Solid Quarter

Visit Trembling Pillow Press for poetry books, broadsides, chapbooks, and Solid Quarter Magazine.

Visit New Orleans Poetry Fest for the annual 4 day poetry festival directed by Bill Lavender and Megan Burns.

Megan Burns' Poeticsofbone&city project on Tumblr

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Spotlight on Small Press: bedouin books

Solid Quarter interview with Publisher Michael D'alessandro:

SQ: What will readers find coming from Bedouin Books Press?

md: readers will find 3 new books released this winter/spring season. the first will be published this month, a book of short fiction titled It Can Be That Way Still, by Shane Joaquín Jiménez. the upcoming two are books of poetry from liz collins and Scott Alexander Jones. also bedouin books' semiannual journal swap/concessions will have a new issue out in the spring focusing on short non-fiction.

SQ: Why did you want to start publishing?

md: i started publishing my own poetry under the bedouin books label in San Francisco, in 2003. i would make them by hand and consign them with City Lights Books, and sell a few now and then. it wasn't until 2007, when i wanted to produce a literary semiannual, that i decided to reinvent bedouin books as an independent publisher of works of literature in addition to the journal. now bedouin books hopes to put out 6 books a year from emerging writers in a small pocket format, handmade and covering a cross-selection of genres.

SQ: swap/concessions 3 focuses on short tales. Any reason for that particular genre?

md: swap/concessions is a way to test the genres in a digestable format. 3 writers come together with 3 works each. swap/concessions 3 features short fiction, whereas the first two issue featured poetry and comics respectively. i want bedouin books to expand to emerging writers who write in multiple genres.

SQ: Can you describe what's on the horizon for Bedouin Books in four words?

md: poetry chapbook and magazine

Below is a brief excerpt from the newest release from Bedouin Books. To order this book or the latest issue of swap/concessions please visit:

‘Hundreds of Miles’ by Shane Joaquín Jiménez from his forthcoming book of short fictions, It Can Be That Way Still published by bedouin books.

Hundreds of Miles

I knew a man at Briscoe who went on to death row. Only man I ever knew who went that way. We was celled together my last year incarcerated. He said he was a shaman, told me so out of his own mouth. Said he was the last of his people, the Quapaw tribe, but the ghosts of his ancestors walked this earth and talked to him. They showed him things of this world and the next.
Two, three days before they let him out, we was together in the mess hall. Two days. Suddenly, like it was just any damn thing, he took the tin coffee cup from my hand and overturned what was left in it onto my shoes. He looked at the grounds at the bottom as if he was reading the Sunday paper.

‘When you leave this place’, he said finally, ‘you go home. You go where you come from and you make peace. Any where else for you is death. And beyond that is finally Hell’.

The shaman himself went back home when they set him free. Had a job in a supermarket waiting for him from the parole board, stocking shelves on the graveyard shift. It was union and he got weekends off. Wasn’t long before he found a girl. This was down in Neches. This girl was fourteen years old, the paper said. She was in eighth grade. Wanted to be a dentist when she grew up, if you could believe that. Her daddy said she knew the name of every tooth in the human head. What that shaman did to her before he butchered her, and then after, I won’t repeat. But from what I understand, they never did find everything.

That shaman was given a small trial in Lubbock County and then sent on back to Briscoe State Penitentiary. They sent him to the row. Fried him shortly thereafter. I always wondered if his ghosts ever let him know what was coming. Maybe they didn’t have the heart. Maybe they just let him enjoy his damn coffee. First thing I did when they let me free was get as far away as I could get. I wasn’t concerned with where I ended up, how I got there, nothing. I went in straight lines, hundreds of miles off, until there was nothing that was familiar around me. I didn’t think once of the getting back.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

These and many things are strange

Ok. I really did not write that poem.

And I wouldn't point it out except for the fact.

That someone commented on it.

And they called me Scott.

So, things are looking up.

Well...I got that going for me.

If I were scott, I would probably use the word "untrammeled."

If I were a dot, I would apply myself in various and numinous ways.

