Information about the Desert City Poetry Series, contemporary poetry & poetics, and poetry readings & events in central North Carolina.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

"Bong Eggs" by Brian Howe w/ Ken Rumble

Wow, my friend Brian Howe is doing this really terrific poetry/music project in which he remixes people's read poems with samples and other sound oddities from various places, filters it all through various filters, rhythms it up with various rhythms, and makes some really really killer stuff.

And he just made a piece called "Bong Eggs" from part of 24 Hour Breakfast -- "bong eggs" is a line from the poem. (And thanks to Tony for putting a link to the audio in Fascicle.)

You can find many others at his site Glossolalia.

There is also some great stuff there of Brian's own poems, poems by Tim VanDyke, and work by Rod Smith.

Brian and I will be doing some of this collaborating live in Asheville this weekend.

Brian's awesome. Thanks, Brian!

Fascicle Three

Announcing the launch of Fascicle 3, the winter 06/07 issue

In this issue:

Vicente Huidobro’s major long poem, “Sky Tremor,” in its first appearance in English, translated by Tony Frazer;

a “Poets of Taiwan” portfolio, including poems, interviews, audio and video work, edited by Shin Yu Pai;

an Eritrean portfolio, edited by Charles Cantalupo, including poems translated from the Tigrinya, Tigre and Arabic, as well as photographs by Lawrence Sykes;

a new chapbook, “Sex,” by Allyssa Wolf;

extensive critical work, including David Rosenberg on Ted Berrigan, bpNichol, Araki Yasusada and “the authentic poet”; Kevin Killian on George Oppen; Roberto Tejada on Clayton Eshleman; Mark Wallace on P. Inman; a series of statements from the Subtext-Poetics group on “What’s happening in poetics”; important early essays by Gertrude Stein on motor automatism; Graham Foust on “looking,” and more;

a selection of poems by the innovative and eccentric modernist Harry Crosby, as well as DH Lawrence’s introduction to Crosby’s Chariot of the Sun;

translations of Alexei Parshchikov, Yoko Tawada, Omar Perez, Andrea Zanzotto, Roberto Castillo Udiarte, Catullus, Jean Paulhan, Oliverio Girondo, Juan Sanchez Pelaez, Lucia Estrada, and Franco Arminio, as well as a series of translations from the Chinese by Ken Chen;

interviews of Danielle Dutton and Jake Berry;

Matthew Goulish’s “Incarnation Text” and Joshua Marie Wilkinson’s “The Trapdoor: a Play in One Act”;

new poetry by Stephen Rodefer, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Tim Van Dyke, Elizabeth Robinson, Hoa Nguyen, Clayton Eshleman, Tyrone Williams, Benjamin Friedlander, Kent Johnson, Jonathan Skinner, Alicia Cohen, Dale Smith, CS Giscombe, Peter O’Leary, Anne Boyer, Robert Kelly, Eleni Sikelianos, Brian Henry, Deborah Meadows, Mark Scroggins, kari edwards, Ken Rumble, Rob Halpern and many others.

Rodney & Tarn & a To-do List

A really great reading on Saturday by Janet Rodney and Nathaniel Tarn -- big thanks to Joe Donahue for setting it up. Rodney was a real discovery for me -- I'd know and enjoyed Tarn's work for awhile, but Rodney is extremely talented as well.

Wow, so much going on these days; here's a brief run-down:

1. Got a new job.
2. Really like new job.
3. Lots of work to do at new job.
4. First book arriving from printers in one week.
5. Got a reading in Asheville with the Lucipo gang this saturday.
6. Gonna go to AWP and read from Key Bridge a couple times.
7. Wanna love my two lovies.
8. Got to set up other readings for KB.
9. Got to put up a picture of my book so people can see the cool cover.
10. Got to tell everybody about this cool/awesome music/poetry mix that my friend Brian Howe did with some of 24 Hour Breakfast.
11. Got to tell everybody about the awesome new Fascicle.
12. Got to have some fun.
13. Got to stop making to do lists.

More on all these things soon....

Monday, February 12, 2007

Nathaniel Tarn & Janet Rodney
This Saturdary
February 17th, 8pm
Internationalist Books

Please spread far and wide....

Who: Nathaniel Tarn: poet, translator, anthropologist, and editor; author of thirty volumes of poetry, and numerous translations (including acclaimed versions of Pablo Neruda, Victor Segalen, and others); Selected Poems 1950-2000 published in 2002 by Wesleyan University Press; selected essays in poetics and anthropology Views from the Weaving Mountain published in 1991 by University of New Mexico Press; specialist in Highland Maya studies and the sociology of Buddhist institutions; one of Marcel Duchamp's chess partners.

Who: Janet Rodney: digital artist, poet, and letterpress printer; author of four books of poetry, including Orphydice, Atitlan / Alashka, and the meditative memoir The Book of Craving; fifteen year resident of Spain while a journalist, editor, translator, and interpreter.

What: Desert City Poetry Series, you never thought it would never happen.

When: This Saturday, February 17th, 8pm, 2007, the year formerly known as "next year."

Where: Internationalist Books, 405 W. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, same place, fresh air.

How much: $2 donation which will contribute to the hospital bills of Philadelphia poet Frank Sherlock. Current contribution information available here.

