Friday, January 29, 2010

Tony Tost's America. The greatest podcast ever? You decide...

I've listened to every episode. They're all great...but really catch fire around 6 and 7.

One thing I've learned; In all my liberal snobbishness, I forgot Toby Keith wrote good songs. Oh, and that I'd love to hear Sam Jackson versions of every song...ever. Can't someone code an iPhone app for that? I'd be willing to spend $18 on it...which is apparently my line between reasonably affordable and ridiculously unnecessary.

Who spends a whole twenty dollars on...anything?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

At what age is it appropriate for you to start telling kids to "rock on?" Is this a conscious decision, or does it just happen once accidentally, and then again, and again? Personally, I'm 31 (going on 32) and I've been telling kids to, "rock on," for some time now. I think for awhile it was generational, but then that first group of kids told to "rock on," grew up and began telling a new wave of kids to "rock on," as though it was a cultural expectation. Can David Essex take all the blame, or does he deserve to share it with others? You decide:

This video reminds of me of "Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise." The nerds were on Spring Break and staying at a hotel called the Coral Essex. After some run-ins with the non-nerds, the nerds threw a party the only way they knew how, and used nerd skill-sets to make the sign say, Oral Sex. I don't remember much else from that movie...actually, that's a total lie, I remember pretty much the whole thing (now that I'm thinking about it).

I wonder if anyone ever told the nerds to "rock on?" Probably their dads.

Greying Ghost is having a winter sale. 4 books for $21. Do it here.

Today only, Wave Books is selling their "State of the Union," for $5. You should read it when there is nothing good on during the actual State of the Union address.

Black Ocean is practically giving away (reasons to buy their) books. You should do it, then make a necklace out of them and then wear it to some sort of fundraiser, like, say, the one for the U of C Lab School that I used to work for, telling people the whole time, that you've "already donated every cent you could to a much worthier cause." It will get huge laughs.

Trust me.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Have you ever stopped, just briefly, and realized you were about to pay $100 for used boots? And then, when you try to figure out how you reached this point, found yourself actually doing more to defend the decision?

I did this today. I thought it went really well...then I found out that all people actually heard was cha-cha music. Sadly, cha-cha music is probably more appropriate for noon than poetry, especially poetry about elevators and jack-o-lanterns and stars named Jenny.

My first poetry workshop with James Galvin is in the can. I'm really not a fan of workshop (i.e. I'm blogging instead of poeming), but I think this one will be alright. So far, we're talking a lot more about poetry and not poems; our poems, your poems, my poems. That's much more interesting to me, talking about poetry, that is.

Do you own all Michael Zapruder's records? You prolly should. They contain about 5 of my favorite songs ever.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ice storms have knocked out our (neighbors) internet. I don't pay for our (neighbors) internet and thus can't complain to Mediacom about it not working. It's been two days...sigh.

In other, and much cooler news, JMW has hung a new issue of RLM here. Kate Greenstreet is pretty amazing. So is Travis Nichols.

The first week of school has come and gone. The one thing I've learned...Dan Beachy-Quick is the most earnest and adorable lecturer ever.

An old friend of mine, Kim Groninga has a book coming out, maybe. We've shared many hours digging through each other's poems like laundry. It looks like Kim finally found an looks like this.

Everything I've ever promised you should come this week.

Monday, January 18, 2010

You should do this...and now! Supplies, I'm told, are quite limited.

"The Concher 2 is a hand-stitched, hard-bound journal featuring poems by:

Kristin Abraham * Dan Beachy-Quick * Michelle Brown * Beth Coyote * Kirk Davis * Christopher DeWeese * Rebecca Dunham * Grace Egbert * Rae Gouirand * Matthew Henriksen * Matthew Hittinger * Alex Lemon * B.J. Love * Kristi Maxwell * Karyna McGlynn * Jennifer Metsker *Aimee Nezhukumatathil * Sean Norton * D.A. Powell & Haines Eason * Kate Schapira * Bronwen Tate * Andy Trebing * KC Trommer * Jen Tynes * Joshua Marie Wilkinson

The flavors we’ve chosen to compliment this batch of words are:

spicy cayenne * honey pistachio * lavender vanilla * peanut butter pretzel * pomegranate white chocolate * smoky orange caramel"

It all sounds Plus, you get me and a bunch of way better poets in a kick-ass book.

