Monday, May 31, 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Before Gil Scott-Heron

wrote & sang a song called "Winter in America", an Australian singer/ songwriter called Doug Ashdown had also written & recorded a song called "Winter in America".

It still occupies a prominent place on my emotional jukebox.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


She chose the
double bass

invisible part
of herself. Now,

her intimate, low
register, haunting

emphasize the
androgyny of emotion

are recognized as
a personal

Friday, May 21, 2010

Now out from Otoliths — Crag Hill's 7 x 7

It's pure serendipity that the 49th book to bear the Otoliths imprint just happens to have the title that it does.....

7 x 7
Crag Hill
56 pages,
Page size 8½" x 8½"
Cover image by Nico Vassilakis
Otoliths 2010
ISBN: 978-0-9806025-7-9
$13.45 + p&h
Implicitly comparing a book to a deck of cards, and that deck of cards in turn to the world of social violence we’re dealt, Crag Hill stakes his ante on the power of poetry to witness and document the multiply-layered, self-inflicted insanity of US daily life in the Bush years. As readers we become participants and are thus empowered to say no to the game of death. —Maria Damon

One of the most important things I look for in poetry is something I can believe—something without posturing or postmodern cynicism or post-anything for that matter: something that stands outside of facile labels, something (disorientingly/ seemingly) simple that makes me see and hear and feel—and more importantly, makes me believe—in the world, in poetry, in the process of poesis. Crag Hill’s poems make me believe and listen—and more importantly—make me want to listen. And best of all, they are far from simple and believe in a chance-laden process. They make our world. These are poems fiercely engaged with/in our current and tragic socio/ political/ecological moment and I am deeply grateful for them, because gratitude is the beginning of understanding. These poems remind me that rage and discontent is the genesis of change, that "death is death"—such a necessary reminder in times of such alienation from it. Let us now go make and change, listening to this poet’s example. —Christopher Arigo

"Scattered parts/now lie about what happened." 7 X 7 parses the dizzying bomb crater sized duplicities of the thoroughly mediated, mediatized and militarized zeitgeist which we have collectively dealt ourselves into. Crag Hill is looking to see where the proverbial chips are falling. And he's playing with a full deck. —Tom Beckett

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010

channeling Eco

The speaker was a monk bent under the weight of his years, an old man white as snow, not only his skin, but also his face and his pupils. I saw he was blind. The voice was still majestic and the limbs powerful, even if the body was withered by age. He stared at us as if he could see us, and always thereafter I saw him move and speak as if he still possessed the gift of sight. But the tone of his voice was that of one possessing only the gift of prophesy.

"The man whom you see, venerable in age and wisdom," Malachi said to William, pointing out the newcomer, "is Jorge of Burgos."
from William Weaver's translation of Il nome della rosa.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Late Spring. The ghosts of the Tsars have melted away everywhere except inside the churches.

Soon he will be totally alone on Nevsky Prospekt.

Friday, May 07, 2010

The aesthetic possibilities of Tokyo

                         The architecture was 
once spectacular; now
sounds terrifically
Johnny Cash. New
media & social soft-
ware are catalysts for
atmospheric change.
No point being a
pedant when innocuous
classicism & memorable
kitsch are both written
on the verso of a papyrus
& promoted as a cure
for writer's block by

the person who loved
Tzara because she was
destined to love a poet.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

a 2004 collab. with Jukka-Pekka Kervinen

The Temptation of St Anthony

Every five days
young boys would
make the four-hour
journey to bring him
food — locusts &
honey, a skin of water,
occasionally a small block
of goats’-milk cheese
wrapped in a palmleaf. On the
days in between
he would be offered
wine & fruit, a choice of
lamb or venison, sherbet
to refresh the mouth.


The demons
come down
the steps
in a line
him. Dressed in
the uniform of
the Army of the
Tsar. Fixed
bayonets. He is
transfixed by
the one third
from the right, blond
hair gleaming in
the uninterrupted
starlight. Offers
himself up as
sacrifice, expends
his semen as he
is entered. His last
sighting is of scorpions
flowing from an
old woman’s eye. The
go down
the steps
in a line
away from him.


He thinks

tranquility is a sea of torment
the mountains are moving away
he can hear the sea
s or er og horn use e t
he is taking milk from his mother’s breast
the stars are the eyes of succubi
waiting for him to fall asleep
of living as a lacuna in life
ived ro in ter ium nd d
lost opportunities
a koan is a trick question whose answer
can only be found in the mouths of wild dogs
perhaps a pillar would have been more preferable
p obj s a s q ue nap n abo
how when an apple is dropped whilst someone is watching
there is an instant when it is poised precisely
in front of the face
end r a in bo s o p ds b
demons are often real people when Christ is far away
on n faith enter en p
his plate is full of emptiness
if there was a city here it would be in flames
he is being dropped like an apple
e a er hymn p k urts
p rt d a "re rn" o t wa
ived ro in ter ium nd d
torment is a sea of tranquility

he dreams.


