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 […]

The Novel as History: An essay on the book Homer and Langley by E L Doctorow

Homer and Langley by E.L. Doctorow

The novel Homer and Langley is part history and part fiction: a distinction without a difference within its pages. Doctorow has gained a reputation for taking considerable liberties with recorded history, for frequently transgressing the boundaries between fact and fiction. For him, all purely historical explanations of the past have proved inadequate, as they do […]

Charles Reznikoff’s “During the Second World War…” as Objectivist Ars Poetica

photo via

This essay is dedicated to Charles Bernstein A poem I keep coming back to again and again is Charles Reznikoff’s “During the Second World War, I Was Going Home One Night,”1 first published in 1969. I first encountered the poem from hearing it in PoemTalk #562, and later had the opportunity to study Reznikoff in […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 / $6.00 t. 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 […]


Harold's, San Pedro; image copyright Marshall Astor, Food Fetishist, / 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 […]

Book Review – The Silence Before the Whisper Comes by Bruce Kauffman

poet Bruce Kauffman

Why would anyone write poetry? It’s not what you’d call glamourous. You’re never going to make money at it. The best you can hope for is if you manage to publish a few books of poems you could possibly get picked up by some university to teach a creative writing class or get some work […]

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: 9789993184638 One 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, […]

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

Books for cool kids

Got a kid on your holiday shopping list? Wanna introduce them to the Beats, modern design, the ’60s, jazz, folk, or rock & roll? 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 […]