Friday, October 30, 2009

There was a time when I believed my life was YouTube free. That time has passed:

I fell on the bus today. My abilities to walk on or above moving things never matured...
A GREAT interview, oddly relevant to the previous post, in which I mention CA Conrad's role as parent.

This has been happening a lot lately. Don't know if it's because I'm reading so much right now, and that all things poetic happily dance with each other, or if it's some mystic bullshit, but it seems every thing I read has a direct and noted connection to something else: I read Simone Weil. Then I read T.S. Eliot and he mentions Simone Weil. I read Jabes' "Questions" translated Rosmarie Waldrop. Then I read, "Boris" and it has a blurb by Waldrop.

There are more, but I'm out of time. Ask me about it...I'll be happy to tell you about them.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Yesterday, instead of reading my students' fiction work, I drew this. It's jowly. I don't think I have that much face above my nose. Though, maybe I've just never paid that much attention.

I finished up with, "Boris by the Sea." I have to admit, it did lag in a few spots. I wasn't as much a fan of the "plays" as I was the prose blocks. That shit got real! Here's a line: "And then he thought and understood that to think and to create something resembles defecating and peeing." Before this book I never would have thought of CA Conrad's "Book of Frank," and Edmond Jabes' "Book of Questions," as long-lost lovers, but when you see their kid standing there, holding each of their hands in his and his logic is a little cyclical and his hair is actually some kind of fire that is more frightening than any fire you've seen before, well...

Hey, did you know that both a new issue of diagram (9.5) and h_ngm_n (9) came this week? They did! Wow!

The other day I saw my first beaver roadkill. It was everywhere. I kept telling myself, "but his tail was already flat." When they came to scoop him up, they realized that he was the perfect beaver-pile. Everyone had a good story to tell their wives. But that was last Friday and ever since we've been chasing beavers across 1st Avenue. Wives will only listen to the same story so many times.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Iowa, by Travis Nichols, is coming out soon from lettermachine. I was lucky enough to read this book a few years ago when it was put out by braincase. I borrowed it then, but I'll buy it now. This book will change your life...seriously.

Last Saturday I received a shit-ton of Octopus Books books in the mail. Matvei Yankelevich's "Boris by the Sea," will be the book that makes you fall in love with poetry just like you did the first time. You're confused, it hurts a little, you know you probably won't cry, but think you should and yet, you're never anything but elated (which is making it really hard to not cry).

This weekend Jon B. is coming. We're going to the Iowa game. It will be epic.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

This blog is the grossest and coolest blog I've ever seen regarding pigs and bugs. The exactness of data collecting language is practically poetic. From Day 11: 27 June 2009:

The carcasses are in the post
decay stage of decomposition,
but are becoming more
leathery on the surface.

Maggot activity
is still present
the pigs
in the soft
tissues that remain.

Beetles have been collected
from the carcasses as well
as the pitfall traps.

My line breaks, but still, pretty cool, right?

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Strandman Cometh

I want this to be the cover of my first book when and if that ever happens. Maybe I'll call it, "Poems about bears and sex...and mittens."
Books I've read over the last few weeks:
  1. Kate Greenstreet's "The Last 4 Things." It is the best book I've ever read that came with a dvd. Greenstreet writes poems for the multitasker at the end of long day.
  2. Raul Zurita's "Purgatory." It's a new translation recently out from the U of C press. I've had a tumultuous long-distance relationship with Zurita for about a year now. He writes poems for the revolutionary at the end of a long day.
  3. Edmond Jabes' "The Book of Questions." I'm reading this one for school. Jabes writes poems for the post-Holocaust Jew at the end of long day.
  4. A shit-ton of essays on poetics, namely, "The House that Jack Built," which collects Jack Spicer's Vancouver lectures, but also pieces by Robin Blaser, Louis Zukofsky, Ezra Pound and the rest of that lot. I like to read these essays, but they usually lead to me having a long day.
Mark Strand is coming to read on Thursday. We're going to try to convince the Strandman to grab a beer afterwards...we'll see how that goes. The deets are here.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Do you feel your books are full of nothing but words? Does your book collection fill you dispair? Are your shelves haunted by bad fonts, ugly design and laser prints? Friedrich Kerksieck is ready to believe you!

Dear Friends,

Hello, my name is Friedrich Kerksieck & I operate Small Fires Press. So far the venture of running the press has been wonderful – I’ve put out two issues of Matchbook Magazine & many books, including authors Scott Pierce, Mathias Svalina, Julia Cohen, John Chavez, Megan Gannon, Rachel May, Joshua Ware, MC Hyland & numerous others.

After leaving Tuscaloosa’s MFA program & beautiful studio, I’m asking for your help to set up my own studio so that I can continue my work. I’ve accumulated 8,000 dollars for a Vandercook Press & Photopolymer Plate Maker, but I still need about 3,000 dollars more for all of the various items needed to finish setting up a workspace to print upcoming book projects. Items needed include: a paper cutter, metal type, type-high gauges, inks, tympan paper, challenge key & quoins, press furniture, a boxcar base, etc. etc. etc.

What can you do? Well, there are lots of things – the simplest way to help me out is to donate money or equipment. If you’ve got a print shop with a lot of duplicate equipment you can send it to me with the promise that it will be well-used and cared for. You can purchase a book from the press that you’ve had your eye on. You can pass this note along to friends that might want to help a little press survive. You can show my books to your local special collections library and convince them to purchase my catalog.

In turn I promise to keep working to produce new texts in innovative packages, and to do my own part in supporting our community of artists, printers, readers, and writers.

If you wish to send something, please do so to:

Friedrich Kerksieck

1447 Poplar Ave. Apt. 1

Memphis, TN 38104

Donate through paypal.

Or visit the website and make a purchase:


Friedrich Kerksieck, Small Fires Press