Tuesday, September 30, 2008
i want to go to this
Please join THE ST. MARK'S BOOKSHOP READING SERIES on Thursday, October 2nd, as we invite poets Joshua Clover, Simone Muench and Philip Jenks to the Solas stage.
JOSHUA CLOVER'S book of poetry The Totality for Kids is currently being translated into Polish and his critical book on The Matrix was recently published in Czech. He has just completed a book on pop music and the fall of the Berlin Wall, 1989: Bob Dylan Didn't Have This to Sing About.
SIMONE MUENCH'S second book Lampblack & Ash received the Kathryn A. Morton Prize for Poetry (Sarabande Books, 2005). Her latest chapbooks are Orange Girl (dancing girl press, 2007) and Sonoluminescence written with Bill Allegrezza (Dusie Press, 2007). She works collaboratively with Philip Jenks, with poems appearing in The Canary, Zoland, Eleven Eleven and others.
All St. Mark's Bookshop events are free to the public.
PHILIP JENKS'S latest book of poetry, My First Painting Will Be "The Accuser," was released by Zephyr Press. He works collaboratively with Simone Muench and plays regularly with recording artists The Howling Hex.
It begins Thursday, October 2nd, at 7:30 PM sharp, at SOLAS BAR (232 E. Ninth Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues).
For more information go to www.noslander.com/stmarksbookshopreadings.html, contact Greg Purcell at firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by St. Mark's Bookshop, at 31 Third Avenue, near Ninth Street.
Steven Karl who?
So I'm not sure why I'd never heard it before but Mary Lou Williams' album Mary Lou Williams Presents Black Christ of the Andes is knocking me out. Shifting from gospel choral to cool-bop to weird avant takes, this is a beautiful mess of a record. If she was a man would this record be on every hotlist? I don't know. It's pretty damn fine, though.
Here's one of the more straight recordings on the album.
Speaking of music blowing me away, I was a little late to the Nico Muhly party, but the Mothertongue section of his latest album, Mothertongue, is probably the best new composition I've heard all year.
Some other goodies of late:
Keith Fullerton Whitman: Antithesis
Cardboard Village: Sea Change
Eddie Gale: Ghetto Music
the live stuff on Steve Earle's Copperhead Road deluxe reissue
Aethenor: Betimes Black Cloudmasses
Terkaft: Akh issudar
TV on the Radio: Dear Science
Polk Miller & His Old South Quartette
Gang Gang Dance: Saint Dymphna
Como Now: The Voices of Panola County, MS
Monday, September 29, 2008
My Latest Trite Observation about Living in New York
All my social observation in NY happens in the subway, which makes sense since it is a place where people have to come into contact.
An older guy with a grey ponytail was drinking a tall boy out of a brownbag, talking to a woman who had a heavy Russian accent.
He said I'm sick of how they don't speak American
The woman with the heavy Russian accent agreed.
The train car was full of Hispanics & Asian-Americans. And I was there too.
He said: I called some company's help line & they couldn't even speak American.
The woman with the heavy Russian accent agreed in commiseration.
Then the older guy with the grey ponytail imitated the man on the phone: How do you do today? His imitation sounded like an Indian accent. But he also used a more proper pronunciation, as if to speak with precise elocution is somehow not American.
Then he said in his own voice, in response to his own question: I'm pissed! My phone isn't working!
Then he said: And then he said: I'm sorry I did not understand you sir, could you please repeat your problem?
And then he said in his own voice: Then I said: I said I'm pissed! My goddamned phone isn't working!.
And then he said in his imitating-Indian-accent voice: I'm sorry to hear that, sir, but there is no need to yell.
And then he said: No need to yell? Speak American!
The woman with the heavy Russian accent agreed with him.
When the two of them got off the train he left his empty tall-boy below the seat.
People make a lot of social observations in the subway because they are always being watched by the posters & ads. There are so many ads with faces on them.
Many of the posters have their eyes ripped out, revealing the layers of posters below them. It's pretty creepy. Every time it's creepy.
On many of the posters kids with Sharpies have scrawled flying dick&balls aiming at the faces. Regardless of whether the people in the ads are men or women, happy or penitent, there are dick&balls flying at their faces.
When I was young I used to try to read under my covers with a flashlight, but it was too confusing. So I just kept the light on & read in bed. My parents never told me to turn it off, so I could read all night.
I think that for each of us there is a dick&balls out there somewhere, flying through the rainy nights, flying through the empty excesses of space, searching for our heads, waiting until we are at our most public, when we are on display among thousands of people who just want to get home & change out of their work clothes.
Eventually your own flying dick&balls will find you.
