Friday, December 29, 2006

Two Poems by Mike Sammons as left on my voicemail on consecutive Sunday mornings.

All punctuation, linebreaks and stanza breaks are my own. [In brackets are untelligible passages.]


I Fell Down

After a long -- very long night
of drinking bourbon and beer,
I came to my door and immediately
fell down at the first step.

These are the days I instantly remember:
God is a bird caught close between the legs;
winter winds round me like a [sick date]
coughing some madness in the nice air.
Trees dance the polka unrestrained
by my methods; some mother
sleeps sound in her bed.

Cigarettes last on my fingers
like gods…of strife.

Run your fingers down your thighs,
take them down your own legs
to your feet: you are a god of lust
and of all things lusty.

I love you like a shooting star
all above me; I lie on a trampoline
making my mistakes the way
we [warn some kids about lies]
and yet fails
on the white gates of Montrose.



Actually they don’t come in like wolves,
they come in more like enormous and pointless mannequins
on the lunchtime crowd of miscreants.

Cubicles disperse and weep;
taxis scream without screaming;
the boss stands like a moron waiting
for something that won’t come,
won’t become itself.

There is a man with his wife and his child,
a young boy with big lips and black skin,
and the mother keeps spying all over him
and thinks [he’s a genius or more]
and waits for her meal and ponders
some things I don’t even think about.

The dad’s face shows a jumble of ears
and doesn’t smile or move at all.

I see a doomed corpse in us all:
the father is doomed to at least fourteen years;
the mother is doomed to at least fourteen years;
the earth belches magnetic revelations in kind.

A bad haircut can ruin your life;
a parking ticket can send you to jail,
sitting wildly with the animals
who don’t shout and also don’t front.

Innocence abounds in the accused like a plague:
the dog barking is doomed to fate;
the birds fly like an idiot also.

Where does that end or begin:
yourself, your own child, a rogue,
an entire imbecile.

[Just to reassure] our kids, more
morons than we,
I open the bottle with a tool,
and sink my lips over the same glass mouth
till the draining, delving mind
sinks itself into the start which [is hard.]

The winds will find themselves virgin,
and the sky will mask itself like an owl.

I stand thinking “no, this is not my life,
this is not the life I wanted, this is just
not my life.”

Some are doomed to dust, others are doomed
to lust and to other things. Some are doomed
to happiness and comedy.

I will stay with the doomed of the doomed.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Poem

For a Christmas poem see here!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Get ready for Joan Vorderbruggen's STORYHOLE!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

My New Boots

Here is a short movie our friend Colin made. It features John Cotter reading a couple of his poems and me reading a couple of haiku John and I wrote together. It also guest stars Marion Wrenn.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

November As National Poetry Month

Prison Escape with References to Dances With Wolves

The assistant warden
is a HUGE Kevin Costner fan,
and the warden’s son
participates in the universal theater
of young men in concert
with Tonka trucks.

The warden wonders
where #801116 went,
and soon the news
of the jailbreak
has shot through
the little local population.

The warden’s wife, who thinks
she’s been done so much wrong,
looks out from her kitchen window
into the wide Indian woods,
and mutters to herself: “run
you little fucker, run,”


Who Wrecked this Train?

Back then, one of us
was a sleek, shiny train,
and another was a bright
blue smiling train,
unassailable as he tracked
his way around.

The sun reflected off
all of us trains;
it was bright back then,
when our lives were filled
with so much university
and beer.

Bright trains, never
tired trains, and trains
wearing big brown sunglasses,
we were all linked up
with big metal joints that clanged
when we rammed into one another.

No one could say when
certain trains wrecked,
and no one worried
about it much anyway --
we were trains; we were
made of steel.

Now we know:
no train wrecks itself;
there’s nothing a train
likes more than its track;
and as the train rolls
through the forest,
the trees ask
“oh, what have we done?”

But inside the clickety-est
“trouble trains” is always
a quiet, clear voice from
a bright-eyed conductor:
remain calm, remain
calm, remain calm.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Carving Pumpkins of Our Forefathers (From A Bunker in Strep-Ridden Vermont)

The likenesses of our Founding Fathers on squash
(as you ahem-ahem your throat into submission)
create a capitalization issue: does an Abraham
Lincoln squash become an Abraham Lincoln
Squash (ahem-ahem ahem?)

November is National Poetry Month!

My Homuncular Psyche This Morning

My homuncular heart hurts
this morning; I don’t know
whose idea it was to leave
this little walnut in charge
of my cardiovascular system,
but this diminutive organ
IS in charge, and when
I’m feeling CHARGED UP,
the little chamber of my bedroom
pulsing and my Mexican blanket body
tossed face down on the bed,
eye socket gently gripping
the pillow in a little hug,
I realize that I like feeling small,
being tall comes with responsibility,
and when I stretch and rise again,
my warm blood keeps me alive.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Milwaukee Risin'

Mike Hauser's book on Rust Buckle Press should be purchased immediately.

This Whole Town's Made of Fiberglass Pools

Our retarded country music soul brother Alex Battles has put some of the extraordinarily retarded villanelles I wrote with Maureen Thorson to music. You can listen to them here.

Fiberglass Pools, Ohio, is particularly obscenely catchy and gut-wrenchingly wonderful.

Friday, October 06, 2006

OctOpOwrimO etc.

No Tell Ro*Tel
for Alex Battles

By way of a certain unusual
sort of penance: I hung a sign
on myself saying “Gone To Hell”
where “Hell” is a place without
canned tomatoes and “Gone”
is me all the way there, without
anything “To” make my dish
less yellow. And here I sit
in my metaphorical blindfold,
with my hands (maybe) tied
behind my back; my last
cigarette is a toothpick
(a paragon of good health
right up to the end,) but what
is that muttering? Are they
laughing at me? [strips
off actual blindfold, starts
throwing punches, discovers
no one is there. Heads
for the kitchen to dig
around in the refrigerator.]

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Durge Report

Sybil was wondering
what to be
for Halloween.

She has a pair
of wings,
so I suggested

she pour hot wax
on herself
and presto: Icarus!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Mmm Hmm!

Dear Good Time Crew,

Come on by the Freq-nasty for a "conclave of fun" (a funclave) with Aaron Belz, Aaron Balkan, and Daniel Kane. These are some high-powered poets, and after the reading we will throw them in the back of the Good Time Van and take them to test their sea-kayaking skills.

That's 2:30 at the venerable Four-Faced Liar. 165 W. 4th St., New York, NY 11238. Saturday the 30th of September.


Aaron Belz's poems have appeared in Boston Review, Fence, The Canary, Jacket, McSweeney's, Verse Press's "Younger American Poets," etc., and been anthologized in March Hares: The Best Poems from Fine Madness, 1982-2002. He lives in St. Louis, where he is a teacher of high school
English and Creative Writing as well as the founder and director of Readings @ The Contemporary.

Aaron Balkan grew up in Arizona and attended Pitzer College in Southern California. He received an M.F.A. in creative writing from New York University, as a Times fellow, and is currrently on the faculty of NYU's Expository Writing Program. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife Gabrielle and their sinewy cat, Horace.

Daniel Kane is the author of All Poets Welcome: The Lower East Side Poetry Scene in the 1960s (University of California Press, 2003) and What Is Poetry: Conversations with the American Avant-garde (Teachers & Writers, 2003). His poems, interviews, and essays appear in in
Fence, Exquisite Corpse, The Denver Quarterly, and other journals.

Friday, September 22, 2006

September's National A Couple of Poems Month!

