Sunday, September 03, 2006

Diverse Speculations Descending Therefrom

Diverse Speculations Descending Therefrom
*a dusi/e-chap by K Lorraine Graham
review by Jon Leon

K. Lorraine Graham uses a simple narrative structure in her book. Beach excursions, afternoon tea with a sunburned British boy, and women yelling at dogs are described in a casual fashion. Everyday language is employed to direct effect. She is not afraid to use pronouns like I and he and she nor does she ignore the necessity of clarity. These vignettes make adventure and personality appealing and sustain a refreshing respite from over-intellectualized abstractions. It is the poetry of a living human being in the world. Reinforced verbs like “yelling” below mimic the basic speech of passionate people.

The woman yelling at her dog yelled: “you fucking
crazy drunk dog, you’re lucky you have me as
your mama!”

Graham is a very cool poet. Her book is like the best of Mexican pop songs. Now that poetry has turned into a competition between brains matter-of-fact sentences like these are incredibly appealing. They reveal a thinking person who applies her mind to social situations and life in a world rather than hieroglyphic abstractions that nobody understands.

You drank your coffee and stared at the sidewalk.
You thought about how your friend is always in
violent situations, but never seems aware of it.

Reading this book I am reminded about how brains and intuition still help us navigate life, and that contrary to what a lot of poetry teaches, that is just as important as navigating through books and ideas. When we want to ride a motorcycle and kiss a fisherman Deleuze or Guattari or Walter Benjamin or Foucault will not be of much help. Even bureaucrats love it.

Later that day I went swimming with several
Bhutanese economists. “We are old Bhutanese
bureaucrats,” one told me, “but we like to have

This is the best thing since Guest’s Confetti Trees. Viva la K. Lorraine Graham!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

* a dusi/e-chap kollektiv

* a dusi/e-chap kollektiv

* a dusi/e-chap kollektiv is a congregation of poets all of whom have printed a limited edition of 50 chaps of their own design and production under the auspices of Dusie and its first annual collective chap press. The project aims to satisfy two aspects of publishing, the creative small chap which one can easily distribute among peers and have for readings as well as the fabulously viable and easily distributable to a wider readership as an e-chap which will be soon available online at Dusie for Issue Four. So far I have received 20 chaps, all varying sizes, poetries and design, all of which are very beautiful, honest and interesting pieces. The level of poetry created in such a short time (most of this poetry was created over the last month) has been quite astounding for me. Being a writer can be a very lonely vocation, but with the rest of the group of 43 poets at hand/or at list-serve as it were for various discussions about poetics, publishing and personal projects, an obvious and great collective effort took place, and many if not all of us became quite enthralled or obsessed with this project. Some went out on a limb using various new editor programs or variants of word files to create the right paginations, one poet bought a chap side-stapler and is now considering publishing chaps through her press, others hand or machine sewed their bindings and we also have many brilliantly put together little chaps that are variants of the ancient Japanese book-binding tradition. I am also pleased to report as well that we have a number of collaborative works as well.

Here is a list/explicative of the chaps I have received so far:

Interpretations of text, chap form, and binding: I want to begin with Cheryl Quimba’s tiny tiny chap, A POEM, which is most certainly proof that size does not always matter. So small and precious with its plaid checked cover and hand-stitched seam, it puts me in way of the tiny epics of Angria. This keeper will most certainly grace one of my numerous shadow boxes. Jon Leon’s TRACT chap provides us with another very interesting interpretation of binding, most excellent in light of the subject matter as well, safety pins. While kari edwards is hiding out in the Tamil part of India she has produced a broadside type of chap for us all, BHARAT JIVA, perhaps inspired by the reality of postage and environmental impact of paper usage in her quest to have less of a paper-trail. Jonathan Skinner and Jane Sprague have utilized a page from an environmental or business dossier of sorts (it’s in French otherwise I’d be more specific) for their cover stock for the collaborative chap ENTROPIC LIBERTIES. Having just received, DISBATCH: by Marci Nelligan and Nicole Mauro, my favorite thing so far is the binding (held in place by a screw and bit). This collaborative chap illustrates that one can produce a beautiful chap creatively with materials close at hand, as the pages are ordinary colored construction paper and roughly 2‘4 inches in diameter. Betsy Fagin utilized the said Japanese influence when binding and creating ROSEMARY STRETCH, while the original of Jill Magi’s, FROM COMPASS AND HEM appears to be typed on small patches of linen. I also have two beautifully hand sewn chaps in way of Mark Lamoureaux’s, NIGHT SEASON and David Goldstein’s cleverly titled BEEN RAW DICTION which has a spiral cut-out on the cover, which my 2-year old instantly pointed at and said schnecke (snail). Jared Hayes’ RECOLLECTED is a another hand sewn ambitious and noteworthy chap which is a performative and dialogic homage collaborative reading/writing of Ted Berrigan, the inside pages of which creatively cut in threes as to provide the reader with hundreds if not thousands of variations.

