Tuesday, January 31, 2006
TO VIEW THE NEGLECTORINO PROJECT CLICK HERE
The poets who participated in the project:
RACHEL BLAU DUPLESSIS
JAIME ANNE EARNEST
NOAH ELI GORDON
Greetings to Each.
This particular email is a solicitation for your
participation in helping us to lay out a dazzling book arts
display to accompany our mid-March event.
WE WANT YOUR BOOK ART!!
Chapbooks, Bound Editions, Zines, Journals, Comics,
Flipbooks, Textual Objects of all Ilks!
Please send or drop off objects by FEBRUARY 28th to:
Drop off east: Justin Audia
153 West Jefferson (corner of Jefferson & Mascher)
Philadelphia, PA 19122
(if delivering in person, it's the left staircase)
Drop off west: Emily Abendroth
4418 Pine Street #3 (at 45th and Pine)
Philadelphia, PA 19104
All textual delights will be placed on display for the event
to take place on:
FRIDAY, MARCH 17TH!
when Moles Not Molar
in collaboration with
The Poetics Group
AN EVENING OF READINGS, FONDLINGS, & PERUSALS
at Nexus Gallery (on 2nd Street)
with doors opening at 6:30... readings at 7
The evening's offerings will include:
EXHBITION OF (YOUR) ARTIST'S BOOKS...SELECTED READINGS...A
PANEL DISCUSSION & RELEASE PARTY FOR "UNBINDING THE BOOK:
THE BOUND EDITION"
A pick-up day will be announced for object retrieval after
the show. All materials will be returned to artists.
Many thanks in advance.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at
Monday, January 30, 2006
launch party : the ixnay reader
featuring Pattie McCarthy & Eli Goldblatt
Upstairs at The Khyber
56 S. 2nd Street Philly
Saturday, February 4th
Please come celebrate the publication of volume two of the ixnay reader with a reading by Eli Goldblatt and Pattie McCarthy. the ixnay reader is an ongoing, occasional mini-anthology of sorts published by ixnay press co-editors Chris McCreary and Jenn McCreary. This 135-page issue features work by Fran Ryan, Kaia Sand, Kevin Varrone, Daniel Hales, Jen Coleman, Pattie McCarthy, Eric Keenaghan, and Eli Goldblatt. For further information on ixnay publications, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eli Goldblatt’s poems have appeared in journals such as Another Chicago Magazine, Hambone, Louisiana Literature, Hubbub, 6ix, and 88. His book-length collections include Sessions 1-62 (Chax Press, 1991), Speech Acts (Chax Press, 1999), and Without a Trace (Singing Horse Press, 2001). He has also published two children’s books, a verse play, and work in composition/rhetoric. He teaches at Temple University.
Pattie McCarthy is the author of Verso (2004) and bk of (h)rs (2002), both from Apogee Press. She teaches at Temple University and the University of the Arts. She lives in Philadelphia.
Friday, January 27, 2006
No Such Poem for John Coletti
John, hug "like a quilt truck."
On the roof "Cooing a page
in the twilight."
You send me to Joe Ceravolo,
John Godfrey, Clark Coolidge, Jack Collom:
Middle weights of old--heavies all.
Names, names, names. How can I
describe their one-syllable dash.
A long history of no apology
and no story.
I know if you knew, you'd take us--
I know that. As you do, and do.
You don't say, "You don't say."
Nor I don't want to live like a story.
A translucent brown floor-dust
is there for you to see, sweep,
blow away, note by slow dusty note.
No shit, yes; "someone stole."
JC enters the ring: it's war, it's peace--
Leo T. to a T.
Ted and Ted G. are in the corner,
your cut men.
Curly hair Coletti, measured eyes, measured
lips--and the measure of a moan.
All the silent bruises I have ever loved,
the "emotional surface" scratched and gone too.
No one asking if it's a flood.
by Brett Evans
It's pretty warm if the wind is broken
Sometimes folks just put
their hands to mouths without
smoking but this man here
is rebuilding and smoking
More tattoos float more facial hair
goatee'ing buildings everywhere
Just leave me
to my chocolate uni- verse
to my blue empyrean
of shiny coins
Freedom is a hot air balloon
with ballast and rifles
Freedom is a come-back bitch
Freedom is the reverse of France
caking my table
Freedom music is the blues
you've got to lose
but still smell
to make the correct
next draft pick
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
A poetry reading to celebrate the recent release of
Shift and Switch: New Canadian Poetry
(Mercury Press 2005) edited by Derek Beaulieu, Jason Christie and Angela Rawlings.
Readers include Gregory Betts, Angela Rawlings, Rob Read, Mark Truscott and Janet Neigh
Saturday January 28thRobin's Bookstore108 S. 13th St.7pm
“Shift & Switch records where 41 writers were moments ago. No false Romanticism, no grandiloquence, no nationalism, no careerism (as if there were careers in poetry any more, except as a verb): only the hard squint and scrabble of people pursuing their mad vectors, becoming something else instead.” -- Darren Wershler-Henry
Shift & Switch contributors have lived across Canada from Victoria, British Columbia to Corner Brook, Newfoundland; the anthology functions not only as a gathering point of new writing, but also as a teaching tool in creative writing, in alternative writing forms, in Canadian literature and poetry courses. Most contributors are actively involved in their local writing and artistic communities as magazine editors, festival and reading series organizers, micropress publishers, and creative writing instructors and students.
