Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mark Young Announces a New Issue of Otoliths

There's some Herodotus quote about cyclones not staying us from accomplishing our appointed course; &, despite two more — one of which tripped harmlessly down our main street — since the one that caused the previous issue to come out a couple of days early, we're back on schedule &issue thirty-three of Otoliths is now up.

In this quarter's mailbag, missives from Anne Gorrick, SS Prasad, Richard Lopez & Lars Palm, Paul Pfleuger, Jr., Mark Melnicove, Mark Reep,Márton Koppány, Peter Ganick, Philip Byron Oakes, Jack Galmitz, Eric Hoffman, David-Baptiste Chirot, Bob Marcacci, David Dick, Youdhisthir Maharjan, Raymond Farr, Steven Fraccaro, Heidi A. Howell, Scott Metz, A. J. Huffman, Richard J. Fleming, John M. Bennett, Les Wicks, Howie Good, Jean Vengua, Demosthenes Agrafiotis, Martin Edmond, Sheila e. Black & Courtney Spohn, Sheila e. Black & Caleb Puckett, Andrew Taylor, Sophie Herxheimer & Andrew Taylor, Bobbi Lurie, Wayne Mason, Cecelia Chapman & Jeff Crouch, Diana Magallón, Mitchell Garrard, Robert McDonald, Joe Balaz, Claudio Parentela, Sara Jean Lane, Chris Ashby, Anne Elvey, bruno neiva, Lakey Comess, Maria Garcia Teutsch, Nicholas Bon, Francesco Aprile, Simon Perchik, Steve Tills, Owen Bullock, Anela Aliotis, Olivier Cans, Mark DuCharme, Sarah James, Roger Williams, Massimo Stirneri, Jeff Harrison, Alberto Vitacchio, Neil Ellman, Carla Bertola, Aditya Bahl, Cat Leonard, Anne-Marie JEANJEAN, John Pursch, sean burn, Lucy Wilks, Pete Spence, Willie Smith, Jake Goetz, Johannes S. H. Bjerg, Marcia Arrieta, Sam Langer, Susan Kachor Conlon, J. D. Nelson, nathaxn walker, Jim Eigo, Michael Brandonisio, Bob Heman, Spencer Selby, Bogdan Puslenghea, Ric Carfagna, Reijo Valta, Carey Scott Wilkerson, Katrinka Moore, & Javant Biarujia.

Mark Young 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

There are some phrases rattling around in my head.  I haven't figured out how to work with them yet.


There are pieces of music in me too which I'm trying to figure out how to extend.


I hear words, figures of speech, shades of meaning.  Music is more elusive.  Still learning the language.


And what do I see and not see?


Monday, April 28, 2014

Listening to the great Lou Ann Barton.


Writing has been a struggle lately.  I'm stuck at an impasse in Appearances.  Also the publication of Dipstick (Diptych) and the NY trip have been distractions (good distractions, but distractions nonetheless).

It's repeatedly been the case that when a new book comes out I find it hard to start over again on new projects until the hangover of the past/just published writing begins to recede.


Interesting email from Anne Gorrick today.  She was thinking out loud about the use of repetition in writing.  It's a major area of interest for me.

Repetition, near repetition and mutations, figure significantly in my work.  They're not easy to use effectively though.

I don't think I can write interestingly about repetition, but I do think that I have written interestingly at times using different principles of repetition.


Breathe in, breathe out.  Continue...


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Earlier this week
I saw a crow
attack a sparrow,

peck it
to death,

partially eat it,

and then fly
with its carcass.

I always thought
just ate carrion.

Obviously I
know nothing
about crows.

I just finished an enjoyable first read of Alex Gildzen's latest, Lives and Deaths of the Poets/Another Book of Rain Poems, available from The Poet's Haven for a nominal sum.  Published as a flip book, it is two--two chapbooks in one!

Here's a poem from the Another Book of Rain Poems section which I found particularly affecting--


                                         missed bus                  war of silence
                                                      (travel as accumulated stress)

                                                       on the way
                                                                              to Kalithea
                                                                                                       in the rain

Happy Birthday, Alex!

Friday, April 25, 2014

If you're interested in Situationist thought/history, go here for a great set of links to films, texts, etc.


Listening to the always brilliant Robert Cray's new album In My Soul.


It's a damp Spring day.


I've been thinking fitfully about incoherence.


One of the things I'm reading now is Badiou's Philosophy for Militants.  Those French guise.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Feeling kind of desultory.  "Desultory" is a word I associate with Robert Creeley, by the way.  For whatever that's worth.

Words lead one wherever one might go.  It's hard to parse.


I'm listening to Family Style  (the Brothers Vaughan).


I'm thinking this summer I should concentrate on learning how to play the circle of fourths.


Poetry, philosophy, painting have always been mixed up in my head.

I have a history with practicing poetry and thinking philosophy.  Painting has always been an unrealized yearning.  Much like music.

While in Port Jeff' with Tom Fink I got a sense of his painting process.  After a guitar session, he showed me how he started his canvases.  It made me want to paint.


I crave surrounds of sound, color, meaning, flesh...

