Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Guess the Dream Poet - Part 5 (2014)

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

* * *

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

Guess the Dream Poet - Part 4 (2014)

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

* * *

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

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

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

Guess the Dream Poet - Part 3 (2014)

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

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

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

Guess the Dream Poet - Part 2 (2014)

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

* * *

I'm sitting with a family. The boy is just learning how to play his trumpet. The father is lying on the same sofa that I'm sitting on. He's ____ and he keeps kicking me, pushing me with his feet and legs. I tell him to stop, but he won't. I'm getting angry, like I'm going to do something back to him soon if he doesn't stop.

* * *

I'm on a dark bus sitting next to ____. Somebody comes by and gets his/her name wrong. ____ is very offended. I don't really remember ____ name either. It starts with a J (Jete?), but the person said something that starts with a G. Getting the G and J mixed up seems to be what offends him/her the most.

* * *

____ is here sitting at a table with my family. I join them. My family is telling ____ writer-related stories. They're making fun of how I'm so to-the-point and interested in getting the facts right. An aunt makes a comment about Paris and the lights of the Eiffel Tower. I say, so basically you're saying I was an asshole to you in Paris. We all laugh. My grandmother tells a story about how she made a comment about some kind of ancient metal engraved object and how I pointed out all the inaccuracies of her comments, the dates, my birthday and dismissed everything she claimed with facts. We laugh although it's a little embarrassing to hear them talk about me as a writer.

* * *

I'm napping in a toddler car seat. ____ sits on top of me. He/she hardly weighs anything, so I don't say anything. Then his/her girlfriend climbs on and together they're too heavy. I tell them to get off. ____ tells his/her girlfriend that I'm infirm implying I'm old and falling apart. I tell people about this.

* * * 

A book by ____ has won an award. A blonde FoxNews anchorwoman aired a very offensive, racist and sexist segment on the book that upset people. Maybe she was trying to be funny, but she wasn't. She loses her job over it. She had poor judgement on the whole thing.

I have the book. I'm cutting out segments of poems and putting in newer editions of the poems. Part way through I realize that the version of the book I have is older, from the 80s or something. It's won a Pushcart or something, but the version everyone is talking about is the newer version, a selected. My version is called something like "Magic" but the newer version is something like "Capital Magic." I wish I didn't mess with the poems now, but it's too late.

* * *

I'm trying to wind up ____ to say something obnoxious about poetry. He/she says that he/she's watching everything like nuclear reactors, but right now, nothing is going off. I make some jokes and then leave.

Guess the Dream Poet - Part 1 (2014)

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

* * *

I'm at a conference hotel. G has has beaten _____ to death. ____'s body lays next to the hotel door. My plan is to pack up ____'s things and have him/her be found somewhere not related to the hotel.

G has killed ____ a different way. G poisoned some kind of sticker that ____ put on like a mustache on his/her lips. I put a similar sticker on my lips, knowing this, but mine wasn't poisoned. In this scenario, I'm going to leave ____'s body and his/her stuff at the hotel to be found. I'll act like that when we left, he/she was still alive.

* * *

I'm taking a bunch of improptu/unstaged pictures of people walking around. I focus on four people. One is _Poet 1_. I'm say that I never post photographs of people that I believe are unflattering and if someone disagrees and wants me to remove a picture, I always do. In this case I'm thinking of _poet 2_ and _Poet 3_.

* * *

I see ____ bitching out a woman for not being a very good friend. When the woman walks away, I go up to her. We walk up a flight of stairs and I explain how I have to work with ____ and how challenging that is because ____ won't speak to me. We get to long wall, sort of like the wall of China, where people are walking to see the Aurora Borealis. This must be where I thought was too cold for me to be.

* * *

I'm locked in a bathroom. ____ just gave birth. The baby is still in sac and in the toilet. I pull the baby out of the toilet. It's a girl. She starts to breathe and seems very calm. I pull her out of the sac and she cries. I look for a towel to wrap her in. I need to get her out of this locked bathroom.

* * *

I'm a reunion with _Poet 1_ and _Poet 2_. _Poet 2_ is drunk and speaking incoherently about his books. I try to explain what he/she is talking about. I look around and notice that the bar is clearing out.

The Dream Poet Anthology - 2014

Below are the names of poets who made appearances or were mentioned in my dreams during 2014. 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. My psyche seems to be highly influenced by social media these days. Maybe I follow you on Twitter? Maybe somebody I follow retweeted one of your tweets? Maybe you post really obnoxious Facebook updates that haunt me late at night? 

Or maybe it means something else completely. Who can say with any certainty what a dream means?

