Sunday, September 30, 2007

New books from Otoliths - Raven, Gildzen, Topel & Leftwich, Fieled, Stempleman

This quarter's round of books from Otoliths has just been released.

Shifting the Question More Complicated
Francis Raven
76 pages
Cover design by Sheila E. Murphy
ISBN: 978-0-9803-6594-8
Otoliths 2007
$10.00 + p&h
Francis Raven's original poems – with the occasional, collaborative and smartly alarmed interventions of Jeff Bacon – take on a world made hopelessly abundant by too much. Too many commodities, too much philosophy, too much poetry, too much music, too many reviews, too many misunderstood friendships, erotic deceptions and, of course, corporate obstacles, including the language of insufferable meetings:

           Our wires got crossed. We must be sitting in multiple meetings.

How do you respond to someone’s quest to make the perfect french fry? Where is truth, art, love, direction, and a sense of navigation? How can the mind, psyche, and body find a trajectory when fenced in by any and all options that present themselves as obligatory and legitimate representatives of the real? In the face of such a cascade from the other, how do you even write a poem, believe in, or trust its significance?

In playful, subtle and deceptively sharp language – from consciously flat to purely and quite beautifully poetic – Francis Raven has taken on these days of nausea to replant the flag, the stroke, and necessity of the poem:

                     Every painting has been landed on by critical flags, claimed:
           Swimming, I find a mystery in a poem I thought was a problem, solved.

---Stephen Vincent, author of Walking Theory

It's All A Movie
Alex Gildzen
92 pages
Cover design by Ray Craig
ISBN: 978-0-9803659-6-2
Otoliths 2007
$12.50 + p&h
Want to know Marilyn Monroe’s measurements? Or the first movie Jonathan Williams saw? Alex Gildzen provides answers in this unique book about film. His long love affair with cinema is reflected in a collection which brings together some of Gildzen’s recent poems, photographs of him with Hollywood legends such as Sylvia Sidney and Samuel Fuller, prose dating back to 1985 and a year from his important autobiography in progress Alex in Movieland.

Andrew Topel & Jim Leftwich
76 pages, full color
ISBN: 978-0-9803-6598-6
Otoliths 2007
$20.00 + p&h
"i remember very clearly working on these sheets, using boxes of trash and junk mail, writing in the names of songs i was listening to, riffing off of what was in front of and around me. five very busy years later these images have a very strong resonance for me. 'veil reveal re-veil', as andrew puts it, seems to express the dynamic quite clearly. at some point i think we would like for the process to halt at 'reveal' - but that isn't likely to occur often if ever, and certainly not with collaborative work like this. maybe we're looking at something more than 'shadowed truth', something like 'shadowed being' - perhaps hidden in plain view, but hidden all the same." — Jim Leftwich

Opera Bufa
Adam Fieled
64 pages
Cover design by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
ISBN: 978-0-9803-6595-5
Otoliths 2007
$10.00 + p&h
           How can a prose poem be a comic opera? Take the following ingredients and stir: Chopin, Maria Callas, Baudelaire, Pluto, Orpheus, the Court of Ferdinand, Amherst wafer-eaters, Dante, Cleopatra, and Valium. Mix in a dollop of desperation, two dollops of perversity, and a small drop showmanship, and shake violently, as though in the midst of a fit. You have entered into a new realm; a foreign habitat; a fresh and unholy Opera Bufa. You may remain as long as you like. You may even sing along. The author, Adam Fieled, suggests exiting at the first sign of nausea, unless you find nausea pleasing. Oddly enough, some do.

Jordan Stempleman
64 pages
Cover design by David-Baptiste Chirot
ISBN: 978-0-9803-6597-9
Otoliths 2007
$10.00 + p&h
Jordan Stempleman writes of his new collection, Facings: "These are poems that begin from the almost observed, places not yet finished, excuses untested, and individuals who only appear after they find comfort in retracting all they've been said to say."

In addition, the print editions of Otoliths issue six are out, with a spectacular piece of Geof Huth vispo on their covers.

Part One
90 pages
$10.00 + p&h
Part one of Otoliths issue six contains prose, poetry & visual poetry from Tom Beckett, Karri Kokko, dan raphael, Kristine Ong Muslim, David-Baptiste Chirot, Paul Siegell, Javant Biarujia, Arpine Konyalian Grenier, Matthew Medina, Adam Fieled, Bill Drennan, Jane Joritz-Nakagawa, Joel Chace, Brian Foley, Raymond Farr, Philip Byron Oakes, Rochelle Ratner, Julian Jason Haladyn, Alex Carnevale, Jeff Harrison, Juliet Cook, Alexander Jorgensen, Martin Edmond, J. D. Nelson, John M. Bennett, Mark DeCarteret, Michael Steven, Jordan Stempleman, Iain Britton, Andrew Topel & Ernesto Priego.

