31 January 2012

Where Eageles Dare


Poet Steve Orth joins the magazine game, and right on time! Where Eagles Dare is super cleanly produced, with a focus on less writers and more work. The first issue features stunning short numbers from Lindsey Boldt, John Coletti, Andrew Kenower, and Tyrone Williams, and, according to Steve, this baby's coming monthly. Get a copy from Orth directly at steveorth25[at]gmail.com, and thank god for Bay Area small press magazines!

26 January 2012

Another peek at David Brazil's Economy


David Brazil and I will start working on the full-length version of his Economy for my press Compline near the end of the year, but for now, David Abel has printed a little leaflet mailer of a poem from the project for his "Envelope" series (click image above for full-screen). Also, if you haven't spent time with Brazil's Little Red Leaves e-book, get it here. I'm totally looking forward to making this material available in book form, especially as it will constitute David's first widely-distributed book. Keep yr. eyes peeled!

25 January 2012

Inebriate Debris


Rich Owens is killing it over at Punch Press: first, Frances Kruk's excellent Down You Go or Negation de Bruit (which I pointed to briefly here), and then Francis Crot's Hax and Sean Bonney's Four Letters, Four Comments (which I hope to post about soon). AND NOW, this amazing new chapbook by Rosa Van Hensbergen, Inebriate Debris. I've come to depend on Owens for his sharp editorial eye, and this little chaplet is no exception. And it's is only 4 bucks at the website, so you should scoop it up before it's gone! Totally essential. I've included the last three pages from Three Fragments From Octagon above as a teaser. Click to zoom...

24 January 2012

Alex Rieser's Emancipator


San Francisco poet Alex Rieser has a pretty fantastic new chapbook out on New Fraktur Press, awesomely titled Emancipator. I read it a hundred times in a row on a plane to Alaska over the holidays, and I promise that it's more than worth the $4 admission! Five poems on loose cards in a portfolio cover bound by string; get it here...

23 January 2012

Snapshots from Poets Theater

Thanks to everyone who made it happen, especially Samantha Giles, Camille Roy, Sara Wintz, and Lauren Shufran

David Brazil, Michelle Ty, Yedda Morrison and Brandon Brown in Bob Gluck and Jocelyn Saidenberg's play "Precious Princess, or, Pig Speak"
Wendy Kramer in "The Morton Salt Girl Monologue: NaCl and the Meaning of Her Mark"
Stephanie Young, Kelsa Trom, and Ronald Palmer in "Utopia and Other Drugs: Tales of a Pharma-whore, written by Ronald Palmer, Cynthia Sailers, and Stephanie Young
Jocelyn Saidenberg, a volunteer from the audience, Clive Worsely, and Zack Tuck's mom (?!) in Brent Cunningham's "Times Machinery; OR the Stopwatch"
Jack Frost and Brittany Billmeyer-Finn kicking Zack Tuck's ass in his "Idioterne"
Marcello Sousa and Tom Comitta in Ryan B. Funk's "Barber Shop or Butch Realness Meets Real Butchness"
Lindsey Boldt and Steve Orth making out behind David Brazil and Monica Peck in "What She Said" by Rodney Koeneke & George Albon
Laura Woltag, Anne Lesley Selcer, and Megan Breiseth downstage; Lauren Levin, Melissa Mack, Carrie Hunter, stage center; Melissa Peck as judge on right in "Debt Play"
C.S. Giscombe's "Lycanthropes, loup garoux, 28 nov, lean and mean"

15 January 2012

Favorite Things 2011: Eleni Stecopoulos


Dear Michael, here are just a few favorite things of 2011....random list of what's in memory and attention at this point (caveat: need to catch up on a lot of poetry books.)

Here's to the pleasures of 2012!

New Year's Day Poetry marathon @ St. Mark's

Fireworks in Prospect Park, over snowy banks and under the August moon

Swimming under eucalyptus trees at Golden Bear pool in Berkeley

Claire Denis's film L'Intrus, inspired by Jean-Luc Nancy's essay

Having Peter Trachtenberg as a neighbor in Berkeley for spring, and his generosity in talking with my students about his Book of Calamities and research in Rwanda

Qi Gong at Lake Merritt in Oakland with Margit Galanter

Yunte Huang's Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History, Yunte in the NYT, the New Yorker, on screen, everywhere...plus Yunte's visits to SF, drinks and high-rise glass elevator rides

Stacy Doris reading and Pindaric dances at Sara Larsen and David Brazil's A Muse Meant series

Movement, Somatics, and Writing Symposium at the University of Michigan, led and gathered by Petra Kuppers - communing, moving, sounding and incubating writing with some of my favorite poets and people

Will Alexander and Maria Damon visit to SF and readings at The Poetry Center

The music (more like cosmological engineering) of Cloud Shepherd (Andrew Joron, Brian Lucas, Joe Noble, Mark Pino) - even more so when joined by the likes of Will Alexander on piano and India Cooke on violin

Handel's Xerxes at SF Opera

Subterranean Arthouse in Berkeley

Bhanu Kapil and David Buuck reading at the Condensery

Thom Donovan's The Hole

Breitenbush Hot Springs in Oregon with Linda Russo

Visiting with David Wolach and Elizabeth Williamson, reading and talking to the wonderful, engaged students of Evergreen State College

Teaching in the Summer Writing program at Naropa, joining for a bit this amazing community Anne Waldman and many others sustain

Laura Mullen's performances at the SWP, including her romance novel sampling parody ("he buried himself within her") and garbage bridal dress

Meeting Melissa Buzzeo

Meeting Tyrone Williams

Meeting George Quasha

Meeting Amy Sara Carroll again after more than 20 years

Talking and learning with super smart younger (mostly) women writers working on the political and somatic, ecopoetics, healing, performance...including Liz Latty, Sarah Heady, Aisha Sasha John, Aurora Prelevic, Kimberly Alidio, Ari Braverman, Kristen Park, and many others, some of them students: thank you

Reading with David Wolach in Philly in the c/c reading series (thanks Jamie Townsend and Nicholas DeBoer!) with great audience including Carlos Soto Román, CA Conrad, Asher Lewis, and more. Add to that: staying up all night at Bard College eating sandwiches and writing an essay on empathy, workers' comp and pain management, Silvia Federici, Kafka, Frans de Waal, Antigone, and red foxes...with David popping into the kitchen to visit and encourage me

Robin Coste Lewis, "Fable" in Encyclopedia Volume 2, F-K: amazing piece of writing I want to read and re-read

Stephen Cope's Conference of the Birds

the full moon

& eclipsed eclipses

Favorite Things 2011: Laura Woltag


2011

Occupy

Alice Notley’s Alma, or the Dead Women summer reading group. We (often: Lauren Levin, Carrie Hunter, Amy Berkowitz, Erin Morrill, Lara Durback, Sara Larsen, Yosefa Raz…) were visited by a hummingbird. Getting witchy. Dreaming owl tattoos.

The Poems of Gaius Valerius Catullus – Brandon Brown. About ½ hour after BB gave me a copy, I was sitting in the SF State student center reading Erika Stati’s contribution and a 4.0 earthquake (origin in Berkeley, I think) shook the building. When things started to wobble, I was reading the sentence, “I caramelize the situation.”

This Can’t Be Life – Dana Ward. I’m going to need all of 2012 (&beyond) to think about this book.

Marching

Marathon reading of Gertrude Stein’s The Making of Americans at SFMOMA.

Poetry For the People

Ports

Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge reading at USF on November 9th. “My pulse falls through subtracted space.” Very blissed for days after this reading, as if the reading spelled me into bliss space. Though home after reading to learn of students beaten at Occupy Cal.

“The Acoustical Prehistory of Poetry” – Brunella Antomarini (trans. Susan Stewart)

Monica Peck & Jack Frost reading at A MUSE MEANT

The Cake Part – Stacy Doris

Trys

Poetic Labor Project Labor Day event at the Niebyl-Proctor Library

Song – Lauren Levin

“Air Rights” – Helen Mallinson

Don’t Afraid!

