Distribution Automatique

Sunday, December 20


Mike Burakoff who created the video version of our collage book Free Fall (featured on Nick Manning's The Continental Review)
plays in a band called Keepaway with a new release out now titled "Family of the Son" Keepaway

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When Keepaway was IN


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The best winners learn much when they lose, the great discoverers are challenged when lost, to know having is to feel deeply when bereft.

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If memory is the cake, nostalgia is the icing, the icing that no one can resist licking off their fingers.

Thursday, December 10

O Beautiful Obscurity...

Obscure Poet of Obscure Writing Discussed on Anything But Obscure Website

Nada Gordon on the Huffington Post!


Sunday, December 6

Pageant by Joanna Fuhrman

On a stormy night in Williamsburg, poet friends and admirers of Joanna Fuhrman's poetry gathered in a lovely loft to read from and celebrate Joanna's terrific new book Pageant, with cover art by famed Ida Applebroog. Readers included poetry celebrities Adeena Karasick, Safie Karasick, Adeena's 7 year old daughter, to the great delight of the audience, Sharon Mesmer, David Shapiro, and, of course, Joanna. After the reading, the packed gathering shared a birthday cake in honor of poet/performer Sharon Mesmer.

We are proud that Joanna Fuhrman's witty, wise, politically savvy, captivating poetry was featured in our recent issue of Ocho, 21. If you haven't yet checked out this collection, I strongly urge you to do so now. The issue included Joanna, plus Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino, Christina Strong, Bill Marsh,Douglas Messerli, MIchael Lally, Jessica Grim, Drew Gardner, Anthony Hawley, Elizabeth Fodaski, Laura Elrick, Joe Elliot, Abigail Child and Laynie Browne.

Sharon Mesmer's work was included in OCHO 14 along with Mark Young, Nico Vassilakis, Gary Sullivan, Jerome Sala, Corinne Robins, Tim Peterson, Kimberly Lyons, Brenda Iijima, Mitch Highfill, Nada Gordon, Elane Equi, Ray DiPalma, Alan Davies and Charles Bernstein. Cover art for both issues by Toni Simon

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I was sorry not to make it to the closing reading for Emilie Clark's awesome show at the Morgan Lehman Gallery that included Lytle Shaw, Brandon Downing, Rob Fitterman, Kim Rosenfield, Monica de la Torre and others. This successful and popular show was extended at least an extra week at the gallery.

Artbeat review

Artnetwork review

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On Friday, December 4, Toni and I attended the opening party for the Generations 7 Show at the A. I. R. Gallery. This extensive show, a silent auction of small works included work by Toni Simon, Susan Bee, Yoko Ono, Francie Shaw and many others, continues through January.

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Wednesday, December 2


Books are our companions not only because they gave us knowledge and experience but also because they remain tiny monuments of the moments of its transfer.

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Poems and poets may remain unknown, and the action of their poetic work may cause poets to remain at least partially unrecognizable to themselves.

Thursday, November 26

New Review of Ray DiPalma's The Ancient Use of Stone by Terence Winch

Best American Poetry

As you know doubt know, if you have been reading this blog over the years, I am excessively fond of temporal convergences, coincidences, and the like. The early years of fait accompli consisted of a conscious effort to create synchronicities by blogging from my journals and selecting moments that felt similar to those in the here and now.

There is something special about the Thanksgiving holiday for me. For many years, Toni and I have been visiting her sister and brother-in-law and spending a few days. Bob and Beryl tend to indulge my need to be near books, so I am usually transported to one or more bookstores in the course of the several days visit. A few years ago during the Thanksgiving visit we travelled up to Gloucester, checked out some terrific bookstores and I found a book by Gerrit Lansing I enjoyed very much. After I blogged about it to my surprise Lansing called me. Gerrit is reading on Sunday at the BPC hosted by Mitch Highfill and I am certainly looking forward to that reading.

Yesterday Toni's sister took us to the Brandeis Rose Museum, which has an excellent collection, notably a great Rauchenberg, a fine DeKooning, terrific paintings by Matta, Reginald Marsh, Stettheimer, Max Ernst and many others. Unfortunately the whole collection may have to be sold off due to some bad investments on the part of University with Madoff.

Then Beryl took us to Back Pages Books owned by Alex Green. When I entered the store I noticed Pariah by Dave Zeltserman was on display in the front of the store. I just finished reading the book and found it to be a page turner, a strange but interestingly twisted story about a gangster , having already read and enjoyed his earlier book, Small Crimes. Turns out Zeltserman lives in the area and has read at Back Pages Books. Alex told me Dave likes to hear from readers, so maybe I can track him down and get in touch.

Wednesday, November 18

The Final Beginning (Poets and Artists 12/09)

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National Book Award for Keith Waldrop

It isn't often that a major literary award goes to a poet whose work I've always enjoyed and admired.

Keith Waldrop on the EPC

"Sing fast. Voices fail."

[from Semiramis If I Remember (self-portrait as mask)]

"An uncertain line we walk, the line- ill-marked and slippery-between inhibition and exhibition."

[from The Silhouette of the Bridge (Memory Stand-Ins)]

"(you are more im-
portant to me
than words or

we will not remember
the word

[from The Locality Principle]
Poets and Artists (O & S) December 2009

I am pleased and proud to announce that some of my work has been included in the latest issue of Poets and Artists December 2009 edited and produced by Didi Menendez

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Information plus passion=knowledge; information minus passion= document

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Success consists of 1% holding forth and 99% holding back.

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Feelings are the language of experience; words tell us what the world wants-and needs- from us and are maps to what we want and need from the world.

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Silence in response to biting words helps make thought into a kind of music.

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l'amour fou

Tom Beckett's latest blog

Which I found by reading all the latest posts on dbqp, Geof Huth's blog, including his detailed review/memoir concerning a recent reading at Bard by Rachel Blau Duplessis

Proving once again, that information is best discovered by means of avid reading, in which case it is usually no longer simply information, but knowledge (information plus passion=knowledge; information minus passion=hot air)

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Otoliths Issue 15

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Troubles Swapped for Something Fresh- sample pages (PDF)

buy it from
Salt Publishing It's a great book and Salt could use the help- Let's keep this valued press alive!

