Monday, November 28, 2011

mon / thanks so much verse daily! / mine is the day's poem up at verse / twice in one week: wow!

another one of my poems from Black Warrior Review is up at  can't believe it--how cool!

[20] is a poem from Dirt City Lions, a chapbook that will drop AWP 2012.

thank you for your support, verse daily.  mirth to you!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

sun / love this book / California by Jennifer Denrow

i had so much fun hanging with the girls yesterday.  Jen gave me this book of hers & i'm in love with it & her.  

(from Thermos mag)


Forget your life.

Okay I have.

Lay something down that is unlike you:

Sold boat, Italian song.

I’m losing my head over this:

this is what the doll said when you pulled its head
from its body;

all the girls laughed.

I’ll move to California. I should
go alone. I’ll go

with the knowledge of fake
snow. I’ll ask my father to bring me.


When I went to the backyard,

I said to myself,

this doesn’t look like California

and nothing in my life does

and my husband says he’ll have to deal with this forever.

I want to go so bad I clench my fist
hard in the air, I push my finger into
his chin and cry: it feels like this, I say.
I need it this bad.


I realize now that I’m a woman.

I go to the store.

I buy California style pizza and beer. I drop my ID when the woman asks to see it.

No one in the store looks like they could be from California.

A baby eats some keys.

I buy a magazine with people from California in it; they are all very beautiful.

I come out of the store and the sky

is filled with many white clouds

that could be stand-ins for California clouds.

I don’t even have a tan.

I know this is the only time I’ll leave the house today.


Instead of going to California I make my husband a ham and cheese sandwich to take to
work. He doesn’t like the way I place the cheese on the bread.
When he leaves for work I sit in a quiet house.

I told him I couldn’t have this life.

This wasn’t me living here.

I was living in California.

He said cruel things that he knew would scare me.

He brought the ring from the cabinet and tried to put it on my finger.

I said no.

I said I can’t be married right now.

He said this happens every year.

He may be right.

sun / put it in your calendar! / ADV PO does Casa Libre / stoked!!




Readings by Andrew Becerra, Elizabeth Brown, Clarissa Bueno, Steven Cates, Kaia Chesney, Ian Hudick, Eric Jackson, Rachel Mindell, and Brandan Pittman.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

sat / Bohemia/Casa Libre celebration w/ Jennifer Denrow, Selah Saterstrom, Kristi Maxwell, & musician Leila Lopez

Last nite at Plush was a full out Tucson gathering of writers. we sorta threw it in the ditch, if you know what i mean. i pay for me funs today & look here again, more funs to get ready for. below is where i'll be.


Bohemia Day of Giving
a fundraiser for Casa Libre

Saturday, November 26
Event at Bohemia
Sales 10a.m.-8p.m./Reception 5-8 p.m.
Beer, Sangria, and Snacks

Bohemia, a funky and eclectic emporium that offers gifts, goods, furniture, and art created by artists in Tucson, AZ, is hosting a day of giving to benefit Casa Libre. A percentage of all sales made at Bohemia on Saturday November 26, will be donated to Casa Libre. Bohemia offers a unique shopping experience with over 200 different local and regional artists and crafts people for unique, locally made holiday gifts. A reception at Bohemia will feature the music of Leila Lopez and the poetry of Kristi Maxwell, Selah Saterstrom, and Jennifer Denrow. Please come on out to support local artists, shop for your holiday gifts, and enjoy refreshments, music, and poetry.

This event will be held at Bohemia:
2920 E. Broadway
Tucson, AZ 85716
For directions and more information about Bohemia please visit:

Friday, November 25, 2011

from Horses Make a Landscape Look More Beautiful


Letting go
In order to hold one
I gradually understand
How poems are made.
There is a place the fear must go.
There is a place the choice must go.
There is a place the loss must go.
The leftover love.
The love that spills out
Of the too full cup
And runs and hides
Its too full self
In shame.

I gradually comprehend
How poems are made.
To the upbeat flight of memories.
The flagged beats of the running

I understand how poems are made.
They are the tears
That season the smile.
The stiff-neck laughter
That crowds the throat.
The leftover love.
I know how poems are made.

There is a place the loss must go.
There is a place the gain must go.
The leftover love.

Alice Walker

Thursday, November 24, 2011

thurs / Happy Thanksgiving Day ya'll

major marg. celebrating being done with wednesday. i was 'observed' at the U. it was actually fun, a great class. and so i took myself out. but was home early, am always thankful for sleep, two lalas, health, family, friends, & so much more. miss my family today.

here's a manic pilgrim turkey spreading cheer.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

tues / just when i think the end of the semester cringe is gonna put me under / good news

Hey ya'll. Mine is today's poem up at Verse Daily.

