Saturday, December 31, 2005

Coming Soon (Sometime in the Year 2006)

From The Whole Coconut Chapbook Series

Cover Design: Charles Orr

Friday, December 30, 2005

Now Available

mem 3

featuring new writing by reb livingston, chris murray, hoa nguyen, danielle pafunda, laurel snyder, kathrine varnes

$6, includes postage

orders to jill stengel, a+bend press, po box 72298, davis ca 95617


Pip Lit 2 - Perversity in Poetry


Yes Tony . . .

. . . Gideon is indeed tough and and doesn't take crap from anyone.

Happiness is . . .

. . . having a babysitter for New Years.

My 2006 Resolution

For 2006, I resolve to no longer mention insane and hateful e-mails or comments on this blog. By doing so, I seem to attract and encourage even more idle freaks*. Besides, it's a pointless exercise on my part -- my response will always be "go fuck yourself."

I will continue to respond to legitimate criticisms and inquiries in my usual fashion.

* "Idle freaks" meaning strangers with nothing better to do than send insults and attacks via e-mail or anonymous comments on this blog. I get it, I'm a talentless, suckful hack.

I'm not referring to people who simply comment on this blog or send e-mail.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

My 2006 Projects

1. Finish my manuscript, Charm's Vandalism

2. Start a poetry press

3. Potty train Gideon (heh heh heh)

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Some Things I Learned in 2005 (a short list)

1. When diapering, flip the switch DOWN.

2. The epidural is the single greatest invention of the 20th century.

3. The second greatest invention is stain guard.

4. As a busy mom, I don't have the luxury of dying for poetry, or anything else for that matter.

5. No matter how many accolades and how much warmth a gruesome soul receives, his soul will remain gruesome.

6. Hateful e-mails and anonymous blog comments give me strength and further my resolve to continue to write poems or "destroy all things poetry" (same difference, I'm told). Especially last night's bold anonymous comment. This little housewifey is thrilled that her mere blogging existence has the power to distract the true, great poets from their own work--if only for a few moments a day. Every little chip makes my own shallow, phony, lice-ridden poemies seem all that much better. I don't care if my poems don't stand the test of time to Tuesday, as long as I can ruin what you treasure most. Perhaps after I'm through with that, I'll nail the true poets' women, just for giggles--and something to blog about.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

6 Months Of Practice

Tis the season to post too many baby pictures.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Our Four Days of Christmas

Just finished our third day of Christmas -- now we're in Pittsburgh at my father's. In a few minutes we're going to eat the birthday cake Molly Arden mailed.

Tomorrow (day 4) is with my mother.

No elves were harmed in the opening of today's gifts.

This Week at No Tell

Timothy Bradford checks himself in a crescent of broken mirror this week at No Tell Motel.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Every Time You Cry, An Elf Dies

Saturday, December 24, 2005

People Always Ask . . .

. . . if having my birthday on Christmas means I get gypped out of presents.

No, not really. Relatives tend to remember my birthday because its on Christmas.

Presents are never an issue.

Birthday parties -- well, that's a little different. I almost always get a cake (in my adult years TB usually provides it). But birthday-centered celebrations? Nope. Friends are busy celebrating the holiday with their families. As a child I had two birthday parties, at age 6 and age 11 (not on my actual birthday, but near). Not many kids were around to attend. As an adult, I've had one "dinner with friends" celebration that I instructed Chris to throw. I've never told him to do another one and well, he's a dude, if I don't tell him, it's never going to happen.

People tell me I should celebrate my birthday in July or some other time so I can have a big party and get more presents. Never had any desire. I like my holiday birthday and I'm alright sharing the spotlight with Jesus. I mean, the rest of the year is all about me, I can share one day with a savior.

But hey, thanks for asking!

Friday, December 23, 2005

WARNING -- "Sherman Alexie Christmas Card"

OK -- I don't normally post virus warnings, but Molly and I just received an e-mail in our submission queue with an attached MS Word file with the subject "a christmas card from sherman alexie to molly & reb" from a hotmail account -- perhaps this is just an aimed attack at us by a spurned pool boy, but in case this person is "targeting" other poetry editors . . . whatever you do, don't open the Word document -- it's full of child porn (and possibly a virus). No I didn't open it, I sent it to my network security husband to check it out.

