Michael Basinski’s Book Reviews

Michael Basinski's Book Reviews

Michael Basinski’s Book Reviews

Michael Basinski contributed these reviews of poetry publications to a webzine called The Hold, from 2000-2005. He was the Associate Curator of The Poetry/Rare Books Collection SUNY at Buffalo.

The reviews describe works by poets and publishers at a time right before the web became ubiquitous, so they are a useful archive of rare materials as well as an enjoyable read.

In addition to this page, Basinski’s Book Reviews are also available as an EPUB book, in plain text, and the source files are available as a git repository.

Copyright (c) 2005 Michael Basinski. Reproduced here and released under MIT License with permission of the author.

May 2000

New Books by Gerald Locklin

  • Go West, Young Toad (Selected Writings), edited by Mark Weber. Water Row Press, P.O. Box 438, Sudbury, Massachusetts 01776. 1998. 241 pages. $14.95(paper).
  • The Firebird Poems (New Edition), edited by Donna Hilbert. Event Horizon Press, P.O. Box 2006, Palm Springs, California 92263. 1999. 166 pages. $12.95.

“One of the greatest undiscovered talents our time… I like Gerald Locklin.” - Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski wrote, “One of the greatest undiscovered talents of our time…I like Gerald Locklin.” Once this might have been a true statement, but these days Locklin is discovered. You can discover him too. Go West, Young Toad and The Firebird Poems are both retrospective collections that draw from the immense amount of poetry and prose published by Gerald Locklin over the last 35 years. Both offer representative views of Locklin and his poetry and prose. Both are essentially different. One is not better than the other is. They are just different.

Mark Weber, who is Locklin’s bibliographer, edited Go West, Young Toad. Weber arranges the poems and prose in this collection to form a chronological, autobiographical narrative. The tale of Toad (a Locklin persona) begins in Rochester, New York, where Locklin grew up a third generation Irish Catholic and working class. He had an extended family (his mother had 13 brothers and sisters), and he attended parochial school, was an athlete, brilliant and an alter boy! The poems and prose trace Locklin’s move west, thought marriages, drinking, university jobs, parent hood, professor hood and literary life.

As a primer to Gerald Locklin and his writing Go West, Young Toad is a fitting introduction because it splendidly fleshes out the life of the poet. The collection introduces the novice to the themes the support that vast amount of writing that Locklin has done. The Locklin of these poems is an opinionated, honest, sometimes inept, anti-hero, outsider, insider, professor, drinker/drunk and on the wagon, intellectual, husband and loving father. He comes to light fully in Go West, Young Toad as a dedicated and mature artist.

Above Locklin’s many qualities stands his strength as an individual. His self stands against the ugly side of the American culture, which is arrogant, trendy and fashionable. This stress is the impetus that fuels the highly focused, designed, meticulously unadorned poetry that Locklin generates with such discipline and proficiency. Locklin’s muscular identity has endeared him to many a fan.

Among the many great selections that Mark Weber makes for Go West, Young Toad is Locklin’s triumphant poem Beer.

BEER

It takes a lot to get you there, but it won't kill
       you either.

Kids like it. The foam makes a fine mustache. When
       they go to sleep they dream of goofy pink dragons
               and slippery little smiling fish.

To the adolescent it is the first taste of the earth's
       bitterness. He has to pretend it gets him high.
               He is afraid it will give him zits, and maybe it
               will. He gives it to his girl and thinks it is
               because of it she gives herself to him.

She doesn't like the taste of it and never will. She
       doesn't have the thirst for it. She is afraid
               it will give her a gut, and maybe it will.
               Eventually she'll be a little insulated when it's
               offered her. And probably should be.

But the best of friendships are formed over it. It
       helps men to speak to each other, a difficult
               thing these days. It lets men sing without
               embarrassment of auld lang syne and of the sheep
               that went astray somewhere along the line. It
               goes excellent with pool and pickled eggs,
               beef jerky and baseball games. Contrary to
               popular opinion, it is good for the kidneys,
               affords them exercise. It is good for the
               appetites.

We all go beyond it; we always come back to it. It
       is a friend who eases us through our philosophies.
               It is the friend we talk to about our women,
               the one who agrees with us that
               they are not all that important. It
               restores our courage in the face of cowardly
               sobrieties. It laughs with us at our most
               serious sonnets, weeps at our pratfalls. It
               remembers us: it takes us back.

Finally, this blessed beer, it eases us towards
       sleep.

Donna Hilbert wonderfully edits The Firebird Poems. Her selected Locklin is a selected poems organized under various subsections like, “the horse of talent,” or “stalking oneself.” The book draws its title from the poem my daughter and the firebird, in which the firebird is an allegorical symbol for both Locklin’s artist and intellectual fire and the fire of his endless love, in this instance, for his daughter. So then, this collection is comprised of poems more gentle, reflective and poetically introspective than the gruff and cranky poems of the hard drinking, gregarious barfly side of Gerald Locklin. The collection opens with the poem my six-month old daughter.

my six month old daughter
must sleep in a strange crib tonight.

who can blame her for crying?

every bed I've ever slept in
has seemed strange.

One immediately recognizes that the strange bed in which Locklin sleeps is the world. Essentially, much of the tension in Locklin’s poems, therefore, his insights, come form the fact that he sees life differently, more ironic, than most. This results in a wonderful, straightforward type of American individualistic poem. Donna Hilbert’s selection reveals a frank but essentially deeply philosophical poet, unafraid of his intellect, opinion or his own poetics. The poet is alone in the world and has to form and defend his own real and, of course, imaginary existence. As a humble monk along the road of life, he sometimes takes the wrong road. However, this too is the spiritual path of the perceptive poet. Writing, for Locklin, is thinking, and thinking results form living, really living in the world of men and women. He writes in his poem franz kline meets time magazine, “the world requires the mind// the mind requires the world.”

There is some overlap of material in these two books. However, much less than one would expect. Combined, they offer two unique visions of Gerald Locklin. Both of them are correct images, because Locklin is, upon investigation, a very complicated poet and man. He has a multitude of points of view, and they change. He is, above all, human. He is so human, in fact, so unique an individual that he has chosen the true path of the poet, and that path follows the truth of poetry. Locklin is no academic masturbater. He, therefore, is something very special, a real poet, and a poet that has by fate and choice chosen to write outside the mainstream, away from the sticking sewer of dung that is so much of American poetry.

A FIST FULL OF LOCKLIN AND A FEW LOCKLIN’S MORE

The Back East Poems

Liquid Paper Press, P.O. Box 4973, Austin, Texas, 78765. 1999. 64 pages. $5.00.
The Back East Poems are a collection of poems about a Gerald Locklin’s reading tour through western New York, Pittsburgh, Chicago and up to Michigan. It’s a Locklin traveling book of poems about motels, snowstorms, poetry readings and friends and about Locklin’s children and grandchildren. Locklin is about as comfortable with the word as a poet can get. He is gracious and friendly to those who host his readings and names them. Certainly, those noted are small press entrepreneurs: Lords of the streety underground, real and reality, grit and sweet sweat of humanity Poem Gods like Dan Sicoli and Bob Borgatti from Slipstream Magazine in Niagara Falls and the fantastic, erotically CAT poet of Comanche Trail Ohio Cheryl Townsand of torn fishnets, red lipsticks and Santa bags full of leather, lace, chains, XXX videos, tender and lovefullness, hot poem pancake breakfast, maple surip-stick and sticker stuck. Sorry for the riverrun of words. Well, aside from the people he meets, there is always Locklin essentially on a journey through life. In this collection we have a snippets of poetry as a daily, meditative exercises. Poetry is a place, like back east, where Locklin goes to recharge, to again become an artist in the snowstorm of America.

The Sporting Life and Other Poems

ISBN: 1878116924. JVCBooks, 509 N. 12th Avenue, Arcadia, Florida 34266. 1999. 52 pages. $10.00.
The Sporting Life and Other Poems collection is not located in any physical place. The poems are drawn from various magazines in which they first appeared. The majority of the poems are about painters and their works, like Edgar Degas’s At the Milliner’s, Stuart Davis’s Ebb Tide - Provincetown, and Richard Diebenkorn’s Untitled, 1992. In each poem Locklin writes about a painting, painter or both and allows the poem via the description to define an edge of his self, the self writing the poem. An introspective collection the poems paint a Locklin who is all an artist and draws his poetics and artistic philosophy from visual arts and the lives of artists. Perhaps the message is that art and artist are not at all separated. Since this might be the case, art is greater than the object it is. Art, the painting, the poem, is the artist, the poet. If true, and so it seems, then owning this book is more important than those $35.00 coffee table art books. This one must be there. On top of the pile. Let Aunt Willowmeana read on and maybe learn. Well, maybe. But you should, good reader, you should.

Hemingway Colloquium: The Poet Goes to Cuba

Event Horizon Press, P.O. Box 2006, Palm Springs, California 92263. 1999. 42 pages. $24.95.
The Hemingway Colloquium: The Poet Goes to Cuba is as fine a book as Locklin has ever written. His clarity, wit, satirical view and acute observations into the human condition have never been so sustained or so accurate. He admiration for Hemingway has here found acute accuracy. And these poems, in the Hemingway context, are among Locklin’s best. He is a such fine wine in this collection. The price is steep, but again, we are talking about a life time wine. He writes fresh, straight from the hip and heart. The long narrative forms Locklin employs are simple, crisp and rhythmically perfect strokes of the pen. He writes through airports, tourist busses, about various dinners, bars, swimming pools and flirtations, his state of health, and about the beers he does not drink. The poems and prose are flawless and unadorned, much like Hemingway’s vignettes, short stories and novels. The phrase structure of the poems is controlled, and they never intrude into the poetry. All the tiny instances of life are here given dramatic and philosophical import. The poet is confident, yet venerable and vulnerable, human and heroic. Reflective, strong, independent and in touch with his governing emotions, Locklin has here made art to match his master. Such a strong book. Such a strong, strong, well crafted book. Locklin here is easily at his best.

June 2000

40th Century Man - Selected Verse: 1996-1966 (no misprint) by Andy Clausen

Autonomedia, Williamsburgh Station, Brooklyn, New York, 11211-0568 190pp.$8.00.
Poet Andy Clausen finds his tradition in the wandering, exploring, growing American poets, like Kerouac. And Clausen’s poetry has also a social consciousness. He knows that injustice hurts those most who cannot afford to purchase justice, the too silent American working class. Giving his life in pursuit of a poetry that records his maturation, insights, errors, ups and downs, turns, curves and backslides, Clausen, the son of immigrants, finds himself a perpetual outsider. He is the 40th century man, the alien in America, the Lone Ranger Poet in front of the runaway American LOCOmotive. He has chosen (or by fate was destined) to be an outsider. I mention this because Clausen’s poetry is not the poetry of a rich brat experiencing (slumming) life for a few years only to return the wide green, chemically treated, upper class, suburban lawn life. From the outside of inner center privilege, Clausen is quite uniquely suited to chronicle the last thirty years. His poetry depends on an honest insight and an honest commitment. It is an honesty that he cannot and can never walk away from or dodge. He is honest. His life, via the poems, attests to this. His poetic realism is, therefore, in many ways uncomfortable. It is risky. In fact, poet and poetry risk everything for insight and clarity. Clausen pledged to be true to his own self. He pledges to record the world he encounters. He has and is. The poems are ordered from the most recently written (the continuous frank present) and march backward through time. He begins by insight, explores, and throughout his history, Clausen is looking and finding. Still, he is seeking. On the path, the road, on the journey thought life, Clausen proves, again and again, that poetry is essential.

Down and Out by Gerald Locklin, with illustrations by David Hernandez

Event Horizon Press, PO Box 2006, Palm Springs, Ca. 92263. 350 pp. $34.95.
Gerald Locklin writes narrative, semi-autobiographical poems of significant, practical, American insight and philosophy. As a poet, he’s published more than 60 books. However, of late, he’s branched into the realm of fiction. Now, he has published a big book, a novel, which he has titled Down and Out. The novel is fictional reportage. Locklin’s fictional persona is Jimmy Abbey, English Professor, womanizer, and down and out, out and out, drunk.

Composed of 69 chapters of various lengths, Locklin’s Down and Out is cleanly written, and his unadorned prose is consistently entertaining. With only the slightest detail to arrange and order the world in which Abbey thrives, Locklin’s realism is overwhelmingly convincing. While not being totally autobiographical, it certainly would seem that Locklin had more than some first hand knowledge of the drinking life.

Set in the 1970s, Down and Out details the escapades of Jimmy Abbey on his own turf, Sand Beach, perhaps a loosely disguised Long Beach, California. Locklin has been Professor of English for more than three decades in Long Beach, California. And also part of the novel is set during a summer in London. The gregarious Abbey is a serious drinker and womanizer.

While he is often successful as a womanizer, the womanizing seems to take second place to his hard drinking. Womanizing is simply a by-product of his thirst. And Abbey is one thirsty boy. Yet, when Abbey participates in the drinking sub-culture, he is neither bum nor pitiful slob. He is a drunk from the professional, professorial class. For this reason, Abbey is a unique creation. The professorial ranks harbor a good many drunks. Not often are they exposed in prose or in life.

While a committed boozer, Abbey is able to function at his job and maintains a more or less stable domestic situation. He drinks, seemingly, for the pure, hedonistic pleasure and enjoyment of the sauce. He is not particularly pathological. He is not particularly macho. He mixes his vodka with Tang. Tangled in the boozing sub-culture, Locklin’s Abbey is an American outsider, but he is neither a derelict or an antisocial figure like Bukowski’s Hank Chinaski nor a bravado bulging Hemingway male. Both of these authors, obviously, are models for Locklin’s prose. Abbey is neither a cynical figure nor a character ruled by dark and deep traumas. Abbey is a common alcoholic, an alcoholic Everyman. He is only slightly addicted, as are most Americans slightly addicted to something. In fact, Abbey seems more ordinary than ordinary. It is his everyday raunchy and secretive, sleaziness that makes him so believable an American character. He touches each of our own personal perversities.

While Jimmy Abbey is at various points down, he is never really counted out. He regains his footing and, albeit stumbling and staggering, carries on. He touches bottom and optimistically bounces back to land on his feet. In one sense, Abbey gets his cake and drinks it too. Down and Out is subtitled a novel for adults, although, seemingly, not because of its content. Perhaps this subtitle is part of the novel’s sarcasm. Hardly horrible or hard core, the novel portrays a naughty American adult. As any good populace fiction, movie, or TV program in our times, Down and Out concludes positively with these two words: happy ending.

CokeFish Ing in Alpha Beat Soup: A Beat-Post Independent Poetry Broadsheet

May 2000. Published monthly. $10.00 a year. Buck a single copy. Contact: Alpha Beat Press: Ana and Dave Christy, 31B Waterloo Street, New Hope, PA 18938.
Now this monthly broadside is dedicated to the small press and the way it used to be. That used to be what still is here: is IS the free and open expression of poetry as spiritual high from the individual soul crying, screaming, gut twisting, hula-hoop, poetry that knows no boundary of art, meaning, the isms and great walls of poetry that surrounds all us in the poetry, the camps and cramps the living poetry out of us. See. So Dave and Ana wanna poetry that is an all poetry. And committed they have not been co-opted or corrupted. I wish I were so clean. I wish. I wish. This iss/you has Antler, Joy Walsh, Belinda Subraman, Neeli Cherkovski, and more and more. I mean this is a one page thing. For Christ’s sake, send them some bucks and maybe some poems and books.

Driver’s Side Airbag No. 39

P.O. Box 25760, Los Angeles, California 90025. Subscription is $10.00 a year for which you get 4 issues. See also web: www.dsazine.com and email: [email protected]
So, Driver’s Side Airbag is one of those places where along the poetry path of life one stops for a beer, a smoke, a piece of greasy chicken, noodle salad, candy bar, urinate, and to check the map. Now the map is 60 pages fat with all you need to think about. It should be read so read: addresses and poems, and collages and advertisements from friends of the outsider family, and prose and prose and cartoons. A real bowkay! OK? OK! So who do you get: Robert W. Howlington, Blair Wilson, Thaddeus Rutkowski, Mike Diana, Malok. Just think of these artists out there in Wisconsin and Oregon and Dallas and New York and Florida. Wouldn’t you rather be there, than watching the final season episode of Malcolm in the Middle? Well you can, if you weren’t so lazy and cheap. If you have gotten this far make the leap of faith. Atta girl. Atta boy.

Gas Station by Joseph Torra

Zoland Books, 384 Huron Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02138. $11.95.
If you have worked in a gas station, or hung out in a gas station, or know someone who did those things, or worked on a car, had a car towed, or are working class, or are Italian, Polish, Greek, Slav, some ethnic group not up there among thee so called real Americannibals, or were young and worked with/for your parents, fell in love, dreamed of sex and had it for the first time, once, and that was strange, or read Charles Bukowski - (particularly Post Office), John Fante, Dos Passos, Steinbeck, or any of and all of those clear shooting realists, or let’s add Kerouac, or had a vision, or are someone whose life dosen’t make it to the page too often, or the past is melding, or you are thinking or writing it down, or if you are into writing as art, or if you respect blurbs by Robert Creeley and Hubert Selby, Jr., or want something that won’t bore you to tears and make you laugh and make you remember and that will inspire you to be yourself and worth it. Joe Torra is giving you the opportunity. Look. It is not often that there is really a really good book written. Here is one you can’t do without. I will bet you a drink. No, I bet you two drinks.

July 2000

FUCK! - Volume 3, Number 6 - June 00

Subscriptions are $10.00. Make checks and poems payable to Lee Thorn, PO Box 85571, Tucson, AZ 85754.
FUCK! is a poetry magazine from Tucson. Tucson, I seem to recall, was a very lucky place for me. I found two twenties and five on the street! All in one place. It pays to look down. Now about this good FUCK! This is a slim photocopy job. But Thorn is a thorn in dull poetry. Ask Jay Miner because he has been in FUCK! Who else? This particularly issue: Thorn, Normal, Harland Ristau, Carl Miller Dennis and more. Yes, we all like our names. So, if you are the kinda writer and poet that likes her poetry as a rusty nail being driven into a cat’s paw with a jack-hammer or finding vodka salami in his brown lunch bag sandwich or listening to lard windows with condom victrolas or - well you get it, I hope. FUCK is for YOU. Send money, stamps, paper, dog licenses, etc. to L. Thorn. Do it before Saturday night.

Eve by J. N. Foster

About 30 pages. $12.00. Dormant Press, 416 E. Sixth, Maryville, Mo. 64468-733. [email protected]
I thought at first the book was Eye but it is EVE and J. N. is Jeff N. Foster, poet. There are twenty-five Eve poems, as in Adam and Eve, in this book. So first I thought, well how good could a fist full of Eve be? I didn’t know. I ate two apples and opened the book. “Shaved genitals of milk weed husk/ Performed a clitorectomy on a plank stock gate.” And then, “The tonsured macabre’s/ Syrupy benediction/ Mauling olfactory with sex.” Well, I said, leaving the Garden of Eden, not bad, not bad, indeed. And a little of religious symbols, crashes and asses and the like on Foster’s photographs on the cover. Also soft but sensual and hot but then there is the cross of Christ. Interesting or don’t touch. It is a hard space to mix the erotic with the religious. Both can get ruined real fast or get purposely preachy or too liberated and then porny. Foster seems to walk the line and mix a bit of both to get nice chemical cocktail. He lets the words themselves be erotic in their lace and leather lines. So this makes it art and not broken glass. Seduction by a drink full of vowels and juxtapositioning of weighty words. This poet knows the power of a word. He has found out. I think it got him tossed out of Eden. He bit. I bet.

Marijuana Soft Drink by Buck Downs

published in 2000 71 pages. $11.00. Edge Books, P.O. Box 25642, Washington, DC 20007. [email protected]
Buck Downs so musical a name, I always thought, now he has this book too: Marijuana Soft Drink. What thoughts might I have then this Sunday night, thinking of this title, here in Buffalo it is June and wet. Drink down everyday. Dance of letters and slitting words in half, opoeming a fruit that pulls you along. It is music like Kerouac’s Mexico City Blues and like that the poems are one pagers that rambling around tight rift and waves of words weaved that you have too have too drink of off the shore, that call you back, oh come back you missed something and you know it… to read again and again each again something new in the form foam on the beach. Loomed I had to read the entire thing twice because of the seduction, Siren calling poems so fruit fine to be seduced, seaducted transported by: “man is memory’s/ plaything supremely/ colliding & shit// a dim bucket of vector/ making dangerous soup/ from dangerous soup mix” Go Buck!

Immersion Tones by Sheila E. Murphy

Luna Bisonte Prods, 137 Leland Avenue. Columbus, Ohio 43124. $10.00. 36 pages.
This book divided into 33 poems/ 3 sections, Christly, or a month a little longer than a calendars. Sheila E. Murphy a craft poet and prolific at that and if you are wondering how to be that first this book can instruct by opening THE Great Biblical proportion flood gate from Murphy’s immense imagination pouring Niagara Falls into/of/and all about poetry. Each line is alone which you don’t find in poetry these days. That is only the beginning of the craft. One rises and falls with her lines and breathe as the lines play back against themselves and within her rhythm you fall into the next line and on until what happens, I think, you become one imagination -no not-bothered by I disagree this or like that but swept along on perfume rich luscious word on top of or under upon word whip cream and strawberry. You can’t go wrong: from the 7th poem called The Seventh, “The gills are all I will for./ All the blades across small seas./ The hems of lineage entreat their way across unwanted sanctity./ No matter stalks the winsome creed/ without a lever to emboss the crissed long-suffering bold weeds/ that I could do without,/ that my crawled blade could swish apart form common greed.”

The Back East Poems by Gerald Locklin

2000 Liquid Paper Press, PO. Box 4973 Austin, Texas, 78765. 64 pages $5.00.
Gerald Locklin writes effortless, easy flowing, flawlessly engineered poems. Without the pretence, cerebral arrogance or aggressive verbal acrobatics of those cloistered in University towers or those rich kids sun- bathing after lunch in the south of France. The poems of Gerald Locklin debunk the notion that poetry is the private club of eggheads. Poetry in the life of Locklin is everyday and the everyday. The poems are about the wandering of the mind, its tangled web and the inevitable twists of fate that governs life. These Back East poems track the traveling poet Locklin traveling from reading to reading, Niagara Falls, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Akron, and visiting his children, and children and the last living of his aunts in Rochester, New York, and are about the dogs he meets (four different dogs in the pages of this collection). Traveling back east from California (to where Locklin was born) gives place and reason for the writing of these poems. However, The Back East Poem are really not totally just all about these locations or the poet people he encounters. The poems succinctly define the place of poetry in Locklin’s own life, which guides each of us, each reader, to the poetic recess of our own imagination. Each of us, each day encounter poetry. As the mind wonders/wanders in the everyday fate and the ironic notion of mind - misdirection - like hating a painting in his house and later realizing is was Renoir or taking the wrong medicine the little items of everyday life - the quirky turns in the river are the stuff of Locklin’s poetry. Generous - and filled with love of family and friends. And he is happy for life and the storms and oddities and tricks and seeks the quite time. Locklin is king of chapbooks for sure and this one is one of his traveling narrative/journals in poetry. Here all the ironic tricks, the private, the yearning for more days of writing all appear here in front of him: fate/time/friends/children/ah - the things of poetry.

September 2000

Antenna

by Jim Cohn. MusEx Records, 3000 Colorado Avenue, E-219, Boulder, Colorado 80303. www.poetspath.com/jcindex.html “Buffalo running at the speed of darkness,” softly Beat speaks poetic poetry Jim Cohn this line among the among of highways of soft B-Bopping -not clobbering you but the erotic messaging of Jim Cohn’s spoken voice- Jazz riff lines on this CD called: Antenna. The more meditative nicotine smoke filled quiet backroom, hash smoke filled voice of Jim Cohn melodically seduces with his liquidity spoken poems filling all spaces between the spaces of the empty and lonely American heart-soul and mind of a person (you and me listening this) in the room, a room of another world where time is left outside with your worn shoes or split soled sneakers. As if in the room, this poet sitting across from you in truth emptying his soul, slowly, seeping, rain, soaking, penetrating the dry desert forest of everyday and washing it away. Check website for price and other stuff.

A Penny Face Up

by Lee Gurga. Tel-let, 325 W. Tyler, Apt. B., Charleston, IL. 61920-1865. No Price Given. This is a book of haiku by American haiku-er genius Lee Gurga, master in controller of form haiku. Now, you should know if you have not, good reader, figured it out, that haiku is the ruling form of American poetry. Gurga is among those spreading the seeds. I have already written more words than in this entire little good book by Gurga. Let’s say, in this book is one of the best all time haiku or any ku or any poem ever written (buy the book - published by John Martone - send him some stamps and money). Here’s the poem, a poem that can only be in the haiku form for maximum impact:

what to do?
a penny face up
in the urinal

The Iceberg Theory & Other Poems

by Gerald Locklin. (Little Red Book No. 18). Lummox Press, P.O. Box 5301 San Pedro, CA. 90733. 48 pp. 2000. $5.00 (And check out the other 17 Little Red Books - Bill Shields, A. D. Winans, etc. and lots of the good others).
Locklin here brings to the counter a good slice of American apple or cherry pie, maybe Boston or banana cream, with cold vanilla ice-cream - over the top and melting or on the side, depends how you like it. His populace wit and wisdom here shows how poetry is all of the common American life that each of us lead with our own unique logic and magic and how this strange life we lead is full of twists and veils and in his poems he loves to pull off the pretence of the everyday, blast away the one way of narrow thinking, the mask of poetry being hard to get at and handle and sticks his finger into the socket to point out ridiculous of our beliefs. I laughed out loud in the midst of his poem, “I Like Cat that Catch Things, when he pointed out that some birds are not endangered and therefore can be food for cats and their ultimate trophy like the old in the old man in the sea’s great fish. And of course the title poem of the book is a wonderful homage to American speech via iceberg lettuce. Oh so American and lunch counter Locklin, a consummate poet. Here an easy introduction to one of our, our of us like cab drivers, butchers, heath worker, averagers, that is one of if not our Best Poets!

Rock/The Boat -Book One-

by Kenneth Warren. Oasis Press, C/o Stephen Ellis, 23 Mitton Street, Portland, ME 04102. Get information from Ellis on prices and the tons of other stuff he has published. ((Come on - being a poet doesn’t mean writing poems - it is writing letters to find out about stuff like Ellis has got, got it? Get it!)
Each of these poems has the title of a well-known pop song, Duke of Earl, Jailhouse Rock, Long Tall Sally, Nowhere Man, Sad Eye Lady of the Lowlands, etc. This merging of poetry and pop alone makes this an amazing text. And then it is a beautiful retelling of each song (in a form) and the incidents of each are a weaving of that song in your head with the imagination of the poet. The music, the pop tune plays on creating a multi-level poem because the song has triggered a memory that plays along with the poet’s poem. Pulling together the lyrics, the times, the lines memory and music, a stunningly unique piece of poetry, readable, understandable, fresh, new, and strumingly deep appears as a tune drifting in the memory and in the poetry of this moment. So simple a thing Warren knows we all measure out lives via pop-music. With this simple device he is able to bridge the troubled waters between the lives of the poetic of the all day long and the art of imaginative, exploratory poetry of intense and personal and intellectual self.

ZZZ ZYNE No. XXVIII

July 2000. JVC Books, Editor Joyce Metzger, 509 N. 12th Avenue, Arcadia, Florida 34266. Single issues $4.00 - check it out. Subscription is $15.00 - check it out of a year.
Are we serious about this? Four bucks is Christmas tree needles under the carpet, dead ants, a pound mushy molding smushrooms, a gallon a gopher gas in Afghanistan….! Joyce and Wendell Metzger are out there doing it and you can do it also with a fist of four dollars and a few bird feathers in your gapping poetic maw. So get together the four bucks. I know you got more than four between the couch cushions or under the front seat in the car. Take some soda cans back or all those beer cans on back porch. What’s wrong with you reader? Take ZZZ ZYNE No. XXVIII (this means 28 in Roman). In the middle is a best poem by Antler called: Job Replacement for Loggers of Old Growth. This poem itself is worth a few crappy dollars. Look the government is making all the money look like play money - so you can buy more over-priced CDs which you never listen too, or dig up your front lawn and plant more marigolds. Therefore the logic is poetry - but only if you want it like the poems in this ZZZ ZYNE: d.a. levy and Lyn Lifshin, John Bennet and Catfish, Kit, Kevin, Kell. A conglomerate of assorted passion semi-truck on the thruway explosive poems by the escaping prisoners of the ordinary birdbaths of your Uncle Dork’s dilapidated, decapitated condo.

Serving Suggestion

Issue 1, Summer 2000. Serving Suggestion, 19 Valley Green Circle, Penfield, NY 14526 - 1 Buck an Issue - Not bad!) or contact Carol at [email protected]
Serving Suggestion is a brand new poetry zine now open for business. At a dollar a sample issue it is ON SALE and good for you to get a heaping helping of poetry from the visual poem to the regular pump poetry gas. Yes, a three square meal deal with Serving - something you should do. Probably also send some poems along with the $1.00. But do tip the cook and waitress and bus boy and dishwasher. See work by Eric Rosolowski (and check out more at: epc.buffalo.edu/gallery), read poems by Karen Kuehmeier - no doubt one of the wonderful and I mean Wonder filled and exciting wild poem poets now about and active writing, and then there is a spectacular drawing by an internationally recognized master of the great complexities of James Joyce (just back from a lecture tour which found him in London, Paris and Jerusalem) - yes - non other than that Joyce master: Sam Slote. Well - I mean you see Serving Sugg. is hardly a zine hidden in the woods - but it will be there too. So do it! - I know - let me repeat - send a buck. Send some poems.

October 2000

Thunder Sandwich - No. 11

Site maintained by Jim Chandler and he is editor of this site: URL thundersandwich.com
Thunder Sandwich No. 11 is a gigantic site packed with probably three or four thick magazines (the antique ancient paper kind) of stuff like well: poems from Ron Androla, Cheryl Townsend and our Hold It Hostess: cait collins. And others: Bart Solarczyk and Mark Hartenbach. There’s a Charles Plymell column also and lots of photographs of poets readings and sitting around poeting. And reviews of important small press books. Links, reviews articles, emails, and etc. the future of outsider poetry. A good picnic with uncles and aunts who let you drink and sneak off to the bushes. High-octane alcohol. The most revolutionary, of course, cause represents a social state of poetry void from the tedious wealthy rich-kid South of France words.Not that suburban cell phone in the SUV on the way to the craft store. No idle time. Nor no idle threat.

Peshekee River Poetry

Spring 2000. Peshekee River, Tom Blessing, Editor. PO Box 689 Eastpointe, MI 48021. A couple bucks.
Just the correct size for an in hand paper magazine so when you reading eating toast in the AM or on the bus it is all easy to handle. In this one: 26 poems total by Ron Androla (which are always fantastic - cause Androla - here remembering the part sometime - truly is a poet in the real way poets are artist using words - he is the great unrecognized one), Jim Chandler (always placing the cold hard sand meat in the thunder sandwich), Donna Hill (I quote, “instead, barren and numb this night/ I walk patiently over their/ tiny jagged edges slicing/ my tender unkissed bare feet”), Lyn Lifshin (Her highness of highness underground - passion on a bone china plate) and Elaine Thomas (warm meditation deep within the mountain of cold humanity).Drawings by Blessing. Check it out. Magazine editors want mail. Allow this mention to be an invitation. I hope he don’t mind.

Slipstream. Number 20. 2000

Editorships: Robert Borgatti, Livio Farallo and Dan Sicoli. Slipstream, P.O. Box 2071, Niagara Falls, NY. 14301. Sample issue $6.00.
After twenty years in the poe-biz and after producing 20 issues (that means one a year and a lot of the time and money out of the pocket folks) Slipstream should now be canonized as a Saint of poetry magazines. Slipstream has been around longer than most marriages, your children, your car, the place you now live in, the wine you were saving, the life span of whales and gazelles, four presidents, 43 countries in the world, the OJ trial, John Denver, – but not as long as Ronald Raygun - or Nancy - but that is OK. If you don’t know about them as yet - Hello. Aloha. Knock-Knock. Slipstream has, does, is the foremost promoter of the poetry of the scandalous, dark, forgotten and/or secret lives of people. Slipstream features poetry by the skeleton in the soul’s closet. You will enjoy it. Each issue features not just a list of names you recognize but poems by poets you don’t, and they are good poems. The Slipstreamers take care to edit. They are editors. And this one, this issue is truly an anthology of our nation’s intrepid poets who are frank enough to engage fully and artfully in our forbidden lusts and the tempting facets and feces of each and every day of life. Send money - only six clams! - for a fine ish! Learn. Send poems. Who knows? Maybe you are Zeus or Venus?

Three-Part Inventions

by Sheila E. Murphy. 2000. 36 pages. Potes & Poets Press, Inc., 181 Edgemont Avenue, Elmwood, CT. 06110-1005. $10.00.
Releasing poetry from the burden of the pious personal seriousness and giving words back to makers and creators of poems, Sheila E. Murphy’s three part poems roller coaster roasters about from the highest of eight story buildings straight down in free fall fireball FreeCell feral drop through the ground as if it did not exist and into the hot bowels of mother earth. The poems are full of the twisties and turners that only warping, twisting, modeling and shaping syntax can create. Truly these poems are a dissonant poetry. And it forces you to read another way other than in time, in narrative, in a straight line. In this dream, meaning imaginative state, like rising from the wine-dark sea are these pearl roses, “Whose wit along horizons shapes the sentences as they were always scapular.” -or- “Try to vague you out of what you do not know.” These are the gem germs that can only come forward and appear after the practice of really breaking all the rules governing the art of poetry are broken. Sheila Murphy takes the lion of poetry and with whip and chair boots it around so that the poem appears to arrive with all the intensity and beastliness of an otherworld (otherWORD) creature that can only be labeled imaginative beauty.

Cold Comfort: Selected Poems 1970-1996

by Lyn Lifshin. 1997. 278 pages. Black Sparrow Press, 24 Tenth Street, Santa Rosa, California, 95401.
There is really no denialing the awesome presence of Lyn Lifshin’s poetry in the American lit. landscape. More than any other poet I can haul to mind, Lifshin, alone, has the ability to speak with a genuine American voice to all of us peeps, people and dogs. I’ll write that in the age of the WWW Lifshin will take her place (a blue palace - which is the Eros of words - she is the blue witch of the Eros as words - I am convinced) as rightful master - akin to lofties like Robert Frost and Carl Sandbag. She has the ability to be of our moment and is our monument. Easy, yes, to read a few poems in a magazine - here and there - and in little books, but poets like Lyn Lifshin, because she produces tiny, fast slivers of wood in your heart-mind and sliver like fish poems that escape like water thought your fingers, because of this a big book in hand is so much an important event and can only that way grant a fair reading. What happens is that Cold Comfort plants the mind right in the middle of an imaginative cosmos that is recognizable as the real world and one that is not. In other words, and other words are what poets really work with, in other words Lyn Lifshin has created a realm of American poetry so original as to stand alone and aloft. Get the big book.

Dreams at the Au Bon Pain

by Doug Holder. 2000. 20pp. Ibbetson Street Press, 33 Ibbetson Street, Somerville, MA. 02143. No Price Given. Email: [email protected]
Doug Holder. Imagine that poet, with notebook or scrap of paper capturing instantaneous instances like rare insects in the midst of a yacking socializing crowd in Harvard Square, Cambridge, writing a book of poems and you have (if your write to him) in hand Dreams at the Au Bon Pain. It is poetry netting crisp snapshots of memory between sips of strong coffee and sweet deserts and spontaneous perch watching as humanity and his drifts in and out of a crowd in and around an outside sidewalk coffee cafe. His dreams are tender and widening, reverberating circles on dark pools of felt but undefined deep emotion. All a poet, he runs Ibbetson Street Press, and edits Ibbetson Street Magazine. Write him. Send work. He is among the vertebra that holds the Boston and eastern Mass. poetry community up to snuff.

November 2000

Free Thought Volume II, Issue 1, 2000

Gary Aposhian, editor (and lots of supporting editorial staff). Free Thought Publications, P.O. Box 238671, Encinitas, CA 92023. Subscription: $10.00 for four issues. Email: [email protected]
This particular issue is titled: Resurrection issue including a retrospective of Charles Bukowski, interviews, short stories, photography and artwork all a tribute to Hank’s eightieth birthday. And a great tribute it is. Happy Birthday Charles B. This issue for sure is a must for all of us who honor the name Bukowski. I can only imagine that someplace an amusing, confident, contented smile would be cracked by King Charles the Buk. I hope he tips a beer. Most interesting to me, I learned from the material within. And spread out about the issue are poems by Bukowski that saw first appearance in Marvin Malone’s monument of a literary magazine, the fantastic Wormwood Review. Malone was a life-long publisher of Bukowski’s work, among many, many others. Within this Free Thought issue are interviews with John Martin, Gerald Locklin, Michael Montfort and articles and short stories by friends, like John Thomas, and a very interesting piece by William Parkard, editor of The New York Quarterly. The issue also features a very long interview with Linda Bukowski and a piece called The First Time I Read Bukowski by Free Thought editor Gary Aposhian. And there are Bukowski drawings and a re-publication of 20 tanks from Kasseldown and lots of photographs not before published. A dream, a dream for sure for Charles Bukowski fans, readers, scholars, and fans and friends. For Sure.

Before It’s Light by Lyn Lifshin

published 1999. 239 pages. Black Sparrow Press,, 24 Tenth Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95401. The usual Black Sparrow price _(not bad and worth it always).
Of course, like many, or all, I am acquainted with Lyn Lifshin’s poems and read them, over the years, at various times, in small magazines and as small groupings in chapbooks. I knew her as a madonna and a madwoman and a seductress, and also as a poet who would drift, nostalgically, into her past. The poems appeared real, that is the images in the poems represented, so I thought, a real time, a real place, and a real past that could be called Lyn Lifshin’s. On one level, of course, this is true. However, reading 200 plus pages of Lady Lyn’s poems, and that means about 200 new poems, does transport one. Where one locates after engaging these poems is in a familiar landscape, which is, nevertheless, unreal. Everyone’s past is always fabricated. Lifshin’s past is infused and laced with emotions that make magic the objects, including the feelings, of Lyn Lifshin created places and people, places and people of her imagination. In her opening poem, But Instead Has Gone Underground, she writes, “who I am is already/ camouflaged behind/ velvet and leather.” So it is them throughout, each step, in each poem, all these places of poetry are swaddled by her, Lifshin’s imagination that has made mythic the common (community) place of everybody’s everyday. Reading these poems one dances with their seduction and falls into their witchery comfort.

Rain River by Yusuke Keida

Editions Pphoo, Pradip Choudhuri, 73 Regent Estate, Calcutta, 700 092 India. 2000. 68pp. $10.00 US funds.
“I’m a cross-legged goof/ because I write poetry,” pens Japanese poet Yusuke Keida in his first widely available, in English, book of poems. It is a selection of work harvested from 20 years of writing. It is a book, in one sense, of love poems, homage and tributes to other poets that allowed Keide to breathe/bathe full, wet, naked life, in the midst of the hard cold rain of existence beyond poetry. His masters are Kerouac and Ginsberg and he has supported them, and a generation or two of Beats that follow them, via his Blue Beat Jacket press and magazine. Keida also translated Kerouac’s poetry into Japanese. Yes, Rain River, it is a lovely book published by Pradip Choudhuri, India’s Beat Generation proponent and promoter, and has that delightful, oriental peace, a peace so needed, so sought after by Kerouac, Ginsberg, poets in general, and maybe you to, good reader. Check it out. Keida’s address, if you interested in Japanese Beats and Kerouac, is: Blue Jacket Press, 1-5-54 Sugue-cho, Sanjo-shi, Niiagata, Japan.

Baker Street Irregular No. 4 / Minotaur No. 35

Baker Street Irregular, 4026 Midvale Avenue, Oakland, California, 94602. $5.00 an issue.
There are five poets from San Francisco in this issue. There are four poets from Oakland in this issue. In this issue there is one poet from Long Beech, California named Tricia Cherin. Her poem is on page 13. And at this point the reality leaves and the magic of poetry, that is finding it, locating its meaning beyond the self of stuff, finding the genius in each event/object takes off and this is and this point is Cherin’s gift - the flight of word in art and on the page next to her art is an equally good poem by Alan Catlin, who summons via title Harry Crosby from across oceans and time form even the Paris of the 1920s which he fled via a bullet. Ah- the gift of poetry. And Chased Out Beyond the Trees a selection of older poems by Mark Weber has to be a stop in the read through this issue. Mark is one of our best and these poems are from the period when his tank was full of the booze life: wearing a dead man’s shirt/staring up an old river/ sometimes, the trees/ grow over the view.

Lucid Moon Poetry

lucidmoonpoetry.com is Ralph Hasselmann’s new publishing realm. After 40 print issues of Lucid Moon, a billion sheets of paper, exhausting several photocopy machines, etc. and braking the backs of many a mail carrier (luggin around the great Moon issues), it the LIT IT OF LUCID MOON: - the Zine - metamorphosed into this site - which is growing, expanding, hanging and mostly - well - yeah - it is growing - that is what Ralph does the best - that is combine it all and get it all out there - and not worry about this and that and well what about this poem - I mean - his gut is a trusted thing - like ice cream moon and howling dog tongues want it. So, MainMan! Ralph, has it together - plenty poems, him got reviews, interviews, broadside series, link to the Alpha BEATS! Tapes and joy, yes, such are the joys cause we are all girls and boys. No invisible worms allowed, no police on yaks, no pool closing the second week in September, no none of that, Stuff, what makes you mad. Here !!! Everything is Holy. Baseball is Holy. The Organ of Man is Holy. Click on it - willya! Jeez Loueez. Click. Fool Click. Cluck-cluck-cluck. Click click click.

Heeltap No. 7

Issn 1091-9449. 2000. $5.00 c/o Richard D. Houff, 604 Hawthorne Avenue East, St. Paul, MN 55116-2012. Direct all correspondence, donations and submissions to him.
Heeltap is a Pariah Press Publication. This particular issue begins with a big chunk of poem work by Lyn Lifshin - 7 poems in fact (this is issue 7). I guess I was wrong - 5 poems. I am a ritter not an a math-geek. And then followed by four poems by Todd Fox. Later on there are poems by Gerald Locklin, Robert Peters, Holy Day (Isn’t she from Florida?), Peter Magliocco (Isn’t he from Nashville?), Albert Huffsticker (Isn’t he from Texas)? Well, you see - this is really a congress of poets - this is a UN meeting or an, you know an Olympic Village of sorts, or a jug volcanoing with the exotic.

Ok - so we have here a magazine that consistently presents American work. Poems for dishwashers, cab drivers, - all the workin people - not the rich kids back from France whose Ma and Pa paid for the first 10 issues of the glossy pornographic Nork York City rag that features only other rich kids back from France - no and not and nope. Here some bus driver, and lunch room worker with hair net on head, the slave at Starbucks, the slaves of Nike, the postal worker (not the office postal workers - the slaves luggin the bag around), the guy that grinds up your hamburger, the retarded woman that cuts you a half pound of baloney. Wake up would you! Treat this editor: Richard Houff. With a letter with some stamps or send him a huge chunk of kilbasa. Here is a short poem by Paula Villegas: I love men with blue caps
They keep their heads on so well

The Band Only a Mother Could Love by The Bubbadinos

Zerx 021 - CD. Mark Weber, 725 Van Buren Place SE, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87108. http://zerxpress.blogspot.com/ [email protected]
For the past several years Mark Weber, poet of western Oki California arrests and wine and people guitar hub-cap backporch cigarette trembling songster house painter (who are also publisher of countless tremendous books from Zrex Press - and best poet of New Mexico) has been spending tidal waves of energy on music and as a result - this is one holy result: The Band Only a Mother Could Love, which is a 25 track CD of wonderfully spun both traditional and other musics and songs by Weber and they does Clementine, Yankee Doodle, Amazing Grace, You Are My Sunshine, and etc. like if sand and glass and blood were the mucus sent in rivers by the Gods. It is easy to say you have to hear it but you have to hear it. And once you hear it you say, I gotta hear it again. And again. It grows and grows the great mountains and deserts and desserts of Alballquerkey, New MeixiGO!!

December 2000

Bourbon and Coke by Robert L. Penick

Chance Magazine Press (I think), (I think is not part of the Press name), 3929 South Fifth Street, Louisville, KY 40214. $7.00 (I think) (I think that $7.00 should get the poet a few Bourbon and Cokes).
Bourbon and Coke is a bourbon and coke double bar bourbon with no ice to water down that bar back bourbon. Dedicated to Henry Chinaski seems to be a better indication as to what the poems is gunna be than any long winded fart introduction. So be it. And probably better than any long winded fart filled review. But who can stop from farting? The poems in this book are about drinking and friends who drink and things one sees when drinking heavily. Skip’s bar is the place to be. Drinkers live in worlds close by but not in the world of the huge sea of non-drinkers. I am sorry for them, them non-drinkers. I was stuck in a gas station during a snowstorm a few nights ago with about 30 people and announced that I would buy beer at 11PM, so we could at least have fun. No one responded. A few people then had coffee. A few people bought some crackers and a few waited in line to pee. A lot of people stood quietly watching the snow. They watched and watched. And watched the snowfall. Henry Chinaski was not among them. Robert Penick was not among them. Shortly later I left the gas station to make my way in the snow. I farted loudly in the cold and wind and dark. It felt good to be alone and away. This then is my mark of approval for Penick and his poems.

Light Fields* by Michael Kriesel.

He lives at: HI 6550 State Hwy 52, Aniwa, Wisconsin 54408. (Strange address but write him.) Light Fields a publication of: Chance Magazine Press, 3929 South Fifth Street, Louisville, KY 40214. No price given for the 20 pages of poems but must be between 5 and 10 bucks. (My guess that the few bucks includes postage).
Words that if I write a review I will use: solitary, father’s belt, 10 years in the Navy. Sad. Love. Broken. Women would love to be loved by this guy. Haunted. Shadows. Moon. Field. Romantic. Someone who happened to be under the ass of life without an umbrella. Nature. Dragon fly. Firefly. Ripe. Rip. He writes, “drowning/ me/ in mercury.” More Moons. Agony. Black. Black tree from which hangs the suicide bodies of Cain and Christ. Sorrow. Romance of remembering. Wishing. AH sweet bitterness and fierce thirst for all things lost and love. Slipping into darkness. Melancholy. Could be short poems for tombstones. Captures a cup of sane sadness enough to quench the fiery Hellhole of life.

Bogg No. 70

Editor: John Elsberg, 422 N. Cleveland St. Arlington, VA.22201. Subscription is $12.00 for three issues.
The first thing you gotta know is that if you subscribe to three issues you will get them. Bogg has been around since 1968, which is 32 years, and is probably older then most of the readers of this review and not as old as those who remember that Leon Harvard Owlswald shot Priestadent McKinnedy 37 years ago. And Elsberg himself is a fine poet, with a horizon vaster than most - he writes short poems and does visual poems and etc. Who among this crowd can say they will be in the business in 30 years!! Christ!! Elsberg’s Bogg is in the tradition of The Wormwood Review and The Outsider. Consistently Elsberg and Bogg brings to wide light a poetry filled with guts and gusto, with feeling and depth, but not sentimental or any academic professor outlook crap. I would venture to say that in the realm of poetry and society Elsberg and his Bogg present, issue by issue, the very best of poetry by people, consistently, and his mark is the mark that all other editors have to try to match. American poetry owes it all the Elsberg. Don’t forget his free for postage Bogg books. Look, if you have gotten to THE HOLD and to this page and this line and you don’t have in hand Bogg you should, you gotta. If you are that stupid to think you can get beyond the front door with your poems in your sweaty steaming hand without knowing about Bogg than you cooked greasy goose is stuffed with zebra puke.

The Face of Chet Baker by Gerald Locklin and then flip the book and you have E Minor 6 by Mark Weber

Zerx Press, 725 Van Buren Place SE,Albuquerque, NM 87108. About 8 or 10 bucks and worth every worn face on a Lincoln penny.
I think both Weber and Locklin have beards like the great Linc did have.Mark Weber’s long poem is half this fine book. It is a long meditative piece composed of memories drifting in and out of the fifteen-page poem. This seems a different type of poem for Mark Weber who spends a good deal of his time painting houses and in the recording studio and writing poems with a more up front reportage style. It is wonderful to see Weber then here growing and growing reflective. He is truly one the great writers of long poems. Perhaps he the one and only one who can handle the form with grace and style and still have it sink in deep like a fork in your raw hot dog or slicing the fog. Look, long poems are hard to write and Weber can write them. A master work that must be read. A line in his coda explains it quite well: “When you first awake your dreams are still part true.” So it is with this poem. Then flip the book and be treated to a set of poems by master artist Gerald Locklin here relating more of his jazz poems, riffing along various themes and always appreciating music. Music is an important aspect of Locklin’s work - more than one would imagine. Locklin is a poet much involved in the idiom of speech. However, if one considers a riff or phrase in music to be speech in a way controlled, well then so does Locklin’s cadence become music. The progression of the poems is a precession of and in and with the pleasure of sound. As with all of Gerard Locklin’s work, it is so smoothened in the honest as to be ice and your ride is a glide though the poetry.

White Light- The Lost Vision of Montana by Tom Eagle

203 pages. Probably ten or 12 bucks. Published by Anabasis, Oysterville, WA. 98641-0216. [email protected]
Only the best of prose is poetry. Tom Eagle does write it. What a most wonderfully, flowering, foutaining imagination. Let me quote, “It was that sort of career, the first compression, devolving the hot erotic surrealistic line down into the word, into the concrete, into scatter-screens through which the emissions were, like psychic orgasms, planted flat iconic mutations of sequence without the grace of rhythm, synaptic firings from the cerebral cortex, they were that, those 1968 scatter poems a few got printed here and there, as if anybody noticed, he thought, horny for greatness, ….” And on and on for more than 200 worthwhile glorious greatness pages of Eagle onward. This is the best prose that is poetry - poetry that is a measure of all parts of a creative life with human condition rhythm. And this is it. Enough picnic basket and poetry language and adventure for the hungriest campers, enough Eros of all the arrows in bows, enough of life being unzipped… - a thoroughly worthwhile read. Gems all throughout everywhere like a bit of captured speech on page 141, “Something to do, really, a good hobby, poetry, but why not get a job!”

