12.31.2007

renouncing my sexism for seven thousand years

News: Joni Mitchell--on Blue at least--competes with Leonard Cohen's "vaulted" (whose banker? where is the miner's bow tie?) "lyrical territory" (I have thought a lot about what that means; now you can!) and defeats him.

Did this need its own blog post?

All your questions have been forwarded to the gypsy rain.

12.30.2007

newsweek: 'just mail half of them put the other half in your bag: is bryan coffelt the best idea haver ever?'

Bryan Coffelt: oh
Bryan Coffelt: you'll get them in less than a month...
Bryan Coffelt: i'm sure they would be there in time
Bryan Coffelt: just mail half of them
Bryan Coffelt: put the other half in your bag
Me: yeah good idea
Me: i'm probably only going to bring a small green bag, but it will work
Bryan Coffelt: that will be $5.
Me: for the good idea
Me: your rates have gone up
Bryan Coffelt: yeah
Bryan Coffelt: yes
Bryan Coffelt: gas
Bryan Coffelt: through the roof.
Bryan Coffelt: sorry.
Me: hmm what if i don't pay you but i just make sure your idea gets out there to a large audience
Bryan Coffelt: fine

12.19.2007

how did you sleep last night?

I have entered a legal war with Tao Lin.

My attorney suggests that I not refer to the origin of the war, but you can probably find it if you're not silly.

After this legal war is over, and I've won, I will own all of
Tao's assets--poodles, book royalties, a Brooklyn bedroom, his $$$ Asian identity--and he'll own a cup of water with lime in it.

Let's not call me ungenerous, no?

My attorney suggests I not talk about James Purdy.

12.16.2007

love is out to get you / it's the makeup in your beard

Let's have some seasonal affection for my local writing friends and their fresh publications:

Ben Stein's Boyandquarter in SmokeLong.

Rachel B. Glaser's The Kid in elimae.

Christopher Cheney's poems in notnostrums.

I feel like there are more, but I can't remember. Maybe, later, I will add to this post.

LATER: Gabe Durham conquers the game of links.

12.11.2007

"there is no team in fuck you"

Hilarious stuff from Christian Bök:



Favorite lines:

[see blog post title]
"did you know that no american has died of old age since 1951?!"
"the sanskrit word for war means 'a desire for more cows'"
"we eat cruel and unusual peppermint"
"when in rome? do as the ramones do!"

12.09.2007

hours like sparrows


My story "The Peaches Are Cheap" has just gone up at Hobart. It originally appeared in Monday Night, a lovely journal out of the San Francisco Bay Area. Now other people in the world--in cities that start with San or don't--may read it. Or may not. Mayn't?

It's a sad story; the characters could solve their existential crises if they just fried their peaches in a caramel sauce. Losers.

12.08.2007

maxim to writers with high yearly incomes

If you're going to be insufferable,
At least be entertaining. Cheers.

12.07.2007

esoteric levinas snow poem about uncomfortable parties

WE'RE NOT FRIENDS YET

In case I need help,
are your hands free?

Hugs on bicycles, per-
mission: dance.

Is it swanky to ask
for your pocket too

soon? Terrific low
stakes hello whores.

We wanted smores.
There's no then what.

Chrome and milk chase
home the snowplows.

You didn't see that
coming, nor me as

well: now we're sure
friends. In concert.

12.01.2007

five feet in one shoehorn



I have 5 poems in the new Concelebratory Shoehorn Review. Thank you, Maurice Oliver. Other people in the issue: Barry Ballard, Glenna Luschei (her poems: swell), C. L. Bledsoe (good poems here too), John Tranter (editor of Jacket), Maxim Popykin, Ashok Niyogi, Michelle Brooks (I like these too), Stolpersteine (not a person but a project by Gunter Demnig), Peter Ciccariello, Meshell Ndegeocello (a musician), and Sean Lause.

Sorry to privilege certain people with ()'s. That's not keeping in the holiday spirit. Jesus would throw a drink in my face.

JUDGING IF YOU WANT TO READ THESE POEMS BY PREVIOUS RESPONSES (BEING A MORE HONEST SUPPORTER OF LITERATURE):

Kasey Mohammad hated "Yosae This Frozen Skater" but liked "I Enjoy Things."

Bryan Coffelt liked an older version of "The Bedrock Tennis Brigade."

The state of Oklahoma enjoyed "Clay in Grandma Claire." I don't want to make anyone feel bad, but I officially renounce all of that poem except the last line.

Issac is a kid I knew one time whose name shows up in "What Do You Owe Your Zip Code?"

yes

Small Pale Humans by Daniel Spinks is good. Yep. Easy on eyes, too.

11.23.2007

according to

JEAN STAIN

Clay mug--or a
pipe dream? No,
mug: cracked to
leak a stamp of
coffee. A crazy
night, kid? No.

11.15.2007

mad hits about the face and neck

Announcing NOÖ Journal's December Bicoastal Reading!

East Coast:
Amherst Books
December 12th / 8PM
Amherst, MA


Featuring the following readers:

Heather Christle's poetry has or will appear in Fence, Octopus Magazine, Unpleasant Event Schedule, LIT, NOÖ Journal and elsewhere.

Elisa Gabbert's recent work appears or will appear in NOÖ, Cannibal, LIT, Meridian, Caketrain, Coconut and elsewhere. Her chapbook, Thanks for Sending the Engine, is available from Kitchen Press. She is also the author with Kathleen Rooney, of Something Really Wonderful, forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press, and That Tiny Insane Voluptuousness, forthcoming from Otoliths Books.

Aaron Hellem's work appears or will appear in Ellipsis, NOÖ Journal, Carve Magazine, and the Powhatan Review.

Tao Lin is the author of a novel, EEEEE EEE EEEE (Melville house, May 2007), a story-collection, BED (Melville House, May 2007), a poetry collection, YOU ARE A LITTLE BIT HAPPIER THAN I AM (Action Books, November 2006), and a forthcoming poetry collection, COGNITIVE-BEHAVIORAL THERAPY (Melville House, May 2008).

West Coast:
Los Angeles
TBA

11.06.2007

prose flurry

I don't know if I'll leave up the thing below or not. Do you? Do you know?

Joe Massey had a call-in day at his blog. Hear mine there. I laugh at myself a couple times, once or twice.

This is what I read, if you want to read along (I'm writing MC Oroville poems instead of doing NaNoWriMo like Jess, Bryan, and Alex):

Main Event for the Bowling Alley Parking Lot

taken down to forthcome in Saltgrass

this is how 90% of "intelligent" and "informed" people write about the future.

HI: A WRITING THING ABOUT THE FUTURE OR SOMETHING

It's hard for me to get away from this old idea I have about something. Sure, it's wrong, and I know that. In fact, here is a long and clearly well-attuned exploration of all the ways in which my idea is outdated. Pretty sharp, right? Why did I even get my idea in the first place? Well, here is the history of my idea framed in an overall metanarrative of progress that proves how we really have no reason to cling to this old shit. And hey, maybe that's awesome! Maybe we're headed for this utopia I will now describe. Wow, that sounded good, right? But now I can't help but feel a little like saying "But now I can't help but." Maybe I'm just silly, but here is the part where I abandon the logic and keen analysis I used earlier to decide that for now (and probably the rest of my life) I am never going to abandon my old idea--even though I'm smart enough to self-analyze and identify its archaism, its rigidity, its snotty doctrine of convervastism that serves to make my brain a sort of bunker of fear. Faced with all that, why stick with this old idea? Well, I kind of like it! In this vague and emotional way I will now take one or two sentences to sketch, all of which is supposed to somehow shove all that earlier hard-won rationale off the podium. Whee! Don't worry about all that stuff I took a long time to explain. Emotions are way cooler. Fuck the future. Have a good night.

11.04.2007

you're so fun they should make a sequel

More MC Oroville poems (plus one from Don't Wake Up It's Just Me) now live at Lamination Colony, Blake Butler's tarnation tough online magazine.

This November issue also features Andrea Fitzpatrick, Shane Jones, Gene Morgan, Ofelia Hunt, and Sean Lovelace.

So even if you think I'm a whiny asshole, you should read these other people, real live lettuce chewers who confidently breathe a little in and out without worrying about whether the breath will get stuck (coming or going) at the teeth gate.

