Afterimage by Charles Borkhuis
“Charles Borkhuis is one of our most merciless vivisectors of the logics of bodypower exchange. We're talking forensics here, not schematology. Like Hieronymous Bosch and William Burroughs before him, his art collapses cosmos onto mundus causing 'reality' beneath our feet to crack open. Demons and angels (supersolid forms of evanescent knowledge) begin a wild romp in the a f t e r i m a g e of that collapse. The dystopic postmodern city becomes at once funnier & more frightening. The Social Psychology Research wing of Borkhuis Poeticworks has been especially created to debrief each of us on our status as triple agents of late capitalism. You have special clearance. But so does everybody else. What the. Exactly. Add this book to your spy kit.”—Rodrigo Toscano
An Intermittent Music 1975-2010, by Ted Pearson
An Intermittent Music 1975-2010, by Ted Pearson
ISBN 9780986264092. Poetry. $24.
O! learn to read what silent love hath writ:
To hear with eyes belongs to love’s fine wit.
An Intermittent Music luxuriously shows us the capaciousness of Ted Pearson’s work—surprising, perhaps, given what may have appeared to be a minimalist tack. We see that Pearson’s has always been a long game, no matter the exacting finesse of its close negotiations. The poems obey an abiding fidelity to the intervallic sway whereby capacity does indeed accrue, one suture, one synapse, at a time. This is desert island work, to be savored and to be returned to again and again.
— Nathaniel Mackey
Over the course of thirty-five years, Ted Pearson has been incrementally publishing a masterpiece, present here before us at last within the covers of this book as An Intermittent Music. He describes it as “a serial work comprising eighteen books in four movements,” and it is therefore possible to situate it alongside key serial works by poets like Jack Spicer, George Oppen, Robert Creeley, Leslie Scalapino, and Barrett Watten. As is true of work by all of these (otherwise very different) poets, the parts of An Intermittent Music resonate within an evolving dialectic, intentionally avoiding a final chord. Writing poetry that is intensely bound to both song and intellect, Pearson has been ever alert to matter in its infinite detail, to social as well as erotic desire, to liminal identities, and to the circulating systems of idiom and opinion that construct the social spaces we inhabit. This magnificent work begins almost plaintively, building to the great crescendo of its end. An Intermittent Music tracks Pearson’s ever-expanding attention to the ever-increasing associative complex that is lived experience. By the end of the book, the music is impossible and the music is everywhere, generating exquisite, ubiquitous suspense. This is a book to read avidly and over and over again.
— Lyn Hejinian
Analects On A Chinese Screen by Glenn Mott
Glenn Mott’s ANALECTS ON A CHINESE SCREEN is modeled on a form that reaches to an earlier tradition of narrative and storytelling, where the “I” refers to a protean self. The aim is at social enlightenment, with an insistent connection of poetry with the external world. “ANALECTS ON A CHINESE SCREEN” is a book of humility rather that the falsely heroic, written by one as sensitive to the attenuations of life and the nuances of culture as any I’ve ever read.”-Garrett Hongo
Andalusia by Susan Thackrey
ISBN: 9780986264030 (pbk.) 9780986264047 (hardcover, casebound in dust jacket)
Price: $17.00 (pbk.) $75 (hardcover)
Susan Thackrey, a poet who lives and works in San Francisco, began to compose poetry at the age of three. She was an inaugurating student in the Poetics Program at New College in San Francisco in 1980, and studied with Robert Duncan and Diane di Prima formally and informally over a number of years. Thackrey has given invitational lectures on Robert Duncan, Charles Olson, and George Oppen, including as a keynote speaker at the George Oppen Conference in Buffalo, and most recently on Duncan’s The H.D. Book for the San Francisco Poetry Center. Since reading Homer in Greek over a five year period with Robert Duncan and some of her poet contemporaries, an important and lively part of her life in poetry has almost always included variously focused and long-lived reading groups with other poets.
Her day jobs have included co-founding and managing the art gallery Thackrey and Robertson in San Francisco, as well as her current work as a Jungian analyst in the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco. There she has taught, spoken, and published, focusing especially on art, recently publishing a talk and essay on Jung’s paintings for The Red Book: Reflections on C.G. Jung’s Liber Novus (Routledge).
