Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ethnography in Education Research Forum tomorrow and Michelle Taransky on Twitter

I am presenting my paper, "Making Room for Creativity in the Engineering Design Classroom," in the Ethnography in Education Research Forum at the Graduate School of Education at UPenn. My presentation starts at 2:30 p.m. Please come if you can. More information regarding the conference can be found here.

In other news, my cousin Michelle Taransky just joined Twitter! Please follow her updates at beginningthe.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Reading and A Show

I am reading with Noelle Kocot this Wednesday, 2/25, at 7 p.m. in NYC.

Here is the address:

Home Sweet Home
131 Chrystie Street

More information can be found here.

It is an honor to read with Noelle Kocot. She is one of my favorite poets of all time. I remember a few years ago, teaching her poems in many poetry classes, screaming at the top of my lungs about their importance. For example, in The Raving Fortune, the color green is everywhere and it is very important. "Green!" I used to shout to all my students, while some looked on bewildered and others nodded in understanding. It is my great luck to share my work alongside such a great poet like Noelle.

Speaking of greatness, on the same night as my reading there is some great theater happening right down the street. Laboratory Theater is performing "GIT ALONG LIL DOGGIES" on 161 Chrystie Street at both 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. If you were asking for my advice, I might advise to you to catch my reading and then make their 9 p.m. show. Or, if you are pressed for time Wednesday night, catch their 7 p.m. show and see me read another time. Although this latter option is not the kind of advice I would give. Still, you should not miss one of their shows. Here is the address information:

161 Chrystie Street (btw Rivington and Delancey)

More information can be found here.

Hope to see you on Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I am reading in Buffalo, NY this Thursday

I am reading with Anselm Berrigan this Thursday, 2/19, at 7 p.m. in Buffalo, NY.

This is the address:

Rust Belt Books
202 Allen St.

If you live nearby, please stop by.

I haven't been to Buffalo since I was 10. My question is this: is it really that cold there?

This is probably a dumb question.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Animal Lecture

Animal, of Muppets fame, was born to two purple aliens on April 4, 1746 in Outer Space.

He grew up on the right side of the sun in a small cottage with his sister, Matilda. The region of the sun where Animal is from is known for its plentiful vegetation. It is known that Animal grew up eating many different kinds of vegetables.

Neighbors in the region have said that Animal was a very quiet child.

Matilda and he were very musical and taught each other the drums. Animal’s drum talents were first discovered in 1883 when Jim Henson was passing over the right side of the sun.

Jim Henson brought Animal back to the US shortly after discovering him and set him to work as one of his Muppets.

In 1902, in a fit of Mania, Animal killed three small children in the US while they were sleeping. Some have said, he did so by lethal injection.

Shortly thereafter, Animal was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder and put on medications. He did not serve jail time, because there is no known jail for muppets.

In 1956, Animal served time in the Swedish army. It is said he fell in love while in the army with a man named Dan.

In 1985, Animal did some touring of his comedy act in the Midwest.

This is how I met Animal.

As a child, I had a viewfinder and on one of the slides was Animal.

When I first saw this slide, I wasn’t afraid of Animal, I laughed at his funny face. I didn’t know Animal was real.

Animal first came out of the viewfinder and into reality in 1986. I saw him first in the corner of the room. He was smiling. It was a strange smile.

On that first meeting, he came up to me and was very nice to me. He told me stories about his hometown. I trusted Animal.

The next few days after our first meeting were very pleasant. He came to my room every morning, sometimes entering from the ceiling, sometimes from the window. Sometimes he would just jump out of the viewfinder as I was looking at him. I always kept cookies on hand for him to eat cause Animal is always hungry.

Our relationship changed on one night.

I was dreaming of a beach and running along the beach with a dog. I was 8 years old and my dreams were innocent.

In my dream, Animal showed up and was running with me. We played in the sea foam for many hours of the dream.

In the distance there was a small silver object coming at us in the water. I tried not to pay attention. Animal caught sight of it and could not stop looking.

As it grew closer, I realized it was no more than a scrap piece of metal. It was sort of large, around six feet, but I would hardly say it was noteworthy.

All of a sudden, Animal jumped in the water after the scrap metal. Fearing for his life (for I did not know how well he could swim), I jumped in after him.

