Archive for the Books Category

A Long Sentence from a Renounced Novel

Posted in Books, interesting things that caught my attention, the universe will wreck you with tags , , , , on 11/13/2012 by alex c

“And if sometimes Hebdomeros let himself be too trusting, that signified neither that he was an innocent nor a fanatic; he wanted to believe: he forced himself to believe that such and such a man was intelligent; and then he solemnly stated so among his friends and acquaintances and tried to dupe himself; and yet he knew that in reality it was not just exactly like that; among those with the anxious irritated expressions, among those impotent and annoyed intellectuals who feared and hated irony and true talent and haunted certain cafés where they arrived carrying under their arms, like a relic, the latest volume of their favorite poet, who was inevitably and like them impotent, sterile and constipated, and in whom they recognized themselves perfectly, but whom a benign fate and a combination of circumstances had brought into prominence, giving him the swet illusion of fame, those who then placed the adored volume, printed in a few numbered copies, of which the middle of each page of Japanese vellum was disfigured by two or three short lines of pseudoesoteric foolishness and pretentious twaddle, in all those whom he recognized at once by certain exterior signs which never failed him, in all these manufacturers of superfluous art and literature, men with suspicious expressions, whose mouths had never laughed with candor, Hebdomeros sensed a binding; he sensed that a knot prevented them from moving their arms and legs freely, from running, climbing, jumping, swimming and diving, from recounting something with wit, from writing, painting—in a word, from comprehending.”

—Giorgio de Chirico, Hebdomeros

What The Hell Did I Read This Year?

Posted in Books, Lists with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 12/21/2011 by alex c

To tell you the truth, Brandt, I don't remember most of it.

Selected books, chapbooks and journals that I read in 2011 that I’m not going to rank which is to say they were a pleasure to nominate:

Occasional Work and Seven Walks from the Office for Soft Architecture Lisa Robertson

Gravity’s Rainbow Thomas Pynchon

Doubt: A History Jennifer Michael Hecht

The Trees The Trees Heather Christle

Continue reading

Why I Get Nothing Done Ever #hr21OPQ

Posted in Books, Lists, music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 10/11/2011 by alex c

Books with active bookmarks in them to be found among the two piles next to the piece of furniture that I call a bed that’s really just a futon mattress on the floor but I have nice bedsheets, I swear:

The Information – James Gleick

Forklift, OH #23

Beauty Was the Case That They Gave Me – Mark Leidner

Cursivism – Will Hubbard

Selected Poems – Robert Desnos, (Forché & Kulik, trns.)

Forklift, OH #21

Doubt: A History – Jennifer Michael Hecht

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*Question for the audience: Does the above video (which is undeniably fantastic) confirm or disconfirm every stereotype you’ve ever held about Belgian chamber rock?

Answers in the comments.

Gorgeous Work from Greying Ghost

Posted in Books, people to watch for, poetry, publishing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 09/03/2011 by alex c

This past week I received a package from Greying Ghost Press out of Salem, MA. They did a promo sale recently where they’d send 5 specific books, a mystery book and some ephemera for only $25. I don’t have a lot of money, but that’s a great deal no matter how you look at it.

Here’s what the package included:

  • Brennen Wysong – Three pieces (pamphlet #14)
  • Peter BerghoffHank Williams
  • A picture of Lassie gathering firewood
  • Garth GraeperBy Deer Light
  • Kathleen RooneyAfter Robinson Has Gone
  • Michael BernsteinNanostars
  • A small note card “Amphibious” & “Antipathy”
  • Travis BrownIn Lieu of Hartshorn
  • Tony MancusThe Pit’s a Hole for Fire (pamphlet #21)
  • A found art chapbook with a zebra on it
  • Paige TaggartPolaroid Parade

At the moment I’ve only had time to glance through Polaroid Parade, but each item feels so substantial in hand. The care and attention to detail that went into producing these, dare I say, objets d’art is remarkable. I’ve got a lot of poems to read this weekend and I have zero problem with that.

Heather Christle — The Trees The Trees

Posted in Books, people to watch for, poetry, review, the universe will wreck you with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 08/09/2011 by alex c

When reviews of Heather Christle‘s new book The Trees The Trees (Octopus, 2011) began to pop up, I made a resolution to not read any of them until I had read the entire book first. I didn’t want to risk being tainted by the opinions of others, particularly since it took me so long to try and wrap my mind around her poems in The Difficult Farm—a book which, fittingly, featured a possibly disfigured, maybe merely curious rabbit on its cover. Despite the ultimate pleasures I derived from it, that book baffled me to no end during my initial read. However, something continued to call me back and I’m glad I heeded that song, though I really could not say or define in any manner what that frequency was.

•     •     •

what about you who are so frequently touching / some part of the world / what is it you’re touching today / when I touch the trees

•     •     •

A similar voice emerged from The Trees The Trees and while it may have been a different frequency, there was no denying its grip. Ms. Christle is a hell of a siren, I don’t care that my boat is smashed upon the rocks, stranded. That voice—and I don’t mean hers in the writing so much as the atmosphere—is the one that reassures, “No, no, you’re here, it’s alright, live with these poems the way you speak with the animals.” The bewilderment that envelops you, the occasional obliqueness of possible connections, is never troubling—it is almost disconcertingly a sign to come closer. Continue reading

Why I Am Not a Painter — Argos Books

Posted in Books, people to watch for, poetry, publishing with tags , , , , on 05/04/2011 by alex c

Just this past Monday sprightly local press Argos Books held a release party for the first book in their Little Anthology series. The collection, titled Why I Am Not a Painter, showcases poetry from current students from each of NYC’s seven MFA programs. Okay, this is a little self-indulgent, since two of my poems are featured in the anthology, but I’ve been jonesing to see what else would make it in and so far I’m very, very pleased with the results. A bunch of us New School-ers got in, which I think speaks highly of the program and the group of us as writers, but a more important result of this book is that it helped get folks from the different programs together.

Being involved in poetry (and this may hold for fiction writers, too) in NYC is, at least in my experience, a lot like being a musician. There are so many of us (probably too many) and so many social circles, readings and other events going on that it’s impossible to keep up. People that may be doing similar work or engaging with related practices may never get exposed to one another and that’s a shame. This anthology, at the very least, can be appreciated for trying to alleviate some of those divisions.

Fortunately, the writing is also strong. A decent number of us have been published elsewhere and I think that number will continue to grow. It would be a mistake to think that the poems in WIANaP are lacking because we’re all current students or anything like that. The panel of judges was comprised of a representative from each school and they did not judge their own peers’ work.

At the moment I still haven’t made it through the whole book, but that’s just because a bunch of us continued to “celebrate” post-reading and I was putting the finishing touches on my thesis yesterday. Feels great to be done that and it feels equally great to be a part of this anthology. I hope Emily and her partners at Argos continue this series because it’s a necessary and worthwhile endeavor.

Order a copy or 4 here