Monday, October 31, 2011

mon / happy halloween ya'll / day went ouch it's morning, then gluck, oates, sedaris / marana to ride new gray pony at ralph's / must get ready to go out now!

the new BLACK WARRIOR REVIEW is out. i have 4 poems in there that i had to re-line-break just for this issue. paaaaain. AB Gorham is lovely though. and a legit poet.

Issue 38.1, Interruption
is now available! The Fall 2011 issue features work from Sarah Rose Etter, Brandon Davis Jennings, Kathleen Rooney, Derek Gromadzki, Leon Baham, Esvie Coemish, Shelly Taylor, Zachary Schomburg, Brandon Shimoda, Karen Volkman, dawn lonsinger, Christina Manweller, Afton Wilky, Joelle Biele, JP Gritton, Joy Wood, Lee Milena Goodman, JA Tyler, Elizabeth Hall, Dan George, Farid Matuk, and Allison Titus, with comics from Edgar R. McHerly and Nick St. John, and featured art by Helen Pynor.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

football sun / the Pack are off / Athens, Ga get ready!

in the words of georgia's own andre 3000 of outkast fame: alrightalrightalrightalright!

Friday, October 28, 2011

faulkner / tenn / hem / patti smith

fri / note to Pete Dexter: Uncle JH can put as many girl bottoms in a narrative as he wants / he would intrinsically not be JH without these beloved gestures / plus, as you say, he can do whatever the hell he wants / he's earned it

(JH at the Arizona Inn, March 2011)

(JH's new book)

The critic glances at the clock and realizes that pretty soon he has to say something bad about Jim Harrison. Yes, he’s established that he’s read the book; now something to prove he isn’t being paid off.

Under duress, then, he ventures that there may be one buttock too many in Harrison’s story — although it could just as easily be argued that there is a sunset every evening in Key West, and nobody complains about that.

Also, the critic doesn’t trust references to popular culture even if he can’t say why (Sunderson is said to resemble the actor Robert Duvall), and as a rule when he — the critic, not Sunderson — reads a novel he skips the parts about dreams.

Taken one by one, these complaints may seem trivial, but together they add up to exactly nothing, maybe a little less. Jim Harrison can break all the rules he wants and come out smelling like a rose, and if you will excuse my mixing aromas — fish and flowers — I would mention that for me, Harrison set the hook deep and early, in a novella called “Revenge.”

There is a scene in that story of almost incomprehensible savagery — Harrison by the way is as good at writing violence as anybody, and particularly gets the weirdness of the incubation period — and he accomplished this particular violence by interrupting himself and manually moving readers to the fireplace mantel, where they could watch without getting hurt.

It was one of Harrison’s moments of instinctive genius, I think, perhaps the only way to bring off the scene without changing the mesmeric sound coming off the pages to something more ordinary, and I mean it as no disrespect to speculate that these moments are in some way out of Harrison’s hands, and very close to magic.

thurs / who you are, who you are not / notes towards reconciling one's self in the big ole / grading

Big thanks to brilliant poet LAURA MAHER for rocking tonite's ADV POETRY.


[10.27.11] from Kaia's automatic exercise titled Las Palmas (w/ a drunk baby). Homage to old Jay Z & all the street names from Orange Grove to Ina on Shannon, & a nod to Eric Jackson's hookers. And something of the Beebs. It's all a bit much, yes.

blue eye in the crack of my table tomorrow--positano
veronica! greenridge interloper--baby baby, coat of yellow,
her rooster face shock--when I hit the brick new whip
latin on the hip shake fringe--money aint a--ice cream
cone abrasive, the stones of my jilting lullaby, every
flag a country punchline, I got drunk in it; cue
the spaghetti western alarma! reverb como estas, oh!
muy. te anoro! bones every cordial broken on the floor
wurlitzer organ ambassador, my floyd cramer records,
granny's fav, save the last dance for baby
baby yes--money aint a--2 cent hookers deft
angels the street wrackline, scarcely
a pivot loosed the world--positano!


yeh we're super-busy. grading.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

wed / one long wedded to the grindstone / pandemic sleeplessness / my day went: forche, oates, cisneros / panna water / pound

