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Along for the Ride
the note
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Paisley left this note on her car before heading off on her adventure ...

paisley rekdal

Life with Paisley is a fine mix of poetry (of course) Led Zepplin and roast beef ... Read all about it.

The Printed Word

A book you're reading this month
Four books: Koolaids, by Rabih Alamedine; Everlasting Quail, by Sam Witt; Precious Bane (a reread), by Mary Webb; and Felt, by Alice Fulton.

3 favorite books
Impossible to answer, because this changes yearly at least. So this year my three favorite books have to be Dark Blonde, by Belle Waring; God's Snake, by Irini Spanidou; and The Annals of Chile, by Paul Muldoon.

Your favorite poem
This is a tough choice and changes weekly. Right now it's between "Man Watching Thunder," by Rainier Maria Rilke (Bly translation) and "This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison," by Coleridge.

A classic "must-read" book that you couldn't stand
The Sound and the Fury: only the parts where Quentin speaks. I might be the only person in America willing (or stupid enough) to say this, but sometimes Faulkner is a really, really bad writer.

The 3 writers, living or dead, you'd want to have a beer with
Hemingway (so I could gossip about him later), Zelda Fitzgerald (so I could bitch about marriage), and Sylvia Plath (because I've got a serious Plath problem).

The one standby children's book you give to the children you know
I don't know any children.

Name of the book you want to write but know you never will
Naked Ladies, Naked Ladies, Naked Ladies.

Anything you've ever read that changed your mind drastically
Wanderings, by Herman Hesse. I was 16.

Poem you could recite from memory if you had to
"The Archaic Torso of Apollo," Rilke.

Favorite expression or literary analogy you (over)use
"Hope springs eternal," Shakespeare.

The most underrated piece of writing you've come across
Besides mine? I'd say the writing of Lauren Slater.

Magazine, journal, or zine we'd be most likely to find if we searched your bag
The Sun

You're a bumpersticker. You read:
Get off my ass


A favorite song from your adolescence
"Fool in the Rain," Led Zeppelin. That, and "Spirit of the Radio" (Rush) or "Jesse's Girl." Natch.

A piece of music you hate to admit you like
I think I already did.

A song that makes you dance
"Shoop," Salt'n'Peppa.

The kind of music you listen to when doing housework
Right now it's a CD by Marc Rivera. It's this great Cuban-jazz-rock-rap mix. Can't remember the title. Now I can't even remember if I spelled his name correctly. This is because I listen to it so much, I never take it out of the CD player to read the label.

The last CD you bought
Erin McKeown's "Distillation." Great CD.

The album on your shelf with the most worn grooves (metaphorically-speaking if it's a CD)
Two albums: the Sugarcubes, "Stick Around for Joy," and a tape my father bought me when I was fifteen of Mozart's piano concertos. It's one of the few albums that both soothes me and brings me to tears. I was studying piano then, but I was terrible: playing made me feel like I couldn't control my body. The recording my father gave me seemed to be the epitome of control and beauty. Maybe this is why I love it so.

Your favorite venue for live music
I hate going to see live music. I was once a band manager in Seattle (very short-lived, thank God) and spent way too much time in bars, listening to the most hateful live music ever created.

3 tunes you'd include in a soundtrack of your life
The Mozart piano concertos, "Bizarre Love Triangle," and "Hands All Over" (Soundgarden).

Your rock-n-roll fantasy
Licking Chris Cornell all over until his body goes limp like a soft, wet noodle. Oops, did you mean music?

Music you listen to in the car
I don't spend that much time in the car.

Music you woo with
I'm married. I don't woo anymore.

A song you wish you'd written
"You Wiped Your Ass With My Heart" by the Cherry Poppin' Daddies

The instrument you studied as a child
Piano. Sigh.

A tune you like to wallow in
This changes weekly as well. Right now it's "Big Time Sensuality" by Bjork.

Movies, Theater, TV

The last movie or play you loved
I don't get to see many plays or quality movies in Laramie, so I'll have to go with the best cheesy movie I enjoyed, which would be "The Mummy Returns."

Your all-time favorite scene
Almost anything in "Charade." They're making a remake, I hear. Bad Hollywood. Bad!

