A product of Third Factory
VA | Reading for The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan | The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church | November 16, 2005
Like vast numbers of other poet types, for me reading The Sonnets was one of the fundamental events/mindfucks that shaped my consciousness as a writer (and a lot of other things too, in the way that certain artworks infect yr whole brain), so it was great to finally have all things Ted in one place. I'd always felt that so much of the non-Sonnets work was (extremely?) hit-or-miss, but this 900-pager, featuring the big single sequence that is Berrigan's corpus, dispelled much of that right quick—this book is like an enormous network of interconnections between poems and places and names and in-jokes and everything. Which is what made the reading at the Project so special—here was this deeply rooted community, one that was so shaped by Berrigan and that pervades his work, pulling together to pay tribute to him and, through him, to itself. Sitting with my group of Poetry Project kids, who I'm now separated from by many miles and who I miss terribly, I had one of the rare moments in my life where I felt connected to a great Tradition (and I'll fully embrace all the hippie love vibes I've conjured up there), as this history was recited and relived in front of me.
Dodie Bellamy | "Body Language" in Fascicle 2 | Winter 2005-6 http://www.fascicle.com/issue02/essays/bellamy1.htm
This is sort of a two-in-one cheat (like the first entry), because, oh, Cunt-Ups?—yeah—Mina?—yeah, that too—the Kathy Acker talk at New Langton where the electrical cable fell down like a noose and freaked everybody out?—oh yes, how could I forget. Etc., etc. But this one has a particular resonance because it touches pretty much everything I'm currently obsessing over with poetry and thus makes my brain get all wiggy. The sarcasm v. irony questions, those of "smart" v. "stupid," emotion and the fragment and appropriation, Quasimoto slamming his body against a giant bell—I mean, yeah, how do we fit emotions into our writing in a way that translates honestly over to the reader but still retain our sense of discomfort, difficulty, challenge, intelligence? And how do we stake our claims in the broader social field rather than sticking to the literary shadow realm where we remain marginalized (by others and by ourselves)? This essay raises its questions of class (in as broad a way as you can construe that concept) in a way that left me all shook up, and apparently the timing was right, because even though I presently have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to writing, I feel like I've been nudged in a good direction. What the fuck else can you ask for?
Jessica Hopper | tinyluckygenius aka the Unicorn's tear | tiny.abstractdynamics.org | ongoing
I've called Jessica Hopper my hero on my blog before, so I hope she doesn't think I'm, like, web-stalking her or something by putting her blog in my Top Eleven here, because when I say that I'm really just talking about her writing. As the Internet tells us, Hopper is a Chicago-based feminist music critic who freelances for various fine publications, publishes the zine Hit It or Quit It, and until recently had a column in Punk Planet. She's also the author of the infamous essay "Emo: Where the Girls Aren't," which rightly outs those uber-sensitive dudes in pomade and/or guyliner as being one more link in pop music's never-ending cock chain (it's online and worth reading). There's something that feels silly and automatically hyperbolic about praising someone's non-art-projecty personal blog, but the writing Hopper produces on hers runs such an interesting gamut from cultural criticism to here's-some-records-you-need-to-hear to my-neighbor-and-his-dog-are-freaking-me-out—and demonstrates her love of language—and is on-point obnoxious and way funny—that it's become one of my favorite daily reads.
Anselm Berrigan | Some Notes on My Programming | Edge | 2006
"Zero Star Hotel"—the poem, I mean, but also the book—is a touchstone work for me, so I'm always glad to get more from Anselm. In addition to having the BEST COVER EVER, the book is full of really rich, funny-irritable work that I find I can always return to to get a bit of a handle on myself when I think that the world wants to kill me. Poems like "Trained Meat" ("Osama passes / George the bong / bitching about 21st century / hydroponic weed") or "The autobiography of Donald Rumsfeld" ("briskly infinite droolterview / fundamentally a Civilian") or "Token Enabler" ("I know in my experience at work my problem is not my communication / skills it's the fact that I'm communicating to the wrong people")—I just want to keep quoting, but the balance this work strikes between disrupted and fascinating textual surfaces and the still-no-no move of accurately rendering moments of personal subjective experience feels just, I don't know, right.
Broken Social Scene | various records and live performances on YouTube.com | Arts & Crafts Records
When Pitchfork went apeshit over this band a couple of years ago I didn't quite catch on—they were okay, but nothing extraordinary—but recently I've revised that via the entryway that is live performances on YouTube. For those of you who don't know, Broken Social Scene is a Toronto-based band/collective numbering, at this point, around twenty members, a number of whom also have really good solo records or other band-type projects (see Feist, Stars, Metric, et al.). There's lots of switching instruments and very few fixed roles regarding who is supposed to do what. Seeing them live generally involves a dozen-plus people (including five or so guitarists and a horn section) having what appears to be the most fun one could ever have hanging out with one's friends. And that, more than them being a band I like, is why I'm including them here: The sprawling nature of its membership and music pushes aside the us-versus-the-world vibe of the many quartets driving in vans as we speak and replaces that with a let's-go-for-it attitude of low-ego collaboration. What is the poetry equivalent of this? If you have it, will you give it to me?
