Wednesday, December 29, 2010

i just googled heifer & found out 'prick of the spindle' editor eric weinstein reviewed my book!

shame on you, eric, for not shooting me an email & letting me know about your book review. these kinds of things are holiday gifts. im indebted to you. i thank you graciously. i think you are indeed very cool. i send you mirth & happiness all your days.

* here's eric's review from 'prick of the spindle' vol. 4.4 *

Black-Eyed Heifer
By Shelly Taylor
Reviewed by Eric Weinstein

Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2010
ISBN: 978-0982541647
perfect bound, 88 pp., $14.00

The prose poem, though often cited as an experimental poetic form, isn’t new: it’s at least as old as the nineteenth century, during which Charles Baudelaire laid the foundations for the genre. The history of idyllic poetry stretches back even further, to Theocritus’ Idylls written in the third century bce. Paradoxically, in spite and because of the rich poetic heritage inherent in these modes of expression, Shelly Taylor’s Black-Eyed Heifer succeeds as a novel, extended meditation on the earthy, the local, and the quintessentially American. In short, these poems are a charming—and slightly edgy—modern take on the traditional eclogue.

Although these are predominantly prose poems, there are some traditional forms to be found, such as the sonnet, “Raising miss g,” which begins: “Careful what comes from your belly: if a horse / she’ll not take me far. The dogs were always too close.” Animals, horses in particular, abound, and Taylor’s attention to the rustic, unmechanical existence permitted by life in the countryside opens the content of her poems to a degree paralleled by the texts themselves. Taylor’s poems flow across the page and are marked by a distinctive linguistic inventiveness, making the reader feel as though he or she has been invited into an alternate, somewhat less rigid reality: she describes “an eye so dark you can’t tell the iris from the darkness rest” in “This sonofabitch land had to be broken,” and often uses nouns in place of adjectives (“the trees have become scarecrow’d,” from the same poem) or verbs (“the dirt road uphilling nearer home,” from “Keylight”). Her idiosyncratic placement of prepositions, especially the word “of,” completes the effect.

Reminiscent of Tony Tost’s Invisible Bride, Taylor’s poems evoke the quotidian without becoming banal, carrying the reader through dreamlike forests and fields without engendering in him or her the sense that this has all been done before. Whether eclogue, pastoral, or idyll, Shelly Taylor’s poems turn her audience’s attention to a new poetics of place and carve out a marvelously hybridized space in contemporary American poetry.

Visit Tarpaulin Sky Press on the web at

Eric Weinstein is the winner of the 2010 New Michigan Press/DIAGRAM chapbook contest for his collection, Vivisection. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Best New Poets 2009, Black Warrior Review, Colorado Review, Indiana Review, Massachusetts Review, and Prairie Schooner. He is an MFA candidate at New York University.

© 2010

more random holiday georgia pics

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

tues / got back to tus late last nite / happy lalas / running around / ms dani and chris had a baby boy / dinner w mm / viks win

back in tus. it's supposed to snow on sunday. i don't know if i believe it.

viks just kicked some major ass--what now vick? what now philly? yeeeeeah joe webb! yeah seeing some hard-hittin D this late in the season. brett sat the sideline--seemed rather sad to me. maybe he's done done this time. aw.

missus dani, my grl, & her lovely chris had a lovely little bundle of joy this afternoon. they're thinking he's an eli. he's so beautiful.

pics from my laura little & drew krews nite out in southern ga

Friday, December 24, 2010

fri / christmas eve recovery / thanks

big thanks to megan kaminski & john findura for nominating heifer for one of their most fav poetry books of 2010. whoop! that makes me all happy today you cannot imagine how much so. book-making. i wrote a lot on the plane ride to ga from az. today, im in full-on recovery mode. almost got in a fist fight at the country bar last nite--in between dancing to skynard & stuff, this guys was not using his brain. it woulda been real skanky & i woulda won no doubt. lots of pics ill post later. daddys playin w/ lyla g-bear, mamas loading the car full of presents to go to grannys, im still in my pjs & it's 3pm. holidays!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

thurs / im down in GA

it's brisk here on the farm! bout to get dressed & go to wal-mart (yes i know) for produce (yes i know)--there simply are not tons of options here but all is well.

