Friday, July 30, 2004

One Less Thing To Do

Finished my short, succinct artist narrative and put together a manuscript for the Virginia Commission for the Arts Fellowship. I'll mail the completed application tomorrow and it should get there in plenty of time for the August 2 deadline. Not sure what my chances are since I don't have any connections to VA creative writing programs or associations, but we'll see. Results should be posted in October.

I really need to get more involved in the DC and Virginia literary communities. Makes no sense to be a shut-in.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

My Prescription Has Run Out

So my neighbor's basement did flood this morning. He came over a little while ago and asked if it was OK if he took another look at our sump pump (the third and latest one) we installed ourselves in the window well. This is the third time he's looked at it -- and well, I'm getting suspicious. Maybe his basement hasn't flooded at all and he's just using it as an excuse to get a closer look at my studio. Maybe I'm under some kind of investigation? I have long standing associations with a number of unsavory types and some of our correspondances are stored in the basement.

He's crouched in the well, talking on his cell phone. It sounds like he's talking about the pump, but maybe it's just a code? Or maybe he's not talking to anyone at all but taking pictures with the phone while pretending to have a conversation? And that time he "used my telephone" when he clearly had lock picking super-powers -- maybe he installed a listening device?

I should change my name to Reb Deadpebble and take a long vacation.

Water Check

In the middle of a torrential downpour so I got out of bed to check my studio in the basement to make sure it wasn't flooding. So far so good. Have to make sure my valuable beads don't float away. I was getting kind of complacent until a few weeks ago when our super secret undercover FBI agent neighbor's basement flooded. His basement has different kinds of flooding issues that ours, but I know the previous owners spent a lot of cash to get the problems fixed (we all did) and now the problems are back. Our new neighbor is also doing all kinds of work and improvements outside, making us look like slackers. I've been trying to make him feel silly by saying things like, "Oh yeah, we used to to try to make the place look nice when we first moved in too, but eventually we got smart and realized it was a hopeless cause." But I don't think I'm making much headway. This new guy, he has ambitions.

Didn't get much sleep last night. Chris didn't come home from work until almost 3 a.m. and then he got two work calls and was up from 5 until 7 fixing stuff. His phone is still beeping, but he's sleeping through it. He's usually pretty nice to the people who call and wake him up, but when I wake him up and ask him to make me a sandwich it's always "I'm sleeping!" Well excuse me! At least I now understand his priority list. 1. Keeping the Internet running. 2. Sleeping. 3. My sandwich.

I just had a Tender Buttons moment. She's probably just arriving at the convention center in Baltimore for day 2 of the Maryland bar.

Good Morning. I'm going to fix my own damn sandwich.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

a tiger poem

I don't know Shafer personally, but I enjoyed the chapbook Big Confetti he wrote with Shanna and I read his blog regularly (in fact, I own 200 shares).

I'm not sure if this counts as a poem, or merely a cautionary tale, but here goes.

Poem can be found here.

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Is this what you meant, Pete?

Sunday, July 25, 2004

"Get your shit for the future."

Just read a hysterical short story by Roderick Maclean called "A Capsule for Future Juniors" in the first issue of bullfight. It's about a goofy, well-to-do family whose members are referred only as "Sr.," "Mrs.," "Jr." and "Jr.-Jr." Each are working on their contribution for a time capsule, a project Sr. considers to be the single most important legacy they will leave for future generations.

An excerpt:

Sr. stiffened. "You were highly medicated. And visibly stricken. You saw every specialist in the field of psychology and they threw up their hands. You became a babbling disgrace, who, in you more lucid moments, confused your family members with the cast of Dallas.

"You took Gax-X."

"Enough! Everything you've written I'll systematically discredit. And with your remedial compositional techniques, they'll see right through you."

"I mentioned you'd say that. On page two."

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Apology for Sucking

Over dinner this evening I was lamenting to Chris about how sluggish I've been feeling this past month and how I haven't created squat these past couple of weeks -- not even a decent blog posting. Chris quickly agreed and added that lately my blog has been "flat and not particularly interesting." He's absolutely right. If I'm looking for excuses, I don't have to go too far. It's the summer, I'm distracted, I haven't been feeling well, I'm still suffering from my post-Sam withdrawl and I've been busy getting my secret project ready for its unveiling. (Are you sick of me teasing you with this stuff yet? Won't be much longer, one of my cohorts called today and updated me on a few things. It's looking like second week of August.)

