October 25, 2009

Deborah Meadows


Deborah Meadows [USA]
1956

Born in Buffalo, New York, Deborah Meadows' father—and others in her family—were ironworkers, and she grew up in a working class neighborhood. But Buffalo is also hope to notable cultural institutions such as the Albright-Knox Art gallery, where she spent many hours as a young girl. In high school she traveled to Stratford, Canada for the Shakespeare festival and attended concerts of the Buffalo Philharmonic, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, while working at the Buffalo Paper Stock factory. Meadows attended the State University of New York, Buffalo, where she studied literature under figures such as the postmodern critic and novelist Raymond Federman and professor Myles Slatin.

Leaving Buffalo, Meadows continued her education at the California State University in Los Angeles, where she studied philosophy and literature, graduating in 1986. Soon after, she began teaching at California Polytechnic University in Pomona. Her first book of poetry, The 60’s and 70’s from “The Theory of Subjectivity in Moby-Dick,” was published by Tinfish Press in 2003. Green Integer published her Representing Absence in 2004; in the same year Krupskaya press published her Itinerant Men.
     More recently, Meadows has written plays, published by BlazeBOX as Three Plays in 2015.

In recent years, Meadows has been active in international cultural affairs, traveling twice to Cuba to work to work with Cuban writers such as Reina María Rodríguez and Antonio José Ponte and she has traveled to and worked with poets in Buenos Aires. She has also been active with her faculty union and various issues involving access and equity in public higher education.

With her lover, Howard Stover, Meadows lives in the Los Angeles area. They spend part of each year in a house they built in the Piute Mountains.

BOOKS OF POETRY

The 60’s and 70’s from “The Theory of Subjectivity in Moby-Dick” (Kāne’ohe, Hawaii: Tinfish Press, 2003); Representing Absence (Los Angeles: Green Integer, 2004); Itinerant Men (San Francisco: Krupskaya, 2004); Thin Gloves (Los Angeles: Green Integer, 2006); The Draped Universe (New York: Belladonna Books, 2007); Involutia (Exeter, United Kingdom: Shearsman Books, 2007); Goodbye Tisssues (Exeter, United Kingdom: Shearsman Books); Depleted Burden Down (New York: Factory School, 2009); How, the Means (Los Angeles: Mindmade Books, 2010); Saccade Patterns (Buffalo, New York: BlazeVOX, 2011); Translation--the bass accompaniment: Selected Poems (Bristol, England: Shearsman Books, 2013); The Demotion of Pluto (New York: BlazeVox, 2016)



Chapter 61

Sightings, basis for portent specimen.

My body. The power to sway
in playfulness upon a vacant sea.

A sore of voices come back to life,
[touted regularly as carved
[by invisible, gracious water:
[the body, itself.

A match, only start her, assault
the female fish, obliquely.
In place of an enormous head,
[raise the buried taken.

Turns were taken, it jetted up
[and passed round that point
wherein the event rushed a steady finger.

The process:
—red tide
—“slanting sun… sent back its reflection
[into every face, so that they all glowed
[to each other like red men”

The ideological slip:
—killed or killers, the Pequod/Pequod again

The poetic process:
—each puff from whale spout matched
puff from Stubb’s pipe
—penetrating in search of gold watch,
“His heart had burst.”

The slip in Time
—expense of moral capital to acquire it

The process of exposé:
—death agony, a witnessed
tragedy of corporeal Body

The national slip:
—casual equation, large death
and small goods use us up


(from The 60’s and 70’s, 2003)



Chapter 2

Reaching
inhaled reaching, followed by or tucked
in as most stop at this place.

A place of departure where headrests, sleep,
originals are required: cement
banisters merge public and private lives,
how can order disguise the bows, bowsprits, etc.

Frost lay. I said to myself, as towards
identity and self-naming, lower your bag
and cover the darkness toward
expensive pavements and pumice the
secret inwardness. It’s all self, all
society, dreary streets and buses on from
here and hereafter. Moving
absorbs many of the works in public, so
encased in ashes, in poor boxes.

A common place. I muttered bathetic
entertainment by the weeping negro church.
I suppose I might look enough, seem
sufficient that tenting indoors, that judgment
more than ever divides. Matchless
is the miracle on the outside where the
window frosts only one-way. Northern
lights raise the dead man within, silken his
pillow lengthwise.
Now fiery, more of this scrape and plenty.


(from Representing Absence, 2004)


We’ve held subject positions


We’ve held subject positions beyond
the grave, experts claim.
A breakwall against sea surge
and psychological reduction, somebody
[or other coined it spectacular.

Too busy participating, we had no idea
how it resolved into a “scene,” and
we had no idea, and we had.

Official declarations that this
is the time for it were many places,
yet few of us felt implicated or even addressed,

[so we admired defacers:
This is the time for the foibles of logic
meant, alone, a long sentence
without appeal.
[The absurdities
of our shared rhetoric
omit how the body knows
[to do body things.

To bring out the shine, as a goal,
meant parental jingles extracting loyalty
[on whose behalves Our nation
[engages in it.

Sometimes you need a rock
to weigh something down.


(from Representing Absence, 2004)

Faux translation of Charles Baudelaire’s “To the Reader”

The sot, his error or fishing lens
lives in our spirits, works in our bodies,
so we eliminate our friendly notes
like mendicants nourishing our vermin.

Our fish are heady, our repentance milky.
We do ourselves gross injustice by what we have
and lease happiness in a scarlet shirt.
Known for its dye that runs when washed, we touch it.

On the topic of bad birds, there’s thirteen
who longs for our impress, our service,
whose baton will vaporize all our freedom
like a suave atomic scientist.

It’s the bull who has our reconstructed son!
About the repulsive objects we work on, we joke
about the day the flames of our descendants are not about here
we joke without bleakness in order to cross the sills that leak.

The poor debauched sot who lowers his mouth and eats
the martyred river from an antique cupboard
we go together along a passage of pleasure and secrecy
that is hard pressed like our agent’s orange.

Zig-zag yet still being formed by millions of hemoglobin donors
is the cut womb of the townspeople
and when we breathe death itself into our lungs,
we breathe the invisible flowers very deeply of our sad songs.

If Viola, poison, flowery painters, and revolutionaries
are not brooding again and again over their demented pleasures,
then the everyday canvas of our pitiful destiny
is our friend like a hell that can’t be hardy.

But the old images in the canyons, the mountain lions and bugs,
the chanters, scorpions, and biting snakes
are all monstrous exaggerations of those that are merchandized
at ramparts of our notorious zoo of cruelty and vice.

It is more laid, more sold, more unworldly
than anything else that can be a large gesture or big cry.
It volunteers the garbage of the land
and lowers all our attempts in this world.

The eye of the bored person involuntarily blinks
because it dreams of the sot high from smoking.
You know it’s true, that monstrous delicacy,
that drug of hypocrisy, like me, like you.



(from Representing Absence, 2004)

____


“Chapter 61,” reprinted from
The 60’s and 70’s from “The Theory of Subjectivity in Moby-Dick"(Kāne’ohe, Hawaii: Tinfish Press, 2003). ©2003 by Deborah Meadows. Reprinted by permission of the author.

“Chapter 2,” “We’ve Held Subject Positions,” and “Faux Translation of Charles Baudelaire’s ‘To the Reader’” reprinted from
Representing Absence (Los Angeles: Green Integer, 2004). ©2004 by Deborah Meadows. Reprinted by permission of Green Integer.




Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
2006-2007

Midnight in Our Motivated

Right here, an alternate reading or despair our conditions?
Suggestion of foul play makes us experimental partners tentative

in keeping beat as nationalist pulse that races,
arranged in steps. But then coming down, erratic

words in mold and stale bread, informational or distilled
story, no unturned example, unpermitted dumping

altogether-now when most attacked historically –
At reading, our meter for conditioned signs now bypassed,

valid signature, worked valve, slick-faced
interference, rolled up welcome mats, suspicion –

now that's another story: hopped up percussionists
hum of air tankers on return circuit ‘til it's out

emphasizing old taints and favors, impediments
liked for charting counterintuitive voting patterns

believers are no longer pulled inward to its great
or sundown, whichever comes first. A new science,

a sort of confusion using bad foot to drag good
as two ends reach across states' suspension.

