Friday, March 31, 2006
Before reprinting here for you one of my favorite Orlovitz poems, let me reprint his bio from the anthology TODAY'S POETS, edited by Chad Walsh, published in 1964.
Gil Orlovitz has never before been included in a widely distributed anthology; his work is known only to a handful of poetry lovers who read the verse magazines and purchase slender books issued by publishing houses with names like Inferno Press and Hearse Press. He is nonetheless one of the finest -- the most versatile -- poets now writing in English.
Long before the San Francisco Renaissance exploded with public and police clamor and articles in Time, Orlovitz was writing with a Dionysian frenzy combined with perfect control of language that has been equaled by few, if any, of the Beats. At the same time, he is one of the few contemporary masters of the sonnet and the short lyric. He also has the rare distinction of carrying on a lover's quarrel with society without falling into cheap contempt for individual classes of humanity.
Born in 1918 in Philadelphia of Russian Jewish background, Orlovitz describes his higher education as "capricious." He has held a variety of jobs from staff screenwriter (Columbia Pictures) to his present position as associate editor with a New York publishing house specializing in paperback fiction. He is married and the father of two sons and a daughter.
Orlovitz's first book of poetry, Concerning Man, was published in 1947. Among his other works are Selected Poems (1960) and Art of the Sonnet (1961). He has written numerous short stories and had several plays produced. The Spoken Word has issued a disk (120) of his poetry under the title, "The Rooster," and he has prepared a tape for the Library of Congress. Detailed discussions of his poetry have been published by George Dillon (Poetry, August, 1955), David Ignatow (Poetry, January, 1962), and Guy Daniels (Nation, August 2, 1958).
This bio is kind of funny to me, since Orlovitz seems so out of step with some of the names mentioned, especially those who wrote about him. Like the anthology where this bio is taken, alongside Philip Larkin, Richard Wilbur, and the like. In the introduction to the anthology Chad Walsh says that Robert Duncan refused to be included when he was invited. That's funny, what was that about I wonder? Did Duncan want to know who else was included first? Why would he decline this offer? Maybe there's a Duncan letter somewhere explaining, does anyone know?
Did Ted Berrigan ever read the Orlovitz book Art of the Sonnet I wonder? If not, he might have appreciated the experiment with the form. The sonnets are numbered, and at first they cling to some of the rigors of the form, but later paint themselves onto the frame, then over the frame, then right out into the cosmic overtures. Like Turner's later and last paintings, these later and last sonnets keep you at the pain of utter attention, dressed in their sod and stone robes funneling all your inevitable emotional breaking points. Like dying between two words on a page. And I ask anyone reading these Orlovitz poems: Was that an ambulance outside the sentence no one recognizes for the sky? Like the poet Miriam Kessler who said in her poem at the Gil Orlovitz Symposium I coordinated some fifteen years ago, I too would be his gach'ba.
AbeBooks.com always has a handful of his books, including his experimental novels Milk Bottle H., and Ice Never F. If you like novels, especially novels which have never once looked like novels have looked, these are for you.
I hope reprinting his magnificent poem "THE ROOSTER" will possibly encourage everyone who reads it to seek out more by Orlovitz. If you live in Philadelphia you are the most fortunate, as our library system has ALL of his books for special loan. Meaning that they're not on the shelf, but in the stacks, but can still be taken out on loan.
If you live elsewhere then go to your local public library and have them do an interlibrary loan search for you. His work is available, you just need to make a little effort to get it.
Hope you enjoy this poem as much as I do, with all its dark hummings under the vegetable world of America, decadent, and shamelessly betrothed to its own riches.
(p.s. I was very careful with Orlovitz's punctuation, which comes and goes, just so you realize this is entirely how he made it.)
