Posts tagged Black Ocean

In the summer of 2009, after getting an email about running over a squirrel from Brandon Shimoda, and then after getting an email from Mathias Svalina about a mermaid, I decided to re-work their stories into little dream poems. This is how Fjords started. Since then, the first volume has won the Oregon Book Award and is now in its second printing. It has a gold foil stamp on the cover instead of silver, but all the poems are still the same, including that squirrel one, and that mermaid one (which became the Black Angel of Death).

In the summer of 2009, after getting an email about running over a squirrel from Brandon Shimoda, and then after getting an email from Mathias Svalina about a mermaid, I decided to re-work their stories into little dream poems. This is how Fjords started. Since then, the first volume has won the Oregon Book Award and is now in its second printing. It has a gold foil stamp on the cover instead of silver, but all the poems are still the same, including that squirrel one, and that mermaid one (which became the Black Angel of Death).

My fourth book of poems, The Book of Joshua, will be published by Black Ocean in June of 2014. In July and August, I plan on driving around the country to read from it with Joshua Marie Wilkinson and Mathias Svalina and some rotating special guests. We are just now beginning to plan that tour.
I would like several of the stops to be in people’s houses or in public spaces in small towns away from any typical route. If you’d like us to read in your town and if you have a good idea for a spot for a reading, please send me an email before the end of the year. Here is a general timeline of where we’ll be and when: 
July 18 -25: Between Portland and Omaha. 
July 28 - Aug 3: Between Omaha and Boston. 
Aug 3 - 10: Between Boston and Atlanta. 
August 10 - 18: Between Atlanta and Tucson. 
August 18 - 23: Between Tucson and Portland. 

My fourth book of poems, The Book of Joshua, will be published by Black Ocean in June of 2014. In July and August, I plan on driving around the country to read from it with Joshua Marie Wilkinson and Mathias Svalina and some rotating special guests. We are just now beginning to plan that tour.

I would like several of the stops to be in people’s houses or in public spaces in small towns away from any typical route. If you’d like us to read in your town and if you have a good idea for a spot for a reading, please send me an email before the end of the year. Here is a general timeline of where we’ll be and when: 

July 18 -25: Between Portland and Omaha. 

July 28 - Aug 3: Between Omaha and Boston. 

Aug 3 - 10: Between Boston and Atlanta. 

August 10 - 18: Between Atlanta and Tucson. 

August 18 - 23: Between Tucson and Portland. 

John Downes-Angus wrote me recently to tell me he found a copy of The Man Suit (Black Ocean, 2007) in a used bookstore in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. He sent me these photos and asked me if this was my handwriting. This is my handwriting, and I only vaguely remember penning these notes to a person who just bought the book from me. It must have been 2009. I think I remember we were in a car between Amherst and Boston. Ben Kopel was driving. This person’s name was Nathaniel, and apparently he looks like my friend Tony Tost, shape-wise and movement-wise.  Oh Nathaniel, if you’re reading this, it hurts my poet-gut that you sold this book to a bookstore. Say it ain’t so. Say it ain’t so! John told me he bought it for $5, which makes me think you sold it for a subway ride. I’d’ve hopped the turnstiles. 

