Thursday, April 18, 2013
Yellow Wallpaper Video
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
my hearts were paper,
and my directed sentences
were no beginnings.
watching the tennis shack was part of my job, but hardly anyone came out to play during mid-day texas heat, so i had my work hours to read. i remember pip falling over to face "god." i remember ishmael alone in the crow's nest.
i have read it since as a teacher, but it does not have the same draw when i know that i have to explain it to students. as with many works that are great, i just want to point to them and say "look."
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
When I think of Olson, I think of him unscrewing a bottle in a small Gloucester apartment that is superimposed on a Texas highway among deserted mountains.
Monday, September 24, 2012
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
The Daily Glance
McIntosh’s poems are serious pieces that are not pretentious, just pieces from a sharp mind.
The book is enjoyable and opens up its own space in literary history already populated with stories.
Labels: Daily Glance
Moria is 15 years old!
Monday, August 20, 2012
for a poem for the moment,
but i am unsure
which moment you are interested in.
Friday, August 10, 2012
forgotten your inner
your eyes and
sweep by as
other senses to
memory takes over.
Friday, August 03, 2012
at the cliff,
her to change
her mind, just
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
wanted the farmer’s
laid out clean
watched the new growth.
are not easy.
Friday, June 08, 2012
the world but
way a flower
in a barren
thud wakes you.
my true waters
places of my
Thursday, June 07, 2012
these petals, with
them by hand
all to use.
to take the
me as well.
Wednesday, June 06, 2012
a leap and
so that others
on dark stone.
our hands age--
saplings trace the tree.
for wings like
through the clouds,
given only words.
of a divided
for differences and
in limp air.
lost my balance
a rock strewn
to question my
though too late.
Friday, March 16, 2012
Friday, February 17, 2012
Tuesday, January 03, 2012
Labels: Daily Glance
Thursday, December 29, 2011
The call is here: http://poetsandartists.com/the-chicago-issue/
PoetsArtists invites poets and fiction writers who reside/work in the Chicago area to submit work to our Chicago issue. Send your work along with a short bio to William Allegrezza (email@example.com), the guest editor for literary submissions. Please attach your work as a doc., .txt, .docx, or .rtf file and put CHICAGO in the subject line. If we are interested in publishing your work, we will contact you for a photograph of yourself and for you to approve the layout. (Please note that you do not need to write about Chicago, just live/work in the area.)
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
you could ask for pillan
when the columns are dense
when thirteen is your number and you
as the circle closes
they seem to apply again tonight. pillan is the supreme god of the araucanian tribes in south america. in essence, he is a thunder god, and in these lines he is being called upon “as the circle closes” in the midst of battle. the person is lost though is growing or feeling “infinite” at the end.
not long after penning these lines, i wrote the following ones as the beginning to a poem in Fragile Replacements.
closed gates within
i unplugged the cords and
switched off anything switchable
the two poems are connected in my head, and though tonight i feel ready to write the third of this triptych, i find that the first two express what i want to say, and that makes me, in a wild jump, think of emerson and how he states that poets express what the rest of us want to say, so i am left wondering how many poets feel their earlier poems explain their present sentiments.
Sunday, October 09, 2011
Now out from Otoliths.
