Showing posts from February, 2011

Colin Herd - A treasure trove of razzle-dazzle stylings, superfine wit, charismatic discretion, and a vacuuming tenderness

Colin Herd, too ok, BlazeVOX, 2011.

"Colin Herd is invincible in lemon, wants to be famous in two years—à la Charles Henri Ford—and his dad dresses like Roland Barthes. He’s not scared to introduce Simple Minds to Schopenhauer, nod to Oulipian lists, or throw in ‘old .at’ puns with real ones: ‘4 Lorne Street.’ That’s not a joke. Colin’s words, not mine (the poems are so engaging, and rooted in the poet’s life, that you feel able to use his forename). This playful first collection is a faux-real wide-eyed stare at the normal and the uncanny in everyday life. Herd evokes Brautigan when he writes ‘crumple this.’ Don’t. At least, read it first." — nick-e melville

"Colin Herd's 'too ok' is a treasure trove of razzle-dazzle stylings, superfine wit, charismatic discretion, and a vacuuming tenderness. Herd's gift for words is exquisite and adventurous and armed to the teeth, and these poems are its perfect measurements.' — Dennis Cooper

Colin Herd, Like, Knive…

Llorenç Villalonga - A testament to the eternal attractiveness of the libertine, and the lengths to which we go in justifying our own worst impulses

Llorenç Villalonga, The Dolls' Room (Catalan Literature Series), Trans. by Deborah Bonner, Dalkey Archive Press, 2010.

"A classic of contemporary Catalan literature, and a haunting and satirical portrait of a vanishing age, Llorenç Villalonga's The Dolls' Room concerns the decline of Don Toni and Dona Maria Antònia Bearn: aristocrats, cousins, husband and wife, and members of the decadent, age-old ruling class of a town that bears their name. Their story is told by the naïve family priest, Don Joan, who was taken under Don Toni's wing as a schoolboy. Describing the shabby grandeur of his benefactors’ lives in their ancient, rundown family mansion, their grand but ruinous excursions to Paris and Rome, and the mysterious events that lead to their deaths, the humbly devote Joan is continually challenged, and perhaps titillated, by Don Toni’s impious personality, his defiance of church authority, and his scandalous affairs. Partly condemning and partly admiring his dev…

Wayne Koestenbaum combines the mad genius of 'Pale Fire' with the florid outlaw sexuality of Jean Genet (narrator has to relieve 20 erections daily)

Wayne Koestenbaum, Moira Orfei in Aigues-Mortes: A Novel, Soft Skull, 2004.

"Five years of breakdown separate pianist Theo Mangrove's last recital in Europe from his planned comeback in Aigues-Mortes, "the town of dead water." At home in tiny East Kills, NY, Theo begins jotting in 25 notebooks, purchased all at once and addressed to his mother. Theo's wife, aside from servicing two of Theo's twenty daily erections, will have nothing to do with him. The other eighteen—taken care of by male hustlers, random strangers in YMCA locker-rooms and naked piano students—contribute to Theo's sense of dissolution as his "comeback" approaches. Overcome with the belief that Moira Orfei, queen of the Italian circus during the 1960's, must perform with him, Theo begins to write to her and to pen what may or may not be her cryptic replies into his notebooks. In a fugue of notes and troubling memories, Theo prepares for Aigues-Mortes, struggling with Moira…

Hannah Weiner – Clairvoyant poetry, experimental mysticism: I started to see words and they were all over the place, coming out of my hair

Hannah Weiner's Open House by Hannah Weiner and Patrick F. Durgin, Kenning Editions, 2006.

“HANNAH WEINER'S OPEN HOUSE beckons us into a realm of poetry that bends consciousness in order to open the doors of perception. Weiner is one of the great American linguistic inventors of the last thirty years of the 20th century. She created an alchemical poetry that transforms the materials of everyday life into a dimension beyond sensory perception. The pieces collected here are as much conceptual art as sprung prose, experimental mysticism as social realism, autobiography as egoless alyric. Patrick Durgin has brought together touchstone works, some familiar and some never before published. HANNAH WEINER'S OPEN HOUSE provides the only single volume introduction to the full range of Weiner's vibrant, enthralling, and unique contribution to the poetry of the Americas.” - Charles Bernstein

“HANNAH WEINER'S OPEN HOUSE, edited by Patrick Durgin, is one of the most lovingly assem…