Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Some Photos From Last Night's Burlesque Poetry Hour

Can be seen here.

David & Gilda

p.s. I'm Gilda

Just got back a little while ago -- less than a mile from my house my friend David realized he left his backpack at the Rouge so we had to drive back and get it. I'll post pictures and a summary tomorrow. Poor Lolita -- couldn't make it to her big event! There's always February.

Monday, January 30, 2006

It's been a hectic week and weekend -- Chris just got back from Colorado after being away all week and my friend David arrived from Minnesota yesterday for the first Burlesque Poetry Hour. Kim Addonizio and Deborah Landau will be reading and taking it off tonight at 8 p.m. at Bar Rouge. Bring your money! It's not often you get an opportunity to own a piece of a poet.

p.s. I'm Gilda.

This Week at No Tell

Ryan Flaherty wanders along the margins this week at No Tell Motel.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Getting the Word out from 52 Projects

Advice for getting the word out about your book.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Post-Publishing Notes

Some folks have asked for me to share my experience with Lulu so from time to time, I'll post my impressions.

So far, I've had a very positive experience with Lulu -- they're easy to use, have good customer service and their PR people have been helpful. They truly make everything easy -- I doubt I would have been able to do all of this, especially not in the short amount of time, if I had to take care of everything myself.

Lulu ships the books fast and the quality is good.

I also ordered 1 copy of the book on Amazon and B&N to see what that would be like. Books ordered through Lulu and other retail outlets are done by different printers.

I ordered the book on Amazon on January 11 and despite it being advertised as "usually ships in 24 hours" -- it didn't ship until January 24. I haven't received it yet. They estimate "February 15" with the free super saver shipping. Great. Over a month for a book that "usually ships in 24 hours."

The book from B&N that I ordered on January 22 arrived today. The quality of the book is definitely not as good as the ones printed by Lulu. The cover and paper is a lighter stock, more flimsy. It doesn't look terrible, but it does feel a little cheap. So, for $4 more you'll get a lesser quality book. B&N seems to have no problem shipping it promptly -- Amazon, well, I always have trouble with them so maybe they just hate me.

That is a downside of POD right now. I believe the benefits outweigh this -- for instance, the book is available all over the world, and I've seen it on British and Korean book sites -- but I can't be sure what they're printing it on. It's a trade-off. I'm chosing the ease and affordability of publishing and distribution and am giving up some degree of control of the materials used to make the book.

NOTE: According to Clay Banes, books purchased through Ingram are exactly the same as the Lulu books. That's good news.


Tarantella by Rebecca Loudon (Ravenna Press)

from Lauren Bender

I am the new Editor for WORD at PEEKreview online (www.peekreview.net). As a venue it's just getting off the ground, but is essentially the online manifestation--or incarnation--of radarreview (www.radarreview.com). In other words, it's a more far-reaching survey of arts and culture, with Baltimore at its core.

WORD is the contemporary poetry section, and this is my first call for entries. Right now we can only support html and word documents, which unfortunately rules out some great visual stuff for now, but we're working on it.

No constraints (other than those above); please send anything cross-genre, boundary-pushing, unfittable-in-other-venues, or just plain neat-o, to me, at:


Upcoming calls will include more specific collaborations and "themes" (don't you hate that word?), but for now, I'm just looking for a great first go.

Thanks in advance,

Thursday, January 26, 2006

snap snap snap

Greg Perry gives personal reviews of daily poetry sites.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

You Gotta Use What's Out There To Promote Your Books

Working under the assumption that we want more poetry books published, especially books by unknown and lesser-known poets by small independent presses, we should expect those presses to market their titles aggressively and we shouldn't hold it against them if they partake in promotion. If they don't, it's unlikely word will get out about the books and few sales will be made. If few sales are made, the money spent creating the books won't be recovered, and if the press can't (at the very least) break-even, it's going to be difficult for the press to continue publishing books. Some poets may find the economics of this distasteful -- there's this bizarre "we're supposed to be above it" attitude that bugs me. What we're supposed to be above is publishing a crappy book just because we know it'll sell well -- Faber & Faber should have been above publishing Billy Corgan.

But we should never be above getting the word out about good work -- no matter how commercially unviable it may seem. It's our responsibility to our authors to push the titles. Unless we want poetry publishers to be limited to university presses, presses owned by Bertlesman, Time Warner, etc., the handful of presses able to get grants, and the independently wealthy -- publishers must think of the bottom line. We must think creatively -- because we have small or no marketing budgets.