Portrait d'une Femme
by Ezra Pound

Your mind and you are our Sargasso Sea,
London has swept about you this score years
And bright ships left you this or that in fee:
Ideas, old gossip, oddments of all things,
Strange spars of knowledge and dimmed wares of price.
Great minds have sought you—lacking someone else.
You have been second always. Tragical?
No. You preferred it to the usual thing:
One dull man, dulling and uxorious,
One average mind—with one thought less, each year.
Oh, you are patient, I have seen you sit
Hours, where something might have floated up.
And now you pay one. Yes, you richly pay.
You are a person of some interest, one comes to you
And takes strange gain away:
Trophies fished up; some curious suggestion:
Fact that leads nowhere; and a tale or two,
Pregnant with mandrakes, or with something else
That might prove useful and yet never proves,
That never fits a corner or shows use,
Or finds its hour upon the loom of days:
The tarnished, gaudy, wonderful old work;
Idols and ambergris and rare inlays,
These are your riches, your great store; and yet
For all this sea-hoard of deciduous things,
Strange woods half sodden, and new brighter stuff:
In the slow float of differing light and deep,
No! there is nothing! In the whole and all,
Nothing that's quite your own.
Yet this is you.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

tues / sweatpants-grading day / try not to kill anyone, my solider

Very proud of Noah Saterstrom. His exhibit, a collaboration with poet Anne Waldman, is up at the U of A Poetry Center. It pretty much gutted me.

MM & I took in a lil art tonite via one brilliant southern painter. We both agreed it was good for the ole soul.

Monday, October 24, 2011

mon / fodder in her wings breaks it / notes towards grade grade grade

just got back from mm's office grading. coffee'd up. been thinking hard on nina simone. skin bleaching techniques. family. men. tucson. bought new sharpies in diverse colors to make grading a better sitch.

sun / notes towards pure exhaustion / health / back in my lil adobe / missin my ma, rouch, g / it's good to be a Packer!

Friday, October 21, 2011

thurs / notes towards love / having a coke with you


[10.20.11]--from Rachel's automatic "The Apple" (musical)

This is a Holiday Inn tragedy, the world
moves lions sequined the shrinking treeline: pan out
make them stop. Do your mouths say open/close
for the men do you jin yourself Rita, fine
long legs or din din din, flee this sad hotel.
Star Search your great nation, she-bitch, home of the
def Leopard staged I coulda run the whole bartop
saddle shoed, no, she requires a girth of glitter, move
over grl it's 1994, cue the smoke machine Aqua Net, me &
sister tap dancing the Rattle Snake Roundup in Guysie
she's all girl. Milk venom, tap tap.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

wed / 3 classes / longing / music / dinner w/ deanne at b-line / writing / unit 3 planning / getting ready for LA

so good, don't want it to be over. almost over. sad sad sad face.



Now get me away from lions laid up in
the depths of storehouses. Psalm 33: a horse is a vain thing
for safety. There it is: never shall he deliver any
by his great strength. Don’t go believing him. Clipped
in the front yard, yellow flowers sneeze the life out of.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

tues / up & happy

today was nice from the start. dawdled & then headed to the U for a full day of office hours. so many smart young women in my 101--i enjoy working them one-on-one--such bright-eyed intelligence.

headed to mms for afternoon tea. then grocerying, then a long jog w/ mija mara-v around the U, & now i sit & recollect & push forward; tuesday is nice. "sons of anarchy" tues. f/x is killin it by way of quality drama. started watching the new f/x show 'american horror story.' it has connie britton (of "friday nite lights" fame) which is always a good sign. it's pretty stellar thus far.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

football sun / good to be a PACK 24 - 3 / we're now 6-0 / good thinking

i love the packers throwback acme packers uniform from the 20s. rodgers looks good in blue too. i couldve guessed that though...

lions lost. i was rooting for them to go 6-0 too.

Good strong quotes from Ntozake Shange for a football sun:

• I am gonna write poems til i die and when i have gotten outta this body i am gonna hang round in the wind and knock over everybody who got their feet on the ground. - i feel you ntozake shange


• When I die, I will not be guilty of having left a generation of girls behind thinking that anyone can tend to their emotional health other than themselves. (i take this seriously too. it's my number 1: to grow up strong woman when able.)

• i was cold / i was burnin up / a child
& endlessly weavin garments for the moon wit my tears

i found god in myself
& i loved her / i loved her fiercely.

• Our society allows people to be absolutely neurotic and totally out of touch with their feelings and everyone else's feelings, and yet be very respectable.

• Where there is woman there is magic.

i pretty much love ntozake shange. for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf: a choreopoem / is so startlingly beautiful. makes me want to write a play.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

sat / it's 145 degrees in tucson / braved tucson meet yourself festival / lunch at la concina with dani

you cant tell that we're both sweating out asses off. it's bloody hot in tucs. ms dani got a sitter for baby eli, we lunched & cocktailed. was lovely cept day drinking makes me muy tired at 4pm. lots of lots of grading to do.

