Tuesday, November 30, 2004

It's OK, I Don't Know That Much About You Either

Take the "How Well Do You Know Reb?" Quiz


Dew Screw Yourself

Spread-heart he circles the slimy
pond, fantasizing it’s a
river of impluse.
He doesn’t look
directly at the pond, he gazes
towards the sky.
He doesn’t touch the pond,
his hands pocket firm.

Like all fantasies,
it’s a false exercise
when pupils are invoked.
It’s a pond and its never
anything more.
On hot days the
mosquitoes and flies do their best
to infect nearby mammals with Lyme disease.
It’s smelly too.

It’s clear to all, even the sunfish,
which he refuses to eat,
how parched he is.
How invisible and petrified
his once winsome mouth became.
The insects prefer to wait
until he’s dead.
It’s just easier that way.
How he refuses to sip,
how it’s only a matter of dim
moons before he perishes.
All because he thinks he can’t love
algae. He wants to skip
the single cells and leap right
into the ocean.
He hasn’t bothered
to read the brochures.
He doesn’t know the first thing about
seaweed which he sentimentally
calls mermaid hair.
He doesn’t realize salt stings,
waves smash,
dolphins mount more than ankles.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Clyde Update

Took my diabetic cat to the vet today. Apparently the new diet is working. His glycose is 217 (with no insulin) and his weight is down from 19 pounds to 12. That's a loss of 7 pounds since August. I fear he's lost too much weight way too fast, he's all bony, but the vet says keep him on the diet. Clyde sort of reminds me of spooky Karl Lagerfield after he lost 90 pounds. But without all the haute couture.

This Week at the No Tell

You are cordially invited to attend Peg Duthie's scarlet clam bake held at the No Tell Motel.

Sunday, November 28, 2004


I find the best time to write and focus on manuscripts is when I'm avoiding/neglecting other responsibilities. For example, right now I should be making some semblence of the clothing/linens explosion upstairs before the guy arrives tomorrow morning to measure for new carpet. But instead I'm working on one of my chapbook manuscripts that I've been tinkering with over the past few months. I have it sectioned into three parts.

Charm's Vandalism

Part 1: Woo-Woo!

"No Bra Required"
"Almost Took a Lover Once"
"God Box"
"Great Man"
"Seven Spell"

Part 2: The Slow, Long Ignore

"Brunch with Cordelia"
"Another Roundabout"
"Dashed Prospect"

Part 3: The Keyed Car Door

"Who the Man Was"
"Luna Park"
"Men of Saturn"
"The Genius of Simplicity"
"Seven Heed"
"Apologies for Ice"
"Much We Could Do"

Friday, November 26, 2004

Received While Away

It's always nice to come home and find fun packages waiting. It's a lot more fun than discovering your cats pissed on your treadmill.

Mamaphonic: Balancing Motherhood and Other Creative Acts edited by Bee Lavender and Maia Rossini (Soft Skull Press, 2004)

Thanks Shanna!

Tiny Love Gymini Deluxe: Noah's Ark Design by Tiny Love

Thanks Sam!

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Cream Team

Hey, this is where TB threw my bachelorette party in 1996. Who would have guessed such a classy place would be a deemed a nuissance bar? Now where are we going to get our skank on when we come to town?

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Week in Pittsburgh Pics

One of the bruises from my late night spill:


Janet (grandmother), Taylor (cousin), Claire (mother), Erica (Tender Buttons), Reb (me), Courtney (cousin)

After my verbal lashing by friends and family:

Monday, November 22, 2004

This Week at the No Tell

Jenni Russell is baking brownies at the No Tell Motel.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

G. H.

Buzz. Time is up.

Here's the unpopular (and for some, hateful) name that we're giving to our son:

Gideon Hart Morrow

Laura Carter was the first person to correctly identify the middle name, so she gets a prize. Laura, please send me your address so I can send it to you.

Nobody guessed the first name. But that wasn't for lack of effort.

In the Old Testament (book of Judges) Gideon was a great leader and warrior. I'll refer to any girlfriend and/or wife that I don't care for as "Gideon's Strumpet."

As for Hart, we like the sound. It's English and means deer. The poet I was referring to was, of course, Hart Crane.

Thanks for playing!


How does such a cranky girl have so many folks be so kind to her? Meanness really does pay. Free books, party invites, people wishing we could hang in "play group" together. I've never been more popular.