Remember My Smell & Cold Tinkling On My Diction Maker

Remember My Smell

Remember my smell
when it was so wide
that morning
on the other side
of standing up?

Remember when
that cold weather
made us feel like
we could do everything
without moving?

Don't forget about
the way the weather
smells; the weather
was us that day --
September so fine.

Cold Tinkling On My Diction Maker

Cold crickets make sounds
unrepeatable by my diction maker.

They live in the lips
between the accordion door
and the garage floor.

When cold sneaks down from North,
the stars twinkle to keep warm,
and I breathe sealed breaths
to tune my diction maker.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

But brother, that ain't what's inside...

Compliments Whisky Rebellion's MySpace profile, here are some links to live country music in Brooklyn and around New York City. That's LIVE COUNTRY MUSIC and NEW YORK CITY, if you happen to be a search engine, or anyone else wondering where to find live country music in New York City.

For live country music in New York City, please see
Alex's Brooklyn Country Music or
Leon's Brooklyn Country or
Nate's Good Music New York.



Squirrel Battles Crow

It’s such a summer siege,
and here, at the end of summer,
the seemingly mechanical bleating blasts
from the crow’s talking utensils
must irritate her tonsils;
that hairy beast
who won’t leave her children alone
will surely curl up somewhere
once it has snown.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

September is National Poetry Month!

Major Arcana
compliments beer-drunk muses Ann & Lindsay

Anyone can tell the future -- you can't fool
me; I know I don't have to be a magician
to foresee the weather or when the next emperor
will foolishly smash the heart of his empress.

I scared the pants off our local hierophant
when I broadly proclaimed "this chariot
someday will house the love of the young lovers,"
but everybody knows they've nowhere else to go.

Justice: your average swinging hanged man
will exhibit as much strength
in his ugly vertical death
as a sister of Jesus will in her temperance.

And as I sit here watching Wheel of Fortune
like thousands of other urban hermits
who’ve made Vanna White a high priestess
and turned Pat Sajak into a constellation’s star,

I won’t whip my head around anticipating the Devil;
I know he’s back there be it night or light of Sun.
All this knowledge condenses and leaves me moon-eyed;
it’s just knowledge; it’s not judgment:

My low-frequency brain sits on my body’s tower
receiving broadcasts from the past and future of the world.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Gracie Photography

My little sister is a mighty fine photographer down in Texas!

AuPoWriMo #3

Now And Then A Miracle

In the strangest places,
we begin sentences with
nouns, verbs, prepositions --
words; eternity is a place,
but it isn't necessarily
where YOU'LL be placed.

But every now and then,
a miracle: corks keep
fine wine fresh for a while,
and when a cork bangs
out of a bottle, it isn't a death
but a pop,

and the nature
of this room, this poem
is prepositional; I can
sit next to a sound,
and my life will be
fresh next lifetime.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

AuPoWriMo etceterizes!

The Big Robot Mechanical

Some people (people
like Ann) know fear
comes from the birds
you CAN'T see, not
the mocking birds
outside your window
committing vice after vice
of verse.

Ann crowed with fear
and pride and prayer
when she killed the crow;
her lifelong fear of birds
cowered in the corner
of her momentary mind.

The big robot mechanical bird
rusts and baits his abbreviated breath
and wonders how long he can wait
for the plump crow to land
in his hungry beak, and wonders
how long his love can shine
with a green patina while he waits
for Ann to love him.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Another Cosmic Rodeo

We are strapping on our helmets for another cosmic rodeo ride at Pete's Candy Store as CA Conrad and I read poetry with an assortment of Canadian Folk Rockers.

PETE'S CANDY STORE in Brooklyn 8/26, 8pm

Saturday, August 26th @ Pete's Candy Store709 Lorimer St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 11211

Uncle LD Beghtol
So L'il
I Feel Tractor
Shafer Hall

Uncle LD Beghtol is the leader of orchpop collective Flare, one half of the willfully obscurebicoastal experimental duo, Moth Wranglers, and approximately one third of The ThreeTerrors (with Stephin Merritt and Dudley Klute). (He can also be seen singing in Magnetic Fields from time to time, appearing quite a bit on '69 Love Songs').His latest album, LD & The New Criticism recently came out on Darla."Beghtol bends his baroque goth-pop westward in the new band's autotelicdebut, Tragic Realism is a gory, uke-joint country (think Haggard ca. '68 viaLovecraft and horror flix), backwoods folk-gospel raveup sure to bring a Zoloft smile to your face, and often." -- VILLAGE VOICE. File under: Experimental Countrypolitan Deathpop. Please see:

So L'il is Frances Sorensen & Ben Malkin, all harmonies, go-go percussion,waves wash over you melodic juno, rhythmic wings of strummed gibson, at times swing,at times drone, shine-a-light-on simple ambient pop with the cracked eye lyrics of cut-up inside (light shining through the cracks of somewhere behind). In the last four years So L'il has released a 6-song self-titled EP, one split 7-inchwith the band Timesbold (both on Neko Records), the full-length 'Revolution Thumpin', and their most recent full-length, 'Dear Kathy,' both on GoodbyeBetter. They are currently at work on a new EP. "If you think electronic music has gone too far back and needs to move forwarda decade, So L'il are your new heroes." - Mundane Sounds Please see: and:

CAConrad's childhood included selling cut flowers along the highway for his mother and helping her shoplift. He escaped to Philadelphia the first chance he got, where he lives and writes today with the PhillySound poets. He coedits FREQUENCYAudio Journal with Magdalena Zurawski, and edits the 9for9 project. Soft Skull Pressis publishing his first book of poems titled Deviant Propulsion, available in Fallof 2005. His book The Frank Poems is forthcoming from The Jargon Society. He is the author of several chapbooks, including (end-begin w/chants), a collaborationwith Frank Sherlock. Please see:

I Feel Tractor. Eddie Berrigan is a New York poet and musician who performs under the name of I Feel Tractor. His songs are playful retakes of traditional folk and country genres& their subtle, funny lyrics and far-flung imagery create unusual landscapes of both physical and emotional territory. The author of the poetry collection Disarming Matter (1999, Owl Press) and several chapbooks, Eddie as I Feel Tractor released a self-titled 7-inch last year (Loudmouth Collective) and just last month released it's first full-length recording, 'Once I Had An Earthquake', on Goodbye Better. Please see: for more info.

Shafer Hall used to wear a red glitter crash helmet with a bootleg Playboy bunny logo stickered on the side. Now the bones in his head have hardened into a skull. Please see:

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Watch out world!

Sam Amadon and other fine folks will be immortalized in the Octopus Magazine chapbook issue.

August is National Poetry Month!

How The Troll Measures Time
compliments Lindsay Anderberg

I have a tent made out of placenta.
I call it my "platenta,"
and when my lazy third eye
feels like wandering
around this storm,
I can crawl inside
and take the ride
less taken, the one
where the shiny waxy liquid
candy spreads thinly
across my head
and hardens to a neat
red mold of my brain.

Whatever you call it --
call it "sunset," call it
"cotton," call it "feeling
the muscles in your ankles
before they're warm,"
it'll make perfect sense;
it'll be one more afternoon.

I've got a new pair of glasses.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Big Names on Big Game

Hey Folks,

A small but well-designed collection of poems I wrote with my friend Maureen Thorson is available now at Big Game Books.

The collection is called "Villanelles are Retarded." It is our homage to poetry's most ridiculous form.

It is available on this site: The "Buy Now" button is just below the second cover photo.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

July is National Poetry Month!

From A Hot Apartment: Heatwave July '06

No one else seems to quite get this;
no one else is quiet like this.

