Literarisches Events (in and around Lawrence KS)

  • PATRICIA LOCKWOOD. Lawrence. Thursday, September 11, 7:00 p.m., Spooner Hall, KU Campus.
  • PATRICIA LOCKWOOD. Lawrence. Friday, September 19, 7:00 p.m. Lawrence Public Library. Sponsored by Raven Bookstore.
  • DENNIS ETZEL, JR. & RACHEL CROSS. Lawrence. Thursday, September 25, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.
  • TONY TRIGILIO. Lawrence. Thursday, Oct. 2, 4:00 p.m., English Room, Kansas Union, KU Campus. FREE.
  • CALEB PUCKETT & JUSTIN RUNGE. Lawrence. Thursday, October 16, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.
  • BEN LERNER. Kansas City, MO. Thursday, October 23, 7:00 p.m., Epperson Auditorium, Vanderslice Hall on the KCAI campus, 4415 Warwick Blvd.
  • KRISTIN LOCKRIDGE & ROBERT DAY. Lawrence. Thursday, December 4, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Prima della rivoluzione

“The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honored and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage laborers.

Toujours, Lapins . . .

. . . Note symbiotic relationship with other mammalian species.

(I was kidding about the homeless people - they're welcome to visit the campus, if they can afford the bus fare to the suburbs.)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

I will think only beautiful thoughts.
I will think only beautiful thoughts.

I will post pictures of rabbits.
I will post only lovely things.

The key is in the sunlight by the window.
The key is in the sunlight by the window.

I will avoid human conflict at all costs.
I will avoid human contact at all costs.

I will destroy my karma.
That’s the very worst kind.

I will not escape my karma.
No, you will not.

My beautiful thoughts escape me.
No thoughts are beautiful.

I will drive myself away.
Through the bars in the window.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Bunnies in Heaven

I think now is the time to start adding photos. Especially these photos, taken at the University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, in September of 2006. At the University of Victoria, the lawns are perfectly manicured and green, everyone is well-fed, and there are feral bunnies everywhere. Men and women in silver lamé togas and plexiglass sandals stroll the knolls saying things like, "What, then, Phaedras, shall we not grant the Outer Planets the secret of the happy gas?" Friendly Public Health employees at the gates stop homeless persons from gaining ingress, and the music of the spheres is on the PA system. I feel a sudden need for utopia.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

forced march

And now, an entirely pastoral interlude, entitled, "Spring Comes to Kansastan."

daffodils! -- /
an easter egg under-
no fool a dirty golfball

* * *
jonquils! -- /
here they call them daffodils /
back home
this happened weeks ago

* * *
all poetry books --> quietude
save those
used to break things /

took care of that

* * *

Doctoral Student
Dedicated Family Advocate

July 20, 1918-Nov. 9, 1979
"A Man with Great Integrity
and a Friend to All"


Thursday, March 20, 2008

More from the Er Ye Fer It Er Agin It Dept.

Click on the link below to go to Kansas Poet Laureate Denise Low's forum at the Academy of American Poets web page. Denise is unique, in that she is really trying to represent the rather broad range of poets and poetries in the state (and nation), rather than to promote a particular school/clique/form/style. It's well worth a look-see.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Next Blog

It's getting harder to find good ones. They're either "our 18-month old Tyler [or McKenzie or Brooke] eating grass in our yard" or something in Portuguese with cheesy c.g. flowers. But there are things that are still important:

"Didn't think we'd be talking about thunderstorms already on the prairies did you? Well, the potential exists for a few convective cells to form in Southern and Central Alberta during the afternoon hours on Thursday."

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ice Age Spring Break

When than spring April
draft of age hath
parsed to the root
value of all glaciers,
retreat man far south,
caves of Iraqi Qum
beach of South Padre
longen folk goon wild,
pills grim ages wrack
shiny faces every races
have got a friend in
Coke ’s the real / god
can’t see the folks
beneath the new faces:
breakers make white foam
(“semen of the gods”),
be excellent to each
another party on dudes.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A Blog Hole

Instead of reading and writing blogs, I could be reading and writing _______. But really, I wonder how much imagination and thought are funneled into this form that formerly was expended on things like essays, poems, books, &c. There are writers who do some of their best writing for their blogs. And there are others who read everything (or appear to do so), including blogs. And what does happen when nobody can afford the utility bills any more? The missing link is the link after the last.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Actually, in the sonnet below, I meant to write "Thier not watching me." I know perfectly well that They're watching me. I just didn't think it was because of this. I apologize for any inconvenience caused by this error.

Indeed, the ham-fistedness of this little incident seems designed to remind one that his mail is being read by someone else. But it may well be an esp. zealous postal worker at the KC PO.

Abe Lincoln #2 is swell, btw. More varied than the first, if anything. But that'll teach 'em to name it after that negro-lovin, corporation-insultin doofus of a sixteenth president.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I'M NOT PARANOID! (I just don't like having my mail opened)

I just got the new issue of Abraham Lincoln from K. Silem Mohammad (thanks, Kasey!). Only weird thing was, the envelope had been opened. And stapled back together - through the pages of the magazine. On the outside of the envelope was the stamp "RECEIVED/2600//MAR 10 2008// INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE/KANSAS CITY, MO." So my mail was opened and delayed. I opened it, and there was another staple just through the mag. Oh (I thought) maybe there's a nice little note inside, like when they search your luggage. No note. The return address, on an address label with the Southern Oregon University logo, reads: "Mohammad/Lang. Lit. & Phil."