Stephanie Young | Telling the Future Off | Tougher Disguises | 2005
You get the feeling that a lot of the work in this book is what would result if a confessional poem drove its bike off the embankment on the way to school only to emerge hours later all janky and concussed and no longer able to filter out the social world. I love it. A running theme in a lot of the work I've Attention Spanned so far seems to be the collision of emotional honesty and formal weirdness, and that's certainly the case here—when it comes to emotions, she has the whole range, but for all the moments of whimsy or melancholy, where Young's work hits me the hardest is in the way she deals with non-specific dread. Only funny, too: "I think all week I need to be lit on fire"—oh lord, yes—welcome to my freak-out. "Everybody sick to everybody else's stomach": WTF, Stephanie Young. How does anyone get this good?
NA | Orinda Theater | Orinda, California
This is one of those big, beautiful, marquee-style, 1950s-looking movie theaters that has somewhat awkwardly been turned into a "multiplex"—though what that actually means is an enormous main theater, a tiny one next to it, and then a not-much-bigger one next to that. Needless to say, this can result in very different movie-going experiences depending on where you end up situated, but regardless, whenever I drive the ten minutes it takes to get here from Oakland I always feel like I've gone on a brief vacation away from my life. Some people drink til they black out; I go to the movies in Orinda.
NA | Reruns of Charmed | TNT | check local listings
At a six-week stay at my parents' house in between moves I managed to get hooked on this show while waiting for reruns of Law & Order to come on. This is extremely embarrassing, and I still cannot fully explain it, but I think it had something to do with the way the show—which concerns the adventures of three sisters who are witches (not in the Wiccan way) in present-day San Francisco—melds glossy Dawson's Creek-style drama with TV-budget special effects and not-so-great attempts at camp, resulting in a trashy serial adventure-drama involving lots of sparkling lights and demons with rubber hands. This show frequently just plain sucked, but I soon found myself emotionally invested in the characters and could not look away. Maybe this is what the language writers were talking about when they accused narrative of being evil. Still, the show filled a void, and I'm sure there's something about the aesthetics of this clunky fantasy melodrama that has struck me at my core and will invariably end up in an influential manifesto I will someday write.
Samuel R. Delany | Times Square Red, Times Square Blue | NYU | 1999
My copy of this is presently in a box in another state, so I can't do things like cite quotations or a write a hard-hitting review here, but I don't think I need to explain why this perpetual favorite is one of the few books I'll unequivocally call "great." It's just so, so good.
Brandon Brown | Memoirs of My Nervous Illness | Cy | 2006
Brandon handed this to me a week or so ago, so I haven't had a whole lot of time to sit with it, but earlier in the summer at New Yipes he read this short chapbook in its entirety and had all of us in the audience completely riveted. If I recall correctly, this sequence used a James Schuyler poem as a jumping-off point for its first six poems (all titled "Hello"), but it really does jump off—these poems leave me very disoriented, with their moments of Spicerian repetition and Ted-Berrigan-esque exploitation of enjambment pushing up on an aw-shucks demeanor which quickly turns nasty. "Call me Lupe, motherfuckers"—dude, okay, be cool. Sometimes it's a little TMI—e.g. "Here's my feces"—but I think I mean that in the good way. Brandon is going to have to put out a really giant debut long player soon because when you put out books this good and then claim to have a dozen other unpublished ones in the hopper, we start to feel that somebody may be holding out on us. I'm just saying.
Okay, so I only have ten here because I'm having a hard time choosing the last one, so let's just say that Kevin Killian's Amazon.com reviews (with the selection out from Hooke Press), David Wojnarowicz's Close to the Knives, The Chicago Manual of Style, Alli Warren's Hounds, Greil Marcus's Lipstick Traces, and Lester Bangs's Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung, and Sufjan Stevens's Illinois should all be in there somewhere.
More Michael Nicoloff. Back to directory.
