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Friday, November 07, 2008

Ninja Crisps, traveling in Nihon, yeah!

Well, just got back from J-land and what a trip! Six of us left in late October and came back early November. The weather in Japan was terrific (it only rained two of the ten days) and we packed in a lot. For the most part, I was there to train in my martial arts (you can see a post on that here), but even so, I was able to take the shinkansen with my girl to Osaka (where we ate the best takoyaki ever), and found time to visit friends in our home-town over-seas, Kunitachi. We also went to one of my favorite places on the planet, Kichijoji (where we ate a lot of delicious food, but the certainly the best bowl of ramen that I have ever had and perhaps the best bowl of ramen in the universe). I was also able to get a bag of Ninja Crisps at a train station.



My girl, Saudade, has done an excellent job documenting the delicious food and wacky hijinx of Japan--so I shall leave you with her, here.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Oakland poems

I've been thinking about Oakland lately, and the sort of illusory and plastic nature of "place." Here are a couple of poems stemming from that:



This must be more than just

us, these words upon you.

Stories climb out as veins;

pave our roads, carve clouds

from sky. Oakland...we have

yet our obligations. There is

more there than here, and no

index has been imagined. A

woman in an evening coincides

with violence, skirting briefly

along its edge. She walks

home, still in love and aware.

...

A city invoked becomes

every city to subtle senses

until we cannot leave—urwilderness

denatured, newly flowered

with glass and glancing light.

The alphabet of trees has been

bombed, made strange, but one

cannot escape environment. We

leak complexity, our borders

flicker. Send me a letter and I

will reply with sutures, drifting

stories, digital photographs.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Water and dinosaurs

So today I read on Saudade's blog about how on the Economist debate site Steve Hoffmann, Managing Director, WaterTech Capital & co-founder, Palisades Water Index Associates, is arguing that water should be commodified (yeah--of course he would. I know this is an ad hominem logical fallacy, but how can one trust this guy's intentions? They seem pretty obvious to me), and then I learn that Palin thinks we humans once rode around on dinosaurs. Goddamit.

*sigh*

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Chad VanGaalen

Saw this today on bridging the atlantic (a really good music blog--five remote friends sharing their musical discoveries) and saw fit to share...



Check out the eyelids--they rule!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Consumption, Books, and Reproduction

So this week I discovered two things:

1. ABE.com has been purchased by Amazon.com. Read more here.

and

2. Isabella Rossellini is into insect sex and is wonderful and mad.

The first piece of news distresses me. I have worked in an independent bookstore, Diesel, A Bookstore, for a few years now, and have sadly watched other incredible independents go out of business around me. Most people don't really realize the great benefit independent bookstores bring to their community--indies are so often the places, like public libraries, where public discourse occurs, and where new ideas are introduced and disseminated. I very much hold online book-sellers like Amazon responsible for irrevocably damaging independents.

The second discovery delights me. I have known for quite some time that Isabella Rossellini is a wonderful actress who makes interesting choices. These videos on the Sundance channel have cemented this knowledge and, indeed, have lead me to the new understanding that she is, in actuality, a genius.

You can watch her episodes of insect-on-insect interaction here. One must give respect to any artist who creates life-size paper replicas of bugs, and then does what she does. The Bee episode is probably my favorite.

Perhaps there is a relationship between the often cannibalistic sex of life of insects and the uber-capitalist society in which we now live. Perhaps not, but the discovery of both the above topics nevertheless leads to intriguing juxtapositions.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Knowledge and Security and Openness

My pal Saudade floated this to me the other day: an article by Matthew B. Stannard on Wardriving in SF Gate.

What I really liked about the article was the emphasis on correct levels of network security. As an example, if you are a using a home network with little information-of-interest on it, there is no real need for a 16 hex password. If you are a bank--well then you better have a full-time team of security professionals online and ready.

That said, the librarian-hat goes on. And what does said hat look like? Well, it's different for each librarian, invisible, and can only be recognized by others with similar hats; anyhoo: there is a lot to be said for keeping as many networks open as possible. If you have secure info, store it in an external and hermetically selaed hard drive, or better yet: don't keep sensitive info on your network.

