28 February 2013

Thick feathers when the Harpies fly / Smother the air, and shroud the sky.

Literally right after hearing C.J. Martin deliver his Helen Adam talk this past weekend, I found this broadside in the mail: a page from Adam's "In Harpy Land" printed as the 2012 Holiday Broadside by the Poetry Collection at SUNY Buffalo. What are the odds this would show up in late February after thinking and talking about Adam that very morning? Magic?!

27 February 2013

C.J. Martin || Geologic Time (Bomb): Helen Adam's Superstitious Activism

C.J. Martin delivered a killer talk on Helen Adam as part of the "(Im)Permeable Matter: Rocks, Stones, Minerals" panel (which also featured Rob Halpern's mind-altering sequel to last year's equally mind-altering Oppen Lecture). Download/read below, and check out photos above of Adam's childhood reader, The Greenwood Tree, which is now in Chris's possession. Chris mentioned in passing that he's writing through a response to a question from Jocelyn Saidenberg about spells; here's hoping he'll share that, too, when it's ready....


25 February 2013

Laura Moriarty || Notes toward an Ecology of Time

I went to many really fantastic talks this weekend during the Ecopoetics conference (thanks organizers!), and I missed many others that I'm sure were equally transformative. As such, I've invited friends and colleagues to post their talks here (even if temporarily) to give folks the opportunity to catch up on what they missed (and to reread what they were too tired to genuinely follow). Here's the first one, a talk I did in fact miss, Laura Moriarty's contribution to the "Ecopoetics Through Travel" panel on Friday afternoon. You can download it below or simply scroll through the text here using the embedded reader...

20 February 2013


Eco-weekend begins...though this is a bit of a pirate, off-site event: Rob Halpern, Brenda Iijima, and Tyrone Williams. Together. At the same time. The first gathering of the "Hearts Desire" reading series in collab. with the Public School, and this is a doozy. Don't miss it: this Thursday, 8pm.

19 February 2013

Ez sleeping to MBV

Apparently, Ezra is soothed by My Bloody Valentine, especially when played at high volumes...As you can tell from the video, I didn't even have time to remove him from his travel pack!

14 February 2013

Weeks, Kenower, Woltag, & Neuman at SPT

Maya Weeks, Andrew Kenower, Laura Woltag, and Lauren Neuman
curated & hosted by Sara Wintz

Please renew your SPT membership today! There’s no better time than now!
You can visit our website or drop your renewal in the mail and send to 1111 8thStreet, San Francisco, 94107.

February 17, 2013
at Artist Television Access
992 Valencia Street, SF
event begins at 5pm
reading starts at 5:30pm

Maya Marie Weeks was born and raised on the central coast of California. Recent work has appeared in the East Bay publications ARMED CELL, See You Next Tuesday, the Vulgate andThe Feeling Is Mutual: A List of Our Fucking Demands. She is currently at work on an invitation for everyone to everything. Oakland is the farthest she has ever lived from the ocean.

Poet Andrew Kenower curates the online audio archive A Voice Box and is co-curator of the Woolsey Heights Reading Series. He is the principle designer for Trafficker Press.

Laura Woltag is afraid of the bio.

Laura Neuman is a poet and performing artist who has lived in San Francisco, Philadelphia, and currently resides in Seattle. From 2007-2011, she/xe performed in and sometimes co-created dances with The Workshop for Potential Movement. Some of her poems have appeared in The Brooklyn Rail and Tinge. Laura holds an M.F.A. in Writing from Bard College Milton Avery School of the Arts, and an M.A. in Poetry from Temple University. She has taught Creative Writing, Poetry, and Composition to undergraduates at Temple.

This event is guest curated by Sara Wintz

13 February 2013


"A survey, as the Oxford English Dictionary in fact has it, also denotes a 'literary examination.' And indeed, some of the most innovative listening has been done by poets. The following handbook catalogues a repertoire of techniques for literary listening. It seeks to identify some of the specific tools with which poets have gauged and transformed the sonic effects of their linguistic environment. Suggestive rather than exhaustive, this guide is not an encyclopedia of practices. Indeed, the hope is that it will serve as a reminder of other examples, an inspiration for further writing, a provocation to further listening, and a locus of surprise (a word which derives in turn from the French surprendre: to overhear).

Please listen carefully."