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New Paintings by Susan Bee (posted on Charles Bernstein's Web Log- via Ron Silliman's Blog)

by Susan Bee 2009
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Paul Auster's terrific new novel Invisible is a must-read

"The reason to read this book is that it's a startling tale of how a life can be wasted through being ruled by the past".

Read more: Auster's Invisible

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Drew Gardner from Second Avenue Volume 2

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Steve Buscemi was the lead in Fiona Templeton's First Play- see photo in this fascinating post about Templeton's work

The Kenning Anthology of Poet's Theater

Saturday, October 24

David Bromige Memorial At Poet's House, Friday October 16, 2009

Ron Silliman has posted a terrific essay on David Bromige, in celebration of what would have been David's 76th birthday, here:Silliman's Blog.

I understand there is more to come about David from both Ron and Bob Perelman in the Grand Piano series. This is something I am eagerly looking forward to.

Here is a version of the talk I gave about David B at Poet's House:

David Bromige is difficult to describe because he was a fascinating person of contrasts and complex contradictions. Solitary thinker and and social charmer, mild man and wild man, diabetic and dionysian, respected professor and perennial rebel, poet of love and longing and poet of language, poetics and thought, urban wit and country squire, California and Canadian American and European, his many facets shifted in the changing moment of perception. I think part of the reason for this was his wariness of "tight corners" and his determination to see and experience what lies around them.

David and I had one of those mutually supportive poet relationships so hard to stay with later in life. As an editor of Avec, in the late 80's and into the 90's, he featured and supported my work at a significant moment in my own career. Some months after he retired from teaching in 1993 he wrote me an enthusiastic letter about a chapbook of mine published around that time [by Peter Ganick in his Abacus series]. David wrote that he had become dispirited after retiring, to his suprise, but that when he had come across my chapbook that he had tossed into a box (probably packing up at Sonoma State) he had to write to me about it. This is a letter I treasured, read and reread.

A favorite moment in my relationship with David took place once when we were discussing irony. I was saying that at one point in my life I did things deliberately differently each and every day, but that with a busier schedule of commitments I could no longer do this. For some reason I had switched into doing the opposite, doing things almost identically each and every day. David said, "But that is a kind of irony too. An irony of action." David''s conversation was replete with such insights and compressed wisdom. You will find it in abundance in his writing.

Preparing for this celebration I came across a poem in his book The Harbormaster of Hong Kong called Lines. The poem consists of a series of short poems in a call and answer mode, like this: "a poem should not mean but be [underlined]whereas the opposite is true [below the line], club universe [underlined] before the universe club you [below the line] kiss me quick[underlined] too late[below the line] unconscious [underlinesd] we have only the present moment to be unconscious in [below the line] life is brief [underlined] it says here [below the line]" Only after rereading this work the other day did I realize what an influence this poem had on my series of aphorisms titled Contradicta that I have been writing for several years now.

[after this I read two poems of David's: "Soul Mates" and "The End of The Stranger" from Desire]

Friday, October 16

Toni Simon work and interview in November issue of Poets and Artists

Poets and Artists Nov 2009


What happens, I think, is that you start thinking more about credit than substance and then you are not a writer anymore, you're a promoter.

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Try to remember your dreams.

Saturday, October 3


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M.C Blakeman (San Francisco Chronicle) opines on the public (library) option (via The Casual Tee)

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Wood s Lot: Raymond Federman (1928-2009)

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Friday, October 9

John Lennon's birthday

via wood s lot

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This is What A (Pro) Feminist [Man Poet] Looks Like

Delirious Lapel

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The Only Known Video of Anne Frank

Tuesday, September 22

Daniel Menaker, the now retired longtime Executive Editor-in-Chief at Random House opines on the roulette-like nature of publishing: Redactor Agonistes

I'm in the middle of reading Menaker's damn good novel The Treatment (1998), so I was googling Menaker. Some of the best writing in recent years comes from publishers. I've been waiting for four years to see a new novel from Joseph Kanon, having recommended his Alibi to anyone who will listen. Those who took me up on it liked it. Menaker's The Treament has those Yates-like qualities I've been searching for lately. I sure hope Menaker is working on another one. Menaker's novel contains the most gutsy, straightforward, unsentimental, useful presentation of contemporary psychoanalysis I have ever read by a non-analyst. And that's by far not the only fine thing about it.

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Another notable read: Will Clark's 2006 book The Worthy. A murdered frat pledge's ghost contemplates revenge on his murderer. Will Clarke's hilarious Lord Vishnu's Love Handles was published in 2005.

Paul Carson's 2005 book Betrayal is a fairly exciting, politically savvy revenge saga concerning the life of a prison doctor in Ireland.

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Stop Smiling: online record reviews.

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Recently received: De Witt Henry's memoir Safe Suicide published by the Los Angeles Red Hen press in 2008.

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John Latta on Ray DiPalma's The Ancient Use of Stone
Isola di Rifuiti

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Nico Vassilakis Notes on Staring

Word for /Word # 15

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Mira Schor (editor of " The Extreme of the Middle: The Journals of Jack Tworkov) interview and performance on

Art on Air

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Caring and loving are the food, achievement and success are the condiments; hard to believe for many, whose lives are therefore tragic.

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In the USA, where aging is feared and hated, skepticism about the traditional goals of old age flourishes: wisdom, prudence, compassion, etc

Wednesday, September 16

Rough, Raw, Rowdy, Ribald, Raucous, Raunchy, Randy, Risky, Rebellious, Resplendent, Reckless, Rich, Robust, Rousing, Rude, Rare, Ravishing, Readable, Real

Lynn Behrendt's Luminous Flux
Lines Chapbooks 2009
23 Linden Avenue
Red Hook, NY 12571

"Am I coarse linen?
A harangued form?
Am I a harpoon or sharp dog?
Do I plunder?
Do I cook words like animal entrails
then serve them
kneeling on a cushion in church?
Are you spear-shaped & plunged?
Does a long chain mail coat clang around your ankles?
Where is your stem? Can we go now?
Can you breathe? Why is everything
Covered in petty Socratic white questions?...
Could anyone wade through my thought-infested marsh?
Can you?
Am I supposed to screw whatever it is you worship & fear?
Am I an instrument for counting or something?
Don't I bleed?...
Do you think I'm a liar?
Are you squinting in the dark?
Sweating hail the size of golf balls?
Is this my hip-thrust hierogram, hinged on everything
That's happened?
Do you not love my corruption and scheming?"

