December 31, 2009

The Fitting

When you're not sure, remember those strange,
muffled sounds she made during sex, as if the coordinates
for buried treasure were caught
in her throat and she'd rather choke than share the gold.

from Taste of Cherry, by Kara Candito

December 30, 2009

2009 stats

states lived in: 2
flights: 4
bus rides: 0
train rides: 0
places lived: 2
low temp: -9
high temp: 92
cars driven: 5
car accidents: 0
pulled over: 2
speeding tickets: 0
times super mario 3 was beaten: 4
times super mario world was beaten: 2
weddings attended: 2
degrees: 1
poetry submissions: 57
poems published: 6
pills taken: approx. 400
corn mazes: 1
pumpkin ice cream/malts: 6
jobs held: 4
online lit mags started: 1
lady gaga songs downloaded: 3
breakfasts involving grits: 3
cockroaches killed: 11
cell phones broken/lost: 1
handmade scarves received: 1
pairs of shoes purchased: 2
ping pong trophies won: 1
chik-fil-a: delicious
chipotle chicken burritos: also delicious
thanksgiving dinners featuring both ham & turkey: 1
occasions involving glow-in-the-dark bracelets: 2
drink in hand badminton games: 2
cross channel frisbee: 1

December 28, 2009


the men heaved the body on a picnic table wrapped in Glad bags
and tape and rolled the carcass on its back and split the skin down
the long belly, its guts oozing out--all beigy, peachy, and blue like
clouds of chewed bubble-gum or the bulbs of a wilted, worn-in coin purse.
Collapsed hoses, too soft and slick to pile up, spread across the lawn
in pearly pools. Then, carefully, the men excised the gall bladder
before it broke and spoiled the meat, gallbladder curled like a finger
on a folding chair beside them while they emptied the carcass to the snout.
On the grass, the heart and lungs lay, and the throat ridged and perfect
like a staircase.

from Bird Eating Bird, by Kristin Naca

I love Married to the Sea and You Should Too

December 26, 2009

Boxing Day

I have a poem up at Six Sentences.
It is not about boxing.

December 21, 2009

Happy Christmas, Piranhamoose

What skulks through the lonely forest? What has eaten all these squirrels?
What blood-spattered tracks lead from the site of this carnage back to some dank, brackish aquatic den?


December 08, 2009

What I am Doing While Snowed In This Week

1. Playing a lot of games on my sister's Ipod touch, especially Unblock Me,
which is an addictive puzzle game involving freeing one red block from a sea
of boring brown blocks. 1.5 days in, I am currently on puzzle 96 out of 400.

2. Playing a lot of Wii.

3. Eating a lot of pumpkin pie ice cream.

4. Reading Kathryn Regina (again)
and Karyna McGlynn
and maybe even the new issue of Gulf Coast

5. Writing elevator game flash fiction.

November 25, 2009

November 16, 2009

Cough Syrup and Poetry

I got carded trying to buy Nyquil at Target the other day.
OK, trying to buy the Target brand equivalent of Nyquil.
Apparently all the kids are drinking a bottle of cough syrup to get high.

Apparently it's called Robotripping. (It's all over urban dictionary)

I'm assuming this is more related to Robitussin than Robocop (the movie or the Kanye West song), though it should really be Robitripping then...

unless the effects produced by drinking a bottle of cough syrup
include hallucinations in which the drinker thinks they are a robot,
are being attacked by robots, or develop robotic movements or speech patterns.

The makers of Robitussin must be thrilled.

My next assignment: write a poem about a cough medicine-abusing robotic police officer from the future.

November 02, 2009

Get Your Shine On

The first issue of Double Shiny is out.

Go here to read poems & flash by Emily Kendal Frey,
Corey Mesler, Jillian Clark, and others.

October 25, 2009

I am almost in Wisconsin

I will go to this bookstore

then I will eat here

and then I will walk around inside of this for a while.

