Friday, December 30, 2005

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas NYC, 2005

And what Christmas is complete without a rotting mermaid?

Friday, December 23, 2005

Ye-haw!!! (Cartwheels to the left, Cartwheels to the right, bumps into a wall and falls on her head) It is out! The Salt Daughter is live! Buyt it here.

And you get a nearly life-sized front and back preview --

I feel like I just had a baby. Without the vomit and blood and everything. I just had an "immaculate" baby.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Sorry I haven't had time (yet) to respond to all the comments and "tags"; I just took the GRE general test this weekend and the subject test the weekend before that and I interviewed with the head of the English Dept. at Fordham to see what a PhD there would be like. She wasn't very encouraging, kept repeating that admission is "very competitive" and staring down at me, but nonetheless I'm going to give it a try.

In other news, I'm thinking of changing the title of The Transparent Dinner to Begin at the Mouth, with this being the title poem:

Begin at the Mouth

not at the feet
those pretty pale turtles

or the belly
opalescent and soft
as a banana slug

not the hands
quick worker ants

or the hair
baring its throat
to the scissors each spring
shining like a doe

but the mouth,
mobile, scarred, full of sharp
a crab with long red tongs
who pulls from my esophagus
dark bees stinging marks in the air
these words

What do you think?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

On this day, 41 years ago, Christine Hamm was pushed out of the womb, fell plop! on the floor on to her head, slid into the hallway, was kicked accidentally by a nursing running to a trauma victim, rolled down some very steep stairs and somehow ended up in a snow drift.

And I've been making up stories ever since.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

(slightly off merry-go-round music playing)

(the laughter of midgets, scattering)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

To the woman who googled "how fast are slugs?" and came up with my page: the answer is, pretty damn fast.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Since I have been freaking out so much about getting a book deal, I have been experimenting with covers. Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Dear Christine -

My profound apologies for taking so long with your work. I kept wanting to spend more time with it, and not having the time.

To get to the point: I'd like to publish "The Transparent Dinner." I will probably want to suggest a few editorial changes and perhaps cutting the length slightly, but let me get the most important part out of the way for you first. The poems are strong, often scary and sometimes very funny. I think they'll be a good addition to Mayapple Press's lineup._____


I'm so happy I'm like drunk with the happy! Spinning around, talking to myself.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Hey! I just sent in my entry to Spire Press's contest, in the nick of time! I had to run to the mailbox! In the middle of the night! In the rain!

Here's a rewrite:

I cut out most of it --

Your Birth

Joy, of course, and a mess on the floor.
Strangers spinning round the bedside,
chlorine pools diminishing.
The light stands still in bowls outside.

You rise from the porch of your
father’s undoing while the clouds
dissipate. Party goers pass
on either side, shake their shoulders
as if to boogie or make trouble.

You will do both, handful
of foot and gum,
precious bowl.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

A poem!

Yes, it's been a while.

This is very rough. Please let me know which stanzas don't work.

The Rules

Do not eat potatoes mixed with milk.

Do not braid your hair too tightly
or your baby may have a small, confused

Do not watch too much dramatic cinema:
it can cause the baby to cry, hastening its

Avoid smelling fresh lilacs or gladiolas;
they can cause unsettled dreams.

Do not allow yourself to be frighten by rats
in the cupboard, or your child may have
fur all over its body.

Do not mix tea with honey, or the baby
may emerge golden and lax.

Avoid striped cats, especially if they
are missing an eye.

Do not sit within a foot of a fish tank;
the baby may turn green and melancholy.

Do not speak harshly to your mother;
her tears can enter your milk and sour it.

Avoid eating spaghetti spiced with too
much garlic -- your child will be colicky
and of angry disposition.

Avoid laying-a-bed after eleven o'clock;
the legs will begin to swell and the knees
become fixed.

Do not speak ill of your husband, even
when he can't hear and especially do not
write down words of criticism. Your child
will be born distracted, hating himself.

Do not ride in a boat just before birth;
the child will resemble a turtle and slip
down the toilet when your head is turned.

Avoid staring too long at the child
passing by in a stroller, no matter
how teary and curious her enlarged
eyes, or your child will be envious
and thin.

Most of all, do not read overmuch,
as the ink will stain the baby's hands
and she will emerge marked already,
Although this is very late, I want to crow about how wonderful it was to hear Shanna Compton and Elise Miller read at the Bowery Poetry Club. They were both fantastic, and touching, and surprising, just as I suspected. Elise was looking so good I thought she had some "work done" but it turns out...not, and Shanna looks like a fairy princess in some lights, which I definitely hadn't noticed. Everything was just extremely pretty with a little strange thrown in, and my ruby slippers brought good luck as usual.

I finally got a copy of Down Spooky and it is... well, beautiful and odd beyond description. You must buy it.

Elise will be publishing her book soon! I hope so I can buy it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I'm lucky to be hosting a pair of fabulous writers tomorrow night (11/16: Open mic at 7:30, readers at 8) at the Bowery Poetry Club: Elise Miller and Shanna Compton!

