Monday, January 31, 2011

mon / the mcla college newspaper asked me for a comment about gordon massman & his work

gordon massman is a pressmate.

gordon massman is a friend.

gordon massman is one of the most interesting of people ive ever met.

laura little & i love gordon massman, yes--both of us enthralled by him.

here's the statement that i supplied to the massachusetts college of liberal arts (where gordon teaches lit & writing) newspaper:

Gordon Massman is the kind of writer that guts you, revolts you, makes you fall in love or a lake, makes you want to live a little bit realer in your own world. After reading The Essential Numbers (1991-2208), I was so anxious & excited to meet him just to see if he had a giraffe growing out the side of his head like from his ear. And he does! No, but really Gordon is the kind of imaginative writer who writes without shame or guilt or either with all of it in the world tamped down on his shoulders (who knows, really) & all of this is borne of the long, dark shaft of the subconscious--& he is full of a kind of brilliance in him as he's walking through the world, I'm sure of it; right there in him, a knowingness. He's the kind of writer no other wants to read after because he's so on-point in person & in word. He's the kind of writer writers are honored to read with on any given day. It's a known fact in the chartreuse-colored poetry world that Gordon makes writers want to risk more in their own work: there is no greater compliment.


It took me literally 5 min to write this...why? because i love gordon's work.

mon / more pics from scottsdale / spa time o yes

i like to luxuriate, am pretty darn good at it.

me & ma in the relaxation room.

aunt lisa before acupuncture.

mon / fresh week / pics from the weekend


me & my pretty mama.

dad got crunk. yep, crunk, i said it.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

wed / grind

[from day of shooting w/ ellie & ralph]
im back in the swing of class--week duo almost over. im liking my classes this semester, some real interesting students, a good mix of non-trad w/ the youngins.

ive been laying low here recently. 'going to ground' as mm would say. it feels nice but im also full of anxiety & restlessness as well. hmmm. & weird dreams / kinda nightmarish.

n & i go to the theater on friday nite. then im looking forward to a scottsdale weekend w/ mama & dad. yay! ima get a facial & massage, hopefully!

Monday, January 24, 2011

mon / fresh week / it's my mama's birthday

happy birthday mamacita! here are the flowers i had sent over to her today.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

sun / all ive got to say is go Packers go!

[ms lyla i feel you grl]


im texting w/ one packer abraham smith about this playoffs game. we're stoked. it's 14-0 packers right now & we're playing beautifully.


yesterday i spent hours on my backyard. it's my favorite space in this lovely shoebox i call home & i love it--this lil home & my plants & flowers & goldfinch. i also took lil milo-roo on a neighborhood jog (to the post office--granny, you have a letter coming your way!) & did lots of things necessary in prep for the week: grocery shop & grading & just all around getting my head straight & clear. today is playoffs day & i feel a-okay.

Friday, January 21, 2011

fri / just dropped n off at the airport / lounging / thinking on burritos / & blue heelers

one of n's friends is having blue heeler puppies. id really like one as they're my fav puppies. i know i cant i know i cant. what with two lalas. but i want!

im going to miss n this weekend very much. sad face. lots of love.

but, tonite mm & i are working down in the office which gives me lots of happiness. i have papers to grade. im prolly going to write though. :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

thurs / green tea / work week over / huuuuuungry

im waiting on n to get back w/ chik-fil-a. men get lost sometimes (esp if there's two or more men together in the car), i say with love, its been an hour. huuuuuuungry. i need a buffet too i think. all of chik-fil-a, the whole menu. i just googled chik-fil-a & looked over the menu. just made me hungrier. bear hungry. beyond that.


i like my 101s. think, hoping, it will be a good semester. a lot to look forward to versus fall, things like longer days & warmer weather, making spring semester much better. teaching late afternoons gives me a more non-traditional student base which i like much better. several students in their 60s returning to school. very cool.

