Sunday, December 31, 2006

Getting a jump start on 2007 resolutions -- hence I haven't been blogging.

1. Focus and work harder on outstanding projects (working on Shafer's book these past few days and I responded to all outstanding e-mail in my general mail folder, probably the first time all year).

2. Take better care of my health. Well, I half-started that. Back on the treadmill. Haven't improved the diet yet, there are still holiday chocolates to finish.

I try not to make unrealistic resolutions, mine are more in the vein of improvements. There was an AOL VP of Member Services (i.e. customer service) who was all about 1% improvements. The idea is we can always make a 1% improvement from what we're doing now and if we keep doing that, over time, wa-la, the noticeable difference.

Guess which is resolution # 3:

Be nice to my husband


Be nicer to my husband. (1% at a time.)

See, suddenly life doesn't seem so impossible!

Heh, just fucking around. There is no resolution #3.

2007: 1% More Reb-Inspired Misery

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

New Stuff by No Tell Books Authors

Poems by Bruce Covey and PF Potvin in the new issue of MiPOesias. Other contributors: Laura Mullen, Caroline Bergvall, Cole Swensen, Rae Armantrout, Jennifer Knox, Leigh Stein, William Stobb, Michael Parker, Aaron Anstett, Matt Henriksen, Cynthia Arrieu-King, Rachel Zolf, Ellen Kennedy, Edmund Berrigan and Rufo Quintavalle.


If you're in the mood for semi-formal, semi-religious poems that ooze Biblical imagery and grow damp at their own seams from the flush of sexual innuendo, listen to Jill Alexander Essbaum read from her first book, Heaven.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Quiz Answer:

Elmo TMX

Thank you Aunt Alex

This Week at No Tell

Didi Menendez sucks the juice out of all the limes this week at No Tell Motel.

Rebeccamas Quiz

What is everyone in the picture looking at?

Friday, December 22, 2006

When the King is the Queen and the Queen is the King

Finished my gift shopping a few days ago, but there's still a lot I have to do before my Rebeccamas Eve party. After exhausting all of my non-mall options, I admitted defeat and headed to the dreaded bastion of suck at 9 p.m. Department stores open until midnight! In the children's clothing section overheard a salewoman lecturing a little boy on how it was important to do well in school else the king will be the queen and the queen will be the king and then it'll be all messed up. Not sure what exactly she meant, but felt pretty sure I should be offended. While she rang up Gideon's party shirt, I told her no gift box because it was for him to wear Sunday. She asked where he was and I replied at home in bed. She said that was good because children were like men when it came to shopping, they all hated it. Out of politeness I sort of agreed, but added that my husband liked shopping (which is true). Her eyes grew big and said "Well that's a different kind of man." Got the impression she was subtly (or perhaps not so subtly) outing my husband.

After that, in the lingerie department, I asked a different saleswoman if there were any smooth red camisoles to wear under a form fitting and slightly too low cut dress. She asked what shade of red was the dress. I explained the dress was black, but I thought a red cami would be more festive. Her eyes lit up and she called me a vixen.

Found a black and red cami, but I thought better. Bought some hosiery and got the hell out of there before another sales associate spoke to me.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Two Poets Truffles

Ryan Flaherty just dropped off my Two Poets Truffle order -- he threw in an extra assorted box that I woofed, not wolfed, down (in honor of Never Cry Woof). Wow, good candy -- well, the last piece got me, it was cayenne flavored and it wasn't messing around!

A minute later my mailman rang the bell -- he's one of those nice carriers that brings my mail to the door when I have a package. So I gave him a box of the expresso truffles.

I have a lot of regrets about never giving my former UPS delivery man any gifts. This moment forward I'm going to start living my life right.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

No Tell Books in Jan/Feb Issue of Poets & Writers

You can read it here.

Couple typos corrected in the online version, but remain in the print issue: it's Molly Arden not Erwin and Shafer's book is Never Cry Woof not wolf.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

No Tell Books 2007 List

Spring 2007

Never Cry Woof by Shafer Hall

Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel - 2nd Floor edited by Reb Livingston and Molly Arden

Fall 2007

Shy Green Fields by Hugh Behm-Steinberg

Harlot by Jill Alexander Essbaum

Blue & Red Roses by Karl Parker

The Myth of the Simple Machines by Laurel Snyder

Monday, December 18, 2006

On Signing Books

Rebecca Loudon at The Happy Booker.

