poetry, the go in the between, liminal, press

Thursday, June 28, 2007

heading for nyc

my last day at one heart is tomorrow...then it is time to say goodbye to san francisco and head out to nyc.

picture above: proof run of the title page to _inticate systems_. the good news is: i got most of the runs in today (da-da-da-dum!). bad news: two poems are flipped in order, and that is bad because one of them is part of a sonnet series. so...i had to dampen paper today and am waiting to print two runs tomorrow.

dude, printing is super expensive. if you want to be anal and have a really beautiful object for people to read, you'll have to shell out quite a bit of money...

lastly a poem...

What I’ll remember of June is
walks I took. Once, I got lost
in Golden Gate Park, after my
sister had parked her car at 39th
and Fulton, or so. The park is
some 170-acres larger than
Central Park. The de Young is
there. I remember because when
it reopened in 2005, for the first
week or so, the Museum was
opened all the time so that if
someone drove past a certain
part of the Park, say, around 2
a.m., there was a curved line of
people disappearing into the
entryway of a building that
seemed to landscape, rising and
falling at familiar places. It was
a beautiful day, unusually warm
and as I walked back to my sister’s
apartment, I noticed how light went
into everything, even the cement
seemed to glow. Later, angry, my
sister asked, “How could you just
leave like that?” I didn’t know what
to tell her except I had searched for
a long time and still could not find
the place I begun. On a map, Golden
Gate Park panhandles the Pacific. A
month ago, I fell asleep near another
body of water, the Gulf of Mexico.
When I woke the tide was quickly
pulling in, which somehow empha-
sized the sensation of my sunburn
on my shoulders, as my shoulders
and only my shoulders were grazed,
burnt by the sun. On a walk that
same afternoon, I saw several
license plates from Quintana Roo,
a state that borders the Yucatan.
When I awoke, I went to swim
into the Gulf. What I’ll remember of
June is when waking, the tide was
high, carrying - maybe
three or four - young boys, who
were shouting, trying without much
luck to stay put on their body boards.
A month later I was lost in Golden
Gate Park.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

new british prime minister

gordon brown.

party: labour

the UK Times says he is a smarty-pants and is profoundly "bookish." let's see how smart he really is.

not much to say tonite. had sushi at kiji, down the street. what was for dinner: a dynamite, spicy tuna, rainbow roll. (not all by myself, mind you).

appetizers: gyozas (fried dumplings) and sweet fried prawns. drinks: 2 carafes of warm sake. the owner gave us free mango and strawberry mochi ice cream. yum.

last nite, crystal's college mate, shilpa (lovely shilpa), cooked us chicken biryani, salad, some kind of rice dish that tasted a little bit like cous cous.

shilpa and crystal both love food and have sworn that east oakland has excellent food. the pizza joint they want to try:

cheeseboard pizza, in berkeley. supposedly it is unbelievably scrumptious.

the title page to juliana spahr's chapbook is done. now, the real test is: can i finish all the printing before i leave for ny (this sunday)?

what i have left:

- run of titles/subtitles, page #s (for a total of: 14 runs)
- cover: 4 runs

* * *

later gators.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

did you know


the poet tan lin is the brother of architect/sculpturist maya lin?

that's crazy. to have all that talent in one family.

* * *

what does lin (the poet) have to say about his art:

“In a perfect world all sentences, even the ones we write to our loved ones, the mailman or our interoffice memos, would have that overall sameness, that sense of an average background, a fluid structure in spite of the surface disturbances and the immediate incomprehension. The best sentences should lose information at a relatively constant rate. There should be no ecstatic moments of recognition.”

* * *

description: temporality and sex

autocratic behavior
audacious behavior
asinine behavior
allusive behavior
allegro behavoir
anonymous behavior
illicit behavior
illegal behavior
behave your behavior
syndicate your behavior
sensitize your behavior
sterilize your behavior

basil bunting and palestine

a good site for folks to check out:::


also, some good advice from the northumbrian poet, basil bunting:::


1. Compose aloud; poetry is a sound.
2. Vary rhythm enough to stir the emotion you want but not so as to lose impetus.
3. Use spoken words and syntax.
4. Fear adjective; they bleed nouns. Hate the passive.
5. Jettison ornament gaily but keep shape

Put your poem away till you forget it, then:
6. Cut out every word you dare.
7. Do it again a week later, and again.

Never explain - your reader is as smart as you. >>

Monday, June 25, 2007

back in sf

i am back from los angeles. came into the city late morning and went straight to one heart press. now i am back home, sippin' some wine before heading out for drinks w/ a friend.

the reading went well. i read for the last sunday series, put on by les figues press and others. thanks for les figues and especially, teresa, for their/her help.

los angeles is so cool. the poets i met at the reading were laid back and funny and had a sense of humour. it was a good change of pace from what i am normally used to.

thanks to julie for housin' me.

after the reading, some friends and i made our way to get some pizza, then for a drink at the short stop, a divey bar that now is a hipster joint (like so many divey bars). in any case, it's still a nice place to grab a drink or two. dim lighting and a pool table, as well as a dance floor (which is usually empty).

i saw someone i used to sort of date, briefly, last nite. you sort of forget certain emotions you used to have for someone when you havent been around them. it was nice, tho, seeing him. even momentarily.

it's also nice to see friends' lives changing, how simple and good you feel when yr'e around people you love. i thot on the ride to the airport sat., sometimes life is as simple as walking a dog.

have you heard of d-day?


( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) _ _ _ _ ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) - - - -

ending this post w/ the astounding ezra pound:::

"there is one quality which unites all great and perdurable writers, you don't NEED schools and colleges to keep 'em alive. Put them out of the curriculum, lay them in the dust of libraries, and once in every so often a chance reader, unsubsidized and unbribed, will dig them up again, put them in the light again, without asking favours."

rock on ezra.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

the smell

flying into los angeles tonite. first reading at the smell tomorrow evening. im not so much nervous as excited to be back.

the "RAT" project...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

RAT is here



proof run from yesterday.

sometimes i just like to look at text as a picture, an imagescape that has a meaning outside of what that "image"/"word" signifies.

i felt similarly when i stepped out of the plane in seoul last summer.

i was suddenly surrounded both visually and auditorily by hangul. one strikes a simultaneously contradictory relationship with his/her first tongue - it stays a part of me, even if im not readily surrounded by it. im grounded by it. somehow this language that is so difficult for me to speak and almost impossible to communicate with is the only language that i feel a proclivity towards, a personal tie that extends beyond a functionary relationship.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

back seat and grind

"bare life" (zoe)

fit fir
fist fi
pulse on
to last,
what work(s)?


two runs in today at one heart press.

chad tells me: do not redampen paper. redampening paper will make the paper expand and dry differently. so the registering (i.e. really, the measurements of margins) will be off if you need to do multiple runs on the same paper that already has printed text.

a boo-boo : one side of a folio hit very hard. the impression is deeper than i'd like.

_but_ the ink distribution is perfectly even and black. thumbs up.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

from _19 lines_

an anthology im reading...

by kevin davies
_the golden age of paraphernalia_:


If it isn't sex
why are we thinking about it?


If it isn't food
why are we thinking about it?


If it looks like a poem, it's a restraining order.


So what kind of artist were you
before you became the worker you are now?


The neighbour cat has elaborate
aesthetic responses to weather.
I would stake Robert Creeley's life on such assumptions.

Mansion, yacht, and high-powered friends.
I woke yet again in a parking lot with graffiti on my ass.
Remarks are literature.

oh and...

this was drawn by my sister's friend dave.

who knew jelly donuts had so much attitude?

press run

photo is of my print run yesterday. letterpressed poem from juliana spahr's "blood sonnets"...so far, the printing on the uni 1 has been relatively smooth.

update on _intricate systems_:

juliana's chapbook is about halfway done. printing is slow going tho. i tend to get a late start (not really truly up and going until usually after 11am) and i also prefer printing late at night. got into the habit of being in the studio back in tuscaloosa until 2am or so. not possible here (altho one heart press has been more than generous in giving me free press time), and the trip to and back one heart press is about an hour. so, not really worth while unless im actually going in to do work for chad and val, or to print. tomorrow, early start. i am really hoping to get at least 2 runs in.

after the printing, i trekked to berkeley and met up w/ friend and fellow poet, sara ( http://www.myspace.com/prettypanicks) at moe's last nite, for a stephen ratcliff/laura moriarity reading...it was nice to see her. i am wishing for a comrade (and fellow female poet) like her back in tuscaloosa. she'll be writing in brooklyn next year, doing awesome things.


in general, im not a huge fan of readings, altho i like both stephen's and laura's work. (laura moriarty's _self-destruction_ is haunting).

favorite reading:::

back in tuscaloosa this spring, lisa jarnot.

she has a quiet sense of her work, which is expressed in her odd(ly delighful) and idiosyncratic way of reading. plus she'd just sort of go with the flow of her environment (a quietly improvisational reading), like when one embarrassed student walked in late, she just looked up and said "hey". those moments were interwoven into her writing (the wonderful part was the total un-stiffness to the reading, being aware of the relationship between context and text).

and her work is gorgeous; the repetition marches forward, where repetition is used as a method of change and destabilization.

vocalizing poetry, the performative aspect:::

the expectation that poets should be aware of how they read, how to extricate their words as sound, how to read _well_. ive noticed from the readings ive attended, many poets just look...uncomfortable. in the back of my mind, i often say things like 'pronunciate!'; 'slower damn it, slower!'

but on the other hand, it's good to go to readings to support fellow writers, check out the general scene, and talk to other writers.

reading poetry:::

the strong resonance of the word on the page, how the visual aspect of the word - it's tangibility - allows the work to change in a way that is impossible during readings. the spoken word is so transient, and in a sense, doesn't seem to do a good poem or poet justice, unless the poet is willing to stylize the reading, emphasize the spoken element (which seems separate and distinct from the life of the poem on the page) so that element allows the poem to come alive thru the performance. or else, the poem as a _spoken_ entity flops, fails, is forgotten.


