Tuesday, July 05, 2011


David Hadbawnik. Field Work: Notes, Songs, Poems 1997-2010. Buffalo: BlazeVOX, 2011. This work, possibly more than any other, attempts to return the banal — the excruciatingly dull — to its proper condition. There is no misguided effort to elevate the ordinary to a state of grace. There are no epiphanic moments culled from the dull, the daily, the ordinary. There is only a dry, laconic, deadpan ordinariness returned to itself as nothing other than itself, a feedback loop punctuated at times by the exclamatory edge of thwarted desire or the interiorized violence of wish-fulfillment. This is the gift the work offers. "The astonishing shit of dogs."

David Hadbawnik. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Buffalo: Habenicht Press, 2011. One of a set of five chaplets edited, designed and published by Hadbawnik. The other four include: Brooks Johnson's Five Windows Light The Cavern'd Man, Sara Jeanne Peters' Triptych, JodiAnn Stevenson's Houses Don't Float, and 5 Works by the Rejection Group.

David Hadbawnik, ed. Kadar Koli #6. Includes: Zack Finch, Geoffrey Gatza, j/j hastain, Henri Deluy (translated by Jacqueline Kari), Edmond Caldwell, Micah Robbins, The Rejection Group, Sarah Jeanne Peters, Josh Stanley, John Hyland, Robin F. Brox, Brenda Iijima, Morani Kornberg-Weiss.

Simon Jarvis. Dionysus Crucified. Cambridge, UK: Grasp Press, 2011. An absurdly large format publication (13" x 13"), one among several out of the UK in the past year or so (Prynne's Sub Songs at 11.5" x 14.5" is perhaps the other, more obvious example). Through a protracted period of austerity and contraction, the tendency toward large format print publication is interesting. Like a blow fish expanding against the terror: "How does the sun go out | Now that it knows its whole life to be gases expiring protractedly through what would otherwise be just some perfectly blank and impertinent gap?"

Joe Luna. LVRS 2.0 (or perhaps LOVERSLOV | ERSLOVERS | LOVERS). Brighton, UK: Hi Zero!, 2011. "That what you took to be a piece was mashed in transit made of culprit | Gone down in sea for image count abate inventorial parts coolly reckoned."

Joe Luna, ed. Hi Zero! magazine, issues 1-4. Issue 1: Amy De'Ath, Timothy Thornton, Jonty Tiplady, Danny Hayward, Joe Luna. Issue 2: Rachel Warriner, Josh Stanley, Tomas Weber, Francesca Lisette, Harry Sanderson, Luke Roberts, Jonty Tiplady, Keston Sutherland. Issue 3: Harry Gilonis, John Wilkinson, Ed Luker, Jennifer Cooke, Sarah Kelly, Laura Kilbride, Edmund Hardy, Joe Luna. Issue 4: Jonty Tiplady, Ashley French, Fabian MacPherson, Tom Graham, Harry Gilonis, Ian Patterson, Liquid Bros, Marianne Morris and an essay by Justin Katko on Keston Sutherland's poem 10/11/10 (Issue 5, which was just recently published, contains a response to Katko's critique by Sutherland). From the opening editorial statement in Issue #2: "The reflex of your truest fractal responsiveness is the form of its dissent in this inverted world, that which is also the means to identify and re-invert it."

John Phillips. What Shape Sound. Nottingham, UK: Skysill Press, 2011. Phillips works quietly, somewhat isolated in Cornwall, but I sense at times his isolatedness sets his practice apart from most any other poet presently working in the UK. Thomas A. Clark or Simon Cutts are possibly the closest analogs, however crude. The poems are small in their way, driven by an odd humility which is almost completely undercut by the publication of the work but not quite; idle thoughts that refuse their own importance. "There is | inside | thinking || another | pleasure | I know."

John Phillips, ed. Hassle, issues 12-14. Published out of St. Ives, Cornwall. Each xeroxed on a single sheet of A4 folded into quarters. Each devoted to a single poet. These include: Aaron Tieger, Jonathan Greene, and Henri Deluy (translated by Jacqueline Kari). 27 Treverbyn Road, St. Ives, Cornwall, TR26 1EZ, UK.