October 09, 2009

I got some new books in the mail this week

I'm not sure how to feel when I like 1/3 of a poet's poems
more than anything else I've read in a long, long time,
but the other 2/3 of their poems make me feel an emotion
that is best described as "I want to turn the page as fast
and as violently as I can in the hopes that the poet will
feel the gust of wind this reaction creates and that
gust of wind."

Most of me is just happy to have the small amount of poems
that I really like.

I never actually turn the page as fast or as hard as I can.

October 01, 2009

Another Tuscaloosa Vignette

In my local Midas repair shop waiting room, I couldn't help but notice the outstanding array of entertainment options. It was almost impossible to choose between watching Fox News on a small TV up in the corner, reading the bible on the coffee table in the middle of the room, or flipping through the plethora of gun catalogs and hunting magazines on the other table.

In the end I chose to play tetris on my cell phone. Although I was also covertly watching/listening to two southern guys talk trucks and Alabama football while drinking from a shared jug of sweet tea.

September 24, 2009

International News

O kinky Brits.
O witty PR reps.

September 18, 2009

Some Highlights from a Collaborative Poem I was 1/3 responsible for Composing Today

Every year snails retreat to Alaska. This phenomenon
occurs so that women may dance naked atop igloos.

Songs are such irritating inventions.

Somehow Alaskans regret everything.

Illuminated solar panels digest light. So does
my beard full of bees.

Whales also wail when they slaughter seals, or small romances.

My favorite past-time is killing whales, or their babies
with bludgeons, axes, darts, whips, or hugs.

September 11, 2009

Driving on Lurleen Wallace Blvd.

It took over a month, but I finally saw my first confederate flag-themed truck the other day. It was pretty great. Picture an antique ford pick-up truck painted dukes of hazard orange, with the entire back windshield painted thusly-

September 02, 2009

The State

is FINALLY out on DVD. The whole series. It really happened. Apparently it happened like 6 weeks ago but I just saw it at Target tonight for the first time. Lollipops, indeed.

The State DVD

August 29, 2009

Mark Leidner Makes Me Laugh Out Loud

I just ordered Mark Leidner's chapbook Night of 1,000 Murders

Here are some of my favorite lines from Mark Leidner's poem "Romantic Comedies,"
which can be seen here

Everyone in his life has drowned and he hates dogs and she’s a
collegiate swimming coach with a thousand dogs.

She’s sort of interested in him, but he’s not sure how interested he is
in her, though he is, a little bit.

She’s a sassy black oncologist and he’s a racist with prostate cancer.

He’s a Muslim terrorist and she’s a normal Muslim.

He’s a foot fetishist and she’s an amputee.

She likes things one way and he likes them the other.

He’s hungry and doesn’t care where they eat, and she keeps saying she doesn’t care either, but every restaurant he offers up, she shoots down.

She likes monogamy but he likes sleeping around.

She’s like get a load of this and he’s like whoa.

August 20, 2009

Guess who just ordered a bunch of new books with his Alabama $$$?

I did.

Lara Glenum
Rebecca Loudon

Anna Journey

Robyn Schiff

And this is just the beginning.

August 16, 2009

I have three poems in the current issue of FOLLY online.

This link might work.

August 07, 2009

Alabama Vignettes

In Alabama, when the person behind the counter asks you how you are doing, they really want to know. They also expect to be asked how they are doing in return, so they can give you a detailed answer. After this, the weather, traffic, or football may be discussed. Transactions take an average of 3-5 minutes longer than they would in Wisconsin, yet nobody waiting in line seems to mind.

I can't decide which barbecue restaurant to try first. They all have different variations on the same grinning cartoon pig attesting to their being #1 in the south. Their parking lots are also always filled with enormous trucks every day around lunch time.

I bought a new bed today. When the saleslady asked me if I needed it delivered,
I said yes. She made a slight face, then said "Yes... please."

