Thursday, March 31, 2005


I think the comments about Robert Creeley being a generous teacher are completely true. When he was a visiting lecturer during my final residency at Bennington he attended some of the graduate readings and lectures -- a very rare occurrence from visiting lecturers.

More recently, the time and consideration he gave to some participants of a certain message board was more than charitable, if completely undeserved.

Reading posts on various newsgroups and blogs, it's striking how many writers' lives he touched, writers of all ages and styles. Combined with his poetry, it's quite the legacy.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Blog Rob

Hmm, so many blogs being left unattended while poets whoop it up in Vancouver.

It's not like I'm bitter. Why would I be? While everyone is dozing through panels trying to hide their hangovers, I'll be home, spending my afternoons in barf covered jammies, living the dream.

Besides, I'm much too fat to squeeze into my thieving black cat suit. (Hmm, wasn't that the suit she wore 9 months pregnant?)

My dad always said "there's nothing worse than a thief."

Yep. Nothing worse.

I wonder who forgot to lock their blog doors before leaving the country? Maybe I'll jiggle a few knobs, just to see.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Be Still Our Hearts

The dreamy Page is featuring today's No Tell poet, Ann Neuser Lederer. I think if I make it out to Paris later this summer I'm going to have to look up this debonair Andrew Johnston and buy him a quiche or whatever it is they eat over there.

That's Snot True! Ok, Maybe It Is

It's important to have smart and honest readers. This just in from one of my most respected and appreciated:

"I think the new mom conditions are treating your poems quite well. These two, anyway, are not snotty. Yes, that's right. Your other poems tend toward the snotty. . . It's my hunch that motherhood has softened up the Reb just a tad."

See, I thought my "other" poems were cheeky.

Now I better go do some stomach crunches. I don't like the words "soft" and "Reb" being in the same sentence.

This Week at the No Tell

Ann Neuser Lederer pulls out her bag of tricks this week at No Tell Motel.

Easter Pics

Tender Buttons held Easter dinner for us and her gentleman friend.

Her first dining room table

Babies are flexible

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Funni Bunni

I have to find all of our tax documentation today so Chris can drop it off with our accountant. I haven't been very organized this past year. I hope I can find everything.

Later today we're going to Tender Button's new apartment. She's a fat cat lawyer now and recently upgraded from 250 square feet to something over 500. She's also the owner of a new dining room table from Pier One. I'm glad someone is enjoying the good life. She's making ribs. We don't normally celebrate Easter, if you couldn't tell, and we definitely don't eat ham. Except when I'm a guest and someone serves it to me and I suppose technically I'm TB's guest, but she's my sister and I'd say something but I don't have to say anything because she doesn't eat ham either. Two years ago there was a family reunion on Easter involving our Jewish side and I thought "great, now I won't have to suffer that henious Easter food" but you know what? Passover food is worse. They don't use yeast, the bread was disgusting and so were the desserts, if you could call them desserts. Also, some distant relative who never met us before didn't grasp that TB and I were sisters and assumed we were lovers. Christ. Jesus Christ.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Writing Poems to Get Laid

To prevent this from becoming the baby bodily fluid blog, I'm going to switch gears and focus on a new topic. So how about I expound on the variety of ways to write a poem to get you laid. What are my qualifications, you ask? I've never had a problem getting laid. There you go.

The first and most obvious way is to write a poem praising the object of your affection. There are numerous classic examples we're all familiar with.

Shakespeare did it:

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate. . .

As did Elizabeth Barrett Browning:

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight. . .

e.e. cummings:

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
                                    i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you . . .

At No Tell Motel we specialize in poems to get you laid.

Who wouldn't want to get naked with Hugh Steinberg's "Shy Green Fields" or Oliver Luker's "rabia" or Laura Cronk's "From the Other"?

But what if you don't have a particular person in mind or what if your attempts come off as say, obsessive and stalkerish and frighten your intended? That's the time to be a little less direct. Make folks think it's their idea to sleep with you.

Show your naughty fun side. Molly Arden does in "Horn of Plenty."

Wounded and suffering from failed past relationships works. The reader thinks, "Oh, he/she's suffering. But I could make it all better." This week's serial poem by Andrew Mister at No Tell Motel is a good example. Check it out. I haven't heard from Andrew this week, but that's probably because he's been busy, you know, getting laid.

Show a vulnerable side. At Bennington, Jason Shinder's readings always cracked my ass up. He has this series of "can't get it up" persona poems and the ladies in the audience would eat it up. He made erectile dysfunction sexy. After the reading they would all line up to tell him how "touched" they were by his poems. Whenever someone says "touched" think SCORE.

