DAYBOOKS Reading, listening to, and looking at contemporary poetry
daybook 49 (2003)
29 December | Heard Harryette Mullen read from and discuss her work with Adalaide Morris, Roland Greene, Lorenzo Thomas, Steve McCaffery and Juliana Spahr at the MLA.
28 December | Heard Joshua Clover, Michael Davidson, Stacy Doris, Laura Moriarty, Eileen Myles, Jena Osman, Ted Pearson, Jerome Rothenberg, Elizabeth Willis and many other poets read at the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art Downtown in an event organized by Rae Armantrout and Roberto Tejada to coincide with the MLA.
8 December | Read The Dirty Halo of Everything by Geoffrey Dyer.
7 December | Read Implexures by Karen Mac Cormack.
6 December | Read Distant Noise by Jean Frémon.
5 December | Read Nest by Mei-mei Berssenbrugge.
3 December | Read Some Values of Landscape and Weather by Peter Gizzi.
daybook 48 (2003)
30 November | Read the thirty-six poems included in André Breton: Selections, edited by Mark Polizzotti and published by University of California in the new series "Poems for the Millennium."
27 November | Read Graham Foust's Leave the Room to Itself.
daybook 46 (2003)
18 November | Heard Nathaniel Mackey read from his "mu" and "Song of the Andoumboulou" sequences. Set list here.
13 November | Heard Rosmarie Waldrop read translations of works by Elke Erb, Oskar Pastior, and Edmond Jabès, along with excerpts from her two new books, Blindsight and Love, Like Pronouns. Set list here.
daybook 45 (2003)
10 November | Return trip reading: Rosmarie Waldrop's Love, Like Pronouns. The third issue of The Poker, including poems and essays by Fanny Howe, Dale Smith, and William Carlos Williams.
8 November | Heard Jennifer Moxley read a five poem set including the long poems "The Occasion" and "The Sense Record" in the POG reading series in Tucson.
7 November | Travel day reading: from Bangor to Dallas: Lyn Hejninan's The Fatalist. From Dallas to Tucson: Rosmarie Waldrop's Blindsight.
6 November | Heard Ron Silliman read from the "Albany," "Quindecagon," and "VOG" sections of The Alphabet.
daybook 44 (2003)
30 October | Heard Kevin Davies read his long poem "Lateral Argument" in its entirety, then heard George Stanley read from A Tall, Serious Girl (click here for set list).
29 October | Read Marcella Durand's interview with Kevin Davies, forthcoming in the new issue of The Poker.
daybook 43 (2003)
27 October | Watched the archived webcast of George Stanley's reading at UPenn's Kelly Writers House and his subsequent conversation with Ron Silliman and members of the local & remote live audience. Link here; set list here.
23 October | Heard David Adams and Katie Daley read. Set list for Adams here; for Daley here.
daybook 42 (2003)
16 October | Heard Jerome Rothenberg read from A Book of Witnessand the forthcoming Book of Concealments (Chax). Set list here.
daybook 41 (2003)
09 October | Heard Marcella Durand and Drew Gardner read in the UMaine New Writing Series. Durand set list here; Gardner here. | nb
daybook 40 (2003)
02 October | Heard Erin Mouré read from her Pessoa "transelation" Sheep's Vigil by a Fervent Person and from O Cidadán. Click here for set list.
daybook 39 (2003)
27 September | Read O Cidadán by Erín Moure (Toronto: House of Anansi, 2002).
daybook 38 (2003)
23 September | Heard Paul Vangelisti read in the first event of UMaine's fall New Writing Series. Click here for set list.
daybook 37 (2003)
15 September | Read Agency, the 2003 Seeing Eye chapbook by Paul Vangelisti. Also read Vangelisti's translations of Mohammed Dib's "LA Trip: A Novel in Verse," a sequence excerpted in the inaugural issue of The New Review.
14 September | Read Close Quote by Marie Borel (in Keith Waldrop's translation). Also read Their Ambiguity, a seven-page chapbook by Joshua Clover that ships with a cd featuring the voices of Michael Palmer and Jeff Clark as well as the bass riff from "Bela Lugosi's Dead."
