Sunday, August 31, 2008

Out and out and knock-about: Purview of LETTERHEAD meta-zine and periodical from Buffalo, New York. Currently published in Zen Baby # 19 hardcorewise

PLUS PLUS scatter-brained throughout [subtext] as if it was done to make sense-- all kinds of underground subter-fusion newz that the defunkt mainstream mass media cannot even spell good 'cause it goes beyond the pale of just entertainment and may instigate a change of the literate public heart as if the people were to turn against their tormentors.....

LETTERHEAD, VOLUME 1. Highest Hurdle Press,

(Buffalo New York) 2007

Editors: looks like 4 or 5 who did a great job! 15.00 US

136pp, perfect bound, folio soft cover. Review by FDW, ULA,

Right off the bat the only negative- crit of Letterhead (volume 1) is that the first page, writ with propitious spleen by Brian McMahon, following the copious and monumental

Table of contents should have its lead-in parenthetical reshuffled to read: (not not a manifesto) as that tweak would be more in keeping with the auto suggestive this excellent underground literary endeavor engenders on every page between its freaked-out cover.The opening verses printed beautifully on pages 9 and 10 especial the first, “Poetry Rats”

Blamed on Zen Baby perpetrator and ULA member, Christopher Robin, are unalterably top-notch food-stuffs without an iota of pimientos’ aftertaste whereby the lesser olive garden variety poetry chokes.

Covering all bases with “purpose” and “passion” is bound to work and then again when “inclusion” is “operative” out of principle as the Letterhead editors declare rather than squeezed token-ly from a preconceived PC notions like diversity or acceptance of differences. So that with Christopher’s two pieces setting the pace the reader hit’s the ground running and is sustained so the entire experience that is Letterhead, volume 1. No nooks and crannies secreting half-baked chestnuts of cranky wisdom or isolated jaunts of clever virtuosity a reader comfortable with academic literary journals or the posturing whores of the forced “alternative” publications is expected to swallow and process, while here in this Buffalo based meta-zeen, what but lit work and aftefact that “crosses the line”, uses words/images to get beyond words/ images and rides the reader home to his or her rad-subjective desires.

Form is content and there’s no dull systemic excuses otherwise. Parables representative of useless moralities are dumped in favor of the hyperbola-- open at both ended invitations from the artists collected in this no-holds- barred tome. Whereas the reader be striped of devisiveness so that decision liberated of choice can be“made“. The cutting- edge of the Letterhead corresponds to the experience of the reader in time and space.

No small achievement.

Letterhead as is is got to be one of the best most satisfying things of its kind, Zen Baby of course and say the Idiom Mag out of N.J. included, out there right now.
And why not. It virtually pistol whips the corporate co-opted dunderheads of the American twilight, and why not. University MFA slaughter- house milk-toasts aside even in Buffalo, a city that’s been a hotbed of the DYI independent underground literary scenes despite maybe inspite of NYSU. Every piece herein threads it’s needle, with all the ornament and mannerism held in reserve with gestures that seduce and converse rather than persuade or condescend. Just what the doctor ordered! Who could want for anything more out of their underground

cultural sources. Just enough and even share-- an uncontested gratuity that percolates in the Letterhead. Cuts the teeth on the cutting edge whereas, Virginia, the “avant-garde', so called, by comparison, is dead, and reeks of post modern bullshit (like confessional desciptive company-poetry) and back sliding (like L-A-N-G-U-A-G-E ) as it does evermore in the service of the real-estate interests of Immanent Domain, right to our faces!

Yes a lot of what may be technically “experimental” is unabashedly bent that way and this, but in truth experiential when the content is recognized as such to the memory via the perception, (to paraphrase Creeley and the Projectivists). For then the form is content, formerly, when the content is less experiential and runs the risk of coming too close for comfort to not-making-sense. Where cutting-edge say poetry and art stops relying on the excuse of “expression” and in turn becomes exhibitionism, i.e. a sort of “therapy”, or mere entertainment/ diversion for

field & stream magazine, MARCH 2008, HEROES AND VILLIANS BY THOMAS MAcINTYRE. An embarassingly good example of a confessional/descriptive company-poet and their snotty attitude.

“consumers” or some such numbers, poetry and art are experiential and invite the reader/audience to participate because the form invites and seduces and conversely “meaning” the great enemy of the senses is suspended in that participation and sensibilitycomes to inform the experience of that art and poetry.

