i'm the opening act

on friday the 9th of march, i'll be reading for a short span as that night's "emerging poet" for the word temple poetry series at the montgomery village copperfield's bookstore in santa rosa. after that, kay ryan, a poet i greatly admire, and deborah garrison, a poet from new jersey who i don't yet know, will be featured.

i'm especially excited because i have something to give to kay ryan, and before this i didn't know how exactly i was going to get it to her. it's a very old stereoscope card of the niagara river (the title of her most recent collection) that i found at the alameda flea market the last time i was there. i was just in the middle of reading the book when i found the card. 2 dollars was the price written on the back, but the vender told me the price was actually $5. i paid it even though i was rather broke at the time. it seemed so important in its timeliness.


awful funny illustrations by matt hammill

go to his website to enjoy more.

thanks to the chocked full of goodness
canadian weblog drawn!


ewuvium: sediment of th' daiwy

go here to read my blog in an elmer fudd dialect, thanks to the dialectizer. comes also in redneck, cockney, and swedish chef, among others.

just so you know: "The Dialectizer is not intended to be racist, sexist, or otherwise demeaning or discriminatory toward any ethnic, religious, or cultural group, or any other minority (or even majority). Nowhere on this site will you find any advocation of discrimination against any group of people, which is what racism is."


man ray home movies

see him painting, lighting a cigarette, making a phone call, smiling shyly at the camera. these activities are interspersed by enthusiastic dances performed by girlfriends. it's ten minutes long but quite pleasant, i think. something it would be nice to have projecting on the wall during a small or large party, surrealist or otherwise.


earth is invisible at this scale

go to the size of our world to get the full magnitude of our smallness.

thanks to del.icio.us for bringing this to my attention.

and now comes the announcement of our new little blog, which from now on will be known simply as egg-on: "your one-stop shop for daily motivation." we hope you'll like it and visit us often.


funny little motivational devices

kay and i have decided to start a little sister blog of "motivation posters"; one for every day. since we haven't officially got it up and running, i thought i'd put a couple up over here today, so you can get an idea of how motivated we are to be silly.

we should have it up either today or tomorrow and when we do we'll give you all the particulars.

as for friday flickr, well, a clear theme:

sailboat girl

paper boat

looming boat


my first diptychs

thanks to flickr toys i spent hours fooling around tonight with the pictures i took today; in short, i spent all day and night looking in and sizing up, and uploading and fitting into.

to make your own, click on the mosaic maker.
i also liked the hockneyizer. it made my "found relative" photograph into a series of polaroids pieced together, as if by chance:

reanimating the past

due to the vanishing of this 14 second time-lapse film of a hibiscus blooming that i earlier embedded, i went out and fetched it again in the hope that it will stay.


unadorned and wildly fragile

ryan mc clennan's work achingly expresses a quality that is at the same time sprightly and vulnerable; each painting gleams with that heightened sense of aliveness that is only present when life itself ceases to be a given.

i'd like one of his paintings in every room.

thanks to juxtapoz for the link.


the best of the worst

i found this over at moba (the museum of bad art site), in their "unseen forces" collection, but honestly i think it's wonderful.


w.g. sebald points inadvertently toward the scholarly quality of blogging

"in the week i went daily to the bibliotheque nationale on the rue richelieu, and usually remained in my place there until evening, in silent solidarity with the many others immersed in their intellectual labors, losing myself in the small print of the footnotes to the works i was reading, in the books i found mentioned in those books, then to the footnotes to those books in their own turn, and so escaping from factual scholarly accounts to the strangest of details, in a kind of continual regression expressed in the form of my own marginal remarks and glosses, which increasingly diverged into the most varied and impenetrable of ramifications."

--both text and image from sebald's "austerlitz"


panning the labyrinth

despite all the glowing praise "pan's labyrinth" has been receiving, i must say for me it left something to be desired. yes it was visually stunning and at times so gruesome i could hardly watch. but it was precisely this contradiction, something about the disconnect between the magical half of the story and the extremely brutal half, that left me unsure about it as a whole.
it is not in the sense of symmetry gone awry where my discontent with the film lies. i just don't think it pulls off the fusing of these two disparate elements successfully. though it's entirely possible that this letting the ragged and missed stitches show is intentional to the "message" of the film, i didn't get the feeling that it was. on the one hand the audience is expected to follow a conventional and sometimes clichéd fairy tale, and on the other we are immersed in a brutal depiction of reality. the film seemed to be operating under the assumption that these two worlds could be and would be compatible if one willed them to be, no distilling required.
i suppose i disagreed.

