Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Reading new work Thursday 9/29 at Heights Arts

I look forward to participating in Ekphrastacy: Artists Talk + Poets Respond on September 29th at Heights Arts. The evening will feature an artist talk by legendary photographer Herbert Ascherman Jr. and a poetry reading (of new works the Ascherman exhibit has inspired) by Heather Schmidt, Milenko Budimir, Holly Jensen and me. I'm grateful to Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate Christine Howey for inviting me.

Heights Arts
2175 Lee Road
Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Friday, September 23, 2016

Bopping at the Stop this Sunday 9/25 with Étienne Massicotte

Étienne Massicotte at the Barking Spider during
BeatStreet Cleveland [photo by Chandra Alderman]
Twice in 2015 I had the distinct privilege and great pleasure of performing my poetry in collaboration with Étienne Massicotte, trumpet player (and composer) extraordinaire - first during BeatStreet Cleveland: The International Beat Poetry Festival and then at storied Severance Hall, home of the Cleveland Orchestra.  Now I'm thrilled to announce that we're doing it again.

This Sunday, 25 September 2016, at 4 pm, Étienne Massicotte presents: New and Unusual Sounds of the Trumpet at the Bop Stop in Cleveland. A live performance and discussion of modern trumpet repertoire curated by Mr. Massicotte, this special event features four crazy-cool performance sets including works by Olivier Messiaen, Peter Hatch and Christopher Biggs, along with our aforementioned trumpet and spoken word collaboration.

From the official write-up:

"This collaboration between John Burroughs and Etienne Massicotte began as an informal experiment in interpretive improvisation. The goal was to explore various means of reflecting the imagery of spoken text through the voice of the trumpet. Spontaneously, a unique accompaniment to each of Mr. Burroughs’ pieces began to develop, as his words were ripe for translation into musical language. Influenced by artists such as Miles Davis, Giacinto Scelsi, and Luciano Berio, these instrumental musings include use of modern techniques such as multiphonics (singing one pitch while playing another) and circular breathing (a method of inhaling and exhaling simultaneously)."

Please don't miss this very special event.  Admission is free, although donations to support the performing artists will be gratefully accepted.

BOP STOP at The Music Settlement
2920 Detroit Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44113

Click here to read more about Étienne Massicotte. 

And here's the program:

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Cringing at the Mac 9/23 - with Buffalo, Kent, Cleveland & Rust Belt Boy

I'm thrilled to be reading this Friday at historic Mac's Backs-Books On Coventry with Buffalo's Cringe-Worthy Poets Collective (Nathanael William Stolte, Julio Valentin & Misty Khan-Becerra), a couple of Kent poets (Cassandra Adams & Joseph Bocchicchio), Cleveland's own Dianne Borsenik and, all the way from New Hampshire, Paul Hertneky (author of Rust Belt Boy). To borrow a phrase from Prince, we'll have "a pocketful of plentygoodtime." The festivities begin at 6:30 p.m.

More info on the Mac's Backs website.
Even more info on the Facebook event page.
Like the Cringe-Worthy Poets Collective and be happy.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Losing my head (poetically) Tuesday in Painesville

Head of Saint John the Baptist, unknown artist
I took this photo a few years ago at the Cleveland Museum of Art
I'll be putting it all on a silver platter this Tuesday, September 6th as the featured poet for Words and Wine at Bistro70, 70 N. St. Clair Street in Painesville Ohio.  Margie DeLong and Tobin Terry will host, and the evening will include an open mic. Festivities begin at 6:30 p.m.  Come eat, drink, share and be merry. And, as the Kinks remind us, don't forget to dance.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Jesus Coming Saturday (to Pittsburgh)

Everything is finally moved from our old apartment to our new house. Now I just need to find my calendar and to-do lists in all these stacks of boxes.

I do know I'm reading a poem or two in Pittsburgh on Saturday.  The event is Free Jesus Poems About Jesus, hosted by Margaret Bashaar and Rachael Deacon at Most Wanted Fine Art, and it promises to be one of the most crazy, wild and fun poetry events I've ever participated in. Hyacinth Girl Press will release an anthology (see photo) in conjunction with the shindig, and my poem "LeBron Jesus Returns to Cleveland" is included.  For more info, click here.

Free Jesus Poems About Jesus
Saturday 27 August 2016 at 7 p.m.
Most Wanted Fine Art
5015 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15224

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Farewell and Walk On

Two photos I took with my phone last night, along with the captions I gave them on Facebook:

Farewell for the last time, 3344.