From Craig Dworkin's encyclopedic guide to poetic listening, published as part of Arika's A survey is a process of listening show for the 2012 Whitney Biennial.

11 February 2013

Marianne Morris || Iran Documents

I first came across Marianne Morris's writing through a fantastic Punch Press chapbook called So Few Richards, So Many Dicks, a maddeningly short work that immediately piqued my curiosity; the other day David Brazil handed off this new Trafficker Press chapbook, Iran Documents, and I've been fairly obsessed since, rereading these first two poems over and over with the feeling that I'm just on the cusp of really understanding them. There's a killer interview with Brazil at the end that provides useful context, in which he asks the hard-hitting and impossible to answer questions: "...for those of us in the streets or otherwise attempting to engage in praxis where does art stand, in what relation?" No pressure! The interview can be read in full here at the Trafficker website if you need convincing, but after reading these two you shouldn't need convincing...

07 February 2013


The Bay Area Public School is hosting a reading for Rob Halpern, Brenda Iijima, and Tyrone Williams when they're all in town together for the ecopoetics conference, and David Brazil solicited a  poster to help spread the word. Take a gander above, and please post it to your tumblrs and blogs and emails and facebooks. This promises to be one of the best readings of the year (and it's only February!), and it will also double as the debut of the Public School's new digs, which I've been hearing a ton about! If you only go to one event over the nutso ecopoetics weekend, an argument can certainly be made for this one...

05 February 2013


Tomorrow afternoon, Stephen Ratcliffe and others will address issues around durational performance at Mills College in anticipation of Stephen's bajillion hour performance of Temporality this Saturday. Ez and I will be in attendance if you need a hit of baby...


Wednesday, February 6, 2013 | 4:30 pm Mills Hall Living Room, Mills College

Stephen Ratcliffe, poet and Mills College Professor of English, Edward Schocker, Mills alum and co-founder of Thingamajigs Performance Group, David Bernstein, Mills College Professor of Music, and Keith Evans, film, video, and new media artist, discuss the topic of durational performance. The conversation addresses the relationships between practice and performance, composition and improvisation, the challenges of scoring works of indeterminate length, and strategies for ensuring that each participating artist fully realizes their inspiration within a collaborative group context. This discussion is an introduction to Temporality, a durational performance taking place at the Mills College Art Museum on Saturday, February 9, 2013 from 8 am to 10 pm. Also, Saturday's reading/performance will be streaming at sfSound.org.

04 February 2013

A New Compline Ad

That may or may not grace the pages of future poetry-related magazines. Advertising is expensive.

02 February 2013


This concludes our transmission of 2012 DISINHIBITIONS. Thanks to everyone who participated, and I hope you all found interesting material to investigate in 2013!


Michael, thanks so much for providing this opportunity to reflect on and share meaningful aspects of 2012 before rushing on to accrue more experiences.
Texts that moved/excited/instructed me in the past year:

Confession of a Buddhist Atheist by Stephen Batchelor

Of Indigo and Saffron: New and Collected Poems by Michael McClure

Moveable Type by Kathleen Fraser

by Eileen Myles

Excerpt from The Ominous Beautiful Bay: The Newest Ginnie Blake Novel by Erin Wilson (unpublished manuscript)

Traffic & Weather by Marcella Durand

The World Falls Away by Wanda Coleman

The Katechon by Michael Cross

Peril as Architectural Enrichment by Hazel White

I Want to Make You Safe by Amy King

Ten by Jennifer Firestone (unpublished manuscript)

Ascension by giovanni singleton

The Incompossible by Carrie Hunter

Waifs and Strays by Micah Ballard

Waveform by Amber diPietra and Denise Leto

The New Make Believe by Denise Newman

Continental Drifts by Cheryl Pallant


Writing, eating, yacking in a rented house in Russian River with a phenomenal group of poets

Crashing Cine/Club, a free SF film program for teens

Reading to a marvelous audience in a room above a pub in central London at a Dusie event with Jennifer K. Dick, Giles Goodland, Tilla Brading, Jeff Hilson, Dez Mendoza, and Frances Presley. Dez impersonated Harry Godwin, who couldn’t attend, and read his poems as best she could given the enormous and unstable mustache she sported. Tilla and Frances read from their minimalist 2011 Dusie collaboration, comprising poems whose words arrange Duncanesque grids—mine has 4 words across and 6 words down. The reader creates her own poems by reading the grids in various ways: throw see local historical hair 6’’. throw Bolivian parakeets away. A few other excerpts of what was read:

From Jen Dick’s Betwixt:

What will hold me back from the conflagration in the daffodils, Orph?

