I have no idea how I slept on Clockcleaner for so long. I should have listened to my mom when she told me about I would like them. Watch this video of "Missing Dick"
I've a new poem up at The Pedestal. Work also coming soon in No Tell Motel & Puerto del Sol. Got my contributor copy of Caketrain the other day. Pretty fancy, but kinda lackluster after that Clockcleaner song.
Extremely well put together magazine: Harp&Alter. Read this
Black Lawrence Press has decided to put out Julia Cohen's first book Triggermoon Triggermoon. What a good decision. Congratulations Julia. I will be waiting for it.
A solid poem by Carl at the new Lamination Colony. Write Carl to tell him he should write more poems. Write Blake Butler to tell him thanks for the new issue of Lamination Colony.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Posted by Brian Foley at 4:22 PM
Monday, December 15, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
From the Guardian
Music that has been used to torture at Guantanamo Bay include :
• AC/DC - Hell's Bells
• AC/DC - Shoot to Thrill
• Barney the Purple Dinosaur - theme tune
• Bee Gees - Stayin' Alive
• Britney Spears
• Bruce Springsteen - Born in the USA
• Christina Aguilera - Dirrty
• David Gray - Babylon
• Deicide - Fuck Your God
• Don McLean - American Pie
• Dope - Die MF Die
• Dope - Take Your Best Shot
• Dr. Dre
• Drowning Pools - Bodies
• Eminem - Kim
• Eminem - Slim Shady
• Eminem - White America
• Li'l Kim
• Limp Bizkit
• Matchbox Twenty - Gold
• Meat Loaf
• Metallica - Enter Sandman
• Neil Diamond - America
• Nine Inch Nails - March of the Pigs
• Nine Inch Nails - Mr. Self-Destruct
• Prince - Raspberry Beret
• Queen - We are The Champions
• Rage Against the Machine - Killing in the Name Of
• Red Hot Chilli Peppers
• Saliva - Click Click Boom
• Sesame Street - theme tune
• Tupac - All Eyes on Me
Posted by Brian Foley at 11:42 AM
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Mathias Svalina has been writing these awesome poems about childrens games. You can see them up at the new Glitterpony and Sleeping Fish. They remind me of Vasko Popa and his poems on games. See?
This one constantly shifts his eyes
Hangs them on his head
And whether he wants it or not starts walking
He puts them on the soles of his feet
And whether he wants it or not returns walking
on his head
This one turns into an ear
He hears all that won't let itself be heard
But he grows bored
Yearns to turn again into himself
But without eyes he can't see how
That one bares all his faces
One after the other he throws them over the roof
The last one he throws under his feet
And sinks his head into his hands
This one stretches his sight
Stretches it from thumb to thumb
Walks over it walks
First slow then fast
Then faster and faster
That one plays with his head
Juggles it in the air
Meets it with his index finger
Or doesn't meet it at all
When I was a kid I didn't have games. I raked leaves and ate chicken fingers for fun. I'm not good at writing themed poems, or poem that belong to a larger body. My poems are like fingernails you bite off and forget about until they grow back.
I took the GRE's today. After wards I felt mugged. I don't have a barometer on what a good score should be. Tonight I'm going to listen to Whitehouse. Maybe watch House. Maybe spend money. Maybe then I'll know.
Posted by Brian Foley at 5:49 PM
Monday, December 8, 2008
I have two new poems coming from Rain Fade as well. Rain Fade is a fresh little magazine that's already posted some interesting poems by K. Silem Mohammad, Mike Young, and Juliet Cook. I like the way it cooks. Submit.
I sometimes wonder if its obnoxious to post announcements about your poetry. Then I remember that I am in a lonely vacuum and a blog is not the place to practice modest.y I'm not going to lie. This blog exists because I want you to read my poems. I am here to indulge.
Speaking of K Silem Mohammad, he has a movie diary blog. I like KSM's taste. It runs extremely similar to mine. He watches lots of movies starring Anna Farris. He watches old noir. He is my Ebert.
Recently watched movies -
Funny Ha Ha
The Kingdom: series one
Spaced: complete television series
I was so utterly ravaged by the solipsism in Synedoche, NY. I have never seen a more perilously self indulgent film. The Brown Bunny is a close runner up, but at least there is a memorable blow job scene and Gordon Lightfoot on the soundtrack. There were a some imaginative and brave ideas - the confusion of alternate reality mixing with reality, an endless play with a scope that is seemingly infinite, the tiny paintings - but all of these flashes of intrigue were lost and corrupted in the neuroses of the director/writer. The presence of the director/writer, to me, was felt in every frame, kind of like a trauma of a rape victim. His tendency to lapse into surrealism I thought was amateurish and without merit. During Phillip Seymor Hoffman's attempts at the degradation of loneliness (again), I felt as if I were a child being coerced with candy into a strangers' van, totally exploited and undervalued as a viewer. And like a lover who slaps their girlfriend then regrets it out loud, the end, no matter how apologetic and willfully poignant, does not justify the means.
