Saturday, July 31, 2004

saturday morning coming down...

shanna drives well, shafter navigates well, shawn and i passenger well.

costello, the dog, has a rubber crab in his mouth and is showing it off.

nestled in shafer's crotch (flower-print boxers; not good), costello looks like
a texan's furry, eight-inch penis.

sybil has a good stomach. good definition and an attractive belly button.

we're in boston. i don't like guest blogging.

Keep Loose.

Live from Boston.
Shafer almost, but didn't, get arrested.
Shafer may, or may not, have pissed himself.
John Cotter is missing.
Costello is psyched.


Friday, July 30, 2004

Lookout Boston!

Shanna and Shawn are on their way to pick up the rental car.  We're getting very excited about seeing the ones we love.  Like John, Jaime, Sybil Durgin, and Mr. Jim, old papa bear up in his Wordsworth attic.  We only hope Dan can make it.


The Durge Report

Straight from the Durge's mouth: Sybil Durgin expresses concern about our travel arrangements to the Poetry Massacre.

"New Yorkers aren't supposed to DRIVE CARS!!!!"

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Famous Persons Eleven

Small format again to preserve long lines.
Teddy Roosevelt Still Hunts the Halls of the Menger Hotel

Teddy Roosevelt still hunts the halls of the Menger Hotel
for tigers and other big bears of men to haul themselves on horses
in wild borderlands where ever one will lick criminals with big bounties
on their heads and pack real close through bottle neck canyons
so even the buzzards can smell ya. Teddy will tell them
about the glory of the brushfire life, where meals are cooked
over open flame, because if you don’t eat you will surely die.
The Menger Hotel still cooks meat in the old ways using heat
like they did in the days when Teddy wasn’t invisible.

From Philadelphia Weekly:

If you're in or around Philly on Monday night, go hang out with my patron saint Marion Wrenn:


PBQ Pimps You Out

Mon., Aug. 2, 8pm. Free. Khyber, 56 S. Second St. 215.238.5888.

Philadelphia has always had a thriving poetry scene--from writers with national reputations who live here, to readings that bring in such writers from other corners of the country. (Poet Gerald Stern, for instance, did a reading at little ol' Molly's Bookstore in the Italian Market a couple weeks ago--and he's won everything from the National Book Award to numerous NEA grants.) Painted Bride Quarterly contributes to the region's literary excellence by publishing poetry, fiction, essays and photographs. Now the publication brings its quirky programming to the Khyber. The first part of the evening includes readings by three authors--Kathy Graber; Michele Kotler, founder of the Community~Word Project and a performative poet from New York; and Aaron Balkan, along with acoustic music by Michael Bryson and others. Then comes Poetry-Improv Meets Post-Modernism (PIMP), which is like Whose Line Is It Anyway for creative types and intellectuals. Past PBQ events have proven bawdy and fun, so you shouldn't feel intimidated by the subject matter. (Liz Spikol)

Ah the sweet dreams...

Of the night shifter.  Been having very apocalyptic ones lately.

Shanna and I...

...were talking this morning about seeing more non-poet poets contribute to Operation: Tiger.  We're still waiting on a lot of contributions, not in the least of which are Ada, Jaime, John, and Paul, but I'd love to hear from EVERYBODY.  Poetry has all the populism of rock 'n roll, and I love Dan.

The Frequency Reading Series...

...will be thoroughly booked when we get back from the Poetry Massacre, we promise!  But now is a good time to let us know if you haven't heard from us proper-like.  Email us at shaferhall at gmail dot com.  XO!

Good times, good times.

Just looking through the archives at Lee Klein's Eyeshot.  My favorite Eyeshot story ever is On the Jitney by Ginny Wray.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

#11 Tiger Poem

From Anthony Robinson comes our ELEVENTH (!) tiger poem.  I had to use a very, very small font so that the lines wouldn't be broken up.  I hope that you can read it:

Self-Conscious Menagerie: Tiger

In the bulging hammock of the universe, a tiger holds court.
a tiger in a hammock means business                  we love business.

today star says: libra take what you want              don’t think you can’t have
Johnny go-getter pins Sally to the canvas like a hollow butterfly

beautifully. Alice Toklas makes eggs with two sticks of butter.
my cookbooks stand in as fish stand in.   you know, poems.

lacking the photos the too big seething hat.       language tw-
itching in my groin.                    Michael Palmer of the moment.

who goes where               I’ve made your French things dirty
the laundry of your wan Bastille, your panties on the sill

a tiger in a laundry room washes more efficiently.         than antelope.
your hard surface burning bright.            your symmetry, jawbone, lack.

calves too thin. frock too thin. face too thin. hungry tiger makes
the strongest drinks. hanging from a tree, I picked a juicy cherry.

working through the twelve-year old’s catalog of vice. managed
cigarettes, cursing.        next up, masturbation.              I’ll be quite good.

in the bulging ladle of the backyard, Twemlow’s cat holds court.
he is not a tiger.                                             he is not of that tribe.

