Monday, August 30, 2010

new from dancing girl press

(al)most delicious
Cati Porter
dancing girl press, 2010
available here

al)most delicious is like the thoughts of a figure in a painting. But more than that it is a kaleidoscopic meditation on the theme of artist and model. Or like a room of mirrors in which looking and being seen are erotic, and creator, creation and observer are locked in a love triangle of reflection and illusion. Enter, listen to the voices and the music, you will be rewarded.

-Richard Garcia

Sunday, August 29, 2010

7 things I am loving

natural history museums
tweed skirts
vintage floral wallpaper
raspberry lattes
old flowery teacups
leather satchels

Saturday, August 28, 2010


A lazy Saturday in which I've done nothing much but read art & design blogs, drink tea, take photos, and clean up the carnage of late night cat hijinks (one set of vintage dessert plates that hadn't yet made it to the studio massacred when Isabel knocked them off the fireplace to lay there in the photo above.) Not surprisingly, very few glass objects survive in this household. Giles took out a little dish full of sea glass on the bookshelf earlier this week. But there are pretty things I've kept around that have (so far) eluded breakage..

Friday, August 27, 2010

fashion friday: high drama

Considering how much time I used to spend working in theatre, it's amazing how little of it I actually get to these days, and I intend to fix that this season. Like the beach, it's one of the reasons I moved to the city, but I'm usually too busy/poor to go. This dress gave me thirties vibe, which reminded me of the old Coronado in Rockford, with it's red velvet seats, gorgeous gilt architecture and blue starry ceiling. They revamped it a few years back, but to me it will always represent a certain grandeur and decay. My favorite part was the women's bathroom with it's dressing tables and tufted stools. I saw everything from the Nutcracker to bad 90's act Nelson in concert there. Every year, my mom's company would have their christmas show, which involved cheap kiddie gifts, old cartoons, novelty acts, and Santa. I was always far more excited about the theatre details than I was the show going on.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

weekly covet: seaward

{clickable version}

Labor Day weekend is always a little depressing, the end of summer and all the beaches closing. I am hoping to make it back to ocean again in the next year, but the lake will do, even though it's a little less salty.

Also, I've been playing a bit more in the treasury and making daily lists. I probably won't post them all here, but you can check them out here...

Friday, August 20, 2010

sometimes it feels like this

Salvadore Dali, Invention of the Monsters

Besides the Cornell boxes and the Chagall windows, this is one of my favorite peices at the Art Institute. I think what I like is how disturbing it really is when you examine all the details. The flaming giraffe is particularly alarming. Perhaps a good poem works in the same way, is a little alarming upon closer inspection. Perhaps life in general is. In my idleness, I have been musing over art projects, books, zines. One involves architectual renderings and my dreams about houses. Another, cuts up of old letters from a lover (I wouldn't call them love letters, exactly, but my other alternatives are to to burn them or send them back to him.)

fashion friday: late summer soiree

perhaps the best cure for August doldrums is a party. Nights out under the stars, a few bottles of wine (yes, I would tend toward Boone's Farm), a good pasta salad, and maybe a stray guitar...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

dog days

I think we've definitely reached that point in late summer where it starts to wear out its welcome. The gardens are messy and overgrown, buggy and sort of soggy. Soon the house will be filled with tomatoes and my mom will start making salsa. I am convinced that any extended period of time off from the day to day leads only to more sleeping and when awake, more obsessing over various things, poetry, my relationship truamas, the to-do list that awaits me when I return to the city. I have written three e-mails I should not send. I have written two poems that are actually pretty good. Yesterday, I hit the thriftstores and bought back 9 slips, a gorgeous 60's yellow floral table cloth, a framed woodland themed embroidery piece, an owl perfume bottle, and two little bird drawings. I am trying to clear my head an occupy myself with trivia and watching chick flicks with my mother. There is just alot of time to think about stuff which is not always a good thing. I live more inside my head out here than anywhere else if that's possible. Sometimes, it's a very rough place.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I have been here for the last few days where there was much extended family fun, yummy food, lounging about on the beach and in hotel swimming pools. I almost hate to come home since, despite my longing for school supplies, a return from the annual Black River sojourn means that summer is almost over and especially so this trip (which happened a little later than usual.) I am staying out at my parents for a few extra days, during which I plan to do little else than write, since time has been incredibly short for it lately and I miss it. I would like to send some poems out this fall, but I need a kick in the pants. Also, the new manuscript needs a home and I've yet to send it to a single place. I look forward to not worrying about all the usuals (work, commuting, boy/dating drama, book layouts, packing orders) and get to do the fun things (sleeping late, going on mini-adventures, tackling thriftstores and flea-markets galore) I don't even have to worry about dinner since I plan on taking advantage of my mother's bountiful cooking and filling up on things I rarely/never make myself (chicken-n-noodles, meatloaf, pancakes...) It's a nice little hide-from-the-real world cave for just a little while and much, much needed...

