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Posts Tagged ‘Stephanie Young

Attention Span 2011 | Jeanine Webb

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Joshua Clover | Fragment on the Machine | Handmade chapbook, 4 poems plus translations into French by Abigail Lang | 2011

“Gilded Age”’s throwdown aphorisms: “The best poetry will have contempt for its era but so will the worst” ; “it must align itself with work—meaning hatred/of work—it must desire/change so much it is accused of being in love/with annihilation.” Dante’s Francesca in the whirlwind of the Inferno’s 5th Canto illumed as the subject of circulation of capital, of love’s inability to fully remove us from this peregrination (Yeats, yes), where we are caught “sweet with longing” as “downwards to darkness/on extended credit” we fall, the industries of the empire abandoned massively still shining on the farther shore of the crisis—

Brian Ang | Paradise Now | grey book | 2011

Lenin horizontal, orgies on acid, free education Pavlovas, FLCL metabeer, bankrupt Chocobos anniliate the banks, and you know, cats. Receive +3 Intellect. Bitey. Ang,: “My poems disturb myself.” Perhaps an increasingly worthy aspiration.

Claude Closky | Les miens suivi de Biennales | Éditions Al Dante | 2009

Conceptual French poet uses celebrity names as raw material for sonnets in alexandrines, then juxtaposes them to poems formed in the same way from the names of artists from the Biennales. Surprising wit and pleasure quotient gained in reading them.

Uyen Hua | a/s/l | ingirumimusnocteetconsumimurigni | 2011

Age, sex, location. Melancholy, dendrital, funny-ass remix that understands our divided hearts, and keeps our constellations while avoiding mere glibdom (Lil Wayne approached like a pietà, heartfelt dreams involving Kevin Spacey, bombs in Kandahar mixed with tabloid hot or not sorrows). The “fee” one “pays to Mary J. Blige.” These are “songs about us.” “sometimes you just have to shrug/ put the record on repeat.” Dude, it’s so like that. Everyone I know is already imitating her, she’s that good. ❤

Chris Nealon | Plummet | Edge | 2009

Dear Chris Nealon, I can read this book again and again. And have this year. You make my trips to the drugstore so much better because I think of your lines on “pure despair.” It’s a groove. “If you treat the day as a melody, is that a kind of friendliness? Or text – is genre friendly?” I’m happy to dance to this workable theory up in da club. “Future anterior, hey/I’m running a little late” The system (thankfully) is still breaking down.

Juliana Spahr & Stephanie Young | A Megaphone | ChainLinks | 2011

Welcome outpouring of shiny ludic incisiveness and awful fact. Rhizomatic tentacled global hybridity and voices of women on their poetry communities and projects. Expansive, best read in doses, to my mind. Feels productively circular. Includes Spahr’s and Young’s great essay from 2007, “Numbers Trouble,” the importance of which 2010’s VIDA study again affirmed, to our dismay and ongoing critique.

K. Lorraine Graham | Terminal Humming | Edge | 2009

Honeycombs of zircon bureaucracy and power beeswax in the passive servomechanisms and pentagons. “I was a very minor missionary, actually a heretic, but I toiled/wholeheartedly in the vineyards because it was funfunfun.” Ready to bloodlet (blow up) through lacrosse (soup and salad) and an axe (automatic shredder) and go with produce bounce (get potassium). “Schizoid and hermetic.” Incandescent anger illuminates a lot for the ALIVE. “Missing trains, feeling wild in empty transit gates.”; “Female/until further notice.”

Tu Fu, tr. David Hinton | The Selected Poems of Tu Fu | New Directions | 1989

For when the crows come in from far capitals and tumbleweeds skip over the wells. “Mountain yellows fall. Startled I call out to my son Are there northern winds?” We are facing snow. “There isn’t time for new dikes. Enlisting /Mu Wang’s turtles and crocodiles is impossible.” The moaning of painted horns, will it ever stop? “Let’s talk things over, little buds—open delicately, sparingly.”

Frank O’Hara | manuscript translation of Mallarmé’s Un coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hasard (A throw of the dice will never abolish chance) | unknown date

Wouldn’t you like to know! The text’s a continuous block with no forced carriage returns or lineation, though Mallarmé’s capitals are retained. It is my conviction that this intrapoet formal denial experiment produces a new kind of beauty all compact. Writing about it, when I can. It’s like two of the hot poets I love having sex in my mind because and well furthermore that’s what is IS.