Cover image by Deborah Meadows
$13.45 + p&h
This book explores influence by crossing out or responding to poets who have influenced me. The Whitman and Andrade pieces are cross-outs, and anyone familiar with the first version of Calamus will notice that I did not respond to the entire collection. I left out pieces that I did not think would cut well for my project or pieces that have too much personal meaning for me. The response pieces to Leopardi and Neruda are probably even more telling, for in these pieces, it is sometimes difficult to see how the pieces directly relate to the original. Still, the influence is there reworked through my experience. —William Allegrezza
William Allegrezza edits the e-zine Moria and teaches at Indiana University Northwest. He has previously published five books, In the Weaver's Valley, Ladders in July, Fragile Replacements, Collective Instant, and Covering Over; two anthologies, The City Visible: Chicago Poetry for the New Century and La Alteración del Silencio: Poesía Norteamericana Reciente; seven chapbooks, including Sonoluminescence (co-written with Simone Muench) and Filament Sense (Ypolita Press); and many poetry reviews, articles, and poems. He founded and curated series A, a reading series in Chicago, from 2006-2010. In addition, he occasionally posts his thoughts at http://allegrezza.blogspot.com.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
Tuesday, July 05, 2011
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Thomas Fink's Peace Conference is filled with shaped poems and lyric utterances. Partially, this book seems like an exploration of form that takes up what Fink has done in other books. The shaped poems that begin the book are fascinating because they are non-standard shapes with some stanzas (if they can be called that) that are formed like x's and some that do not connect. These forms complicate the reading process, especially when Fink plays with narrative lines with quick shifts in topic. (I wish that I could reproduce these here, but I think I'd have to use a pdf or photo to do that.) Beyond the shaped poems, Fink plays with new forms; for example, he creates a series that combines a prose poem with a hay(na)ku. It looks like a haibun but is something different. It's amazing how much he manages to pack into his pieces:
Why are you worrying about teeth? They'll be dead teeth. I'm careful about
what I buy. We found ourselves--ages ago--strewn together in a store, on a
rock. Nowadays he really favors the candy-stripper variety. They're perky, so
I indulge him.
This section is from a series titled "Dusk Bowl Intimacies," and the series seems to me to be one of the most interesting poetic series that I've read in quite some time. He plays lyrically with different voices, explores a new form, and combines cultural poetic traditions.
One last note, the poetry in the book is wonderful but so is the front cover art. Fink is a painter as well, and the piece displayed on the front cover is fabulous and contains forms that repeat in the book.
Labels: Daily Glance
when you hear strange footsteps
at night, do not try to reach enlightenment,
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Deborah Meadows’ Saccade Patterns is firmly rooted in experimental poetic practice; she uses a variety of techniques to explore difficult topics, from how we relate to each other to the erotic, and the poems themselves are beautifully put together, even when very dense. Ultimately, she raises more questions than she answers. Take the first lines of “Historically speaking”:
This precise eucalyptus bark peels down—
it’s how the tree narrows down possibility
yet placed here, they must adore
the equation: the hinge between
here and there, zero and quadratic items,
unripe earth and fraught sky, loose confederacy towards
a skimpy democratic plan.
Well, are we talking about peeling bark or something else here? Just look at the lines. "This precise eucalyptus"--which one? Just some tree she's looking at, or is the poem metaphorically a tree shedding bark? And the peeling, does that narrow down possibility? Why, because of the shedding of other bits? Then we skip a space and begin a new stanza. Is the narrative continued or have we started something new? For example, if the bark or tree is placed here, wherever here may be, then, it becomes an equation for narrowing possibility? Or is that some other equation? Is it a hinge? Or is that something else? It's easy to see how the myriad bark pieces could be a loose confederacy, but are we still talking about the bark? Is this about the poem, the words becoming a confederacy? Or is this some accumulation of equations, or coupled items ("here and there," "zero and quadratic items," earth and sky)? Basically, is she leading us through a complicated analogy or using quick shifts from idea to idea (which would go well with the title of the book)? I'm not sure, but the questions that arise when reading the poems are fascinating, and the language of the book carries me through it easily.
Labels: Daily Glance
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Jen Hofer's Lead & Tether is a collection of daily cut ups from newspapers in the town she's in for the day--L.A., N.Y., Washington, and Tijuana. The cover of the chapbook is made with newspaper laminated and sown together. The poems themselves, in both English and Spanish, vary, but there is definitely a layer of social/political commentary that carries throughout the collection:
[Please note that I have not retained her spacing and her text comes from a cut up]
Hofer's use of the newspaper text for criticism news makes the individual pieces interesting, but even more, this chapbook typifies what is great about the Dusie Kollectiv project. Hofer tells us where she was on a specific day, she tells us that the chapbooks are hand-stitched, and she tells us in a note what the project is for. Basically, she grounds the project in a specific individual at a specific time, and to have a copy of the project is to have a craft object in your hands. In essence, it's a stand, granted a small one, against the corporate nature of contemporary art, and it does so by mixing mass produced text (the newspaper) with individual crafting (arrangement and sowing).
