27 March 2013

Jocelyn Saidenberg's Bartleby

Jocelyn Saidenberg gave an incredible reading of her "Bartleby" project on Saturday night, which got me thinking about her shipwreck, a chapbook printed nearly a year ago on the occasion of the exhibition "9 Balls: Alexis Knowlton New Work" thanks to Margaret Tedesco and her 2nd floor projects. I've been meaning to scan some pages from it since then, which should give you a sense of how far behind I am. I'm not sure if any of these are still available (I think it was printed in an edition of, like, 100), but you might check at the 2nd floor website just in case.

Jocelyn's Bartleby also got me thinking about Heriberto Yepez's new Chain Links text, The Empire of Neomemory (which I've been reading in anticipation of an interview with translators Jen Hofer, Chris Nagler, and Brian Whitener). Yepez makes the following argument about Bartleby:

"The scrivener arrived on the scene of capitalism melancholic, frustrated, disappointed with himself, skeptical of real communication, crushed, sunk in his interior world, separated from everything and everyone. The scrivener arrived into capitalism tormented by the loneliness caused by his failure. He could not communicate with us. His letters failed."

And later...

"As a failed technician of the sacred before taking on the form of renegade copyist of Wall Street, the Oxidental scribe (note: here I take it Yepez is referring to Bartleby and Charles Olson and American poets writ large!) is condemned to nihilism, to pure passive resistance, a being protected by the paternal State, an Oedipal being. The scribe is condemned to death, to dying among the ruins of his wavering between a metaphysical unemployment and a subservience to capitalism.
     Co-bodies of each other: scribe and New York attorney, writer and State, thought and capitalism, secret symbiosis, silent union of the apparently distinct, truncated relation and therefore not unreal. Since the union of the two is the most uncanny, the saddest and most disappointing, it is the very loop of the complete failure of the human project. All of us are Bartleby. Copyists, clandestine propagandists of capitalism with no exit" (44).

I'd LOVE to read Yepez's text next to Jocelyn's to see what would fluoresce...is it simply that Jocelyn's Bartleby is a body with desire?

26 March 2013

Further Other Book Works

The Tumblr for Further Other Book Works is up and running, so folks can finally order copies of the Norma Cole and Rachel Blau DuPlessis broadsides (both in collab. with CJ Martin), and I'm especially partial to Julia Drescher's Hands Chalk the Walls figured above. Your collection needs this stuff, as mine certainly needs the forthcoming Paul Klinger project that includes prints of an alligator carcass (which Chris assures us is literally alligator carcass printed on paper) Um...looking forward...

23 March 2013


We still need approximately 50 people to step up and support Compline by preordering David Brazil's the ordinary and Jackqueline Frost's The Antidote before they're released in May/June. As such, David and I collaborated to sweeten the deal. If you order both Jackqueline and David's books for $25, you'll receive a brand new Brazil chapbook entitled Holy Ghost III & Holy Ghost IV FOR FREE (along with an additional free Compline publication of your choice). That means you'll receive two long-players and two chapbooks for only $25 (not bad, huh?!). Holy Ghost III & Holy Ghost IV will not be available for purchase separately. You can only secure a copy through this preorder deal. If you've already ordered the books, rest assured: you will receive this chapbook in addition to your other books. If you haven't, we only made enough to cover the first 125 preorders, so get your order in NOW and support small press publishing! Click here to order and thanks for your support!

22 March 2013

Morris / Saidenberg / Scappettone on Saturday!

Please don't forget to join us Saturday, 3/23 for an SPT "pop-up" reading featuring amazing poets and people Marianne Morris, Jocelyn Saidenberg, and Jennifer Scappettone. Scappettone is in town for the weekend, and it's been a good, long while since she's read in the Bay Area. Sharing the bill is newly local (maybe?) Marianne Morris (whose Iran Documents came out recently on Trafficker Press, a chapbook I quickly fell in love with) and Jocelyn Saidenberg (a crucial presence in the San Francisco Bay Area who needs zero introduction!). This promises to be a super fun reading, and we'll pass the hat around to raise a few bucks for SPT! Also, we've made it a 9 pm late show so we don't overlap with Julie Patton, Andrew Levy, and Mark Wallace earlier in the evening at the Poetry Center. Please help to spread the word, and I hope to see you all there!