I'll announce the baby name this evening. One of you have correctly guessed the MIDDLE name -- that person will be receiving a prize.

My dad is downstairs yelling at the TV. I should probably see what the Stillers are up to. When we were little he'd pretend to kick our asses everytime the Steelers lost a game. You know, pick us up, fake body slam us, etc. It was tons of fun. TB and I would hope they'd lose so we could beg "Beat us up, Daddy!" Let me be clear, this isn't some childhood recovered flashback of abuse, he didn't really kick our asses. But one time TB's new glasses were busted in the fracas. When she went to school the next day her teacher asked what happened to them. TB replied "My daddy broke them while beating me up after the Steeler's lost." The teacher appeared concerned. But not concerned enough to investigate. I'm not passing judgement on the teacher, it was Pittsburgh, early 80's, and the dream of "one for the thumb" was crumbling.

If they lose today, Chris is going to have to be my stand-in. I'm bruised enough right now.

Furious Styles Morrow

Chris and I were treated to a wonderful baby shower this afternoon and got a chance to spend time with family and friends. As far as showers go, I thought it was pretty fun.

I heard from numerous people how shocked they were when they heard I was pregnant. I'm almost 32 years old and been married for 8+ years, but OK, I guess everyone has their own impression. This just further backs up Sam's claim that I give off the distinct impression that I hate children. I think it just shows how utterly misunderstood I am by the entire world, even by those who supposedly know me best. People have pretty rigid ideas of what makes a parent and I don't fit those ideas. Apparently, despite being 7 months pregnant, I don't come across as maternal. This afternoon I was told to stop referring to my son as "the kid" and instead I should call him "the baby." For a poet, I am especially dense to baby word nuances because saying "feeding bowl" instead of just "bowl" seemed to rile some folks up as did calling "onesies" (did I spell that right?) "body suits." I was joking when I referred to the "play yard" as the "cage." Sort of. But come on, it's a box with netting you put the kid, er the baby in so he doesn't escape. Let's be honest. That's a cage. What would Foucault call it? Yeah, I know, fuck Foucault!

As for the name game, well let's say I didn't quite expect the reaction we got. I wasn't expecting people to rave about it --

I'll announce the name here in another 24 hours or so there's still time to throw your guess into the ring. But let me reiterate, I don't think the name is "weird" or "goofy" and I consider any name out of the bible as "traditional." You would have thought we announced the name to be "Turd Finklestein" or "Douche Catoosh" by the gasps and glazed stares of utter disbelief. Some folks thought we were joking at first -- like there was no way on earth we'd actually name our kid, er baby that. Someone yelled "There's still time to change it!" Another "That's not in the bible, that's a place!" (Um, no, it's a person in the bible, trust me.) Another, "That kid is going to hate school."

A few people asked, "What's his nickname going to be?" Well, I don't know. We're calling him by the name he's given. Nicknames are earned, he'll get what's coming to him. I remember reading how when Ahmet Zappa was a kid he was teased and called "Ahmet Vomit" (or something similar). He hated it and changed his name to Rick. So the kids started calling him "Rick Dick." I went to school with a kid named David. We called him Gayvid. My mother wanted to name me Ashley, but my dad said no, they'd call me "Assley." I married a guy named Christopher. I usually just call him "Chris" but sometimes I call him "Kisstopher" or "Chrissie" or "Kissie" or "Chris Piss" or "Gigantore" or "Jolly Green Giant" or "Russian Hands" or "Ass Master" or "Pillow Biter" or about 50 other unmentionable things. It depends what he earned for that moment.

After the initial "You've got to be shitting me" responses, some tried to smooth things over and said "It's kind of growing on me." It wasn't, but it's the thought that counts, I guess. I wasn't upset, just taken aback and I must admit, it strengthened my resolve. The whole experience gave me a lot of insight into myself. I was amongst my people and this is what my people do. This is why I never have problems saying what's on mind. This is why I'm always unintentionally offending people. While occasionally people appreciate my being a "straight shooter" often they're wounded and hurt by what I have to say and I'm just trying to be helpful or thoughtful. Last month a friend said I was "exceedingly liberal with the spearpoints" when I thought I was being flirty and coy. Of course, my first reaction to that was "what a pussy" but the next time I wrote to him I put a little more thought into my words. But being sensitive to sensitive people can be a futile chore and if one isn't careful one can become false. I have no intention of becoming false and it was best that everyone told me they thought our name was horrible because at least I know where they stand. I can respect that.

