Friday, September 30, 2005

Ways a Writer Can Make Use of Blogging - Revisited

1. Pick up the slack where print-pubs are floundering -- book reviews, literary criticism, etc.

2. Build a community among writers

3. Develop readers (that hopefully will transition on to your other work)

4. Develop your own original creative project.

Some blogs that do this well: -- Poet interview blog -- a poem not quite a day site -- collaborative poetry site -- multiple author discussion site on poetics

5. Promote a new book: How to Make a Living as a Poet Tropic of Cubicle

6. Supplement a print publication: Verse Magazine

7. Hone your own voice as a writer through daily practice

Additional Ideas Shared By Readers Of This Blog

Jim Behrle: "Advertise their new-found sexie qualities?"

Shanna Compton: "More presses are using blogs (or bloglike sites) to make announcements about new books and events. I think people like them better than the mass email lists. less intrusive, yet still full of good info. Personally, I originally started a site and then a blog just to teach myself web design/html. It's just like putting up a sign, hanging a shingle: "hey, I'm over here and some of my stuff is over there.""

Laura Carter: "Diversions from real work and/or studies? Places to fiddle with html and cool sidebar features?"

Rebecca Loudon: "1. Pick up cute poet boys. 2. Go crazy publicly."

Charles Jensen: "Place to found your own new literary movement and to mobilize members."

Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Life of an Industry Expert (stop snickering!)

This weekend I'll be in Richmond, Virginia speaking on two panels at the James River Writers Conference. The first panel's description is:

"Songs of Myself – How do you become a poet? Are poets born or made? What constitutes a typical day for a poet? Poets Lorraine Graham, Reb Livingston, Jon Pineda, and Ron Smith will discuss the inspirations, aspirations, and frustrations of the craft. Moderated by Cheryl Pallant"

If you attend that panel, you'll learn all my poet secrets, such as, how one gets her spouse to agree to support her fat ass while she spends her days skipping through the forest, deep in contemplation. That's right, I contemplate while I skip.

Hmm, maybe I should start my own private seminars. Want to disappoint your parents? Instantly turn off chicks? Become A Poet! Learn How For Just the LOW LOW Price of $199!

The second panel will be the literary blogging panel I do with Ron from Beatrice and Wendi from Happy Booker (although unfortunately this panel will be sans Wendi). This panel's other twist is that it will be moderated by Caroline Kettlewell from Hinterlands.

Later this evening I'll re-post the "reasons writers blog" with some of the feedback from the comments. Just in case they'll actually show our blogs during the panel.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

That Poem Changed My Life!

For my "Crucial Rooster" column next week I'm writing about contemporary poems that have the potential to change the way one looks at or considers something.

If there's a contemporary poem that has given you reason to question a past held belief or showed you a new way to regard something, please e-mail me at reb (at) rebaroni (dot) com with the poem and a brief paragraph explaining.

The only restriction is that the entire poem be available online (legally) to link within the column. Preference will be given to poems appearing in recent journals.

Thanks. I'll be taking nominations until Monday, October 3 at noon (ET).

Monday, September 26, 2005

What Happens in Baltimore Will Be Published

When I meet Joe Massey I plan on doing the following:

1. Strip him down to his purple bloomers.
2. Tie him up with 100 pairs of crisp shoelaces.
3. Pull out my digital camera.
4. Use the photo for the cover of my chapbook Hard Knock Knock Jokes Involving Joseph Massey.

Ha ha

While the rest of you common folk will be waiting until AWP in March to catch a glimpse of Joe Massey, I will be reading with him in January up in Baltimore at the i.e. Poetry Series.

Cause I'm that good.

This Week at the No Tell

Anne Gorrick thinks love only occurs in daybreak this week at No Tell Motel.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Breaking Bread with a PILF

This morning we had brunch with Ken Rumble and his adorable daughter, Violet. Ken ordered the Eggs Benedict. He wore an orange t-shirt that matched Violet's dress. I should have taken a picture of Ken with Gideon, but forgot. Probably best I didn't. It would have been a shame to dash Gideon's chance at a run for the White House at such a tender age. See, Ken was in town protesting against our government.

And, he's like a weirdo poet.

