Monday, August 31, 2009

Arkansas' First Jewish Torah Scroll Completed -- (My Dad Makes The News!!)

Check out the accompanying KTHV-DT article here

My dad, John Klassnik, gets a mention in the text as well as a few seconds of air time.

The article includes some interesting information about this Torah's making:

The Torah is made from kosher products; natural ink and parchment. It was sent to Israel once to be blessed during the eight months it took to finish. Scribe Moshe Klein spent countless hours working on the project. He says the job is controlled by hundreds of religious laws and requires complete dedication of the mind, body and soul.

"Every morning before [the scribe] sits down to write, he has to immerse in special rainwater and then sit all day to write and not listen to the radio, or anything. [He has] to just think about writing the Holy Bible and have the mind only on good things," he said.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

House-Mouse Cock -- The Adventures of Sex Ableton (3 more) --

More Sex Ableton (House-Mouse Cock) Adventures:

4) Alcohol - Donkeys - A Pill - The Fray - Gusto

Red got drunk and ended up in a barn with a bunch of horses and donkeys. It wasn't a barn really. It was her bedroom. Their bedroom. Her and Sex's. And, then, in the middle of rugged couplings, triplings, fourlings, neighings, brayings and all manner of frothed moanings, Sex walked in. And he was flawed. And lock-jawed. And frozen like a cold hummingbird I'd like to walk up to, palm, bring in the house and place down in the middle of the dining room table.

Sex's heart was barely beating. (The scratching of a trapped rat.) His soul an ice age. Red didn't blink. She leaned over (the donkeys still inside her) and slipped a small white pill into Sex's mouth. And he was instantly revived. Demonically. But calm. And horny. Insatiably horny. Rust-in-the-blood horny.

And, so, he walked into the long-eared fray with frightening aplomb and handled and received those gruesome beasts with an honest, brilliant and surging gusto.

5) Purring - Street-rat - Clydesdales - - HMCMPOC - Fumes

Sex goes to a penis-enlargement center. The doctor says he can help.

"But young man," he purrs into his ear. "There are physical limits that govern us. Irrevocable limits we dare not and must not cross. When I'm done with you, though, your penis will be much larger than a small House-Mouse's cock. It'll be the size of an average street rat's cock. And street-like and rattish in color and appearance too."

Sex was crestfallen. How would this help this social life? His esteem? His career?

Sex had always dreamed of more and more heroic endeavors. Dreamed of himself on top of a bright red fire engine stroking a pretty dalmation. Dreamed he was urging on, in a bright opium wind, a team of Clydesdales who frothed up magnificently beneath his heroic whip. Dreamed that he strode up to burning buildings and blew them out with heroic breath. And if that didn't work: heroic piss. But now these dreams all lay in ruins.

A Street-Rat's Cock! Sex crawled away into the rubble. His tail coiled sadly behind him was the last thing the Doctor saw.

"Come out of there," the doctor begged. "I'm not finished yet."

A tear-filled eye appeared between two bents pieces of rebar. Sex was baited.

"Tell me, Doctor," he implored. "Tell me!"

"Well, young man," the Doctor began. "I think you're an excellent candidate for the HMCMPOC."


"The House-Mouse Cock to Mammoth Progressive Operations Center. The HMCMPOC, which I head up, by the way, by the by and by, o my, takes a young man like you through progressive operations and gene therapy and dietary supplements and patches and transfusions and delusions and pancakes and syrup and sap and quack-quack quack---- Voila! The House-Mouse Cock's turned into a Mammoth-Cock!

Generally we go from House-Mouse Cock to Street-Rat Cock. Then on to Peacock-Cock (their cocks are bigger than you'd think.) And then on to Street-Cat Cock. The next operation lifts you up to Iguana-Cock (big mature orange iguana cock). Then we sail up to Weasel-Cock. Lap-Dog Cock's next. Then the Olive-Ridley-Sea-Turtle Cock. Emperor Hirohito's cock. Then, a brief stop over with a Hedge-Hog's Cock (African variety, they're the cutest). Warthog-Cock's the obvious progression. And, gathering speed now, on to the Whooping Crane (tho that's quite expensive. but don't worry we have a very flexible payment plan and further discounts are possible if you'll be a HMCMPOC spokesperson)..."