Look, I love my kid, the kid I'm going to dress in body suits and place in a baby cage. I would never give him a name that I thought would encourage an ass kicking or create unnecessary obstacles in his life. Mean Mommy what's best for her kid. Her kid who will be blunt and insensitive and an ass just like her and his father, just like all the generations before them. If he doesn't like the name we both love and chose with such care, well, he can change it when he turns 18 and write a memoir about what dicks his parents were. Then we'll hire Aunt Tender Buttons to sue his unappreciative ass for libel.

It was a really nice shower. While nobody said anything about me being a "good parent" (cause I'm pretty sure they all have their reservations) they all said I looked good -- and that's the important thing.

Signed, Joan Crawford Livingston

p.s. Stay tuned for the scandalous name that shook Pittsburgh. I'm loving everyone's guesses so far!

Saturday, November 20, 2004

For Giggles

If you want to try your hand and guess the fabulous moniker we've devised for the offspring, feel free to post it here. If anybody comes close, I'll send you a prize. Here are some hints:

1. First name is from the Old Testament.
2. Middle name is one syllable and was shared by a well-known poet.

High Speed Pittsburgh

We arrived in Pittsburgh a little before midnight. It's raining and it only took me 30 minutes to slip on a slick step and bruise my knee. Damn it, why couldn't this be Maryland? I could have got Tender Buttons, Esq. on the case and secured my son's Ivy league education. Tomorrow is our 1st of 2 baby shower's. We'll be announcing the "name" there. While talking on the phone with TB this evening I accidently said it so now she knows. I doubt that will stop her from playing the shower game and trying to collect the prize.

We'll be here until the day after Thanksgiving. My old man buckled under the pressure and got DSL (so we'd have no excuse not to visit in the future with the grandchild). So expect fairly regular updates next week. Maybe even a few pictures (if I like how I look). I'm a little behind on e-mail, but will catch up this weekend. I got a nice invite out of the blue to a poetry party right by TB's abode.

Oh, and for everyone keeping score. Today I had a bean burrito and rice for lunch, hot chocolate for a snack, a roll, piece of chicken and french fries for dinner and two "fun size" candy bars. Is that enough fattening crap to satisfy you bastards?

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

No Tell Motel's Pushcart Nominations

"Seven Demons” by Jill Alexander Essbaum

“Sonnet” by Amy Gerstler

“Gorilla in a Darkening Room” by Jennifer Michael Hecht

“Autobiographia” by Karl Parker

“Ode to Joy” by Anthony Robinson

from “Shy Green Fields” by Hugh Steinberg

Monday, November 15, 2004


No Tell Motel's Pushcart Prize nominations have been made and the 6 poets have been contacted. This is our first time making nominations so I'm not really sure what (if anything) happens next. I received some much appreciated guidance from Zach at Octopus and Didi at MiPo so I feel fairly confident that our nominations are complete.

I'll announce them here soon. These were difficult decisions, there was at least one poem from each contributor that I felt worthy of a nomination, but it's the job of editors to make these tough calls. So Molly and I did. Next year is going to be more ludicrous because we'll have an entire year of (260) poems to distinguish from. It's most likely going to come down to gifts and favors and yes, I mean those kinds of favors.

I got a letter from the Maryland EZ Pass people informing me that I failed to pay a $2 toll in September. It's true. While driving home from the Dodge suckfest I wasn't paying close attention and got into the wrong lane. I have a VA Smart Tag pass which as of the end of October now works in the EZ Pass lanes, but this was September and it didn't work, and I knew that, but by the time I figured out what I was doing it was too late and it seemed smarter to just truck on through than to stop and cause an accident.

Tomorrow I plan on attending a poetry reading in Georgetown. I'm going to do my damnest not to commit any more moving violations or break any laws. But I can't make promises -- the last two readings I've attended I've been unable to follow the rules. Or as some might say, been unable to demonstrate the competence to operate an automobile.

This Week at the No Tell

Oliver Luker tickles our rabias at the No Tell Motel.

Friday, November 12, 2004

In My Day . . .

