So many new books and journals that I would like to review individually, but if I don't just do a quick run-down, I'll never get around to any of them.
New from Rod Smith's Edge Books, Anselm Berrigan's Some Notes on My Programming:
to a cricket ghost who planted me
into innocuous sympathy
so be it "poet," blue lightning
purrs from fingertips
now that the war is forever
(from "In the paint")
Also new from Edge, Jules Boykoff's Once Upon a Neoliberal Rocket Badge:
Oh how handy these traits
become for de-localized honcho
logic for logistical regression
analysis for statistically
significant witch doctor
predictions of history
as communicable disease
(from "Eric 'Sleepy' Floyd Meets Horace 'Sleepy' Hinds in the Capitol Rotunda the morning before the evening after Ronald Reagan was shot in order to discuss the servility of civility, the utility of docility, & the convergent discrepancy of extreme mediocrity")
Also also (fairly) new from Edge, Mel Nichols' 2005 chapbook Day Poems:
please knock on door
two bolts in the mouth
and a pie in the face
(from "Day Poem" )
From Suzanne Stein's Taxt Press, Kathryn L. Pringle's chapbook Temper and Felicity Are Lovers:
the Nation is about farming
according to OUR body.
to you. you think you find them
my name is felicity. i used to be like you.
I'm not now. I used to be like you
before the light.
prior to the suction.
From Bear Star Press, Craig Wright's first book of short stories, Redemption Center:
Makes the meaning go away. Even in a story.
But maybe it'll mean something this time.
Or maybe all you see are words. It's not even real.
That's the thing. This story'll sit here, untold. Like when you're riding other pages.
But you want this story to mean something, or will. You will want that. When somebody's reading or listening, more than anything you want meaning in the mean old world.
From Otis Books/Seismicity Editions, Freud in Coney Island and Other Tales by Norman M. Klein:
We are also reasonably certain that Freud went to Hell, not only the Hell Gate in Dreamland; but also Darkness and Dawn (with Hell as Darkness) in Luna Park. He enjoyed watching the Chicago Fire (with women jumping from flaming windows). Nearby, he claimed his hair was nearly singed when the riverboat Prairie Belle burst into flames along the Mississippi. He even yawned his way down "Stygian chambers," to the River Styx; and saw the Flood at the Crack of Dawn.
And from the same people who bring you Otis Books--Otis College of Art & Design--vol. 3 no. 2 of The New Review of Literature, edited by Paul Vangelisti and others. In this issue, work by Steve Katz, Mac Wellman, David Antin, Rosmarie Waldrop, Barbara Guest, Octavio Paz, Matthea Harvey, Alice Notley, Rae Armantrout, and more. Here, an excerpt from Catherine Wagner's "Everyone in the room is a representative of the world":
Keep nestling myself down in my name
wriggled my bottom for a more perfect reliable seat
I got up and rode away on my bike
smashed on a fence, a car underwhelped me
I became a person picked up in a van
I became--I could not get a job
I became hurry hurry, nuzzle
back into my name, before the bowels open
And more journals: Magazine Cypress 4, edited by Dana Ward, featuring Brandon Brown, Michael Cross, Drew Gardner ("Chicks Dig War"!), K. Lorraine Graham, Brenda Iijima, Larry Kearney, Ange Mlinko, Kerri Sonnenberg, Chuck Stebelton, Christina Strong, Stephen Vincent, Matvei Yankelevich, and Stephanie Young. From Iijima's "SPINE/DIVINE/SUPINE":
Destroy your want of big things
Inscrutable personal nothingness
Or have a cheap machine. Nude
Harmonious now out of scale
Balking at physics
I bite into the big picture
This tease is on view at the
American Folk Art Museum
The beautifully handmade Cannibal 1, edited by Matthew and Katy Henriksen, contains work by Lisa Jarnot, Joseph Massey, Brian Howe, Clayton Couch, Jen Tynes, Anne Boyer, me, Tao Lin, Sandra Simonds, Bruce Covey, Erica Kaufman, Brenda Iijima, Laura Carter, Gina Myers, Edmund Berrigan, Jim Behrle, and many more. From Andrew Mister's "Liner Notes":
We don't want writers to tell us about their lives, we want them to show us something about our own. Maybe that's why I'm ashamed to tell you about my life. The irregular appearance of points on a surface. Maybe that's why no one talks about themselves in poems anymore. I was at a party and this guy kept interrupting himself, saying, "But me, me, me, it's all about me, anyway," in an ironic, self-deprecating way. But he said it many times to different people so all night he really was talking only about himself. Maybe that's why we get tired of our own lives: they're all about us.
Fence vol. 9. no. 1, edited by Rebecca Wolff and Charles Valle, features poetry and fiction by lots of writers including Matvei Yankelevich, Sawako Nakayasu, Lisa Lubasch, Mathias Svalina, Nick Twemlow, Macgregor Card, Etel Adnan, and Joseph Donahue. It also features a witty and colorful selection of art by John Lurie (including the cover). From Robert Fitterman's Myopera: a libretto:
Rachel: I'm not entirely sure, but I might be a tad uncertain of myself.
Robert: Amazing Ass Trilogy.
Chorus: My shed has collapsed taking most of the fence with it.
Rachel: I don't see the point in sex toys.
Robert: English Spanking Classics.
Rachel & Robert together: Lead Us Not Into Temptation.
Chorus: Together they conspire to take control of a secret society.
The Tiny 2, edited by Gina Myers, has among its many contributors Joseph Lease, Andrew Mister, Stacy Szymaszek, Shanna Compton, Dan Hoy, Matthew Henriksen, Anthony Robinson, CA Conrad, James Meetze, Kate Greenstreet, Donna de la Perriere, Sandra Simonds, Ken Rumble, Jim Goar, Amy King, and Jess Mynes. I hope neither Gina nor Jonathan will object if I reproduce Jonathan Mayhew's "Self Parody" in its entirety:
I play the drums but only on rubber practice pads
My fetishes are lipstick and Language Poetry
Hi-hat cymbals and alcohol
I live in Kansas
Without attaching any emotion to this fact
This is a pantoum with half the lines removed
I am easily humiliated yet feel the need to be heard
Finally for now, the first issue of Soft Targets, edited by Daniel Feinberg and Dan Hoy, features Ben Lerner, Richard Greenfield, Linh Dinh, Brian Howe, Martha Ronk, Lara Glenum, Carla Harryman, Sabrina Orah Mark, Dennis Cooper, Allyssa Wolf, Wayne Koestenbaum, and Joan Retallack. There are lots of translations from and into Russian and Hebrew and Arabic, many of them with facing texts in the original language. The journal also comes with a tiny little CD that I'm afraid to stick in my Mac because it looks like it might never come back out. From "Shut Your Sass Hole, Squirrel Man," by Paul Killebrew:
I am not your dental floss.
You are not my good time.
I don't see why all the tanned children
have to grow up to say, "Fuck off, snowman."
The sky spills only what you allow yourself to swallow
and the trees only grow as high as you're willing to look
and the computer will never express yourself without
a paperclip of resistance.
To name the offense was weak, to take offense was weak
but nobody is as squeamish as the news.
I am not hardened to the word processor.