Conservative Alumnus Pulls Offer to Buy Lecture Tapes
By CINDY CHANG
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 23 - A 24-year-old conservative alumnus who announced earlier this month that he planned to pay students at the University of California, Los Angeles, to tape-record the lectures of left-leaning professors backed down after U.C.L.A. officials informed him on Monday that he would be violating school policy.
The alumnus, Andrew Jones, said he abandoned the plan to save his student supporters from possible legal action by the university, even though he believed they would be engaged in a "newsgathering" effort protected by the First Amendment.
Mr. Jones says he is confident that students will volunteer to tape lectures or take detailed notes in an effort to expose their professors as liberal partisans who do not tolerate dissent in their classrooms.
But a U.C.L.A. official said Monday that even without the monetary incentive, students who passed tapes of lectures to Mr. Jones would be in danger of sanctions by the university and possibly the professors who were recorded without permission.
The university sent Mr. Jones a letter last week stating that the taping of lectures for political purposes violated school policy and could be subject to claims of copyright infringement by professors.
"The only thing he's rescinded is the offer of money and not in any way the statement that students are encouraged to consult him," said Lawrence H. Lokman, assistant vice chancellor for university communications.
Responding to the university's statement, Mr. Jones said, "We will take whatever future action in consideration of U.C.L.A.'s regulations and in consideration of our and our students' First Amendment rights."
Mr. Jones started a nonprofit group called the Bruin Alumni Association to combat what his Web site terms "U.C.L.A.'s continued slide into political partisanship and indoctrination," enumerating a "Dirty Thirty" list of professors whose liberal leanings he considered egregious.
The plan to pay students for documenting what those professors said in their classrooms generated national news media attention last week and prompted accusations of "witch hunting" from opponents.
Mr. Jones, a 2003 U.C.L.A. political science graduate and former president of the campus Republican group, had offered students $100 for tape recordings and lecture notes from a full quarter, $50 for just the handwritten notes and $10 for course handouts.
At least three members of the Bruin Alumni Association's advisory board have resigned since Mr. Jones posted details about the plan on his Web site.
Opponents of the plan, which include some conservatives, said that while the monetary incentive was one of the most offensive aspects of the plan, its essential nature remained intact.
"He had gone over the line legally, but in terms of the repugnance, the sorts of things he said, the attempts to engage in character assassination and defaming people who have earned positions as tenured professors, that really hasn't changed," said Sondra Hale, a U.C.L.A. anthropology professor who is No. 6 on Mr. Jones's "Dirty Thirty" list.
The Bruin Alumni Association is essentially a one-man operation run out of Mr. Jones's apartment in Culver City. The organization's advisory board includes some prominent conservative names, but it has received only about $22,000 in donations since its inception last May.
Mr. Jones worked briefly during and after college for the conservative activist David Horowitz, who has been lobbying state legislatures to pass an "Academic Bill of Rights" to protect students with minority viewpoints from partisan professors.
Mr. Horowitz says he fired Mr. Jones, accusing him of pressing U.C.L.A. students to file false reports that they had been physically attacked by leftist activists.
Monday, January 23, 2006
Wish I could have been there,
The ecopanel was stimulating!
I felt that it was an active way to reinvigorate concerns for the environment as it intersects with language . Each presentation was an enactment of activating, activist language that sensitively formed interconnections with outstanding issues concerning the health of the ecosystem. Via each vital delivery I felt very certain that language is a living function that has agency. It is fortifying and generative to note the kinship and community that developes out of these discussions. Here are the statements I collected prior to the panel event. They are brief overviews of what each person offered up. As well, Ed Roberson read poems suffused in the understandings and participations of these concerns--really heartfelt, humanistic work. Evelyn Reiley gave a poignant introduction to the subject, ecopoetics. I wish that these forums could happen on a more regular basis because it is definitely a productive way to counteract dogma and such an event shakes up ideas that have become stolid, empty of any charge.
STATEMENTS FROM PARTICIPANTS:
In my paper, I will be trying to suggest ways to ground a poetics in non-Cartesian spatial practices. I am particularly interested in the work of Henri Lefebvre, especially his concept of rhythm analysis (not as musical "beats", but as a "spatio-analytic" approach to the production of space). I quote him here: "The whole of (social) space proceeds from the body, even though it so metamorphoses the body that it may forget it all together -- even though it may separate itself so radically from the body as to kill it. and The passive body (the senses) and the active body (labor) converge in space.."
I will also be using as source material a book by Michael Steinberg called "The Fiction of a Thinkable World".
If this at first seems distant from the topic of ecopoetics, it will be one job of my paper to show that it is not. At base, here, at least in my mind, is capitalism on a global scale, so relentless in its extension of the reign of profit, as to render any other conception of value obsolete. How can we avoid, as cultural workers, replicating the mistakes of Romanticism, which served ultimately as a rhetorical screen for the economic, political, cultural and material rape of the planet (both human and non). I think the only way to avoid this is to ground artistic and cultural practices in a (social) world outside of the text.
"Side-lighting: If Nature is Writing" I want to propose the necessity of the re-insertion of the person into the environment at all levels of discourse and action. And I believe that writers are well-positioned to activate this shift in representation by resisting/exposing traditional linguistic and ideological constructions of a passive "environment" which can somehow be acted upon--either in the name of destruction/exploitation or salvation/conservation. As Silko reminds us, acts of storytelling establish the possibility of communion between differing versions of the truth; therefore, writers have the power to create spaces for new stories and representations of this world where humans and nature, history and the present, are not separate.
