July’s a funny time because of vacations and America and hot dogs and home run derbies. It’s also funny because sometimes you are born and everyone wants to get together and just be born together (see above). It’s also also funny because who has time for anything anymore.
Here’s the shit that was the shit this month.
This was a big week for Kim Kardashian, who recently became my BFF in an iPhone game. It was also a big week for poetry because–like Dan Gilbert–poetry can’t stop won’t stop.
Don’t worry, I’m still here.
mouth mouth mouth
some words onto righthere rises eyed
from under full lift my arms hold
(this weight of you)
Alexis Pope, “(soured)” (Leveler)
I heard the mothers
call me trash. Beyond
me lay some other
me: a supine body
in the summer heat.
Caylin Capra-Thomas, “The Mine Fire Speaks” (Boiler)
My greatest flaw is that I’ve granted my future-self permission to question myself at any time.
Michelle Dove, from “Alt Vices” (ILK)
Jon tells me
about a girl
to put her hair
It’s a thing
Rob MacDonald, “Fetal Position” (interrupture)
I want to teach this song
to the children we won’t make.
Ruth Awad, “Shame, Abridged” (Diode)
All weekend I was in New York, which is like AWP all the time (((minus the one time they had turkey legs ((although I’m sure if you put your mind to it you can find a turkey leg in New York (although maybe not because that seems to be a “country” fair type thing and believe it or not I didn’t see a damn deer until I was 18 years old so what do I know)))))). I got back to DC on Sunday and at work on Monday I gchatted Mike and I says “Sucks, dunnit” and he says “wha” and I says “not being there” and he says “TRU.” Which was a little confusing, since it wasn’t really that memorable of a weekend, but then I saw that Lauren Russell interviewed Dana Ward at Hot Metal Bridge and Dana said:
“I can’t imagine writing, or thinking at all, without doing so somehow with others, especially those friends permissive enough to co-create, & then perpetuate, a space where its ok to fuck things up by writing stuff that might say really really stupid shit, change each other’s minds, & then still be around no matter, going on doing writing, not writing at all, keeping up with one another out of need & love, for the specific forms that people make, so doing.”
And then at that point the cab rides and the dad shirts and boxing gloves made a little more sense.
Before I begin to say what will be the thing that will be the first
thing you hear today, let it be known: we are all in distress.
Erin J Mullikin, “Naked On The Internet” (Alice Blue Review*)
Every day I exercise and I tone and I skinny myself into a spectacular hell
Natalie Eilbert, “Freaky Friday” (at COVEN, Brooklyn, NY)
& ask again & my uncle out in the field with the spade & my uncle out in the ditch with the spade & I went into the lake & thought about the farm & I went into the lake & made my will & all of the farm to my brother & my sister in the house & my father in the ditch of his fields & the goats up in the mountain struggling with the grass.
Lisa Ciccarello, “I only thought of the farm” (The Volta)
I have gotten good and high, you see.
And I do sometimes try
to be at least
a little pretty.
Joshua Kleinberg, “Yorick” (Spork)
I could cry at anyone’s home movies.
Bruised haircuts, inflatable pools—
I would score them all in B minor.
-Kathy Goodkin, “Ancient of Days” (Dreginald)
*K, so that’s the link to the poem and doing that removes the nav frame. Here’s the link the whole issue but that link isn’t going to work forever, because it’s just a link to the main page and one day it’s gonna have a completely different issue, so if you’re reading this in 2039 and you can’t find this poem, give me a call and we can find it together.
OK, we spend a shitload of time talking about books in this piece and just about absolutely no time talking about all the free-ass online “content” (LOL) that exists in the world and that seems weird and absurd considering that me and 3.7% of you wallflowers used to read this thing (and other things) in Google Reader and now that’s not a damn thing anymore but you’re a thing and I’m a thing and the follow lines are the thingiest things I got googly-eyed over this week yanawahmean.
The law does not say sorry. The law says get inside with our skin but do not leave home without it.
Gina Keicher, “Naked On The Internet” (Birdfeast)
I will also admit
how moved I am
by instrumental versions
of terrible songs
in restaurants and that
I’ve never understood
why at the end
of the nightmare
the murderer and I
eat a meal together.
Anne Cecelia Holmes, “If You Ask I Will Tell You” (Sink Review)
If toilets flushed forwards
there’d be more poets.
-John Ebersole, “Until My Stomach Is A Microchip I’m Not Impressed” (BOAAT)
a new myth in which my hands are put down
at the wrist. where the bone is cut off at the elbow
and thrown to the hounds. a new constellation
where a boy drags his dead dog across the night sky.
-Sam Sax, “Hands” (Smoking Glue Gun)
Perhaps I cry because I can’t believe how much there is
that I don’t believe in
Whatever I am, please look later
-Monica McClure, “Skunk Hour” (GlitterMOB)
Oh boy and check out the new issues of Anti- because the whole this is just whoa.
The handmade books of Spork Press are spreading across the literary universe, leaving the Spork collective ‘more psyched than ever.’
On any given evening, in the middle of any given week, just off of Fourth Avenue, you might stumble across the editors of Spork Press as they dutifully work on their next set of printings.
They might have music blaring out of the carport in which they work while they press ink onto boards using a half-century-old machine. They might be sipping beers, mixing and transferring music mixes onto cassette tapes. They could be listening to audiobooks, evening out the edges of their work—literally, with a belt sander.