PoetryPolitic: A Blog in 50 Days & State of the Union
You probably already know about this anthology from Wave Books. It is one of the more interesting anthologies I've read in a while, short enough to remain focused & wildly disparate enough to actually make an argument for what a political poem can do for a thinker. I'm in it, so I feel like I can't talk too much about it. But you should check it out, or if you come over to my apartment I'll give you my last contributor copy.
I can't stop thinking about Caroline Knox's poem in the book. It's a great example of a poem that outside of being contextualized as a "political poem" I may not have read the same way, but becomes breathtaking within the conversation of this book. It's also in her new book, which is, uh, also available from Wave Books.
Wave is also running a blog along with the book, www.poetrypolitic.com. The focus is on the the poetics of politics & it will update every day for 50 days.
They reprinted one of my favorite poems from one of my favorite poets, Lara Glenum a few days back (a poem that originally appeared in Octopus, by the way). It's a poem that is such an intense verbal experience that I fell in love with it before having parsed out its meaning. The first time I read it the clash of sound was such an inviting cacophony that I had to read it over & over again & then like bodies floating up from the cold bottom of an icy river the meaning surfaced.
There is going to be another reading for the anthology in NY soon & I think I'm reading at it.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
This Seems Like a Good Idea
An Evening in Celebration of Phill Niblock's 75th Birthday
TRIBUTE TO PHILL NIBLOCK
Wednesday, October 1 at 7:30
ANTHOLOGY FILM ARCHIVES
32 SECOND AVENUE NEW YORK, NY 10003; (212) 505-5181 fax (212) 477-2714
Anthology presents an evening in celebration of intermedia composer, artist and pillar of the downtown arts community Phill Niblock, on the night before he turns 75. A multitude of artists from among the hundreds Niblock has worked with, produced or befriended over his forty-plus-year career in the art and contemporary music world will present brief interventions in tribute to his life and oeuvre. Ranging from live performances in dance, poetry and music, to film and video works, to recorded music or performance, this promises to be a truly one-of-a-kind intermedia night.
Participants include many musicians, performers, writers and media artists, among them: Elaine Summers, Gerd Stern, Sally Gross, Sally Silvers + Bruce Andrews, Anne Tardos, Steve Dalachinsky + Okkyung Lee, Yuko Otomo, Jozef Cseres, Thomas Buckner, Jens Brand + Dan Evans Farkas + Ben Manley + Volker Straebel, hans w. koch + Bettina Wenzel, David First + Tom Hamilton, Shelley Hirsch + Ursula Scherrer, Alan Licht + Andrew Lampert, Micheal J Schumacher, Dave Gearey, Jim Staley, David Watson + Matt Welch, Alexandra Dementieva, Esther Venrooy, Robert Poss, Elliot Sharp + Janene Higgins, Chris Mann, Mary Jane Leach, Irina Danilova, Peter Shapiro, Astrid Klein, Katherine Liberovskaya + Al Margolis + Michael Delia ...
Organized by Katherine Liberovskaya with help from Al Margolis and Peter Shapiro.
To request an image or further information about Phill Niblock, please email Stephanie Gray: email@example.com
About Anthology Film Archives: Founded in 1970, Anthology's mission is to exhibit, preserve, collect documentation about, and promote public and scholarly understanding of independent, classic, and avant-garde cinema. Anthology screens more than 900 film and video programs per year, publishes books and catalogs annually, and has preserved more than 700 films to date.
Directions: Anthology is at 32 Second Ave. at 2nd St. Subway: F or V to 2nd Ave; 6 to Bleecker.
Tickets: $8 for adults, $6 for students & seniors; $5 for members.
My Latest Trite Observation about Living in New York
New York is well known as both the center of willfully ignoring the presence of the people who are smooshed up against you & also the capitol of people-watching. The former skill is necessary for a city in which humanity is piled upon itself with such density, but it is also a kind of art.
One can take pride in the ability to continue reading Harpers while a guy dressed in four pairs of shredded pants sings commercial jingles in an ear-splitting falsetto. One can stand pressed against another human & consider them nothing more than matter.
On the subway yesterday, heading to the hip-shoe & fixie-bike part of Brooklyn I was packed into the train. I could not give you the slightest description of any of the people I was in physical contact with. I had my space & they had their spaces & we negotiated slightly when the train swayed us.
Then from across the bus I heard someone talking about their brother having cancer, it was the kind of conversation I'd imagine having over a drink with a friend, or inside a house. It seemed like an interior conversation. But the city is the 'third space' in New York.
I was reading an essay I've read dozens of times before, preparing to discuss it in my class Monday. We've been discussing the politics of language use, from the radical to the banal. The paper in this book is that slick, bright white paper. Like the words might slip off if the reader is not careful.
