Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Now the toaster is dead! My appliances are cursed. Spooky.

Furnace update: the power board is shorted from water damage -- water damage caused over the summer from our air conditioning unit leaking cause it was running round the clock due to the insane heat.

Thanks global warming -- go back to melting the ice caps, leave my jack-o-lantern and furnace alone.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

If you bitch about not getting a piece of the pie, there's always somebody quick to point out why you haven't earned your piece. And btw, your rage makes your ass HUGE enough, so it's probably best you don't have pie.

Then somebody else points out that you're not the only one who doesn't have a slice, so don't go talking about your pielessness until you address everyone else's pielessness.

So you decide to bake your own pie, yeah, it's a lot of work and messy, but it's something you're capable of doing -- and guess what, it's delicious and you get to decide who gets a piece. Sweet, crusty pie capital -- yours all yours!

But baking your own pie hurts other people's feelings -- that's not the answer to the problem, you're just divvying up a pie differently and you're not sharing with those who already have a slice of pie. No fair! They've always supported your right to pie! Now get back in line for that stale, congealed pie everybody else is arm wrestling over. You'll get a taste. Eventually.

Skin & Skivvies

Guess I shouldn't hog the Burlesque photos all day.

Here they are.

And for my every loyal readers, here's a few bonus pics only available on Cackling Jackal -- your gateway blog to poetry undergarments:

Well, I do have a pretty new furnace, it just isn't working and they can't send anyone out until tomorrow cause apparently everybody tried to turn their heat on these past couple days. I wasn't the first person to call.

At least I have the fleshy photos from Burlesque to keep me warm.

Oh, there will be pictures. Soon.

But for now, I'm having furnace issues.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Where I'll be tonight

This Week at No Tell

Meghan Punschke is like a squirrel and a mink this week No Tell Motel.

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Sunday, October 28, 2007



Friday, October 26, 2007

It's not even Halloween yet and already we had to toss out our jack-o-lantern because it was covered in fuzzy black mold (thanks global warming!) and half the Halloween candy is already gone (my ass thanks me, this Thanksgiving it's gonna be big enough to cook *two* turkeys at once).

Gideon will be a frog prince and all week he's been licking people's faces, probably in anticipation. If he licks your face, you'll probably want to pour some bleach on yourself cause he just licked mine and I *still* have that gnarly cold/flu.

Let's just call it Frog Pox.

Reb has Frog Pox and an ass big enough to cook 2 turkeys. Tell all your friends.

Monday at Burlesque Poetry Hour!

Jennifer L. Knox, Aaron Belz, Peter Davis and Michael Schiavo

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Coconut 10 has cracked open, revealing tasty new poems by Norma Cole, Carla Harryman, Ange Mlinko, Emily Kendal Frey, Ben Mirov, Caroline Crumpacker, Chad Sweeney, Donna Stonecipher, Lily Brown, Andrea Rexilius, Srikanth Reddy, Erica Anzalone, Ann Stephenson, Carley Moore, Daniel Nester, Paula Cisewski, Paul Siegell, Kristy Bowen, Ben Doller, Dorine Preston, and Morgan Lucas Schuldt. Come see!

Plus, check out the grand opening of COCONUT BOOKS, starring Reb Livingston's YOUR TEN FAVORITE WORDS!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Your Ten Favorite Words by Reb Livingston
From Coconut Books

Buy it here for $15
Coming Soon on Amazon and B&N
ISBN 978-0-6151-6182-2

What used to be called “the war between the sexes” is now being duked out with great passion and finesse by Reb Livingston in this collection of take-no-prisoners poems. In Your Ten Favorite Words no one is let off the hook, least of all the feisty scribe herself. You know you badly need to read poems in which a 21st century Red Riding Hood declares, “I bide my time sipping seltzer with the/animal meant to gobble Grandma.” You know you cannot live without a book that contains a glacier named “Lucas’s Ejaculation,” section titles like “Our Rascal Asses,” “bitchy, home-wrecking wraiths and dirty, train-hopping banshees” and speakers who make comments such as, “Accept your inner leprosy.” Sassy, freaky, comic, vulnerable, and to use one of her very own neologisms “gleefullized” Reb Livingston’s poems are a shot in the arm and a throb in the brain, a rebellious erotics of language, an irrepressible manifesto of the vagaries of the libido, complete with deep mischievousness and dark misgivings. If you’ve been wondering where poems by the next generation of whip smart, tender/tough women can be found: Eureka! A book full of them is right here.

