Friday, December 10, 2010

Some Updates, Plans


It has been a pretty mild fall/start of winter here in Portland. So far, we've had some days that felt like drowning, but not like last year.

This is what it looks like out my office window right now.

Okay, it's not "my office," it's a shared office.

So here are some things I'm doing very soon:

1.) This Sunday Caroline and I are leaving for Columbus, OH, where we'll spend Christmas. It's a "meet the parents" situation. Also, I've never been farther east than th
e Dallas-Fort Worth airport. I'm told it will basically be a tour of her favorite chain restaurants. (Stay tuned, I'll probably be blogging our outings to Cracker Barrel and Waffle House.) I told her there's no way in hell I'm going to this place. Do you see that? That's chili over spaghetti noodles. That's unforgivable. She claims she doesn't like that restaurant, but we'll see.

2.) I am working on an exciting project with several friends. We are starting a design/marketing/writing/editing company called Mammoth Creative Group. The site should be fully functional after the 1st of the year. Another exciting bit of news: I'm starting a small press attached to the company, tentatively named "Mammoth Editions." First title is in the pipeline, more on that later. For now it's a secret. Stay out of my shit, Julian Assange.

3.) We have a kitten. His name is Felix, and he wakes me up in the middle of the night by biting
my back or other parts of my body. Last night I thought about boiling him. Just kidding, he is awesome.

4.) I'll be done with my master's degree in the spring. Not sure what the next step is, but I'm thinking about banging on Wieden+Kennedy's door. Aim high, right?


6.) Santa, I have been mostly nice this year. Mostly nice to myself, but periods of niceness to others as well.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Poetry Readings This Week - 12/1 & 12/7

A couple of upcoming poetry events:

Tomorrow, 12/1 7:30-9:00



Things happening at this event include:
  • Internationally acclaimed whistler and magician Mitch Hider is collaborating with Kaia Sand to tell a tale of financial fiasco
  • Installation projects by Jennifer Hardacker (Sheltered—a video) and David Buuck (“Matta Clark Park Series”—a poster project)
  • Come early for the Right 2 Survive craft fair starting at 6PM
***

An Event of Poetry, Art, & Music at Switchyard Studios

George Rachel, James Gendron, Michael Roberts
plus music & art (tba)

Tuesday, December 7
7:30 pm



***

Also, I'd like to invite anyone hosting any poetry (and I use the term "poetry" very loosely here) event in Portland to e-mail me at bryancoffelt (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll try to get the event up on this blog. So excited about the things that have been happening around here lately.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Vids from Summer Reading @ Ampersand

Videos from a reading I did this summer with Emily Kendal Frey and Evelyn Hampton.













Monday, November 15, 2010

Poetry Readings This Weekend - 11/19

Friday, November 19 · 7:00pm - 10:00pm

**UPDATE:**

Rodney Koeneke will also be reading tonight. Yet another reason to get up in this.

**UPDATE**



Mingling hour at 7. Reading starts at 8. With a donation of any amount, you will receive a limited edition hand-bound Bad Blood chapbook of Brandon Downing's poems.

BRANDON DOWNING is a photographer, collagist, filmmaker and poet. A longtime member of the Flarf Collective, his books include Lake Antiquity: Poems 1996-2008 (Fence, 2009), The Shirt Weapon (Germ Monographs, 2002), and Dark Brandon (Faux Press, 2005). A feature-length collection of his short films, Dark Brandon: Eternal Classics, was released on DVD in 2007, with a further installment expected in 2010. Photographic work can be seen at www.brandondowning.org, while recent video projects can often be found at www.youtube.com/user/bdown68. He lives in New York City.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Poetry Readings This Weekend - 11/12 & 11/14

Switchyard Studios presents: "The Switch"

Friday, November 12 · 7:30pm - 10:00pm

Switchyard Studios, 109 SE Salmon St., Portland, OR
Poets:
Emily Kendal Frey
Sarah Bartlett
Dean Gorman

Musician:
Tara Williamson

Artists:
Krislyn Dillard
Lindsay De Armond!

***


Sunday, November 14 7:30 pm - ?

The Waypost, 3120 N. Williams Ave., 503-367-3182


Amina Cain
Jennifer Calkins
Doug Nufer
Pam Ore
Mathew Timmons
Christine Wertheim


$5 suggested donation

Friday, November 5, 2010

Poetry Readings This Weekend - 11/6 & 11/7


"Tangent is pleased to host a cross-genre reading of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction on SATURDAY, 6 November at 7 PM. Portland-based writer and editor KEVIN SAMPSELL will be joined by Southern California writers K. LORRAINE GRAHAM and MARK WALLACE. The event will take place at the Open Space Café in Southeast Portland (2815 SE Holgate).

