May 21, 2010
posted by Caroline Picard
This last week, the Poetry Foundation held a poet talk with Jenny Boully at the Green Lantern. I recorded the middle section of that same talk here.
May 1, 2010
posted by caroine picard
I had the great pleasure of going out to New Hampshire for a few days to see the graduate reading for UNH.
I just wanted to post a couple of clips from friends and poets, Maria Chelko and Sarah Stickney. I also recorded their introductions from David Rivard, as they’re partiucularly lovely and, I figured, provided some context. Those introductions are posted separately, before the actual readings…..
March 25, 2010
posted by Caroline Picard
Woodlawn Pattern has been described as the single best poetry bookstore in the country. As I feel such places often are, before September I had never heard of the place. Once I did hear about it I heard about it everywhere. Last weekend I went to Milwaukee to check it out. I will admit, being there made me very happy indeed. In addition to fiction, they have a tremendous poetry selection and, what I wasn’t expecting, a giant section of Native American authors. This is a poet’s bookstore. The kind of place that makes a poet feel at home, because one must scour shelves, a process which no doubt affords great pleasure to one familiar with the available titles. While I am not a poet, I was still very very happy.
And then I saw Terry Kapsalis’ Hysterical Alphabet faced on a shelf in the entry way (TK, if you remember read for the Parlor a ways back)
And then I discovered a poster Alana Bailey made for the store, peeking out from under a shelf like a mislaid secret (AB printed covers for Simns’ Lust & Cashmere AND David Carl’s Fragments)
I felt like I was in very good company indeed.
What also made me happy is that WP has a backroom where readings regularly take place. When I visited they had on display a number of old publications–I’ve been looking for these kinds of publications, partly again to kind of brainstorm for different ways to disseminate art media/literature, even everyday philosophy. I took some photos. I think it’s just amazing what can be done with such simple material, namely ink, colored paper and a copy machine.
October 2, 2009
…to an evening of reading / performance on
Thursday, October 8th, 7:30 to 11pm
Poetry / micro-fiction / cross-genre / translation readings by
Brandon Brown, visiting from San Francisco, CA
Daniel Borzutzky, who lives here in Chicago, IL
Readings will begin at 8pm
These writers are funny, tragic, passionate, irreverent and devotional, multilingual and obsessed with (not to say acting out on) the profounder issues and minutiae of translation and inter-textuality. Readings not to miss!
This event is hosted by Judith Goldman, a Chicago-area poet and postdoctoral fellow / assistant professor at the University of Chicago. Location: 5517 N. Paulina St., 1 (Andersonville).
[See more on event location / directions to site below writer bios and sample texts.]
The Working Day Lady Died
It’s 1349 on the fief and I’ve got 163 holidays
my colleagues and their offspring know
Bastille Day is no holiday! so I just get
my joints scuffed because I go straight from
one demarcated zone without my species
essence to chaos: sweet, domestic, and high;
filling it with mescal and snuck smokes,
head out the window like a fucking
crane. some of my colleagues shrug about
“every day a beating”, it’s all abstraction
and no nectar. Little lambs love to watch
their friends sheared. My batsuit. My shred
passports. My dead co-workers. Dead
on Bastille Day, weird.
Brandon Brown is from Kansas City, Missouri. Poems recently in Brooklyn Rail, Try!, Sprung Formal, West Wind Review. His friends have published chapbooks. Memoirs of My Nervous Illness (Cy Press), 908-1078 (Transmission), Camels! (Taxt) and the forthcoming Wondrous Things I Have Seen (Mitzvah Chaps). He publishes small press books under the imprint OMG! and in October 2009 will be guest blogging at poetryproject.org .
See more of Brandon Brown’s work at:
The Book of Decomposition
It is in the tranquillity of decomposition that I remember the long confused emotion which was my life.
Samuel Beckett, Molloy
Here the reader rots alongside of the book and its characters. A man in the opening chapter pulls strands of hair off his head; the reader does the same. A man feels maggots crawling all over his skin; the reader feels the same. The book begins in a butcher shop that has been looted by poor bodies that tear out cow intestines and unravel them in the dead grass behind the butcher’s shed. The bodies see books in the intestines whose characters are their mirror images, and the bodies grow terrified of themselves. They run into the woods but they hate nature so they take shelter in the stables where rotten bodies hide in the hay. The dead bodies in this stable are countries and the protagonist says USA USA your assets are rotten you are dying and Haiti your huts have flooded and your citizens kill for bread and beans and New Orleans your bodies float in puddles of shit hey China your babies are drinking poisoned milk and Mexico your peasants cannot hear or see and in the USA the assets are rotten the Bolivians sell less coke on Wall Street the Iranians don’t have enough money to blow Israel off the map the Russians can’t build new weapons to sell to the Syrians and Venezuelans the Cuban doctors and prostitutes service bodies that live far away the nations conduct business in body parts here are the legs of our citizens we will trade you for arms and kidneys and here take these eyes and livers and give us hearts and tongues and intestines. Full stop. Period. In the end it’s unclear if it’s the reader or the characters who request some form of movement to free the bodies from the sorcery of global capital. Nevertheless, the request is granted and the book ends happily with the entrance of a saint who has so much love that he heals the sores of the bodies with his tongue and prepares them once more to succeed as cosmopolitan bodies in a ring of fantastically interconnected commerce. The book ends with a giant ejaculation behind the butcher shop where the bodies rub against each other as if there were no barriers to keep them from consummating their fiscal intimacies. And in the final scene water streams off the pages, cleansing the skin of the readers in a climax of diluvial bubbling.
