Kay Boyle regarded journalism — when it was written well about something important — as “the poetry of fact.”
Few books have come my way as generous and wise about writers and writing as this one. The title takes as its model the phonebooks of long ago. But forget that. Remember this: The author, A. Robert Lee, is a British-born, globe-trotting, retired professor now living in Spain, whose heavyweight academic credentials disguise a common touch so light that reading him feels as charmed as floating on air.
Why am I getting that ad on my device? / Alexa, I want a divorce. Did you hear me? / I can’t spell it out for you. No, don’t thank me. / Don’t wipe my nose. I can brush my own teeth. … If I were paranoid, I would spin bold tales / of grand conspiracies. I love those fantasies. / But they’re not my thing, though in fact / they’re not unreal. Please Alexa, do shut up. / Please disappear. You are unwanted here.
This short movie evokes the rich heritage of humankind’s creative responses to the natural environment over millennia. The creators of “water stone words” — filmmaker Ed O’Donnelly, sculptor Kenny Munro, and writer/poet Malcolm Ritchie — made the movie over a period of six days.
Scholars, poets, writers, translators, and artists to celebrate the works of Claude Pélieu and Mary Beach. Featuring Benoît Delaune, Jacques Donguy, Franca Belarsi, Matthieu Perrot, Bruno Sourdin, James Horton, Pierre Joris, Gérard-Georges Lemaire, Peggy Pacini, Pamela Beach-Plymell, Antonio Bonome, and Raphael Haudidier.
“He was the Shelley of his age and more.” —Gerard Bellaart
“As you sat In your dotage, fountain pen / Pouring futures onto the calligraphied page / With such ease, That every political pose / And every social Shift achieved scansion, / rhyming under you, the verse surgeon whose / equal vision and zeal cured disease.” — David Erdos
The books have become a worry.
They’ll live long beyond my need for them.
Looking at them this last evening,
The pages I chase, filled with fear,
Their words redacted by death
As colorful lines in time blacken
And I grow blind to the visions
That each volume contains with each year.
I would have to do nothing but read
Which I still can’t properly do at this moment . . .
— David Erdos
It was a getaway / from the concrete city. / No bears alas / no porcupines alas / no mosquitos / no lyme-tick bites / one little fruit tree / knocked down by the wind / now gone alas / bears liked its berries / no deer alas
except one on the road / and there I was / alone alas. — jh
Have you ever seen a more revealing photo of Brion Gysin than the one on the cover of “His Name Was Master: Texts; Interviews”? It shows a profound sense of dislocation, something Gysin often talked about but rarely showed in his demeanor—which was characteristically grand and worldly and often laced with humor. This sprawling book by Genesis Breyer P-Orridge with Peter Christoferson and Jon Savage offers Gysin in talking mode. It is Gysin uncut. Having already been comprehensively reviewed in The Brooklyn Rail, it needs no review from me. More interesting than anything I might have to say is Gysin’s account of his brief, teenage involvement with the Surrealists. The disappointment, not to say trauma, of that experience was a harbinger of later ones.
‘I had in my only philosophy a faith founded like that of Socrates upon the basis of my conscious ignorance—it is a sort of sublime optimism, and I am very satisfied with my ignorance as my betters are with their knowledge …’ — John Butler Yeats in a letter to his son William Butler Yeats