Friday, November 13, 2009

Winding Down & Gearing Up

* Wrote 8 Wheels of Death script (actually around the end of June, I think)
* Called a couple of derby bouts, home and away
* MC'd a roller derby fashion show
* Trip to Holiday World

* Canoe trip
* Performed live sound effects at the International Mystery Writers' Festival in Owensboro, KY
* Called an away derby bout
* Assisted shooting 8WoD in earnest
* Confirmed that my chapbook Little Glove in a Big Hand will be published in 2010 (possibly January) by Plan B Press

* Preformed SFX, read poetry, and did some voice work (whew!) for a live variety show broadcast on WFHB
* Called another bout
* Lotus Festival (saw Väsen, among other great world music acts, for the first time and they were so very good)
* Heavy shooting schedule for 8WoD

* Called last home bout of the season
* Visited friends and hiked and climbed a li'l mountain in Maine
* Mom & Dad celebrated their 50th anniversary, and I got them a trip to Ruby Falls, TN, where they spent their honeymoon in 1959
* Taught my graphic design class
* Skipped the zombie march due to rain/police action but had a great Halloween at Kel's

* Called the first Naptown vs. BHRG bout, last of our season
* Gave a reading at the Writers' Center of Indiana in Indy, debuting some poems from the new chap
* Will perform SFX for another WFHB live variety show
* Learned that Joe also has a chapbook coming out in 2010 ... also from Plan B Press ... so joint spring tour now in the works ...

* Will record poems for Jenny Kander's last show on WFIU
* Hope to talk to financial adviser about ... my finances. I'll be 99% debt free (other than a couple of post-divorce entanglements) by December. What then? House? Hardcore retirement savings? Investments? All of the above?
* SLEEP and/or DO AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE!! (I think I am chronically under-rested)

* Reading at a benefit for a domestic violence shelter, in Indy, day after my 39th b-day
* Do another collaborative art/poetry project with Lucia, for a Kinsey contest
* Chapbook tour with Joe out to Vienna, Virginia, where our publisher is located
* Perform SFX for the Agatha Christie plays from IMWF, in April/May ... in Tacoma, WA! (I've been invited out by he producer; it's not 100% confirmed but should be before T-giving)
* Creating my own webpage and likely abandoning this blog (or incorporating it into something a bit more all-encompassing as far as work and personal stuff)

Friday, October 09, 2009

When Worlds Collide

So along with live color commentary for the past 3 seasons, I also have done a fair amount of writing, editing, and proofreading for the local roller derby league (like I do). Mostly meeting minutes, lists of sponsors, program text, tag lines, press releases and bout recaps, etc. No heavy lifting here but usually snappy and time-sensitive material.

Then Truly F Obvious and Roxy Shox asked me to help write and edit a series of articles for USA Roller Sports Magazine on how to start a derby league. The first two installments came out last winter and spring. The latest issue, containing the final installment of the series, just came out ... and they put us on the cover.

I haven't done a lot of publishing done these days, so this both is kind of cool and it cracks me up. This will likely garner the widest readership I've ever experienced ... yet there I am on the COVER of a skating magazine ... and I don't even skate.

Really, this is quite awesome.

EDIT: I also happened to pick up the most recent issue of INto ART, a local arts magazine out of Brown County, and was surprised to find a nice mention of me in an article about my fellow Dogwood Matthew Jackson. There is even a pic from the reading the 4 of us did in Columbus in Sept. Also cool!

Monday, August 24, 2009

International Mystery Writers Festival 2009

Words fail me.

The festival this year -- which almost didn't happen -- exceeded my expectations in terms of fun, performance, professionalism ... and prospects for future projects with this company of actors, producers, and directors. I don't want to say much more than that; I don't want to jinx the possibilities, because they are SO GOOD and everyone is so positive and optimistic about taking the show "on the road," as it were.