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Shampoo #36

Thursday, September 3


Until information and experience are minted into insight and direction they are like food and drink without taste
and texture.

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Purpose, not pleasure, provides the greatest ongoing satisfactions of existence.

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Review of the Jack Tworkov show and his recently published book of journals, edited by Mira Schor

The New Criterion

UBS Gallery review in The New York Times

Jack Tworkov

Examiner.com review

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The Current Assignment-in the new issue of Poets and Artists (Oranges and Sardines)

The Current Assignment

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Never Neutral-Ernesto Priego-Bloggng and Narcissism- Five Years Later

Many thanks to Ernesto Priego

Blogging and Narcissism- January 2004

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Twitter Art


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Those perfectionists who pride themselves on their tastes refuse to admit when they are satisfied and then wonder why they are often unhappy

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We fill ourselves with the brilliant accomplishments of others forgetting that it is others that are filling us,not only the accomplishments


Lately, I've been developing the Contradicta on Twitter



Poets and Artists- The Self-Portrait Issue

Poets and Artists: The Self-Portrait Issue


La Comunidad Inconfesable Septiembre 2009

Saturday, August 15

The Ancient Use of Stone by Ray DiPalma, Seismicity Editions, 2009. (Distributed by SPD)

While contemporary poets and critics opine and debate about whether or not originality is still possible, contemporary poet Ray DiPalma has been quietly at work on a project for 10 years that demonstrates that not only is creativity and originality by poets alive and well, but Otis Books/Seismicity Editions has presented The Ancient Use of Stone, DiPalma’s superb new book, subtitled Journals and Daybooks 1998-2008, in a form that defies comparison with any other book of new writing for sheer visual and typographical beauty. The book includes six separate journals, all considerably varied in their approaches, and arranged in chronological order: The Ancient Use of Stone (1998), Jihadgraphy (2002), An August Daybook (2005), Mules at the Wake (2006), Ascoso (2006) and Salt in the Rock (2008), 213 pages in all, published in an ample 8" by 10" softcover format. Two of the sections contain considerable visual work. In addition to writings both Jihadgraphy and An August Daybook include DiPalma's graphically complex and frequently witty collages throughout. Jihadgraphy, a 43 page long journal, was written in a succession of 3 juxtaposed vertical entries per page. It has a series of collages running down the right hand side of all the pages in 2" by 8" columns. These have a cinematic and iconographic quality, while the text reflects on DiPalma’s life and literary concerns, including poems and comments on the piece itself as it emerges. DiPalma writes in the opening lines of Ascoso [Hermetic Anonymity], the sixth piece in the book: “There is nothing here to be measured—/simply take your share. Pensa, lettor”. As DiPalma explained to me recently, this means, “reader, give this some thought”; and this is then balanced in turn by the words a few lines later: “Prenda, lettor”—“reader, take this occasion in hand.” Both invitations are essentially derived from DiPalma’s reading of Dante. Collected here are opportunities I am sure many present readers as well as readers to come will avail themselves of with great pleasure as they delve into DiPalma’s generous and masterful The Ancient Use of Stone.


Friday, July 31

The Enthusiast, a novel by Charlie Haas

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The Summer 2009 Oranges and Sardine Is up!

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Sven Birkerts
via wood s lot

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Writing as Thinking

Silliman's Blog

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Otoliths 14

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La Comunidad Inconfesable Agosto 2009

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The dissemination of creativity and productivity gradually grinds to a stop in the universal contagion of hurt feelings.

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Perfection is an aroma best applied in tiny doses. Employ more and your day will reek of it like perfume in small room.

Saturday, July 25


The stairways go higher between some of the floors, that's all. And every now and then, you've got to take a break from all that climbing.

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What do I feel, what could it mean, what do I think, what do I do

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Contradicta are being developed/posted on twitter now

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"Why is writing important? Mainly, out of egotism, I suppose. Because I want to be that persona, a writer, and because there is something I must say. Yet why not that, too? With a little ego building- such as the fait accompli this journal provides- I shall win through to the confidence that I (I) have something to say, that should be said."

Susan Sontag,12/31/57, from Reborn, Journals & Notebooks, 1947-1963

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William Shatner reads Sara Palin's farewell speech as a Beat nature poem

Via Al Filreis on Twitter

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Richard Baker

Toni and I visited Richard, Liz and their two daughters yesterday in Wellfleet. I've never met anyone more excited about hunting for great used books than Richard. And not only is he looking for great books, but he's looking for subjects for his portraits as well.

Check out some of Richard's book portraits here::poets and writers http://www.pw.org/content/richard_baker039s_book_portraits

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This just gets it

Leonard Cohen on poetry and life

Friday, July 24

Jobless Checks Delayed for Millions of Americans

Feeding America

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Destined for You Tube Fame: The Catcerto played by Nora the Cat


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Tom Beckett: Sitting Shirtless Under a Ceiling Fan

Slim Windows

Wednesday, July 22

Ryan MacDonald video on

The Continental Review

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William Kentridge

Automatic Writing

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Somerset Maugham on Life and Art

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Contradicta on Twitter



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Didi Menendez

For Love of an Armadillo
illustrations by Jeremy Baum

Monday, July 20

Ideas that Work

"In the presence of some people we inevitably depart from ourselves: we are inaccurate, we say things we do not feel, and talk nonsense. When we get home we are conscious that we have made fools of ourselves. Never go near these people".
Mark Rutherford More Pages from a Journal, 1910

Monday, July 13

Wood s lot remembers fait accompli's Unbearable Lightness of Blogging: A Mid-Summer Night's Masque (scroll down) July 13, 2005

Saturday, July 11

David Bromige (via Pennsound)

Shorn of Duration

David Bromige-Pennsound

Friday, July 10

Peter Ciccariello- "Hidden poem with brain scans and chairs"

Peter Ciccariello-hidden poem with brain scans and chairs"

Tuesday, July 7

Mourning and Poetics

The most recent thread on the Suny Buffalo Poetics List has been mourning and poetics. This absorbing issue is concerned with poetry one might read at a time of mourning and how this reflects on issues of poetics. To read the thread in its entirety or to join the list go to:

Poetics LIst Archive
Click on July 2009 on topic headings: poetics and mourning.