Leda on her first walk from our new house to South Park - also her first walk without her mama and constant companion for the past eight years, sweet Lady.

Sunday, August 21, 2016


Good night, sweet Lady Persephone. I've never known a better dog. We have loved you deeply since 2005 when we moved into a house where you'd been left behind, and we're so fortunate to have had so many years with you. Here's a photo I took of you during our first Christmas together. <3 <3 <3

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Busyness As Usual

Yesterday, I posted this as my Facebook status: "Well, it looks like Geri and I have a house and will soon be moving 6 or 7 miles to the southeast. Busy, busy, busy...." 

This whole year has been extremely busy, and feels like a blur with no end in sight. As I've said before, I published 10 books between January 1st and May 9th via Crisis Chronicles Press. There are three primary reasons for that rapid (and for me unprecedented) pace: 1) I was so behind (so far that 6 of those 10 had taken me over 3 years to publish) and being so far behind was becoming more and more unbearable to me. 2) I suspected I'd be doing a lot more seasonal day work during the spring, summer and fall, and didn't want to fall even further behind on press work when that time came, so I needed to get as much as I could done while I was still largely homebound. And 3) for once, for several months in a row no life crises came up to slow down my progress significantly.  But by May I got a non-Press day job again, and then another, and other life priorities came up, and as expected, press work slowed to a crawl.  I'm not complaining, just explaining.  I know that by the end of fall my day job will slow down, other issues will be resolved and I will pick up the press pace again.  Meanwhile, I hope to at least get a few new books out while it's still summer. Two forthcoming Crisis Chronicles Press titles, Ode to Horatio and Other Saviors by Carolyn Srygley-Moore and Inquiry into Loneliness by Meg Harris are THIS CLOSE to being published.  Meanwhile I continue to "make hay while the sun shines" in every way possible.

And then this new house business came up fairly quickly.  While I was working, Geri kept looking for places.  The stairs to our upstairs apartment have become too much for her. They're also becoming too much for our dog Lady, who was diagnosed with cancer this year.  I didn't expect us to find and afford and be able to close the deal on a place so quickly.  I thought maybe it wouldn't be till next year or later in the nebulous future.  But before I knew it, we're here, and suddenly I have a lot of packing and other move-related things to do every free moment I get.  I feel stressed (and not just because of all this), but also excited and very fortunate.  We're picking up the keys to our new house this evening.  I just need to keep going at a breakneck pace for the next month or few to get everything done.

There are so many other pressing things that I'd like to talk about, but I can't right now.  Maybe one day. But I've rambled on enough for one morning, and I need to DO more than I need to talk.  Hopefully, I'll have photos to share the next time I write.

Peace, love and poetry,

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Expedition Flyer

I just got this flyer for the Expedition: Spaces II event I posted about recently.  Gonna be great fun!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Expedition: Spaces II: A Guided Journey of Words, Sights & Sounds! (6 Aug 2016)

Photo: Tim Kaiser

Expedition: Spaces is an annual multimedia art blast curated by Craig Chojnicki and Lisa Miralia at quite possibly the coolest gallery in Cleveland, SPACES, and I'm so happy to be a part of it again this year.  Here's a copy/paste from the SPACES website and the Facebook event page:

EXPEDITION: SPACES II: A Guided Journey of Words, Sights & Sounds!

Performance: Saturday August 6, 2016 8-11pm
Doors open 7:30pm, Show starts 8pm
$10 – all proceeds will go to the performing artists


This guided expedition brings together artists from across the globe to explore the realms of experimental and electronic sound, live projections, and performance art.

(See performers' bios below.)


Featured performers include sound artist and inventor TIM KAISER, who is recognized nation-wide for his accomplishments as an avant garde instrument builder and performer. Writer and poet JOHN BURROUGHS will lead us from gallery to gallery with spoken word segues. MACHINE LISTENER will perform a set of complex tapestries of heady electronic sound. Performance art trio MARCIA CUSTER + ALYSSA D'AMICO + BETH LOMSKE will delight us with a set exploring the nature of friendship, fear, and the cyclical nature of leaving. MIKE MCNAMARA and NATHAN (GERONIMO) MELARAGNO will collaborate on a set of guitars, electronics, and found sounds paired with live analog liquid light projections. Underground vinyl DJs DAN COOK and MARC LANSLEY will open and close this Expedition, spinning an eclectic mix of minimal techno and electronica.
Want to volunteer?