Vampires as it were. And other spookies. Cold a bit here in New Orleans.

Anselm Hollo was here last week. And I could not keep my Italian dinner down.
Not that the two are related. But Ed Sanders is here now. And so we have 1968 and poems for New Orleans to look forward and not back to.

We are very sad that Brendan, Tracey and Aurora are not coming. Damn you economy.

But very Happy that Phil and Bernadette will be here Wed. and Hannah will be here Thursday.

If you are looking for your poets and think you have misplaced them, don't be alarmed.
They are safe here in the New Or-leans!

Monday, October 13, 2008

New Poem

I wrote this great new piece that's already been published here (it's on page 3035) if you want to see the original.

Refraining Solitude

Vegetation and mischief
Lusty and untrammeled
Prudence and glory


More inborn than a
Taking above a
Your inbred mankind
Refraining on a strength
At a congenital piece

I'm thinking about changing the word untrammelled just doesn't sound like me....maybe just trampy.... wow, i sound really tense too. I need some valium.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Maureen Owen and Mina

The wonderful Maureen Owen was here last week. She led a wonderful discussion here at the house with about 11 other poets. We talked about her own career in publishing Telephone books and then spent quite some time talking about the current state of reading and writing in schools and among children, especially why poetry gets such a bad rap in education as either hard to teach or confined to boring, overanthologized versions of the same-old poems. I was amazed to hear college professors reveal they had students who have never read a book or who are unfamiliar with the parts of speech.

As a result, all of the middle schoolers will be wading through an expansive lesson on these grammar "details." Sixth graders today will be collecting words for their 3-d project on bagging language into the 8 parts of speech.

Maureen gave a fabulous reading on Thursday night; also featured was the poet Gabe Gomez.

People often think we named Mina after Mina Harker, not Mina Loy. Isn't it interesting how the fictional character has more presence than the very real poet? No, not really. But maybe, yes.

I've been reading Bellamy's Mina Harker Letters, a wonderful juxtaposition to a flurry of Young Adults novels that I've been reading at the same time. And to complement Bellamy, I've been listening to Vintage Horror Radio podcasts before falling asleep.

Monday, September 15, 2008

New Poetry Books

I'm reading this book by Skip Fox, from BlazeVox [books] to review for YAWP Journal. It's amazing. At almost 300 pages, it's a huge poetry chunk to sink your teeth into. That's not in the review.

I also just got in the mail Mark Cunningham's new book from Tarpaulin Sky called Body Language. It's a flip book that meets in the middle. It's strange because we (Dave and I) were just talking about publishing flip books. I just started reading it last night, and I am enjoying it as well. I will probably write a review for it next week.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

3rd Anniversary/ 1st Evacuation Since...

More Than Halfway

infected season
if time won’t hold still
this life too is a dreary anger
let it come
take us what water that will
grasp at our designs
a life that falters as best can be described
it’s a short ride in darkening light
to a part of the city still trembling
and tethered
most of the block stays the same
looking further into the enveloping night
see how the homes have been beaten
a memory from childhood
taken out to lay down in disgrace
folded edges as witness palimpsest
danger overlapping disaster
shimmering gaze—all cities reject silence
desolate as is the world wrapped round us
the repetition of “towards recovery”
place holders these empty hulls
beached on the shore of this sunken city
exposed as a vacuum filling with anxiety
each time a breeze picks up in the Atlantic
each time a butterfly wing opens and closes
half way around the earth

Megan Burns

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ed Sanders and New Orleans

It seems that Gov. Jindal has secured enough MRE's to feed 350,000 people in the event of a hurricane heading straight for New Orleans this weekend. Since that end is covered, may I suggest grabbing your copy of the new Poems for New Orleans by Ed Sanders (North Atlantic Books), previously released in CD format and now available for your reading pleasure. It's a known fact the intonation of these poems aloud before your hurricane altar has the power to cool the gulf waters and turn the winds in our favor. Be prepared! Water, batteries, Sanders!