But here is the tension: we all want freedom of information (information wants to be free, right?), but at the same time we want safety. So which to choose because true freedom is not always safe, and true security rarely includes very much freedom. Maybe we should look to the Tao te Ching:

9
Fill your bowl to the brim
and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife
and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security
and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people's approval
and you will be their prisoner.
Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.


But back to the Stannard article; Check this out:

"I got like 135 (access points) off the freeway on my way up here from Santa Cruz," said Seric, as he adjusted his equipment - laptop, Wi-Fi antenna, GPS antenna - in the parking lot of Stanford Shopping Center.

After a five-hour cruise around the Bay Area - including residential and downtown sections of Palo Alto, San Francisco and Oakland before returning to Palo Alto across the Dumbarton Bridge - Seric's list included more than 2,600 individual networks, spotted at businesses, in homes, on campuses and within moving buses.

Open networks appeared every block or so, beaming from homes in West Oakland and near the Hewlett-Packard garage in Palo Alto, from Stanford University to Oakland's Federal Building and San Francisco's City Hall, along freeways, on tree-lined streets and in dusty industrial parks.


Wow!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sloppy ninja comes up with clever excuse...

A New Jersey school was shut down due to a ninja being spotted as he dashed through the wooded area surrounding the elementary school. I only hope that this was a school for the gifted, like Charles Xavier's, or, and this is more likely I suppose, a school filled with Jersey Devils masquerading as children--anything else and this not-so-sneaky *sigh* ninja should hang his head in shame and commit seppuku.

Read more about this here: http://tinyurl.com/6px2y4

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Mahmud Darwish

Saw this today on David's blog: Mahmud Darwish died yesterday.

I met him once in San Francisco. He was quiet, wry, and patient (I was pretty much the opposite) and I enjoyed his reading and conversation.

You can read one of his poems here: http://www.webdelsol.com/Perihelion/darwish.htm

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

New issue of the Scrambler is fresh off the press!

Jeremy Spencer, the publisher of Rarer and More Wonderful, just published the newest issue of the Scrambler--with a brand new layout (which is lookin' sharp). I very much recommend that y'all take a look and read Donald Illich's two poems--they're brilliant! "We drink plastic from plastic cups."

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Torture, Music, Copyright, and David Gray

Saw this article posted on Saudade's blog, and thought it worth re-posting here:

http://music.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,,2289778,00.html

I do have large issues with current copyright law (c'mon the DMCA? lame!). But should artists get royalties if their music is being used as a form of torture? I suppose that they should by American copyright law's standards, but I wonder if Mr. Grey will choose to pursue this...

Here I must quote saudade as I love puns; I, too, "want to see how this plays out."

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Reading at Noah and Sara's in Denver

So the last week, pretty much, I spent in Denver, Colorado (thank you Eric for the kind use of your apartment!) where A. and I visited with the Baus, learned to really drink water, and how to ignore cars successfully when crossing streets. Denver is a weird sort of town--as Eric put it, "it has little friction." That said, Denver has a lot going for it: some delicious vegetarian restaurants, lots of parks, a museum (and, in 2010, Denver will have the only Clyfford Still Museum), an absolutely gorgeous public library and, best of all, a dynamic and friendly creative-community. Case in point: Noah Eli Gordon's and Sara Veglahn's salon/reading/dance party hosted in their home. I was lucky to have this terrific opportunity to read with and listen to some really super writers: Barbara Barg, Bhanu Kapil, Bin Ramke, and Danielle Pafunda.

Bhanu's writing was lyrical, intimate; documenting the intersections of race, gender, and passive xenophobia with candor, music, and depth.

Bin's writing was elegantly structured, concerned with etymology and its tie to experience.

Danielle's poems explored animals that have evolved in tandem with man. Each piece evoked its title with surprising and sharp associations.

Barbara read and sang her work: witty-jazzy, a little sad, angry, political, and very smart.

Of course, this doesn't really capture the reading, but luckily Eric did: keep an eye on PennSound as the reading should be posted soonish.