13 September | Read two books by Hung Q. Tu, the Atelos volume from 2000 called Verisimilitude and Structures of Feeling, which arrived a few weeks ago from Krupskaya.
daybook 35 (2003)
27 August | Read Chelsey Minnis's Zirconia (New York: Fence, 2001).
daybook 33 (2003)
17 August | Read Charles Wright's Black Zodiac (New York: Noonday, 1997).
15 August | Read in the Heinemann Book of African Women's Poetry, edited by Stella and Frank Chipasula (Oxford: Heinemann, 1995). From Tunisia, Amina Säid; from Ghana, Ama Ata Aidoo; from Nigeria, Catherine Obianuju Acholonu, Ifi Amadiume, and Rashidah Ismaili; from Sao Tomé e Príncipe, Maria Manuela Margarido and Alda do Espirito Santo; from South Africa, Phumzile Zulu; and from Zimbabwe, Kristina Rungano.
daybook 32 (2003)
11 August | Read Felt by Alice Fulton (New York: Norton, 2001).
10 August | Read Opera: Poems 1982-2002 by Barry Schwabsky.
9 August | Read the title sequence of Hannah Weiner's Page, the first work of hers to appear since her death in 1997.
7 August | Read the print version of 2199 Kalia Road by Juliana Spahr with images by Candace Ah Nee. (Link here to web version on downwindproductions.) Also read Kenneth Irby's chapbook Studies: Cuts, Shots, Takes (Lawrence: First Intensity, 2001).
6 August | Read A Book of Witness: Spells & Gris-Gris by Jerome Rothenberg.
daybook 31 (2003)
1 August | Finished reading Jalal Toufic's Distracted, including the interview with Aaron Kunin reprinted from Rain Taxi.
31 July | Began reading Jalal Toufic's Distracted (a version of which was originally published by Station Hill in 1991) in the pared-down Tuumba edition of 2003.
daybook 30 (2003)
24 July | Read The Midnight by Susan Howe.
daybook 29 (2003)
22 July | Read Everwhat by Clayton Eshleman.
16 July | Read First Light by David Adams ([np]: Lost Shadow, 2001).
daybook 28 (2003)
13 July | Read Breeze by John Latta.
12 July | Read MS by Michael Magee.
11 July | Finished reading Platform by Rodrigo Toscano.
10 July | Read "In-Formational Forum RousersArcing (Satire No. 4)," the long middle section of Rodrigo Toscano's Platform.
daybook 27 (2003)
08 July | Read the first of five groupings of texts in Rodrigo Toscano's Platform.
06 July | Read Chorrera, a chapbook by Bob Harrison. Also Nicole Brossard's chapbook Shadow Soft et Soif (in Guy Bennett's admirable translation).
04 July | Belatedly read Rosmarie Waldrop's translation of Some Thing Black, the extraordinary elegy Jacques Roubaud wrote for his wife Alix Cleo Roubaud, a photographer who died in the early 1980s at the age of only 31. (Normal: Dalkey Archive, 1990; first paperback edition, 1999). | Link here to Les Photos d'Alix, the 1980 film by Jean Eustache.
03 July | Read Stalin's Eyes by Tony Brinkley, with Osip Mandelstam's "The Ode to Stalin" and other poems appended in new translations by Brinkley and Raina Kostova.
daybook 26 (2003)
27 June | Read Music or Honesty by Rod Smith.
daybook 25 (2003)
20 June | Finished reading Stacy Doris's Conference.
18 June | Limetree had kind words and helpful feedback about this site yesterday, for which I've already thanked Kasey Mohammad backchannel. Here I'll simply second that raised eyebrow over at Equanimity by saying that it seems to me implausible that cases can be made "for" (or to) "the dogmatic." What I think one can do is read widely, think carefully, distrust one's own prejudices (which is really just an extension of the categorical imperative "to give no comfort to tyrants"), make decisions, and take positionsas well as the criticism that comes of them (which with luck may change you).
daybook 24 (2003)
17 June | Began reading Conference by Stacy Doris.
Bloomsday | Read Kim Rosenfield's Good MorningMidnight.