January 2001

Bad Poetry Digest Volume 1, No. 10

Edited by Daniel A. Russell. 2010 Oak Motte Lane, Austin, Texas 78744-5058. Send Money and BAD POETRY is yours to keep. Bad Poetry Digest is the tops and ranks four stars ★★★★ or Hell - five stars ★★★★★ - No! : 10 stars★★★★★★★★★★.
By far BPD is the best new poetry magazine to cross these magic-marker-stained fingers in a good long while. In this only four-page zine, photocopied, editor Daniel A. Russell creates a poetic world that smashes the state of both poetry in hard copy and also on the web. Bad poetry is a cut-up - pure collage magazine. Anything that finds its way to his mailbox is the stuff of the poem. It is poetry? It is poetry. Everything is poetry and here it is proved. And then, we are all used to editors as compilers. Yes, and a good job they do. Russell, however, is intimately involved with creativity. He is editor as creator. He doesn’t center a poem on the page; he makes the page as his poem using other poems as bits of his own poem. The page is his unit of composition. And narrative flow? His pages have multiple entry points. There is no just start at the top and end at the bottom. Truly, here, one enters the imagination and is then surrounded by it. Images are also brought into the page. You have to read/say Hitler when you see Hitler’s image or any of the other images. Therefore, a form of symbolic language, the symbolic language of pop culture is utilized in Russell’s work. It seems I could go on and on here. You should see it yourself. Send something. Send some money. Get a copy. Change your own poetry.

Exit 13 Magazine

No. 9 2000. Editor/Publisher: Tom Plante. http://www.exit13magazine.com/about/ [email protected] P.O. Box 423, Fanwood, New Jersey, 07023-1162.$6.50.
In 1987, near Exit 13 in and around Elizabeth, New Jersey, Exit 13 Magazine occurred in the mind of Tom Plante, and it drives on now into the waning of year 2000. Portals into poetry in this issue include a poem by (King) Charles Bukowski, which editor Plante received more than 10 years ago and now for the first time the poem finds print and light. And a wonderful Bukowski poem it is. In it the poet is attempting to locate blackheads instead of writing poetry or is poetry blackheads? Well, poetry is to ponder. And also enclosed here poems by (a wonderful one as always from King of Progressives) Richard Kostelanetz; (a bouquet - my favorite is Jazz Dog) by Charles Plymell (picture of poet page 33 on) - he writes, “dolphins may turn out to be/ like Buddhists who took to the sea.”; and Scot Roskos - the BIG HAMMER god! - of happy guts of poetry and hearts pounding! and Ed Smith; and Gerald Stern - now - see - A national Book Award Winner does not have to be arrogant - his work right here in the poetry magazine with Bukowski and M. E. Grow. Let’s not forget the women: Anne Britting Oleson; Kathe Palka Nicole Melanson etc. Let’s not forget: Noteworthy Books, Back Issues Available and Poets World! Let’s not forget editor Tom’s work on page 24: Care to Dance? Check it out: take exist 13 home for the holly days, holidays or Helladaze.

Black Bear Review

Fall/Winter 2000, Issue 31: A Literary Magazine for the Concerned Poet & Artist. $6.00 an issue $12.00 a subscription. Ave Jeanne Editor/Publisher, 1916 Lincoln Street, Croydon, PA 19021-8026.
To begin, the title of this long time living magazine is one of my favorites: Black Bear Review. There is a Black Bear restaurant in Lake Placid, New York. No relation. One gets comfortable in Black Bear. Carefully edited, selected one feels - meaning, it seems, the editorial staff took the time to read manuscripts and select poems by merit and not by author or theme. Gosh, then this makes this magazine a magazine of the trenches, a workhorse for those poets on the way. This issue, issue 31(wow!) is yellow - could be one of the yellow bricks on the yellow brick road towards the POET OZ of canonization! Only the editors know how much work it takes to do such a thing. Ahhh, Ave and company are the Gods. Now in the midst of the white wine and soft cheese world of poetry where your dad and mom own a building in Paris, apartment in Hong Kong and homes in New York City and Florida, where poets have trusts, new cars and houses, their underpants dry cleaned, spread liver on crackers, have someone else buy their heroin, pose for each other and write posing poems about posing things totally disconnected and unconcerned about right wrong, justice, reality, life in the US of A, the world and anything beyond their arrogant, poodle, chauffeured vain poetry world - ahh there is our our OUR Black Bear. Thank you Black Bear. Don’t let this one become an endangered species.

Lost and Found Times

ISSN: 1083-6780. No. 45 November 2000. Subscription is $25.00 for 5 issues. Editor: John M. Bennett. Luna Bisonte Prods, 137 Leland Avenue, Columbus, Ohio, 43214. http://www.johnmbennett.net/lost_and_found_times_word_word/
In the world of the poem, as we find it being suffocated by SUVs, resides an outpost, a tower, a Tower of Bababells overlooking a vast, endless sheet of paper covered in the most horrible shit in the shape of poetry. But in this holy place, high above the Great Offal Sea, is pureNESS of The Lost and Found Times. Oh HOLY! HOLEY! The First Hoel! A bulletin, a bullet in the head of the carp sucking at the nipples of the egomirror career carcass rotting in the hot flood of maggot crap. Lost and Found Times always has its fingers crushed in the door of glossy air brushed with ego and talk about wine pornographic poetry room. One must write that John M. Bennett is a true trooper of the imagination. Never satisfied with the boredom poem or poetry life in the upper class suburbs, Bennett and The Lost and Found Times provide a Circus Maximus where the dull and dim are put to the s(word). If in you all find you all self at odds with the Kenyon Review and such ilk, but still lust ink, seek The Lost and Found Times, for in its humble pages resides one of the few paths through the Red Sea.

February 2001

Peshekee River Poetry

Number 3, Fall 2000. Editor: Tom Blessing. Peshekee River Poetry, Box 689, Eastpointe, MI 48021. http://shivadances.tripod.com/index-2.html The magazine is looking for poems and since no subscription cost is noted send two bucks for sample copy. Cough it up. - $2.00 is nothing. For $2.00 you can’t buy love canal water laced with paperclips! [email protected]
Editor Tom Blessing has got some fine work in his magazine, fine indeed. In all, I’d say, about one good lunch break worth of reading - which is enough poetry for any afternoon. He’s got some writers in here, some poets that you probably know: Kenneth Pobo, Duane Locke and t. kilgore splake (who sent me a Christmas card - Thanks splake). All their contributions much good. Pobo’s, “Bye Bye Upper P,” and splake’s “graybeard wisdom,” and especially Locke’s, “Plastic Carnations,” all good/great/fine poems - you should read them - send Blessing 2 bucks. Let’s get back to “Plastic Carnations.” Ah, Locke’s red head who could smell those plastic carnations… ah. And there are a lot of poets I did not know. I didn’t know: ray heinrich, Mike McManus, Vernon James Mooers, Janet Buck, Doug Tanoury, J. Peter Mishler and Casey Langel. Now I do. You should also. And like Casey Langel writes, “I’m going to write the great “American” poem tonight/ and then toss it in a bonfire.” Well, don’t toss them $2.00 bucks in the fire of poetry. Slide those $2.00 bucks down the bar towards Tom Blessing. He is doing good for the poem. He spends some good sensitive and smart time choosing poems. Well, everybody’s name is mentioned. Hell, might as well get in the other editors: Elize Matz, Leona Blessing, Beth Blessing and Kirstyn Blessing. Peshekee River poetry - ah - that’s aqua pura.

Bender Magazine

ISSN: 1097-5578. issue three Editor: Jeff Epley. Bender Magazine, Long Beach Downtown Station, P.O. Box 21261, Long Beach, CA 90801. Subscription for two issues: $8.00. Sample issue is $5.00. Make checks payable to Jeff Epley. Downtown Long Beach has The Queen Mary tied up in its harbor and you can have a tour if you so wish. Motels are not so expensive. Bender Magazine makes no mention of the Queen Mary - Maybe it is the Queen E? Charles Bukowski lived next door in San Pedro. Gerald Locklin lives in Long Beach. Bender Magazine has a pullout chapbook by Gerald Locklin. I don’t know if this pullout chapbook counts as one of Locklin’s 100 plus books or not. But the poems matter. Locklin’s contribution is called Incomplete Reformation. The chapbook is the center of Bender and Locklin’s clean, unadorned Americansense of writing is the central governing poetic of Bender and those writers within. There are 28 poets in Bender and one piece of prose by John Brantingham called Growing up in the Red Desert. In seven paragraphs, two pages, Brantingham captures the confused essence of our sometimes ridiculous and truly bizarre first sexual information. Most of this we receive from our awkward parents. He does this with good, classic, direct humor. It’s a sound, deep laugh. This story should be reprinted and reprinted and republished. Let’s hear more. Of course the issue goes on and on - Dan Sicoli, Todd Kalinski, Joan Joby Smith, Lisa Glatt and hey, Joseph Shields, I know, I think I remember, Mrs. Matulka.

Art & Life

by Gerald Locklin. Pariah Press 604 Hawthorne Avenue East, St. Paul Minnesota, 55101. Press Editor Richard D. Houff/Leo Kuelbs, Associate Editor. 22 pages. $5.00.
Appropriately titled the poems in this small book by Gerald Locklin spring form visual art and from art them to all about life. Perhaps this could be all of this phase of Locklin’s career. This is good. Usually his poems are short and ironic. Perhaps those sarcastic and humorous poems are the ones you recall. However, there is another Locklin, a deeply pondering, sophisticated and plain smart Locklin, and a Locklin behind the mask of Toad and tons of cream sherry and beer. This Locklin is represented in this small book. It opens with two long Locklin poems, “Bloomsbury” and “San Ramon Pastoral,” and concludes with “Day Trips,” which defines succinctly where the poet is at this stage in his life. The magic of Locklin’s poems is that they not only define his space but the reader’s emotional space also. So does then “Day Trips,” defines a mature relationship where comfort is measurable in love’s longevity and my love’s tolerance and history. In each of Locklin’s collections there are poems that define Locklin’s poetry. In this book, “Degas Between Ballets,” is such a poem. What is this poem about: It is about: degas painting dancers preparing for their art, which is the ballet. Oh course, it is all practice, rehearsal, the unbeautiful. So it is with writing and living. It is all unbeautiful and unglamorous, and routine. However, for a brief few seconds, the endless mundane existence of humanity and writing, sparks a few seconds perhaps one second where beauty appears and is then done. It is those seconds that Locklin explains and is so able to capture and hold for display, so that all might ponder and wonder at the power of art, and poetry, to transform our too very ordinary vapid lives into wonder.

News from the Border

by Richard D. Houff, Limited Editions Press. Peter Magliocco Editor. P.O. Box 70896 Las Vegas, NV 89170. $5.00 32 pages
After a few poems you know you are reading a poet and then a poet who has something to say. The saying is sometimes about the old time Eisenhower period (remember that nostalgic good time America?) - well - it wasn’t that good. And I figured as much. It’s a kinda America without the Kerouac romantic glamour and it is words that fit the black and white photographs of Robert Frank’s The Americans. There are places to get a hair cut that are no longer there. There is walkin to school. There is finding stuff on the railroad tracks. There are uncles who feed you and buy you beers. There are the rules of the poor: Never rob the people from your own depressed hood; Always take care of those less fortunate; Always hit the rich hoods and leave posthaste…. You get it. So these are a poor man’s poems - that is the tellin of a poor man’s life in art. It is not just the puking after beer. It is all the black and white starving. All of it. Reminds me of damp and foggy mornings with burnt toast in the nostrils and a stone in your brown shoe that you can’t get out because the last of the laces have been tied by grandma, so tight, so well that the worn brown shoe will never again leave the foot. Well, then, also Houff includes a few recipe poems. I think always of recipes as poems, but Houff here is able to pull it off with art. Cheers to him for taking this form under his wing. To round it all off there is an interview with Houff by Holly Day. And Houff also wrote: Trip: An LSD Adventure; If it Should Rain, and Street Poems and others. Find them.

March 2001

Open all Night: New Poems by Charles Bukowski

Black Sparrow Press, 24th Street, Santa Rosa, CA. 95401. 360 pages. Usual price.
These poems are part of the archive of material left by Charles Bukowski for publication after his death. Reading Charles Bukowski now almost seven years beyond his death can only be compared to drinking many good good bottles of aged red French wine. Or are there other things to compare with the experience? Is that too corny? Sentimental? I suppose. What can one write? It is like seeing a giraffe kiss an anteater? Imagine their purple tongues coiling about. It is like exploring the oceans of Europa? Ah the radiation mirco-waving my skin. How to review a giant? It is the problem the Lilliputians had with Gulliver. Nevertheless, Bukowski has immense posthumous power. Bukowski’s particular and unique point of view comes crisp and still clearly forward. So much can be said. So short a space. And each individual fan will have such a different take. So, it is obvious then, no matter if one likes it or not, Bukowski is literature. Perhaps it is best just to savor in so short a space as this. I guess, yes. In so many ways this is just a puff and an homage. So be it and so what. Readers are what keeps Bukowski alive. Here are my new favorites: “Polish Sausage.” In the poem “Polish Sausage” Bukowski relates a trip to meet some friends of an unidentified - her - up in the mountains. And when they, Bukowski and her, arrive, Bukowski finds the most banal world. He writes,

there was a young girl in the yard planting a young
tree.
there was a young man there
too.

we went inside and drank some beer.
there was a parrot with a very yellow
head.
there was a bag of dry cookies.

Who hasn’t suffered such at the hands of the vapid lives of mediocre
hairless great apes? I have. I have too often. And then in the poem,
Swinging from the Hook Bukowski’s ponders,

and then I get that thought I wonder why it is
that
I am allowed to drive my car at all?
it doesn't seem right that I am allowed to turn and
stop and start and speed just like
that old lady in the green Ford and blue hat I
saw a few hours ago….

Existence! Existence. Oh the suffering of we humans. Certainly, it doesn’t seem right that I sit here and type. I shudder. I should be an anteater kissing a fire hydrant or a South American sloth bear. Or I should be a rotting pear surrounded by vulture fruit flies. And then Oh Buk in heaven is it like, is It, the Big Heaven like the incident in your poem, “Social Butterfly.” Is it? Oh are all the angels like all the human idiots?
Bukowski writes:

&hellip; it's best to keep acting, look<br/>
normal, hide in the crowd and stay our of sight and
the best way to hide is to act just like everybody else.

Grateful, Oh Bukowski, for bringing the lives of all of us humble readers into focus, into the rhythm of the great wheel of life where death is as beautiful as life. Bukowski writes in his poem, “The Strange Workings of the Dark Life

thanks the bluebird
in the mouth of the cart
with tender whiskers
and the padded feet of
death.

Bukowski Unleashed, Bukowski Journal, No. 1

Edited by Rikki Hollywood. The Price for Bukowski Journal No. 1 with free Bukowski & the Beats CD is $25.00 by US Cheque payable to R. Hollywood (price includes transaction charge to convert US bucks to British pounds and postage to USA) or $20.00 international money order. Address is R. Hollywood, P. O. Box 11271 Wood Green London, N22 4Bf UK. Or email [email protected]
This magazine was certainly a most pleasant surprise. It is perfect bound and has a paper wrapper and an R. Cumb image of Bukowski on it. It is a 160 pages long. A treat. And oh. My opinion: one of the better things to happen to Bukowski in recent times. Certainly there is a Bukowski industry in full swing. Bukowski Unleashed, AKA, Bukowski Journal No. 1 is both hard core literature, academic interpretation of the great one and fan-zine. On the heady side is a most interesting well-researched and provocative long essay by Neil Schiller called, “Social Mechanics and American Morality: the meanings of nothingness in the prose and poetry of Charles Bukowski.” There are then other authors who relate personal memoirs and a fine section of the editor’s synopsis statements of the Buk’s major books. There are reviews of various related books, for instance Davie S. Zane and R. Crumb’s Introduction to Kafka, reviews of books about Buk, lists and comments about Buk videos and movies and there are lots of caricatures of Bukowski. All around solid and fun and useful to the fan and scholar, casual reader and loyalist. Of course you get a CD free with the issue. I am listening to Kerouac as I write (Burroughs, Ginsberg etc. plus the Buk on the CD). R. Hollywood also deals in Buk books and like publications, has any number of Buk’s tapes available and has a monthly Buk list. For the serious Buk fan, reader, for the amateur and beginner Bukster and for anyone interested in any Bukoanlia: Bukowski Unleashed, Bukowski Journal, Number One is something you must hold in one of your hands. In the other hand, well, a beer, or a smoke or the tongue of a leopard …whatever.

April 2001

Basinski Showers You with April Reviews

New Jersey Bowel and Bladder Control, No. 2

from Iniquity/Vendetta Books, edited by Dave Roskos, PO Box 54, Manasquan, New Jersey, 08736. I don’t know what it costs or how much a subscription is. My guess, if you send him a few bucks, postage, a shoe, your book of poems, a stack of poems with a $Five$, you are in the favor/fever of Dave Roskos and the issue will turn up in your mail slot or might be pushed through the crack in your wind-shield caused by flying brick or Enough! It will get to you and you should do it. Look, if you don’t buy some of this sometimes, you won’t ever get anywhere anytime anyway&hellop;Anyway. Let’s begin.
Most of these poets assembled here by God Roskos of the Bowel and Bladder hail from New Jersey. Each state should have its own bladder. I’ve been to New Jersey. There are a lot of poets to choose from. This is the Roskos stable: Lamont Steptoe, Matt Borkowski, Joe Weil, Beth Borrus and a sack of others I have just now begun to read. Now, I think that other poets can get in, because Harvey Perker from Cleveland is in here. Now Cleveland might be like New Jersey in a lot of ways, bars, potatoes, thoughts about Denmark… things like that. It is truly, a New Jersey of the mind that Roskos has crated here. He is a fine editor -and like us all - he does it out of pocket (Not trust fund). Maybe he fishes cans and bottles out of stinking rivers? I don’t know. Convince him that you belong in his New Jersey. Often times I have found myself on the floor of his New Jersey. Nevermind. Within here, this issue, is a long interview with Herschel Silverman. Herschel is a great, fine, spectacular poet. He once owned an ice-cream parlor. He is now all poet, all poet, all poet. You can define him as a good part BEAT. He is for sure BEAT and he has the BEAT in his poetry. If you get to hear him, you will know that the Beat Generation is still generating. AH, I hear the music. Friend of Corso, Ginsberg and Danny Shot and other NJ poets, Silverman is essence of Bayonne, NJ and the urban life in America, heart soul and music. In fact, you should even write Herschel Silverman himself and dig his poetry personally. He has got a lot of poetry in mags and he gots a few books. So after writing Roskos for B and B Control No. 2 - write Herschel a fan letter at: __…. Well, now I’m thinking, I should NOT be giving out his address. Write to Roskos and send in letter to Roskos, $6.oo and 35 cents. And send him, Roskos, a letter for Herschel and Roskos will get that letter to Herschel - and send envelopes and stamps also. Get busy.

Love Sex Death Dreams by Kevin M. Hibshman

Green Bean Press, PO Box 237, New York, New York, 10013. E-mail:[email protected] 36 pages. A chap. Very nicely did. Costs: $5.00
Hibshman edits a poetry magazine called Fearless. He’s been around and you can read him in a liquor store full of poetry magazines: Midnite Toast, Sink Full of Dishes, Coke Fishing in Alpha Beat Soup, Not Dead But Dreaming and quarts more. So, I said, alright, let’s go. What does this fearless lad have to offer. And I must admit, I was surprised because Hibshman can spin the line:

Jesus was strung up at thirty-three/ I am just strung out_ - - -_innocence being fucked in the men's room of life's last bus top_ - - -_I feel like the first cunt ever fucked as liquid hands grip my prick in a glorious spasm draining infinity from the center of existence silver disc skim a river of sand whirling with the soft hum of the ages as I come a lifetime_&hellip;.

And there is this riff from his poem Sylvia Plath:

little
black
frightened
pigeon
splattered in
the chrome grill

Free Thought Vol. 2, No. 2

Free Thought Publications, Gary Aposhian, PO Box 238671, Encinitas, CA. 92023. Subscription: $10.00 - four issues.
There are those among use infected by William S. Burroughs. This issue, most wonderful, feeds the need, lust, craving. It’s called a Burroughs retrospective and features interviews, with a Burroughs focus, with Anne Waldman, James Grauerholt and Charles Plymell, and photographs of Burroughs and Burroughs with friends, and publishes a previously unprinted Burroughs audio classic. There is an essay called Back at to Pond by Arthur S. Nusbaum and an essay titled The Junky Essay by Bradley Mason Hamlin. It has been a good while since I checked into Junky, but after reading Hamlin’s piece, Junky summons me again like some siren and I, some lost sailor, must obey. And there is an essay by James McCrary, himself a fine artist poet, called Allen Visits William. The Allen is Allen Ginsberg and not Edgar ALLEN Poe. But thinking of Burroughs, it could be Poe. Lots of ands in this note, and here’s another, and there are a good thirty plus poems as a center to this issue of Free Thought, and they all by MFA students of Gerald Locklin from California State University, Long Beach. Now this is what a magazine should be. Think poetry locally, act poetry globally. Free Thought always takes the notion of populace poetry as the most important poetry. Good for Free Thought and our free thought. I once saw Burroughs. He read sections of Naked Lunch, acted the part of Dr. Benway, and a troop of actors acted some of his skits. A strange night. A guy in the audience stripped and charged Burroughs, screaming, tell us the words. There was a fire in the auditorium. It was all very oddly real. Once, I was sitting in my apartment, reading, I don’t know, The Ticket That Explored, something, Exterminator, I don’t know and then I went out to a bar. Everyone in the bar was in the prose I had just read. It was all very oddly real. No got. Come Friday. Relax, Johnny.

FOR SCOTTY AND TANYAr by Dave Roskos

Art by Angela Mark. Iniquity/Vendetta Books, edited by Dave Roskos, PO Box 54, Manasquan, New Jersey, 08736. No price - two poems. Send a few dollars maybe SASE. Remember the buck or two.
Well, I talked a bit above about Dave Roskos as an editor, and again, a good one he is. He takes good care, careful care, and supports his New Jersey poets. He’s like our beloved Cait Collins, taking care of us lost black sheep poets. We her poets as pets. Alone in a mountain meadow with Cait Collins…. But let me get back to what I mean or something. How’s this: Cait is a poet and so is Roskos. And the book under review is by Roskos. Now the two poems in this mini-book are about junk and junkies. See, this fits in after Burroughs. But there is no romance of junk here in Roskos poetry. Reading the poems they are part gut feelings of sadness for those stuck on junk, hooked and the recovering and falling back into abyss of junk and addiction. And outrage that society, people voters of New Jersey and the politicians will not help junkie or addicts. His particular raging against New Jersey who by law will not transplant a liver into a recovering junkie, which seems typically Christian and Right Wing. Well, Angela Mark’s art on the cover is the best prologue to this little book. The image is a broken, breaking heart in tired hands. The face of the character in the image is also cracking, shattering breaking and falling apart. So heart and life shatter with junk. Addiction most horrible. All, who know of addiction, alcoholism and the like, know this sadness. Let’s stop here. Time to think about what forms of being we be, who don’t give a flying Republican about this. So the poems made me ponder, alter my thoughts. And that is the worth of such poems

May 2001

Unborn Again by S. A. Griffin

Phony Lid Publications - P.O. Box 29066, Los Angeles, Ca. 90029. [email protected] - 122 pages. $10.00.
Deep in dream a pale horse appears on the horizon and moves rapidly as a chess piece towards my sleeping self. ‘Tis death jumping from her saddle and come creeping. Slipping her hand under my blanket, her bony hand grabs my wrist and beckons and pulls and finally yanks. But tonight I am stronger than death. How much more? I wonder? How long? What should I do with this bucket of time? It’s morning in the north again. Pleasantly the icy rain coats the streets, trees, everything. The neighbors and their dogs, children and gods will be remaining, quietly, inside. Unborn Again, a new book by S. A. Griffin has followed some crooked path to my swollen hands. Why not. I move slowly thought the short lines. Anti-poetry, I think. This is a good thing. Another soul standing in the front against the academic tank. Not that there will be a crushing, but this thorn will flatten some general’s tire. But if these poems were a clump of grapes, what a fine wine. It’s an L. A., California book as it opens, but quickly Griffin turns his L. A. into poetry, the realm of poetry, and the poet S. A. L. A. California. S. A. Griffin. I wonder if there is something melding there? He meshes, like some fine Hanes hosiery, the natural world, nouns and stuff, with abstractions, like knowledge, to produce profundity after profundity. Philosophically profound, I think yes. And his anti-art brings forward and into focus a world that is real. Clearly, Griffin draws a line. The top two percent on the other side get Bush’s tax cut. And here, us 98 percents get Griff’s poems. Seems like a fair deal to me. Now when you’re reading along in any book of poems, and I have read far too many poems, too many books of poems, on far too many nights… Nevermind. When you’re reading along in a book of poems you wait. The wait’s not long in Griffin. And along with the good poems, come the great poems. Like Griffin’s A House Divided:“when will men/ understand/ that/ when women lose their right to/ choose/ they no longer have the/ same right?” And in his Acropolis of Absent Fathers, he brings Icarus into his L.A. life. Poetry is a living thing, a daily thing here in the life and times of S.A. Why, in one poem he wrestles with the word thing in the midst of carnivorous punk type teen kid harassment from the audience. The poets win the duel, the fight, the riot and poetry wins. I like that. In S.A. Griffin, yes there is the beer and the hangovers, the painful storms of life, but there is more than that, there is poetry. This IS how one lives. Well, here, in some form of closing, allow me to tell more. The wind is picking up and the rain is now pelting. Later when I drive about, the streets will be less complicated. The old and lame and housewives still chained to the Truman era will not venture forth. So let me write, dear friends, that 12 Kisses to the Universe is another great one - - - about the madness and salvation of love. It begins with the line:“The sun sets on the dildo skyline.” And later there is a riotous poem about phone sex, which is then phone poem sex. But I like the best, Griffin’s poem President of Nothing. How often in this great, deep and dark, stormy forest of life are the wrong paths taken. Everyone has to have a wrong path story. If I had only stayed at the china factory, I’d now be in Florida. Oh Christ Almighty, thank the gods. You see, this poem is about turning the back to the obvious wealth the square world delivers - - - if you have no, or sell your, or can’t locate your soul, heart, guts. In the end, after all those wrong turns, they are the right turns, the right choices. The only choice. Now there are a lot of gritty, fact and truth heavy poems out there. Many, many more than the great ocean of stupidity that civilization has manifested. Now and then, however, there is an island, an apartment. Yes, an apartment in which might be a poet, a poet like S.A. Griffin. He made the right choice. He is president of nothing. You should make the right choice. Work on his campaign.

Xerolage no. 30. The Bob Grumman issue

Xexoxial Editions 10375 Cty Hway A, LaFarge, Wisconsin. 54639. Email:[email protected]
Each issue 24 pages - about $20.00 for subscription. Since the 1980s Xerolage, edited by editor, publisher, poet and literary rebel, free spirit, anarchist, futurist, dream time village founder, web-master and electronic poet Miekal And, has been featuring issues of the most progressive vis-poems conceivable. Miekal And has now allowed the space, via Xerolage, for another progressive giant, master poet Bob Grumman, to assemble here in this issue Grumman’s best visual poems. And best they are. Grumman is a progressive concrete poet and, therefore, each of his poems is more than, much more than just a meditative or cute Zen ting thing sitting on a page. Reading Bob’s work is an involved act of reading. One of his visual poems is as startling as anything I’ve ever encountered. They cut to the heat heart and guts and soul, as poems must do. And they are not the pompous art the ruling little lits. All of Bob’s work is the most populous. I have imagined Visual poetry as the left hook of real poetry. The right jab - poems like S.A. Griffin’s can’t knock them out of the ring with one punch. Poetry needs a combination of slugs. And Bob’s work will do it.Bang! Now, I don’t wanna get into explaining each visual poem. Can’t because, you see, you must SEE and I am not here showing. But allow me to note that Grumman utilizes all forms of concrete.

In Grumman’s poetry you are going to encounter a provocative, piecing, insightful, reinventor of mythology, sensitive and progressive artist involved totally in the great poetic cycle of existence. Oh Milton, make room on the bench. Interested in visual poems, Bob Grumman’s Xerolage (as well as any number of other of Miekal And’s Xerolage issues - - - and all of the publishing he produces both on the web and in print) is the primer, the prime, the prime pagan origin, because in the area, the arena of poetry, of visual poetry, he, Grumman is way so good out-there spectacular gone.

June 2001

Beseechers by Michael Basinski

2000 38 pages. $10.00. Available Small Press Distribution or Full Spectrum Editions, Karl Young - Editor, Light and Dust, 7112 27th Ave. Kenosha, Wisconsin, 53143.
SEE http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/lighthom.htm Ah Basinski, what a fine book this is and beautiful too. When I wake each morning I run to it and while eating Honey Nut Cheerios. I song/sing this most tasteful, innovative, erotic and erratic, esoteric and exotic and beautiful visual improvisational performance poems in color book. This is a book of performance poems, some of which can be found at the Light and Dust website. A few are old and a few are new. These are performance poems, poems for group performance. Performance poetry is something that Basinski has been interested in for some time and he does perform these poems and others with his performance group: The Buff/Fluxus Project. The Wild Elephant: a at after the - a poem - is the group’s Hound Dog, I want to Hold your Hand or Satisfaction. It is good to see it in print. Wild and innovative Basinski’s poetry has arrived from the outer reaches of the solar system. These creatures will conquer us. They will destroy what little poetic life lives on planet earth. What will remain after Basinski is planet EARth. Basinski is noted for his sometimes obtuse approach to the poem. He cares little for narration. He cares nothing for those stuck seeking meaning in this meaningless society. He cares nothing for those stuck in the many isms of poetry and poetry’s many, and endless, tedious camps. He cares nothing for those sucking their thumbs. Better to be defeated with Hannibal. Alone as Lucifer at war with heaven, Basinski’s poems.

Strange Things Begin to Happen When a Meteor Crashes in the Arizona Desert

by Michael Basinski with Illustrations by Wendy Collin Sorin and typography and design by Luigi-Bob Drake. $10.00. Burning Press, PO Box 585, Lakewood, Ohio, 44107 (include $1.00 per order for postage).
This is a most beautiful book. It features a letter press cover and the illustrations of one of Cleveland’s best illustrators and artists, namely Wendy Collin Sorin. In addition, Luigi-Bob Drake, editor of Taproot and Taproot reviews and long time Burning Press book publisher, manipulates, enhances, orchestrates Basinski’s words. Basinski’s text is a long poem called Strange Things Begin to Happens When A Meteor Crashes in the Arizona Desert. The poem combines and contains a relentless onslaught of Shakespearean sexual terminology juxtaposed with slang and colloquial phrases and romantic, memory-bound cryptic messages enjambed with the stark and sometimes dissident alphabetic sound. All of this is countered by long strings of vowels, alphabetic sounds and neologisms. The poem is all sound and not, music and not, full and filled with meaning and not. It is knots and nuts and the Goddess Nut. Wendy Collin Sorin’s art illustrates the various interweaving and collagings that occur in the occult of the poem.

Her work does not illustrate the poem but in fact is part of the poem ‘ it is in fact the poem also, which is unique in the realm of poetry. Luigi-Bob Drake’s orchestral enhancements are enchantments and provide passage and twist between the pure words and un-words and the realm of illustrations and un-illustrations. Perhaps this book can be as close to an intermedia poem as possible. It is true a combination of talents and stands forward and above books made by cooperating artist. A special numbered edition with a four-colored waterless lithograph by Wendy Collin Sorin is available.

The Word Underneath by Lake Affect

2001 Music/Word Performance. A CD that features the poetry of Michael Basinski, Robert Creeley, Rosemary Kothe, Anna Reckin and Mark Peters. $10.00. Contact Lake Affect at [email protected] See also their website
Lake Affect is an ensemble dedicated to the creation of a unique new sound art evolving from a blend of word, timbre, rhythm, and texture. The aim is to create a new vocabulary that draws on both literary and musical elements, and to invent an artistic vehicle that embraces both music and poetry. Integral to this endeavor has been the ensemble’s collaboration with living poets like those featured on this group’s new CD called The Word Underneath. The CD features Michael Basinski’s City of Webs fragments 1 and 2; Robert Creeley’s The Rhythm; Anna Reckin’s List of Flowers/Rosa; Rosemary Kothe’s Purple Passion and Mark Peters’s bucket, bucket. The CD not only features the ensemble versions of the poems by also includes the poet’s reading their work. It is quite magical and marvelous. It is a unique moment in literary evolution and any poets in involved with music must hear what Lake Affect has done with these poems and poets. Unlike anything that has been done before, this CD and the art of Lake Affect is destined to alter how we listen to poetry. It is so new and stunning that one has to listen again and again and again and soon it is dawn and the rosy fingered goddess listens also. And then - well, you hear the poets and the ensemble. It is such a blend as to be a new thing, brand new and it so refreshing to hear a new music. Lake Affect is Alejandro Rutty, Lorena Guillen, Thomas McCluskey and Tiffany Nicely.

July 2001

The Whirligig (Pulp with a Pulse) - Issue 3

Spring 2001. Frank J. Marcopolos - Editor/Publisher, 4809 Avenue N., No. 117, Brooklyn, NY. 11234. 3 bucks. See:[email protected] and http://members.aol.com/whirligig21/whirligig.html
I flipped this issue open on this hot, hippo boiling afternoon and came upon Jennifer Callahan’s All the Rage, a short story, that begins, “Live flesh has amnesia….” Indeed, a tasty cherry covered tire-iron of fiction, I thought. And the poetry within this magazine also, I thought when I read Jonathan A. Golberg’s poetry, “My mind is melted…” and again when I read Fatigue by Q.R. Maber, “natural as flies fucking/ on your microwave. “Indeed, poetry of endless African nights in pools of oil beneath old cars. Well, this has to be some of the better fiction and poetry I’ve read in a good while and balanced with a sense of what is the best and most wild of American writing, that writing that lances the boil of mind. You know, good reader, that there are a lot of magazines with a lot of shit poems in them and the fiction is worse. But you get this true lion roaring sense that Frank Marcopolos knows what he likes, and how to read, and how to publish and he has guts and eats insects on Wheaties with bleach. He has made a fine thing here. I recall that Bukowski started writing slight, short stories and I think that maybe the folks in here, well - Marcopolos has discovered the next generation and is opening them up and allowing them to fly into our thick, chocolate blood hooded and howling nights.

Notes from the Bounty Bar - Issue 2

Rabid Bear Press. Chris Mansel, 606 West Ranch Road, Florence, Alabama, 35633. Some bucks send some, a bag, with pizza
This is a fine magazine that has on cover a naked man with noose around neck. And the man appears to be yanking on the rope in the foolish hope that the noose will tighten and he will hang before an oncoming locomotive smacks him straight on. And then begins the stuff within, what is writing by Abigail Deacon and Chris Mansel. Their piece is called:The Savage Tale of Walter Seems, which contains graphic violence and images that the author’s claim disturbs even them. I just opened it up and read, “hemorrhaging defoliant drenching unsigned extracting coagulated blood…” Need more: contact those in Florence, Alabama, this way maybe:[email protected]

Expulsion: A book of Poetry

Chris Mansel, 606 West Ranch Road, Florence Alabama, 35633. Send some bucks. Here in poems dedicated to Kerouac, Corso, Jake Berry and Jack Foley. And here in poetry flesh greasy fingers and odor of ancient ox of Crete. Hot and volcanic and steaming butterflies and birds and alligators singing a courtship call to the rampaging extinct giraffe of the heart and soul and desert and lush, sex forest of American poet. Mansel is a Goodyear Blimp full of hot pepper cracker jack hamburgers of still pools of vestal virgins. All of this floats above the sad heads of us who go about ourmundane lives like so many snails going extinct in the brutal sun.

Three Books from Xtant Books

1512 Mountainside Court, Charlottesville, VA., 22903-9707. Send all your money, stamps, first books of music, train sets, old pop bottles and the like.

  1. Elamentations by Ken Harris. This is a sprawling, fat book, which utilizes the poetics of a new concrete, a readable visual poetry that walks the hard, thin line between the molding ancient, pretty and petty, redundant concrete of lore and yesterday and the vibrancy of expressionistic visual poetry that leads the parade into the future. This text, with lots of color, folded texts, pure word text etc., uses each page as a portal to the imagination. The reading is done by personal improvisational encounters with the engaged imagination. Visual poetry must revamp its poetics to become viable. The techniques that Ken Harris here displays begins and advances into this most need rewriting of vis-poetry. All power and sustained poetic energy to Harris the Intrepid.
  2. Ditch Cloth by John M. Bennett. John M. Bennett has got to be the only artist who lives in a constant, ever-present, presence of creativity, creative energy, with hand on the third rail of the imagination. Me think there is no seam between the page and the place of art. Bennett’s work is that torrent of the sublime that repoetries the desert of supermarkets, cars, the dentist office and pours and pouts into beauty parlors.
  3. Hunkers by John Crouse. This book, a slight book with one poem, is a conversation/play, series of poem, serial poem and scenes - one per page. Playing with form and breaking the moribund notions of poetry, Crouse takes the public language of conversation and reinvents interaction. He proposes that speaking (no speech) but speaking with, talking is art.

Rattle - Issue Number 15

Volume 7, No. 1, Summer 2001. 13440 Ventura Blvd., No. 200, Sherman Oaks, CA. 91423. 200 pp. $8.00.
In this issue of Rattle is a section called: Tribute to Writers of the Underground Press. Included are: Amiri Baraka, Eric Basso, Art Beck, John Bennett, Douglas Blazek, Bob Branaman, Hugh Fox, Jack Grapes, Ben Hiatt, Linda King, Tom Kryss, Lyn Lifshin, Gerald Locklin, Rich Mangelsdorff, Al Masarik, Clive Matson, Ann Menebroker, Wayne Miller, Joyce Odam, Maia Penfold, Bob Perlango, Frank Rios, Kell Robertson and Kent Taylor. Certainly, these are the elders of the clan. Certainly, this paves the way for others who are younger but carry on this tradition. Certainly, this is a tradition that goes back beyond this generation - perhaps back to Kenneth Patchen? Most wonderful to see all these poets above so honored. Honor Rattle for this honor role with an order for this issue or drop them a line, lion or lime telling them how important what they have just done is. Also included in this issue an interview with Jack Grapes and an essay by Hugh Fox. And then there are also 150 pages of other, less underground, poetry and etc. As it should be, poets from all walks walking together for a change. Wow! Cooperation and cross-fertilization. Poetry might move beyond its current ruts. Yeah.

August 2001

A Green Bean Press Sampler

Ian riffin. Green Bean Press , P.O. Box 237, NY, NY 10013. Send support - use any form possible
This is Ian Griffin candy. Poets and prose with throbbing robin eggs laid by armadillos and dishes screaming in the air from the boss’s flabbing, sweating lips, tore panty-hose again - twice this week, standing still and being hit by a truck - it is your fault, here in America - this isn’t. This isn’t a guy who can fly off to Brazil for a strawberry milkshake to sooth his hurt mind. No. Here are poets who butter your toast with shit and butterflies. Oh the night notes are lonely and strange things. How these insects ignored by the museums sing. We are fortunate that the Bush II’s DDT didn’t kill them, kill us all. I am sitting here smoking a cigarette with Mike Kriesel, Winans, Crocker, the group. And joe r. and Mark Terrill and Nathan Graziano - it is his kitchen. I don’t play cards. I sit and smoke and look out the window at the pleasant dark night. I hear the Gods, the bugs. Gontarek comes in with Sal Salasin. “Where the hell’s Griffin?” someone asks. No one answers. I think he is out back making books, I think, but remain silent. My smoke drifts out the window. There are plenty of insects. I hear them. They make me happy. These insects are free and they refuse.

Mineshaft No. 6. May 2001

Edited by Everett Rand. 6 issue subscription is $24.00. Sample issue is $4.00. Mineshaft, 16 Johnson Pasture Dr., Guilford, Vermont 05301. Right off you can feel the real here. Contrib editor Gioia Palmieri and/or Rand note that if you are down and out you get a copy by letting them know.
It is good to know there are humans out in the great sea of flotsam. Oh course, this issue of Mineshaft in hand, and I see that R. Crumb did the cover. There is more Crumb inside. He has good company: Mike Kriesel, A. D. Winans, - hey weren’t these guys in the Green Bean book? Yeah but Jorin Osroska, Rob Meadow and Irving Stettner weren’t. And do you have a problem with that? You think I care? You think I care what I think? Or anyone? I think this is a good magazine. I talk a lot to msyelf, and I never answer politely. There are photographs and drawings as well as poems and fiction in this issue. All of this is top of the line, top shelf. This is orange frosting on sponge cake. And beer married to smoked fish. It’s morning and there is a beer in the fridge and it is night and THEY leave you alone and there is lots of beer and THE THING is on television again. I am selling records in Peru and people there love music. I am treated good. The people give me sneakers. “You write good poems,” they say. They say, “Want some hamburgers?” No one is mad at me. Life is good and so is this magazine. Let’s say you start with Tramp the Road by Catherine Aldington. “No, Catherine, I do not know the way towards death. I do not know and I am looking straight into the cellar.” I ponder again, after your poem, I ponder. Should I look for the lost socks of my life? Poetry makes you do such wonderful things. Well, if you don’t want to write to Mineshaft you can get issues at: Troubadour Books, City Lights, Powell’s, Harvard Book Store, Grolier’s, Tattered Cover, Water Row, Bull’s Head, Collected Works, The Regulator Bookshop, Gotham and Downtown Books and News.

Reft and Light by Ernst Jandl

Selected Poems with Multiple Versions by American Poets. ed. by Rosmarie Waldrop. 112 pp. $10.00. Burning Deck, 71 Elmgrove Avenue, Providence, RI, 02906.
It is very good, it is so good to take the focus away from form mundane, overin and doubleflated, masturbated, philosophical melodramatic mud, vapid poems, with their deep meanings and seething purpose and posing and place it on the fact that words can be toys. Ah toys - such were the joys…. But not Are! Rosemarie Waldrop allows us to re-enter that delightful Popsicle palace and place with her Ernst Jandl project. Playfulness unleashed can be poetry! Fun can be poetry and humor poetry. Talk about making poetry some larger and wider and poetry that can have a popular appeal and a wider and a real reading audience!!! Let’s start with this project. Thank the Gods that there is still room in the ponderous realm of poems that poems can be funny. All of this and more happens in this most inspiring collection of translations of German poet Ernst Jandl. Like this poem translated by Rosemarie Waldrop:

what can you do without vowels

kss
fck
lck
sck
pss
sht

The words shift and mesh in Jandl poetry making music. A relief! Ernst Jandl was born in 1925 in Vienna where he still lives. Among the many translators, beyond Rosemarie Waldrop, are Keith Waldrop, Joan Retallack, Norma Cole, Craig Watson, etc. - an impressive cast. And all leaving the office behind for a day at the beach. Bravo. A most splendid and enjoyable and inspirational book. I have the highest regard for this book and give it my greatest praise, which is, I will return to it. What more?

Two Publications from Fort Apache Publishing

Ft. Apache Publishing P.O. Box 121105, San Diego, CA. 92112-1105. [email protected]
I guess these cost some money - but no price is listed. My envelope had on it a 34 center. Send The Fort a 34 center and who knows? Well, the first one I pour out of the envelope was one without a word title so this organic stuff in black and white must be the title. The art work and text is copyrighted by D.E.C. Robbins - so DEC must be the author. Good work DEC.Sample: Let me rest in your pain-littered dreams/ that feed evolution/ on the edge of mankind. This is an eight page one poem book and a good one it is. Well, the second one out of the envelope is a smaller publication but longer. This second smaller publication seems to be called:Excerpts from ON FORMS by this person named Logosphagus. The art work: spiked organic beasty! The poetry sample:Standard deviations:/ [in taxonomy/large moose heads/medium moose heads/small moose heads]/ A fine slash of poems - too bad the entire project not in print. I love it. A good bit of pondering about the ridiculous lives we lead in the age of - what ever age this is. Well, nothing else came in the pack. But if I get to San Diego…I am gunna stay in The Fort.

September 2001

Haight Ashbury Literary Journal

Volume 19, Number 1. Twentieth issue. Editors: Conyus, Indigo Hotchkiss and Alice Rogoff. Address all correspondence and inquiries to Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, 558 Joost Avenue, San Francisco, CA. 94127. www.haightashbury.org/poetry.html /email:[email protected]
I bought my issue, this issue, Volume 19, Number 1, from a guy with a gray beard on a corner. I don’t know - Clayton and Haight? Cole and Haight? Maybe I am making this up? The guy’s name - I think it was Bob and maybe his last name started with the letter P. I should have written it down. I did not. And then he was amazed that I knew who Jack Micheline and Bob Kaufman were. Do not everybody? He wanted to sell me the Kaufman issue of Haight Ashbury Literary Journal. I just saw it in a rare bookstore for $20.00. A smart poetry seller, I thought. I hope the editors know that they got a good huckster out on the street. And union printers print the Haight Ashbury Literary Journal! These are two good things. Union and street huckster. However, the best is the poetry in the Haight Ashbury Literary Journal. It is mostly all poetry with some prose and a few drawings and a few ads - but mostly poetry. It is void of that muck produced by reviewers (like this writer) that schmooses and butt kisses and says little and only gloms on to a network or writer who might write, might return a flavor favor and writers who call this criticism and blurbism and mumblism and hippoism and toiletism and the like. Muck. Forgive me. Thank you. But the poems, the poems. Of course the contest winner for Spring 2000 - a poem called: A Notion of Herself was a powerful one by Donald Brennan. The poem, about - so to speak - the feminine all soul and earth burgeoning. Well, I can’t mention everyone but Alice Rogoff’s poem Curfew stuck in mind because it made me again realize that art does have a purpose in all the ugliness of the outside, general world. And that art is an act of breaking a social curfew. And also I was nailed by Teddy Weiler’s poem: When the Fog is Gone from San Francisco, which is a poem reminding again how humanity and Bush are screwing up the air and environment and water - while he sits on his ranch. Let me ask you - good reader - do you have a ranch? Ah - poems can be political and mean things and have purpose. Well, I am getting a bit long winded here. Let me write about page 11. A solid page, a choice page, a cut of real red meat or if vegetarian: a carrot. Bull’s-eye is A. D. Winans and up in the corner his poem: Poem for Neeli. As I understand writing, getting clear of the stuff of world to get clear to the self is a major philosophical job to get accomplished before the writing can be art and it seems A. D. Winans has it. Sure he has been around, but rightfully, there are many around a long time who miss the nail and hit the thumb or dick in the zipper or get their tits caught in the ringer. Glad to read there are poets like Winans free of those painful poetics. And so is, on that page, John Cordova’s long poem called: Ally, and Daniel O’Connell’s short poem: Addiction. Both poems new species, mysterious and blazing pyramids from the African soul carried by Hippo-humans to the sea for homage to poetry. And then Julia Vinograd’s poem: The Jack Micheline Memorial. She has this poetry, this talking poetry that I thought died with Bukowski - but here it is sweet and clear a thorn and a bee and a flower and a broken bottle of beer candid and saying what she says after being alive with more than five senses. Jesus, I write too much. It was a good issue all away far around. Well, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal has been a lit. journal for twenty issues. Here’s to twenty more. Cheers and send them money.

Remembering Bukowski

by A. D, Winans (with illustrations by Raindog). 48.pp. $5.00 Lummox Press. P.O. Box 5301, San Pedro, CA. 96733-5301.
I read within this little red book, which can fit in the back pocket of your pants easy enough for reading on the bus, in church, while not watching TV or screwing around with porn on the internet or emailing somebody about insurance or India or ordering a gazabutgoo bush to block your Nazi Republican neighbor’s view… I read that A. D. Winans published in more than 500 magazines and that he edited for years Second Coming Magazine. I knew that. But I didn’t know about the 500 publications and - how lame can I be? - I did not read, that I remembered, any of those more than 500 publications (I assume many poems). So I had a treat. So I had an intoxication. So I hear da voice as fresh as wet kittens and frank as jumping on a rusty nail. His poems about the Buk were crocodiles and I was an overweight drunk in the Nile. Now this poet is of the gut-philosophical beer can couch, bacon, working class shoes and a suit that is too small with an outdated tie that you only wear to weddings and the too frequent funerals of friends. Let me escape my own powerful pleasurable first impressions. Winans of short lined poems pours smooth. He remembers the great Buk as a man as much as a genius poet. Therefore, he is always fair, fart and candid and therefore finger on the trigger real. Apollo the sun. Moth for the moon. His poems are cans of tuna, starkissed. This is no easy thing to talk write without being behind the mask of the some far-stretched notion of what a poet is. Well - I am gunna tell you what a poet is: A. D. Winans.

The Eyes of a Vertical Cut by Ronald Wardall

32 pp. Slipstream, PO Box 2071 Niagara Falls, NY 14301. $7.00
Ronald Wardall has a way of seeing a man pickled in a six-foot glass jar. And a way of writing about his grandmother Mary’s meeting death. And seeing things, like Hemingway’s suicide. And in his poem called: Patsy Cline, “I had he taste on my lips, like rust.” I too had the taste of rust and winter and the smell of, “Egyptian perfume meant for the underarms of the dead.” His poems strike deep - an injection with a thin needle, almost invisible, bubbling with imagination into the a real vein. Afterwards, you thirst. Throbbing, striking with a little sweet red blood, striking what Wardall finds and defines in the real of our everydays. What he sees is really what I really think is there, dense, thickly complex with flowers and thorns, moments of clarity enhanced with art.

Slipstream - 21

It is only $7.00.!!! Editors are Robert Borgatti, Livio Farallo and Dan Sicoli. SLIPSTREAM. PO Box 2071 Niagara Falls, NY 14301 Visit their web page at slipstream.org
Before you get to page 87 you read through poetry by Gerald Locklin, Dancing Bear, Valentina Gnup, Lyn Lifshin, Robert Penick(City Edition Breaks Down - a poem about greed, November and pitiful humanity in the face of tortured nature) and Rocking Chair Frank. Maybe you stop off at Ken Feltges’s poem: Happy Hour. You should. But then on page 87 begins a short story by E. R. Baxter III. The story is called: Jack Gets a Thesaurus. A treasure. It is a story, a short story that plays with the form of the short story. At each step in the narrative the narrator reminds the humble reader that the story is a fiction or a fiction being told by a writer, which is the art of the story. So the writing of the story becomes as much of the story as the story itself, which itself is a very important story about love, death, sons and fathers, coming of age, growing old and the form of our emotions in art and presenting of such in art. Still in the midst of the literary acrobatics there is a tremendous and deep earthiness or centered facet of the story. It takes place in Niagara Falls. The characters are as real as really created characters might be and their language complete with there own manufactured words are believable. Well-balanced and mature, Baxter’s prose finds the seam between the real and the making of art. He sits on this fence with one eye in each realm, reworking each separate reality into one finely woven masterpiece. And Baxter is working way hard to save Niagara Falls. All poets, you must save The Falls: www.niagaraheritage.org

That Look. Words and vocals by Eve Packer and alto saxophone and music ——————————————————————————- composed by Noah Howard.