Elf Killa, The Sequel

It was my intention to take Gideon to the mall Santa last week, but he had a bruise on his face from falling while wearing his daddy's shoes. It was also my intention to take him early morning, but Gideon hadn't yet pooped and last night he ate a huge grilled cheese sandwich which means we're teetering on a truly gnarly situation. By 10:30 there was still no poop so I had to risk it. Got to the mall just in time for the line to close -- Santa gets a 45 minute break at 12:30 p.m. and by 11:00 a.m. there was already a line for 90 minutes worth of pictures. I tried to do some shopping, but this wasn't a particularly good shopping mall so we went back and got in the line to get in the line when the line opened up. Gideon doesn't like waiting in lines. But at least he didn't poop his pants and that's my bright side for today.

Seeking the "Excitement' of Start-Ups

Just read this Washington Post article. My cubicle was a few feet from the office of one of the jokers mentioned in this article. He's a prime reason I'd sooner dance for chicklets before going back to cubicle life. Higher up on the org chart, he had an honest to goodness office -- with a door and everything. Did he ever close that door when he was loud? Of course not. Several times a week he'd be on the phone with a "big" partner, like, ABC Sports, and would scream "Fuck You! Fuck You!" and slam the phone. Then he'd strut around the floor with that "I just told ABC to fuck themselves" strut I knew him best for. Well, that's probably about all I knew him for.

The good old days. Head for the hills!

This Week at No Tell

Dorothee Lang performs the glucose act this week at No Tell Motel.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Gifts Delivered Early




Saturday, December 16, 2006

From Another Bookstore that Carries (and Bought) No Tell Books

Open Books: A Poem Emporium, 2414 N. 45th St. Seattle, WA 98103

While you definitely will find volumes from Random House, HarperCollins, and other large publishers on our shelves, we are just as pleased to carry the books of many smaller (even tiny) presses. Recently arrived is a selection from No Tell Books of Reston, Virginia, including the beautifully designed chapbook by Rebecca Loudon titled Navigate, Amelia Earhart's Letters Home ($9), a charming and odd, funny and sad channeling of the famous aviatrix after her plane crashes. We continue to receive mystery boxes from Ugly Duckling Presse of Brooklyn, New York, and excitedly open them to discover their latest wonderfully produced chapbooks and full-length books, several translated from Russian, Macedonian, or French. We've recently restocked a number of chapbooks from the letterset publisher Limberlost Press in Boise, Idaho, including titles by Sherman Alexie, Ed Dorn, and Jim Harrison. Yakima, Washington's Blue Begonia Press has fired up again, presenting new work by Northwest authors as well as Weathered Pages ($20), an anthology of poems once affixed to the Poetry Pole in the publishers' garden.

The Lights of Rebeccamas

After dinner last night we drove Gideon around Herndon and Sterling -- the nearby towns where they take house Rebeccamas decorating seriously, not like Reston where we put up our wreaths and single string of lights and are done with it. Festive and classy, that's how we roll. You want tinsel on this Christmas tree? Go fuck yourself!

Rebeccamas Across Northern Virgina (within 10 miles of my home)

The inflatable snowmen and Santas are getting larger and only satanists can stop at just one. God gave you all that land for a reason -- to populate it with Rebeccamas cheer.

The inflatable snowglobes are impressive, but kinda last year. This year the must-have inflatable decoration is the carousel. It's huge, it spins, it says I love Rebeccamas more than you and if your dueling across-the-street neighbor gets one too, get a second or a third. They're like bangle bracelets, just stack them.

We turned down one neighborhood and hit Rebeccamas paydirt -- the entire street was aglow (except for two darkened, sad houses, non-Rebeccamas celebrating families run out by the homeowner association -- or at least I hope). Every house had a theme, Disney, Simpsons, Spiderman, Grinch, Peanuts - and one had a real live man dressed as Santa Claus sitting on a throne in his garage with a real live little girl dressed like an elf. They were waving at us! There was a woman standing in front of another house with a clip board like she was grading them. This street was hardcore. And I was the big asshole without my camera yelling at Chris to "watch the pedestrians!"

Tonight I'm going to make my wreath. But don't expect much, I live in Reston. Our homeowner association forbids Rebeccamas pizzaz.

