31 January 2011


I received this totally satisfying photocopied newsletter in the mail a few days back, edited by the Delete Press crew (or at least by Delete Press member Jared Schickling). Issue #1 of Ecolinguistics is seriously no nonsense: ten pages of jam-packed material from all kinds of interesting writers including John Bloomberg-Rissman, Patrick Dunagan, Brandon Shimoda, Nate Pritts, and others. Click on the images above to read "Disconnected Lines on Class Politics (for Sean Bonney)" by Rich Owens and a page featuring "Intelligence and Environment" by Tyrone Williams and "Excerpts from 11 Realms of Infinity" by Chuck Richardson. I was really pleased to receive this in the post, and I highly recommend requesting your own copy at ecolinguistics[at]hotmail{dot}com.

28 January 2011


Friday, January 28:
  • Feel Your Media—Bitch by Rodrigo Toscano/Collapsible Poetics Theater and directed by David Brazil and Sara Larsen
  • Draft 101: A Puppet Opera by Rachel Blau DuPlessis and directed by Lara Durback
  • I CAN SEE YOU BUT I KNOW YOU’RE THERE written and directed by Tom Comitta
  • Tell Only One written and directed by Corina Copp
  • If You Want To See Flying Go To The Circus written and directed by Brent Cunningham

Tomorrow Night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Saturday, January 29:
  • Ascidian Play written by Laynie Browne and directed by Erin Morrill
  • The Photographer Without a Camera written and directed by Ariel Goldberg
  • Ambergris Desktop Vocalist written and directed by Christine Choi and Drew Fernando
  • Lycanthropes written and directed by C.S. Giscombe
  • I Confess! written and directed by David Brazil and Evan Kennedy
Why go to Poet's Theatre you ask? Well, sure, it's always super fun and unpredictable, and everyone comes out of the woodwork (even those folks who come out to, like, one event a year)...But the real reason is it's Small Press Traffic's major annual fundraiser, and it helps to support a very full and very awesome calendar of events for the rest of the season. Please come out to show your love for SPT and help support one of the Bay Area's crucial poetry resources...

27 January 2011

Words and Deeds

These workshops sound super cool and feature Nonsite Collective folks like David Buuck, Neil Marcus, and Petra Kuppers. Check it out...

Art Workouts presents.....

Experiments with Language in the Physical World
February 21 – April 18 @ Kunst-Stoff Arts (929 Market St., San Francisco)

WORDS AND DEEDS is a workshop series crafted to explore how live art is informed by language, and how language is rooted in physicality and movement. WORDS AND DEEDS will consist of 7 Monday night workshops led by different artists whose work illuminates this dynamic intersection.

Featuring workshops with:
David Buuck + Jessica Tully- February 21
Neil Marcus + Petra Kuppers- February 28
Sarah Shelton Mann- March 7
Margit Galanter- March 21
Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe- March 28
Nita Little- April 4
Violet Juno- April 11

To enrich the series, there will be a study group and final dinner + discussion. Come to all the events or join in when you can. We invite a core group to fully attend – it will make it sing.

Monday nights February 21 - April 11, 6:30 – 9pm- Workshops
Monday, March 14- No class
Sunday, March 6, 5-7 pm- Study group (secret location – let us know if you want to come!)
Monday night, April 18- Final discussion and potluck dinner

Register by 2/14 for best prices! (email briskellie@gmail.com)
$110 for the series (seven classes + final discussion fee)
$18 single class
$16 per class with two or more classes pre-registered

*CHECK IT: We will be posting more class info online in the upcoming weeks*
For more information go to: http://artworkouts.wordpress.com/words-and-deeds
Check out our facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Art-Workouts-Bay-Area-CA
+/or our facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=163687127010167

Please contact bri.skellie@gmail.com for any further information, with any questions, and if you would like to register.

