Thursday, September 22, 2016

Th Trancemigracion of Menzu by Charles Potts (1972)

Th Trancemigracion of Menzu
Charles Potts
Empty Elevator Shaft
San Francisco, CA
(c) 1972

Now here's a beautiful object. One of the reasons that I have been blogging about chapbooks is to acknowledge beautiful objects when I see them. This is one. I am aware of Charles Potts, but never heard of Empty Elevator Shaft press. I did a Google search for the press and it seems to have an active press in the early 1970's before disappearing - to resurface in special collections and as individual books for sale at high prices.

The copy I have is signed by Mr. Potts in 1974 and inscribed to a "Alta Kia".

I noticed that there was some corrections to the text using a different type font that the rest of the mss. Interesting to note. Broken english throughout. Maybe I should say brkn englsh thruout.

A fine representation of a "golden age" of chapbook making to be sure. Worth finding and adding to your collection.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

DJ Spinoza's Dozen by Eugene Ostashevsky (2006)

DJ Spinoza's Dozen
Eugene Ostashevsky
Octopus Books
Lincoln, NE
(c) 2006

If Albert Einstein wrote mathematical formulas as poetic verse - it would be like this. The text could have used MORE equations though. Not quite mind altering enough for me.

Friday, September 16, 2016

I and My Chimney by Herman Melville (1856/2002)

I and My Chimney
Herman Melville
The Berkshire Historical Society at Herman Melville's Arrowhead
Pittsfield, MA

Nice bit of synergy here : the very location of this story is a museum dedicated to Melville himself. So, one could read this story while standing in the room and looking at the chimney written about. Good piece of marketing genius! B&W images of house, rooms, and Melville with arms crossed. Very well done.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Ohio System by Jen Tynes & Erika Howsare (2006)

The Ohio System
Jen Tynes & Erika Howsare
Octopus Books

a 3rd helping of Octopus Books. A blended brew of two distinct writers working as one. They express it perfectly :

"There is another country underneath, bearing itself up.

If this is an emergency, cut it off. I would.

If I understood what she meant. Cut and cut."

Indeed so. Well played.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Perfect Villagers by Sueyeun Juliette Lee (2006)

Perfect Villagers
Sueyeun Juliette Lee
Octopus Books
Lincoln, NE

It isn't just one, it's a second of eight. All released at the same time, in the same binding. This one by poet Sueyeun Juliette Lee. This one of 300 printed in Lincoln, NE. Ms. Lee is a Korean-American poet and video artist. Some of her work appears on I became familiar with her poetry via one poem, Dear Margaret Cho which is the first poem in this tiny collection.

I also was familiar with her work from the 2007 Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs chapbook Mental Commitment Robots. I am happy to have a signed copy of that chapbook which does not seem to have been mentioned in this blog prior, but wow - Ms. Lee can write! Amazing stuff. With amazing accompanying collages by Brenda Iijima herself.

THIS 28 page collection is equally astounding. Her sense of self; of two selves - one American in tone and language and the other, already split in half by ideology and blood, graphic beyond imagining.

Friday, September 02, 2016

The Knife-Grasses by Julie Doxsee (2006)

The Knife-Grasses
Julie Doxsee
Octopus Books

Octopus - 8 arms. Octopus Books - 8 chapbooks released at the same time, in one red binding. This is the first of them. The poet is a Canadian-American who has a few books out now. This might be her first.

It's a staple-bound chapbook. 23 pages. As with many chapbooks I have seen in a particular vein of post-post-modernist writing, the white space is occasionally interrupted with words. Oasis in the desert of white space. The Knife-Grasses is a single poem. Worth the indulgence of sipping at the oasis in the desert. No hurry. Sip slowly. It's worth every swallow.