Yeah, it is a tired and cliche debate. It's still annoying. Who's more poet, who's more American, who's cuisine reigns supreme? We're all judges aren't we?

I'm sensitive about unsolicited advice and snotty comments. Every time I talk to an older person they have to butt in and infer what a ninny I am because in their day they didn't have "child-birth classes" or "federal standards for cribs" or "a husband to drive them to the hospital." Or breast-feeding is a passing fad or if I use cloth diapers every article of clothing I own will be covered in shit so I shouldn't even bother and just accept that I'll be sending 6000 disposables to a landfill. Or how they smoked, drank and worked at the hydrochloric acid factory until the day they gave birth and their kids were just fine. As if they're better or tougher because of their old-timey experiences. Ok, you win, your more poet, er Mom than me. I'm just a coddled poseur with jogging stroller following 21st century medical advice.

Speaking of coddled, every Friday morning Chris and I go to pre-natal yoga. I've been doing yoga for a little over a year. I'm not particularly good at it (I have very tight hamstrings), but I enjoy and benefit from it. In the class description, it said its perfect for both mothers and fathers-to be so of course I signed Chris up for it. I didn't give it a second thought. So I was suprised at the first class when Chris was the only dude, but figured most of the guys must be in the evening class. It turns out he's only one of two guys to have ever taken the class in like the last decade. What's worse is how the other mothers-to-be and teachers treat him -- like he's the greatest, most sensitive, most thoughtful guy on Earth. How they gush! He's the one who knocked ME up and just because once a week he spends an hour and a half stretching in a room with a bunch of fat chicks, he's dreamy? What kind of men are these women married to? In the 90's I spent thousands of hours in small rooms with stinky fat guys when I worked in the tech industry and nobody treated me like I was fabulous for doing it. Hmm, yeah, "in my day . . ."

What's most amusing is that pre-natal is wussy yoga. Almost all of the poses are modified and there's none of that "pushing yourself to the next level." That's not say it's not a lot of work for us pregos, but you'd assume a healthy dude in his early 30's who cycles, plays ice hockey and skis on a regular basis would breeze through it with no problem. Well, that assumption would be wrong. The 8+ month gals move through the poses no problem, but who is the teacher constantly running over to help? The 6'8 "strong" man who just hurt his knee (AGAIN) or can't do the modified downward dog cause it hurts his wrists. The other students are all carrying an extra 10-50 pounds, suffering from numerous ailments, some ready to burst at any moment and who is everyone concerned about? Chris "Mother Fucking" Morrow!

Who yes, has been wonderful and sensitive and dreamy, all because he continues to attend fat chick yoga and promises to drive me to hospital in February. So yes, In addition to being the most beautiful girl in the world, I'm also the luckiest.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Insular Environments

Yesterday my friend Laura asked me what I thought of this.

It brought to mind my childhood. You see, I was raised in a very insular protective environment and one of my main instructors in life was Professor Mom. Some might say she didn't give me enough criticism, some might even say she nutured me to the point of coddling -- you see, every single day she would tell me that I was the most beautiful girl in the world. She was a most beautiful girl in the world, so of course she'd know. I was young, impressionable, inexperienced and I believed it.

When I left her protective cocoon and immersed myself into the brutal world of middle school, well, I had to face the truth. I was not the most beautiful girl in the world. Her saying it did not make it true. I wasn't even the most beautiful girl among my three friends. My offers "to go" (steady) were rejected by everyone, from Skeet Foggerty to Chucky Hatcher to Mickey Popanski. Nobody wanted "to go" with me. Not the popular influentials boys nor the wimpy dorks. I was hurt, angry, confused. I was certified to be "the most beautiful girl in the world" and it was getting me nowhere. I was bestowed a useless degree. All the other girls were being asked to slow dance and I was alone on the bleachers cramming down pizza-flavored Combos.

JH interviewed me a year after my post-Mom experience and oh yes, here are the transcripts. I must have been kind of bitter because I said, "That woman lied to me. In fact, I overheard her telling my little sister she was the most beautiful girl in the world." and "She clearly played favorites, my little sister got the Thriller album while I was given John Cougar's Uh-huh." and "I was never introduced to mascara or lip liner, in fact, her "no make-up" policy actually hindered my becoming the most beautiful girl in the world."

