"Did you miss me?" Ned asked with a grin as he helped me out of my hybrid car.

--first sentence of a 2008 Nancy Drew novel, Pageant Perfect Crime. It amuses me that the car has changed but the boy has not: still "Ned," still grinning, still helping Nancy out of cars.



Andre Michelle's ToneMatrix is mesmerizing. I think it might have healing properties.

See also (previously blogged here): play virtual Harry Partch instruments online

Call for Participation: "None of the Above" at MCBA

Via Crg Hill's poetry scorecard:

Assembling, Collaborating and Publishing in the Eternal Network

In an ambitious assembling-style project, Minnesota Center for Book
Arts invites any and all to send 125 copies of anything (within reason
– see below) that will fit into a 9” x 12” envelope. This project is
in conjunction with MCBA’s upcoming exhibition None of the Above:
Assembling, Collaborating and Publishing in the Eternal Network.

An assembling project represents the ultimate in democratic art.
Everything submitted will be included in the publication (or series of
publications, depending on how many people participate). In return for
your efforts, you receive a selection of 89 different works created by
others who participate.

Who’s invited? Artists, writers, printmakers, zinesters, poets,
photographers, xerographers, pamphleteers, cartoonists, diagrammers,
visualists, mail-artists, transitionalists, minimalists, maximalists,
pencilers, stencilers, composers, medics, bookleteers, decoders,
conceptualists, transcribers, documentarians, historians,
storytellers, manifestoans, CDsters, designers, anti-artists,
ventriloquists (make the paper sing!), book artists, book artists who
are ventriloquists, whoever so chooses and those chosen – meaning you!
Plus, you can exercise reckless editorial control or lack thereof by
forwarding this invitation to others.

What to send? Any means of expression is fine (paper, CDs, stickers,
popsicle sticks) but it can be no larger than 8.5” x 11” (21.6 cm x
27.9 cm) and 1/8” thick (.3 cm). It can be folded, stitched, crushed,
flattened, etc. Shrunk-via-shrink-ray submissions are okay. If you
need a theme, submissions will be compiled in publications titled
“None of the Above.” How’s that for clear direction?

How many to send? Submit 125 copies. 89 of these will go to other
participants. Additional copies will be archived, distributed to
donors/volunteers, and a small number will be sold as a fundraiser for

What else to send? So that we can send you your copy of the
publication, include a sheet of paper with your name and postal
address. Also include $5 in U.S. funds – checks payable to Minnesota
Center for Book Arts – to cover the cost of envelopes and postage.

Where to send: None of the Above, c/o Minnesota Center for Book Arts,
1011 Washington Ave South, Suite 100, Minneapolis, MN 55415

Deadlines: If we receive submissions by August 21, 2009, they will be
displayed as part of the associated exhibition. To be included in the
publication, submissions must be received no later than October 24,

A special collating event will occur at MCBA on Saturday, October 24,
2009. For those who would like to participate, you may bring your 125
copies that evening rather than mailing. There is no fee. Please email
Jeff Rathermel, MCBA’s Artistic Director (jrathermel@mnbookarts.org)
by October 16, 2009 if you will be participating. Arrive at 7 pm,
assembly lines commence at 7:30 pm.

If you have questions about the publication, contact Jeff Rathermel at jrathermel@mnbookarts.org
To learn more about Minnesota Center for Book Arts, visit www.mnbookarts.org.


Short, smart PSA from the government of South Australia encouraging flu shots (below or click to watch):

Dorothea Lasky is as fond of the idea of "projects" in poetry as I am. I disagree with her about "community," though.


A new collection of previously unpublished essays by Mark Twain, Who Is Mark Twain?, is available free from DailyLit in 55 email or RSS installments. Here's a taste:

Whenever I Am about to Publish a Book

Whenever I am about to publish a book, I feel an impatient desire to know what kind of a book it is. Of course I can find this out only by waiting until the critics shall have printed their reviews. I do know, beforehand, what the verdict of the general public will be, because I have a sure and simple method of ascertaining that. Which is this—if you care to know. I always read the manuscript to a private group of friends, composed as follows:

1. Man and woman with no sense of humor.

2. Man and woman with medium sense of humor.

3. Man and woman with prodigious sense of humor.

4. An intensely practical person.

5. A sentimental person.

6. Person who must have a moral in, and a purpose.

7. Hypercritical person—natural flaw-picker and fault-finder.

8. Enthusiast—person who enjoys anything and everything, almost.

9. Person who watches the others, and applauds or condemns with the majority.

10. Half a dozen bright young girls and boys, unclassified.

11. Person who relishes slang and familiar flippancy.

12. Person who detests them.

13. Person of evenly-balanced judicial mind.

14. Man who always goes to sleep.

These people accurately represent the general public. Their verdict is the sure forecast of the verdict of the general public. There is not a person among them whose opinion is not valuable to me; but the man whom I most depend upon—the man whom I watch with the deepest solicitude—the man who does most toward deciding me as to whether I shall publish the book or burn it, is the man who always goes to sleep. If he drops off within fifteen minutes, I burn the book; if he keeps awake three-quarters of an hour, I publish—and I publish with the greatest confidence, too. For the intent of my works is to entertain; and by making this man comfortable on a sofa and timing him, I can tell within a shade or two what degree of success I am going to achieve. His verdict has burned several books for me—five, to be accurate.


