Latest Posts

Monkey picked tea?

Edible.com is both exciting and a disappointment, exciting because it does have some interesting foods I’d like to try (weasel coffee, curried crickets) but the selection is pretty small. Edibleunique.com actually has a slightly larger selection, and various meats and fishes and bugs can be ordered from other places if you dig around a bit. I would like to take hedonistic advantage of the global economy before it collapses; to wit, I am going to try injera again on Weds, this time following the whole 3 day fermentation process and using the teff flour I ordered from Idaho. This time I will make doro wett and probably some lentils instead of gored gored.

Wowza…

Scholar/Author/very busy man Jamey Hecht has written a far more insightful review of my book of poems than it probably deserves, and it is currently the feature review on Rattle‘s website. Thanks much, sir. Mr. Hecht’s website. The contradictions that reading my book seem to have provoked in Mr Hecht–he didn’t like the poems, hated reading them but thought they were successful, that it is a “good, strong book” and would recommend reading it–is wonderful. That Mr Hecht did not find the book funny, which it is certainly meant to be, says something about how social class works, I think, but ‘m not sure I’m ready to explore that argument just yet. Also, he began the review stating the poems were “unabashedly autobiographical” but later recanted and said that I might be a very different person from the narrator. I’m not sure why folks want to try and find autobiography in these poems; maybe because many are in first person, and they follow a fairly straight chronology? In any case, how much of the book “really happened” and how much did not is irrelevant. What is important, from a critical perspective, is that I am the kind of person who…
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Finally have mp3’s

I have posted mp3 recordings of the first part of my book of poems here. I will try to finish them all by the end of April, and will also start messing about with them, chopping them up and splicing them with other things… please feel free to do so as well, if you are so inclined. Also, I will be reading tonight at Talking Leaves Books, 3158 Main St in Buffalo, with Rebekeh Keaton. I’m lousy at self promotion, boy…

Ok, maybe not…

The hotel I stayed at in Vegas did not have WiFi, and with only my pda to type on, I could not write from there, which is just as well, since I was there such a short time. The reading was fun, not many in the crowd but everyone was receptive and we all–Jarret Keene, Bruce Issacson, and myself–managed to sell a few books. Las Vegas is an imaginary city, and seems to be in trouble; the city fathers had counted on their city being recession-proof, but the first line of the first article in the local paper was “Ok, now it’s time to panic.” I would think Sin City is a good canary for the coal mine of a depression the US economy is plummeting down. Luckily, poetry really is recession proof, since it has almost no exchange value to begin with…

las vegas

I am flying to Las Vegas tomorrow morning to go to the Clark County Library and read poetry. I love the idea of flying to Vegas to go to the library. I wonder if the library will have video poker. Anyhow, I am going to bring my pda and keyboard and will try and write a bit about my journey, traveling fascinates me. This book is an interesting account of travel way back when folks walked or rode carts made of wood, axles greased with olive oil…

Book Selling

I have a publisher, Zeitgeist Press, that is small and has not the resources a huge publishing house might have, but they have the freedom to publish work that they like, not just work they think can sell a boatload of copies. Because they cannot send me a $10,000 advance and put me on the John Stewart show, I have to do some of the work if I want my book to sell. And I do want to sell copies of my book, as well as copies of any other books I might write in the future. In the traditional publishing model, or at least the most recently dominant model, I would try to parlay the reputation gained early in my career, via small but prestigious presses, into a contract with a larger publisher. This larger publisher would then print and distribute my later books, set up publicity campaigns, and so forth; in return, I would get a small percentage of the profits of each sale, called a royalty, as well as positions on the boards of poetry journals, increased reading fees, and so forth. The internet, however, has made the exchange of media so easy that this old model…
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Right Out Out Of Greek Tragedy

Though I feel bad for his wife, and even a bit for the man himself, I can’t help but feel a little giddy about the whole Spitzer fiasco. The epic rise and fall, the ridiculously obvious hypocrisy of an ethics reformer with an immoral habit; it couldn’t be better scripted. People who study the brain and how we pay attention to things often analyze how we separate foreground and background, and one way to make people focus and respond to something in the visual field is to have a stark contrast between an object in the foreground and those in the background. Same with sound, I would think, and smell and in fact all our sensory tools. The Spitzer case is intriguing because, like in Greek tragedy, the central character has a tragic flaw, a characteristic that creates an almost grotesque set of contrasts within the character, a set of contrasts that make observers both entranced and confused, since most of us will feel a need to try and resolve the contradictions: how could he think he would not get caught? Which leads, again to Greek tragedy: just as Oedipus had no choice, his fate was sealed, how much of…
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So much music…

I take comfort in the fact that I have more books than I could ever read, that more recorded music exists than I could ever listen to, but somehow that fact makes me rather sad at the same time. No wonder I’ve watched the internet blossom with a mixture of delight and apprehension. Weirdo music is a portal site that links to folks who rescue out of print albums and convert them to digital formats.

Book

My book of poems …and the whole time I was quite happy is now available from zeitgeist-press.com. I am setting up a separate page for the book and a link to it on the right, and I plan to record the whole thing as a group of podcasts, accessible through that page. Should be up in the next week or two… (wink, nudge).

late than never

The Gored Gored turned out ok, not enough niter kibbeh, and I probably should have cooked the berebere, longer, but it tasted yummy. The injera, on the other hand, I didn’t figure out how to pour until the very last piece, and even then the recipe was wanting: doughy, rubbery, and way too dense.