Kevin Killian | Action Kylie | ingirumimusnocteetconsumimurigni | 2008

Glitter hymn and invocation to the “secret understanding” of fan and diva, touched by “cold, hard” tears. A “secret understanding” that is also like “E.M. Forster’s concept of homosexuality as a willed gift.” Also, more, you know, cats.

Sandra Simonds | Warsaw Bikini | Bloof | 2008

I read at least one half of this on the beach in Kona in a bikini. The semantics are aggregrated gloriously and constantly threaten to deforest themselves. Or hammerhead shark-attack themselves. Plathian and Beckettish in the most brainy and sinister sense: manic nursery rhymes and the social contaminations, water wasps, the awful Doctor Dura Mater undercarriage.

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Jeanine Webb’s poems have appeared in many journals, most recently in ARMED CELL, with two poems forthcoming in Lana Turner. Her essay on celebrity and poetics will appear in Tripwire. She helps organize San Diego’s Agitprop reading series and edits the cartonera-style journal TACOCAT. 

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Attention Span 2009 – K. Silem Mohammad

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Kevin Davies | The Golden Age of Paraphernalia | Edge Books | 2008

Like Davies’ earlier Comp, this is structurally little more than a series of sound bites strung together as “verse.” Yet also like Comp, it crackles with Ecclesiastical scorn and verve. The conscious and subconscious minds are sitting together on a sofa trying to relate the big game to the latest CSPAN feed of senate hearings, and these broadcasts interrupt them.

Craig Dworkin | Parse | Atelos | 2008

Page after page of … parsing. And the text that is parsed (an 1874 grammar manual by Edwin A. Abbott) is itself a treatise on parsing. One might think that this is a perfect example of a “conceptualist” book that asks merely to be thought about rather than read, and for some people that is probably the more attractive option. But those people will miss the metagrammatical massage that prods the reader’s brain into little shudders (not quite paroxysms) of attentiveness, of alertness, of being-in-poetry.

Robert Fitterman | Rob the Plagiarist | Roof Books | 2009

Contains the already-classic “This Window Makes Me Feel,” as well as other manipulations of public discourse and commercial sense-input. Fitterman plays the part of a Benjaminian flaneur, but one as he might exist in the world of John Carpenter’s They Live—a flaneur who is not wearing those special glasses that let you see the aliens and the capitalist dystopia they have erected for what they are.

Robert Fitterman and Vanessa Place | Notes on Conceptualisms | Ugly Duckling Presse | 2009

Shallow art-theory rehash or stimulating commentary on contemporary poetics? Both? Oh, it couldn’t be both. Admit it: for a week or two, you too were reading this little blue booklet and actually trying to make sense of the proposition that conceptual writing is allegorical writing.

K. Lorraine Graham | Terminal Humming | Edge Books | 2009

A deftly casual versish essay on different stages of social ambience (from “droll” to “malignant”). Its timbre is perfectly captured in the title pun: either a bustling public nexus, or a fatal condition of subverbal singing-along. Graham hits a perfect balance of easygoing “girlishness” and sardonic bemusement.

Kevin Killian | Action Kylie | ingirumimusnocteetcomsumimurigni | 2009

There should be a periodic announcement made over loudspeakers on the main streets of major cities: Citizens! Why do so many of you seem to have neglected to notice that Kevin Killian is one of our finest poets? Because you were too busy being impressed by his fiction? No excuse. He is also (this is me now, not the loudspeaker) one of the few poets writing today who can still do transmissive (e.g., Spicerian) lyric convincingly. Heartbreakingly.

David Larsen | Names of the Lion | Atticus/Finch 2009

Go find a book that is either a more beautiful physical object or a more stunning instance of creative scholarship. Larsen’s loving translation of Ibn Khalawayh’s treatise (with commentary) should be written up in every arts and literature review section of every major newspaper and magazine worldwide as a major publishing event. Mindbogglingly, this unbearably gorgeous Atticus/Finch “chapbook” (too humble a word) costs only $10.

Chris Nealon | Plummet | Edge Books | 2009

It’s hard to think, in the world of contemporary poetry, of very many books that spawn a popular (I mean, popular among other poets, anyway) catch phrase within what seems like mere moments of their publication. I wouldn’t be surprised to see “I am not gay, I am from the future!” on T-shirts and bumper stickers soon. The obvious stylistic reference point for Nealon’s “voice” is O’Hara, but this is far from being derivative nth-generation New York School; it’s absolutely modern in all the right ways.