Several poets have used the artistic assistance of visual artists. Jules Boykoff has produced a beautiful little chap, THE METAL SUNSET OF TOMORROW’S ASCENDING DISSENSION with cover art by Trygve Faste. In some ways Boykoff’s chap is also collaborative as he employs a poetic form of his own design, where he writes poems which begin and end with a line from various poets. John Sakkis’ COAST has cover art by Lauren Kohne, which compliments his ‘alien-green’ card-stock well. Jen Hofer’s beautiful chap, *LAWS* which utilizes envelopes for the covers and are machine-sewed by her friend from the local eco-village, Federico Tobó. I also really enjoy how she’s employed the title line: of deaths. dailies, speculations, nascense (shares) for every page of poetry of the typed, of which every cover was typed individually! Philip Jenks worked with Tanja Miljevic for his cover design as well as featured his own photographic montage throughout, HOW MANY OF YOU ARE YOU?

The remaining chaps are what I would classify as more traditional in way layout and size, but again they’re all quite unique in way of poetic innards: Ellen Baxt’s ANALFABETO/ AN ALPHABET just arrived today and really ends in what surely must be one of the best last-liners I’ve read in a long while, “Sit next to me. Blacklist flatterer. Slow my lion”. Logan Ryan Smith’s, 2 POEMS FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL, was printed on letter sized paper and a triple side-stabled binding, yet the slender form of which inside made for quite a flowing, mellifluous read as well as a voice clearly US American. ISHMAEL AMONG THE BUSHES by William Allegrezza is a meditative little chap which gives one the feeling of ‘walking’ with the poet, or peering over his shoulder among the other dead. FULL-FIGURED RHAPSODY by Sheila Murphy, bordering lyrical metaphysical, this dense little chap is a keeper I have already read several times. Sarah Mangold sends us PICTURE OF THE BASKET , while Harmut Abendschein, TALSCHLÜSSE, a poetic series in Deutsch from Bern, Switzerland. IDENTITY CRISIS has got to be the first chap-book/poem which utilizes Ron Silliman’s blog as source text, namely in Silliman’s ever- prodigious poet-roll. This is by Anonymous, I’m curious to see how long it will be before this anonymous author is uncovered and what the take will be on the anonymous aspect, which still bears a copyright symbol in the inside pages of this surely flarf inspired composition.

Susana Gardner, ed.
Schaffhausen, Switzerland
June 2006 (written during the project so all chapbooks are not included)

(This was written for and originally published in BOOG CITY, issue#35, for BOOG a free poetry zine/paper produced and distributed in NYC)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Amy King, The Good Campaign, *a dusi/e-chap, 2006

Review by Chris Rizzo

Possibly the most interesting place to begin reading The Good Campaign is its final couplet: “You’ll have more than this passing ever after / where skin after sin swallows into us now.” One long poem comprised of eleven lyric sections, King’s text is an exploration of the couplet, the simplest principle that organizes the work throughout, and the simplest principle that organizes human relationships. What can we make of this final couplet, the point at which the couplings of The Good Campaign officially end?

Such a question leads me back to “where skin after sin swallows into us now.” King’s penchant for quicksilvering syntax is one of her greatest strengths as a poet. Here, “skin” becomes the “sin” that unexpectedly “swallows into us now,” i.e., pores not only sweat (expel) but also take in the “now,” an urgent yet organic process of feeling through a moment that somehow goes morally awry. And the text offers no conclusions about this “sin,” but rather a maelstrom of clues that keep us rapt:

“Friend, your corpus harp reminds me / of existence gone missing”

“I’m not invested in mulching truths at all, / I’m merely a fan of the fur that’s touched”

“Which came first, a graffiti of injury / or the limned outline across the floor?”

“Did you lasso up my voice? Lying by your hips? / A car appears the safest place in a storm.”

Or, this entire section:

In celluloid fashion, waitresses play
musical chairs, never the same face reflected

In a glass of wine, between sips the napkin
flies, gently off, onto your arm, able all along.

