Monday, October 31, 2005

Is it a Bear? Is it Chewbacca?

No! It's a werewolf out past his bedtime!

I'm Not Sure . . .

. . . what a poetry magazine has to do with "a kissy-face love fest going on between local developers and the Raleigh Planning Commissioners" but we appreciate the link!

BTW, do not be alarmed, No Tell Motel is not being subsidized by your tax dollars.

This Week at the No Tell

Phil Crippen tattoos "NTM FOREVER" on the small of his back this week at No Tell Motel.

Sunday, October 30, 2005


Announcement at Lolita & Gilda's Burlesque Poetry Hour.

p.s. I'm Gilda

Reading Recap

Much to my delight, there was an audience. Thank you audience!

I read poems about bras, camisoles, poligamy, stairs, sleeping, vegetables, gardens, pancakes, penises, an amusement park, wind, marriage, freckles and other miscellany. Towards the end of my reading something felt wrong. I finished with a poem about a man beating and eating his pregnant wife (it's a good closer) and walked over to my chair and reached for my orange juice (I wanted pineapple, but Shafer warned it might be skunky). I didn't make it to my orange juice and magically the ceiling appeared (The Four-Faced Liar has a pretty neat ceiling). Shanna made sure my brains didn't spill out of my skull. That was thoughtful.

During Rob Ostrom's reading, my cell phone rang (cause everything is always all about me and why should I have to turn off my ringer just cause somebody is reading poetry?). I was at the other end of the room resting so Shafer turned it off and in the process put down a whammy. When I turned my phone back on it wasn't working and everything was stuck and I was all "I'm a very important person and surely that's a very important message and I need to get it!" Finally a mysterious man in a pink wig came to my rescue, but wouldn't tell me how he fixed it. I retrieved my message. It was Laura telling me she couldn't make my reading.

After Max Winter's reading I chatted briefly with his parents. We pondered why the hell anyone would ever move *to* Pittsburgh and then I asked how they managed to raise two poet sons. Apparently their mistakes were letting their sons interact with poets when they were children and not pressuring their sons to become doctors, engineers and lawyers. Good stuff to know. From this point on, Gideon is forbidden from all poetry readings. Mommy needs a son she can brag about to all the other crones when she's forgotten at the nursing home.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Werewolf costume is absolutely adorable. Pictures to be posted late Monday evening.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Chris in The New Yorker

THE ZOMBIE HUNTERS: On the trail of cyberextortionists by EVAN RATLIFF

Chris thinks it's a big coup that he "beat" me into The New Yorker. I haven't the heart to tell the poor guy my ambitions lie elsewhere. Bully for you, dear!

"In the most common scenario, the bots surreptitiously connect hundreds, or thousands, of zombies to a channel in a chat room. The process is called “herding,” and a herd of zombies is called a botnet. The herder then issues orders to the zombies, telling them to send unsolicited e-mail, steal personal information, or launch attacks. Herders also trade, rent, and sell their zombies. “The botnet is the little engine that makes the evil of the Internet work,” Chris Morrow, a senior network-security engineer at M.C.I., said. “It makes spam work. It makes identity fraud work. It makes extortion, in this case, work."

* * *

p.s. Speaking of zombies, in a couple hours I'll be taking Gideon over to his Grandma's so he can try on his Halloween costume.

Werewolf, baby.

Cause he's a biter.

Hey, my reading is an alternative to the Creeley Memorial!


Thursday, October 27, 2005

Adult Conversation

Phatback and I discussed his plans for his children's book OTB is A-OK. It's about a daddy who is upset that while he's slaving away for corporate America -- Mommy and their little boy spend afternoons betting on the ponies.

Sounds bittersweet.

I can't wait to write a blurb for that!

Adult Interaction

This afternoon I gave Gideon a bath and said "Now you smell very nice, too bad I'm the only one around to appreciate it."

He replied "Mother, please take a shower too. I've been suffering you all week."

To that I snapped, "Like I'm going to waste all that water and soap just for your benefit, baby. You're one to talk, every day it's the same game: 'Where's the funky smell in the nursery coming from?' Could it be the crib? The diaper champ? The changing pad? The hamper? Or did you manage to take a whizz on the curtains when I wasn't looking?"

Ahem. See, Chris has been away all week at a conference in California and this is how Gideon and I get when it's just the two of us for an extended period of time.