See, this is why we don't accept attached files from people who don't clear it with us beforehand. And luckily since this kind of thing is one of Chris' fields of speciality, it's already been reported and is being investigated.

Sorry Virginia, Sherman Alexie did not really send you a Christmas card.

Today Is Going To Be. . .

. . . all about cleaning the house and doing last minute shopping. Won't have much time to blog -- so Merry Rebeccamas or whatever it is you celebrate.

The full week of Jenny Browne's holiday poems are up now at No Tell Motel. You got your Halloween, your Thanksgiving, your Christmas and your whatever goes in the spring.

Hah! Once Again Losing My Faith In Online Quizes

Your Christmas is Most Like: A Very Brady Christmas

For you, it's all about sharing times with family.
Even if you all get a bit cheesy at times.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Happy Dance

I am holding the print galley of The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel in my hand. It looks great. I have to upload the file again (with the ISBN number on the copyright page) and with two small fixes -- then approve the second (and last galley), but it's looking like it'll be ready in early January.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Monday, December 19, 2005

This Week at No Tell

Jenny Browne forgets the red box of raisins at the No Tell Motel holiday party.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Pre-holiday Photos

Friday, December 16, 2005

The Hidden Expenses of Parenthood

Last year in our anticipation of all things baby, we purchased a new sofa and chair and stain guarded the micro-fiber upholstery with a chemical so powerful, bodily fluids bead on it. It has been put through the test numerous times this year, especially during the Spring of Spit Up, and has passed with flying colors. If you came to my house, you'd have no idea what was once done on the very spot you're sitting.

Now that the boy is mobile, the square metal and glass coffee table is a major threat. It's been responsible for at least 3 lumps on his head and it's only a matter of time before he hits the corner and needs stitches.

So tonight I ordered this coffee table as a replacement. It's the safest one I could find excluding the one made by Nerf.

Shhh, It's a Secret . . .

. . . but I have it on good authority this is what Santa is getting for Gideon:

His Very Own Airplane!

It's loud as fuck. By January 10th I'll probably be on some pretty serious medication.

Thursday in the Hair Salon


ME: Yep.

BGWBSWATTSWWBOMH: You're making a face like something is wrong.

ME: No, that's just my face.


Blonde highlights, red/burgandy lowlights. My hair is ready for the holiday season.


Reading under the heat lamp: The Hounds of No by Lara Glenum

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

It's a Statistical Fact

10 out of 10 relatives agree -- "That's Not Butter" is clearly the best poem I ever wrote.

10 out of 10 relatives agree -- "Rare Hawk Evident" is just weird and does nothing for them.

10 out of 10 relatives agree -- if I would write more poems regular smart people can understand, maybe I'd finally start getting somewhere.

Poetry You Can Dance To

Scott Glassman sent his podcast to me last week, but I only got around to listening to it now. It's very cool, you should definitely check it out.

I love it when poets (or anyone, for that matter) pursue creative projects. Especially the kind that are "given" away. We're in a time and place that only puts worth on how much money can be made. Sometimes it seems that if you can't make money from it (or if it won't make you "famous"), it's not worth doing. Hey, I'm all for getting paid! When I had the time to devote 20 hours a week to designing jewelry, you bet your sweet ass I got paid. Those beads and findings cost $$. It was definitely something I enjoyed doing, but it should be noted that my original motivation was to create pieces for myself instead of overpaying at a retail store. I'd see something at Neiman Marcus for $500, I'd make something similar in two hours and spend $40. Friends and acquaintances wanted pieces, I sold things on eBay and festivals. . .

. . . and family and friends were really impressed by that. A family member said, "All that school for poetry and who would have ever thought you'd be making jewelry!" I pointed out that jewelry was a side thing and that poems were always more important. She didn't understand. She was trying to pay me a compliment and I was (again) being obstinate. As far as she was concerned, I finally was doing something that had worth.

Obviously I don't agree with that, but what can you do? You can keep pursuing what has worth to you and accept your nearest and dearest probably won't get it and most of society won't appreciate it until it garners a big-studio movie deal. Maybe it was always like this, I don't know. My memory of past lives is pretty hazy.