Her poems have appeared in a number of journals, including Five Fingers, Hambone, Talisman, Traverse, and Volt. Current books in print, in addition to Andalusia, are Empty Gate (Listening Chamber), and George Oppen: A Radical Practice (O Books and The San Francisco Poetry Center).
Anti M by Lisa Samuels
“Lisa Samuels’ beautiful ANTI M is a delicate, dark, expansive, and obviously elliptical text that explores not the opposite but the obverse side of memory. In ANTI M, memories are broken apart and intensified, they have become charged particles. They flicker, not cinematically (though the lovely, enigmatic images included in the book bring film to mind) but with electricity. It is that exciting play of light, cast by shadows and patches of even darker darkness, that makes the language of ANTI M luminous. And it is luminous—this is a gorgeous work.”—Lyn Hejinian
Lisa Samuels has a PhD from the University of Virginia and currently teaches literature and creative writing at The University of Auckland in New Zealand. She publishes essays and edited work on poetry, theory, and critical practice. She is the author of several books of poetry—including WILD DIALECTICS (Shearsman Books, 2012), TOMORROWLAND (Shearsman Books, 2009), THE INVENTION OF CULTURE (Shearsman Books, 2008), and THE SEVEN VOICES (O Books, 1998)—as well as a creative nonfiction book, Anti M, forthcoming from Chax Press. Her current projects include an essay collection, Modernism Is Not Enough, an audio recording of TOMORROWLAND with soundscapes, and a modular novel experiment, Tender Girl. Having lived in various parts of the United States, as well as in Sweden, Israel/Palestine, Yemen, Malaysia, and now New Zealand/Aotearoa, she is interested in transculturalism, especially as embodied in language and the digitas.
any would be if, by Norman Fischer
Poetry. ISBN 978-1-946104-05-2. 146 pages. $17 US.
A graduate of the University of Iowa Writers Workshop, Norman Fischer is a poet and essayist. He has been practicing as a Zen Buddhist priest for thirty five years, and is one of the senior Zen teachers in America. The latest of his more than twenty-five poetry and prose titles are Experience: Thinking, Writing, Language and Religion (prose, Poetics Series, University of Alabama Press), Conflict (poetry, Chax Press), The Strugglers (poetry, Singing Horse Press), and Magnolias All At Once (poetry, Singing Horse). In 2000 he retired as co-abbot of the San Francisco Zen Center, one of the largest Buddhist organizations in the West, and founded The Everyday Zen Foundation (www.everydayzen.org), an international network of Buddhist groups and social projects.His latest Buddhist title is Training in Compassion (Shambhala). Norman Fischer lives on a cliff near Muir Beach California with his wife Kathie, also a Zen priest. Their two sons live in Brooklyn.
“without love no quirks,” writes Norman Fischer in the midst of any would be if. One might add: without quirks, no life, as in this book Fischer proceeds “by ellipsis,” and suggests that living, noticing, even drinking tea, manifests in similar fashion. Indeed, “the teacup told us how to hold it,” provides one of many delightful and slightly puzzling, or perhaps uncanny, moments in a book full of moments. Moments of thought, moments of action, moments of light, moments of language, moments through which “we pull ourselves into now.” If one wants a book to show the world, not in its grandeur (or, maybe that, too) but in its process, in the betweenness we all inhabit, then this is the book one wants. I know I am glad to have it, and to return to it, often, “to be.”
Arranging Nature by Paul Naylor
ARRANGING NATURE is Paul Naylor’s second full-length poetry collection. Michael Davidson writes of ARRANGING NATURE: “What is the meaning of nature in the wake of 9/11? Have we arranged nature so successfully that entropy replaces Arcadia? In these brilliant, sensuous poems, Paul Naylor stays “attuned to heartsharp ear” as though to reconnect words to stone, syntax to landscape, and thus through language make matter matter. It is a considerable accomplishment”
Arrive On Wave: Collected Poems, by Gil Ott
Arrive on Wave: Collected Poems, by Gil Ott, edited by Trace Peterson, Gregory Laynor, & Eli Goldblatt
Poetry: 330 pages
published Nov 1, 2016
Foreword by Eli Goldblatt
Introduction by Trace Peterson
Afterword by Charles Alexander
Alas, here are poems that serve as evidence we had among us a spirit of a man whose fertile generosity was not limited to his literary and arts activism, but very much the warp and woof of his art and intellect. Gil Ott’s poetry aims to disintegrate powers of meaning while simultaneously presages radical possibilities of thought and speech which reflect the full-range of his restorative vision.