Besides, all that Big Time talk aside, I continue to have some of the best performance experiences of my life working this festival. If all that comes of the talk is an opportunity to do it again next year, in Owensboro, I would still be thrilled to pieces.

So I'm just going to post some links about the show this year.
Thanks to David Ossman and Judith Walcutt for taking a chance on me last year. LOVE you guys, and love the challenge of making these shows excellent!

Here is one review by Fred Greenhalgh over at Radio Drama Revival.

Here is another from the Evansville Courier & Press.

Some images by Bryan Leazenby of 2 dress rehearsals and the awards dinner.

WNIN 83.3 Evansville aired the Sat night (8/15) performance and streamed it online. They are now offering audio some of last year's shows.

Collaboration finally comes to fruition.

A collaborative project of mine will be featured at an online gallery in September.

The piece is an accordion-fold art book called last speakers of a dead language shut up, words: Tony Brewer, images: Lucia Bennett for S T U D I O 724.

It is a single poem, and each stanza has its own panel, cut from high-grade airplane aluminum by Lucia at Titan Waterjet. She then ... worked her magic. I love her layered approach to adding depth. It's a dark, somewhat violent poem (kind of out of character for me), and Lucia really did it justice. The lettering on the aluminum shines through the murk. I think it's beautiful and haunting.

It's taken about a year from our first meeting to seeing the final piece set up in her studio. It has been so worth it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Coming to you LIVE from Owensboro, KY!

I am here in Kentucky, working on live radio theatre for the International Mystery Writers' Festival. We are doing all four of Agatha Christie's radio plays, originally written for the BBC (“the BEEB”) between about 1937 and 1953. I am the house sound effects artist for all the plays. We're staging them as if we, the company, are a troupe of BBC radio actors working in London.

If there's any chance you -- or someone you know -- could come down and see us in person, PLEASE COME. This is really a hybrid performance: equal parts murder mystery theatre, radio theatre, and audio art. (The auditorium sound is very well-tuned this year, by Steve Wiese.) The audience is real close to the BIG stage, so it will be a very "live" room.

If you can't come, you can still hear us LIVE on the Web on the final night of the run, Saturday, August 15.

NOTE: If you're coming in person, check into getting tickets soon. The Jody Berry Cabaret Theatre holds about 200.

August 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 are the dates -- that's this coming Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The place is:

More info about the Mystery Festival is at:

The four half-hour radio plays are introduced by Agatha Christie herself (as played by Melinda Peterson) and grouped into two one-hour Acts.

Act One:
Butter In a Lordly Dish
Three Blind Mice

Act Two:
Personal Call
The Yellow Iris (a Hercule Poirot mystery)

Here's the schedule:

Wednesday August 12 - Act One opens, 7 p.m. CDT

Thursday August 13 - Act Two opens, 7 p.m. CDT

Friday August 14 - Act Two -- 2 p.m. CDT, and Act One -- 5 p.m. CDT

Saturday August 15 - Act One -- 11 a.m. CDT, Act Two -- 2 p.m. CDT --

....and then, Saturday Evening, at 7 p.m. CDT both acts will be played and broadcast live over WNIN, the Public Radio Station in Evansville, Indiana. You can stream the program at:

I worked the Mystery Festival last year as well, and you can hear some of those shows at:

(I know a lot of you derby people will be otherwise occupied on 8/15, so if you are interested in hearing what this stuff is all about, check the link.)

Zev Buffman and Judith Walcutt are producing the show,and David Ossman of Firesign Theatre fame ( is directing. The cast includes Firesign's Phil Proctor ( ), TV's Gary Sandy (, Melinda Peterson (, Amy Walker (, and Orson Ossman, along with a great group of performers from around the country. Again, I am performing live sound effects, assisted by Preston Ossman.

Today, we are finishing up Day 3 on site. All the elements are finally in place: My toys are out and on stage, the pre-recorded FX are being fine-tuned, and the actors are working out blocking and timing. Tonight I think is going to be our first “at speed” run-through of Act One. It’s all going well. Quite, quite!