Well, I have to fold towels and put the diapers in the dryer. Maybe I'll write further on this subject later. But keep this in mind -- when you're 80+ years old, abandoned and forgotten in an old age home do you really think you're going to be reminiscing about some award or publication? No, you're going to be remembering that time you got down with a hottie in a broom closet.

Post Spitfest

Snapped this photo this afternoon after I finished de-barfing the nursery.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Damn Young Poets

The problem with young poets and poetry today is that folks aren't writing to get laid anymore. When I was a kid, there weren't any teaching positions or awards or publications -- it was all an attempt to convince someone to sleep with us. Those were the days. Those were poems you could get naked and crawl into bed with.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

If I had a nickel

Maybe I should make a new rule. Every 5th time I get puked on I'll write a blog post.

Unfortunately I don't have that much to say.

Every time I get peed on write a new poem?

I'd have a new manuscript each month.

"Elegy for a Clean Blouse"

"Elegy for the Way I Used to Smell"

"I'm Your Mommy, Not Your Monkey"

Monday, March 21, 2005


My dad and stepmother were down from Pittsburgh visiting and meeting Gideon for the first time this weekend. Also, I've been sick for the past week. That's why I haven't been blogging much, but I'll make a better effort this week. Hopefully I won't get booted off of C. Dale's blogroll for lameness.

As for the swing, I'm not going to jinx myself like I have in the past by writing here how wonderful it is. I'm not going to do that.

My goal for this afternoon is to work on No Tell galleys and read submissions. The reading period has only been open for six days and already we have a big (virtual) stack of them.

Oh, and I see I haven't fooled anyone into believing I actually read Fahrenheit 451. As Josh pointed out: I think some people have been misled by this question: in the novel, this doesn't mean a book to be burned but a book that a resistance member chooses to memorize and thus "become."


This Week at the No Tell

Andrew Mister is tied to the bed this week at No Tell Motel.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

The Answer to My Prayers . . .

or a $100+ sucker purchase? Do I get my arms back for a couple extra hours a day or do I have to find storage for another awkward piece of crap?

Only time will tell.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Stick It

C. Dale is right. I haven't been blogging much. It's difficult to type one-handed (oh, I wish I was referring to what you're thinking -- nope, Chicken Tyrant insists on being held). I've been searching high and low for a military school that accepts infants. You'd be surprised how few there are.

Below are my answers to the stick game:

You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?
Anything by Ann Coulter cause if I was gonna burn, I'd want to deserve it.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character? I've had crushes on several Faulkner characters. Jewel from As I Lay Dying was my first. I like 'em done wrong, misunderstood and a little mean.

The last book you bought is: Sigh. From Baby to Bikini

The last book you read: Sleeping with the Dictionary by Harryette Mullen

What are you currently reading? The Maverick Room by Thomas Sayers Ellis

Five books you would take to a deserted island:
An island survival guide -- so I'd know what berries were safe to eat
Complete Works of Oscar Wilde
Complete Poems of D.H. Lawrence
Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
Family First: Your Step-by-Step Plan for Creating a Phenomenal Family by Dr. Phil -- cause I've been meaning to read it

Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?

The Other Rebecca

Cause Girls Rool.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

On All Counts

So Bernie Ebbers was convicted on all counts today. Good. But I'll save the champagne until I hear his sentence. You know, if some 18 year-old kid steals my 1995 Acura Integra for a joy ride, there's a pretty good chance he'll do more time in a much more hellish place than a lot of these corporate crimminals -- these crimminals whose crimes affect hundreds, often thousands of people. My husband was (and still is) an employee of UUnet/Worldcom/MCI (whatever they want to call themselves these days) and we were fortunate and came out of it relatively unscathed. He didn't lose his job, he never bought shares of the company (he considered it several times, the old "it can't go any lower" argument, luckily he's married to a company stock pessimist who never let him), didn't put his retirement money into the stock, etc. A lot of people did lose their jobs and their savings and their retirements. A lot of those people were pretty close to their retirements too -- not much time to pick up the pieces and start again. When the shit hit the fan in the summer of 2002 we experienced several months of uncertainity and started cutting back to prepare just in case. I cancelled my Vermont Studio Center residency, which isn't a big deal compared to what a lot of other people had to give up, but I probably would have wrote something brilliant and wonderful while I was up there. I blame Bernie Ebbers for that. He has a lot to account for. Fraud, conspirator, liar, poem killer.

New Work at SOFTBLOW

SOFTBLOW presents

THOMAS LOWE TAYLOR lives in southwestern Washington State on the Long Beach Peninsula & co-publishes Xtant Magazine with Jim Leftwich.
CLAY MATTHEWS currently serves as associate editor for the Cimarron Review while pursuing a Ph.D. at Oklahoma State.
YEOW KAI CHAI, poet & deputy editor of The Straits Times (Life!) in Singapore.
CHRIS ROBIDEAUX lives in Mesa, AZ.

