Tuesday, May 29, 2007

etsy crack

I should really stay away from etsy when I’m feeling listless. There were these to dress up my boring chandelier, then since I was in a pink, girly mood I almost bought these, but settled for these which were cheaper. Actually I sort of wanted this(tres Marie Antoinette), but there’s no way in hell I could pull it off . On top of a little scrap paper pack. Add this to some other ephemera and postcards I bought over the weekend and my Paypal seems to have a hole in it’s pocket.

Monday, May 28, 2007


as much as I like solitude, maybe three whole days of it and I get a little nuts. Weird, weird dreams and yelling at my computer. I was looking forward to some quality time with various projects and napping, and despite a few e-mails and a couple phone calls, I've succeeded. After working on visual stuff Saturday, I mostly read yesterday though the stack of journals I'd managed to collect over the semester on Sunday, wrote some notes for new poems. Read through a new Cornell book I'd bought myself a bit back. Plotted what I still have to do for that project in terms of layout and assembling. Today I was up unusually early and worked on revising a couple of pieces for that, with still a couple I need to get to, maybe tonight. Also trying to layout a little booklet for a longer poem I decided to include (thus also screaming at the printer.) Also battled the crazy old key collectors on ebay for more keys. I have 40 and I need 100 for the project. It seems as soon as I bid, someone outbids me and the price goes up like double. Who are these people? Are they huddled in their homes with thousands of rusty little cabinet keys that open nothing and old issues of the Saturday Evening Post? Not everyone, I'm sure, is using them for weird little art projects. I HATE ebay. I like to go find something and buy the damn thing and get on with it already, not wait around for someone to top me in the last five minutes..

In other less psychotic news, I have poems up at No Tell Motel this week. the latest issue of Cranky is available with a poem, as well as the new PLR with a review of the fever almanac. I never managed to get any cake yesterday, but did find some plums, and later vanilla Haagen Daaz with strawberries. A girl will take what she can get. Now onto cleaning house and laundry and trying to organize the mountains of paper generated in my wake the past two days..

But maybe I'll take a nap first..

Sunday, May 27, 2007

eerily accurate..

You Are a Marble Cake

Eclectic, inventive, and peaceful.
You are never willing to accept what's "normal." You live to push the envelope.
You find it hard to make up your mind. You prefer to have everything you want, right away!

(courtesy of Brandi and Mary..)

Damn, now I really need to go find some cake...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

more kitty porn

Giles is always very helpful when I'm working on collages. (I think he still has some YES paste in his tail.) And that's exactly what I spent most of the day today blissfully doing. There are some new things over at etsy to show for it. I was thinking as I was working about art vs. craft. In no way would I consider most of the visual stuff I do actual "art" in the way I consider my writing to be that. To me, I think what makes something art is that is SAYS something, even if it's just about the art form itself. I'm really most of the time making pretty things. Sometimes they're might be another layer (I'm thinking of a couple of series I was going for something in the way of statement), but lately and most of the time, I'm just making things I like--which is where the "craft" part comes in. I'm also thinking of how that word has been used in the past to demean the works of women or the more feminine arts. There's a fine line between art and decoration. Think of a still-life painted to look pretty, or a landscape then think of Monet's light studies, which are landscapes, but have something to say. Or quilts that told stories but were also used as decoration. What about architecture? What does it mean to have something to say?

I probably would say I'm always striving for artfulness in poems, but then maybe not. I know I've written things that were mainly meant to be pretty, to be fun, to be pleasing, but didn't say all that much. And maybe that's okay. Maybe it's the whole "poems" (with a lowercase p) vs. "POEMS". I've heard people say that poems aren't worth writing if they're not "important." What about enjoyment? My poems are typically only parts of a greater whole, be it a chapbook, or a book, or just my body of work. Mine is more a cumulative, fragmented, disjointed effect rather than a striving to write one great complete POEM (The Wasteland or The Odyssey or somesuch). No one is probably ever going to look at one of mine and say this is an important, single life changing poem. But maybe they'll say it about a book, or my work as whole. And that's not how I think of them, not one big, honking rock that lands on your head, but a collection of interesting stones, glinting and relecting off each other.