The man across the subway said "The thing is you can't live without your pancreas." Suddenly I could feel the body behind me pressing into my side & my bag brushing against a woman in a white sweatshirt. I looked around & saw that the people on the subway have faces. They each have their own face. When you're alone in your own space you only have your own face.
It's true. You can't live without your pancreas. You can't live without your body. You can't live without your breath. A pancreas is true. A hand is true. It's the true shit that makes me lose it. It's the true shit that makes me.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Kristin Naca Gets Her Shot
So despite the fact that the NPS website hasn't been updated to show this, most you probably know the winners of the award for this year. My dear friend Kristin Naca's manuscript Bird Eating Bird was chosen by Yusef Komunyakaa for the MTVU award & recently she was in NY to interview him for MTV.
It's a little funny how they edited it to MTV it up, she's so awesome that her awesomeness takes center stage. I love her book & I can't wait for it to come out.
Oh, also props to Anna Journey, go Rams!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I saw: hospitals.
We made our decisions on two books for the coming year from Octopus. There were so many amazing manuscripts, it was humbling to see such great work from so many people. Congratulations to Heather Christle for her manuscript, The Difficult Farm, and Matvei Yankelevich for his manuscript, Boris by the Sea. I am extremely excited about their books & working with them.
Our finalist manuscripts were Kings of the Fucking Sea, by Dan Boehl; Power Ballad, by Dan Hoy; Mammals, by Anne Heide; Maquettes for Monumental, by C.J. Martin; The Cold War, by Kathleen Osip; & Secret
Sea, by Nathan Parker.
Each one of them was wild & fascinating in their own way. Thanks to everyone who submitted manuscripts.
Monday, September 22, 2008
My Latest Trite Observation about Living in New York
I think I'm starting to understand the loneliness-in-the-crowd aspect of New York, what people mean when they say that they never meet new people. It's such a struggle just to keep up social engagements with the people you already love in the city, not to mention old friends & somewhat distant friends you like but don't know very well. It seems like people don't have the space to bring new people into their lives.
For instance I was at a bar, waiting for Julia when I kind of bumped into the guy who was next to me. When I bumped into him it knocked his drink out of his hand. I was embarrassed & tried to buy him another one, but the bartender gave it to him (or me) on the house. He made a joke about it & it was a funny joke & we started talking a bit. He seemed like a nice guy.
Then I realized I was talking to a swirl of fog, not a man at all. I was in the mountains of Pennsylvania, where the clouds & the fog merge together & fuse the whole landscape into a blear. The clouds continued to descend, until suddenly they were below me & i could see them sliding down the mountains like a woman carefully rolling down a silk stocking.
There was a child on the sidewalk, facing a house & drawing a picture with crayons. I asked her What are your drawing. She said A family. Your family? I asked. No she responded. The house was a ranch style house with a single door in front.
When I looked at the drawing there were stick figures of a person in a dress, a person in a suit & a child holding hands. In the background there was a car wreck. A tractor trailer had ground a sedan into a pile of smoke. Something dripped from beneath the crushed car. She used some dark crayon for it's color, but I do not know if it was supposed to be blood.
I left a tip on the bar & walked outside. There were two taxis stopped at the curb with their interior lights on. Both taxi drivers were eating sandwiches.
I called Julia. When she answered the phone there was a lot of noise. Where you at? I asked. I'm at the bar, she responded.
I could hear myself faintly through the telephone, telling the guy next to me about the child. I was talking to the fog. The fog had made its way down into the valleys & it was sleeping after such a long journey.
Where are you, Julia asked, I've been waiting here forever.
Boog City Festival Wrap-Up
This was such a wonderful whirl-wind of poetry.
I was part of a panel discussion on race & experimental poetics, along with Tisa Bryant, Jennifer Firestone, Timothy Liu, Mendi Obadike, Meghan Punschke & Christopher Stackhouse. It was an interesting & too-brief discussion. There were things I'm sure all of us had wished we'd discussed in addition to the things we had. I think I'm going to post some further thoughts about that here during the week.
Here's my dance card for the four days & nights of readings:
Poets I already really liked & was psyched to hear read:
Poets I kind of knew about & whom I really loved the readings of:
Poet I hung out with one night in Philly but hadn't read much of & was really impressed by & who has a great chapbook called When I Come Home:
Poets I didn't know anything about & whom I now want to know much more about:
Poets who stayed at my apartment:
Poet who should have given up the airbed to Jeff on the second night instead of selfishly hogging the airbed both nights:
Poets I drank Bulleit with in Tompkins Square Park:
Sunday, September 21, 2008
New Poems of Julie Doxsee's
Friday, September 19, 2008
A Write-Up of Shannon Hopp's design work from the Omaha City Weekly, which is discussing Omaha Fashion Week. These two photos are two works of Hopp's the above one is in the show & the below one is an older piece, I believe.