"Taking Gilles Deleuze's claim that 'the book is not an image of the world...[i]t forms a rhizome with the world' as my starting point, I will argue that the ecocritical debate over the representation of the natural might be fruitfully oriented towards questions of environmental justice, i.e., the association of environmental disasters with human social problems. Further, we have important poetic-historical models of such experiments with integrating subjectivity and ecology. The polarizing, isolationist language President Bush recently used in speeches about the natural devastation in New Orleans, for example, can be historicized against the integrated language of subject and natural disaster in such poets as Emily Dickinson and Lorine Niedecker, who show how entangled the issues of justice towards the environment and justice towards humans must always be."
I would like to consider language in regards to the environment by thinking of two bodily analogies: prosthetics and phantom limbs (and resultant pain: causalgia, phantom limb pain and the neuralgias). How technology and eradication (racial, environmental) fit into this discussion. Language will be considered as intermediary between time and space, body and mind and all other dichotomies that disrupt a flow of interconnection amongst the labyrinth organism that is life. This talk will cite Elizabeth Grosz’s book, Time Travels: Feminism, Nature and Gender as well as refer to the United States’ historical beginnings, the anglo-fication of this land. Susan Howe’s recovery poem Melville's Marginalia and Kamau Brathwaite’s book, Middle Passage will be introduced.
just got back from DC where i saw an exhibition by Monica Castillo. at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (last day today, maybe?). fun work!
also Kathe Kollwitz' work was stunning. nobody like her & certainly is worth seeing anything original - prints, catalogs etc. don't even approach the depth of experience.
last week we attended the first Sustainability Forum at the Academy of Natural Sciences "Life and Breath in the Big City:Philadelphia's Air in the 21st Century." it was really exciting to see so many people interested in making Philadelphia green! next event is Feb 6th - here's the info as found on the Academy event site:
URBAN SUSTAINABILITY FORUM
Special Evening with Jaime Lerner
Monday , Feb. 6
Lerner is the former mayor of Curitiba, dubbed “the world’s most sustainable city.” He also was governor of the Brazilian state of Paraná and renowned as an architect and urban planner who has implemented enlightened social, ecological and urban reforms.
if i recall correctly, someone stated that in Curitiba, a city with 1.5 million people, 1.3 million people ride the transit system. holy! read more about Curitiba .
find more local info at Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia. hopefully soon you'll see heather's & my new business, Organic Home, listed as a member.
on the less sensitive side, one of the best laughs i've had recently was when heather shared with me the site at StuffOnMyCat.com but you gotta see more than the first page. also check out my panic reps, maybe anyone's -- FAINTING GOATS.
looking forward to see/hear Anne Carson tonight, 8pm, at the Poetry Project.
hope all's well with you all.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
1740 Sansom Street
(215 569 8999)
The menu is unlike any other Israeli spot in town, but I have to tell you to get there THIS WEEK if you can to order Malawah. This is a special Israeli dough they take weeks to prepare, and then they fry it in front of you, stuff it with delicious marinated egg, tomato, and spices. Trust me, it's nothing like you have ever tried, food to change your life! This is not on the menu, something they will only have for a few more days until next year, so GET THERE THIS WEEK, or the beginning of next week. Call and ask if they still have it on the menu. If not, go anyway, it's the best falafel in Philadelphia, complete with one of the best salad bars of pickled baby eggplant, marinated cauliflower, cabbages, carrots.
What a nice bunch of people working in there as well, in fact you can't find nicer people! They've arrived in Philly recently from Israel, and have built this vegetarian restaurant a couple blocks off of Rittenhouse Square, part of the large vegetarian Philadelphia family now, as far as I'm concerned. The home of the cheese steak has some of the best vegetarian cuisine you can find.
BUT, oh, try to get there for the Malawah, I'm telling you! It's food to meditate on, with, over! Food to FEEL becoming your body, beautifully becoming your delicious body! Oooo, it's such a good thing, feeling all that coming to be while getting with your Malawah. Okay, it's true, and if you don't get there, well whatever, I'm trying to tell you, DON'T COME CRYING TO ME!
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
I'm posting the spring schedule for Temple's Poets & Writers Series, which looks quite exciting. If anyone else could post series info ranging off into the coming months, I'd love it as a way to promote readings way in advance to my students. (Penn's calendar was looking really sparse last time I checked, for instance - any thoughts on if the schedule will keep filling or if they've just kept dropping off programming vs. a few years ago?)
