Feb 2 LINH DINH at THIS AIN's THE ROSEDALE PUBLIC LIBRARY
poetry & poetics & book arts: thinking out loud / by charles alexander
It was always good to see Maurice Grossman. He was everywhere in the arts: at lots of POG readings over the years, and once, giving one himself while throwing a pot on his portable wheel. If you frequented art openings, musical events, etc., you also frequently ran into Maurice. He always had a smile and a hug, a piece of wit, and always was genuinely glad to see you. He was also one of the great artists of this community, a renowned ceramist who taught and influenced many, in his years as a teacher, at the university, and beyond. He was also a brave activist on behalf of LGBT issues. He was a terrific guy. He is already terribly missed.
Wild Orchids is a terrific journal, received in the mail today, from Buffalo, edited by Sean Reynolds and Robert Dewhurst. It concerns itself with Herman Melville, and ranges from poetic responses to Melville's poem, "A Utilitarian View of the Monitor's Fight," to Geraldine Monk's marvelous likening of Ahab's obsession with the whale to her own quest to see the elusive raccoon, to considerations of Clarel, of the undervoiced crew of the Melville through C.L.R. James, to Benjamin Friedlander's consideration of Clarel and the ground of the Holy Land, and a lot more. It is a marvel.
Dear Friend: We hope you can help us at this time. Please read the attached note, and consider what we do, and what you can do! Thank you -- Charles
Zukofsky says, in A Test of Poetry, that about the only thing in Keats he values is the four-syllable sequence "hedge crickets sing" from Ode to Autumn. My friend Tenney Nathanson thinks that's not quite fair, for, while also applauding that mini-sequence, Nathanson believes you can take almost any string of four syllables in that Keats ode and have a memorably sounded orchestra of consonants and vowels.
cocktail boozer slurring
tin cup rakes
mammalized chiffon sachets
fist or shiv
piazza, pavilion, please
creature's breast feathers
tangerine cream couches
casks of fish oil
Motel soap: god's milk tooth
mess of feathers like a pigeon
bows on a bullfighter's slippers
a sea with a stream of piss
peanuts balanced against their hips
jiggle the knobs
wired like brows diving
Karl Young, Alfred Jarry: Unfinished Wood
Can I possibly honor KARL YOUNG in 200 words? (That question & this parenthetical remark do not count.)
He does not mince words, or, he does mince, twist, hone, shine, shape, and more. When experimental poetry was vast and exciting and not nearly as narrow as at present, he was active in making visual poems, working with sound poets, creating artist's and performance books, and a lot more. He also created communities, such as that which grew from BOOX to become WOODLAND PATTERN under his guidance as founding father and visionary programmer.
He created MEMBRANE PRESS, publisher of everything from a book of commentary on Clark Coolidge to books of disintegrating photocopy procedures by internationally active writers and artists. Later, he created LIGHT & DUST BOOKS, carrying on his nearly-one-person anarchical constitution of a kind of culture few of us can encompass, and the marvelous LIGHT & DUST web site, which remains perhaps, THE great literary (in a broad sense) repository of our time. All while rarely venturing from either Milwaukee (early) or, more recently, Kenosha, Wisconsin
Karl Young's Score 7 (based on Tu Fu's Night in River Lodge)
Had he been in New York, I think he might be the most celebrated experimental literary artist of the last 40 years. In Wisconsin he has created a body of work that may well grant him that title over time.
MAPPEMUNDE is always a blog worth attending. I am honored that Tim Peterson chose to write a report about my talk in the THREADS series at Granary Books and place it on his Mappemunde blog. Here is his take on PRESSING BETWEEN . . .