Just don't ask me for details of the dream. Seriously, don't. Every year people disregard this note and ask me. It's usually people who appeared in my dreams as corpses. So for the sake of everyone's mental health, I'm not telling you. 

2014 Contributors:

Deborah Ager, Abdul Ali, John Ashbery, Jennifer Barnes, Sandra Beasley, Russell Bennetts, April Bernard, Ted Berrigan, Tara Betts, Julie Bloemeke, Anne Boyer, Ana Božičević, Lily Brown, Blake Butler, George Gordon Byron, Alex Cigale, Lucille Clifton, Joshua Clover, Shanna Compton, Nicole Cooley, John Cotter, Bruce Covey, Robert Creeley, Mark Cugini, Jon Dallas, Jereme Dean, Toi Derricotte, Michelle Detorie, Sharon Dilworth, Thomas Sayers Ellis, Jill Alexander Essbaum, Tarfia Faizullah, 
James Franco, Elisa Gabbert, Roxane Gay, Amy Gerstler, Bernadette Geyer, Tyler Gobble, Kenny Goldsmith, Tod Goldberg, Nada Gordon, Noah Eli Gordon, Lea Graham, Kaplan Harris, Stacey Harwood, Brenda Hillman, David McDonald, Yona Harvey, Terrance Hayes, Matthew Henrikson, Alan King, Amy King, Collin Kelley, Charles Jensen, Alden Jones, Steven Karl, Wendi Kaufman, Alan King, Rauan Klassnik, Jennifer L. Knox, John Edward Lawson, Sueyeun Juliette Lee, David Lehman, Patricia Lockwood, Rebecca Loudon, Dora Malech, Tony Mancus, Joe Massey, Monica McClure, David McDonald, Gina Myers, Micki Myers, Alice Notley, Hoa Nguyen, Ed Ochester, Danielle Pafunda, Camille Paglia, G.M. Palmer, Craig Santos Perez, Jessica Piazza, Vanessa Place, PF Potvin, Nate Pritts, Liam Rector, DJ Renegade, Adam Robinson, Steve Roggenbuck, Kathleen Rooney, Carly Sachs, Allyson Salazar, Metta Sama, Zachary Schomburg, Danniel Schoonebeek, Laura Ellen Scott, Rion Amilcar Scott, Kim Gek Lin Short, Sandra Simonds, Laura Sheahen, Laurel Snyder, Dale Smith, Rod Smith, Brian Spears, Nicole Steinberg, Jill Stengel, Sheila Squilante, Art Taylor, Brent Terry, Maureen Thorson, Tony Tost, Sarah Vap, Rich Villar, Fritz Ward, Betsy Wheeler, Joshua Marie Wilkinson, Dustin Williamson, L. Lamar Wilson, Walt Whitman, Sam Witt, Alyssa Wolf, Rebecca Wolff, C. Dale Young, Dean Young, Slavoj Žižek

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I'm a writer, but not a poet. Why am I included on a poet list?
A: Simmer down and accept the compliment.

Q: Can I submit my work for next year's anthology?
A: This anthology only accepts psychic submissions. Submit to my unconscious and perhaps you will be allowed in.

Q: Does my appearing on this list mean that you are obsessed with or stalking me? 
A: Possibly. 

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

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 2014. Resolve in 2015 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.

Mad Poet Libs:

Guess the Dream Poet - Part 5 (2014)

Past anthologies:

The Dream Poet Anthology 2013

The Dream Poet Anthology 2012

The Dream Poet Anthology 2011

The Dream Poet Anthology 2010

The Dream Poet Anthology 2009

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas, Hope You Like Self Absorbed Rubbish!

I turn 42 on Thursday. Time flies when you're ruling the world.

So here's a little write up by Rauan over at Queen Mob's Teahouse about a review of Bombyonder:

(sighhhhhhhhh) I wish this review had been written about my work. Being compared to Stein and Burroughs! And, really, the reviewer seems to be harboring in his/her over-the-top disgust a kind of admiration and fascination for the work. It’s like the prude in him/her doesn’t want to fall prey to the magic of “ALL those acid induced ideas” (not to mention the abundance of all the “cock” and “penis.”)

Speaking of Queen Mob, I've written two new Dreamsplainings, one for Matthew Hittinger and the other for Kirsten Kaschock.

If you want to read Bombyonder (or at least the first part) with a soundtrack, well you can do that here.

Was informed via the comments on this blog that I made 101 at "Scarriet's Hot 100" which means I'm sorta hot, right?

