Friday, March 31, 2006

Lala and Taypee (buddies 4-eVr) do NaPoWriMo

April is Poetry Month so GET YOUR POEM ON!

Along with many poets:

Shanna Compton
Shafer Hall
and the wonderful Maureen Thorson (who I think came up with this idea)

Jennifer L. Knox and I will be posting a poem a day for the month of April.

Check here for both of ours.

I'm excited..and nervous....and kind of hungry.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

I feel like Paul Simon

when he sang, "Yesterday it was my birthday, I hung one more year on the line. I should be depressed, my life's a mess, but I'm having a good time.

Things are good though and I'm not depressed. Had a great night out with the gang and today Ms. Knox took me out for girl spa day and I feel all new and fresh.

By the way my sister-in-law Emily Davis Limon put the recipe to the most bestest chocolate cake that she made for my bithday in the comments on the Santa Cruz entry, but I thought I should include it here as well (because everyone should make/eat/have this cake:

Emily said...
"Come for the Poetry, Stay for the Cake

For her birthday, I gave Ada 5 choices for a chocolate cake, and she chose:

Sour Cream Fudge Layer Cake with Chocolate Butter Icing

Could there BE a better choice? I think not. She saved the day by adding a half cup of sugar I had forgotten. Damn glasses.

Here is the recipie. Fun. Fudgey:

1 Cup nonalkalized (natural) cocoa powder

2 t. instant espresso or instant coffee

1 Cup boiling water

1/2 Cup sour cream

2 t. vanilla extract

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 3/4 Cups sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 1/4 Cups flour

3/4 t. baking soda

1/2 t. salt

1. FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to center postion and heat oven to 350 degrees. Make sure both cake pans fit in your oven, or you're going to have to cook them separately, which is just a pain. Generously grease two 9 by 1 1/2 inch round cake pans with vegetable shortening and (ask Ada how to) cover pan bottoms with rounds of parchment paper or waxed paper. Grease parchment rounds, dust cake pans with flour, and tap out excess.

2. Mix cocoa and instant coffee in small bowl; add boiling water and mix until smooth. Mush the lumps on the side of the bowl so as to be sure that the chocolate is smooth. Cool to room temp. then stir in sour cream and vanilla. (The best part.)

3. Beat butter in a bowl of electric mixer(or with your immersion blender which you jimmy-rigged with a whisk. Be careful not to break the whisk. Get butter all over the underside of the cupboards, and have dear husband clean them later) set at medium high speed until smooth and shiny, about 30 seconds. Gradually sprinkle in sugar; beat until mixture is fluffy and almost white, 3-5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating 1 full minute after each addition. Have sister-in-law hold bowl while you steer the immersion blender with two hands.

4. Whisk in flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. With mixer on lowest speed, add about one-third of dry ingredients to batter, followed immediately by one-third of cocoa mixture. After a couple of flour blizzards, cover bowl with towel while you do this with your immersion blender so you don't get flour all over the kitchen and yourself. Mix until ingredients are almost incorporated into batter. Repeat process twice more. When batter appears blended, stop mixer and scrape bowl sides with rubber spatula. Return mixer to low speed; beat until batter looks satiny, about 15 seconds longer.

5. Divide batter evenly between pans. With rubber spatula, spread batter to pan sides and smooth top. Bake cakes until they feel firm in center when lightly pressed and skewer comes out clean or with just a crumb or two adhering , 23-30 minutes. 23 minutes is KEY. Transfer pans to wire rack; cool for 10 minutes. Run knife around perimeter of each pan, invert cakes onto racks, have mother-in-law help as the cake sticks to your hands and almost breaks (but not quite!), peel off paper liners. You COULD "Reinvert cakes onto additional racks" but why?? Cool completely before frosting.


9 ounce bittersweet or semisweet chocolate

8 T. (1 stick) unsalted butter

1/3 cup light corn syrup

Melt chocolate and butter in a medium bowl set over pan of almost-simmering water. Stir in corn syrup. Set bowl of chocolate mixture over a larger bowl of ice water, stirring occasionally, until the icing is just thick enough to spread.

7. Assemble cake: Put GOBS of icing on the first layer. Almost run out of icing. Decide, with the help of the birthday girl and her mom, that the cake looks better with icing just smooshing out the sides of the cake, rather than icing the whole thing. Use the last bit of icing on the top.

8. Have poetry reading. Get friends high on poetry and wine and cheese and smoked salmon, and then bribe them to stay for more with chocolate cake. If it's Sunday, kick them out about 10, when their sugar headaches start to kick in.

Bon Appetit!"

Monday, March 27, 2006

Back in Brooklyn-Home

I'm out of the shower and finally feel human.

I've been home for 2 hours and I'm still a little jumbled up about leaving my family and the West Coast.