I'm very new (and green) at this and I'm trying lots of things to get publicity for the Bedside Guide -- and I'm thinking past the anthology -- how much attention I'm able to get for this will help garner attention for the single-author collections I plan to publish in the near future.

I'm making goofs, trying out things that don't seem to have an immediate (or any) impact, it's all very very early, too early to tell. As time goes on, I'm going to discuss some of the ways I've tried to market the anthology. I'm doing this to share my experiences with other small publishers and hopefully start a dialogue that I can learn from as well.

Jimmy brings up Amazon Lists. I'm not sure if he really has a beef or if he's just teasing -- no matter, I'm interested in it because it's one of the things I did to promote the anthology. And why not? It's free. It's being seen by people who are already looking at poetry books -- so it's targeted. Why shouldn't a editor take advantage of this? And why would a editor lamely title her list "Five books published by the press I work for?" -- she wants to pique readers' interest, not make them roll their eyes. Do we really have to be 100% transparent and disclose our entire backgrounds --even when it comes to "Listmania"? That editor could have created a bogus account or used a friend's and put together the list under a different name and flew completely under the radar. Would that be preferable? She used her name and referred to herself as "editor" -- I don't see the sneakiness (if that's what is being implied).

Here are my 3 Amazon Lists I put together a few weeks ago to promote the Bedside Guide -- it's too early to know how effective they are -- I know the lists are being viewed, although not by nearly as many as I would have expected:

Very Discreet Poets (wink wink) -- includes books by some of the contributors, it's my hope that people looking at books by these poets will discover they have work in the anthology

Poems For Your Valentine -- hoping to capitalize on the holiday

Intimate Evening Essentials -- hoping to capitalize on people getting busy -- surprisingly, this has been the least viewed list, shame, I spent the most time on it

Now if only I can get those jokers at Amazon to put the picture of the book cover up -- I've sent it to them three times.

True dat

Well, I did wonder -- here's one possible conversation between Mae West and myself by Michelle M Buchanan.

Even in the nut house I'm drapped in pink and blathering about the Bedside Guide.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Oh, I Agree . . .

. . . the anthology definitely creates a context -- the title, the cover, the introduction, the poem order, etc. . . wait until the online infomercial comes out -- talk about context -- then I'll really be the woman walking into the party wearing her see-thru camisole shouting "Stop looking at my tits!"

My Conundrum

Yesterday I heard Darla barfing downstairs in what used to be my writing studio, but is now a storage space with a fold-out sofa. A little while later I went to clean the mess -- but, couldn't find the mess. Obviously I'm going to keep looking and I expect to eventually find it, but . . . what if I don't find it? Should I warn my friend, David, who'll be visiting this weekend and sleeping down there? I suppose this here might be the warning, he's an occasional reader of this blog, even though he doesn't read it on the screen, but prints it out, I know, how 18th century.

David is coming from Minnesota to hang (haven't seen him since summer of 2004) and attend the first ever Burlesque reading. Having him step in a pile of cat vomit probably isn't the hostess with the mostess thing to do -- especially since I'm relegating him to a storage room to sleep. I'll keep looking.

Just finished a brief essay about my poet crush on Amy Gerstler -- should appear at Beatrice sometime soon, maybe next week.


Yesterday's mail:

birds for example by Jess Mynes (Carve Editions, #1)
ZING by Christopher Rizzo (Carve Editions, #2)

Where do you keep your Bedside Guide?

Jim Goar keeps his here and here.

Monday, January 23, 2006

MiPOesias Volume 20, Issue 1 Podcast

Can be heard here.

Readings by David Ayers, AnnMarie Eldon, George Lober, Sharon Brogan, John Korn, Pris Campbell, Jill Chan, Randall Williams, Amy King, Ron Androla, Birdie Jaworski, Reb Livingston and Lee Herrick.

Didi Menendez: Publisher, Producer, Editor, Web Girl...
Jenni Russell: Poetry Editor & Interviewer

Charles responds to Jasper


I wouldn't call it an anthology about sex

. . . but an anthology exploring seduction and a very loose definition of that. While definitely connected, I don't consider the two to be the same.

Jasper has a thoughtful and interesting take on the Bedside Guide.

I think I'm going to do a Bedside Guide every year -- until either the end of human history -- or it stops being fun.

This Week at No Tell

Samuel Amadon makes little puck faces so it seems someone’s put pepper in the prayer this week at No Tell Motel.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

What Would Mae West and I Talk About?

