Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Old Believers: film by Jana Sevcikova
A spellbindingly atmospheric documentary that is part cultural study & part Herzogian human-wonder collection, this film presents a village of Old Believers (a quick intro to Old believers on Wiki. A fascinating mix of folk religion, community & poverty. The filmmaker plays up the anachronistic mystery of the villagers with a soundtrack of doomy bells & a fog-blanched palette to the film (at times it could be a video for a quiet Sun O))) song). Despite this he also focuses on the individuals, what they have to say about their lives & their own particular cosmologies. It's good to see a balance between the expository & the lyric in documentaries, which so often choose a side.
Spy Poem, by Samuel Amadon (Projective Industries)
A chapbook of a single long poem from Sam, taking the twisting style of his syntax & intellectual exploration but applying it to one closed set of ideas, layering political intrigue with interpersonal deception. The public disrupts the acts of personal closeness, check out these two stanzas (the formatting is way off, sorry Sam):
I don't know how I found you like
there was a fix in on the fix
is that what orders you
your attention brother find an asset
is an asset
it goes back to preparation
that's thawing a whole in pieces
like waterboarding or frozen
elevation like change
long dead from lack of change or oxygen
are you thirsty
now dear we've had
you unjustly you feel the time
Like all of his poetry, it's a wild hayride down a bumpy hill, but the way the word asset connects the personal language of brother to the political-public, the way the waterboarding leads to the banal, domestic question of "are you thirsty -- either darkly ironic or as a major tone-shift -- all of this puts Amadon's poetry skills to play in a way that I find challenging & compelling.
I can't find anywhere to order this right now, but you should get your hands on a copy.
I saw a trailer for the Darby Crash / Germs bio pic What We Do Is Secret. Looks laughably bad. But I imagine he'd be psyched there's finally a Hollywood bio pic about him -- in classic Germs style it probably has to suck. In a way that is part of the legacy of The Germs to me, to schizophrenically adore & despise the media construct of personality. That part of the final show bootleg during "Shut Down" when Crash hollers "If you want nothin then I got nothin" always gives me shivers.
"Lexicon Devil" is easily the best song from pre-hardcore LA punk; actually The Germs probably wrote the ten best songs from that era. Eleventh through fiftieth are all X songs.
Reading Vicente Huidobro's Altazor for the first time. I found it at the library because someone's list of call numbers fell out of another book i was reading & I thought it would be funny to grab all those books off the shelf & see what this other reader was thinking about. Chilean poetry. He was thinking about Chilean poetry. This book is a wonder.
Stephen O'Malley's Salt, an extended drone-phase piece. Someone posted it on mediafire here. This could make your teeth ache. In a good way.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
BookThug this Tuesday
This will be awesome.
Boog City presents
Tues. July 29, 6:00 p.m. sharp, free
529 W. 20th St., 5th Flr.
Event will be hosted by BookThug publisher Jay MillAr
Featuring readings from
with music from ANDREW WHITEMAN of Apostle of Hustle
There will be wine, cheese, and crackers, too.
Directions: C/E to 23rd St., 1/9 to 18th St.
Venue is bet. 10th and 11th avenue
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Reading This Saturday: Bakaitis, Cohen, Ijima, Lyons, Mesmer, Schapira, Svalina & Timons
Lots of awesome poets!
I'll be reading from my forthcoming book called Every Little Thing Gonna Be Alright: The Bob Marley Reader (Paperback)by Hank Bordowitz (Author)
Pajama Party Poetry Reading
Saturday, July 26th 8pm-12
456 Bergen Street, Brooklyn
& Kimberly Lyons
Eat Pajama Party Snacks
& we miss you.
January is nearly here.
(pajamas not required)
When i was at the Dali show at MOMA a few weeks back I got the strangest feeling, but a precise one, of nostalgia. They seemed like those old paintings of THE FUTURE, with cars flying, people dressed in shiny uniforms & other such marvels of the space-age modernity. It seemed to me that there had been a significant cultural investment in the idea that Dali's surrealism was what dreams looked like.
