(south yuba river, labor day 2006)

another joy of life after the MFA (it’s only been a month!) is more time for reading! tho i have a bad habit of non-systematic reading, that is, i just read whatever is at hand, whatever i happen to pick up at a used bookstore like pegasus or moes or half price (when i am more disciplined i will dedicate a season to a particular movement – or when i have read everything on my shelves).

finally finished Mbembe’s On the Postcolony – an interesting read. he is kindof a combo of Bhabha and Fanon (so if you don’t like either of them, you won’t like Mbembe). what struck me most is his idea of the “postcolonized subject” – and the qualitative differences / similarities with the “colonized subject” – i never quite thought of the differences in that way before – and made me wonder if there is also a qualitative difference between those two and a “territorialized subject” (since Guam is a U.S. territory – and seems to be between “colonized” and “postcolonized”. anyways, just a thought that’s worth exploring.

other reads:

Sun Rock Man, by Cid Corman
Haunt, by Keith Waldrop
On the Shining Screen of the Eyelids, by Josely Baptista
Reproductions of the Empty Flagpole, by Eileen Tabios
Poeta en San Francisco, by Barbara Jane Reyes (a second reading)

My other chapbook-in-progress is a collage-and-response. While i read, i underline phrases, lines, etc, that jump out at me, then i copy them in my journal and make a poem out of those words…it is a nice way to engage further in the texts and to live in another’s lexicon / textures / ideas for a bit. it is interesting how different the poems are from my other work, but also how much they sound like my voice…i will post more about them as i get further into the work (i have about 13 poems right now – am aiming for thirty (which means i have to read 17 more books first! – ANY RECOMMENDATIONS?).

I also need your help with a title: i was thinking about “after” in the sense that each poem is “after ________ ” — i was also thinking about “thrall” to capture the sense of being enthralled in another’s words — and finally, “thralldom”, a word i found in Mbembe, which has a strange ring to it…or maybe even “afterthrall” but does that sound funny?


one more thing: as you know, i am fond of changing the title of my blog 😉 let’s play a game…if you can guess the book and author that the title refers to, you will get a point … and you can use these points on craigslist! we’ll start with the current title “the crying of blog 49” — good luck!


14 thoughts on “

  1. craig, even if i haven’t actually learned anything from reading the texts on my orals reading list, i’ve still basically memorized authors and titles:

    the crying of blog 49 –> the crying of lot 49 by thomas pynchon (1966).

    as for title suggestions: sorry i can’t help you with that; i’m horrible at titles.

  2. I sorta like the afterthrall.

    I’m giving up. Someone else will just have to name mine.


  3. gladys gets a point!

    francois, yeah, the baptista is so innovative!

    thanks for the suggestion julie! i still got “string”, got anything good for me? hows bout dinner with you and your man?

  4. Oh, and I forgot my book suggestion. Mosquito & Ant by Kimiko Hahn is pretty interesting.

  5. I think you’re onto something with Afterthrall. You’ve got your after, your intimation of thralldom. Of course it sounds funny. Fucking ridiculous! Maybe you could make it more so by adding a colon. Mbembe: Afterthrall. You always were a colon fan.


    Okay, maybe not always. Afterthrall, (after all) I think you’ve got the title of a body of work rolled up in that one. Say, 30 poems worth, maybe.

  6. thanks francois, will check it out!

    forrest, i can’t believe you remember that! HA! looks like two votes for afterthrall..what do you think of another option:

    “end thrall” or “endthrall”

  7. i like afterthrall too (*not* endthrall) but what i really liked was simply collage-and-response, for its folk energies. where is this chapbook going to be published?

  8. Yes, Craig, dinner must happen soon!

    Loving your stories of the kiddos, btw. Wish I’d read My Life at age 10!

  9. hi jessica, thanks for the recommendation! looks like “afterthrall” will be the title … i dont know where it will be published … am still pretty new to both blogging and publishing … do you have any chap publishers that you would recommend? and don’t know if you would be interested, but i could def. send you a sample to consider, but i know you probably have many manuscripts already 🙂

    julie, the problem with actually having 10 year olds read My Life is that then they would feel like they can get away with anything! 😉

  10. yes, i would like to see it when you’re done with it.

    otherwise i think you should consider logan (transmission). i’m not sure who else takes unsolicited these days. also, with the current backlog it might be april before i could do it.

    eric or françois might have other suggestions.

  11. ha–i guess asking if i can see your MS doesn’t really count as “unsolicited.”

  12. thanks jessica, i really respect your work and feel quite grateful just that you are willing to consider … funny thing is the chap may not even be done to april 😉 but i will get you a sample before that …

    and thanks for the recs…will def. check them out cause i have another chap too that i dont know quite where to send yet … thanks again for your kindness!!! and feel better!

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