Solid Quarter Release Party

Solid Quarter (Issue II) Release Party and Reading at the 17 Poets! Reading Series. Pictured (l to r) Contributors David Rowe, Thaddeus Conti, Dave Brinks and Editor Megan Burns

The Solid Quarter release party was a huge success. Thank you to the readers and everyone who came out and picked up a copy of the second issue.

There will be another reading for Solid Quarter at Fuel Coffeehouse, 4807 Magazine St. on Sept 5th at 7:00 Pm.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Talkng to Amy Lynn Hess, Editor of Brown Bagazine

This photo shows my collection of Brown Bagazines. On the left is issue 5, the Borders issue, laid out and folded like a map with cross points for easy poet/ poem referencing. Issue 2 is the blue essay test booklet, no exam anxiety here just this issue's manifesto theme. There is the back-to-school issue (4) that comes in the handy trapper-keeper see thru folder for better poesy viewing. At top is the namesake of this magazine, the brown bag distribution center of issue 1. Leaning on the brown bag is the CD that came with the songwriting issue (3). Not only do the presentations of each theme centered issue continue to amuse, but Brown Bagazine has managed to create a strong presence in its first five issues by continually presenting charged and innovative work.

In issue 4, Rowland Sufi's A Drama breaks down the structure used in writing a dramatic play and inserts it into the narrative so that the text begins to resemble a complicated mathmatical formula. The solution may be attainable by confronting ideas of organization and narrative structure; it's possible that all of the bard's great plays were created using this formula.
Of particular note are Tim Armentrout's prose poems in issue 5. From stagnant ice, "it's a question of how empty space insulates itself. conversations above too chilled to hold anything in. cold shoulder isn't even the tip of the iceberg. presumption like a fork in the socket of your simple life." All three of Armentrout's pieces build on these turns in the language as they layer subtle images with a dynamic rhythm producing a momentum that pulls the reader along for the ride.
In Solid Quarter fashion (four questions), we interviewed the editor of the innovative and wonderfully packaged Brown Bagazine: Amy Lynn Hess.

Solid Quarter: What made you want to start a literary magazine?

Amy Lynn Hess: I was casually flipping through Poet's Market at the end of Naropa University's Summer Writing Program in 2006, and I realized there was a distinct lack of grassroots, easy-does-it, tactile, visceral, labor-of-love-type journals that were promoting the poetic conversation. It made me want to start a literary magazine to challenge the very corporate idea of what a literary magazine or journal really is. It is a place for current writers to share their own current ideas - glossy papers and perfect-bindings not required - just thoughtful and sparky writing that begets more thoughtful and sparky writing.

SQ: Where did the idea for a magazine in a brown bag originate from?

ALH: At its best, my work is blue collar and unpretentious. There's nothing more blue collar and unpretentious than a brown bag. The link between brown bags being symbolic of the type of work I appreciate and being a marvelously inexpensive way to mail the kind of work I wanted to collect came to me one night in Boulder as I was tossing around on a pull-out loveseat under a borrowed sheet and stolen quilt. I just couldn't calm my monkey-mind after that, and from there the mission statement emerged.

SQ: Why do you work with themes in your issues?

ALH: Various writers asked for themes last year as they were planning submissions, and I responded by adding specific subtitles to each issue this year. I think it has helped move the literary conversation forward. When all of the submitting writers are thinking along the same lines, I can edit a journal that moves as though a type of conversation. Writers also have the chance to respond to one another later in the season, in the "literary conversations" issue. It's very important to me to offer a space where writers can converse and respond to one another through fiction and nonfiction poetry and prose. I also think it has been a helpful way to guide my own writing as the year progresses.

SQ: Describe brown bag's eclectic mix of contributors and contents in four words.

ALH: Black dirt; rolling sweat-stains.

For more info. on Brown Bagazine and Amy Lynn Hess' press Gypsy Daughter, visit:

Brown Bagazine Subscriptions, only $15.00 for 4 issues! Buy through PayPal on the Gypsy Daughter website.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Small Press Focus: Bedouin Books

A short note from editor Michael D'alassandro about all the great things happening over at Bedouin Books.