Seasoned (by street and liberality) even more so facile experimental writers like Sonnenfeld ( a ULAer), Pomerhn, Brian McMahon, Cirino, herein, most resist this line of concern about form/content when their forms are revealed to be wound up too tight and beside the heat they give off, more heat than light perhaps, which is something admittedly they as artists for sure and also mostly the reader warm to, the poems and aftefact cry out on their pages to explode and suffuse the white silences with a dangerous and germane fall-out. In Letterhead prodigies like Loraine Campbell supersede all of the above.

And then there are “damn-straight” vers livre tending, finely, to the confessional from Kime, and Verrilli (another ULAer), etc. And “lyrik” with a “k” ‘cause this poetry is wrapt with allowing itself, god forbid, the joy of rhyme in the mix, for example Arnold Skemer and Mimi Moriarty, who-- and this pretty much covers all the visual work in Letterhead especial-- favor the flavors of today’s headlines stoked from our time-bombed World. There are well wrought bridges and glancing blows of prose semi-poetry from Mark Pawlak, Chas. Ries, Harrison, and THE DD OF DR. ROARSCHOCK section-- a grand memorial and testimonial to a late mentor, poet, publisher, injun-guide late up thee in Buffalo Way, Harvey Gardner, whereas wall-paper “tiles” w/ neat texte collages by Pomerhn prepare the reader’s entry into, and in turn the same winds that reader’s mind down with further psycho- typographies of respite and stations of a life. Banners and headlines, closed with another series of reflective “reprieved” collage/montage. Very good is “1997//prophecy”, a wildly mapped iconic praxis. So goes it with typographical topical treatments by Jason Silvi’s “My Friends”, with powerful medicines from VanRemmen for and aft, followed by the exploding street- heads in urbane traffics of Gelsinger, Pomerhn, Lastname’s conspiracies to-be-outside-the-pale. The whole last quarter of the Volume anchored by “Scremo” and “Black Sunday”, Erin Thomas’ red hot run on politico- canticles, in turn tagged by nice haltingly hep pieces of Ian Belknap and very much in there Burt Rashbaum’s redhanded exper-iential lyrik, “Buffalo” , another example of the wealth of pivotal beyond-the -call -of -duty poems throughout Letterhead. and totem and taboo busting constructions from Eric Johnt salting the parlors!

Cool socio-geographical narrative from Lawinger, then Trundell’s damn-straight vers libre , then a stand of pissed-off polis-polemical to remind the reader the outside World’s cluster-fuck is coming up on the event horizon fast as Highest Hurdle Press’ archetypal “meta-‘zine” w/ the obligatory but happily miscreant bios of both instigators and contributors. Easing on into before this occurs tho are plenty of fresh stinging uncompromised plainchant composed by no less than ten what this one takes to be promising young turks and apaches taunting the smoke and mirrors of the Mainstream Establishment.


...the weekly reading that Morrisey and Robin have turned into one of the premier venues for small press poets on the West Coast. Past featured readers have included: A.D. Winans, Neeli Ckherkovski, Hugh Fox, John Dorsey, S.A. Griffin, Klipschutz, Gerald Nicosia, Joe Pachinko, William Taylor, Jr., Michelle Tea, Raindog, Café Barbarians, Jennifer Blowdryer and so many more... Robin tapes each reading and sells them as DVD’s, as well as sending copies to “The Poetry Collection” at the University at Buffalo / The State University of New York. There the readings are stored in perpetuity, along with the work of hundreds of other small press poets.

"and unfortunately our wired wash venue closed in june, :( more soon!"

-- a recent email from Honolulu by Christopher Robin (sunday 8/31)


The Wired Wash Café Poetry Reading happens every Friday at 7:00 p.m. Posters are put up around Santa Cruz, Berkley and San Francisco prior to each reading. As promised, my name was indeed in a funky lighted sign that was hung outside the Laundromat. The washers and dryers went through their rinse, spin, and dry cycles; as each reader cycled through their five minutes. Dirty laundry, clean clothes, poets, and street people tumbled together

Hey y'all Mike Donnelly (right of Black Francis) the 'murikan literary international vaga bond is back in the States ( San Fransisco, CA. )hanging out with FIBA- UK [George Solomos' major active project located in London], West Coast Desk Correspondent, and videographer, Tom Filmyer. Mike and I co-authored a center spread invesitgative report on and about EZRA POUND that largely contributed to a reactionary furor during an EP and WCW symposium at the U of Penna. back in the early 1980's.He had just got back spending time and conversing with Olga Rudge in Rapallo, Italy. The article was instigated and published in the UNIVERSITY....

