Thursday, February 28, 2008


it's weird 'n fun 'n hope you can come! click here! --CAConrad

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

PhillySound reads for PEACE ON A 

Saturday, MARCH 1st

166 Avenue A (btwn 10th & 11th)


Mytili Jagannathan
Dorothea Lasky
Chris McCreary
Frank Sherlock
Kevin Varrone

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Frank Sherlock and Paul Siegell TOMORROW night at 8pm at the Bubble House, 3404 Sansom St., Philadelphia 

(posted by CAConrad)

Monday, February 25, 2008


a bit of self-promotion:

Foursquare Editions (labor of love of the lovely Jessica Smith -- say *that* three times fast) announces two new issues. For those of you who have not yet seen, Foursquare is one 8"x8" piece of cardstock on which four female poets per month are given one 4"x4" space each -- just like a foursquare court. The folded document is housed in a fabric sleeve with the name of the magazine embroidered on the front. Issues are "themed" (see below). Each copy is hand-numbered 1-50. Editions are very limited, with overruns available on Etsy.

FOURSQUARE 2.6 Mysteries both complex and ephemeral spun by Megan Kaminski, Jenn McCreary, Michaela Gabriel and Bonnie Roy. Cover art: a photograph found in the possession of Kristianne Meal.

FOURSQUARE 2.7 plays with light, color, and issues of gender and identity. Poems by Ivy Alvarez, Wanda Phipps, Pattie McCarthy and Jo Cook. Cover illustration by Claire Whitehead.


-jenn mcc.

Friday, February 22, 2008

poem by Nestor Perlongher A MUST READ! 

Steve Dolph has recently translated queer poet Nestor Perlongher's poem "How can we be so lovely" from the original Spanish into English and YOU HAVE TO SEE IT! Click HERE! It's fantastic! And this poet has almost no poems translated into English, and I want to read more now!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Senate Bill No. 1250 

While I'm a queer man who HATES the idea of marrying someone, anyone, I have plenty of queer friends, men and women, who want to get married in the state of Pennsylvania. And even if I didn't have queer friends who want to get married it's still none of my business, nor anyone else's business if people do.

There's a lot of feeling that there's no way in hell gay marriage will be allowed in our state, and that makes sense, especially if you travel out to the rural Pennsylvania where I was raised.

Nothing I like better than fighting the creeps from my past!

This is the bill, click HERE.

This is the page for taking action from Equality Advocates Pennsylvania.

Please spread the word, and thanks!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

ROOSTERS on stage in Philadelphia! 

ROOSTERS by Milcha Sanchez-Scott
Through February 24th
Wed-Sat @ 8pm, Sun @ 3pm
Christ Church Neighborhood House
20 N. American Street (near 2nd & Market)

DEBORAH BLOCK, the one and only ORIGINAL Fringe(!) is directing ROOSTERS! There are still some shows this week, call and reserve a ticket TODAY!

What would Philadelphia be without Deborah Block!? I can think of a few sad answers to my own question!

If when calling for tickets you say the magic words, "I'm an artist and would like the artist rate," it's half off, or $15.

If you're a student and tell them it's only $10.

--posted by CAConrad

Sunday, February 17, 2008


108 S. 13th St.

SUNDAY, February 24th


hosted by CAConrad

Shanna Compton's books include For Girls (& Others), Down Spooky, and several chapbooks. Her poems and essays have recently appeared in Absent, Abraham Lincoln, Jumps Journal, Tool, and the Poetry Foundation website. The former associate publisher of Soft Skull Press, she founded Bloof Books (http://www.bloofbooks.com/) in 2007, and runs the DIY Poetry Publishing Cooperative (http://diypublishing.blogspot.com/).

Teresa Leo is the author of a book of poems, The Halo Rule (Elixir Press, 2008), winner of the Elixir Press Editor's Prize. Her poetry and essays have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, Women's Review of Books, New Orleans Review, Barrow Street, Italian Americana, Painted Bride Quarterly, Xconnect, and elsewhere. She has been a resident at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Blue Mountain Center, and the Vermont Studio Center, and has received fellowships from the Pew Fellowships in the Arts, the Leeway Foundation, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. She works at the University of Pennsylvania.