"greetings booklovers----
bedouin books, independent publishers of handmade works of literature and poetry, fiction and non-fiction is now open for business. browse the various features this website has to offer:

the in-print and online features include:

- a semiannual literary journal swap/concessions
- online literary journal agora (edited by kaen joyler)
- annual poetry chapbook- the pamphlet poets series
- an editor's log of news, progress and updates

some future features will include:
- a reviews and literary criticism page
- online quarterly poetry magazine
- excerpts of all published works

as editor, i began this 25-year publishing project in 2003 with the promotion of my own writing. now, with the expansion of the website and a growing list of titles and authors, i hope to grow bedouin books into a fully functioning independent publisher. thank you in advance for taking a look at the website. bedouin books is taking orders, see website for details.

m.d'alessandro, editor"

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Guitars, Pies and Moving Type

The fabulous Willy Gantrim on guitar singing for us on Thursday evening.

Hannah has left us. She made many pies while she was here and broke many hearts, I hear, in the Bywater. Word is she will be back this way in October and using her secret key to enter the kingdom of babylon. Here is a photo from her reading Thursday night.

And I have been learning to set type and run the printing press (below) with the owner of Verna Press, Peter Anderson. Here is a photo of him cleaning the rollers as we prepare to change ink colors. We finished making a small broadside of one of my poems last week. Next, we move on to making a larger broadside with an image using a color we are still trying to create. Everyone says printing presses are addicting, and they are right.

Solid Quarter's Second Issue release party is this Thursday night. Readings by Thaddeus Conti, David Rowe, Dave Brinks and Megan Burns. Copies of Solid Quarter are only $4.00.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Photo and Book Review

Here's an old photo of a collection of oddities. Painters and poets: (L to R, photo by poet Lenny Emmanuel) Painter William Warren, Poet Danny Kerwick, Painters Tasha Robbins and Herbert Kearney, Poet Dave Brinks, Painter Romano Zamprioli and Poet Jimmy Nolan. As the small date indicates, one year before Dave and I even met. And now nearly half of the artists in this photo gone from New Orleans and sorely missed. I'm posting it to show the wonderful host of this evening's art opening Danny Kerwick who opened up his studio, Simpatico Studios on Magazine to showcase some beautiful artwork by Pat Kaschalk and handmade books by himself. Dave and I made a nice purchase, an image I will share soon.

My review of Kristin Prevallet's I, Afterlife: Essays in Mourning Time is up at Tarpaulin Sky.
They are also reading chapbook manuscripts now, so check it out and submit to an awesome press.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Tuesday's Dinner and More

Tuesday's dinner with our guests Hannah and Willy as well as lovely painter Daniel Finnigan consisted of salmon and softshell crab on a bed of crayfish pasta. Also included were grilled squash and other chef Brinks' secrets. If this poetry should not pan out and New Orleans becomes a dry town putting the Gold Mine out of business; we will be able to fall back on Dave's unrealized dream of opening a restaurant. In fact, we'll just use the same building and call it the Golden Mustard.

Solid Quarter Release Party will be August 14th at the Gold Mine Saloon 17 Poets! Reading Series. Readers include Dave Brinks, Thaddeus Conti, David Rowe and Megan Burns.

I've been reading C.D. Wright's new book: Rising, Hovering, Falling. It's a pleasant break from the Leprosy in America and imperialism and leprosy books that I am also engrossed in at the moment. We're deep in house construction again as we build some bookshelves to hold our obsessions in place.

And here is the piece I read at the open mic last night. I am trying to come to terms with the amount of damage this oil spill has done to our already traumatized ecosystem here along the river. I'm not sure what these terms resemble though.