( if you read this post before i changed it, let me just say that when i got home from work and reread it, it felt like it needed more finessing of its own. also, i'm not used to publically disagreeing. i never used to do it at all-- in fact i barely had an opinion for many years-- and now that i really do have one, and i really do disagree with many people, it's still difficult for me to deal with the aftermath of my disagreement. soon i begin doubting that my opinion is somehow flawed by blind spots. but rather than back out of my opinion altogether, i work to make my opinion not sound like a finished thing i'm ready to bronze; after all, bronzing an opinion is about as absurd as bronzing a raincloud-- )


just past friday favourites

this still from godard's "alphaville" by francesco

this lock by travis gray

and these pajamas by catherine buca


"You have to rinse your life from time to time. Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood." -- miranda gaw & w.h. auden

this is my hundredth post. everyday i get to wake up and take a look around, everymorning i start fresh on my eyefulls. here is where i pour them out. where i empty my pockets of treasure.

this visual feast is from a book entitled the present history produced by the contextual villians in australia. it can be had for a mere $32 plus eleven dollars in shipping, less if you move to australia first.

o but i almost for got to thank bb for this great link. thank you bb.
another wonderful find is this weblog by miranda gaw out of brooklyn. i was digging through her archives and found this many-storied poem:

I work in a box factory & this is my
humdrum workaday factory song:
my office is on the sixteenth floor
and the fifteenth floor is a string factory
and the fourteenth floor is a patchwork factory
and the thirteenth floor is a tequila factory
and the twelfth floor is a dream factory
and the eleventh floor is a cumin factory
and the tenth floor is a homily factory
and the ninth floor is a pink factory
and the eighth floor is a beef stew factory
and the seventh floor sells cleaning fluids
and the sixth floor sells insurance
and the fifth floor assembles furniture
and the fourth floor stands empty
and the third floor is an alpha wave factory
and the second floor is a factory factory
and the ground floor, of course, is a Starbucks
and below that is a great
hive of machines in the basement
oh how they thrum & drumroll hum
I can feel it in the bottoms of my feet
as I sit here at my desk on the sixteenth floor.

happy hundredth from somewhere in the vast factory.


isabel contemplates her navel

and sophie gets a new smile...


my first bento

i've heard the cautionary advice on not posting what you had for lunch on your blog, but it doesn't seem as if my very first bento fits into this category.

doesn't bento transcend the mundane disclosure of a lunch's contents? is it not also an art, akin to arranging flowers or writing poetry? isn't it a medium of its own that must take into account harmony of color, flavor, texture, and travel-ability?

why make excuses for my bento photo? it's silly, really. if i have broken a blogging rule, may my sentence be reduced owing to my deeper delvings into the nature of food itself.

if i am to prepare good and deeply satisfying food i have to remain in the moment the whole time i'm making it. i can heat up food absentmindedly, but the act of really preparing it-- washing and peeling, chopping and combining various elements of a dish-- requires that i stay focused on my tasks or else the dish ultimately fails. it either burns or reveals in its final flavor some absence or buried glitch, like a dropped stitch in a piece of knitting.

for this dish i patiently de-meated a whole crab, something i've never done without eating half of it while i was working, then mixed the crabmeat with chopped chives and lemon juice, sliced paper-thin potato rounds on the mandoline and baked them until crisp, sliced cucumbers and slipped them in sideways all around the soft mache salad and voilá. i only used half of the crabmeat, and figured i'd use the rest at breakfast. wow. i never knew before the deep sense of anticipation that can be created simply by having half a crab's worth of crabmeat waiting for you in the refrigerator. try it sometime.

well, besides my bento i wanted to share:

a delightful photoblog called running from camera, in which all the pictures in it are of this guy in the netherlands running from his camera after he sets the self-timer for two seconds,

and the george w bush speechwriter. go there to write a speech for bush to repeat back to you. it's scary and fun. thanks to readymade blog for the link.


poised for something

i removed the dream from yesterday's post. it was just a restaurant anxiety dream with an ending i couldn't really remember. i wasn't happy with it as a dream to be shared; too much of its substance had dissipated by the time i was fully awake.
what is left of it now is only the outline around it, shaped by these words-- my justification for erasing it. somehow this brings the luster back into it. it's absence makes it much more interesting than it was when it was there.

the flags are all still at half mast. on the way to school the other day, sophie and i were talking about the surge of respect death brings. she said: 'the world is weird. when you're alive you're nobody, but when you die you become the most important person who ever lived.'

it has been so cold the last few days, so clear and bright at night the stars seem like small pointed teeth. at the dog park this morning even my thick wooly gloves were no match for the cold. one of the men, he comes to the park occasionally with his 20 year old dog, mona lisa, said to me: 'mittens are better. your fingers keep each other warm.'


the real friday


what a clever idea for a mugshot

this is one of the mugshots in mark michaelson's new book "least wanted: a century of american mugshots." see the smithsonian magazine review of it here. i wonder why the mirror thing never caught on. it seems like it would have been economical to only have to take one picture instead of two. but maybe the rogues would smash them.

my question is-- how did everyone manage to look so glamorous back then?