Today I posted the following as a contribution to that thread:

This is one of those threads that gets me thinking, and I've been looking forward to every post. I've not read them all, so I apologize if I am repeating anything. Eight years ago when someone I felt particularly close to died, almost literally in my arms, I needed some poetry that would help. What met my need at the time was Lynn Dreyer's book The White Museum (Roof,1986). Here's a sample: Lynn Dreyer. Something about its heartbeat, its wave-like backbeat, soothed me, the way a mother might rock a child during a stricken moment. That episode of choice in reading pushed me towards thinking about writing as healing, an issue that's been on my mind ever since.

Much of post-avant writing, obviously, employs parody, often of a particularly biting kind. It's no surprise that at a time of ear splitting, mind smashing hypocrisies and assaults on a social/political level that some of our best minds might want to address such grotesque realties in ways that accurately reflect them when modes of earnestness or literal or symbolic or abstract statement, what I once called writing below the din, won't suffice.

At a time of personal crisis, what one might want, what I wanted as I said, are truthful yet gentle words, singing, compassionate, and yes, even quiet words. Still, such occasional personal needs probably do not justify a dominant poetics of quietism in an ongoing way. There is something reassuring and stimulating about experiencing a number of relatively newer voices work to invent and persist with new forms that convincingly reflect the impossibility of accepting as such the eco-socio-political realities we are forced to live in right now. The post avant employs a biting, confrontational voice that says, to me anyway, don't give up trying to dispassionately recognize and reveal what that reality is, as painfully traumatic, as incessantly quotidian as it is coming to be. Forms that meet that continuous nightmare face to face, as unimaginable as it is, or was. Is the most relevant issue in contemporary poetics hegemony, or power, or is it which model, the quietist or the post-avant, suggests the more apropos interpretation of current reality as it actually presents itself?

Either way, life's needs are inordinately complex, and issues of poetic movement aside, one size will not always fit all.
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New Links

Check out:

Contemporary LIterary Horizon

Drunken Boat 10

I Am A TV Junkie-Rachel Maddow's Big Catch Thanks for the link!

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Caterina, one of the pioneer bloggers, who helped create Flikr, has created a new site, Hunch.

Here is the poet category: Hunch Poets

Tuesday, June 30

In The Middle of It All with Fred G. Leebron

So far, Fred G. Leebron has published three novels, all well worth reading; Out West in 1997, Six Figures in 2001 and In the Middle of It All in 2002. Six Figures was made into a movie in 2005.

Contemporary novels, it seems to me, fall basically into two large categories; one type giving great attention to physical description and depiction, the other focussing essentially on the mind and internal life of the characters. Leebron's exceptional writing style and point of view encompasses both. Critics have compared his work to Richard Yates, and the comparison is apt. Having recently completed reading every word available by Richard Yates in print, I was initially so greatly attracted by these books because it feels that Leebron is the clear inheritor of Yates' vision. But there are enough touches of Flannery O'Connor, Truman Capote and Milan Kundera and his own very unique and original style to make Fred G. Leebron already a standout in today's fiction. Along with Heather O'Neill, Paul Auster and Jonathan Lethem, he has quickly joined my group of favorites.

Out West tracks a young pair of murderers closely through virtually every physical action, feeling and thought they have over several days. The book is astonishing in its cinematic qualities, but also in its philosophical depth and complexity. The writer's excitement in writing every single sentence is palpable; this has become my measure in assessing quality in writing. If the writing feels dutiful and labored, I start to wonder why the writer bothered. In the three books by Leebron I've read in the past week, I notice a gradual transition towards a close examination of family life. Leebron in his two more recent books takes the risk to examine the quotidian with the same great focus on detail as his first book, which depicts a greatly unusual and grotesque situation, the same risk that Yates takes, of course. And with Leebron I see an empathy with the issues that plague nearly every marriage and relationship that makes Yates so unusual, particularly for a male writer. Six Figures follows a suburban couple in their intense efforts to remain ethical and become adequately financially successful at the same time. This is without doubt among the most unexplored and undocumented crises of our time. The pathos, dark comedy and masked desperation implicit in American suburban living is exactly what made the film American Beauty such a classic. There are lots of numbers out there assessing this, but few portrayals on the level of Leebron's. Like Out West, in Six Figures a mysterious violent act ( in Six Figures, the aggression is acted out against the wife and mother character) tests every internal and social aspect of all the novel's characters, major and minor. The family's efforts to deal with all this creates a Sisyphus myth for our own time. In each of his novels, Leebron's concerns with the dialectic between what someone can show, and what a person can know and care about in the life of another is explored in a way that creates a kind of suspense of the social kind that is well beneath the surface and mostly concealed and camouflaged in everyday life. It is in this sense that Leebron's take on suspense in fiction is so cathartic yet so unique psychologically and philosophically.

I will conclude with a quote from Leebron's most recent novel In The Middle of All This, which mostly concerns itself with the effects on a brother of a sister who is slowly dying of cancer. The sibling aspect of couples is a theme throughly and very interestingly explored in all of Leebron's books. What I found fascinating about the following quote is the fact that this internal moment is the actual, though not apparent, climax of the book, a fact that may have thrown off some of the book's critics. The passage, one of Leebron's best yet, I think captures Leebron's acute sensitivity and the breadth of his perceptions about contemporary living and, importantly, dying:

"Everybody died. But what went on between now and then- all the entanglements and annoyances and deprivations and enjoyments and inspirations and despair and redemption- you could never really know unless it was you or the person came right out and told you, and even in the telling there'd have to be a shift between what it was and what language made it sound like it was. Could nothing be shared? He wished he were back in his own bed with his screaming thoughts and fears and dreams. He wished he were younger, he wished he were older. He wished that his wife could tell him everything she ever thought, and he wished that he'd be interested by all of it. He wished he didn't ache for a hundred different women. He wished that his kids wold stop growing up, and he wished that they were already grown up and done and safe and out of the house. He wished that his father were dead and he wished that his father were once again young enough that he could actually talk with him. Had he every really talked with his father? And what the hell did that mean?- really talk? Did anyone really talk? Did anyone really listen?"

Saturday, June 27

Rachel Maddow's Big Catch

Toni and I ran into Rachel Maddow who was with some friends on Herring Cove Beach today walking her good sized black dog. I mentioned to her that we had spoken with her a couple of years ago in Provincetown when the dog was still a puppy who clearly liked meeting Toni (the dog reacted similarly to Toni today also). At that time, as you will see in our post from two years ago, Rachel seemed doubtful that she would land a show of her own on cable. Well, I'm quite sure you know what happened since then, now that she is back to back nightly with Keith Olbermann (she has hosted her own show on MSNBC since September, 2008). I mentioned to Rachel that I had noticed on Twitter yesterday that she was heading for Nelson's Bait and Tackle on Race Road in Ptown. She told me that she caught a 22 pound bass this very day! Check out the story and photos at their website, here: Nelson's Bait and Tackle

check out our Rachel Maddow post from two years ago, here: Rachel's puppy
Laura Elrick on Penn Sound

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Have you read Laura Elrick's work in OCHO 21?

Sunday, June 21


The inability to be completely and totally silly or to respond sympathetically to such reveals a dead or dying spirit. Of all the pretenses available to most, to be utterly silly might also be among the hardest responses to fake.


The imagination is not about picturing things. Even if it is, this is a small, unimportant part of it. Imagination is more about believing in possibilities where none had existed before. But accepting limitations might assist in this. Knocking one's head against the wall is bad for the mind so it is equally bad for the imagination.

Tuesday, June 16

The Extreme of The Middle-Jack Tworkov writings edited by Mira Schor

I've been following Mira's progress in editing this book for awhile now, and I'm so excited it's out. My early summer reading is looming into view: The Extreme of the MIddle, I Am You by Anne Tardos, Notes on Conceptualisms by Fitterman and Place and Douglas Rothschild's Theogony. Ah, the pleasures of the text, as Roland Barthes put it so well!

Oh, and one more: Reread David Bromige's selected, titled Desire.

Saturday, June 13

David Bromige

David Bromige, a friend whose writing and spirit I much admired and was grateful for, had a way of saying things sometimes that I still think of, again and again, years later. Once we were talking about irony. Later in the conversation I had occasion to mention that I used to have a great repugnance for doing anything twice the same way. But, given the direction my life had eventually taken, becoming more and more bound to a tight schedule, I told him I had given in, but had switched over to the opposite and now did as many things every day as much as possible exactly in the same way. "But, NIck", he said, in his witty yet warm way, "that itself is a kind of irony, an irony of action."

Tuesday, June 9

"Dear Friends" from Cecelia Belle
Oranges and Sardines

review of Nick Manning's Novaless on pps 119-120

Thursday, June 4

Blogger Alert

Do check out Feedmill

Wednesday, June 3

New E- Chapbook by Andrew Lundwall

Honorable Mention

Sunday, May 31

Happy Birthday, Walt Whitman

Possible sound recording of Walt Whitman reading from "America"

Twitter Poetry

Baby Trotsky reviewed on Lemon Hound

Saturday, May 30

Elaine Equi Photographs

at Turtle Point Press. Two of Elaine Equi's latest photograph series A Guide to the Cinema Tarot and Votive Candy, with accompanying poems, were on display at the opening at Turtle Point Press in the beautiful Woolworth Building at Park Place and Broadway.Two examples, first from A Guide: "Use your powers for good/and one day they'll name a robot/in a theme park after you" and second, from Votive: "Somewhere between/three wise men and three stooges/an epiphany comes." Elaine's photos encompass both the wit and the double-take insight her poems have become rightfully famous for. On hand to celebrate these terrific works were Turtle Point publisher Jonathan Rabinowitz, Elaine Equi and her husband poet Jerome Sala, as well as many poetry and art notables including Dirk Rountree, Wayne Koestenbaum, Geoffrey O'Brien. Star Black, Corinne Robins, Sal Romano. Coffee House publisher Allen Kornblum, Joanna Fuhrman, Toni Simon and many others.

When I was there, by the way, Sal Romano gave me an invitation to a group show opening May 27 6-8pm called Wiser Than God ("born before 1927, working and living") at the BLT Gallery (270 Bowery) right across the street from the New Museum show Younger than Jesus featuring 50 artists from 25 countries under age 33.
Freud's Office and a Zombie Parade

Toni Simon's slide shows from our recent trip to Prague and VIennainclude photos from the Vienna Freud Museum and the Prague Zombie parade.

Friday, May 29

Music on Twitter

The Music of Jukka- Pekka Kervinen located today on Twitter

The Twitter Poets

OCHO 24-the Twitter Poets

OCHO 14 Did you miss this one?

Or This One?

Friday, May 22

Salt of The Earth: Saving A Press One Book at a Time
[Check out Salt's impressive catalogue: I just bought this book:
I Am You
Anne Tardos

I Am You collects three new poems: “The Aim of All Nature Is Beauty,” which Tardos wrote soon after the death or her husband and frequent collaborator Jackson Mac Low; “Letting Go,” a 100-page poem which combines memoir and self-examination in the face of loss, and the 50-page “The Letter: A Bloodbath.”]

Saturday, May 2

Movie Nite (Saturday May 2) at Dixon Place

[for Movie Nite on Friday, May 1 See Nada Gordon's Capsule Reviews on Ululations]

Movie Nite took place this past Saturday evening at Dixon Place. Neo-Benshi by Brandon Downing, David Larsen, Tisa Bryant, Nada Gordon, Gary Sullivan, Eileen Myles, Linh Dinh, Bruce Andrews (with Brandon Downing), Mac McGinnes and Konrad Steiner and Drew Gardner and Risa Puno.

