31 December 2005

С Новым Годом

gott nytt år
bonne année
feliz ano novo
sawatdii pimaï
feliæan novan jaron
Guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr

jean baudrillardlollipops

2005 Highlights

shanna compton

2005 Highlights

silliman banes 666

30 December 2005

Today in a Lot of Rain, Carla & I Went to SPD.

small press distribution
eugene ostashevsky
skylight city point
pastries klo
peter gizzi

29 December 2005

I watched the film Napolean Dynamite tonight, and it startled me how much I hated it.

I want my time back.

Quizilla has got to be stopped. I think it's what's called a "meme." It sucks.

basil buntingToday's best bit: going home and taking him with me.

Rachel Blau DuPlessis

Renga: Draft 32 by Rachel Blau DuPlessis
Beautiful Swimmer Press, 1998
ISBN: 0966765508

You can buy it here. Or we've got a good one for nine bucks.

Good Vibrations

Tony Tost's Good Vibrations


Big things are coming to this blog in 2006 CE. You might as well link now, to save yourself the trouble.

Someway, somehow Ray Davies and Jean Baudrillard will make an appearance. Also Emmanuelle Béart, Lukas Moodysson, The Coasters, Ringo Starr, Alex van Warmerdam, Sarah Lucas, Tao Lin repeatedly, Laura Kipnis, Tao Lin, Vasko Popa, Giambattista Vico, Salvator Rosa, Michelle Williams, Cindy Sherman, Robert Walser, Matthea Harvey, and Craig Ferguson. Hell, maybe even Emily Dickinson. Maybe.


28 December 2005

I ♥ The Baffler

the baffler
Maybe like me you read the above when it first appeared on The Baffler's homepage months and months and months ago. [As I'm typing and posting here today, this is still up.] And your response may have been, like mine, "Whoopie!" Or, "Tra-la-la!" Or, "Tolderolloll!" And you told your friends. And you told your strangers. "The Baffler returns in summer 05, The Baffler returns in summer 05!" At work, enthusiastically, breathlessly, we called our distributor to increase our draw.

I even pestered Jennifer Moxley more than a month ago, asking what's up. She promptly, kindly replied that "Tom" had said the fall; that she'd delivered the poems to him back in July; and that she would pass my email on to him.

Pray for Issue 17 in 06.

27 December 2005

More Oh Man

Check this out.

Eyeball Hatred

Just reading, or trying to read, Jordan Davis's chronological list of his favorite poems of 2005, or the poems he read in 2005 that appeared in 2005, that he liked well enough to want to remember, reread, put in a binder, list, whatever. One thousand eight hundred thirty-two poems. Still counting. (The year is not over yet, don't forget.)

Man. Oh, man. Man, man, man, man.


paris review orhan pamuk jack gilbertI'm not a Paris Review guy. I'm not an anti Paris Review guy. We got the new Paris Review today. It occurs to me now that it might not really be new at all, I mean not spanking. Anyway, it's new to us.

I check the cover. Interviews with Orhan Pamuk, Jack Gilbert, new Jack Gilbert poems, and new poems from Mary Jo Bang, who was just interviewed in the newest, latest Verse.

Everywhere, interviews.


I motioned; Johannes Göransson seconded, so it's passed: School of Quietude will now be named the School of Frankie Avalon.

26 December 2005


The store was closed yesterday. It appears the winners last week were Down Spooky, Invisible Bride, Collected Berrigan, Koch, Can You Relax in My House, Your Time Has Come, and American Tatts. Oh, and a Mary Oliver, probably a Billy Collins, and somebody's Rumi.

To all the other new poetry titles, I resolve before year's end, I do, to push for you.

When I've drunk this coffee, I have to see a man about a cake.

Then—in the spirit of not having national health insurance, not being a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, etc.—today is not Second Christmas, not Boxing Day, not St. Stephen's Day: it's yet another tricky day, the store is open, and I go into work.

25 December 2005


Xmas tragedy

ferrari elmwoodI wouldn't have thought, but the $30, beautiful dome-shaped almond cake veiled in white chocolate and topped with shaved almonds I bought yesterday to take to my girlfriend's family today turned out, I discovered very late last night, to be green.