Chris Vitiello and his daughter were also supposed to join but ditched us for bigger and better things. Imagine that was also for the best. I'm sure any association with C.V. would be a hurdle for Gideon. I mean, C.V. is both an anti-war protestor AND a graduate of the Naropa Institute. He's practically a hippie.

So what poets should I be introducing to Gideon? Who is going to best serve my son's rise to power? Yes, I do believe motherhood has changed the way I look at poetry.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

To Annoy Those Who Deserve To Be Annoyed

1. Go into your archive.
2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.

That has the very eery whisper of REDRUM.

This Week: Things That Made Me


Creative Writing instructor wrote to tell me that among Maya Angelou, Emily Dickinson and song lyrics, my poem "The Skirmish" was turned in by one of his students for a favorite poem assignment.


On two occasions, Gideon held his own bottle.


Lolita & Gilda


Chris' buzz cut.

Chris in Better Hair Times

miPOradio Special Edition: Asian-American Poetry

This special edition of miPOradio features Asian-American Poets including an interview with Nick Carbo and poetry by Sawako Nakayasu, Oliver De La Paz, Shin Yu Pai, Linh Dinh, Victoria Chang and Lee Herrick. Music credits: Birdie Jaworski, Joshua Christian and Frankie Ho.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Nice Pants

Are they French?

Why yes, they are French. Thanks for noticing!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Random Thoughts

There is no such thing as a bad foot fetish poem.

I'm kidding. I'm not sure if I ever read a foot fetish poem. If you have a series of good foot fetish poems, submit them to No Tell Motel.

This summer I wrote a poem with the lines:

My song is fool and flash and a mouthful of
crooked hairy toes (if only it ended there)

That's the closest thing I have to a foot fetish poem.

One of the more interesting ideas I've read on a blog recently:

5. This is actually a pre-avant moment, what will come after us will be much more exciting, much less owned or categorized. We will be freed of the influence of universities, presses, magazines. We will take back our art from you.

I'm post-mommy guard. Or is that the School of MILFitude?

Either way, we will crush you.

Wanna Have Lunch With Me Today?

I'll be one of the panelists on this afternoon's Fall for the Book literary lunch. Today's topic: Editors from local literary journals — both print and online — discuss recent trends in publishing these magazines. Participating publications include Barrelhouse, No Tell Motel, Phoebe and WebdelSol.Com and its affiliated publications.

Noon at George Mason University in the Grand Tier, Center for the Arts

Last week's panel had hummus.

Monday, September 19, 2005

A melancholy evening. Just sent out a big batch of "no thank yous" for No Tell. The biggest group of "close but not cigar" to date and there's still a bunch we haven't yet responded. Some editors don't mind sending out rejections. I do when the work has merit, but for whatever reason we don't go with it. I find it more difficult than receiving my own rejections. The only time I get upset about my own work's rejections is when I've deluded myself into thinking it was a "sure thing." It's never a sure thing. Since editing No Tell I rarely get upset when an editor decides not to take my work. Sure, I might mutter "whatever pig fucker, your loss", but I don't get upset.

What I don't mind is rejecting work that doesn't follow the guidelines. If you're only sending three poems, you don't read No Tell and I don't care if your feelings get hurt. I also stop feeling bad when after the "no thank you" the poet freaks on my ass. Don't freak on my ass. I never ever forget an ass freaking and that is something I take personally.

Chris just admitted the "Gideon First Cheerios" pictures are lost forever. He downloaded the pictures onto his computer and suddenly *poof*. Searching for the forgiveness in my heart. Those pictures were adorable.

There's no ice cream in the freezer.

This Week at the No Tell

P.F. Potvin tries to choke it down this week at No Tell Motel.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Two Poems at Ducky

I have two poems in the new issue of Ducky. Other poets in this issue: Paula Bohince, Shafer Hall, Nathan Parker, Evelyn Posamentier and Jonah Winter.

October 1 in Richmond, VA

An article on one of the panels I'll be participating on at the James River Writers Conference.

How I Spent My Weekend

Saturday, September 17, 2005

from Sag Harbor, NY

I'm blogging from the lobby of my motel in Sag Harbor. Chris' cousin is getting married on the beach in the Hamptons this afternoon. Can't even begin to tell you the stress of finding an outfit for this event. Tender Buttons came to the rescue and helped me put something together. To repay her kindness I loaned her Gideon for the weekend. I figure that will be enough for a cease and desist on the "when are you going to have a second baby?"

