Video of the Day


Alex Carnevale

Features Editor
Mia Nguyen

Reviews Editor
Ethan Peterson

This Recording

is dedicated to the enjoyment of audio and visual stimuli. Please visit our archives where we have uncovered the true importance of nearly everything. Should you want to reach us, e-mail alex dot carnevale at gmail dot com, but don't tell the spam robots. Consider contacting us if you wish to use This Recording in your classroom or club setting. We have given several talks at local Rotarys that we feel went really well.

Pretty used to being with Gwyneth

Regrets that her mother did not smoke

Frank in all directions

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais

Simply cannot go back to them

Roll your eyes at Samuel Beckett

John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion

Metaphors with eyes

Life of Mary MacLane

Circle what it is you want

Not really talking about women, just Diane

Felicity's disguise

Live and Active Affiliates
This area does not yet contain any content.

Entries in lindsey boldt (3)


In Which We Explain Critical Theory To Others


Post Breakup




According to the archive of my lately much neglected blog, I began writing titty poems in July of 2008. I was newly single and fresh off my first post-breakup rejection, full of repressed rage and burning everything at both ends. I had been living in San Francisco for a year and a half, all the while busy proving that I was more than the latest piece of ass to arrive fresh off the boat into Poetry Land.


Everyone Loves a Straight Girl


Friday fuck-face

weather-beaten clamshell

sand in (send in) your oyster

I got pearls up in mine


Sitting around a kitchen table in The Mission District among poets, and frustrated that I wasn’t being taken more seriously by the male poets of “the community”, I asked the poet Suzanne Stein how my friend Alli Warren and I being the youngsters on the scene at 25 might avoid being seen as merely choice pieces of fresh meat. We wanted men to gangway in conversation, rather than remarking solely on our outfits or taking it upon themselves to explain critical theory to us. We wanted to talk about our writing projects, not be scanned from head to toe by someone so drunk he can hardly stand. This was less of a problem for Alli as she was already well established in the scene, having given many readings and published several chapbooks, but I wanted an accomplice and she didn't protest. After listening patiently, Suzanne looked me in the eye, and answered sternly, “You have to use whatever power you have.”


This made sense to me.



Alli and our friend Michael Nicoloff, also from my hometown Olympia, Wa, had recently come out with a collaborative chapbook, Bruised Dick. One night, in a different kitchen, in Oakland, while a party raged (or fumbled) in the next room, I began to drunkenly tell Alli and Michael, who does not drink, how I loved their chapbook but I was sick and tired of poems about dicks. Why were there so many poems with the word "dick” in it? What was so provocative about dicks? Why didn't anyone ever write about vaginas and tits? Which, God, there must have actually been tons of, but apparently I couldn’t think of any besides Victorian drivel about pale white bosoms. What I wanted was the poetic equivalent of Bikini Kill’s “Suck My Left One,” which I would blessedly find later in the prose work of Dodie Bellamy and Kathy Acker. Alli or Michael must have mentioned Dodie’s Cunt-Ups, which I had not yet read. I continued to protest loudly.

Which, if you’re quick to judge, might answer the question of, why wasn’t I being taken more seriously by “the poetry community”?, but please remember that this was a party and I was doing my very best to perform belligerance.

Alli, with whom I was sharing a flask of whiskey, laughed into her hand and shook her head, while Michael, soberly egged me on.

“Okay, Lindsey. Maybe you should write some 'titty poems'.”

“I could write a ton of poems about tits.”

“If you write a book of titty poems, I will publish them,” Michael suggested, folding his arms and leaning against the doorframe to survey my drunkenness from his typically sober pose.

“All right then, I will.”


Unlike so many plans hatched under the influence of Ancient Age (Bourbon), I remembered Michael’s challenge the next day and did begin writing a series of Titty Poems. Writing short, witty poems that I would later be told weren’t “complicated enough” felt a bit naughty amidst a community so set on disjunction and since I was too busy dodging sexual advances from awkward male poets and too awkward to make any advances myself to actually have any sex, I had to get my kicks somewhere.


Celibatory Handshake


I’m keeping the dick out of my mouth

just long enough to learn to say my own name


At home, in the sanctity of my room, I thought of breasts as beacons. From behind them, the chest emits a warm glow, probably a chakra thing, attracting some lecherous moths but also communicating with fellow beacons by way of semiphor: pulsing lights speaking silent code.




a device at a fixed location that, upon receiving a pulse,

transmits a reply pulse that enables the original sender

to determine his or her position relative to the fixed



blink blink


It was from there, about an inch or so within my chest, where I began to build up a store of energy and power that the poems emerged. I would sit at my desk, stationed in a corner of my tiny cave of a room, usually late at night, and concentrate on that spot inside my body. I curled over my laptop in a C shape, wrecking my spine, and channeling all of that, what I realized once I finally got laid after six months, sublimated sexual energy into very short two and three line poems like a satellite dish. Like Bruce Lee's famed punch — I aimed one inch inside the reader’s chest — get in, get out, sit back and watch the destruction. Poetry works that way too. From one chest to another. 