Friday, August 13, 2010

fashion friday: back to school longing

Every year, I get the craziest nostalgia for back-to-school purchases--pencils and pens, clean, shiny notebooks, new clothes, and a clean start. The nice thing about working in academia is you still that new start everytime fall rolls around. We still have a couple of weeks or so before the library fills up with students, and maybe it's the heatwave the last few days, but I am especially longing for cooler temps and fall weather, and most importantly, sweater dresses and boots.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I’ve been a little tightly wound the last couple of days…that pre-vacation freak out that happens everytime. I would enjoy the time off if this week before wasn’t so damn exhausting. I wind up on 2am bathroom cleaning binges, fall asleep on buses, launch impromptu website re-designs, and have moments where it feels like everything is just too much for me to handle and I’m totally in danger of unraveling. I still have a sink full of dishes to wash, a suitcase to pack, some laundry to do, books to mail out, etsy orders to fill, and of course, my color printer chooses NOW to run out of ink. I am due for a good melt-down right around Thursday, I'll keep you posted...

Monday, August 09, 2010

Saturday, August 07, 2010

dear poet,

You will probably never make any money off your writing. You will, however, have shelves full of contributor copies, cupboards full of ramen, unspeakable urges to go to law school or library school or some other semi-responsible thing. You will cry a little each month when you write that frightfully large check to Sallie Mae, or when you can't afford nectarines in the grocery store, when your cats/spouse hate you for not running the air conditioner nearly enough when it's 95 outside. If you are lucky, your health will be good, also your teeth. If you're really lucky, you will publish a book after only spending a small fortune to send it out to contests where you will compete with students / babysitters of the judges and poets who are simply far more talented / lucky than you. Maybe, you will win some small tidy amount of money and get a book out of it. Maybe a small, similarly financially strapped press will take a liking to your work and publish it. You will probably never sell enough books to make back in royalties what you paid to get the book published in the first place but you will politely not notice. If you're unlucky, you will blindly continue shooting off your manuscript yearly to every single contest and waiting patiently with your hands in your laps for someone to notice you. You will grow older and more discontented.

No matter what, you will envy novelists, their shiny publicity stints and reading tours and glossy headshots. And worse, their big advance checks with which they buy new couches and condos and rounds of drinks in expensive bars. You will envy other artists/craftspeople who can make a table, a dress, a painting and sell it, when you are mostly paying people to please (please) take your poems off your hands. You will at times consider becoming a professional dominatrix or phone sex operator, but more likely you will find a string of hopefully bearable but slightly boring jobs that allow you the flexibility and space in your head to write, none of which pay enough to move you into the middle class, but will keep you in postage stamps and entry fees as long as you see fit. If you want, people will pay you to impart knowledge to the next generation of poets on a semester by semester basis in many different places. Hopefully you will make the rent. You will look at their shiny penny faces and resent their innocence. If you are truly lucky you will get tenure, and as you scramble from committee meeting to office hours to class, you will remember to write a poem every once in a while or during the summer if you're nerves aren't fried, shaken, or otherwise completely gone.

You will still want for vacations, trips to the bahamas, jaunts across Italy. Will mend every piece of clothing and wear them until they fray and fade. Sometimes, normal, non artsy people will ask you your income and look at you like you just told them you had some terminal, incurable disease. You will decide money means nothing and yet at the same time you will occasionally find yourself unable to afford bus fare. In the greater poetry world, you will find yourself beholden to rules and guidelines that are both contradictory and completely arbitrary, and will encounter people who will hate you, secretly or openly, simply for being luckier/harder working/more talented than they perceive themselves to be. You will assimilate yourself to hierarchies and structures that mean nothing to people outside of them, who will gaze at you blankly when you try to explain why X mfa program/press/lit journal is more prestigious than Y. You will submit yourself to constant posturing by others during one-on-one or Internet discussions which have a tendency to turn very ugly and personal at times at over rather ridiculous subjects. After all, scarcity, real or imagined, breeds intense animosity. You will witness countless intellectual pissing contests, back-biting, and back channeling. Your complaints about systems and hierarchies and po-biz and such, among fellow poets, will be met with silence and a vague look of discomfort. People will eye you with fear in their eyes at panels or reading as you spout off about self-publishing, debunking, and de-centering. Afterwards, they will politely shake your hand and move away from you as quickly as possible as if you might suddenly bite them or throw up on their shoes.