I haven't a clue, but I'd be interested to know.

Recently Received/Purchased

Muffler by Clay Matthews (H_NGM_N Chapbook Series #1)

Daphne and Jim: A choose-your-own-adventure biography in verse by Laurel Snyder (Burnside Review Press)

Burnside Review, Volume 2, Number 1

Saturday, January 21, 2006

According to Barnes & Noble

People who bought The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel also bought:

Prophet Kahlil Gibran
The Iliad and the Odyssey Homer, Samuel Butler (Translator)
Inferno Dante Alighieri, John Ciardi (Translator)
Heartsongs Mattie J.T. Stepanek
Rose That Grew from Concrete Tupac Shakur, Foreword by Nikki Giovanni, Leila Steinberg (Introduction)


Friday, January 20, 2006

What Doesn't Make Our Toes Fall Off Makes Us Stronger

Of course . . .

. . . I could be lying. Chris got back from Dallas last night and Gideon hasn't said "mama" since -- no matter how many times I beg him.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

First word. . .

. . . was not "approximately" -- my psychic powers failed me.

It's "mama" and today I am quite sure he's not just rambling (like he had been for the past few months).

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

"Having It" is not "Free"

The Burlesque Poetry Hour will premiere on Monday, January 30 at 8 p.m. at Bar Rouge in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC.

When I write "poets taking it off" I'm not using one of my fancy poet metaphors. I mean it in the literal sense, the poets reading will take something off their persons (am I saying that right?) and that item will be auctioned to the highest bidder. Who runs off with all that scratch, you ask? The readers, of course. It's their payment and encouragement not to suck.

So yes, the readings are free -- but you'll want to have some cash on your person because these poets don't take American Express.

Readers for January: Kim Addonizio, Deborah Landau, Matthew Zapruder

More information here.

Poets on Good Behavior

There's been lots of talk about poets on bad behavior -- and I've gone on about it here a few times.

Without going into details (partly because I don't want to bring more attention to it and partly because of my own shame), I want to say that I unintentionally, yet royally, screwed over two poets with my carelessness -- and those two poets have every right to "freak on my ass" -- yet both have been wonderfully gracious and maybe a bit too understanding. This isn't an exciting tidbit -- but I want to point out that most poets I deal with are incredibly cool even when they have good reason not to be.

I don't know who was returning my gaze this morning, but it sure wasn't me

A chimpanzee can learn to recognize itself in a mirror, but The New Sincerist can not.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

and on Tuesday God gave heat

Don't mind the vertical lines on my ass -- it's just the impression from the heating grate I'm sitting on.

I like those odds

The title The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel has a 26.3% chance of being a bestselling title!

says Lulu Titlescoreer

Wow. Cold has a powerfully lethargic affect.

I expected to be running up and down the steps to keep warm.


My ass just became one with the sofa.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Wake to a little coconut under your pillow!

Coconut Three features juicy new poetry by Bill Berkson, Eileen Myles, Catherine Daly, Denise Duhamel, Brian Henry, Wanda Phipps, Aaron Tieger, Anita Naegeli, K. Silem Mohammad, randy prunty, Jennifer L. Knox, Daniel Borzutzky, Sandra Simonds, Brandon Shimoda, Heidi Lynn Staples, Mark Lamoureux, Dana Ward, Donna Kuhn, Erin Martin, Sheila E. Murphy, Marina Wilson, Katy Lederer, and Clay Matthews. Now live on the web at http://www.coconutpoetry.org.

Happy reading,
Bruce Covey,
Editor, Coconut

New Crucial Rooster

My first 2006 attempt at tricking literary fiction types into reading poetry is now up at The Happy Booker.

O Woe

No furnace until tomorrow.

This Week at No Tell

Peter Shippy wakes to new moon-faced girls, laid out like pizza boxes this week at No Tell Motel.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Recipe for a Broken Furnace

2 sick adults

1 sick baby

Cold weather

Holiday weekend

Since Junglescan has "issues" -- Chris was a dear and created some scripts to track the Bedside Guide Amazon ranking. Now I don't have to be an obsessive ninny constantly reloading the page.

I know that's something I'm not supposed to cop. It's on the same level of self-googling and doing hourly Technorati searches.

And nose-picking.

But I'm here to say, as long as nobody catches you, it's OK.

Seems like everyone got the latest Poet's Market for Christmas.

So far January has been a very busy month for No Tell submissions.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Contributor copies are mailed. Pip pip!

There are 200 fewer books in my house this evening.