Yesterday's panel went pretty well -- although the whole reason I posted those "reasons to blog" was so that my blood lust for Bono would not be top level. See, I assumed there'd be a computer and an overhead, but there wasn't. Thanks to everyone who added suggestions in the comment fields. I'll be back at the festival on Wednesday for another noon/lunch panel on local literary magazines.

Oh and my "cute" acccent is a Pittsburgh accent -- everyone there sounds like me. It's adorable!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Ways a Writer Can Make Use of Blogging

1. Pick up the slack where print-pubs are floundering -- book reviews, literary criticism, etc.

2. Build a community among writers

3. Develop readers (that hopefully will transition on to your other work)

4. Develop your own original creative project.

Some blogs that do this well: -- Poet interview blog -- a poem not quite a day site -- collaborative poetry site -- multiple author discussion site on poetics

5. Promote a new book: How to Make a Living as a Poet Tropic of Cubicle

6. Supplement a print publication: Verse Magazine

7. Hone your own voice as a writer through daily practice

Additional ideas?

Literary Lunch!

For those of you in Northern Virginia today (Friday), I'll be on a panel discussing literary blogging along with Ron Hogan and Wendi Kaufman.

Fall for the Book
Noon, George Mason University, Grand Tier, Center for the Arts

Thursday, September 15, 2005

My Seven

Well C. Dale sure took his sweet time tagging me with that ESP. I was starting to feel like he didn't care anymore.

Seven Things I Want To Do Before I Die:

1. Tell Bono to go fuck himself
2. Write an essay clearly establishing Bono as the anti-Christ
3. Start my own poetry press and name it PILF
4. Meet every poet published in No Tell Motel
5. Increase my psychic powers
6. Write that children's workbook
7. Write 10,000 poems (I'm not nearly as ambitious as Jordan)

Seven Things I Can Do:

1. Tell just about anyone to "Go fuck themselves"
2. Hula hoop!
3. Correctly guess men's suit sizes
4. Steal T-Rob's lines and make them my own
5. Dress my baby like a tool (he's totally helpless!)
6. Insist Chris go back upstairs and change that shirt (he reflects on me!)
7. Go to Vegas and teach C. Dale the wonders of nickel slots

Seven Things I Cannot Do:

1. Sing well
2. Whistle
3. Roll my tongue
4. Wink my right eye
5. Touch my toes
6. Hold my liquor
7. Pile driver Chris

Seven Things That Attract Me to the Same Sex:

1. Shoes
2. Earrings
3. Handbags
4. Charm Bracelets
5. Good Teeth
6. Child Bearing Hips
7. Wickedness

Seven Celebrity Crushes:

1. Jake Gyllenhaal as Donnie Darko in Donnie Darko
2. Russell Crowe as Maximus in Gladiator
3. Vin Diesel as Riddick in Pitch Black
4. Paul Newman as Brick Pollitt in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
5. Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in X-Men
6. Jude Law as Vassili Zaitsev in Enemy at the Gate
7. Tom Brokaw after he felt me up

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Listen to Me Fumble Through an Interview

Birdie Jaworski interviews Reb Livingston, Geoff Bouvier, and Barbra Nightingale.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Thank God for T-Rob

Thank God T-Rob is so prolific. Thank God both his poems and blog are packed full of great lines. Thank God he's broke and can't afford a lawyer cause I'm robbing that mofo blind!

Some of my handy-work from a couple months ago. There's also some phrases from another blogger, but that blogger may be able to afford recourse so I'll won't draw attention to it.

Still Feeling It

still feeling fucked up and fake
still another day, still thick with hope
what a word wreck
what a display of linguistic insensitivity
a little something I call rendered and insufficient
a little something I call bohemian pain and one day
I’ll be alright again
thankfully I can’t keep making it new
there was a rare occurrence
I drank a bottle of wind
he looked at me strangely
I offered him
a Rolaid this seemed
this seemed sentimental

Monday, September 12, 2005

This Week at the No Tell

Shafer Hall talks in hushed tones this week at No Tell Motel.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

I Didn't Kiss Anyone

Saturday night I attended THE TINY reading at Ruthless Grip. Met Gina, Gabriella, Shafer, Erica, Mark and Maureen. It was a regular poet blogger convention.

