Tuesday, October 5, 2010


For those kind souls who may be interested, some recent and upcoming happenings involving my work:

I was recently the guest on the Tree Killer Ink Radio show, brought to you by Epic Rites Press. Listen in and hear me ramble on about random things with hosts Wolfgang Cartsens and Rob Plath. In the midst of it all I manage to read a few poems and discuss some upcoming projects. It was a grand time.

Click here for the podcast.

And... Tree Killer Ink # 6 is now available. I'm the featured writer of the issue which contains 25 new poems that have not appeared in book form. The first 25 people who order a copy will receive a free broadside from Epic Rites, which is pretty dern cool. Take a moment and check it out. You'll be doing a bit to support a really amazing and hardworking independent press.

A selection of the broadsides can be found here.

Beat The Dust, the wonderful litzine out of the UK has devoted its current issue to Epic Rites authors. Stop by and watch a video of me reading some of my lame Allen Ginsberg wannabe poems.

And, lastly, a recent review of my latest poetry collection, The Hunger Season, can be found here.

Thanks and Love.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Broadside And Other Random Whatnots...

Yossarian Universal News Service's Broadsider magazine has seen fit to include one of my poems in the new broadside series which will officially be relased at the end of the year. Other writers in the upcoming series include Diane Di Prima, Billy Collins and many other talented folk. The entire set of 30 signed and numbered broadsides will be available in December for $100, I think.

I currently have signed (limited to 100)copies of my broadside, "Some of Us" available for $5, which includes postage and whatnot. If anyone is interested in getting a copy, lemme know. I think it turned out rather well, and I'm proud to have my work included in this project.

Other cool things:

Talented Bay area composer Jack Perla has put my poem We Would Fall to music. Here is a video of it being performed by Thomas Glenn. Kinda neat.

I recently took part in The New San Francisco Underground Press and Book Fair. It was a great event, and an article and videos from the evening can be found here.

Last, and certainly not least: If you somehow missed it, here is my performance as Bill "The Hammer" Taylor in the premiere episode of Record Store In Space (A True Story).

I think that's it for now. Thanks so much for indulging me. O, and it's like 92 degrees in San Francisco, which just ain't right.

Monday, July 12, 2010

New review of Hunger Season


The folks at Gutter Eloquence have posted a very kind review of my latest book, The Hunger Season. Feel free to explore the link below. If the book is as half as good as they say it is, perhaps you should treat yourself to a copy. I'm just sayin'.

Gutter Eloquence

Friday, May 7, 2010

American Street Showcase

On Sunday, April 25 I read at American Street Showcase, an event put together by Charle Getter of the Corner Poets of 16th and Mission and Alan Kaufman, editor of The Outlaw Bible of Amerian Poetry (an essential volume, by the way).

I had the pleasure of reading with Alan, Charlie, MK Chavez, and a large selection of the Corner Poets. Secret Secreteries played music. It was a fine afternoon, conveniently taking place at Cafe Royale, just a few blocks from my home.

With thanks to Even Karp, here's the video of my portion of the reading.

Have a look at the other videos from the reading as well. A lot of good stuff.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Unpraying, But Religious With Joy

This week I've been reading through an old issue of Story magazine. November, 1934. A friend was kind enough to lend it to me. The highlights of the issue were contemporary stories by William Faulkner and William Saroyan, nestled among other fine stories by authors whose names have been lost to the years.

Reading the stories in this magazine from some 75 years ago (!) put me in a magic place, as I revisited that feeling I had when reading these authors for the first time. I felt like a kid, discovering these magicians all over again. I felt once again the awe and wonder of the power of words. It made me excited about reading and writing in a way I haven't been in years.

I compared the issue with similar magazines of today, such as they are, wondering where so much of the magic went. Is it the circumstances of particular generations that have the power to produce amazing writers? World wars? Is it something in the earth, the air, or is it mere chance? Is it like celebrities dying in threes? I dunno. I just know that much of contemporary writing feels to me at best competent and staidly clever, but often lacking what I would consider a soul. It doesn't have the ring of honesty. Many writers seem more in love with their words and their selves than the doors they have the power to open and the people they have the power to move. I certainly don't mean to say the world is currently lacking in good, even great, writers. I am lucky enough to call a fair amount of damned good writers my friends. But it's not the same, not quite This writing seemed to come from another, truer place.

Saroyan's story in particular amazed me. Resurrection of a Life, it's called, and I'd never before read it. It's not exactly a narrative, but rather a man reflecting upon his lost youth, upon life, and death, all the big questions. Very common themes, but it's such a powerful piece, not a word wasted. Every sentence is what it should be. I read it though twice in one sitting. I did a bit of research and found that the story was collected in Saroyan's second book of fiction, Inhale & Exhale, published in 1936. Long out of print. That fact in itself amazes me, that work like this is allowed to fade into obscurity while so much junk is allowed to litter the shelves until the end of days.