Performers Include:

Tim Kaiser is well known in the homebuilt instrument and experimental music scenes nationwide for his blending of acousto-electric contraptions and Frankenstein electronics to create ethereal, layered drones.
His hand-built instruments are as alluring as the sounds they make, and his sonic landscapes have been called "experiments in adventurous art" and "eclectic genius" by the likes of Make Magazine, Wired, the New Art Examiner and the Associated Press. Tim has also been featured on the PBS program MakeTV, has scored films, and toured extensively, including headlining numerous experimental music festivals in the US. He's been a founding contributor and champion of the Weirdo Industrial Complex for more than 30 years.

Cleveland based visual and sonic artist Matthew Gallagher crafted his Machine Listener alter ego from early experiments peeking into and deriving sound works from the electromagnetic radiation that emanates from household electronic gadgetry, though he's slowly grown his repertoire to include synthesizers. Patched correctly, these became almost sentient, the self-generating patterns of control voltage evoking complex tapestries of deeply spun tones. Gallagher's latest missive entitled Endless Coil, is out now via Tusco/Embassy Press. - Decoder Magazine
Experimental sonic and performance artists Marcia Custer, Alyssa D'Amico and Beth Lomske are friends first and collaborators second. Marcia and Beth of Half An Animal and Alyssa D'Amico of NRML GRL will collaborate on a new performance experiment "Are You Afraid of the Light" which explores the nature of friendship, fear, and the cyclical nature of leaving. The artists have individually performed at venues and galleries such as SPACES, Guide to Kulchur, Mahall's, and Pilgrim Church. All three participate in the SPACEBEACH integrated media performance art collective.
/ http://www.marciacuster.com/

MIKE MCNAMARA (music) + NATHAN MELARAGNO (projections) (CLE):
Mike and Nathan will perform a collaboration set of music and liquid light projections.

MIKE MCNAMARA is a guitarist and composer who has been active in NE Ohio and beyond since 1996. Mike has a wide performance repertoire and has performed solo at various venues, galleries, festivals and theaters in NE Ohio, as well as with Neil Chastain/Pureplex, Muamim Collective, LMNTL, and Kokolo Afrobeat Orchestra. He has also collaborated with movement and visual artists at multi-media special events like Ingenuity Fest and CPT's Pandemonium. Mike holds a BM in Classical Guitar from CSU and teaches privately and with the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society. For this evening's performance, Mike will be working with guitars and electronics and found sounds from the urban landscape to create an ambient, layered environment that explores stillness, austerity, and emotion.


NATHAN MELARAGNO is a multi-media artist living and working in Cleveland, OH. His artistry spans from analog liquid light projection, to film photography, sound environments, and large scale painting. Nathan preserves psychedelic history through practicing, studying and teaching analog techniques in all fields of his creative focus.

John Burroughs is a Cleve-based poet, playwright and musician whose books include The Eater of The Absurd, Barry Merry Baloney, and Water Works. He co-founded the annual Snoetry: A Winter Wordfest and performs solo and with random partners as Jesus Crisis Ban/ne/d. John has served as founding editor of Crisis Chronicles Press since 2008, publishing superb indie writers from around the world. John will be our guide for the event, responding to the evening's doings with poems improvised and/or memorized but never cauterized.


DAN COOK is a techno DJ and producer from Cleveland, OH. He got his start DJing and throwing parties in 2010, culminating in the Solarity series of large format events at Oberlin College through 2013. More recently, Dan has been featured in Bent Crayon's monthly underground vinyl DJ series Hollow Earth and also runs a sound system in the area with sightings at local DIY venues and events.


MARC LANSLEY is a producer and DJ based in Cleveland,OH and Cologne, Germany. Marc has had a passion for electronic music of all kinds since the 90s, a path which led to becoming one of Cologne's foremost underground DJs and a well-established entity to connoisseurs of the city's somewhat secretive nightlife. In 2006 he started drip-feeding his own material to unsuspecting crowds, leading to a debut release with longstanding partner in crime Falko Brocksieper on the iconic Sub-Static imprint, a small batch of rarefied leftfield edits and remixes for acts like Walls, Kasper Bjorke or Fraktus. This remixing lead to Marc teaming up with Okinawa 69's Shumi as DJ/production duo Truffle Shuffle - which in turn resulted in them co-founding their own label Low Hanging Fruit, distributed by Kompakt and sporting releases by artists like Camp Inc., Bryan Kessler, David Hasert and more. Having recently relocated to the US, he now scouts new battlegrounds for his personal brand of electronic mayhem in Cleveland, OH, the punk queen of the rust belt and as much a staple in the hidden history of alternative music as was his former hometown. – (adapted from Resident Advisor).