Wednesday, October 25, 2006

we bought and now have our copy of Bay Poetics. I'm pretty psyched. the vibes are good and that's pretty much all I'm going on at this moment. the book's regionalism is somewhat in quotes; participants are from all over, tho certainly some Bay area connection exists in all cases. I think the point is that everyone in the anthology fits in the Bay Area scene. the whereas consists simply in that no one really wants to say they are Boston poets. Boston poets? that means you are exclusive and clique-ish, doesn't it? it feels like that. me and Michael saturday felt that our quoroum could say that, at any rate. I thrum the pages of this book and feel its energy. honestly. maybe it's not Fiddler's Green there in the Bay area, but it seems pretty good from this distance. you won't say you've grokked any of the poets here represented if you read this book, but you will have a sense of what is happening. what's happening is wide and splendid. the book's 1st poem is a short untitled piece by Brenda Hillman. it's a poem you must read slowly, that's its pace. 23 words, stay with each one to inhale the essence (sorry, that sounds unduly phony--I only want to be duly phony) (but I am not being phony--sincerity still works). Stephanie Young (editor, I should've mentioned that up front) bravely and sensitively chose a quiet thoughtful thing to lead you into the book. I suppose the average age of the writers in this anthology is around 4 or 5 in dog years, but there's a goodly showing of older folk, Kyger, Vincent, Hejinian and so on. and connect with this: there's varied poetic styles, prose and a nice range of whatnot. brings to mind Olson's idea of achive. Chris Stroffolino's offering, following Hillman's, is a sort of reminiscence on music scenes. how curious! that's the extent of my actual reading, so far. Beth and I sought out the inestimable Jack Kimball today to procure this book, throwing our dwindling funds into his bottomless treasury (Jack lives in a castle made of sugar cubes and he owns the movie rights to NH's late lamented Old Man in the Mountain) BECAUSE this just seemed news that stays news. just shy of 500 pages, with a lot of names that I can attach a sense of work to. Boston, that squid-torturing pu pu platter of snotty ass, cannot produce an anthology such as this. the walls are too high. sad. sad. sad. Stephanie Young is the ace and deuce. so's Jack, but don't tell him. the preceding has been an unpaid skim review that forebodes further ruminations.

by Allen Bramhall
Original post to tributary dated 21 May 2006



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