Friday, May 25, 2007

blog love

I adore blogs. I'll admit freely that that's where what I spend most of my time online--blogging and reading blogs. The rest is pretty much watching old music videos on YouTube, scouring Etsy, reading poems, and doing research into weird things, (also googling myself and sending salacious e-mails to boys, but I digress .). Why do I like blogs? Alot of it is probably just a certain voyeurism, peeking into other writers lives (also why I LOVE literary biographies), but also gossip, news, recommendations, etc. In the recent rash of blog closings (some of which I enjoyed reading)and all related drama (of which it never seems I privy to), I don't really get why people are so quick to talk about how evil they are, how they foster false senses of community, are self-serving, yadda, yadda, yadda. Granted, I'm wary of the nastiness and trolling that anonymity provides. But you also get that with any sort of online interraction, even just plain old e-mail or critique boards. There's also a danger in attracting such nastiness when you put yourself, your work, your opinions out there...but I suppose that might be the sort of riskiness of putting ANYTHING out there...risking rebuttal, critique, vitriol. Combine this with the anonymity to attack and it can get real bad, real fast.

Regardless, I think the good outweighs the bad. I have to admit, at the root, my aims for this blog are largely shamelessly self-promotional, a sort of newsletter of what's going on, pleas to buy my books, where I'm reading, what I'm doing, and admittedly a certain ME! ME! ME quality. (Of course, I started it as an extension to my website so that's natural) Of course, I do get a little bored with author blogs that ONLY go as far as the self-promo with nothing else to offer. I like a little more content, whether it's what you had for dinner, what you've read and loved (or hated) or pictures of your cat. Something.

I also tend to use this thing as a place to rant, to bitch, to think out loud, so in that way, it's sort of a little personal soapbox. When I get steamed or really excited about something, I come here. I like to read what other people are steamed or excited about. It's also a bit of a diary, since I don't really keep a written one anymore. If I need to reference some past thing, a date, or some random link to something, it's all pretty much here.

There's also something about blogging that makes me think of slambooks, all the listing and the memes, that makes the 13 year old in me very happy. I was also one of those kids who had like a dozen penpals in high school, so this feels a bit like that, too. Sort of an open letter to anyone who cares to read it. And there is a community of sorts, people you "correspond" with in ways that might not happen otherwise. All of this, I suppose in addition to more noble aims like serious (or semi-serious in this case) literary discussion, reviews, etc.) which some people strive for, makes blogging really sort of cool. Will it change the world. I doubt it. Will it change the poetry world? Make it more open, accessible, varied? Maybe. Make poets more knowledgable, sophisticated and exposed to a greater idea of what "being a poet" can be? Most definitely.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


While my love of Veronica Mars is indeed giving my love of BtVS a run for it's money (I've determined I love them both equally just in different ways--Buffy for it's creation of it's own world/ archetypal/ psychological truth and Veronica for it's existence very much in this one/sociological truth) I still heart Joss Whedon.

(link courtesy of JHG...)

Yesterday, I got my shipment of these. I initially was just going to use them for my own purposes (and stop spending so much buying postcards on etsy), but they turned out so pretty I had to share…

Otherwise, I’ve been knee deep in chapbooks and paper, no isla encanta and the last of my own, plus the Cornell stuff, which is still growing and growing as we have more ideas. Look for it around mid to late June, since we’re debuting it at Woman Made Gallery for the collage reading / exhibition on July 1st. As you can see below, I’ve also set up the annual summer dgp reading at Quimby’s on the 14th, which will be very cool. So it’s a busy next couple of months. I’ve started laying out alluvium for June, then assembling that and the Cornell. Then mailing out the Dusie chap mid-month. Then alternating readings and vacations in July and August, and Simone and Jesse Nissim’s books.

Our reading period officially opens next Friday, though I doubt I’ll even be able to dip into the the stack until September. And there’s the print annual I haven’t even started working on yet.

