Before mercury, my blood used to fill thermometers.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Small pressing matters.

Seven Kitchens Press is releasing Erin M Bertram's new collage/chapbook monster the Vanishing of Camille Claudel and I am all over it! I am formulating the cover and will be tackling the layout, too, in addition to creating some promotional materials that will appear here as well as on the new www.SevenKitchensPress.com (which is new in the sense that it's never been a dot com before, but soon it will look like a whole new site, too). I love Erin's poetry and working on her December 09 SK title Inland Sea was glorious!

I don't think I mentioned also how amazing it was to meet Pedro Ponce at &Now. His talk about panoptic fiction, the "form" of surveillance, was riveting even in the face of constant near-unconsciousness that plagued me late in the afternoon every day of the festival. I am madly ecstatic that he loved the design of his Homeland: a Panorama so much! I am outrageously lucky to have gotten to handle that release! AND to have the help of Roxanne Carter in making the cover beautiful.

Anobium is STILL OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS to issue the second to be released in the spring! This is such a miraculous issue! I'm really proud of it and really excited to be involved in its release! I guess it should be out sometime around AWP. Like AWP 2012, Anobium is in Chicago, and I will be, too. Meanwhile, the first Anobium chapbook, Sebastian's Relativity, has raked in over $1000 on Kickstarter (twice our goal!) and five days still remain to donate to the project. Copies will fly into the arms of their intendeds the last day of this month, otherwise only a few less than fifty copies remain. I really can't wait to see where the chapbook series heads.

Slightly earlier in 2012 than AWP, Riding the Lace Barometer by j/j hastain will be out from ISMs Press, and it is looking delirious! I am finishing up the formatting and design. I just figured out the specs and am printing proofs. Next weekend. After I celebrate Halloween with my college buddies. But this is a really beautiful little book. ISMs also recently worked with Tantra Bensko, my roommate from &Now on the Cabinet of What You Don't See. She is a radiant human being and her writing is crazy and fun and it is a joyous scene here at ISMs.

This is a lot to look forward to. I'm going to sleep until then. I can't stand the excitement!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Laura, don't go there! Leo, no!

Speaking of Juliet Cook's killer Thirteen Myna Birds, the new issue is celebrating Halloween with three poems from Say you're a fiction! Thirteen Myna Birds is a Twin Peaks reference. My best friend Clare is being Laura Palmer for Halloween. Among my favorite moments from &Now included Roxanne, Tantra, Kara and I collectively yessing and squealing over Twin Peaks. My boyfriend and I are halfway through the second season. This is our second viewing, and we're dedicating this one to the composition of a spontaneously imagined Cooper/Truman fanfiction.

In conclusion: an extreme thumbs-up to Thirteen Myna Birds.

Ex machina.

Women's Quarterly Conversation - a site I love full of interviews with poets (like Juliet Cook, editor of Blood Pudding Press and Thirteen Myna Birds, where pretty soon more parts of Say you're a fiction will be available) has linked to me as Enigma Machine. I am very proud of this, and it was nice to be reminded again how continuously excited to embark on Enigma Machine. And how happy I am to be being slow about it. I'm relentlessly miserable at practicing restraint when it comes to fun. And reading submissions is my idea of fun. Submissions will be open in May, right after my birthday. I am all ready devastatingly proud of it. I won't say anything more until the new year. It isn't very far away at all. I'm pretty overwhelmed at that.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sandwich panel.

I sometimes get off work at six and now it is dark when I leave, and the weather is perfect and breezy. There's a cafe I like to go to during the day and one I like to go to at night. The night cafe is courthouse-themed and their menu reads like "sandwich panel" and "gluten-free litigators." Under penalty of law I admit to making up one of those.

Also from &Now that I thought about winding through streets: Lucy Corin's voice shaking as she read what felt like page after brilliantly horrible page of dead baby jokes. Danielle Vogel's powerful vulnerability addressing ritual, writing, and the absence of Selah Saterstrom. Bhanu Kapil recorded some wonderful moments on her blog.

The New Fraktur Arts Journal has a new website! And if you click on that third issue, you can check out Diablerie, the mammoth synopsis of the the movie the characters are making in my chapbook Say you're a fiction. You can purchase New Fraktur III in the flesh online on the selfsame site or by visiting Emmaus, PA. I wound up in Emmaus on my way back from seeing Metropolis when the restored print came to Philadelphia. 

Diablerie is called "a film in a novel" because Say you're a fiction was initially conceived as a much more gigantic project. Someday it might be. Now I am content to be very, very proud of it for the chapbook that it is. It's on the bigger side, almost 40 pages. It will feel so good in your hands.