This excited Sex terribly. His eye, still framed in rubble, started to roll back. He was obviously, inside all the toppled concrete and wrecked wood, etc, etc, pleasuring himself. The Doctor was completely nonplussed. He'd seen this sort of thing before. And things far more sordid. Unspeakably sordid! And, so, on he continued.

"Surprisingly the Dung Beetle's up next. Then the Bull Shark. A short stay with the Koala bear. The impala. The great-horned Owl. The pygmy owl. The common barn owl. (that's what we call the OTS, the Owl-Three-Step.) Then we push on seriously. With real commitment. No room for error now. No wiggle room at all. No sitting on the pot and thinking What-if-what-if. No! Behold: the brown bear. The forest pig. The okapi. The Paramecium. (yes, strangely enough the Paramecium. Sometimes, young man, you must take a step backwards before you leap into glory.) The mountain goat. The open boat. (that's for aesthetic reasons.). La Scala. (for aesthetic reasons too, obviously.) The leaning tower of pisa. (now we're cooking, man. now, we're cooking.)

And then in one finally elegant and brilliant leap: The Mammoth.

The Great-Woolly-Mammoth Cock!!

How about that, young man??"

But the Doctor was alone. All alone in the delicious and highly-addictive fumes of cock progressive verbage. And, for a moment, he was frightened. Then everything lost its pale-green hue. Settled nicely back into place. The Doctor sat down. Took out and lit a cigarette.

Sex's eye was closed--the eyeball, beneath its lid, pulsing vigorously.

Sex, buried in rubble, sated and drifted off into sleep, was dreaming. (And that's a whole different story.)

6) Trembling - Geese - A bed- Yaboo - Devil's Magic

I am still trembling. Not two blocks from our house, on the way, this morning, to buy a new Torah for uncle Abie I stumbled into and found myself enveloped in chaos.

Here in the middle of the street, on market day (geese slaughtered on all sides) was Sex Ableton on a four-post, canopied king-plus bed carried ably aloft by twelve dark-burning eunuchs. The bed was bedecked with white-silver sheets and dozens of burning-red pillows and gold-green streamers were rustling and quivering everywhere.

Framed perfectly in the middle of this stunning ensemble, in a blue Speedo (marked, if you looked close and hard--and I did, with the letters HMC) and a fox-fur coat, dyed pink and purple, and unbuttoned to reveal a smattering of puny but resplendent chest hairs, lay the decadent and luminescent Sex Ableton.

The procession inched forward. The crowd pressed in. Geese screamed and bled. It was utter mayhem. Like Mescaline trying to squeeze you in its fist: every moment broken into a billion moments. Roots of blood sinking deeper and deeper in lost accelerated sinking. All spread out and shivering into ever great eternities of distance. Geese-screaming. Trees shattering. Dogs and shotglasses and whales' tails broken into streams of infinitely broken shards multiplying, bloody and screaming.

And Sex turned to his companion (a small Hindu boy with green eyes, in a diaper and orange t-shirt sporting a crude but excellent likeness of a smiling mouse. The mouse was sitting on his heels and its tail curled back and up towards the child's chin. I was transfixed. That mouse, in my transfixion, transformed, transubstantiated into a young Rimbaud--that sweet-looking vicious child-elf-monster!)

"O, Yaboo," Sex lamented. "I just want to shock myself. I mean really shock myself. Shock myself into complete submission and outrage. Kicked in the face, drooling-- that sort of submission. That sort of shock. Like Blue Velvet. Forget these sheep, Yaboo. And be my Queen. My Queen and My King if you will. O, Yaboo, you've been toying with me for years. O, Yaboo, I am yr shoelaces, your butt-plug, your gun-powder, your floss and yr fleece, your rabbit's foot, yr cloud's eye. I'm the shining hand of a dead charioteer. I'm the bumper of an old combie. O, Yaboo!"

Whereupon, of course, Sex began to sob. Yaboo snuggled up to him. Took his head in his head and started to chant. It was all so beautiful. I started to cry.

But it was evil too. A blue and a black ocean. A cheap bit of devil's magic. I turned and shoved my way out. All the way home. And up the steps.