Monday, January 17, 2011

mon / fresh week / if we do not change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed -chinese proverb

[beautiful moss-stained wall borrowed from the sartorialist]

jets won yesterday--so glad about this yes. i wore my jets favre jersey. brett put in his retirement w/ the league today. not surprised at all. great shame he's leaving the way he is though. packer rodgers 'ran a clinic' on sat, as n says. packers tooook doooown the falcs. i was wearing my packers hat via one wisconsin abe. whoop. im going to be awfully conflicted if the packers play the jets in the superbowl, but i hope it goes down like that, yes.

'l r f b' is in shape & im excited about the work. the poems are drastically different than heifer, are not the poems of a grl, & show that i still got it. :)

i start teaching tomorrow. im actually excited. excited that my class tomorrow is at 410. much much better this semester.

my trusted coffee maker died. that means i must go to target & keep my eye on the prize: no buying clothes, knick-knacks, kitsch. very difficult for me.

my fav bit from Jane Kramer's The Last Cowboy: "Old Father Time, he'll get you in the end, and it dont matter none that you been taking precautions. But Grandaddy Wesley, whom Henry consulted, grieving, started his lessons in cowboy common sense. He taught him that a cowboy was always gentle, that the best way and the right way to ride a horse or rope a calf was the quietest way possible. He said that what made a real hand was not so much knowing how to do something as knowing when to do something--the most important 'when' being when to leave an animal alone."

Saturday, January 15, 2011

SAT / time for myself / clean / playoffs - go pack / reflection hour - it's nearest 70 degrees than it's been in a long time :)

[first pig tails]

today is very nice. im taking some time to be here at home because im pretty zonked out from everything lately. me & grita g are snuggled up on the couch, it's nice.

weekly recap:

wed: obama in town / traffic in town - madhouse errands, still managed / to mms to watch speech w/ two journalists, an antiquarian, & mm & me / mad mad traffic & a long train wait / syllabi work / puttanesca w/ neil / relax

thurs: up & craziness / more bad news / regroup / love on n / nw faculty meeting - i step out of car on campus & hello it's the dr phil show wanting an interview hmmm, no thanks / weird weird / to the ranch to see ms ellie for one last meal / steak, potato, beans kind of nite / home / halo / syllabi work / snuggle

fri: meeting w / a. - good for my head & insides too / taco shop (no more!) / downtown faculty meeting, good lord / see ms ann fine who i adore / pick up n - head to the y workout / shower up & the cup for dinner - grouper w/ a pistachio topping & ver blanc sauce, quinoa w / pineapple, asparagus / ches / roo & murderface / sleepy

today: put a hurting of clean on home. chill out. im sorry i couldnt make it, mm. i need some me-time. love.


im rooting for the pack today, no surprise.

ST: I'm stoooooooooooooked! Packers hat on!

AS: Aaaaaaaamen, stay focused! Eat cheese, be kind to alllll birds Except the Falcon!

ST: Yes!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

tues / day o' shopping my ars off w/ Ellie / trying to get my syllabi done but dont wanna

i like tuesdays. up sorta earlyish to get Ellie from the ranch & then i used a lot of my christmas giftcards for free stuff which i do love. then to the gym errr. also im trying to figure out my new lomography camera--dont think it's too tough but i dont think i loaded the film correctly. i'll get n on it, as he's better w/ tecnology than i am due to my tendency to grow impatient with stuff.


colfront mag further broke down their top 30 books of the year into the best of this & best of that. here's how the first books category ended up:

Best First Book*
1. Like a Sea, Samuel Amadon
2. Post Moxie, Julia Story
3. To Light Out, Karen Weiser
4. (made), Cara Benson
5. The French Exit, Elisa Gabbert
6. Black-Eyed Heifer, Shelly Taylor
7. The Madeleine Poems, Paul Legault
8. People Are Tiny in Paintings of China, Cynthia Arrieu-King
9. Cargo, Kristin Kelly
10. Incivilities, Barbara Claire Freeman

cool. thanks coldfront. mirth all your days.


i read brian turner's second book yesterday at the gym & it had some truly strong moments. all in all, a good turnout for him. i bought the book for n hoping he'd enjoy it/get something from it/feel inspired by it, since he's taking his first poetry class this coming semester. :) im still working on elisa gabbert's book 'the french exit' as well as ange mlinko's 'shoulder season.' i also have sawako nakayasu's 'texture notes' in line, among numerous others (the cloud corporation (donnelly), thin kimono (craig), iteration nets (kelsey), 100 notes on violence (carr), to light out (weiser), & humanimal (kapil). exciting.

