Sunday, July 30, 2006

I'll show you mine...

I now have quite few copies of archer avenue available for trading..I'll swap one for just about anything, your book, other people's book, odd little arty things, really cool postcards. E-mail me at wickedpen74 at yahoo to get yours.

Also, new notecards over at etsy.

Succeeded in hooking up my new scanner this morning, and since the cats have both taken it it upon themselves to sniff it and then promptly lay on it, eyeing me maliciously whenever it looked like I'm about to make them move, I'd say it's been approved.

Last night's reading was awesome, a really good turn out and incredibly fun. I should have Lina's Failed Star Spawns Planet/Star up later this week for sale. I wound up doing a pre-pub printing for the reading last night of about twenty, but I still need to print 100 of the final version and get them assembled. It's so freakin hot, worse over in Wicker Park last night than here closer to the water. And it was still 84 degrees at 1 am. The last two nights I dragged the mattress from the bedroom closer to the AC in the living room. Today, I'm just leaving it there. It looks like this will relent by Thursday. There were slight storms earlier, mostly moving off over the lake. They did put out a seche warning, something like storm surge, but more like back sloshing that raises the water level. I hope I have nothing to worry about, a block and a half away and three floors up, but I'm seriously hoping nothing knocks out the power.

I really can't believe it's almost August already. I'm sort of glad the summer heat will be abating (September one of my favorite months, along with May) but I hate that onrush of winter that starts in October most of the time and drags through April. This summer has been reasonably productive in terms of poetry stuff--acceptances from Pebble Lake Review, Slipstream, The Tiny, and Backwards City, plus alot of stuff still out from late spring. NMP accepting feign. I've mostly been revising the sideshow poems and working on the phobia pieces. A few great readings at the Cafe, DvA, WomanMade, and Quimby's. Putting together the Chicago issue of wicked alice, and soon, the two latest DGP chaps and the print annual all by September hopefully. And then the book, (yay!) coming in November. Just sent off the blurbs and my only back cover photo in which my hair looks less wonky than usual (because, of course, bad hair can doom a book.) And the fall birthday issue: I took a quick peak at the the Alice issue subs and WOW! Great stuff and lots of it. So there's that, and two more fall chapbooks, The Traffic in Women (Kristina Marie Darling) and Parapherna (Donora Hillard).

And the thesis.

God, the thesis. in terms of the critical paper, I think I know what my general direction is, but I'm not sure entirely. The creative part will work itself out I imagine, but the essay is what I'm freaking about. I'm thinking the idea of fractured and non-linear narrative in respect to Cixous ecriture feminine and the whole notion of the feminine gothic, though I may be casting too wide a net. We shall see. I'm considering blogging the whole damned process, my notes, my thoughts, drafts, on a separate blog, just to maybe get some feedback, suggestions, and keep everything in one place..and sorry and reluctant scholar that I am, to try to trick myself into thinking this is fun.

Friday, July 28, 2006

And in the interest of good poetry, lest everyone think I hate is something I just read that I absolutely loved...

tomorrow night

Last night, watched the original Japanese version of Dark Water. Sadly it was dubbed instead of subtitled, which always makes me nuts, but I noted some definite departures from it in the American version. A big one was the setting, the apartment building didn't seem quite as damp, cramped and bad 70's architecture horrifying. The American version definitely had more building up creepy scenes, the school bathroom, the laundry room, but the Japanese had the best single scare moment near the end --enough to freeze me in my chair and make my knees go numb--even though I knew exactly what was coming. The dead girl herself is much creepier in general in this version, largely because she wears a raincoat and has a blurry face. And once again, the creepy ominous Hello Kitty bag. What was missing in this version though was the detail in the breakdown of the mother, which Jennifer Conelly did really well with in the American version--the migraines, the paranoia, the unraveling. And there was more texture and depth to the parent/child issues of abandonment and neglect. When I first saw the US version, I was dissappointed with the ending, always wanting the badness to be defeated, even when it's a sort of ambiguous badness. This is why I got angry watching The Grudge when SMG (Sarah Michelle Gellar, for you non-Buffy freaks) didn't just kick that dead woman's ass.

