November 29, 2007

Postcard from the Wandering

Thanks to everyone who came out to ACA Galleries in Chelsea. What a great reading! Maureen was a snazzy hostess; Ada Limon read some poems that sang, whistled, snapped and sizzled; Logan Ryan Smith came all the way from San Francisco; Shafer Hall was absolutely Shafer-esque. Alex Battles, a.k.a. Whiskey Rebellion, was pretty damn funny and on occasion, heart-breaking. To honor the evening, Maureen assembled a "Big Game Revue" that included new poems from most of the Tinyside contributors; at $5 each, they were a steal. Watch for them to be offered (out of a very exclusive run of 75) at future BGB readings.

Afterwards, Carly and I went out for a celebratory drink with my uncle, a veteran New Yorker. He led us to The Park, a gorgeous but woefully underpopulated bar--their loss, our gain, as we immediately snagged chairs in front of a roaring fire. Carly and I finished our evening with a delicious dinner at Le Zie (braised octopus...mmm...with sun-dried tomatoes, chickpeas, celery and black olives). And then, a scenic taxi ride over the Brooklyn Bridge and back to Carly's place.

The next day, I explored the Whitney Museum and met Amy for lunch. We talked about life and love and cover designs. I've blogged about Kara Walker's cut-paper silhouettes before, so I'll simply say that if you're open to very provocative work dealing with the history of race in America: go see her show at the Whitney. "My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love" is open through February.

It's also possible that on this trip I got to see my book's "face" for the first time. But that's one secret that will have to wait.

November 21, 2007

If you're in New York on Tuesday...

Boog City presents d.a. levy lives: celebrating the renegade press
Big Game Books of Washington, D.C.

Tues. Nov. 27, 6:00 p.m. sharp, free

ACA Galleries in New York City
529 W.20th St., 5th Flr.
(C/E to 23rd St., 1/9 to 18th St.
Between 10th and 11th avenues.)

Hosted by Big Game Books editor Maureen Thorson and featuring readings from Sandra Beasley, Shafer Hall, Ada Limón, Logan Ryan Smith, and music from Alex Battles. Wine, cheese, and crackers, too. Curated by Boog City editor David Kirschenbaum.


**Big Game Books: Big Game Books, which may or may not be the tiniest press in the world, operates out of Washington, D.C. It publishes small editions of handbound chapbooks and "tinysides," wee little six-page booklets featuring a range o' up-and-coming poets.

**Alex Battles: Alex Battles is a country singer and songwriter, and the leader of The Whiskey Rebellion, a country band based in Brooklyn. Originally from Chesterland, Ohio, Battles writes country songs by turns funny and bittersweet on his grandfather's tenor banjo. His influences are John Prine, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Tom Waits, and Tom T. Hall. Battles has written a respectable 113 songs. He is also the founder and host of such events as the The Brooklyn Country Music Festival, The CasHank Hootenanny Jamboree,
and The Johnny Cash Birthday Bash. He things funny thongs.

**Sandra Beasley: Sandra Beasley won the 2007 New Issues Poetry Prize for her book Theories of Falling, selected by Marie Howe. Her poems have also been featured on Verse Daily; in magazines such as 32 Poems, New Orleans Review, and Blackbird; and
in the 2005 Best New Poets. She lives in Washington, D.C., where she works on the editorial staff of The American Scholar.

**Shafer Hall: Shafer Hall is happy to live in a world where for enough money he can have syndicated reruns of Coach on his television at almost any time of day. He has poems forthcoming from Lungfull, and his Never Cry Woof is available from No Tell Books.

**Ada Limón: Ada Limón is originally from Sonoma, Calif. A graduate of the creative writing program at New York University, she won the Chicago Literary Award for Poetry and has received fellowships from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She works as the Copy Director for GQ Magazine and is teaching a Master Class for Columbia University's MFA program in Spring 2008. Her first book, lucky wreck, was
the winner of the 2005 Autumn House Poetry Prize. Her second book, This Big Fake World, was the winner of the 2005 Pearl Poetry Prize.

**Logan Ryan Smith: Logan Ryan Smith lives in San Francisco where he publishes Transmission Press chapbooks. Up until recently he published a poetry mag called small town. In the summer of 2007 the San Francisco Bay Guardian recognized him for his publishing efforts in their "Best of the Bay 2007" issue. His first book, The Singers, was published by Dusie Press Books in the same summer. In the fall of '07 he released Stupid Birds--a collection of chapbooks and poems written between 2004 and 2006--under the Transmission Press imprint. Other poetry has appeared in New American Writing, Bombay Gin, Spell, string of small machines, Hot Whiskey Magazine, the tiny, Mirage #4/ Period(ical), and elsewhere, as well as in the anthologies Bay Poetics (Faux Press), and The Meat Book (Hot Whiskey). A few online chapbooks can be found at and


Next event: Tues. Dec. 18, 2007 - NYC Presses Day, with Belladonna Books, Cy Gist Press, Futurepoem Books, Kitchen Press, Litmus Press/Aufgabe, and Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs.

November 20, 2007

This. Is. My. Hometown.

