Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Nathaniel Otting

Dear Steve and John,

Thanks for thinking of, etc.

I know you asked for five but here's four plus I know you said you don't want my life story but John's life stories are always so alluring (a-lurid?) so here's some journaling just for, like, context...but, you know, feel free to print only the list below:

Like all years this year was the year of bookstores and readings and sub-sub magazines, which communited this year like no other, like in November when I visited the People's Library (four days before it was raided) in the tiniest New York City and left behind this year's P-QUEUE (edited by Holly Melgard & Joey Yearous-Algozin, who just sent me four more, so write me if you want one) with Anna Vitale's "Taping Volume" and CAConrad's "The Right To Manifest Manifesto" and Ish Klein's "Lakme Metals and Recycling" and Thom Donovan's "Postface from The Hole" & from "The Hole, A Meta-Discourse" (and all that's just A of THE) and the 20 pages from Lewis Freedman's Pretend to Think which Lewis read to me over the phone in January and to Macgregor (who gave me the GERM I was missing), Emily, Heather, Jessica, Daniel, Cori, John, Andy, Rick, Grace, Peter, Uljana, Mina, Simone, James, Michael (Barron, who gave me STONECUTTER and the final NEW DIRECTIONS Annual), Michael (Leong), Boni, Cecilia, Filip, Chana, Geoff (who introduced me to EOAGH and to Alan Davies, whose wow OCULIST WITNESSES I found at Unnameable Books), Brandon and (at) me in February at the Poetry Project & read to Dana, Tyrone, Cathy and (at) Anna in June at Thunder Sky, or like how new issues in my lifetime subscriptions of ABRAHAM LINCOLN (Mohammed) and MODEL HOMES (Buck/Flis) bookended the year in which Dana gave me copies of Magazine Cypress and Lewis gave me a copy of TRY (Larsen & Brazil) and Michelle gave me her copies of CANNOT EXIST #4 (ed. Andy Gricevich) with a perfect Andrew Topel cover & 6x6 #10 with Dana's poem, which we read on our way to hear Dana read "My Diamond" from that talisman, SPRUNG FORMAL 6 (see 1 below) and Andy gave me the first two Cannot Exists but I still need the third and Matvei gave me 6x6 #5 (mostly burnt) but I still need #6 and Ben Fama's Supermachine closed its doors at 4 with Dana's poem after Lewis' tiniest new york city of itself and Seth Landman's INVISIBLE EAR too stopped at 4 and so never published four poems by Roberto Harrison (but, if they're available, The minutes of the Robert Walser Society of Western Massachusetts / Robert Seydel Society of Eastern Switzerland wants to) or Shannon Burns' "What's the Scoop?" (which she read at Flying Object in July and Thunder Sky in August) but Emily Pettit's (inherited from Robert N. Casper) JUBILAT (ed. Kevin Gonzalez & Caryl Pagel, inherited from Cathy Park Hong & Evie Shockley) did, in #20, alongside Lesley Yalen's "Kaddish" and Rachel B. Glaser's "Thanksgiving Never Happened" & "Should I Learn A New Language?" and Michelle Taransky's "Sorry I Was In The Woods" and CAConrad's "Preternatural Conversations (for Dana Ward)" and pages from Michael Leong's The Philosophy of Composition/Re-composition as Explanation: A Poe and Stein Mash-Up (see 2 below), or like how The Song Cave (Ben Estes & Alan Felsenthal) started alternating ART, Mariah Dekkenga / Carrie Pollack, AND LITERATURE, Chris Martin / Paul Legault, in their SEA REACH, or how Paul, co-reader of the year (see three below) and Sharmila Cohen (w/ love for Maureen Owen) launched TELEPHONE at Flying Object, where Stacy Szymaszek mesmerized us with a reading from Hart Island and thumbed through oversized volumes of THE WORLD from the library of Joachim Neugroschel (whose sets of 0 to 9 and EXTENSIONS, which he edited with Suzanne Zavrian, I cataloged for Schoen Books), or like when I found an issue of Szymaszek's GAM at the great Troubadour / Grey Matter Books, where I also found copies of BIG ALLIS (Jessica Grim & Melanie Neilson) and BLACK BREAD (Sianne Ngai & Jessica Lowenthal) and POM^2 (Susan Landers, Allison Cobb, Jennifer Coleman, Ethan Fugate) and CHAIN (Jena Osman & Juliana Spahr) and HAMBONE (Nathaniel Mackey) ECOPOETICS (Jonathan Skinner) and RED WEATHER, whose co-editor, David Abel (w/ Kim Lyons & Mitch Highfill), I found when I ordered a copy LOCUS SOLUS from his Passages Bookshop, which is in Portland where Adam & Kate Davis just moved their DIVISION LEAP (both one of our best magazine and our best bookstores, where you can buy ____________) and where Sam Lohmann's PEACHES AND BATS lives, and James Yeary's c_L (see 4 below) also POOR CLAUDIA, whose last issue looks like the first BLAST, which, if I had it, I would trade for the first SKEIN (see 1 below).