Tangent presents:
KEVIN SAMPSELL, K. LORRAINE GRAHAM, & MARK WALLACE
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 6 at 7 PM
Open Space Cafe, 2815 SE Holgate (corner of SE Holgate & 28th Ave) Portland, (503) 233-6736
Admission is free.

KEVIN SAMPSELL is the author of the short story collections, Beautiful Blemish and Creamy Bullets. His newest book is the memoir, A Common Pornography. He has been the publisher of Future Tense Books, a micropress, since 1990.

K. LORRAINE GRAHAM is the author of Terminal Humming (Edge Books), and her visual work has appeared in the Zaoem International Poetry Exhibition at the Minardschouwburg, Gent, Belgium, and the Infusoria visual poetry exhibition in Brussels. She lives in Carlsbad, CA, with her partner Mark Wallace and Lester Young, a pacific parrotlet. You can find her online at spooksbyme.org.

MARK WALLACE is the author of more than fifteen books and chapbooks of poetry, fiction, and essays. Temporary Worker Rides A Subway won the 2002 Gertrude Stein Poetry Award and was published by Green Integer Books. His critical articles and reviews have appeared in numerous publications, and he has co-edited two essay collections, Telling It Slant: Avant Garde Poetics of the 1990s, and A Poetics of Criticism. Most recently he has published a short story collection, Walking Dreams (2007), and a book of poems, Felonies of Illusion (2008). Forthcoming in early 2011 is his second novel, The Quarry and The Lot. He teaches at California State University San Marcos."



Sunday, November 7
7:30 pm

The Waypost
3120 N. Williams Ave.
503-367-3182


$5 suggested donation

Lewis Warsh's most recent books are A Place in the Sun (Spuyten Duyvil, 2010) and Inseparable: Poems 1995-2005 (Granary, 2008). He is editor and publisher of United Artists Books and director of the MFA program in creative writing at Long Island University in Brooklyn.

Alicia Cohen is a poet and literary scholar who lives in Portland, Oregon. Her recent book Debts and Obligations was published by O Books; her first book Bear was published by Handwritten Press. She has taught at Portland State University and Reed College.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Entertainment for People 10/10/10 RECAP

Last night's "Entertainment For People" was awesome, and if you missed it, you kind of suck. But here's a recap and a few vids to tide you over until the next one. Host/poet/musician Derrick Brown kept everyone on their toes with (sometimes) ad libbed lyrics, poems, (one of which included the lines "I don't care if you made that dress, hippie / I'll shred it") and his generally hilarious wit.

Author Steve Almond read from his new book Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life as well as parts of his self-published book Letters From People Who Hate Me. Highlights include a section of the new book wherein Steve admits to lathering deodorant on his "junk," hate mail from someone who claims they've submitted Steve's name for rectal research, and un-ironic Air Supply.

My girlfriend and I helped pass out delicious cupcakes from St. Cupcake. (I gave one to Steve, though my girlfriend claims she was the one who gave him the cupcake. I refuse to bicker over something so silly as giving one of my favorite authors a cupcake, but between you and I, dear readers, my cupcake tray was the winner).

Filmmaker Scott Kravitz told a story about his bread maker. It was sad, and I felt like he was telling a story about a lost love. After realizing he never actually eats any of the bread he makes, and that he actually doesn't know how to make bread (mix ingredients, press start on bread maker), Kravitz decides it's time to end things with the bread maker. "I gave the bread maker away," he said, "we parted ways as friends." I wonder what happened to all the bread makers in the world. Do people still have them in their basements, sitting unopened in the boxes they left Target in? Or is there a large underground bread maker repository somewhere? Do people still use bread makers?

Beth Lisick busted out her list of 68 Things That Make [Beth Lisick] Cringe. Audience members then shouted out numbers, and Beth described the terrible things that made her cringe in one minute or less. I think this is something that should be required of every human being.

B. Frayn Masters (writer and proprietor of scratchdate.com - a dating site for people who want to date cats) read some of the work she has done for an unnamed semi-pornographic magazine. Beth Lisick commented that it was confusing and very avant garde. Here are a few of my favorite phrases from the pieces she read:

"Generous titties."

"An awesome sting of naughtiness."

"If you don't know who the fuck Anais Nin is, all you need to know is that she's French."

"Maximum turn-on outfit."

Here's a video of Derrick Brown singing one of his songs:




Sunday, October 3, 2010

This Is Why.