Mel Nichols | Catalytic Exteriorization Phenomenon | Edge Books | 2009

Nichols asks early in this book, “can a woman compete with the city”? The question is answered in the pages that follow by a flurry of winged images and phrases like paper scraps from a shredded diary flying down busy streets, between skyscrapers, in and out of shops and offices and homes. Nichols renders both the sensually vivid and mundanely bureaucratic details of everyday life with a lyric attentiveness that constantly places the “nucleus of the individual / in productive tension with the collective expanse of white.”

Jordan Scott | Blert | Coach House Books | 2008

The author, a chronic stutterer, set out deliberately to write poetry that would be hard for him to read aloud. A pretty rudimentary concept, but the resulting verbal bumper car ride taps into essential currents of recent prosodic weather patterns. Rubbery, blubbery, heap big unheimlich fun.

Stephanie Young | Picture Palace | ingirumimusnocteetcomsumimurigni | 2009

Sometimes I forget that Stephanie Young is not a phenomenally famous pop-soul diva. I really don’t have words to describe the complex and passionate effects her work produces. Tonally and formally, it’s all over the map, and it makes the map look fabulous. Maybe my favorite move of hers (among the many she routinely busts) is her talent for the abrupt declaration of a devastating, obvious fact, such as her observation that “of course the revolution won’t be televised! Not because the most important things don’t appear on television but because the revolution will knock out electrical plants and the TV itself will collapse under the collapsing house.”

More K. Silem Mohammad here.

Attention Span 2009 – Chris Hosea

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Lisa Robertson | Lisa Robertson’s Magenta Soul Whip | Coach House | 2009

Robertson’s books punk baroque mythologies, riff on errant possibilities, tickle traditions. Debbie: An Epic, or The Weather, or The Men, is each a world, a project. This volume gathers shorter poems that are just as ravishing. The back cover shouts in big silver capitals: “MY FIDELITY IS MY OWN DISASTER.” If you read this book in public, you may get curious looks, as I did on the F train. The lyrics are long on capital-R Romance. Each time you ride in the Soul Whip, turn up the stereo, roll down the windows and see stars shining even in hellish places. “Utopia is so emotional. / Then we get used to it.” Blues music Coleridge would download if he could.

Roberto Bolaño | 2666 | Farrar Straus | 2008

Bolaño’s epic, in a symphonic translation by Natasha Wimmer, resists any attempt at summary in the same way that it humanely mocks totalizing interpretations. 2666 inhabits the narrative space Homer’s swineherd summoned when he told Odysseus, “The nights are endless now.”

Hadley Haden Guest, ed. | The Collected Poems of Barbara Guest | Wesleyan | 2008
Barbara Guest | Forces of Imagination: Writing on Writing | Kelsey Street | 2003

Guest’s essays, which lay out her conception of imagination as elusive and visionary (“obscure light…the mysterious side of thought”), helped me begin to unlock the Wesleyan collected and see how Guest’s poems collage images. Her poems rarely argue or lead. They provide beautifully designed spaces for thought, to be returned to in all seasons.

Mel Nichols | Catalytic Exteriorization Phenomenon | Edge | 2009

Nichols leaps the gap between one non sequitur and the next with all the grace of Buster Keaton. I guess I was thinking of the news when something musical came from the hard drive, and we were working days again.

Stuart Bailey, ed. | DOT DOT DOT 17 | 2008

Will Holder’s lecture on “the poetics of CONCRETE POETRY and documenting the work of FALKE PISANO” is transcribed and lineated, and though it doesn’t purport to be a poem, strikes me as the most genuinely new work in the genre I’ve read this year. Holder, with this patchwork of citations about concrete poetry (including examples of the form and quotations from his own critical writings), genially takes poetry about poetry to a deadpan reductio ad absurdum. Not for the faint of heart.

Stephanie Young | Picture Palace | ingirumimusnocte | 2008

Reading Young’s book feels like being admitted to someone else’s daydream. Or getting lost in a Jonas Mekas movie, only digital. A gorgeous sprawl.

Jennifer Moxley | Clampdown | Flood | 2009

Moxley’s narratives take craft to the limit without losing the easygoing lilt that makes this book such a pleasure. This is poetry as remarkable for its intellectual scope as its generous attempts to imagine and recreate the first person plural in a boldly imaginative variety of guises.

Martha Dow Fehsenfeld and Lois More Overbeck, eds. | The Letters of Samuel Beckett, 1929-1940 | Cambridge | 2009

The bulk of this selection of letters, including drafts of poems, is addressed to Beckett’s friend Thomas McGreevy, fellow acolyte of Joyce, poet and critic. How amazing to see Beckett’s perspective and humor change and sharpen with the years! He sets himself questions he will attempt forever, such as, “Am I to set my teeth & be disinterested? […] Is one to insist on a crucifixion for which there is no demand?”