Thursday, January 26, 2006, 8:00. Main Campus, Mitten
Hall, 1913 North Broad Street(at Broad and Berks), which is
located one and a half blocks up Broad Street from the Cecil
B. Moore subway stop.
NEIL GAIMAN is best known as the creator/writer of the
monthly cult DC Comics series Sandman. His novels include
Anansi Boys, Neverwhere (based on the six-part TV series for
the BBC), Stardust, American Gods, and Coraline (a novel for
children). In 2004, Gaiman published a new graphic novel for
Marvel called 1602, and 2005 saw the Sundance Film Festival
premiere of MirrorMask, a Jim Henson Company Production
written by Gaiman and directed by Gaiman’s long-time
collaborator Dave McKean. Gaiman’s work has won numerous
awards such as the Hugo, Nebula, SFX, Bram Stoker, Locus and
Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards. Born and raised in
England, Gaiman now lives near Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Thursday, February 9, 2006, 8:00, TUCC, room 222
CLAUDIA RANKINE is the author of four collections of poetry,
including Don’t Let Me Be Lonely, PLOT, The End of the
Alphabet, and Nothing in Nature is Private (which received
the Cleveland State Poetry Prize). She is co-editor of
American Women Poets in the Twenty-First Century (Wesleyan
University Press). Her work has been published in numerous
journals including Boston Review, TriQuarterly, and The
Poetry Project Newsletter. Her poetry is also included in
several anthologies, including Best American Poetry 2001,
Giant Step: African American Writing at the Crossroads of
the Century, and The Garden Thrives: Twentieth Century
African-American Poetry. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, she now
teaches in the Creative Writing program at the University of
Thursday, March 23, 2006, 8:00, TUCC, room 222
JANET DESAULNIERS hails from Kansas City, Missouri. Her
short story collection, What You’ve Been Missing, won the
2004 John Simmons Award. Her work has appeared in numerous
literary publications, including several stories in The New
Yorker, TriQuarterly, the North American Review, and
Ploughshares. She has received grants and fellowships from
the James A. Michener/Copernicus Society, the National
Endowment for the Arts, and the Illinois Arts Council, along
with a Pushcart Prize and a Transatlantic Review award for
fiction. Desaulniers has also taught writing for over twenty-
five years, most recently as an Associate Professor in the
MFA in Writing program at the School of the Art Institute of
Chicago, where she was the inaugural Chair.
Thursday, March 30, 2006, 8:00, TUCC, room 222
JOAN RETALLACK’s most recent book of poetry is Memnoir—a
long poem published in the US (Post-Apollo Press) and in
French translation (CIP-Marseilles) in 2004. The Poethical
Wager—a volume of essays—came out last year from The
University of California Press which will also publish her
forthcoming book on Gertrude Stein—with a selection of
Stein’s work. Retallack is also the author of MUSICAGE: John
Cage in Conversation with Joan Retallack for which she won
the 1996 America Award in Belles-Lettres and Afterrimages
(both from Wesleyan University Press), Mongrelisme
(Paradigm Press), How To Do Things With Words (Sun & Moon
Classics) , and Errata 5uite (Edge Books). Her multi-media
project WESTORN CIV CONT'D: an open book was produced at
Pyramid Atlantic Studios in 1995-96—with inadvertent funding
from the National Endowment for the Arts—and is still in
progress. She received a Lannan Literary Grant in 1998.
Retallack is currently at work on a long poetic
project, “The Reinvention of Truth.” She is John D. &
Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of Humanities at Bard
College where she teaches in the Languages & Literature and
Interdisciplinary Arts programs. She will be in residence as
Temple’s Visiting Poet from March 27-31.
Thursday, April 20, 2006, 8:00, TUCC, room 222
CHARLES BERNSTEIN is the author of 30 books of poetry,
including Shadowtime, With Strings, Republics of Reality:
1975-1995 and World on Fire. He has published two books of
essays and one essay/poem collection: My Way: Speeches and
Poems, A Poetics, and Content’s Dream: Essays 1975 1984. In
the 1970s he co-edited the journal L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, which
dramatically changed the landscape of contemporary poetics.
Shadowtime, his libretto for composer Brian Ferneyhough, was
performed in 2004-2005 in Munich, Paris, London, and New
York. Bernstein is the Executive Editor, and co-founder, of
The Electronic Poetry Center (epc.buffalo.edu) and co-
editor, with Al Filreis, of PENNsound. He has received
fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the
Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the
Arts among others. Bernstein is currently Regan Professor of
English at the University of Pennsylvania.
Sunday, January 15, 2006
"There's a little animal inside of me. It's eating me. It's building me each day. It starts with a blank lump and animates the person it wants from it. It controls me. It makes me do things. It won't let me stop thinking about it. Other times I can't think at all and I become more like a small fire emitting a lot of sparks that pass for talking, sex, behavior. A walking zombie pit where anything can fall into me."
Orange soda is so nice to drink when reading something that's just, well, delicious. It's a FANTA Orange kind of moment, and I've got one, right here at the computer. The thing is, this quote above from Sam D'Allesandro isn't isolated, it's actually typical of his writing.
Selfishly, part of me didn't want to write about the new collection of stories because I know how much flack I'll be getting in e-mails from folks I always tell how much I hate short stories, hate novels, etc.. But I have no choice I feel but to share the NEWS of these exquisite stories just re-released.
Kevin Killian has got to be one of the busiest writers and editors alive, and those who have entrusted their pages of writing to him for future use after their deaths were brilliant to do so. The Wild Creatures is the very thing many of us have been waiting for, since the other, earlier collection, The Zombie Pit has been out of print for years.
Jim Cory gave me a copy of The Zombie Pit years ago, and I didn't read it for a while, because it was short stories. Then I was dating this ridiculous swine actor named Christopher (who had one, maybe two good tricks for treats, and that's it) who saw it on my bookshelf and said how much he loved D'Allesandro, that the book was genius! He read the story "Lenny" out loud to me because he knew what a big Patti Smith fan I was, and it's a story about D'Allesandro's fling with Lenny Kaye, Patti Smith's lead guitar player. It was all I needed to hear, and NOT because of Lenny Kaye, or Patti Smith. The words were coming to me the way poems come to us, or at us when they're so good.
"When it happens it's like the film broke in mid-reel, you don't expect it and you're still expecting everything you were before. Everything in my life except me was suddenly different. Eventually that would make me different too, but it takes a while to catch up. Someone said the pain would go away, but I'm not sure that's where I want it to go. It's how I feel him most sharply. Without it, every move I make echoes because he's not here to absorb me. I don't like bouncing back at myself. A dead lover wants your soul, wants your life, and then your death too. And you give it, it's the only way to feel anything again. Take the death as a lover and sleep with it and eat it and purge it and suck it back in quick. And finally it's no event, it's nothing that happened, it's just you: an anger and a beauty that never really goes away. Not something you can wait out as it disappears, nothing ever really just disappears."