ART WORKOUTS is an ongoing dialogue/experiment between Margit Galanter, Abby Crain, and whatever and whoever crosses our path. We engage with the world around us for artistic revelation and inspiration, culling what seems relevant, problematic, brilliant. We are primarily movers so the work comes through the body, performance, ideas, and that mysterious assemblage, presence. We periodically arrange workshops so that we can meet and explore with groups of people. This is when the work starts to really hum. Margit Galanter is a movement investigator and dance poet living in Oakland. Her fascination with the construction and value of movement has drawn her to embodied research and performance for decades. – Arts Site: www.margitg.wordpress.com ; Practice: www.physicalintelligence.org . Abby Crain enjoys art that is awkward, difficult, and transformative. She teaches frequently, and creates solo and collaborative performance experiments when the mood seizes her. Past credits include dancing with Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People (NY) for six years, being a member of David Dorfman Dance (NY), and working with Bay Area luminaries Sarah Shelton Mann and Kneejerk Dance Project.

**Thanks to Gretchen for the W+D series title inspiration!

25 January 2011

Bellamy and Brady at the Condensery

Thanks to The Condensery for last Saturday's inspired pairing of Dodie Bellamy and Taylor Brady. As always, this reading series feels simultaneously intimate and somehow super urgent in that the audience is packed in this warm and comfortable and very inviting space but the work feels so desperately important and kind of breathless. How did the East Bay survive before Jackqueline and Zack came along?

Anyway, Dodie and Taylor are consummate professionals, so both brought their A-games (for real!). And because I tend to need a bit of time to process a reading of this magnitude, I asked Dodie and Taylor if I could post portions of their work after the fact to help everything sink in a bit.

Here's a segment from Dodie's "Rascal Guru" text:


And here's a small portion of Taylor's way anticipated new book In The Red called "On the House" (for Rob Halpern):


24 January 2011

One more on Warblers

I started getting the sense in the first few pages of Warblers that Skinner was using some sort of procedural method to write the poems. It's pretty clear, for instance, that the nonsense words wrapping around the chapbook's cover are homophonic translations of actual bird calls (nieff, schlepp tlep, zowee, etc.).

Skinner's notes on method at the end of the book are pretty interesting in this regard and certainly helped to reframe the poems for me:

"Most Warblers emerge from the following limiting factors:

1) ACQUAINTANCE: add the bird to your 'life list' before writing; 2) VOICE: listen to the bird's song, translating its rhythm and pitches; 3) PLUMAGE: note the bird's color and pattern; 4) BEHAVIOR: attend to habitat and details of foraging, breeding, nesting and migration; 5) RANGE: name a far away place, since warblers link humans across the hemispheres; 6) LANGUAGES: include words from poets writing in the North as well as the South--warblers feed on both sides of the border; 7)NONSENSE: acknowledge that warblers are restless, hard to see, and give you a crick in the neck."

With this note in mind, take a look at "Northern Parula," my favorite Warbler in the book:

Northern Parula

O Guadeloupe harelip
summer's enough now
wrong head threwn about
not withholding thoughts
the tundra dream's plosive
lit beneath wonder
puffed, fluffed throngs
midst coastal fog belts
probing flowering catkins
and scrubby thickets
wearing a yellow-green
tunic lichen, boots of
Spanish moss driving
slow-moving shortstacks
better be least gaunt
climbs and drops a note
enrabiado the martial
kid's id said, treetops
be hanging from twigs

It's great to see a swatch of Skinner's poems in one place, as he's notoriously slow to publish. Thanks again to Brian Teare's Albion Books for making it happen...

20 January 2011

Another Warbler from Jonathan Skinner...

Dendroica magnolia

hear through you to me
nieff, schlepp, tlep, tzek
black-saddled mister
calls about Newark
and egg farms, a broad
central band white-edged
fanning of redstarts
thick streaked necklace
yellow as yellow flowers
pez witchew, o-rings
flicks tails of ox towns
in magnolia trees nets
one Alexander fluke
caribou and terns lined
with fine black rootlets
fidgety individual's
dark cheeks of Tepic's
curlies, curls of curlews
through moist spruce sings
sweeter sweeter SWEETEST

19 January 2011

Jonathan Skinner's Warblers

Brian Teare just released the brand new Albion Books edition of Jonathan Skinner's Warblers; here's the first poem, "Myrtle":

loose change twisting the fader
the volume rises or drops
trills another nice day it's
gregarious as junco sidles

not too tightly wound the clock
masked general sits up lowers
a yellow spot rising svit
in its pine tree arabesque

floats an inverted U mid
specks of troubadour pollen
arriving early leaves late
bayberries myrtle poison

ivy's accurate hawthorne
swallows the still marsh surface
lifting squadrons loops of light
sidl seedl seedl husks

James Blake...

