Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Daniil Kharms, trans. by Matvei Yankelevich
In the New Yorker.
Monday, July 30, 2007
The new issue of Octopus is online. It’s all prose about poetry.
Paige Ackerson-Keily's In No One's Land, Geoff Bouvier's Living Room, Evan Commander's A Thing and its Ghost, Katie Degentesh's Anger Scale, Danielle Dutton's Attempts at a Life, Sandy Florian's 32 Pedals & 47 Stops, Graham Foust's Necessary Stranger, Peter Gizzi's Outernationale, Shafer Hall's Never Cry Woof, Christian Hawkey's Citizen Of, Andrew Joron's The Cry at Zero: Selected Prose, Joseph Lease's
Broken World, Ben Lerner's Angle of Yaw, Mark Levine's The Wilds, Susan Maxwell's Passenger, Catherine Meng's Tonight's the Night, Eileen Myles' Sorry Tree, Geoffrey G. O'Brien's Green and Grey, Cole Swensen's The Glass Age, Sarah Vap's Dummy Fire & Jon Woodward's Rain
Hadara Bar-Nadav, Nathan Bartel, Claire Becker, Lily Brown, DJ Dolack, John Ebersole, Anna Eyre, Elisa Gabbert, Matt Gagnon, Heather Green, Anne Heide, Alisa Heinzmann, Dan Hoy, Melanie Hubbard, Gina Myers, Adam Peterson, Brett Price, Brandon Shimoda, Mathias Svalina & Joshua Marie Wilkinson.
Recovery projects of
Joseph Ceravolo's Transmigration Solo,
Robert Duncan's The Opening of the Field,
John Lillison's Pointy Birds and Other Pointy Creatures,
Jack Myers' I'm Amazed That You're Still Singing,
N.H. Pritchard's The Matrix & Eecchhooeess,
Stan Rice's Some Lamb
& Robert Sullivan's Star Waka.
Hugh Behm-Steinberg, Sommer Browning, Keith Newton,
Craig Perez, Nate Pritts, Zachary Schomburg & Amish Trivedi.
Geoff Bouvier, Kathryn Cowles, James Engelhardt,
Ian Ganassi, Dean Gorman, Noah Eli Gordon,
Anthony Hawley, Karla Kelsey, Sam Starkweather
& Gabriel Gudding.
And design by
We’re taking submissions for Octopus #10:
During the month of August we will be reading
submissions of poetry for issue #10.
Send poems in one MS Word attachment
Click on the ABOUT link in issue #9 for more details.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
New Translation Titles From Action Books
a message from ab:
We are thrilled to announce the arrival of two new Action Books, with a third on the way. These books are full of strange shapes and new inflections for you to bend your ear and mind around. They are available at SPDBooks and for a special price at www.actionbooks.org.
*You go the words* by Gunnar Björling (1887-1960), translated by Fredrik Hertzberg: "A milestone in the annals of experimental poetics."—Marjorie Perloff. "Fredrik Hertzberg's revelatory translations make palpable the syntactically sprung, emotion-rent verse of one of the great Scandinavian Modernist poets."—Charles Bernstein. Explore the linguistically radical work of the poet known as the "Gertrude Stein of Scandinavia" and "Europe's last Dadaist."
*lip wolf* by Laura Solórzano (b.1961), translated by Jen Hofer: This linguistically and emotionally charged volume is contemporary Mexican poet Laura Solórzano's first English-language collection. Jen Hofer's translation conducts the frisson and friction of the original into English while tempting us out onto the fitful, outermost limbs of language. With an introduction by Dolores Dorantes. Of lip wolf, Monica de La Torre warns: "Readers, beware: You are about to go into the lion's den."
Coming next month: Anselm Hollo's translation of *The Edge of Europe* by Finnish Modernist Pennti Saarikoski. Watch this space for more details!
from *You go the words*:
You go the
were you, it was
I know not and
that to your ear
and with eye
just with finger
from *lip wolf*:
To call you thing, cement, swan cistern ascended to the remains
the grass forges in your phobia, frontal and indifferent,
desolate and subdivided in a certain acidity, I have you
anesthetized, dwelling somnambulist of dryness of severe
insufficiency, filthy and injected.
