Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

August 10, 2017

5th in the series of Natchez poems, THE DIFFICULTIES, THE IMPOSSIBILITIES, from Bill Shute (KSE #382)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 10:04 am

(note: thanks to all who came out to my reading at Artpace on August 8th, as part of the Right Now Experimental Music Festival….we had an audience of 65-70 for my set, and the entire evening was a great success with exciting performances from many cutting-edge experimental sound artists…including KSE recording artists MORE EAZE and DANE ROUSAY)

the fifth release from the recent poems written in Natchez, Mississippi


(KSE #380, poetry chapbook)

edition of 41 hand-cut, hand-assembled copies

$6 US postpaid / $7 elsewhere postpaid

payment via paypal  to     django5722(at)yahoo(dot)com

please leave note with your order letting me know which items you are ordering and your mailing address…..thanks!

“to trust chance is to hear voices” — Jean-Luc Godard

the difficulties cover pic

I composed SEVEN six-page poems during my two weeks in Natchez, Mississippi, in May 2017, and here is the fifth one to be edited and formatted: THE DIFFICULTIES, THE IMPOSSIBILITIES. The final two will come out gradually throughout the year, and I also hope to record all seven later this summer for 2018 release. As usual, it’s open-field poems filtered through the consciousness of a narrative persona who is up to his waist in the muck, but looking toward the horizon (I’d say stars, but these were written during the daytime)—-JUNK SCULPTURE FROM THE NEW GILDED AGE.

Cork-lined reveries of  exploding water-heaters and garage doors that won’t close….frozen music on the brink of intelligibility….no subject, no object….like the butterflies, I strive to remain well-camouflaged, sensitive to the tonal changes between the tragic & the absurd.

These seven pieces written in Natchez will eventually be collected in a full-sized professionally printed book, but as always, the home-made KSE chapbook publication is the only publication in the original formatting, with the original art, with the original epigraph (this time from Jean-Luc Godard, see top of post), and in the intended form of its creation. There are only 41 copies….grab one now, while you can.

Each of these chapbooks is a stand-alone piece (the “serial poem” concept of Jack Spicer seems to fit my work well), so don’t worry about what order they are in. I consider each narrator to be a unique person telling his/her unique story from his/her unique perspective. I as poet am just the actor playing the part, the gallery-operator assembling the exhibition.

Many times I see a film or view a painting or hear a piece of music and feel as though its creator has experienced the same kind of epiphany which I experienced in the creation of a particular poem—-or perhaps I should say that the work creates in the viewer/listener the same kind of epiphany which I feel the poetic assemblage I am offering up SHOULD create in the reader. I’m not mentioning poetry here because if I felt another poet was doing what I do in the way that I do it, there would be no reason for me to take the time and effort to repeat what’s already been done. I learned my craft when I was younger through close study of the works of Paul Blackburn, Ted Berrigan, Larry Eigner, Frank Samperi, Diane Wakoski, Robert Creeley, William Carlos Williams, and others. I took what I learned from them and combined that along with my own aesthetic and life experience and structural tendencies and reading and education, and the result has been my poetry. I still consider someone like Hart Crane or Emily Dickinson the ultimate in what one can achieve poetically, and I continue to read with a passion the poems of Melville, W. S. Merwin, John Ashbery, Stuart Z. Perkoff, Leland Hickman, and many others, but I can’t really talk about “influence” in those cases because my work does not resemble theirs in any obvious way….and with a Crane or a Dickinson, who could EVER be worthy to loosen their sandal straps….or even be mentioned in the same sentence? In the case of, say, a Blackburn or a WC Williams, it should be clear to most readers what I have taken from those gentlemen and how I have developed it and/or extended it. You can take or leave the end result (or, in most cases, be blissfully unaware that it even exists), but that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

I mention all this about feeling a kinship with works in other disciplines because as I re-read THE DIFFICULTIES to write this post, it dawned on me that it reminded me of a silent comedy short I used to own back in the 1980’s on a VHS tape…..the 1927 short MOVE ALONG, featuring Lloyd Hamilton. It’s not on You Tube,, but you can read an excellent appreciation of the film here:

Also, at the time of this writing, you can view the film in so-so quality (about the same as my old VHS tape, actually) here:

You don’t need to watch the entire thing….check out the first three or four minutes, and you’ll get a good sense of where I feel I’m coming from with this series of poems, and THE DIFFICULTIES in particular. In fact, while it is too pretentious a title for a comedy short, you could probably re-title MOVE ALONG as THE DIFFICULTIES, THE IMPOSSIBILITIES and it would be a fairly accurate label. This comparison may seem odd or confused to many—-however, if it makes sense to you, then you are probably my ideal reader. Nice to meet you!

I hope you find THE DIFFICULTIES, THE IMPOSSIBILITIES interesting and worthwhile. Thanks for your reading all these years!

Also available, for the same price:

($6 US ppd/$7 elsewhere ppd)

KSE #380 (poetry chapbook), BILL SHUTE, “Time Crystals,” 4th of the Natchez poems

KSE #378 (poetry chapbook), BILL SHUTE, “Meltdown,” 3rd of the Natchez poems

KSE #376 (poetry chapbook), BILL SHUTE, “New Jerusalem,”  2nd of the Natchez poems

KSE #374 (poetry chapbook), BILL SHUTE, “Guest Register,” 1st of the Natchez poems

the difficulties cover pic

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