Thursday, June 02, 2011
Deborah Poe's chapbook the last will be stone, too contains five short poems. It's no big secret that I typically like Poe's work, and this short collection is no exception. The poems are full of interesting juxtapositions and sonorous language. Take this lines from "A Lot Names Marooned":
Language and meander when geographies yesterday. The fragments all map.
So much is happening in lines like this one that this chapbook demands contemplative reading. These two sentences seem to relate, but the relation is not clear. Is language on the map? Are the fragments language? Are we meandering in yesterday's geographies when using language? (Or did I just rearrange the syntax for my own meaning purposes?)
My favorite poem in the chapbook is "Death Mix," a poem that takes its line from Paul Celan. I don't know that I can say what the poem is about, if about anything, but the sound of it is enchanting.
Sometimes I will rewrite a poem from scratch over and over until I think I have come up with something. Often, I come up with nothing, and I abandon the piece. I abandoned the following piece(s), but I enjoyed the process. The following are a response to a poem about stone arrangements like Stonehenge in the U.K. I will leave the poet I’m responding to unnamed. It was not an especially good poem, and these are not especially good responses.
in looking at stones,
you imagine a story
of the gods, of the
of the sacred they evoke,
assuming it rests in
the stones and not
the stones, you say,
are sacred, but
they are just stones,
while you, poet, friend,
are a creator
looking for redemption.
you hold a stone,
turning it in your hand,
trying to figure out
how it came to be,
seeing in it shapes,
it could be.
fuck you and your stones,
you and your smug
the stones stand beyond you,
if they stand, and you,
with your alliteration
and scattered diphthongs,
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Tilla Brading and Frances Presley's piece for the Dusie Kollectiv is essentially a short one page form that can be read as many poems or a single one. The page is divided by lines into squares (24 of them), and each square contains at least one word (only one has two words) or number. There is no clue as to whether or not we should read the page up, down, diagonally, top to bottom, etc. . ., and there's no indication as to whether or not all the words should be used. Basically, the reader is left with all the decisions about how to interpret this piece. The only guides are the words, but stripped of their syntax, they require us to do much more work that we might ordinarily do. The words themselves, things like "Bolivian," "porous," "tidy!", bring up questions of word choice by poets. Are certain words more poetic? Are certain combinations poetic? How much of the poetic is learned? (These questions I think are incidental to this work, but interesting deviations.)
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Maria Damon's meshwards defies expectations of poetry chapbooks. It looks like a traditional one, but it consists of pictures of words and letters stitched on fabric. Below the fabric photos are brief descriptions of the occasions that gave rise to the stitching. Some of the projects are directly related to poetry events or people, such as one for Charles Bernstein's family and one for Mark Nowak. Some, however, just contain words, such as one with the word Respect for Damon's mother. The projects are fun to see, but really they add a layer to the way I see Damon's work as a whole. I was already a fan, but now I imagine her playing with words like thread in myriad colors.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Carrie Hunter's Poetry Reading traces her experiences of poetry readings. The chapbook consists of quotations of poetry readings with each reader's words being given a different font. A list of the readers and fonts is provided, but really this chapbook is a found piece that relies on jarring juxtapositions and interesting turns of phrases. To me this poem is interesting in what it connects on the page but also in what it points us to in the readings. With it, I keep finding myself asking how the fragments would fit into the original context.
"That voice trajectory can't hear us"
"Possibly with a typist or an easel"
"Is a shadow a real shadow?"