Hope some of you can make it for the show (or tune in)!


(x-posted to Facebook)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Well fudge.

The Tom Lopp project did not get funded.

The exact phrasing goes: "Unfortunately, your application final score was not high enough to receive a grant based upon the amount of available funds."

I don't feel too bad about this. I am overwhelmed by projects right now, and making forays into romance, and while I feel like I'm ready for the "next step" on the road to making this book a reality, I would honestly feel rushed, trying to "fit it in" right now among other commitments.

Or maybe that's just me rationalizing this rejection.

Also, as I posted earlier, state arts funding was cut (by 25%). The IAC received 209 applications and could only fund 33 of those (whoa). So I'm not too surprised that I did not get a slice of the pie.

As far as the project goes, I'm still reading and researching and fact-finding and waiting and thinking and eventually, writing. I also reconnected with an Inupiat/Eskimo I have worked with in audio theatre, and he pointed me toward some resources and websites I had not discovered. So I'm not done yet, not by a damn sight. I'm continuing, unfunded, like before.

I also had been reconsidering the travel destination for which I originally requested funding: University of Oregon, where Tom Lopp's papers and journals are collected. It made (and makes) sense to want to go there and hold his writings in my own hands. But several people have suggested (and before I discovered the Lopp Collection, I originally had planned) that I actually go to Point Barrow, maybe even retrace some of the route of the Overland Expedition of 1897. When I reapply for next year (hell yeah I am), I might write that in instead. I think by then I'll probably have a much better idea of the "on paper" Tom, the white man's perspective of the journey. Maybe what I need to fund is an exploration of the Inupiat/Eskimo perspective, which is what I am most in need of researching anyway.

And maybe in the grand scheme of things (I'm such a grand-schemer), this is the universe's way of redirecting me, away from libraries and "serious research" and whatnot, and toward the stark environment where the story I hope to inhabit actually played out.

And let's face it: I work too much. No thaving to deal with this project too does give the rest of my 2009 some breathing room. Room I surely shall fill up, right quick, with something else, no doubt. But rather than another project, I think now I can refocus a little:

* Actually make a move and talk to some financial people about buying a house in my 'hood.
* A couple of dear friends in Maine have invited me to come visit this year. I had been figuring on postponing -- just not enough hours in a day (or vacation time in my bank). But now it seems quite doable. In October. This would include a visit to mountains, I'm pretty sure, which is also on my Big Ol' To-Do List for aught-nine.
* Ease up a touch on the research and work on new material for the fall Dogwoods tour.

So yeah, no funding. No joy there. But it's just funding, not the project itself, that took a hit here. At least that;s how I see it. Everyone I have talked to, including my Inupiat/Eskimo colleague, has reacted favorably to my description of it, as hair-brained as it seems (to me, sometimes). So on I go.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Funding Woes

"Dear Grant Applicant,

Due to the recently announced Indiana Arts Commission state appropriation, which is 25% less than last year, the Commission must convene to ratify a new budget for FY2010. We are trying to schedule an emergency Commission meeting for the week of July 20, 2009. Once the new budget is established, we will proceed with FY2010 grant announcements.

You will receive an email regarding grant decisions as soon as more information is available. We appreciate your patience until this time.


Indiana Arts Commission"

Monday, June 08, 2009

"Until you’ve lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was or what freedom really is."

(Margaret Mitchell ... the Gone with the Wind lady)

Sunday, June 07, 2009

The year, she is half over

Let's review, shall we?

* Finished Little Glove in a Big Hand on New Years Eve 2008 and sent it to 3 contest that night. I've sent it to about 10 other contests since then, and plan to get another round of submissions in the mail by end of June. Some place will bite, although I already have an offer from Plan B Press to pub the ms. if it does not get picked up elsewhere.

