Saturday, January 30, 2010

215 Invades 212

THIS Sunday, CAConrad & Frank Sherlock cordially invite you to the book party for The City Real & Imagined (Factory School, 2010) at ZINC Bar, introductions by Thom Donovan.

All details at this link:

We look forward to seeing you there, have a great weekend!
CAConrad & Frank Sherlock

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lapsed Insel Weary

This is a review I wrote for CutBank, but it appears to have fallen through the cracks so I figured I'd post it here:

[ lapsed insel weary ]

Tangent Press, 2008
Reviewed by Steven Karl

[ lapsed insel weary ] is Susana Gardner’s first full-length collection of poems. The book opens with “[e v e n as a state of being]” which serves as an introduction to the collection, “color was so different as if in/ violent symphony sound a constant droning a numbing if you/ will but it is the color I miss not the sounds…/” Gardner links color to the similarity of a violent symphony then distinguishes her longing for that of the color and not the sound. Throughout [lapsed insel weary] Gardner proves to be a master at conflating idea through image then separating image and idea back into singulars. It becomes an effective trope because she allows the reader to become orientated into the image before disturbing or re-arranging the logic of the idea, in this way these poems function like a painting or a symphony— the eye takes in the overall image before focusing on a particular color, or one hears the music as a whole before the ear hones in on only one wood-wind. After this initial poem, the book is divided into four sections, [is not is not the], [lapsed insel weary], [to stand to sea], and [ [ [ CODA ] ] ].

Each of these sections explores the loss of love and its accumulative weight. Insel is German for island and much of Gardner’s book vacillates between the lush sereneness and absolute loneliness that comes with such isolation— for love is like an island, you are still a part of the world, yet your interior begins to reshape, which then reshapes the exteriors. There is something unhinged even wild and mesmerizing as this happens. Gardner’s poems are best when they capture this state of flux such as this excerpt of “[ from her ]”

… as and she has no buoy no
boat or song of this song a never knowing flitted
hollow early cast light shadow and streaming
woken with [confusion] of bird-call trained in this sea
she drifts in the cold river water drifts but through
tatted and recollected rows of salt and musk
far from everything she ever knew toward the open

A poem in thirty-four sections, “to stand to sea,” first appeared as a chapbook and I found myself going back to this section repeatedly. This is from section XIV, “ Without realizing such/ our arms, - thus arm/ became entangled” simply the movement of two becoming one and then, “So, you see/ it was difficult/ to use without you, / and for you – without me?” It’s subtle, yet the poet conveys the disorientation of becoming a separate singular again and questions whether the “he” also had trouble readjusting to his limbs that are no longer a shared entity.

The book ends in [ [ [ CODA ] ] ] which is a poem written entirely in brackets. The poet, Rodney Koeneke, conducted an interview with Susana Gardner on his blog, Modern Americans, ( and this is what he had to say about her use of brackets:

One thing I wrung my hands about in describing [lapsed insel weary] is the recurring use of brackets. The punctuation does a kind of violence to the lines by disrupting the ordinary flow of the syntax, closing off the phrase inside and putting it into an adversarial relationship with the rest of the sentence. At the same time, the brackets allow the phrasal units to connect in a looser, more modular way, opening up shifting semantic possibilities…

Koeneke describes the brackets as a “kind of violence," which is especially apt in the closing poem where Gardner manages to get two meanings, because while the whole seems a huge gash recklessly stitched, if you begin to examine each word as an individual there is hope and beauty. There is knowledge gained and a life lived with open eyes; there is not denial, or avoidance, but instead the fortitude of breath, which is continuance.

Quietly honed in its strange
willing— my blind trade-off of all else—
By sea of mapped interiors by sea of
this other other-mind— Our Solstice
Ever - turning

Or as in section XIX, “ Love, - has no beginning or ending but Only/
needs for Continuance.”

* my apologies, a lot of the spacing is off.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Oh Sigh Oh

Hey all, I'm without my computer for a bit so I probably won't update the blog or be able to respond to Facebook, emails, & etc until maybe Thursday or so. I'll check my emails once before 9am & again after 2, but once I leave work I am virtually no more so how about you read the following to keep you from being lonely:

So and So's debut issue here!

Feeling fickle and furry? La Petite Zine's new issue has what you need.

