09 February 2007

Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards

Got the new issue of sub-Terrain in the mail today. As always, great to see my Hunkamooga column on the back page. I'm pleased with this one, and I hope it doesn't get me into too much trouble.

Anyway, it inspired me to assemble my various Hunkamooga columns and other such writings: the kernel of a Further Confessions of a Small Press Racketeer. That'd be a fun book to create. Another few years and it should be together.

Been reading an awful lot of poetry lately, in addition to the repeated readings of David McFadden's stuff for the Selected (which is just about together now, at last). The World Doesn't End, by Charles Simic, is an interesting one, containing as it does a lot of prose poems, which is rare for Simic. Somehow reading the book in one sitting brought to mind Jerzy Kosinski's The Painted Bird.

Next up was Charles North's brilliant The Nearness of the Way You Look Tonight, published a few years back by Larry Fagin's revivified Adventures in Poetry press. This book is really challenging, but also enormously funny. It's pretty much a perfect poetry book, at least for my present condition. It really is an adventure in poetry — all these years into his career, North is still trying out all kinds of crazy stuff. When I was done for now with that book, I picked up North's Selected Prose and so far have just read his attack on Harold Bloom's take on Ashbery. Great stuff.

Finally read the grotty copy of Larry Fagin's own Rhymes of a Jerk that I bought from Jay MillAr's excellent Apollinaire's Bookshop. The first half is mainly very small poems, and very crazy poems, by Fagin alone, and the second half is collaborations: with Coolidge, Padgett, etc. The whole thing is a riot and perhaps is best read stoned. I'll try that next time. Fagin is apparently still writing and publishing but his stuff seems to come out only in very limited editions of very expensive artists' books, so I have no idea where his poetry has gone.

I've managed a couple of my own poems in the last week or so, which feels good, plus a poem that Sandra Alland and I collaborated on at the Rhino earlier this week after she read at the Gladstone.

Oh, there are still some spaces available in my six-week poetry workshop. Details over there on the right.

Tom Waits' Orphans is playing out of my DVD player now. I think I'll go read along with the lyrics.

Over and out.


At February 10, 2007 7:37 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

just wondering...has anyone listened to leonard cohen's "new skin for the old ceremony" lately?

i recently bought a copy and i'm sure glad i did.


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