And of course, thank you Noah and Sara for hosting such a terrific soiree! Thank you for the books, the food, and (best of all) the company!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Seven Videos in Thirty-Two Minutes and Forty-Four Seconds

My pal Mark over at Bad Librarianship tagged me for 7 songs that have been affecting my life as of late. So in no particular order here they are for your perusal:

Neko Case--saw her live last year (she gave me a chocolate-chip cookie recipe) and find myself singing along out loud at work to this song:



My girl, Ammie, bought me this album for my birthday, and it is awesome. Some douche on the radio said that trip-hop is dead--and while I don't care for the term, I must disagree. Case in point, Portishead's new album Three:



Ammie also got me Einsturzende Neubauten's newest--and mein gott! Es ist sehr gut! Ich liebe dieses Album.



Saw Bloodhag (should have umlauts over the o's but I am too lazy to look up the html code for that...it's late) at Dark Carnival Ammie (thanks Ammie for the surprise!) and Chris (follow this link for an awesome Wolverine...):


Best ever, and only rock show, I've seen at a bookstore...

Boris with Michio Kuriahra--saw them earlier this year, and while I love the new album, Rainbow is still probably my favorite:


(I'm seeing them later this month at Amoeba in Berkeley--if any one's got an extra ticket send me an email!)

And for my pal Jon at work who always puts this song on every damn mix he makes, The Four Seasons' Oh, What a night, or what I like to call the STD song:


Last song needs no comment. In fact, no words can do this masterpiece justice. Ladies and Gents, I give you Eels:

Sunday, June 01, 2008

the tiger of columbia

Last weekend, I went to my nephew's graduation from kindergarten--kind of a strange thing in itself to this particular avowed non-parent--wherein every child stood at a mic and announced what s/he wanted to be when s/he grew up: there were many astronauts, veterinarians, a few soldiers, dentists, and spa-girls(?), but the best, and only reason for this post at all is (and I will enbiggen this response for emphasis):

When I grow up I want to be a tiger.

Fucking hell, me too.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Rarer and More Wonderful is nearly here...



I am so excited! Today I completed my last project of the semester (adding LC and DCC numbers to a faux-catalog--yeah!) and learned from my publisher, Scrambler Books, that the final proof of my upcoming book is in the mail! If you'd like to read more about Rarer and More Wonderful, check out the link on the right. Be sure to check back as I will be updating the blog as more information coalesces.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Back Room Live at Pegasus

Went to reading last night at Pegasus in Berkeley: Valyntina Grenier, Lucas Champagne, Sara Mumolo, Jack Morgan, and Janet Hardy. Clay Banes hosted and was charming as usual. Valyntina sang, Lucas laid down lonely truths, Jack mentioned craigslist and flaneurs, Sara was subtle and wry, and Janet memoir-ed about heels and scary-sex.

Valyntina


Lucas


Sara


Jack


Janet


Bought: 19 names for our band byjibade-khalil huffman.

Jack and I decided that high-fives should replace hugs at these sort of events--they're more authentic.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


One need not be a comic book reader to appreciate Mark Evanier's exquisite book, Kirby—a fantastic collection of and tribute to Jack Kirby's contributions to comic books and American culture (Kirby gave us characters such as the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and Captain America—among so many others). Evanier's book is large which is important—-it celebrates its contents with large-page spreads of Kirby's art which so often seem as if they are going to burst forth from the frame. And while the art is impressive, it is Kirby's imagination that truly stuns. Here we see men and women traveling into the infinite crossroads of the universe, concrete monsters lurking along brownstone walls, a new gods careening through space in complex machinery. William Hazlitt, the great English literary critic, states in his essay "On Gusto" that "Gusto in art is power or passion defining any object" and "In a word, gusto in painting is where the impression made on one sense excites by affinity those of another." Hazlitt was describing Titian's work, but I think the same description can be applied to Jack Kirby's drawings and spreads, panels and paintings. Evanier's Kirby is a wonderful and necessary contribution to not only the growing appreciation of comics as an art form, but for designers, daydreamers, and rogues.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Packs of wolves

assault, rend, and asunder!
Each lyrical beast
is named for a poet
but Punch knows
the power of names
and pummels surrealism!
Were this Russian, survival
would be different; today,
Punch fights elsewhere.
What? Where? Than can’t
be said.
Wolves have no meaning—
yet even signifiers
bite. He whittles
a flute.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Tarkovsky