uncle steve & aunt susan & kacee & taylor are coming this afternoon. im making a squash casserole. then im gonna go on over to tifton to hang out w/ laura little & drew krew for gjwhf nite & DIVE bar outtings because all of us just fit right in!!! i think we're dressing up too--bring out the lilac tutus grl!

happy happy!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

sun / clean & organize / tucson history 101 red light district / betty / a jog through territorial landmarks / tomato soup / arugula shrimp salad

im doing research for a new section of the book 'lions remonstrance fatale...'--involving tucson & my devout interest in old tucson--territorial times tucson, esp the barrio viejo area.


i like sunday. i like having my life back on sundays. ive gotta quit grading in my sleep though--comma splice comma splice--im not really getting great rest w/ all the anxiety dreams involving grammar. i got flowers today from the neighbor. smile.


some really nice folks in portland oregon asked me for some new poems over the summer & im real happy to say those 4 poems just came out in the journal. the journal is Poor Claudia--no doubt one of the best journals around these days. im honored to be included w/ so many writers whose work i admire greatly. happy!

It's here! It's here! Number 4, known colloquially as Big Pink, or simply SRVIVL, is wrapped and ready to go. Featuring work by twenty-four of our favorite lit-makers, this is our biggest issue yet! Pick it up on our purchase page or sneak a peek at the goods here. Enjoy!









Saturday, December 18, 2010

sat / i need to start christmas shopping / cat on a pole

my friend andrew brown, photojournalist & all around badass tucson personality, shot this 'cat on a pole' video for his day job, kold news. the video was picked up by bigwigs such as cnn & his work, spotlighting tucson etiquette, was seen nation wide. goooooo tucson!

Cat Stuck on Pole from Andrew Brown on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

thurs tucson / still i have heartburn / hold on to your hold on to your dreams

outside is magic, can be rain in tucson. i felt sad today. out in the backyard were chimes from another yard--something birdlike, something christmas. i put a santa hat on astrid today & hung our stockings, snow flakes from the doorway overhang & so we call it christmas 2010. i want to believe in magic forever. i want a magical life.


from 'loudilla, so the soil wont blow me away'

Tis so good it’s a healing beast to hold an offense, give it up. I showed him I could endure him. All the things like for the ball you get after it. But the horses myself there, the horses we give our arms full of light for the horses myself sold him down the river as for shoes for good schooling, my Hontas so long gone I can’t even remember the feel of your back, his hands in my hair. Everything I wanted has become something I had to get around like a fat house & situate there because this is living. For the ball & for the ball.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

wed / tallyho!


tonite i go out w/ drew & annie for some funs. and then my sugar gets off work!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

tues / just released my 710 / it's 745 / im passing time

end of semester exhausted. at least im done w/ this 710 class--i'll never do anything like this again in my life. it's too much. the difference between this class & the next, my 840, is extreme--sleepy-moody exhausted vs. chipper go-getters, morning folk nonetheless. im not. it's always kind of somber on last day of class, at least for me it is. seeing these faces every week since august. one more class to go & then im off to waffle house for some cheese grits & 102 research papers.

Friday, December 10, 2010

friday / grading grading / there's a balsamic reduction fire in the kitchen

n is cooking dinner. the balsamic reduction is being fussy. edgar sawtelle becomes a window prop for smoke release. ive been grading away.

tomorrow is giovanna's posada. ive never been to a posada but am excitedly anxious. annie & mike will come too.

tonite. deadwood & salmon w/ balsamic reduction.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

flowers i have received before they're not so pretty as right now

une: purple gladiolas from ms annie
two: multi-colored roses from n
tres: lucky

wed / taught my last lecture--on james joyce's araby

here is g bear chewing on a book.

im having an all around stellar day. it's beautiful out. been working away grading journals & preparing to receive research essays tomorrow. 50 tomorrow. 23 more on monday. classes done on thurs. getting ready to go to mms to work in the office. and eat.

im so ready to write again.