For those of you who have not yet heard about or experienced this relatively new form (already very popular on the West Coast), here poets add their own dialogue, sound effects, comments, sound tracks, etc to already existing films. While the themes, in general, were satiric and parodic send-ups, still, there was much intense poetic ambience to immerse oneself in, as one might expect of a line-up like the one above. There were so many surprising, artistically complex and satisfying, even exhilarating moments throughout the evening that I would love to describe for you, but due to my newness to the form, this might be difficult. But at least I can mention Brandon Downing's (who introduced and organized these presentations) "After Eileen Myles' Hell, Pterodactyl I, The Ship,The Anchor, and Pterodactyl II", David Larsen's stirring, heroic "Paris of Troy", Tisa Bryant's "Inspiration," sizzling B movie noir renditions, Nada Gordon's "Navrang," labyrinthine and operatic Bollywood recitations, Gary Sullivan's "Darby O'Gill and the Little People," Irish giants and midget leprechauns at odds in a magic poetry cave, accompanied by sly, hilarious references to the contemporary poetry scene, Eileen Myles' witty "Satyricon" with handmade original sound effects (at the end she joyfully rolled across the floor), Linh Dinh's "Smooth Life," fatal attractions behind a stack of modern classics (I kept trying to read the titles, while constantly being distracted by the heavy breathing in the movie), Bruce Andrews and Brandon Downing's ' "Gossip Bruce," one liner darts to the tune of endless conversations between two preening, priviliged Upper East Side girl friends (great fun for me as I am a fan of chick lit), McGinnes and Steiner's "Love Before Breakfast: An Interstellar Interlude", with a text by James Schuyler, starring Norma Cole as MOON, Edith Kramer as LAKE LONESOME GAL, David Larsen as CANOE and Roham Shakhani as SPACE, including the moon, stars and ducks in lyrical dialogues, and Drew Gardner and Risa Puno's Untitled piece focussing on violent video game targets, accompanied by a first, a haunting Drew Gardner movie soundtrack.

While academics continue to dispute the number of avant-guard angels that can stand on the head of a pin, the flesh and blood personnel like those who performed so brilliantly at Dixon Place last night will continue to create and perform works that astonish, confound, and provoke their grateful and delighted audiences.

[Comments, corrections or additions from Flarfists or audience members will be gladly published in the comments field].

Friday, May 1


Once, a long time ago, Toni and I got caught in a heavy downpour in Central Park. We waited, watched and listened, not saying much, under a huge tree. Eventually the storm passed, but for some reason, the moment stayed. Many years, storms and memories have, since then. come and gone. But this one stayed.


Rain- 140 character version on Babytrotsky

Saturday, April 25

New 140 space Contradicta

Babytrotsky on Twitter



Ciccariello-Recycled Poem

Friday, April 24

Troubles Swapped for Something Fresh edited by Rupert Loydell, an anthology of manifestoes and antimanifestoes to be published in September, 2009 has just been announced by Salt Publishing. The book will contain 8 of my automatic manifestoes.

Wednesday, April 22

My Lunch With Sala

After some of the more personal items were touched on over sandwiches, coffee and Jerome's diet coke with a twist of lemon (health, friends, work and lit life) Jerome and I talked about poetry, the arts and the lives and careers of the younger generations. Finally Jerome revealed he had been publishing on a blog provocatively titled,The Best American Poetry. His ideas about Hegel, Creeley and William Carlos Williams' dictum "no ideas but in things" offers much to think -and talk about further- at our next lunch, which I hope is very soon.

Saturday, April 18

The Flarf/Conceptual reading at the Whitney Friday 4/17 was terrific, fun, a great success, featuring readings by Bok, Goldsmith, Wershler, Rosenfield, Gordon, Mesmer, Mohammad, Sullivan, introduced smartly by the organizer, Conceptual poet/artist Kenny Goldsmth. Hard to believe that each poet read for only 5 minutes, so much happened. Very concentrated thought, laughter, language, verbal and body, quite a charismatic bunch. Goldsmith, bearded in an orange tie, Sullivan in t shirt and suit jacket, Mesmer and Rosenfield, Wershler and Bok dressed to the nines, Nada in a striking cartoony dress she made herself, Mohammad in a costume composed of an astronaut's uniform. Each of the eight offered a thoroughly enjoyable performance of distinctively inspired writing enacted/ framed by a clearly conceived and energetically presented dramatic persona. Much applause for individual poems, much laughter. We will undoubtedly be hearing and seeing more from the flarf/conceptual groups. They were welcomed in a way that telegraphed that they are here to stay. Audience sightings: Susan Bee, Charles Bernstein, Star Black, Katie Degentesh, Jordan Davis, Laura Elrick, Rob Fitterman, Chris Funkhouser, Kristen Gallagher, Drew Gardner, Mitch Highfill, Tan Lin, Sean Killian, Marianne Shaneen, Toni Simon, Stephanie Strickland, Christina Strong, Rodrigo Toscano and many other familiar faces. The room was completely packed, and some stayed until they had to get out of the way of the closing crew. Sorry I couldn't make it to the downtown party later on. Perhaps there will be more about this on other blogs, that of Drew Gardener, Gary Sullivan, Nada Gordon or Sharon Mesmer, let's see.

flarf vs conceptual poetry: the vids via Nada Gordon's Ululations

Thursday, April 16

Search Cube


Nico Vassilakis New York Art Show opens April 16


Nico Vassilakis reading at the Poetry Project April 24


Poets and Writers Interview

By Pamela ?oler
(repostiing: original posting 4/1

Tuesday, April 14

"We" Follow

twitter: we follow


Half an hour of browsing led to one twitter worth following
Al Gore


The Extreme Ice Survey

Saturday, April 11

The Two Bright Doves- Laura Carter


Jackie Lipton's New Paintings are on exhibit at Corinne Robbins Gallery

147 Atlantic Avenue (between Clinton and Henry Streets) April 16-May 17, 2009

Opening Reception is Thursday, April 16th 6-8pm

Gallery hours are Wed-Sat, 11-6 and Sun 12-5

Directions: 2,3 or 4,5 to Borough Hall (or R to Court Street), walk down Joralemon Street
into Brooklyn Heights until you come to Clinton Street, then walk on Clinton to
Atlantic Avenue.