Article by: Augusta Olsen
Spano Lang by Shannon Hopp
Shannon Hopp was given a task for this show – the task to make the most of gifts from the past. Hopp, who graduated from University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in textile and apparel design in May, has long had an interest in the styles of the ‘30s and ‘40s. She was taught to sew by her grandmothers, and thus her Omaha Fashion Week collection is named Spano Lang, using her grandmothers’ maiden names.
Bellwether boutique owner Jessica Latham furthered Hopp’s mission when she contacted her about a trunk full of vintage fabrics. “A very sweet lady, named Ruth Ann, opened the trunk of her Buick and there were boxes and boxes of things. It was an eclectic collection, probably fabrics from the ‘60s and ‘70s – silk, wool, tweeds – and she passed it on to me to basically for free.”
Actually Hopp paid $20 for the haul, but a few days later she received a thank you letter from Ruth Ann with a $20 bill enclosed to help her with her new ventures.
Hopp will be showing 10 ensembles culled from these vintage sources. She says while she is using all vintage fabrics, she creates her own designs based on patterns and construction methods from the ‘30s. She says the Spano Lang line is comprised of fitted garments that rely on complex structure and seamlines, rather than volume of fabric Read: no mumus here ladies, you might actually be able to purchase a decent dress.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Matthew Rohrer's They All Seemed Asleep is out & available *&* thank yous for PA *&* this weekend is the Boog City Festival
They All Seemed Asleep
A rollicking epic adventure poem of foxy revolutionaries battling a fascist government led by a mysterious figure who goes by the name "The Cat."
In many ways this is a wild change of pace from the author of Rise Up, A Green Light & A Hummock in the Malookas. At the same time, who but Matthew Rohrer would write an epic adventure poem?
Octopus Books 2008
Hand-bound, letterpressed black on pink & brown covers.
Edition of 200
$10 (includes shipping)
Buy it here.
Thanks to everyone who showed up in Lewisburg. It was a lovely experience & a great chance to meet a whole crew of cool young poets. I got the chance to finally meet Eduardo Corral, who has a sweet residence at Bucknell right now. It is always a pleasure to spend time with Karla Kelsey & GC Waldrep & wonderful to meet their students.
If you are an undergrad, or you teach undergrads or know some undergrads, you should know about The Susquehanna review, a national literary journal of undergraduate poetry, fiction & non-fiction. It's a fantastic project & you or your students should send work in. The guidelines are here.
Also, this weekend is the Boog City Festival here in NY.
There is a very good chance you are reading at it.
Octopus Books will have a table at the Small-Small Press Fair Saturday at The Cake Shop, one of my favorite clubs & Jeff Downey (formerly of Lincoln, Nebraska & now of Amherst, Mass) will be representing Octopus at the Small-Small Press Reading.
Stop by the table & say hi & pick up a copy of Matthew Rohrer's new chapbook & Julie Doxsee's Undersleep.
Welcome to Boog City
4 Days of Poetry and Music
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 18, 6:00 P.M.
d.a. levy lives: celebrating the renegade press
529 W.20th St., 5th Flr.
Event will be hosted by
Elise Ficarra and Kathryn Pringle, eds.
featuring readings from
and music from
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 avenues
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 19, 7:00 P.M.
94 Ave. A
Free with a two-drink minimum
Readings, musical, and poets’ theater performances,
and Lou Reed’s New York album live
7:00 p.m.-Jim Behrle
7:15 p.m.-Daniel Nester
7:35 p.m.-Dibson T. Hoffweiler (music)
8:05 p.m.-Arlo Quint
8:20 p.m.-Bob Holman
8:35 p.m.-Verse Theater Manhattan
doing a reading of Frank O'Hara's verse drama TRY! TRY!
9:35 p.m.-Gillian McCain
9:50 p.m.For its 20th Anniversary,
Lou Reed’s New York album performed live by:
*Babs of Queens
Romeo Had Juliette
*Dibson T. Hoffweiler & Preston Spurlock
There Is No Time
Last Great American Whale
Beginning of a Great Adventure
Busload of Faith
Sick of You
Good Evening Mr. Waldheim
Xmas in February
*Todd Carlstrom and The Clamour
Dime Store Mystery
11:20 p.m.-Todd Carlstrom and The Clamour
12:10 a.m.-The Rabbits
Directions: F/V to 2nd Ave., L to 1st Ave.
Venue is at E.6th St.
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 20, 11:00 A.M.