Daniel Borzutzky’s books include The Book of Interfering Bodies (Nightboat Books, forthcoming), The Ecstasy of Capitulation (BlazeVox, 2007), Arbitrary Tales (Triple Press, 2005), and the chapbooks One Size Fits All (Scantily Clad Press, 2009) and Failure in the Imagination (Bronze Skull Press, 2007). He is the translator of Song for his Disappeared Love by Raul Zurita (Action Books, forthcoming); Port Trakl by Jaime Luis Huenún (Action Books, 2008); and One Year and other stories by Juan Emar, which was published as a special issue of the Review of Contemporary Fiction. Journal publications include Fence; Chicago Review; TriQuarterly; Action, Yes; Conjunctions; Words Without Borders; Circumference; American Letters and Commentary; Mandorla; Denver Quarterly and many others. He lives in Chicago, and is a faculty member in the English Department at Wright College. His website is www.danielborzutzky.com .
See more of Daniel Borzutzky’s work online:
READING LOCATION INFORMATION
Judith Goldman’s residence:
5517 N. Paulina Ave, #1—about 6 blocks north of Foster, between Catalpa and Gregory; Paulina is one block west of Ashland.
PLEASE NOTE: This location is unfortunately not wheelchair accessible.
DIRECTIONS FROM CTA RED LINE
From the Bryn Mawr stop: walk west from Broadway to Paulina, about ½ mile (it’s a 12-15 min. walk). Turn left at Paulina and walk 1 1/2 blocks (my building is about 3 houses down from the corner of Paulina and Gregory).
-posted by Lily Robert-Foley
July 9, 2009
posted by Caroline Picard
by Wallace Stevens
Now it is September and the web is woven.
The web is woven and you have to wear it.
The winter is made and you have to bear it,
The winter web, the windter woven, wind and wind,
For all the thoughts of summer that go with it
In the mind, pupa of straw, moppet of rags.
It is the mind that is woven, the mind that was jerked
And tufted in straggling thunder and shattered sun.
It is all that you are, the final dwarf of you,
That is woven and woven and waiting to be worn,
Neither as mask nor as garment but as a being
Torn from insipid summer, for the mirror of cold,
Sitting beside your lamp, there citron to nibble
And coffee dribble…Frost is in the stubble
January 7, 2009
Posted by Nick Sarno
A month or so ago, my parents sent me a package of old photographs in the mail. Included in the envelope, lining it like a protective layer of bubble wrap, was a copy of Through the Mind’s Eye, the literary magazine from my high school. I’m fairly certain it is the only copy in existence, anywhere.
To be perfectly honest, I don’t remember much about high school. I had a few good friends, a few good memories, but there are few occasions which lead me to think about those years, and so most the memories have atrophied. The names in bold under each poem ring certain bells, but I can’t put faces to any of them.
I remember being depressed in high school. I know that every high schooler is depressed on some level, but that’s something you don’t understand until you’re out of it. (I can’t help thinking now that we all would have been better off if we had realized that at the time. Of course, the fact that some high school kids dealt with their depression by choking other high school kids until they passed out made that hard to do.) Reading through this book of poems made me realize just how depressed everyone was.
It’s dark. I mean, it’s really, really dark. Undoubtedly, most of the poems were written as exercises during class. And some of the imagery and themes were there strictly to shock the teachers, to get grins out of friends. But once a year or so I’ll spend an hour looking up my old classmates on Myspace. Again, I don’t recognize any of them and usernames like GoStEeLeRs07 don’t help, but I’m always struck by how old they’ve become. They’re all my age, of course, but were I to sit across from any of them on a bus, I’d guess they were ten years older. Looking at the thumbnails of their faces, I can see something of the people who wrote these poems fifteen years ago.
So, on slow days, I’ll post a poem or two. I’m posting these anonymously 1.) to avoid embarrassing anyone and 2.) so I don’t actually have to deal with someone from 10th grade trying to contact me.
Death Upon Me
I pulled into the driveway
after a long day at work
I went into the hosue
and threw down my keys.
I went into the bedroom to change
and there he was–
Lying in a puddle of blood,
his eyes rolled to the back of his head.
I reached out to touch him.
He was as cold as a winter snow
and as still as the floor on
which he lay.
I moved my fingers from him
as slow as I possibly could.
I held my ears, screaming, and ran out
of the house like a thief gasping!