Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

July 6, 2008

“Face to Face” (KSE #101) now available

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 10:02 pm

Volume 34 in the Sound Library Series, inspired by Ennio Morricone’s score to the classic 1967 Italian western FACCIA A FACCIA starring Tomas Milian, FACE TO FACE is now available.

I’d started this five-poem suite prior to finishing QUARTET, and it took me about two months to complete. Section 1, SCENE, introduces us to a depressing exit on the Interstate east of Denton in North Texas and sketches the small community that has been built up around that exit. Section 2, SCENARIO, introduces another one of my un-named 3rd-person male characters (I shouldn’t have read Faulkner’s INTRUDER IN THE DUST all those years ago…that technique has stuck with me!), meant to be both Everyman and an outsider, this time a pizza cook with a knee injury that handicaps him to some extent. Section 3, PRESENCE, introduces Indian-American CPA Anjali, a widow hanging in the balance between two worlds, kept at a distance by the general community and treated as an object by her own Indian-American community in Texas. Section 4, COMBINATION, features some extreme close-ups of the pizza cook’s relationship with Anjali, provides her perspective on him, and brings them together. The closing section 5, CYCLE, is a fast-paced montage that goes inside them and to the core of their union, then places it in the larger context of the outside world, and finally grounds it in a shared spiritual hunger and desire. Circle imagery and mirroring abound.

This work is the result of a distillation process and could easily have been a 300-page novel, but you don’t want to read one and I don’t want to write one. If you’ve enjoyed any of my previous works, you don’t want to miss this one. You will care about these two characters, the fast-paced flow (I’m reminded of Russ Meyer’s film CHERRY, HARRY, AND RAQUEL in terms of fast-paced montage editing) and sensory detail will make the scenes come alive for you, and it’s a kind of “poetic biopsy” of both contemporary Texas and two anonymous people searching for meaning. Only 37 copies available, so act soon.

With FACE TO FACE completed, I’m moving on to my collaborative chapbook with Ronald Baatz called THE COMPANIONSHIP OF THE PLUM. I need to re-orient myself to work with a minimalist master such as Baatz, so I’m re-reading my Cid Corman and Frank Samperi and later William Bronk and also Richard Wright’s book of haiku. I’ll probably be working on PLUM throughout July and into part of August. Wish me luck…

To some extent, my FACE TO FACE is influenced by the film FACCIA A FACCIA. Since that’s never been issued in the US on video, check out the trailer below. When you read my chapbook, I think you’ll see the connection…


  1. on my web site is copy (pdf) of RESTORATION POEMS 1972-1978 correspondences between Cid Corman and Ed Baker…

    my friend, John Martone (also very close to Cid/Shizumi) edited/put together
    that Samperi “selected” edition SPIRITUAL NECESSITY

    surprised to see Corman/Bronk/ Samoeri in same “mind” besides us very few… cheers, Ed

    Comment by Ed Baker — July 7, 2008 @ 4:47 am | Reply

  2. I just got my copy. Rocks my socks off. Brilliant stuff. Two anonymous people searching for meaning were walking through my room while reading the final section…

    Comment by A.J. Kaufmann — July 18, 2008 @ 6:22 pm | Reply

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