Why: "Rite of return / elegant orange "bird" / shines on my memory / flying the sun from west to east" "you are right, / at this time the mind / is a mirror to the sun / the heart a coal / bright in, the wind, / nothing / is mine / but the ride"

See you there....

Nathaniel Tarn

Janet Rodney

by Nathaniel Tarn

"At the exact site of the Lituanica's tragedy, in the forest of Soldin, Germany, the Aero Club of Lithuania rented for ninety nine years a . . . circle-shaped area and erected a monument. (The
inscription:) "Here died as heroes the Transatlantic Flyers Darius & Girenas " (July 15, 1933) . . . After World War II, that part of Germany was annexed to Poland and Lithuania was occupied by the Soviets."

Small provincial town
in "my" fathers' land
at creation's edge -
border post deserted,
a line of lindens,
opposite post deserted,
no crossings anymore
as there once were
between old world and new.

"God's Playground" here
as they used to call it:
what does He play with
what is the message of a life,
what is the information,
what can the play mean
from bit to life, and back?

Other end of town:
small sunlit graveyard field
edged with small jungles:
hazels, apples, roses, ferns,
nettles, mushrooms, herbs -
loud with warblers,
storks overhead
birds of my secret childhood.

Rite of return
elegant orange "bird"
shines on my memory
flying the sun from west to east
back to its homeland,
the two boys clean
pure-blooded heroes -
narrative simple
a nation's testament
torn out of anonymity
the double fit
thanks X and gentle Y.

When was "our" departure:
before the warning signs
were clearly witnessed
or very near the terminus
of possibility -
by which way forward
under the lindens
was it to left,
was it to right
they went from east to west
and to what purpose
to what end in "me"?

Scrabble to read the graves
four hours the heat increasing.
Small stone book-shape -
third the way down from top -
grips one pointed gravestone
(like a clown's hat)
perhaps a sign of "us"
whose trade was bookbinding.

When not finding's no matter -
this is community -
"my" people sunk into
"our" people floating here
their stones on the grass sea.
So that it does not matter
if name sings here or not:
what is a name inside oblivion?

Not enough money
to buy the right equipment
homed into heroism:
arrival no arrival
a crash short of the goal
in a "great neighbor" country,
the whole scene under glass
shrine in its own museum
when it had been subtracted
out from the swastikas.
Crowd size at funeral
never yet seen in all of history.

Behind the pointed grave,
thick trees spread darkness,
huge long-house trench:
a thousand hidden there -
but not by natural
demise - shot in the neck:
it will take lifetimes
to read those dead.

Came to the sky
these luftmenschen too early
against the grain
of their determinations.
Now I'm at table:
Gorge at my life deep sun!
Take down the charming pilots
and too "my" ancestors!

In the town,
"they" who are always present
holding a festival
of later generations.
Midway between creations
all ate and drank the same
heard the same blood beat
of excremental music -
we paid them no attention.
How many of "their" fathers
might have helped
to fill that field?

"Their" flyers:
nothing as infiltrated
as "our" sallow legions
storm troopers in their time
would soon dispose of.
How could a record flight else
among so many
bring home the corpses
later, hidden for years
from various oppressors
until again, an independence.

While it is on record
(those who don't sleep or dream)
that in a neighbor town
"they" stood on rooftops
many smiling
to watch the shooting circus.

from /Crystals/
by Janet Rodney


The time
of which I write

is a memory

of getting back
to Mother Earth, mouth
pressed to hers, desire's

curl of lips
when love
for Father Water
is strongest

I look for his eye and hear
a hellish laughter
as from outside

up from the ocean.


Long after all horizons
have proved themselves mortal

I see my rider shadow
galloping along the beach,

it is August, lead-bellied
gulls rise toward the Rock

where Atlantic currents
and Mediterranean mix

wild roses
corrupting on its face,

you are right,
at this time the mind

is a mirror to the sun
the heart a coal
bright in, the wind,

is mine
but the ride

before the sequence
vanishes like lead

drawn down
thru deep water.

XV. The Androgynous Principle (A)

In a small dream
in a small room
in a small town in New Jersey

I am on the make,
a huntress stepping out
of fathomless woods

her small breasts
are smooth
as riverstones
her own phallus, a knife
hung around her neck
of delight.

The prey this evening
is elusive:
she would like to be

worthy of her victim
who doesn't appear
to cruise these parts
this hour

would like to give her body
to the victim of her choice
precisely when he, the hunted,
steps out of her

moves in, penetrating, manly,
fucking in blindness
bringing them news
of light.

XVI. The Androgynous Principle (B)

Each day the sun
rises inside her eye

for new fields,
at night drops
like a coin into water, she

is blown back by
darkness, her coat of shells
catching a light

from below
where he is hidden,
shining in water he waits

while she
dangles her clothes on a tree,
descends to the edge,
water rising slowly up

her body
between her thighs
he drinks her.


Here we are
and all we see
is more

than ourselves,
the failing leaves
and flowerheads
float on the canal
like scales of carp

here we are and more,
wind driving thru
the cracks of our windows
bringing on the cold
we know

from our skin
(and over hard ground walk
the circuit of each other)

that winter
has made it
our way again