Dec 25, 2008

Christmas Anglophilia





So I made my second Christmas Pudding this year and this time I got up the gumption (e.g. remained sober enough) to ignite it with flaming brandy like you are supposed to. You boil it for 10 hours and then you SET IT ON FIRE. What's not to love? A lot, apparently, since nobody ever wants to have anything to do with it besides me. So I will eat the entire thing myself and most likely give myself a coronary. But it sure does look cool when it is on fire. Otherwise, it tastes pretty much like a fruitcake.

& I didn't take that pic. from the internet, that is (or was) the real deal in our kitchen. Rachel was kind enough to trip the shutter while I was kind enough not to ignite my beard getting it to the table.

Likewise with the wassail, but cookies, on the other hand, are somewhat of an easier sell.

Those are Black & Whites because I may as well accept the fact I am a New Yorker. You'd be surprised how easy they are to make.







Now I am going to go polish off the wassail. Then I will spend the next 6 weeks on the stationary bike. After the fucking thing gets fixed.

Dec 11, 2008

Widening Gyre


Copies of my 2008 Dusie Kollectiv chapbook Turning are available at Bronwen Tate's blog Bread and Jam for Frances. Turning is a series of poems about seasons in New York City, and some of my favorite work to date. If you are sick of "New York Poems," don't worry, most of the poems are pretty critical of life in the city in general. If you happen to love New York, well, you'll at least probably recognize most of the locations. Except the ones in Queens, because you probably never go to Queens...

I need a vacation.

But please, check out the book, if not for my sake, then only to see the beautiful job Bronwen has done with the chaps.

Nov 29, 2008

Herd

THIS tells us, at least, three things:

1.) Yet *another* reason never to set foot in a Wal Mart.

2.) Why our society is doomed.

3.) Why our society deserves to be doomed.

Nov 23, 2008

Fall



FALL

Searchlight-spot huge white
moon in the blue morning,
September balm withered-- trees
sanguine, give up
in the thick haze. Through
factory windows beside the train see
inverted glowing buttercup
lamps light who knows what.
Woman in the seat opposite
metronomes, syllables spurt
from her lips like the rail shrieks
as light-flowers are prized
open by the dawning day,

September, never any rest
for the dead, 6AM the moon
steals away, guilty. Summer
drops down to the curb
with the illegals waiting
for some work.


From my chapbook Turning, soon to be available as part of the Dusie 2008 Chapbook exchange project.

Nov 5, 2008

Thanks, United States, for not sucking my soul out through my eyeballs. It's nice to have something happen that is not utterly disheartening and horrific. And so the careening behemoth begins to slow. Not a victory, though, not really--but a better place to start--something we haven't had for...8 years (at the very least).

Nov 2, 2008

If you are in upstate New York on November 15

Mark Lamoureux and Joan Retallack
November 15, 2008 at 2pm

The Gallery at R&F Handmade Paint
84 Ten Broeck Avenue
Kingston, NY 12401

A $5 donation is suggested.

For directions please visit R&F’s website at http://www.rfpaints.com/

Mark Lamoureux lives in Astoria, NY. His first full-length collection, Astrometry Orgonon was published by BlazeVOX books in 2008. He is the author of 5 chapbooks: Poem Stripped of Artifice (winner of the New School 2007 Chapbooks Contest), Traceland, 29 Cheeseburgers, Film Poems and City/Temple. His work has been published in print and online in Fence, Mustachioed, miPoesias, Jubilat, Denver Quarterly, Conduit, Lungfull!, Carve Poems, Coconut, GutCult and many others. In 2006 he started Cy Gist Press, a micropress focusing on ekphrastic poetry. He is Reviews Editor for Boog City, a Manhattan-based literary paper, and teaches composition in the CUNY system.

Joan Retallack’s most recent publication is her Gertrude Stein: Selections with an extensive introduction/discussion of Stein’s work, brought out by University of California Press. She is the author of seven volumes of poetry including Memnoir, Mongrelisme, How To Do Things With Words, Afterrimages, and Errata 5uite which won the Columbia Book Award chosen by Robert Creeley. Currently at work on a poetic project, “The Reinvention of Truth,” Retallack is the author of Musicage: John Cage in Conversation with Joan Retallack, Wesleyan University Press, recipient of the America Award in Belles-Lettres. Poetry and Pedagogy: The Challenge of the Contemporary (Palgrave MacMillan, co-edited with Juliana Spahr) came out in 2006. The Poethical Wager, a book of interrelated essays, was published in 2004 by the University of California Press. She was the recipient of a Lanan Foundation award for poetry in 1998-99. A collection of Retallack’s procedural poems will come out next year from Roof Books. Retallack has had the pleasure of living in the Hudson Valley since January 2000 when she became the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of Humanities at Bard College.

In the Gallery at R&F until November 22, 2008: Fabrication vs Verse, a solo exhibition of recent encaustic paintings by Kingston-based artist, Denise Orzo.

For this recent body of work, Denise Orzo was thinking about expectations, and how they often fulfill their conclusions. Using a highly innovative and original approach to cut-paper stencils, Orzo explores the formal interplay of positive and negative space, while constructing stories about the all-too-human tendency to form our realities with incomplete fragments of information. Using photographs as source material, the artist translates these flashes and glimpses as if they were manuscripts of light, shadow and time, illustrating how what we see is informed by what we have previously seen. The controlled precision of mapping an image, the fallibility of the human hand, and the wild, tempestuous nature of painting with hot wax all combine to augment the mutability of perception.

Denise Orzo was born in Queens, New York in 1972. She spent her early years on the piscine shaped island, dually informed by the powerful expansiveness of the ocean and the crippling claustrophobia of suburbia. Orzo holds a BFA in Painting from SUNY New Paltz. Her work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, The Wright Gallery and The Kingston Museum of Contemporary Art, among other Hudson Valley venues. The artist currently lives and works in Kingston, New York.

Oct 31, 2008

ASTROMETRY ORGONON now available


Dear friends,

Happy Halloween! Most of you probably know of the trials and tribulations that my first book, Astrometry Orgonon has gone through in coming into the world, so you should know how pleased I am that the book is at long last available to order from BlazeVOX books. Some of you will note the slight change of spelling in the title, this is to differentiate it from the other version of the book that was ostensibly to be published with a different publisher. But time waits for no man, and neither do I, so the book has relocated to greener pastures.

