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Thomas McGrath

Johnny and I are rereading McGrath's Letter to an Imaginary Friend. In our 25 or more years of reading long poems out loud to each other, we've never repeated till now. We are blown away just as much this time. McGrath (1916–90) is from North Dakota and is as good as Willa Cather  Read More 
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Headed for the heap

Scrap & salvage depot, Butte.
I got my first-ever flu shot today.

The houses in Butte could be new or a hundred years old, but the cars are unmistakably long-ago.

I bored my new doctor because nothing is wrong with me.

Even so, something is waiting. All expectations lead to the dump.

But until then, I'll jump up & down.  Read More 
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Tompkins Square Park

It's our local park, along with lots of little gardens that we float through in the neighborhood. I love that nothing (everything) has changed in a hundred years.
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Underbuyers Not-So-Anonymous

It's hard for me to get even things that will make my life easier. If I lived in the country, I'd probably shovel snow with a dustpan wired to a broomstick. I admire people who identify the tools they need & get them.

I don't think it's about indecisiveness: this shredder or that? I'm not cheap (look at my shelf of shoes if you don't believe that).

Today I bought  Read More 
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Gettin' high

Maybe I like roofs so much because my secret place to read when I was a kid was the roof of our garage. You went through the backyard, behind the garage and the yards of the houses behind us, climbed a wall & a tree, and then you were out of sight, but close enough that you could hear if you were yelled for, and calibrate exactly when you had to appear. As the middle kid in a big family in a small house, that's where I spent many of the happiest moments of my childhood.  Read More 
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I *do* speak Norwegian

Hey wow. Once again, I put it out there & the universe responds.

I say far & wide that I am studying Norwegian, and my Finnish friend Heli shows up with two Norwegian friends. Who spoke to me in slow but not mutant-slow Norwegian, & I frigging understood them. And I constructed sentences in response—not Read More 
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It's odd & wonderful that my old friend is now an important and beloved public figure. I knew it was coming on—she's been famous for years—but recently there's been a burst of acclaim. No one has worked harder, no one deserves this more. Even the people I know who begrudge everyone everything—including what they don't even want—are happy for her.

The Poetry Project hosted a great night, homage to Eileen & her two recent books—the reprinted Chelsea Girls and a new and selected poems. As she said, it's great to have the memorial while the poet is still alive.

I was pleased to be one of the readers, along with (here's the whole list) Sam Ace, Jen Benka, Charles Bernstein, Stephen Boyer, Alexander Chee, Cathy de la Cruz, r. erica doyle, Megan Fernandes, Adam Fitzgerald (too late to read), Emily Gould, Patricia Spears Jones, erica kaufman, Porochista Khakpour, Nate Lippens, Ben Lerner, Trace Peterson, Ariana Reines, Jill Soloway, Stacy Szymaszek, Anne Waldman, Joe Westmoreland, and Simone White.

In the spirit of Eileen's adventurousness, I read a poem of hers that I translated into Norwegian:  Read More 
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Catch up

Once again I was off on Monday & Tuesday for the end of the fall holidays.

Today I was getting ready to be part of Eileen Myles' book party by translating a poem into Norwegian. She's always trying something new & risky, so I figured I would too.

I'll post it tomorrow if I don't get tomatoed off the stage when I read it.  Read More 
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A record

October 1: the earliest that anyone hqw said to me "aren't you cold?" because we were dressed for different seasons, me in a tee-shirt, him in a coat heavier than my winter jacket. It was maybe 60°. This happens all winter. I like being warm indoors and cold out.
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A little vacation in the sky

My super let me go up on the roof with him this afternoon, something I've always wanted to do (because I always want to go up on any roof) (possibly because I was once a roofer?) (& didn't realize that my basement key opens the building's door as well). Such a different view than from my home building, even though it's just a couple of blocks away. I like this photo because it feels like a medieval Spanish alleyway more than an East Village rooftop.  Read More 
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