–Amy Gerstler, author of Ghost Girl, Medicine and Crown of Weeds

Steeped country road, hard pew truck cab tangy twangy half-tuned static yearn, Victoriana clutch, party line spill, burlesqued male beauty tied to the tracks, two-tone tongue-in-cheek cherry-stem chains, long strong looker on, trans-Atlantic crosstown snigger, formal knotless knicker dropped or drooped, mother-poor and father-proof, Reb Livingston writes the griftingest orphan in the chorus line, with a heart of coal and canaries.

–Danielle Pafunda, author of Pretty Young Things and My Zorba

Reb Livingston, a poet of whimsical intelligence and daring grace, writes poems both naughty and nice. With breathy, brisk eroticism and long-lasting passion for the language, these poems dance and sing like a good-sounding drunk. Let them love you and you'll never get their seedy taste out of your mouth.

–Lorna Dee Cervantes, CU Boulder, author of Drive: The First Quartet

Buying Directly from the Printer

Now don't let me discourage you from buying my book. If you want to wait and buy it from Amazon or B&N, a sale is a sale and thank you very much. I won't be quizzing you on where you purchased it from, I'll just be so happy you bought it.

But you should know that buying from a retail outlet means the publisher and author receive considerably less money on the sale, a fraction in fact. This is because Ingram (the distributor) and the retailer take a HUGE percentage.

So if supporting an independent poetry press is something you consider important, please buy the book directly from the printer (Lulu). That way the publisher, Coconut Books, will receive most of the royalty.

And if you want to save on shipping and pick up some additional wonderful books published by other independent poetry presses, you can add some of these books to your order:

No Tell Books
Bloof Books
Dusie Press Books
DIY Poetry Web Ring

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tried to stay up to hear from a certain poetry giant if I have news to announce, but I'm too tired. Hopefully I'll have it to announce in the morning.

Some People's Parents

I'm pretty ill right now.

When Gideon isn't beating me on the head or snatching my pillow out of frustration of my being totally no fun (a beating I so richly deserve), he's bringing me tissues and his binky. He's a good 30 second nurse, but he could use a lot more training. This kid can't make soup, tea and if I close my eyes for too long, he's guaranteed to bust something.

Speaking of toddler beat downs . . .

Madhouse at the Barnes and Noble Saturday evening. Usually I go during a weekday and was unprepared for the crowd. A very young child, under 2, hit Gideon in the face. This happens from time to time. Toddlers hit each other. It's why we take them to places to play together -- so they can get used to sharing with other children. It's not always smooth. Anyhow, it's not the first time Gideon was smacked by another kid and unlikely to be the last, he's been taunted, mocked and teased but he's managed to pull through with all his fingers and toes. My little trooper was fine after this latest assault. The father of the hitter quickly took his young child aside and told him not to hit. I'd have completely forgotten about this non-event by now, but a few minutes later that same little boy hit a girl, a much older girl, like at least 6 years old, three times his size and not hurt at all. The father of that girl freaked out, started screaming at the other father about his out-of-control son -- which was much more frightening than the toddler terrorist. Then the crazed dad went to a store employee, cause I guess he wanted that maybe 2 year-old at most evicted from the store, or arrested or I don't know. The employee was like, "Um, he's a little kid. These are all little kids."

Sometimes interacting with other kids' parents is pleasant, but often it's quite arduous. It's not going to end anytime soon -- there's going to be school functions, birthday parties and sporting events and argh, lord knows what else. It's my second least favorite part of parenting, right after, yep, you guessed it, butt wiping.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Laurel Snyder Interview

at Poet Hound.