That whole ambiguous evil thing is interesting, though. In all these re-makes, and some other Asian (mostly Japanese) horror movies, it IS always ambiguous. Take The Ring. Yes, an evil little girl. But her father was a tyrant and her mother dumped her in a well. The Grudge. Yes, she kills everyone who sets foot in the house, but she was murdered by an abusive husband. There was another one I watched, Tale of Two Sisters, where the girls were murdered by their step-mother if I remember correctly. This is not Texas Chainsaw style right and wrong, black and white. Even in Dark Water, both versions, but moreso the American since she wasn't as creepy, you definitely have empathy for the little girl.

Which perhaps all goes back to the resurrected dead girl a while back. I've heard a statistic somewhere that 80% of all ghost stories involve a woman who was wronged in some way, or had something bad happen to her. Much more often women doing the haunting than the men.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

on the other hand

I like this. Again, not an author or a journal I'm really familiar with, but infinitely better. Actually with the exception of yesterday , I admit VD's way better at delivering quality in general. Read this and this, both from the same issue I'm presuming of GMR that Plumly's poem was picked from. Ahh...much better...

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

good god

Will it ever end?

she understood the innocence of dying???

I'd draw and quarter someone for writing a line like that. I'd draw and quarter myself for writing that. I hate to be all judgemental and coming down hard on Poetry Daily, whose mission I fully support. But god, I'm just drowning in the mediocrity these days and it's making me cranky..This is why I don't write reviews of things I don't like. Bad poems make me angry for having wasted time reading them. And VD is not much better today--rather ho-hum and ordinary. I'm not familiar with either poets work on the whole, but dear god I hope they write better poems than these....

I hate to come off sounding all superior, but hell I feel like I am--even at my worst-- and not just me dozens and dozens of poets I know could outshine these...

good mail day

Lots of goodies, including some collage junk and a photo print I'd bought on etsy, the latest foursquare, my shipment of tinysides (today being the day for wee poetry things), plus paper and board to make accordian books for the phobia project from Paper Source. Yesterday, regular text paper, padded envelopes for shipping artwork, and my new cheapie scanner. (I'm tired of going to use the one at work on the 4th floor and finding someone on it, not scanning, but surfing the net.) Am still expecting some cardstock and some vellum envelopes for my latest etsy venture: handmade one-of-kind collage notecard sets. this way, they're at least useful for something besides hanging on the wall or framing... And I can cut and paste to my heart's content and not have to worry about matting the damned things.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

something we can all get behind

Whichever side of the experimental vs. quietude divide you happen to fall on--you have to agree that this is really an awful poem. Shame on Jarman. Shame on the Southern Review. Shame on Poetry Daily. Is there some monkey picking titles out of a hat?

On the plus-side it made me feel infinitely less critical of the crappy poem I wrote this afternoon...

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Late last night before going to bed, on one of the channels I actually still get, I caught the whole of Carrie, which I hadn’t seen in a long time. Melds well with the discussion a bit back about the metaphorical/supernatural power of adolescent living/dead girls. Have also been watching Twin Peaks DVD’s via Netflix. I was in high school when the series was on, but never got into it back then, though I remember a couple of my friends being gaga for it. I’d since seen Fire Walk with Me a few years ago, which was a little confusing given my unfamiliarity with all of it. The series is good though. Not Buffy good, mind you. I found myself thinking about what I did watch religiously in high school—Friday the Thirteenth: The Series—which had absolutely nothing to do with the slasher films, but every Friday night, at like 11:30 would find me struggling to stay awake to watch it. Cursed antiques. Talking dolls and killer compacts. A mulcher that turns bodies into money. A dubious amish quilt. They run it on sci-fi occasionally, and when I watch it now, I can see it’s sort of horribly written (again, Joss Whedon and company set the standard pretty high), but still lots of fun, and Buffyesque in its way.