THANK YOU to the local folks who offered to help stuff envelopes.

THANK YOU to the poor suffering postal employees who dealt with me today.

THANK YOU to everyone promoting the Bedside Guide on your blogs and websites.


To Do This Weekend:

Catch up on the massive backlog of No Tell submissions (Caught up through December -- and then some)

Write "Crucial Rooster" column


Friday, January 13, 2006

That'snot funny

Is it February yet?

All three of us have colds, Gideon has an ear infection and may possibly be getting his third tooth. He won't let us look in his mouth. Apparently every time we come near his face it's to inflict one of the following unpleasantnesses:

1. Stick a rubber bulb up his nose to suck out snot
2. Spray saline solution up his nose
3. Wipe his nose and cheeks with a warm washcloth (I know -- that doesn't sound so bad to me either, but apparently it's a very uncool thing to do)
4. Squirt thick orange medicine down his throat with a syringe-ish droper

Did I mention that since he's been sick he gets up 4-6 times during the night? It's like he's a newborn again.


Mailed another set of review copies this evening.

Almost finished packaging the contributor copies.

Plan to make two trips to the post office tomorrow to mail those (one in the morning before Chris goes to work and one when he gets home).

See, I can mail review copies out at night -- that's only one book per -- roughly 12 ounces. I weigh and mail those when the post office is closed.

But the contributor copies are two books per -- well over 16 ounces -- I have to physically hand those to a postal employee.

I could schedule a pick-up at my house if I had a few priority mail packages in the mix -- which I could do -- but for that to happen all the packages have to already have the postage -- that means I need to go to the post office and get postage for 88 packages of about 180 books -- so I'm just going to bring it to them -- and that's hard to do with the boy because he's heavy as well -- and squirmy and uncooperative -- and draining snot at an alarming rate.

But all the contributor copies will be mailed on Friday -- unless Chris screws us all over and doesn't get home from work in time for me to make it to the post office before it closes -- then only half the contributor copies will be mailed on Friday and the rest will be mailed on Saturday or Monday and that would suck because I just want all this packaging and mailing business to be over.

Did I mention I'm going to Tahoe for a weekend in February?

I'm so leaving my laptop at home.

And Gideon.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Attention Independent Booksellers

If you're unable to get a reasonable price from Ingram on The Bedside Guide To No Tell Motel please backchannel to reb (at) notellmotel (dot) org. We can work something out.

The Bedside Guide can be found at the following independent booksellers:

Clayton & Co. Fine Books (317 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD)

and soon at

Pegasus Books Downtown (2349 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA)

Available at Barnes & Noble Now

It's up -- and they added the cover graphic automatically, very cool. I'm stil waiting for my ftp login and password from Amazon to upload it there.

It's Practically Official

Hey -- for those of you Amazon holdouts -- The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel is available on Amazon. I think it just came up a couple hours ago -- I was able to find it with the ISBN, but not by searching on the title or my name. Anyhow, it's there. Now I have to get the cover photo up.

And it's available on Powells for $19.95 -- almost three dollars more than the suggested retail -- and almost seven dollars more than Lulu.

No sign of it on B&N yet, but I imagine it will be there soon.

I'm still putting together contributor copy packages -- please bear with me -- Gideon has a nasty cold and is getting his THIRD tooth. He's hasn't been the most agreeable sort. In fact, he's up and crying right now -- the fourth time this evening. I'm starting to understand why parents used to give their babies whiskey.

The tree is down, curbside -- four ornaments broken (two repairable) -- a new record -- that's more carnage than the year the tree fell over.

Gideon broke three, I broke one -- although I think I'll do a little history revisionism and pin that one on the boy too.

I'm that powerful.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Blog Confession

Making and posting the list below makes me uncomfortable -- and I'm someone who enjoys making lists. I'll probably take it down in a few hours. I don't take posts down that often.

11:47 a.m.-- list deleted. Scott's comment in the post below is right and I'm not interested in making my own version of a "cool" list. I read lots of magazines (and there are plenty I don't read). Posting the list kind of goes against what I was originally trying to say. Apologies.

