Laura Sims’s Practice, Restraint


Since my mommy purchased me Laura Sims’s collection of poems, Practice, Restraint, I have read it more than five times.

The poems are small and tiny. They hardly take up any space (although they do take up some space, of course). The lines leave room for few words; some, like the commencing verses of “Bank Twenty-Seven,” only hold one or four:

Trees over here

Over there

In one empty classroom

The girl is turning

The town inside out

Such sparseness spotlights the empty white space, which I like; it’s as if the few words of Laura’s poems are speaking to the empty white space, acknowledging that the empty white space isn’t really empty white space, rather, there’s something in it, the way an abandoned house at the end of street isn’t really abandoned, since ghosts live there.

Many of these poems pertain to scariness. There’s empty classrooms, empty rooms in general, trees, dead things coming out of mountains, a house that shines, and a girl in marsh. Each of these listed things could contain ghastly  properties.

In the empty classrooms there could be girls getting ready to launch a school shooting because they were teased for not being capable of applying makeup correctly.

The house that shines might be doing so due to a bright apparition that resides in there and effects itself each night when it causes some kind of chaos.

Violence is a part of the poems. Laura compares girls’ “shining eyes” to “shiny new bullets.” She also remarks, “so many / dead girls / in this shit-hole.”

Though girls aren’t boys, they can still carry out violence, like Valerie Solanas did, like Mary Tudor did, and like the Jawbreaker girls did.

Some, like former secretary of state Colin Powell, believe overwhelming force is the best way to be violent. Others, like insurgent Muslim boys, believe a tiny and almost hidden force is better. The sensibilities of Laura’s poems align with the latter; just because you’re not doing lots of things and taking up lots of space in plain sight doesn’t mean that you’re not powerful.

Author Spotlight / 1 Comment
October 23rd, 2013 / 1:11 pm



(A scene from Les Maîtres Fous (The Mad Masters), a film by Jean Rouch)

Haunting –

My left eye is fucked. It isn’t the first time. I’ve mentioned its swollen episodes everywhere: in poems, on the phone.

Because I think it’s hysterical. Because I really can’t get over it.


Lately, there are tiny, irritated dots that have been piling up in the corner. My roommate gives me clay and DMSO, which is HORSE LINIMENT. She dabs it on for me. The eye’s anger ebbs and flows.

I like that my own body keeps haunting me from this particular room, always from this left eye, trying to get me to deal with or acknowledge some part / stress deposit of myself that I’ve neglected / buried. Your own body interrupts you. It unexpectedly cuts you off. I feel more than slightly disembodied when I look at it in the mirror, when I touch it. Ghosts are red.


Craft Notes & Random / 3 Comments
October 13th, 2013 / 2:38 pm

Announcing the Most Terrifically Tyrannical Poetry Collection of 2012

Early this morning, in the wee wee hours, a group of glamorous/ghastly ghosts (including the first wife of British bard Ted Hughes) convened to determine the Most Terrifically Tyrannical Poetry Collection of 2012. After numerous gulps of grape Juicy Juice and some suicide threats the superstar sprites concluded that Baby Adolf’s Nursery Rhymes warranted the wonderful honor.

Congratulations Baby Adolf!

Author Spotlight & I Like __ A Lot & Massive People / 1 Comment
December 19th, 2012 / 5:47 pm


Dream Memoirs: A Conjuration

Dream Memoirs of a Fabulist
by Doug Rice
Copilot Press, 2011
$35 (Limited Edition) / Buy from Copilot Press





This book does not start with an I, but a ghostly he that becomes a she, that vanishes and becomes an I. In this body-text, the I perhaps does not exist as the reflection does, in this book that questions the naive categorizations of gender, the dizzying abyss of self-imposed identity, and the gravitational field of language itself, the pronouns textually speaking to one another, dragging memory from one space into another. READ MORE >

September 2nd, 2011 / 12:00 pm