I'm sure the fact that I turn 30 in 45 minutes has nothing to do with it.

I had an amazing tour. I sold out of books. I met wonderful people and got to say
hello to some of my favorite places.

Now, the house is quiet. L is coming over with a late birthday beer and I've just peeled
an orange.

Perhaps this is the beginning of a slower time, or perhaps it's only a brief breath in the middle of
a whirlwind.

On the plane I watched Tom & Jerry and thought of my older brother. I love Tom & Jerry, but especially when they
decide to be friends and work together.

Is this what 30 year olds talk about?

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Santa Cruz-Louden Nelson Community Center

So, we went to the boardwalk as soon as we got there.

I rode the Big Dipper with my sister-in-law and screamed until I almost had no voice left.

Then sushi and watching people surf. I could live in Santa Cruz.

The reading was lovely.

James Maughn--nicest guy and great turn out at the reading.

I loved the community center, but it's biggest draw back was that the entire right wall was covered with mirrors.

Note to future curators--no one, no one wants to read in a room full of mirrors.

We had a nice time, and my family said it was my best reading yet, which we think was directly related to the roller coaster.

Now I've got to incorporate roller coasters into every day before a reading.

Coney Island here I come.

Back to Brooklyn tomorrow.

I'm ready for my own bed and L and the girl gang.

But one last reading here in San Francisco at 5PM before I go.

(And a chocolate cake for my birthday).

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Pegasus Books-Berkeley

Our family cat died the morning of the reading so my reading was dedicated to Missy, the barn cat, mouser extraordinair and the loudest talker this side of the Rockies.

Many people came, Julie flew up from LA! Kaya Oakes was fantastic and a lovely reader.

I had a blast. Clay Banes was fabulous and kind.

I had many drinks afterwards and I think I might have drank my book money.


It's tough being on tour.

We're off to Santa Cruz for the reading there. VERY exciting. Cyrus and I want to ride the rides and eat corn dogs, but Mom may have other plans.

I'll be in my twenties for only 72 more hours. I think I need a roller coaster.

Readers' Books

The reading at Readers' Books was wild. Andy thinks there were at least 70 people there. I saw people I haven't seen since I was a child, or since I worked there when I was 15. It felt..overwhelming. All my books were in the window. Diana Craig, a dear friend of mine and my family designed a whole window in LaHaye Art Center around me and my book. It was totally embarrassing. I couldn't walk by it without shrinking, and when I shrink I become 3 feet tall.

It was all pretty awsome though. My friend Erin Purtell came, drove all the way from Yosemite just for the night. We're all turning 30.

That's fine. To my twenties I say, thank you and good night!


I finally made it home. Driving through the fields and watching the hillsides that flank our valley, it's like, "well, duh, of course I'm a writer. Geez!" It's too bad no one can afford to live here anymore. Carolyn Kizer still lives here. I'm gonna try and give her my book. But I don't want to seem like a stalker.

New houses everywhere, like a little bit of Southern California sneaking in. Scary.
Reading in my home town is crazy. I kind of feel like Anne of Green Gables returning to Prince Edward Island.

Is it bad that I'll be 30 in a matter of days and I still hold Anne of Green Gables as my model for living?

Monday, March 20, 2006

San Francisco Bound

On Friday I flew into Oakland from Seattle and watched Sonoma unfold in its rolling hills underneath the plane. L met me off the plane and we laughed a lot and met my family at my Cyrus and Emily's house. I'm a poet on tour. That's super funny.

Friday, March 17, 2006


So, alright, it's pretty amazing that Stanwood Washington could almost out-sell Brooklyn New York. I mean, who knew?

I think it was the salesman. Okay, and maybe the champagne. OR maybe it was the champage we gave the 15 year old salesman!


Ada Limon was absolutely fantabulous! (She's sitting right next to me, and she is also laughing like a hyenna!)but anyways, there was FOOD!!! and poetry on the side.

what else.... um, she did an excellent job for a really appreciative crowd, and I SOLD 20 DARN STINKING BOOKS! yeah! that's right! can I get a round of applause? ok, so anyways, I'm feeling pretty good about myself right now and my future endeavors.

BUT, back to Ada, she was great! a stellar job! thumbs up, and she is a BEACON IN THE FOG (tehehehe) so, anyways, i scored a chick.


Okay, nobody told me about the tiny plane.

I thought I was going to die. But I think I didn't.

Bryan Harnetiaux and Sue Ann Harnetiaux took the best of care of me.

We had meatloaf! (is that one word?).

The reading had the entire Harnetiaux clan and 30 people came. It was my first question and answer period and I was nervous, but I think I managed to scare people away from ever writing poetry.

I stayed in Trish's room. Um, there was a unicorn with her riding it in a tiny painting on the wall. Trish if you're listening, STEAL the painting. It's awesome.