1) SPRUNG FORMAL 6 was the magazine object of the year. Three fascicles (6.1, 6.2, 6.3), covers with six(!) letterpressed colors, packed in a bite size pizza box with colorfully uncolorful, hilarious, uncredited cover art, presumably by one or several of the undergraduate editors (managing editor: Ashley Anders + staff: Theo Bunch, Marie Dougherty, Samantha Freese, Madeline Gallucci, Ben Hlavacek, Mitchell Kirkwood, Christina Lenert, Liz Peters, Osciel Ramos, Sophia Roessler, Alora Wilde and Josh Zink) at the Kansas City Art Institute advised by Jordan Stempleman, who took the reins from founding adviser, Anne Boyer. Beside Dana's chart-topping "My Diamond"

A sonnet is just like a paragraph anyway
by which I mean another obligation. When I
shit my pants I have to take off my diaper
put it on my head
& leave the world.

you'll find Dara Wier's "Like A Simile"

I am having a memorial anniversary birthday ceremony ritual
In a few minutes several times over.

Annie Raab's "Places" ("Hunched over, bored, impatient, I saw you texting at the Gates of Hell."), Michelle Taransky's "We Hid In A" ("Woods like a woods / is the last robber") and Ryan Feeney's The Cowardly Photographer #2, 2010. And I mean you'll find those things literally beside, that is, on either side, of Dana's "My Diamond" in SPRUNG FORMAL 6.2. On either side of Ryan Feeney, live Mark Leidner and Ben Estes, who went to the Kansas City Art Institute, total coincidence. Totaler coincidence: Ryan MacDonald ("The Observable Characteristics of Organisms", 6.2), not, as I first imagined, Ben Estes, is the reason Ryan Feeney's in Sprung Formal. Totalest coincidence: in my Ohio mind, Ryan Feeney is to art in Columbus as Paul Coors, who made the cover for Dana's THIS CAN'T BE LIFE, is to art in Cincinnati. Is Justin Kemp from Ohio too? I forget (no, wait I think Steve Snell is), but I think Joey Verzosa would like Justin's "All the Girls from the Urban Outfitters Catalog with Their Backs Turned To Me"). Then there's Jack Christian's "I Thought God Was A Tree" is buffered from his tennis partner Mike Young's "Stop Long Enough" by Marie Doughtery's larger than life photograph "Dog/Bear TV", and Linh Dinh's photograph, "Pawn Shop--Los Angeles" is nearly neighbors with Sandra Simonds' "Poem", maybe my favorite Sandra Simonds poem, I don't even know where to begin quoting, not the ending, woah, you've got to read that, and the beginning and middle, for yourself, and you can because Sprung Formal 6 is now entirely online: http://sprungformal.wordpress.com/. While you're there, you might as well start at the beginning, with 6.1, which opens with an apt Annie Raab (who is this Annie Raab, writing that "Places", taking this) photograph, and continues with Sawako Nakayasu's bilingual "Parade," two "You Are A Brain In A Vat"s by Mathias Svalina, Daniel Borzutzky's "Missouri," Ryan MacDonald's "Pregos," Shannon Burns' "Dome Memory," Mark Leidner's "Love In The Time Of Whatever Disease This Is" (cf. Lewis Freedman's exclamation, "O no! Cholera in the cholera!"), and Emily Kendal Frey's mock epic "Flight Attendants Will Distribute Infant Life Vests As Needed": "Context is what / I'm arguing for, / not contextualization." is what I'm arguing for (cf. James Copeland's CONTEXT). Also, 6.3's pretty good, too: Robert J. Baumann' "Our Respective Dicks" and Mary Jo Bang's Dante's Inferno. And will I read Cyrus Console's "Men of 2011" tonight at Jono's party when Chris names Chelly Man of the Year? You guessed it, I didn't. I will. If someone (Anne Boyer, are you reading?) wants to donate Sprung Formals 1-5 to the Flying Object Archive, we'll all be more alive. If, like me, you forgot to send poems to SPRUNG FORMAL, you messed up and you probably also forgot to send poems to Seth Parker's SKEIN (Alice Notley didn't) or any of the only online magazines I read over and over:

