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Exquisite Corpse - A Journal of Letters and Life

The Manifesto Issue

FROM THE EC CHAIR: Wherein the EDITOR describes with Impunity & Authority what makes this issue & other current issues impossible to ignore

Broken News

MARTIN E. LEE: Over the years...contacts between Nazis and Muslim nationalists developed into dangerous networks that have been implicated in a number of bloody terrorist attacks in Europe and the Middle East

JOEL BROWER: Whatever conservatives planning for the last war may think, women have become indispensable to the victorious militaries of the future

JAMES D. FERNANDEZ: Romanticism's twin brother was nationalism; it taught us that the nation was the sole legitimate collective subject, and that a nation's success is to be judged not on the basis of such trivia as the rights and privileges and comforts it provides to the citizens living within its borders, but rather on the basis of its fidelity to its own essence

JUDITH BECK: Osama bin Ladin and the other terrorists have a longer timetable than Hitler, but like him, they've been keeping watch on world reaction

DIANA POVIS: If I am ever in a face-to-face confrontation with a terrorist, and need to kick him in the balls, I hope that I am brave enough--and that he is short enough

LISA REARDON: The role of the media, Didion asserts, has devolved to the point that they are largely complicit crewmembers in the theater of political campaigns and changing administrations

JUD LAGHI: On a brisk November Tuesday, seven members of the entertainment and popular-culture elite found themselves downtown at Cooper Union for a symposium entitled "Style and Culture After"

HARIETTE SUROVELL: One almost wishes that the Mormon Angel Moroni, the Italian angel, had descended upon the 2002 Salt Lake City, UT Olympics

A.C. KOCH "The Muckraker": imagine picking up the Marthasville (MO) Courier, fresh off the presses on a Wednesday afternoon in March, 1998, and finding this item on page 6 between the wedding announcements and classified ads: "American Tube Using Untested Technology to Transport People Around the Globe"

MIKE GOLDEN "That's Just Show Business": I was watching pro football with Abbie. Patriots-Jets, exhibition

ERIC BOSSE "The Nirvana Project": Our commitment to the Nine Devotions of Apathy has gotten us this far, my spiritual friends


YOUSSEF ALAOUI: The war is endless, Sir Leggett

ANTLER: Two weeks before the terrorist attack

: On Wall Street an ash covered statue of George Washington

BILL. EVANS: The job is killing

JEAN C. HOWARD: As I travel across

IRA COHEN: The double mirror is broken

PLAMEN ARNAUDOV: That morning I woke

VICIA CRACCA: Meet me in the Alfalfa room

NATASHA SAJE: I demand you return the key

CARMEN FIRAN: I try to get closer to those around me

BARRY GIFFORD: Imagine lying in bed

GERALD NICOSIA: Our marriage was marked by courthouse appearances

MICHAEL GREGORY STEPHENS: I had to excavate self from myself

DAVE BRINKS: And as many hours the beauties of traveled sleep

REBECCA LU KIERNAN: He vomits again on a lime chessboard floor

SCOTT BAILEY: My family's the way it's always been

ROBERT MCGOWAN: How to guard your garden

LEE BALLENTINE: She has three infallible ways of preparing the body

TRAIAN POP TRAIAN: the singers did not sing

CARMELA COHEN: For some reason (failed car inspection)

JOHN HARRIS: A merry lad


URQUIZA VICENTE: Then the senator's ripening daughter

SAM ABRAMS: After poking up last night's fire on the hearth

EVA HAYMON: It turns me on, the idea of a man

JEFF STUMPO: Thanks to false astrologers

PAUL CHASSEY: neon asphalt

MIKE TOPP: Dear Karen Carpenter

CLAUDIA GRINNELL: Hunting, fishing, harvests from the ample growth

RICHARD COLLINS: Not all of these eyelids are fully open

ALISTAIR. MCHARG: Lobster, butter, fresh, sweet corn

MICHAEL ROTHENBERG: Shechinah, Mystery Squid on planet Venus

RYAN ECKES: Following a ten-year hiatus which included puberty

BRANDON FREELS: I pretend to sleep in this hot hole

KELLY L.C. RUSSELL: If you think about it the tampon is also

MICHAEL TOD EDGERTON: How the blood hunts down the heart wants

MARC PIETRZYKOWSKI: Poor baby, lolling in a carriage

URMUZ: Fuchs was not engendered by his mother, not quite

GOOGLE: World Poetry by Google

BABELFISH: World Poetry by Babelfish

TERRY JACOBUS: The Poet Gods Gathered


ALICE HENDERSON "Poets in Their Youth": I have to describe myself as a very sensitive creature. My friends Jeffrey Miller and Glen Knudsen died 25 years ago, July 29, 1977, but I still have skid marks on my heart from that accident

