Kendra Steiner Editions

November 3, 2018

now available in paperback and on Kindle…SCULPTURE GARDEN IN THE SNOW, selected 2015 poems by BILL SHUTE

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 9:54 am

Proud to announce a new collection of seven long-out-of-print KSE chapbooks of mine from 2015, SCULPTURE GARDEN IN THE SNOW. A collection of pieces that are not part of any larger sequence of poems. Included are

SATORI IN LAKE CHARLES

FLAGS NO LONGER AT HALF MAST

INVENTING ONE’S OWN LAND

MANIPULATING AMBIGUITY

SCULPTURE GARDEN IN THE SNOW

MONUMENTAL MOVEMENTS

LIARS IN A STRANGE RAINY WORLD

Three of these were from the “Cassette Poems” sequence, where I used experimental music from cassettes by artists such as Derek Rogers and Brian Ruryk and Smokey Emery (Daniel Hipolito) as my inspiration. The book is an attractive collection in the larger 8 x 10 format of my previous paperbacks DOWN AND OUT IN GULFPORT AND BILOXI and BRIDGE ON THE BAYOU and runs 44 pages.

sculpture garden KDP book

Pictured is the paperback edition, which you can order here for $9.95 US. It’s also available from most of the European Amazon outlets as a local purchase with local postage. Here’s the link:  https://amzn.to/2zv8VkD

The book is also available on Kindle. Only $2.95….or free if you are a member of Kindle Unlimited. This is my second poetry book available on Kindle (Satori In Natchez is also). The Kindle edition has a different cover and slightly different content and organization. Here’s the link to that….and the cover is below the link:

Amzn.to/2JC6fX7

sculpture garden kindle

Many of you reading this will already own some of the seven KSE chapbooks included here in their original format (and some of those included artwork, which of course is not in the new collected edition). Here’s your chance to get all seven under one cover. Why don’t I quote from a few of the original write-ups that accompanied the 2015 releases of these as chapbooks….

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from original 2015  MANIPULATING AMBIGUITY release announcement:

As I continue to produce new works year after year, I sometimes think back to my teens and twenties, when I read voraciously the avant-garde works of the then-past, and I sometimes wonder how those works inform and find their way into the pieces I write today. As I was proofing this MANIPULATING AMBIGUITY text for publication, I was reminded of the novelist John Hawkes, especially his second novel, THE BEETLE LEG, which I read a number of times. Hawkes’s writing in that book consisted of rich poetic passages written in a post-Melville flow, passages that contained extreme close-ups which seemed on the surface to be divorced from an understandable context or continuity, but which had a kind of continuity of tone and which worked on the level of a montage sequence in a film. Hawkes later evolved into novels with a strong erotic element and which tended to be more accessible, but the early works such as THE BEETLE LEG and THE CANNIBAL still are lodged just out of reach in my long-term memory, but planted deep enough to provide me with some kind of faded set of directions which I half-remember and which I use as the base for my own literary gumbo. I’ve never been the world’s biggest Harold Bloom fan, but he was onto something with THE ANXIETY OF INFLUENCE, and the above explanation is how the process works with me. Of course, we’re talking about in many cases there being 30+ years between the reading and the influence. When I was in my 20’s and closer to the source, I tended to write LIKE the writers I admired, whether it be Kerouac or Hawkes or Stein or Richard Wright or Paul Blackburn or whatever. In a sense, the distance has made all the difference. I’ve always felt that the poetic quality in any form of writing comes out of life experience, not out of books, although literary study  can help one to interpret and spin the life experience in a more artful and precise manner. Of course, I should point out that MANIPULATING AMBIGUITY will probably not remind ANYONE of John Hawkes’s work….it’s just that something in my memory of Hawkes’s work has been mixed with my own poetic strategy, and that mixture alchemically mutates into MANIPULATING AMBIGUITY. And my poetry, like the BEETLE LEG, is concerned with the question of the title….MANIPULATING AMBIGUITY. As a poet, that’s what I do for a living. That’s the wheel which I constantly re-invent.

So….after that long digression, what do you get in this new poetry chapbook MANIPULATING AMBIGUITY?

