Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Quick On-the-Road One-Handed Note: The Rumpus for My Birthday

Learning to write lefty.

And to peck
at the keys like
a poet.

The political consequences of the shift. Minutely felt as they are...

Many thanks to The Rumpus editors, as well as poet and reviewer David Peak, for publishing a kind, insightful review of Occultations. I was alerted to the review by friends, and reading it offered me new insight into what the hell I was or was not doing. The close reading is gracious and welcomed. Thank you!

Such wonderful poets have new books out. I will now have to wait till teaching in New York is over to see these new works (each of which I've read parts of, and have deeply been affected by):

--Susana Gardner's Herso - Black Radish Books // finally Gardner puts down her amazing book arts talents, others' manuscripts, and releases this difficult, spectral, book of poems.

--Sarah Mangold's An Antennae Called the Body - Little Red Leaves Textile Editions // I love LRL, the work they publish and the time they put in curating works. I also love Mangold's work, have for several years ever since reading Household Mechanics. Can't wait to read this book.

--C.J Martin's Two Books - Compline // Speaking of LRL editors, Martin's work has had an enormous impact on my thinking and writing. One of the most well kept secrets in contemporary poetry (well, not for much longer). And to wit, Michael Cross's new press (hot damn!) has published the book. That's celebratory.

--Carlos Soto-Roman's Philadelphia's Notebooks - Otoliths // I'm super excited about this. Speaking of well-kept secrets. At least here in the US. Whereas in Chile and elsewhere, Carlos Soto-Roman's work has been widely circulating. This work is bound to be....

Philadelphia's Notebooks

Philadelphia's Notebooks (book)

Print: $14.95
Carlos Soto-Román writes from the center of Empire with a sense of play (game pieces included) and clinical examination. His book is the work of an artist/world citizen who critiques the daily interrogations that come with being a new immigrant. The fun fact that Ellis Island was greatly expanded with landfill in the late 19th -early 20th century provides a basis for Soto-Román's signage marking poetry's place in a disposable culture. There are workbook exercises that encourage creative ways to answer the calls for loyalty oaths with a demand for radical possibility the host country includes in its PR material. This work also includes what the USA brand doesn't advertise—isolation and moments of utter despair. It is a truly American poem in that it's internationally inflected, from George Perec to German cinema to self-immolators from all over the world. "Philadelphia's Notebooks" could not be a more artful and timely reminder that “Every heart is a revolutionary cell.”—Frank Sherlock

--Oh, and here's a photo of my grandparents Alimelech and Tzivia (Kazakhstani). According to my aunt, they were active leftist revolutionaries, until one or both were swept up in one of the region's pogrom's.


  1. I have some over due birthday wishes for you~ happiness and tranquility in abundance...I have been trying to reach you via email all summer. Hope you are better and want to talk soon. The photo of your grandparents is wonderful.
    ~ Valencia

  2. Political activism in former Soviet states was bold risky business. Your grandparents must have been people of conviction.
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