I'm not the first person to say this, and I won't be the last. I resent Existence. I resent being put in this suffering sack. How could you not be hateful? It's imperfect, and all we do is "strive for perfection"; but it's not gonna be snagged. I promise. Perfection is Nothing. It's funny, right? That my politics/personal statement/letter of intent is based on Nothing? A promotion of Nothing As Perfection?

I am Bryan Coffelt, and I approve Nothing.

And Existing (blahblahblah) makes other people suffer. You meet people, people love you, they lament your death. Or you meet people, you are an insufferable asshole, they love you anyway, they still lament your death. That's all we do; we mourn for each other before we're even dead. All we do is mourn.

I'm just fucking pissed. I Hate that I Exist and Love and Will Lose You All/Will Be Lost.

I'm not going to kill myself, obvs. Sunrises and shit, and obv. don't want to contribute to aforementioned mourning. But I'm just saying — life is just little spots of happiness surrounded by a bunch of fucking bullshit. It's one unbearable boner after another unbearable boner. If I have to Exist, and Existing is so imperfect, why can't I just be a fucking cat? Why can't I lick my own ass and feign contentment? Why can't I at least be furry and purr?

Holler.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Chapbook Update

All chapbooks have shipped. Those who waited longest have extra surprises (either a drawing, a collage, or something else). Thanks again.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Held in place by abstract concepts.

Credit card debt seems tangible.
"Being successful" has diminished value.
"Surviving" has increased value.
Why can't we just walk away from debt?
What is a "credit score"?
Perfect credit is worthless.
Shitty credit is worthless.
Mediocre credit is priceless.
Mediocrity is priceless.
The New Capitalism depends on the illusion of higher education.
No one makes anything.
You can not make $30 last a whole week.
There are robocalls.
Physical nudging of cellphone vibrating.
Credit card companies are actually rattling my leg every few hours.
Actually shaking me.
Physically assaulting me.
Email makes my leg vibrate.
Phone calls make my leg vibrate.
Twitter makes my leg vibrate.
Facebook makes my leg vibrate.
Instant messages make my leg vibrate.
Everything is privatized.
What does "privatize" mean?

CHAPBOOK UPDATE

To all you people who have been waiting patiently for me to send you copies of The Whatever Poems:

I finally scraped together some cash to get a few printed and will be sending them shortly. My sincere apologies to those of you who have been waiting the longest.

They are coming! For real.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Google Scribe

I am playing with Google Scribe.

Here is something I made by picking words/phrases until it stopped offering me suggestions:

Today i was added to the group of automorphisms which are not available for purchase online via our encrypted connection prevents monitoring of blood glucose is above the law because it is known today about membership, which includes biography, discography, concerts and festivals across the country including California and New Mexico State University Aggies Officially Licensed NFL Wireless Controller Twin Pack Case Set-Up Fees, Dedicated Phone Number for Life Insurance and annuities are issued to you by CBS Television Stations Digital Object Identifier nothing to do with their lives and how they work together towards a common objective of the game forever and ever amen randy travis barker remix mp3 download free new mp3 comedy videos watch for FREE gianna.

Friday, August 20, 2010

"The free-to-consumers Pepsi Loot application lets users connect, engage with the brand and earn rewards while consuming PepsiCo products at a number of partner food service locations nationwide."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

CHAPBOOKS FOR SALE

UPDATE: Sorry for the delayed shipping on these, it has been a crazy few weeks and I need to print a few more. I will ship them shortly with a personalized "thank you for your patience" note/artwork. Thanks to all of you who have purchased these chapbooks!

*

I made 2 chapbooks recently.

*

The Whatever Poems




























A Pulling From The Inside Downward Or To Wherever
























Or buy both chapbooks for $5.00:







Saturday, June 19, 2010

THE CLOUDS REQUIRE THAT WE TOUCH

The clouds require that we touch.
That we [you all] combine like a sunset.
That we keep our motors to ourselves like lonely huts and busted, bare-chested gods made from highway fonts and me, reducing on the stove.
I howl at the you all and point at your act.
The clouds outline the city.
Let the clouds outline the city.
I have a plan that involves this whole country parking and fucking.
Swaying and marrying time.
Fisting clarity and gentrifying each other’s faces.
I’m not—it was a mistake.
But then the renovation, that big four-eyed fantasy.
That old, bearded impossible.
That time no one came back for us.

Friday, June 18, 2010

EVERYTHING MAKES ME FEEL LIKE NOTHING.

"I'm so relieved it's all over," she said, hugging her daughter, Mandi Hull. "I just hope my sister, who just passed away, and my father, and all of the other victims are waiting for his sorry ass. I hope they get to go down after him."