Not "Waiting" But "Drowning"

On 9/17/07, the Virginia Quarterly Review blog ran a list of the most frequently-occurring titles of submissions they'd received in the past year (I blogged the list here). Yesterday, they released an update.

Here are the 10 most common titles of submissions they’ve received in the past two years:


As VQR blogger Waldo Jaquith notes, there is no overlap from 2006-2007's 10 most common titles (though I have to admit, when I first read the new list, it sounded awfully similar. Heck, it still does!):


From "Insomnia" to "Sleep" (How many submissions were titled "Ambien"?) ! From "Work" to "Home" (reflection of unemployment rate?)! From "Butterfly" to "Untitled" (hard to say which is worse)! From "Voyeur" to "Aubade" (did someone open the window and let him/her in?)!

I love VQR for posting stuff like this.


Via Helene Blowers:

Does anyone else find it disturbing that Webster's definition of library contains a link to "morgue"? link
[cross-posted from LISNews]:

Ouch. In the May 2009 issue of Body + Soul magazine--"A Martha Stewart Publication"--"renting a book" via BookSwim is #1 on a list of "6 Simple Ways to Better Your Life and the Planet."

The magazine copy reads [bold mine], "Looking for a good read? Try renting books Netflix-style with bookswim.com. It's easier than going to the library and greener than buying from the store."


In memoriam: Janet Armstrong, 1976-2009

Traveler, adventurer, friend.
Janet died this morning of ovarian cancer.

Easter AIG Hunt

Via Urban Prankster: "The latest stencil from street artist Above has been released just in time for both Easter and the collapse of the world economy."

From "Made in U.S.A," an article by Patricia Marx in the 03/16/09 New Yorker:

"Do you remember when foreign stuff was still exotic? It used to be exciting to buy things that weren't made in America--Pier 1 Imports was like Shangri-La."

Obama Knows Storytime

Here's President Obama reading Where the Wild Things Are to kids at the Easter Egg Roll this past Monday--standing up, moving around, engaging the kids with questions about the text, and generally performing like he's had early-literacy-focused storytime training (or just has common sense when it comes to reading to kids). His "wild rumpus" sound effects are a little tame--more of a cute rumpus:


"That’s a really good question, but I don’t know. Someone should pick that up as a thesis at Hampshire College."

—Amy Poehler, on why there haven't been more openly gay cast members on Saturday Night Live. (There has only been one: Terry Sweeney. He lasted just one season, 1985-86.)

Heh, heh.
[via Queerty]

National Poetry Map

Click state, find "local poets, poems, events, literary journals, writing programs, poetry organizations, and more."


From Sweet Juniper's Collection of Terrifying Nixon-Era Children's Books come these images from the story of Eric; his pet bird, Snow; and Eric's grandfather [no title available]:

"my inane envelopes"

I'm just tucking into Denise Duhamel's KA-CHING!, which my public library system miraculously decided to purchase, and already I want to quote Duhamel's "eBay sonnets":

Pity my rough drafts, my false starts, my trade-
mark pink SASEs I was sure would catch
a big editor's attention. But batch
after batch of my poems came back with staid
"no thanks" notes in my inane envelopes.
I worked in a rare bookstore in Cambridge,
selling first editions and unabridged
collections of Alexander Pope,
which made me think longevity was creepy—
some poets relegated to bargain bins
while other poets were like mannequins,
modeling their in-vogue verse obliquely
from their famous graves. I was twenty-one.
I worshipped every poet's skeleton.

Mannequins! You can read eBay sonnets in full at Verse Daily.
On Twitter:

elloyd74: Boy: "I need a book on myth." Me: "Greek myths?" Boy: "I didn't know there were different kinds." Turns out he'd said meth.

itsjustkate: @elloyd74 That Greek meth is hardcore. They cut it with feta.


Tattoo envy: Jill Alexander Essbaum's poetic feet:


*Addict-o-matic (tagline: "inhale the web") is an impressive new-to-me tool for creating a quick snapshot of what's currently being said/posted online about a given topic. Enter your search term and see results from YouTube, Digg, Twitter, Technorati, Flickr, Delicious, and many others, all on one page. (via Phil Bradley)

*via folderol, a clean and simple "Economy Tracker" map from CNN--mouse over a state to see its current unemployment rate

*via Julie Dill (at someecards):

*via JB (from pictures for sad children):

*via Jessy Randall, a new favorite poem--David Mason's "Song of the Powers"

La Revolution Des Crabes

A 2003 short by Arthur de Pins:


Diet Coke with Lime: "Guess What It Tastes Like"

Hmm. It looks like one now needs a password to access poems archived in Three Candles. Bummer, as one of the points (for me) in publishing online is in having stuff accessible to a wider audience than might purchase a print journal. I'm re-posting one of the three I published there here, for the fabulous Jessy Randall. It was written around the time Diet Coke with Lime came out.

Diet Coke with Lime: "Guess What it Tastes Like"

I guess it tastes like petals on a wet, black bough
I guess it tastes like the farmer's daughter
just after she's milked the cow
I guess it tastes like whatever she'll allow

I guess it tastes like the uncut hair of graves
I guess it tastes like getting your test back
and learning you don't have AIDS
I guess it tastes like the mome raths as they outgrabe

I guess it tastes like blackberry, blackberry, blackberry
I guess it tastes like riding back and forth
all night on the ferry
I guess it tastes like Diet Coke with Cherry

I guess it tastes like world enough and time
I guess it tastes like the night
of cloudless climes
I guess it tastes like nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless