Lizard by Sarah Rosenthal
Lizard, by Sarah Rosenthal
In Lizard, Rosenthal explores the creaturely membranes that lie between the known-social and the unknown-social. When racified nations, nationified peoples, and “self-evident” identities of every make threaten to squash the efflorescence of Life’s lusty reach toward the stars, Lizard is born and scampers about. But Rosenthal’s sense of Fable eschews morals and maxims in favor of claiming a terrain from which the Para-Human can come into being. Slowly, tentatively, and then brashly, Lizard begins to obverse the world (while keenly observed herself). The resulting Kabbalistic strokes are as patently hilarious as they are intelligently perplexing. This is bone instructive poetry. I love it. — Rodrigo Toscano
MANTIS, by David Dowker
MANTIS, by David Dowker
POETRY / LITERATURE $17 US / 64 pages / published 2018
The other that enters the text maintains its iridescence “through multiple woof” (and tweet or twitter) ambigrammatical basically a reading “all resin fled” this or that which verbals at the interstices ratiocinates and conjugates erasure valence emergent impetus on the verge of blur “mantid being” a gloss from the given harmonics.
To explore Mantis is to explore language as organic material in formation, information as material. The work is bit-mined, one might say, from The Maintains by Clark Coolidge, taking as rudiment processes of jazz improvisation, particularly as practiced by musicians who may take a single step, and then follow where that step leads. To follow Mantis where it leads is to enter the forest, the cavern, the word hoard, and to find oneself as “light” or “as rose,” and to cross that place into a realm of creative possibility, where the final “as if” may mean open to everything.
Meditations on the Stations of Mansur Al-Hallaj by Pierre Joris
“Well-versed and well-read in Sufi mysticism, Joris appears throughout these captivating meditations as a nomadizing poet-scholar—a poeta doctus in the classical sense: whether it is the manners, or pockets of the desert, Baghdad bombings, or Hallaj's set of stations that caught his eye (a poeta vates?) and fired up the engine of his writing, Joris—poeta faber—also always guides us back to the material flux of language that constitutes these meditations.”—Peter Cockelbergh
Pierre Joris has published over 40 books of poetry, essays and translations. Since 2008, he has lived with his wife, the performance artist and singer Nicole Peyrafitte, in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Most recently, he is the author of MEDITATIONS ON THE STATIONS OF MANSUR AL-HALLAJ (Chax Press, 2013).
Painting by Stephen Ratcliffe
California Interest. Art. PAINTING (2.4.97 – 4.21.97) transcribes perceptions of ‘real’ things, demonstrate how the three-dimensional world might be ‘registered’ in lines running clear across the horizontal, two-dimensional page: 81 poems written in 81 consecutive days which mean to enact (i.e., make present) the world-as-painting/ painting-as-world that is my subject, just as Mondrian’s grids can be viewed as an ‘abstract’ enactment of how and what we actually see. Thus, for example, “fact (geometric)/ of lines a bird makes descending from upper left corner to the empty space immediately in front of it.”
PRESOCRATIC BLUES by Joel Bettridge
“In PRESOCRATIC BLUES the presocratics walk among us, obsessed with the everyday: the rain, the bar, the blues. And the poems that result are full of correspondence, of discovery in the Spicerian sense. These are poems that remind us that behind every simple moment is a larger question about the universe and humanities place in it”–Juliana Spahr. “In PRESOCRATIC BLUES, Joel Bettridge takes us back home, back to that poor old actuality at the pre-Socratic horizon of thought and matter. But we are no happier for it. We go down to the river, a Heraclitan flux that just keeps rolling, witness to despair and wicked deeds. These are sharply intelligent poems, full of acerbic wit, absurdity, and heartbreak.”–Devin Johnston
Joel Bettridge is the author of two books of poetry, THAT CULTURAL SOCIETY (The Cultural Society, 2007) and PRESOCRATIC BLUES (Chax Press, 2009), as well as the critical study, Reading as Belief: Language Writing, Poetics, Faith (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009). He co-edited, with Eric Selinger, RONALD JOHNSON: LIFE AND WORKS (National Poetry Foundation, 2008). Currently he is an Assistant Professor of English at Portland State University.
Prospect of Release by Tom Mandel
Prospect of Release, by Tom Mandel
(Chax Press Classics Series)
Tom Mandel was born in Chicago in 1942, the American child of Austrian Jews fleeing Hitler. He was educated in Chicago's public schools and jazz/blues clubs, and at the University of Chicago. He has lived in New York, Paris, and San Francisco, Washington DC, and now resides in Delaware.