What would life be like around you?
I want a stomach for a pillow,

A film that renders a film sufficient,
crises carried in care. One of us reminds the other

Of a hostage who falls for her babysitter,
anchored sharp on gluegunned I love yous,

This incomplete answer escapes its yes,
a museum-shelved painting as evidence—

Who will seek your footnoted solos
for the gender that sidesteps its name?

Campaigns are about ends, and King’s campaign is no exception. The question of “sin” (and all the language that the question suggests, e.g., error, shame, etc.) is “incomplete,” yet must suffice in being its own individual and particular system of meaning. The Good Campaign is indeed good because it is made “of mathematical matchsticks / for the romance of gluing together,” the form(ula) of the couplet leaving us with more than one answer, one end, one art. A lack of both definitive closure and closed definitions leave the text hauntingly ambiguous, i.e., ambiguous in the sense of textual space, into which the reader can enter. King’s phrase “gluing together” could either mean two individuals romantically stuck to one another, or two individuals who share the process of putting together their singular, yet broken lives. Perhaps the phrase points to both these interpretations at once, but not even “gluegunned I love yous” are enough to hold a coupling together—or one’s life, for that matter—and this human problematic seems a sin, a shame, a lack out of which poems are made. Glittering, enigmatic, beautiful and of consequence, King’s lyricism makes “legs unfurl, brainstems burn, and trumpets / bone the room.” In a good way, The Good Campaignwill leave you wanting.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Jon Leon’s Tract, *a dusi/e-chap, 2006

Jon Leon’s Tract, *a dusi/e-chap, 2006
by Chris Rizzo

In the sub-cultural world of Tract, no action is taboo, and explanations are nowhere. By the time we reach “Louise Frevert,” the fifteenth prose-poem section presumably named after the Danish porn-star turned politician, the fragmented and often bitingly witty syntax of Tract just continues to speed away: “After two we speed away in my Fairlane. We download a couple of anal flicks and select full-screen. I set up laptop and dj. Jenny does a cut/copy job with the Marquis. Pastes fotos on her singed tits.” What’s ultimately so sharp about Leon’s text is that it’s so consumable to the special kind of poetry addict who reads first and foremost for the rush that comes with the pleasures of unpredictable language. But such pleasures are those that pin and bind and leave you dangling, like Nadia “from a plant hook fastened to the ceiling” in “Klemmer.” The text makes masochistic gluttons of such readers, as though we’re inside some Jamesonian structure, a prison-house, the Bastille of language turned postmodern pleasure-house or funhouse, where sensory overload distorts, dements, and tragically warps an understanding of the world around us. This is dark play, a “couture feast, fierce” and unrelenting in its neo-Sodom dialectic of creation and destruction spinning out of control.
It is “the Marquis” referenced in “Louise Frevert,” i.e. the Marquis de Sade, who infamously stated that “sex without pain is like food without taste.” In her introduction to Sade’s The 120 Days of Sodom, Simone de Beauvoir writes that “Sade tried to make of his psycho-physical destiny an ethical choice; and of this act, in which he assumed his ‘separateness’, he attempted to make an example and an appeal. It is thus that his adventure assumes a wide human significance. Can we, without renouncing our individuality, satisfy our aspirations to universality? Or is it only by the sacrifice of our individual differences that we can integrate ourselves into the community? This problem concerns us all.” And it concerns Tract. If I stare into the dark surface of this hyper-sexualized and thoroughly strung-out text, then I’m bound to see a critique of ludic philosophy, i.e., a mentality of desire. “Food without taste” is still food, i.e., it still satisfies a necessity, whereas “taste” satisfies desire. The characters in Tract are relentless in their pursuit of pleasures, no matter how deeply sub-cultural, and no matter the cost. These characters have no “aspirations to universality,” but rather they repetitively—and sometimes literally—fuck one another over to satisfy their individual desires. Leon’s text enacts this, and draws us in, makes of us complicit voyeurs who watch for the next word. This is cogent work.

Brief author/reviewer bios:

Jon Leon lives in Savannah where he edits Live Action Arcade with poet Allyssa Wolf. New poems and articles are forthcoming in Vanitas and Magazine Cypress. Italian translations of his serial epic Diphasic Rumors are forthcoming in GAMMM. Contact him at jonaleon[at]gmail[dot]com.