What We're Trying To Accomplish

Tony's recent post touches on poetic ambitions. All poets have ambitions in some form or another. Joe Massey took the more extreme end of the spectrum as a pure ambition of the poem (and only the poem) and surely there are those on the complete other end with a focused ambition of the "career" in poetry. Even if one does not agree fully (or at all) with Joe's stance -- his makes by far more interesting reading than someone who publicly plots out his or her conquest of all things poetry. "1. Get MFA/Ph.D in this "ranked" program 2. Place poems in these journals 3. Win these awards 4. Publish books with this "reputable" press 5. Secure tenure-track position at this university 6. Nail three students per term (two graduate, one undergrad) 7. Die"

OK, I've never read anything quite that obnoxious on any poetry blogs, but I have observed bits and pieces and while I do agree with Tony's -- hey, do what you gotta do, I'm not judging position -- I do worry that these poets will soon (if it hasn't happened already) turn on poetry -- no matter what the success outcome/quotient turns out to be. Maybe that's just one of the ways to follow the poet tradition -- set yourself up for assured unhappiness.

When scholars are pronouncing "there's only 20 good poets alive today" or when poets are tearing other poets apart over who's the "real" poet or the "true" genius -- I mean, who's really "ruining" poetry?


Nobody is ruining poetry.

It's a myth. It's the Loch ness monster.

When I was a kid, my uncle Marty came back from a vacation in Scottland. I asked him if he saw the Loch ness monster, and Marty, being the kind of guy that would critique a little girl for blowing her Christmas money on a Barbie doll and Blondie album instead of investing that $20 in stocks (really, in 10 years what's that doll and record going to be doing for me?), disabused me of my Loch ness monster notion. He said, "You know, it's not a very big lake. If they wanted, they could drag a net through it and catch the monster if they really thought it was there. They don't, because if they did, the tourists would stop coming. It's a scam for attention."


Random thoughts:

* There are so many ways to be soulless -- why not pick one that pays better? Or earns you a little more respect with friends and family?

* Career or Vocation? I pick vocation -- what do you pick? Hey, I'm not judging! (Oh, but I hope you pick vocation -- both you and your work will be much more interesting.)

* Of course poets' lives matter -- to some degree at least. "Hey random person on the street, tell me everything you know about Sylvia Plath." Head. Oven. "Hart Crane." Didn't grab the lifesaver! "Elizabeth Bishop." Who?


Ok, I'm veering off into tangents. Again.


Random tangent:

I use WAY!!!!!! too many exclamation points. I'm aware of this, but I just can't help myself!

This is especially embarassing for a woman in her 30's!!!!!!!!!!


PF Potvin once told me I was a very bright light bulb and some people have trouble with that much wattage.

He was correct -- but I decided that I wasn't going to soften my glow to be easier on certain sensitive folks eyes. This means I had to accept some will prefer not to share my company.


One time I had a "career" and while I excelled at most of the tasks, I wasn't willing to do the things one needed to do to be truly "successful" -- i.e. get all the sweet promotions. I was blunt and a little too bossy for my mousy boss. Sure, I was the gal he always ran to when something needed to be done, but I was a problem. I was young, immature and stubborn.

I was always pointing out "how things should be."

Also, my hair was too straight and too long and I wore blue nail polish and jeans to the office.

Choosing "career" means you must to some degree play the game.


I still enjoy a good game of Warcraft, but as a busy mom, I don't get to play as often I'd like.


A career is not a requirement for writing poetry.


Not having a "career" in poetry does not make what you do a "hobby."

Not having a "career" does not mean you're not writing great poems or not publishing or not making an "impact" in the world of poetry.


Am I talking semantics or how we look at what we do?


Well, I'm TRYING (!!!) to discuss how we perceive ourselves, our poems and our ambitions.


Not sure how I'm doing.

Someone will tell me, I'm sure.


An editor of a new magazine (first issue not yet out) recently invited me to submit work. I know this editor likes my work because he once wrote a thoughtful letter saying so. The letter made me feel very good and I appreciated it.

From time to time I receive invitations from editors to submit and I'm aware an invitation does not equal an acceptance and have had work declined in some instances. The way of the world. In the above instance the editor did not take my work. He said that he liked the poems, but his co-editor found them "too glib" and would I be willing to send more poems so he could avoid fighting another battle?

If this editor said they found the poems not to be working or certain lines flat or some kind of direct criticique -- I probably would have sent different poems. But if his co-editor considered them "too glib" or "light" or "silly" or whatever, I'd rather not waste either of our time. I don't mean that dismissively or rudely. I have no idea who the co-editor is -- but that comment makes clear to me that he's not receptive to my work, he either does not understand or does not value what it is I'm trying to do in my poems. That's OK. I'm sooooo used to it.

My work doesn't belong in that publication -- at least not right now. So the last thing I'm going to do is try to scrounge up some poems (or write new ones) specifically as a "fit." That feels so incredibly wrong.