I met a mother of another new student moving into my apartment building yesterday. She said they were from Montana. She then said it was beautiful here, but wanted to know if rattlesnakes were a problem, especially at night. I told her I didn't think so.

July 28, 2009

Northwoods Charm

I finally got to see the glory that is River Falls this past weekend.

There was Foosball at The Lazy River and Ground Zero,
a Moger Long Island (Sloe Gin in place of Coke,
which comes in a one liter plastic cup for $4)
Green Dragon shots at Boomer's,
Jagerbombs made with something called Bonzai instead of Red Bull,
after-bar doughnuts and pizza at The Holiday,
and 1pm breakfast at The South Fork Cafe.

I'm tired.

Still More Movies

Ok. Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince was easily the best movie in the series so far. Easily. It was also the most changed, edited, and condensed script compared to the book version so far in the series, which usually would annoy me.

But #6 was my least favorite book in the series and the movie version made all the hormones and teenage love stuff much more prominent - and much more funny - than the novel.

I'm actually seeing it again tomorrow night. I'm excited.

July 24, 2009

Double Shiny

A friend and I have started an online journal.

It's called Double Shiny

send some poems or extra-short stories to

that is all.

July 23, 2009


Going to see Harry Potter tonight. I can't wait to roll my eyes at all the things they cut out, add in, or just change in order to make it seem like the trio of Ron, Harry, and Hermione are the only kids who attend Hogwarts anymore. I also can't wait to hate the new Dumbledore even more than I already do based on the last two movies. I bet he's going to be all angry and shouty like in Goblet of Fire.

Oh I saw Away We Go a couple weeks ago at Sundance. They wouldn't give us the student discount because only one of us had a valid ID, so I didn't really enjoy the movie as much as I probably could have. That, plus the fact that Maya Rudolph's character kept getting praised for her beauty by all the other characters and I kept being more and more incredulous, made it an average to below-average movie-going experience. Don't tell Emily that, though. She was too busy laughing and/or crying through the whole thing as if it perfectly captured her torturous struggle as a mixed race pregnant woman in her early thirties.

I kind of want to see Zombie Strippers again. Remember when we got to see that for free because that guy I had a class with knew worked at the theater? And we were the only ones in the theater so we got to talk and laugh at it the whole time? That was great.

July 21, 2009

We're really doing this...

Got my last Wisconsin haircut today, at least until Christmas break anyway.

I hope I don't have to get a military style buzz cut at some $5 barbershop in Alabama. I suppose my alternative will be going to some southern belle salon filled with pregnant sixteen year-olds from that MTV show and stylists that look like Kate from Jon & Kate Plus 8.

I can't wait to open my Alabama bank account, and to get my first monthly stipend. My friends have decided it will be presented in the form of two five gallon jugs, one filled with moonshine and the other with barbecue sauce.

The jug of moonshine will be identified by the XXX scrawled across the front.

July 11, 2009

This Is What Happened

Last night I had a dream that I spent the night at your house, in one of the many vacant rooms I remember seeing the first time I visited. But when I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, I couldn't find my room again. The whole layout of the house had changed, but I wasn't scared. I was just annoyed.

I kept looking in all of these rooms on different levels of the house, and in every one there was a computer on a desk whose screen lit up the room. Each of these computers was on a different poet's website or blog. They were all poets I'd never heard of, and after thinking about it I decided that they probably weren't real people at all, and that the poems featured on their pages hadn't been written yet. I read a poem by one of them that I liked a lot, and decided to steal it, since I wouldn't really be stealing it from anyone. I didn't bother writing it down, since it was so good and its imagery so unique and memorable I had already memorized it.

I ended up sleeping in a different room, too happy about my new poem to care that I was in a strange new room, then found you after waking up in the morning. The layout had changed again, and was close to, though not exactly, its original state. You had no problem showing me to my original room, then you rushed me down the stairs, and in every room we passed there were young women and their mothers getting ready for the wedding that afternoon.