Karla Kelsey and crew are your new and improved Constant Critic.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Yardmeter Editions presents
Saturday January 23rd 7 p.m.

artwork by Richard Kooyman,
screenings of short films
by Cat Tyc and Bernie Deschant,
a theatrical reading
by playwright Nina Morrison,
improvisation by Ed Illades
with Abby Sher,
and a cello performance
by James David Jacobs.

The wine will flow freely. Please join us!

for directions + details

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Face Off/ Face On

Maggy Issue 1 Launch Party 7pm 1/21/10
NYU Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House
58th West 10th Street

featuring new poems by:



Adam Fitzgerald, Alina Gregorian, and Allison Power

FYI: we've moved to the smaller but infinitely more charming Four Faced Liar on
165 West 4th Street, at 6th Avenue.



Emily Pettit & Michelle Taransky read their poems

Buddies, trust us when we tell you that you will not want to miss this reading. These poets write with an otherworldy clarity--& a sweet & mystical fogginess. Incense from the caves. Too many shooting stars. Auguries & practical jokes. Be there. Or we promise: you'll be sad you missed out. Please forward & post far & wide!

Emily Pettit lives in Northampton, MA where she is an editor for both the online literary journal notnostrums and Factory Hollow Press. She has two chapbooks forthcoming, one from Octopus Books and one from Pilot Books.

Michelle Taransky's first book, "Barn Burned, Then," was selected by Marjorie Welish for the 2008 Omnidawn Poetry Prize. Taransky lives in Philadelphia where she works at Kelly Writers House, teaches poetry at Temple University. and co-organizes the Whenever We Feel Like It reading series with Emily Pettit.
Stain Reading

Don't let the winter get you down! Ride the snow yak into the sunset with Priscilla Becker, Laura Carter, Suzanne Frischkorn, Kate Greenstreet, Becca Klaver & D.W. Lichtenberg:

January 22 @ 7 p.m. – Goodbye Blue Monday – Bushwick, Brooklyn


Priscilla Becker’s first book of poems, Internal West, won The Paris Review book prize, and was published in 2003. Her poems have appeared in Fence, Open City, The Paris Review, Small Spiral Notebook, Boston Review, Passages North, Raritan, American Poetry Review, Verse, and The Swallow Anthology of New American Poets; her music reviews in The Nation and Filter magazine; her book reviews in The New York Sun; and her essays in Cabinet magazine and Open City. Her essays have also been anthologized by Soft Skull Press, Anchor Books, and Sarabande. She teaches poetry at Pratt Institute, Columbia University, and in her apartment. Her second book, Stories That Listen, is forthcoming from Four Way Books.


Laura Carter lives in Atlanta, Georgia, where she teaches at two local colleges and writes poetry. Her latest chapbook is The Terrarium of the Frame, with Grey Book Press, and her earlier two chapbooks are Situations, Ungovernable Press, and At the Pulse, Greying Ghost Press. She completed an MFA in poetry at Georgia State University in 2007 and has been living in the East Atlanta area since then.


Suzanne Frischkorn is the author of Lit Windowpane (2008) and Girl on a Bridge forthcoming in 2010, both from Main Street Rag Publishing. In addition she is the author of five chapbooks, most recently American Flamingo (2008). A 2009 Emerging Writers Fellow of The Writer’s Center, her honors also include the Aldrich Poetry Award, and an Artist Fellowship from the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism.


Kate Greenstreet’s second book, The Last 4 Things, is new from Ahsahta Press and includes a DVD containing two short films. Ahsahta published Greenstreet’s case sensitive in 2006. She is also the author of three chapbooks, most recently This is why I hurt you (Lame House Press, 2008). Find her new work in current or forthcoming issues of jubilat, Fence, VOLT, the Denver Quarterly, Court Green, and other journals.


Becca Klaver was born and raised in Milwaukee and now lives in Brooklyn. She holds degrees from the University of Southern California and Columbia College Chicago, and in Fall 2009 began working on a PhD in Literatures in English at Rutgers University. A founding editor of the feminist poetry press Switchback Books, she is the author of the chapbook Inside a Red Corvette: A 90s Mix Tape. Kore Press will publish her first full-length collection of poems, LA Liminal, in March 2010.