Sonic Warfare: sound, affect, and the ecology of fear – Steve Goodman

“Taxonomy of a Landscape” Victoria Sambunaris (@ Albright Knox)

Introduction to Sanskrit, Part 1 – Thomas Egenes

Reading with Yosefa Raz & Melissa Mack at Lauren’s house

Dimensions of Panini Grammar – Kapil Kapoor

A, a, a, a, a – Sara Larsen

“Bird Identification by Song” with David Lukas, SF State Sierra Nevada Field Center

The Incompossible – Carrie Hunter. Carrie gifted me a copy while we were eating undermade curry somewhere on Telegraph Ave. This was after DZB’s Hauntology reading at the Berkeley Art Museum. I wrote a poem to Carrie after having some time with her book, and she wrote a poem with a line from my poem, which you can find in her Angel, Unincorporated, also out this year. Monica was mentioned in the poem after Carrie’s poem and after I sent this poem to Monica, Monica wrote a poem, which she read at Bird & Beckett, where Carrie happened to be in the audience. They had never met.

Lauren Berlant’s blog

Capital for the Crisis reading group

yo! eos! – David Brazil

Danzon – Pina Bausch @ Zellerbach

Economy – David Brazil

Fifty Verses of a Love Thief – Bilhana

Lysistrata & Birds – Aristophanes

Deepa Natarajan’s Arangetram performance at the Humanist Hall, Oakland, 11/5

Mercury – Ariana Reines

Winstanley: ‘The Law of Freedom’ and other Writings, ed. Christopher Hill

Will Alexander playing the piano & reading at the Subterranean Art House

The Grand Piano Reading at SPT

Western Medicinal Plants and Herbs – Peterson Field Guides

14 January 2012

Favorite Things 2011: Dan Thomas-Glass

2011

Started 2011 reading through old correspondence with Stephanie Young about 880 project for Deep Oakland, for Thom Donovan’s Other Letters project. That was awesome… Remembering how much Stephanie helped me extend & improve the writing & thinking there.

Being Dana Motherfucking Gioia at Poets Theater 2010, screaming “Can Poetry Matter?” as jeremaiad on the streets, burning that book, drinking CA Conrad’s water as deputized by Samantha Giles—very energizing start to the year too.

Juliana Spahr & Stephanie Young’s A Megaphone: Some Enactments, Some Numbers, and Some Essays about the Continued Usefulness of Crotchless-pants-and-a-machine-gun Feminism
(Chain Books) really shaped lots of my thinking in that early part of the year, as did talking through a lot of ideas with Lauren Levin subsequent to reading her chaps Not Time (Boxwood) & then Keenan (Lame House).

One random sunny Tuesday afternoon reading Ash Smith’s Watersheds (Dos Press) while drinking a beer in my house; the feeling as it stretched my brain out into my environs, run-offs, the Bay. A beautiful book & day.

Monica Peck reading “Centaur Family Tree” at With + Stand 5 release party at Zughaus Gallery in May (& @ the end of the poem, something along the lines of “What? It’s true.”). & of course the whole reading & process of editing W+S 5—forever the humblest & happiest of my poetry moments each year.

Lyn Hejinian reading to close out the Gertrude Stein marathon at SF MOMA in June—old ones & circles death in her section, a happenstance (?) meditation on mortality, & all these poetry & art communities in one big-ass expensive room.

Talking on the phone with Dana Ward about The Great American Beatjack project in June—helped me understand my approach to that project, which is ongoing.

Brian Ang started Armed Cell, a new print journal for our experimental/avant/political Bay poetry community—that happened in late summer, I think. Had a very interesting conversation about the journal & about the relationship between poetry & politics over beers one night at the Albatross with Charlie Legere.

Occupy Everything was the chant, ongoing. Taking Sonia down to Occupy Oakland was super interesting & informative—the contrast between her toddler sense of things & the violence & energy of that space continues to provoke writing & thinking. & of course the poets are together around Occupy in a much different way, loving & caring for each other in new forms & modes, which is a very hopeful thing.

Anne Boyer’s My Common Heart (Spooky Girlfriend Press). She has a genius for titles, & for writing with great courage & compassion about things that are true & difficult for many of us.

Susan Briante’s The Market is a Parasite that Looks Like a Nest (Dancing Girl Press). Saw this via Anne Boyer, on Facebook. In which my ongoing wondering about poetry & parenting & capitalism gets an injection of brilliance.

This was also kind of the year of Dana Ward for me—The Squeakquel books, Typing Wild Speech, “Things The Little Baby Likes” & other poems sent in an email—& I haven’t gotten to SPD to buy This Can’t Be Life, but will, & soon.

Continuing my Roberto Bolano fascination, along with much of literary America. Antwerp was my favorite of the five or so of his books that I got to this year.

Little Red Leaves #6, The Ephemera Issue. Holy crap this thing is a beautiful absurd beast of an object d’art. I am tempted to say something about pushing the logic of the handmade to its logical conclusion—the impossibility of LRL6 is enchanting. It is impossible, & yet there it is. Each poem there, its tiny or huge incredible physical self, has been churning around in my brain since the whole magical mess arrived in the mail a couple weeks ago.

LRL had a huge year in general. The e-edition collective response to yr Haecceities was like being in a room with a bunch of smart friends; super helpful. & David Brazil’s Economy was great, as Rob noted earlier in this list of lists. (I also loved David’s piece on rhythm in W+S 5; one of my favorites in that issue.)

Still haven’t received my Displaced Press subscription, so still salivating in anticipation of Brandon’s book, Samantha’s book, Thom’s book, Taylor & Rob’s book…

Favorite Things 2011: Sara Wintz


2011 totally stream of consciousness!


Paul Thek's show at the Whitney

Cecilia Corrigan and Mac Wellman's reading at Segue

Occupy Wall Street/Oakland

West Coast Port Shutdown!

Going to see the very first showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at midnight at the movie theater in Chelsea with Kaegan Sparks then taking the L train home at 3 in the morning

Staying up until the sun came up in Williamsburg with Matvei, Cori, Macgregor on my birthday

Going to a dance party for the NYU ITP program in Bushwick with Kareem and boogying down

Tricycle racing with Brandon Downing at Poetry Time

Learning to ski in New Hampshire on New Years and then Bolt Busing to read for the first time at the Poetry Project Marathon

Artistic Directors of The Poetry Project reading with Anne Waldman at the podium and lightning crashing behind her

Hanging out with Dodie, Eileen, Thom, Dottie, and Bethany all having drinks at Scratcher

Reading for Kristen Gallagher and Chris Alexander at Segue with Tan Lin!

Sleater-Kinney breaking up: epic sadness

First visiting artist classroom visit, for Evan Rehill's English class at Pratt

Donald Judd, Marcel Dzama shows at David Zwirner

Robert Whitman at Peak Performances @Montclair

Discovering Of Montreal all over again

13 January 2012

Favorite Things 2011: Dana Teen Lomax


My father, Daniel Norman Lomax, died 11-11-11.





In 2011, Nicole Brodsky gave me Anne Carson’s Nox


And Elana Dykewomon handed me "Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone" by W. H. Auden:

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

In Nelson Graff’s C & I class, I read

"In a Dark Time" by Theodore Rothke:

In a dark time, the eye begins to see,
I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;
I hear my echo in the echoing wood--
A lord of nature weeping to a tree,
I live between the heron and the wren,
Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den.

What's madness but nobility of soul
At odds with circumstance? The day's on fire!
I know the purity of pure despair,
My shadow pinned against a sweating wall,
That place among the rocks--is it a cave,
Or winding path? The edge is what I have.

A steady storm of correspondences!
A night flowing with birds, a ragged moon,
And in broad day the midnight come again!
A man goes far to find out what he is--
Death of the self in a long, tearless night,
All natural shapes blazing unnatural light.

Dark,dark my light, and darker my desire.
My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly,
Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I?
A fallen man, I climb out of my fear.
The mind enters itself, and God the mind,
And one is One, free in the tearing wind.

My friend Sarah Anne Cox said to me, “It’s just the worst thing in the world. Nothing anyone says can make you feel any better.”