Monday, December 6, 2010

mon // spilled coffee all over my dress day

yesterday was crucial. vikes won though brett got hurt--how bad im not sure just yet. since childress was booted the vikes have won the last two games--which is great--but i really doubt the necessity of firing a head coach mid-season. something about it doesnt sit quite right with me.

anyhoo. today's been one of those comical mondays yep. coffee everywhere, almost got pulled over for running late. eeeeee. but good all the same.

[all of dante's levels of inferno focused on one person out there in the world. one gets what one deserves from one's behaviour in life. this is sound me thinks. good luck.]

tomorrow is peer revision for my 101s & then thurs they turn in their papers. around 50 for me to grade. woohoo.

my 102s turn in their essays monday, meaning 20 more. yeeeehaw.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

i drag my homeless looking self out of bed for myself & for the world & for good 'humour' as the brits would say. today i shall not. tuck in & write.

last nite i did look full on grungy in my overalls & a big ole toodie hood as granny would say--& so i drug myself in the shower & n & i went to the reading. was good. i enjoy seeing old friends & feel afterwards like i should get out more--be more active in my local poetry culture. jane miller is so beautiful--her very presence reminds me to live life more fully--that one is fine as spitfire--as vulnerable--to be a passionate member verus straightback, & so she goes to me. jmw gave a good reading. i quite enjoyed it. ran into frankie leaving out the poetry center door who delivered some stellar news: that she is in the process of reviewing heifer. n & i went to poca cosa afterwards & i had the second most divine dinner ive ever had in tucson, az. the first best was dining between jim harrison & elmore leonard & having the sensation of 6 plates hit the table every couple mins. how does one keep up? at poca cosa, we had a gorgeous bottle of rioja--& we toasted frankie numerous times (see, if you review heifer, you will be toasted & i'll tell jesus to remember you kindly...enough!)--& then we had the most elaborate fine mexican food of my life. it was lovely. well i did have the best dining partner ever created. today im skipping out on kite flying & ab fab w/ two of my most favorite tucson people, drew & annie, because im going to write a bit. im sorry i love you both! im still in bed now! with frank stanford's the battlefield where the moon says i love you. write. im just now taking a lil break! & then ima grade. & then i'll grade some more.


dear frank i love you.

dear poet:

i'll enter the old mansions or not where the furniture
is draped in sheets like ghosts wherre there is so much dust
on the mirror I can finish writing my given name
be it nothing more than an afternoon spent at the bedside
of a dying jew I baked the cake I put the stamps on his album
the others were playing mexican standoff outside the tent
I was dreaming be it nothing more than the odor of a gypsy girl
if you can teach me I will hold my tongue until then I curse
the niht in which it was said a man child is born I should have been
as though I had not been I should have been carried from the womb
to the grave it was water last time they say it'll be fire the next time
there are two words for my cross-eyed visions of what goes on by night
and by day in my antediluvian residence where these mules and people
stanchions of stillness these folks taking the fishbone out they throats
with that look in their eye adagio delta eye pavane by and by

from frank stanford's battlefield. yikes.

Friday, December 3, 2010

dec // a tad bit under the weather // but not enough to do too much already // make yourself sit down // grade // deadwood

yesterday was the end o' the work week for me. ate, napped, worked out. fundamentals. n & i have started watching deadwood. it's goooood--very many curse words i didnt know folks even knew back then...o i guess that tells me people back then were just as crude, the world doesnt progress that much in terms of mannerisms-- sans techno. la.

n made a lovely risotto & delish roasted vegetables, & a lil of that kickass fireblock grenache.

im a-listening to bob dylan on the record player, rock n roll with "scat man"--& im having myself some coffee & have cleaned the house & i got so much stuff burning, incense, candles, im about to have to step out for a breather. or blow everything out.