Part Two
56 pages, full color
$15.00 + p&h
Part two of Otoliths issue six contains visual & text poetry from Reed Altemus, Joe Balaz, David-Baptiste Chirot, Spencer Selby, John M. Bennett & Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, Márton Koppány, Luke Daly, ek rzepka, Ray Craig, Mary Ellen Derwis, John M. Bennett & Sheila E. Murphy.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Genji Monogatari V: A Rack of Cloud

The tendency is to
humanize the wild life
about us; but a screen
densely covered in
text is impersonal, un-
welcoming & fatiguing
to read. Language &
memory cannot be the
exclusive province of
humans, nor can
humanity be attributed
to all. Someone stole my
identity. I feel sorry
for them. We are now
as hungry as two bears.

Genji Monogatari VI

Rock. Colorful banners. Fine
cast bronze wind bells. Authentic
curries, outstanding pho. He'd
never screwed up like this
before. Scissors. The Earth
is a closed system; activity, no
matter how refined, takes
nanoseconds off its life, &
this was gluttony. Paper.
Who knows what prompts
people to write or draw?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Farcical Farsi call

have no
gays in Iran

answered President Ahmadinejad.
Or maybe

We don’t
execute gays in

just for
being gay &

the translator fucked
up. It’s

A. said
B — since con-

gay sex
is the executable

offence & he
could deliver

with a
modicum of truth

still keep
his face straight.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Rubbery Shrubbery

"I heard somebody say, 'Where's Mandela?'," Mr Bush said. "Well, Mandela's dead because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas."

a late afternoon hay(na)ku for Geof Huth

too temper
& (a)mentally un-

to ever
be an archivist.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Thought as high-
      pitched as
helium voice. In-
tuitive anime.
Today the
postman brought
me Larousse
. I
couldn't get
through it all
in the one
sitting, have put
the leftovers
in the freezer.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

well Eileen, shd i hold or fold on yr behalf?

in this morning's spamelot

an offer regarding your site:

My name is peter
i would like to have a link exchange with your site:
i have many gambling ralated sites pr 3-5
i you are intrested please send me your sites list (that if you have more
than one site)
so we castum a dael that will benefit both of us
i you are NOT intrested in link exchange and you are selling links from
your site , i will be happy to recive your rates and payment method (we are buying links also).
waiting for your reply

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The impassable dream

When I was growing up, the Northwest Passage, the sea route from Europe to Asia, was one of those fabled sites of adventure that populate boyhood (day)dreams. Distant though it may have been, Hollywood & books brought it close, along with other dreamings of impenetrable forests, forgotten cities & fabulous animals & birds (& don’t forget the reptiles) that may still exist.

Today I read that a rapid rise in the rate that Arctic ice is melting has opened the NWP at least two decades earlier than scientists monitoring the effects of global warming had expected.

The European Space Agency said Arctic sea ice was now at its smallest recorded extent, raising the possibility of the passage being routinely used by commercial shipping during the summer.

Scientists had expected that with the climate changing, the passage would become navigable for merchant ships within the next two decades, but the discovery that it has already opened up has caused surprise & alarm.

In the past year alone, the rate at which the ice is melting has increased tenfold. There has been a reduction of the ice cover over the last 10 years of about 100,000 square kilometres per year on average, so a drop of one million square kilometres in just one year is extreme.

The image above is a mosaic of over 200 individual photos taken by the European Space Agency's Envisat satellite. The dark grey represents clear water, while sea ice is colour-coded green.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

hay(na)ku epiphany

sight dressed
up — satori-al splendour.

Lunch poem

Nothing makes sense
anymore. Everything
does. I bind my camel
to a smokestack
at the edge of an anti-
climax & set the
guidebook alight to give
me light to better
read it by. The hidden
pattern in the last
flicker of a hologram
tells me I’m
in Machu Picchu
where I shouldn’t
be. Entropy arrives
to peck out my I-
balls. Equilibrium. It’s
a eunuch experience.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Genji Monogatari VII

Multiple inheritance leads to a taxonomy of concepts. Lineage relates to the persistence of an entity over time. New arguments in favour of the four-dimensional ontology confirm that death & the separation of body & soul play an important role in the analysis of circadian systems.

