Jan 30, 2012

Books Read 2011

21. Amorgos- Nikos Gatsos/ translated by Sally Purcell

"On the stubble after harvest, and we ate the cut clover"...In 2008 Susan Gevirtz invited me to co-organize the Paros Translator's Symposium with her. Here are two photos (yes, self portraits, I was alone, so very very alone) pre-Symposium hiking around Amorgos with a makeshift turban/ marinating on my hotel balcony with a belly full of honey and yogurt. I was the youngest person on the island, I stayed for 5 days.

22. Signs Of Life In The USA: Readings On Popular Culture For Writers- ed. Sonia Maasik/ Jack Solomon

Ex-girlfriends & Miami in the Winter & plane rides/ airports & Dinseyland & Bladerunner & Madonna & semiotics & trade shows & hackers & Cuban sandwiches...

23. Formosa Straights- Anthony Hyde

Taiwan used to be called Formosa, Portuguese for "Beautiful Island." When my brother was in Brazil he somehow ended up in white short shorts dancing wine-drunk with a celebrity talk show host nationally known for her healthy bottom in a nation especially known for healthy bottoms. Before the trip, on the way to SFO, the entire car singing along to Prince's "Seven"..."...with an intellect/ and a savoir faire..."...I want to say my brother and his friends trashed their rental car, I do know they had one tape cassette and hundreds of miles to drive through rugged Brazilian terrain. I'm not sure what the tape cassette has to do with the condition of their rental car.

24. Sulfur #5

I not sure if this was the Paul Blackburn issue. Isn't Jason Morris really into Paul Blackburn? Last Tuesday I drank a large Mocha at Farley's and read two books by Darrell Gray. Is it safe to say that Paul Blackburn has become a sort of Neglectorino? At least of late...? I think it's definitely safe to say that Darrell Gray has become a Neglectorino...Poltroon Press just put out a neat little book of Darrell Gray and G.P. Skratz collabos.

25. Shit Magnet- Jim Goad

see Attention Span 2011

Jan 27, 2012

Books Read 2011

16. Meditations In An Emergency- Frank O'Hara

Hands down probably my favorite episode of Mad Men.

17. New Yipes Reader #4 edited by Rachel Levitsky/ Bill Luoma

I think Rachel was sick at this reading. I met Rachel at Naropa in 2005. I should say, Laura Jaramillo and I met Rachel at Naropa in 2005. For a while there I thought I was going to be the first boy published by Belladonna. I wrote a play with Laura that Summer. We gave it to Rachel hoping she would love it so much she would Belladonna the hell out of it. That didn't work out. Laura and I used to drink coffee on The Hill every day after class. The Streets were in town playing the Fox Theater. Laura and I were drinking coffee when Mike Skinner walked through the door. I said "ay, Mike Skinner...," he turned around and smiled at us. When I first got to Boulder I used to skateboard around town with a "small guy" of vodka in my backpack. I got so many bloody noses.

18. Laws- Jen Hofer

I hate oddly shaped books. I like book arts but hate oddly shaped books. I should say I hate oddly shaped books when it comes to my own library. I don't mind oddly shaped anything if I'm not the one having to figure out where to place it on a book shelf. Jen Hofer rides her bike in LA. It says so in all her bios.

19. Combo #8

Undoubtedly good cover.

20. Fourteen Hills Vol.9 #1

Blue and black MUNI transfer pass cover? And then there's that new lit mag called TRNSFR (or something like that), even though there already is a lit mag called Transfer (see Aesop Rock/ A$AP Rocky controversy). True story, for the longest time (oh, 2 months or so) I had no idea how to pronounce MSTRKRFT, I think in my head I was saying "Mister Cre-Foot"...and then Matthew Arnone started saying "OMG" and Brandon Brown started listening to tween pop music and saying "LOL" and Logan moved to Chicago to get away from it all, and Steve ORTH got married.