Your slipping toward form. To call you beautiful thing in the slip-cover.
To call you, tuber tearing the cooked rice to shreds
in the radish of insecure salsa, you tauten,
you twist, you inter cement of cistern of thing
scraping itself pallid and light.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Travis Morrison Hellfighters
Stream Travis' new record, All Y'All, in its entirety at his site.
The record comes out August 21.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Last night I hung out with Hungry Wilcox while he was working at Spindle. Wilcox is moving to Chicago soon. That is good for him, they have lots of pizza there & one other thing. It was his final shift at the record store & we listened to lots of records. See below:
We also listened to a Cream bootleg & a Tom Petty bootleg, but i couldn't find the cover images. We also listened to some cheesey chamber-music pop-rock record but i forgot the name. You don't want to know the name of it. It was way worse than Bo Hansson. Wilcox did not like the Helium record. I still like it.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Dorothea Lasky: Awe
this is the book you need to read
& then we’ll talk about it for days
& we’ll read all the poems out loud to each other
& we'll finally exit the antfarm
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Actual Taglines from the Film Predator
If it bleeds, we can kill it...
Nothing like it has ever been on earth before.
It came for the thrill of the hunt. It picked the wrong man to hunt.
Soon the hunt will begin.
Nothing like it has ever been on Earth before. It came from another planet for the thrill of the hunt. It picked the wrong man.
In a part of the world where there are no rules, deep in the jungle where nothing that lives is safe, an elite rescue squad is being led by the ultimate warrior. But now, they're up against the ultimate enemy. Nothing like it has ever been on earth before. It kills for pleasure, it hunts for sport. But this time, it picked the wrong man to hunt.
We cannot see it, but it sees the heat of our bodies and the heat of our fear.
In this movie, Arnold will experience every meaning of the word "Pain."
We are unable to see it, but it smells a bit like Ritz crackers.
The caretaker is out & the miniature French children are about to run wild all over the condominium.
If you ain't got time to bleed then you'll go bananas for Predator!
I'm thinking about changing this blog to a compendium of the best & most Predator-related humor.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Great poems by Hoa Nguyen, Karyna McGlynn & Jonah Winter.
A truly incredible piece by Ulf Stolterfoht, translated by Rosmarie Waldrop.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Man's Last Great Invention Battles The Predator: State Theater, Monday, July 23, 10PM
Man's Last Great Invention, your favorite all-improv epic-dream-core band from Lincoln, Nebraska (& the band I sing with) will be preforming "a very special show" this coming Monday at the State Theater on O Street.
We'll be projecting the film The Predator on the big screen & performing a live score. We'll have the subtitles on so you can read along to all the snappy dialogue.
Doors at 10 or 10:30, free, donations?
A Message from The PInes
Volume Four, the deluxe record-and-book version, is now available through our blog (thepines.blogspot.com) via a new method of payment called Pay Pal. We've finally got the hang of it and now, if you press on the buttons for Volumes Three or Four, we'll send 'em to you. No buttons for Volumes One & Two, 'cause they're sold out. So, needless to say, act now!
Friday, July 20, 2007
Two Things To Improve You
Paul Fattaruso's The Submariner's Waltz
Factory Hollow Press
A terse & hilariously disconcerting story of the dystopic fate of crickets. And families. And sea water. It'll make you laugh like this:
Ha-ha, uhg... uh...
It'll also make you turn around to see if anyone is watching you read it:
My wife tossed a strand of spaghetti, to test it for doneness, against the refrigerator door, and she blew the steam from her fingertips. She is so far away she is just barely anywhere.
When The Captain slept, ever, he dreamt like half a bird in a possum dreams of cathedrals getting woozy in the heat of the desert and watches everywhere syncopating with each other.
I cannot tell my wife's dream. I see them disproportioned, their molecules singular and spread out like indecipherable nearby stars in a day sky.
Once I woke from one where I read in an ordinary floorboard the story of my father's childhood, in the language of the floorboard. I knew the language of everything, each thing saying something more than itself, some formula or history.
