Devil's Night, 2008

Truong Tran, four letter words (Apogee, 2008).

I've been reading Tran's book on the bus this week. The vellum middle pages remind me of Chad Lietz's chap Bher which was entirely printed on translucent vellum, but for different effect and purposes. Tran has crafted a good read with this effort, but I want to talk more about the cover image, which embodies a lot of the tension & discussion within the text.

The photo was taken by Jay Jao of Tran's installation "Contained". We are seeing a dark-haired person bent over to fit within the confines of what visually looks like a wall composed of ethereal bricks. Bricks are a recurrent theme within the text. The subject is literally contained within the structure of these walls. Because visually, we are able to gaze through the walls, we must ask if the impedimental (oppressive?) structure is in fact "real" or whether these limitations are an outward manifestation of the subject's psyche.

This is one of the few instances where what's on the cover actually enacts (rather than depicts) what's going on in the text.


October 29, 2008

Paul Eluard, Le livre ouvert: 1938-1944 (Gallimard, 1947;repr. 1977).

In between student conferences last week, I pulled out Eluard's Le livre ouvert and began thumbing through it. It's one of the few books I have had through successive moves over the years. In fact, I am fairly certain I bought this as an undergrad (Jackson Street Books in Athens GA most likely). The thing I found amazing this time skimming through it was the marginalia of a younger me. The passages that I found interesting (or useful) at the time are definitely not what I find interesting in the book now. For example, the stanza from "Blason des arbres" that I have checked for future reference:

Bouche folle ou sage
It te faut parler
Bouche ouverte ou close
It te faut rever
Plus haut que ton souffle (119)

This seems a rather obvious bit of poesie now, especially in relationship to some of the other passages I now find much more interesting in this book, but in my late teens, it was apparently telling me something. It is kind of a nice reintroduction to the person I was circa 1990: Mr. Horton meet Mr. Horton.


October 27, 2008

Country Joe smacks a dinger


October 25, 2008

Am I the only one making the connection between late 60s Detroit bands like Iggy and the Stooges and the mid-90s Hyphy movement in Oakland? Both want us to get in touch with our inner stooge/idiot. The outward manifestation of the musical style in both of those times asks the audience to be open to purposeful stupidity. Does this point to the same core stupid/stooge experience?

October 25, 2008

the rookie UGA VII
When I first got to Georgia in 1989, UGA IV was at the end of a strong mascot career with a record of 77-27-4 (1980-89). Herschel Walker even invited UGA IV to the 1982 Heisman Award ceremony. His progeny UGA V (1990-99) later graced the cover of Sports Illustrated.


October 24, 2008

In my old neighborhood in Detroit, the folks at the Polish community center would go all out in their celebration of United Nations Day. There'd be talks about the UN's mission & goals, there'd be all kinds of food, and a real sense of community and goodwill. Today in Oakland, it doesn't seem like anyone even knows it's UN Day. It's kind of a shame.


October 22, 2008

Robert Grenier, Series (This Press, 1978).

I was really pleased on the bus ride into work this morning by one of Bob's eye-rhymes:





October 20, 2008

Apparently, if you bat .233, the A's don't trade you, they reup your contract for 2 years at $11 mil.


October 19, 2008

Bill Luoma & Stephanie Young will be reading
Books & Bookshelves is located in the Castro at 99 Sanchez
Tuesday, October 21st at 7:30

STEPHANIE YOUNG lives and works in Oakland. Her books of poetry are /Picture Palace/ (in girum imus nocte et consumimur igni, 2008) and /Telling the Future Off/ (Tougher Disguises, 2005). Editorial work includes the anthology /Bay Poetics/ (Faux Press, 2006) and the collaborative website /Deep Oakland/. She also sometimes blogs here.

BILL LUOMA is a poet living in Berkeley. He's a member of the subpress collective. Publications include Works and Days, Dear Dad, Swoonrocket and Western Love. Recent work about acupuncture can be found in Work.




October 19, 2008

In the very smallest way (I wrote a line), I contributed to this awesome new Root Rats song (Animal 2).