I LOVE jewelry. If I don't get a piece of jewelry for Christmas -- the holiday is ruined. I have a huge box of it brimming with pieces and I'm always adding to it. Beading was satisfying and there are a few pieces I'm pretty proud of. Some day I might go back to it when it's no longer a death-risk to have tiny beads strewn all over the house. But NEVER has creating a piece of jewelry or gazing at the lovely finished product been equal to writing or completing a poem -- even if 99 out of 100 people prefer the necklace and forever keep asking when I'll be getting back to work.


For those folks who haven't given the OK or requested changes on the Bedside galleys -- Wednesday is the last day! Speak up or forever hold your peace.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

What I Stood in Line for on Monday Afternoon

Monday, December 12, 2005

My News

Oh, disregard Saturday's post. I was being goofy and suffering from a sugar-high-like feeling, happiness mixed with a nervous apprehension of how my work will now be viewed. How I might be regarded. Sometimes I'm dopey. I tell people to go fuck themselves on a daily basis. I'm not supposed to care what people think, right?

And why do I deal better with "You suck, you mediocre crap blogging piece of suck" than I do with positive comments?

I found out that my poem "That's Not Butter" originally published in MiPO's Gabe Gudding issue was selected by Billy Collins to appear in Best American Poetry 2006.

What's a stronger word for shocked?

Thank you Gabe and Didi for choosing and publishing that poem. Thank you Shafer Hall for last summer's Tiger Poem call. Thank you Gideon for making me so ill in my first trimester that the only thing I could do was lay on the sofa and write derranged poems inspired by children's stories.

It's an honor and I'm excited and will rename Gideon "Billy Collins Morrow."

This Week at No Tell

K. Lorraine Graham avoids an acquaintance and a tree and a homeless man and a man collecting money for the environment this week at No Tell Motel.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

What's Wrong With Contemporary American Poetry?

I'm what's wrong with it.

That's right, bring it on.

More to follow -- I'm not ready to expound just yet.

Gideon and I are giggling, clapping and chanting "Daddy, Daddy, Shovel Our Poop!"

It's a silly afternoon.

Friday, December 09, 2005

2006 Burlesque Reading Schedule

"The hottest reading series in the hemisphere."

What I Really Want For Christmas. . .

. . . is one of those corn-burning stoves I just read about on Drudge. How neat is that?

Holiday gift ideas are up in my "Crucial Rooster" column at The Happy Booker.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

My Pushcart Nomination from the Niagara Falls Region

For the poem "Rare Hawk Evident"

For those of you paying close attention, you may recognize that poem from a draft during my thieving blog poem days. That's right, I'm here to tell you that stealing does indeed pay.

And just because my crimes haven't been making the news, don't think for one second your blog is safe. As a busy mom, I simply don't have the time to come up with my own ideas.

From the "My Friends Are Weirdos" File

Don't Try This at Home

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Break From Proofing Meme

Ten Years Ago:

Chris and I are doing renovations on our new "starter" home (that ten years later we will still live in) and planning our upcoming April wedding. Lots of bickering over silly details. Annoyed with friends and co-workers constantly asking me "why?" I want to get married. For the first (and only time), I'm excited about the projects I'm assigned in my new position as "Assistant Producer" for AOL's Reference Channel. I launch my first "major" area -- "Que's Computer and Internet Dictionary." It's a hideous design. My manager loves me. I'm the perfect corporate monkey. I believe I am going places even though an Ocean City, NJ psychic recently told me that I have already reached my career pinacle with the company and am really supposed to be a teacher. He also calls me a smart ass.

Five Years Ago:

I'm preparing my graduate lecture on duende and editing my thesis (defunct manuscript this blog is named after). I'm submitting my manuscript to hoards of contests I have no chance of winning. I'm sending out resumes to rejoin the workforce I left for grad school. I'm not particularly excited about the prospect, but feel like it's something I should do. I'm seeking guidance from a psychic and disappointed when she tells me there is no book in my immediate future.

