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3.23.2004

I've fallen desperately in love with Mark Tardi's new book _Euclid Shudders_. You've probably seen these poems in one of your favorite small mags.--I've been following them for awhile now, and I'm constantly surprised at how fresh each poem feels. Take this:

series 37

before slumber found a stone

the toric frequency

robed light
left at the piano

threadless
factorially stilled

unpronounced angles

the knock apparition
without

reference to its embedding

I especially appreciate how the Euclid's focus on economy. In this little volume there is SO MUCH happening in a very slim cosmos--reminds me of when poets cared more abt. writing careful and good poems as opposed to a lot of poems. Remember those days??

series 22

Tense. It passed itself only to forget it moved.

Le Euclids was only recently printed by Tracy Grinnell's fine Litmus press, and I'm glad she did it, as I would have had to publish the damn thing myself and I can't take on any more projects at the moment.

I found out recently the Tardi is in some sort of position of power at Dalkey Archive (or at least used to be). That makes me like his book even more!

series 12

"asymmetrical echo"

nearly two mouths flee through a yawn

peroneous anti-stones

of the tumeric sequence

melting at an atmosphere

worn shadows

alibi an isotope

or lintel into grift




See what I mean??


There's a longish poem at the end of the Euclids, "Eventual Horizon," that I want to hear Mark talk abt. a bit. I'm not quite sure how to read it. Mark: if you read this, send me an email and talk about this poem so that I may talk abt. it. I am afraid without your guidance.

Some of these shudders are in the new Magazine Cypress. If you already have that mag, or can get it at your leisure, read Mark's Euclids there and then return to this site to hear Mark talk abt. the book when he eventually emails me abt. it.

3.10.2004

Two new hot-shit chaps on my desk right now, both already worn from use.

Buffalo expatriate Patrick Durgin, editor of Kenning (who, by the way, just finished Lorenzo Thomas' new book), sent on his chapbook "Wise Up." I'm glad to see that Patrick is still printing books, and as always, this chapbook is both elegant and unique. I haven't seen much of Patrick's work, but what I have seen, I LOVE! My favorite Durgin poem is in this little volume (a poem I used for a Secret Swan last year):

Song Ink

after Clark Coolidge

When on the make, we make
sure to see, to see the trees
a speech let the line in.
So setting off and forth
again when on and in
A trace the trees make.
Full in the face
see the muse it solves.

I wish someone would force Patrick to put a full-length together, as this chap is MUCH TOO SHORT. The poems are careful and smart, so it's nice to concentrate on only a few at a time, but dammit, I want more! If you print books, do yourself a favor and track down Patrick's work. And then print it.

Also on the desk is William Fuller's "Avoid Activity," printed by Buffalo's own Christopher Alexander (and his Rubba Ducky imprint). Christopher did an amzing job putting this thing together. The covers are letterpressed (under Kyle Schlesinger's ever watchful supervision!) on downy beige paper. Guts offset and hand stitched (I 've found that Chris is one of the better (and fastest!) stitchers around!). I'm not too familiar with Fuller's work, though I liked the recent Flood Edition Sadly. I like these poems even better:

Maple

Twenty-seven names
about to spit
the treble
calls this orthodoxy
if we tend
the opposite way
is there not enough room?
do we really have to fight?
the sky is serene
round and brilliant
crossing the main arc
to create a plurality
inhabitated like our own
deferent, plastered, knotted
nailed, glued
the size of an egg or smaller
not of the same species
dog-headed men
diffused upward
in an expanding shell
I could see others
in someone else's pain
did they do that to themselves?
returning to life
along the crammed walkway
they begin to talk
I don't reply
it was no dream
my eyes blur shapes
a chunk of asphalt
strings of white lights
a featherbed
now I know it's a trick
graveyard trees
believe this also
the dawning of an aspect
has never learned
the epithet sadly
jerked from the ground
and forced to sit up
in the sun's glow

I like this poem even more now that I've typed it! You should try it.