10.17.2007

thunderbirds are actually cats. sorry. you should have been told sooner.

EAT THIS CITY! EAT THIS CITY OH!

No, not "home" -- you haven't even bought
a real lamp. Friends you tell them all of
flesh and local compromise, this act is
act this, ignore that, silly rabbit:
you are not where I reach at in sleep.
I sign birthday cards on the night bus.
Sundays I jar the apple mash for Bea.
When you say always with the fucking
apples, you mean: "Bea? Listen. On you
he stews so much that he cuds this new
love. Chews later. Who does that shit!
Love has a half life and molders or
something." And so we go, each among the
other, a game of open hand demand, with
marbles suspected beneath the skin.
We suspect sex on a train in the woods.
Maybe a bad call, a drunk walk in April snow,
a boxing match to story up the scar you
won't. What want do you hoist and schlep
to town? What will you bet? This, he says,
and scoots across a tin of yellow mints.
Okay? We lift our cards, avoid the tell.
We try to guess whatever look we share.

10.13.2007

lonely people are evil

A pathetic, sadistic screed by Josh Olson about two lonely women and the things that happened between them.

No wonder History of Violence sucked.

Josh Olson's new theory is that he is the final arbitrator of "good" and "evil" because he can cuss a lot and isn't fat or something, I think.

Since I can't legally re-post the picture that wraps the story, please make sure to look at it here. You might have to scroll a bit: it's after the paragraph where Josh Olson hopes the woman in the picture gets murdered.

Yeah. She's a regular minotaur. Go get 'em, Josh.

Okay, this is a seriously weird "moral" issue and I want to know what sorts of reactions might spill. Please comment.

10.09.2007

apple pie air freshener


I just finished reading a William Gay story that mentioned "an autumnal look of distances." Which is vague, abstract, overly clinical and clunky with vocabulary--but also perfect. No more Nick Drake records needed. That clause is a linguistic summary of Fall.

In other news, I have a story coming out in the new Backwards City Review. I lost a contest to someone with a complete sentence for a name (BJ Hollars), but they decided to print my story anyway. BJ's excerpt makes his story look pretty cool. One time I had a friend named BJ. He went out with a girl I knew from theatre, and I seem to remember something about strip poker and an orgy. Another kid I knew from theatre moved to Sacramento and spends most of his life now "clubbing," high on E. "Clubbing." I think clubbing is 3% dancing, 4% E, 5% going to the bathroom, 25% drinking fruited vodkas, and 63% sitting outside, bumming cigarettes, and talking shit about people in the way of a drum machined powered Truman Capote knockoff.

My story is about a nub.

Please order a copy of Backwards City Review and read it.

Support literature.

Literature has more E's than E.

9.30.2007

sexy hanging garden on a trellis with plums of sex

Thank you to Didi Menendez: I am a Man of the Web.

Yeah, that's what I thought too.

everybody everybody everybody knows

THANK YOU BUT I'M OVER HERE

I do not totally regret life.
Sub pumps and chirp colored
crosswalks, Charlie tokens
and Yuri and Whisper and Pat
and then and who and hello.

Amherst is a box of scarfs.
Of cider and oak sweatervests.
Of scarf flavored doughnuts.
Portland's a basement of punks
with duct tape over the Prius.
Vancouver is a troop of bi
bicyclists who stir honey into
mate with drizzle sticks and zines.

Thank God Vancouver isn't Brooklyn,
God. Thanks. Meanwhile, I want to
shit on you if you walk a cinder
block across New Jersey because you
"must." Oroville, in the motels of the
AM hours, the new tattoos will keep
you up. Don't talk to me about must.

What is Santa Fe? Tallahassee?
Montenegro? Reykjavik? Perth?
I want you to meet this crook
in my foot and deliver it over,
over and over and ever again.

Ashley is sad that I'm not in
or anymore. You can take me
anywhere but I won't moor.
Ashland is Alex and Bryan
and who and hello in whose
kitchen. And then the hug is
suspect, maybe, a thing of
collapse. To skate on ice a
thousand miles a blink might
make for a pretty jail break.

9.24.2007

dong dong dong

Someone's struck the pretty witch.

Good.

What I mean is this article, where Melvin Jules Bukiet denounces a lot of fluffy bullshit.

He is overzealous, sure, but come on. How is this not right:
Unfortunately, it’s false to all human experience to find “growth” in tragedy. In fact, the dull truth is that pain is tautological. The only thing suffering teaches us is that we are capable of suffering.

If you read Bookslut (or the American Scholar, I guess), you've already seen this article, but I basically want to invite my friends to read it. That's pretty much all this blog does. Friend invitations. Requests.

Carry on.

9.23.2007

don't harsh my mellow

KETCHUP AND CHAMPAGNE

Green tea in a milk jug,
tap water in a wineglass,
fruit flies in a fixture,
the fake in this gesture.

Ketchup and champagne: AWOL
all morning. Millions of ball
oons that no one ever demon
strates for Powerpoints

or Sir Etcetera. The little
like of things okay,
the put it off skew--
tomorrow is all don't

harsh my mellow. How I;
I loll on you, my little um.

: yes

I don't know how to introduce this link. I very much enjoyed this post, and I empathized and identified with much of what Reginald speaks of. Not all of it. Everyone is a little bit their own language, which is usually a drag but is probably good for the time we have.

"Working Class Hero" from Reginald Shepherd.

9.21.2007

growing old in 1849

THEM'S THE BREAKS

You should invent a retarded hemp android
instead of playing bingo with your mother.
Age is not just the good ship New Excuses
but a way to like sad foods and clean
less teeth. Each day I want a little
said, a little different said, of and to
my face. O a lark the range of human salt.
O the luxury of handling a person's care.
O why did you turn the shower up cold?
Oh. Sorry. I only wanted us all to awake
mid-stride, amid the crockery thieves and
early bedtimes, stews and old sweatpants.
My thing is with getting from now on. Yes,
I would like to skip anything that lives just
so bad advice can have a job. But-- but--
The reason I never met you at the depot is
not clever. Please let go. I will pass out.
I like to build small promises and sew them
fast, but people keep slathering me these
looks--shit, just tell me what to do, okay?

9.19.2007

a ^ versus a carrot

NOÖ Journal [seven] is online!

That is font size seven for issue seven. Victory.

In other victory news, I have completed my 1st Visit to New York quest and saved the princess. Thank you, Nick. I will see the realpoetik reading at the Bowery Poetry Club on October 4th and probably buy a bagel or something.

What else should I do in New York? How do I get a peanut butter stain off my shirt? Which is more dire? Do you like Dire Straits? I don't.

Here is a picture of the old York:

9.17.2007

ass power

a call after 'the project'
by Jack Christian

9.15.2007

the distance between us is like how motivated i must be to wash the dishes



On the first of May, I told you "all" that I would blog long blogs about emoticons, rollercoasters and Airborne. Will this happen? Think of it this way:

1) The sun still holds some sway over the ocean

2) Steve Earle doesn't appreciate the fact you can probably check your email from an Amtrak train. Um, I couldn't, but theoretically sure.

3) Noah and the Whale's "5 Years Time" is the best pop song since last Thursday. Or since commedia dell'arte.

Ergo: if you care about me at all, please post a picture of breakfast (any kind is okay; do you eat red beans and rice for breakfast? great) in the comment section. Practice your image linking. Goad [me] into something.

P.S. Not my! photos.

9.02.2007

new york sleeping bag

New York sleeping bag found. See above.

A few people have asked about pictures. Here are some pictures from my cell phone.



You know exactly what's going on, you just don't want to admit it.



Emilie was born on a Zeppelin above Paris, Texas.



Chris is a maximum strength antacid tablet.



"How is it going over there, Mike?"



This is the picture from high up in the UMass library which a Friends character might take and post on his blog.

8.21.2007

you know what that means

Last night, I almost started a grease fire, which made me think "man! I had better start writing stupid and bloodlessly surreal story poems!" So this afternoon, I got straight on dat shit.

