Friday, November 30, 2007

an interview with poet KEN RUMBLE on depression 

For years I suffered from depression, suffered too as a child from a shitty state-run agency for the poor that my mother was forced to send me to after I was too much for the schools to deal with. Misdiagnosed, treated incorrectly, suffering further, I finally met the poet Jay Pinsky who introduced me to Macrobiotics, which literally saved my life. I'm grateful to Jay to say the least. It's rare to meet others who are willing to discuss their depression, but when I do meet them I like to know how it is they cope. Part of me winces knowingly from the pallid feel of the soul, and the desire to climb out of it, or into something different.

Ken Rumble is a poet whose work I have admired for some time now. He surprised me one day recently when being open about living with cycles of depression. He's living proof YOU JUST DON'T KNOW WHO out there is suffering, meaning that Ken doesn't display many of the behaviors we like to safely associate with someone suffering from depression. His openness felt immediate and vital, and I was glad he agreed to this interview. We hope it helps others if at least to get talking, and being open. Silence is the most dangerous coping mechanism in my opinion, the one that does the most damage.

Many thanks to Ken Rumble,

Ken Rumble is the author of Key Bridge (Carolina Wren Press, 2007) which one reviewer describes as an "exuberant free-verse tour of Washington, D.C." He works as the marketing director for the Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his daughter. His poems have appeared in the literary journals Octopus, Fascicle, Coconut, Cutbank, Parakeet, the tiny, Carolina Quarterly, and others. He is currently at work with his father on a nonfiction book about the Antarctic ozone hole. Check out his blog The Desert City.


Ken, you've recently come out of one of your cycles of depression. As poets we know of course how anguish has been romanticized. You're someone I trust can shed some much needed light on the subject. What does depression do to your daily life once you're in one of your cycles?

It's really almost totally crippling, and yet, I'd guess most people around me would just think that I'm a little moody. I get up, go to work, do my job, take care of my daughter, hang out with friends, exercise, write, read, etc. When I'm depressed my life externally is fairly normal. But my thoughts during these periods are toxic, full of self-hatred and despair. I am the target of my depression.

When I'm depressed, I think about my life and my past and think that everything I've ever done has been a waste and failure. I see broken relationships, lost opportunities, stupid decisions, ill-placed trust, naivety, and inadequacy. I look back and see chances to have made my life better than what it seems like, and I see I squandered those chances. And I see the reasons behind all my past decisions as suspect at best, stupid at worst. I look into the future and see myself stumbling through however many days I have left alone, forgotten, and unwanted. I don't believe I'll realize any of the dreams that I might have and really don't have many dreams left.

I think I don't know what I want in any general or specific sense or what to do to get what I want or to even change the current state a little bit, and I can't understand why I have the day-to-day life that I do, and I don't know why I continue to live that life everyday. I half want to just breakdown completely most days, just give in and collapse, give up, let go. I think a lot about wanting to be erased, to just no longer exist anymore, disappear, evaporate. I half hope someone will kill me. It's not, though, that I want to die exactly -- I just want to not exist, be gone. It's not exactly suicidal thinking, but it's not exactly not. It's just that my life seems so entirely worthless and wasted that continuing that life is just a burden that seems almost cruel. I've never come anywhere close to actually attempting or attempting to attempt suicide, but the depression is killing me.

And yet, I do get up, go to work, do all of those things. But that almost makes it even worse -- to do all of those things and be watching my mind rip myself apart with self-hatred and despair. I end up feeling like a fake, like I'm pretending, and I believe that the people around me know somehow, and they think I'm a freak or weird or undesirable because I'm acting so strangely. And I don't think I can tell anyone -- I don't think anyone will understand -- I think that if I tell people then they won't like me, won't want to be my friend -- it's very painful and childish/juvenile thinking and very real. When I'm in it, I can hardly think of anything else -- my mind is just so stuck in all this crap that I feel like it's all I can do to just go to the grocery store and use the self-check out aisle. And yet, I do that and more and most of the times, my mind is just running over and over and over this stuff. And I feel very very very isolated and very very alone and very very worthless.

