PageBoy Issue XI is live!

    Happy to announce that our eleventh issue is now available!
    The current issue features original artwork by (and an interview with) Seattle-based artist Claire Cowie.
    Poetry and/or prose by Aaron Anstett, Jennifer Burdette, Alejandro Carrillo E., Stephen Collis, Jen Currin, Eric Wayne Dickey, Jeff Encke, Bill Hollands, Rebecca Hoogs, Sarah Jones, Jason Kirk, Rauan Klassnik, Richard Kostelanetz, Linera Lucas, Shin Yu Pai, Adam Perry, Julia Powers, David Romanda, Jeremy Springsteed, Rick VanderKnyff and Nico Vassilakis.
     To order copies, please click the button on this page.


Book Review: Nadine Antoinette Maestas on Kristen Millares Young's Debut Novel

Kristen Millares Young’s debut novel, Subduction, focuses on the journey of Claudia, a Mexican-American anthropologist running from her life in Seattle where her husband left her for her sister. Claudia’s need to escape and her anthropological research take her back to the Makah Reservation at Neah Bay on the Olympic Peninsula where she reconnects with Maggie and meets Maggie’s son, Peter, who has returned to care for his mother. As an anthropologist, Claudia sees her role as someone whose job it is to record as much information and as many stories from the Makah culture as she can, but she is acutely and consistently aware of her outsider status and the inherent flaws in her field of research. She is an outsider, an interloper, who is not to be fully trusted, but she is also a catalyst for the telling of stories and more importantly for the convergence of stories that emerge from Peter’s family, community and culture. 

The book’s title is an apt place from which to begin thinking about the intertwining narratives of all of the characters in all of their complexities. The story takes place along the Cascadian Subduction Zone, where there is a convergence of tectonic plates. These active, moving plates cause earthquakes and facilitate volcanic activity. This is relevant because in the background of the novel there is a reoccurring, yet somewhat murky retelling of an earthquake and tsunami that unleashed their destructive forces on the indigenous coastal communities hundreds of years ago. So much of the novel is about the recovery of memories, of stories, and of culture, and much like the tectonic plates, when Claudia and Peter meet, there is a seismic rupture in the social and cultural fabric of the community. Things shake loose, and difficult stories emerge and converge where violence and beauty simultaneously occur.

While reading the novel I kept going back to what Mary Louis Pratt likes to call “contact zones.” In her essay “Arts of the Contact Zone” she uses this term “to refer to social spaces where cultures meet, clash, and grapple with each other, often in contexts of highly asymmetrical relations of power, such as colonialism, slavery, or their eventual aftermaths as they are lived out in many parts of the world today.”

Pratt notes “autoethnography, transculturation, critique, collaboration, bilingualism, mediation, parody, denunciation, imaginary dialogue, and vernacular expression” as some of the “literate arts of the contact zone.” And she suggests that “miscomprehension, incomprehension, dead letters, unread masterpieces, absolute heterogeneity of meaning” are some of the “perils of writing in the contact zone.”

I would argue that Young’s novel is a space for readers to see the clashing and grappling of cultures and narratives in all of its messiness and uncomfortableness. In this sense the lack of resolution and completeness in the characters in the novel feels right and offers us a sense of human authenticity. In this way, Young is able to produce a character like Claudia, who is able to critically reflect back on her profession and her role in Peter and Maggie’s world.  

Young’s prose feels effortless. It propels and brings into contact the complex stories of Claudia, Peter, Maggie and the Makah. Her attention to the landscape of human emotion and thought holds up a mirror to the power relationships between cultures, genders, and family. And yet I can’t help but ask myself, does Young cross the line in writing this novel, in telling these stories and the stories within the stories? I would venture to say that yes, in a sense she does cross lines, but that is the point reflected in the internalized criticism that the character Claudia carries in herself, and it is the point of Pratt’s contact zone, as it is the point of Young’s subduction zone.

Book page here: Subduction


PageBoy Call for Work, 11th Issue!