Renee Gladman | To After That (Toaf) | Atelos | 2008

In this critical memoir of the process of thinking about writing a novel, Gladman invents a new architectural period of nostalgia and ambition.

Paolo Virno | Multitude: Between Innovation and Negation | Semiotext(e) | 2008

Jokes make a revolution in the workplace. “The joke is a public action that can be accomplished solely by means of words.” File under philosophy.

Chris Hosea is co-editor, with Cecily Iddings, of The Blue Letter.

Attention Span 2009 – Rodney Koeneke

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Kit Robinson | The Messianic Trees: Selected Poems 1976-2003 | Adventures in Poetry | 2009

“When I was a musician’s musician / I used to be a poet’s poet / then a black box” is the story of American poetry, postwar to next war to the one after that, rendered to clean Dolchese. ‘76 daps 2003: “Hey, poetry lovers! / It’s good to see you / here on the page.”

Julian T. Brolaski | A Buck in a Corridor | flynpyntar press | 2008

Saunter Gowanus with enough English in your pocket and it curls to its Middle like this, a new-gender’d Cockaigne “wher no bivalves gurgle at our kushing.”

Norma Cole | Where Shadows Will: Selected Poems 1988-2008 | City Lights | 2009

City Lights brought back to life via “the whole story of the light” set to music of “enormous rotating blades.” Poetry as algebra proving the theorem “that dictionary may be a companion to art but life/is the most sentimental thing there is.”

David Larsen | Names of the Lion | Atticus/Finch | 2009

Truth in advertising: all 500 hundred of Ibn Khalawayh’s names for the lion (“Whose Complaint Sets Others Moving,” “Whose Coat is the Color of Papyrus,” “He Who Looks for Trouble in the Night”) shined and seductively annotated “in the procedural spirit of recent avant-garde tradition.” “If Names of the Lion reads like an elegiac text, it is because we of the twenty-first century mourn the lion’s lost mastery over the earth.”

Barbara Guest | The Collected Poems of Barbara Guest | Wesleyan | 2008

Jupiter no longer so invisibly pulling so many of ‘09’s moons.

Douglas Oliver | Whisper ‘Louise’ | Reality Street | 2005

Louise Michel, “Red Virgin” of the Paris Commune, turned Revolution into paper-mâché and held sick horses in the street. Oliver makes her contradictions a piñata for his own life to fit into, the better to study the candy of our shared political dreams.

Stephanie Young | Picture Palace | ingirumimusnocteetconsumimurigni | 2008

Memoir goes to the movies and comes back as Parker Posey in a script by Yvonne Rainer. “That we could come of age inside another person’s coming of age story, or come to political consciousness inside another person’s coming to political consciousness story, haven’t people been doing that forever?”

Mel Nichols | Catalytic Exteriorization Phenomenon | Edge | 2009

Say it forty times fast and watch “little ships / of sensitive data” leave magic dimes behind everyone’s seats.

Michael Gizzi | New Depths of Deadpan | Burning Deck | 2009

Gizzi’s the Moses of tablets turned to sound, then dropped from the cliffs to hit ‘C’. This new Sinai’s pure Barbasol, all wobble and aloe and swing. When “blessings descend but no one knows how to redeem them,” then “grammar cracks eggs as best it can.”

Brandon Downing | bdown68’s Channel | YouTube | 2009

Disjunction soaked in the world’s B-movies and pulled out as syntax again. Jung never looked so harajuku, subtitles so lyrically green.

David Brazil & Sara Larsen, eds. | Try! Magazine | self-published | 2008-2009

Periplum to a party that would never have Pound as a member. Proof positive that toner and staples can make a Bay Area anywhere.

More Rodney Koeneke here.

Attention Span 2009 – Stan Apps

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Harold Abramowitz | Dear Dearly Departed | Palm Press | 2008

A book about the difficulty and sadness of speaking to someone who is no longer present. Somewhere between an elegy and a guide to epistolary conventions, it contains every emotion that could possibly go in a letter:  “And that was looking around. It was a very serious business and tomorrow was another day, but not a day of torment. Not a day of torment.”