I think I quite like you, because
I'm quiet like you.

Right now the world
is not quite quiet; it's still,
which is not quite the same.

Alone in my room,
on this sweaty morning,
I understood everything
perfectly for a while.

Which isn't to say
I was an expert on the minutiae;
I only understood that there IS
an everything; I think it's
the hum of my fan
that makes my head so quiet
so I can think everything at once.

I'm not quite saying what I mean;
I think I'll go be quiet a while longer.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

What?! Oh, yeah, June. June is National Poetry Month!

And here is an excerpt (in media res) from a longer poem I am workin on. It's called Man In Steam.

like the old joke:
outstanding in his stream,
only this farmer only farms
produce that's already farmed,
outing genocide detectives
and getting the elected elected,
which reminds me of a joke:

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Don't Mind If I MayPoWriMo!

Poem For Kim & Trevor

My fortune is in my family;
I have a treasure chest
full of aunts and cousins;
it's called Texas.

Aunt Kim and Trevor,
you are an army of fun,
you are my circus
and my afternoon trip
to the beach.

You are always around
up here, even when
you're down there.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Visit the Shafer Store!

For Shafer Hats, Shafer Reversible Vests, Shafer Polo Shirts, and a Shafer Wine Opener!

Donna 'n Shafer Zoo Project etceterizes!

The Youngest Iguana

The youngest iguana
is sitting on a rock
in the sun today; today
he’ll sit in the sun
slowly turning into a rock,
and this rock will make
one more turn
around the sun today.

We’re all sitting
on this rock today
made all out of iguanas,
and we are the youngest
iguanas of all;
our skin does not yet
look like rock at all.
The sun shines patronly.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

MayPoWriMo in action!

Monitoring My Arctic Heart

Your consequences -- you are
consequential; you are sequential
and diligent, my Arctic heart.

You are way up there;
when you tilt toward the sun
you melt, and as you move
away you freeze again.

I'll make sure to collect
your data; it means
something, my Arctic heart.

Monday, May 08, 2006

May is National Poetry Month!

Geek With Me

Geek with me;
whether you'd like
to just geek out
or actually be a geek
is up to you, both
are acceptable here.

Sometimes I geek out
and am a geek
at the same time;
it's a good way to find out
who your real friends are.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Rachel Shukert Plays Are Not To Be Missed

So don't miss this one:

BLOODY MARY: A Comedy of Tragic Proportions

written by Rachel Shukert
directed by Stephen Brackett
produced by Cormac Bluestone, Ian Unterman
and Third Man Productions

Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center
107 Suffolk Street
J, M, F, Z Trains to Delancey St.

Opening Night
April 28th @ 8pm

Runs Wednesday through Sunday @ 8pm
April 28th to May 13th

Ticket price: $18
Tickets available online at or (212) 868-4444

Check out Bloody Mary at for teaser!

Monday, May 01, 2006


30 two-line NaPoWriMo poems by John & I.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 30th PM (sniff!)

Good Night April

Good night, April;
National Poetry Month
will begin again
tomorrow morning
in spite of
whatever institution exists
to police these matters.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 30th AM

Good Your Morning, Good Morning Mine

Take a look around: good
abounds this morning. No
street hassle can't be
unknotted by sleep.

Everyone's forgotten
except for the principal players
and me.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 29th PM

Good Night Side Dishes

Blue cheese
coleslaw, creamed
corn casserole,
black bean
salad, crock pot
macaroni, and
the aptly-nicknamed
wiener stew.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 29th AM

Good Morning What?

Good morning where am I,
good morning what's going on,
good morning fine questions
both of you, good morning
Lucas, good morning Stella.

What're we gonna do
this morning? What're
we gonna do what're we
gonna do what're we
gonna do? I hope it's fun!

Sunday, April 30, 2006

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 28th PM

Good Night Boots, Shoes, and Sandals

All lined up
in a row:
boots, shoes,
sandals wait
at attention
for their
marching orders.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 28th AM

Some Breakfasts I've Had

Catfish for breakfast
is not unheard of
in certain circles,
and we've been
known to do
a 10AM steak
or two. Once I had
a nacho breakfast,
horrifying the French
girlfriend. But
it was Sunday,
and, Hell, there was
football on.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 27th PM

Good Night Honkytonk

When I close my eyes tonight
I will be in a Texas bar; it will be
night here, and it will be night
there; when I go to sleep
I will be glad to be there,
but, after a night of smoky
clinking glassware and pool,
when I wake up I will be glad
to be back here.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 27th AM

Good Morning Elise

Good morning, Elise, your note
revived me this morning.

On a spring Sunday morning
so full of flowers,

one can still feel a bit washed out
in the morning.

So when, this morning,
I poked my head into my inbox

and found your note
this morning,

it really made my morning.
You’re my yellow tulip

of a cousin; happy April,
Elise, I’ll see you
some summer morning.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 26th PM

Good Night Wednesday

No matter where the middle of your week
falls, you'll be glad to see Wednesday,
the day of Wodan. Odin's weeks
run on a nine-day cycle, which is why
he has either no time or all the time
for our mortal seven-day runs.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 26th AM

Good Morning Tito

Good morning Tito (the plant,
not the person,) I've got plans
for you this weekend. Tito
(the person, not the plant)
will take me to the outdoor store
this weekend; I'll get new soil
for you, and we'll do something
about the yellow tips of your leaves.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 25th PM

Seasons We Have Weathered

The weather comes out for every season,
and we are out in the weather
for some of every season.

The only time the weather gets to me
is when I let it; the weather isn't out to get me;
sometimes, though, I think I'm out to get myself.

And I have to go out to get myself things.
Some of these things are important to me;
all things are equally unimportant to the weather.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 25th AM

Good Morning Delores

Good morning, Delores,
your incantations
against the man
awoke me again
this morning.

Keep your mouth open
and your volume high
on your little ghetto perch,
Delores, our ears
will always
be here to listen.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 24th PM

Good Night Astros

April's been so good
to the guys from Houston,
myself and Lance Berkman
included. But we're all waiting
for shaky May; everything
we build in April collapses
in May; it's fun sometimes,
but we'll spend
the rest of the season
cleaning up.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 24th AM

Good Morning Rest of My Life

This morning I said good morning
to the future; it sometimes seems
out there, so sometimes I forget
to say "hi." But when I greet
and shake hands with the future,
we use one of those special shakes
with lots of snaps and slaps; it's easy
to get excited about the future.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 23rd PM

Good Night Saturday Night

Sometimes lately
I've been trying
to imagine things collectively;
I try to imagine
my most basic cells
along with the most basic cells
inside the body of a car, or,
instead of just thinking
about next football season,
I try to think about
every football season
I will see for the rest of my life
all at once.

Such mental practices
give me a feeling of revival
that I am not used to.

Other times, though,
I will forget something
in its entirety, because
it made my soul very small.
Good night Saturday night!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 23rd AM

Good Morning/Angry God

Good morning god of thunder;
your angriness becomes
existence today: those among
us who wish not to hear
elliptical confessions of love
would curl up beneath you.

But our will is not our way
today, and when we do
stagger out beneath you,
please mind our feet, mind
the lines on our suit.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 22nd PM

Good Night All

Good night Maureen, and
good night Breakup/
Breakdown, and good night
684 Leonard (our laments
became you) and good night
to all your flesh inside
that crusty shell, and good
enough for all of us
to close our eyes until
Jeffrey etc. will open
them again.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 22nd AM

Good Morning Communications

The offices of Good Morning
Communications were busy
this morning, fielding communications
from out in the field, where
various girls were performing
their morning laments.

