Distribution Automatique

Saturday, October 22


Facts, facts I was bored with them. I wanted something more important, bigger, more encompassing. I turned to specific words, to abstract ideas, to shapes, to colors. I tried to learn and absorb principles wherever I could find them, generalities, rules, systems, explanations.

Yet gradually these became blank, monochromatic, inert. Lately, I've come back to those concrete details, but not as a windbag might so respectfully refer to them, intoning them monotonously, as I angrily understood and rejected them so long ago, or as a miser might collect them, reveling in their exactitude.

One day I noticed that as overly treasured or trivial as any of these might appear to be to those who search out the most useful of them as liferafts, facts are the very specific colors, textures, odors, shapes of experience itself, without which there remained only those so familiar thoughts, those protective insights I always found so warming and alive. Instead of converting every object into a mental keepsake before I'd even held it, I try now to allow these details to shine, sharpening and shading each moment into, yes, something hard and real, untransformable, irrevocable, and quotidien, but nevertheless, something you can name.

Happy Birthday, David Bromige!

Ron offers up a warm tribute to the bard, who lives in Sebastopol, CA right now on Silliman's blog [click here]

A Master's Voice

If you have a few minutes, listen to some of David Bromige's poems on Penn Sound [click here]. Most of the selections are about a minute or less, and are
very gratifying to listen to. If you've never heard David read in that so gentle, so lightly teasing and funny way he has, with that charming accent from his UK origins , you are in for a real treat. I kid you not.

Friday, October 21

A Passing Comment

made by Ray Bianchi and commented on by Bill
Allegrezza on pr-ramblings [click here]
has evolved into that most pleasurable of all blogosphere moments- an ongoing discussion in a comments section, this one about poets, students and reading. Want to check it out, and perhaps chime in?

Postcritpt 10/26

David Shapiro

Don't miss David Shapiro's thought provoking outburst re: reading on p-ramblings (click above), and his quieter note added later. I have to think about his interesting typos- vispo? I like RFTEADING above as "retreading" or "retreating"
Shhh- I'm trying to talk David into opening a blog. He may do it, but for, guess what? His collages. Now hear this,dbqp [click here]. By the way, move over Ron Silliman- Geof Huth is getting over 700 hits a day!

David Shapiro reads with Ron Silliman at the Bowery Poetry Club Seque Series on November 19th hosted by Gary Sullivan and Nada Gordon

Alan Davies reads with Drew Gardner on November 5th

Thursday, October 20

*Three Trees* by Nico Vassilakis

Geof Huth's *dbqp Visualizing Poetics* [click here]

Jackson Mac Low's new book from Granary is out!
(via the SUNY/Buff poetics list)

Granary Books is pleased to announce the publication of Jackson Mac Low's DOINGS: ASSORTED PERFORMANCE PIECES 1955-2002.

"...The book includes detailed performance instructions as well as notes on the specific procedures of composition through which the works were created. The curious reader finally has access to some of the most important yet most elusive works within Mac Low’s oeuvre, including many examples of “Gathas,” “Vocabularies,” “Asymmetries,” “Light Poems,” and more. Doings performs the dual task of sourcebook and Baedeker — a looking glass through which to see where we’ve been and where we’re going as we
sift through the radical poetries of the postmodern era looking for renewal, for the inevitable path to the future. Doings includes an introduction by publisher Steve Clay, five gate-fold pull-outs, and a 60 minute CD of live and studio performance recordings..."

Wednesday, October 19

The Sooner The Better

Vincent Van Gogh Drawings at the Met [click here] opened today. As we've noticed in the past, the sooner you get to blockbuster shows at the Met, the better. Although the galleries were, of course, quite crowded, these crowds are sure to grow to huge proportions as the holidays grow near. Although the show is billed as a drawings show, there are lots of paintings also, many of them hung next to the drawings they were based on. This is a huge show, and the early drawings especially have been rarely, if ever, seen here before.
Charles Bernstein interviews Douglas Messerli

on his recent poetry, his pseudonyms, his
interest in and publication of Brazilian poetry,
his *writing through* and collaborations with
other poets, and a memoir he is working on


Jacket (Ocober)[click here]

Monday, October 17

Poetry, Prose Poetry and Vispo: Good Reads

Of *Atellier* by Claire Lux [AQP Collective, 179 Azelea Drive,
Afton, VA 22920, 26 pages] John Most [click here] says: "This small book of poems is the first of thirteen such books, each written using a different character/voice that I have invented: *Atelier* by Claire Lux, et cetera. The plan is to print each book separately in a small run and then compile then into a single book after the project is over."

"The festering wound
Diagnosed through hypnosis
Sculpture failure /
Silt from the streets
Of my states urban
Center coursed through
Tangled veins
Little WANTS"
Sheila E. Murphy *Concentricity* from Pleasure Boat
Studio 201 West 89th Street, #6F, NY, NY 10024

Of Sheila Murphy's many excellent books in recent years, I am most excited by this one. It is all prose
poetry-this book has something like 80 dense, intensely imagistic, thoughtful poems, each one a complex, lyrical, dense puzzle, tempting the reader back to unlock its mysteries again and again. For years I've been delighted when I've come across a prose poem in a lit magazine by Sheila Murphy. She's one of those rare top-flight contemporary poets who isn't coy, is constantly in the fray, (frequently on the collective blog, As/Is). whose work is constantly inventive without being opaque in an annoying way:

(from *Pleasure*, p.44)

"Rhumba, samba, doe-eyed opposite of clash is education. Pens to match the theobald of summer slingshot into monster's eye. Spotted on the cry end of a seamed chaise facing all the brick light of a world through olive palms and chaps on someone riding. Do the half-tones rise with Adam's apple to the sonnet in a copybook? And do the whiled appointments harbor space of modesty? Cold bristles soften to the lanolin-bathed fingers close to sheep in lengths of semi-automatic flight. A gathering of leathergold
still suitable for taming..."
*StampOlogue* by Nico Vassilakis
the Runaway Spoon Press Box 495597
Port Charlotte Florida 33949

photographic visual poetry
afterword by Gregory St Thomassino
with a response by Nico

Gregory writes: "'X' genealogist I know has 'rubbings' framed and hanging in her study. These remind me of them. I must tell her, there is something 'shroud of Turin' about them"

Nico responds: "...the process of doing vispo right now is still fun for me. sometimes it bites and i hate it and i don't do it for months, years, it loses its flavor and appeal for me if fussed over excessively. i try to learn how and when to approach vispo with openness. occassionally i get it right. sometimes it takes me from my text writing. it does that bcause it's easier for me to access less torment in creating vispo, i think. staring at textpo creates the potential for vispo."