This Week at No Tell

Jonah Winter consumes vast quantities of beer and walks upright with outspread legs and swinging arms this week at No Tell Motel.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007



Friday, October 19, 2007

Towson Arts Collective Reading

Big Ben Wielding Amy King

Christophe Casamassima introduces


Amy Takes Manhattan

I Lied

There is a midwest No Tell Author reading date:

NOVEMBER 3, 2007, 9 AM - Called to Create: A Lutheran Festival of Writing, Decorah, IA
Readers: Jill Alexander Essbaum and D'Arcy Fallon

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

No Tell Author 2007 Reading Schedule

is here.

No Tell Books authors will be reading in Baltimore, MD; Austin, TX; NYC; Chattanooga, TN; Portland, OR; Philadelphia, PA and Washington, DC.


Reading in Baltimore on Thursday

I'll be reading with Amy King and Ana Bozicevic-Bowling on Thursday, 7:00 p.m. at the Towson Arts Collective (410 York Road (lower level) Towson, MD 21204).

If you're nearby, how nice it would be for you to attend.

The official flyer is here, but if you want to see pictures of us looking a bit more severe, click on Amy and Ana's blogs.

We're cruel and versatile.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Clearly I Should Have Went to Law School

Ya know, for my wedding, I specifically told my florist NO CARNATIONS yet he put white carnations in the two biggest arrangements and charged me an extra 20% cause it was Easter weekend.

And did I ever mention that the bakery I ordered my cake from did the WRONG flavor? I said chocolate and they did white cake. I don't even LIKE white cake. When I called to complained, I didn't even get a discount. I got a free sheet cake. Fuckers.

Clearly I didn't realize that my "extreme disappointment, distress and embarrassment" could have been my ticket to a sweet nest egg.

This is why poets are poor. We let all the good opportunities pass on by without a thought. I can't wait until TB's wedding, she's ten times the lawyer as the woman in the article. TB's gonna make out like litigious bandit.

TB Wedding Update: The bridesmaids are discussing dress styles, fabrics and colors. Moss . . . clover . . . kiwi -- will we ever find common ground?

Probably not. But I'm Matron of Honor and the only one local to the bride, who's a blood relation btw. Guess who has the advantage?

Score for the poet!


My friend, Brent Terry's first book Wicked, Excellently is soon to be out from CustomWords.

Oh look, I gave a blurb, I give good blurb, I think:

"Brent Terry runs with skateboarding silver centipedes, Devo-named whippets and urban bunnies in these God-clobbered poems. Wicked, Excellently is a Christmas train wreck complete with sleighbells, a banging tambourine over lunch, a mansion built from wedding-cake brimming with the skulls of grandiose cabbages. A surreal obelisk to letterish men of yore. A freestyle pillow book of tumblewed paramours. How lovely the afternoons here." --Reb Livingston

Monday, October 15, 2007

This Week at No Tell

Danielle Pafunda yowls up the machine skirt this week at No Tell Motel.

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

To Kill a Gourd

Friday, October 12, 2007



Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Available at Lulu Now!

Harlot, by Jill Alexander Essbaum
Available at Lulu NOW
Available at Amazon and B&N SOON

Harlot Website

Few poets’ roots go deeper than the Romantics; Jill Alexander Essbaum’s reach all the way to the Elizabethans. In her Harlot one hears Herbert and Wyatt and Donne, their parallax view of religion as sex and sex as religion, their delight in sin, their smirking penitence, their penchant for the conceit, their riddles and fables, their fondling and squeezing of language. But this “postulant in the Church of the Kiss” is a twenty-first century woman, a “strange woman” less bowed to confession than hell-bent on fairly bragging of threesomes and more complications than were wet-dreamt of in Mr. W. H.’s philosophy.
—H. L. Hix

