Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

May 16, 2008

KSE #97, OZZIFIED by Stuart Crutchfield, now available

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 8:13 am

With ten previous poetry chapbooks and an album (“The Old Toll” by Smoke Jaguar) under his belt, Glasgow’s STUART CRUTCHFIELD has made quite an impression over the last few years, his work ranging from the rural pastoral (SHACK SIMPLE) to the gnostic visionary (TELESMA CHARGING) to the naturalistic workplace-based (STREAM) to the day-glo whitenoise horror-comic vein (MARCH) and beyond.

Stu left Glasgow for about four months of work in Canberra, Australia (which must have come as a shock to this man from rural Western Scotland!), only returning to Scotland last week. Near the end of his Australian sojourn, he took his experiences in OZ as source material, and blasted through a searing, shredding poetic free-jazz solo, much in the manner of how an Ellery Eskelin or a Noah Howard or a Steve Potts or a Sam Rivers might take a standard as his source material and rip it to shreds while re-constructing it.

Poetic journals can often be tedious–for every John Wieners who can turn dross to gold, there are 1000 poets who have not yet learned that “it doesn’t matter that the content is meaningful to YOU—-do YOU make it meaningful to the reader, who DID NOT live through it?” Usually, the answer is a resounding NO! Fortunately, Stu did not work in the over-used “journal” vein. In a way, it’s his goodbye note to Canberra, with its man-made lakes and silver bark and white birds and sour yellows and half-sunk wooden boats,  all studded like garish costume jewelry into the mental-skronk-flow transcribed onto the page.

Stu’s latest chap previous to this, PITH, sold out quickly, so grab OZZIFIED while you can. It’s Stu’s 9th (!!!) chap for KSE (5 solos, 4 collabs with yours truly).

We’ve put out a lot of fine material recently, and I haven’t even gotten around to promoting it much. Adrian Manning’s WIDE ASLEEP, FAST AWAKE … then, and in a completely different direction, Aleathia Drehmer’s beautiful THICKETS OF MAYAPPLE, and let’s not forget Jim D. Deuchars’ mind-blowing PIECES OF EIGHT (best wishes to Jim for the reading in Milwaukee) or Doug Draime’s rural meditations LOVE & BLUES IN OREGON or MK Chavez’s haunting VISITATION. And don’t forget my own study of small-town Texas restaurant work and class difference SHORE ACCESS—-or the San Antonio-set investigation of the poet’s function in society TRANSPARENCY.

KSE #100, NEXT EXIT: SEVEN featuring Ronald Baatz and Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal, is all ready for release–expect it sometime in June. Also, poetic dynamo Debbie Kirk (, who brings the energy and anger of old-school punk to her craft as a poet for the ultimate charged  high-energy poetic experience, is presently working on an all-new collection for KSE which we hope to have out sometime in the summer. And I have now completed my QUARTET: IMPROVISATIONS ON THE MANDUKYA UPANISHAD, and after a final edit and tweaking and feedback from fellow poets, I hope to have that ready by my birthday, May 28th, if not before.

Remember, whatever you are doing in the arts, stay free, stay independent, stay D.I.Y., stay primitive, produce work that will NEVER be accepted by the mainstream, which is always looking to co-opt and seduce the alternative.  Once you attempt to compete with the established order on ITS playing field in terms of format and appearance, and talk about “competing with the mainstream,”  you’ve already sold out and it’s time to send you to the glue factory—-oh, excuse me, I guess you’ve already sent yourself there!

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