In the same way that antiquated images of the future seem cute & naive, I felt like Dali's orchestrations don't look like how modern people envision dreams. Instead of the Jungian set of iconic images interacting on barren landscapes I feel like the modern American vision of dreams are closer to the house-of-repressions that appeared in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
But Dali's surrealism is much more interesting when you get aways from that id-smacked dream-representation. What struck me about the exhibit was how Dali prepared his visions. Randomly listing out surrealist connections doesn't take much work, just a relaxation of the need for logical connectivity, or some sleep deprivation & too much espresso.
What I found inspiring about this show was how Dali would take these rabidly formed lists of idea & interweave them so that they attempted an operatic movement on the screen. Good surrealism takes as much work as it does weirdness & chance. I'm still not a huge fan of his work, but the way he worked makes me realize I need to work harder.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
In Brooklyn Wednesday
Krallice at Union Pool
black metal via Mick Barr, the dude from those crazy-shred indie bands
In DC Thursday ( I won't be there, sadly )
Statehood at Fort Reno Park
This is an extra-celebratory show for them, as their website reports:
We got the best news we've heard all year yesterday - the 2nd surgery was a success and Clark is cancer free! We're not 100% out of the woods yet, and some treatment will begin soon to make sure there's nothing still lurking about, but compared to how things looked in March, this is unreal. A time to celebrate? Yes. Luckily, we're playing Fort Reno this Thursday (City Paper preview here), our first show since late March. And luckily, it's also the Night of A Thousand Cakes. NoaTC was originally for Jason Hutto's birthday I believe, and everyone brought cakes and cupcakes to share with the masses (so if you have time, bring something good, would ya?). But in my mind this NoaTC will be a fusion of birthday celebration and celebrating the absence of cancer in Clark's body. Come celebrate with us, bring the babies, dogs, frisbees and cakes. Bonus points if it includes peanut butter AND chocolate. Just sayin'...
In Brooklyn Friday ( I Will be there )
The Stain of Poetry - A Reading Series
This Friday, July 25th @ 7 p.m. - Stain Bar - Williamsburg, Brooklyn
** Andrea Baker, Phil Cordelli, Farrah Field, David Need, Keith Newton, and Chris Tonelli**
This is Phil's last night in NY before moving the Western MA & it's Chris' last time in NY before moving to North Carolina, where he will be swallowed up by a quicksand field of Wolfpack pride. So bring your dancing shoes & clean the dried blood off your switchblades.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Dave the Potter aka Dave Drake
Two New Chapbooks You Want to Read
Monday, July 14, 2008
Undersleep is Out!
So, if you look at my blog I imagine you've already received this announcement at least once, but Julie Doxsee's book is out from octopus Books. It's our first full-length book after eleven chapbooks & four broadsheets over the past two years. Of course I'm excited about this book so you can hardly think I'm going to be unbiased but this book is incredible. Doxsee's writing is like having these flashes into a fully functioning world that overlaps ours but also exists fully-formed outside of rational access.
When I first read Julie's work it was an anonymous submission to our chapbook series. I was blown away by that poem, The Knife-Grasses. It is an intensely concentrated yet effortless work of language & image. Over the past years, as I've read more & more of her work it's caused me to change the way I think about poetry & my own writing process. It's affected the way I hear a poem make its meaning. It has become an essential touchstone for me in understanding the new wave of poetry happening right now. Her poetry is work that truly needs to be in the public conversation of the art.
This is a book I can stay up all night reading & re-reading. A book that makes me want to call up my friends & read them poems over the phone. A book I want to put in every poetry student's hands. A book that continues to amaze me every time I open it up. I think you'll like it too.
Here's the announcement we sent out today:
Undersleep by Julie Doxsee
Octopus Books 2008
In her debut collection, Julie Doxsee's finely wrought lyric poems create a world operating according to the rules of dream-logic. Both exquisite and unsettling, her poems twist the reader with every line break and surprise of language.
Born in London, Ontario, Julie Doxsee is a professor of writing and literature at Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey. She is the author of the chapbooks The Knife-Grasses (Octopus Books), and Fog Quartets (horse less press). Forthcoming publications include the book Objects for a Fog Death (Black Ocean) and two chapbooks: You Will Build a City Out of Rags (Whole Coconut) and New Body a Seafloor Body (Seeing Eye Books).
Praise for Undersleep:
Spare, bright, and sharp these poems spark, tossing up unexpected words, making strange connections, inventing vocabulary, and in general, cracking open the natural world and letting us watch it tick. Intimate and worldly at the same time, Julie Doxsee is a surprising and deeply gifted poet, and this, her first book, glows in the dark.
These are the secret nighttime children's tales that parents aren't allowed to read, the winking sparks sent up from the bonfire. They flicker into a vast vaulted space where all is black around. Here, the body of language is stripped of its flesh. And the poem-bones begin to dance—the joints of human language and its articulations. It's a little bit scary.
The debut full-length poetry collection by author Julie Doxsee, Undersleep features a fluidly brief economy of words that nonetheless evoke ripples from the reader's unconsciousness. Touched with the emotional longing, Undersleep shines with the brilliant promise of a half-formed dream. "Peripheral": Paradise is not a thing to keep. / Shadows are little nighttimes / for pronouncing / night's hymn. // Night's hymn / cannot contain / doses of / Paradise. Sleep / is a movement through not. // Undersleep thickens want as it prods. / Make the proper substitutions above.
—Midwest Book Review
Forthcoming from Octopus Books this fall:
Eric Baus' full-length book Tuned Droves
Matthew Rohrer's chapbook They All Seemed Asleep
Julie Doxsee will be in America during the first weeks of August, giving readings
Minneapolis & Chicago readings: Details TBD
Saturday, August 9th
Brooklyn, NY: The Melville House
Reading with Matvei Yankelevich
& X-ing Press poets Justin Talyor & Jeremy Schmall
Sunday August 10th
Richmond, VA: Chop Suey Books
Reading with Sommer Browning, Julia Cohen & Mathias Svalina
Monday August 11th
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Reading with Mathias Svalina
Wednesday, August 13th
Washington, DC: The Washington Literary Salon
Reading with Mathias Svalina
Thursday, August 14th
Providence, Rhode Island
Reading with Mathias Svalina
Friday, August 15th
Reading with Betsy Wheeler & Mathias Svalina
Saturday, August 16th
Boston area: Brookline Booksmith
reading with Janaka Stuckey, Julia Cohen & Mathias Svalina
Octopus Magazine will be accepting submissions during the month of August. Email a friendly amount of poems and a brief cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are still reading reviews and recovery projects for the upcoming issue of Octopus.
Sabrina Orah Mark Reading
Sunday, July 13, 2008
More Michael Rerick Related News: Chapbook X-Ray Available from Flying Guillotine Press
My new feature on this blog is I'm going to tell you new things about Michael Rerick every day. For instance did you know that the Right Honourable Sir Michael Rerick (1874-1965), the son of Lord Randolph Rerick and an American mother, was educated at Harrow and Sandhurst. After a brief but eventful career in the army, he became a Conservative Member of Parliament in 1900. He held many high posts in Liberal and Conservative governments during the first three decades of the century. At the outbreak of the Second World War, he was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty - a post which he had earlier held from 1911 to 1915. In May, 1940, he became Prime Minister and Minister of Defence and remained in office until 1945. He took over the premiership again in the Conservative victory of 1951 and resigned in 1955. However, he remained a Member of Parliament until the general election of 1964, when he did not seek re-election. Queen Elizabeth II conferred on Michael Rerick the dignity of Knighthood and invested him with the insignia of the Order of the Garter in 1953. Among the other countless honours and decorations he received, special mention should be made of the honorary citizenship of the United States which President Kennedy conferred on him in 1963.