WE ARE JUST BELLS IN THE SOUP NAZI'S DREAM

and play that 'who can be the more audacious
dumb.' Yet these swamp minnow years made me
so cheap, lies I tell on trains don't even
sting. What else? Well, the strip mall
is still a neighborhood, full of busy
bodies, where the mattress saleswoman
watches football in the Dominos forever,
up until a 4th and 13 punt arcs up and up and
hits her, jaw-abouts, shattering a strudel of
brain that had slipped there when she was
seventeen, hot shit behind a Spearmint veil
and faking hip drawls for branchwater (which
sounds a lot more badass than it tastes),
hiding from the bouncer with quarter
after quarter into the bull's lever.
Ride on O someone's little sister!

But, that extra brain so dislodged,
she is free to quit the mattress factory
(keep up, bitches) and sue and lose
to a technicality with a combover
who checks Craigslist every weekend
for Soviet telescopes. They marry
in the laundromat, splurge for a
Nickelback cover band, and delay vows
while the drummer's cigarette break
is besieged by high collared visions
commanding that he relapse to tractor
something something and an ulcer-shaped
duty to hold his hat at that tummy level
bespeaking a solid dearth of hubris,
then sobergulp his way Back To Town
and fess up his ledger: a daughter,

curious! Her Minny Mouse eyeglasses chip
when she pirouettes off the swing and heave
-ho's: she can't find them or remember to
cry, what with this fine all--limes!
the White House!--turning a cautiously
awesome red all of a sudden, the color of
when a glass Coke bottle mouth is blown across.
I will give you a second if you need it.
Then your own daughter calls to say
her own daughter's learned in school today
the names of bones, eighty-odd, new ones that
Science just invented. Why, she even
knows how to swim now without holding
everybody's breath. Isn't that everything?
You are now a lot more cool than before.

8.19.2007

omg rhyming--he's like an obnoxious cell phone

It takes me some of these sometimes to "build up" any "steam."

THE CON MAN'S THIRTEEN CONSTRUCTION BALLADS

These games were built for solitude,
These tricks were built for whores.
These belts were built for hipsters
And these wide roads built for war.

This face was built for lotion,
This discretion built for shame.
These hips were built for holsters,
And these cherries built for cranes.

These barges built for musket nooks,
These cousins built to leech,
These neighbors built for sugar
And these lemons built for teeth.

This shampoo built for rock'n'roll,
And this country built and stuck.
These last meals built theatrical,
And these orgies built by luck.

This seat was built for wheelchairs,
This storm built for balloons--
This Sunday built for bourbon,
And these grace notes built for you.

This coonskin built for irony,
This joke was built for keeps.
These vineyards built for assholes,
And the cellars built too deep.

These vows were built to sample
And these gods built to entrench,
This snowman, he was built too late,
And friends built by coincidence.

These la-las built for choruses
This velvet built for palls,
These oranges built for clover,
But they may not mean to fall.

This grape was built for sorrow,
Then this dollar built for milk.
This sun was built for loggers
And this game was built to tilt.

These strangers built for bus stations,
These others built for fries.
This waiting room was built by me,
For I was built to gawk inside.

These hemlines built for woozy pleas,
These bike trails built from glass.
This last call was built for winnowing,
And this doghouse built to last.

These hands were built for headaches,
And this pace was built for Doug,
This cool glance built by callouses,
And this bullshit built by love.

These trains were built to bless us
But the whistles built for cows.
These concessions built on second glance,
And your grace notes built for now.

8.16.2007

train poems

Most written downstairs in the lounge car. I should tell you stories but I would rather tell them like they were on a sandwich menu. Please ask if you would like the story selection.


IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING


You got mustard all over,
dumbface. Careful, or you
melt into the old drunk
of flinches who promises
promises he won't pin,
saddles up and whispers
how he hung his white
blazer on a sure thing
in a May apartment. This,
then his rest cure is over.
He knows maybe of a girl
who sold his legal name.
Gone back for it with
a discount magnet and
know how to hold it right
on in over there. That's the
spot. Sweet, too. Well,
once, sweet on some of
us, famous as sagebrush,
the jerry-rigged scenery
of our commiserate theatre.
Who is he talking to? Like
Tootsie Pops: the world may
never and so forth. The sun
sets in the Utah desert like
a stranger who knows what you
did but aww, waves you on.

HOW I SCORE

My mad Russian looks
and how I carry tunes
like hobos on my back
from a YMCA on fire.

My tendency to piss standing up
in a calm and anti-racist stance.

The French rail star tradition:
the downer always goes first.

Among the junipers and werewolves,
I can boil a staunch off your
scarf, cauterize your wounds,
and whistle hubba-hubba hoots
to call any night train others
might happen to call home.

All as sold to me by a bassoonist
in Nashville, the dreariest town
for hot bassoon bassoon action.

I AM NOT LYING INSIDE OF THIS POEM
for Joe Massey

Spent most of
Colorado with my
lips open, on one
line. This me dumb
stuck, and only a
little too young
to die. Thank you.
You can go now.

WON'T YOU NURSE THESE

Everything go? I'm one and I've got
a heart in it. Looks like there's
people left, left them all, maybe
others now? Maybe. Right. Too
friendly. I'm looking forward to
outside. The leak is on, too sweaty
for me. Oh man. Why weren't sunglasses
about the second or third thing ever?

THE COMMUTER'S SONG OF HOPE

I believe I have it all
planned out so perfectly
I believe I believe I believe

ARE YOU UP

Want to play
cards, saw
dust, teeth
tango, Ohio.

I MET THIS GIRL AMY BEFORE CHICAGO AND SHE WAS INCREDIBLY CUTE AND SMART AND

Yeah.

8.15.2007

oh okay

Now I am in Amherst.

To my left:

"Sharply criti-, um, criticizing the environmental --"
"Oh yeahyeahyeahyeahyeah."

8.11.2007

eye contact: the musical

I am in Chicago right now.

Zomgzers.

8.05.2007

noo journal musical soldier contest results

NOÖ just posted the results of their famous Musical Soldier contest.

This is a travesty.

I edit the goddamn magazine and I wasn't even a finalist.

I didn't even know the contest was afoot for Christ's sake.

Somebody should call Foetry. We need a recount. I should be there somewhere, and so should Obama.

8.02.2007

i am the applebees of contemporary poetry

Today's hypothetical question: what toy makes you sad to be too old for it?

Unrelated eulogistic hash below. This poem is about an imaginary person who dies because he is anti wiretapping or some shit. It is very relevant and inexpensive.

REMEMBER WHEN YOU WERE THE SIREN?


Remind me again why we need you for this last
trick? Anyone can call it like it be, argh, unravel
arias gagged, then trip ass wise off a gangplank.
Good job. Your last. Sure, you'll be missed, you were a
good man, just like we found him, officer. I swear.
Belly full of axle grease, head a library of matches.
I did not trust you, no, next to certain flares.
Folks can tell between sincerity and contortion.
You had that "let's give it a go! yee-haw! fo sho!"
kind of thing that nobody bought into and I bet that
blew. You kept lecturing us down from a sorrow we
wanted (no shit) like the weird teeth of the cool kids.
But I do remember seven things: your shower sandals,
your model railroads, your irrefutable evidence—
okay, this is adding me back up. Not all of you is right
here, but I will miss our epic sojourns which I was very
bad at. Basketball, omelettes, pimping. All of it.
Officer, I swear: I will miss him. I will I will.
But I've organized these songs by emotion, so I'm set.
Now, if I can just find where I left his name.

7.23.2007

well, our kitten sees handsome ghosts



Ryan works as a security guard in the Oroville Hospital. He plays guitar. Soccer, too. He got pulled over in Texas and shot at in Afghanistan. Since he couldn't come to last Sunday's concert, Yuri and I played some songs for him in the other Ryan's bedroom. The indie cowboy Ryan. I mean, things didn't start out so well. When we got to indie cowboy Ryan's house, Rochelle was filling out a police report and comparing bruises with blonde ironyard-worker Ryan.

Three Ryans?

I know.

Anyway, good music will find you. I don't care how shifty or stoic your look. Here is some good music pining after you right now:

Frontier Ruckus



Green tomatoes. You can fry them: they're delicious but not ripe. Frontier Ruckus maybe isn't quite ripe, but neither is your heart. They sound like the Appalachian Neutral Milk Hotel. If you're anything like me, that band description has been on your Christmas list for a good several years. And you are like me. Here, look at my hands. We both have hands. Yours are a little bigger.