The book is available on line through BlazeVOX at: http://www.blazevox.org/bk-ml.htm; the buy it now will take you to an Amazon storefront through which BlazeVOX sells their books. Even though the purchase is made on Amazon, the book is still purchased "through" BlazeVOX. BlazeVOX is a fantastic publisher and needs your help in these troubled times, so I must ask that you please purchase a copy of the book in this manner. Due the nature of Print On Demand, I will not be able to be as generous giving away copies of this as I have been with some other projects. But please check out the book, I have waited a long time for this.

Here is the copy from the back of the book (blurbs?, we don't need no stinking blurbs):

"The map of the heavens has long been the place where humanity has immortalized those narratives that are instructive to its understanding of the universe. The named celestial bodies represent a repository of information from diverse cultures, both ancient and modern. Each poem in this volume bears the name of the brightest named star of every visible constellation from both hemispheres. Insofar as mythology, science and religion offer us explanations of the properties and behavior of the physical world, Astrometry Orgonon, like the star-stories of old, creates a new, secular cosmology based on the scientific observations of Wilhelm Reich and Richard A. Muller compounded with various modern and ancient religions. By accepting as fact the theories of these and other disputed or dis-proven worldviewsn, these poems speak of the tenuousness and fragility of human understanding, and offer a critique of the actions of humans during the past several millennia."

http://www.blazevox.org/bk-ml.htm
http://www.blazevox.org/bk-ml.htm
http://www.blazevox.org/bk-ml.htm
http://www.blazevox.org/bk-ml.htm
http://www.blazevox.org/bk-ml.htm
http://www.blazevox.org/bk-ml.htm

Oct 19, 2008

Re: Repeats


I was excited to receive a chapbook of poems from my friend Guillermo Parra, from whom I haven't seen an extensive number of poems since Cy Gist published (a portion of) his Caracas Notebook in the summer of 2006. Phantasmal Repeats is an austere black and white volume, produced on an apoplectic typewriter whose "e's" and "a's" appear to be sinking into the ground as if, appropriately, pulled by the arms of the angry dead. ("I can't hold these vowels enough to make the trembling / cease"). Even the bottom margin of the book itself appears rough-hewn, as though itself torn from the ground. The effect of the jagged lines is to make each poem a kind of Rorschach-like piece of visual art. This does not detract from the traditional sanctity of the poems, though, which are in keeping with Guillermo's exilic voice from Caracas Notebook, only this time they seem to be about the shift from North to South, or urban to less-urban (I'll probably receive letterbombs if I call Durham "rural")--Guillermo moved from Boston to North Carolina around the time that I moved to New York, another member of the great Boston poetic brain-drain that occurred around the middle of the decade.

The poems here seem mostly solitary (somewhat unlike Caracas Notebook which feels more "public"), with the narrator appearing to inhabit an empty domestic space with music infinitely looping ("Recurring rhythms make paste") in the background (the loop is a reoccurring motif in Parra's works--the "Phantasmal Repeats" of the book's title and "stress points / compose / phantasmal repeats"), and the musical paeans that bespeckle the poems seem considered and appropriate ("I'm one of the few people who live what's called the low-life" from New Order), and thus less irksome than I sometimes find purloined lyrics. Maybe I only like musical references when they are bands I like. Something I always find satisfying though are ghosts, and there are a number of them haunting this chapbook; indeed the black and white bleakness of the chap seems to adumbrate the spectral white sheet with two full stops for eyes ("like a ripple / of ghosts/ across the window"). Recurrent phrases and motifs ("bass cathedrals," loops, flowers) accentuate the haunted-quality of the book, as do the poems homebound-ness, although the narrator does leave said environs to be terrified by the brick block of a TJ Maxx in one of the bleakest and scariest poems of the book.

Guillermo is one of those poets who is not afraid of the lyric "I," and comfortable (or as comfortable as possible) with the process of mediating between the protected sacred self and the dumb tableaux of the world ("I write fitting spaces / For the sake of secrecy's map.") Probably like me, Guillermo is also one of those poets happiest by himself, with only oblique traces of obvious literary antecedents, choosing the right tool for the job independent of anyone else's kit.

I have no idea how one might acquire one of these outside of Guillermo himself, who I imagine would probably send you one if you asked.

Sep 13, 2008

Please Support Petrichord Books and Catherine Meng

Friends,

Petrichord Books is pleased to announce the publication of DOKUMENT, a new chapbook by Catherine Meng.

In a sequence populated by iconic figures ranging from Peachy Peach and Glenn Gould to Bon Jovi and someone called Bullet, Meng writes a fragmentary lyricism informed by her Philip Roth epigraph: "It's impossible to report anything faithfully other than one's own temperature; everything is allegory."

A sample of DOKUMENT by Catherine Meng:

DOKUMENT 10 THE MY OF IT

talking to Peachy Peach about the block of time
& sick from kissing
likewize & out of folkus
trying but crimping the script
ad-lib ensued so all the cars had a line
Bullet said something about
how the price of gasoline
equals the end of sharing
chorus: guffaw
Bullet: Starbucks had something to do with it
chorus: guffaw
the poets: taste great less guffaw
Glenn Gould: over easy please
Tracy: 4 phun give glen some funky yolk

DOKUMENT costs $6, and can be purchased online via paypal at the Petrichord website or by cash or check (made payable to AARON TIEGER) sent to:

67 Rice St. #1
Cambridge, MA 02140

Upcoming from Petrichord in 2008:

SUMMER POEMS by Aaron Tieger
END NOTEBOOK by Geoffrey Olsen
OUT ANOTHER by Michael Carr
RECENTLY CLOUDS by Jess Mynes and Aaron Tieger


Thank you,
Aaron Tieger
Editor, Petrichord Books

Sep 11, 2008

So, while Obama and McCain are speaking to the press about the (largely historical, largely irrelevant) topic of September 11th, 2001 (something that happened 7 years ago, when people who are now 18 and can vote in this election were 11) and engaging in (in appearance at least, and, hey, we all know appearance is important to "folks") bipartisan discourse on the subject, while Palin, ballgagged as usual, is in Alaska sending her son off to die in an illegitimate war irresponsibly connected to the events of September 11th, 2001 by the Bush administration, but since proven as about related to those events as a sale on shotgun ammunition at Wal-Mart. If you can't spot the metaphor here, I can't help you.