I decided perhaps the cure for our malaise would be a little adult interaction and e-mailed Phatback to see if he and the Mrs. would join us for dinner this evening. One needs to be careful when using the word "adult" around Phatback, else he might get a totally different idea. Suburban couples can be kind of freaky.

Reading - NYC - Saturday

I'll be reading with Max Winter and Rob Ostrom on Saturday, October 29 at 2 p.m. at the Frequency Series (Four-Faced Liar in Greenwich Village).

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

No Tell Motel Pushcart Nominations

Charles Jensen -- "Nina (2)"
Andrew Mister -- "Trapdoor Fucking Exit" 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Elizabeth Bradfield -- "Introduced Exotics"
Jasper Bernes -- "Not This Mouth"
Shirley Stephenson -- "Reception"
Cynthia Huntington -- "Shot Up in the Sexual Revolution (The True Adventures of Suzy Creamcheese)" 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

BRAMBLE by Joseph Massey

Bramble (a book of lunes), is now available from Hot Whiskey Press. Ordering information can be found here.

6" x 5", 52 pages, stab bound. Covers letter-pressed at Naropa's Harry Smith Print Shop. First five buyers have the option of receiving a limited edition black cover version of the book. Cost of the book: $6.50.

* * *

Post-Slacker, Post-Post-Avant, Post-Smiths, Joseph Massey is the Li Po of the Beaten Generation. Pithy, angular, and always sincere, these small poems reward reading (now) and rereading (after a few pints). Massey writes, breathes into being "what's between us" -- these poems are not personal, but Personist in the best way, giving a calm, steady voice to moments most of us miss. In Bramble, stillness gives way to communion.

--Anthony Robinson

* * *

In the tiny space of just 13 syllables, each poem in Bramble takes the reader straight into the thicket of sight sounded and sighted sound, that wide awake eyes and ears peeled attention to what presents itself in each moment: a memory, a dry-rotted garden hose, a bumblebee, nameless blooming weeds on the lawn of a burnt-out house, even the slippery in-betweenness of the act of listening/reading itself...

here, the one speaking
& the one
listening, is you

Given the strictures of the lune form, what's particularly exhilarating about this crisply constructed book is how inclusive Massey manages to be. Echoing Darwin's admonition, "Never say higher or lower," squashed ants, wads of gum, and pigeon shit find their rightful place alongside the earthy ups and downs of the human realm in a seamless web of democratic particulars. Taking dictation from the weather, Massey's disciplined and deeply ethical poetics steers clear of the all-too-human temptation to fiddle with, fix, or prod the world (think of Whalen's "You'll only make things worse...") into an anthropomorphized Disney World of how we'd like things to be; he knows, like few other poets, how to leave things alone. Bramble reminds us musically, humorously, and humbly not to miss the this of "this is all there is."

--Tyler Doherty

* * *

Indeed there is "the page behind the poem" and there is the poem behind the poet or perhaps it's the poet behind the poem. Difficult to say. One can be easily be lulled into feeling Joseph Massey's chapbook is transparent only to let her guard down and slowly be penetrated by his whisper-like magic. The lips of Bramble say "this is all there is" but its eyes say "behind each breath your life lets go."

--Reb Livingston

Lolita and Gilda's Burlesque Poetry Hour 2006 Winter/Spring tentative schedule is shaping up very nicely. It looks like we have Kim Addonizio for the premiere on January 30. We haven't settled yet on our male reader. Each reading will have one boy and one girl. A little something for everybody once the "take it off" component commences.

Sent my suggestions for No Tell's Pushcart nominations to Molly. Hopefully we'll discuss later this week and I can contact the six poets.

It's 3 AM and Gideon is crying and I haven't figured out a title for this post. Guess it won't have one. Time to be a mom.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

You never write, you never call and you know who you are.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Panel Recap

On Saturday I joined Lucinda Ebersole from Gargoyle and David Housley from Barrelhouse to discuss literary magazines at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference. See, I didn't get an official program until I showed up so I had no idea that the panel/workshop was supposed to last for two and a half hours. There was a lot of "so what do you want to talk about now?" We discussed both starting a literary journal and how to get published in one. It was casual and I always enjoy talking about myself so I had fun. Also, the college kids who were somehow cajoled into attending had computers with Internet access right in from of them, so they could check e-mail surf the web as soon as they got bored. It was a win/win for all.