Elise Miller hosts and curates the monthly reading series, East Side Oral, “the reading series your mother warned you about,” at The Living Room on the lower east side. The next show is sometime in December. Elise’s first novel, Star Craving Mad, was published by Warner Books and was optioned by Madonna’s production company. Personal essays from her collection, COCK-CRAZY, can be read on,, and Reach her at

Shanna Compton's book Down Spooky won the 2004 Winnow Press Open Poetry Award. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Best American Poetry 2005, Verse, McSweeney's, Gastronomica, No Tell Motel, Unpleasant Event Schedule, Eye-Rhyme, and elsewhere. She is the former curator of both the Frequency Series and the Soft Skull Sneak Peek Series. She is an editor at large for LIT at New School University (and served as editor for issues 7-10) and the Associate Publisher of Soft Skull Press. She recently edited an anthology of essays on the subject of video games called GAMERS: Writers, Artists & Programmers on the Pleasures of Pixels. She teaches poetry & publishing at Bowery Arts & Science and the New School (first class January 2006). Her micropress Half Empty/Half Full specializes in poetry chapbooks and broadsides. Originally from Texas, she has lived in Brooklyn, NY since 1995.

The Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery, New York, NY 10012

foot of First Street, between Houston & Bleecker
across the street from CBGBs
F train to Second Ave, or 6 train to Bleecker

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Although this is a bit late, I wanted to let you know about the reading I gave as part of the Atomic series, hosted by Cheryl B, who is the nicest chica ever, and someday, I may aspire to her level of coolness. Here's herblog.

I was lucky enough to read with some real pros: Lisa Selin Davis, Tsaurah and Andy Horwitz. For the full scoop, go here. This is the second time, I've read with Andy -- the first was in 2001 when I was just starting out as a poet, and he was already rich and famous. Okay, famous. Well-known. His piece this time had a slightly different tone than the one in 2001, but it was just as brilliant, if not more so. I want him to put out a book so I can read it.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Fertility Rites for a Daughter

I have followed the instructions carved into
the bathroom wall at the desert service station,
hints about how to trap a child's spirit into flesh
no matter how shiny and quick, no matter
how much like a ribbon escaping out a car window,

I have taken lessons from how the crows and robins
make their nests, sticking bottlecaps and barrettes
under my mattress, weaving twigs into the cracks in
my headboard

I have sewn spirals into the curtains, strung red prisms
from the lamp shades to hypnotize the fleeing light

I have opened the cupboard door and taken out the salt
strewn it into stars on the floor
so she will sit and stay, fascinated by the constellations
stuck to her soles

I have dug up the carrots and beets in the garden
beside the porch, left deep brown clefts for her
to rise out of

I row a boat, every Sunday, to the center
of the still lake, and feed
the pike rising to the surface
my fingerprints

I put a pillow under my ass and turn off the TV
Wednesday nights, humming into a different man's
neck each time, singing, come to me, come to me,
in a language only possibility knows

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Jumping on the Dead Kitten bandwagon. And why not?

The Kitten by Mary Oliver

More amazed than anything
I took the perfectly black
stillborn kitten
with the one large eye
in the center of its small forehead
from the house cat's bed
and buried it in a field
behind the house.

I suppose I could have given it
to a museum,
I could have called the local

But instead I took it out into the field
and opened the earth
and put it back
saying, it was real,
saying, life is infinitely inventive,
saying, what other amazements
lie in the dark seed of the earth, yes,

I think I did right to go out alone
and give it back peacefully, and cover the place
with the reckless blossoms of weeds.

Reverse poem of Mary Oliver's The Kitten

The Tiny Dump Truck

More listless than anything,
I push the lively yellow dump truck
with two small working headlights
on either side of its mechanical face
from the empty lot next door
and raise it on the mound of rotten carpet
behind the C-Town grocery store.

I don't think about taking it from
the garbage heap or telling the bulbous boy
who lives on the other side of the Bronx.

But instead I try to leave it out on the wasted pile
then, as the air closes about it,
I take it back

not saying whether it is real
or whether death is so mass-produced
and regular as this
not saying what other finite boredoms
rise from the prow of the garbage barge, no,

I don't think about whether I did wrong
to clench my hands together with the cheap
mechanical Mattel smile
and finally, hold it to my heart to keep, violently,
in that place at the foot of my bed
with its careful collection of smells.


Seems almost like a parody, don't it?

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Have a peek in my bedroom. It will never look as good as it does in the picture again. The moment has passed.

I'm still on the fence about whether I should get the brown and blue circle curtains that perfectly match the room. They're 200 dollars.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Nother Reverse Poem

From one of Strand's. Might be... "The mountain"? I can't remember... I'm too busy to keep track of these things! shut up!

The Valley

You have backed into this with your own arms,
finding the airplane, finding the stubborn mule,
descending always, one hand behind the other,
that is the way to unbraid it.

It does not please you, the way the valley stops,
paper in the air, a bike sighing its silver spokes.
Look here, the longer you stand still, the closer
you are to nothing.

One hand behind the other. The years stop.
One hand behind the other. The seconds stop.
The smells of departure appear.
That is the way to unbraid it.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Hey! the wonderful and smutty Desiree Burch has a blog. She's like a cosmo woman: fun, fabulous, fearless, funky, and she likes to say "fucker" a lot. Plus she lives down the street from me.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Hey, you! if you want to see some of the paintings I'm selling at my free book party this Saturday, you can go here, or here , although there will be lots more than just that.

Interesting in coming? email me at

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

New one! That opposite exercise really got my ink flowin', if you know what I mean. I know that you do.

On The Picture of an Unknown
Italian Anatomist, circa 1890

The pickled babies in the corner are cursing us
while the half-leopard half-monkey laughs from
his perch in the bookcase.

A man in the center sits at a desk
circled by fingers and chins sunken
in heavy jars. We can't smell whether
the fluid is like honey or viscous oil,
but we can see the rising flecks of matter
like sequins on a ballgown: fingerprints
floating free of the hand's skin, shards
of femur like dissolving petals.

The man's beard catches the light just so
it appears to be burning but he pretends
we are not here, that we can't see him
and continues to fix his eye on the page
in front of him.

Where we sit, it looks blank,
and the edges of the photo
near the tattered lemur,
the rows of wax knuckles and the house
cat that blurs with life
are darkening, closing.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

As suggested by Amanda. Sort of.

This is an "opposites poem" based on Mark Strand's My Death.

Your Birth

Joy, of course, and a mess on the floor.
Strangers spinning round the bedside,
chlorine pools diminishing.
The light stands still in bowls outside.

This might be an island off the coast of
Mainstreet. In my dream, you came back
from your boat trip to announce
your birth. You sang while walking
backwards off the cliff and looked
straight into my face. The amoebas
and rocks rejoiced.

You didn’t mention anything about
the future, how you will sit
in that coat on the sand,
pointing your hand at the rabbits and
fall immediately into a fever. After
you will be surrounded by family.

Or how you will jump rope
into a wheel of shadows
and be carried over the snow of
the mountains by a flock
of the president’s sparrows.

Now you rise from the porch of your
father’s undoing while the clouds
dissipate. The party-goers pass
on either side, shake their shoulders
as if to dance or make peace.

You will do both, handful of foot and tooth,
precious bowl.

A bit sappy, maybe?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Hooray for Kerry and Eric, who now have my undying devotion because they attended my reading and were charming. And Eric actually read for the open mic and was terrific, as could be expected.

The reading went well, I think, except for a shortage of audience members and for the the fact that I didn't use up all the alotted time, as usual.

In other news, Party!!!

I'm having a free book party on Saturday, October 29th, from 8PM -12. Everybody who comes gets at least one free book of their choosing, plus a chance to buy one of my many millions of paintings for only 20 bucks each. There will be chips! and possibly salsa! Plus caffeine free soda, cause I like living on the edge. If you want to come and need directions, leave me a comment.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Wig With Highlights

the girl at the front desk
has cancer she's just come
back from vacation and her
arms are the color of a pig
pickled in a jar she can't stop

laughing can't meet my eyes
when every one else is back
in the lunch room she drops
her pants to show me her new

tattoo the colors flash like glass
brilliant a hip-bone butterfly

Monday, October 17, 2005


Dear Christine Hamm -

I'm abashed that I've been so long in replying - thought I had. The time just flies away.

I'd like to keep "The Transparent Dinner" just a little longer. It definitely makes the "first cut," and I need to see what is in that category, look at publication schedule, and then make final decision. I'm finally making good progress at clearing the inbox, so I should be able to give you a final answer shortly. OTOH, I certainly understand if you want to send a manuscript to the other publisher. If they accept it, please let me know.

All the best,

(Certain publisher of books)

Now I'm going to be even more anxious!!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

This is the inagural reading of our series.

New Women's Reading Series at Bowery Poetry!

The Women's Studio Center, one of the fastest growing arts organizations in NYC, is hosting a monthly reading series and open mic at the Bowery Poetry Club on the third Wednesday of the month. The open mic is from 7:30 - 8:00; arrive early to sign up. On October 19th, the reading will feature Christine Hamm and Bev Jafek.

Christine Hamm has been published in over 70 journals, including Poetry Midwest, Rattle, Snowmonkey, and the Absinthe Literary Review. She was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is a regular reader at the SMUT series at Galapagos, where her work was called by the director, "surreal, dark and disturbing." Her book, Salt Daughter, is due out this fall from Little Poem Press. Dancing Girl Press is publishing her chapbook, The Animal Husband, in April of '06. She is a member of the Writing Center at the Women's Studio Center, and is on the editorial board of several literary journals, including Vernacular. She teaches literature at the College of New Rochelle.

Bev Jafek: I have published 20 of my stories in the literary quarterly and university press publications. They have also been translated into German, Italian and Dutch and have won many literary awards, including publication in the annual “prize” anthologies, The Best American Short Stories and The Pushcart Prize, the Carlos Fuentes Award and the Editor’s Prize for fiction from Columbia: A Magazine of Poetry & Prose as well as first prize in the 2001 Arch & Bruce Brown Foundation short story competition for “redemption of gay history” through creative writing. I was a Wallace E. Stegner Fellow in Fiction at Stanford. A collection of my short fiction, The Man Who Took a Bite Out of His Wife was published by The Overlook Press in 1993, reprinted in paperback in 1995, and won the Crawford Award (“top ten” best new fantasy writers) as well as being cited as one of the best story collections of the year in The Year’s Best Fantasy, 7th edition.