*

Just after midnight, Gardner's family members leaned against each other in a tight cluster and sobbed. They played Lynyrd's Skynyrd's "Free Bird," singing along.

*

On Tuesday June 15, 2010, Gardner ate a final meal of steak, lobster, apple pie, vanilla ice cream and 7-Up, before beginning a 48-hour fast. According to Gardner's lawyers, he had undertaken his fast for "spiritual reasons", the Salt Lake City Tribune newspaper reported.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Google Voice

Just got this Google Voice message:



Google transcribed it thusly:

Harbor this is. And David, please give me a call back. I just wanted to make it $10000 and i like to spend half of the have a a new give me a call back. It's Wednesday evening (360) 398-3190.

Monday, May 10, 2010

BASICALLY

basically, i am a rambling lieutenant
basically, i’m fine
basically, according to
basically, um, uh, what
basically, steal the middle passage
basically, alternatives
basically, i’m find
basically, what they read, um
basically, the beginning
basically, creeping into a lot more
basically, it wasn’t a problem
basically, what’s best
basically, fancy schmancy
basically, do we not heed them
basically, this, of course
basically, here and there
basically, unh, guidelines
basically, he said/she said
basically, oh, okay, after the first few times
basically, muh muh muh

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

SOME THINGS I THOUGHT ABOUT IN THE SHOWER TODAY

The conceptualism/flarf debate has been "raging" lately, and Kenny Goldsmith reminds us, once again, that "writing is fifty years behind painting."

Today, I took a shower. It was a pretty good shower. Here are some things I thought:
In painting, a tangible object is rubbed upon a surface of another tangible object. In this way, what does a painter do but mimic the clumsiness of the universe? Even "abstract" or "non-representational" works are hardly difficult to solve — an artist rubbed some stuff together.

In poetry, intangibles. Remaining intangible. Remaining frustrating, and entirely contingent.

For any poem to exist, The Entirety of Human History must first occur. And abstractions remain abstractions.

Why, then, do painting and poetry constantly get lumped together? Can we blame Williams' "considerations" of Brueghel? Poetry lives and dies through the imperfect nature of language and thought. Painting stumbles along, tries its hand at physically conveying, but comes up short; in this way, paintings are just vulgarities.

Poetry always fails. It never reaches the level of desperation that painting does.

Monday, May 3, 2010

HIGH-CONCEPT POEM / LOW-CONCEPT POEM

HIGH-CONCEPT POEM

by Bryan Coffelt

when an impulsive tendency towards some important object is frustrated
when the consumption of mates loses an element of sweetness it may mean

a loss of market share or it
just might mean what i already thought

that sorrow, no
that pity is not a compound
made of sorrow

or

the common voice that hides
inside of things and
busts out saying

the 80s was a motherfucker

which may be difficult to comprehend in an objective or conceptual way
in this regard, the concept of the 80s is subordinate
to guilt in terms of its emotional intensity

many people find themselves
wishing they had done something
in the 80s

i myself suffered
mass production of railroads
and the first skyscraper in history

i watched you endure
glasnost
Duran Duran you were
a high-concept
heavyweight champion
of the world


***


LOW-CONCEPT POEM

by Maurice Burford

handicapable killing machines
the brain-monsters invade the power plant
the ensuing eruption of meat juice
trickled down from his mouth
forming a nearly perfect PS2

and lately I've heard people
speak in fonts

this dirty old man on the F train got a little more
'low pleasure' from Josef K and Orange Juice

a broth of vodka and olive juice
but you need a catchy name
or it doesn't qualify as 'Super Bowl Gay'

it puts a little more juice in the room
when you are burning film

I am depending wholly on the idiom of "green"
with for you than drinking
a can of that bullshit death-juice

ketchup on her, trying to get the stink off her

Bono's wonderfully poetic wine
with a hint of Fozzy the Bear's ball sweat
(they were never meant to be collectable)

people from the BBC are incapable of driving sober

it's definitely minimalist---the characters
are dressed romantically but
in no particular period's fashions---full of heart

hear me in the harmony
reflected in a car wreck

lord of beer, give me strength

while waiting for the light to change
at the corner of 14th and 3rd this morning
a girl blew cigarette smoke in my face
while I was taking a swig of juice

Lake Lady Bird makes you sweat light
but even Saxos will rub it in your face

Friday, April 30, 2010

EVELYN MCHALE




evelyn mchale sashayed
down to the next floor
and the next floor
and the next floor
and the next floor
and the next floor
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and the next floor
and the next floor
and the next floor
and the next floor

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hello, Bryan Coffelt.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MIKE YOUNG. HERE ARE SOME SESTINAS WE WROTE FOR YOU.