Monday, March 14, 2005

All and All and All

This past week Shane Allison has been conducting an interview with me for the upcoming "Strange" issue of MiPO. It's been fun, but I've been caught off guard with how much trouble I've had with some of the questions. The "What do you think of X?" type questions are easy, I have an opinion on just about everything. But the personal questions, the "reb" questions are much trickier. For instance, "What would people be surprised to know about Reb Livingston?" The hell if I would know. Usually when people say they're surprised to know something about me, it's fairly mundane. "Oh, I thought "Reb" was a man." or "Oh, I assumed you were a rabbi." or "I had no idea you had such an extensive monkey testicle collection!"

Sure, I can come up with a few things that would surprise most people, but it's not like I'd ever willingly share those things.

Saturday night Gideon left the state for the first time. For those of you not familiar with the D.C. area, it's not nearly as big of a deal as it sounds. We went to the Buy Buy Baby in Rockville, MD to find a particular baby swing I want. Of course they didn't have it so I had to order it online.

Anything to distract this kid. It's 3:20 p.m. and I haven't brushed my teeth yet. I have baby vomit on my thigh and I stink. Kiss me.

This Week at the No Tell

Craig Kirchner tries to outrun a hangover this week at the No Tell Motel.

Saturday, March 12, 2005


Been trying to get some work done on projects -- didn't make much headway these past few days, but hopefully I will today now that Chris is back from his conference.

Added some new links to the blog roll. If you're linking to here and I haven't reciprocated, let me know.

Gideon and I are in the middle of Harryette Mullen's Sleeping with the Dictionary.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

D.C. Celebrates Whitman: 150 Years of Leaves of Grass

The Washington Friends of Walt Whitman is pleased to announce a city-wide festival, “DC Celebrates Whitman: 150 Years of Leaves of Grass,” which will take place between March 26 (the date of Whitman's death) and May 31 (Whitman's birth) in 2005.  These dates include the month of April, National Poetry Month.

Events are designed to highlight the 150th anniversary of the first publication of a masterpiece of American literature, Leaves of Grass, and Whitman’s connection to Washington, DC, where he lived and worked from 1863 to 1873.  During this period, the poet published his poignant poems of the Civil War, Drum Taps, and his elegies to Lincoln, “O Captain! My Captain!” and “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d,” all while earning his living as a civil servant. 

All festival events have free or low-cost admissions. Featured authors participating in the festival include Mark Doty, Anne Waldman, Grace Cavalieri, Mark DeFoe, Myra Sklarew, David Bergman, and Martin G. Murray. Events include poetry readings by regional authors influenced by Whitman’s legacy, guided walking tours, a meditation workshop, and a marathon reading of the first edition of Leaves of Grass. Co-sponsoring organizations include the Folger Shakespeare Library, The Arts Club of Washington, Beltway: A Poetry Quarterly, The Rainbow History Project, the Mayor’s Office of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Affairs, the National Park Service/Ford’s Theater, the DC Public Library, George Washington University, and Cultural Tourism DC.

The festival opens with a Poetry Reading featuring Mark DeFoe, Grace Cavalieri, Sarah Browning and Hilary Tham on Tuesday, March 29, 2005 at 7:30 pm. These four acclaimed authors will read from Whitman and their own work. Admission is free. The reading takes place at Grace Church, 1041 Wisconsin Ave., in the Georgetown neighborhood.
For more information and a complete schedule of events, please see

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

This Seems About Right

I am 61% Asshole/Bitch.
Sort of Assholy or Bitchy!
I am abrasive, some people really hate me, but there may be a group of other tight knit assholes and bitches that I can hang out with and get me. Everybody else? Fuck ‘em.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Hello, am I in There? Anywhere?

It's still early, but I'm coming to terms that there's not a shred of me in Gideon. He looks exactly like Chris, is built exactly like him (tall and lanky) and is already showing definite signs of his personality. The most I could come up with is "maybe he has my nail beds." I'm not even sure about that. Not saying this is a bad thing. There are clearly a lot of benefits to not being like me. I'm just, well, surprised. I thought my DNA was tougher than that. Now all I have to look forward to is when his teeth come in -- maybe he'll have my overbite and need braces like I did.

The two of them also have this spooky bond. In the wee hours when he wakes up (every 2-3 hours), I can spend up to an hour and half with him and as soon as I walk out of the nursery it's all screams and brimstone. Chris will walk in, place his hands on him for a few seconds and instantly he's asleep -- for hours, as if Chris used the Vulcan sleep hold. I'm not kidding. What am I doing during that 90 minute stretch that's just not enough? I'm changing him, feeding him, holding him and reading poetry to him. Poetry defintely has the power to put him to sleep, it's just having mixed results keeping him asleep once I put him in the crib.