How Trauma is like a Boat

What if there was a place where unwanted people could go to be put away in total anonymity united by their diagnosis. Think of the bodies in their lingering daydreams crowded skin to skin and all the end lines delivering to their own peculiar disasters: slavery, work camps, exile. Removal of any large group of people is problematic; the goal is the hasty evacuation of a city hours after the call is made. This is the loveliness of fiction. For some, removal is another form of torture and death. So, the young doctor administers a sleep aid and is called a murderer. Several will be blamed for the murder of a few while the murder of many is protected by the legal status of immunity. Committees designed to protect enact their right to be faultless for faulty designs, faulty responses; there is no fault it turns out that can be premeditated. Leprosy is like a storm; something still feared even in the face of knowing that you may survive it. But this depends on the ability to construct a cohesive narrative. One both navigable and lightweight as you will have to carry it downriver. And then, here too, turn away from the oil spill’s gleam on the water as it coats the exotic nature of your phrasing: what you would garnish for explanation. Gather in the hull this delicate ecosystem for safe travel to a foreign land. It was never about oil for these small beasts; all water safe from the threat of spills and their antecedents. Imagine trauma like a boat passing by unnoticed on the clipped wing of the horizon.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New House Guest and Painting with Food

This is the rock lobster feast of Monday night to welcome our new house guest Hannah who arrived Friday night around midnight with her friend Willy by car from Brooklyn, NY. She'll be staying with us a few weeks as our live-in help forced to partake in our New Orleans delicacies and traditions as well the manual labor of electronically transcribing Bernadette Mayer's Ethics of Sleep manuscript. The rock lobster feast consists of rock lobster claws, (which are not nearly as juicy and plumb as regular lobster claws, very crab like in fact) along with scallops, roasted cauliflower with a Bearnaise sauce, roasted beets on a bed of grape leaves. Chef Brinks really showing his best for the help.

Poet Hannah Zeavin will be featured in the 17 Poets! Reading Series August 7th along with musical guest Willy Gantrim. She has a book forthcoming from Hanging Loose Press entitled Circa. I have been reading the manuscript today, and it is very impressive. She will be going to Yale in the fall, but mostly by force when I kick her out of the house as she has decided to sell her soul to stay permanently in New Orleans. This is her on our porch talking to poet Akilah Oliver and trying to enlist her in setting down roots in New Orleans.

I continue to research the leprosarium at Carville, LA as well as the history of the village. Word is that the Exquisite Corpse is being resurrected to print in an Anthology to be released by City Lights in Spring of '09. Sections from the poem Carville, LA: Village of Forgotten Names may be found there if they garner official approval by the head poppa Codrescu.
Solid Quarters are being printed and prepared for their big release party and reading on August 14th. And school is starting up again and there is no clear reason why the kindergarten class needs tropical colored markers as I'm sure 5 and 6 year olds for many hundreds of years have illustrated just fine with the basic primary colors.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

New Solid Quarters Are Rolling Out

Solid Quarter Issue 2
Edited by Megan Burns
Published by Trembling Pillow Press
Only $4.00 (2.oo s&h)

Release Date: August 2008

Front and Back Cover Art by Thaddeus Conti

5 poems by Gia Opris (Denver, CO)

5 Poems by David Rowe (New Orleans, LA)

Art by Thaddeus Conti (New Orleans, LA)

2 Poems by Robin Gunkel (Baltimore, MD)

Selections from The Geometry of Sound by Dave Brinks (New Orleans, LA)

Issue Three Submissions:
Solid Quarter features four writers in every issue with a preference for long poems or serial poems. If you would like to submit to Solid Quarter, please send 5-6 poems/pages and a short bio. to or by mail to:

Megan Burns, editor
907 St. Peter St.
New Orleans, LA 70116

Call for Submissions

This just in... preview of the beautiful new cover of The Pulchritudinous Review and a word from the editor. Prepare to buy these hot off the press before they sell out as well!

"Hello Everyone!

Now is the time to send in your poetry, prose, songs, cross-genre writing, photography, or other digital art to The Pulchritudinous Review. Send up to 2 pages of whatever you want. You may draw some inspiration from the image above, a version of which will appear on the cover of the second issue. Send your submissions to as attached Word documents and/or jpegs. Feel free to email me with any questions. I look forward to reading your work!


