Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Chapter XI: In which I write about Iggy


I just posted my Wednesday blog on Best American Poetry.  Why not click over there and be forcefully yet gently bemused?  It is about Iggy.

I love the Fonz.  And I love Iggy.


Hi there; writing can be difficult

Dear Fonzie,

I've been busy attempting to write something that is not easy to write.  So I've been otherwise focused.  But here I am again.  I have a poem in the current New Yorker.  It is very exciting.


ps also lookit this odd and delightful thing

Monday, May 18, 2009


Dear Fonzie,

Perhaps you are wondering about the Freethought Heroine Award.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, to recognize the special contributions of women to freethought and the battle to keep state and church separate, bestows a "Freethought Heroine Award".  [They are awarded at the yearly national convention, but are not awarded every year.]

Recipients of the Freethought Heroine Award:
2006 - Wafa Sultan
2005 - Robin Morgan
2004 - Susan Jacoby
2002 - Taslima Nasrin
2000 - Wendy Kaminer
1999 - Barbara Ehrenreich
1998 - Marykait Durkee
1997 - Ann Druyan
1996 - Kristin Lems
1995 - Katha Pollitt
1994 - Eleanor Smeal
1991 - Carol Sobel
1990 - Patricia Ireland
1989 - Butterfly McQueen

It is not up on the web site yet, but would you like to know who the Freedom From Religion Foundation is honoring as the Freethought Heroine of 2009?   It is me.

I am the heroin.   I'm really extremely pleased.  Me and Butterfly McQueen!  OTG.



I'm going to go listen to some early Lou Reed.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

*and those of no faith* Obama at Notre Dame

I love my Black, atheist president.
It's bad. These commencement speeches are porn, I can barely watch them. Oh their God, I love him so much. Would it..was it worth it...the past excruciating eight years...was it in fact a fair price for this bliss? Amazingly you can't quite go that far. That was one bad monkey we had before, biting the side of his face and sniggering. There would be no way to condone that for any prize. But as things have turned out, here we are, and that makes this all the sweeter. I mean, dudes, this guy is one good president.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


heh heh

artist's bio:

tENTATIVELY a cONVENIENCE is a Mad Scientist / d-composer / Sound Thinker / Thought Collector. Whenever he has the energy he devotes himself to "undermining 'reality' maintenance traps"— which naturally made him an ideal contributor for Street With A View!

i saw this via Jason Grote at The Fortress of Jason Grote. thanks Grote.
sorry to the ecretsay ocietysay CHay embersmay who have seen this already. i loved it, so i had to do it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Oh Their God


Tired of hearing yourself say "Oh my God!" every time you're shocked?  I officially propose a switch over to "Oh their God."   

It's fun to say and I think we could get used to it fast.  Please cite me every 100th time you use it. Thank you.  Thank you very much.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

get out yer enigma machines

A BAP post I'd like to share with Fonzie, and my friends from my ecretsay ocietysay the CHay who might click it from the bloggragate and who I enjoy to wittily woo, reasonlessly.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bertie Russell, an outtake

Bertrand Russell wrote a book called The Conquest of Happiness in which he tried to show the world what it looked like to him.  The book is one of the great contributions to “graceful-life philosophy,” which is what I have called non-religious writing on how to live a good life.   There is a tendency to think that graceful life philosophy is advice from the wise and knowing to the foolish and ignorant, but we usually become experts in curing the very weakness that we have.  The insight Russell offered in his graceful-life philosophy was often most local to his own concerns, but it was stunningly good stuff.  Take his description of overwork:  “One of the symptoms of approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important, and that to take a holiday would bring all kinds of disaster. If I were a medical man, I should prescribe a holiday to any patient who considered his work important.”  He is joking, but only a little.  “The nervous breakdown which appears to be produced by the work is, in fact, in every case that I have ever known of personally, produced by some emotional trouble from which the patient attempts to escape by means of his work.”  The person does not want to give up his work because, if he does so, he will no longer have anything to distract him from his painful thoughts. Of course, the trouble may be fear poverty, so working seems like a direct and rational response, but even so, it is likely that time away is refreshing and more than pays for itself.  “In every case it is the emotional trouble, not the work, that causes the breakdown.”  