Morris / Saidenberg / Scappettone
SPT Pop-Up
CCA Writer's Lounge
195 Deharo, San Francisco
Sat. March 23rd, 9pm

Marianne Morris is the author of several chapbooks including DSK (Tipped Press), Iran Documents (Trafficker Press), So Few Richards, So Many Dicks (Punch Press), and Commitment (Critical Documents). She was the 2008 holder of the Harper-Wood Scholarship for Creative Writing from St John's College, Cambridge, and has just completed a PhD in contemporary poetics in Cornwall, U.K.

Born and raised in New York City, poet and editor Jocelyn Saidenberg is the author of several poetry collections, including Negativity (2006) and Cusp (2001), which was chosen by poet Barbara Guest for the Frances Jaffer Book Award. Founding editor of the publishing collective Krupskaya Books and a founding member of the Nonsite Collective, Saidenberg has also served as director of Small Press Traffic and as curator for New Langton Arts.

Jennifer Scappettone is the author of the poetry collection From Dame Quickly (Litmus, 2009) and of several chapbooks: Beauty [Is the New Absurdity] (dusi/e, 2007), Err-Residence (Bronze Skull, 2007), and Thing Ode / Ode oggettuale (La Camera Verde, 2008), translated into Italian in dialogue with Marco Giovenale. Exit 43, an archaeology of the landfill and opera of pop-up pastorals, is in progress for Atelos Press, with a letterpress fragment forthcoming from Compline. She edited and translated Locomotrix: Selected Poetry and Prose of Amelia Rosselli (University of Chicago Press, 2012), which won the Academy of American Poets' biennial Raiziss/De Palchi Book Award. Killing the Moonlight: Modernism in Venice, her study of the premodern city as a crucible for twentieth-century experiments across literature, politics, the visual arts, architecture, and urbanism, is forthcoming from Columbia University Press.

21 March 2013


This reading's going to be A LOT of fun! Come preorder the new books by Jackqueline Frost and David Brazil and support Compline!

20 March 2013

Holy Ghost

I'm cooking up something special for the Compline fundraiser on Thursday with David Brazil, Jackqueline Frost, and Evan Kennedy. Take a look at the video for a preview! And don't miss the reading!

15 March 2013

Jonathan Skinner's Advisory Board Roundtable Comments

Over the course of eco-weekend, folks kept referring to Jonathan Skinner's comments on the opening-night roundtable as if the conference could have ended there! I had the pleasure of running into him briefly at the Friday night Public School reading (the first time I've seen him in person since the Olson Now conference at Buffalo back in, like, 2007!), and I've been dying to see what he had to say ever since. And now the text is finally in hand! Download the PDF below, or peruse below using Scribd's terrible "reader" (not recommended!).

Nicky Tiso on the Ecopoetics Conference

I met Nicky Tiso briefly at the Halpern/Iijima/Williams reading at the Public School, and found later that he was sharing a panel with my boy Matthew O'Malley. An MFA student at Minnesota (I think?) and a onetime student at Evergreen (a student of David Wolach's? I think?). Anyway, he blogs at Grand Hotel Abyss, and his musing on the conference can be read here.

14 March 2013

Gevirtz / Giles / Thomas-Glass

You should go to this on Friday!

708 Montgomery Street (at Columbus)
San Francisco, CA 94111
3rd Friday Nights (Yes it’s new!)
March 15th, 2013

Susan Gevirtz/
Samantha Giles / Dan Thomas-Glass

Doors open at 7 pm. Reading at 7:30
Donation $6 (No one turned away for lack of funds).

Susan Gevirtz
’s books include AERODROME ORION & Starry Messenger (Kelsey St., 2010), BROADCAST (Trafficker, 2009), Thrall (Post Apollo, 2007), Coming Events, Collected Writing, is forthcoming from Nightboat. She teaches at California College of the Arts and Mills College. Gevirtz has co-organized the annual translation and conversation meeting of The Paros Symposium with Greek poet Siarita Kouka, and guest organizers for eight years.

Samantha Giles grew up in an industrial section of Santa Monica, California and currently lives in the flatlands of Oakland, CA. She is a graduate of the School of Social Work at San Francisco State and holds an MFA from Mills College. She is the author of hurdis addo (Displaced Press, 2011)-- a winner of the Sexiest Poem awarded by CAConrad-- and the forthcoming deadfalls and snares from Futurepoem. Since 2009, she has been the Director of Small Press Traffic.

