Literary Love: Day 20

The Black Ocean blog took a rest this weekend, and we hope you did too--maybe curled up with one of the many books we’ve shared with you this month. To celebrate the duality of a lunar eclipse on the winter solstice, here are two chapbooks recommended by Joe Hall to read by the light of the blood-red moon.

The Heart Is Green from So Much Waiting by Sampson Starkweather (Immaculate Disciples Press)

Vallejo and Starkweather wreck each other in what he calls a transcontemporation (definition: A transcontemporation is to a poem what RoboCop is to a normal police officer). The flaming rubble that results is by turns awkward and gorgeous as the poem's deal with love, hornyness, resignation etc in a voice swerving between angry adolescence and the opposite of that:

"In seventh grade, I couldn't find the heart / on a 3D anatomy model, I just stood there like a town / dotted with paralyzed tornados, as the students snickered / I imagined Andre the Giant flying through the air, getting / head from Stacy Kerkoff beneath the bleachers. // Today, I brush back the harshness of because..."


"May this rain never end. / Unless I am allowed to fall / from the same source, unless they bury me / in a downpour, in the waters / that surge from every fire. // This rain, to what end will it reach me?"

Points also for referencing N.W.A.

Conditions Which by Wade Fletcher (Pied-à-terre)

Wade's poems enter the process of your own reading and revise. They erase their own tracks, boiling themselves down to what they are--words in relation. The most thinly whispered proposition. What you have to strain to hear, to lean in, turn your ear to. The book is vegan. It is not there.

It is so punk I can't even figure out how to buy it. And isn't that what Christmas is all about?

Look at some pages here, here, here.


Check back tomorrow for something of a slightly different flavor from Brandon Shimoda.

Day 15: Spreadin' the Love

A. Minetta Gould shared a trio of books with you earlier this month, so today we're giving you a peek at what you can look forward to from Ms. Gould in the new year. Over on Publishing Genius, AMG's got a chapbook forthcoming called Arousing Notoriety and something so awesome at Spooky Girlfriend Press it defies description.

We've posted quite a few chapbooks lately with plans to share some more. What are your favorite chapbooks?

Literary Love: Day 7

Some days you just want to read a chapbook. Lucky for you, Brandon Shimoda, whose book The Girl Without Arms is forthcoming from Black Ocean, has just the chapbook you need: Phil Cordelli's Book of Numbers Book of Letters (Agnes Fox Press).



Years from now ... after poetry has quit the world of money and influence ... after art has dispensed entirely with any cares for the mainstream (consumers, commuters, homeowners, husbands, voters, committee members, academics, etc.) ... after 99% of what we have come to accept as good and important has rotted out of the atmosphere ... people will begin unearthing the relics of the life and work of Phil Cordelli -- a poet, artist and farmer, born in the twentieth century, active across the first half of the twenty-first, and currently living in western Massachusetts. Among the innumerable home recordings, painted films, letterpressed pieces of garbage, book-length collages, scarified vinyl, copyright violations and field guides that form Cordelli's art, will be Book of Numbers / Book of Letters, published in 2010 by Agnes Fox. It might be the notes of a filmmaker, or the films of a scavenging note-taker. It might be the pin-hole paintings of a shut-in, or text installations assembled by an entire community. It might be the liner notes of a clairvoyant country musician, or the transcripts of an early morning conversation between a lone individual and his generously overwhelming environment. Undoubtedly it will continue to be all of these things. Numbers / Letters is a humble part of what I take to be a growing and indispensable compost and, after all, the "years from now" aforementioned are these ... 

You can begin the excavation now just by clicking the link above.