AIDS, Ronald Reagan, all kinds of things make me angry when I think of the loss of D'Allesandro who died at age 31. It is an incredible loss, in so many ways, of course, and when you reach the end of his thin, but amazing collection, you know there's nothing more to come, not even with this newer collection edited by Kevin Killian. It's like, I want to TELL KEVIN KILLIAN TO LOOK HARDER THAT HE MIGHT HAVE OVERLOOKED A FEW MORE STORIES! But there's just nothing more, and we've got to be with this as best we can.
Sad to find out that D'Allesandro was dead before the original, smaller collection The Zombie Pit came out. To make this story even more tragic, the editor of this earlier collection was Steve Abbott, who also died of AIDS in 1992. AIDS has tendrils and branches that get tangled and lost looking at so many men from this period, even as I say this I really do know you already know but....
Dodie Bellamy and Betsy Bayley did the cover of The Zombie Pit, and its cover said much about the fact that D'Allesandro, and his work, although beautiful, neither were ever (at any point as far as I can tell) superficial, or vain in that sad, rancid way so many gay men become when they don't feel or think anything beyond the flesh. His eyes on the cover, it's not just that they were looking back from an already dead author, they were eyes that were ready to tell you these stories no matter when you came to them, no matter what you did or didn't know of the author's fate.
When I worked at Giovanni's Room Bookstore, a couple years after reading The Zombie Pit, I was dismayed to sit through numerous readings by authors over the six years I was there, only to never hear much of an echo of that kind of D'Allesandro story. What did I hear? I'm telling you, I just can't stand short stories and novels, but I like his, very very much! These stories direct the force at your solar plexus as if they're guided on a beam and you can't get away from the feeling, and you feel everything else is cheap, and boring.
There was this customer at Giovanni's Room with the last name Faust who came around a lot, and he was one of those older gay guys who never read anything if it wasn't gay. And he only went to see movies if they were gay. He kind of got on my fucking nerves actually with his whole damn gay thing, as he was without a doubt heterophobic. We would get free passes to movie screenings every week at the store because whatever company gives those out seems to think that gay people are the best kind of people to have in the audience. Maybe we are, I don't really know to be honest. Anyway, Mr. Faust would ask if the movie pass was for a gay movie, which of course it never was, and he'd ALWAYS talk about how sick pussy made him, as though any movie which wasn't gay had naked women in them. He was so disgusting this guy, his misogyny, man, he pissed me off! And he also made me angry that he never read Goethe's Faust. Wouldn't you if your name was Faust? And when I asked him why he never read it he said --no lie-- that it wasn't gay. Brother! Anyway, one day he came in, and I was annoyed upon seeing him, as usual, and after he putzzed and poked about in the used book bin, he came to the counter with a copy of The Zombie Pit. It was the first time I actually had a real conversation with this man Faust. I asked if he had read it, and he angrily said "YES OF COURSE! Anyone with any sense of taste would have already read it! I'm buying it for a friend who hates to read, but he'll like this." He then admitted that The Zombie Pit was one of the few books that made him cry, and he added, "And I don't mean once, I mean I cried at some point in every story!" Another customer later told me about Faust, how he had been gay bashed horribly back in the 80s, and had the scars to prove it, and I was never annoyed with him again when I would see him. It's strange, but it's the kind of compassion D'Allesandro seems to enforce, I'll say enforce because although it seems strange to enforce compassion, the compulsion to feel is overwhelming when dealing with the stories, and even more importantly, the stories of those who have read them, and who are about to read them no doubt.
"Driving across the Southwest, my head in his lap, I watch headlights slowly swerve through the car's interior in a rhythm. One at a time. In Texas, my turn driving, I spill coffee all over myself when I break for a jerk in a Galaxy 500 reaching into the backseat to slap one of his kids. Farrell can't stop laughing and I get mad. Later that night we sleep pulled over on the side of a back road. Farrell leans against the car door with his long legs stretched out on the seat. I sit between his legs and lay against him. It's his idea. We sleep this way all night. I can hear his heart beat and feel the heat of his skin. The moment is so tender and bound to pass, that I'm nearly in tears."
Not enough thanks can be given to Kevin Killian for making it possible that these stories are back in print!
The Velvet Mafia has provided the short story "The Zombie Pit" selection from The Wild Creatures HERE, and, you can enter to win a free copy of the book!
Buck Downs sent me this AUDIO LINK of Kevin Killian reading from The Wild Creatures, check it out!
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
But, at the same time, I now have to be honest about my feelings about Bill Shields, or rather, I need to examine them closer I guess is what I really mean. Around this same time when the JT fraud was first disclosed, so was the fraud of Bill Shields, a poet who made quite a name for himself as a Vietnam Vet poet, who as it turns out never stepped foot in Vietnam.
Bill and I were friends back in the day when he was writing his dark, compelling poems about bodies being ripped to shreds by gunfire in the jungles. He was really good at helping us understand the complexities of this war, making the brutality bigger than the endless parade of movies which were coming out at the same time. He brought responsibility with the word for these war poems unlike any other poet has been able to do-- or so it seemed.