Peanut butter flakes from the invisible empire fall from a fluffy sky, while we wear ridiculous uniforms to degrading jobs which we are happy to get, the Austin police quickly (and without calling attention to themselves) quell any potential cracks in the uniformity, the lady next door is saving up for a portion of Renewed Hope In A Jar, British clergymen are solving fictional murders in romanticized small towns, and we’re enjoying truckstop coffee and buttermilk pie on the highway to Debtor’s Prison…but hey, SLOW DOWN and DROP IT TO A LOWER KEY…

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from MONUMENTAL MOVEMENTS release announcement:

This one grew out of time spent with a vintage 1987 cassette release from BRIAN RURYK called MONUMENTAL MOVEMENTS. While I was working with Brian on the release of his recent KSE album, he was kind enough to send me some of his older cassette releases—-I would put them on repeat while I was working, and the MONUMENTAL MOVEMENTS tape really struck me with its unique textures and sound palette. Talk about poetry in sound. This then inspired me to take the music and extract poetic textures and clusters from it (or should I say that the album provided a trampoline from which I jumped to poetry heights?). Four pages of new open-field poetry and four new photographs.

One hundred false starts, kamikaze gnats, starving veterans explaining that food is overrated, maniacal Disney collectors, bosses punishing us because our reality does not match their computer model, and it’s now illegal to feed or clothe the babies thrown out with the bathwater. Mixing salt with the silver. The image disintegrates the closer one approaches.

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from original 2015  SATORI IN LAKE CHARLES  release announcement:

SATORI IN LAKE CHARLES was composed during a week’s stay in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana in icy January of 2015. I spent the days soaking up the local culture and the nights watching the races at Delta Downs. Obviously, this is intended as a tip of the Mardi Gras hat to Jack Kerouac’s SATORI IN PARIS (already echoed in a KSE poetry chapbook in A. J. Kaufmann’s SATORI IN BERLIN), which I first read 35-40 years ago. I did not “get”on my first reading the particular Satori which Kerouac was offering in the book, but on re-reading a few years later, it became clear to me that the Satori was found EVERYWHERE when one opened oneself. One no longer needed the rare moment of special insight. Kerouac’s way of opening himself, IMHO, was the unflattering depiction of the narrative persona, who often came off as a jerk, an uncomprehending tourist, and someone who crippled himself by his excessive drinking. The clipped, vignette nature of the work provides a series of flashes of insight into a character (the narrative persona) who is not always insightful.

I had SATORI IN PARIS in mind when working on SATORI IN LAKE CHARLES, though of course, it’s not exactly Kerouac-like. In fact, looking it over after a number of months while getting it ready for publication, I was reminded for some reason of Federico Garcia Lorca’s POET IN NEW YORK…although he was in New York in 1929-1930, and I was in southwest Louisiana in January 2015.

Except for the first-person singular refrain appearing in sections 2 and 4 of this six-part poem, the narrative here is rooted in a first-person plural frame, WE and US, because after all, we breathe the same air, drink the same water, and face the same trials.

SATORI IN LAKE CHARLES is a series of energized poetic clusters of detail and experience, interrupted twice by existential, survival-based questions. It’s a log of the navigation of days. The epigraph on this one is from Jack Spicer: “Things do not connect; they correspond.” Indeed they do.

This one even ends on a note of hope, or should I say “possibility”…..the Satori of the title.

As always, it functions as a series of core samples, presented to the reader via the open-field poetic page.

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There is also a CDR album of my reading these seven pieces in the order they’re found in the book. You can find that on the KSE ordering page (if it’s still available….it might be out of print already when you read this)….then you can read along as I perform the pieces for you. I generally do one or two readings per year (I did one this June in the Amherst, MA, area with Michael Casey and then a solo reading and lecture on poetics for the faculty at a local college here in San Antonio in late October), but it’s not that likely I’ll be appearing in YOUR area anytime soon. You can always watch the poetry videos I have up on You Tube, to get an idea of my reading style. Just go to You Tube and search for BILL SHUTE and then each of the following poems: OUTFAKE, WORRIED MEN AND WOODEN SOLDIERS, LED ALONG, and SHADES OF NIGHT DESCENDING.

John Sweet’s HEATHEN TONGUE, published in March of this year and sold out months ago, was the final KSE poetry release in the original home-made chapbook format which we used for 13 years. My poems are appearing in collections from other publishers (recently there was A Series Of Lizards in the UK, Ruminant Press in Massachusetts, and in 2019, Moloko Print in Germany) and from the collections such as SCULPTURE GARDEN which are issued as perfect-bound paperbacks and on Kindle via Amazon and can be ordered easily by anyone anywhere. Thanks for your support for my own work and the various KSE releases over the years!

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