Friday, June 26, 2009

I Was Columbia College's 2009 Alumna of the Year

Chicago, May 2009

As Alumna of the Year, I got to boss people around. For instance, I demanded that Michelle Passarelli, Director of Alumni Operations, meet me at the airport wearing a mask . . .

I demanded that they put me up at the Four Seasons, in a corner suite with a view of Lake Michigan . . .

I demanded that a selection of masks be provided (Chicago *is* my hometown, after all, and there had been some, uh, "incidents" ...):

Of course, my friends Jessica, Pablo (I heard he won a Pulitzer or something) and David had to travel with me in the limo:

Poor Josh Culley-Foster -- he's the National Director of Alumni Relations for Columbia. I really put him through a lot. Look at him not enjoying himself:

And poor Michelle! Having to keep up with my demands for certain "favors" ...

Here, Debbie Pintonelli, my one friend left in the world, is saying, "Don't you ever shut the hell up?"

Randy Albers, my beloved teacher: "Why did I think this was a good idea?"

Yeah, well, they didn't exactly put the fizz in my Fuzzy Navel, either. Thank the Holy Mother of Monkey Poo that I had these babies. . .

Here's their reaction when I said, "Kiss my MacArthur, bitches":

Here's me giving the president of the school, Warrick Carter, an earful:

This is Laurel Carter, the only nice person I met the whole time I was there:

No, wait ... Marcia Lazar, of the Board of Trustees, was nice, too:

Okay, Dean Eliza Nichols, too ...

But then meeting all those nice people just started getting to be too ... nice. I needed a drink. I demanded Josh take us all out for drinks. If you could see his whole face in this photo, you'd see how pissed off he was. Thank God you can only see half!

Now, don't even get me STARTED about Commencement! Everyone wanted to get their photo taken with me!

I TOLD them I didn't want to put that stupid hat on. It totally ruined my hairdo!

Take a look at this -- Dean Deborah Holdstein is making devil horns behind the photographer! What the hell kinda school is this?

Oh, and check this out: we marched in to "Walk This Way" by Aerosmith:

Aerosmith??? What, they didn't KNOW I have a poem called "Retarded Aerosmith World?"

Retarded Aerosmith World

Where dirt bikes meet hips
there's a smell of wood smoke and pussy
there's a windswept junkyard dog
there's nothing for a long time and then there's sex
where the twelve-point centaur rests:
little blue trailer
far end of the parking lot
behind the Walgreens
where there's starlight through dimity curtains
and someone bent over a bathtub
and three people in another room
smoking on the soul cakes.
Later there's a lily bath
and a new hairdo for a funeral
and a great love torn asunder
but another love renewed.

People ... research????

Oh -- check this out:

They told me, "Go ahead -- invite twenty people." Twenty people? Twenty people is what it takes just to get my eyes open in the morning!

Well, finally, it was all over but the drinkin' (and -- quelle coincidence! -- that's when Margaret Sullivan and Debbie show up!):

Yes, Debbie, there is a Santa Claus . . .

Good freakin' riddance, Chicago. Here's what I think of you:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Vote for Me for Brooklyn Poet Laureate!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Flarf Is In POETRY (And So Am I)

Flarf is in Poetry, and I’m in flarf, so I’m in Poetry too. Oh, Harriet Monroe. Oh, Ruth Lilly, whose family’s liquid vitamin B — Homicibrin, or some such name — I took as a child for underweightedness. I can still taste it.

In this, the July/August issue, with a summery watermelon smiley on the cover, flarf falls under the same watermelon smiley as Philip Levine, Tony Hoagland and Jane Hirschfield, whose poem (“Perishable, It Said”) ends with the line . . .

inside that hour with its perishing perfumes and clashings.

For comparison, here’s Philip Levine’s poem, “An Extraordinary Morning” . . .

Two young men — you might call them boys —
waiting for the Woodward streetcar to get
them downtown. Yes, they’re tired, they’re also
dirty, and happy. Happy because they’ve
finished a short work week and if they’re not rich
they’re as close to rich as they’ll ever be
in this town. Are they truly brothers?

. . . and here's fellow flarfista Nada Gordon’s “Unicorn Believers Don’t Declare Fatwas”:

I was sort of doodling Hitler at my friend’s
house and we couldn’t stop watching
unicorn hardcore soft porn abortion e-cards
containing scenes in which the baby angora unicorn
and Hitler stay warm on a cold night.

Here’s a taste of Tony Hoagland’s poem, “At the Galleria Shopping Mall” . . .

And here is my niece Lucinda,

who is nine and a true daughter of Texas,
who has developed the flounce of a pedigreed blonde

and declares that her favorite sport is shopping.

. . . contrasted with Drew Gardner’s interstitial “Why do I hate Flarf so much?”:

She came from the mountains, killing zombies at will. Some people cried, “But that was cool!” and I could only whisper “we should NOT be killing zombies!” . . . Hate and love — if those are the options I just want to hate and love lobsters.

Finally, here's the watermelon smiley cover . . .

. . . and here is flarfisto K. Silem Mohammad's cover:

Monday, June 22, 2009

"Can Flarf Ever Be Taken Seriously?"

By Shell Fischer, in this month's Poets & Writers