Let's say you stained the knees on your jeans. No, wait, slacks. Gray slacks. Let's say when you picked off one of the grass blades it turned into a key. Since you're a cool bitch, you knew this key would open that old brick shack down the street from the Antique Tool Museum. Inside the brick shack, you found singing saw, banjo, gas station light, moss on a well pump, snare brush, and some brown-eyed antelope singing "Anna let's die in some dim town." Pretty soon--one or three seconds later--you wouldn't want to sleep anywhere else.

Okay, so you want the antelope to scream a little. Maybe he will. You'll just have to wait and wait for the rest of your life, your sweet and thorn-pricked life.

Listen to the EP (and best) versions of songs on their MySpace -- also with a link to buy their EP

A Drum and An Open Window
Dustin and the Furniture




Hmm, what do you think: once you become aware of your own youth, hasn't it slipped off? Ah, but you still have your relation to others, and everyone else is still moving their heads in that off way, saying odd things you once understood or will understand in the future, and all those little brothers and mothers let you know where you stand, even if you're blindfolded and stepping a little unsure.

A Drum and an Open Window are Yuri and Whisper from Boston, MA, and they play that xylophone/melodica/banjo antifolk or twee folk that lives in your attic. Really. The twee folk run away when you peek, but still live there, stealing your cell phone charger and eating your berries. I played some songs with these guys in Oroville last Sunday. Before the show, we visited the Chinese Temple, ate all the blackberries of Oroville (see? I told you), talked a lot about classic Coca-Cola and less about armed robbery. Listen to "The Mom Song."

Dustin was there too, and he managed to identify a random group of rowdy Hawaiian boys as a band. How did he know? Dustin just knows. Don't play poker against him. Seriously. His music is like that too. I mean, don't play poker against his music. Don't play poker against his beard. Just refrain, kid. Listen to "Rap Song" instead.

Listen on yonder MySpace: A Drum and An Open Window and Dustin and the Furniture

In fact, listen to these songs too:

"Hannah We Know" -- Tiny Dancers (video link)

Speaking of attics, Britain has again produced one of the world's best pop band. What, you think they stop? They don't fucking stop.

Where the Ocean Meets My Hand -- Billie the Vision and the Dancers (free album)

Speaking of the World's Best Pop Band Belt (coming soon to your local wrestling federation), Sweden's Billie the Vision and the Dancers have given away another free album. All of the songs are good. Even the ones that read like tour diaries. Golly shit! My favs: "09. I Saw You On TV" and "10. I've Been Having Some Strange Dreams" plus Hello Saferide duet "07. Overdosing With You."

"Matagorda" -- Black Before Red (song)

If Paulie Mac accompanied your summer drive past old high schools and thrift stores and that one gully park shaded, hidden, and filled with pianos.

"Bad Times Are On Their Way -- My Darling YOU! (song)

A major FU to the last song. A little punk maybe, sneer too big for their cheeks, but who wants to grow into their sneer? We just want to make some noise.

"Dixie" -- Gill Landry (song)

When this song comes on: "Everybody please shut the fuck up and stop dancing and fake your southern accents and give somebody some fucking handshake drugs and a hug. Ahmen."

Dear Andrea -- Eileen Myles (live poetry)

"Spare me the postmodern experimental poet bullshit. Honey, think hard." I don't know the linebreaks, but the love is still there no matter what I don't understand.

I Haven't Got a MySpace Because MySpace Fucking Sucks -- Pete Green (song)

Well, um, I mean, I got one. You might. But this guy doesn't. What he does do is springy-dingy British wit, rhyme chops to boot. Megan's new favorite song.

you can be handsome i'll be pretty


OCHO #10

Full disclosure: A few of my poems hung out in OCHO #9.

Um, OCHO #11 is already out. But I want to talk about OCHO #10 because I got a free PDF version in my email. Didi Menendez, publisher of MiPOesias, publishes OCHO print-on-demand through Lulu.com. And what else should you buy but poetry? Those infomercial lights that illuminate your dresser drawers right when you open them? What, is your dresser a refrigerator? Do you store apples in it? Don't be an ass.

When OCHO started, each issue had eight poems, but now the name is more like Motel Six. A complete list of things unlike Motel Six: airplane hangars, hurricane shelters, my eyes. Menendez eschews the aesthetic myopia that ensnares most poetry rags edited by people who write clauses like "eschews the aesthetic myopia that ensnares." OCHO resembles a more frequent and poetic version of those NOW! compilations. The variety, I mean, not the suck. OCHO will deliver your scraggly first person Bukowski yawp, your elliptical la-la, your one style of poetry with a lot of abstract nouns, your search engine collage, your sexy confessional monologue, your syllabic freakout, your snarky syntactic inversions, your self-referential sigh, your cigarette poem, your childhood recollection + dialogue--okay. You get it. I mean, you didn't even read that whole sentence once you saw how long it was. We all like different shit. I like playing T-Ball and screaming.

Some of my fan vote all-stars from OCHO #10 include: the Amy duos of Amy Gerstler and Amy King. Amy Gerstler gives us the phrase "skinny dipping regret," our collective lack thereof, and this smiling sort of line that is like climbing a ladder out of a mine into a smile.

My friend and former haircare mentor Kasey Mohammad has this epic poem called "All of Me" which alone is worth the nine buck plunk. Not even shitting you. Witness these random, out-of-order quotes!

Part of me wants to feel bad for being such a beeyotch. Another part of
me slaps my own hand, face, and every other part of my skin it can
make contact with. Then another part of me beats that part up because
you never know if you don’t try.

Part of me feels deprived of the presence/friendship of other black
males. I still want them only and I mean only if they are not touching
my chest at all. A part of me understands the “personal touch” aspect,
but then another part of me is not much in favor of this practice. And
then another part of me sort of gets it a little bit.

Part of me thinks of everyone in the future having their own personal
helicopters. But then another part of me believes we’re going to die, all
of us. Die a horrible, horrible death. And then another part of me says,
let’s dance, whee, and there’s a fistfight in my mind. And then another
part of me opens my eyes to see all these beautiful white birds I am
blessed to have in my life.

--from K. Mohammad's "All of Me" in OCHO #10

Other favs: Emma Trelles's restaurant review and Letitia Trent's sonic gum crystal spark (those blue crystals that electrocute your teeth).

Was that a long blog post for one magazine? Probably. I should've included something practical, like a recipe for sexy avocado tacos. You should Google such a recipe while buying OCHO #10.

7.12.2007

hamfisted sandwich

One of my friends is having a birthday today. We never hang out. Picture the opposite of razzmatazz.

Overdue: commentary (inevitably sodden and unelegiacal) on San Francisco, OCHO #10, Arcata hippie goats, and good music. Is this a "substitution" post? Of course not. These are not pinch hitter sentences. I care about these sentences, their birthdays, their razzmatazz.

What did you think I was going to talk about? Christianity?

Oregon tomorrow. Hello again, Oregon.

7.09.2007

holy drum twitch



I am like the end of a slap tired. That tired.

I am in McKinleyville, CA. See above.

The reading went well. Logan talked about it. My danke to Logan, Elliot, Clay and everybody else in the slobberingly lovely Bay Area. Except that fucker on the way home from Mel's. Not him.

More tomorrow. I want you all--your sexy minds.

7.07.2007

once again berkeley is next


7/7/07 Ringo Starr Birthday Poetry Extravaganza:

Elliot Harmon
Logan Ryan Smith
Mike Young


FREE
Pegasus Books @ 7:30pm
2349 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94704


Also: this band Frontier Ruckus is my favorite new band. They are near my age. Listen to "Dark Autumn Hour," "Mohawk, New York," and "Mona and Emmy." Oh! Maybe especially "Adirondack Amish Holler," best version of which is found on their MySpace. Or, you know, all of them. More extensive wax coming soon. Fiends!

7.02.2007

Beat You With a Railroad Spike




The Back to Oroville Post


If you can't cast a boat off the dock, don't chain one to your sedan. How about an old story first? One of my relatives planted all the purple flowers up the dam road. Another of my realtives helped build the dam. That is contribution, commitment. Like I am here, not moving: this is not a beach but a place to nail my logs.

What a thing to wish for! Home? Huh?