Turn right and you are there. Or walk down Court Street To Atlantic Avenue, then on Atlantic
past Clinton Street to 147 Atlantic Avenue.

Friday, April 10

This Just In from Nico Vassilakis

My first Visual Poetry Show

Runs April 16th – May 9th, 2009


AC [Institute Direct] Chapel

547 W. 27th St, 5th Floor, #519-529

Gallery Hours: Wed, Fri. & Sat: 1-6pm, Thurs.: 1-8pm

The opening is on April 16th


Brochure Pdf included

(I’ll be around early evening April 23rd)


A Reading at the Poetry Project – April 24th, 10pm

Lawrence Giffin & Nico Vassilakis

thanks for your time,

Mira Schor's artist's talk Friday April 10 at Momenta Art

Tuesday, April 7

Not In Service (words scribbled on a napkin)

It is no longer even interesting for me to wonder why for such long periods I have grown silent. But I do keep wondering what that silence is saying , because it is clear to me that it is saying something more precise and encompassing that I can now put into words. What is it telling me? Is it telling me that writing does so much more for the reader than it does for the writer? Is it saying that often, with writing I feel that I am painting myself into a corner? Is it murmuring to me that my words are a drop in the bucket, not even that-- a drop in the ocean, in an avalanche, a tidal wave? Is it telling me that the conclusions are mostly I-told-you-sos, been there done that, whatever, anything you can say I can say better? Is it saying that the written or blogged or printed word way too often does not enlighten, but, like a match in an underground cave, momentarily dazzles and then leaves the darkness darker? Is it saying that words are not like notes in a classical symphony, but more like sardonic echoes in an institutional lunchroom?

Wednesday, April 1

Interview re: Contradicta in the April issue of Poets and Writers Online

by Pamela D Toler

Tuesday, March 24


Perhaps it's not so important whether you will love others or yourself, but whether you will come to love the others in yourself.


In the end everyone will understand what you meant to say. How you lived is what you meant to say.

Saturday, March 21


Did You Miss the Buzz at the Mira Schor Opening at Momenta Art?

Too bad, because that was last night, folks. Now you have only until April 20 to go see this not-to-be-missed show.

Also, check out the announcement of two books by Mira Schor that will be out soon, a book of her essays, and she has also edited a selection from the journals and other writings of the important abstract expressionist artist, Jack Tworkov.



It is much too noisy. I can't hear myself being quiet.


It is hard to think after trying so hard not to think.

[PS I wrote these after coming home from Mira Schor's opening last night, and only realized just now, that they were very likely inspired by her terrific show!]

Poetry Project Newsletter Review of Fait Accompli (Factory School, 2007) by Dustin Williamson
is now available as a PDF(Pages 25-27)

Tuesday, March 17

Chopin E minor Prelude (#4)


This just in from Michael Cross (Atticus/Finch):
If you live near NYC, please join us on Tuesday, March 31st at 6:00 pm for the east coast book
launch at ACA Galleries (529 W. 20th St., 5th Floor) as part of Boog City's Renegade Press series,
featuring readings by David Larsen, Judith Goldman, Thom Donovan, Kyle Schlesinger, and music and poetry
by Julian Brolaski.


New from Nico Vassilakis!


Friday, March 13

Thursday, March 12

A Must-See Art Show!

Mira Schor
Momenta Art
359 Bedford Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 218-8058
March 20 through April 20, 2009
Reception: Friday, March 20, 7-9 pm
Gallery hours: Thursday through Monday, 12-6

What would the self-portrait of a thought look like?

Momenta Art is pleased to announce “Suddenly,” New Paintings by Mira Schor, Schor’s first one-person show in New York in over a decade. These works mark a departure in Schor’s work, from the depiction of language as image to the suggestion of its lack in a space where we expect to see it. “Suddenly,” marks the moment when personal loss or political babble creates a loss for words. Schor has turned to the most basic form that came to mind: the empty thought balloon, where language was or will or should be.

Richly surfaced, bold, witty, notational, provisional, the paintings in this show were made in quick gestures, taking five minutes to an afternoon. They function unpredictably, as existential encounters that emerge from political absurdities or epochal tragedies – experienced in the everyday.

A conceptual artist who is a painter’s painter, a feminist who is an odd inheritor of the approaches to painting of the New York School, a noted writer on both feminism and painting, Mira Schor has long worked at the razor’s edge between visual and verbal languages. Her paintings have been foregrounded by these various disciplines: by painting, with shows such as Slow Art: Painting in New York Now, at P.S.1; by feminism, with shows such as Sexual Politics: Judy Chicago's "Dinner Party" in Feminist Art History, at the Armand Hammer Museum; and by language, with shows such as Poetry Plastique, at Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York. Schor is the author of Wet: On Painting, Feminism, and Art Culture and co-editor with Susan Bee of M/E/A/N/I/N/G: An Anthology of Artists’ Writings, Theory, and Criticism (both from Duke University Press) and of M/E/A/N/I/N/G Online at http://writing.upenn.edu/pepc/meaning/ Schor has two new books coming out in 2009, The Extreme of the Middle: Writings of Jack Tworkov, which she has edited, from Yale University Press, and a new collection of her own writings on art and culture, A Decade of Negative Thinking: Essays on Art, Politics, and Daily Life, to be published by Duke University Press.

Momenta Art is supported by the Harriet Ames Charitable Trust, Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, The Greenwall Foundation, Greenwich Collection, Ltd., The Jerome Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and individual contributors.

Monday, March 9

Ernst Herbeck translated by Gary Sullivan in
Shampoo 35

Sunday, March 8

Review of Susan Bee's Eye of The Storm show at the A.I.R. Gallery in
The Brooklyn Rail


Elizabeth Fodaski's LIfe Sentences is just out in The Brooklyn Rail

Fodaski's long work Document appears in our recently published OCHO 21


Martin Kippenberger show at MOMA is well worth seeing.