They chose a poem from my new chap, Dirt City Lions, forthcoming Horse Less Press round AWP time in Chicago, end of February.

A lot is misspelled in their rendering of poem, so I'm just gonna repost the poem here for all those being directed to my "website"--cause though I love slang, I too am not totally inarticulate. The lines are too long to format to blogspot, that's the weird line breaks, you know...bygones.

Thanks so much to Yay for Tuesday.


The beach gives onlookers, men with poles. I am just trying to jog
this beach, if I yelled you fucking voyeur it would not be got. I liken myself
to Faulkner’s going on about nature while being sharp with the two
characters of this working—you know, & God always God, let’s call him
Higher Power the way the Al-Anon book says. In the past you were shot at,
mid-hand dealt as if shuffle inward yet leave it alone. I
drink a Mich Ultra, that’s what in the fridge. And slow to the gunny,
the time spent I drug myself by belly, slept when the sun came up, my hands
back again. A picture of you, ain’t it funny, in the bar forever, my good tap
tap, fingers & feet now I’ve no speedrack, five hundred bottles a night, two in
each hand & this is Heaven. But your hands in my hair, a periodic
newness for remembrance which like a shrug duly evokes the winter
surely coming. I have my graces from which I carry the sun to violence
all my mistakes, born into thick hands, cruelty & choose so.
If I curl my hair I’m taking on the town, the real of the town,
everyone with their beer whiskey hands all sad behind their beer whiskey
hands, you cannot run it down—pliĆ© & shade from any ray that looks you
step right because right cannot tell the difference between a marsh &
a swamp: we kill both. I thought go home again & it was murky,
the sea unfledged, myself in the backyard watching closely
the cats don’t jump the fence & get out there on the road.

[was written summer 2010, on amelia island]

Monday, November 21, 2011

mon / trouper / went raging temper, baldwin, not butler, freakout, david foster wallace / sauna / chinese food / bloody hell

I met Ida Stewart in Athens a couple weeks ago. She sent me her first collection, Gloss, which arrived in the mail today. Excited to read!


Wild sarsaparilla is the fool’s sang.
Follow jack-in-the-pulpit, goldenseal,
cohoshes black and blue. To find true heal-all,
fall head-over, get brave, get fangled up
in bobcat mouths or caves, and wrangle twang
and drawl from fiddleheads into a single
clear-cut note. Then forage through the leaf-
like chiming, sundried light. Hear me, stranger?
Feel it pull you underground, elide
you—forest-body, heart, and mind—to root,
moving through the dirt, a shape like a person.
You are wherewithal and you are wild.
—jack-in-the-pulpit, goldenseal,
cohoshes black and blue—
You are real and dream and dissolute.
I mean you are a tangle and a song.

Ms LOVELY Kaia Chesney: click below!

Without You

Sunday, November 20, 2011

football sun / geez / Packers off their game but stay undefeated: 35 PACK - 26 BUCS

the PACK scared us two PACKER POETS (yrs truly & abraham smith smith smithy) today. but, here's to 10 - 0, it's so good bein a Packer.

st: yes hell!

as: kuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

as: i can put my friggin rosary away now

st: i should put this nail file down my fingers are close to bleedin

st: our ball. sing pack!

as: eff eff eff eff eff eff eff

st: i'm pure fraught

st: yes my god

as: waiit they tackle him but here we gooooo again

st: this is a lot to handle on the lords day

as: ho hum another snoozer of a game / heehee / yayayayayayyy / rainin here but the rain / tastes like sugarr!

oh my i am addicted to southern women personality in designing women / makes me miss home

smart, smart, smart. the nite that the lights went out in Ga.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

sat / SICK day / missing steven salmoni's POG reading though...sad face / repercussions of throwing it in the ditch, a sign of the times

as in what below the surface pulls you, never explain. come sit next to me. this best place to feel the wind, change your ways.

i like this interview: (from Omnidamn's blog)

Alissa Nutting is the current fiction editor of Witness and author of the short story collection Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls. At present, she is guest editing The Grey Issue of Fairy Tale Review, a theme issue focusing on Lost Boys & Girls. This fall, she will be an assistant professor of creative writing at John Carroll University.

Juliana Paslay is a features writer and bookstore liaison for Omnidawn. She is currently seeking her Creative Writing MFA at California College of the Arts.

Juliana Paslay: Your short story collection, Unclean Jobs For Women and Girls, is very unified in its theme of women hiding themselves within roles but opens to many variations. How did the collection evolve? Did an individual story come first or the overall theme?

