NPWM Day 7: Sonnet for Paypal

April 7, 2014 § Leave a comment

Sonnet for Paypal

I stumbled on to grace and speed, when you left

your devotion to bloom in the mud. Your doubt has

since become an impasse. Secret ape experiments

might be breaking us in two; unflattering portraits of

each other in mirrors turned to face boards where

windows once… what? what does a window *do*?


Besides make us all wallet sized. The hill-ette has

become the home of Mole, Jr., and the hangman’s

on the lookout for a mountain. These are our word

salad days, with the dressing served on the side.


John, I… John! Stop painting photorealistic portraits

of Ren & Stimpy cartoons. Let’s get back to writing

the Twin Peaks pilot. You be Frost this time;

I’ll be Lynch.



Recently (and some not so recently) Received Books

December 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

Click titles for info

I Am My Own Betrayal

Reviews of most of these will be forthcoming in Poets Quarterly, Altered Scale, ForeWord Magazine, or this blog.

More LB@O Coming Soon…

December 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

It's true

Top 10 Poetry Books of 2012

December 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

What better way to kickstart a blog than a year-end list?

  1. Snowflake / Different Streets by Eileen Myles (Wave Books)
  2. A Mind Like This by Susan Blackwell Ramsey (Univ of Nebraska Press)
  3. Partyknife by Dan Magers (Birds, LLC)
  4. Listening for Earthquakes by Jasmine Dreame Wagner (Caketrain)
  5. To Embroider the Ground With Prayer by Teresa Scollon (Wayne State UP)
  6. As Long As Trees Last by Hoa Nguyen (Wave Books)
  7. Dear Jenny, We Are All Find by Jenny Zhang (Octopus Books)
  8. The Emily Dickinson Reader: An English-to-English Translation of Emily Dickinson’s Complete Poems by Paul Legault (McSweeney’s)
  9. Love, An Index by Rebecca Lindenberg (McSweeney’s)
  10. 2500 Random Things About Me Too by Matias Veigener (Les Figues Press)

Surprised that two of the ten are McSweeeney’s publications. I was going to say that My Rice Tastes Like the Lake by Tsering Wangmo Dhompa (Apogee Press) was my favorite of 2012 but apparently the publication date for that was 2011 (though I don’t think it was available until 2012 – so, honorable mention.)

*These are in no particular order, but #2 is hands down my favorite of 2012.

Newly Acquired Books from Buffalo

October 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

On my trip to Buffalo, 9/30 – 10/2, I managed to visit Talking Leaves Books and Rust Belt Books. Here’s what I got:

September 10, 2012 § Leave a comment


Latest Papers for the Border podcast…

Originally posted on Papers for the Border Podcast:

… and here is the playlist, featuring music by Horsebladder (Elaine Kahn); Emily Hay; Audrey Chen; Cabinet of Natural Curiosities (Jasmine Dreame Wagner)!

1. Pioneer ~ Horsebladder ~ Not I’ll Not (00:00)
2. Lashe ~ Horsebladder ~ Not I’ll Not (04:20)
3. Five Golden Rings ~ Horsebladder ~ Not I’ll Not (09:25)
4. Liturgy of Sound ~ Emily Hay ~ Like Minds (11:40)
5. Call to Unarm ~ Emily Hay ~ Like Minds (17:21)
6. Glacial ~ Audrey Chen ~ Glacial (26:20)
7. Glass ~ Cabinet of Natural Curiosities ~ Searchlight Needles (48:55)
8. Fabulist Decay ~ Cabinet of Natural Curiosities ~ Searchlight Needles (1:00:20)

  • Not I’ll Not was released on the Ecstatic Peace label in Sept 2011; you can click here for more information on the album and here for more information on Elaine Kahn’s writing (Customer, Radiant Bottle Caps) as well as her music.
  • Like Minds

View original 102 more words

Audrey Chen ~ Glacial

September 6, 2012 § 1 Comment

There is precious little information about this album on the internet, and not much more about Audrey Chen, other than a short bio that website maintainer upon website maintainer feels obliged to post. Chen is a cellist and singer, an improviser who incorporates electronics into her performances, and she is squarely situated in the avant-garde camp. According to her bio, she’s collaborated with all sorts of “out” musicians: Phil Minton and C. Spencer Yeh, to name a few.

I don’t remember where I got this CD, but I came across it a few weeks ago while doing some organizing – it comes in a transparent blue plastic clamshell case, and the only text is “Audrey Chen – Glacial” printed on the disc. The CD contains one 22-minute eponymous track that seems to serve as a showcase for everything Chen is capable of, although I wouldn’t be surprised to find that she has far more tricks up her sleeve than are in evidence on this recording.

(I’m doing something completely new here, to me, by the way: writing about a piece of music as I’m listening to it for the first time. This may not be ideal as I’m not able to give my whole attention to the music, but I’m able to at least get some thoughts down during the initial listening. (The piece just ended – I’ve been at this for more than 22 minutes now apparently, most of it surfing the web trying to find info on Chen). In any case this will be something I will listen to again with full attention, because there is a lot going on in those 22 60-second packets (you can only use the word minute so often during the day).)

Chen starts the piece playing a repetitive score,  dryly and somewhat abrasively, with minimal effects. It feels distancing and cold – the title makes sense here. By the end of the 22 minutes, the listener understands the importance of electronics in Chen’s music, and something else: the voice. It’s analogous to some sort of hallucinatory film sequence where we see Bjork singing and then superimposed within the image of Bjork, the voice, the soul within belongs to Diamanda Galas. When it’s done, the glacier’s begun to melt. There’s a clever analogy to be made here to global warming, but it’s too late. I need to catch up on Daniel Johnston’s back catalog. How’s that for ending on a non-sequitur?

(If you can find “Glacier,” get it. If you can find anything else by Chen, check that out too. 4/5 stars, or AAAA, or 8.9 if you’re a Pitchfork reader.)


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