comment 0

NO : a guided meditation

Sarah Xerta of the Nostrovia! Poetry chapbook contest has shared a powerful guided meditation which you can read for free. Check this out!!!

I look up the etymology of the word No and see it has two elements, ne and aiw, where ne cognates “no, not” and aiw cognates “vital force, life, long life, eternity.” I think about my NNNNNN and OOOOOO/ the line of bricks, the clouds around my ankles/ and feel validated by language/ know I can’t have one without the other/ know that in some ways he was right/ in some ways I will never fully escape him/ in some ways it will always be about him/ this is what happens when someone’s been inside you/ when you go on living anyway.

Read the full poem here

comment 0

The Arts Resistance, Lit Crawl, & Our Traveling Bookstore


Lit Crawl, the finale of LitQuake, is an expansive gathering of writers & creatives bringing “literary mayhem” to the Mission each year.  It’s been heralded by The New York Times as a “specter of writing and literature — literature! — transforming an ordinary Saturday night in the neighborhood into a carnival of sorts.”

The 11th annual Lit Crawl will span over three hours in the Mission District’s Valencia Street corridor, featuring an astonishing 101 literary readings and events, including poetry, fiction, nonfiction, comedy and more, in bookstores, bars, galleries, restaurants, stores, cafés, community spaces, a bookmobile, a vibrator store, and a police station.

One of the most anticipated literary nights of the year, San Francisco’s Lit Crawl attracts close to 10,000 people, and is the world’s largest such event…

Get drunk on words!”

From the LitQuake website

lit crawl sf

The world’s largest literary pub crawl

Nostrovia! Poetry + our traveling bookstore are crossing the continent to kick off our third 2015 tour with The Arts Resistance’s Write Piercingly reading event at Lit Crawl San Francisco.


write piercingly the arts resistance

“…words can be like X-rays… You read and you are pierced…write piercingly. But… Can you say something about nothing?” Aldous Huxley.

Three generations of writers of Afghan, American, Belgian, Canadian, Chinese, and Russian background and diverse belief systems deliver fiery tales of their personal quest for meaning in the context of a collective life. All authors have participated in The Arts Resistance event-actions in 2014-2015 and helped to support various causes: from funding the only US mobile bookstore run by teenagers to fixing a leaking roof in a Nepalese hospital to supporting the LGBT community in Putinist Russia. Always true to their core and with voices recognizable and resounding, our authors bring storytelling and spoken word to their shamanic roots by serving others and transcending the mundane by the power of language.”

From the Write Piercingly event page


Tamim Ansary / Charlie Getter / Yanina Gotsulsky / Simon Rogghe / Xiaojuan Shu / Jeremiah Walton  / Zarina Zabrisky


vadim rokhlin

Vadim Rokhlin – Man Yawning – 1975

The Arts Resistance is an organization using the arts to resist war & injustice in the world, while supporting human rights & creativity.  Their Radical Surrealists Hit The Streets event helped support fundraising for our traveling bookstore, Books & Shovels, during its launch at the 2014 NYC Poetry Festival.

Zarina Zabrisky’s call for action & write up on The Arts Resistance, its origins, and goals, gives an in-depth take on the organization.


books & shovels

our new home

We’re currently in New Hampshire.  On Friday, October 2nd, we were supposed to hit the road after spending the last couple months preparing.  We worked odd jobs, from call centers to dressing up as oreos, to save the funds needed to head from New Hampshire to New Orleans, LA, to Tucson, AZ, and up to San Francisco, CA, for Lit Crawl.

jeremiah walton poet

am I ‘branding’ right?

Well, the day prior to departure, our initial vehicle, a 2002 Dodge Conversion Van, gave out on us.  Without the funds to repair it, we scrapped together our saving to pick up the beauty above, a beaten but well-loved 1992 Camry Station Wagon.  We’re currently jumping into the world of auto mechanics, one we know nothing about, to have the vehicle ready for departure as soon as possible.

Guiding us through the process, a mechanic friend of ours is volunteering his time to beat the tick of 3,132 miles.  We’re looking at not being road worthy till Monday, October 12th.  That throws a wrench in our initial plan for arriving in The City on the 15th.  Well, that familiar wrench is predicating us straight shooting from New Hampshire to California, departing the night of the 12th, to make it in time for the show.

If you’ve been following Books & Shovels since our launch at the 2014 NYC Poetry Festival, you’ll know these sorts of issues are nothing new.  You’ll also know we’re stubborn, and hell or high water, we’ll be at Write Piercingly.

w/ love, cheers!

comment 0

The Taxpayers

the taxpayersGenre: jazz / goof punk

Bio: The Taxpayers kicked off in 2007 in Portland, Oregon.  Starting as a three-piece guitar/bass/drum group, they’re are now seven of them. Rob Taxpayer sings & plays guitar, Noah Taxpayer plays drums, Danielle Taxpayer sings & plays accordion, Phil Gobstopper plays bass, Kevin Lurkins plays trumpet, Alex Saxplayer plays Baritone Saxophone, & Andrew Link plays Banjo.