TO THE PERSON WHO STOLE MY BAG FULL OF MY STUFF FROM THE BACKSEAT OF A CAR WHILE I WAS UNLOADING IT AROUND 6PM LAST NIGHT NEAR 58TH/NE HANCOCK IN THE HOLLYWOOD DISTRICT,
There is a decent chance if you looked in that orange notebook of mine, you found my name and my basic contact information which includes this tumblr site. If so, maybe there’s a chance you were interested enough in the stuff you stole to look me up. This gives me a chance to at least tell you about some of the things that are now in your possession. (1) That Black Star bag you stole was custom made for me and was a gift from my mom. Black Star is one of my favorite bag makers in town in part because they believe in supporting small business and locally made goods just like I do. Black Star is a part of the Portland Made Local Goods Collective. When I went to Black Star to pick up my bag last winter, I met one of the bag makers there, Dave. He let me sit next to him while he made that bag. He took a little time out to teach me something about bag-making and allowed me to help design some of that bag’s features. Anyway, I hope you’ll read more about the PMC and Black Star from my (2) Macbook Air. I bought that computer in January because I was computer-less for a while since my last one broke down. I saved up for most of the year for it. I was going to be traveling in order to, in part, work on a book of poems and I wanted a computer that was a little lighter (to fit in that bag). I wrote much of a book called Agnes the Elephant on that computer, some of which has been backed up. The most recent month or two of writing though has not been backed up. You can hear me read one of those poems at Pen America, and you can read some of those poems that I wrote on that computer in the new issue of Interrupture among a few other places. I also revised a lot of a book called The Book of Joshua that is coming out in May from a small poetry press called Black Ocean. Those changes have not been backed up. So, you’re the only person on the planet, if you’re interested enough, to ever read that version of that book. By stealing that computer you’ve pretty significantly altered two of my books of poems. You also took a few other technology items that I hope you’ll be able to make a few bucks off: (3) my iPod touch which I just recently learned I could use with my (4) 3m projector to watch movies on my own bedroom ceiling. I was pretty excited to get to do that this winter. In fact, I was thinking about starting a little movie club in my living room. I also was going to use that projector and iPod to display moving images behind me when I read poems in public. Those things are pretty replaceable though, maybe after I get my next couple of paychecks. One of the things you stole from me that is not replaceable is (5) that big yellow notebook of portraiture drawings that was tucked into the inside pouch. It has about 70 portraits of all the faces of my friends and family in it. I’ve been teaching myself how to draw since May and had plans to draw the faces of 100 people in my life. As you can see, I’ve drawn about 70 so far. I was working toward having a gallery show of all those drawings and then giving the portraits away to all the people I drew them for. I was also planning on making a book of them with little poems I wrote for each person, and then giving that away too. Because you stole that notebook, I can’t do that anymore without starting over. You also took my (5) glasses. Those are pretty cool, huh? I bought them at one of my favorite local vintage shops called Hollywood Vintage. They weren’t cheap, but I felt good about spending that kind of hard-earned money on a small local business. Also, that (6) orange notebook has a lot of important things in it, including a lot of poem drafts and ideas. It also has a stash of vintage postcards in the back that I bought from Smut. It would be a shame if those got thrown out in your garbage for being worthless. Maybe you could at least use them to send to a few people you love? That’s what I was going to do. That book of poems called (7) After You Dearest Language by Marisol Limon Martinez. You won’t get much for it probably if you resell it at Powells, but it is one of my favorite books of the past 10 years. In fact, I relied on its language and ideas pretty heavily when I was writing my first book, The Man Suit. All of those marginalia notes you see in that book if you opened it were helpful to me in thinking about the poems in my own first book. What else, what else…a nice pair of (8) rain pants I just bought last week and the (9) rain jacket my sister gave me for Christmas. I don’t have my own car—only a fender-less bike, so that rain gear came in handy. And some clothes: (10) A Typhoon tshirt, (11) a nice jacket, (12) my grey sweater. If you’re a size large, I hope you think you look good in that stuff. Oh, yeah, and my (13) house keys and locked-up (14) bike keys. 
I’m sure you’ve had things stolen from you before too. So, I know you know how it must feel. I only want you to know a little more about what you’ve taken in hope you’ll be at all interested in me, and how you’ve affected me. If there is any chance you read this and give a shit, maybe you can figure out a way to anonymously contact me to at least give me those drawings back. Maybe you could leave that notebook somewhere and I could pick it up. That would mean so much to me. And I wouldn’t ask any questions. Just that yellow notebook. That yellow notebook, well, and maybe my glasses.
Ps. If you’re interested in that photograph I used above for this post, It was taken by Vivian Maier. I used it because its subject is demonstrating an emotion similar to how you’ve made me feel. Maier has a fascinating story that I hope you’ll read about, and a documentary about her called Finding Vivian Maier is coming out very soon.

TO THE PERSON WHO STOLE MY BAG FULL OF MY STUFF FROM THE BACKSEAT OF A CAR WHILE I WAS UNLOADING IT AROUND 6PM LAST NIGHT NEAR 58TH/NE HANCOCK IN THE HOLLYWOOD DISTRICT,