The Women's Studio Center is a visual and literary arts center based in Long Island City. For more about them, go to

For info about the Bowery Poetry Club, go here:

The Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery, New York, NY 10012

Questions? email

Friday, October 14, 2005

My Obsession

I got this email at the end of August, and I've be re-reading it weekly ever since then. The Suspense is Killing Me.

"Dear this is all your fault -

You're in the group of manuscripts I hope to get to shortly (those that came in before July 1). I should say I took a look through, and the work is interesting. On the other hand, I don't object to your sending it to the other publisher if they don't mind it being at two places at once.

I'm getting quite a lot more good stuff than I will ever be able to use, and I'm committed into 2006 already. So I don't see the point of your waiting. Just let me know if they take it (and I'll let you know if I want to take it as soon as I can).


well-respected if not well-known publisher"

The other publisher who was considering it turned it down, said it was too raw and personal.

omigod every day I wait for the news!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

An Important Question

How can I be happy
when zombies are eating people in Newark?

I’m taking a deep breath and counting to ten,
but by that time the zombies have torn up
my cat and part of the garden.

The zombies cannot understand
my inner child, they do not ask her
to come out and play four-square
or to burn Barbie’s hair on the stove.

The zombies are just like my neighbors
and the people I see on the bus, except
for looking very, very tired and pale,
as well as red-eyed, as if they’ve been crying
or smoking or eating pigeons and
the pigeon-blood got in their eyes.

Monday, October 10, 2005

I was woken up this morning at exactly 9:30 by a phone call. When I answered, a computer said, I'm sorry and hung up. Kinda wierd.

Yeah, so despite my crippling cold, the reading went well last night -- I managed to hold my snot in the entire time I was on stage! Yay, me. Everyone laughed when they were supposed to, for the most part, except for one poem, when they fell into a horrified silence. Don't know why, other audiences liked the poem.

And thank you again to Eric! Who's the greatest friend ever for coming and letting me cough at him.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Miss Heiney says...
to come to my reading!
Your Outrageous Name is:

Ofelia Heiney

Please come to my reading on Sunday. 5Pm. NYC. The Living Room. I promise to shock you, even if only a little.

154 Ludlow Street
(between of Stanton and Rivington)
F train is best.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

from 10 Things You Don't Know About Me

My bush is huge. The size of a dinner plate.

Every year, thousands of blue-eyed couples
name their daughters after me.

I have a hole in the sole of my left foot
that weeps pus and smells of roses. The one
time I tried to show it to a nurse she fainted.

I was not put on this earth for your amusement.

Since I had the face of a WASP angel as a child,
my older friends used me to smuggle drugs in
from Canada. I was propositioned by large sad
policemen at the border, but never searched.

The first and second time I cried. And punched
the guy in the mouth. I hit like a girl.

When I open my legs, swallows fly out. They
smell musty, like they've been tied up in a box.

I need to take a large black gleaming pill at 9PM
to sleep at night. This pill has nothing in common
with a gun.

I knew your mother when she was slim-hipped
and bright-haired, before she met your father.
She has always regretted having you.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Please come to my reading, my extra special reading, the reading to end all readings, it's a reading.

Oct. 9th (this Sunday) at 5PM as part of "Eastside Oral" (not the dental practice)
The Living Room
154 Ludlow
between Stanton and Rivington
F Train to 2nd Avenue or Delancey Street
no cover
1 drink minimum

Sunday, October 02, 2005

I can't get enough of this:

In other news, all my pictures and photos stored at smartgroups were erased without warning. That's 4 years of pics. If anyone can recommend a good image storing site, please do it now!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Mysteries of the Asylum

our home suffers from a lack of flowers though
houseplants spring from the dank
corners of the living room grow large
waxy leaves in the shape of boats or
hands and the view is astounding in those
rooms made of windows sometimes when
we argue about for example the car or
my virginity the sky suddenly opens
us up with its humming red molecules
of oxygen purple clouds and gold make-believe
hills until we forget our words just shake
our heads and leave through opposing
doors it is damp and oppressive with light none
of my crayon horse portraits stay taped
to the kitchen wall by morning they have slid
down to the tile floor and curled up like dying
slugs when it rains the roof
thrums like a hollow shoe box no one ever
brings home yellow roses to pause
in a blue vase sometimes we sit outside on the hill
above the house (where we buried our pets) and chew
grass and sometimes we hit each other on the head
and wander into the forest sometimes we kiss
and make up but still no flowers no one sleeps
much we worry we will miss something important
one Sunday a small mountain lion leaps
onto our roof we call all our friends and
whisper by Christmas he is
gone but sometimes we see tracks
in the vegetable garden next
to the stunted squash

Friday, September 23, 2005

Come to the Seminar I put together. It's great! Spirit Fingers are great!

Interested in Getting Published?

Come to the Women's Studio Center tonight (9/23) at 7:15 to learn all about it.


How do you approach a publisher?
What should a cover letter look like?
What makes your work stand out and catch
the eye of a publisher or agent? This evening
seminar will address that and more.