Get Rubba Ducky books and assorted paraphernalia here: www.epc.buffalo.edu/presses/rubbaducky

3.09.2004

Just returned from seeing Peter Brotzmann at Hallwalls with Kyle Schlesinger, Christopher Alexander, and Thom Donovan. WOW! Brotzmann on sax (of course) and clarinet, William Parker on everything (but mostly bass), and Hamid Drake on drums. Drake is my new favorite drummer. Someone got yelled at for trying to walk across the stage. The guy from Eremite record was on hand to talk jazz, and he ended up being very nice. Strangely, he is from Northampton, home of the notorious NEG, Le Baus, and company.
I've received so many beautiful books of late, I've been putting off blogging because I have so much to write! (strange that I'm compelled to avoid writing as I've too much content!). I want to spend a day or so on each, but in order to get moving, I'll have to do quickish reviews in spurts (probably over a number of days)

First, Pinball Publishing:
Pinball is a publishing venture out of Portland OR. (abt. 4 hours north of my old stomping grounds--Ashland (By the way, Kasey, congrats on the new gig!), publisher of the very handsome magazine "eye-rhyme." Issue #6 (the gold issue) is very gold and very pleasing to the eyes. It is also pocket size, which is important to me. It is a journal of "The Best In Experimental Literature," though there's not much here I'd tag "experimental, though there is interesting writing all the same (remind me someday to jump into my missive on over-use of "experimental" and "avant garde." At a recent talk, Steve McCaffery expressed similar sentiments: "I am not experimental"). I recognize very few of the names here, though this fact is what ultimately makes me want to read it! And the best part--it's only five bucks!!

Pinball also sent on David Harrison Horton's new chapbook "Pete Hoffman Days." I really like David's work a lot, and it so happens that these poems were in the works when I first met him back at Mills a couple of years ago. The book itself is a stunning object, and very tiny (I tend to prefer small-ish books. They are more managable). Horton's at his best throughout this little number:

A little bit of a lean back to the bag. Bleachers.
Sun and shade seating mid-afternoon. Mostly
Sun. Pete tuned the radio to hear the AM
announcers. Mainly to have someone to shout at. That
guy's an idiot!
after every single strike. Idiot! every out. It
would seem like it would seem like a long afternoon.

These poems are about baseball. I am also smitten with Horton's translation work--
especially his work on the Marcelin Pleynet mss. (see Syllogism #5)

Stephanie Young says of Hoffman:

"Who is this Pete Hoffman? Who has David Horton been channeling? We may call Pete a filter, and like the liver, when flushed with alcohol, William Shakespeare, William Burroughs, Ezra Pound, Sappho, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Tyrus Cobb, the poet begins to slur his words. But there is still 'something of a war' says Pete, says Ty Cobb. On the stand, at the mic, batter up: Culture v. Culture. Reception v. Reception. The heckler channels the heckler. In the land of the prose poem, Pete Hoffman is king."

Ty Cobb's first name was "Tyrus"??!

David Horton is currently teaching English in China somewhere, and just recently sent me some very good, new poems.

Both "eye-rhyme" and Horton's "Pete Hoffman Days" can be had at www.pinballpublishing.com

Dana Ward recently sent a copy of his Magazine Cypress, issue two, complete with mint green cover and gold enblazoned sticker of the number 2. I love that Magazine Cypress is oversize--it gives the poems fucking room to breathe. Thank you. So much great writing here, I don't know where to start. I really appreciate Ward's editorial eye. Some contributors: Susan Landers, Mark Tardi, Brandon Downing, Joel Bettridge, Jordan Davis, etc.etc., all of whom I like very much. This is one of the better mags around these days, and pretty affordable too. I especially like Tardi's "Euclid" here (Tardi is great, and I hope to riff on his Euclids sometime soon):

from "Euclid Shutters"

series 14

Today's dream was the color of subtraction. A violin in a void.

But boats made of dust? The isotropic fuselage? There was a

project for the sun and is. It's very. An octonary impulse or

elbow for an ear. Yet one went and came and never claimed a bat

for a bedroom. Without residue. Steady stairs to marrel the

marcee. All weathers. Worn shadows thrown at length.

We need more big magazines.

Buy Cypress b/c I want to see a #3. Stop by www.cypresspoetry.com. While you are there, buy James Meetze's new chapbook.

More soon...

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