But the story doesn't end there. It might for some people, but those people were never most beautiful girl in the world material. You see, Mom planted the "most beautiful girl in the world" seed and there was no denying my desire for it. So I stopped feeling sorry for myself and started studying beautiful girl craft. Some of the more influential books were:

Christie Brinkley's Outdoor Beauty and Fitness: Here I learned that "lips don't tan, they burn!" and the best way to avoid fatty foods is to replace the word "cream" with "fat." "No thank you, I don't want any sour fat with my baked potato!"

Helen Gurley Brown's Sex and the Single Girl: This was before the Internet and the only place a girl could get step-by-step instructions on how to give head.

I also learned a lot from peers, they were always full of good critical advice, like Missy Thomas's recommendation that I brush my teeth. And Jenny Shoemocker's point that I didn't need to use the entire tube of gel in my hair. Less is more! I owe a great debt of gratitude for all of their biting snickers and eye rolls.

It was a slow, ardurous process, many times I wondered if I had what it took and pondered quitting, but after years of intense study and grueling work, I am proud to say that I'm finally the most beautiful girl in the world. Not because Mom certified my status, but because she taught me to believe it was possible.

So let's stop kicking encouraging teachers in the nuts. Who cares if some poets gets a couple years of attention? Who cares if for a short amount of time they think they're more talented than they really are? There's plenty of neglect and criticism out there for everyone. That's what editors are for.

Getting Shit Done

It's becoming increasingly difficult to get things accomplished. It's difficult when one is constantly being punched and kicked. Sure, I've been punched and kicked a lot harder and (one hopes) with more malice, but this is non-stop, from within and honestly, I'm not feeling the love, I'm feeling constant pokes in my kidneys and lord knows what else. If this keeps up, I might be the first one to take a whiz on the new furniture.

This week I caught up on a bunch of No Tell Motel submissions. I decided not to send out any "bad news" correspondances last week for fear of being the straw that broke a mourning poet's back. Last night I sent out a few "good news" messages (which are way more fun to send). There are only a handful more subs from October that we're still mulling over.

We've narrowed down our Pushcart nominations to 10 poems (I need to get this number down to 6). Hopefully a final decision will be made soon and I'll contact the authors.

While I'm on the topic of No Tell, November and December are good months to submit because we'll be temporarily suspending unsolicited submissions from January 15 - March 15 so Molly can fully recover from her New Year's hangover and complete her court-mandated community service. (I figured I might as well take the opportunity to schedule my son's birth during this time too.) This is only for unsolicited submissions, No Tell will still be publishing on its normal schedule and we'll still be responding to other correspondance. There might be a time lag with our responses. It depends if the soup kitchen and Reston birthing hospital have DSL.

Also, an editor from Poets & Writers recently informed me that there will be a brief write-up about No Tell in the Jan/Feb 2005 issue, so I expect an increase in submissions after that.

I completed and sent in my next debate poem for Vs. The debate question was decided by the last challenge winner, Jennifer Michael Hecht: What aspect of some other culture do you wish was part of yours?

The title of my poem is "Wanting to Be a Man of Saturn." You'll have to wait until it's posted on Vs. to read it. I still have Red Lobster gift certificate ambitions.

I should now probably go upstairs and start packing up our no more guest room. We're painting it this weekend. Which reminds me. I still have to order those stars and moon stencils.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

What's In a Name?

Last night Chris and I decided on a full name for our son (I'm not going to announce it here any time soon, so don't ask). We were always in agreement that we would not pick a popular name of the moment like many of our friends have. We decided not to pick any top 10 (or 100) names. I don't care how much I like a name, I'm not going to like it if there are four other little boys in his class with the same name. In fact, one other little boy in his class with the name would piss me off. There was always another Rebecca in my class and I hated it. There can be only one.

That being said, we don't want to give our son a too unique (i.e. weird) name that people don't know how to pronounce it or find it particularly distracting. My parents were teenagers when I was born and while "Rebecca Lynn" may not be my first choice for a name, I'm damn thankful I wasn't named Choco-Cherrie Moonspasm Livingston. If I was given the responsibility of naming a girl when I was 15, I most likely would have doomed her to the life of a stripper or weathergirl. For the official record, I have no complaints about my name.

