Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ongoing notes: late July, 2011

Can you believe it? I've already started going through manuscripts as part of my ongoing editing services, and it's working beautifully. Already have space for more.

We're possibly off to the Glengarry Highland Games this weekend; might I see any of you there? I'll probably be in the beer tent, when not visiting the Clan Building; but really, McNair should witness the actual “games” themselves, don't you think?

Denver CO: It seemed as though it took forever, but I finally received a copy of Philadelphia poet Hailey Higdon's [see her 12 or 20 questions here] chapbook, HOW TO GROW ALMOST EVERYTHING (Agnes Fox Press, 2011), an 11 x 8 ½ size work (produced in a numbered edition of one hundred) that includes the lovely letterpressed piece I originally read of hers, “I wrestle home the papers” [see my note on such here]. 

I like the flow of Higdon's thoughtful, longer lines, and the meditative qualities. Is this a meditative tract or an instruction booklet, writing: “I invest in water in overpasses over water // in pools puddles pollen in pool puddles // and I don't believe that rapport has anything to do with friendship // more with the zoology, and the character struggles of animals on this planet.” (“I WAS BORN YELLOW”). 

Her use of repetition, as well, is quite compelling, and it makes me wonder how these pieces might sound out loud, the rhythm of her lines echoing a deceptive lull before another critical, twisted pull, another thoughtful punch.
No pressure. Stop taking yourself so seriously. Let me make the plans.

Put good thoughts on paper, put good ideas on paper.
Put good thoughts on paper, put good ideas on paper.

Brides wrap the park. I say, get them moved. (from “OH HAILEY POOR HAILEY”)
The poem titles by themselves are pretty entertaining as well, including such as “I WAS BORN YELLOW,” “IF YOU MISS KUDZU YOU MUST BE REALLY FAR FROM HOME,” “DIDN'T LET NOBODY TAKE YOU TO THE CLEANERS DID YOU, HAILEY?” and “AND WHERE IS THE MAN WHO DIRECTS THE SUNLIGHT MACHINE?,” that ends with:
What is important to the sheep when the sheep is solitary?
What the fuck is important to the sheep when the sheep is solitary?


Remember the time the Asian lady was trapped in her own dry cleaning business?


Remember the time the Asian lady was trapped in her own dry cleaning business?

She knocked on the glass to me. CALLING ME. ME.

And I know today is somebody's birthday.

Somebody's baby was born.

I just can't remember if the baby was important.

Philadelphia PA: Published as part of Brian Teare's Albion Books Third Series is Jonathan Skinner's poetry chapbook Warblers (2010), a small cadence of poems for different types of birds. Considered an eco-poet, merging poetry and ecology, Skinner edits ecopoetics, found here.
Wilsonia canadensis

to trip it sift through seeds like this
gray coast in thicket
don't believe it when you see
somebody's yellow-breasted
necklace, edges of spectacles
the architecture's soft
drupes lifted, how truly
have you seen something
inquisitive zancos a
shack on stilts called
Kootenay's perspex on Paris
staccato, even, irregular
cresting curlicue lips
the neobaroco sea is livid
I'm intrigued by what Skinner is doing in this collection, and even further intrigued by the note at the back of the collection, writing a wonderful acknowledgment of how the collection was conceived and constructed, citing influences per poem, and/or borrowed/altered texts, writing:
Most Warblers emerge from the following limiting factors:

1) ACQUAINTANCE: add the bird to your “life list” before writing; 2) VOICE: listen to the bird's song, translating its rhythm and pitches; 3) PLUMAGE: note the bird's color and pattern; 4) BEHAVIOUR: attend to habitat and details of foraging, breeding, nesting and migration; 5) RANGE: name a far away place, since warblers link humans across hemispheres; 6) LANGUAGES: include words from poets writing in the North as well as the South—warblers feed on both sides of the border; 7) NONSENSE: acknowledge that warblers are restless, hard to see, and give you a crick in the neck.

Warbler diets: BLACK-THROATED GREEN: Michael Kelleher/Soleida Rios; CANADA: Lisa Robertson/José Lezama Lima; HOODED: Robert Kocik/Dolores Dorantes; NORTHERN PARULA: Benjamin Friedlander/Gonzalo Rojas; MAGNOLIA: Lisa Jarnot/Tamara Karmenszain; MYRTLE: Peter Gizzi/Antonio Jose Ponte; PALM: Jennifer Moxley/Petro Marques de Armas; PINE: Tom Raworth/Nicole Brossard.

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