The best movie to see on a date
I have no freaking idea.

Favorite director
Whit Stilman.

Director to watch
I really liked "The Pledge" by Sean Penn. I think he's really talented.

Most annoying camera technique
The hand-held thing. I had to take migraine tablets after watching "Traffic."

A concept for a sitcom starring yourself
Disoriented professor teaching poetry in small, western town, pursued occasionally by angry moose or brown bears. It probably wouldn't be very funny.

A TV show you can't miss

TV shows you grew up watching
"The Avengers." I have every episode on tape.


Team you follow rabidly
The only sports I watch are those extreme adventure races. My favorite scenes are the ones where someone pukes or breaks down crying and everyone else stands around, trying to figure out if they should kill and eat their fallen companion or just go home.

Back Home

The thing that's changed the most in the place you grew up
Money. In terms of the economy, Seattle has changed so dramatically since the 70's, it's terrifying. So many of the local businesses I grew up with have been bought out by brand-name corporations (or have simply dissolved because they couldn't compete) that the visual landscape throughout downtown and the University District and the Village is totally different. I don't know how my friends who've stayed in the city can afford the rent, let alone the cost of buying a home. It's depressing. This, combined with the traffic, makes it harder and harder for me to visit each year.

The career your parents wished you'd pursue
Law, medicine, electrical engineering, accounting, working as a cartoonist for Hallmark. Anything but writing.

An unusual family tradition
We don't do anything that unusual. Maybe being a tribe of Chinese and Norwegian-Americans is strange enough.

The high school clique you most wanted to be in (or most hated)
I might have missed something, but there weren't that many cliques that seemed appealing to me, then or now.

The neighborhood you live in now is ...
Quiet, studenty, dog-friendly.

The pressing cultural issues in your neighborhood ...
I live in Wyoming. There are no cultural issues.


Your favorite Web sites
Interracial Voice - A fascinating website.
Feed - I can surf for hours on this.
Spike - Interesting articles and reviews.
One Fine Yarn - I just bought some knitting supplies from them. Big fan now. Huge. - This is Poetry Daily. Great site. Great. And, hey, here's me!
Nerve This is a really slick little rag that appears in print and on the Web. I wrote in the 8/15 issue. I'm a "Diary" selection. I have to admit, I also really dig the magazine.
Crazy Horse - A poem by me in a journal I like.
U of Wyoming Poetry - I like this website because I designed it. Frankly, that's about the only reason to like it, since the production aspect of the whole thing (admittedly) sucks. But I'm a technoboob, and this is the best I can do to try and provide an outlook on the poetry scene in Wyoming as a whole. Notice, if you will, how little is happening.

Name 3 things on your current to-do list
1. Finish essays on sex, violence and travel,
2. Wash kitchen floor,
3. Design web site

Describe your favorite teacher
David Baker. Hands-down one of the smartest, most compassionate teachers of poetry I've ever met. He's the kind of person who makes criticism-even severe criticism-seem like a blessing.

Name your pet peeve
Right now it's people who talk in racial code words. These are people who would be horrified if you accused them outright of racism, but still say things like, "I need to leave California. It's getting so… crowded in my neighborhood." Or, "I don't like the school my child is attending. I think the standards are slipping because there are so many children entering who aren't… prepared." I was just at a writer's conference where a fellow writer (white, male, young) started complaining to me about all the academic jobs going to questionable candidates, because, well, hiring these days is so political. And no one cares if these candidates are really deserving anyway. Grrr.

A meal of your comfort foods would include ...
Meat loaf, chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, crème brulee.

Interest of yours that would most surprise the people who don't know you well
The knitting shocks most of my friends.

A good story about a pet
I have a dog named Shumai, the light of my life. But I promised him I'd protect his privacy, so I can't tell you anything more about him.

You are a technophobe or technophile ...
A little of both. I'm a technoboob trying to learn what I can.

What delights you most
Cross-country skiing, sleeping in, roast beef.

Your ideal death if you could choose
Dying in my sleep, painlessly, when I'm very very old and wise (but not suffering from incontinence or dementia) after eating a really fantastic meal.

Your tombstone might read
Wasn't she great?