I am striped today.       lick milk from thin fingers, too thin.      nails
holes in my hands & heart. holes in my distance from.

tigers blow things up.     like balloons and bombs.     like ungraceful
people.                 stood up.          looked out.             saw the most lovely

the tooth of the French tiger.     & the Spanish tiger.       the girl
falling over her dress.                   we’ve made a mess, li’l tiger.

Famous Persons Poem Number...Ten?

I wrote this very weird Famous Persons Poem the other day in the back of a cab with a hangover.  Please forgive me.

Che Guevara and Georgette Magritte with their Dog after the War

were silently silencing the power elite
when they stopped at the fake moustache store.
Easily buying their devil disguise
they danced in the blood of the chic,
just like the demons, moon glows, Oreos
firebugs. For now and ever after
as it’ll be forever known
as Che Guevara and Georgette
Magritte sucking eyeballs
out of severed heads like dogs
after the war.

Adam Golaski

contributes to the Alcohol & Cigarettes from all the way in Montana with the below untitled number:

Remove the cellophane stop
Gold plastic strip stop to
smell the cigarettes Stop
remove aluminum foil
stop to smell the cigarettes
Tobacco but grapes Smell
grapes/tobacco stop
the dry cigarette between
dry lips no moisture
cellophane the foil
book of matches a shirt
breast pocket stop


Imagine you’re HIV postive whom
must you tell anyone at’ll
You’re snoring You’re
toying the hair on a woman’s vagina
You’ve opened outside, "c’mon"
Imagine a train not a subway a train
A dry cigarette unlit You can
hear your own snoring who’ve
you infected Your future strain
a pattern You’re snoring again

#10 Tiger Poem

My lovely Frequency co-host & cohort Rachael Rakes contributes the following untitled
tiger poem. 

the home depot resume formatting office tiger
as something else to hurt in the box for hurting
that requires thinking of a globe
and then zeroing in somewhere
the home depot resume formatting office tiger
presents a problem
does more than that
is a chard on a sphere of a problem
bigger than weeks
has to do with men in tiger suits

#9 Tiger Poem

Reb contributes our Number Ninth Tiger Poem here!

The Durge Report

Sybil Durgin is working on some tiger prose for us.  She's looking forward to the weekend!

Our beloved

Four Faced Liar! 

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Pedro's Rising

Special Guest LOUIS at Happy Hour tonight at theFour Faced Liar.  Hang on to your...hats.

Contribute to

Operation: Tiger, or I'll give you a wedgie, and you'll be forever deemed uncool.  Remember high school, y'all poets?  Me neither.  Except for the good parts.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

#8 Tiger Poem

Laurel's delightful contribution to Operation: Tiger is here.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Oh Yeah!

In addition to poetry, interpretive dance by Marion, and general sodomy, Sunday will also feature Thomas Hopkins singing showtunes with Kermit the Frog.  Wow!

Slovenia? I hardly know ya!

I believe that the correct spelling is Pepe LePew.  I don't know about accents.

Here's a nice line from Paul Killebrew's poem Entropy Missteps.

Hi, breakfast, my name is Paul,
and my house is full of water.

Paul's writing poems in Slovenia.  And dancing.  We hope he'll be back soon.

The World by Storm

Check out Katey's new poems on Failbetter.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

My #9 Famous Persons Poem

The Daughter of Frankenstein Hopes Her New Lover Doesn’t Discover Her Bolts
Crossing thick fingers in a charming
show of humanity and faith for someone
so…so created, she squeezes her eyelids
shut and wonders if she should pray.

This new lover, he doesn’t seem
to be the sort who’d try to turn them
lefty-loosey (guys have tried this before;
it is excruciatingly painful.) Oh well,

she thinks, as she strokes his “natural”
hair, if he’s like all the rest, I can just
crush his head like a cantaloupe. I’ve
got no fear of torches anymore

and Dad could probably use some company
up there in that dark tower.