Poemeleon Volume I Issue 2 now online

Dedicated to ekphrastic poetry, it features new work by Maureen Alsop, Tony Barnstone, Deborah Bogen, Rachel Dacus, Ann Fisher-Wirth, Jeannine Hall Gailey, Alex Grant, Eloise Klein Healy, Roy Jacobstein, Shin Yu Pai, Chris Tusa, and lots of others.

Friday, December 15, 2006

New Issue of blueprintreview

is available.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

For the Record

I've already articulated mine.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel - 2nd Floor Contributors

Coming in 2007 (February-ish, don't hold me to it)

Eric Abbott * Deborah Ager * Malaika King Albrecht * William Allegrezza * Molly Arden * Cynthia Arrieu-King * Robyn Art * Sandra Beasley * Aaron Belz * Erin M. Bertram * Mary Biddinger * Ana Bozicevic-Bowling * Timothy Bradford * Joseph Bradshaw * Jason Bredle * Jenny Browne * Jenna Cardinale * Bruce Covey * Phil Crippen * Susan Denning * Michelle Detorie * Laurel K. Dodge * Mark DuCharme * Peg Duthie * kari edwards * AnnMarie Eldon * Jill Alexander Essbaum * Julie R. Enszer * Noah Falck * Michael Farrell * Katie Fesuk * Adam Fieled * Alice Fogel * Elisa Gabbert * Eric Gelsinger * Scott Glassman * David B. Goldstein * Dean Gorman * Anne Gorrick * Lea Graham * Kate Greenstreet * Piotr Gwiazda * Shafer Hall * Josh Hanson * Nathan Hoks * Donald Illich * Salwa C. Jabado * Charles Jensen * Jim Kober * Ron Klassnik * Jennifer L. Knox * Dorothee Lang * Sueyeun Juliette Lee * David Lehman * Reb Livingston * Rebecca Loudon * Justin Marks * Clay Matthews * Kristi Maxwell * Gary L. McDowell * Erika Meitner * Didi Menendez * Michael Meyerhofer * Steve Mueske * Gina Myers * Cheryl Pallant * Shann Palmer * Alison Pelegrin * Simon Perchik * Derek Pollard * Andrea Potos * Cati Porter * Laurie Price * Jessy Randall * Kim Roberts * Anthony Robinson * Carly Sachs * John Sakkis * Allyson Salazar * Christine Scanlon * Margot Schilpp * Morgan Lucas Schuldt * Patty Seyburn * Peter Jay Shippy * Evie Shockley * Alex Smith * Hugh Steinberg * Nicole Steinberg * Alison Stine * Mathias Svalina * Erik Sweet * Eileen R. Tabios * Bronwen Tate * Molly Tenenbaum * Chris Tonelli * Letitia Trent * Jen Tynes * Michael Quattrone * Ashley VanDoorn * Fritz Ward * J. Marcus Weekley * Betsy Wheeler * Theodore Worozbyt * Kim Young

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

If you want a No Tell Books subscription and want it to arrive before Christmas -- order it by Friday, December 15th to ensure on time delivery. It would make one awesome gift -- or 5 great gifts. Only $45 (plus postage).

No Tell Motel thong not included.

Monday, December 11, 2006

How Did We Do?

53 books purchased + 9 orders via Ingram = 62 books

Consignment in stores = 19 books

Best selling week in No Tell Books' one-year history. Kicked AWP's ass. Didn't cost much more and that included expenses for 3 (sometimes 4) people.

Getting Books in the Stores

This year a very small percentage of No Tell Books were sold in/to bookstores. The majority of my sales are online (Lulu, Amazon, B&N) or in person (readings, conferences). Last year I read an article that I remember said less than 10% of all poetry books are sold in brick and mortar stores. I haven't been able to locate this article, so I'm going by memory, but I'm pretty sure that's what I read. Yet everyone wants their books in the stores, and I can't argue. I want them there too.

The majority of No Tell Books in stores are there on a consignment basis. It's no secret independent stores are struggling and to be perfectly blunt, taking our books is fairly risky -- there's a good chance they won't sell. They're poetry. By a small unknown press. And they're not written by Billy Collins. So I'd rather give the books to a store knowing it's likely I'll never receive any payment than not to have the books there at all.