Yep, I still got it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Eileen Tabios Reviews Bombyonder in GALATEA RESURRECTS #23

I want to say: the above excerpt (like the rest of the book) strikes me as the kind of stuff that can be written by someone who doesn’t suffer fools well.  But that’s just me having fun.  What I should note is that my focus in genre stems from hearing stuff about the work's genre—what is it?—prior to its release and before I came to read it.  One of the blurbers, Lindsay Hill, even says it is “its own genre.”  But actually, I easily recognize a genre for this book.  It’s the howl
I sense the howl because one of the book’s biggest strengths is voice (yep, voice the old-fashioned way).  The strength of the voice is not that it’s a howl but that it stays strong and consistent from beginning to end—indeed, it’s not just consistent but ratchets up in intensity as one goes deeper into the book.  The author was “on”—in that space of the author being the pen rather than the one wielding the pen for words that alchemized their own urgency for existence—as she wrote out this project—but she was on for an entire 343 pages and that’s impressive. 
Howl.  Wilderness.   More actually, wild.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Dreamsplaining at Queen Mob's Teahouse

Another recurring feature I'm doing at Queen Mob's Teahouse is Dreamsplaining which I introduce here:

Bored with traditional profile pieces & interviews? Me too! Here I will introduce writers and artists via their psyches by sharing one of their dreams and then explaining it. The unconscious doesn’t lie or bloviate, so we can bypass all the bullshit and get to know these misunderstood souls in-depth and truly understand them, better than they understand themselves, thanks to my top-notch dream analysis skills.

My first misunderstood soul who I set straight is Simeon Berry and there's plenty more to follow. My job has just begun.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tarot Spat at Queen Mob's Tea House

The first installment of Tarot Spat is up at the newly launched Queen Mob's Tea House. This "spat" is between Elisa Gabbert and myself. You definitely want to know what the higher powers have to say about that.

And you definitely want to make Queen Mob's Tea House part of your daily reading.


Fer sur.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Rauan Klassnik Works His Magic on Bombyonder

Rauan created several Newhives based on Bombyonder. It's worth the clicking. I promise. Be sure to have your sound turned on.

I'm feeling particularly blessed these past few weeks. Folks have been wildly supportive and generous in regard to Bombyonder. In some cases I'm not even sure how to convey the level of my gratitude.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Tonight: Little Salon 6

It's happening again — this time at an amazing Takoma Park home that is a work of art itself. Get ready for: installation art by Ignacio Joseph Orzal and Rodrigo Carazas Portal; Bach and Haydn performed by the LeDroit Chamber Players; mixed-genre narrative by Reb Livingston; and fiction by Tim Denevi. And if you want to stick around afterward, we can all have a drink around the bonfire (weather permitting). 

Doors open at 7pm for the installation art and socializing. So swing by as close to 7pm as you can. The performances will begin at 8pm. As always, BYO your favorite B. 

And please pad your pockets with a $10+ donation — your support lets us keep the show going and thank the performers for giving us an incredible night. 

Plenty of street parking available and a 20-minute walk from the Takoma Park Metro. If you'd like to car pool or offer rides from your hood, feel free to leave a note on this page or email

Thursday, November 6, 2014

SPD Recommends Bombyonder

Small Press Distribution recommends Bombyonder along with some other great books, like After-Cave by Michelle Detorie, Ending in Planes by Ruth Ellen Kocher and Bribery by Steven Zultan among others.

Check out the whole list here.

If you want to support small press publishing, ordering directly from SPD is by far preferable to ordering from other retail outlets (Amazon, B&N, etc.). Retail outlets take a substantial cut and often the presses clear only pennies from these sales. I know I've banged this drum before, but it's worth repeating.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Queen Mob's Teahouse

There's a new online arts magazine around the corner called Queen Mob's Teahouse founded by Rauan Klassnik and Russell Bennetts. I'm one of the contributors and here's my introduction.

Other contributors include: Mary-Kim Arnold, Lucy Biederman, Edia Connoley (Dublin, Ireland), Paul Cunningham, Donald Dunbar, Jeremy Fernando, P.E. Garcia (Little Rock, Arkansas), Penny Goring, Russell Jaffe, Erik Kennedy (New Zealand), Tiffany Midge, Rachel Milligan, Natalia Panzer,  Gary J. Shipley, Laura Warman, Rion Amilcar Scott, M. Lopes da Silva, Russel Swensen (Parts Unknown), Sean Tatol and Daniel Tutt

Friday, October 31, 2014

Where to Get Bombyonder

$15 | 346 pages | print | ISBN: 978-0-9907582-0-4

$7.99 | ebook | ISBN: 978-0-9907582-1-1

Apple Bookstore | Ebook
Smashwords | Ebook
Kobo | Ebook
Indigo | Ebook

Thursday, October 2, 2014

"Dingbat. Assbeast. Boomba. And, for some reason, ‘vomit’ and ‘penis'."