October 18, 2008

Wayne Wong's feature length adaption of a Yiyun Li's story The Princess of Nebraska is now up for view at youtube.



October 17, 2008

I went to the post office to begin my Robert Reich project and decided to buy two sheets worth of the Betty Davis stamps. Walking through downtown Oakland, I decided to start giving people stamps with the instructions to write to their family or their friends. I did it on a whim, but this had a very strong, humanizing effect. When I said to the cracked out person at the busstop on Lakeshore & East 18th, "Write your family; they really want to hear from you." She thanked me and started crying. From the positive reaction something as simple as this has had, I am thinking of doing it on a regular basis. David Harrison Horton, patron saint of stamps.


October 16, 2008


Deep Oakland ( is an ongoing collaborative website that presents archival and current materials about Oakland.

We are currently seeking proposals for intermedia projects to be presented online in 2009-10.

We will be offering small start up grants (no more than $250 each) for proposals that need funding for materials.

We will consider both new creative works and archival projects. We are especially interested in work that examines the social, cultural, economic, historical and political conditions into and out of which Oakland residents live, relate and make (make art, text, family, video, buildings, clothing, etc.) We are also interested in collaborative and multi-disciplinary projects.

Some examples of proposed projects and/or projects currently underway:

- Studio visits / interviews with local artists.
- Scene reports from performance sites (music, theater, reenactments, readings, etc.)
- A piece that focuses on sound recordings from farmer’s markets in several different Oakland neighborhoods.
- A photography series of Oakland taco trucks documenting the customers at these locations at particular times, such as noon and midnight.
- A photography series of houses and institutions meaningful in the history of the Hell’s Angels, and a photography series of houses and institutions meaningful in the history of the Black Panthers.
- Video works: an hour-long visual & sonic exploration of east bay tides/shoreline.
- Mass observation of a location or event in Oakland and Miami, FL, and/or another city.
- Short interviews with longtime Oakland residents and then presentations of an older photo from their personal album, along with a current photo of the same location.
- A collection of photographs, zines and other materials from private archives of materials around the Weather Underground.
- Walking tours.

We encourage those interested to take a look at the website. Proposals should include a short description of the project, budget and material needs if any, and some sort of work sample.

Please email proposals to Consideration of proposals will begin on November 1 and continue until we run out of funds.


October 15, 2008

The "third" party candidates are having their own debate on Sunday 7-9 pm Eastern Time (4-6 California time). Of course, they won't get near the major media coverage McCain & Obama are getting, but we can actively work against the false either/or structure that the mainstream media, the Democrats and the Republicans are currently perpetuating and presenting us. As voters who wish to be informed of all our options, we can at least hear what these other candidates have to offer via the internet. Learn more here.


October 14, 2008

I'm pleased to announce the release of WORK no. 10, featuring (谁谁谁), Charles Bernstein, Lindsey Boldt, Nico Vassilakis, and Angela Genusa.

Work is available at Issues in Oakland & at Quimby's in Chicago. It is also available directly through me for $3 or trade (preferred) at:

dhh / 230 Wayne Avenue #311 / Oakland CA 94606

Labels: ,


October 13, 2008

you will have the chance to hear Ara Shirinyan and Jocelyn Saidenberg (& Co.)

This Sunday, October 19th
at 6:30 in the evening for three to infinity sliding scale dollars
at 21 Grand Gallery on 416 25th Street in Oakland, Calif.

Jocelyn will be performing "Wild Analysis!" a play co-written with Cynthia Sailers, starring Chris Chen, David Brazil, Bob Glück, Stephanie Young, Cynthia Sailers, and Ms. Saidenberg. Not to be missed!

ARA SHIRINYAN was born in 1977 in, what was then, the Soviet Socialist Republic of Armenia. Since 1987, he has lived in Los Angeles, where he writes, teaches, and is editor of Make Now Press. His first book Syria Is in the World was published by Palm Press in June, 2007. Speech Genres1-2 is available as an electronic download from Ubuweb. Handsome Fish Offices was published earlier this year by Insert Press. He is also the author of Your Country Is Great, also published in 2008 by Futurepoem Books. With the group Godzik Pink, he released two CDs (Es Em, Ekel Em and Black Broccoli) on Kill Rock Stars/5rc. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Word Ways, UBUWEB, Greetings, Trepan, Combo, Area Sneaks, Tuli & Savu among others.

