Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

November 22, 2009

Kaufmann & Shute, “Twombly’s Siracusa” (KSE #151)

A.J. KAUFMANN   &   BILL SHUTE

“TWOMBLY’S  SIRACUSA”   (KSE #151)

The third Kaufmann-Shute collaboration, Twombly’s Siracusa is our attempt to capture in verse the essence of the work of the visionary, revolutionary American painter Cy Twombly. Twombly is someone who simultaneously brought painting back to its origins on cave walls and on animal hides while extending painting beyond the action painters and abstract expressionists into an artistic world like no one else’s. He is truly a genre unto himself, as might also be said about Tapies, O’Keeffe, or Warhol. There is also a classical base to much of Twombly’s work, a core—-often submerged, and often halfway erased visibly on the canvas—-rooted in Roman history-mythology or classical literature. And often Twombly’s work integrates the process of creation INTO the work itself. There’s no one remotely like him, and his work is endlessly fascinating and inspirational.

A.J. and I, being both fascinated and inspired by his work, decided to take on this ambitious project in the Spring of 2009, and we spent six months coming up with the concept, structure, stanza form, pattern of images, historical base, etc. and then doing the actual composing of the stanzas, with countless e-mails and attachments and Instant Messaging between Poznan, Poland, and San Antonio, Texas. Our classical base for this piece is the Siege of Syracuse from 214-212 BC, where the Sicilian city of Siracusa was overrun and conquered by the Romans, and the Sicilians used in the defense of the city a number of odd armaments created by the great inventor-scientist-mathematician Archimedes, who is a strong presence in our piece. But Twombly’s Siracusa also resonates beyond that period in Sicily, all the way up through the present, and as in Twombly’s work, the creation of this piece is integrated into the piece itself.

Twombly’s Siracusa is our most ambitious collaboration so far (and it’s not without humor—-after all, who can use the phrase “cunning stunts” with a straight face!), and it is constructed with as much mirroring and symmetry and balance as a Persian carpet.  After all, as Hart Crane once wrote, “Poetry is an architectural art.” We feel that it will reward multiple readings and that it will remain fresh whenever one turns to it. Try it for yourself and see!

And when visiting Houston, Texas, please stop by the Twombly Gallery at 1501 Branard, near the Menil Collection and the Rothko Chapel. I visit it two or three times a year when travelling through Houston, and it was a visit in early May 2009 that convinced me that A.J. and I just had to do this project now.  And we did!

A.J. and I are presently developing a fourth collaborative chapbook, although that one will be more of a “joint exhibition” than a true collab as the first three were. More on that in early 2010.

TWOMBLY’S SIRACUSA (KSE #151) is now available. 

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, along with TWOMBLY’S SIRACUSA, you can choose from any of these other in-print chapbooks:

#150, MICHAEL LAYNE HEATH, “Loons of a Dogman” (sound library series, volume 48) ;

#149, A. J. KAUFMANN, “via alighieri” (cinema poetry series, volume 3) ;

#148, MISTI RAINWATER-LITES, “vegas the hard way” ;

#147, BILL SHUTE, “nobody knows, nobody sees” (cinema poetry series, volume 2) ;

#146, MK CHAVEZ & MIRA HORVICH, “pinnacle” ;

#145, A. J. KAUFMANN & BILL SHUTE, “blues for duffy power” ;

#144, ZACHARY C. BUSH, “spin” ;

#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) ;

#130,  MISTI RAINWATER-LITES, odd years .

 

August 16, 2009

Kaufmann and Shute meet Twombly

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 9:24 am
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CY  TWOMBLY  GALLERY             Houston, Texas

cy twombly

Although we are still finishing up our BLUES FOR DUFFY POWER collaboration, A. J. Kaufmann and I have been putting together another collaborative work we hope to have done by the end of 2009: a long-form poem that is both inspired by the work of American painter/sculptor  CY TWOMBLY and that attempts to transpose the techniques and themes and aesthetic of his work to the poetic page. Yes, that’s a tall order, but we have a tendency to set ambitious goals for ourselves….otherwise, why bother?