And I am isolated and I am alone. I have the life of a depressive: I moved to a town where I have very few friends; many of my relationships are conducted via the internet; what close friends I've had, I've moved away from and lost touch with. My daily life mostly consists of working, running, and hanging out by myself. My daughter stays with me on a regular basis and those are usually my best days. She and my parents are probably the reason I'm still alive -- I don't want to hurt them.

So really, I guess I hold it together for the workday, then I come home and am just sort of frozen -- stuck in these depressive thoughts and exhausted by them. It's hard for me to read or write during those periods because everything I look at seems worthless, anything I might get interested in seems pointless. What does any effort matter for?

And it seems like nothing does matter -- live, die, try, not try, dream, not dream -- I look back and think that at some points I was really doing my best, giving it my all, really believing and fearless, and all for what? It's gone -- whatever good I made or was a part of is gone. My best efforts got me here: poor, alone, and with few prospects in a strange city. Nothing I do matters -- I can't change my lot. I tried to do something good, and for that effort I've been left with nothing. So what should I do now? What can I do? I don't have any ideas left, no more dreams. Now I just worry about spending $20 to go out one night because I'm worried I won't have enough money to buy groceries so I can make food for myself in my empty apartment.

I just see myself getting older and even more sad and undesirable. It's crushing and exhausting and crippling, and it can go on for weeks or even months.

Then when it starts to alleviate -- I feel disassociated and hazy; everything's happening around me in this weird hyper-focus, slow-mo that doesn't really make any sense.

And then I feel okay, but I don't really trust that I'm okay, so I'm like "I'm okay, but I'm going to sort of ignore that because I'm probably not really okay." And then I start to feel a lot better and happy even and relaxed, and the depression seems to be really gone. And then I can't even remember why I was so depressed; what happened? what got me there? what got me out? was it even there?

Most of the times it seems like a decision -- like I just decided, "Okay, I've had enough -- time to stop." But why could I make that decision a week ago and not a month ago? What happened?

Because when I'm really depressed, I know on some level that these horrible, self-hating things that I'm thinking are not exactly "true." I know that, and I know that "I'm doing it to myself." But I can't stop -- it even makes it worse; am I just so entirely self-obsessed that I can't control my own thinking? I can't stop thinking about myself for one minute and give myself a break?

And then it's like "who am I talking to??" Who is me? Who am I? Am I this depressed person? am I a happy person? am I my thoughts? I don't understand any of these things -- I can't make sense of concepts like "I", "me", "my", "thoughts", etc. So there's not even some kind of basic anchor or touchpoint to provide stability through this chaos.

And it feels self-obsessive, and I hate that about myself in those moments; there's a lot I hate about myself in those moments; I spend most of my depressed time thinking about how much I hate myself for being such a worthless, pathetic failure.

And then I'm out of it and it feels like it's a million miles away, and good things happen to me, and I have fun and good interactions with people and successes, and I'm terrified that none of it is "real" -- whatever "real" is. And I wait for the next cycle to come and I don't know why they come and I don't know what to watch out for and then I'm in it and I just want to erase myself.

And the worst part is that I actually have a pretty good life, my book got published, I like my job, I've got a great daughter, I have good friends, people have been generous to me about giving readings for the book, I basically like the town I'm in and my apartment, my parents are wonderful, I'm healthy -- things really aren't so bad, but when I'm depressed I hardly see any of that.

I just feel stuck, dead, incapable, and hopeless.

For the last two or three years, that's pretty much been my life. When I look back further when I'm not depressed, I can see that I've probably suffered from this for a long time.

The cost of all this for me is that when I'm in it, I have a hard time doing much more than the basic. My work (poetry, job, etc.) suffers; my relationships suffer, etc. It becomes really hard for me to spend time or just generally communicate with people because I'm so afraid to talk to people about all this and yet I can't stop thinking about it.