152 Ludlow St.
5th Annual Small, Small Press Fair
Featuring readings from authors of the exhibiting presses
11:10 a.m.-Brant Lyon, LOGOchrysalis
11:20 a.m.-Andrew Bishop, Graphic Union Press
11:30 a.m.-Celena Glenn, Bowery Books
11:40 a.m.-Mark Lamoureux, Cy Gist Press
11:50 a.m.-Ariana Reines, Fence/Fence Books
12:00 p.m.-Adam Golaski, flim forum press
12:10 p.m.-Damian Weber, House Press
12:20 a.m.-Virna Teixeira, Litmus Press/Aufgabe
12:30 p.m.-Jaye Bartell, little scratch pad
12:40 p.m.-Jeff Downey, Octopus Books
12:50 p.m.-Melissa Christine Goodrum, Other Rooms Press
1:00 p.m.-Jessica Smith, Outside Voices
1:10 p.m.-Austin Alexis, Poets Wear Prada
1:20 p.m.-Tom Savage, Straw Gate Books
1:30 p.m.-Stephanie Gray
1:45 p.m.-Bill Kushner
2:00 p.m.-Oak Orchard Swamp (music)
2:30 p.m.-Ryan Eckes
2:50 p.m.-Eric Gelsinger
3:10 p.m.-Douglas Manson
3:30 p.m.-Heart Parts (music)
4:00 p.m.-Elise Ficarra
4:20 p.m.-Kristianne Meal
4:40 p.m.-Kathryn Pringle
5:00 p.m.-Maureen Thorson
5:20 p.m.-Carol Mirakove
5:35 p.m.-A Brief View of the Hudson (music)
6:05 p.m.-Jen Benka
6:20 p.m.-Todd Colby
6:35 p.m.-Kyle Schlesinger
6:55 p.m.-David Hadbawnik
7:15 p.m.-Sharon Mesmer
7:30 p.m.-Casey Holford (music)
Directions: F/V to 2nd Ave.
Venue is bet. Stanton and Rivington sts.
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 21, 1:00 P.M.
456 Bergen St.
1:00 p.m.-Julia Cohen
1:15 p.m.-Tisa Bryant
1:30 p.m.-Ana Božičević
1:45 p.m.-Yoko Kikuchi (music)
2:05 p.m.-Corrine Fitzpatrick
2:20 p.m.-Nick Piombino
2:35 p.m.-Stacy Szymaszek
3:00 p.m.- Race and Poetry: Integrating the Experimental
Amy King (curator and moderator)
4:40 p.m.-Yoko Kikuchi (music)
5:00 p.m.-Lee Ann Brown
5:15 p.m.-John Coletti
5:30 p.m.-Rachel Levitsky
5:45 p.m.-Eileen Myles
6:00 p.m.-Yoko Kikuchi (music)
6:20 p.m.-Edward Foster
in conversation with Simon Pettet
6:50 p.m.-Simon Pettet
7:10 p.m.-Edward Foster
Directions: 2, 3 to Bergen St.; 2, 3, 4, 5, M, N, Q, W, R, B, D to Atlantic Ave./Pacific St.; C to Lafayette Ave.
Venue is bet. 5th/Flatbush aves.
Monday, September 15, 2008
The Conet Project is now available for free to download: get it here
JC & I walked into some Italian street festival in Little Italy. Not sure what it was all about, it was mostly just meat-stands & tiny replicas of foods & onions with faces.
Also, there were a bunch of hanging frogs.
Went to a fantastic reading by Rauan Klassnik & Justin Marks on Friday. Justin's new long poem, which will be coming out from Rope-A-Dope Press is his best work yet. Rauan gave me a Zimbabwean $1000000 dollar bill, which I think means I owe the Bank of Zimbabwe twenty-two American dollars. The bill is dated "On or before 30th June 2008."
Went to the Krallice, Growing, Lightning Bolt show, but it started 3 1/2 hours late & the sound was so terrible I left after Krallice. Krallice were good, but the drums were barely miked, which reduced their awesomeness by a factor of 4.
Went to the Garden Party at Katy Lederer's house, where Rick Moody, Meghan O'Rourke, Ariana Reines & Jibade-Khalil Huffman. Huffman was fantastic. I'm a big fan of his work. Reines had this neurotic-expressive thing going that I wish had gone on for like 5 hours. I need to read more of her work. Right now I'm a fan of her, but after the reading I still am not sure what her work is like.
Tonight I went to see Kevin Young Read at KGB. Got his new book Dear Darkness, which seems really similar to Jelly Roll, stylistically. What I like so much about Jelly Roll is that all the poems are so simple, but over the scope of the book, a big book for poetry, he travels so much that the whole text is a fascinating intellectual work. The small stuff is fun & easy the big stuff is culturally complex & intellectual. Also, he still hasn't given up on his goatee, even though he must be pushing 40.
Tomorrow I'll be at Bucknell University talking about poems from Destruction Myth & then that night doing a little salon reading. If you happen to be in central Pennsylvania you are invited. Give me a call for directions, my phone number is a garbanzo bean.