He brought me to a greater understanding of my own history with guns, coming from a family who insisted I own one when I turned nine, the same small rifle I turned on my violent stepfather more than once, though never fired at him. It all became very personal, the way Bill would open you up, to get you talking about the guns, how you had wanted to defend your life and other lives.
He came to Philadelphia at my invitation to read at the North Starr Bar, and freaked the audience out by waving his long, wide-blade knife around, and talking about using it in the jungles, and I have to admit that that was when I first thought that maybe he wasn't all there in the head, watching him put the knife back in his shoe.
I'm thinking right now, HOW COULD IT BE THAT HE MADE IT ALL UP!? We were young, those of us who met him back then, but none of us stupid, or without some worldly experience.
Henry Rollins published several of his books, one of which I'm mentioned in the dedication because of the friendship and time spent with Bill reading and corresponding on the poems.
When it was recently made aware to me that Bill had fabricated all of this life he wrote of, my initial response to everyone writing to me was that it was okay. More than once I wrote saying that I was shocked, yet that we need to allow Bill his reality. This angered nearly everyone, but what was I thinking? Well, I was thinking of many things, not the least of which were all the men who were writing to Bill from mental hospitals and elsewhere in the world, not able to fully or even sometimes partially recover from that war. These men all seemed to have an affinity with Bill's poems that helped them, somehow. And now I'm thinking of these men again, and the incredible betrayal against them as Bill had written back to them at length as comrades, of having shared the pain, the experience, the torture of it all. Telling them, telling us all he had been exposed to Agent Orange, and how much he was suffering with that.
Or maybe some good can still come of this? We're standing on the tightrope of reality here.
Is it okay? Or not? If it's okay for Bill, then why not JT Leroy? My anger for JT Leroy was without hesitation, but that is because I've known men who have died of AIDS, as most everyone I've ever met has known and loved such beautiful men who didn't want to die so young and leave this world behind.
JT Leroy was an immediate, horrible person to me. But if I had been to Vietnam and made to carry a gun, shoot, be shot at, and later found solace in Bill's poems, maybe I would be as angry then, wouldn't I?
Empathy needs to shoot its umbrella over all this.
But then the judgments tangle.
This is difficult. And now it's the difficulties of conscience which anger me.
Let this somehow expand to the greater Liars who control this country, which would be worth it all in some small way.
Also though, the obvious thing is that Bill Shields might not be a well man. Maybe in his mind he didn't make it up? I've had no contact with him about it, so I don't know. It takes me such a long time to notice someone is crazy.
Although Bill might be crazy, JT Leroy it seems to me is really someone who exploits. This fake JT Leroy, on the back of the many real JT Leroys, the prostitute drag queens I've known, some now dead with bullets in their heads from standing too long on the corner of 12th and Spruce on a Saturday night when the skinheads circled the block.
JT Leroy --I can't help it-- is scum to me. Is a spoiled brat, who is really like a NIKE shoe ad in the end, complete with fucking rock band, etc., etc., Hollywood coming to read the short stories. Ah! This SO pisses me off!
January 9, 2006
The Unmasking of JT Leroy: In Public, He's a She
By WARREN ST. JOHN
It has been one of the most bizarre literary mysteries in recent memory: Who, exactly, is the novelist JT Leroy? An answer, at long last, is taking shape.
Mr. Leroy's tale was harrowing in its details and uplifting in its arc. He was a young truck-stop prostitute who had escaped rural West Virginia for the dismal life of a homeless San Francisco drug addict. Rescued as a young teenager by a couple named Laura Albert and Geoffrey Knoop and treated by a psychologist, he was able to turn his terrible youth into a thriving career as a writer. JT Leroy has published three critically acclaimed works of fiction noted for their stark portrayal of child prostitution and drug use.
Along the way Mr. Leroy gained the friendship and trust of celebrities and noted writers, who supported his career financially and offered him emotional support when he declared that he was infected with H.I.V. Sales were good, and his books were published around the world. Shy and reclusive, Mr. Leroy, now 25, appeared in public often disguised beneath a wig and sunglasses.
But the young man in the wig and sunglasses, it turns out, is not a man at all. The public role of JT Leroy is played by Savannah Knoop, Geoffrey Knoop's half sister, who is in her mid-20's...
...But the discovery of the public face of JT Leroy is only part of the mystery. Still unsettled is the question of who writes under that name.
Writers like Dennis Cooper, Mary Gaitskill and Mary Karr were among those who offered support to Mr. Leroy's literary career, as did several prominent editors at Manhattan publishing houses, and numerous film and pop music celebrities offered him emotional support, including Courtney Love, Tatum O'Neal, Billy Corgan, Shirley Manson and Carrie Fisher...
The unmasking of Ms. Knoop adds to a mounting circumstantial case that Laura Albert is the person who writes as JT Leroy. Pressure to admit the ruse has been building on Ms. Albert since October, when New York magazine published an article that advanced a theory that she was the author of JT Leroy's books.
The New York article, written by Stephen Beachy, portrayed Ms. Albert, 40, and Mr. Knoop, 39, as unfulfilled rock musicians who concocted the character of JT Leroy to gain access first to literary circles and, later, to celebrities. The scheme began, Mr. Beachy wrote, with faxes, e-mail messages and phone calls by Ms. Albert, speaking in a West Virginia accent as JT Leroy. The article also described an acquaintance of Ms. Albert's who said she had asked him to type and fax manuscripts that bore striking thematic similarities to work later published by JT Leroy. When that name became famous, Mr. Beachy theorized, an actor was needed to play JT Leroy in person; he did not know, he wrote, who that actor was.