Dorothea Lasky | Alphabets and Portraits | Anchorite | 2006
Jon Leon | Tract | Dusie | 2006
Anne Boyer | "I Love Literature" | Abraham Lincoln Broadside | 2006
Judith Butler | Precarious Life | California | 2006
Rodney Koeneke | Musee Mechanique | Blaze Vox | 2006
Stephanie Young, ed. | Bay Poetics | Faux | 2006
Cynthia Sailers | "Against Interpretation" | Fascicle 2 | Winter 05/06
Joshua Clover | The Totality For Kids | California | 2006
Anna Moschavakis | I Have Not Been Able to Get Through to Everyone | Turtle Point | 2006
VA | A Tonalist Notes | www.atonalistdoc.blogspot.com | 2006
In addition to these works that have carried and colored my summer, I have to admit to compulsively reading Brandon Brown's Memoirs of My Nervous Illness, which I was lucky enough to publish myself through Cy Press.
About Dana Ward. Back to directory.
Alice Notley | Grave Of Light: New and Selected Poems, 1970-2005 | Wesleyan | 2006
Charles Baudelaire, trans. Keith Waldrop | The Flowers Of Evil | Wesleyan | 2006
James Schuyler | The Letters of James Schuyler to Frank O'Hara, ed. William Corbett | Turtle Point | 2006
Nathaniel Mackey | Splay Anthem | New Directions | 2006
Anna Moschovakis | I Have Not Been Able To Get Through To Everyone | Turtle Point | 2006
Pam Rehm | Small Works | Flood | 2005
Daniel Bouchard | The Filaments | Zasterle | 2006
Nathaniel Hawthorne | Fanshawe | Houghton Mifflin | 1904
Claude Royet-Journoud, trans. Keith Waldrop | Theory of Prepositions | La Presse | 2006
Robert Walser, trans. Christopher Middleton | Speaking to a Rose: Writings, 1912 - 1932 | Nebraska | 2005
Morton Feldman | Morton Feldman Says: Selected Interviews and Lectures 1964-1987, ed. Chris Villars | Hyphen | 2006
About Peter Gizzi. Back to directory.
Daniel Bouchard | The Filaments | Zasterle | 2006
The Filaments is ergonomic, beautifully designed, like Kachina dolls, so that each part fits into the last. "The clock ticks/ and I suppress the tock." Newton's Third Law, that states that for every action there's an equal reaction, hovers over the instructional elements of Bouchard's latest. Everywhere he turns the forsythia blooms to the color of ripe bananas; and yet, at the same time, fire ants swarm his sunburnt feet. "Glory and joy, pathos/ and tragedy of everyday every day." It's like Arthur Lee used to say, for every happy hello, there'll be a goodbye. The Filaments has got a lofty, Ron Johnsonesque title that misstates its anarchical energies, those of a 50s comic book like Justice League of America. "You can tell the birds know/ someone is listening." PS, actually I've counted more and more straight boys aiming high for the gay Olympian Ron Johnson heights and his shadowy outbuildings.
Anne Boyer | 11. The deep | Press unknown | 2006
I blanked out when people were talking about "Flarf," the movement that energized many poets this time last year when it seemed as though we were all going to succumb to it in one way or another. People would ask what I thought of "Flarf" but my feelings were too complicated to articulate. That should say something right there, but what? Here in San Francisco, poetic movements come and go, but this one had an unexpected depth charge, maybe because it partakes of the populist spirit of the internet, and with equal panache the depraved and ugly side of the net as well. I have the distinct disadvantage of knowing nothing of Anne Boyer's poetry pre-Flarf, and yet her lovely little book speaks for itself, while speaking incidentally in a number of voices and "for" any number of outside entities as well. I do like the idea of a book of 10 pages or so. There are so many 120 page monsters lying in wait—is it an MFA practice now?
Michael Carr | Platinum Blonde | Fewer & Further | 2006
I remember hailing Kim Rosenfield when I first started seeing her poems here and there in little magazines, and they seemed at the time a magnificent advance from the already striking verse of her first book, the immortal Some of Us. The new, early 1990s Kim Rosenfield was writing a kind of fiery, grotesque running commentary that reminded me, and I wrote to her passionately about it, of the late period of John Wieners—the "I'd Stop on a Dime" poems Raymond Foye printed at the back of Wieners' Collected Poems. Tactfully Kim demurred from this interpellation, understandably too, how would you like to have your second reputation as a female John Wieners? And yet when I started reading Michael Carr's writing I had the same hair on the back of my same neck stand up and start quivering. Platinum Blonde is a book of "lonely comfort" on the one hand, with something of the wonderful, glamorous heartbreak of the Hotel Wentley, and then on the other hand the speed bumps, the deranged syntax and the enjambed unlikely nouns pile up as they do in Behind the State Capitol. I haven't made the same mistake twice, have I? Carr stands on one side of the gigantic Wieners legacy, as Cedar Sigo stands on another. Of course they are their own men too which I shall expand upon another time.
