Sunday, December 13, 2009

Text Loses Time

In the great, cavernous gap between this and the previous update here I had the rare opportunity to design a book by my pal, Nico Vassilakis. Text Loses Time assembles a hefty chunk of Nico's visual poetry, textual poetry, and a host of pieces that are a bit of both. Its charms have already been detailed in far more eloquent length than I need attempt here by Geof Huth and, in rather more qualified, but useful, historical terms, by Vanessa Place at the American Book Review.  Further perspectives are available from Nick Piombino's afterword and Nicholas Manning at Galatea Resurrects #9.

For little old me, the experience reconnected me with all I've enjoyed from Nico's writing over the years. Back when I was a confused young poet in Seattle, Nico was one of the first folks to reach out to me and help me along the way to figuring out just what it is in the secret lives of Fs and Ls and Qs and the rest of the lot that made me want to keep spending my hours with them.

Text Loses Time is available from Crag Hill's Many Penny Press.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Small Seasons ready to go

My most recent effort, Small Seasons, is now out in the world. Many thanks to Joe Massey for his kind words about it.

This little "book" consists of about 20 short poems on gray cards, all of which live in a 5.5" x 4" x 1" jewelry box. The cover features artwork by my old friend, Dave Hunt, whose beautiful ink pieces made Aspect Cycle so much better to page through.

The recto side of each card features a small accompanying weather icon.

The poems in each box of Small Seasons are arranged somewhat differently. Readers are encouraged to re-arrange and re-re-arrange the order to their liking.

Copies are $5 postage paid. If you'd like a copy, let me know via email. The production time for each box is considerable, but I am doing my best to make new sets on a regular basis.

My previous longer poem sequence, Aspect Cycle, is also still available. Those are free for the asking, though a little postage help is always appreciated.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Books from the Bookfair

Some highlights of my haul from the Buffalo Small Press Bookfair.

Ferrum Wheel 6

Ferrum Wheel #6. Once more assembled masterfully by Chris Fritton. This issue's conveyance is an apron. Quasi-medical, quasi-mechanical. 16 contributors (including myself) contributed one-of-a-kind text and/or art and/or found-based pieces, which were then assembled into 49 completely unique sets. This is remarkable "magazine" that forces us to reconsider what it means to make, to edit, to publish, to assemble. And so on.

As Chris elaborates on this issue's theme: "Apron in between so as not to get dirty, or in the case of the blacksmith, burned by a sprinkle, a barrier to protect, but not always - as in the apron of the garden, the liminal, the overlap, the wide swath that must be crossed to find oneself inside...." It continues, along with peeks inside past issues, at the Ferrum Wheel site.

By the Weight of an Arrow

By the Weight of an Arrow by Michael Slosek and Luke Daly (or as it is on the cover, By txe Weixht ox xn Xrxow.) Got this one via a trade with Michael Slosek. Not sure sure who did what in this book of short poems with extremely high levels of inter-resonance (auditorially, prosodically, shape-ly), with accompanying visuals on fold-out pages. More than anything this is a really finely made book: nice paper, sparse layout with lots of white space for the poems, textuo-visual parallels between the poems and the visuals, which contain shards and shadows of the some of the poems in handwritten fragments, overlays, and non-overdone collage.

Reading the poems sets off a sensed, but indeterminately actual, temporal loop in one's head. The book is short, so it is easy to sense that one is reading along a moebius strip of reiterations and variations of a pool of words and phonemes.

Arrows as figures of time as linearity, or velocity. But also the arrow stopping, hitting--ffffthunk!--defining, marking out an instant. This is another kind of time. Brief thematic flashes insides halves of lines also might implant these neuro-temporal jumps in the reader's head:
ours are not speaking after

space between another --
a heel stript, caught
in the gold of losing

. Balmed to seal
in a pointed arrow --

are behind and further here
I've got more to say about this one, but I'll leave it there for now. In any case, another fine offering from House Press.

The Can #1

The Can #1, edited by Michael Carr, available from Katalanché Press. Features only essays by poets on contemporary writing. This often leads to people writing about friends and acquaintances, which, frankly, is something we need more of, since it usually elicits a quality of insight that is under-appreciated--call it the rigor of familiarity, or proximity. I haven't finished reading The Can yet, but what I like so far about the essays I read is that they first and foremost exude a sense of real enthusiasm and love for what they're talking about. It reminds me of Bachelard's stipulation in The Poetics of Space that, very roughly paraphrased, "one cannot propose to study the image unless one receives it--that is, unless one admires it."

A great idea for a magazine. Looking forward to upcoming issues.

Spell 3: Maps Issue

Spell #3: The Maps Issue. Edited by Eric Unger. Read this in the Buffalo airport and on the plane to La Guardia. Too much to say about this, so I'll keep it short.

Equal weight given to visual pieces as well as poems = great. Indeed, one set of material is a collaboration (pictured above) consisting of parallel photographs with poems in which there is no clear primacy of the one over the other--i.e. the poem being "on" the accompanying photograph or the photograph merely an accompaniment. Espcially good here are Barrett Gordon's map/text/iconography collages and Paul Klinger's visual poetry, which I'd like to come back to (mental note!) when I get his forthcoming book Fescue, from which his contributions here are excerpted. Great zine.


I got more stuff beyond these things. But for now I'm all reviewed out. Click on the above images for full images of the rest of my bookfair haul.

Next up, some thoughts on Jess Mynes' Birds for Example.

Monday, April 2, 2007


This is the beginning of Aluminum Lake, an occasional blog featuring short, to-the-point critical writing and poetry reviews by myself, info on new booklets from my low-scale bookmaking venture known as Daikusei Productions, and whatever else fits.

I just got back from the Buffalo Small Press Bookfair, run by my amazing pal Chris Fritton. I had such an insanely wonderful time and met lots of cool, nice people--both at the event(s) and outside of them. If you're one of those people, please drop me a line and say hi. I'm nice. You're nice. Things are good.

Quite idiotically, I did not bring a camera with me on the trip. But next up I'll do some show and tell of what I came back with.

In the meantime, thanks for checking in. Come back later for more.