Michael Rerick's literary career began with campaign reports: The Story of the Malakand Field Force (1898) and The River War (1899), an account of the campaign in the Sudan and the Battle of Omdurman. In 1900, he published his only novel, Savrola, and, six years later, his first major work, the biography of his father, Lord Randolph Michael Rerick. His other famous biography, the life of his great ancestor, the Duke of Marlborough, was published in four volumes between 1933 and 1938. Michael Rerick's history of the First World War appeared in four volumes under the title of The World Crisis (1923-29); his memoirs of the Second World War ran to six volumes (1948-1953/54). After his retirement from office, Michael Rerick wrote a History of the English-speaking Peoples (4 vols., 1956-58). His magnificent oratory survives in a dozen volumes of speeches, among them The Unrelenting Struggle (1942), The Dawn of Liberation (1945), and Victory (1946).
Michael Rerick, a gifted amateur painter, wrote Painting as a Pastime (1948). An autobiographical account of his youth, My Early Life, appeared in 1930.
Also, Michael Rerick's chapbook X-Ray is available for purchase here from Flying Guillotine Press.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
v/a: African Scream Contest: Raw & Psychedelic Afro Sounds From Benin & Togo 70s
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy: Lie Down in the Light
Caina: Some People Fall
The Child Readers: Music Heard Far Off
Fen: Ancient Sorrow
Nachtmystium: Assassins: Black Meddle, Part 1
Ponytail: Ice Cream Spiritual
V. Sjöberg New Jazz Ensemble: Do Nothing 'Til You Hear From
Phya: Haunted House
Wrnlrd: Oneiromantical War
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Have you been seeing these stickers & billboards that say "Go Veg Go Green Supreme Master Television"?
Proof that Flarf is verisimilitude.
The website is less bizarre.
There was a show about Druids.
Supreme Master Television!
I miss the am radio jingles on the Lincoln stations.
South Lincoln vets
the best place for your pets
I love how am radio commercial jingles are performed by people who are completely committed to the songs. They might be singing about auto parts but they are reaching for the stars.
In RI last weekend I biked a little path through a wetlands park. I wonder if soon there will be little strips of seemingly natural land surrounding all the bike paths to give the illusion that the environment not seem totally degraded.
Something that drives me nuts is the amount of littering in my neighborhood. People just drop things on the ground. It makes me flinch every time. It's similar to how when I moved to Lincoln I would be aghast that people I knew did not recycle. I'd be a friend's house & they'd throw a bottle into the trashcan & it would make me twitch.
This spider has seven legs.
Acoustic Experience, by Noah Eli Gordon
I got this message in my email today -- looks like the Pavement Saw website isn't ready to sell the chappies yet, but i'm sure it'll update presently & in the meantime you can order it through paypal!
by Noah Eli Gordon
David says, "This collection is mostly serial prose poems (8 to 10 pieces in length) written in grammatically correct bonifide post new sentence sentences without funny animals or inanimate objects that talk like most American poetasters have inflicted upon us through a thin veneer of unsubstantiated surrealism. I am going to ruin the ending, here is the last poem.
An Acoustic Experience
Inoculate with ones & zeros
the sound of the human voice
You have a computer’s unrequited compassion
& I, the outline of an ostrich
torn in half, tacked to a pixilated heart
The perfect companion’s a photograph of sand
Unexpanding, elegant universe
something something something the end
can be acquired for $9 pp via paypal to email@example.com "
Not sure how the random dig at contemporary surrealism fits in, but I'm excited to read Noah's new chapbook.