Self-Styled European Chanteuses

This Sunday at the Four-Faced Liar we will be saying goodbye to our good friend Rachel Shukert with another open reading.  Our theme this week (how not?) will be "Divas."  Marion Wrenn will be doing an interpretive dance, so you won't want to miss that, and I expect that we can expect more obscene haiku by Tom and Amanda. 

So that'll be this Sunday at 3pm at 165 W. 4th St.  Yeeha!


I've got a great tiger poem from Anthony Robinson, which I will get up once I've taught myself a few more things about blogging.

While we're on the subject, has anyone had trouble making links since they changed the dashboard interface?

Tiger Poem #7

Scott McDonald has contributed a bitchin' tiger poem via his  Here's the direct link.


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

#6 Tiger Poem!

Shanna Compton tells it like it must be...
What Tigers Will Be Wearing This Fall

Lots of plums and purples, ladies,
with glamorous retro details.
The males will opt for sporty plaids,
and corduroy or moleskin fabrics.
For most the barefoot look is in,
but expect the chic in boots.
Their overcoats will wrap around
and tie below their middles.
The younger set gets kitten heels
in leather soft and supple.
Headgear takes the simple tack
(so's not to cover ears)
perhaps a feather or a jewel,
but nothing remotely fancy.

What you won’t see this fall a tiger in stripes.
They’ve loaned them to the girls downstairs
for their wildlife lingerie.

Tiger Poem #5

Daniel Nester weighs in.  And tigers weigh ALOT!
what’s he like? the man himself?

the second hand chumps in Godly
Play—I mean, phooey—! My first hand
in three rings for an out in the open act—
can’t you see I talk here to interrupt—
a third—well no, a stringed-out stop
cos we all don’t get much breakfast no more
round here for nowadays—just eggs easied up
for workaholics for the scholars who
chomp up tiger-bits of a certain curtains—
make out in the bug house all you want but folks
mean what you make, make what you mean
cos it’s just as easy to bake up the cry,
on a porch or simply lament alot—
and believe me now, partners, believe me
serve speech only when it growls
when it growls—you understand?
what’s he like? the man himself?
oh me I grew up in alot of spaces
I just space everything out

Monday, July 19, 2004

Tiger #4

From Jennifer L. Knox comes a poem that is both Tiger and Famous Person poem:
Enter the Tiger of the Wu Tang Clan
Oh tiger, you’re too much
shiny teeth in a million dollar
bag of fur, claws and blood
(your own), and you say that
shit ain’t nothing to fuck with.
Oh tiger, the pains you take
in taking down anything that even
blinks like a tiger, like on a box
of Frosted Flakes: the little striped
strip behind Tony’s red bandana?
Lord, tiger knows it’s got to go.
All that shit’s got to go if it takes
all night and all day and it will.
But, oh no, tiger – the kittens, too?
You don’t even know where
or if they live.

Famous Persons: Special Edition

The many-talented artist Charlie Orr wrote this very special Famous Persons poem, which he read yesterday at the Alcohol & Cigarettes FFL reading.
Daniel Nester is afraid of bats 
Daniel Nester is afraid of bats
Not cats, he has two
He may be afraid also of rats,
which look like giant mice
Which bats resemble
Which Daniel is afraid of
Bruce Wayne took on the guise of a bat because
“criminals are a cowardly, superstitious lot”
therefore Daniel Nester, who is afraid of bats
is a criminal
Hydrophobia is another name for rabies
Which is something some bats carry
So Daniel may have a point
His point being “I’m afraid of bats”

The Durge Report: Special Edition

In this special edition of the Durge Report, Sybil Durgin reports on John Cotter and Adam Golaski's reading in Missoula, Montana, without ever leaving the coziness of her Cambridge, MA pad: 
Ah, Missoula, Montana.  Who new it would be so hot?  And by hot I mean John Cotter and Adam Golaski.  Arriving late to QuarterMoon Books, I was expecting a typical reading.  To my surprise, the room was darkened and a small stage was set in the front.  Dim lighting showcased a small brass bed, a loveseat and a wet bar.  R. Kelly was playing through the sound system and the lights went off completely.  Suddenly, on the downbeat, the stage lights were thrown back on and John Cotter appeared on the loveseat and lit a candle.  Adam soon appeared on the brass bed.  Wearing naught but a sheet and doing nasty things with a down pillow, Adam let the poetry of the moment speak for itself.  This was probably the best reading I have ever been too.  I mean, for serious, they had coordinated dance moves and were wearing thongs.  Also, John poured hot wax from the candle onto his chest.  So, dear readers, think what you will about western Montana, but I will never think of the cold, barren winters that last well into April.  It’s the hot nearly naked poets gyrating to the sounds of Top 40 radio that will forever bring me back to this lovely city nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