Renee Zepeda


PS. The next issue will go on sale as soon as it's finished. Send me an email at the address above with your address and I will send you a copy for $10. Unfortunately, the first issue is sold out, but if I get enough requests I may print more. "

Monday, July 21, 2008

Back from the beach

We had a lobster bake at the house last night.
The one on the left is Jasmine and the one on the right is McQueen.
The kids like to name lobsters but they don't eat them. Although Blaise did ask Dave if we could eat their faces, how barbaric!

Here they are in a parting shot next to a bed of whole wheat pasta and roasted portabellos.
It is a beautiful thing to behold.
In other news, Laura Mullen's book Murmur is the perfect beach book I discovered as the plot or lack of narrative plot circles around bodies that may or may not have been discovered at a beach that may or may not be part of the story or stories being read or digested or encased in langauge about beaches and bodies, etc. You get the picture...
And to accompany that one must also simultaneously read William Burroughs Letters in which he waxes like the gibbous moon about such topics as piles in the nether regions, his merry-go-round flights to sobriety and back and, of course, mind control and brains that call out for bullets.
And so, do we believe in the "tremendous power of sanity" as George Oppen writes in his Daybooks?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Off to Florida...

Here's some writing exercises with a New Orleans influence perfect for this hurricane season:

1) Go to FEMA’s webpage ( and explore disasters in your state. Or if not in the US explore the usefulness of their tips on how to avoid and prepare for disasters. Examine issues of safety in your writing.

2) Plan an escape route. What or who will you take, how will you get there, and what will you feel if you can never return home.

3) Research a specific species of plant native to your region or if not native, how it arrived there. Write about its history, present and future.

4) Construct a city with language. What is your infrastructure?

5) Explore how first responders work. Who will come for you if you are in need? What are your expectations of police, firemen, National Guard, etc.? How are they valued in society?

6) Explore geography in your region: where your home lies, when it was built, when the neighborhood was erected, what is the history of your physical place.

7) Wherever you live, write the story of your house, room by room, wall by wall, and ceiling and floor. Explore what is hidden and why versus what can be seen.

8) Make a new alphabet.

9) What are the property laws in your area? How is property allocated? How much is truly public space? Where are the homeless? What is kept safe and what areas are more valued?

10) Imagine the place most poignant to your childhood memories, a house, location or city. If they ceased to exist in physical space, what would you miss and what are your ideas about impermanence?

and a poem for naming wind:

2008 Hurricane Names


-Megan Burns

Monday, July 14, 2008

More Feasts

In keeping with our theme of feasts today, here is a recipe and photo shoot of our dinner tonight cooked by poet and culinary genius Dave Brinks.

For the pasta: sautee garlic, leeks, and pine nuts in olive oil along with red, orange and yellow bell peppers. Cook up some portabello mushrooms and asparagus tips in red vinegar and oil. Throw on some Mexican Orange slices.

You need wild caught snapping turtle soaked in Dave's secret marinade. Brown in a skillet in olive oil.

Combine in a roasting pan and cook at 350 for 40 minutes. Toss over whole wheat pasta with tarragon.

I'm calling this little piece "Turtle Pasta Flower Feasteroon."

Unmoveable Feasts and Moving Feats

Susan Kirby-Smith has a new poetry, review, video and other assorted sundries site up called An Unmoveable Feast. There are some poems up from both Dave and I, totally unplanned as we both heard about this new venture on different grape vines and wanted to support Susan who came to our wonderful Bill Berkson workshops in February. There is a great story about Susan and Andrei Condrescu picking Bill up for dinner as well during that time.

