Kendra Steiner Editions

March 24, 2014

now available, POLYMORPHOUS URBAN: POEMS FOR LOU REED (KSE #272)

“There was violence in Lou Reed’s music that made the tender moments ring true, just as there was tenderness that made the violence all the more stunning.” — Matt Krefting

“Lou Reed was simultaneously way too smart for rock n’ roll and dumb enough to believe in its redemptive power.”–Brad Kohler

$7 postpaid in US / $8 postpaid elsewhere………..payment via paypal to   DJANGO5722(at)YAHOO(dot)COM

lou

now available…KSE #272 (poetry chapbook)…POLYMORPHOUS URBAN: POEMS FOR LOU REED.

LUIS CUAUHTEMOC BERRIOZABAL…JIM D. DEUCHARS….MICHAEL LAYNE HEATH….                                                                                                                                                    A.J. KAUFMANN….MATT KREFTING

Lou Reed. He was still alienating people in the last months of his life. People were walking out on his (brilliant) Metal Machine Trio shows because there were no “songs.” And do we even need to mention the polarizing LULU album or his head-scratching praise of Kanye West’s YEEZUS. In the local newspaper here, on the event of his passing, the musicians who’d opened for him or fans who’d tried to talk with him described with pride his telling them to “f*ck off,” with the same doe-eyed love in their tone as if they were a elderly lady who’d once been given a scarf by Elvis at a 1972 concert in Murfreesboro.

Reed’s work was life-changing for many listeners, no matter when they got onboard the train. I was too young to have heard or heard of the Velvets during their active years. I picked up 1969 LIVE while in high school and immediately had the sense that THIS IS HOW ROCK N ROLL OUGHT TO BE PLAYED. I then went back and found WHITE LIGHT WHITE HEAT, and as I’d already heard Anthony Braxton and Albert Ayler, when I heard Lou’s guitar solo on “I Heard Her Call My Name,” it all came together…and at the same time it all came apart. And I’ve never been the same…

I’m  old enough to remember reading Lester Bangs’s articles on Lou back while they were being published in CREEM, and like many teenagers, I got caught up in that long-running feud–whatever the reality behind it, it helped Lester’s visibility, it helped Lou’s visibility, and it sold copies of CREEM. I stayed with Lou over the years, and to his credit, he continued taking chances until the end. Lou Reed albums were not run past a focus group before release. They were not test-marketed. I think that one thing we all admired about him even when we did not like or enjoy particular albums was that he truly did not care at all what anyone thought of his work. All of us who labor in obscurity doing work that’s outside the norm, and also outside the alternative norm, can point to Lou as a man who never did what was expected and who liberated us from the model of allowing gatekeepers (or “underground” gatekeepers) to affect our work.

Reed opened doors…not out of politeness toward those following him, but because the door was in the way so he kicked it down without a thought. He needed room to breathe…down came the wall, in came the light…

As KSE is a press-label with a commitment to both cutting-edge contemporary poetry and contemporary music, the core of us here starting talking about what to do to celebrate Lou Reed’s life and work before the sun set on the day he died. Jim Deuchars suggested a poetry chapbook, and within a day I’d invited A. J. Kaufmann and Matt Krefting and Michael Layne Heath (all both musicians and poets…hmmm, do I sense a pattern here?) to come up with work that somehow was inspired by Lou Reed. The next day, my friend and longtime KSE poet Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal sent me a poem he’d written about Lou in the past and thought I’d appreciate in the time of Lou’s passing. I knew that beautiful poem had to open any KSE collection….I asked Fossils co-conspirator David Payne, whose watercolor artwork I’ve long admired, to create new Reed-inspired work to grace the cover.

We’ve assembled our KSE poetry A-Team for this one…brand-new, white-hot poems inspired by Lou Reed from

LUIS  CUAUHTEMOC BERRIZOBAL (Los Angeles)

JIM D. DEUCHARS  (Pittsburgh)

MICHAEL LAYNE HEATH (San Francisco)

A. J. KAUFMANN (Poznan, Poland)

and MATT KREFTING (Western Massachusetts).

With cover art by DAVID PAYNE (Hamilton, Ontario). Edited and compiled by yours truly, Bill Shute

 

As with Lou Reed’s work, the experimental and the lyrical are intertwined here in these poems, the abrasive and the tender…

Limited hand-assembled edition of 125 copies, and more than half are already gone SO ACT NOW…

LOU REED COVER

now available…KSE #272 (poetry chapbook)…POLYMORPHOUS URBAN: POEMS FOR LOU REED.

LUIS CUAUHTEMOC BERRIOZABAL…JIM D. DEUCHARS….MICHAEL LAYNE HEATH….                                                                                                                                                                          A.J. KAUFMANN….MATT KREFTING

$7 postpaid in US / $8 postpaid elsewhere………..payment via paypal to   DJANGO5722(at)YAHOO(dot)COM

 

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1 Comment »

  1. Reblogged this on A.J. Kaufmann.

    Comment by A.J. Kaufmann — March 25, 2014 @ 3:55 am | Reply


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