well... maybe not everyone.

thanks again to 3 quarks daily for the link.

and it's friday again already, so here is a good pair of flickr photos to wrap your peepers around:




why don't you dance

a short and charming clip from godard's 'band of outsiders.'
thanks to mav, and to jen who led me there.


kiss kiss

sunday afternoon...

an arranged marriage

home is like this

and this

eggshells, teabags, lime peel

onion skin, mango pit.


bookjacket photographs

yesterday i went to the library, suddenly hungry--no, ravenous-- for a story. i headed straight for the fiction section--an unusual thing for me in the public library. normally i flit about there as if i was a hummingbird; the sheer volume of the kinds of knowledge there are to be had combined with the deep generosity of the whole library system usually puts me into a kind of tizzy. i quickly fill up with the kind of anxious crazed joy of children who have been allowed to stay up past their bedtimes and eat unlimited amounts of sweets. i always end up checking out too many books to carry home comfortably; books on gardening, breadmaking, learning chinese, making your own clothes, raising a teenager, constructing lampshades without sewing, philosophy, art, photography, puppet-making, surrealist poetry, world history, dogs, chickens, ways to make money on the side. when i get them up the stairs i sit in bed with them for hours, skimming wildly from one to the next, consuming them like a chain smoker, nestling them open inside of each other, a crazed intoxicated speed reader dog-earing pages as i go in a desperate attempt not to forget everything i've read.

inevitably by evening i have an information hangover, and am plagued by disillusion and regret. already the books seem so overlarge and burdensome i want to return them to the library in order to experience the lightness of having them gone.

but yesterday was different. i knew what i wanted, though not exactly. i would know as soon as i found it. i relished moving slowly across the shelves with my eyes. i cherished the comfort of the dewey decimal system. surely this was one of the ultimate ways one could be alive, is how i was feeling.

certain very modern books, when i opened them, i knew right away they were not what i wanted. books so modern that when you open them they glare at you like the lights in a modern supermarket. maybe something too casual about the dialogue, i don't know exactly, though i could feel the difference very palpably. but i did notice that one book i thought looked somewhat interesting stopped being interesting to me when i saw the bookjacket photograph of its author. the trance the book had started to put me into was broken when i saw the author's picture. something too slick about it--it made her look like a newscaster. i put it back. after a little while i found a small carson mccullers copy of "the ballad of the sad cafe" and accompanying stories, something i somehow managed to get all the way through graduate school as a literature major without reading. i read a page and knew it was the right book. or one of the right books. there was no photo of her on the back. but after coming home and reading those stories one after the other until there were no more to read, i really wanted a picture of her to look at. so i found this one:

yes she looks very young in it, but she published "the heart is a lonely hunter" when she was only twenty-three.

another book i found, and which is proving to be delighful, as i started in on it as soon as i closed carson's book, is a book of stories by roald dahl, titled "kiss kiss." yes he is famed for writing for children, but believe me, he can also spin wicked stories for grown-ups. here is the lovely bookjacket photo from that book:

candidly sweet, that's how i like these bookjacket photos.

well, that's what i though until i found that the library was carrying a copy of georges perec's "a void," a vast oulipian experiment of a novel, written without a single letter "e". though i am a big perecian, i had so far-- yes, avoided-- reading it, largely because i thought it might be too much of an experiment, and maybe not as engaging as everything else he ever wrote. what a silly thought. a quick glance at the first page and i was reassured. "mmmm... how scrumptious is milk at midnight," what a sentence!. i flipped the book over happily to glimpse the familiar face, and what greeted me was a picture of perec i had never seen before. it surprised me so much i jumped a little:

it was so funny and sudden of a picture, it was as if he'd jumped out at me from behind a curtain and said 'boo.'

these were the books i took up to the circulation desk. the librarian, who has been there for ages, doesn't really greet you. but i was not really in the kind of mood to not have a greeting, so i greeted her. it turned out the perec book wasn't in the system. as the librarian typed in the title of the non-existent book that was right in front of us, she chuckled. i began to feel that excitement you feel when something clicks. while she was trying to find the book in the system i told her all about how it didn't have any "e"s in it, and what's more, it had been written in french without any "e"s and then translated into english without "e"s, which was doubly amazing. she agreed. she never found it in the system. she surmised that though the book had been physically in the library for years, no one had ever checked it out until now. i told her i thought georges perec would really appreciate his book "a void" being lost in the void of the library system and us standing here trying to unravel it. she said she was going to look him up. she told me to have a nice day as i went out.


what's that fluttering underneath

for more "avian couture" you must visit susan jamison's site. [thanks to camilla we now know who she is.]

and now she sets the framework for our flickr friday.
as in:
anticipation shapes the day:

as in: what is there and belongs to the set of which we haven't yet seen.

as in: the day pulls me into it like an oar.

go here to get to the photostreams...