PageBoy Contributor
     PageBoy Magazine is currently gathering material for our eleventh (!) issue. If you have something that you'd like to share, please send it along and we will consider it for publication. There is no theme for our upcoming issue. Poetry, prose, fiction, nonfiction, reviews, seventeens, etc. We are open to any form, as we believe any form works if the writer makes it work.
     Why publish with PageBoy Magazine? We invite you to use this form - the hard copy literary magazine (so 1990's!) - to (1) experiment with your work (if you are an established writer), (2) to add to the ongoing literary conversation, (3) to gain a prestigious publishing credit!, (4) to be invited (if accepted) to read at our release party this coming winter/spring, (5) to become famous, (6) to get your mind off the current political situation (if only for an instant!), and (7) for the money! (there isn't any, of course, but we will send you a contributor copy, and do our best to champion you currently and with any future projects you have on our enormously successful social media platforms. 
     General submission information can be found here: submissions guidelines. All submissions should be sent to pageboymagazine@hotmail.com. There is never a submission fee. 


I Remember

Joe Brainard remembering something.
     I remember the first time I saw Joe Brainard's book I Remember. I was in Boulder Colorado watching a busker contort himself into a tiny plexiglass box. Someone was reading I Remember on a bench nearby.
     Later I saw it in the bookstore on Pearl St., and I remember I was very excited by the form, and I read nearly half the book right then and there, but then I felt nauseous and had to leave. I remember being very confused when someone asked me, years later, if I "liked it."


PageBoy at AWP!

17 people in a phone booth.
     PageBoy Magazine will host a constraint based, offsite event as part of AWP. A happy hour event from 4:30-6 at Rose City Book Pub on Friday 3/29. The event will be devoted to the poetic form the Seventeen - essentially a seventeen word poem or prose work. Seventeen writers will read work in this form, two heavy metal thrashers - aka The Drop Shadows - will interpret the form in a musical way.
     Readers include Aaron Anstett, Jennifer Burdette, William Camponovo, Elizabeth Cooperman, Sarah Erickson, Johnny Horton, Chelsea Werner-Jatzke, Nadine Maestas, Sarah Kathryn Moore, Katie Ogle, Paul Sheprow, Sarah Shotwell, Danielle Skredsvig and Thomas Walton. Musical constraint provided by Jeanine Walker and Steve Mauer.


Issue X Seattle Release!

Shawna, Ann Gale

     PageBoy Issue X is out and we are celebrating at the Richard Hugo House in Seattle WA on 1/3/19 at 7p.m. Our tenth issue consists entirely of Seventeens, which are poems or prose works consisting of seventeen words and seventeen words only. We have assembled nearly 40 writers writing in this form! Our featured artist is the fantastic Ann Gale, who graciously allowed us to interview her and print the highlights from our discussion.
      To purchase, please see the link in the sidebar. For more info on the release party, please click here: Issue X Release Party!


PageBoy Issue X Portland Release!

     PageBoy Magazine is releasing our tenth issue on December 16th at the 1122 Gallery in Portland OR! Readers include Jennifer Burdette, Jennifer Denrow, David Fewster, Jesse Morse, Rachel Nelson, Paul Sheprow, and James Yeary. 
     Happy hour beverages available!
     More info here: PageBoy Portland Release!


Tweets from Maine and Texas

Thoreau, wearing earbuds.
     "We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate."
     - Henry David Thoreau in 1854 (!), questioning our assumptions that technological progress is inherently good for culture. 
     When will we have heard enough of Maine and Texas? 


A Healthy Dose of Cynicism

Bossui Reciting A Recipe for Pickled Herring

     "Reciting part of a sutra with the desire to benefit others is like reciting a recipe in the hope it will prevent people from starving."
      -Bossui (in Zen Radicals, Reformers, Rebels)


Call for Work for Our Tenth Issue!!!

O'hara realizing the sky must be above the earth.

     PageBoy Magazine is now accepting submissions for our upcoming (tenth!) issue. We are following our Writers on Writers issue with an issue devoted exclusively to 17 word poems, or "17s" (see below).      
     Please send 5-10 of your best works in prose or poetry - as long as each is exactly and only 17 words short - to pageboymagazine@hotmail.com by March 15, 2018. We are open to any style, any voice, as long as it "works," so do whatever you like with the form. We're curious to see what you come up with!
      -The Editors.