And it's particularly crippling to my work as a poet because the depression usually comes with some really heavy duty self-criticism about my work -- I'm no good, nobody really likes it, and poetry's worthless anyway. So submitting poems, staying active in whatever way in the community, etc. -- all that stuff that's kind of necessary to be "successful" in the poetry bizness, all that's very difficult for me. I get in these cycles where I have all this energy to engage in correspondence, submit poems, review books for a week or so, and then I can hardly stand to open my inbox, let alone actually respond to people. And I feel really guilty about those silences, those gaps, and I feel like I can't keep up at those times, and I start wondering why I'm trying to do it all anyway?

The worst part in some ways is that I have an intensely hard time talking about how I'm feeling when I'm depressed; I self-isolate myself while also desperately in need of compassion from someone, for somebody to hold me, stroke my head, and tell me everything's going to be okay.

Most of the time though I don't believe that people actually really even interact in any meaningful way -- we just make actions in each other's presence that are vaguely parallel and we assume that correspondence is actually communication; when really it's just us out there.

One story that's always intrigued me is from H.P. Blavatsky. She had a young woman come to her who suffered from cycles of depression. (This is in Philadelphia in the late 1880s.) Blavatsky listened very closely to the woman's details of how and when it occurred. She then asked the woman to use meditation during these cycles of depression, and to force herself to visualize a spot of light because when the depression cycled back into her life again that spot of light she created would also return with the depression. The woman experienced this, and she was asked to make the spot of light larger with each cycle. It made her depression a THING to be moulded and reformed. The woman was eventually cured, the depression tapering off and away, and one can wonder from many angles about how and why this cure might have worked. Have you ever heard of this cure by Blavatsky? Have you heard of other forms of meditation cures, ones that bring you some relief?

I know of Blavatsky, but I didn't know that story. I can sort of imagine that working, but I'm skeptical I suppose. I can imagine on some level getting used to this cycle -- I think my semi-recent awareness of it has changed my experience of it, and I think that as I continue to go through it that I'll learn more ways to deal with it.

I did vipassana meditation for awhile after doing a 10-day sit about a year or so ago. That experience was really complicated for me -- I don't know if I'd say the meditation "worked." I'm not sure what working would look like.

I've found that exercise helps a lot -- tiring out my body is a good way to get my mind to slow down it's downward spiral -- exercising also just makes me feel like I've accomplished something tangible and that feeling is always valuable when I'm depressed. Of course, on the other hand exercising and exercise can also be a /source/ of anxiety and depression. I hurt myself (largely unintentionally) sometimes (shit happens), and then I get really frustrated that I can't do this thing that helps me. Other times, I just think exercising is stupid -- what am I trying to do? who am I trying to impress? what's the point?

So nothing really comes easy.

Have you ever been treated for depression?

I've had two very good psychiatrists/talk therapists over the last couple years. I switched largely because I moved, but the new guy is very good, too. I've also been taking a anti-convulsive that has been used to treat bipolar called Lamictal for about a year and a half or so. There's a history of manic-depression in my family, and lamictal is used to treat M/D. I haven't had any intense manic periods -- I definitely can get pretty hyped up and energetic, but that's different from real mania. People that are manic usually have fairly substantial auditory and visual hallucinations and are gripped with some pretty intense OC activities. I've never been actually diagnosed as M/D, and I'm not opposed exactly to that diagnosis -- I'm just not convinced it fits. All that said, I'm on lamictal because other depression meds (SSRIs -- something seratonin re-uptake inhibitors) can "kindle" manic episodes in people with latent or undiagnosed M/D.

Honestly though, I really don't know if the lamictal is hurting or helping. I sometimes feel like I have a little extra distance on the depression -- like I can observe it from further away and not be quite as sucked in by it. On the other hand, I still can't really stop it exactly. So I don't really know. I'm actually talking to my doc about getting off of it.

The talk therapy part is what I find really helpful. So much of what happens to me/I do to myself is self-injurious, self-hating, and I really withdraw from people, avoid human contact. To talk to someone about it, to get to say these things in my head, and have somebody hear them and say things that make sense about them is a pretty intense relief, to feel some compassion. Being in talk therapy also makes it a lot easier for me to cry actually, and usually crying feels pretty good. I've got some wild grief that I've got to let out regularly, but most of the time I'm trying to adhere to some smiley face, happy, normal, level, likable guy image, and so it's hard in that mode to break down and sob. So the therapy helps.