Hadn't you hoped for a change adding fire,
telling-knots addressed to mind by hand, but the music

acquired measure runs its blood circuit, what's there
after midnight in our motivated glacial moraine. None.

No software adequate to discern delusion, an error
behind favoring the favored, never happens

yet how little we know of the world's composition
in just societies even in legislative form

or social constraint, those forces holding power of refusal
to natural domination, ill-gotten releases.

Products from agricultural regions compete for last:
feathers drop after double barrier, world becomes wide.

Irresistible volume to pattern desire, define equally
as mystify, knowing deferral works well –

boulder and drag-marks behind the car's embankment.
The means already upon us completes
our education by vanishing, tools stuck with range:

limits embellish mortal compass with blurred sides, so true

_____
Reprinted from Shearsman, No. 67/68 (2006)

Guy Bennett

Guy Bennet [USA]
1960

Guy Bennett was born in Los Angeles, but grew up in the suburb of Gardena. As a young child, his father left the family, and Bennett and his younger brother—a sickly child who died at the early age of 29—were raised by his mother and grandmother, both of whom spoke a dialect of Italian, the grandmother’s native language. In the late 1980s and early 1990s Bennett attended the University of California and received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. In 1993, he graduated from that institution, with a PhD in French literature. His interest in Futurism also led him to master Russian and Italian.

Soon after graduation, Bennett met Douglas Messerli at an Italian Futurist conference, and—after showing the publisher some translations he had done of Marinetti, for which he had recreated the original typefaces—came to work as typographer for Sun & Moon Press.

Simultaneously, Bennett taught French language and literature at UCLA and other local community colleges. He also began to translate books from French and other languuages, many of which were published by Sun & Moon and Green Integer. Previous to the publication of his own first book of poetry, Last Words, Bennett began his own press, Seeing Eye Books (in 1997) which continues to publish four books, available by subscription, annually.

In 1999 he became Associate Professor of Liberal Studies and Communication at Otis College of Art & Design. The year before he married French scholar and writer Béatrice Mousli, and together they now split their time between Los Angeles and her native Paris.

In 2000, Bennett published The Row, and in 2001 his chapbook 100 Famous Views was published by 108.93 press. The Italian publishing house ML & NLF published a bilingual collection of his poems, Drive to Cluster (with art by Ron Giffin), in 2003.

Bennett has continued to translate and to typeset books for several local and national publishers. With Standard Schaefer, Bruno Franklin and Chris Reiner, he organized a poetry reading series at a local café. And he has been active in several poetic ventures throughout the city. With his wife, Bennett organized an exhibit and conference on “French and American Poetry in Translation” at the University of Southern California, the Autry Museum, and Otis College of Art & Design in 2003.

Bennett’s writing, like his personality, is witty, urbane, and highly focused. His writing often has formal systems quietly embedded in it, but the poetry itself in influenced by a wide range of interests: music (for several years he played bass in a local musical group), photography, film, architecture, and, as one might expect, the languages and literatures of other countries.


BOOKS OF POETRY

Last Words (Los Angeles: Sun & Moon Press, 1998); The Row (Los Angeles: Seeing Eye Books, 2000); One Hundred Famous Views (Atlanta: 108.93, 2001); Drive to Cluster (Piacenza, Italy: ML & NLF, 2003); 32 Snapshots of Marseilles (Corvallis, Oregon: Sacrifice Press, 2010); Self-Evident Poems (Los Angeles: Otis Books/Sesimicity Editions, 2011)




from Self-Evident Poems



Preliminary Poem


This poem is self-contained
and self-sufficient.
It does not require critical commentary
or explanations of any kind
to convey its meaning,
which is self-evident.

It does not exceed a single page,
and is thus appropriate
for publication in magazines
and anthologies.

It can be read in a single sitting,
and will not unduly tax the reader or listener
as it neither necessitates nor benefits from
excessive post-reading reflexion.


Literal Poem


This poem
means exactly what it says
and nothing more.
It was intended
to be taken literally,
thus no figurative language
was used,
and no symbolic meaning
can be infered.
For this reason
I feel confident in asserting
that it is not possible
to not understand
this poem.


Poem Based on a Comparison


This poem
is not unlike a small animal
living, imperceptibly,
on the periphery of the human world,
hiding in bushes,
crawling through tall grass,
or cruising silently
in water so turbid
that no one will ever see it.


Conceptual Poem


Aesthetically speaking,
this is not a conceptual poem.

Linguistically speaking,
it is.



Palindromic Poem


A palindromic poem
reads the same way
from beginning to end
as from end to beginning.


Poem Written to Be Read


This poem
was written to be read,
whether silently or aloud,
to oneself or others,
as frequently or infrequently
as one might like.

In that respect,
it is no different
than any other poem.

In other respects
it is.


Poem with Rhyme


Everyone knows
that poems don’t rhyme
anymore.


Enigmatic Metaphorical Poem


This poem is something else!



Elliptical Poem


This poem

.


Poem on the Death of The Author


This poem was written
prior to the death of the author,
obviously.


Socially-Relevant Poem


I had never written one
before this.








Elitist Poem


The paradigmatic shift
implicit in the title of this poem
may well elude the common man.








Populist Poem


I couldn’t think of one.








Anti-Intellectual Poem


This poem is against intellectualism
in all its forms.
It rejects the results
of abstract reasoning and analysis,
which often contradict the simple home-truths
held since birth by the majority.
It is deeply suspicious
of anyone and anything
not immediately and transparently
understandable,
and is acutely wary of explanations,
elucidations, and demonstrations
of any kind.
It prefers home-schooling to education,
faith to knowledge,
opinion to evidence,
entertainment to information,
shooting first to asking questions,
cowboys to indians,
Oprah to opera,
ketchup to kimchi,
and us to them.
In its blithe self-centeredness
and baseless confidence,
it bitterly opposes anything
not as patently self-evident
as this poem.


________


(c) 2010 by Guy Bennett

August 1, 2009

Matt Robinson

Matt Robinson [Canada]
1974

Matt Robinson is a native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, who currently works in Residential Life at The University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, NB. His most recent collection of poetry is no cage contains a stare that well (ECW, 2005), a full-length volume of hockey poems.

A two time National Magazine Award finalist, robinson’s poetry has received numerous awards, including The Petra Kenney International Poetry Prize and Grain’s Prose Poem Prize. A recipient of The NB Foundation for the Arts’ Emerging Artist of the Year Award, his poems have appeared on radio and television, in numerous Canadian, American, British, and Australian publications, as well as in anthologies such as The New Canon (Vehicule, 2005), Breathing Fire 2 (Nightwood, 2004), Poetry: A Pocket Anthology (Pearson, 2004), Literature: A Pocket Anthology (Pearson, 2004), Coastlines: The Poetry of Atlantic Canada (Goose Lane, 2002), Exact Fare Only 2 (Anvil, 2004), and Landmarks: An Anthology of New Atlantic Canadian Poetry of the Land (Acorn Press, 2001).

A poetry editor at The Fiddlehead, Robinson has also served as NB / PEI Regional Representative and President of The League of Canadian Poets. He holds a BA and a BSc from Saint Mary’s University, a B.Ed. from Mount Saint Vincent University, and a M.A. in Creative Writing from The University of New Brunswick.

Robinson's previous books of poetry include the letter-pressed, limited edition chapbook of hockey poems, tracery & interplay (Frog Hollow Press, 2004), as well as the full-length collections how we play at it: a list (ECW, 2002), and A Ruckus of Awkward Stacking (Insomniac, 2000), which was short listed for both the Gerald Lampert Memorial and ReLit Poetry Awards.