I’ve been fiddling with collage stuff the past couple of days, printing the covers for Failed Star...and assembling archer avenues getting ready for the Quimby’s reading next weekend. Last week was a steady clip to get the issue up. This week brings final edits on Lina and Robyn’ books, and lots of folding and stapling. Friday afternoon, spent some time at the big Dick Blick downtown (which I hadn’t yet ventured into since it opened) and procured some block printing ink for rubber stamping and some lovely handmaid paper. They seem cheaper than Utrecht or Brudno, and definitely have a bigger selection and space than either . Though State street on a Friday afternoon at the neight of Summer is a tourist nightmare, second only to Michigan Ave, I survived the endeavor only slightly cranky.

On the poetry front, I handed over the finished, final version of feign to NMP on Thursday, so barring any edits/suggestions, it’s underway. I ditched about three initial pieces and added a couple I’d done that fit since the spring. Am fiddling around with girl show, which may wind up being a chapbook perhaps, since I’ve been thinking dulcet is what I need the most help with in terms of working on it as a thesis mss--feedback and shaping. I’m not stretching things so far from my comfort zone in the sideshow poems, strictly lyrical, and while I love them, they’re sort of done already. The ordering of them also falls into line rather easily, and there are probably only 30 or so pieces really worth holding onto, the rest (about ten odd poems) probably just filler. We’ll see what I think by the end of the summer-- how well I’m progressing on the new stuff.. dulcet is doing a lot more of the layering thing like errata, but more narrative, less dependent on source texts per se but still the same effect. And of course, more birds and murders and girls. As for the phobia poems, I’ve decided to uses them for a little art project I’ve been mulling over involving accordion books. That is, if I don’t botch my prototype.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The wicked alice chicago issue has arrived and includes work by Pamela Miller, Lucy Anderton, Kenneth Pobo, Simone Muench, Susan Yount, Lindsay Bell, David Trinidad, Melissa Severin, Erika Mikkalo, Mackenzie Carignan, Jenn Morea, Erin Bertram, Brandi Homan, Danielle Aquiline, Chet Gresham, Todd Heldt, Tara Betts, Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai, and Kathy Kubik.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Look who just opened an etsy

(btw, thank you Jessica for suggesting I do just that.) Hopefully, I can thus avoid holding on to the pieces I'm not quite so attached to, and make a little cash for the press at the same time. Those particular ones are a few from the collection series. More to come...

It's ridiculously hot outside (94 degrees and only 1 o'clock), making me very happy about giving in an buying the air conditioner. The bedroom is still a little warmer, but hopefully that can be fixed by a well-placed fan. I have decided to hole up here in the mean time working on some poems for dulcet, which is sorting itself out slowly. I'm so ADD when it comes to sticking with one project lately, but I suppose at least I'm writing, so it can't all be that bad. Perhaps I will print and assemble some archer avenues, fill some dgp orders, and drink pitcher after pitcher of the peach blossom tea I got in Wisconsin last summer. Perhaps I will order dinner in and watch Resident Evil courtesy of netflix. I'm SO going to miss these free, lazy weekends come September when it's back to Saturdays stuck in the library.

In other news, the layouts on both Robyn Art's Vestigial Portions...and Lina ramona Vitkauska's Failed Star Spawns Planet / Star are finito and in the hands of the poets. They will be available very soon. The covers are fucking awesome for both. Stay tuned...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

It's looking like the summer Wicked Alice, the nepotism mean the Chicago issue...should be up by the 20th. Bring on the accusations that I only publish my friends. (actually, I only rarely publish friends, they don't usually submit...)It's an awesome issue filled with local poets, Columbia people, etc. Plus a snazzy new sleek redesign.

Heard from NMP yesterday, and it's looking like October or so for feign. So that's a book and a chapbook in two months, so I'm going to certainly be whoring my wares about that time . Be forwarned. But it'll be great to get them both out there, the older stuff in the fever almanac, and the newer in feign.

