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.

[Chorus]
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 7, 2010

damsel poems in action, yes


I have 6 poems in the new issue of Action, Yes along with work by Stan Apps, Earl Babin, Amaranth Borsuk & Kate Durbin, Judson Hamilton, Evelyn Hampton, Mary Hickman, Christopher Higgs, Lacey Hunter, Jamie Iredell, Lucy Ives, Russell Jaffe, A D Jameson, Shane Jones, Garret Kalleberg, Pablo Larios, Janice Lee, Patrick Leonard, Kim Gek Lin Short, Sarah Mangold, Kristi Maxwell, Ian McCarty, RC Miller, Sara Mumolo, Jessica Newman, JoAnna Novak, by Aleksey Porvin, translated by Peter Golub, Christian Prigent, translated by Adrian Kien, and Jono Tosch


These poems are from my new book, God Damsel

I don't understand why you don't have this book yet, but it's not too late to get it.

Use coupon code: VACATION at Lulu to save 10%.

Stop pissing me off. Go buy it.

ur 10 fav words


The strange telling throughout Your Ten Favorite Words — encompassing both major and minor themes — embraces language’s ability to create wonder and capture truth. Livingston mines memory and the moment to capture her varying tones (as priest, healer, medic, or manic) depending on the poem and the context, which are both utterly unpredictable. Cutting through the poetic voice is the poet’s humor, lurking around every corner, around every one of your favorite words.

Craig Santos Perez reviews Your Ten Favorite Words at Jacket

You can buy the book here

Thursday, June 3, 2010

more elsewhere blogging

Presenting a poem by Rebecca Lindenberg at The Best American Poetry blog

Presenting a poem by Lynn Behrendt at The Best American Poetry blog

Presenting Paul Siegell’s wild life rifle fire book trailer and my fake history of Concrete Poetry at We Who Are About To Die

A conversation with Hoa Nguyen (part 2) at We Who Are About To Die

Presenting a poem by Peter Davis at We Who Are About To Die


Also, No Tells is running it's annual Recommended Summer Reading series throughout June. Each day different No Tell contributors share their selections. I always find these lists fascinating. You might too.

a post on nature

Did I ever tell you about that time I saw Charlie Jensen walking out of a Prada store on Fifth Ave in NYC?

Oh yes, I did.

I often have a nice time when I visit NYC, but I would loathe to live there. I'm always anxious to leave--for some of the reasons Charlie mentions and a whole bunch more. That goes for all cities. I'm not a city person. Not a country person either--the fantasy is house a deep in the woods. That must make me a forest person, a closet wood nymph. It would explain that eery Druid/Dryad dream that ended with me finding Daniel Pinchbeck frying organic bacon in my kitchen.

You know, you can't name your kid Forrest anymore. Forrest Gump ruined that for everybody.

In a couple of weeks Gideon and I are road tripping to the Shenandoah Valley. I can't begin to tell you how excited I am. Me, the boy, nature, no internet, a nice hotel to sleep in when we're through convening for the day--we're totally gonna kill something with our hands and eat it. Maybe a cricket?

Speaking of bugs, I dreamed of bug spray again last night. I'm forgetting most of the dream, but I remember spraying for fleas around a house. I found a bunch of them on a table and sprayed that. Then I was confronted by a man-sized flea. I used the rest of the spray on him. I wondered if it would take effect over time because he was still standing. He was a really friendly, chatty flea. He laid down on the sofa to rest a bit. I told him I'd be back and left wondering if he'd die or not. I wasn't sure if I used enough poison and I also wasn't sure whether or not I should kill him. I mean, yeah, he's a giant flea, but he's also quite affable.

Are there any upsides to keeping around a giant flea?

I suppose I should be meditating on this.