Howard Zinn Book Fair

The second annual Howard Zinn Book Fair: A Celebration of People’s History: Past, Present and Future is happening this weekend in San Francisco, CA. I’ll be reading with the lovely editors/authors from Commune Editions at 2pm, & then hanging with the lovelies at AK Press at the book fair.

Sunday, November 15th, 10am-6pm
City College of SF
Mission Campus: 1125 Valencia


The body in pain, Gil Ott, ‘The Forgotten’ (PoemTalk #91)

Gil Ott PT McCreary McCarthy Sherlock

Al Filreis invited Pattie McCarthy, Frank Sherlock and me to the Kelly Writers House to discuss a poem by beloved Philadelphia poet, & our dear friend, the late Gil Ott.

You can listen here.

Among the things I liked: that often when I saw Gil read, he’d open &/or close by singing:

The Moon Does Not Run On Gasoline

Gil Ott celebration at KWH

Gil was a more generous editor & publisher than I probably deserved–patient to a fault when Singing Horse published a doctrine of signatures, indulging my first book neuroses & keeping a straight face throughout a conversation during which I told him we needed to look at other typefaces because “this font makes my poems look fat.”

This is the poem I read at a celebration of his work in 2007:


Our smallness
factors in the cold and not
by opposition detonated
bodies of men, the prophetic
wing we’ll rise on,
who, men no less than we,
hold fire.
It is our smallness
frames criminal use
in the world, a world,
no world by famine trails
at random where the heat
Small angelic accomplice
lost to night, fuse
an engine’s power to your threat
that we
remain divided.

to the sun at noon
that steeple mechanism Bach

we wanted
a companionship,
equating solitude with labor,
the movements

of a beetle
who builds and in it

himself the instrument.
An equivocal music, refined
to fit the hand,

soft exhalation
for the ear, on the other
end fire, perfectly made
cautionary science of its own end

in a mob, one
of the others

matrix of feet.
All the controls
and absent

the daughters
extend no hand,
who themselves for centuries


metropolis in ideal
stricture, the waters
and forest lacteal

borders of achievement.
Radio, synthetic
drop come through a sumac’s vein

burns on the burned
arms of the man responsible
surrendered, meek

music in his head.
Beauty in rain
a way to die

climb up this rock, hand
on a vine
earth rips and sting a moment

on target.
Child trajectory, degrees
from rest rears

and thunders, strange
kin to alchemy

and wired
the little mind

no longer a boat:
a model strung
binary, a unit of resistance

cap a man
to believe and act.
Weight contact
to the required tap

or glance,
kill rather than speak,

Push you down
stairs, climb

over an old man gasping, hand
on the railing
shards on the wall

bleed when touched. Nothing
doing. Between deed
and the knowing
actor, speed

turn his fault,
machine his image
inert and unsubmissive, calibrate

it like us,
let it run,
be patient.

Small Press Traffic’s Endless Summer

endless summer
Endless Summer is a garden party. Endless Summer is a poetry reading. Endless Summer is a celebration of Small Press Traffic & the glorious work they do all year for poetry in the Bay Area & beyond. It’s happening on June 27th, & out of towners can virtually participate by purchasing a raffle ticket and sending a video of themselves reading, which SPT will show at the festivities on the 27th:

It’s that time of year again when we ask: What are you doing this summer?

On June 27th, Small Press Traffic is going to kick-off summer with a party marathon and we all really hope you can be a part of it.

Helping to support one of the Bay Area’s most vital literary organizations and with special thanks to our gracious hosts, Juliana Spahr, Bill Luoma, and Charles Weigl, this event not only celebrates the diverse and talented SPT community, but also raises necessary funds to support our work throughout the year.

Since 1974 Small Press Traffic (SPT) has been at the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area innovative writing scene, bringing together authors, readers, educators, small presses, and community members through talks, readings, workshops, and performances. Our mission is to provide a local and national platform for experimental writing, paying particular attention to underserved writers and those that identify as women, LBGTQ and/or people of color. We offer writers a continuum of support, from the generation to the connection to a readership both inside and beyond the experimental writing community. SPT depends on its members and outside support to meet its programming goals.

Endless Summer is a garden party/reading marathon, featuring readings from writers all over the Bay Area, videos of readings from writers from across the globe, delicious food and beverages, and a chance to win fabulous prizes. We love this event! Please join us!

Here’s how it works:

1) Sign up for a time slot and donate the time it takes you to read your work or the work of someone you love for 5 minutes. To access the sign up sheet, comment below or email

2) Purchase a $20 or $50 ticket (tickets include unlimited food and alcohol) You can purchase your ticket at

3) Invite your friends to purchase tickets and/or send in their e-mails so we can invite them to read. You do not need to be a reader to attend the event.

4) Have an excellent time knowing your support will help make this another great year for Small Press Traffic!

Sign up here. Yes, you.