Feb 28, 2011

Akilah Oliver "In Aporia"


Feb 26, 2011

it's always somebody's birthday on Facebook.

happy birthday! heeeeey, happy birthday! hope you have a good one! hey man, see that it's your b-day...happy birthday! sorry to miss your reading last week, happy birthday! happy happy happy birthday! come visit SF soon! happy birthday! happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you...you deserve such a happy day! happy birthday! feliz cumplianoz! spelling? ha! happy birthday! !!! !!! !!! !!! (!!!) !!! (!!!) !!! (!!!) hahaha! happy birthday! hey asshole, happy birthday! i owe you a drink! happy birthday! i love your new chapbook! happy birthday beautiful! have you cake and eat it too! happy b-day!

thanks everyone for the birthday wishes! yay!

..., ..., ..., ...

Feb 24, 2011

for Akilah Oliver (1961-2011)

It’s mild in Brooklyn today
Though it’s raining in San Francisco
We’ve both been jealous over the years
Moving from city to suburb to city
The East is not the Flatirons
On a snowy Thursday morning
The Flatirons are not Fort Greene
With the sun turning back into God
From Kelis to Creedence
It’s too air conditioned in The Catacombs
For any normal kind of breathing
Our legs are pins and needles
Strolling up and down Pearl St.
Until you leave Boulder for good
Rolling through as a heat wave once a summer
Falling right back into it all
A Sacred Naked Nature Girl
Undressing your love on video
Staring at a projection, that kind of breathing
It takes to become a bridge or canal
Bombed with paint, a phone call in the morning
A knock on the door, and you left Brooklyn
At the start of the season, and we’re having
Weather in San Francisco today

Feb 24, 2011
at the Downer with Leslie, Sabrina and Akilah

Akilah and me in red

Akilah and Jermiah Super Bowl Sunday

traipsing around town with Sabrina and Akilah

saddened to learn this morning of the passing of my friend Akilah Oliver. last we spent time together was in the Summer of 2010, i met up with Sabrina and Akilah at The Catacombs, our old hangout, immediately upon arriving in Boulder for vacation. i don't think the three of us had been back together as a crew in over 4 years, amazingly the bartender remembered us. we sat at our old table, the big round one in the back of the bar and ordered our $2 double vodka tonics and buffalo wings. talked all kinds of gossip new and old, back in the swing of things from the get go. later we caught a cab to Naropa for a Barbara Hillman reading. the three of us sat at the front of PAC, happy hour tipsy, sweating Summer-in-Boulder sweat, downing our "faculty seats" free waters. afterwards Sabrina and i walked Akilah to wherever she was staying on Canyon St., said goodnight, embraced and headed on our way. RIP Akilah (1961-2011). you were a great friend and brilliant poet. spoke with Sabrina earlier today sharing memories, you are loved and will be missed. xoxo

Feb 19, 2011

another celebrity/ friend doppelganger thingy...



ELIOT (photo Catherine Meng)

going to Bela Bartok Six Strings Quartet performance at Herbst Theater in a couple hours with my big sister. then going to Amoeba to buy all of their Rush vinyl. i will be drinking coffee today. i will be eating fruit today. i will be thinking about last night's dance party at Edinburgh Castle, standing in the rain, feeling warm all over. Rush.

Feb 18, 2011

Lindsey found a divining rod, became a Water Witch and found us a creek.

Steve took too much acid, confronted a "Bear-Freak," then ran into the woods.

John found a hiking stick and quickly put it to use, catching crawdads through echo-location.

All three ended up on a boulder lazing next to Lake Anza.

Men were spotted jumping off of cliffs into the water, this was the middle of winter.

Walking in Tilden Park.

Feb 16, 2011

Books Read 2010 (mini-reviews from memory 5 at a time)...

51. Late Returns A Memoir of Ted Berrigan- Tom Clark

I bought the UC Press Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan a couple years ago. I only got around to starting it late last year (and am still only on page 200 or so, I keep it under my nightstand, savoring it). Berrigan was almost immediately enshrined as a major god-head in my personal pantheon. I can't believe I waited this long to read Berrigan. Michael Koshkin (Hot Whiskey Press) used to have a huge thing for Berrigan, Jared Hayes and the rest of the Naropa Goons definitely had a huge thing for Berrigan. But unfortunately I kind of had an SF stick up my ass back then. I was reading a lot of Michael Palmer at the time. It's not that I had an aversion to NY School and 2nd Gen NYS writing, it's just that I was totally consumed with SF/ Bay Area poetry and poetics, frankly I thought anything NOT coming from the Bay Area wasn't worth my time, I was fucking retarded back then and have been reforming myself over the last few years. Late Returns is a good little, hard to find biography by Tom Clark (published in '85 by Tombouctou Books). I read it in an evening. Some interesting anecdotal stuff, some cool photos and correspondences. Anxiously waiting for the news that someone has been secretly working on a Berrigan biography for the last few years on the scale of Poet Be Like God. Cheers to fantasizing.