(Recall the extras on the DVD of the documentary Super Size Me. The mold experiment.)

Happy Chrimble

24 December 2005

frohe weihnachten

lucky wreck

If you haven't already, check out the recently-up third anniversary issue of Tarpulin Sky, who say ho and ha to you. It's got Ada Limón in it, whose book lucky wreck is due in February from Autumn House Press and who's reading with us here in Berkeley Friday night, March 24.

david larsen the thornGot up early, too early, to dash to the laundrette before everybody dashed to the laundrette.

Things is getting done.


franz wright vs. ron silliman

23 December 2005

Before-Year's-End Resolutions

Things I want to do before it becomes 06:

After my Verse finally arrived last week (there were normalcies, comrade, and then things turned out horrorshow), I was immediately knocked out reading Ted Mathys, whom I'd never heard of, woe me. I resolve to dash over to SPD next week to pick up his Coffee House Press book, Forge. (Amy King, who does this kind of thing, has an audio interview up with Ted Mathys at miPOradio.)

I resolve to read World Jelly by Tony Tost and The Best of My Love by Aaron Kiely. I've had both of these chapbooks for a couple of weeks now, maybe longer, yet I've been too busy, too tired, or too frightened to get to them. Couldn't I be reading them now instead of blogging? Yes.

I resolve to see The Squid and the Whale.

I resolve to start David Larsen's The Thorn.

Dashing through the ____.

Zipping down the sidewalk a nerve among nerves, as guilty as anybody, I see a man ahead on the street corner trying to stop passersby, a bundle of pamphlets under one of his arms, his free arm proffering.

"Hello," he says, when I walk into the six feet around him. He calls after me, "Do you read poetry?"

"No." I'm already past him.


Exhuming Poet X

Poet X
He was wont to lie in bed. He lay, thought, drank tea, whiskey, typed on his laptop, read, got up and drew the curtains open, got up and drew the curtains closed, called his wife.

"Would you like something to eat?" his wife would say.

"I'm not hungry," Poet X would say. "Maybe just some hard sausage."

22 December 2005

Tost on Rye

Unlike what happened when it happened when it was me, two new copies of Tony Tost's Invisible Bride sailed into the store late last night. Magically. I'd rather not say how.

Could it be we're the only Berkeley bookstore to have copies of Invisible Bride on hand, new or used?


21 December 2005

Gary Shteyngart

kitchen sink mag
zombies tao lin


How I Came Late to Work This Morning

benchrocksbusold man

Good cheer, good will; it ain't easy.

I may not be taking the winter solstice seriously enough.

I didn't know anybody knew I was stalking Jim Berhle.

God damn it.

Ang Lee

Saw Brokeback Mountain tonight.
ennisjack twistjoe aguirrebrokeback mountainennis del marang lee
It reminded me of some guys I met in the Army.

20 December 2005

As previously directed, the engagement of the following themes in contemporary American poetry remains verboten:
  • life

  • death

  • memory

  • reality

  • truth

  • time

Thank you.

From Berkeley

There's no strike, but to be safe I'm taking the bus twice to work this morning.

19 December 2005

I Got Home Last Night

in the american treeI got home late last night. I've been selling books Sunday nights for donks, y'all, bringing the people what they need. [What they needed last night: Your Time Has Come, Actual Air, and something by Mary Oliver. We've still got In the American Tree and Under Albany, people. People!]

I'm home; I'm reading the Ahts & Lezhure [NB: not them—that's how I talk] in the New York Times. A. O. Scott's got an essay on today's Hollywood entitled "Where Have All the Howlers Gone? Spectacularly Awful Movies Are Rare Today. That May Be Why Truly Great Ones Are, Too," which settles my mind thinking about … contemporary American poetry. The gist is a conservatism and practicality guiding an endless procession and production of the adequate. I hope all poets will conform to the highest technical standards, lest they be condemned as School of Quietudes. Or Post-Avants. Actually, I don't know what I'm talking about. You obey whichever standards you like. Were it stupendous, I'd say hereabouts it's stupendously hectic, these days. I mean to type. To think.

Gotta go shopping. Ho, ho.

