Summer reading picks from Joe Milazzo:
Partly out of excitement to have this work restored to print; Coolidge is neither understood nor celebrated enough as a prosodist, or, if you prefer, prose thinker, à la Stein (I know this mostly from his writings on jazz / improvised music); the book itself just long and packed / impacted enough to occupy a season.
Randomly selected excerpt: “Door only to be taken in. Mingles into the corner as it comes. Enough, and green, and by and large, were familiar.”
Have you seen the table of contents? The volume opens with 8 individual poems, all entitled “One Way to Write a Sonnet Is To Number the Lines.” This appeals to me, and aligns with my own formal / lyrical interests.
Randomly selected excerpt: “Night is ugly as all the other shit / I just mentioned”
I picked this up at the open of the year courtesy Dalkey’s annual sale, but have not yet been able to see if the book itself satisfies the expectations (high-ish… is this Madame Bovary without the self-delusion, an early negation of the novel [an imitation of Arthur Schnitzler tangenting itself into anticipations of Tao Lin], or a Modernist self-help manual?) I have for it based on the title.
Randomly selected excerpt: “Of course, his obvious attraction flattered me. But, then again, maybe it didn’t.”
Because I’ve not really read anything resembling “genre fiction” (not that “literary fiction” is not a genre, of course) since spending some time last summer with J. G. Ballard’s short stories; also, mostly because this book has been recommended to me by more than one friend.
Randomly selected excerpt: “It was, according to Mrs. Brice, an egg of very large size, and though it was possible that it was a natural egg, ‘from an ostrich, or one of those big-like bird,’ Mrs. Brice doubted it, and the bird on her hat swayed from side to side.”
Joe Milazzo is the author of The Terraces (Das Arquibancadas) (Little Red Leaves Textile Series, 2012). His writings have appeared in Antennae, Black Clock, The Collagist, Drunken Boat, H_NGM_N, and elsewhere. Along with Janice Lee and Eric Lindley, he edits the online interdisciplinary arts journal [out of nothing] (http://www.outofnothing.org). Joe lives and works in Dallas, TX, and his virtual location is http://www.slowstudies.net/