Saturday, June 19, 2010


José Saramago

1922 2010


Friday, June 18, 2010


This weekend in New York City

Two performances of
Flow-Winged Crocodile: A Noh Play
by Leslie Scalapino

Directed by Fiona Templeton,
with Katie Brown, Stephanie Silver and Julie Troost.

Dance by Molissa Fenley.
Music by Joan Jeanrenaud.
Projected drawings by Eve Biddle.
Technical director: Ray Roy III.

& Monday @ the Poetry Project,
A memorial reading for Leslie
with Petah Coyne, Simone Fattal, Joan Retallack,
Charles Bernstein, Susan Bee, Ann Lauterbach,
Susan Howe, Paolo Javier, Molissa Foley,
Fiona Templeton, Laura Elrick, Rodrigo Toscano,
Steve Clay, Rachel Levitsky, Susan Landers,
James Sherry, Brenda Iijima, Pierre Joris,
Judith Goldman, E. Tracy Grinnell & Tom White


Thursday, June 17, 2010


Recently Received

Books (Poetry)

Louis Cabri, What is Venice? Wrinkle Press, Windsor, ON, 2010

Kristina Marie Darling, Night Songs, Gold Wake Press, LaVergne, TN, 2010

Elizabeth Fodaski, Document, Roof Books, New York, 2010

Jim Goar, Seoul Bus Poems, Reality Street, East Sussex, 2010

Terrance Hayes, Lighthead, Penguin, New York & London, 2010

Michael Heller, Beckman Variations & Other Poems, Shearsman, Exeter, 2010

Fanny Howe, Emergence, Reality Street, East Sussex, 2010

Sheila E. Murphy, This is Visual Poetry,, Kingston, PA, 2010

Joe Napora, 1917: Sentences & Bills, House Organ no. 70, Youngstown, NY, Spring 2010

Barbara Ras, The Last Skin, Penguin, New York & London, 2010

Joan Retallack, Procedural Elegies /Western Civ Cont’d/, Roof Books, New York, 2010

Catherine Sasanov, Had Slaves, Firewheel Editions, Danbury, CT, 2010

Donald Wellman, Urika, Boat Train, Gloucester, 2009

Mark Young, Genji Monogatari, Otoliths, Rockhampton, Australia, 2010


Books (Other)

Will Alexander, Inalienable Recognitions, Eohippus Labs, South Pasadena, CA, 2009

Erik Anderson, The Poetics of Trespass, Otis / Seismicity, Los Angeles, 2010

Bruce Bégout, Common Place: The American Motel, translated by Colin Keaveney, afterword by D.J. Waldie, Otis / Seismicity, Los Angeles, 2010

 Paul Harding, Tinkers, Bellevue Literary Press, New York, 2009



 Bombay Gin, vol. 36, no. 2, Boulder, Co, 2010. Includes Shane Joaquín Jiménez, Bobbie Louise Hawkins, Bhanu Kapil, Dominique Aurilla Vargas, Jack Collum with Jennifer Aglio & Suzanne Dulany, alumni of Collum’s eco-lit course (1989 – 2009), Joanne Kyger, Andrew Schelling, Elizabeth Robinson, Hoa Nguyen, Eleni Siklelianos, Ariella Ruth, Jennifer Phelps, Kyle Pivarnik, Steven Scheuer & cover by Fran Herndon.

Chicago Review, vol. 55, no. 2, Chicago, Spring, 2010. Includes Simon Jarvis, Jean Valentine, Kristina Jipson , Pierre Joris, Elizabeth Winder, Susan Stewart , Andrew Zawacki , Rob Halpern , Stéphane Mallarmé (Trans. Peter Manson), Gary Lutz, Erika Mikkalo, Matt Briggs, Jennifer Moxley, Durs Grünbein, John Wilkinson, Michael Hansen, Nathan Hogan, Joel Calahan, J. Bassett, & Stephen Burt

Mantis, no. 8, Summer, 2009, Stanford. Includes Clayton Eshleman, Adam Clay, Sina Queyras, Gretchen E. Henderson, Alda merinia, Serena Ferrando, Elizabeth Bradfield & Kate Schapira, James Arthur, Lynn Xu, Giannina Reyes Giardiello, Andrei Sen-Senkov, Pierre Joris, Paul Celan, Rosmarie Waldrop, Jean Daive, much much more.

White Fungus, no. 11, Taichung City, Taiwan, 2010. Includes Jane Janesly, Stacey Lipp, Tobias Fisher, Rudolph Hudsucker, Harold Grieves, Flake, Dr. Tim Bollinger, Isa Ho, Walter Benjamin, Zbignew Karkowski & Yan Jun (“Experimental and Non-Academic Musics in China”!). Includes a compilation CD of music from Pogus: Chris Brown, Beth Anderson, et al. More.