Okay, So MUCH has happened!

Richard Hugo house was amazing. My younger brother counted twenty people, but I do think he was including a couple people who passed by the door and didn't come in. BUT we had a great time, my father introduced me and let's see who came:

Thea Lester (the Ms.Red in my poems)
Bonnie Francis
Matt Calcaveccia
Julie Calcaveccia
Sarah Hersman
Chris Cavanagh
Jenny Hersman
Sam Anderson
Kipp Barker
And lots of other lovely people who were really supportive and we were all glad my Dad and Cynthia bought WINE!

I sold 12 books, well, Bryce Limon, my little brother sold 12 books.

He's standing right next to me right now and really, he's not so little.

Sunday, March 12, 2006


I finally made it to Seattle after some flight "issues." After my flight was cancelled Jen and I thought we'd have to move into the airport bar for a second. We were sad, but not TOO sad. But I made it here last night and am gearing up for tomorrow's reading. It's sunny, cold, and clear. The mountains look like wild waves coming up through the sky. I'm going to go hike in them right now. My younger brother says there's a spot on the creek that looks like gnomes should live there. "I'm game," I say, "Let's go find some gnomes."

Saturday, March 11, 2006

AWP Re-Cap

Okay, so here's what happend, at first I didn't want to use this blog to name drop and list lots of things, but then I've come to the conclusion that that's what blogging is. So here you go!

List of things that happened:

-Matt Valentine was an excellent host at University of Texas. We got a free place to stay and he drove us around. AND we got a meal card too!
-Luke Michels showed up with his wife (dear friend I grew up with--hadn't seen him in 6 years and we laughed and drank and I think they might become very scared of poets).
-Met my publisher, Michael Simms and he's wonderful and looks like my dad
-Jen and I ate tacos
-Got the new issue of Painted Bride Quarterly which is gorgeous
(not just cuz I'm in it)
-We asked Shanna Compton for EVERYTHING. Including "Shanna where is my ass?"
-Marion Wren looked hot and wore a cowboy hat.
-Two people expressed interest in reviewing the book. Do it! Do it!
-We told UT students that they will never make any money as poets and I think they thought we were kidding.
-Jason Schneiderman gave an amazing reading that we were late for, but didn't miss entirely. His brother rocked our asses off.
-Dear friend Matty Rich showed up and brought the party and gave us all duct tape wallets.
-Friday and Saturday night, we hung out with Slaughter House Adam who brought a big bottle of wine and Jen said, "You'd look good in lipstick."
-Robin said that I'd be reading with Thomas Sayers Ellis in Bryant Park sometime this summer.
-Went to a great reading last night for LIT and loved every reader. And every Tecate.

Airport Day! Airport Day!

Everyone's excited for Airport Day! I'm off to Seattle for the next leg of the tour. Taypee is going back to Brooklyn and I'm gonna miss her. I don't think I would have survived AWP without her. Not that I really "survived" it. But, I do still have my shoes.

There's so much I still want to see in Austin and at the conference. I love my publisher by the way. He kind of looks like my dad if my dad was white. But he's very helpful and kind. He's telling everyone about LUCKY WRECK.

(See, I don't really have that dirty of a mouth today--but Jen IS scared of me right now). I'm pretty sure she just has the fear though. Last night was rough and tumble weed. Lots of great poets and lots of cheap beer.

Jen just said, "Only YOU know what's fun for YOU and only I know what's fun for I"

I think that means she wants a taco.

You Look Pretty with Lipstick On by Guest Taypee

Ada woke me up this morning. With a stick. It's her turn to dish out the pain. And she's doing so with a ladle (or laddle or ladel) the size of a flag pole. She has a dirty mouth today too. It's all "Eff that!" and "Eff you!"

I'm almost 38, and in the last two days I've eaten nothing but slurpees and tacos. I'm everything my parents hoped I'd be. Last night, our waitress' name was Carmen. I have a friend named Carmen. She is the best dancer I have ever seen. But I did not dance with that waitress. Much. Thanks to our official sponsor, Tecate, for making it all possible.

The Seven Dwarfs

and Juan
look real pretty
with lipstick on

Friday, March 10, 2006

Lies! Lies and more lies!

First off, Jen tripped over the lady in the wheelchair. Second of all, Jen went to Jack in the Box and when the creepy guys said, HI!, she said HI! right back like she'd known them for a very long time.

We're getting read for our workshop at the University of Texas today and have planned lots of things to say. We've already decided to lie to them and tell them it's all going to be okay (we will mention nothing about the guy from the NEA)...(that all rhymed accidentally).

We've also decided to make our own survey in which poetry is the world's number one form of recreational activity. So there.