I met 42opus fiction editor, Zachary Benavidez. I was like "Hey, my poem just appeared in your magazine!" and he was like "Really? Oh, um, yes, yes, splendid work."

If you have good (shorter) fiction, send it Zachary's way.

At the end of the panel Richard Peabody from Gargoyle stepped in and we discussed the ramifications of Kate Moss doing blow and the MiPO podcast interview. Apparently he never felt like I was dissing him (and other print editors) at the Writer's Center panel and assured me he wasn't dissing me in the MiPO interview. So there was no dissing of any kind.

Thank God. The last thing I need is another literary mag editor out to get me.

My Opinion Matters

I'll be judging one of poetry contests for the Poetry Society of Virginia. I won't say which of the contests I'll be doing, so enter all 28 if you want that "edge". Actually the judging is blind, so unless you drop your name in the poem (which is probably against the rules too), I'll have no idea who sent what. Don't worry if you're my friend and think I might recognize your work. The truth is, I've never read your work. The only poems I read are my own.

This Week at the No Tell

Kristi Maxwell has a zipper with broken teeth this week at No Tell Motel.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Blog For Sale -- All Serious Offers Considered

My blog is worth $34,436.94.
How much is your blog worth?

link from Christine Hamm

Friday, October 21, 2005

Coconut Two!

The new Coconut just went live today. I have four poems in this issue.

Other poets in this issue: ron padgett, leslie scalapino, shin yu pai, arielle greenberg, jenna cardinale, elaine equi, edmund berrigan, nate pritts, larry sawyer, laura carter, anselm berrigan, jessy randall, jenny boully, shane allison, laura solomon, sueyeun juliette lee, tony tost, peter jay shippy and christine scanlon.

A review of Coconut One can be found here.

Chris has been trapped at the Reston Town Center all morning. He met a friend for breakfast and someone robbed (tried to rob?) the bank across the street. Chris is OK. He's excited about seeing so many machine guns close up.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Whole New Reading

Shirley Stephenson's poem "First Water" is re-Born.

Visuals and sounds by Daniel James O'Connell.

Let Me Tell You What You Can Do With That Ladder

In a comment below Simmons asks: "Thanks for passing that on Reb. I followed up to Laurel's post with a set of questions: I wonder if the perspective is the same for "older" students---say mid-30s on---who decide to pursue an MFA. Is it the same ladder? Do they find the same mentoring "opportunities?" Is it a similar but parallel world, or do they fit into the same game?"

Let me start by saying no poet needs an MFA. Some poets find it useful, others find it to be a waste of time, some are mixed and apathetic about their experience. At the risk of repeating myself incessantly, an MFA won't get you published, a teaching job, any kind of job, etc. It gives you an opportunity to study writing with (hopefully) skilled poets and meet some peers. You can study writing and develop a community a lot of other ways too. I see no reason to take a pro or anti MFA stance and find the arguments on both sides ridiculous.

An MFA doesn't make you a "master" of poetry just like an MBA doesn't make you a "master" of business, if we're using a definition that "master" means "expert". An MFA doesn't make you a more serious poet. The degree is not a golden ticket.

To answer Simmons' question, it really depends on the program. There are tremendous differences. I know people who went to Iowa and New School and Pitt and so on, and none of their descriptions are remotely similar. When I was at Bennington from '99 - 2001, the average age for a student was 37, I think. From what I hear, the average is now younger, but there are still a number of "older" students. I honestly believe age played no role in the kind of attention one got at Bennington. Of course, I also didn't experience the "ladder" that Laurel describes at Iowa.

My experience at Bennington was incredibly non-competitive. Yes, if somebody we considered unworthy published a book or placed a poem somewhere, we'd make our catty comments. Such is life. But that wasn't the usual atmosphere. There was no "Bennington" voice -- of the 7 poets in my class, we each had dramatically different writing styles and interests. Being a low-residency program -- there wasn't that influence to be like everyone else. Every semester one studies with a new mentor, so one mentor doesn't wield an excessive amount of influence either.