* Submitted IAC Grant application for my Tom Lopp Project. I should find out in the next week or so if I got funded.
* Featured poet on The Poets Weave hosted by Jenny Kander on WFIU.
* Went on a cruise with Kel, V-ron, and Scott from Miami to Nassau and the Great Stirrup Cay.

* Taught my IU class.
* First date of Reservoir Dogwoods tour.
* Co-produced TV spots for roller derby.
* Called a game in Grand Rapids.

* Dogwoods tour in full effect.
* Featured poet on Outsider Writers Collective.
* Received CPR/First Aid certification from the Red Cross.
* Planted a garden with my roommate and his GF.
* Called a game in Louisville.

* Called a double-header for ROSI.
* Finished Dogwoods spring tour. (We're working on a small-college tour this fall.)
* Hosted the Lightning Bug Romantics at the last MATRIX slam of the season. Great show.
* Called first home bout (double-header) of the season.

JUNE (ongoing)
* Won the Columbus (Ind.) poetry slam.
* Calling a double-header in Evansville: BHRG vs. ROSI.
* Returning to NATF to direct sound effects.
* Somewhere in there, I'm writing a roller derby/zombie horror movie.

What's left to do this year?
* A bunch of derby.
* Research for Tom Lopp Project.
* International Mystery Writers Festival in Owensboro in August (performing live sound effects for 4 Agatha Christie radio plays).
* Poetry Retreat/Workshop at Hill House
* Hopefully travel for TLP (if funding comes through, see above).
* Fall Reservoir Dogwoods tour
* I want to have several new pieces ready for the fall tour. I'd love to have an entirely new set, including a new group piece.
* I want to start talking to financial people about buying a house.
* I want to compile a new chapbook manuscript (not for TLP) or have a bunch of poems ready to send out for publication.

I also would like to visit some mountains and do some serious hiking and/or canoeing or rafting. I might have time for this in Oregon when I'm not holed up in the library.
There is definitely a trip to Holiday World in my future -- tentatively in July.
I want to do some camping or spend more time in the woods this summer/fall.

Whew! OK, I think that's enough.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Some Stuff; then, later, Some Things; and then Some More Stuff

Spring is here! Last night was just about a perfect night. And it's raining today and it's going to be in the 50s tonight. Dogwoods are finally blooming. I love Bloomington, like this especially, when the Showers Building over the course of just a couple of weeks hosts Tea Bag Parties, the farmers' market, Luna Fest, and now (well, when the sun is out) the front lawn is one of he hawtest co-ed sunbathing spots in town. I love my provincial little liberal oasis.


Are we still trying to figure out whether or not torture is a good idea? Or "enhanced interrogation tactics" or whatever? Really?? How old are we? What year is this? Does ANYbody, other than Dick Cheny, think torture is a good idea? Christ.


Swine flu. Again, I say, really? Hmm. Well after taking a few deep (and likely diseased) breaths, I went to the CDC website and read that

Every year in the United States, on average:
* 5% to 20% of the population gets the [regular, plain-ol' seasonal] flu;
* more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu-related complications; and
* about 36,000 people die from flu-related causes.

So forgive me if I don't rush right out and but some medical masks and duct tape. I understand this is a hybrid strain and that it's spreading with unexpected rapidity. But think about it: people fly all over the world all the time. The flu being spread this way simply does not alarm me. And I appreciate the CDC ramping up the emergency status of their reaction.

But I'm gonna stick with being calm and washing my hands, for the time being. Do let me know when I need to climb inside a hermetically sealed bubble, though.


My chapbook manuscript Little Glove in a Big Hand did not win the Plan B Press chapbook contest, BUT they loved it and have asked me to keep in touch with them this summer. Call it "Editor's Choice"? If I don't win a contest/find a publisher by August, they want to talk with me about bringing it out in the fall.

That feels really good. This project is very close to me, personally. Steven M.'s positive feedback was very heartening. He "got" it, and that has been one of my fears about the book: that it's too personal. Glad to be proven wrong.

