Wednesday, March 29, 2006

evolution ain't just for monkeys

A while ago, I brought an essay into my workshop class and got a pretty positive response.

When I went back to work on the essay I realized that I needed to break it down completely and develop it from a new place. The new essay is probably, in its current form, weaker than the first version. But by breaking it down and shifting the focus, I expect this essay to go in a clear and, well, an awesome direction. Where as the first essay would have been functional, but really, nothing special.

Think of it this way:
Essay #1 is the Neanderthal
Essay #2 is the Cro-Magnon

This is where we transition to:

This sketch from one of Darwin's notebooks and reprinted in "Newsweek."

Back in my BS (Bachelors of Science, bitches) days, I studied the science of video editing. One project required that my classmate and I spend hours upon hours upon hours upon hours editing videotape in a ve-heh-heh-ry small room together. Our hours upon hours upon hours upon hours of conversation led to my education of (on?) Asian Man Records.

  • Asian Man
  • California-based.
  • They loves the small bands.
  • The punks.
  • Even the ska-enthusiasts have a home.
  • My first delve into Asian Man (thanks JR) was Dan Potthast.
  • I recommend his music.
  • I HIGHLY recommend his music.
  • But, I couldn't find a link to an mp3.
  • So you'll have to settle with another lovely and charming group, Good For Cows. Enjoy.

btw: my birthday is in 2 weeks (logo sweatshirt with hood, small)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

New links and a "story" from my couch-crashing days

I put up several new links over there on the right. Check Word for/Word, 5_Trope, Thieves Jargon,House Press, Interesting Ideas, and Learning to Love You More for some mind-blasting creativity. Pow.

Also, please check out PaintEddiePaint. The blog of one Eddie Hamilton, a painter living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Below are a couple of paintings he did using some text from a story I wrote and sent to him. He took a story that I considered to be on this level and took the text to THIS level. That's why he's super. The images are bigger on his website. So check it out. (And hey, don't worry, he's not heavy, he's my brother.)

Hows about some music?
  • Josh Ritter knows my friends, Jean and Marta
  • and through my friends, I met Josh Ritter
  • In my heart, is a memory of a summer night when we were all having dinner at Jean and Marta's apartment in Somerville, Mass.
  • The night progressed, we ate lots, and drank more
  • Ended up in the basement, in a small spare room (the same room that I spent my first week of my adult life, sleeping on a foldout couch, but that's another story)
  • We were in the basement and Josh grabs a guitar that was sitting in the corner and starts playing, not all show-offy, just because that's what he loves to do
  • and he plays music and tells stories for a very very long time
  • It was a good night
  • He's a nice guy and deserves all the good that has come his way

In the midst of tears, she cries no tears herself

New robot patch!

I made this for my friend's former roommate.

This is Saint Agnes.

What's the deal with Agnes? Go here to find out. She was pretty bad-ass.

  • Soul Sides is a lovely blog devoted to the music of the soul. (You know they have a link over there on the right as well, don't be lazy, now.)

Monday, March 20, 2006

It's 11:11, make a wish

Ever feel like you're not you?

Yeah, me too.

ahh, but then.


Choo Choo la Rouge
is a band from Boston

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

in the pines, in the pines, the sun, the shine, i'll shiver the whole night through

New Video!

Finally, Google video is agreeing with me.

This is a new video of my friend working on some art. I had a lot of fun playing with video direction (reversing clips, etc), creating still-motion, and making a three minute video out of about 45 seconds of video.


I've been familiar with Leadbelly (the singer of the song of the soundtrack of the video) for a while, but in a very peripheral kind of way. In a lovely turn of events, a few months ago, I saw Tyehimba Jess read at Myopic Books. If I remember correctly, this was the first poem he read. Talk about a first impression.


by Tyehimba Jess

freedom is what you can buy with a song. after the song has been soldered into your lungs. after the song has beaten its way inside your dreams. after the song has snuck its way into your bed. after the song has knuckled you under. after the song has festered and blossomed and festered again. after the song has stolen your fingers and robbed your voice blind. after all this, you try to sell the song that can never be sold. you end up with your hand out, waiting for the words that spell freedom.

freedom is every dirt road ground into whiskey still of my voice, my backpocket buck knife blade sharpening silence, coiled up close to copperhead, dime and dollar bill, the price of a pint and the slow violence of a victrola spittin’ bessie’s blues. freedom is my baby’s tit in my palm, a song in the sweetback sling of her legs, the snakeoil slide of dreadnaught guitar string strung and standing hard in darkened dayroom corners. freedom lurches in and out of my life heavy as the swollen secret of a noose.

