Wednesday, October 26, 2005

new chapbook by Joe Massey 

Hey there, Joe Massey has a new chapbook out titled Bramble.

I'm rubbing my hands together, waiting for it to pop in my POBox, Joe's got that CAN'T WAIT way with me. If you still haven't gotten yourself a copy of his book Eureka Slough, go to Effinge Press:

you'll have to navigate Effing Press to "chapbooks" to find it.

Below is the e-mail announcement Joe's been sending around for Bramble,

* * *

Hello friends,

My new chapbook, Bramble (a book of lunes), is now
available from Hot Whiskey Press. Ordering information
can be found here:


6" x 5", 52 pages, stab bound. Covers letter-pressed
at Naropa's Harry Smith Print Shop. First five buyers
have the option of receiving a limited edition black
cover version of the book. Cost of the book: $6.50.

* * *

Post-Slacker, Post-Post-Avant, Post-Smiths, Joseph
Massey is the Li Po of the Beaten Generation. Pithy,
angular, and always sincere, these small poems reward
reading (now) and rereading (after a few pints).
Massey writes, breathes into being "what's between us"
-- these poems are not personal, but Personist in the
best way, giving a calm, steady voice to moments most
of us miss. In Bramble, stillness gives way to
--Anthony Robinson

* * *

In the tiny space of just 13 syllables, each poem in
Bramble takes the reader straight into the thicket of
sight sounded and sighted sound, that wide awake eyes
and ears peeled attention to what presents itself in
each moment: a memory, a dry-rotted garden hose, a
bumblebee, nameless blooming weeds on the lawn of a
burnt-out house, even the slippery in-betweenness of
the act of listening/reading itself...

here, the one speaking

& the one
listening, is you

Given the strictures of the lune form, what's
particularly exhilarating about this crisply
constructed book is how inclusive Massey manages to
be. Echoing Darwin's admonition, "Never say higher or
lower," squashed ants, wads of gum, and pigeon shit
find their rightful place alongside the earthy ups and
downs of the human realm in a seamless web of
democratic particulars. Taking dictation from the
weather, Massey's disciplined and deeply ethical
poetics steers clear of the all-too-human temptation
to fiddle with, fix, or prod the world (think of
Whalen's "You'll only make things worse...") into an
anthropomorphized Disney World of how we'd like things
to be; he knows, like few other poets, how to leave
things alone. Bramble reminds us musically,
humorously, and humbly not to miss the this of "this
is all there is."
--Tyler Doherty

* * *

Indeed there is "the page behind the poem" and there
is the poem behind the poet or perhaps it's the poet
behind the poem. Difficult to say. One can be easily
be lulled into feeling Joseph Massey's chapbook is
transparent only to let her guard down and slowly be
penetrated by his whisper-like magic. The lips of
Bramble say "this is all there is" but its
eyes say "behind each breath your life lets go."
--Reb Livingston

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