Boxholder Records. PO Box 779 Woodstock, Vt. 05091 [email protected]Eve Packer’s all a poet, poetic most poetry words full of luscious phrases of speech with different inflections like imagine, “SAS sandals, comfy as peanut butter bunny slippers,” and “a raincloud of gummie bears.” Her work cellars and coffee and smoky of hip jazz populates this most wonderful CD of 17 works with her own vocals of her own delightful smooth poems and poemetic voice evening stars light and headlights of cars maneuvering the city at night. And then … well - it is a duet - takes two to tango - and Noah Howard makes the pair. His alto sax and music meshes and mates with Eve Packer’s voice and words to produce an urban fantasia and define what balance a duo can have - like Anubis holding the scales. Together: Ying/Yang. Inseparable. Parts of the heart merge for beating. The heart quickens beat when you get That Look, love lust - you know. You know: Red Dress my favorite cut because of improvisations and springs of speech and it is all about That Look as a truck driver sees Eve in Red Dress and crashes into a wall.

October 2001

Smell Me - 1 by cait collins.

1999 36 pages. fingerprintpress, P.O. Box 5473, Deptford, NJ. 08096. $5.00.
MS-allthat.com / email:[email protected]
At the grave of Charles Bukowski, Cait Collins left a blue and silver pinwheel, some smoked cigarettes, empty bottles and her vibrating vibrator stuck into the ground. Inspired by the candid and anarchistic self of Charles Bukowski - that free man, now free of even the earth - Cait Collins not only has Bukowski’s sense of humor but also Bukowski’s passion for writing about the American underbelly, bar life, and erotic sex. Full of self-love in her poem “Likes” she lists her likes as follows: me/ sex/ sex with me/ sex with other people. Pure unexploited sex love and happy animal passion sex certainly is a preoccupation in these poems. There are a number of poems about in car masturbation, about flashing her breasts and sucking on a sex-toy. These are among the most expressionistic, outrageous and funny. Her sex poems are vivid and lurid. However, beyond their carnal surface, a type of karma-sutra spiritual freedom via meaningful, personal fulfillment is proposed.

Lusciously absorbed with herself, frank and tender, tongue out and tongue in cheek and plenty of tongue all the way around, a Cait Collins poem spurts bursting and bubbling flesh happy fantasy ecstasy. Collins is a living loving maid in the middle of her life - living it finally on her own terms, by her own rules and being herself. As a poet if she cannot express other than what she is, which is a real she imagining herself all day long in the real of this world and acting on it. Self expression, writing poetry, is an opening, unbuttoning, revealing of a self that Cait Collins has taken out of the hat-box, placed on her head and proudly struts about New Jersey, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Pedro. Anything and all things forbidden or unsanctioned behavior, speech and thought, becomes the stuff of a poetry of liberation. The poems are almost a please see my naked, sometimes-silly, always-ready, sometimes sad and sentimental soul. She writes in her poem “To Erins, Etcs.”

understand this:
words about experience
are words of experiences and
I do not pretend
the almighty
movements
of the
deep
blue
me

See also her other books: Smell Me Again and In the Midst of Erected Poems and her site: smell-me.com

Arbitrariums by Sheila E. Murphy

32 pages. 2000. Broken Boulder Press, P.O. Box 172, Lawrence, Kansas, 66044. $3 see:www.brokenboulder.com /email:[email protected]
Arbitrariums is a fine initial definition of the poetry of Sheila Murphy because the poems seem to be composed of randomly, arbitrarily selected, phrases ordered, haphazardly perhaps, to look like a poem. However, a close reading of her intuitively chance generated poems reveals that throughout her poetry she, obviously, quite purposely breaks all the rules of poetry as one might understand them. She is among the most anarchistic of poets - abolishing all notions of literary pretence and power and delivering poetry back to its primeval dream state.

Writing phrases like: “Sustainable imaginary forest fires bleed open on deposit.” - or - “Now a song no one has sung as long as anymore is being played is being therefore heard in dittoed restaurants” forces a reader to enter the cosmology of the poem as a participant.

Without narrative structure to limit a reading of Murphy’s poems one encounters meaning rather than having the purpose of a poem dictated by an egocentric author. Meaning is questioned. A reader has the option of discovery. The act of reading poetry by Sheila Murphy allows the reader to enter the state of composition, which means to have a direct and open access to the poem’s creation. In this way a reader becomes one with creator and the material of creation - simply words - and takes part in the naming or granting meaning to constellations of words. Therefore, one way to enter Sheila Murphy’s poetry, which is ubiquitously published all through the small press network, is to enter the poetic act at its origin, rather than at its closure.

Scattershot Haze ( A Tribute to the Beats ) by Ralph Haselmann, Jr

140 pages. 2001. $16.00 softcover plus postage and handling from http://www.Xlibris.com” or call 1-888-7-Xlibris in Philadelphia. Also available through Amazon.com,Borders.com and BandN.com and special order though your local bookstore. Hardcover $25 plus s&h and e-book $8.00.
Ralph Haselmann Jr. is MainMan! He is one of the busiest people in poetry. Editor of Lucidmoonpoetry (http://web.archive.org/web/200501/http://www.lucidmoonpoetry.com”), he is also a relentless reviewer, obviously, therefore, a relentless reader, and a prolific poet. Scattershot Haze is Haselmann Jr.’s second book of poetry. As his subtitle suggests it is a tribute to the Beats. The Beats and company, Ginsberg, Kerouac, Corso, Burroughs, Charles the Buk, Curt Cobain, Bob Dylan etc. and New Beats: Dave and Ana Christy (she who writes the Foreword of this book) provide the well of energy Ralph taps. I was much pleasantly surprised by the amount of poetic technical skill and classic Beat craft that Ralph Haselmann Jr. wields. There are many that would like to claim The Beats as source; however, few come close. Haselmann hits the mark. His ear is tuned to the music, so much so one wonders where the originals leave off and where this poetry begins. There is no bridge, in fact. It is one flowing river. When Ralph Haselmann Jr. stepped into this, he became one with the poetry. A marvelous achievement. And let’s add to that: fully entertaining. Within there are tributes to musicians, poets, Leonardo Dicaprio, and what I would define as ear collages or Ginsberg and Haselmann duets. And also tribute poems to Charles Bukowski. Now, make no mistake, yes it is a tribute and Ralph Haselmann is breathing full the music and rhythms of the Beat. Still, it is a clear and unique and independent poetry. It is, truly, Haselmann’s poetry. It is his poetry. He has something to say.

November 2001

Cunt-Ups by Dodie Bellamy

Tender Buttons, P.O. Box 13 Cooper Station, NY, NY, 10276. 2001. 65 pages. 11.95
Cunt-ups, as Dodie Bellamy notes, derive from the more male William Burroughs’s cut-up technique. Any comparison stops there. Bellamy’s texts are sensuous love poems raised from pornography. The most frequent words in her book are cunt and cock and the cunt-ups are extremely erotic yet passionate and lovely. Initially, attracted by the word Cunt-ups, one seeks the naughty and forbidden titillation of pornography. However, within these poems cock and cunt become the Os and Xs of love letters. Bellamy’s enhancement of her initial cunt-up opens the erotic fantasy life and dreamlike passion that each lover hides within flowers and candy. Initially the poet introduces her text with a quote form Adrienne Rich’s Twenty-one Love Poems. There are twenty-one Cunt-ups. The tradition is clear. Combining the roots of desire, the platonic, wishful thinking, with the words of pop Eros and daydream, Bellamy does, what I thought impossible. She reinvents the love poem.

rOlling COMBers - John M. Bennett

208 pages. 2001. Potes & Poets Press, 2 Ten Acres Drive, Bedford, MA 01730-2019 $14.00.
Here we have a most wonderful and first massive collection of poems by one of poetry’s most active agents. Bennett spends more time in the present, presence of the poem, than any other poem writer. For most, the imagination is a selective filter and the act of writing a meditative activity. In Bennett’s rule all action comes into the poem instantly. As Zen like, in the moment, as Bennett’s writing can be, it is also Action. I suspect nothing is left out and with the most fanatical furry of writing, form becomes the page in which, on which are captured butterflies, insects, moths, fire-hydrants, feet, and peas, eves of tuna, and all that might and can and may and does occupy conversation and daily life. Bennett’s relentless thought is wildly extravagant and expressionistic. And the poems also have humor and passion juice. Here is a sense of place of high excitation and agitated imagination and transcendent vibration of the universe people bus energy and socks and but (yes, but). In one poem he writes blender blender. AH, yes. A metaphor. A quiet place in the madness. An intoxicating experience, this book is top-shelf. And the so-called real world is and shell be never the same again.

Notes on Non Existence

  • Notes on Non Existence- the 1st Bifurcation by Ric Carfagna. A Sinfonia Press Publication. PO Box 385, Petersham, MA 01366. 2001. 44 pages. $5.00.
  • Notes on Non Existence - Second Segue by Ric Carfagna. A Sinfonia Press Publication. PO Box 385, Petersham, MA 01366. 2001. 48 pages. $5.00.

In a recent letter Ric Carfagna defined himself as a radically obscure poet. Obscurity is a barnacle all poets know as the voice of the gods. But radical also, I found interesting. Ric Carfagna’s projects are radical, that is radical as in the roots of poetry and radical also in that they’re aggressively other than - well all - of the workshop grandmother’s apron and North American gray squirrel poetry that populates the plates of the majority of soft, tender and obviously unexperimental or Somenex poetic ears. A massive rolling of multisylabic word strings seek a form of non-existence IN Ric Carfagna’s poems. Non existence as not existing, me thinks, in the gas stations or classrooms flung across the world. But not in non-existence but IN that place other, that other being place where only exists the Poetic Ace of the heart of meaning. I wanted to find some string that meant nothing but could not and only could find endless meaning. My bookmark flipped about onto floor like some mad seal so I opened my text again - somewhere-anywhere-: “immolation to nether-regions/ linking/ theoreticals/ within world/ where no progression is possible. / to render/ a nascent ontology/ using a door to return to the (internal/ locality.” But what I was looking for, which seemed a defining movement (one of many and there are many) anyway that moment being: “events transpired without descriptions.” I mean there are many more… “numbered in the satiation of forgetting/ the terminal mass/ miming the discord/ of alternant geometries.”

Bukowski Review. Number One

Winter 2001-2002. 64 pages. Editors: Joan Jobe Smith and Marilyn Johnson. 1044 East 2nd Street - No. 8, Long Beech, California, 90802. $11.00.
A much needed magazine, Bukowski Review, Number One, is a literary place where discussion on, about, and in homage of Charles Bukowski can take place. And it is a place also to take a swing at Bukowski. This is good. This is good. It is a fantastic effort and an exercise in both love and devotion. The review hails form Bukowski country, LA and south of LA ‘ in fact - Long Beach! The pantheon of Bukowski friends and acquaintances contribute in one form or another to this inaugural issue. There are interviews by Fred Voss of franEye, Ann Menebroker and Linda King. Bukowski advocates will know these names. There is writing by Jay Martin, Joan Jobe Smith, Fred Voss, Mark Wisniewski and Gerald Locklin. There is a lot here that I don’t mention, I am sorry, I can’t, space is tight and short. But here is also an article by Voss called Bukowski & The Wormwood Review and the Bukowski Review is dedicated to Bukowski and also Wormwood Review Editor Marvin Malone. All things are correct and here in place in this Review. Its fact, its existence is what is most important. It is important. Charles Bukowski’s place in literature is fixed - with or without this review. However, what Charles Bukowski’s poetry meant beyond what he wrote and what he meant to poets and American letters is less clear, less defined. Bukowski Review begins to bring that into focus. The discussion, the argument will continue. The poetry that Bukowski tapped in his poems continues also. And editors and poets, the circle that makes up this issue, are much more than Bukowski fans. They carry it forward in their own work. This is not a fan club. These are artists working in the realm of a legitimate American poetry, a poetry that was heralded and popularized by Bukowski. All hail the Arrival of Bukowski Review. All hail Long Beach. All hail or hale and hail and hale the editors and poets! Long may it rain (The day it rained in LA) and reign.

January 2002

The Louisiana Review

Vol. 3. - Summer/Fall 2001. 224 pages. Editor: Maura Gage. The Louisiana Review, Division of Liberal Arts, Louisiana State University at Eunice, P.O. Box 1129, Eunice, LA. 70535. $13.00 an issue (includes postage).
The readership flock of The-Hold knows and reads Lyn Lifshin, A. D. Winans and Gerald Locklin. Duane Locke’s been around for thirty years or more. Herschel Silverman knows Donald Lev. Of course, Antler knows Jeff Poniewaz. I know, via the snail mail, that T. Kilgore Splake lives way up in Northern Michigan and I know that I went to college with Jerry McGuire, but he might not remember. Mark Hartenbach is from East Liverpool, Ohio. We all know cait collins. Obviously this is a community of writers, more than 100, here represented in this issue of The Louisiana Review. More than that, this issue brings together a form of American poetry that’s been neglected, in general, by the academy, big publishing houses and the white wine, soft cheese, uptown Manhattan pink poodles and the downtown gently soiled Manhattan and spilling over into Brooklyn pink poodles and the network of poodle washing McDonald-salon poetry Disney too many everywhere all over the U.S of A. The reality for most of the poets in this issue of LR is second shift. Here in one finds an anthology of sub-canonical poets who are populace and popular beneath the high brow. It’s legitimacy as a form of poetry stems from its tradition, now decades old, which began in magazines like Hearse, The Outsider and Marvin Malone’s The Wormwood Review, and it’s major pantheon of inspiration includes Charles Bukowski. The vitality and extent of this community and its tenacious vibrancy stems from a frank exchange of reality, which is sometimes mournful, base, corrupt and stupid, and yet includes an acknowledgement via form to Modernism. Its experiment is that poetry is not totally a cerebral ideology but a common daily event, like coffee, bills and Republican lies. Maura Gage, her co-editors and editorial staff at The Louisiana Review obviously understands this. Gage has done a most marvelous job mapping this diverse, truly sprawling and representative constellation of poets. She has assembled a unique document of a world academically unrecognized but vibrant and diverse as any rain forest. More than a discoverer or an explorer, Maura Gage is a caretaker and a literary historian who has here made a document and poetic primer for a type of poetry that enhances the comfort zone of American poetry and expands our literary myopia.

Unarmed: adventurous poetry journal

No. 21. Early December 2001. No editor listed. No price listed - FREE - on front cover. Send poems, money in some amount, or stamps, the anger of spring and the like to: Unarmed, 1405 Fairmont, St. Paul, MN. 55105.
Now 21 issues old, Unarmed has become one of my favorite magazines. It is one of the few I read cover to cover. I get comfortable with the poems because they’re published without the author’s name attached on each page after each poem. Thank god the ego has not overwhelmed every magazine. Adventurous, yes it is an adventurous magazine with poems in this issue by bill bissett, Peggy Lefler, enemy of the people, Michael Mann, anon and the wild team of Scott Helms and John M. Bennett. So, yes, there is plenty of visual work and enough regular type poems and them poems stretch the guts. As the poet writes, “Did rats, as they met death by poison,// approach reason in a mirror image?” Now adventure means in my mind an exhilarating voyage into the an unknown other. It is a first date kinda thing - not knowing what is gunna happen. If I am not mistaken, Isabelle gave Columbus copies of Unarmed. And some copies were buried with Magellan and Armstrong left copies on the moon. And it comes from Minnesota also, a state that surrounds St. Paul etc., which must be having a literary renaissance. And Unarmed is part of this uprising.

Landing On My Feet by Cheryl A. Townsend

Kirpan Press, PO Box 2943 Vancouver, WA. 98668-2943. No price. 25 pages. Most fabulous! But write to editor A. Horvath. He has a long and growing list of great poetry books by Other Universe Poets in stock and he is republishing long out-of-print d. a. levy books. He commands the factory spring of the poets! Among the Gods, he sits. The dominant theme of much of Cheryl Townsend’s published poetry is her unabashed enjoyment of sex. Radical because she was among, if not the first, woman poet to totally allow her sexuality to dominate her literary canvas. This form of feminism is yet to be fully appreciated or embraced. However, certainly Cheryl Townsend will be heralded and exonerated for her pioneering work when the narrow libidinal USA of Poetry is better understood. Pleasantly, in the mean time, we have this new book, Landing On My Feet. The poems within this collection reveal a maturing Townsend, who is exploring the emotional terrain of love and finding among other things sorrow and the sometimes-bitter residue of life experience. With age the onslaught of memory is difficult to contain and it plays full in the emotional life portrayed in Townsend’s poetry. Memory is within this collection a lingering cologne. The raw vigor of Townsend pure sex poetry has found a partner in the form of the older person’s life (an lie) experience. The result of this conjugal joining is fuller and richer poetry spiced with a sensual amount of sugar but also consumed with more than just a single grain of salt.

Sudden Turnings by Robert K. Johnson

2001 71 pages. $12.00. Impatiens Press, 50 North Street, Westford, MA, 01886-1279. http://impatiens.com/.
Master poet Robert K. Johnson finds the poem in tiny, randomly occurring, seemingly common and meaningless moments of everyday life and in those moments poetry is vital, sensual and everywhere alive. He writes in his poem In Any Piece of Music, “it is always/a sequence// shorter/ than ten notes// that hold my breath/still as sunlight.” His lines are short and tight and governed by tried and tested life rhymes, like specific brush strokes he creates insight and refreshing, intense images. Some of the highest praise I image that can be granted to the art of poetry is the word YES. YES, I see and I understand. A moment that was otherwise passed and forgotten is preserved, pressed within the mind and savored endlessly. I find this word YES throughout Sudden Turnings and I am sure anyone who opens themselves to Robert K. Johnson’s poems will be intimately touched. For me, particularly, there is the poem, Sixteen? Eighteen? Years Afterwards.

So excited am I by this poem that I imaged that if I write it here it may be mine! Of course, it is not. But I offer this to you, this Robert K. Johnson poem in the sincere hope that you will burst open. The beginning lines of his poem Sixteen? Eighteen? Years Afterwards reads: you/emerging/from the rush/of waves and surf// flare in/my memory/like flower/petals.

February 2002

Prefaces by John Crouse - Summer/Fall 2001

Xtant Books. 2001. Write: Jim Leftwich, 1512 Mountainside Court, Charlottesville, VA. 22903-9707.No Price Listed - estimate: $10.00.
In Prefaces there are 20 poems, which, I assume, are 20 prefaces. Upon reading I became swept intoxicated by the music of poet John Crouse’s work. Truly, he has poetry as music in his focus, for us who might forget that the vowels have it and vowels make it. Music is meaning here in these - well - songs/scores. Prefaces - yes - I know poems. However, the music is everywhere seeping in and springing up eruptions and ejaculations of pleasure over and over. In these poems - you read about The Writer. That mysterius creator/being that in this myth in music. The act of writing feels effortless almost spontaneous. However, music as is in these poems is never effortless to compose. Certainly, not at this level of sophistication. But to make it feel effortless - ah. The pace of the poetry is dazzling and also without seam or break. Of course there are other levels in John Crouse’s poems. They are about, so to speak, A Writer - The Writer - what is written. His character, being, alter/altar self and self in the act of creation is objectified as the energy being The Writer engages words to make the poem. Crouse turns the ego of most poems into The Writer merging and mingling with the poetry. Biology, obviously, there is much to write about these poems. I am sure the realm of the poem will hear form from John Crouse. There is much to write. However, allow me to engage my own emotional response. Ah, the vowel music soars great Snowy Owls with yellow eyes.

Shattered Wig Review, - No. 20. 2001

Rupert Wondolowski, editor. Shattered Wig Press 425 E. 31st Street, Baltimore, MD. 21218. Sample issue 5 bucks. Subscription is $9.00 per year. See also:www.normals.com/wig.html
I began to read this issue of Shattered Wig Review and could not place it back on the pile. I was enjoying myself with a poetry magazine! Not just a poetry magazine but a magazine with prose and comics and a cartoon strip by A. Goldfarb called, Ogner Stump’s 1000 Sorrows. I wondered how I missed the first 19 issues! Obviously, I was lame, stupid, drunk. I hope dear reader that you are not dumb, blind, insensitive or an aardvark, albeit I am sure that aardvark poets read Shattered Wig Review, while they are dreaming about Chinese food or pizza. You must engage the Shattered Wig Review, which are a tremendously refreshing poetry and prose and comics and all around insanely beautiful magazine. This issue is 68 pages of wild humor, biting ridiculous, ironic intelligently and artistically moronic art and excellent poems and innovative poetry and prose and art and collage and snips of reality right out of the newspaper (the true lit of idiots) and all of it points out how truly crazy everything about the human race is in fact. Within this issue are poems by Batworth, Jeff Little, Blaster Al Ackerman, John M. Bennett just to mention a few. And poems by Glans T. Sherman and Dan Raphael. Rupert Wondolowski, editor, is my new hero - what he got is guts and what insight into this frail world in which we live as demented animals. He is a treat and a lord of the beautifully bizarre. Get this one if you wish other poetry that is not dull, dim, mundane or vapid. I love this section of poetry from Les Wade’s poem Dire Effluvia:

("Anything goes in
anything goes out
fruit, bananas
old pajamas,
mutton, beef, and trout")

Or how about this snip by Blaster Al Ackerman,

Let's get together real soon this week
and discuss how we can enjoy more
Milo Pee Drink

Ferrum Wheel. - No 2. 2001

547 Linwood Avenue, Buffalo, New York 14209. Editors: ric royer, Chris Fritton and char dickerson. Write for subscription price and submission info:[email protected]
Ferrum Wheel is without question thee most innovative and shockingly new poetry magazine to come along in the past decade. That is a big, big statement. It is all true, because Ferrum Wheel challenges every aspect of the poem as it is conservatively known and also as it is known as a vehicle of experiment. The assembling of each issue is work intensive. It is all made by hand. All of it. Each issue is not just signed or numbered but meticulously assembled. It is a sculpture formed by many hands. It is a work or art itself and brings to mind the word combine as Robert Rauchenberg used the term for his constructions that were beyond painting and sculpture. Ferrum Wheel is a combine and a performance of poetry on the page and a new form of Fluxus. It is poetry as the primitive creative gesture of imagination coming full to fruit in this vast dead desert of retro howling langue, NYC and San Francisco moldy ghosts of ghost poetry. Hail The F-WHEEL -2210 and beyond! Hail The F-WHEEL: intrepid and gutsy informing and commenting and challenging what one understands to be poetry. And what one is as an editor also. In Ferrum Wheel the editors are not invisible not salve slaves to the poems of the poet. The editors are designers and artists but POETS! and their format, their unit of composition is the magazine. This magazine is the (a) poetry. I suspect this razor will slice the strap of the handbag of the world of words and run with it. Oh, this old soul steps with glee aside and welcomes this new year, this new century of poets: ric royer, Chris Fritton, char dickerson, Jessica Smith, Tarwin Baker, Eric Gelsinger, and their company.

Remembering Gregory Corso by Herschel Silverman

The Beehive Press, 47 East 33rd Street, Bayonne, NJ 07002. 33pp. $10.00.
Oh Sad Mad Yak! Gregory Corso is gone - safe in heaven dead. But he is here remembered by Herschel Silverman most tenderly with poems and bits of the past, letters by Corso, bits of narrative by Silverman, recounting where the two poets, Corso and Silverman, touched the same bases over the bumpily strange course of a lifetime of poetry and pipe butter. Silverman’s poems are the most musical of the street coated with rain jazz beat bumpy bump dadadadadatata music of New York and environs life now being written and with the same inspiring jazz joy path one finds and dreams and hears in the best bars full of words of Keroauc and Ginsberg. Inspiriting these poems by Silverman and this tiny bit of winged soul book sends shivers and brings tears. I did knot know Corso. But I miss him and Silverman’s poems help in this respect. Oh and Saint Herschel will lead us with his bebop singing sings for Saintly Gregory - now for real a real ghost saint. This little book if a form of prayer and flowers sent to Gregory Corso by his friend and fellow poet Herschel Silverman. Thank you Hershel. Gregory, adios King.

March 2002

Satin City Serenade: Chicago’s Premiere Poetry/Music Group

CD. 2001. $15.00. For information
contact:www.davidhernandezfamouspoet.com
Well, I ain’t no music critic but I know Latin music when I hear it andhere it is and each cut on this CD is strikingly different, strikingly unique. This reveals the innovative breath of form that this group of urban musicians brings to the studio from the street. The musical elements are folk, Afro-Latin, urban jazz, blues and classical, all of which David Hernandez and his group use to weave a form of city of sound. I know something about poems; I know something about cities and something about Chicago. What I know is city and city poets, which is David Hernandez throughout, throughout his blood and veins and fingers writing poetry and his voice reading poetry are streets and the street’s endless sound collage, populated with old and young, the wild neighbor beings and lovers and the sublime and general pumping pace throb beating heart that is a neighborhood that is a city - that - that all David Hernandez has captured with his net imagination of a Chicago, a city, a city of words. In one of the cuts on this CD he calls himself a word dealer and this phrase more than any I’ve heard defines the urban of city poets. Hernandez’s Chicago is Latin and each cut on this CD is a serving of rice and beans Latin Chicago style. It’s beauty and it’s sadness. And I like the frankness of David Hernandez’s candid love song to his wonderful Batya, which is titled Batya’s Dance. More than any other poet Hernandez seems to allow the city, in this instance the City of Chicago, to permeate all of his art. He is a chronicler of brick and paved streets, and hotdogs and spices, music that is voice and voice that is music, a poet of the people, who has not left the people but becomes by the act of poetry totally immersed and meshed with the people of Chicago.

Hell Has No Speed Limit: A Poetry Anthology

36 pages. 2001. FreeThought Publications, PO Box 6011, San Clemente, CA. 92674. For more information see:www.geocities.com/freethoughtpublications
This anthology features four poets. They are A. D. Winans, Bradley Mason Hamlin, Gerald Locklin and Geoffrey Barber. There is a great introduction by poet Neeli Cherkovski, who points out most clearly the unique qualities of the type of poetry gathered in this book, and there are picture poems throughout by B. L. Kennedy. Usually I don’t like picture poems, so to speak, or visuals dropped here and there in books. However, B. L. Kennedy’s are the exception. I liked them. I wanted to steal what he wrote and drew. I was pissed that I did not imagine what he imaged. So - compliments to B. L. Hey, Kennedy - you got there first - great work - keep it up. Well, I don’t have to write to tell A. D. Winans and Gerald Locklin to keep it going. Both batches of poems by these veterans are mighty worthy of the word poem.

Locklin’s poem Picasso 2000 has a long passage on desire, which was most defining of the great Picasso but also perhaps desire in all poets and people also.

Winans’s poem Poet for the Genius Poets defines clearly the stance (his stance) of the poet of the people verses the stinky verse - the worst of the worst, the tired poet as professional poet. The poet who eats baloney for breakfast, paints hospital rooms, can use a screwdriver (Philips), eats tuna out of the can during a half-hour lunch break, etc. is a poet that says something that is of immediate import. Those who think are always smart! Winans knows that the prizes go to the groomed poodles. It is something that we all must remember. Locklin knows each day - he don’t have to remember. Then in this book are these young guys Hamlin and Barber.

Hamlin’s poems twist your ears with a passion for the excitement, joy, and fistfight of life. Nothing laiback in these poems. It is laid out on the bread as a tick layer of mustard and hot peppers and plenty of black pepper and NO bland turkey breast to interfere with the horseradish of words surging up the nostrils. His poetry clears the hands and waters the eyes.

Barber’s poetry ponders the stupid world and grants philosophical insight spun with lusts and wishes. He observes the actions of humanity with suspicion and gives an obtuse spin to the daily routine capturing, for us, what is in most minds but not reported. Seeing what is really there is an art. We are lucky Barber writes it down.

So there you have it, a great sampler of solid poet work. Some work from the pillars to continue to get us through the days and long nights and then some fresh voices, voices that with the help of strong livers will be around to become pillars themselves.

Surfacing by Dave Pishnery and Alan Horvath

Write for price information and etc. Kirpan Press, PO. Box 2943, Vancouver, WA. 98668-2941 I mean you come upon this book and the first thing that amazes is how beautiful the damned thing is. Black cover stock and printed in gold and I mean beautiful paper and a disk tucked in the back so you can look at the Bridges of Cleveland. Them the poems that rest in this mind of art (the book) and each page again a wonder and bite bit of shard of poetry that lances and lays in the fingers of the mind as you turn the pages and each poem an instrument from which music enters the mind like a raindrop of lightning or finding a ham sandwich after working on the roof. The poems of these two poets are juxtaposed throughout. They have shuffled their poems so the poets’ poems are not clustered together in a particular section. Nice arrangement. I am impressed. Good idea. Therefore the read, because the poets are different, keeps the reader on the toes of the poem. It is a good dance. A worthy book for the home poem library. Get it quick cause the book is a limited run and you will want it.

Horvath’s poem The Secret is a high point in my reading. Here he captures the exact notion of urban space needed to survive. It is not civilization that we live in but a frustrating refined world technology in which we survive in a why-is-this-happening-to-me of savage America. And how creating a space in all of this is a small match in the otherwise when it rains it pours world. Horvath - it happens to me too. Thanks for the light.

And poet Pishnery’s Vampire Lover fuckuses on the seductive, intoxicating, destructiveness of love and lust and sex.

Yep. And yep these two poets and their poems slice a bit of real pie. Good to know there are real poets in the world working on the craft after a long day of elephants jumping on your eyeballs.

AlbuzerxQue. Volume 7

Zerx 037. CD. 2002. For price and info write: Zerx Press/Mark Weber, 725 Van Buren Place SE, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87108 or [email protected]
Mark Weber’s project recording, CD, studio with musician project becomes more interseting with each CD issued by Zerx. He is the poet using the CD as a unit for his collage composition. This one meshes Todd Moore’s voice reading a poem and Ray Zepeda’s voice reading a poem (a real poem, a great poem about automobile rims) and Mark Weber’s beautiful sanding voice and a 6th and 7th grade orchestra playing a piece called Rainy March 1999. And some ol’ time, sounds to me - I ain’t no music critic - some old time black and white dance music on the side of the highway played by Okie pickers at a dance on Friday in the 1940s. This is all the people making their music in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I am hearing a world of people. And this includes new music also performed in art galleries. It is all a music of the other and outer world. Weber knows also that poetry is music. I mean, and here it is on a CD. Music belongs to all different kinda folk. These things are like gloves in January in Detroit.

Dillinger

read by Todd Moore and musicted by J. A. Deane. Zerx 039. 2 CD set. 2001. Zerx Press/Mark Weber, 725 Van Buren Place SE, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87108 or [email protected]
First, it is a great thing to have Dillinger reborn again being read this time you hear his voice in poem Dillinger and Todd Moore is reading his poem of American hero. His voice (Moore’s) and poem enhances J. A. Deane’s music and the music fits like a knife in the rare cooked steak of Dillenger served up by Moore. The opening track asks (that is Dillinger via Moore asks) am I gone? Of course, the answer is, no. And above and also more than ever on this CD Todd Moore’s poems intoxicate as he moves throughout the Dillenger poemscape. It is a wonderful achievement to create a great realm of poetic imagination with such diversity and spikes and spices of emotion and the crash of cars and breaking glass of words and storms of the mid-west breaking panoramic in it is a pantheon of the Gods singing in chorus and a hero emerging from the darkness of the America and becoming a voice that you hear at the post office, at the gas station, in the hardware store, and liquor store and you can feel the human chemicals in Todd Moore’s voice as he drives you about the country, the empire of John Dillenger, radio playing the music of J. A. Deane.

April 2002

Zenyth

Issue 1 and Issue 2, Volume 2. Zenyth is quarterly, you can subscribe by e-mailing Danielle Taschereau/editor at [email protected]. You can send submissions and comments (both are needed!) to the same address.
Zenyth is a one page literary magazine that features poems - obviously - short poems on both sides of the single sheet. These issues in hand feature poems by Bart Solarczyk and Ron Androla and Wendy A. Howe and the editor Danielle Taschereau. And of course there are others. Folded up Zenyth fits good in your pocket, which is where good poems should be for the bus ride home or to be read while eating the evening can of green beans or spaghetti and then a can of beer. Poems between commercials, that is what I like and that is what Zenyth offers. No, that is what Zenyth gives you. Zenyth gives. Give me a page of poems. Thanks for pages of poems. These single pages, these poems hold back the flood of mundane words and keep boredom out walking the dog.

Bosh Hubris No. 1, - Edited by Robert Holt and Mandy Elkins,

Three Legged Dog Press, 12916 Heritage Dr. No. 204, Plymouth, MI 48170. Subscription probably 10 bucks for a bunch of issues but you better write Holt and Elkins at:[email protected]
I remember sitting in a bar and looking out the window and seeing a spotted black and white three-legged dog getting porked by a four-legged brown dog. The three-legged dog had one of her front legs missing. I guess it doesn’t matter what three legs a dog has if you are on the bottom. But what if a three-legged guy dog was the top dog and that dog had one only leg in the back? Well, then what? Would it matter or if you were in the bar looking out the window would you just open issue number one of Bosh Hubris? Well? Eventually you would open the magazine and in it you finds this great prose by master twister of the word Jack Balls! His prose in this issue is I SHOT HELEN VENDLER, which in and of itself - meaning the title - is enough to place Bosh Hubris up there on the alter. And then there is Don Winter’s Strip Bar: Hamtamck. Having been in many, many bars in Hamtamck, well they were all poetry and so is this bar and poem. And let’s mention the last poem in the issue, Alan Catlin’s The Workingman’s Friend. A clear observation about ugly men in bars, which is something that Catlin should know about cause he works as a bartender. Maybe he is bartending in the bar in which I am reading this mag. I wonder if Catlin knows that outside a three-legged dog is being porked? I don’t know. I just keep reading the prose of Lyn Lifshin, the prose of Wanda Coleman, a poem by Hugh Fox. The list goes on and outside the four-legged dog just wont quit.

Bender

Volume 4, Issue 4. 2001-2202. Editor Jeff Epley. Long Beech Station, PO Box 21261, Long Beech, Ca. 90801. $5.00 Let the elephants break down the walls! Let the great Moby Dick smash the hull of the dull Pequad. Allow the zebras and the people waiting for the bus in the cold of February to eat hot fish frys served by old nuns. Allow the cans at the curb be filled with the money of the rich. Allow the car to always start and the dents to pop out as if the car were foam and let the foam on the top of your beer be thick and free. Let there be Bender number four, NO. 4! Numero FourO! Ah. Up through the dullness, well, let’s start off by noting that the guts and heart and soul center section of this issue are a section by Ron Koertge’s called On the Horn- READ his poem In the Dirty Book Store. Ah, the strange joys of dirty book stores. Ah, my lost youth. And let me quote Jeff Karl Butler’s Beer Song:

pale
ale
sale

And a great poem by Joan Jobe Smith, which from up on the go-go stage her insight into the rotting souls of young pinheaded guys in the bar slices in to what is essentially wrong with America. And another great one by Lyn Lifshen who cuts into the pale blue soul of AM with a morning without coffee blade. And it goes on with Gerald Locklin and Nathan Graziano and Robert L. Pernick and Mark Wisniewski. These are new forms of gods here. These gods refuse to die. Let the poetry of Bender magazine take the place of the spongy, diseased brain of Attorney General John Asscraft. Let the grass grow dewy on the palm of Christ. Let Bender magazine and Jeff Epley be the cure for lung cancer so we can all smoke until eternity. Let Bender magazine and Bender’s editor Jeff Epley make money for this labor of love and the love that will drain all organs of sex and let them fill up fast again for another draining. Let Bender magazine and editor Jeff Epley ride dinosaurs to Australia and to India and on the graves of the great poets in a form of Stegosaurus homage, homage of powerful dinosaurs is Bender and Epley listening to Kenneth Rexroth and Kenneth Fearing and Kenneth Patchen and Charles Bukowski. Epley, out there, keep riding. Man, Christ, Jesus, he has made one fucking beautiful magazine.

The Life of All Worlds by Marc Widershien

62pp. $10.00. Ibbetson Street Press in conjunction with Stone Soup Poets, Somerville, MA. [email protected]
Once within the poetry of Marc Widershien’s The Life of All Worlds, one is drawn, floats into the self and into the own-self’s geography of memory and the cities of that place within that memory and in the heart. This poem in 21 parts is a key and once in the door of the self, the poetry of that terrain rises to be alive. I found my own portal within these lines:

A tuna fish sandwich exploded
as I squeezed it into the wax paper

Ah, how I love wax paper. Widershien’s poems are a lunch bag full of such particulars and treats and the streets of growing up and that past that is the present and allows to continue growth. I am happy that such poetry exists and that poets like Marc Widershien’s allow such particulars to be part of our life. Hail to his imagination for his imagination allows us to enter ours. Poetry can do such things, make such magic.

May 2002

The Asphodel

A tribute to Jim Lowell (too) On the Occasion of his 70th Birthday by James R. Lowell March 25, 2002. Write: Alan Horvath, Kirpan Press, P.O. Box 2943, Vancouver, WA. 98668-2943. Only 50 made so write Horvath fast. $5.00 plus postage. Make postal money order payable to A. Horvath.
As all Kirpan books, this one is first very beautiful and first it is a tribute to one of Cleveland’s legendary literary heroes, Jim Lowell, and first it is a tribute to The Asphodel bookshop, and then, first of all, I hadn’t realized how wonderful a poet Jim Lowell himself is - he is first rate - and first also included praise from Tom Kryss and Kent Taylor - poets who started their literary journeys, with Lowell, in the Cleveland of d. a. levy time and first Horvath is original printer publisher of Cleveland underground books and mags. He is editor artist. His unit of composition is the magazine/book. It is most marvelous to see and hold such work by such accomplished talent in hand. But back in the old days, from Buffalo I looked out upon the same polluted lake - my friends and I called it The Dead Sea. Poor Erie. Well, the lake has gotten better and it is fine to know that there is celebration for poetry of poetry and poets in the fine spring air. Celebrate now yea of Cleveland and poetry. And although I never met Jim Lowell, Happy Birthday!

15 Image Poems by Norman J. Olson

Beaver Lake Press, 946 N. McKnight Rd. Maplewood, MN, 55119-3635. Price: you gotta write and ask.
Recently, I meeted and talkted with Norman J. Olson but I guess you who read this will have to wait till he comes to your space to do just that. You should invite him. Anyway, Norman writes with sharp insight into the work, the poem world of Lyn Lifshin and you should read his reviews of her books on the Lifshin website or is it web site - two words? But I am just cranking up this AM here and want to get on to his poems: poems that I will return to again and again: They are filed with the names of animals and the animal world is alive here in this poetry. Perhaps it is a primal instinct of the untamed, well, yes it is, that allows Norman J. to record succinctly what is about him. Yes they are observations but enhanced via the talents of a form of animal observation - clearer, more focused, sharper than the dull wits of humanity. Here are some lines form Norman’s “On Sunlight,”: The black and bottomless/ sky wears a blue mask/ and thermonuclear/ eyeballs gleam/ like suns. And then in this poem by Olson called, “If I were to Paint the Madonna,” these lines: When icicles drip/ form the fat man’s lip/ and dinosaur bones laugh in the air like donuts,/ then violin music that slips though/ a hole in the ceiling seems less out of place than/ the mace/ on the security guard’s Sam Browne. Hear the music? I hear it. So, yeah, well you might find Norman Olson at Ryan’s Bar because two poems name the place. Or you might recognize now Norman’s name because his art, his drawings are here and there in magazines, zines and about the web. But mostly, I think you should write Norman. Say, Hello, Norman, I am interested in your poems and I wanna see them all. Norman will say, I think, OK. So write and send a buck or two.

The Man No One Hated: To the Memory of Bob Kaufman (1926-1986) by Gerald Nicosia

12 Gauge Press, P.O. Box 6011, San Clemente, CA. 92674 (write for price).
A sweet, sad, delightful one poem book by Gerald Nicosia in loving memory of Beat poet, San Francisco poet, street poet, political activist poet and icon Bob Kaufman, Bob Kaufman author of “Abomunist Manifesto,” “Ancient Rain Poems,” “Cranial Guitar,” “Golden Sardine” and “Solitudes Crowded with Loneliness.” Tender. Real. Heartfelt. Loving. Loss.

The Author’s Not Quite Dead by Gerald Locklin

2001 Showerhead Press * pob 5506 * sherman oaks, ca 91413 usa - For price and more information see:http://showerhead.org
A small collection of new poems in a small chapbook that could fit in your shirt pocket except that it is bound with sandpaper so you can read while sanding the callous off your left foot or while sanding your finger tips before you begin your nightly safe cracking. But let us venture into this fine, fine collection of new poems by Gerald Locklin, Emperor of the subconnonical of American poetry. These poems are short poems, quick poems, poems that explore and celebrate the humor, surprise and irony of life and language, when obvious life becomes language and lit and poetry. They are poems of our lives, things that happen that are transformed into poetry, thoughts that you think but pass. Locklin writes them down for poetry springs from living in the poems of Gerald Locklin and his quick wit is a pleasure for all. Now, after I leave a book like this, all things become poetry. And to heck and hell with all the gymnastics and olimpdicks of overly worked wrought poetry, poetry where the metal fags-out from over manipulating masturbation. Yes, all things are the poem. This, friends and readers, makes them art, a radical and powerful form of intrepid art that breaks open the oak doors of high culture cathedral and brings the worship of the gods back to drinking buckets of freshly brewed beer. For instance, let me quote in its entirety, Locklin’s poem: “Was Charles Bukowski A Greater Writer than William Shakespeare?” No.

Poesy: A Publication for Poetry and the Arts

Issue 16. Spring 2002. C/o Brian Morrisey, 106 Campbell Street No. 5, Santa Cruz, CA. 95060.
Issues are $1.00 for postage. Printed on newsprint, distributed for nearly nothin, Poesy is passion for poetry - Brain Morrisey’s passion and Doug Holder’s passion. Passion. Even in these dark days of oil drilling and war there are those for whom the poem becomes the all. Here it is folks. In this most wonderful issue is a most interesting interview with R. D. (Raindog) Armstrong editor and publisher of Lummox and poems by Edward Obuszewski, Mark Wisniewski and Radomir Luza Jr. Wisniewski’s poem sticks in mind. It relates the abouts first love of wild, that is grown up, woman, real woman. And also there are poems by David, Kelley, Alan, Kurt and Ryan. And work by Gerald Zipper. And work by Arthur Knight and Alan Catlin and A. D. Winans. And there are reviews. Well - you get the drift. The magazine is about poetry and these editors work to get the good poem in print. Do not have to be the poem of the worshiped. But the good made sandwich - good with lots of ham and mustard and a banana and horseradish and zebra puke, refrigerators, sorrow and sunshine. And see Holder’s article: “Bold Enough to Never Give Up.” Seems like a good enough definition of this magazine. I give it five out five yeses: yes yes yes yes yes.

Mt. Houghton Miscellany

Volume 2 - Number 1. March 2002. Tom Blessing, Editor. PO Box 689, Eastpointe. Michigan 48021. Write Tom for price and send him some poems, maybe. [email protected]
This splendid issue features Mike Kriesel: with his poems like: “Heaven’s Nail,” Hawk/ hangs/ like/ a nail/ driven/ into/ the sky. And poems by Mark Hartenbach - his work most interesting always endowed and rich and frothy with Catholic imagery and he also deeply tangled and twisting with and about in this spirituality of working class, eastern US, industrial folk. He should be in every magazine forever as should and of course, ah…in the kitchen with Ron Androla. He is making eggs - and Ron - yes - my father also died of steel mill stress. And t. kilgore spake works in here a plenty: like his poem: “Gray Beard HMO,” winchester “upland game,” 2 in., /no. 6, 20 gauge only. And Donna Michele Hill contributions also - Yes - in her Radom Capsule No. 17. I have been - haven’t we all been - part of her poem about hospital rooms - yes - go there be captured by poetry. And find her at http://www.donnamichelehill.com

So - well - Tom Blessing got a batch of poems together in a couple pages and said- well - here is it. And yeah: eat it and go sing!

Channeling Humbert Humbert by Aaron Bradford

Bender Books, Long Beach Downtown Station, PO Box 21261, Long Beach Station, Ca. 90801. $5.00
Jeff Epley is the editor and maker of Bender books and he art changing the notion of the chapbook by making it now, not a pathologically hastily constructed transition work to a larger collection, but an event, a form of Great Gatsby party by the pool and an adventure in astronomy that records the place of stars in the sky. Ands he makes only important books. Aaron Bradford’s book is one of them. Humbert Humbert by the way, for those of you who have not re-read Nabokov’s “Lolita” of late, is the main, male character of the novel. Bradford remains true to the lust, love and passions that this book might conjure but that seems only a postion from which to launch because this book of poems is a senusal love letter from men to women. I would give it (in) as cupid’s arrow. Each poem is an erotic kiss. The reinvention, reengagement of love and lust, in poetry is an ancient endeavor and often times the paths are dull and most poets just roll over and turnout the light. Bradford does not. He gets up and writes poetry and I am glad he did. Good to know that his muse is Cupid, cupid with blue balls and a few drinks, with his tongue, his heart.

The Mystical Exercycle by Gerald Locklin

2002 45 pages. The Chuckwagon Press, Sean Casey - editor and organizer, 9 Robandy Road, Andover, MA 01810. $10.00 This is a greatly focused collection of poems by poet Gerald Locklin and certainly reveals complete a phase that the poet has entered. The poems are reflective poems and philosophical contemplation poems and comment upon human conduct poems, which exhibit the frailty and stupidity of the human race and undermines the arrogance with which and in which we, so many of us, all of us, conduct our puny lives. These works are not so much about this and that or that time past or a memory but are immediately of the present, poet present in the world, interacting with the world and imagination, the imagination of it in words. Locklin really is in it as a poet in the world. He steps in it. He ain’t JUST watchin it. And these are the golden fruits of walking in the Garden of Eden poetry and there happens to be some animal shit. Watch out God!, Gods! And Goddesses! Toad is in paradise! The poems are a form of art word pure in the sense that they are involved in/with word fun - the ironic and the humor or ironic humor of fun with words, which is now essential Locklin and is now his program in poetry. The poems are a splendid and solid form of observation, reminds my of Resnikoff - the poem reality that waiting for the elevator takes forever. And also of Fluxus and performance poetry, for example my favorite poem in the collection, and one destined for the selected poems, the magnificent poem: “Where’s Wally?” Allow me to quote it completely: fuck Wally.

Fortune Cookies for The Damned, - haikues, blues, & bullets by Bradley Mason

Hamlin. Free Thought Publications and 12 Gauge Publications PO Box 6011, San Clemente, CA. 92674. Haiku is the most populous and popular form of poetry in the USA. Check out the Spamku website! The form of poetry in the grip of Bradley Mason Hamlin becomes a fat robin, filled with wiggling worms, with a pig’s heart in the jaws of lion. Holy Shit! .

The Whirligig: - Pulp with a Pulse.

Issue 5. Frank J. Marcopolos, 4809 Avenue N, No. 117, Brooklyn, NY 11234. 3 bucks American per issue. Write Frank in the real world at the above address or [email protected]
This is not for those of you who masturbate at the drive-in or in the drive-thru at McDonalds (well maybe). But better this is for those of you, dear readers, who ride elephants off the Alps and descend upon the washed and combed puny pony poodles of Rome (and places like the University of Iowa), with pen sword in grip cutting the falling bodies of professors and poets in sandals with white socks and drinking their blood mixed with Queen-O. Loki and Odin wrestle the frost giants to get their hands on each new issue of The Whirligig. This issue is the wine of Homer and Whirligig is the cup that Christ will not allow to empty. After reading this issue of Whirligig, I imagined that I was a US cavalry private, captured by Apaches in a black and white movie, circa 1958, and I was tied down, shirtless, over an ant hill, with my bindings of buckskin soaked in water, so that when the broiling hot Arizona sun rose and climbed towards noon, my wrists would open and spill my blood on the sand and provide a banquet for mice and fire ants and vultures. Damn - Frank Marcopolos is Lord of Editors! This issue is a festival and Poe would weep big tears of lusty fog just to hold for a second the power of Whiligig and start with Ann Sterzinger’s prose work: “A Beautiful Son.”

June 2002

Lift-Off: New and Selected Poems, 1961-2001

by Herschel Silverman. 2002. 189 pages. A joint publication of Water Row Books and Long Shot Publications - $12.95
Reading Herschel Silverman’s poetry is hearing a tight, well-rehearsed jazz ensemble and a flight of beautiful birds against a hard blue sky over the Hudson River. His poetry booms and purrrrs with the music of the urban trumpet troubadour word master. No doubt, once a upon a time, Herschel Silverman was touched by the energetic, angelic poetry of the Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso and Jack Kerouac and since then his poetry has taken the Beat ethos and modified and molded it personal, enhanced and enriched it like mountains and Taj Mahal, and he has made his own mark of it, a poetry utterly spiritual and powerful. Because reading his poetry is so much music done with ear, as well as heart, and like listening to your favorite music, you wish to hear it, again and again and this was my experience of this most pleasantly large collection of Herschel Silverman’s poetry. The emotion that pulled me back into it was love. Truly this poetry spreads the spiritually of finding godhead in all things. The poetry honors, a form of love, the literary folk who have made the literary spiritual quest center to their lives and art. One of my favorite cuts is the poem simply titled: 5/14/98. The scenario of the poem, so to speak, is a jubilant, heart felt, literary celebration for the spirit departed poet brother/father Allen Ginsberg juxtaposed with the glitzy surrounding of the final episode the mass-culture and lifeless TV sit-com Seinfeld. The poem asks the question: where were you that night - with the spirit of Ginsberg or engaged in and with….? I can answer that question. I know where I was in spirit and now I am in this book of poetry also. And you may also be. So it is in this book of pounding beats and celebrations of the Beats. It is introduced most adequately by Marchell Brooks. It is organized into three large sections: Bopogrpahy, High on the Beats and Lift-Off. There are most wonderfully long poems in the book, which allow Silverman to work his rift music magic, as in the intensely rhythmically powerful rolling thunder poem: Cittee Cittee Cittee IV. Silverman’s Lift-Off poem is of particular interest. It is a long series covering an entire section of the book. Yes - it is a serial poem. It is a most positive poem in a most wonder filled book of celebration. I would say that it is blossoming with love. There are poems dedicated to Ginsberg, Corso, Kerouac, Olson, Bremser, Bernadette Myers and many more. Reading it cover to cover in one early morning jam session with black coffee, I have to say again, again, I started reading it again.