Sweet said, “Nothing dies, silly. Look at your daughter.”


And on the holiday, my twin sister, Danna, just looked over and said, “I gotta get my mojo back…”

Favorite Things 2011: David Buuck


25 or so new(ish) things that made me rethink art and culture this year:

Occupy Oakland!

---

Urs Allemann, Babyfucker, trans. Peter Smith, Les Figues, 1992/2010
Karl Holmqvist, WHAT'S MY NAME?, Book Works, 2010
Horacio Castellanos Moya, La Díaspora, trans Christian Nagler, in MS, 1987/2011
NaoKo TakaHashi, Not So Too Much of Much of Everything, Book Works, 2007
Laura Kipnis, "Marx: the Video: A Politics of Revolting Bodies," video script, 1990
Dana Teen Lomax, Disclosure, Black Radish, 2011

---

Glenn Ligon @ the Whitney
Luis Camnitzer @ Museo del Barrio
Charlotte Salomon @ Contemporary Jewish Museum
Casteneda/Reiman @ Bear Ridgway & Yerba Buena Center
Theaster Gates @ LA MOCA
Pacific Standard Time, esp. "Asco: Elite of the Obscure" @ LACMA, "Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-81" @ MOCA, "Now Dig This! Art & Black Los Angeles, 1960-80," @ the Hammer, "Phenomenal: California Light, Space, Surface" @ San Diego MCA, & "State of Mind" @ the Orange County Museum.

---

Faustin Linyekula/Studios Kabako @ Yerba Buena Center
Miguel Gutierrez @ The Garage
Sarah Michelson @ ODC
Yvonne Rainer @ Baryshnikov Arts Center
M Norbese Philip @ Mills College
Black Took Collective @ the &Now Festival

---

Nostlagia for the Light, d. Patricio Guzmán, 2010 @ PFA
The Arbor, d. Clio Barnard, 2010 @ SFIFF
The Complaint of an Empress, d. Pina Bausch, 1990 @ UbuWeb
World on a Wire, d Fassbinder, 1973 @ PFA

12 January 2012

Favorite Things 2011: Samantha Giles


Some Books:
A Megaphone, Juliana Spahr & Stephanie Young, ed
Inter Arma, Lauren Shufran
The Origin of the Species, Charles Darwin
Green-Wood, Allison Cobb
The Making of Americans, Gertrude Stein
Saborami, Cecelia Vicuna
Sherwood Forest, Camille Roy
I Love Dick, Chris Kraus
Out of Oz, Gregory Maguire
I Hotel, Karen Tei Yamashita
Pinko, Jen Benka
It, Inger Christensen
In the Stitches, Erika Staiti
False Intimacy, Brian Whitener
Well then, There Now, Juliana Spahr

Some Events:
the march on the Oakland Port, Oakland, CA
a night with How(ever): Kathleen Fraser, Bev Dahlen, Susan Gevirtz at SPT
staging of The Dust by Michael Gottleib by the Relationship at Poetry Project
Durutti Free Skool, Berkeley, CA
all of the Pop Up Poet presentations at SFMOMA
swimming with mating manatees, off the coast of Caye Caulker, Belize
Ronaldo Wilson reading at Judith Goldman's house
Bob Gluck and Bruce Boone memories (with Kaplan Harris) at SPT
petting live jaguar paw, outside Belize City, Belize
human microphone, Occupy Oakland

and

conversations with Erika Staiti
conversations with Frank Brash
conversations with Stephanie Young
reading Bhanu Kapil's blog
conversations with Erin Morrill
conversations with Suzanne Stein
reading CAConrad's Facebook posts
conversations with Brent Cunningham
conversations with Brian Whitener
conversations with Yedda Morrison
conversations with probably someone/s really important I'm forgetting

There are so many things I wish I'd read and seen this year! I'm jealous of everyone else's list.

Favorite Things 2011: Adam Fagin


Left Having
—Jesse Seldess
That This—Susan Howe
The H.D. Book—Robert Duncan
A Map Predetermined and Chance—Laura Wetherington
the buddhist—Dodie Bellamy
Radical Coherency—David Antin
Concealing Coloration in the Animal Kingdom—Abbott Thayer
Where a road had been—Matthew Shears
Money Shot—Rae Armantrout
Metropole—Geoffrey G. O’Brien
How Phenomena Appear to Unfold—Leslie Scalapino
Book of the Given—Rusty Morrison
Repetition Island. A Mental Melange of Melodic Memories—Kevin Killian

Movies:
Meek's Cutoff. Drive. Melancholia. Tree of Life.

Places:
Grand Bakery. Connie’s Cantina. Farley’s East. Oakland, California.

Music:
The Promise—Bruce Springsteen

11 January 2012

Favorite Things 2011: Divya Victor


1. A Young Girl’s Diary, by Anonymous, with a preface by Sigmund Freud. Seltzer, New York, 1921


“It was lovely. Father was awfully Jolly and we pelted one another with pine cones. It was jolly. I threw one at Dora and it hit her on her padded bust. She let out such a yell and I said out loud ‘You couldn’t feel it there.’”

A rarely read, difficult to find diurnal autobiography written by an unnamed girl born into the most privileged of classes. Like a lawnmower over freshly pinked toenails, it runs over what we’ve learned about the emergence of pre/post pubescent longing, the clumsy exit from girlhood, and the warm, sticky pleasures of adolescent narcissism through other diaries like Diary of a Young Girl (Anne Frank, in English, 1952) and Bonjour Tristesse (Françoise Sagan, 1952).


2. I Am Love (Io sono l'amore), Milan, Luca Guadagnino, 2009.

Because, in the words of Tilda Swinton, it works outside its tongue.


3. Don’t Look Now, Nicolas Roeg, 1973.

Laura Baxter: One of your children has posed a curious question: if the world is round, why is a frozen lake flat?
John Baxter: That's a good question.
Laura Baxter: [flipping through book] Ah, here it says that Lake Ontario curves more than 3 degrees from its Eastern end to its Western end. So frozen water really isn't flat.
John Baxter: Nothing is what it seems.

Because, in the words of user mocpacific, “I was afraid to swallow, to make any noise. The unspeakable was all around me”


4. The Guilt Project: Rape, Morality and Law, Vanessa Place, Other Press, 2010.

“In Dante’s Inferno, one of the damned, a friar, describes how he counseled his Pope on how to betray his enemies, but only after the Pope absolved him of this treachery before he committed it. When a devil came to collect the friar at his death, the devil pointed out that it was impossible to repent and sin concurrently. ‘Perhaps you didn’t reckon I’d be versed in logic.’”

In the case of collective or individual guilt, like the Scream franchise taught us, the call is always coming from inside the house. Or, in the words of my mother, “Don’t make me tell you what you know you won’t want to hear from anyone but yourself.”


5. American Psycho, Brett Easton Ellis, Vintage, 1991

“Once out of the shower and toweled dry, I put the Ralph Lauren boxers back on, I apply the Mousse A Raiser, a shaving cream by Pour Homme, I press a hot towel against my face for two minutes to soften abrasive beard hair. Then I always slather on a moisturizer (to my taste, Clinique) and let it soak in for a minute. You can rinse it off or keep it on and apply a shaving cream over it—preferably with a brush, which softens the beard as it lifts the whiskers— which I’ve found makes removing the hair easier.”

Because, as Amy Taubin, in Sight and Sound, puts it: “With just 5 per cent of the world's population, the US is believed to have about 75 per cent of the world's serial killers.”


6. Mourning Diary, Roland Barthes, published posthumously, translated by the tireless Richard Howard, Hill and Wang, 2010.

When his mother died, Barthes returned home, cut up squares of paper roughly the size of index cards, and wrote once each day on one scrap of paper. This constraint based project, spanning 330 squares and days, overspills its own procedure every time composition falls short of intent—which is, always. In notating a mourning, “I’m trusting myself to the banality that is in me.”

“October 29
How strange: her voice, which I knew so well, and which is said to be the very texture of memory (‘the dear inflection . . .’), I no longer hear. Like a localized deafness . . .

