Deathwatch for My Father by Hank Lazer
A handsewn chapbook with letterpress cover, DEATHWATCH FOR MY FATHER is a long poem, meditation, and memorial from the poet to his dying father in which Lazer attempts to use the thing he knows, language, in order to reconcile the thing he can’t know, death: “my mind inclines / to ask and what / is it perhaps to / turn your death into / linguistic inquiry / a somewhat familiar / terrain.”
Hank Lazer has published seventeen books of poetry, including N18 (COMPLETE) (Singing Horse Press, 2012), Portions (Lavender Ink, 2009), THE NEW SPIRIT (Singing Horse Press, 2005), ELEGIES & VACATIONS (Salt Publishing, 2004), and Days (Lavender Ink, 2002). He is Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Professor of English at the University of Alabama, where he is Executive Director for Creative Campus and edits the Modern and Contemporary Poetics Series for the University of Alabama Press.
DIESEL HAND by Nico Vassilakis
Don’t Forget to Breathe by Andrew Levy
Don't Forget to Breathe
“Andrew Levy's DON'T FORGET TO BREATHE is truly only figuring out how to stay free.”—Lissa Wolsak
“Somewhere in here the poet says 'you can call me Nothing / Which is something,' thereby compressing the crisis related in this book to its bluntest formulation. Who or what is the residue that causes these words to occur? What do these questions, jokes, propositions, slogans, fragments, rationalizations constitute? No answer is forthcoming: anatomies of 'absurdities / Spewing forth / From capital' disintegrate as they coalesce, disposing themselves along an eroding continuum, where each step taken is a step back to an abandoned future. Although from here it's hard to see forward, some day the sticks will dry out, giving us a chance to make a fire, in whose heat and light we'll remember DON'T FORGET TO BREATHE as a threshold.”—William Fuller
Edges of Water by Maureen Owen
“In a land where FEELINGS shared is a transgression, we get propelled onward! If Elizabeth Murray’s promise that the subconscious is what we paint about, then Maureen Owen’s promise is by the poems. Always there first, as Freud said, ‘Where I go I find a poet has been there before me.’ Imagine Sigmund meeting up with the latest Owen book. ‘We think we look back / we just look outside / surface that is a state / of meringue / holiness that is a condition independent / of deity….'”—CA Conrad
Maureen Owen is editor of Telephone Books and author of over ten poetry collections, including American Rush, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist, and AMELIA EARHEART, a recipient of the American Book Award. Formerly co-director of the Poetry Project, she now lives in Denver and teaches at Naropa University. Most recently, she is the author of EDGES OF WATER (Chax Press, 2013).
Entangled Bank, by James Sherry
Entangled Bank, by James Sherry.
Poetry. ISBN 978-0-9862640-8-5. 90 pages. Published November 1, 2016.
Entangled Bank opens with a set of five line poems dedicated to the “beauty” of various poets, a nuanced and generous version of Joseph Kaplan’s infamous Kill List, and concludes with a wrenchingly honest prose piece on Sherry’s correspondence with the late poet Stacy Doris on the limits of empathy. Between these gestures towards a troubled yet significant human connection, Sherry places poems in a variety of styles, as if styles were species in an ecosystem, a veritable “entangled bank.” Often he writes with scathing wit on the degradation of the environment and the fraudulence of the financial system. One line admonishes, “Wake up, this is about you.” And it is. You’re going to want it. — Rae Armantrout
Taking his theme from Darwin’s “entangled bank,” James Sherry pries open present life on the planet to reveal a tangled flow of vegetation, money, politics, beauty, selves, distributed networks, fish, nation states, death and friendship. “Couching nature as bundles and linkages,” he does not side-step the perils of hybridity but dives in head first: “Tamales of Sparta rolled global.” A dazzling display of formal invention leads up to an intimate, brutally candid chronicle of friendship and illness that is as clear-headed as it is passionate. And how can you not love a poem called “Memoir” that begins, “Dawn again / Fuck!” — Kit Robinson
Unbeauty will take you about as far as you can throw it, appeasing no one and nothing, all for good measure. James Sherry does not beware of entangling alliances, he foments them. — Charles Bernstein
Exit Moonshine, Enter Wall by Rodney Phillips
Exit Moonshine, Enter Wall
What is so diabolical about weather and classical music?
What happens when one grabs a contribution from Gertrude Stein?