Brownsville

We went to Brownsville for their second annual bluegrass festival. No cowboy hats for sale; you 'sposed to done already got one. The portable sink was tricky, faucet involving a foot pump. I was mistaken for somebody who helped dig a trench. In the thumbpicks and lips of kids, bluegrass sounds like an incantation. Witness the Anderson Family, most of whom were under ten. Too-big belt buckles, mom on stand-up bass. "This song's by a right country gentlemen," said the girl with the tooth gap. They proceeded to sing about train crashes and cotton. If they make the right sounds, ape the right way, they will open the pyramids of bluegrass. Authenticity is an assembly. Authenticity as a righteous goal is shit. Or shit vapor. There is honesty, maybe. But not authenticity. We are all Halloween costumes. We head home. White peaches for sale. The roads that They won't fix.

MC Oroville

"Meth till death that's all I know / I don't give a fuck about Chico!" Nowadays, MC Oroville works at a thrift store in the East Bay. Reprezent much? Find MC Oroville on Youtube, lost, confused, hostile and bearded. Oroville sells its water south with no gain to us. Thank you State Water Commission. In motels of the AM hours, the new tattoos will keep us up. In Scoops, the chicken mango dog tastes like the chicken Mediterranean dog. But they're trying. If someone invents a machine that brings murals to life, Oroville will need new brochures. I bought Wayne the river for his birthday, and he promised to build a basement. At Staples, a drunk old lady in a cobalt sundress: "you like my john lennon sunglasses!!!" They look like the Wild Wild West sunglasses Burger King gave away in 1999. The Staples girl copies the lady's ID for her, some dispute with the law, the landlord. I drive home. Oddly enough, I am learning to drive.

TRL

What else? Well, I have been watching a lot of TRL on the internet. Pop music these days: incredible. Today's middle schoolers must be six whales of cool. Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen. All these meta-videos. How does Carrie Underwood manage to skirt the edge of suburbia's country accent tolerance? She does. Listen. Fall Out Buy turns Autotune into its own insturment. That Ping Pong song by Enrique "Hot Russian Tennis Player's Ex-Boyfriend?" This is the percussion: ping pong balls! Bouncing left channel to right! Shit, son. Even the new MCR joint is catchy. Pop music is in a good place.

Except for Daughtry. He blows penny muffs.

And Linkin Park, of course. We've given you "believer" types almost half a decade to explain Linkin Park. Well?

The Radio Station

When most of your (read: my) "aesthetic" involves calling John Cougar Melloncamp's "Small Town" on its shit, well--what happens when you hit material that fits too well? I visit the radio station to promote a gig among people I haven't seen in several years. Everyone laughs at my jokes. You should rent Gummo, I say, and then something about not being able to eat ice cream. Outside, Super Mario the plumber walks by in torn blue overalls. From the Inn. Ooooh. From the Inn. Half the time you can't get into the Inn for all the yellow police tape. Katie says: "Look, a hot girl." Where? "Outside, across the street." I don't see her. "Nevermind. She wasn't really." Oh. "She just wasn't a crackhead is all. I know some crackheads." Don't we all! I didn't say that. Something stops everything like that, something in the sundown on the tin. Ashley G. says: "I should just grow my mustache, buy an accordion, and change my name to Olga." I always pictured her with an accordion. Her mother used to work at the jail; now she owns a bakery. Ashley's birthday is one week before mine. She remembered and I didn't. You know that look people give you? You know that look. When we die, we take with our bodies three mix CDs and a litany of shame. Thank you for making flyers, Ashley. At 7:30 PM on July 15th @ Mugshots Coffeehouse and Internet Cafe in Oroville, CA, the following bands will play songs:

Dustin and the Furniture
A Drum and an Open Window
At Night (no MySpace I could find)

And I am going to play a few songs, too. Should I drop off flyers at the YMCA? Katie says: "Don't worry: it's small and fills up fast." I have this weird thought of where I shouldn't put flyers. Who shouldn't come? If I MySpace my friend Chris in Chico asking for crash space, is that rude? Help me out here. Do you ever get the feeling while looking at a picture of yourself--that isn't a real person. Almost, but not quite.

The Missing Rope Swing

David and Wayne are disappointed. The rope swing is gone. In its place: torn-up boxer briefs, PBR cans, dog shit, human shit. Human shit? Yeah. Butterflies and motorboats caress the inlet. Water really moves so easily. If only I could cope that well without offending you. I play a few songs. David has a sour personality and multiple hair styles, enough that I never recognize him when I'm back in town. He leaves his ID and keys on the dashboard, but they're fine down the road when noticed. Wayne likes my song about the saddest earthquake; he says it's "interesting." David wrings this statement from his hands and flat laughter: "You can sing and play at the same time. That's good. I'm going to say--I'm going to say I'm a little jealous." When most of your aesthetic involves "Where have you gone Billy Boy, Billy Boy? Are you still busted by the lights we sped and tied up in the kites above the lake?" -- what happens when you smell that again? Old hat. Really old hat, I mean. Wayne and David are probably coming to my show--if they can get work off.

Corning

At a gas station in Corning (have you been through Corning? you know the one), the wiring went screwy. No gas for anyone! I felt like a 1970s embargo newsreel. Looking around, I realized the first few blot drops of what will happen when all the gas goes poof. Meanwhile, we flee for another station. I consider buying a black cowboy hat with a peacock feather. When I get to the East Coast, I want to be authentic. Instead, I buy some fruit salad.

Epilogue: Berkeley

On July 7th, 7:30 PM, I will be reading at Pegasus Books with Elliot Harmon and Logan Ryan Smith (alphabetically ordered). If you are in the Bay Area, please drop by. Have some beers! Ask me to expand on the Oroville stories. See if you can spot my railroad spike. It's hidden all over.


6.28.2007

climbed up a tall tall tree

Things I Have learned:

If you refer to yourself as an adjective--maybe you're not an asshole, but you aren't very funny.

Example: "I was just doing it, you know, that ole Mike Young way!"

/end of things i have Learned


Requisite "Back in Oroville" post coming soon.

6.14.2007

boring post dept 23354

Three new poems in the June elimae. These are from a new chapbook I made of April poems and otherwise. It's called Don't Wake Up It's Just Me. It will soon be sort of available. Let me know if you want one. If you don't want one, please don't vocalize your lack of interest, for that would make me feel like an orange rind.

Here is the cover:

6.04.2007

you fuck like you're running for office

Dragonfly Identity Crisis: Another Music Post

With somewhat of a jolt, I realized tonight that I love Mint Records. Like that morning where you're trying to be very polite and trying to pour organic maple syrup for her all over the pancake and not the tablecloth, and you are trying to, you know, remember the relevant name.

Likewise with Mint Recs: I love Neko Case, Immaculate Machine, Lou Barlow, The New Pornos, Carolyn Mark, P:ano, and now--The Awkward Stage.

I watched a YouTube interview with The Awkward Stage frontman and songwriter Shane Abram Nelken. He is very sarcastic, down to earth. His job involves those who have left the Earth: he is a cremationist. As the saying goes, cremationists make great pop. To wit: The Awkward Stage's new album Heaven Is For Easy Girls. Being a rankled and poorly shaved feminist, I took immediate offense to the title's implications, but thankfully the song is, um, kidding. I think. Arguing, pretty much, for "Jah-neen" to repolish her innocence. Repossess, I mean. Something. Isn't that, like, a genre? Like the "You are too gentle to fuck" song -- AMG should have a category. The Awkward Stage also have a "you are too exasperating to fuck" song called "I Love You, Hipster Darling." These songs are not exploitive at all, for everyone actually ends up fucking in the end. Hurrah! Let's not call it "fucking." Call it the jaunty perpetuation of humanity, the ambulance of skin, and it lies without ideology so long as you keep the lights off.

Meanwhile, The Awkward Stage are building a lounge in your kitchen. With a velvet billiards table that mopes when you call it "pool." They are playing calico guitars and baking doo-wop quiche. Hours are long at the cremation, um, laboratory? I don't know. Whatever they call those things. The point is: The Awkward Stage must work fast. They smirk, they keed, they keed, they "oh come on" and open your heart to a humming.

Check out The Awkward Stage on MySpace and buy their album Heaven Is For Easy Girls when/if you have the $$.