BOOKS OF POETRY

A Ruckus of Awkward Stacking (Toronto: Insomniac Press, 2000); how we play at it: list (Toronto: ECW Press, 2002); tracery & interplay (Victoria, British Columbia: Frog Hollow Press, 2004); no cage contains a stare that well (Toronto: ECW Press, 2005)

July 31, 2009

Elaine Equi

Elaine Equi [USA]
1953

Born in Oak Park, Illinois, Elaine Equi grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. She received a B.A. and M.A. in English from Columbia College, and after graduating, went on to teach a poetry workshop there for several years. Along with her husband, poet Jerome Sala, she helped create a lively performance poetry scene. In 1988, they moved to New York City where she currently teaches creative writing in the M.F.A. programs at The New School and City College.

Equi’s early books are Federal Woman (1978), Shrewcrazy (1981), and The Corners of the Mouth (1986). In 1989, she published Surface Tension, the first of many books with Coffee House Press—firmly establishing herself as a poet of national reputation. It was followed by Decoy (1994), Voice-Over (1998) (chosen by Thom Gunn for the San Francisco State Poetry Award), and The Cloud of Knowable Things (2003). Ripple Effect: New & Selected Poems was published by Coffee House in 2007.

Equi’s work is often praised for its lucid simplicity. Wayne Koestenbaum characterizes it as “clean, clear, cool, quick,” adding that, “she is at once an entertainer and an oracle….” Of her own work she writes: “I like the fact that for the most part, my poems are pretty accessible. I don’t consciously aim for that, but I do know that my sense of audience is always a mix of literary and non-literary types. On the other hand, I like to keep things (especially in terms of language) interesting. Over the years, my work has been informed by a wide range of styles including surrealist, concrete, and classical Chinese poetry, so it’s not unsophisticated—just willfully direct in a minimalist sort of way.”

BOOKS OF POETRY

Federal Woman (Chicago: Danaides Press, 1978); Shrewcrazy (Los Angeles: Little Cesar Press, 1981); The Corners of the Mouth (Los Angeles: Iridescence Press, 1986); Accessories (Great Barrington, Massachusetts: The Figures, 1988); Views without Rooms (New York: Hanuman Press, 1989); Surface Tension (Minneapolis: Coffee House Press); Decoy (Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 1994); Friendship with Things (Great Barrington, Massachusetts: The Figures, 1998); Voice-Over (Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 1998); The Cloud of Knowable Things (Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 2003); Ripple Effect: New and Selected Poems (Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 2007)

╬Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
1993-1994

To the Unconscious

Grey cat in coffee shop
Head cocked over cup.

Caught in the act
(poised in the art)
of listening

Like when I say
I wasn’t thinking about us
and “us” comes out in
another voice, not mine.

An echo of she
whose presence we find
ourselves in

(already gone)

that was Eurydice.


______
Reprinted from The World. Copyright ©1993 by Elaine Equi



Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
2005-2006



Bent Orbit

I wind my way across a black donut hole
and space that clunks.
Once I saw on a stage,
as if at the bottom of a mineshaft,
the precise footwork
of some mechanical ballet.
It was like looking into the brain
of a cuckoo clock and it carried
some part of me away forever.
No one knows when they first see a thing,
how long its after image will last.
Proust could stare at the symptom of a face
for years, while Frank O’Hara, like anyone with a job,
was always looking at his watch.
My favorite way of remembering is to forget.
Please start the record of the sea over again.
Call up a shadow below the pendulum of a gull’s wing.
In a city of eight million sundials, nobody has any idea
how long a minute really is.


_____
Reprinted from The Brooklyn Rail (January 2005). Copyright ©2005 by Elaine Equi.

Rod Smith


Rod Smith [USA]
1962

Rod Smith was born in Gallipolis, Ohio in 1962 and grew up in Northern Virginia where he attended Stonewall Jackson High School. His first publication of poetry was a Ferlinghetti imitation which ap-peared in the Baltimore Sun in 1982. In the early 1980s Smith was a rural carrier for the US Postal Service in the vicinity of the Manassas Battlefield, during which time he studied Pound, Stein, Williams, Ashbery, O'Hara, Oppen, and others.

He began the journal Aerial with Wayne Kline in 1984 and published the first Edge Book in 1989. He moved to the District of Columbia in 1987 and became part of the DC poetry community which included the writers Tina Darragh, Lynne Dreyer, P. Inman, Doug Lang, Douglas Messerli, Joan Retallack, Phyllis Rosenzweig, and others. This group expanded over the years to include such writers as Leslie Bumstead, Jean Donnelly, Buck Downs, Heather Fuller, Mark McMorris, Carol Mirakove, Tom Orange, and Mark Wallace.

He met John Cage in Rockville, Maryland in 1987 and saw him regularly, playing chess (usually losing), in Washington and New York until Cage's death in 1992. Aerial published a selection of Cage's writing in 1991.

The playful title of Smith's first book, In Memory of My Theories, published by O Books in 1996, unequivocally locates his work in the New American and L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry traditions. Additional full-length collections, Protective Immediacy and Music or Honesty were published by Roof in 1999 and 2003. A long poem, The Good House, was published by Spectacular Books in 2000. A selection of poems entitled Poèmes de l'araignée was published in France in 2002 by Un bureau sur l'atlantique.

Smith manages the independent bookstore Bridge Street Books in DC and continues his editorial work with Edge Books, which has published award winning volumes by Joan Retallack and Kevin Davies. He is currently working on Aerial 10: Lyn Hejinian with the poet Jen Hofer. Smith is also editing, with Kaplan Harris and Peter Baker, The Selected Letters of Robert Creeley for The University of California Press.


BOOKS OF POETRY

The Boy Poems
(Washington, D.C.: Buck Downs Books, 1994); A Grammar Manikan [Object 5, featuring Rod Smith] (New York: Object, 1995); In Memory of My Theories (Oakland, California: O Books, 1996); The Lack (love poems, targets, flags...) (Elmwood, Connecticut: Abacus, 1997); Protective Immediacy (New York: Roof, 1999); The New Mannerist Tricycle [with Lisa Jarnot and Bill Luoma] (Philadelphia: Beautiful Simmer, 2000); The Good House (New York: Spectacular Books, 2001); Poèmes de l'araignée (Bordeaux, France: Un bureau sur l'atlantique, 2003); Music or Honesty (New York: Roof Books, 2003)


Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
2005-2006



from “Protective Immediacy”


But, Dr Williams
they die miserably,
anyway


& the light goes on on the
kneeling Ave Maria no sun
shining - come -
looking wood
hold off
so that we could meet
in my bag -
close I felt
it was content
even though I still didn't
history - you can read it -
you can snow -
Bernadette cupped it in her hands
a hole filled with cured place
because & in response
I read the manuscript
thinking about the fog
glass shook &
tell everything afraid beside the fruit
form
of a cross town bus
to happen to
police we have strange stolen
love at the moment
to you w/ a poem some said nothing
was trembling
is like a popsicle
you can read drinking itself
to see it script
with no sharp edges
the last part always
falls off
on the damp pavement behind us
burning
the creative process
on yr clothes


Reprinted from Cartograffiti, no. 1 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by Rod Smith.



give them retro cheese

Slave I,
of Kelly’s opinion, boxed modernist
6 bath valved cup dust/mist respirator via
the sons of gods gone down
on--

Fortunes have sunk thee,
most psychedelic, most
laughably overdubbed keepsake
wilted in Halifax

o Halifax!
-- invariant Arg residue devolving --
We shun thy moot attempting, break
out fussin’ like craigslist newbies--
Latex, disposable, glove,

For see there the naked jonesing
of war floweres, fixt ramparts
& wolverine sexlings--our whistled
lain poetics there splain

Their &/or our ice-cherry brains
peeled like justice, like Captain Black,
rhapsodic isabooties in the playset
isle, O dissonant world!
(so) plunging & (so) pointy ~

Is Harvey Keitel longer than a piece of string cheese?

I read David Fricke's Rolling Stone piece about
Ben Franklin lying in bed naked with an electrified kite string tied to his
Harvey Keitel. What seemed like a deal at $19.95, suddenly no longer does.
My dad liked to tell the old joke about the piece of string who kept getting
a tough-guy lieutenant History Channel condoms.
If only we could objectively measure the precise amount of cheese.
If only Steve Buscemi and a handful of other great actors barbecued together.



GENESIS

As anyone who has flown out of a cloud knows,
you are always on the other side of the equation.