And yet, again, the depression can often turn that rotten, too, make the therapy seem useless and pointless.

So and aside from that I don't drink very much, I eat things that are good for me, and I try to get plenty of sleep. Being hungry and/or tired usually makes the depression worse.

And of course sometimes none of it helps.

How are your poems affected by your depression?

Usually depression ends them -- it's very difficult for me to write when I'm really depressed. So yeah, usually I can't really write. Sometimes I do though and when I can it always feels really good -- even better than normal. Poetry writing and reading just generally help me get to that place where existence feels like a pleasantly flowing and interdependent/changable river, harmonious, light, and beautiful -- to get a little of that in the middle of some depression...

What advice do you have for poets and others who suffer from depression?

I don't really have any actually. In my experience, getting advice is almost the worst thing in the world, especially when it's good advice. It's like I get this good advice, but I'm too fucking depressed to do anything about it, so then I start feeling worthless and pathetic because I can't even do this little simple thing that would really actually help me.

So I try to avoid advice when I'm depressed.

I will say that I'd be willing to talk and listen to people about depression more.

CALQUE 3, edited by Brandon Holmquest & Steve Dolph 

issue 3
HERE to see, read, order, NOW! One of the best journals of translation work around!

(posted by CAConrad)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

THE ODYSSEY on LIVE AT THE WRITERS HOUSE, now online, episode No. 65, hosted by WXPN radio host Michaela Majoun 

Click HERE (then type in 65 when asked for episode #) for the online archive of episode No. 65: THE ODYSSEY reading!

Readers include: Emily Abendroth, Justin Audia, Julia Bloch, CAConrad, Ryan Eckes, and music by MY INVISIBLE ( I'm a huge MY INVISIBLE fan! THEY'RE AMAZING!)
(posted by CAConrad)

Monday, November 26, 2007

reply from Dale Smith 

Click HERE for Dale Smith's reply to my "open letter" posted here yesterday (scroll down).

There is an ongoing conversation which much of this is connected to in the latest Chicago Review. There are links on their site, just click HERE for details, listed under the "NEWS" section (just scroll down past the cover).


Sunday, November 25, 2007

the perfect christmas present for the truly paranoid WHAT TO DO WHEN THE SHIT HITS THE FAN, by Dave Black 

by Dave Black
Skyhorse Publishing, 2007

Have you seen this book? It's a comprehensive guide to surviving disasters such as nuclear bombs, terrorist attacks and civil unrest, and it's in all the chain bookstores these days, shelved under HOME REFERENCE, right next to Martha Stewart's books on how to make bird feeders and the perfect door knocker from old broom handles. There's a "small arms primer" section where Black informs us, "Experts pretty much agree that 9 mm is as small as you should go, and anything larger than a .38 Special or .357 Magnum is too big. Other considerations to make are price, your physical size, and hand strength. Revolvers are safer than semi-automatics, but semi-automatics are quicker to load and easier to conceal."

Having grown up in a family where every man, woman and child learns how to shoot pistols, rifles and shotguns, and uses them on a regular basis, I'm not unfamiliar with the language, just no longer comfortable with it. In fact I am the only living member of my family to NOT own a gun, which freaks some of my family out, saying they worry about me, gunless.

He has a "body armor" section where he tells us, "Body armor has changed over the decades to the point where now it's possible to get reasonable protection in a vest made from soft woven fibers. This 'soft armor' is more tailored than traditional armor, making it easy to conceal and comfortable to wear." Black also covers how to survive a shipwreck, nuclear emergency, tornado, earthquake and other cheerful outcomes for your day. There's no doubt that this man knows his stuff! He knows how to purify water, treat wounds, turn a bucket into a sanitary latrine, and trust me when I say SO MUCH more!

I LOVE this world, I really, seriously do! HOWEVER, if there's ONE THING this book has made me aware of is that I'm entirely TOO LAZY for Armageddon! JUST reading the preparations in this book exhausts me! GEESH! FORGET IT! When I hear the apocalypse approaching I'm going to take my favorite candy bar blender drink (a little EXTRA vodka!) out to the curb, put 4 cigarettes in my mouth and wait for the approaching wall of fire to light them for me! Frankly I'm not afraid of dying, but I'm also not interested in living in a world with no libraries and bookstores and strawberry ice cream. Fuck it.