Now you have another reason to come see me read in NYC on October 29 at The Frequency Series. Not only will I be reading with Max Winter and Rob Ostrom but I will also fight Shafer Hall. You know what you did, Shafer!

I demand satisfaction.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Thanks for Memories

Last month my UPS delivery man handed to everyone on his route a bittersweet letter stating that he was retiring. I had never given it much thought before, but immediately realized that I was going to miss him. The only man to see me in my pajamas more has been Chris. We get a lot of deliveries at the Livingston-Morrow abode and the UPS man, whose name I never knew until I read the letter, was a regular part of our daily life.

So imagine my happiness when he had a delivery for us today, his last day on the job. I wished him the best in the next phase of his life. He gave me a hug. While we hugged I thought "Geez, I wish I had showered and brushed my teeth." I closed the door and looked in the mirror and thought "Or at the very least wiped the baby vomit off my shoulder before answering the door."

Rise and Shine

The latest Crucial Rooster has crowed.

I Enjoy Being a Slut, Part 2

Crickets, yes, I know. I've been awfully busy. Being on vacation for almost an entire month is really great, until you get back and realize while your neighbors did pick up your mail and feed your cat, they didn't write a single poem or layout The Bedside Guide.

Speaking of The Bedside Guide, we just approved the cover from the designer. There was some back and forth about whether or not it was too slutty and whether we should take that route. Then we remembered that we call ourselves the No Tell Motel and there is no such thing as "too slutty." For those of you in "the know" -- we went with pink. While orange was definitely hipper, pink was more playful. The rest of you will just have to wait. Slutty or not, we're not going to show all our goodies up front. Slutty does not equate to easy.

Just sent off the ole Crucial Rooster -- it'll be up at the Happy Booker Friday morning. I'll link to it when it's there.

Also, I have two poems in the latest issue of an online magazine but I won't be linking to it until they get my name right. I also enjoy being a bitch.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Three Poems at Rock Heals

Check them out, yo.

There's even some sincerity written long before I was ever a "member" of the hair club for poets.

Jaime Gaughran-Perez, the site's editor, says I bring a "tweaked normal" further affirming my belief that I'm normal and it's you all who are fucked up.

Monday, September 05, 2005

So Why The Silence?

Kevin posted an apology this evening about leaving an angry comment at Dagzine (that I haven't seen) regarding the "silence" about Katrina's devastation and the aftermath on many poetry blogs. Assuming the comment wasn't totally outrageous, I don't think there's any reason to apologize. Nonetheless, it something I've been thinking about since last week while I was away enjoying a family vacation at the beach in North Carolina.

This blog is mostly about me. Yes, I discuss poetry and a bunch of other topics, but I'm sure it's clear to anyone who reads this, it's basically a bunch of stuff and how it relates to me. Even my non-stop chatter about Gideon -- that kid is an extension of me. Me me me. So when there's something as serious and terrible like the deaths of thousands of people, the suffering of hundreds of thousands others, the ruination of a beautiful city and other communities, the dismal failure of the government at all levels and everything else . . . well, I didn't feel like I could address this here without running the risk of blurring me into it and that's something I really didn't want to do. It seemed disrepectful. Kind of like "Britney Spears Prays for Hurricane Victims" -- of course she did, that's great, I don't doubt that she really did pray and that she's donated a bunch of money -- but that headline and that "story" has nothing to do with hurricane victims. I think it was disrespectful of major media outlets to cover it during this time.

I'm sure a lot more people care about what a pop star is thinking than a suburban almost soccer mom, but I felt my general feelings and opinions aren't especially unique or bring much value. Oh, look at me, I feel so terrible, so helpless, so full of shame. Whatever I might write would not be as eloquent or insightful as what Seth has been writing. So for fear coming off as trivial and self-absorbed, I did nothing more than post a link to some stuff at HCE.

And there's a little bit of guilt. I'd been on vacation for almost the entire month of August. Europe and then the beach. I've been having a wonderful time. I might as well be George W. Bush at his Crawford ranch. Or am I Condi Rice? I did an insane amount of shopping in Europe. The biggest immediate impact on our lives are gas prices. Even that Chris is using to his advantage as an excuse to bicycle to work (10 miles each way) despite there not being any showers at MCI. Basically the person who will suffer most in our situation will be a woman named Heather, Chris' office mate, who'll have to deal with the man musk.