While this is clearly a negative review, I consider it complimentary (despite the reviewer's intention). I do feel bad that she felt obligated to finish reading it and review it when she clearly disliked it so much, but I very much appreciated that she did.

There are parts that seem to tell a quite interesting story – for instance, the book starts and ends with a father creating a ‘kind’ bomb, upon which the daughter murders the father – but this narrative is too fragmented, too much interspersed with incomprehensible lists and separate poems, and this makes it impossible for the reader to follow the narrator. The work contains shrapnels of keen insights, but they are written in too dream-like a manner: these insights appear within a jumble of incoherent messages, the narrator skipping from one to another without differentiating between the profound and the ridiculous. There are words that are repeated so often you’ll start either loving or detesting them. Dingbat. Assbeast. Boomba. And, for some reason, ‘vomit’ and ‘penis'.

Read the entire review here.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Rebecca Loudon on Bombyonder

Rebecca Loudon generously wrote this:

“I loved you against all odds and algorithms.”
~Bombyonder, Reb Livingston

In Bombyonder (Bitter Cherry books), Reb Livingston is not afraid to name the monsters that crowd and clog our neural pathways. Bombyonder is a book devoted to language, to deconstructing the 21st Century dream, a pink page-a-day diary that leaks secrets and secretions, the saddest animal, the flattened science of the flesh. Bombyonder is a holy scream into the blasted slag heap. It is love and love’s conjoined twin, hate, in no uncertain terms. It’s a terror, a stupid white wedding, a stand up comic that barks like a seal, a black Bakelite telephone ringing and ringing in the deep night when you think you are safe. Livingston’s language tangles, weaves, dances and involves itself in deep play. There is discomfort this book. It is not a lullaby or a watercolor heron flying into the night. Livingston upturns every rock in the tide pool and she doesn't pull her punches. I found myself holding my breath as I read. Bombyonder shoots out of the most tender cannon you could possibly imagine. Be careful when you read it. You will become splendid. You will bleed.
Rebecca Loudon 


I might have a different type of review to share on Monday. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Special Pre-order Sale for Bombyonder eBook

If you prefer to read on an eReader, you can pre-order the Bombyonder eBook for only $5.99 (until October 14). After that the price goes up to $7.99. Not only do you save money and receive the eBook as soon as its available, pre-orders will increase the book's ranking thereby making it more visible to customers at these retailers.

Pre-order on Amazon

Pre-order on Barnes & Noble

Pre-order on iBookstore

Pre-order on Smashwords

If you prefer to read a print book, you can pre-order Bombyonder directly from Coconut Books for $15 (free shipping). The best deal over there is to subscribe to the entire season and receive all six titles from Coconut's Fall/Winter 2014 catalog:

Invisible Reveille by Carina Finn
The Dead Girls Speak in Unison by Danielle Pafunda
Soft Threat by Alexis Pope
Slice by Arielle Greenberg
Bombyonder by Reb Livingston

Sunday, September 7, 2014

God Damsel is a Free Ebook

In anticipation of Bombyonder, God Damsel is a FREE ebook for the rest of September. Use Code: RS84V to read it on your Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, iPad, on your laptop, in your web browser. How ever you want.

Just because fairy tales don’t exist doesn’t mean we don’t need them—need their promise of a happily ever after—need their heightened, fanciful language to infuse our flat, modern vernacular with pomp and poof and oompf—but need especially their infusion of momentous meaning into our seemingly pointless actions and humdrum adult lives. Through that hole of need enters Reb Livingston’s stunning God Damsel: a pyrotechnic, syntactical orgy wherein the speaker’s both creator and victim of a world that mirrors our own in disappointment and loss. She’s a creator of her own language, yet a victim of the limitations of all language. The poems are like the bizarre, hybrid-mutant animals slithering around the island of Dr. Moreau—cross-breeds of humor, whimsy, sharp intelligence, and deep—near unspeakable—sadness. I can hear Henry Darger’s Vivian Girls eerily reciting from God Damsel, like a primer, in unison. Do avoid the dreaded Woe-Dodo, and take a stroll through the puffy pink clouds (careful to avoid the inky-icky black pits) of God Damsel-land. 

—Jennifer L. Knox

Reb Livingston (hymnographer, crier of laments, wry chronicler of blockages, seepages and Thingamabobs) combs the spiritual runes, tunes and ruined stockings that remain after traffic between the sexes. God Damsel is a fractured, fractious and funny allegory which just might get biblical on your ass. Check it out.