LOVE ME LIKE DONUTS BUT I STAY FOR THE DONUTS

by Gabe Durham

Woof woof I want some smoothie.
This kid you don’t know, this cowboy
with a tattoo
of a smoking
loon was going, look at me! look mom look!
I guess now you think you’re some wet hot smoothie.

Two guys, one who drinks smoothies
and one who incants, smoothie… smoothie…
on walls of pulp. Look, said Jesus
which of these, in heaven, is more of a cowboy?
the one who smokes?
Right across my chest I’m getting a tattoo to

How do you commemorate a tattoo?
Get a smoothie
etched in smoke
in your smoothie?
Don’t you get all cowboy
Uncle Hammish I know that look!

Look.
It’s not going to be easy. America is fed up with tattoo
as usual. It’s not time to be a cowboy
offering your “smoothie”
to folks new to your “smoothie,”
just breastmilk and hotdogs, leers and smoke

IT’S OK OFFICER THIS IS NON-SMOKE SMOKE!
You look
like a dude who knows where a guy could dip his smoothie.
You’d get that if your pink hide hid a tattoo
of my body but I guess some smoothies
are coming on pretty strong, eh, cowboy?

I said, Eh cowboy?
See you when your blowgun smokes
and your friends hock your smoothie
just to get a quick look
at the milk tattoo
I got of you on my smoothie.

Trade you your smoothie cowboy
for my smoothie smoke.
Look, tattoo: The American people!

***

THIS IS THE SPEECH I WOULD DELIVER TO ADVOCATE GRANTING MIKE YOUNG, A PEACE-LOVING NATION, MEMBERSHIP IN THE UNITED NATIONS

by Bryan Coffelt

don’t you hate signing up for things and then your trial
ends, like you trundled on so long only to find you are united
with nothing? like, the insides of your bones are black?
but i know that’s not how you go, you go off road
until you’re dying of thirst, and begging for a funeral.
you chug along until you find yourself in folsom, johnny cash

style. it’s not too far from where you’re from, you cash
money millionaire. one fuck up, you find yourself on trial
for armed robbery and failure to appear at a funeral
home. i know, you might have missed your flight. it was united
or wait, were you on delta? doesn’t matter, now you’re on the road
because there are no flights where you’re going. the black

sky digs in your veins if you let it. oh, and you left your black
jeans at the hotel in denver. i thought about selling them to get some fast cash
because i was super broke. but i was coughing up blood and the road
was onto me. i had a fever, my body felt like news coverage of the oj murder trial.
i thought to myself, has mike young ever said god bless the united
states of america? has he ever sat in on a marine’s funeral?

i know you’re a patriot — mike young is no funeral
dodger. but how do we know your blood is not black?
that you are not some kind of witch, and your coven is not united
against us? how do we know you’re not goldman sachs, absconding with our cash?
what do we really know about mike young except what we know from trial
& error? i mean, i could tell you he probably doesn’t like the film version of
the road

i could tell you the man is maybe less than a fiend for road
side bars, that, like us all, he’s a funeral
waiting to happen. that when faced with trials
and tribulations, he’ll choose tribbing with a black
forest ham omelet. dude loves breakfast, no matter how cashed
his nerves. i hate sounding like i’m giving a speech to induct him into the united

nations, but i am. mike young and i were once united
as roommates in ashland, oregon. it was legal there, it was like a road
trip to the moon. i am writing this sestina for mike instead of sending cash
on his birthday. sorry dude, but it’s better than sending a funeral
home full of bees! my fantasy is to send you black
pepper mango sorbet or something. i shouldn’t have sent you that invite for a free trial

(cash free) of united flight 93 porn, obviously,
and i shouldn’t have asked for that road beer before my trial.
but please, please, no black magic at my funeral, okay?

***

SOME VALUES OF BREAKFAST AND HITLER, A SESTINA

by Maurice Burford

From a Spanish radio: 'pirate is spanish for pirate.'
Fruit activity and our Belgian things aside,
we are very happy being a waxen yellow
like how our parents felt when we fell out of them.
'WANNA SNUGGLE? SUPPORT LOCAL HITLERS.'
And sometimes we can't salvage eyeing from the fire.

I regularly try so hard to be an grey ocean on fire,
depressing the physical form of the ship's pirate
captain. The horrible ghosts shimmer into being: Space Hitlers,
who set a goat's magical foot on fire and brush aside
breakfast, ignoring the deck hands with boobs, yet sexing them
with a bravado of ghosts half their height and shade of yellow.