October 29
In the sentence ‘She’s no longer suffering,’ to what, to whom does ‘she’ refer? What does that present tense mean?”


7. The Lazarus Project: Alien Vs. Predator, Joey Yearous Algozin, Troll Thread Press, 2011

“The Alien’s bio-mechanoid body is an intense white light, an orange light, sunlight, blinking blue lights, shafts of light, a portable neon light, ceiling light, first light the next day, twin searchlights, exterior lighting, yellow pools of light, numerous rotating coloured lights dotted around the platform starting to blink on-and-off.”

Because the only thing more arrogant than claiming to bring the dead back to life is doing it over and over and over and over again. Yearous Algozin does what everyone else claims to want to do but is terrified of doing. In his own words: “I used to make poetry, but I stopped. Now, I make pages.”


8. Poems For Baby Trilogy, Holly Melgard, Troll Thread Press, 2011.

Because it does to Vis-Po what the Rubik’s cube does to Rothko. Because Melgard’s ideal audience is post-fetal, like most of us. And because poetry needs to be at least as funny and redundant as geometry.


9. The Collected Tapes of “Criminal case 40/61” or The Trial of Adolf Eichmann, begun in April 1961 in Jerusalem before the Jerusalem District Court, now up on You Tube.

Because it is worth watching how Eichmann adjusted his spectacles and how Hausner created his.


10. Night and Fog, Alain Resnais, 1955.

In the final scene, as the camera pulls away from the camps, the eye pores over a sunny field replete with summer flowers swaying in the breeze, and Auschwitz-Birkenau retreats as the frame takes stock of the “crematorium ruins; twisted wires; broken watchtowers; crumbled chambers; slabs of cracked concrete; abstract figures of stone,” the narrative voice lingers, pointing at us: “Those of us who pretend to believe that all this happened only once, at a certain time and in a certain place, and those who refuse to see, who do not hear the cry to the end of time”


11. Neighbour Procedure, Rachel Zolf, Coach House Books, 2010

In 1937, Adolf Hitler wished for a volkloser Raum—an empty space, a state-free space, or a space without people of a state. It was one of Hitler’s first wishes to resignify geographical space as a purely biopolitical one. He wished for neighborhoods that would allow for people to pass into populations and for populations to pass away into corpses. It is thus that we may admit today that a death camp has no neighbors.


12. Tragodia: Statement of Facts, Argument, and Statement of the Case, Vanessa Place, Blanc Press, 2011

In transcribing, re-appropriating, and performing her own appellate briefs, Place witnesses innumerable testimonies without testifying her own place in them. She continues, carries over, and transfers instances of discourse from other mouths into her own. She speaks in the disguise of being non—pure representative, a zero that is also a vocal O, an open mouth, a sifr, a laughing Medusa who finds nothing hilarious—a witness. The nom de guerre and the nom de plume that pertain to the combative position of an appellate lawyer destroy each other, carrying forward only a signature of a voice into this emptying of the speaking subject in the scene of legal enunciation.


13. The Field, Martin Glaz Serup, Les Figues Press, 2010.

“The field sometimes thinks it’s unhappy in a mild and ordinary way that makes it happy because it thinks that it’s probably perfectly normal, and that makes it happy because it thinks things could be much worse, which makes it afraid because it thinks things could still get much worse, so it tries to think of something else.”

This can be paraphrased as the wonderful failure of Simone de Beauvoir’s wish in Ethics of Ambiguity (1955):

“I should like to be the landscape which I am contemplating, I should like this sky, this quiet water to think themselves within me, that it might be I whom they express in flesh and bone, and I remain at a distance. But it is also by this distance that the sky and the water exist before me. My contemplation is an excruciation only because it is also a joy. I can not appropriate the snow field where I slide. It remains foreign, forbidden, but I take delight in this very effort toward an impossible possession.”


14. Facing the Extreme: Moral Life in the Concentration Camps, Tzvetan Todorov, Holt, 1997.

Because of unforgettable details such as the culinary diary entry of one Dr. Johann Paul Kremer, surgeon at the Auschwitz Medical Corps, Sep 6, 1942: “Today an excellent Sunday dinner: tomato soup, one half of chicken with potatoes and red cabbage [20 grammes of fat], dessert and magnificent vanilla-crème.”


15. Model Homes 4, Lil Norton, 2011, eds. Marie Buck and Brad Flis

Featuring Vanessa Place, Brian Whitener, Carol Mirakove, Matthew Gagnon, Josef Kaplan, Michael Casey, Diana Hamilton, Gordon Faylor, Sara Wintz, Amy Berkowitz, Brandon Brown, Sean Casey, Chris Sylvester, Brian Ang

Because it interrupts your sentimental armored car ride with a Molotov cocktail and nurses your wounds with some generic brand Himalayan pink salt. And because Buck and Flis have the editorial stamina of wildebeest.


15. P-Queue Journal 8: Document, Buffalo, NY 2011, eds. Joey Yearous Algozin, Holly Melgard.

Featuring David Buuck, CA Conrad, Thom Donovan, Brad Flis, Lewis Freedman, Lawrence Giffin, Josef Kaplan, Ish Klein, Jena Osman, Chris Sylvester, Andrew Topel, Divya Victor, Anna Vitale, David Wolach

Because of its bold departure from and continuation of P-Queue’s magnificent editorial history (Andrew Rippeon, Sarah Campbell). To quote Melgard quoting Acconci: “If, as Vito Acconci says, ‘the function of public art is to de-design,’ then we found design was most active, despite continuity, in its resistance to and withdrawal from assimilation.”


16. The Words of Selves: Identification, Solidarity, Irony, Denise Riley, Stanford, 2000.

“So exiled, I fell for Narcissus.

I had no voice to plead so I'd pursue.

He called ‘I’d die before I'd give myself to you!’

I shrieked ‘I'd give myself to you’ and ran nearer.

If he'd cried ‘I'd rather die before I'd fuck you,’ at least I could have echoed back that ‘Fuck you.’

Sorry—I have to bounce back each last phrase. Half petrified, I voice dead gorges."


17. Item Numbers, Shiv Kotecha, Gauss PDF, 2011

This poetry is a much ado about the song and dance of infinite difference and repetition in the biggest industry of desire located in the biggest democracy on Earth: Bollywood dance sequences or “item numbers.” Because to be an object looking at a subject is way better than being a subject looking at an object. Way, way, better. Except not

Favorite Things 2011: Erin Wilson


Dana Teen Lomax's Disclosure

Lauren Shufran's Inter Arma

The Marvelous Museum, Mark Dion's project at the Oakland Museum

The Loose Change and Killer of Sheep double-feature at the Pacific Film Archive

Gertrude Stein's Four Saints in Three Acts at YBCA

Silke Otto-Knapp's exhibition at the Berkeley Art Museum

'Does the Secret Mind Whisper,' the Poetry Center's symposium on Bob Kaufman

Meek's Crossing at the Roxie

Performance screening at the Small Back Room

Omar Souleyman at the Mezzanine

Daughters of Houdini's show at 2nd Floor Projects

10 January 2012

Favorite Things 2011: Jennifer Scappetone


I was in Rome for the better part of the year, surrounded by an unusually broad series of astonishments; this list reflects that, with many neighbors included whose works I was lucky enough to witness in the making. Glosses of the astonishments largely found at oikost.com.