"The problem with Spahr and Young is that their efforts in this essay promote them as Bay Area poets--a geography doped on failed possibilities and destructive utopian values." --Dale Smith, in the comment box of his blog "Possum Ego," responding to Judith Jordan, Thursday, November 1, 2007

Dear Dale, your blog post with its evaluations of the younger Dale Smith's methods of confrontation, as well as your world views and the minds that help shape those world views is a marvelous thing to read. In the rarest and most beautiful way at times you give this.

Part of me though thinks maybe you were widening your reach of the argument's blade to pull Spahr and Young in with your views of The Bay Area? But that was just a passing thought I had, because it needed to pass. You wouldn't cheapen your argument (at least I don't think you would) after having bothered to present such a thoughtful and open post about yourself. In fact the ease with which you say "a geography doped on failed possibilities and destructive utopian values," to me sounds like something said by someone who has spent much time forming these ideas. To the point where it's almost vague to the reader, as though we should simply KNOW how you mean what you mean.

I believe you when you say in your post that you support what is necessary for exploration of gender, sexuality and the desires intertwined. And I say I believe you because I want to make it clear that I'm not arguing that you are hostile on those grounds. Yet I question negating this geography, and all that has happened there, especially what has happened there in the last half century.

Failed possibilities? Destructive utopian values?

When I begin thinking about San Francisco and Berkeley I think about courageous people, people with real guts!

And I'd like to also point out that some of the first voices who come to mind for me are voices who also spoke out on issues of class, in fact class first and foremost. Leslie Feinberg for instance didn't just form the backbone of the trans revolution, but started out in the labor movement, getting her head kicked in, but kept going, and not giving in. People like Harvey Milk who helped union organizers in many marvelous ways in the Castro.

This is important, talking about class, because I want to make it clear that The Bay Area is NOT a nest of rich kids angry at mommy and daddy. The Bay Area has been dismissed far too long in such ways as these. Many of the best revolutionaries to come out of this area are people who understood how class was the foundation of all they argued and fought to change. People who had the intelligence, creativity, and the courage to make this world better. They failed? Did they?

Not to me they didn't. Any one person who has been inspired to grab hold of their own creative core and go forward because of these people is reason enough to say The Bay Area did not fail us.

Am I trying to say San Francisco is this wacko point on the map to meditate on when times are rough? No, nothing so sentimental as that. Suffering is great in life, especially when you find yourself completely Outside. So I am talking about something far beyond sentimentality. I'm talking about women and men who told the world to FUCK ITSELF because they were recreating the rules of the world, creating space to belong when they could find it nowhere else. It's no mistake it exists on fault lines, shakes and almost seems to want to shake apart at times because the minds drawn there are dangerous in very many ways to the confines of this brutal, murderous world.

Destructive utopian values?

Maybe you need to clarify what you mean because this seems to contradict your post where you spoke out in favor of human beings exploring their values.

Maybe I've got the wrong notion? If you take the time to let me know, I'd appreciate it,

benefit for Will Alexander... 

Many thanks to David Buuck for helping me with this information.

For those not in San Francisco for the benefit, we can send checks made out to him at:

Will Alexander
400 South Lafayette Park Place, #307
Los Angeles, CA 90057

(posted by CAConrad)

Friday, November 23, 2007


(the following is being circulated by David Buuck)

As many of you know, poet Will Alexander is quite ill with cancer and is
undergoing chemotherapy. He's spent his life largely off the poetry grid,
taking on odd jobs, and has no financial support or, needless to say,
health insurance. Please join us on Dec 1 at 730 for a Bay Area benefit reading. Donations will be bundled and sent directly to Will. If you cannot make it but would like to contribute, please contact me for details.