For example, If you go poop as soon
as you feel the urge then usually it isn't as stinky.

It's customer service. Say you've come to a company
With questions only to be told by some sterile voice

To press this or click that until you arrive full circle
To your starting place with no help at all, and you still

Have to poop. Then you simply _must_ remember that
Whoever sheds the blood of a human,

By a human shall that person’s blood be shed;
For in his own image

God made mankind. When he was on hold.
When he had to poop.


WASHINGTON, DC IS GREAT!
for Ara Shirinyan

Washington, DC is a city that routinely appears in the news week after week.

The westernmost point of the Great Inverted Pentagram
of Washington DC is George Washington Circle Park.
My family and I recently visited your amazing city for the first time,
and may I say it was a great experience.

DC is a great city full of history and culture
that becomes home to a large number of UVA alumni.

If you are looking for great cheap eats, then Washington DC is a great
place to be.

Bike tours are a great way to explore D.C. There
are also many pharmacy jobs in Washington, DC.

We've got great tickets to all kinds of musicals and plays this year.
Visit the neighborhood surrounding Georgetown University for great
shopping from designer boutiques.

I love Washington, DC and it thrills me that this type of Washington,
DC is available.

GREAT NEWS FROM WASHINGTON DC!

A great nation deserves the truth.

Washington DC is a wonderful place to be in the Summer and you can find
an enormous amount of great deals throughout the city.

It's almost worth not getting blind drunk on Friday nights so you can be
up early enough to hit the Arlington Farmer's Market on Saturday.

My son and I had never been to Washington DC. We took your tour
this past weekend and it was a great!

Once upon a time in Washington, DC, there gathered over two hundred
Aggies, desperate for some good food.

Washington, DC is a great furnished place with lots of malls.

Washington DC. WOW!

Very well done, I can see you had a fantastic trip in America!
It was on Rachel Ray $40 a Day show.

Great Washington D.C. restaurants, great shopping and a contemporary
mix of American people can be found strolling the city streets of an area.

You Can Even Take a Woman to on a Date in Washington DC.

Another great new option that Dish TV Washington Navy Yard Washington
DC provides for its subscribers is portable programming through its
new PocketDish.

DC is great and way too much to see there for just one.

The home page of James Trotta's site for vacation/trip itineraries features some
great ideas for a trip to Washington DC. Uncork the Wine, Uncork the
Flavor, Uncork the Fun.

Great Wraps & Cheesesteaks, Union Station, Washington, DC - poor
customer service experience.

Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia: Great Destinations.

Basic

Operations - 100 words

come, get, give, go, keep, let, make, put, seem, take, be, do, have,
say, see, send, may, will, about, across, after, against, among, at,
before, between, by, down, from, in, off, on, over, through, to,
under, up, with, as, for, of, till, than, a, the, all, any, every, no,
other, some, such, that, this, I, he, you, who, and, because, but, or,
if, though, while, how, when, where, why, again, ever, far, forward,
here, near, now, out, still, then, there, together, well, almost,
enough, even, little, much, not, only, quite, so, very, tomorrow,
yesterday, north, south, east, west, please, yes.

Things - 400 general words

A-F

account, act, addition, adjustment, advertisement, agreement, air,
amount, amusement, animal, answer, apparatus, approval, argument, art,
attack, attempt, attention, attraction, authority, back, balance,
base, behaviour, belief, birth, bit, bite, blood, blow, body, brass,
bread, breath, brother, building, burn, burst, business, butter,
canvas, care, cause, chalk, chance, change, cloth, coal, colour,
comfort, committee, company, comparison, competition, condition,
connection, control, cook, copper, copy, cork, cotton, cough, country,
cover, crack, credit, crime, crush, cry, current, curve, damage,
danger, daughter, day, death, debt, decision, degree, design, desire,
destruction, detail, development, digestion, direction, discovery,
discussion, disease, disgust, distance, distribution, division, doubt,
drink, driving, dust, earth, edge, education, effect, end, error,
event, example, exchange, existence, expansion, experience, expert,
fact, fall, family, father, fear, feeling, fiction, field, fight,
fire, flame, flight, flower, fold, food, force, form, friend, front,
fruit

G-O

glass, gold, government, grain, grass, grip, group, growth, guide,
harbour, harmony, hate, hearing, heat, help, history, hole, hope,
hour, humour, ice, idea, impulse, increase, industry, ink, insect,
instrument, insurance, interest, invention, iron, jelly, join,
journey, judge, jump, kick, kiss, knowledge, land, language, laugh,
law, lead, learning, leather, letter, level, lift, light, limit,
linen, liquid, list, look, loss, love, machine, man, manager, mark,
market, mass, meal, measure, meat, meeting, memory, metal, middle,
milk, mind, mine, minute, mist, money, month, morning, mother, motion,
mountain, move, music, name, nation, need, news, night, noise, note,
number, observation, offer, oil, operation, opinion, order,
organization, ornament, owner

P-Z

page, pain, paint, paper, part, paste, payment, peace, person, place,
plant, play, pleasure, point, poison, polish, porter, position,
powder, power, price, print, process, produce, profit, property,
prose, protest, pull, punishment, purpose, push, quality, question,
rain, range, rate, ray, reaction, reading, reason, record, regret,
relation, religion, representative, request, respect, rest, reward,
rhythm, rice, river, road, roll, room, rub, rule, run, salt, sand,
scale, science, sea, seat, secretary, selection, self, sense, servant,
sex, shade, shake, shame, shock, side, sign, silk, silver, sister,
size, sky, sleep, slip, slope, smash, smell, smile, smoke, sneeze,
snow, soap, society, son, song, sort, sound, soup, space, stage,
start, statement, steam, steel, step, stitch, stone, stop, story,
stretch, structure, substance, sugar, suggestion, summer, support,
surprise, swim, system, talk, taste, tax, teaching, tendency, test,
theory, thing, thought, thunder, time, tin, top, touch, trade,
transport, trick, trouble, turn, twist, unit, use, value, verse,
vessel, view, voice, walk, war, wash, waste, water, wave, wax, way,
weather, week, weight, wind, wine, winter, woman, wood, wool, word,
work, wound, writing, year.

Things - 200 picturable words

angle, ant, apple, arch, arm, army, baby, bag, ball, band, basin,
basket, bath, bed, bee, bell, berry, bird, blade, board, boat, bone,
book, boot, bottle, box, boy, brain, brake, branch, brick, bridge,
brush, bucket, bulb, button, cake, camera, card, cart, carriage, cat,
chain, cheese, chest, chin, church, circle, clock, cloud, coat,
collar, comb, cord, cow, cup, curtain, cushion, dog, door, drain,
drawer, dress, drop, ear, egg, engine, eye, face, farm, feather,
finger, fish, flag, floor, fly, foot, fork, fowl, frame, garden, girl,
glove, goat, gun, hair, hammer, hand, hat, head, heart, hook, horn,
horse, hospital, house, island, jewel, kettle, key, knee, knife, knot,
leaf, leg, library, line, lip, lock, map, match, monkey, moon, mouth,
muscle, nail, neck, needle, nerve, net, nose, nut, office, orange,
oven, parcel, pen, pencil, picture, pig, pin, pipe, plane, plate,
plough, pocket, pot, potato, prison, pump, rail, rat, receipt, ring,
rod, roof, root, sail, school, scissors, screw, seed, sheep, shelf,
ship, shirt, shoe, skin, skirt, snake, sock, spade, sponge, spoon,
spring, square, stamp, star, station, stem, stick, stocking, stomach,
store, street, sun, table, tail, thread, throat, thumb, ticket, toe,
tongue, tooth, town, train, tray, tree, trousers, umbrella, wall,
watch, wheel, whip, whistle, window, wing, wire, worm.