Other Media & Formats

Poor Claudia, no. 2, Portland, OR, October 2009. Includes Jenny Boully, Kate Bucko, Wayne Chambliss, Katy Chrisler, Lisa Ciccarello, Chris Cottrell, Jamison Crabtree, Rick Delucco, Matthew Dickman, Michael Dickman, Donald Dunbar, Tylord Falcon, James Gendron, Jamalieh Haley, Emily Kendal Frey, Jesse Lichtenstein, Joseph Mains, Hannah Pass, Zachary Schomburg, Carrie Seitzinger & Crystal Willer. (Unbound magazine printed on 5” by 7” cardstock. Exquisite cover folds & tucks shut, with contributors listed inside. Edition of 300.)


Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls. He liked thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart, liverslices fried with crustcrumbs, fried hencods' roes. Most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine.

Kidneys were in his mind as he moved about the kitchen softly, righting her breakfast things on the humpy tray. Gelid light and air were in the kitchen but out of doors gentle summer morning everywhere. Made him feel a bit peckish.

The coals were reddening.

Another slice of bread and butter: three, four: right. She didn't like her plate full. Right. He turned from the tray, lifted the kettle off the hob and set it sideways on the fire. It sat there, dull and squat, its spout stuck out. Cup of tea soon. Good. Mouth dry. The cat walked stiffly round a leg of the table with tail on high.


—O, there you are, Mr Bloom said, turning from the fire.

The cat mewed in answer and stalked again stiffly round a leg of the table, mewing. Just how she stalks over my writingtable. Prr. Scratch my head. Prr.

Mr Bloom watched curiously, kindly the lithe black form. Clean to see: the gloss of her sleek hide, the white button under the butt of her tail, the green flashing eyes. He bent down to her, his hands on his knees.

—Milk for the pussens, he said.

—Mrkgnao! the cat cried.

They call them stupid. They understand what we say better than we understand them. She understands all she wants to. Vindictive too. Cruel. Her nature. Curious mice never squeal. Seem to like it. Wonder what I look like to her. Height of a tower? No, she can jump me.

—Afraid of the chickens she is, he said mockingly. Afraid of the chookchooks. I never saw such a stupid pussens as the pussens.

Cruel. Her nature. Curious mice never squeal. Seem to like it.

—Mrkrgnao! the cat said loudly.

She blinked up out of her avid shameclosing eyes, mewing plaintively and long, showing him her milkwhite teeth. He watched the dark eyeslits narrowing with greed till her eyes were green stones. Then he went to the dresser, took the jug Hanlon's milkman had just filled for him, poured warmbubbled milk on a saucer and set it slowly on the floor.

—Gurrhr! she cried, running to lap.

He watched the bristles shining wirily in the weak light as she tipped three times and licked lightly. Wonder is it true if you clip them they can't mouse after. Why? They shine in the dark, perhaps, the tips. Or kind of feelers in the dark, perhaps.

He listened to her licking lap. Ham and eggs, no. No good eggs with this drouth. Want pure fresh water. Thursday: not a good day either for a mutton kidney at Buckley's. Fried with butter, a shake of pepper. Better a pork kidney at Dlugacz's. While the kettle is boiling. She lapped slower, then licking the saucer clean. Why are their tongues so rough? To lap better, all porous holes. Nothing she can eat? He glanced round him. No.

On quietly creaky boots he went up the staircase to the hall, paused by the bedroom door. She might like something tasty. Thin bread and butter she likes in the morning. Still perhaps: once in a way.

He said softly in the bare hall:

—I'm going round the corner. Be back in a minute.

And when he had heard his voice say it he added:

—You don't want anything for breakfast?

A sleepy soft grunt answered:


No. She didn't want anything. He heard then a warm heavy sigh, softer, as she turned over and the loose brass quoits of the bedstead jingled. Must get those settled really. Pity. All the way from Gibraltar. Forgotten any little Spanish she knew. Wonder what her father gave for it. Old style. Ah yes! of course. Bought it at the governor's auction. Got a short knock. Hard as nails at a bargain, old Tweedy. Yes, sir. At Plevna that was. I rose from the ranks, sir, and I'm proud of it. Still he had brains enough to make that corner in stamps. Now that was farseeing

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010


“stud lover boy”:
NY Times
obit for David Markson

James Yeh on David Markson

Preparing to misspell Wittgenstein

David Markson: An Introduction

LA Times obit

RIP David Markson:
where postmodern meets pulp

2 new videos of
Leslie Scalapino reading

Lyn Hejinian:
Remembering Leslie Scalapino

Memorials for Leslie Scalapino

Read more »