If a meme were continually interested in "what happens next" somewhere in the brain activity must be changing. Although they can think independently & move of their own accord, the claim that a thing exists, when added to our notion of a thing, does not add anything to the concept.

I’ve always gone along with the orthodox interpretation & used the term to refer to any cultural entity (such as a song, an idea or a religion) that an observer might consider a replicator. The idea that our consciousness is an interlocking system of memes is reflected in the early stimulus-blocked responses that are part of a generalized fear & feeling of loss of control.

Once the roles of cause & effect are assigned to objects in interactions, people tend to overestimate the strength & importance of the causal object & underestimate that of the effect object in bringing about the outcome. This bias is termed the causal asymmetry. Eventually we will reach a point in the past where all humans can be divided into two groups. The storage assumption greatly simplifies the treatment of resource variability.

& now that the Linnean system has been largely replaced by a cladistic system in which any clade or complete branch of the evolutionary tree is given a name, & the only remaining fixed rank is genus, luck plays only a small part in discovering fossils. There are clear ontological differences between biological individuals & States.

Genji sent his man to ask the name of the flower.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Backgammon strategy

The strings are just off the
frets & don't buzz, the front
vowels are in blue. Light
rays obey Fermat's Principle
of the least optical path, a
street lined with shops &
restaurants in minuscule
wooden houses hung
with chaussure de foot &
autre article & vêtement
de sport. Many large laughing
mouths gates of hell gaping
wide open hungry taunting
beckoning. It sounds like
chicken noodle soup, this
craving for attention to re-
place a lost mother's love.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Late in August

Marko Niemi curated a show at a library in the centre of Helsinki of visual, digital & sound poems taken from his wonderful Nokturno site. The digital poetry was screened as an hour-long loop, the visual printed out by the library staff &, to quote Marko, "looked surprisingly good, considering that they were quite large and printed using originally pretty small, web-quality files."

He's sent me a couple of photos of my work there, one of three of my checker/chess-board pieces, & the other a still from my, what becomes in Marko's Finnish translation, "Prévertille, syksyn lehtiä".

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Today the
postman brought
me the final
volume of The

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Where there's a Wall....

“After subjugating and uniting China from seven warring States, the emperor Qin Shi Huangdi connected and extended four old fortification walls along the north of China that originated about 700 B.C. Armies were stationed along the wall as a first line of defense against the invading nomadic Hsiung Nu (the Huns) tribes north of China.”

“Hadrian decided to enforce the old Roman policy of "divide and rule." His wall would split the Brigantes from the Selgovae and hopefully overawe and pacify the troublesome tribes. Construction of the wall commenced ca. AD 122, right around the time of the Emperor Hadrian's personal visit to Britannia.”

“In the afternoon of August 12, 1961 at 4 p.m. Walter Ulbricht, the East German leader, signed the commands to close the border. Next Sunday at midnight the army, police and the "Kampfgruppen" began to bolt the city. The wall is built and separates the city into two parts for more than 28 years.”

“Since Israel began its construction of the West Bank Wall in 2002, it has sparked intense debate, being condemned as illegal by the International Court of Justice. Israel claims it is a security measure to protect Israeli citizens from terrorist attacks. Opponents point to the serious impact on the rights of Palestinians, depriving them of their land, mobility and access to health and educational services.”

“Parts of central Sydney now resemble a city under military occupation, with a steel and concrete fence, five kilometres long and 2.8 metre high, encircling the environs of Circular Quay and the Opera House, a popular harbourside tourist precinct. Only those with the required accreditation, involving clearances from the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), are permitted inside this fortressed area.”


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Today the
postman brought
me a compendium
of words &
phrases that are
rarely used these
days. Gadzooks!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Four of the five

books I'm bringing out under the Otoliths banner this month are off to their respective authors for final proofing, the fifth has had the interior proofed & we're just deciding on which cover from a wonderful selection will be used. So expect an official publication notice for another great round in a couple of weeks. The quality & variety of what's developing into a substantial catalogue is bringing me lots of joy & pleasure. My sincere thanks to everyone involved.

Once they're launched, then it's on to the print editions of issue six of the Otoliths e-zine, followed by getting the next round of books underway. Plus issue seven of Otoliths is already shaping up to be another eclectic collection.