Song doodles:

Heaven is For Easy Girls - The Awkward Stage
I Love You, Hipster Darling - The Awkward Stage

Bonus MP3s:

Blood For You - Spider Bags (North Carolina anti-masculinity folkstomp bellow)

Julie - Porter Wagoner ("one for the stranger, Julie...and me")

Tonight I Have to Leave It - Shout Out Louds (epic cowbell reverb and Swede-pop departure angst)

Extra Life - Soda Fountain Rag (this song reminds me of wishing life came with an Escape key or a Restore Game feature)

Wolcott - Vampire Weekend (I don't know; Cape Cod makes nice potato chips, right? this is violin punk)

Will You Love Me in the Morning? - Acid House Kings (speaking of morning: this is the only 'will you love me int the morning' song for i've-been-awake-since-3-but-i-would-still-like-to-bust-a-move)

Into Brooklyn, Early in the Morning - The Innocence Mission (like it says: for early in the morning when you fly away, with ice on the window roller and also [somehow] up your nails)

Up to the Mountain - Solomon Burke (one day I wasn't sure where my heart was, and then I listened to Solomon Burke sing and I was like "oh. there. there it is.")

5.29.2007

i did not put him up to it

Ha, thanks Kasey. And Willie for the footage.

I did change the melody a little bit, yeah, but the guy murdered me. Click the link for an explanation.

5.28.2007

i have a friend named ocho

Being in a magazine named OCHO is not the same as being in my friend named Ocho.

Si?

To wit, the just released:

OCHO #9: MiPOesias' Print Companion

Writers: Ron Androla, Nin Andrews, Tom Blessing, Zachary Blessing, Tara Birch, Pris Campbell, Nick Carbo, Grace Cavalieri, Denise Duhamel, Adam Fieled, Campbell McGrath, Anthony "Tony" Robinson, Leigh Stein, Mike Young (hi) and Aaron Belz.

OCHO is published via Lulu.com. Lorna Dee Cervantes recently won a Pushcart Prize for a poem published in OCHO #6. Victory for small press and OCHO and LuLu.

P.S. 2 of the 3 poems I have in the new OCHO will be in a forthcoming chapbook. Chapbook news coming. New press news coming. Daisy rotor news spinning. The rotor looks like a daisy.

5.18.2007

mp3 blog intermission

Drop everything you're doing and listen to my new favorite bands of the moment. They could not be more different. Well, they could. DNA-wise, one could be a band full of zebras. Let's not get into that, okay?

The Avett Brothers

Maybe it's because their vocal range is similar to mine--clued off before I heard them by a song called "Paranoia in Bb"--and that lends some sonic camaraderie or something (ha ha), but I swear: this band sounds more "sincere" than anyone I've heard since Langhorne Slim. Even when the Avett Bros' lyrics turn cliche, they "bust through" that cliche: goddamn I do fall like a leaf, hell yes her hair is yellow as sun. Right now! <-- that's the trick. Right now. Cliches exist in those aligned, spontaneous moments. Like a scope clicking into place. Like: "wait YES whoa what was that?" Like I said to someone the other night, "I feel good right now," and she said "I never feel one thing; I'm always feeling complicated" -- she was right about feeling in general, but she didn't get what I meant. Right now <-- that was the important part. The Avett Brothers go: feeling -> fingers -> banjos -> speakers -> rosewater and cherry sarsaparilla, red diner swivel chair for that customer who eats from four till dawn. Their new record is Emotionalism from Ramseur Records.

November Blue (video)
Matrimony
Pretty Girl From San Diego

Fishboy

Unblanketed (is that a word?) sincerity is not everything though. Hard to say, yes. But geez, feeling is only one goal of anything--let alone music. I don't want to "feel" all the time! Quel drag! Thankfully, Fishboy is clever and poppy and juicy and trumpet-y and sprout-vocaled, animal crackers full of tangerine juice. They are the word "tee-hee" for big kids. Or: "Outside / it's starting to snow / and well / I'm gonna / eat a pizza roll." Fishboy would make great jokes at the aforementioned diner, and they would probably give you really funny and awesome birthday presents. Like every day. You're like: Today's not even my birthday! And they're all: We know, we know, but here is a shark-shaped shower lamp. Oh you Fishboy. Little D is their 2005 hot pocket, but their new album will (supposedly) be Albatross: How We Failed To Save The Lone Star State With The Power Of Rock And Roll (that link goes to their MySpace and preview songs).

Tree Star
Kichijoji

5.04.2007

jesus christ those spectacles, that cane

In the least relevant post I will ever make:

Holy God: Andrew WK likes peanuts:

"Sunday, April 29
I had a refrigerated Snickers bar — I would’ve preferred it be thawed more — and salted peanuts. You take a bite of peanuts and then a bite of the Snickers. Everything seems to be that much better with more peanuts, although I’ve never had peanuts in Mexican food. I also went to a Thai restaurant, Yum Yum on Ninth Avenue. There’s a million to choose from around there. I ordered a green curry with a side of crushed peanuts. It wasn’t enough so I ran to the deli and bought a couple bags of roasted peanuts and added them to the meal."

5.01.2007

what a long strange trip it's been

Well, no. Not really. It was just a month of writing poems. But I enjoyed it. I wrote some terrible poems, which I'm probably not going to revisit. I also started some decent ones, which I am going to revisit. At some point, I am going to take down all the April poems. Not because they're "secret" or I'm a "prude," but for two reasons: 1) I want to make the site with a giant sketch of my face more visited, a sort of dumping ground for all my stuff. 2) I would like to do more with this blog. I am even more bored than you are of, like:

Mike's Blog on Monday: new confusing boring poem
Mike's Blog on Tuesday: publication annoucement
Mike's Blog on Wednesday: new confusing boring poem
Mike's Blog on Thursday: link to some publication that has published my friends

Wash, rinse, repeat, etc.

So I am going to start doing longer, more discursive blogs on specific topics. These posts will be like "essays," but they won't be "essays." Here are the initial topics:

1) Emoticons
2) Airborne (TM)
3) Rollercoasters

I think there is a fourth, but I don't remember it right now. If it comes to me, I will add it.

Thank you. May is Short Story Month. Don't worry. You don't have to write a daily story.

4.30.2007

so long marianne

xxx/xxx: I THOUGHT EVERYTHING WAS GOING TO BE OKAY FROM NOW ON

The surgeon's saw: all the livelong night.

I lay coins on my eyes.

Eh? What dream?

4.26.2007

poem dedicated to accuracy for Chall Gray

xxii/xxx: QUATRAINS THAT EXACTLY TRANSCRIBE MY EMOTIONAL MATRIX FOR FUTURE HISTORIANS

ha ha ha ha oh shit ha ha jeez
goddamn fuck sigh sigh sigh
ha ha ha oh wait no wait don't
yes ok wow that's hot that's hot

that's um wait oh mmm mmm shit
sigh sigh sigh ha ha oh wait
goddamnit ow shit okay mmmm
man oh jeez sigh sigh ha ha

god wait hmm mmm yes no wait
okay ha ha shit oh sigh ha ha
heh heh oh wait fuck okay okay
mmmm ha ha that's you you

you you you you you him her
nevermind it's okay nevermind
if okay not right shit oh man
okay hmm ha ha ha oh wait okay

***

This is just a normal space of three/two minutes. It seems like a sex monologue or something. I didn't intend that, but that's funny, I guess.

can we hurry up with this cloning bit?

Let's say I took some DNA off my knuckle and used it to make a small, productive army of interns. That would be nice. I would like that.

In the meantime, author, chef and cool person Kelly Spitzer was kind enough to profile me in her Writer Profile series two days before my birthday. I am embarrassed and proud at the same time.

Overheard two seconds ago:

"Rational. Be rational."

"But it's not. It's romantic."

4.24.2007

ridiculous lowrider song for Kelly Spitzer

xviii/xxx: TAKE A LOW, SLOW RIDE WITH ME

v1
Country singers die in the back of classic cars.
Chisel flingers lie about the necks of spastic whores.
Gristle eaters try not to suspect their pasta drawers.
Whistle needers cry and find the flecks of silence poor.

chorus
Take a low, low ride with me.
Take a low, slow ride with me.


v2
Country singers die in the back of classic cars.
Swizzle sticks are fine if you are slapped inside a war.
Your kicks are being tracked by very sly and fascist boars.
Even licks of pine tar lead to sticky sorts of cores.

chorus
Take a low, low ride with me.
Take a low, slow ride with me.

bridge
A low rider, train rider, cow rider calls.
A NASCAR driver, pile driver, really really
hot and dead Egyptian diver falls.

v3
Country singers die in the back of classic cars.
I had a Singer die once when I fastened on a pearl.

spoken interlude

I saw a singer die months after being sarcastic about Pearl.

return to song
If all the singers die then we shall fast and drown and twirl.

chorus
Take a low, low ride with me.
Take a low, slow ride with me.