Friday, October 14, 2011

fri / loooong nap / new tires / more good news from dancing girl press

my grl arianne zwartjes' chap is out today! go get it! ari is one amaaaaazing poet & woman.

disem(body): a tracing
Arianne Zwartjes
dancing girl press, 2011

Arianne Zwartjes is an EMT, wilderness educator, and poet living in Tucson, Arizona, and teaching in the English department at the University of Arizona. She is the author of (Stitched) A Surface Opens (2008) and The Surfacing of Excess (2010).


we don’t speak or speak only of butter & eggs

you carry hangers and hangers of clothes.
each one empty a body.
the dogs are distraught at your already absence.
the missing furniture, the cold. the cursive of
this narrative, the scriptedness.
the house is half-empty. your truck
keeps getting fuller. each time it drives away, fuller.
goodbye, red truck. goodbye couch.
goodbye lamp stereo table.

somewhere there must be a bottom. a seawall
of some sort, a boundedness.
the helicoptering of each thing we’ve ever said
we wanted. icicles fall off your voice.
each body empty of the other. the hands
and the way they are empty.
i can’t breathe because of the missing couch.
goodbye, couch.

nothing could be more absurd than one’s shoe thrown
across the room. than it light as foam
and landing without a noise. we have entered
the realm of the absurd. you are taking the dog.
we’ll call this a breakup poem. we’ll call this the
quiet disintegration of a longer ride.
what we once called home.
the house gets emptier and emptier.
in the end you’re not here.

thurs / too late / stuff to do / the dangers of having bill wetzel as a friend

country music.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

thurs / gotta love thurs / happiness is one great bed / thanks granny!

as per typical of cancerians, im always seeking ways to make my humble home even better than it is. yes, it's a tiny home. but my home has style & feels good. i get that all the time from friends & such & love it hear it. i myself love a good bed & if you know me, you know i cherish (LOVE) to sleep. so thanks, Granny, for my christmas comforter which arrived duly in oct. i just love it. slept so good last nite.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

tues / office hours / an email from mara telling me the best news in the world which is this

my grl, my mija's chapbook is out from dancing girl press. few things can make me as happy as i am about this. mara vahratian is one of my favorite poets. she will become one of yours as well.

for mere $7 you can get your fav new collection of poems. go!

Monday, October 10, 2011

mon / it's good to be a Packer

oh my god it's been a monday. im going to long jog then watch kardash pt 2 w/ annie later. joy.

last nite the packers had me on my toes there for awhile.
25 Pack - 14 Falcon

Sunday, October 9, 2011

football sun / pics from last nite

yes, it was cold last nite. i love big ole hugs. joe came through town w/ st bernadette & only living boy. was fun.

love & the astroslide.

me & annie. we hardly ever get to go out, what with both of us so busy teaching & whatnot. so this pic is special. we had some fun.

Friday, October 7, 2011

fri / i don't think ive ever wanted to go to sleep at 9pm before tonite

long day, looooong day. quick nap, then i went to see one of my po students--ms lovely kaia chesney--play a set at plush. she's something else. meaning i adore her. i got takeout soup & removed my general exhausted grouchy self away from mankind & am about to take long bath & promptly go to bed & awake tomorrow bushy tailed.

i played matchmaker this week & hooked MM up with Rog, the astrophysicist who taught his class right after mine before i moved my class to Mines & Metallurgy--a room w/ more than a chalkboard. i think Roger is cool, am hoping tomorrow's a good blind date. love in the cooling tucson air. heehee.

joe lo comes back through tucson tomorrow. a & i are gonna 'dress up' & eat & go hear lo & st b play at the red room. what else? a bath.

thurs / great rainy cool tucson / lurve adv poetry / lurve this me gremlin lyla-g

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

wed / floating about / 3 classes / a lot of folks back home don't believe there's cotton in this desert

but here you go. here is the AZ cotton over my shoulder. short cotton but beautiful white cotton about to be picked.

you may not know this, but my first job ever was in cotton. I was 14 or 15 & it was during the hot Ga summer. Daddy would drop me off at Drew's early early morning & we'd get in her old mail jeep & traipse field to field checking bolls.

namely, my job was called 'scouter'--pretty much means i checked the cotton for bugs: aphids & army worms, specifically. This was back before the cotton was injected with pesticide prevention stuffs, when one had to crop dust a field. i prob got some sort of poisoning from all the fields. there was nothing glamorous about it, it was hard work.

i went to ride horses today. it was the injection of bliss it always is.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

well damn, my soul was already shining because im finally done grading / but / my day just got a whole lot better thanks to poet GEOFF OLSEN





Review by Geoffrey Olsen

Black-Eyed Heifer
Shelly Taylor
Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2010

Opening myself to these poems in Shelly Taylor’s Black-Eyed Heifer, I feel the hinterland of inside. Movement into place, feeling the erasure of discrete and safe. The feeling that this work is exposed, that the land is wild, allowed fallow but alert to so much life. It feels pastoral in that one is here in this wild, but there isn’t the safety of distance. Its romanticism isn’t projected on the landscape. The landscape folds in out. It’s not stationary enough for mapping. It doesn’t want it. It bucks.