Sep 9, 2008

I sometimes find Jack's criticism a little impenetrable (that's not a bad thing, just a thing), but his commentary on this potentially disastrous and soul-crushingly tragic election is spot on and I'm-certain-I-was-already-thinking-that-but-couldn't-quite-articulate-it obvious. I am worried about plans B and C because the Democrats always seem to lose it in a crisis, just a little too doughy, just a little too shy with the backhand. I'm afraid we may be doomed. Dibs on the rocket to Mongo.

Aug 29, 2008

Summer Comes Undone with 3 New Titles from Cy Gist Press

Cy Gist Press is Happy to announce the release of 3 new titles, just in time for the end of the summer.

GARY GYGAX
by John Sakkis (28 pp. Saddle-stapled.) $8 ppd.

The tradition of the Bestiarum vocabulum goes back to the 12th century; the tradition of Dungeons & Dragons, that cross between improvisational theater and light bondage, goes back to the 1970’s when it was invented by this chapbook’s eponymous hero. If you grew up in the 70s or 80’s you played D&D, knew someone who played D&D, or stuffed someone into a locker who played D&D. Whatever your feelings about game, there is no question that in their earliest incarnations, its rulebooks were celebrations ofbizarre language and bizarre ideas, which undoubtedly had their influence upon poets-to-be who indulged in them. In Gary Gygax, John Sakkis brings bohemia back to its roots in its parents’ basement in this monster manual of beings malevolent and benign. Like an umber hulk, this book is a strange hybrid of disparate parts—snippets of language pulled from the game, from popular culture and from Sakkis’ subconscious. Like an umber hulk, this book will hold you rapt with its four terrible eyes.



LOOKING FOR LAKE TEXCOCO by Kevin P. Gallagher, with Spanish language translation by Guillermo Parra.
(44 pp. Sewn Binding. English and Spanish Facing Pages.) $8.00 ppd.

The author says of Looking for Lake Texcoco:

“These poems are a variation sequence evoking the painting “La Cuidad de Mexico, 1949” by Juan O’Gorman, an Irish-Mexican painter who lived in Mexico (1905-1982). The painting, now at the Museo Arte de Moderno in Mexico City, is a bird’s eye view of Mexico City during its transformation into a modern city. In the foreground, two hands hold a map known as the Santa Cruz map, which represents the colonial city being built on top of the ruins of the pre-Hispanic era. In the top right of the painting two angels carry a Mexican flag bearing the legend "Viva Mexico.”

Alongside Gallagher’s English is a Spanish-language translation by Guillermo Parra, author of
Caracas Notebook.


DEAD-EYE SPRING
by Cheryl Clark Vermeulen
(24 pp. Sewn Binding. Vellum Endpapers.) $8 ppd.

Dead-Eye Spring offers a bird’s-eye view of being-in-the world. Cheryl Clark Vermeulen navigates the minefield between the self and the universe as a Kevlar-clad ballerina. Never quotidian, Vermeulen’s unheimlich observations consistently surprise and reassure. She is unafraid to tell us what we already knew but were afraid to ask. Do not fear this chapbook, fear this chapbook.

Aug 14, 2008

In Other News



I have made 2 fruit tarts so far this summer. A blueberry one and a peach one. Based on this summer's tarts, I have come to the following conclusions: a) mixed fruit tarts are more interesting than single-fruit ones (I need to try and make 1 mixed one before the end of the summer) and b) margarine actually works better than butter for making the crust, whereas I had previously thought that it wouldn't work at all. Go figure. Though, apparently, margarine is not a priori better for you than butter, which I always thought it was. I just can't keep track anymore; basically, though, if it feels or tastes good it is bad for you and you have to give it up when you get old (such as I am, or am getting). Generally speaking, however, fruit tarts contain less things that are bad for you than, say, a chocolate cake, but more things that are bad for you than, say, 2 rice cakes slathered with...um...air?

I have finished 2 of the 3 Cy Gist endeavors of the summer; number 3 has been held up by an inefficient thread retailer. Boo to inefficient thread retailers. I will be releasing all 3 at the same time, so you will have to wait until I get my thread.

Films I watched while assembling the two chapbooks (I usually watch crap because it's hard to pay that much attention while you are stapling/sewing/trimming, etc., but this time I ran out of crap at the end): Threads, The Woman in The Moon, White Noise 2 (including all extra features), Supernova and Hotel Rwanda.

Threads is a British movie made in 1984 about nuclear war. Nuclear war is very bad. Though I have to take issue with the logic of the film in certain parts, particularly this part where a woman gives birth all alone by herself in some burned out shack and has to sever the umbilical cord with her teeth--apparently the bomb obliterated all useful sharp objects, even though every frame of the film is filled with smouldering, fairly sharp-looking debris. Anyway, it was quaint to hear about East Germany and West Germany. We don't have to worry about that anymore. But the missiles still exist, folks, they didn't go anywhere.

The Woman in the Moon isn't crap at all, but rather a silent film, which are good to watch when putting together books because they move pretty slowly and are generally pretty simple. This is a Fritz Lang film and therefore German Expressionist cinema, which features lots of extreme close-ups of kohl-eyed people looking pensive, anxious, or ambiguous combinations of the two. A motley group of folks travel to the moon in a fabulous Art Deco spaceship to find...gold... It was pretty realistic for the 20's insofar as there wasn't really much on the moon except for a cool, vaguely surrealist lunar landscape, bubbling pools of I guess gold, and, well, an atmosphere, taxing the willing suspension of disbelief just a little bit. What was most interesting about this film was how much it influenced Danny Boyle's excellent Sunshine, which has a similar only-half-the-oxygen-left-so-somebody-amongst-all-these-people-who-don't-really-like -each-other-must-die premise, as well as the same sense of lonliness and desperation. Boyle is one of my favorite contemporary film-makers, a revisionist and ripper-offer of the highest order, but, for the most part, a masterful one.