Selections from Love/Anti Love and Selections from The Lyralogs & Rocking Jail Buzz by Jefferson Hansen

For information on both books: Homemade Press, Jefferson Hansen, 4055 Yosemite Avenue S., St. Louis Park, MN 55416. [email protected]
The poet Jefferson Hanson’s imagination organizes about specific philosophical/emotional instances that he manifests into words that create a realm between the real world and the mind’s abstraction of it. He finds his way, and if a reader is willing to read, really read, slow and deep and ponder and allow his poetry to work its way magic than this rare gift of Hansen’s poetry will pervade and become also your present. These are two short books of recent selections by a poet’s poet and the poet’s daughter does the cover. Sample lines: Your idea of me/ gathers more of me/ than I ever could.

Poems by Kenneth P. Gurney

2002 Peshekee River Poetry Pamphlet. PO Box 698, Eastpointe, MI. 48021. $2.00.
Simple enough to begin a small collection of poems by calling the small collection of poems, POEMS. So then what occurs is this small collection gets under the skin like some wild virus or burrowing bug and the poetry like alcohol intoxicates, and this poetic intoxication will not leave and you are left with Gurney’s poetry, endless and forever, all day it keeps coming back in mind until after screeching it begins to bleed.

Night Physics by Kent Taylor

2002 75 copies only. Write for prices and details:
A. Horvath. Kirpan Press, P.O. Box 2943, Vancouver, WA. 98668. I wonder sometimes why I continue to read poetry. After reading Night Physics, I knew why. The lingering trance like state touches emotional constellations and the aroma of intangible realities. Kent Taylor’s book is full of mirrors and memories and many poems about his departed, as in deceased, wife. In his poem Pantomime At My Wife’s Grave he writes: I place a poem/ beside your name. This single simple gesture opens a flood of images: a poem as a rose, as a heart, an arrow of Cupid. I do not wish to say, because of this sadness, that his ability as a poet is proved by the fashion and intensity that his poems about his lost mate convey; however, this is true. I am always amazed how the careful placement of a word next to another word invokes such awesome and unnerving feeling. I am in the state of poetry via Night Physics. Kent Taylor’s poems did this to me, now, this evening as I sit facing my own mirrors and memories.

32 Image Poems by Norman J. Olson

Beaver Lake Press, 946 N. McKnight Rd.Maplewood, MN. 55119-3635. Write for information and prices.
Olson’s most spectacular imagination just bubbles out of his mind and all about the floor. The scenario of these poems in this collection occur within mind of Olson as he sits often sipping soda in food courts or out in the hall at work all across the world of industrial America Disneyland. Amazing his sarcasm and deadly accurate twisted/quasi surreal disruptions of the goings on of the feeble and stupid human race. Dear reader, whereever you go - try, TRY to act real because sitting only a few feet away is Norman J. Olson. Pen in hand. Ah, now, yes, I think of it. He is to poetry what R. Crumb is to drawing.

12 Image Poems by Norman J. Olson

Beaver Lake Press, 946 N. McKnight Rd. Maplewood, MN. 55119-3635. Write for information and prices.
Entering a Norman J. Olson book is much like entering a bar filled with exotic dancers, male and female, and pimps and gun and knife wielding bandit bikers and various drunken outlaws. In a sense, one wonders what one will encounter. And up at the bar it is anybody’s guess because Norman J. Olson’s imagination runs the court with the ball. His poems take an incident and overwhelm that incident into a constellations of words until the thing itself, for instance, in this book of 12 poems, stepping inside a mega-mall becomes 15 and more lines of image upon image oven both in and out of his position in world and mind until the imagination concurs and succinctly represents that instant and, of course, it is most terrifying and simultaneously exciting and lovely.

Image Poems From the Hallway of the Endicott Building by Norman J. Olson

Beaver Lake Press, 946 N. McKnight Rd. Maplewood, MN. 55119-3635. Write for information and prices.
These are a handful of poems that will ring with absolute truth the reality of anyone who has worked for any length of time in any form of bureaucracy. Olson’s observations are so clear in their exaggerated metaphoric complex that the world which spawned them is altered and the new, fierce and bizarre reality of Olson’s poems replaces the dumb lust driven, pathetic, dismal and dull and meaningless existence of middle class office life. He writes with starkly sticking imagistic word strings. In his old office building are vampires and lobsters, wobbly chairs, stained ties and diet soda and time is measured by the shake of the asses of women who walk by. But why should I try to explain using Norman’s language, here is a sample:

Silent angels masturbate
and grin
and
an old man in
a worn brown jacket sits at a
salmon colored Formica table and sips diet soda
through a red-striped star. Imaginary
ants crawl toward the ceiling. His eyeballs roll
acorss the floor,
looking for
dancing lobsters.

July 2002

High Country by Cassie Lewis

Little Esther Books, P.O. Box 8091 Station Arcade, Adelaide SA 5000 Australia. $11.00
Merging with landscape and land, trees, and entering as accompany wed as twins with nature and such taking shapes as words, with words also Cassie Lewis becomes natural and original - the high country - the country of primal mind, shapes of the stuff of the poet’s heart.

Filling Spaces with Heat by Christopher Fritton

Fritton Press, 203 Norwood, Buffalo, NY 14222. $5.00
An exceptional work of modern poem music - using the page as score and space and time - variants and variations on ideas and images becoming the UN and UR real and the real and that real that is not real, and other reels that include real heat, and steam heaters, dreams, toilets and affections, all of which inhabit this entity of art wor(l)ds that falls and floats and is in between, and not, the realm that governs thoughts and the music of furnaces, toilets and dreams (all instruments) played by those others that inhabit this space as poetry with and others like poets.

Anthesteria by ric royer

Bark-Art Press, 547 Linwood Avenue, Buffalo, New York 14209. $5.00.
Wine writing entering as a dance and a celebration of imagining a festival of flowers and spring, of burgeoning flesh/fresh blossoms new again mythology - in the traditions of the high romance of Shelley and Byron, ric royer, a Hermes of the 21th century, weaves wreaths of a re-imagination of the becoming of spring with his Dionysian poetic, and myth skin, veiling and teasing throughout - most ethereal moon worshiping, and where words are born Worbs of wine drink this drunk where poetry begins hovering over and around the silky bulbs pushing blossoms up through the pages of myth.

O-D-E by Joel Chase

Runaway Spoon Press, P.O. Box 3621, Port Charlotte, Florida, 33949. $10.00. It. IT! The IT that rules the poem comes clear here in this work by Joel Chase and that the rose is a volcano and vice versa and it is all a great force of imagination and that those entities within the poem, the poetry, those memories and (they are) beings that seem to populate poetry are all manifestations of poetry, the everyday is the mind and that above all hovering angels are poetry and that is what he has here so marvelously and succinctly proposed that the snow of his heart and mind - have come to populate the page with poetry that is refined and tangible imagination.

To be a Poet is to Be by Jack Micheline

Implosion Press, 4975 Comanche Trail, Stow, Ohio 44224. $4.00
The true, the real poet St. Bum of Athens America Micheline barefoot and real still wanders and walks with us via his poems. If you have not approached them, do. For Micheline the ego is in the grave. And all there is IS! The clarity of not just WRITING the poem but BEING the poem - amazingly clear, the senses, the program of his writing, his only holy purpose always there as poetry.

Toxic Flesh by Holly Day

Implosion Press, 4975 Comanche Trail, Stow, Ohio 44224. $4.00
The poet Holly Day speaks spiritual, otherworldly unity, peace in a land of human garbage and garbage generated by humanity. It is hard to find nirvana in the intellectual and literal rubble of the world. Still, the quest via the art of heart poem yields the realization of a small amount of contentment in reality. So one is left with only a glimpse, an islet, because one must recognize the brutally and limitation of humans, and flesh and mind before entering love that exists even in darkness where it might be limited but still may, must be.

23 Poems by Shane Jones

Vis-a-septic Publications, P.O. Box 3441, Quartz Hill, California, 93586.
Send some bucks. Do it Now. I did meet Shane Jones and I did hear Shane Jones read. And I said, this is an interesting poetry he has a going here. And then he talks about small press poetry and it is obvious that he has read a lot of it and has chosen this realm as his realm. I got scarred like falling out a window into the jaws of the alligators of hell that are sharks and razors and ghosts. This guy might be the real thing, I thought. Even thought I am older and have credentials and say things like I eat ear cancer for breakfast poetry and the crucifixion nails oh sure, tasty, fascinating and the line this and the image of that, yes…all very very interesting and art full of knives and bullets and ballets of garlic in the stomach…. all very very interesting, interesting, and I was afraid. While I read his poems, I turned to the cover again to make sure that I wasn’t reading Charles Bukowski because of all the poets like Bukowski, Shane Jones had actually studied Bukowski’s line structure and the cadence of Bukowski’s verse and Shane Jones could but did not like copy Buk but like a merging, like a merging with Bukowski’s poems, like a poem written for the very first time. I was mighty impressed and thought that I have to get this guy to sign this book cause when he rolls the wining dice I wanna sit back and say, hey you out there reading this in cait collins’s THE HOLD, I told you assholes, I told you so.

Blah Blah Blah: The Times of Angie and Rachel

by Cheryl Townsend.. 2001. $5.00. fingerprintpress cait collins - editor/publisher - The Hold ezine P.O. Box 5473 Deptford, NJ. 08096
Now both Cheryl Townsend and cait collins are part of the Women’s Art Recognition Movement: WARM. What are’s a good thing, yes! And see, since I have been writing these things for more than a year now - collins has maintained her modesty and not blowed her own horn! So I gotta like get like Gabriel Parker and TOOT the trumpet TOOT. You, HEAR YE AND ME you are already here at this web site so look around and find THIS Townsend book and all else that is WARM. And this book of 17 poems by Cheryl T. of emotionally relationships at sea and some sinking pondering on the rocks about to go over and others to float, bob like corks. Another side twist of the constant exploration physically, emotionally and intellectually by Townsend who is always examining via poem the endless variation and nuances of male vs. female and the many selves and oddities that might occur when these two different magnetics engage. Superb to see CAT Townsend finding new cerebral territory in which she can peer her witch’s eye of the needle so succinctly open and sew shut the hidden and always fresh human interaction. The grey matter of the soft underbelly of the erotic poem is this poet mind thinking behind these carnal acts of love and lust.

The Dialogue on the Other Side of the Door by Mark Wisniewski

Showerhead Press * pob 5506 * sherman oaks, ca 91413 usa - $2.00 plus postage.
This is a tiny book composed of only two poems - you can hide it in your pocket, you can hide it in your shoe, and the poems are written by one of the more interesting pals of Francois Villion hanging around the pool hall. I do believe that these two poems are a two edged knife stuck in the belly of a priest. Wisniewski can run the table with smoke in his left eye and his bladder full of Coka Cola. Get as much of this guy as you can. Don’t look in Borders. Order Direct … better use your P.O. box.

August 2002

Dillinger’s Thompson by Todd Moore

54 pages. Phony Lid Books, PO Box 29066, Los Angeles, California 90029. 2002. $5.95
Todd Moore’s work at its perfection weaves various strands of poetic possibility.Dillinger’s Thompson is no exception but to perfection. Engaging the clich’ of penis as gun, Moore reinvents it via levels of metaphor, philosophy, psychology and the manipulation of language until that tired metaphor is striped and shaken and reinvented at its very root. The essential, primal truth notion of sex and death as one so merge within the poem with violence and object as to be seamless. And mesh also seamless with the American sense of ourselves as living via our objects, or being objects that define us as beings. Our objects kill. We kill but we love our objects and sex, which is the thing behind all of our consuming preoccupations. All these possibilities are here in the poem. And of course writing is sex and is love and Moore writes, “let love be/ come a machine gun only/ I can ride some nights/. And that is the perfect metaphor for sex as writing and recall that the Thomason is AKA a Chicago Typewriter. And fuckin is also an act of life and is also a horrible act. The word fuck in its origins depicts a terrible violent action. Fucking words then. And in this melding and merging the sex - as in gender - of Dillinger and his partner Billie - their selves are inconsequential - they both as one entity beyond the flesh via the bridge of bullets which are words merge into one fast fucking entity - one cannot be without the other - there is no just one being fucked: both are fucked by the essential engaging of this both ordinary and everyday but most abstract and complex sexual existence that is simply there as you and I are here human beings. And I am come away afraid and in awe at the power of poetry and that is what then Moore has here presented.

Appalachian Koans by Mark Hartenbach

A Peshekee River Mini-chap. 2002. Peshekee River, P.O. Box 689, Eastpointe, MI. 48021. For price, info and the like write to Tom Blessing at above address or [email protected]
As if I were really sitting, really, for once really hearing, really in the church of my choice, to a saint of Ohio, working class belt, socks, the poetic voice of Mark Hartenbach. He’s not yelling, scolding, bitching, berating or asking for money but he understands the absolute confusion about the ordinary spirituality that we - as people hardly a few thousands years out of the trees in Africa - ponder. He speaks about that philosophical pondering, someone, you, me, she, whoever, one has when there are only a precious few seconds of spiritually, wondering and pondering, and then it is time to go back to work. Why am I here if I am a spiritual being and still have to punch in? Mark H. knows that the answer is the question. He’s the poet with the biggest soul, maybe all of ours total together and … he’s worried… and he is wondering.

Slipstream 22

2002 -slipstream press. PO Box 2071, Niagara Falls, NY 14301. Edited by the Robert Borgatti, Livio Farallo and Dan Sicoli.
Christ - these three fuckin guys deserve a pot of gold or at lest a pot to piss in. Send them a few dollars anonymously - you will just piss it away on cards or turnips or socks. So? What are you dunna do?

So…I’ll tell you. First you begin by coming up upon this cover. The most moist erotic cover that I have allowed my eyes to have a good sleeping dream wish for the longest time. And this is with taste. Vanilla. Oh wait. If I write vanilla and then some reads one of the poem in this issue by Lyn Lifshin, It Was Vanilla She Said, and they - you readers - find out that the taste of vanilla is really the taste of… Read it folks. But back to the cover. It is by Vincent Tortora, photographer. Oh. I might never get inside this issue. But then the back cover is by Norman Olson and it is majestic, a drawing like one of his poems all multiple of this world and images of the inside the What the hell? head. Now, in these things you’re supposed to say about the works within and I am writing on here and have to get to it but as I wrote before these editors are editors and these issues are more like anthologies than just the poems of friends. It is with the most focused intensity and dedication that these three editors of Slipstream assemble these most fantastic issues and this is another grand one. Let me say that Gerald Locklin is here represented with three works and one poem is a lighthouse by David Hernandez. There is First Bra a tremendous poem via the memory eyes of Terry Godbey and also a great one by Nikki Roszko - I mean keep your eyes out and ears out and go out and look for these poets. And then I like always when the editors stick some of their work in here (Sicoli and Farallo do) and I should think that they wanna do that more and more often. I mean, if you got the car - it is Ok to beep the horn. I mean if you got the beer. I mean - you should drink it? I mean if it is your moldy orange, wipe the mold off and give to one of your co-workers. Am I right? AM I? Am I right? Or What? Each poem in Slipstream always makes it and all of these in this one do. This issue an exceptionally 2002 great. Three great editors. Issue 22.Hip Hip Hip Hurrah!

Big Hammer No. 5

Edited by Dave Roskos, P.O. Box 54 Manasquan, NJ, 08736. Send Money. Feel free to send work.
Big Hammer being the baby of Dave Roskos is then also the magnificent, magnificent and majestic beginning this issue with Other Alfred Kreymborg and having within this surge of verity the wonderful populace and department store of poetry works by Beth Borrus, Gerald Locklin, Lamont Steptoe, A. D. Winans - ah so many more of our great lean and hungry word panthers creeping about the bus stops and eating carrots in the night by fire engines and dreaming of zebras and bowling alleys, worrying about the price of cigarettes and gas, but giving us, the we the people, a solid stiff shot of dose of poetry - nope not DOZE - I said dose as in sweet and bitter real shoes.

Uncertain Relations by Joel Chace

2000 52 pages. $14.50. Birch Brook Press, PO Box 81, Delhi, NY 13753. ((Luxurious paper and beautiful designed and printed - the book itself as object a joy toy to hold))
This work of these words by Joel Chace operates as the mind in moments, slight ones, as mind and imagination play across an entire life of words. Here is the past and the future and the present in relation to each other. These incidents, moments are captured in bits of images and words and sit on the page as in the mind in relation to each other and those bridges between such are there and not as they are in mind/imagination. And reading this, one is then into one’s own mind and builds, in the creative sense, the bridges also. Interactive! So the poem here is the life, the life of the mind represented. And yes, it is much punctuated with silences and there are references to John Cage here and there, which relates that even in the silence between the words of the poem the mind is talking and making music in those silences. And in the mind also where the poem manifests at its origins. Each moment in mind has its own reality as does then each constellation of words in Chase’s work. What are the relations? They are always uncertain but when making a work of art that so clearly mirrors creative reality that uncertainly is the art of reality so each segment then captures the rhythm of life and the periodic table of elements, so frequently mentioned in this poem, then is a form placed upon the poem from the real word in an attempt to order what is already there as real. And it words, works here and is a metaphor. Life, in the end, is the mind and mind’s operation is at best uncertain and fluctuating. And Joel Chase has captured that uneasy yet undeniable truth.

Stoker. Issue 73

Edited by Irving Stetner. 4-2-6 Chiyoda, Hanjo City, Saitama 367-0054, Japan. 3 issues - $20.00 or 900 yen per issue.
Ah - good to have in hands again an issue of Stroker. Irving Stetner is still at it and his passion for spreading the wonder of Henry Miller hasn’t slowed although, as you can see, he is up to 73 issues! This issue has several most interesting articles on Miller written by Japanese authors and works by, for example, Jesse Glass who has a great poem page in this issue. And then there are these most wonderful and marvelous prose passages - autobiographical like - like Miller like passages by Stettner about his life gone by way back when in New York City he a young tiger and horse. These passages so alive then one is locked on each word and drawn down the page - it is horses seeking water, it is moths the moon, it is lions wishing, lusting, and seeking meat in the African night - so one falls into and speeds along in Stettner’s prose. Japan suits him well. Write to him there. He is a champion of small press and champion him on.

Murderous Signs - Issue 5. 2002.

Murderous signs, c/o Grunge Papers, PO Box 53106, Ottawa, ON, K1N 1C5, Canada or www.achilles.net/~grunge/msigns or:[email protected] $5.00 (Can. Dollars) for sub of 2 issues.
Murderous Signs is a literary zine and although it calls itself a zine, and it is, is also mighty literary. A most amazing editorial by editor Grant Wilkins about books and bookstores - like in his local bookstore - 55 feet of shelf space for self-help books, 70 different for Dummies titles but no books by the Greek poet Hesiod. And the issue features the epiphanistic poetry of April A. Severin and a selection of letters by most exciting innovative poet J. W. Curry, in which his vast intelligence comments on the state of Canadian poetry and poetry in general. His most excellent and expansive mind and intellect roar a lighthouse lightning storm in our dull darkness. All that a zine should we have here - it carries us to a new place in poetry. DA LIGHT! DA LIGHT! SEE DA LIGHT!

September 2002

Isotopes by Dan Zimmerman

2001 16 pages. Frame Publications. Contact publisher for price and postage etc. [email protected]
A tremendously fun book, with amazement on each page and humor also - follows the drifting imagination and it is startling how it shifts and that shifting pops the mind into yes, I see. Chance generated from 4x4 wordsquares and run through an anagram generator and then downsized to these neat 14 line poems this poetry engages the tech.stuff of this mod. world. Most contemporary high-tech poetry runs like this: poet thinks of an idea and puts it on the web. Web proves the poet’s idea not poetry (mainly because the poet doesn’t do any poetry anyway). But Hear: Here then in ISOTOPES, Zimmerman, smart read deep, Gnostic poet imagines and writes, engages the writing with some form of tech, here anagram generator, and then reengages with imagination, his poet imagination, engages the raw material and produces poetry. This is the way to deal with poetry with tech. Ah. Zimmerman shows us the path through all the websites, emails, hypertext dull forest of unpoetic silliness. He makes poetry. Look for the light. He lives in New Jersey!

Maybe Tomorrow by Shane Jones

$3.00. 25 pages. MuscleHead Press Chapbooks. BoneWorld Publishing, John and Nancy Berbirch, 3700 County Route 24, Russell, New York 13684
A nice chunk of collection by one our youngest and best. Shane Jones is one of those rare poets for whom poetry is living. Frightening how close to the fallen and sparking electric lines of heart and soul he comes. Melding in fact. This book divided into three sections: Moister or less clothes, the sweetness of love - smell and puddles of robins, bunny slippers; and the crumbling toast of a burned out love smothered with rancid butter and hard cream cheese… and horrible fact that memory does something to old romances - makes you remember only the crickets, the ice cream, the wonder of Niagara Falls etc. See what fools we all are. But we see through these windows and Shane Jones keeps them open.

Boston: A Long Poem by Hugh Fox

Ibbetson Street Press, 25 School Street, Somerville, MA 02143. Write for Price or Send $10.00 to Doug Holder at Ibbetson.
Hugh Fox master being and form of Lord in Small Press circles has with vast energy and deep knowledge knows all of the small press world more than any other and better than all those teachers of poetry out there in the fancy soft cheese world of poetry. But poetry knows Fox. Fox is the fashion in witch one protects oneself from the unchained dog, the way of doing of other peaks of authors. He knows so perfectly knows and that poetic is here displayed in this poem of Boston that brings together in one spot all that living and poetry are when merged. All places one place all information one information a mesh and a meld and merging and coming together and implosion of diversity - words-art-gods - and the like all like into one spots. Here Fox is the intersection of all roads, which then makes him poet and allows him, with clarity and ease, to make the poem, weaves it out of all the waves coming ashore.

Anabasis/Xtant

  • Switch by Tim Gaze.2002. Anabasis/Xtant.
  • Unconscious at Cape Paterson by Tim Gaze & Cornelis Vleeskens. 2002.

Anabasis/Xtant. Xtant is Jim Leftwich, 1512 Mountainside Ct., Charlottesville, VA 22903-9707.
Anabasis is Thomas Lowe Taylor, Oysterville, Washington 98641-0216. Write to these folks about prices and other good great books. www.anabasispress.com
Visual works. I am sure that these are examples of imaginative deep writing, they being other symbols and lines merged into new forms or developing alphabets - now we have a name for these works - Asemic writing. That is the word: Hear it: ASEMIC. But for me the delight of these books, written in Asemic, is the reading of this work - because the new writing in these new worlds/works with other alphabets demands a form of reading that translates into sound each glyph or string, poem- therefore new sounds must be made and the expansive experience is then IT. Wonderful to touch down on this terrific planet of other writing. These authors stretch it and brake it and broke it and IS now someplace else … in the other… place of creativity. Obviously the air is there breathable, beautiful. Let’s go. Paint your wagon, and come along.Find on line poems by Henry Wilkens. http://www.bewrite.net/read/poetry.htm#NEW - Write him at [email protected] - Awaiting your comments on-line… he is.

Henry is the author of: The Farting Dog, which can be found at the sight above-mentioned. Here is a stiff whiff: This is/ the true story/ of a German/ ballet dancer/ who couldn’t/ make it/ in Hollywood/ and ended up/ in a German/ movie/ featuring her/ with a farting dog. And just want to let you know that the moral rights of the author have been asserted. The rights of Harry Wilkens to be identified as the author have been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright etc. The poem is about Sylvia Seidel, a young Munich ballet dancer, and now actress, explains Wilkens, who as poet king of mid-Europe and Alps, goes on to say, who got the LUCK to be introduced into Hollywood by Kirk Douglas. Henry Wilkens is a gas! Check out the site… but I mean… go there for Hank’s poems! I mean he is in the great line of Henrys: Henry the 8th, Henry Miller, Henry Hemingway, Henry Bukowski, Rames the Henry.

Postcard Poems by Del Ray Cross & Cassie Lewis

2002 Cassie Lewis, 1401 Red Hawk Circle #G302, Fremont, California, 94538. To order copies, write to [email protected]
“I’ve got a revolver/ I revolve,” this line in the poem Foglifting by Del Ray Cross that sticks in mind and in my admiration chamber. And this poem is part of the sequence by Del Ray Cross in this postcard collection. And the other half of this correspondence is Cassie Lewis, “freedom comes disguised/ as a book of poems.” Two burgeoning poets finding their rhythm as writers by the simple demand of riting writing each day to each other a poem, a poem on postcard. This fruit then of this conversation and merging is this book of poems, which reads, classically like an open book to the room in the recesses of the creative mind. The space created by mail, ol’ time, like post office, allows the poems the distance of authenticity and this then genuine poetry conveys its intense, hence real, so to speak, emotion, to the humble reader. Each poem arrives in the mailbox of the imagination, and then opened and then read in the heart.

Young Chet and other recent poems by Gerald Locklin

Pudding House Publications Chapbook Series. 2002. $8.95. Pudding House Publications, 60 North Main Street, Johnstown, Ohio, 43031.
The other day I was taking a walk, as has become my custom. You see, I must take weight off, eat vegetables (raw without butter and salt!), and all that bow-wow, woof woof. And I came upon some shards of plastic drinking cup, which I dreamed once held some very cheap draft street picnic beer. And as I looked closer, the shards seemed to become stick figures of people and then ghosts and then they became full fleshed figures, as mush as flattened plastic drinking cups can become full fleshed figures and art. Art was what I was left with as I wandered away. (Lucky I did cause as I gazed upon the flattened shards of plastic I heard a couple guys sitting on a porch say, “Look at that crazy asshole.” So as I walked I understood how finding stuff like Yoko Ono did and does, how everything is art as you come upon it and find it and it is the spinning off of whatever one encounters that makes everything art and that we live totally in art if we are artists or get into the rare rhythm of the artist’s mind, where, yeah, everything is art. And if you are a poet then everything becomes poetry. Wow I said as I read this new book by Gerald Locklin. Wow this in fact is the highest and bestest poetry there could ever be. Here I have encountered an artist of the greatest caliber. Locklin is artist as everywhere. Damn! I was so happy that the door to my enlightenment came from a plastic beer cup, squished. I think Ger would like that notion. And to those guys on the porch, “kiss my ripe rotten butt.”

October 2002

Days by Hank Lazer

230 pages. 2002. Lavender Ink. 3216 St. Philip Street, New Orleans, LA 70119. $14.95
Days is poetry, poems of ten lines, a form of day-book that fuses poetry as art, the manipulation of words as material in a field of writing, and that other purpose of words, words in the old friendly fashion, whose purpose is to engage events, feelings and the swapping of information about joy, sadness and, as literary people do, there is then at various times the telling of literary admiration. Here, in these poems, homage is paid to John Taggert, Louis Zukovsky, Duncan and Hank’s friends and fellow artists, like Yunte Huang and Jake Berry. Lazer blends the purposes of poetry and the ISMs of various camps and forges a series of poems that is both fun to read with the heart and with the mind. This is no easy exercise in these days of thick lines between the many classes of poetry. I am pleased to have read this book - not at one sitting - but several - and I found myself after a night’s reading getting up in the AM and with coffee, after making pancakes, well? should I pickup Kenneth Rexroth’s article on the Beats or G. Legman’s The Fake Revolt. No non no. I wanted more Days and I was sad when my reading was finished. I went back and found things I would incorporate in my own scribbles and things I would lift for myself like the courage to twist and turn words - within poem - that is use the poem as a spot in which to experiment and not just as a show place for polished tricks. I like Hank Lazer’s endless world play like: shape the cake, form the farm, and instead of Ezra Pound’s Pisian Cantos, Lazer has: peas&cannedtoes. Yes - all of the above and humor also! And I even found a most usable quote and law in Lazer’s last words, in his notes to Days. They were words I so wanted to write after reading them. He writes “? I hope (I) kept the writing wrong enough to stay fresh.”

The Furious Cock by Michael Muhammad Knight

2002 270 pages. For price and information: Michael Muhammad Knight - Email:[email protected]
This be a novel, a first novel, a free novel, an independent novel, which is free of the stuff of the novel that impressions with prison that form. This novel is propelled by incident after incident arriving like bits of emails from some dorm room, fragments and yet narrative and thrusting itself ever onward in its tale of young man in life. It is by the young novelist Michael Muhammad Knight whose picture is on the back cover with typewriter in a dumpster. His call is heard from the garbage of existence, American college existence. This image works because Knight via the writing captures the tossed away sense of self and sticking, stinking chicken bone, rotting green bean garbage feel and essence of the disposed of time spent in those aimless years of attempts at college education. Not detailed before, as far as I know, so truly extensively and capturing, detailing, defining the weeks and months, and years, semester after semester, of those in college confusion questions of what is this all about in the philosophic pointing out the ridiculousness of the supposed college experience with its obvious stupid human interactions. The Furious Cock then is a defining instance in the existence of American youth entering adulthood. And attempting to locate a purpose a reason to be in the midst of a culture pushing all into college for your own good, sake, etc. In this novel, this manifestation of unknowingness and wondering and pondering via incident and character interaction of a young artist wondering what is this place, this society, world I live in and what am I supposed to do in college which leads to what I am supposed to do in my, so-called, life?. Knight has found his way in this prose and to this prose and it is a singular achievement that he captures and cages this odd time in all our lives when we embark upon our entire lives still not knowing what it is all about and yet not comfortable with this notion that we might never know and that this is it, just an endless interaction with strange beings upon our planet. And editors of the world of poets and writers and novelists and looking for some original writing see Knight’s book and write him and get some stuff hot off his typer of the dumpster.

The Book of Chaps by Lytton Bell

32 pages $2.00. 24th Street Irregular Press, 1008 24th St., Sacramento, CA. 95816. [email protected]
I was reading this book in the bathtub and saying to myself that with titles like Confessions of a Cum Spittoon, Lack of a Lesbian Experience, and How to Seduce Me - that Lytton Bell has got to get immediately in touch with Cait Collins, Cheryl Townsend and lots of other small press women cause she is out there explaining the reality of woman’s reality, like giving head fast in the morning because she has gotta get out the door to go to work. Frank, candid, the poems numbered by which lover inspired it, each work proposes a memory, a tiny scar of love, which is its lust. Oh delight, she moves about in the poem in lingerie of dusk and shadow with the knife of hearts ready to pluck your fig leaf off Adam and leave your penis a solitary cricket singing in the night.

James Dean’s Diaries By Arthur Winfield Knight

36 pp, 2002. $3.00. 24th Street Irregular Press, 1008 24th St., Sacramento, CA. 95816. [email protected]
A line in one of the poems, a poem called Nick, in this book rings? “Life broke people, no matter how successful they seemed.” Oh bitter sweet and lovely and lonely? these poems by Knight about Dean and Natalie, Nick (the director of Rebel) A Time’s Square junky like Herbert Hunkie (perhaps), Billy the Kid, Marilyn, but mostly about James Dean and Pier, mostly about James Dean? “The waves wash huge pieces of rotting kelp onto the beach in the rusty moonlight. I like it because it’s so lonely.” The lines ring and ring and saturated with thick Hollywood aloneness, which seems to be something all these characters represent and is something that Arthur Knight brilliantly captures in this series of works. Of course these people are no longer real people. They are the stuff of American loneliness the mirrors and images that all of us, the populace, desires but fears because of the absolute desolation that becomes an American Icon. An American lonely is the bright burning night of success that each of these spectacular solo moths circles around, tighter, around the movie light bulb until in a few sparks only ashes

All Weekend with the Lights On by Mark Wisniewski

2001 154 pp. Leaping Dog Press, PO Box 222605 Chantilly, VA 20153-2605. $14.95
Ear for the spoken language got Mark Wisniewski and the ability to record it and not sound to this ear fake makes these stories even better and he is not recording his dream of the sophisticated language of a Brit lord or, God helps us, a Professor of writing! Mark, I imagine, is the kinda guy you find in your mind from when you used to hang out at the gas station or the roller rink or the bar tender at Terry and Dan’s or Pete’s Hilltop, or Howie’s or Stankowski’s and he is not a guy you remember from bars that might be called The Lilly Pad or Way Cool Sport Bar. But you might remember him out of the corner of your eye and you told him stories and you could not pick him our of a crowd but you are in HIS imagination, an imagination that has stationed itself in the midst of lives of the regular, mostly boring, trauma filled lives of people you see in supermarkets. Yeah - these stories are the stories of people you see in supermarkets, somewhat disformed (not the art of his short stories) - the people, who are a bit fat, a bit dirty, not unattractive but not very beautiful. The type of people who once drove their cars into viaducts or trains, whose mother’s jump out of sky-scrapers, who husbands leave them with three children, etc. So these stories then ring true, true in the sense that somehow in some magnificent way he, Wisneiwski, has molded these under interesting people in to a prose that accurately identifies all the things in their shopping carts, like taco sauce (hot), and Little Debbie’s Hot Cross Buns, and Colgate and the such like slicing off a finger. It is a frightening thing what this writer can see, as if he were peering through a bee-bee hole in the plate glass window of your heart, soul and mind and found that in there all the blood or broken hearts and souls and brains were not much more that a pile of laundry or stale rolls of reality, Popsicle sticks. Yes, in there, in the soul and heart and guts we are all very strange individuals. Once Wiz let’s YOU peak at his peep-show the juices wont stop.

Bogg. No. 71

John Elsberg - editor. 422 N. Cleveland St. Arrilington, VA. 22201. Write with dollars of ink.
First I am gunna say that if readers of this review don’t know about Bogg, now 71 issues old, I am gunna say?”Where the fuck have you been?” Now let’s get on to patting John Elsberg on the back. Let’s get on to buying him a drink or an egg salad sandwich. Elsberg has Christ been focused on the form of writing that is dear to us HOLD readers, and Bukowski readers, and those of us who understand about working class writing and class issues in America and know that the academy keeps out the dirty, working class poetry of pop bottles and skunks eating the tulip bulbs, and the readers of small press books and mags that have filled our otherwise empty gas tanks for dozens of years. Dozens. This is a thing of commitment. This is what love is. Yes, an issue of a little magazine of poetry 71 issues old is love. He has as editor and lover out lived most of your mirages and mortgages and the kids that are now long gone from your first marriage. Well well, Elsberg has been at it longer than that. Bogg has lasted longer than most of the countries in Africa! Elsberg program of writing has been focused from the beginning and like light it has remained focused from the earth to the far away stars from the beginning, beaming. He is an example of solid and lively and real small press life. I mean you don’t really think that George Bush II sends him a check! Hell No. I mean Hell NO. This is a legitimate passion. He is a metaphor of stability and love. Elsberg, Hello. I hope these people hear. Elsberg, we met in Pittsburgh once, 20 years ago. At Hemingway’s. And I am still a cowardly lamb in the presence of your long elaborate sentence of Bogg shouting out throughout the world and eternity and on Mars! Sir, it is people like you sir, that stirs the heart and imagination and makes poetry a place where all classes of people may have, might have, do have a voice. Thanks.

November 2002

The Pond at Cape May Point - poems by Burt Kimmelman

…with painting by Fred Caruso. 2002. Marsh Hawk Press, P.O. Box 220, Stuyvesant Station, NY. NY. 10009. $12.50.
Once every now and then one comes upon something that is simply beautiful and this book is such art. It is here, endless peace and the coming and going of water foul, swans, geese, and egrets. The poems complement and mesh like bird and water with the paintings. They are one thing, one art. Rarely do facets so vastly different merge so well, so perfectly. It is then nature the great thing we live in that allows this symbiosis to manifest. The rhythms of the poems, biological rhythms, are with those of the paintings. It is as if one enters a hall given over to meditation, it is as if one is once again primal and refreshed. Here, rejoice in this book. It is wonderful to know that in this often too horrible world that there is peace, peace that one can locate in the natural of this art and in the nature that it mirrors.

Mental Ground by Esther Tellerman…

…translated from the French by Keith Waldrop. Burning Deck, 17 Elmgrove Avenue, Providence, RI, 02906. 2002. 80 pages. $10.00.
I read, on page 49, Nothing will be disclosed/ but stone to dissolve/ at the border…. And it was then at that point that I had to return to poem one and begin reading again to be within the poetry which was my car, I within it, parked by a lake and geese overhead. And with my next breath moist on the window, it is now cold in Buffalo, I was released again, as I am by great poetry to travel within my life. To knock away the dirty dishes and the rising gas prices and the upcoming Bush war, such pleasure to dissolve the stone. And it was only two in the afternoon and I had pleasantly the rest of the half day and full night the do without borders and the meaning of the gas bill and again be, as I was when I was a boy, and first that poetry, poems like these, allowed people like me, and you, access, free and open, to other real realms.

Essays by Luc Fierens…

…with introduction by Tom Hibbard. Structum Press. 2002. Tom Hibbard, 31390 Hill Road, Hartland, WI 53029. $5.00. Ask Tom about the others books he is now publishing:[email protected]
Luc Fierens lives in Belgium where he is centrally networked with the vast web of European mail-artists, (which extends into the USA), contemporary Flux artists, neo-dadaists, performance and sound poets and visual poets working in the area of collage writing. Like us here, in the vast dumbness of an America that allows George W. Bush to hold the title President, Luc Fierens is brilliant, creative and unknown. So, here is your chance, you meta-poets, visualists, mail-artists, and contrary thinkers and creators, to be most pleasantly influenced by a host of insight comments into the creative passion and person of Luc Fierens. In this small text I think is reveled the true nature of the artist, which is in each moment creatively rules. And for the visual artist the collage is an endless collage and all everything becomes the material of the grand collage of living and each day adds to it and essays are just another form in which to exercise collage, visual writing. Here are collages and juxtaposed diary entries and critical comment and an introduction by Tom Hibbard to place it all in a context. A joy. Hey, you avant-gourd! (yes it is supposed to be that spelling - be creative) Are any of you out there? Check this out! Contact Hibbard. And then contact Fierens:[email protected]

Small World by Jonathan L. Roses

Ibbetson Street Press, Doug and Dianne Holder, 25 School Street, Somerville, MA 02143. 16 pages. $5.00
A pleasant surprise to find these poems in this book in the mail. And when I read the poem Snail, in which the poet’s father cooks a snail to brew a snail broth, I knew, yes, the broth of memory brewed with poetry was in the cup of my hand. The steam of these, the perfume, the poet is in the world.

Downwind From the Fires of Nothingness by Tom Kryss

Kirpin Press, P.O. Box 2943, Vancouver, Washington 98668-2943. $15. Plus $2.00 shipping and handling. Make checks payable to A. Horvath. Also available:Falling Through the Cracks by Tom Kryss.
Poems of sparrows and rainy urban streets with scraps of paper stuck to the pavement of the imagination, so Kryss moves about in poetry as a alchemist, “…with a knowledge that guides… the artisans transform common materials/ into small objects of wonder.” He reaches out in these tight lines, with these crafted lines like a baseball player from one of his poems, to catch, to reach for IT! IT the space between the real that is then the poem and the poetry comes up through the fissures in humanity from everywhere and we are all angels and sparrows. The IT of poetry is everywhere in the poems of Tom Kryss. He finds IT in the face of Jane Goodall, in an old black man in a wheelchair, in midgets, in a children’s librarian. What I like in the poems of T. Kryss is that they opened in me the notion that poetry does not just belong to small circle of masturbating precious poodles but is in fact all places at all times and one needs only to engage IT. There IT is. Here IT is. Here is a book of poems by Tom Kryss, a ring of keys.

Window: 9/11 by Eve Packer + Noah Howard. CD. Altsax Records

For more information, price etc. contact: Altsax Records, Northcountry Cadence Bldg. Redwood, New York 13679. or evebpacker&aol.com
HERE! Hear. Here is a single CD response to the horrors of 9/11 New York resident poet Eve Packer opening heart open ears hear here recordings of her poem about incident terror as they occurred and reoccur in memory, 9/11 continue to be unforgettable 9/11 hear her poem as there were no birds in south Manhattan but Eve is a bird, 9/11 bird’s still sing song with the heart, with heart pumping blood south of 14th and at the White Horse she is song, song still and song alive with action and flying and merge with New York horn sound without the twin towers still Noah Howard horns Amazing Grace and Somewhere Over the Rainbow. New York is still. New York is still alive. And there still are birds.

December 2002

Pagan Supper by Dan Sicoli

Pudding House Publications, 60 North Main Street, Johnson, Ohio 43031 www.puddinghouse.com - 32 pages. $8.95.
This is a fine selection by one of our best, and I am glad that it now exists and can be in your hand. This book, this Pagan Supper to which you sit, is that type of book of poetry the defines a progression in poetry, as did, for example, Bukowski’s first book, Flower, Fist and Bestial Wail, as did for example, Howl. Sicoli has been all about the small press for the past two decades. He knows the world, and he is from and is that world also. But now, in this post Bukowski small press, underground world, his literary instinct points us and leads out from under the giant shadow of King Charles the Buk. The poetry of the people has to march on. Sicoli is leading the charge. Keeping the all important cadence of the speaking voice, its inflections and grammatical patterns, Sicoli finds the fissures in images of strings of words to draw out and make visible a poetry that smarts and stings and was there (here) all along. His is a poetry of careful craft that does not loose sight of its origins in the daily. He follows a poetic philosophy that dictates that poetry is within the context of anyone and everyone. His audience is you. The poems are not melodramatic and not romantic or illusive. The poems render an American reality. As this confusing world roars past, Sicoli’s poems make one ponder our strange existence in the midst of this tremendously dreamlike state that veils our eyes with ice-cream and spit shinned suburban ghettos. Frank, candid and disturbing for its depiction of the ambivalent reality in which we live our existential and fanatic lives, Sicoli’s poetry makes one stop to finger the bruised apple from the tree of knowledge. The city is his literary landscape and his populace is composed of immigrants and bums and whores and working people. It is their imagination that is so ripely exhibited in Sicoli’s poetry. It is a point-of-view clouded by immigrant Catholicism and hangovers and a world in which Dan Sicoli dreams of being the poet Jesus,“i dreamed i was Jesus /slowly nodding out in a booth/ at an all-night dinner/ when a waitress nudged my shoulder/ i awoke/ grunted/ and forgave no one.”

Several Steps from the Rope by Guy Beining

34 leaves of collage. 2002. Xtant Anabasis. 1512 Mountainside Ct., Charlottesville, Va. 22903-9797. $8.43.
Ways of reading words within the context of a poem that is a collage is an area of literary exploration now engaged. This book is composed of 34 collages. They are poemollages, poemcollages, pomollages, colloems, which are a merger of visuality and word to make a word art or a poem of visualities. They are, as I have written now numerous times ? they are OPEMS, a poem which is visual and verbal and breaks many, oh so many dull rules of verse. Beining explores sex and death, it seems to me, with bits of words, fragments of dream speak pushing, pulsating against and juxtapositioning themselves in the midst of the clipped and pasted pure viz-images. His words make these collages speaking pictures. Perhaps meshing, sliding as in sexual, Beining, within the context of his works, his opems, asks poetic questions for the reader to ponder, read and then answer. Do words bring death? Are words a sexual manifestation? Reading Beining’s collages opens OPEMS the possible. Rejoice.

Staceal 1 by Jim Leftwich

2002 Unpaged but there has got to be a hundred. Avantacular Press. 1813 Belmar Drive A5, Fort Collins, CO. 80526. $11.23
(Let me must write that this visual work, poems are in the broad general a poetry that demands eyes and ears working as if these senses were wed and web and that somehow there is this sexuality/textuality that you must come to.) You see you must read as an improvisation. So you must write improvisation. Here Leftwich follows the designs of the speaking imagination that does not speak with dictionary words. Staceal is a neologism. Neologisms rejuice! Leftwich’s work is a reading vertical rather than narrative or even elliptical progression. As one enters the OPEM, that is a work without boundaries, sort of the way your ship travels in the universe, so then the imagination enters the contexts and the reading is a finding and discovery, slipping the hand that is the mind undercover to come upon. The upon is where you are at as a poet. Not where the French would like you to be. Not where the academy or the non-academy would wish you to be. But where the poetic source? THE GREAT PO! Is. Yore Is, is the place Leftwich’s Opems arrive.

Skew by Andrew Topel and company

2002 20 pages. Xtant Anabasis. 1512 Mountainside Ct., Charlottesville, Va. 22903-9797. $6.15
Here Topel in this his center poem in this book of skewed that is expanding juxtapositioning of words so worbs occur and OPEMS appear oput of the text so that the text in Topel’s word imagination is an organ organic orgasm cosmosssgasm, gasm GASM thing. This organic is all about the improvisational reading, engage, engagement so you are to be web to the poem - OPEM! To the poetry you wed. Here in this, the central work in this book, perhaps it might be called PLODE, the dictionary definition of a word explodes through the double pages. It is the big bang of the poetic imagination. And out of it spreads the text of the book, the other opems of the text, a text that crosses also the boundary of the book and does well up and spill thought the pages erupting the imagination into all other texts. Let it be the imagination’s raw power gushing forth. And froth. Thoth.

Puzzles by Andrew Topel

2002 7 leaves of topel puzzel. Avantacular Press. 1813 Belmar Drive A5, Fort Collins, CO. 80526. $2.09
So while we are reading some Topel, let’s read some more Topel. Topel explodes so your mind, as they write, gets blown?apart and the mind gets blown so that witch, which is underneath and in back off - that is in back of the mind is the imagination is now there as in HERE. As in hear it happen. Variously the puzzles - cross-words and fragments. Get it! Cross Word puzzel or cross out word puzzel. As the puzzel appears that is falls apart, is blow apart the imagination of the great puzzel maker of creativity steps forward like some alien and or god and the ordered reality of the world, pox upon it - the dictionary and meaning, now expands. Expand. The elastic waist band has smashed all their instruments and the gods have come marching into the city of the mundane. Topel on a puzzel horse. And the poet populace tossing bits of jig-saw puzzel towards the moon so all the pieces make a lovely rain from which there is no umbrella, so drink.

Estrella’s Prophecies 2 by David Baratier

2002 prophesies 23-43. Xtant Anabasis. 1512 Mountainside Ct., Charlottesville, Va. 22903-9797. $5.67
The form of these prophecies are fortune-telling prophecies printed on cards that one would get for a quarter - maybe two quarters - at some Coney Island type board-walk penny-arcade thing where Estrella would be within a glass box peering into your future. Drop in a coin - get out a fortune. What a place for poetry. Poetry is of course prophecy. Baratier reminds us of this from his Delphi imagination. Exactly and wonderful. It is Baratier’s imagination that generates these fortunes and we that are the fortunes of poetry and we are fortunate to get the poems that are twists of language and puns and endless playfulness of language and that darkness between humor that is life in America also. So they are not without a string. And they lead one into a magical and marvelous laberynthian of the might be possible, which is fortune anyway as one finds one’s way into the poetic future. But not in anyway hostile to the ordinary because of course a fortune has to exist and you must find it, under a stump, in a pyramid or in this instance, in this book of poems, where in is a fortune of poetry.

January 2003

Whispers From Hell by A. D. Winans

6 pages. Bottle of Smoke Press $10.00 lettered and signed and sewn. $5.00 numbered and signed. [email protected] or Bill Roberts, 503 Tuliptree Sq. Leesburg, VA. 20176.
A slice of offering, I mused, when I slit open this package and out gushes this guts of gunpowder. And my tongue inflames and soul spitting into the filthy air as I read again and again this very first poem by Winans what he titled: Where Have All The Old Political Poets Gone. And I knew then again why I sit here each day with my eyes bleeding and arthritic fingers on the triggers of these here keys. Ah it is again that out of law self writes rite of passage that each manifesto word pisses into the eye of dull god with spiritual ink of poetry. Oh Winans, across these electronic intestines and continents, times and worlds, words Winans, be assured that there are a mass of WE hold up here and there ready to spring to the throat of the vapid culture outside the front door. O! I am in the middle of a review! So readers rush and view it yourself. Winans poems are a spiritual shield, an armor of poetry to deflect the hail of mundane bullets killing your heart each morning on your way to out there. I say, POETRY, GIVE ME STRENGHT to toss my tie in the garbage and wear my shoes until they are sand and feet sand also on the journey towards a pure poetry in a Winans poem.

Bukowski Review. Issue 2. Winter 2002-03. - Editor: Joan Jobe Smith

3030 East 2nd Street, Long Beech, California 90803. Subscription is $11.00 per year. Write for more information.
A menu of full courses, a buffet, an all you can eat salad bar, a banquet, a balance hard to find is here reached, like the tops of mountains, like the bottoms of oceans. Damned hard to please Anubis and Christ and Cupid, Peter and Paul, Ying and Yang, Eng and Chang, brown eggs, white eggs, etc. and enough. If there was an ideal Bukowski review, part homage, part poetry, part critical, information, fun, interview, information, photographs, stuff and talking over a beer or two, three, this would be it. It is. The universe of Bukowski is in order here in this issue of The Bukowski Review. Thanks Joan Jobe Smith - lioness editoress. As the Buk might write, a picnic basket. So keep it going. Subscribe. Submit your wallet. Send some dollars. YOU will be happy, pleased, surprised, thrilled and intoxicated and a few other things. Let me drop some names: Gerald Locklin, Fred Voss, Gerald Nicosia, Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel, John Brantingham, Linda King, Joyce Metzger, Daniel Goude, Don Pierstorff, Billy Jones, Ann Menebroker, Michael Eastabrook, Melody Blake, Gary Goude, Juanita Joaquin, W. David Wright, Herb Kitson, Jack Saunders, Alan Dent. There.

Opera Meets Skid Row. CD. by Valerian Ruminski, Bass

Nickel City Opera, PO Box 2616, Buffalo, New York 14240-2616. $16.95 http://nickelcityopera.com
BUKOWSKI BUKOWSKI BUKOWSKI. That’s the hook. Welcome to this review, which is about The Ave Opera Theatre’s presentation of Opera Meets Skid Row, which is based upon Charles Bukowski’s skid row facination, preoccupation with classical music. Damn. It was an easy thing to match the two - but it takes/took some form of insight and guts. But here it is. Valerian Ruminski (a bass - as in singer) is the star. He does the opera parts of this presentation or collage of Bukowski like character speaking poems - (spoke by Bob Kravitz) and classic opera singin. I have no measure or expertise to say where Ruminski fits in the world of singers or opera. So I have only my own instinct. I am not an opera fan. But I find myself drawn to this production because it is good, you can listen to it without being pissed, yeah - listen-able, not overbearing or arrogant and not heavy with the high sniff art fluff stuff. Ruminski, for my money, does a fantastic job - he sings Brahms and Henry Purcell and tosses in Old Man River by Jerome Kern. These then punctuated with spoken word by Kravitz. Then, the last section about 1/3 of the CD are a batch of Bukowski Songs by composer Persis Anne Vehar - also sung by Ruminski. So you have the essential Bukowski energy meshed with musical compositional genius and belted out operatically by the brilliant Ruminski and you have a tribute that that is an homage that is solid work towering about the others. Well worth the time to listen again and again. You have Ruminski, Bukowski and Buffalo, New York (the city of no illusions!) What more? Well you have Persis Anne Vehar and William Hicks on piano and an audience responding to this live performance. What more? Well, you have product that stands unique among the Bukowski memoirs and products floating around because it is an independent work! What more? It is totally accessible to the ear of the street, Bukowski ear, your ear. Listen, friends, you have your Christmas money. You have all those empty bottles waiting to be cashed in. You have the change you found under the cushions on the couch, the quarters under the bed. Get it together. I can only imagine the Buk listening to this one until it is tissue thin. What a wonderful knit - Bukowski/real opera. Wow.