What may come as a surprise to readers here is that I truly am a private person. This blog is only a tiny sliver of my life and what I think. I don't share my political views here, if I have an argument with a loved one, I don't mention it just as I won't announce catching the clap from a weekend fling with a sailor (if such a thing were to ever happen). I don't announce where I donate my money, or how much and I didn't post links to the Red Cross or other organizations because I figured it was redundant and you don't need me to tell you to send money -- you're either going to send money or you're not. If you can afford to donate and decide not to, well, that's between you and something/someone else.

Thinking more about it, perhaps I should be the one apologizing for giving the impression that I was going about my life as if nothing was going on. That I'm not glued to the news, that I'm not discussing it with people around me or that I'm not appalled and ashamed at how it's being handled. That couldn't be further from the truth. Yet perhaps I was being disrespectful in my attempt to be respectful.

Since I'm privy to a lot of the latest technical info due to Chris' work, here's the latest status on electric, gas and telephones.

Will Pay for Pterodactyls

Does anyone know where I can buy a big blow-up pterodactyl?

I'm not having much success searching on "blow up pterodactyl" on Google.

A stuffed one might suffice.

I'd buy this, but it appears to be out of stock.

Or maybe I should just do a collage -- anyone know where I can find some public domain images of pterodactyls?

This Week at No Tell Motel

Aaron Tieger stays with you this week at No Tell Motel.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Info about Katrina at Here Comes Everybody

Friday, September 02, 2005


Thank you Tender Buttons for filling in. If it makes you feel better, you made me care about Erin.

Yep, I'm back and while we had a great time at the beach (Gideon loved sitting in his chair and watching the waves and feeling the wind), it is good to be home after being away for most of August. Sweet high speed Internet access, may we never part again. I'm "rested" (but not tanned, I use sunblock, a big floppy hat and an umbrella -- I have no intention of becoming leather face). I'm behind and have a mounting list of things I need to handle.

For instance, I see Fence stole my idea for the cover of The Bedside Guide. Way back when I had the idea to use my breast-feeding breasts for the cover, but decided against it and got a real designer to create one. Maybe I should have, mine were bigger and as we all know bigger is always better.

And seeing the Fence cover reminds me that The Bedside Guide cover is late because I dropped the ball on getting some information to the designer. Will take care of that tomorrow.

Crucial Rooster will be a week late too.

Tooled over to Fascicle and about fell over. Just looking at the front page is overwhelming and brain splitting. Where to begin? Where to click? A little muttering under my breath about why couldn't all the content be presented in a way I could more easily digest (and I don't mean like No Tell, I don't mean one poet at a time), but enough of that. I'm interested in what's there and will get to reading it sometime soon (I still have to read Octopus, I'm like so 2004). On a side note, I've received roughly 10 messages these past couple months ranging from "Tost is a nice guy if you get to know him" to "I have a black belt and will rip him to shreds, just give me the word." Look, I won't bail out of your birthday party if you invite both of us. I'm cool with him. I met him in Carrboro and thought he was nice. My comments back then were in response to something he wrote that I thought was kind of obnoxious and I tried to take those comments to task. I was never angry with him. Maybe he didn't like my comment about his nutsack, but I kind of doubt it was a big deal. It was a metaphorical nutsack anyhow.

What else, oh yes, I think I'm slated to read at the Frequency Series on Saturday, October 29. I'll also be reading in Miami on November 11 with a bunch of rad poets. Also I'll be sitting on some panels this fall on blogging, being a poet (hee hee), running a literary magazine, etc. You can check here for more information and I'll post the events here as they near.

Saving the best for last, it's September. No Tell Motel is accepting submissions. Please, follow the guidelines, yo.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

TB Signing Off

Reb's due back from the beach, all tan and rested, Thursday. So this is my last hurrah. I've enjoyed my blogging stint but its quite apparent I don't have enough to say to make it interesting for any extended period of time. I'll work on something good in time for the next annual Morrow beach trip.

Its been real.

P.S. A happy birthday holla to Jenn W.