Is this the mind that scribbled Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Being John Malkovich? Was Adaptation a warning sign? Apparently. Synedoche, NY was not a film I hated. As someone who once ate film and breathed in a celluloid dark, for all my weird tastes ,this,I can honestly say, was a film I believe should never have been made. Duped. Totally duped.
SIR! received a lot of submissions this past week. Its impressive how many people are writing today, and with a certain sense of humor. If you've been thinking about submitting, please don't hesitate to send work.
Posted by Brian Foley at 9:17 AM
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
A review I wrote of Nin Andrews has been posted on this months New Pages. Unfortunately I would only recommend this book if you were a teacher with a class like the one from Dangerous Minds. If you are a teacher with a class like Last House on the Left, I recommend pre ordering Blake Butler's new novella, EVER. An excerpt can be found at Unsaid and probably 40 other journals. None more prolific than Blake. Use ten minutes to watch these moody films made by Derek White for the book.
SIR! contributor Nathan Logan has a new chapbook out called Holly From Muncie. Nate creates some nice worlds filled with terrified children- read his work in SIR! and in No Colony.
Who is William Minor?
Who is Bill Hicok?
Yesterday I joined a gym so I could run during the wintertime and watch more CNN.
When you Google the words "Matthew Klane" it will ask you if you meant "Matthew Kline." Say no. You meant Matthew Klane.
I saw Matthew Klane read the other week. It was something generous. I am still thinking about it. His new book is called B . Matthew is behind Flim Forum. He is an experimental writer and reader. I am usually suspicious of this type of language poetry, but Matthew quickens the pulse with humor and intelligence. Read a poem of his here. Read it very slowly.
Posted by Brian Foley at 9:44 AM
Monday, December 1, 2008
SIR! will be taking submissions from December to January for an upcoming February issue. There is no outright emphasis on content or form, but we remain enthusiastic about poetry of all sorts. Flash fiction is accepted, but again, we are mostly looking for poetry. Send 3-6 of your latest and best inventions. You may send them in the body of an email, or as a WORD or RTF attachment. Translations very welcome. Simultaneous submissions are accepted. Please include a short cover letter and a bio. Submissions without any sort of bio will be deleted.
Send all work to -
Posted by Brian Foley at 2:54 PM
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
On November 28th, from 12:01am to 11:59pm, buy any book priced $11.95 or more and get a second title of your choice FREE (offer does not apply to issues of Handsome). Just write in a note on the PayPal order page which title you’d like to receive. And, as always: Free Shipping! Go to http://www.blackocean.org/
catalog.htmlto place your orders. Support independent publishing and have a very handsome holiday.
B.O. are responsible for Zach Schomburg's The Man Suit and Rauan Klassnik's Holy Land. If you don't own either of these books, now is the time to help yourself.
If you're not familiar with Rauan's shattering work, read some poems from the first issue of SIR! and some in the new issue of Coconut.
Recent Library Aquisitions
Autumn Sonata - George Trakl
Gathering Up The Bones - Gregory Orr
Collected Poems - George Bataille
Collected Poems - Tomaz Saluman
Posted by Brian Foley at 1:01 PM
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
In the article the author talks about Hyde's refutation to Emerson's "Self Reliance," prompting me to got back and read the entire essay this afternoon. Man, there is some shit in there.
Posted by Brian Foley at 4:49 PM
Monday, November 17, 2008
Thanks to all who visited SIR! over the past five days. We've had more than 900 visitors so far. This is in large part due to all those who blogged about it. Thank you one and all. I particularly like this sweet rendition of the floating heads motif by Rauan Klassnik-
I'll be taking submissions for the next issue come December 1st. I ask you to send poetry.
Another installation of Chris Tonelli's sentient gravitron over at Verse Daily.
I have a lot of poems out in the world right now. I wish some of them would come back to me dressed up in an editors design. Two are soon to appear in Anti- and Gander Press Review.
I'm working on essays for grad school applications. I'm writing an essay on Croatian poet Slavko Mihalic who I wrote about here. I've searched pretty extensively but have only come up with his 36 page chapbook of selected poems, Atlantis, as the only resource of his work translated into English. Biographical information on him is scant as well. I wonder if this is a poor subject to pursue, to speculate on certain details because the information is not readily translatable. Is it a poor choice to analyze a selected poems that cannot be filled with context, or even a date of authorship? I would choose to focus on the words themselves, but much of it is informed as a reaction to the politics and conditions of the time. It seems arrogant and halved not to consider them, to find out where the poet himself was at the time. I guess I need to learn Croatian.