Giuliano Mesa, Poesie 1973-2008 (La Camera Verde)

Janet Cardiff, Forty-Part Motet, at the Biennale di architettura di Venezia

The reinforced-concrete domes of Pier Luigi Nervi

Luigi Moretti's studies of Borromini at the Academy of Saint Luca

Andrea Zanzotto, "The Carnival of Venice"

Karen Yasinsky and Huck Hodge, Pools of Shadow from an Older Sky for 400th anniversary of Galileo's telescope

Paul Rudy (various) and Erika Eckert (viola, in window of the Casa Rustica), duet in rain for At Rome Around Jovian Moons for 400th anniversary of Galileo's telescope

Aparna Keshaviah, various bharatnatyam compositions

William Kentridge, studies and storyboards for Norton Lectures and for William Kentridge & Peter Galison, The Refusal of Time

Marvin Trachtenberg, Building-In-Time (Yale)

Caroline Bergvall, Meddle English

The so-called Dea di Morgantina, returned to Aidone by the Getty after long controversy

Il Cretto di Alberto Burri

Emilio Villa, notes toward an etymological dictionary of the Italian language and a dictionary of myth

Juliana Spahr and Stephanie Young, Editors, A Megaphone: Some Enactments, Some Numbers, and Some Essays about the Continued Usefulness of Crotchless-pants-and-a-machine-gun Feminism

Patti Smith, Just Kids

Wolfgang Scheppe & the IUAV Class on Politics of Representation, Migropolis: Venice/Atlas of a Global Situation

Fausto Romitelli, Professor Bad Trip, performed by the Ensemble Dal Niente

The Grand Piano, choral reading at Small Press Traffic

Charles Bernstein, Attack of the Difficult Poems

Federico Fellini, Le notti di Cabiria

Pamela Lu, Ambient Parking Lot

Occupy Wall Street, various instantiations

Contrasonic protest through “Ode to Joy” at the Royal Albert Hall, 9/1/11

Marco Giovenale, Storia dei minuti

Favorite Things 2011: C.J. Martin


What made it possible for me to focus for extended periods in a very distracted, preoccupied 2011, in no particular order:

Susan Howe's That This & the most recent Grubbs collaboration, Frolic Architecture. They make that poem shockingly legible.

Howe's Pacifica Radio shows on PennSound, especially the interview w/Helen Adam.

Helen Adam's correspondence w/Robert Duncan.

Sarah Campbell's Words with Dürer (blog).

Norma Cole's 14000 Facts & To Be At Music.

Robert Gluck's Denny Smith.

Barbara Guest's Collected.

Larry Eigner's Collected.

Bruce Boone's Century of Clouds.

Duncan (variously, but this year esp. the HD Book & Caesar's Gate).

Jess's paste-ups.

The CUNY Documents series.

Beverly Dahlen's A Reading, as well as her 1st 3 books (so, her whole work).

The How(ever) online archive.

Susan Gevirtz's Aerodrome Orion & Starry Messenger.

DuPlessis's Pitch & The Collage Poems of Drafts.

Bergvall's Meddle English.

Your Haecceities, around which one of the most fruitful conversations I've had in a long time.

Thom Donovan's The Hole, Others Letters, & his unstoppable generosity.

The films of the Kuchar brothers.

Brenda Iijima remaking the question mark (in If Not Metamorphic), & her Glossamatics, Thus & Mondo Bummer pamphlet.

Ted Greenwald's Clearview/LIE. Also any audio of Ted reading his work.

Laura Moriarty's A Tonalist & Rondeaux.

Pam Rehm's The Larger Nature.

Lauren Levin's Keenan.

Try.

Mimeo Mimeo.

Leland Hickman's Tiresias.

Michelle Detorie's Fur Birds.

Dawn Pendergast's Off Flaw, Sea Quills & conversations w/Dawn & Paul Klinger re LRL & environs.

Dawn's LRL textile series, which is some of the most underpriced publishing I can think of. As a publisher, she's a fucking surgeon.

Ash Smith's Come Such Frequency & Tuesdays w/Ash & Rob O & Max.

Rob Halpern's person & (this year) his prose (the articulations of his music for porn project & his writing through new narrative).

David Brazil's Orphica & Economy.

Jamie Townsend's IM account & borrowed car conversations.

Emily Abendroth's work, who flips my lid.

Any English translation of Henri Meschonnic (my French stinks).

Kyle Schlesinger's print shop & all of his new books.

A hippie education at BookLab II.

Julia Drescher's Bark & Birds of Paradise, & a life engagement.

09 January 2012

Favorite Things 2011: Rob Halpern


Just a few of the things I loved during 2011:

Peter Linebaugh, commons talk @ the first Occupy Ypsilanti teach-in. A 14 minute quietly rousing rehearsal of Linebaugh’s Magna Carta Manifesto tuned with visceral urgency and humor. “Our labor has been stolen. Our wealth has been taken…Let’s go back to honey and to warmth!”

Chto Delat? (What Is to Be Done?) Between Tragedy and Farce @ SMART Project Space, Amsterdam. This expansive set of installations and films drawing on 7 years of work by the Petersburg based radical arts collective Chto Delat? transformed my sense of what a collective can do.

David Brazil, Economy (Little Red Leaves). David’s prolegomenon to an ontology of money is also an ethics, a semiology, and a politics. Crucial reading, foreshadowing the larger work to come.

Paul Thek, The Diver @ the Hammer Museum, L.A. Being at the Thek retrospective was probably the closest I came last year to being in a place of worship, or rather to feeling like I ought to be.

Michelangelo Frammartino’s Le Quattro Volte. The only film I paid to see twice in the theater in quite a long time, another symptom of my spiritual hunger. All goat bells and wind and totally Pythagorean.

Pamela Lu, Ambient Parking Lot (Kenning Editions). I had been eagerly awaiting this novel for so long, and devoured it lovingly, and then began reading it again. Lu agnostically narrates the vicissitudes of art’s social function for our post-Cage, post-punk, post-ambient moment.

Thelonius Monk, Straight, No Chaser. Finally got around to seeing this documentary and it was like having my audition reawakened. I can’t get enough Monk now, and have been listening and re-listening to everything I can get my hands on, as if for the first time.

Diego Rivera, Detroit Industry fresco cycle @ Detroit Institute of Art. Mom and Dad’s visit to Michigan provided the occasion to be awed yet again.

M. NorbeSe Philip, Zong! Philip’s book length poem irrupts in a space otherwise voided, conditioning the possibility of a community where what would be shared is what is not here to be shared, our deepest meanings lost to both experience and sensation.

Jai Ravine's presentation @ SPT's Bay Area Asian-Pacific-Islander American Poets and the Avant-Garde event. This event introduced me to Jai Ravine’s projects and left me deeply moved and excited to read and then entwine (Tinfish). I’ll no doubt use Ravine’s multidisciplinary work in the class I’m about to begin teaching called Transgenre: Genre, Gender, Sex (A Queer Poetics).

Tyrone Williams’ talk on Wendy Kramer’s visual poetics at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. I’ve been loving Wendy’s work for years, and listening to Tyrone discussing her collage poems with his characteristic care and attention was pretty marvelous.

Taylor Brady, For I Know Not What I Did Last Summer (Trafficker Press), and Taylor’s reading @ Eastern Michigan University in November to an audience of 300+. How does one go about accounting for oneself in our affective debt economy? Taylor makes the argument for lyric, of course. I’m still cursing myself for having allowed my recorder’s batteries to fail before Taylor’s Q &A, which was an event in itself. Already anxious for the forthcoming In the Red. Soon please!

Matthew Stadler, Chloe Jarren's La Cucaracha (Publication Studios). This is Stadler’s “cover version” of John Le Carré’s A Murder of Quality. Faithful to Le Carre’s plot, character, and syntax, Stadler’s virtuosic page turner is all about the devastation of neo-liberalism as it manifests in Guanajato, Mexico. A great alternative to many current conceptual writing practices.

Anna Karina in Jean-Luc Godard's Made in U.S.A. What can I say?


Favorite Things 2011: Kevin Killian



Dear Michael,

Thanks for this opportunity to look back at 2011. I wanted to do a good job for you so went through my diary from the beginning. Alas, as I finished up with March, I grew tired and had to quit! Thus I've left out many, many wonderful things that I saw and did in the last 9 months of the year. But I hope this will give you an idea of the sort of things I enjoyed most during this past year.

Of all the rest I don't mention here, the most important for me, was the 25th anniversary of me and Dodie's wedding in July 1986. We had a wonderful celebration and I can still say, with all my heart, I'm the luckiest son of a bitch to ever walk this valley. Love from Kevin K.

So here's my list from January through March—sorry it's so partial.

New Year at Steven Wolf Fine Arts and Rumi from the Cockettes singing, Baubles, Bangles and Beads

Meeting Peter Berlin and Travis Jeppesen with George Kuchar

Meeting Mike Kitchell thanks to D-L Alvarez

GB Jones retrospective at Tanz gallery in Los Angeles.

