The Consequences of Violence

Afghanistan Sky / U.S. Army

There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all. —Oscar WildeI’ve found it true in personal experience that being a target of life-threatening violence strips away everything that isn’t a core value or an innermost desire. Near the eastern Afghan village of Shkin in 2004, I huddled in a mud brick house with … [Read more...]

“Said God, Scratching His Naked Belly in a Kitchen”: Charles Bukowski to Robert Bly

Bukowski letter to Robert Bly. Joshua Preston

Unlike any other time in U.S. history, the 1950s and ‘60s saw the emergence of multiple literary movements stoked by a flourishing small-press culture. Popular magazines of the time included the New York-based Fuck You founded by Ed Sanders and Floating Bear founded by Diane di Prima and Leroi Jones. This “Mimeo Revolution” (though not every publication used a mimeograph) … [Read more...]

Nature As Muse: The World of Fine Writing

Mt. Baker seen from Mt. Watson. Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bthompson/5011625855/ Ben Thompson

The world is never “too much with us,” said Wordsworth, but not the wild glories, which he treasured, too. Natural gifts reflecting the gifts of the gods, or of Darwin’s insights and those of the plate tectonics wizards. Everything moves.All of this and running water and birds on the wing and paths beckoning us to follow are the inspirations for great writers who, over all … [Read more...]

Wordsworth and the Beats: The Longevity of Influence

Wordworth & Kerouac

Although William Wordsworth once stated that he was “not a critic” and, in fact, “set little value upon the art” (Leitch 556), in his “Preface to Lyrical Ballads” he nevertheless proposed and discussed several controversial ideas that would become key components to his literary philosophy, securing the “Preface” as a significant and influential addition to the cannon of … [Read more...]

The Necessity of Tragedy—How What Goethe Played with is Still Entirely Relevant

Faust (detail) - public domain

One may say that the benefit of tragedy is that one gets to witness man self-destruct without having to self-destruct on one’s own. Lessons learned without having to go through the actual act of the crime. Tragedies were incredibly prevalent during the time of the Greeks, and some tragic stories, like that of Faust have pervaded through centuries. Goethe’s Faust, in particular, … [Read more...]

Yannis Livadas: A double interview

Yannis Livadas

These interviews were conducted for Quorum Magazine, which is based in Croatia. This is their first appearance in English.Interview No. 1Tomica Bajsic interviewed the poet Yannis Livadas for Quorum Magazine, n. 3/4, 2012.Q: During years you have traveled extensively, reading a lot, doing all sorts of jobs. Do you consider traveling and close-range experience a … [Read more...]

Calling on Paul Bowles: Tangier, Morocco, August 1979

Paul Bowles (detail). Photo by Birgit Stephenson

Calling on Paul Bowles Tangier, Morocco, August 1979”There it is,” someone says, and in the darkness, in the distance, you can see Tangier sprawled across several hills, a white city illuminated by electric lights and veiled by a thin fog.After docking, disembarking and a wearisome wait to clear Moroccan customs, we take a taxi to our hotel, hurtling through the … [Read more...]

A Review of Joseph Ridgwell’s Cuba: In Search of Hemingway

cuba

Turning the first page on the handsewn binding of Joseph Ridgwell’s Cuba: In Search of Hemingway feels like something special. Like discovering the splintered edges of a treasure chest through sand. Or something you might unexpectedly luck on at the bottom of a box of Cuban cigars, holding it up and being wondrously captivated by it. But that’s all part of the charm. Like other … [Read more...]

Revenge of the Imagist Socialist Poetry

REVENGE OF THE IMAGIST SOCIALIST POETRY

We are the revenge of all oppressed, despised, ignored, exploited, beaten, insulted, neglected, abused, molested humans in the world as being fighters for their rights with our poems and essays.We are the revenge of the Poetry Art and we are fighting for poetry ethics against the decadent poets/poetesses who exploit Poetry for their own social rant seeking and for hunting … [Read more...]

