Thursday, June 25, 2009

Upcoming Readings, Interviews, and other Sundries

1. I'm going to LA this weekend to hear Bruce Andrews and Deborah Meadows read at the Poetic Research Bureau on Friday, and to give a reading with Amaranth Borsuk & Hugh Behm-Steinberg on Saturday. Follow the links for details, and please do come if you're in the LA area.

2. Mark Wallace has put up a post which thinks about Terminal Humming within the context of avant-garde poetry in Washington, DC.

3. Elisa Gabbert has posted an interview that we did earlier this spring--we talk about my book, food, visual poetry, and a few other things, too.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Terminal Humming is now available from Edge Books

Terminal Humming
K. Lorraine Graham

ISBN: 978-1-890331-31-5

96 pgs, Cover by the author

regularly $16.00

$12 direct from Edge Books, postpaid.

All "this shining and this _utter [!]." Terminal Humming is a very exciting book and I love it. Eavesdropping and borrowing from diverse discourses, K. Lorraine Graham has created a complex "essay on scrounging." It is a wonderfully violent "attempt to unleash inner badness" in poems that are hot and audacious, in a girly way: "Wonder Woman boots twirl twirl." Terminal Humming is just the right amount of weird. In it, "kinks become beautiful and obvious," and "language [hums] as angry form." Read this "downwind chess urine bird bathing extravaganza" of a book! NADA GORDON

Map and start K. Lorraine Graham’s Man-cunt. Honeybucket defoliates broadcast. Too personal? She keeps it normal and lumpy. Scattered disco balls mutilated by grisly pixies. This shining and this clutter. Their cunning bodies, well stocked. She rammed her glistening ovipositor into his abdomen. Imbued doll I am not. Warning! Warning! I clash looking for just a regular body in a supergirl outfit. All soft and twisted and inexpensive and consumable with a nice bike and nice bike gear. Hottie wanting sweet inside sprawl (Female until further notice) mixing information substitutes. Automatic shredder joy rehearsing pitch incineration. Squirming again and again (editing) editing (editing) (editing) something (editing) very (editing). Edit looks stupid. Change the finish. Overcome emotion by funding. Written in a kind of stripper life often scattered communication prosthetics mutilated by beauty. You find them here. ABIGAIL CHILD

Using irony, charm, and unexpected associations, the poems of Terminal Humming challenge any sense of women's situation being normal or transparent. These ambitious and invasive poems make us attentive to the steady drone of put-downs and put-ons that form so much of our discourse. Parcels of ostensibly innocuous information reveal their condescension or malice on Graham's pages, drawing us into the contours of an everyday life that is fine, okay enough—yet threatened nonetheless. And yet the poems have the strength of their whimsy, an outraged whimsy which ever-so-casually threatens back. This is the everyday as counter-attack! STAN APPS

Monday, June 22, 2009

I'm reading at the Poetic Research Bureau on Saturday, June 27 2009 at 4:00pm with Amaranth Borsuk & Hugh Behm-Steinberg.

I'm reading at the Poetic Research Bureau on Saturday, June 27 2009 at 4:00pm with Amaranth Borsuk & Hugh Behm-Steinberg.

I have a UPS tracking number for my book, which is supposed to arrive tomorrow.

We're putting together the last details of our upcoming trip to Paris and Ghent, where Mark and I are giving readings (details soon). If you're going to be in Paris in early July, let us know!

I turned in final grades for two of my online classes yesterday. The third one ends this week, which means I'll have to turn in grades when I'm in LA. Then, no teaching--either in person or on line--for a month or so.

The June weather in San Diego has been cold--as much as 10 degrees below average. Too cold for the beach. Except for yesterday. And today. But today is Monday so it doesn't matter.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I would, of course, be happy to divide my time between somewhere and somewhere, but I wouldn't use that phrase in my bio.

My European students all tend to speak multiple languages. They started studying one or two foreign languages as early as age 6. They come from families that are multilingual. In most European countries, you can drive a few hours or take a quick plane flight and be in a different country with a different language. Or, in some cases, you can go to a different part of your country where people will speak a different language.

The only reason I speak multiple languages is because 1) my dad's engineering job took us outside of the US 2) I was lucky to receive foreign language instruction in middle school and high school (i.e. before I got to college) and 3) I attended a bilingual school in Mexico City 4) I attended a French school in Guangzhou 5) At university, I spent 10 class hours every week-and sometimes more-- studying nothing but Chinese language. Most Americans don't have my luck, opportunity, or, perhaps, obsessions.

