.

The books are also available at all the usual retail outlets (Barnes & Noble, Powells, Amazon, etc.)

Monday, May 3, 2010


As I mentioned here before, I'm one of the contributors for We Who Are About To Die.

Tonight I posted the first segment in an ongoing conversation with Hoa Nguyen.

Also, for the next FOUR months, I will be running the BAP Sunday poetry page. We originally agreed to three, but David Lehman was gracious enough to extend it.
Today was Kindergarten orientation.

I almost cried.


My baby has less than one month of preschool.

He's an inch away from being 4 foot.

He's dressing himself.

I mean, he's selecting his own outfits and accessorizing.

He wears his hat like that because that's how the "awesome guys" do.

Jesus, look at him!

It's getting close to the point where I'm going to have to stop blogging about him, cause he's almost reading.

How will you know that he threw up in front of the Robek's on Sunday?

You won't . . . and now I really am crying!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

my scents

I was going to post this over at Elisa's blog, but it's too long. Elisa is writing a perfume column at Open Letters Monthly.

I currently own 9 perfumes. I wish they came is smaller bottles because I like to buy different kinds. I end up throwing away old (half-full) bottles because they chemically breakdown. I had to throw away 3 bottles a few months ago, granted, they were each over 10 years old.

I generally stick to one scent for a while and move on to another, occasionally going back to the ones I really like.

From newest to oldest:

Lola (Marc Jacobs) - I bought this at the end of December 2009 with a Sephora gift card. It's what I usually wear now. I love the way this smells, but the scent fades quickly (despite the description claiming it's long-lasting). I'm annoyed by the over-the-top flower cap, which makes it difficult to pack on trips.
The description: The long-lasting, day-and-night scent opens with pink peppercorn, pear, and ruby red grapefruit. Blooming midnotes of rose, fuschia peony, and geranium make a feminine statement. Layers of vanilla, warm tonka bean, and creamy musk create a sensous drydown.

Idole d'Armani - I don't care for this. I'm not sure why I bought it (mid 2009). The salesman talked me into it because I said I liked jasmine. I should have returned it. I didn't. Does anyone want it? I only used it twice. If not, I will donate it the next time Purple Heart comes by.
The description: Idole d’Armani is a spicy floral developed by perfumer Bruno Jovanovic, and features notes of clementine, pear, ginger, davana, saffron, jasmine, loukoum rose, patchouli and vetiver.

Fresh Cannibis Rose - I did return this. I returned it the same day I received it in 2009. I couldn't find a sample anywhere, so I ordered it based on a very enthusiastic recommendation by someone I respected. It smells like a cigar's ass. A lactose-intolerant cigar who just ate a crate of ice cream and pizza. I'd rather sit next to someone who was wearing cat pee.
The description: An ultra-sensual and completely intoxicating floral counterpart to the highly popular Cannabis Santal Collection. Top notes burst with the captivating aroma of Bulgarian roses infused with pomegranate flower and Italian bergamot. An alluring blend of cannabis accord, sheer jasmine, and rich dark chocolate make the heart of this sultry scent truly intoxicating while base notes of white musk, patchouli, and oolong tea leave a lasting sensual finish.

Lavanila Vanilla Blossom - I traded in the above for this. This is OK. I wear it on days when I want something light. Also, it's one of of those natural perfumes, so supposedly I'm not poisoning myself when I put it on.
The description: An exotic blend of crushed orange blossom, rose, jasmine, and karo karounde petals warmed with the richness of nutmeg and Madagascar vanilla. Dangerously seductive, this flirtatious floral is unexpectedly clean and undoubtedly sophisticated.

White Musk (Body Shop) - I bought this on the same day as the above. Not sure why. I think it reminded me of high school so I must have been having a moment. It's not bad for a musk, but I don't really wear musk. I just squirted it on myself now and am thinking perhaps I'll wear it this summer at the beach.
The description: A comfortable and velvety female fragrance, dedicated to every woman and perfect for every moment and occasion. It opens with notes of ylang-ylang, galbanum and basil, followed by the heart of jasmine, rose, musk and lily,and settling at the base dominated by musk along with jasmine, rose, iris, amber, patchouli, vetiver, peach, oakmoss and vanilla.

Bvlgari Viole de Jasmin - This is one of two scents I wore almost exclusively in 2008 and 2009. It's beautiful.
The description: Innocent and feminine, with a delicate grace and sensibility, Voile de Jasmin is a new light and fresh scent to complement the white floral side of the Pour Femme fragrance. Living Jasminum Sambac, Italian Bergamot, Orange Blossom, Rosewood, Ylang-Ylang, Living Mimosa, Living Rose.

Bvlgari Rose Essential - This is the other scent I wore in 2008 and 2009 (and for part of 2007). It's probably my favorite. When I wear it men frequently tell me how good I smell.
The description: The ultimate in pure luxury, Rose Essentielle is a tribute to the world's most prestigious flower - the rose. The ultimate floral expression of luxury and absolute femininity, it is a rose-floral interpretation of the Pour Femme fragrance. Rose Prelude, Blackberry, Feuille de Violette, Living Mimosa, Jasminum Sambac, Patchouli, Bois de Gaiac.

Lolita Lempicka - This was my scent in 2005 and 2006. It's nice. This is my 2nd bottle (one of the few I actually finished). Unlike the rest, It's not categorized as FLORAL, it's WOODY. The only other time I purchased a 2nd bottle was in the late 90's with Bvlgari's Green tea (a CITRIS).
The description: An enchanting and alluring fragrance that gently balances the sweetness of ivy leaves and aniseed with delicate violet and iris root, and finishes with a smooth hint of vanilla and musk. This sensual fragrance is pure, light, and endearing. Ivy Leaves, Aniseed, Amarena Heart, Violets, Iris Roots, Vetiver, Tonka Bean, Vanilla, Musk.

Carolina (Carolina Herrera) - I bought this in 2004 after smelling an insert in a magazine. I wore it a bit in 2004, but seemed to have lost interest. I'm not sure if they still sell it. There's a newer one (I think) called Carolina Herrera. I find similar brand names like that to be confusing.
The description: A transparent effervescence of bitter orange, wild strawberry leaf, and cardamom in the top notes. The middle note is floral and sweet, with rose petals, pepper and berries and the base note is attractive and sensual with wood, natural vanilla, amber and transparent musk.

Organza (Givenchy) - I can't remember when I bought this, but I believe it was when I still worked for AOL (1994-1997) or shortly thereafter. It's never been culled because it still smells the way it's supposed to. Oh wait, I just squirted it on my arm and it smells funky. When I'm done typing this, it's going in the trash. If I remember correctly, this was my "evening" perfume. So it must have been strong. Ok, Google tells me this launched in 1996, so I probably bought it then or 1997. Hey, this means I have room for a new bottle!
The description: A crisp white floral fragrance with mossy woods undertones that give it an air of sharp sensuality. A heart of gardenia and jasmine is complemented by fresh green sap and a nutmeg, cedarwood and vanilla base. A spicy and fresh floral fragrance for her.

What does this say about me? Clearly I have a strong preference for FLORAL scents. I like rose, jasmine and vanilla. I'd like to diversify my perfumes, any suggestions?

Now I currently own 7 bottles of perfume, I just threw one away and am giving away another.