Saturday, July 07, 2007
a friend gave me a copy of For the Time Being, an anthology edited by Tyler Doherty & Tom Morgan, and published by Bootstrap Press. it is 'about' journals and features many writers of interest: Joanne Kyger, Joel Sloman, Marcella Durand, Joseph Massey (and many more), id est: old and new. Bootstrap strikes me as a going concern, which the bleak metro Boston landscape could use, in spades. the press has just published A Book of Prophecies (did you follow the link above or did I waste my time throwing my html knowledge around???) and seems to be providing some local energy hereabouts. the press is based in Lowell, where falling apart and getting back together are just about synonymous. work the good up keep is what I say, or better still: carry on for the greater glory. I look forward to scraping my nose across the pages of this book.
Sunday, July 01, 2007
Gary Sullivan's comic Elsewhere no. 3 arrived yesterday. a departure from previous numbers. 1 & 2 were impressionistic (I hate that word too but it seems appropriately descriptive in this case), #1 being trippy sights and sounds of Japan, #2 of Coney Island. #3 collects the comix Gary did for Rain Taxi. placed in an autobiographical vector, there is some similarity to that mordantly British and hilarious (if those two terms aren't synonymous) cartoonist whose name scandalously escapes me, partly in the humour but especially in the thick lines and consequential black patches. the cartoons revel in goofiness yet intersect with a "pure" poetry, that being the literature that drives us to words, rather than the aesthetic bickering and social compunction of the Poetry World. some of these cartoons are homages to poets, Paul Blackburn for instance, featuring portraits derived largely from well known photos. these portraits are very sweet, reflecting the sincerity even the worst of us carries for those writers who meant something to that burgeoning writer within us. some of the images Gary offers are wisecracks, like the one labeled "Stein Discovers Repetition" which shows her swallowed in a vertiginous maelstrom. or "O'Hara takes on NYC", with Frank, flying above rooftops, thinking "must... have lunch...with LeRoi... then write Pollock monograph... and catch Billie's last set...!!". which is a pretty good encapsulation of how we see him, now. the more localized historical bits, like about flarf, flounder some in a defensive mode. the loving distance isn't employed in these instances. put it this way, much of the pretty considerations and confrontations have been sweated off Creeley and Blackburn, whereas there really is a Poetry Project and whatever pull and tug that goes on there (of which I know little, only guess). the battles of flarf aren't so interesting, nor were the decades of Langpo battle, surely not when we can read the poetry instead. so there's that. there's brief mention here of Ernst Herbeck, Gary's translations of whom are really wonderful and to be looked for. anyway, that's my brief initial look. I just scanned my book trove to remind myself of the British cartoonist to whom I've related Gary: Glen Baxter. there is a visual similarity I think you can see, and they share a skewed autobiographical element, but never to make overmuch of comparisons. the comic is self-published and available thru Gary at Gary Sullivan World Headquarters. he's on a great and varied project with Elsewhere. I was about to write recommended but somehow I don't think anyone's on the edge of their seat waiting for my proclamation, and yet, I mean it as I see it.