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Archive for May 2017

BlazeVOX17 Spring 2017 Now Available!

Hip Hip Hurray

 

Hello and welcome to the Spring issue of BlazeVOX 17. Presenting fine works of poetry, fiction, text art, visual poetry and arresting works of creative non-fiction written by authors from around world. Do have a look through the links below or browse through the whole issue in our Scribd embedded PDF, which you can download for free and take it with you anywhere on any device. Hurray!

In this issue we seek to avoid answers but rather to ask questions. With a subtle minimalistic approach, this issue of BlazeVOX focuses on the idea of ‘public space’ and more specifically on spaces where anyone can do anything at any given moment: the non-private space, the non-privately owned space, space that is economically uninteresting. The works collected feature coincidental, accidental and unexpected connections which make it possible to revise literary history and, even better, to complement it.

Combining unrelated aspects lead to surprising analogies these piece appear as dreamlike images in which fiction and reality meet, well-known tropes merge, meanings shift, past and present fuse. Time and memory always play a key role. In a search for new methods to ‘read the city’, the texts reference post-colonial theory as well as the avant-garde or the post-modern and the left-wing democratic movement as a form of resistance against the logic of the capitalist market system.

Many of the works are about contact with architecture and basic living elements. Energy (heat, light, water), space and landscape are examined in less obvious ways and sometimes developed in absurd ways. By creating situations and breaking the passivity of the spectator, he tries to develop forms that do not follow logical criteria, but are based only on subjective associations and formal parallels, which incite the viewer to make new personal associations. These pieces demonstrate how life extends beyond its own subjective limits and often tells a story about the effects of global cultural interaction over the latter half of the twentieth century. It challenges the binaries we continually reconstruct between Self and Other, between our own ‘cannibal’ and ‘civilized’ selves. Enjoy! 

Rockets! Geoffrey Gatza, editor

Table of Contents
 
Poetry
 
 
Fiction
 
Charlie Hill                             Multitudes
Joshua King                           Poena Cullei
Robert Wexelblatt                Petite Suite des Erreurs Minuscules
Becca Lundberg                    Just Delaney
Lisa Clark                               Modifications
Leigh Ann Cowan                 What Little Girls Are Made Of
Craig Fishbane                      Molly Webber Has Arrived
Emilia Rodriguez                  Nursery
Kate Koenig                           Gentle, Gentle, Gentle
 
Text Art & Vispo
 
ana cancela                from, The Herman, Bartleby of Tales
Mark Young               five visuals
bruno neiva                from, GUY (alt version)
hiromi suzuki            eternal loop
 
Creative Non-Fiction & Experimental Prose
 
Lawrence Upton                   A SONG, through Alaric Sumner
Caitlin Conroy                       Leonid
Diarra English                       Black Faces in Private Places
Elika Ansari                           Read more »

Heisenberg's Salon reviewed at The Best American Poetry Blog

 

Braided Interior: Dante Di Stefano Reviews Heisenberg's Salon by Susan Lewis

IndexHeisenberg’s Salon
Susan Lewis
BlazeVox Books, 2017

Susan Lewis’s new collection of prose poems engages the complex routines and the constantly shifting contours of daily life in the twenty-first century with great humor, terror, anger, and insight. Like Kafka, like Borges, Lewis explores the uncertainties that underwrite a life, and that linger in the margins of the page; from such uncertainties, and from the chaos embroidered into the antimacassars of the quotidian, Lewis’s prose poems present themselves as an endless gallery of rooms wherein one might dwell on the raging absurdities and the gentle profundities of existence. In these poems, Lewis introduces a man overwhelmed by the complexity of most things, refugees from the native urban clatter, a god of guilt trying to sharpen the curvatures of space-time, a girl who knows her waking life is an illusion, figures sidling into their lives like shy crabs, motivations stunted, discourses un-tongued, the logic of the stutter-step and the sucker punch, the language of bureaucracy colliding with medusa-headed vernaculars and scientific lexicons. Lewis’s ultimate subject, however, is the protean, indeterminate, baffling conundrum of the self, the mystery and multiplicity of our own individual discrete interior worlds.

For Susan Lewis, the prose poem provides a frame within which passionate inwardness and exteriority might overlap, exchange places, negate each other, and continue their distinct pinprick shinings. These poems take form in the interstices of desire, “caught between reciprocity & the cutting edge,” providing glimpses of a “braided interior, veiled though it remained by a haze of evasion.”