The story is propulsive & wildly inventive (you know how a "half a bird in a possum" dreams, right?), but it doesn't have that smarmy, cheeky style in which the story is actively looking to shock & surprise the reader, that grown-up entitled-boy style. The voice is introverted enough that the surprising twists feel like the only next thing this character could think of.
Clark Coolidge's Counting on Planet Zero
Fewer & Further Press
Yes! New Coolidge! Sonics so wiry, your tongue will cramp. References that will leave you searching the encyclopedia & the TV Guide simultaneously. Lines that will make you laugh out loud for the shear joy of language & lines that will hush you, make you clutch the cloth.
Read it beside a lake. Read it in the morning in lieu of espresso. Read it with your espresso. Read it at 3 in the morning by the yellow pale of the alley lights.
These are poems that you get lost inside of: the end of the poem is not the telos. At any point these poems drive you in multiple directions, you mind lingers on the previous sounds as you plummet forward into a new mess of brambles. One set of subjects in no way causes the following ones, but somehow makes way for them. The poems establish a matrix of associations & space.
Which all sounds a bit cerebral. What you'll think while reading these is how damn fun these are. How poetry is not a reification of experience but a creative, engaged experience.
Sorts of the Mesh
Wind in the Tentacles
I turned my pants off and came on red
Buddy Gerkins here has buried his hose
deep in the frittering sideshow of duds
I need them to run that through those
the showstoppers of lead futurity and rhyme
these are thermal troubadours Djangoless
the board buys a huge chunk of their cake
traces of a species going whir
the door to whom is wired to a rectifier
now just don't rush me Jack raise up
a better formation in your shirt tails
wicked pecker rows that snarl and start
this water to smelling like bad weather
a hot planet called Spanish Hand
every vehicle we have eventuated here
I sat and watched your childhood street grow old
meaner and meaner in the fold and slunk
dissolving into strollers to the toot
I lit the juke and rolled it over Elvis
you think this source will go star?
recover my papers from Valhalla?
a pride of clustered lasers hooked to the Bulge
and that distant puddle of fine champagne
any of us would claim to hail from
He offsets the Djangoless, cakey fun, with the sad sentimentality of the street aging. He creates an erratic dynamic of hurtling & pausing, of stutters & flows, reinventing comatose language like "eventuated," "toot" & "Valhalla." And man alive, those last three lines are just gorgeous.
You should probably buy both of these immediately. Quit your job & become a roadie for the Charlie Daniels Band of your dreams.
Pics from My Dad
Thursday, July 19, 2007
What Would Justin Do?
Pretty boy Justin Marks gets interviewed on the Ploughshares blog.
Apparently he used to run with some "losers."
Things To Note
1. Craig Foltz's The States
I got this a little while back & it's been on top of my desk for months. A poem for each of the 50 states, a photograph of the sky from each state. All of them bound together as glossy postcards. A wonderful project, both in that the poems are funny, strange, & emotional, but also in that all the design elements work in concordance with the writing. Each postcard stands as it's own little incursion into the world, but as with any unsent postcard it is also a point of pure potential. I pick it up every few days,when I'm thinking about geography (which I think about far too often as of late) & step into Foltz's brief engagements of the states. Check this one:
the influenza pandemic makes you blow
your knee out. shake and shake. mount
rushmore. billy the kid's placard skips
a wave. electromagnetic fields give time
a reason to break the curve. placate the
alfalfa hay auctioneers. same scenario
for the algerian war. hey bater. gutzon
borglum stabs at a big rock. these five words
lead to. south dakota. black hills. strip malls
over pasqueflower. hammocks and pliers
instead of an unresolved database. dating
the river sediment with opaque tools. fishing
line and verse. patti's barbless hooks claw
into catch and release season. walleye
are the abstract math. we were looking for
drive thru smoothie stands. though. nebraska
got the best of us. pierre's stones washed
and painted. a sousaphone player leads
the baton contingency. my buttons split
down here. the acceptance speech was i
inadequate and constructed around the
baby teeth we kept hidden. hold up a finger
for each year. hey dakota. your favorite pickup
truck. monsters in the fast lane. chasing
down mag wheels.