Float, by David Abel
“This stunning, wry collection is a tonic, triggering memory and the knowledge that we all enter poems in medias res—from anywhere. Rhythmic fragments or grand paragraphs, FLOAT becomes its own mixing board. At times you hear it almost disappear, then reappear as ‘total sound.’ In a long poem titled ‘Times of Day,’ one vertical, vital string, the words ‘Zoo / Cage / Jazz’ track to John Cage because of interventions earlier in the book, a startling elegy within and without. Cooked or raw, from the title to the end notes, possibilities abound. Alluring, captivating, it’s a must-read!”—Norma Cole
Flow-Winged Crocodile & A Pair/Actions Are Erased/Appear by Leslie Scalapino
Flow–Winged Crocodile & A Pair/Actions Are Erased/Appear
“For myself and the cast, directing Leslie Scalapino's FLOW has been an extraordinary journey into language and the language in breath, the rhythms of effort to say as precisely as her savage delicacy of thought, her forcing us all to assume nothing in examining the fineness of our implication in each other”–Fiona Templeton.
For Instance, by Eli Goldblatt
For Instance, by Eli Goldblatt. Poetry. ISBN 978-1-946104-16-8. 114 pages.
Reproductions from woodcut prints by Wendy Osterweil and drawings by Michael Moore.
In a sentence, the phrase “for instance” follows an assertion or argument, and precedes a series of examples. Eli Goldblatt gives us myriad examples unconnected to a thesis, except insofar as the thesis asserts what is. This is a world composed of bombings, wars, bad history, framed in a private space of family, garden and dream-work (which often takes us back to all the bad histories). In a larger sense, the book is an elegy—for his dear friend Gil Ott, and for a world where fascists lose. But “even in Barcelona, Franco won.” “War grows” in the poet’s mind, erupting in museums and in his son, who “emerges into the sunlight stabbing, punching, blasting his enemies.” Words are like tattoos; they scar. The poet craves “a language beyond all this talk, / words erupting beneath words that evict / or seduce, dominate or sell.” Goldblatt’s book offers a public and private MRI; we do not yet have the results, so we can only hope for the best. Our best consolation may be that we have this map of one poet’s decency and care.
— Susan M. Schultz
Reading Eli Goldblatt’s For Instance provides delights of a kind one can hope for, sometimes even expect, but never predict. In this copious and wide-ranging new collection, Goldblatt writes from within a closely attuned, deeply committed attention to that dance of limits & potentialities we call daily experience. Where there is a wall or other obstruction, his words seek a gap or to create the gap – space that leads through. Miraculously, it is precisely the light on the other side, the light he will find, that illuminates Goldblatt’s search. At the same time, a constituent gravity shapes the poems of this book; their articulations offer the possibility for – but they also demand – the close embrace of re-reading. Here is a book for time, one to return to and discover its moment renewed again and again.
— Tom Mandel
FOUR FOR GLENN by Nathaniel Mackey
FOUR FOR GLENN
ISBN: NO ISBN
This new collection of four poems, including new work from Mackey's ongoing The Song of the Andoumboulou, is a lyrical homage to the jazz saxophonist Glenn Spearman. Like much of Mackey's work, these poems reside at the limits of language and song, where “immanence and transcendence meet, making the music social as well as cosmic, political and metaphysical as well” -Mackey, DISCREPANT ENGAGEMENT. “In addition to its romantic and lyric qualities, Mackey's work is an immediate encounter with an intense blending of knowledges, mythology, poetic insight and histories from every continent”-Chris Funkhouser. Saddle-stitched chapbook.
Get Serious: New & Selected Poems by Jefferson Carter
Jefferson Carter directs the Writing and Literature Program, and teaches developmental composition and poetry writing at Pima Community College, Downtown Campus. His eight books of poetry include Litter Box (Spork Press, 2004), SENTIMENTAL BLUE (Chax Press, 2007), MY KIND OF ANIMAL (Chax Press, 2010), and GET SERIOUS: NEW & SELECTED POEMS (Chax Press, 2013). He has lived in Tucson, Arizona, since 1954. He has won a Tucson/Pima Arts Council Literary Arts Fellowship, and his poems have appeared in such journals and e-zines as Carolina Quarterly, CrossConnect, 2River View, and Barrow Street. His chapbook Tough Love won the Riverstone Poetry Press Award.