Saturday, November 24, 2012

/ter/ in the /tir/

something like a review of I Have Blinded Myself Writing This
by Jess Stoner
published by Short Flight/Long Drive Books in 2012

Henri Bergson’s Matter and Memory examined the tenuous relationship between spirit and thingness that shapes the natural order. One of the adhering processes is that of the mind’s recorded impression, or memory.

Stoner’s I Have Blinded Myself Writing This is the story of a woman whose day-to-day existence is threatened by potential injury. Every time she is physically injured, a memory disappears. Her everyday behaviors – and her relationship to the things and people around her – are marked as precarious, potentially damaging relationships...

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Review of No, I Will Be In The Woods

No, I Will Be In The Woods
by Michelle Taransky
Brave Men Press 2011

Review by Laura Goldstein

Maybe the first thing that you'd like to know about this book is that “[t]he cover was printed on a beautiful Vandercook, No. 4 < 6912> in Charlestown, MA, using Fabriano Tiziano paper. The text is Verdana and was laser printed on Cougar Opaque Vellum” because before you even read it, you might appreciate that this is a beautiful chapbook made with care. It's similar in presentation to those Burning Deck books that you may have collected in your travels to special bookstores around the country. You can actually touch and feel the title. Do it. Say, “No, I Will Be In The Woods”. Say it out loud. Like The Poetics of Disobedience by Alice Notley, this is a statement of resistance. These are different kinds of poems.

Towards the end of the book, in the poem One Thing Has To Fall After Another, Michelle writes that “I don't really write/ stories or talk about responding to/ the testimony where we decided/ to invent each other...” It's like a little key that you might want to use in a tree, unlocking access to the treeline, all the other trees appear. Lines as branches, etc. There's a line in every poem that I notice, like when looking at a tree, when I get a rare chance, and there's one branch that I notice and it provides the narrative of the rest of the tree. What the tree means. And then with the rest of the trees in the woods.

Narrative is the ultimate mystery of the woods that Michelle has created here. The follow up to her prize-winning Barn Burned, Then (Omnidawn, 2009), Michelle is parsing out a whole new set of poetic and cultural elements. Each poem in this chapbook is a suggestion, and together there is a sort of narrative that is probably different for every reader. Which branches do you notice? Bob Perelman urges us, in the epigraph, to notice that “[t]he leaves are falling. Point things out./ Pick up the right things.” So as Michelle “made symptoms/ into a sentence” as you move through these woods, you may not know exactly where you are at first. “[T]he room of only/ capital/ letters”?

She claims to have “ideas about chances” but then writes a poem “For Days I Have No Idea” in which “assembly line a tree cut with a miniature axe”, suggesting the constant use of language to make our lives, and which our little eyes are always consuming. With each poem in this little volume, Michelle maps out interlocking notions in miniscule ways. The progression of a logic from one side of a sentence to another, divided by the poetic of the line. The interference of image, the fiction of semantics. Because, of course, alternately, “For Days I Have No Ideas”, “nothing is a sentence is it a line leading to a safe that was there until then you are nearer the relationship between courtroom and curtain...” which explains certain connotations of the very last poem, “From The Woods, The Sound” among which the echoes of Stein are reaching our ears. When a poem falls on a page in the past, how do we hear them?

Michelle Taransky's poetic, and oeuvre, involves a journey in the literary tradition of Dante. In Barn Burned, Then, she explored the metaphysical implications of the changing plains in the middle of the U.S., and in this little volume she goes into the woods, as the title adamantly insists. You can see them when looking at a map of an area, and a map's story is particular, like poetry's. The woods that Michelle writes and explores in her new chapbook are the ones that make up this mysterious space, where even in full knowledge of the inevitability “[t]o be placed in the woods. That you know/ to stay focused on the plot/ it is always about to bring us through...” this is somewhere new.


Taransky’s No, I Will Be in the Woods is available from Brave Men Press. To read an excerpt, or purchase a copy, please visit BRAVE MEN PRESS.  

To read an excerpt of 4Play, a collaboration between Michelle Taransky, Joseph Cooper, jj hastain, and Travis Macdonald in the current issue of summer stock journal, CLICK HERE.

