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3rd-May-2013 03:53 pm - What are you Waiting for?
Flood Editions will publish a new edition of Ronald Johnson's ARK in the Fall.

I am there.  I am fortunate enough to have a copy of the Living Batch Press edition ARK, but I know me and I know I am going to buy this one, too.  Happily.  Hungrily.  Maybe two.  And there was some talk of a Collected Later Poems for Mr. Johnson, also from Flood?  I wouldn't say no.

Veer Books has also presented me with evidence that Carol Watts' Sundog will be published June 2013.

I'm not going to pass that up, am I?
26th-Feb-2013 03:24 pm - What Do You Know?
No Cardinal has a better name than Polycarp Pengo.
7th-Feb-2013 02:25 pm - What's Good Today?
John Kenn Mortensen's Sticky Monsters.  (The British edition is called Post-It Monsters.)  

Sticky Monsters

There's probably something seriously wrong with me, I like these so much.  Check out http://johnkenn.blogspot.com/

John Kenn Mortensen: More Post-It Monsters

His Danish publisher (Aben maler) has brought out the sequel, which looks to be just as much fun.  If I were on Facebook, I would march straight over here and "like" this (http://www.facebook.com/pages/John-Kenn-Mortensen-Fan/187366434622180), but I'm not, so I can't.
3rd-Aug-2012 03:39 pm - The Lawrence and Lee Quote
"Don't have any opinions.  They're bad for business."  (Have that tattooed on your hand, Dan Cathy.)
16th-Jul-2012 10:47 am - "Look at that bull!"
I was on the point of despairing, which is not where I want to be, usually, over ever finding any sort of translation which, on reading, would NOT have Virgil's Eclogues bore me to freakin' tears.  I find it hard not to blame Virgil himself, actually.  Don't get me wrong--I've read The Aeneid nine times now and only one of those translations made me want to gouge out my eyes.  I find the Georgics delightful (at least L.P. Wilkinson's version), but the Eclogues is a coin-flip between Morpheus and the better part of valor.  I tried David Ferry.  How the blurbs promised me!  I enjoyed C. Day-Lewis' Aeneid (quite a bit, actually), so tried his Eclogues as well.  Not so much.  Then I found David R. Slavitt.  God BLESS David R. Slavitt.  Johns Hopkins University Press (1990) has an Eclogues and Georgics of Virgil translated by David R. Slavitt and it is a JOY to read.  Slavitt's Eclogues are more like commentaries on Virgil's Eclogues than translations, but there is real voltage running through them, all hopelessly modern and self-conscious of course, but still some snap and life and candlepower that makes them more than Virgil's tired exercises in pastoral with painfully flat and stiff cardboard cut-outs for his mouthpieces.  This is the stuff.

I can't help but wonder what Slavitt's Aeneid would look like.
30th-Dec-2011 12:57 pm - Let Us Sit Upon the Ground
Kings: An Account of Books 1 and 2 of Homer's Iliad

Stunned and saddened to hear earlier this month of the death of two of my favorite poets: Christopher Logue and Peter Reading.


Re-read Logue's War Music.  His version brings genuine life to Homer and should be sought wherever it can be found.  Hopefully someone, even if it's Faber, will bring all the available pieces together in one place.  Re-read Reading's Ukulele Music, the first collection of his I managed to get my hands on, and Vendange Tardive, his last.  Death is everywhere in Vendange Tardive, leavened by fine wine.  Something of a grab-bag overall, but clearly the voice of someone winding down, expecting the end.  I will miss those bitter, musical snarls and regret the loss of more of Logue's Iliad.

On the plus side, Carcanet has announced the arrival of a Collected Poems for Ed Dorn in Sept. 2012.  The pleasure of 2012, if true.
10th-Nov-2011 02:02 pm - What Are You Waiting For?
Mark Scroggins, Torture Garden: Naked City Pastorelles. The Cultural Society, Chicago  2011


Shearsman appears to be publishing something from Mr. Scroggins called Red Arcadia in February which I will probably not be able to resist as well.
The Cossery (both of them) and the Walt Kelly continue to evade me, but I am patient.  The Hill appears from Clutag early (so they say) in the new year.  Occasionals received (bless Reality Street), I have Sun Dog (I hear Veer--I keep an eye on Veer) from Carol Watts to look forward to now.
22nd-Sep-2011 02:18 pm - I'm Reading The Aeneid
So part of my poetic project this year is to read Virgil's Aeneid nine times.  Nine different translations: Ahl, Day Lewis, Dickinson, Dryden, Fagles, Fitzgerald, Mandelbaum, Oakley, and Ruden.  (Blame Mark Scroggins: http://kulturindustrie.blogspot.com/2010/11/my-vergil-problem.html  Actually, I thank him for the inspiration.)  One a month for nine months.  There are lines and phrases I've underlined in each of the nine different translations and as I read every one in turn, I underline more, particular to each.  I'm reading Fitzgerald's translation currently with an eye toward passages expressing disappointment and discontentment (I'm provisionally saving all the weeping and all the lion skins for later segments).  And I came across the great line (III.692) "Anchises shouted 'Italy!'" which might be the saddest in The Aeneid.  Anchises is the hero Aeneas's father, rescued from the destruction of Troy at the hands of the Greeks, and although he is the first to spy Italian soil, he dies before the Trojans can land there or found their city.  There is great joy at the sighting of Italy, but it is a false hope (The Aeneid is a tissue of false hopes) as Aeneas and his crew are completely unaware of how much misery and bloodshed they will have to endure before Virgil lets them rest.  But here's the thing: Fitzgerald is the only translator to attribute this shout to Anchises.  Ahl, Day Lewis, Dickinson, Dryden, Fagles, Mandelbaum, Oakley, Ruden, even Billson, attribute that shout to Achates, Aeneas's close and faithful friend.  Is this a typo or an interpretation?  A note might explain, but Fitzgerald has no notes.

I've gone to the Latin (III.523) and found: "Italiam primus conclamat Achates" ("Italy!" Achates was first to cry out).  Fitzgerald is wrong.
8th-Jun-2011 03:01 pm - Poem with an Epigraph by Wang Wei


known color unforgotten grown
mountain laurel entire green
winter lustre lingering calicoflower
among cloud-high woods clusters
along peach blossom spring

*   *   *   *   *
For Laura

(No-one knows how to reach that immortal place)
5th-Apr-2011 10:15 am - What Are You Waiting For?
Doug TenNapel's Gear, P. H. Newby's Mariner Dances, Nicholas Mosley's AccidentA Minor Apocalypse by Tadeusz Konwicki, The Collage Poems of Drafts by Rachel Blau Du Plessis (Salt), and Barry MacSweeney's Wolf Tongue (Bloodaxe).
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