Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The 4-303 Weekly

Occupy Oakland

On the one hand this happened. On the other hand, we win.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I am the 99%

Hi All,

I support your efforts, and have been on several marches. As a professor and poet with cerebral palsy, though, I have noticed a lack of attention to how people with disabilities have been excluded, particularly from the discussion of civil rights.  I cannot stress enough that many people with disabilities regard themselves as a minority and want to be included in the civil rights conversation.

 As a minority, people with disabilities suffer the most from the global economy. The unemployment rate is 70%. This is not because people don't want to or can't work, but because the 'normative' body is heavily privileged in the workplace. Further, due to architectural issues, PWD don't have simple 'rights' such as accessibility to buildings. The government has two financial programs for people with disabilities - SSI and SSDI. In both these programs, although the recipient stays well below the poverty line, the money is taken away should the recipient do any form of work (this includes royalties and artist grants) and due to unlawful paperwork it is in not uncommon for people to end up 'owing' SSDI back payments. The ADA court cases have historically been won nearly exclusively by the defendant, not the person with the disability.

A very solvable step would be refrain from using the word retarded and lame. I'm far from the language police! But these words, which I have heard used numerous times, even on marches, are lazy and offensive.

Best, Professor Bartlett

Monday, October 03, 2011

Dear A, or My Son the Mastermind

Dear AB,

So here is what happened after you left. I went to take my 10:30 nap and I had a phone message from Jeff's piano teacher. I turned the phone off, and made a to-do list. Then, the first thing on the list was listen to our piano teacher's message. (We are friends and he calls often). But he sounded worried so I called him back. He said, "I saw Jeffrey this morning" and I thought 'That's nice!" and he said AT MY HOUSE! Evidently, Mr. Jeff had space out on the bus and gotten off 20 stops later. He went to the piano teacher's house (in Williamsburg) and calmly explained that he had spaced out on the bus & "gotten lost.' So, Jay gave him a ride back to school.

Jeffrey knows the story well of his father getting lost on the way it school in third grade due to reading a Sherlock Holmes book. Jeffrey also wants a cell phone, Jeffrey is also 1/2 Bartlett. So, his mother, who is also largely Bartlett was able to put two and two together & they don't add up to Jeffrey spacing out on the bus.

I realized that I may have been tricked! So, I went down to school. I ran into (luckily) Ms. S. the principal who has know Jeff since he was 4. I told her the story, my worries of the Actual story, and she said, o yeah, that's right. Well, here comes Jeffrey to his mother and Ms S in the hall trying to look as befuddled as humanly possible. Ms. S. asked him what happened this morning, He said that nothing happened. And she said, 'What time did you get to school Jeffrey?" He had the nerve to say, "I DON'T KNOW BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE A CELL PHONE." Caught! Child! Well, she goes into you worried us and I'm ashamed of you. And you can't get lost, I'm going to rip up your bus pass, kids get kidnapped all that. In the kindest voice barely above of whisper. And I'm just giggling like a cat because I'm so overwhelmed and nervous. But, then, guess who walks by? JEFF'S TEACHER AND ALL HIS CLASSMATES! And they are all staring at him like "O Boy." Well, needless, to say, this is all being quickly resolved.

Then, I went to the Greater Warsaw Post Office. As I left, there was a recycling truck throwing tubs of mail into the truck. I said, isn't that illegal? They go "not really."

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ron Silliman Review

Dearest Readers,

Ron Silliman gave Beauty is a Verb a wonderful review yesterday.

Monday, September 19, 2011

If You are in Philidelphia Today!

Readings from “Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability”  
When: Monday, September 19, 2011 at 7:00PM
Central Library

Contributors to “Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability,” will gather for a public reading of selected works found in this ground-breaking anthology.  Containing works written in a range of styles, this high-quality, forthcoming collection provides a window to explore, through verse and prose, the experience and meaning of physical disability. Readers will include Daniel Simpson, Kathi Wolfe,  Brian Teare, Anne Kaier, Hal Sirowitz, and Mike Northern. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Beauty is a Verb: Publisher's Weekly Review!

