POEMS, Art Show, Word Game, etc!

Thank you to everyone who showed up to my NBA Art Show at The Rendezvous!  It was fun to watch the Celtics play the Bulls in the midst of all the portraits.  Muggsy and Durant were huge and hanging out near the bathroom.  Jeremy Lin was teeny and flying up the wall.  A fly or two landed on Garnett.  (Pictured left is part of the show which was up in time for karaoke night at the Voo!)

My close friends Max Bean (pictured right, in a painting done years ago by the artist John Hardy) and Mojo Lorwin were in town to visit.  Max is a writer/teacher involved with many political and social movements in New York City.  Mojo is a musician/writer/teacher who recently campaigned and organized for Obama in New Hampshire and played in the nyc based band 'Thunder and Lightning.'  Max taught me a very cool associative word game that Lawrence Detlor (poet and math genius) taught them.  I've already played it with my Flying Object class and my College Writing class at ELMS.

Here are the rules in case you want to try it:

1) One person thinks of a word (typically a noun) and says "one."  They do not say the word they are thinking.

2) Another person thinks of a word (typically a noun) and says "two."

3) The two "speakers" wait a beat and then say "three" in unison.

4) Also in unison (or near unison), the two speakers say their words aloud.

5) Everyone playing (including the two initial speakers) try to think of a word "in the middle" of the two words.

6) When someone thinks of a word that might possibly be "in the middle," they say "one."

7) The game continues until two people arrive at the same word.

You can't repeat the same word in the same game.

Sometimes the same word is arrived at on the second round.  "Plant" "Beer" and then the next two people said "Weed."  "Banana" "Three" and then two people said "Bunch."  Other times, the words circle around each other and it takes 20 rounds to find common ground.

In poetry news, I am thrilled to have poems up at two of my favorite sites of all time, Two Serious Ladies, and C.A. Conrad's amazing Jupiter 88 series (of video poems) along with recent additions to the site: Guy Pettit, Emily Pettit, Seth Landman, Caryl Pagel, and many more!

The four poems at Two Serious Ladies, and the poem on Jupiter 88, are all included in my upcoming collection "MOODS" which comes out this February from Factory Hollow Press.  Here are two early cover ideas for MOODS, neither of which will be the actual cover, but were considered and took up a fair amount of my time.


NBA Art Show at The Rendezvous (+ More) !

I'm pleased to have my first NBA Art Show, which will be opening at The Rendezvous in Turners Falls, MA.  I have been holed up working on finishing many half started paintings, including this D Rose in Oil.                                                                  

In local writing news, I have purchased Emily Toder's first book of poems, "SCIENCE" and I am very excited to read it!  Here is a poem of hers (taken from the online journal Sixth Finch).  You can order the book here.  

Another exciting book, Dan Chelotti's debut collection "x," is forthcoming from McSweeney's in April.  Advanced copies will be available at AWP in February (Boston).  The cover is being designed by the great artist Ian Huebert.  Chelotti is shown here (left) with Guy Pettit (the poet, dreamer, & creator of Flying Object).  Here are two little excerpts from "x" that I found on Amazon's page:
                                                    The rain says, Listen to Debussy,
go ahead, Debussy will fix you.

—From “Migraine Cure”

The secret to including everything
is to intricately divide your mind
and then, all of a sudden,
undivide it.

—From “Still Life on a Scrolling Background”
Read more of his musings here.


New Publications

I'm pleased to have a story in the newest issue of the New York Tyrant, alongside great writers like Noy Holland, Mark Leidner, Gary Lutz, etc.  I just got my copy today and I'm excited to read through it!

Also, I'm thrilled to have my story "Iconographic Conventions.." in the new anthology "FAKES" edited by David Shields and Matthew Vollmer.  I have read and enjoyed many of these pieces.  It's so cool to be beside George Saunders, Arda Collins, Chris Bachelder, Stanley Crawford, and other fun writers.


Summer Update

Last month I was interviewed by Yahoo Sports Blog: Ball Don't Lie about my Basketball Player Paintings.
Ball Don't Lie's Dan Devine asked me how I got interested in basketball, about the Miami Heat Sleepover, and other things.

In early November I will be having my first NBA art show at The Rendezvous, a really cool bar, restaurant, gallery and music venue in Turners Falls, MA.

I'm pleased to announce my poetry collection "MOODS" will be published by Factory Hollow Press in 2013, alongside other great FHP books like Crashdome (by Alex Phillips), and Beauty Was the Case They Gave Me (by Mark Leidner), and the newly published Experiments I Would Like Tried At My Own Death (Caryl Pagel), and forthcoming Sign You Were Mistaken, Seth Landman's masterpiece I have been reading poems from for years.

I wrote a screenplay with the poet/director Noah Gershman.  It is called "The Last Good Car."  Actors Jason Ritter and Mark Webber have attached themselves to the project, and last month they were joined by the amazing actress Kara Hayward (the female lead in Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom").  Hayward mentions her plans to act in our movie in her interview with the Wall Street Journal's Blog.

The great site Two Serious Ladies showed some of my digital quilts...

Here is the flyer for my Fall Workshop at Flying Object:



Firstly, I'd like to announce the Writing Workshops Emily Pettit and I are teaching this summer.  For more information visit Flying Object.