Elizabeth Scanlon's poems have appeared in many magazines, including Boston Review, Can We Have Our Ball Back?, Colorado Review, Court Green, CrossConnect, Ducky , Gulf Coast , The Journal , Lit, Painted Bride Quarterly, Ploughshares, Post Road, Swink, and in the Thunder Mouth Press anthology Poets Against the War. She has been featured on the web sites Poetry Daily and Verse Daily. She is co-editor of The American Poetry Review.

--posted by CAConrad

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Barbieo Barros Gizzi's BLUE NOTE, on cover of Craig Watson's TRUE NEWS 

One of my favorite books of all time is TRUE NEWS. Watson's poems have a distinctive clarity only the most attentive animal among us will divulge after a long supper of the senses at the bus station, or wherever the hell it is he manages to think us, rethink us. And sometimes I say, "How nice of him to do that for us," as though he did it for us. I'd like to think he did it for us, and there is a tender quality to the rock candy in my mouth, also, and why not believe it is my point? IMPOSSIBLE beauty in an IMPOSSIBLE world is what I think sometimes when reading this book! And once in a while I think FUCK HIM THAT'S NOT TRUE! OR NEWS! But later I think, maybe it is, maybe it is.

Barbieo Barros Gizzi's BLUE NOTE collage is the cover, making the whole book one terrific and spellbinding THRILL! Have you seen this book's cover?

Not sure this thumb-sized portrait will do it for you, but you really should own the book anyway, because I said so. Do the collage and poems converse with one another? Am I asking myself out loud or pretending you are asking me? What's important for me has never been to ask that question. When I'm looking at BLUE NOTE (and literally doing so with a magnifying glass) the details bend me into a position of better GETTING just how continuous a juggling act our being here together, with all this other stuff of metal and fish and petals, or driving, or falling, over into it, is. The most mysterious, almost disturbing THING for me is in the upper right hand corner of the collage. A gold circle, some kind of mirror frame, or portal frame, with a blurred FACE(!?!) in it, possibly Mercury's? It's either Mercury or George Sand. It can't be anyone other than Mercury or George Sand. Well, possibly it's Klaus Nomi wearing headphones. Maybe.

It makes me want to write a poem called MAYBE, this gold framed portal into Mecury-Sand-Nomi. Thank you Barbieo Barros Gizzi for bringing these three genius giants of Olympus together! Who needs a poem? A thank you is good.

INSTANCE PRESS needs to amp up their site a bit though, let us know more about this book. It's one of the best books of poetry ever, and everyone should BUY IT, or shoplift it, or make someone buy it for them for Presidents' Day.

When I blink away from the 2008 presidential campaign, in pain, wanting to explode, understanding how we have been wedged deep DEEP into the idea of ONLY EVER AGAIN NEEDING two parties (because they're so great!), Watson's book TRUE NEWS rings true:

"Later architects will build a new world
in which history is devoid of change."

An old friend who has bought the idea of total destruction of us all by 2012 keeps sending me the stupidest e-mails that seem to want to make me end it all now, or something. I'm going to send him TRUE NEWS for Presidents' Day.

DON'T TAKE ANY SHIT! At least not lying down. Stand at attention for your shit.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The long-awaited release of the debut issue of Critiphoria is now online.

from the editors:

Critiphoria endeavors to dynamically engage the precarious interface between lyrical expeditions and conceptual economies, between experiential risk and critical clarity, between an ethics of event and an aesthetics of representation. We encourage cross-genre pollination, intermedia hybridity, and interdisciplinary dialogue. This interpenetrative space serves as a repository for theoretical and imaginative explorations, as a forum for contemporary cultural concerns, and as a springboard for developing innovative pedagogical tools.

Issue 1 includes Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Alan Davies, Thom Donovan, Carla Harryman, Jen Hofer & Dan Machlin, Brenda Iijima, Jill Magi, Nick Piombino, Leslie Scalapino, Frank Sherlock, Anne Tardos & much, much more wonderful work.

Congratulations to Cecilia Wu & Stephen Paul Miller for such a great kickoff!

- Frank Sherlock

for Philly Literary Blog 

K.I.N.G. Wenclas asked me to write something about the Philly writing scene and I sent him this post published today.
--LOVE to you all, and that's PRE-Valentine LOVE even, CAConrad

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Said detained & needs our help ! 

