Friday, December 11, 2009

Hello And Welcome To Low Quality Video Theater

Here's a video of myself reading some of my work included in the poetry anthology Down This Crooked Road.

Also, check out the gift shop for Lummox Press. If you don't want to take the time and bother to actually read the book, you can buy a shirt or a mug or a coaster featuring the cover image. And really, what could possibly be a better holiday gift than any or all of these fine products?

Did I mention the refrigerator magnets?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Todd Moore Reviews Down This Crooked Road

Iconic Outlaw Poet Todd Moore wrote a kind review of Down This Crooked Road, the poetry anthology I recently edited with Lummox Press. It's been posted at Outlaw Poetry and Free Jazz Network. Have a look. The volume could well make someone a very nice holiday gift. (Hint, hint.)

That's all.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New Review of The Hunger Season

The good folks at Prick of the Spindle have posted a review of my latest book, The Hunger Season.

I found the review to be surpringly insightful and thoughtfully written.

You can read it here.

That's all.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Down This Crooked Road



Down This Crooked Road is now available. It is a poetry anthology I edited with RD Armstrong of Lummox Press. I hand picked the poets myself, and I truly think they are currently producing some of the best work out there. All of these writers I can't recommend enough:

MK Chavez, Christopher Robin, Father Luke, Miles J. Bell, Hosho McCreesh, Christopher Cunningham, and um, me.

The collection is currently available through the Lummox Press site, as well as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Ordering info. and some sample poems are available here:

Down This Crooked Road



I'll be reading in Santa Cruz on Friday, Oct. 16 with Christopher Robin and RD to help celebrate the release and hopefully sell some of the things. On October 17th I will be reading as part of the Litcrawl event here in San Francisco, which closes out the annual Litquake festival. More on that later. That's all for now.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hunger Season Now Available


Some News:

The Hunger Season, my new book of poetry, is being released by Sunnyoutside Press on August 20th. They are currently accepting pre-orders, if you are interested in receiving the book on or around the release date. More information here:

http://www.sunnyoutside.com/releases/042/o.html

The Hunger Season is my first full length book of poetry since Words For Songs Never Written was published in 2007. David from Sunnyoutside and myself put a lot of time and work into the collection, and I'm really happy with the results.

If you like my work, and/or are interested an supporting one of the best independent presses out there, please consider having a look. I humbly thank you.

I'm having a release party/reading at Modern Times books here in San Francisco on Wednesday Sept. 9. If you're in the area, come on out, I'd love to see you. I'll be reading with Joie Cook and Chelsea Martin, both really amazing writers.

What To Wear During An Orange Alert has posted a review/interview concerning the new book.

I just finished co-editing, along with RD of Lummox Press, an anthology of some of my favorite poets: MK Chavez, Christopher Robin, Father Luke, Hosho McCreesh, Christopher Cunningham, Miles Bell, and, um, me. It's called Down This Crooked Road and should be available sometime in September. More info. soon.

O, and I got laid off again.

Love,

Bill

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Pomes & Pitchurs & Stuff

It's true, I haven't updated for some time. But I knew it would be thus, so I'm not stressing too much about it.

Have been working the new job, which is decent enough. The way things are right now, especially in California, I'm truly grateful for a paycheck. Nice to be working at a little independent bookstore again. The owner is a bit neurotic, but aren't they all.

Anise has the summer off, so have been spending a lot of time hanging out with her, so haven't been getting as much writing done, but I'm managing here and there.

Spent today sitting around with Anise and drawing while listening to Bill Evans and Eric Satie. As pleasant a day as I've had in quite a while.

The fruits of my scribbling:

And, what's more, to prove I have not been complete creatively idle these past many weeks, I have a new poem posted at Rusty Truck.

As well as a new piece on Poesy Magazine's site. (My piece is the second poem that appears on the page). The poem appears in the hardcopy version of the new issue as well, which is guest edited by Debbie Kirk. It contains quality work by a lot of good folk, and the issue remembers the late poet Dave Church. Give it a look, why doncha?

What else? O yeah, I'm on another Cormac McCarthy kick...working my way through the Border Trilogy. I'm about a third of the way through The Crossing, and it might be my favorite yet. We'll see.

