Friday, September 28, 2007

Tonight at CCA: Solidad Decosta, Steffi Drewes, Andy Nicholson, Jessica Wickens, Gloria Frym, Kevin Killian, Joseph Lease, Denise Newman, and Lisa Robertson.

I can say without fear of contradiction that this will be one of the best Bay Area poetry readings of 2007.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Recommended Reading

How To Be Perfect - Poems by Ron Padgett

How To Be Perfect is a book of memories - the best kind of memories - the kind that wobble around in your head for a decade, rub up against each other, collect even more vivid color, and stumble out again as marvelous line broken parables. The certainty of childhood told through the inhibitions of adulthood is an intriguing combination. If a story can be a still life, Ron Padgett has found a way to paint it. The memory, as photograph, becomes both sign and symbol; How To Be Perfect extends the narrative of both aspects of the object.

Padgett breaks up his menagerie of memory with the occasional insight, the occasional poetics of observation, bringing us back to the contemporary. I think it's relelvent to reference the episode of Doctor Who I just saw where he leaves a DVD message to the past in the form of a one sided conversation, and when someone actually fills in the adjoining emptiness it only reveals that stone statues are alive and exist outside of time, but for them time stops if any living thing in the universe is observing them. How To Be Perfect is a book of wonderment and speculation, an almanac of trivial questions and introspective answers forming an all too human verse.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Technical difficulties--please standby

New poems coming next week.

Meanwhile, check out the new issue of NOO Journal.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Saturday Night Main Event

Tom Waits circa 1974

Friday, September 14, 2007

Recommended Reading

A Thief Of Strings - Poems by Donald Revell

In his latest collection, Revell has crafted poems spanning styles and modes, encompassing within his verse a country in wartime which is willfully unconscious to it. A Thief Of Strings is part eulogy, part peace march, part prayer to a heaven perhaps unwilling or unable to help. Through abstraction he weaves a poetry more concrete and comfortable with its era, using break and line as punctuation and interjecting outside voice without breaking a stride.

Revell owes his line in part to Creeley, whom he writes for in homage within the center of the manuscript, then concludes the collection in a voice and line all his own, using repetition and collage to show language as music within a very American poetics. A Thief Of Strings is a search for peace in a time which cannot separate itself from war. The omnipresence of violence and vulgarity is barely recognized and needs a new language within to define itself. Revell attempts to give voice to that language.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Recommended Reading

The Frequencies -- A Poem(s) by Noah Eli Gordon

What Ted Berrigan did for the sonnet sequence, Noah Eli Gordon has done for the prose poem. He uses the tool of sestinatic refrain to create a world which is already dead within its own present. The Frequencies is an incredible experience, changing rhetoric into break and narrative into collage. Gordon himself becomes receiver, sliding between stations as easily as the eye moves from place to place in a crowded landscape; a quantified and curated everything, again, made to feel its own history in the form of fugue and mortality. The first message transmitted on the telegraph (I learned this at trivia night at a bar last week) was "what hath God wrought?" Gordon's poems take place in the stage after the abomination has sunk in, when it has become common place, when it struggles self-aware with its own relevance and being. The originality of the poems, paired with Gordon's intellectual depth and booming radio voice make for a superb read.


Monday, September 10, 2007

Kate Greenstreet vs. Clayton Banes

Read some of Kate's poems here. Visit some of Clay's bookstores here.

now playing: Sara Lihz Dobel

29 Palms

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