JOHN CARTER "Drawings": his drawings are a means of allowing his psyche to play and inviting its forms to emerge with spontaneity and candor

IAN DUNCAN CAMPBELL "New Orleans: An Urban Gallery": As a local, enlightened insider, I am documenting the outward visual expressions, often signage, of the colorful, indigenous culture of the city of New Orleans, one of the most unique cities in America

MARILYN KIRSCH: I'm interested in the tension created by combinations like inviting and menacing, vast and intimate, inside and outside, the personal and the collective

JOHN SCHUERMAN: We imagine new possibilities and we internalize some horrors of the past

TANTRA BENSKO: The pictures are my nectar, my juice of a golden glow

LETTERS: Our READERS rave on, but we can take it


OSWALDO DE ANDRADE's "Cannibal Manifesto," translated from the Portuguese by Mary Ann Caws and Claudia Caliman:. Only Cannibalism unites us. Socially. Economically. Philosophically

WILLIAM LEVY's "Zock, the Outlaw Manifesto of the Century": The right to suicide, the conscious uncompromising realization of stepping out of society in public (on television) is an inalienable fundamental right of ZOCK man

ED SANDERS' "The Z-D Generation: The Age of Investigation": surround the glyph with gnosis-vectors

GEORGE QUASHA's "Axial Poetics An AXIAL LINE" suffers every unitary, referential or surcharged connection as if it might be an instance of "original sin" -- principle of a first wrong turn -- ready for a process of self-immolation. Its cleansing of pattern ends in a free embrace, enacted within appropriate reading

KENJI SIRATORI's "The Etude of Murder": the aerofoil of the fractal cyber of the cadaver

ROBERT DOWNING's "Dear Canada: A Manifesto": I've come to realize the error of my ways and promise that I will no longer be a practicing Canadian fine artist

KEN WRIGHT's "Wild People, Unite": We can argue about the details, but first we must unite against those who have no meaning of Place beyond the money that can be extracted from the land

PATRICK PRITCHETT's "Continuation Manifesto (The Impossible)": Continuation rooted in groundlessness starts with the recognition of a central impoverishment. On this absent foundation the poem builds the word that utters emptiness

LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI's "History of the Airplane": And the Wright brothers said they thought they had invented something that could make peace on earth

IAN AYRES' "Cuntlicker/Cocksucker Manifestoes": Whether you're a cuntlicker or a cocksucker

ELLEN CHAMPAIGNE's "Golden Shower Manifesto/Peeing Down the Bones": I piss, therefore I am

DAVID HESS and KENT JOHNSON's"Yasusada Dialogues": the most controvertial work of poetry... a criminal act

ALLAN GRUABARD on Penelope Rosemont, anthologist: Should you love maps of elsewhere, and wish to use this book as a guide, keep your senses about you. You'll be walking into an erotic-magnetic night with your sunglasses on

MARY ANN CAWS interviewed by MARK SPITZER: Yes. The Whistler, the Wilde, and the Mallarmé remain of ultimate importance. AND I am very fond of each of them

Critiques and Reviews

JANN BURNER: Until the 1980's most kayaks were of the white water variety

JAMES M. CROTTY: I knew Kurt Cobain

RODRIGO DORFMAN: Nobody seems to know the exact time and place the term "Reality TV" first came into existence

JONATHAN KIEFER: Not long ago, at a downtown subway station in San Francisco, I was forced to consider logging on to Monster.com

LUCY GRIFFIN APPERT: One fall semester, I lectured on Great Books before a class of 28 New York University freshmen and one naked woman who perched in the window directly across from my sixth-floor classroom

JOZEF IMRICH: Back in July 1980, two burial vaults awaited the caskets of my two drowned friends. Our mother country Czechoslovakia forced them under, legs kicking, arms flailing