— Major Jackson
Gil Ott has always been this gigantic presence in poetry to me. For a while I thought maybe it was because he was one of the first real poets I met as a teenager. But it is actually because he is a real poet, an absolute poet, always kept in the present tense no matter how far away his body we knew has become. To garner and sustain the favor of the Muse is a skill apparent in this extraordinary book. If you believe in the strength of poetry, in poems as heat-seeking missiles capable of intercepting a bleak disregard for life then here is a gigantic poetry to smother the worst!
Artifice in the Calm Damages by Andrew Levy
Chapbook / Letterpress Covers with original cover painting by Cynthia Miller
Poetry / ISBN 9781946104076 / 32 pages / $20
Andrew Levy remains convinced that poets have to think dangerously and let themselves be kidnapped by contemporary hyper-complexities: they must embrace and forsake our present humanist and nationalist world for a wider horizon at once ecological, local, and global. Levy’s philosophical style strikes a balance between the innovative academicism of a scholarly poet and a certain sense of anti-academicism (witness his ongoing interest in the ideas of Bill Reading and George Lewis). Disturbing, musical, poetic, anarchic, and punctuated by improvisational bursts of syncopated incompleteness, Artifice in the Calm Damages is tempered by a Bohmian aesthetic powerfully evocative of the lost and desperate side streets and tweets of American life. Imagine Dorn’s Slinger, dead and missing, walking the highways and low-ways in search of Mar-a-Lago only to find no one on the premises but Ramon Hernandez. The humor is dry, dark, and, landing on the wrong note, conveys a heartfelt rage. Levy’s book is a remarkable study in verse and prose of the depravity and diseased charisma infecting “America First.” It’s a keeper.
Artifice in the Calm Damages has been produced as a hybrid book arts edition. The text of the book is printed via digital technology, while the cover, on yellow Samuel French paper with French flaps extending the width of the book, has been printed letterpress on a Vandercook 215T Press and hand painted by the visual artist Cynthia Miller, so that each copy of the book is a unique copy.
As Landscape by Mark Weiss
“I never set out to write a poem. I will jot things down in my notebook, sometimes ideational, sometimes not, sometimes picked up from the environment, or misheard, or from a dream, and occasionally a phrase will have a rhythmic urgency that compels me to jot something further, and then I'm lost in process and have no idea where I or the poem is going. This is a liminal state fraught with both joy and terror, and it is processual. The process may extend over a few or many lines and take a few moments or days and months. It lasts until one emerges at the other end, back into the everyday, arrival signaled by the loss of urgency”—from the author's Afterword.
As Yet by Todd Baron
“As if we are hearing but instead are given the sound of the unheard and unsaid: Gutteral negations. As if Baron bypasses speech and instead dishes us up an account of the breath beneath the everyday that resists musicality—and evokes in that resistance its own halting stuttering rhythm broken by rhythm in the middle of a beat. Just as out of the wind / the branches / make it / live, that which exists under the spoken and heard is made to live in the music of these compelling anti-songs: lines lit in containers.”—Susan Gevirtz
Todd Baron received his MA under Louis Patler, Robert Duncan, and Diane Di Prima. Graduating in 1989, he has written and published eight titles of poetry. He published ReMAP magazine for five years, a postgraduate poetics journal based on the teachings/readings of New College: a continuation of the program's ideas. He has taught at the Otis Art Institute and currently teaches language arts at Crossroads School in Santa Monica, CA.
At Night on the Sun, by Will Alexander
Drama/Literature. ISBN 9781946104090.
As the curtain rises on Will Alexander’s adroit pan-African pageant, courtiers puzzle, stew and snipe over the central mystery of their existence—the absence of King Asoka. Where is he? Can mere ministers of war decide, or do the eerie signals demand the counsel of the Magicians? What is he doing, what does he intend? Is intention still on the table? So the old ways play themselves out, but on Asoka’s return a table of glittering galaxies play themselves out like cards from the future. Like
Lorraine Hansberry’s Black Arts Movement era masterpiece Les Blancs, Alexander’s At Night on the Sun presents a planet’s struggle for self-determination as an occasion for both joy and fear. It is a work of art for our age and for ages yet to come.