Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dowling, Varrone, Fuhrman 

I LOVE this photo of Sarah Dowling because SHE likes it! It's from her brand new PENNSOUND Page! Sarah is without a doubt one of my favorite living poets, and readers. Her new book Security Postures was never read so well as it was last night! There were moments I hope made it into the digital recorder, like the shoes on the sidewalk outside fading just as she says "disappear."

The reading was one of THE MOST PERFECT poetry readings I've been to in a long time! All three poets held the night up AND UP, how could it get higher? Kevin Varrone read from his new book JUST out from Ugly Duckling, G-POINT ALMANAC: PASSYUNK LOST, and Joanna Fuhrman's new book Pageant, a book David Shapiro calls the 'infra-surrealism.'

I'm SO GLAD that last night was recorded, a reading that SHOULD live on because it deserves to!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Don't Forget Me in the Dimension You Choose to Live 

My new chapbook was released from Splitleaves Press today.

You can check out Don't Forget Me in the Dimension You Choose to Live here.


- Frank Sherlock

Holmquest on class and being a "starving artist" and the weather 

Here's an entertaining interview with Brandon Holmquest in Mildred Pierce Zine.

And the other day I asked Brandon through email what he thought about all the snow and he replied to me in sonnet:

I think it’s going to snow forever,
piling up around our feet
until we give up, never
again attempt the street

and eventually eat
the walls, then our own flesh,
burning books for heat
and repeatedly hitting “refresh”

on the same boring website,
trying to weep but failing
cause the screen is too bright,
until we give up even flailing

and quietly lie there,
still and starving in cold air.

Brandon will read this Tuesday, March 2nd at 7:30 at WineO Bar, 447 Poplar St, with Hailey Higdon and Stephanie Marum.

-- R Eckes

Thursday, February 25, 2010

POSTPONED: NYC PhillySound reading for 2/25/10... 

due to the snow, BUT hope to see you when it's rescheduled. Enjoy the snow! We'll be making snowball martinis down here in Philadelphia, very delicious! Have a great night!

posted by CAConrad

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Poor Justifications for Racism 

The Compton Cookout was an off-campus costume-party organized in February at the University of California San Diego to mock Black History Month. The event, advertised through Facebook, urged guests to wear chains, don cheap clothes and speak very loudly. UCSD administrators condemned the party as a “blatant disregard of our campus values,” and students met with administrators to express their concern. As of 2010, African-Americans numbered less than two-percent of the UCSD undergraduate student body, despite recruitment efforts.

NBC San Diego reports that on the 21st of February a second invitation, Compton Cookout Part Deux, was advertised through Facebook. Mike Randazzo, the organizer of Part Deux, tells NBC San Diego that the response to the first Compton Cookout is injudicious: “If your intent is to make fun and not to harm anyone, and you really aren’t trying to hurt anyone’s feelings, then it’s different from trying to cut someone down on purpose.”

"We pretty much want people to just choose a culture and harmlessly poke fun at it. On Cinco de Mayo, we have parties making fun of Mexicans; on Veterans Day, we make fun of veterans; on St. Patrick's Day we make fun of the Irish. I was definitely aware of this risk. I just want people to see that this is not the point of the party. I'm not trying to offend people," he says. "We should all try to be respectful of each other, but we should certainly uphold our rights and uphold the rights of others."

“Everyone gets made fun of out of jest now, not hate,” the invitation reads.

Please! Randazzo presents two justifications for the second party: 1) the stereotyping of everyone in turn is a jest, or at least, is not racist; and 2) racial stereotyping is protected by right. Randazzo does not acknowledge that the first justification veils an impulse to segregation. To argue that it is not racist to stereotype separately but equally is to install a separate-but-equal clause at the heart of the justification. No wonder he resorts to claims of right: the first justification is a contradiction.

Why not let this horse die!

(Sorry to post, but this kind of thing is really upsetting.)


Monday, February 22, 2010

Jules Boykoff & Kaia Sand this Friday, 2/26 

This Friday Jules Boykoff & Kaia Sand will be in town, and you've got two chances to come hear them:

first at Kelly Writers House at noon

and then

at Wooden Shoe Books - 704 South St. - at 7pm.

Kaia Sand's book, Remember to Wave, was just released by Tinfish Press. This collection investigates political geography in Portland, Oregon, which takes the form of a poetry walk. She is also the author of a poetry collection, interval (Edge Books 2004), and co-author with Jules Boykoff of Landscapes of Dissent: Guerrilla Poetry and Public Space (Palm Press 2008). Sand has created several chapbooks through the Dusie Kollektiv, which also published her wee book, lotto. Her poems comprise the text of two books in Jim Dine's Hot Dreams series (Steidl Editions 2008). She is currently working on The Happy Valley Project, multi-media collaborations investigating housing foreclosures and finance.

Jules Boykoff is the author of Hegemonic Love Potion (Factory School, 2009) and Once Upon a Neoliberal Rocket Badge (Edge Books, 2006). His political writing includes Landscapes of Dissent: Guerrilla Poetry & Public Space (co-authored with Kaia Sand) (Palm Press, 2008), Beyond Bullets: The Suppression of Dissent in the United States (AK Press, 2007), and The Suppression of Dissent: How the State and Mass Media Squelch USAmerican Social Movements (Routledge, 2006). His writing has appeared recently in The Nation, The Guardian, and Wheelhouse Magazine. He teaches politics and writing at Pacific University and lives in Portland, Oregon.