Poets Theater panel at the MLA organized by Patrick Durgin

Hanging out with Fiona Templeton and Kaplan Harris at hotel bar

Alysia Abbott coming by to talk about her dad

Meeting Rebecca Quaytman and talking Spicer with her and Apsara DiQuinzio on stage at SFMOMA.

Belgian artist Kris Martin drew a picture in my book at CCA.

Meeting Scott Treleaven and Paul P at the W Hotel.

Poets Theater festival and the angel costume Matt Gordon made for Dodie.

Rencontre with Lisa Samuels looking younger than ever before.

Reading with Lonely Christopher at City Lights and at Moes.

Katya Bonnenfant's show at Haines Gallery

Paul Graham's lecture at CCA Timken Hall.

Meeting with Gareth Long and with William E Jones one wet weekend in February

The Oscars and cupcakes with little Oscars on them.

Terence Hannum music performance at ATA

"We Were Here" opening at the Castro, crying my eyes out.

Participating in "Big Joy," forthcoming doc about James Broughton

Kobe Leah's drawing for the story "Too Far" from Impossible Princess.
Wilde Boys style salon for visiting NYC based poet Alex Dimitrov

George Kuchar strips off and poses naked for my camera.

Book launch for me and Dodie and our new books at Camerawork, dinner at Fang.

Meeting Robert Pinsky (!!!) at Arion Books and seeing Raymond's Jim Thompson's drawings there.

Participating in Linda Geary's "colors" project

Attending SFMOMA revival of Christopher Maclaine's THE END with Wilder Bentley II in attendance.

08 January 2012

Favorite Things 2011: kathryn pringle


actions:
occupy oakland & helicopters
general strike November 2, 2011

performance (mostly dance):
dances for non/ficitional bodies jess curtis/gravity at YBCA
shinichi iova-kova at Mills
Merce Cunningham Dance Company at Zellerbach
Axis Dance Company Home Season 2011
Marc Brewer w/ Axis
Zeropoint at Z Space
Chris Vitiello et al's Puppets in the Heliosphere

film:
Fassbbinder's World on a Wire at the Roxie
Herzog's Heart of Glass (if only because it gave me so much to say)

readings/poetry:
Judith Goldman at Holloway Series (she kicked ass)
Judith Goldman l.b.; or, catenaries
Samantha Giles Works in Progress reading group (awesome group of people and work)
Dayana Fraile Paisaje zin (Zinc Landscape)
Tim Vandyke, Topographies Drawn with a Divine Chain of Birds
Erika Staiti, In the Stitches
Joe Donahue, Dissolves Terra Lucid IV-VIII
Conversations at the Wartime Cafe reading at DNA lounge
8 x 8 reading at Headlands
Variety Show at Viracocha
David Wolach, Laura Elrick, and Lara Durback at SPT
Erin Morrill at Condensary

prose:
The Fate of Place, Edward S. Casey
The Pale King, David Foster Wallace
Crossing the Expendable Landscape, Bettina Drew
Robert Moses and the Modern City: The Transformation of New York
Freeways, Lawrence Halprin
2666, Roberto Bolano
The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs
Detroit

i know i'm missing things. biochemistry and statistics definitely got in the way of my art life last year. happy new year!

Favorite Things 2011: Brent Cunningham


In poetry & fiction books there were many great titles this year, thru and not thru SPDit really did seem like a banner year for our corner of literature. Off the top of the brain: Brandon Brown's The Poems of Gaius Valerius Catullus, Rosmarie Waldrop's Driven to Abstraction, Anna Moschovakis' You and Three Others Are Approaching a Lake, Renee Gladman's Ravickians series (& actually all five of the first five Dorothy titles), Julian Brolaski's gowanus atropolis, Joseph Mulligan's translation of Cesar Vallejo's Against Professional Secrets, Mimeo Mimeo (Issue 5 was an especial revelation), Bernadette Mayer's Studying Hunger Journals, Steve Farmer's glowball, Samantha Giles' Hurdis Addo, Cedar Sigo's Stranger in Town, Ed Roberson's To See the Earth Before the End of the World, Kenning Anthology of Poets Theater, much much else.

In nonfiction, it was the year of David Graeber for me. Both Direct Action and Debt: The First 5,000 Years have been tremendously enjoyable and clarifying guides during this Season of Occupy.

In tv, which took up much of my 2011, I can't vouch for much as I generally use it to turn my brain off. But, if you can take extreme humor, Louie C.K.'s Louie is a special show with some real artistic merits.

In movies, I mostly watched things appropriate for 4 year olds. Hence I am expecting the Muppets to win best picture of 2011. Apparently they did make films for grown ups this year, I hear tell.

In art, it was a lovely summer discovering & exploring hanne darboven's work; also spent a lot of time thinking about Twombly as he shuffled off the coil.

In bicycling, I discovered gloves are a good idea.

07 January 2012

Favorite Things 2011: Robert Dewhurst

art:
Paul Thek show at the Whitney

books:
Where Art Belongs by Chris Kraus
Of Lamb by Matthea Harvey and Amy Jean Porter
Humiliation by Wayne Koestenbaum

magazines:
Jupiter 88 (ed. CAConrad)
The Swan's Rag (ed. Evan Kennedy)
Creep of Light / c_L (ed. James Yeary)
Division Leap (eds. Kate Schaefer and Adam Davis)

music:
Jonathan Richman at Mohawk Place, Buffalo
Xiu Xiu at Mohawk Place, Buffalo

reading:
Bernadette Mayer at Karpeles, Buffalo, April Fools' Day

quote:
"This is for all the people who have been here all day. You're the ones living artistic lives. Being an artist, who gives a shit. But to live an artistic life means something." -- Penny Arcade on stage during the finale of the St. Mark's marathon, 1/1/11

Favorite Things 2011: Jared Schickling

12.27.11

Dear Michael,

Hmmmm… a list of my favorite paper things read this past year (what is or was or will prove to have been or be 2011). I’ve never made such a list so maybe I went a little overboard, and looking at the small stack here, I’m wondering if any were published this year. The criteria I made for inclusion was simple: the enjoyment I received from the work, that it was actually read during or after January 2011 (this ruled out many great works I would otherwise have included), and perceived forms of contemporary relevance. I’ve included some notes here and there. Most of these were new to me, but some keep re-occurring; most were read during the first six months of the year, go figure.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, illustrated by Lois Ehlert (Simon & Schuster, 1989)—an almost mystical consideration of sound and noise in the form of a melodic introduction to linguistics for pre-linguistic learners (i.e. a kid’s book).

Bacacay, stories by Witold Gombrowicz, trans. Bill Johnston (Archipelago Books, 2004)

Ideas in Context, ed. Joseph Satin (The Riverside Press, 1958)
Paths to the Present: Aspects of European Thought from Romanticism to Existentialism, “Readings chosen, discussed, and edited by EUGEN WEBER” (Dodd, Mead & Co., Inc., 1960)
British Poetry and Prose vol. 1: From Beowulf to Blake, ed. Paul Robert Lieder, Robert Morss Lovett, Robert Kilburn Root (The Riverside Press, 1950)
A Children’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson, illustrated by Alexander Dobkin (The World Publishing Company, 1946)
[All four of these books were found on the bounteous free shelf at the town dump in Farmington, Maine, next to an unused pair of aluminum crutches.]

The Life of the Mind by Hannah Arendt (Harcourt, 1978)

Flux, Clot & Froth by John Bloomberg-Rissman (Meritage Press, 2010)

So It Seams by Chuck Richardson (BlazeVOX [books], 2010).

The 60’s and 70’s from “The Theory of Subjectivity in Moby-Dick” by Deborah Meadows (Tinfish Press, 2003)—I’m a sucker for great works on Melville.