by Gil Orlovitz
the rooster crows in my belly
an old hangout for the billiard cues of the morning
and table-hopping hail hail the ganglias all here
after sunset like a mouthwash last yesterlight
and the white tails of the gorillas on television
and that liberal politician stumping for twilight
down by that old
As I buttonholed the Ancient Auctioneer
how goes America going
after the thunderbird pooped out over the canyon
when he clovered her cleavage
and she pleaded like an electric organ in the rain
the moon greased out of the ten commandments a make-
up too late
what about the negative feedback of death
what about magnetism striking as a poisonous snake
or a hoop of jazzedup wire
snarling up communications over the Morse Pole
after the statesman belched ionized yeast
and the physics convention approved the musical
in an expanding economy they do not matter
the rooster will take us on a guided missile tour
we are knellbent for automation
the minister prays Our Lord Who Art in Heaven judge
us not by our actions
the skullskinner intones judge us not by our trans-
but analytic sessions
the physicist says christ anybody can have a halo
wheres the hesitance
when we can boast electronic resonance
you think anybodyll look for the pinprick in an
look easy and you will see
a cad and a ford in every nebulae
that no comettail you lost
but gods custombuilt Buicks exhaust
Americas producing for the Infinite
Holy Ghost Mongerers for the Universe
Export or Die
theres a report we got a parimutuel for the flying angels
will be solved by
Miss Wall Street does a dance of the seven ticker-
mathematicians enter the bullring to lock equations
in the circus the economists show off their
the specialists hide from the specialists
the whores organize their first Vertical Union
to which madames
cops must belong
waddya mean youre contemptuous of the Middle Class
(it's like some sort of abdominal bell)
the historians yang and yin
says its not too late to get out
and not too late to get in
hole hole the gongs all here
like some sort of abdominal bell
shes a Supermarket Baby with all the skimmings
mate doth look for automate
male finds femalleable
we dont die we reincarnate
this goes for everybody but the lower animal orders
those down-at-the-heel aristocrats who simply wont
take in boarders
its already noon and I'm still expanding
I'm a Paul Bunyan Giveaway
schizophrenia for lonely dolts
manic nuts for shy bolts
paranoia for those who say nobody has followed them
telescopes by god for those who say we've hollowed
hail to the architects whove eliminated the five-
we function beardless from cradle to the nave
free sexual irrigation for the ascetic
and thorns to bower the apoplectic
the cardiacs will look like roses
in this Promised Land without a Moses
hail to the farmers and their cows
in swimmingpools of milk and honey
hail to parity granaries of money
the worker with his fake-home pay
and the sociological gangster parentally rejected
steals his fathers in property quite protected
alls fair in an expanding economy
alls fair in love and boredom
the heavyweight champ
is still damp
behind his fears
the opera star endorses beers
the homerun king belts one into the stratofears
rich as a churchmouse the saying goes
the deacon leaves cheese between the foes
the cathedral is built in stunted gothic
this is america
their very own
I'm going to the bank to get a loan
get a loan
get a loan
get a loan to
integrate the negro in the south
with white hoof-&-mouth
a new perfume
for the bladderroom
for teething kings
for the delinquent
and giant breweries
spiking castoroil with luminal
waddya mean whats the international policy
we got an expanding economy
we're counting cosmic rays in the bank
we got cocacola in labrador
thats what you call getting your mouth in the door
we'll have skyscrapers in the ionosfear
every suicide'll live a charged particle here
we're putting extra-sensory-production on the
get rid of that goose
our economys on the loose
we'll advertise a hermit for snob-appeal
we'll get every hunchbacked shoulder behind the
pile all your energies into the new Golden Calf
WITH THE SMILING TOMORROW
all the great comics willed their bodies to it
the graveyard with the future in it
WHEN IT LAUGHS IT DISPLAYS URANIUM-FILLED
of contemporary saints
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Please join us for the third reading of
The Happy Rooster
A Reading Series
Featuring Emerging Local and International Writers.
4 PM to 6 PM
Sunday, April 2nd 2006
@ The Happy Rooster
16th & Sansom St,
This round of forgeries features:
ANDREA LAWLOR, fiction writer
DARCY SEBRIGHT, poet
MEGAN MILKS, fiction writer
STEVE DOLPH, fiction writer
with Special Guests:
We heartily welcome your support and hope to see you at the
Happy Rooster this Sunday. Please spread the word.
His Philadelphia reading still vibrating, is now on PENNSOUND, or I should say is ALREADY on PENNSOUND! Geesh, the speed!
And when you HEAR, you'll know the speed!
I suggest you listen to the "Complete Reading," unplug the fucking phone, or shut it off or whatever, let no one bother you.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
Editors Gina Myers and Gabriella Torres take great care in the arrangement of the poems, like, if you could see the poems as objects, this would be an intricate, careful, and frankly seamless collage. Yeah, it's SO NICE to find a magazine where I'm really liking everything: the poems, the poem to poem, the after taste. And, as I said, coming back to that marvelous Shapiro piece.
p.s. I've GOT TO reprint that poem for you now:
I covered you and cover you
I covet you and uncover you
My dream intent to discover you seems clear
as a snowflake dresses you and undresses you
an orange hand on your breast unless it's you
a purple simple hand on your hand is less than
you covered and recovered you
A Polaroid at night of trees on fire:
words written only once--
words used only once--
your naked face the origin of the world--
You spit into the ocean
and make it sweet for me
Friday, March 24, 2006
spread wide, where sadness and fun are not
opposites but different sorts of intensification.