Dan Thomas-Glass
lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife Kate and their daughters Sonia and Alma. He is the author of The Great American Beatjack Volume I (Perfect Lovers Press 2012), Kate & Sonia (in the months before our second daughter's birth) (Little Red Leaves Textile Series 2012), Seaming (Furniture Press 2011), and 880 (Deep Oakland Editions 2010). He edits the journal of postindustrial poetics With + Stand, works as a school administrator, eats Mexican food joyously, is a devoted Warriors and 49ers fan, once wrote a dissertation on language poetry and rap music, and these days writes mostly about the musical dilation of time and faith that is being a parent.

Brian Teare's Ecopoetics Talk

Back to Ecopoetics material: Brian Teare was on a panel called "Environmental Dreamscapes and the Heedless Sublime" with Nathan Brown, Jed Rasula, and Evelyn Reilly. I especially wanted to hear what Teare and Evelyn Reilly had to say, and luckily, Brian sent over a draft. Enjoy!

13 March 2013

Novotny's SPT Videos

Stephen Novotny's been beautifully documenting some of the SPT "pop-up" readings I've recently curated. Find video footage below of Sara Larsen and Thom Donovan reading at the CCA Writing Lounge back in September of last year, along with more recent footage of Craig Dworkin and Myung Mi Kim reading at the one-time-public-school-space-and-now-denim-store-location on Broadway. Thanks Stephen for archiving these! Enjoy!

12 March 2013


I'm involved (in one way or another!) in two HUGE poetry events this month. The first is a Compline fundraiser for the Hearts Desire Reading Series, the poetry-reading-arm of the Bay Area Public School. Jackqueline Frost and David Brazil will both read in support of their forthcoming Compline full-lengths, and Evan Kennedy will join them in support of his soon-to-be-in-the-world Krupskaya joint. Preorders for Compline projects will gratefully be accepted, and there may or may not be a free chapbook for folks in attendance (we're still working on this detail!). The pertinent info: Thursday, 3/21 at the new Public School space (2141 Broadway, Oakland), 8pm. Download the poster above and post it everywhere you travel digitally!

The second event is also a fundraiser, but this for Small Press Traffic. I've been curating these "pop-up" events with a dual purpose in mind: while we pass the hat around for SPT we're also helping to put up visiting writers while they're in town. This reading celebrates the return of Jennifer Scappettone to the Bay Area, future Compline author and all around interesting thinker and writer and person. It's been a long while since she's read in the Bay Area, and we're lucky to have her (if only for a night!). Sharing the bill is newly local (maybe?) Marianne Morris, whose Iran Documents (Trafficker) I've recently fallen in love with, along with one of my favorite poets/people of all time (and tireless supporter of Bay Area poetry through her Krupskaya), Jocelyn Saidenberg. This promises to be a super badass event, so DON'T MISS IT! We've made it a 9 pm late show so we don't overlap with Julie Patton, Andrew Levy, and Mark Wallace earlier in the evening at the Poetry Center. Can't wait for both! Please help to distribute the poster to help spread the word!

10 March 2013


Compline is on the verge of publishing two HUGE long-players this spring, the ordinary by David Brazil and The Antidote by Jackqueline Frost, two of the most anticipated books to come out of the Bay Area in recent memory, and, incredibly, "first books" by both authors.

In order to produce these crucial interventions this season, however, I need folks to purchase them in advance. As opposed to chapbooks made from re-sourced and recycled materials, full-length books are incredibly expensive to make. Like, really expensive. Further, Compline receives ZERO institutional funding, which means I pay for these books completely out of pocket. In other words, every book I make takes food directly out of the mouth of my innocent, six-month old baby. Which is finally to say that, by preordering these books, you are directly helping to feed a defenseless baby and you're also receiving two of the most important poetry publications of the decade to boot. Seriously.