We here at Good Morning
Communications were lamenting
too, it's a good morning
for lamenting.

But now the lamenting
is ending, and here at Good Morning
Communications we are preparing
our facility for Good Afternoon
and other salutations.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 21st PM

Good Night NY Opry

Such a comfortable scene:
Renee said "if I get
any more comfortable
I'll have to dance,"
but foot-stomping
was enough last night;
we stomped ourselves
back out into the night.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 21st AM

Good Morning Ft. Greene Park

To say good morning
to Ft. Greene Park
is to say good morning
to the bones of
America's earliest revolution --
when new accents were forged,
and persistence of form
in nature was underscored
by divide-and-conquer.

NaPoWriMo: April 20th PM

Good Night Baseball

Palliative Baseball Season enfolds us,
and although my heart leaps occasionally
to think of next week's draft, the knocks
on wood and the dull murmur
of the calls of the game
are drifting me, half-lidded,
into sleeping Summer.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

A Big, Wild Party

Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel Release Party

April 22, 2006 - 2 p.m.
The Frequency Series at the Four Faced Liar, 165 West 4th Street, New York, NY

featured readers: Andrew Mister, Anne Gorrick, Amy King, Laura Cronk, Betsy Wheeler and Anita Naegeli

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 20th AM

My Favorite Ghosts

My favorite ghosts
are the dead ones,
the real ones, the
shimmery scary
ones, the ones
who crawl your skin
as they pass quietly
through your body,
which will only be sleeping
for this mortal life,
and afterward sleep
will sounds so sweet,
because the unrested
brain is a frightened one.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 19th PM

3 Livers

At the very partial reunion last night,
one representative from Choke Canyon
told us of the strange activities
of their fearless and handsome leader.

Those representing Brooklyn etc.
told some strange stories of their own.
It was all written down, to haunt us
from an archive forever more.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 19th AM

Someone Else's Dream About Yogi Berra, Tommy Lasorda, and All Them Rocks Jamming Up the Baseline

Jeff dreamed last night
about rocks all over the diamond,
and (in the manner of baseball managers)
the baseball managers were blaming
one another, and as Jeff read their lips
on the TV screen of his sleeping mind,
the rocks didn't start to make sense to him,
but there was never any question
what the two men in charge were up to.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 18th PM

Hello Trouble. Welcome Home.

It seems a shame to build a new regimen
using all of the old rules, so out the window
go the rules and with them the regimen,
and we'll throw a few random pieces
from this piece of shit socket wrench set
at the regimen's head to expel any notions
of its return. Then we will sit down,
and we'll calmly discuss a new plan.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

What happened to Gora?

Someone who called themselves "Gora" was leaving really good poems in my comments field, but she/he seems to have stopped. Come back, Gora!

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 18th AM

Morning Creaks and Cricks

The gentle curve of my spine
as it slips slowly
toward gravity
does not concern me
yet, but there will be a time
when all these funny
slips and sounds
in the morning
will eventually
add up to something
very dark and eternal.

Monday, April 17, 2006

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 17th PM

April Oohs and Ahhs

Wow! Brooklyn busted out
all over the place while I
wasn't looking. I was looking
at Texas, which is tragically
free of clutter; drought
has rendered it wide open.
But Brooklyn is so close;
I feel I can touch it.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 17th AM

Two Airplanes Ago

Two airplanes ago
I was in San Antonio,
and I said goodbye
to my sister
and to my home.

Now, two airplanes
later, I am home again;
all those silver airplanes
connect my homes,

and I don't feel sad
when I'm here, and
I don't feel sad
when I'm there,
but in between the two
it's terrifying!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 16th PM

Good Night Gracie and Coy

Say good night to Gracie's
place, and to Coy's bamboo
kitchen floor; when you say
good night to Grace's and Coy's
place, you say good night
to Texas. Good night, Texas.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 16th AM

Good Morning Parents

The parents kept it together again
one last time this morning again
at the family brunch again: they
worried about it; they let it slide;
they didn't worry about it
in the face of it; they let us
worry about it for a change.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 15th PM

Good Night Ben & Kay Lee

Everyone's married now;
weddings are for everyone;
like funerals, weddings are
more for the survivors;
y'all were already married
long before any of us knew --
before you even knew you.

There's a little more hope
in the world now, loved ones
hope more easily to see again
other loved ones, and some
of us will hope to see
our loved ones soon
in the first place.

Good night Kay Lee
and Ben, good luck
and all the best.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 15th AM

Good Morning Darcy & Mathew

When it comes down to a porch
(it always comes down to a porch)
you can always depend on Darcy
& Mathew, & when you wake up
in the morning, check yourself
for the well-designed pattern
of Eastern sun & miniblinds
which will be all over you;
it's no dream.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 14th PM

Good Night Parents

At the rehearsal dinner last night,
it was the parents I worried about.

With everyone so full of emotion,
the fragile fifty-year-olds
concerned themselves; that's all.

The early years and the later years
seem so filled with reckless buoyance:

good night, parents, and thanks
for neither being young nor old.

Friday, April 14, 2006

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 14 AM

Good Morning New Braunfels

In the morning at my sister's new place,
everyone is sleeping, and I still have
this feeling of amazement
that there is yet another place
where we can all sleep
under one roof
and wake up feeling mighty fine.

Soon, I guess, all of Texas
will be ours.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 13th PM

Goodnight Gruene Hall

"All aboard for Thursday night!"
said no one last night, but we
were all on board anyway,
and when mysterious horse
shoes clanged in pits and
less mysterious Budweisers
were emptied, the Texas air
cooled and strings of lights
bounced in their sockets,
and no one could quite remember
anyone else's name, but everyone
nodded at one another, until
we all nodded off.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 13th AM

Moustache RIP

I was trimming my moustache this morning,
and after a little here, and a little there,
and just a little more here, and a little
down there to even things out, and an
"ooh, where did that stray hair come
from remove it immediately," and then
juuuust a liiiiiitle mooooore here...oof,
it was gone, or at any rate damaged
beyond salvage, but DON'T WORRY
my moustache is like a phoenix already
rising mightily from my ashen face.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 12th PM


The clicking sign
that used to tell commuters
on which Long Island platform
they could board
their Long Island train
to take them to Long Island
is gone. It is replaced
by a brilliantly-colored
flatscreen display which
while brilliantly colored
represents the reaper's hand
in the death of analog.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 12th AM

Smiling Jazz

Who says jazz
has to be hard?

says so.

If WBGO were a girl
and we were together
right now, she'd be
leaning up against me
and we wouldn't be
talking about anything.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 12th PM

Turkey Gobbler

The big islander
behind the counter
at my bodega
is so ready to slap turkey
to bread at the first sight of me
that I can hardly tell him
no anymore; anymore
I leave with turkey
every time.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 11th AM

Tennis with Robert Chambers

Robert Chambers always wins
at tennis. Perhaps
I am frightened --
perhaps I am worried
he will strangle me
and leave me in the park.

Perhaps I am just out of shape.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 10th PM

Two Long Islands

The first Long Island
has long and curly hair,
and she tips big
while her man
is in the bathroom.

The second Long Island
(her man) tips big
even while his girl is looking.

Monday, April 10, 2006

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 10th AM

Good Morning Wild Thing

This morning
Lucas said to me
"you're kinda like
the white Tone Loc."

I said
"whaddaya mean white?"

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 9th PM

Lemon Drop Kid

The Lemon Drop Kid
dropped from the pack,
not back as in left behind,
but just too wild
for such a tight knot
of similiar species.

