Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Punch Press, the offices of Damn the Caesars and the scene of this writing have moved from Buffalo, NY to Scarborough, ME. We now reside between marshland and ocean, holed up in a quaint hovel that threatens to collapse under the weight of horse chestnuts. They fall from the sky like softballs. And they are useless to any living creature beyond the violently aggressive squirrels that so patiently collect and store them in the attic above. The conker trees the nuts fall from are something to behold. Aesculus hippocastanum. But the outer shell of the nuts they yield are barbed with thorns. Prickly, hostile bastards Luther Burbank would've mongrelized out of existence had he lived here, on this coast.

Critical Documents has announced the forthcoming release of Love Poetry, a volume by Two Brothers likely to appear comparable in thrust to Goat Far DT. Fuck Herzog. To render the day a little more lucid.

Hostas, a stunningly ugly species of plant life, form an almost militarized perimeter around our new home, locking us in. They have always suggested to me cabbage leaves, though hostas offer nothing edible. Their leaves come to a point like spears slathered in wax. Perhaps a philological connection to hasta, Latin for spear. I look forward to tearing them from the ground. The rhododendrons too; another unforgivably banal plant.

Despite threats of legal action and any number of other incredible obstacles, Kent Johnson's A Question Mark Above the Sun: Documents on the Mystery Surrounding a Famous Poem "by" Frank O'Hara will appear in the coming weeks. Due to material constraints, the title was subsidized through advance subscription and produced in a run of only 100. Unfortunately each copy of this first print run has been accounted for; the title is otherwise unavailable, though copies will be maintained at the Poetry Collection at Buffalo, the Beinecke and several other libraries.

Ten miles to the north Lady Gaga descended on Deering Oaks Park in the great city of Portland to voice her support for the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT). "Equality," she said, "is the Prime Rib of America." My family and I were unable to attend, but we did huddle around a wide-screen monitor to let the wonderfully moving liveness of it all stream on in. It was like we weren't even there.

Orders from the UK and Canada for Punch Press pubs and Damn the Caesars that were placed in August and September go out this week. To assuage.

We are fortunate to have just outside the back door a Chinese cherry (or crab) apple tree (malus sikkimensis). Since we arrived so late in the summer we haven't had an opportunity to see the tree blossom, but the miniature apples it offers have just ripened. They are somewhat smaller than cherries and surprisingly bitter. But my daughter delights in picking them and gobbling them down by the handful, straight from the tree. Somewhat rare. Not a hosta. A tree I look forward to nursing.

Shortly before leaving Buffalo Mike Basinski passed on a copy of Allen de Loach's From Maine, a slim chapbook published in 1970 as part of "The Beau Fleuve Series" edited by Terry Weaver and "printed in a limited edition of one thousand copies." If only such runs could still be regarded as "limited." The text is an undated letter from de Loach (ed. Intrepid magazine) to Charles Olson. Derivative — of Olson — de Loach notes:

proprioception is not always an easy location

After nearly two months of "settling in" we would like to publicly extend our heartfelt gratitude to any number of friends that helped to make this criminally tumultuous transition from Buffalo to Scarborough less turbulent: Andrew Rippeon and Lisa Forrest, David Hadbawnik and Tina Zigon, Michael Basinski, James Maynard, Steve McCaffery, Micah Robbins, Geoff Gatza and Donna White, Michael and Laurie Kelleher, John Hyland, Kent Johnson, Dale Smith, Kyle Schlesinger, Jonathan Skinner, Jared Schickling; and, for their supportive public gestures regarding rumors and confusion surrounding the forthcoming publication of Kent Johnson's Question Mark we would like to thank John Latta, Edmond Caldwell, David Hadbawnik, Micah Robbins, Jow Lindsay, Michael Hansen, Gene Tanta, Joseph Hutchinson, Richard Allen, Mark Scroggins and David Lehman.

Forthcoming titles by Frances Kruk, Brenda Iijima and Francis Crot. To recalibrate critically damaged neurotransmitters after disorienting blows. Disorienting. Not devastating.