For a couple months Chris and I went back and forth with ideas, well mostly they were my ideas and he would dismiss them with "lame" or something that implied our son's manhood would be impeded with such as name. He'd say, "Can you imagine some girl saying 'Stick it to me ________'" to which I'd reply, "I can't imagine any woman saying 'stick it to me anybody.' What the hell kind of books are you reading?"

In September we had a breakthrough, it was as if the magical fate fairies were twirling around our eyes, we both spotted the same name in a book and we lit up. Not only the first name we ever agreed on, the first name we both really liked. As a poet, I instantly loved both the meaning and the sound. This was a huge relief to me. I'm not one of those people who can just wait until the last minute or until he's born and make a decision then. I'm a planner. Not having a plan would means no sleep and a lot of inappropriate vomiting. Sure, unexpected events arise and plans change all the time. But there still has to be a plan.

For the next month in a half we debated middle names. I made one requirement, a syllable requirement to balance the first and name. We debated about 8 names. I ordered numerology reports on them. Chris favored the ones that implied our son would grow up to be sadist. The report he favored most said:

"Powerful, a conqueror, devours the weak and rules the strong. The name *** Morrow reflects money and power. It is a carnivore, a winner at all cost. . . has the power and potential to achieve great things. Whatever the enterprise, it strives to be the best and most successful in its field. Extremely competitive and not afraid of challenges or challengers. A visionary, a realist, and a planner. Discipline and perseverance. Dynamic and efficient.

Rewards the faithful and hardworking employee, but has no tolerance for the incompetent."

Basically, Chris' dream son.

I leaned more towards the ones that balanced strength with compassion, implied creativity and charm. The report and name I favored most said:

"The name ***Morrow induces a sense of freedom and adventure, risks and rewards, gambling and daring acts of courage. The name has passion and excitement. . .can do anything, is extremely capable, and a true survivor. It is also highly flexible, can adapt to new circumstances quickly, and has excellent reflexes; often, important decisions are made in seconds, seemingly impulsively even. But due to sharp intuition and even sharper intelligence, those decisions are almost always right on the money. Youthful, dynamic and energetic, this name draws people who want things to be "different," and don't like the tried and proven.

Social, outgoing, something skirting the acceptable - or even pushing the envelope of what is legal."

Basically, my dream son.

It's amazing the difference a middle name makes.

Last night at dinner with Chris' family (they don't know the name yet either, it's being announced at my Pgh baby shower in two weeks), someone (unbeknownst to them) made a comment that made the middle name decision for us. My choice reigned supreme! Not that I ever questioned that happening. Like I said, there can be only one.

So giddily I called up the Kabalarians to get a report on the name. It turns out they can't do a full report until the birth date is known, but the lovely lady on the phone did give me a few preliminary consultations on names and suggested I get a report on my name to get an understanding of what its all about so I can decide if I want to do a report on my son. First she went over "Rebecca Livingston" with me and it seemed OK -- she talked about the conflict my name creates between my sensitive and abrasive side, how I want to blend and stand out at the same time and she went on about how creative I am. Ah flattery. I was liking what I was hearing.

She talked about the "Morrow" name and said it was spontaneous and disorganized, more the merrier type people and argumentative. Not exactly how I'd describe the Morrows, but it got me thinking and Chris can be really scattered and he's way more spontaneous than me and he's always inviting people along at the last minute without any regard to how I feel about having them. And we do love to bicker. If a few days go by and he doesn't pick on me, I start to worry he's stopped loving me.

Finally, she consulted me on our first name choice with Morrow (she said until they had a birth date, the middle name didn't come into the equation). Here's the doom and gloom. She laid it out straight to me: It's not a strong name. He'd be artistic with high ideals, but would trust people too much, be gullible. He's be run by his feelings, caring and charming and would lack confidence and search out approval from others. This is not what I wanted to hear. If he shot the president to impress some girl, I would have to live with the fact it was because of what I named him.

I did what I often do in times of crisis, I turned to Tender Buttons. She said, "Why don't you just accept that your child will take after you and be caring, creative, charming and gullible?  Don't let the Kabalarians control you!  Name your son what you want to name him.  No name is perfect.  They didn't say conniving, thieving and stinky!"

Look you little snot, I'm not gullible, I have faith in mankind and the future. I embrace optimism.  I don't sit around preparing myself for the worst when times are good just so I can get in a lot of practice at being disappointed and suffering. If we can never raise our hopes or find solace in others, why did we ever move out of the caves and into mud huts? I think it's better to get you hopes up and be disappointed rather than always expect and accept that crap sandwich.