Now, I know I have a reputation for being paranoid about American paranoia, and I know I say things like No one ever went broke overestimating the racism and xenophobia of the American peckerwoods, and I recognize the threat posed to the fatherland by the individuals known as "Lang," "Lit," and "Phil." So I promise I'm not going to read too much into this. I promise. I really do. Honest. No, for real.

But it did inspire me to pen the following petrarchan sonnet (ahem):

They’re not watching me
They’re not watching me
They’re not watching me
They’re not watching me
They’re not watching me
They’re not watching me
They’re not watching me
They’re not watching me
Nothing in that file
Nothing in that file
Nothing in that file
Nothing in that file
Nothing in that file
Nothing in that file

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


. . . or start times - or performance reviews - or assignments - or money - or terminal degrees (cancer or education) - or titles - or salaries - or expectations (except respect, of course) - no exceptions - no publishorperish - no grades - no rejection letters - no peer review - no dates of publications - no publications - no meetings - or jobs - or job interviews - or tax withholding - or tax - or Republicans (except small "r") - no meat

no airport security - no stoplights - no roll bars - no helmets - no gas - no cars - no commute - no fellowship deadlines, esp. - or fellowships, I guess - or jobs - or salaries - or incompletes - or so-called good academic standing - or so-called graduate assistantships - or so-called careers or so-called life or so-called anything -

no apples from california - no zirconium from australia - no boundaries - no nothing - no income disparities - no income - no to no - go to countdown - go to no.

congratulations you're free *

* warning: taking the preceding too literarlly or often can lead to the following uncommon side-effects: homelessness, obscurity, disease, unemployment, bad grades, bad breath, incarceration, late busses, no busses, stupid professors (stupid professors! Trix are for kidz!), disasters, permanent injury, immanent penury, giving what you have to the poor and following hippie-looking prophets, vitamin deficiency, incompletely-assembled nuclear warheads, aporias, race war, continued penury, madness, non-entity, lack of blogs.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Hejinian/Eberhardt Day in Kansas a Great Success (IMO, i.e.)

Many thanks to everyone who attended the reading and Eberhardt Lecture with Lyn Hejinian yesterday at Univ. of Kansas. The reading, especially, rocked my poetry world (and the Spencer Museum’s) with an SRO crowd of a good 200 or so people! Kudos esp. to all the students, grad and undergrad, who showed up. Innovative writing is alive and well at KU!

Poet Jim McCrary sent me an entertaining thumbnail “review” of the reading, which I’ll paste below. Also, check out the editorial on the topic of poetry (!) in yesterday’s Daily Kansan (student paper):

If you see any quotes attributed to me by the local media that sound even dumber than something I’d say, please do call it to my attention, and I’ll set you straight.

Thanks again for making the Eberhardt Memorial Lecture/Reading a great success!

I have been looking forward to Ms. Hejinian's reading since Joe first told me about it a month or so ago. Yesterday I left work early and went to Spencer. Walking in I saw a long line down a hallway out of the corner of my eye...but hey, must be something else going on. Then found out reading not where I thought but upstairs and the line I saw was waiting to get into gallery. So I stood in line in a stair well is this possible I thought. Then door opened into packed gallery...standing room!! Who are these people and what are they doing here? Not supposed to be this way...not for a San Francisco Langpo writer . . . . What is it? . . . Whats going on? Is Lyn Hejinian the new Billy Collins or Maya Angelou? Is langpo so popular? Something is not right.

But the reading was right...all right and good. Thanks Lyn.”

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Did I Mention that LYN HEJINIAN IS COMING TO K.U.???!

That's right! Quoting the press release, written by sources close to the matter: "Award-winning poet, essayist, and translator Lyn Hejinian will visit the University of Kansas on March 6, 2008.  At 4:00 p.m., she will read from her work in the Spencer Museum of Art, on the KU campus. At 7:30 p.m., at Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas Union, she will deliver the KU English Department’s prestigious John F. Eberhardt Lecture.  The lecture, entitled 'Outside Poetry,' will deal with literary works that combine or undercut traditional genres."  

Y'all come. (scroll down for more info)

Surrealism in Topeka

Sort of. Saturday night went to a reading, in a coffeehouse in a Topeka, Kansas shopping mall, by Anne Boyer (The Romance of Happy Workers, Coffee House) and Hadara Bar-Nadav (A Glass of Milk to Kiss Goodnight, MARGIE/IntuiT House). I guess I would call Hadara's poems neosurrealistica (with some emphasis on the realistica), and Anne's poems, while carrying more of an identifiable (representational?) social edge, is still pretty edgy in terms of representationality. In any event, it was a truly surreal experience hearing these poems next door to the nice Republicans buying meat at the Hy-Vee. Didn't a famous microcephalic social critic once say that life is just a blur of Republicans and meat? Well, it is around here. Except perhaps the poetry, which is well worth checking out (see, e.g., the LOCUSPOINT issue, at right).

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Can you imagine??! No? Good.

I've been perusing a collection of letters recently, and it occurs to me - correspondence was the blogging of the twentieth century! Duh!

I just hope someone is printing all this stuff out and donating it to manuscript collections somewhere, so that they'll still be around when the lights go out.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Quote for the Week

“But the point is that most people will exploit poets. They’ll exploit them for – well, exploit the older ones for the knowledge they have, and they’ll exploit the younger ones for the promise they have, which somehow or other gives the people some kind of thing that maybe they have promise too, which they don’t.”

- Jack Spicer, Berkeley, 7/14/65

And much the same could probably said of writers in other genres.