     A word on the form:

- 17s are an old form, invented at Harry's Bar on 15th Ave E in Seattle during the fall of 2016. 
- 17s consist simply of 17 words, that is their ONLY constraint.
- That said, 17s rely heavily on / seek to encourage Keats' idea of Negative Capability, when one is "capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason." 
- 17s are meant to wrest language back into the imagination and out of the mundane, "to get that intensity back into the language." (Gertrude Stein)

       A few (further) quotes that were instrumental during the gestation period of the 17s:

 "a word is a bottomless pit"
             -Lyn Hejinian

     "I sometimes think that Leaves of Grass is only a language experiment - that is, an attempt to give spirit, the body, the man, new potentialities of speech."
             -Walt Whitman

      "write everything / the oracle said"
             -Robert Kelly

     "I have news for you ... verse has been tampered with!"
             -Stephane Mallarme

          "The extraordinary nature of language is that it attaches to the prior, to the before one, and to the after one."
             -Robin Blaser

     "It is my duty to be attentive, I am needed by things as the sky must be above the earth."
             -Frank O'hara

     "I do not use the language, I interact with it."
             -Rosemarie Waldrop

     "fragments are our wholes"
             -Clark Coolidge


Little Bits of Memory

    Anna Akhmatova's poem Requiem was written for her son, who was imprisoned by Stalin in the 1930s. She wrote the entire manuscript on scraps of paper that she destroyed as soon as she committed them to memory for fear that she herself would be arrested. A few friends helped her memorize the text, which they carried in quiet for more than twenty years. When they did publish it, in 1963, it had became a kind of oral poetry bearing witness to the crimes of the Soviet Union, specifically the Stalinist regime.


Seeing Is Believing

Leonardo: if the beard fits, wear it.
     "It's through seeing that you understand the beauty of created things, the greatest of the things that induce love."
     - Leonardo arguing in the early 1500s for what is in front of us, what we can see, touch, smell, hear, taste.    

     Galileo, one hundred years later, complained that "people were denying the evidence of their own senses and submitting to the judgement of others [i.e. the church], allowing people totally ignorant of an art or science to be judges of intellectuals ... these are the new powers that can ruin republics and subvert states."
     Same old refrain, 500 years later.


Issue IX, Writers on Writers, Now Out

Stacey Rozich's Meanwhile at Home Vol. 1

     The new issue of PageBoy Magazine, Writers on Writers, is now out! Please see the review below, and then HELP SUPPORT INDEPENDENT MAGAZINES by, well, purchasing a copy.
Issue ix reviewed here.


Who Killed Rilke?

Rilke at home, just before being killed by the academy.

     " ... the hallmark of academic criticism: it kills everything it touches. Walk around a university campus and there is an almost palpable smell of death about the place because hundreds of academics are killing everything they touch. I recently met an academic who said that he taught German literature. I was aghast: to think, this man who had been in universities all his life was teaching Rilke. Rilke! Oh it was too much to bear. You don't teach Rilke, I wanted to say, you kill Rilke!"
     -Geoff Dyer, Out of Sheer Rage.


Puccini's Oregano

this week's libretto
     "Opera begins in the market where, over and above the simple demands of competition of being able to attract customers' attention, stall holders have to convey the color and taste of fruit in their voices. The man selling oregano, for example: he called out and the air was fragrant with oregano.
His job was not to sell oregano, but to fill the air with the sound of its scent."
                     -Geoff Dyer in Out of Sheer Rage.


Call for 'writing on writers'!

     PageBoy invites you to submit original work in any form on the theme "writers on writers." Please consider writing something on your favorite author, or your least favorite author; or on an author you feel deserves more attention, or on an author you feel deserves less.    
     Homage/essay/elegy/interview/rant/criticism/limerick/etc. will all be considered for publication in our upcoming, ninth issue. Subjects can be well known or little known, widely published or not at all, so long as the piece itself is interesting enough. Work should be submitted by Nov. 15th.
     We look forward to reading your work,
         - PageBoy Crew


Those Divine Words

     "Writing is spooky. There is no routine of an office to keep you going, only the blank page each morning, and you never know where your words are coming from, those divine words."
     - Norman Mailer.