Remember the first White Noise? I didn't think so. It was one of these PG-13 supernatural thrillers about EVP- Electronic Voice Phenomenon, where ghosts talk to you through radio or television static. It would stand to reason, therefore, that the dead must me very concerned about the switch to digital television, which will all but do away with the creepy television static through which they communicate with us. But I digress. The first one was OK. This one really sucked. It had the guy from Serenity and the woman who plays Starbuck in the new Battlestar Galactica. Both of which are far better than this crappy film. This one wasn't really about AVP at all, but rather, NDE, Near Death Experiences. EVP + NDE = RSS: Really Shitty Sequel.

Supernova is about a spaceship that answers a distress signal to some abandoned mining colony where they find this psychopath who looks like Justin Timberlake who has found some kind of alien artifact that is basically this floating translucent piece of CGI that looks vaguely reminiscent of a vagina (what is it with science fiction films and vaginas, anyway? Though this one did not have any teeth). I'm serious, they even point out the obvious resemblance in the film. Though they can't bring themselves to say "vagina." "It looks like, an, um, well...you know..." When anybody touches it, it makes sort of groan-y, coo-y noises, as you would expect I guess. It also gives you superhuman powers and makes you homicidal. (Whoever wrote this movie has some serious issues.) Anyway, the alien vagina wants to destroy the universe for some reason and the New Psychopath on the Block wants to help it, but he gets foiled by the tough-as-nails copilot and the Female Character Who Also Inexplicably Survives. This was pretty bad, but the spaceship was cool.

I taught We Wish to Inform You Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families for a semester at Kingsborough, and kind of had been putting off watching Hotel Rwanda because most American films on serious subjects suck. I ran out of stuff to watch while I was trimming, so I had to dig deep into the DVD collection. Hotel Rwanda was a pretty good movie, though, perhaps one of the better non-inane American films I have seen for awhile.

I write this just so you know what I go through to bring you quality literature. Stay tuned for the official release of the books, which will happen as soon as I get my bloody thread.

A Teetering Crane of Poetry Crashing Through Your Luxury Condominium

I have a poem up at Cara Benson's e-journal Sous Rature. Check out the great work from many other friends and comrades as well.

Aug 9, 2008

Georgia On My Mind


I have had a slight obsession with the Republic of Georgia, stemming initially from an enthusiasm for old-style Georgian semi-sweet wines (Kindzmarauli, Saperavi, etc.) beginning with having been served some by Fulcrum editors Philip Nikolayev and Katia Kapovitch, which are best drunk with the Georgian dish of Chicken Tabaka, a simple, sort of savage preparation of a small chicken fried under a heavy weight, giving the bird the appearance of having been stepped on by a Transformer or something. Later on, I encountered, completely unrelated to anything to do with the wine, a piece on Georgian polyphonic choral music on the Naxos podcast and fell in love with that as well. After seeing a performance by the State Ballet of Georgia in the fall at BAM, I started looking at what is entailed in flying to the region (not cheap) and any famous Georgian poets in translation, or which could be translated at the behest of a Fullbright or something like that. Perhaps I still will someday, if there is anything left of the country following recent developments.

While it is unclear who actually started the conflict, far be it from a citizen of the United States in these times to pass judgment on the actions of any nations. Most importantly, nations start wars, but people fight them, and a war is a tragedy for the people on either side. Hopefully the situation will end quickly, and escalate into something scarily larger. It is always worrisome when the old Cold War adversaries find themselves on the wrong side of any issue; particularly with the adenoidal lunatic in charge of the country at this time (there's still 4 months to *really* fuck things up), though so far our imperious leader seems to be stifling himself.

I must say that it is alarming how the former superpowers of late behave as though they are kindergarten playground bullies desperately clinging to their sovereignty as the rest of the world moves on to the third grade and becomes to smart for them and they unleash their wrath upon the littlest kids in the class. They level entire countries to chide the actions of dubious, relatively powerless governments as though military might itself were the only moral prerogative in the world.

Anyway, too much in regard to a situation I probably know too little about. But here is a Muxtape of Georgian in honor of Georgians on both sides of the mess.

Jul 21, 2008

Maybe they should have had him review the new Frank O'Hara book instead.

We're sorry, Mr. McCain, but this contains just far too many spelling and grammatical errors to run the piece. Plus, this paragraph about foreign policy was copied straight from Wikipedia.

Jul 6, 2008

Cliff's Notes to Lamoureux

I like to use MS Word's auto-summarize function on my (unpublished) book-length manuscripts. The result is usually pretty interesting. Here are my (unpublished) manuscripts: I Am the Ship in Gustave Courbet's "The Woman in the Waves,"Sometimes Things Seem Very Dark and Spectre in 100 words or less. Astute members of our audience will note that is 3, count 'em, 3, unpublished book-length manuscripts (4 if you include the not-to-be-named-book held by slimy, errant not-to-be-named "Publisher.") Isn't life grand?

Apparently, I am obsessed with eyes. Just call me Die Sandmann.


 I AM THE SHIP IN GUSTAVE COURBET'S "THE WOMAN IN THE WAVES." IN 100 WORDS

love loved exactly as love loved them: without
of the brain.

Dream of rocks,
to die.

love inanimate animate love

unclosed eyes

Black. Red. Grey. Blue. Black. Connect shadow
the air
of water

grey light
light
shadow

Shadow
The eye
name.

temperatures & eyes. Winter

Winter

Winter

Saltwater's God
time,

of water

Spring

Spring

Spring

Spring

Spring

Number 1

Drooling rain
ending die.

wait.

eye. 7 little fingers
Never
sun. God. No water:

(An orange heart pinned
eyes closed

Never speak
Little by little
Parched Dream

Justine

death is forever.

enough time:

The dream

contains dust. The dream contains

ice & water & steam.