At Amanda Palmer's blog she is addressing the blog vs her own art, as are Niina Pollari and Autumn Giles on the podcast I'm listening to. From the comments on AFP's blog:
I've just started studying English Language and Literature at Oxford University and in our first class last week we were given anonymous extracts of writing and were asked the question "What is literature?" We identified most of the extracts from the start, but still we unanimously put each piece in the literature pile. These included great poetry, novels, television scripts, diaries, speeches, greetings card verses, bible passages, conversation transcripts...and blogs. We discussed how, in 400 years time, any writing from today has the potential of being studied as literature or art and how Shakespeare was not considered art at the time. We also talked about how these were all literature, but not necessarily *good* literature. All art is subjective and in my opinion anything that either intends to be or is interpreted as art, is art, blogs and tweets obviously included. But that does not mean we have to like it.
Amanda Palmer has brought so many good things to me, including Zoe Boekbinder, singer of "Typewriter Girl," who I'm going to see at Space 2640 (Baltimore) with my best friend Clare in November. I hope we will be cold and I hope Zoe will hug us.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

More &Now.

I didn't get to see much of the Montevidayo crowd, but every time Joyelle McSweeney was in the room, everything was electrified with happiness. She almost ran squarely into me outside a bathroom and did a wonderful, graceful twirl to turn it into a dance.

I missed that panel to go to the New Media & Collaborative Performance panel.


You understand.

I also had to miss most les Figues action, but that did not stop Vanessa Place's severity from being one of my favorite parts of the shebang. Her joke at the Matters of Mind panel was my favorite. Just my favorite.

Tantra Bensko was an unbelievably kind, flexible, patient, fun, glorious roommate. It was a mad, infinite pleasure meeting and speaking sparing to Roxanne and Kate Z. I was very comforted not to be alone in half-finished thoughts and total pulverization by the weather, the campus, and the crowds. It was so so worth it to hear pieces of Heroines and Glamorous Freak. Now my body demands that walk from the hotel to the campus. Even though I was so rancid, that movement was stunning. I am made for treks like that.

I'm still waiting for my synapses to start speaking again. Whole thoughts forthcoming. I learned today how rotten this blog looks on a PC.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Death, sleep & the traveler.

&NOW TOP 5

EXCESSIVE JOY
Kate Zambreno, Kate Durbin, Bhanu Kapil, Amaranth Borsuk and Johannes Göransson each individually KNOCKED ME OUT. Kate Z read from Heroines and from that sliver it totally engorged my excitement over that book to throbbing proportions; Kate D's whoremoans went audaciously unpardoned; Bhanu lit herself on fire then doused it out with Chanel no. 5 (at least, that is the history that I am waiting to see repeated); Amaranth's reading voice became my favorite extent thing besides Between Page and Screen; Johannes' version of the Lion King is now the only version. This panel was so full of joy and excitement and vigor and beautiful people and while my archivist impulses are really, really not great, I did record the audio. The mic was shy, so the audio is extra not great, and it is in two very lopsided parts (the entire panel proper is in the first file, the q&a populates the second) but it is worth it.

Piss Lisas
Niina Pollari's presentation about Tytti Heikkinen was perfect in all ways: Niina is a beautiful and awesome person and it was intensely delightful to meet her; I would have paid as much as I did for the Lincoln Towncar that dragged my poor, poor body back to San Diego International for the photocopy of "Anal Sex Throughout the Ages" and the Pissis diagram. Action Books is releasing Niina's translation of Heikkinen's Fatty XL poems this coming year and how that is going to be among my favorite favorite books ever I cannot qualify/quantify - I would have to demonstrate and that would involve so many unsightly gestures. On this note I'm glad the heat/the uphill-both-ways quality of la Jolla prevented me from presenting too glamorized a version of myself at &Now. I think I came off like this (that is: alternately floored as if I'd been plugged three times, or adorably senile).

OMGCaroleMasoCaroleMasoCaroleMasoOMG
I did not even mention this in my post about why I wanted to go to &Now but reading that Carole Maso was delivering the keynote address was the factor that pushed me over the edge into deciding to go. Her speech was on the first night. I arrived the night before and Kara and I got pho for dinner. The pho was huge, so I wanted to finish it for dinner the next night. After all the panels I was broken and sopping and dragged myself back to the hotel to finish my pho, even knowing how the walk back to campus would amplify how totally rancid I was. I did it. I found the ballroom where the speech was to be given and after the speech and her reading from Mother and Child that I was SO SO thrilled about and could have listened to her read from forever I got to speak to her and told her oh, I came all the way from Pennsylvania to see you here! Here being this once and a lifetime assemblage of brilliant and beautiful writers. But of course this elicited a giggle and knowing shake of the head and she went "oh Kari I live in Rhode Island" which was pretty great. ALSO it was not as if I was expecting that anyone would do this but I was so pleased (am so pleased) to be ready for the question "have you published anything?" with "YES I HAVE" which is better than "no...no..." with emphases on the ellipses. The one time I was asked was by Carole Maso. "Yes, I have a chapbook coming out from Dancing Girl," I said, and all at once she congratulated me and validated all my recent decisions (pho, working instead of going to school, the Man Ray monograph, etc, everything was cast in the glow of her).

