ArchivesSite MapSubmitOur GangHot Sites
tearing the rag off the bush again
M PDF E-mail
Ryk McIntyre, Love Is a Flashlight, Sacred Fools Poetry, This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it . This guy is great: he wrote “Yo, Hamlet,” and I’ve seen him perform it. It’s a hoot.

John McNally, Exes for Eyes, Subpress Books, 2000. Here is a kind man, a poet who is a man and a book. Once my student, now a proud father and husband in Brooklyn, we always thought the world of him, and we were right. The cover of this book makes for a lovely anagramatical picture-poem. Here is good advice from the poet: "The decision to go home had been a good one/ because we was still awake." (Drubnk)

Nathaniel Mackey
, Bass Cathedral, with a preface by Wilson Harris, New York: New Directions. This epistolary novel is more poetry than story, but it dazzles with supple and sudden language. We forgive its winning the National Book Award: sometimes those guys get it right.

Joyce Mansour, Essential Poems and Writings, translated with an introduction by Serge Gavronsky. Boston: Black Widow Press, 2008. Joyce Mansour (1928-1986) was born in England, raised in Cairo, moved to France and became one of the few women to join the Surrealist pantheon with the full imprimatur of Andre Breton. We could care less about Breton's imprimatur, but we do admire Mansour's sinuous perversity and frankly sexual threats: "There is/ A solitary solid rock under my lacy girdle/ A chick with oblique eyes/ Nibbling on the earth of my eyelids inflamed/. That "chick" is literally "poulet" in French, in case you're wondering. Black Widow Press continues its marvelous project of Surrealist and avantgarde resurrection with this hefty collection by the woman once called "the Surrealist Mata Hari."

Morton Marcus, Striking Through the Masks. Santa Cruz: Capitola Books. The gripping memoir of a marvelous California poet. Included in the series of vignettes of his friends, enemies, and frenemies is the founder of the Corpse, a sympathetic portrait with photo.

Douglas A. Martin, In a Time of Assignments, Soft Skull Press, It’s been a while since a good old gay book of verse showed up in our offices, but here it is, at last. “The absent roommate’s towel not quite red, or pink.” That’s pretty gay.

Vladimir Mayakovsky
, Night Wraps the Sky, writings by and about Vladimir Mayakovsky, edited by Michael Almereyda. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Finally, a definitive spelling in English of the Russian giant poet's name: it's MAYAKOVSKY. Forget that Majakovsky, Majakovski, and Maiakofsky. Volodya's last name was the reason why this poet was more talked than written about, becoming one of the great "I can say it but I can't spell it" names of 20th century poetry, like many others, Milosz, Akhmatova, and Szymborskaya. Film-maker and litterateur Michael Almereyda has given us back the written Mayakovsky in this muscular collection of well-translated verse and well-chosen writings about the poet of the Russian revolution who influenced Frank O'Hara and Allen Ginsberg among others. Majakovsky committed suicide when the utopia he believed in turned into Lenin's gruesome tyranny. His timing was good. Had he lived on, he'd have been murdered by Stalin. There was just too much life, passion, and rock star charisma to the (literally) giant man who liked to shoot his guns, have his vodka, love women, and declaim before the masses. The poets of glassnost in the 1960s, Yevgheni Yevtushenko and Andrei Voznesenski, modelled their poet-rock-star acts on the great V. It is easy to see why the film-maker Almereyda ("Nadja," "Hamlet") would be interested in the Russian futurist: the man was epic, but also brief, intense, and densely surrounded by a cast of dramatic characters.

Jim McCrary, All That, the collected chapbooks, ManyPenny Press, Moscow, Idaho, 2008, 1111 E. Fifth St, MOscow, Idaho 83843. Jim McCrary finally gave in to a perfectly bound collection, after years of publishing his work with determination in ephemeral chapbooks that gained him, nonetheless, a respectful reading from many poets. McCrary doesn't have a good attitude, as evidenced by the following, entitled "Fuck Tolerance": "I fucking hate/ intolerant people.", or, "Fuck You": "This should need no/ explanation." It doesn't, but he wrote it down and we read it. That's something.

Sharon Mesmer
, Annoying Diabetic Bitch, Cumberland, RI: Combo Books, This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it . This title is right up there with “Quaker Guns,” so we’ll produce another Title Award. We are mighty partisans of Ms. Mesmer, the great-granddaughter of Dr. Mesmer, the Magnet Man. Sharon Mesmer, The Virgin Formica, New York: Hanging Loose Press. Allen Ginsberg called Mesmer "vivaciously modern," which we misread as "viciously modern." She is, totally. For instance: "Okay, I was loose/foundering even,/a drifting archipelago of estrogen and cigarettes/in the glow of the southern eroticc gardens." If we had only known her then!

Mineshaft, a quarterly review, edited by Everett Rand, is one of the best kept secrets of the magazine world. The covers are often by R. Crumb, and you'll find in its pages some of the most uncompromising artist/cartoonists and writers working today.  Some of them: Aleksandar Zograf, Rika Deryckere, and many many more, from the U.S. and abroad. Subscribe.

Jane Miller
, Midnights, drawings by Beverly Pepper, introduction by C.D. Wright, Lebanon, NH: Saturnalia Books, We like the black triangle on the cover of this book very much because we think we saw it at midnight last night. The texts here were all written at midnight, and the last line is: “Thank goodness no one can see me looting the dark pouch for the dead mice.” Indeed.

Anca Mizumschi
, poze cu zimti, Timisoara: Editura Brumar, 2008. I think the poet handed me this book herself at Bookfest in Bucharest in June 2008, but I don't recall, and now that I've read the poems I wish I had. This is a fresh book of raging youth graffiti about "me" and "you," that perenial pronoun couple, but there is something swift and surprising in-between. In translation: I'd like to write some funny haikus/ some tiny-tiny bodies/ printed directly on stamps/ by God.

Ioan T. Morar, Cartea de la Capãtul Lumii, Noua Caledonie: la un pas de Paradis, Bucharest: Editura Polirom, This is a beautiful novel about an odd utopia by a distinguished journalist, who is also one of Romania’s most prolific writers. The Devil puts in an appearance.

Eileen Myles, Sorry, Tree, Seattle: Wave Books, We voted Eileen Myles for President in 1992 and would still vote for her. Here is a poem that concerns all of us, it’s called “Jacaranda”: What’s/the feminine/of feet/I didn’t/know I/could/have/a lavender/tree.” If the Corpse has Bill Lavender, you can have a lavender tree, Eileen!
< Prev   Next >