D.W. Lichtenberg is the author of THE ANCIENT BOOK OF HIP, an exploration of the phenomenon of hip, released November 2009 and winner of the 2009 Michael Rubin Book Award, and SUMMER SHOWERS, a novel without a home. He is a writer, a filmmaker, a caffeine addict, an obsessive cleaner. He attended NYU where he obtained a BFA in Film. His credits include associate editor on feature film FIFTH FORM & camera operator on feature documentary FOOL IN A BUBBLE. He attends SFSU where he is working towards an MFA in Creative Writing.


Goodbye Blue Monday
1087 Broadway
(corner of Dodworth St)
Brooklyn, NY 11221-3013
(718) 453-6343

J M Z trains to Myrtle Ave
or J train to Kosciusko St

Friday, January 22nd @ 7:30 PM
@ Rose Live Music
Special Guest Host: Gregory Crosby
$5 + one free drink


Rachel Levitsky (*Neighbor*, *Under the Sun*)
Andrew Lundwall (*klang*, *honorable mention*)
John James (Columbia University)
Ryan Doyle May (The New School)
Jenna Telesca (Queens College)

Rose Live Music is located at 345 Grand Street in Brooklyn, between Havemeyer and Marcy. Visit their website for directions:

Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday Catch-Up

Sorry for the long silence. My friend, Joseph, the artist & publisher behind State(s) of Flux was in town so we did exciting things which didn't include sitting around staring at the computer.

We went to Central Booking (in DUMBO), Booklyn (in Greenpoint) Center for Book Arts and Printed Matter (both in Chelsea). Booklyn will have a gallery opening on Feb. 4th & I think it will definitely be worth checking out.

We also had some whiskey nights, conversations at a bar, pizza, thai, some citrus juice and an all night book-making session. Joseph is already missed by many, maybe even you.

I attempted to buy a copy of Maggy today, but didn't see it at St. Mark's Book Store, luckily as I was going through my emails I realized there is a new ish of diode up. Check it out.

Monday, January 11, 2010

"Escort Me To The Harmony"




8pm FREE BEER AND POETRY, Saturday, January 17th

"You Told Me You Wanted Eat Up My Sadness"

Hi, how are ya? I'm lost in a forest so thanks for asking. While I continue to be tongue-tied & absent-minded how about you check out the Winter Ish of Sixth Finch with poems by J.Mae Barizo, Dan Magers, Jack Christain, Lauren Ireland, Elisa Gabbert & Kathleen Rooney, Rauan Klassnik, Kristi Maxwell, Michael Morse, Emilia A. Phillips, Nate Pritts, Zach Savich, Jordan Stempleman.
How about Svalina-Cohen up all week at No Tell Motel? Yep. Straight Heat for Winter Blues.

Speaking about M.J. you should definitely check out the new issue of
The Home Video Review of Books featuring:

If Not Metamorphic
by Brenda Iijima
Catch Light by Sarah O'Brien
Killing Kanoko: Selected Poems of Hiromi Ito by Hiromi Ito
Texture Notes by Sawako Nakayasu
Stars of the Night Commute by Ana Božičević
Shot by Christine Hume
The Sri Lankan Loxodrome by Will Alexander
Sum of Every Lost Ship by Allison Titus
Little Red Girls by Angela Veronica Wong
A Mouth in California by Graham Foust
We Take Me Apart by Molly Gaudry

I'm thrilled to see so many books reviewed by writers who often grace this very blog like Sawako (whose book I can't wait to read) Veronica (who's my Flying Guillotine Label mate & frequent workshopper for like a zillion of my poems) Molly whose book I just finished & was completely rocked by, as was I with Ana's. Both Brenda & Hiromi's books are at the top of my wish list (in case you're feeling generous next month which happens to be the month I was born in- hint my birthday is the same day as Patti Smith's sister, Linda).
Here's a repost from Foley's HTML GIANT posting:

Last Rally

The last issue (?) of The Raleigh Quarterly curated by Chris Tonelli and Chris Salerno has been updated today. RQ has has featured some great poets in their short tenure like Mark Yakich, Matt Henriksen, Emily Kendal Frey, Mathias Svalina, Sarah Bartlett, Joe Massey, Tony Tost, Kate Greenstreet, & Laura Sims. You’ll now be able to find the eyebrow raising tag team of Chris² at their new imprint So and So Magazine, who are currently taking submissions for their first issue. Congrats also to Chris Tonelli who just became a nasty dad. This man knows how to make things.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Music, Readings, Oh My Oh My My Eye

I'm flattered to say that my review of Yo La Tengo's latest album was chosen by GSL as one of the best for 2009. Keep the amps plugged in & turned up loud. A link to the review can be found on the right side of this blog.