...But perhaps those most affected by the revelation that Ms. Knoop has been playing the public role of JT Leroy are those who went out of their way to help someone they thought was a troubled young man.
"To present yourself as a person who is dying of AIDS in a culture which has lost so many writers and voices of great meaning, to take advantage of that sympathy and empathy, is the most unfortunate part of all of this," Mr. Silverberg said. "A lot of people believed they were supporting not only a good and innovative and adventurous voice, but that we were supporting a person."
full article is here:
& definitely worth the read...
Monday, January 09, 2006
Kate Michelman is the former president of NARAL, and the author of With Liberty and Justice for All. Kate O'Beirne is the Washington editor of The National Review, and the author of Women Who Make the World Worse.
To be honest O'Beirne said nothing new, nothing not already said over and over and over again by Bush, by Jerry Falwell, etc.
Kate Michelman however said some pretty fantastic things, one thing in particular that I really wish Howard Dean, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton (all of whom are turning coat very quickly on gay rights and Roe v. Wade) could hear. She's a brilliant woman, who calls for nothing less than for the Democrats to find the courage to stand their ground. Here's a small excerpt of what I'm referring to:
Tim Russert: ...Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic Party said this recently: "I think we need to talk about abortion differently. ... Republicans have forced us into a corner to defend abortion." Then he went on to say: "If I could strike the words 'choice' and 'abortion' out of the lexicon of our party, I would."
Kate Michelman: ...I'm reminded of the '92 election when President Clinton was elected. The House and the Senate were under control of Democrats. The political pundits were writing the obituary of the right wing and the conservative movement, and you didn't see the conservatives sort of back away from their values or their principles. They didn't give up and start publicly talking about changing their language.... What they did is they stayed focused on their values and that's what we need to do.
This is exactly what needs to happen! People with real courage, I mean, WHAT THE HELL does Howard Dean believe in anymore anyway!? At least George W. Bush isn't interested in going against his beliefs: he hates gays, always has, hasn't changed his mind, doesn't intend to, he's angry about abortion, wants to overturn Roe v. Wade, makes no bones about.
Oh please, I can't believe I'm going to say this, but, I have more respect for Bush! Not that I can ever agree with him, but he acts the way I want the Democrats to act. I really want, so badly want someone with the certitude Bush has to say AND REALLY MEAN IT WHEN SHE OR HE SAYS IT, that they believe in queers and women and will not back down from defending our civil liberties. This person does not exist, as far as I can see.
We have nothing but cowards on our side. SHIT! Kate Michelman is saying something very smart and simple about NOT whimpering NOT turning away NOT giving in AND DAMMIT STAYING TO FIGHT THIS BATTLE OUT! Fuck the right wing! Fuck the born agains! How is giving into bigotry ever going to change anything for the better?
Later on the night of the 8th I went to a demonstration outside Exodus Church in Philadelphia where Jerry Falwell and Rick Santorum were speaking on behalf of the Alito nomination. When I saw Falwell walk into that church with Santorum it made me so angry just to SEE THEM! The HATE that they spread can be felt! How on earth can any Democrat give into these monsters? At one point we could hear the minister giving his speech inside the church. He is a black man, and he was speaking out against gay marriage, abortion, etc., and there were some members of his congregation out on the sidewalk yelling and praying at us. I said to one couple, "How would you feel if that were being said about civil rights for African Americans? How would you feel if you heard a pastor of a church speaking out from the pulpit in favor of segregation?" I'm not sure if the couple even heard me, but a few white Quakers who were near me were upset with me, saying that I "shouldn't say that!" But why not? I'm only trying to create some common ground, isn't that okay? Are my rights as a gay man any less important than their rights?
It's so tired hanging with some of these people on "the Left" sometimes. Everyone's so fucking careful, and for what reason? I mean, the Right says whatever the fuck they want! It's such fucking bullshit, telling people how to conduct themselves when you've got Jerry Fucking Falwell and Rick Santorum giving speeches about the evils of queers and women a few feet away! With scum like that in the house ALL GLOVES SHOULD COME OFF!
Let the protection and belief in Love get scary on their fascist asses!
And by the fucking way, our rights are NOT bargaining chips! PERIOD! It's time to tell Howard Dean and friends to find their strength or to get the hell out of the way for someone better, someone with some real courage!
Check out today's NY Times story on the former Subcommandante Marcos' (now aka Delegate Zero) six-month political tour of Mexico.
- Frank Sherlock
Sunday, January 08, 2006
at the rising capricorn tide He is always celebrated and if you too celebrate Him on this day you will feel the connection from around the world
I'm leaving in a few minutes for the Jerry Falwell protest, but wanted to gather my Elvis energy, on his birthday, today. Wearing my Elvis tee shirt to combat the Alito nomination.
Maybe tonight when I'm standing on Broad Street yelling at the smiling fascists, I'll look at the sky and finally see the new constellation for Him. My guess is the Pleiades will be at the heart of His heavenly form.
here's my comment/reply poem as i compos[t/e]
Saturday, January 07, 2006
Joe Massey says, "My late friend Cid Corman is the only poet I've ever known to write poems about taking shits. No one else has really done it! I should try that sometime..."
I know Robert Creeley and Paul Blackburn both wrote poems on (not in) defecation. There have to be more, right?
Not to get all German-porn or anything- but if you email me your favorite poem about shitting, I'll post the list here in the near-future. And I'll leave your name off it if you want me to. Don't be shy, you scatological freaks! email@example.com
- Frank Sherlock
the Santorum & Jerry Falwell Klan is coming to Philly Sunday to support the Alito nomination, let's show up and tell them what's what!