A few days after the reading, I emailed Mr. Jess and asked him to recommend a few books for me to read. This is his list of influences:

Komunyakaa (neon vernacular)
Patricia Smith (just won national poetry series)
Ai (earlier work)
William Matthews (later work)
Tim Seibles (hammerlock)
RIta Dove (thomas and Beulah)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

straight up now tell i caught in a hit and run?

I was hit by a car yesterday.

No, okay, I was nudged. But still, a car made uninvited contact with my person while proceeding through a crosswalk.

I was left with a bruised toe and a bad attitude.
The driver was left with the lesson to look both ways before being illegal.

That's a note on my wall. I read a poem and the author used the word "runnel" as a verb. I thought that was wonderful.

  • King Kahn likes the sound of olden times
  • On his own, he mixes the oldies beats with a modern sensibility
  • With BBQ, it's all retro
  • It's all John Waters bright colors and transvestite Baltimore soundtrack
  • It makes you bippity bop in the kitchen in stocking feet sliding this way and that over the linoleum
  • It's so good

Monday, March 06, 2006

I tried to find the door, but stumbled upon your heart instead

I just returned from a visit home.

I call it that (home) because it's where I spent the first 18 years of my life. But I don't think it's really "home." I don't feel comfortable there. It's not my life when I'm in that house. It's my reminder of why I got the hell out of Roseville.

In other news, I'm working on a story. Editing and such. I am finding the story, it's really going in the direction I need it to drive in. I'm finding the characters, I'm adding depth. I'm really energized. Captain Hard-Ass is going to hate it.

  • This guy is Nathan Browningham.
  • Some have called him "the White Prince"
  • and some have not
  • He writes funky kind of r&b pop
  • and he also writes cheers.
  • Yes, hand claps, g-o t-e-a-m, cheers.
  • omygod, please kick yourself in the eye if you don't listen to the song and dance around your apartment/house/condo/trailer/coffeeshop/ford escort (hatchback)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

This is what we talk about when we talk about robots

I've been thinking about memory lately. I'm always thinking about memory, actually.

I've been frustrated with a story that I'm working on.
I think I need to start over.

Ana Castillo wrote that (the words up there in the pictture) in her book, "Watercolor Woman Opaque Man."

Have you ever wanted to be more than someone else, but someTHING else? I find myself writing about that a lot. Years of this, of writing about people (and me) who want to take a break from human.

*Maybe this is a bit o' something that I wrote a while back*

When I die I want to be a red leaf.
I want to lie in the green grass of fall. Be raked into a pile by a man with cold, gray hands
-by a child wearing headphones and gardener’s gloves to protect soft skin from the splinters of the rake handle. I want to be the landing mat for backyard gymnasts in sweatpants and sweatshirts with hoods. I want to be the confetti when they land on both feet. I want to be put between the pages of a novel or a diary or a cookbook. Wednesday morning I want an old woman with tissue paper hands to find me on the floor of the kitchen. With trembling deliberation she fixes me to a wreath with a pink glue gun and I am covered in shellac.
Sold at a craft fair
in the middle of a run-down shopping mall for 6 dollars and hung on the front door.
I am
the world’s greatest symbol of autumn until the day after Thanksgiving when the boy scouts knock on the door carrying green circles of winter. And I am put in an attic, in a box marked “Fall” soon to be thrown in a dumpster when the roof leaked and ruined my small shelter. I want to be
by a small girl wearing a purple jacket with pink mittens clipped to the sleeves. Napping in a tree house I dangle from a curled branch.
Just like before.
When I die I want to be a red leaf.

*Oh, then we transition into a paragraph from a recently completed story*

Because if you really want to do me something. Here it is: make me lonesome, make me a little bit low. Make me haunt, make me echo, make me rise and fall and roll like a western wave, I don’t mind the crash. Make me mourn, make me cry. Make me sad enough to be sublime. Make me sink, make me hurt, make me cut and pale. Make me black and white, faded and sweet. Pretty, make me round and soft. Lord, I wanna be pretty. I want to echo through time and all of it. A nickel in a jukebox set me free. Just one favor, Lord. One request. When I die, make me blue. Make me swing and sway. Make me the voice of Patsy Cline. I just wanna be sad with a smile. My rouge, my red lips laughing. Make me ordinary. Natural. Make me sigh, make me shine.
I’m the voice of Patsy Cline.

*and then we hop over to a paragraph from a rough little essay*

Erase this all from my memory until memory is nothing but a rumor we heard once and who can remember the punchline? Forget every moment, every hour, every single second. Break them down and take the fragments. Take all the pieces back and let me start again. I want a new beginning. I want to be born. A spiral notebook. I want to be born an orange flower. I want to be born the blue edge of a very hot flame.

  • This band/dude is called "The Robot Ate Me"
  • I like them/him
  • And, seriously, what a band name.