Monday 27 August 2012

Laura Kasischke's Space, in Chains (Copper Canyon, 2011)

Winner of the National Book Critics' Circle Award for Poetry, Space, in Chains combines the banal and the metaphysical with surprising effectiveness. I'm especially intrigued by Kasischke's ideas about mortality and death. 

How easy it would have been instead
to stand up shouting
about cold, dumb death.

from "View from Glass Door"

July, that lovely hell, all
velvet dresses and drapes
stuffed into a hot little hole.

opening stanza of "July"

I stumbled into this place with my suitcase packed full of prior obligations. The floor of the orchard littered with soft fruit, and the wasps hovering drunkenly over it all, and the last few pieces dangling from the branches--happiness, melancholy, sexual desire--poised in the vibrating air, ready to fall.


In our fading animal memories:

The humming gold of being, and ceasing to be. The exposed motor of eternity.

the beginning and end of "Wasps"

And all the embezzled
cents and dollars
of the last time I saw you.

last stanza of "Rain"

The trees

in their temporary trances, and we in our animate brevity.

from "Medical Dreams"

The last hour waiting patiently on a tray for her somewhere in the future. The spoon slipping quietly into the beautiful soup.

end of "Near Misses"

There is a bridge from here to there. But we all know it is the kind of bridge that blows away. The kind of bridge made mostly of magazines, cheap beer, TV.

from "Riddle"

The way music, our savior, is the marriage of math and antisocial behavior.

from "O Elegant Giant"

And then 
through my weird tears
a clear vision
at the center of the others:

My father 
and the way for decades he drank his beer
beneath our bare bulb in the basement, like

a man desperately struggling to drown

a pale deer slowly in a shallow pond.

end of "Animal, Vegetable, Mineral, Mist"

Most days I cling to a single word. It is a mild-mannered creature made of thought. Future, or Past. Never the other, obvious word. Whenever I reach out to touch that one, it scurries away.

opening stanza of "Riddle"

In the UK you can buy Space, in Chains from Foyle's; in the US, try your local independent. 

Thursday 23 August 2012

Sea Pie: a Shearsman Anthology of Oystercatcher Poetry

I'm absolutely delighted to be in this lovely, surprisingly slim volume edited by Peter Hughes, editor of Oystercatcher Press. Those looking to further their acquaintance with quality experimental poetry should look no further (it's largely British). The anthology contains selections from Oystercatcher pamphlets. Contributors include Kelvin Corcoran, Emily Critchley, Ian Davidson, Amy Evans, Giles Goodland, Catherine Hales, John Hall, Michael Haslam, John James, Rachel Lehrman, Sophie Mayer, Alasdair Paterson, Rufo Quintavalle, Peter Riley, Sophie Robinson, Lisa Samuels, Maurice Scully, Nathan Thompson, Carol Watts, John Welch and more. I can hardly wait to begin reading it!

You can purchase the anthology directly from Shearsman Books

Saturday 18 August 2012

Építészpince, Budapest

Just several blocks down from where we were staying, we found one of our favourite restaurants in Budapest, where we had our first and last dinners. Just look at this for al fresco!

If you're going to be in Budapest and want to go, its website is here. It's right by the Hungarian National Museum.

Sunday 12 August 2012

Song a Year After My Mother's Death (draft)

Like all my drafts, this will only stay up a few days. I'd be glad to know if you enjoyed or liked it.

Thursday 9 August 2012

Tuesday 7 August 2012

Mátyás Church, Budapest

My pictures don't serve the beauty of this church well--it's far lovelier than these images can convey. Click on any one to see it enlarged.

Sunday 5 August 2012

Cafe Imperial, Prague, 5 August 2012

A gorgeous art deco interior and an exquisite--and not as pricey as you'd think--lunch.