SOMETIMES THINGS SEEM VERY DARK IN 100 WORDS


a door
[Untitled Boulder, Colorado, 1972-1975]

mouth

Dear Francesca,

[Untitled. never

pegs hands
Black Sun
Black Sun
Black Sun
[Untitled New York 1979-1980]

Dear Francesca,

[Untitled New York, 1979]

& pain the eye, the eyes
Dear Francesca,

[Untitled Rome, 1977-1978]

Garden

snake
[Untitled New York 1979-80]

eyes
[Untitled New York 1979-80]

The eye-cloth
[Untitled Providence, Rhode Island 1976]

Whyfor door
room

[Untitled New York, 1979-80]

boiled hands

glass
[Untitled Rome, 1977-78]

[Untitled Rome, 1977-78]
[Untitled Providence, Rhode Island, 1978]

glass
glass eyes

2 glass
hands
[Untitled Rome, 1977-78]

my body
the snake’s eyes
Francesca
The right hand
Right hand
hand, Napoleon

hands

door, no door shall
glass

light becomes solid & black,




SPECTRE IN 100 WORDS

Fish’s mouth.

A plain of black glass.
Eyes
The glass becomes dark water.
& fall & tremle & fall & tremble
The dull-eyed usher
speaks
cavernous balless eyes
Drifts white
Go, little goat, little
night. breathe
moon in the lit blue

(Wind-
stopping of time. Faces from
globe, each black sun
barefoot winter light

for blood tungsten for eyes

thirsty sun o’er aluminum

teflon heart murmurs

time-travel

a lozenge-shaped eye

Blue light pours
from her eyes.
green eyes
face cracking
cold air prints
the window glass
glass atoms
seven names

Small Hands

Brain
You names
beautiful names,
a glass square.

old fashioned red
flowers fake

Jun 28, 2008

Especially for Dottie

By way of a post on Brooklyn's blog, this is uncannily accurate (though the one for Rachel's birthday is not accurate at all):

February 20 Birthday Astrology

by Jill M. Phillips

A Pisces born on February 20 is attuned to the spiritual mysteries of life, and religiosity can become an obsession. They possess a phenomenal memory. Their intelligence is more an esoteric understanding than an analytical skill. They have high ideals.

Pisces Information
for February 20
You should embrace: A sense of wonder, perfection, emotional resonance

You should avoid: Doubts, pretense, sleep disorders

Friends and Lovers

Loneliness and a lack of self-confidence often cause February 20 natives to choose the worst companions. They're eager to feel included and may be willing to sacrifice to have a large circle of friends. This attitude is destructive in romantic partnerships. They have a habit of holding on to people who are bad for them.

Children and Family

Letting go of the past is difficult for February 20 individuals. Because of the emotional baggage they bring into adult life, they may feel insecure about becoming parents. If they do, they're often pleasantly surprised to discover that they can let go of the unwise choices of the past.

Health

Destructive habits relating to food and alcohol are not uncommon among February 20 people, who sometimes hide from life's stresses. By turning to exercise and good nutrition, they can create the healthy lifestyle they need.

Career and Finances

February 20 people combine artistic ability with spiritual understanding. Money is rarely an issue with these people. Though they may spend it freely, February 20 folks seldom give any thought as to where it comes from or where it will go.

Dreams and Goals

To understand themselves through the power of their psychic talent is an important goal for February 20 people. They are often emotionally adrift in a sea of confusion. Once they begin to understand their power, they can liberate themselves from fear and delusion. They need to learn to set limits in relationships.

Legrandin is a complete hypocrite, but this is a great passage anyway

"It is true that you are a man of the world, I suppose, and go out paying calls! In order to go and meditate, as I do, beside some half-ruined tomb, my bow-tie and jacket are not out of place. You know how I admire the charming quality of your soul; that is why I tell you how deeply I regret that you should go forth and betray it among the Gentiles. By being capable of remaining for a moment in the nauseating atmosphere of the salons--for me, unbreathable--you pronounce on your own future the condemnation, the damnation of the Prophet. I can see it all: you frequent the frivolous-minded, the gracious livers--that is the vice of our contemporary bourgeoisie. Ah, those aristocrats! The Terror was greatly to blame for not cutting the heads off every one of them. They are all disreputable scum when they are not simply dreary idiots. Still, my poor boy, if that sort of thing amuses you! While you are on your way to some tea-party your old friend will be more fortunate than you, for alone in an outlying suburb he will be watching the pink moon rise in a violet sky. The truth is that I scarcely belong to this earth upon which I feel myself such an exile; it takes all the force of the law of gravity to hold me here, to keep me from escaping into another sphere. I belong to a different planet. Good-bye; do not take amiss the old-time frankness of the peasant of the Vivonne, who has also remained a peasant of the Danube. To prove my sincere regard for you, I shall send you my latest novel. But you will not care for it; it is not deliquescent enough, not fin de siecle enough for you; it is too frank, too honest. What you want is Bergotte, you have confessed it, gamy stuff for the jaded palates of refine voluptuaries, I suppose I am looked upon, in your set, as an old stick-in-the-mud; I make the mistake of putting my heart into what I write: that is no longer done; besides, the life of the people is not distinguished enough to interest your little snobbicules. Go, get you gone, try to recall at times the words of Christ: 'This do, and thou shalt live.' Farewell, friend."

-M. Legrandin to Marcel in In Search of Lost Time Volume III.

Jun 24, 2008

Added some links for some folks from Goodreads. Goodreads has been really buzzing these days. It seems especially to be a good thing for e-chaps and the like, since people can just link to them off of the Goodreads entries based on peoples' recommendations and such. Its nice because it sort of fills the void left when I sort of lost interest/became disillusioned with the Blogging community over the past couple years. Goodreads seems to be a place where many younger poets are getting acquainted with the landscape these days, in a similar way that I felt like the Blog-world did once upon a time, for me. People get weirded out by the rating system, but it seems like no big deal; I mean, you don't have to like everything your friends write as much as everything else they write all the time. It's interesting, also, to see people responding to specific works, both sacred cows and obscure little e-chaps--the internet doesn't know the difference. Which is a good thing.

