Thursday, July 23, 2009

There is only one ethical thing to do this Saturday. And to find out what that is you must meet me at Cup of Joe (102 Main Street, Cedar Falls, IA) on that day at 8:00 in the pm. There you will be instructed. There you can learn to live your life in a manner unlike Sarah Palin. There you will experience poetry.

Aaron McNally. BJ Love. 2 grown men wanting to convince you that they are actually bears from outer space...who write poems...and then read them aloud.

C'mon! That sounds interesting, right? You should come! You should come! You should come!

Addendum: Reading Octopus 12 is also quite ethical.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

We are 2 dinosaurs, however fiberglass

HEY! If you live in Iowa, or the even the greater Midwestern region, I've something for you to do Saturday night. One of my bestest and oldest friends, Aaron McNally and I are reading at Cup of Joe around 8:00 and it would be awesome to see you. You see, Aaron, a bit of legend 'round these parts, is leaving for Kansas City in a few weeks and wants to tell you bye. You should do that for's the nice thing to do (p.s., my nephew Eli and I made that picture's the first of what I hope to be many collaborations).

Also, new H_NGM_N! AND I've got a poem in it! Exclaim? Here's the deets:


Like, it's night time & there are these two guys & they're all like, I'm gonna break into this BANK, yo. To steal the MON-ey. And the other guy is like, yo, what about the H_NGM_N? Like for realz? And the first guy is like what - that tired old washed up old guy? Like no one has even SEEN him for like YEARS or something. Guys probably dead.

And the second guy is like yo. And so it was that there were guys straight up robbing banks all over the city & when I say bank I mean JOURNALS PUBLISHING BAD POETRY & then there's like this quick cut, right, where you see like SOMEthing on a balcony or some junk, like high up like looking down all bad@$$ & then these two guys are like about the break into the bank still? By which I mean BAD POETRY RUNNING RAMPANT all up in the grill of the fair city? And what?

So that's it man. It's like yo - H_NGM_N #8. SWOOP. And like everyone thought he was dead & yo & like that was it? But he's here & cleaning house & by house I mean THE LANDSCAPE OF CONTEMPORARY POETRY & by cleaning I mean like straight up cleaning.

So it's like not only for you but for the city & banks & POETRY & also for yourself that you must needs click yon link & spread the word that, like, if you were afraid to go out at night? Or read poetry? There is no more reason to fear ever now:

yrs ever & always -

n8 & crew

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I don't know what it is about summertime sky, but I can't stop taking pictures of it.

Went back to Chicago last weekend to visit some friends and because Anne and I have never been so bored and because it's only a few hours from here. We did some stuff, most of which was this fad called, "hangin'." We almost got caught in a gang war and I slept the best I have in weeks. Do they make white noise machines that sound like buses, kids rapping and drunks yelling at everything? I need one of those.

I also went to the Seminary Co-Op bookstore and picked up Joshua Marie Wilkinson's Tupelo book. I've read it a few times so far and believe it to be totally rad. It sounds weird to say, but the poems feel organic...more so than his previous collections. The flow of the book as whole is dead on and even within the "fragmented" sections the poems are little like walking through a steady rain as opposed to the lightening storms in his Iowa book.

I've had the really odd circumstance, for me, anyway, of having been solicited for work lately. Ultimately, I think this is what every poet hopes for; not having to research journals, painstakingly piece together a submission and spend months hoping for the best. Instead, they contact you asking for poems and you slap a little something together for their project and a few days later...voila! Anyway, it's been really awesome and I've got four more poems coming out and I couldn't be more grateful to the editors who have contacted me.

Things to peep:

dear camera #9

Ekleksographia #2

Friday, July 10, 2009

A quick post to announce the next Further Adventures title, "Bee-Stung Aviary" by one Mr. Eric Baus. It is so fantastic that I've decided to use it as the first stand alone FA title. No combos this time, my friends. Nope, this time you get page after page after page of Eric Baus.