Even now I can feel the crowded voices, suspended in one needle of sinister darkness, the geese dying, the vultures descending, all the silk and ribbons, and bloody featheres-- all of driving into me, wave after wave. Possessing me. And destroying me.

This must be love. O, Sex Ableton!

I want to cover you in bat shit. Want to scrape you clean with a stale toothbrush. Want to kiss you, kiss you, and kiss you.

Forgive me, Lord.

I am trembling. Damn it, I am trembling.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Rooster 1-2-3

distortions of part of a rooster painting by a Mexican Artist ("Helio" I think)

click on each for better view

Trees 1-2-3

Distortions of part of a painting by Georg Rauch

Click on each for better view

Pale Rooster Photos

distortions of part of a rooster painting by a Mexican Artist ("Helio" I think)

click on each for better view

Thursday, August 27, 2009

My Sister's Legacy, The House-Mouse Cock: The Adventures of Sex Ableton

My dad recently returned from South Africa. One of my cousins had killed herself and he was there to help bury her. To sooth and console. My dad's our family patriarch. If we were elephants (we don't forget, come to think of it) he'd be the matriarch. Anyways, he brought back a trunk full of notebooks: the wild and frenzied ramblings of a mad-woman. My cousin, you see, spent the last two years of her life in a madhouse.

I jumped right in. Most of it's incoherent. Not English. Not any language at all as far as I can tell. But scattered through the piles and piles of scribblings (in no particular order at all) are some certain, strange fictions about this guy named "Sex Ableton."

I'm presenting these episodes (or chapters) in the order in which I've found them. My cousin, let me say, was a gentle, good woman. But, God knows! May she rest in peace.

Here then are the first three of the Sex Ableton Pieces (I'll write some more up when I get a chance):

1) The House-Mouse Cock - Buttocks - Crushed Balls - Greatest

Sex's cock was the size of a house-mouse's but, as we all know, his testicles were of a normal size. Larger even. Terribly large. So large in fact that in order to copulate Sex had to tie his balls back up against his buttocks. This meant no girl-on-top. Absolutely no girl-on-top.

But, one day after a rousing bout with Tequila and dancing (sultry-dank salsa dancing) our loving pair attacked attacked each other on a stone sidewalk. Red* ended up on top, enjoying the minute but lively and inspired house-mouse cock. And Sex's balls were crushed. But this story's got a happy ending. Sex loved it. Went bananas and came, finally, in torrents.

His balls were in pieces. They picked them up. Went home and glued them back together. It was the greatest day of their lives.

* note: Red, who features prominently in these "Adventures," is Red Young Whore.

2) Pubic Public - Brochures - Blushing - Savage Groups

Sex worked at the Public Pubic Standards and Deviations Information Center (PPSDIC) where he had to deal with the public and all their questions and leaf through the brochures with them. Brochures filled with male and female genitals. Of all varieties.

And every time he works with a woman he wonders if she's thinking "this one's a house-mouse cock for sure!" And every time he flips to the pages featuring the characteristics and behaviors and variations and peccadillos and diet and musical tastes and exercise regimens and big flat glossy close-up shots of the House-Mouse Cock he blushes and knows he's betrayed completely. She looks calm, he thinks, a bit shy, perhaps, but inside she is laughing. Laughing uncontrollably. O, poor Sex!

And passing women on the street he knows why they smile and giggle and point and why they gather into savage leering groups:

Behold the House-Mouse Cock ! The House-Mouse Cock !

3) Consultancy - Compatibility - Infinite Blue

The Small House-Mouse Consultancy Co takes off. It goes public. Who knew! Franchises pop up everywhere. Like a rash. Who knew! And haters thumb their noses. And spit on Sex's tiny shoes.

Thousands of House-Mouse cock effigies are burned. The police do nothing. They sit on their hands and grin. The House-Mouse cock community's in mourning. It sags and sighs. And Sex sits in the middle of it sobbing.

But it heals: stronger and stiffer than ever! And with a huge spending appetite. The Small House-Mouse Consultancy Co surges and surges and surges. Even the haters and the burners secretly buy up stock. There's no stopping The Small House-Mouse Consultancy Co.

