Thursday, December 27, 2007

Daphne and Jim

Slow in the world L.A. poetry.

In other news...we'll be doing a third printing of Laurel Snyder's Daphne and Jim next week. We just sold out...again. She's going to be signing copies for us at AWP on Saturday from 1-2. This will likely be the last run. There's been talk about possibly doing a limited edition version, something super high quality. Purely speculative at this point. She's been amazing to work with over the last couple of years. Her full length collection The Myth of Simple Machines came out a couple of months ago from No Tell Books. You should by it.

Friday, December 21, 2007


I went to Skylight Books for the first time yesterday. Nice bookstore, with a good amount of journals and magazines. I picked up the new Conjunctions. The thing is beast, coming in at over 450 pages. About half of is dedicated to an aviary theme (birds are very in right now), the other half being a John Ashbery tribute. I've got through about 50 pages so far, mostly fiction, and am impressed with the work (although the long Anne Waldman poem is a struggle). I can't come close to imagining putting together an issue that large. We struggle with 70 pages.

Yesterday was also cause for minor celebration, I wrote the first draft of the last of the Dot-to-Dot, Oregon poems (John Day Fossil Beds). That makes 50 poems. Currently 31 are complete, 4 or so are really close, and the others are the others. 7 have been either been published or are pending (here are 2). I'm hoping to everything done by June. The most exciting part is knowing that I finally get to write about something other than Oregon.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

You Know When Portland is Officially the Place You Belong...

...when it rains in Los Angeles and you get homesick.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

My Ears Are Still Ringing

Beside the weather, the best thing about L.A. has to be the amount of stuff to do on a daily basis. I just returned from the Les Savy Fav show tonight, literally 100 steps from our front door at the El Rey Theater (amazing show, if you ever get the chance to see them...). This afternoon we went to the farmer's market in Silver Lake (there are multiple farmer's markets every day of the week. And we're talking good stuff, i.e., local, organic, beautiful quality. Not to mention the one today had an amazing pupusa stand). A couple nights ago we went to see some improve at the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theater (only $5-). Last night I went to some photo exhibit at Von Dutch (my buddy Toby who I went to college with, is a artist in residency with them. I've been a there a few times deserves a post of it's own).

While a lot of it requires $$$ and a traffic riddled car ride, the options are wonderfully novel.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Public Transportation

Because gas costs what it does and because I can't park downtown for less than $6- a day, I take the bus to and from work everyday. The 20 or 720 takes you on a straight shot down Wilshire into downtown. I pass through some interesting areas like Alvarado Street and Koreatown. The bus is kind of the opposite of a popularity contest, meaning that it's not so much who you want to sit next to, rather who you really don't want to sit next to. And trust me when I say that there are some crazy motherfuckers riding L.A. Public Transit. Everybody says "Well you must get some interesting material." Using that line of reasoning, it's easier to understand Bukowski.

The interesting thing for me is personal. I'm usually the only white dude on the bus. The experience is so far removed from anything one can experience in Portland, and one of the main reasons that we came here. I'm sure this all comes off as very naive, but for the majority of my life I've lived in places like Portland, Flagstaff, the suburbs of San Fransisco, the O.C. and Honolulu. And even though I've traveled fairly extensively, the concept of being the minority has never been part of my day to day life (except for being Jewish, which is fairly easily hidden. And in L.A. it's anything but a minority, more yamulchas around here than churches!). I think it's important. I enjoy it.

I also need to apologize to the L.A. Public Library. After spending an ample amount of time there over the course of the last week, I have found a rather extensive poetry selection. I will not apologize in regards to my comment about the abundance of rancid, stinky, snoring folks there. My original assertion was correct.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


It seems as if normal life is upon us. Routine is here. For the first 6 weeks or so, we were so bright eyed, everything was so exotic. But now we're working, grocery shopping, paying bills. etc. All in all, I think we like L.A. more than we thought we would (don't worry Portland, we still love you).

The amount of poetry events has dwindled lately. When I first got here, it seemed as if there was an interesting reading almost every night. Now it's hard to find one a week. It's likely due to this time of year, Christmas, etc. Hopefully things will pick back up after New Year's.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

L.A. Public Library

Been hanging out at the L.A. Public Library between shifts. If appears as if the person in charge of the poetry section died in 1952 and was never replaced. A decent array of anthologies and essays, but not much else. Zzyzyva and The Threepenny Review make up the contemporary small press literary journal section. But the library makes up for any shortage of poetry with an ample amount of dirty men obscenely snoring away on the comfy chairs.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


After 3 wonderful months of unemployment, I am back in the saddle again, waiting tables at a fancy restaurant in downtown L.A. I'm only working lunches and have the weekends off, so it doesn't get much better.

Downtown is kind of interesting, and a place no one ever talks about when L.A. comes up. There seems to be a big revival going on down there, tons of new construction-lofts, restaurants, shops, theaters, etc. Up until recently it's been fairly sketchy, a huge homeless population. It's a straight bus ride down Wilshire for me, so it's easy and I get a new part of town to explore.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Coming Along

Momentum has been gaining as far as the L.A. issue goes. More and more submissions coming in.

This week we took poems from William Archila, Caley O'Dwyer and Leslie Harrison. I was in touch with Wanda Coleman, and will likely be sitting down to do the interview in a month's time.

In other rained two made us homesick. But don't worry about us the sun has reappeared and the temperature is back in the 70s.