Some white people here in San Diego speak Spanish, but not as many as I expected, given that this is one of the few places in the US where you can be in another country within an hour. I rarely use Spanish here. I tried a few times when I first moved, but people were offended--I've blogged about this before. For three years now I've been buying bread from a guy at the farmer's market. Finally, yesterday, I spoke Spanish with him--but only because it was obvious that I'd understood an entire Spanish conversation he'd just had with someone else in front of me. He charged me a whole $2.00 less for the bread.

In a few weeks, when Mark and I are in Paris, I'll get the chance to use French again. I've been reviewing some grammar and vocabulary. Still, I know that the first few days will be frustrating and I'll barely be able to speak or understand anything. But after those first few days my linguistic memory will kick in, and 90% of what I know will come back. It always does, rather mysteriously.

Language and poetry communities are on my mind because of this upcoming trip and because of recent conversations on Exoskeleton. Mark and I will be reading in Paris and Ghent, and we'll be visiting people and poets in both those cities as well as Amsterdam and Brussels. I'm well traveled, and I've lived a substantial part of my life overseas--but most of the traveling I did was payed for by Bechtel, the company my father worked for. Perhaps you've heard of them? They're certainly not going to pay for me to travel for art. And even if they would, I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable taking their money.

It's not like I get to go to Europe every year and give poetry readings and talk to other writers in the flesh. I do not "divide my time" between anywhere and anywhere. I would, of course, be happy to divide my time between somewhere and somewhere, but I wouldn't use that phrase in my bio.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I Have Questions

Does anyone perform the Ursonate slowly (Schwitters' version sounds slow, obviously, compared to Christian Bök's)--or the Presto like a Largo and the Largo like a Presto?

Does anyone ever perform the Ursonate with non-German pronunciation. Today on my run I was humming a particularly catchy section of the Presto and amusing myself by thinking of all the non-German ways I could pronounce it.

Why is my left eye all twitchy?

Is it possible for a normal human being like me to one day be able to do full hanumanasana (aka the splits)?

Will "people" like my book?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

I'm not opening any of the birthday packages I've received until it is my birthday

I want to open them now. Now! But I can wait a few more days.

I'm no longer looking at proofs--Terminal Humming is going to print right now, and I should have copies in hand soon, soon. In time for my reading in LA at the Poetic Research Bureau on June 27 at 4pm (more details later).

I'm debating what kind of a birthday cake to make this year. I love carrot cake. I have a recipe for a weird but interesting cake made from buckwheat. I'm drowning in berries, so perhaps I should make something involving those.

I can't bake anything that requires a nonstick pan (the fumes from nonstick coating asphyxiate birds, and they're probably not good for people, either)--but does anyone have cake suggestions?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Still Looking at Proofs

It was pouring rain when I left on my bike this morning. For my morning commute, I wore converse, blue-green shorts, a thinly stripped black and white v-neck t-shirt, and a large, cream-colored rain coat. It was one of my least stylish bicycle outfits to-date. At the end of my morning commute, the hook thing that secures my bike bag to the rack of my bike broke. The office was not open when I first arrived, so I locked my bike up and sat at a picnic table under the trees a bit and wrote. I saw the small bunny that frequents that particular picnic table and ate the toaster waffles I'd packed as my breakfast (which were no longer crisp, but tasted fine).

The rain stopped and then started again. Someone came and opened up the office. I went in and taught my class. The sun came out, sort of. At the start of my afternoon commute, I attempted to tie my bag to my bike with the lace from one of my shoes--there was no rope or string or even strong rubber bands anywhere at the office. So, I tied the bag to the rack with my lace. Then I started to ride, but my shoe kept falling off. So I went back to the office and taped my shoe together with clear packing tape and started off again. The bag fell off the rack, so I walked my bike to the nearest bus stop and waited for the bus. While waiting, I wrote in my notebook and there was thunder and lightning--both rather unusual for this area. The bus came, and I had an unusual amount of difficulty getting my bike onto the bus bike rack. It also took me a while to undo all the knots in the shoelace that I'd used to tie the back to the bike rack.

The bus driver was not especially patient or sympathetic and told me to hurry up. I said, "I'm having a really shitty day" and he didn't respond. I don't usually swear, but I was tired and frustrated. I road the 302 bus back to the coast without incident, and got off. I used my raincoat and a scarf to attach my bag to the bike. This worked for about 7 minutes, which means I was not quite home before it fell off again.

After I got home, I ate some watermelon. Then I put on my backpack and got on my bike to go to the farmer's market. About 75 seconds after I left the house, it began to pour. I continued on to the market anyway. It only rained for about three minutes, but I was soaked. At the market I bought bread, arugula, asparagus, artichokes, corn and strawberries.