Saturday, January 31, 2009

Yesterday I realized that if someone forced me

to choose between never reading fiction again and never reading poetry again, I would give up reading poetry. I don't know how I would live without novels. I guess it's not really a fair fight—fiction has been living with me for much longer than poetry has. Fiction's claws are wrapped around vital organs. Inoperable.
I'm embarrassed to learn that the age-old practice of putting two spaces after a period is antiquated and obsolete in the digital age, but I'm glad that I can now smugly inform other people of this.  You had to use two spaces back when you were using a typewriter.  Supposedly, typewriter fonts made it look like sentences all ran together if you only put one space after the period.  I don't know, let's see how some sentences look with just one space:

This is a sentence. It has words. So does this one. When I am in the mood for bran, I eat bran. It has the charm of wholesome food. It is in reality delicious. For the last time, listen. You can't pursuade me. My mind is made up. My hat is full of holes. The airport is under construction. Follow me to the pond. It is also full of holes.

Now let's see how that same paragraph looks with two spaces after every sentence:

This is a sentence.  It has words.  So does this one.  When I am in the mood for bran, I eat bran.  It has the charm of wholesome food.  It is in reality delicious.  For the last time, listen.  You can't pursuade me.  My mind is made up.  My hat is full of holes.  The airport is under construction.  Follow me to the pond.  It is also full of holes.

I guess it is easier to read with two spaces.  But now let's switch back to Georgia. Here's the paragraph with two spaces:

This is a sentence.  It has words.  So does this one.  When I am in the mood for bran, I eat bran.  It has the charm of wholesome food.  It is in reality delicious.  For the last time, listen.  You can't pursuade me.  My mind is made up.  My hat is full of holes.  The airport is under construction.  Follow me to the pond.  It is also full of holes.

It doesn't really look that bad, but here's how it would appear in a book, with one space:

This is a sentence. It has words. So does this one. When I am in the mood for bran, I eat bran. It has the charm of wholesome food. It is in reality delicious. For the last time, listen. You can't pursuade me. My mind is made up. My hat is full of holes. The airport is under construction. Follow me to the pond. It is also full of holes.

You see, that's how it's always been with books. One space. I think I actually knew that on some level, but for some reason it never quite registered that the rule about two spaces was in conflict with this reality.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

On the one hand but I didn't know like you said for there to be always in the way I lead over the too much but in the time it took you to get like the freeway popular in the time it was never about learning what the heart liked to put on the storm to discover something I liked could be to anyone for any but then I can enter and through the other side it was the dark before it was the other end not even light out yet I remember it was crazy all in the freedom we ran on the roof over the tops of the free sways bold porch it took store swipe all the ever in for another been there to said five never oh mind then what I clearly recall embarking said over the whale over the time we said and the whole came out it was the night it was the ever for the door and then some thing to place under a big laugh but before the rent could happen like that I was all in the fortunate like to be all over in the way said for men like to be pen foot hut like to be said when it all rain going blend I was in the fortune blood worth the name to sake be said over the time we a north but trained likely it was too be looking out for it it was over there I saw it it moved I saw the clearly operating for the only decade in the end it was over the way was I can't put it the please to stop like in the over way I can but then it was a the for to be about and then I caught it sled haze like forts like the way end over yard fortunately it was only second looking like stayed that way winter is cold for the better in the sad end the fort and of the been looking through the people at the way they combine like with truly I was am sorry been to for the ever there I can but in the end over the way to time believe like it was all the yesterday I morning friend leave look stoop over the bold choice for the music and then it was all the end but it was the end over the place and time it was the end over the place and the only way to look out was over the end the place to be in the end over the way to the store I could overhear them saying what to say when the day over the been like me to them self could have I bet and then we would to have proud not clean more or less so in the drain possibly I left too much in the end over the way it was said to be not oh over the clean but that in the way ever for great like not to be and then so much

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I have learned

that there is an "Official Blog of the Online Poetry Community". (Hint: it's not H-----t.)

I'm not sure who oversees the Official Blog of the Online Poetry Community... maybe the Online Poetry Regulatory Commission (OPRC)?

Hm. Anyway, this has inspired me. I would like to announce that The Booth of Our Conniving is now the Official Blog of People Who Enjoy Walking on Sidewalk Curbs with Their Arms Outstretched for Balance in the Manner of a Tightrope Walker.

Spread the word, gentle readers. The Booth of Our Conniving is now the first and last stop for all of your walking-on-sidewalk-curbs-with-your-arms-outstretched-for-balance-in-the-manner-of-a-tightrope-walker needs.
Went to a reading tonight.

My back is almost all better, and I never even took medicine or other treatment.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I don't like reading

poems on screens (makes me feel twitchy), but when I do, I read


the 11th of which is now extant. (Click on the word "octopus", which you will find I have typed above, in all caps, on its own line, after the word "read", and before the word "the".)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Viewed: Romance & Cigarettes.