15 June | Inspired by BKS's remix of it, reread Eliot's "Reflections on Vers Libre" (1917). Read Norma Cole's photo-notebook montage "Scout" in what I'm sorry to see will be the final issue of the consistently excellent Raddle Moon.
14 June | Got started on Brian Kim Stefans's Fashionable Noise: On Digital Poetics. Finished reading Lee Ann Brown's The Sleep That Changed Everything.
12 June | Read the first three sections of The Sleep That Changed Everything by Lee Ann Brown. Also read "Heavenly Days," a John Ashbery poem from Chinese Whispers that runs in an "illuminated" version (forty-seven acrylic-on-Masonite paintings made by Archie Rand of the interior of the poet's house in Hudson) in the summer issue of Nest.
daybook 23 (2003)
10 June | In the air Radiohead's Hail to the Thief.
8 June | Read Versary by Kate Lilley. Also the nineteen new poems included in Charles Simic's The Voice at 3:00 A.M.: Selected Late and New Poems.
7 June | Finished reading George Stanley's A Tall, Serious Girl.
4 June | Read Julie Kalendek's Our Fortunes. Also read a four-poem excerpt from Susan Howe's sequence "Bed Hangings II" that appeared in the Spring 2003 issue of Daedalus.
daybook 22 (2003)
1 June | Got around to looking at the Publishers Weekly poetry forecasts from 19 May 2003: Robert Lowell's Collected from FSG is the lead, followed by Marilyn Hacker's Desesperanto, John Hollander's Picture Window, George Stanley's A Tall, Serious Girl, Susan Howe's The Midnight, and five other books. Among the eighteen titles more briefly noted are Reginald Shepherd's Otherhood, Cecilia Vicuña's Instant, and Laynie Browne's Pollen.
31 May | Read Drew Gardner's Sugar Pill.
30 May | Continued with Stanley's A Tall, Serious Girl, reading the poems composed in San Francisco between 1962-1970.
29 May | On the headset: Prefuse 73's One Word Extinguisher (Warp 2003). Several spins in, it seems likely to equal the amazing Vocal Studies + Uprock Narratives of 2001. Further reflections, many of them cross-referencing, on the Flaubert affair at Tympan (28 May), Well-Nourished Moon (29 May), Equanimity (29 May), and Heathens in Heat (28-29 May).
28 May | An articulate defense of blogging as an emergent practicenot without precedents (like Sei Shonagon's Pillow Book) but not reducible to them eitheris offered by Gary Sullivan on Elsewhere. Continued with George Stanley's A Tall, Serious Girl, reading the poems composed in New York in 1960-61.
daybook 21 (2003)
27 May | Started reading in Kevin Davies and Larry Fagin's edition of George Stanley's selected poems, which was brought out earlier this year in a lush edition by Qua Books under the title A Tall, Serious Girl. The opening section gathers poems from 1957-1960, when the San Francisco native was in his early-to-mid twenties.
26 May | Read Chris Daniels's new translations of the Brazilian poet Paulo Leminski in a chapbook edited with Chris Chen, Meta(/other) poems. As the motto on the back cover puts it: "Translation Fights Cultural Narcissism."
25 May | Read Andrew Joron's The Removes, a 1999 volume from Hard Press that I somehow missed when it first appeared.
24 May | A number of poetry bloggers responded to the statement by Flaubert that I included in the daybook for 19 May (see below). Equanimity got there first, with a witty one-liner that used Gustave's overheated eroticism to melt the pretense of the word "proleptic." Jism clunkily opined: "Madame Bovary, c'est sucky." Elsewhere offered an uncharacteristically pious (or was it just exasperated?) defense of the blogging community. Tympan linked Flaubert's apologia for writerly sublimation to something William Gibson recently said along the same lines. The Well-Nourished Moon wondered whether encouragement and consensus weren't the engine for advancement in blog-circuits, as distinct from the dissensus-driven listserv scene. And Limetree inquired very reasonably into the motives of the man behind the Flaubert mask. I've cited more of the letter, and attempted a response to Kasey and others, here.