Way back in '02 I first saw Solaris directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. I watched it three times in two days and was astounded, moved, and challenged (it also helped that Natalya Bondarchuk is absolutely stunning in her role of Hari). The film was poetry. It was patient, and challenging, and rewarding--I built a relationship with that film, and still I see elements of it reverberating in my creative work and the way I watch movies. As I recall, I was reading some Gertrude Stein at the time, and I recall musing that a very Steinian idea of insistence was also present in Tarkovsky's cinematic adaptation of Staislaw Lem's sci fi classic.

Since that film, I hold Tarkovsky as one of the great directors of the 20th century. How happy was I, then, when today what found its way into my hands but Tarkovsky edited by Nathan Dunne. This hefty book is full of gorgeous clips and photos, and includes 24 essays in the following categories: Russia and Religion, Art and Nature, Music and Modernity, Memory and Awakening from 20 contributors.

Reading this is going to take me a while, but hey school is almost out for the summer, and I've got time, time, time to read, write, and watch movies.

I wrote a long poem about that film right after watching it, so I'll include just its beginning as the poem still makes me happy:

Begin with a telescoping, a
house from memory. Long drive through color.
Slip into monochromatic. There was
a child and a sea. Disbelief, old leather.
The children were scampering, and a photo
was burning with twigs and recollection.
I am a guest.

...

Mirrors filled this place.
Chris was electricity,
deluge. His jacket,
blue and worn. He wore that
jacket well.

...

Spirals and mirrors
capture the sound of bells.
They were lost at a sea.
Where was Hari, where was
“Chris I have a feeling.”
These resurrections were always.
A feeling of rockets, of deception
and duplicate shawls.
Tide pools.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Cow-human hybrids...

So cows have finally been merged with man. Whoa! And these cow-man embryos lived for three days!

The article states:

The embryos survived for three days and are intended to provide a limitless supply of stem cells to develop therapies for diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and spinal cord injuries, overcoming a worldwide shortfall in human embryos.

This is really incredible and I am impressed and grateful. The Catholic Church may cry "monstrous" but dying from Alzheimer's is monstrous, too, and so is not exploring a potential development that could alleviate or cure its worst effects (Alzheimer's, not Catholicicsm's).

With this news, though, I cannot help but recall a lovely poetic fable I read years ago:

"The Sheep Child"
By James Dickey

Farm boys wild to couple
With anything with soft-wooded trees
With mounds of earth mounds
Of pine straw will keep themselves off
Animals by legends of their own:
In the hay-tunnel dark
And dung of barns, they will
Say I have heard tell

That in a museum in Atlanta
Way back in a corner somewhere
There's this thing that's only half
Sheep like a woolly baby
Pickled in alcohol because
Those things can't live his eyes
Are open but you can't stand to look
I heard from somebody who ...

But this is now almost all
Gone. The boys have taken
Their own true wives in the city,
The sheep are safe in the west hill
Pasture but we who were born there
Still are not sure. Are we,
Because we remember, remembered
In the terrible dust of museums?
Merely with his eyes, the sheep-child may
Be saying saying

I am here, in my father's house.
I who am half of your world, came deeply
To my mother in the long grass
Of the west pasture, where she stood like moonlight
Listening for foxes. It was something like love
From another world that seized her
From behind, and she gave, not Iifting her head
Out of dew, without ever looking, her best
Self to that great need. Turned loose, she dipped her face
Farther into the chill of the earth, and in a sound
Of sobbing of something stumbling
Away, began, as she must do,
To carry me. I woke, dying,

In the summer sun of the hillside, with my eyes
Far more than human. I saw for a blazing moment
The great grassy world from both sides,
Man and beast in the round of their need,
And the hill wind stirred in my wool,
My hoof and my hand clasped each other,
I ate my one meal
Of milk, and died
Staring. From dark grass I came straight

