Saturday, June 05, 2010


d.a. levy was a major figure
in the 1960s’ mimeo / small press scene
& a polarizing figure within Cleveland
(the police theory seems to have been
Stop levy, Stop the Sixties)

Matthew Landis responds to
the levy film trailer,
adding a number of other links,
including one to a 57-second video
of levy reading

John Burroughs:
a visit to levy’s grave

levy’s death
came just 18 months & 40 miles
from the massacre at Kent State

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Friday, June 04, 2010


Once upon a time, the late Gil Ott shared a tree-house in Bolinas with an anthropologist named Kush. Kush, aka Steven Kushner, would go on to teach at the late lamented New College of California & simultaneously begin videotaping many of the poetry readings he attended around San Francisco. As in thousands of them. Some of these events were also taped by others – most often the Poetry Archive at San Francisco State – & there was something of a rivalry over the quality of the work. How accurate this debate might be is impossible to ascertain from nearly 3,000 miles away since both archives – shockingly, to my mind – remain offline. For all I know, Kush’s archives are sitting in boxes in a garage or attic somewhere, or worse. But even if we presume that the quality borders on the non-existent, the reality persists that for hundreds, maybe thousands, of poetry readings in the Bay Area over the past 40 years, Kush’s archives are the documentation, the only remaining evidence of what happened, what was read & who was there.

I thought of Kush a lot when watching Exit Through the Gift Shop, Bansky’s documentary about street art documentarian Thierry Guetta & his morphing into millionaire street artist Mr. Brainwash. Exit is flat out one of the best films I have ever seen on the visual arts, easily the best since at least Basquiat, a film not-coincidentally directed by Julian Schnabel, a major painter before he turned to film (The Diving Bell, The Diving Bell & the Butterfly). Presuming, that is, that Guetta actually exists & is not himself a Banksy art product rather in the way that Kent Johnson produced Araki Yasusada.

Let’s presume here that Guetta / Brainwash are for real. The story, as such, is this. Guetta, an LA-vintage clothing store owner with a Euro-orphan background not unlike that of Andy Grove or Bill Graham, gets a video camera and becomes obsessive in his recording of everything. But one of the things he records, on a family trip back home to France, is a cousin, Space Invader, one of the first generation of street artists, who unlike the graffiti taggers they so palpably emulate appear all to have gone to art school. Film Space Invader in France, and then back on his own home turf of LA, Guetta meets LA’s resident street art hero, Shepard Fairey, pre-Obama image & Time magazine cover (& pre-Associated Press copyright suit over the use of an AP photo of Obama as one source for his iconic poster). Guetta becomes the sorcerer’s apprentice & soon finds himself everywhere, since he has no fear of heights & gets off on the idea of the danger of getting arrested. Fairey, Invader & the other street artists he soon gets know (virtually all guys save for one street-named Swoon) teach him not only the tricks of their craft, making spray art stencils at the local Kinko’s but to film from a distance & in low-light situations so as not to attract the police.

Guetta tells everyone he is making a documentary, but it appears to be one on the order of Kush’s: lots of tapes, but no real archive that can be credibly accessed by outsiders. The artists all seem to value not only his help, but the idea of creating a lasting archive of work that all too often gets sprayed over pretty quickly (tho, and it’s not noted in passing, we do later in the film see one Bansky Andre the Giant disappear as Mr Brainwash himself pastes his own newer work over it).

But as he gets to know the street art scene, Guetta comes to understand that his compulsive documentation has a major gap. He needs to interview Banksy, the “international man of mystery,” who is the Batman to all these various Robins of Street Art. The catch is that it’s impossible. Everyone professes not to know who he is or where he is. He is said not to own a cellphone. However, coming over to the US to do some work in the LA area, Banksy’s assistant is turned back at customs – the cover story on the rationale for the trip doesn’t get him through. So Banksy calls up Shepard Fairey to see if there is anyone who can and wants to help. Why not, suggests Fairey, this middle-aged boutique owner & camera nut who happens to be Space Invader’s cousin. Unable to find Banksy, Banksy comes to him.

Read more »

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Thursday, June 03, 2010


Who’s that on the cover of Poetry this month?

Iamb What Iamb

After decades as one of Chicago’s signature poets,
Paul Hoover finally appears in Poetry

Area Sneaks’ Visual Poetry Forum

Talking with Bevery Dahlen

Bev Dahlen & the Writing of the Real

the different body
& “the ideal landscape
from which to write a poetry that is
broken, disjointed or fragmented”

Ange Mlinko: my poetry illiberalism

The American Peacock

Lara Glenum:
Welcome to the Gurlesque

Abigail Child:
Form & Content

Lynn Behrendt:
For Leslie Scalapino

SPD remembers Leslie Scalapino

NY Times obit of Andrei Voznesensky

Read more »

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Wednesday, June 02, 2010


Photo by Gordon Ball

Andrei Voznesensky

1933 2010


Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Peter Orlovsky & Allen Ginsberg

Peter Orlovsky

1933 2010

Louise Bourgeois

1911 2010


Monday, May 31, 2010


Leslie Scalapino & Tom White, Valentine’s Day 2010

Leslie Scalapino: “Disbelief”

Michael Cross on Leslie Scalapino

Floats Horse-Floats or Horse-Flows:
“brilliant, confusing, occasionally maddening, tour-de-force”

How2 special feature on Leslie Scalapino
coordinated by Laura Hinton

Scalapino reading at the University of Chicago, 2008
(download video) (download audio)

Scalapino reading at University Press Books, Berkeley
earlier this year

Pablo Lopez, introducing Leslie at UPB

Leslie Scalapino: “Secret Occurrence”

As: All Occurrence in Structure, Unseen – (Deer Night)

From The Forest is in the Euphrates River

walking person who has sky flowing – by one who beside is as if

Scalapino reading at The Drawing Center, Tucson, 2008

Correspondence: Leslie Scalapino & Judith Goldman

Sarah Rosenthal talking with Leslie Scalapino

Google Books preview of
Dahlia’s Iris: Secret Autobiography + Fiction

Google Books preview of
Zither & Autobiography

Leslie Scalapino reading Way

Scalapino as Buddhist

Though now / time / has passed since that

Naropa Workshop, 1989

Reading with Clark Coolidge & Bernadette Mayer,
July 1989

1991 class on poetic composition

Laura Moriarty on Leslie Scalapino

Tenney Nathanson: “The Poetics of Non-Experience:
Repetition, Simulation, and Anxiety
in Leslie Scalapino’s Trilogy

Ted Burke on Scalapino

Burke on Leslie’s passing

she spoke like she wrote

David Lehman on Scalapino

June 19 & 20 @ Poet’s House in New York,
Flow, Winged Crocodile
directed by Fiona Templeton

June 21 will see a memorial reading for Leslie
at the Poetry Project

Scalapino’s works at Small Press Distribution

Books distributed by the University Press of New England

Leslie Scalapino Facebook Group (#1)

Leslie Scalapino Facebook Group (#2)

Leslie Scalapino papers at UC San Diego

Leslie was a founder & director of Poets in Need


Sunday, May 30, 2010



Leslie Scalapino

1944 2010


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