Shelly Reed, Presenter

Shelly Reed is the editor of Spire Magazine as well as the Executive Director of Spire Literary Organization for Disadvantaged Youth. She has run numerous poetry and fiction contests.

Fee: $15.00 General/$10.00 Women's Studio Center members

Women's Studio Center
21-25 44 Avenue
Long Island City, NY

Take the 7 train to the 45 Road Station, three stops into Queens from Manhattan.

Questions? Call 718-361-5649 or go to

Monday, September 19, 2005

I got this notice today from publisher who had expressed some interest in a book length project:

Some snappy writing here, but this is rather rough for us. We deal with tough subjects often but they're generally attached to issues, this is personal, sexual, and rough -- not our interest.

And, in other news, Robots!

Danger, Will Robinson

few people know
I'm a robot

that when I snag my skin
on the hinge of a closing door
I bleed something black and thick
not blood exactly

that if you flip the rusty clasp
under my arm you'll find
a pile of TVs all on and blinking
under my ribs

all tuned to the mysterious hunched apple
of your mouth your skin the brown
of something feral and quick under the ground

that if you lift the hair away from my nape
with the back of your hand
you'll see a small oil slick

and it's like a rainbow twisted

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Wow. I have the greatest poets reading this blog. I'm so lucky!

Okay, whoever wants to read the mss. to send a blurb, send your email to and I will email you the pdf file.

The mints will come with the hard copy when that is published. Virtual mints are not so tasty.

Rebecca: I loved your book and I want to write a review of it. I'm just trying to find the words.


Some people have asked for more details about the mints. Know this: they are the chalky pastel mints of childhood. They are the mints you grabbed by the handful when you were ten and your parents took you out on that rare restaurant trip to a room full of dark wood, stale smells, and too few windows. They were your reward for keeping quiet when the waiter with the too-large false teeth brought you a diet pepsi instead of a coke. They capped a meal of rich salty foods with always too much garlic. They are shaped like tiny pillows, lined with a chewy strip of minty sugar, and they leave a dust on your palm like the touch of butterfly wings.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Hey, all you lovely friends (grins) who would like a free copy of Salt Daughter when it comes out in exchange for writing a blurb/review for the back of the book? My publisher asked me to do this -- we need about 3 reviews to select from. If you want to do one, I'll send you a PDF file of the manuscript to read.

Should I include tasty mints to add incentive?

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Soothing the New Mothers
I come door to door
my hair shellacked into blonde wings
selling life insurance and
they return to their lazee-boys, their rocking
chairs, their blue barco-loungers and sigh
their eyes are huge, all pupil, but they see
nothing, their hair a shock of smoke
floating in all directions
their dresses stained,
their bellies puffed, straining against
zippers, buttons
they bleed, still, through their pantyhose
and the line of red trickles down into their
they each wear a butter white cloth
over their right shoulders, for the burping, the tiny
pukes, the endless streams of drool,
the fabric has a peculiar scent,
like urine and dirt and something
they haven't slept in weeks, they have the expression
of cows after the first shock of a hammer
to the forehead, before the light completely
leaves the brain
I offer them a pocketfull of chocolate, then flash
my shiny red high heels, speak of bars tangy with smoke,
low riding jeans, tattoos to the lower back
and men, lots of men, lining up, crowding the floor
to speak to them, the young mothers, men of every shape
and color, all of them beautiful and yearning
the mothers are lonely, I know this, and when
they start to weep with longing I am ready
I gather a handful of their pliable fingers
and lift them from their chairs
wipe their tears and drool
and I close the door, close it softly
behind us, so as not to wake
the baby

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Even This Dress Hurts Now

god awfully sore you didn't have to do that to me you know
whatever you asked
I would have done even this dress hurts now last chance

you didn't have to do that to me you know whatever you asked
I would have done
even this dress hurts now candace's mouth was obviously going in all the

god awfully sore you didn't have to
do that to me you know whatever you asked I would have done even
this dress hurts now I know what you mean

even this dress hurts now you sure you don't want me to take
these off as well christi whispered kneeling
up and touching her own jeans

you didn't have to do that to me
you know whatever you asked I would have done
even this dress hurts now how are the arms a little better you

you didn't have to do that to me you
know whatever you asked I would have done even
this dress hurts now I bet it would hurt
if you whacked those now

you didn't have to do that to me you know whatever you asked I would have done
even this dress hurts now press squat down and straddle our faces

you didn't
have to do that to me
you know whatever you asked I would have done
even this dress hurts now anal ring to clamp tightly on the base

you didn't have to do that
to me you know whatever you
asked I would have done even this dress hurts now I fell
to my knees placed my hands on top of

you asked I
would have done even this dress hurts now please don't
do that to me for the love of jesus I'll do anything
you say

Thursday, September 01, 2005

I've been very depressed about the flooding, loss of life, governmental indifference, etc. My coworkers and I started crying today when we discussed in the office. So I wrote a poem. You don't have to comment. I'm just feeling apocalyptic.


