Monday, September 24, 2018

Procrastination, Myshkin, and a reading this week in Virginia

Well then.

I thought I was more up to date than this. I mean, the book is out, and aside from a few production hiccups, it's been an easy and beautiful experience.

The best place to buy it right now is from the publisher, the awesome FutureCycle Press. You can also get it from Amazon.

Wait--the best place might actually be to get it from me at a reading. I'll sign it (or refrain from signing it, whichever thrills you more). My reading schedule is limited to DC/MD/VA right now, save for one reading in faraway Knoxville that should be a lot of fun.

For a better chance at updates, please join my mailing list by emailing me at

I'm sorry I've left you all for so long.


Sometimes I think that the number of ways we can connect in this staticky world mean more confusion, rather than less. Thus, it was only just now that I saw a Messenger message from an old musical love,

I named Myshkin's Ruby Warblers' Rosebud Bullets to my top 10 lists back when it came out, when I was still writing about music. A whole lot has happened to me since then, and some things got lost in the journey. This summer, I ran across Myshkin's name on Facebook, sent her a friend request, got an "accepted" message from Facebook, and only just now noticed that there was a message from Myshkin herself along with it.

She'd written to tell me about two projects. One is a book by her wife, the herbalist Jenny Q, that's really a collaborative effort (as are so many things). Held Together explores Jenny's illness and recovery in the context of her loving creative community in Joshua Tree. The other is Myshkin's newest album, Trust and the High Wire, which covers much of the same emotional and thematic territory. (Bear in mind that I'm extrapolating from press here--I haven't read/seen/heard all of this, only bright shards.)

I hope you'll explore the work of Myshkin and Jenny Q, as I will do. And I hope to use this space to share more of the art that has enriched my life. Artists like Myshkin shouldn't fall through the cracks.

Here's a show from around the time I fell in love with Myshkin's Ruby Warblers. This one's in Oregon, but I saw them at the late lamented IOTA Club and Cafe in Arlington, VA.


Come see me at the Martha Washington Library in Alexandria later this week! (This is the only link I can find; I'll update if/when I get more info.)

It's Michael Gushue, Cort Bledsoe, and me, "Building to Crescendo" (that's a daunting event title if I ever heard one). Michael and Cort are fantastic writers and people, and I'm honored to share their stage.

Thursday, Sept. 27
7 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Martha Washington Library

6614 Fort Hunt Road, Alexandria, VA 22307

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Final proofs

I just got the final proofs for review. I've been feeling disjointed and out of sorts and diffusely anxious since I got up this morning, so I'm happy to be able to focus on the book.

Here are two versions of the same Mark Sandman song. I can't decide which one I like better. They both speak to me on a day when I feel like this.

Redbird is a folk supergroup: Jeffrey Foucault, Kris Delmhorst, and Peter Mulvey.

Mark Sandman is in my book. I'm posting this before actually watching it. I was going to post the Sandbox album track, but I can't resist live music.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Bits and Bobs

My message to a bunch of poets and artists and other such folks, talking about how I had a book coming out, was met with a reception that suggested to me that I ought to have been clearer in the subject line.

The book will be out in June. There's no way to preorder it.

There will be several ways to buy it when it's actually in existence. It'll be on Amazon (hard copy and Kindle). FutureCycle Press, the publisher, will be selling it. Finally, I will have copies to sell at readings and such. I haven't figured out whether I'll be able to fulfill mail orders, as the price isn't yet set.

So if you're interested, the best thing to do is join my mailing list.

Video du jour, inspired by the need to make my subject line into a pun.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018


I'd say "move along, nothing to see here," but I'll throw in a song. It's still May Day, at least where I am. I like this stripped-down version of "Albion Sunrise" because I can crank it up in the car and sing harmonies with it.

Again, email me if you want to be on the mailing list for ordering my book. I won't spam you. I'm not organized enough to spam you.

Bonus poet grave photo. Check out the typo.

Finally on the Horizon


Publishing can be a hurry-up-and-wait prospect. I signed the contract for The Unbeckonable Bird in April 2017. I started messing around with mailing lists in June or July. I was heavily involved in revisions in January. Now it's proofs and cover art and all the fun stuff--just about a month before the publication date.

This isn't a bug; it's a feature. FutureCycle Press publishes a book pretty much every other week, and we've stayed pretty much on schedule.

I've always been like this anyway: sitting in my kitchen in my basement apartment on a Tuesday morning, with Romeo Void on the MTV, typing out my psych paper just in time to turn it in at 9:30 a.m., which was as early as I ever scheduled a college class. So if it all happens at the last minute, that's cool with me.

I just got the mailing-list monkey off my back by disconnecting from a, um, thingy that was supposedly easy to use but that had too many confusing features. I have fewer than 30 people on my mailing list right now; I don't need all of that nonsense. If you want to be on the mailing list, please email me at unbeckonable.bird at gmail dot com, preferably with MAILING LIST in the subject line, and give me your name and email address. Include other info, such as snail mail address, Twitter handle, etc., if you want. I won't use it for anything nefarious.

I'll be redesigning this rather jarring-looking page soon, as well as giving you more information and probably more music videos.

Until just now, I didn't know that the "Never Say Never" video was black and white. My college roommate and I had only a black-and-white TV on our kitchen table, so all of MTV was black and white.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Four Poems at Music Camp

I'm still unpacking from Richard Thompson's Frets and Refrains music camp, which would be an extraordinary experience even if I weren't an insufferable Thompson fan from way back.

There are a couple of nights of open mic in the camp's roadhouse, and this year I was able to do a little poetry reading there, and my fellow camper Rick Innis was kind enough to record it. I was reading off my phone--a little weird, but it's nice to pretend to be a millennial once in a while.

I followed a performance by the Scandinavian metal trio A Norse With No Name, a Thompson tribute called "Nordic Black Viking 852." I make brief reference to my opening act in my remarks.

I think the video can be seen here; I'll come back and tinker with things if it's not viewable.

Friday, July 7, 2017


I've got a book of poems coming out in summer 2018.

The title is The Unbeckonable Bird.

The publisher is FutureCycle Press.

I'm very excited. As I write this, I'm trying to put together some promo postcards. Maybe you found one. Now I envision myself stuffing my snippets of poems into bottles to cast into the wild sea--although you'd be more likely to find my essence in Diet Dr Pepper cans.

I hope you'll come back here for more info as it becomes available.

EDITED TO DELETE LINK--revamping mailing list 1 May 2018 PMW