Stashu Kapinski Strikes Out by Joseph Lisowski.

Rank Stranger Press, 156 Crest Drive, Mount Olive, NC 28365 email [email protected] No price for the book given. Send $4.81 ($5.00 bill or singles - easier to mail) or write.
Cover by our own cait collins. That is a form of blurb. You know you are goin for a humping ride. (She got work in recent issue 6 of the Whirligig - check it out - but that is a different story.)…

So after reading Table of Contents I page to 21 where is supposed to be the info about the author. But there is none. I thought this is fine gesture. I like it. And the poems within begin with the person of the works - Kapinski - being the I of the poems being hit by a limo. If this isn’t life I think. I think each morning each and everyone who pays his or her own electric bill is hit by a limo (driven by Bush these days - but that is a different story). Well, we have the speech of the people, the poems of the people, the cadence of people poetry, grit, hangover and the like. Ride by a bar that opens as early as possible on any and or every morning - there you has Lisowski’s poems. Urban, ethnic. Workin people. And representative of this other form of poetry that tosses egg salad at Billy Collins and Bob Pinsky. By some miracle when I flipped this book open this AM I come to the page with the poem titled ASH WEDNESDAY. Catholic, I love it - all bars are full of Catholics. Anyway - so the incident: there is Kapinski in a bar noticing everyone with ashes on the forehead (that is what Catholics do on Ash Wednesday) and Kapinski is looking around at the ashed Catholics and then see some women and thinks he will wonder over and chat. And he looks in the mirror and there on his forehead - ashes. Christ. Indeed. Of course. If we are not all marked men and women when as we are about to begin the ancient ritual of courtship and breeding? well - no other poem captures better that instant. Damn. I know now that I head to the can to shit, shave and shower? no matter what? the ashes. Ashes, ashes. All fall down.

Keep It Off by Theodore Knapsack,

  1. 3 Nevada Street, Syosset, NY 11791. [email protected] I imagine $3.47 or so.
    The young poet’s first experience within that realm of art that is the other brings intoxication. For some it brings nearly instant death and for others it brings nearly endless ecstasy. Knapsack is a young poet and this is Knapsack’s first book. Who knows which way he will go? And ? it do not matter. What if this guy jumps ship like Hart Crane! Think of it. You read about him here! And if you send the $3.47! Think of it, you will have his first book! So let’s go against the grain and look at the new guy’s work. Knapsack sings the poem. They are songs, sung poems, or heavily influenced by youthful listening to pop song - the most prevalent and popular form of contemporary poetry. And the poems engage intense and heavy love and or drug use. Perhaps they are one in the same, which is then the message of work. Knapsack embraces his darkness from which these letters are sent out to this world. If Santa had these to distribute as gifts, I guess they would be left under the trees of lions, crocodiles, sharks or street kids, undergrounders, zinesters and the world of the other people. Maybe leave Santa a cookie and a Winston and you might get lucky.

February 2003

Cuba by Michael Kelleher

Phylum Press, 69 Clark Street - 2R, New Haven CT. 06511. www.phylumpress.com (Check it out for price and other list of wonderful and beautiful books available. Don’t wait - Phylum Press books are all numbered editions).
A poem of 11 numbered sections that plays, hops, skips and manipulates language with the best poets of the last century and allows fissures in the world words so that the reader can actually cast her own runes and read a fortune in the essence art of this poem’s poetry. It is not often these days that I find a poet whose poetics, that is the way the poems are made and the words used, balance so completely with the poetry and the poet’s intention. The poetry is innovating and interesting. The seam between the art and the other here is invisible and I like not knowing where I am. Better than wine! And here it is! What I want from poetry. Wish there was more to this fortune cookie! Fortunately, many readings do not wear the poetry thin. And each time this mojo bag opens it reopens and the real magic of poetry permeates and percolates this world with that.

Buncamps Trolls by John Crouse and Jim Leftwich

Xtant books 2002. Send bread, maybe $5.60! to Jim Leftwich. 1512 Mountainside Ct., Charlottesville, Va. 22903-9797
Here are 33 (Christly!) pages of colored printed collage poems that are made from words and worded crumbled paper, manipulated text, drawings, alphabetic manipulations, found language, cartoons etc. It is contemporary word and collaborative contemporary word art at that! Both artists are established experimentalists and this bonding strengthens the bond of their network and enhances the exchange of experimental and progressive poetic ideas that has manifested itself in combo art, of which this is a fine representative chunk sample. This form of poetry is the venue in which Charles Olson’s composition by field in currently applicable. Only in contemporary visual poetry does Olson’s notion of poetry come into place and play. And here composition by field is developed, experimented with and in this poem those notions are evolving in compositions of found field visual poetry. All things can and do and may come into the poem. Truly, we can trace these poems back to Ezra Pound. However, one must twist and weave that tread with the visual underground as it matured in the 1990s. This is an exciting and innovative poetry. If you are interested in where poetry is going (and leave the history with Pound and the rest to pedants), then contact Leftwich and Crouse. See address above. And it does not hurt to send a buck or a twelve pack of eggs. Maybe some bananas.

The End of the Road that Never Ends by M. A. Solars

limited to 50 hand-numbered copies with holograph by the author. 18 pages. $5.00 (includes handling etc.) Make checks payable to Alan Horvath. Kirpan Press, PO Box 2943 Vancouver WA. 98668-2943.
Here’s another beauty book made by Horvath of Kirpan! He is the great maker editor of books of the small press. Write for his catalog and get them all before the book dealers start to charge an arm, leg, tooth, first born, mother, last rhino, pyramid. And Solars here is a delight earth poet collection - thank the Democrats that there is still enough nature for poets like Solars, who meld and merge with that ancient thing of ours. Yep, poetry and earth nature here one thing the partners becoming one dance. Solars’s poetry sprouts from the earth, earth poet and nature exchange images for contemplative juxtapositions with humanness in its many pleasantries and complications. A beautiful forest and comet reflective and wonder cake! Have a piece! It’s your birth earth day.

As Girlfriends Will, As Women Do by Donna Michele Hill

The Plowman, PO Box 414, Whitby, Ontario, Canada, L1N 5S4 or see:www.donnamichelehill.com - Write or send bucks (remember Canadian exchange when buying this book or sending money in support of this press) and when writing the postage difference also - wake up - there are other countries!)). 28 pages. 2002. The price is $5.00 from Donna -[email protected] - heck, ask for some poems for your magazine too!
Well, the book of 24 well-crafted, pondered and pounded to fine lace and sensitive, soul defining poems is dedicated to Hazel, who died of cancer, so there are 8 cancer poems here in and I must write the last line of one, which is,“resolved to live out the wind.” What more can one do but to live out the wind and this is then an essence of this work that grabs a wind of life and rides with it as the words twist and whirl around the poem as a tree the poetry floats and whips. You can hear it as you read. And I dedicate in honor and memory of the endless, delightful wind of Michele’s friend: This review: For Hazel.

Sack of Drone Gothic by Al Ackerman

Luna Bisonte Prods, 137 Leland Ave., Columbus, Ohio, 43214. 2002. 16 pages. $6.00
The ago (ago in this context means a deep reading with imagination into the game of poetry)? the ago of course of finding oems in other peoples poems and making them peoms and omaps is upon us a poetic throat and a form of writing that, as far as I know, no one has yet to write about but it is now a form, a form of found, like it or is - well yes - it is a collage among friends. This constructed combine good poem are by that poetic Coyote of the poem, the trickster of dictionaries and the Pan Loki of the throne of the theseurallasoarus - dada Da Da: Al Ackerman - who made this puzzle from the works of John M. Bennett, and JMB’s collaborations with Stacey Aliam, mIEKAL aND, Ivan Arguilles, K.S. Ernst, Scott Helms, Lady C, Jim Leftwich,Sheila E. Murphy, Lanny Quarles, Ficus stgrangulensis, Tito Smith and the Lonely One. Jesus! No, not Jesus too, I meant Jesus Wow! A collaboriantal rug upon collabortory - the one only and the only one: the great one: Al Ackerman. He takes the poetics to the tops of London and into the peach ice cream! Fun and House!

Spread: The Monthly Journal of Poetry Write to C. Dusterhoff

FREE**. Write to C. Dusterhoff - editor, PO Box 224, Seattle, WA. 98111.<br –Composed of single sheets of paper, some with color, folded together - signed and with inserts, Dusterhoff here carries the small press into 2003 with issue 26! His is SPAKSTRA PRESS and if you wish, write:[email protected] Me know that he is tasted the bite of the alligator and knows the concrete, the damp, a shard of glass in the eye, the circus of moldy steaming camels, the poetry of sobbing pencils and the poems that fall like teeth from the mouths of clowns like endless rain, endless. But not without the joy of wine and beer and the rollicking revolutionary Ing of banquets of the flesh! And wining at gambling. And missing out on the war! And releasing all the animals form the zoo - they run wild in the streets of Seattle and swim back across the Pacific and Indian Oceans to live free again in China and Africa! Oh yes. Write him. Send poems. Send him stamps. Send him money. Send him pages from your apples and large sections of dishwater. The sea turtles are coming ashore! Sea Horses! Send him.

ECOPOETICS. No.2. Edited by Jonathan Skinner

Fall 2002. 106 Huntington Avenue, Buffalo, New York, 14214 USA. Single issue $6.00.
Let’s start by writing (what small press has now known for decades) that the poem and poetry can’t be separated form from that real world of what is happening. And this real natural world is under attack by organized oil lusting egos, to name some, and a lot of insensitivity and a lot of unconcern and dumbness. This proposal of ECOPOETICS then acts as a bridge between the art writing world and the natural world. That bridge, that Bridge of Hart Crane’s and that rainbow bridge! ECOPOETICS is published biannually and dedicated to exploring creative-critical edges between writing (with an emphasis on poetry) and ecology (The theory and praxis of deliberate earthlings). So - we got wild art and the wild earth! Seems like a seam to me and a seemingly steamingly good stew. Jonathan Skinner, one can’t say enough about his commitment to a democratic world. So cheer him on with a few dollars. He is the best-committed editor and poet of true merge ECO-live-writing poem. Damn, I just wish there were a few more poets like JS and editors like JS who would guts come out and step to the left! We could all have a blast! And live better at that. So, in the midst of all the art for arty arty art. There is ECOPOETICS. Hear ye here some of the last names of those within: And, Barron, Bellamy, Berrigan, Collom, Kostelanetz, Manson, Quasha, Rothenberg, Spahr, Skinner, Swenson, Zanzotto! And a lot more more. 178 pages. Printed on recycled paper. The covers are tree free. Yeah, it can and must be done.

March 2003

The Holy Grail: Charles Bukowski and the Second Coming Revolution

by A. D. Winans. 189 pages. $15.00 Clothbound! (You can get paper also but $15.00 cloth! Come-on?cough) plus postage. See:www.dustbooks.com. Or write: Dustbooks, P.O. Box 100, Paradise, CA 95967.
While layin on the floor behind the stove with channel-locks and pipe wrench and with matches and in the sticky strange stuff that collects in backs of stove and in cat hair, crusts, crumbs, dried carrots and grape seeds, A. D. Winans’s book Holy Grail summed me to the couch! Bring Coffee. Bring Eyes. Bring Mind. And eventually I made it there, with band-aid on thumb, of course, and other un-band-aided cuts and coffee and read in one great sitting this Winans’s Grail book. It was better than workin behind the stove. It was better than the band-aided finger blood seepin up around the band-aid. It was better than Kool-Aid. There are many now and many new about Bukowski books. Some of them good and some of them moistly good but Grail has a few more slices of meat on the sandwich, and mustard, and cheese! It is better and it is the best or the harvest. Me thinks the heaping pile of ham on this history of a sub-role of the underground, small press world is what makes it, this Grail, a good number. Let’s begin with what yanks you in line and keeps handcuffed to the reading. Oh course, there is the Bukowski thing. For your money, and mine, Winans has got Bukowski down. His is not a bio. It is a perception. His is not just homage or a prayer or a rant or some stupid beautiful vomit. Winans makes/takes a penetrating snapshot that clear catches Bukowski for all he was, complex, many faceted, motivationated variously, tremendously candidly just human with his own ideas of and on this and that and he followed his own nose. Wouldn’t and don’t you? And then this book, it places Bukowski in the context of the formation and surge of small press publishing in the 1970s, that small press that made Bukowski the king of that very world. And this is then the same world that we live in that you are reading in this second. Now! So you have Bukowski in relationship to Winans, himself defined here as the other side, underground of San Francisco. Not the Beats, as you know them, but as one of the writers of the North Beach section of San F. No not the white wine. No not the dull rich kid poet on every corner. But he Winans the street wealth workin San Francisco. People do work there, you know. Somebody delivers the Pet Milk! Where was I sitting one New Year’s Eve? In the 1970s? Some bar off Castro maybe? Probably this bar is gone in the dot.com nightmare. Oh well, all things change, but it was a workin people bar, lots of wood and tables and cheap drinks, and the bar tender tells that his New Year’s resolution was not to smoke before noon! Ah, that is Winans’s of San Francisco - oh yes there is the North Beach drinker and poet and the poet underground community, and that is nicely detailed here but there is this stance, this way of seeing into the world that allows Winans a clean Windex clean window and that he captures here. So the book is not just about Bukowski, or just about Winans, but also about Second Coming, a magazine edited by Winans, if you don’t know it. And a great magazine (and press) it was. If you can, gather a special Bukowski issue (I have one) worn and beautiful. And find others also. Search for your history! Go to a library! And Winans relates his adventures and misadventures with Second Coming and COSMEP (if you don’t know from COSMEP- read the book) and it you are from the small press (like these days) and wanna know your oh so important history - read the book. Then there are Winans’s wonderful adventures and dealings with Jack Micheline and Bob Kaufman. You do know who these poets are? Don’t you? Search my friends. I gotta get out their poems again because Winans makes a portrait of them and of San Francisco small press world with Jack Micheline and Bob Kaufman as bestest of any on the street San F. scene as I have readed. It is all frankly wonderful. It is a weave and a please. And thought, as I sit here in this winter, with band-aids, and a full bladder, it is as if I and you are now in The Saloon, The Coffee Gallery and Micheline, Winans, Kaufman, Bukowski?. Well it isn’t. But here is a history, a history of what we are here, here in this THE HOLD. Because of Bukowski and Winans, Micheline, Blazek, and others. Yes, Winans has made us a great book here, a history and story, a portrait, a glimpse, a reality, a sandwich, lettuce, and mustarded, Swiss and baloney, ham and salami, mustard again and horseradish and tomato.

Bukowski and The Beats: A Commentary on the Beat Generation (Translated fro –the French by Alison Ardron)((Followed by: An Evening at Buk’s Place - an Interview with Charles Bukowski) - all by Jean-Francois Duval.**

256 pages. $15.95. Sun Dog Press, 22058 Cumberland Dr., Northville, MI 48167 [email protected]
So, let’s say that Duval has for sure done his homework. If you are new to all of this Beatness and Bukowskiness this is a clean and focused place to start. Not to cluttered with critical gibberish, factual, I mean tons of the factual, not over written or beating you up or slapping you with this theory or that. But not watering down the drinks either. A huge amount of pictures and additional material. A gigantic bibliography of Bukowski books, CDs. tapes, articles, and the same with the Beats. He has stuff listed that I have never seen. Stuff I never heard of! And he has generously footnoted all he says. Oh this does not make this a textbook! It just faithfully gives you the places that Duval has discovered that allows him to write his exposition. I’m impressed. Duval does some definitions of Bukowski in relation to The Beats. And points out that in this way and that he, Bukowski, is like The Beats and vice-versa and then unlike The Beats and Kerouac this way and then that. Read it and follow the thinking in the facts. The book is rounded out by then a long and solid interview with Bukowski, an interview that does not repeat that same old same old. It is new stuff. It is clean, a good slice. A thing of smartness and a good thing to own. But now I wonder. On what shelf shell this book rest? With Kerouac, Ginsberg, The Beats, or with Bukowski? I don’t know. Maybe this is a new shelf altogether. Well, make it new, said Ezra.

Drinking With Bukowski: Recollections of the Poet Laureate of Skid Row

edited by Daniel Weizmann. Thunder Mouth Press, 841 Broadway, Fourth Floor, NY, NY. 10003. 221 pages. $15.95.
What could all of this be about, I wondered? And I wondered if any of this would be any good or just some kinda gimmick book to make the buck off the Buk. And there were not pictures. Just writing. And some of the writing was poems on top of that. And I wondered if these poems, although they were poems by poets I recognized and admired, were not just poem dribble buckets of buckin bull snot? Now I must write that I do not gamble because sometimes I just can’t trust my first notions of buckets of buckin bull snot coated chicken wing brain. All my first fears about this Weizmann book were misguided, cynical, hornet nest infested stupidities and I should have been thinking about butterflies landing on pierced nipples. I wanna also mention before I get on with it that Weizmann, the editor here, also edited a collection of punk era posters called Fucked Up and Photocopies, which I highly recommend to anyone interested in punk aesthetic and art - it is a classic and a text that should be everywhere. Anyway, this book here to view is not punk, but Buk. Well, I must write that Weizmann did his well homework. He gathered up stuff by A. D. Winans, Gerald Locklin, Neeli Cherkovski, as he should of. And then he dug about here and there and came up with the Karen Finley piece on Bukowski (I had only heard of this) and got writing about Bukowski from Cupcakes, FrancEyE, Linda King, and poems from Raymond Carver (one of the classics about Bukowski) and from Wanda Coleman, and remembrances of all things past by John Thomas and Philomene Long and Harold Norse and Barry Miles. I mean here he is, Weizmann, he is workin! And from Bukowski country he has poems and prose by Joan Jobe Smith, Fred Voss, John Kay and a personal narrative, Bukowski Spit in my Face by David Barker (This is another one that I had only heard about during conversation around the office Scotch and Water cooler.). Let us toss in writing by Todd Moore and John Bennett and let’s round it of with the some icing - a very interesting and informative interview with Bukowski done by Sean Penn. Of course there is more. And then there is more. And it is a healthy walk around the block book. No fat. Not a biography. Just right for a beer on Thursday night after work. Or after shoveling the snow, working on the water heater etc. No myth. Not sloppy tributes about how I live in the mountains in Korea and think Bukowski’s urine smells like fermented yak sperm that makes me want to swim with wino walrus! No, no, no, no. Here is a well paced, smartly edited, inclusive and insightful collection of works that brings the life, times, art and person of Charles Bukowski a little more into the real. You will enjoy it. You enjoy it and eat a half dozen crab legs too.

The Life Force Poems by Gerald Locklin

Water Row Press, P.O. Box 438 Sudbury, MA. 01776. 205 pages $16.95..
As I have come to know Gerald Locklin’s poetry these past half dozen years or so, I have grown found of their easy rolling lines and Locklin’s quick wit and his ability to find the ironic is so many of our everyday situations. This book delivers the pizza and salad and Chinese food to the doorstep. And you don’t have to tip! But I must now write that this book of poetry moved me, moved me to an other place I might call sublime. It is more than just a book of poems. The Life Force Poems is a ruby in the turban of the master. I must write that it is a masterwork, his best big collection and perhaps his best collection most of forever and ever. It is supberb. Locklin, it seems to me, has found that place in poetry where the poem itself as an entity gives way to essence. The world does not get into this poetry or get in the way. The works are so refined that the poetry hovers above the poems. This poetry is a world. He begins this collection with a group of poems about the works and life of Van Gogh. Van Gogh is probably one of only a handful of artists whose work is recognized by the crowd. They might know Pollack, maybe. They probably have some sense of what a Picasso looks likes. Probably Michelangleo and De Vinci - but they don’t count - too old. And I am sure lots of folk know Warhol’s soup cans. The old timers were just religion. The others - modern art - I don’t get it. You have heard it. What is it? But Van Gogh! He is, as Kenneth Rexroth once pointed out is some review of Van Gogh’s letters to Theo, Van Gogh was or is - yes IS- the only painter people recognize, that people really love. It is the people part of that real love that Locklin has captured. His poetry is totally intoxicating and seducing and pulls one into its center as would a Van Gogh flower suck you into its heart as if you, dear reader, were some drunken, stumbling Bachus bee reveling a reveler in the pollen and honey of this bowkay. Now, some of you I am sure remember the Locklin poems and prose of heavy drinking and the wild, high life. That’s gone. In its stead there is art and jazz, which Locklin consumes like cans of beer and bottles of cream sherry. At poetic art, at heart, Locklin is a sensualist and his poems spring from the heightened states of life. He is stimulated to art by art and moved deep to create. In one of his Van Gogh poems Locklin writes about the young art student Van Gogh observing his fellows art students drawing the stuff of life but they were drawing it as if it were dead. When I read some poems, about life and living, they, for sure seem dead. But I have to write that like Van Gogh, Gerald Locklin has found the pulse of living and has transformed its vigor and joy into art. Locklin has written life into what was dead poetry. He has captured the life force of each instant and has produced a force of poetry like an aura, and dare I write a halo! His Catholicism would be amused by that, I think and about his likeness to Van Gogh. Still these things do work in describing this book, this bar, which for all of us, has been just cranked up a few more notches and on which also, the bar, sit fully filled drinks for all.

The Clevelanders. - Kirpan Press

48 pages. 8 ‘ x 11 inches. $20. Kirpan Press, PO Box 2943 Vancouver WA 98668-2943 Plus $2.00 postage etc. payable to A. Horvath.
A. Horvath, publisher for more than 35 years, has got it in his blood. It is his blood. He has hear here with heart pumping wildly assembled The Clevelanders being James R. Lowell, d.a. levy, rjs, Geoffrey Cook, Kent Taylor and Tom Kryss. Those who were there then, when it was born, a poetry that belonged to all people. They were there, like the Three Kings and the shepherds. Now when you think of the history, when you study the history that is of what is THE HOLD today, a first major manifestation of that power, that sociology off the island of Manhattan, below the towers of the academy, away from that peninsula called San F., first came bursting up in Cleveland like volcanoes of marching to sneakers on concrete and tuba notes of the French Revolution. I think Rimbaud was there. I think Bakunin was there. What a place of the Gods! What a time of endless spring! The 1960s and the burgeoning of the small press, the radical press, the revolutionary press, the press in opposition to the corporate and against the poetry of poodles and rich kids. I am with you in Cleveland. Holy, holy, holy, holy. It is so comfortable and proper and correct to have the senior members of this small press world of ours so cherished in this beautiful book by Alan Horvath, which features the not enough published words of James Lowell (Asphodel bookshop) and his work in this book called Letter to Margaret Randall frames the era when poetry was busted, not ignored and poets were in fact still dangerous (not to each other -as we slash and burn each other with tired gossip, but dangerous to government and police and the right-wing!). Bush you wouldn’t last a minute! And d. a. levy collages here and collages of Kent Taylor harvesting of popular culture and juxtapositioning with cartoon and those of rjs, which are then poems more mod contemporary for their proposal of multiple entry points and the reading of vis-pictures in the context of poem (word and visual are equal in them) and the poems of Cook, Taylor and Kryss breaking the sleeping stone with dinosaur poem fire power. Here the pure pleasure of the roots of the great tree. Here that rain beating in time on tin roofs and in gutters feeding those wells from which we still drink and gorge. Here we become intoxicated the sheer force of poetry and poems from the pure place of poetry and poems. Poems, yes poems, poems without the shit!

April 2003

Mineshaft

10th Anniversary Issue. P.O. Box 884, Lewisberg, WV 24901. Subscriptions: 3 issues $14.00.
Wow! This is the 56 page 10th anniversary issue! That means that this magazine is older than your cat! What the hell lasts ten years? This is amazing and Mineshaft is an amazing oasis for sure. This issue has lots of R. Crumb drawings and a section of letters from Crumb to Everett Rand - editor of this 10-year-old (if this magazine were a kid he would be in 5th grade! Probably expelled for creativity! And I say kid cause Billy the Kid is on the cover!). And inside, well inside are: Waffles the Clown, Alan Catlin, Darlene Fife - who is the one time grand editoress of NOLA Express - left, radical, antiwar (We need to do it again) magazine of New Orleans who published Bukowski with endless regularity and paid him too in the 1960s and in this issue of Mineshaft with Robert Head - who did the same with Fife - and whose work recently appeared in Lee Thorn’s FUCK. And there is an index. Now let’s say that you are afraid to send money in the mail because you are paranoid, alcoholic, bi-polar, too fat to walk, a lazy fuck and piece of shit, schizoid, a ghost or a giraffe. You can get Mineshaft at: City Lights, Cody’s, Harvard Book Store, Water Row Books, Powell’s, Left Bank Books, Beguiling, Quimby’s and the Bull’s Head Bookshop in Chapel Hill, N.C. (and a lot of other book stores also). So - take a hike - only 600 copies printed! Don’t wait till summer.

Derzology by The Derz

CD. 2002. All songs written by K. M. Dersley.
Ragtag Records - rtg 5593502. http://www.raggededge.btinternet.co.uk Check it out!
One knows what one likes even when one can’t talk much about it. I am this way with music. So - how can I write about this CD Derzology? So I gotta write that I like it - and talk about comparisons: it makes me think of John Cale and a bit of Lou Reed’s talking singing and a bit of The Rolling Stones, when they were still good. And this is blues like rock and roll! And vocals as well the writer of the songs is K. M. Dersley. Dersley runs Ragged Edge (see his web site clip into the URL thing above) I find the music helps me create (like listening to Classical music did for Bukowski). I found I listened closely and wanted to hear. I did, I think, hear one song in a topless bar. It made hippos in the Niger brew double bock beer. It made me wrap red roses in masking tape. The dictionary began to fly. The plumbing in the house worked and the gas bill read zero! And then the electric company called up and said they wanted to give me money! R. L. Stine wrote a Goosebumps about my next door neighbor. My other neighbor died and young beautiful nudists without curtains moved in and they gave me free weed! The price of gas went down and the snow storms that usually hit Buffalo? well they hit Philadelphia, Boston, New York, Baltimore and Washington D.C. Well - that is how good Derzology is and better, and butter also.

Sketches by Derz. by K .M. Dersley

2001 isbn: 0-9521947-4-0. Appliance books. British as in UK. And the best way to reach Derz is via The Ragged Edge. That is, do it this way if you want book or to speak or to check out the Derz world:http://www.raggededge.btinternet.co.uk Yeah, it is a long one - but worth the trip - see the butterflies flappin around. I can’t find a price on my copy but it must be $12.34 or so maybe about 15.67 in pounds. Contact him.
So, as I come upon this text - I see blurb by Gerry Locklin and I see blurb by Steven Berkoff. Well - if you don’t know Berkoff he had a one made Shakespeare Festival. I mean, who wouldn’t believe a guy who would do that. I am envious. These are good introductions and what blurbs are supposed to do. And then I flip the book to the table of contents and see that he writes on Bukowski - I need not much more, maybe a can of beer (not Bush Beer- no way - even the neighbor’s dog wont drink that camel piss). But oh - the BUK and the DERZ. Well, nice to have em together. This is a 200 book of Dersley’s articles and stories and if you like your bacon crisp and with eggs that you can dunk in your toast. Hot coffee, black after drinking or a large tomato juice as part of the cure. DERZ. And if you like your car to start DERZ. And if you like to open your car door and ah the sweet odor of woman. DERZ. And if you ever wonder, What the fuck? DERZ. If you wanna ride a panzer in Maine during a tidal wave?never mind? You get it right? Just leave the dishes in the sink? Clam up and get on with this book.

Sound Mess and Other Poems- CD. by The Be Blank Consort

Luna Bisonte Prods, 137 Leland Ave. Columbus, Ohio, 43214. A joint production with Press Me Close Eds and StampPad Press. ISBN 1-892280-20-5. Poetry CDs run about a $10.00 bill but maybe check with Luna Bisonte Prods before sending the buck$!
This is a CD of sound poetry. Well, yeah, it is sound poetry but it is sound poetry also and too to. Well unlike The Beatles first album where I think you got 11 hits here on this Sound Mess you get 42 hits! Yes, friends and neighbors?42 jumping swirling dadareams squirrels and voice melding up and in tune forty-two cuts! The Blanks are K. S. Ernst, Michael Peters, Scott Helms, Josh Carr, Carlos M. Luis and the one and only supreme John M. Bennett. The others in the ensemble are supremes also but that would make them The Supremes and not the Be Blank Consort, what is what they are as a real thing like quick drying water resistant Marks A Lot Permanent Markers! So, enough of this jibber gibber jabber. This is a CD of ensemble choral sound poetry and each selection is a weave of temperaments, pitch and tone. The voices are at one time solo within ensemble and with the other ear you might hear the mess. All voices then compliment and the balance of the mastering and making of this product is then a double wowo wowo because to get the effect of solos with the mesh or mess is mighty hard but here it is pulled off and pushed off and pulled together and gather and tied with a ribbon of sound. How to say about this product I think of braid, rope of distinct parts solo and yet one. Innovative for the egoless presentation and yet allowing enough space for the personality of each voice to exist. The ensemble performs works by its members and works by Al Ackerman, C. Mehrl Bennett, Ficus Strangulensis and Jim Leftwich.

Appalachian Mule Manifesto. by Marko X

The Insignificance of Being Marko by Mark Hartenbach. All by Mark Hartenbach, aka Marko X (marko x) Reach him at: 245 Thompson Avenue, East Liverpool, Ohio 43920. No price given on these publications but as group they came in envelope with about $1.00 postage and add another half for an envelope? go for it.
Let me begin my comments or my notions of these small publications by saying that Mark once wrote me that it was cheaper to make these things than to mail them. This is more the case than ever. Let us remember a little bit that the postal employees are union members and in this world of USA that makes them the akin to living and poisonous vomit. So - send Mark Hartenbach some dollars - do it out of the kindness of your poetry because you a leftist or a union member, or a democrat or care about parakeets, pencils whip cream or black-top. Mark will supply you with manifestos or manifestoes? Many toes like at the end of your feet if you have not cut them off to avoid the upcoming draft. And while you are at it send a few more dollars and get also his new: SERMONS, MEDITATIONS LAMENTATIONS & ECSTATCIIES OF SAINT ISHMAEL and THE ASCENSION OF SAINT ISHMAEL. So, now in hand five titles. In all of small press there is no more saintly roving spiritually searching mind artist as Mark Hartenbach, which he shows again like unwrapping a sandwich that casual in these huge sprawling prose poem works here spread out before me. Prayer books I think. - Don’t get me wrong - like of the people - not the church. There is a lot of notion of oh this writer and that writer is the heart of small press and the guts and the shoulder and dick and snatch and the asshole. It is all talk jabber gibber jacket and gagitt. There is only wailing soul in all this publishing and he is up and running hard with these new books. Hartenbach is living soul - shivering pondering and roaring. Damn and I came across the word Duende in one of the works! The great earth spirit that moved Fred Lorca! The savage Duende energy that surges into artist at peak creativity. Damn, Hartenbach must have a cord into that source and he is plugged in cracking eggs! By the dozen. By the truck load! Chicken beware. I am a chicken. Sermon on East Liverpool Mount. Hartenbach searches the soul like a brillo at work on some baked on zucchini! I stand in awe. And as he writes: “without insurrection, we have no resurrection.”

Duckwalking Thru the Apocalypse. by S. A. Griffin

$5.00. Bottle of Smoke Press, 503 Tuliptree Square, Leesburg, VA 20176. 703-779-2004 http://www.bospress.comI read a line in this little book: The apple of death enters. And the line would not leave. And at night as I looked into the darkness as I lay in my cold bed: The apple of death enters. The apple of death enters. The apple of death enters. The apple of death enters. So, this is what poetry is.More Talks on Bill Evans -by Gerald Locklin. $5.00. Bottle of Smoke Press, 503 Tuliptree Square, Leesburg, VA 20176. 703-779-2004 http://www.bospress.com $5.00. Bottle of Smoke Press, 503 Tuliptree Square, Leesburg, VA 20176. 703-779-2004 http://www.bospress.com
I read a line in this little book: The apple of death enters. And the line would not leave. And at night as I looked into the darkness as I lay in my cold bed: The apple of death enters. The apple of death enters. The apple of death enters. The apple of death enters. So, this is what poetry is.

More Talks on Bill Evans -by Gerald Locklin

$5.00. Bottle of Smoke Press, 503 Tuliptree Square, Leesburg, VA 20176. 703-779-2004 http://www.bospress.com
I read this as almost a thing of a statement of poetics with the twists and turns of poetry in prose and the secret rhythms that hide beneath the reading in all of Locklin’s works, and he here blends music with his intimate knowledge of lit. What you say, well yes, he is an English teacher and a Prof at that. Well, yes he is, but ask during your next encounter with a Prof(UNCLE)fester and even a Profestoring of poetry, say, “What do you think of: “To Juan at the Winter Solstice.” And at the end of this Locklin writes, “a life in music is a good life, and it never ends.” So now you know one of the secrets of G.L. And well, if these takes are foreshadowing of Locklin writing to come pouring forth, I say, let it ring, flow, harp and sing. A life in music never ends.

I Know What She Will Say by Henry Denander

with Foreword by Gerald Locklin $5.00 Bottle of Smoke Press, 503 Tuliptree Square, Leesburg, VA 20176. 703-779-2004 http://www.bospress.com
So, I came upon this thing of delight! DA LIGHT! And Locklin, Gerald’s, intro he says - “? contemporary poetry can be about anything and it can be any format and style (as long as it has the properties of music?” That is what one finds beneath and running pure and then bubbling up in this premier Henry Denadnder book. And I thinking Locklin is very correct, we are gunna read a good bit more of Denander before we are done. He has the humor. He understand the reidculousness and the ironic of each and every day. He likes to overeat. And his art is turly beautifully and yet as simple as rain is wonderful. He holds as master Bukowski and Gerald Locklin. And, it seems, that he has taken a good fist of both and tossed in his own monkey shine and some beer and well - we have a cake baked as fast you can but what such tender sand. Well, you don’t want it ever to end. Where is City Lights! Where is Black Sparrow! Where or where has my little press gone? Well, here a bit of it in Bottle of Smoke! And Henry is from Sweden, which makes him I think thank the gods much immune to lots of tainted American stuff so we have a poetry without all the deadly sadness that can be USA. And in Sweden, I hear hardly any one kills themselves and that must be because the women do not shave their legs. Henry, you are Hank The Second. Hail Hank II!

Hamburger - poems. By Steve Carll

Tinfish Press. 2002. Susan M. Shultz, Editor. 47-728 Hui Kelu Street No. 9, Kaneohe, HI 96744 WRITE or email [email protected] for more information on this and other books and Tinfish magazine and prices and all.
I couldn’t resist this book because it came in a foil fresh hamburger bag - yes - just like the one you might get in any fast burger place. And I have known Steve Carll’s name from here and there over the years. And I like books like this - that kind being - various poems playing with the same subject - this subject being hamburgers/hamburger. And what a meal of word plan and variation (again the theme like music/jazz) repeats with endless wonderful and pleasant variation. And here the various ketchup and pickles are the captured words from the mouths stuffed with burger and - wow - hamburgers and beer are really in the news. Let me just write some titles, cause that is better than my rambling: BAD HAMBORG, HA! MBURG! ER, HAM(MINGITUP)BURGER etc. And I think my favorite, a poem called FUN, FUN, FUN, which parodies the Beach Boy Song FUN, FUN, FUN: I’ve gotta give you a bit or bite:

obtain father's ford under pretext of
studying at library, now
true destination hamburger stand, now
increase volume and acceleration, now
extract maximum pleasure before losing auto
privileges

That is the type of play and joy that Steve Carll brings to Hamburgers. Never clobbers you with politics, never pounds you with art, never overcooks his poetry, never burns your intellect. I just like it that way. And the book itself, the way it is, the design and the graffics used (cows), charm. Well - read it and have fun, fun, fun.

Michael Basinski Book Review May 2003

Book of Haikus by Jack Kerouac

edited with an introduction by Regina Wienreich. 200 pages. Penguin Books. 2003. $13.00.
One wonders in this world of poems who will make it to 2050 (supposing society, culture, civilization still survives in some fragmented form - please let’s hear it for evolution!). I wonder who will be the definitive voices of the poetry of my time, our time on earth, and our era. It seems, more and more, as I approach my winter that Kerouac will be among that small number. His work as a body of imagination looms larger, larger than ever, more important now than ever, more innovative and vaster than previously considered. He: the word master, Zen master, philosophical master thinker, master action and one of the very, very few who can claim that too often tossed about title: poet. Kerouac’s still the best and the more unpublished works that come forward, reveal his literature to have profound depth and poignancy. Wow, I think - it took the world more than 30 years after his death to publish out of attics and archives and notebooks this collection of vital poems. Book of Haikus gives us again a real focus to see the splendid merger of poet, imagination, philosophy, life style and exploratory innovation that was/is Kerouac. What major writer can take this form, this form that is now the most populace of all poetic forms and make it unique, so unique that a real voice emerges from the 6 billion billion haiku everywhere. In these strange and troubled times, the notion of stepping back and listening becomes the only place to which the mind can retreat for sanity. In these poems, I hear cats and birds and I see again the simple places we might all have, in our tiny back yards, at the corner of the street, corner of the room, seeing an insect, being an insect? birds are poetry. You have to thank Regina Wienreich. Thank you. She makes this book have a context without imposing her own self upon Kerouac’s poems. Yet, she orders them, polishes the places for them, provides a haven. As one lives life, washes its dishes, has death steel all the garden hoses, it is important to have guides along the path. “Kerouac,” I think Willie Alexander and The Boom Boom Band once said and sang, “up on top of my shelf?” This is another book for that top

Pausal Sighs by Gregory Keith Cole

60 pages. Sterling House Publishers, Inc. 440 Friday Road, Pittsburgh PA 15209. $9.95. Hey, but maybe contact the poet:[email protected]. And fan mail: Gregory Cole, 1730 Dominick Avenue, Newberry, SC 29108.
In between the words are spaces - see them - they are silences and emptiness and they are part of the each and every self - you and me. They are stops and halts and in thinking there are also these spaces. Spaces between the spaces. Here in this moment, this moment between the moments is where Cole’s poems genesis and his poetry brings some words together to give shape, grant shape, be shape to this emptiness that is substance that magic that surrounds us. I think like powdered sugar draping a bit of energy - that line around/between love, death, hate, affection, infection, dreams, wishes? here is, here in, is where this poet makes his magic. Bridging the chasms of consciousness with poetry.

Road Kill by RD Armstrong

64pages. 12 Gauge Press. PO Box 6011, San Clemente, CA. 92674. $9.99.
Road Kill presents the shape of mind and it is only a mature poet comfortable enough in world and imagination that has confidence in his bridge, road, to poetry, who can capture sculpt such curves of the mind art into words poem on the page. He do this here and it are magnificent. The form this poetry engages is a road trip - 3247 miles in 16 days - Long Beach California up the cost to Seattle and back. The obvious, yes, Kerouac, Ginsberg - but all of that is just a point of origin. Not derivative. I write, not derivative but vibrant, original, new poetry is this poem. Its place in time the days prior and after 9/11. And more than those many, many, now too many poems that made some form of comment upon that sad day, this work captures the actual working of the mind as an American during those strange days. As document then it, I think, the most important of works of art that postulate about that instant. That instant seems now far gone in the midst of Caesar Bush’s rich kid oil war against the mineral rich middle. A reaction, reflection. But I must return to: the shape of thinking of mind and gentle and sometimes jutting shift of thinking and thought and reflective and reality, realities pushin in always. RD Armstrong has made a form here. Seek here and find this word: original.

Office Coffee by Alan Horvath

Kirpan Press, P.O. Box 2943, Vancouver, WA. 98688-2943. $5.00 + $1.00 for postage. Check to Alan Horvath.
You seen a bunch of these poems in this here: The-hold.com. Now you have a chance to buy the book with lots of extra poems. I say: do it. It is a book of poems about work. Not romantic like the old school working in an auto factory, or on the line in industry to save America from Nazi violence. No, no, no. This is a book about good old meaningless American office work. The work I do. The work you do. And it is ironic and cynical and perhaps the best book of poems I read about work in a good, good long time. At lease since Bukowski’s Post Office. I wish I could give Horvath a prize but all I can do is write about this book of poetry, his book; this book is a welcome ray of light in the blankness expression of now work. The work you were at (are you at work reading this?) today. Let’s see? Ok it has been 35 years, yes 35 years ago I started work? and miles to go before I sleep. I needed this book. You need it. As I began to read Alan Horvath’s book, I kept wanting to get up and run to the phone, or hop on the email, or rush to my office or summon my fellow workers of the world and tell them about this fine book poems about working in a huge machine of office bureaucracy, how Horvath has captured all the daily shit of business and office life and how somebody from way across the county, somehow knows about the shit we eat, is eating the same office bullshit we were/are eating and how that the experience of the poet in some office was/is our experience, and how everything that appeared stupid and nasty and ugly and meaningless was ? our universal business office, American, day to day, work experience, or united work life bull shit fucked up crap job. I wanted to be on a chair in the parking lot reading this book of poems to them in the AM. I might do this! Look for my name in the paper. I am sure I will be arrested. But arrested for this book, I can not imagine a better thing. And I just could not put this book of poems down. It is a long way away from the place where any of us had a really meaningful job - even those jobs with meaning suffer the indignation of a bureaucratic machine full of its grossness and insincerity. Go get Horvath’s book - it is only fin. You should have it in your desk at work and you must know that even your tired, piece of shit job, is poetry. Horvath makes all our stupid like piss ant lives the poem. Don’t show your boss and if you do or are the boss, then? there is of course, an endless line of bosses. If you work in today’s America, read this book, read this book again and again. If you are thinking about your career in some wonderful business office, read this book. If you like your poems full of irony, read this book. Damn, if you are an office worker, read this book, read this book, please, read it.

June 2003

Parandularios by Carlos M. Luis

Probably about $15.00 includes postage.
Contact: Carlos M, Luis 10099 N.W. 4 Lane, Miami, Florida 33172. [email protected]
Part of the new contingent of visual poets making the point these last few years, Jim Leftwich, Michael Peters, among them, is Carlos Luis and this is Carlos Luis’s latest contribution (write him for his other and earlier contributions ‘ worth a verbo/visual time). This poem work is a most delightful combination, combine and constellation of work/text… POEM! Poem! of many languages, and various linguistics summer-salting and hand standing, springing and generous language acrobatics, with strains and streams of visual imagery and neologism, again in various tongues, recognizable, speaking-able and not. Carlos Luis is the great gesture writer of visual poetry. All, all aspects of language come into his field of activities. On his pallet are so many tools … … his explore-presstionistic poetry is a smorgasbord of variation and innovation.

The Post-Contemporary Concerto by Andrew Topel

36 pages. $6.00. Avantacular Press, RR 3 Box 16A, Rushville, IL 62681 or [email protected]
A tradition of typographic/typewriters art (now computer typing/typographic word processing, of course) what begins with Guillaume Apollinaire is here carried on by this century’s Apollinaire: Andrew Topel. Yeah, more I think about it ‘ his play with the letters carries on and pushes us into remembering that the alphabetic manipulation is the origins and base form which all visual poetry srings/srrpungs/springs. And he has meshed it with other deformations of words but has not neglected the sonics involved. So we have some very pleasant noisy Apollinarian poetry visualities in this book of visual music. Again, from G. Apollinaire to A. Topel Apollinaire. It works with letters and sound and eye. Damned, seems like he have hear defined a poetry!

Bottle No. 1. Bottle of Smoke Press - Edited by Bill Roberts

Bottle of Smoke Press 503 Tuliptree Square, Leesburg, VA. 20176. Limited to 126 copies. $25.00 plus $1.00 postage. (They are hot and will be gone soon…do it now!). [email protected] or visit:www.bospress.net.
Bottle No. 1 is a collection of 12 broadsides in portfolio, with color Bukowski picture on cover by Michael Monfort, and linocut by Marc Snyder of FIMP Press (www.fimp.net). And them what aret among poets is: Gary Aposhian, David Barker, Neeli Cherkovski,Henry Denander, Dan Fante. And then, what the hell, the rest of the poets are:S.A. Griffin, Bradley Mason Hamlin, Gerald Locklin, Michael Madsen, Ann Menebroker Charles Plymell and A. D. Winans. So, you see that this is the club of new and old small press poets, poets who choose as a form of poetic to be sharply personally expressionistic, funny, open also utilizing all sorts of people daily language and the cadences of real speech ‘ finding here IT the populace talking - meaning the true fruit of William Carlos Williams, Bukowski and Whitman all in one pack. Each item most really beautiful (and many in color) and each a delight and different, unique ‘ poem and presentation. Bottle No. 1 ‘ a labor of passion and dedication. A bell ringer. A load loaf of octopus bread with Genoa Salami and fresh butterfly butter, mixed with banana genitalia.

xPressed - edited by Jukka-Pekka Kervinen

xpressed.org - Contact and manuscript inquiries to [email protected]
Xpress(ed) is an e-chapbook publisher devoted to experimental poetry. All items are in electronic format (Acrobat PDF or PalmPilot DOC). Downloads and free. Jukka-Pekka Kervinen is this master publisher. He is committed to twisting the hell out of words and, therefore, making the new meaning so desperately needed in these very strange times of word untruths by governments (ours and them) and master(bators ‘ alligators!) of industry. Damn if we don’t need new eyes and ears and definitions of everything now. When is now and Kervinen has stepped forward with his ocean of lightning. He has just published ten new eChaps in xpressed.org The new books are by this cast of poets: Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino, Jesse Glass, Catherine Daly, Nick Carbo, Nico Vassilakis, Andrew Lundwall, Chris Sawyer, David Dowker, Halvard Johnson and Hugh Tribbey. Going in there and reading around you see this wave of works has an edge that explores spaces and holes in contemporary world poetry. It is an intoxicating night long party! I like the way Kervinen organizes the site and provides a biography of each writer represented. Always sensitive to the work, it is a friendly site also. Ifin you wish to learn how to really publish useful echaps, here is the place to go. If you wish to discover some cutting edge poetry, do it here. If you wanna figure out where IT (the poem) at least one part of it is, here is a depot. And Jukka-Pekka does this form Finland. We are a small world of poets, are we not.

Out of the Blue, Into the Black by Dave Pishnery

  1. Stegosaurus Press. $10.00 (or so) Contact: Dave Pishnery, 35124 Euclid Ave. Apt G-201, Willoughby, Ohio 44094. or [email protected]
    The poems are made from short, cadence rich, lines that propel you along, pull you along into the rhythm of Pishnery’s poetry. And pretty soon you are rattling around on the Pishnery poetry express. Comfortable, insightful, relaxed without straining, without restraining oneself from their intoxication. Trusting his insights, which are all real, one gets relaxed and you trust in his real. This is not a thing that occurs often in the land of the poem. But IT is here. And as I close this book and look at the cover I think of the image of a heart drowning in a river of beer ‘ that’s enough to bring me back around for a full second read. And then after you get done with Out of the Blue, Into the Black, check into his 12X120, which is 60, 12 lined poems form 200l and 60 more from 2001-2002. 2001/02 were good years, productive years and he, Pishnery, in his form travels along with insight and outsight. Contact Dave P. Stegosaurus P. for this item then also ‘ probably around the same price as the other above mentioned book. Write him. A ripe banana on the side. This is eating!

Big Hammer. issue 6 - 2003. - Edited by Dave Roskos

$6.00. Iniquity Press/Vendeta Books. PO Box 54 Manasquan, NJ 08736. www.iniquitypress.com -[email protected]
Always a shot of good bourbon, Big Hammer this issue is its usual delight and it begins by CHRIST! I pulled the issue out of the envelope and there is this five piece rock-and-roll band: all women and all topless! Took me awhile to get into it ‘ that is open the pages and read the poems, which are all about life in New Jersey and your neighborhood and mine, what is to say: about aging, alcoholism, domestic violence, drugs, getting laid off, police brutality and working nights. It is the poetry of the usual batch of insanity that holds American to together. I guess we are all nuts. The other day my wife asked me what are most people like? I said all you gotta do is look at your spam email - this spam appeals to the exact needs of Americans. Americans are broke, perverts, lonely (alone) and degenerate. To feed us there are 100 pages of works in here. Edited to a fine sharp point by Dave Roskos, who cuts a good slice of lime and lizard pie and serves it up, baked with the inside cold and raw, with big mounds of moth icecream and fish fingers. Yelp this hear is on a Big Hammer diner plate, and the poems are slivers in your tongue after reading this and the death of Christ isn’t quite as real as living on the streets of New Jersey from which this issue is from and foaming at the smiling poetic mouth (even with poets are from everywhere). Ands the picture of this wonderful guts spilled and bleeding poetry is thus then and are defined by eyes held open by used and dull toothpicks, with little bits of chicken meat, life like torches of q-tips. You get the picture? Johnny, you get it?

On Either Side of the Charles by Doug Holder

Ibbetson Street Press, 25 School Street Somerville, MA. 02143. Write him for price but about $7.65
Doug Holder’s the circus-master of a whole slice of Boston banana pie poetry world. Great to greet him here on these pages with his poems. This I write because mostly he is busy introducing this poet to that poet and promoting, promoting promoting the poem and poets. He is a person that makes a community of writers, which no one may and or can deny, and he should be made a Knight of the Round Word by the great Popes of the Poem and Popeye! He is already that in my eyes. So when I read his works, it was with great gobs of joy that I felt such bubbling joy at his very easy way of capturing instances of the common and making them high holy. Ginsberg asks at the end of Howl, ‘Is baseball holy?’ Or was it Kerouac in Pull My Daisy ‘ doesn’t matter. Holder does make it all holy… his poetic sitting and pondering by the Charles River, like young Whitman penning the happening which he and Walt Whitman, and Ginsberg and Kerouac all know is the happening, ever rolling, running river of poetry.

Rob Mclennan

  • Voice’Over 1.0 & 1.5 by Rob Mclennan. 2002. Camenae Press at rackO.com/camenae
  • Occupant #8 by Rob Mclennan. 2001. Apostrophe Press, Ottawa.

The bestest way of checking into the Mclennan world is to contact him at: 858 Somerset St. W., Main Floor, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada KLR 6R7. or [email protected] or www.trackO.com/rob_mclennan
When first eyeing Rob Mclennan, there he is, oh regal and poet of mustache and long coat with peering eyes into the soul, ouch ‘ the point sword of word of it pulling and slicing deep into IT! the poetry of the universe and clawing it out in handfuls throbbing. And if you wish your poet smart and deeply read in post WWII realm of the poem, find it in Mclennan. His tight lines, strong with word steel, pry and bold hold poem beating live those poem places where in words define the soul and he wraps them, his words about, tender about all that is human experience and with the bow of poetry is a present and presence that one often only hopes to behold. You, in these two books, will find introductions to the magic of self via Mclennan and what else is poetry for but the locating.