That's all.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Report from the North Beach "Poetry" Festival

video

Last week I attended something that billed itself as the "North Beach Poetry Festival". To put it kindly, during the two days and 10 hours or so of the event, I didn't see a lot of poetry. But there was this.

And so it goes.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Another Reason I Like Living in San Francisco

video

A cool little independent bookstore a few blocks from my place is closing down. Last night they hosted a little farewell event. Art, wine, beer...and this girl who did interpretive dance to punk rock songs. I was rather smitten. This crappy little video doesn't nearly do her justice. In person she was rather wonderful. But, for what it's worth, here ya go.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ferlinghetti is Kind of a Dick.

Yesterday I was sitting outside Cafe Trieste with a beer. Because, you know, if you're a “poet” in San Francisco, that's where you go to drink your beer. Actually, you're supposed to drink wine or some complicated coffee drink, but, rebel that I am, I drink the beer.

Anyway. Lawrence Ferlinghetti was inside talking to some old poet guys. At the table next to me was a young man drinking a glass of wine, reading a book of poetry he just bought from City Lights. He looked to be the hippie/bohemian type, probably from somewhere else, he just didn't have that San Francisco vibe about him.

Eventually Ferlinghetti walked out of the Cafe with a younger woman. His wife, daughter, caretaker, I don't know. The young man's table was right outside the door. I believe this was the moment he had been waiting for.

“Mr. Ferlinghetti?” The young man said, as Ferlinghetti came out of the cafe, “Mr. Ferlinghetti?” Ferlinghetti was just inches away , but he chose to ignore the young man and continue on his way. The young man called out to him one more time, and the lady who was with the old poet kind of stopped him, turned him around and pointed out to him that the young man was trying to get his attention. Ferlinghetti paused, turned around and looked at the young man with a blank face and perhaps an air of slight annoyance, then turned around and kept walking.

The young man and myself exchanged glances, shrugged, and he said something along the lines of, "Oh, well. That's' the way it goes."

Now, I realize I am not as famous or as old as Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and may well never be as famous or as old as Lawrence Ferlinghetti, but it seems, even if he didn't want to take the time to talk to the young man, he could have, at the very least, acknowledged his presence with a wave, a nod, a smile, something. But just to completely ignore him seemed more than a little rude. The poor kid probably just wanted to sheepishly mumble something like, "Mr. Ferlinghetti, I really like your work.." and maybe quickly shake his hand or something equally harmless.

Ferlinghetti wasn't being mobbed by a bunch of people, and the young man was very respectful and not in his face or anything. He just seemed a bit disappointed that someone he admired turned out to be kind of a jerk. And, admittedly, perhaps I shouldn't judge too harshly. Maybe the old boy was having a bad day. Whatever. But some kind of acknowledgement doesn't seem like it would have been too much trouble.

Anyway, whilst I is on the subject, for all his fame, Ferlinghetti was never that interesting of a writer. He has had a lot of books published, sure, because he started the freaking' publishing company and all, but he, to my knowledge, has never written anything particularly groundbreaking or profound. He is famous for opening a cool bookstore and having a lot of famous, more talented friends. Anyway. Those are just my thoughts on the matter.

Don't even get me started on Jack Hirschman.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New audio clip.

I have a few audio clips of myself reading some of my work on dublit.com. I just uploaded a new selection of poems from my upcoming book, The Hunger Season. Click the image below if you are so inclined.



That's all.

Monday, May 18, 2009

NYQ # 65, David Lynch & Sparklehorse, New Job


the New York Quarterly # 65 is now available. It contains a poem of mine, as well as work by Grace Zabriskie, Chris Cunningham, Marge Piercy, Lyn Lyfshin, Dave Church, A.D. Winans and other good folk. There's a truly fascinating interview with David Shapiro as well.

The NYQ is one of the best, last great poetry journals out there, and I recommend picking up a copy. The latest issue is about 175 pages of poetry and poetry related interviews. All of it is readable, and most of it is very good. Some of it is great. And when you're talking about a poetry journal, that's truly saying something. They've been around since 1969, and over the years have published the work of W. H. Auden, Anne Sexton, James Dickey, W.D. Snodgrass, Charles Bukowski and many other amazing artists. I'm honored to have my work appear in their pages.

The current issue is available here.