Monday, May 11, 2009

I have an interview. I say unusual things.

This is a cool online journal. Quick fun interview.

Alex Rose, author of The Musical Illusionist and Other Tales, interviews philosopher, poet and historian, Jennifer Michael Hecht.

The Way-Out Way Out

This is from my new manuscript; it was first published in the Columbia Magazine.

The Way-Out Way Out

Mad walker, career apologist, apple eater,
I am humbled in your midst.

Surgeon, with your varied scalpels,
myth, with your scalping savage,
savage, with your pollen grief.

A vision of leather tents,
of tiled hallways. Nabokov calls Lolita’s
mom a great pill-taker. Yul Brynner
says don’t smoke, but did.
My sentences get longer.

It’s not simple like:
Some glory in nature,
some it makes itch.

It’s always more
complicated. Each actor has an easy
arc to comprehend, this father, these
scrolls, this episode
with toad, this with Turkish taffy.

It’s the composite of simple arcs
that overwhelms
as, to our surprise, the mess of lines
forms an image at a distance.

Truth is not the same as honesty.
It is not the same as accuracy.
It is the purview of poetry.
Poetry tests by the clatter

of recognition and knows
how to get to where the platters
are being dropped. Follow
the crashes like breadcrumbs.

Where were you last Thursday?
I dined with rhyme. (We drank
wine, we liked it fine, us. We ate
fish. It was delicious.)

stairway to anywhere

Saturday, May 9, 2009

yeah, that, them, see for yerself

wow, there they are.

about the pictures below

About the pictures: the rain made the roof fall in (in a building where no one was using the upper two floors for a long time, so if there were signs this was coming, no one was there to note them, perhaps). Rain did not damage the walls.

The demo team knocked the top floor walls into the building during the night (till 3 am, i watched) and we woke up to the bottom two pictures. more sky for us. also a major inconvenience or ten, but the upside is more sky, for the time being.

Too much rain

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I Write a Bedtime Story

Once upon a time there were a billion mommies and a billion daddies.  And the mommies and daddies had two billion children: a billion little girls and a billion little boys.  After billions of dinners and billions of baths, the mommies and daddies gave their babies eight billion kisses and told them sixteen billion times to close their eyes and go to sleep.  The planet spun each spot of itself out of the sun, six billion children and mommies and daddies each closed their twelve billion eyes and fell asleep.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I want this.  Saw it on Boing Boing.

It is a train set in a briefcase.  


bored? tired? c'mere

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Lye mi lyem ily emily emilye mil yem ilye mi lyem ily emily

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant –

Success in Circuit lies

Too bright for our infirm Delight

The Truth's superb surprise

As Lightning to the Children eased

With explanation kind

The Truth must dazzle gradually

Or every man be blind 

Monday, May 4, 2009

Solitary confrontation

I've been down with a bad cold, I'm pretty sure it didn't have a name of its own.

You want your colds and your flu to be nameless.  That's the best kind, a facelessness in the crowd.  Give me a disease so generic as to be anonymous. Interaction  intense but over quickly, something like sharing a car crash or a blackout -- you remember some of them forever, but you don't know their name.  Because it never was going to kill you?  Because there are so many of them it's not worth finding out.  

Been too sick to do anything but sleep and watch back to back episodes of In Treatment.  A strange mind of state.  Hazy, grotesque, yet still kind of cute, I storm my mumble through the dark thick night.  Outdoors more of the same, trees goopy with pummeled new leaves and a pummeling rain.  

Who is that in the corner kissing company?  Misery.  And she's in love.

The image above is an edible painting made entirely of onions and beans.  It is the image of Athena demanding answers, and receiving if not answers, then at least a little lemon for the sugar water they serve around here.   Wordy, your mother. 

Friday, May 1, 2009

a little misery

i've got a bad cold and am too sick to go to the poetry brothel tonight.  john will be there to emcee.  the other poets will take good care of you if you go.  go.  i'll be at the next one.