To my father's house, whose dust
Whirls up in the halls for no reason
When no one comes piling deep in a hellish mild corner,
And, through my immortal waters,
I meet the sun's grains eye
To eye, and they fail at my closet of glass.
Dead, I am most surely living
In the minds of farm boys: I am he who drives
Them like wolves from the hound bitch and calf
And from the chaste ewe in the wind.
They go into woods into bean fields they go
Deep into their known right hands. Dreaming of me,
They groan they wait they suffer
Themselves, they marry, they raise their kind.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Poetry Tonight!

So...I'll be reading poems tonight with some friends!

Poetry at Book Zoo

Back Room Live
Release Party
Fri. 4/25 7PM

Trevor Calvert
Challen Clarke
Zach Demby
Eleanor Johnson
Blake Ellington Larson
Sarah Garrigan

Book Zoo is located at:
6395 Telegraph Ave
(between Alcatraz Ave & North St)
Oakland, CA 94609
(510) 654-2665

For a sample of what you may hear, check out a recording of one of my poems at www.weirddeer.com

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Fashion and Illustration

So I was over at saudade's blog and I read her fantastic post about fashion and superheroes. Later, I opened up a copy of Juxtapoz and what advert did I see? James Jean doing work for Prada.



Check out the NYT article, or read more on NotCot.



http://www.jamesjean.com/

Pretty and awesome (check out the illustrated bags--they're terrific).

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Why I like Indie Bookstores

My pal Saudade brought this terrific article about independent bookstores by John King at the SF Chronicle to my attention. Anyone who knows me knows that for the last few years I have worked at Diesel, A Bookstore, and I have learned a lot about the business, the challenges, and the ethos that drives a lot of professional book-sellers. I was told during my interview that the owners and workers at Diesel view it as an intellectual commons--a place where thinkers-of-all types could rub shoulders with mystery novelists, environmental activists, and graphic novel aficionados. So far that has often proved true. Diesel is always interesting.

King writes of indie bookstores:

a good bookstore is like a good city block: varied and rich, with layers that bear evidence of imagination and pride. There's a tactile connection to the ephemeral world of ideas. This is merchandise, but it's not something to be worn for a season or hung up on a wall; it's something to be discussed and shared, maybe even something that will shape your thoughts and actions. There's more going on than the creation of a scene. It's the slow formation of identities, of thoughts and passions and who knows what else.

Online retail is really cutting and gouging a lot of independent retailers--bookstores especially with their crazy-high running costs. Just think: in any given bookstore there are thousands of books--and everyone of them has been bought by the store in the hopes of selling them and making just a sliver of what the book actually costs. Plus, stores have to pay for the shipping and the return of books (if they do not sell); and if a store does have to return a book, it gets less than half of the cost in credit to apply to its next order: talk about diminishing returns.

King writes well and romantically about why bookstores are important and I agree with him--but please allow a few other points:

1. Bookstores provide a physical place to browse.
A good bookstore will surprise you. I often hear from customers, "I never even knew this book existed! " and then they happily buy it for their collection. This is something not even the smartest online databases can do (hell, sometimes not even seasoned professionals can show you the things you never knew existed but were happy they did).

2. Bookstores are places of public congregation.
Say you call a friend to meet for dinner--what better place to wait then a bookstore. If it's a date, even better as a bookstore is full of potentially fabulous conversation starters. (Actually, that should get a whole line of its own: Independent Bookstores--They're great for dates!). Every time I work at Diesel I see people meeting and chatting with strangers in the store about books. Not everyone, sure, but every time I work someone will say to another something along the lines of: "That's a _______ book! I ______ it."