 Beauty Is A Verb: 
The New Poetry of Disability
This powerful anthology attempts to—and succeeds at—intimately showing (meaning, at various times and among many other aims, sharing the experience of, defining the self in terms of, refusing to define the self in terms of, trying to define, exploring the indefiniteness of) disability through the lenses of poetry. According to the editors’ preface, “we include not only poets who created and embrace the disability/ crip poetics movement but also those who might resist such a classification and have never been considered in that exact context.” Indeed, some readers and writers may strongly resist the idea of disability as a context for gathering poems, though what emerges from the book as a whole is a stunningly diverse array of conceptions of self and other. There are no simple truths here. Jim Ferris insists readers “Look with care, look deep./ You know you are a cripple too. / I sing for cripples; I sing for you.” The poet and novelist Jillian Weise bucks at the “disability poetics” banner in an essay in which she says “I…find it discouraging that these first efforts are essentializing, seeking to brand a common disabled experience.” Coming from across the aesthetic spectrum, these poets and poems demonstrate the deep truth of what Vassar Millar writes in a poem anthologized here: “No man’s sickness has a synonym.” (Sept.)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Larry Eigner Vol. 3

Dear Friends,

I have an announcement. I have an opportunity to distribute a number of copies of Vol. 3 of the Collected Larry Eigner. To those who are interested, I can send you one for only the mail price, which is about $7. I am looking for Eigner/poetry lovers who either will cherish the book for themselves and/or have an opportunity to share Eigner's work with others. If interested, please leave a comment or email me to let me know your circumstances.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Jeff: What's your favorite place to go?
Best Friend: Florida
Jeff: I like the Mark Bar!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thank You Ron!!!!

Today in an interview in Wave Composition Ron Silliman said this about Beauty is a Verb.

Which contemporary writing most interests or excites you?
RS: That’s a tough question. You could ask me that in the morning or evening and I’d give you completely different answers. What I have been reading and excited by lately has included an anthology that’s not yet out, from Jennifer Bartlett and some other folks, Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability, that begins with the work of Larry Eigner and includes a lot of work from the disabilities rights movement and is probably the most intelligent thematic anthology I’ve ever read. That’s coming out from a press down in Texas, Cinco Puntos. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

George Kuchar

        in one eye, out the other

Friday, September 09, 2011

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Fourth Grade

Today was my very favorite person's first day of fourth grade. When we walked out of the house, my art handler friend smiled and said, "The first day of school: it's better than Christmas!" After coffee with A, I lay (Andrea, did I lay -did I lie - I lie! - o did I!). Andrea, I LIE on my bed. I slept for three hours. & I had this dream: I dream that the back gate to my yard was open & it was full of beautiful women and children playing and I asked them how they got in? I kicked them out. BUT there was a huge grizzly bear and it followed me into the house biting my clothes. Then, it followed me to the frig where I got the chicken out to lure it to the front door - all the while thinking - O grizzled bear where did I put your chicken, you are going to eat me! Heres, the good part! When I got to the front door, Rambo (who is the old Zen master pug) got in a fight with the grizzly bear over the chicken. Finally, the grizzly bear got in the front and I called 911. When I woke, the house was silent. The boats were moving up and down the river; the art handlers were handling gosh knows what and I did not check my email. Two more hours until regular life.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Suffering from Several Policies

This recent article from India signifies everything I hate about the world: I guess I should look on the bright side - at least they are not
throwing them in the river!

India Infoline News Service / 19:19 , Sep 02, 2011

Children afflicted with cerebral palsy depict symptoms of late motor development skills and may also be hearing, speech and visually impaired accompanied by other associated diseases.

In an yet inimitable medical miracle, older children suffering from the stinging, distressing disease of cerebral palsy have been blessed with a ray of new hope of being alleviated from the agony of having to depend on others for life. The path to this overwhelming discovery was initiated and practiced by Dr J K Jain, Consultant Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon at Trishla Orthopedics Clinic and Rehab Center & Secretary Samvedna Trust, Allahabad.

Cerebral Palsy is a condition of "Damaged Brain" that inhibits the normal functioning of the motor skills and leads to disablement in maintaining body posture. Children afflicted with cerebral palsy depict symptoms of late motor development skills and may also be hearing, speech and visually impaired accompanied by other associated diseases. The very utterance of the two words "Cerebral Palsy" conjures up images of these poor little souls striving to get the fundamental things of life straight. Cannot we do anything to assuage the excruciating mental pain to some extent? 

Beauty is a Verb: Readings

We have a number of readings coming up: these are just some of those.