Wednesday, March 4

Vincent Katz reviews Susan Bee and Emma Bee Bernstein


The average American male has an overdeveloped instinct for knowing who he can successfully dupe and push around. The others remain astounded at how stupid and wasteful this is. Stalemate, endless debate and temporizing. courting disaster.


Although it sometimes doesn't feel this way, but the appropriate response in many situations is to not know what to say and therefore to listen carefully and keep thinking it through.

Thursday, February 26


I is another who knew what you were thinking about before you said it.


I ran towards that light at the end of the tunnel until I realized it was her flashlight shining into the corners of my soul. Then I walked towards that light.

Friday, February 20

Hunger 101

Feeding America

[charity navigator- Feeding America- exceptional rating Charity Navigator]

Wednesday, February 11

Today is fait accompli's 6th birthday

Coming soon: essays on Simon Pettet's Hearth (selected poems) (Talisman)

Raphael Levy's 2251 (Somogy, 2004)

The Journal as Art:"Impossible Text" by Victor Munoz

via wood s lot

Saturday, February 7

Mayhew's Dreams at MOMA

Bemsha Swing (Free subscription) | 05/02/2009
1. I was visiting New York. I went into a large room at the MOMA where there was going to be a poetry reading. I was greeted very warmly by Drew Gardner and Nick Piombino, and it seemed that others were waiting in the wings to greet me as well, probably Gary Sullivan and Jordan Davis and David Shapiro (though Nick in my dream did not look like the real life Nick at all; he had a beard for one thing)....

MOMA news on Wikio (from Bemsha Swing- Jonathan Mayhew)[scroll down]

Googlemania Unmasked

Google Reader: An Abecedarium pt. 1 (Steve Halle)

" It's been over a month now since Nick Piombino published a Contradicta on fait accompli (dec 17). Nick more contradicta that's really the only reason I read your blog. His last Contradicta read thusly:

When things get too complicated the starting point disappears into the google leaving me in confusion with glum hits staring into snowy infinitude.


Count one friend for every time you google yourself."



Lime Tree

Tuesday, February 3


No more importance, only caring and contentment, each among a billion snowflakes falling slowly to the ground.


For every voice found, one listener lost.

Sunday, January 25

OCHO 21, published by CASA MENENDEZ is now available

with poets: Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino, Laynie Browne, Abigail Child, Joe Elliot, Laura Elrick, Elizabeth Fodaski, Joanna Fuhrman, Anthony Hawley, Drew Gardner, Jessica Grim, Michael Lally, Douglas Messerli, Bill Marsh, Christina Strong

Nick Piombino (Editor) Toni Simon (Cover artist)



Nada replies to my question about how Japan has changed:

"I noticed on my last two visits there that Japan, already techno-sleek, was getting even techno-sleeker. On the train, it seemed that everyone was writing a cellphone novel. More trains are equipped with screens showing commercials, news flashes, weather reports, etiquette reminders (a lot of these in Japan!), etc..." More...


Tuesday, January 13

Ron Silliman's Links

At at art opening at Cue a few months ago (Cynthia Miller-April to May, 2008, curated by Ron] I told Ron Silliman how much I was enjoying his link lists and asked him- thinking I wouldn't blame him if he didn't answer me- how he does it. Come on- does Macy's tell Gimbel's? (that reference might go right by some of my readers). But lately I've been noticing that I haven't missed going through Ron's link lists for a very long time.

Often when I talk with a poet at length I feel like writing, and I remember going home and putting up a post about Goodreads, a site I was enjoying quite a lot just then.

Looking through today's repast on Ron's links I read Adam Fieled and others on the post avant, Tom Mandel talking to Tom Beckett about autobiography and death, the fact that Jack Spicer's new collection is sold out (damn, I meant to be a first printing of that!), Jerome Rothenberg on Emma Bee's passing, about the Cleave Anthology, today's exchanges on Kenny Goldsmith, the latest thoughts on lango, SoQ, flarf, Mesmer, Kasey Mohammad, Bolano, Wittgenstein, Poe, Derrida and so much more. The thing is, I enjoy knowing about the links I don't open and I usually come back to open most of them by the end of the week. On a good week, anyway.

Soon fait accompli will reach its 6th birthday and I have to admit I don't have anywhere near the enthusiasm for blogging that I felt when I started this blog in February 2003. I don't read very many blogs regularly anymore though now and again I have the occasion to feast on them for a few hours at a time. Still, there is something about Ron's link list that fascinates me. I'm beginning to read them as poems in themselves. As in reading any poem, I might pause on a particular passage and read more deeply into it. In this case, however, I will simply open the link and read the post it opens. If I have a bit of time, and the link is to another blog, I might start surfing as in days of old. But that is rare. But what never happens is that I stop reading through the whole link list until I've finished it. As with any absorbing poem, I always leave wanting to read more thereby looking forward to the next one, usually in a day or two.

I read Ron's link list the way I used to read the New York Times, which I read rarely now, beyond the few headlines and stories on Google. Since I happen to be married to a total news junkie, I have nearly every significant story reported to me with either wit or outrage or both during dinner.

I'm trying to understand why I find Ron's link lists so...no other word will suffice here except... soothing, except they are soothing with a good dose of excitement in the old sense of "something is happening but you don't know what it is/do you Mr Jones?" But now I wax nostalgic. Lets face it, I'm addicted, and they are free, legal and non fattening.

Ron's link lists are the best of what blogging has always been to me. A feeling of hanging out in the poet's cafe, running into lots of familiar friends, making new acquaintances, catching up on the gossip, and leaving with plenty to think about.

Tuesday, January 6

Irresolvable Pulls of Life (on the death of Emma Bee Bernstein)

Douglas Messerli-Green Integer Blog

Saturday, January 3

The Portable Boog City Reader 3

Thank You Maestro David Kirschenbaum



Where plan, point and purpose end, melody begins.


I am the instrument, you are the song.


Chopin- Berceuse Opus 57 Evgeny Kissin