Ceiling dwellers

At the Alette in Oakland conference recently, I passed out small mirrors with a photo of Alice Notley glued to the back. I asked people to hold the mirror, reflective side up, under one eye and pretend they lived on the ceiling. The point of “ceiling dwelling” is to make the everyday world strange, to help cultivate the discipline of disobedience.

ceiling game

Here is Alice Notley holding an Alice Notley mirror under her eye.

notley ceiling game

I feel such gratitude to the Alette in Oakland organizers at the Bay Area Public School for making all kinds of amazing things happen that weekend.

Pure Surface & Switch

pure surfaceI’m pretty excited to be part of two events here in PDX in August.

Pure Surface: First, I’ll be part of a Pure Surface performance curated by the amazing Stacey Tran. I’ll be reading from Plastic: an autobiography accompanied by movement from Allie Hankins and film by Jodie Cavalier.

When: Sunday, August 10 7 p.m. (doors 6:30)

Where: Valentines, 232 SW Ankeny

The Switch: Later in August, I get to read poetry with Jacqueline Waters, who has a new book out from Ugly Duckling Presse, as part of The Switch reading series at IPRC.

When: Saturday, August 16, 6:30 p.m. (doors 6)

Where: IPRC, 1001 SE Division St.

Oh yeah, and both are FREE

the dog star, the dog, the car part

Q with car part

Quincy the dog makes his debut on Jacket2 in this blog by the poet Amy Cantanzano recapping our performance at the Philadelphia Print Center in conjunction with an exhibit by Demetrius Oliver focused on the dog star, Sirius.

I read from Plastic: an autobiography, which details, in part, my obsessive relationship with the car part, pictured (it’s the one on the left).

3/13 Philly 3/28 D.C.

Source: NASA

Sirius, artist’s rendition. Source: NASA

Upcoming readings:

Thursday, March 13 at 5:30 p.m. at the Print Center in Philadelphia with Jena Osman in an event focused on stars, physics and poetics tied to the Demetrius Oliver exhibition there.

Friday, March 28, 7:30 p.m. doors, reading starts at 8 p.m. at the Black Squirrel, 2427 18th St NW, Washington, DC, with Rodney Koeneke, who has a stunning new book out from Wave, Etruria, as well as local poets TBA.

You have not seen anything like this

If you are anywhere near Houston between now and 10 May, you must go to the (free) Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston to experience the installation by Antena cofounders Jen Hofer and John Pluecker.

Antena cofounder John Pluecker and daughter Elena, with kite by Sueyeun Juliette Lee, and behind him in silver envelopes, jacob's ladder books by Stalina Villarreal and Jorge Galván Flores.

Antena cofounder John Pluecker and daughter Elena, with kite by Sueyeun Juliette Lee, and behind him in silver envelopes, jacob’s ladder books by Stalina Villarreal and Jorge Galván Flores.

Antena @ Blaffer brings together hundreds of small press and DIY books from across the U.S. and Latin America. I can guarantee you have never seen such a wide and vibrant scope of community-based literary endeavor, from U.S. stalwarts like Green Integer and Kelsey Street to cartonera books from Argentina, Mexico and Uruguay, handmade from recycled cardboard.


The scope of literary work represented here is thrilling. It represents Jen and J.P.’s deep dedication and committed labor in support of cross-cultural artistic production.

But that’s not all. Antena @ Blaffer also gathers text-based visual work from U.S. and Latin American artists, including Garrick Imatani and Kaia Sand (Portland, OR), Cecilia Vicuña (New York/Santiago) and many others. The visual works will grow and evolve throughout the exhibition, which is more like a happening, and includes a free weekly workshop, a weekend encuentro with all the artists, and readings.

Antena cofounder Jen Hofer with the Watcher Files, a work by Garrick Imatani and Kaia Sand.

Antena cofounder Jen Hofer with the Watcher Files, a work by Garrick Imatani and Kaia Sand.

This flickr set gives you a small idea of what Jen and J.P. have gathered, in a space beautifully curated by Blaffer fellow Amy Powell. I’m totally in awe of them. You will be too.

Alice Notley

Every time I see Alice Notley read I want to leave my life and just follow her around.


Some Alice:

I don’t care about anything else. I want to see peacocks in my yard right now.

I am listening for something else. Not death but what she hears.

How can we disattach ourselves from those binding us to their use?

I would rain on you if I were rain. Hard.

I’m courting chaos in me.

I am leading you to language that restructures the universe.

We are making what we are. Just that.

Spontaneous particulars: Susan Howe

Susan Howe by Paul Maziar

Some favorite lines from Susan Howe‘s lecture/performance tonight in Portland called “Spontaneous particulars of sound: the telepathy of archives” — a gorgeous, lyrical “swan song” to the practice of researching old books and objects lovingly preserved in libraries. She accompanied her lecture with photographs of old manuscripts–Dickinson, Williams–and textiles–lace and cloth.

the porous border between visual and verbal

The thing–things in themselves and things as they are for us–reveals itself at the surface of the visible.

Each object is a prearticulate empty theatre

Speaking of a news item she heard that suburbs have become places that people flee, leaving only the poor and old: Are libraries suburbs?

language leads to the limit of breath

On researching in an archive: this known world, this known object, a little afterwards–not quite

Of the experience of being in an archive, of encountering old objects and documents: a certain granting of grace in an ordinary room in a secular time

every mark you put on paper is acoustic

Oh, I’ve had my hands on H.D.! in response to an audience question about whether she’d “gotten her hands on” H.D.’s manuscripts at the Beinecke Library.

Wandering through the stacks is a telepathic experience. I could go on about the stacks …  (about closed stacks): It’s that thing where you have your card and you have to have permission. You want to be bad!

I believe in the sacred, or blasphemy–all of that