"Transparent nudity grew"
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Comparative Literature came of age in the U.S. in the postwar period. The original stirring for such a field came out of the 19th century desire for a world literature and to explain how we are all connected. In the postwar period, Comparative Literature steadied then grew briefly as a field mostly concerned with European literatures, and it is easy to critique the works from this period as being too highly focused on national literatures. Since then we’ve seen the rise of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature has become a home for theory. On the one hand, the field seems to have deconstructed itself, and on the other hand it seems to have become, at least some would suggest, irrelevant because Cultural Studies has taken over. By the time I took graduate classes, the field seemed wide open as long as one could jump through several language traditions. That was its saving grace for me because I found English departments mired in academic traditions, personalities, and national literatures. I started in a large English department filled with theory classes but with only literature classes from the British, Irish (represented in its entirety by Yeats), and American strains of English. What about the other Englishes? Of the islands? Of down under? Of Africa? What about looking at influences on English speaking writers from other languages? Comparative Literature was the field I turned to that allowed for such exploration.
I understand the complaints against Comparative Literature. Will a Comp. Lit. person know as much Middle English as a Middle English scholar? Probably not, and in a decent-sized department, the Middle English scholar should teach classes in that area. In a large department where there are scholars in other Englishes like Australian, Indian, West African, East African, etc. . ., then such scholars should teach classes in those areas; however, Comp. Lit. scholars definitely have an advantage in a smaller school; plus, they have linguistics training beyond that of most other scholars. In addition, I have heard from many English graduate students how they could complete a minor exam for their language components for a doctorate. That is not true for Comp. Lit. students. Where I went, we had to take classes in three language traditions, and that is the bare minimum for most programs. That meant that we had to work in the different fields, to talk to people really in other disciples, and see the connections between language traditions and literary traditions—also clearly experience the loss of translation.
I’m not suggesting that everyone head to Comp. Lit. I have some brilliant colleagues whose knowledge of their specialty areas is marvelous to explore, but the decline of Comp. Lit. programs seems to me fundamentally tied to a problem in higher education. We are shrinking one of our most diverse and global humanities programs at a time when we should be growing it. Essentially, can global Cultural Studies realistically take place in English departments, i.e. single language tradition departments?
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Michelle Naka Pierce's Symptom of Color is an amazing chapbook, and I didn't expect it to be. I don't mean that because of the poet--this is the first time that I've read her work. I mean that when I picked up the chapbook and flipped the pages, it just looked like another prose poem collection, but to classify it as that would be a gross understatement. When I began reading, I quickly realized that the prose poems continue across two pages. While my first reaction was to read down one page as is typical, I realized that the lines did not fit exactly and that they continue across the border of the page. In addition, I quickly realized that the poems continue (literally the lines break) on subsequent pages. She's crossing both the border of the page in the book but of continuing pages. You might not think crossing pages is that significant, but with prose poems of five lines, it seems quite different. In addition, as the narrative builds in the collection, she adds another short poem below the main ones on the page. The short poems continue in the same way, and it causes the conundrum of how to read one narrative at the top of the page while not letting the one at the bottom slip by.
Beyond the actual experience of reading is the content, which is mostly about being on a border. In one sense, it's about being on the border of a painting and what that means in the context of a museum. In a more personal level, it's about being on a cultural border and trying to negotiate that. For her, it's about being from a Japanese family in the U.S. She brings up how people in the U.S. see her and also how she is seen in Japan ("you will always be a gaijin"). The way she structures the reading experience in this book mirrors the content. It makes us, readers who might or might not be negotiating borders in a similar way, negotiate the borders of the book, a cultural experiment, to figure out how to make sense of it.
This chapbook definitely makes me want to check out the rest of her published work.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Chris Pusateri's Molecularity is a book that plays with sound. As a sonic experiment, the content of the work seems secondary, especially since many words repeat in ways that shift meanings. Sometimes such experiments can be tedious, but this one is not. In fact, I wish this one came with a cd of Pusateri reading it.
new origin spigot. electric saw starting. live-fire exercise, the world in which you work.
new origin spigot. were cold corporeal. fall foul. full stop; something in the chill of it.
