Saturday, April 30, 2011

1/3; 15; 286.75

We're 33% of the way through the year. Can you believe we're hurtling so fast towards the apocalypse? Okay, maybe the Mayans didn't mean we'd all be dead by destructive and deadly weather, earthquakes, nuclear fallout, dark planets aligning weirdly with our world. But I for one am going to keep living it up on the off-chance I'll be offed. What that means to me? Well, reading. Yeah, I know. But I am getting out to live a little tonight. CA Conrad and Jeremy Halinen are reading at Open Books in Seattle. I've been totally geeking out about it for the past month. I've even requested poems. Such a nerd.

This is what I've read so far this year, strangely some of it has be revisiting favorites. I don't often re-read because there are SO MANY BOOKS IN THE WORLD. Anyway: pink is for poetry, blue for fiction, green for nonfiction:

1. Where We Think It Should Go – Claire Becker

2. Doctor Copernicus – John Banville

3. The Book of Frank – CA Conrad

4. The Irrationalist – Suzanne Buffam

5. Bobcat Country – Brandi Homan

6. The Book of Questions – Pablo Neruda

7. The History of Violets - Marosa di Giorgio

8. Octopus – Tom C. Hunley

9. The Planets – Dava Sobel

10. Accident – Nicholas Mosley

11. A Natural History of the Senses – Diane Ackerman

12. Crash Dome – Alex Phillips

13. The Country of Loneliness – Dawn Paul

14. Dayglo – James Meetze

15. Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrl Revolution – Sara Marcus

16. The Terror of Living – Urban Waite

17. Tocqueville – Khaled Mattawa

18. The Island of the Colorblind – Oliver Sacks

19. Black-Eyed Heifer – Shelly Taylor

20. Stalin in Aruba – Shelley Pahuk

21. Breaking the Map – Kim-An Lieberman

22. The Last Waltz in Santiago: And Other Poems of Exile and Disappearance – Ariel Dorfman

23. What Kind – Martha Zweig

24. Sasquatch Stories – Mike Topp

25. Coming Through Slaughter – Michael Ondaatje

26. Gallowglass – Susan Tichy

27. Models of the Universe: An Anthology of the Prose Poem – ed. Stuart Friebert & David Young

28. Nox – Anne Carson

29. A Moveable Feast – Earnest Hemingway

30. Hunter Mnemonics – Deborah Woodard

31. Easter Rabbit – Joseph Young

32. The Worse-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Travel – Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht

33. Recipes for Endangered Species – Traci O’Connor

34. Blue for the Plough – Dara Weir

35. The Bodyfeel Lexicon – Jessica Bozek

36. The Myth of the Simple Machines – Laurel Snyder

37. Green Cammie – Crysta Casey

38. Mad to Live – Randall Brown

39. The Nightyard – Stephanie Anderson

40. The Energy of Slaves – Leonard Cohen

41. Pee on Water – Rachel B. Glaser

42. The Tiny Wife – Andrew Kaufman

43. Chelsea Girls – Eileen Myles

44. Hinge & Sign – Heather McHugh

45. A History of the Human Family Sasha Steensen

46. Man’s Companions – Joanna Rucco

47. Sing, Mongrel – Claire Hero

48. The Bugging Watch & Other Exhibits – Kim Gek Lin Short

49. One More Theory About Happiness – Paul Guest

50. The Spell of the Sensuous – David Abram

51. Cut Away – Catherine Kirkwood

52. Chicken, Shadow, Moon & More – Mark Strand

53. Autobiography of Red – Anne Carson

54. The Field Guide to Flash Fiction – ed. Tara Masih

55. Alive and Dead in Indiana – Michael Martone

56. The Long-Legged Fly – James Sallis

57. The Father of the Predicaments – Heather McHugh

58. People are Tiny in Paintings of China – Cynthia Arrieu-King

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Readings in Sidebar, Preorder the Flash Fiction Collection

Please note the, uh, new information in the side bar. Five readings coming up in coming months (well, one is in a couple of days). A regular post coming soon...

Oh! And you can now preorder They Could No Longer Contain Themselves from Rose Metal Press (which, if you haven't been paying attention, contains my flash fiction chapbook Dear Mother Monster, Dear Daughter Mistake, along with awesome stuff from four other authors):

Friday, April 8, 2011

a bell-shaped sound

It's gotten to where my internet blinks more often than it does not. But it may be my computer. My computer has gotten to where things freeze regularly and the internet shuts down. Or things freeze regularly and whatever document I'm working on and all of Word shuts down. This is an annoyance, but not a huge problem, as I have the settings to where whatever document is auto-saved every 60 seconds. I think the default is 9 minutes? I mean, it usually saves when it crashes, but. Plus with all the shortcuts, sometimes I accidentally quit Word or close a document when I mean to underline something, etc.