Jan 26, 2012

Books Read 2011

11. Broadway 2- ed. James Schuyler/ Charles North

I think I thought this was a rare item when I bought it from Green Apple back in 2001. I knew James Schuyler was a rare item, I knew that he only gave like 3 readings throughout his entire life, one of them being a late, odd Poetry Center solo reading (late 90s?). I remember feeling really uncomfortable while watching my dubbed VHS copy of that reading on my TV/VCR-in-one. Jimmy seemed a bit overwhelmed, walking to microphone, not acknowledging the audience at all, never looking up from the page, and then after concluding his reading, exiting as suddenly as he started.  It was baffling, I didn't know what to think. And then later with more biographical context, it made a lot more sense.

12. Live Girls- Beth Nugent

I bought this in 1999 at a DVC Bookstore clearance sale, snagged this one and a book called Formosa Straights for a dollar each. This was a fairly terrible book and I have nothing else to say about it. Oh, well, I liked the yellow cover.

13. Rosemary Stretch- Betsy Fagin

"Betsy" is a pretty good name, in the key of "Ruth" or "Bernice," something very F. Scott Fitzgerald about it. Every time I see "Rosemary Stretch" I think of Rosemary Griggs. Did you know that Rosmarie Waldrop spells her name "Rosmarie"? Every time I type her name I pronounce it in my head like "Ross-Marie"...

14. Sulfur #4

I remember Clayton's wife Caryl combing his hair for him right before he was set to take the stage at a Poetry Center reading back in 2002 (?). It wasn't a reading actually, it was a slide-lecture about Ice Age cave art in Southwestern France. I feel like it was an evening event, it was dark outside. I started reading Eshleman in earnest this year after being blown away by the "6 Writers On Eshleman" section in Temblor #6. I would like my wife to comb my hair in the presence of strangers someday. I would like to see Ice Age cave art someday. I really hated Herzog's Cave Of Forgotten dreams.

15. Combo #7

Every time a new issue of Combo would appear in the bathroom Steve Orth would say "ANOTHER issue of Combo?!" And I'd say "yep..." Combo had some of the best covers in the game.
I may have eaten too much quiche.

Jan 25, 2012

Books Read 2011

6. The Daily Mirror- David Lehman

I once wrote a pretty terrible book called Quotidian. I once titled a pretty terrible book a pretty terrible title, "Quotidian." I can't remember if it was David Lehman or Bernadette Mayer who inspired me to write this terrible book. I'm pretty sure it was Mayer's 3:15 Experiment (a book I wanted to like a lot more than I did when I got around to reading it), though it could have been The Daily Mirror. That being said, The Daily Mirror was better than The Last Avante-Garde, but maybe equally horribly titled. Currently listening to !!! Louden Up Now.

7. Tract- Jon Leon

Jon used to edit a magazine called Wherever We Put Our Hats. I believe we traded a copy of BOTH BOTH for a copy of WWPOH back in the day. I was living in Boulder while Jon was living in SF. When I moved back to SF Jon moved to Georgia (maybe). I think Tract is from the first Dusie Kollectiv, of which I was also a participant. I don't think this is the book with the extremely-large-though-natural-looking-breasts-70s-porn woman on the cover. I believe Jon runs a marketing company for chapbook presses. Somebody recently mentioned Jon's name while formulating ideas around the "Boyesque." I should say that I like Jon's writing a lot. Last I heard Jon was working in the fashion industry in New York City.

8. Combo #6

Tod McCarty never aired my King Lear vs. Boom Bip mix on KGNU 88.5FM.

9. Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy And Its Consequences- John Allen Paulos

I think I borrowed this book from my Dad in the 80s. There are roughly 5 billion people living today, every person has around 1 gallon of blood (women and children less), (5 x 10 to the 9th) = 5 billion gallons of blood. 7.5 gallons per cubic foot, so we get 6.7 x 10 to the 8th cubic feet of blood. The cube root of 6.7 x 10 to the 8th is 870. Thus, all the blood in the world would fit into a cube 870 feet on a side. And here's where it gets cool, "Central Park in New York has an area of 840 acres. If a wall were built around it, ALL THE BLOOD IN THE WORLD would cover the park to a depth of something under 20 feet." Don't try using this "all the blood in the world" business in a poem, I've already done it...