Book Review – Alex Preston’s In Love and War.

Alex Preston - In Love and War

In Love and War is the third novel from Alex Preston, following 2010's This Bleeding City – which won The Edinburgh International Book Festival Readers’ First Book Award, and was chosen as one of Waterstones’ New Voices of 2010 – and its follow-up, The Revelations, which was released in 2012 to much critical acclaim.The novel follows Esmond Lowndes on a journey from an … [Read more...]

Is Andy Kaufman Still Alive? The Evidence

Andy Kaufman Still Alive?

My name is Jack Bristow -- AKA, the guy who was interviewed by the Huffington Post about Andy Kaufman being alive and well in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Though the interview took place 2013, May 15, I am still tweeted and e-mailed all kinds of questions to this day. The biggest question I receive, however, is if I still believe Andy Kaufman is among the living. I’ll answer that … [Read more...]

Book Review – Vacant Lot by Oliver Rohe (trans. Laird Hunt)

Vacant Lot by Oliver Rohe

Vacant Lot by Oliver Rohe, translated by Laird Hunt. Counterpath Press, 2011.“Then I was king and now I’m no more than a ghost,” says the narrator in Oliver Rohe’s novel Vacant Lot. Now “I pass haggardly through trenches at the periphery of agitation and take refuge in a penumbra that is menaced from all sides.” Translated from the French by novelist Laird Hunt, at its … [Read more...]

Was Roosevelt Reciting Poetry?: The Need for a New Prosody

Was Roosevelt Reciting Poetry?

In the last ten years, Charles Simic, Mark Strand, James Tate, Stephen Dunn, Franz Wright and Naomi Shihab Nye have published books of prose poetry. Before them, Rilke, Baudelaire, Poe, Whitman, Octavio Paz, Henri Michaux, Gertrude Stein and Sherwood Anderson established the form, forcing for the first time the question of genre. T.S. Eliot tried to put a stop to this mish-mash … [Read more...]

Loneliness, Robert Frost and Elliot Rodger

nightsky

An Old Man's Winter Night by Robert FrostAll out-of-doors looked darkly in at him Through the thin frost, almost in separate stars, That gathers on the pane in empty rooms. What kept his eyes from giving back the gaze Was the lamp tilted near them in his hand. What kept him from remembering what it was That brought him to that creaking room was age. He stood with … [Read more...]

Loving and Hating Charles Bukowski by Linda King (2nd Edition)

Linda King’s Loving and Hating Charles Bukowski

Wild Ocean Press, in collaboration with KissKill Press, is pleased to publish a second edition of Loving & Hating Charles Bukowski, completely edited and revised from an earlier version published in 2012. The press release:There are many books about Charles Bukowski, but none like this one. Linda King’s Loving & Hating Charles Bukowski looks at Bukowski from the other … [Read more...]

(Book Review) Henry Miller: Ahead of the Game by Kenton Crowther

Henry Miller: Ahead of the Game by Kenton Crowther

Kenton Crowther's 3100-word essay, Henry Miller: Ahead of the Game has just become available in digital form. In it, Crowther shines a little light on Miller as a writer and as a man, exploring his life, sensibilities, and ongoing relevance.It's not an in-depth look at Miller, but certainly an entertaining and thoughtful one.First, Crowther takes a look at Miller's … [Read more...]

Aural Dialectics: On Allen Ginsberg’s Musical Rendition of Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience

Allen Ginsberg / William Blake  Songs of Innocence and Experience

William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience (1789) is a collection of illuminated poems separated into two groupings, Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, that engage with their respective, eponymous forces and ostensibly present them as a dichotomy, or perhaps rather as a linear transition, with innocence giving way to experience. But to consider the poem a … [Read more...]