INA PFITZNER on Paul Celan: As translations they reside in the middle-ground between the "domesticated" translations by Michael Hamburger and/or Joachim Neugroschel, and the formally more daring, foreignizing versions by John Felstiner or Pierre Joris. Surely,.f to many readers' liking, these poems sound like originals themselves

CHRISTIAN PROZAK on Ed Sanders: From the man who brought us the immortal sentence "All was"

RONNIE BURK on Philip Whalen: If Gertrude Stein and William Carlos Williams had a baby it would have been Philip Whalen

KIRBY OLSON on Larry Fagin: I first met Fagin at Naropa University in 1977 where he worked as a poetry professor

JACK MICHELINE interviewed by EDDIE WOODS: I was fucked up like anyone born in the Bronx, in an Irish-Italian neighborhood

SUSAN M. SCHULTZ on Charles Bernstein and Marjorie Perloff: Bernstein's claims for poetry are in many ways even stronger than Perloff's, although he begins from the same starting blocks with (an all-too-easy?) attack on advertising culture, arguing that poets should display

MICHAEL ANDRE on Richard Morris: Richard Morris is widely admired in the small world of alternative presses and daring websites

VYT BAKAITIS on Michael Andre: Hauteur clings to pedigree; that is to say (as one might be inclined to defer to royal presumption of any order as a given, basic as tit for tat) his idiosyncratic mind holds to a line of descent

MARIA FINN: Annie Sprinkle was just on tour autographing Hardcore from the Heart with "tit prints."

EDDIE WOODS on William Levy's Otto Muehl: anyone who feels seriously uneasy reading about this should ask themselves whether their discomfort springs from genuine compassion for all sentient beings or, instead, a deep-seated sexual arousal which their conscious minds are scared shitless to acknowledge

DANA WILDE on new books about Buddhist monks and Jim Morrison: I believe that there is a limit to the extent to which you can mold the specifics of your life, that there is no escape, not into the manufacture of Shaker furniture nor into the excitement of travel

SKIP FOX on Kevin Young: Young's poetry floats just over the center, as above the rotating blades of a helicopter, almost pacific, with one or another of his figures

JESSICA MAILMAN on Michon: Recommendation: read during an absolute downpour, and have wine and fish for dinner

ANDREA ADOLPH on Bloody Twin: The integrity of poetry, in these four volumes, is not sacrificed to the concept of vehicle

SAM ANDERSON on Howard Bone: Howard Bone... was heroically unsqueamish about the circus


TERESA BERGEN's Madame Tingley's Organ: Eddie Martinelli ended in date rape. In the present, Lex attacks her bandmate after he tries to capitalize on publicity surrounding her sister's death

DAN FANTE's Mooch: If you are getting the feeling that Bruno's life is about to explode, you might be right. He's just found out that the woman he loves has a son - a genius chatterbox, and that she doesn't give a damn for anything other than her next hit of crack

EUGENE MIRABELLI's Trinicria: We rejoin the old painter Renato Stillamare as he scribbles about his mis-spent youth. In the previous excerpt he told how his infant self was found on the doorstep of a large, disorderly Italian-American family... In this excerpt he chronicles some of the women he met along the way

JULIAN SEMILIAN's Skeuromorph Detective: But now the hours were passing, perhaps, I reasoned, it is her season to make me panic by exaggerating this ruse, how could I ascertain whether she imperiously intended this comedy to be horror

MARK SPITZER's Chum: Holy Guacamole! It's finally gonna end! The whole gawd-awful adventure of the studly dumb fisherman, the silicone starlet, and the plain-Jane Manson-family reject. After this, no more misogyny, blasphemy, pornography, cruelty or toilet humor


NICK ROMBES: The White Stripes, who hail from Detroit, play music that comes at you like the flaming shards of a crashing Molotov cocktail

ROBIN BECKER: Ross Beach is a modern-day troubadour recasting no-depression-brand folk country by flirting with alt-pop, post-grunge icons

MARK JACKSON: In the three recordings by John Handcox included here, you will not find a honey-smooth... Perhaps his voice will even grate on your ear a bit--it has a bite to it

NAT HARDY: The Angel Scratch Radio Project by the Pointless Orchestra offers listeners an eclectic blend of controversial voices and intricately weaved musical passages