23 May | Read Let's Just Say by Charles Bernstein.
22 May | Read Ugh Ugh Ocean by Joanna Fuhrman.
21 May | Read Er, Um by Garrett Caples (with drawings by Hu Xin).
daybook 20 (2003)
20 May | Read The Minor Arcana by Dgls N. Røthschld.
19 May | Gustave Flaubert, proleptic critic of blog culture: "In fact, there is nothing more pernicious than being able to say everything and having a convenient outlet. You become very indulgent with yourself; and your friends are the same with you, in order that you may be so with them" (Letter to Louise Colet, 31 March 1853).
daybook 18 (2003)
4 May | Live without Dead Time, the cd mixed by DJ Spooky that ships with the current issue of Adbusters, includes among its 31 tracks by El-P, Coldcut, Bad Brains, Ani DiFranco, and others a remix of Allen Ginsberg doing "End the Vietnam War": "Come along, without your police state, come along, without your power...."
1 May | Heard Kit Robinson and Bob Perelman read in the final event of the Spring 2003 UMaine New Writing Series. Robinson opened his forty-minute set with a reading of the Dolch Stanzas (first published by Whale Cloth in 1976 and now available on-line). He then did about a dozen poems each from 9:45 and The Crave before closing with "The Person" and a new poemread straight from his notebook"The 3D Match Move Artist." Perelman began with selected "Clippings" (from Captive Audience), then moved into the recent mid-length poems "Against Shock and Awe," "Here," and "The Revenge of the Bathwater" before closing with about a third of the poems and slides that make up "Playing Bodies" (his collaboration with Francie Shaw).
daybook 17 (2003)
27 April | Read Fanny Howe's Gone.
24 April | Heard Ed Roberson do an hour-long set in the UMaine New Writing Series.
23 April | The April issue of The Wire includes a primer on Fluxus music by Julian Cowley. Along with the familiar names (Alison Knowles, Jackson Mac Low, Nam June Paik), there are many others to track down and learn about, including Mieko Shiomi and Wolf Vostell and Milan Knizak.... From Knizak's notes to Broken Music: "In 1965 I started to destroy records: scratch them, punch holes in them, break them. By playing them (which destroyed the needle and often the record player too) an entirely new music was createdunexpected, nerve-wracking, and aggressive." Click here for the pertinent John Cage anecdote.
daybook 16 (2003)
22 April | A cryptic e-mail from Douglas Rothschild, reading simply "Mississippi / Goddam," is my first hint that Nina Simone has died in Southern France at the age of seventy. I worked an eighties live rendition of the song (updated with "goddams" for Reagan, Thatcher, and both Jesse and Michael Jackson) into a class playlist that also included Lorenzo Thomas's amazing elegy for Umbra workshop co-founder Tom Dent, "Discovering American Again," Jayne Cortez performing "Rape" here in Maine in 2000, Nate Mackey doing "Song of the Andoumboulou 21" (originally published in the inaugural issue of apex of the m) from the 1995 Strick cd, and Mark McMorris reading "Poem for the Love of Women" (from the Tripwire "Expanding the Repertoire" issue and soon to be available in The Blaze of the Poui, his second book with the University of Georgia Press). As the day wears on, it is Simone's live version of Kurt Weill's "Pirate Jenny" that comes to mind over and again. It must be that black freighteron which it consoles me to imagine her embarked.
21 April | The current issue of Publishers Weekly includes forecast reviews of Tom Raworth's Collected Poems, Jerome Rothenberg's A Book of Witness, Rodrigo Toscano's Platform, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers's Outlandish Blues, and a half-dozen other new books. Ten first books are more rapidly canvased, including Brenda Coultas's A Handmade Museum, Jordan Davis's Million Poems Journal, and Rachel Levitsky's Under the Sun.
