Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Ongoing notes: New Year’s Day, 2019

Aoife, during one of our shopping/photocopying jaunts

Gadzooks! Where does it all go? Here we are, another year blah and another year blah blah. Older, certainly. So: hoping your 2019 is better than your 2018! I hear from more than a few that their 2018 wasn’t terribly good (things were okay in our household, although some larger country/world things of late have been quite distressing), so perhaps seeing an end to all of that is okay. New year, new hope. Yes?

On that note: I’ve been attempting lately to get back to the amount of reviews I once did, and am spending a couple of days pretending that I’m not overloaded by simply doing completely other, unrelated work. So here you go!

Chicago IL: From Chicago poet and editor Carleen Tibbetts comes the chapbook DATACLYSM.jpg (2018), a precursor, it would seem, to a full-length title of the same name out in spring 2019 with White Stag. Published in a numbered edition of fifty copies by Paul Cunningham and Jake Syersak’s r/adio/active c-lou_d [see my recent interview with them on the press here], DATACLYSM.jpg is a collection of twenty-four of Tibbetts’ ongoing “DATACLYSM” series, working from numbers one to seventy-two, each composed as meditative accumulations of short phrases/lines. DATACLYSM.jpg works to articulate the disconnect between information and knowledge, digital presentation and human consumption, and the disconnect between how information is processed versus actually being understood.


you’ve a prolonged obsession with crash sites
the blue of tonal mash
inhabiting small sections of sky
some say cohabitation is the mark of failure
neither adam nor apple
image search result for lotus toe
lusty spittle
tympan sex bot
doing a slow dance in the gallows
unstoppable love action
you too can be subsumed by
a crisis of wonder

It will be interesting to see how the full-length version differs from the chapbook in structure, if the missing numbers will be included, or if the project simply progresses.

Calgary AB: From poet Helen Hajnoczky comes the self-published and hand-sewn chapbook variations on the stillness of motion (?!, 2018), a small sequence of seventeen short sections on grief, set over full-colour images limited to an edition of twenty copies:

forgiven foregoes a process
we are forgiveness when we
pick apart a forgotten part
of giving our harness or it
pulls the getting of forment
this is important

Amid the language-mix and play there is a slowness to this piece, one that demands a calm attention, shifting and morphing through the flow of seventeen short sections set in sequence. Hajnoczky has long favoured playing with forms, and the poem-as-project, and this short variation engages both stillness and motion, existing concurrently between them. It will be curious to see, given her book-length works are also project-driven, if this small poem might land in one of her trade collections at some point, or simply exist here, quiet and still and lovely.

there’s coping and there’s
a day when we easily reach
and the sun we go out and
we say that when something
but we don’t say much else
it’s easy enough

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