Sept 19th
Central Branch of Philadelphia Free Library 
Philadephia PA
Organized By Michael Northen 
Guest readers: Hal Sirowitz, Brian Teare, Anne Kaier,
Kathi Wolfe, and Dan Simpson

September 24, 2 PM
Alamosa Books, Albuqurque,NM;
Guest Readers: Lisa Gill, Sheila Black

Sept. 27, 7:30 PM
Pegasus Books Downtown, Berkeley, CA
Guest Readers: Norma Cole, Laurie Lambeth, CS Giscomb, Sheila Black, Jennifer Bartlett, 
Susan Schweik, Rusty Morrison

Oct 9th
The Hunger Benefit
Organized by Connie
NMSU Las Cruces, NM
Guest Readers: Jennifer Bartlett, Jim Ferris, Sheila Black, Kara
We will be opening for Julianna Spahr

Nov. 3, 7PM
Blue Stockings Bookstore, NYC
Guest Readers:   Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black,
Lenore Parker, and TBD

Monday, September 05, 2011


In the New York Times every week, they have an interview with people as to how they spend their Sunday. This is how I spend my Sunday, with my idol Bill Cunningham.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

The Red Herione

Larry Eigner: Sacred Materials

Friday, September 02, 2011

Happy Birthday Jim

Last night was a magical night that can only happen for me in New York. We went to La Bonne Soupe for Jim's 41st birthday. Here is B's Zen board.

On the way to dinner, Jeff & I played 'rate your outfit.' There are a shocking amount of tens on 5th Ave. A 'ten outfit' must fit your body type well, be pretty, be original, and have perfect shoes & a decent handbag. My outfits, for example, are often not above an '8' because my clothes are messy. Here are some images of the perfect city from our after dinner walk.

The city glowing from within. 
Jeff, Royal, and birthday Jim outside the chocolate store
where Jeff has convinced the adorable gay boy clerk to give us free bonbons.

Here are two women who might earn a 7/8 and the beautiful smoke.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Beauty is a Verb

For the past year, I have been working on a project that I haven't been entirely forthcoming on. The internet turns my mind to mush, so I haven't been blogging for about two years. I weaned myself off facebook, and, now, although I technically exist there - I made a password that I don't have written down or memorized - and my email (from facebook) goes to an account that no longer exists.

Well, what have I been doing for two years - other that raising children and animals, talking on the phone, yoga, and reading Duncan? I just returned from 'the best summer ever' in Portland, Oregon. After that I got prepared for a hurricane. Now, I have an exciting backyard full of sand!

But, primarily, I've been doing THIS. Beauty is a Verb is the new anthology of poets with physical disabilities that Sheila Black, Michael Northen & I spent the latter portion of the last year compiling. As I write this, the anthology (published by Cinco Puntos Press in El Paso) is at the printer. While not comprehensive, the idea behind the anthology is a complex one dealing with disability from many angles. Poets included are Norma Cole, Jim Ferris, Rusty Morrison, Bernadette Mayer, Petra Kuppers, Denise Leto, Larry Eigner, and many others. Shortly, I'll be posting the Preface from the collection which explains (more or less) what we had in mind. We have readings coming up in Albuquerque, Los Cruces, Berkley, New York, and Philidelphia. We will also be representing at next year's AWP.

I've been doing a couple of other things too - I quit teaching (for good). I have a collection forthcoming from Chax in October! And I've been making drawing books of an addition of one which tell the story of a life. Right now, I working on Andrea's book & Jeff's book.

Meanwhile I have poems in Sam Lohmann's Peaches and Bats, James Yeary's ever name changing newsletter, and Michael Northen's Wordgathering.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Yea! The storm passed over us, in Greenpoint, with relative success. Our apartment was not flooded and no problems with the window.

This morning Jim & I ran into Ron & Jay on the wharf. Jay had pictures that the East River did actually rise very high into the parking lot by the warehouses. I heard that the Rockaways are a mess and downtown Manhattan flooded, but we don't have tv, so I not entirely certain.

What interests me is how fearful I can get & how we prepared for something that didn't actually happen (at least not much on Freeman Street) and how to calm down from that. We were supposed to stay in all day & already the storm is gone and people are out - the neighborhood is no more quiet than any other Sunday. I assume, however, that the subway is still not working and the streets are quiet without the regular bus noise. It reminds me of Christmas Day a lot; only the Chinese restuarant is open! The birds are still somewhat absent; their regular chattering can not be heard & there are nearly no cars.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The past few hours have been action packed. S. agreed to take Jim to buy the sandbags if I would save her parking spot because she wanted one not under a tree. Right after she left, my neighbor R (who has three cars that don't run) comes running out to take the space. I had to tell him 'no' and he was so mad at me! He ended up getting a space right next to me but he was still mad. So, I'm standing there like an idiot in the middle of the street, eating pretzels, waiting for them to return. Meanwhile, who pulls up but the DEP truck. I called the city (311) to see if they would come out - o miracles of miracles they arrived. I leap up to this poor guy screaming O my gosh! Are you here for me!!! As luck will have it, the said problematic drain is on our private condo property - so they could not do anything. They did check the drainage in the street though & gave lots of good advice.

