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.