I mention this because I’ll be passing through Houston next weekend on the way to Galveston, and I’m going to take the opportunity to once again visit the CY TWOMBLY GALLERY while there. It’s an amazing place in that it is certainly one of the few galleries dedicated solely to a living artist, and each room is “themed” featuring related works and often multi-part works, so each room is an “environment” where one can truly feel Twombly’s work and experience his vision. Talk about someone who has created his own unique aesthetic!!! A. J. and I are excited about this venture, and I look forward to spending some time taking in the vision of the master next weekend in Houston…

-cy-twombly-on-returning-from-tonnicoda_0

 CY TWOMBLY, On Returning from Tonnicoda (1973)

August 6, 2009

August 2009 reflections

 

daniel

Gustave Dore, “Daniel in the Lion’s Den”

Back now from my third and final trip of the last 4 months, this time to Denton and Galveston to help my son Eric move. I picked up some kind of bug at the tail end of the trip (perhaps from the polluted brown Gulf of Mexico water I swam in?), and after returning to San Antonio on Monday to a tedious eleven-hour day of jury duty, I’m now resting at home and nursing this cough/cold, which is giving me a much-needed break from my job, my writing and KSE editing/publishing, etc.

Just yesterday Zachary C. Bush sent me the final edit of his new SPIN chapbook, which is actually part one of a two-book sequence. ZCB read me these poems aloud when I visited him and Krista in Jersey City in May, and I was blown away by them. I don’t feel that articulate today, so I won’t attempt to describe them…wait for the blurb when the book is released in a week or two. All I can say is that these poems represent a new level in Zachary’s writing which is, paradoxically, both more complex and more accessible than some of his earlier work. It’s deeply rooted in his Southern background, which he seems to have adequate distance from (now that he’s in NY/NJ) to write about in a detached yet rich manner. I love these poems, and I will be proud to share them—-and the second volume, which will follow in a few months—-with the KSE readers.

Working with A. J. Kaufmann is always a joy, and I have three things to discuss about that. First, A. J. and I have just issued our two chapbooks dedicated to the late Sky Sunlight Saxon: A. J.’s SYMBOLISME PSYCHEDELIQUE (KSE #143), and my own PLINK, PLONK & SCRATCH (KSE #142). I’ll have a post about each one soon. Here they are:

plinksymbolisme

Second, I’m in the middle of our collaboration BLUES FOR DUFFY POWER, which you can expect in September, I hope.

blues for duffy power

One of the images I’m using throughout is that of bluesman as prophet, as the shaman-Jeremiah in the wilderness truth-telling to a people who aren’t listening. With that in mind, I’ve been re-visiting a number of Old Testament prophets, starting with the 12 “minor” prophets (I got an excellent book on that subject while in Ruidoso, NM), and also Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Daniel, which I’ve been working my way through recently (thus the Dore artwork above). Page five of DUFFY POWER, the mid-point or “pivot” in the piece,  will echo the dreams/visions found in Daniel. Like yours truly, A. J. Kaufmann is interested in the formalistic aspects of poetry, and I must say we have devised a unique structure for this chapbook, which will probably be a nine-page work. I won’t give the structure away at this point.

Thirdly, A. J. and I have another long-term collaborative project that we’ve begun work on, a chapbook inspired by the painting of CY TWOMBLY, and which attempts to mirror in poetic form the structural and thematic aspects of Twombly’s artwork. When I visited the Cy Twombly Gallery in Houston earlier this year, I just knew I had to attempt something like this, as Twombly’s work—-collected in a beautiful museum devoted ENTIRELY to this one artist and organized into thematic rooms each of which presents multiple related artworks—-took my breath away. A. J. was familiar with CT’s work and was excited to join me on this project. This is a long-term project and I doubt you’ll be seeing it until late 2009 or early 2010, but projects of this type require a lot of preparation and background study. I hope the end result will be worth it.

In other KSE news, I have the completed manuscript now for MK Chavez and Mira Horvich’s PINNACLE chap

pinnacle

which will be out in September, and also Misti Rainwater-Lites’ new VEGAS THE HARD WAY chap that will be out in October. Both of these are newly written multi-poem suites, composed especially for the KSE format. They are important new works from two of the nation’s finest working poets. And only $4 each in the US ($5 elsewhere). How can you go wrong with that?

Well, in honor of the late, great, one-time El Paso resident Raymond Carver (who was a friend of my first wife Kathleen when he lived in EP…read her excellent article about him in an old issue of the Hollins Critic), I think I’ll take a swig of Ny-Quil, and then get back to Daniel, who just survived that night in the lion’s den and is back having dreams and visions again. Maybe if I take a second swig of the Ny-Quil I’ll have some of my own…

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ps, there’s a new review of my FACE TO FACE (KSE #101) chapbook over at Michael Aaron Casares’  “Over Your Radar”  blog. You can read it here: http://overyourradar.blogspot.com/2009/08/bill-shute-face-to-face.html

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