Painting Badly

Montagne Sainte-Victoire painted badly by Cezanne
     "The most admirable thing in the life of Cezanne was his perseverance in painting badly."
          -from an obituary of Cezanne in Le Soleil.


A Pitcher of Wine Forever

Chaucer, drunk as a chamber pot
     King Edward III gave Chaucer an annuity of 20 marks in 1367, calling him dilectus valettus noster (our beloved valet). By the end of 1368 Chaucer was an Esquire. Six years later, however, Chaucer received his greatest accolades from the king: a pitcher of wine per day for the rest of his life!
       -from Lives of the Poets, pg. 56 (Schmidt)


No Idea What I'm Doing

Francis Bacon has no idea what he's doing.

     "I think that you can make, very much as in abstract painting, involuntary marks on the canvas which may suggest much deeper ways by which you can trap the facts you are obsessed by. If anything ever does work in my case, it works from that moment when consciously I didn't know what I was doing ... It's really a question in my case of being able to set a trap with which one would be able to catch the fact at its most living point."
          - Francis Bacon


Keep Starting

Gorky's Garden in Sochi ... unfinished?

     "When something is finished, that means it's dead, doesn't it? I believe in everlastingness. I never finish a painting - I just stop working on it for a while. I like painting because it's something I never come to the end of ... The thing to do is always to keep starting to paint, never finishing painting."
     - Arshile Gorky.


Why do I think it's not beautiful?

Matisse's much maligned 'Woman with a Hat'

     "The first question I ask myself when something doesn't seem to be beautiful is 'why do I think it's not beautiful?' And very shortly you discover that there is no reason.
     "If we can conquer that dislike, or begin to like what we did dislike, then the world is more open. That path, of increasing one's enjoyment of life, is the path I think we'd all best take. To use art not as self-expression but as self-alteration. To become more open."
          - John Cage.


The Price of Worthlessness

Here are a couple amusing quotes from intro to Rilke's Sonnets to Orpheus, written in 1942:

     "It may be said of poets that while their systematic thought is now nearly worthless, their detached insights are priceless."

     "In this first half of the 20th century we have acquired a high regard for commentaries, so busying ourselves with what someone else has to say about a work of art that we have no insight left to look upon the work itself."


Words Pose As Language

What is the meaning of that paisley suit!

     "For years, I've been working toward a situation like the one we find ourselves in now; one where language is purely formal and concrete; like language itself, this essay ["Postlude: I Love Speech" in The Sound of Poetry / The Poetry of Sound (eds. Perloff, Dworkin) is both meaningful and meaningless at the same time. The page is now thick with words posing as language."
     -Kenneth Goldsmith


Is Kim Davis really Yi-Fen Chou?

        Photograph of individual thought to be Yi-Fen Chou (nom de plume of Michael Derrick Hudson, itself the nom de plume of Yi-Fen Chou, itself the nom de plume of Michael Derrick Hudson, itself the nom de plume of ...)


poem koan

Question mark.
     "The koan is neither a riddle nor a witty remark. It has a most definite objective, the arousing of doubt and pushing it to its furthest limits ... Here lies the value of the zen discipline, as it gives birth to the unshakable conviction that there is something indeed going on beyond mere intellection."
     - D.T. Suzuki.
     Can what is said of the koan be said of the poem?



     "Everyday-life is more interesting than forms of celebration, when we become aware of it. That when is when our intentions go down to zero. Then suddenly you notice that the world is magical
     - John Cage.