Ed's poems are not self-contained and smug. They
open out, unreeling to carry the reader along so
that you always end somewhere far from but
magically connected to where you began."
--poet William Corbett
poet ED BARRETT
Thursday March 30
5:30 PM at the Kelly Writers House
rsvp to email@example.com
Ed Barrett is a poet who also teaches at MIT - in the Writing & Comparative
Media Studies Department.
His books of poems include "Theory of Transportation," "The Leaves Are
Something This Year," "Practical Lullabies for Joe," "Common Preludes,"
"Sheepshead Bay." There's also "Rub Out," a triology of experimental verse
For the off-Broadway stage, Ed has translated Antigone. And he was the
librettist for the opera "Coyote," premiered by the Manhattan Chamber Opera
He is very well known for his series of books on NEW MEDIA AND THE
HUMANITIES, including "Contextual Media," "Sociomedia: Multimedia,
Hypermedia, and the Social Construction of Knowledge," "The Society of Text,"
and "Text, ConText and HyperText."
His next book in this field is "Digital Poetry," forthcoming from MIT Press.
He has a PhD from Harvard, where he studied Greek, Old Norse and Old Irish.
He lives in Cambridge, Mass.
As soon as you see someone in a cab at night
you want to look at them basically because of
the drama of something shiny in the dark
like a yellow taxi, the way
skylines are very nice to look at, or of course
those more fundamental kinds of skyline,
constellations--stars--which form an end to our
way of thinking. The city is a kind of constellation
if you want to get fancy:
picture a map of the U.S. in the dark
with the major cities against it with all
their lights on. I like that:
--from Ed Barrett's "Odeon"
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Layout of the logo aside, every time SUBARU is mentioned, it carries the weight of any word or name used over and over. SUBARU may be used in car sales language to gain power, money, etc., but by tapping into that, the channeler can do what they want with that collective force. For the car company, maybe the Seventh Sister is the car, meaning EACH CAR is the Seventh Sister in action, in motion. Or maybe the Seventh Sister is Subaru headquarters?
It's much like witnessing Temple University's New Frontier Sciences some years ago. I went with poet Alexandra Grilikhes to hear a talk by a scientist who had been working with born-again Christians, having them pray over petrii dishes filled with various kinds of pathogens. In every instance they would destroy the organisms with prayer as they circled the dish with their concentrated Jesus force.
Elvis is used like this by those who want a cleaner source for use. There is a group in Kenya called The Magic Elvis Club, and they use Elvis energy to heal the sick and muster love. Elvis is on the rise, and I'm not saying this because I have a book coming out which claims this, it's a simple fact. The name Elvis gets used every single day on Earth to charge crystals for healing, to charge earrings for "glamoring techniques" and celebration. Not once have I ever heard of Elvis being used in a negative way. Maybe that is due to the fact that Elvis has not as yet been viewed by the larger forces at work as having the potential for this.
There is not a day that goes by that I don't listen to at least one Elvis song. And sitting in that moment is getting into the flow with all the others out there.
At that pagan gathering in Virginia I had mentioned in a previous post, Freya Aswyn and I were in her trailer to discuss the runes, and she KNEW about my Elvis book through her runic divinations of me. Freya is a psychic Rune Master, and I don't doubt a single thing about her. She made it clear that it's important Elvis be kept clean, and for healing. We have that responsibility, she says. How to do that I'm not sure. It's doubtful even Freya knows.
Back to the Pleiades (Subaru) channelers though. It would turn this post into an X-Files episode if I told you the details of what happened to my friend Elizabeth when she became involved with the Pleiades channelers. But let me just say this, that they are very real, and scare me, and are always looking for those with psychic abilities to join them. WHAT exactly it is they do, or want, I'm not certain. A good friend of mine who also knows about these people says that they're working with what many of the anti-UFO community believe to be a mass enslavement of Earth.
Sometimes I wish I didn't feel like such a freak when I discuss these things. The giggles can only be used to turn it around in a positive way. But still, years and years of disinformation keep us confused, but here's to hoping that it doesn't keep us from questioning.
Time to listen to "Don't Be Cruel,"
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Monday, March 20, 2006
Hey Will, the new "tiny" is fantastic. Kind of beyond the size it promises, which is what makes it so strange, a gentle growing giant in school kid cap and skirt (or pants? no, skirt, it's my image dammit, it's a skirt! purple skirt!).
One of the things I like about "the tiny" is reading so many new poets (new for me). And getting to read such poets as Bethany Spiers, whose music has nailed me in place when hearing her sing with her guitar.