Readers include:

Nate Mackey
Juliana Spahr
Taylor Brady
Lyn Hejinian
Andrew Joron
Tisa Bryant
Adam Cornford
D.S. Marriott
and more!

hosted by David Buuck and Small Press Traffic

$10-up donations
Saturday December 1, 2008
7:30 PM in Timken Lecture Hall,
at the California College of the Arts,
1111--8th Street, San Francisco

(posted by CAConrad)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Click HERE
It's an amazing issue! This is the kind of magazine that makes me LOVE the Internet! All kinds of peculiar and marvelous things going on here! Some of my favorite living poets in here!


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

poets having babies! 

Please meet
Lucas Raphael Collins-Fuchs
November 6, 2007
8 lbs 11 oz

Lucas's parents are
artist Alison Collins
and PhillySound poet Greg Fuchs

LOVE to you 3!

War & Peace vol. 3: The Future, edited by Leslie Scalapino & Judith Goldman 

Peace On A


War & Peace vol. 3 (NYC launch!)

with readings by:

Bruce Andrews
Michael Cross
Thom Donovan
Brenda Iijima
Paolo Javier
Susan Landers
Evelyn Reilly
& Rodrigo Toscano

Tuesday, November 27th 2007 8PM

hosted by Thom Donovan at:

166 Avenue A (btwn 10th and 11th), Apartment #2

about War & Peace vol. 3

War and Peace 3/The Future, edited by Judith Goldman & Leslie Scalapino. Borrowing Tolstoy’s title and basing our manifestation of War and Peace on the conception that everything goes on in war and peace, the editors, Judith Goldman and Leslie Scalapino, have gathered forty poets on the theme of "The Future." The future arises with (at the same time as) history and the present. Included in the forty are Lyn Hejinian, Fanny Howe, Lisa Jarnot, Bruce Andrews, Rodrigo Toscano, Anselm Hollo, Paolo Javier, Laynie Browne, Anne Waldman, Jen Hofer…

--posted by CAConrad

Saturday, November 17, 2007

nostalgia for genocide, or LET'S PLAY genocide! 

Earlier today I was reading in the park before going to my stupid job. A pair of nannies arrived on the scene with 2 young boys, one dressed as a cowboy, the other as an indian.





The nannies sat on a bench smoking and talking about boyfriends. It was just another day in Philadelphia celebrating the murderous world we wake yawning toward.

What fucking parents in 2007 are buying kids cowboy and indian costumes with cap guns? WHAT IF young German boys wanted to play a game of NAZI and JEW!? WOULD THAT ALSO BE OKAY!? But then again the Germans lost the war. Maybe if the indians won the war the cowboys would die in the game?

What the fuck are these fucking parents thinking? "Let's get the boys some cowboy and indian outfits like we had when we were kids! Ah, look at them shoot one another! Brings back memories!"

Our country is about to celebrate THANKSGIVING DAY, again! Talk about nostalgia for genocide.

How many Americans will mindlessly cook a butchered turkey without any thought of Native American bloodlines having been erased from the planet? Millions and millions of tortured, slaughtered families from every corner of our map. All 50 states experienced this slaughter, enslavement, this giant dark finger tamping out the lights of generations. Languages stuttered into the plains and mountain chains no more.

(photo of mass grave of 146 Native American men, women and children of the Lakota-Sioux Nation after the US 7th cavalry's massacre at Wounded Knee, December 29th, 1890)

And who will be thinking of the nearly ONE MILLION Iraqis killed since our unprovoked illegal invasion of Iraq? THANKSGIVING DAY!?



For those interested, a campaign to fast on Thanksgiving Day has begun. For more information please go to this site: THANKSGIVING DAY FAST

When genocide is part of playtime everyone's asleep and murdering by proxy, even your stupid fucking children who know no better,


to see The Palinode Project CLICK HERE

--post by CAConrad

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


(Erica Kaufman)


Thursday, 11/15 at 6 PM
3805 Locust Walk

(Reb Livingston)

--posted by CAConrad

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Tiny Tour- the Bathroom Reading 

Who hasn't taken great poetry to the bathroom every now & then? Well, this week you're in luck. The bathroom brings the poems to you. The Tiny Tour's welcomes you to Dorothea Lasky's shower, sink & toilet to see/hear Dottie, Stan Mir, Laura Solomon & CAConrad.