ALFRED BURYCHKA: The Radio CD delivers one pungent punch after another, crushing the silences between songs with snazzy snippets from their own bag of ethereal buffoonery and crushing the songs themselves with silences

PARIS TIRONE: God (anyone!) help us, for Ellis is making mischief of music again

Stage and Screen

SIMONE: Moulin Rouge the movie? I hated it. Make that, I hate it

KATHLEEN J. WELCH: Dick and Harry are puppets, who once ran for President but didn't know it. They reminisce about the way things were, before September 11, 2001

CYBERBAG: Voila! Bow down to the omniscient CYBERBAG -- wherein our contributors are made legend and stuff is perused


Foreign Desk

ABBAS ZAIDI "Lumut, Pakistan: Queen's Street": Close to my gate stood an extremely thin bare-footed Tamil-looking boy about five years of age; he was wearing the Batman costume, holding the Batman mask in one hand and a big toy machine gun in the other; an enormous fake moustache was his most pronounced facial feature. He was looking up at the mango-laden tree inside my house. He fired the gun at us and ran away

MARK TERRILL "Five Prose Places": The old dented black Peugeot taxi hurtles through the streets of nighttime Karachi Pakistan at breakneck speed seeming to catch each & every pothole & rut with a shuddering slam

JOHN VERLENDEN "Road to Damascus, Part Two": Damascus, dusty by day, shimmered red, blue, white and green courtesy of neon. A shakily amplified muezzin wailed out prayer hour, but my sidewalk's crowd kept chattering

ROBERT E. GARLITZ "South America: The Traveler and the Beauty": By most accounts Bolivia is a harsh and striking country, marked by extremes of altitude, climate, barren terrain, and great poverty and some of the worst living and working conditions in the world

MARALYN LOIS POLAK: "Expat Land: Guatemala City; Tuesday They Poisoned the Dogs": It was a Tuesday when they poisoned the dogs in Guatemala. As a Philadelphian, I felt right at home

PETER WEVERKA "Punta Desolacion": Today I went to the bank and tried again to exchange the gold ingot for paper currency

KIRBY OLSON "Mexico": It had not been long after I had embraced the Mexican aesthetic when my wife began to grumble

JOSEPH GELFER "Anarchy in the PRC": Everyone I'd met in Hong Kong, whilst securing my Chinese visa, who had just come from the mainland, had a look of vague trauma about them

STEVAN WEINER "From America to Kosova and Back": Kosova is destruction, ugliness, sorrow, stubbornness, but also pride, solidarity, beauty and triumph

ALLAN GRAUBARD "Sarajevo Notes": I first came to the Balkans in 1997 -- in search of a Croatian production of Radovan Ivsic's King Gordogan, which I had previously opened off-off Broadway at the Ohio Theater in New York

STEPHEN F. ANDERSON "Team Boracay: 200 Miles South of Manila": This dumbbell-shaped island is only four and a half miles long (about 75 soccer fields) and little over a half-mile wide at its narrowest midsection

STEPHEN RAHAIM "First Impressions, New Orleans": It's an amazing thing to get caught in a cross wind, a particular spot on the street where you can hear three or even four bands melding together into that singular song of the Quarter

STEPHEN CLAIR "Mack and Stan in New Orleans": Mack and Stan are spending the summer in New Orleans, housesitting an apartment just outside the French Quarter

MICHAEL STANDAERT "Down & Out in Brussels & Bruxelles": The barmaid struck me eye first off, all buxom blonde and brass-eyed, a corset setting off her bosom which gravitated toward the night sky, cross-laced in the fashion of an Octoberfest beer-maiden

DEAN LENANE "English Culinary Atrocites": England without a doubt, offers the most execrable collection of edible dreck you are likely to encounter anywhere in the world

BRETT PERUZZI "Driving in Italy": One of the tricks the locals seemed to employ was to only look straight ahead, never back, or not even to the side

MICHAEL BACKUS "Santa Fe Cab": I'm parked on the edge of the city, right where it turns to scrub brush and red sand hills


D.W. YOUNG "A Fitting End": After the incident with the deranged lepidopterist, Frederick Vance began to have trouble sleeping

PETER WEVERKA "A Ghost Story": One afternoon as I purchased cigarettes in the corner store, the man asked if I had seen any fantasmas in my rented house