In New Haven we went to one independent bookstore where Bruce used to be a book buyer when it was under different ownership. The owners were lovely people, but made it clear they couldn't buy any books. We said no problem, consignment would work. They said somebody would have to come by to pick up the books if we ever wanted them back because they couldn't pay for postage. We wouldn't hassle them for the books back, I said. Even then, they were hesitant, went into great detail how poorly poetry books sell. When you get that speech you have to nod your head, not yell YES, I KNOW. I KNOW VERY WELL! Yelling is not a good sales technique and sometimes it's not easy to give poetry books away, which was basically what we were doing.

After that we went to The Yale Bookstore, a giant Barnes and Noble. I thought Bruce was nuts for taking us there and PF and I shook our heads. The buyer couldn't meet with us until the next day, which was bad because that meant no Bruce to do all the talking.

I almost didn't go the next day because I thought it would be a waste of time. PF asked if I wanted him to come along and of course I said yes and we went. He asked if I knew what I was going to say and I did. I listened very carefully to Bruce's advice:

* Point out the CT connections of two of the authors
* Mention the upcoming Rain Taxi review of Rebecca's chapbook (which I haven't received my tear sheet of yet, but am told it's in there)
* Mention the books can be re-ordered through Ingram (B&N preferred distributor)
* Mention my inclusion in BAP

I really bristled at that last suggestion. I'm very uncomfortable touting that in conversation, it feels like bragging, trying to prove some kind of legitimacy by inclusion in an anthology and considering all the grief I get for it, well, it's mentioned in my bio but rarely over drinks.

I started my pitch with the CT connections and the Rain Taxi review -- received a polite smile, was quickly losing the buyer's interest, he was getting ready to give the poetry doesn't sell speech. Then I blurted, I'M IN THIS YEAR'S BEST AMERICAN POETRY and whoah, his attention, his eyes, his interest. I was no longer just another crazy lady carrying a box of books into his store. "Congratulations!" he said, "I met Billy Collins, he's fabulous!" I sealed the deal with "you can order the books on Ingram." The buyer ordered 3 copies of each title (sans the chapbooks, he had no idea what chapbooks were and with no ISBN, he wasn't interested) on the computer right in front of us.

See, I'm so used to talking with poets, the seething insinuations, the anonymous hatemail/comments, I forget that it's not all nasty scorn. Generally speaking, subtracting the poets, people like BAP especially booksellers, because it consistently sells.

9 No Tell Books sold. Billy Collins = poetry sales. It's the truth.

Here is the updated list of bookstores carrying No Tell Books.

This Week at No Tell

Sueyuen Juliette Lee murmurs from her valences this week at No Tell Motel.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

New Haven - No Tell Books Northeastern Tour

Tuesday evening, the four of us read at The Ordinary Evening Reading Series in the Anchor Bar. It was a nice space and the audience were good listeners and gracious. Alice Mattison, Ann Leamon and Jude Stewart were the curators.

Bruce read second, the guy sitting in this picture is Josh Beckman's dad, Paul. After the reading, I gave Paul Beckman an earful about Josh Beckman not inviting me to read on the poetry bus when they came to DC.

Below is my friend Randall. The first poetry reading he attended was one I gave as an undergrad where I read a poem I wrote for him called "Boyhood Dreams of Breasts." It was all about a little boy who was trying to grow his own breasts. Despite that, Randall still shows up to my readings. Randall also meets up with me at Foxwoods to play slots. I consider Randall my slot soul mate -- and he doesn't even play slots.

PF had ants in his pants and moved around his entire reading.

Did I mention Bruce's parents came to the reading? Whenever I meet parents of poets I always inquire to what exactly they did wrong to make their kid a poet. Encouragement and support appears to be the common theme.

Kid Prose Poem and The Poetry Giant became very good friends on this tour -- which is good, because I had them share a hotel room.

The End (Well, not quite, tomorrow I'll talk about getting books into stores)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Albany - No Tell Books Northeastern Reading Tour

After Baltimore and an overnight in Jersey, there was Albany -- specifically the Behind the Egg: A Reading Series run by Daniel Nester and Erik Sweet. The series is held at The Capital District Federation of Ideas, the kindliest group of young anarchists working out of a defunct bakery I ever came across. Seriously, it's a great spot and wish I would have done something like that in my 20's.

What immediately impressed me was this chair. My grandmother had a similar one. I couldn't wait to sit in that chair.

Erik and Dan introduced us.

And then we read.

The audience was full of men, big strong, burly men, but a woman did show up. Afterwards I thanked her for representing.