Something else I like though, in fact what I think I REALLY LIKE THE BEST is that the magazine has a wide range of aesthetics. I was reading Ron Silliman's blog today, and he said good things about BURNING DECK Press. He then mentions the poet Erica Carpenter, saying how he finds her more of a 1940s poet, delicate, the saber over the grenade, that sort of thing. But then he says that she might be too odd for what's going on in American poetry today, and wind up a NEGLECTORINO in the future. Oh man, what!?
My whole purpose of building support around the NEGLECTORINO is a way of saying, HEY, it's all over now. Nothing is out of reach, nothing has to be quiet, collecting dust. There is SUCH BOUNTY here and it's growing, and fantastic, and we can bring to the table EVERYTHING we love that few or many have heard of, and it's suddenly, easily accessible!
In a way, I firmly believe the Internet is the best possible spiritual tool.
This idea of one poet or another not making it into some sort of VEIN that will become obscure and funneled away forever into darkness is a fancy notion at best, at this point. It's all breaking open, or maybe it's more accurate to say it's BLASTING OPEN! The days of a voice or two making the way for movements, etc., seems kaput. A gorgeous corpse. SO MUCH, SO MANY, and the range is always sending the margins out beyond our puny individual human vision and THAT is truly something to be in awe of. Collaborative, and collective efforts and mixed energies seem important right now.
Less and less I encounter young poets who view someone's gain as their loss. That destructive element of jealousy can take a back seat as the MASSIVE wave of poets reading, writing, publishing gets to make its own magazines, create its own reading groups, sharing books, etc.
It's a remarkably hopeful time and that may seem ridiculous to say. But I MEAN it! In the face of so much darkness, the creative muscles are flexing wildly, everywhere! It's EXACTLY what we need, and that need is coming OUT at an unstoppable gallop!
When I was listening AND WATCHING poet kari edwards read yesterday at Robin's Bookstore here in Philadelphia, it was like watching a layer at a time of what the world is, peel away, a little blood here and there, spots of blood, and the next layer. And I'm not saying to be looking for one layer more beautiful or whatever, I'm just saying, layers! Voices! Channels of it! Her new book OBEDIENCE is super charged and full of the world of poetry behind us, and ahead! She had this way of standing on the outside rims of her shoes, her legs spread JUST beyond the width of her shoulders, and she falls to the flat of the shoe, then rises again on the outside rims, pushing something through her legs and knees and groin and up and up and up and she reads with this fucking TIGER'S speed and need, and the anger and hope all at once FLASH! Yeah, there's something about that powerful reading of kari's I'll always remember FEELING HOW IT embodies my sense of how everything is ready for the biggest possible bite marks to appear on us, and not only survive, but take a fucking cosmic bath in the blood and realize how much bigger we've gotten while so distracted for so long. As awful and as ugly as things seem, we're growing up, we're going to get shit beautiful in this world, together.
Check out the second issue of The Tiny
Friday, March 17, 2006
An on-going gathering of brief memoirs and Barbara Guest poems (selected by her readers) to honor the life and writing of Barbara Guest [1920-2006].
BARBARA GUEST Memory Bank: <-- The memory bank can be found HERE
[Sent from Kathy Lou Schultz -- thanks Kathy Lou!]
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
This story DOES EXIST! It couldn't be more fucking real!
PGN also refused (I very much prefer to say refused) to show up across the street from City Hall when the Global Women's Strike and the Refusing To Kill activists were there to rally in support of Mehmet Tarhan when he was in prison, beaten, humiliated, tortured. Why should they bother even acknowledging his release, right?
Well, it's time to raise a glass, toast a very brave man! A man who DID NOT give into a tyrannical government's bigotry and demands to join the army, nor the demands to be subjected to the state's determined arguments and classifications for WHAT is a homosexual.
Right now I really wish I was somewhere where a WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE were celebrating this incredible victory for gay rights, and for those who refuse be part of the military machine!
below is from a press release sent around today from REFUSING TO KILL:
Mehmet Tarhan, gay Kurdish conscientious objector, was released from military prison on 9 March. The highest military court of appeal in Turkey (the Military Court of Cassation) ruled that he had been punished enough for his "crime". His crime was refusing to kill.
Mr Tarhan had been in prison since 9 April 2005: serving a sentence of four years. The Turkish army tried to break his resistance with abuse and torture, he was often put in solitary confinement and twice went on hunger strike to win equal treatment with other prisoners.
After the court's judgement, Mehmet Tarhan was taken to the recruitment office where he was ordered to present himself to his military unit. He refused to obey and instead went home to his family.