In many ways, lines like these are assonance experiments. Just look at the s's and w's in the first line and the c's and f's in the second line. Add on the anaphora, and the lines become sound play, with the spigot perhaps just beings the vocal cords/mouth cavity. One could even go through this book looking at the arrangement plosives and fricatives (and glides, considering the first line here). It's short enough to be exciting without being overwhelming.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Krystal Languell's many lost cause creatures could form a very sad list is a fun book to read because it's like one giant rant through individual prose poems. Languell packs a lot of energy into her mostly four to five line prose poems. She gets in rants about sexism, academia, mortality, the poetry world, prepackaged food, and capitalism.
Will I know what killed me? The fish sticks the hot dogs
Advanced degrees are not inherently evil but people are working hard for change. Every academic is guilty of "my diamond shoes are too tight" logical fallacies.
Are there arguments here? Not really, but the rants are fun, and this is poetry, not a philosophical treatise on the evils of contemporary life of which we are part.
Formally, the prose poems works well here. I've grown less fond of the form lately because so many people use it, and they often use it in ways that seem to lose its power. Languell does not have that problem. These are fast and interesting.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Paul Klinger's chapbook Jumblefate is a pocket-sized work that is sown together. While I enjoyed reading it, I'm not sure if I understand the concept that ties it together. The short pieces in the book could either be individual pieces or, more likely, part of a long poem. They are interesting on their own, but there seems to be some nature/woods/forest theme tying the book together.
In a field
On a tiny
Most of the poems in the work have this weightless feel, except for the opening poem. I'd interested in seeing how this piece fits into the context of a book of Klinger's work.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Lynn Behrendt's Acquiescence is quite disturbing if read on a surface level. It's like having the title of Levertov's Breathing the Water turned into a poem. By that, I mean that the chapbook is one long poem describing someone acquiescing to water. Each stanza is two short lines, as if the lines mirror the slow process she's describing of drowning.
let go the edge
blue rim, water
sink down into it
if it hurts
The actual description of someone drowning is not fun to read, but the way she describes the process is interesting because she brings up giving into something deeper, giving in to that which surrounds you. Also, she shifts between first person and second person, almost suggesting that the experience is bigger than a single person, as if it is something we all experience. And that, of course, brings up the question of whether or not we need to read the experience of drowning, of giving into something, as metaphoric for something else. Basically, are we in the realm of allegory? Funny enough, I don't find myself asking that much with contemporary work.
Beyond the content, the chapbook is a great example for showing why I like the Kollectiv. The chapbook is just larger than a business card, and it folds out like one long piece of paper. It also comes in a sleeve made from a cut up map--mine includes water and land, but I'm sure they are all slightly different.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Post-Stroke my words are not over-
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Labels: The Kollectiv
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
a bugan wath wards placud at rugular anglus
pullud fram a carnur mauth and ruplacud.
puns shaus candlus. tablu full.
af yau staplu thu tap raght, yau’ll nuud ta
tapu thu samu arua.
wu flappud thraugh yullawud pagus
far ansaght, nat unturtaanmunt. wu
gavun up an quack answurs.
thu blacks arrangud an thu grad
wall cruatu a stuady currunt flaw.
sē godā mann
bet stoll baloaved
o spaik uf tha
salf un curnars
sumu uthur ruvur
u cruuk purhups, mutul lanud,
wath cunaus trucus an mumary
samu athur ravur
thu bunks crawdud wath caws
und rustud calluctang stutaans
samu athur ravur
mad-hustlu surraundud by
cruckud uurth und jaggurs
samu athur ravur
uncustars sagnang thu dacumunts
thu tubus bugan ta flaw
samu athur ravur
umang faulds, undur uuglus
tarud af busus und cammutus
samu athur ravur
davurtud, futuru wutur
mastrunslutud und druumud
samu athur duup flaw
radus undur thu uyulads,
thu uurs thut lastun ta strangs vabrutang
thu vaacus daructang thu truffac.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Friday, December 10, 2010
Maggie Nelson's Bluets is a book about the color blue, and in it she manages to discuss depression, relationships, meaning, and faith. In her discussion, she brings in a long list of characters from Sei Shonagon to Emerson to Wittgenstein, to Stein. The pieces, perhaps short prose, perhaps prose poetry, are numbered and read like a meandering novel that's focused on the personal. In it, she explains why she picked blue and contemplates the different meanings of blue. She also just admires the color in its various forms. Different themes seem to weave through the numbers of the pieces, coming back like a sub-plot in a novel, so as I reader I started to look forward to different themes returning.