20 April | From the 7 May 1945 issue of Time (upon which last week's issue of the magazinewith the crossed out head of Hussein, stupidly equated to Hitleris based): "WHO IS GERTRUDE STEIN? Sirs: U.S. soldiers may have been shouted down by this character Gertrude Stein in Paris [Time, April 16], but I shall not be! Who is she that she can criticize our Army for not being 'gay' after they have been torn from their homes and friends, spent years in training and months in mud and dirt of foreign lands liberating a French people who were too decadent to do their own fighting! ¶ It's too darn bad if the French are disappointed. Our men have only been fighting a little more than three years, have not seen the last of Europe's mess, and only have Japan to defeat after a 30-day furlough (perhaps) in the States.... ¶ And since when has being serious, doing your job, and not always getting drunk been something to be frowned upon? It's easy to see why France fell if that is the typical French attitude. As for Stein, the self-styled 'genius,' some one should tell her a few truths about what's been going on while she's been in hiding till France was liberated. From what she says, however, I doubt if her genius mind would understand it."Jean K. Maier, New Rochelle, New York.
daybook 15 (2003)
14 April | A first spin of the cd that accompanies Daniel Kane's All Poets Welcome: The Lower East Side Poetry Scene in the 1960s. Heard John Wieners at Le Metro in 1963 doing "Poem for Cocksuckers" (his soft voice introducing the poem against a din of chatter: "which I'm not now, but was once..."); the unrecognizable voice listed as Amiri Baraka doing "A Poem Some People Will Have to Understand" (also 1963); and Lorenzo Thomas's "Five Leaf Clover" (recorded at a St. Mark's event in May of 2001).
12 April | Heard Dodie Bellamy and Kevin Killian discuss their "queer marriage" as part of pride week festivities at UMaine: Killian read from the story he was working on when he and Dodie met in the early 1980s; Bellamy read an uncut version of the article that ran under the title "My Mixed Marriage" in the Village Voice "queer issue" of 2000 (link).
10 April | Heard Dodie Bellamy and Kevin Killian read in the UMaine New Writing Series. Bellamy's set focused on the latter sections of Fat Chance, her new chapbook from Meredith Quartermain's Vancouver-based Nomados Press, while Killian alternated between Argento Series and a new sequence to be called "Action Kylie." Earlier in the afternoon, I'd heard Killian and Bellamy perform poetry and prose by Langston Hughes, Adrienne Rich, Hart Crane, Robert Duncan, Gertrude Stein, John Ashbery, Allen Ginsberg, Elizabeth Bishop, Rebecca Brown and others in a celebration of gay, lesbian, and queer literature.
daybook 14 (2003)
7 April | Listened to David Antin's talk-poem "War" (delivered in Buffalo on 26 March 2003 and archived on Antin's EPC author page). A quick register of the topoi through which he passes: Archimedes working out pi in the sand as the invading Romans bear down upon him; Bush, figured simply as "the black box" into which advisors place carefully vetted quasi-information; the administration's conflation of Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein as a test case for Jakobson's contagiously "stupid" theory of metonymy as laid out in the aphasia essay; zero-sum games like the card game "war," non-zero sum games like "catch," and a complicating case like chessboth in its traditional form and in the form reimagined by Antin as "goal-oriented murder evasion"; how to address oneself to dogs and computers; Enron-style capitalist "air sales"; andaudible through all the foregoing, made explicit in conclusion to the fifty minute piecethe tedium of having to focus one's consciousness on a contemptible war.
5 April | Heard Michael Davidson, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, and Lorenzo Thomas read in Madison. Davidson began with two poems from The Landing of Rochambeau and six or seven (including "Century of Hands" and "Troth") from Post Hoc. He next turned to the "Screens" seriescomposed during the first Gulf Warand other poems from The Arcades. Davidson closed his set with new poems, including "Strange Fruit," "Vacant Weather," and several sections from his "Bad Modernism" series. Rachel Blau DuPlessis gave a passionate reading from three recent "Drafts," opening with several of her "Clay Songs" (a sequence dedicated to Alice Notley and Anne Waldman), turning next to "Scholia and Restlessness" (a poem composed in the winter of 2001 that includes the line "the world is all that is in your face"), and closing with her letter to young poets "Bildungsgedicht with Apple" (Draft 56). Lorenzo Thomas opened his eleven-poem set with two poems from the just-published anthology Another South: Experimental Writing in the South. He prefaced his poem "Tar Baby" with a hilarious retelling of Brer Rabbit's encounter with said entity. From Chances Are Few, soon to be reissued, Thomas read several translations from fifteenth-century Vietnamese poems that he made, remarkably, while a young GI stationed in San Diego during the Vietnam war. Thomas ended with "Discovering America Again" and a historicizing interrogation of racist science, "Afternoon with Dr. Blumenbach."