And yes, Tender Buttons, you're right. I will not let the Kabalarians control me. No I will not. The name stays!

Today's Helpful Hint

If you're going to simultaneously submit a single poem to multiple publications, you might not want to include all 58 editors on the same e-mail.

Monday, November 08, 2004

This Week at the No Tell

Laura Carter has a room key this week at No Tell Motel.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

I Heart Lily

Last night I saw I Heart Huckabees which was hysterical even if it did make fun of poetry. I want to be an existential detective. Lily Tomlin's performance and facial expressions were priceless. She should do more movies.

Does anyone have any existential poetry recommendations? Aside from that Donald Rumsfeld book. A lot of poets probably fall under this catgory at one time or another. I don't think I've given a book or poem a close existential reading since my undergrad days.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Today's Pregosaurus Song Picks

Wheel in the Sky - Journey
Don't Stop Believing - Journey
Fall to Pieces - Velvet Revolver
Maybe I'm Amazed - Jem
Suedehead - Morrissey
Gone Till November - Wyclef Jean & Canibus

From the Roof Tops

Tender Buttons passed the Maryland bar! She's a geniune lawyer now. No longer a wannabe. Now would be the perfect time to slip on a banana peel in a Maryland grocery store. You'll be taken care of. You have my word as a sister of a lawyer.

I also just got word from Chris that his sister, Alex, passed too.

So I reiterate my past statement. Don't fuck with me. I got lawyers in the family.

Woo-hoo! There will be a Christmas after all.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Where's the Love?

I got one of those "kind" rejections today. It was one of those letters that let you know they really did read your manuscript and they still didn't want it. It said "We found it [Home-Schooled by a Cackling Jackal manuscipt] very funny in parts, with great titles, and a clear voice; but ultimately we decided against it as a full-length book."

I assume they meant they decided against publishing it as a full-length book, but perhaps I'm going too easy on myself. Perhaps they really did mean what they wrote, that it doesn't pass the test as a full-length book.

So I ask again, who are the chubby-chasing editors lacking in scruples and integrity? I really want to introduce myself and my manuscript to those guys.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Fuck Y'all I Voted for Jesus

I stood in line for an hour late this morning with the senior citizens and stay-at-home moms with their freedom-hating children who moaned and cried about having to stand so long. My vote is cast, over, done with. So you morons can stop posting here telling me who to vote for, you can stop calling the house, stop hanging crap on my door, stop sending me e-mails or whatever other annoying, ineffective and lame tactics you use to try to impose your will on me. I read the newspapers, I know there's an election going on today and my little cashew of a mind was able to come up with its own opinions on issues.

Monday, November 01, 2004


Simon Statue Stolen from Lake Anne

Robert E. Simon and me in more innocent times

Open Letters to the Campaign Trails

Dear Laura Bush, Bill Clinton, VA State Attorney and Lisa Marie Cheney (no relation to VP):

You guys can stop with the constant barrage of calls. I live in Virginia. It's not even a swing state. Yes, I'm voting and I'm more than decided on the candidates. Your taped messages are uninspiring. Your volunteers are abrasive and curt. These calls are interruptions and I'm trying to work on my piece of a collaborative poem and finish writing an article for the Carnegie Mellon alumni newsletter about No Tell Motel.

If you really want me to listen to a recorded message, have Jon Bon Jovi or Ricky Schroeder call. They won't influence my vote, but as a knocked-up housewife I'd appreciate the momentary fantasy such a call would create.

Dear Wesley Clark:

Stop sending me e-mails about candidates in Tennessee. I've never been to Tennessee. I can't vote in Tennessee.

Dear Trick or Treater Who Hassled Chris Last Night:

It's none of your business who we're going to vote for, you pushy little turd. Our house was already egged a few years ago and pelted with snowballs last winter. We don't know you and are not giving you a reason to attack the homestead. We're good people who just want to live our lives in peace. It's your job to show up in a costume on our doorstep, look either adorable or menacing, ring the doorbell, say "Trick or Treat" followed by "Thank you" and then promptly go away.


Reb Livingston

This Week at the No Tell

Zachary Schomburg is working the phones at No Tell Motel. Be sure to take the time to make a few obscene calls. I hear guys like that sort of thing.