30 August 2011

Ian Huebert's Milk Machine

Work by Ian Huebert, Zachary Schomburg, Jesse Nathan and yours truly goes down semi-regularly at www.TheMilkMachine.com

Bookmark that shit. Tell your aunts but not your uncles.

Earl Craig

Have you guys seen this? It's rather good. Makes me want to leave the corn.

"Cruel" on Letterman

I heart St. Vincent so big. She's, like, my dream girl or something. I know she probably would feel the same way about me if she ever met me:

29 August 2011

The Blood of a Poet

I've watched Jean Cocteau's The Blood of a Poet a couple times over the course of the past few days. It's pretty swell. Embedded below are two Youtube videos that contain the "mirror scenes." If we can learn anything from these clips, it's that if you write about walking through a mirror, you better have the balls to try and walk through a mirror. "Flying Lessons," which is split between the end of the first clip and the beginning of the second clip, is my favorite (these clips don't have subtitles, but you can find other version on Youtube that have them):

27 August 2011

Breakfast According to Hunter S. Thompson

I like to eat breakfast alone, and almost never before noon; anybody with a terminally jangled lifestyle needs at least one psychic anchor every twenty-four hours, and mine is breakfast.

The food factor should always be massive: four Bloody Marys, two grapefruits, a pot of coffee, Rangoon crêpes, a half-pound of either sausage, bacon, or corned-beef hash with diced chilies, a Spanish omelette or eggs Benedict, a quart of milk, a chopped lemon for random seasoning, and something like a slice of key lime pie, two margaritas and six lines of the best cocaine for dessert... Right, and there should also be two or three newspapers, all mail and messages, a telephone, a notebook for planning the next twenty-four hours, and at least one source of good music... all of which should be dealt with outside, in the warmth of a hot sun, and preferably stone naked.

Let Us Consider by Russell Edson

Let us consider the farmer who makes his straw hat his sweetheart; or the old woman who makes a floor lamp her son; or the young woman who has set herself the task of scraping her shadow off a wall....

Let us consider the old woman who wore smoked cows’ tongues for shoes and walked a meadow gathering cow chips in her apron; or a mirror grown dark with age that was given to a blind man who spent his nights looking into it, which saddened his mother, that her son should be so lost in vanity....

Let us consider the man who fried roses for his dinner, whose kitchen smelled like a burning rose garden; or the man who disguised himself as a moth and ate his overcoat, and for dessert served himself a chilled fedora....

24 August 2011

Final Summer Reading List

Now that summer, at least for me, is officially over, so too is my prose-poetry reading list. I ended up reading seven poetry collections and six novels. It seemed like I read more than that, but such was not the case. Either way, they were all good and none of them sucked:
Baran, Jessica. Remains To Be Used.
Barnes, Djuna. Nightwood.
Ceravolo, Joseph. Spring in this World of Poor Mutts.
Farivar, Rebecca. Correct Animal.
Ford, Ford Maddux. The Good Soldier.
Gilbert, Alan. Late in the Antenna Fields.
Hyland, MC. Neveragainland.
Minnis, Chelsey. Poemland.
O'Hara, John. Appointment in Samarra.
Rhys, Jean. Good Morning, Midnight.
Seldess, Jesse. Left Having.
Toomer, Jean. Cane.
Zola, Emile. L'Assommoir.

More Jean Rhys

This summer, I read Jean Rhys' novel Good Morning, Midnight. Toward the end of the book, there is a strange (in that it is apropos of nothing and, stylistically, incongruous with the rest of the text) dream passage. I think Matthea Harvey's poem, "Machine for Jean Rhys," (previously posted) alludes to this moment:
But I know quite well that all this is hallucination, imagination. Venus is dead; Apollo is dead; even Jesus is dead.

All that is left in the world is an enormous machine, made of white steel. It has innumerable flexible arms, made of steel. Long, thin arms. At the end of each arm is an eye, the eyelashes stiff with mascara. When I look more closely I see that only some of the arms have these eyes--others have lights. The arms that carry the eyes and the arms that carry the lights are all extraordinarily flexible and very beautiful. But the grey sky, which is the background, terrifies me...And the arms wave to an accompaniment of music and of song. Like this: "Hotcha--hotcha--hotcha..." And I know the music; I can sing the song... (187)
A bizarre and wonderful passage from a great book; and, it would seem, the above excerpt also contextualizes Harvey's opening lines "It’s all lit up with handfuls / & eyefuls & it doesn’t want you" opening lines a bit more.