I have no idea what the rates are at other MFA programs, but pushing 5 years after graduation -- only 2 out of the 7 of us are still writing regularly -- that I know (unless somebody is being super-secretive). None of us have a full-length collection published. During the program and immediately after, most placed work in publications, got some notice with a honorable mention or semi-finalist in contests, some did some part-time teaching, etc. That's not enough to sustain writing. It has to be something outside of all that crap. It's possible, like Laurel, some of those folks may go back to writing regularly later, when life slows down, kids start school, etc. Being a writer means writing and that has nothing to do with a ladder.

I think Laurel's whole point was "fuck the ladder" and "fuck the game" -- just write and if you want your work to have an audience, focus on publishing in places that have that audience. If you don't know of a place that has "that" audience, be "creative" and make a place/thing for that audience.

If you're interested, I've written other things about MFAs on this blog:

April 12, 2004

June 7, 2004

October 8, 2004

November 2, 2004 (the post that earned me several nasty messages from FW, genius poet)

November 11, 2004

Zines Panel

Despite my distaste for the term "zine" (I prefer "magazine" or "journal" -- "zine" seems excessively casual or slight), I will be participating on the "Zines" panel/workshop at the Tenth Annual F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference this Saturday at Montgomery College in Rockville, MD. Should be fun.

1:30 p.m. Moderator: Lucinda Ebersole (Gargoyle). Panelists: David Housley (Barrelhouse) and Reb Livingston (No Tell Motel)

Jalapeno Pepper Ice Cream by Chris (I gave him a baby, so I don't cook anymore)

for T-Rob, Rebecca, Jeffery and anyone who blogs about food

Peppers from my dad's garden

Limes from Harris Teeter

Ice cream maker/Christmas gift from Aunt Diane & Uncle Marty

I don't much care for jalapeno pepper ice cream -- notice my store bought cookie dough ice cream in the corner

Recipe for Chris Morrow's Jalapeno Love Ice Cream

4 peppers
Peel of 2 limes
2 tbsp lime juice
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup whole milk
16 oz heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla

Parboil peppers
Cool peppers
Mix peppers, juice, peel and blend until finely chopped
Mix in milk, sugar until smooth and fully blended
Mix in heavy cream stir quickly
Pour into ice cream maker
Spin until firm


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

My Favorite Stalker

Laurel Snyder writes about MFAs and what it means to be a writer at the The Happy Booker.

Everlast My Ass

Favorite new sweatpants have a hole in the seam of ass. PIlates trainer will definitely see orange/pink underwear. No time to sew. Ugh.

Question: Will an "ass bomb" be sufficient for my finicky blog readers?

Next question: Should I use the phrase "ass bomb"?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

From This Morning's Mail

"I haven't visited the blog as much because it's really gotten to be trade talk more than the old hysterical "fuck bomb" you used to be."

Monday, October 17, 2005

This Week at the No Tell

Anthony Robinson is breaking my heart this week at No Tell Motel.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Pittsburgh Sunshine, New Glasses, French Orange Vest

Saturday, October 15, 2005

What about a smirking poet with an iBook under her arm and a full day of writing discrete or sexy or funny poems ahead of her?

I hate it when nerds stereotype.

Polishing the Accent

We're in Pittsburgh this weekend. Haven't been here since July when I fell down a hill holding Gideon.

Stayed up until 3 a.m. with my father watching the first two seasons of The Office. When the niblet gets up from his nap we're heading over to my mother's. The fire whistle up the street is going off and the dog is howling. I think this will be a very short nap.

Reading Ron's new book The Stewardess is Flying the Plane!

Looking into train tickets to NYC for my reading on the 29th.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Hi, I'm a Little Ham of Rage

October's Crucial Rooster is up at The Happy Booker.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Informal Poll - Happy Hour or Pajama Party?

About AWP -- yes, the Christmas-rolled-in-bacon-and-sex AWP in Austin that is still five months away.

Which No Tell Motel event would you be more likely to attend?

1. An early evening happy hour at an establishment near the conference hotel. You would most likely have to buy your own drinks. The event would end early and you could go to other parties or the "big dance" and gawk at drunk writers shimmying to "Hey-yeah."

2. A late evening (that ran until late night) pajama party at an Austin residence. It would be a six minute drive (mostly freeway) from the conference hotel. Drinks and food would be provided. Attendees would be expected to wear pajamas. There would be a high probability of inappropriate groping. Photographs may be taken. The following morning may be tinged with regret and embarassment.