—Tom Beckett

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Preorder Bombyonder

You can pre-order my novel, Bombyonder, from Coconut Books along with new titles from Carina Finn, Danielle Pafunda, Alexis Pope, Tyler Gobble and Arielle Greenberg.

Or better yet, subscribe to the 2014 Fall/Winter catalog and get them all for just $65. That's over a 30% savings.

One sentence novel synopsis: Lady swallows a bomb in pill form (invented by her father), barfs up a dead bird and embarks on an excavation layered with murder, sexual politics, patriarchy, matricide and ancestral torment along with a parrot-faced cat girl, a boy on a donkey, a terrifyingly handsome lover/golem, an unconceived brother, a straight-texting friend who lives in a box inside a box and Medusa.

Excerpts from Bombyonder:
Eleven Eleven (reprinted in Redux)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

I'll miss you Wendi

Wendi Kaufman passed away yesterday after a long battle with cancer. The Washingtonian posted a brief piece about Wendi. For those of you who read my Cackling Jackal blog, you may remember her as The Happy Booker.

Wendi was funny, warm and incredibly generous. Not just with other writers, but with everyone who crossed her path. She often volunteered her time to worthy causes. Truly someone who gave to her community. She was a huge support to me early on by giving me a monthly poetry column and the space to write about whatever I wanted, however I wanted. She went out of her way to connect me with other writers and literary folks. Simply because she was a wonderful, selfless person. This was something she did for countless writers.

Also, Wendi was a talented fiction writer herself. Her first collection of stories, Helen on 86th Street and Other Stories, from Stillhouse Press is coming out this Fall. You should pre-order it.

The last time I saw Wendi was two summers ago, she was in remission and positively beaming. She talked about her new appreciation for her health, the changes she made in her life and how good it felt not to be sick anymore. Then a few weeks later I heard from a neighbor that her cancer returned. I didn't want to believe it. No, no, Wendi overcame cancer, I insisted.

Wendi is survived by her husband and their two teenage sons.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

3 Good Books

Here I suggest "3 Good Books" on Oracles and Dreams at Push Pull Books.

And lots of other good book suggestions where that came from.

Speaking of oracles, the Bibliomancy Oracle now offers over 2500 prophecies.

Friday, August 8, 2014

And the final Bombyonder blurb is . . .

Bombyonder is a book of beautiful ancestors, not least of which is Gertrude Stein. Like Stein, Reb Livingston is concerned with large and small disruptions: small disruptions of the sentence, large disruptions of the world. The language is volatile, gleaming, and round. It goes off when you least expect it.
— Patricia Lockwood, author of Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals



Bombyonder comes out in October from Bitter Cherry Books.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Blurb for Bombyonder

Some kind of war happened at some time or another and continued for quite some time to come. So begins Bombyonder, Reb Livingston’s blistering, kaleidoscopic, post-bomb-blast shrapnel-storm of a book. Bombs, masks, machinery, birds buried at the bottoms of women, emerge and recede in the blistering landscape. You ride in a vehicle with a thousand gears, each ratcheting the velocity upward. You will encounter Mrs. Butterworth, Home Depot, Rapunzel, Facebook, Leona Helmsley and countless others in a blur of narratives, dreams, texts and diary entries. When you reach for your seat belt, which you will, you will come up with Medusa’s snakes in your clenched hands. But Bombyonder is not merely a scathing, slicingly funny assemblage. Livingston devises a pulsing, haywire logic that somehow rivets the parts to each other and the reader to the page. Through the marvel of her language, the book becomes a shimmering whole; a miracle met like the first mirror. Bombyonder transcends any sense of “experimentation,” and occupies, essentially, its own genre. I came from a long line of fuses Livingston’s central character reports. Leave your cardboard containers at the door. Bring your own oxygen. You cannot be ready or more ready. The narrator tells us: Between a gauntlet of opposing dogs, she walked between two lines.This was her path. Livingston has delivered a fabulous, mind bending book. Honestly, I do not know how she survived the writing of it.
— Lindsay Hill, author of Sea of Hooks

Monday, July 28, 2014

Reading in Toronto Last Week

with David Need & Sonia Di Placido at Hoa Nguyen's & Dale Smith's home.

Boog City Festival

Hey NYC folks -- I'll be reading at Boog City Festival on Monday, August 4 along with a bunch of rad poets. The reading starts at 6pm and has two musical acts. Hope to see you there.