LAURA GOLDSTEIN's poetry and essays can be found in American Letters and Commentary, kill author (August 2012), MAKE, jacket2, EAOGH, Requited, Little Red Leaves, and How2. Her chapbook Let Her was released from Dancing Girl Press in early 2012, and her newest chapbook, Inventory, was released by Sona Books in June 2012. She also has two other chapbooks that are out of print, Facts of Light and Ice in Intervals. She currently co-curates the Red Rover reading series with Jennifer Karmin and teaches Writing and Literature at Loyola University.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

summer stock #6 is here

Livestock Editions is proud to announce the release of summer stock, Issue 6: an online lit journal for humanimals.

Issue #6 features a happy variety of innovative creative writing by Jules Boykoff, Megan Burns, Reed Bye, Sarah Elkins, Lark Fox, Michael Gottlieb, jj hastain, Larkin Higgins, Jeffrey Joe Nelson, Anselm Parlatore, Elizabeth Robinson, Bob Roley, Anne Marie Rooney, Linda Russo, and John Sakkis; experimental translations by M. Ihasz and Jordan Reynolds; visual poetry by Joe Milazzo, and Carlos Soto-Román; sketches/found objects from Nathan Child; plus collaborative poetry by rob mclennan + Christine McNair, and Joe Cooper + jj hastain + Travis Macdonald + Michelle Taransky.

CLICK HERE to read Issue #6. (or follow the summer stock link above!)

Friday, June 22, 2012

summer stock accepting submissions

Livestock Editions is now accepting submissions for the upcoming issue of summer stock, an online lit journal for humanimals.

We like poetry & all hybrid sorts, outrider forms & trans-genres unlimited: vispo, poetic prose/plays, translation, collaboration, experimental review, founds, serials, languagy artwork et al. Please visit to read past issues.
To submit: email 5ish pages of 'writing' to livestockeditions [at] gmail [dot] com by August 15th. Include a brief bio, & a note on your process, if you'd like. (Word doc, & jpeg for visuals please).

honk. gobble. moo.
Livestock Editions

Monday, June 11, 2012

towards a personal summoning: rereading j/j hastain’s long past the presence of common

long past the presence of common
by j/j hastain
Interbirth Books / Say it With Stones (2011)

An admission: the first draft of this review has gone to  the digital ethers, in a bobbled arrival from hard drive to memory stick. Though here I am careful not to say, or pause, to reconsider an initial choice; so, to dial back from what sticks: the first review recalled Will Alexander’s astro-physical planar delving, Simone de Beavoir’s Ethics of Ambiguity, Elizabeth Guthrie’s poetic plays, erotic abstractions, deflated pink rabbits, bank-vault-turned-art-gallery meditations on a cyborg lover. I will attempt to cull from memory the husk of sticks mistranslated, as mere sign:

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j/j hastain and I met in a Frank O’Hara lunch poem. We had been tasked to enact words in Jena Osman’s Summer Writing Program class. j/j, Felize Molina and I sat  in deep Colorado grass pulling lines apart into the sunny morning. When it was our turn for performance, we improvised walking around the room reciting nouns; our bodies charged vessels for the nuclei of words. I remember feeling self-conscious with my moving body and voice on display; watching j/j move with improvisatory, natural force gave me a certain mode of, if not comfortableness, then brief assurance. j/j’s assured fluidness proved the accuracy of our translation’s re/enactment. Recalling our initial collaboration, I’m struck by those energized elements then that continue to present and unfold in hastain’s poetics of 2012: a keen imagination built on performance and physic, a transitional engagement with language charged by inner vision, modest self-assurance and collaborative spirit. With this memory and homage to our meeting place, I constructed the following, “Alternating Lines of j/j hastain and Frank O’Hara”:

After making sure my guests are sleeping
On the poetry of a new friend
And bold bodies in prominent minor key
In it, and a phone call to the beyond...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Now Available: Karaoke Lipsync Opera

Now available:

karaoke lipsync opera
by Andrew K. Peterson
2012 White Sky Books
West Hartford CT / Puhos Finland
205 pgs.

* * *

j/j hastain has this generousness to say:

Peterson’s “atonal rain” pounds gently and hard over the “lily of the rocks” where “a wise woman averts her eyes”—Karoake Lipsync Opera, although certainly a cultural document (in that it is composed of varying points on a map, passages within thoroughfares) definitely makes the feeling in us while we are going through it, that we are somehow inhabiting deliberate, a-cultural space. This is one of the wonders of all of Peterson’s writings, but I feel it particularly here, in the way that KLO moves from form to form, interior to exterior, then beyond those. A wrought spectrum indeed.

