Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ongoing notes: late August, 2012

Do you know where summer disappeared to? I had rather hoped there’d be a bit more of it, around. But with autumn comes so many other things that a boy can look forward to (some forty days to the wedding, she tells me…). This past weekend, I was able to spend a day or so with my sister’s wee children (as she and her husband went to a golf tournament). A later August day, too cool for the swimming pool, so they played on a mound of dirt. Really?

And why is it I get so many American chapbooks (which I love) and so few Canadian ones (which I would like to have the chance to also love)? Most of the chapbooks I receive by Canadian writers, it seems, are those produced by non-Canadian presses (Corrupt Press, Tinfish, dancing girl, unarmed). What’s even that about? I ask, I beg, I request…

Corvallis OR: From Sacrifice Press, I recently received a small handful of chapbooks they were attempting to produce monthly (the press is currently on hiatus), including Trick (March 2010) by Chris Kraus, 32 SNAPSHOTS OF MARSEILLES (April 2010) by Guy Bennett, whomeanswhat (June 2010) by Lars Palm, and Proverbs, From the INBOX Project (November 2010) by Jonathan Ball. Over the past few years, Winnipeg filmmaker and writer Jonathan Ball has been producing increasingly interesting works, and there’s already a new title forthcoming (but you just have to wait for it).

Possible Interpretation: Here talk means carries weight, in the sense that
it is influential. Life’s a bitch and then you marry one. Love is blind. Drink
deep, or taste not the Pierian Spring: There’s no accounting for taste.
Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves. Jove
but laughs at lover’s perjury. Rules are made to be broken. A coward dies
a thousand times before his death. The valiant never taste of death but
once. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. What you see is what
you get. You can’t run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. A good
surgeon has an eagle’s eye, and lion’s heart, and a lady’s hand. All’s well that
ends well. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t play golf. There ain’t
no such thing as a free lunch. Rolling stone gathers no moss. Fools rush in
where angels fear to tred. You can’t get there from here. Advice when
most needed is least heeded.

Ball’s chapbook Proverbs, From the INBOX Project suggests that this is part of a larger, book-length project, and the collage aspect of the work makes me interested to see how the work will hold together as a larger manuscript. Where is all of this leading?

Possible Interpretation: A need kept a secret will never be addressed. A
fellow describing the distinction between coral and king snakes. Life’s a
bleach and then you dye. It’s not the size of the boat.

The back of Los Angeles writer, translator, publisher and editor Guy Bennett’s 32 SNAPSHOTS OF MARSEILLES includes the note: “32 poems of 32 words on 32 places in Marseilles. Each poem can be read in 32 seconds or less yet contains thought enough for 32 minutes of reflection or more. The author accepts that only 32 people will ever read or see these poems but would not be disappointed to be proven wrong.” It’s a bold statement, certainly, that each poem “contains thought enough for 32 minutes of reflection or more.” The poems are quick and certainly sharp, with a meditative quality I quite liked. There’s far more than here than meets the initial eye.

place de lorette

      where the wind is
      good the wall
  flat plastered
      with paintings children
made elderly women hobble
      the slope smooth
samba trombones
  flies buzz
hand stuck out
window shakes

Los Angeles CA: Nearly a year later, tricklings of dusie 5 kollectiv items appear still, with the appearance of Larkin Higgins’ poetry chapbook of materials, implements (2011). I’m very intrigued by the poems included here, intrigued by the stretches of open space, the lines pulled apart from themselves to understand the pauses and gaps inherent, echoing some of the rare spaces of poet Emily Carr.

No Sinecure : influenced by aire

was not tied                    was not sealed    flew

open from the force of the impact

Duplicate boxes

 already packed                                          and

in my pocket

                                                                 three things to-

gether in my hand?


   too puzzled

   too keen

the cheapest shot in the game                  dear


                        fool’s errand

   some things are worth pay-

ing                   certain risks

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