4' 33"

     leaf blower car passes rain car passes leaf blower car passes car passes leaf blower rain car passes passes passes leaf blower rain car passes laughter leaf blower rain rain rain car passes rain voices car passes laughter rain plane car passes plane car passes rain voices plane jack hammer plane car passes laughter jack hammer car passes cough voices blender car passes laughter jack hammer car passes plane laughter car passes car passes car passes applause


A Single Word or Sentiment

subject/author relationship?
Kenneth Goldsmith's FaceBook post following his Brown University reading:

     The Body of Michael Brown
     In the tradition of my previous book Seven American Deaths and Disasters, I took a publicly available document from an American tragedy that was witnessed first-hand (in this case by the doctor performing the autopsy) and simply read it. Like Seven American Deaths and Disasters, I did not editorialize; I simply read it without commentary or additional editorializing. Many of you have heard me read from Seven American Deaths and Disasters. This reading was identical in tone and intention. This, in fact, could have been the eighth American death and disaster. The document I read from is powerful. My reading of it was powerful. How could it be otherwise? Such is my long-standing practice of conceptual writing: like Seven American Deaths and Disasters, the document speaks for itself in ways that an interpretation cannot. It is a horrific American document, but then again it was a horrific American death.
     I altered the text for poetic effect; I translated into plain English many obscure medical terms that would have stopped the flow of the text; I narrativized it in ways that made the text less didactic and more literary. I indeed stated at the beginning of my reading that this was a poem called “The Body of Michael Brown”; I never stated, “I am going to read the autopsy report of Michael Brown.” But then again, this is what I did in Seven Deaths and Disasters. I always massage dry texts to transform them into literature, for that is what they are when I read them. That said, I didn’t add or alter a single word or sentiment that did not preexist in the original text, for to do so would be go against my nearly three decades’ practice of conceptual writing, one that states that a writer need not write any new texts but rather reframe those that already exist in the world to greater effect than any subjective interpretation could lend. Perhaps people feel uncomfortable with my uncreative writing, but for me, this is the writing that is able to tell the truth in the strongest and clearest way possible.
     Ecce homo. Behold the man.


Happy Accident (du mal)

Baudelaire sans les mains.

     "From the very beginning I perceived I was not only far from my mysterious and brilliant model [Gaspard de la Nuit by Aloysius Bertrand], but was, indeed, doing something (if it can be called something) singularly different, an accident which anyone else would glory in, no doubt, but which can only deeply humiliate a mind convinced that the greatest honor for a poet is to succeed in doing exactly what he set out to do."
          - Baudelaire on his prose poems (in the intro to Paris Spleen).


Singing Cement

Dumb, speaking, or singing?
     "Paul Valery divided buildings thus: into those that were dumb, and therefore would be, on my account soulless, dead; those that spoke, and would be, on my account, solid citizens and a worthy norm, provided their speech was clear and honest and unaffected; and those that sang, for those found in themselves their own end, and arose like Shelley's lark, through the heaviest atmosphere."


A Quiet Crackle of Popping Pods

     "Daudet was walking through a field of broom. All around him there was the soft background noise of seed pods exploding. Our lives, he had concluded, amount to no more than this: just a quiet crackle of popping pods."
     -Julian Barnes in intro to Daudet's In the Land of Pain.


Clownery in Poetry

Culturally insensitive white male in clownface.
     Interesting article about artistic license, artistic responsibility, censorship, political correctness, etc. here: Clowns.


What is a What is a What is a train?

DuChamp's Jeune homme triste dans un train 

     "... avant-garde works must remain wild and never neglect an opportunity to attack their trainers; above all, it is the hand that feeds them which must be repeatedly bitten. They have to continue to do what the avant-garde is supposed to do: shatter stereotypes, shake things up, and keep things moving; offer fresh possibilities to a jaded understanding; encourage a new consciousness; revitalize the creative spirit of the medium; and, above all, challenge the skills and ambitions of every practitioner. Such a pure avant-garde must not only emphasize the formal elements of its art (recognizing that these elements are its art); its outside interests must be in very long-term - if not permanent - problems. It may have to say no to Cash, to Flag, to Man, to God, to Being itself. It cannot be satisfied merely to complain of the frivolities of a king's court or to count the crimes of capitalism or to castigate the middle class for its persistent vulgarity. The avant-garde's ultimate purpose is to return the art to itself, not as if the art could be cordoned off from the world and kept uncontaminated, but in order to remind it of its nature (a creator of forms in the profoundest sense) - a nature that should not be allowed to dissolve into what are, after all, measly moments of society."
     -Gass (from "The Vicissitudes of the Avant-Garde")


