Indiana & Amelia photo by Dennis Riley
I am currently preparing for my first The Dogs of Brooklyn poetry show. The Dogs of Brooklyn is my fresh poetic narrative about my colorful life as a dogwalker accompanied by vibrant photographs of Brooklyn and the dogs by Dennis Riley. The Dogs of Brooklyn is the poetic equivalent to many other bestselling dog-oriented books like Marley and Me, Mark Doty’s Dog Years, and Unleashed: Poems by Writer’s Dogs.
For the month of November 2009 Dennis Riley and I will be hanging his photographs and my poems of/about the dogs and Brooklyn at Ozzie’s on 7th Avenue and Lincoln Place in Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY. We will be having a free opening party/reading on Friday, November 6th at 7pm. I, the fabulous Melissa Febos writer of the memoir Whipsmart and co-host of Mixer reading series, and one other writer TBA will be reading poems and stories about Brooklyn and its “wildlife.” Melissa and I are also discussing the possibility of me joining her on her West Coast book release tour Spring 2010. I plan on doing some guerilla style readings at Dog Runs, Pet Stores, Book Stores etc. More info to come!
As most of you know I’ve been working on a book of interviews with poets for the past year. The interviews were originally featured on BOMBlog. I do love reading these poets’ new books, researching them, and asking them thoughtful questions about their work, and most of them seem to appreciate not getting asked “Who’s your Favorite Poet?” and “When did you write your first poem?etc. Below are some of my interviews so far:
Denise Duhamel: Reform School Poet
Barbara Hamby and the Abecedarian Corset
Akilah Oliver: Good Grief
The Biographical Helium of Stacy Szymaszek
Matthew Rohrer: Poultry and Poetry?
Campbell McGrath, Survivor: Poetry Edition
Mary Jo Bang: The Bride of Alliteration
Hopefully we will find a publisher for both books soon!
Chocolate Charlie photo by Dennis Riley
Chocolate Charlie wears a tire on his head. Runs away from his own excrement….
So this week, I’m staying with Chocolate Charlie, who’s quite a character. He’s some kind of Springer Spaniel, retriever mix I think. Part Dog, Part Monkey. The other night it rained and he tried to cram himself under the bed, which he’s really too big to fit under. So I’m watching some crap TV and I hear the thunder rumble outside and then scuffle, thump, scuffle as he army crawls into his bomb shelter for safety. When it stops thundering it’s scuffle, thump, scuffle as he comes out again. He grabs his tire toy which is ridiculous and bigger than his head and comes over to me with the black rubber donut on his face. God I love these creatures!
Last night I went to my friend Melissa’s reading series Mixer at the Cake Shop on the Lower East Side. I love the Cake Shop, Andy, the owner is super nice. I played there a lot back when I was in bands. In fact when my band Wu Wei played our first show there with the Old Haunts it was kinda crazy. I was all excited because Tobi Vail from Bikini Kill was playing drums with them. I got urinary tract infection the day of the show but didn’t want to miss it. Let me clarify here for those who don’t know, Urinary Tract Infections are not only painful like you are being stabbed in the vagina with a sharp knife, but also can make you lose bladder control. You have to treat them with antibiotics, so you have to go to the doctor, I swear if more men got UTI’s you’d be able to get an over-the -counter cure. Anyways, I went out and bought some Depends and played the show with a diaper on. How punk rock is that? I digress…
So at Mixer we ate red velvet cake and watched Anne Hayes of the lit mag Storyscape read a funny story about a fictional literary agency. I clapped even though they rejected my poems, not that I’m bitter. Suzanne Guillette read from her book Much to Your Chagrin: A Memoir of Embarrassment. She read a story about a hungover guy having to get home on the subway in Barcelona wearing only a white t-shirt and a pink speedo. Then Sini Anderson of the mythical Sister Spit freestyled a story with musical accompaniment. Sini is a good friend and an amazing performer. You just have to go see her to understand. When she tells a story it is an engrossing, etherial experience. Last night it was mostly about her crazy childhood and Michael Jackson. We headed home before the band, Falling of the Bright, played (Sorry!), had to catch the B train before it stopped running at 9pm and see the season Premier of Top Chef!
That’s all for now. Gotta go work on Chocolate Charlie’s poem and then get melted walking dogs in 90 degree weather!