Check it out, check it out!

- Frank Sherlock

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Percy Pringle-Zurawski: the BIGGEST little dog I ever did meet, and I'm talking HUUUUUUUGGGE A HUGE little DOG! 

(Percy in Magdalena Zurawski's arms after his bath, photo by Kathryn Pringle)

Very sad to report that Percy Pringle-Zurawski died yesterday. I was just on the phone with Magdalena. She and Kate are heart-broken, as you can imagine. It's a terrible loss to their family.

Percy was a HUGE person in that family, was in fact the largest little dog I had ever met in my life. I remember Magdalena and I taking him for a walk on Telegraph Hill in San Francisco and witnessing just how big he could be. Not only was he very small, but he was also quite old, and blind. But he ALWAYS somehow knew where the biggest dog was on Telegraph Hill and would find him, and lean against him and GROWL a menacing GROWL. In fact the first time I witnessed this was with a Great Dane, a HUGE dog, and he looked down at little Percy, then looked back over at us, then back down at Percy, not knowning what to do.

Percy helped Magdalena finish her novel THE BRUISE. He traveled with Maggie, Kate, and their other (marvelous!) dog Bear across the country when they moved to North Carolina this year. Percy got to visit Graceland, Vegas, and even the Cadillac Ranch in Texas.

While Maggie and Kate and Bear are mourning the loss of their family member, they must know that they gave Percy the best possible home. And a tremendous Love. Percy did not leave this world without a true and good and Loving family. Those of us lucky enough to meet Percy and see him with his family know this to be true. We will all miss him.

Rest In Peace Percy. And Love to Maggie, Kate and Bear,

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


SUNDAY, 11/11/07 benefit for Alan Czarzasty CLICK HERE!

TUESDAY, 11/13/07 benefit for Action AIDS CLICK HERE!

also, THIS SATURDAY, 11/10/07 is
7:30 PM, FREE
Molly’s Café & Bookstore, 1010 S. 9th St.

--posted by CAConrad


Working on the Judge Teresa Deni case yesterday at the polls, handing out flyers, talking to people, telling them what she did, and WHY they should vote NO to keep her in her chair was a positive experience, for the most part. In fact it made me happy to find out that MOST of the voters had already heard about the situation, and were already intending to vote NO for her seat to be renewed.

One woman however took a screwy turn. She balled the flyer up and THREW it into the street and told me that her husband is a lawyer and is friends with Judge Deni, and that I know NOTHING about her, that I'm (GET THIS!) a misogynist who is threatened by women judges! She ACTUALLY said that! WOW! And I said, "WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!? Judge Deni DISMISSED a rape case by her own moral indignation against the occupation of the victim!"


"Yes I am! No woman, prostitute or not, should be gang raped at gunpoint and not see justice done! And furthermore HOW ABOUT THE WOMAN these same men raped several days later!? What about her!? If ANYTHING that victim should have her lawyer hold Judge Deni culpable in the assault KNOWING what these men had already done and that the judge set them free to do it again!"

She ignored this last comment and told several people I handed flyers to ignore me and that I hate women, and that they should vote YES to retain the seat of Judge Teresa Deni!

It was one of those TWISTED moments life throws at you that just made me nothing but angry for the forced denial, angry for the fucked up system, angry that I'm being called something I happen to believe the judge in this case is, woman or man, or not!

This judge is a threat to all women in the city of Philadelphia, and the Bar Association is involved now to examine the case closer and see if the judge is even fit to serve at this point. My fingers are crossed they find her unfit.

But I also hope enough people voted NO yesterday to retain her seat.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The New Suicide 

The 2008 Guinness Book of World Records lists the 1985 police murder of 11 members of MOVE as a “modern mass suicide.” During the second disastrous raid on the MOVE organization in seven years, a police helicopter dropped C4 explosives on the rooftop bunker shack of a rowhouse. The police bombing burned 61 homes to the ground and killed 11 of 13 people barricaded in the MOVE house, including 5 children. Philadelphia was internationally disgraced for years to come as the city who bombs their own, who “suicides” their own citizens.