Originally from Long Island and a long-time resident of Boston, Chris Rizzo currently lives in Albany, New York, where he is working on a Ph.D. in English. His latest chapbooks are Claire Obscure (Katalanché Press, 2005) and Zing (Carve Editions, 2006). His poems have appeared in many magazines over the years, such as Art New England, Carve, Dachshund, Shampoo, and most recently in The Duplications. He is also the editor of Anchorite Press, which he founded in 2003.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Available for Review

If you are interested in adding your work to this list to be reviewed, or in receiving a piece to review, please contact me here: dusieli at yahoo dot com ...thanks! ***this is not only for Dusi/e-chap authors...any author of a chapbook/bookbook or publisher/editor of therein....

Available for Review:

Anthologies: My Spaceship, CyGist Press, 2006 Mark Lamoureux, ed


: Boxd Transistor : Jon Leon, Coconut 2006 (e-chap)

ghosts spiders_dogs Logan Ryan Smith Detumescence 2005, *an e-chap

amber faint Logan Ryan Smith Detumescence 2006, *an e-chap


Composition Marble, Joshua Corey Pavement Saw Press 2006

Estrella's Prophecies: III David Baratier, Luna Bizonte Prodz, 2004.

Boxer Rebellion, Sarah Mangold, g o n g, 2004.

VI Fictions, Chris Pusateri, g o n g, 2006.

: * dusi/e-chaps, 2006 (e-chap or chapchap) :

Identity Crisis, by _____ * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (e-chap or chapchap)
talschlüsse(Deutsch) hartmut abendshein, * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (e-chap or chapchap)
Ishmael Among the Bushes, WIlliam Allegrezza * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (e-chap or chapchap)
Analfebeto/An Alphabet, Ellen Baxt * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (e-chap or chapchap)
The Metal Sunset of Tomorrow's Ascending Dissension Jules Boykoff * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (e-chap or chapchap)
the listening lost, Mackenzie Carignan, * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (e-chap or chapchap)
Surface Tension, a 10 day tryst by Mackenzie Carignan, &Scott Glassman * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (e-chap or chapchap)
Bharat jiva, kari edwards * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (e-chap or broadside)
rosemary stretch, betsy fagin * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (e-chap or chapchap)
pieces of the sky, greg fuchs * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (e-chap or chapchap)
Diverse Speculations Descending Therefrom, K. Lorraine Graham * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (e-chap or chapchap)
BEEN RAW DICTION, David Goldstein * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (echap)
RecollecTed, Jared Hayes * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (e-chap)
*laws*, Jen Hofer * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (e-chap or chapchap)
How Many of You are You?, Philip Jenks * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (e-chap or chapchap)
The Good Campaign, Amy King * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (pdf or chapchap)
Signed Even as a Waiting, Paul Klinger * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 ( e-chap or chapchap)
Night Season, Mark Lamoureux * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (e-chap or chapchap)
In Fortune, Lauren Levin, Jared Stanley, &Catherine Theis * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (echap or chapchap)
TRACT, Jon Leon * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (e-chap or chapchap)
from Compass and Hem, Jill Magi * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (e-chap or chapchap)
Picture of the Basket, Sarah Mangold * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (e-chap or chapchap)
Full-Figured Rhapsody, Sheila Murphy * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (pdf or chapchap)
Insect Country (A), Sawako Nakayasu * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (e-chap or chapchap)
dispatch, nicole mauro and marci nelligan * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (e-chap or chapchap)
little poem, cheryl quimba * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (e-chap or chapchap)
IN THE QUELLS, Christopher Rizzo * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (e-chap or chapchap)
COAST, John Sakkis * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 ( e-chap)
paper poem, rick snyder * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (e-chap or chapchap)
heart on a tripod, Kaia Sand * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 ( e-chap or chapchap)
2 poems from the bottom of the barrel, Logan Ryan Smith * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (e-chap or chapchap)
Entropic Liberties, Jane Sprague and Jonathan Skinner * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (e-chap or chapchap)
Can Arboreal Knotwork Help Blackburn out of Frege's Abyss?, Boyd Spahr * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (e-chap or chapchap)
The New Couriers, Dana Ward * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (e-chap or chapchap)
a city_a cloud, Elizabeth Workman * a dusi/e-chap, 2006 (e-chap or chapchap/poster)


DUSIE is now accepting chapbooks, books and other manifestations (open to interpretation) of chapbooks//poetry for review at the new Dusie blog.

Want to have your chapbook or bookbook reviewed or the chaps of your press reviewed? please contact me, Susana Gardner at my email below.

please note: this is not necessarily just for new books, Dusie is happy to host bookbooks and chapbooks of any age, style, and design!

dusieli (at) yahoo (dot) com

Stay tuned for more information & reading!!!!

Friday, June 16, 2006