Happy New Year, everybody.
"Justice" is the right to health care and effective HIV prevention, reproductive freedom, and freedom from homophobia and bigotry--not fundamentalist extremism from the extreme right wing.
Join ACT UP Philadelphia, people of faith, people of conscience, women's health groups and other friends in Philadelphia at 7 PM on Sunday January 8 2006 to protest "Justice Sunday III"--a national rally for religious extremist groups who are fighting for a judiciary that is as reactionary as they are.
"Justice Sunday III" comes just one day before the Senate Judiciary Committee opens hearings for Supreme Court Justice Nominee Samuel Alito. "Justice Sunday III" will include notorious fixtures of the radical right Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family, and Jerry Falwell along with Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.
These right wing religious groups exert extraordinarily powerful influence over White House policies on HIV prevention, global AIDS, science, sex education and public health.
Join us outside the Greater Exodus Baptist Church, at 714 North Broad Street at 6:30 for a spirited rally and protest.
For more information please call ACT UP Philadelphia at (215) 386-1981 or Jose DeMarco at (215) 756-4756.
(posted by CAConrad)
p.s. how FUCKING DARE THEY come here on Elvis's birthday!
Thursday, January 05, 2006
For me though it's not so funny as it is a kind of musical chairs with the ethers, incredibly overCome.
It's something to set to music for the very best sex or childbirth. Ah shucks Jim, I'm just so fucking happy to finally see a guy writing about his sad drizzling jizz who's not a queer. Are you not? Fags like me need to step aside 'cause Jim's in the house! Should we step aside? I mean, maybe we should be in a circle around him instead, you know, in a circle for poetry workshop. I don't know, anyway, rock on mister, sister, whoever the hell you may be!
p.s. where're the other lines of the poem? What about "I miss your body, I want your chapbook."? Huh? Where is it? What did the poem do since we last heard it? Did he leave a page on stage? He's missing some lines, I know he's missing some lines, my memory is a good memory and I can't say why.
Here's the text of L(adies) L(ove) Cool Jim's New Year's performance at The Project.
posted by Frank Sherlock
"we're about to get taken to a dreamworld of magic"
Wet with sweat from the busom of the savior
I am standing in your blood
Slowslick terrible expanse of mud
The ghost angel horse sets the orchard
Aflame, hot prose hisses "Harvard"
Disappointing fruit pollute the ground
Drunk single mother on the rebound
Today is not 9/11 / we watch pirates screw
Your eyes and your hair are excellent
Equidistant in the glancing light
The larger mammals of the world unite
In the cloying hooks of the poem
Say "Orpheus" again and I'll puke
To start new war please shoot duke
Pac-man eats tourists
Jesus gave me the light / I'm gonna let it shine
Straight into your soul's vagina
Soon the love balloon will drop
I wanna sleep with a riot cop
Sonic Nurse / Scarlett Johansson / better tie me down
After we broke the curse they rode me out of town
Last night's fuzzy
But I think I hit Frank O'Hara with a dune buggy
"Made me dream a dream I didn't understand"
I smell rather condomly and no one is carrying my seed
All ye glittering dirty bombs of Grand Central
Patrol the grand hotels / dancing girls
Urge forward the thrusts, fingerprints across altar girls
I lie bleeding with you in the open trunk
But let's save a little for the comeback
Greg's poem for the loss from Hurricane Katrina started with him saying that we must not allow the media to forget, so that we may not forget.
Here's that amazing poem...(posted by CAConrad)
PIECES OF THE SKY
by Greg Fuchs
The wind, the water
Washed my home,
My people away,
My people wash far
Away my home.
Pieces of the sky.
The wind, the water
Took my home
Into the lake.
Home so fleeting
The pieces of the sky.
The wind and the water
The lake came to visit
The river. The lake
Came to my house.
The wind and the water
Pieces of the sky.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Without a doubt the most memorable line of the Poetry Project marathon came from noneother than Mr. Jim Behrle, which was, "Last night was a little fuzzy, but I think I hit Frank O'Hara with a dune buggy."
Jesus fucking Frank O'Hara for crying out loud! Every single person in the room made some sort of noise. Eileen Myles who was sitting in front of me turned around and said emphatically, "Now THAT'S a new low!" She said it with a devilish smile though, and gave Behrle a GOOD slap on the back after, like he had just jumped off a bull. Well, jumped off a bull while wearing a white running, track, workout kind of suit, whatever those things are.
It's been a long while since I've felt like fucked hamburger after hearing a poem!
My other favorite line from that poem was, "I miss your body, I want your chapbook." I wish I had the whole poem here for you, it was so fucking weird, and sexy, and, well, you read the dune buggy line so you get the idea right? How sexy is it to kill O'Hara!? It's like killing Buddha on the road, or whatever the hell they tell you in Zen Master Class.
What a great day though! SO MUCH amazing poetry to hear! Brenda Iijima gave us a cool, queer short dance before she read, saying, "Don't forget the body." That was great!
Sparrow and his band, GEEZE, I love them so much! They really are like a bunch of lunatics who've just escaped! I wish I had an MP3 file of their songs for you, you'd LOVE them! It would be ridiculous for me to go through everything saw, heard, just too much. Hundreds and hundreds! How lucky are we to have that place so close to us!?
Anoyone who claims to love poetry and doesn't get that Love, well, sad for them dammit!