As I read Saroyan's story I feel the pain and the joy of life, the horror and the beauty all at once. It's not fakery, it's not cleverness. The writer feels this fire of being and is doing his damnedest to make us feel it too. He says, this is what it feels like for me to be human, is it the same way with you? Here is life, your life, my life, our life, in all it's beauty and misery, it's joy and ugliness. It's meaningless purpose. He's showing us that we're alive right now in this moment and burning, and it means everything and it means nothing at all, but the important thing is to feel it. Laughing, crying is one and the same. Nobody much writes like that anymore. This angry joy, this joyous anger.

This is how the story ends:

"I was this boy who is now lost and buried in the succeeding forms of myself, and I am now of this last moment, of this small room, and the night hush, time going, time coming, and gone, and gone, and again coming, and myself here, breathing, this last moment, inhale, exhale, the boy dead and alive. All that I have learned is that we breathe, from pleasure to ghastly pain, now, always now, and then we remember, and we see the boy moving through a city that has become lost, among people who have become dead, alive among dead moments, crossing a street, the scene thus, or standing by the bread bin in the bakery, a sack of chicken bread please so that we can live and shout about it, and it begins nowhere and it ends nowhere, and all that I know is that we are somehow alive, all of us in the light, making shadows, the sun overhead, space all around us, inhaling, exhaling, the face and form of man everywhere, pleasure and pain, sanity and madness, over and over again, war and no war, peace and no peace, the earth solid and unaware of us, unaware of our cities, our dreams, unaware of this love I have for life, the love that was the boy's, unaware of all things, my going, my coming, the earth everlastingly itself, not of me, everlastingly precise, and the sea sullen with movement like my breathing, waves pounding the shore of myself, coming and going, and all that I know is that I am alive and glad to be, glad to be of this ugliness ands this glory, somehow glad that I can remember, somehow remember the boy climbing the fig tree, unpraying but religious with joy, somehow of the earth, of the time of earth, somehow everlastingly of life, nothingness, blessed or unblessed, somehow deathless like myself, timeless, glad, insanely glad to be here, and so it is true, there is no death, somehow there is no death, and can never be."

The mere act of typing this passage excites me, fills me with a particular joy rarely found elsewhere in life Like the best music. The best wine. Your best love.

I amuse myself imagining this passage, and Saroyan's work in general, being critiqued in some writing workshop of today: "Well, first of all, you have far too many commas and run on sentences. The entire structure is horrible and you can't really understand what the hell's going on. You repeat yourself. Nothing really happens. The protagonist is unlikable. Be concise. Here. Do these exercises."

All the while missing the point, missing the point., missing the point. These fuckers so oblivious to themselves and everything around them burning. Anyway, that's all. I just wanted to share this feeling. It might make sense to some of you.

I'm gonna go try and write something worth reading.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

In Case You Were Wondering...

Here's where you can purchase my books that are currently available:

My latest Collection of poetry, The Hunger Season, is available through sunnyoutside.

As is So Much Is Burning.

Words For Songs Never Written: New & Collected Poems 1997-2007 is available through Centennial Press.

Down this Crooked Road is an anthology I edited with RD Armstrong of Lummox Press. It contains poetry by myself, as well as Christopher Robin, MK Chavez, Hosho McCreesh, Christopher Cunningham and Father Luke.

They may also have some copies of Any Abyss Will Do.(LRB #14)

You can also find some of these titles on Amazon and in Bay Area Bookstores, including City Lights, Modern Times, Books and Bookshelves, The Beat Museum and other fine establishments. Sometimes they turn up in the strangest places.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What I Will Soon Be Doing:


I'm reading at two upcoming events here in San Francisco. I'm willing to bet they both will be pretty damned fun.

This Friday, Feb. 26, I will be reading along with Harmon Leon and many other entertaining folk at the Anger Management and Revenge reading series at Kaleidoscope.

And Monday, Mar. 1, I will be a part of Quiet Lightning 3 at the Elbo Room. This event also has a great lineup of readers slated to perform.

If you're in the area come on out and say hello. Have a drink or two. Support your local artistic fuckups. I would love to see you there.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Anthills V

To those of you not in the know:

The long awaited, much anticipated Anthills V
is now available from the always wonderful Centennial Press. It is a beautiful volume and contains work by myself and many amazing folks, including Amanda Oaks, Nate Graziano, Nick Osdick, Robyn Kohlwey and others. Give it a look...you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Or Maybe It's Just the Wine

The thing is, the poetry is already there.

Everyday, everywhere. You just have to know where and how to look. Or, at the very least, you have to want to try.

For some it comes easy; some are born with the ability to see. Others have to work at it. Many don't give a damn one way or another.

I believe the true poet has the ability to use words to create doors or windows or signposts that help reveal the poetry that already exists to those who, for one reason or another, might otherwise have missed it.

Words used in such a way are magic.

The problem is, so often we write stuff that we want to be poetry but it ends up just being cumbersome and unwieldy, serving only to obstruct and cheapen the poetry that already exists. Words become walls of brick and layers of concrete that bury the original beauty underneath.

Sometime the page is best left white.

That's all.