4 April | Heard Tom Gardner, Aldon Nielsen, and Susan Wheeler read in Madison. Gardner read poems set in Madison and Finland. Nielsen's ranging set of seventeen poems included "Two Lines Shy of a Couplet," "Self-Help Test," "The Ear of the Behearer," and a poem for Stan Brakhage, "Child of the Willows." Wheeler's six-poem set included "Benny the Beaver" (a poem "not about Walter Benjamin" from Source Codes), the longish "Short Shrift," and "Debates."
3 April | Heard Elizabeth Willis and Bob Perelman read in the opening event of a three day symposium on "What's New in American Poetry" at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Willis opened her twenty-five minute set with poems from Turneresque ("Autographeme," selections from "Modern Painters," several pages from "Sonnet"), dipped back briefly into her Wisconsin upbringing for "A Few Stones" (a poem from The Human Abstract dedicated to Lorine Niedecker), then closed with a half-dozen new works loosely based on Erasmus Darwins's writings. Perelman led with "Beating the Bushes" and "Against Shock and Awe," read a still-in-progress work called "The Revenge of the Bathwater," returned to the 1984 volume To the Reader for "The Unruly Child" and "A History Lesson," then closed out the set with twenty slide-and-text sections from "Playing Bodies," the collaborative work with Francie Shaw that is forthcoming from Granary.
daybook 13 (2003)
31 March | The current issue of Publishers Weekly has forecast reviews of nine new volumes, including Fanny Howe's Gone, Mark McMorris's The Blaze of the Poui, Josey Foo's Tomie's Chair, and Joanna Fuhrman's Ugh Ugh Ocean.
30 March | Visited Kevin Killian and Dodie Bellamy at their apartment on Minna Street. Recorded Kevin reading three poems from Argento Series and Dodie reading from the opening pages of Fat Chance.
28 March | Visited Small Press Distribution in Berkeley. Read Kit Robinson's 9:45.
27 March | Heard Rosmarie Waldrop, Keith Waldrop, and "the third Waldrop" read in Steve Dickinson's SFSU Poetry Center series. Rosmarie read from "Love Like Pronouns" (forthcoming from Omnidawn) and "Hölderlin Hybrids." Keith read from the manuscript tentatively titled "The Real Subject: Queries and Conjectures of Jacob Delafon with Sample Poems." They bridged their individual readings with a duet performance of "Light Travels," from Well Well Reality, and "Comes and Goes" (a new broadside).
26 March | A day spent in planes and airports, heading to California. On the quick flight from Bangor to Boston, I read Soft Sift,Mark Ford's slim second volume, prefaced by John Ashbery. Rick Snyder's accurately titled This Charming New Chapbook, thirty translations of Catullus published in a typically lovely edition by the indispensable Situations Press, helped pass the first part of the six-hour flight from Boston to San Francisco. Also listened to a tape of Lyn Hejinian doing a 1985 set drawn mainly from the then-in-progress work The Person, with four sections from My Life inserted in the middle for variation, at UC San Diego.
daybook 12 (2003)
24 March | Having read the selections from Fewer Roses (1986) and I See What I Want to See (1993) several weekends ago, today, sick at home on the eve of several travels, I returned to and completed the recently published translation of works by the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, Unfortunately, It Was Paradise. In addition to the titles already mentioned, the volume also selects from Why Have You Left the Horse Alone (1995), A Bed for the Stranger (1999), Mural (2000), and several pre-1986 books.
22 March | Read Carolyn Forché's Blue Hour, which consists of ten shorter poems and a forty-five page abecedary, "On Earth."