Now that the obvious has been established, let me apologize, dear reader, for whatever drivel I've been imposing on you. Excuses suck and excuses don't excuse suckitude. I resolve not to suck, or at the very least, to suck a lot less. [Insert joke here, Al]

Here's my plan for the next few weeks:

* Write poems.
* Finish reading the journals for NewPages and write the reviews.
* Expose my evil secret project and get the word out.
* Figure out a topic and start writing a longer review-type piece for an online journal that recently rejected my poems, but solicited this piece. Definitely not my worst rejection.
* Complete my application for Virginia Commission for the Arts fellowship.
* Send out poetry submissions.
* Write more thoughtful and less suckful blog posts.

Thursday, July 22, 2004


Here they are -- sixty of the more interesting shots.

Thanks to Brent Thomas for doing these. If you're in the San Francisco area and would like to hire Brent for a photo shoot or event, let me know and I'll get you in touch with him. He has experience snapping poets, a couple years back he photographed Lawrence Ferlinghetti with friends at a party.

If you don't want to wade through all of them, here are a few of my favorites:

Sage Words From Brent

"[T]hose bastards may have beat us to the punch, but like the Wright brothers and Charles Darwin before us, history will recognize our genius long after those famous yet unoriginal poseurs are long forgotten."

I just got a peek of the photos. Wow, I make a lot of goofy faces. It's like there's something seriously wrong with me. Brent is going to do a few edits (i.e. airbrush my ass so it doesn't look like I'm cooking a Thanksgiving turkey up there) and then he'll put them up. I'll link to them here when that happens, promise.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Aw fuck

Another one of my great ideas stolen by D-list celebs and pathetic hipsters. I fucking hate them all. I never should have blogged about my shoot until the photos were up. I spoke to Brent last night and he said my Target pics (along with the others) will be ready by this weekend.

But just so you know, there's nothing remotely "hip" about my photos. I don't have any tattoos or snakes or severe eyebrows, I'm not chugging a beer, I'm not massaging an amorous dog (ew). I wasn't being ironic or slumming. I honestly was doing my shopping and enjoying myself.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Blog Market

While doing a google search on "cackling jackal" I found BlogShares, a fantasy blog stock market game. So I'm buying up everybody's blogs. That's right. I own you.

Monday, July 19, 2004

2 Poems by Charles A. Livingston

Midnight Sunset

A brillant gleam of golden hue
For miles around in perfect view,
Like a midnight sune - a fiery pot
From here our Seamless pipe is wrought.

On flickering waters glow the light
Reflections of an industrial might,
From here beneath the rolling hills
Are towering furnaces and busy mills.

Where united men of skill we see
Change ore to steel by metallurgy,
And father and son - side by side
In safety, work to turn the tide.

And leaders gather with their men
A working man in their best friend,
Our fellow man need one another
A truth eventually to discover.

Lets keep this sunset shining bright
A guiding beacon in the night,
From where it glows there will be
A sign of peace and prosperity.

My grandmother's handwriting on this poem notes: This poem was written expressly for National Works Bessemer Converter, McKeesport, PA.

Operation Crossroads

As we stood upon the flagship
While the clock was ticking away,
The fateful moment had arrived
The world had awaited this day.

Even as we stayed at a distance
We felt the tremor of the blast,
As the sky lit up a golden hue
The tension of waiting had passed.

What good would be a strong navy
We will know at Bikini lagoon,
Has this world suddenly awakened
To learn of its secrets too soon.

Have we arrived at the crossroads
To lead us to the green pasture,
Or will this weapon detroy us
Because we were not its master.

Let us pray for a new era
When wars will eventually cease,
Let "Operation Crossroads" be the key
To open the door of peace.

Charles A. Livingston of Duquesne, PA was born in Everett, PA on June 8, 1907. Son of Sarah Whited and Charles Augustus Livingston (police chief of Dravosburg, PA in the 1930s), he married Emelie Ursin and together they had five children. At the time of his death on January 18, 1976, he was a retired employee in the Time and Production department of U.S. Steel Corporation. According to a recent discovery of a small notebook he had interests in tracking and predicting life/event cycles as well as palm reading.

Charles was my grandfather.


Memorious 2 is out. Check out the following short prose pieces by P.F. Potvin: Clearcut, I Know Compass vs. the Bell, 7th Street Exchange.

Online Magazine Reviews

NewPages is now reviewing online literary magazines.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Back from the Burgh

Blogger appears to be back to normal and I can post again.

We just got back from Pittsburgh. I got a big box of old family photographs that I'll be sharing with Tender Buttons. Don't worry TB, I'll let you have the shot of our favorite advice-giving and worldly relation -- it's panoramic so it's wide enough to include her entire ass.

But even better, my father found two poems written by my grandfather (who passed in '76). I'll post those later this week.


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Friday, July 16, 2004

Back Off!