The Concerned Friends of Mohamed Said Ould-Khaoua held a fundraiser on his behalf last night to raise money to cover legal expenses. Said is a 12-year resident of Philadelphia and upstanding member of his community. After being employed by La Colombe for his first 12 years residing in Philadelphia, he fulfilled his dream of opening his own coffee shop, La Citadelle at 1600 Pine Street. Said is a law abiding, tax paying citizen. He is a dear friend to hundreds in Philadelphia and he needs our help. Said has been legally in the immigration process since 2001. He was detained by the U.S.C.I.S. on 2/4/08 without given cause and before having his permanent residency application heard by a judge, as is law. He continues to be detained and we are working very hard to emancipate him but need your help to cover these expenses.

If you'd like to donate to his cause, you can do so by mailing checks payable to:

Wayne Zukin, Esq 1700 Sansom Street, 7th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19103

*please put Said’s name in the memo line

- Frank Sherlock

Saturday, February 09, 2008


The publication of DELIRIOUS HEM's DIM SUM happened about 24 hours ago. In that short period of time two poets I wrote about went on a campaign to have the part of my text which referred to their slanderous, abusive behavior extracted from the site.

THIS is the site as it is:

But for those who believe in FREE SPEECH, and would like to see the FULL TEXT, just write to me at CAConrad13@aol.com, and you will receive the text in the body of the e-mail, in full.

Nothing surprises me these days with Bush still in the White House!

Most sincerely,

Friday, February 08, 2008

DIM SUM where some of us respond to "Numbers Trouble" essay by Juliana Spahr and Stephanie Young 

Elizabeth Treadwell organized the following responses SEEN HERE to expand the conversation on "Numbers Trouble."

Shanna Compton did an amazing job putting this site together, and you'll see too that there is an introductory note, as well as links to refer to the original essay by Spahr and Young, which appeared in the Chicago Review late last year.

Let me also point out that this is perfect timing to Jenn McCreary's post yesterday here on PhillySound celebrating Dottie Lasky as part of what I discuss on DIM SUM is Dottie being attacked for the very voice we all celebrate. Actual voice, sound of, I mean, and yes, I'm serious. So much bullshit, so little time to address it all!

Many thanks to Elizabeth Treadwell and Shanna Compton,

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Dottie Lasky Crisis Hotline... 

From this week's issue of Philadelphia's City Paper, the CultureShock page ("things that matter to people who matter"), Chris McDonough, vocalist for the Absinthe Drinkers has this to say about PhillySound poet Dottie Lasky:

I watched Dorothea Lasky read her poems at a fundraiser at the Trocadero in November. Imagine the following lines, barked in a staccato chime: "They stole my tires/They knocked down my house/They killed my father/They cut off my fingers/And I thought, 'And I did like those fingers.'" I don't need to know anything else about Dorothea Lasky, such as what series of personal crises precipitated a poem like "Boobs Are Real." I already know that I want her on my speed dial when my own life goes to hell.

--jenn mcc.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Inmate-Artist Exhibit at Mural Arts 

I realize this is short notice, but for those of you who didn't get an email announcement, we have an exhibit opening tomorrow night at Mural Arts featuring work created by inmate-artists from our prisons programs. There's some amazing work & two great speakers (one of whom is my dad, so I'm slightly biased -- he runs the State Correctional Institute at Graterford, where Mural Arts has been working for several years). Last & certainly not least, Mayor Michael Nutter will be our special guest & make opening remarks. Stop by after work if you're free!

Thursday, February 07

EXHIBIT OPENING: The Art of Restoration: The Mural Arts Program Inside and Out
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Lincoln Financial Mural Arts Center at the Thomas Eakins House
1727-29 Mt. Vernon Street

MAP invites you to the opening reception for The Art of Restoration: The Mural Arts Program Inside and Out , featuring art work created by the men in the MAP's program at the State Correctional Institute at Graterford, and exhibits of mural-making from the Philadelphia Prison System, the Youth Study Center and St. Gabriel's Hall. Proceeds will benefit the inmate-artists and the SCI Graterford Prison Welfare Fund. A small mural completed by the men and women of the Philadelphia Prison System will be on display in the gallery. Remarks by special guest speakers Superintendent David DiGuglielmo of SCI Graterford, and Dennis Sobin, co-founder of the Prisons Foundation of Washington DC.

--jenn mcc.