3. Most independent bookstores are stocked with well-read and enthusiastic professionals.
These are the people who have meetings (had one last week) on how to better listen to and chat with patrons in order to help them find the books they want. I swear, go ask a bookseller who's been doing it a few years any sort of question: "I need a story about foxes, lost dogs, spies, and romance" and they will have a book ready for you. or will be able to find one (in the case above, I'd recommend Icelander by Justin Long. You can order it from Diesel!) :)

4. Very selfish here, but another important reason why indie bookstores are important: I like them very much, and would be terribly depressed were they to disappear. I think this is true for most people--sadly though, most don't realize how much they liked something until it is gone.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Connectivity is a poor metaphor for us

A syndetic structure--web-strong--
won't describe nor define what we'd like:
loves lost and momentum's murderous
impact on interstellar intimate bodies.

"The brain is amazing!" Blah, blah.
Can it create, conceptualize any-
thing that extra-exists external to it?
So far, no; but we can hope.

Meantime, let's be (wo)men (preferred term
yours) and yoke our desires to damn-well
whatever we want.
Let's exist for energy's sake.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Quills, Colin, and Oprah

Dudes, my co-worker Colin rules: check out his book reviews segment on NBC 11's Quills (just click on the image):



Oprah, you should totally listen to Colin's recommendation--he knows what he is talking about.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Joseph Lease, Marjorie Welish, and Martha Ronk at Moe's

Moe's Books
2476 Telegraph Avenue
Berkeley (510) 849-2087
moesbooks.com
readings begin at 7:30


Friday, April 11th 7:30: Coffee House Press Poets Marjorie Welish, Martha Ronk & Joseph Lease

Marjorie Welish is the author of five previous collections of poetry. Poems from Isle of the Signatories have appeared in Conjunctions and No: A Journal of the Arts (Issue #4), edited by Ben Lerner, which was centered around her art and poetry. A recent conference on her writing and art at the University of Pennsylvania resulted in Of the Diagram: The Work of Marjorie Welish, published by Slought Foundation. The recipient of the Judith E. Wilson Fellowship, the Howard Foundation Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts grant, and other prestigious poetry awards, Marjorie Welish lives in New York and teaches at Columbia University and Pratt Institute.

Born in Ohio, Martha Ronk received her Ph.D. from Yale and has lived in California since 1971. She is the author of six previous books including In a landscape of having to repeat, winner of the 2005 PEN USA Poetry Award. A 2006 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, her poetry has been widely published in journals and magazines. Selections from Vertigo have recently appeared in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, and elsewhere. A Renaissance literature and Shakespearean scholar, Ronk is the Irma and Jay Price Professor of English and Comparative Literary Studies at Occidental College in Los Angeles, a city that is often the subject of her poems and projects. She has also taught in the graduate writing program at Colorado University, Otis College of Art & Design, and in the Naropa University Summer Writing Program.

Joseph Lease's
critically acclaimed books of poetry include Broken World (Coffee House Press) and Human Rights (Zoland Books). His poem "'Broken World' (For James Assatly)" was selected for The Best American Poetry 2002 (Scribner). His poems have also been featured on NPR and published in The AGNI 30th Anniversary Poetry Anthology, VQR, Bay Poetics, Paris Review, and elsewhere. Of Broken World Marjorie Perloff wrote: "The poems in Joseph Lease's Broken World are as cool as they are passionate, as soft-spoken as they are indignant, and as fiercely Romantic as they are formally contained. Whether writing an elegy for a friend who died of AIDS or playing complex variations on Rilke's Duino Elegies ("If I cried out, / Who among the angelic orders would / Slap my face, who would steal my / Lunch money"), Lease has complete command of his poetic materials. His poems are spellbinding in their terse and ironic authority: Yes, the reader feels when s/he has finished, this is how it was-and how it is. An exquisite collection!" Thomas Fink's book A Different Sense of Power: Problems of Community in Late-Twentieth Century U.S. Poetry includes extensive critical analysis of Lease's poetry. Lease's recent readings and residencies include those at the University of Minnesota, The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church, City Lights Books, the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, The Poetry Center at San Francisco State University, the University of Denver, Louisiana State University, West Virginia University, Stanford University, and elsewhere. Lease is Associate Professor of Writing and Literature and Chair of the MFA Program in Writing at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A skull a day...

Like the new font in this blog's header? Check it: Skull-A-Day is a blog anybody can support. You don't have to be a goth or a rocker or a ninja to appreciate the aesthetics of cool skulls; you might be a Buddhist.