June 30, 2009

You Go On Ahead

and when me and the boys were out
we killed a thousand butterflies,
so I put their wings into my mouth
and said a prayer for our safe arrival.

June 24, 2009

Three cats vs. one mouse Part II

I headed towards the bathroom, and noticed what I first took to be one of the cats' many toys lying on the small green rug in front of the shower. As I got closer to it I realized that this was a lifeless mouse, rather than the similarly lifeless toy mice I usually see around the house.

As I leaned in even closer I realized it was also a headless mouse, its neck ending in a blood-stained tangle of fur. There was a spot of blood the size of a thumbprint on the tile floor, and a few stray pieces of dark fur, but no mouse head. I stopped leaning in so close, widening the scope of my search, strongly regretting my decision to survey the room barefoot.

I just knew I was going to find that tiny, bloody mouse head with my toes by accident, probably while crossing the kitchen with a plate of food later that week.

June 20, 2009

three cats vs. one mouse, part one

Upon seeing a mouse the size of the mice-shaped toys we buy for the cats scurrying across the window sill, I decided to test the validity of my childhood cartoons. I gathered all three of our cats and tossed them into the bedroom, locking the door. I then set the kitchen timer for an hour and played some Wii.

After the hour was up, I opened the bedroom door to check on the cats' progress. The three of them were sitting on the floor, staring up at me serenely. They were clearly ready to leave the room, and sauntered out with an air of pride and satisfaction, giving me hope that they had accomplished their mission while also making me slightly queasy at the thought of what I might find.

I noticed a lake of diet coke stretching across the top of the dresser, and an overturned plastic cup lying on the floor. There were a few tufts of dark fur floating in the coke, and another stuck to an ice cube. I started scouring the floor for anything furry, bloody, or both.

June 16, 2009


After a while of you talking and moving your hands and me eating and listening and nodding, I started to think about cutting a certain spot on your body, one that would let all the things I don't like about you escape into the air around your body, leaving you as I have always wanted you to be. I don't mean this to sound violent. There wouldn't be any blood. It wouldn't even hurt.

I started to wonder where on your body this spot would be. I decided it would probably be behind the ear, a place nobody ever really thinks about. I started pointing out things in the restaurant for you to look at, to get you to turn your head, to give me a glimpse of your secret spot. I started dropping silverware, my napkin, pretending to tie my shoes. I knew it wouldn't look any different than the rest of you, but I was still convinced I'd recognize it if I saw it.

June 14, 2009

I'm going to get Jeni this shirt but she doesn't know it yet.

Sometimes it seems crummy in America. Sure there's rampant corruption and incompetence and it seems like 90% of Americans are violent idiots that dress like assholes, but sometimes it's sort of okay or whatever.

You can wear this shirt to a barbecue but then your uncle sees it and is not sure what to think and maybe hesitates to give you your burger but in the end he gives it to you, so it is okay.

June 08, 2009

After being pulled over for driving with a suspended license, a search by police of Santana's Bentley found a bag of marijuana, 29 bullets and $20,500 in cash inside a plastic bag filled with Jolly Rancher candies.

Who keeps twenty grand in cash in a bag of Halloween candy? I can't decide upon which side of the stupid/awesome line that lies.

June 05, 2009

Word of the day: Peripety - a sudden change in a course of events

A boy stands at the edge of the water. He wears a plastic bag over his head,
it's sealed at the neck. He thinks he'll be able to breathe underwater;
he's wrong. He will drown when he jumps; he cannot swim.

I have long wondered if we sleep at night because it is too dark to hunt or gather.

I'm stuck in the city but I belong in a field.

May 29, 2009

back and forth through actual air

Everyone knows how hard it is, after you've been on the road all day,
to stop driving. You go to sleep and the road runs under the bed like a filmstrip.

A black and white cave rainbow arched between two shoes.

This place is like a haunted turnpike, closed down for years,
where things still happen in the little turnoffs to the renowned teenagers
that never came back.

If Christ had died in a hallway we might pray in hallways or wear
little golden hallways around our necks.