JORGE LUIS BORGES "Ragnarok" translated by Noah Hoffenberg: The place was the School of Arts; it was dark

ARLEN DONZI "Microphone Guy": Denise's professional life as the buyer for a chain of music stores brought many men into her cramped workspace with offers, and most of them earned titles: Tape Guy, Cable Guy, Drum Head Guy, Guys on the Floor, Guys in Stock and Guys With Needs

ART ROSCHE "Fish Store": For eighteen years Trevor had been the lead guitarist with Fish Store

WILLIE SMITH "The Art of History": The autumn I turned thirteen, I went through, for about a day, an aborted stage of trying to be egalitarian

MARK S. WEBER "A Scholarly Thirst": I know, I know. You've all heard it before. Shakespeare was a fag. When I was in graduate school they told me Shakespeare was a fag. But it wasn't Shakespeare who was a fag! It was just that they were fags and they wanted Shakespeare to be one too

SAM WILHIDE "Lepus": Even after several years of practice, he was still no good at teaching sex education

NELLY REIFLER "Two Stories with Beginnings by Henny Youngman": I was so ugly when I was born that the doctor slapped my mother

EUGENIO VOLPE "Love Sick": My sister, now happily married with three kids, slept upstairs

BRYAN QUINN "Bachelor Boat": In the stern, Mark the pirate was cutting up a mackerel for bait

PAUL A. TOTH "Glowfish": Bonnie knew Maggie was bright, a good writer, and passionate

SWEET VETCH "Hedysarum Alpinum": Seeing my befuddlement, she grabbed me by the balls and led me to her river

SCOTT RUTLEDGE "A la Carte": The garbage is offered to you before it is hauled off to the dump, and you pass by the display lining both sides of the alley, selecting items which you place into the shopping cart

DAVIS SCHNEIDERMAN "Always Crashing in the Same AlwaysCrashingCar": Old Mann Roderick screams "Ich ein bin Berliner" and shoves jelly doughnuts directly into his stomach, bypassing lips, jaws, and esophageal lubricants with full-fisted determination

MARK ESTRIN "Eve of Destruction": Eve jumped out of bed, and into her sweats. Arnold reached out after her, grabbing only the air

PETER FREUND "Place of Skulls": The first ones to hear the strange noise were two sailors from the Black Sea Fleet and the girl they were trying to make out with by the Place of Skulls on Red Square

MILTON BEYER "A Shadow in Chelsea": Orson Welles and John Houseman created the Black Theatre in Harlem, an offshoot of their W.P.A federal-funded Mercury Theatre. They produced "Macbeth" there in 1936 and I took a school chum, Ruth, to see it on a date. I was 19; she was 18

MIHAI GRUNFELD "Raw Potato": It was always Father who read the prayer book, so although Mother recited the Shabbat prayer on Friday evenings, I was surprised that she knew how to read Hebrew

AL MASARIK from Heron Dance: Hospice came with its catheter and morphine patch

JANET MASON "The Dolorous City": A low moaning surrounded her, tossed back and forth in frothy swells. In their grief, the girls were echoes of themselves

DARREN HIGGINS "Two Stories": Sickroom Raskolnikovs, the would-be-kings, take feral advantage of season. Nurses and custodians clatter through the halls seeking the perfect syringe

JOE KUHL "Two Expats and a Homeboy": I was out for lunch with Ray, a smart, sexy Italian-American young woman who turned down a teaching job at the Gulf University where I was teaching in favor of marrying one of Ted Turner's boys

SUSANNA BRESLIN "Two Stories": He had cried constantly as a small baby, masturbated obsessively as a young teen, and become the kind of man as an adult who only truly enjoyed himself when he was hurting other people

BROCK "Two Stories": So there I am spanking the old monkey on my bed

PAT NOLAN "Phone Sex": He had been slowly masticating the bland fare and indulging himself with people watching, an occupation of the smug and ultimately insecure

LEE COOMBES "My Girlfriend Is Becoming a Bloke": I've come to dread the sound of her feet on the stairs, her beery breath, her drunken bonhomie, the way she pushes her fat fingers into my ribs

ANDREW GALLIX "Sweet Fanny Adams": It's like this: your train is due to leave any minute now

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