Alissa Nutting: It began with a voice that emerged in several stories where the roles and situations were radically different. Soon, it was very clear to me that the book would be a dress-up party of sorts, with that voice taking on a variety of different jobs and duties, each one being a different chapter.

JP: Your stories have this beautiful tension between humor and sadness. How do you balance that in your writing? Do have an inclination towards one side or the other?

AN: All humor is born out of sadness…when the sad egg cracks, humor is the palatable part of the muck that drizzles out. To me, humor is the only honest way to write about sad things. Straight drama only looks at half of the picture. It ignores whatever might be laughing in the corner during the situation, whether that’s another person, the character itself, or something more sinister, like fate or apathy. There is always something ironic, or unwieldy, or physically disgusting, or paradoxical about a tragedy. I think it’s important to include the whole picture when writing fiction.

JP: Has winning the Starcherone Prize for Innovative Fiction changed your approach to publishing? Has it increased your opportunities?

AN: I’ve been so very fortunate with the book and its reception; I truly feel grateful for that. But no matter what happens in my career, I think that publishing will always be something that’s hard for me to not feel all-glass and delicate about. Putting yourself out there is hard. It’s undoubtedly the most difficult thing I have to do in my life—giving my work over to others to judge. I try to think about it as a testament to my devotion for writing, in an S&M sort of way. Writing is the master that I take pain for. Lots and lots of pain as part of an expression of my love. It has always been like that. Writing has always had a collar on me. I cannot tell it no.

JP: The women of your stories have “unclean jobs” ranging from “Porn Star” to “Alcoholic”. What inspired you to use titles and labels in this way?

AN: My general disgust and hatred of titles and labels, actually. These stories hopefully subvert those labels, because readers get to see the characters in a different light than others (usually the same “others” who would apply these titles or labels) see them. For example, I love the general title “Teenager” and then the depiction of the character’s warped, complicated social life that is anything but general. I also wanted to use titles and labels in conjunction with jobs to drive home the point of how, as a woman, living up to different aspects of societal roles and standards can be a job in itself. At the grocery store I’ll often glance over the magazines during checkout; the ones targeted to women mainly are instructional. As if I should be reading them and taking notes.

JP: What’s next for you? What are you working on now?

AN: I’m mainly finishing up my novel draft, but I have a lot of projects going. I like this though. That’s the chorus that gets me out of bed each morning, and keeps me up at night way later than I should stay up…all of my projects’ needy, wailing mouths, all begging for my attention. Every piece of writing that I start immediately feels like something submerged that I have to pull out from below the water and save.

Friday, November 18, 2011

songs before bedtime

thurs / poet Mara Vahratian rocked ADV PO nite / i made a casserole

i love these old pics of me & my mija Mara V. these were 07 & we were werkin it, as you can see below. thanks to Mara for coming to class tonite & staying to wskp. was such a magical nite.

Mara Vahratian's Soaptrees is out at Dancing Girl Press.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

wed / good day / minot, joyce, & danah boyd's facebook privacy: huge debate, HUGE. / Benetton is at it again: get it!

i pretty much love Benetton advertising. Benetton canned controversial photog Toscani in the late 00s due to the outrage of the "We on Death Row" campaign, which spotlighted American prisoners on death row (Benetton is an Italian clothing company, yes...) & made, perhaps, its audience identify even empathize with these prisoners. American outrage: yes. am I a bit horrified by these ads: yes.

Toscani did brilliant work for Benetton in the 80s, 90s, & 00s: mostly positive messages supporting equality throughout the world--yes, sometimes embodying borderline shock tactics. i think the David Kirby AIDS (Theresa Frere) campaign is just pure brilliance. how significant the change post-Kirby ad was to the world highlighting the controversy surrounding AIDS at this specific time (early 90s) in America: who knows. brought a lot of attention & humanized AIDS; the remarkable parallel of Kirby to Christ is mind-blowing. bless, Benetton, you Italian clothing company.

i teach visual analysis & rhetoric in WRT 101--i always teach a whole class session just on Benetton's advertising campaigns, specifically the Isabelle Caro "No Anorexia" campaign, the "We on Death Row" one, & the AIDS campaign, esp the David Kirby photos which shocks the hell out of my students. we all have mixed feelings about Benetton. i think this is fabulous. we're thinking critically. that's superb.