I saw The Taxpayers live with Ramshackle Glory & Speaker for the Dead in Worcester, MA, in 2013.  All the bands killed it.

Drunk, standing near the back entrance, swaying from side to side talking to another traveling kid, a massive flame burst forward like a red fist from inside.  A dancing crew of trumpets & guitar & accordion & triangles, instruments in the hands of at least twenty goofy kids, followed the flame as another red fist extended from the lips of the kid at the head of the pack.  He poured more fuel in his mouth, jumped forward, and fire, like a lighthouse, lead the group into the streets where they continued playing.

& that was the show’s finale.

Links: Bandcamp / Facebook / Website

I Love You Like An Alcoholic

No Lodging For The Mad

Louisiana Hot Sauce Rainy Nights

comment 0

Three Poems – Dalton Day

I Am a River in the Body of a Person Drowning in a River

I am a river
in the body of a person
drowning in a river.

There are knives buried
in my mud.

There are people buried
in my mud
& I am holding the knives
in my thousand hands.

A girl is cooling
her own hands in my body.

I am a boy
holding her hands
with my river

& the knives are melting
the people are going
& they are clean.

I am given wings
to replace
all my severed hands.

A jaguar is swimming
without a care
in the world.

Double Just to Have
after Raja Gemini

Your head splits open
not in a violent way

there is far too much sun-
to be violent

& the trees

they have begun
to burn

to the sky’s dark dust

without a worry of possibili-
much like you

& your head

with its eyes
& their own impossible
set against the sun

what are you if not a tower
blooming with honeycomb

What are you
if not a tower
blooming with


I think
I can see your skull

I think
I can see flowers

Honeycomb Brocade
after Alexander McQueen

I am wearing a
dress of bees
there are pock-
ets pockets filled with
smoke and ash from which
peaches are growing
from my body
me into ghosts of smaller
& smaller suns
they won’t
stop getting older the bees
are where they are sup-
posed to be
sewn into my
shoulders can you even
see me
through the
do you
think I look like a tree
you could
& keep climbing

while everyone
you love the animals
of the world

wait patiently be-

Dalton Day is a trembling dog person, Pushcart nominee, & MFA candidate in The New Writer’s Project. He is the author of the chapbooks Fake Knife & TANDEM, & his poems have been featured in PANK, Hobart, & Everyday Genius, among others. He helps edit FreezeRay Poetry, Souvenir Lit & can be found at & @lilghosthands.

I Am a River in the Body of a Person Drowning in a River & Honeycomb Brocade were both previously published in [Pank]

All three poems were previously published in Fuck Art, Let’s Dance issue #011

comment 0

Two Poems – Adam Tedesco

At the Mouth of the Cave

He got all messed up on the lord, then brought me fishing.

The best thing about people is they’re all pieces of shit.
The worst thing in the world to be is a person, because
people don’t realize a piece of shit is the perfect thing to be.

I closed my eyes and saw six billion soft serve heads
melting, under an infinity of autistic neurons,
a pile of dead leaves expanding at the edge of orbit,
dead leaves whose life’s blood now fills the punchbowl.

Us pieces of shit, we’re magic.
We turn everything we touch to shit.
Ain’t nothing better than that.

We carried our rods and empties back to the van.
I watched the waterfall disappear between
the back window’s louvers and remembered a dream
I inherited from my next door neighbor, where every
surface is too soft, and every step dents the ground and
if you get caught leaving footprints they take you away to jail.


How to Make a Million Dollars by Always Telling the Truth

Wear the weather as your skin and grow a mouth of ice to melt across your lovers back.

Remember the words you spoke before language. Nurture these into music and wind and perfect canyons of soft heat like safety glass blankets.

Erase the line dividing everything from nothing with a spade and sweat. Do not bury the line or blast it into free fall. Erase the line with swift strokes of curler’s grace and ever deepening pools of patient intention.

Become a patron saint of something you never knew existed. There are so many around you always, planets of purpose float like motes of our dead shells in the sunrays cast across your kindergarten classroom. Suck them into you.

Force your love upon the sky. This sounds easier than it is but is also easier than being born and you already chose to do that. Now find your zenith and climb toward it without moving.

Every inch you rise your fall will pad with currants and currency of nameless vines we were grown from before being born.

Fill your new mansions with stanzas of wild fruit bats and children of forever.


Adam Tedesco has worked as a shipbuilder, a meditation instructor, a telephone technician and cultural critic for the now disbanded Maoist Internationalist Movement. He is a contributing editor to the online literary journal Drunk In A Midnight Choir. His work has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, Pine Hills Review, Similar:Peaks::, dcomP and elsewhere. Links to his work can be found at He tweets at @AdamThomasTed.

At the Mouth of the Cave was previously published at MadHat Lit

Both At the Mouth of the Cave and How to Make a Million Dollars by Always Telling the Truth
were previously published in Fuck Art, Let’s Dance issue #011