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Monday, June 14, 2010


Miles Mendenhall won Week 1,
imitating a 19th century “death portrait” of Nina Bustamante

Once Bravo lost Project Runway to Lifetime, the cable network that came closest to being a PBS for the 21st century had something of a crisis. In the Actor’s Studio & Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, the two series that distinguished the network back in the days when it mostly ran the best movies on basic cable, were already fading memories. Top Chef suffered mightily from the fact that you could see, but not taste, the participant’s creations. And the series of Real Wives knock-offs seemed aimed at an entirely different audience altogether, one that could have just as easily gotten that sort of show from E! Now, two seasons after the last original Runway series on the network, Bravo has re-entered the arena for high-concept reality TV with Work of Art, a blatant Project Runway imitation with the notable difference that its contestants are trying to make it in the least equitable of all creative markets, the fine arts.

The premise of the show is identical to that of Runway. 14 contestants – two less than on PR – are given a series of challenges, with one person eliminated each week until the winner gets a solo show at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, plus $100,000. The contestants were obviously chosen for their diversity. Exactly half are women & four are “of color” and the levels of experience are just as broad. Vietnamese-born Trong Nguyen has been showing in New York & European settings for the better part of a decade, and is widely known as a curator as well. Nao Bustamante teaches at the Rensselaer Institute and has been on the art scene for over 25 years. Yet one of the other contestants is a fast food cook from Santa Maria, California, with some decent photography/Photoshop skills, but aimed perhaps more at becoming a commercial illustrator. Another fellow has been living in his truck, has never had a lesson and has never shown his art work to anyone. It shows. Still another is an outspoken Christian lady who appears to have walked over from Real Wives of Oklahoma City – yet her MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago suggests that she may be one of the sleepers here.

On the first show, which aired on Wednesday and is already available for streaming on the Bravo web site, Bustamante & the fellow who had never shown his work to anyone ever were two of the three fighting against being instantly eliminated. Bustamante & the African-American woman who was sent hither basically were punished for presenting abstract work in a challenge that was to do a portrait of another artist. The winner was Miles Mendenhall, the youngest artist ever to win a Minnesota State Arts Board fellowship, who also has a pronounced case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Imagine Monk in the body of a teen idol – this guy is going to be a huge hit with the fans whether he wins or not.

If, that is, the show doesn’t sink from the weight of its own misconceptions. The executive producer here is no Heidi Klum. In fact, it’s Sarah Jessica Parker, Carrie from the Sex & the City franchise, who makes a couple of cameos in show number one to gush at the artists, but isn’t visibly part of the judging. The mentor – the Tim Gunn role here – isn’t an older artist, but Simon de Pury, the auctioneer who started in Geneva & who appears to have bought & sold everything, including his own business. His French accent is a pale echo of Gunn’s clipped speech & pointed opinions. More importantly, he has little to really say about the works he sees in progress, since production is not his expertise, just distribution. The host, China Chow, is a collector known to be friends with a number of artists. The permanent judges consist of Chow and three curator/critics: Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, who sits on the board at White Columns & the president’s council at DIA while running her Salon 94 in the art ghetto of the Upper East Side; Jerry Saltz, senior art critic at New York Magazine; and Bill Powers, co-owner of Half Gallery & editor at large for Purple Fashion magazine. And while neither Rohatyn nor Powers are troglodytes, nobody calls foul when two of the three works that come up for elimination include the only abstractions in the group.

All of which points to the hulking, Technicolor elephant in the room: THERE ARE NO ARTISTS HELPING THE CONTESTANTS OF THIS SHOW AT ALL. None. Nada. It’s all about the buyers. Just like Sex & the City. Imagine Project Runway if the judges consisted only of Nina Garcia, the Jerry Saltz of that posse, Melissa Rivers & Lindsay Lohan. Work of Art is not a show about making art, but rather of making collectibles, of manufacturing ready-to-sell pieces. What I’d give to see a Joseph Beuys in this crowd of contestants, especially with a hungry coyote and a good supply of rancid animal fat. I have never appreciated PR’s Michael Kors more than when watching the brazenly incompetent judging portion of Work of Art’s first show.

The result is instantly predictable. The winner of this show will be able to sell, but is unlikely to have any perceptible impact on any other artist, unless it’s repulsion, regardless of how well the work is made or how likeable the artist is as a person. This is a bizarre theory of how to find “the next great artist.” Not unlike letting Garrison Keillor or Caroline Kennedy edit your poetry anthologies on the grounds that they may once have read a book. And every bit as doomed to failure.

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Sunday, June 13, 2010



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