Brent & Me Fighting Evil, San Francisco, 2002

We'll post the photos from last weekend's shoot when they're ready!


Since last night after blogger pushed through some new code I haven't been able to post using my usual browser (Safari). They're taking an unusually long time to get back to me, so I decided to try IE which seems to work (mostly, but it sucks). What a pain in the ass.

Anyhow, I'm leaving for Pittsburgh in a few hours to spend some non-death quality time (one would hope) with the family. I probably won't get much blogging done while I'm up there. I keep telling my dad that I'd visit more often if he'd get DSL. I guess that's not much of an enticement because he won't do it.

all messed up, part 2

So I'm trying to post using IE because none of my posts are appearing when I use Safari. Is this thing on?

all messed up

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Another Reason . . .

. . . you should send your new poetry books for review consideration at NewPages:

Publishers Weekly to stop reviewing poetry

It's all you people got!

OK, we all know that's not true, but still, make it easy for those of us who actually want to review poetry.

What a Difference!

Started the new yoga session today with a different instructor. I don't have to LOVE my instructor, but not fantasizing about throttling her is a major improvement. Bye bye yoga rage.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

There Goes the Neighborhood

My new next door neighbor (that Chris suspsects is FBI) accidently locked himself out of his house when he went out for his evening jog. I lent him my Foxwoods Wampum card so he could pick the lock and teach me how to do it. Now I'm kind of freaked out to know how easy it is for anyone to get into my house without busting a window. I think I'll start using that dead bolt more often. It took him less than five seconds to open his front door (with its "Insured by Smith & Wesson" sticker). I noticed his next door neighbors now have a huge red "Beware of Dog" sign posted right in the middle of their door. I wonder if Piglet the pit bull has developed a taste for human flesh? Gotta keep that in mind next time we run into each other at the mailbox.

P.F. Potvin Reading in Chicago

For those of you in Chicago this weekend, the dreamy P.F. Potvin will be reading at Buddy on June 18 @ 7:00 p.m. 1542 n milwaukee 2nd floor chicago il 60622 773.342.7332 MYOPIC POETRY SERIES

P.F. Potvin is a writer, musician, and ultramarathon runner who holds an MFA from Bennington College Writing Seminars. His work has appeared in Boston Review, Black Warrior Review, Passages North, Sentence, Born Magazine, and elsewhere. He will be imparting pieces inspired by his American road trips, teaching in Chile, European jaunts, hitching in Patagonia, and hut wardening in New Zealand's Siberia Valley.

Also, P.F. is promising to send me a nude photo to entice attendees. When (if) I get it, it'll be posted here.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Life of a Poet, Part 3

I got an e-mail from an old poet friend I met during my brief stint at Pitt. He's a high school English teacher now. He wrote "We should get together soon (before the school year lets loose) & you can rub it in my face about your publishing & writing career.  And, I'll tell you about wiping kids' noses & kissing principal's asses.  Sigh."

As if my "career" (giggle) entails anything other than wiping noses and kissing asses. Actually it does, sometimes I have to [fill in blank] but that's not so bad once you get used to doing it.

In fact, I've been working overtime in the ass kissing department in regard to an upcoming project (check back for an announcement here in a few weeks, currently still classified as top secret peanut butter and jelly). Most folks have been extremely gracious with my dainty lips pressed on their sweet cheeks. Of course my partner in crime has not been quite as lucky having to deal with one plug who wanted her to [fill in blank].

Last night I did an online I-Ching readings and it gave me some important advice: "Regardless of your position, humility is a positive and deceptively powerful attribute. If you are in a high position but are still humble, people will be drawn to you and the causes you espouse. If your position is lowly, humility will endear you to those of higher status. True humility is a virtue to which all should aspire."

Nothing new, but it's important to remember.

Ermine Thumper

OK Tony, I'm a level 4 Ermine Thumper.

My equipment:
Hat: the Dolphin King's crown (Power: 30)
Weapon: spooky stick (Power: 30)
Pants: Knob Goblin pants (Power: 25)
Accessory: continuum transfunctioner

I have a four pound mosquito named Trog, 645 pieces of meat and I'm currently beaten up and inebrieted. I lost about 500 pieces of meat at the casino. This game is just a mirror of my everyday life.

I don't have an EZ Cook Oven yet.

I don't like being limited to 40 turns a day.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Soul Tapped Out

Brent took well over a hundred photos of me today, surely the most pictures I've ever had taken in a single day. He usually photographs in his studio, but since that's in San Francisco (and I'm in the beautiful suburbs of D.C.) we did the shoot outside in my neighborhood and at the Reston Target. Brent didn't like the lighting inside Target, but what can you do? I did my shopping and he documented it. Surprisingly store management didn't hassle or even acknowledge us. We could have been terrorists staking out the place or competitors from a nearby Wal-Mart doing not-so-sneaky recon. I guess paranoia isn't as rampant as I thought.