For me and for that co-editor.

I'm not that co-editor's girl.


Yes, the ambition for the poem has to the main, driving reason for writing. That's one of those no-brainers that sometimes gets muddled when we're distracted with with what other poets "have" or "don't have" or whatever latest distraction disrupts our napping.


It's so easy to be distracted. I catch myself falling into that trap all the time. Everyday I fight against distraction. Sometimes distraction wins.


What are my other "poetry" ambitions? I want my work read, by both poets and non-poets. I want them to like it. I want to help other poets find new readers. I want readers to like that work too.

And I want other poets to think I'm pretty.

Monday, January 09, 2006

It Saves Time, Really!

Amy King writes:

"Okay, so I’ve actively avoided all of this talk about “feeds” and “subscribing to keywords” and the like for awhile now. But it seems, according to Didi, that it is advantageous to remedy my ignorance because they’ve got these websites that watch out for news I might be interested in. For instance, I would like to know when so-and-so has new work out, or I could be informed of the latest update on a favorite news source. The possibilities, it seems, are endless. I think Reb has a subscription to something like a hundred plus feeds. “How can she keep up?” one might ask."

I spend a lot less time on blogs while reading more once I got the latest version of Safari (with a built-in RSS feeder). I don't have to keep clicking on blogs to see if they've updated. Of course, the 10 or so blogs I like to read that don't have RSS feeds--I'm always behind on because I often forget to check them. You bloggers know who you are -- God damn you.

Also, I do a lot of skimming.

This Week at the No Tell

Lisa Fishman finds a place to accompany you this week at No Tell Motel.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

It's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it

Hmm, never been to a reading where the bouncer had to physically remove someone from the stage -- no, not my reading in Baltimore, that was lovely and intimate and respectable -- even with all the naughty poetry. I'm talking about the reading at the Barrelhouse release party in Adams Morgan. It was as if the Patrick Swayze poems and essays invoked the spirit of Road House. Thank God for the James Daltons in the world -- it could have turned into open mic pandemonium.

Came home to 100,000 boxes stuffed with Bedside Guides. Guess what I'll be doing all week? Anyone want to help me address envelopes? Give me a hand at the post office?

Books are heavy.

Friday, January 06, 2006

New MiPO! Hubba Hubba

I have three new poems in this issue AND you can hear my sexy yinzer accent.

MiPOesias Magazine, Volume 20, Issue 1

Interviews: Spencer Reece, Anselm Berrigan and David Petruzelli

Memoirs: Mia Leonin, David Need and Grace Cavalieri

Poetry: David Petruzelli, Mairead Byrne, Anselm Berrigan, Jonah Winter, Jenny Boully, Maureen Seaton, John Korn, Justin Petropoulos, Ron Androla, Reb Livingston, George Lober, Randall Williams, Gianmarc Manzione, Richard Blanco, Geoffrey Philp, Amy King and Fritz Ward

Shorts: Birdie Jaworski, Jenny Boully and Sara Vogt

Articles: Michael Parker, David Need and Stacey Harwood

Café’ Café’ Blog Community Poetry: Lee Herrick, Jill Chan, Lyle Daggett, Diego Quiros, David Ayers, Ryan Wilson, AnnMarie Eldon, Pris Campbell and Sharon Brogan

E-Chap Book: from the Back Room by John Korn

Whole Coconut Chapbook Series

Announcing the Whole Coconut Chapbook Series: Free, printable chapbooks that you can also read online. Click here to read Sueyeun Juliette Lee's TRESPASS SLIGHTLY IN & Jon Leon's BOXD TRANSISTOR. Also available from the chapbook section of the Coconut.

Stalker Alert!

As I mentioned before, I'll be giving a reading in Baltimore at Clayton & Co. Fine Books (317 N. Charles Street) starting at 4 p.m.

Depending on when I get back into DC -- I may be at the Barrelhouse #2 release party at Asylum (2471 18th Street, NW, Adams Morgan). That's right -- the journal with the "Very Special Swayze" section has finally arrived. They're having problems with their main site, but I've been promised that my "very special Swayze" poem will be up next week. These are local boys so they can't blow me off forever. I'll get them.