In other news, my dear friend Sarah at Street Walkin' Cheetahs just turned me on to The Dark Night of the Soul, a musical collaboration between the likes of Sparklehorse, Danger Mouse and David Lynch. Also appearing are members of flaming Lips, Grandaddy and lots of other wonderful people. It really is as good as you imagine it might be. I had heard rumors about this, but didn't know if and when it would be available. The official release might be delayed indefinitely due to label issues or some such nonsense, but you can listen to it here. A companion book of photographs is available as well.



Lastly, and hopefully not leastly, I found a new job at a nice little independent bookstore on Polk Street. Seems like it might be a pleasant enough place to work. And I don't start for another ten days, so I have the luxury of enjoying a little vacation without stressing about the fact that I have no idea where the rent money will be coming from.

That's all.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Blues and the Abstract Truth

The Blues and the Abstract Truth.

That's the name of the Oliver Nelson CD I'm currently listening to. It seems a fitting enough title for this blog entry as well, and so it shall be.

It seems the benign indifference of the bloody universe has me by the balls.

About this time last week, I joined the roughly 11% of my fellow Californians who find themselves unemployed. It was, shall we say, unexpected. Though in the back of my mind I knew this moment would come, I knew I would one day be forty years old, unemployed, with no impressive job skills and no grand plan. In a word, I have officially become obsolete.

If nothing else, I am in good company. My neighborhood is full of those who got lost somewhere along the way. Perhaps I will follow their lead and take up some new hobbies, say, like maybe hanging out at the corner liquor store, spending my government money on junk food, beer and endless amounts of losing lotto tickets which I will litter the sidewalk with on my journey home. Once home I will stand in the doorway of my apartment building and drink aforementioned beer and stare emptily in the distance for hours. And smoking. I need to take up smoking. You can't really stand in the doorway of your apartment building, drink beer and stare into the distance for hours without a cigarette in your hands. It just isn't done. When I need a break from that I will go back to the liquor store and buy another shitload of lotto tickets and toss those on the sidewalk as well. Then I'll walk up a block to a nameless, characterless dive bar and join the other good folk there at 1:00 p.m. on a Wednesday afternoon.

I will order a bud light and nurse it for as long as possible as I continue to stare emptily into space. Maybe I will put a few old country songs on the jukebox if there happen to be any free credits. Maybe some Dylan.

"Hey, Bill."
"Hey, Ed. Hey Trudy. Hey George."
"How's things, Bill?"
"Ah, you know, Ed. Same shit different day."
"You got that right, ha, ha."
"Ha, ha."
"You watch the game last night?"
"O, yeah."
"Crazy, huh?"
"Shit, man, I couldn't believe it, ha, ha."
"Ha, Ha."

Etc.

After a few hours of that I will go back by the liquor store for some more lotto tix, beer and cigarettes, then back home to stand in the doorway of my apartment building to finish off the day in grand and classic style.

Of course, that kind of rigorous and disciplined lifestyle is something I will have to work my way up to. In the meantime I have taken to simply getting drunk in the afternoon and wandering about the city aimlessly, checking the mail every hour or so for confirmation of my unemployment award.

On the more positive side of things, yesterday I collected about $70 for my books I have sold through a few local bookstores. Later today I will wander over to North Beach and check in at City Lights and The Beat Museum and hopefully collect some more book money, most of which I imagine I will spend on a few drinks at Vesuvio or The Saloon. On the way home I will buy a cheap bottle of wine and maybe something for dinner. I will spend the evening drinking wine, playing videogames and hanging with Anise.

Tomorrow perhaps I will get some writing done, or maybe some painting, and start in on a few of those jobs around the house that there is never enough time to tackle when one is gainfully employed.

So, in short: fuck you, universe. Bring it on. I can take it. Or at least pretend to. I can put on a tough face with the best of 'em. I have the willful endurance of those who do not expect much from life. I will match your indifference with my own.

For all to be accomplished, for me to feel less lonely, all that remains to hope is that on the day of my execution there should be a huge crowd of spectators and that they should greet me with howls of execration.

Booyah.

Monday, April 20, 2009

John Giorno, The Watchmen and the goddamned heat.



A little ways back when I was pondering whether or not to start a blog, I was hesitant because I had a feeling I would not have much of interest to report on a regular basis, and for the moment it seems my concerns were somewhat merited. It looks like I will be blogging in fits and starts. So be it.