Famous Persons #8

Rick Rubin Produces Something that Isn’t a Record
Like an afternoon
at the supermarket,
when you’ve got
a hangover.  You
can’t stand a lot
of light, but you
can’t turn any
lights off any
way.  You’re not
the producer of
this supermarket
on this Saturday.
Rick Rubin
disguised himself
by taking off his
sunglasses, snuck
off to the left
of the fish counter,
and threw a bunch
of switches, and
the supermarket
plunged into
soothing darkness.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Operation: Tiger #3

We love Katey!  Welcome to our #3 Tiger Poem, by Katey Nicosia...
A Tiger is Still a Tiger

A paper tiger, a tiger in the wind.
A leaning tiger, on the verge of tiger.

A lily. A tiger one.
A bunch of tigers in the water.

A hungry tiger, a mouth of tigers.
Timber tiger taxidermy.

Stop saying tiger.
Stop coughing.

The tiger project:
touch it, touch the tiger.

That is a tiger.

A man, a tiger in bed.
The headboard, the headboard.

A wooden tiger, a tiger on the mantle,
a still tiger is still a tiger.  A tiger.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Guest Blogger Amanda Says....

Early Superbowl prediction:
Philadelphia Eagles     16
Miami Dolphins     24
But the Texans will make it to the AFC championship game.  I promise.  If only because Shafer can rock red hot pants and a matching University of Houston titty shirt like no one else can.

Guest Blogger Dave Says...

I haven't been to Friday since the last time I was in Madison, Wisoconsin.
Friday asked me if I needed to get drunk off my ass, and have sex with his daughter on the isthimus.
Lock black on the half-shell, can't eat my bike-rail right underneath my nuts. I keep riding, riding, riding...i need to keep riding until i figure out if I understand why all those little towns keep getting in the way way of my my friends that keep dying in lock step and smoke step of all my past next steps.
I miss them all.

Tiger Poem #2

From Michael Schiavo...

Blue Hay

Experts are puzzled by the farmer's wife --
At least that's what they want you to believe.

Instead of sleeping, they're wide awake, ourselves like
Ghost ships risen from the sea, aimed directly

At the bewildered muskateers
With their grotesque wit, sloppy from one arcade

To another, nothing too abstract, spelling
It all out lest they embarrass themselves

Or the tribe. Not that social organizations are overly
Important -- broad, old, glittering, they have their dignity

Under the sun, but to us are as beastly mice, exemplifying
What we most abhor. It's not just the land, either,

The water too is difficult to understand. And even
A house, which would seem to be a comprehensible

Structure, has given us tizzy to spew and break
Its untraceable windows and burn linen

In the same kettle we accidentally cooked
The parakeet when we meant the tiger.


I've updated my tiger posting becuase it, um, didn't make very much sense.  I was, um, tired last night when I posted it.

Tiger Poem #1

From Maureen:
All Bets Are Off

The plastic monkeys thrilled 'em
And the origami tigers'
Tiger striping killed 'em
When the tiger/monkey opera
Was playing in New York.

But monkeys stiffen, dancing
And the tigers' jungle wagers
Stranded them in Lansing
With no money and no days left
Of sick leave off from work.

The opera torn asunder
And the monkeys all in rehab,
Hoping someday to recover
From their muscular afflictions
Enough to use a fork,

The tigers hocked their whiskers
And the bookies shut their windows.
Now, in Lansing, ladies whisper,
Laughing past the alleyways where
The loser tigers lurk.

Nothing Scares a Tiger Like a Tiger

Join me in writing one thousand poems about tigers.  Work backwards or forwards from my last lines or titles, or make your own.
All will be posted here.
A Burn, A Tiger, But Not So Bright
A Tiger Is Still A Tiger
I Out-Tigered Myself
Last Lines:
a cough (I cheated) and out-tigered the tiger.
tigers lust too.
I thought he was sharp, and then I realized he was not a he, but a tiger.
that tiger somehow seemed to know how to think like a tiger.