A barrage--like a bible mysteriously having been brought back to its glyph state, its insinuation state—KLO is a place of lists. Images--images in positions of strain. Chunks of writing in varying forms, line breaks, paragraph structures, syntax (and not), dashes, usual narrative structures, alternating lines between dyad pairs of poets (eg: Joseph Cooper and Maureen Owen). It is all here in this exciting book!

If I pointed individually to each of the gleaming gems in this work, I would spend my entire life (and another and another) with my appendages aching from extending to the points. Come here, into the land of e-book territory, where thought, movement, impression and image can converge in ways that only add to the lives and imaginations of trees (without taking anything from them (by way of paper)).

Oh my, this work! Peterson’s “fat gesture”--a gesture that goes, that takes us far (its “I center
* * *
To read or download for free, click here (you willl be redirected to KLO's page at
This and other experimental literature can also be found at:

Sunday, May 13, 2012

“Clear Mirror Care”: some thoughts on Jared Hayes’ The Dead Love: hands and more hands together

0.1          If CA Conrad’s blurb for Bernadette Mayer’s Studying Hunger Journals learns me, it’s that some here these days are still looking for a ‘poet’s poet’, one who will get them writing. And yes, for Conrad, (for all those in the know), Bernadette is that poet! And, I would add to that, Yes! Jared Hayes is also that poet! The poems of The Dead Love take me here by hands, reading-writing in a single ringing  gesture…

1.1          The Dead Love’s first series "Into the Furrows" is the most challenging one for me; and benefits from multiple readings. Or, multiple voiced readings. “Furrows” works through translated language from two foreign-born, non-English writers. Paul Celan and Helene Cixous make a curious pair; each writer’s work stands as bold example of the psychological effects of the most difficult strands of 20th Century globalization: colonization and ethnic cleansing. For both writers – Cixous of French Jewish descent raised in Algeria, Celan a German-speaking Jewish Romanian whose family was interned and exiled in World War II, eventually landing in Vienna, then Paris – there is an uneasy  sense of belonging, or rather a ‘constitution of exclusion and non-belonging’, in their subjects and language. This exile can ‘trap one in a foreign body/language that does not allow one express themselves’, though both have determined to forge a writing life of bare witness, to communicate despite, and specifically through, this exodus. The corollary effect of their resounding images –  Cixous’ “white ink”, Celan’s “black milk” – shows a dramatic, upsetting disturbance in the dislocation of the natural essence of beings wrought by war, colonization, racism, exile, exodus.
 “Furrows’” dialogic prosody keeps the reader (okay, this reader) poised in the middle space of a conversation of between, of figurative voice-spaces, a bardolike talk state between the living and

The Chicken of Tomorrow!

"There's no driver? The chickens are taking over!"

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Uncle Jim's Dairy Farm

"b-but i want to write poetry and act!"

Friday, May 04, 2012

Now Available!

The Dead Love: Hands and More Hands Together
by Jared Hayes
Publisher: Black Radish Books
ISBN: 9780982573198
Price: $15.00

Available at:
Small Press Distribution

"I understand Jared Hayes is conducting here a deep spelunking into connected caverns of other texts. What I don't yet quite grasp is how he's articulated all the ropes, quickdraws, carabiners, hexes, cams, and sundry poetical devices to work in such syntactically spectacular ways. 'I root up (I have brought them) landinwards, hither (I will make them resound here.)' And that's just at the first drop, barely in, still fathoms to go.... Well, some people have the ambition and guts and others just watch. I could say 'tour de force' from my spectator chair, but that wouldn't really do. So I'll say, as a first handle on it, that THE DEAD LOVE joins the masterpieces of John Cage, Jackson Mac Low, Susan Howe, and Ronald Johnson as one of the most exhilarating 'citational' explorations ever made in American poetry." —Kent Johnson

Jared Hayes lives in Portland, Oregon. hayes is the author of The Dead Love (Black Radish Books) and Bandit forthcoming from Little Red Leaves’ Textile Series. He believes collectivity and community are important and so is a member of Dusie Kollectiv, Black Radish Books, and Livestock Editions. Jared's poems can be found.

Thursday, May 03, 2012


welcome back to the barnyard. slightly redesigned, but still collective and collecting...