(fleeting)


Finished in May

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Last, next.

102: Signs of Spring (Quaker Ladies)
103: Kraft Plus (Berry)

Two Field Notes memo books side by side: one used, one new
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Tonight at 7:30 (in about 6 hours), I’m one of the readers at Literary Nights, hosted by my publisher, Unsolicited Press.

I’ll be reading from Vessels, and I promise to be as inarticulate, bristly, & stand-offish as you’ve come to expect. It should be an extremely awkward trainwreck of an evening!

Finished in April

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Now playing:

Album cover for Fripp & Eno: No Pussyfooting. Brian Eno is holding a deck of what may be tarot cards. Nine colorful cards are dealt on the table beside him, in three rows of three. There is a small framed painting lying nearby. Eno's pale hair is long and straight, and he is made up with eye shadow, lipstick, and blush. Robert Fripp, wearing glasses and with a neatly trimmed beard which matches his curly head hair, sits facing Eno. They are in a mirror-lined room, so their reflections repeat a dozen or more times into the distance, growing progressively dimmer. A glass shelf is visible over Eno's head, holding a small collection of old leather-bound books. There are many other elements in the small, shiny room that seem indescribable.
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Five poems of mine just appeared this morning at talking about strawberries all of the time. Many thanks to Malcolm Curtis for giving them a home.

(One of them had already been rejected twenty-five times. Is it weird that I was secretly disappointed that I’d finally broken that streak?)

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Another bookmark has turned up. Curiously, this bookstore has the same address as Blue Whale. Now, I’ve only been to Charlottesville once. Google Maps says Blue Whale is there now, so I must have visited when it was still Seanchai and the Blue Whale came to me later, tucked inside a used book.

A bookmark from Seanchai Books in Charlottesville VA. The text reads, Selling new, used, and rare books of and about Ireland. We Buy Books.
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Now playing:

Cover image of Julian Lage's album, Speak to Me, showing a black and white photo of Lage looking out at us with a calm expression

Finished in March

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Last, next.

101: Kraft Plus (Wednesday Blue)
102: Signs of Spring (Quaker Ladies)

Two Field Notes memo books side by side: one used, one new
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Last week, I finally made it to Subtext Books in downtown St Paul for the first time. Absolutely one of the best bookstores I’ve ever been to.

Two bookmarks from Subtext Books, one side showing a splattering of black ink, the other side largely blank but labelled Notes; in the center of both, a faint round stamp that reads: Subtext Books Downtown St Paul MN Established 2012

(Original series here, with subsequent discoveries here.)

Finished in February

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My poem, “Leaving the Story Unfinished,” has just appeared as part Dusie’s long-running Tuesday Poem series.

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Last, next.

100: Leap of Faith (4,704c)
101: Kraft Plus (Wednesday Blue)

Two Field Notes memo books side by side: one used, one new
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Now playing:

cover image for the Pauline Oliveros album, Ghostdance, showing a black and white photo of a bare room with a person moving near the far wall; the photo was taken with a long shutter time, so the room is saturated with light from the two windows, and the figure is blurred and indistinct, ghostly in her movements
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A story is what remains when you leave out most of the action; a story is a coherent sequence of picture cards: One: Samson in the vineyards of Timnah; Two: the lion comes roaring at Samson; Three: Samson tears the lion apart. That’s a story but actually the main part of the action may have been that there was a butterfly in Samson’s field of vision the whole time. The picture cards don’t show the butterfly because if they did they would have to explain it. But you can’t explain the butterfly.

—Russell Hoban, Pilgermann (1983)

SA4QE

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I exist, said the mirror.
What about me? said Kleinzeit.
Not my problem, said the mirror.

—Russell Hoban, Kleinzeit (1974)

SA4QE

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Don’t drive angry!

Finished in January

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I wrote the last poems for Vessels in June of 2021.

But I feel like I finally finished the book this week when, after reviewing the galley proof, I submitted the last edits and my final About the Author and Acknowledgements drafts.

It’s all extravagant press junkets and groupies from here on out.

Three versions of a manuscript: One bound by a binder clip, titled Vessels December 2022; one in a 3-ring binder, titled Vessels March 2023, and a printout of the final galley proof as a series of small packets stapled together, titled Vessels with Dec 2023 written along the top.
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Last, next.

99: Snowy Evening (15,903)
100: Leap of Faith (4,704c)

Two Field Notes memo books side by side: one used, one new

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Screenshot of my deactivated Twitter account, with the message: This account doesn't exist. Try searching for another.

This was long overdue. I deactivated it last November, but turned it back on a few weeks later to save my following/follower list. Then it lay dormant & forgotten for most of the year, except for some DMs to people who were still nowhere else & who were seemingly impervious to email. It’s time.

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My wife and I met thirty years ago today.

I was invited over to a friend’s apartment to meet her — and she ignored me the whole time. No hello, no eye contact. Absolutely nothing. She was utterly unapproachable. Instead, she spent the evening in the other room, forehead-to-forehead with her friend, discussing and analyzing a VHS tape of the modern dance concert she’d choreographed a few weeks earlier. And I could see instantly how smart, articulate, beautiful, and, most of all, strong she was.

We began dating eleven months later, and married eleven months after that. Twenty-two months that seemed, at the time, to span thirty years. And now, thirty years that seem, at times, to have spanned barely twenty-two months. Well, that’s time for you.

Some stories belong to the breath, not to the pixel and keyboard. Some stories need the counterpoint of digressions and indignant amendments, of interruptions to refill the wine glass or the bread bowl, or to choose more music, album by album. They need the bustle and patience of a long evening, the wood and steel rhythms of a well-provisioned table.

So: to hear the rest of the story, you’ll need to be seated across from us, favorite beverage at your elbow, and all the time in the world. And perhaps a story or two for us in exchange.

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I mailed out the first batch of chapbook orders last week, and I’m ready to open it up to people beyond my newsletter subscribers.

Visit this Very Secret Page for instructions on how to buy a copy.

the cover of the chapbook with a black and white photo of a fallen log, its rings lit from the side by the glare of a car's headlights; with my name in italics above the image and the title in small caps below

Finished in November

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