Only the Dead Know Brooklyn...

…but we the living can do our best. So c’mon out to Ft. Greene Friday night after the last performance of Neal Medlyn’s Chelsea Clinton of Comedic Arts (which will also be one of the last performances ever at the Lower East Side location of Collective Unconscious) and we’ll see what shakes down. So that’ll be Collective Unconscious at 8pm, then our Horse Badorties Fort Greene Pad at 9:30. Try not to do anything that my mom wouldn’t want you to do.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Famous Persons #7

Bruce Springsteen in Exile 
All the atmosphere over here
always surprises me.  I’m always
surprised to learn that I can still
feel things outside of New Jersey.
There’s plenty of “ouch” out here,
and big drums, and hip swivel.
And love, too, of course.  Who
doesn’t feel that?  I can still
be tongue-in-my-cheeky about
some kinds of love, some anthems.

Even out here, I can orbit Asbury.

America is a better place

now that Sean McNally has a blog.

No one needs to save you now.

Famous Persons #6

On a challenge from Tony.

Paul Simon and Sherman Alexei Have a Pig Roast

And it was heavenly, with a pert
New England apple in its mouth
and such a stern, indigenous look
on its face as it spun slowly, as if

to some sort of South American
rhythm (that had been slowed down),
and there was no fighting, both
being such gentlemen celebrities,

and it was such a big spit,
but neither bragged about it,

and both removed the skin
before they decided to dig in.

Famous Persons Poem #5

The Bush Twins Are Just Like Any Other Twins

as in, weird as all fuck. They’ve got powers
i.e. they can talk to each other with their brains,
I know they can. Their brains make sentences
out of words, and they’ve got some means of

exchanging thought, probably via the conductive
air that surrounds them. That’s how the news
that the weird protester-chick who’s always
in front of the White House got a sex change

traveled so quickly. They’ve mastered things
like speech, and they are very powerful. But
I still worry about them all the time, you know,
I can’t help it, because they’re just kids.

Eelin' in the Years

This is a hilarious thing.

Neil Young: The Chelsea Clinton of Performance Art

Important Update! Neal Medlyn’s The Paris Hilton of Performance Art will not be performed next weekend, as Collective Unconscious will be moving at that time. So if you were hoping to see it, tonight (Thursday) at 10PM and tomorrow (Friday) at 8PM will be your last chances. Collective Unconscious is on Ludlow next to Barramundi. And if you haven't already heard, Neal's rad.

No Taypee or Lala Left Behind

I wouldn’t normally talk about a dream here, because they tend to be pretty boring, but Ada and Jen implied last night that they feel a bit underrepresented on the old I’ll Show You Mine, and I must’ve been feeling guilty about that when I went to sleep, because in my dreams I snorted a ton of cocaine with Snoop. That wasn’t the guilty part, though. The reason that I was in Hollywood, and therefore in a position to hang with the Doggfather, was I was supposed to star in two short films, one directed by Jen and one directed by Ada. They were both sequels to this weird period Italian art film, and they had a lot of very stilted language, and I hadn’t studied my lines, and I had spent all afternoon binging with old Long & Skinny, and so I was screwing things up terribly. Ada was very verbally angry, and Jen was quiet, which at first I took to mean that she was being understanding, but it turned out that she was just really, really angry, like twice as angry as Ada. And oh, how I longed to be back in the Dogg’s stretch SUV. It was a very upsetting dream.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Roommate Update

Danielle and I just found mutual inspiration in one anothers' lack of inspiration. Lucas and Brogan are nowhere to be found! But I think Brogan may just be asleep.

Famous Persons Poem #4

What’s In a Name, Wink Martindale?

“It’s all all-or-nothing,” Wink said
out of the corners of his eyes. (His
mouth was too busy talking to say
anything so poetic.) Wink said

that the secret to self-promotion
is right in front of you: it’s good.
But once again, he didn’t say it
with words, he said it with with

Wink, there’s no such thing
as a bedtime story. It’s all
sunrises and when you get to
the end it just starts again.