Memento mori: sonnets. These 50 poems, 700 lines (neither number divisible by three), confront self, other, identity, loss, history, language and meaning through the most concrete instance we have of what the post structuralists call “an absent presence” —the death of a parent. This loss of apparent meaning (who gave you your name?) doubles (this father arrived by marriage, already a rhyme for the dead blood kin that came before), invoking tradition, transmission, instruction. Ritual (the sonnet, the ceremonies of grief) kaleidoscopes through its own echoes. “Do not speak these / words, but repeat them.” “Ghosts, all of them,” as Spicer said, though here it is Paul Celan's Shakespeare (of all possible bards) who thrusts the blade from behind the curtain:
The knife comes out clean; the cake
is done. Why does time pass? Because one
observes a rule. Why wear clothes? To model
a soul in paradise, clothed in its days.
“These are the most intensely felt poems I have ever read.” —Ron Silliman
Quirks & Quillets by Karen Mac Cormack
PubDate: 1/1991 Quirks & Quillets Karen Mac Cormack ISBN: 9780925904041 Price: $8.00 Genre: Poetry Pages: 48 Quirks & Quillets is a book that you HOLD and that holds you. In what terms might I describe what this book is physically? I am greatly impressed by how it responds to one's … Read More
Reason and Other Women by Alice Notley
Reason and Other Women
“This is an immense book, one in which Notley takes language, as she has it, 'from hearsay to heresy' by the speed and awe of an unwavering attention to the seams, seems and semes of words and sentences. This is the work of an iconoclast, a semioclast, where semantics become seme-antics, and the byz-antics and -antiques from Christianity to Christine are molten down & recast into 21st Century mental shapes in the red-hot heart-red retort of a present day alchemist of mind. Alice Notley has the uncanny ability to go from the everyday mundane to the psycho-cosmic in one warp-speed stutter or typo-graphical stumble, at what Andre Breton called 'la vitesse grand V.' This is writing of the highest order.”—Pierre Joris
Rechelesse Pratticque by Karen Mac Cormack
RECHELESSE PRATTICQUE, by Karen Mac Cormack
Innovative Poetry / Visual Poetry / ISBN 978-1-946104-13-7
Karen Mac Cormack’s new work, in a large page format, explores the limits of poetry’s ability to visually stun, to go “as far as the eye can reach.”
from Queue 26:
helter skelter while you’re at it peninsula
to jeopardize out of date
adventure permanent permission
a search warrant
I’m not at home to anybody
as far as the eye can reach
relevant disturbance weigh your words carefully
phenomenon heads or tails to show someone the way
a turning point in history
everything is done on the premises
Resurrection Papers by Heather Thomas
RESURRECTION PAPERS is a hybrid poem sequence embracing the idea that to think and live consciously and passionately one must walk alongside death. The poems erupt from a “convergence of urgencies” that allows anything into the charged moment of the poem and includes multiple forms. They occur as fragment, lyric, dramatic monologue, prose unfolding, and “found” journal entries, both narrative and disjunctive in style. RESURRECTION PAPERS is a book of transgression – the transgression of the individual subject by family and social strictures, the transgression through such death into existence, the transgression of language as prescription into language as desire. It is a book ultimately of freedom – of being set free through language.
Salamander: A Bestiary
Poems by Leonard Schwartz / Images by Simon Carr
64 pages; 24 poems with 24 images plus title/cover image
What do you get when you put ten frogs in a coffee pot? Answer: Salamander, the latest in a long, imaginative line of animal inventories that began in classical Greece, if not on Noah’s Ark, became popular during the medieval period, and includes such modern innovators as Leonardo da Vinci and Lewis Carroll, Jorge Luis Borges and J.K. Rowling. A collaboration among a father, his daughter, and a woodcutter, this poetic menagerie celebrates the intelligence and ingenuity of two dozen creatures, from elk to eel, orca to owl. A labor of filial laughter, this carved, quirky rolodex is also a mirror in which we see ourselves, as “Wildness withheld,” for the endangered species we are.
— Andrew Zawacki
Woodcuts — are they black on white or white on black?—cut through the woods of words. The wood shows what the words mean. And the other way round. You can’t be sure with animals.
Animals are there just enough for us to glimpse (a woodcut is more shadow than flesh) and have some working poet explain them to themselves.
This book is all explanation. Read “Blonde Raven” to learn what it means to live in a visible world
The poems are sparse — light shows through them — and tell us things about animals, and tell animals about themselves — so much so that I’m not sure, after reading through the 24 panels, whether I’m being explained or being enlightened. That’s a perplexity that comes when reading Rilke and Dickinson too, poets who can’t always tell themselves from what they see.
— Robert Kelly
photo by Carlos David