Wednesday, May 17, 2023
Sunday, May 14, 2023
Me, my mom, and my dad, in front of my Jersey childhood home, Easter 1966. I was 23, married, and recently discharged after four years in the military, living in Brooklyn trying to make a living as a writer. My mother would pass only weeks later on Mother's Day, making this the last photo of me with her.
Thursday, May 11, 2023
JEROME SALA'S HOW MUCH? and DOUG LANG'S IN THE WORKS
Here's two books of poetry I highly recommend by two uniquely original wordsmiths (and, full disclosure, dear friends).
Sala has a PHD in American Studies but to me he's the genius philosopher of ethnic punk urban working-class poetry that employs the language of consumer culture and blue-and-white-collar workplaces to expose the most deceptive misdirections of advertising and exploitation and the deeper truths beneath them. And I don't mean to say his poetry is turgid but in fact the opposite, stripped down and sparkling with clarity. HOW MUCH? is a "New and Selected" collection of his classic hits from his earliest (1980s) to the present. Should be an essential part of any discerning reader's library.
As should the late Doug Lang's IN THE WORKS. Doug was a self-taught immigrant from Wales novelist when I first encountered his work in the 1970s, but he became the master of innovative poetic technique and this book contains old and newer jewels from his language experiments, some more music than logic, some seemingly straightforward in meaning though resonant with more subtle meanings e.g. "This Poem" that states:
This poem doesn't like you
Doesn't like you at all and
Doesn't like other poems either and
Regards the whole literary world with pain and disdain
And the non-literary world likewise
This poem despises itself above all
But takes some pleasure in its own pretentiousness,
superficiality and vanity
These are qualities that it appreciates
And most particularly it enjoys it's own miserable need for
Sunday, May 7, 2023
Wednesday, May 3, 2023
Sunday, April 30, 2023
ANOTHER WAY TO PLAY
Not a well-framed or shot photo of my last (2018) book, but can't find a better one of actual cover (i.e. with blurbs). Thought I'd post for end of poetry month, though every month is poetry month (and black history and women's history and lesbian and gay and bisexual and transexual and queer plus pride month etc.) to me.