JOCELYN SAIDENBERG is the author of Mortal City (Parentheses Writing Series), CUSP (Kelsey St. Press), Negativity (Atelos), and Dispossessed (Belladonna). Born and raised in New York City, she lives in San Francisco where she works as a catalog librarian for the public library.


October 11, 2008

WORK no. 10 teaser:

"'Are you ready?' said M. Killian, holding the hand of Mme. Bellamy. 'I’m ready,' said the latter. M. Killian put the pedal to the metal, and over they went, soaring gloriously, into the ancient canyon."

WORK no. 10 out really soon. Maybe Monday morning.



October 11, 2008

As a chronic in-the-mail letter writer, I am stupid for repeatedly destroying my correspondences on occasion. Letters are usually the first thing to go when I try to divest myself of acculumated mass. Papers surprising weigh a lot & take up a lot of space--hence, libraries. For me, the use value of most of the letters has passed. An edited correspondence book later, should I merit one, would greatly depend on the other side of the exchanges.
Yet, there is a mostly undiscussed market for such things. As an archivist, Geof Huth can maybe address this better than I can, but basically libraries purchase archives of letters, drafts, notebooks, ephemera etc . . . of folk who even moderately "make it." That Poe was ignored in his lifetime sort of argument.
The point, if you are able, collect what you can of your own & others: it may be worth something to you (financially) later on, as libraries pay good money for good archives & through this act of commerce, you may actually assist the "tradition" and academics as a whole. Baudelaire's letters to his mother pleading for some extra scratch help us in 2008 at least understand the circumstances under which he wrote: seriously broke & desperate.
That said, I'm off to write a letter on my Smith-Corona Sterling that probably will fall through the cracks.
You should write a letter to your mother. She will be surprised and love it.


October 9, 2008

Goodbye Mother's


October 8, 2008

If you're in Chicago tomorrow, check out Ed Roberson, he's amazing. As is Eric Glick Rieman. This should be worth the cover.
Chicago Calling at Velvet Lounge
Thursday, October 9
8:30 p.m.

1st set:
Fred Anderson -- tenor saxophone
Eric Glick Rieman -- prepared Rhodes electric piano
Josh Abrams -- upright bass
Tim Daisy -- drums

2nd set:
Ed Roberson -- poetry
performing with musicians

3rd set:
Fred Anderson, Eric Glick Rieman, Joshua Abrams, & Tim Daisy

$10 admission
The Velvet Lounge
67 E. Cermak Road
phone number: 312.791.9050


October 6, 2008

The Word is Out: Oakland’s Emerging Writers Mix it Up!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008
The Mixing Bowl Cafe, 4920 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland

David Harrison Horton is author of the chapbooks Pete Hoffman Days and BeiHai. His work can be seen online in places like Cricket Online Review, Deep Oakland, and Alice Blue. He currently lives and writes in Oakland, California.

Erika Staiti has fairly new work published in Shampoo 32, Sorry 4 Snake 3, and WORK no. 7. A recent project can be found at She lives in North Oakland.

Stephanie Young lives and works in Oakland. Her books of poetry are PicturePalace (in girum imus nocte et consumimur igni, 2008) and Telling the Future Off (Tougher Disguises, 2005). Editorial work includes the anthology Bay Poetics (Faux Press, 2006) and the collaborative website Deep Oakland ( She also sometimes blogs at

Dillon Westbrook began playing drums at the age of ten in the rock band Hojo. He went on to work with skronk/noise trio Bastard Diarrhea, and founded the large improvising ensemble The Truth About Us Orchestra. While in high school, he toured Japan with the Monterey Jazz Festival High School All Star Big Band, and also appeared in the Bay Area Grammy Big Band. In college, he studied composition for a time, before switching to philosophy. He was a founding member of the Latin dance band Carne Cruda. He currently plays with The Gomorran Social Aid and Pleasure Club and OUTHEAD, who recently released Quiet Sounds for Comfortable People, featuring Dillon's original composition Unomia. The Gomorrans self-titled debut was released last year, and their forthcoming EP, Giving Birth to Love, is due in early 2009. He recently completed and performed the score for We Players production of MacBeth at SF's Fort Point.