Monday, April 21, 2014

Thomas Fink's Introduction of My Marsh Hawk Reading in NYC

Here's Thomas Fink's introduction of me at the Marsh Hawk Press launch on 4/11/14.  If you click on it you'll be taken to the Marsh Hawk website and will find introductions to the readings of Harriet Zinnes and Mary Mackey also.  Enjoy!
(NB: there a small error of fact in Tom's text.  He refers to my Otoliths book as "Parts and Other Poems."  It should be Parts and Other Pieces.)

In the Marsh Hawk Prize’s eleven-year history, only Tom Beckett, author of for Dipstick(Diptych), has enjoyed an extensive poetic reputation preceding his selection by the contest judge. Published in 2006 by Meritage Press, Unprotected Texts is a compilation of nearly three decades of work, much of which is previously published in chapbooks and such anthologies as Silliman’s celebrated In the American Tree, And since then, Otoliths has brought out two more important collections, This Poem/ What Speaks?/ A Day and Parts and Other Poems. But Mr. Beckett was also well known in the eighties as the editor of The Difficulties, a journal that did much to bring significant attention to Language Poetry and poetics. He has also been curator of two fine interview zines, E-X-C-H-A-N-G-E V-A-L-U-E-S and Ask/Tell. Indeed, Beckett is a maestro of that underappreciated form, the poetry interview.
I wish to deliver the poet’s full presence to you soon, so, at the risk of being mildly outrageous, I’ll discuss only the double-dipping title of Tom Beckett’s book and the poems’ self-questioning or self-consuming titles. Well, are there two poems in this doubly titled book? One might argue that a two-page poem, “My Robot,” is folded within the first of the two. Then again, is his book doubly titled if both are, in some way, put under erasure? Dipstick is crossed out; is the poet therefore bracketing or suspending possibilities of measurement? Does the wet line where the oil stops constitute only a shadowy trace of presence? (Diptych), is put in parentheses: does this make it a parergon, an insignificant aside, or do the parentheses call all the more attention to it?. “Overpainted Thresholds” suggests the placing of a boundary under erasure, not through an eraser’s dematerializing action that nevertheless leaves a residue, but through material (paint) that obscures the physical marker beneath it. Oil on a dipstick signifies an “overpainting” and a “threshold,” too. And the poem-title, “I forgot,” which turns out to be the first two words of most sentences in this catalogue-poem, bespeaks the tracing of a gap, a rupture in memory with consequences for narrative and for human action. Both sides of this poetic diptych speak to one another as measurement of displacement and displacement of measurement. As for the troubling third term, the title “My Robot” refers both to a steely measurement of human attributes and the question of whether technology really possesses “memory” or an ability to “forget.”

I'm baaack!

Arrived home Saturday evening after 8 days away and was met by a house full of relatives here for Easter weekend.  Today is the first time I've had a chance to catch my breath since the morning of April 11.

It's now 11:11 AM and I'm a little dicombobulated.

So far
today I
have peed
in 3
of these
United States
and in
many more
of mind.

(Philadelphia airport 4/19/14)

The Marsh Hawk Press launch/party went well.  I read "I Forgot" from Dipstick Diptych (available from Small Press Distribution, Amazon, and myself--in case you've forgotten).  People seemed to enjoy the piece.  It was good to meet my fellow readers and everyone associated with the press.  The audience was probably about 40 in number.

"I'm a prom dress!"
--Anne Gorrick's parting words at Poets House, Marsh Hawk book launch 4/11/14

One misadventure...I unknowingly lost my cell phone but was reunited with it days later through the good graces of a kind NYC doorman.  Thank you, Vincent!

Spent a few memorable days with Thomas Fink and his wife Molly Mason in Port Jefferson on the far end of Long Island.  Molly gave me personal tour of the Hamptons.  Special point of interest: visiting the Springs cemetery  where Jackson Pollock and Frank O'Hara, et al are buried.  Beneath the name of a decedent on one of the permanent residents' tombstone were the words: "30 percent off"!

Thomas and I had some great conversations, 2 guitar sessions (he's self-taught and has been playing for 40 years) and a wonderful trip to the Museum of Modern Art.

Wednesday I departed Port Jeff' for Connecticut where I happily visited with relatives until Saturday morning when I began wending my way back to Ohio.

Later, taters.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Remember-This Friday:
Spring 2014 Book Launch
& Party at Poets House, NYC
When: Friday, April 11, 2014
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Where: 10 River Terrace, New York City
Free and Open to the Public

I'll be there reading from my new Marsh Hawk Press book Dipstick (Diptych)
Hope I get to see some of you there!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Yesterday I spent 4 hours practicing guitar:  2 hours before class, an hour during class, and an hour after class.  That's a record for me.  I'm paying for it today with a variety of aches and pains.  A slow but dogged learner is what I am.


Yesterday was the first day in the seventies since October.  Heaven.  Today won't get that warm but it's not going to snow.  A very good thing indeed.


I'm listening to A Tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan, a CD which was recorded live in 1995.  Bonnie Raitt, Jimmie Vaughan, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Dr. John, Art Neville (among others) play beautifully on it.  Lovely, lovely recording.


I play a lot of scales.  Have fallen in love with an ascending-descending scale.  You play 3 notes then back up to the second note, play it and then 2 notes forward and so on (a minor pentatonic).  If I get frustrated with trying to get my fingers to shape chords, I play scales and rhythms and then come back to the chords later.