52. Zazil #1

Magazine I picked up from an SPD Open House 5 or 6 years ago. Did James Meetze edit this bad boy? Or just have poems in this issue? I want to say this was a Southern California based mag. I don't remember anything specific about this magazine besides reading it in the bathroom. Oh wait, I remember that my copy was misprinted, the back cover was printed as the front cover rendering a Japanese-style spine. I think Mark Wallace had some poems in this issue.

53. Jim Goad's Gigantic Book Of Sex- Jim Goad

The best kind of bathroom reading. A coffee table book of Goad's best sex writing. First started reading him on Street Carnage. Then found his website. Then bought The Redneck Manifesto (and read it while visiting a friend in Brooklyn!), then bought the Gigantic Book Of Sex (the kind of book where your legs fall asleep while reading for lack of position change), then bought Shit Magnet (which I started then put down, saving for a rainy day). If they sold Jim Goad t-shirts I would buy one. Now he's writing for Taki's and I'm checking in daily.

54. Ted A Personal Memoir Of Ted Berrigan- Ron Padgett

This is the more free form of the two Berrigan bios. Padgett spends a lot of time talking about Berrigan's time in Tulsa. His friends, his affairs, his habits and eventual move to NYC, and ultimately his death. Again, this is basically a one sitting read; a small, fun, anecdotal book written by one of Berrigan oldest poetry friends. I think this book is officially out of print.

55. Ted Berrigan- Bill Berkson and George Schneeman

This artist's book was put out by Kyle Schlesinger of Cuniform Press last year. It's a visual collaboration between Bill Berkson and George Schneeman. I snagged a damaged copy from SPD. Limited to 500 copies. I have this perched against a wall in my bedroom, right next to a giant William Everson chapbook. From the publisher "Ted Berrigan is a classic collaboration between Bill Berkson and George Schneeman, and an homage to the poet and painter's mutual friend produced as a unique book in real-time at George's studio on St. Mark's Place on March 5, 2006. Continuing in the tradition of New York School collaboration, Schneeman and Berkson's Ted Berrigan is a high-quality reproduction comprised of eight spreads where image and text fuse, bleed off the page and cross the gutter. Includes an afterword by Berkson and a note from the publisher."

Feb 15, 2011

Feb 14, 2011

epic recording session with Stian yesterday afternoon into night. Stian is really fun to work with, he's really fast, super creative, and intensely talented. i'm lucky dude lives only 3 blocks from me.

recorded 4 new rough draft songs: 1. a Salem'y (I know, I hate them as much as you do, but their sound is so "template" it's really fun to mess around with) "Witch-House" track using one of my poems from Rude Girl as the lyrics (photo above). Total screeching, syrupy reverb on vocals, single syllables lasting 5-10 seconds each. Total dirty, deep, distorted bass with an improvised keyboard melody on top. (I didn't even know Stian was recording while I was messing around with the synthesizer, and then he somehow shaped my diddling melody into a pretty cool theme for the track)

2. a remix/ deconstruction of Preisner's Olivier Olivier theme (we didn't get very far with this one, this is going to take some time, i've been wanting to remix this forever, we need a concrete plan of attack!)

3. a 17 minutes long freestyle rap battle between the two of us that no one in the history of the world will ever be permitted to hear. topics ranged from "Egypt" to "no-homo" to Stian's set of "Handyman Around The House" books. this was epic. this was bro down. this was retarded.

4. I tried to write a Duran Duran meets The Magnetic Fields song. I didn't write the lyrics down, just kind of improvised it. The song started out with some verse structure, but then quickly (d)evolved into a stream of consciousness free for all between the two of us. Imagine in a Stephin Merritt drawl something like

"at the park at the disco
I met you and you love me so/
at the park at the disco
I met you and you love me so.../

(and then I forget what comes after that line...for sure a lot of genius)

Mary Mary quite contrary
you are very scary Mary
Mary Mary quite contrary
you are very scary Mary

(and then undoubtedly something awesome following that that I can't remember right now)

it was kind of a dance track and it ruled. And speaking of dance tracks, did I tell you RERUNNER were on the radio the other day (KALX). I was working the warehouse when the DJ announced RERUNNER. I was stoked.