I hate this part.
Posted by Brian Foley at 1:53 PM
Thursday, November 13, 2008
a new online literary journal of poetry and prose - The flagship issue is jammed with 23 contributors of varying temperaments and styles. It includes - Chad Reynolds, Noah Falck, Blake Butler, Ryan Walsh (of the band Hallelujah the Hills), Scott Garson,Mike Young, Juliet Cook, Brooklyn Copeland, Rauan Klassnik, Peter Berghoef, Elisa Gabbert, Carl Annarummo, Peter Schwartz, Zachary Schomburg & Emily Kendal Frey, Sean Kilpatrick, Julia Cohen,Charles Lennox, Shane Jones, Spencer Troxell, Brandon Hobson, Nicolle Elizabeth, Nathan Logan, and William Walsh.
This is vital for our continuation and motivation to get up in the morning.
Currently we are not accepting submissions .
We will be accepting submissions for for Issue 2 come December 1st.
VISIT SIR! HERE
Posted by Brian Foley at 11:48 AM
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Try to praise the mutilated world.
Remember June's long days,
and wild strawberries, drops of wine, the dew.
The nettles that methodically overgrow
the abandoned homesteads of exiles.
You must praise the mutilated world.
You watched the stylish yachts and ships;
one of them had a long trip ahead of it,
while salty oblivion awaited others.
You've seen the refugees heading nowhere,
you've heard the executioners sing joyfully.
You should praise the mutilated world.
Remember the moments when we were together
in a white room and the curtain fluttered.
Return in thought to the concert where music flared.
You gathered acorns in the park in autumn
and leaves eddied over the earth's scars.
Praise the mutilated world
and the grey feather a thrush lost,
and the gentle light that strays and vanishes
Translated by Renata Gorczynski
The danger is that we live in a world where there’s irony on one side and fundamentalism (religious, political) on the other. Between them the space is rather small, but it’s my space.” - A.Z.
Posted by Brian Foley at 2:34 PM
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Books I recently received from NP -
Dear Professor, Do You Live in a Vacuum? - Nin Andrews
Body Language - Mark Cunningham
Dear Ra - Johannes Goransson
The Ant King & Other Stories - Benjamin Rosenbaum
I am sick. I haven't been sick in over two years. Nose runs. Yesterday I spent the majority of awake hours working on SIR! The issue will be posted this time next week. I can't apologize enough for the delay.
While in wait, look at Fou 2. Its great. I would like SIR! to look like Fou, but it will not. Fou is what an online literary journal should be. SIR! will be the boring looking teenager with a great personality.
Tomorrow is the day. It is all I can think about. As with anything, i hope for the best, but expect nothing.
Posted by Brian Foley at 11:50 AM
Friday, October 31, 2008
Forthcoming December 2008
First printing, 300 copies
5 3/8 w × 8 5/16 h × 264 pages of sixty-pound acid-free off-white text stock, perfect-bound with a ten-point glossy cover stock
$8.00 US |
Birds, bees, and bottle-green, long-undone Ds are among the avatars of our sixth fit. Herein, bear witness: Catherine Kasper’s dark ride through a zone of clinical, legalistic double-speak; Anne Heide’s eggy, milky “NestMare” menagerie; Forrest Roth’s alchemical disruptions, a new weaponry of words; the “McGinty” journals, ably excavated by Christof Scheele; Rimbaud and Webster pulled like taffy through the hole of the public domain; Brian Foley’s hairy brain; this thing that is Thwife from Aby Kaupang; this thing that is couch from Sara Levine; this thing that is man that is nearly nowhere from Kate Hill Cantrill. Also, a couple of copses, some selahs and, at the core, perhaps the ultimate manifestation of the Norman Lock literary universe (devotees of Lock’s work will be thoroughly rewarded). That sound is the surface being scratched by an unseen hand; the mammoth waits to be revealed in full, to consume you for days upon days.
I am excited to be in the new included issue of Caketrain. It's a very large issue - 264 pages. Its not out until December, so I haven't taken the full scope of the other authors. Inside you'll find Kim Chinquee, Michael Kimball, Anne Heide, Eric Baus, Shane Jones, and others. Pre-order it here.
Though its not available yet, one of my poems "Extensions" is available online as a preview. I like this poem. I've since broken it up into lines, which has improved it, but I still enjoy it. Please check it out here.