I'm still waiting to hear back from about 10 other contests, and I intend to enter a few more before the end of May. But the note from Plan B was really invigorating, and, while I haven't signed on any dotted lines yet, it feels very good to "have a publisher" for my little chap.


Some conclusions on editing, by Gardner Botsford, editor at The New Yorker magazine for almost 40 years:

Rule of thumb No. 1. To be any good at all, a piece of writing requires the investment of a specific amount of time, either by the writer or by the editor. [Joseph] Wechsberg was fast; hence, his editors had to be up all night. Joseph Mitchell took forever to write a piece, but when he turned [it] in, the editing could be done during one cup of coffee.

Rule of thumb No. 2. The less competent the writer, the louder his protests over the editing. The best editing, he feels, is no editing. He does not stop to reflect that such a program would be welcomed by the editor, too, allowing him to lead a richer, fuller life and see more of his children. But he would not be long on the payroll, and neither would the writer. Good writers lean on editors; they would not think of publishing something that no editor had read. Bad writers talk about the inviolable rhythm of their prose.

Rule of thumb No. 3. You can identify a bad writer before you have seen a word of his copy if he uses the expression "we writers."

Rule of thumb No. 4. In editing, the first reading of a manuscript is the all-important one. On the second reading, the swampy passages that you noticed in the first reading will seem firmer and less draggy, and on the fourth or fifth reading, they will seem exactly right. That's because you are now attuned to the writer, not to the reader. But the reader, who will read the thing only once, will find it just as swampy and boring as you did the first time around. In short, if something strikes you as wrong on first reading, it is wrong, and a fix is needed, not a second reading.

Rule of thumb No. 5. One must never forget that writing and editing are entirely different arts, or crafts. Good editing has saved bad writing more often than bad editing has harmed good writing. This is because a bad editor will not keep his job for long, but a bad writer can, and will, go on forever. Good editing can turn a gumbo of a piece into a tolerable example of good reporting, not of good writing. Good writing exists beyond the ministrations of any editor. That's why a good editor is a mechanic, or craftsman, while a good writer is an artist.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Outsider Writers Collective

I am currently the featured poet at Outsider Writers Collective, a group loosely based in southern Indiana. Check it!

Thanks to Crystal Folz for hooking me up with OWC. I met Crystal at the Reservoir Dogwoods reading in Evansville in March. She is a fine poet in her own right, and very enthusiastic about promoting other people's work (me too!). I also like her small press, DIY aesthetic. Plus she is extremely prolific.

She also manages Shoots and Vines and has a personal site.

(And I later learned she skates with the Rollergirls of Southern Indiana. Small world, eh?)

Up! Date!

The tour is going swimmingly. We're just about halfway through and really locking in with each other. I am blessed to be a part of this. The other guys are really amazing.

I'm ridiculously busy at work and I'm trying to acquire as many projects as possible. I consider it job security. University presses and books in general have been "dying" since I got into this racket (circa 1996). And IU swears they are able to weather the current economic "downturn" (like a limp dick, right?). So I'm not too worried. Still, scary times. Fortunately, I am still diversifying my income streams.

To wit: still editing for an educational journal (8 years and going strong).

I just finished a freelance editing project for a local Internet marketing firm.

My teaching gigs are still going well (though one was canceled due to zero enrollment -- but that doesn't worry me too much, since I've taught a total of 3 people in that class the 2 times it has been offered. No word on whether they'll run it in the fall.)

I just learned that I WILL be doing live sound effects in Kentucky again this year. w00t! Initially the producers lost their funding, but they have stripped the show way down (2 plays, 4 performances total instead of 10 plays, 34 shows) and I'll only be down there a week and a half. Much more manageable all the way around. That is in August.

I find out in June if my Tom Lopp haibun hybrid project is funded. If so, I'll be in Eugene and Seattle for a week or so (2 if I can swing it), probably in September.