Steve Aylett | Lint | Thunder’s Mouth Press | 2005

An absurdist biography of a fictional science-fiction writer (based loosely on Philip Dick). This book is very funny and written in a complexly mannered and overloaded prose that resembles poetry:  “His very awareness of words’ limitations made him run around like some nutter with a blowpipe, creating a career described variously as a triumph, a benchmark for defeat, a systemized kitsch torus, hell on a stick, a ferocious bluff, the revenge of the Alexandrian library, a strange honking sound, not too shabby, glyph contraband, nutty slack, exhausting, a catalog of fevers, and ‘gear.’”

Micah Ballard | Parish Krewes | Bootstrap Press | 2009

Lyric poems about the beauty of those who are dead. A displaced erotic energy takes the shape of mysterious ritual:  “the theme of death is our thiefhood.”

David Buuck | The Shunt | Palm Press | 2009

Ten years of poems charting the ups and downs of our collective crisis mentality. A poetry of puns and outrage, prying at the scab of our public discourse:  “thus – this – these – / Stanzas in Medication // (spits) // whose side / effects are you / — on?”

Lawrence Giffin | Get the Fuck Back into that Burning Plane | Ugly Duckling Press  | 2009

A prison-house of linguistic complexity. Giffin studies how consumerist discourse encloses and subordinates other discursive modes:  “your comprehensiveness is undercut / by the purchasing power of others.”

Renee Gladman | To After That (Toaf) | Atelos | 2008

The story of an unfinished book, carefully chronicling the book’s drafts and why it was repeatedly dropped and abandoned. Ultimately, the book-about-the-book takes the place of the book per se. A wonderful articulation of the rhythms of a writer’s life and the sensation of nursing along an inchoate book:  “it was devastating. . . to have written a book and to have lost it and to be holding it there all at once.”

Jennifer Moxley | Clampdown | Flood Editions | 2009

This poetry has the political intensity and representational clarity of mid-career Auden. Moxley uses allegorical tableau to frame her progressive critique of liberal political orthodoxy. I admire her embrace of direct statement:  “I remember feeling / a hollow failure at the particularity / of these pleasures.”  Or “The / private-sector mercenaries / ride roughshod over espousers / of eroded nobility as well as the / merely weak.”

Julien Poirier | Back On Rooster | Gneiss Press | 2007

A chapbook length poem, published in an edition of 52. A study of mental process, the inexorable bob-and-weave of consciousness carrying on:  “it’s an accident / when it / happens I like it / it changes me / I appear”

Michael Nicoloff and Alli Warren | Bruised Dick | no press | no date (probably 2007)

A polymorphously perverse collaborative collection. I think it’s sold out but hopefully will be re-released someday with the same silly picture of the two author’s faces blended on the cover. This is probably the most fun book on my list—I read it probably 20 times:  “stake a claim in there / where the damp and emotional / rust builds up all disco / on your balls and ass”

Erika Staiti | Verse/Switch & Stop-Motion | no press | 2008

Just a Xeroxed booklet of very good poems. I expect these will be published in a less ephemeral form eventually. A loving study of aggression as a social dynamic. “when you’ve got nothing to give, you give someone a shiner // dot blogspot dot com”

Stephanie Young | Picture Palace | ingirumimusnocteetconsumimurigni | 2008

A fascinating dislocation of the biographical impulse. Work that charts subjectivity’s accumulation and erosion:  “Many things must be made new for a tonal shift to stick.”

More Stan Apps here.

Lipstick Traces – June 2009

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Most of the mp3 files linked to on Lipstick of Noise live on other servers, but occasionally I upload clips to the Third Factory site hosted by Duration. According to the Awstats, these are the eleven most listened to tracks for June 2009:

Rosmarie Waldrop – Shorter American Memory of Declaration of Independence

Julie Patton – Alphabet Soup

Charles Baudelaire, trans. Keith Waldrop – Carrion

Eugene Ostashevsky – DJ Spinoza Talks to Flipper

Paul Dutton – Untitled

Alice Notley – In the Pines 14 (excerpt)

Lisa Robertson – “Plentifully of reason…” from The Men

Daniil Kharms, trans. Matvei Yankelevich – Blue Notebook 4

Jackson Mac Low – from Black Tarantula Crossword Gatha

Stephanie Young – fr. Betty Page We Love You Get Up

Charles Bernstein – Solidarity Is the Name We Give to What We Cannot Hold

Self Portrait with Internet

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lipstickStephanie Young – opening section of Betty Page We Love You Get Up (02’09). Full (slightly variant) text at Eoagh. Full reading on A Voice Box. Lipstick of Noise tracklist. Earlier entries here.

Written by Steve Evans

June 16, 2009 at 11:41 am