Shaved Code by Frances Richard (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, 2008)

“A” by Louis Zukofsky (U of California Press, 1978)

Fragments of a Forgotten Genesis by Abdellatif Laâbi, trans. Nancy Hadfield and Gordon Hadfield (Leafe Press, 2009)

Field Work: Notes, Songs, Poems 1997-2010 by David Hadbawnik (BlazeVOX [books], 2011)

Poems of Akhmatova by Anna Akhmatova, trans. Stanley Kunitz and Max Hayward (Mariner Books, 1973)—I’m not sure how close Kunitz and Hayward’s English is to the Russian but based on their translator’s note and the alternatives available online I can safely say I prefer reading them this way.

Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes, illustrated by Quentin Blake with photographs by Jan Baldwin (Scholastic, 1995)

Paper Waste Shooting by Luc Fierens (“le Sud du Nord Editions,” Belgium, 2007)—tremendous book art.

A, a, a, a, a by Sara Larsen (Berkeley Neo-Baroque, 2011)

The Unparalleled Adventure of Hans Phaall and “Pure Imagination” by Edgar Allan Poe (Sea Urchin Editions, 2001)

Heroisms by Dan Beachy-Quick (Poor Claudia, 2011)

Tropisms by Nathalie Sarraute, trans. Maria Jolas (George Braziller, Inc, 1963)

The History of Violets by Marosa di Giorgio, trans. Jeannine Marie Pitas (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010)

RENEGADE by Andrew Topel (unarmed chapbook, 2010?)

Two Books by C. J. Martin (Compline, 2011)

John M. Bennett’s poems and ephemera (Luna Bisonte Prods, ongoing)

Following Ghosts Upriver by Marc Pietrzykowski (Main Street Rag, 2011)—a perfect blend of vividly anarchic avant sensibilities with formalist concerns and procedures. In short, brilliant poetry and thinking.

Maribor by Demosthenes Agrafiotis, trans. John Sakkis and Angelos Sakkis (The Post-Apollo Press, 2009)

Rainbows Are Made “by” Carl Sandburg, selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, with wood engravings by Fritz Eichenberg (Harcourt BJ, 1982)—a compilation of Sandburg lines and passages, extracted and re-situated within the themed chapters of this book, geared towards the eyes and ears of children. Also found at the town dump in Maine.

The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb (Norton, 2009)—Crumb includes an introductory note on his translation, describing the process by which he has “to the best of [his] ability, faithfully reproduced every word of the original text, which [he] derived from several sources…” With his alternative read and his graphic depiction of the first book of the bible, “adult supervision [is] recommended for minors.”

A WRITER I WISH TO EXPLORE MORE CLOSELY IN THE COMING YEAR:
Eileen Tabios

06 January 2012

Favorite Things 2011: Crane Giamo



Music

Yr Iliad, Welcome to Concrete
Tim Hecker, Ravedeath, 1972
Youth Lagoon, The Year of Hibernation
Peaking Lights, 936


Films

Dark Days (Marc Singer)
Santa Sangre (Alejandro Jodorowsky)
Gasland (Josh Fox)


Artists

Alex Kvares' drawings
Glenn Ligon's text paintings
Kelly McQuilken


Books

0 to 9 The Complete Magazine: 1967--1969 ed. by Vito Acconci and Bernadette Mayer
Writings of the Vienna Actionists
Throwing Three Balls in the Air to Get a Straight Line by John Baldessari
The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis

Favorite Things 2011: Andrew Levy


05 January 2012

Favorite Things 2011: Angela Hume


Thanks for this opportunity to contribute, Michael.

Poetry:

Harm, Hillary Gravendyk (Omnidawn, 2011)
Everything riots and
unspools, the whole room on one side and all the sound winking out.

Birds of Tifft, Jonathan Skinner (BlazeVOX, 2011)
the stem's left to rust
in stagnant water, twists
of matter, dust and lanes

Personification, Margaret Ronda (Saturnalia, 2010)
There was a tiny pain then, stab of glass catching sun-glare. It shuts you up. To think of it as a wall, too steep to scale, and someone on the other side shouting.

Styrofoam, Evelyn Reilly (Roof Books, 2009)
& plastic.plasticity
in.magnificent . unscrupulous . quantities

Other important poetry discovered in 2011:
eccolinguistics 1.4, ed. Jared Schickling (Delete Press, 2011)
Correct Animal, Rebecca Farivar (Octopus Books, 2011)
From Unincorporated Territory [Saina], Craig Santos Perez (Omnidawn, 2010)
If Not Metamorphic, Brenda Iijima (Ahsahta Press, 2010)
Armies of Compassion, Eleni Stecopoulos (Palm Press, 2010)
Shaved Code, Frances Richard (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, 2009)
Here, C.S. Giscombe (Dalkey Archive Press, 1994)


Theory
:


The Distribution of the Insensible, Nathan Brown (http://distributioninsensible.tumblr.com/)
...another Iraq War veteran suffered a ruptured spleen from being beaten with batons.It seems the domestic army of the American Empire is now tasked with destroying the bodies of its imperializing counterparts the moment they come home from war, disenchanted. (From “On the Night Before the Morning, All Power to the Communes.”)

The Ecological Thought, Timothy Morton (Harvard University Press, 2010) and “Some Outlines for Art in the Time of Hyperobjects,” Morton (http://ecologywithoutnature.blogspot.com/).
Hyperobjects invoke a terror beyond the sublime, cutting deeper than conventional religious fear…

[“Hyperobjects”] loom uncannily towards us, getting stranger by the minute. All our representations are inadequate.

Introduction to Civil War, Tiqqun (Semiotext(e), 2010)
the becoming-real, the becoming-practice of the world…each act, conduct, and statement endowed with sense—act, conduct, and statement as event—spontaneously manifest its own metaphysics, its own community, its own party. Civil war simply means the world is practice, and life is, in its smallest details, heroic.

Corpus, Jean-Luc Nancy (Fordham University Press, 2008 [English])
Bodies don’t take place in discourse or in matter… They take place at the limit, qua limit: limit—external border, the fracture and intersection of anything foreign in a continuum of sense, a continuum of matter. An opening, discreteness… The body is a place that opens, displaces and spaces phallus and cephale: making room for them to create an event (rejoicing, suffering, thinking, being born, dying, sexing, laughing, sneezing, trembling, weeping, forgetting…). (From “Aphallus and Acephale.”)

“Critique of Violence,” Walter Benjamin (Schocken, 1986 [English])
[In] the exercise of violence over life and death more than in any other legal act, law reaffirms itself. But in this very violence something rotten in law is revealed.

Other important theory discovered in 2011:
“Thou Art My Sister: Physico-Theology and the Peopling of Nature,” Joanna Picciotto (unpublished paper).
“Misery and Debt On the Logic and History of Surplus Populations and Surplus Capital,” Aaron Benanav and Endnotes (Endnotes 2, April 2010).
Active Boundaries: Selected Essays and Talks, Michael Palmer (New Directions, 2008).
After Finitude: An Essay On The Necessity Of Contingency, Quentin Meillassoux (Continuum, 2008).
Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil, Alain Badiou (Verso, 2002)


Things heard (said):

“The lived world is not a nice world to be lived in. It’s a highly disputed world to be in. Once we get our materialism back, we also get back war, because the lived world…is uninhabitable.”

—Bruno Latour, 20 October 2011, “Is It Possible to Get Our Materialism Back,” Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany (I am happy to share my notes from this Latour talk; write to me at angelamariehume@gmail.com.)


“The kind of subjectivity I am interested in is that of the underground pool, the wild mess, the common water from which we all draw. That’s where the poet’s relationship to the materials goes in. Ecopoetics is not just about individual lives. It’s about a collective unconscious—the coming together of all the sentences and images we have experienced.”

—Brenda Hillman, 20 March 2011, on “ecopoetics,” Point Reyes Station, California.

Favorite Things 2011: Gloria Frym


These wonderful things have made 2011 more than it might have been:

*The Occupy Movement and my photographing handmade protest signage. The Movement is the most exciting and important phenomenon to hit democracy since I've been alive.