I called a derby bout in Grand Rapids. Got another one coming up on 4/25. Home season begins May 30.

I'm really glad I started off the year with a cruise. I'm not likely to get a vacation until Aug now, for which need to stockpile vacation time anyway.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

Tour Interview Questions

On "bringing your unique styles together" ... in one word, describe YOUR unique style.


How would you describe your poetry?

The anonymous author of Beowulf and Saul Williams tossed in a bag with a brick and some poorly mimeographed lit rags from the '60s. Who shall emerge victorious?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spring Cleaning

Some Things Stick With Me

Dad sits across from me.
His bruised hands shaking.
He says, You fall apart when you get old.

I don’t have to try anymore
to make my voice
sound just like his.

Before the tremors
his fingers manipulated pocketknives
and chewing gum wrappers
and drywall tape and mud.

But he has performed this
operation so many times,
his hands are as deft as a surgeon’s.

We are in a restaurant booth waiting for ribs.
He prepares a syringe and then the insulin.
Rolls the bottle between his hands to warm it.
Plunges the needle into his stomach.
So quick and practiced
I was the only one who saw.

It is bearable because he remains
calm as it happens,
and then we laugh at his frailty.

It’s out of our minds
as plates of meat arrive.

Even though we are falling apart.
It is happening to us all the time.

editor's note: this is a new edit as of 1 April 09.


I've been in a bit of a writing slump ever since I finished the chapbook manuscript (still sending it out; no bites yet). So I've turned to old, neglected pieces and have been editing and revising up a storm. It feels good. Bringing completion. Tying up loose ends. That kind of thing. This piece is still "in process" but it's in better shape now than before.

I'm reading tonight in Evansville. Fortunately, there are three other Dogwoods to prop me up. I'll likely be on auto-pilot.

Digging beneath where something happened

I broke up with Mari this week, and it hurts. I feel like a failure. Even though I think it was inevitable. Or some major move was. Either we move to the same city (read: I move to Michigan) or we split. The long-distance thing was not really working. Neither of us was happy or satisfied with it. And her resentment toward me because I stayed in B-ton when she moved had become palpable. It would only have gotten worse, especially once the weather turned to spring/summer. I was only slightly more willing than she to make a long-distance arrangement work. Honestly, though, I think we're both too caught up in living our individual lives -- she at the beginning of a great career -- and doing what we really enjoy to make the kind of sacrifice required to stay together as a couple. Fuck.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Found While Making Corrections

"[B]elief in global nomadism is a delusion, since to be able to go anywhere is to be located nowhere."
--Edward S. Casey, Getting Back into Place

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Any kids here?

From Eddie Murphy: Delerious

This reminds me of staying up late playing D&D with my best friend Mike Liggett, around 1983 or so. We'd listen to this album on cassette over and over. We had to keep the volume way down so no one upstairs would hear.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Dynamic of the Team Piece

So I'm about to embark upon a spoken word tour of Indiana, and for the occasion I've been working on what we in the biz call a team piece. Basically, a poem or text written specifically for performance by more than one voice. I have never had much luck with this "form." I tend to work solo. But I love good team pieces, and Jewsef has written a few in the past that he and I have gotten good at throwing down. We have even co-opted Taylor Mali's "How to Write a Political Poem" and, if I may say so myself, do it a damn fine piece of justice.

I've written a fair amount of scripts, so writing for different voices is not a big deal. That's dialogue, though. A team piece should not be just a poem that 4 people take part in reading. I has to REQUIRE the voices that sing it. (Note, though, that I DO NOT like team pieces where 3 people sing behind one dude performing the poem. I just think that's hinkey.) So I've been working at making 4 voices necessary, and I think I've got it. Kind of a retooling (and shortening) of the long-ass (15 minutes) poem + sound effects I did at the Ceilidh in '98. A piece I have been wanting to return to and revise for some time.