And Sex becomes filthy rich. Hundreds of private jets. Thousands of houses. Dozens of islands. A couple of galaxies. A taxi company in Arizon. Donut shops. "Mama Rosa" cell-phone cards. Light-bulbs. Crowbar factories. Flu-serums. But it's not enough. Sex is lonely. Needs a mate. A "pareja," as they say.

And, so, women wanting to be compatible flood in to their doctors and have their vaginas closed up to the breadth suitable for a House-Mouse Cock. Little do they know that just like the ocean's ecstatic little fishes, frolicking in its seemingly infinite blue, Sex adores a nice big cunt.

And, so, these women, snobbed, rush back to their doctors and demand to be widened, and widened, and widened and ever-widened into so many gaping seas in search of Sex's fame and fortune and cheap-jewelry and sundry accessories.

Some cunts beach up wider than their waists. Wider than an elephant's waist! Wider than a blue whale's waist! Wider than the waist of a black-hole's pull (it's huge wide suck)!

Sex revels in these new wet-starry and sometimes unstable universes.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Smiley 1-2-3

Distorted Michaux Print Photos 1-2-3

Click on each for better view

Iguana 1-2-3

3 Altered Photos of a Large (but not completely mature) Male Iguana

click on each for better view

New Sink Review

Sink Review 4 is now up on line here

includes poems by

Jon Woodward
Juliet Paterson
Rauan Klassnik
Paige Taggart
Amy Lawless
Keith Newton
Emily Kendal Frey
Justin Marks
Steve Roberts
Sampson Starkweather

and reviews (under láb nötes) of

Matthew Rohrer/They All Seemed Asleep
Tao Lin/Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Mary Ruefle/The Most of It
Frank Bidart/Watching the Spring Festival
Rick Barot/Want
Kate Greenstreet/This is Why I Hurt You

My poems included here were written quite a while ago. About the same time as the Ringing poems. Reading them now they seem a bit rough. A bit raw. Quite a bit like Ringing. And like, to some extent, Holy Land poems also.

The poem "Again" could easily have been included in Ringing and I probably considered it.

I've just done a quick read through most of Sink Review 4's poetry and I'm liking a lot of it. The Jon Woodward poems are really interesting. I hope to say more about them (and the rest of the issue) later.

The 2nd of the Paige Taggart poems has also made a really strong impression on me.

"SCARY, NO SCARY now available in paperback!!!"

Zach Schomburg's 2nd full-length collection "Scary, No Scary" is now available in paperback. Check out Black Ocean's website for more info

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Torn-Up Virgin Tree - A Few Movies

Three Movies We Saw This Weekend:
(skip to number 3 if you want the torn-up virgin tree)

1) "Sparrow"
A convent-cinderella story complete with evil stepmother and problem stepsisters. In Sicily: Catania and its countryside. With views of Etna. And barred convent windows. Nice scene where Maria stands up for a dog. And lemon trees. Love vs "Bride of Christ." So-So.

2) "Mona Lisa Smile"
Some great feel-good moments. If that's what you're after. And I was. Sometimes situations and characters resolve too easily. "Formulaic." And one big slip-up's when That 70's Show guy (Eric Forman) gets in Julia Robert's face on the dance floor. It completely undermines the nifty and luminescent Julia Stiles I-want-to-be-a-housewife speech that comes just a little bit later. I wrote somewhere before about how I sometimes like systems where everything clicks into place. I liked this.

3) La Dolce Vita - The Torn-up Virgin Tree

(In Italian with Spanish subtitles.) A 3-hr feast we spread over three consecutive nights. Great portrait of the bored rich. The lost. The Italian: religion, women, fashion, movie stars.

Especially wonderful scenes:

---Father parts from son. Gets in cab.

---Sex in a stranger's house. Will you invite us in for a cup of coffee?

---Helicoptered statue (en route to the vatican)

O, hell, the movie's all wonderful scenes

I keep thinking about this movie and everywhere I go, on every street corner and in every plaza, a brightly-lit La Dolce Vita

I want to howl like a dog. Walk round with a cat on my head. (a kitten, actually). And, deep in the night, walk into the Trevi Fountains with my great and magnificent hair and breasts. Because, of course, everyone wants a piece of this torn-up virgin tree.