Read the whole review here

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FANTASTIC CARYATIDS by ANNE WALDMAN & VINCENT KATZ reviewed

 

FANTASTIC CARYATIDS by ANNE WALDMAN & VINCENT KATZ

EILEEN TABIOS Engages

FANTASTIC CARYATIDS: A Conversation with Art by Anne Waldman & Vincent Katz
(BlazeVOX Books, Buffalo, N.Y., 2017)
Fantastic Caryatids has two sections: a jointly-written poem by, and a conversation between, Anne Waldman and Vincent Katz. After my first read, the conversation was the one I chose first to re-read and so I begin my engagement there—to wit, the conversation is brilliant, elucidating and charismatic. I receive the impression it occurred as both poets strolled through several art galleries and the streets of New York. 
As befits poets, the language is fresh but also effective, which is always a delight to see when it comes to describing/meditating on art. For example, here’s Katz, as quoted by Waldman, on Philip Pearlstein:
AW: Live at the Philip Pearlstein show in Chelsea, on 25th Street…. These paintings by Philip are quite interesting. As Vincent, my companion on this little jaunt, has noted, the figures seem somewhat drained and as if they’re maybe overexposed under fluorescent light, as though they’re in some kind of sauna.
Here’s Waldman on Emilie Clark below; I’m a fan of Clark’s and to the extent my knowledge of her work allows me to “judge” Waldman’s take, I can share that Waldman is spot on. This excerpt also presents briefer, but apt, observations about and gleanings from other artists’ works:
[Click on all images to enlarge]

Read the whole review here at Galatea Resurrects

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C. Kubasta featured in a fantastic essay in Wisconsin People & Ideas!

 

To the Quarry, Together

When poets and visual artists work together, they negotiate a shared language. In collaboration, they explore how their work, well, works together: both engage with form and shape, utilize symbolic thought, and explore metaphor of various kinds. Materials change and mutate in the hands of artists, and often come to their final forms after many revisions and drafts, possible versions begun and set aside. Art exists in the friction—the frisson—between idea and making, in the often never-fully-complete translation between the inception of an idea (which is always perfect because it’s unmade) and the fruition of that idea. It’s a never-ending, self-perpetuating cycle that calls us back to the blinking screen, the empty table, the blank wall.

Because of this shared language and love of frisson, poets and visual artists can learn a lot from each other. I became more aware of this during work on my collection of poems, All Beautiful & Useless, published in 2015. I had begun many of the poems years earlier, and obsessively worked and reworked them. But I felt there was something missing from this collection, yet couldn’t put my finger on what that was.

Some of the poems center around a story I’d heard growing up in my hometown of Wautoma that sounded too awful to be true. The crimes of Edward Gein, a murderer and grave robber who made home furnishings from human body parts, haunted me as a girl. And the fact that his crimes had happened here (or near here, one town over in Plainfield), made it that much worse. In my poem “Squirrel Memory,” I lay out the facts of Gein’s crimes, and I call them “simple.” But his crimes, like my memory of learning about them, were anything but simple. In the poem, I recall how a third-grade classmate showed me Judge Robert H. Gollmar’s gruesome book about Ed Gein with its photo-filled “center section, glossy, split open and edible.”

My memory of this event forms the title of the poem, and comes from a later line as well: “I want to have a squirrel memory, find that year later, / like a dollar bill in a jacket pocket.” I remembered and forgot what I saw on the playground that day of third grade for years and years. As that image of the “squirrel memory” suggests, it is only in in re-finding that memory years later (like a buried acorn) that I could make sense of it. My experience, as a child, of those images, and the story they told, couldn’t be understood. This suggests one way that art can allow us to understand experience: it can allow us the necessary distance to revisit something terrifying and confusing. Once we’ve fashioned something into language and metaphor, it becomes less able to traumatize. The work of constructing the poem gave me power over that moment.

Yet, even as strong as “Squirrel Memory” and these poems other were on their own, the sense that they were somehow a collection eluded me. They seemed like fragments, memories that were somehow incomplete. That is, until I met someone who would help me think differently about my work.

• • • • •

I was introduced to an artist named Mollie Oblinger at an art gallery opening of a mutual friend in Green Lake, Wisconsin. I got to talking with this woman wearing fabulous vintage cat-eye glasses, and learned that Mollie taught art and sculpture at nearby Ripon College. As this was a Friday in Wisconsin, a small group of us adjourned to a nearby tavern for fish fry. We sat at picnic tables alongside the Fox River near a place where sturgeon are known to spawn every spring. Over napkins weighted down with rocks and tartar sauce squeeze bottles, we talked about poetry, art, and small-town stories. Mollie and I were the only non-couple there, so when the waitress was sorting out receipts, she asked if we were together. “Not yet,” Mollie replied with a smile, “but it’s going well." 

Read the whole article here 

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Extra Pages

Photos on flickr