Monday, January 10, 2011

mon / fresh week / waiting on the mail / bam!

im waiting on ups to deliver my 'petite noir diana' lomography camera. as well as my ample books from spd. c'mon ups--you're usually here by now.

im working away on 'l r f b' cause im going to send it out by the end of feb for a chapbook this or that contest. we'll see. im working though, so that's nice as can be.

going soon here (c'mon ups) to visit dani & baby e. & workout. these things ive been meaning to do but got a bit sick over the weekend.

yesterday i went out to the ranch to visit ellie & ralph the asian cowboy picked us up in his truck & took us shooting on his farm. i shot a browning a-4 machine gun mounted to this pre-hummer military jeep. [pics coming.] it was pretty accurate to be such a mammoth of a machine gun. i didnt shoot the other guns cause i was on the meds still. i enjoyed myself. me, my german sister ellie, & ralph, our asian cowboy friend. ralph has 3 blue heelers. i wrestled them til they made me get in the truck to go. went to a cowboy named arnolds to visit his barn--he's a calf roper. he lives across a field, not even a mile, from sherri cervi's farm where there were horses & horse trailors galore. im hoping to meet her soon & for sure one day getting her to train my next horse.

yesterday the packers won. the jets won on sat. so at least all this is some good news to counteract the awfulness of tucson's weekend. we're still praying for you, gabby giffords, & everyone involved. im awfully glad the kid, the murderer, wasnt a student of mine--he did attend pima nw, where i teach. thankful. it's monday. bam!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

thoughts & prayers to gabby giffords

& all of the victims of this godawful tucson massacre. tucsonans are deeply saddened by today's events--thoughts & prayers to family & friends of victims involved.

mrs giffords at the singing wind bookstore, benson, az / nov 2010

Friday, January 7, 2011

friday / deadwood & rest cause i have a sore throat / writing

i was up early today for a meeting w/ a & now im resting. i was supposed to be holding baby eli right now but due to a swollen throat, im instead laying low.

last nite n & i went to see wicked. it was so amazing, much much better than i thought it could ever be. it was stellar.

i got a cheese block (sheeps milk, respectively) package from wisconsin today, from one dear abe smith, w/ goooooooooo packers intentions. yes i will be rooting for the pack in the playoffs (as well as the jets), & the cheese, the cheese is fabulous.

also, rest mama. love you.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

today / which was tues / black swan

today was pokey. i did manage a long workout that left me light-headed as all hell leaving the y. i drove out to the ranch to pick up ms ellie & we watched 'Black Swan.' i did love it, its strangeness, its many levels, kitsch, & savagery. i met up w/ drew krew at neil's bar for a drink afterwards. now im home watching the last season of deadwood. & writing. & enjoying my grlbears. i ordered a whole slew of books from spd for my christmas present to myself, & im nearly out-of-my-skin excited for them to appear at my doorstoop.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Coldfront Magazine names Heifer one of the top 30 poetry books of 2010 / & they call me mad...bravo!

i kinda like being called mad! yes mad! heifer is one of the four debut collections they decided to spotlight which makes this even cooler to me. cd wright & anne carson on are the list. it's huge.

down below is the blip review! from coldfront! im 29! & im 29 yrs old! wooohooo!


29. Black-Eyed Heifer, Shelly Taylor

Tarpaulin Sky Press

“…when you sell a horse he will not come back.”

Shelly Taylor’s debut is a symphony of language, association, deconstruction. The poet’s associations and ideation make her seem completely mad at times, but a persistent homey quality makes us follow her from move to move with total fascination. We are led somewhere, and led, and led back. Nothing is traditional, nothing old fashioned; everything is strange.


aha! dane hamann, thank you all your days

hamann is the reviewer for TriQuarterly. thank you mr hamann, mirth all your days.