New Issue of Kulture Vulture

I have three poems at Kulture Vulture.

Other poets in this issue: Daniel Borzutzky, Anne Boyer, Daigan Lueck, Shafer Hall, Jon Leon, Matthew Henriksen, Nicolas Hundley, Dan Chelotti, Dan Rosenberg, Mike Alexander, Catherine Daly, Geoffrey Cruickshank-Hagenbuckle, Jeff Harrison, Justin Marks, The Pines, Francis Raven, Chuck Stebelton, Lance Phillips, Diana Magallon and Michael Robins.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Woo Woo MiPO

The new Tom Beckett issue is up.

Poems by Amy King, Jonathan Mayhew, Jilly Dybka, Shanna Compton, Eileen Tabios, Jon Leon and many others.

I really need to consider the impression I give people

My friend said this site reminded him of me.

Unfair! I've never molested a statue. Clearly these statues consented to my affections.

Thanks for the Hot Times

Thank you to the person who sent me a check with "Hot Times" written in the "For" line. It really brightened the drive-thru teller's morning. Leers and smirks brighten my morning too! Reminds me of the time a college boyfriend's rent check bounced. The bank mailed the check to my permanent address (i.e. my father's house). While there are some similarities in these situations, there are two main differences. One, today's check is unlikely to bounce and two, a bounced check for "Hot Sex" failed to brighten my father's morning or my afternoon when I had to hear all about it.

Compton/Knox Reading

Maureen demonstrates her support



Jennifer and Shanna enlighten the audience

Monday, October 10, 2005

My Unremarkable Weekend

I love my new glasses, but am concerned they may be too delicate and easily break. They have a one year guarantee. I have one year to teach Gideon not to grab them.

The optometrist didn't ask me if I was from Pittsburgh. He already had it noted on my file. He asked me if I was still a student and I said no, not since January 2001. He did ask if I go back to Pittsburgh very often.

He also said I should hurry up and have another baby because then it would be much easier. I asked him if he had children and he said 4. It occurred to me he's probably at work 12 hours a day and had no idea what the hell he was talking about.

I replied that I was waiting for medical science to catch up so Chris could be pregnant with the next baby. (He's so much bigger and stronger than me, that long torso, all that space! -- it seems only right) The optometrist said he bets lots of men would be interested in having such an experience.

That was when I knew he had no idea what he was talking about.

Or he was one of those psycho lying optometrists we hear so much about.

I screwed up the TiVO and the season premiere of Smallville got recorded over -- much to the chagrin of Tender Buttons.

Said I was sorry about 10 times.


As noted in the comments, Chris did not wreck and hurt himself on his ride. He did catch a cold. Now I have a cold. Gideon has a runny nose too, but I think that's related to his teething. His first tooth is coming in and it's sharp.

It looks like I'll be able to make the Shanna Compton/Jennifer L. Knox reading tomorrow evening.

I'm getting out of the house. Pip pip!

This Week at the No Tell

Gina Myers wants what she can't have this week at No Tell Motel.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

An Accent That Gets Me Noticed, But Not Remembered

Chris is in Maryland doing a 100 mile bike ride today. It's been pouring rain for the past 24 hours. I'm worried he's going to wreck and hurt himself. He's very good at wrecking and hurting himself. I need him not to wreck and hurt himself.

TB will help me pick out some new specs this afternoon. I've had these ones for three years. Frames are getting bigger again. That makes me happy because I never really liked the tiny ones.

I use the optometrist connected to the store I usually buy my glasses. This is how this afternoon is going to play down:

I'll walk into his office and say something (i.e. "Good afternoon, I'm Rebecca.").

On hearing me speak his eyes will light up and he'll ask "Are you from Pittsburgh?"

I'll respond, "Yes, I graduated from Woodland Hills. You're from Connelsville. Our high schools both have kick ass football teams."

"Oh, we've had this conversation before. I'm sorry. I get so many people through here."

"That's OK. I only come around every 2 or 3 years. I don't expect you to remember me."

"So, is your family still in the area?"

Friday, October 07, 2005

What's On My Not To Do List

Don't spend anymore time on iTunes downloading music and burning CDs for Gideon.

