MICHAEL LAYNE HEATH
poetry chapbook, issued 2 January 2013
$5 postpaid anywhere, payment via paypal to django5722(at)yahoo(dot)com
limited hand-numbered, hand-cut, hand-assembled edition of 89 copies
KSE is proud to announce the publication of the seventh poetry chapbook (his fifth for KSE) by San Francisco’s MICHAEL LAYNE HEATH, “UNBROADCAST RERUNS” (KSE #243). Mr. Heath was one of the founding-fathers of punk-rock writing with his seminal VINTAGE VIOLENCE ‘zine, covering the under-rated Washington DC area scene in the late 70′s, and then moving into the early 80′s he was a fixture at other ‘zines of the day such as CAPITOL CRISIS and TRULY NEEDY. He’s been one of my favorite writers for 30+ years, and he was one of the first authors I approached to join the KSE family.
Michael moved to San Francisco in 1992 and began taking his work to new levels as he moved into poetry, a perfect fit as his writing always had the specificity and detail and metaphor needed for verse. With the musicality one would expect, a timelessly hip voice, a mastery of reference and allusion, and a gritty streetwise presence—along with a cynical wit and a unique ability to capture the delicious pain of longing and physical desire in a way that is neither cloying nor cliche-ridden—Michael’s poetry is a breath of fresh air in today’s phony poetry world of post-Bukowski losers and posers and pretentious academic pasticheurs.
In UNBROADCAST RERUNS, Michael’s expertly-crafted and musical post-Beat lines capture the joys and despairs of everyday San Francisco life, and by extension life anywhere, such is the depth of his deep yet everyday imagery. Michael has long been one of my favorite writers dealing with desire and sexuality—-he captures in language that is both rich and real that hunger and the excitement and the melancholy and the loneliness that we all feel as sexualized beings, whatever our orientation. And being a respected music writer and a musician himself, Michael always has a verse that is innately musical, with a syntax full of fascinating textures and shadings. I can always HEAR his voice on the page. Also, Mike and I being around the same age (he recently crossed the 50-yard line, we might say), his writing about facing middle-age is poignant and deeply felt. There’s no whining, of course (KSE is a no-whining zone), but there is a coming to terms with aging and wonderful appreciation of how the balance of knowledge and physical ability gradually tilts more to one side with each passing year. KSE is proud to support the work of Michael Layne Heath. If you like ANY of the product we issue, music or writing, trust me…you need to read MLH’s poetry.
Like Corso or Patti Smith, Heath often writes from a poet-finding-his/her-way-in-a-barren-world persona, on the hungry streets and in the seedy transient hotels of San Francisco, seeking transcendence through a cheap thrill, looking to score, looking to connect with a fellow member of the diaspora, his head full of ornate Nino Rota film soundtracks and trippy Jamaican dub, his stomach empty, his heart overflowing, paying for drinks with pocket change, selling his Kerouac books and Prince Far I albums to pay the overdue rent, wondering if that lanky, ponytailed, sandy-haired, jean-jacketed guy from the midwest at the other end of the bar notices him, and wondering how he can get busfare home…if indeed he goes home tonight.
Michael Layne Heath creates/evokes a rich sensory world in his poetry, and we readers share in the poet’s insights, fears, and small pleasures. He’s intimate without being confessional, and he always leaves a lot unsaid, so his work cries out for multiple readings and also begs to be read aloud and savored. UNBROADCAST RERUNS may be only a 10-page chapbook, but it’s got far more content and far more depth than most 300-page books. Mr. Heath is, to me, one of the ten most essential poets writing in America today…no surprise that one of his earlier KSE chapbooks was listed as one of the ten best reads of the year (2007) in Arthur Magazine. This is a hand-assembled, hand-numbered edition of 89 copies, available for $5 postpaid ANYWHERE.
Also, the cover features an original artwork commissioned especially for this chapbook from Austin painter-musician Carl Smith—-I have one of Carl’s paintings propped up against the CDR duplicator that I use for the creation of our KSE music releases, so in a way, Carl’s work is inspiring everything we do here at Kendra Steiner Editions. I’m excited to feature one of his works on Michael’s chapbook…if you live within driving distance of Austin, try to check out Carl’s work in person. It’s richly textured and three-dimensional action painting that really must be seen in-person. In any event, it totally captures the raw life-filled poetic “action painting” brushstrokes of MLH’s poetry. UNBROADCAST RERUNS by Michael Layne Heath…
Get yours now.
also available from KSE:
poetry chapbooks ($5 each, ppd.):
KSE #236, JIM D. DEUCHARS, “Thelonious Fakebook” (Sound Library Series, Volume 71)
KSE # 216, JOHN SWEET, “Brave Retreat”
KSE #248 BILL SHUTE, “Jupiter In The Rearview Mirror: Florida Nocturne Poems, Book Four”
and coming in a few weeks…
KSE #250, DOUG DRAIME, “Dusk With Carol”
and CDR’s of experimental music ($8 each, ppd…$2 extra for postage outside US if ordering only one CDR):
KSE #235 (CDR), BOOK OF SHADOWS, “Chimaera”
KSE #228 (CDR), UNMOOR, “Night Driver”
KSE # 210 (CDR), HEATHER LEIGH, “Empire”
KSE #226 (CDR), DEREK ROGERS, “Born Into Systems”
KSE #237 (CDR), MICHAEL BARRETT & MIKE GRIFFIN, “Birtual Seme-Alabak” (the long awaited PARASHI/BELLTONESUICIDE duo album!)
KSE #247 (CDR), MARCUS RUBIO & BILL SHUTE, “Only The Imprint Of An Echo Remains” (poetry and electronic music album, recorded in San Antonio, TX)
KSE #207 (CDR), ALFRED 23 HARTH & CARL STONE, “Gift Fig”
KSE #206 (CDR), ERNESTO DIAZ-INFANTE, “Emilio “
KSE #222 (CDR), MASSIMO MAGEE, “Sopranino Solo, “ cover art by MP Landis.
KSE #220 (CDR), MATT KREFTING, “Sweet Days of Discipline”
KSE #223 (CDR), ALISTAIR CROSBIE, “A Campfire In The Snow”
KSE #214 (CDR), SABRINA SIEGEL,”Bottlecaps”
THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF KSE SINCE 2006…soon entering our SEVENTH year of operation, with some 250 releases in that time! Support independent, non-aligned artists who do not operate through established channels or the lame “alternative” scene…meet the new boss, same as the old boss
earlier poetry works from MLH (now out of print, alas), published by Kendra Steiner Editions:
KSE #78, Michael Layne Heath, “Sacred Grounds.” 2008
KSE #126, Michael Layne Heath, “Grey Rage (Dyed)” early 2009
KSE #150, Michael Layne Heath, “Loons of a Dogman.” Sound Library Series, Volume 48 late 2009
KSE #184, Michael Layne Heath, ”Jazzbo Wind” 2011