Posts Tagged ‘joe brainard’

The Collected Writings of Joe Brainard

Friday, March 30th, 2012

The Collected Writings of Joe Brainard
by Joe Brainard
Ed. Ron Padgett
Introduction by Paul Auster
Library of America, March 2012
450 pages / $35  Buy from LOA or Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are several Joe Brainards you may or may not know. There’s Brainard the internationally-showing collage artist and painter, and there’s also the Joe Brainard who was a downtown NY scene fixture in the poetry world in the ‘60s and ‘70s. The Joe Brainard you probably know, though, is the author of the “cult classic” I Remember, first published in full form in 1975. Written with wit, candor and no pretension to self-importance, the book is a procedural memoir, every single brief entry in the book starting with the title phrase. Rather than offering the drama or grandiosity of an amazing life, Brainard instead provides you with a non-chronological wealth of sly specificity:

I remember after people are gone thinking of things I should have said but didn’t.

I remember how much rock and roll music can hurt: It can be so free and sexy when you are not.

I remember Royla Cochran.  She lived in an attic and made long skinny people out of wax.  She was married to a poet with only one arm until he died.  He died, she said, from a pain in the arm that wasn’t there.

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6 Books: Kevin Sampsell on Nonfiction

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

This is Part II of a series where I ask writers I like for 6 book recommendations according to some loose guideline. Part I is here. This week, Kevin Sampsell, editor of Future Tense Books out of Portland, Oregon, doyen of Powell’s Books, and author of the wildly excellent memoir, A Common Pornography (Harper Perennial). To give you an idea of the goodness of Kevin’s book, I’ll confess that the first copy I had didn’t make it through my ravenous reading of it and I had to switch to another.

I asked Kevin to recommend 6 nonfiction books, old or new. He obliged, and then some:

Black Box: Cockpit Voice Recorder Accounts of In-Flight Accidents by Malcolm MacPherson

I’m fascinated with this book and the way these transcripts reflect the collected calm of airplane pilots and then their sudden confusion, panic, and tragedy. An eerie and morose reading experience.

I Remember by Joe Brainard

Whenever I go talk to a writing class about memoir, I always point out this book and read a little from it. Then I have the class write a few of their own “I Remembers.” It’s such a non-threatening and easy way to access parts of your life that you think are uninteresting and trivial, but turn out to be engaging and universal.

Time Out of Mind by Leonard Michaels

Besides his fiction and his essays, this book is a bit of an oddity because it’s more like disjointed journal entries. It took me a few pages to lock into Michaels’s groove, but once I did, this book turned into a thing of uncut beauty. I would have to say that Leonard Michaels is the author I’ve been most obsessed with for the past year since I read his novel, The Men’s Club.

Oedipus Wrecked by Kevin Keck

This book is so dirty and hilarious, but also sweetly heartfelt. For fans of Jonathan Ames and other straight-faced pervs.

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I Like What The Hell Is Going On Over Here

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Sasha Fletcher reads it up on Apostrophe Cast.

Science Is Fiction was a big wow for me, I recommend finding yourself a copy, if only to see this in all its glory. I saw it on a projector and very loud, which was a good thing to do. The DVD had been skipping the whole time but for some reason on this one not at all, it reminds me of J.G. Ballard’s The Crystal World.

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Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

29 Mini Essays by Joe Brainard [Thanks to Mike Topp for the heads up]

GIRL SCOUTS

Girl Scouts is more than selling cookies.

Roundup

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

joewithcigsmall

Has anyone else been checking out “The best Books of the Millenium (So Far) at The Millions? Plenty to fight about there!

Last week I posted a poem Mark Bibbins wrote with D.A. Powell. Today I have an interview that Travis Nichols conducted with D.A. Powell.

Dan Nester wrote a fascinating essay about the New York poetry scene, and his disenchantment with same. If this is a taste of his forthcoming book, How to be Inappropriate, then I’m hereby predicting great things.

At The Rumpus, Rozi Jovanovic has a long interview with Tao Lin.

Also, in case you missed it when it was new last week, Dennis Cooper posted 15 stories and poems by Joe Brainard.

I Remember

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

brainard

Joe Brainard‘s I Remember is seriously keeping me from punching my own head in today. Refreshing in a way I’ve needed for a while. Calm, quiet, funny, right. People have been ripping this guy off for years.

I remember my first erections. I thought I had some terrible disease or something.

I remember the only time I ever saw my mother cry. I was eating apricot pie.

I remember when my father would say “Keep your hands out from under the covers” as he said goodnight. But he said it in a nice way.

I remember when I thought that if you did anything bad, policemen would put you in jail.