The Useless Useful

The Soup and the Clouds

     "There are few vocations (like the practice of poetry or the profession of philosophy) that are so uncalled for by the world, so unremunerative by any ordinary standards, so inherently difficult, so undefined, that to choose them suggests that more lies behind the choice than a little encouraging talent and a few romantic ideals.
     "To persevere in such a severe and unrewarding course requires the mobilization of the entire personality - each weakness as well as every strength, each quirk as well as every normality."
          -Gass from "At Death's Door: Wittgenstein"


Murder Your Darlings

King actually threw away his draft of Carrie. His wife found it in the garbage can.
Murder your darlings, yes, but not the truly darling darlings.

     "Try any goddamn thing you like, no matter how boringly normal or outrageous. If it works, fine. If it doesn't, toss it. Toss it even if you love it. Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch once said, 'Murder your darlings', and he was right."
          -Stephen King (On Writing)


Issue VII!

Anne Petty, Sara and Her Dog
     PageBoy Magazine Issue VII 15 is now out and features work by Chris Ashby, Amaranth Borsuk, Sarah Erickson, Andy Fitch, Richard Froude, Catherine Karlak, Rauan Klassnik, Ed Skoog, and Jeanine Walker. Artwork by and interview with Anne Petty.


Richard Hugo Says Nothing

Large Mouth Bass Bites Large Mouth Poet's Short Stubby Fingers At Colorless Lake
"Say nothing and just make music and you'll find plenty to say."
          -Richard Hugo in The Triggering Town.


The Polite Drivel of Perfectly Predictable Music

Cocteau's vision of Stravinsky composing The Rite.

     "Without artists like Stravinsky who compulsively make everything new, our sense of sound would become increasingly narrow. Music would lose its essential uncertainty. Dopamine would cease to flow. As a result, the feeling would be slowly drained out of the notes, the polite drivel of perfectly predictable music. Works like The Rite of Spring jolt us out of this complacency. They keep us literally open-minded. If not for the difficulty of the avant-garde, we would worship nothing but that which we already know."
          - Jonah Lehrer in Proust Was a Neuroscientist.


Cezanne's admonition for the matriculated student

Cezanne's head, like his paintings, frequently let the bare canvas show.

     "Teachers are all castrated bastards and assholes. They have no guts."
              -Cezanne on his painting instructors.    



Fine art by R. Mutt.
     "I had got it backward all along. Not 'seeing is believing', you ninny, but 'believing is seeing', for Modern Art has become completely literary: the painting and other works exist only to illustrate the text."
     -Tom Wolfe in The Painted Word.
     This is Wolfe's epiphany. He finally figured out why he wasn't "getting" Modern Art ... namely because you have to be familiar with the theory behind the painting first. The painting merely illustrates the theory, and is not necessarily meant to be pleasurable, not meant to be whole. It is not the point, but points to the point.
     The same can be said of a large swath of modern poetry as well, where the reader/listener feels as if he/she's walked into the room at the end of a rather boring theoretical conversation. Uh, okay?
     Here is Wolfe's advice (from the same book, which is a must read) for such encounters, he warns:
     "To be against what is new is not to be modern. Not to be modern is to write yourself out of the scene. Not to be in the scene is to be nowhere. No, in an age of avant-gardism the only possible strategy to counter a new style which you detest is to leapfrog it."



Right brain sandwich left brain sandwich.

     "Rearranging a vertical list of items horizontally makes the relationship of the parts to the whole more difficult to perceive. For example, telephone directories would be nearly impossible to use if the names were arranged across the page. A person scanning vertically can appreciate spatial relationships all at once; horizontal scanning is better for tracking time - one thing after another.
     "Perusing all the elements of a vertical row is primarily a right-brain function; following a horizontal line is primarily a left-brain function."
     - Leonard Shlain in The Alphabet vs. The Goddess.