22 August 2011

On the life of Claude Garamond

Born in Paris, France in 1490, Garamond started his career out as an apprentice for the Parisian punch-cutter and printer, Antoine Augereau in 1510 . It was during this early part of the 16th century that Garamond and his peers found that the typography industry required unique multi-talented people. This way they could produce fine books. Many of the printers during that time period were able to master all or most of the artistic and technical skills of book production from type design to bookbinding. Claude Garamond was first to specialize in type design, punch cutting, and type-founding in Paris as a service to many famous publishers.

After a decade of success with his types all over Europe, King Francois I of France demanded that Garamond produce a Greek typeface, which later became known as "Grecs du Roi". The three fonts were modeled after the handwriting of Angelos Vergetios, and cut the largest size first, on a 16 point body. All three original sets of Royal Greek punches are preserved at the Imprimerie Nationale in Paris, France.

In 1545 Garamond became his own publisher, featuring his own types including a new italic. His first book published was Pia et religiosa Meditatio of David Chambellan. As publisher, Claude Garamond relied on his creativity harnessed by reasoned discipline to produce superbly well crafted products. He modeled his book publishing style after the classic works of the Venetian printers who catered to the absolute elites of high society. He admired and emulated the works of Aldus Manutius. Garamond insisted on clarity in design, generous page margins, quality composition, paper and printing , which was always accentuated with superb binding.

Because of the soundness of Garamond's designs his typefaces have historical staying power, and they are likely to remain the day-to-day tools of professional typographers, as long as wertern civilization survives. Reading a well set Garamond text page is almost effortless, a fact that has been well known to book designers for over 450 years.

Claude Garamond's contribution to typography was vast, a true renaissance man. Creating perfection in the type that he crafted his life will live on through his contribution to typography.

Machine for Jean Rhys by Matthea Harvey

Machine for Jean Rhys

It’s all lit up with handfuls
& eyefuls & it doesn’t want you

because that’s what you want.
Flicker, the land shrugs off

its scape, flicker, the trees fall
away. If la lumière is stoppered

in bottles what is the light
over there? What in the world

do you want in the world?
If the café had stayed,

the waiter would know.
If those eyes were

your own, you might also.

21 August 2011


Bowen naysayers always claim he was a "dirty player," "cheap," etc. etc. Insert Bowen into another era--say, the 1980s--and in order to thrive he would've had to have been even dirtier. Of course I'm biased, but another reason Bowen is one of my favorites is because of how the economics of the NBA--which ultimately steer rule changes, enhancing the flow of the game and scoring--have made players like him (and Shane Battier, for another example) scarce.

19 August 2011


NO PERCH is a new reading series that looks fun. Go to their WEBSITE to watch Mathias Svalina rocking it in a convenience store.

18 August 2011

ENGL 253: Introduction to Writing Poetry

I'm teaching a poetry workshop this upcoming Fall semester (ENGL 253), and we're going to be reading the 2010 smash-hit Climate Reply by Trud Kemp and the forthcoming and soon-to-be 2011 smash-hit Erik Satie Watusies His Way into Sound by Jerf Kemp. The entire line-up can be found here.


Over at Zing Magazine there are some excerpts from issue 18 that contain material from an art collaborative name Faile. I like them, they're neato and create some compelling collage work:

Two Recent Songs I'm Ambivalent About

Since these two songs were released and/or leaked, I've been uncertain whether or not I like them. I've been looking forward to both The Throne and Feist albums, but neither has fully won me over yet. (Although the gone-in-the-flash-of-a-second Aziz Ansari cameo at the 2:30 mark in "Otis" made me smirk.)

Joseph Massey


To think through
each word's
particular weather.

To stand
just far enough
outside of the page.

A field drapes
the eye
in limitless revision.

How shadows
that fill the gap
between two stones

imply the sky's weight.

--via RealPoetik

17 August 2011

These, my friends, are my new basketball kicks, which I got on a killer sale. Try and stop me. Just ask J-SHWARE what happened last time we played. It was kind of like this video.

2 poems by Chad Reynolds

Autocollaboration w/ Facebook Updates

My friend’s wife likes to post about how it’s been three days
since she last worked out.
It seems like she posts this every three days.
I wrote something regretful on her wall then went to bed.

The next day I went to Pizza Hut and wondered
what the waiter had posted to her wall that morning before she left for work.

I bet it was something like
RIP Salinger
or RIP Michael
or RIP Farrah.

I think preachers should pay attention to what moves people online.
There may be a new grammar of grief.
Maybe people are just showing off.

I got a message from a person I hadn’t thought of in years.
Nobody special, nobody even worth mentioning.
I forgot to respond to his message for ten weeks.
Then I felt bad about this.

