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Showing posts from August, 2005

DC comes to Chapel Hill

A really terrific reading last night at The Nightlight in Chapel Hill. Some of the DC poets braved the highways and read some fascinating poetry. First up was Kathy Eisenhower. I was not familiar with her work so it was a very nice surprise (like going to a movie you've never seen the previews for and it turns out to be a real cracker!) Then Tom Orange with a nice selection and range of poems spanning eight years. A split between particle-based poetics and saturation-based poetics. Scattered atoms looking to hook up with other atoms or/and a nice thick porridge (not in taste but consistency etc.) Then Adam Good read from some really fascinating projects. One was a collab with his brother Patrick. They each had a recent issue of the New Yorker mag and performed some cut-ups. Then collab'ed on their cutups and made a mini epic novel called With All My Bones. I really enjoyed listening to how the language negotiated familiar waters and made them strange (worn metaphors etc.) I me…

Fascicle is HERE!!!

Prepare to be blown away. This is a very promising literary journal (The best new lit journal I have ever witnessed whether print or online). Ambitious. Well-contextualized.

The very highest caliber (as in Sulfur, Jacket etc.)

Prepare to witness some history folks. If Fascicle keeps going for a while, it will be a part of small press history.

Here's the announcement:

The first issue of Fascicle is here:


The first issue features a special portfolio of Poems
on Poetry by Hebrew Poets from Spain & Provence (12th
– 15th c.) translated by Peter Cole.

Also featured are the first two Fascicle chapbooks,
Duncan's Spiders by Paul White, and Quasi Flanders,
Quasi Extremadura by Andrés Ajens (translated by Erin

Issue one includes critical prose by Eliot Weinberger,
Clayton Eshleman, David Rosenberg, Jon Thompson, Tony
Tost, Thomas Basbøll, Graham Foust, Kent Johnson,
Mikhail Epstein, and Nicomedes Suárez-Araúz. Also:
Jonathan Mayhew on Eshleman's reissued Cond…

Exciting news from Combo Books !!!!

This just in from Michael Magee at Combo Books:

Hi everyone,

It is my distinct pleasure to announce the publication of
the latest Combo Book,


Written under the pseudonym (or hypernym) Tosa
Motokiyu, edited by Kent Johnson and Javier Alvarez,
beautifully and painstakingly designed by Christian
Palino and Prototype Syndicate, perfectbound with a
gorgeous cover involving UV spot-lamination and other
things I don't understand, you must get your hands on
this book!

It will be available momentarily from Small Press
Distribution but you can also
order it (and put significantly more dough in the Combo
Books coffers!) by sending cash or check to:

Combo Books
c/o Michael Magee
7 Old West Wrentham Rd.
Cumberland, RI 02864

The price of the book is 12 dollars.

Here are some examples of advance praise for the
book and/or the Yasusada project generally:

"(The Yasusada Author) has done a brillian…

The next big fix

Finished reading Robert Kelly's Runes and now reading Clark Coolidge's Odes of Roba and a selection of poems from Maureen Owen's The No-Travel's Journal.

So ancient places have invaded my mind. Runes/ruins (as Kelly says in the intro to his book), ancient Rome and objects recontextualized and worn on the body (Owen manages to re-invigorate the list poem).

I read and write for the next buzz, the next fix. I am writing/reading for the perfect fix which will never arrive. I am reading/writing to set the world in motion, to rewrite the world and my experiences. The world must be recased. I read/write in order to learn and relearn how to pay attention (a never ending process).

I've come to realize how some writers use parataxis better than others. What I mean by better is with an aim toward the social nexus of language. Rather than just seeing all the postmodern (and New Sentence) parataxis as cool and hip, the really great ones use it for reasons, dare I say purposes. N…

poetry and ethics

I just finished reading Kent Johnson's _Lyric Poetry After Auschwitz_ and it woke me up. I've been a bit sluggish (two weeks of only bits of writing). One of the things I found most compelling in Kent's book is how the speaker is implicated in horrors of war/torture etc. (both post-avant and school of quietude are equally taken to task)

Duncan and Levertov had a falling out over Levertov's anti-Vietnam poetry. He argued he wasn't against "political" poetry, but he believed Levertov's anti-war poetry fell short because the speaker was outside of what she/he was critiquing. Kent's poems do a great job of asking how poetry matters in a time of war (not to be confused with Gioia's book). He takes to task people and poets who attempt a self-rightous outsider stance (i.e. Berstein's reaction to Sam Hamill's Poets Against the War site (and anthology). Berstein complains of the self-righteous stance of poems with unquestioning political content…


The semester starts on Monday and I just picked up four classes (just wish adjunct status included benefits). I don't like to do the same class twice, so I've immersed myself in readings for my classes.