My friend Anders went to a Royals game this past weekend & stopped for BBQ afterward; then McCain & Palin came into the same restaurant. Weird.
Also, on Saturday I admitted publicly that I thought those photos of Palin with the american flag bikini were real. I've mostly been following the speeches on the radio since I don't get TV at my house (not in a "I do not watch television" way, but in a cable is stupid-expensive-worthless-&-I'd-watch-it-all-the-time-if-I-had-it way). Based on everything I've read & heard about her those photos seemed valid to me. Turns out they're 'shopped. Turns out I'm pretty gullible.
Robyn Schiff's new book is out. Buy it. Just buy it. I mean it.
My Latest Trite Observation about Living in New York
The people who shop at the Borders at Columbus Circle are apparently some sort of fish-human hybrid.
I stopped in there just the other day to buy a copy of Karen Volkman's wonderful new book of sonnets, Nomina. It is really extraordinary, a whirling, sensuous baroque clustering of language.
The whole place was flooded with seawater. All the books were soaked. But the shoppers walked through the brine blithely, gulping the water with their flowery gills.
I tried to pay with my debit card but the computers were down, due to being submerged in saltwater. I had to pay with cash. I got the correct change.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Ange Mlinko & Laynie Brown reading at The Clean Part this Saturday!
Go, Lincoln Go!
The Clean Part Reading Series and the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery Present:
Laynie Browne's most recent collections are The Scented Fox, recipient of the 2007 National Poetry Series Award, selected by Alice Notley (Wave Books), Daily Sonnets (Counterpath Books, 2007), and Drawing of a Swan Before Memory, winner of the Contemporary Poetry Series (University of Georgia Press, 2005).With others she helped organize the Ear Inn reading series in New York. She was a member of the Subtext Collective in Seattle, and is now as part of the POG Reading Series Tucson Arizona. She has taught creative writing at The University of Washington, Bothell, at Mills College in Oakland, California, and at the Poetry Center at the University of Arizona, where she is currently developing a new a poetry-in-the-schools program for K-5 schools.
Ange Mlinko is the author of two books, Matinees (Zoland Books, 1999) and Starred Wire (Coffee House Press, 2005) which was a National Poetry Series winner in 2004, and a finalist for the James Laughlin Award. She has taught poetry at Brown University, the Naropa University Summer Writing Program, and Al-Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco. Her poems are about urban life, about language and its failings, about the things we see and do not see. She is often compared to Frank O'Hara. The New Yorker praised her "unique sense of humor and mystery."
Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery R and 12th St.
Saturday at 7pm.
Helena Espvall & Masaki Batoh: s/t
The Helena Espvall & Masaki Batoh record from Drag City has moments of overlapping with some kind of Narada Records "World Music for Relaxation" compilation, the Swedish vocals & reverbed acoustic guitar make this all pretty yoga-ready. Which is interesting because these are two weird, weird musicians. I know everyone is sick of being sick of the freak-folk/new weird america thingamabob, but these two are part of the psychedelic folk world that wasn't inspired by the fact that Devendra gets to have his photo taken with Hollywood starlets. These two make the music that is at the heart of constant reinvention process, the churn & pulley of culture as the present moment quotes both the distant past & the immediate future.
What they've made here is (& I say this having no idea what she's saying in her lyrics) is a beautiful lullaby record that hints toward a wider world of avant takes on the same music. The rhythms are stately, the melodies sincere without becoming cloying, this is the music that makes your memory conjure the tastes of memory.
All of that until the final song, "Kyklopes." After a record of harmonically & melodically rich folk music that keeps playing it straight, they cap it off with a 13-minute free song including clanging percussion & some kind of wind machine sound effect. Now, normally I go straight for the clanging percussion & wind machine first--you know, bring the weird! But after a calm & narrowly pitched record, it seems overly showy.
But as I listen to it more it makes more sense -- the final song fits with the sometimes outlandish intros to more familiarly styled folk songs. The record couches its traditionalism within a context of avant potentiality. In this way the record seems to almost find the history within the current trend of milking all the weirdness of the folk traditions.
While bands like Avarus & Pocahaunted may launch from folk idioms to their out places & create trancelike experiences of communality, the record experience is individuating. They abandon the communal connection of folk music, the simple way a melody transfers from one head to another. Which makes Espvall & Batoh's record both a lovely trip through some new takes on folk traditions & a kind of turning away from some of the modes of the current avant-folk scene that are quickly becoming idiomatic.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
If I could split into three majestic horses & attend three readings at once I would do so this Friday. Despite the pain & the mess I would do it.
