Attention Span 2009 – CE Putnam
Peter Cully | The Age of Briggs & Stratton | New Star Books | 2008
Another set of walks around Hammertown with Mr. Cully. Nature and machine in conflict and decay & Smithsonian bird found-poems from 1910-1954.
& even when they make it over the line
the berm is not permanent
and the fuckraking leafblowers
papercut the air into orange froth.
Mel Nichols | Catalytic Exteriorization Phenomenon | Edge Books | 2009
Fragmented lyric float bubbles: Day Poems. Step carefully.
“do the fish know they are not drowning but in dream photograph with dense knowing”
Takashi Hiraide, trans. Sawako Nakayasu | For the Fighting Spirit of the Walnut | New Directions | 2008
111 prose poems (many in a commuter/subway context). I love living in its strange beautiful world. I couldn’t help but think of Yoshida Kenko’s “Essays in Idleness.”
“The soap that transforms in the hand of silence into a living thing. The railway where the claw marks of those approaching death lather fragrantly upon our skin”
Ruth S. Freed & Stanley A. Freed | Ghosts: Life and Death in North India | Anthropological Paper of The American Museum of Natural History | 1993
This anthropological study utilizes an unusual method for naming project informants, resulting in lines like:
“Curmudgeon, who, like all men in the village was much concerned about the perpetuation of the male line of descent, blamed the death of Little Boy on his levirate spouse, Scapegoat.”
Carlos Reygada, dir. | Stellet licht | Mantarraya Producciones | 2007
A big screen is a must for this one. I had the chance to see it at the NW Film Forum earlier this year. This film tells the story of a love-triangle in a secluded Mennonite community in Chihuahua, Mexico. The film is gorgeous to look at and it moves at a very very slow & quiet pace (watching a sunrise/sunset speed), but it builds and builds and storms. The lack of a musical soundtrack & great sound editing/effects (crunching snow, an unnerving ticking of a kitchen clock, etc.) add tension / agitation. Unforgettable ending. Dialogue in German and Spanish w/ English Subtitles.
Endless Boogie | Focus Level | No Quarter Records | 2008
I STILL can’t stop listening to these NYC 50-somethings as they punch me out with “Safe as Milk” era Captain Beefheart vocals (a low-key growllllllly mumble rather than annoying) riding atop an “endless boogie” of psychedelic blues jams. Tough, rough and raw. Fire up the grill. We are “Smoking Figs In The Yard.”
Joshua Beckman | Take It | Wave Books | 2009
Starts like this:
Dear Angry Mob,
Oak Wood Trail is closed to you. We
feel it unnecessary to defend our position,
for we have always thought of ourselves
(and rightly, I venture) as a haven for
those seeking a quiet and solitary
contemplation. We are truly sorry
for the inconvenience.
Portable Shrines Shows | Seattle, WA | Various Locations (Funhouse/Comet Tavern)
Portable Shrines is a new “psychedelic music” collective that has just started putting on shows and experimental sound events in the Seattle Area. It’s a homegrown thing, sheets on the walls for projections, etc. (really enjoyed “Yoko Ono’s Fly flim during the Oko Yono set the other week—and Treetarantula and AFCGT were pretty good too). Anyway, haven’t been as excited about a Seattle scene since pre-Nevermind Nirvana. Can’t wait to see what happens next.
Aram Saroyan | Complete Minimal Poems | Ugly Duckling Presse | 2007
Kenneth Patchen | Hallelujah Anyway | New Directions | 1966
Maybe it’s the effect of living with a two-year-old, but I’m especially enjoying the curly words and crazy critters in these “picture poems.” A nice old edition. The kind that you can still find (sometimes) in U-District used bookshops.
A Geo-Bibliography of Anomalies: Primary Access to Observations of UFOs, Ghosts, and Other Mysterious Phenomena Compiled by George M. Eberhart | Greenwood Press | 1980
My selection for reference book of the year (1980). Organized by geographic regions of North America it documents over 22,000 separate events in 10,500 geographic locations with a Subject AND an Observer Index.
Erratic Starfish, 261
Moving lamp fixture, 611
Mystery balls of fiber, 34
Phantom cabin, 574
Pink squirrel, 839
Water forecasting rock, 498
Weeping mounted deer’s head, 497, 865
More CE Putnam here.