He had left
that he was to
be buried in a
secret location
so his body could not
be venerated. On
being told of his
death by the young
food-bearers the
elders came to find
that wild dogs had
torn apart & taken
his body away,
tempted by
the rotting flesh.

from poles apart by Mark Young & Jukka-Pekka Kervinen

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

every so often,

a bit of Bosch is what the brain needs....

center panel, The Temptation of St Anthony

Sunday, May 02, 2010

from The Light-Breaker

History is. Typhoon.
The Bay of Bengal.

Ship washed up. Large.
Left there. Broken down

by locals. Scrap, metal,
parts to use. Such

plenitude never seen
before. New industry.

Now stretches for many
kilometers along the

beaches of Bangladesh.
Pollution prevails. Most

things done by hand or
not much more advanced.

Small men or children
in narrow passageways.

What air there is is
full of toxins. Is death.

Is dangerous. Is life.
Is nothing else to do.

The countryside destroyed.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

I just love this photo

of Michael Rothenberg & David Meltzer by Terri Carrión that graces the cover of the latest Otoliths.

Otoliths #17 is now live

Issue #17 of Otoliths, the southern autumn, 2010 issue, has just gone live. Four years old today!

&, since it's also May Day, I was going to have Billy Bragg singing "The Internationale" as background—you can still have it: just click on the link—but there's enough in this issue to allow an unaccompanied announcement. As befits a 4th birthday issue, it's a bit more packed than normal. In addition to the usual broad selection of paintings, prose, photographs, sermons, assemblages, poetry of all shapes, sizes, & styles, &, as always, a large offering of vizpo, the issue also includes two special features; one of which, since it was to have been a complete issue of another journal which has, unfortunately, gone into hiatus, is actually magazine-sized.

In the standard part of the issue you'll find work by Michael Farrell, Marilyn R. Rosenberg , Eric Arnold, Jim McCrary, Reed Altemus, Adam Fieled, Bob Heman, Tim Wright, Samit Roy, Caleb Puckett, Charles Freeland, gustave morin, dan raphael, Philip Byron Oakes, Dorothee Lang & Karyn Eisler & Susan Gibb, Sam Langer, Geof Huth, Esa Mäkijärvi, Scott Metz, Andrew McEwan, Felino Soriano, Travis Macdonald, Paul Siegell, Alan Davies, Kirsten Kaschock, Raymond Farr, John M. Bennett, John M. Bennett & Sheila E. Murphy, Jeff Harrison, Letitia Trent, Michelle Cahill, Valery Oisteanu, Irving Weiss, Martin Edmond, Carlos Soto Román, Jim Meirose, SJ Fowler, Felipe Cussen, Grzegorz Wróblewski, James Mc Laughlin, Michael Steven, Arkava Das, Michael Caylo-Baradi, J. D. Nelson, Jal Nicholl, Jenny Enochsson, Joe Balaz, Glenn R. Frantz, Michael Brandonisio, Jon Curley & Gg Re, sean burn, Bobbi Lurie, Jeff Klooger, Richard Kostelanetz, Silvio De Gracia, David-Baptiste Chirot, Alexander Jorgensen, Anne Gorrick, John Moore Williams, Marcia Arrieta, Mara Patricia Hernandez, Bill Drennan, nick-e melville, Corey Wakeling, John Martone, Jessie Janeshek, Thomas Fink (reviewing David Lehman's Yeshiva Boys), & Emma Smith.

The first special feature is ROCKPILE on the road, with poems by Michael Rothenberg & David Meltzer, photos by Terri Carrión, & an introduction by Larry Sawyer.

The second special feature is Poet-Editors, curated & introduced by Eileen R. Tabios. 43 poet-editors respond to the question: "What is (or has been) your favorite editing project and why?" The respondees, who also provide—sometimes quite extensive—samples of their work, are: William Allegrezza, Ivy Alvarez, Anny Ballardini, Joi Barrios, John Bloomberg-Rissman, Ana Božičević, Garrett Caples, Brian Clements, Bruce Covey, Del Ray Cross, Patrick James Dunagan, Elaine Equi, Adam Fieled, Thomas Fink, Luis H. Francia, Geoffrey Gatza, Tim Gaze, Crg Hill, Aileen Ibardaloza, Vincent Katz, Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, Burt Kimmelman, Mark Lamoureux, Amanda Laughtland, Timothy Liu, Dana Teen Lomax, Joey Madia, Sandy McIntosh, Didi Menendez, Lars Palm, Guillermo Parra, Ernesto Priego, Sam Rasnake, Barbara Jane Reyes, Christopher Rizzo, Patrick Rosal, Sarah Rosenthal, Susan M. Schultz, Logan Ryan Smith, Jill Stengel, Fiona Sze-Lorrain, Jean Vengua, & Mark Young.

& if that isn't enough, the print parts of the previous issue of Otoliths, the southern summer 2010 issue, are now available from The Otoliths Storefront.