Here's the low down, they are convince that the East River - which is technically part of the ocean and salt water- will rise to capacity. Once this happens, the rain drainage has nowhere to go. We are a mere 3 blocks from the river. Anyway you put it, it sounds like rain in our apartment.
During the hurricane I'll be doing a number of activities which are slightly, although not entirely out of the norm. These include: talking on the telephone, drinking, watching Sons on Anarchy, yelling at Jeff, meditation, & cleeaning. I probably won't be working on the anthology or the Guggenheim grant. If the eletricticity goes out, I'll resort to resding and eating.

Over at TBD they are already flooded- and it has barely rained. I stopped in there to see if they had sand bags & they didn't but threy were having a free BBQ and the boys gave me a large pickle. I asked them how late they are going to stay open and they said until it gets 'real bad.' I'm not on Facebook anymore so I have limited knowledge of what the other Brooklynites are doing. I know the T's are probably making cocktials and it's about time to give my neighbors a call. We are also waiting for the hardware3 store to call with the illusive sand bags. I'm worried about going to bed tonight because I think I may wake up to a floodeed house. 

Part of the problem is that I can't figure out in my mind what is an over-reaction and what is logical. A says, "putting sandbags in front of the doors - logical. Riding around the neighborhood to find them in parks to steal- nuts!"

Sand Bags

I was out riding in the rain trying to 'find' sandbags. I thought the city might have a bunch by the ferry dock. No luck. Meanwhile, S. and Jim found some at a hardware store and they are going to go get them at 4 o'clock & I'm going to have to stand outside in S.'s parking space which is not under a tree. Our next door neighbors left this morning and one other family has left in the condos. West street is a ghost town (that's one block away). & I heard the people in the lofts on Green all left too; like us, they are at street level. A. is happy because she was able to emergency foster a cat and she is filling baggies of water to put in the freezer. I am having a hard time calming down, I am just acting like if I run around frantically I'll be
"doing something." I wish Valum were in my emergency supplies.

I'm starting to have a little of a breakdown. I feel like such a wimp!

I am almost certain that our apartment is going to get flooded. I have Jim out combing the neighborhood for sandbags. The thing is that we are on the ground floor and the drainage system is very bad.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Poet in a Rainstorm

An impending natural disaster really gets me to thinking what objects are most important to me,  Nothing has happened yet; but due to location of our apartment, it is quite possible we will be flooded, if only slightly. Today, my friend mentioned photographs and I realized, at this point what an alien concept that is to me. I have so many few old photos laying around at this point. But, as I cleaned throughout the day, things started to make an appearance. Certainly, my most precious photograph is of me sitting next to the baby Emma (my sister who died) in the 'special' park in Visalia; then there is the one of William Everson in the '70s in his bear-skin phase; the one of Peter and Bill: and the one that my ex-lover John took of my son Jeffrey & I in Washington Square park. There are objects that certainly can't get hurt - my rocks, Dion's copper Empire State Building statue... then one's mind turns to the Sisyphus rock of every writer - the books. How does one begin categorize these objects. I've only been able to divide in my mind between 'replacable' and not 'replacable.' The irreplaceable might be the signed Tarn books, the Eigner books, the art books, the first edition of Ariel, the guide to the Maximus poems, all the Duncan's. The there is the uber-not replaceable - the signed Larry Eigner, the first edition of U of Ca Maximus, and, most, the first edition of Visions of Gerard by Jack Kerouac. If I had to take something with me - it would be that, the Basquiat catalog, my Susan Bee painting, and my vinyl copy of the soundtrack to 1984. Mildly random choices. Sort of; not really.

What scares me the most is the possibility of evacuation. Just exactly, with a husband and child, two cats and two pugs (one of whom is senile and barely house trained) am I supposed to go??? Note here: I asked my husband if we could emergency foster an animal and the answer was a resounding NO!

On the street today, both Jim & I felt the same thing. Brooklynites going about their business, but with a certain aura of confusion. Kind of like what do we do? It's hard to take it seriously because we have been through so many false alarms with so many snow storms (the mayor actually stopped having snow days for a few years because he called a school snow day on a day it actually ended up not snowing). It's hard not to take seriously though too. So we fill bottles of water, buy snacks and dogs food and wait. First they tell us put tape on the windows, then they tell us that's a waste of time. They were out of flashlights, so we've resorted to religious candles, all the while watching Sons of Anarchy and dreaming of Lodi weather.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

February 15, 2011 (28 Degrees)

Because I needed you to tell me that the older lady with the cane was hot, and you said, "I think she is beautiful."