im grading & going to drink lots of tea today.

and hopefully go to joshua marie wilkinson & kate bernheimer's reading later on.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

dec // hallo december // workout december // grading dec // home for the holidays // lurve dec // writing

a new poem bit from ms cammy li's blog. cammy, as you know by now, was my gwn mentee/sister who is now in her junior year at the new school & a fab young writer.

feed the red-eyed, cook
a hay fire. For the rabbit
laying, throat slit.

a beard of black frost;
I static cling on your skin,
pressed on like clay goo.


i taught flannery o'connor's 'a good man is hard to find' today in my 102. i do love the story & talking about southern gotic/grosteque to a class of student uninituated to southern talk & habit. was joyful.


heading to the y because i eat too much. i cannot help it. i eat i eat i eat. the y does have a sauna that i do so enjoy as well. esp when it's so frigid out & about.


in other news: this year is like no other. it's just now dec & there's too much christmas kitsch already for my tastes. i dont enjoy christmas music, nor much of the decor, sans the tree--i love the tree--real trees, not fake-ity fake ones.
i think the reason i dont like most of it is cause mama made me take piano (well, i did want to for awhile but it wore off too fast & i had gotten a nice piano for a gift & had to keep going & going & going...)--& every christmas it was nonstop up on the rooftop / click / click / click, & silent nite, & little town of bethlehem & all that goodness that can drive a kid crazy as a kid & carries through adulthood. you know.



Tuesday, November 30, 2010

last day of NOV / im taking flannery o'connor as my personal icon

as well as stevie wonder's 'living for the city.'

it was in the mid-twenties when i left for school at 630am. holy hell.

my neighbors are on the meth & jose & i just witnessed a true south tucson style drop off right from my stoop. we laughed. what else does one do? the meth neighbors recently tore up the metal fence right across the street--tweakers bending metal. wonderful. never a dull moment on rubio which i love. there's a dog wandering around with a wolf head & a weiner dog body. ive a new cat named loki. he really belongs to the tweakers across the street, though i believe they dont look after him. he's kinda the mayor of rubio, but no one seems to like him much cause he's a car-sleeper-on-er--but that small detail has never mattered much.

two and a half more weeks of class. im stoked. it's been a long semester for literally nothing financially. i dont think i broke even, even.

im ready to go home soon. got my ticket booked: dec 22-27. whoop! though i must start doing a lil shopping so as not to be overwhelmed completely in a couple weeks.

hallo december. this year is better than the last.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

sat / lounge-taco shop needs-yuma sitting-bivouac sat-show the guns-veggie burrito needs-love-lalalalalala-baby it's cold outside

wed nite. grl time & cooking. nail painting. down time. much needed.

i had a lovely thanksgiving w/ n at his aunt amy's house. we then popped over to mms for dessert & coffee & wine. very lowkey day which i enjoyed. we watched the kids are alright. drank wine on the couch.

yesterday i cleaned & planted stuff & chilled out & played w/ yuma the kitten a lot. went to matt's show--he's a pretty amazing drummer-went to dinner at the garter w/ n yeah yeah-went to the western to meet up w/ dan & his hoes but nobody sang any karaoke. i fell asleep on the couch w/ my head on n's lap.

tonite is movie nite w/ mm. i am stoked.

much needed time off is so dern nice.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

sunday / singing wind fiesta / out in benson in the middle of nowhere / grls day

drew came over last nite to chill w/ me whilst i was grading. i heart drew krew. this morning, early early for a sunday morning for me, i picked up ms annie & we went to benson to the singing wind bookstore to see mm give a presentation on 'the chuck bowden reader' that she edited. just a tiny wee out of town i realized the slow leak in my tire had me rendered nearly flat so we had to air up the tire. quite a process--then onto benson. ocotillo road, cross a cattle guard, turn right, down a dirt road past tractors & cows & horses, i felt i was going home almost! we parked in the pasture & hopped a fence & we had made the famous ole singing wind bookstore. wyn & joe do this thanksgiving fiesta-type thing where there were 8 authors reading from new books on the southwest--& mm was next to last of course! a lot of it was a snooze fest w/ dear vicky & danny singing some desert tunes or some sort in between the audience feasting on a fine spread. veggie chili, chips, guac, salsa, etc & then too rich desserts & stuffs. gabbie giffords was there yes. that's our congress woman for tucson. she's cool. annie & i had fun. deanne stillman was there in pink lipstick & all around fabulousness, so was nancy. most imp, mm did a jam up job presenting. she's quite a natural & i thoroughly enjoyed watching her do her thing.