So yeah, we're going to keep working on these tracks, and more, and then eventually I'll put them on this blog so you can put them on blast.

Feb 13, 2011

John Coletti West Coast debut The Common

Micah Ballard, baby-Lorca, Sunnylyn

Feb 2, 2011

Books Read 2010 (mini-reviews from memory 5 at a time)...

46. Identity/ Crises- anonymous
I don't know who wrote/ conceptualized this. It arrived in the mail anonymously. Pretty sure it's a Dusie project. Silver-foil cover wrapped in a silver-foil band. Kind of like the infamous Issue #1 prank from a few years ago. Actually nothing like that at all. Identity/ Crises amalgamates lines from the Kollectiv participants, I think...I remember when I first read it I immediately scanned the entire thing looking for my name. Kind of like reading a new issue of The Project Project Newsletter (I'm 0 for 14 or something like that). Whoever wrote/ conceptualized Identity/ Crises didn't bother with me though. I did spot Logan Ryan Smith, can't remember from which book they excerpted, maybe The Singers, he's currently snowed in in Chicago. I just heard on KNBR that Lou Pinella is coming to work for the Giants in an advisory role. I guess him and Sabean go way back from their days with the Yankees.  LRS works for GroupOn. Which is a company that is popular with people for some reason. He really likes his job.

47. New American Writing #13
This one has a really intensely boring baby blue cover featuring a landscape painting (very "viewer supported television" steez). Landscape painting? Hmmm...maybe. A Pastoral? A "NecroPastoral" (what does "Montevidayo" mean anyway? I really don't like the way it makes my mouth feel when saying it). I can't remember anything specific about this issue. I like New American Writing. I like Paul Hoover and Maxine Chernoff. When I was living in Boulder and Paul came to give a reading at CU, I remember I went to his reading, spotted tall ass Paul, and practically jumped on him with hugs. I was just happy to see the Bay Area again. And then Chernoff is solely responsible for me graduating from SFSU on time. She wields hella power hella benevolently. Things got a bit hairy my last semester there, but Chernoff stepped up saved my brisket. Thanks Maxine!

48. Jane Eyre- Charlotte Bronte
I was bored until page 100. Then I was stoked until page 300. Then I was totally bummed all the way until the end. I liked the middle act until Jane Eyre got all insufferable about her wedding and turned into a psycho-billy-yatch. Mr. Rochester needed to check himself. And then all that drama with her wandering the wild heaths of the dangerous British countryside. And then she almost starves to death, after just 3 days of traipsin' the trails! Grow a spine woman! I watched the BBC adaptation which was 5 hours long and satisfying in that languid BBC stage-drama'y way. I saw a preview for the new American adaptation, I noticed they used parts of Goblin's Suspiria theme, strange.

49. Lunch Poems- Frank O'hara
"Lana Turner we love you get up"
I read this on my lunch break in my car. Not so novel I know. I think most people who have read this book probably read it on their lunch breaks. It's the precious thing to do. I like Steve Orth's version best though..."Yeah, I keep Lunch Poems in my pocket at work, I'm always telling myself, 'today is the day I'm going to read Lunch Poems on my lunch break'...but when I take my lunch break I always just go on the internet instead..."

50. Soft Targets #1
Dan Hoy sent me a copy of the debut issue of his very pretty, very smart magazine years ago. I think there ended up being 2 very-phat, very generous issues? I remember this one came with a mini-disc attached at the back, a noise track by Teleseen called "Qassam." I've never met Dan Hoy, he lives in NYC. I have a feeling we would be thick as thieves though. I feel like Dan Hoy wears very smart suits often.

Feb 1, 2011

because Brett is cutting my hair tomorrow after work...goodbye weird ass hair...

The American Tribal Rock Musical
You're hair is a Be-In at Woodside Elementary

Some kind of Discotheque revolution 
With roommates fighting against conscription
After an off-Broadway strut just go ahead 
And walk down the street
You are a curly man who will attract 1,997 girls
You’re Mom told you so, and today Hair seems, if anything
More daring than ever
I'll see you on Friday at Lake Gallery
With considerably less chops
Patrick Dunagan and Jason Morris on a Tuesday
Cheering "Hair Hair I'm out of a roommate!"

my sister says this is a Sunset Party at the Berkeley Marina, probably c. 1997.

i'm in the back with the beanie and the long jaw, pre-maxiofacial surgery...