Jun 17, 2008


I have two poems up at Adam Fieled's PFS Post, "The Madeira Drinkers" and "Scrimshaw Tango." "The Madeira Drinkers" features the flower Stinking benjamin. I like stinking benjamin because I've always thought that given peoples' general penchant for naming girls after flowers (Dahlia, Rose, etc.) that it would be cool to name a boy after this flower, thus Stinking Benjamin. Stinky or Benjy for short. The flower's other names are Trillium erectum (I barely even knem 'um...) and Corpse Flower (doesn't quite have the same ring to it...).

Jun 16, 2008

Thanks to everyone who emailed/commented on the love poems post. I would up just writing a poem myself, and not using any kind of collage procedure. It occurred to me that lucidity in this context was pretty important given that the people getting married were not poets, their families were not poets, and their friends (besides me) were not poets; in fact, I was likely the only poet in attendance, so coming up with some opaque thing for the sake of my own aesthetic agenda seemed sort of, well, stupid. I think this is the kind of thing every poet should do once--an occasional poem that needs to fulfill a transparent objective; somebody should require Bruce Andrews to write a poem for the dedication of a pediatric cancer hospital or something like that...

So here is what I came up with:

FOR KARIN & MARCO ON THEIR WEDDING DAY

No magician or jeweler
wrighting baubles, such things
that fool the eye with their glint
but buckle like dry grass underfoot;
rather a microscope gazing
longly at fat drops: too strange
for the eye those things that love
lays bare, little things writhing slightly,
tiny lives what in expiration give
bubbles to bread.

No lock, no key, no door, no house,
no bed, no hearth, no cellar, no ceiling,
no window, nor wall.
Love is the ground.

No oxidized shine that bleeds black
& dim from the tongue of the air,
a cog pitted & dull, swinging
the arm of a clock, an engine
that purrs or groans, seizes
under weight, gives in, but to sputter
quick again when coaxed, love lives
in the creased skin or the folds
of the brain, doubling surface in its
tiny fist of a skull. No heart, but
the darling of the hand & the mind.

No face, no eyes, no ears, no nose,
no arms, no legs, no hands,
no feet, nor breast.
Love is the bone.

No beacon or lighthouse lamp, flame
a slave to the hours of its breath;
does not guide the ships to shore
but lives in the airless depths of cold
trenches where wide-eyed fish swim
by the sheen of their skins alone.
Or love is a shrimp in the sand, out
to feed with all bathers asleep.
A brook that babbles uphill, a book
of blank pages, rewritten daily, or
hour by hour, minute by minute.

No word, no act, no ink, no pen,
no poem, no name, no spirit,
no god, nor star.
Love is.

Muxtape

May 23, 2008

Jack Kimball offers a compelling review of Poem Stripped of Artifice here. It has been very interesting to see how people react to this somewhat atypical work form me. Though I suppose it is less atypical now than it perhaps might have once been. I have been swinging lately back in the direction of transparency in my work, which is an interesting twist. Though it feels right. Picking up my own pieces, as it were.

I wish it were easier for you to get a copy of the PSA--I will try and get some more copies from the New School. The print run was 300, so there should be some more around. I really have no idea what they are doing with the chaps!

May 7, 2008

Wuv Pomes

Some friends of mine who are getting married asked me to write a poem for their wedding. As anathematic as said task is to me, I have agreed to do it. Rather than trying to do this entirely on my own, I am planning on doing an erasure or mash-up of "famous" love poems in order to construct something new. This makes sense to me in the context of the marriage-ritual, insofar as it is a facet of "tradition" that people tend to re-interpret, so likewise a re-interpretation of already extant celebrations of same seems in order. Not being an authority on love poems, myself (I know a few but...), I bequeath you, dear reader, to tell me what poems of this genre that you like and make my job that much easier. (You don't necessarily have to *like* said poem, either, especially since I am going to chop it up and reassemble it with a bunch of others. Think of me as the Buffalo Bill of love poems...)

May 4, 2008

I have a poem up as part of Elaine Equi's "Holiday Project" at Jacket Magazine here. The Holiday Project is a project curated by Elaine in which poets write "Greeting Card" poems for particular holidays, either real or invented. Mine is an occasional poem celebrating the Bride of Frankenstein's birthday (This makes reference to Shelley's actual novel in which the monster says he wants Frankenstein to make him a counterpart and he will go to South America, never to be seen again. The poem assumes that this actually happens. It doesn't actually have that much to do with the film Bride of Frankenstein.)

Apr 30, 2008

The unstoppable Geof Huth offers a very generous review of Poem Stripped of Artifice here. Its nice to have so many people respond positively to this project, since it is in so many ways atypical of my usual work. But is experimentation not, after all, as much about challenging ourselves as it is challenging the subjectively perceived status quo of the medium? Not that anyone has taken issue with it as a departure from my usual mode, said departure is probably most apparent to myself only.

Apr 28, 2008

UFO #2

Is a thought-tangle, an ethereal brain coral. Is the thoughts of a far-off mind, floating as they imagine this very scene. Barely there at all but can be spotted through a lens of splintered glass or a narwhal's cornea. At the moment when someone says to stop reckoning so hard, down to every detail--the stain on that wall, a half-eaten candy bar like a big dead bug--& think of something useful instead is the moment at which it vanishes from the scene, never to be seen again.

Apr 27, 2008

UFO #1
After Italo Calvino

Is like an upended pinwheel or a metal lotus blossom. The delicate, pliant material from which it is made can be seen to bow in the force of a strong wind or undulating as it travels along at high velocity. How such a substance can withstand the pressure of deep space is unknown. Additionally, it seems to act as a kind of reverse mood-ring—its color appearing to the viewer according to his or her own mental condition at the time of viewing. It will assume the same color as its background to all but the most peaceful and contented observers. This is how it has remained amongst us undetected for many hundreds of years. Of its crew, there is no information save that they must be extremely small or light in order to occupy a vehicle composed of such flimsy material. There appear to be no openings of any sort on the body of the craft, leading one to speculate that it is perhaps unmanned or that its occupants do not occupy sidereal space in such a way that we are accustomed to.

Apr 25, 2008

Disheveled black
dog chews
on a large
man's sneaker
in the
fenced-in
yard the
large man
who sold
paper flowers
has disappeared
from.