You know...besides the cold, winter is pretty awesome.

I finally registered for classes last week (I had to show proof of immunization, which is hard to do when you're 31 and haven't had that to worry about since your freshman year in college), and doing so required that I swing by the Workshop. The folks in the office were sitting amongst 1300 fiction applications and over 900 poetry applications stacked in mail tubs and columned throughout what little space they have in there. 2200 applications for next year. 40 people will get in...I hope you are one.

A quick list of things I'm currently in the market for: a reading chair (preferably broken in), a new portable record player (my old non-portable one didn't survive the last move), a reading lamp, one of those old magazine racks (preferably identical to my grandma's), a large cork board/calendar, and a garbage can.

Did I ever tell you I'm reading in Minneapolis on July 1st? I am.

I've also been asked to write a book review...but what book? Help...

Today is my last day off...I've done a pretty good job of avoiding poetry for the last month, hoping to feel a bit more refreshed this semester.

I'm also hoping to take the new FA chapbook to print this week (now that I'll have a little extra scratch). Keep an ear out for that...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

There is a dead bird outside our backdoor. I am scared my dog will eat it, while also hoping that something else gets to it first. In short, I don't want to touch the dead bird. In the process of avoiding the bird I built a robot. I was lucky because it came with an Android Assembly Manual. I have no idea how to build androids without proper instruction.

Check this out. It's very cool.

Have you eaten hot dogs lately? They are prolly the awesomest meat product ever...

Thursday, January 07, 2010

All these pictures are from my back yard (as far as I've roamed in the last few days). One was taken at 4 o'clock in the morning when my dog (who doesn't like snow and therefore doesn't poop in snow) couldn't hold it any longer. Another one has two suns, or at least the illusion of two suns, as there really is no sun at all. The rest are various spots along the same line.

Yesterday I bought bleach. Using it, the bleach, has been the most thrilling part of my day so far. I mean, how white can the whites be? What if I get bleach on my hands and then touch something else? Where exactly is the line between not enough bleach and too much bleach? I followed the directions, but the washer in our apartment still feels the need to advertise that it is, in fact, AUTOMATIC. Do those directions, therefore, still hold? Is it that bleach is actually scary, or am I wholly under stimulated?


Wednesday, January 06, 2010

My skin is pretty dry. It's rough. It's itchy. It's so rough, it manages to itch itself. That, we call, "an upside." It's also cold, my skin, but that is mostly due to it being really cold outside. Really cold. Like, my-dog-won't-even-go-outside cold.

I've been listening to a lot of old French pop and chanson music. I love the rhythm of French, and it's only amplified when it's sung, especially in the chanson tunes, which, I read, are propelled musically by the rhythm of the language. When I first heard them, I was a little like Navin Johnson in, "The Jerk."

Also, my poem, "Michigander," was recently picked up by Greying Ghost Press to be published "sometime this year." I've been a fan of this press for a couple of years now. The aesthetic of the press has always been attractive to me; both in what they print and how they do it. Though it was an open-reading, I've imagined this poem in a GGP dress for quite some time, so it is, literally, a bit of dream come true for me. Anyway, I'll be sure to pass on the exact details as they become available.

A friend of mine, Matthew Klane, is breathing here.

Another friend, David Gorin, is telling you how your breath sounds here.

Also, Letter Machine Editions friends have a couple of new books for you to buy here. Please do think about buying those books. Noah and Joshua have great ears and buying these books is like rubbing the back of your hand against's a win/win.

School starts back up soon, and I couldn't be more ready. Seriously, I'm taking pictures of my own hands...

Sunday, January 03, 2010

This place is real, my friends. We drove past it. All places you drive past must be real in order for you to pass them...that's how we decided time was real. Awesome Corner used to be a gas station and snack shop. Now Awesome Corner is a goat farm that sells goat cheese, so, if you're interested you can buy Awesome Corner goat cheese.

It's things like this that make me miss Iowa when I don't live here.