In other feats, I purchased my first ever ipod. Seems it was defective, speaking German to me and then promptly freezing. So I now am on my second ipod, which is speaking English to me so at least we are communicating.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Moth Light

Stan Brakhage with music by Simon P Barber. Daniel Kane showed this at SWP this summer along with his lecture about poetry, film and the avant-garde, his upcoming book's subject. His class watched these great movies all week; I tried to sit in for some one morning and the computer wouldn't load. The film reel was created by Brakhage actually taping moth wings, leaves and debris to a long strip of tape and then taking that to be transfered into a film reel. I'm not too film savvy so when he first explained this I thought he literally ran a long thread of tape with moth wings taped inside through a projector, which sounded really cool. But he clarified this, and my way would not be a good idea since it would probably break the projector. I didn't think of this question till later but I'm wondering now what he was doing with all those moth wings. I mean, I hope no moths were injured in the making of this film. Daniel Kane said later to me at a party that Alice Notley came up to him after the lecture and said, "They weren't poets." In reference to the film makers, some of whom worked closely with poets; Brakhage filmed Creeley and McClure. It's interesting to me that she felt the need to establish that, and I can see how in his lecture it appeared he was conflating the two. I have to agree with Notley, the film isn't a poem. But I've always been fascinated how the visual and the word artists seem to feed off of one another, so there is a difference albeit a malleable one. This video really needs to be seen on a giant wall so that one can just fall into it and get lost.

Phil and Bernadette Poetry Party

The best pictures ever of the best poets ever are up at Nicole Peyrafitte's blog here:

I love that Bernadette is wearing her French Quarter T-shirt Shop Shirt with its unique expletive phraseology.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Found this picture on CA Conrad's Philly Sound site, and it cracks me up. Brett Evans and Frank Sherlock reading at the 17 Poets! Reading Series at the Gold Mine Saloon for Ready-To-Eat-Individual (Lavender Ink 2008) book release. They both look like it's Sept. 2005 in New Orleans, and they will take you for your crayfish pasta MRE. I love how the MRE next to the book makes it look as though it's a special book release MRE. Special MRE poet food in there. I think we ate that MRE shortly after this picture was taken. I remember Frank taking one MRE over to the side bar so he could inspect its contents in the light.

Special New Orleans MRE's contain little tiny tabasco sauce bottles. mmmmmm, tastes like home. The bags are actually filled with some interesting components. I ate the potato sticks which were still quite crunchy. In the directions for using the instant warming bags that thermal heat the tea and meat products, there is a picture of how to place the bags against a rock for maximum heating potential. And they even provide a little mint, because who needs bad breath on top of having to survive by eating MRE's.

This is the first of the five books from Dancing Girl Press' Summer Chapbook sale that I am going to read. Very exciting to get five awesome looking chaps in the mail. I picked this one for the title but now I think I'm leaning more towards the image on the cover that looks like some sort of mind melting apparatus that is waiting to suck brains out.

Here is a quote from Nicole Brossard's Intimate Journal that I read last night:

"It is in the white space that anybody who writes, trembles, dies and is reborn."

And I had the pleasure of going to a 5-year old princess dress up party today. My daughter promptly put on a snow white dress but kept her moccassins on and then ate about 4 chocolate chip cookies, 5 chocolate muffins, a slice of cake and a scoop of ice cream over a 2 hour period. The mother of the littles hostess is an artist and had so many beautiful paintings and sketches all over her walls. The dad was a musician who I found in the kitchen presiding over a huge pot of red beans and trays of chicken with crunchy french bread slices soaking in an olive oil sauce. He was then promptly stolen away by a much younger woman who occupied his time the rest of the party. That would be the seven week old baby of local singer Anais St. John, who looked amazingly beautiful for having a newborn. And her daughter was a little doll. I forget both of mine were that tiny once.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

17 Poets! Reading Series

July 10

Poet Joseph Makkos plus special guest alto saxophonist LENNY EMMANUEL

j.s. makkos in one sense can be defined as a composer of visual & audible design-poetics wherein his aesthetic is forward-moving-art. He resides in Cleveland, OH where he operates a nexus/alternative space called the Language Foundry, dedicated to intermedia & hybrid performance arts; and additionally, a book press which is centered around design & social poetics. (

mulitiplicity of scripts
by Joseph Makkos

Chaotic session strands state poet laureate

Things remain confused in Louisiana. Poetry forgotten about:

Cetainly this won't keep Bill Jefferson from running for his seat again: "U.S. Rep. William Jefferson, making his quest for a 10th term despite lingering public corruption allegations, garnered five Democratic challengers Wednesday, the first day of qualifying. "

His indictment in part rests on the $90,000 found in his freezer, which he claims to have a "honorable explanation" for as his lawywers point out: "Instead of proving that the frozen cash is evidence of illegal activity, the fact that "Mr. Jefferson took it (the money) home and secured it in his freezer" indicates that it most certainly was not a bribe, the attorneys say. What the money was for and why it was hidden in soy burger boxes is not addressed. "

What is clear is that Bill is getting his protein from soy. How about Bill give the 90,000 to the now defunct poet laureate, promise that he and his extended (also under indictment) family take up a new profession, possibly building homes in New Orleans east, just a thought, and we call it a day...

Notes from Alice Notley's Inventing the Story Class

Some notes from Alice Notley (Naropa 2008)
Inventing the Story Workshop

Long poem has to keep reproducing itself

Access the obscure sound inside you, creating a set up to continue

if you have a grid, you create a form and the words come out of you

where language comes up to meet the form

sound as magical incantation

internalized the translation rather than the form

what you try to do when you write a long poem is win

what set of cultural materials do you relate to

tell all my stories but tell them again

where you write out of--be straight, not literary

you can never make a form that isn't you

keep telling the story if you have the line

analyze the frame around sound

how people are used and how they have to die

what stories are under cover

what can you tell in great detail about your city

Interview in Art Voices

An interview I did with Peter Anderson is online now here. The print magazine came out June 1.
Peter Anderson runs Verna Press, and he is running printing presses out of an old New Orleans beauty shop. He occasionally does art and poetry shows there, and he calls the space The Beauty Shop. People in the neighborhood who remember the original seem to love this. He has recently purchased this gigantic printing press, which last I heard was driving him insane. There are a bag of hair clippings on the wall when you walk in that represent some of the people at the grand inaugural poetry event where Dave Brinks read. It is a beauty shop so there was hair cutting, and it is New Orleans so we keep things like that where we can see them.

Review of Memorial + Sight Lines by Gary Parrish

Gary Parrish of farfalla press was kind enough to post some words about Memorial + Sight Lines here:

Far more entertaining is his earlier post of the annual Bernadette Mayer and Phil Good Poetry reading. In reference to Dave's culinary skills, he says:

Dave Brinks acts as a master of ceremonies, he is perfect. Before the reading starts he shows me three manuscripts that he’s been working on in New Orleans’s and abroad. He tells me that they are writing themselves. He makes a pot of Jambalaya that feeds twenty people, has crawfish and alligator sausage in it. I think he had to bring his own spices from home, the food is gourmet. His poetry is gourmet and his face lights up everyone in the room.

Actually there was some turtle in there as well. Brenda Coultas apparently had a pet turtle once and so found this a bit unappetizing. I can agree as I once had a pet frog, and Dave is always trying to get me to eat frog legs. Apparently, he cooked that before the party for Bernadette and Phil as well as about two dozen soft shell crabs.

Another great story of him telling Pierre Joris, son Miles and his girlfriend Zoe that you have to cut the eyes off the crabs becuase it's an old Native American legend that if you eat the eyes of an animal you'll see its violent end. They seemed intrigued until Dave couldn't hold it in anymore and laughed, saying well, really no one wants to eat crab eyes. That's why we cut them off. He told me this in the car yesterday, but I've heard him use the same story on some other unsuspecting poets, can't recall who, so I didn't bite. (bad pun)

New Book

water is bending its knees
what kind of
worm went under
in every form
think on it
the irregular regularity of the rounded
out hollow
the segmented corpse
from Memorial + Sight Lines by Megan Burns
Lavender Ink
ISBN 1-935084-00-3
Paper- $10.00
Available online at or Amazon