well, Benetton is at it again. world leaders are making out. Obama is kissing Chavez & China's prez. North Korea is kissin on South Korea. Israel & a the ad of the Pope making out w/ Egyptian Imam is already pulled--even though today was its first public day. i'm not surprised. Benetton, Italian clothing company took such a hit after "We on Death Row" that i'm shocked they're back it--ruffling feathers & acting out politically when their aim should be to sell clothes, right? i say WORK IT, Benetton. your ethics could be debatable, but thank goodness you get people thinking. the message with their new campaing: UNHATE. get it, B!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

tues / i'm so anti-academy it's ridiculous / but i love students & teaching / i'm thinking on gender roles / obsession with red light districts & how working girls are portrayed in film, etc

if you know me you know i love the film the best little whorehouse in texas starring dolly parton & burt reynolds. i watched it as a kid on one of those slide discs at granny's house with all my other cousins. we loved it. i particularly loved it.

i live in the barrio viejo, which is part of gay alley, tucson's old red light district in territorial times. i'm obsessed.

recently i've watched louie malle's pretty baby which is so great. susan sarandon is just superb.

i'm still thinking of writing my book of soiled doves. think i'm going to do it. need the voices though.

Monday, November 14, 2011

mon fun day / carver, tan, rodriguez / takeout tortilla soup / PACKERS: off to the races

we're 9-0. Game score vs the VIKINGS: 45-7. it's so good to be a PACKER.

grita the squirrel is a good couch football buddy.

me: 4 is a damn beast to be around right now you know it. Bless his xtian wife's heart.

abe smith: he's in the garage throwin horseshoes with pals in his heated airconditioned horseshoe pit.

me: heehee. yep.

me: one fer the books.

as: rewritin the bible with rodgers as gabriel awwwwwwmennnnn

Saturday, November 12, 2011

sat / just getting home from a roadtrip

i dragged myself off the bathroom floor & went to the Canyon! i took my book & went for a drive! lovely, yes?

while i was taking this pic of myself, a huge ass charter of asian tourists disembarked & each filed past me giving me the international sign for work it (or hell yeah!): thumbs up, thumbs up, thumbs up, & on & on. it was a top moment.

navajo nation land across 64 to Cameron is just so beautiful to me.

i love leaving & coming back. big sweater, windows down, lucero on blast, hello my grit ass dirt city! tucson! im feeling much better.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

thurs / ADV PO day / been communicating w/ Turquoise Balloon which makes me heart warm on coldish Tus day

back before i became an upstanding citizen i was known as "magenta moon" & in a pack of wild hippies in georgia. i had hair down my back, constant face paint, wore handmade clothes by myself & i could never sew, lived in a camper called 'dolpin' that i drove to bonnaroo, etc, & i was the best dancer by way of spinning in the southeast, or so i proclaim now upon looking back.

whitney was "silver pine" & our friend josh klemons was "turquoise balloon." i left athens after a short time & turq. balloon wrote me a song. he reminded me of this song in an email & here it is: ('throw it in a bag' was my mantra then. i had a constant fire lit under my ass.)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

wed / went yip! / oates, carver, & kingsolver / bout to go to dinner w/ mija mara v / seriously want to dye my now short hair blue

i seriously think i'm meant to have blue hair in this world. i miss it. i wonder what my jobs would say.


i got some good good news today. Horse Less Press will publish my new chapbook tentatively titled 'dirt city lions.' hoping it will be ready by feb for awp. i'll be at awp in feb. i'm very, very, very excited as i LOVE Horse Less Press and Jen Tynes. thought no one would take the work as it's so content-heavy. they're essentially war poems & then some. my only reader said she felt bludgeoned after reading the poems. doesn't that sound fun? they're poems started in apr 2010 to now. they got a lot of dirty sweat in them.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

sunday music & grading & football = im in heaven / still dranking coffee & in me pjs at 215pm

Athens poetry reading pt 2

the one & only gordon massman whom i love.

peacock is here too! peacock is my best friend since 14 yrs old.

LL is laughing real hard which makes me laugh. at the globe.

'dawgbones bbq' at 130am. pulled pork sandwiches you'd sell your body for.

i got lyla g bear some old school finger puppets at a vintage store.

football Sun in Tucson / good to be home / All Souls Parade is tonite / then Calexico at the Rialto

rocking out hard to georgia old school rap faces aka we look super-white faces

finally in athens. rocking a lil pinot in those zaxby's cups, oh yeh, at the holiday inn

this is my 'im at the airport at 4am face'

im dressed! LL live at the holiday inn. such belly laughs & fun.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

wed / i got some asymmetrical bangs / athens i'm a-coming! / automatic ya'll!

whit is picking me up. meeting LL in athens. gonna see adrian & peacock. fun fun! photos a-coming!