2. Nat Pwe: Burma's Carnival of Spirit Soul
A dvd from Richard Bishop, Sun City Girl, Erf-Walker & aesthetic precursor to the wave of psych-folk stuff that crashed a while back & is currently in the drying-tidal pool stage. If you know the cds of Sublime Frequencies then this dvd will make sense, a collection of footage from a Burma festival of ecstatic music & money-clad crossdressers. Unlike a Discovery Channel or ethnomusicological film there is no voiceover, no attempt to interpret or bring the experience into an easily understood or pre-defined state for the viewer. Instead it is a document of human experience. Which of course includes fantastically arrayed crossdreseers with yellow paint on their faces, force-feeding liquor into the mouths of young men who are dancing to ecstatic, transcendent cymbal-banging music. And if your experience does not include this, as mine does not, then maybe we should do something about this. Who's bringing the yellow paint?
3. Sawako Nakayasu's nothing fictional but the accuracy or arrangement (she
A book of phenomenological activity, of stepping into. It's a book recording womens' activities of all sorts, as the Quale Press site puts it the book "catalogs women moving through the world. These women move through mundane activities — tossing out spoiled food, watering plants — that branch out into infinite dimensions of consciousness, memory and sensory experience. The subject herself — simply “she” — is relegated to the title page, allowing the reader to experience her impressions and actions unmediated." Plain-spoken but swirling, engrossing in how the intellectual activity of the book as a thought-experiment becomes the writing, rather than using the writing to serve its goals. You could write a thesis on this book, but it's not a book that is only fun to talk about, it's a book you want to read. They read like fairy tales sucked dry of all the magic & reconstituted with a still self awareness. Witness, this is one page from the book:
says goodbye to another man, a grandfather, time and again as if it were the last--a reasonable knowledge, and how many variations of this--how many parallels
gets accused of wist--gives the easy answer, long distance of her morning, wait, a later dream where drenched in nostalgia and the fleet of it sails a wisp and sunday
burdens up to dreams of another child, all within the thickness of the night--those who come over and eat anything at all, bringing along a residual wind
4. Landis Everson's Everything Preserved
Are the poems precious at times? Does it seem like he's writing for page three of the newspaper at times? Does the 40-some year gap in his writing career make a conveniently catchy story? Yes, yes & yes. However, if they charged $15 for "The Little Ghosts I Played With" I would buy it. Hell, make it $30. Check it:
Now that Santa Claus has left me
What will I do for another?
All the toys lie broken where I threw them.
I play too rough. i don't cherish what I'm given.
I remember his kisses that always forgave me,
Entering my heart like elegant reindeer.
The recent poems are less oriented toward the discovery of the world, but have an emotional confidence so rock solid that gestures that would sound like a bridge to a Lindsey Lohan song in the hands of a less skilled poet will make you drop your glass of grapefruit juice to the kitchen floor. And you in bare feet. Watch out for the slivers of glass.
5. Lucero's Rebels, Rougues & Sworn Brothers
Country-punk, but not in that "ain't we stereotypically badass" Blodshot Records way, Lucero brings the sweatiest, sing-alongin-est live show with them wherever they go & they finally have a record that backs them up. While you'd think fine production would cramp the style of a band that gets by on an overabundance of whiskey-cranked (& -cracked) emotions, this record shows Lucero not only as a band that has hit its mark in musicianship but also as a band that demands the kind of aural depth that a well-manned studio can provide. All those people who crowned The Hold Steady as the heirs to Springsteen should check in with this record & reconsider. These are songs to cry into your Jim Beam to, lyrics that shouldn't be printed & read on the page but that you've have stuck in your head for weeks, trying to imitate Ben Nichols' raspy howl.
6. Model Homes
A new-to-me journal outta Amherst. Includes work by Travis Nichols, Johanna Drucker, Seth Parker, Diana Magallón, Patrick Lovelace, Lesley Yalen, Brian Kim Stefans, Natalie Lyalin, Ted Greenwald, Matina Stamatakis, Ray Hsu, Anne Tardos, Jules Boykoff, The Prize Budget For Boys.
I haven't actually seen a copy yet, but I have shiny heart stickers for the work of Travis Nichols & Natalie Lyalin. And I want to read anything written by "The Prize Budget for Boys." I really hope that is some single person's given name.
