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tearing the rag off the bush again
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Pete Hautman, Sweet Blood, a young adult novel, New York: Simon Pulse. www.SimonSays.com . You wouldn't think the Corpse would let a teen vampire book this good go unnoticed, did you? Especially since we find this internet exchange herein, after being informed by one of the characters that "Transylvania started off as an offshoot of a local Goth Web site," and then get the following, from the site: "Sblood: anybody know where Draco's from? 2Tooth: N. Sblood: eve meet him F2F? 2Tooth: I think he's from New Orleans. He knows Anne Rice. Roxxxie: Not New Orleans. I know all the Big Easy vamps. Vlad714: What r you guys talking? Sblood: Draco. Where he's from. 2Tooth: Why not ask him? Sblood: He's not here, unless he's lurking." Guess what?

Jack Hirschman
, All That's Left, San Francisco Poet Laureate, Series No.4, San Francisco: City Lights, www.citylights.com. We suspect that City Lights Poet Laureate Series is a new idea (were there really four California laureates?), but what happens when Laureate No.6 turns out to be a horrible poet, the girlfriend of a state legislator? Anyway, no such problem yet. Au contraire. Jack Hirschman, laureate, sounds just a bit funny to anyone familiar with this radical communist populist poet's later work, and his impeccable street cred. The later Hirschman, as opposed to the early cabbalist, professorial Hirschman, was a North Beach Artaud out to excoriate the petty-bourgeois poet substratum. He'd walk into Vesuvio's and we'd instantly start a semi-good-natured argument about Stalin. "Murderer," I'd understate. "Great man," quoth Hirschman. All of that is, of course, only marginally relevant to the impressive poesy corpus of this energetic and inspired man. In this collection, muscular and raw political outrage is interspersed with hommage to poet-friends now gone, Bob Kaufman and Jack Kerouac.

HOUSE ORGAN, edited by Kenneth Warren, PO Box 466, Youngstown, NY 14174. We've probably said this before, but Ken Warren's cheap-looking garage band of a magazine is the best edited literary journal (outside of the very undertheground & online pub you're reading now) in all that arrives by mail and email here. And what arrives here is not inconsiderable, because fat quarterlies and skinny butterflies of despair arrive here regularly, like monarchs used to in Oaxaca. Number 77, Winter 2012, just blew in, and like all the ones before, I have devoured it. Sotère Torregian's anguished cosmic phonecall, Ed Sanders' elegiac but tonic Gloucester dinner, Paul Pines' meditation on symbolic incomprehension, Clayton Eshleman's grotesquely archaic yet tender ritual, even Lloyd Van Brunt's two-mllionth poem about being an Okie, and especially the savage and lovely ripping down from its pedestal of Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse Five" by Roger Taus, all of these and more, are worth time. Yours and mine. Whereas the time we fritter on "technology," and we do fritter it, isn't worth the breath we waste on it. Or, in the words of the great Diane DiPrima, "Who is this crazy woman?" She is us, whoever we are.
 
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