Not to mention my own stuff. The only major thing in that arena is getting in the bird museum into a final version of some sort since winter will probably be here before we know it. New poems for the new thing are bound to be cropping up here and there, but I haven’t any real discipline lately, so I’m less productive creatively. Besides, I’ve determined to spend a good chunk this summer doing more visual work that I’ve been neglecting while I’ve been working on the thesis and such. It will be nice to switch into that gear.

Meanwhile, It’s been GORGEOUS out the last few days, harder to drag myself to work when I really just want to go to the beach, sitting over there all tempting while I’m en route to the library and it’s horrible flourescent glow. Today, the bus broke down and I took it as a chance to get an Italian soda from this yummy little chocolate cafĂ© then dally by the river for a few brief moments before catching another bus. I was late, but it improved my mood exponentially…

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Monday, May 21, 2007

I'm thinking

that today must be ASSHOLE DAY in the library. A little over an hour on the circ desk and already I've encountered two. But, then they're a little like the roaches, I'm sure there will be more.

I have determined, through hours of careful observation, that there is a definite correlation between earlier work hours and the number of people who piss me off, which I'm not quite convinced has entirely to do with my personal level of tolerance due to lack of sleep. Today I am reasonably well rested and am actually in a pretty damned good mood, or WAS in a good mood. I'm not even sure it has to do with volume (ie. 1/10 are idiots and we just have higher traffic in the afternoon) I've long held the opinion that lower-key, less obnoxious people, usually congregate in the library after six or so when I'm usually working. Not to mention smarter people who actually know how to find their way home in the dark. The call-security-type of psychos and book theifs even seem to prefer days, which you would think would be the opposite situtation.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

seventeen year cicadas

ugh..if I were a different sort of poet, I would write a poem about that seventeen year sleep, the digging upwards, that long journey towards the trees But really I remember being terrified of them, terrified of larger insects as I am in general. I was still riding the bus that spring, end of sophomore year, and had to catch it daily down in "the glen"- a slightly more wooded area of our neighborhood close to the river, which was absolutely swarming with them. I was so freaked out I agreed to go to school an hour earlier so my dad could drive me the last couple of weeks..

It makes me a little sad to think about the kittens our cat had right around the same time, all five of which we kept and grew into adult cats and had reasonably long lives, but which have all died in the last couple of years, who didn't even live as long as those bugs have been in the ground..weird...

But that was also the summer I went to camp (the only summer). The summer of my first kiss. The summer I got my driver's license. The summer when a freak wind gust blew the roof of my highschool library clean off and the accompanying storm knocked out power for days. Maybe there's a poem in there somewhere about something, but I'm too exhausted to write it.....

dusie chap

brief history of girl as match
by Kristy Bowen
coming soon!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Dusie chaps are beginning to filter in (recent ones from Anne Boyer, Raymond Farr, Bronwen Tate, and Sawako Nakayasu) and I have mine nearly ready to go. Since I nixed the idea of using the Cornell Project for it, I decided simple was best. 16 pages, white cardstock, b & w artwork. Nothing incredibly time consuming or expensive to produce with all these other projects on the table (though I did splurge on the envelopes a bit). I wound up changing the title ultimately, but it's a short little series of pretty recent peices from the new manuscript about writing, art, and creation that fall together nicely. I'd forgotten how long it takes to assemble all 100 of edition in one sitting-usually I parcel them into lots of 25. Plus I did some of no isla encanta. I'm tired out and I never even left the apartment.

This week has been a monster anyway. Since we're in the dead zone week between terms, we've been short on student staff and heavy on returns, so I've spent a good part of my tragically early mornings chipping in to shelve in the 800's just to stay awake and not fall asleep at my desk. I was also suffering serious CTA rage, as a commute that normally tales 45 minutes was stretched to an hour and a half both ways during rush hour, and three times made me late in the morning. Even my failsafe, another bus route I can take that involves a transfer but avoids snarly areas, was foiled on Thursday by a film crew mucking up traffic on Wacker. It was one of those weeks where the very universe seemed to be conspiring against me.

now available

from dancing girl press.