Saturday, July 10, 2004


Brent (photographer, not poet-Brent) and Trisha are coming over this afternoon to take some photographs. Hopefully there will be a few I like enough to use on my website and for other upcoming projects. I'll post some here, unless they're embarassing. I was going to tie myself up, but somebody already beat me to that.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Lit Journals Requested

I've requested and should be receiving shortly the following magazines for review consideration at NewPages:

Issue 2.1 and Issue 2.2

Volume One, 2004

Columbia: A Journal of Literature and the Arts
Issue 38

New Zoo Poetry Review
Volume 7, 2004

Number 33, Spring/Summer 2004

Volume 24 Number 2, 2004

Writers of the Information Age
Volume 6

For editors who'd like to send their journals in for review consideration, go here.


Nerds can sure suck down the beer.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Nerd Alert

There's a cyber security meeting for the Department of Homeland Security and CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) going on in D.C. tomorrow. This evening Chris is throwing a BBQ at our house for some of the largest ISP's main security POCs (point of contact), i.e. big stinky nerds.

I wonder, do nerds like hummus? I hope they do.

As you may be able to tell, as a hostile network element, I'm a bit apprehensive about this whole event.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Congratulations Mark

Link found on Poetry Hut:

Poet's hard work pays off

Associated Press

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. - Creating art takes the right combination of technical skill and life experience.

Avon poet Mark Conway knows this.

After earning a Master of Fine Arts at Bennington College in Vermont, working as a teacher in Canada and Italy, driving a cab, working as a journalist and raising a family, Conway is ready for that hard work to pay off.

In March, Conway received a $25,000 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Writers, and he's working on a book of poetry.

Monday, July 05, 2004

"I don’t know spank about Italian"

The latest literary magazine reviews are posted at NewPages.

Magazines reviewed: 580 Split, The American Scholar, Bellingham Review, Black Warrior Review, Conjunctions, CutBank, divide, Ellipsis, Five Points, Green Mountains Review, Gulf Coast, Hanging Loose, The Hiram Poetry Review, isotope, The Literary Review, Many Mountains Moving, New Letters, Other Voices, Passages North, Phoebe, Poems & Plays, Poet Lore, Porcupine, Scrivener Creative Review, South Dakota Review, Southern Humanities Review, Storie, THEMA, Tin House Magazine, Two Rivers Review and The Vincent Brothers Review.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

I LOVE Jeff Goldblum

Jeff Goldblum resurrects fond memories with a journey through his hometown haunts

Sunday, July 04, 2004
By Christopher Rawson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

And a boy lies in the grass ...
And looks up at the sailing clouds,
And longs, and longs, and longs
For what, he knows not:
For manhood, for life, for the unknown world!
-- "Jonathan Houghton,"
Spoon River Anthology

Jeff Goldblum was determined to do it right. He'd brought along a copy of Edgar Lee Masters' "Spoon River Anthology," to let its poems help shape his feelings as he retraced his childhood through Pittsburgh and West Homestead.

Thanks to TB for forwarding this very important article about our hometown hero.

Looks like I'm back. Nickels have never been so cruel.

Happy Fourth

I'm heading to Charles Town, W VA this morning with my mother-in-law to play the nickel slots. If you never hear from me again, I won the jackpot and have moved on in life.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Need More Ambition

Today I realized two things: 1. My problem is that my life lacks sexual scandal. 2. If I were to be involved in some kind of sexual scandal, it would be highly doubtful that I'd blog about it.

So I have no reason to be jealous of this. Cause I'm, like, so above it, right? Or at the very least, I'm too discrete.

According to Wonkette, D.C.'s own Washingtoneinne is getting a 300k book advance to write about her sexual exploits (i.e. ass fucking) with married congressional staffers, other gnarly geezers and the blog induced fallout.

Hey, did I mention that Manic D Press sent me $10 for my poem in their anthology? That's kind of like a 300k advance.

While I was up at Bennington a couple weeks ago I was chatting with one of the new faculty members. I've heard from several sources that if you teach both semesters, the pay is roughly 20k a year. So all the faculty have additional gigs (teaching, editing, etc.). I kept asking this new guy, so what do you do besides Bennington? He gave me a funny look and started talking about his book and essays. I asked him again, what was his other job? Then it occurred to me, this guy wasn't a poet, he writes nonfiction and journalism. He gets paid to write. Duh!