10. Visions Of The Daughters Of Albion- William Blake/ edited by Robert N. Essick

When I moved back to SF Brandon Brown asked me what it was about Blake that I liked so much. I think I said something about Cosmology, Contrariness, Politics, Myth, I might have mentioned something about the illuminated plates. In other words, I had a really hard time articulating what I loved about Blake. I have a hard time talking about anything I really like though. I can go on and on about how silly hats look on girls, or about how much I hate "street art" but ask me why I love George Oppen and I'm suddenly tongue tied. I was thinking of getting a Daughters Of Albion tattoo for a while, but realized that the piece would probably turn out looking like a pastel colored smear more than anything else...

Jan 23, 2012

Books Read 2011

1. The Complete Poems 1927-1979- Elizabeth Bishop

Didn't I read somewhere in the recent past that EB was recognized by some committee somewhere in America to be the most important artist of the 20th Century? And by "artist" they meant The Whole Art: painting, writing, sculpture, movies et al. Am I making this up, misprision? This is that big pink book, I read this on my lunch break in my car. I hated this book. It wouldn't end. If there is one thing I really regret about college it's all the "complete works" books that I was forced to purchase (and now read). A lot of lounging around Brazil commenting on the indigent...The Fish is still a fun poem, "...coarse white flesh/ packed like feathers" is a fascinatingly disgusting image in the key of knee surgery or David Cronenberg. Kevin Killian recently participated in some kind of art show based on the work of Elizabeth Bishop (I missed it because my Gmail calendar was acting the Luddite), I wrote him at the time that I was having a hard time slogging through the Complete Poems, he didn't write me back.   

2. There Are People Who Think That Painters Shouldn’t Talk A Guston Book- Patrick James Dunagan

I was walking down to Amber (now The Residence) with my brother (maybe), spotted Dunagan at the Church and Duboce MUNI tracks, was like "eeeeh yoooo..." and Patrick was all "oh, heeeey, man..." and then we bear hugged and vigorously shook hands (Dunagan has this great thing where his whole face lights up with smiles, his face turning beet-red)...I said "hey congrats on your book!" and he goes "what do you mean?" and I'm like "the Post-Apollo book...Lindsey told me they're going to do it..." and Dunagan is all "oh really? I haven't heard that...oh shit, seriously?" and I'm like "yeah that's kind of weird...no one told you?!" and he's like "I haven't heard anything...I mean, I gave them something to look at..." and I'm all "yeah dude, it's a done deal, they're doing the book...congrats" and he goes "awesome, but just in case it's not a done deal, I'm not going to get too excited..." and me "get excited, your book is a GO" and him "okay, I'm excited, but cautiously..." and me "ok..." and him "ok..."...

3. The Grand Piano Part 10

Brent Cunningham has a new book on Atelos called Journey To The Sun. I highly recommend it. 

 4. Area Sneaks #2

Joseph Mosconi and I spent a week together in Greece. We shared a room. I was in a miserable state. Mosconi spent a week listening to me vent about girls and relationships and fuckery...Mosconi even took walks with me through old Greek graveyards like a real mensch. Mosconi and I drank a lot of coffee together and I drank a lot of beer by myself. I swam in the Mediterranean a lot and didn't eat very much. Susan Gevirtz and Steve Dickison were also there, and along with Mosconi they handled my funk with compassionate aplomb. God I was such a bummer that summer. Here's a photo of Gevirtz, Me and Mosconi (photo by Dickison) on Paros (right before my backpack was swept out to sea only to be found the next morning by Thanasis Maskaleris during his morning swim, contents of backpack, destroyed...).


