Thursday, December 3, 2009


(Sorry, Nicole! Sorry, Meg! ... John?)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Book Review: Anselem Berrigan - "Free Cell."


Anselem Berrigan's Free Cell is a book-length poem divided into three parts -- "Have a Good One," "Let Us Sample Protection Together," and "To Hell With Sleep." It is his fourth book of poetry, and it's published by City Lights. "Have a Good One" invokes Stephan Mallarme's "Un Coup De Des Jamais N'abira Le Hazard," even meta-name-checks it as the reader goes through the verse ("Production values / among other grandchildren / of Mallarme), where he encounters unexpected puns (Must we demand / of our pop tarts / a public crack-up / during war time?), jokes (Kingfisher sighting sparks / epic stroll), lines that strike us ("I'm micromanaging nausea," "Monolithic derelict fuck."), neologisms (droolsultory, public meltups), and then there are the thetic chunks (and my apologies in advance for not being able to directly copy the type-setting):

... when
zombies lose their appe-
tites can we rehabilitate

'em back into the game?
I sympathize with the
difficult people, why
should transitions be
seamless, Sylvie hates to
go to sleep, no she hates
the "go" part & so do I

awake, smiling toothlessly
at our anti-lyric non-concepts
our pro-war liberties, our
embrace of our own private
communiques besieged
for, like, happiness of
a minor place's kindling.


I don't want love or remorse to follow
I want them in the way, things to burst through
corollaries to be roped and tackled
by surprise, get killed, and thank you. One fate
transforms into another, but I won't
touch that bandaged story. I won't belong
to this scripted conversation, though I
may play along.

Outside of Mallarme, one possible suggestion for how "Free Cell" wishes itself to be read (as in, how it defines its aesthetic parameters; to say, 'This is where the text will go') is contained, simply, in this: "Liquify our symbols."

It is a book designed to be read melodically, in and of itself, and that is something a review can't fully convey.

And but, and yet, and still: this is a smart, strong book, and it's well worth your time.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Where was I last night?


Thursday, July 23, 2009

via Reuters:

President Barack Obama plunged his presidency into a charged racial debate

What percentage of the budget has been devoted to it? Are any of the members of the cabinet involved? Any Ambassadors? The Vice President? Were any members of the Senate or House directed towards addressing the issue in any way? Were all current projects and initiatives stopped, and all those involved directed to take part in this matter of opinion?

and set off a firestorm with police officers nationwide by siding with a prominent black scholar who accuses police of racism.

Cambridge police. Cambridge. Not 'police officers' nationwide. And it was 'acted stupidly,' not 'are,' or 'have a continuous streak of being,' it's acted, an instance.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Notes: Twitter.

A lot of us are on twitter.

Here's a grouping of items that came about as a result of twittering/tweeting:

1. Music Tweet Day (feat.): Lonnie "the Cat": I Ain't Drunk, The Cave Singers: Dancing On Our Graves, Howlin' Wolf: How Many More Years? , Bo Diddley - Hey, Bo Diddley, Bobby Charles - Take It Easy, Greasy, Pavement - Cut Your Hair, Tuvan Throat Singing, Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain: Shaft, and Roots Jam Session.


At the Star Trek movie. I'm the only one wearing red. And nobody knows my name. Weird.

RT: @jakefogelnest Hey there! I am Jake Fogelnest! This is my home telephone number: (646) 484-5323. I'm home now - let's see who calls!

Jon is trying to teach Leta how to sing in tune, so it sounds like a deaf cat being raped with a tuba in here.

I feel like I'm holding a cane straight up in the air, waiting for an umbrella to appear.

Criticism about "Exit, pursued by a bear" is remarkably hard to find.

Julia M.: "Come to San Francisco and you'll see pure Yoda-filled beauty."

3. Italian Poetry in the 70's (or pretty close to): Eugenio Montale: (1), (2), (3) ; Giovanni Raboni; Giuseppe Ungaretti: (1) Virgil, (2) Italy, (3) Variations on Nothing (*Cheating a bit, I know.)

4. Biographical Tweets

-- Josie: "Ripping in the Dark: The Evan Fleischer Story."

-- was given a new nickname - a "white cornel west."

6. Conversations

@efleischer Phrase i haven't heard: "tweet in me, muse - "
@breadtweed "tweet, oh muse, of the great and noble deeds of Evanius, the hero, the clever and brave soldier...i'm out of characters? Alrea"
@efleischer @breadtweed I can't wait for Virgil to steal this.