So what is this “modern suicide”, then? Is it based on the idea that disobedience to the directives of those with the potential for lethal force at their disposal is the equivalent to taking one’s own life? It’s possible that the 2008 Guinness Book of World Records has eliminated murder as we know it! While that’s a major accomplishment, there a few glaring omissions from the modern mass suicide list. Let’s not forget the cult called Citizens of Baghdad who committed mass suicide during the Shock & Awe of 2003, or the Twin Towers cult of 2001 who suicided themselves in a bizarre ritual called “going to work.”

Murder? What’s murder?

- Frank Sherlock

Saturday, November 03, 2007


Hi, I'm 41 years old. Ever since I was able to read as a little kid I remember reading the label MADE IN CHINA on the bottom of, on the back of, nearly everything in my filthy little home. As far as I knew everything was made in China, except coffins, which I knew my family made in the factory. But seriously, every toy, shoe, telephone, spatula, necklace, as far as I knew even the sky, even babies, all came from China and were brought over in big magical boats for our homes.

It's just really ODD to me that all of a sudden every single fucking week on the news there's yet another story about lead in the paint of a TOY, or poison in the dog food. It's SO ODD! I mean, was it always there and we're just now figuring it out? Or did someone lose their mind in China and suddenly think it's good to use lead and other poisons?

No, I'm not convinced. In fact you might think I'm paranoid, but I just don't believe it's happening. I don't. WHY after all of these years would manufacturers in China start using something to ship to America KNOWING that it's illegal to have on our store shelves? Like I said, you might think I'm paranoid, but I don't believe it.

What do I believe instead? Well, so far (and I've been looking) all the stories I've seen and heard about this don't interview anyone in China from the factories. The stories are all American. And American businesses are so competitive that I don't put it past them to prey on American consumer minds to use racism, and to use CHILDREN and PUPPIES, the two most beloved living American beings, to do it. Am I paranoid? But aren't we living in a country right now whose corporations sent us to war in Iraq?

According to Amy Goodman of DEMOCRACY NOW, all of the major television news corporations, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, are each part of separate conglomerate entities which each also own companies which design and manufacture weapons. And she told us in Philadelphia when giving a talk at the University of Pennsylvania Law School that her friends from all of these major news stations have told her that they were receiving phone calls directly into the control rooms on the first few days after the invasion of Iraq, making sure that they got a close up of a certain kind of machine gun, or tank, or some other weapon. In researching this odd need to focus on particular ITEMS on their news coverage at the start of the war, Goodman discovered that THESE ITEMS in each case were ITEMS made by weapons manufacturers owned by the same conglomerates who owned each of the news stations. OUR NEWS STATIONS MANUFACTURE WEAPONS OH MY GOD! Conflict of interest for the coverage of the conflict in Iraq? Yeah, just a tad.

Am I paranoid? Well, AREN'T YOU FOR FUCK SAKE!? Anyway, until someone can show me PROOF that people in China are REALLY TRYING TO KILL America's children and puppies, I'm not believing it! We're being set up, it's a hunch, just a hunch, but maybe I'm right! But as far as I'm aware American businesses will do ANYTHING and it really does seem true they will do ANYTHING to make a buck! Including kill close to a million people in Iraq to do so. Destroy families. Bomb homes. Should the babies of the world fear America? How many dogs were killed by American bombs and gunfire in Baghdad in recent years? Lead in the paint and poison in the puppy chow is NOTHING compared to that! We have a lot of fucking nerve some days!

But maybe I'm wrong. But at the moment I'm thinking I'm right! But if someone knows of a source of news to clear it up for me, trust me, I'm more than willing to see and hear it.


Thursday, November 01, 2007

)))))))tinyTOUR THE LIVING ROOM TINYtour((((((( 


The tinyTOUR is a series of video taped poetry readings in different rooms of Dorothea Lasky's Philadelphia apartment to celebrate the publication of her amazing new book AWE!

CLICK HERE to see the tinyTOUR!

After seeing THE LIVING ROOM tinyTOUR, scroll down and view THE KITCHEN tinyTOUR with Dorothea and Joshua Beckman!

--posted by CAConrad

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?