What we're really digging:

Classic Nursery Rhymes, Sue Tallman

What isn't living up to our expectations:

Hip Hop Baby: Tunes for Baby that Won't Drive You Crazy
Rock Baby: Tunes for Baby that Won't Drive You Crazy

I mean seriously, should "Push It" really be lulling us to sleep? I don't think so.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

I fear without Massey, the NS groupie quota will plunge.

And just when I was getting excited about AWP.

Oh well, I still edit an online journal. Online editors get plenty of tail, don't they?

Where Have I Been All Day? Preparing for the Apocalypse!

Two headlines forwarded by Tender Buttons today:

Conan to Turn Entire Show Over to U2

Cruise, Holmes: Pregnant!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Don't Even Think About it

A Not To Do List

Who out there can cast the first stone?

I'm not fantasizing about sex, I swear!

Somebody should invite Jeffrey Yamaguchi to speak on a panel about creative project blogging. As somebody who's working on several creative projects, I find both 52 Projects and Bookmouth enlightening and helpful.

A couple of friends have said they want to write a book about X -- I always recommend starting a note-keeping blog, post their ideas and research on a daily basis, see how other people react, receive comments and suggestions. I think a blog is an excellent way to flesh out concepts and organization. If they did that for a year, they'd probably have enough material to convert into a book and already found interested readers.

Jeffrey did it -- his book will be coming out soon.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Notes from Memory on the JRW Conference

"Songs of Myself Panel" - Moderator: Cheryl Pallant, Participants: Jon Pineda, Ron Smith, K. Lorraine Graham and me

We discussed a usual day, when we find time to write, read and do all the other things one does. Things that prompt poems. How writing poetry makes us weird and alienates others. An audience member asked how we defined a poem and it was pretty early because I blurted out "It's like pornography. I know it when I see it."

After that panel I gossiped with Jon Pineda about poets. If you're reading this and have ever had interaction with either of us, we probably made fun of you. Or at the very least I made a crass comment and cackled while Jon politely nodded his head.

I chatted with some attendees and discovered mutual blood feuds.

I attended a panel given by publisher Morgan Entrekin and some of the authors from Grove/Atlantic. Though it focused mostly on fiction (as did most of the conference), it was a helpful panel. I even took notes. Entrekin talked a lot about how important it is for an editor to pitch their authors, share information with them, all the things necessary to inspire a sense of loyalty between both the publisher and author. While a poetry press doesn't have to worry about a corporate publisher swooping in, offering million dollar advances to lure the best authors away -- there were definitely things to take from it. He talked about making a "grand history" which apparently requires publishing quality books for 125 years.

Speaking of poetry presses, I asked Entrekin if he had any advice for someone starting a small poetry press. He tried not to laugh too much and said anyone who was thinking about starting a poetry-only press was very brave. We all know "brave" is code for nutty. Grove/Atlantic publishes four books of poetry a year and on average each sells around 800 copies. His advice was to do everything and anything to keep costs low. I asked him about Print on Demand and he said that was probably a good way to go.

"Everyone's Blogging—Should You?" - Moderator: Caroline Kettlewell, Participants: Ron Hogan and me

Caroline demonstrated how one publishes on a blog and her filling a non-fiction blogging niche. Ron discussed book reviewing, covering literary events and picking up the slack of print publications. I talked about finding a community of writers and other possible opportunities that arise when other writers and editors have a way of knowing you and your work.

The million dollar question: How does one get and keep readers? Answer: Be interesting. Write stuff people want to read. Update your blog on a regular basis.

I caught the last half of a panel on "The State of the Art" which focused on fiction. There was discussion about "shock" what is shocking, can people still be shocked, is there any value in shock, etc. Firmed up my opinion that the last thing I want is for my work is to shock people. That seems like a cheap gimmick. No, I much prefer to engage (and hopefully) stimulate.

There was a party afterwards that I kinda wanted to check out, but I was exhausted and didn't want to hang out for two hours waiting for it to start. So I drove home and got a chance to see Gideon before he went to bed. Then I soaked my dentures and watched episodes of Matlock and the Golden Girls.

Books Acquired at the JRW Festival

The Stewardess Is Flying the Plane!: American Films of the 1970s by Ron Hogan
Into Stillness by Cheryl Pallant
Birthmark by Jon Pineda
2nd Printing (chapbook) by Shann Palmer
Last Citadel by David L. Robbins
The Battle of Kursk: Operation Citadel 1943 by Robin Cross


This Week at the No Tell

David Laskowski is getting to that soon enough this week at No Tell Motel.