I'm also totally geeked about the ephemera--stamps, photos, doodads-- I ordered from for collages. And some great Alice in Wonderland rubber stamps just for my own amusement.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

happier thoughts

There's a poem over at Sharkforum from errata this week. Also, very lovely things at (I got the postcard sampler in the mail over the weekend, and ordered another pack of the typewriter girl cards immediately.) I have in my possesion new chaps from Anabiosis Press, Lame House, and Kathleen Kirk's Selected Roles (Moon Journal Press) with lots more stuff on the way still. I have half the summer wicked alice finished. I have very lovely green flip-flops. I have new poems percolating in all this heat.

more dead girls

I've been thinking a bit more about this. Exactly as everyone says in the comments discussion, these are rampant archetypes in culture and poetry. A couple month back I even wrote a poem called "dead girl's love song"(playing off the Plath), which is still in revision, but brings that element even into the sideshow poems. I'm thinking this trope might surface in my critical thesis, or well, what I've been thinking about in regard to my thesis. The idea of Gothicism and broken-ness, fragmentation. Funny that in the comments Michelle and Jeannine should both mention Philomel since it surfaces at least once in feign, and is an underlying thread in the novel-in-verse project, which is all about two sisters and one of them murdered. And Little Red Riding Hood--the whole Book of Red project a while back. And we all have these poems, don't we? I'm very intrigued as to the why. Perhaps it's not the most "poetic subject in the world," as someone referred to it in regard to Poe, but certainly an often explored one. Just Sunday, I met another poet, Kathleen Kirk, who has a couple of Lavinia poems. Certainly the most bloody of Shakespeare's plays and women. I saw Titus Andronicus produced a few years ago and it fast became one of my favorites among the tragedies…I mean, the only props in the whole production were myriad body parts. It was terrible, and horrifying, and WONDERFUL.

And what scares me. Now I'm pretty jaded when it comes to horror movie violence and gore, but when I was five or six, I mistakenly sat down to watch the movie Ghost Story with my dad. Now mind you, I had no issues watching slasher movies, The Exorcist, the Omen, any number of things. But THAT movie, which featured as it's startle image, several times, a rotted woman's face, scared the freakin bejesus out of me. Twice. That is, before I ran to my bedroom and vowed never to watch it again. I have since, of course, but always with my eyes covered. The actress who plays the woman, and who I've seen in other movies since, is just sooo, even without the rotting flesh, damned creepy. And again, you have a woman "accidently" killed and her body dumped in a car in a lake. Besides creepy evil children and bugs, this is probably what scares me most in films. That's why The Ring did a total number on me. (Not to mention it's a well shot and very smart film.) I still can't look at the blank tv set in the dark without thinking of it, though, and certainly won't watch it alone. Ghostly hitchhikers, drowned women. Why I still won't play Bloody Mary. Too scary.

And while scary, fascinating.

Monday, July 10, 2006

dead girl poems

Yesterday, at the reading, Simone Muench mentioned our shared penchant for dead girls in our poems which made me laugh when I thought about it. It got me to thinking why this might be. On one hand it's very sticky, the whole notion of whether or not an obsession of that sort in my work would be considered anti-feminist by some. I mean there are lots of obsessions in my work, but that's one that crops up again and again, in imagery, in subject matter. There's alot of literature I know on this in regard to Poe---his dead woman complex. And I do admit, the first poem I ever loved at age 14 (and probably one of the only ones I know by heart) is "Annabel Lee". And I mean, historically, women were quite expendable--Shakespeare, Irish ballads, etc. In fact, cultural history is woven through with this sort of stuff, from the perceived dead girls of fairytales (Snow White, Sleeping Beauty), to Ophelia and Desdemona, to urban legend and Hollywood.