Qualities - 100 descriptive words

able, acid, angry, automatic, beautiful, black, boiling, bright,
broken, brown, cheap, chemical, chief, clean, clear, common, complex,
conscious, cut, deep, dependent, early, elastic, electric, equal, fat,
fertile, first, fixed, flat, free, frequent, full, general, good,
great, grey, hanging, happy, hard, healthy, high, hollow, important,
kind, like, living, long, male, married, material, medical, military,
natural, necessary, new, normal, open, parallel, past, physical,
political, poor, possible, present, private, probable, quick, quiet,
ready, red, regular, responsible, right, round, same, second,
separate, serious, sharp, smooth, sticky, stiff, straight, strong,
sudden, sweet, tall, thick, tight, tired, true, violent, waiting,
warm, wet, wide, wise, yellow, young.

Qualities - 50 opposites

awake, bad, bent, bitter, blue, certain, cold, complete, cruel, dark,
dead, dear, delicate, different, dirty, dry, false, feeble, female,
foolish, future, green, ill, last, late, left, loose, loud, low,
mixed, narrow, old, opposite, public, rough, sad, safe, secret, short,
shut, simple, slow, small, soft, solid, special, strange, thin, white,
wrong.

April 27, 2009

Antonio Porta [Leo Paolazzi] (Italy) 1935-1989

Antonio Porta [Leo Paolazzi] (Italy) 
1935-1989 

Antonio Porta (Leo Paolazzi) was born in Vicenza in 1935, lived most of his life in Milan, and died on a business trip to Rome in 1989.

       In the early 60s he was one of the youngest members of the editorial staff of Il Verri and, with Corrado Costa and Adriano Spatola, also co-edited the poetry magazine Malebolge from 1964-1966.

     In 1961 his poetry was included in the revolutionary Italian anthology, I Novissimi. He participated in the various manifestations of "Gruppo 63," as a linear and visual poet, and was one of the founding editors of Quindici in 1967. For many years he worked as an editor in the publishing industry, with such houses as Bompiani, Sonzogno and Feltrinelli, and was also the literary critic for the daily Il Corriere della Sera and a regular contributor to the weekly book review Tuttolibri.

     In 1979 he edited the well-known anthology Poesia degli anni settanta, and, from its inception, was on the editorial board of the influential cultural tabloid Alfabeta.

     Among his publications as a poet are: La palpebra rovesciata (1960), Aprire (1963), Cara (1969), Metropolis (1971), Week-end (1974), Quanto ho da dirvi (1977), Passi passagi (1980), Melusina (1987) and Il giardiniere contro il becchino (1988).

      As a novelist his published work includes Partita (1967), Il re del magazzino (1978) and Se fosse tutto un tradimento (1981), while as a playwright he published La presa di potere di Ivan lo sciocco (1975) and La stangata persiana (1985).

BOOKS OF POETRY

La palpebra rovesciata (Milan: Azimuth, 1960); Zero: Poesie visive (Milan, 1963); Aprire (Milan: All'Insegna del Pesce d'Oro, 1964); I rapporti (Milan: Feltrinelli, 1967); Cara (Milan: Feltrinelli, 1969); Metropolis (Milan: Feltrinelli, 1971); Week-end (Rome: Cooperativa Scrittori, 1974); Quanto ho da dirvi (Milan: Feltrinelli, 1977); Passi passaggi (Milan: Mondadori, 1980); Melusina: Una ballata e un diario (Milan: Crocetti, 1987); Il giardiniere contro il becchino (Milan: Mondadori, 1988). 

ENGLISH LANGUAGE TRANSLATIONS 

As If It Were a Rhythm, trans. by Paul Vangelisti (San Francisco: Red Hill, 1978); Passenger, trans. by Pasquale Verdicchio (Montreal: Guernica, 1986); Invasions and Other Poems, trans. by Paul Vangelisti and others (San Francisco: Red Hill, 1986); Melusine, trans. by Pasquale Verdicchio (Montreal: Guernica, 1992); Metropolis, trans. by Pasquale Verdicchio (Los Angeles: Green Integer, 1999); Kisses, Dreams and Other Infidelities, trans. by Anthony Molino (Las Cruces, New Mexico: Xenos Books, 2004).

 


April 26, 2009

Martin Nakell

Martin Nakell [USA]
1945





























Martin Nakell was born, the son of a CP (Certified Public Accountant), in Alpena, Michigan—a small town on the shores of Lake Huron. His family moved to Southern California when he was 15, and he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1971 from the California State University, Northridge, near Los Angeles. He received his M.A. in Creative Writing in 1974 from California State University in San Francisco and his Doctor of Arts from the State University of New York at Albany in 1983. Upon graduating from Albany, Nakell became a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Chapman University in Orange, California, where he continues today.

Nakell begin writing in the 1960s, publishing in numerous journals, but was dissatisfied with his own writing until much later. His first book, The Myth of Creation, was published by Parentheses Writing Series in 1993. In 1997 Sun and Moon Press published his short fiction, The Library of Thomas Rivka, and in 2001 Green Integer/EL-E-PHANT books published his long novel, Two Fields That Face and Mirror Each Other, to literary acclaim. Other works of fiction include Settlement (2008), Monk (2009), and The Lord of Silence (2016).

Nakell’s work is philosophically-based and ruminative in its structures. Often, his poems flow in prose-poetry forms, and commonly, his poems function in a series of sequential writings that consider abstract issues such as “sequence,” “dialogue” and other such concerns.


In Los Angeles, where he lives, Nakell is also known for organizing poetry events and for the publications, particularly that of Leland Hickman, of his Jahbone Press. He has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Blue Mountain Center, and from Writers and Books in Rochester, New York. He has also received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Chapman University, and the University of California.

BOOKS OF POETRY

The Myth of Creation (San Diego: Parentheses Writing Series, 1993); Form (New York: Spuyten Duyvil Press, 2004); Goings (Margin-to-Margin Press, 2000); Tautological Eye (New York: Spuyten Duyvil Press, 2011); The Desert Poems of Southern California (New York: Spuyten Duyvil Press, 2014); IS (Litfest Press, 2015); Unnamed: The Emotions (Jaded Ibis Press, 2016)






ubiquitous



ubiquitous.
two very decent gentlemen
in a sun chessboard
object born of a mind
first one sighs
the other sighs
a chessboard in a sun struggles
each has a thought which he struggles with
and of course wins, conquers
or that they are on the same side, team,
work together for the sake of

oars
in the same sun molecules
on a salt body of water
salt as
some ubiquitous.

notion or idea holds them together
or something much stronger in a good life
imagined by a greek in a strong no a good chess

but these two are italians
no, actually puerto ricans, shopkeepers
with good shops so there’s no going home

the chessboard of course has long since resolved its
struggle
fingers curl over the absence of oars and water, water in
each country

some ubiquitous
but these two russian gentlemen
had never known such sunlight quite like this though
you’d think molecules
and never imagined such pleasures
as portable as

the molecular structure of the act of change is a
constant

sunlight falling through the translucent chessboard
leaving the hands of the gentlemen placed upon the
dissolving notion,
historically, of the city-state, of the country-state
of the state

except that one yawns, a deficit of oxygen
and the dictatorship of boredom
and the return of a thought not to be conquered:

ubiquitous:

I tried to imagine her thoughts. I imagined her
thoughts. I crossed
that imperial boundary among the bombardments,
ubiquitous,
of a real world. I came home with my bounty: the
absence of an ideal self.
ever present but not omniscient: the water.
omniscient but absent: an adam and an eve, or certain
figures and a motif, recurrent throughout musics

The park was like a garden in an old country. We played chess there
each afternoon meeting each other. When the war came we persisted,
although, of course, then we had to stay inside. My companion was a
brilliant interior carpenter who had built himself an excellent library, and
so we played chez toi. I love it when I know even one phrase from another
language, as though language were something ubiquitous, falling
from a sky like rainwater into my old mouth. He is more intelligent than I,
who am only a shopkeeper. Though I read through some of his books, now
that I’m alone, and I beat him often at chess not because I’m more bold,
and actually I don’t know why. Since we left Lebanon, a Paris of the Middle
East older than Paris if you want to know

to have been a seaman
to have sat at the oars of the longboat
to have seen the waters evaporate
to have continued, at your oar
to have looked around
to have had the idea to call some thing by its name
to have known that you were one of the symbols

(from The Myth of Creation, 1993)

Questions from the Gates

in that one is return
two is familiarity

Where were you today?