(Photo by Samer Farha, courtesy of Flickr)

In news not related to land sharks, I just got proofs from Barn Owl Review, AND I heard from Ravi Shankar regarding the upcoming Drunken Boat. I'll be in a poetics portfolio with a really amazing crop of poets including Lisa Spaar, D. Nurkse, Ron Padgett, Camille Dungy, Jeffrey Skinner, and Nathaniel Tarn. Holy hell, that's exciting!

November 19, 2007

The Details

On my walk to work, I passed by my local wine store and finally saw which boy hand-letters the sign advertising each day's tasting.

Yesterday, a trip to Charlottesville for a friend's (post-)baby shower. No games, thank god, and instead of showering her with gifts, we each shared a story of motherhood or childhood. It was low-key and lovely; a lot more engaging than watching an expectant mother unwrap onesie after onesie. Afterwards, a welcome antidote to all the domesticity--meeting Jessica at Michael's Bistro for a round of Arrogant Bastard ale, on draft. Michael's has been open since my undergrad days; I remember convincing the manager to buy ads in each issue of 3.7 magazine. The Thai chicken curry with basmati rice is still delicious.

Over the weekend...galleys! I got galleys! The luxury of my Thanksgiving holiday will be proofing.

I hardly ever read the New York Times. In in my phantom Sunday, the ideal I'm working toward, a time to read the paper (seated at a big table, over coffee and orange juice) comes just after the Farmer's Market, and before turning up the music and cleaning. I did skim it online this morning, only to discover that they covered Moira's wedding. Moira, the States miss you.

Though I continue to plot my trip to Austria--aided by Jessica's memories of a lovely flat and good music--I also wouldn't mind making a trip to Prince Edward Island, home to Anne of Green Gables and oysters you can scoop from the ocean yourself. From the NYT Travel Section: "These oysters were shockingly creamy, spectacularly briny...They filled out their shells the way Jayne Mansfield filled out a dress." Come on, who can resist that?

There are so many things to be done today, and I can't seem to grab a hold of any of them. Trying to break through a round of insomania last night--a rare thing for me--I got bored and decided to eat raw peppers around 2 AM. I quickly discovered which ones were sweet and which were truly hot (there was some swishing of water, devouring of water crackers, and frantic toothbrushing that followed).

Should have taken my contacts out BEFORE that experiment.

November 16, 2007's Friday. Already!

Quiet and stressful times, fueled by Gummi worms and coffee, as we prepare the Winter issue of The American Scholar for press.

Before I get too far away from it, though, I want to thank the inestimable Ethelbert Miller and Jody Bolz for cohosting a reading, last Sunday, at the Writer's Center celebrating the 118th birthday of Poet Lore. Just to give you an idea of Poet Lore's place in the history of American letters, once upon a time Walt Whitman took out an advertisement announcing publication of the final edition of Leaves of Grass. Robin Becker (terrific reading voice!) and Michael Lally were part of the festivities.

November 12, 2007

...And the Gloves Come Off

The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel - Second Floor,
edited by Reb Livingston & Molly Arden
ISBN: 978-0-6151-6437-3
Publication Date: December, 2007
216 pages

Available at Lulu for $16.99 [[Buy it there!]]
Available Soon at Amazon and B&N for $16.99

Featuring Sexy By:

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

November 09, 2007

And we, the fallible, shall now form our secret handshake.

Listening to Radiohead. Enjoying the gerber daisies. Reading this poem by Dean Young--a new one, from the November issue of Poetry--a lonely, slightly cockeyed one. We think: maybe a life of fetch is not a wasted life. We think: it must be a Friday night.


People looking at the sea,
makes them feel less terrible about themselves,
the sea's behaving abominably,
seems never satisfied,
what it throw away it dashes down
then wants back, yanks back.
Comparatively, thinks one vice president,
what are my frauds but nudged along
misunderstandings already there?
I can't believe I ever worried
about my betrayals, thinks the analyst
benefitting financially from the sea's raged-up mist.
Obviously I'm not the only one suffering
an identity crisis knows the boy
who wants to be a lawyer no more.
Nothing can stay long, cogitates the dog,
so maybe a life of fetch is not a wasted life.
And the sea heaves and cleaves and seethes,
shoots snot out, goes to bed only to wake
shouting in the mansion of the night, pacing,
pacing, making tea then spilling it,
sudden outloud laughter snort, Oh what the
heck, I probably drove myself crazy,
thinks the sea, kissing all those strangers,
forgiving them no matter what, liars
in confession, vomitters of plastics
and fossil fuels but what a stricken
elixir I've become even to my becalmed depths,
while through its head swim a million
fishes seemingly made of light
eating each other.


November 06, 2007

14:59 and counting

Yeah...that's me, all right. I'm profiled in the November 2007 DC North as part of their "Meet Your Neighbor" series. Kendra did a very nice job with the piece, other than her generous and wildly inflated descriptions of my talent. I'm especially grateful that they repeated my mention of Sarah Browning and the Split This Rock festival, which is going to make a huge impact on DC in 2008.

You can find a quick & easy html version here, or the PDF layout (including a poem) here.

November 02, 2007


This morning I received an email from a stranger that began "The directions were just lovely. I followed them with a real crane...."

This is how I learned that the new Diagram is online.

I'm in good company with Patrick Lawler, Louise Mathias, and more. Go! Enjoy!