71. I have been trying, for some time now, to find dignity
in my loneliness. I have been finding this hard to do.
Labels: Daily Glance
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Elizabeth Kate Switaj, Kimberly Lyons, Joel Chace, Elisabeth Workman, Paul Nelson, Fanny Howe, Rachel Blau Duplessis, Srečko Kosovel, Jane Sprague, Carrie Etter, Lisa Samuels, Jennifer Kronovet, Michelle Taransky, JS van Buskirk, Aaron Kunin, Andrew Joron, E. Tracy Grinnell, Mairéad Byrne, Bob Marcacci, Susan Tichy, Gengoro, Geoffrey Gatza, Steve Dalachinsky, Nate Pritts, Adam Czerniawski, Sandra Doller, Don Mager, Vernon Frazer, Skip Fox, Aileen Ibardaloza, William Stobb, Kaia Sand, Bill Lavender, Catherine Daly, Lance Phillips, Marthe Reed, Adam Strauss, C. S. Giscombe, Sandra Beasley, Patrick Rosal, Reb Livingston, Ravi Shankar, Jason Bredle, Kyle Schlesinger,Chad Sweeney, Brenda Cárdenas, Suzanne Buffam, Mónica de la Torre, Steve Timm, C. J. Martin, Kristy Bowen, Jennifer Chang, Cathy Park Hong, Aaron Belz, Evie Shockley, Luis Humberto Valadez, Katy Lederer, Lara Glenum, Jim Behrle, Jean Vengua, Hoa Nguyen, Karen Leona Anderson, Michael Slosek, Richard Price, Virna Teixeira, Matina Stamatakis, Cindy Savett, Devin Johnston, Nick Demske, Marie Buck, Eileen Tabios, Melissa Severin, mIEKAL aND, Maria Damon, Gina Myers, Amy King, Steve Halle, Jesse Glass, Jen Hofer, Logan Ryan Smith, Lina ramona Vitkauskas, Paul Siegell, rob mclennan, Emily Carr, Simone Muench, Gregory Betts, Christine Hamm, Lisa Gill, Mark Young, Paolo Javier, Piotr Gwiazda, Justin Marks, Nathalie Stephens, Erica Bernheim, Kate Greenstreet, Chris Daniels, Flávia Rocha, Brian Clements, Anthony Hawley, Joseph Wood, Jane Joritz-Nakagawa, Francisco Aragón, Hugh Tibbey, Eric Baus, Steve Davenport, Anne Gorrick, K. Lorraine Graham, Barbara Jane Reyes, Christophe Casamassima, Ana Božičević, Ray Hsu, Mark Salerno, Sarah Rosenthal, Adam Fieled, Chris Glomski, Sheila Murphy, deborah meadows, John Coletti, Tim Gaze, Pat Clifford, Aryanil Mukerjee, Elisa Gabbert, Kathleen Rooney, Angela Szczepaniak, Brandi Homan, Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, Thomas Fink, Geof Huth, Dmitry Golynko, CAConrad, Frank Sherlock, Kim Gek Lin Short, Susana Gardner, Johannes Görasson, Jennifer K. Dick, John Beer, Márton Koppány, nick-e melville, Crag Hill, Grzegorz Wróblewski, Liaizon Wakest, Jen Tynes, Richard Fox, Mary Kasimor, Elizabeth Robinson, Truong Tran, Jerome Rothenberg, Louis Cabri, Mark Nowak, Nick Twemlow, Jill Magi, Tommassina Squadrito, Biagio Cepollaro, Hiromi Ito, Dorothea Lasky', Bill Knott, John Bennett, Susan Holbrook, Feliano Soriano, Tsering Wangmo Dhompa, Lauren Levin, Jared Stanley, Cahterine Theis, Rodney Koeneke, Jill Stengel, Chris Tonelli, Mackenzie Carignan, Jake Berry, Brian Teare, Rachel Zucker, Joshua Beckman, Ange Mlinko, Donora Hillard, Marco Giovenale, Ellen Baxt, Cara Benson, Karla Kelsey, Eleni Sikelianos, Ivan Arguelles, Raúl Zurita, Keith Tuma & jUStin!katKO, Paul Legault, Lisa Lubasch, Del Ray Cross, CAConrad, Jehanne Dubrow, Angela Genusa. Peter Ganick, Lars Palm, Mark Young, Steve Carey, Nathan Logan, Maggie Nelson, Oliver de la Paz, Catherine Ming, Cole Swensen, Joanne Kyger, Rebecca Foust, Deborah Bernhardt, Brenda Coultas, Amy Beeder, Luis Cernuda, Luis Alberto Ambroggio, and Brooklyn Copeland.