July 2003

A Gin-Pissing-Raw-Meat-Dual-Caburetor-V8-Son-Of-A-Bitch From Los Angeles

by Dan Fante collected poems 1983-2002 - (with original ((and excellent)) art by Michael Napper. 2002. $15.95 (cloth over boards - like hard bound!) 127 pages. Sun Dog (who are: Al Berlinski) Press, 22058 Cumberland Dr., Northville, MI 48167.
Well, this was an introduction to a poet I have heard howling over in the thick woods by them unexplored and uninhabited (by the sane) universe. Perhaps the title says it all and it goes a way as the only definition and blurb needed. But I must be humble on the sidewalk and mumble some verbiage: “real heroes/ sleep alone listening only to the beat of their own wild heart” two lines by Dan Fante stuck in my ear the day long like a wasp sting singing. The poet handles a metaphor like a Musketeer with blade. Not Muscatel! But he has handled a good deal of that with metaphors and without. And yet, around the night light of this poetry are the moths of innocence and some of them always escape the burning volt jolt and heat of a life, his, yours, mine, all of us who have to walk close enough to the sewer to look into it and to catch, to often, a strong whiff of puke and pain and shit. And while love leaves and is leaving. Love is also arriving, as do these poems from Fante. Well, I see from the many blurbs on this book’s dust jacket that he, Dan Fante, is compared to this writer and to that writer (He likes, by the way, Raymond Carver) and to that poet and to this writer from here and there and that writer and this and that, that and this. enough. Nice for the novice reader shopping in a literary supermarket, a reader without tainted heart and eye pallet. Fante stands above the smorgasbord of over cooked, too often reheated, dry, tasteless, pathetic works and words of other poets. And look! What’s he doing?! Dan Fante! Look! Dan Fante has his dick out! He is? look at him up there on the table! ? the poet is peeing in the salad!

The Leper’s Kiss by Alan Catlin

(book Four in Alan Catlin’s Killer Cocktails series) 2002. 32 pages. Four-sep Publications, PO Box 12434, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53212 www.four.sep.com. check it or write for price (Hair of the Dog that Bit Me by Catlin also available from Four-sep Press.) Or write Catlin at Alan Catlin, 143 Furman Street, Schenectady, NY. 12304. When you write him ask for poems for your wonderful publication and send him some money for some of his many, many readable, insightful books.

At various points that make up the long line of living, it is bartenders that help us, in silence and with their bar skills most often, thanks, or simply as all ears. Yep, they help us just be for a spell so we can again get a moving along the many dots and periods that make up the thread of existence. Now when a barmaster (a super bartender) is a poet you pitiful slob asking for a drink becomes the clay of the poem. Alan Catlin is a barmaster and Alan Catlin is a poet. Each poem in this Catlin book is titled with the name of some wild and out-there super drink - or cocktail name like: Wet Spot, Zipperhead, Corpse River etc. and the recipe of the drink is just beneath the title and beneath that in the poem. Each poem is a form of portrait of the drinker. I am sure that Catlin has served them all and more than once. The poems ring and smell and taste of all the bars I have been in and the one you are in at this time - look around - there are poems and you a poem also! A delightful collection here. You can find the person next to you in here and down the bar and I got to thinking of al the poems I meet over the decades. Catlin’s poems paint accurate psychic portraits of a diverse and strange oddly common set of personality types that make up us as humanity in this bar of America. Barmasters are therapists for sure and priests. Catlin, with the skill of a bat flying the dusk sky after a fat flying insect, can whip a drink with no doubt two fingers while watching TV and capture in a blink or a flick of a match, with poet pen the constellation of pathologies that make up any one individual. I like that. I like that but I am afraid to drink at Catlin’s bar (Jesus - what am I?).

Whitewall of Sound. No. 32

$10.00 (price includes postage) checks or money orders made payable to Jim Clinefelter. Jim Clinefelter, 411 NE 22nd No. 21, Portland, OR. 97232. Email:[email protected]
Bottle No. 1 is a collection of 12 broadsides in portfolio, with color Bukowski picture on cover by Michael Monfort, and linocut by Marc Snyder of FIMP Press (www.fimp.net). And them what aret among poets is: Gary Aposhian, David Barker, Neeli Cherkovski,Henry Denander, Dan Fante. And then, what the hell, the rest of the poets are:S.A. Griffin, Bradley Mason Hamlin, Gerald Locklin, Michael Madsen, Ann Menebroker Charles Plymell and A. D. Winans. So, you see that this is the club of new and old small press poets, poets who choose as a form of poetic to be sharply personally expressionistic, funny, open also utilizing all sorts of people daily language and the cadences of real speech ‘ finding here IT the populace talking - meaning the true fruit of William Carlos Williams, Bukowski and Whitman all in one pack. Each item most really beautiful (and many in color) and each a delight and different, unique ‘ poem and presentation. Bottle No. 1 ‘ a labor of passion and dedication. A bell ringer. A load loaf of octopus bread with Genoa Salami and fresh butterfly butter, mixed with banana genitalia.

POSEY - Posey

A Publication for Poetry and the Arts. $12.00 a year. C/o Brian Morrisey, PO Box 7823, Santa Cruz, CA. 95061.
I sit here with this 20th issue Anniversary issue and Jack Hirschman is on the cover. And I open the magazine and it is dedicated to the memory of Wendell Metzgar and on the next page reading to see who is involved I see Doug Holder of Boston. And I flip the pages and read poems by Susan Landon and Mark Wisniewski and ed galing and Joan Jobe Smith. Well, this is quite the gangs all here I think. This is a thing of love to ponder this picnic, this dance at the gym - 20 damned times! 20 printing bills to pay, 20 postage bills, a billion letters and emails and ten billion poems. Well, I wanna shake hands with these words here and say, Hell, Damn, Holy Crap! Brian! 20. 20! 20 cigarettes in a pack! What else has 20 in it? Eggs, rolls of film? 20 to One is a long shot but I would back Poesy anytime. Here is the back bone, here are the legs, here are the lonely men and women fixing the streets and picking up the garbage. They are the blood of Lorca. And that poetic blood prints this magazine. Here is the real revolution and the other people making the poem in the face our imperial government that slices the ass off education and libraries and arts and boot-kicks the poor like dogs. Here is Posey. But dogs have the pen! Oh Posey! Oh Posey! A pocket full of and ashes of Rimbaud burning. Oh Posey. Be 40 and 50! And damn us all asshole poets of the planet! Why not send the guy some few stinking worn out and worm out and nose snot, tear stained paper money. Do you really think that the government should do it! Look at the government, your city, county, state and … in Wash D.C. Do you really want a government, or a church to run your poetry magazine? Not me. Oh Posey! Be 40 Be 50 Be 60 and more. I thank you.

CorrespnDances No. 2. - Editor: Tartarugo

Apartado 822, 36280 Vigo Spain. http://www.geocities.com/tartarugo
Ah, a great magazine for those interested in pushing the visual poetry/mail art Flux-work wing of this small press of ours. Nothing of the ordinary ‘ therefore packed full or the extraordinary! And smart too. John Held Jr. essay and essay by Anna Banana in here and also Tom Hibbard writing on Luc Fierens. Get in the mail art vein with this magazine and go for it. To write, write that is with pen and ink and glue and walk to the real post office is a political act in this very repressive time in which we exist. Get off the internet. I agree with that song by Le Tigre! And a way to get back into the political and to be in art is simply engage primary creativity. Do it here. Here is a portal to a network. There are ample pages of reviews and addresses of a heap of other mail art/visual poetry/flux stuff. Here is a great fate of experimentalism in one united joy out there in mail land. Again Lots of engaging Vis poem here also draped on the pages. No fraud poisonous insect poets passing around their egos! Stop hiding your visual poetry in your socks! Stop sending your mail art only to your grandmother. Get ye to CorrdenaDance and do dance ‘ polka, twist, bend Limbo locomotion of worts into wroms and waort and wAAAArt!

The Moon Makes No difference to Me by Frances LeMoine

  1. 85 pages. $12.95. Asterius Press ‘ Editor John C. Erianne, Publisher. [email protected].
    Objects, a sneaker for example, so named, make these poems particular to their moment, moments often between men and women, women and solitude, between alone and the act of poetry, the poet engages in her otherness, some broken glass, Richard Brautigan’s body, the moon, plums, cookies, covers, an empty lot. LeMoine empties herself and mingles with the space and so makes her poems, clocks, pillows, pink, Mass, the smell of coffee, just a kiss.

August 2003

Henry’s Gift and Other Poems by Gerald Locklin

$5.00. Pariah Press, Richard D. Houff - editor. 604 Hawthorne Avenue East, St. Paul, Minnesota, 55101.
Gerald Locklin at his best spinning poems after viewing paintings and pondering seriously, ruefully the comings and goings in and of real life. Easy flowing, cadence rich beneath the surface of the lines. Rye. Pondering. A poet who trusts in the poem and a poet who trusts his vision. Now, think, instead of Sister Wendy walking around an art gallery interpreting paintings, what if Gerald Locklin could do the show! Heck, I am writing to PBS today! Locklin on PBS would solve that network’s economic problems! If you don’t know what I mean - buy this book! It will fit in your back pant’s pocket.

Lonely Night by Pierre Reverdy

Translated by t. hibbard. Structum Press, 31390 Hill Road, Hartland, WI. 53029. $5.00
The heart here is sad and the poems slight lines focused. Image follows image. The birds do not chirp. And the shadow people are real shadows. The houses are all empty. The widows broke. Such is the mood caste by Reverdy. His soul has no shield. Reverdy’s poetry as translated by master poet t. hibbard exists in the book’s title: lonely night. No better title than lonely night. No other definition other than lonely night. Taste the empty.

Outlaw Magazine. No. 1, 2002 and No. 2, 2003

Edited and published by Bryn Fortey, 212 Caerleon Road, Newport, South Wales NP19 7GQ UK. Issues are about $3.00 US. Checks are really hard to cash from USA in Eng. cause of charges etc. so write to Bryn with poems and cash and ask about such things before writing a check that he can’t cash!
Here one has got in one shopping cart: beer, wine, pantyhose, carrots (carrots are guns and bullets), a head of lettuce, Dave Church reaching for a Pall Mall, Bryn Fortey screaming at a warthog woman (Watchout Bryn!) and you have the most New Jersey moving beat tempo of poet music in the Changes by Herschel Silverman and in the poem On Nite Train by Herschel Silverman, jazz jazz poet rhythm, um, um, “melting the marrow.” And what’s a mag without Lady Lyn, and what’s a mag with without Steve Sneyd and Sneyd’s, “? of knives dance slice?” And: Tough Shit by Mike Hoy and of course can’t list them all or that would be a shopping list and this is a banquet that you must get home and on the couch with pretzels and curtains closed oh poetry of the broken and spider web soul and spider eggs laid in the corner of your mouth and ants in the eyes and ants in the pants soul ole!

Scribbles & Squibs by K. M. Dersley

Appliance Books, 43 Tranmere Grove, Ipswich, IP1 6DU UK. 48 pages of poems. Cost in America $7 clams (means 7 frog skins) and in Brit: 4.95 pounds (means 4.95 in Brit. geetoe). Email [email protected] And you can write the Derz and request of him poems at the above Ipswich also (or articles or music too).
A lot of Brit poetry for me and a lot of American poetry for that matter is written with pencils sharpened in the anus of poet, or the poet’s teacher, or with a pen pulled out of the rectum of the dead, words and otherwise. But here comes K. M. Dersley with a slice of hot pie that leaps from the page like Thor with his hammer, hammering the nuts of an African elephant. Didn’t know English poetry could be that good. The sounds he manifests in poems map the lingo of the people that have to put-up with Tony Blair’s stupidity like da Americanos gotta eat Bush’s crap. But this sound, Dersley’s is so crisp in his poems, so fresh, unique and wonderful, so full of the real of a lettuce that all the salad dressing clings to the leaves! So yeah! I say do it and when you stick your fork into this poetry bone word soup you come up with a dozen impaled pollywogs!

Bogg. No. 72. 2003. Edited by John Elsberg

Bogg Press. 422 N. Cleveland St., Arlington, VA 22201. $5.00 a copy.
Hey stupid! You! Numb nuts! 25 five years of honoring the poem and poetry and poets! Well, if you haven’t been there meaning here meaning ever readed this poetry magazine than you are a loser or the rock you live under is sat upon by very large elephant and you more mystified by that elephant’s anus than poetry. To each her or his own, but I rather have poetry and a taco myself. So here we have the most recent deck of cards from Elsberg’s Bogg and the kings and jacks, queens and diamonds and hearts and etc are by the rain dog! R. D. Armstrong, Ann Menebroker, Dave Moore, Michael Kriesel and the gang is large and vocal, 56 pages, many of them are drunk, some are horny, a few have twenty dollars bills hidden in their socks. Not many can dance but almost everyone will buy you a cup of coffee in the early morning hours, count owls, and talk and talk and talk the most wonderful poetry while you eat your steak and eggs (over easy), hash browns with lots of ketchup, rye toast with butter mountains and great balls of grape jelly.

Years by David Daniels

David Daniels, 1305 Cornell Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94702. [email protected] - The book is printed in color: 8 1/2 by 11. Like 300 unnumbered pages. Write him if interested. First edition only 64 copies!
I bet many of you don’t know the poetry of David Daniels. But maybe I’m nuts and you all do. Well, that’s good. But for you who are one out of a million out there let me inform: He does a form of a visual narrative poetry. His latest book is called Years, which documents the years of his life in picto-poetry, which is not only tremendously unique but absolutely engrossing and WATCH OUT! It is fun to read! Can you image poetry that is fun to read and a book of poetry that is a blast to hang around in! That’s what you get when you impact with David Daniels. Look, I can write on and on about this satisfying experience with poetry but my words can’t match his words in the context of their visuality so, check his stuff out at:http://www.thegatesofparadise.com/ And then after you do that - you should write him and buy his book

Bebop-Rebop by Dave Church. CD

No price. But what do CD’s cost? Send a ten. Send to Dave Church, 30 Forest, Providence, RI.
As definition of what jazz poetry is and the reading of jazz poetry and figuring it out and fingering it. Give this a listen to two too two. I’m in. Me too. Me three. And of course jazz jazz jazz is not far form Kerouac’s work. Then if you wish it! Here a highly listenable, greatly listenable, manifestation of the best of what jazz reading can be. Here I offer you a small table of Dave Church reading, in a smoke filled room in the mind and the heart with a hole in it out of which comes this delightful, sweet strange sound of Dave Church reading jazz poetry. He reads the works of Jack Micheline, A. D. Winans, Kent Taylor, Ann Menebroker, Bob Kaufman, Kaye McDonough, George Tsongas, Charles Plymell, Dave Church, Art Beck, Linda Lerner, Brenda Frazer, Tony Moffeit and etc. etc. there are more and there are multiple works by many of those listed above poets. So here you have poets going into your ear. Church’s voice fits this style and he has the tone to pull his voice out and play deep into the night. Obviously, also, this an anthology and a focused one, one with a program also and as far as jazz, take this CD before picking up any book or poems what claim they are the jazz representative poems of. NO. The jazz poem is to be heard not read at all. And here hear Church dong it all with justice.

I Was a Third Grade Genius by Justin Barrett

$5.00. Bottle of Smoke Press. 2003. Bottle of Smoke Press, 503 Tuliptree Square, Leesburg, VA 20176 [email protected] and then:http://www.bospress.net/
Justin Barrett has a way with the poem, like mayonnaise spread on toast waiting for the bacon of the mind, tomato of the intellect, the lettuce of love, and sliced perfect, each line like a section of sandwich tooth-picked together so the poem is a mounted insect on the page. Small press clean, non frills ironic, straight from the wallet each poem a twenty dollar bill you find at the bus stop on the way to work each and every Monday like some good angel of poetry has put it there.

September 2003

Poems for Peace - Compiled by Tom Hibbard

Structum Press, 31390 Hill Road, Hartland, WI. 53029. $7.00. contact Tom Hibbard [email protected]
Peace, certainly. Yes. Even in these very strange times. Peace is a non-support for this non-leader. I have been around long enough to know that war is the enemy of poetry and that poetry must, it must even for the sake of the poem, stand against war. Bush=War. So that other poems and poets can get on with the poetry, so be it some must write against it. It (here)=Bush’s War. So be it ‘ I have resolved that the anti-war is the realm of the poem and the poem must walk the talk. 5 young people who could be poets died here in Western New York ‘ one with an obviously Polish name; two Blacks; a kid with an Irish last name; and kid from Lackawanna (rust belt once steel town). Others to come - probably. It is a poor area. We export poor kids. Some of them lived on streets that I hung around on as a young working-class pig. These poor poet people, the working class giving their flesh to Bush’s Kenny Bunk Port jack-off fantasy of grandeur and frat masculinity. This pisses me off. The poor dying for Bush’s cowboy fantasy. How many from his street dead? Can you guess? I am honored to be in Hibbard’s collection and honored to be among others who hold the stick of writing and draw it in the sand. To stand if only by dumb word to say no. I want to say thanks to those who have courage. True loyalists to the poem in capital letters: LARRY SAWYER, BRETT EVANS, BUCK DOWNS, LUC FIERENS, MARK DUCHARME, DEL RAY CROSS, AUGIE HIGHLANDS, HEATHER FULLER, LANNY QUARLES, WILLIAM ALLEGREZZA, JOHNATHAN MINTON, LARRY BLAZEK, MICHAEL ROTHENBERG, MARK WALLACE MIEKAL AND and TOM HIBBARD.

Liquid Jesuit by Andrew Gettler

Iniquity Press/Vendetta Books. Compiled and built by Dave Roskos. At: P.O. Box 54, Manasquan, NJ. 08736. www.iniquitypress.com Check it out and write Roskos for price about $10.00 or $7.00. 48 pages with illustrations by Angela Mark and Michael Shores.
Andrew Gettler has died. Raise the glass. Celebrate because he no longer suffers each day on earth as I, and you. And this is a fine celebration of his energy line of poetry in the tradition of Bukowski, Kerouac, and urban throbbing jazz. There are works dedicated to Buk and Kerouac. Linda Lerner who loves the poem and loved and still loves the spirit of Andrew G. writes a more than splendeid introductin to the poet who left his flesh for the real realm of the poem. It speaks it all and sets the stage most nice! Gettler leaves the poet cadence of his life cascading over the page, pig iron and sparrow feathers in some magical brew of his poetry here to gulp. He left but he leaves knowing that his poetry and poetry will not surrender.

Typee by Robert Head

Bookstore, 104 S. Jefferson Street, Lewisburg, WV. 24901 www.abebooks.com/docs/Bookstores/ Write him for a dozen other or so of his books and prices.
A short series of poems revolving thematically around Melville’ novel Typee, which you need not reread to join the wonderful sarcasm and clear logic of Head’s poetry. In this work, Head re-imagines various words, (hwy for WHY and valuabl for VALUABLE), in his short and pointed poem works which keeps the reader reading closes and slows the space of the reading of the work so that his poetic twists bury in one’s chest like a barbed Polynesian arrow. The relentlessness and insensitivity of invading super-culture on indigenous people or people like you and me is a facet of the poetry. Obviously, power is the tool used to bludgeon the confused natives. I feel like I was hit by a savage WALMART as I contemplated this work. Let me quote a short title-less poem, which I believe sums well the poetry’s perspective:

The English must hav eaten
Joan of Arc
Because hwy else
wd they cook her?

The Same Corner of the Bar - Poems by Timothy Gager

Ibbetson Street Press, Diane & Doug Holder, 25 School Street Somerville, MA. 02143. [email protected] Write for prices and endless other worthwhile publications.
This collection begins with a poem called: Bukowski’s Tavern after the Boston Marathon. It is a poetry of desire that floats above this poem like the exhaled smoke of the HER that is the poem’s goddess. This then is a theme in this collection. Seeking love in taverns, bar is the better word, is half the pastime maybe all the pastime of people in bars. The smoking and drinking and feeding of these various addictions are afflictions of the heart in need. Working class in perspective, the poet Timothy Gager does not linger endless in bars because there are other events of import, like a child’s birthday, divorce, and the contemplation of life. Sensitive and pondering the poet deals with these instances. And they are poems. Still, it is the grail of love that this poet wants. And his seeking touches our endless thirsting hunt.

Trading Futures. by Nikki Rosko

39 pages. 2003. Slipstream, P.O. Box 2071, Niagara Falls, NY 14301. $7.00
From Slipstream, one expects a poetry of what we understand to be urban, and we are here justly rewarded with a fine first time book offering to the god Steel Eros or goddess Concrete Venus. I am thinking the poetry tragically hot. There is a form of veiled copulation (and not so concealed) going on everywhere throughout this poetry. As in living in a city, when you walk by a building, a multi-dwelling, who in there is in the grasp of sex? Here is a pulling back of the wall and inside, it is humid and dank, gray and sensual, not harsh but motel, not romantic, but not without allure. Tart yet so teasing.

The Cause of Daylight by Sheila Murphy

Published by J. Lehmus/EXP Office 2003: J. Lehmus, Kauristie 24, 02860 Esporo, Finland. Better write and check cause Finland is far away and who knows about price: but ask to check out all of the Linguablanca Chapbooks ‘ they all way coooool.

One sometimes needs a taste: Section 17 of Shelia E. Murphy’s The Cause of Daylight:

bongoes
from afar
become
the scoop
neck of
percussion

Isn’t it like Cage, in the sense that there is this silence that surrounds these words, which is not at all part of these words at all but must be part of them to be ‘ so there is this balance which is then music. This is Murphy at her best. While these are short lines I love reading all of S.E.M.’s lines. You will too. They are real lines of poetry. She has a sense of the line as a unit of measure in the poetry. The sections, there are 30 of them, clash with the reading mind, like constellations of sound. Once you get to the end of the note, there is no beginning of the next note, only the note’s next beginning. The work is always pulling at you. Back. Forth. This is a tension one enjoys. A startle in the silence of all of the endless sheep jumping sleepy poetry. And while I like the wonderment and the play of sound upon sound, clashing and measured breath and breathing, beneath all of these words is a life and this proves that a new poetry can have genuine heart as well as lung.

Death Text Book 5 by Jim Leftwich

2003 Xtant books. 50 or more unnumbered pages. Jim Leftwich, 1512 Mountainside Ct., Charlottesville, VA, 22903-9707. Write for price.
Someone enters who might be a reader. There are these pages of color images of women in bikinis, provocative, erotic. And they are wearing and merging, emerging from the letters. So it is Eros that pulls me to the page and I read with that arrow in my heart and Leftwich creates a communion of language and image, with metaphors of hieroglyphs and petroglyphs and texts layered upon created and found text, juxtaposing meaning upon meaning, Eve and Gilgamesh and this horrible American fiasco in Iran, in that place of our original sexual sin energy. And what is wonderful about this text is that the text is not obliterated but coaxes with enough meaning to force a reading, an enter-gizing not by meaning but by imagination. Jim Leftwich, I am happy to see that he has leaped to yet another other place. I’m comin, I’ll be there. Come-on. Let’s leap.

A Little Sand by George Pavlopulos

Translated by Darlene Fife. Published by Bookstore, 104 S. Jefferson Street, Lewisburg, West Virginia 24901. 64 pages. Write for price.

I ponder the fashion in which memory and poetry interact. And was pleased to find this a theme of George Pavlopulos’s poems.
He writes in TORTURE

I am not the body you loved
but that which you want to remember
and that which you can't remember
and that which you think you remember.

Memory and sensuality and love, longing and desire are ripe here in this poet who understands that poetry resides in an other place, a place of only the poem. And in that place of poetry is the seat of love. Darlene Fife’s translations from the Greek, which is also provided in the text, more than adequately captures the emotionally lush language of the original intent, intensity. This is a poetry of the pounding, longing heart. On my shelf, I place with book next to Mary Barnard’s translations of Sappho and Pound’s Love Poems of Ancient Egypt. One’s faith is restored by the fact of love and love’s music, which is love’s poetry.

Bathtub Gin. Issue 12 (Spring/Summer 2003 - Christopher Harter ‘ Editor

$5.00. P.O. Box 2392, Bloomington, IN. 47402. [email protected] or http://home.bluemarble.net/~charter/btgin.htm
Checked into Bathtub Gin for the first time, albeit I somehow knew of it. I read first Christopher Harter’s: Editor Sounds Off… another one of us against the Bush Way of War. How the living rubber band does Bush get away with it? Those people who are other than poets must be pretty stupid. Well, that is no insight on my part at all. So the first poem in BG was Kyle Miner’s To Be Your Throat Lozenge. And I said, OH! This is the poem that must open the magazine because it is a poem, a real poem! and it works, the language and music comes Banana Boat Sunblock Lotion squirting out of it. I read it twice. And I never heard of Kyle Miner before. Nice. Nice that Harter finds the real poets among us ‘ us eating chicken at the fire hall or playing BINGO. And a few pages later Suzanne Walker’s poem: Masturbation. Another solid poem! I mean hard to write about jackin off without being stupid. But Walker isn’t stupid and her poem isn’t stupid. And she jacks. Transgression lives! Takes a lot to ‘ never mind. She comes through. And delightful Harland Ristau arts! And Alan Catlin’s contribution: The Hands of Antonin Artuad. A different kinda Catlin poem ‘ metaphysical and meditative. He showed me here the expanse of his literary horizon. And I wanna read more of it. Gotta hand it to Harter again, on a plate on a tray, on a ruler, in a bottle of Tylenol. Harter’s a damned good editor. Good work. And I like Dan Raphael’s poem: Grazing the Elements. I read it twice. I read a lot in this magazine twice. I don’t do that much. And as I sit here writing, I read again the last line of Raphael’s poem’ ‘standing naked in a windy gully til im to full to dress.’ The line is in me mind now. Ah. And there is a whole section on Mark Terrill. More on him later. So, wow, I was pretty damned impressed with this bottle of bathtub gin. Really surpassed me and moved I by the care that the editor obviously took and his concern for the poem and poetry. The hard work is there. I hope the next pumpkin he sees turns into a pair of slippers and a hundred-dollar bill. Or finding good wine on sale. P.S. Christopher Harter runs this entire grocery bag of candy and beer called PATHWISE PRESS. And he published this book called Living Room, Earth by Carmen Germain. 2002. $5.95. Do it.

The United Colors of Death by Mark Terrill

Christopher Harter ‘ Editor, P.O. Box 2392, Bloomington, IN. 47402. [email protected] or http://home.bluemarble.net/~charter/btgin.htm $5.95. 47 pages.
Mark Terrill lives in Germany and he is out of work. He has a bit of experience, like cook, postal worker, and welder. But for now, wisely, the poem is first. And in his poems he has life and death in each of his poetry hands and there they are and God in between and there you have the powers about which Terrill’s poem orbit. If he didn’t do it with balance, and grace, with humor and shocks wonder, I would have tossed the poems to the walrus. But let me give you a title: WHAT GOD SAID TO MICKEY MOUSE WHILE JAMES DEAN WAS TUNING UP HIS PORSCHE. It goes on. There is this beautiful sense of humor in all of this tremendously important philosophical pondering stuff, which makes the poems so human, so absolutely human as to be those blossoming sparks of treetops and mountain-tops, hot dogs, light bulbs, nail polish, post-its and cured cancer that makes it a wonder to be living in the fall of the year.

October 2003

Park Quest by Patricia Cherin

38 pages. $8.00. Andrea Dumas, Doom-Ah Books, 5710 E. 7th Street Suite No 283, Long Beach, CA. 90803 or if you like what is said below write to the poet for poems at: Tricia Cherin, 110 W. Ocean No. 418. Long Beach, CA. 90802
So I began to read the first poem in this book, A Leonine Maternity, about how the poet is like a ma lion and it goes along about cubs and mothering and such and then the last line, ‘my pride my prey.’ And then trapped I fell into the poems, yes the pun but the shock of understanding that a child is prey as well as pride, is insight, insight rocks the firmly grounded, elegantly composed poems in this volume. Cherin taps a vast horizon of emotions and notions and ideas in her poems. This mature book of well-pondered poems is like a box of fancy chocolate fills. No this isn’t no small press bag of salted peanuts. But don’t imagine that this is some academic’s exercise. The fearless poems ring clear with the daily-ness of a poet in the middle of her experience of life. My favorite, a poem called Color Coded. It is about, mammals and their ability to see color…the colors of ripe fruit…and in Cherin fashion twist, the fruit, well it is you and I and Yikes! with shocking insight she writes: we know on cue/ when we see/ what we plan to devour.

Greatest Hits 1989-2002 by Linda Lerner

$8.95. Pudding House Publications, 60 North Main Street, Johnstown, Ohio 43031 See:www.puddinghouse.com and if interested in her works, fan mail to: Linda Lerner, PO Box 020292, Brooklyn, NY 11202-0007
There are now more than 159 Greatest Hits published by Pudding House Publications. Talk about dedication to the poem! Write to The Pudding House and send them coins, ink, elephants, anything to propel this most impressive and important project forward into the complete poeming of the universe. Do you recall what d. a. levy said (about Cleveland)…? I’ve got a city to cover with lines. Pudding House is covering the globe with lines of poetry! And the City… THE CITY… New York and lines of the rhythm of that CITY pounding poems of jack hammers and cat feet of lions lines by Linda Lerner ‘ her Greatest Hits here! Thanks she sends out to Ginsberg and Dylan Thomas but I hear Jack Micheline line song here all abouts like a busy subway station, Grand Central, subway arriving form the dark tunnel of imagination and impact first syllable of each line propels the poetry there and then in an instant gone again. Like in a city. No you can’t sit down on sofa and read this work. You must ‘ I did - I did get up and read them aloud, they demand it ‘ to be singing wet and loud! There the impact clear and ruthless and beautiful fills the empty space day or night. And surrounding all of the sounds that silence that is the white noise of poem deafening. And she survives her apartment on 9/11 a few blocks away she writes to empathic period the end of these Greatest Hits:… we all know it is only a dream:/ we all know we will never wake from it.

Sunflower Wars by t. l. kryss

24 pages. $5.00. Bottle of Smoke Press, 503 Tuliptree Square, Leesburg, VA. 20176. www.bospress.com
t. l. kryss. I hear this name in magazines of Cleveland & California 1960s and mimeo poetics of that era, mimeo that only alternative poetry movement to not be absorbed by the ameba of university classroom like Beat and Black Mountain, that only movement to remain noble in its working class and underclass ethnical principles of a poetry free from the political capital of poetry games. Here a clear poetry kryss writes us 30 plus years from those 1960s rumblings. The book opens with the poem (Sunflower Wars) circling about Van Gogh’s paintings. Van Gogh ‘ the Mt. Everest of people popular artist and then into a poem: Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame ‘ obvious tribute to the great one: Bukowski. So then there is Van Gosh and there is Bukowski and in Ohio, which must be half way between France and San Pedro sits at writing table one t. l. kryss. Kryss ‘ he has a sense of the tool of line in the poem. Kryss ‘ his poems record the poetically eventful instance of the dispossessed people so that they cannot be unseen by rich oinkers of oil presidents. Kryss ‘ he knits words into a sweater of black-top that breathe stars and once tapped pour beer of poetry into waiting ears Cleveland and city dwellers. Insigthful. Populace. A writer or historical depth and importance to poetry UNcompromised. True to a program and vision. And one poem, Growing up with Bukowski, relates how he read his kids the Bukowski short story The Blanket as bedtime story! This poem, perhaps the best for my few dollars of pocket money left after even more expensive gas and groceries, the best perhaps of a million poems about and for Bukowski. This one should be in all the Buk mags and anths and the like. And the other poems, well, they need to be there also. But start on your kryss Christmas by (buy) reading this shard of ornament in our otherwise tried livings.

God Save My Queen, - a Tribute by Daniel Nester

132 pages. $13.00. Soft Skull Press, 71 Bond Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217. www.softskull.com
Hey Queen Fans. Hello QUEEN, QUEEN fans! Hey, Nester WILL ROCK YOU! He’s a KILLER QUEEN! Well, I don’t know about hat. He knows the words! Each section of the book has the title of a Queen album (as they were released) and each short prosy entry in each section has the title of a Queen song, as they appear on the albums. This is one of the neat things about this book: literary art weavered with the material of pop music, history and youth culture. If you are a Queen fan or addict. Oh yeah. You gotta have this one. To define: Nester writes a hybrid form ‘ part prose, prose poem, diary (personal memoir), recorded memory, imaginary memory, dream and Queen fact. It is a private world, with QUEEN at center that he creates. It is the private world of teen memories tempered with time. It is imagination and juxtaposed image assembled as a collage that invites you (as reader) into the composition. Life and art! Art and culture! This book, this form, serves a delicious plate that really succinctly defines a context in which we all in Americana culture reside. Find yourself. Here’s a key via writing.

The Hotel Sterno by Jeffrey Little

58 pages. $10.00. Spout Press, PO Box 581067, Minneapolis, MN 55458-1067. Interested in the writer: Jeffrey Little, 3226 Brooklin Road, Wilmington, DE 19808. [email protected]
You might know his name from Driver’s Side Airbag or Lost & Found Times. Maybe not. But here in The Hotel Sterno is a great collection of poems. A one pome book, a serial poem with many individual poem parts (with each gotten its own title). A form of intrepid intermedia poem in the sense that its parts are poems (with titles) as individual works but they hang together as one poem, in one song of longing soul. It’s great to see this form exercised so well. Go Little. Reminds me as I read of Kerouac’s Mexico City Blues. This is a jazz inspired all things present onslaught of sound imagination. Invigorating, exciting. Capturing the essence of a music poem spewn spewed from the darkness, the sad side of the heart, the weary side of the soul. From this point, this place, this secret location of the imagination one hears these words as notes floating about above making a Tom Terrific foggy sheer veil of poetry dancing. Man, this poet’s mind burst with words! One wonders… in most of our minds there is one word and then another word ‘ might be fast ‘ but reading this, hearing this ‘ one knows that in Little’s imagination there are two words at once, three words maybe, maybe more all at once. All words at once. Wow.

Legion Their Numbers by John Perlman Elamentations Press

High Point, NC. Ken Harris Editor. 70 pages. $8.00. (no press address ‘ so write to John Perlman, 38 Ferris Place, Ossing, NY 10562.)
A solid poet who can skip-rope words, chew gum language, write a complicated poem and knit it with IT! into a visual image so the works act on heart, mind, ear and eye all at one time kinda poem stew and still billboard be presence, present the deep thinking poet with form at command his, he commander of form, and the singing of the emotional via the center of his self can be heard as there is Mars in the sky, there is moon in the sky, there, there is Perlman’s constellations of words becoming poems becoming poetry forming the patterns of living.

Shattered Wig Review, No. 22. - Shattered Wig Press

Winter 2003. $9 for two issues: Shattered Wig Press, 425 E. 31st St. Baltimore, MD. 21218. http://www.normals.com/wig.html
I think the WIG is WIG Rupert Wondolowski and only Rupert Wondolowski because he as editor Rupert Wondolowski edits and is there everywhere on each page of the Rupert Wondolowski magazine where he utilizes other poets works and prose writers and cartoonists and like orchestra orchestrates conductor he is Rupert Wondolowski maker of the WIG unlike other editors who are just blanks in their mags he is always there hovering flying saucer about the works all of which then is a delight like custard (not General Custer) he dips the poetry that comes his way and images and art and prose and all into his Rupert Wondolowski dip coating yummmmmm Sound, Image, Visual, insanity, satire, ironic also Rupert Wondolowski so if you aaa, intestine interesting interested in a real mag mag WIG mag a ZIN-e (Invader ZIMMMM) Rupert Wondolowski here is Rupert Wondolowski in the form of his art the magazine WIG.

November 2003

Fattening Frogs For Snakes: Delta Sound Suite by John Sinclair

225 pages. Cloth bound - $25.00 - paperback edition also available for $15. Surregional Press, 906 Pauline St., New Orleans, LA 70117. [email protected] or [email protected]
A poet is a rare thing and Ah! Here we have some poems by a poet ‘ one John Sinclair. He has a history and a history in music MC5 ‘ Detroit ‘ the 1960s, White Panthers, and what he writes about is the history of the blues! It’s a natural. But he is just not a white guy writing about the blues. He is more it than I thought could be. As a poet he can be. The book is introduced by Amiri Baraka, which is about as good as an intro and sanction as one can get when dealing with Black music. The book has many discographies of the many blue participants ‘ the old gang ‘ Robert Johnson, Howlin Wolf, Muddy Waters and the like. And plenty of references and it is a book that all blues lover must have! Sinclair makes the history of these blues artists into a poetic history ‘ not an easy thing to do! I mean ‘ making history into poetry can come out crap but not here, Sinclair ‘ with magic and the devil and passion he makes poetry, emphatic and sensitive, an imagination a blue wonder. The poems short burst lines knitted to a clear note that lingers deep into the humid night.

Chunk by Sandra Guerreiro

32 pages. 2003. $6.00. House Press, Buffalo, New York: ‘ contact [email protected]
or order book at: Sandra Guerreiro, 139 Elmwood Avenue, Apartment 2, Buffalo, New York, 14201.
The faith I have in poetry to open the portals of the imagination to allow one to love again and with a permission to love continuously was here resurrected reading Sandra Guerreiro’s significant new book of poetry. This is not a poetry of narrative adventure or a poetry of place in the real. It is a capturing of the elusive Eros of words, those brief moments in strings of words that flirt by like tiny fish in clear streams. A teasing to read deeper! And she comprehends the role of fingers in writing and love and the spaces within a poem where poetry resides. Each unnamed poem in this sequence invites the sensual return to our mundane lives. Love and poetry invigorate me and here this magnificent and ruling emotion fully involves me as reader (I become a person in the poem) and engages me and then I transformed into the water of Sandra Guerreiro’s poem magic and I felt I too was poetry.

Raining All Over by Rebecca Morrison

Lumox Press, PO Box 5301 San Pedro, CA 90733. Little Red Book No. 44.
Series edited by Raindog [email protected] - $5.00
First one has to like little books that are red. Everytime I touch one I am again in the Wobbly frame of mind. Songs for the people, poems for the people. And that is the little press. For those who do not know The Wobbly’s Little Red Song Book - better check it out and learn the history of descent and popular art in this country before Bush declares war on it and destroys that history looking for Poetry of Mass Destruction (PMD). HA! But like the Wobbly’s Rebecca Morrison takes a song, a song that I know and you know: I am The Walrus (one of Lennon’s best) and alters it for pointed political purpose. Lennon would have been proud. She alters I am the Walrus into ODE TO EXXON and her version is about the destruction of the natural world. Let me quote,Exxon Texans smoking cigars don’t you think the seagull screams at you? Scree scree scree!
See how they fly like birds in the sky, see how they die.
I’m crying.
Money grubbing fishmongers climbing up the Exxon ladder.
Etc. It dosen’t leave my head. A chilly work, and this one should be anthologized everywhere and published again and again in magazines everywhere, on billboards. If you are an editor write to her. Find here, write to here and ask to reprint this work. Now, that is not to say that she doesn’t score elsewhere in this little red book. She does just that and and and. This poet is one clever poet and the poems are dense and lush with words but not losing ever the nature of small press - directness and simplicity. That is direct poetic action. She isn’t innocent but a wrier that isn’t chained to an ideology. She’s her own writer, which is what all is. In the end that is it. And not forgetting the people’s creed. This poet can pull and stretch the poetics of small press this way and that and it shows, reads. Read how fluid and flexible this form of poetry can be when handled in the hands of someone with brain and heart and passion and concern. And it is only five bucks and you get a lot of poems ‘ like forty pages of good poems for a five that’s like 12 cents for a page and she writes a poetry that it is something you need. NEED.

Sleeping With Demons by A.D. Winans

www.mysteryisland.net/winans 2003. 20 pages. $5.00 + $2.00 postage (Lettered and signed copies available) Bradley Mason Hamlin, publisher. Mystery Island Publications, 384 Windward Way, Sacramento, CA. 95831
Reading, I wonders, always, what is it that lances the soul, tosses the noose about the heart’s neck, makes birds sing in solid winter and why don’t the trees give it up and why tirelessly the water goes about water’s business. And then I reading along and find a poem like one Winans titled Smell of Wolves. Allow me to write some of his lines: And when you look into the/ Mirror and see/ No reflection/ You will smell the/ Smell of wolves/ On your breath. All day long I try to imagine the smell of these wolves, and the sour/sweet? taste of wolf breath? And it permeates the room and the world and you have to lean back and laugh, loud and long, as India crashes into Asia and the sharp peaks of mountains rush up like licking blades to meet God’s neck.

A Series of SHARP POINTS by A Horvath

Kirpin Press, PO Box 2943, Vancouver, WA. 98668-2943. 2003. $10.00 plus $1.00 postage.
When you walk through the poem, at night, there is a quick shadow movement, sadness, irony, sarcasm, loneness, and astonishment at how ridiculous it all is and pondering I guess yes and why and there is lightness also in the lives we lead. Smirk, smile, laugh. Breakfast, for one, alone a little tired, maybe slightly hungover, in a cheap cafeteria in a small working town. Pale gray clouds and the hot sun sopping them up like the last of your eggs. Weaving a landscape of deep emotions, A. Horvath explores the fun house of each soul and with his own flashlight. And you better follow.

Pegasus Descending (A book of the best bad verse). - Edited by James Camp –X.J. Kennedy and Keith Waldrop.**

238 pages. 2003. ANYART: Contemporary Art Center, 71 Elmgrove Avenue, Providence, RI 02906. Available SPD:[email protected]
In these times it is best to laugh! And that’s what I did all the way thought Pegasus Descending. How could our best favorite old time poets, like Poe and Emily D. and Browning sound so bad, clunkity clank and with disbelief but with smile and roaring hear all the fun that poetry can grant. A pure delight of reading, I had to go back twice, which is a measure of the wealth of this collection, and laugh some more and more. Poor T. E. Brown, he’s got 7 bad poems in here! A lot of tongue in cheek and consideration when into this book. It is not random, which is further measure of its delight. And it pays homage to The Stuffed Owl (Do you all know that book out there in reading land ‘ check it out). But check this one out first. Humor is all much in absence in our serious world, perhaps too poetically serious. Laugh a bit, smile, laugh a lot and unlike so many other dry anthologies with this ism and that political poetic line to maintain, this one can be read over and over, returned to and it loses nothing and only gains and grows. I wish these editors would tackle the worst of contemporary poetry (but that is very dangerous!) but might be fun. Think about it. This is a door flung open. So, when considering your worst poems, those of your childhood which you hastily first published… who know. Someone’s out there reading away. I think I have to write thank you to these editors. You made the coming of wet fall and chill a bit lighter. This truly has expanded the possible of the poem.

The New Renaissance. - Louise T. Reynolds ‘ editor

Spring. No. 35. Vol. XI, No. 3. 3 issues $30.00. The New Renaissance, 26 Heath Road, No. 11, Arlington, MA 02474-3645
Well, Doug Holder is involved here. This is a sign of the very peopleness and concern for the poem that this magazine holds and Marc Widershien is on the advisory board and it is clear that he has the ear of the editors and they listen. Now if you went out on Halloween dressed as a ghost or a hobbit or which witch or a carrot and went door to door and when you got home you had a bushel basket full of candy, like chocolate and snickers and the like (without razor blades) and there were even a few dimes and quarters in there also ‘ WOW! So this issue (and others of New Renaissance) marvelously edited magazine issue by the bestest of writers and a moment in time captured and telling what is the poem and where a poetry might find harbor in these cold days of war and the dimming of intellect (Bush is turning out the lights slowly). Lighthouse of poets on the rocky shores of dumbness! Shine! Shine out. Be the lighthouse in Alexandra that brighted all the way to Crete! It is here a moment of the smart and bright comes ripping through the sheet of black paper and you poems and poets: Let me name some of the wealth and worth: Joan Colby, Madeline Tiger, Tagore (like he won the Nobel!), Allen C. Fisher, Wendy Barker and on and on. Oh! If this were candy! Oh! The dentist bill!

December 2003

The Whispering of Ice Cubes: New and Selected Pieces by Rupert Wondolowski

Shattered Wig Press, 425 E. 31st St., Baltimore, MD 21218 -www.normals.com/wig.html - Probably $10.00
Somehow this computer didn’t auto-save and I lost all of these reviews when I pushed the wrong button. Like looking up from the subway of the imagination and just hopping off at the wrong stop and it is Niagara Falls. All this wonderful verb salad solid stream of worderous reviews lost in the blink of an eye as I screamed NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooo. But then again here is an eye ‘ a fly’s eye on the cover of Rupert Wondolowski’s book. I think yes! I think I wrote that he does see things a bit other than the normal (The name of his bookstore is Normals ((part-owner))((How normal is that?)) and he does! Does not see normal. What is a good thing like hotdogs! Wondolowski’s vision is of a poetry ripe and rip with humor and the twists and turns of Niagara Falls lip staple-gun gum language juxtapositions! Sorta surreal ‘ for sure ‘ but also reviling the flexibility and excellent ability of words and worbs as a medium to create a reality, somewhere. And how the real can be alliterated meaning altered with words. Words are what Rupert W. manipull-alters and all ears. It is in it this adventure! He is a grand collagest of the real pasting this and that (even in his own bookstore (he part owner of Normals in Baltimore ‘ go there) where he works at) ‘ the real wonderful wondering about poking and caressing books. So the real disappears and re-appears variously and stories are there by related, as in told. It is a more than a real experience involved here. One holds the word world in suspension after reading the R.W.’s presentation of it! And I guess, well, yes, we are aliens and estranged form our language and the real and we have wings and club each other with kielbasa. Seems natural to me. Why not a poetics of worbs that turns the world on its ear! Or Eye! Or Wig (He is the editor of The Shattered Wig Review.) And with the skill of a cutter and paster (or pastor of the word or Rupert Wordwondolowski makes a world word with humor and insight into the lonesomeness of tasty word art ‘ you open the book and out poops and pops the monster of language ‘ you see its tyranny and how ridiculous the medium of words are. How can they create any reality at all? Shaping and shapeshifter ‘ it is Rupert Wondolowski in-charge of the words. I wrote in the lost review that he is a magician. He is. Watch him pull a rabbit out of his seven.

Vellum. Volume 2. Number 1. - Editors Joshua Auerbach and Eleni Zisimatos Auerbach

P.O. Box 48003 Montreal Quebec H2V 4S8 Canada. [email protected] or www.vallummag.com
I lost this review too in the pressed the wrong button hasty moment. But I wanted to write that this is a full service magazine ‘ it got poems ‘ it got reviews ‘ it got essay. Got it all sassy! Enough and when I came to find myself reading it page by page (a thing I don’t do with magazines much anymore) I found I liked it. This is not your small press poetry magazine but poetry is big enough for several places of poetry. What a drag if everyplace were New York! But this is Montreal and I was way pleased to be reading Nicole Brossard ‘ who is one of the north’s best. … I mean the world’s best for sure. But let me get on with reading and I came across this poem called CUNT by Joanne Merriam and I had to stop and read it once, twice and three times (wouldn’t you) and let me write here Merriam’s last line: ‘See how moonlight’s sharp music breaks all your windows.’ I have glass all over my office. I have glass everywhere in the parlor, on the couch. And there are birds. And fish. And there is glass all over everything. That’s what reading Vellum is and the sound.

What Language by J. P. Dancing Bear

Slipstream Press, P.O. Box 2071, Niagara Falls, New York, 14301. $7.00 (only)
J. P. Dancing Bear is reading this day or yesterday up at Niagara County Community College and I am here writing this after reading his book and I wish I were up there listening to him carve the words with sharp mind blade that moves through the pumpkin and leaves a few fingers on the kitchen floor. What language? NO! What Language! That is the first clue to this superior poet and his magnificent poetic ability. Awesome! His uses let me quote him ‘ruthless language.’ I like that and he does not back away form the brittle and brute life yet he is a strong poet who knows how tender words themselves are and how they can be miss-used so he doesn’t. Hence each word like hen’s teeth is pore-cisely placed palaces a palace of his in word work and ‘ well ‘ in the midst of the poem the words fly like slipping on black ice and the ghosts are speaking all around. Hear’umm.

Score. No. 18. 2003. - Editor: Crag Hill

88 pages. Crag Hill, 111 E. Fifth, Moscow, ID 83843. Subscription is $10.00
Score is a visual poetry, experimental, limitless magazine. Dense, rich and varied, unafraid, Score is a commitment to an area of poetry as diverse and radical as to be completely awesome and threatening to the clipped and tired and tied wings of most poetry. Score was started, Crag Hill once told me, to be a place for poetic scores. The fruit is now in season. The aural impact is truly forceful. There are as many new sounds as new sights as new forms in this issue. And what was most surprising was the number of new participants in this adventure. Particularly, I have to mention the section generated by the Atlanta Poets Group, which I find most extraordinary and hence excited because here then is a group of artists who formed a tight knit and progressive unit of poets and exploratory poetics, a conversation of poetries that does not have to occur in certain bars on Manhattan! Oh thank God there is something new in the universe! This is a model, this APG, Atlanta Poets Group, of poetry in this new century. Carry on and check it out. Crag Hill is immortal.

Greatest Hits: 1995-2003 by A. D. Winans

Isbn 1-58998-219-3. Greatest Hits Series No. 197. $8.95. Pudding House Publications, 81 Shadymere Lane, Columbus, Ohio, 43213. http://www.puddinghouse.com Or write Sir Winans and ask him for poems or send him money so he can fix his heater: PO Box 31249, San Francisco, CA 94131-0249
Let’s first say after 197 in this series, a round of applause and applesauce for Jennifer Bosveld ‘ Queen of Pudding House! Now on to this greatest hits by Winans, who places his soul as a thin wafer of Holy Communion, each day, on the tongue of the poem for people and poetry of the people, so those distressed, will have a poetry, and some poems, like baskets of oranges and lettuce from China Town, like cool designer beer for which you are charged Bud price, for thanks for the coffee and another in which sunshine is the cream, twists words Winans like spaghetti around a fork Communion Winans stands mighty with his picket-sign outside the stuffy too easy life of tweed jackets and turtle necks and mom and dad paying the rent for apartments in Venice, oh Winans, oh stick it in up sideways up their stupid, intellectual asses our poems of working people and broken people our poems our crowns our thorns.

