Your humble blogger has published a new collection of poems. Moloko will bring it out in a bilingual English-German edition in Germany. In the meantime, however, an American edition is now available without the translations but with a complement of images. ‘All That Would Ever After Not Be Said’ is composed of forty-two deformed sonnets of mine and forty-two collages by the late Norman O. Mustill.
‘The Dark Side of Boris Johnson’: Now that he is on his way to becoming the new Prime Minister of the U.K., the staff believes this blogpost of Aug. 24, 2016 is worth reposting: Back in April, before the Brexit vote [on June 23, 2016], Heathcote Williams wrote a merciless pamphlet, subtitled “A Study in Depravity,” about the most notorious cheerleader for the British exit from the European Union.
LET US WRITE poems easy to read / simple to understand— / not the kind of thing / that Donne or Milton / wrote, nor the Bard’s / still greater brand, / the kind of thing / we make for children / who don’t know how / to read, for grownups / who forgot or never / learned to understand— / for the dead, perhaps, / to hear the damned.
“an unknown power / the glass bell of midnight / neither sends nor tracks / whatever the hour / the quivering eye / everything human / the nearness of clouds / bright sun in blue sky” — J.H.
“Pay no heed to society. Wear the mask / of the beast over your animal face. / … Breathe through the nostrils of the dead / and witness how the evening mountains / devour the entrails of the sky.” — M.R.
Folio designed by Gerard Bellaart, with detail of a painting by Constable.
Norman Ogue Mustill (1931-2013), longtime friend and collaborator, was a little-known master collagist. His collage is from ‘Flypaper,’ originally published by Beach Books, Texts and Documents, and is not intended to illustrate the deformed sonnet facing it (which owes a debt to Evelyn Waugh). Nor is the sonnet meant as commentary on the collage. The juxtaposition was determined by chance. The dialogue between them simply honors a friendship.
Robert Crumb has come in for severe disapproval. In which case, the censors will hate this old video. It was recorded on April 29, 2011 at the Society of Illustrators in New York City. The laid-on soundtrack is “Pennies From Heaven,” from “Ben Webster: King of the Tenors”; a selection from Satie’s “Nocturnes,” played by Aldo Ciccolini; and “Honeysuckle Rose,” played by Count Basie & His Orchestra.
A friend sent this photo of Marcus Bowcott’s “Trans Am Totem,” which stands amid the traffic in Vancouver. As you see, five cars are stacked (four of them crushed) on top of a base made from a single tree trunk. What you cannot see is that the Cedar trunk is signed by a Native First Nations Carver who carved a Bear Paw & Claws symbol into the foot of the trunk.
Artists and retail stores have a history. Bonwit Teller on 5th Avenue featured avant-garde art from 1929 to 1980, starting with Salvador Dali in ’29 and including Jasper Johns in 1957. Warhol in the 1950s did windows for Tiffany’s. In that tradition Cody Simon has curated a show at Sneakersnstuff-NYC featuring Clayton Patterson’s Front Door photo series. The photos, taken at his Lower East Side storefront gallery and living quarters on Essex Street, go back to the mid-1980s up through 2019. They include a large Hispanic collection and are also multigenerational. Some of Patterson’s subjects now have children older than he was when he first photographed them.
William Levy, sometimes called “the Talmudic Wizard of Amsterdam,” has died at the age of 80. A prolific expatriate American writer and editor, he left the United States in 1966 and earned a reputation as one of the leading intellectual and sexual subversives in Europe. Levy was a master of literary outrageousness, an editor of The Insect Trust Gazette, International Times, publisher and editor of Suck magazine, and producer of the Wet Dreams Film Festival, as well as a poet and radio broadcaster.
When a book reads like an hallucination and looks as magnificent as Flesh Film, it’s an artist’s book as much as a writer’s. The designer Robert Schalinski has given the author’s text the appearance of a manuscript duplicated on an old copying machine and punctuated it with the author’s visual collages. It’s gorgeous stuff, published in English by the German publisher Moloko Print, and it’s available for the first time in the U.S. from printedmatter.org.
The honorees at the 2019 NY Acker Awards made some terrific statements about the history of the Lower East Side and their commitment both to the community and to the arts, but a rap performance by Power Malu about the devastation in Puerto Rico, where people are still struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria and from the Trumpistan government’s failure to provide proper help, was the most notable of the evening.
The Acker Awards, now in their sixth year, are a tribute given to members of the avant-garde arts community who have made outstanding contributions in their discipline in defiance of convention, or else served their fellow writers and artists in outstanding ways. The award’s novelist namesake, in her life and work, exemplified the risk-taking and […]
The Rinzai Zen master Ikkyū Sojun (1394-1481) was a poet, musician, artist, and rebel. He led a life of whoring and drinking. “Sex became a transcendental and sacred act,” Malcolm Ritchie writes in an afterword to this chapbook. Ikkyū’s poems —”often erotic, argumentative, contradictory, judgmental, self-doubting, and occasionally shaded with guilt”—are still as startling as the day they were written.
In a world where the difference between appropriation and exploitation can be hard to figure, Gary Lee-Nova’s devotion to the cartoonist Ernie Bushmiller makes all the difference. “I’m beyond being in love with his work,” says the author of these panels. “Although he passed in 1982, I feel like I’m collaborating with him.”