Monday, September 27, 2010


My chapbook THE PLESYRE BARGE has officialy sold out
at Greying Ghost Press.!/GreyingGhostPress

Friday, September 24, 2010

Another fragment from something I wrote that I hope to use one day


When we left no one
came to say goodbye
because even the neighbors remembered how many times
we left milk on the porch
to sour.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

A sentence I wrote the other day which I will use in a poem someday, I hope


I revered the murals in your father's house, especially the one called
The New Boredom.


Thursday, September 9, 2010


Stories in the Worst WayStories in the Worst Way by Gary Lutz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lutz is a writer of lyric sentences. He composes one, then another, then another, then another, then another. Eventually, or finally, these sentences obtain to some kind of fever. The story which these sentences build then breaks. The story ends, abruptly or not, but it ends. Lutz was championed by Gordon Lish, which makes eminent sense, though he materially reminds me at certain moments of Harold Brodkey. (Brodkey was also championed by Gordon Lish at one point, but they had a falling out over some trivial matter, which happens.) Aspects these stories demonstrate: brevity, grotesque detail, sadness, sexual thrummings, an admixing of strange vocabularies and syntactical disruptions, narratives rooted in dream or nightmare, undiagnosable symptoms. And so on. This is a book poets would enjoy. Also paranoiacs. Or writers of the new grotesque. Or writers (and readers, let us not forget readers -- are there readers in this day and age who don't first and foremost think of themselves as writers?) for whom the dark is more intriguing than the light. More effective than what I've expressed thus far would be to quote Lutz. Here are the opening lines from his story 'Onesome':

To get even with myself on behalf of my wife , to see just how far I had been putting her out, I began to ingurgitate my own seed. I had to go through everything twice the first night, because it came out initially as thin as drool and could not have possibly counted as punishment. The next time -- I had let an hour or so elapse -- some beads of it clung to a finger, and a big mucousy nebula spread itself in the bowl of my palm.

I don't mean to suggest the above is 'representative', though it is suggestive of Lutz's style. No matter what one might think of his stories, one can't help but marvel at his brilliantly employed sentences. *

* In this sense, and in this sense alone, he is equal to that other great writer of the lyric sentence: Barry Hannah.

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010


A Crackup at the Race RiotsA Crackup at the Race Riots by Harmony Korine

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I thought the book was a novel, at first, then realized quickly it wasn't, that it was more compendium hastily and sloppily arrived at than a careful selection arranged by an unstated artistic purpose. The book felt very zine-like, a gathering meant to shock and spur, a punk-like contempt within its many furies. When I learned that Korine had indeed written and published a series of zines this book made more sense as an expressive experiment. Those of you who know Korine for his brilliantly strange, disruptive and disturbing movies will find this book familiar. At times it reads very much like a filmscript in the process of being made more final, an unrevised nightmare on the way to a greater concision. If you enjoy Lynch, and maybe Richard Brautigan -- if you enjoy Brautigan's play with innocent forms -- then this book might interest you. It is a book filled with a great deal of space. You'll read it in an afternoon.

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Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of WorkShop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work by Matthew B. Crawford

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I would recommend this book to any student pursuing a liberal arts degree, and to any who might be working toward an MA or PhD. The importance of the issues this book raises can’t be downplayed. Crawford presents here a serious, elegantly written apologia for the trades as a choice for those about to enter the working world bringing with them little but a knowledge of what is arcane, obscure, and perhaps even morally suspect. (This last, my interpretation though not far-fetched.) It is an unfortunate belief in today’s society that the trades and, in particular, those trades that fix the world around us – think mechanic, electrician, carpenter, plumber etc. – are held in low esteem by those who imagine a better life for their children and even for themselves. Yet it is these very occupations that offer much that is cognitively rewarding as well as a measure of independence, and the true material possibility of effecting positively the world in which we live. The trades offer us the chance to experience both unambiguous success and failure – it is the possibility that we might fail before ourselves and our peers upon which Crawford lays the basis for a moral soundness, a kind of humility that he finds lacking in much of the work that we are asked to do in our so-called information society. The office work place, and the work done there, is harshly exposed. For anyone who has performed mind-numbingly dull, deeply unsatisfying and clearly pointless office work, this critique will sound a clear bell. As a former employee of a conservative think-tank whose job consisted in writing reports possessing only the sheen of objectivity but nothing else, Crawford learned a great deal about the dispiriting forces that curl like wood lice in the modern office. So Crawford saves money. He opens a motorcycle repair shop, and while working as a mechanic begins to meditate on work, the nature of work and why some work is sustaining and why other work weakens the soul and body, causes the upright man to wilt, the good woman to surrender herself to pettiness. It is those parts of the book where Crawford writes about motorcycle repair that he attains a pure lyricism. A work of idealism, SHOP CLASS is nevertheless rooted in the pragmatic and material; it is a work that is democratic yet does not shy away from admitting our desire for the rewards that accrue from our personal merits, to know and feel ourselves in possession of human agency, to be given the chance to express an excellence in our daily lives.

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010


My love for epigrams compels me to relay this timely message from Lisa Robertson, encountered in the chapbook cuba A book by Monty Reid (above/ground press, 2005):

People are fucking in the ruins of their recent past.


One could hardly believe otherwise.

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