I'm thrilled to say that I looked over proofs for my forthcoming chap, (Ir)Rational Animals today & what's more thrilling is that the email subject was Crazy Ass Animals.

I'll be away from Thursday until late Sunday with limited (if any) internet so this will be my last post until sometime next week.

Naturally in my absence from NYC there's a ton of awesomeness oozing from the city's pores.

How about Sommer Browning & a guitar?
The first is the mind-bendingly sustaining manna that is The Guitarmy (formerly Sportsman's Paradise).
Five guitars. One drumming maniac. Zero concern for personal well-being.

Thursday, January 7th, 11pm at Otto's Shrunken Head

Address: 538 East 14th Street between Avenues A & B

How about Sommer Browning & a collection of the most awesome kick ass poets?

The shiz strikes on Sunday, January 10th, at 6:30pm

I'll [Sommer Browning] be reading my new Eva Mendes poem alongside three kick-ass, completely intimidating poets, named Cindy King, Brenda Iijima & Noelle Kocot.

Kathryn TeBordo will be dancing to some of our poems.

Address: Zinc Bar, 82 West 3rd Street, between Thompson & Sullivan Streets

How about some gory Glory Hole Action?
Dear friends and revelers,

2010 is here at last! (Sucks to be you, 2009.) Come and celebrate the new year at the first EARSHOT event of '10 at Rose Live Music in Williamsburg, Bklyn on Friday, January 8th at 7:30pm!

You'll be treated to the poetic stylings of DAN HOY (co-author of Glory Hole | The Hot Tub, Basic Instincts and Outtakes) and JUSTIN LACOUR (author of The Providence Athenaeum)! They'll be joined by three MFA superstars: Jessica Madison (The New School), Mary Ellen Marks (Sarah Lawrence College) and Natalie Eilbert (Columbia University).

Join this all-star roster and guest host Peter Bogart Johnson for the evening—it's a lousy five bucks, which gets you a free drink! Happy New Year!

Your pal,


Friday, January 8th @ 7:30 PM
@ Rose Live Music
Special Guest Host: Peter Bogart Johnson
$5 + one free drink


Dan Hoy (Glory Hole, Basic Instincts)
Justin Lacour (The Providence Athenaeum)
Jessica Madison (The New School)
Mary Ellen Marks (Sarah Lawrence College)
Natalie Eilbert (Columbia University)

Rose Live Music is located at 345 Grand Street in Brooklyn, between Havemeyer and Marcy. Visit their website for directions:

Monday, January 4, 2010

I Didn't Eat The Mango But Ate You Instead

Today my alarm went off at 6:13am.
I got up at 6:33am, showered, made French press & ate Vanilla yogurt with nut butter granola.
I left for work.
I got hot on the subway.
I yawned a lot.
I mispronounced names in the double digits.
I watched students sleeping & thought things that will remain untyped.
My big toe pushed through a hole in my sock which caused me considerable mental discomfort.
I had another cup of coffee.
My thermal top trapped the heat & I began to sweat.
Today I ate Dal Makhani for lunch.
I over-baked the naan so it was crispy, too crispy.
I touched a mango but it was not completely ripe.
I contemplated.
I decided against eating the not-completely-ripe mango & ate your face instead.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I Ate The Mango & Then I Ate You

Today I woke up around 11.
I made myself a latte.
I made myself some oatmeal.
I put cinnamon & crushed cloves in the water, brought it to a boil, lowered flame added oats.
Put into a bowl with bananas and dried cranberries.
I washed my dishes; then showered.

I loafed around.
Later I took the bread loaf from the fridge & made a grilled cheese with Tuscan bread & extra-sharp cheddar cheese.
I cleaned my waffle maker.
I set-up my scanner.
I looked for things to scan then got distracted.
I read stuff in the Winter Issue of Fence.
I read some of Frank Sherlock's book, Over Here.

I did not scan, feeling restless I made French Press.
I ate a mango.
I almost ate two.
Now I eat you.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010 Begins With A Bang

I is to Vorticism by Ben Mirov
Texture Notes by Sawako Nakayasu

H_NGM_N portable document format chapbooks here

New issue of DIAGRAM