Tony Hoagland's Single-Mom-Moon -- & An Uncontrollable Itch to Throttle

"The moon rose up in the western sky
with an expression of complete exhaustion,
like a 38-year old single mother
standing at the edge of the playground."

This is from Hoagland's "Hard Rain."

I'm feeling in my thousands of hands an itch to throttle a chirpin' herd of Tony Hoagland bobble head dolls. Just me?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

"I'm Going to Beat Your Fuckin' Ass!"--- a True Story

Last night, like every night, I walked the dogs at around 10pm. Sometimes my wife and I do this together. Sometimes alone. But she was down in the lounge, entertaining. (that's a long, strange and different story!). So, I walked 'em.

I walked Camilla. All good, quick and easy.. Then,I walked Chuy up and down and he crapped right in front of our kitchen door. So, i bundled him inside. Bagged the crap. and set off for the corner garbage area a half block down. A drunk was stumbling towards me. This is not unusual. You give them their space. They stagger past. Suddenly this guy screamed "Hey Motha Fucka" and then coming towards me, "I'm Going to Beat Your Fuckin' Ass!"

He was right in my face. We were alone. The street half-lit. The cobblestone wet from drizzle. I was anxious, but calm. The way you are in dreams. A strange and easy sort of anxiety. Like you're floating in it. And into it. Maybe he's got a knife, I thought. Or a gun. But I was calm. It was all happening slowly. I muttered something like "what?" He demanded "Is that your truck?" I told him I didn't have a truck. (I've never wanted a truck. But maybe I should. Something too big for our narrow street. And with blue neon lights around the back license-plate. ??) And then he started on about some gringo opening a door on him. Some altercation. The gringo called the police. "No, that's not me," I said.

Then suddenly we were best friends. He gave him a knuckle-bump. I think he was missing some fingers. He told me where he worked and that he lived just around the corner. He told me he loved me and that he loved my family. He looked like someone on Lockup from MSNBC. But now he was my best friend.

"And I looked like this guy?" I asked.

"You looked EXACTLY like him," he said. "That fucking faggot."

"He's gay?" I asked.

"I don't fucking know," he said. "But I'm going to beat his fuckin' ass!"

After exchanging a few more pleasantries (and declarations of love) I walked on with the bag of shit.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Kate Winslet's Slightly-Ruined (but Magical) Body in a Quite-Ruined Movie (The Reader)

It's so easy to explode things. Lop off a head. Burn a boat. Bring on the apocalypse-- and the voice of God like a herd of scared rats. Yes, as a writer (or maker) it's easy to do these things. But to be brave and workmanlike and create a real story of redemption! This doesn't seem to be for me. Sigh. But for others, sure. And when they succeed it's great. And I'm the first to cry with joy. But mostly they fail. Sometimes magnificently. But mostly awfully.

The Reader is a great example of a failed redemption story.

And it's too bad. Because the ingredients are so hot. Yes, I said it: hot. A thirty something year old woman with only slightly ruined breasts, etc, and a slanting, dubious past. A 15-yr old boy who falls into great, eager pussy and is (surprise, surprise) caught up madly. and scarred by the experience. (some on-line critics think the extent of the scarring is far-fetched. well, well.)

And in the background, man at his worst: The Holocaust.

And the goal: Redemption.

The stakes are high. But succeed and you have a masterpiece.

And for a while things go well with The Reader. Besides the steamy sex and the quaint reading sessions (which take on a stranger, eerie feel when we learn she did the same to concentration camp victims) I was riveted by how selfish the main characters are. And this ratchets up as things develop and we move into the characters' futures. Bitterness, betrayal, bitterness, betrayal.

But then, I realized that things were going awry. The moralizing efforts were floundering. The redemption moves stuttering. The film was stuck, circling in its own bog and fog. And the ending was an absolute abomination. So, the film crashed. And I blame it completely on missteps taken in the redemption-theme curve.

