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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Oh nine

In January embarrassment is a virtue and a lot of people are wonderful. A motheaten, a thankgoodness of blank space. Smell nice for the new president. It's just crushed nuts you know. Cut hours, OK. In February, shopped in the bitter glitter for fake Fendis purple kneehigh boots with Anne and we ate Indian with Jen. Laughter would be our vocabulary. Everytime I close my eyes I see Chinatown baubles. A brief interlude with a minor flu. Snowblown at the sculpture garden. In March the birds are back, and that means it's nearly finally spring. I'm a bit trepid, worrying about a family matter that hopefully will turn out to be nothing [but didn't]. Flexing muscles. We're looking at April as 30 opportunities to stun, amuse, titillate, annoy, confound, flatter, coddle, creep out, harrass, tickle, flay alive, and smooch you. (In other words, we wrote some poems.) This kind of wanton abundance must be bad for literature. WE DESTROY CULTURE. Dental surgery. One year vegan, never better. Tyrant May brought a rough week for the homeboys, a former love an overdose, another friend lost, and Mom in a tangle of surgeries. I hopped an airplane. A cancer removed. A fever too high. A panicked infection. I missed two weeks of work that felt like years, in a hospital, driving on a highway in a rented van, a clan of worriers, a pack of women. But then a wedding, dear friends discovered their best fit, in a green dress in the rain, in a clearing mental weather, a resettling home. So it wasn't all bad, some running and hiking, plenty of flowers and pets and a husband who makes breakfast to take out on the patio. But of hospitals I've had enough, and bad news too. Please hurry, June, with your vegetables boxed and bouncy, white-lit weekends of woods and finally some good news for my mother, no chemo or radiation to come. Snapping turtle warning on the farm, overly raindrenched, luxuriantly muddy. Come July, my dreamed tee shirt said I RAN TRACK AT MINEOLA PREP. A new hammock. Some visitors. A blueberry hunt in the pine barrens, a full flat of harvest, a colony of bees, a rescued turtle, a few sunburned spots. A decade of LIT. Sultry August, we headed for Maine in a pair of kayacks with stacks of books and good pens. Surprised to discover a book has mostly written itself, under my unknowing nose. Commit to it. The argument is love. September brings our reconstructed mother, lovely and healthy. We pick apples. We go to Philly to show her the Liberty Bell. She likes the murals. Our sister comes too. October seems empty, though it wasn't. And we'd gathered hickories and walnuts. Dug sassafras. We skull-decked the house and portioned out sweets. November, remember, already rolling the downward the slope to the end went so fast. We drove to the Catskills. Built some fires, played silly games with friends. December, still sliding, a birthday an airplane a Christmas two snowstorms a deep breath a reset an end.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Last chance to score a free book!

The Bloof Bundle special ends December 31. ($45 includes our 4 latest books, free shipping, donation to POETS IN NEED & a matching donation from Bloof! Quite a deal!)

Details here.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Bloof news

Crossposted from the Bloof Blog:
The blurbs for Peter Davis's forthcoming book Poetry! Poetry! Poetry! are rolling in.

Mairead Byrne says "Passing Professor Davis's office door yesterday--Professor Davis’s closed office door--I found myself wishing he was on a Fulbright like before, not a MacArthur, so that he would be back among us sooner, casting his brilliant (and humane) light. Because how is our intellectually restless little ivied community to survive without him? This book will help. From a time when he was young, full of hope, teaching in Muncie, it looks us straight in the eye, inviting us to identify with this nubile and insouciant David--before he became the giant that is Peter Davis."

Check the others (by Kenneth Goldsmith & Daniel Nester, with more on the way) out on Peter's new PPP-related blog here. We expect to have copies in time for AWP.

Becca Klaver reviews Warsaw Bikini in the latest edition of h_ngm_n:

"Simonds’ poems are rocket-speed soliloquies. They’re the opposite of Wordsworth’s 'emotion recollected in tranquility': instead, they are acts projected out of anxiety, revealing the artistic propulsion of that psychic state—the prismatic, sometimes madcap voices and visions waiting where its arrow touches down.

If the turns of Warsaw Bikini’s diction and imagery dazzle as consistently as the book’s title leads you to believe they will (and they will!), there might be some room for the forms to better direct their glint. Many poems consist of dense, imagistic leap-laden stanzas snaking thickly down the page ('A System of Sufficient Complexity,' 'The Truth About the Pills I Took,' 'The America You Learn From'), but I tend to prefer the ones that use shorter lines and more white space, the ones that visually alert their leaps, deftly place their puns, and provide a defined, if rugged, structural landscape for the speaker to climb up or ski down (e.g., 'You Should Put a Neighborhood on That,' 'I Am Small,' and 'Tomorrow’s Bright Bracelets')."

Read the rest here.

Anne Boyer on Warsaw Bikini: "Sandra is a fellow-traveler to some celestial organization, a down low ideologue for the heavens, as if an aesthete were mistaken for an astronaut and given, as a costume, scuba equipment, and given, as reading material, Das Kapital." Read the rest here.