And below is our first poetry groupie -- he drove all the way from DC to hear us read despite already hearing us in VA. That's dedication, people. We'll have to write a poem in his honor.

After the reading we were required to don a banana.

Then we went out for drinks and cracked jokes about poets. At one point we considered crank calling some of them, but at the last minute Dan pussed out. Oh well, maybe next time.

What size do you want your poet?
X-Large, Large, Medium or Small?

New Past Simple

Ryan Bird / Oni Buchanan / Adam Clay / Mark Cunningham / Stacy Dacheux / Elisa Gabbert / Judson Hamilton / Emilie Hanson / Matt Hart / Dustin Hellberg / Rebecca Loudon / Corey Mesler / Nate Pritts / Kathleen Rooney

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Review of PF Potvin's The Attention Lesson

at Matthew Thorburn's Now Then.

"Since these are prose poems, often of the somewhat surreal or comically askew variety, my first thought naturally was of James Tate -- except it turns out these poems aren't very Tate-like.

Potvin's prose poems are much more economical, number-of-words-wise, for one thing. More poem-like. Also they're less anecdotal; they tell stories, but they're doing more than that. For instance -- and this is what's most important to me -- there's art here at the level of the word and phrase that I admire."

Remembering kari edwards

at delirious hem.

Picture from Mysterious Release Party Reading

Somebody took a picture of my reading. See, I stood in the corner, where everybody could see me.

Baltimore - No Tell Books Northeastern Reading Tour

The release party video is going to take a while to go through and edit -- so let's start with Baltimore at the i.e. reading series held at Clayton's & Co. Fine Books. Great space, great series. I'm President of the Michael Ball fan club. Bruce and PF just joined.

We had a wonderful, attentive audience.

Also, what's nice about this venue is the owners do often buy books from the readers. Something you might not know -- a lot of independent poetry on independent bookstore shelves is there on consignment. Especially books by brand new, unknown presses. Everybody's tight and buying poetry is a risky financial investment. So when a store actually pays for the books, I'm going make a big deal about it because it is a very big deal. * * * Go buy poetry books at Clayton & Co. Fine Books at 317 N. Charles Street in Baltimore. * * *

Only took two pictures because I temporarily lost my camera -- it was underneath my bag. I was freaking out the entire reading.

Was able to snap a picture of one of the lingering audience members, Michael Quattrone, a contributor in the upcoming Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel - 2nd Floor.

PF, Bruce, Michael Ball and Reb.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I'm back. Very sleepy and happy to see my family. The tour was fabulous. Couldn't have hoped for more. Many details, pictures and videos in the coming days. Thanks to all of those who curated and attended the readings. Kisses to all those who bought books. Giant bear hug to the man who stopped PF and me on the street in New Haven this morning to tell us how great we were last night. That's right, they're recognizing us on the streets of CT. Fuck yeah.

Check this spot later for more. All you mofos who sent e-mail over the last week. Keeps your pants on. I'll get back to you.

Monday, December 04, 2006

This Week at No Tell

Eric Abbott gouges a raggedy-ass channel in the sand this week at No Tell Motel.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Where am I Now?

A Days Inns in Jersey -- half way between Baltimore and Albany.

Gave a reading at the i.e. series in Baltimore, hosted by the magnificient Michael Ball. Always have a such a great time at that series. There's video and some pictures that I'll get up online eventually. I only took a few -- I thought I lost the camera, but it was underneath my bag. Thanks to everyone who came out.

PF did indeed make it to the Friday night release party -- Continental stranded him in Newark and basically told him to go F himself, so he took a train and arrived at the very fashionable late hour of 10 p.m.

We had a great turn out and sold lots of books (thank you!). Have video of Bruce, PF and me reading -- I decided to "wing" their introductions and just "talk." I haven't had time to watch or edit the video, so who knows if that will make the light of day.

Chris only took weirdo photos before the party (when there wasn't anybody there) or at 2 a.m. (when the handful of us still there weren't looking our prettiest). I have no photos of 80% of the guests. Hopefully PF took some better ones.

But lest it seem like I'm always complaining about Chris -- let me offer massive props and thanks -- he did about 80% of the after-party clean-up.

Here's some 2 a.m. photos:

Friday, December 01, 2006


PF's plane is delayed due to high winds. It's likely he'll miss his connection in Newark.

Maybe nobody really will come to the release party.

Maybe it'll just be me and a plate of cheese.