Distribution Automatique

Sunday, November 28

Books and Company

was the name of a bookshop, gone long ago, housed
by the Whitney Museum, and then heartlessly
thrown aside. Its passing was mourned by innumerable
writers; it has never been replaced, not by a long

I always liked the name of that store, because, in a
way, books *are* company, and the combination
is unbeatable. By that I mean, hanging out with
friends and family who you exchange books and
talk about them with.

The aforementioned visits, in combination with a
trip to the Brooklyn Public Library, has yielded
several huge stacks of books, a list of which I
am about to share with you. Don't ask me why,
and don't ask me why I blog: that's a conversation
for another day. Today it is raining, things are
relatively inert in Blogland (I've read Blue Revisions {click here},and I've read quickly through DagZine's {click here}interesting piece about Michael Davidson, and I'm
looking forward to catching up on today's blogposts later-especially
wood s lot {click here} on Blake,
and the latest conversations on Okir {click here}
and p- ramblings {click here}-
and many other favorites, of course. Checking my
own and other bloggers' bloglink crush lists always
leads to interesting discoveries-while the hours melt away...

The first book on the list,
Dan Fante's *Mooch* (Canongate,
2000) is one of the best
short novels I've read in a long
time, reminiscent of Hubert Selby and
the movie *Leaving Las Vegas*, I
read it in one long sitting and
one short sitting last night
and this morning. An addicitve
page turner. But the rest of
the books on this list I haven't completely
read yet. Some are long shots,

Robert Sheckley's
*Xolotl* is a short story
about the Aztecs. Sheckley,
if you don't know, is one
of the greatest science fiction
writers of the 50's and 60's.
I have a copy of *Galaxy*
magazine for October, 1954
signed by Sheckley and
Phillp K. Dick, that I got

Another book of Sheckley's
I found in a Cambridge, Mass
bookstore is *Journey Beyond
Tomorrow* (Dell, 1962).
"America the 21st Century and
the nightmare triumph of the
machines*. Well, this was correct
but the machines are walking
and are mostly born-again

I've always wanted a copy
of John Lennon's *In His
Own Write and A Spaniard
In The Works* (Signet, 1964)
and I got one for a dollar.
"Why did Harrassed MacMillion
go golphing mit Bod Hobe?"

*Stardoc* is a novel by S.L. Viehl
that looks intriguing (Roc, 2000).
It starts with an epigraph from
Hippocrates (460-377? B.C.)
"Into whatever houses I enter,
I will go into them for the benefit
of the sick."

*The Vintage Book of Amnesia:
An Anthology on the Subject of
Memory Loss* edited by Jonathan
Lethem (Vintage, 2000) looks
fascinating. Anyway, I read everything
I can find by or about Jonathan
Lethem. Toni's sister gave me a
first edition hardbound copy of
*Gun, With Occasional Music.*
I can't recommend his first novel
too strongly. It's a hoot! The
Amnesia Book has articles by:
Robert Sheckley, Shirley Jackson,
Borges, Oliver Sacks, Geofrey O'Brien
(did you ever read his book on
the 1960's?), Barthelme, Nabokov,

*Galatea 2.2* by Richard Powers
(Harper, 1996) looks intriguing.
"...I lost my 35th year. We got
separated in the confusion of a foreign
city where the language was strange
and the authorities horrible... Some
years slip their chrysalis, leaving only
a casing to hold their place in my

I've started *The Hacker Ethic*
by Pekka Himenen and have already
mentioned it here. It was translated
by Anselm Hollo, published in 2001
by Random House. "First playfulness
was removed from work, then
playfulness was removed from play,
and what is left is optimized leisure

I met Geoffrey Dyer in Berkeley
a couple of summers ago and liked
his band. *The Dirty Halo Of Everything*
was published by one of the hottest
poetry publishers around, Krupskaya,
in 2003. "Inside the paint and cockroach
world you forgot how ro improvise. Replacing
freedom with a process, the closest thing
was writing an essay...This is an anecdote
for escape."

Edmund Jabes is someone who I
feel I should read more often, but
who sometimes disappoints me.
I'm going to give *Desire for a Beginning
Dread of One Single End*, published by
my friend Steve Clay of Granary Books
in 2001 the old college try.
I've made no secret of my
affection for aphorisms. "All light
resides in thought."

Some of my friends don't seem
to overly appreciate the poetry of
Rachel Blau DuPlessis yet I
really enjoy it. I want to reread
*Drafts 15-XXX: The Fold* (Potes
and Poets, 1997). II might have a copy still packed
away somewhere in a box. "This kind
of speaking/doubles the unspeakable."

*Draft 43* by R BD came out
from Belladonna in Spring 2001.
Side stapled chapbook. ." a pile
of ashes orphaned/or bare feet
sloshing through the narrow part
near shore."

Belladonna 10 was *Soft Pages*
by Kathleen Fraser. (Winter, 2001).
I enjoy nearly every word I read
by KF. "The sentence, of course,
will be different once it has been
retrieved. " OK, like Barrett Watten
she can be didactic; but it is a kind
of didactic that has a lot of worthwhile
things to teach.

Kim Lyons' work is awash with
humor, charm, curiosity and
. *In Padua*
(St Lazaire Press, 1991) should
be at the top of anyone's holiday
shopping list. If you can find it!
(4 Patten Road, Rhinebeck, NY
12572). "After two days of
complicated rain/an arrival
of sentences wet and anxious."

*Lip Service* by Bruce
Andrews (Coach House Books,
2001). Unreadable required reading,
like Finnigan's Wake. I will place
it respectfully next to *No. 111 2.7. 93-
10.20.96* by Kenneth Goldsmith
(The Figures, 1997)
on my bookshelf and open it and
read as much as I can muster, a
sprint of reading/thought, when I am so inspired.
"In champion the vagina sailor
on leave-"

*An Anthology of New (American) Poets*
edited by Lisa Jarnot, Leonard Schwartz
amd Chris Stroffolino ((Talisman, 1998).
includes Judith Goldman, Bill Luoma, Kimbely Lyons,
Eleni Sikelianos, Juliana Spahr, Mark Wallace,
Rod Smith, many others.
from Kim Lyons *Millefleur*:
"A whirling vortex of fragmented conversations/
threw up sparks, shards/of the beautiful shale."

Adeena Karasik's *The House That HIJACK Built*
(Talonbooks 2004) is concerned with the Kaballah
and is visually energized and absorbing. ""speak of taut machines/
speech, thought, motion"

Jena Osman, who edits *Chain* with Juliana Spahr
is another poet whose work I have long
felt deserves more attention from me.
*The Character* was published in 1999
by Barnard and won the 1998 Barnard
New Poets Prize. 'A pool stick can transform
a person into a thing."

to be continued...