Luke Daly | The Vandalism Questions | House | 2006
It's hard to write about Luke Daly's work without slipping into the language of blurbs, for one wants everyone to read the work one's excited about, the same way that I used to want everyone, even President Nixon, to be stoned 24 hours a time. Then we'd all speak the same language I thought. Well I was wrong about that, and I may be wrong about this, but what I liked about THE VANDALISM QUESTIONS is how well Daly handles what is, for me, the most difficult kind of poetry to do right—poems about place. Oh, how I have suffered through some duds, for it seems that every Tom, Dick and Harry who has nothing else to write about burrows in on "place," so you get reams of valuable paper, or bandwidth, written about the Shire—I mean the place where one lives—or sort of. In the past couple of years I've read some fantastic work by Garin Cycholl, Jared Schickling, Kaia Sand, Joel Bettridge, Alicia Cohen, grand exceptions to my rule of thumb. And now here's a book that wipes the old etch a sketch clean and starts the old yoyo string walking the dog. "The truth with numbers," he writes,:"is they're/ good for sorting, cutting maps with./ /Locality that isn't." That's what I'm looking for. –PS, the thing about the numbers is that many of Daly's poems are in little numbered sections and at first you can't see why they're so laid out, and then you see they're like the numbers in the corners of my old Thomas Brothers guide.
Dan Featherston | Into the Earth | Quarry | 2005
"Dream's Professions" list its occupations as a census taker might, for I'm old enough to remember when the phone book would tell the world what you did, nowadays one's worst nightmare, thus, "Killian, Kevin: 1020 Minna: novelist, secretary, masturbator." Makes you wish the ground would open up and swallow you whole. Then the book takes a turn towards revealing this common dream of thanatos as an age-old myth, that of Eurydice and Orpheus, whom the ground literally did take in. Towards the end of the book we get a list of all the things that have been found inside the human body, as though to show that this cosmic urge, the urge to bury, goes micro when we have a hankering to plunge the following items, say, in our rectums, say—"a button hook, phosphorus matches, the frozen tail of a pig, a bull's horn, measuring 11 inches..." and so on. At the end of Featherston's book one feels one's been there, though perhaps not done that.
Joanna Fuhrman | Moraine | Hanging Loose | 2005
Fuhrman came to San Francisco recently and read from some of the poems in Moraine, putting them into context for us by reading a definition of the word, "moraine," that put us instantly in mind of Hurricane Katrina, a furious storm lifting one's world off of the ground and reassembling it into horrid piles. And these poems are supposed to represent the new world order. Sounds grim, doesn't it, and yet her book has a curious lightness, nearly an ecstasy, emanating from its fragments. I don't suppose even Kenneth Koch wrote a New York School poem with the humor and penetration of "Moraine for Bob,"—though I suppose he might have had he lived into our day. Not every poem is great and by the end of the book I had wearied slightly of the concept, but this book's a keeper, and I expect that when I go back and re-read it in 2007, I'll have different favorites, different parts of my brain accosted differently by Fuhrman's web of remains.
Maxine Gadd | Backup to Babylon | New Star | 2006
I interviewed Maxine Gadd in 1992 for the biography Lew Ellingham and I wrote of Jack Spicer, for she was one of the "downtown" poets who came to see Spicer during his visits to Vancouver in the last months of his life, refreshingly one of the people his peculiar charm did not persuade. People in Vancouver spoke of Gadd with great reverence, the sort with which I speak of hmm, Fran Herndon, or Bridget Riley. And yet I found her remarkably free of cant and free even of self. One would hardly know that she's a poet, and yet all around her poetry happens, like the milk bottles popping when Jayne Mansfield walks by in a Frank Tashlin film. This is all by way of saying that her new book is a triumph of the art, a collection of three shorter books from twenty, thirty years back that might have been written last month by Anselm Berrigan, or Carol Mirakove, or someone even younger with the dew still on them, the prismatic drops of moisture that herald a rainbow. It is utterly fantastic and read what I wrote about it on Amazon dot com if you're read this far and want me to get more specific.
Lindsay Hill | Contango | Singing Horse | 2006
Dictionary defines a contango as a payment on the interest that doesn't touch what's owed on the principal. God, that's how I feel every time I think of my Mastercard. Michael Davidson hails this book as a "epic of a society," but to me the singular thing is how intimate and personal it feels, a direct address with nerves exposed, oddly enough backed up against a series of short (one sentence) paragraphs, each of them seemingly torn from a different novel (or narrative). Yes, all of it is one long poem. Now based in Portland, Lindsay Hill was born here in San Francisco, has seen through everything, and now he asks, "Who knows when people wrestle blessings how it leaves them" (pg 61).