At the gates.

Did you go in?

Some.

Some?

Yes, some.

What were they talking about
at the gates today?

The weather. And waiting.

Where were their hands?

In their pockets.

Where were their eyes?

In their hands.

What did you see?

Cumulus clouds, though the sky
was temptingly pale, transparent blue
in the open spaces between

What else did you see?

I saw the gates, those iron
vertical bars open
and close.

Did they stay open for long?

I don’t think
they were open at all.

But you said you went in?

I thought I went in; there were
times I thought I was on
the other side, and someone
kept calling me to come out.

Who?

Someone with eyes
like my own: startled, that is,
brown eyes.

Were they in his hands
in his pockets?

No. He kept looking at me.
He kept saying to me,
come bout before those gates
close.

Why didn’t you stay?

I don’t know. Perhaps I’m a coward.

What was happening inside
the gates?

Many things. A man…

What?

…legs, he was digging for something
inside his legs.

Did you go in far?

Yes, I went in
very far.

Did you see me there?

You were there!


Yes, with my eyes
in my hands, holding them up
so they could see.

Were you actually inside the gates?

Yes. Some.

Did you put your eyes
back in your pockets
like the rest of them?

No. I put them back
where eyes come from.

Why?

Because I had to come back here
to see you, to talk to you
about things.

Would you go back?

You mean inside those gates, where we both have been?

Yes. Back, inside.

What gates?

(from Form, 2004)


Sequence of Forms Six


is idea
plus essence or

So rich in that part of that city.
Idleness to approximate sensual
sloth’s seaside argument.

Two sparrows in a pepper tree,
Hawk-eyed, hung light-footed, hungriness,
indulge in the dearth of indifference.

Aesthetic’s muscular labor
The voice of that vendor: Potatoes!

Or that most days after work they come home,
then walk by the uneven shore
so that much later they might sleep well
under open windows.
Or if not, she would say,
Bring me down into sleep with you,
and he would say,
abandon to other shapes, insolid also.

That corruption causes individual consequence.
The exercise even of small power.
It’s not an aphrodisiac,
but arises from a mark of ordinary fear, causes a sense of safety.

Cause and effect, cause and effect, cause, and effect.
Light-footed the sparrows’ fine claws find grooves in the bark

Or the shape of an aesthetic labor taking shape


(from Form, 2004)



PERMISSIONS

“ubiquitous”
Reprinted from The Myth of Creation (San Diego: Parentheses Writing Series, 1993). Copyright ©1993 by Martin Nakell. Reprinted by permission of the author.

“Questions from the Gates,” and “Sequence of Forms Six”
Reprinted from Form (New York: Spuytin Dyvil Press, 2004). Copyright ©2004 by Martin Nakell. Reprinted by permission of the author.

Robert Crosson


Robert Crosson [USA]
1929-2001

Born in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania in 1929, Robert Crosson remained in the East until his family moved to Pomona, California in 1944. He attended the University of California, Los Angeles, and received his B.A. in English in 1951, briefly joining the Communist Party during his college years. After college he began working as an actor in television and film, in 1954 landing a small role in White Christmas. The following year he appeared as the character Danny Marlowe in I Cover the Underworld. But Crosson grew increasingly dissatisfied with the Hollywood scene, which, combined with his brief political activities, dimmed his prospects for further Hollywood employment. In 1959 he traveled to Europe, working his way through various countries as a piano player, a black-marketer, and pimp.


In 1960 he returned to the United States, enrolling in Library Science at the graduate level at the University of California, Los Angeles. Eventually he dropped out, taking night jobs and attempting by day to write his first novel. Jobs as a painter and carpenter, another movie role (in Mike’s Murder in 1984), and a 1989 Poetry Fellowship from the California Arts Council, allowed him to survive during these lean years; however, as he grew older Crosson grew increasingly dependent on “the kindness of strangers” and friends, particularly Los Angeles poet Paul Vangelisti, who–when Crosson was evicted from the Laurel Canyon house where he was caretaker–took him in. Crosson lived with Vangelisti from 1993 until his death in 2001.


From the early 1980s to his death, he had several books of poetry published. He 1981, his first book, Geographies, was published by Vangelisti’s and John McBride’s Red Hill Press. They also published his poetry (along with the works of two other poets) in Abandoned Latitudes in 1983. Calliope was published the following year by the Los Angeles publisher Illuminati. In 1994 the Italian publisher Michele Lombardelli published Crosson’s The Blue Soprano; and Guy Bennett’s Seeing Eye Books published In the Aethers of the Amazon: Poems 1984-1997 in 1998; But most of Crosson’s writing remained unpublished at the time of his death–the result of a heart attack brought on, doubtlessly, by years of heavy smoking and drinking. Luigi Ballerini’s Agincourt press published The Day Sam Goldwyn Stepped off the Train, a selected poetry, in 2004.


During the last years of his life, Crosson was beloved by Los Angeles innovative writers for his eccentric behavior–he was gay and often described in some detail his sexual encounters and experiences to both his gay and straight friends–his unusual sense of humor, and his poetry, which came to be recognized as some of the most original writing of his peers.

BOOKS OF POETRY

Geographies (San Francisco: Red Hill Press, 1981); Wet Check in Abandoned Latitudes: New Writing by 3 Los Angeles Poets–John Thomas, Robert Crosson and Paul Vangelisti (San Francisco and Los Angeles: Invisible City, no. 3, 1983); Calliope (Los Angeles: Illuminati Press, 1988); The Blue Soprano (Castelvetro Piacentino, Italy: Michele Lombardelli editore, 1994); In the Aethers of the Amazon: Poems 1984-1997 (Los Angeles: Seeing Eye Books, 1997); The Day Sam Goldwyn Stepped off the Train (New York: Agincourt, 2004)




Letter

The christian name makes impossible
any face-front exchange of plain talk.
The remedy (as I’ve sd before) runs
amok the chittering squirrels on roof-
tops & owls (tail-balanced) hung from
trees. Adjectives kill, or stultify
and, in any case, belabor the room
we so carefully establish. Privacy
hs everything to do with it–topical–
and them day-old sausages brought (un-
wanted) to the door we eat anyway,
threshold and lintel.

You tell me we have five years to
change the language. I wonder what
you mean. Me? Us? Why? And what’s
to change? Maybe you didn’t say
‘change the language’ but we hd 5
years. My overalls will be washed
fifteen times by then, some shredded
for lawn chairs; the rest abused &
at least one pair given my dentist
as collateral...Poetic endowments
(? To be sure) get me in fistfights
at parking lots.

(from Wet Check, 1983)



The Hartford

–can’t remember his name: a distinguished
writer; friend of a Friend who’d once played
tennis with his daughter–his house, a splendid
quarters off Doheny... I was invited guest.
His wife, my younger, went out for a swim.
We share drinks.

“Trouble at The Foundation,” he informed me,
was “Too many ‘pansies’–; glanced at the
manuscript it had taken four years to write–
read the fist page. “Well,” he said, “at
least you’re literate.”
They had a dog–

Just down the street from Stravinsky

(who’d already left.


(from The Blue Soprano, 1994)


Coffee Table

–meant read the right magazines.
Made prominent.
Didn’t matter if you had one.
That was protocol.

Somebodys-wife who wrote for The New York Review–
Special reservations held party,
before bed.

____

He sat atop me.

I was thinking of the organist
in Allentown.

(from The Blue Soprano, 1994)


Brecht

Boomie wrote me letters–
he kept copies

He had a sister and a brother-in-law.
His step-sister was a film star whom
I never met. She was mistress of Howard Hughes.
Nights, she would sometime visit the family.

His father (deceased) had once played the violin.
_____

Very camp-gossipy letters
I have lost them.

Boomie was a director.
He knew Elsa: we once spent weekend at the
Laughton peacock-Farm in Palos Verdes.

Elsa (intimitably) maintained that spices should
be put with the pasta, not the suace.
She like watching car-races on TV.

(from The Blue Soprano, 1994)


Lemon

The lover I never dreamed of wouldn’t speak
When I was at the ocean too.
Seaweed and salt and wind
Blew every list away.