When I find bits
of my roommate's work
lying around my apartment,
sometimes I try
to "put things together"
on my own.

But horses don't think
like I do; when I try to
think like a horse, it's

Sunday, April 09, 2006

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 9th AM

Palm Sunday

This morning Lucas said
"as I get older,
I believe in God less,
but I want to go to church more.
It seems like a nice,
comfortable way
to spend an hour."

I didn't have much of a reply:
I've certainly spent many
comfortable hours in churches,
but I could just as easily
flick the TV on
and watch some goddamn SportsCenter.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 8th PM

My New Bob Woodward Haircut

Actually, I don't really know
how Bob Woodward it is;
Jen Hyde jived it
with Robert Redford's notion
of Bob Woodward's haircut,
and it's really Jen Hyde's
notion too, and it's my hair
anyway; Jen, Bob, Robert
and I are jiving away
in my mirror this evening.

NaPoWriMo: Jason April 8th

2nd Shift-

This is not a poem

so much as a highlight-

my bartender took

my notepad-

"Do not

under any circumstances

leave an empty chair

besides yourself!

Benny might sit in it

and tell you a 20 minute

story about his car insurance."

I won't

and thank you

thank you

for the heads up

Saturday, April 08, 2006

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 8th AM

Rainy Morning Family Dollar #12 & 35

so good
for cleaning supplies
and toiletries

they would
do anything for you
it seems

your car
is full of mops
and sponges

your guitar
is tingling
for Murphy's soap

NaPoWriMo: Jason April 7th


The cat feels herself to be

begrudgingly tolerated

undervalued, unappreciated

disrespected in an obvious manner

no thought given to room or board

only to a deep, abiding, and

whole-hearted belief in her

efforts toward domination

then the blasphemers and

the heretics will be made to pay


She's just like her father

these things

these qualities

they run in the blood

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 7th PM

A Finely-Tuned How Do Ya Do

It was a fine how do ya do:
yesterday John stopped by the bar
for the first time in months.

The last time he was in
he recommended author
Carl Hiassen.

And yesterday when I saw him,
I was finishing the last
of Carl's oeuvre.

John and I don't have
a high-five relationship,
but we were both very pleased.

Friday, April 07, 2006

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 7th AM

Look What I've Done to Oatmeal!

In this particular instance,
an errant elbow has flipped
a bowl of it onto my knee.

There wasn't much left,
so there's not a big mess
or anything,

just a funny feeling
on my kneecap.

National Frequency/Tarpaulin Sky Month!

This week's Frequency is in association with Team Tarp:

APRIL 8, 2:30 PM, 165 W. 4th St.


Michael Costello lives in Saratoga Springs, where he works as a copywriter for Palio Communications. He has been published in CROWD, eye-rhyme, DelSol Review, swankwriting, MiPo, Columbia Poetry Review, La Petite Zine, Unpleasant Event Schedule, and Best American Poetry 2004.

Ada Limon is originally from Sonoma, California. She received her MFA in Creative Writing-Poetry from New York University. She has received fellowships from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, New York Foundation for the Arts, and won the Chicago Literary Award for Poetry. Her work appears in numerous magazines, including the The Iowa Review, Slate, Watchword, Poetry Daily, LIT, Painted Bride Quarterly, and others. She co-curates Pete’s Big Salmon in Brooklyn and her first book lucky wreck will be published by Autumn House Press in February of 2006.

Daniel Nester is the author of God Save My Queen and God Save My Queen II, both collections on his obsession with the rock band Queen, as well as The History of My World Tonight (BlazeVOX, 2006). He edits the online journal Unpleasant Event Schedule and is Assistant Web Editor for Sestinas for McSweeney’s. He teaches writing at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. Find him online at

Andrew Michael Roberts is earning his MFA in poetry at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His work appears in The Seattle Review, The Iowa Review, Pool, Quick Fiction, Double Room, Sentence and Cue, among others. In a prior life he was poetry editor for The Portland Review, and he dearly misses scanning the Pacific Northwest woodlands for signs of Bigfoot.

NaPoWriMo: Jason April 6th


Less TV

More reading

Less drinking

More introspection

Less eating

More observation

Less weakness

More writing

Less lazy

More writing

More writing

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 6th PM

Goodnight Tito

Tito stopped by last night,
and Stella was very upset
when it was time for him to leave.

Stella doesn't care
if you're conscious or not,
she just wants you here.

But when I'm sideways,
I'm not here -- I'm there;
last night: the Gulf Coast

where the dogs are also small,
and where the kayaks
are made of sombreros.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 6th AM

Good Morning Jackhammer

They've done another
loud, mysterious nothing
to the street below our house.

I know there's a purpose,
but I can't say what it is.

Tito's gonna be
beside himself. No place
to park his car!

NaPoWriMo: Jason April 5th

Light bulb-

There is just no point

in doing what you're doing

that door is to remain

forever closed and locked-

It's good when a man can

realize this for true

and finally move on

with his life

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 5th PM

Space Shuttle Sleep

Yesterday I slept so longly
and so deeply I felt I could've
woken in another galaxy.

I kept my eyes shut a while
when I woke up; I listened
for alien dangers.

All I heard was a pug
my roommate keeps; alien
in her own right.

NaPoWriMo: Simeon April 5th

Please note: all of this hot NaPoWriMo action has inspired Simeon to take matters into his own hands. We are drunk on our own power. Please refer to his blog for future NaPoWriMo activities and cetera.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 5th AM

Good Morning Cher

Cher is a good example
of what Dustin and I
have been talking about:

about how people change
more in their later decades
than when they are young;

it's not how we thought it be
when we were young;
we thought we'd figure it out.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 4th PM

Goodbye Dan

British Dan is going back to his homeland
for the umpteenth time, and
all the tired horses trotted out again.

Really, what difference
does one more waiter make
in a city of waiters?

The farewell parties
are pretty fun,
but we'd rather keep him.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

NaPoWriMo: Jason April 4

Rough Neck-

Greg is an oilman

spends two weeks in

a Wyoming winter

then two weeks home

up at the bar

making men laugh

hugging on women

and damn near spilling

a short glass of

room temperature tequila

when he tells you

his parents

wanted him to be

"a fucking preacher"

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 4 AM

Barbadian Hot Sauce Morning

Spicy Barbadian mustard hot sauce oatmeal
and a very sultry version
of "Surry With A Fringe On Top"
have invaded my morning.

Too wet for tennis this morning,
so I cleaned my room;
my room is the cleanest
and my oatmeal the yellowest
in all of Brooklyn.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 3 PM

One Shining Moment

Them bears won't sleep
well tonight; the Gators
got 'em by the neck now.

Not the shiningest moment
for college basketball,
think my cohorts and I.

I'll go to sleep before
the game even ends,
and dream of early March,

when no animal was king,
when the jungle was
the widest open in years.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Non-Frequency Reading

Infrequently we will inform you of non-Frequency readings -- don't Freq out!

I will be reading poems with musical accompaniement by Ben Murphy and Tom Siler tomorrow night at Daniel Morrow's going-back-to-England party.

That's Tuesday the 4th from 9pm at Mymoon restaurant: 184 North 10th Street between Bedford and Driggs, Brooklyn, NY.

Take the L train to Bedford. You won't regret it.