If you want me to consider your book, just e-mail me for my address to send a review copy.
Frederick Williams' Poets of Brazil/Poetas do Brazil is an anthology of Brazilian poetry from its beginnings to now. Because of its nature, I was predisposed to like it, for I'm very interested in Brazilian literature, and the few anthologies of Brazilian poetry available in English tend to focus on periods. This anthology definitely added to my knowledge of Brazilian poetry prior to the twentieth-century. In it I encountered many poets, especially from the colonial period, I did not know. It also includes some greats of the twentieth-century, like Carlos Drummond de Andrade and Augusto de Campos, and I enjoyed getting to know a little more about Ferreira Gullar, whose poems in this anthology are fabulous. Of course, as with an anthology, many poets were missing that I would have liked to see included (I was especially sad not to see Leminski's work**), but that is part of the nature of anthologies. Williams' introduction was interesting, though I would have liked to see it much longer. The complexities of Brazilian poetry are not well-known in the U.S., so I appreciate seeing any explanatory material on it. Ultimately, this book makes a nice shelf companion to Bishop's anthology and Nothing the Sun could not Explain.
**Brazilian translators--please translate a selected works of Leminski's poetry in English. There's one in Spanish, and there are pieces of his scattered in multiple books.
Labels: Daily Glance
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Oliver de la Paz's Requiem for the Orchard is essentially three things in one. It deals with de la Paz's memories of his youth, it laments the passing of his youth's places, and it tries to negotiate a space for his son to have similar memories. The poems are clear and full of American childhoods. The titles alone tell much about the book: "Self-Portrait with a Spillway," "Self-Portrait with Schlitz, a Pickup, and the Snake River," and "In Defense of Small Towns." Change the beer type and the river name, and I'm right there on the banks. Ah, America's places and the desire to leave those places and look back in longing--De la Paz expresses this urge well, and because of the strength of his poetic voice, he makes these personal memories seem like something most people can understand.
I was irreverent in my youth. Not a hair of mine
was trained on words I said. At the first red flare,
I'd hurl curses. There were bees spiraling out of me.
Sometimes I wanted to gather them in the playground
with my bare hands, I thought, much like guiding water
into a plastic bag.
Labels: Daily Glance
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
Cole Swensen's poetry appears in the book Flare alongside of Thomas Nozkowski's images. Swensen's poems cover a variety of themes, but they center around the act of a solar flare. Other images/ideas repeat, such as earth images, animal images, the heart, and falling. With no titles, the book could be read as consisting of either many poems or one long one. I read it as a long one, but an interesting reading could be made of pieces on individual pages.
the sun aloneThe short lines of this selection are more typical of the book than the one long line. Swensen's lines tend to be short and meditative, and she gently shifts her topics as she spirals through the poems. Also, interestingly, these pieces seem personal although Swensen avoids the first person (not completely, but mostly) throughout the book, focusing more on the second and third person. I wonder how that connects to Swensen's practice of ekphrastic poetry and whether the poems or images came first.
claiming 99% of the total mass of our solar system and as perfect sphere as you're likely to get
the twist of an ancient
arcade as it's aching
the oracular offer
of a blind port
on a winded point
is a small thing
until it's not over.