Life is not what I thought it would be.
Somehow I thought it would involve
less time on the computer
and more sex.

I heard about a teenager that became obese from too much time on the computer.
I am eating a bowl of oatmeal with dried apricots and figs
because we are out of bread.
I usually eat bread for breakfast.
I can’t believe there are still some people who boycott bread.
Emily has been baking.
She chastises me. You could prepare bread too, you know, she says.
But I can’t. I can’t make bread
when I can’t even respond to a simple message.
There are too many moving parts in this world
and I am so angry right now.

Yard Work

Why write about Yard Work
when there is yard work.
A Bartlett pear tree to plant.

When land becomes Landscape
what happens to the land?

I have never seen a painting of a worm.

This house is a home,
but so what?
At the Horizon
is only horizon.
It lights up twice a day
and is less impressive
than a lamp.

Between the beginning
and end of vision
my son sits
under our new pear tree
and eats dirt.

More found at So and So Magazine--http://www.soandso.org/#/reynolds/4549602644

Girls, "Vomit"

Girls will release their new album Father, Son, Holy Ghost in a few weeks. Awhile back, they released a video for one of the tracks titled "Vomit." The last minute and a half or so, it gets all Pink Floyd, circa Dark Side of the Moon, with the backing female vocals, pipe organ, and wall of guitars:

09 August 2011

Two poems by a. rawlings from: Environment Canada.


I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin the environment. I will not ruin it.


This is a thing. Over and over, he writes, “I will not ruin the thing.” He crafts each thing, each thing. He notes his thing’s thing on the thing. Over and over. He writes things, “things,” “things.” This is not the thing. He will not ruin each thing. He listens as he writes, as each thing resounds. He writes a thing over and over and he listens to things, to things. The things tremble; things in things surround things. This may finish in things.

Ths s lssn. vr nd vr, h wrts, “wll nt rn th nvrnmnt.” H crfts ch scrtch, ch smbl. H nts hs hnd’s rhthm n th brd. vr nd vr. H wrts rhthm, “nt,” “rn.” Ths s nt th nvrnmnt. H wll nt rn ch smbl. H lstns s h wrts, s ch scrtch rsnds. H wrts lssn vr nd vr nd h lstns t nts, t nts. Th lttrs trmbl; sns n sntnc srrnds snd. Ths my fnsh n nnsns.

i i a eo. Oe a oe, e ie, “I i o ui e eioe.” e a a a, ea yo. e oe i a’ y o e oa. Oe a oe. e ie y, “o,” “ui.” i i o e eioe. e i o ui ea yo. e ie a e ie, a ea a eou. e ie a eo oe a oe a e ie o oe, o o. e ee ee; ee i eee uou ou. i a ii i oee.

His his our lesson. Ourselves and yourselves, he writes, “I we’ll not ruin he environment.” He crafts she scratch, she symbol. He notes his hand’s rhythm on he board. Ourselves and yourselves. He writes rhythm, “not,” “ruin.” His his not he environment. He we’ll not ruin she symbol. He listens ours he writes, ours she scratch resounds. He writes our lesson yourselves and ourselves and he listens to notes, to nots. He letters tremble; sense I sentence surrounds sound. His me finish I nonsense.

Jean Toomer's CANE

Currently, I'm reading Jean Toomer's multi-genre collection Cane. Frankly, I'm amazed I haven't read this book in its entirety before now. Formally, the text oscillates between prose vignettes, poems, and, one could claim (as the editor does), drama. But the writing in all of these sections reads like poetry. In fact, I would argue that more often than not the prose sections are denser, richer, and more poetic than the traditional poetry sections therein. The highly-imagistic text offers a glimpse into both rural and urban Reconstruction-era, African-American life and culture through the voice of an unnamed speaker. It's beautiful, sad, and reads like a work that is still fresh and innovate and gorgeous eighty-eight years after its original publication date. If you happen to be reading this post and have not read this book, go and pick yourself up a copy immediately.

04 August 2011


According to Google images, this is what I've been doing since I arrived back in Nebraska last night:

Using the same logic, this is what I did in California:

Any questions?

01 August 2011

Bright Stupid Confetti

Over at the art and literature blog Bright Stupid Confetti, there is short excerpt from Homage to Homage to Homage to Creeley. More importantly, there are some super killer pictures and images, such as the one above. Check them out.

C. Becker's Where We Think It Should Go


My review of Claire Becker's collection Where We Think It Should Go appears this month on the Open Letters Monthly website. I liked the book quite a bit.