I started two new blogs in the last two days, one is a site solely for my NBA Paintings.  The other is a selection of art I made at RISD and after RISD.

I am pleased to have two poems featured in the journal Sprung Formal (the Apocalypse Issue), along with Ashley Bellinger, Benjamin Boulier, Brandon Brown, Peter Davis, Marissa de la Pena, Kari Freitag, Madeline Gallucci,  Matt Hart, Jules Izkoff, Anna Kamerer, Mitchell Hugh Kirkwood, Rob MacDonald, Ryan MacDonald, Joshua Marie Wilkinson, Christopher Martin, Will Meier, John Northington, Frances Odim-Loughlin, Annie Raab, Christie Ann Reynolds, Alex Rieser, Zach Savich, Reid Sprague, Sampson Starkweather, Lauren Stookey, Matthew Suss, Scott Sweeney, Paige Taggart, Maureen Thorston, Frederick Vorder-Bruegge, Teal Wilson, Patrick Wolf, and Elisabeth Workman.  The issue can be read or downloaded here.

Here is the cover of Sprung Formal:
 and Here is my flyer for my Summer Workshop, heavily inspired by the cover!:

Tonight, Emily Pettit, local gift-giver and talented author of Goat in the Snow, will be reading at Flying Object (42 West st., Hadley, MA) along with Dan Magers, Steven Karl, and with musical performances by Jono Tosch and Elaine Kahn (Horsebladder).

In June, I am proud to be published in Everyday Genius's first ever "Paper Issue" alongside great friend Lesley Yalen, and many other interesting writers!
Here is Jimmy Chen's great cover for the issue:


New NBA Commission plus 4 new Poetry Books!

A few weeks ago I finished this Derek Fisher commission, only a week or so before he was unceremoniously traded to the Cavs. I'm glad I finished him before the trade, which would have definitely distracted my msPainting. Now Derek is memorialized as a Laker somewhere in Canada, possibly in the office of a young lawyer.

In other NBA news, the Bulls beat the Heat and the Sixers without Derrick Rose, which is a great omen for the playoffs, and I'm feeling more confident about the Bulls/Heat conference finals match-up, if all goes how it seems it will.

Z-Bo is back for the Grizzlies. Also I'm looking forward to watching Arenas play for the Grizz, and Ellis and the new big guy play for the Bucks. This isn't really an NBA blog, but reading Landman's ESPN fantasy columns this morning is inspiring me to pretend...

Here is a close-up of D. Fish, much hated by Celtic fans, much photographed and quoted in the lock-out last year.

The world continues spinning and I am a few hours away from a finished Allen Iverson portrait.

In Poetry News, five of my friends from Umass-Amherst's MFA program have published books in the last couple weeks and months. My friend Chris Deweese's book "The Black Forest" has been released by Octopus Books. Here are two lines of note from two separate poems:

As I ride Eastward,
I can hear my biographer
furiously dictating
his own adventures

and earlier:

Or let's say you're dead
and you wish
for everyone else to be dead
It would be just like living!

"The Black Forest" is in good company of a slew of other new and great poem books, including local sensation Heather Christle's "What is Amazing", out from Weslyan Press.

Here is the beginning of Heather's poem "Basic":

This program is designed to move a white line
from one side of the screen to the other.

This program is not too hard, but it has
a sad ending and that makes people cry.

This program is designed to make people cry
and step away when they are finished.

In one variation the line moves diagonally
up and in another diagonally down.

This makes people cry differently,
diagonally. A whole room of people

New Yorker Lily Ladewig's book "The Silhouettes" is out from SpringGun Press. Here is a selection from "Another Poem for You":

what do you call a pale-faced silence
that makes a healing sound?
Me. Watch me
translate myself into English. Watch me
take my invisible top off. Things reconfigure,
they settle. I bought you this beautiful
silver espresso machine--it was imaginary
in the best possible sense.

Lastly and largely, Tyoyeu is actualized onto pages, written by two Seths. This book is like songs heard underwater, a relative's mid dream babbles. Here are some sections of it:

"I might see you in my nightmare
How'd you get there?
I'm running from the son I mated
I'm taking Alf on the road
Tell everybody that you know"

"Mathematics on whiskey. Triangles on heavy doves."

"Soup! Soup, are you accurate when I hold us between these spoons?"


First Post of the New Year!

It is freezing in my turret, but I must continue onward, wearing my winter jacket.

<--Here is my latest commissioned NBA portrait, this time the enigmatic Ben Wallace. The whole time I painted him I'd thought he had retired last year, but now that I'm done, I see that he's back playing with the Pistons as if he never left!

Almost weekly, I recommend this book to people, The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond Of Matches, an absolute masterpiece by French-Canadian author Gaetan Soucy. I don't think I've ever read a book with a more interesting narrator. Emily Pettit has it stocked at Amherst Books, if you are in the area. If not, you will likely have to buy it online-- it has been very hard to find in person.

It's been amazing to be watching basketball again. I'm pleased the Bulls and the Thunder are at the top of their conferences so early. Last night, JT and I watched Tony Allen and Rudy Gay play great games as the Grizz killed the Knicks who played with little grace or heart. The night before I caught the end of the awesome/weird overtime Heat/Clippers game, in which LeBron missed the most freethrows I've ever seen him miss.