He’s What I Want in My Pants


I’ll tell you everything

if you just ask

but don’t go, Jason Waterfall

I’m doing weird social things that I don’t mean to


and so I creep


Inspired by the biological ownership of breasts and the children's book Bread & Jam for Francis,  Titties for Lindsey was written in response to lived experience within a particular predominantly female body in the Bay Area under Capitalism. You purchase the book from Brandon Brown’s OMG! press here: (http://ohemgeepress.blogspot.com/)


Lindsey Boldt is the senior contributor to This Recording. She is a writer living in Oakland. You can find an archive of her writing on This Recording here. You can find her website here.


"Tell Me So" - Bikini Kill (mp3)


"Hamster Baby" - Bikini Kill (mp3)



In Which The Hardest Thing In The World Is To Live In It

The World Doesn't Care


My high school therapist recommended against reading Sylvia Plath, specifically The Bell Jar. Why? Because I related too much. I wonder what my current therapist would say about reading Dorothea Lasky’s Thunderbird. I should give her a copy and find out.

Lasky announces her love of Plath in the epigraph that opens the book and again in the poem, “Death and Sylvia Plath."

...I wonder afterwards,
Why do young women like Sylvia Plath?
Why doesn’t everyone?

This strikes me as a supremely bold move. Why? Because throughout my short time in Poetry Land, Sylvia Plath has been referenced only as a punch line, a means of scoffing at “sincerity” and “confessional” poetry. Plath is simplistic, juvenile, someone young girls read, as if being a young girl is the most embarrassing kind of person to be. Hello, right grrrl. Her emotionality is direct, cathartic, completely unironic. She does not dissemble, does not dilute her emotions for the comfort of others, she is the picture of a "Crazy Woman."

My high school therapist also suggested that I stop drinking, smoking pot, watching cerebral dark foreign dramas (a designation my current Netflix preferences often skews towards) and spending so much time taking black and white photographs. Why? Because none of it was really helping with the ol’ depression.

I wonder what Dottie Lasky would say. Maybe:

Why it is a black life
Because nothing is permanent
And everything goes on and on not meaning anything

and then

Because I say things
in the simplest way possible
and am constantly misunderstood

Because sometimes you (I) feel dead and it feels great to have someone else say that they feel dead too.

The poems in Thunderbird inspire a deep sense of recognition in me for this reason and they induce an almost immediate dark trance state, which I like to call The Darkside. I like to joke about it, because when it comes on, it is so laughably complete and entire. When I cross over to The Darkside, everything is completely and utterly fucked, even kittens and babies - especially babies. Usually it takes a heavy internet trawl of “the news”, a bout of family drama or an interminably long poetry reading to get me to cross over these days, but Lasky’s poetry gets me there in just under eight lines.

Baby of air
You rose into the mystical
Side of things
You could no longer live with us
We put you in a little home
Where they shut and locked the door
And at night
You blew out

Woosh! I’m sixteen reading The Bell Jar, dutifully popping Zoloft, lugging my dead father’s five pound Minolta camera around my neck, hiding out in the red glow of my makeshift darkroom and waiting for an opportunity to get drunk on two beers and pass out. I’m the baby of air! I’m the one trying to keep the baby from blowing away! I’m both at once! Bahhhhh...

I don’t know if this is a feeling I necessarily want, but the fact that Lasky can do this to me in eight lines is stunning. It’s a full-body experience, like one of Lasky’s friends, poet CAConrad’s somatic exercises (collect dirt from the base of one of the trees in Emily Dickinson’s yard and rub it all over your body, leave it on for a week, then write a poem) in reverse, e.g. write a poem that induces a anxious dissociated floating head state in your reader, inspiring her to crawl under the covers and introspect.

This makes me wonder what Lasky might eat, drink or perform to put herself into the state that produces these poems. Does she dress in bright orange or apply iridescent purple polish to her nails, like I have seen her do and have felt enveloped and buoyed by? Does she enclose herself in a small room and turn off the lights? These poems affect me so bodily that I have to wonder what happens to her body to produce them. Would I wonder the same if she were not a woman? People rarely seem to wonder aloud about male poet’s bodies. Maybe not, but having a (female) body that I often feel distant from is just another in a cluster of points of relation these poems contain.