If Antony Hegarty and Arthur Russell had a son who only listened to dubstep...

Overheard at Green Apple Books...

"Look! Norma Cole's new book! Norma Cole is a badass!" Only in San Francisco...

14 January 2011

Bill Berkson, Kit Robinson, Michael Cross @ Moe's Books!!

Dear Friends: I'll be reading at Moe's Books next Wednesday, January 19th (7:30pm) with Bill Berkson and Kit Robinson as part of a Cuneiform Press showcase. This will actually act as something of a Bay Area book launch for Haecceities (which will be available in a second edition the day of the event!).

Here's the Moe's announcement:

All events, unless noted, start at 7:30pm

Cuneiform Press Night, with poets Bill Berkson, Kit Robinson and Michael Cross, Wednesday, January 19th

Now in its tenth year, Cuneiform Press is a non-profit publisher of poetry, typography, and artists' books as well as the magazine Mimeo Mimeo (edited by Jed Birmingham and Kyle Schlesinger). Recent and forthcoming titles include Michael Cross' Haecceities, Kit Robinson's Determination, Alan Loney's The Books to Come, Bill Berkson's Sudden Address and Ted Berrigan (in collaboration with George Schneeman), Charles Olson at Goddard College, and Alastair Johnston's Hanging Quotes.

Bill Berkson is a poet, critic, teacher and sometime curator, who has been active in the art and literary worlds since his early twenties. Director of Letters and Science at the San Francisco Art Institute from 1993 to 1998, he taught art history, critical writing and poetry and directed the public lectures program there from 1984 to 2008. He studied at Trinity School, The Lawrenceville School, Brown University, Columbia, the New School for Social Research and New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts.

Past recipient of awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Artspace, Yaddo, the Briarcombe Foundation, the Fund for Poetry, the Poets Foundation, and the American Academy in Rome, he was Distinguished Paul Mellon Lecturer for 2006 at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, and was awarded the 2008 Goldie for Literature from the San Francisco Bay Guardian as well as the 2010 Balcones Poetry Prize. A collection of his criticism, The Sweet Singer of Modernism & Other Art Writings, appeared from Qua Books in 2004, and Sudden Address: Selected Lectures 1981-2006 from Cuneiform Press. in 2007. A new volume of his art writings and interviews, For the Ordinary Artist, has just appeared from BlazeVox.

Kit Robinson is the author of Determination (Cuneiform, 2010), The Messianic Trees: Selected Poems, 1976-2003 (Adventures in Poetry, 2009), Train I Ride (BookThug, 2009), and 17 other books of poetry. A co-author of The Grand Piano: An Experiment in Collective Autobiography, San Francisco, 1975-1980 (Mode A, 2006-2010), Robinson lives in Berkeley, where he works as a freelance writer and plays Cuban tres guitar in the Latin dance band Bahia Son.

Michael Cross is the author of In Felt Treeling (Chax, 2008) and Haecceities (Cuneiform Press, 2010) and editor of Atticus/Finch chapbooks and On: Contemporary Practice (w/ Thom Donovan & Kyle Schlesinger). Other projects include Involuntary Vision: after Akira Kurosawa's Dreams (Avenue B, 2003), Building is a process / Light is an element: Essays and Excursions for Myung Mi Kim (Queue Books, 2008), and a forthcoming edition of the George Oppen Memorial Lectures. He lives in Oakland where he studies 21st century poetry.

11 January 2011

George Albon's Holiday Chaplet

Here's the poem (more legibly):

Love and Strife

But to blot
the second and
put in paces
the first's interpreters

as page and light
do that strobe-thing,
folding us in
to the carrier

fresh to prospect
in a competence
for measuring the
flexed day
and reach
out to the loving
ones, full of
chimera and daring.

