matthue roth







soft skull press
def poetry jam


In the three days since Itta and Yalta have been in Pittsburgh, I have all but completely regressed into a bachelor. Staying up late with the downstairs neighbor Ethan, me in my notebook and him finishing the color tones in his new comic book, which is surreal and awesome and has an amazing car-crash scene in it, despite the theme of the comic being Sensible Investing and the sponsor being a local bank.

This is us selling out. Me at an office job, him drawing bunny rabbits giving home-loan tips. I keep telling myself, we're doing it our own way: I still get to write at nights, between 7 pm and 2 am. He gets to draw his indie comics between gigs. And we both do our corporate work with the Colbert Report in the background.

No matter how tired I make myself, I still miss my daughter.

I keep saying on the phone that all the dishes are clean, and it's true. I haven't used any. The books on my favorite bookshelf are totally out of order, though. I think living alone, I no longer feel the need to show off.

Live Jewish Poetry Slam

Ben Bresky, the most prolific (if not the most obsessive) Jewish and Israeli music blogger out there, also hosts a radio show. In recognition of the Three Weeks and the custom of not listening to music, he did an all-out spoken word poetry jam that you can listen to either streaming
or via download. It features a zillion different folks calling in from America and Israel and sharing their favorite poems...and five points if you can quote a line from my poem back at me Monday morning.

Good Shabbos, y'all.

crossposted from Mixed Multitudes

Darfur, Israel, depression...and some new poems to rock out to.

Another petition to stop the genocide in Darfur, and it's hard to believe how awful parts of the world are. Most times, I feel shitty that people are being ritually exterminated because of their skin color and this terrorist who smashed a 4-year-old girl's head in is being cheered and rallied behind and I'm cranky because my story isn't going the right way, or someone important hasn't emailed me back. Today, it all feels like it's coming from the same place. Rebbe Nachman and Ani Difranco before bed, I think...that should change it. Or at least make me feel better about this whole thing.

The new poetry magazine Cyclamens and Swords features me this month! Some stuff I really like, starting out with an imaginary Twin Peaks episode I wrote as a poem....and then some stuff from my new chapbook, Baby Baby Baby. If you want to get a copy, just order any chapbook in the store, and then tell me to send you BBB'll all work out.

Don't worry, baby.*

* - or maybe i should just listen to some ronnie spector...

Publishing Opportunity -- quick!

Mimaamakim, the journal that bills itself as being - oh, I'm gonna get this wrong - "creative expressions of the Jewish religious experience," is hunting down some last-minute prose submissions.

We want stories, creative nonfiction, or something in between. Stuff that's spiritual. Stuff that's cultural. Something about Rosh Hashana or being in Irsael or eating falafel or not being able to drive in Williamsburg because there's a zillion guys in the way who are blessing the moon.

It's a yearly print magazine that looks stunning and has some great art to go with it, and it's probably the only thing remotely resembling an English-language Orthodox arts scene in the world, so (a) support it and (b) get yourself published.

hit stuff & sound good

My newest entry on Yalta's Amazon wish list, which, as Itta would remind you, is actually totally self-serving, is this:

Fact is, though -- if I can influence my daughter at all, I totally want to expose her to this stuff. If there are only 2 things I can give her, they would be creativity and yiras hashem, the awareness of G-d. In one form or another, Sleater-Kinney's guitar playing speaks for both of those. I'm trying to teach her to drum. It's kind of bad, because Itta's a real drummer and I'm not, but I figure I'll imprint the idea in Yalta's mind -- that you can hit stuff and it sometimes sounds good -- and Itta can clear up the detailed parts later.

riding the waves of nostalgia

Today I am on a major Central binge. It's not nostalgia for high school, it's more the need to remember it. Because I've been so bad at remembering things lately, and there are some things I really don't want to forget. Weirdly, most of them involve cutting out of school early, going to record stores downtown, and wearing paisley bathrobes with Mike on South Street.

Possible motives include:

  • the incoming release of my new book,
  • the sudden onset of summer,
  • the realization that, as much as i tell her about my life and play her Weston and Sleater-Kinney songs, my daughter is probably not going to go to secular school, until college at least.

But I really think it's not that at all. (Well, except the book, which is kind of a recreation of my experiences at Central and which I want to morbidly watch people read, try to recognize themselves in, and blame me for.) These stories -- the ones I don't want to forget -- are getting so I almost don't believe they happened, and things like people saying to me "remember when we were hanging in the graveyard where Ben Franklin was buried and the cops showed up?" are the only things that are gonna guarantee that they did -- or might have -- happened.

<| all |>
diaryland | freewebs | home | links | stats

candy in action: a novel by matthue roth ... supermodels, kung fu, and a free soundtrack.