Whoosh! I’m twenty-five, slumped in bed with a glass of Jameson watching “Berlin Alexanderplatz” (cerebral dark foreign mini series) at 2 a.m. with all the lights off, barely getting it up to keep my chin off my chest.

No, but there’s more to it than that. Lasky puts me right in that spot I hate to find myself in, but return to so readily. The “I” of her poems keeps finding herself in this place too as in the poem, “Death and Sylvia Plath”:

I am not alive
No, I am no longer breathing
I don’t live in this world
I already live in the next

Or in the later poem “Reality”:

You think of this world
I am in the next

I know the white world
Where I have no eyes

I know what it is like
to float without space

I went over to The Darkside during a very long poetry reading last spring while Dottie painted my nails. We sat with our backs against the rear wall of the Poetry Project and passed a bottle of something between the three or four of us. It was the poetry and maybe a little of the bottle of something not Dottie that caused me to cross over. When I’ve listened to more than two hours of poetry, it all begins to sound the same. As the seemingly never ending parade of poets went on, I quietly began to grind my ax inside myself and soon poetry became all a bunch of privileged white folks (accurate in this case) jerking our imaginations off with words, turning around so we can take turns patting each other on the back while no one else notices… whoosh! and my reason for living was sucked from me, leaving me a crappy, grumbling husk. I am a poet, so when poetry, the thing I have built my life around, becomes utterly meaningless and arbitrary, so does everything else. To survive the reading, I stared at the purple and green galaxies of my fingernails, put there by Dottie, and burrowed into the center of my brain and thought about deep, dark space.

But what is incredible about this book, is that it reminds me how powerfully active this space is, that deep dark center of the brain Lasky so often describes in vivid greens and blues. This is where she finds lions, tigers, the devil and her father. I don’t know anything about chakras but I would say something about a power center. It’s a place to blow on your own flame.

These poems would fail if there were even a hint of irony in them. Instead, Lasky takes what we might write in our notebooks after a bad day and pushes further, takes on that voice without reservation so we can reckon with it fully. When it is this embodied, we can converse with it without all of the self-depricating hemming and ha-ing. Lasky finds the wherewithal to find what The Darkside provides. Rather than dipping in, taking a few souvenirs and heading back to write from the comfort of the living; she stays, lets it seep in and then reports, not from this side, but from that side.

I can’t help but hear Lasky’s voice when I read her poems. I heard the poems in Thunderbird before I every read them. Earlier in the evening of the interminable poetry reading, I read with Dottie at a bar in Brooklyn. If you haven’t heard Dottie Lasky read, go look her up on PennSound and if you haven’t seen her read in person, invite her to read at your reading series (start one if you have to). Just like her book, her voice creates a world unto themselves, one that envelopes you in its own interior logic, commanding your full attention. Her reading style presents a bit like the shrill monotone an elementary school kid reciting a monologue for the school play but...from beyond the grave. As in, the child is dead and has something very important to tell us all.

The world doesn’t care if you grow up and the only thing
Keeping you in place

Is the devil
But I care

But I care if you are hungry
The world doesn’t care
But I care

The world doesn’t care
But I do

This is probably the most comforting thing I can think of.

Having these poems read to you by Dottie Lasky in person is a different experience than reading them in bed by yourself, as I did. She is an energizing force, demanding of her readers, not of attention to her person in particular, but to their own lives, to their imminent possible deaths and the highly precarious state of living they’re in, temporarily, right now.

In college I was led to believe that poetry should not make a reader feel anything because that would be manipulative and thus fascist and thus we would be just like Goebbels whipping the German public into a murderous frenzy. Adorno and his fractured, stuttering insistence on saying nothing, was king. Paul Celan and his ability to express the inexpressibility of language through silence was the ultimate. I love that shit. But wow, if it isn’t gratifying to have Lasky, someone living now, through late capitalism’s cataclysmic fury, from within the center of empire, acknowledge our fucked state and still speak from it. We do have to live here somehow, if we do in fact choose to live here.

Lindsey Boldt is the senior contributor to This Recording. She is a writer living in Oakland. You can find her website here. She is the author of "Oh My, Hell Yes" and Overboard and recently co-edited a book of homages to the poet Etel Adnan titled Homage to Etel Adnan.

"Recoil" - New Order (mp3)

"I've Got A Feeling" - New Order (mp3)


In Which They Are Almost Perfect As Pants Go

You can find the archive of our Saturday fiction series here.

Professor Pants


The professor is wearing new pants. You might call them camel colored. In fact the word camel springs to the tongue as if it were invented specifically to describe these pants. CAMEL: The “k” of the C, the breadth of the A, followed by the slow ride down to a soothing M and then a lazy slip of an L at the end.  Camel.  They look soft, like the sound the M and the L make in combination. If you ran your hand down their length, the fabric would feel just like that. You wouldn’t though, run your hand down their length, that wouldn’t happen. 

