Monday, June 02, 2008
May's read list vs. June's to read list
What I read in the month of May:
The journals TIGHT and redivider.
Both these journals rocked it pretty hard. redivider has a great poem series by Tao Lin that all but forced me to change my name to Tao Lin and walk around with the poems safety pinned to my t-shirt proclaiming to friends and strangers alike that I wrote them... Billy Collins I could do without, but then, so could the world. You heard me Billy Collins, nobody cares anymore. You're a jerk and it's about time somebody told you so.
TIGHT was a great read. Sommer Browning's "house" poems are beyond. I also really dug Katy Henricksen's song poems, they made me get out my Tom Waits and Silver Jews records. The piece de resistance of the issue though is Daniel Nester's "question" poems.
The books "Why I am White," by Mathias Svalina, "Spell," by Dan Beachy-Quick, "The True Keeps Calm Biding its Story," by Rusty Morrison, and once again, "The Collected Books of Jack Spicer," by Jack Spicer.
Here's what I can tell you: If you really like Svalina, buy "White." If you don't know him so much, buy "Creation Myths." "Why I am White," is kind of like Svalina's "Rubber Soul." All the Beatles fans out there know what I mean... I really liked "Spell," but occasionally found it to be a tad stand-off-y, though through no fault of its own. It's been close to 10 years since I've read "Moby Dick," and that wasn't helpful. HOWEVER, I'm not saying that "Spell" leans to heavily on Melville that it doesn't stand alone, but "Dick" is "Spell's" pimp cane, not a necessity, but handy in a bind... Rusty Morrison's book was really beautiful and tremendously scary all at once... Jack Spicer was 10 times the poet Allen Ginsburg ever was and hopefully, someday, will be remembered as such.
What I will read in the month of June: "The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You," by Frank Stanford, and just today I finally received my copy of Daniela Olszewska's "The Partial Autobiography of Jane Doe."
A few months ago I read an interview with Zach Schomburg where he mentioned that he's always a little tentative when people buy his book...
"I almost always want to ask the buyer are you sure? I hope it doesn't disappoint you. Wouldn't you rather buy Frank Stanford's The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You? We [Mathias Svalina and Joshua Marie Wilkinson] read almost half of Stanford's Battlefield out loud in the car on that trip. We tried to read it all, but kept repeating parts that killed us."
That was enough to convince me, so I ordered a copy not realizing that it is epic...literally. Unfortunately, it sat while I read other things, but then JMW mentioned that he is leading a reading group for the book and with that, the stars aligned. I'm about 100 pages in which is remarkable considering I have to read every page twice before I make myself go on. This book is no secret, but if you by chance haven't read it yet...whoa.