2011 is kicking my ass it's being so good to me / TriQuarterly Online review of Heifer appears today

this is a very thoughtful review of heifer appearing out there in the world today. the journal is northwestern's 'triQuarterly online'--the only prob is is i dont know who wrote this piece of astuteness because the by_______ is blank. ah shit you anonymous person, i really like your review but now i cannot toast you five times & wish you everlasting mirth. still, i thank you muchly. very sweet. thanks.

Black-Eyed Heifer by Shelly Taylor
by ???????
Jan 3, 2011

Black-Eyed Heifer
By Shelly Taylor
Tarpaulin Sky Press

Shelly Taylor’s debut effort, Black-Eyed Heifer, is a mosaic of form and language, childhood and adulthood, the American South, horses, gravel roads, and light. It is a riptide pulling its readers out into the deep, powerful currents of nostalgia. It is unrelenting.

There is the sense that Taylor is overwhelmed, not with the requisites of poetry—her talents are obvious and well realized—but rather, with the sudden immensity of hindsight. This is partly due her gaspingly lyrical style, which effectively conveys the act of recollection. She seems taken aback by the untamable sense of her own nostalgia. That untamableness is what makes her book so appealing.

Taylor’s collection of poems and prose is essentially an investigation of the self: the spaces she’s inhabited, the people she’s known, and who she was. Despite the personal nature of these works, Taylor captivates her readers with heavy, flavorful wording, as evident in one of her prose poems titled “Not yet quite (quote) a blossom”:

She must have biked the convenient stores town wide, lost wider in
the cataloguing, raspberry slush-puppying around the gas tanks: my lemonhead money,
an old book about rabbits pocketed.

Later in the same prose poem, she continues with a series of abstract memories that seem barely lashed together:

Oh the rocks were red & nutty you though you must be, sky topple & the memory is as is; it is not so; but realer; skin, skin; & the horizon line turns orange then pink for the
picturing us.

These moments demonstrate the frenetic nature of memory. They soon flood the page, spreading out as prosaic chunks of text. Their delivery is also more spontaneous—that is, more fluid—than her poems with recognizable enjambment.

Surprisingly then, Taylor’s poems are the more concrete parts of her book. Her poems have a slower, more reflective tone than that of her prose. In these moments, she dams up her memory and pauses for rumination. Of course, this does not mean that the poems are more carefully crafted than the prose. Rather, the poems simply seem less wild, as is the case with these lines in “Three versions”:

Mama says
through the line, all women look
before the key is purchased—he laid his money down
more than a few times—so I, too remember
parking lot to lot. She went also,
I imagine, before the rifle. All that
I am thinking has been done.

Obviously, Taylor does not limit herself to one type of line. She reveals herself as a bricoleur. What makes her book distinct is its variety. A quick flip from cover to cover dances her words across the pages. She tends to juxtapose square blocks of prose with a couple of lines centered in the middle of the next page, while an enjambed poem trickles down the side of the page after that. Her sprightly treatment of form and line is one of the strengths of the book.

It is easy for the reader to become lost in the book. In fact, Taylor does not include a table of contents. Many poems are left untitled. Some poems’ titles are phrases that read like stimuli for what follows, while other titles are single or compound words. Her poems tumble onto the page—perhaps there is no way she can categorize them. The reader must surrender to the flow of her memory, and that is part of the fun.

Black-Eyed Heifer is a personal journey through Taylor’s identity, but that does not detract from its attractiveness. Throughout the book, readers are reminded to reflect on their own history. Despite its delirious and colorful nature, this book is comforting. For anyone drowning in nostalgia, this book serves as a reminder that there is always someone else thrashing around out there.

from TriQuarterly Review - Jan 3, 2011

Saturday, January 1, 2011

sat / NEW YEAR

ms ellie is in town visiting from germany. we tore it up last nite. i had my black-eyed peas. 2011 is going to amazing i feel it.