home now. finished grading. lazed up w/ grita--(shout!) happy.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

one covet

free people harness harley boots by jeffrey campbell

Friday, November 19, 2010

friday / laze cook grade love

i like friday. i just successfully made my first indian curry. something of a tomatoey/garlicky/saag which both n & i thought was pretty dern good.

last nite was an all gals potluck at mms--me & mm, giovanna, & annie. i fried okra & made some delish mashed potatoes. im a cooking machine no? we had a ball last nite.

here are some of lyla g's one year old pics recently taken. here is one mama's pics of southern decor down in ga--scarecrows & stuff out in the yard. love it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

tues / two good classes / staying afloat / and happy

just got back from mms--had yea ole shrimp creole & cornbread & some cava, yes cava.

im sore today cause last nite i worked out at the y for an hour.

local tucson poet kim nelson asked me to blurb her book, which i've done & enjoyed thoroughly.

what else? im happy. i have flowers in the kitchen--roses & tulips & they're lovely & from someone special who's lovely. just picked up another comp section--this one at the downtown campus--a nite class, of course. not at any point in my next semester will i be waking at 5am. no i will not, not ever. i like to hustle but all that must occur after ten or so.

this is a george orwell kind of week.

this opens my endless season of grading til dec. 16.

this is me happy ms ellie is coming from germany, & my house is so clean right now. here is for creativity. here is a time of folding inward cause it's cold out, for graciousness. here is for healing. now is for introspection & also now is for joy.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

sun / c'mon vikings jeeeez / jog & cooking day

i do love a sunday but this football season is just getting me down. and i don't like to be got down by my team's struggles. lawd.

i've been grading all weekend & doing class prep stuff. today i went for a long jog & listened to lucero on my ipod, running running, & it's a lil cold out. but i feel good. i had some homestyle potatoes for dinner & a lil yellow curry of shrimp, garlic, & spinach atop a big ole salad. and vit c & hot tea all day to keep healthy. i'm doing good mamacita--sorry i havent blogged as much, but it's that crunch time in the semester where the end is in sight but still so much to do.

tomorrow my 102 will be reading the infamous "Lust" by Minot (& watching a lil stealing beauty...the snippet w/ portishead's 'glory box' playing in the background...woooo!) & to counterbalance that feminine coming-of-ageness, some war poems from Wilfred Owen--i like his work & can easily remember back to when i was studying at uga & first seeing his work...didnt like it then, at all. but i do now.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

sat / ms dani's shower / chilly out / coal miner's daughter on the telly : your mama's a doggone songwriter

just got back from danielle & chris's baby shower for their forthcoming little bundle of joy who's going to be a lil boy. an eli they're thinking. it was a beautiful shower--dr seuss themed--& i brought a big ole cake--chocolate with raspberry filling.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

satchel just appeared for glam. couldnt find her earlier.

to be the more photogenic michi, she doesnt look thrilled.

tues is beaut but quite cold yeah

just got back from mm's office doing class stuff for tomorrow. im doing well. grita is a lap cat & a squirrel. lyla g wants a sleep sheep & annie takes pics w/ such nice lite. tomorrow is zora neale hurston day & peer revision & grading & some sweetness too. im quite happy.

Monday, November 8, 2010

mon / bumming around / missus g is bumming around / sweatpants nite yes!

remember this song (laura little)?

Danny Schmidt - Girlwhiskey

Found at Girlwhiskey on