There’s an enactment here of memoir, memory as multiform, shifting open structures. Imagination interacts with the form of memory. Is it a political happening? Remembering body’s place in the structure, it’s enacted social. Sifting through memory – situating mind and imagination. The mind is all through the situated space, both in the south and in New York City. The presence is rich colors, flavor, scent, touch—sensory everywhere.

“If there was a road it did not symmetry” this is this farmland form-land. Open, this figure (Shelly?) meeting city/country. Language touching this or furrowing this field. This refusal of symmetry. Brooklyn, the south overgrown, density of language to growing into this geography. The self in these poems not mapped onto surface. Surfaces surges, life so animate wild. Poem foal foaming feral.

Docility as opposed core. It’s always opposed. The writer and writing and being not to be domestic.

Figures morphing. The man-pony hybrid sprints through it—all poem musculature. Bodied being flips between man animal. Who is the man? Man appears here. Erotics flux in and out. There’s a “he” that’s defining the terrain somehow, makes it “fine for walking”. Defines all, leaves no exit:
“The man chooses not to see outside of, says my moods this, whisks the eggs.” Inside/ outside divide assessed, sealing off blooming. How male is closed to these shifts and transformations. Man: “One day I’ll count on you to get a job and be comforted.”

The horse that shows up throughout the book. Shot on the race-track, we read it bleeding out it’s too much. Though you can’t look away, you are there too with the red-haired woman who wants to buy the horse. The market appears. Is this America? They try to buy it but it’s too late; the horse is dying. They have to shoot it. This is so painful.

“What got situated.” Writing the poem to be situated, but not. “this come here now (the desire to kneel, call the thing until it returns whole & unbothered) or back sans of it, away.”

“Sister/ I fear I nurse everything I’ve been told not to: all dark musculature of a two-sided outside face, mouth & jawline sculpting a bust protocol—even you, who are not.”

This showing the way, fearlessly. Fearless though feeling the local root structure. Not letting that go. I respond in these poems to the generation of the state that is called-up, situated, localized throughout this work. These states are momentary. The poem does not exist as a withdrawal, a return giving fullness. Possession is impossible. “On a lam through the woods there is never a safety net/ The briars! The briars!”

Taylor’s local as form. Local as place but also experience of language as localized. Points of the body where the language is enacted and engaged with so that Brooklyn and the South are spatial ranges experienced through Taylor’s personal idiom, but they are also localized language perceptions. They are through Taylor’s language.

The roads too of Brooklyn. It’s cold here in the winter. Taylor is exposed to the vulnerabilities of this climate, the words are open to that coldness –take it inward. A poem as relation to place is old old but ever language innovates when present with words as local. Surface, skin and body breathe into words and poems. There’s a warmth to this presentedness. The gestures are friendly “& since I’m country I smile at everyone.” Poem as open warmth but that’s vulnerable. Dangerous to be sincere in a city poem. There are aches the words can’t withdraw from the poem’s bones.

Constant bodily movement. The language is physical. It’s tough, stringy with muscles. You feel the language, but it’s physicality is also feeling you. The mind responds to the physical tactility. Haptic.

Horses tear out breakneck & moon-eyed
dark exposed carousel circling corewood horses
teeth-gnashed bodies reared against impalement

Dense: one seeks in then moves their way out.

Subterranean structure here: narrative skin, surface movement textures underlying deep musculature. Narrative massages thought form underneath. What does that look like? It’s building something under burgeoning depth. This is the response to the locale, it’s not its presented surface, but the mood, structure, life, love of there. One responds to that form, underneath, and gets glimpses. Though money, work, and all city/country entails intervene in the form, poem gets at the thing deeper. It’s something like the personal idiom of the locale, the form revealing gradually. Melancholic but celebration. Eerie how it slides between expectation, memory and desire.

It’s uncontrollable. The pony/poem not tameable.


Geoffrey Olsen lives in Brooklyn, New York and works at the Cooper Union in Manhattan. He is the author of the chapbook End Notebook (petrichord press, 2008). His chapbook, Not of Distends * Address Panicked, is available from Minutes Books at

Sunday, October 2, 2011

sun / coulda slept all day / more rain / long jog / grading / it's a good day to be a packer

Packers 4-0. Packers 49 - Broncos 23.

It's good to be myself & Abraham Smith as well. Future good news abounds: news soon.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

tucson sat / grading still / it rains / congrats to whitney & shane / newlyweds

i always knew whitney would be the first of all of us girls to marry. so happy for my sister & her shane. congrats!


im loving the pioneer woman on food network. makes me hungry for meat & ranch dressing.

grita chills