Forgot the safe word? worlds? This is what I meant by build it on an estuary, a bayfront beachfront rise to the occasion wave fronting these tropical airs that have just now reached the Transylvanian fog rolling in and upwards. Coney Island’s hot lips ’80s replays on the Top 10 Kasey Casem in loafers, leggings and jelly shoes—won’t catch me dead with my fingers glued to bubblelicious pink stainless steel seating on this rollicking rollercoaster. Painted white, it makes for a whitewashed story under Trocadero’s lions. She leapt, or was she pushed? Pulled from the scenic balcony staring out towards Eiffel’s tower? Unwinged, human flight’s too far for shallows, not drowned as Icarus, but crushed into limestone, body vaporized: rock shadow, stone-singed. SHHH—SHUSH now! He came before you into this dark. A lute. Fluted. Flouting fingernail grating down the chalkless blackboard. Messages never written, or left. I call down into the cup of the daffodil shaped like an old telephone line. Can you hear? Operator. Please connect. Me to. This is. An outgoing. Call. Line only. Is there someone else? On the other end? Listen. Songbird or sonic waves? Come into the night. Light glowing bright. Green. What other shade would I be? (His / her / my own) silhouette.

From Giles Goodland’s Gloss:

Johnsense, dictioned glossability.

Johnsensical, chamblic lexiphant.

Johnsonese, nononsensed sententiety.

Johnsong, comeonsense culplet.

Johnsonsense, nonand onandsense.

Joyceanic, seasensed overseans.

Joyceanyway, wakelier prolexis.

Joycely, finelegantly waked.

Joycescene, impaginated anglexicon.

Joycestick, infineganite worldpay.

Joycetick, oyceanic stairage.

Joycense, instensical lilteracy.

Joycese, colludic ninsense.

From Jeff Hilson’s Organ Music part 5:

All manner of thing is not well

the poem are not a dark fighting flower

after all

it are a speed garage compilation

of the ‘toughest’ anthems

o rosie gaines just when I am getting closer

to my uncontrollable desire

I am closer than I thought

now I’ve gone too far I wanted you

in my karaoke masterclass

where I am the dr & you

are crying like at the end of toy story 3

where old time and new time are really

the same time & andy is also crying

because he is going further than me into the future

with mr cuddles.

More London:

The Diwali Festival in Trafalgar Square

The National Gallery

“Timon of Athens” at the National Theatre

“Red Velvet” at the Tricycle Theatre

“55 Days” at the Hampstead Theatre

Classic English breakfast near Euston Square and St. Pancras, an area introduced to me by Dorothy Richardson in Pilgrimage

More gustatory:


Rose-and-lemon Turkish Delight

Sounds I return to:

Poet as Radio, hosted by Delia Tramontina, Jay Thomas, and Nicholas Leaskou

Chris Gutkind’s poetry CD “Larynx 2”

Tangents Radio hosted by Dore Stein

A Musical Offering hosted by Mary Berg

WQXR’s Q2 (new music, streamed)

Meditation talks from Dharma Seed

Others Minds’ Fluxus Semicentenary

Visual rewards:

Aperture magazine, thanks to a gift subscription from my sis

Agnes Varda’s films

Marwencol, a documentary about the artist Mark Hogencamp

The Bicycle Thief, directed by Vittorio De Sica

Bimal Roy, directed by Pather Panchali

01 February 2013

Do Something This Weekend!

Friday, Feb. 1:
Lyn Hejinian, Joshua Clover, Brian Ang
at Studio One
365 45th Street, Oakland

Saturday, Feb. 2:
Kevin Killian and Eric Sneathen
[Kevin will read his paper on "Activism, Gay Poetry, and AIDS in the 1980s"]
at Woolsey Heights
1628 woolsey st apt c, berkeley.
Doors at 7pm
Reading at 8pm

Sunday, Feb. 3:
Zoe Tuck, Johnny Hernandez, Ben Mirov, & Sara Mumulo
at Artist Television Access
992 Valencia Street, SF
event begins at 5pm
reading starts at 5:30pm