Last week Anise had a much deserved week off for spring break. We spent a fair amount of time walking around the city. Took a few walks through Golden Gate park and one to Mt. Davidson, which is the highest point in the city, or so City Hikers or some similarly titled website tells me. Anise took a lot of photos of the flora and fauna. She knows a lot about flowers, plants and nature in general. I just think it's all very pretty. Here are a few pictures.

Last Thursday we went to see poet John Giorno read. I've been a fan of his stuff for a while and was pretty excited when I saw a flier for a reading here in SF. He's in his seventies now, and doesn't do a lot of readings. He’s a pretty fascinating guy who should probably be more well known than he is.

He was a friend/lover of Andy Warhol's in the early sixties, and starred in his film, Sleep. He never neatly fit into any school or style of poetry, but was on the fringes of the Beat, and, later on, the punk movements. He helped pioneer the concept of a multimedia poetry performance and recorded a lot of work in the eighties with the likes of Laurie Anderson and William Burroughs. Anyways, blah, blah, blah. It was cool to see him.




When he read his last poem he left the stage to strong applause, then came back up a few moments later to do an encore poem. I do believe that's the first poetry reading I've attended where the reader came back to read an encore poem. I think that was pretty rockstar of him. I think poetry readings in general should be more like rock shows, with all the good and bad that that statement possibly entails.

What else? I'm working on a few new poems, but working at a bit more of a leisurely pace than usual, and it feels nice to be taking a bit of a break.

I have a short story that I think would make a cool short film, so I'm working at turning it into a screenplay. When it’s finished I'm gonna see if a few of my friends wanna help me try and make something out of it. Nothing grand, just a silly little video to post on here and youtube.

I should be getting the proofs for my upcoming book in the mail sometime this week. Looking forward to seeing it. It’s due out late summer and will be my first full length book of new poetry since the last one I did w/sunnyoutside in 2006.

Finally got around to seeing the Watchmen movie. I thought it was as a good a movie as could be made from the source. Does that sound like I’m damning it with faint praise? I don’t mean it to. I actually really liked it and wouldn’t mind seeing it again while it’s still on the big screen.

It was 84 degrees today in San Francisco. That's pretty hot for this little city by the bay. My apartment feels like an oven and I'm sitting here sweating in my underwear. I don't have a fan or anything, cos who needs that shit in San Francisco, right? Sigh.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sometimes.




Sometimes life is okay.

I had a pretty good weekend. Friday night I did a reading with a bunch of good people and had a really nice time. Lots of good feeling and many glasses of free wine. A poet friend of mine who was there told me that she doesn't like the readings that take place in bars. Too many drunk people there who don't give a shit about poetry and just want to be entertained, she says. Me, I'm okay with that. If you can't entertain the drunks, get off the stage. All art is entertainment. If you're up there on a stage in front of people you should be doing something to make them laugh, or cry or feel like they've been kicked in the gut..something. Reading poetry is not unlike juggling or telling jokes while wearing a clown nose. I don't know. I wish more of my readings were in bars. It's nice when I don't have to sneak my booze in. Hell, I don't like reading or listening to poetry when sober myself. But I can understand how it's not every reader's ideal situation. A bookstore that supplies wine is a happy medium. (You rock, Bird & Beckett!)

Though perhaps my ideal poetry reading would be in a crowded bar with the audience sufficiently liquored up, and at the back of the room would be a big gong, and Jaimee Farr, Rip Taylor and Jaye P. Morgan will all be there, waiting.

And my abnormally(for me) social weekend continued on into Saturday. Met a bunch of friends in Dolores park to celebrate a friend's (un)birthday. It was a wonderful day, much sun and blue sky. More wine and good people. It's good to be reminded that there are actually people I call my friends whose occasional company I truly enjoy. Met some good new people as well. I sometimes forget that such things can happen.

In spite of my general distaste for large crowds, I must confess to a love of Delores park on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Just a sea of people chilling out as far as the eye can see. Drinking, smoking, eating. Kids. Dogs. Hippies on giant unicycles. People wandering around selling everything from tamales to cotton candy to snack items laced with various illegal substances. And the assholes and the cops always seem to stay away, as if there were some magic circle of protection around the area. It's always just a nice vibe.