Don't Let Bloody Men Ruin Your Day--by Taypee

What Ada's not telling you could fill a cattle car. First of all, not five minutes goes by that she doesn't say, "I'm so glad you're on medication." The book fair is complete carnage, like Night of the Living Dead meets the DMV. Ada tripped over a woman in a wheel chair trying to grab some free key chains and Hershey's kisses off the Three Lesbian's Press table. I, on the mother hand, have become completely taco-centric. We're eating some right now. On the way back from the Jack in the Box, two scrungy men covered with tattoos, dirt and blood said HI! real loud and made us both about wet our pants. They looked like somethings out of a Rob Zombie movie. But we're not going to let it ruin our day. The first noise out of Ada's mouth this morning was, "The tiny Sprites are fantastic," while the first noise out of mine was a rattling pill bottle. I miss my parrot. There, I said it.

12th Street Books is right next to 12th Street Massage Parlor

And at first we were a little confused. We thought Matt was trying to take us to the massage parlor. But then we found it and a little while after that, everyone else found it. Then we had some wine, and cheese and some more wine and had a great time. The bookstore is awesome and a friend bought a book called "Beds" by Groucho Marx that I had never seen and now need to search for my own copy. We partied later at the Unassociated Garden Party. Ah, that was fun. I miss it already.

No armlickers at all!

Well, we had a real nice time at AWP! Jen and I went to a panel on who reads poetry (no one), and it was fun (and sad). But when the lady with the pie charts got of the stage, we missed the pie charts and the lady who often said, "some of the pie charts were surprising." THEN the guy from the NEA said NO ONE was reading anything at all anymore and we decided we had to go and eat some tacos.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A guest blog by Taypee

The Commanches o'ertook the wagon at dawn, at the scenic overlook mile marker 23, next to the Shoneys. Daddy took one in the shoulder and mama took one for the team. Daddy Jr. took one for free and I took the A train. They kept me alive so that I could testify to the awesome power of their weapons, their horses and their margaritas. They whooped my ass and came back for seconds. They said, "Owning two yorkies is like having squirrels in your house all the time. So shut up." It was hot. I love it when Indians tell me what to do. --Jennie K., Grade 4

Uh oh BBQ

Matt Valentine just took Jen and I out to BBQ at a place called "The County Line". Wow. I'm never eating again.
I had a rib that was bigger than my own.

Everyone is talking about AWP. Parties, parties...and the women come and go.

Here we go! I need to go to bed now. The whole thing makes me dizzy.

Airport Day! Airport Day!

Everybody's excited on AIRPORT DAY!

Nuns in the airport..

always remind me of A Prayer for Owen Meany.

Absolutely no poetry in the airport Hudson News store.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Trip & Tour for LUCKY WRECK

Sat, February 11th, 3PM: Ear Inn with Mark Weissman & Emari DiGiorgio, New York

Sun, February 26th, 2PM: The Four-Faced Liar, with Owen Sheers

Thurs, March 2nd, 7PM: NYU Alumni Reading at Jurrow Hall with Kazim Ali, Jacob Appel, Tyehimba Jess, Jennifer Knox, & Lidia Torres, New York, NY

Fri, March 3rd, 7PM: Book Launch Party, Bar Matchless, Brooklyn, NY

Thurs, March 9th, 7PM: Reading at 12th Street Books with Jennifer L. Knox, Austin, TX

Friday, March 10th, 12:30PM: Workshop at University of Texas

Fri, March 10th, 2PM: AWP, Book table with Autumn House

Mon, March 13th, 7:30PM: Richard Hugo House, Seattle, WA

Wed, March 15th, 7:30PM: Auntie’s Books, Spokane, WA

Thurs, March 16th, 5:30PM, Reading at 7PM: Limón’s House Party & Reading

Sat, March 18th, 7PM: Readers' Books, West Coast Launch, Sonoma, CA

Fri, March 24th, 7:30PM: Pegasus Books with Kaya Oakes, Berkeley, CA

Sat, March 25th, 7:30PM: Santa Cruz, Community Center, CA

Sat, April 8th, 2PM: The Four-Faced Liar with Daniel Nester, Andrew Roberts, New York, NY

Mon, May 8th, 7:30PM: Readings Between A & B at 11th St. Bar with Nicole Cooley, New York

Sun, May 14th, 7:00PM: Zinc Bar with Jennifer L. Knox, New York

Saturday, November 3rd , 7:30PM: Gist Street Reading Series with Richard Jackson, Pittsburg, PA

Beginning of lucky wreck book tour

So, I'm off tomorrow. I'm all packed. I've got some books and some heels and full intention of making a fool out of myself every chance I get. Gulp. I hope it all goes well. Super T just told me I should start this at least for the tour so people could find out how I was doing. So blame her. I do. For everything.