- R Eckes

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sunday, Feb 21: Doctors Without Borders Benefit for Haiti 

Join us this Sunday at L'Etage for a night of performance, cocktails, info and prizes to benefit the Haitian Mission of Doctors Without Borders. We suggest a $5 donation at the door. All moneys collected will go to help the people of Haiti via an impactful organization who was in the country before the tragic earthquake, remained there, and will still be there for the rebuilding process.

Starts at 8pm. L'Etage is 624 S. 6th St. (above Beau Monde), Phila, PA

Hosted by Jaime Anne Earnest, MPH and Frank Sherlock

Musical guests:
Site Recites and special guests

Poems by:
Ryan Eckes and Frank Sherlock and more

Commentary by:
Jaime Anne Earnest, MPH, Dr. Elisa von Joeden-Forgey and Maria Raha

- R. Eckes

Monday, February 15, 2010

Temple U. Creative Writing Program event... 

It's back on after our blizzard! The snow is beautiful though! Anyway, I'm reading with Vladimir THIS Thursday, details HERE, and hope we see you there!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Jules Boykoff in The Guardian 

Jules Boykoff has an op-ed piece in The Guardian UK today, which is the opening day of the Vancouver Winter Olympics. Check out "A Tale of Two Vancouvers" here.

Also, mark Friday February 26 on your calendar to see/hear Jules & Kaia Sand read at The Wooden Shoe bookstore at 7pm. It will be a rare Philly appearance by two great poets that you won't want to miss.

- Frank Sherlock

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Stan Mir's Song & Glass 

I've been reading Stan Mir's Song & Glass, just out from subito press. I first got wrapped up in Stan's work a couple of years ago in ixnay reader #3 - I was struck by its urgency, the insistence on the present moment of writing, its focused swing from line to line as the poem worked its way from local observation to aphorism and back to observation or political fact. I liked how ethical inquiry would build in that way. Those poems in ixnay are part of Song & Glass (originally titled The Rhino of Our Dreams), which is a serial work divided into seven sections. The book takes long looks at the insignificance all around us - at the din and surrounding details and detritus - and it examines the sense of injustice one derives from that insignificance, including the desire and struggle to make truth out of helplessness and impossibility, the desire for things to be more than what they are. To find a way to signify that is song that makes use of what's left.

From "Opposite of Autumn":

They call this civil
engineering this block

building adheres to
the sky a thumb

a genie couldn't
change this

a wrecking ball
could repeatedly

slam this brutality
into slabs with which

we could sculpt mon-
uments to surveillance

I spy taste exists
on one's tongue

we need it in our
eyes what is

ugly is ugly & must
not change what is

beautiful exists
look to the margins

where things remain
unharmed lions

in the bush what
do we do when these

lions enrage our sensibility
& turn what is brutal

into what is beautiful

The poetry itself seems the product of an attempt to "perfect looking/up while/writing/between the lines". To gather what's there in front of you - what is - with (or against) your sense of what should be. The music culminates for me in the book's longest poem, which begins "Zeitgeist/in the grocer's/sign nothing" (this poem was in ixnay reader). Be sure to read that one out loud. You might say the book actually consists of both song and glass. Glass as in the windows we look through or the shards recounted from pasts strewn about us. Detritus of edifice, detritus as edifice. And so there's a tension between place as a noun and place as a verb. Here are the first three stanzas of "Where Houses Remained":

idle. fickle. no crowd
commits to any truth
beyond the one manifest

before them. a bridge.
a river skyline reflects
in. to make place one

must place it in mem-
ory so that each day
it is there. present.

You can read more of that one here. Read a couple more here. There's a lot more to Song & Glass than I've summarized here, and I feel like quoting the whole book. I'll just type up one more poem here that I keep coming back to:

Work, kindly let me be
who or what I am I do

out the window
the evening I drink

call it what you
will I am broke

snow falls
thought's curtain

I said no deal
you can't sell

this workday to me
mostly wasted

time this
task too much

I'll miss the
system here

I hope as I'm
leaving the message

is clear not fucked
up functioning like

a foolhardy wheel

-- R. Eckes

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

POSTPONED: Thursday's reading at Temple... 

My reading with Vladimir Zykov scheduled for 8pm tomorrow at Temple center city campus is postponed.
It might be held again as early as next week, but I'll let you know.

Thanks and see you soon!


Monday, February 08, 2010

Dorothea Lasky in The New Yorker 

You'll want to check out "Tornado", a new poem by the great Dorothea Lasky in the current issue of The New Yorker!!!

- Frank Sherlock

Sunday, February 07, 2010

3 upcoming events! see you there! 

Thursday, 2/11/10, I'm reading with Vladimir Zykov at Temple center city.

Saturday, 2/13/10, Chapter House is hosting Laruen Ireland, Angel Hogan, and Carlos Soto Roman.

Sunday, 2/14/10, Eleanor Goudie-Averill and Nicole Donnelly have created a magical night of dance and shadow puppets with Group Motion.

Hope to see you at all 3!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Jack Spicer POEM TALK @ KWH 

Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Julia Block, CAConrad, and Al Filreis talk about Jack Spicer's poem "Psychoanalysis: An Elegy." You can listen to the talk at this link.


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