And I had a moment, when I was opening a second bottle of wine and looking out upon the sea of humanity sprawled across the park, and I was filled with a pure and simple little feeling of joy. I was just thinking, you know, here I am in San Francisco on a lovely day drinking wine with people I like, discussing the finer points of comic books, videogames, Dostoyevski and Werner Herzog, among other things. Who would have imagined life could be so good? It's important to understand these moments from time to time and appreciate them for what they are.

Because life will become shitty again before you know it. But the darkness doesn't cancel out the light. The beautiful moments are there, etched into the fabric of the universe, and the fuckers can't take them away from us. Ever.

That's all.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


This Friday, April 3rd I will be reading at the Knockout in San Francisco with a lot of cool ass people. It starts at 6:30, it's free and there is booze. Come on by, I'd love to see ya.

More info. here.

No Words Needed

Monday, March 30, 2009

Confessions of Your Friendly Neighborhood Asshole.

Earlier tonight Anise and myself went to a neighborhood place to get a burrito. There was a guy begging outside the door. He asked if we could buy him a taco. I said no, sorry, we couldn't. Once inside, I looked up at the menu and saw that tacos were only a couple bucks. I certainly could have bought him one. But there was something about his desperate, whining insistence that made me not want to buy him a taco. Maybe if he had had a different voice, a different face, had been a woman I would have bought him a taco. I don't know. But I didn't like the feel of him and didn't want to buy him a taco.

The other night I was walking home after renting a movie and I was stopped at a corner, waiting for the light to change. Beside me stood an older man with a walker. He was holding on to the walker and leaning back really far, in a strange sort of way. It didn't seem like the walker should have been holding him up. But he didn't ask for help, or seem to be in any trouble, so I didn't pay much attention. A moment later he fell to the ground, nearly taking me with him.

I helped him up, which took a while, got him back on his walker and helped him make his way back on to the sidewalk. Even this took quite a few minutes. I finally got him settled and he seemed to be okay, and started making his way with tiny, nearly imperceptible movements forward. A literal snail's pace. He said he only had a few more blocks to go. The way he was moving, a few blocks would have been three hours, at least. But he wasn't falling over, so I left him there. There was a part of me that felt I should have called him a cab or something, but I just headed home. I had things to do.

In theory, I truly want to be better and kinder to my fellow human beings, but in reality, more often than not they just make me nervous and generally uncomfortable. Most of them I just want to get away from, especially if they are in need. I am just not good with people. I mean, I'm not a complete asshole. I do assist random folk in need as long as it does not inconvenience me too much, or if they are somewhat attractive. One thing I do is give away money to strangers perhaps more often than I should. Giving money away I don't mind so much, even though most months we barely make rent. Assuages some of the the guilt, I suppose.

There's the few lines from Barfly:
"Do you hate people?"
"Hate them? No, I just seem to feel better when they're not around..."

I remember a friend telling me about a time one evening when he was in a parking lot and saw a man that had seemingly fallen out of his wheelchair. My friend's instinct was to pretend he didn't notice and keep going about his business, but there was someone else that saw that he saw that the man had fallen out of his wheelchair, so my friend felt the social pressure to go help the man, even though he really didn't want to. He felt anger at being forced into an uncomfortable and awkward situation when he just wanted to go about his business. I understood this and I felt for him.

This, in turn, reminds me of a time years ago; some friends and I were drinking at the Hotel Padre(RIP) in Bakersfield, and there was a guy in a wheelchair, a Vietnam vet, if I recall correctly. Or he said he was. He was loud, obnoxious and kept begging drinks. And then he "danced" in his wheelchair for the rest of the night, spinning around, and popping wheelies and whatnot. I remember not being particularly happy with his presence.

When we left the bar it was raining, and we were very drunk. I was driving us home, and just a ways down the road from the bar there was the wheelchair guy, his chair tipped over off the sidewalk. He was spilled out into the gutter, rain pouring down upon him, the wheels of his upsidedown wheelchair slowly spinning. My friend pointed him out as we sped on by, both of us laughing uncontrollably, tears running down our cheeks.

Moments later there were sirens and coplights in the rearview and I ended up spending the night in the drunk tank.

The point, Bill, the point?

Can't rightly say.