Just give it up, everyone tells me:
But why should I, why does any thing matter still
with everything gone already, everything covered
by this great dark river full of floating things
I don't want to see.
You have a gun?
I have a gun.
Some things are still there
in the Walmart on the hill;
Ipods, plasma TV's and more
The bread in its plastic
bag is sodden and black.
All of my kitchen and half
the living room have disappeared
as if a teacher's great hand
came down and erased them.
The woman in the apartment next door
left three days ago. She taped a sheet
of notebook paper to her door
with a message, now blurred
into splotches shaped into children's handprints.
I live alone here
or I do since my husband left
to buy toothpaste on Wednesday.
I have always wanted
a ring with a diamond, large,
round and flat, shaped like an eye. I have always
wanted a yellow car, and now that
the time has come, now that the river is on fire
and the houses are gone,
why shouldn't I have it?
Why can't I have just one thing?


Here is the blog of someone in the middle of it:

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A somewhat impossible request -- if you know of any female fiction writers who are well-published and live in New York City, and who are nice and non threatening, and who would like to teach a 6 week beginning fiction writing course for very little money (about 100), could you maybe let me know?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Night of the Living! err. Afternoon of the ...

This is still ruff.

Important Questions
How do I know I’m not a zombie?
I walk slow, sometimes I stagger.
My cats are disappearing.
The screen door is ripped, shreds of it
lie strewn among larch leaves on the porch.
I can’t say when that happened.
My parents don’t answer my letters.
My boss looks right through me in the elevator.
The other secretaries have stopped taking
jelly beans from the cut crystal glass on my desk.
If I open the file drawer, it shines like a ghastly moon.
Sometimes when I sit down the seat
of my plastic chair is still warm,
as if someone just left.

I leave gifts outside my boyfriend’s bedroom
door; he doesn’t stop to unwrap them.
Perhaps the gray earth on the ribbons
make him uneasy.
I appear to be missing more than just a toe.
And the stench-- like a fish
tank when all the oscars have gone belly up,
and the pale flesh on their stomachs sways
like my breasts loose in this ripped blouse.
It smells so horribly female,
as if my teeth are infected with a virus
patched together by some doctor
with spectacles and a grudge.
I wake up Sunday mornings
my mouth and hands smeared
with red. There’s steak in the refrigerator.
Maybe I just get hungry.
How can I tell who it is I’ve consumed?

Friday, August 26, 2005

More poems about food and longing:

The Unmade Toast

On the second week
of the All Twig Diet,
I start to dream about food.
You wouldn't believe how much
protein there is in peanut butter,

the woman seated at my mother's kitchen
table tells me. I remember the round
table, gouged with the backs of steel forks,
and how it died violently by fire and I
begin to weep and thrash my legs. The deer
walk through the kitchen again, their
eyes blazing red in the headlights.
They tear at the blue checked curtains
made of dish towels above the sink.
The window there is so small it makes me
short and unable to grab the butter
and jalepenos on the top shelf
of the refrigerator.
Over my shoulder in the next room,
a clean-cut man in a dirty shirt
stares at shadows on a prison
wall with windows no one can reach.
The light is leaving us now:
the bulb burnt out again above the stove,
the lawn outside darkening,
and the woman puts her head in her hands.
There's something I want to say to her
about wheat bread, or perhaps about carbon
and its offspring, perhaps about the importance
of water in a balanced diet but when
it comes out, I'm talking about balancing
on a diving board, the high one
and I must crawl down
before the firemen arrive.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Pictures from the reading Monday night, just of me (no naked butt ladies, this is family friendly!)

There's no more coming! So stop begging, seriously, it's undignified.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


SMUT was so great, much better than last time – the other performers were fantastic, and I got to talk to Elise Miller, who is smutty and fabulous and down to earth and might just read as part of the series I set up at the Bowery Poetry Club. Also, Jonathan Ames was in the audience, and only left right before I read and came back right after I finished. Fabulous! But every one laughed when they were supposed to and looked horrified when they were supposed to and then some girl got up and fucked an uncooked chicken with a fork duct-taped to her crotch. Fun Times!

Also: naked women, walking around freely in helmets, and people doing some sort of exercise where they hang from scarves and twist upside down and sideways. Thrilling!

You guys missed a lot by not coming to slut. I mean smut. Perhaps you should be grateful. NO!! It was great!! and Eric took the greatest photos of me, which I will post shortly. And I took some great pictures of Eric, which he can do with what he needs to.
I think I might have gotten a back cover photo out of this, plus I finally read slow enough and remembered to breathe – a big improvement, I’m telling you!

I might return to SMUT on another Monday, just to see the hijinks.

Sunday, August 21, 2005


I got myself drawn today in central park, and it kind looks like me, too. I like how the eyes are all squinty -- like, "I'm watching you! You're not getting away with nutin', mothafucka!"

In other news: SMUT!!

8:00 Monday night at Galapagos! Me and some other hip chicks, like the infamous Elise Miller. (She is infamous, you can check..) I'm reading dirty poetry until my head explodes or I get booed off the stage, whichever comes first. Plus, you'll get to see me dress very 80's, with the big hair, fishnets and big shiny, purple skirt with crinolines. I'm reading from Safe Word, which you can find here.