Monday, February 04, 2008


"Marxism Will Give Health to the Sick," by Frida Kahlo

A Frida Kahlo retrospective is coming to the Philadelphia Museum of Art later this month. The mega bookstore chain where I work has of course made certain to have every single book about her and her work displayed front and center. And of course they're selling. This bookstore is located in a neighborhood of millionaires and billionaires called Rittenhouse Square. It's a strange place, especially to someone with white trash roots like me, and yet it's a fascinating STUDY, listening closely to these people, watching them interact in their zoo of affluence. Like today, it's an unseasonable 50 degrees, and these two jewel-encrusted women fresh from the salon exchange little hello kisses. Then the one says, "OH, it's SO WARM I can't wear my new mink coat!" (imagine her saying "coat" drawn out into an elongated whine and you've got it!) The other one says, "OH, I know! I know!" OH, these poor, poor women! Just another day in the filth of the darkest possible side of the human condition where even the weather can hamper a life stocked full of boredom and stupidity!

In the past five years Americans in the top five percent income brackets have INCREASED their wealth by an average forty percent. Keep this in mind, always, please, in our time of war.

But I LOVE to fuck with these people whenever it's possible in order to continue to enrich my studies! My studies in The Laboratory of the Rich, or whatever it's called, no official "class" title as of yet (yes, I pun badly, give me a break). But Frida has provided a new opportunity! When the wealthy art lovers of Rittenhouse bring their Frida books to the counter I always say enthusiastically, "FRIDA KAHLO IS MY FAVORITE COMMUNIST!" I wish this could be filmed, you really HAVE TO SEE the contempt reveal itself in a pinch beneath the remarkably thin layer of poise that got them to the counter with their vibrantly colored Frida souvenirs.

The conversations have been interesting to say the least. Most recently one man laughed and said, "WELL, her politics were misguided, but her art is THANKFULLY separate from her politics!" I flipped quickly through his book to the painting, "Marxism Will Give Health to the Sick," and I said, pointing, "That's Karl Marx over her shoulder, see?" He rolled his eyes, "Okay, just ring me up please!" Isn't that funny? He's buying a book with Karl Marx's portrait in it, but Frida Kahlo's politics were misguided, OH, and separate let's not forget! That's pretty damned funny!

And by the way, ARE HER POLITICS SEPARATE FROM HER ART? Even if it's a painting of fruit and birds? Wasn't the artist a whole person? Wasn't she the PERSON she was, with all of her experiences and passion for those who suffer and need, wasn't she this PERSON, always this PERSON, painting, or laughing, fucking, living? I'd like to see what kind of paintings these assholes in their mink coats and Armani suits would paint THAT'S MY POINT! The PERSON who painted these paintings everyone wants to gather around to celebrate was an amalgamation of many finely sharpened splinters of intelligence and emotion and all of these different parts were communing with each other to be the whole one behind the paint brush, at least that's how I see it. And there's no denying FRIDA! WAS! RED!

The reactions have been SO SEVERE with my little experiment that I've decided I MUST make a T-shirt for the show at the art museum! A white shirt with big red letters on front and back that read:


At the 2003 Oscars, actor Gael Garcia Bernal came to the microphone to introduce the song "Burn it Blue," nominated for an Oscar for the film FRIDA, and he became emotional when stating that if Frida Kahlo were alive she would be against the American war in Iraq. I didn't see the Oscars, but heard about his statement the next day more than once in the context of, "WHAT'S HIS PROBLEM!?" What's his problem? It was one of those moments, when your country is at war, and suffering is a daily, chronic bloody reality, and you REALLY SEE how your fellow citizens are living a life of OPEN denial, with their little twists of collective glib exclamation no less. Bernal's near burst of tears when making his antiwar statement get translated with annoyance the next day and it's a new opportunity to MAYBE NOT UNDERSTAND but maybe GET A BIGGER IMPACT of how confusing war is in everyday life, especially from the perspective of the country doing the aggressing, the country NOT being bombed, the country with a million people NOT killed and able to walk around eating ice cream, chocolate, strawberry, YUMMY! Are we really at war? Are you sure? Some days I'm not sure how to feel about feeling or not feeling about it. And you, you are on my mind too, and maybe I'm on yours?

Maybe the threshold of pain is very different from what it has seemed to be?


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