Sandra's chapbook Used White Wife (Grey Book Press) makes Nate Logan's Best of 2009 list at No Tells.

And she's got a new poem up at The New Post-Literate: A Gallery of Asemic Writing.

Carrie Lorig reviews My Zorba for Lesser of Two Equals:

"Some poets take language out for a long, leisurely lunch and a stroll. Danielle Pafunda drags language out of bed in the middle of the night and takes it on a desperate mission through the war-torn house of the body.

Mirrors explode and shattered glass rains down on the mostly female narrator of Pafunda’s book, My Zorba, as she fights with an imaginary, mostly male character named Zorba. 'I could only think in small pieces!/I could not speak in first person! The copper wire/strung!/From my armpit, a personality exam, a pelvic diatribe' (In the Museum of Your Two Halves). Confusion, urgency, shape-shifting, and struggle maims every poem in My Zorba, producing language that is fragmented and mysterious, that jolts and halts like an ancient amusement park ride. It is as terrifying and difficult as it is beautiful; a drunk horror story covered in glitter."

Read more here.

And watch for Danielle's appearance on the Delirious Hem 2009 Adventskalendar on the 21st.

Jennifer L. Knox's poem "Why We Came and Why We Stayed" from A Gringo Like Me appears in The Lineup an annual chapbook of poems from Poetic Justice Press. Mystery Scene Magazine reviews the collection in their latest issue:

"Hardly representing the 'roses are red' school of poetry, these 20 poems smash into the dark heart of murder like a bullet into bone. Especially effective is Jennifer L. Knox's 'Why We Came and Why We Stayed,' which reveals a 'White-gloved, big-boned, wide-eyed wife.'

More info here.

Jen gets a nod from Mark Bibbins in this interivew with Bomb Magazine: "The person wearing the sweater in a Currin painting might also be naked from the waist down, which will always make someone uncomfortable, so he’s a good artist to invoke. John Waters and Gabriel Gudding and Jennifer Knox and Eileen Myles and Andy Warhol are others. Taste needn’t be merely 'good.' Solemn reverence is the default 'good taste' mode, and such poems look like parody to me at this point. On the other hand, if snark is your default and you don’t somehow tweak or transform it, that’s just as dull." Read the rest of the interview (and info on Mark's new book, The Dance of No Hard Feelings) here.

And she's got a new poem in InDigest and three more (including one from Drunk by Noon in The Awl. Don't miss 'em.

Anne Boyer on For Girls (& Others):

"Appropriation is always a slant authorship, aggravating to those who want to believe a poem is something with which we can disagree. This technique always has exactly a feminist cunning, and always a feminist heritage (the Baronness, Acker). We steal shit. It's not okay. It is sideways and deflecting and done with our under-hand out. [...] So Shanna Compton in For Girls & Others, steals shit, specifically from an old-fashioned instruction manual For Girls, also a little from that great heaving machine of cruel instruction, The Internet. To steal words to screw them up and then to self-publish them is for a girl (subjected to cruel instruction) like doing everything you were instructed against. This is a book made from elegant defiance. Compton means almost nothing of what she steals and says, not directly. She does not want us or our girl-offspring, to remain "soft / pink / forlorn."

Shanna also reads a poem for day 13 of the Delirious Hem 2009 Adventskalendar, curated by Susana Gardner of Dusie. Direct link.

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Message from Jennifer "El" Knox

Hey everybody, I just started this group on FB called "Art not Live Trees for Rockefeller Center."

I sure hope you all sign up, aside from those of you not on FB (website tk), and I hope that you invite thousands of people.

But even more than that, I hope those of you with blogs and media connections and whatnot give this a holler.

You should know I've never done anything like this (asked for your blog/talk space) in my life. But here's why I'm doing it:

I can't end dog fighting or sunbear bile harvesting or seal hunts.
I can't end open pit strip mining or the genetic modification of our food.
I can't end Rwandan genocide.
I can't stop red state puds from buying Sarah Palin's book.

But this tree thing, it's totally doable!!!!!!!!! Can't you hear the clock running out on this "tradition"?
I'm working on a website.
I hope you'll join me. Let's see how many signatures, and god willing, any press we can get.


For those of you not on FB, details below.

"Art not Live Trees for Rockefeller Center"
The world needs living trees--especially giant ones--and the world needs art! What a coincidence!
Let's collect thousands of names supporting this alternative to Rockefeller Center for their annual Christmas Tree:
1) Invite artists from around the world to submit proposals for a 76 ft-high (the height of 2009's tree) ILLUMINATED art installation.
2) All proposed installations must be created from 100% recycled materials
3) For the money that Rockefeller Center and NBC spend on cutting down a living tree, an artist can create an amazing, one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime work of art.
The time is now to usher in sustainability and environmental consciousness as the new tradition!
Website's coming soon. Please tell your friends and your friend's friends. Let's tell NBC and Rockefeller center that there is an alternative!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Delirious Hem's third annual adventskalendar...

...curated by the lovely Susana Gardner is now up for your (delirious) delectation.

Take a peek...erm, a listen!...every day in Dec. through the 24th!