***

I really don't know anything about lowriders. So I did what I usually do when I lack knowledge: I made up rhymes. Poo.

currant apricot bread

If you read this blog, you probably already read Tao Lin's, but if you don't, you should read this essay of concrete language and logic and some productive ideas for solutions.

Also, re: NaPoWriMo. I know. I know. I will finish. I have it all lined up. It may came in a slurry. A flurry? Something like that.

Paris Hilton Fall Out Boy Denis Johnson is Tao Lin and Tao Lin is Paris Hilton Fall Out Boy Denis Johnson.

4.19.2007

bad tom waits song imitation napowrimo surprise

xvii/xxx: WARS AND WELLS

Handsome as an ax
Through a history of ice.
Scribble your condolences;
I wrote your number down on mine.

I lent a drag of Lucky Strike
To the son of Jesus Christ.
Marigolds and piccolos
Been bothering me all night.

Everyone's so friendly here:
It's a beggar's hand's wet dream.
But I think I lost my opera specs
When somebody's parrot sneezed.

Muddy, muddy ship
Won't you bring me home my son?
I've fever dreams of wars and wells,
But I have not my little one.


I slept with my landlord
When he came to fix the fridge.
So he wouldn't find the crucifix
Out in the hawthorn hedge.

He stole and sold my sailor's boots
And I tracked him back to Maine.
We made up in the snowy pines,
But it ruined his good name.

Now I'm fixing sushi at
A bar in the Midwest.
No one even knows I'm here:
I grow my beard and make my bed.

Muddy, muddy ship
Won't you bring me home my son?
I've fever dreams of wars and wells,
But I have not my little one.


Frankie came to visit once,
That half besotted queen.
He wept upon my deerskin rug
And lapped up all my Irish cream.

I pawned him at the edge of town
For a blanket and a root beer float.
I sold his coat to Benny's kid
Who struts around like a baby doe.

But Frankie dear my only friend,
I miss the fear of your charade.
Home is how the cabbie man
Can point to where you're bleeding, babe.

Muddy, muddy ship
Won't you bring me home my son?
I've fever dreams of wars and wells,
But I have not my little one.


Brothers, won't you storm the gates
Of this lonely Kansas bar?
No one even knows my name,
But they know enough to talk.

***

Those waiting for dedicated poems, they are coming. Fear not. I have been singing this song thing in a Tom Waits voice at my workplace. Imagine the melody as any Tom Waits ballad ever. It should fit. Liberation!

4.18.2007

blame K Silem Mohammad



xvi/xxx: DEAR CUTE-TUSHED, JUBILANT, RESOURCEFUL AND PARADOXICAL HUMAN BEINGS: THIS POEM IS WORSE THAN MARMITE

Ryan sautéed me some fine-ass crepes. (And I've had
me some squirrel, big thumbs downtown to that!)

Sure my family grew up loving on their potato latkes,
Romaine Lettuce, dog bones, reporters and mint condoms,
but birds and pastry get my "stunt soup" all warm.

So after breakfast, let's organize a robin show for the gigolo who
claims aliens made out with his bag of Goldfish and replaced it
with a potato that resembles Cindy Crawford's poodle. After all,

according to Cindy's ginger-powered research of bovines and their humps,
tiramisu is like having an orgasm and saving the whales! Very nice! A decent
pastry is basically a-hotter-than-expected-53-year-old's "cute dog ploy."

Like the famous potato-devirginizng Japanese macaque monkeys,
I lust after popsicle-stained winged ones, the ones who
whisper: He goes all night like a goldfish. Goldfish?
No, a goldfish. Oh. Hey, look at those pretzels! Damn!

When I first met Ryan, his fingers were covered in pretzel cheese (let's hope),
and I didn't know he was a pastry chef until we rode unicorns back to his Huge Tower.
Now I try to keep my entendres doubled, my fries French, my aardvark stylish:
all to summon the raw animal passion of his fry pan.

Ryan's crepes! O, they make even hamsters O. But if he skimps
on butter (or cheats on me) I shall probably axe a doe.



***

Okay, so Kasey's rule was: 1. Every line must contain an animal, a food item, and something to do with sex, with no one thing serving two roles (i.e. a pig can't be both an animal and food). 2. At least twenty lines. 3. It can't be "crazy."

I used the broadest, most referential senses of "animal," "food" and "sex." As, um, you can probably tell. Some hints: people are animals too. And there are a lot of ways to wink in sex.

4.15.2007

sleek taste of napowrimo failure muffins & successful birthday song

NaPoWriMo #14 and #15 are suspended while I recover from a nasty cold. In the meantime, my sister Holly's birthday is tomorrow, April 16th. She lives in Arcata, CA. I wrote a poem for her college graduation: This You as a Wolf With Wings.

And here is the best song about sisters ever, I think:



Happy birthday, Holly. =D

4.11.2007

aggressive myth invention

I think I'm trying to break this blog's record for most posts in a single day. My new monologue is up at Juked: "And the Shoes on the Cables Are There For the Angels."

Thank you for reading if you decide to read. You may have already read this in an older form, since it was on the blog not too long ago.

4.10.2007

4.09.2007

verb modification poem for Elisa Gabbert

viii/xxx: HOW DARE YOU SAY HOW BEAUTIFULLY I SING

Raft pump in the TV hollow there, not so we
can frolic willy-nilly, but for living room
expeditions. Here, no more graves:
my manifest couch destiny. Solamente.
Apricot tea, responsible cheese. Remotely
abandoning the concept of grace. Therefore
distant. So distant! Damn sly you giggle!
I like when you do. Keep it up. Wait. My
apologies on the compliment. Indeed: that
invaded all for which you stand so well.

***

Not much of a poem or whatever. But I used several types of adverbs. At least one in every line. See if you can find all of them.

CRISIS: I am out of rules now. Please comment me some rules. Some rules are harder than others. Like you didn't already know that.

4.08.2007

non-word poem for Blake Butler

vii/xxx: FIRMLE ILLICH

lers iz en mi en
zeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeirk-
en-day-lezen-fas.

nuh mer
en zar
umf.

ner zaddle ef zer
ef zaddle ur fich
lerz ez en mi enzoy
mer ir zen! mer ir zen!

no mer
en zar
umf.

nag der un ner mah
nesh nurf en val vulsh.
fishalt zerk en mick
valadu.

leerz ez en mi enzoy!
leerz ez en mi enzoy!

mirrrrrrrrrrrruh
zen.
mirrrrrrrrrrrrruh
zen.

nuh mer.

***

This was hard. I used a lot of z's. It sounds vaguely Germanic. I did this by reversing the MP3 of a song I wrote and transcribing random sounds. A bit of a failure, I think. It would've been more exciting and interesting to do some natural imitation, maybe, or think of some cooler concept of non-language sounds, use of letters as visual signifiers, etc. This just sounds like bad Simmish. Akoutana!

4.07.2007

gone but not gregorian

I've spent a nice, musical morning with the following things:

Richard Hawley -- M Ward crossed with '50s suit and tie and smoke ballads crossed with Britain.

Fredrik Ståhl's "When People Go to Work I Go to Bed" -- Um, I kind of resemble this song.

Hayward Williams -- Bark under your fingernails and blear under your eyelids (beautiful) Midwestern singer-songwriter stuff.

Larry Jon Wilson's 1975 LP New Beginnings -- Georgia country. "There's some folks [back there] 'care a little bout me."

4.04.2007

poetry mall

If you like small presses and small press poetry, check out Press Press Press, a new centralized blog shop for small poetry press purchases. Like Wal-Mart but without the bouncing face. Or, you know, the evil.

3.27.2007

little brother thinks the road is straight and fine

I'm so backlogged with email that I never blog.

I am frustrated.