To get to Galapagos --
70 North 6th Street
between Kent and Wythe
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 11211
718 782-5188

From Manhattan by Subway- Take the L to Bedford Ave. (1st stop in Brooklyn), exit on N. 7th and walk down one block to N. 6th, take a right and walk 2 1/2 blocks over. We're between Wythe and Kent on the left side.
Or Take the JMZ to Marcy Ave. Walk two blocks west on Broadway to Bedford Ave. Catch the B61 bus and take it to N7 (approximately 5 minute ride).

From Manhattan by Car- Take the outer right hand lane across the Williamsburg Bridge, get off at the first exit and curve around to the right until you are on Broadway. At the 2nd stoplight take a right. Continue up to N. 6th, take a left and drive 2 1/2 blocks. We're between Wythe and Kent on the left.

(I just take the L. I find that quite easy.)

Oh, and also, my reading series is away! It's rolling! The Bowery Poetry Club agreed to host it. So all you chicas who are in NYC and would like to read, please send your bio and a sample to inktastesbitter at We're doing poets, novelists, whatever. Please apply. Some of you may have already agreed to read, and I'll hold you to it! Like a hand to a burner. Or something a little nicer.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Types of Rain

1) in sifting from clouds to earth, turns to white balls,
striking children down like wrath
2) evaporates in the shimmy of the air
before they reach the sidewalk in July
3) causes older women to stay indoors in November,
draw back the curtain and sigh at the window
4) leaves sparse comet craters
in the dust between
rows of August corn
5) serves to cleanse the hands
despite what clings under the fingernails
6) falls on the face and offer no relief
7) spatters like a sprinkler in June
when everyone is in their bathing suits
out on the lawn
8) strikes solely and mythically on TV,
encouraging a tree to part a house,
a pole to blend violently with a car
9) taps on frozen wooden roofs
to remind you that you are
finally inside: warm, dry

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Sorry it's been such a long time -- I've been away, etc. But here's a little light bit of work, just a draft. I'll get back to everyone I owe emails to, I promise.

Goldilocks, Dreaming

a skeleton walks into a bar,
tells the bartender,
give me a bear and a mop
because a bear leaves
oily footprints and
people could slip

and the bartender says we don't
serve no bear here,
this is a classy joint

the skeleton turns to the horse beside him
and asks if he'd like a bear

the horse says
I had a bear once when I was younger
I slipped out of the corral
into the woods

it was a dark and stormy night
I never did see his face
but I still have the teeth marks
here on my shoulder
I don't think I could handle
anymore bear right now
I've had enough for one night

then a termite walks in and asks, where is the bartender?
we all shrug, and
the new mothers in the corner go back
to nursing their bears

Sunday, August 07, 2005

A new poem. Amazing, huh? You'll comment if you know what's good for you. What do you think of the tense change in the middle, and the ending?

The Beached Fiance

the last time we went to the beach
you had a cane and I started
to limp
my mother said, "Christine, help him"
when you were out
in the surf and I
said "he’s all right" (you were not)
rocks can be so sharp when you’re
barefoot like we both were
the next day I loved you to death, my death, and when
I woke up the "you" in you had gone I took you
to the hospital but they said you were
already broken
sometimes electricity can help I tried rubber banding
you to a lamp socket
but then I forgot and left you
for a few days
when I came back
your mouth was black your fingers singed
I was sorry
but it’s not my fault
no matter what your friends say
and I feed you
when I can when I remember
I have to eat, too,
you know
who would have thought a sea monkey so difficult
when I tried to bury you in the backyard
I got evicted and the police came
and padlocked the front door
and you were still inside
I tried to tell them they said call
animal control
and I said but he’s a fiance and they just shrugged
you went to live
with your mother who fed you tomatoes
and rice all night
after you broke all her Hummel figurines
she tried to call me
but I was disconnected
you had left no forwarding address
that’s all behind me now
I have a new husband and sometimes
I feel sorry
I left you in that green room
in the daycare center with your meds
on high and
now all you can do is macramé
and whisper to yourself
but hey, that’s life

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I got a little bit of extra cash. Anybody have a chapbook to sell me? Leave a note in the comments with a link to the site where I can purchase it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I just got a chapbook accepted by Dancing Girl Press!

I'm so happy and shocked I'm practically having a stroke, you know, the kind where the chunks of happiness break up into your blood stream and enter your brain, blocking all other thoughts.
New painting! First time in a looong time.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Random Bragging

If you go here and look at the upper right hand corner, you might see someone you recognize.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

And again! The punishment just never stops.