MONDAY. AUGUST 4, 6:00 P.M. 
$5 suggested
Unnameable Books
600 Vanderbilt Ave. (bet. Prospect Place/St. Marks Avenue)
Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
Directions: 2, 3 to Grand Army Plaza,
C to Clinton-Washington avenues, Q to 7th Avenue

6:00 p.m. Laura A. Warman
6:15 p.m. Rachel Adams
6:30 p.m. Gillian Devereux
6:45 p.m. Elinor Nauen
7:00 p.m. Sueyeun Juliette Lee
7:15 p.m. Clinical Trials (music)

7:45 p.m. Break

7:55 p.m. Reb Livingston
8:10 p.m. Katy Bohinc
8:25 p.m. Fitz Fitzgerald
8:40 p.m. Joanna Penn Cooper
8:50 p.m. Joe Yoga (music)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Blurbs for Bombyonder

I'm not sure if blurbs mean a damn or not, but I'm super-thrilled with the first two that have just come in for Bombyonder.

"Bomb-pills, birthed birds, and the scorched Jacob’s Ladder of a story-stoked neural brinkdom—Bombyonder is a gestalt of grim and Grimm. The mind as bombsight. The mind as timebomb. The prose products that singe this portrait of the psyche burning are tooled like circuitry on a dysfunctional motherboard. Except funnier. Livingston’s unnamed protagonist—call her Psyche, Cogito, Dingbat, or even Carry—is endearing in her absurd quest for self-improvement. This is your brain on Bombyonder. We should all eat bombs and hack into our own Hera journeys. “
— Kim Gek Lin Short, author of China Cowboy

"I hope the world after the apocalypse looks a lot like Bombyonder: deliciously fragmented, breathtakingly poetic, and hellishly funny. And did I mention the dragon? Reb Livingston’s new novel is completely unique and utterly satisfying. I absolutely loved this book.”
— Tommy Zurhellen, author of Nazareth, North Dakota

Hunter S Thompson & I Take a Stroll Through Toronto

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bombyonder at APR & God Damsel at B&N

Some selections from Bombyonder are in the July/August issue of the American Poetry Review:

What needed to be done needed to be done and this now would be a time for a renovation, reboot, an inspirational quote, pee break, an appointment and attention to that which still needed our attention.

The things that we lost: a feather, an orb, parrot, cat, donkey, status, privacy, Heath Ledger, our lice.

Reflection brought the freeze, I looked and it all stopped, I counted, I cried, I preserved, I slept, I woke practically a reptile.

In this issue there's also work by Lucia Perillo, Denise Duhamel, Charlie Smith, Marcus Jackson, W.S. Merwin, Amy Gerstler, Mira Rosenthal, Jennifer Grotz, Tony Hoagland, Lesley Valdes, Grant Clauser, Arielle Greenberg, Amy Small-McKinney, Bhisham Bherwani, Pamela Sutton and Laurence Lieberman.

* * *

If you buy your ebooks from Barnes & Noble, God Damsel is now available. It's also available at Smashwords and Amazon.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Interview at BAP blog

illustration by Nin Andrews

Nin Andrews & I chat about No Tell, The Bibliomancy Oracle and my upcoming novel, Bombyonder, at Best American Poetry:

NA:  You have a new book called Bombyonder coming out?   Could you say a few words about it?  Provide an excerpt?

RL: Sure, it’s a novel. In the beginning I called it “Psychic Memoir” but people took that to mean it was a memoir of a psychic’s life. It’s also poetry. Here we go with labels again. Selections from Bombyonder have been published as fiction, novel excepts, poems and hybrid-texts. Whatever the editor wanted to call it, I said OK. But we’re calling the book a novel to lure new readers. Like when you sneak vegetables into a kid’s smoothie without his knowledge. He’s drinking broccoli! Don’t tell him that.

Bombyonder is about a woman who swallows a bomb in pill form (invented by her father) and the psychic fracturing that follows.

From Bombyonder:
The unplanned devised a plan to decide what was important and what was unimportant. Passed out the straws and realized they were one short. By luck or accident this was something that happened all unto itself. Perhaps it was a pregnant plan performing atrocities from bed.

It was about taking a stand.

And about shoes. I lost mine, then stepped on something sharp. On this hill even the grass was sharp and cracked.

Did I bleed?

Did it matter?

Dyeable shoes making do in a shit economy. Drab shoes. Sample shoes. Seasonal. Heeled. Sparkled. Sneaks. Tying on the discounted. Discounts for the hoard. You couldn’t discount how his political process creeped out his guests but nobody wants to be rude to the guy providing the dinner and booze. They all decided to keep things light. This is what they agreed. They will not think about pictures of his penis either angry nor sated.

What penis?

No penis to see here.


The pregnant carried weight. The pregnant had to go. Wobbly never won a beauty pageant.
Out-of-sight and off the scale.

A cart full of discounts and grimaces making way to higher ground. Maybe there was a flood coming or maybe I was there for the view or maybe I was taking my stand at a very reasonable price, albeit one with blisters.