Poesy XXII. Fall 2003. - C/o Brian Morrisey

Issn # 1541-8162. C/o Brian Morrisey, P.O. Box 7823, Santa Cruz, Ca. 95061. [email protected] and check out:www.poesy.org also.
I waiting to get a blood test and they have a retarded woman about 26 in the blood draw chair and she is freaked by the needle and has two or three nurses and kinda blood nurses and officials and a social worker as big as line-backer hovering about her like vultures and I need this before my needle after 12 hours of fasting (even no water) and I see that Morrisey runs 1000 copies of this Poesy mag! 1000 copies he does it for free! 1000, that is 1, xero-zero-sero copies! And it starts off with a great editorial where he talks to my mind about the commune between poet and editor and poetry! He understands and then there are pomes and poems by Linda Lerner and an interview with her ‘ these are her days! And a wonderful anti-war poem by Antler. He knows. Another money war for Republican rich to get a Republican richer and how is it that Americans are so stupid to believe Bush and cause so much dead and death when there are pomes and poems by Dave Church and an interview with Robert K. Johnson in this mag. I mean, wouldn’t you rather be hearing a poem by Edward Obuszenski ‘ it sings of strange humankind’s veil of the self ‘ rather than Bush’s piece of shit excuses for more dead? Well, I would. And I’d read poems by David Chorton and translations by Jack Hirschman and Boston Notes by the Doug! Doug Holder ‘ he be! And they can take all the blood they want and run all their blood texts for this bug and that pencil and that milk thistle in your blood is too high. Tough and too bad. And the hell with Bush ‘ it is poem mags like these that make the heart beat each and every long darned cold day and tanks the Christ and other various gods for the poem what is here preserved and perpetuated by Morrisey ‘ wish he as my President! YOU! Join up. Resist by opening your imagination! ‘ Do it with Now! Start with POESY XXII.

Buddha on Ice. Peshekee River Poetry No. 6. - Tom Blessing. ‘ editor

Tandavapoetry Box 689 Eastpointe, MI 48021. $1.00. Or 3 first class stamps (US) see:[email protected]
I was laying on the flood no floor and when my left eye crawled open and I see on yellow paper Buddha on Ice! Within poets: Shoshuana Shy, Robert L. Penick, Carol Parris Krauss, Donna Michele Hill, Mark Hartenbach, Alan Catlin, and Sharon Rothenfluch Cooper. I take a deep breath and breathe and inhale this fresh air of the underground poetry all moist with the humanness of garages and eggs sunny-side up and hot coffee in worn cups from Buffalo China! Hey! All those Buffalo China cups you been drinkin hot coffee from for all your life. Guess what. The plant just closed! 300 more people out of work. Lucky we are fighting terrorism. Isn’t cutting the throats of 300 working people and their families, isn’t that a form of terrorism? These aren’t the folks that got big SUV jobs and houses what are as big as churches, no no no. These are people who are the poems in this magazine. I know what side I am on. Bravo my friend poets. I raise my coffee cup and to you too Blessing!

Drunk and Disorderly: Selected Poems (1978-2000) by Alan Catlin

Pavement Saw Press, isbn 1-886350-83-3. Price is $14.00. Pavement Saw Press, PO Box 6291, Columbus, Ohio, 43206. David Baratier runs the press. And if you need poems, write to Catlin at: 143 Furman Street, Schenectady, NY 12304.
This is along awaited, most necessary collection for it presents the full dynamics of Alan Catlin as poet. David Baratier writes a fitting introduction ‘ specifically how he found Catlin’s work in a library as a young man and found relief in Catlin’s vision and understandings of world, life and living and the daily-ness of upstate New York town life. It is a justice. It brings together poems from 26 books by Catlin (some long forgotten and impossible to find) and is over 150 poems long ‘ yes this is nice solid, long needed collection. A life’s work and a life masterwork to write that. Oh yeah, this is a cocktail shaken by Catlin for intoxication for all and for all occasions, any occasion too! Drink hardy. Well that is easy to say. Too easy. Catlin moves from Joyce, which for small press poet, isn’t the everyday. Kerouac, the only other outsider poet, off hand, that finds a launch pad from Joyce. But Catlin do. That part of Joyce that wonders and philosophical Catlin is also as he is in personification Joyce. Interesting, most interesting. This collection presents a poet involved in a life of reading and contemplation of words as art and then this is a manifestation of that practice. This collection does flesh out the bar poet. Flesh deep and rich and read and I am happy to read this book and happy for press and most happy that small press does have such reward. And each word then is measured in Catlin’s work, like a shot and so many mixers. And an olive and a cherry or an onion or a hair curler. And there are always those strange entities, the odd people that inhabit the poetics of small press. And there is passion and humor, on occasion also but most often a sharp insight, the flash of silver in the murky, muddy water of existence in America. Whatever the fix it is a master that progresses with these words, weaving, and the relentless practice of the waves Good.

The Latest News: A Native New Yorker’s Journey to Sept. 11 - Robert K –Johnson

Selected poems. Ibbetson Street Press. Doug & Dianne Holder, 25 School Street, Somerville, MA 02143. ISBN: 0-9724601-3-6. Write for price.
It is a measure and badge and I have taken to adding them. And now to the poems in Latest News, a fine selection by a talent who is aware of madness and the mad and perhaps realizing that we all go there or are near enough to fallllll. Fall In. Fell In. And I think his catching the sight of this entity called MADness shapes the work and gives it, the poems their pleasure and edge ‘ that nose that wins the race for one pony and condemns the rest to the dust bin of tired poem history. It is an adventure to enter the finely tuned engine craft of Johnson’s work. Each work is a custom made motorcycle! Take The Letter, one that resides now as a barbed fishhook in the side of my heart’s eye. THE LETTER. Barely are your eyes open/ when you receive a letter/ you know it is urgent… …. … it takes you / till noon to figure out// its alphabet… … … and you look forward to reading/ more of the letter the next day./ But your eyes stay shut. WOW! Feel that cadence! It is fun to type his lines but then this poem ‘ this letter. These letters in front of your eyes! Read Johnson (and there is an interview with him in issue 22 of Posey ‘ see review above!) See?

January 2004

Implexures by Karen MacCormack

2003 75 pages. Chax Press, 101 W. Sixth St., no.6, Tucson, Arizona 85701. Write for price (probably around $12.00) or West House Books, 40 Crescent Road, Nether Edge, Sheffield, S7 1HN - in the UK. Write for price.

The word implement is close to the word implexures (if you were alphabetizing all the words ever). One is or I am an implement of time and implicated by it (time). So when one reads this poetry there is an activation of imagination that expands the actual words and their saying to engage the imagination of the reader and the reader (me) falls into and through this portal into all time and memory. A complete soak as into a swimming pool! As beings we spend a good bit of time in memory, conscious or not (of it), and I can’t find in my memory any poetry, other than this poetry, that so opened this particular door for me ‘ flung open. The avatar of memory hovers about Karen MacCormack, haunting and performing and informing her poetry. All of her memory is the material for her poetry - oh Jack Kerouac, memory babe, would be so jealous! Wide open ended poem of parts, part history of memory and a family and life memories perhaps there and untapped or barely visible and one wondering poet about the impetus to react a certain way in time, so MacCormack moves about this thickness of memory with some ease and which is a measure of her tremendous artistic assets. ‘Places move on,’ she writes in one of the works and that sticks in my mind as I drive these streets in this my hometown (Buffalo) which mind as well be India or China because I am no longer on them as I once was and I am left with memory. How do we remember with words and slow that memory down so that the memory might be clothed in words? Karen MacCormack, for this humble being, presents a form, poetry.

A Bibliography of the Published Work of Douglas Blazek 1961-2001 by Jame –DenBoer

$15.95. 180 pages. Glass Eye Books (in association with Blue Thunder Books), 221 Pine Street, Number 4B1, Florence, MA 01062.
Some of you might not know the name Blazek that is Douglas Blazek. It is a name hailing form the Chicago of industrial America, working class. Way back at the dawn of small press as we know it ‘ 1964 or so, Blazek published one of the most influential magazines of that mimeo era and it was titled: OLE. And he published Lyn Lifshin’s first book and Charles Bukowski’s first book of prose. No bad. Fitting that he should have this bibliography ‘ I mean not because he once published Bukowski but because he remained a poet, a poet true to the force of poetry and, therefore, a force himself. A bibliography is in imagination a form of map and monument, and yes, it is a list of book, broadsides, anthology and magazine publications and in Blazek’s case, books he published and magazines he edited. This bibliography compiled by James DenBper, friend of Blazek, book dealer, and champion of small press, is in the end a form of labor of love. Labor it is. It is pedantic and lives in detail, tiny ones, in dates and number of copies. I learned from it. Blazek published Ole magazine, a magazine I’ve read albeit it was published more than 35 years ago, and I often wondered if I was wrong when I thought that Ole no. 8 was published before Ole no. 7. This notion was confirmed fact in this bibliography. A strange little detail but this is what makes this bibliography an important document. And beyond that, Blazek, being a mimeo rebel, had a network of small press magazines that made his network a community of like minded, passionate and committed writers. Tracking his publications elucidates this network. Those who know Blazek and his work know that he shuns his early, more meat poet, poetry. DenBoer’s introduction casts needed light upon Blazek’s purposeful evolution, an evolution that is still ongoing. Blazek won’t give up his perceptions. He needs to wrap words about them, tighter and tiger tighter as he grows and those words then give shape of his imagination. The small press and the mimeo revolution forms a constellation of American poetry composed of ethical poets existing along side the more conservative and academic avant-garde poets. Shamefully, the literary powers of this nation saw fit to consolidate their literary careers in part by excluding other traditions. As time has progressed and upon reflection the mimeo movement of the 1960s and the small press networks of the 1970s form a solid historical core from which ethical authors have since developed. Historical scholarship has begun to respond to the champions of popular and populace poetry from the second half of the 20th century. This bibliography of an ever evolving, changing poet, who first found acceptance in mimeo, formed the core poetics of underground poetry, mastered, matured and evolved and who holds, still in heart-mind, the notion of dangerous poetry, a poetry that challenges cloistered perception - well, this bibliography is an achievement that marks a crucial period where acknowledgement of genuine American people poets can and will receive a much deserved due.

Admissible Evidence (Random Sightings) by d a levy and Kent Taylor

Kirpin Press. Editor A. Horvath. P.O. Box 2943, Vancouver, WA 98668-2943. 100 thin.
This is a wonderful historical document and should act as prototype for any such publication. It is a poetry reading given in Cleveland, Ohio in 1967 by d. a. levy and Kent Taylor. The book includes a CD of that reading and the poems in the book are the poems read at that reading and in the order in which they were presented. Levy has entered the mythic. He is the epitome, the essence and the definition of the rebel poet going contrary to law and the repressive order of society and allowing his poetic voice to sing loud. You can read about levy and you can read levy’s poems. Here, you can hear levy read the works. The poems are juxtaposed fragments of mind and silences and they sound with youthful and romantic truth (and he knows it himself and comments about such in his own poetry). Yet he is political, political because he calls it: THE POWER, out on the rug. No he does not sit home in his parent’s paid for apartment and mumble among friends that yes ‘ it is a horrible war in Iraq or Vietnam or Johnson this, Bush W. that, and closes the eyes. Oh Sigh. Levy was out there with his poetry-speaking tough against it: THE POWER. He wore his ethics like a flag. I like em. I like the poems. You feel the portal to the soul. But when you listen to levy you hear the young man voice, quiet and measured in truth poetry moral speaking, almost squeaking in its tiny-ness in the immense problem of repression in the world. The poems are not pornographic, dirty or even violent. The easy speaking Cleveland cadence allows one to hear the simple yet direct poetry of that era when being morally just and standing up, speaking up - when in your own voice speeching really meant speaking. AH, it is a marvelous thing we have here. And following levy is Kent Taylor again with the measured slow and clear Cleveland speaking young man voice. The immediacy of his poetry is not a roar but in the clear simplicity that Kent Taylor relates the mood of his daily writing ritual thought. Unabashedly clear and simple knife that slices the bread, butters it. He titles many of his works the day they were written, trusting his perception. And like levy it is a young man voice. Not rallying the masses for peace or revolution but speaking the direct nakedness of the heart and soul that so defined and marked that era. An era when audiences didn’t sleep in the back row or dream of Chinese food afterwards. Nope. It was believe! That poetry of the direct phone line brought together one person and then another and there was frank conversation and from that came definition and freedom. Walt Whitman said poets need good audiences. Today’s audiences are a sad and sour sack of chewed up pencils without erasers. Poets are more gymnasts than human is. Faith, ah, want faith in poetry? Listen to a few young guys. Young people poems ina church basement in Cleveland in 1967. The Draft outside, cops, crushing filth with the river pollution burning, burning. Kent Taylor and d a levy. One tiger and one tiger. Tyger tyger burning bright.

Naked Knuckle. Issue one. 2003. - Editor: Greg Edwards. (Jeff Edwards and Ale –Anguzza helping out)

211 Rowland Avenue, Modesto, CA 95354. A single issue is $3.00 (postage paid) and a subscription is three issues at $8.00 (postage paid). Zine appears 2 or 3 times a year and the price -Hello out there!!- this is cheap! Hey, they lookin for poems and readers! Hey, if you’re selling pencils on the street corner for a quarter each you only gotta sell 12 to get this N.K. premier issue! Come-on, cough it up..
Havin been to Hamtramck a few times and visited a number of bars there and the Polish club, I had to go to Don Winter’s poem, Hamtramck Street Scene, as my first read in this mag and was not disappointed to find that his poem and then like the other poems in this Naked Knuckle stands in the ethical tradition of small press poetry that refuses to flee from the fall of virginity, the sexual metaphors possible by the sensitive arrangement of tomatoes and cucumbers and the sperm spited out of the mouths of whores.

Letters ‘ Poems 1953-1956 by Robert Duncan

Edited and With an Afterward by Robert J. Bertholf. $16.50. Flood Editions, P.O. Box 3865 Chicago, Illinois 60654-0865. http://www.floodeditions.com
Let’s leave the this and that of academics and critic mumbles in the cloistered and protected and predictable classrooms of poetry and come upon this book. I suppose Robert Duncan is a way a ways from the immediacy of small press poetry and I suppose all readers of poetry have heard the name, read the work and made the decision, one way or the other, about literary direction, small press or the other camp(s) of small press. Let’s not pretend that all poetry is not other than small press poetry. All fair. All fair. In this book, a handsome, sensitive, reissue of Duncan’s book originally published in the 1950s (before the Opening of the Field) one locates that kernel, sand, magic that invigorates the mind and heart to poetry, no matter what form the poem might in the end manifest. The matter of love informs this work and if you are inclined to love, ever, at all, or on occasion, this is an ignition. The matter of poetry informs. The muse here is a fact! It is difficult to be unmoved. Facts arrive. Great books of poems remain grand. Shelley is as immediate as the relentless, invigorating snowstorms of Buffalo, New York! With the distance time has allowed, Duncan becomes like Keats and Shelley, Browning and Duncan’s mentor, Pound, a being, a poet moved by the forces of poetry, able to harness and adorn with words that spirit that rules all poems. With this book, this historical record and the poetry it is, Robert Duncan enters The Poetry Hall of Fame and honored we are, those all of use who labor each day with words, that such poetry exists to inspire and quench various thirsts and that editors and publishers recognize just that and provide a map to this nourishment.

A book by Serge Segay and Rea Nikonova

…which might be titled ABC, or could be called that, Anabasis Xtant. C/o Jim Leftwich, 1512 Mountainside Ct., Charlottesville, VA 22903-9707. 2003. Isbn 1-930259-32-8 Price could be between $8 and $12.00. Write for price.
Let’s say this is a book of visual poetry, concrete poetry in the old way. In the new way the authors and publishers haven’t titled the book in the usual way ‘ meaning with recognizable title. This is a very good thing ‘ to rob the rulers of their power concentrated in titles. In single authors, also and of the arrogance of the meaning frozen on the page! With the repetition of images in this poetry the reader is pulled forward at a tempo created by the variation in the images. Therefore, this visual poetry has cadence, and movement! It is a living thing. Not confined to Finlay like sleepy garden but let loose and wild in the world. It has sound in its obviously score like potential. If only we had instruments! Ah! That’s it. One needs a fresh voice and new instruments (vocals or sound making things) to make this thing sing o0ut ound. However, this text already sings in mind and heart imagination. Ah, Mercury! A flight forward here into the visual poetry of the future and allall poetry also. Delight times three.

Optimism and Skeptic ism by Mark Weber. and Retirement Blues & Other Jazz Poem –by Gerald Locklin.

2003 Zerx Press, 725 Van Buren Place SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108. $10.00. Worth it all.
This is one of the Mark Weber/Gerald Locklin flip books and is the 54th in the Zerx series! Wow. Fun. Zerx continuously keeps pumping out the solid stream of musical human cadence works, and we have to thank Mark Weber for that continuously devotedness to Locklin’s Jazz works and to poetry and poetry and music in New Mexico. Salute! Locklin’s work here in features several long works and one imagines that retirement from the teaching load of Toad allows him to generate longer poems in which he explores the endless variation of line and speaking cadence that has fortified small press works for over forty years! So, there is an evolution in Locklin, perhaps, occurring as the lines linger longer and poems find larger canvas. How exciting. Locklin’s work continues to inspire and enlighten, tease and teach, makes you grin, laugh and opens a world of poetry that is tangible, touchable and enjoyable without losing any art or abandoning the power of language. I have to mention that there is a wonderful poem called: Keith Jarrett Meets Charles Bukowski, which stands as a poem for ages. And standing along side it (for me) Mark Weber’s poem: Dry Year, which is a poem of conscience and ethics, eco-mind import, and clear poetic criticalness of mass TV culture and power politics which is killing the natural world. The kind of poem that must continuously be written for all of us to keep in mind the ravages that Bush thinking has upon the natural world (where in is poetry in its raw form). Weber writes: the guys who call all the shots/ are insane with money lust and power/ would our President, if he were a frog/ with burning skin/ even make it to the pond, kerplot/ jump in? (asketh Basho) Here I write thank you Mark. I am with the frogs and the pregnant and women who eat tuna laced with mercury. Recall all: Bush just relaxed the mercury emissions/clean air laws. Now all the young women and their unborn babies can be poisoned by heavy metal. What a great guy: George W. Bush. And Mark Weber stands up and speaks it. I hear. You do ‘ out there ‘ do you hear? Hear or get off this page - you don’t belong here. Poetry is for people with souls. I stand up with Mark Weber. Patriot. Thank you Mark Weber for this poem and all your other poems yeah, yes, also.

Hanging Loose 83. - Hanging Loose Press

231 Wyckoff Street, Brooklyn, New York 11217. Subscription is 3 issues for $17.50.
83 issues is forever and Hanging Loose remains as a mountain peak in the realm of literary magazines. Run democratically, Hanging Loose continues on towards 100 issues. It is the way a magazine should be ‘ it has a program of writing. This issue is a 125 pages long and if you wish the measure and heart beat of poetry, here in it can be located. This magazine is a prototype of what magazines can be and a should be. It has a cadence and a rhythm. It trusts its notion of the poetry. Go there as an oasis and a model, oh youth and young or new readers of poetry. I’d suggest to you all the works of Mark Pawlak (in this issue and beyond). He weaves politics and poetry into an art more piecing and insightful than any other writer in this America does, and he does it sharp and fast and with the every day news fact and the needle of irony. I could read his poems for days. You could - do. You should. But be prepared to be blinded with the white light bright blinding reality of American life he flings open on the mind. Man, how was it that I do not see. Well, that’s why we need more poets like Mark Pawlak. Page 85 in this issue is where you can begin. But there are all the other poems too! Wow!

February 2004

Tilt is a novel and as such is about a child with autism and the stress of that autism on a family, which results in the husband/father’s mental breakdown and the wife/mother’s likewise mental collapse. A well-written narrative, and a balanced form, makes it a real book. My warning is that it is sad story but in that sadness it is so real. More so for me because I know the people, who are the characters, as real people. Elizabeth Burns is a poet and the story unfolds at the hand of a poet, in my thoughts, via reflection and by succinct definition, capturing instances in words of intense emotive states. Often Burns’s prose depicting her emotional states defines emotional circumstance that at times I have felt. In these instances her full strength as an artist flutters above the relentless problems of life. Real writers fear this not and find ways to do just that. Burns does. I like it. She is frightfully accurate. Her young daughter’s toes wiggling under the bathroom door in a moment of utter despair and the resulting motherly pleasures and joy defines totally the emotional fluctuations of human heart. I wrote above that I know these people as people but in this novel they are characters in a work of art and remain as such throughout the entire book. This gave me distance to digest their life troubles and to fully share, without personal sympathy, the trials they encountered, and the encounters are many. The book is subtitled: every family spins on its own axis. Surely, it does. And so do works of art ‘ this art’s sharp needle spins upon your heart.

Asemia by Tim Gaze and Jim Leftwich and Louise Tourney and Joe Maneri an –Abdourahamane Diarra.

2003 96 pages. Anabasis. Xtant, 1512Mountianside Ct. Charlottesville, VA 22903-9707. Write for price.
A form or branch of verbo-visual poetry, Asemic writing is an original progression within this genre. Thank the Gods (and Pixies) some poets are getting beyond the 1960s and into something other than simulations of Finlay or Cobbing, although, thank the Gods if these had a proto-generator it might be Cobbing. But, nevertheless, Asemia strikes out boldly into a form of writing that locates itself in primitive emotive states, pre-aural, pre-intellectual, when the sound of emotions took forms like these. Carefully rendered glyphs of proto or other writing the works ask the reader to fully engage them via what senses might be strongest in their particular reading field. They are not puzzles. Not riddles waiting to be solved but works that form a state of being that might be or should be the imaginative state. Like keyholes into the substructure of the spiritual life of letters and words enter and enjoy. Maneri writes a sequence of 24 spirit poems ‘ sort of a form of spiritually dictated or guided automatic poetry! Poet as medium ‘ I like it. Not seen this! And Diarra is from Mali ‘ my first read of a vis-poet from that continent. We speak to each other with a poetry form from the other! Wow again. Wow.

Catholic Kin by Kemp D. Gregory

2003 150 pages. $14.95, iUniverse, Inc. 2021 Pine Lake Road, Suite 100, Lincoln, NE 68512. www.iuniverse.com
The Catholic in catholic Kin is a small c. Welcome to the poetic world of Kemp Gregory. Not often that I read the word God in so many poems these days. God as in the God upstairs, but this God is here in these poems. But not that all powerful nasty moral son-of a… gun God. The God that you talk to when you get a flat tire in a snow storm. Oh God! So I think maybe it is this friendly, buddy to pal, conversation with God that allows Kemp Gregory’s poems to be so talking free and the easy cadences bounce from stanza to stanza over a wide horizon of incidents, emotions and circumstances. I imagine William Carlos Williams poem mind operating much the same at Kemp Gregory’s. The poems popping up all the time and the damned necessity to write them down. Now don’t think that this work is anything like a religious sermon and none of that moralizing crap or the pain of sin or anything like that. Nope. The poems are filled with delight in life and family and are sometimes silly and ironic and sarcastic and just plain funny. Humor here in fact abounds. Now, 150 pages of poetry has gotta have some humor in them or else ‘ I mean ‘ why read so many poems. Here are some titles: A Bit Groggy, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Returns from the Grave to Complete His last Fucking Timesheet; Clark Kent in the Parking lot of the Pilgrim Laundry; and Feeding My Poem to a Yankee Copier. See! These poems have that easy flowing I am in the midst of my humdrum life observations with stuff happening to me while stuck in traffic poems of the men and women of this weird America we are in. They are then real people poems, small press works that rattle along to keep us sane in the office, on the job, in the laundry mat and on deep into the walk around day. And Kemp- I also read Turok, Son of Stone comic books! You become his friend in these poems. And let me quote:

As you steadily continue
to age, it becomes more
tempting to feel
sure you've stepped
in every pile of shit
there is.

St. Vitus’s Dance, Volume 1, Number 3

2003 Theron Moore (editor) 9251 Eagle Ranch Road, NW, Apt. 2111, Albuquerque, NM 87114. $4.50 an issue.
There are some magazines that act as ports of call where poets can fist-fight, drink, whore about a little, loose all their money and swap stories, gather information, read, exchange and head out to the sea of poetry, harpoon, gun, pen cock or cunt in steaming hand and off to hide out, commit suicide or write. The welcome mat is laid out here in this St. Vitus’s Dance and I suggest any lonely, hungover or lost poet of the butcher shop or department store of living idiot people stop by for a few. Stop in weary hunted poets to take a piss, cool the dogs, rest the writing mind, forget about the prairie of humanity blowing like sand and dust about the planet and delve into poetry. Barkeep: Theron Moore (Seems he doesn’t mind noting he is Todd Moore’s son ‘ so here it is written.). There is a long interview in here with poet and publisher Mark Weber ‘ a much deserved thing for sure and needed (done by Todd Moore). And some intro essays and talk and conversation and poems by Alex Glidzen and I was happy to read some works by Shane Jones. Now, Shane Jones is a very interesting young poet who has the line and cadence of so much essence of small press that when old guys like me are dead he will be king. Everyone should publish Jones. And well, it is all here and towards the back is: The List of One Hundred Outlaw Poets. I wonder if you are on it? Guess you will have to buy the magazine. And if you are not on it ‘ how will you get on it? Start by reading St. Vitus’s Dance. And if you are on it and not dead and even if you are dead ‘ well… you will have to work to stay on it by reading St. Vitus’s Dance `cause you do hear the footsteps of the young ‘ don’t you?

and if the xray hadn’t said differently i’d swear i was empty by Theodor –Knapsack.

32 pages. 2003. $5.00 fingerprintpress, P.O. Box 5473 Deptford, NJ 08096.
Cait Collins published this book what does not mean in my mind that I can not read it and write about in her ezine. Right, Pal, or what? Anyway, I have read Knapsack before and he is a poet full of the youthful fire of poet who somehow got his fingers caught in the lawn mower while his feet are in the washing machine and he is writing with his dick and boiling wood glue has exploded in the library. He is mashing it up here. Time and words. With big chunks as of poetry stuck to the walls. Pull it off. Hot and smoldering. Thick and chunky and raw with delight. Gunna be a collector’s item cause he won’t stop ‘ you can’t stop this type of cyclone force. Just sacrifice a bull and get out of the way.

March 2004

Sunlight Here I Am: Interviews & Encounters 1963-1993

edited by David Stephen Calonne. 2003. $15.95. 288 pages. Isbn: 0-941543-37-4. Sun Dog Press, 22078-Cumberland Drive, Northville, MI 48167. Al Berlinski ‘ editor and chief dog of the sun. [email protected] [email protected]
I wondered, as I approached this book, if it would really be worth the while to read nearly 300 pages of interviews. Bukowski himself said he hated to read them. And why read 300 pages of Bukowski being interviewed? What might I find out in Sunlight Here I Am after reading three feet of Bukowski books on the top-shelf, three or four biographies, CDs, coffee table picture book, yadda, yadda yadda, blah blah blah, woof-woof. Dive in! I must admit, the book might not be for the casual fan, certainly Sunlight Here I Am is for the collector, and for the rabid Bukowski reader this one will sit nice on that top-shelf with a lot of the other books the Bukowski industry is inventing. But I have this very strange, other side that likes to poke and pick at the writer’s carcass, the meat of the words upon the bone of the poem or short story. If so inclined, yes, if so inclined this is a gold mine and gold mind. Organized chronological from 1963-1993 there are thirty-four interviews and encounters and a few excerpts from Bukowski’s books. But mostly it is King Charles responding to questions. There is surprisingly little repetition, and I take this to be the result of the very careful editing done by David Stephen Calonne. He did not leave things out ‘ like cut this part out of this review or that review and past it together to make some form of narrative collage. Nope. He ordered carefully and with a sensitively that allows Bukowski’s ever changing perspective to dominate the book. Job well done. Calonne has effectively removed his ego from the book. That said, Bukowski spews his philosophy and ideology variously. He is both consistent and questionable. At all times his active mind, his sharp, focused, intellect responds with candor and wit. If a reader hadn’t read the down and out Bukowski saga, it is possible that this imagination and intellect might be that of another writer. For the scholar and the digger and the thinker this book opens many portals for endless further consideration. For the curious and the inquisitive there will be no disappointment. None. None whatsoever. All Berlinski and his Sun Dog Press and David Stephen Calonne have presented this gem of an important document and it is even indexed! Sunlight Here I Am is by far the best supporting book in the Bukowski cannon.

The Dorset Poems

by Gerald Locklin with artwork by Henry Denander.
October 2003. 34 pages. $5.00. Bottle of Smoke Press. 50 Loch Lomond Street,
Bear, DE 19701. [email protected] -http://www.bospress.net
I see Master Gerald Locklin as Master Po in the old Kung Fu TV series and we are all in the small press poet and poetry monastery of writing. Well, enough of that. I wanted to write something way cool about Locklin’s poems so that those out there reading this might and would buy the book and check it out. Do. Oh I wanted to be profound and flowery and poetic. But I am sitting here in Buffalo and it is zero or ‘2 and snowing. I just moved my car and my wife’s car from the driveway so our daughter could drive to her morning class. She is a college freshman! I am very proud of her. Anyway. I had to do all of that because you can not park on our street at night because the snow plows have to have space to plow the streets so we can all go to work in the morning. So each night every one moves around their cars in preparation. And then in the AM, after 7, when it is allowed to park again on the street, we all move our cars back onto the street. The street that was not plowed during the night - never is. And then an hour later, after 8 am, when all cars and vans and such are out on the street. Arrives the plow! Plowing us in, as we say in Buffalo. And all the while I am thinking of Gerald’s Locklin’s poems. I like it when I find in a poem something that really describes the poet’s work. In one of Locklin’s poems, a poem about Edward Field, (you should read him ‘ he is one of the best and one of Locklin’s influences), …the poem is called: The Loser… anyway, Locklin writes: ‘simple, unadorned, yet / musically, rhetorically, and/ metaphysically organized language ‘ ‘ That’s what Gerald Locklin’s poems offer, ona plate of western New York snow, on a platter of gold, on a trip to England (two trips ‘ these poems are about two trips), ona dish of diet coke, on an airplane, or a camel. One must comprehend and enjoy the sheer beauty; the absolute beauty of words and their sound and that is what you get from Locklin’s American poetry. That is what American poetry really means ‘ doesn’t it. Easy flowing cadence and the loveliness of our language mixed and altered with all of them other languages and argot and jargon and etc. And don’t let me forget to mention that the illustrator of this book is Henry Denander! He is Sweden’s Locklin Bukowski. I wanted to end with some giant emphatic pronouncement. But I screwed up. Buy the book and enjoy. If your car is plowed in, as we say in Buffalo, you got no place to go, you ain’t movin and can’t drive no place anyway. Read on into the morning.

A Fortune in Mothballs and other poems by Ed Galing

Originally scheduled to be published in 1999 by Black Spring Press but kept the dark because of the publisher’s lack of $coin$. Galing brought this collection to light on his own, via his own will. Write him for copies of this book. The book is $5.00. Ed Galing 3435 Mill Road, Hatsboro, PA, 19040. Why not write him and ask for poems!
At 87 Ed Galing has gotta be near the oldest practicing, activity writing poet on the planet and I find that spectacular particularly because this day at the writing table I couldn’t squeeze out a word! So Galing for sure has got guts! This collection is full of the wonderful speaking cadence of small presswork and, particularly, in this book is a tender and wonderful tribute poem to Charles Bukowski. Galing could have sat next to Bukowski in the ol’ time burlesque houses of south Philly. Imagine that. And of course, Ed Galing sat next to a lot of other people over the decades and it seems sat a long time at the writing table. His works are tender and sharp insights into all that makes us human. After 87 years his breath has been ours, all of our breathings and his poetry is the poetry that is the spine and soul of each and all of us. He is the mountains.

Sheila E. Murphy

  • Letters to Unfinished J. by Sheila E. Murphy.** 2003. 100 pages. $10.95
  • Green Integer:www.greeninteger.com by Sheila E. Murphy. 2003 88 pages.

Write for price: Potes and Poets Press, Ten Acres Dr. Bedford, MA 01730-2019 www.potespoets.org
Here are two new books by Sheila Murphy that express the vast horizon of her abilities as a poet because they are cast in forms quite unlike each other. She produces so much poetry one wonders if she has time to sleep or how many Sheila Murphy’s are there? Which is not a bad question considering the vast number of forms and types of poems she has mastered. And I should add also that she works! This is not someone who has the time to gaze at cactus! So I would suggest that there are many imaginations and what any poet can learn from Sheila Murphy’s work is be unafraid of the essence of poetry and forget about form because in all her work there is pleasure of words. In Letters to Unfinished J. there is the shifting focus of Gertrude like Tender Buttons and in Green Tea the almost haiku like clarity of the heightened instant in a human life. All always there is this technical perfection. Again, fear not, the perfect is in part of each everyone and us (perhaps less in some ‘ but you know what I mean). So what does this reading give one? This poetry grants you avenues into the imagination, more than one considered possible. Interested in her work for your mag or want to write a fan letter: Write to her: Sheila Murphy, 3701 E. Monterossa No. 3, Phoenix AZ 85018-4848.

First Class No. 22. 2003. - Christopher M. - editor

Four-sep publications, P.O. Box 86, Friendship, Indiana, 47021. $6.00 an issue. Christopher M. is editor. He publishes lots of chaps. Check out:www.four-sep.com
Nice to get this magazine in the mail and better to have squeezed the orange of time to make the time to read it. A great poem by Michael Kriesel called Spiderman Vs. Jesus and there is a grand contribution by lord Locklin and John Bennett of Vagabond up the western coast. And nice to have a little magazine of underground flavor including lots of fiction. Children of the New War Culture by Rey-Philip Genaldo is mighty interesting. My new discovery is a poet named Spiel who wrote one hell of an anti-war poem. I am all for the poem as a weapon of honor. It is right, correct somehow. Why can’t a work of art make its war against war? The lofty dogs of the upper classes and rungs of wealth and power would argue no. But they never go to war. Their sons and certainly not their daughters would ever go to war. They make money off war. Spiel writes:
Does a pint of the blood of the homo at war
weigh less in a jar?
than a pint of blood sapped form his foe?
or a pint of the stuff from your average Joe?
Compare to a pint of dirt or sand,
a pint of gold or a pint of lead.
Weigh a pint of the blood of the homo soldier.
Phone his mother
Her son is dead.

Michael Basinski Book Review May 2004

As a Boy by Luc Fierens

Published by anabasis.xtant - 1-930259-35-2.
Oyesterville WA usa 98641-0216 // Charlottesville, VA usa 22903-9707. About $10.00 or $11.95.
This is a book of thirteen (13) word collages by Fluxus entrepreneur from Belgium and mail-artist Luc Fierens, who has also now edited close to or more than 50 Post-Fluxus books. The works herein are, so to speak, composed of shards of dictionary pages (must be Flemish, which I can only read as English ‘ now, this makes it even more fun! Instant sound poem!), images torn form other sources, a few drawn and other appropriated images, some cut out words and written words in English and the four or five slabs of material then joined create a seemingly spontaneous, populace juxtaposed paper page sculpture that is the poem. A Fluxus poem, or Fluxes derivative poem, let’s say. The poems and they are poems, poems meant to be engaged as poems, are intermedial, unformal and unpurest. They are just fantastic. These works place Fierens among a handful of poetic pioneers engaging Fluxus notions that are usually entirely unused in poetic composition. How to read these works remains an open question. They are therefore of indeterminate direction. The chance fashion in which one reads these works allows the reader full participation in the poetry. These works are then a type of map without direction ‘ in fact there is a shard of map in the title poem collage. Left with only a palate of language and images to read (the images must be read as are the words) each mouth is then an instrument of poetry (not the arrogance of the frozen poem locked in form and overly buffed with the ego of poet). One must eat these works with eye and mouth and ear to totally swallow their playful, delightful potential and sheer sheet simple beauty. For Fierens art does not involve ego, because it is about the creative and how the creative can service all imaginations. Jim Leftwich adds an afterworld that further places the works in context and Fierens vita closes the text and this vita offers ample proof to his commitment to the progressive in poetry.

HAT ‘ a one-page magazine - edited by Ross Priddle

Imp press, 21 Valleyview Drive SW, Medicine Hat, Alberta, E1A 7K5. Canada.
$15.00 is the subscription price.
Master of the single page magazine Ross Priddle’s latest manifestation is HAT! Or maybe just Hat. Already he is past 21 issues. Glorious it is that he publishes visual poetry. He has captured a community and forms a network of poets who see and make the work of their community. It is such anchors as Priddle who make poetry live and allows it to develop. Obviously, Priddle doesn’t wine (but maybe he drinks it) about gigantic presses like Vi(stin)king, Heathcourt, Brassed and JohnovicOvic, etc. publishing poetry or the distributtion of it or not of it. Or remaindered books. Or sales or number of copies and the like and dislike and distaste and horrible business of poetry taste on the lips and mouth! Like ammonia or elephant crag or crap. Nope. Simple and clear he has measured the network of the poetry for which he has deep affection and is thereby infected with its poetics and then because the spirit of it is in him he makes this magazine, this thing of pearl beauty for those guests at his table. Take your hat off or put your hat on and don’t forget your hat or lose it. Hat’s off to R. Priddle.

Root Doctor by Jack Saunders

Jack Saunders, Garage Band Books, Box 10501, Panama City, FL. 32404. $5.00 available by mail only. [[email protected] or visit www.dailybulletin.com to see a book a month, serialized online, daily, as it is being written.
Jack Saunders, AKA, Word Mechanic, Do-it-yourself Historian of Americana Music Band Dread Clampitt. That’s what is written beneath the title of this book. Jack S.’s card reads: WARNING: Their shit don’t stink. Jack Saunders Vernacular Writer. Certainly, I have encountered books by Jack Saunders about, but I usually don’t read prose much these days, why with television and wine and escaping mental abilities flying like birds or butterflies out the widow. But this one called to me so I sitted me self down and said, self, read on and find out something about Saunders. So Jack S. is America’s relentless and endless writer of prose. He writes in a free floating, yet coherent and playful, stream of conscience style, if I might be so bold to say that. And, as all prolific writers, all that comes into his field as a human finds itself transmogrified via art into his art ‘ prose and prosy poetry and prose prose. One might write, considering Jack Saunders, a prose is a prose is a prose. What is most marvelous to this humble reader is really the command that prose has on JS. So clear and wide is the avenue between the real and the imagination that it is one porous avenue. I am in awe. Now, as me said, Saunders must have a stack of writing ten feet high or long. Contact him. Be in touch with the writer. Pay him the five and not let that $5 go to some hotdog reading the New York Times and sipping hot milk.

Murderous Signs. - C/o The Grunge Papers

PO Box 20517, 390 Rideau St. Ottawa, Ontario K1N 1A3 Canada. Web: home. achilles.net/~grunge/msigns - Email: [email protected]
Well, this is Issue No.8 of Murderous Signs in these bony fingers this AM. It has an ISSN number: 1499-6006. And the poems within are quite good. The editor is Grant Wilkens and I must give him a slap on the back for spending the time to gather up this work. And he pays 3 cents a word! He’s got an ear for the poem. A tough job he must have carving this issue and each issue out of the mountain of ice and shit that must get shoved into his mail slot. Ouch! So hold on Grant. We are with you in Rockland. Now good reader: Don’t send Grant crap because he wills send it back. Ouch. But read his mag. There are only two contributors to this issue T. Anders Carson and James P. McAuliffe. T. is good and deep and the works mirror his ability to ponder and his art is sharp and precise. I prefer the works of McAuliffe in this here issue No. 8. Maybe because he writes:

blood
fear
belonging
longing
lust

or maybe because he writes:

bomb the libraries with poetry
leave poems in books and files
stuff one in a video or a record
leave books among the books

Reading poetry is, of course, a performance and taking it to the next level like hiding it where others can find it. Ah. He has got it. And when you are out and about leaving poetry here and there in libraries, you should leave a copy of Murderous Signs there also. So get some extra copies. Can you imagine the mind of a 13-year-old finding real poetry! Converts, we need converts.

Remark (print edition)

guest edited by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal. $5.00. See also www.remarkpoetry.net
Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal is the guest editor and editor of Remark’s first print in paper appearance (before it was only E) and he writes in letter that he got good reviews and bad reviews and someone called him mad. Mad is good. I grew up reading Mad magazine. Now I read Remark. One of the best things about small press is that it is OK to be bad and mad in the eyes of the holy toad of taste. With badness in the brown eye of the cow of poetry comes true progress and poetic innovation and evolution. Luis ‘ good work! Each editor and each poet must always have some badness. And some goodness. Mostly in this mag, MAD mag, is all goodness. Oh Hell ‘ there is no bad here at all. Not bad like the Toad Cow rear of the precious poem sack crowd says bad meaning flat champagne. This bad is good. Good beer. Good paperclips! Good slivers and boils on the ass of god! Good that Bush will be unelected (not soon enough). ((If you keeps Bush in office you can kiss mags like this and this goodness good bye!)). But now Luis has brought together this grand cast of poets: You know Alan Catlin and A. D. Winans cause they are regulars at the bar. But check here Bradley Mason Hamlin’s CAVEMAN HAIKU:

skeleton bones breathe
nightmare dreams and from blood bone
she hates cave paintings

Yes, that is the vibration of poems here contained in this can of beer poetry and others be: Jacob Evens’s: 3 Ugly Pigeons and the works of Peter Magliocco. The magazine is focused on the poetics of small press: depiction of the strange which is beautiful and heavy urban pathology of USA; unabashedly resentful of the maniplativeness of MFA programs and the arrogance and conservatism of poets cloistered like worms in the intestines of the academic college (most university administrators could care less about poetry ‘ no surprise ‘ so why be arrogant? Well ‘ is it because you don’t have to drive a delivery truck for UPS!) and a fearless use of the common, melodramatic and ethical. So there.

Monster Poems by Mark Hartenbach

16 pp., $3. order author direct - 240 Thompson Avenue, East Liverpool, OH 43920 - fingerprintpress, PO Box 5473, Deptford, NJ 09096 / co-editor Rank Stranger Press
If you know Mark Hartenbach’s poems you know that they are as intense as, well, it is like that moment before your car hits the wall when you are being chased by the cops; or it is that last drink before you step outside to face the world on fire; or are you gunna get sent to Iraq; or it is that last smoke you have on New Year’s Eve and you know the rest of your existence is going to be a painful, poisonous battle; or coming home and your soulmate has spilled your bookcase all around the apartment and she is gone; or working an ant out of your eye. His poetry expresses this tremendous inner life struggle between good. and evil in religious terms and still remains true to the vitality and energy of small press poetry. He is alone in the wilderness of the soul exposing, the horror of real meat evil with his words. Ah yes, evil is everywhere and in all shapes and sizes and forms. The poems in this book, which seem like one raging and roaring big poem, are perhaps the pinnacle of his Moses up on the hill pronouncement. Damn, his poetry has been up there on the mount and he sees! No evil can hide from Hartenbach! And as poems, well just: Wow! This is a slide down the razor blade and into a boiling pool of acid of spiritual life! I have always thought the small press produces the only real ethical poetry in America. Hartenbach extends this notion from the sociological and moral deep into the dark spiritual battle that all of us monkeys engage each and every day - and twice on Sunday.

you know how it goes by ron androla - art by filipski

16 pp., $5. order author direct: 2407 raspberry st, erie, PA 43920 - fingerprintpress
co-editor Rank Stranger Press
There is by far too much poetry that fits an agenda. This agenda and that language and the Fifth or Sixth generatic of this or that New York School agenda and so forth and forth. No one is speaking. So how is it done, a poet to be, that is? Work third shift in a plastic factory, live in Erie Pennsylvania, and support yourself - that’s a way - but not because it is a pose and the cameras are clicking and you’re licking the gum out of the crevices of some rich kid’s Eastern coast college sneakers. That’s the first thing that comes to mind when someone says Ron Androla, poet - and when you read one of his books, like You Know How It Goes, it is an original home-made pie or pile of pancakes solo, only, high-flying voice, that can’t be concerned with anything but a pound of butter on the pancakes and words forming poems forming books forming decades of writing original, brain tickling, soul slicing, truth barfing, intellectual popsicle prodding poems. It is a cold wind America you feel pierces your sleepy eyes with one of his works like “An Amerikan Poem.” I was talking with a friend and he said, “Out of that whole group Androla is the best.” And I said, “I know.” An if there are outlaw poets, and there are, then there’s gotta be outlaw artists: Jeff Filipski did the graphic art for this book.

June 2004

FUCK! Volume 7, Number four. April 2004. - Edited by Lee Thorn

Subscription is $20.00. Published monthly. Address is: Lee Thorn, Box 85571, Tucson, AZ 85754.

FUCK! is looking for highly original short poems on any subject and art that will photocopy well. Payment is in small unmarked bills. Open to small press poetry and visual poetry also. …as it should be. Now, me think that Thorn never got an award for FUCK! and maybe not for poemistry either. But for my money the poem what I quote below in its entirety defines more than a life time of dull poetry works by most the supposed teachers and gods of lit: This is the poem and it is FUCK! and it is Thorn:

I spent the day
breaking steel pipes
out of concrete blocks

with a digging bar
and a sledge

I'm 60
kiss my ass

Close that Cellar Door! - Audio Poe tics![Audio Poetics](graphics/audioicon.gi – by Dan Sicoli and Joe Malvestuto

$10.00 includes postage. Contact: Dan Sicoli at: PO Box 2071, Niagara Falls, NY 14301.
Since I recently fell down the cellar stairs, bruised fingers, hip and a broken rib (musta be how like Adam feel in the garden after his rib incident), I can relate to the title of this CD: CLOSE THE CELLAR DOOR! by Dan Sicoli ‘ who has poetry ringing out of a lonesome beer bottle in the deepest of cold, damp city night pisst offtism soul watching with some form of disbelief at the circus of life in its dumb shit spit splendor boring honker an affront to the real which is poetry intoxicated smile and voice of ruble of boxcars, and by Joe Malvestuto ‘ who smiles with poetry as ants enter the Christ-like hurts of his heart. A most wonderful weave of music and poetry ‘ not the with Jazz crap but woven without the poetry fearing the music or the music on knees to the poem. Like it is two poets who have this street poem music in them with the other instrument music also and it is all as part of the art. I wish there were more CDs like this one. If so poetry and music mixed would not be such dried scrock. So do this one in the tradition of Locklin, The Buk, the wandering madness men and women in downtown American cities, the howling of the toe in a toaster, an agony butterfly in the beak of blackbird President. Poetry is song, King Song, climbing up the Eiffel tower.

Ragged EDG E Magsheets No. 4. Jimmy Abbey Stays for the Drum Circler by Geral –Locklin.

$3.00 each, post free (US copies go Air Mail). Contact: Appliance Books, 43 Transmere Grove, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 6DU, UK. www.raggededge.btinernet.co.uk Poet of spewing street voices K. M. Dersley runs this project projectile.
OK, so in this series besides Locklin’s Jimmy Abbey Stays for the Drum Circle is: A Tale of the British Beatniks by K. M. Dersley; Bopper by Jim Burns; Are You Now or Have You Ever Been? by A. D. Winans; and it continues on so you know that here you are gunna score, so get out the pencil and moist up the tip and pull out the near empty wallet (but the good thing only $3.00 A POP! What aint half bad!) And write for all these and others and you wanna know K. M. Dersley anyway ‘ if yo er in The LAND of ENGs and wanna send your poetry other than to your neighbor across the hall (who can’t read anyway) so just do this thing for crying out loud! But let’s tear open this bag of chips by Gerald Locklin. A fast tight short story it are featuring Locklin’s lusty Jimmy Abbey and is Locklin at his ironic and joy packed, humoristic horny best with twist of splendid ending the way fiction should be in these complicated times of unreadable egghead prose. Not Locklin who is writing prose for the Home Depot guy balding in plumbing telling me how to fix my toilet by saying, ‘You know what I mean ‘ the thingy?’ Here in Locklin prose the body is mind! Here in Locklin’s short story the imagination fires up the balls! Maybe blue balls! Read the story - $3.00 bucks! Less than a gallon of gas in Bush’s America.

Asemic Magazine. No. 3. - Tim Gaze, editor

P.O. Box 1011, Kent Town, SA 5071, Australia. You gotta write to Tim for the price or send some dollars ‘ I understand he is outta work so he needs support. Ya can’t expect something for nothing. See ‘ being a poet means you be broke and broke ‘ down-under or up-under ‘ don’t matter. Maybe send a lettuce!
Now… why a magazine? ‘ ? ‘Paper has more presence than electronic media’ that’s a quote from Tim Gaze ‘ I mean you gotta like this poet ‘ him being Australia’s and world’s inonavigator and flashlight light into the darkness. Visual poets and poets or all stripes gotta wish there were more Gazes. And you see Asemic is the best new brand new nude thing coming in visual poetry in twenty years! Let me quote, ‘The world ‘asemic’ means having no semantic content.’ That means it is not writing but writing that demands improvisation to translate. This means there is no arrogance of learned poet. This means sound improvisation is always a possibility ‘ all works sing! This means pagan ‘ pre meaning. Ah! What joy. All favorites of visual poetry work within this one like Ross Priddle, Jim Leftwich, Jack Berry, Ficus! And more endless. And I was happy to find a Brion Gysin work in the mag also. He was once colleague of William Burroughs. And when I saw it, I said, why yes, Gysin was into this in the 1960s. Now it is asemic and Tim Gaze on his non semantic eastern dragon bakes the cake of this brand new writing form. A fat issue. You need it. You gotta get with it. Remember that small press ushered in visual poetry 40 years ago. Time to reinvigorate this genre again you of small press, you who are gods and goddesses and humble slices of peach pie and black coffee poem.

Tablets ‘ 1 through Tablets ‘ 4 by Peter Ganick and Tarsals

1 through Tarsals ‘ 2 by Peter Ganick. 2004. Available at $5.00 each or $25 for the set from Peter Ganick, 181 Edgemont Avenue, W. Hartford, Ct. 06110.
For decades Peter Ganick was one of principle entrepreneurs of the new poetry of the 1980s and 1990s. Via his magazine ABACUS and his press: Potes and Poets, he published and he promoted a generation of innovative, perplexing and challenging writing, seemingly without prejudice with one exception being that the writing had to be challenging, bright and new. He was part of the L-A-N-G-U-A-G-E surge but his interest in provocative, conscious altering poetry was not limited to its publication. Ganick himself is a poet, a word I do not write without deep consideration. He has authored more than 50 books of poetry and continues to this day to actively write and publish. These six books are now added to his substantial bibliography. The tablet sequence takes its name from, seemingly, the way in which the poetry was written, which is to write in a tablet and each work, like a poetic diary entry, is composed and dated at a sitting. Sometimes there is more than one poem written at a sitting ‘ such is the nature of creativity ‘ meaning sometimes there is more in the tank one day than the next. The Tarsals sequence is like Tablets in compostional facets. This poetry is the work of poetry mind moving about the words and indicates the shifting and pondering, reflective and insightful mind of the poet Ganick engaged in poetry. Less opaque than some of his earlier works, this poetry falls into a comfortable rhythm of thought. Insight after insight, this poetry feels like Ganick’s best work. Free to engage poetry for poetry’s worth his poetry in these compositions are meditative moments, flashes of smart imaginative word light or lighting hitting the brain or fire flies blinking with lucid word precise imagination. Can’t put it down while reading and constantly looking up and joining with the poet in contemplations released by a mature control of language as art. The pome, the poem, the passing moments in poetry here recorded.