Picture him or her at the DMV. "Last name?" "Boys." "First name?" The Prize Budget for." "Date of birth?"
Ok, I guess you didn't really have to picture that. Sorry about the picturing.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
The Cutest Movie Ever?
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Go Read Jay Wright Immediately
Jay Wright is, in my opinion, perhaps the most inexplicably under-read poet right now. Inexplicable because he's been the object of salivating essays by both Bloom & Vendler, he's a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he's won a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Hodder Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, a MacArthur Fellowship, and the Bolligen Prize for Poetry. Dude should have been laureate by now. So why isn't he on the level of readership with Gluck or Pinsky?
So whatever, those accolades don't necessarily mean much when it comes to the real quality of the poems. So his low level of readership is more inexplicable because his work is some of the most twitter-inducingly beautiful & intellectually challenging poetry I have ever read. Look how cheap you can get his collected poems for. Buy it right now, read the whole thing, settle into his red-sunned cosmos & try to follow along as he wrestles the angels down to their logical pistils.
Perhaps he's under-read because he slips between categories. He's an African Ameican poet but has never focused exclusively on identity-based poetry, instead enfolding experience into a broad reach of landscape. He's something of an academic poet, but in his elder years has grown wilder & more intense in his intellectual surrealism. He's a meditative poet, but not in the portentous manner of Milosz or the aerial manner of Graham or the bookish ways of Bernstein. His philosophical struggles arrive via praxis.
Flood Editions has had the good sense to publish a new book of his, Music's Mask and Measure. Order it here. I read it. Read it again. And then read it again. Now it's your turn.
PS: Even Uncle Grumpy begrudgingly admits that Wright has game, though his "inability" to write like Creely, Zukofsky or Taggart should apparently be to his shame.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Remedios Varo, Mary, Diagram, Octopus
I've always loved this painting,Creation of Birds. It seems like the truth to me.
A new journal is up & at 'em: Mary.
Named, perhaps, after my mom.
The interview between Philip Jenks & Graham Foust is very cool. Jenks says:
I like it when poems open up the possible. It needn't be a loving space, but the attendance to the process when done so with care generates an illimitable sublime. That happened recently when I read Alice Notley's Alma, or The Dead Women. I hope poetry can be more than a few things, including a space where history is transmitted through memory and because so much verse is read in private spaces of solitude—I also hope that poetry can initiate the imaginary while simultaneously turning loneliness into solitude.
Anne Heide's work is spellbinding. Check out this poem:
I'd seen the robin
draw out of
and frighten me.
Flight this fact
I am surprised.
New issue of Diagram is up. All fiction!
Go buy Justin Marks' & Julie Doxsee's chapbooks from horse less press. Both of them are fantastic. Both of them carve butter knives out of other butter knives. Justin does not get burnt by the sun.
And speaking of Diagram you might like to read this announcement if you haven't already:
1. The chapbook contest has also concluded for the year, and our 2007 winner is Mathias Svalina, whose manuscript, Creation Myths, will be published by New Michigan Press in Fall 2007 (at which point you'll receive your complimentary copy if you provided a suitable SASE). He will receive $1000.
2. NMP will also publish four of the finalist manuscripts in Fall/Winter 2007/2008:
* Charles Jensen's The Strange Case of Maribel Dixon (prose/mixed)
* Karyna McGlynn's Scorpionica (poems)
* Vincent Zompa's Jacket of the Straits (poems)
* Arianne Zwartjes's The Surfacing of (Excess) Exist (poems)
3. The other excellent finalists were Brent Armendinger, Kate Hill Cantrill, John Estes, Marie Lawson, Josie Sigler, and Leigh Stein. We had an amazing
variety of quality manuscripts to look at, and found another 20 that deserve special mention, though we don't have room here to list them all.
4. Thanks to everyone who entered. The guidelines for the 2008 contest will be posted in Winter 2007.
So that is nice. Props to Karyna McGlynn, we had some dynamite poems of hers in the last Octopus. Speaking of which, issue nine is right around the corner. No joke.
Also, we'll be reading poems for issue 10 in August so get your pressing-send fingers all limbered up & ready to send us more amazing poems.