5. Temblor #4

Temblor is growing on me, sort of. Steve Dickison mentioned something about Temblor during my and Anna Moschovakis's Open Workshop at SFSU. About how the magazine was great because of how inclusive it was, lot's of different schools, lot's of personalities. I had to check myself, I'd never looked at Temblor that way, it had always seemed so safe in the kind of experimental literature it showcased (thus, really predictable and boring). So I'm trying to pay a more historical kind of attention while reading, hopefully it'll liven up the experience, cause I own, and am obligated to read, all 10 issues.

Jan 22, 2012

Congrats New York Giants, I'll be rooting for you in the Superbowl.

But mostly congrats you Brooklyn busters, hey Jay Slack...

Go Giants, I guess...who cares though really, when does Spring Training start again?

Go San Francisco Giants!


Pappou's lucky 1980's era 49ers baseball hat...today, I eat fried chicken. Go 49ers...

And a smile for my Mom, hi mom!

Jan 20, 2012

Happy Birthday Morgan. I can't tell if you're human or not. See you tonight.

Jan 19, 2012

I'm not a gear-head I just floss a lot...

$11 Walgreen's Frank Gore t-shirt, pre dropping the girls off at the airport purchase...

Hello Law And Order SVU, Hello Peacock Lounge, Hello did you know that Shel Silverstein wrote "A Boy Named Sue," Hello first storm of the season.
Who Dat Sunnylyn Thibodeaux!

What's the word, Avery Burns?

Ahoy, Erica Lewis, how you feelin'?

Oh hey, 'sup Julien Poirier...?
oh hey look, this guy is blogging exactly like me...

sort of like when someone on that same site started doing "Literary Doppelgangers"...

I don't care about the weather.

Men are not The Problem.

When it comes to getting naked, always let the girl set the pace.

Here is a list of the 3 non-awkward poets I know:
1. John Sakkis
2. Susan Gevirtz
3. John Coletti

Last night, after downing a double Dickel and pickle juice, ORTH...

Alice Notley is such a fucking shaman.

People who over use the word "problematic"...

If you ever find yourself at a Pupuseria with a pretty girl, order the pupusas.

And here are some photos from last weekend.

Jan 18, 2012

And here are two photos of me jubilant in front of Kazwell's giant pull down movie screen right after the 49ers beat the Saints in the last 13 seconds of the game. I wept a little then called my Dad. I mean, you're a cold and prickly person if you didn't find yourself getting a little weepy watching Vernon Davis make that cinematic, once in a generation game winning Catch, and then run over to the sidelines in little boy tears looking for head coach Jim Harbaugh where they man-bear hug embrace as the crowd goes absolutely bananas. I mean Jesus, have you seen the video, you should watch it if you haven't, here, I'm posting it below, watch it and weep...amazing.

Jan 17, 2012

Hey look, here's an old photo of me from high school. I think this was Junior Year, so 1997? I'm not posing, I was having a terrible day...Billy (photographer) snuck up on me (he thought fightin'-Johnny-face was hilarious), stuck his camera in my grill and took the photo, then ran away for his life...

Plus, check out that sweet sweet Harry Osborne hair (+ chin strap beard!)...

Jan 14, 2012

Plans For The Day:

1. 49ers
2. Early afternoon beers
3. Listen to 4 Soundgarden albums in a row
4. Eat a cheeseburger
5. 200 crunches

"I'm lookin' Californi-aaaaaaaa/ And feelin' Minnesot-aaaaaa/ Oh GHYEAAAAAA!"

Oh and hey, check out new Books Read 2011 postings from

Jason Morris

Sam Lohmann

Zack Haber

Nicholas James Whittington

Jan 13, 2012

Christa is probably the worst name ever invented right?

I keep buying Creme Brulee coffee creamer thinking it's NOT going to taste like Gak (TM) this time around. 