I felt a sharp pain in my right side and the ocean got very black. There were stars everywhere. I woke up.

I was in my bed and Animal was standing over me. He had a syringe and was smiling wildly.

No!, I said, but it was no use. Animal and I were already soaring through Outer Space.

They have things on the right side of the sun that you cannot imagine. I don’t think you can imagine how beautiful plants can get when they can always sit in the continuous glare of the sun.

I am here today to tell you that Animal is good, but evil. I am here to tell you Animal is very evil.

Frank Oz in 1994 said that Animal is the Id. He is the Id.

Mic Fleetwood is a man who was made in the image of Animal. When you hear his music be very scared of him.

In honor of my time with Animal, I made the following tribute movie for him.

Please enjoy the movie.

The Right Side of the Sun from Dorothea Lasky on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Remains (by Thom Donovan)

Preparing for not preparing
Impoverished theogony the poor
Are humming we are the world
Again in the ears of prosody

What would have been and the
Undead what do they want with
Us matter passes through min-
erals proteins gelatin like

Some kind of plan moved from
Site to site so we were what
Was left fucked-up by concepts
Refusing to develop in this

Interval what would have been
Bends our organs twists a sky
They can't see no place to
Put us in only time this is

The work left to do songs di-
vise back-up plans power some
System uncaptured in your eyes
Subject to a see-through dirt.

You are beautiful (Deadpan) movie

Friday, February 06, 2009

Books you should buy

There are so many great new books out in the last few months. I think you should buy Frank Sherlock's Over Here and Sueyeun Juliette Lee's That Gorgeous Feeling and CA Conrad's The Book of Frank. I have heard that Eric Baus's Tuned Droves is almost available for purchasing. Ish Klein's book Union! is out. Here is a new blog with links of information about it. You can buy the book here.

I wrote a blurb about the book (see below) and in it, I call Ish Klein a genius. I have also called Ish Klein a genius on this very blog. I mean it when I say Ish Klein is a genius. I am not a liar. You need to buy her book and all the books above. I am very serious about this.

Here is my blurb about Union!:

I have long been a fan of the theory of connectionism and its burgeoning use in our contemporary world. That after we have broken apart every piece of life we can in the deconstruction (destruction) of postmodernism, we might take flight and put it all back together again. To say that Ish Klein is one of the few geniuses alive today would an understatement. Her first collection of poems, Union!, does everything to prove this. In this book Klein takes the broken pieces of language we have among us, scattered all over the universe, and makes a new, universal singing of our forgotten ideals. She connects all the pieces that don’t quite make sense all blown apart and makes a beautiful language for us, one that is so achingly beautiful it is somewhat easy to swallow the whole universe with every poem. Ish Klein does this for us all. That we might have a connected language to go forth with. And it is not a new language she makes for us, it is an old language. Come now, listen to our old language. Read Union!. Be one of us.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Justice for Jason

I treasured my years at UMass (and Western Mass more generally) as being a rare place in our country that continuously promotes social justice and fairness, so I am sad to hear about the terrible injustice towards the young student, Jason Vassell, recently. Please visit this site Justice for Jason and spread the word.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Mrs. Maybe, Circus, and Ratatouille

Order Mrs. Maybe when you get a chance to here. Issue 2 is out.

Here is a list of contributors, of which I am one.

My poems in that issue are "“White song," “The truth shook,” and “Two assholes.”

This new song by Britney Spears is grand:


I like the dark way her music is maturing.

"There are only two types of people in the world. The ones that entertain and the ones that observe."

I had a lot of Ratatouille luck the last few days (The New!):

"Not anyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere."

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Jungle Love

"I met you on somebody's island
You thought you had known me before
I brought you a crate of papaya
Then waited all night by your door
You probably wouldn't remember
I probably couldn't forget
Jungle love in the surf in the pouring rain
Everything's better when wet"


"But lately you live in the jungle
I never see you alone
But we need some definite answers
So I thought I would write you a poem
The question to everyone's answer
Is usually asked from within
But the patterns of the rain
And the truth they contain
Have written my life on your skin"


"You treat me like I was your ocean
You swim in my blood when it's warm
My cycles of circular motion
Protect you and keep you from harm
You live in a world of illusion
Where everything's peaches and cream
We all face a scarlet conclusion
But we spend our time in a dream"