NaPoWriMo: Jason April 3


He has a hangover
that makes anger
and self pity
a short drive
and patience
a long walk
a vast horizon

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 3 AM

Opening Day

This morning's kind of fuzzy:
I think Jim Behrle is going to visit
the baseball players of Opening Day,
and Lauren is worried about JD
Salinger -- says that brain-eating
New England freak is a menace.
I put Barbadian hot mustard
on my oatmeal -- on purpose,
and Lucas is muttering
about moving back to the 'Burg;

But Scott has tickets
to the Mets on Wednesday;
Wednesday is me 'n Scott's
Opening Day.

NaPoWriMo: Jason Ashbaugh April 1!

Nice Boys

With your blessing
I'll ride in from the north
and sit my horse
on top of a mesa
just outside of town
waiting on the signal
-a lone rifle shot-
Then down I'll
fly and take
Incubus' name away
for it has no place
on a veggie-pop band
it's a $9 handle that
best befits death-metal or
at very least

I'm sure they're
nice boys and all
but it just ain't right

Sunday, April 02, 2006

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 2 PM

Straw Wrapper Ballistics

Like a monster comes a smog
of laughter from outside,
where the cafe has been overrun
with sentience. The napkins
make a fine "Hello!" for anyone.
The plan for the next four hours is:
cross our sipper/stirrers
and try not to run.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 2 AM

This Morning Is A Black Bean Recipe

In the further adventures
of my father and I:
his black beans
are cooking on my stove,
and even though
my black beans
are different from his,
he's still here with me
this morning,
all the way from Texas.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 1 PM

I've Got A Weird Goodnight

Goodnight said the eel
to the otter, but he
didn't go to bed. Instead
he shut his eyes,
and as he slept
he dreamed in such a way
that he couldn't say:
"am I in bed, or am I
at work, am I in bed,
or am I at work,
am I in bed?"

Onward NaPoWriMo-ers!

Ada Limon and Jen Knox are NaPoWriMo-ing via Ada's new blog!

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 1 AM

Good Morning April

Hello April, you
fine bright cruelty,
you are all over
the place up here;
I'll take myself out
to the ballgame
this month; I'll
cram myself into
an early Coney Island.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Freq of the Week!

Saturday April 1st at 2 PM
at the Four-Faced Liar
165 West 4th St. (between 6th avenue & 7th avenue)
(212) 366-0608
A,C,E,F, or V to West 4th

Paul Foster Johnson's poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Logopoeia, Bird Dog, Octopus, and Lungfull!. "Quadriga", a chapbook of his collaborations with E. Tracy Grinnell, will soon be published by g-o-n-g press. With fiction writer Sherry Mason, he curates the Experiments and Disorders reading series at Dixon Place in New York City.

erica kaufman co-curates the belladonna* reading series/small press and is the author of the chapbooks: from the two coat syndrome , the kickboxer suite, and a familiar album (winner of the 2003 New School Chapbook Contest). Her poems have appeared in Puppy Flowers, Bombay Gin, The Mississippi Review, and elsewhere.
Stacy Szymaszek is the Program Coordinator at the Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church. She is the author of the chapbooks Some Mariners (EtherDome Press, 2004), Mutual Aid (gong, 2004), Pasolini Poems (CyPress, 2005) There Were Hostilities (release, 2005), and hyper glossia (belladonna* books 2005). Her book Emptied of All Ships was published by Litmus Press.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

NaPoWriMo is gearing up.

Of course, every month is National Poetry Month here at I'll Show You Mine, but April is NATIONAL National Poetry Month, and Reen will be gearing up her NaPoWriMo Project in which all are invited to participate.

This year I will join her in writing two poems a day for the month of March. I will also join her in writing poems with a (loosely) common theme. I think I will write one poem in the morning and one poem at night, and I think they will be somewhat narrative and semi-autobiographical.

As I did last year, I will post poems for non-blogging poets who'd like to participate. Just send them to shaferhall a la gmail. And we're as fast and loose in this pursuit as in all others, so don't worry if you have to start late or can't quite write every day. Maureen'll still love you.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Fun Fishes Will Find Me At The Freq


Saturday March 25th at 2:30 PM
at the Four-Faced Liar
165 West 4th St. (212) 366-0608
A,C,E,F, or V to West 4th

Saturday, March 25th will feature Chris Tonelli, Justin Marks, and Carol Novak.

Chris Tonelli lives in Cambridge, MA. His work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Verse, LIT, GutCult, New York Quarterly, Drunken Boat, Sonora Review , Asheville Poetry Review, and Redivider. His chapbook, Wide Tree, is available from Kitchen Press.

Justin Marks has poems in, or forthcoming from, Fulcrum, The Literary Review, McSweeney's, Typo, Word For/Word, RealPoetik, canwehaveourballback?, Black Warrior Review, Coconut and others. His chapbook, You Being You by Proxy, is out on Kitchen Press ( His full length manuscript, Twenty Five Hours in Iceland and Other Poems, was a finalist for the 2006 May Swenson Poetry Award. He is Editor of LIT magazine and lives in New York City.

Carol Novack's writings can or will be found in many publications, including The Penguin Book of Australian Women Poets, Anemone Sidecar, Big Bridge, Diagram (web and print), elimae, Milk Magazine, Mindfire, Muse Apprentice Guild, Newtopia, Opium, Pindeldyboz, Retort, Ravenna
Hotel, SmokeLong Quarterly, Unpleasant Event Schedule, Word Riot, and Yankee Pot Roast . Her prose poem/fusion "Destination" was selected as a "best" of Web Del Sol fiction at Sol eScene (Series 20). Carol publishes and edits the "edgy and enlightened" multimedia journal Mad Hatters' Review:, hosted by Web Del Sol, and she is co-editing an anthology of innovative, "intoxicating" fiction, Butterflies of Vertigo. Carol's launching the Mad Hatters' Poetry, Prose & Anything Goes Reading Series at the KGB Bar on April 7th. Her burgeoning blog, , provides additional details.


For those of you who are keeping score, the online Frequency Series Schedule has been updated to reflect the current season.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

MarPoWriMo Etceterizes!

A Clean, Well-Rested Possum in Fancy Dress

"Is that a possum, or a prince?" people asked,
when the clean, well-rested possum rolled into town,
dressed as he was in fancy dress.

Never had anyone seen a possum dress so fancy
or groom so cleanly; never had anyone seen a possum
rest so thoroughly.

"Princes can be possums, and possums can be princes,"
said the well-rested possum sagely. "If you folks
would rest more completely, you could see more clearly."

The town folks "harrumphed" but decided to try it,
and when they awoke, they resumed chasing the possum
with a broomstick and a renewed, well-rested vigor.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Durge Report

Sybil Durgin "was talking for some time about the travelling wilburys and how the guy from elo must be pissed. he had his short, brief moment playing with genius. his name in lights, with theirs. then roy died and his estate pulled the rights. you can't buy the first record anywhere and the second doesn't hold water at all. then george died and the dream did too. for a while, a sweet while, it was george, tom, bob, roy and jeff. even if people didn't really know who jeff was, it was still jeff. now if people even remember the travelling wilburys at all, its george, tom, bob, roy and that guy from elo. man, is he pissed!"

Monday, March 06, 2006

Thursday, March 02, 2006


High School Isn't Harder On Anyone Than The High-Schoolers

No one was as confused as I was
when I found that box of glass eyeballs
in my locker. My high school
did not even have a prosthetics program,
so those eyeballs must’ve traveled
a long, long way to get there;
it must’ve been a long way to travel
to confuse me.

But I don’t like to look confused;
am I too proud? Or is it an older aversion --
maybe I don’t want to look weak
in front of the other high school students
lest they gang up on and eat me.