Good night.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Coming Soon to a Theater Nowhere Near You


So, a little while ago myself and a coworker decided we would make another Jaws sequel. Because, you know, it's been a while. And we wanted to do it before Rob Zombie got around to it. Since we have no budget for such an undertaking, we decided to feature only dead actors in the film. Splice together pieces from old films to create our new masterpiece. And, to appeal to the kids, we figured the shark could talk. With Roy Scheider's voice, of course.

We imagined the opening scene: Just as dawn hits the all but frozen sea of Antarctica (or somewhere really cold) a ship smashes into a giant iceberg, unknowingly awakening a mammoth prehistoric shark with a savage hunger for revenge on humanity. Or something like that. That's about as far as we've gotten, but I did design a poster for the film to whet the public appetite:



In other somewhat related news, have you heard about the new Three Stooges movie in the works? It's not a biopic, but a modernized re imagining of the classic characters. Starring (and I kid you not) Jim Carrey, Benicio Del Toro, and um, Sean Penn as Larry. I'm not lying. I swear.

Good Night.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I Have Been In Darkness Before...

I'm writing a poem around the concept that life can be beautiful, fulfilling, and completely meaningless all at once. Not a new idea, I know, and I suppose a fair amount of my poems touch on that philosophy, but it is a way of thinking that is close to my heart.

I often hear the argument that god is needed to give life meaning. A heaven or a hell, some kind of afterlife. Without god, the argument goes, people would have no moral compass, existence would just be a meaningless journey to death filled with pain, madness and suffering.

Well, I got news for ya kids: that's life in a nutshell, god or no.

On the other hand, if we are lucky, and many of us aren’t I know, but if we are lucky, we are given our share of decent moments in this life. Hours, weeks, years of existence on the earth without an abundance of pain, perhaps some joy scattered about here and there, and, if we are very lucky, a bit of love. The meaning of it all is the simple fact of it.

I do not believe that most of the good people do is born of a belief in god, rather from a feeling of empathy for our fellow human beings. The golden rule, you know. We are good to each other because we are each other. That Dostoyevskian concept that if one of us is suffering, we are all suffering.

Most of those who claim a belief in god don’t live their lives in a more godlike manner than the rest of us, very often just the opposite. They can be as nasty and ugly as they want as long as they pop into church once or twice a month, or repent their entire lives on their deathbed, if given the chance. And they fear death just as much, if not more so, despite what they claim to believe.

An interesting aspect of being an unbeliever-you’re not supposed to talk about it, just keep it to yourself, for fear of upsetting the godlike, the elderly, the faint of heart. Just nod and smile when the god stuff is being passed around.

But sometimes one gets tired of nodding and smiling, and I want to say, I do not think you really believe what you profess to believe, and if you do, I firmly believe you are in error, and if you don’t truly believe it, you are a fool for pretending to. In short, we all need to grow up a bit if our species is ever going to reach its full potential.

We are born, we live, we die. I think the only honest way of being is to admit we don’t know what happens after that. I imagine we get back to doing whatever it was we were doing before.

Okay, I’m done. For now. Thanks for reading, if you’ve read this far. It’s all a jumble, I know. But spewing a bit of it out might help me to sleep a bit better.

I’ll leave you with a much loved (by me, anyway) passage from the introduction to the book, The Story of San Michele by Axel Munthie. I’ve never actually gotten around to reading the book itself, but what I read of the introduction was enough to make me take it home. The author is speaking of his lifelong love of animals, and rejecting the idea of an afterlife reserved solely for human beings:

“If it is true that there is no haven of rest for them when their sufferings here are at an end, I, for one, am not going to bargain for any heaven for myself. I shall go without fear where they go, and by the side of my brothers and sisters from forests and fields, from skies and seas, lie down to merciful extinction in their mysterious underworld, safe from any further torments inflicted by god or man, safe from any haunting dream of eternity.

The night will be dark for there will be no stars overhead and no hope for a dawn, but I have been in darkness before. It will be lonely to be dead, but it cannot be much more lonely than to be alive.”


Good Night.

A Band I Love


The Apartments are a wonderful band from Australia. I honestly don't know anyone else who knows or cares much about them and that makes me profoundly sad. So I thought I'd use the mighty power of blog to share them with some people who might give a damn. Or might not. But share I shall.

