Saturday, February 21, 2009

CAConrad's The Book of Frank

Reading CAConrad’s The Book of Frank I am reminded of Jack Spicer’s remarks about dictation. Especially Spicer’s insistence that the poet is a conduit for messages from an “outside,” and his observation that when one intends to write a poem the poem more often than not comes out in a way entirely different than how the poet intended: "Like if you want to say something about your beloved's eyebrows and the poem says the eyes should fall out, and you don't really want the eyes to fall out or even any vague connection. Or you're trying to write a poem on Vietnam and you write a poem about skating in Vermont."*

That the Frank of The Book of Frank is an extension of Conrad’s life no one acquainted with the poet can have any doubt. And yet Frank is an alter ego at best, if not evidence of what John Keats referred to as a personification of “negative capability." Only whereas Keats' negative capability allows one to remain in uncertainty about their world as an object of the understanding, Conrad's own negative capability is capable of luxuriating in the mysteries of the subject.

In all of the poems of The Book of Frank, Conrad’s reader is confronted with the violence of the poet’s imagination, which puts certain facts and perceptions from the poet’s experience into violent negotiation with power itself. At the polar ends of this book are absolute power—a kind of meglomaniac vision of Frank in his universe—and a compassion both innocent and world weary, dysfunctional and loving. Reading The Book of Frank I am also reminded of Emily Dickinson who, like Spicer, imagined a readership of acephalics—bodies with their heads cut-off. Why, if not out of recognition of his immense powers, does Conrad like Dickinson and Spicer before him go straight for the head? Because it is the vehicle of all apprehensions of vision? Because comprehension must cease its own tyranny over the body, and therefore those less followed paths of desire the consummate poet takes?

Frank puts 4, 5 , 6
sticks of
in his

he lights a match

imagines the
gold it’ll knock
out of his head.

Such are the treasures knocked out of our heads by this beautiful, concise and visionary book.

*from The House That Jack Built, ed. Peter Gizzi.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Atelos Boog City event this Tuesday

One of my favorite presses is having a Boog City event. Check the "one-night only book sale" too!

Boog City presents

d.a. levy lives: celebrating the renegade press

Atelos Publishing Project
(Berkeley, Calif.)

Tues., Feb. 24, 6:00 p.m. s
harp, free

ACA Galleries
529 W. 20th St., 5th Flr.

Event will be hosted by
Atelos Publishing Project directors and editors
Lyn Hejinian and Travis Ortiz

Featuring readings from

Ted Greenwald
Jennifer Scappettone
Lytle Shaw
Edwin Torres
Rodrigo Toscano

with music from

Lisle Ellis and Larry Ochs

Atelos One-Night Only Book Sale:

$10 each for single copies
$5 for each book thereafter

There will be wine, cheese, and crackers, too.

Curated and with an introduction by Boog City editor David Kirschenbaum


**Atelos Publishing Project

Atelos was founded in 1995 as a project of Hip's Road, devoted to publishing, under the sign of poetry, writing which challenges the conventional definitions of poetry, since such definitions have tended to isolate poetry from intellectual life, arrest its development, and curtail its impact.

All the works published as part of the Atelos project are commissioned specifically for it, and each is involved in some way with crossing traditional genre boundaries, including, for example, t
hose that would separate theory from practice, poetry from prose, essay from drama, the visual image from the verbal, the literary from the non-literary, and so forth.

The Atelos project when complete will consist of 50 volumes.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Two Flim Forum Events


FLIM FORUM authors:
John Cotter
Thom Donovan
Eric Gelsinger
Jennifer Karmin
Deborah Poe
Kate Schapira
Jessica Smith
Stephanie Strickland

FLIM FORUM editors:
Adam Golaski
Matthew Klane

131 E. 10th Street
$8 / $7 students & seniors / $5 members



FLIM FORUM editors:
Adam Golaski
Matthew Klane

FLIM FORUM author:
Jennifer Karmin performing selections from her text-sound composition aaaaaaaaaaalice with Tisa Bryant, Jennifer Firestone, and a few surprise guests.

456 Bergen Street, Brooklyn
as part of the Peace Series

FLIM FORUM PRESS provides space to emerging poets working in a variety of experimental modes. Flim Forum volumes include two anthologies Oh One Arrow and A Sing Economy, and just out, The Alps by Brandon Shimoda.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Right Side of the Sun

Here is a video I made with Dorothea Lasky for her reading with Filip Marinovich this past Friday in Brooklyn.

The Right Side of the Sun from Dorothea Lasky on Vimeo.

Also check out Dottie's animal lecture.