People
Oh just everybody. Everybody! Amina Cain and Anna Joy Springer for writing rollicking books and putting &Now together with their bare hands. Roxanne Carter for the shred of Glamorous Freak footage and the incredible/sad story about her diaries magically turning into ramen. Tantra Bensko for being a cheerful and incredible roommate. Joanna Ruocco for the allusion to the Kari Festival (a real thing that happens in Norway) in her very gracious autograph. I swooned all over San Diego getting to see and sometimes speak to so many amazing writers who inspire and overwhelm me. I had the extreme privilege of talking to Amaranth Borsuk a tiny bit outside Atkinson Hall (everyone is fortunate not to have engaged in any more than a tiny bit of talk with me - I would have fallen asleep on them) and I told her that as soon as two years ago maybe I thought all writers were dead or - I don't know - Susan Orlean. Someone totally ensconced in a platinum swank job with an institutional affiliation and there was no visible struggle to me or small fervid ecstatic subculture as I was used to digging in music and art.

New Work
I missed the first panels the first two days being a wreck and needing coffee despite waking up dehydrated. But the last day I was not into that and took a cab to campus and I was so overjoyed that I did because current grad students at Brown were giving a tiny, intimate reading. I was really really hoping to see brand new people (to me) reading brand new work and it was not loud and I was just waking up and it was perfect beyond hyperbole. Especially Mary Wilson's poem made out of Nicki Minaj lyrics.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

You'll miss me honey certains des jours.

I'm leaving for &Now tomorrow night! I am a little scrambled. Last week at work, the engineer leaned over and said, "Kari, Kari - I think great minds are really tortured." That didn't flow appropriately, those statements, but I didn't want to forget about it.

I mean to say I'm scrambled as a segue to assert how I have not properly freaked out about Say you're a fiction. I didn't even use the possessive in my announcement. Say you're a fiction is MY little book of twenty-eight poems and two epigraphs and a lot of references to the Tempest. One long poem occupies seven pages. This is the poem appearing in the New Fraktur Arts Journal vol. III, which comes out while I'm at &Now. The Pittsburgh Small Press Festival was this past weekend. I had to miss it this year because my boyfriend's brother had his wedding. But I went last year with Ron Mohring and talked about the character/s that Anna Karina plays in the films of Godard, how interested I am in that story of that character. Working in the classroom we'd take over to make books, I think I handled Alluvium, Erin Bertram's Dancing Girl title, I was definitely aware of it. And I thought yes! This is an aesthetic I want to be involved in. I love the form of the chapbook. It is responsible for ninety-eight percent of the good time I had in college. And I think I'm going to be reading in Pittsburgh. I don't know when. But all of that is so perfect.

I do not get publicly fired up about my ambition but this fulfills one of the rigid and unreasonable goals I had set for myself upon graduating and I did it! I really want to celebrate with my boyfriend by making gin and tonics out of the gin he was given as a gift for his role in the wedding. Its label describes how strange it is and says enjoyed by a tiny handful of people all over the world - we're not for everyone!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Book Challenge 21.

Day 01 – The best book you read this year
Day 02 – A book that you’ve read more than 3 times
Day 03 – Your favorite series
Day 04 – Favorite book of your favorite series
Day 05 – A book that makes you happy
Day 06 – A book that makes you sad
Day 07 – Most underrated book
Day 08 – Most overrated book
Day 09 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving
Day 10 – Favorite classic book
Day 11 – A book you hated
Day 12 – A book you used to love but don’t anymore
Day 13 – Your favorite writer
Day 14 – Favorite book of your favorite writer
Day 15 – Favorite male character
Day 16 – Favorite female character
Day 17 – Favorite quote from your favorite book
Day 18 – A book that disappointed you
Day 19 – Favorite book turned into a movie
Day 20 – Favorite romance book
Day 21 – Favorite book from your childhood

Day 21.

I in my youth was all about Richard Scarry. Cars and Trucks and Things That Go. I also loved Don Bluth's Rockadoodle. There is nothing I dislike more than cars, trucks, farms and country-swagger-Elvis-rock-about-sunshine. Reality is poor with these things. Scarry and Bluth set the bar too high.