Amidst all this you will still love poetry, even though poetry does not always love you back, even though sometimes you have to coax her away from the ledge with shredded paper and chocolates. You will hoard poems in the bureaus, on top of the fridge, in your desk drawer at work. You will still consider library school and law school and phone sex, but maybe if you're lucky you will make your own way trailing your poems along behind you like breadcrumbs. And just maybe, someone will pick them up and flip you a quarter now and then.

Friday, August 06, 2010

fashion friday: more decadence

She only cared for the sea when it was lashed to fury by the storm, and for verdure when it served as a background to a ruin. Everything must needs minister to her personal longings, as it were, and she thrust aside as of no account whatever everything that did not immediately contribute to stir the emotions of her heart, for her temperament was sentimental rather than artistic, seeking, not pictures, but emotions.

--Madame Bovary

Wednesday, August 04, 2010


One of my favorite places to visit when I'm feeling a need for creative inspiration is Gracia Haby and Louise Jennison's collection of very awesome paper art, prints, zines, and all manner of little paper goodies in every single corner of the site..

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

weekly covet: pure decadence

{clickable version}

This week, it's all about girly, pampering, creature comforts sort of stuff, lots of chandeliers, gilt mirrors, frilly underthings, and oh yes, chocolate truffles.

Monday, August 02, 2010

new issue...

wicked alice / fall 2010

featuring new work by Kimberly Grey, Khadijah Queen, Emilie Beth Lindemann, Rachel Jamison Webster, Megan Kaminski, Erin Gendron, Leigh Phillips, Nicole Steinberg, Deborah Bradford, Joshua Butts, C. Albert, Virginia Bell, Teresa Petro-Micchelli, Laura Dixon, Carolee Sherwood, and art by Cassia Banks.

Not only is it our newest issue, but it's issue #30, and I just realized coming up on our 9th year anniversary online. I launched the journal on September 3rd, 2001, so we've been around quite awhile, even for online journals, which seem to have an expiration date of a few years. I've occasionally thought of drawing the whole thing to a close since things have gotten so crazy with the press, but my sister, voice of wisdom, said simply "you can't do that." I do feel in some ways like it would be abandoning one child simply because the younger child demands more attention. And truth be told, once I get to it, I really enjoy switching gears and putting the issue together, if not wading the inbox and coding the issue (which has gotten easier, first with Front Page, and now the lastest version of MSOffice, it's easypeasy (at least compared to before.) My html skills are still pretty basic, but I suppose they're functional...

Sunday, August 01, 2010


I sometimes find it alarming how easily some people can be erased from ones life, not a trace, e-mails, photos, phone numbers, letters. As if the other person never existed. I feel like I've done alot of erasing and rewriting the past few months in the romantic arena. I've felt deeply intensely connected to people who a few months later I have lost all contact with. Earlier this year, two rather casual relationships ended after nearly 4 years, one suddenly and not by my volition (and that after several skips and leaps as it was), another which had been half-hearted at best for the same length (and which fed off and thrived on my occasional dissastifaction with the other). I suppose that is one of the hazards of being non-monogamous, two people can potentially hurt you at the same time. I felt doubly dumped, and did all sorts of weird things like throw myself at male freinds/co-workers and make bad dating decisions in general. I guess I was trying too hard.

I've never been the sort of person who has a problem being alone, but at the same time I DO have a certain boredom that sets in whenever I am completely without any sort of romantic interest at all. I miss that fire, that slow burn and flutter of the stomach when you're gaga over someone--that twitterpation, I guess. That looking forward to seeing someone everyday. (although the flip side is that I get too freaked out if I feel the relationship is trying to take on too much weight in my life and I actually DO have to see them everyday.) I miss it as much as I would poetry if I had to stop writing it altogether. It would be a lack, a certain hole in the fabric of things. At the same time I've wondered if it is a good thing, considering neither of the above relationships were perfect (and the one I adored most the worst of all). Sigh. so I realized that over the past month and a half I've been trying to make a new relationship work despite all my inclinations to the contrary, to WANT to like someone as much as they seemed to like me, even though I was sort of lukewarm. He was a perfectly nice, honest, reasonably attractive guy, but there were certain things about his personality that were turning me off (type A things really) but I kept trying anyway, trying to like him, just to prove that I could like SOMEONE, that my heart wasn't a burned out husk. Sigh..I don't know..I think he finally picked up on it and we decided to go our separate ways. It was almost a relief.

Now as I am deleting his e-mails, his text messages, his number from my phone, I was feeling a little sad, not because of him, but because of how easy it was to do it.