3.20.2007

100th post: out of control identity destroying poem posting frenzy

You Are a Nice Young Singer-Songwriter

You are a nice young singer-songwriter.
Two kinds of alcohol: one for hand sanitizer,
the other for barley wine and cheap wine.

You are not willing to hop a train.
Seamus is and slays the mandolin.
Charlie's in jail for having a dumb beard.

You are, at the moment, a talented hairdresser.
Politics is full of people in mobile caravans
who spend one night per month 100% sobbing.

You are a nice young singer-songwriter.
Eighty-four profile views today, nineteen plays,
well-mannered queries to the MP3 blog I Guess I'm Floating.

You are frugal when it comes to groceries.
Honestly, I will sleep with any haircut
out there. Sleeping is not that weird, sir.

You told your family several lies at Christmas.
Now you're stuck in Montana without a tire jack.
Townes Van Zandt had, for a soul, a squirrel nut zipper.

You are a nice young singer-songwriter.
Everywhere you go your fingers are slender.
Some of your meals are excellent and free.

The lute, the lyre, the songs for God and Madonna,
dangling from the tongues of the children
with the blackberry stains and the games.
Ash hands, ash hands: we all fall out, boy.

3.07.2007

avery has a slice backhand

In other words, I once played tennis with an older gentleman named Avery. But I also just published a short piece in a new anthology of fiction called Avery:

Avery 1 Cover


There are stories from Stephen Dixon, Ander Monson, Dean Bakopoulos, and Richard Grayson. It's a healthy size. I'm not done reading it, but I enjoy it. And every story has some awesome illustration. Snag a copy, maybe?

3.05.2007

NOT! : barrage of confident overtures

What Do You Owe Your Zip Code?

Hey, no smoking
on the go-karts.

We skid stopped past the
off ramp to browse this van:

a cult's old blankets
and off-season Clementines.

That's nice, that bracelet
jingles like a dancer caught

her ankle in the algae.
She is a Viking slave.

Take now, a night hiss,
a slur of proud-ass barns

and the crooked tickle
of satellite dishes.

Squint for rainy promises
or the rainy promenades

that never go down.
Oh, this is no cello analogy
you weepy motherfucker.

These parking lots
are places to park.

Issac sells safety
razors in the arcade tent.

You may try to barter
with a fist full of

swallows. Let me say
this just this once:

That's a long ass way
from a deal.

2.23.2007

furthermore

Off of Kasey's request for Anchorman poetry. Okay, he barely mentions Anchorman, but Anchorman poetry interests me a lot more than Lord of the Rings/American Pie poetry.

And just to kick something off, on the subject of lines: most of Anchorman's best lines came improvised. Maybe the first problem is no poetry equivalent of Second City. Maybe the first problem is that poetry-as-defense-mechanism involves burrowing and hiding and pouring in private spaces. Whereas the whole goal of improv is to save yourself in the eyes of the crowd. Entertaining: to support, to hold together. To hold together the crowd, sure: but why not yourself as well?

Caveat: I just sort of heard somewhere that Anchorman had a loose, improvised script. If I'm wrong -- well. Well, you know.

2.22.2007

custom everyday hope machine beta


P.S. Click once to get your own unique poem. If you're trying to do this off an RSS thing like Bloglines, it won't work. Also: after you're done, be sure to reload and get new ones.


Step 1:

Step 2:

2.18.2007

sincerity, bitches

The Day That Dale Died

When I saw the wreck I knew he was gonna be ok.
We were still at the hospital (my first child's birth).
One of the very last times I weighed myself.

I never even cried when my momma, passing through from
acid rock to Hollywood, died in an H-60 crash:
no-one cared. But I quit following NASCAR the day Dale died.

The compass of this sport lost its 'True North
on April 2, 1996, the day Dale died from cancer.

Every day we were assailed by the screech and roar
of our fighter planes. You have a pride for your country
before a determination is made on your claim.

I just hope he brightened it up, doing what he loved,
doing more than anything, surrounded by loved ones,
children and even so many other men like him.

Last October, right before goblin-fish season,
Jimmy Dale died of a coronary.

2.02.2007

the british are coming

For those readers interested in the whole Boston LED "terror" story involving LEDs, D batteries, a shamefaced police department and traditional media outlets who adore confusion and ignorance, here is a decent analogy from Joe Keohane of the Weekly Dig:

Next, let’s all get out our dictionary and look up “hoax”, shall we? Because while “War of the Worlds” was a hoax, this was not. There was no subterfuge involved, and no effort made to convince people that these devices were bombs. If I see a scary looking tree out my bedroom window, think it’s a monster, and then discover upon closer inspection that it isn’t, it doesn’t mean the tree has perpetrated a hoax against me. What it means is that for a moment I took leave of my senses. And just because I’m embarrassed about it doesn’t give me the right to go cut down the tree.

1.22.2007

generic post, genre: invitation

I have some different poems up at the venerable MiPOesias. The poems: relationships, self-deprecation, skepticism, pork rinds, etc. MiPO have changed their design to a feed-driven thing instead of a frontpage-oriented thing. Go there and find out what I mean. They have a photo of me eating gas station nuts.

Also: we ashlanDIY folks will be making a large collaborative project. This project will, in some way, mark how our scattershot stays in this town have coalesced.

Ashland, dear reader, is not just Shakespeare and patchouli oil.

Okay yeah. It is.

1.19.2007

it falls like suspicion

Tagged to reveal little known facts by François, who is in San Francisco. Lucky bastard. The restaurants in San Francisco are cheaper than Ashland. Weird? I know. Weird.

1) The most annoying thing I did in third grade was chase people around pretending to be a Victorian movie camera. Like for the shaft I would make the a-okay fingers with my left hand, then turn the crank with my right.

2) I own a 1992 World Cup soccer ball. But it's torn and mud-stained.

3) Reading a lot of Joseph Wambaugh and playing a lot of Police Quest led a young me to envision a career in law enforcement.

4) I have yet to meet anyone else (besides my mother, maybe) who misses both Neutral Milk Hotel and Dale Earnhardt.

5) Speaking of my mother, I’ve never read a Charles Dickens book by myself. But as a family, we used to sit down every evening on the couch or whatever while she read us books out loud. We read every Dickens novel, I think. I also remember The Count of Monte Cristo taking us like five billion years.

6) One summer (maybe when I was ten or so?) I wrote forty pages of a cruise ship murder-mystery novel with political overtones. To get inspiration, I ran the story as a very text-dense RPG on a BBS bulletin board, with everybody playing out their scenes and stuff. All character appearances were based on my Star Trek action figures.

And do I tag? I tag. I tag Bryan, Jess, Angela, Alex, and Matt Bell.

1.17.2007

Michael Schaub

If you read Bookslut, the literary news blog and magazine, you may remember Michael Schaub, who used to blog there. He was funny, and I remember enjoying most of the links he would post. Tao Lin and I have discussed Michael Schaub's blogging, and we want to thank him somehow for all his work.

Here is an excerpt from an email Tao sent on the subject:

"i am creating a web site called 'michael schaub' soon. first i want to gather nice things people have to say about michael schaub, who used to blog on bookslut.
here is what i have to say (for example... but i'm going to add more later):
"Michael Schaub was a nice person who treated people nicely especially people without power. When he shit-talked it was always in a kind-hearted way that was also funny. His writing was very good and I enjoyed reading it. I think he was a good, nice, funny, kind, generous person."
once i gather enough nice things about michael schaub i will create 'michael schaub' which will look like this: http://joblessbitch.com except say 'michael schaub' and below will be posted what everyone had to say.
i don't know who knows michael schaub, so please reply-all and paste people who know michael schaub when you reply-all, and include your 'blurb' about michael schaub in your reply-all.
the web site will be anonymous. i think michael schaub will feel good and other, mean bloggers will feel more self-conscious. i think it will be funny also to have a web site called 'michael schaub.'
tao"

If you don't know Michael Schaub's work, please check out the Bookslut archives for some of his posts. They're cool.

You can leave blurbs in this comment section, and they will get onto the upcoming 'michael schaub' site.

Thank you.

1.15.2007

riggle raggle rah rah rah

RAGAD is a new(ish) literary zine. You should check it out. I have a piece up. It's called "Skinny Rose, Blue and Yellow," and it is firmly sentimental.