Friday, June 20, 2014

God Damsel the Ebook

For less than 1/3 the price of the print book, my second poetry collection, God Damsel, is available as an ebook. Only $4.99.

It's available at Amazon and Smashwords (in all versions, epub, mobi, pdf, etc.). It'll be available at B&N, Kobo, Apple Store and most of the usual suspects in the coming days.

Since most of the poems have short lines or are prose, the formatting is good, so it's more than an acceptable way to read the book. I've checked it on several eReaders.

My novel, Bombyonder, will be coming out in October and will be available in both print and ebook. I recently saw a mock-up for the cover design and I'm quite excited. After all this time, it's just around the corner.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

from the Cackling Jackal Vault

Since this one relates to what I just posted:

Found # 2 - My Going Away Card Signed by AOL Co-workers (circa 1997)

"Reb, we will certainly miss your pessimistic face. Just kidding!"

Um, no you weren't. (1)


(1) No, they really weren't.

from the Cackling Jackal Vault


Dear Substitute Pilates Instructor, (1)

Tell me what to do with my legs, arms, hands, feet, back and butt. Tell me to lift my toes, wrap my thigh muscles, bend my elbows. Tell me to look forward. Tell me to stop shrugging my shoulders. You're the boss. I submit.

But don't tell me to smile. That's the one muscle I get to fully to decide what to do with. I'm concentrating on all my various parts. As a busy mom, I have not a second to spare on a smile. I have something called a "powerhouse" that I'm supposed to be engaging. Times like these, I must not be distracted with frivolities. (2)

And for that matter, where does anyone get off telling anyone else to smile? Nothing makes me want to stick a shank in some guy's gut faster than when a random stranger approaches and tells me to smile. Fuck you. What's next, telling me what to do with my uterus? (3)


My smile is my domain. My smile is sincere and true. Or I'm trying to trick you into being at ease and liking me. But that's my call. I decide when I'm false. You decide when I half-assed my elephant and whether or not I need to do it again.

Little Ms. Frowny Pants with the Tight Hamstrings (4)


(1) Eventually I returned to yoga. Pilates was too much like going to the gym. Loud and harsh. Not for me.

(2) Yoga instructors seem to want me to smile too, although at least they don't say "smile." Sometimes they ask me if I'm OK. Just shut up and teach. I'll let you know if I got a problem I care to share with the class.

(3) I feel even stronger about this now than I did back 2008. Seriously. Unless you're snapping my picture, don't ever tell me to smile. Actually, even if you're taking my photograph, don't tell me to smile. Just don't do it.

(4) Goddamn hamstrings.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Recent Book Booty

Change Machine by Bruce Covey (Noemi Press)
Black Peculiar by Khadijah Queen (Noemi Press)
End of the sentimental journey by Sarah Vap (Noemi Press)
The Nightyard by Stephanie Anderson (Noemi Press)
Incidents of Scattering by Karen Lepri (Noemi Press)
Guardians of the Secret by Lila Zemborain (translated by Rosa Alcala) (Noemi Press)

]Exclosures[ by Emily Abendroth (Ahsahta Press)

Fixation: Zhou B Art Center & PoetsArtists Magazine (Issue #54 April 2014) curated by Sergio Gomez & Didi Menendez

A Dictionary of Symbols by J. E. Cirlot (Welcome Rain Publishers)
Dream Tending: Awakening to the Healing Power of Dreams by Stephen Aizenstat (Spring Journal)
The Dream and Its Amplification edited by Nancy Swift Furlotti & Erel Shalit (Fisher King Press)
The Gnostic 3 edited by by Andrew Phillip Smith (Bardic Press)
A Book of Surrealist Games edited by Mel Gooding & Alistair Brotchie (Shambhala)
The Magician's Companion: A Practical and Encyclopedic Guide to Magical and Religious Symbolism by Bill Whitcomb & Bil Castine (Illustrator) (Llewellyn Worldwide)

Locke and Key, Volume 4: Keys to the Kingdom by Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez (Artist) (IDW Publishing)
Saga, Volume 3 (Saga #13-18) by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples (Illustrations) (Image Comics)

A Guide to Being Born by Ramona Ausubel (Penguin)
The Red Book: A Reader's Edition by C. G. Jung, John Peck (Translator), Mark Kyburz (Translator), Sonu Shamdasani (Editor), Sonu Shamdasani (Translator) (Norton, W. W. & Company)
The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan W. Watts (Knopf Doubleday)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

from the Cackling Jackal Vault

FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2008 (1)

One of those mornings when Gideon didn't want to do anything. Didn't want to get dressed. Didn't want to sit on the potty. Didn't want breakfast. Didn't want to kiss mommy. Didn't want to go to camp.