There is a decent chance if you looked in that orange notebook of mine, you found my name and my basic contact information which includes this tumblr site. If so, maybe there’s a chance you were interested enough in the stuff you stole to look me up. This gives me a chance to at least tell you about some of the things that are now in your possession. (1) That Black Star bag you stole was custom made for me and was a gift from my mom. Black Star is one of my favorite bag makers in town in part because they believe in supporting small business and locally made goods just like I do. Black Star is a part of the Portland Made Local Goods Collective. When I went to Black Star to pick up my bag last winter, I met one of the bag makers there, Dave. He let me sit next to him while he made that bag. He took a little time out to teach me something about bag-making and allowed me to help design some of that bag’s features. Anyway, I hope you’ll read more about the PMC and Black Star from my (2) Macbook Air. I bought that computer in January because I was computer-less for a while since my last one broke down. I saved up for most of the year for it. I was going to be traveling in order to, in part, work on a book of poems and I wanted a computer that was a little lighter (to fit in that bag). I wrote much of a book called Agnes the Elephant on that computer, some of which has been backed up. The most recent month or two of writing though has not been backed up. You can hear me read one of those poems at Pen America, and you can read some of those poems that I wrote on that computer in the new issue of Interrupture among a few other places. I also revised a lot of a book called The Book of Joshua that is coming out in May from a small poetry press called Black Ocean. Those changes have not been backed up. So, you’re the only person on the planet, if you’re interested enough, to ever read that version of that book. By stealing that computer you’ve pretty significantly altered two of my books of poems. You also took a few other technology items that I hope you’ll be able to make a few bucks off: (3) my iPod touch which I just recently learned I could use with my (4) 3m projector to watch movies on my own bedroom ceiling. I was pretty excited to get to do that this winter. In fact, I was thinking about starting a little movie club in my living room. I also was going to use that projector and iPod to display moving images behind me when I read poems in public. Those things are pretty replaceable though, maybe after I get my next couple of paychecks. One of the things you stole from me that is not replaceable is (5) that big yellow notebook of portraiture drawings that was tucked into the inside pouch. It has about 70 portraits of all the faces of my friends and family in it. I’ve been teaching myself how to draw since May and had plans to draw the faces of 100 people in my life. As you can see, I’ve drawn about 70 so far. I was working toward having a gallery show of all those drawings and then giving the portraits away to all the people I drew them for. I was also planning on making a book of them with little poems I wrote for each person, and then giving that away too. Because you stole that notebook, I can’t do that anymore without starting over. You also took my (5) glasses. Those are pretty cool, huh? I bought them at one of my favorite local vintage shops called Hollywood Vintage. They weren’t cheap, but I felt good about spending that kind of hard-earned money on a small local business. Also, that (6) orange notebook has a lot of important things in it, including a lot of poem drafts and ideas. It also has a stash of vintage postcards in the back that I bought from Smut. It would be a shame if those got thrown out in your garbage for being worthless. Maybe you could at least use them to send to a few people you love? That’s what I was going to do. That book of poems called (7) After You Dearest Language by Marisol Limon Martinez. You won’t get much for it probably if you resell it at Powells, but it is one of my favorite books of the past 10 years. In fact, I relied on its language and ideas pretty heavily when I was writing my first book, The Man Suit. All of those marginalia notes you see in that book if you opened it were helpful to me in thinking about the poems in my own first book. What else, what else…a nice pair of (8) rain pants I just bought last week and the (9) rain jacket my sister gave me for Christmas. I don’t have my own car—only a fender-less bike, so that rain gear came in handy. And some clothes: (10) A Typhoon tshirt, (11) a nice jacket, (12) my grey sweater. If you’re a size large, I hope you think you look good in that stuff. Oh, yeah, and my (13) house keys and locked-up (14) bike keys.

I’m sure you’ve had things stolen from you before too. So, I know you know how it must feel. I only want you to know a little more about what you’ve taken in hope you’ll be at all interested in me, and how you’ve affected me. If there is any chance you read this and give a shit, maybe you can figure out a way to anonymously contact me to at least give me those drawings back. Maybe you could leave that notebook somewhere and I could pick it up. That would mean so much to me. And I wouldn’t ask any questions. Just that yellow notebook. That yellow notebook, well, and maybe my glasses.

Ps. If you’re interested in that photograph I used above for this post, It was taken by Vivian Maier. I used it because its subject is demonstrating an emotion similar to how you’ve made me feel. Maier has a fascinating story that I hope you’ll read about, and a documentary about her called Finding Vivian Maier is coming out very soon.

A girl named Megan who lives in Indiana tattooed her feet with an excerpt of this poem I wrote in this book. I believe this qualifies her for a lifetime subscription to Black Ocean. Megan will be the person who will some day (a long time from now I hope) walk this poem into the woods and never come back.

A girl named Megan who lives in Indiana tattooed her feet with an excerpt of this poem I wrote in this book. I believe this qualifies her for a lifetime subscription to Black Ocean. Megan will be the person who will some day (a long time from now I hope) walk this poem into the woods and never come back.

I am proud publisher of four of the poetry books on Small Press Distribution’s Top 100 Poetry Books of the 2010s: #4. The Trees The Trees by Heather Christle, #17. Balloon Pop Outlaw Black by Patricia Lockwood, #42. Dear Jenny, We Are All Find by Jenny Zhang, and #47. Hider Roser by Ben Mirov.
And I am the proud writer of two of them: #11. Fjords vol 1 and #13. Scary, No Scary.

I am proud publisher of four of the poetry books on Small Press Distribution’s Top 100 Poetry Books of the 2010s: #4. The Trees The Trees by Heather Christle, #17. Balloon Pop Outlaw Black by Patricia Lockwood, #42. Dear Jenny, We Are All Find by Jenny Zhang, and #47. Hider Roser by Ben Mirov.

And I am the proud writer of two of them: #11. Fjords vol 1 and #13. Scary, No Scary.

