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!