Not just cultural media, even. When I was a kid, there was this really high profile kidnapping case that occured near the neighborhood where we'd once lived. A ninteen year old had been last seen getting into her car in a river side park and then went missing. It was a cautionary tale of sorts, even for me, who wasn't yet allowed to go out all that much on my own.. People worried over their daughters. There were no suspects, no clues. I remember just this overall fear about "getting grabbed" as my mother termed it. I suppose every town, every community, has this sort of thing. They never caught who did it, but about a year or so later, her body was found in the nearby Sugar River. After my parents had moved out into the country, another woman's body was found in a field about a half-mile away...a hooker it turned out in the end, murdered in town and dumped by someone who figured they were far enough out where no one would find her. I keep waiting to turn on the news and not hear a story where some woman or girl is murdered, raped, attacked in some way. It doesn't happen. Soon you just stop turning on the news.

I am aware of the irony, here, with enough dead girls in my poems to start an army. Maybe it's something I'm stuck on like a broken record, that fear, that anxiety of being a girl, being endangered in some way. Not victimization, exactly, not repression. But danger and fear. All tied up in sex and violence and the male gaze. One of the reasons I loved Buffy so much, was because it turned all this on it's head. Gets me thinking of Daphne Gottlieb's Final Girl, and all the horror movies I watch. Gothicism in general and the peril of the female figure.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

collection #8...
also new mascot for dancing girl press...

Saturday, July 08, 2006

where Joseph Cornell meets David Lynch

Battle of the Sexes at DVA was great, a diverse line-up of poets and not nearly as much venom as one would expect. Afterwards, went with some folks to see Scott Dekatch's band, the Prams, play and had an awesome time.

I wound up reading a couple of the more "man-hating" poems from feign, and three from girl show.

After the reading, one of the other poets came up to me and said she didn't know if it was a compliment or not, but that my poems reminded her of a David Lynch film. I was thrilled. Of course I should've asked her if she MEANT it as a compliment. But I can see it, I suppose. Dark, lovely, and sort of scary. (I did, after all, read the goldfish poem). The only other non-poetry comparisons I've ever gotten have been either Tori Amos (well duh) and Cornell--though this was NOT intended as a compliment, but I certainly took it as such. It was intended as more of a criticism of the stillness in the poems, the constructedness, glassiness. Everything in a box and untouchable. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing.

Tomorow, I'll be reading at WomanMade, along with the very rockin' Simone Muench and a couple of fellow Moon Journal chap authors, Kathleen Kirk and Liz Marino. Spent some time this afternoon assembling the last 30 copies of the initial 100 run of errata, which I'll be reading from. I've managed to unload about seventy apparently in the last few months --mostly giveaways, some sales. Next, it's on to archer avenue (aka the resurrection mary poems), some copies of which I've already given away from the few prelim copies I cooked up for the cafe reading last month. More to come later in the month as soon as I get some time to put them together.

Friday, July 07, 2006

coming July 15th

other dgp / wicked alice news

The chicago issue, and the site's new look, should be ready up and running by the end of this week. Minor delay on the print annual until the beginning of August due to some shuffling of schedule in order to have Failed Star Spawns Planet/Star ready in time for the reading (also archer avenue) at Quimby's at the end of July. But otherwise, we're only a tad off schedule.

I'm also still eagerly taking Alice submissions for the fall anniversary issue due out in September, and plan to begin looking at this latest batch of dgp submissions this week.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

this weekend

Friday night there is this:

then, Sunday afternoon, there is this:

Pure Poetry, a Party:

Chicago-area authors Kristy Bowen, Kathleen Kirk, Elizabeth Marino, and Simone Muench will each read from their most recently released publications (and more) during the Pure Paintings exhibit.

July 9, 2006 from 2-4 p.m. at Woman Made Gallery
Free and open to the public
light refreshments will be served

Monday, July 03, 2006

busy doing nothing

I had to be around six or seven here, in the driveway of the house on Pennsylvania Ave. Though the bikini, the red sunglasses, and the little golden book have long since been replaced by a black sundress, purple cat's eye glasses, and poetry, this is not too far from from the truth this week. Though I tend to stick to the shade these days.