Monday, January 9, 2012

Patrick James Dunagan

Dearest Orthie Orth and Sakkis-joon,

Much obliged to answer your request, thanks fer thinking ta ask.

Having been seeing these lists everywhere, I am a bit wary and hope not to become querulous undertaking this task!  I'm setting myself my own guidelines which are not to name any book which I have happened to write  a review of. (which kinda sucks!
... unbelievable books like RD's HD and Alastair Johnson's Hanging Quotes get dropped off and they are THE TOTAL SHIT... plus literally I've been reviewing so damn much the last year that it covers almost everything I've read... or feels like it

Happily tho this opens the door to jez name some lovely pals and give them digitalized hi-fives off the screen. 

SOME "lazy apartment poetry" I'D LOVE TO HAVE WRITTEN MYSELF

1) some jack ass writing for the NY Times so characterized the dear Chris Martin's latest, BECOMING WEATHER. Now, LOOKEE here, Chris ain't necessarily collaring himself to any bullshit theories and he's certainly NOT tryin ta write feel good suburb-a-rhymicks (& if he does he knows I'll call him out on that Iowa shit, Cole Swensen my ass) WHAT he is doing is saying here's some language about my thoughts and days, placed in a stylized gathering bound together. Itsa fun stuff. It's something different from most and when he strikes his stride he's throwing down at a sauntering pace that really quite suits. Everybody should be nice to him, anyway. And calling it "lazy" is DEAD WRONG.

2) Filip Marinovich is a CHAMP. ALL CHAMP. (Well, so is John Coletti! but in a totally differing style and really John's book didn't come out this year? But I betya he's got his next in the works and hopefully due out in 2012~!!!) Filip truly flips yr wig. AND IF YOU DON'T GO CRAZY I'LL MEET YOU HERE TOMORROW iz strate power house writing whirligig bonanza. A major strike against all expectations of what poems are or should be or have a chance of accomplishing. (All the same is easily sd as well of Julien Porier's work, too, but like John his boke is 2010, but here's to lloking forward to a collection in 2012! I HOPE, YEAHS!) Filip really iz a wonder.  Crazy as batshit perhaps but a TOTAL WONDER. And absolutely a human thing if ever I've met a one.

3) Naturally, Jeffrey Joe Nelson's ROAD OF A THOUSAND WONDERS should come next. All these guys are motherfucking NYers (Well, Chris has bailed out fer the cornfields, god help him) but don't be holding it against them. They are trying. Jeffrey Joe's poems are mad fur tinged fire balls that leap and dance about in blazing sparkles down the page. And the "thousand" in the title is not an overstated number. Especially when you pause to consider that many of the sections in this 200+ page book are clearly just selections from a larger whole, each of which would easily furnish a book of itself. He gives us Rimbaud. Charlatans of word grace. Glimpses of a Busted Life. And most importantly massive amounts of Charm & Hope, all with a must-have necessity glint of dOOm.  I dig it, man.

4) Sunnylyn Thibodeaux's FROM PALM TO PINE needs some shout outs. She's kickin ass and it feels like nobody pays any attention. And She's doing so while not sliding up on anybody else's gig, either. Walking her own road, these thingz ZING. BOPPING ALONG. mad hilts and sun dazzlers galore. To the hilt, brother. Her poem-sequence to Coletti (which is also a limited edition book of her own making, part of a lil book series she's been doing, written to poet pals all in amazingly fun varying formats, book-wise) iz top notch stuff. Like you read it and you jez dig it. The vibe is rite on and the language is tight ass shit, yo. It's another beaut of a book busted out by Boot Strap. Nicely done up. They deserve another nod fer Stephen Ratcliffe's CONVERSATION--- totally diggers of a book length meditation on a painting by Matisse (?) which seems to have gotten lost a bit in the blurried haze of Ratcliffe's repetitive "hey, look at that sky/ridge" poem recent barrage. a good shot at dwelling inside another's art. 


5) In closing, two GREAT surprises--- & both are come across via writing reviews going DEAD against my own set ground rules---HAH --- were Leslie Scalapino's HOW PHENOMENA APPEAR TO UNFOLD and Bernard Noël’s THE REST OF THE VOYAGE. Everybody prolly knows Scalapino has THE MAD CHOPS but I had unfortunately not quite dug it until I read through this second edition of her prose. I'm still not all there with her entire "project" as they say, but she iz quite SPOT ON here. There's no doubting her commitment to poetry as FULL ON. Noël is pretty unheard of in the States as he's French and this is only his second or so book to be translated but his writings are extensive and he's been round and been engaged for decades and this collection shows the strength of form from out which he writes. An awesome surprise to randomly come across via review.


Kevin Opstedal's CALIFORNIA REDEMPTION VALUE at last brings together decades of tireless work by this strongman of Santa Cruz. I mean, come on. Nobody's ever jez considering those who are jez doin their thing, seems like. Kev O's off the charts of the Charts!

Anything and everything Kyle Scheslinger's CUNEIFORM press publishes looks outstandingly superb. If I was a better patron, or really just a patron of the arts at all rather than a grubby no account, I'd be buying every book he publishes. He's got a good eye fer snagging quarry most excellent.

I haven't read em but Alice Notley's GHOST AND GHOULS along with Peter Gizzi's THRESHOLD SONGS are most likely terrific. 

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