Obviously I can't say how the redemption angle could have been done right (and have achieved the masterpiece I mentioned earlier.) But I can say that I'm pretty sure a masterpiece could have been more easily created by NOT going the redemption way. Yeah, I know, this way is easier. Much easier by my thinking. (I'm the type who likes to cut off heads, burn boats, etc...) But, heck, a masterpiece is a masterpiece. And I'd like to see that movie. I'd like to see both movies. Both masterpieces: redemption and not.

The easier way:

Forget redemption (annihilate it, actually) and plunge the characters' selfishnesses and other darknesses deeper and deeper into their own bone and blood. The awkward, frightening and pathetic abyss of their misshapen but very-human souls. And then (truthfully but with no mercy on the viewer) let them rot. Like a camera drowned in a pond. (some cracked, crumbling light filtering through perhaps. perhaps not.) Astonish the viewer. Horrify the viewer. Obliterate the viewer. And that's ok. A masterpiece is a masterpiece. Like Kate's slightly-ruined body.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


if you're interested, more drawings and portraits, etc, click here

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I'd Prefer

i'd prefer to tie you to a chair and beat you within an inch (or less) of yr life,....

prefer to nail you to a tree. drench you in honey. and start chanting the great fire ant hymn.

prefer to place you in water. everything but your head. and slowly freeze you.

prefer to make you make out with Sex Ableton. for hours.

prefer to have Sex read your poems.

prefer to have Sex brand his most heroic lines in to your buttocks-skin


prefer to have lunch with a rat who lives in a mole's asshole. (lives and feeds in the mole's digesting shit. this is where he plucks his poems. from the lining of the mole's anus.)

Man or Woman ?

"South Africa's 800 metres world championship finalist Caster Semenya is undergoing a gender verification test after her improved form this year raised an alarm with athletics officials, the IAAF said on Wednesday."

"A group of doctors, including an endocrinologist, a gynaecologist, an internal medicine expert, an expert on gender and a psychologist have started the procedure but the date the results would be announced was not yet determined."

"South Africa's Caster Semenya, with her appearance, including obvious facial hair, and muscular build, has ignited speculation about her gender."

from the Track and Field World Championships

So, man or woman?
(maybe there's a clue in his/her surname "SEMENYA" ???)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Queen of England Loves "Ringing"

I just received this email from the Queen of England:

Dear Rauan Klassnik,

I just wanted to congratulate you (and more) on your superb and inspirational chapbook "Ringing." You'll be glad to know that it's proudly on my shelf along with my other favorites: Michaux, Lautremont, Guyotat, Miller, de Sade, Hefner, Flynt, Kundera, etc.

At first, I must admit, I was a little disappointed. I mis-read the title. I thought it was "Rimming." And, so, I was expecting all sorts of graphic descriptions and illustrations along those sumptuous lines (or curves!). But, my disappointment soon vanished: "Ringing" is simple gorgeous! On cold nights (o, who am I kidding? any night! any day! any twilight. or dead light) I curl up with my Corgis and stroke them as I read yr delicious and dark and sultry words. It's simply magic. A bright-red fire. The Corgis' sullen eyes. And your words like dynamite and daggers in my blood.

Lately, though, the experience of your Ringing is leaving me a little "dry" (if you know what I mean.) And so I'd like to invite you (the next time you're in town) to drop by the palace and give me a personal reading. I'm sure that'll do the trick. (Get these stubborn juices flowing again!)

I've also considered awarding you an OBE or an MBE. But, the hell with that, I'm going to Knight you. So many times (in bed, by the fire, in my bubble bath) I've fantasized laying a cold hard sword on your shoulder and commanding you "Rise up, Sir Klassnik. Rise up now!" Mmmmmmmm: come to me, Rauan, come to me! I'll make us scones and strawberry and clotted cream. We'll go to all the estates. Shoot deer in Scotland. Bring down the Monarch of the Glen! Picnic here, there and everywhere. You'll lie with yr head in my leap. And I'll call you "my little rabbit." +

O, Rauan!

I'm finding myself at a loss for words now. So, "my little rabbit," (my skin ripples with goosebumps every time I whisper those words---"my little rabbit.... my little rabbit... my little rabbit") I'll end by re-phrasing Emerson:

I find it the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom and passion that America has yet contributed. I'm juiced up in reading it, as great power juices me up. It meets the demand of my sterile and stingy nature and my lymphs and my temperament, my western wit, fats and mean.

