Like a poetic love child of Gregory Corso and Patti Smith, a child who was left to grow up in Western Poland and is only now checking out the larger world looking to reconnect with his parents, Polish beat-poet A. J. KAUFMANN has broken onto the international poetry scene in the last year, appearing in many of the best online literary journals and also starting his own kick-ass online journal, EVISCERATOR HEAVEN. An experimentalist in the best sense of that word (someone who experiments with form, looking for a new form for each work, not someone who is incoherent for incoherence’s sake), Kaufmann has taken the inspiration of Burroughs, Corso, Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Richard Hell, etc. and used these authors as a springboard to blast him into his own poetic stratosphere, one that’s fresh and original and alive on the page. What a refreshing change of pace to find someone who is pursuing new paths in the visionary tradition of the Beats.
After reading some of A.J.’s work online and friending him on myspace, I invited him to submit some material he thought was in keeping with the KSE aesthetic yet 100% Kaufmann, and he delivered in spades. So from the 30+ pages of mind-frying poems he sent me, we’ve cherry-picked 10 pages for his debut Kendra Steiner Editions chapbook, SIVA IN RAGS. Between the shimmering, multi-colored ripples on the Ganges River depicted on the front cover, and icon of cool Nico applying lipstick on the back cover, this is a chapbook that starts where MEXICO CITY BLUES and WICHITA VORTEX SUTRA leave off.
SIVA IN RAGS is set in cramped, “busy” type (Reprise Stamp for the cover, Cambria for the text) to reinforce the edginess and jittery caffeine-fueled flow of this verse. As I said a while back when announcing Kaufmann’s joining the KSE lineup, “Reading his work reminds me of the excitement I felt when I first read Gregory Corso, Lewis MacAdams, or Ted Berrigan 30+ years ago, the blunt-edged kaleidoscopic slash of the lines and the images, the flow like cheap malt liquor, the visionary of the urban wasteland.”
You don’t want to miss this one. In the USA, $4.00 payable to Bill Shute, 8141-B Pat Booker Rd. #399, San Antonio, Texas, 78233. Outside of the USA, $5 postpaid, payable via paypal. Write to django5722 (at) yahoo (dot) com, and request a paypal invoice.
And next weekend, our next chapbook will be released, KSE #103, GARDEN OF ROCKS, the newest chapbook from Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal, powerful new poems written in the last two months!
Remember, in the USA you can get 3 different chaps for $10 postpaid. Check the “available KSE poetry chapbooks” page to your right to see what’s presently in-stock…
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