Mean Joe Gideon

Saturday, October 01, 2005

from the No Tell Motel gal

Thanks to Didi for pointing me towards this interview of Richard Peabody (editor of Gargoyle) with Laurel Snyder.

I never meant to diss print magazines -- just point out some of their limitations that online publications address such as distribution (i.e. readership) and ease of publishing. I love print magazines and write about them frequently in my "Crucial Rooster" column. That being said, I do prefer my work appearing online. I publish for readers. I get more readers online. I can also tell the difference between bots and real readers at No Tell Motel. There's a lot of real readers at No Tell Motel from all over the world. Lots of unique and repeat visitors. Our publication would not reach those people if it was print.

Sorry if I gave Richard (or any other print editor) the impression I was dismissing them. I am not suggesting we put print mags out to pasture.

As for Laurel's comment that she didn't think online magazines were considered for Best American Poetry and the Pushcart Prize. Not true. I don't have the 2005 BAP, but in the 2004 issue poems were chosen from online publications such as La Petite Zine and can we have our ball back?

The Pushcart Prize anthology accepts nominations of poems from online journals as well. I nominated work from No Tell Motel last year and will do so again this year. We don't do a print annual (and have no intention of ever doing so). Not all online editors have print envy.

Although I do have an interest in printing books, for instance the upcoming Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel anthology has some work from the online magazine and well as a lot of new work. I think online and print can be used to both compliment and promote each other, but I'm not interested in simply transfering work published online into a paper binding to for a sense of legitimacy. Online pubs ain't no god damned son of a bitch.

When I speak at panels (or write on my blog) about online publishing, it's not because I feel like online publications (or blogs) need recognition or respect from anthology editors and prize committees. They already receive that from those paying attention. The reason I may come off as an overzealous cheerleader is because I'm trying to point out to other writers (especially poets who have many obstacles finding readers) that there are other (and depending on your goals, better) options for your work to find an audience. My comments are directed at frustrated writers. I'm trying to get them to think about why it is they're trying to publish their work and suggest solutions to meet those goals. Clearly certain ideas of "prestige" or having a tangible object one can hold in one's hand is important to some seeking publication. My advice may not be so useful to those with such ideas.

Laurel mentioned backlash. I can't imagine what a "backlash" against online publications would entail. Backlash from what? From writers sending work? From readers getting access to work they'd never find in their local bookstores and libraries? Even if BAP and Pushcart didn't consider online publications (which as I said, they do), does anyone really care? What backward press wouldn't publish a book simply because most of its poems were published online? A press that is against publishing poets with name recognition and readers?

"Dear Poet,

While we LOVED your manuscript and were almost going to say yes, we see in your acknowledgment page that No Tell Motel published some of these pieces. We find the NTM editor's blog to be kind of obnoxious and pushy and therefore must take it out on you. Sorry to say no. No, we're not sorry. Online pubs can suck it! Viva La Revolution!

Signed, The Editors

I apologize if I come off as a dismissive asshole to other editors. I can't help being an asshole, but I can work on not giving the impression of dismissiveness.

Tony Tost is very important to my shrieking.

Speaking of panels, as I mentioned earlier, I was on two today (one on literary blogging) and I'll write more about that later this weekend. Hugs (not tugs) to all the wonderful people I met at the James River Writers Conference.

Giftless in Richmond

Richmond is nothing like it seemed all the times I drove past it on 95. It's both beautiful and charming.

You are a bundle of energy always on the go.

That's what was in the fortune cookie I just ate. I also just had a banana. Am I raiding the mini-bar in my hotel room? No, I am not. I am raiding the goodie bag Caroline, the moderator of tomorrow's blogging panel, gave me this evening after she had me (and a number of other writers and friends) over her lovely home for dinner. What did I bring I her? Absolutely nothing. I'm a total ass. Did I mention Caroline picked me up from my hotel?

Patty Smith and Nathan Long drove me back to my hotel. I didn't have any gifts for them either.

Later in the evening I met up with Ron for drinks at the super swank Jefferson. I joined him and Dr. Rosalind Miles, historian Robin Cross and David L. Robbins. Ron bought me a drink. I bought him nothing.

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