Michael Dumanis will be reading at Teachers & Writers Collaborative (520 Eighth Avenue (between 36th and 37th Streets), 20th Floor) with the fiction writer Martha Southgate and Soft Targets editor Brian Kalkbrenner at 7pm (doors open and mingling commences @ 6:30) this Friday, September 12th.
Michael is the author of the fantastic My Soviet Union, which won the Juniper Prize a few years back. He is also a monster of a reader. Have an extra shot of wheatgrass before you head to the reading.
Friday, September 12 @ 8 PM*
Rauan Klassnik, author of Holy Land
& Justin Marks, author of [Summer insular] & You Being You by Proxy
Admission is a mere $5
The Lucky Cat is located at 245 Grand Street
The Multifarious Array!
This Friday! September 12th! At 7pm!
with Amy King, Leslie Anne Mcilroy with guitarist Don Bertschman & Nellie Bridge!
Pete's Candy Store
709 Lorimer Street,
Monday, September 08, 2008
Some Chapbooks You Should Know Are Very Buyable, Like A-Caricature-Drawn-In-Times-Square Buyable
dancing girl press, 2008
get it here.
I love these poems -- I'm so happy they are out in the world now.
One of the greatest drugs ever manufactured is cocaine. I love the way it feels. End of story. When riding around in my Audi on the way to Vail Colorado I like to keep a vial of cocaine on the passenger seat next to my compact discs. One of the worst most mesmerizing bummers is when the coke is gone. That is when you're fucked and the world ends. At a time like that do not call anyone on the phone from a Super 8 Motel. Bring the joy into America. Love the market that is second only to diamonds.
Order now at the Kitchen Press Book Store.
I think the above is a poem from the book. Either that or I've admitted way too much.
My Latest Trite Observation about Living in New York
On the subway today coming home from teaching, I was sitting beside a Korean woman who was completely engrossed in a book. She was holding it at the perfect angle so that, if I were able to read Korean, I would have been able to read along.
I was fascinated by the type & I closed the book I was reading (Žižek's Violence).
I thought: Oh, that Korean script looks like little spiders on the page.
Then I thought: Is that racist?
Then I answered myself, in thought: No, you're just commenting on your visual reaction to the Korean print. At worst it's Orientalist & definitely cliche, but not really aggressive enough to be problematically racist.
I think, I thought, it's OK to say Korean print looks like twisting spiders.
Then I reopened my book & millions of baby spiders spilled from its covers & swarmed up my hands like two elegant gloves.
And they were all biting me & where they bit me a tiny pink plant began to bud -- millions of tiny pink plants.
Soon my hands were dense forests of tiny, pink Douglas Firs.
And behind me a kid was doing this whispered scream thing at his brother, the kid sounded genuinely like a quiet monster. His brother was laughing his ass off, really loudly.
Then their mother said something to both of them in a language I didn't understand, but I knew it meant You two stop that this instant & the kids stopped making noise.
Sunday, September 07, 2008
This Will Be Good
Saturday, September 13th --AFTERNOON-- @ 979 BROADWAY BACKYARD
:: BACK TO SCHOOL PARTY - OUTSIDE!
:: LIGHTNING BOLT
:::::: Krallice --------- sunny black metal from Mick Barr & friends!
:::::::: Daily Life ----- new Suicide-ish project from Chris from Kites
:: special secret ageless guests!
[ 979 BROADWAY BACKYARD ]
979 Broadway btwn Myrtle Ave & Ditmars St | Bushwick, Brooklyn
JMZ-Myrtle, L-Jefferson, G-Myrtle-Willoughby | doors TBA | $10 | all ages
Man's Fortunate Feast, by Lisa Jarnot
Man's Fortunate Feast
The fatigue of feast,
the umbrellas and the
suits and ties, the
thunder of it,
floating into panther
that accompany the page
the gluttony of the flower prints,
the tight skin of the sterilepear
gone spawned, consumed in leaf
no more lamb chops for you,
no more scrambles eggs and greens,
no more aardvark statues,
no more American flags,
no more caterpillars to
torch out of the trees,
cut wood, dead wood,
white pine branches,
dog asleep under the brush
sun gone in the gray
swimming hole a stage prop,
water from the creek
feeding agile garlic greens in May.
whose wallet, whose welfare,
whose heart, whose feathers,
whose darkness is the
darkness of a missing bird,
a tunnel of mind, an income of
herbaceous bruise, who is
an who is not, voracious
from Night Scenes
published by Flood editions
Lisa Jarnot's latest book is full of joy. It makes me happy as I read through it. Through wordplay that reveals itself as wisdom, through tweaked sonnets & through surprisingly direct observational poems, this book conjures a world that genuinely gives me hope.
It is this kind of conjuration that makes me fit it with two of my other favorite books of the last year, Anne Boyer's The Romance of Happy Workers & Dorothea Lasky's AWE. All three use different means, topics & ideologies, but they all attempt to present a better version of everyday experience through the work of the book. I'm into it.