The Fanatical Ravings of Sir Walter Scott: Derek Mix's Neo-Etymology vol. 3

The word wizard is one of the most commonly misunderstood of all neo-etymologies. Proper research reveals the necessity of casting off our fixation on bearded and robed conjurers bedazing their patrons with bubbling potions and nine-, or even thirteen-, sided dice. Such medievalist delusions, portraying the origin de nom of glorified Arthurian medicine men as deriving from "someone who is wise" are directly attributable to the fanatical rantings of Sir Walter Scott, whose opium-fuelled depictions of an idealized Saxon England are forever imprinted in the modern brain. Scott was undoubtedly familiar with the ancient Slavic legend of the spa at Wyzg, generally held to be somewhere in what is today southern Ukraine, near the trans-Dniester Republic, having travelled in the region during his youth. Appearing in texts as early as the 10th century, the waters of the spa were believed to possess powerful restorative qualities, drawing pilgrims from as far away as Novgorod and Bucharest. Throughout the centuries, the monastic order of the Wyzgar acted as both attendants and guards of the spa, providing herbal remedies and treatments, ritual purification through oak branch flogging, a the traditional meal of roasted vachuk, a large rodent (similar to nutria) held to be the literal body of the Host in the original Moldovan church, which the Wyzgar slew with long birch spears. It was the name and character of these revered healers that Scott transmogrified into the Dumbledores and Gandalfs of today, as he brought to life his vision of a world filled with wizards, warriors, and thieves, dwarves, elves, orcs and demi-men who thrive on mana and hit points, acheiving various levels of beast-riding skill based on a complicated system or rules, the world we all, at least those of us who went to public schools, know and love.

Today in Self-Published Chapbook News

Contact Los Angeles poet Jamison Driskill at smallestduck at hotmail dot com to receive your copy of his Smallest Possible Duck. Featuring such classics as:

A Pal.

A pal, a brother.
Chump. Chump of the month.
Bought a lemon in the candy store, pal.

Straight Outta Missoula...

John Cotter and Adam Golaski will be reading their poetry in Missoula, Montana at QuarterMoon Books on Thursday at 7PM.

If anyone out there should chance to attend this reading, send me your reflections and I will post them here. I think that Montana is on the other side of New Jersey somewhere. North of Texas.

Three Poems by Rachel Shukert

Gentlewoman and European-style Chanteuse Rachel Shukert's chapbook Kitschmenschen will soon be available to thirsty scholars. I volunteered to write a blurb (nay, it was my pleasure.) Here's the first draft:

"To those sophisicated enough to know the pleasure of pulling one's own toenails out with pliers, Ms. Shukert offers this garland of pain and love."


Here's a little taste:


The enemy has invaded my city
Stormed my citadel
Tempts my pure and pious subjects
To heresy.
I’d better start a T-shirt campaign
To throw her out.

Old Friends

Why can’t we just be friends?
You speak with the voice of a bitten lip.
It would be much easier.
Why can’t we just be gay?
I reply.
Why can’t we just be black?
Why do you ask stupid questions?
Then I go back to blowing you.
We ARE friends.

Advice #2

If a girl that’s prettier than you
Tells you how pretty you are
She’s probably lying.

If that same girl
Tells you how cute a couple
You make
She probably wants to do your boyfriend.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

"real and thriving and just as tacky as in the movies"

My friend Rob (of Rob and Niki and dog Mazie from the Four Faced Liar fame, among other fames and infamies) has this very compelling blog mostly about his experiences teaching at a public school in the Bronx. His teaching memoirs are fascinating, but there are also some hilarious digressions, like "Come, We Drink" (June 18th) about going to a Russian mafia joint in Sheepshead Bay, only to find that some of the "tough guys" were more pink than red.

A nice opportunity

to get your hands on some good literature and help support Parkinson's research:

Don't Abuse the Muse

Famous Persons #3

The Human Touch of Fiorello H. Laguardia

Once, during a newspaper strike,
Firoello read the comics aloud
on the radio to the people of New York.

And never had they made such
perfect sense to us, as they tickled
from the fat man and across the airwaves.


But it’s so hard to understand color;
it disappears so easily from the pages
of our dictionaries. They are just words
that once we made with our mouths.

There’s this thing in New York
called local color, and unless you believe
in it, there’s no way that you’ll ever
close your eyes and still see black ink.