In Sweden, girls have all the fun, skating in bikinis over the yellow
ice of Lake Swedish Pop Duo. The paper plant, they call a crime, on fire—
rapid joggers, think islands, a clutch of sea—reflecting off all them
locals, dumb faced and crawly. No cars are allowed outside of Pirate
Town except taxis, rickshaws pulled by the albino Gamla Stan aside.
He, at his will, could assume the shape of nordic beasts, all except Hitlers.

Did we do all we could to raise awareness of rave loving Hitlers,
wearing black and red western cut shirts and ironic yellow
hats. 'Alex was on fire,' said Bryan, putting Alex out was aside
from the point. Crazy sitars banging out jams for all the tweens on fire,
wearing jumpy rainbow bracelets, making me feel dumb that I wore my pirate
outfit again. 'Pirates are so 2003 you ugly puppy fucker.' I still love them.

You could hear the rusty parts breaking inside each of them.
Their breakfast was a casual two slices of toast, a bowl of Hitlers,
and half a grapefruit (properly fucked, of course by a pirate),
yet when asked they could not get up, they could not pull the yellow
out their eyes. Something is perpetually lost from them, a fire,
the way their hair falls across their face and is then brushed aside.

And then a sleepwalking slide guitar swam icy lakes, garbage aside,
only to be blasphemed as 'No Langhorne Slim' by some of them
Northern-Light-Lovin'-Euro-Canadian Punks. The total garbageness on fire
in Sweden is like totally big, though no bigger than an Orca full of Hitlers.
They burn at first a kind of blasé purple and finish off a grand wizard-y yellow.
All this shit, my friend, is incompatible with the life of a pirate.

Hammerfall is the baddest band in Sweden, dude, and they are pirates.
Like real fucking killers of men, dude, with parrots, terrible yellow
devils. A real group of blood thirsty, neon pink Hitlers.

Ritchie Blackmore is gayest man in Sweden, dude, Herman Dune aside.
Every time he leaves the house two boy dogs hump, but he hates them,
for young Ritchie Blackmore can only climax when his partner's on fire.

***

FACEBOOK IS STARTING TO MAKE ME SO BITTER

by Sarah Cunningham

Facebook is starting to make me so bitter
It’s not that I’m anti-social but I wasn’t born
yesterday, I know when people are pulling my chain, fucking
with me or just plain poking me around, like social networking is suddenly so revered
and anyone without a twitter account isn’t a verified poet, even Word gives a damn
enough to auto-correct when I spell the word “twitter” with an “o,” like it’s some special

word, like words can even sound special
to begin with, I guess I’m just native and bitter,
but remember when you were young (like, so damn
young) and you’d stare off at nothing, your mind all born
with crazy thoughts and shit, and stupid people couldn’t revere
such genius so they’d wave their hands in front of you like they’re some fucking

magician, like they’re some pilot bringing you back into the real world, it’s enough to fucking
make you unfriend all those Facebook creeps for real, they aren’t special
they probably don’t even know it’s your birthday; nobody reveres
numbers anymore, the taste of counting by tens, all bitter
and empty calories and it gives me indigestion, like some kind of damn
just got hyphee in my esophagus, I can barely breath, let alone be born

into some city with ozone layers and onyx, but I was born
a day before you so I guess that’s some fucking
thing we have in common, thought the year’s a mystery, a big damn
secret if you ask me, as if I couldn’t guess your age, there’s nothing special
about becoming a year older unless it’s on an empirical rooftop garden growing bitters
and tomato juice and some type of exotic olives, cuz olives always get revered

but nobody pays attention to celery, I feel sorry for it, I revere
vegetables because I’m a vegetarian and don’t believe in the undoing of time, born
into an age of fast-food and swimsuits in February, bitter
shoppers stampeding for a sale on 6-pack socks/beer, a fucking
bargain, sure, but I’m usually barefoot when I’m drunk anyway, feeling all special
and warm as if I could write a book of sonnets, all damn

and hell-hath-no-fury type, but it’s a damn
hard life and I’m only drunk enough on my birthday, I revere
those blowing candles and the wax stuck on my teeth, a special
kind of texture like crocodile boots or recycled napkins, born
a second time to wipe the chocolate cake off a million sticky fingers like clay, fucking
fire that shit up and bring on the whiskey, champagne and bitters,

cuz it’s your birthday, Mike, you’re special, you were born
42 years ago this day and some bitter woman that revered pain-pills
really broke the damn mold with you, this poem’s fucking proof.

***

HEY MIKE, HAPPY BIRTHDAY

by K. Silem Mohammad

Hey Mike, happy birthday--
I hope you spend
it getting laid
and smoking crack
in a hot tub
with a pair of blonde twins,

or if not twins,
at least two chicks whose looks and birthday
are close enough that, in the steam of the hot tub,
you might be fooled into spend-
ing the same amount you would spend to get a crack
at real twins when you pay to get laid.