Friday, September 05, 2008
I'm sick. I taught today through a veil of Dayquil. There were moments talking about Andre Dubus' essay when I wasn't entirely sure what the next dependent clause out of my mouth was going to be. It was a bit like walking on wobbly ground. It reminded me of a story I heard about a grad student who was really tired writing emails to his students & accidentally signed one "Love, XXXXX XXXXXXX." (if the Xs were his first & last name, of course)
I had my first live encounter with the Slavoj Žižek experience, incongruously at at Barnes & Noble (or perhaps appropriately at a big box mega store). He had a brief so-called discussion with Steven Lukes.
While Lukes seemed affably amused with Žižek & gave the appropriate finger-waggling to the espousal of political abstinence in Ž's new mini-book Violence, the crowd was there for the Žižek Show. But it was brief & Žižek had to limit himself to bursts of only a few minutes, which brings out all of his bluster but not so much his sometimes brilliant hyperventilating riffs.
Political abstinence reminded me of a T-Shirt my friend Robert wanted to make that would read: Don't Blame Me, I Don't Vote. I think that's hilarious.
On the wall behind Žižek was a huge B&N image of Moby Dick breaching the water behind a dinghy full of whalers. I was so caught up thinking about this juxtaposition that I forgot to pay for the book I had in my hands. Deb Olin Unferth's Vacation, which is awesome so far. Sorry that I stole your book, Deb.
The Žižek will be up again soon, this time for what promises to be a real event, rather than just book-promotion:
Bernard-Henri Levy + Slavoj Zizek
Sep 16 7pm
The New York Public Library: Humanities and Social Sciences Library
Fifth Ave (at 42nd St)
Description: Moderated by NYPL staple Paul Holdengraber, this debate features two preeminent thinkers arguing about the causes and effects of totalitarian regimes, as well as the nature of human rights.
Is it weird that the fact that this costs money makes me want to go to it more?
Is it weird that I find "NYPL staple" to be a funny title. My new wrestling name is going to be The NYPL Staple Remover.
I used to think staple removers looked like sharks when I was a kid. I could entertain myself for hours opening & closing them.
Did I mention I'm sick?
I had the most intense fever dreams last night. They were so good that I would wake up shaky & chilled during the night excited about the weird-ass dreams.
It's very good so far, but sad. Her book of short-shorts Minor Robberies is pretty incredible but sadly was packaged with Eggers' only-decent book & Sarah Manguso's weak one in a box set from McSweeney's. I know it's their thing to skim the line between the novel & novelty, but it's too bad her book didn't get more attention.
Did you ever hear that Lula Côrtes e Zé Ramalho record?
If not you should.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Memoir Proposal for Broadway Books
For a year I will sleep in uncomfortable positions every night, ranging from the mildly uncomfortable to the completely twisted & contorted. I will write about my experiences. This will be a mediation on the nature of sleep, much like a Natural History of the Senses for sleep. However, it will also be a mediation on discomfort, much like a Natural History of the Senses for discomfort. I imagine I will probably get very cranky. I will probably do a lot of stretching in public.
Monday, September 01, 2008
Memoir Proposals for Broadway Books
I will spend a year telling everyone I know that I'm moving to Paris. When anybody asks me what I've been up to I will tell them I am moving to Paris -- soon it will be all anyone wants to talk about with me, my plans, their memories of Paris, how jealous they are. I will keep track of people's reactions to me & my plans over the year. At the end of the year I will move to Strasbourg.
For a year I will scrunch up my face really tight as if I'm trying really hard to remember something & I will write about my experiences.
For a year I will drink a lot of alcohol, all night & all day as well. I will lose all my money, friends & test the patience of all those who ever knew me. However, I will constantly remind them that I am doing this for the sake of writing a memoir about being an alcoholic, so that people can learn about my experiences. If they threaten not to lend me $20 or to drive me to the liquor store I will say "That's going to look really crappy when I write about it in the memoir."
For a year I will eat nothing but bits of dried chalk. I will probably die. I will write about my experiences eating chalk & as a dead man.
Brenda Iijima's Rabbit Lesson
Fewer & Further Press is pleased to announce the publication of Brenda Iijima's Rabbit Lesson. Rabbit Lesson is printed in an edition of 200 copies, 40 of which are special editions.
Copies can be purchased for $7, postpaid. Please visit the Fewer & Further Press site for an excerpt and cover image. Payments can be made through the site with Paypal.
Special editions are hand-sewn and signed by the author, for $9. If you would like to purchase a special edition, please contact the editor for availability.
If you would like to pay by check, mail it to:
121 Lockes Village Rd
Wendell, MA 01379