Friday, March 31, 2006

Fuckin’ jesus it’s finally spring! I fuckin’ love spring.

Books just our or out soon I’m excited about:


Green Squall by Jay Hoppler
Wind In A Box by Terrance Hayes
Mulbery by Dan Beachy-Quick (soon)
[Forgot the Title] by Matt Hart
In The Middle Distance by Linda Gregg


Brookland by Emily Barton
Seeing by Jose Seramago
Send Me by Patrick Ryan
Voodoo Heart by Scott Snyder (soon)
River of No Reprieve by Jeffery Tayler (soon)
Absurdistan by Gerry Steingart (soon)

When the fuck am I gonna get to read all of these? I’m not, that’s when. But if you do, you can tell me all about it.

Git outside!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I’ve been pretty amazed by what Jim Bearle has been posting on his blog lately. Because his comics invite us into a kind of intimate, though often antagonizing, relationship with their author, I feel it’s alright to say it seems like he hasn’t been too happy lately, that he feels something of what he’s done has been misunderstood. I don’t know that Ron Silliman’s “tragically out of control” is quite right—perhaps it’s more like “tragically self-loathing.” But, then, isn’t that the principal muse of the tradition of comics he’s writing himself into? The comics really stun me. Reading them—especially the recent “Stone Cold Poetry Bitches” pieces—is like looking into a mirror that shows much of the ugliness, pettiness, and wrong-headedness that I’m afraid to face in myself. Whether intentionally or not, Bearle has made himself into one of the principal chronicalers of the poetry scene of this moment, with all of it’s infighting, backstabbing, and undirected passion, to name some of the bad things. He’s also shown it to be a world that is profoundly concerned with its own integrity, something he is helping to preserve. And he’s exploring the medium of the blog in a way no one else is, a medium which is not only capable of broadcasting one person’s thoughts, but of broadcasting those thoughts in immediate response to others’ thoughts and to events as they transpire. And the most recent comics, the takeoffs on Optic Nerve, seem to me to do what the best alternative comics do: make the self-loathing, fear, and culpability of their author into compassionate, ultimately redemtive mirrors for the reader. There does seem to be something of a tragic spinout to Bearle’s recent posts, but I think they’re some of the more important contributions to the unfolding story of the poetry blogosphere to have come along. I’m not sure that anyone disagrees with me on any of this, but I just felt like saying it.

Monday, March 13, 2006


So EDGAR ALLEN POE & THE JUKEBOX, Elizabeth Bishop’s drafts and fragments, is finally available. I fear there’s going to be a lot of backlash against the book, and I may be biased—Bishop is very important to me, I love Alice Quinn, the editor, and I interviewed her for PW (see the link to the right)—but I urge skeptical would be readers to give the book a chance. Alice did an extremely loving job with it, being careful to contextualize these poems as drafts, not finished pieces. If you saw some of them in the New Yorker, that was the wrong place for them to appear. Their place is with each other, where you can experience the buildup of Bishop’s voice over the cours of many poems and many years. This is a wonderful book, and a treasure trove for anyone who loves Bishop. You will find many things that will make you happy, especially “Breakfast Song,” probably my current favorite in the book.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

So I’m not at AWP. Sounds like there’s a lot of poems being read and schmoozing being done. Alas. No reason to be there. But hope you’re all having fun. I will say one thing: it’s lovely and warm in New York, so you Austiners are missing the nicest weather we’ve had in months. Though I gather it’s nicer there. Alas alas.

Working on my Kay Ryan profile. Doing wedding-planning things. Moving around furniture. See what y’all are missing!

Friday, March 03, 2006

B and I are off to San Francisco tomorrow, where will attend a wedding and where I will interview Kay Ryan for PW. I’ve never been to SF and I’m royally excited. Should be a good trip.

Packing to old Unrest, Sebadoh and Big Black 7”’s . Good.

Reading a history of impuse records. Reading Kay Ryan. Reading a forthcoming novel and upcoming poetry. Reading reading reading on the plane to SF.

A good weekend to all.