Contempt for Prettiness

     "The peculiar quality of Chinese and Japanese art that is influenced by Zen is that it is able to suggest what cannot be said, and, by using a bare minimum of form, to awaken us to the formless. Zen painting tells us just enough to alert us to what is not and is nevertheless right there. Zen calligraphy, by its peculiar suppleness, dynamism, abandon, contempt for 'prettiness' and for formal style, reveals to us something of the freedom which is not transcendent in some abstract and intellectual sense, but which employs a minimum of form without being attached to it, and is therefore free from it."
     - Thomas Merton (in Zen and the Birds of Appetite)


Straight is the Gate

El Payaso Porchia

"Following straight lines shortens distances, and also life."
    -Antonio Porchia


Honor the Maggot

action painting
     Honor the maggot,
     supreme catalyst:
he spurs the rate of change:
(all scavengers are honorable: I love them
will scribble hard as I can for them)

          -Ammons (from "Catalyst")


Roethke (pron: 'freaky deaky')

Roethke cracking up.

     A few quotes from Roethke's book On Poetry and Craft (Copper Canyon Press):
     "If a thing fails rhythmically, it's nothing."
     "Art is our defense against hysteria and madness."
     "Inspiration? The important thing in life is to have the right kind of frustration."


Alien Reader

Mandelstam with third eye and elephant ears.

     'Exchanging signals with the planet Mars ... is a task worthy of a lyric poet.'"
          - Osip Mandelstam on who a poet's audience should be.


What Is Progress?

...that the whole progress of humanity proceeds.
     "It is by the steady elimination of everything which is ugly - thoughts and words no less than tangible objects - and by the substitution of things of true and lasting beauty that the whole progress of humanity proceeds."
     - Anna Pavlova


An Imagined Post

Hugo with imagined bourbon on the rocks.
     "...an imagined town is at least as real as an actual town. If it isn't, you may be in the wrong business. Our words come from obsessions we must submit to, whatever the social cost. It can be hard. It can be worse forty years from now if you feel you could have done it and didn't. It is narcissistic, vain, egotistical, unrealistic, selfish, and hateful to assume emotional ownership of a town or a word. It is also essential."
          -Richard Hugo


as best we can

Berryman with windswept beard (looking rather bloated with mutter)

"mutter we all must as well as we can"
     - J.B. (Dream Song 219)


AWP Hangover

AWP (Where's Waldo Wittgenstein?)
     If you're still feeling a bit hungover from AWP, or perhaps that you weren't able to accomplish all your literary/self-promotional goals, it might help to remember Wittgenstein's feelings toward the end of his life (as he regretted not having committed suicide years before):
     "I ought to have become a star in the sky ... but instead I've remained stuck on the earth."
     You see, Wittgenstein too failed at AWP.

     And for those of you who did triumph, congratulations! Lao Tsu says it best:
     "Triumph is not beautiful
     He who thinks triumph is beautiful
     Is one with a will to kill
     Conduct your triumph as a funeral"


Welcome AWP (and AWT)

AWT 2013 (Boston)
     On the eve of AWP, some words of encouragement from Don Marquis:
     "Publishing a book of verse is like dropping a rose petal in the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo."
     Coincidentally, AWT (The Association of Writers with Tourettes) will also be having its annual conference next week. This event is sure to include many of the exciting phenomena AWT has become famous for: coprolalia (spontaneous cursing), echolalia (repeating the words of others), and palilalia (repeating one's own words). There will be a veritable epidemic of readers, all of whom will be mostly talking to themselves surrounded by others also mostly talking to themselves. You may find yourself unknowingly involved in one of their readings, as they will be taking place at innumerable restaurants and bars throughout the city. If you find yourself having a relaxing dinner one minute, only to be surrounded by raving lunatics the next, do not panic! While stopping, dropping, and rolling may be  effective, quietly removing yourself from the situation is probably best. Do not give them money! as this will only encourage their behavior.
     To be sure you won't find yourself in such a situation (or if you are curious to see them in action), we've provided a link to their list of events here: AWT.
     At no point in the history of the human race have there been more writers and writing programs in existence than at present. Enjoy the show!