Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The latest batch of tinysides from Big Game Books and Alice Notley's Alma, or the Dead Women came in the mail today. Anne Gorrick and Joseph S. Cooper are two people whose work I've heard about, but haven't seen much of, so I was glad to see them in the batch.

Anne Gorrick's Loco Locust: An Autobiography, with it's eye/ear interplay ("tiki kiwi inca chant / Chain a niacin catkin / canna yawn / with tin hyacinth") reminds me a bit of Adeena Karasick's work. I remember The Arugula Fugues (Zasterle, 2001) being over the top with puns, consonance and alliteration and this all happening in more than one language. I'm just remembering how much I learn from Karasick's work every time I read it or see it performed--her work is intensely physical. This from an interview with Nada Gordon in readme #2 (Winter 2000):

"I’ve never used the sentence as a unit of structured text. mostly i am interested in the minutiae of the letters, how they intersect, how they brush up against and caress each other … these letters which t/ravel together, mysteriously united, one stretched towards the other, one emerging from the other’s side, one suckling the other; folding in on these letters i belong to that carry me and dance both within the pages of this text and as social, historical effects of reference."

In Loco Locust, Anne Gorrick seems to be particularly interested in geography and travel, and bodies don't show up quite as much as they do in Karasick's work, and when they do, they're detached voices and nearly unsexualized. Anyway, I enjoyed reading this, and I'm curious about how Gorrick would read/perform it.

Ryan Walker's Pop Music and Cathy Eisenhower's Sheet & Tube make me feel competitive (and make my heart well with DC pride)! Cathy's work always, for me, has a lightening fast pace that is both precise and casual and meant to be spoken. I think her line breaks are especially good here--they lean against my natural rhythmic tendencies. For example, in the second stanza, rhythmically I want a break between "stomach holes" and "took." Except that "took" goes perfect right where it is and keeps the diction tricky. Here are the first two stanzas:

some wean some
water the river
dirty (me) to keep(ing)
that it was there
not in a good town

to fall upon with
stomach holes took
down from skidding cardiac
will it hurt yes a fucking lot
but till you die

Ryan's poems kind of remind me of Henri Micheaux, but Ryan's poems are strange and psychologically insightful even when they're not being surreal. There's usually an I in them commenting on strange situations in a tone which makes it sound all rather ordinary. "I like it when people who are younger than me comment on my affect" starts with the claim that "I have really good eyes / I can see a wingless fly." By the end, there are "hot lava monsters / and the planets / turn into sea monsters" and the "you" who is you the reader, might be drawing "little mustaches / on the electrons" but it's not really going to matter!

No comments: