12.04.2011

i was really holding out for this last little one by your thumb

Whoa, is this thing on? Been a while since we've waved. Awhile is an adverb and "a while" is a noun phrase. That's how you tell them apart. We can wait awhile or be there for a while. Plus there's the wilderness. Let me tell you a few of the things I've done up in this here Autumn:

—Read at the Last Rites Baltimore series thanks to Pat King and Nik Korpan. Read w/ Sid Gold, Eric Goodman, and Wayne Hoffman. Mans hoffing and good. Nik gave me pizza out of his car, like the time I was in the cab to the Greyhound station and someone on Howard tried to sell me and the cabdriver some heroin. The reading was at a hostel and I think I stole the communal water drum. The other readers read things about some pool flirtation and reading periods and and and. I read about the ultimate holla back and tried to explain weakness exotically.

—Then I read again in Baltimore for the WORMS w/ Joe Martin, Chris Mason, and Lola Pierson. Hosted by the delightful R.M. O'Brien, who made a really old monk hilarious. The reading was at the Metro Gallery, which I have fond feelings for because they didn't lose my hoodie when I left it there for two weeks—they just let the hoodie comfortably hibernate on the floor of their walk-in freezer. I read a poem that was bad so I crumpled it up and threw it away onstage, and everyone cheered. Also I read about every weird person I've ever met in a piece entitled "Yo Whatever Happened Yo." Also I read a piece called "C'MON!" where everybody shouted out "C'MON!" after lines like "What kind of beautiful weather doesn't know it's September 11th? What kind of personality trait is a preference for ginger ale?" and so on. Chris read amazing sly poems like an old pro, Joe read a long story where a limo full of prom dates crashed and got bloody, Lola read some hilarious and touching stuff. Then later in the month on the street I met R.M O'Brien's baby and wife while I ate a samosa. That's what friends are for.

—Then I read for Artichoke Haircut's You're Allowed series w/ Kendra Kopelke. Kendra was everyone's teacher and much beloved and belovable. She had some Hopper paintings that stared at us as she read. The crowd was big and feisty. Someone knew what Belchertown Road was. The crowd elected to have the Jewish action figure talk to the ladybug football instead of the other way around. Thanks to Adam Shutz & Melissa Streat of Artichoke Haircut for inviting me and Justin Sanders for being an exuberant ham of a host.

—Then I read in Philly for Tire Fire! Philly is great. I will say what I said on Facebook about it, but I want to add "thanks to Wes for the accordion dance party" to the list: "awesome time in Philly! there was fried chicken next to indian food in Reading Terminal! thanks Christian TeBordo for being a great accordion player and host & Sarah Rose Etter for threatening to murder me within 15 seconds of meeting me and then later giving me a cookie & Karl Taro Greenfeld and Anna Louise Neiger for being lovely co-readers and everybody who came out to sit in bumper cars and watch us read."

—Then I read for the Five:Ten Reading Series, hosted by Michael Kimball & Jen Michalksi. This was at a fancy gallery and there were fancy Oreo type cookies to eat. I was nervous about reading the beginning of the one-balled coach/horse defecation story, but people laughed, especially when I shamelessly yoked the story's searing critique of masculinity to contemporary coaching scandals. Who says relevance never protected a room. I read with amazing human dreamcatchers Stephanie Barber and Ben Loory, who were both gripping. As in their voices and stories were like those little burrs you find in your sandals months after you walked in the woods.

—Oh em gee that's a lot of readings holy geez. Next weekend I'm going to read at Brown University for a New Voices in Fiction event with Matt Bell, Rachel B Glaser, Lily Hoang, Joanna Howard, and Matt Salesses. Lots of goodie gum drops. It'll probably be too cold in Providence to find the coconut milk ice cream truck I found the last time I was there, but I will cry and weep and thrash and get over it.

—Guys let's recap: gender is a performance, identity is a performance, a blog is a performance designed to make you think the only thing I care about are readings and people's names and eating things. Except when I care about frozen zones and, you know, "the slow and rusty American amusement-ride-like descent into feudalism/fascism" thing. The truth is I like eating things and forgetting names. The truth is out there. Somebody lick the dahl off my elbow.

—Things online! A poem in an awesome issue of H_NGM_N called "If the World Is Crazy We Will Be Crazy Too." That's something Gaddafi/Gadhafi said before I did, but at least he got to say it before he died. Probably my favorite line in the poem is "Any exit’s / an emergency once you can’t tell how fast you’re leaving." Lots of other great folks and UMass buds in H_NGM_N 13, so be sure to click that link before it gets outdated.

—The suave and spindly-haired Peter Jurmu interviewed me for Redivider's November spotlight.  We talked about invisible friendship, laundry change, Frank Stanford, batty like knock around, and navigating sacks of breath. Thanks, Peter! Peter is pretty much the only person these days besides Bryan Coffelt and my girlfriend to randomly GChat me at uncannily cozy times, for which I am endlessly appreciative.

—Four prose poems from my ongoing train trash thump project No One Sleeps Beneath the Train Except the Light went up at The Fanzine. Thanks to Casey McKinney and Amy Herschleb. And sweet damn, thanks to Danny Jock for some totally killer illustrations. This is the second time "The Dan Man"—as I just now a second ago nicknamed him—has brought my twisted shit to pixelated life, and that is pretty cool. Do the gawk to see his bowling alley fire, chugged V-8, harassed rickshaw, and Ishi hackey sacking fish guts.

Dark Sky and Big Lucks both nominated a few things of mine for the Plushcart Pies. Fist bumps to their kindness.

"War and domination are the opposite of room." — Carrot Cake Zaikowski wrote an awesome piece on Kenneth Patchen for The Rumpus!


—Some sweet new issues of NOÖ Weekly guest-edited by Ani Smith and Laura Eve Engel. Gobble them all up while you can still gob. While you're doing that, I will finish my semester by cajoling my students to write crazy essays, find some way to buy Christmas presents for people instead of neurotically indulging in the story I've built for myself about being terrible at buying Christmas presents, and get ready to say "where do I go to blog about eating things and forgetting names" in Thai.

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