Paul Hoover | Poems in Spanish | Omnidawn | 2005
I don't see Paul Hoover's name on your Attention Span lists very often, Steve; I wonder if he's ever been put on the list by anybody. And yet, what is this, his 20th book? Well I haven't been counting but as it happens, he's writing better than ever and Poems in Spanish shows off his gifts brilliantly. It was an inspired idea to "faux" translate a book from another language, and as Kenneth Koch worked it up first, Hoover pays homage to Koch's learning and inegnuity in an elegant poem called "But Kenneth." After watching Madonna in the film version of Evita upwards of 25 times, I imagine I know as much about Argentina as Paul Hoover, but I could never have persevered, nor worked this incisive vein, to such splendid results. At turns caustic and tender, Poems in Spanish wears its heart on its manga. PS, maybe it's harder to get a second book, or a 20th book, published or reviewed than one's first. How many first books actually get a successor?
Michael Magee | Mainstream | BlazeVox | 2006
Here I am thrown back on the thorns of Flarf! For all its dicey particulars, MAINSTREAM struck me as one of the most interesting and effective books of the year. No, I don't care for the gay slurs, or whatever they are, but a friend told me that Mainstream represents Mike's attempt, and by extension the attempt of many straight men, to write directly about his complicated feelings about his ass. Incidentally he scores direct hits on the administrations of Tony Blair and George Bush, the decimation of civil rights in the USA, US buildup in Iraq, the straw man they offered us of weapons of mass destruction, etc., etc. Magee's objective is to interrogate stupidity wherever he sees it, but his method is so extreme he has many interrogating his own stupidity, baseness, whatever. Magee says that he is writing "scorching irony," to use the words of Frederick Douglass. We do things so differently in San Francisco that during a recent visit here, reading a few poems from Mainstream, Magee managed to scorch the whole room.
Kathryn L. Pringle | Temper and Felicity are Lovers | Taxt | 2006
My copy of this book Kate signed at the lively reading here in Oakland this spring at which Michael Magee read his "Ancient Gays" poem and sort of overshadowed his co-reader, Kate Pringle, who slipped us a copy of her book in the afterparty atmosphere of subdued clamor. Actually now that I think of it the book is signed "Kathryn L. Pringle" on the title page in a gesture of formality softened, I think, by a use of lower-case characters throughout, so it's "kathryn l. pringle." The consistent smoothness of Pringle's poetry, its sturdy construction and its intimate whisper, remind us of a world in which, once, the "city on a hill" connoted something sacred and ameliorative, and now, what has happened to that city. The female voices whispering like oracles through the ruined city's vistas, insist and testify. The sun makes one feel safe and yet it distorts one's vision, its "glare makes my eyes squint." Once the "city on a hill" leaves its metaphorical position to assume reality, a "new site," everything gets sinister. "We're being swallowed." It's true. "I've already felt the suction at my soles."
About Kevin Killian's new book, Selected Amazon Reviews. Back to directory.
Lisa Robertson | The Men | BookThug | 2006
Eugene Ostashevsky | Iterature | Ugly Duckling | 2005
Harold Abramowitz | Three Column Table | Insert | 2006
Matvei Yankelevich | The Present Work | Palm | 2006
Ara Shirinyan | Republic of Georgia...Soviet Poets...Russian Poems | Umbrellad Devil | 2006
Brent Cunningham | Bird & Forest | Ugly Duckling | 2005
Stephanie Young, ed. | Bay Poetics | Faux | 2006
Mungo Thomson | 17 Projects for 17 Reasons | Jack Hanley Gallery | 2003
Brandon Downing | Dark Brandon | Faux | 2005
Brandon Brown | 908-1078 | Transmission | 2006
More Joseph Mosconi. Back to directory.
Quickly—books still & again in boxes about to be rerereopened—& in a non-hieratic order...
George Steiner | Antigones | Yale | 1996
George Steiner | After Babel: Aspects of Language and Translation | Oxford | 1998
"Language is the main instrument of man's refusal to accept the world as it is."
Paolo Javier | 60 lvbo(e)mbs | O | 2005
"I rode above allegory Trysteaser internment my Alma." An occupation of an occupation, kermessingly.
Shanxing Wang | Mad Science in Imperial City | Futurepoem | 2005
"Write How To": a choice mistaking (or not) of counts for cxnts. And so forth, with critical embarrassment punctuating this counteraccount of the shock of T Square.
Atta Kim | On-Air | International Center for Photography | 2006
More than the neo-Buddhist and faintly we-are-the-world-like multiple exposures, the diachronically oriented pics—extensive exposures of the DMZ, midtown, sex vortextual &/or divided by glass—demand lingering thought. The Last Supper's apostles are reinterpreted in a monumentally proportioned photo whose sovrimpressioni (continuity is!) create the same effect as Leonardo's self-effacing investigative paint, while bread and wine on their table get so solid as to reek uncannily.