06 January 2011


Liberated desire means that desire escapes the impasse of private fantasy: it is not a question of adapting it, socializing it, disciplining it, but of plugging it in in such a way that its process not be interrupted in the social body, and that its expression be collective. What counts is not the authoritarian unification, but rather a sort of infinite spreading: desire in the schools, the factories, the neighborhoods, the nursery schools, the prisons, etc. It is not a question of directing, of totalizing, but of plugging into the same plane of oscillation. As long as one alternates between the impotent spontaneity of anarchy and the bureaucratic and hierarchic coding of a party organization, there is no liberation of desire.

Felix Guattari, "Capitalism: A Very Special Delirium," Chaosophy: Texts and Interviews, 1972-1977 (Semiotext(e), 2009).

Favorite Things: List Three (Some things I forgot and then remembered over the holidays)

Actress: Splazsh (Honest John's)
T++: Wireless (Honest John's)
OoOoO: S/T (Tri Angle)
Balam Acab: See Birds (Tri Angle)
Eleni Stecopolous: Armies of Compassion (Palm Press)
Mika Rottenberg at MOMA
Thom Donovan at 21 Grand

04 January 2011

Favorite Things: Samantha Giles

favorite moments of readings and other events in 2010

the encore by CA Conrad at David Buuck’s house

the “this is awful” moment during the performance of “Killing Kanoko” by Hiromi Ito and Kanoko Ito at Mills College/SPT

the brief convergence of Jules Boykoff , David Buuck and Sasha Spahr dancing at Sally Silvers performance at 21 Grand

the Brent Cunningham face down looking into a hole at Poets Theater 2010 at SPT

the “every five years or so I try to finish a cabinet” exhibition text at Mark Manders Parallel Occurences/Documented Assignments show, Armand Hammer Museum

the image reading of Ariel Goldberg’s participation at TRY! benefit at 21 Grand

the post-performance artist talk by Jonas Brash, age 6 and Eve Hagheghi, age 4, at the Morrison-Hagheghi house San Francisco

the boxing arm motion/singing of Erica Hunt at SPT

the water-bowl heads are finally in place section during performance of Ok Go! at the Makers’ Faire

pretty much every text I got from Brian Whitener and Juliana Spahr

the three minutes of Yedda Morrison’s Theater of Plants performance at Poets Theater 2010 at SPT

the Deerhoof show before the Yoko Ono show at Fox Oakland

the cranking of the indoor mill at the Madonna Inn

the “so what do you think change is?” 10 year old boy performance artist at the Tino Sehgal exhibit at the Guggenheim

the powerhouse strength and tenacity of Leslie Scalapino reading at SPT and UC books

the deep inhalation of Rachel Zolf at Condensery Reading Series

the super cheesy 80s laser light pre-show at the El Capitan viewing of Tron Legacy

the pussy reading by Eileen Myles at Mills College

the sound of icebergs in the Effulgence of the North exhibit at the Velaslavasay

the getting the introductions written by CA Conrad for SPT readings moment over email

the hand gesture to the face during Cedar Sigo’s presentation at Labor Day event

the sounds of birds generated by Fiona Templeton at Fiona Templeton’s performance at SPT

the helium infused parental anecdote moment at my 40th birthday party

the slow movement of hand to mouth at the Sankai Juku performance at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

the whole room getting married at Stephanie Young and Clive Worsley’s wedding

the anticipation of the eventual removal of Guillermo Gomez-Pena’s jacket at Mills College

Dr. Michael Cross: Rogue physicist/daemon hunter

Name: Michael Cross
Race: Human
Sex: Male
Age: 25
Height: 6'1"
Profession: Rogue physicist/daemon hunter

Description: Michael Cross is a light skinned with a goatee & mustash, glasses, black hair, and scars across his left eye and the left side of his lips. Other than those, his body is covered in unnumerable amounts of scars. The skin died in a small part of his left shoulder blade, showing an ingraving of the lambda symbol. His body is filled with metal parts from previous accidents, but still, he shows no fear. Looking into his eyes will show you, he has the sight beyond sight. To see what is, what has been and what will come. A cross hangs from his left ear, and a lit cigerette is usually in his lips.