A collection aptly named—a Harlot in the truest sense—every poem a payoff in fleshy delight, palpable, nearly tasty and never a schoolgirl fumble or flop. Her unyielding talent for using language - and using it until it is red and sore—gives the reader an understanding of a poem's bones without exposing all of its secrets. Its sounds are real and guttural; the subjects are equally heady and addicting. Essbaum's talent for turning "tricks" has earned her an intense collection of poetry that swims and shimmers and sears before it demands cash. Worth it every time.
—Molly Arden

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Crap, I Only Got Two Months Until I'm Totally Faded

"So, in economic terms you are a depreciating asset and I am an earning asset," he said. "Let me explain, you're 25 now and will likely stay pretty hot for the next 5 years, but less so each year. Then the fade begins in earnest. By 35 stick a fork in you!"


And these bastards rejected me cause I'm woman, I know it.

Since blogging about male/female submission ratios for the past 2 days, I received 7 subs from women and 4 from men. Maybe it's No Tell's cologne? The ladies can't stay away. Or maybe now I'm scaring away the men. I'm gonna put up a giant monster truck banner on the front page. I have a son and if there's one thing I know, dudes love them some big loud trucks. And fire engines. And pooping their pants. If there's one problem I have with men, it's how long it takes them to learn to stop pooping their pants.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Off the Top of My Head

Below are some online poetry magazines that don't appear to have a problem finding good women poets to include. Now I didn't go through counting and compiling percentages, some likely have a slight male contributor tilt, I don't care about that -- they're just magazines that don't strike me as utterly narrow -- and I confess I do not know how these magazines get their women contributors, it's entirely possible they do so with large monetary bribes or threats of bodily injury. This is in no way a complete list, just some examples I quickly came up with of magazines I regularly read:

Action Yes
Caffeine Destiny
La Petite Zine
Pilot Poetry

This is why I don't buy the "women don't submit" argument. Through my own personal experience as an editor and reader of magazines like the ones above.

I do believe that some magazines don't receive many submissions from women, but that's something different. It does not mean women aren't trying to get their work published. Women poets seeking publication are not an endangered species.

Reading in Towson, MD Next Week

Click to enlarge

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Monday, October 08, 2007

Breakthrough day at speech therapy. Gideon made the p, h, b and m sounds -- and came close to making the f sound (a much used sound in this potty-mouth household, you'd think he'd have that one down pat by now).

To celebrate afterward, I took him to a playground/pumpkin patch -- so we could keep using that p sound.

Thank god for global warming, dehydration and my habit of dressing him according to calendar, not thermometer -- else I never would have gotten him out of that forsaken moonbounce. Why haven't they invented a claw or something to yank out kids when they refuse to listen to their parents? I was two minutes from bumrushing a moonbounce.

This Week at No Tell

Evie Shockley is no passive princess this week at No Tell Motel.


Sunday, October 07, 2007

A Good Woman (Poet) is Hard to Find?

Recently I came across a few editors lamenting on their blogs about how difficult it's been to get submissions from women. No Tell Motel doesn't have this problem. Having two women editors probably helps.

Our submission period has been open for a week and aside from sending a note to past contributors, I haven't made any public announcements. At this point I don't need to, submissions just appear.

This past week NTM received 36 submissions (one solicited, the rest unsolicited). 18 of those submissions came from women, 17 from men and 1 I can't tell by the name.

In 2004-2005, men accounted for about 55% of our submissions. It's now closer to 50/50. We tend to publish more women than men (around a 60/40 ratio). This isn't intentional, but the way our editorial tastes play out. I don't feel any need to explain or qualify, there are countless magazines that make it a habit to regularly publish 70%, 80%+ male issues. A few magazines tilting the other way will not destroy the mighty cultural capital cosmos.

It's been said that women submit to NTM cause it's pink and cute. Well, I'm convinced -- so here's an idea, why don't the magazines that are having trouble getting women redesign their publications with adorable pink cupcake borders? I think that would really draw in the lady poets. We love pastry. We also like puppies, kittens, shoes and according to surveys, Brad Pitt, although personally I'm more of a Clive Owen or Daniel Craig fan.

