Items of Import

1. Ana sends the above video by Bat for Lashes, “What’s a Girl To Do?”, which I find fun. I especially enjoyed the low budget feel and the choreography. I still own a small boy’s trick bike (sans pegs, for those in the know), and fancy remembering my younger self trying to perform such feats as seen in the video.

2. This Friday, August 3rd, is my birthday.

3. The following Monday, August 6th, I get put under, for the first time ever, for a minor surgical procedure.

4. Matt, one of my loveliest friends ever, sends the poems below in the context of his forthcoming manuscript, “The Comeback’s Exoskeleton“.

** Wish me a happy birthday or wish me a happy anesthetic experience, either one will float my boat! xox, Amy


Story of Learning

After I learned the language, I learned it well. Then went down to the lake. I said, “Hey, Pond, you got rabbit-congress, how about witch go seventeen something something?” Pond said, “Man, the language is not like that. You better learn.” So I learned. I learned and learned. Then said to Old Man Killer Whale, “Nice for this mine, your thermos mine, your brown interval mine, your Viggo Mortenson.” Killer Wheel said, “Not far enough yet, son. But if you study, your own reward will be that you studied.” Shivering and shaking, I studied and learned. I learned hand and by hand and hand stealing and victim-focused learning. Then I met Wall Of Dogs. Wall said, “You look like another dog for me.” I said, “Yes, cylinder and me talking—like night fighting—and yes or same project makes blame, the astrolabe, wicca, not chancy chancy, all these marriages end in more desire.” Wall Of Dogs spoke, and said, “Only that last bit showed some learning.” So I made the Walking Wall my right side master, learned something else on my left and in my front I wished for a gymnastics container. I said, “I’ve learned. This old language is mine, and easy now. I have it for naming and knowing and learning.” Then Hey Pond, Old Killer Whale Man, and Dog Wall said, “Ho! Ho!, Pond Consonant Boy, look at you, handclapping for bottles and vowels and cans!”

Matt Rotando


i pound you head

snatch you eyes
you bad bad man

i take you wife
eat you vegetable
throw you down hole

kick you house
stone you head
you down alone in hole

you bad bad man
i burn you town
drop bomb you school

you bad bad man
you look like funny ugly man
no gun

no house
no stuff

you sick
me got money
you got dark hole

you bad

Matt Rotando


[Matt wrote the next one for our very lovely professor of drama, Carey Harrison, who is also Rex Harrison’s son. Matt must’ve written it while he was on his nine month Fulbright mecca through Sri Lanka & surrounding countries, or just after, because the details resonate with his tales of being bewitched by the monks who communed with the local monkey population, among other animals.]

I Dreamt Of You, My Bearded Professor
for Carey Harrison

In Dharamsala, India, where Avalokiteśvara sells T-shirts and incense,
I walked up a little mountainside every day for a week,
Sat for a while with my meditation pals,
Picked stones out of rice,
And watched monks and monkeys shout at each other.

Two times that week I dreamt of you.
I can’t remember the first dream at all.
But in the second, we clasped hands and danced together in a huge ballroom.
Spinning around and around,
Women in beaded dresses and men in tuxedos became a wallpapery blur.

We had yellow Buddha robes on.
You morphed into Brando,
I into Pacino.
Godfathers One and Two,
Of no soul.

–Matt Rotando


9 Responses to “Items of Import”

  1. Jim K. Says:
    July 28th, 2007 at 11:33 pm eFun video! I love seeing the retro-emotional stuff these days.
    Reminds me a lot of the tongue-in-cheek rock of the “New Wave” times.
    As for the lyrics….ah, it happens. Much more real than the doo-wop

    Matt’s stuff is great. Good using-language matl, you no doubt
    observe from your instructive perch.

  2. Timothy Caldwell Says:
    July 29th, 2007 at 3:44 am eHappy Birthday, Lioness! (I’m the 10th…!)

    The best prep you can do prior to surgery is to make sure you are as relaxed and positive as you can be. Best of luck with that.


  3. Jim K. Says:
    July 29th, 2007 at 1:11 pm eOh..happy birthday, and smooth sailing.
  4. Helen Losse Says:
    July 29th, 2007 at 3:51 pm eHappy Birthday, Amy. And an un-eventful under-going.
  5. Robert Says:
    July 30th, 2007 at 3:30 am eHappy birthday, fellow Augustian. And good luck with that minor procedure.

    General anesthetic is kinda funny – like someone just stops the tape, fast forwards your life, and hits “play” again. Nothing to it. Just kinda hilarious to realize the tape’s been running for a bit without you watching the screen.

  6. Rachel Mallino Says:
    July 30th, 2007 at 11:45 am eAmy, Happy Birthday! Mine is the 5th!! Leos rule. As for going under – time goes by quickly, you won’t even know you had a procedure. Enjoy the sleepiness of it and make sure someone is with you to drive you home. =)
  7. Ana Says:
    July 30th, 2007 at 2:49 pm eYou may not know the tricks, but you’ll always have yo bling.
  8. john sakkis Says:
    July 30th, 2007 at 4:07 pm ebat for lashes is playing tonight at cafe du nord in san francisco with kings & queens…i like kings & queens…
  9. Amy King Says:
    August 1st, 2007 at 5:43 pm eThanks ya’ll!

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AMY KING View All →

Amy King is the recipient of the 2015 Winner of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) Award. Her latest collection, The Missing Museum, is a winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. She co-edited with Heidi Lynn Staples the anthology Big Energy Poets of the Anthropocene: When Ecopoets Think Climate Change. She also co-edits the anthology series, Bettering American Poetry, and is a professor of creative writing at SUNY Nassau Community College.

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