Jenny Holzer | For The City | Rockefeller Center, New York Public Library, Bobst Library | 2005
Xenon projections of poetry and, onto the Bobst facade, of just-declassified documents surrounding the torture of Guantanamo detainees that are shelved behind it. The public inside out.
Julie Heffernan | Self-Portraits | NA | 2005
Remember disturbingly the whole of art history & don't forget the news. But don't call them self-portraits.
Etel Adnan | Of Cities and Women | Post-Apollo | 1993
Adnan in Beirut, 1990: "Every theory is a burial."
Caroline Bergvall | Fig | Salt | 2005
"Uch eating choking on face": pointed savage presence. And "Via": ambient historiography, more on which anon. And… Hear them too.
Gregory Whitehead | Dead Letters | ubu.com | 1985
Speaks to its own old-fanglednesse as a radio play; retalks the documentary essay. In a related vein:
Shelley Hirsch | O Little Town of East New York | Tzadik | 1994
Dziga Vertov | Enthusiasm | 1930 | from Kiev Film Studio/Ukrainfilm, admittedly difficult to find, on VHS.
The soundtrack! Pressure 'em to put this out on DVD, readers!
An Adept (Charles Johnstone) | Chrysal; Or, The Adventures of a Guinea. Wherein are Exhibited Views of Several Striking Scenes with Curious and interesting Anecdotes of Most Noted Persons in every Rank of Life, Whose Hands It Passed through, in America, England, Holland, Germany, and Portugal | T. Becket | 1760
Some origins of our I-AM.
An interview with Jennifer Scappettone. Back to directory.
Anthony Barnett | North North I Said No Wait A Minute South Oh I Don't Know (148 Political Poems) | Allardyce, Barnett [distributors] | 1985
Robert Crosson | The Day Samuel Goldwyn Got Off the Train | Agincourt | 2004
Drew Gardner (w/ Jim Steinman, Elisabeth Bishop) | Total Eclipse of Florida | Overlap | April 2, 2006
Lara Glenum | The Hounds of No | Action | 2005
Christina Kaier | Imagine No Possessions: The Socialist Objects of Russian Constructivism | MIT | 2005
Deborah Meadows | "not a treatise on the line segment" in Representing Absence | Green Integer | 2005
Yvonne Ranier | Feelings are Facts | MIT | 2006
Stephen Sondheim | "Chrysanthemum Tea," on OCR, Pacific Overtures | Columbia Red Seal | 1976
Rod Smith | Fear The Sky | Narrow House Recordings | 2005
Mike Sperlinger | "Orders! Conceptual Art's Imperatives," in Afterthought: New Writings on Conceptual Art, ed. Sperlinger | Rachmaninoff's | 2005
Jan Verwoert | Bas Jan Ader, In Search of the Miraculous | Afterall | 2006
About Franklin Bruno. Back to directory.
Standard Schaefer | Water & Power | Agincourt | 2005
Dana Ward, ed. | Magazine Cypress 4 | NA | 2006
Los Bros Hernandez | Love And Rockets | Fantagraphics | early 80's - early 00's
Kathryn L. Pringle | Temper And Felicity Are Lovers | Taxt | 2006
Dodie Bellamy | Pink Steam | Suspect Thoughts | 2004
Suzanne Stein | Tout Va Bien | self published | 2005
W. Celeste Davis, Luis Valadez, Tim Hernandez, JD Louis, Nicholas B. Morris, Heather Mueller, and John Sakkis, eds. | Bombay Gin 32 | NA | 2006
David Buuck vs. Sue Denom | Runts | Self-Punish or Parrot | 2006
Kevin Killian | I Know The Truth | self published | 2005
Benjamin Friedlander | Simulcast Four Experiments In Criticism | Alabama | 2004
Sabrina Calle and Feliz Molina | Hair Flip Blog | Blogger | 2006
Brandon Brown | Memoirs Of My Nervous Illness | Cy | 2006
More John Sakkis. Back to directory.
Rob Fitterman | Metropolis XXX: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire | Edge | 2004
Drew Gardner | Petroleum Hat | Roof | 2006
Ernst Herbeck | Alexander: Ausgewählte Texte 1961-1981 | Residenz Verlag | 1982
Rodney Koeneke | Musee Mechanique | BlazeVOX | 2006
Michael Magee | Mainstream | BlazeVOX | 2006
Kim Rosenfield | Good Morning—Midnight— | Roof | 2001
Tristan Tzara | Dada est tatou, tout est dada | Flammarion | 1997
Tristan Tzara, trans. Lee Harwood | Chanson Dada: Selected Poems | Black Widow | 2005
Tristan Tzara, trans. Mary Ann Caws | Approximate Man & Other Writings | Black Widow | 2005
Tristan Tzara, Rainer Maria Rilke, Jean-Pierre Duprey and Habib Tengour, trans. Pierre Joris | 4 x 1 | Inconundrum | 2003
Tristan Tzara, trans. Barbara Wright | Seven Dada Manifestos and Lampisteries | Calder | 1992
More Gary Sullivan. Back to directory.