Finally I came up with something that he wanted to do.

Do you want to get locked in a box? (2)(3)

Yes, he most certainly wanted to get locked in a box. So I helped him get ready to be locked in a box. I helped him get dressed and served him breakfast so he could be locked in a box cause there's no food when you're locked in a box.

I drove him to speech camp, where they would lock him in a box if he asked to be locked in a box, but he had to be sure to ask.

Thank God he can't talk. (4)


(1) I double-checked with G and he's AOK with my reposting these old posts about him as long as I make it clear that these are old posts, not current ones. So note the date, people!

(2) Not sure how that one popped into my head, "locked in a box" must have been floating around in my subconscious for a while.

(3) I would never lock G in a box. I don't have one big enough.

(4) G can and does talk now. A lot. Like so very much. Like he has to make up for early years of lost talking time. And then all the other lost years of all the other speech-delayed children of the world.

from the Cackling Jackal Vault

From 2004-2009 I had a blog called Home-Schooled by a Cackling Jackal. I closed it down five years ago and started this blog for a variety of reasons. One reason was that I was tired of writing what I felt were becoming the same recycled posts about publishing. I felt like I was in a rut and wanted to write somewhere that felt like a fresh start. I wanted to separate myself more as a writer, something I felt was overshadowed by my role as a publisher. I did that here for a little while before, like a lot of bloggers around 2010, I let things sputter out. Part of that was the growing popularity of Facebook and Twitter. Another part was that I lost my passion for blogging, much like I lost my passion for publishing. Passion is a funny, fickle thing.

Another issue was that one of my main sources of "material" was getting to an age where I needed to be more careful and thoughtful what I wrote about him. At age 6 he asked that if he didn't approve beforehand the post or picture, he wanted me to only use his initial, G, instead of his name. Fair request. I also decided that I wasn't going to write anything about him that he might consider embarrassing. He's not embarrassed by what I wrote about him as a baby or preschooler, but he's 9 years old now & current anecdotes of a more personal nature feel off limits. So while G still makes the occasional appearance or mention here, it's not the same level as before.

Luckily we now have a dog named Loki who can't read and has plenty of bowel movements to write about. 4 times a day! And yes, we're feeding him the expensive, no filler dog food recommended by the vet. That little guy is just FULL of shit.

I too was starting to feel exposed and vulnerable even though I never wrote anything I wasn't comfortable sharing. It was more the position I found (put?) myself in. Despite what some people (who didn't know me) thought, I left a great deal of my life off the blog. But I suppose blogging about anything personal opens the door for some to consider you open season for whatever projected madness they come up. It started to get to me.

What I didn't recognize when I stopped blogging was how conducive it was to my own creative process. Writing regularly for an audience, no matter how casually or off-the-cuff, kept me in better writing shape. Writing just flowed better when I regularly blogged.

Anyhow, C.M. Mayo recently wrote about her 8 years blogging and included Cackling Jackal on her list of memorable blogs saying it was her "all-time fave." Even though the blog has been dormant for 5 years and for several years (until today) offline, people do still mention it to me.

So I thought it might be fun from time to time to repost here an old post from the good ole days of poetry blogging with a little commentary. I'll start with a short one:

Letter to Sam (1)
Yeah, I never painted a pumpkin with you either, etc. You see where this is going.

Recently I had a conversation about how opposites were once the same thing before they split and became opposites. (2) The goal is not to pick a side, but to balance the two, let the two's strengths offset one another's weaknesses. The person I was speaking with brought up the play Wicked as an example. You gave me the book as a gift years ago.(3) I never read it because it was a novel and I'm better than that.(4) Hearing this person describe it made me feel like I missed an important opportunity. Then I remembered that I still have the book and I still know how to read. It's never too late, Sam. (5)


(1) Sam is a good friend from college. I'm not sure why, but in October 2008 I posted a series of public "Letters" to him. Probably just to be creepy.

(2) I wish I remembered who I had this conversations with. My best guess is Anne Gorrick, but I could be totally wrong. If you're the person I had this conversation with, I apologize for not remembering the details.

(3) I still have, but have not read, Wicked. It's still on my to-read shelf. If I had it as an ebook, I probably would have read it by now. I don't like to hold fat books. My hands sometimes cramp when I do. I think I've fucked-up my hands with all the typing. These days I do hand stretches I learned in yoga.

(4) I read novels all the time now. I don't know what poetry-centric mindfuck I was living in, but I'm glad I left that place.

(5) I agree. It's never too late, Sam.