Opinion: Favorable.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

My lower back is effed. It started last night for no reason. I can't bend. It hurts to sit or stand. I don't know if it's a spine thing or a muscle thing.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

"I think Matt is superhot"

I've been saying the same thing for years, but perhaps some outside validation will lend it a bit more gravity.

Blog for Choice 2009

I don't know how to "blog". I like to think of it as a noun only. So I will let the buttons do my talking:

Other blogs are putting even more effort into this than I am. Find them here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Reb Livingston wrote something I liked about the inauguration poem thing and now I'm linking to it so that you can read it too.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Stuff that I did today and the times that I did them

A little before nine-ish — Security guy informs me office is closed. A pleasant surprise.

9:15 — Breakfast! at Gee Whiz Diner on Greenwich St. in Tribeca. French toast, bacon, orange juice, coffee.

9:58 — My bank, TD Bank, née Commerce Bank, America's most convenient bank, is open! on Martin Luther King Day. A deposit is made.

10:10 — Subway, 3 uptown.

11:31 — Wash hands in sink with soap and water.

11:fiftysomething — A notebook is purchased.

NOON — A mind is made up.

Sometime between 12:01 and 12:49 — Thoughts, along the lines of, "Kids these days steal from Wikipedia. In my day we plagiarized real encyclopedias! At least that way you had to read the words in order to copy them. You were bound to learn something, if only by accident. Not so when all you have to do is 'select all', 'copy', and 'paste'. A real desktop, a real book, a real notebook beside it, and a varicolored stack of highlighter pens. That's where education happens."

2ish — Browsing Housing Works. Use of the facilities is made.

Mid-afternoon — Coffee at Cafe Borgia in SoHo. Followed by an interval of ≈10 minutes in which I stand on the corner of Prince and Mercer and stare.

Late afternoon — More bookstores.

5:27 — Subway, R uptown.

5:37 — 1 uptown.

6:03 — Home arrival.

7:06 — Transcription complete.

7:08 — Summary. Without even having read Ulysses, I can comfortably say that my day was less interesting than the day described in Ulysses. I thought about going to a movie, but decided not to. Lunch was consumed at some point, but was evidently unworthy of note. I bought no books. I wrote nothing. Besides this thing you're reading right now, of course. Still, the snow was pretty. And 30-ish temps felt nice after several days in the teens and subteens.
Viewed: The Hoax.

Opinion: Favorable.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Viewed: Smart People.

Opinion: For some reason, I watched this.
Viewed: Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore.

Opinion: Favorable.
Viewed: Highway.

Opinion: Favorable.

Friday, January 16, 2009

16 things some people know about me and some people don't

1) my feet are almost the same size

2) my thumbs are double jointed

3) my thumbs are opposable

4) i'm listening to david bowie's version of "cactus" right now

5) time has elapsed since i wrote the previous item and now i'm listening to "lolita" by black francis

6) at 3:30 on the friday before martin luther king day i still don't know if the office is open or not on martin luther king day

7) i'm a tall, flamboyant grocery store clerk

8) i like to drink soda

9) my wife also enjoys the occasional soda

10) two of the previous three items are lies

11) one day i wrote a poem called "the bose-einstein condensate blues". that day was wednesday

12) "the bose-einstein condensate blues" is my finest poem to date

13) the idea has just occurred to me to turn this chain letter thing into a poem instead of extending the chain

14) i'm trying to figure out what to do with the new blog i just created. it's called "unflatic"

15) i have not marched through the magic kingdom at disney world with anyone other than my high school marching band

16) i haven't been to the dentist in like nine years
Even after hearing it, I still couldn't fathom the results. And then another earthquake happened. To run around in, I guess, and forever it would be asked, where were you? I kind of like how they managed to incorporate all the new designs into the old ones flawlessly pretty much. I mean it's not totally seamless, there are a few rough patches here and there, as always. Better to catch it now than come down with it later when your immune system is not so hot. Behavior modification is, I think, an important first step. It's just a question of commitment, whether the circulation is clock- or counterclockwise, which can easily be determined when the numbers are finally tabulated. A sheer cliff of unseasonable wind waits, reaches the firs but not the frat houses, conspiratorially speaking. It's at that moment you have to let go, otherwise you'll end up feeding into the prevailing myth of those in your profession. It's not as if a cancer is the only tragedy available. Some are even stronger, be advised and don't return. Be the bee or else think of it as sifting morbidly through the glass, lazing about, choking maybe but in a friendly way, one that says, "Do stay another hour, have some tea, have some space needles. Achoo? Why, God bless you!" 

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Arvo Pärt – Fratres

That's Vadim Repin on the...umm...violin? viola? bagpipes? It's one of those. Anyway, that's Nikolai Lugansky on piano.

This music came up on one of my Pandora stations the other day. I didn't realize till tonight that it was used in my favorite movie of the past couple years, There Will Be Blood. Duh. Of course it was. So good. When I was watching the movie it never occurred to me that the music wasn't all by the same composer. The original score is by Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead.   

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's little known that the invention of teeth in 1864 coincided exactly with the invention of the toothbrush.  Do I smell...


