hand-assembled and cut, hand-numbered edition of 49 copies, in a variety of paper, ink, and cover stock combinations (who knows what you’ll get)
poetry chapbook (KSE #253)
My first poetic offering of the year 2013 (written in the last few months of 2012) began as a parody of John Berryman’s ”Dream Songs,” and I retained the stanza format and “Henry” character from Berryman’s work, but as I got into this project, I decided that I did not want an unsympathetic “Henry” character in my poem, and I also decided to follow my desire to make DREAM STATIC something of a lampooning of the contemporary “alternative” arts world…and I included KSE in that lampooning, just take a look at the cover of this fictional album released by my two characters, Henry and his wife and artistic partner Mia…
The older, lesser-known Henry and his younger, better-known wife Mia are a multi-disciplinary arts duo, getting praised at Volcanic Tongue and The Wire, extending their body of work into land-art installations and performance pieces using kitchen utensils and a faux-Cage “time-bracket” score. Both play music (or should I say, “are sound artists”), but Henry also has a background in poetry and Mia also has a background in visual art. This is a poetic slice of their working life together. It’s humorous but it also captures the relationship complexities of a couple who work together….and the pain and dissatisfaction of working day and night and devoting one’s life to one’s art (whether it be literary or musical or visual or whatever) for peanuts and cancelled shows and praise for the wrong reasons. It’s really a tribute to the spirit and resilience of those who follow their muse and create…and I have a lot of respect for Henry and Mia, whoever they may be (they are NOT based on anyone in particular, more like composites from many sources). Yes, they can be ridiculous, but so is anyone who takes chances…and better to recognize and embrace one’s own ridiculousness and thus take away the power of others to use the “R-word” against you. Yes, I’m ridiculous, dammit, and proud of it.
The poetic form here is a bit different from my usual open-field structure with its clusters of ”transmitted energy” with the echo of a WC Williams triadic stairstep stanza…for DREAM STATIC, I followed the Berryman six-line stanza, three-stanzas-per-poem form of the Dream Songs. I am not the biggest Berryman fan, though I respect his achievement…for me, his most impressive quality is his rich and complex syntax, which when it’s at its best is mind-blowing. I did not feel that that ragged, stop-and-release flow was fitting here, so I did not attempt it.
I hope you enjoy DREAM STATIC. It’s a change of pace for me, and it’s content should ring a bell with (and bring a smile to the faces of) the readers of this blog and the friends of KSE.
It’s KSE #253, $5 postpaid anywhere, payment via paypal to django5722(at)yahoo(dot)com
Other recent poetry chapbooks available for the same price ($5 postpaid anywhere) include
John Sweet‘s masterfully understated and smoldering portraits of rust-belt American economic depression and mental revenge BRAVE RETREAT (KSE #216)
Michael Layne Heath‘s new collection of razor-sharp pieces from the unforgiving, broken, and sexually-charged streets of San Francisco, UNBROADCAST RERUNS (KSE #244), with an original cover painting by Austin painter-musician Carl Smith
more than a year in the making (and worth every second), it’s Pittsburgh poetry visionary Jim D. Deuchars‘s new chapbook that takes the music of Thelonious Monk and transposes it to the poetic page, THELONIOUS FAKEBOOK (KSE #236)
and also, the four volumes of my Florida Nocturne Poems sequence, each sold separately (and each being a stand-alone volume not dependent on the others):
Book One: Shades of Night Descending (KSE #234)
Book Two: Mondo Daytona (KSE #241)
Book Three: Peach Cobbler In The Poker Room (KSE #245)
Book Four: Jupiter In The Rearview Mirror (KSE #248)
also, in a month or two we’ll be offering a new collection from legendary West Coast poet DOUG DRAIME, though we’re still assembling that with Doug and won’t be accepting orders yet…
say what you want, no one else is offering poetry chapbooks such as these…
as always, thank you for your support of KSE (soon entering our SEVENTH year of operation with over 250 releases!!!) and all independent artists, small presses, micro-labels, off-the-beaten path galleries and exhibition spaces, etc.