19 March | Read Kristin Prevallet's Phylum chapbook Emulation Etudes. Also read Connie Voisine's Cathedral of the North. In the evening hours, it is reported that the illegal, immoral, and nearly universally opposed U.S. war on Iraq has begun.
daybook 11 (2003)
17 March | Read Tom Raworth's "Listen Up" on Bruce Jackson's Buffalo Report webite.
16 March | Read the third installment of Drew Gardner's diverse and well-edited magazine Snare. I found especially engaging the five new poems by Kim Lyons, Rodrigo Toscano's "Affekt Funereal / Affekt Jamboree," an excerpt from Mitch Highfill's sequence "Koening's Sphere," and the sustained opening sequence by Marianne Shaneen (a writer previously unknown to me), but nearly all of the work included in the fifty-page issue was of interest. Also read Lourdes Vázquez's chapbook Park Slope.
15 March | Read Heriberto Yepez's chapbook Babellebab.
daybook 10 (2003)
11 March | Read Hoa Nguyen's Your Ancient See Through.
10 March | Read Elizabeth Willis's Turneresque.
09 March | Read William Fuller's Sadly. Also, the French translation of a Rod Smith poem I've never seen in English, "Hommage à l'Hommage à Creeley," in the chapbook recently published by Format Américain, Poèmes de l'araignée. From "Pour la CGT": "Nous travaillons trop. / Nous sommes trop fatigués / pour tomber amoureux. / Donc nous devons / renverser le gouvernement."
08 March | Read Martin Steingesser's Brothers of Morning (Cumberland, Maine: Deerbrook, 2002).
07 March | The lacerating, libidinous, libelous side of poetry blogging hadn't yet fully emerged when I first listed some sites here in late January. David Hess's Heathens in Heat, Jim Behrle's Kickthepodium, and Andrew Mister's For Minor Sky now come to mind as pages where humor, candor, rancor and sexual desperation all get articulated through a love-hate relationship to contemporary poetry. To adapt a line from X that Roberto Tejada reminded me of last fall: "the (poetry) world's a mess, it's in their kiss."
06 March | When with a wince at the expense I renew the subscription to the TLS each year, it certainly isn't the poetry reviewing that makes me feel the money is well spentin those rare instances where a poet I admire gets mentioned at all, it is usually on the wrong end of a jeering remark by the cranky "J.C" in the Nota Bene column. Salt Press, though, seems to have found a loophole: in December, John Tranter's Heart Print was favorably reviewed, and in the issue that arrived in today's mail (dated 28 February), David Wheatley offers a brief but appreciative and intelligent review of Randolph Healy's Green 532: Selected Poems 1983-2000 (Cambridge: Salt, 2002).
05 March | Listened to Mike Scharf talk about his work as a poet and literary journalist, including his editorial work at Publishers Weekly, in an informal conversation at UMaine.
daybook 09 (2003)
04 March | Heard Mike Scharf and Beth Anderson read in the UMaine New Writing Series. Scharf's half-hour set focused on the new manuscript, "Lateox Dov," while Anderson presented new poemsnotably excerpts from the sequence "Vertigo"along with work from the still-recent chapbook Hazard and the full-length collection from Instance The Habitable World. (Full set lists here.)
03 March | Heard Beth Anderson talk about municipality, compositional precision, the law, and other thingsincluding the history of subpressin an informal conversation at UMaine.
28 February | Read Mike Scharf's Vérité in a pdf file downloaded from the redesigned (and much simplified) ubuweb site.
daybook 08 (2003)
25 February | Heard Chilean American poet Marjorie Agosín read.
24 February | A tech note: For several years now I've been on the look-out for a device that would make it easy to record digital sound files at poetry events. The gadget I've recently begun experimenting withan Archos Jukebox 20 (which retails for about $250)records directly into mp3from just about any input (including a built-in mic). It is, as the on-line reviews warned, "quirky": essentially a 20 gigabyte external hard drive, it is easily crashed; the "MusicMatch" software it comes with often freezes up and fails when the device is USB-connected to my laptop; andmost annoyingly in light of my short-term goalsthe internal mic records the clicks and whirs of the gadget's own machinations. Still, when it works, it is pretty amazing: the device is small, its storage capacities are huge, the sound quality is good (for voice recording at least), and the drag-and-drop transfer of files is impeccably simple. Best of all, once you've gotten them into mp3 format, the sound files are much easier to cue and move within and between than are cassettes.
daybook 07 (2003)
16 February | Read Eliot Weinberger's contribution to the February 1 "Poetry Is News" event at the St. Mark's Poetry Project in the Possum Pouch. Also, Bob Perelman's meditations on "Where We Are"namely, in the theater of "shock and awe" that is Dick Cheney's mindon the Circulars site.