  • Luke Bloomfield's/Emily Pettit's/Guy Pettit's notnostrums

  • Natalie Lyalin's/Jon Link's Glitterpony

  • Stempleman's own Continental Review

2) I first read Michael Leong in Jared Schickling's ECOLINGUISTICS, which is generously mailed free to anyone, even strangers like me, which is all anyone can ask from poetry. (I wish I had known about SOUS LES PAVES sooner, which I learned about from Tyrone Williams' wonderfully casual, enviously so, list at The Disinhibitor, where I also learned about Ecolinguistics.) Jared is part of Delete Press, which issued Leong's chapbook The Philosophy of Composition/Re-composition as Explanation: A Poe and Stein Mash-Up, beautifully typeset and fabricated by book artist Crane Giamo. I really need to write about Delete Press' chapbook series (previous titles by CJ Martin, Rachel Levitsky and Kate Greenstreet) and the Little Red Leaves Textile series: each is extending the chapbook-as-flying-object tradition of Pilot Books (Meghan Dewar & Betsy Wheeler) and the ground broken by Emily Goodale's coinsides & chapbooks (Brave Men Press).

3) Paul Legault's list of 2011 books on his blog looks just how I would want mine to look, book by book. Paul has the first two issues of O.ARS' TRANSLATIONS: Experiments in Reading and I do too. Does anyone want to scan the third for us and buy Judah Rubin a copy of TELEPHONE 3? Judah Rubin has TREE 3 and I do too. Anyone want to sell / trade one of us TREE 1 and one of us TREE 2? Judah Rubin edits WELL GREASED which, having received WELL GREASED 2 "KRISPY KREMES" I realized Douglas Piccinnini had given me WELL GREASED 1 "STUFFED CRUST"...Which: Troll Thread is kind of like a magazine. Tyoyeu has always been the only book in my google reader and Seth Landman just told me today that Lawrence Giffin convinced him and Seth Parker to make it a book in the world's lulu, Physical Poets style. Which: Divya Victor should edit a magazine! So should Amaranth Borsuk and Kate Durbin! When I say Paul Legault is my co-favorite reader I mean of books and magazines (I won't hear him be a reader of readings until The First Only Flying Object Festival Of on January 20, which, you all should come) and by co- I mean w/ Corina Copp. Corina Copp should edit a magazine! Like a...newsletter! Or postcards? A Poetry Postcard Newsletter edited by Corina Copp & Jacqueline Waters & Daniel Nohejl & Dana Ward & Anne Boyer & Macgregor Card & Karen Weiser & John Coletti & Jess Mynes & Lewis who edited that magazine we read at Look Diner? & Michelle Taransky & Ariana Reines & Lily Gurton-Wachter & Harmony Holiday & Kevin Holden & Arda Collins & Kelin Loe & Emily Hunt & Francesca Chabrier & Hannah Brooks-Motl & Camilo Roldán & CAConrad & Debra Morkun & Ryan Eckes & Greg Purcell & Ish Klein (NOSLANDER is like a magazine) Dottie Lasky & Hailey Higdon & Lauren Hunter & Lisa Hollenbach & Jessi Leigh Swenson & Elaine Kahn & Anna Vitale & Rebecca Steffy Couch & Silvia Cernea & Georgie Devereux & Geoff Munsterman & Rachel B. Glaser & John Maradik & Blueberry Morning Snow & Summer Robinson & Adam Tobin & Penelope Bloodworth & Lyndsey Cohen & Bianca Stone & Ben Pease & Ben Roylance & Olivia Valdes & Lizzie Lenson & Ella Longpre & Ben Hersey & Madeline ffitch & Sara Majka & Michael Barron & Lindsey Boldt & you two. In the meantime, Ben Fama tells me there's a new magazine called Death Hums and...

4) Alina and Zach started a magazine of collaborations called THE BRIDGE. In there: Emily Pettit & Guy Pettit. 2012 is going to become the best yet. Visit Alan Zipkin's Derringer Books where you can see both issues of DODGEMS. (If you have Clark Coolidge's Clark Coolidge, you should sell it to him.) It's the ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZth day of 2011 and I'm reading Robert Seydel's BOOK OF RUTH like I do every day since May and John Cage's recipe's and Melanie Neilson's poems in Robert Seydel's copy of (Rod Smith's) AERIAL 6/7 and Melanie Neilson's poems in PESSIMISTIC LABOR 1 (ed. Michael Anderson, "Printed at the West Coast Print Center, in an edition of 200 copies," purchased at Unnameable Books to replace the P-QUEUE I left at the People Library) and Susan Landers' 15: A Poetic Engagement with the Chicago Manual of Style, dropped off at my door by Karen Randall, who's Propolis Press, it turns out, is my neighbor. I bought it because Dana Ward wrote "I love this book. Y'all should read it." It's true, it's ama-zing, you should. When I finish reading it I'm going to take it to Flying Object so Dara Wier can share it with her seminar. Yesterday was her birthday. Tomorrow's yours.

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