Ted Berrigan | Collected Poems | California
Anselm Berrigan | Some Notes on My Programming | Edge
Robert Creeley | On Earth | California
Heather Fuller | Startle Response | O
Drew Gardner | Petroleum Hat | Roof
Judith Goldman | DeathStar/Rico-Chet | O
Rod Smith, ed. | Aerial 10: Lyn Hejinian | manuscript | forthcoming
Lisa Jarnot | Iliad: Book XXII | Atticus/Finch
Bernadette Mayer | Scarlet Tanager | New Directions
Alice Notley | Grave of Light | Wesleyan
Lisa Robertson | The Men | BookThug
Others I'd include on such a list would be the entire output of Atelos, Factory School, Faux, & the Flarflist Collective! Elizabeth Willis' Meteoric Flowers. Gary Sullivan's Elsewhere 1 & 2. Also recent U Cal books from Mei-Mei Berssenbrugee, Joshua Clover, & Juliana Spahr. Rodney Koeneke's Musee Mechanique, & Michael Magee's Mainstream. Both of Stacy Doris' new books. Oh, & that guy Kenneth Koch's Collected. & Mark Wallace's new books. & the Bay Poetics anth. & Cole Swensen's Book of Hundred Hands and translations of Alferi and Cadiot, &&. Charles Bernstein's Girly Man but so new only read a bit and Rosmarie Waldrop's Curves to the Apple even newer though importantly collecting The Reproduction of Profiles, Lawn of Excluded Middle, and Reluctant Gravities.
As the publisher of Edge Books I included only the Lyn Aerial & Anselm Berrigan on my list but: Jules Boykoff & Leslie Bumstead have new full books everbodied oughta check. Also Mel Nichols' chapbook Day Poems. Forthcoming full-length books from Kasey Mohammad, Cathy Eisenhower, & Kevin Davies. Chapbooks soon from Tom Raworth & Buck Downs.
A few recent proses that floored: Derek Bailey by Ben Watson, Verso. Guy Debord: Revolution in the Service of Poetry, U Minnesota. The Fiction of Leroi Jones/Amiri Baraka, Lawrence Hill. Coming After, Alice Notley, U Michigan. Afflicted Powers, RETORT, Verso.
More Rod Smith. Back to directory.
Vito Acconci, ed. Craig Dworkin | Language to Cover a Page | MIT | 2006
Jackson Mac Low | Doings: Assorted Performance Pieces 1955–2002 | Granary | 2005
Two completely different and yet remarkably overlapping instruction manuals that only begin to scratch the surface of how we can begin to do things with words anew.
Heather Fuller | Startle Response | O | 2005
Fuller pulls no punches in what may be her most brutally honest book yet.
Bernadette Mayer | Scarlet Tanager | New Directions | 2005
Maybe my favorite collection of short poems this year, the return of Mayer to a legendary avant trade publisher is cause enough for celebration.
Sandra Miller | Oriflamme | Ahsahta | 2005
The self-same word redeployed in new, post-Olsonian, post-Howe ways. This book also has a great deal to teach us about where else we can go.
Aldon Nielsen and Lauri Ramey, eds. | Every Goodbye Ain't Gone | Alabama | 2006
In this treasure-trove of un- and re-discovered poets, Nielsen and Ramey have only just tapped a deep and rich vein that is in dire need (and we are in need) of further exploration.
Alice Notley | Grave of Light: New and Selected Poems, 1970–2005 | Wesleyan | 2006
I'm looking forward to going through this once I've completed my current project of reading all notley's individual titles in chronological order
Lisa Robertson | The Men | BookThug | 2006
Another minor masterpiece from Robertson (minor only in size and not in significance), this study in the possibilities of generalization and the truth of pseudo-statement abounds in eye and brain music.
Jessica Smith | Organic Furniture Cellar | Outside Voices | 2006
This book will not be second-guessed. Everytime I think I've figured it out it shows me some new surprise.
Juliana Spahr | Gentle Now, Don't Add to Heartache | Self-Publish or Perish | 2004
Akinder, gentler companion to her celebrated Cal Press book, this one channels the same hypnotic energy spahr summoned to counter American imperialism with a Whitmanic celebration of love and life.
More Tom Orange. Back to directory.
Samuel Johnson | Dictionary (selections from the 1755 edition), ed. Jack Lynch | Levenger | 2004
Can you use "ludification" in a sentence? No, I'm not mocking you…
Natasza Goerke | Farewells to Plasma | Twisted Spoon | 2001
Hybrid prose-poem/story selections from a Polish girl my age, pub'd in Prague—very magical.