18 December 2005

videotsLast night we can't reach our friend with whom we'd had plans to see Brokeback Mountain. So it's cold; so it's raining; so we're tired. So we go out around the corner and rent Alex van Warmerdam's Grimm, which we like fine. Skinny Ian at the video store told us he and his girlfriend, as Sweet Nothing, are down to L.A. the week after next, of a sudden, to record an album. For a label I can't remember. Actually, I think I do remember, I remember good; but I can't find the label here on the web, so the snazzy link that would have been laid here somewhere isn't.

17 December 2005

cribs yunte huang tinfish
Joyelle McSweeney posts a review at The Constant Critic of Cribs by Yunte Huang, from press-I-have-a-crush-on, Tinfish.

zum KotzenI read yesterday that the first officially licensed John Lennon Action Figure is due to hit stores in the spring, part of Yoko Ono's incomprehensible campaign to keep her memory of her third husband alive (John Lennon's Legacy©, apparently, left less than half-finished and insecure before his second marriage in March 1969). I can puke.

It's 18 inches tall. It talks. It's called "The New York Years."

I saw an excellent short at the university tonight, "Olafsson Berserker" by Lindsey Hanson.

16 December 2005


Raoul Vaneigem

15 December 2005

tao lin
harold pinter
Ask Silliman


14 December 2005

Top Shelf 2005

povel geraldine kim
The Village Voice chooses Geraldine Kim's Povel as one of its favorite books of 2005. One of mine, too.

13 December 2005

I am so tired.

12 December 2005

The Tony Tost Book That Arrived Just Right

World JellyMy second at bat, my Tony Tost book arrives clean, crisp, and ready to wear. Thank you to taboo meaningless intensifier Effing Press and to effing Scott Pierce.

Now if I can only muster the courage to crack it open. Tost's prose poems in his first book were so elegant and supple. How will he break lines? What will he do with them?


11 December 2005

In Her Own Write

heidi lynn staplesI picked up Heidi Lynn Staples' Guess Can Gallop yesterday at Small Press Distribution's Open House & Book Sale—which I'd waited to do, was eager to do, beelined to do. The Food Fling included music, elbows, poets, and knobbing. Scott Inguito, Stephanie Young, Eileen Tabios, and Mark McMorris read. I got to say hello in the person to Stephanie Young, exchanging faces.

The Staples poems gaffle my armchair. The book is spring-loaded. It's a box of piano rolls. I want to read these poems out loud to unrepentant strangers.

09 December 2005

Exhuming Poet X

Poet X
Poet X died before he could finish his meisterwerk, the book-length poem The Thyroid Process. "I will never finish it," he said from bed, days before his death. "Bring me a glass of claret," he told his wife. "And my laptop."


Poet X liked the space bar, Shift-7, the return key. He liked all the keys. He once lectured: "Sometimes I arrange letters into words, sometimes words into syntactically coherent combinations and sometimes nonsyntactic, incoherent combinations."

He was adored by his students.

08 December 2005

john lennon
Shot in the back.


07 December 2005

miroslav holub

05 December 2005

Yes Master

michael earl craig michael earl craig michael earl craig michael earl craig michael earl craig michael earl craig michael earl craig michael earl craig michael earl craig michael earl craig michael earl craig michael earl craig michael earl craig michael earl craig michael earl craig michael earl craig michael earl craig michael earl craig michael earl craig michael earl craig michael earl craig michael earl craig michael earl craig michael earl craig michael earl craigFarrier Michael Earl Craig's second book, Yes Master, will be coming out from Fence Books Fall 06. Huzzah.

04 December 2005


Rain Taxi's 10th Anniversary Charity Auction

rain taxi
This eBay Charity Auction, made possible through an arrangement with MissionFish, will benefit Rain Taxi's publications and events in the years to come. Many of the items available were donated by the authors and artists themselves, and we are tremendously grateful for their support.

Browse our listings here or at eBay. The auction ends December 11th at 10:00pm Pacific Time, so bid now!

(Click the Rain Taxi banner above to go there.)

03 December 2005

Tonight I had to iron my copy of Tony Tost's Invisible Bride.

iron tony tost

So I did.

Iga Wyrwal
Iga Wyrwal
Why begrudge me a little fun. And must you chew gum.
Iga Wyrwal
Iga Wyrwal
Iga Wyrwal