One Year Ago:

I'm fat and uncomfortable, exhausted from amenia. Chris is constantly up my ass about my eating habits. People give me annoying parenting advice. My maternity clothes are too tight and I'm sick of wearing the same four pairs of pants. I hate being pregnant, but am excited about having a baby. The house is full of baby gifts. Our ugly guest room is transformed into a beautiful nursery. The house keeps leaking water. I'm doing a fair amount of writing. I get the idea of doing The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel but decide not to embark on it until after I have the baby. Tons of ideas I have no way of completing stream through my mind. I'm seeking guidance from my astrologer who tells me that despite the chaos going on in friends' and family's lives, our house will be protected. Am disheartened when he says I won't get much writing done the first seven months of Gideon's life. I decide to prove him wrong. I'm generally happy, but worn. I believe my diabetic cat, Clyde, is getting better and have no idea these are the last weeks of his life.


Chagrined to wake up to a snotty and bizarrely nasty comment (anonymous, of course) on this blog from something I wrote well over a year ago. Respond with my standard "Go Fuck Yourself." Receive a text message from an old boyfriend informing me that he's about to undergo his first round of chemo. I spend every free moment putting together and sending out Bedside galleys. Sweep Cheerios from the floor twice. I do 45 minutes on the treadmill and am frustrated at how long it's taking me to lose the "baby" weight, but am pleased to discover I lost 3 pounds last week. I am constantly feeding Gideon who is now eating almost as much as I am. I share my chicken salad with him over dinner. I offer him a taste of ice cream and regret doing so after he screams for more in the restaurant. I give him more to keep him quiet so not to disturb the other patrons. Chris mocks my "one space / two space" debacle, claims he tried to tell me that YEARS ago.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Hatching of Emily Chickenson

From Jill Alexander Essbaum:

Emily Chickenson's Stationery Store!

For those of you who don't know what this is all about, the short version: I learned to cook this year. I baked chickens. They were so purty I took their pictures. That got boring after awhile. I began dressing them in rudimentary costumes. It was funny. Enough people thought it was funny that I started from scratch and built little sets-- tableaux, if you will. I punned. I cooked. I photographed. No two chickens are the same. It's funnier that way. The capon is a capon and the turkey is a turkey. Most of these got eaten, afterwards (we stopped at The Last Chicken Supper, as it somehow seemed sacreligious and, as well, the house reeked of chicken).

Single cards are $2.00 apiece.

A set of all 12 images are $16.50.

A set of 10 Christmas cards (Bethle-Hen) are $10.00.

If you live in Austin, I'll deliver to you (so, like, support yer local artist!).

I should have the 2006 calendar ready by the end of the week, beginning of next, and will add that to the website as soon as I do.

And even if this doesn't interest you, could you-- mebbe?-- forward the link to peeps (ha!) in your address book who might be intrigued?

Remember.... stationery makes an excellent holiday gift! (Um, as does copies of Oh Forbidden and Heaven...)

Monday, December 05, 2005

Put Me Out to Pasture?

I've been sending out Bedside proofs all day (if you haven't received yours, don't fret, you will in the next 24 hours or so -- there's a lot of them). One contributor pointed out that there were two spaces after a period in his bio. I responded, yes, of course there are two spaces. He then pointed out that the other bios on the page only had space after their periods. I was like "Crap -- how did I miss all of those?" and started correcting them -- I went through all the bios and noticed about half of them only had one space after their periods. I thought, "How can there be so many dipshits that don't realize there are TWO spaces after each period?!?"

The same contributor wrote back and said, "But isn't it supposed to be ONE space?"

I rolled my eyes and did a Google search -- so I could find a style guide to refer him. I mean really, writers should know these kinds of things, shouldn't they?

Ah, who's the dipshit now? Apparently my information and training is "antiquated" from the old-timey days of typewriters. Yes, when I took a typing class it was typewriters and we were the fortunate class, our typewriters were electric -- the class across the hall had manual typewriters. Both of the instructors had 60's bee-hive inspired hairdos as well, for real, yo.

From what I gleamed from various style guides -- TWO spaces is for typewriters and monospaced fonts, when using a word processor one should only use ONE space after a period.

Well, stick me in the trunk and call it Christmas.