Or . . .

a different approach might be making a more conscious approach to women's poetry. Maybe be more open to what it's doing instead of how it's not doing what you expect from it. Putting out a call for women poets is a good-hearted gesture and you won't hear me criticizing that, but this is what those kinds of calls say to me: "I'm an editor who's disconnected with roughly half of the contemporary poetry scene. I know some women poets and I invite them to submit, but because it's the same few that are being published in the other male-heavy publications, they're being hit up by countless editors and don't always have work to send my way. So I continue to put out male-heavy issues further establishing my publication's sausage party reputation and driving away potential female contributors."

I can only speak for myself, but when I notice a magazine publishes overwhelmingly men, my first inclination isn't "I'm gonna crack that walnut," but "I'm not gonna waste my time." See, I make assumptions about the editors. These assumptions could very well be unfair and outright wrong, but I make them. I'm guessing some other women poets make those assumptions as well.

And why shouldn't we make assumptions? Assumptions are being made about us all the time. Mostly that there aren't many of us or we're so delicate we can't handle the competition with the big boys, so we cower and eek out our poems in obscurity.

If you're a poetry editor having a difficult time finding women poets and would like to expand your list of women to solicit work from, may I be so bold as to suggest you become acquainted with the work of the women here. There's well over 80 right there and the list is growing. I hear the men are somewhat good too.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Just received my contributor copy of The Hat 7.

Featuring poems by: Rae Armantrout, Cynthia Arrieu-King, Robyn Art, John Beer, Aaron Belz, Joseph P. Bienvenu, Jack Boettcher, Anne Boyer, Adam Clay, Bruce Covey, Crystal Curry, Alison Stine Davis, Orman Day, Christopher DeWeese, Mary Donnelly, Andrew Epstein, S. Jason Fraley, Jane Gregory, Jenny Gropp, Jeffrey Harrison, Lois Marie Harrod, Anthony Hawley, Anne Heide, Dale Herd, Claire Hero, Elizabeth Hughey, D.J. Huppatz, Vincent Katz, Wayne Koestenbaum, Jason Koo, Jacqueline Kolosov, Jason Labbe, Erik La Prade, Josh Lefkowitz, Gary Lenhart, Reb Livingston, Rachel Loden, Jonathan Mayhew, Richard Meier, Catherine Meng, Andrew Mister, Michael Morse, Gina Myers, Cynthia Nelson, Charles North, Kathleen Ossip, Jean-Paul Pecqueur, Frederick Pollack, Michael Robins, Ken Rumble, Zachary Schomburg, Peter Jay Shippy, Gary Sullivan, Maureen Thorson, Jen Tynes, Chris Vitiello,G.C. Waldrep, Della Watson, Dara Wier, Betsy Wheeler, Shelley Wong and John Yohe

Friday, October 05, 2007

Wow, it's like I have Doppelganger

who wrote into Ask Arden Anything


Thursday, October 04, 2007

I'm in a place right now that if we were having dinner and you asked me to pass the salt, I'd spend 10 minutes explaining how I'm too busy to do that.

Haven't had a chance to write about the online publishing panel I participated in over the weekend. It went pretty well. Afterward there was a lively Q&A. A woman in the audience asked a question, I forget exactly how she worded it, but picked up on how conscious she was of trying to word it right. She didn't want to come off as being careerist, but she had some serious concerns about how she should go about publishing her work. She mentioned examples of her classmates who refused to submit work to online magazines, instead only sending work to "big name" magazines that paid in hopes of getting the attention of an agent. I think one of her classmates landed an agent with this approach. Granted she and her classmates were fiction writers and there is a difference between fiction writers and poets. Fiction writers have a sliver of a chance in hell of making money from their writing. Basically she asked what should she do -- she had a decision before her, should she adopt an art as a strategy approach or is there another recipe for success?