The real fun part of the team piece, obviously, is the collaborative aspect. Because it's NOT a script, some might think that "This Poem Is Carved In Stone" and must therefore be read as written by its poet. Scripts usually have a little bit more leeway, once the actors start getting into character. But I think inviting the other voices to help shape the poem's content and presentation is integral to its success. Joe wrote a really good team piece once about two soldiers shooting at each other. On paper, it rocked. But once we started working it out aloud, problems and necessary tweaks became apparent. Plus the obvious back-and-forth of voices as bullets had not been fully realized. Implied but not defined. So, as I recall, during endless laps around the retaining pond at Aho, when we both still worked there, we hammered that fucker out till it was golden. Not a complete revision of the poem but recasting and reassigning certain lines, so that our two voices fit naturally into one poem.

The four of us 'dogs are meeting this weekend to start going over our set lists and honing the team pieces we've been working on. I'm eager to see how things shake down, and I'm really interested to see how this new piece comes together with all 4 voices behind it.

Random Observation #6,793

Aren't emo haircuts just inverted mullets?

(And sometimes not all that inverted?)

Friday, February 20, 2009

First hurdle cleared!

My IAC grant application was approved!

Which means I filled everything out correctly and gave them everything they need.

Now the panel gets to review it. In April. And I get to watch!

But I can't lobby or argue my case. Just watch and listen.

And I don't find out until June if I got it.

I'm teaching that night in Bloomington, but I think I'm going to try to go to the panel discussion. I have heard it can be an enlightening experience, especiallly if I end up not getting the grant.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Laugh Riot

Poetry magazine is now mounting its issues online. The whole thing. The Feb issue is up, and in the Comment section there is a collection of menifestoes (manifestos? manifesti? manifest-ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha...)

Anyway, even if you don't care one whit give a shit about poetry (or contemporary poetry, especially), these are fun reading. I love Thomas Sayer Ellis's page v.s. stage alliance, mainly because it's better than I thought it was going to be. And I really dig Michael Hoffman quoting Gottfried Benn: "Disappoint the season-ticket holder." Damn straight. That'll learn 'em.

This has got me wanting to write my own manifest ... o. But I tend to feel inclusive about poetry rather than bunkered. No lines in the sand and all that. I don't like that way of thinking, about anything. I suppose stating one's purpose helps to define it, though, right? No harm in that.

Also, I completely forgot that I was on the radio Sunday (recorded earlier). Fortunately for you, gentle readers, WFIU is also podcasting the show. I'm archived!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Found Poem

You can see through it / "And don't forget the lime"

The movement of this
poem finds itself going
along, looking at

the normal things
you might find in a bar -- but
what makes this interesting

is how close the focus
becomes at times, as if
there's brief flashes of stillness

in the movement
of this place. This quality
is working

in your favor --
how might you capitalize on it
further if you choose to

revise this piece?
On another note,
these stanzas have

the feel of haiku --
this might be an idea worth
running with. Good job!

Found in the parking lot after work one day a year or so ago.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

My Contribution

So three books I worked on (composition) for IU Press made it into the 2009 AAUP Book, Jacket, and Journal Show. Cool! The Press hasn't placed anything in the show since 2005 (and before that I think it had been a loooooong time). It's more a pat on the back than anything else; I don't think there is an "award," so to speak. But it's a pretty cool pat. Acknowledgment from my colleagues is a good thing.