I'm hoping to have it done (again with artwork by Dan Perry) in about a month, so be on the lookout.

In the meantime, check this was this beaver's dying wish.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The new issue of Matchbook is out, and that bird wants you to order one, maybe more. I don't know, it's hard to read birds. Well, not that bird, he's got big white letters across his chest, but you know what I mean.

FK has managed to round up a great group of poets: Emily Kendal Frey, Zachary Schomburg, Garth Graeper, Susan Briante, Matt Hart, Fred Schmalz, Brenda Iijima, Kyle Schlesinger, David B. Goldstein, Cherie Weaver, Matvei Yankelevich, Hoa Nguyen, Philip Dacey, Megan Gannon, Miles Waggener, anna olivier, Ana Bozicevic, Paul Killebrew, Nate Pritts, BJ Love, Dale Smith, Farid Matuk, Mathias Svalina, and a scratch and sniff gallery of sensory abstractions.

Wait. Did you see that? I think it said, BJ Love. That's me. That's awesome. I'm really stoked to be involved with this project. In this way. I helped Friedrich with issue one; called for submissions, layedout and threw in my two logistical cents, but because I was so involved I didn't feel comfortable submitting then.

You should buy a few, give them to friends and relatives. Buy a few more, save them for yourself. Do this all here.

Monday, July 06, 2009

A few days ago my father-in-law found a machete at work in amongst some returned pallets from South America. He called it a knife. A friend of his swears there's blood stains on it. I carried it around all day yesterday. I think I like myself with a machete. Sometime, in the future, I want somebody to be talking about me and go, "You know B.J., right? The guy with the machete?"

These are things I've machete sliced:
  1. Large bottles of Mountain Dew (as seen in the video above)
  2. Apples being tossed in my general direction
  3. Empty cans
  4. Full cans
  5. A hedge my mother wanted trimmed
  6. A sign my mother no longer wanted
  7. A 1/2 inch tree limb that was looking at me funny
  8. Every reason I had to not own a machete
A few interesting machete facts:

  • Some tropical countries have a name for the blow of a machete; the Spanish machetazo is sometimes used in English.
  • After hardening, many blades are tempered to maximum toughness, often nearly spring tempered. This also makes the blade relatively easier to sharpen.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

I've been reading Alex Lemon's "Hallelujah Blackout" the last couple of days. It's good, but reads slightly disjointed. The range of styles Lemon uses (and has mastery of) is broad, but stacked next to one another in a text, the variations are often jarring. Before I go any further I want to emphasize that I really like every poem, it's their ordering that miffs me. For instance, Lemon writes some poems in an open, dreamy style where words and ideas are cross-hatched into a larger picture. Lemon also writes in wispy conversational style that could very well be your best friend describing his day. What becomes difficult is bouncing between these two (and other) styles, especially since the rules that the poems rely on change from one page to the next; empty space means one thing here and another over there, punctuation, capitalization, etc.
What this really got me thinking about, though, is the importance (too much?) I put on coherence within a manuscript. I like the idea of grouping similar poems into sections, or even writing poems with repeated ideas with the hope that a larger narrative emerges. My favorite examples of poets who do this are Matthew Rohrer, Mathias Svalina, Zachary Schomburg, Jack Spicer and Frank Stanford...each poem in their books is like another ingredient in a recipe; eggs, flour, sugar and butter...cake! And though in many cases the poems don't always look or feel like each other, there is always something tying one to the other, so that, when you finish the book, you are left with the feeling that you've read a book of poems and not a collection of poems.
Alex Lemon's book did not feel this way to fact, it read a little more like samples of an Alex Lemon yet to come. So much so, that as we are perusing the poems, you almost need to stop and sniff a coffee bean between each one. Some of my favorite poems ever have been written by this man, so the jarring variety of styles was never too much to keep from carrying on, hoping that the next one might be a new favorite. But therein lies the problem, it became to easy to disregard the "book" and only focus on the poems...which maybe isn't a problem, I don' know.