Michael Cross suddenly appeared in this world, only a few years ago. He was not born here, however. He was working as an experimental physicist when a war broke out. One man began to influence other countries and began to supress his worlds population. In a last choice launch of his life's work, soldiers broke in, resulting in malfunction. This malfunction sent Dr. Cross, along with everthing touching him, collapsing to the empty streets. His first run in was with a vampire. He soon learned to use his theories to hunt daemons. This has now become his life.

Dr. Cross is just a physicist. Most never hear his voice. He rarely speaks, but when he does, it's deep. He wears black jeans, a white undershirt, and a black swat jacket. His hair's to his neck, straight, black, and combed out of his eyes. His body is mixed with metal, with almost no part completely flesh and bone, nor metal. To keep his body working togeather with the metal, he made something using his knowledge of particle physics. It allowed his body to become bio-metal.

As to his stance,
His world was ravaged by a warlord. He created a resistance. He doesn't fight for, nor believe in a 'god-like' entity. Everything has it's own force and reason. He is neither a hero, nor a villian. He's a man that believes in freedom of choice, and those he cares for. Even if they never see it. He fights for them, and good or bad, he just... "is".

Fell into this time/demension with a gravity nutralizer (the ability to make people/objects/entities/animals lose gravitational pull), a hand gun, an engraved knife (runes engraved with different molecular fields), and a HEV suit (Hazordous Environment suit).

A role playing character by Karsis

03 January 2011

If you have a spare moment...

you should check out Karla Kelsey's thoughtful review of Haecceities over at the Constant Critic. And while the book is currently sold out, Kyle Schlesinger at Cuneiform promises a second edition right before my reading with Bill Berkson and Kit Robinson on January 19th at Moe's! Check back if you're intersted in a copy...

Favorite Things: Lindsey Boldt

My Favorite Things:

A reading at Canessa in early 2010 given by Dana Ward, Stephanie Young and Alli Warren (which inspired Steve and I to publish Dana's "Typing 'Wild Speech'" which is also one of my favorite things of 2010.

Nicki Minaj's verse on "Monster" by Kanye West -- KILLS ME. Nicki has flow like the best of 'em, sass and wit like Missy Elliot and the divine slop and scrap of ODB. "Monster" is a battle cry for the freak artist and she's leading the the pack wearing wooly chaps, a boustier, a viking helmet and Braveheart style face paint. SO GOOD.

"Louie", a TV show written, directed and starring the comedian Louis C.K. -- Some of the smartest writing of any kind all year in TV or Film. C.K. walks you through his own psychic valleys and helps you take a look around. And it's fucking hilarious.

"I Got Plenty Money" by Plies -- This song makes me so happy.

Gucci Mane "The State vs. Radric Davis" -- This album got me into hip hop for real this year. I was already there but didn't know it, then I found myself listening to this album on repeat in The Post Apollo Press office and knew it was over.

"Shutterbug" by Big Boi - Buh buh buh buh buh buh BUH BUH. This song makes me hike my shoulders above my head, pop my elbows out and boogie. So satisfying.

"Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z -- The theme song for my trip to New York with Steve where we met up with Brandon, Alli, Dana, Sara, David and the New York poets. If you weren't psyched on New York already, this song will do it for you. We need a bay area jam like this.

"Well Meaning White Girl" by Alli Warren -- Yeah, Alli Warren. I always love Alli's work because it's sensually so fun and I feel challenged by it. I'm always amazed by the weird shit she pulls together into something artful and arresting. Food + money + office buildings + sex. Maybe those things are not that weird in themselves, but she does something to make them feel both alien and deeply desirable. This book is my favorite of hers so far.

Henry James (for the first time) -- Why didn't anyone tell me how crazy amazing this guy's writing is? I know, he's super basic, English 101 stuff but really? I nearly had a panic attack after finishing "The Turn of the Screw". His is such a beautiful description of the bizarre uniqueness of a single subjectivity and the isolation that creates. Bah!