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I have finished reading Deviant Propulsion, by CAConrad

And I have also finally figured out how to change the post title color on here. I always hated the orange, and now it is no more.

5 down, 145 to go. I need to pick up the pace. I'm on pace for about 120. I need to be finishing six and a quarter books every two weeks, not a mere five. 'sGO! 'sGO! 'sGO! 'sGO!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Here's what I

've been listening to this afternoon on UbuWeb:

"58 different bloopers and outtakes from four different episodes from the third and final season of Star Trek. Listen as the crew flub lines, assistant directors yelling 'BEEP' to fill in the now famous phaser sound effect, Shatner swearing, space hippies singing, Scotty 'playing football' on the bridge (?), a rather 'delirious' Dr. Janice Lester that sounds awfully X-rated, and the final lines Nurse Chapel (Majel Barrett - the future Mrs. Gene Roddenberry) ever uttered on the show."

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Viewed: You're Gonna Miss Me.

Opinion: Favorable.
Viewed: Bella.

Opinion: Favorable.
Viewed: Conversations with Other Women.

Opinion: Favorable.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Viewed: Color Me Kubrick.

Opinion: Favorable.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Good Readdance

to star ratings. He's right. It's dumb, and it makes me feel dumb when I see that a book that I just didn't get was given five stars by like everybody else almost. I used to think of it not as rating the book but rating my reaction to the book, but deep down I feel like I really am rating the book, and that makes me sad because who am I to say how many stars it should get, no one forced me to read it after all, and why drag someone else down just for the sake of having something to do at work while not playing Lexulous, the reincarnation of Scrabulous, which I just remembered I can't even play at work because it requires a flash player that I would have to download for this computer and I would really rather not download anything for this computer since it's not my computer and I might screw it up because it's a PC which I don't know much about because "I'm a Mac", as they say, and I know these PCs are prone to viruses.

I have finished reading The Romance of Happy Workers, by Anne Boyer

I got this at the Housing Works Bookstore.  I got it at the same time I got Rodney Koeneke's book that I just finished.

4 down, 146 to go.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I have finished reading Rise Up, by Matthew Rohrer

Now I can finally turn this in to the library (and pay my magnificent overdue balance. I mean my outstanding overdue balance.).

3 down, 147 to go.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Read at least ten (10) NYRB Classics and at least ten (10) Melville House Art of the Novella or Contemporary Art of the Novella novellas in too oh oh nein.
Cough unto others as you would have them cough unto you.
Everyone above me is a snob. Everyone below me is a Philistine.

Try not to think this way.

I have finished reading Rouge State, by Rodney Koeneke

Moving right along, aren't we?

2 down, 148 to go.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The greater Ulaanbaatar metropolitan area.  I wonder how much yurts are going for these days.
Just got my first visit from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Like a dream come true.

I have finished reading Since I Moved In, by Tim Peterson

One down, one hundred forty-nine to go.  So, I kind of just realized/remembered that I have no clue how to talk intelligently about books, especially experimental poetry books.  I never know how to describe anything.  I guess I could try comparing it to other books that are similar, but I think that would get old after a while if I'm going to do one hundred fifty of these this year, which works out to... let me just check the ol' abacus here... one book about every two and a half days.  Good god.  What did I get myself into?  The idea of finishing a book every two and a half days is insane to me; I started Tim's book months ago.  I suppose it could be done, if I'm just dealing with poetry books.  But I read tons of novels too, and in any case I don't want to feel like I'm rushing through.  My favorite color is cobalt blue.  I have a new shrew named Freddy Lou, who enjoys eating stew and looking at cows that moo.    

Monday, January 5, 2009

Did you hear????

War is, like, bad and stuff.

(Do I get an award now?)

Books I have finished this year

This year I'm going to write about all the books I finish reading on this blog. In other words, I'm going to write about all the books I finish reading this year on this blog. In still other words, I'm this year going to write about on this blog all the books I finish reading. In a final, unnecessary permutation of words, I'm about the finish to going all this books blog on write reading I.

The first book I have finished in 2009 is

Um, ok, I haven't yet finished a book this year. But I will. And when it is all "said and done", I shall have completed 150 books. A modest goal? Perhaps, for you. But my brain runs slower than yours, so for me it's going to take some work. I doubt if I finished twenty books last year. I started hundreds, probably. Seems that way, at least. It's the finishing that I have a problem with. That's why I'm titling this project "Books I have finished this year" instead of "Books I have read this year". Anybody can simply read a book. It takes a man to be a dad. This is your brain on drugs. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Brought to you by the Ad Council.

Sorry, what? As I was saying, stay tuned to find out what my first finished book of '09 will be. Will it be yours??? Not even I know yet, but I will tonight, I promise you. Or tomorrow at the latest, probably.
Viewed: Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollock?

Opinion: Favorable.

Forensic science vs. connoisseurship—who would win???

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Portable Boog Reader 3.  My first publication, and probably my last unless I ever get my lazy ass to start sending poems out.
Viewed: Crazy Love.

Opinion: Favorable.

Thursday, January 1, 2009