Neo-Etymology vol. 2

Another triumph of neo-etymology from the hard-thinkin' Derek:

"The neo-etymology of schooner is clear. To understand it, we must delve into both Old Middle German and a fascinating episode of Hanseatic history. It was in 1557 that Prince Jåren of Heisling, in what is today western Denmark, banned fermentation of wheat in his realms, as his subjects had become besotten, often struding about drunkenly, raiding their neighbors and each other. This immediately set into motion a rivalry between a number of seafaring factions in Bremen town to control the Heisling beer smuggling market. Competition quickly led to refinement of ship design, striving for ease of sailing operation (OMG schonen: to spare resources), speed, and beauty (OMG schön: beautiful). The Bremeners came to call these swift vessels "schöne schonende Schiffe" (beautiful ship that is sparing of resources), or schon-schons. This nickname carried over in the western Danish dialects as skoon-skoon (commonly called skoon-skoon-skoonies in the taverns), shortened to schooner in order to deceive the prince's agents. The performance of the schooner is commonly credited with forcing Jåren's successor Prince Dagmar to repeal the beer ban in 1596. Incidentally, our second definition of the word schooner derives from the practice of toasting a vessel's successful arrival, sampling the cargo with with a large, wide glass, often 22 oz. in size. In time, the glass came to be known by the same name as the ship that brought its contents."

Coffee Cans + String

Another famous person chapbook poem...

Ernest and Julio Gallo’s Respective Hangovers

And that’s why there’s so many
job opportunities listed for EJ Gallo
on, I think,
because these guys can’t get out of bed.

There’s just such a high turnover
because they’re whining to each other
always over a two-coffee-cans-and-string
intercom system. So tired; eyes burning.

And at night all of California is kept awake
by the fever screams from their fever dreams
of the search for the perfect grape.

The Durge Report vol. III

This just in from Sybil Durgin's roommate, Jaime:

Monday 7:00-11:00 PM

Sybil came home from work and immediately rocked a Corey Feldman shirt and sweat pants. She made herself a bowl of tomatoes and cucumbers for dinner, which explains why she weighs like 90 pounds. She played some solitaire on her laptop and there was much debate about the reciprocation of oral sex (you should) and the hotness of Jake Gyllenhall (hot). Three units of Law and Order.

Over the weekend, in New Hampshire, a bunch of old dudes accused her of not wearing any underwear.

I can't stop giggling...

So I've been worrying about this thing lately:

and I sent the below note to my friend Derek, who is an expert on these matters:

shafer hall 07/13/04 10:29AM
"It's just the most bizarre thing that I've ever seen...what does Cyclysm even mean, anyway?! I see these signs all over town and my brain just starts hurting."

And Derek responded with the below explanation:

From: "Derek" Tue, 13 Jul 2004 10:46:04 -0400

According to the dictionary, "A blend of the words cycling and cataclysm, most often used to denote upheaval, or a meeting of great forces, in the world of bicycle racing. The word appears in ancient Greek and Macedonian texts to describe recurring disasters (cataclysms of a cyclical nature). From Herodotus: The sun ring foretold the imminent arrival of the cyclism, portending the beasts would re-visit Phillipila with renewed strength and the vigor of a thousand bulls. The word was first adopted into its modern usage by bicycle promoter T. v. Meerloos to describe the 1898 Antwerp to Bruge race, featuring the first showdown between Johnny Miles and Hans-Dietrich Thieroux."

Famous People Chap

I took a chapbook idea from the generous Maureen and modified it slightly. I'll be writing poems with famous peoples' names in their titles. I think that most of them will probably have two famous peoples' names, a la "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven" or "Rene and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After the War." This is not an example of one of those:

Captain Jean Lafitte at Home

Castle my home, protect me
from the bad tasting people.

Let the buckling swamp be
alone only for me, tideless

and rolling waveless and such
a comfortable place to kill

the overdressed for cash prizes.
Oh, poem my castle, let

my home be all around me,
my wallpaper always match.

John + Shafer = Haiku

her teeth this era
are always wide as meadows
her lashes burning

Monday, July 12, 2004

The Strength of Numbers

Enough folks have responded positively to the Alcohol & Cigarettes reading that we've decided to go ahead with it. Sooo...Sunday, July 18th at 3PM at the Four-Faced Liar we will gather to read freshly-minted poems about Alcohol and/or Cigarettes. I'm going to read one about menthol cigarettes, which won't just be freshly-minted, it'll also be minty-fresh. You should bring a few extra poems along, because if your first poem is good, your drunken audience might demand that you read more. I'm going to put some chicken wire up around the reader's area to protect readers from flying beer bottles. I'd encourage all of you, even those who are not poets, to go ahead and write a poem. We'll give the best non-poet poem a free glass of Liberty Punch. We'll give the best poet poem one too.