Joe Donahue gave me some great advice on teaching a class on the beats. So my topics in British and American Lit class is on beat lit with particular attention to Burroughs and Kerouac (I'm using The Portable Beat Reader, Word Virus, and the Portable Jack Kerouac).

I am really sucked into Burroughs hard-boiled complex matrix of personal and public insights. The surreal elements are very real (in true surreal fashion) and come straight outta lived experience.

I've been thinking about authenticity. Burroughs lends authenticity to stories and personal narratives of junk and junkies because his body experienced it (not just imagination). But this is hairy. Can a non-junkie write convincingly about junkies?

I suppose it's possible but it seems a little rare. I am also re-re…

still more from Baltimore

more pics from Baltimore

more pics from the Baltimore reading

some pics from our stop in baltimore

more pics from Philly

1) Ken Rumble getting ready to wet willy Randall (his morning wake-up call. (Wish I looked that sexy w/out my shirt on)

2) Todd and Laura with punk rock legend Mickey (he toured with the sex pistols back in the day. Now he sells his outsider art)

some pics from our stop in Philly

1) Molly engaged in conversation

2) a famous Philly politician

3) sign for the Italian market

4) Brian Howe Waking up (Molly let us sleep in her room in the bookstore. A very kind and energetic and fascinating person)

5) Todd and Laura waking up

Lucifer Poetics east coast tour

1) Marcus points to the deli in Brooklyn (our morning after meeting spot for the journey to Ithaca)

2) I met my good friend Hardy Gieske in Brooklyn (he recently relocated)

3) Our reading space in Pete's Candy Store

in Ithaca we found a cabin

Brian Howe leaves our cabin of infinity (we had some good stony talk about infinity in there). Marcus Slease and Ken Rumble hug as brothers as they contemplate the long 14 hour drive back to NC.

sorry I missed the chance for one of these

Jack Kerouac, The Bobblehead

Lowell Massachusetts native Jack Kerouac is getting bobbleheaded - Boston Red Sox single-A affiliate Lowell Spinners will be giving out 1000 Jack Kerouac bobbleheads on August 21, as part of Jack Kerouac night.

The bobblehead doll itself is about 8 inches tall. The figurine sports a full head of black hair and stands on a copy of On the Road, pen and notebook in hand.

And, lest you think, this is blasphemous, his executor thinks it's a great idea. John Sampas, executor and brother of Kerouac's third wife, says, "Besides being an author, he was an all-around guy. He was a great sports enthusiast, too. Certainly, Jack would love it." The Lowell Spinners' official site. [Via MeFi]

Bobbleheads we'd like to see: J.D. Salinger, Patricia Highsmith, Thomas Pynchon, and Haruki Murakami.

(Posted by Jen Chung)

A Wild Lucifer Poetics Tour of the East Coast

What an amazing trip with the Lucifer Poetics Group. I am exhausted but very happy. Brian Howe has a nice report at:


Mike Snider has a brief account of the Baltimore reading here:

Mike Snider's Report

Greg Deslie has some pics from the Ithaca reading:

Poetry Space

and some pics from Reb Livingston (from the Baltimore reading)

Baltimore Pics

It is also rumored Matthew Shindell may have a recording of the reading in Baltimore for his poetry radio show My Vocabulary. LOOK OUT!

I'll post some pics soon. Once my mac mini arrives in the mail.

podcast is delayed

I am trying to find a server to store mp3 files for podcasting. So do not subscribe to never mind the beasts on itunes yet. For some reason it's just a pdf file right now.