May 21, 2009

My dragonfly, my black eyed fire, the knives in the kitchen are singing for blood

Don't you wish poetry were more like the music business? I do. I wish a poet who put out a first book that was amazing or even just pretty good would automatically have a follow-up expected, and a contract for x number of books over y number of years. Sure, some would disappoint with their second effort, while others would stay the course, neither better or worse than their debut. But there would also be those rare few who would make you swear that you like the new one even more than their first, even though you never imagined them topping the first one - ever.

I could ask my friends when the next Richard Siken book is coming out, just like I ask them if they know when the new Sunset Rubdown CD is coming out (June 23rd), and they would tell me, or say something like, "I heard it's all done but the release date got pushed back from October to November because of artwork rights or something."

I wish I could go to the poetry store every tuesday like I go to the music store and check out what came out that day, see what little-known poet from Montreal or Raleigh or the UK is being called the next big thing. Who would be the Radiohead of poetry? The Modest Mouse? The Kanye West?

May 19, 2009

The constant battle between the part of my brain that is annoyed by girls and the part of my brain that wants to have sex with girls.


Nicole doesn't believe me when I say I don't think I'll ever get married.

exhibit A: I don't like dogs.

exhibit B: I don't want kids.

exhibit C: I don't want to have a career.

At least I am responsible for coining the the term "stay at home husband."

Oh wait, nobody reads this blog or knows who I am. Somebody else will get credit for coining that term, even though they didn't.


May 18, 2009

gurlesque not turpentinesque

The way girls/women/feminine manifestations are cultured cannot be divorced from our notions about the female body. Consider: testosterone, from testicle, from the Latin root meaning to testify. Estrogen? From oestrus, Latin for gadfly or frenzy. Culture informs biology informs culture...

Danielle Pafunda is smart

May 13, 2009


the patient was instructed to talk for a period of time
without regard for topic or continuity


last night I was reading about crows…every spring they attack the newborn
lambs…they go for the eyes, hack out the eyes…I wish I could watch myself
being born…I wish my mom didn’t have to die like that…the farmer said they
have to stand up…when they stand up they’re safe…

April 24, 2009

Zach Schomburg has the best ideas

But I stole one of them and combined it with my best idea.
The result = Turpentinesque Poem Film!

(for Jeni)

April 22, 2009

Alliterative Animals

So I've been working on a book idea for a while now, sort of an illustrated tour of the alphabet and the animal kingdom, and I need some feedback on my letter/animal pairings. Please vote for your favorite in any instance where there are multiple choices for a letter, and also feel free to suggest any new pairing(s), as long as they fit the theme. Thanks!

Mr. Nicklepenny’s Sickly Menagerie

African Sleeping Sickness Alligator / Acid Reflux Ant
Bubonic Plague Baboon / Bi-Polar Bear
Crohn’s Disease Cat / Cancerous Capybara / Cervical Cancer Crocodile
Diphtheria Dog
Encephalitis Elephant / E-Coli Eel
Feverish Fox / Fibromyalgia Ferret
Gonorrhea Gorilla / Gout Gopher
Huntington’s Horsefly / Hepatitis Horse / Hemorrhoid Hamster
Impetigo Iguana
Jaundiced Jellyfish
Kwashiorkor Kangaroo
Lupus Lobster / Leprosy Llama
Munchausen’s Moose / Melanoma Monkey
Narcoleptic Narwhal
Osteoporosis Owl
Pica Porcupine / Pink-eye Panda
Quarantined Quail
Rheumatoid Rabbit / Rubella Robin
Scurvy Squirrel
Typhoid Tiger / Tetanus Tiger
Undiagnosed Unicorn
Vertigo Vulture
West Nile Wallaby / Whooping cough Walrus
Xerophthalmia Xerus
Yellow Fever Yak
Zinc–deficiency Zebra

April 21, 2009

We had the best table at the rainforest cafe.