12 February | Hard to imagine anyone finding this site without already knowing about Poets Against the War, but on the day in which the apolitical discussion of Whitman, Dickinson, and Hughes was to have taken place at the White House, a link seems in order.
daybook 06 (2003)
10 February | Headed south to lecture on "the disobedient poetics of determinate negation" at the Wesleyan Center for the Humanities. Discussed works by Cage, O'Hara, Jayne Cortez, Gil Scott-Heron, Alice Notley, and Kevin Davies.
07 February | Attended an informal talk by Lisa Robertson on her activities at the Office for Soft Architecture.
06 February | Heard Lisa Robertson read from the "Sunday," "Tuesday," and "Wednesday" sections of The Weather along with a substantial sampling from the as-yet unpublished project "The Men."
daybook 05 (2003)
03 February | Read Brian Kim Stefans's review of Alice Notley's Disobedience in the Boston Review.
30 January - 1 February | Reread Lisa Robertson's booksXEclogue, Debbie: An Epic, and The Weatherin advance of her visit to Orono next week.
daybook 04 (2003)
25-28 January | Tuned in to the likably erudite and performative "blog" circuit, where I found myself looking to Laurable for links, Silliman and Limetree for analysis, Elsewhere for extrapoetic reach, Equanimity for acute self-observation and evenly-hovering wariness, Free Space Comix for provocation and unfolding polylogue, Overlap for fast, generous takes on books and situations.
24 January | Read Kristin Prevallet's May 2001 interview with Abdellatif Laâbi in the recently announced third issue of the web magazine Double Change. Got about a third of the way into the new issue of Shiny. Notable long poems by Kenneth Koch ("The Man" from 1953) and David Shapiro ("The Burning Interior"), plus strong work by Alan Gilbert, Jacques Roubaud (in translation by various hands), and Rae Armantrout.
23 January | Read Abdellatif Laâbi's Poèmes Périssable (Paris: La Différence, 2000).
21 January | Back to teaching, including a class on contemporary poetry. First day "playlist" includes William Carlos Williams, Gil Scott Heron, Jayne Cortez, Outkast, Kurt Schwitters, Wallace Stevens, and Paul Dutton.
20 January | Hoa Nguyen's Your Ancient See Through, Drew Gardner's Sugar Pill, Jen Hofer's Slide Rule, and Jeff Hull's Spoor are among the eleven titles quickly surveyed in the Publishers Weekly "first book blowout."
daybook 03 (2003)
19 January | Read Steve McCaffery's Bouma Shapes: Shorter Poems, 1974-2002.
daybook 02 (2003)
10 January | Read Jeff Hull's Spoor.
09 January | Read the title sequence of Anselm Berrigan's Zero Star Hotel.
daybook 01 (2003)
07 January | Read Kristin Prevallet's Scratch Sides: Poetry, Documentation, and Image-Text Projects.
06 January | Read the inaugural issue of Kreg Hasegawa and Daniel Comiskey's Seattle-based stapled magazine Monkey Puzzle.
05 January | Read Leslie Scalapino's It's Go in Quiet Illumined Grass Land.
04 January | Read "Terre Mentale," the first half of Esther Tellermann's 1999 Flammarion book, Guerre Extreme. Then turned to Keith Waldrop's nuanced and illuminating translation, Mental Ground, in the long-running Burning Deck imprint Serie d'écriture.
03 January | Read Craig Watson's True News. Also read the brief interview Pete Smith conducted with Lissa Wolsak for the second in The Gig's document series, Six Poets: Views and Interviews, published back in November of 2001.
02 January | Read Kit Robinson's The Crave.
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