The second issue of Spooky Boyfriend is up today, on Halloween. I have a weird poem in it called "Safe House". I don't remember much about this poem, other than I wrote it while at work. That may attribute to its unrefined state. Nonetheless, here.
Posted by Brian Foley at 12:12 PM
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
A law has been proposed to make Moby Dick the official book of Massachusetts.. I have not read the official book (to be) of Massachusetts. When I was in high school I did not read anything required (I instead read Henry Miller and Phillip K Dick). I have since gone back to revisit a few things, but not Moby Dick. And for a good reason. A friend of mine once said do not read Moby Dick until you're ready. Pick it up each year and if something registers, stick with it. If not, save it for the next year. This is good advice for many books.
I was enjoying these poems from Jon Leon, who has an attractive looking chapbook just out from Kitchen Press, when I came across the line "I cried listening to Cat Power." This reminded me of Pshares discussion from the other day about using popular culture to date your work. I am not against this. I just don't care too much for Cat Power.
A cool assessment by Megan O'Rourke of the new poet laureate, Kay Ryan.
" Like oysters, she has said, her poems take shape around "an aggravation"
I am making myself into a regular at the public library. Why did I not go there before? Ive been wasting my money! I spent all afternoon yesterday scouring through lost Eastern European poets.
One of the treasures I found was this - The Horse Has Six Legs: An Anthology of Serbian Poetry. It was edited by Charles Simic. Most of the poets inside share his sensibilities. One of the poets collected that stuck out right away was Vasko Popa. He is said to be the most widely translated Yugoslavian poet. There is a selected collection of his work available, but little else currently in print. Luckily there seem to be an abundance of his work online. Below are a few of my favorites taken from the 1969 translations by Anne Pennington.
Someone hides from someone else
Hides under his tongue
The other looks for him under the earth
He hides on his forehead
The other looks for him in the sky
He hides inside his forgetfulness
The other looks for him in the grass
Looks for him looks
There's no place he doesn't look
And looking he loses himself
Give me back my rags
My rags of pure dreaming
Of silk smiling of striped foreboding
Of my cloth of lace
My rags of spotted hope
Of burned desire of chequered glances
Of skin from my face
Give me back my rags
Give me them when I ask you nicely
The other brilliant find was Croatian poet, Slavko Mihalic. I spent last night looking for his work online, for his work to purchase. A collection of his selected poems called, Atlantis, also edited by Simic, seems to be his only English translation. It is a meager 36 pages, though it is said he is the author of over 700 published poems. This poem below which I am copying from the book is good enough a reason as any to learn Croatian for a translation endeavor.
Our Ancient Family Sign
Traveling thus with hip-flask of fierce wine,
I kissed big fat mamas in delicious daydreams
My soul sang in a cage gone rusty.
With a cardboard sword I cut the villains down.
Who wouldn't plead to have that life all over again.
Penniless, it seemed, I had bought everything.
And above the door our ancient family sign:
Black gallows and a greasy rope.
Posted by Brian Foley at 12:29 PM
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Make sure to check out Rauan's blog to read about his night terrors involving the other Ron (Silliman). Best of the net 2009.
Read A Limitation Birds by Sampson Starkweather taken from the last Typo. Really great stuff. He uses his birds like Landis Everson played with his rabbits. Sampson will have a new chapbook out on Rope-a-Dope sometime soon. One can only wish to be born with a name like Sampson Starkweather. I would like to change my name to Brian Yarndonut. The Y's are underrepresented in the poetry section.
I have been writing a lot of new poems recently. I am working on a new chapbook, but also writing on whatever comes. Because this is a poetry blog, here is a version of a new poem.
The Unknown Language
And yet maybe
what I do not understand
is because its recited in Russian.
The trick of mothers & fathers
by their mother & fathers
and so on.
To have your voice
assembled in hermeneutic smoke
brewed in cauldrons of steamships.
I listen with a milk glass held firmly
to the wall, but hear only
the privacy of mice.
I keep hearing a sound behind me that sound like something is burning uncontrollably.
Posted by Brian Foley at 9:07 AM
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Chris Tonelli's The So & So Series ended its run in Boston with a bang - Dorthea Lasky, Dara Weir, and James Tate. While there, a friend gave me a picture he'd found in his private stash (Not gonna post it). It was a picture of me and some others friends from four years ago. My face looked like a chum bucket. I'm gonna hold onto this picture through the idle times of winter as an inspiration to jog and to pass on another beer. Thanks Chad.
This new issue of Sixth Finch is pretty great. I've gone back to it multiple times now.