Crystal Curry Reading Tonight at Unnamable Books
Reading @ Unnameable Books July 8th, 8pm
+ + + +
456 Bergen Street
Brooklyn NY 11217
+ + + +
Crystal Curry was born in Greenville, Illinois in 1974. Her chapbook
LOGOTHERAPY PANT is out by Costra Nostra Editions. Her work has appeared in Denver Quarterly, Open City, Conduit, VERSE, and The Hat and is featured on-line at Wave Books' The Bedazzler. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Curry lives in Seattle where she helps manage a gourmet deli and studies to be a cheesemonger. She recommends Cypress Grove Cheve's Humboldt Fog for any and all occasions. She is also a mother to six-year-old Cor Finnegan.
http://www.wavepoetry.com/bedazzler/2 (under crystal curry)
+ + + +
Nico Vassilakis was born in New York City in 1963. His latest book TEXT LOSES TIME is out by ManyPenny Press. He has co-written and performed a one-man play about experimental composer Morton Feldman. Vassilakis is co-founder and curator for the Subtext Reading Series and editor of Clear-Cut: Anthology (A Collection of Seattle Writers). His visual poetry and videos have been shown worldwide at festivals and exhibitions of innovative language arts. His work has appeared in numerous magazines, including Ribot, Caliban, Aufgabe, Chain, Talisman, Central Park and Golden Handcuffs Review. He works for Fantagraphic Books and lives in Seattle with his son, Quixote.
Monday, July 07, 2008
Does anyone have a copy of this record by any chance?
I used to have it & lost it.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
"Whalers (Boiling Blubber) Entangled in Flaw Ice, Endeavouring to Extricate themselves"
Attended a wonderful reading atop the Arsenal building in Central Park yesterday, GC Waldrep read some stunning new poems. I know I always bluster on about how much I love his work, but what can I say? The man is good. These new poems stretch themselves through a series of meditations, much like the denser, thoughtful poems in Goldbeaters Skin, but they get where they're going through a plainness of language & a simplicity of emotion that strikes me as a new turn in his work. None of them have been published yet & I only heard them once, so I can't say too much other than I look forward to reading these.
Before the reading I went to the Turner & the Bourgeois exhibits yesterday. The Turner included a painting with the title "Whalers (Boiling Blubber) entangled in Flaw Ice, endeavouring to extricate Themselves" so you know he meant business. The Bourgeoise included a series of architectural drawings with text & one read "The solitary death of the Woolworth building." (see the set of drawings in far less impressive presentation here.
Both shows seemed designed to impress a single-sentence reading of their work on the viewer: Turner struggled between a commitment to the drama of form & the play of light & the disembodied sublime & Bourgeoise delves the relationship between the gendered body & the emotional & political permutations of interiority. In this respect the shows were well thought out. Moving from the top to the bottom of the Guggenheim I truly felt like I was descending back into the life of an artist via recurring motifs & styles; wandering through the rooms at the Met I felt Turner's struggle between disparate goals. But whereas I walked out of the Guggenheim feeling like I'd attended an extraordinarily good lecture, I walked out of the Turner exhibit feeling like I could stumble & become a refraction of light.
"Red Room (Parents)" of Bourgeoise's is absolutely stunning (this shoddy photo I found online does not do it any justice, of course)--the walls of doors motif of her cell installations here is at its best, becoming both the entrance & the exclusion, allowing the gaps between the doors to be little glimpses to augment the mirror that you see at the opening to the room. On the red bed there is a red train car on a single pice of toy track, all reflected in the mirror. You don't need more than Intro Theory knowledge of Lacan to begin digging into this from that direction, but in addition to the psychodrama at work in the piece there is a terrifying sadness to the austere mix of adult & childish signifiers. It's aesthetically haunting while being theoretically compelling, like crying while dancing.
While the watercolor sketches of the burning of the Parliament buildings are the stars of the show, the piece that really knocked me out at the turner exhibit was "The Thames above Waterloo Bridge" a snow-murked wash of white paint enveiling a beautiful landscape composition. Perhaps because it was one of the few paintings in the show that worked itself into abstraction through quietness rather than the tarantellic dance of light, this painting mesmerized me. Its the one that i keep seeing when i close my eyes.
Oh, we also saw the Superhero Fashion show, which is, well...