*The beautiful cover of my new book, Mind Over Matter; the simple, elegant design of the text
*Teaching the 19th Century Novel and getting a midterm paper entitled "Occupy Pemberly" (Darcy's country estate)

*Discovering the novels of Stefan Zweig

*Listening to Los Munequitos de Matanzas, an Afro-Cuban santeria orquestra

*Living in Havana for two months

*Reading novels and essays in Spanish

*Attending a performance at the Gran Teatro Nacional, Sala de Garcia Lorca in Havana of Lucia di Lammermoor by a North Korean opera company with a beloved friend of mine and Kit Robinson's, Lucy Rodriguez

*Swimming in a warm lagoon near the Bay of Pigs

*Being kissed by a docile pitbull named Johnny Sue

*Reading Lydia Davis' translation of Madame Bovary and talking about it with her

04 January 2012

Favorite Things 2011: Andrew Rippeon



Music (on repeat):
Alan Lomax’s 1962 Carriacou recordings
Big Freedia
The Dirty Projectors
El Guincho
Man Man
M.I.A.
Ornette Coleman (especially Science Fiction, Dancing in Your Head, Skies of America, and Town Hall 1962)
Sleigh Bells
The Stark Reality
Three Trapped Tigers (just what it sounds like)
The Very Best
tUnE-yArDs (just, just just found her—why not sooner!?)

Books (critical)
Friedrich Kittler, Literature, Media, Information Systems ("Around 1880, poetry becomes literature." Ok.)
Iain Anderson, This is Our Music (incredible history/sociology of avant garde jazz in America)
Alex Weheliye, Phonographies

Books (poetry)
Kamau Brathwaite, Elegguas
Bhanu Kapil, Humanimal
Tyrone Williams, The Hero Project of the Century, Howell
Beauty is a Verb

Film
Basquiat (dir. Julian Schnabel)
Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child (dir. Tamara Davis)*
*Watched both in one sitting while stitching Vanessa Place’s book. Davis’s film is far, far better than Schanbel’s myth, if only for the studio footage of Basquiat in action. N.b.: J-M B’s estate wouldn’t allow Schnabel to use actual J-M B paintings in the film, so Schnabel painted imitations himself…

Favorite Things 2011: Brian Ang



Writings are my aids to my memories of crucial favorite things in 2011.

I worked on three books of poetry:

* Communism (Berkeley Neo-Baroque, 2011) came from studying contemporary philosophy, especially Alain Badiou, Slavoj Žižek, and Giorgio Agamben and especially Badiou’s Being and Event which I used to rewrite Louis Zukofsky’s “‘A’-9,” and Michael Palmer who I consider to be an exemplary “philosophical” poet which enabled me to make something severely different.

* Pre-Symbolic (Insert Press, forthcoming 2012) came from studying Zukofsky’s “A” 22 & 23 and repeating it with my own form and materials, a reverse crash course through 2500 years of history.

* The Totality Cantos (in progress) is the sequel to Pre-Symbolic, a poem conceptually and interchangeably about everything, the synchronous archive of present knowledge, emphasizing the unprecedented access to knowledge enabling the construction of the most encyclopedic poem ever written. In addition to researching hundreds of subjects in arts, economics, history, law, philosophy, politics, religion, and science, the poem’s studies include Bruce Andrews’ The Millennium Project, his most recent major work with brilliance on each of its thousand pages; Rachel Blau DuPlessis’ ongoing Drafts, masterful “weak” poetry enabling me to do something severely different and monumental; and Barrett Watten’s criticism especially concerning differential poetics and knowledge, concerns that my poem investigates to connect, from Poetics Journal 10: “Knowledge” and in The Constructivist Moment: From Material Text to Cultural Poetics.

Criticism:

* I delivered my paper “‘Quindecagon,’ Alain Badiou, and Strict Constructionism” at the Alphabet Symposium at the University of Windsor which motivated me to finish Ron Silliman’s The Alphabet and study right-wing judicial theory to undermine it.

* I reported on the “Can Art and Politics Be Thought?” conference, the Durruti Free Skool, and Occupy Oakland for Lana Turner: A Journal of Poetry and Opinion which helped me capture their experiences and better understand them. I wrote an essay called “Poetry and Militancy” published in Lana Turner 4 which helped me self-reflect and figure out how to proceed in my work.

* Since October I’ve been writing a commentary series for Jacket2 called “PennSound & Politics.” I’ve long considered PennSound’s materials as a personal advantage as poets surprisingly don’t study it as much as they might, and I produced PennSound’s Fall 2011 Featured Resources. The labor of writing about PennSound’s materials has strongly sharpened my sensibility.

Editing: * I launched my journal ARMED CELL. Its influences include Try! and With + Stand for their DIY aesthetics, L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E and THIS for their polemics, and Lana Turner for its poetic engagement with contemporary philosophy.

03 January 2012

Favorite Things 2011: Stacy Szymaszek



BOOKS:
Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative, Series 2
Thomas Meyer, Kintsugi
Hans Faverey, Chrysanthemums, Rowers
Gail Scott, The ObituaryNathalie Sarraute, The Use of Speech
Edouard Glissant, Poetic Intention
Robert Crosson, Daybook
Jacqueline Waters, One Sleeps the Other Doesn't
giovanni singleton, Ascension
Dana Ward, This Can't Be Life
Ted Greenwald, Clearview/LIE
Anne Waldman, The Iovis Trilogy
Tim Dlugos, A Fast Life: Collected Poems, edited by David Trinidad
Will Edmiston, Effie
Mike Decapite, Creamsicle Blue
Jamie Townsend, Strap/Halo

READINGS (all at The Poetry Project)
Charles Bernstein & Maggie O'Sullivan
Doug Lang & Ron Silliman
Hoa Nguyen & Jesse Seldess

MISC.
The Cultural Society
Public Access Poetry: this one in particular
Flying Object
Etel Adnan tribute at SPT, on it's way to book form

Favorite Things 2011: Beth Murray

Favorite Things 2011 Asterias Rubens (remedy made from Starfish – is healing my cancer!)
Bon Tibetian Meditation of the elements

Books:
The Language of Emotions – Karla McLaren
Healing with Form, Energy and Light: The Five Elements in Tibetian
Shamanism, Tantra and Dzogchen - Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche
Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch – a cookbook, but he writes
beautifully about his vegetables

Films:
Biutiful – Inarritu
Show Me Love – Moodysson
Being Caribou by Karsten Heuer and Leanne Allison – I downloaded this
2004 documentary from Hulu when I was very sick from chemo – it
follows this Canadian duo as they trek across Northern Canada,
following the Caribou migration to their calving grounds in the Arctic
Refuge, where Bush wanted to drill. I was so moved by this
documentary; the land, the Caribou, and this couple's persistence as
they followed them for 900 miles on foot through the snow; shortly
after watching this I decided to stop chemo and heal myself, which has
been happening ever since!

02 January 2012

Favorite Things 2011: John Sakkis


Here are some things I liked in 2011...


Music

1. By The Fruits You Shall Know The Roots- Various Artists
2. The Caretaker- Selected Memories From The Haunted Ballroom
3. Veljo Tormis- Litany To Thunder
4. Isao Tomita- Snowflakes Are Dancing
5. La Monte Young- Theater Of Eternal Music
6. Scott Walker- Climate Of Hunter
7. Delia Derbyshire- Music From The BBC Radiophonic Workshop
8. White- White


Books

1. A Toast In The House Of Friends- Akilah Oliver
2. UFOs: Generals, Pilots, And Government Officials Go On The Record- Leslie Kean
3. The Kenneth Rexroth interview in Golden Gate: Interviews With 5 San Francisco Poets- ed. David Meltzer
4. Mimeo Mimeo #5
5. The Poems Of Gaius Valerius Catullus- Brandon Brown
6. House Of Leaves- Mark Z. Danielewski
7. Locas: The Maggie And Hopey Stories- Jamie Hernandez
8. "6 Writers On Eshleman" section from Temblor #6


Life

1. Mosswood Park, Oakland, CA
2. boxing
3. running Lime Ridge Open Space, Concord, CA
4. The Poetry Center at SFSU
5. picnic table beers at Lake Merritt, Oakland, CA
6. my new Bianchi "San Jose" bike
7. making music with friends
8. getting stuff done