slow goin'. i figured i had the time to go yerba buena to dampen paper, but am in the studio reading an anthology.

ezra pound's _ABC of Reading_ is up next to be tackled.

weather: sunny but windy. deceivingly chilly.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


what sort of flower is this? alienesque. i found a bush of it after an early morning run.

doesnt it creep you out, just a little? like two different flowers accidentally breeded together, and a fascinating little monster became the concoction of this "accidental" floral consummation?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

geese shit, chapbook, podcast

i took a long walk around lake merrit after stepping out from a friend's bbq.

in the summer, the sun sets late in the bay, not until 10pm or so. there was a soft radiance from the lake, sun light and dissipation, a visionary view of the civic center, a cloud of geese, and as a consequence, the smell of geese shit. despite that little detail, i like the thot of settling in oakland sometime soon. i dont like the idea of leaving so soon, or from a more macro perspective, not staying long enough to make it feel complete. certain places feel right. given, there's a certain amount of time one needs to acclimate, but sometimes, that process of acclimation is effortless. san francisco and the bay, in general, is like that for me.


in the car we pass jack london square,
grand avenue,
a crest of restaurants, including an old dim-sum
place we used to walk across to sunday

late noon & still the geese, so many
bikers, walkers, grand avenue theater.

now back on 24th and guerrero, from
meklit's room, a view
of twinkling bay bridge, lights -
we were just on. from her window, and
overlook, o a part
of oakland.

btw, the bay bridge is a huge sprawling steel mass; it's exquisitely constructed, a terrific bridge (at least viewing it, not necessarily driving on it - i.e. traffic is not so nice):

and, soon, soon people, a podcast! meklit (crystal's roommie) sings, runs an art space called the red poppy (http://www.redpoppyarthouse.org/). last week we spoke briefly about recording/broadcasting her work. both of us are new to podcasting and would love help/advice. so all ye podcast obsessed nerds, come hither, post a comment re:
the mechanics of getting started.

(( meklit's voice is strong and alive, full of varying intonations, but carefully checked by a discipline that makes her singing simultaneously overwhelming and graceful. all in all, meklit's singing describes meklit. keep checking back for a link to her recording. ))

currently reading:

* h.d.'s _thoughts on notes and visions_
* the most recent vanity fair issue (meklit's friend and crystal's crush just contributed a film noir piece)
* laura moriarty's excellent _self destruction_.
* some ready-made book, which i hope will teach me how to construct a chandlier from old glass bottles. photos of that to
* lisa jarnot's "the bridge" (opening poem to _ring of fire_). there are lines about oakland and the rain.
and it's a mesmerizing poem.

update on chapbook:
i am guestimating that the chapbook will be finished, at least in terms of printing, by the end of june. hopefully bound as well, but i think that's being overly optimistic.

title: _intricate systems_
poet: juliana spahr (http://epc.buffalo.edu/authors/spahr/)
edition size: 125 copies
isbn: soon.
printed: letterpress (uni 1, 4 - vandercook)
price: $10

i'll find way to post images of the finished commodity. will try to consign w/ small book stores here and in nyc, as well as hook up w/ paypal so folks can buy the chapbook, if you are interested in doing so.

one other project:
RELAY ACTION TRIP project w/ poet kristen prevallet (http://epc.buffalo.edu/authors/prevallet/).

what is RAT: a broadside project (size/color parameters: 8.5" x 11", b/w) that'll use text/image to interrogate the intersection of three occassions: independence day (july 4th), women's suffrage, and labor day. im having a tuff go of it for several reasons...i dunno want to think, or how to think about independence day. i have a certain amount of distance, despite my residency/citizenship here. and it's a rather ironic holiday at this current moment. im not quite sure that it's necessarily a day of celebration so much as a day of/for contemplation.

"freedom" is as an ambiguous and unspecific word as "love."

a line i "l o v e" - ah hem - by simone de beauvoir:
"the division of the sexes is a biological fact, not an event in human history."

at the very least, different kinds of feminists can find a common point to start from, despite differences in approach, by recognizing biological difference and emphasizing that it's (changeable) social constructions that has expressed that biological difference in a specific way.

entry and fotos re: one heart press (http://www.oneheartpress.com/) to come monday.

what ive learned so far at one heart press:

*use thicker photopolymer plate material! chad and val order rigalon from anderson & vreeland. it's a good 2 to 3 times thicker than the plate material i was using previously. makes your plates less susceptible to bending.

*spray mounting is handy-dandy

*the paper from the fone book is a good substitute for tissue paper (when you need to readjust the height of certain parts of your plates). it's a tiny bit thicker than tissue paper, but not as thick as newsprint.

*use pts. instead of picas when yr'e readjusting your plates on the bunting magnets, and just in general...much more precise, because the unit is smaller.

i'll put this all to good use on the next chapbook...