Well, I'm a poet and I'm pretty sure my answer didn't satisfy her. My "send your work to magazines that publish work you like" wasn't sufficient. Maybe she was hoping one of us would give an example of somebody landing an agent or a book deal by publishing at our online magazine. She missed the whole "you can empower yourself" message of the panel. I kind of felt bad, sensed a lot of anxiety. Made me really happy I'm long out of grad school and not getting any more doses of that great publishing advice from my teachers and fellow students.


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

About those boogar noodles . . . Chris will be a Google employee starting next week. At Google, they call themselves "Googlers." And the new employees? "Nooglers" -- for real, yo.

Grubby Hand Update

Letters Toward Jim by Matthew Langley (Catfish Press)
The Margaret Thatcher Trilogy by Richard Froude (Catfish Press)

FOURSQUARE (Volume 2, No 2)
FOURSQUARE (Special Edition) Poems by Maureen Thorson

Gagarin Street by Piotr Gwiazda (Washington Writers' Publishing House)
American Boy by Dean Smith (Washington Writers' Publishing House)

Counting On Planet Zero by Clark Coolidge (Fewer & Further Press)

Sensational Spectacular by Nate Pritts (BlazeVOX)

Collected Works by Lorine Niedecker (California)
Sappho translated by Mary Barnard (California)
I Love Artists by Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge (California)
Gone by Fanny Howe (California)
The Totality for Kids by Joshua Clover (California)
The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan (California)
The Language of Inquiry by Lyn Hejinian (California)


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Judgment Day: It Has Begun

TB selected her wedding dress today. Wait till Tender Vittles gets a load of her -- she's gonna look so amazing, I'm starting to think I won't need to bring along that shotgun afterall.

Ok, now that I got the positive note out of the way, let me begin what will likely be the inauguration of my year-long wedding industry bitchfest.

Two weeks ago TB narrowed down her selection to three gowns. She couldn't decide, so we thought we'd come back on a day when she hadn't tried on 50 dresses in the span of a few hours. We did, as I said, two short weeks later -- and of course, the price of all the wedding dresses went up at least $200 per. Well, TB handled that with aplomb and received the original price.

Dream dress selected, the saleswoman brought out the veils -- one looked fetching. It was simple, just some sheer netting with satin trim attached to thin plastic hair comb. What do you think the retail mark-up is on an item with about $2 of materials and maybe 30 minutes (at most) of assembly?

Over $400.


TB asked to see some less expensive veils. The cheapest one the saleswoman showed us was $180 -- that was just sheer netting attached to a hair comb.

We looked on eBay and found a slew of brand new, very similar veils for $9.99.

Coming Soon: The Matron's turn -- bridesmaid dresses!


Night Train

The latest issue of Night Train is up.

You can read my poems here.

POETRY: Steven Breyak, Terri Brown-Davidson, Blake Butler, Andrea Fitzpatrick, Brian Foley, Barry Harris, Mary Crockett Hill, Jennifer L. Knox, Reb Livingston, David Mclean, Anne Marie Rooney and David Michael Wolach

FIREBOX FICTION: Rachel Torrance

FICTION: Melanie Datz, Darrin Doyle, Steve Fayer, Aaron Garretson, Steve Himmer, Mary Kelly, Christine Lanoie-Newman, Danny Pelletier, Gemma Simmons, Rob McClure Smith, J. Dunn Stewart and Scott Wrobel

Monday, October 01, 2007

Now You Know What You're Getting for Christmas

I'm Miss February in this Poets and Wenches 2008 calendar. It's me, Anna Nicole and well, what additional reasons could you possibly need for buying a calendar? Reb Livingston *and* Anna Nicole! All your 2008 calendar needs in one large, beautiful calendar.

Who's that Yinzer on the Airwaves?

Collin Kelly interviews me for the Business of Words.



Where are all the men poets online?

This Week at No Tell

Sarah Bartlett says: show me heartbroken—but sexy this week at No Tell Motel.

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