I meant to get a picture of Mia's "second mouth" (what the doctor called it). When they take a feeding tube out, they just take it out. Pull the tape where it's attached to the bare and shaved kitty skin and slide the tube right out. That was kind of cool. It didn't even make me gag a little the way the pus did. Then they leave the wound open. And it sort of froths as the cat moves and it doesn't bleed except a little, but white stuff, or cream-colored stuff (what she was eating) would bubble out a little when she moved or when I picked her up. I meant to get a picture of that, but now it's scabbed over. In a day and a half is all it took. I think she's eating on her own. But honestly, I'm too exhausted with it all to encourage her.

Yesterday I got a check in the mail for a little poem that got picked up in a journal. Of all the things writing that I don't get paid for it seems weird when I do get paid for something. And for something so minor. I mean, it was just fifty bucks. But fifty bucks! That's! twelve gallons of gas. That's! almost five movie tickets. That's! some other stuff. Such an uplifting feeling of validation.

It is raining in Iowa today. Which makes the birds look psychedelic.

I always get so excited that it's Friday and I don't have to do anything and I have all these things I could do and then the day totally gets away from me and I've done nothing. Let's see how today goes. I will try not to be defeatist. I will also leave the house, which will mean leaving the internet, which will mean my biggest cause of slacking slowdown will not be hindering me. Evil internet and its live birds and facecloth.

I finished reading Chelsea Girls (Eileen Myles). I don't know why it took me so long. Because I'm not really reading much is why. I liked it a lot. And realized how many authors through the 90s and beyond were really maybe emulating her, this book especially, but just not doing it as well. Chelsea Girls came out in 94 and so did I. I wish this had been the first contemporary queer book I had read. I might not have scoffed and turned from it if I had. But then, I was dating someone so weirdly obsessed with Naiad books (this reference will not make sense to very many people), so I kind of had to turn away.

The conversational tone Myles does so well in this book, part short stories, part novel, part memoir (?). The character in her books is usually Eileen Myles. Which I respect. That the thin veil is not veiled further in being renamed. I don't know how much of it is actually true, but maybe a lot of it. I had no idea she worked for James Schulyer. Or was photographed by Mapplethorpe. I'm assuming both of those are true. Especially considering the photo is her author photo attributed to Mapplethorpe. I've never been particularly interested in his photography, except for where it fits in with / what it did for contemporary photography and, well, to sort of advance the public view of gay male sexuality. I mean, that's interesting. How suddenly in the 80s he was so hot. But the work itself does little for me. (Although the portrait of Myles is underspoken and perfect, beautiful.) I mean, maybe it's just that I'm not really into naked men? But that's not really true. I can see the beauty in all of that without wanting to do anything with it. I think it's the stylized nature of it all. The harsh chiaroscuro. Not that I like my light and dark to bleed softly into each other. I don't know what I'm saying. It's just not interesting to me visually what he does. I also found his life very interesting. I mean, of course it was. His work just seems so 80s. And that was an ugly decade all around. I would like someone to tell me I'm wrong and then explain what they like about his work.

The new Pickford is open. Which is really fantastic. I can't wait to see the finished space (almost finished, apparently it's not quite done). But they have nothing at all that I even remotely want to see coming in the foreseeable future. Through May. Nothing. Jane Eyre? Come on, folks. Plus a bunch of other stuff I'm not interested in. The Rocket matinees I don't even care about. The Invisible Man I've already seen too many times. I don't actually know why that is, but I'm not interested in seeing it again. And Charlie Chaplin? Come on, people. So at least the movies won't distract me today. Although I do kind of want to see Source Code. I mean, it's basically a revisited (but life or death!) Groundhog Day.


From Chelsea Girls:

"I have always been afraid I would vanish, would cease to be, if I ever stopped trying to decide who I was."

"If the end of one's youth is a slice of cheese I ate mine standing in that room."

"Despite the fact that the world was made of something going fast I knew that I was something slow."

"I would spend hours gazing at the peace of my bookcase, all the books I had read and the pit of my stomach would drop in the midst of the peace."

"A bell-shaped sound formed in my heart but it didn't ring."

"I think I was born in a mental asylum to have known this--that time is so short or so long that exchanging cigarettes, listening to the birds, watching the light you must talk and talk so you won't be scared by the length or the shortness of it or even its ferocious speed."