Indiana University Press
Bloodroot: Indiana Poems by Norbert Krapf

Indiana University Press
Home Grown Indiana: A Food Lover's Guide to Good Eating in the Hoosier State by Christine Barbour and Scott Hutcheson

Indiana University Press
Perennials Short and Tall: A Seasonal Progression of Flowers for Your Garden by Moya L. Andrews


Speaking of awards, I finished and sent in my Indiana Arts Commission Individual Artist Program grant application on Monday. Fingers crossed. I came up with a pretty unique, somewhat crackpot project considering I'll ultimately be producing a book of poetry and travel essays. Still, I think I've got a decent chance. But I won't find out until I think JUNE if I got it, and I don't get any of the money till about October. But the grant app alone is a milestone of sorts for me, has been on my to-do list for some years, and made the top of me resolution list for 2009. Now (except for ongoing research, which I'd be doing regardless of the grant) I can kind of forget about it and move on. Winning (or not) in a few months will just be a nice (or not) surprise.

Saturday, January 31, 2009


OK, I finally figured out how to allow people to subscribe to my pitiful blog. I think. You'll let me know if me = fail, right, gentle readers?? Of course you will.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

An Oldie but a Goodie

Ah Pook is Here by William S. Burroughs
film by Phillip Hunt narration by Burroughs music by JJ Cale
(I'm pretty sure from the WSB album Dead City Radio)

When I become Death, Death is the seed from which I grow...
Itzama, spirit of early mist and showers.
Ixtaub, goddess of ropes and snares.
Ixchel, the spider web, catcher of morning dew.
Zooheekock, virgin fire patroness of infants.
Adziz, the master of cold.
Kockupocket, who works in fire.
Ixtahdoom, she who spits out precious stones.
Ixchunchan, the dangerous one.
Ah Pook, the destroyer.

Hiroshima, 1945, August 6, sixteen minutes past 8 AM.

Who really gave that order?

Answer: Control.

Answer: The Ugly American.

Answer: The instrument of Control.

Question: If Control’s control is absolute, why does Control need to control?

Answer: Control... needs time.

Question: Is Control controlled by its need to control?

Answer: Yes.

Why does Control need humans, as you call them?

Answer: Wait... wait! Time, a landing field. Death needs time like a junkie needs junk.

And what does Death need time for?

Answer: The answer is sooo simple. Death needs time for what it kills to grow in, for Ah Pook’s sake.

Death needs time for what it kills to grow in, for Ah Pook’s sweet sake, you stupid vulgar greedy ugly American death-sucker.

Death needs time for what it kills to grow in, for Ah Pook’s sweet sake, you stupid vulgar greedy ugly American death-sucker... Like this.

We have a new type of rule now. Not one man rule, or rule of aristocracy, or plutocracy, but of small groups elevated to positions of absolute power by random pressures and subject to political and economic factors that leave little room for decision. They are representatives of abstract forces...

[Ah Pook picks up a double-barrel shotgun and opens the breech, where two shells are chambered. It closes the breech.]

...who’ve reached power through surrender of self. The iron-willed dictator is a thing of the past. There will be no more Stalins, no more Hitlers. The rulers of this most insecure of all worlds are rulers by accident...

[Ah Pook is caressing the shotgun.]

...inept, frightened pilots at the controls of a...

[Ah Pook puts the shotgun into its mouth, and its voice continues]:

...vast machine they cannot understand, calling in experts to tell them which buttons to push.

[Ah Pook pulls the trigger.]

Best Term Evar Used to Describe a Louise Glück Poem


Friday, January 23, 2009

Something on the Horizon

I've got a new project cookin'. It's a biggun, involving grants and traveling and research and whatnot. And polar expeditions. And reindeer. And mail-order brides. And Inuits. Harrison County, Indiana. Point Barrow, (un)Alaska. &c.

Picked up Simic's Sixty Poems and Mitchell's The Word for Everything today at Caveat Emptor. It's been a while since I've been in there. I almost didn't know how to function, what with there being hardly any boxes on the floor and the wider aisles. Weird.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Completion and Forward Motion

Little Glove in a Big Hand ms. completed on New Year's Eve (pre-celebration)!!

Also submitted it to 3 chapbook contest that night. I also have a lead on a couple of potential publishers.

Good start to the new year!

I'm not feeling too reflective right now, though. I want to unpack today. Gotta go.