Yours Sincerely and Vigorously,

p.s. come to me. come to me. O, come to me. My little rabbit!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Rauan Klassnik (1967-

Chapbook Submissions - Avoiding the Internet (Tarpaulin Sky)

Christian Peet's a wise man--- he's been avoiding the internet.... But he ventured on today to remind people that the deadline for chapbook submissions to Tarpaulin Sky is Aug 31. See Christian's post for more info.

NOÖ 10 on-line now

I've been reading NOÖ [ten] on-line.

It's good looking. User-friendly. And contains lots of good writing. And art. Concise reviews from the editors also.

You'll find work by (or reviews of) Brian Foley, Shane "The Juggernaut" Jones, Carrie Hunter, Jon Leon (Hit Wave!), Bradley Sands, Paul Siegell, Jason Bredle, etc,....

Check it out.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I Peeked Into Jean Valentine's Stable and Seamus Heaney and Paul Muldoon came rushing out at me (sigh)

In a hospital examination room I took out the New Yorker and read the two poems in it. One called, I think, "Meditation," which was about a squirrel, human consciousness, living in the moment, etc, etc.... The other was a Jean Valentine poem I tore out and took with me because the Dr. (who would make me cough and who spoke about rich fatty salmon and cold mountain water-- the mixed benefits of the last frontier) walked in.

Here's the Valentine Poem:


Hawkins Stable

It was years before you could climb

back up over the fallen stalls, and knock at

the Hawkinses’ old door

—they were gone,

you could just look in from the road.

Field after field.

Your eyes looked two ways at once.

Under the fields,

the dense tongue of the cow—

and the horses’ eyes—

and the water from the hand pump in the sink,

racing as horses race.


A strong, interesting piece I've read and enjoyed several times. But this is a poem (or something very like it) that Seamus Heaney might have written 40 years or, even more so, Paul Muldoon a decade or so later.

"Your eyes looked two ways at once" is a particularly Muldoon-ish line. Interesting and provocative. But (for me) also cryptic in a somewhat unattractive way.

I enjoyed this poem. More so perhaps for how it brought me back to work I read over 20 years ago. Heaney's "Death of a Naturalist" and Muldoon's elegant and often zany Quoof." (Two books that were very important to me.)

On a related note: in the airline magazine I saw an ad for an Italian painter making his final appearance in the U.S. They labeled him the Van Gogh of Our Times. Sigh.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Shane Jones Juggernaut

Congratulations to Shane Jones.

Shane is the fortuitous mix: a talented writer and a capable, active self-promoter.

and it's paid off.

His debut novel(la) Light Boxes has been picked up by Penguin Books for reprint in 2010. (Light Boxes originally put out by Publishing Genius, Adam Robinson)

For more, see Shane's Blog

(Shane also just sold the movie rights to Light Boxes)

a note from Ahsahta

a note from Ahsahta Press:

Mid-August already, and only a couple of weeks left in Ahsahta's subscription sale! Regular subscriptions cost $95 (a 20% savings over cover prices on 7 books), but if you subscribe before Sept. 1, you'll get all 7 for just $75 -- along with a big thank-you from us in the form of Dan Beachy-Quick's Apology for the Book of Creatures. Save $52 and get a free $15 chapbook to boot!

Why this is a good idea:

1. It's our 35th birthday!

2. You get brand-new books from Kate Greenstreet, Brigitte Byrd, Julie Carr, Brenda Iijima, Susan Tichy, Sandra Doller, and Lance Phillips, delivered free of shipping charges as they're published in September, January, March, and May.

3. You'll help the press stay solvent. I understand that $75 is a lot to spend (though not a lot for SEVEN amazing books) -- if that's not for you, would you please consider buying just one book? If everyone getting this e-mail purchased just one book from Ahsahta Press, we'd breathe a lot easier. And think of it -- you might meet a poet new to you or discover one you've been hearing about.

Check out our website--and subscribe before Sept. 1 for a great deal!


Janet Holmes

The Nobel Prize

in other news, I just found out that my e-chapbook Ringing has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for "Peace." Yes, Peace.