More DC literary news from Kim Roberts:

The Winter 2006 issue of Beltway Poetry Quarterly is now available online. This issue features five accomplished poets. Read how DAN VERA defines delight, how KATHI WOLFE separates the real Helen Keller from the myth, how TOD IBRAHIM’s travels as far as outer space and as close as his baby’s nursery, how ROSEMARY WINSLOW finds insight in her own back yard, and you won’t want to miss DERRICK WESTON BROWN’s Hurricane Katrina Haiku.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

"True expertise in West Mifflin politics would require lifetime study better spent in devotion to more uplifting spectacles, like monster truck pulls."

The Town Where I Did Most of My Growing Up

People ask me why I live in the suburbs -- my answer is: "I LIKE the suburbs."

I like the city too -- but not enough to trade my space and numerous comforts. I NEED my space and expendable income. What I don't care for is small towns. Why? Because I grew up in one and I know first hand that they're NUTS. For instance, everybody knew my Jewish heritage YEARS before I did. Kids always taunted and called me a "Jew" -- yes, being called a "Jew" was slur over there. I thought those kids were just picking on me just to pick on me -- imagine my shock in 6th grade when I found out my maternal grandmother was indeed Jewish. I broke down in tears, "Oh no, no, it can't be! I don't have a big nose! Please God, NO!" I'm serious. That was my response. But that's a different thing all together -- my point is -- everybody in that town knew my private business, including the kids my age -- everybody talks -- and if your great-grandfather did something wrong, it doesn't matter that it's 60 years later -- people still talk and attribute it to you.

There's no discretion in small towns -- even if you try to be discreet, forget it. It's not gonna be.

I know most of these folks. I've been reading about this smack for a while -- I went to school with them -- and now they're the news of the town, er, borough, technically West Mifflin is a borough.

In 9th grade my best friend had a huge crush on Eugene (the guy with the camera). In 2nd period study hall she'd write him anonymous notes (telling him how fine he looked in his tank top that day, etc.) and then we'd get a hall pass and with some chewing gum stick the note underneath his chair in the then empty classroom where next period he'd be sitting for Earth Science. We'd write on the desk "Gene! Under your chair!" so he'd know it was there. I sat a couple rows over and would watch his response and then report back to my friend. "Oh yes, he looked very interested and happy! He so wants you."

Years later my friend admitted to Eugene that she was the secret admirer and his response was "Oh, I thought Beki Livingston wrote those notes."

As if!

In 9th grade I was writing anonymous notes to a boy named Erik and slipping them in his locker. But rest assured, that was long after it was over with my 9th grade telephone boyfriend. I wasn't a tart.

Oh and yes, I went by "Beki" back then and yes, that's how I spelled it -- whenever people inquired to the spelling I'd counter with "It's French." For real, yo.

That's what small towns do to kids.

I also knew Gene's cousin, Sam (same school bus stop!), who ran the unsuccessful campaign for state rep. The guy he lost to is related to my 8th grade history teacher.


HELP! Calgone take me away to the anonymity of my tranquil suburb where they don't give a two whits about my questionable heritage.

God damn am I glad I didn't make one of those "blog better" New Years resolutions.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Recently Received

from HarperCollins:

After by Jane Hirshfield
Sinners Welcome by Mary Karr

from Ugly Duckling Presse:

That We Come To A Consensus by Noah Eli Gordon and Sara Veglahn
After you, dearest language by Marisol Limon Martinez
The Best of My Love by Aaron Kiely

Night Palace edited by Micah Ballard and Julien Poirier
Living! Go and Dream by Julien Poirier

from a+bend press:

mem (Issues 1 & 2) edited by Jill Stengel

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

HOT Like . . .

The Christmas tree is still up. I thought about taking it down yesterday, but it's so damn pretty I'm going to leave it up until this weekend. I'll probably leave my wreath up until Valentine's. It's the best wreath yet. Every year I decorate a new wreath and nobody notices it. Last year's was awful, I was exhausted and flustered. I took a bunch of cheap old Santa ornaments and red bows and just threw it together. It really bothered me. TB responded to my despair -- "Why worry about it? It's not like anybody notices your wreaths."

So this year I showed her, I showed them all. Well, actually I didn't show TB, she hasn't been to the house since its been up and that's probably why it'll stay up until Valentine's. I put all my love and passion into this wreath and I got TWO compliments! The first comments ever on my wreaths.

Maybe I'll take a blurry photo of it.

This coming Saturday I was supposed to read with Joe Massey in Baltimore. Most of you know that he didn't make it out to the east coast. He had asked me to buy him an "I Fuck Like a Girl" tee shirt so we could match. I was planning to buy him one -- but I was going to throw in a twist. I wasn't going to wear my "Like a Girl" tee shirt. I was going to have a special "I Fuck Like Joe Massey" tee shirt made. Hilarious.