These books are going to be BIG, they are going to be BEAUTIFULLY PRODUCED, and they will be ready for the post in April/May. In the meantime, I hope you'll trust my decisions as a curator and a book designer, and invest in these books NOW so I can afford to get them in your hands. There are a few ways to do this: you can order Jackqueline or David's books on their own for $15 a piece, and I'll cover shipping and postage when they're ready. OR, you can order both books for only $25 (cheap!), I'll cover shipping and postage, and I'll throw in an additional Compline publication of your choice FOR FREE. That's how we do it!

Don't hesitate. Don't over think. Preorder these books now if you care about the future of contemporary poetry. Or if you care whether babies live or die.

*To order both David Brazil's the ordinary and Jackqueline Frost's The Antidote, along with a FREE Compline publication of your choice (simply outline which you'd like in the paypal comments), CLICK HERE.

*To order David Brazil's the ordinary, CLICK HERE.

*To order Jackqueline Frost's The Antidote, CLICK HERE.

As always, we are grateful for your continued support! And don't forget to visit the Compline webpage here!

07 March 2013

Two from "Ecopoetics of the City"

The following are two contributions from the "Ecopoetics of the City" panel—what most folks referred to as the "locals" panel over the course of the weekend. Find below the introductory remarks from panel organizers Lauren Levin, Michael Nicoloff, and Alli Warren, along with one of my favorite contributions from the afternoon, "Woman as city; Woman in city; Babylon, Oakland, and Me" by Yosefa Raz.

06 March 2013


Missing the "Groundworks" panel on Friday was one of the more difficult decisions I had to make throughout the ecopoetics conference; I'm a huge fan of Hazel White's Peril as Architectural Enrichment, and Linda Russo is an old Buffalo colleague. Luckily, Jolie Kaytes, Laura Mullen, Linda, and Hazel have put together a little website for their panel where they'll be posting contributions. Check it out here.

05 March 2013

Now in stereo...

Stephen Novotny shared his audio recordings with me from the conference last weekend, so now we can listen to Laura Moriarty and CJ Martin in the comfort of our homes! Enjoy!

04 March 2013

CA Conrad || On the "Post-Avant"

I missed Conrad's panel on Saturday ("The Thingness of Things" w/ Allison Cobb, Alicia Cohen, Jennifer Coleman, Jen Hofer, and Kaia Sand) because I wanted to catch Eleni Stecopoulos's talk for the "Illness, Landscape, Healing" panel (which took Robert Kocik as one of its subjects!). As such, Conrad sent the following observation to emphasize an important distinction he made during the conversation: 


At the Ecopoetics conference I encouraged an end to the use of this term because it denies the possibilities. First of all it was created by elder poets, and to me it's wrong for THEM to be telling US who we are and what we're doing in such a way as to say we are POST. Left overs. Nothing more. It smacks of hubris. It says THE WALL HAS BEEN MET. Yet CLEARLY we were sitting in rooms together discussing VERY NEW and VERY TRANSGRESSIVE activities surrounding poetry for Ecopoetics, for Ecopreservation. These activities for an absolute loyalty to the planet as if POET BE BRIDE TO EARTH, stewards to deviate from all that is feeding empire and ravaging our one and only home. I read this at the panel, words from Kaia Sand (she had been interviewed by Carol Mirakove after Kaia curated Women in the Avant Garde):

"I chose the term avant-garde over experimental because avant-garde implies the social side of the work. There are a lot of ways to pitch in with an avant-garde movement --- this is an inclusive frame. So many artists have shown us that if you want to extend what's possible, you need to build the ground to walk on --- and that's collective action."

These words from Kaia are words we need to keep in mind now more than ever. YES we can respect and love our elders for all they have done. We're standing on their shoulders after all, aren't we? HOWEVER, we absolutely MUST NOT GIVE INTO the idea that the wall has been built and cannot be breeched. Deny it!! Deny this with me!! THERE IS SO MUCH WORK TO DO AND WE MUST FIGHT TO DEFINE OURSELVES IN WHAT WE DO!!

01 March 2013

CA Conrad || head out window on / the baptism highway

I ran into Conrad at the Bay Area "locals" panel this weekend ("Ecopoetics of the City," chaired by Michael Nicoloff, Alli Warren, and Lauren Levin), and he handed me a copy of this poem from his new Troll Thread chapbook TRANSLUCENT SALAMANDER. Download the whole text here, and check out new Troll Thread stuff here, featuring a new Chris Alexander text called, seductively, McNugget.