The band is basically singer/songwriter Peter Milton Walsh, and whatever musicians he decides to surround himself with at any given time. Walsh was a member of an early incarnation of the Go-Betweens. The Apartments came into being in the early eighties as a post punk outfit with a couple of good singles. They broke up very soon and reformed again a few years later.

They never made much of a dent here in the US, though I understand they have a big cult following in in France. Their biggest claim to fame is a song included on the soundtrack to the John Hughes film, Some Kind of Wonderful. The film was pretty much Pretty In Pink all over again. But not as good. Hmmm. I guess that's not much of a claim to fame. But have you ever had a song in a John Hughes film? Didn't think so.

This Mortal Coil also covered their song "Mr. Somewhere" on their Blood album. The original version is better.

The essential Apartments album is Life Full of Farewells from 1995. I never tire of it. It's a world of it's own...sad, sweet, melancholy chamber pop to make you swoon and dream of people and places long gone. Perfect & beautiful. If you have an ear for the sublime you might want to give it a listen.

Walsh quit recording and performing some years ago after the death of his son. He unexpectedly got a band together and played a few shows in Australia in 2007. Whether he plans to continue to perform or make new music I have no idea. But I can hope.




Thanks for reading. That's about all I have to report in the wee hours of this Wednesday morning. I am sleepy now. Good night.

Monday, March 23, 2009

For Those Few Who May Be Interested

Some updates on where my work has recently appeared or will appear in the near future:

A poem (Adrift) has been posted on the latest update at Silenced Press.

A few recent pieces have been posted at Scot Young's excellent Rusty Truck Zine.

The (somewhat) legendary Lummox Press has been publishing their Little Red Book series for a decade now, and to commemorate this milestone they've released The Long Way Home: The Best of the Little Red Book Series 1998-2008.

In addition to some of my stuff, the handsome volume includes work by the likes of A.D. Winans, RD Armstrong, Alan Catlin, Lyn Lifshin, Glen Cooper, Todd Moore, Rob Plath, Bill Shields and plenty of other wonderful folk. I implore you to give it a look.

I'll be reading along with Harmon Leon, Kris Saknussem, Debbie Kirk, MK Chavez, Melissa Hansen and Paul Corman-Roberts at the Cherry Bleeds Literary Happy Hour on Friday, April 3rd at the Knockout Room here in San Francisco. Come on by. It will be fun, I promise. Poetry goes down much better with booze, I always find.

A few upcoming projects:

I'm working on an anthology with Lummox Press that will include work by myself as well as MK Chavez, Christopher Robin, Father Luke, Hosho McCreesh, Christopher Cunningham and Miles J. Bell. The volume is tentatively titled The Crooked Road (I think), and may be out sometime this summer.

The Hunger Season, a book of new poetry, is due out from sunnyoutside in the fall.

And lastly, my previous two books are still available for the buyin':

Words For Songs Never Written

So Much Is Burning

Thanks for reading and please forgive the self promotion. A lot of folk in the independent press put a lot of time, love and money into creating beautiful things (books, websites, etc.) that 99.9% of the population doesn't give a fuck about. I feel it my duty to do what I can to spread the word.

A good night to you.

I blog therefore I exist.

Look world, I have a blog.

I don't twitter or text, and I still don't own a cell phone, so let this be my concession to modern forms of communication.

Until recently, MySpace served well enough for my sporadic desire to communicate in cyberspace, but most folks these days have all but abandoned MySpace for Facebook. Facebook serves well enough for stalking old highschool crushes and as yet another form of email, but most of it is a jumbled mess of stuff I can make little sense of. So, for the time being, this will be my outlet of choice for drunken ramblings and the occasional pome.

A blog. Why, Bill, why do you need a blog? Do you really? ( I asked myself today as I sat in the sunshine of Union Square drinking wine and looking at the tourists and the beautiful people go about their business.)

I imagine (I answered myself) I'm starting a blog for the reason most people start blogs. Another thing to pass the time as we wait for cancer and heart attacks and for the rest of our teeth to fall out. Something to amuse ourselves as we wait for earthquakes, bombs and plane crashes.

A desperate flailing about for attention and validation. The need for others to convince myself that I exist.
To reassure myself that my little cries into the void are being momentarily heard by someone, anyone.

Welcome, welcome. Come as often as you like. O, the fun we will have.