“The Invention of the Past”: An essay on the novel Ancient Light by John Banville

Ancient Light - John Banville

When fifteen-year-old Alexander Cleave first catches sight of Mrs. Gray – the mother of his best friend – what he sees is a reflection of a reflection. As he waits in the hallway of her house, he sees her naked, “not nude”, in the full-length mirror fixed to the outside of her bedroom door. It is only a reflection of her image caught in the mirrors of the three-paneled dressing … [Read more...]

Liberty Ltd.: Trespassers Prosecuted – A Review of Liberty Limited by Károly Sándor Pallai

Liberty Limited by Károly Sándor Pallai

Liberty Limited is a collection of poems of great passion and compassion, of wonders and shame, of bodies and souls. It is a voice for and about the voiceless, for and about those who used to have some limited liberty, but who have lost it long ago: victims of human trafficking, child prostitution, war. It is a voice not easy to attend to, it is both profane and metaphysical, … [Read more...]

The Opening Line – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, cover

"We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold."And so begins the first sentence to Hunter S. Thompson's seminal 1971 book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream, a book, which give or take a few missed opportunities, I have endeavoured to read once a year since first picking it up at … [Read more...]

beyond the ghosts: poems by t. kilgore splake

Beyond the Ghosts: Poetry by t. kilgore splake

beyond the ghosts: poems by t. kilgore splake / Presa Press / PO Box 792, Rockford MI 49341 / 35 pages / $6.00t. kilgore splake knows how to draw an evocative picture with just a few strokes of his pen, each line shimmers and is necessary. beyond the ghosts's poems look at people, and the wild places in nature and in splake's heart.In these intimate poems, he sees … [Read more...]

Joints

Harold's, San Pedro; image copyright Marshall Astor, Food Fetishist, http://www.flickr.com/photos/lifeontheedge/125389576/ / CC BY CA

One of San Pedro’s most appealing qualities is that it’s not very popular. When I first decided to move here from Venice my neighbor, a realtor, suggested why.“It’s so working class, just a lot of longshoremen, nothing to do there, hardly any art galleries, cafes or good restaurants…and it’s landlocked, hard to get to and so far away from everything…you’ll become a … [Read more...]

Opacity: Liminal Landmine-Bodies – the foreword to Liberty Limited by Károly Sándor Pallai

Liberty Limited

Liberty Limited by Károly Sándor Pallai / Éditions Arthée / 2013 / ISBN: 9789993184638One of my most despondent memories relates to my first encounter with “Mother Country” France, where it was distressingly tacit that I am “other” than French, that I am fundamentally an islander from Guadeloupe, a French woman sure, but from overseas, from – “over there”. Yes, from … [Read more...]

20+ book gifts for cool kids – and adults, too!

Books for cool kids

Got a kid on your holiday shopping list? Want to introduce them to the Beats, modern design, the '60s, jazz, folk, or rock & roll? Learn about your favorite musicians & places? Or, just give 'em something fun? Check these way cool tomes for tots (and grown-ups, too).Most of these are picture books; a few are available for Kindle, too.Click on any title to learn more … [Read more...]

Grand Marais by t. kilgore splake

Grand Marais by Jonathunder, via Wikipedia

Grand Marais by t. kilgore splake / paperback, with DVD / 978-1-4675-8222-3t. kilgore splake's latest volume is a poetic and photographic celebration of Grand Marais, Minnesota, a small city on the shore of Lake Michigan.splake's roots go deep in the Grand Marais area. It's where, aside a campfire years ago, he wrote his first poem. It's here that his pen name was … [Read more...]

David Handley’s interview with Author Alex Preston

Alex Preston Books

Alex Preston was born in Worthing, West Sussex in 1979. He is the author of two critically acclaimed novels, 2010's This Bleeding City, and The Revelations which was released in 2012. As well as his work as a novelist, Preston writes and reviews for a number of publications; The Guardian in England, and a magazine in Greece.The chance to interview one of your favourite … [Read more...]