Today will be the very first day that my eight year old son walks to school by himself.


Eliot must be part of our picture. He was worried about social forms, about being in good form. About what belonged.  As he worried too about who and what belonged to the right thing, in literature, in the true establishment. About what to include.


I wonder how much of this translates into Eliot's perception of the world; the world away from poetry. Is form the mirror which we see our existence through? I was going to say that that would mean my work is chaotic; but that simply isn't true. While I work outside of traditional or experimental 'form,' my poems at utterly controlled. I would say that they are the only thing in my life that doesn't reflect chaos - rather they are a coming to terms and an examination of the chaos. However, to say that they are controlled by me is also a little bit of a misnomer. As Duncan attests - writing for me is derived. So that, Eliot might be anti-hero for me.


I think the disabled body is beautiful. This comment makes people with disabilities mad at me. This also makes people without disabilities mad at me.


It makes me upset when I ask people if Larry Eigner had lovers and people act like that is impossible or gross. People with spinal injuries are on television because the look like able-bodied people using a wheelchair, therefore they are non-threatening. To my knowledge, only three people with cerebral palsy have ever been on any form of television: Gerry Jewel, the comedian on HBO, and that super cute teenager on Breaking Bad.


I can't help but push tender buttons.


Can someone reading this send me a copy of Spring and All.

The writers in my dreams last night include: Maryrose Larkin, Jim Stewart, Robert Duncan, Lisa Jarnot, Ron Silliman, James Yeary, Norma Cole, and Paul Auster.

The Wasteland, anyway, is part of our story.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day, 2011 (46 Degrees)

'Anyone who knows me knows who this person is.' (A reference to Bryher).


Wondering what the word bisexual means; in 'Fetlife' there are 7 places that you can mark for 'sex." Does one's mind define one's 'gender' or does who one has had sex with define one's gender? What is the difference between gender and sex? And what about other forms of sex/non-sex sexual acts? How do these fit into gender? Where does love go? And how does the world's perception of you affect gender? Gender per se is not my primary interest. What I am trying to construe is how disability and gender relate to each other as a societal non-norm.


I had a dream that I picked up the phone and it said Paul Auster was calling. However, it wasn't Paul, it was Siri, and she was really mad at me. She told me that I didn't pay my phone bill and since I had their phone number, I was fucking up their phone. I don't actually need their phone number (though I can get in touch with them if I want to) but I don't need their phone number because one doesn't need to talk to Paul/ to be with Paul/ that happens in the work; that is exactly how Paul wants it. Paul's entire work is set up so that as you read it your world becomes defined by Auster reality.


My eight year old son wears a skirt, most days. Most days, he wears the skirt in the house, only. But if we go to a party with mostly gay boys, he can be convinced to wear the skirt. He is entirely comfortable in the skirt around David and Morgan, but when other people come over he get nervous. He wants the person defined. If it is a gay boy, it is okay to wear the skirt because he has been taught that gay boys are accepting of such things. The skirt is grey, but there is a black on too. There are two skirts. They might be described as 'tutu' they are not a-line. My son wears the skirt because it is comfortable  - but the edginess of the wearing of the skirt is not entirely lost on him either.

Michael Davidson suggests that Duncan's vision was informed by his LITERAL vision. Was Duncan frustrated by his eyes? Or was he happy to see the world in an entirely different way - a personal way, an only Duncan way.


Eigner is mentioned on page 221.


I am not unglad that I have cerebral palsy.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

HD Day Book, Day Book For Sam

February 13, 2011 (32 Degrees)

These three - Pound, Williams, and HD - belonged in their youth to a still brilliant generation that (it should be who) began writing just before the first World War and publishing in 'The Egoist' in London, in "Poetry and Others' in America. They alone of their generation- and we must add DH Lawrence to their company - saw literature as a text of the soul in its search for fulfillment in life and took the imagination as a primary instinctual authority. [Here, I think, what does it mean to be utterly consumed by poetry? Not as an avenue to fame or getting girls or a tenure track job; but to be utterly consumed for the sake of bliss and human connection?] The generative imagination Pound called it. They took the full risk of seeking to fulfill their vision of the poet as seer and creator.


I read these works aloud; dreamed about them; took my life in them; studied them as my anatomy of what Poetry must be.


As in writing, deriving as I do, I burn the nets of my origins.


I knew that I had found my book.