We Go to Get

the grocery store is so freezing coming out of the sun
i love the ringing of the automatic door how the glass opens
when you step on the blank rubber i love to run in and out
in my pink flip-flops with the daisy on top in and out
too young to even have under arm hair or smell like anything
but grass my hair matted brushing my shoulders brittle
and chlorine green
tied back with two red plastic balls on a rubber band
my face shiny brown
my teeth broken white white
i am smiling in all these photos
Breakfast, Lunch

Nougat with flecks of grain, white
bread with swiss
in the morning the air on the porch
smells of blood but it is only
the roses stretching towards
the sun over the limbs of the dying
in the garden
"I like to go barefoot in my sheer white
nightgown, my hair swept
back with a scorpion"
she was always hungry but never liked to admit it
she preferred to chew
toilet paper in the safety of her
own closet
"I’m not a morning person"
"If you keep me
waiting one more minute
I’m going to take your sister
and leave you here"
sobbing so hard it sounds
like a meat bell
face like a lost red shoe
clinging to the door knob despite the tugs
at the back of his collar until the seams
ripped until the tag with his name sewn on
pulled free
"Look closer, I want to tell you everything I know
about dead dogs
revived with injections
of sea water"
they lived close enough
to the water to be a rest stop
for gulls
sometimes they would drop tiny crabs
on her head
it was so shiny and hard like a rock
Who doesn’t like cotton candy?
when applied directly it acts
just like an ace bandage

Monday, July 18, 2005

The director of the SMUT reading series just asked me back to read again. He sent me this email:

"Can you do 8/22 at 8pm? By the way, I reeeeeally liked the stuff you read last time. It was really dark and twisted, personal, obtuse, and surreal at the same time. Oh yeah, and funny as hell, too! Hit me in all the right places. I know Desiree loved your stuff, too. We both were sitting there with our jaws on the floor in shock and awe."

I love the "obtuse and surreal"! I am so flattered!

(BTW, my obnoxious plea for cash has not even raised 50 cents. I don't get it. Being an ass works for so many people!)

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Hey, if anyone's ever enjoyed my poetry, or perhaps, my witty and insightful comments on your own blog, you might want to give me some money. You know, just for being your friend, you might want to pay me. Or you may want to pay just to see the world's most obnoxious plea for money.
Just a thought.

Amazon Honor System

Click Here to Pay
Learn More

Friday, July 15, 2005

So, as many of you know, about a month ago I became the acting director of writing at the Women's Studio Center, and I now have a lot to do. Whew. One of my new projects is starting a reading series in the fall centering around women writers.

I just got Daphne Gottlieb to agree to be one the readers! I'm so blown away. I have admired her for ages.

I'm going to be doing my nerdish happy dance all day now.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

How to Defend Yourself Against Alien Abduction

this tinfoil hat is not the way
gluing your feet to the bed each night
is not going to save you from the sucking
some say a green paint on the belly distracts them
so their machines malfunction
and also some books suggest smearing rotten
boysenberries at the windowsill
but I know substituting myself
with an identical
robot under the covers, at the breakfast table
and in front of the class room
when asked to solve
for Y
has worked very well for me as long as
you don't turn round and I stay right here
in the corner behind you

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Who found me by googling the phrase "I am the bestest," will find that it's true. I am the bestest. At grammar.

Monday, July 11, 2005

for mama

all day Saturday your hands
have been at this
a crooked roll-top desk in the driveway
expensive wood
poorly kept
hard nailing and the saw
has humped your shoulders
wrenched your collar off-key
your knuckles shine with blisters
like the marks of kisses
for this you leave your wedding ring
on the top porch step
stray hairs from your ponytail get caught
in the varnish pot
then waver in the wind, catch the light like
even as the dust from sanding paints
a halo around you two on the asphalt
I have never so envied wood

Friday, July 08, 2005

I think I've found a new publisher!

And Shanna has a cool new blog about DIY publishing (not at all connected to above link.)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

This is a sort of riff on a previous poem:

A Natural History of Thumbs

my first kiss, a sea lion, sloppy,
slack lips against trembling
fish-colored tongues,

saliva sliding over our chins until my electric
blue tube top is wet, a slick between my white
ten year-old breasts, so new they still ache with being born,
riven with blue veins

me laying on top of the sea lion during recess
in the center lawn of the school,
not caring if anyone saw,
not caring if the principal came and tore me
off him, everything gone warm and gone black

only this wormy mess of teeth clicking
against teeth, his whiskers in my mouth,
fast as slugs
on speed and a burning

in my cunt, I grind against the sea lion trying to feel
through the 16 layers of my panties, jeans, apron
and lead skirt, grinding so hard the sea lion whimpers
in pain, grinding to grind out the burning
between my legs, it is the strangest fucking

I've ever felt and I can't stop, I can't,
I hold the sea lion down by his flippers,
push his head far into the earth with my mouth

he’s trying to squirm free, the lawn churning into
wet mud, I’m pushing, moving,
the sun so bright I can see it behind
my closed lids, a small planet
spinning in my pelvis

then he slips from beneath me,
wipes his mouth on the grass, waddles away fast and

that’s the first time I know it, that to love
is to be left wet and holding

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Today I finally got rejected from the New Hampshire Review. They held a poem for 5 months because they were toying with me (trying to decide if it fit with the other pieces, blah, blah, :PPPP)

And then I got an email from Mayapple Press with the headline, Poetry Book Submission. Holy crap. I stopped breathing while I clicked on it, and waited, waited for the email to load. They just wanted to let me know that they were backlogged with submissions, and wouldn't get back to me until Sept. Ah well.

Hey! But I updated my CV, and now you can go here and see the omniscent, omnipotent and omnicorpuscules that is CHRISTINE. Try to avoid stalking me through the contact info, K?