Friday, May 18, 2007

run don't walk

I just saw this courtesy of Netflix and it was FANTASTIC, hard to watch at times, made me very uneasy, and I bawled through about about half of it, but probably the best movie I'd seen in a while..at least drama-wise. I did a little googling of the director, Karen Moncrieff, and found out she'd also directed this, which I unknowingly a while back watched half of on Sundance, but didn't know what it was until now. It was also very good (or what I saw of it anyway..)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The weather has been glorious the past couple of days. Despite my tiredness due to the 9-5 thing this week, it was nice having the evening free last night, though starting next week working until seven will be more manageable. I am still in the process of assembling Scenes from the Body, but at least I have Robyn's copies out to her and about half the orders filled. Recieved some Transmission Press chaps in the mail yesterday, plus Eileen Tabios' chapbook for the exchange. Also some cool collage supplies I intend to use as bits for the Cornell project, pictured above. If you go to my flickr, you can also see some pics I took over the weekend in Rockford, since I actually remembered to bring the camera somewhere for once.

Monday, May 14, 2007

ah, freedom..

Had brief glorious moment of list making this morning--writing projects to get done, stuff for the press to do over the next three months. And then I realized, unlike the last four summers, when I felt like I had to get as much done as possible before school started in the fall, I now have ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD. Huge glorious swathes of it. Endless. For my own work, I have to finish up these two small projects this month and into next, then sit down with in the bird museum and make sure the final version is the way I want it to be. Other than that, poems for the new manuscript, maybe another small chapbook. Trying to find a home for girl show. All of which I can do at my leisure. And novels! I can read fiction again, without thinking I should be reading poetry instead. Poetry, I'm always trying to learn from it, to see what the author is doing and why, and how I can apply it to my own work. Fiction, though, is pure escape. Plus, I've been wayward on the visual stuff these last eight months, and I miss it terribly.

Friday's reading went very well, and was much less stressful than going to commencement chaos. And pretty swanky to boot. Plus, the faculty gave us pretty little moleskine notebooks and said very nice and ridiculously flattering things about us. After that, I spent the weekend in with my parents, went to IKEA yesterday, bought a cool paper lamp, then arrived home feeling like I didn't have much of a weekend at all. There must have been one in there somewhere, though…


oops..and I nearly forgot about the new Kulture Vulture...

Friday, May 11, 2007

required readings

Poetry and the internets.

Poets House Showcase (look at the photo in this article, middle third shelf up, are those not some gorgeous books?)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

If you've seen that Parker Posey movie Party Girl (one of my favorite movies), you know the dream sequence in which she is pelted with an endless amount of books falling down a long staircase? Yeah, that's what I feel like today. I must have checked in over 200 books tonight alone. It's been a weird day besides that. I arrived at work to find everyone milling about on the sidewalk--apparently there'd been a bomb threat and everyone had been evacuated two hours before that. Then later, when I was going to class, there was one of these just sitting still in the middle of the sidewalk. Alive, blinking, but just sitting there very still while people walked around him. I'm guessing he may have hit the window and was stunned. I've seen the pigeons sit there on the sidewalk like that, but only when its subzero and they're cold. This was just weird. He was gone when I came back, so I'm thinking he was okay. Then, my last class, and me just antsy for it to be over. And then an overflow of books and just tiredness from carting them around. Tomorrow, I'm not working, but my parents will be here at noon to go to the Manifest reading, and I'm guessing I won't be able to get much accomplished this weekend press-wise, even though I'm behind on assembling Scenes because of my printer issues. I've finally gotten the inserts done and everything ready to be assembled. Also, the next chap is ready to go for next weekend.