“The Word is Out: Oakland’s Emerging Writers Mix it Up!” – a literary reading series featuring some of Oakland’s most talented emerging writers. A mixture of poetry and prose, this series includes a range of writers from Oakland’s diverse artist communities and Bay Area Creative Writing programs. Come mix it up at The Mixing Bowl Cafe and experience great food and contemporary works from Mills College, California College of Art (CCA), Stanford University’s Stegner Program, Deep Oakland, Voices of Our Nations (VONA) and more.


November 12, 2008
Cleavon Smith
Diana Ip
Karen Finlay
Melanie Hilario

Contact: Armando Koghan at 510-655-5630 (The Mixing Bowl) or Anh-Hoa Thi Nguyen at


October 4, 2008

If you can't articulate a program to fix or at least resonate with Michigan, you need to shut up about jobs, the economy, outsourcing, anything blue-color, Joe six-pack, or how the super-huge bailout is going to fix everything (as the Big 3 are surely going to ask for one of their own in the very near future).


October 4, 2008

From lexicographer Grant Barrett , who kindly answered my email asking why deploy isn't the opposite of the noun ploy:

"The problem here is that 'ploy' and 'deploy' come from different etymological roots. One is not a form of the other. So you're unlikely to encounter an appropriate verb based on the noun 'ploy.'

'Ploy' is originally Scots and northern English, perhaps from obsolete noun sense of employ meaning 'an occupation.'

'Deploy' is from French déployer, from Latin displicāre to unfold and is related to 'display.'

So, the wordplay is likely to fail and you'll have to fall back on an unrelated antonym, and say the ploy has been rebuffed."
I still think there should be a verb to unploy a ploy that has already been put in action; unfortunately, given the root, that verb should maybe be unemploy, which has a well-worn negative connotation in its past participle adjective form unemployed.


October 2, 2008

Before all of the debates, do you think that both kickball teams agreed to award points for every time someone said "fundamental"?
I keep waiting for the "You Bet Your Life" duck to flop down with cash in its mouth.


October 1, 2008

Chicago Calling Arts Festival

Join WNUR in supporting the 3rd Annual Chicago Calling Arts Festival as we host one of the festival performances live in our studios on Thursday, October 2nd at 7pm (Chicago time). Like last year, you can be an audience member for this special live event or you can tune in via 89.3FM or the webstreams.

The evening will feature live audio/visual connections between WNUR and Mills College (Oakland, CA) and Richmond, Virginia. To be an audience member, you'll want to go to Room 105 in Louis Hall on Northwestern University's Evanston campus. Here's a map. Parking is free and close by and there's a $5 suggested donation for the performance.

performers at WNUR:
Renée Baker - violin
Taalib-Din Ziyad - vocals
Ben Boye - harmonium
Jon Godston - soprano saxophone
Saalik Ziyad - vocals
Joel Wanek - upright bass
Fred Jackson - saxophone
Joshua Manchester - drums
Dan Godston - trumpet
Ritwik Banerji - saxophone

performers at Mills College:
Christopher M. Skebo - trumpet
Karl A. D. Evangelista - electric guitar
David Harrison Horton - poetry
Jason Hoopes - upright bass
Akiko Hatakeyama - flute
Tomás Diaz - electric guitar
Curtis McKinney - upright bass
Alex Vittum - drum set
Jordan Glenn - percussion

performers in Richmond, VA:
JC Kuhl - tenor saxophone
other TBA musicians

Please direct any questions about this event to or give the station a call at (847) 866-WNUR. You can find out more info about the fest by visiting the Chicago Calling website.