(…..from The Tucson Weekly, “An Analog Experience”)
Yes, Spork makes beautiful books and recently debuted their 6 newest creations (“artifacts”) at AWP here in my backyard (Seattle, which is just across the lake from Kirkland, home of Costco, etc). The Tucson Weekly reports that AWP was a “huge success” for Spork, selling “more than 400 books.”
So, anyways, here is a bit of a roundup of Spork’s 6 new books with a bit of verbiage about each book and/or the author. (and, yes, I’m one of these 6 authors so if you think this is uncool, well, go ahead and sue me).
Christmastime is the best time. There are sparkly lights and cute reindeer and cute snowmen and cute songs, and so on. There’s also a lot of gifts to be given, which is great, especially if you like books and things, as I do. Alas, almost all Western culture subjects won’t get any gifts from Santa at all, as they only care about their Twitter feed, their sexuality, and leading a “grievable life” so that this doesn’t happen to them. But for those thoughtful boys and girls who don’t go around kissing dead Nelson Mandela’s tushy, they should expect estimable presents. These are the ones I want:
Gossip by Samantha Cohen: Gossip can be malicious and harmful, so everyone should do it.
Cunt Norton by Dodie Bellamy: While the cannon is actually quite commendable, so is cutting, which is what Dodie does to one of the Norton anthologies.
Salamandrine: 8 Gothics by Joyelle McSweeney: According to Diane Sawyer, those divinely deathy Columbine boys “may have been a part of a dark, underground national phenomenon known as the Gothic movement and that some of those Goths may have killed before.” So…
Begging For It by Alex Dimitrov: This boy was the subject of some criticism for his appropriation of some kind of AIDS-related art. But AIDS is silly, and Alex is sort of cute.
Butcher’s Tree by Feng Chen: Her Spork book, “Blud,” was really cute and sassy, so these poems probably will be as well.
Our Lady of the Flowers, Echoic by Chris Tysh: Jean Genet was a violent, cutthroat boy, and I want to see Divine and Dainty Feet in verse.
Haute Surveillance by Johannes Goransson: Johannes read an excerpt from this at the first and only ever Boyesque Reading (also featuring Peter Davis, Tyler Gobble, and me). It was violent, stylish, and totalitarian.
The Memoirs of JonBenet by Kathy Acker by Michael du Plessis: JonBenet Ramsey was cute and tragic. This year, she published a collection of rhymes for my cute and thoughtful Tumblr, Bambi Muse. I want to see how Michael portrays the pageant princess.
The Mysteries of Laura by Andrea Quinlan: It’s a collection of poems that are Victorian and gothic, which is to say it’s Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bronte and Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris.
Mother Ghost by Casey Hannan: I like ghosts.
Since the outside is important too, you should be decking a delightful outfit while you wait for Santa to come. For girls, picking out what to wear isn’t arduous at all, as all girls should wear what they should wear all the time, a babydoll dress, a big but elegant hairbow, and ballet flats. For boys, choosing the correct clothes is much more vexing. Most boys hold the opinion that tight jeans and an ironic top are stylish. But this isn’t so. Style should have meaning. Boy in the vintage Supersonics Shawn Kemp jersey, can you inform everyone who Shawn Kemp is? Are you aware that he once showed up to the Cavaliers training camp as an unacceptable fatty? No, you’re not. Style, like literature, must have meaning. So, while anticipating Santa’s arrival, all boys should wear a meaningful outfit, like the one that I am:
Sunnies because eyes should be kept secret.
Basketball hoodie that I stole from a friend, because basketball players are like monsters.
Purple-striped dress shirt because it’s proper.
A skirt because boys should wear skirts.
Skull-and-crossbone pants because they’re deathy.
Werewolf purple socks to match the purple dress shirt.
Buckled shoes because they’re proper too.
2013 PO’ IN REVIEW–85 (or so) Lines & Quotes That Effed Me Up, in chronological(-ish) order of when i reddit
Right about now is the time of the year when everyone with a goddamn login gets all hyperboled about whatever dumb book they read way back in March, just so they can save a .jpeg and write a bunch of convoluted bullshit about that dumb book and some other dumb books for some dumb literary blog. Those things (blogs, books, hyperboles, et al, et al) are cool. But books are books, and books cost money, and I’m sure that you’re probably broke because you bought me a bunch of Yolo Polos for God’s birthday. Oh, you good little sigh, you.
So instead of giving you a list of books you’re never going to read, I figured I’d go through my pockets and pull out the best lines and quotes I came across in 2013, because (and I know I might be alone here) 2013 felt like a winning fucking lotto ticket to me. Happy holidays. Now give me a hug.
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
Out there, in the Between, it’s kiss or be kist
R.M. O’Brien, “Poem For Chris Toll In The Between” (Sink Review, Jan. 1)
He could have laid me back
in the middle of the Atlantic; we could have been on a raft
loaded with exotic cargo, parrot eggs and pigeon blood rubies
rather than egg sandwiches and a bottle of wine
thick and pungent enough to be blood. It was hard to imagine
anyone here, not him shucking his shirt onto the deck,
nor ancient sailors or drug dealers in their bullet-boats.
Bridget Menasche, “Claudine Goes Sailing With A Man Who Hates The Hamptons” (PANK, Jan. 15)
a huge amount of fire to see much.
Daniel D’Angelo, “The End of the Sound of Waves (Alice Blue Review, Jan. 29)