Saw these guys last night. Finally.
No disappointments. I love bands that are a tight unit, circuited like one mind.
Had a spectacular reading with QF on Saturday. I read line broken fiction. Four months of hard work in eight minutes. A woman nodded out on my friends. Someone sang "Raspberry Barret." Thanks to Adam and Jen for letting me loose and picking up the tab.
Today I am sending out a manuscript for a contest. This is the first time I've done this. It is hard to sequence, to slap on another title, when every poem (or most) feel individual. It does feel buttoned up though in a way that's complete, which feels comforting. I am surprised over how much I've produced these last few months that I still enjoy. I had to leave a whole lot of poems out. Printing out the poems to read this past weekend, I realize I have built a small city. Not too many buildings that reach for the heavens, but a few that get you high enough.
Los Angeles is a great place. It keeps me from sleeping.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Saw these guys last night. Finally.
Posted by Brian Foley at 10:41 AM
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I'm visiting L.A. I like how L.A. is absent from European influence. Its architecture hasn't been updated since 1950 except for the cell phone towers hidden in the palm trees.
Last night I went to a screening on the SONY lot of Judd Apatow's "Funny People." The majority of the cast was there along with fifty other people. I saw Ron Howard's head glisten in the twilight. Jenny Lewis was there looking pleasant. Jonah Hill and Bill Hader. Adam Sandler was in sweat pants. There was a table with free food on it. I really appreciated that.
After the movie I had to write small dissertations on my thoughts about the film. My thoughts were "a sudden turd" "absentee ballot" "once again......" "i like the toothpick woman" "hey, that's ron howard."
Yesterday I spoke to David Trinidad on the phone. I got into Columbia College (Chicago, not NY). I told him how much I enjoyed this poem. He told me that there was no money. Damn. I also got into University of New Hampshire, which is funny because I didn't complete the paperwork, was notified of such, but then ignored it because I was accepted at UMass.
Mike Young is holding court at No Tell Motel this week. I saw Mike read a few weeks ago and was taken by his ability as a reader and the dynamic decadence of his poems. I've read Mike's work in numerous places, he was a contributor the first issue of SIR! but after seeing him read I feel as though something has been revealed. His newest poems are like a crash cart. Read them, aloud if you can.
Posted by Brian Foley at 11:49 AM
Monday, March 16, 2009
Now announcing Brave Men Press, a new letterpress venture by EB Goodale. I am the poetry editor.
First release will be a new letter pressed chapbook by poet Chris Tonelli (not pictured) called No Theater. Poems from No Theater can be currently seen in SIR!
Stay tuned for a forthcoming website with all release and contact info for Brave Men Press, including info on the chapbooks, broadsides, pamphlets, ads, valentines, & death threats we will be revealing.
In the meantime, mark up the wall at The Deep Moat Reading Series website.
Posted by Brian Foley at 9:21 AM
Thursday, March 12, 2009
For those interested in poverty and chicken, this blog has ingeniously posted a history of the first ten releases from White Rabbit Press, the chapbook dispenser that shucked poets from the Berkley Renaissance and other surrounding post avant goons. This stuff has been on my mind and in my peripherals as of late (mostly cuz of this). White Rabbits' ethics and aesthetics were impressive and worth another look. Do yourself a favor and affiliate yourself with a little history if you're not familiar. See what gave Silliman his first hanger.
Posted by Brian Foley at 11:52 PM
In the coming months I have my best poems, around 23 or 25 I can't remember, coming in
No Tell Motel
The Raleigh Quarterly
But where will they go after that? I have enough poems to fill a colander, and out of that will come one or two short manuscripts. The manuscripts already exist, actually. I just keep putting them through the colander. Its a nightly ritual. I admire people who can run with their concepts, create a theme for a length and stick with it. Every poems for me feels different.
Unless its preconceived, which I do not always believe it should be, the readers find your themes. This excuse sounds akin to shitty interviews with aloof musicians who are elusive about their lyrics (and why shouldn't they be? Yet unless your Bob Dylan Circa 1963, it doesn't make the interviews more interesting to read). I admire those early books of Charles Simic where poems are collected under the poet's recent stylistic infatuation, rather than a theme.
Emily Kendal Frey's new e-book AIRPORT successfully spins on her theme. Additionally she writes solely in the short poem (and she does it very well) which to me right now is the most enthralling. The short verse is also the best model for the e-book, currently. I haven't seen studies yet (I haven't looked) but I believe, like the translation of information that makes your brain work harder and more easily burned out when processing digitized music, reading on a screen translates information differently than reading on a page (the old analog vs digital). In this way short poems, at any time, for me, create the most agreeable translation (this also may be called laziness). Also, fuck the Kindle.
Short poems exude a type of confidence that's too often undermentioned. Jack Spicer dismissed his earlier short works as "one night stands." Though it seems he wasn't lacking in confidence, his downplay of his earlier poems (what i think is his most exciting work) says otherwise (though what artist doesn't dismiss their earlier work). It is easy to see these poems as fleeting, but they are the reason I love early Guided By Voices and Joshua Beckman's Your Time Has Come. I prefer my 45's to my full lengths LP's.
In a recent review in The Nation of Barbara Guest's Collected poems, the following excerpt demystified my understanding of the short poem, presenting a case with emboldened wisdom from dead Europeans.
Another of Levertov's complaints to Guest was that "often a poem of yours has seemed to me like an unrelated series of poem-seeds, none of them developed." It is an astute observation and one that Guest might not have repudiated, except of course for the tone of complaint with which it was lodged. In a lecture given in 1990 Guest appreciatively quoted the French Symbolist poet Jules Laforgue, who observed, "In the flashes of identity between subject and object lie the nature of genius. And any attempt to codify such flashes is but an academic pastime." What for Levertov were merely seeds are Laforgue's--and Guest's--"flashes," just as Levertov's all-important "development" was for them mere "codification." This points to a fundamental difference between Levertov--three years younger but already a far more prominent figure in the poetry world--and Guest: the former was essentially a classicist in aesthetics; the latter, a pure romantic. The essence of romantic poetry, as Friedrich Schlegel asserted in 1798, was that "it should forever be becoming and never perfected."In the end it may be a romantic disposition I have not admitted. Some people need an evening or a lifetime to fall in love. Others only need a flash of an eye.
Posted by Brian Foley at 9:36 AM
Monday, March 9, 2009
The Deep Moat Reading Series at the Pierre Menard gallery presents -
Saturday - April 11th - 8pm
The Deep Moat Reading Series is curated and hosted by Brian Foley. Get in touch with him at Brian Foley. The Pierre Menard Gallery is located at 10 Arrow st, Cambridge, MA
It's going to be a good spring.
Posted by Brian Foley at 10:19 AM
Monday, March 2, 2009
S I R ! M A G A Z I N E
I S S U E 2
Featuring work from
Cover painting and site design by E.B. Goodale
I publish these things with the wish that I had written them.
Please take a look at the issue and if you enjoy it, tell others.
SIR! is open to submissions for the next issue. However, if you submit, you only get one shot per reading period.
Posted by Brian Foley at 12:26 AM