Something about their shape calls to mind The Little Prince, the fitted waist and slight flare at the feet. They are almost perfect, as far as pants go. 

During a smoke break, everyone is talking about them.

“Did you see those pants?” 

“So stylish.” 

Everyone is confused, surprised, bemused even. When the professor passes someone says, "Nice pants." Not in a snarky way but with genuine appreciation. Though we are congenial and feel mutual respect and admiration for one another, “Nice pants.” is not something we would regularly say to him.  It is a special day. 

We have often remarked on our professor’s style to one another. It is something we all have in common — looking at this man sixteen or so hours a week. He tends to dress in button up shirts, slacks, usually pleated, and black leather shoes or hiking boots. We’ve noticed that many visiting male poets sport a similar style:  button up tucked into dark jeans, hiking boots, round-rimmed glasses. Variations include: turtleneck tucked into dark jeans, puffy high-top tennis shoes, glasses. The up-and-coming young NY poet wears something altogether different, maybe turtleneck, blazer, slacks, leather shoes, glasses.

Would a non-beige camel be offended by the term camel-colored? Flesh-colored connotes Caucasian, the peach crayon in the box. Camel signifies a specific sunny beige hue. The color of sand dunes lit at a certain angle, not the dark grey of Pacific North West sand, or the red of the South Western United States. Camel colored sand must be African sand, the sand pictured in the background of a photograph taken with Bedouin rider sporting headscarf. 

The professor tells a story about standing amongst the dunes of a Chinese desert. If he had taken one step further from the path, he says, he would have lost all sense of direction and become lost.  He relates this to the concept of bewilderment. He considers the difference between feeling lost and feeling bewildered. Maybe bewilderment is something we enter into intentionally whereas becoming lost is something that happens by accident. The dunes are the same color as his pants. He stands amongst the Chinese dunes wearing these camel colored pants and a blue shirt that fairly wavers against a blue sky. 

We are enthralled by these pants, their incongruity with our previous idea of this professor’s style, their sleek cut and slight flare, their apparent softness — almost velveteen. Khaki would not begin to describe their color or fabric. He is speaking about the expansion and contraction of language in time, through, over, between times and out of time, navigating the difference in relation between these prepositions and their relationship to language. He utters an especially piquant pun. Soft chuckles all around.

That blue, what do you call it? Sky blue? Whose sky and at what time of day? Not early morning and obviously not evening. Max Ernst would know. It’s all over his paintings. It’s all over California, though looking into a sky that blue sucks in sight and offers no relief. There’s no edge to it, no gradation, no change: it bewilders. How can anything real be really that blue? That must be why the surrealists loved it. We’ll call it surrealist blue. The name of that crayon is surrealist blue.

We have been told that we are terrible schmoozers and it’s probably true. The style of a visiting female poet and her accompanying interest in anime was an especially hot topic a few months prior. She wore a white silk kimono over baggy green jeans tucked into puffy white tennis shoes. A light colored scrunchy held her long brown hair in a pony tale. The author party before her reading was a complete bust as usual. As an attempt at chatting up the visiting writer, one of us struck up a conversation with her about her tennis shoes. We were chided harshly the next day in class. It is clear that we are not ready for the real world.

Does it make sense to feel color in your mouth? Is that something that happens? That surrealist blue causes a distinct presence of sensation in the mouth as if it is being filled with something or that it has unknowingly closed itself around something that fits its interior ridges and concavities completely (perfectly). It is difficult to separate this sensation from the desire for it. Is it that the colors fill the mouth with this sensation or that the mouth wants to eat the colors, to fill itself? Is there a word for the desire to eat colors?

The professor has something to say about desire. He says things about the body too. We listen, nodding, being too young, really, to know the meaning of desire. It is something you learn from having a long stretch of lack.

Combine the sensation of a German "r" rasping in the rear of the mouth approaching the throat, a French "r" that purrs towards mid-mouth and a Spanish "r" flipping in behind the teeth, say them all, make them with the mouth and feel them resonate filling up the mouth and this would approximate the desire. The sight of a lover's clavicle, that shadowy trough, or the curve of a shoulder in chiaroscuro. 

Lindsey Boldt is a writer living in Oakland. You can find her website here. Her play Dating by Consensus, written with partner and collaborator Steve Orth, debuted at Small Press Traffic's Poets Theater 2012. She is the author of "Oh My, Hell Yes" and Overboard and recently co-edited a book of homages to the poet Etel Adnan titled Homage to Etel Adnan.