I loved Don Bluth's characters because even the talking animals drank, smoked, gambled, ran away to the city to be in show business, got depressed, contemplated suicide, consorted with evil in a less-than-heroic manner, and were really scared of death. From what I'd gleaned from scenes of movies I wasn't allowed to watch and my own fear of mortality that I was confronted with upon seeing a commercial for a touring production of Cats coming to the Poconos, I was comforted by knowing that even though that major animation conglomerate was deluding everybody, Don Bluth and I know the truth.

Also: I Spy books. I remember them being super voyeuristic.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Book Challenge 20.

Day 01 – The best book you read this year
Day 02 – A book that you’ve read more than 3 times
Day 03 – Your favorite series
Day 04 – Favorite book of your favorite series
Day 05 – A book that makes you happy
Day 06 – A book that makes you sad
Day 07 – Most underrated book
Day 08 – Most overrated book
Day 09 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving
Day 10 – Favorite classic book
Day 11 – A book you hated
Day 12 – A book you used to love but don’t anymore
Day 13 – Your favorite writer
Day 14 – Favorite book of your favorite writer
Day 15 – Favorite male character
Day 16 – Favorite female character
Day 17 – Favorite quote from your favorite book
Day 18 – A book that disappointed you
Day 19 – Favorite book turned into a movie
Day 20 – Favorite romance book

Day 20.

Colette's Cheri. No hesitations. It was the one Colette on a trip to New York last year that I saw, that I didn't own yet. I had money. I was prepared to buy whatever I found that I kind of wanted, even a little bit, because it was the first time I had money in years and years. So I bought it along with many other books (including the Bad Seed which let me down!) and only afterwards did I really covet and adore it and now when I see copies for sale I swoon. I did swoon when I found the Complete Claudine. It was at RiverRead Books. One might get a grossly inaccurate idea of that place from the website - it is really beautiful, right on the Chenango River (or the Susquehanna, actually, I'm not sure - there's a confluence). I had no money and was visiting an ex who was not an ex then (I speak here of my weird trip to Ithaca with him) which cost me a lot of money. So it was rare on my visits to have extra money and he didn't have any either so he staunchly wanted to avoid the very seductive bookstore that we had to pass to get to the library. I finally forced us in sometime because I had twenty dollars. The Complete Claudine was twenty dollars. I went there. The bookseller was aghast with me. I was so charmed. Usually I encounter booksellers who aren't familiar enough with material to find it morally reprehensible. I didn't get to relive that thrill until last summer. After a year of enjoying John Waters' pronunciation of Marguerite Duras (which is so dramatic and all over the commentary for Polyester) I bought the Lover from the Bookworm. The Bookworm is a bookstore in the West Shore Farmers' Market in Lemoyne, PA, right outside the capital, and it just moved to the prime retail spot in the first corner one sees when walking in. All my favorite memories of being an unemployed college-graduate (only a summer's worth, which is the perfect amount) are tied up in my ability to go to the Farmers' Market. When I found the Lovers there and bought it, the owner touched my hand and asked "Are you old enough to be reading this, little girl?"

Monday, October 3, 2011

Have you seen the future?

1. I went to see Tabloid with my boyfriend. We were in line for tickets when I saw a poster for Miranda July's the Future in front of which stood an elderly gentleman waiting for the bathroom. I pointed and yelled "THE FUTURE" and the old man, frightened out of his senses, flew out of its way.

2. Anobium has a $500 Kickstarter campaign happening as we speak. That amount goes a long, long way on a little venture like Anobium. The campaign is in support of our first chapbook, Sebastian's Relativity by Jonathan Greenhause. Rosebud Ben-Oni gave to it, and I would encourage you to follow her example in all things. She is appearing in the forthcoming and unreasonably gorgeous Anobium vol II, due out in the spring, and is among the chief reasons for its gorgeousness. Submissions are still on.

3. Tabloid was so great. I avoided reading anything about it or the case involved before watching. I just knew it was lurid. The way it started with Joyce McKinney in a wispy princess in the woods by a brook seventies white dress situation reading from her very special love story drove me wild - and the face that the film went in some somewhat satisfying directions, which were fascinating (beyond hyperbole), but not what I was yearning for after that opening, have me thinking about it continuously. I love its porousness and lack of psychological investigation. I love the guy obsessed with the term "spread-eagled." I love that each individual who participated in the film was so obsessed with a particular aspect to the story that no one was presiding over its arc, what it all could mean. Even the director was so excited to get to the part about cloning dogs that little was done to effectively marry the first part to that part. I love that it was called a cross between Rashomon and Looney Tunes.