Those may have been idle musings,
but at the time they were enough for me,
all of a sudden every other human creature
was a danger to me and my eyeballs
(including the extra ones -- possession
being so much of the law back then.)

So I knocked over all of the tables
in Mrs. Caldwell’s third period,
and then I righted only one of them,
on which I stood and said to the gathering crowd:
That’s right! Look at me! I’m crrr-
aazy! And I’m a-gonna put your eyeballs out
one by one, so buy my one-and-only
brand-new prosthetic eyeballs now
before they’re gone.

And after that I was OK for a while,
on that ship of cutthroats called high school,
until I joined the water polo team --
everyone’s so mean to the water polo team.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

March is National Poetry Month!

An Easy Poem About the Return of the Baseball Season

In the Easy Season,
from the Big Easy
to East Milwaukee
we sweat and talk about
who we'll see on the road
or at the home of the home team.

It's easy to fall asleep
on the AM radio;
it's just as easy
to be real cheery
and cheerily curse the umps,
curse G.M.s,
curse the fans who want to be
forever in summertime before
the fall comes and football
storms back on the scene.

I can write a poem about anything.

There, I said it. Leave a topic under "Comments," and I'll write a poem about it.


My whirlwind two-borough weekend tour of New York City is over, and we can get back to National Poetry Month. Thanks to Nicole and Marion for putting together two really fun readings, and thanks to Allison for bringing herself and Owen from distant lands to read with Ada.

And thanks to everyone who came to the readings.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Special Sunday Frequency


Join us at the bottom of the sea for a special Sunday Frequency. This installment will feature sea creatures from as far away as Wales, Texas, and Williamsburg.


Frequency Reading Series

Featuring Allison DeFrees, Ada Limon, and Owen Sheers

Sunday, February 27th at 2:30 PM

at the Four-Faced Liar

165 W. 4th St. between 6th & 7th

A,C,E,F,V to W. 4th212-366-0608

OWEN SHEERS, twenty-nine years old, has received numerous prizes and awards for his poetry in Great Britain, including his selection by the Independent (UK) as one of Britain?s Top Thirty Young Writers. He currently works for the BBC.

Ada Limón is originally from Sonoma, California. She received her MFA in Creative Writing-Poetry from New York University. A 2001-2002 fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, she’s received a grant for Poetry from the New York Foundation for the Arts and won the Chicago Literary Award. Her work appears in numerous magazines. She lives and breathes in Brooklyn, New York.

Allison DeFrees is a Texan poet and attorney. She is a veteran of the Frequency Reading Series.


Shafer Hall

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Two Readings

An all-Texans reading featuring
Shanna Compton, Shafer Hall, Susanne Reece & Steve Roberts

Earshot Series
Hosted by Nicole Steinberg
The Lucky Cat
245 Grand Street
(btw Driggs and Roebling)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
L to Bedford, G to Lorimer, or J/M/Z to Marcy

$5 includes one free drink
(beer, wine or well drinks only)

More info:



MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27th at 6:00 PM
An all-PBQ reading featuring
Shafer Hall, Shawn McNally, Robin-Beth Schaer, & Marion Wrenn

Cornelia St. Café
29 Cornelia St.
(btw Bleecker and W. 4th)
Greenwich Village
A, C, E, B, D, F & V to W. 4th or 1 & 9 to Sheridan Square

$6 Cover includes a drink

More info:


Big Rhythm

I'm gonna sit right here
beside you, big word
with no vowels. I taught
myself how to spell, I
was spellbound by the hisses
of sibilants, by all
the clicking syllables,
but "rhythm" is a word
without rhyme or reason,
its big rhythm is derived
from a loose "th" in the middle;
it's troubling.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Freq of the Week!

Dear Fishes,

Fly Frequency! It's always fun and free!

Featuring Brian Waniewski, Charlie Carter, Amaranth Borsuk, and Farnoosh Fathi
Saturday, February 18th, 2PM
at the Four-Faced Liar
165 West 4th St. (212) 366-0608
A,C,E,F, or V to West 4th

Our third Frequency features readers from around the nation:

Charlie Carter is a librarian and lives in Brooklyn. A modern minstrel, he sets his poems to his own musical compositions. He is currently working on a project called "Dickinsonics" that enlists the talent of other Brooklyn artists in his musical envisionings of a selection of poems by Emily Dickinson.

Amaranth Borsuk's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Antioch Review, Smartish Pace, and The Los Angeles Review. Her awards include an Edward W. Moses prize, a statewide Ina Coolbrith prize, a Shirle Dorothy Robbins Award, a Falling Leaves Creative Writing Prize, and a May Merrill Miller Award. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Southern California.

Farnoosh Fathi received her MA in creative writing and literature from NYU and currently lives in Texas, where she continues her studies at the University of Houston and misses her loved ones in CA and NY from equal distances. Her publications include translations of Persian poetry in Circumference and interviews for the Brooklyn Rail; she has poems forthcoming in Denver Quarterly.

Brian Waniewski has been writing poems since before he could speak. He has all the requisite credentials to become an important American poet. He is at the head of the pack and the top of his game.

Many Thanks,

Shafer Hall

Thursday, February 16, 2006

February is National Record-Breaking Blizzard Month!

The Big Blizzard

On the Saturday night
of the big blizzard,
the guys were encouraging
the guys, the guys were
leaning halfway out
of windows and saying
“Hey ladies to the ladies”
to the ladies. The girls
were talking to the ladies,
and the blizzard
was swirling up around
the ladies’ heads.

Big blizzard is when
all the good jazz happens;
Saturday night is when
all the encouraging, leaning,
saying, talking, swirling happens.


Song of the Voicebird

The voice the bird
the bird was voicing
Saturday night (the night
of the big blizzard) the voice
the bird the song the night
the trick the slip the fall
the fall the last time
it snowed like this the snow
fell all night long.

I opened my voice that night
but no song came out; I opened
my body but no voice came out;
in the morning the day opened
but no sun came out.


Writing About Writing About The Blizzard

Oh, you blizzard writer,
you smokestack rider,
you who are so paranoid
about the smell
of natural gas
in your apartment;

you who worry about
worrying about the environment:

were you writing about the blizzard
yesterday when you were repeating
repeating yourself? Was it the blizzard
you were talking about, or were you talking about
talking about yourself?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Be It Known

Wednesday, February 15 at 8:00 PM at the Poetry Project

Shanna Compton & Rachel Blau DuPlessis

The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church 131 East 10th Street

$8 general admission $7 for students & seniors $5 for members

Friday, February 10, 2006

Freq of the Week!

Featuring: Chris Cessac, Mandy Keifetz, Robin Beth Schaer
Saturday, February 11th at 2PM
at the Four-Faced Liar
165 West 4th St. (212) 366-0608
A,C,E,F, or V to West 4th

The Frequency Season is entering its fourth year. We feature local and international poets on Saturday afternoons. February 11th will feature Chris Cessac, Mandy Keifetz, and Robin Beth Schaer.

Mandy Keifetz is a fourth-generation New Yorker. Her work has appeared in QW, Penthouse, and The Contemporary Review of Fiction, as well as in numerous small zines. She lives in New York and Montreal.

Christopher Cessac lives in Marfa, Texas. After degrees in history and English from Texas A&M and in law from The University of Michigan Law School, he received an M.A. from The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. He's been a Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers' Conference, and his poems have appeared in The Antioch Review, Black Warrior Review, Cimarron Review, Cream City Review, Epoch, Mid-American Review, Salt Hill, Sycamore Review, and elsewhere.