Words that would make me laugh now
Snorted bulls and boardwalks
Me. Me. Coins with the head of Ceasar.
Flapping seagulls.
And.

Under a log, left worms and white.
White–until I’m blue in the face
The mirror lit.

Candles. Or stars
Cut to the bone.

Toenails and chairs and elevators.
Faces in back seats. Wet skin.
A corked bottle. Salt
And seaweed.

The bare word he said
Needed dead men.


A green car.
Gone to the moon.
All thumbs and fingers.


(from The Day Sam Goldwyn Stepped off the Train, 2004)


The Red Onion

A charley-horse was not an erection, but a cramp
in the leg. Men whistled walking by the house. I
didn’t much notice it needed painting.

It was a red house, barn red. One side of it was boarded up, I never went in there. I
imagined it ghostly. I sometimes thought the men were whistling at me. But it was not the
case. The house was wooden, a very old house. I lived with my aunt, who rented the
upstairs. Nights, I tried to imagine what it would look like, but I could not do much with
it. The yard was a mud shambles: nothing could grown there. I could not imagine it a new
house, nor did I want to. It was not in the right place.


The reason it was called The Red Onion was not what I thought. I though it was
called that because it was red–though a red onion is not red, it is purple. I did not like
the men whistling when they walked by. I pretended I didn’t live there.

(from The Day Sam Goldwyn Stepped off the Train, 2004)



The Man in the Moon

In this bright-red-paper wading boots,
His well-worn thumbs–:
‘You must be drunker than I thought!’
And dove into the lake.
–Patchen

The way the water shows the hills.
A milky rim–an edge
To this naked guy:
Head-first.

A husky fellow, read–
No sound of splashing; nor
Penetration

Moon.
A still-like–

Rock-reflection of
What’s plummeted.

(from The Day Sam Goldwyn Stepped off the Train, 2004)


Pythagoras

Evil resounds like water.

Water is a way to think.
Thoughts drink well at noon.

Four is tonic and more fertile.
Five is sometimes marriage–
Sacred to Aphrodite.

Stark failures of the drowned.
Misery like success is infantile–
Feminine, wanting both yes and no.

Seven is the mind–virgin, musical–
Associated with the birth of heroes.
Eight seeks eros, ultimate friendship.
Unburnished.

Water reads like skin–
Numbers sound like dance running.

What comes next, a question in the mind.
Half dozen of the other–
The first perfect number.

Moons incarnate.

Hand in a pale of rum so far from June
it makes one want to dance–
June, an alibi

For myopia & romance.

(from The Day Sam Goldwyn Stepped off the Train, 2004)


The Collar

I feel like I’m wearing a watch:
The hand to the cuff–the Ballpark–
Colorful folk stealing each others’ cars
And suits of clothes they live in (after
Retrieval) or bets on the races:
A world of bookies and fast laughs.

The sacred, sacred.

How to nail your hand to a board and drive
Timber to Emergency: how to lose a finger
And (again) pick up the guitar or piano.
How to walk crossroads against the light
And make it fine kettle of fish, having
Lost the sportspage or pooltable left
the backdoor open, or the wife
At her embroidery.

A round-trip to Aussie-land where babies
Are borne to pouches and eat Kiwi–
Aborigines prowling in the bush
This side marbled architecture they
Haven’t shoes to fit: the fix of a smile.
Celebrating.

A child hugging his mother’s skirts.
Where sea is that and stone is a place
Of choirs.

(previously unpublished)

PERMISSIONS


“The Hartford,” “Coffee Table,” and “Brecht”
Reprinted from The Blue Soprano (Castelvetro Piacentino: Michele Lombardelli editore, 1994). Copyright ©1994 by Robert Crosson. Reprinted by permission of Michele Lombardelli editore..

“Lemon,” “The Red Onion,” “The Man in the Moon,” and “Pythagoras”
Reprinted from The Day Sam Goldwyn Stepped off the Train (New York: Agincourt, 2004). Copyright ®2004 Estate of Robert Crosson. Reprinted by permission of Paul Vangelisti.

“The Collar”Previously unpublished. Copyright ©2004 Estate of Robert Crosson. Reprinted by permission of Paul Vangelisti

April 14, 2009

Jan G. Elburg



Jan G. Elburg [Netherlands]
1919-1992

Born in Wemeldinge on November 30, 1919, Jan Elburg, for much of his life, was a lecturer on spatial planning at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. His earliest poetry was rather traditional in form and content. But after World War II, as an editor of the avant-garde literary magazine Het Woord (The Word), Elburg helped prepare the way—along with fellow poets Gerard Diels, Bert Schierbeek, and Koos Schuur—for the postwar experimentalist movement in the Low Countries. In the 1950s, he continued his association with the literary underground as an editor of Podium and a contributor to such periodicals as Reflex, Braak (Fallow), and Blurb, while beginning to exhibit in own visual art.


The poet was associated with the Dutch Fiftiers group throughout much of career.


Elburg conceives his poetry from a Marxist standpoint, in keeping with his belief that art has a social task to perform: “With poetry I want to lay some lines of contact from person to person. And renew myself and others; learn to see more and feel more….make something clear, give some warnings, set some examples.” His poetic technique is essentially one of montage—the juxtaposition of previous jottings and fragments. “I mount my poems,” he explains, “more than modeling them.”



BOOKS OF POETRY


Serenade voor Lena (Amsterdam: W. L. Salm, 1941); De distelbloem (Amsterdam: 1944); Laag tibet (Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 1952); De vlag van de werkelijkheid (Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 1956); Hebben en zijn (Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 1956); De gedachte mijn echo (Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 1964); Streep door de rekening (Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 1965); De quark en de grootsmurf (Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 1971); Gedichten, 1950-1975 (Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 1975); De kijkers van Potter (Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 1981); Haaks op de uitvlucht (Amsterdam: Meulenhoff, 1988)




ENGLISH LANGUAGE TRANSLATIONS


selected poems in The PIP Anthology of World Poetry of the 20th Century, Volume 6: Living Space--Poems of the Dutch Fiftiers (Los Angeles: Green Integer, 2005).

Arnaldo Antunes

Arnaldo Antunes [Brazil]
1960

Born in São Paulo in 1960, Arnaldo Antunes attended the University of São Paulo, but did not complete his degree. He edited several poetry magazines: Almanak 80 (1980), Kataloki (1981), and Atlas (1988). Among his published books are Ou E, a bookd of visual poems (1983), Psia (1986), Tudos (1990) and As Cosias (1992). Almost all of his books have gone through several editions.

Also a musician and visual artist, Antunes participated in several exhibitions of visual poetry both in Brazil and abroad during the period from 1983 to 1994. He put together the rock group Titãs with which he released several albums between 1982 and 1992. In 1993, Nome (in video, book form, and CD) was released. This work is a multimedia project including poetry, music and computer animation in partnership with Celia Catunda, Kiko Mistrorigo and Zaba Moreau. It was exhibited at shows and festivals worldwide and received honors at the First Annual New York Video Festival. As a musician, Antunes has released a number of recordings in recent years. In 1999 he wrote a sound track for the dance company O Corpo. And in 2000, Antunes published a book about pop music and poetry titled Quenta Escritos (São Paulo: Iluminuras).


BOOKS OF POETRY

Ou E (1983); Psia (São Paulo: Iluminuras, 1986); Tudos (São Paulo: Iluminuras, 1990); As Coisas (São Paulo: Iluminuras, 1992); Nome (with Celia Catunda, Kiko Mistrorigo, and Zaba Moreau) (São Paulo: BMG Ariola Discos, 1993); ONLY 2 ou mais corpos no mesmo espaço (São Paulo: Editorial Perspectiva, 1997).

ENGLISH LANGUAGE TRANSLATIONS

Nome [no translator listed] (São Paulo: Arnaldo Antunes and Zaba Moreau, 1993); selected poems in The PIP Anthology of 20th Century Poetry; Nothing the Sun Could Not Explain--20 Contemporary Brazilian Poets. ed. by Regis Bonvicino, Michael Palmer and Nelson Ascher; revised by Douglas Messerli.