If you're uninitiated, the Four-Faced Liar is an intimate and friendly bar in the Village, at 165 W. 4th St. just West of 6th Ave. If you have any further questions just drop me an email. See y'all there!

Ada's Kelly Ripa Poem...

...and six more have been posted at Unpleasant Event Schedule. I want to marry her Kelly Ripa poem. Her M Train poem is a real beauty too.

The Durge Report vol. II

Sybil Durgin had a few (a lot of) martinis on Friday night, and made a few phone calls. Guess who she didn't call? Ouch! She says that she prefers rhinoceroses to hoppopotamuses, because she's heard that hippopitamuses are scary! They certainly will be if they here the sorts of things that she's saying about them! Shh...

Roommate Lucas... still nowhere to be found!

Dick or Ball? Part II is up at Unpleasant Event...


Sunday, July 11, 2004


Look for a new installment of the Durge Report tomorrow. If anyone has any up-to-the minute information on Sybil Durgin's activities, or if anyone has any public interest stories that involve the Durge, please let me know, and I will include them in the Report.

A Hoppopotamus for Christmas

I'm currently downloading Groucho Marx songs to make a CD for the Four-Faced Liar. I have a very epic image in my head of the whole brood gettin' tipsy and singing "I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas" at the top of their lungs. Good times, good times.

Alcohol & Cigarettes

What do you guys think about having an open reading at the Liar on Sunday at which everyone will read new poems about alcohol and cigarettes? (Except Maureen. Maureen can write a poem about the fancy fruit cocktails that make her squeal with joy.)

It'd be on Sunday the 18th. Somewhere around 3pm. Let me know what you think, and if there's a good enough response we will tell all of the world. Yeeha!

Rampant Self-Promoter

I think that John and I have made up. I called him a pretentious peacock, and he called me a rampant self-promoter. Not to be confused with rampant fistf*cker, which I've also been called. But we've continued to work, as we do through all of our little spats. I just added a second line to what should be a really neat haiku. I'll put it up here when it's done. And in the meantime...

Congratulations to John for having a short story solicited by a Texas (!) short story magazine! They read "Scarecar" and just had to have a John C. short story for their very own.

Scarecar was published by Samsara Quarterly. I wanted to put a link to it here, but when I tried to get into the Samsara archive they said I was "forbidden." Ouch! They're at, and I think that John's in issue 10. You may have better luck than I.

Friday, July 09, 2004

The Durge Report

According to information collected on:


Sybil Durgin parties, and chances are she, um, gets down. Other than that, not much is going on.

And what else do I have to tell you?

I can already tell that this is going to be a huge problem. This blog.

Because the thing of it is, is that if there was a remotely finite number of things to say, then poets would have used them all up, like, two and a half millennia ago AT THE VERY LATEST. Jesus.

You people better email me at work tomorrow. Because I'm going to be tired, tired, tired.

So I always said

that when I had a blog, I was only going to blog other peoples lives. So roommate Brogan has a crick in his neck, roommate Danielle has smokies from back home, and roommate Lucas is nowhere to be found!

And I have solid reason to believe that collaborator John is pissed at me again.

Brand New Poem...

...because this is what it's all about.

On the Phone/At the Office

That low all-of-us murmur
sharpens into sense and we’ll
be off, then, I guess, because
there’s only so much talking
to ourselves that we can do
with everyone else in the room.

Speak correctly we will bawl
to ourselves, because we’re
picky about that shit; we’ve
got an education, and we’re
worried and anyway we think
it sounds nice and all alike.

But as long as I keep talking
I’ll less likely have to rub my
temples and say to myself
over and over again: it’s so
quiet, it’s so quiet, it’s so
quiet, it’s so quiet, it’s so.

And who doesn't get loopy at the end of the day? Now SHOW ME YOURS! Damn your eyes!

I'll Show You Mine

I promise.

Hubris, Even

The other day I was at the Four Faced Liar, and this kid was telling me that he was a poet but he didn’t write because he was waiting until he had something to say. I tried to explain to him that there is always something to say, and he was vaguely but stubbornly arguing with me, and I was very drunk, and I realized that I was about one breath away from actually saying the words “do you know who I am?” It was very embarrassing. Sinful, even.

You show me yours.

Hi, I'm Shafer Hall. I'm lovably arrogant, loyal to a fault, and I like poetry. So show me yours.