Third Factory/Notes to Poetry

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Posts Tagged ‘Patti Smith

Attention Span 2011 | Gina Myers

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Kate Bernheimer | Horse, Flower, Bird | Coffee House | 2010

Suzanne Buffam | The Irrationalist | Canarium | 2010

Bruce Covey | Glass Is Really a Liquid | No Tell | 2010

Jennifer Denrow | California | Four Way | 2011

Matt Hart | Wolf Face | H_NGM_N BKS | 2011

Nathan Hauke | S E W N | horse less | 2011

Becca Klaver | LA Liminal | Kore | 2010

Joseph Lease | Testify | Coffee House | 2011

Patti Smith | Just Kids | Ecco | 2010

Laura Solomon | The Hermit | Ugly Duckling | 2011


Gina Myers is the author of A Model Year (Coconut Books) and several chapbooks, including False Spring (forthcoming from Spooky Girlfriend). She lives in Atlanta, GA.

Myers’s Attention Span for 2009, 2008. Back to 2011 directory.

Attention Span 2011 | Michael T. Fournier

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Mike Brook | Hotel Homo Sapiens | Fronch |2010

Dry as a desert and pithier than a biology lab, Mike Brook’s debut novel serves up the tale of Ike Lightningfoot, a hotel employee who spends most of the novel locked in the basement of the hotel that serves as the title’s namesake—and also as a commentary on the state of tourism, the digital age, and colonialism.

Aaron Cometbus | Cometbus #54: On Tour With Green Day ?!? | self-released | 2011

It’s incredible to think that Aaron’s been at it for thirty years. There were a few in the middle of the last decade where it appeared the fanzine which bears his name would be permanently stalled at issue 49 as he started publishing tiny novels—and power to him for that—but the day when I find a new issue remains a national holiday for me.

The new issue is one of the most poignant I can remember: his old Gilman Street friends take him on tour to Southeast Asia, where he contemplates the ways in which their relationships—and successes—have changed them over the years. Of course, using old friends also allows Cometbus, in his inimitable style, to also reflect on himself and the ways he’s changed.  Arresting and engaging—he hasn’t lost a step.

Byron Coley | C’est La Guerre: Early Writings 1978-1983 | L’Oie De Cravan | 2011

I caught the last issue of Forced Exposure on the newsstand and promptly had my mind blown. Byron Coley’s writing was (and is) a blend of encyclopedic knowledge and direct, acerbic wit, which I’ve since sought out (and occasionally stolen from) with fanboy urgency.

L’Oie De Cravan’s collection compiles Coley’s early writings about—among others—Devo, the Minutemen and Suicide, from his early days writing for Take It! and the New York Rocker. It’s no Forced Exposure rerelease—a treatment similar to the one ‘Touch And Go’ fanzine was given in 2010 is overdue—but  it’s a joy to watch Coley’s turns of phrase and immediacy develop in his early work.

Jonathan Franzen | Freedom | Farrar | 2010

The smallest (biggest) bit of minutiae, and show of nuance, in Franzen’s novel was a conversation between Walter Berglund—nominally the book’s main character—and Richard Katz, the aging, about the former’s imminent move to Washington DC: nothing good has ever come out of that town, the men agree—except for Bad Brains and Ian MacKaye (co-owner of Dischord Records, frontman on straightedge bulwarks Minor Threat, and singer/guitarist of Fugazi).

Later, Berglund, when thinking of name for a youth initiative, briefly considers using “Youth Against Fascism,” a song by Sonic Youth, as its namesake. Both men agree it’s one of the band’s best.

When reading, I got the joke immediately: of course a bunch of music geeks think that song is one of Sonic Youth’s best—it’s the one song in the band’s catalogue featuring guest guitars by (wait for it!) Ian MacKaye. Well done, Mr. Franzen!

James Joyce | Ulysses | Vintage | 1933

Got that one out of the way.

David Markey, dir. | Reality 86’d | We Got Power Films | 1986/2011

The director of ‘1991: the Year Punk Broke’ and ‘Desperate Teenage Lovedolls’ also played drums in Painted Willie, one of the bands in SST Records’ bloated late 80’s stable. Painted Willie—along with Greg Ginn’s side project Gone—toured the United States in 1986 on what turned out to be Black Flag’s final tour.

For years, rumors swirled regarding ‘Reality 86’d,’ the film Markey shot while on tour. Greg Ginn, Black Flag’s guitarist (and owner of SST) blocked the film’s release, citing fuzzy legal reasons, adding to the film’s apocryphal status.

One day in May, the film surfaced online—Markey says he was inspired to post it on Vimeo by a Henry Rollins column which lambasted Ginn for never paying royalties to bands on his label— and disappeared just as quickly. (Enterprising surfers can track it down, I’m sure.)

‘Reality 86’d’ has always been a great story. As a movie, it’s not too shabby, either. Plenty of Super-8 performances with soundboard mixes, tour jokes, and road montages, as well as footage of the well-oiled last Black Flag lineup (with rhythm section Anthony Martinez and C’el).  The rawness of the footage serves the band—and their aesthetic, and legacy—well.

Medications | Completely Removed | Dischord | 2010

Sufficiently mathy to keep me scratching my head when I try to figure out time signatures; sufficiently poppy to induce head-bobbing, with virtuoso sung (not shouted) vocals in the midst.

Patti Smith | Just Kids | Ecco | 2010

I wasn’t expecting much—as with Talking Heads and Elvis Costello, I missed the developmental stage I probably needed to really grok Patti Smith’s albums. But wow! Smith’s late 60’s New York City navigation full of sentiment without resorting to the ‘-al,’ with a cast of characters familiar in name but fully developed through Smith’s observations.