My friends are putting on a comedy about people who says things like "...Imperial Capitalist American Society and its inherent white supremacy, patriarchy and heteronormativity..."...this Sunday at CounterPULSE.

I can't tell if I have gas or my liver is slowly exploding. 

My dear Mom keeps calling me from Coscto asking if I want any fried chicken.

Can't believe there's not a Tumbler called "Hipster Girls Reading Joan Dideon"...

Last night I dreamt I was in Brooklyn, the only thing I packed were cadet caps and Forest Green turtle necks. 

I can't believe we go to work everyday. 

Jan 11, 2012

Check out the new hammers over at Books Read 2011 blog...

Micah Ballard

John Bloomberg-Rissman

Patrick James Dunagan

Amy Berkowitz

Christie Ann Reynolds

Brian Ang

Nathaniel Otting

(if you'd like to contribute hit me up at john.sakkis@gmail.com)

Jan 5, 2012

Hello people who read this blog, the new issue of BOTH BOTH is printed, collated and ready for love. This issue features two of my favorite poets, the bright and shinning star that is Rodney Koeneke paired and complimented by the enigmatic true Berkeley-blood wonder child Julien Poirier.

You know the deal, limited copies, no reprints, always free. So if you'd like a copy shoot me an email at john.sakkis@gmail.com, I'll be more than happy to send one along.

Currently listening to Nirvana Unplugged, contemplating white wine and John Schlesinger's Marathon Man. Salud!

Jan 2, 2012

That's a photo of my new Bianchi San Jose. I just got back from my first ride around Uptown Oakland. I arrived back home with a tall Anchor and a tall Rouge Northwestern Beer. Now I'm going to watch the last 5 episodes of Bleak House.

Yesterday, after watching the 49ers win and then drinking leftover keg beers in a ghetto ass backyard in West Oakland, I headed to the City to hang out with a house full of hungover ass lesbians and 1 straight girl. We watched Scream, and Jeepers Creepers, and 16 Candles and the beginning of some movie staring Julianne Moore and Amanda Seyfried. I had no idea what was going on, from what I could surmise, Julianne Moore hired Amanda Seyfried to seduce her husband to see if he would cheat on her (who wouldn't with Amanda Seyfried though?), but then while Amanda Seyfried is seducing the husband, Julianne Moore realizes that she is in fact falling in love with Amanda Seyfried, but then Amanda Seyfried goes and spoils the whole thing by having sex with Julianne Moore and husband's son. I had to leave after that.

Today I drank Blue Bottle coffee from the Blue Bottle store for the first time, then walked around Hayes Valley for a bit. Then went and picked up Julia and Ashley and went for "breakfast" (it was 2:30pm) over at St. Frances. Inexplicably there was more than a lot of talk of placenta, Diva Cups (???), and last night's dreams, sheesh, girls right? I had the patty melt with mayo on the side.

RE: New Year's Eve, this is part of an email I wrote Orth and Otting:

"Morning Nathaniel, Steve,

...At this point it's around 11:38PM, I'm making my way across the courtyard, I stumble on a badly placed lounge chair, I pick up the lounge chair to move it to a less badly placed location so no one else might stumble, as I'm moving the chair I walk right into a small potted cactus plant dangling from a tree brach. I took the cactus to my mouth. It hurts. I reach up to my mouth with my fingers, touch my lips, and feels dozens of little cactus stingers sticking out of my lips. Fuck. It's almost midnight now and I need to find pretty-girl ___ so we can have a midnight kiss, but my mouth is full of cactus stingers. I grab my friend Brett, point at my mouth and beg for a helping hand, she laughs, says "oh shit Johnny," takes me aside into the light and very carefully, over about 5 minutes, goes about pulling and pinching all those goddamn cactus stingers out of my now puffy lips. It's kind of funny at this point, kind of. I make my way over to ___, light a couple sparklers, the whole courtyard on the countdown, happy new year, fun fun fun bright sparkly puffy lipped makeout to ring in 2012. Go 49ers."