I don't know how I was included into this behemoth, but I was. Fine by me. I kind of like what I ended up with. I'd post it, but the site is currently not working. Click here to download the issue.
A round table discussion about chapbooks featured on Emerging Writers Network starring Carl? Yes. Notice he is just listed as just "Carl." Basically I believe in everything Carl says about aesthetics. He is my Sarah Palin. You betcha.
Below is a poem from Guernica by Mark Yak-kick
What, Friends, Is A Life?
by Mark Yakich
for Gabe Gudding
Killing a chicken for dinner always prompted
A quarrel about who had to do it. Today
You can take tours of virtual slave ships.
Many people are drawn to the dead
On their holidays. Because of its abundance
A large section of Birkenau was named Canada.
You could get good boots there & sometimes
A silk shawl or a jar of pickled herring. But it was
In America that fake birds were first made
To attract native fowl. The most familiar kinds
Of camouflage make one thing appear to be two,
Two things one & so on. Camouflage artists
Make it an arduous challenge to see a figure
On a ground (blending) or to distinguish one
Category of object from another (mimicry).
Less familiar but far more effective is dazzle
Camouflage in which a single thing appears
To be a hodgepodge of disparate components.
At Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the actors say
The audience always pays better attention
When it’s raining. Mother loved the sun,
She said, because its rays felt like ink to her
Fingers. Honestly I don’t understand many
People. But, Friends, if you plan on dying
By your own hand, don’t use pills. Swallowing
Is simply another way of marking time.
Mark Yakich's new poetry collection is The Importance of Peeling Potatoes in Ukraine (Penguin Poets 2008). He lives in New Orleans. His website is www.markyakich.com
Poet Rauan Klassnik now has a blog. He also has some real quality poems just up at Babel Fruit. You can listen to Rauan reading the poems. I like Rauan's effort have his work not only read, but heard.
Posted by Brian Foley at 3:54 PM
Thursday, October 9, 2008
For over two years I had been the author events director for an independent bookstore. I'd taken pride in it, but those who know me know my incessant complaining about the job was a regular pastime. This was because, whatever I was feeling, I felt strongly about this job. I have worried and sacrificed a lot of my time & sanity to make the series a good and interesting one. And I think it worked. But in the end, it seems it was all for nil as my efforts have landed me in the negative, regardless of the work put in.
I was ready for a change. However, I didn't want it to end as it was played out. I would have liked to have left on my own volition, received some appreciation, a thank you, some respect. I would have liked to have said goodbye. Shake some hands. I would have liked to have given some long overdue thank yous, confessions, and hugs. My colleagues & friends busted their asses for me, for the events, and put up with a lot of shit, and I owe them. I wish they all earned a lot more. They deserve it.
I have worked a lot of jobs, and all my life almost all of have been independent establishments. It was less something that I believed in, rather than something I naturally gravitated toward. However, I've come to believe the rhetoric of the independent is mainly just that - rhetoric. And more often than not - empty. The plight of the independent is a political device used to instill loyalty, a rhetoric motivated and reiterated by fear (of the threat of going under) and guilt (the kind you put upon the customers & employees).
This isn't something thats ubiquitous of all independents, obviously, but a fact that's understated and under-challenged. Independents are supposed to be the good guys, but if the independent establishment doesn't differ itself in its practices (and products) from the supposed mainstream establishments & corporations, then there is little to base their rhetoric on.
I think I tried to make things a bit different, though it wasn't always easy given the neighborhood and setting. I could have done a lot more, and would have liked to. But it felt good hosting oddball authors, not-well-known poets, or bringing writers to a community that don't always care to embrace them.
I don't think the empty rhetoric and practices are the result of someone who is duplicitous or evil. It is the result of someone who has lost their way. In Portland, it was refreshing to see so many young people thriving in their work. I look forward to the day when more young, focussed individuals around the country can get loans and settle down into their own independent businesses, their own states of mind. Of course, now is not the time. It may be a while.
People are strange. I don't understand the tendency towards passive aggressive behavior. This may be because I am wretched at masking emotions, which most commonly lead to arguments. I am the first to admit I am often a douche, which I stupidly refer to as being straightforward.
In the end, I have worked with some great people, met some invaluable friends, and witnessed some inspiring work take shape. I have seen Chris Matthews in his underwear. You can't get that image just anywhere.
It is time to take a break and write and sleep and eat and jog and re-learn German and get into grad school and read Frank Standford and appreciate people and love and drink and do push ups and make dinners and clean and pet the cat and collect unemployment and write and write and write.
"Thank you for your time."
Posted by Brian Foley at 11:39 AM
Thank You Portland and San Francisco
Posted by Brian Foley at 11:33 AM