There has been a slight change of plans with the Cornell project. Because, once I made the mock-up, I realized the thing weighs quite a bit, and sending out something like that to the 70 odd Dusie Kollectiv folks might be a huge sum of money up front, I'm just going with another project for the exchange, a little series I've been working on the last month or so, inspired by an older poem I've been fiddling with for years, the secret life of libraries. It's plenty long enough to do a chap, can be cheaply done, and mailed for peanuts. The Cornell project, however, will still be available in June via dgp in all it's hefty glory. That way the postage comes out of the purchase price, rather than my pocket.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

five songs that knock my socks off

I haven't exactly been tagged, but then I'm presumptious like that. I've never been all that much of a music-head sort of person, as my sister (who is) will attest. I tend to, on occasion, secretly like rather uncool things like Fleetwood Mac and Shakira.

But here they are:

1)Dancing Barefoot--Patti Smith
2)Hotel California--The Eagles
3)Seether--Veruca Salt
5)Siren--Tori Amos
I think I actually may have done a far better job on the Chaucer final today than I thought I might going in. Luckily, I suspected he might ask us about the so-called "marriage group" of tales and had been thinking about that the last couple days. So that nightmare, at least, is over. I have to sit through another workshop in ekphrastic on Thursday (painful) but at least it isn't my poems this week. After that, Manifest, the big arts fest brouhaha, is on Friday, and there's a department reception/reading, which is serving as the only sort of graduation thing I'm doing, since I'm not big on the dog and pony show of commencement. Then to Rockford for the weekend for Mother's Day.

Hopefully, things will settle down for the summer. I'm equipt with my novels and my flipflops. Lots of iced tea. Also a wierd carnivorous craving for grilled meat. Lots of poem ideas for the new book. Lots of other stuff to read I've been collecting all year (some of it, I swear, the last FOUR years). Also, yesterday, got my first Dusie Kollectiv chap courtesy of Anne Heide, who had to send hers out early. She's awesome, check out her work in the new wicked alice. It's a skinny yellow printed envelope, and a sheaf of pages folded and sewn all pretty lengthwise.

I just finished laying out the next chapbook, Khadijah Queen's no isla encanta and sent them for proofing. Tonight the plan is to do a little house tidying, and if the office supply fairy has delivered toner via UPS (and my printer likes it) to finish the photo inserts for Scenes.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

three good things

Despite printer woes, parcels gone missing, and the consolidation of my student loan sum, the heft which could probably buy you an island in the South Pacific, here are some nice things making me happy:

1)Indie movies. I was a little bored with Shortbus (even despite all the acts of nakedness). I loved, however, a film the previews ultimately led me to. Candy, an Australian film about heroin addiction was superb (and starred yummy Heath Ledger.) Also a little film about relationships called Easy.

2)Lake Michigan. The most ungodly beautiful shade of blue. Still WAY too cold to swim or wade though.

3)The Concher from Two Poet Truffles. Excellent poetry. Good chocolate. A little spendy, but all six were gone inside an hour (chocolate having a very short shelf life in my aprtment).


Also, I finally made it to the zoo yesterday afternoon, which was a little cloudy and cool, so there was not too terrible a crowd. I tend to immediately graviate toward the big cats, but amazingly we made it round to everything this time. Also, in the tiger's habitat, right there, a mere 100 yards from the tiger itself there was a mama and ducklings. Probably not the best place to have your brood, though the tiger itself was sprawled in the grass and never moved in the three hours we were there....viscious killer my ass. I came home and for some reason, slept for a few hours, ate leftover chinese food, then spent a few hours printing chaps and, later, screaming at the toner light that wouldn't go off despite changing the toner. I'm thinking I may just have a bad cartridge. At least I hope that's it.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Of course, then I was thinking, what does that say about a world that requires, or influences, girls and women to play dumb? I mean most of us wouldn't as good card-carrying feminists. But it happens, and they sadly do. For feign I used as a epigraph a quote from one of my favorite plays, Lee Blessing's Eleemosynary. In it, a woman talks about how it was easier just to pretend she was dull-witted and slightly crazy so the world would leave her alone, free her from the responsibility of behaving like a good fifties housewife should. The girls in feign, I think, know alot more than they let on, and sometimes that gets them into trouble but sometimes it saves them. This is both good and bad.


