It’s been a busy few weeks. Worked on a grant for the Salinas Chinatown group I volunteer for. And there’s my job, working as a full-time writing coach. Then went to Portland OR for a few days. I don’t care if people make fun of that city — I love it there. While at Powell’s books I was thumbing through the chapbooks, and started to feel like — Why am I waiting around for someone to publish my work? (I’m waiting on a publisher to “get back” to me). I want to self-publish a poetry book as an artistic venture. It just looks like fun. Anyway, so many trees, buses running on biofuel, wind turbines generating electricity on top of a high rise, and big bike lanes everywhere. So much art, great food, bookstores, etc. in Portland. But maybe best of all was getting out of town w/my sweetheart. And a few days ago did a poetry reading in SF w California poets Gary Young, Stephen Meadows, and Michael Hannon for Tom Killion’s book of art and poetry with Gary Snyder. It’s been a good, busy time.
Have spent about the last month and a half preparing for, and finally moving to, Monterey, CA with my dear partner. I said goodbye to the horses, goats, hawks, and beautiful old oak trees, and and we are now back to living in a town, or rather a small city, near the beach, and also nearer to Big Sur and Point Lobos. I scaled down my belongings and gave away a lot of stuff, including my piano. I hope I never have to move again, but I imagine that I will. At the same time, somehow, I managed to put out another issue of Local Nomad, featuring a number of poets, art, and some prose. In this issue: Dida Kutz, Nguyen Louie, Bo Luengsuraswat, Joshua Aiken, Cornelia Barber, Tom Beckett, Valentina Cano, Jack Crimmins, William Doreski, Dion Farquhar, Howie Good, Seth Jani, Ron Lavalette, Joan McNerney, Kenneth Pobo, Jai Arun Ravine, J. Zimmerman, David G. Tilley, Marianne Villanueva, M. Leland Oroquieta, and Leny Mendoza Strobel. The theme for this issue is Killing Ground. The cover photo is from The Public Domain Review, a wonderful publication featuring essays with collected images from the public domain. See their current essay, “Forgotten Failures of African Exploration,” which is a good match for the “Killing Ground” theme of the Spring issue of Local Nomad.
While visiting Mark Young’s blog, Gamma Ways, I noticed a link to my old poetry blog, The Nightjar, produced from 2003 to 2006. I haven’t looked at this for years. Reading it now is kind of like sifting through an archaeological dig. Some poems I remember, others I don’t recognize as something I had written — I could be reading the work of a completely different person. I’m jealous of a few of the poems; they seem to have been written under some kind of scorching pressure — out of necessity. Just as strange is going through the links in the sidebar, most (though not all) seem defunct; the bloggers have moved on to something else, and if the link isn’t just gone, then it leads to a blog that’s in suspended animation — deserted at some point, but still containing all its furniture, the last domestic utterances hanging in the still air. Looking at them, though, I get all nostalgic. Glad to see Shanna Compton still around, and quirky Topher’s Tunes Times. Somehow I knew that Cassandra Pages would still be steadily posting. Actually a number of people in the sidebar are still blogging, but on newer sites.
In any case, I’m thankful the Nightjar still exists (thanks, Mark, for letting it sit in your sidebar). I’m going to download the poems to a file before internet rot dissolves them.
40 Security Envelopes
The other day I found a copy of These Peripheries by James Maughn, published by Otoliths, in the oddest place. Of course I bought the copy.
Well I want to write something, but not much to say. Didn’t get much sleep last night, and now I’m perversely staying up late even though tired.
The whole day has been like this. Just sort of doggedly going through the motions. Then watching the film, John Wick, which was — well it was what it was. Sort of a Russian Scarface of the 21st century, and even the director didn’t take that seriously. Gotta say, Michael Nyqvist (Girl w/the Dragon Tattoo) makes a fantastic, complex, and funny villain. Keanu Reeves’ bland acting but well-choreographed violent revenge killing throughout; though there was one moment when he broke through his mask and made me really believe he was pissed.
But, enough, enough. And so to bed…
One of the poetry mss. projects I’m just thinking about is a book possibly titled Nature/Not Nature. Or maybe just
Nature. Speaking of which, as someone who leaves (lives! But thinking of leaving) in the country around a lot of animals, I find this video from Boston Dynamics very disturbing and creepy, not the least because, despite myself, I feel some sympathy for the damned things:
Nearing the end of the call for submissions period on http://www.local-nomad.net/. Deadline for “Killing Ground” is February 15; that’s right, the day AFTER the day of love. Would like to see more experimental art, vispo, and also non-fiction–experimental or otherwise, and could also include book or art reviews. Could that mean you? Guidelines are HERE. And for those of you who just can’t get around that “Killing Ground” theme, the issue after that will be open-themed, i.e. anything goes.
Still sending out Corporeal and Diaryo in search of publishers. Have decided not to write poems for online public consumption (well, maybe on rare occasion), so am doing all my writing now on a private blog, which functions nicely as my file cabinet. Working on a book project and a chapbook. I have a blog on Local Nomad, which mostly pertains to Local-Nomadish mag concerns. Here, I’m just writing about stuff. Like, say, playing my uke, or moving out of my house. I’ve been looking for a new place in Monterey. Oh, Monterey — conservative, snooty, food-obsessed, wonky, and beautiful Monterey.
I’m in a dangerous “redecorating” (online) mode. I’m also very irritated with both the old and new #Wordpress editing templates.