"It's important to be able to touch each other and maintain communication. There has been much strain on me throughout this ordeal, but if we can maintain this solidarity we can gain the strength to continue the struggle and put pressure on public opinion." Mehmet Tarhan
His release is a victory first of all for his determination to refuse the army’s "offer" of avoiding the draft by allowing himself to be classified as "ill" because he is gay. He refused to submit to an anal examination, the equivalent of the notorious "virginity test", used for decades by the Turkish police and army as a pretext to perpetrate rape and other sexual violence against women, Kurdish and also Turkish.
Monday, March 13, 2006
March 15, 2006
St. Mark's Church
131 East 10th Street (@ Second Avenue)
$8/$7 students + seniors/$5 members
www.poetryproject.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
If you can get to the Poetry Project on Wednesday night you should go to see poets Hoa Nguyen and Dale Smith read.
Among other things, Hoa and Dale are the editors of the hand-painted and carefully edited magazine Skanky Possum (Austin, TX). Certain editions of the beautiful magazine are already collector's items. However, it's their poems and poetry, which I love most. Here are some of my thoughts on their distinct and engaging work.
ON HOA NGUYEN:
Hoa Nguyen uses pulverized phrases as if they were not pulverized but their own new wholes. In title poem of Nguyen’s book Your Ancient See-Through (selected and edited by Anselm Berrigan for Subpress in 2002), she explores a historical continuum reaching backward and forward between fragments and selves. Nguyen writes :
You have your ancient see through
ways Stars sustain their axis
Orion listing like gallows
for my creepy life the pieces
of our ascending selves
Dale Smith is the author of a handful of small press books and many of those are book-length poems. One book I wrote about is his collection American Rambler. The diction and impulse of American Rambler is epic in nature. The book is a serious and fractured long poem centered on the disastrous and revealing decade, from 1527 to about 1537, that Spanish explorer Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca spent in what is now Texas and southwestern US.
ON DALE SMITH:
In 2005 Smith published a lovely 5x5 inch book called Notes No Answer from Habenich Press. Here is the opening poem of Smith's engaging collection:
Should I assist or
persist or exist
Here is a good interview with Smith from HERE COMES EVERYBODY: Writers on Writing.
Sunday, March 12, 2006
After the stormy night:
Sunday, March 05, 2006
(Philadelphia's OLDEST independent bookstore!!!! SUPPORT IT!!!! KEEP IT ALIVE!!!!)
108 S. 13th Street, Philadelphia
kari edwards is a poet, artist and gender activist, received one of Small Press Traffic's books of the year (2004), New Langton Art's Bay Area Award in literature (2002); and is author of obedience, Factory School (2005); iduna, O Books (2003), a day in the life of p. , subpress collective (2002), a diary of lies - Belladonna #27 by Belladonna Books (2002), and post/(pink) Scarlet Press (2000). edwards' work can also be found in Scribner's The Best American Poetry (2004), Civil Disobediences: Poetics and Politics in Action, Coffee House Press, (2004), Biting the Error: writers explore narrative, Coach House, Toronto, (2004), Bisexuality and Transgenderism: InterSEXions of the Others, Hawoth Press, Inc. (2004), Experimental Theology, Public Text 0.2., Seattle Research Institute (2003), Blood and Tears: Poems for Matthew Shepard, Painted Leaf Press (2000), Aufgabe, Tinfish, Mirage/Period(ical), Van Gogh's Ear, Amerikan Hotel, Boog City, 88: A Journal of Contemporary American Poetry, Narrativity, Fulcrum: an annual of poetry and aesthetics, Pom2, Shearsman, and Submodern Fiction. kari can always be contacted at:email@example.com ... 3 online links for kari: one, two, (scroll down to see) three.
Rachel Blau DuPlessis is the author of Drafts 1-38, Toll (Wesleyan U.P., 2001) and Drafts 39-57, Pledge, with Draft unnnumbered: Précis (Salt Publishing, 2004). Two books of essays are forthcoming in 2006: a reprinting of The Pink Guitar: Writing as Feminist Practice and Blue Studios: Poetry and Its Cultural Work, both from Alabama. DuPlessis is the recipient of a 2002 Pew Fellowship for Artists and teaches at Temple University in Philadelphia. 3 online links for Rachel: one, two, three.
Brenda Iijima's second book, Animate, Inanimate Aims is forthcoming in the fall from Litmus Press. Around Sea was published by O Books in 2004. She is the publisher of Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, a chapbook series. She lives in Brooklyn, NY. Her current project has to do with the separation out of humans (as we are primates) from animals--the impact this has on culture and the environment. 3 online links for Brenda: one, two, (her new book forthcoming from three.
BOOKS WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AND SIGNING
(posted by CAConrad)