Mike Watt | “Hyphenated-Man” | Clenchedwrench | 2011
dos | dos y dos | Clenchedwrench | 2011

Quite a year for Mike Watt: “Hyphenated-Man” intertwines a typically weird set of concepts (characters in a Bosch triptych become the cast of ‘Wizard of Oz’) in his third rock opera, the first since 2004’s ‘Divine Comedy’-inspired rumination on illness ‘The Secondman’s Middle Stand.’ “Hyphenated-Man” is written in the style and spirit of the Minutemen, Watt’s early 80’s punk band which ended tragically with the death of singer/guitarist D. Boon in 1985. Watt used Boon’s Telecasted to write the songs on the new record—his departed friend’s presence is stamped all over the album, which blazes through 30 songs in 48 minutes. Easily Watt’s best and most cohesive work since 1984’s ‘Double Nickels On The Dime,’ due in no small part to the musical agility and endurance of his backing band, the Missingmen (guitarist Tom Watson, formerly of Slovenly, and drummer Raul Morales).

As if that’s not enough, Watt and Kira, late of Black Flag, released their first album as dos since 1996. It’s an odd concept, to be sure—two bass players, no drums, half-sung vocals—but the duo successfully wrestle each other for both dominance and the listener’s attention with ping-pongy blurts and rumbles which occasionally approach something resembling structure.

Billy Wimsatt | Please Don’t Bomb The Suburbs | Soft Skull | 2011

The artist formerly known as Upski bust through with ‘Bomb The Suburbs.’ Since then, he’s advocated for philanthropy via the ‘Cool Rich Kids Movement,’ the dissolution of prisons, and in his latest, not working in the non-profit/lefty sector. The old chestnut about “fucking shit up from the inside” is explained as credibly as I’ve ever heard it.


More Michael T. Fournier here.

Back to 2011 directory.

Attention Span 2010 – Dana Ward

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Patti Smith | Just Kids | Ecco | 2010

I read this as the sun went down during a three hour layover at the Philadelphia airport turning what looked to be three of life’s most tedious hours into three of its most magical.

Franco “Bifo” Berardi | The Soul at Work | Semitotext(e) | 2010

“The mobile phone makes possible the connection between the needs of semio-capital and the mobilization of the living labor of cyber-space. The ringtone of the mobile phone calls the workers to reconnect their abstract time to the reticular flows”

Word to Bifo.

David Brazil | Spy Wednesday | TAXT | 2010
David Brazil | 1-18-09 | @ A Voicebox | 2009

“One is not permitted to forget that/this world is ordered as it is/according to protocols of violence/& exploitation. On which we/batten.”  (from Spy Wednesday)

Anne Boyer | The 2000s: A History of the Future in Advance of Itself

“I wrote yet another revolutionary email. The revolutionary email said: ‘Culture is a barbarism against the soul’ & ‘because I have loved so many others the stakes are not myself.’”

Laura Moriarty, ed. | A Tonalist Poetry Feature | Jacket #40 | 2010
Laura Moriarty, ed. | A Tonalist Poetry Feature | Aufgabe #8 | 2010

“Some people write lyric poetry because they just want to and think it’s great. Some write it though they think it’s impossible. The latter are A Tonalists.”

So much incredible writing in these two sections that I can’t even begin to name favorites. Both sections have been inexhaustible resources of pleasure & inspiration this year.

Thom Donovan | Wild Horses of Fire | | ongoing

Thom’s blog is an incredible ever evolving constellation of art writing, poems (his own & others), proposals, calls for action, & always, more generally, a call for re-thinking. Astonishing intelligence is mated here to astonishing warmth.

Lisa Robertson | R’s Boat | California | 2010
Lisa Robertson | The Lisa Robertson Issue; ed. Dan Thomas Glass | With+Stand #4 | 2010

Glass’ great editorial work in the Lisa Robertson issue of With + Stand made for a beautiful & diverse companion while reading through R’s Boat this spring in one long extended sigh of happy envy.

Lisa Howe | Sensible Sensations | unpublished manuscript | 2010

This long poem of Lisa’s is a work of ekphrasis (written after a show by Cincinnati artist Matt Morris), &  also a  celebration of community, written with a special consideration for the artists & writers & musicians in Cincinnati’s Brighton neighborhood. I had the pleasure to hear Lisa read it twice this spring, & each time the dynamism & loveliness of the writing linked me up to the loveliness & dynamism of our local experience together.

Lauren Dolgen, concept | Teen Mom | MTV | 2010

Too powerful, complex & problematic to say a lot about here, but this is the first reality series I’ve ever loved, if that’s what I should say about how this show makes me feel.

Mark Fisher | Capitalist Realism | Zero Books | 2010

“So long as we believe (in our hearts) that capitalism is bad, we are free to continue to participate in capitalist exchange.”

Helene Cixous | Three Steps of the Ladder of Writing | Columbia | 1993
Brandon Brown | The Poems of Gaius Valerius Catallus | Unpublished ms | 2010

A friend sent me the Cixous thinking I’d like it & boy oh boy was he right! With the Patti Smith thing this book has been the calibrating writing of my summer. I’ve read it twice & keep going back, & every time I end up exhilarated, dying to read all the books she’s attending, & dying to write more books of my own. Outstanding! As to Brown’s translation of Catallus I’ve been reading this book off and on through out the year& it’s as big, as stupefying & wondrous as the universe itself. Don’t sleep.

More Dana Ward here. His Attention Span for 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004. Back to directory.