David Wolach and Rob Halpern's reading at Sara and David's house -- Um, I had to pee so badly throughout this entire reading that I thought my bladder might implode but I couldn't bare to tear myself away from it until maybe the last 5 minutes in which I rushed off to save my body parts. Still, I know I missed something amazing in those 2 minutes. Dangit.

Condensary Reading Series -- Yes! I love a house reading series and this is our beacon for Bay Area happenings. If you want to know what Bay Area poets are up to, right now, in your neighborhood, sitting next to you, Condensary reading knows what's up. Was that an advertisement?

"Try! Magazine" -- Big Love 4-EVA

Brandon Brown, Alli Warren and Dana Ward's reading at Space Space/Poetry Time in NY -- Holy mother. This was probably the best reading I've seen all year. It was a game changer for me in that it made me go home and work really hard, knowing that the quality of the work and the quality of those readings would now be the bar with which I measure a reading experience from now on.

Brandon Brown's Mixtapes -- First off, I'm so happy Brandon made the "mixtapes" this year. Poets should publish their own work. It's the punk rock thing to do and then to combine that with the aesthetics of the rapper's mixtape is just extra fun and complicated. These poems are so dirty, reading them feels like chewing on a leather strap that you probably used to smack someone's ass with. And by that I mean, salty and really satisfying.

Brandon Brown's posts on the SFMOMA blog, Openspace -- especially the one about Conrad Ruiz and Kanye West. Poets should write about art. IT's the New York School thing to do and it worked for them for a reason. Keep 'em coming BB!

Paintings by Conrad Ruiz -- Um, no one can deny the power of a giant water color painting of a) Barack Obama riding a Corgy and shooting kitties and bunnies out of his palm b) WWF Wrestlers c) Tracy Morgan riding the centaur from "The Never Ending Story". I'm sorry, but these paintings will make you feel stupid for ever thinking you knew what was cool or interesting in art.

Ron Palmer's reading at Sara and David's house -- No one can write about the murderous doings of a serial killer and make it feel somehow tender and sublimely beautiful, except for Ron. When this book is finished, it is going to blow minds.

Dodie Bellamy's prose workshop featuring: Ted Rees, Mari Collins, Anne Mcguire, Ron Palmer, Matt Gordon, Maizie Gilbert, Drew Cushing, Pam Martin, Anne Walsh and Kevin Killian -- Good LORD. If you haven't attempted to scratch your fingers to bloody stumps in an attempt to break down Dodie and Kevin's door so that you can kneel on their carpet and beg to be in this workshop you should DO THAT, although you could just ask nicely too. (I realize that I keep writing advertisements, but honestly, this is more of a public service announcement). If you would like to write prose and/or you want to see first hand what the possibilities of prose writing are, take this workshop and definitely try to read something by everyone I listed above.

Konrad Steiner's 6 part video collaboration with Leslie Scalapino -- Stunningly beautiful.

Michael Nicoloff's recordings of Jen Manzano talking in her sleep -- I don't think you have to love these two people already to enjoy this, I think it is in fact hilarious and moving by nature, but I might be biased.

The Labor Convocation organized by Suzanne, Brandon, Sara, Alli and David -- I was so thankful for this conference. At a time when my generation is struggling to reconcile the promises and assurances of our parents generation with the financial realities and disillusionment of this year's economic failures, the organizers of the labor convocation recognized a need for discussion within our artistic community. There's so much to say about this event, but more important to say is that these kinds of events and discussions need to keep happening.

Dodie Bellamy's reading at Jason Morris' house back in April or so which ditto as above, inspired us to publish "Whistle While You Dixie", another favorite.

The Dihedrons Gazelle-Dihedrals Zoom by Leslie Scalapino -- So much has been said about this book and about Leslie's life and work, so I would just say that this is a book, I think, that will provide for us for a long time.

"The Shakers" by Kevin Killian and Wayne Smith -- Ha Ha. A melodrama set in a celibate Shaker Village, featuring an amnesiac Emily Dickinson. Perfect.

* I also want to say that I missed so many good readings this year and so many great books this year.