In other news, things are starting to get interesting with the Cornell Project. I'm in the process of making the electronic file for Susanna, and we're collecting all sorts of neat bits for the actual chap. Lauren's images are, of course, awesome, you can see a couple we are going to use at her website. I've been ordering paper and materials like crazy, and it's going to be so cool. We're going to make 130 of them, a numbered edition, seventy or so which go to the kollectiv, and another 60 to split between us. I will most likely have some available on etsy somewhere near the end of June or for trade. I'm also busy doing the final edits and proofreading on Scenes from the Body, which I plan on assembling this weekend. You can't tell it from the scan of the cover/ envelope, but inside it's be-yoo-tiful. I love the brown paper wrapper feel to it. Get yours at dgp. At $7, they're a little pricier than our usual $5 cover price, but the vellum for the photos was a bit more expensive than regular paper.

In other news, in the mail yesterday the new Rhino with an excellent review, this time of the fever almanac in it by Jackie White. That's two good reviews of my work I read in one day and I 'm so psyched that the books are falling into the right hands --not so much reviewers that say it's brilliant (though those would be nice) but readers who GET what I'm doing, or what I'm trying to do, and that is the most important thing, whether or not they find fault with it.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

girls, girls, girls

Radish King reviews feign.

Rebecca here is dead on. I've been thinking about what she talks about in the first paragraph about women, for all intensive purposes who think of themsleves as "girls." It might be my refusal to do anything that seems grown up like have "real career" or settle down, but I still call myself a girl, still think of myself in that context. It might also be my tendedncy to call people "guys and girls" instead of the clunkier "women and men." But I do still write poems from that place, adolescense, though I suspect it's because I finally have some distance from what I'm writing about.(Though oddly the fever almanac has alot of adulthood poems in the third section, and is, in itself, a trajectory from childhood, through adolescense, to some semblance of adulthood.) In one of my last meetings with her, Arielle told me to think about this in terms of the new manuscript, but it applies even more in the case of feign, and consequently, in the bird museum. Why is it that most girls conventionally always want to be the princess when playing make believe and never the queen. (We, at least, used to fight over such things). Actually now I'm thinking the antidote to that might be something like Becoming the Villainess.

Does "woman" have more connotations of greater agency than "girl"? Is it truly that a woman makes things happen while a girl has things happen to her. But then again, you can't deny the power that girls tend to have--good or bad--horror movies like the Exorcist and Poltergeist, the Salem girls. There's something very powerful about being a girl that doesn't necessarily translate into womanhood (except maybe when it comes to the evil queen. And that's a whole trope worthy of it's own study--think fairytales, and Guinevere, and Medusa, and the White Goddess) Part of that is tied up in sexuality. In the male gaze. In fear and anxiety over the body. Does it also have to do with mothers, whether you see yourself as daughter, as motherless, as a mother yourself? Mind you, I have no answers here, or maybe the poems are trying to answer this hopefully...

I'm really happy that Rebecca's response was "unsettling dread," because that's probably the place these poems come from. There was a period of time when I had to stop watching the news. Every time I turned it on something awful was happening to someone female, girl or woman. One newscast went from the girl who dissappeared from a college campus, a woman beat to death by her boyfreind in Chicago, a four year old who was abducted, and something about the JonBenet ramsey case. Every other story was something bad happening, usually, to a girl. These poems come from there but they also come from things like Buffy, and horror movies where the girls survive. Girls that, yes, are not really girls, but hind behind innocense, or pretend innocense and then plunge the knife in your back when you're not looking.

Girls that might on occasion play dumb. Play coy. But always get what they want.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

available now

Scenes from the Body
text/photographs by Robyn Art

from dancing girl press...

tagged again

by Sara.
So that means I get another round, right? Well, according to MY rules I do..

Here's my first set of answers here.
Five OTHER books you may not of heard of, but should definitely read (barring friends, close aquaintances, teachers, etc):

The Book of Funnels, Christian Hawkey
Into Such Perfect Spheres Such Holes are Pierced, Catherine Barnett
Unfathoms, Kirsten Kashock
The Drowned Girl, Eve Alexandra
Worth, Robyn Schiff