I've been typing for 20 years. There's no way I can stop putting two spaces after a period. It's second nature.

But I probably should follow the new standard for the book layout. No need for the fuddy duddy to antiquate it for everybody else.

Now I have to see if InDesign has an option to do this automatically. I'm sure it does. The real question is, can I figure it out?

Passing on the Word

Rain Taxi is having an eBay charity auction of signed books and broadsides.


From Allyssa Wolf:


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In this installment:

Jon Leon

"I look around gay-eyed at the quartered ponies. Sheila is like an amethyst treat. I go and grab her by the ankles. Visit me. Before I can moan I've got a palm on my triangle. Hector spills about a gram of phencyclidine on the vanity. Sheila pops and it's too much for a paper, need a pipe. Ricky's back, my skin's burning. Four guys glued to my sofa. One two-knee'd, one go here one there. One with fingers in one ass while Rick penetrates "two-knees." I never saw so much. Laco$te place third on my ipod. Sheila's back we're like Malibu fucking. Her face is turned cheek to wall and her eyes are seven shades whiter with the real thing."

--from Saqqara


>From the vault:

Daniel Feinberg

"There are several things I could do with white sheets"

George Medford

"I made my computer say uncle fucker"

Brian Howe

"Your prom dress is ugly

maybe if it were like a baby doll dress"

Julian Semilian

Yes, impulse to freedom, free unencumbered action calls, and you think what if it's dog barf.

Alexandra K.

"I'm thinking a skull is ripping"


*Ghost Play is not compatible with microsoft internet explorer.

This Week at No Tell

Joseph Bradshaw is soaked as the fish he would dream this week at No Tell Motel.


The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel is layed out. Contributors will be receiving galleys this week.

The uber-brief foreword is in Molly's loving hands -- I envision an explosion of red ink and barely legible scrawls of "we can do much better than this!"

Last night I spent the evening listening to soft jazz samples for the online promotional trailer. Hey wait, I should have included that in my music meme!

Lame Music Meme

This is a lame music meme, indeed -- mostly because the only music I've listened to this past week has been on the treadmill from my workout tracks. Not the same music I listen to when writing or driving or just chilling -- but since I'm a sucker for honesty:

Top Five Songs I'm Listening to this Week Obsessively:

1. "Hung Up" - Madonna
2. "Mr. Brightside" (Jacques Lu Cont's Thin White Duke Mix) - The Killers
3. "Soul Meets Body" - Death Cab For Cutie
4. "Dream" - Forest for the Trees
5. "Feel Good Inc." - Gorillaz

Thanks for picking this week, T-Rob!

I don't want to publicly tag five others -- feels like a popularity contest and some people wait on the sidelines longing to be picked and others get annoyed because they were picked, so I subscribe to the C. Dale tag method. I'm using my psychic powers to tag five people. You know who you are -- go forth and post.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

If You Missed My Vocabulary Last Week . . .

. . . you can go here and listen to the entire show.

The readers include David Need, Randall Williams, Ken Rumble, Todd Sandvick, Marcus Slease, Brian Howe, Mike Snyder, Reb Livingston, Carly Sachs and Matthew Shindell.

Friday, December 02, 2005

"Is Blogging Dead?" Ha!

Maybe I should blog about how Chris' hamburger was mistakenly given to the guy in the next booth and how that guy started eating it before the waitress realized her mistake and how the waitress tried to serve it to Chris and how she seemed put out that I demanded she get him a new and uneaten one?

Hey, mistakes happens, I understand. But don't expect my husband to eat your mistake. I watched the guy cut the burger in half and touch every square inch of it with the same sticky fingers he slurped his mozzarella sticks. Don't take it back to the kitchen, count to 30 and bring out the same hamburger like we're not going to notice. You didn't even bother putting on a new bun!

Or maybe I should blog about how my rage quickly diverted to Chris when he tried to tell the waitress "Oh, it's OK" when I was pointing out it was clearly the same hamburger? Siding with HER over ME?

United front, damn it! How are we going to parent effectively if we can't stand together against a waitress trying to pull a slobberburger over on us?

Silliman on Joe Massey's Bramble.