You may not actually get laid
by twins,
but hell, you can always crack
open some magazines that feature ladies in their birthday
suits, or spend
some time with a tub

of popcorn watching dirty videos, or soaking in the bathtub
with a Hustler centerfold laid
out in front of you, until you spend
yourself in guilty spasms of lust, imagining blonde twins.
I mean, it's your birthday,
right? If you have to crack

under the pressure of maddening sexual frustration, crack
today. Just grab a tub
of lube and say "Happy birthday"
to yourself. And while you're laid
out there, fantasizing about twins,
go ahead and spend

a few bucks on one of those "fleshlight" things, or just spend
it on more crack.
"Between the corrupt twins
of compulsive masturbation and porn addiction lies the tub
ride." T. S. Eliot said that as he laid
down fifty bucks on his fiftieth birthday

and bought some hookers and crack and a tub
of fried chicken from some twins and got laid
and that's how you also should spend your birthday.

***

MIKE, YOUNG

by Matthew Simmons

I know
a little
about much,
and this
hasn't made
an impact.

the impact,
you know,
when made
very little
is this:
feel much.

find much.
lack impact.
fix this
and know
when little
is made.

I made
so much,
so little,
such impact,
to know
all this.

and this,
which made,
you know,
when much
will impact
this little.

what little
is this
to impact
when made
us, much
will know?

impact little.
know this:
made much.


***


HOLY SHIT, MIKE YOUNG!

by Daniel Bailey

Holy shit, Mike Young!
Today is your birthday
Remember how I used to owe you money?
Now I don’t owe you money. It’s great
but I still want to give. But I won’t give you a lameass card
Here is a poem. Isn’t it amazing how you used to be a fetus?

I bet you were the cutest little fetus
in all your mom. Then she named you Mike Young
It was as momentous as when a soccer ref gave me a red card
for pushing over a girl. I bet when you were born
you gave the thumbs-up to the nurse and you were all, This is great!
Being a part of the world is so money!

I’m glad I don’t owe you money
anymore. If we were hanging out right now I’d make you a feta
cheese pizza with olive oil and olives. It’d be so great
I’d look at you and I’d say, Mike Young!
Let’s eat some damn pizza. Happy Birthday!
Here’s a lameass card

You’d open the card and you’d read the card
which would have naked ladies inside it and maybe some money
for you on your birthday
I’d say, I bet you were such a goddamn adorable fetus
Then I’d yell, Mike Young! Mike Young! Mike Young!
Then I’d tell you a story about the Great Depression

I’d be like, Yeah, a bunch of people got greatly depressed
and then killed themselves! With guns and with cartons
of cigarettes! Can you believe that, Mike Young?
And all over losing a lot of damn money
They ran around screaming! We’re broke! Who will feed us!
My family is dying! This is the worst birthday

ever! They kept themselves alive with stories of Jesus’ birth
but then FDR fixed the shit and everything was great
and then a war happened. And then a fetus
and that fetus was aborted and then a telegram
that said, The world is dying! Then stuff and some money
This history is too much, Mike Young!

Mike Young, what is going on? I feel like a fetus
I want to throw money at the earth. That would be great
I feel like a baseball card getting born into a child’s shaking hands

A BIRTHDAY SESTINA FOR SARAH CUNNINGHAM

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARAH, PLEASE PULL THAT CAT AWAY FROM YOUR FACE

i would like for you to please pull that cat away from your face
and put it back where it came from. you don’t want to go to hell
do you? you gave it some thought, you said you’d bring a camera
to take pictures of your favorite circle of it. where dogs vomit
uncontrollably on liars, or whatever. sarah, have you seen the pain olympics?
i mean, don’t watch it. instead, have yourself a game of quidditch

with some kind of special twist. microscopic quidditch,
or no, don’t do that. i don’t know, maybe do something with face
paint. what i’d do is i’d sit around and talk about the special olympics,
maybe make bets, but you probably wouldn’t do that. hell
if i know what you’d do. maybe you’d just vomit
all over the room until it was covered in vomit. i’d camera

man the whole thing, of course, because my face is a camera!
do you think they have a special olympics version of quidditch?
happy birthday, sarah — did you happen to vomit
while we were at AWP? the look on your face
said you could tell that one day we will surely hang out in hell
and we’ll sit around (dog vomit everywhere) watching the olympics