That's another thing they have in common. As soon as someone starts reading poetry they fall asleep.

OK, that's not really true. Chris only fell asleep at one reading and now that I think about it that was a fiction reading, but it was embarassing nonetheless because we were smack up in the front row and oh the mean glares Jamaica Kincaid sent our way while she read about a little yellow dress.

Like a lot of you, I have this towering pile of books/journals that I add to much faster than I get around reading. Last night Gideon and I finished Jeff Clark's The Little Door Slides Back. He stayed awake and listened to a good part of that. That only took two late night sessions to finish. On Saturday we read the latest issue of Carve which has some great poems by T-Rob that Gid missed out on because they were at the end of the journal and he was already asleep. Tonight we'll start Kirsten Kaschock's Unfathoms. Actually this is the most poetry I've been reading since I got pregnant. I was so tired then that aside from reading submissions and online journals during the day, I maybe read one book every week or so. I'm still tired now, but no longer have the option of sleeping when I want.

So if Gideon wants the poetry to stop, he's just going to have to fall asleep faster.

This Week at the No Tell

Ken Rumble climbs after honeysuckle this week at No Tell Motel.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Shindell Featured on The Page

Our international paramour always knows the best day to send flowers. Matt Shindell is today's featured poet at The Page.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Feast & Famine

I'm not going to post another "I'm getting the hang of this thing" like I did last week because not even a day after I did I had a mini-meltdown. Then another mini-meltdown a few days after that. Nothing on the "send her to an institution" level, but I don't like losing my cool and I've been losing my cool and I know this is all normal and par for the course, but I don't like it one bit. I believe I can start exercising now, so later today I intend on moving Chris' electric saw off my dusty treadmill and giving that a try. If that goes OK, I'll probably sign up for pilates (something new for me) in the next few weeks and resume yoga class in April. There's a post-partum yoga class Gideon and I can attend together. I'm not really sure what goes on there, but I imagine I'll need to pack plenty of diapers. I hope Gideon won't be as big of a whiner about the whole thing as his dad. Don't care how old you are, I don't like my men whining.

In Gideon's first two weeks he's gained 1 pound, 4 ounces and grown 3/4 of an inch, so at least I know we're doing one thing right. We're feeding him enough. Speaking of eating, I don't know how much of it I'll be doing starting today because today is Chris' first day back at the office. He's been preparing all of my meals these past two weeks (aside from some bananas, bowls of cereal and a pop tart). He's under the impression I'll be OK and won't eat the baby, but I'm not so sure.

Despite that every photo I've posted of myself has been of me sleeping, I have been slowly (and I do mean slowly) getting work done. I'm almost done going through and responding to the No Tell subs. Not a minute too soon -- March 15th is almost here. I toyed with the idea of pushing the reading period back a few more weeks, but I've given so many people that date that I'll probably just leave it as is.

I have a few small and fun writing projects to work on for this month. I'm not going to announce any of them here until I actually complete them -- just to cover my ass and not look like an irresponsible slacker. In April I plan to start work on a bigger project that should also be a lot of fun and hopefully ready by the end of the year. It's an anthology and it's a little naughty.

My first scheduled venture out into the literary scene will be on April 23 when I'll be on a panel (literature on the web) at the Writer's Center small press conference.

Reading everyone's Vancouver AWP plans makes me despondent I'm not attending, but dems be da breaks. I'll resume my full-scale debauchery in 2006/Austin. I'll have a lot to make up for.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Check Back in 2023

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


Check out today's Poetry Dailer for two poems with the f-word cause just like the Lehman poem Chris has hanging up on his office door at MCI, "thank you" means "fuck you" but "fuck you " always means "fuck you."


This weekend I dreamed Gideon's first word was "approximately."

Yeah, we were pretty impressed too.

New Work at SOFTBLOW & Vs.

SOFTBLOW presents

DAVID TRINIDAD, who has been called a master of the postmodern pop-culture sublime. His work is associated with the innovative formalism of the New York School. Alice Notley has written, "There is an unwavering light in all of Trinidad's work that turns individual words into objects, new facts."
TERRY JAENSCH, Melbourne-based poet recently on an ASIALINK residency in Singapore.
W. B. KECKLER won the National Poetry Series 2002 for his book, Sanskrit of the Body (Penguin, 2003)
BILL KUSHNER, author of Night Fishing (1980), Head (1986), Love Uncut (1990) & He Dreams of Rivers (2000).


New issue of Vs. now available.