Apr 24, 2008

I am like one of those octogenarians who runs marathons. But here I am chugging along in my fuschia tracksuit.

FOURTH WORLD
-for Jack Kirby

Silence closed upon what had happened—

It stems from the waves of the mind

& everything moves—& makes a kind of beautiful noise—

Emotional turmoil breaks the dikes of the mind—& releases the flood in which we must fish—

A fear generator disguised as a great billboard

Each of us hears the music in the way that pleases him most

I feel like I’ve swallowed a thousand hot needles

Who but myself is justified in burning down this library?

But I am the revelation! The tiger-force at the core of all things

The architects of the atomic blow-up work feverishly in the evil factory

He is an ever-present fear that sweeps through the universe on swift, silent skis

I breathe! I move! I feel

The fools in that image little realize that we are distorting their cries into laughter

Suddenly the outer offices echo to the sounds of an eagerly awaited arrival

You lie, bodiless dog

Why, the very opposite of living

Slow down or be tranquilized

I regret the intrusion upon your many activities in this place

These are tanks of chemical defoliant packaged in the form of a dog

It’s a joy to be free of the grey & smelly air of a world filled with destructive machines

The guns make no sound

Right now I’m interested in your shiny orbital city

& fate proves to be an ugly, misshapen craft made of aged wood—

Yes, it’s a mysterious pigeon that waits for the vulture’s swoop

Perhaps we can lose ourselves in hamlets, cities—continents—

What kind of world is it—that spawns gods of evil & lesser beings with horribly hostile hang-ups?

Jumping jars of jellied jaguars

Where were you at the dawn of time?

You may get the chance to find out

Apr 22, 2008

Poem Stripped of Artifice



If anyone wants one of these, email me a snailmail address and I will send you one. I have about 20 to give away. Here's what Deborah Landau said about it, if you are interested:

"Poem Stripped of Artifice is a captivating sequence of poems that strikes an admirable--and difficult to achieve--balance between thinking and feeling. Stripped of pretense or posturing, these death-haunted poems ask big epistemological questions, weigh faith and doubt, and are permeated throughout by genuine emotion. Holding the sequence together is Mark Lamoureux’s intelligent and appealing voice, understated music, and large-hearted, distinctive sensibility. The poems are ambitious and risk-taking and possess a refreshing directness about death and god and love and depression and sex. Despite these ambitious themes, the poems aren’t ponderous, thanks to Lamoureux’s self-deprecating humor and light touch (“In the voudoun/ faith, a person puts his or her soul in/ a jar. Perhaps then, a soul can/ occupy an inorganic object like a jar/ or stuffed blackbird. If I put my/soul in a jar, I would probably lose it./ That’s how I am—absent minded”). Lamoureux’s capacious spirit animates the coffin-shaped poems, and each circumscribed box buzzes with vibrant interior life. “People often suggest/ that a poem must ‘do’ something to/ justify the time the reader spends/ reading it. If it doesn’t ‘do’/ anything, you are wasting your time,/ & the reader’s,” he writes. But the wide ranging mind-in-motion of these poems is compelling enough to reward multiple readings, so that when Lamoureux asks “How does it feel, my/ wasting your time like this?” the answer is, terrific."

Apr 17, 2008

SWINHOE'S SOFT-SHELL TURTLE

Eight eyes observe
the zero, the zero
of the moon
through the water,
like one milky eye--
dwindling: this is
one minus one minus
one until only
the rustle of lungs
that do not make
the thrum of winds,
what is divinest
rarest, to become
a god keep dying
until the lake hides
you forever at last,
a fable, only fools
believe you could
have existed at all.

Apr 16, 2008

Two-tone blushing
petals, scattered & mashed
by passerby into flagstone,
texture of bug-guts
bleeding to a stain--
remnant or revenant
emblazoned pavement
until scoured by rain,
like the shadow
that cannot be swept
in old China, likewise
no release from this
disintegration.

Not like snow, or even snow-
like drifts of shredded receipts
that fiercely blow
in cold spring air down
the slum street of Steinway.
The lonesome tree budding
pink flames & then
losing them to the steady crush
of the people who don't look
down & the people who do
gaze at dirty shoes, returning
from another god-damned
day.

Apr 14, 2008

Oh crap.

Tomorrow an extra good one...

Apr 13, 2008

I feel like when I go swimming at the gym and it seems like I've been swimming for a long time, and I stop to check the clock and I've been swimming for like 5 minutes.

This one is cheating because it was not written today, or this month for that matter. But you've never seen it before, so just pretend that I'm lying.



CAROUSEL HORSE




Flesh a ship’s flesh

bones the bones

of the dead
a gilded instrument

bespangled

trotting mouth
agape at

München

Follow
the cameleopard
Leviathan
my brother
Ark lion:
blade & frost born M.

Illions chopped loudly painted
round haunches

a kouros
for the children-burden
for the brass ring-
clink into fingers
the lightbulbs’ glowworms

matte wooden axle-Bavaria
in a child or monk’s hand,
Neuschwanstein, always
mountain-sized
mädchen &

scale errors
never daunted
giving

as only object can
love inanimate animate love



mount

of God
(nostalgia)
of History
(nostalgia).

In the loop powerless
seizing

gazes & bodies
Touched
moreso than
a quick beast

in successions’ rosary
leisure station

such as I am

wooden phantom, a cog
no less perfect

moving

stasis
orbit & archetype,

warped & buckled

ever resplendent

plastic finery

bronze tack & rod

unclosed eyes

trotting always

toward my brothers & sisters
away from my brothers & sisters

Apr 11, 2008

Commercial Break

We interrupt NaPoWriMo to bring you the following announcement:

If you are in NYC on Monday, April 14th, come hear me
and the other winners of the New School 2007 Chapbook
Contest read at the New School. It is unusual work (for
me), and I'm not sure you will be able to get a copy of
the chapbook anywhere else besides the New School and
this reading.

Details below.