drag on — i’ve never won a gold medal. but i did drown in an olympic
sized pool. wilco was playing in the house, the song that goes “i need a camera
to my eye.” after i drowned, i knew i would have a hell
of a time swimming again, or crying. drowning is like playing quidditch
covered in thousands of wet blankets, and some water demon is trying to fuck your face
you try and you try to breathe, but you just vomit

no, that’s not entirely true. i was actually unable to vomit
because i was dead. i mean, i’m not fucking michael phelps, olympic
gold medalist. after i drowned i realized i had to face
everything that is between things, things we missed with our camera
when we were distracted. when you’re dead, there is no quidditch
pitch to fly around in on your broom. there’s just a hell

of a lot of angry wind. i mean, when you’re dead, you’re hella
wispy and pissed. you go around trying to vomit
on the living while they fly around playing quidditch
you try to piss on NBC’s dumb coverage of the olympics
especially that guy over there, with his camera
all up in the noisy part of usain bolt’s face

i guess i’m saying learn quidditch and start believing in hell;
that’s what we’re faced with. an eternity of vomiting
nothingness on cameramen at the olympics.

THE NEW WEST WIND REVIEW IS HOT



I have only poked around in it a little bit, but it has some amazing work. Here's a complete list of authors:

Shane Allison, Brian Ang, Nathan Austin, Elizabeth Bachinsky, Daniel Bailey, Dave Barrett, Franklin Bruno, Marie Buck, Clint Burnham, Dereck Clemons, Jordan Davis, Nick Demske, Tiffany Denman, Brittany Dennison, Christopher DeWeese, Andrew Dieck, Brandon Downing, Cathy Eisenhower, Laura Elrick, Phil Estes, Michael Farrell, Angela Genusa, Judith Goldman, Jack Granath, Rob Halpern, Morgan Harlow, Uyen Hua, Katryn Hurtado, Genevieve Kaplan, Nicholas Karavatos, William Knight, D Sprung Kurilecz, Reb Livingston, Adrian C. Louis, Donato Mancini, Adam J Maynard, Philip Metres, Carol Mirakove, Christopher Mulrooney, Sara Mumolo, Sawako Nakayasu, Lance Newman, Amy Ng, Douglas Piccinnini, Ernesto Priego, Jessy Randall, Nicholas Michael Ravnikar, G. David Schwartz, Marcus Slease, Dawn Sueoka, Andrew Terhune, Wendy Trevino, Anna Vitale, James Wagner, and Grzegorz Wróblewski (trans. Adam Zdrodowski)

To get your hands on it:

Send check or money order for $12 + $2 s&h to:

West Wind Review
Stevenson Union Room 333
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520

***

Below, I've posted Daniel Bailey's poem (from the new West Wind Review) called "cool sestina." I'm kind of in love with this poem right now. Scroll down to the bottom for a vid of his entire reading (approx. 10 minutes) at the Ampersand Vintage gallery in Portland. Oh, and buy his book The Drunk Sonnets from Magic Helicopter Press.

cool sestina

i used to live on a street called washington street
now i live on lake street, which is super cool
lately i've been studying how to perform magic
tricks, which is hard. and hey, i still miss you
sometimes when i think about you and me, i feel like an idiot
but most of the time, i feel ok

i like to imagine what you're doing, and if you're ok
too. i always imagine you are. are you still on marsh street?
i liked marsh street, though our neighbors were all idiots
i couldn't stand them, though sometimes they were cool
like one time they gave us beers. i had to carry you
home. i laid you down on the bed, the magic

vs. lakers game on in the background. the magic
lost. you said, "come to bed, dan." i said, "ok,"
though i wasn't tired. i fell asleep next to you
i woke up to the sound of a motorcycle on the street
it was early. i got the paper. the air was sweet and cool
reading the paper makes me feel like an idiot

microwaving burritos makes me feel like an idiot
but that's what i did. i think microwaves are magic
as far as technologies go, microwaving is the coolest
i mean, the food isn't the best. it borders on ok,
but it saves time. it's like camping in the street
before leaving for work, i kissed you

on your sleeping cheek. i said, "i love you"
but that's all gone and now i feel like an idiot
i am the parade that veers off the street
and into the alley where the unmarked magicshop is,
and the marching band director gives the ok
for the band to rage into the gutter as fish, cool

and thrashing, spawning on an empty pack of kools
tossed behind the dumpster, birthing little me's and little you's
and maybe one little guttered me and you can make it ok
maybe, eventually, i can stop feeling like such an idiot
maybe we can buy a spell from melinda's hall of magik
maybe rain will carry us into the flooded streets

and if not into the streets, then into the sewer, to a cool pond
with lots of great food, and i don't believe in magic, but i
believe in you
please tell me i'm not an idiot. please tell me we will be ok