Robin Beth Schaer is a third-generation New Yorker. She has taught literature and writing at Columbia University and Cooper Union, and was educated at Colgate University and Columbia University's School of the Arts. She is the recipient of a fellowship from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her work has appeared in Rattapallax, Small Spiral Notebook, Denver Quarterly, and Guernica and is forthcoming in Painted Bride Quarterly.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

February is National Poetry Month!

The Right Kind of People
"all you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right kind of people"

A room is never a room
unless it's filled with other people,
which makes this morning
not a room,
because all of the people
I know are sleeping.

I will close my eyes
and cease to be
for a few more hours,
and when I open them again
everything will be fine.

Monday, January 30, 2006

As Seen On Surgery

Announcing the arrival of The John Cotter/Shafer Hall Poetry Making Machine!

The JCSHPMM is a website featurning online, real-time, live-streaming poems assembled right before your very eyes.

Our rules for assembly will be posted in the "comments" field, so you will always know where we are, and when the end is near.

John and I would like to invite and to encourage you to use the comments field to request subjects and to submit challenging new forms of your own devious devisings.

Hall Pepper Collab (Doughnut Death #2)

Another Very Difficult Commute

chocolate frosted death
and custard
spills like ropes of
over the snow

in the powdered
sugar dust:
a pastry chef

and where
is the consequence
of what we have done,
if not there,
under the overpass,
being dunked in my coffee

Thursday, January 26, 2006

JaPoWriMo #8: Poems By Request #5?: K. Pepper

Doughnuts Are Dangerous On This Dangerous Morning

Good morning! Or should I say:
Dangerous morning? When murderous
men breeze through your Attorneys-
At-Law morning, even the doughnuts
seem dangerous. As soon
as we finish these doughnuts, we'll
get right down to the killing, although
in some ways, the doughnuts and
the killing are the same, that's
how dangerous is the morning
when you associate with
liminal types like us. Orange juice:
killing. Doughnuts: killing. Taking
a shower: killing. Look at these doughnuts:
every last one of them is dead.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Maureen's and Shafer's #15 Villanelle:

It's Time to Awaken

Wake up, little friend, it is time
To get a move on, time to awaken.
When you get vertical you'll feel fine-

Tuned and perpendicular, like a Georgia pine
With green needles all alive and shaking
Wake up, little friend. High time

Is time spent with your head in the sky
Over an Earth you've completely forsaken
So get vertical, little one, get fine.

Let pure sun filter into your sublime
Skin. It'll stop your heart from achin'.
So wake up, little friend. There's no time--

It's a fight to wake up, and that's fine.
You deserve gardens, not everything breaking.
Get vertical, get fit, get aligned

With stars and with planets. Their tremulous shine
Will help you make whatever you're makin'.
So wake up little friend, it's time.
When you get vertical, you'll feel fine.

The Luckiest Wreck Around

I am the luckiest wreck around, 'cause I know Ada Limon!

JaPoWriMo (Guest Starring: Kari and Jeffrey, Dad and Patsy) #7

Soviet Spies Never Sleep

When sleep comes I dream
of the post-apocalyptic kinky
Mad Max afterlife: we will
all roll down to Mountain
Pasture; the air compressors there
are made of trains.

January is National Poetry Month! (Many thanks to sleeping Kari)


half an eternity later on this primitive planet
we make food by eating; our food defines
ourselves, we are what we choose
to eat

later I will make oatmeal,
for now I am nothing

My Nana Turned 47 Today!

Image hosting by Photobucket

Friday, January 20, 2006

First Frequency at the Face

Dear Fishes, Shrimps, and other aquatic life,

Fin it over to the Face for the first Frequency!

Featuring Laura Glenum, Kirsten Kaschock, Danielle Pafunda, and
Sabrina Orah Mark
Saturday, January 21st at 2PM
at the Four-Faced Liar
165 West 4th St. (212) 366-0608
A,C,E,F, or V to West 4th

This will be the FIRST reading of the 2006 season and will feature:

Lara Glenum, author of Hounds of No (Action Books)
Kirsten Kaschock, author of Unfathoms (Slope Editions)
Danielle Pafunda, author of Pretty Young Thing (Soft Skull Press)
Sabrina Orah Mark, author of The Babies (Saturnalia)

Many Thanks,

Shafer Hall

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Poem For That Guy In The Bottom Of The TR Photo (JaPoWriMo #5)

Fear Shared Is Friendship

Late Sunday night my eyes
were drowsily browsing
All in the Family's 27th Movement,
and my brain was filing through
the astounding number of Stapletons
spread across the history of Vaudeville.

That's when I saw you, a performer
in your own right, staring
out of Teddy's armpit like a headache.

I have had a few headaches of my own
lately, and I wasn't looking for new ones.
Particularly on MY website:
it's meant for a depository of headaches,
not for a new-headache engine.

But some headaches cure themselves,
just like some mysteries unravel
into oblivion, and with eeks and shivers
from Shanna and Maureen, Old Evil-
Eye sighed into a new category.
File Under: Laughter.

Here in the Jean Stapleton Afterword,
comfort is the currency. I'll quiet
down quickly now.

Monday, January 16, 2006

I am deeply afraid of the guy in the lower right quarter of the below picture of TR. I didn't even notice him until this morning. At first I thought he was the result of a very creative hack job on my Photobucket account, but investigation revealed that he has likely been there the whole time. He has a very devious look in his eyes. And the way his hat lines up perfectly with the posture of TR's shoulders...scares me.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Image hosted by

Colonel Roosevelt's Last Words

Please Put Out That Light, James

Hours after the Derby children ceased
to rambulate in the mansion in Oyster Bay,
James, the quiet negro, quiet for a quiet
house of sleep, put out the light
over Theodore and his bed.

After he had dictated letter
one hundred and fifty thousand,
after he had thoroughly protected
the shaking trees,
once Kettle Hill
had been exceedingly stormed.

TR was a tiger of a man, a carnivore.
If one needed anything
for the Feast of St. Rocco,
one merely presented oneself to him.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Another Sexy Publication

If it pleases you, please purchase the Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel, featuring a great number of (literally) sexy poems by a great number of sexy poets, including Shanna Compton, Maureen Thorson, and Shafer "I'll Show You Mine" Hall.

Click on the icon on the right for instructions on how to score it.

The Below-Referenced Jolly Jack

Image hosted by

JaPoWriMo #3!

Hush, Puppy

Quiet, child, your
seafood's on the way.

Wide San Antonio
in my restaurant youth:
Sea Island's
shrimp skewers
parallel nothing
in my memory.

Behind Jolly Jack
my family drank beer.
Hush, little dog,
your seafood is near.

JaPoWriMo #2!

The Catsup on the Cake

The icing drips very slowly on down
the side of the little building
made of baked batter
you call your cake.

Those things that move
without seeming to move:
the thickening liquid of glass,
the confusion building
in my leafblower head.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Choosy-y Adventury

If it pleases you, go to Laurel Snyder's Jewishy-Irishy and follow directions to her new book, a choose-your-own-adventure biography in verse!

Back to NY 2006 Poem #1 (January is National Poetry Month!)

Call Me If You Get Scared

If you get scared, honey,
give me a call, and I'll send over
powerful mind signals
made out of undiscovered matter
so tiny as to pierce/deflate
any of the dirigibles of Fear
that float the night.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

John Cotter/Shafer Hall Haiku From Memory Project Number...4?

This one was really easy to remember because we just wrote it:

what the heat fades up
in is the top of my house
where you live, warm one

please stay tuned for a new blow-by-blow John Cotter/Shafer Hall Collaboration Blog!