Mark Jacobson | Teenage Hipster in the Modern World | Black Cat/Grove | 2005
From the Foreword: "I've always felt that the only subjects worth writing about were those that intimidated me … " Right on.
Deborah Hayden | Pox—Genius, Madness, and the Mysteries of Syphillis | Basic | 2003
It's a wonder anyone in the 19th century got anything done.
Ryunosuke Akutagawa | Hell Screen/Cogwheels/A Fool's Life | Eridanos | 1987
From the author of "Rashomon." In particular, "A Fool's Life"—a great example of what Kawabata called "palm-of-the-hand" stories; shows you what people in other countries were doing with form way before we thought about doing it. And, relatedly, for the same reasons, these next three…
Yasunari Kawabata, trans. Dunlop & Holman | Palm of the Hand Stories | North Point | 1990
Earl Miner, ed. and trans. | Japanese Poetic Diaries | California | 1969
Hsiao-P'in | Vignettes from the Late Ming: A Hsiao-P'in Anthology, trans. Yang Ye | Washington | 1999
Elein Fleiss, ed. | Purple Journal 8 | Summer 2006
And not just because I write for it. This French culture/politics mag comes out in two editions, English and French, and always contains great takes on what's happening everywhere.
VA | Flarflist | listserv | current
And not just because I'm involved with it. Innovative, hilarious, outrageous, infuriating, inspiring.
About Sharon Mesmer. Back to directory.
In alphabetical order by author:
Jasper Bernes | Stars-down | unpublished | no date
"But eventually, the writer of 'Cop Killer' lands a job as a detective on 'Law and Order' and therefore, by way of a No Fear sticker and a tackle shop in Duluth, the President says no timetable for a troop pullout. I'm not trying to hear that. Not tonight, dear."
Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge | I Love Artists | California | 2006
"Even now, we're slipping into shadows of possessions that day by day absorb our energy.
There's space in a cat walking across the room, like pages in a flip-book."
Guy Debord | Oeuvres Cinématographiques Complètes | Gaumont Video | 2006
One of the great poems of the 1970's wasn't a poem at all but the narration of one of these films—In Girum..., not Society of Spectacle, one of the notes for which is reproduced herein. The printed book's Thesis One is boxed in the sloppy line of a pen and annoted, in Debord's classic rhetorical elegance, with the single term "strip-tease"
Craig Dworkin | Strand | Roof | 2005
"I do not mind being made fun of. I enjoy reading love stories. I frequently find it necessary to stand up for what I think is right. I am easily downed in an argument. Someone has been trying to influence my mind. I like science."
Durs Grünbein, trans. Hofmann | Ashes for Breakfast | FSG | 2005
Though Hofmann's translations aren't as spikey as Waldrop's few; and though Grünbein grows more conservative both in his poetics and cultural politics over the course of the fifteen-year scoop of this selection, the first seventy pages are filled with revisitable poems, including "All About You": "...a / sequence of rapidly changing grue- / someness" where dead pigeons lead to a fantasized film of Trotsky's murder, though the translation's "the usual / BBBBBB films" is no match for the original's "Kino des Status Quo / Minus,' which didn't need to be translated anyway!
Stephane Mallarmé, trans. Furbank & Cain | Mallarmé on Fashion | Berg | 2005
"A thousand secrets," he wrote in 1874, in a zine called The Latest Style that he thought might be his meal ticket, for which he wrote everything under a dozen bylines—this passage concerning the season's parties, only three years after the Prussian War and the Commune, under the name Ix, "the fleeting history of an evening overheard amid the fashionable hubbub, will find a brief echo here, drowned the next moment by the band. Discarded dance-programmes and faded flowers, concert-programmes or dinner menus: they compose, there is no doubt, a literature all of their own, immortal with the immortality of a week or two."
Richard Meier | Shelley Gave Jane a Guitar | Wave | 2006
All that indie rock left behind that wasn't smartass faux-humble quasi-surrealist bullshit.
Rod Smith | The Good House | unpublished | no date
Includes the chapbook and further material.
"The good house
summers on Long Island, reads
Debord, & rests
like a scythe, well-oiled, fervent—
& are colossal— think
the knots, think
the mobius core"
George Stanley | Seniors | Nomados | 2006
"Lack of desire. To do something with a guy,
And know that these words were so strong
I could live in the world they made.
But that I had made the words myself
To build a world—a world we could talk about,
using the words. To forget it was just raw longing
not to be alone.
Maybe I'm better
off now, without any common language."
Stephanie Young, ed. | Bay Poetics | Faux | 2006
To know, finally and certainly, that one is part of a muchness, not a too-muchness.
More Joshua Clover. Back to directory.