I'll still be reading on Saturday at Clayton & Co. Fine Books (317 N. Charles Street) with Marianne Amoss and another poet (all I got was her first name, Miriam). Reading starts at 4 p.m. I decided I'm going to read work that I'm really excited about.

Yes, that means I'll be reading selections from The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel. Come on out. It'll be HOTTTTT.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Other Fine Poetry Titles You Can Get at Lulu

in addition to The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel . . .

Unnecessary Roughness by Shin Yu Pai

And other titles by xPress(ed)

Red Paper Flower by Suzanne Frischkorn
The Salt Daughter by Christine Hamm
Epithalamion by Cheryl Snell

And other titles by Little Poem Press

Post Bling Bling by Eileen R. Tabios
Opening and Closing Numbers by Anny Ballardini

And other titles from Moria Poetry

The Vicious Bunny Translations and Covering Over by William Allegrezza

The Rose and other titles by Henry Gould


This Week at No Tell

Martha Silano makes a dirty yellow sock your diploma this week at No Tell Motel.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Now Available

The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel

Edited by Reb Livingston & Molly Arden
ISBN: 1-4116-6591-0

NOW AVAILABLE at Lulu for $12.99

Available Soon at Amazon and B&N for $16.99

Featuring Discretion By:

Aaron Anstett * Molly Arden * Robert W. Barnett * Aaron Belz * Jasper Bernes * Remica L. Bingham * Anne Boyer * Elizabeth Bradfield * Gayle Brandeis * Suzanne Burns * Britton Carducci * Laura Carter * Shanna Compton * Bruce Covey * Matt Cox * Laura Cronk * Catherine Daly * Denise Duhamel * Peg Duthie * Jilly Dybka * Jill Alexander Essbaum * Marta Ferguson * Alice B. Fogel * Jeannine Hall Gailey * Amy Gerstler * Jim Goar * Noah Eli Gordon * Anne Gorrick * Carolyn Guinzio * Jennifer Michael Hecht * Shafer Hall * Michael Hoerman * Cynthia Huntington * Charles Jensen * Paul Jones * Kirsten Kaschock * Amy King * Craig Kirchner * David Laskowski * Dorothee Lang * Ann Neuser Lederer * Reb Livingston * Emily Lloyd * Rebecca Loudon * Oliver Luker * Tatjana Lukic * Clay Matthews * Corey Mesler * Charlton Metcalf * Michael Meyerhofer * Andrew Mister * Steve Mueske * Anita Naegeli * William Orem * Eden Osucha * Shin Yu Pai * Cami Park * Karl Parker * Dan Pinkerton * Lance Phillips * P.F. Potvin * Nate Pritts * Francis Raven * Kim Roberts * Anthony Robinson * Ken Rumble * Jenni Russell * Carly Sachs * Christopher Salerno * Standard Schaefer * Zachary Schomburg * Penelope Scambly Schott * Brandon Shimoda * Matthew Shindell * Laurel Snyder * Heidi Lynn Staples * Hugh Steinberg * Matthew Thorburn * Aaron Tieger * Maureen Thorson * Betsy Wheeler * Allyssa Wolf * Christy Zink

A Very Discreet Way to Start 2006

The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel is now available for purchase from Lulu for only $12.99.

In the next month or so it'll be available on Amazon and B&N for $16.99. But really, why wait another month and spend $4 more dollars? Just go to Lulu and get your copy today.

Next week I should be receiving contributor and review copies to send out. If you write book reviews for a publication and are interested in writing a review of this anthology, contact me at reb (at) notellmotel (dot) org.

Look in the coming weeks for the "media blitz" -- there's an online commercial in the works and yes, it's filthy.

A Nice Way to Start 2006

1. Not hung over despite lots of champagne and vodka last night.

2. It's after one p.m. and I haven't changed a diaper yet. (Other people have changed his diapers, no, I'm not letting him sit in his own filth.)

3. Didi wrote a wonderful poem for me. It has Christmas and sewing and peanut butter.

4. I'm briefly mentioned in an interview and it wasn't an insult or a slam -- but the reason I'm linking to Amy King's interview with Grace Cavalieri because it's a really good interview (as are all of Amy's interviews). Grace Cavalieri talks about writing while raising children (she has four), what women are expected to write and poets' public "personalities."

5. Chris just made me a turkey and provolone sandwich.