I don't know what to say, really. I am humbled.

Here's an excerpt from the committee's email to me:

Ringing embodies all that's good and great about the human spirit. In fact it enacts it, inspiring and lavishing greatness and goodness in all who read it. We, in fact, chant it softly while standing in the line to use the bathroom at the local pub. I'd go so far as to say that Ringing is just as important an addition to the human race as brillo pads or extenze pills. One of our members reports that his genital warps disappeared immediately after reading Ringing. The next day this same member (previously bald) woke to find himself with a full head of hair. Apples fall from the sky. Labradors appear round every corner. The blossoms and their hillsides have invaded the evil cities. Hummingbirds lurch in every skull. The world is aflame. And afoot. We have drank, and we are potent. All and every. The rain does not rain on us. We are the rain. The river does not flow into us. We are the river's children. And the river's father. We lie down in his arms and she tickles us and we laugh like steroids. Albert Einstein is stippling down. All the Mammoths and Sabertooths are rising. We sing and we whistle. Flare and fart. The days are like beads we clench inside us. Like the birth of Venus. Or a baby rabbit. Or a weasel, licking his fingers. The toads have arrived. And we bathe them. The stranger's rites.

thank you, Rauan, thank you

what I got and what I "Found" in Alaska - Land of Preachers and Hunters

We arrived in Alaska. I got sick. Fever, chills, blah, blah. Life sucked. We dragged along. In Juneau the bed and breakfast we stayed in had lots of "literature" in the room. The New Testament (no Old Testament! poor Jews!) and some helpful, inspiring pamphlets:

Have you heard of the 4 Spiritual Laws? I had not. So, I ventured in, excited, but guarded. And, remember, I was quite sick. Nearly desperate. And the next thing that caught my eye, my very slow sick eye, was this picture of a train. (I've always liked trains, except in Fraternities).

And the pamphlet explains the Fact-Faith-Feeling train as follows:

This train diagram illustrates the relationship among fact (God and His Word), faith (our trust in God and His Word) and feeling (the result of our faith and obedience). (Read John 14:21.)

On the wall, an elephant lay crushed in a vase of flowers. I dreamed I was dead. I was on the Juneau tourist main street:

asian rugs, tanzanite and other (Alaskan?) products for sale. hundreds of wolf and otter skins. etc, etc. (I'll buy a huge fur coat, I thought. Shine and gleam like a centerfold. I disgust myself even.) and right in my face (ooooooo....) old crones toting around signs urging, simply "REPENT"-- And suddenly my stomach had to work and I dashed for the bathroom but it was being cleaned. So, I sat there, unrepentant, sinful. Shitful, Mucusful, Phlegmful, etc, etc. I was not dreaming. The bathroom opened. And everything flowed and then dripped out of me. I'd like to say I saw angels. Saw God in his long immaculately-white beard. The elephant came back to me. Just a couple of broken petals. The genius is dead I lamented. Never even lifted his brush.

I slowly got better. Trains or not, who knows. But still there's dripping in my throat. O, God.

To seal the deal, on the flight home I got this with my bag of pretzels.

So, when I got back I sat down and talked to my dog, Chuy. (note: "chuy" is the nickname for Jesus in Spanish. a coincidence. I named my dog before I'd even heard of Spanish or Mexico. Named him after Pikachu.) Chuy, you see, is quite selfish. So, I thought he might learn something from the following diagram which contrasts the self- and christ-directed lives:

This was Chuy's reaction:

One of my teachers (a lady I admire and respect) once told me I should not make fun of things (satirize, etc) unless I have an alternative. Well, well, well.....

Back Home

(from my Whaling trip--- all i brought back's this picture and a sore throat....)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Note from No Tell Books

Like most small presses during these times, No Tell Books' already modest sales have turned dismal. Where the money will come from for publishing future titles is a concern. Past discounts and specials haven't encouraged many sales. So this weekend NTB is offering a free tarot reading or dream interpretation with the purchase of a book. Yes, you read that correctly.

If you or anyone you know might be interested in both a poetry book AND psychic advice, well here are the details

Even though the offer's expired Reb might still honor it. Give it a shot.