The Graduate Writing Program is pleased to announce
the winners of the 2007 New School Chapbook
Contest. Here are the results:

2007 Winners:

Fiction:
Emily Taylor, selected by Kevin McIlvoy

Poetry:
Mark Lamoureux, selected by Deborah Landau

Non-Fiction:
Laura Esther Wolfson, selected by Danielle Trussoni

Writing for Children:
Lucas Klauss, selected by Elizabeth Van Doren

The winning manuscripts will be published this spring in an edition of 250 chapbooks. In addition, there will also be a reading by these alumni on Monday, April 14th at 66 W 12th Rm. 510 at 6:30pm. Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all those who participated.

Apr 6, 2008


HOT AIR BALLOON ABOVE BAVARIA
for Sandra Simonds

Through the telescoping bone
glass, spot the tardy pairs still
searching for the ark amongst
the crystal drifts & the chateau
where Young Werther went
to die.

Lighter than air, but never heavier
than I. Language is a lie:
I’ve not found yellow custard
anywhere here even
snowdusted eaves hide
only boilerplate & boxes of
crispy receipts.

The sun stops, drops &
rolls o’er the little hills, a
tumbleweed of sparks from up here.

In crablike helmets & copper
jumpsuits, descend to the Breughel
painting & start a modern
religion. Bring me:

donuts, Madeira, an astrolabe,
some clothes to go out in &
a wooden replica to replace this unreliable
right hand.

Mar 31, 2008

Kung Fou

Some grad. school chums just launched a new online magazine, Fou, where you will find me, (sandwiched between two much better poets, Dottie Lasky and Brenda Iijima). There's also work by my teacher Elaine Equi, among many other worthies.

In other news, I am doing...uh...spiritual? mental? calisthenics to prepare for an honest attempt at NaPoWriMo. I have some dirty tricks up my sleeve, so I imagine I will be able to pull it off.

Mar 24, 2008

NaPoWriMo

I have been writing short descriptions of the beach at Kingsborough Community College every day I go out there (as part of a project I have been working on, namely, writing short descriptions of the beach at Kingsborough Community College every day I go out there), so I suppose I am somewhat prepped to undertake NaPoWriMo this year, despite my complete inability to write anything in the blog or answer emails ordinarily. If it does not precipitate brilliant poetry, it will perhaps at least get me back in the habit of writing on the blog. Not that anyone has missed me writing on the blog, but still, there has been a marked lack of my monotonous, whiny voice in the ether of late.

But you should steel youself for the fount of banal crap that will most likely issue forth from my fingers for 30 days in April.

Mar 4, 2008

Mar 1, 2008

Landis Everson's WHEN YOU HAVE A RABBIT


Cy Gist Press is happy to announce the general release of Landis Everson's When You Have A Rabbit in connection with the Landis Everson Memorial Reading at St. Mark's Poetry Project on February 22nd, 2008.


(30 pp. Saddle-Stitched). 28 poems written after Everything Preserved: Poems 1955-2005. Edited by Ben Mazer. Cover Art by Kris Chau. $8 ppd.







Landis Everson was born in 1926 in Coronado, California. When he got to Berkeley in the late 1940s he met Jack Spicer, Robert Duncan, and Robin Blaser and they called themselves The Berkeley Renaissance. Landis studied with Josephine Miles and was the editor of the Berkeley student literary magazine, Occident. Miles called Landis and his friends The Museum School of poetry. Duncan was influenced by Landis and called him The Poet King in letters to Spicer. Spicer admired the ease with which Landis wrote poetry, and wrote to Robin Blaser that Landis was a god for each member of the group. In 1951, while finishing a Master's at Columbia, Landis met John Ashbery who admired his poems and would later print selections from "The Little Ghost I Played With" in Locus Solus. The subject of Landis's Master's thesis was an imaginary seventeenth century poet called Sir William Bargoth, for which Landis concocted both the poems and the commentary upon them. In 1955, while Karl Shapiro's teaching assistant at Berkeley, Landis had the first of six appearances in Poetry, two appearances in the mid-Fifties, followed by four appearances five decades later. In the late 1950s he was introduced to a younger generation of poets that included Joanne Kyger and John Wieners. In 1960, Landis replaced Robert Duncan as the third member of a Sunday poetry group that was run by Jack Spicer and met in Robin Blaser's apartment in San Francisco. Dictated serial poetry was the order of the day. Landis wrote the sequences "Postcard from Eden" and "The Little Ghost I Played With," a few months too late to be considered for Don Allen's anthology The New American Poetry. Then the group stopped meeting, and Landis, who was only writing for his friends, turned to painting, and renovating houses. He didn't write anything for 43 years, during which time none of his poetry appeared in print. Then in the fall of 2003, Ben Mazer contacted Landis to inquire about Landis's poems, which Mazer planned to include in a feature on the Berkeley Renaissance for Fulcrum. Over the next three years, the last of his life, Landis would compose over 300 poems, comprising the book Everything Preserved, which won the Emily Dickinson Award from the Poetry Foundation, and Book of Valentines, still in manuscript form. In the spring of 2006 Landis had the first in a series of strokes, which left him incapable of writing any more poems. He took his life on November 17th last year.




Young Goodman Brown

Young Goodman Brown was a window shade.
One side faced Paradise and Hell outdoors
the other furniture, food and shelter in.
But when Faith rolled him up
he saw himself no more.

A spider squeezed out the center and
threaded down. It yawned and opened
its eyes from sleep. All six legs flexed
wide, and like rust it farted spider dust,
which filled the house. We came in

with mops, hexes and vacuum cleaners,
until the house looked clean. But
how to kill a spider, which wasn�t ours?
It was masturbating like hell with every leg. Did
Young Goodman teach him that? Or Nathaniel?.


--Landis Everson

Feb 5, 2008

The new issue of Dusie is up, featuring the glorious spoils of the 2007 chapbook exchange project. Here you will find a generous chunk of my Sometimes Things Seem Very Dark: Poems for Francesca Woodman which, along with my New School Chapbook Contest 2007 chapbook (which I guess will come out in April or something), "Poem Stripped of Artifice," are the only works even approaching book-length by me that you are likely to see in the near future. Those of you wishing upon stars, well, know anybody with a press and an interest in cosmology?

Jan 25, 2008

Another Reason to Vote for Barrack Obama

Mike Huckabee's got Chuck Norris but Obama's got LOGAN RYAN SMITH....