Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Brent Cunningham and I will be at the Associated Writers and Writing Programs meeting in NYC for the next few days for SPD (please stop by the table if you are there!) and will be blogging 'live.'

Also, there is an interesting review by Eric Keenaghan of 3 Atelos books, including my Ultravioleta, Jocelyn Saidenberg's Negativity and Juliana Spahr's The Transformation in the current Postmodern Culture.


Friday, January 25, 2008

John Sakkis

The Movable Ones
Transmission Press 2007

“salt and fish
a bony wish”

The highly prosodized units with broken lines in The Movable Ones really sizzle. (Remember our agreement about the word "lyric".) They feel spoken, epistolary and often incredibly artful, imparting details of daily life, love, family, travel, sex and war, as well as the history of individuals and their efforts to transcend, mythologize and survive modern times. The work is careful, subtle and yet hot.

The Movable Ones investigates the fact of being Greek American (having many cousins) and other complexities of contemporary identity. The cover of this chap is a map and a lot of traveling occurs within the text. It seems to occupy a sort of Robert Duncan/Michael Palmer nexus (and is there some Whalen in there?) that might seem a bit surprising if you actually know John Sakkis and yet not. John has, so far as I can tell, completely infiltrated the on-line experimental literary community, while frequently showing up in the actual community and not infrequently sending out excellent books and other items by himself and his friends, including his magazine BOTH BOTH (which is a blog but is the mag still going?) So if you cross the above-mentioned Duncan/Palmer sensibility with a sort of fast, cheap out-of-control tendency (which is also unquestionably A Tonalist) – there you have it – The Movable Ones.

I was sorry to miss John’s reading with Mark Linenthal a few weeks ago not only because I would have had the chance to hear him read with a Poetry Center compatriot from ancient days – but also because it is not often that I get not to be the oldest person in the room. It was an interesting choice to pair those two readers. I asked the organizer, Rob Halpern, about the reading, and heard that the venue was packed and that Suzanne Stein made an enthusiastic introduction of John. Rob goes on to say that “John read from his recent e-chapbook rude girl (duration), which made me want to reread the whole thing immediately: rich with both indirect narrative temptations and direct lyric address. He followed this with a selection from a forthcoming chapbook called Gygax, named after the creator of "Dungeons and Dragons," Gary Gygax.” (This sounds great!)

So there is more about John Sakkis than I even knew I knew -- and with any luck I will have more soon on those introductions.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Note two new links -- one to the Omnidawn blog -- where you can watch me blow my A Tonalist horn -- and the other to our beloved Small Press Traffic.


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I got a literal thrill down my spine "(as I live and breath and speak)" when I read in the table of contents of The Nation: "Two Poems for The Nation" by Jack Spicer. I had already heard the happy gossip that Peter Gizzi was poetry editor, but I had no idea it would alter history. We really are taking over the asylum. Now to dismantle the empire. Thank you, Peter!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Poetry is dead. Long live poetry.

The conflation of times in the lobby of the Hyatt.

Long black coats and xmas dirges. Like a Victorian specialist.

Tragic adjunct time; hierarchical tenured time; trackless days of the unaffiliated.

The sub-basement of book displays lit by the blinding ties of P. Durgin.

Search for book stands in wilds of Michigan Ave. N. Alger comes through with secret knowledge of chicago & a way with shop girls.

Crossing the river in the snow wearing only one of my coats.

S. Cope still retains the looks that made him famous in San Diego. Now has inestimable Oppen prose book.

B. Watten driving through the snow with sets of all 5 extant Grand Pianos.

J. Scappetone asserting she owns no black pumps.

Mysterious White Castle burgers in the café freezer – were there microwaves somewhere?

M. Davidson glimpsed from across the marble staircase sitting with B. Perelman. Later we exchange books.

B. Archambeau appears to be both in front of and behind me at one point.

Startled by Wm Fuller in person.

Heard Brian Kim Stephens was there but saw him not.

Dodie’s exquisite barf piece in the autobio panel.

Down to earthiness of K. Fliesher.

Being aware of the people who are missing. Really missing them.

Amazing black silk thing worn by Catherine Taylor.

R. Gladman dressed to the nines.

Aging friends. Even the children are older.

But why does A. Nielson still look the same?

Tim Yu's New Prairie School. His incredible suit.

J. Amato going up as I go down.

The grand ballroom of infinite readings.

S. Schultz looking always cold in borrowed clothes.

T. Bryant encyclopedic sweater queen.

Hugging sick poets. That was my downfall.

Reemerging at home after several feverish days to find overproduced facsimile of Burroughs journal on my table

Everything Lost

Kevin Killian’s piece -- what was it called -- KO Sex? Take 4 ambien, do what you will & call me in the morning.

See you next year in San Francisco, goddess willing!