Despite a new skull everyday there are two things Skull-A-Day is not:



nor



Wouldn't it be cool though for Damien Hirst to create a diamond encrusted DeathKnight?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Back Room Live and Sorry 4 Snake 3

Back Room Live is Live tomorrow!

Valyntina Grenier has been running a terrific reading series at a local pub for a year or so now and decided to publish an anthology of all those who read last year. The anthology is as V. puts it, a "polyphony of voices," and as such there will be poly readings here and there in the East Bay over the next couple of months--the first of which is tomorrow at McNally's.

...

Sorry 4 Snake 3 is out and is ready for mass consumption. Yours truly is humbly sharing space with such awesomeness as:

Mathew Rohrer
Feliz Molina
Jared White
Mark Cunningham
Gillian Hamel
K. Silem Mohammad
Juliet Cook
Erika Staiti

Check out more info at Stormy Petrel Press.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Classic Japanese Culture, or Ninjas! Ninjas! Ninjas!

A friend recently brought my attention to this:



Passengers dressed in ninja costumes will be given free travel along the Iga Tetsudo line from April 1 to May 6 to mark the city's popular ninja festival.

Man, I wish I was in Japan for that... Anybody, if you are in Japan, along the Iga Tetsudo line, please take pictures and let me know. I really want to see a whole family, grandma and grandpa too, all dressed in the mysterious black garb of the ninja. That would be sugoii.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

AACR2 The Movie

Maybe it's that I am taking a cataloging class this semester, and am learning to stop worrying and love the AACR2, but this movie is awesome! Not sure if you have to be a cataloger to love it though...



See--I post librarian stuff, and what have you...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ensorcelled!

A future perhaps fraudulent
pulls poor Punch
far flung to a meeting
with himself! Perpetually clever he
introduces himself en francais
as Punch and sips
an absinthe cocktail.
"I hate the future"
thinks our friendish fiend
and unsheathes a knife
from his oft-stabbed back.
"Dying is easy" he laughs
making a mask of his face
in the likeness
and the not-likeness
of Fantomas!
Riots ensue, string
theories cut, and several
foundations go missing.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Rest well Gary Gygax

I learned today that Gary Gygax, inventor of Dungeons and Dragons, died on March 4, 2008. D&D very much informed me growing up and I didn't really realize how grateful I am for the game until I heard today of its creator's death.

In honor of Mr. Gygax, a poem by Cesar Vallejo (translated by Clayton Eshleman):

The Eternal Dice

My God, I am crying over the being I live;
it grieves me to have taken your bread;
but this poor thinking clay
is no scab from your side:
you do not have Marys who leave you!

My God, had you been a man,
today you would know how to be God;
but you, who were always fine,
feel nothing for your own creation.
Indeed, man suffers you; God is he!

Today there are candles in my sorcerer eyes,
as in those of a condemned man--
my God, you will light all of your candles
and we will play with the old die...
Perhaps, oh gambler, throwing for the fate of
the whole universe,
Death's dark-circled eyes will come up,
like two funeral snake eyes of mud.

My God, and this deaf, gloomy night,
you will not be able to gamble, for the Earth
is a worn die now rounded from
rolling at random,
it cannot stop but in a hollow,
the hollow of an immense tomb.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Lungs full

of god
knows what
is what is
fulfilling
Punch’s
introspection.
He flings
from him-
self his better
half so
damn well
only he
remains.
His health
resists his
occupancy,
but Punch
loves being
drunk
with fever
and delirium
is the best
alternative
medicine
to rum.
Sweet Jesus,
Punch loves
days like
this one.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Scrambler!

I know there is a lot to read on the web. Wow--that's not only a grievous understatement, it's also totally misleading as it makes no mention of quality sites one wants to read. So let me re-phrase. There are so many sites on the web that you can't read them all even if you read as fast the Flash and read for the next five years; many sites, however, are not worth even the smallest bit of your time, and unfortunately you will miss many sites that you would love. One of these sites is The Scrambler.