Annie Julia Wyman has graciously and eloquently reviewed my second (and best, according to her) book, Scary, No Scary (Black Ocean 2009) for the June Issue of The Believer. She makes me want to go back and write it again.
Read her review here, then buy the whole issue.

I’m going to be po-busy on Thursday, March 7, and I’m hoping you’d want to be equally po-busy with me. Step 1: Go to the No Thousands reading at 6pm where I’ll be in support of two of our new Octopus Books, James Gendron’s Sexual Boat (Sex Boats) and Amy Lawless’ My Dead, and Poor Claudia’s new book, A Voluptuous Dream During an Eclipse by Elaine Kahn. Black Ocean, 1913 and Action Books will be there too. And then Step Two: Go to the Tin House/Octopus Books reading after 7pm to celebrate the release of two of our other new books, Brandon Shimoda’s Portuguese and Patricia Lockwood’s Balloon Pop Outlaw Black. Then after that, Step Three: go to the Ink Node reading after 9pm where I’ll be reading for a few minutes along with Octopus Books' own Alisa Heinzman and another handful of killer poets. Phew. The task at hand is daunting, but it's worth pretending like we can be in three places at once.

If you can’t make it to either of the Octopus readings, it’d still be nice to see you at our table at the bookfair. We have three new books to sell you, along with the entirety of our own catalog and the catalog of our chapbook imprint, Poor Claudia. We also have letter pressed Bad Blood broadsides, screen printed tote bags, and Drew Swenhaugen will be sitting in a 25 cent dunk tank full of whiskey.

Fjords vol. 1 got 15th place in the small press race this year in all genres, and it told me today to tell you that it is thankful that you read it. It is shy. Also another poetry book broke its little heart. Also it is dying. Also you are dying.

Fjords vol. 1 got 15th place in the small press race this year in all genres, and it told me today to tell you that it is thankful that you read it. It is shy. Also another poetry book broke its little heart. Also it is dying. Also you are dying.

This is the cd of music written for the shadow play, FJORDS. The music is written by Kyle Vegter of Manual Cinema, and performed by the Chicago Q Ensemble. The cd packaging is designed by Denny Schmickle. If you purchased the hard-cover edition of Fjords, this cd will come along. It’ll also be available at the performance itself, and afterward.

This is the cd of music written for the shadow play, FJORDS. The music is written by Kyle Vegter of Manual Cinema, and performed by the Chicago Q Ensemble. The cd packaging is designed by Denny Schmickle. If you purchased the hard-cover edition of Fjords, this cd will come along. It’ll also be available at the performance itself, and afterward.

I’m hosting (for Octopus Books) and reading (for Black Ocean) on Friday night during the AWP conference at The Hideout. Black Ocean, Letter Machine, Octopus Books. 9pm. w/Feng Sun Chen, Christopher DeWeese, Peter Gizzi, Thurston Moore, Andrea Rexilius, myself, and Jenny Zhang. The Chicago Q Ensemble and Manual Cinema will reprise a version of their stage performance, FJORDS, at the Poetry Foundation a week prior. And DJ Jacob Ross will bring it all home.

I’m hosting (for Octopus Books) and reading (for Black Ocean) on Friday night during the AWP conference at The Hideout. Black Ocean, Letter Machine, Octopus Books. 9pm. w/Feng Sun Chen, Christopher DeWeese, Peter Gizzi, Thurston Moore, Andrea Rexilius, myself, and Jenny Zhang. The Chicago Q Ensemble and Manual Cinema will reprise a version of their stage performance, FJORDS, at the Poetry Foundation a week prior. And DJ Jacob Ross will bring it all home.

FJORDS vol 1, my third full-length book of poems published by Black Ocean, is now available for pre-order. You can choose between two versions:

(1) the paperback designed by Denny Schmickle (who also designed the first two books) for $10 if you buy a Black Ocean subscription, or

(2) the signed, limited edition of 200, foil-stamped hardcover for $30 that comes with a CD of music inspired by the poems, composed and performed by the Chicago Q Ensemble. The CD sleeve will also be designed and screen printed by Denny.

It is good to know I have an small independent publisher in Janaka Stucky to take care of me. His article, “How to Survive in the Age of Amazon" was published over at the Poetry Foundation.

It is good to know I have an small independent publisher in Janaka Stucky to take care of me. His article, “How to Survive in the Age of Amazon" was published over at the Poetry Foundation.

Last night I made a little poem-film for my poem “Costa Rica” which will come out in Fjords (Black Ocean 2012).

For four nights in Chicago on February 23-26, Manual Cinema and Q Ensemble are together performing a live-scored cinematic shadow puppet show based on some poems in my forthcoming book, FJORDS (Black Ocean). But first the project needs to raise some funds. Watch this video to see what it is all about, to find out what is needed, and then help us out by donating and by spreading the word to others who may be into it.