ZACHARY C. BUSH, “SPIN”
SPIN is Zachary C. Bush’s fourth chapbook for KSE, but his first solo chap for us, and it’s a powerful work that launches a new and exciting phase in ZCB’s writing. Zachary’s past work has been both experimental (in the best sense of that word, as in flexibility and open-mindedness) and rooted in some of the more painful aspects of life, but often viewed with a surrealist eye and told with a sharp verbal wit. And we cannot forget that, wherever Zachary is living, he is a child of the American South. As a Southern experimentalist with a great sense of craft, Zachary has always had an instantly recognizable style.
Now that he has been living in Jersey City, New Jersey, and he has absorbed the greater NYC experience—-working and going to school in NYC, and getting to know the New York arts and culture scene along with his partner, acclaimed photographer Krista Schlueter—-he’s gained a sense of detachment from the Southern experience, and he is able to write about it in a way that is rich, full of piquant particulars, dense yet supple, and dripping with atmosphere.
Zachary has always been a master of poetic form—-when we worked on our two collaborative chapbooks, SHANTI and INTERVALS—-we would each toss the other stanzas of different numbers of lines, line length, rhythms, densities, and image clusters, and Zachary could always manuever whatever was tossed at him with the finesse of a tennis pro. Also, he is a poet who creates a new and different verse form for each new work. This is not the place to rehash the old “form is never more than an extension of content” debate; let’s just say that Zachary treats each page, each stanza as a blank canvas that can be filled, or not filled or partially filled, in an infinite number of ways, and with his deep study of poets as diverse as Charles Bernstein and John Milton, he has a poetic bag of tricks that’s more full of different techniques and structures and stances than we could ever imagine.
SPIN also contains serious and thoughful analysis of family dynamics, of the nature of society and what constitutes “sanity” in an insane world. He even takes on the nature of God here! ZCB often uses a long, rich, densely packed line that he described to me as “chunky” when he read these poems aloud to me in May at his Jersey City apartment, the window open and the poetry existing in a space shared with the sounds and smells and texture of the city. The poems in SPIN are part of a larger suite of related work, and KSE plans to issue a second chapbook in this series in early 2010 or late 2009.
These poems are unlike anything Zachary C. Bush has ever published and also unlike anything KSE has previously issued. I consider this a major work, and if you’ve ever appreciated ZCB’s previous large-and-diverse body of work, you’ll definitely want to grab this while you still can.
In the US, books are $4 each postpaid, or you can get any three KSE chaps for $10 postpaid. Send a check (or well-concealed cash) made payable to Bill Shute, 14080 Nacogdoches Rd. #350, San Antonio, Texas, 78247. Outside the US, you can get any book for $5 postpaid, payable via paypal. Just write to django5722 (at) yahoo (dot) com and request a paypal invoice. For your 3-for-$10 deal, you can choose from any of these other in-print chapbooks:
#143, A. J. KAUFMANN, “symbolisme psychédélique” (sound library series, volume 47). In memory of Sky Sunlight Saxon, issued simultaneously with KSE #142 ;
#142, BILL SHUTE, “plink, plonk & scratch” (sound library series, volume 46). In memory of Sky Sunlight Saxon, issued simultaneously with KSE #143.
#141, LUIS CUAUHTEMOC BERRIOZABAL & CYNTHIA ETHERIDGE, overcome ;
#140, BILL SHUTE, subtraction ;
#139, A. J. KAUFMANN, antiquewhite rain (sound library series, volume 45) ;
#138, BILL SHUTE, the stumble (sound library series, volume 44) ;
#134, RONALD BAATZ, headlights from the otherside of the world ;
#132, DOUG DRAIME, knox county (photographs by Lena Ozuna) ;
#135, BILL SHUTE, stereo action (sound library series, volume 42) ;
#130, MISTI RAINWATER-LITES, odd years ;
#126, MICHAEL LAYNE HEATH, grey rage (dyed) .
August 2009 also brings ANOTHER new poetry book from Zachary, this one a full-length collection from a well-distributed press (unlike KSE!): ANGLES OF DISORDER, published by BlazeVOX Books, a haunting collection that blurs the line between poetry and prose and that takes the reader into any number of disquieting and hyper-real landscapes and mental environments. I’d read and appreciated some of these pieces in various periodicals and in the all-ZCB edition of Misti Rainwater-Lites’ Instant Pussy (my wife and I read the entire Instant Pussy ZCB volume aloud one night to fully savor its richness and its sound), but a full-length collection documenting about a year of Zachary’s varied poetic output is too good to be true. He is working in so many poetic forms here, wearing so many masks of persona, touching upon so many areas of experience and of consciousness that if I were banished to a desert island for a year and all I had to read was ANGLES OF DISORDER, I’d never be bored AND I’d probably be a better poet myself because of it. Don’t miss it. You can order it direct through Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Angles-Disorder-Zachary-Bush/dp/1935402161/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1251646073&sr=1-1