Labels: Daily Glance
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Catherine Meng's Tonight's the Night caught me off guard mostly because it was published in 2007, and I've heard little about it. It's a fabulous book complete with a bibliography, discography, and notes--which come before the text. The text consists of poems with a single title, "Tonight's the Night," which cover a variety of themes but repeat phrases and ideas throughout. Since she plays with music in the poems, this repetition seems to relate to musical practices.
The last & tallest gable hit by sun
holds one slender window drawn
so what is real as the day is long is no longer
than the length of this room.
Meng takes a line from Neil Young's "Tonight's the Night" and places it in another context where it becomes enriched by the surrounding lines. Ultimately, the repetition of phrases in the book makes it seem like there is a larger meaning to be found in the book (and perhaps among the connections of the arts) if one really searches.
Labels: Daily Glance
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Labels: Daily Glance
Friday, November 26, 2010
Blackened tea kettle like one I have at home, couch with living man, eyes closed,
his dog and runny dog shit on sidewalk. Cardboard boxes, lamp shade, the filter basket of a drip-o-lator, a wooden serving tray with loose bottom.
Labels: Daily Glance
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Labels: Daily Glance
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Labels: Daily Glance
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Difficult Beauty is a selected bilingual book of work by Luis Alberto Ambroggio edited by Yvetter Neisser Moreno. Not knowing this Argentine poet's work before now, I find the book useful as an introduction to his work, though I admit that I wish the actual introduction to the book said a little more about his life. Still, the poetry speaks for itself with an easy grace aware of its fragility.
The economy of forgetting is always startling!
A tiny grain of sand
in the eternal murmur of the ocean.
A single shout.
¡Asombrosa siempre la economía del olvido!He is talking about how very few poets remain in time, so that perhaps only one will remain for our time, but his choice of language here tells what he thinks the poet does. Our task is to shout/cry/scream our presence in the forgetting space which is the universe. Though he quotes Huidobro several times, I sense the influence of Neruda in his work, especially in his poetics.**
Un grano mínimo de arena
en el eterno murmullo del océano.
Un solo grito
**This book stresses our global nature. Here we have a Argentine poet who lives in the U.S. and whose book was published in translation in Bulgaria.
Labels: Daily Glance
Monday, November 22, 2010
Poem For Bill; Or, How To Be Comfortable In Your Own Skin
Peel it off. Take a breath.
Breathe in a world — united
and immaculently expanded.
Hop on a hophead universe.
Be there in a whirl. To dance
is only to sing, a shower
of daisies plucking you up from
the grave. Be there in the flowers,
the grave reasons nature gives
flight, the inevitable crawl to-
ward the knowledge of the soul —
that peanut, gallery of deception
and redemption — in a blink. Take off
the sail. Trust the drift. The lull,
the dull sheet of rink the sea
becomes before the gale, la bonanza
in a horizon — the crossing. Be there
instantly. In an instant, rich
for thhe sight, the bling bling
of autumn over the ear, the fine
brush of snow over the kiss. Fish
coming easy to the net and out.
Hold it in, but only to the rush
of release. And see. See? Sea
in the dark: comfortable
in its own skin.
Deborah Bernhardt's echolalia is a book that uses many contemporary experimental techniques to talk essentially about relationships. It's not that she has only that topic. Actually, she talks about quite a few different topics, from past literary figures (Dickinson, Whitman, etc. . .) to language itself; plus, some of the text seems to work from just getting us to look at what it is doing.
Note: This is an array formula and must be entered by pressingFamiliar yes, but how does it fit in the poem? Many bits of this book make one ask such questions, but for me, that makes reading the book interesting. Things seem like they do fit together but not always in an obvious way.
+word +word +word.
and a nose becomes a bird. It doesn't seem to mind. This isn't real. There's no
There's a kind of hush all over the world. The whoosh of a sneeze is a cluster
Labels: Daily Glance