April 2, 2009

Robert Gluck


Robert Glück [USA]
1947

Robert Glück was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1947. His family moved to the West Valley of Los Angeles when he was eleven. In Los Angeles he attended the University of California, Los Angeles, and later, The University of Edinburgh, the College of Art in Edinburgh, and the University of California, Berkeley, where he received his BA in 1969.

For a while he lived on a commune in the Sierras before moving to New York, where he attended Ted Berrigan’s writing workshops. He moved to San Francisco and earned an MA degree from San Francisco State University.

Glück worked as a housepainter in the Feminist House Painting Collective, as a carpenter, and then as the Co-Director of Small Press Traffic Literary Center. He led workshops at the Center which were a sort of laboratory for New Narrative writing. Glück has written: “We were
thinking about autobiography; by autobiography we meant daydreams, nightdreams, the act of writing, the relationship to the reader, the meeting of flesh and culture, the self as collaborator, the self as disintegration, the gaps, the inconsistencies and distortions, the enjambments of power, family, history, and language.

Glück was involved in anti-nuclear and anti-interventionist politics, and was arrested many times in non-violent protests. He was an Associate Editor at Lapis Press and Director of The Poetry Center at San Francisco State, where he continues to teach.

He is the author of nine books of poetry and fiction. His most recent work, Denny Smith, a collection of stories, was published by Clear Cut Press in 2004. Glück’s two novels are Jack the Modernist and Margery Kempe. Another book of stories was titled Elements of a Coffee Service.
Among his works of poetry are Reader (which also includes short prose) and La Fontaine, rewritings of that author with Bruce Boone. Glück’s work has been highly anthologized in books such as New Directions Anthology, City Lights Anthologies, Best New Gay Fiction (of 1988 and 1996), Best American Erotic (1996 and 2005), and The Faber Book of Gay Short Fiction.
His critical writings have appeared widely, including a long essay on the work of Kathy Acker in Lust for Life. Along with Camille Roy, Mary Berger, and Gail Scott, he edits Narrativity, a website on narrative theory (www.sfsu.edu/~poetry/narrativity/issueone.html). An anthology based on the website, Biting the Error: Writers on Narrative, was published by Coach
House Press in 2005.

Glück observes of his work included in this volume: “This long poem is composed of all my misreadings. It is a kind of autobiography organized by my unconscious, because each misreading is a small dream, a dream that occurs on the page.”

BOOKS OF POETRY

Andy (Los Angeles and San Francisco: Panjandrum Press, 1973); Marsha Poems (San Francisco: Hoddypoll Press, 1973); Metaphysics (San Francisco: Hoddypoll Press, 1978); Family Poems [poems and short prose] (San Francisco: Black Star Series, 1979); La Fontaine [with Bruce Boone] (San Francisco: Black Star Series, 1982); Reader [poems and short prose] (Santa Monica, California: Lapis Press, 1989)



Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
2005-2006


from I, Boombox

Shakespeare’s glittering
In the sun. Blow
Buddy from mantrap
W/mustache fluffed
The ecstatic inferior,
The design of the
85% room.
Secretive and
Passionate, he really
Hopped that wasn’t
True. Multi-radical
From macho to micro,
Verbal knit love
Pitched between
Tenderness and volume,
Fucking a young
Muscle buffoon.
My penis stands
For something.
Bearded headache.
A miniature surveyor
The long scratch
Between stations.
The devastation of
The dollar for
Unblemished fun,
The penis cinemateque.
Parenteral nutrition
Marginal appetite.
Or giving Prozac
Room an exotic
Accent to reproach
Another part of
The divan. Love
Reptiles with pics.
Star in the mildew
Along the Peruvian
Coast in Lake
Archaic. Expensively
Good, I prefer acting
OUT. I felt a
Little bite out
Of it. Trick
The market, early
Modern nudes that
People are undulating
About or striking
Rigid poems.
That laptop laugh.
Jimmy the Window
Smoothes his lanoline
Soaked hair and nipples
Kissing, mourning,
Hiking, the rumbling
Of Heckert’s
“Riotfuckers.”
Shows Prostrates
Gathered in front
Of a church
In the seventies
They ate hurriedly
From the pack
At bitter campfire
To miss the
Executing draft.
NBA Bars 4
After a Brawl
Of innovating forms.
Text dreams as text
Away from motive.
That suddenly
Adopted the wind.
In its boredom
Light presents itself.
Major watercolor fodder,
Alternative definitive
Blond, Sol Lewitt
Sodomized me, the
Vast mark
Of his face
Hangs here—sudden
Light underneath
A cornice. Myself
As dilemma, sometimes
For centuries a lost
Bottom boy. The
Website of Zard
Omran, my brother,
Or the notion of
His freedomed collapse
His own gray
Domestic animals.


____
Reprinted from Shampoo, No. 24 (2005). Copryight ©2005 by Robert Glück.

Christopher Davis

Christopher Davis [USA]
1960

Born in Whittier, California, Christopher Davis attended Humboldt State University in northern California from 1979–1981. He received a B.A .in English from Syracuse University in 1983, and an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was a Teaching-Writing Fellow, in 1985. Since 1989, he has taught creative writing and contemporary poetry in the English Department at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

His book, The Tyrant of the Past and the Slave of the Future, won the 1988 Associated Writing Programs award, and was published by Texas Tech University Press. His second book, The Patriot, was published in the University of Georgia Press Contemporary Poetry Series in 1998. A History of the Only War, his third collection, was published in 2005 by Four Way Books. His poems have appeared in numerous periodicals such as American Poetry Review, Denver Quarterly, Massachusetts Review,Volt, and in many anthologies, including Word of Mouth: An Anthology of Gay American Poetry, The Best American Poetry 1990 and Red, White and Blues: Poets on the Promise of America.

Stylistically Davis’s poetry is more “modernist” in spirit than “post-modernist.”The early influences of the modernists and of anthologies such as Another Republic: 17 European and South American Writers have remained vital to him. A love of “New York School” poetry, what his work echoes from it is, primarily, its tonal richness. He attempts to respond to the issues in poetics articulated by critics (Perloff, Altieri,etc.) and critical theorists with a visceral, dramatic, emotionally-complex poetry: stung, in his conscience, by the attack on “narcissism” suggested by ideas of a “poetics of indeterminacy,” for example, he is more interested in portraying the “embodiment” of his reaction than in simply following the prescribed guidelines
for “new writing.”

BOOKS OF POETRY

The Tyrant of the Past and the Slave of the Future (Lubbock, Texas: Texas Tech University Press, 1989); Independence News (Charlotte, North Carolina: Sandstone Press, 1993); The Patriot (Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 1998); A History of the Only War (New York: Four Way Books, 2005)


Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
2005-2006


For My Pen Is

a pink glass office tower erection dominating
our brand new south downtown. Designed
by Chinese architects to intensify evening,

its sun-burned, glaring panes refract twilight,
hot air blossoming, dyeing dull gray sidewalks
bloody, rosy, color of a bad taste in the mouth.

A possum, ripped apart, reminds me of a men’s
room, brown liver served upon a bed of noodles,
death’s stench not unlike ammonia, piss, cologne.

*

I clomped into an antique dealer’s fragile shop.
I rattle curio cabinets. the little guy had, he
said, “something gorgeous,” slid his drawer

open, revealed two elephant tools, flawless
ivory, tea-brown, heavy, rock-hard, smooth
cold exclamations in warm, ticklish palms.

“Poachers got those down by Durban,” he gloated.
“‘Man murders proud pachyderms for beauty,’”
I sob. But I desired to squat on what he sold.

*

At Freedom Park, in weeds, I play my self, kneeling
on yellow terrycloth, bowing over a legal pad, ex-
pressing effort, at least, through my scowl, un

like that orange ape behind scratched plastic,
its face, fat, flat, shadowed by black labia;
tiny eyes, all pupil, jitterbugged, focused

on nothing, couldn’t follow this red pen, glittering,
waving, up, down, there, here, squirrels crackling
songs out of golden fallen forest fallow. Groan!


___
Reprinted from Denver Quarterly, XV, no. 2 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by Christopher Davis.