The non-narrating narration of our lives. It is a place that I am inhabiting. The story we have given our own life. The stories we used to need to have others know, as a precursor to knowing us. That falling away. The story isn’t really a story anymore. It just is.
Things carry on like they always have done.
Too many Songs of the Week to recount but check them all out here. I finished up the Coconut Books residency and moved on Ugly Duckling Press, which is still in process. Then onto, well, I don’t know exactly, but I always seem to come up with something. It occurred to me that I’ve been running Song of the Week since 2011. Where-o-where does the time go?
Quickly, (even though I know I’ve been negligent!) I am reading tomorrow night as part of JC Fridays, a monthly city-wide arts event in Jersey City. I will be reading with all JC residents and with the lovely and kind Laura Cronk, who also happened to curate the event. You can find more information here. FB invite here.
Also tomorrow night is the launch party for Paige Taggart‘s second book of poetry (in one year!) Or Replica! I love this because I love Paige’s poetry but also because it happens to have been published by my press, Brooklyn Arts! It’s a win-win. Book party info here. If you can’t come, buy the book here.
Okay, more updates soon.
I’m about to rush off to my creative writing class, which I love (and am actually sort of qualified to teach!). Now all I need to do is figure out a way to do that full time…
As it happens I have some readings coming up.
The first is next Tuesday, September 23 at The New School and is being billed as an evening with former LIT editors. Reading with me is Nicole Steinberg and Justin Marks. You can get more information here. I’m looking forward to it. The New School has been so many things for me (and still is) that it’s nice to be reminded of this part of TNS – my time as a student in the graduate program and my time as editor of LIT. Should be good.
Then I will be reading next Friday, September 26 at Molasses Books in Brooklyn with Paige Taggart and some other folks. Paige invited me to read with her. Maybe see you there?
Also, there is a new and colossal POP up by Russell Dillon about hip-hop, skateboarding, naming, codes, and failing better. You should check it out here.
And, as always, Songs of the Week. We are knee deep in the Coconut Poetry residency with pieces by Tyler Gobble, Megan Kaminski, Laura Kochman, Liz Chereskin, and Nick Sturm. Still got a few weeks of Coconut peeps left, then it will be on to something new.
I think that I have more or less finally “returned” from vacation, from the idea of summer, from the brief respite the summer brings. During this time Aphoria was lovingly reviewed by Douglas Piccinnini on The Volta. You can read the review here. It means a lot to me when unsolicited reviews like this pop up. It gets difficult at times (in general and in writing) and being reminded that (my) poems make actual connections with readers is the type of gentle and warm encouragement that I sometimes need.
Also, I forgot to tell you that I was reading for Welcome to Boog City Festival 8 last week. The reason I forgot to tell you is because the bf and I were on a beautifully epic trip (Big Sur, Santa Barbara, Joshua Tree). We saw so much natural beauty. It sounds silly but something about being in these environs woke up a slumbering part of my brain – at least for a short while, now that I am back in the routine I know it will be hard to hang on to it but I will try. But just knowing, for example, that Joshua Tree National Park exists in all of its quiet expanse and just “is” is sort of a freeing feeling for me, especially when I get wound up from work and New York life in general. Life is bigger than all that. I know that is obvious, but something about hiking through the park made it feel more real to me than just me intellectualizing a fact.
I am going to try to keep this with me.
But you know, now that I am back in the swing of things I would be remiss to not tell you about all the Songs of the Week! The second half of the belladonna* residency featured pieces by Mia Bruner, Krystal Languell, and Emily Skillings. Then we had some one off pieces from Erin Lyndal Martin and Nico Vassilakis. Up now is the Coconut Poetry residency, kicking off with pieces by Steven Karl and Carrie Lorig.
Otherwise, you know, I’ll be here just trying to keep the energy moving forward. Wish me luck.
Years later I’m standing before a roomful of young writers in
a high school in Texas. I’ve asked them to locate an image
in a poem we’d just read—their heads at this moment
are bowed to the page. After some back & forth about the
grass & a styrofoam cup, a girl raises her hand & asks,
Does it matter? I smile—it is as if the universe balanced
on those three words & we’ve landed in the unanswerable. I
have to admit that no, it doesn’t, not really, matter, if rain
is an image or rain is an idea or rain is a sound in our heads.
But, I whisper, leaning in close, to get through the next
forty-seven minutes we might have to pretend it does.
So I am reading tomorrow night for Earshot. The Earshot reading series was the first NYC reading series I read at when I was a pre-MFA-er (a long time ago!) and the reading took place at a bar on Ludlow Street. I was SO nervous! At one point someone broke a glass while I was reading and I tried to make a joke about it but I ended up coming off like a complete b. Hopefully tomorrow’s reading will go a little better. Come say hi.
Also, a new POP by Christine Neacole Kanownik, which I sort of recruited from her after I read an excerpt in poemmail (a weekly poem sharing email that I am looped into). I think the essay is great. You can read it here.
So I just finished reading Moby Dick (I know!) and have been trying to catch up with The Believer. One of my favorite columns is the Greil Marcus “Real Life Rock Top Ten” and I got a pretty good one from him this time. Tacocat!
Since we’ve last talked not only has there been one new POP, but rather there has been two. Anne Boyer talks Bo Diddley here and Carina Finn talks the wild heart here. If you haven’t done so already give them a read.
Also, as always, lots of SOWs, featuring a short residency from Futurepoem with contributions by Alan Gilbert, Merry Fortune, Jill Magi, and Francesca DeMusz. Following that we had a piece by Vanessa Falco. SOW is going to celebrate its three-year anniversary soon. Where oh where does the time go?
A few weeks ago I went to St. Louis, MO where I was invited to read at Fort Gondo with Lucy Ives. I had a great trip and am humbled by how attentive and kind the audience was. Also by how amazing the art gallery was. Such a cool space. Big thanks to Jessica Baran for inviting me to read and Paul Legault for hanging out with me while I was there. Here’s a picture of me in action.
Speaking of readings, I am reading for Earshot here in New York on June 26. More details on that to follow soon.
Today a review that I wrote for Julia Cohen’s Collateral Light was published over at sink review. You can read it here. Julia’s book was also published by Brooklyn Arts Press. A fine press indeed!
I think that’s it for now…
Well, it’s April and we are experiencing a bit of a reprieve weather-wise, finally. If all goes well I’ll get to go on a short bike ride after work, the first ride of the season.
But let me tell you about some stuff first:
2. New Songs of the Week by Dawn Sueoka, Sandra Simonds, Jennifer L. Knox, and Becca Klaver, all part of the Bloof Books residency. You should stop by the Bloof website sometime this month as many Bloof authors are writing a poem-a-day for National Poetry month. Also a SOW by R.M. O’Brien about the new Girl Talk/Freeway video “Tolerated” just went up today.
3. You should also check out (and buy!) the new ep by Ryan Anselmi called Lookout Road, out on Hundred Pockets Records. I’m of course partial, since he is the bf after all, but I promise that you will enjoy it. The ep is a homage of sorts to his home state of Kansas and is comprised of all original tunes. So proud. Now if only we could have a release party for the record…
4. Paige Taggart’s first full-length collection of poems called Want for Lion is out now from Trembling Pillow Press. Also so proud and so excited that this book exists! Go get this book!
5. Sean Rowe came to our apartment last week and played an incredibly imitate show for us in our tiny backyard.