Prose Elements (1969-2003) by Thomas Lowe Taylor

2004 Isbn 1-930259-38-7 Anabasis. Xtant Books. For other information and price write: Jim Leftwich, 1512 Mountainside Ct. Charlottesville, VA 22903.
Thomas Lowe Taylor is a multi-dimensional artist. He is poet, prosesist, photographersist and all around literary experimentalist who has been pushing against the limits for thirty years. Pushing against the hard rock is hard work and a hard place in which one poet finds himself. There is no support from the greater literary world for the hard at work intrepid artist like Thomas Lowe Taylor. When I first heard his name I heard Thomas Lowe Taylor was geology prof. or a geography teacher. Geo this or geo that and maybe I don’t remember very right. But one senses him working with and at, seeking elements of for and a poetry in these prose works all about one poet’s poetics. Elements, elementals here now are called Prose Elements. If I could find one poet, among many, who Thomas Lowe Taylor might find an anchor it seems to be that poet would be Charles Olson and then it fits perfect about the elements and hard places, like continents bumping into each other. So this book is a collection of very complex but thoroughly exciting working out of poetic notions, prose writing essay statements and poetic thinkings. Like Olson and Pound, it is collage in its wide bridging informational impact. A life of reading and writing and poetic consideration and experimentations has gone into these essays and prose sections and it is a wonderful experience to read one mind alive in poetry. In his afterworld he writes that this is trance writing. Of course it is because in, so to speak, trance is where the metaphors and literary leaps occur. They occur here most wonderfully. But also in structure these are creative, trance like essays, and extend and develop Olson’s projects to the point where these are Thomas Lowe Taylor’s projects. Good creative and informative poetic essays about poetry are in short supply. If you thirst, wanna get tranced, here is some elixir.

Bodh[i] Circu[it]s / Alg[a]e[bra] D[ra[in]] by Derek White

Calamari Press 350 W. 57th St Apt 3H, New York, New York 10019 [email protected]
Bodh[i] Circu[it]s / Alg[a]e[bra] D[ra[in]] continues work that Derek White has done in his previous books: 23 Text Tiles and Mining in the Black Hills both 2003 from Calamari Press. This is expansive visual poetry and as that something needed. Guilty, visual poets are sometimes of repeating themselves via style and form and medium but you won’t find any of that in Derek White. He is the most expansive visual poet I’ve read in some time. Each page in fact is a new field of work, a new form, form of forms, and he has not abandoned the word but has each time found it fresh and new again and is able to ornament it in balance with visuals, various forms, lines images, color, type, print, hands, photocopy, and conglomeration, a constellation cooperation of mediums germinates and generates into a splendidly babbling work. And with babble I mean only a compliment because babble is the multi-sound/dimensions one hears, as sweet delight, when engaging White’s diverse fields of work. Finally, a two eyes poet! One eye visual and one readable ‘ one focused imagination. See also his magazine SleepingFish www.sleepingfish.net Fish and net ‘ I like it!

July/august 2004

I Saw the Best Minds of My Generation by A. D. Winans

December 2003. 12 Gauge Press, 142 Avenida Perlayo, Unit C., San Clemente, CA. 92672. Write for price and complete information/catalog of extensive underground and small press poetry. Get in the loop!
Winans is by far one of our best all around, succinct and absolutely faith filled blue-collar loyal, lit of society proponent, truth intoxicated, small press entrepreneur and kingundergroundpoet of the last 4 decades. I Saw the Best Minds of My Generation by A. D. Winans is a one poem book and a storm of small press axe and sword and bone slicing hacksaw poetry it are! Obviously it engages Allen Ginsberg and the cover is set up like a City Lights book. And what’s it about… let me quote a bit from Winans: ‘…starving hysterical naked under fashion designer clothes…’ See. Now I like Alien Ginsberg’s poems a lot and the world of poem would be a worst pile of shit if not for him. Nevertheless, Beat and all is too human and therefore corrupt. BNAG and BANG! It is all too true and A. D. Winans:: open the sky for the stars.

The Allegories by Dan Sicoli

  1. $8.95. Pudding House Publications, 81 Shaddymere Lane, Columbus, Ohio 43213. www.puddinghouse.com - Write the poet: Dan Sicoli PO Box 2071, Niagara Falls. NY 14301 or [email protected]
    Dan Sicoli has tapped his soul and out pours: The small press poem is a finger stained with oil or yellow with nicotine, cut at work or working on the house, the mundane of America celebrated, banal birthday candles, beer cans, a phone call, a hubcap along I-90, I-95, dreamy Route 66, a cup of vapid coffee, a Krispy cream, eggs with two pork sausages, Janet Jackson, Afghanistan, and Coors, what some refer to as camel piss. The small press poem is the corona around the sun. Sicoli has all this and a shot glass more or some shotgun shells more too. Here is his latest, The Allegories, which is a reflective collection all ways in mind and imagination full of lost and sad loves that pierce love and life like the boil it is. Imagination is the only glue that keeps the poetic heart one beating thing of art. My head is a sandwich he writes in one poem! He is not without humor. Still this is a pondering, a sometimes melancholy set of poetry. The Allegories, fit for alcohol remorse and hangover (from living) Sundays and no, not the poem of what’s happening out on the street so much as what happens in the heart of a street poet after being at work out there in the wet, cold rain terrible world word of Monday morning back stabbing. Oh the bitter life, life sweetness, the joy of wishes and wanting weep to express celebrate breathe one last time… O poem! And laugh kinda. Have to ‘ to keep in it on living.
  2. The Closeouts by Matthew Wascovich;

Level Act by Matthew Wascovich; Blinking Envelope by Matthew Wascovich. Sloe Toe Publications, P.O. Box 6592 Cleveland, Ohio 44101. Write for price and the new and poetry:www.slowtoe.com
‘curator television for the memory loser’ … a line that sticks in mind from Matthew Wascovich The Closeouts. Each line in a Wascovich poem is a distinct unit and often a definition of instances or instant poetic information. And this vital bullet or knife or poetry laid by lines, above and below one another, captures instances. Pops! Seconds when the poetic mind flips open for an instant instant half or tenth of a second and Polaroids all that is there. It all floods in as if the poem were a bathtub. This then becomes the poem, a poem of poetry beyond the words themselves. This is penetrating work. Fresh stuff, peculiar stuff without leaving behind any of the pointed daily of it all. Savor this section of his poem Knife On The Desk (from Blinking Envelope):

run from things like an addict
he is buried in water in india
but his sounds are in this room
he's got tanks in his ear
and your voice in his head

Each line is linked but also stands as an entity itself. Can’t beat this new form of meat loaf brain poem that pour forth from fully utilized, vitalized, poeticized perception. Matthew Wascovich’s imagination sees with the poem!

The Homages of Eagle by Tomas Lowe Taylor

  1. In two volumes. 900 plus pages. Anabasis. Xtant Books. For other information and price write: Jim Leftwich, 1512 Mountainside Ct. Charlottesville, VA 22903 and/or Anabasis Press, Oysterville, Washington 98641-0216.
    Composed between 1974 and 1976 ‘ or so dates indicate ‘ it is remarkable how consistently useful and poignant and provocative the poetry of this voluminous, major poetic event becomes as a reader engages and gorges within its poetry. And then, to return to its girth again and again listening and responding to its beckoning call. This form of opus event in the life of a poet is a measure of a poet’s submission to the vastness of art and Thomas Lowe Taylor has here produced a poem that can only be an homage to the endlessly occurring pleasure of ever evolving form. It is in fact a document of a literary life as the poem progresses from page to page across the years of composition. A widely sprawling book of poetry, rather than book of poems, pondering form and measured by poetic music and space, the work has a unique rhythm that will intoxicate and hypnotize any reader. Of course, in essence and in the end, it is a celebration of poet and poetry and, therefore, a form of wedding. Thomas Lowe Taylor tosses one hellovaparty and all the muses arrived in risqu’ gowns! My copy of the Cantos is 802 pages long and there are at least 875 numbered poems in The Homags of Eagle. Hence, Thomas Lowe Taylor thrashes Pound! But like Pound’s big poem work, and Olson’s, it is work one returns to, again and again, filling up each time and knowing that there is endless more.

Bottle #2. 2004. - Bottle of Smoke Press,

50 Loch Lomond Street, Bear, DE 19701. http://www.bospress.net/ and/or/etc. [email protected]
Jon Edgar and Gypsy Lou Webb image cut by Marc Snyder on cover them two from The Outsider! AH! Delight to pay homage to those that have made small press a place with a history and a tradition! So ‘ good poets! Don’t let the academic monsters tell you that small press is not rooted in a form of poetic thought that extends back to the 1950s. Why? Because the line is there! BOS is Bottle of Smoke ‘ I just figured that out and this BOTTLE is an all broadside magazine which I didn’t have to figure out cause when I opened it all the broadsides fell out! Started off with A. D. Winans ‘66’ which has to do with his age and his, ‘hose still hard/but no one to man it.’ Justin Barrett’s beer poem what is called by Justin Barrett, Six-Pack. And I think of Gerald Locklin’s beer poem, which isn’t in this magazine, but in this magazine is Locklin’s Whistler: Mrs. Meux ‘ which has that wonderful Locklinesque twist of common sense - …He does this so well that it has got to be called the Locklin Twist! And Locklin’s publisher is Jeffrey Weinberg and Jeffrey Weinberg has in here a poem also ‘ it about attending a poetry reading with Ralph Waldo Emerson - Longfellow was the poet reading in the dream of Weinberg poem! What a party! I can’t mention everybody in the (this) Bottle but the editing and gathering of these poems in this format makes it/them readable and fun and allows you take one poem out and tack to the wall, magnet it to the frig, set up in from the wine bottle and enjoy enjoy twice.

ORACLE WHIP by Bradley Lastname

2004 The Press of The Third Mind, 1301 N. Dearborn, Loft 1007, Chi-town, Ill., 60610. [email protected]
One has to love poetry that is really poetry and that is so off the wall as to be ultimately form breaking and vibrant. Lastname writes without the limits of genre and without the arrogance of career! Forget about poetry with Lastname poetry has now been reborn as the property poetry of the working middle and people reading class! Finally a poetry that people don’t have to puke over! His poetry brain must be soaked alcohol Hula-hoop made from fermenting Lenny Bruce with Homer Melville and Norbert Mailer. This book of poems is as fresh as a new born litter of warthogs. Like Lastname’s Poem With Too Many Syllables to be a Haiku:

I look in the mirror
And I'm happy to see me
Regardless of whether there's a pickle in my pocket

Uproariously insane! Riotous and ball busting humor out of left field. A truck of pig bladder pouring beer pee into the pyramids. Truly a Gregory Corso for the 21st century.

Palimpsests for Beckett & Walls for Finnegans by Carlos M. Luis

2004 50 pages. For information and price: Anabasis Press, Oysterville, Washington 98641-0216 or contact the author (for submissions to your press) at: Carlos Luis, 10099 NW 4 Lane, Miami, Florida, 33172

Carlos Luis is a contemporary poet who works with the visual in his poems. This book contains two serial visual poems: Palimpsests for Beckett and the second: Walls for Finnegans. As serial works they should be engaged as those serial poems of Duncan or Olson or works that bridge one another but that do not necessarily narratively follow. Luis’s poems inform in a serial fashion that stands against conventional poetry for in life, so to speak, the random and chance change shifting of things is the pattern that commands life and that in fact nature follows. Palimpsests for Beckett is, as one might suspect, layered language. In this imaginative vision of Beckett’s imagination Luis’s poetry is both expansive and minimal and there is the restlessness of form in the panels of poetry that is expressionistic without being explosive or rude. Walls for Finnegans is a large work of some 36 pages. And it is an intersection/interaction between the real and imagained. Day and Night. Meaning and unmeaning. It is a collage of facets that repeats its technique so the reader is constantly teased by meaning only to have meaning submerge again into the total poetic text. The imagination is left without convenient anchors and is aloud to roam like the splashes of ink that bind the work into a poem and the teasing surface meanings, chunks of collaged text and pictures, force the reader to pursue wonderment

Full TV Poems by Luc Fierens

  1. Luc Fierens (Mail-Artist-Visual Poet-Postfluxpost) Galgenberg 18, B-1982 Weerde ‘ Belgium. WRITE to HIM. http://www.vansebroeck.be
    These works are the result of an evolution that has combined various genre, mail art and collage and poetry and vis-poetry, to produce a fresh fashion of literary art, which can be called: combine. It is a number of poems, in this context, that are readable and soundable and visually stimulating and expressionistic and drawn and glued and clipped. Fierens’s work is the fruit haiku of a lifetime of study and practice in the fugitive forms of art and lit. I am happy to seehear him in this book of poems in such grand and mature form dealing within these works into the erotic and socially dangerous police state mind. How a poem is political ‘ here it is. Luc Fierens is a poet exhibited and committed but without any surrendering at all and he holds exploratory and experimental art to be first and foremost.

September/october 2004

From Her Red Deck by Lindsay Wilson

ISBN 0-9675226-7-6. 48 pages. $5.95. Pathwise Press, PO Box 2392, Bloomington, IN. 47402. And check out also Pathwise’s newest: Nothing But Love by Mike James. Pathwise run by Christopher Harter - [email protected]

Hear young man poems soaked with love, aching love, love still bound with lush lust Uroboros in a continuum of sheets, morning separations, mouths opening, opening curtains, separating curtains and dresses falling in a heap of petals on the floor. Ah the endless pyramid of the laundry of loving made by the slaves of pungent human juices, meaning poets. Here stepping forward into the moist spotlight is Lindsay Wilson of Moscow, Idaho, who loves the women of Moscow, Idaho and who when not in embrace embraces the words to convey his sad separation passion crawling poetry tongue again up her leg of poem. Tongue! Why tongue you read and say! Well, read the first stanza of his: Late Winter Snow Storm, 2002:

the man by the window
wipes the perspiration off with a dollar,
and thinks of devil's trumpets
-purple in summer's giving.
the girl at the coffee counter,
sick of steam,
is getting off work
with her flat hair,
and talking about vegas
with a swimming tongue. 

So, want love poems on the pancake griddle of the far west Idaho! Oh, Wilson is there with the syrup up!

The Leveling Wind by Kell Robertson

ISBN 0-9675226-8-4. 52 pages. $10.00. Pathwise Press, PO Box 2392, Bloomington, IN. 47402. [email protected]

Well, yeah, I have heard the name of Kell Robertson and maybe read a poem here and there. Maybe I have seen him in a picture in North Beach cowboy hat with A. D. Winans. Maybe not. Maybe it was his magazine, was it Desperado? And some say he is a cowboy poet. I don’t know from cowboys but poets I have some sense of. So I began to read this collection: The Leveling Wind, and I said, well yeah, this is about the west and places where they have cowboys and such and saloons but I said out loud to meself, ‘Self, this is all about poetry.’ And then I got to the poem Kansas Goddess and the Goddess has a yellow Buick convertible and there were billboards advertising cheapness. And you know who she is but who is, is also that other that is the poem and poetry and as Kell Robertson writes in his poem ‘ a poem about the insect song of the heart and soul of a writer, he writes in his poem: Song, ‘all of the noises heard in the dark/ aren’t imaginary.’

Gypsy. AKA Loose Leaf Gypsy. Spring 2004 - Vergin Press

Vergin Press. PO Box 370322, El Paso, Texas 79937. www.verginpress.com - All ruled by Editor: Belinda Subraman.
It has been 10 years since Gypsy rolled across these fingers and welcome now to have in hand this issue: Loose Leaf Gypsy! Gypsy is back and back and back. And back with old friends in magazine: Gerald Locklin, Mark Weber, Bart Solarczyk and batches of new poets and artists fresh from Gypsy to me (and you) ‘ Donna J. Snyder, Joseph Somoza and a bunch more. This is Loose Leaf Gypsy because it comes in a pocket folder and in the pockets are broadsides and art. All cool. Bold and vibrant and small press concerned and champion this resurrection of Gypsy has rolled with the time but remained loyal to the root of poetry as it surged in the early 1980s when an entire generation of underground and other world/class level of poets first reached for the gold bottle of beer and seized that day with relish and passion and mustard. Ah Belinda many many will welcome your open bar of poetry! Ah! Down in the West Texas Town of El Paso I spied a magazine dancing in air! This star in the midnight of poetry is a teat to those poetry sailors searching for an OZ! Ah. A spirting lighthouse! Or as Justin Barrett writes in his poem Early Morning Bike Ride:

lamppost
lamppost
lamppost

And when you write to Gypsy ask about the two new books just recently published: Last Chap by Jonathan Penton and Tango by Arden Tic and Nicholas Sands. Worth it.

La Perruque Editions

Slack Buddha Press. 50 Garrison Avenue, Somerville, MA 02144. $5.00 each or subscribe 6 chapbooks for $20.00
Slack Buddha Press is a new press. And Daniel Bouchard’s book is the first book from this new press. And Slack Buddha is publishing the work of contemporary practitioners of writing, what includes: poetry, prose performance texts and verbo-visual work. Slack Buddha is, as fact, William R. Howe and Lisa A. Phillips. Each book is $5.00 and you can subscribe: 6 chapbooks is $20.00 and 10 is $32.00. Why not? And for sure, for sure, for sure as shit you will get in each installment a book of words used as art! Not academic fart. Bouchard’s is the first, but here on the pile rests also Alan Halsey’s In Addition and Stephen T. Vessels’s Zip Code Poems. Each of these three is distinctly different, unique but each of these poets has a focused purpose that is really, when boiled down and rooted and fluffed and painted… each has to do with literary consistency, vision and language manipulation and each book is an exploration in literary art….so that’s The Slack Buddha project: real art by serious artists from many walks of poetry. Halsey’s contribution to The Slack Buddha are poems titled by master poets, e.g., Samuel Butler, George Herbert, etc. and, using old form, old words are variously playful and satirical poking at these masters and having fun with poetry! Damn the seriousness! And amazing this book increases the possible by returning to the past for material. Armed with a spiked rubber hose of pen and a wide laughing smile Halsey punishes the dull. The Vessels’s book is composed of short poems defined by the first one in the collection, which acts as model for those that follow and which reads:

if delivery by hand becomes
obsolete
may
this
form become a testament

93117
Mailed to H. & S.
April 2000

The post office becomes a revolutionary hideout! The act of writing poems, we all know is a revolutionary act. And mailing is now also the activity of the revolution only. I hear what Vessel has to say ‘ I use the post office even if most of the employees are strange and don’t wash much. Maybe one of them is Charles Bukowski the Second or Thomas Pynchon the Three.

She Kept Birds by Geraldine Monk is a book of a series of little machines of music, key wound music boxwoooords of birds, i.e., small poems with plenty of erotic vowel music listing birds harvested form/from one of those gigantic field guides and proves to me everywhere is birds and little sounds becoming poetry of nature. Keith Tuma’s Topical Ointment puns around with sarcastic and cutting pleasure of rhythm and rhyme and infling with a wide net capturing the best of sound again and agains as this mighty poem maker he writes,

Better take enlightenment and squeeze it
Osama rhymes with 'Yo Mama.'>

But the review here was supposed to be about Sound Swarms & Other Poems by Daniel Bouchard and in that context: With his ear Bouchard reinvents a poetry that focuses on the natural world and her events like birds. A delight of terrific word bird music and Bouchard gets as real close to the naturalness of language fun and it becomes second nature. So ‘ what nature is it? Nature as in the Nature of poetry or the Nature of outside the bar? What it art in facet is a measure of both that makes this wow unique vow. This is one to have cause Bouchard will be around longer than time.

Shattered Wig Review No. 24

Edited by Rupert Wondolowski. 425 E. 31st St. Baltimore, MD. 21218. $10 for two issues. Do it now before Bush sends us all to E-roc!
Outpost of the Eve-Ant-Guard in Ball-Some-More! Rupert Wondolowski has just published his 24rth issue of: Shattered Wig Review. The howl on the lips of the wolf! The smoke bellowing from the end of your father’s filterless Camel! The meat on the stick of melting marshmallow of butterfly wing fried spareribs! Speadered with works by John M. Bennett, Al Ackerman, ric royer, Beppi Knott and A Fluffy Bunny, with form of magazine pushes ascetics like Homer once did with tales of wondering and wandering. Wandering Wondolowski has some stuff in here also. A truel and always funny and satirical and delight and terrific magazine that all should hold in paw while swingering from tree to tree like Tarzan or at the swingers club Friday happy hour. Going bald from the stress of boring poetry? Try on this Shattered Wig.

Big Hammer. Issue No. 7 - Edited by Dave Roskos

Iniquity Press/Vendetta Books, PO Box 54, Manasquan, NJ 08736. Send a $ten$.
Open this bottle of boiling and fuming wine blood red ketchup and it will bubble over on your clean white pants! Or this sizzling zipper cup of coffee will certainly burn your flabby weak and pink tongues! If you stick your hand or tit into this washing machine watch out cause with Dave Roskos as editor this train is heading quick to the South American of the imagination with ants in the pants. As the ink dries let’s yank a few things out of the spin dryer down at the Laundromat. So inside this is Alfred Kremeborg, Sheyl Melms, Todd Moore, Kell Robertson, Boni Joi, Donald Lev ‘ bunches of NJ poets and the underground oil poets seeping up through the earthquake slips in the ground. What do ya wanna know about Big Hammer! Well ‘ you like poems like hammers that crack open walnuts and pop bottles and windshields and pound nails into your face. Hey, dummy, if that is what you wish ‘ use Big Hammer! And while you written to Dave ask about: Temporary Guaranteed Shelter by Ken Greenley, from Roskos’s Iniquity Press/Vendetta Books

Black Spring. Winter 2004 by Steve Tills

Single Copy - $7.00. Steve Tills, 98 West Main Street, Shortville, NY 14548
An interesting supermarket is Black Spring (from Henry Miller’s?) with a wide variety of tastes that are all cultured and focused. Hence, Black Spring is a hand of cards with poems different but the same in the pursuit of poetic contemporary experimentation, progression out from Olson and as Jim McCrary writes in his 103 section of Hotter Than And Now (let me quote it in its entirety) ‘Whoa!’ And then there is Catherine Daly. Let’s quote a line from her: In EBCDIC & Hex, ‘84 89 a2 97 93 81 a8 a2.’ I put the period in. Ah, that’s nice and and that’s only one line! So there is this real measure by Tills, whose works are within also, of him as editor renewing poets whom he has admired in other manifestations and reading and finding the freshest of poetry from about the country. Why not name them all, as if this were spermaceti or the supermarket sale paper and this store is called Black Spring. Disz week you got: Brent Bechtel, Catherine Daly, Kari Edwards, Stephen Ellis, Jim McCrary, Chris Murray, Layne Russell and Steve Tills. And Tills we meet again ‘ enjoy.

Wet Sand, Raven Tracks ‘ new haiku by Ray McNiece

80 pages. 2004. ISBN 0-9742054-9-4. $12.95. Deep Cleveland Press, PO Box 435 Berea, Ohio 44017. Mark S. Kuhar, proprietor [email protected] Check out Ray McNiece at:www.raymcniece.com
Haiku has plenty of history ‘ Japan ‘ the Beats and 17 syllables and not and the discussion goes on and on and haiku me imagines has really become the adopted poem of American poets. Is 21st like sonnet used to be for the old goats, so to speak now ‘ our form as American poets - Haiku (which is not to rob haiku from Japanese or purists ‘ Haiku can handle it all and the space is vast and lots of room for arguments and frogs to plop in empty foods and sounds of one foot in the refrigerator counting angel wing toenails milk). McNiece has won this and that (check the website) and written this and that. And am happy to read his work and get to know him and I think as I eat mashed potatoes that he is really: a) poet and b) writer c) serious of American wish he show up in any town to be people’s poet d) smart and not hustler ego poet but e) poet again I write ‘ praise the McNiece for this book of haiku that he plants in Cleveland! Yes this is where it belongs as is his self planets, plants and planted pants! Whitman of poetry person listening to poetry of Cleveland and allows unafraid the art to flow in from all the around world into his imagination and he makes these molecules of poetry with bonds so tight as to reveal that poetry is the our glue shoe to our places in the all so big and sky universe earth one eye ball looking into the soul McNiece:

first time lovers lulled
by erie's last waves of summer
her sleeping breathing

Critical Path into the Bush (Part 1: Report to the Council) by Three Little Heretics

Casus Belli, Palestine, Texas. 2003. order from Slack Buddha Press, 50 Garrison Avenue, Somerville, MA 02144. $10.00.
The three heretics are William R. Howe, cris cheek and Keith Tuma. I wonder if it is against the poetic law to say such? Ah, so what. The text involves a ride from New Orleans or Ohio to somewhere in west Texas and the conversations of cheek and Howe were recorded and sent to Tuma who wizardriticlypoetic transformed the various wormwordsound utters and ejackulations into a form of text. Not since Triptrap with Kerouac and Welsh has such exciting road text been generated. A collage with images and of sound images and sarcasticism asceticism and world place from three outrageous points of view ‘ heretics indeed! Worbderfoul, fool and cripaslicious salad of American writing ‘ authorless, collage, combine, a form of this century.

Horse by Tom Kryss

Kirpan Press, P.O. Box 2943, Vancouver, WA 98668-2943. $10.00. Make check and check price payable to A. Horvath.
Horse is a new poem by Cleveland poet/ Black Rabbit Press publisher Tom Kryss, Kryss of the 1960s of levy Cleveland and Runcible Spoon Press friend of d. r. Wagner and Jim Lowell. Kryss of Cleveland over the decades up ands down steel and stadiums and rock and roll hall of fame where in sits Janis Joplin’s flower power car. Kryss, here he delivers this poem ‘ in form of a book ‘ about his 25th or 32nd book or so what is called as in a title: Horse. An old horse Kryss maybe or a life ‘ mine - yours - now a bit older still traveling throughout the universe of America and in the deserts of our life times and out and contemplation involving threat treat teat the great American mythic western self oh Horses we all is still traveling along until Horse merges with the world around himself the mountains of the mind. Dynomitic dynamic and warmly heartfelt soul true feeling and images of all living and Tom Kryss Terrific!

Playground Forcing Hearts Ensemble

by Christina Carter, Byron Coley, Matthew Wascovish and Valerie Beth Webber. Slow Toe Publications P. O. Box 6592, Cleveland, Ohio 44101. Website: slowtoe.com Check site for press of this 28 page book of poems.
Fantastic to find a constellation of fresh voices obtuse to the mundane vapid fish heads that float with mirrors of each other in the slug of poetry in Americow or sheep. A releaf for the rain forest of poetry. The book is composed by the four poets Christina Carter, Byron Coley, Matthew Wascovish and Valerie Beth Webber. They each have some solo works ‘ like this chunk of sample by Valerie Beth Webber:

sometimes I want to ask you
just what the fuck you think you're going
in my bed
with your mouth suction-cupped around my cunt

and then the other half of book is poetry composed by the four:

let me press my tongue wide enough
for empty rails
against the sewer grate
fuzzy lingulate bandit

What da! Dazzling freshness as if the poems just spirited form the oven imagination of a constellation of other voices cutting into the void that has become small press and middle of the road duck and chicken fat poetry and boiling it and burning it and leaving it with crushed snail shells, orgasm sand and clam sput as a mark for this writing is new words and another surge of volcanic splendiddddd that announces that poetry from the other has vibrancies and fresh as a summer of razors. Contact each poet ‘ you editurs and magazine folks and publish them on and upward so this new mountains of poetry will replace Hawaii as the destination of all imagination.

January 2005

The Dark Months of May by Tom Pickard

68 pages. $12.95. Flood Editions, P.O. Box 3865, Chicago, Illinois, 60654-0865 www.floodeditions.com www.floodeditions.com
Few poets, I think, can appeal to more than one of the many poetry camps that exist in our poetry nation. Fewer, I think can appeal directly to the aesthetics of small press poetry, demanding candid encounter with social ills, social class and with its demand that poetry not reside solely in academia and the academic avant garde whose superstars include Robert Creeley and the late Allen Ginsberg. However, Tom Pickard seems to do this. Any reader has to read in awe because Pickard writes a most working class accessible yet most decidedly measured and artful poetry. He can read in a bar to a bunch of miners just off shift or to a classroom full of eggheads and come out with free drinks from both crowds. By the way, he is not Tom Pickard who is the Tom Pickard who is the deputy head of the FBI. This Tom Pickard lives on the boarder between England and Scotland. He dropped out of school at 16, held any number of jobs, attracted the attention the British poet Basil Bunting who liked his anti-(stuffy)-poetic establishment point of view and created a poetry from the cadences of the British workin people. Author of 10 substantial books of poems, the latest is his The Dark Months of May (which is blurbed by Annie Lenox) and the poems within chronicle the end of a marriage. Let me give some examples, from the poem: Denial is a River in Egypt:

god I'm easy, a pushover
for anyone with wine, a spliff,
a condom in her bag

I say no thanks and
half a bottle later
we're on the nest 

and from his poem The Dark Months of May: 

agitated 
I spin a glass
until it
hits my ring

I wont take if off
until you do

A collection of the pain of losing love poems this collection pokes the deep crevices of open hurt in each person whose hand has fallen out of another’s. I can’t recall when I last wrote highly recommended, so let’s go: highly recommended. Add terrific.

Post 9/11: The Way I Be by Herschel Silverman

2004 52 pages. Butcher Shop Press, 529 Beach 132nd St. Rockaway Beach, NY 11694. Check for price at:[email protected]

Herschel Silverman writes on the first page of this book, ‘In the wake of 9/11 this is an attempt to capture the chaos.’ and, ‘The meaning is in the method and in the doing.’ I must rush write and say that this Herschel Silverman silver bullet is in the pistol of The Lone Ranger poem is upper super successful becauSings (yes SINGS) a meshSING of his two first page statements. Silverman at his peak poetry is a beat Beat rhythmic urban machine New Jersey ensemble that word notes along and swoops your ear up in its terrific traffic of words that gets you go from title to end Ding ding dong. SAMPLE :::::SEE::::HEAR::::

half-notes on Verso St.
beap beap beap bog old faults
plurally discover meanings darling
meaning waht waht could be
zeros like butterfly babble
or new wine acrid acidic so it develops
and I'm colored like wow yah web
a tower of hi-fi tapes

It’s a talking music of being and being out on the street and in between the gush roooosh of cars and horns and words of all of russsssssssssshzz talking is the material of Silverman’s art, which is half hearing and half speaking jazz riffs and half a cup of last night coffee or help empty beer of time. He keeps time and grows tomatoes. I mean this computer here keept wanting to correct his word: WAHT buy making it WHAT. I mean that is how he bends the words to his language and not easy and it is art because the damned darn conventional machine I am on wants its conservative order. Not so for H. Silverman keeper of the subway gate tympani.

The Dew Neal by Douglas Manson

Slack Buddha Press, 50 Garrison Avenue, Somerville, MA 02144. $5.00 or buy 6 copies of Manson’s The Dew Neal for $20.00 or get other titles from the La Perruque series of which The Dew Neal is number 10.
OK ‘ The Dew Neal ‘ get it? Like a reverse of the first letters so you get a New Deal ‘ but for Mason it is a Dew Neal that is taking the daily words slobbered about and full of slips lips and skips and twists and turns generated with mist spellings and misspellings and using them to mold and meld a speaking voice in a complete playground that avoids the surface philosophy of lots of poetry that isn’t this playful tat all. So I read in Douglas Manson’s poetry a way of speaking a poetry that doesn’t rely or lie upon blunt old school gutter tweet. The poetry informs. Wow! He’s stating a view! And making words really be art by making them work in their common behavior of making song and reason. What happens after Williams Carlos Williams writes, at the end Paterson, ‘The last summersault’? Well then you have Doug Mason and the royal acrobats of word possibility without arrogancing. This is really, as in real, then a class-conscious work. And: Trick or Treat, money or eat, we know your home we smell your words. Words are just the things we poets work at ‘ the making of them. This is another way of reading and the music of this sartsats (isn’t this a great word I just made up! sartsats! ‘ means by Doug Manson’s book and reads it) and jerks like the wordworm at the end of the hoook! And he has in the midst of this a lone, alone line: ‘Meaning we are devastated.’ Meaning as we know meaning and meaning as I mean. And then meaning as we know something devastated. This is a good thing to remember that words are not dumb entities but living lizards to be tainted and trained to the page and in Manson’s poetry they still wag their tales, this way that, up and down, dog and cat.

E.n.t.r.a.n.c.e.d. - Maria Damon and mIEKAL aND

2004 24 pages. Xeroxial Editions, 10375 Cty Hway A, LaFarge WI 54639 $4.00 includes postage. [email protected]
$4 bucks for visual poetry. Buy it! This two authored visual poem by aND and Damon, I should say has meaning again more than just itself because now that it is October 16th and I look out my Buffalo, New York window ‘ there is snow! What would you expect. So why not a poem of snow focus. Here we go: E.n.t.r.a.n.c.e.d. What’s new for me and most habitable is that this poem is a narrative visual poem. No longer are we staingnated on the single page by a work. Here poetry moves terrific. So it doesn’t have that dullness of one page visual works tryin to be Moby Dick city hall in Chicago monolith or cute candle slowly melting ‘ isn’t that so sweet. Nope. aND won’t have it and Marie Damon neither. And a real invigoration of what a word in a poem can be and in this it’s like, ‘co%%le trou%%le’ What a two world line! And throughout there is a sensitivity to font and type manipulation that goes beyond the clever and becomes useful in fact a very necessary poetic tool. This line here as I write it with these words and their regimentation are left here for measuring money in the bank or vases full wheat on the way to market. But for the poem ‘ real invention. There is no going back. I mean, I didn’t think any one or anytwo could really write a poem about snow anymore! However, it is these artists and poets and the combine of two in one conversation across the storm that makes it so new. I think that painters can finally learn from the poets. So ‘ I suggest from this humbleness what we embark upon a new century of teaching poets about poetry from poetry. Here’s a primer of Century 21.

Kirpin Press Books

  • Notes to Cleveland: Correspondence from Jim Lowell to Tom Kryss 2004 26 pages. $12.00 includes shipping. All proceeds go to Tessa Lowell. Kirpin Press. PO Box 2943,Vancouver, WA 98668-2943 ‘ make checks payable to A. Horvath.
  • Notes to Cleveland - Selected Correspondence from Jim Lowell to Kent Taylor. 2004. 70 pages $17.00 proceeds from this book go to Tessa Lowell. Kirpin Press. PO Box 2943,Vancouver, WA 98668-2943 ‘ make checks payable to A. Horvath.
  • Until the Last Light Goes Out by Alan Horvath. 2004 20 pages $12.00 includes postage. Kirpin Press. PO Box 2943,Vancouver, WA 98668-2943 ‘ make checks payable to A. Horvath.

Kirpin press books are always beautifully designed, illustrated, assembled, and they are limited in number, and are always beautiful, always sensitive and made in the tradition of the best of small press and always publish those heroes and poets and protectors and lovers of poetry. These books are that homage. Two of these books are comprised of letters written by Jim Lowell to his poet friends. Let me tell you, Jim Lowell, himself, and his bookstore, The Asphodel Book Shop, were an outpost in the midst of the formation of the New American poetry. He loved literature and he loved poetry and remained faithful to poetry and poets. He owned and ran the bookstore, the Asphodel Book Store in Cleveland Ohio where in the wild 1960s the d. a. levy community congregated, and he was arrested for selling poetry that the Cleveland cops considered obscene. It was levy’s work and Duncan’s work and the poetry of others. It was that poetry which now is the cannon, academic and outlaw. FYI, Bukowski and west-coasters new him. Eastern poet folk also and in Cleveland, he was a center of small press and new American poetry vitality. He died this year. Recently I read an interview with poet Irving Feldman in which he said that a poet’s audience is really just 8 or 9 friends and that’s it. While Lowell continued to support all progressive poetry, underground, small press, New American, he remained faithful to his 8 or 9 Cleveland friends. And to some of these friends he wrote letters and Kirpan press has now brought forward these two fine collections of letters by Jim Lowell to poets Tom Kress and Kent Taylor. In these collections a reader finds the stuff that cements poetry friendship. There is lots of talk of new books and gossip about visiting poets and travailing and seeing other poets across the decades. It is so good to have this honor to read about the network/community as it was forming and evolving. One can go on and on, and I guess I could. But these letters, let me write, are both literary letters and friendly letters and that is what makes them so attractive. We are not just writers of poems but citizens of poetry in communication. Here, in these two books, is a glimpse of our citizenship. And it carries on. Jim Lowell was married for decades to Tessa and Tessa will benefit from any sales. This is as it should be. A. Horvath, poet, wrote with the Cleveland crowd and was part of this Cleveland group and he now lives in Vancouver Washington where he makes these wonderful Kirpan books. He has just published a new book. Until The Last Light Goes Out is a long, single narrative poem that chronicles a camping trip poet Alan Horvath ventured south of San Francisco. In the adventure he encounters this, that and number of things, pulling this out of that, finding the stuff of life all about him, wandering about the campsite, making friends with a woman and her son from the next site over, momentarily, they join, as people sometimes do bump into each other and there seems to be no reason or rhyme within the encounter, but it happens. It happened. And it occurred without purpose of judgment as part of the great circle rhythms of life. It is average as you and I and those things that you remember, like your grandmother buying you moon shaped cookies at Kowalkowski’s bakery ‘ wait that is in my mind, just an incident there ‘ All of it ‘ I will never forget. Ah, the endless bakeries that make up our lives and our moons, which seems one purpose of this writing, let me write it out: remember, remember it all ‘ so sweet and odd and unexplainable but still. Still there. Still. Narrative it is a poetic activity created via memory, as Horvath writes,

I stare awake the coals
until the tiny embers have gone black
& then leave whatever is left
as a memory,
because that is the fire
that burns the longest

Autumn 2005

The Dead Zone

St. Vitus Press. 2005. 38 pages. For more information on this book, price, etc. contact: Theron Moore at [email protected]
Those readers who have encountered and engaged Todd Moore’s poetry are familiar with his focused literary obsession with John Dillinger and how Dillinger has become, for Moore, an allegorical icon. With this book, The Dead Zone Trilogy, Todd Moore continues to explore and mine/mind this rich, legendary and complex American outlaw/gangster and symbol. In the three long poems within this book, Moore pushes beyond the candid sexuality and violence and outlaw behavior of Dillinger. Within the poems time itself is manipulated. Moore interferes with time. The poems, particularly the center poem in the collection, occurs, if that is the correct term, within the seconds when Dillinger realizes he has been trapped in the Chicago alley, betrayed by the lady in red and is being shot and is shot dead. It is of course frightening as the various thoughts flash in Dillinger’s mind as imagined by Moore. But it is more than an imagination that Moore has. He has merged with Dillinger and they are of one imagination. Moore is able to weave in poetry John Dillinger’s fleeting images. It is a collage of particular seconds, memories and bits of language. Moore, all along, throughout his career, has been a good citizen of the small press. He continues to be that. But beyond this allegiance he is innovative in his pursuit. He is not only imagining the thought of his poetic familiar and character but bringing into small press poetry techniques infrequently utilized namely time manipulation and collage. Small press poetry needs this form of infusion. Moore does it and still retains his allegiance to the genuine.

O Outbreak

by Kevin Thurston. In the alphabetical listing of the Serial Pamphleteer Editions, this is letter J. Furniture Press. Baltimore, MD. Check website for price and other publications. [email protected]
Perhaps this is Kevin Thurston’s first book. As such, it points to a career that will challenge the shape of writing. It smashes words at the level of THE word. It invades and mutates writing. This is a slim, beautifully printed, fun and intellectually impressive book that depicts the invasion of the vowel O into our words, for example: O onto oor words, foo example: O onto oor woods, foo oxomplo: O OOOctra. Therefore, the writing is fun, humorous and playful as well as, so to speak, deadly serious about altering language. Be thirsty for Thurston. Watch for his name up in the Dolights.

Mineshaft. Number 15, April 2005

Everett Rand & Gioia Palmieri, editors. 611 Bon Air Avenue, Durham, NC 27704. Issn 1531-138X. One year subscription is $17.50. Cover price for this issue: $5.00.
The front cover of this issue features a drawing by R. Crumb and the back cover a reproduction of a circa 1940s or 1950s newspaper advertisement for burlesque, complete with picture of Donna Kaye, who was the headline stripper. There is a reprint of an interview with Charles Bukowski by Ace Backwords within. And also inside more Crumb and more Burlesque and a piece by Andre Codresque. And of course more. For a 48 page magazine, word for word, line by line, drawing by drawing, item by item, with a focused purpose, I’d be hard to find a match for Mineshaft. I was remembered, after reading Bruce Simon’s Los Angeles Burlesque article, in Mineshaft, the burlesque advertisements of my own childhood and how my fantasies were fueled and molded by these 1950s burlesque ads. In the newspapers! Yes, in the everyday newspapers. Oh the right-wing has stifled and drowned our sexuality. I mean there was kinda porn in the newspaper! I remember the headliners: Honey Bee and Busty Russell. Busty measured 50 inches around the bust! This became a measure of greatness in my circle of friends: 50 inches! 50 inches! Our dreams were measured by 50 inches. Well, that’s just a personal reaction to Mineshaft - the best little magazine in the candy section of your local supermarket book store where the proprietor is so old that you can buy quarts of beer and drink it out by the railroad tracks with Mineshaft in hand dreaming of Ginger Jones. It’s the work of the little magazine to remove the reader from the daily to the realm of the extraordinary, the mind and imagination, and Mineshaft does it with each page. Totally engrossing and appealing. Get it. Keep it up on the shelf. Oh! Wait! No hide it! Mineshaft is a magazine that your friends will steal.

[U T O ?] Blausteinsee

by Luc Fierens and Reed Altemus. PostFluxpost/Tonerworks. Luc Fierens, Post Fluxpost Galdenberg 18, B-1982 Weerde, Belgium. Reed Altemus, Tonerworks, P.O. Box 52 Portland, ME 04112-0052. No price. Write.
Well, what is the title? Probably in the world of words it will simply end up as: Blausteinsee. So be it. But that’s too bad because this is more, so much more than a title. What is spectacular in this slim, co-authored text, is that it is not of the world of words but of the realm of poetry that is a combine of words and images and sound and all forms of meta-writing. It springs full flesh form from the meta-poetic, that far reaching trajectory in poetry that is pushing for excellence in experimentation. This book is by two poets who relish in changeling and challanguageing the status quo. Oh, well yes, they relish on the hot-dog of the academic stiff meat poetry. Well, not meat at all, because there are no meat dogs in school - only cereal filed sausage skins. Relish the relish the relish. So here we have a dynamic duo of poetry pushing limits with rubber stamps and collage techniques borrowed from painting. It is bold. It is provocative and it, like a spray can spewing graffiti, is reinventing the media and medium of poetry. Check into this hotel if you want a front row seat for the upcoming poetry parade.

Billy Last Crow

by J. P. Dancing Bear. 2004. 90 pages. Turning Point, P.O. Box 541106, Cincinnati, Ohio 45254-1106. www.turingpointbooks.com
The book forms, via episodic poetic moments of particular significance in the life/spiritual journey of one Billy Last Crow: A Native American. He suffers the indignation of being an original American and by that fact being outside of America. He is an other, an out of the law of the land and culture character. Throughout the poetry there is the self of this -other- seeking his self in a world that will not allow him (you) to be a full partner in it. Perhaps this is the real metaphor for living in America - the experience of always being outside of its vapid practice. But, nevertheless, somehow there are these wishes to be part of it, its all powerful, its seeming ability to envelop and contain everything - everything but you (the outsider self). Philosophical cultural stuff - Yeah? Yeah! It’s here and not punching you in the face with its smartness. It just an IS thing. Here. However, as with all terrific poetry, the poetry also operates to allow Billy Last Crow to find himself in himself. It is, this book of poetry, many journies in one. It is an attractive book and the poems are highly refined. They are the craft. I am attracted to a poem called Billy Ghost Crow, where Billy, in the end, enters the Ghost, spiritual, world. He, I’d suggest, becomes the poet and, therefore, we learn the place of the poet in our culture, America, art, the Native and the outsider, and , all of this in milieu of century 21.

First Touch

by Glenn W. Cooper. 28 pages. $5.00. Plus $2.00 for shipping. Bottle of Smoke Press, Bill R. Roberts, Editor, 9002 Wilson Drive Dover, Delaware, 19904 or www.bospress.net or contact the poet at: [email protected] (but if you do: ask for poems and publish them!)
Glenn Cooper notes in one of his poems that his great talent is getting off the bus at the right stop. That is a great event! It is not the struggle of getting on but the tiny pleasure of being conscience at a point of departure. To follow ones destiny and enjoy it, yes, that is a talent. He lets his daughter dig in her nose because she likes to dig in her nose and he is a proponent of human pleasure. It is the small pressure the magic of the everyday event that is celebrated in Glenn Cooper’s poems. Each one is a little pleasure about the poet living in the middle of himself living life. The lines are easy flowing, flowing cadence, poems without complication, with humor and surprise, with the ironies that present themselves in any day of living. Living is speaking, speaking poetry. Each day for the poet is poetry. A thing to remember recalled over ad over by reading Glenn Cooper.

Days of Endless Nights

by Kent Taylor. 2005. Alan Horvath, Kirpin Press, P. O. Box 2943 Vancouver, WA 98668-2943. Write for price. Only 60 made. Do it now.
Kent Taylor. Poet. Originally from Cleveland, and that band of poets pulling the loose yarn from the tweed coats and pale sweaters of the academic elites until those sweaters and tweeds unraveled and left poetry naked and howling happy and wet and dripping in the warm streets of poetic Cleveland joy 1960s, levy, Renegade and Black Rabbit poetry challenging the cops; the cops they were afraid. Well. Wow. This is poetry we needed then and bleed now for give us this poetry again. Oh Poet. And that is Kent Taylor, his tap-root of poems runs into that stream. Here, he is - still - still at it. Forty year later! Yeah. Here he is in these hand full of poems that still pull and they finding that space between people and senses and day and night, that seam where poetic clarity occurs, the sight happens, where the person, Kent Taylor, becomes the poet Kent Taylor walking that tender line poetic mind working picking up the shards of poetry and reflecting with intensity into what are for the poet - particular instances, moments, seconds, instances, in which there is poetry plucked and brought to the day surface for us all, all of us on it we feast.

Bottle No. 3.

2005 Edited by Bill Roberts. Bottle of Smoke Press, 9002 Wilson Drive, Dover, Delaware 19904 $25.00. Signed edition by all living authors: $150.00. Check it out at: bospress.net
To define: 20 broadsides laid into card covers, letter pressed. Among the contributors: Charles Bukowski, Gerald Locklin, Jeffrey Weinberg, S. A. Griffin, Nathan Graziano, Ed Galing and more. Need I say more about the poems? Let me quote David Barker’s poem from this collection: “Keeping my yap/ shut is something/ I’ve never regretted.” And there is a picture of d a levy on cover! That’s an introduction, the best, as it should be. This could almost be like receiving an outlaw wanted poster package. Well it is. If’in I was a backwoods country sheriff poet controlling the poem with my intellect and forgetting the streets twenty blocks and two suburban rings away. You get it. And forgetting that there is a night, at night and night in each of us, these poems don’t do it. Well, I guess it would piss off that poet sitting in thee high white glistering Pulitzer towers, pulling on his trouser snake. And it does. And also these sorts of publications, Bottle of Smoke - Bill Roberts (he being the chief of this band of language robbers) - this type of publication pays homage in a fine way to a type of poetry that has often been neglected by fine printing. He did it. This do it. A gem of ruby tomato filled with vodka, mind considered and presented poetry like the best bourbon you got. The majestic aesthetic of small press has here risen to take a pride in itself and it should and take a swipe here at the ironed short-sleeve shirt poem also.

As Unavoidable as History

by Adrian Manning. $5.00. Hemispherical Press, C/o Justin.Barrett, 274 Ramona Avenue, Salt Lake City, UT 84115-2115. hemisphericalpress.com And if you wanna write the poet: Adrian Manning, 2 Noel Street, Leicester, LE3 ODS, England. GO ahead and do it. You should write to someone in England once in your life.

Maybe he is a form of Poe poet, me thinks reading these poems, deep stewing and brewing steeped in poems as a form of sadness, intense, tight, a tight fist of words and opening palms, a stark pleading begging poems palms opening saying I have no weapons but words that open like wounds. Melancholic and brooding, the poems stand witness to the sadness that is part of everyone, the door to door, day to day forgotten sadness that otherwise, except in poems like these, left on the page from behind the black curtains, would be neglected. Manning finds them. Seeks them. The memories are all about bubbling up here. Artefacts, the poet calls them in his poem, Artefacts. They are as, the poet says, “unwilling to be buried/ or forgotten/ by time.” Adrian Manning, he who remembers with the mind of the poet, learns and he teaches with noir light of the poem.

Nutria Bounce by Joel Dailey

2005 Open 24 Hours, Brooklyn. For this one contact the press at: [email protected] And you can contact the poet via: Fell Snoop, the All Bohemian Revue, 3003 Ponce De Leon Street, New Orleans, LA 70119
Wow! This book is dedicated to Babette Deutsch! Do you know her? She poet, critic, teacher and not enough remembered. Do your digging and do it. These are poems full of the marvelous and terrific juxtapositionings of bits of language. This is not to write that they are somehow burdened by language theory or attempts at being obtuse, arrogant or opaque. Quiet the reverse is operating here in this poetry. The poems are fun and light and capture the language playfulness so needed in the somber and serious world of poetry. They are compelling and draw you into each and into the next. Fun to read poetry. Imagine that. Let me just randomly give you a hand full of these peanuts or m&ms or pretzels or whatever is your treat: OK: Here goes some of Joel Dailey: “I forgot to underline the symbolic portions so the/ Reader’ll get it Maybe a brace of asterisks wing/ By (I knew a woman who moved to NYC to become an/ Asterisk*) Ah the poetics of Everyday command me/ To move the frying pan six inches west?” Joel Daily isn’t afraid to let the images and ideas and language of mass society populate his poems. The poems as forms feel essentially verbal and are rich in satire and irony and humor. A madly riotous poetic venture and a must for those who love new poetry but not the seriousness and self importance of too much cutting edge poetry. Ah, how much pleasure to find a smart and exuberant book of poems willing to be read and ripe with its own pleasure and with no fear in sharing the hilarity that is everywhere in the medium we use to communicate.