"saw Charles from The Pixies (Black Francis/Frank Black) do a concert at The Crepe Place garden full of bamboo and hanging vines"

-- an email from Donnelley while in SANTA CRUZ last week.

.... CITY NEWS (same paoper that set-up and published the Allen Ginsberg interview that can be heard and read on ) by Andrew Lovatt, of, then editor-in-chief of that West Philly biweekly newspaper. Look for some poetry and crazy rants from Mike D. coming up soon on the

ULAManifest. where new ULA member Matt Broomfield, Matt's projects and sampling of his work

is now spectacularly posted!




PO BOX 1611

Donnelley backing the giant sequoias

Amazing self-produced indie tome by a poet...

.... who goes by the name of GRAYWYLVERN reviewed by the ULA's resident
Renaissance man, active- member, Tom Hendricks. A more formal and qualified Musea Zine (# 72 ) version can be savored at:

Musea Zine art and media zine supports indy artists and indy media opposes corporate art

Review below

Title: The Theory and Practice of Oligarchic

What is it? : Book, a collection of short thoughts or
comments on different aspects of life by Graywyvern,
an author mostly known for his poetry.

Technical Quality: Good looking trade paperback with
clear easy-to-read printing.

Innovative Quality: High. Fine black and white cover
art is an abstraction by Hileel Memshac. Content is a
collection of short comments showing some very
sophisticated original thinking expressed in a very
poetic way.

In 1670 Blaise Pascal published his now classic book,
"Pensees", (thoughts). It was a 17th century man's
enlightened reflections of his life and the world
around him.
That classic work has, in my opinion, now it's match
in this new contemporary, self published book by
It too is a book of thoughts, 100 pages filled with
short paragraphs. Each one encapsulates a single idea,
maxim, thought, puzzle, vision or reflection.
The best way to review it is to show selections from
it. But before I do some overall reflections of my
Some entries are short and give a quick jolt of
insight. Others are deeper, more complex thoughts
that, for me, required two or more readings. The
author uses simple language much of the time but
delights in the occasional big words, such as:
polyvalent power, quietudinous, eschatology, nexus,
siliqua, and from the title, oligarchic - the
adjective form of the noun, oligarchy, that means a
small group having control of a country or any large
group of people.
His comments often include a poetic example or parable
to illustrate his point. He often talks of the subject
of art with a special emphasis on poems and poets like
Now for some selections. They are not the worst or
best; but, just a sampling of those I particularly
liked. Or I should say the first 13 short and complete
entries and the first 5 excerpts from longer entries
that I liked. There are many many more favorites. The
book is a mix of about half short entries and half
longer entries, the longer ones being about the size
of a paragraph. And please remember, I don't mean to
in any way suggest these samples cover all the areas
of topics and ideas discussed.

First some short and complete entries:

At the end of his rope is where a poet shines.

The illusion that everything is sayable comes from
having dwelt too long among the things that have been

More than i want social justice, i want a land where i
don't have to hate.

The more intuitive you are, the spookier your world
is. Not more frightening - but more mysterious: & more

The child makes the ritual, the child disbelieves the
ritual (unmakes it) - two powers denied to normal

I keep struggling against the false belief that to be
something not yet defined is to be useless.

I image a brawl in which ten million poets fight to
the death for access to the last reader of poetry.

A corporation is not so much a machine for making
money, as a device for diffusing responsibility.

Chalk-drawing on the sidewalk is what we are. One good
rain & we're gone.

Is despair like a faith in the impossibility of all

Ego is a theory of the introvert in isolation, the
extravert in conflict.

An artist without a community is a lightning rod
without the storm.

Prose is poetry all the air has been let out of.

And here are some excerpts from longer entries:

When i walk down stairs it's a controlled fall, that i
continually interrupt and launch again to sustain the
smooth movement of. This, then, might be a provisional
definition of mature art - whose labor has
disappeared, like scaffolding, and yet it holds to a
line of necessity (the unseen stairs of my path) ...

... Our definitions are as much forced upon us as the
deformations of age, illness, and employment: they are
the surfaces where our bodies touch the hook we all
writhe upon.

... Mankind's only concept of civilization seems to be
to make the ultimate racket & the inescapable reek.

... I think i value this (keeping a journal) more than
the making of art, even if it is less perfect &
useless to others. That other is what i make of the
flies i catch; this is the very web of my spiderhood.

... Story is older than speech.

And two more favorites (I'd give you more but I would
be reprinting not quoting! It's time for you to follow
up and get your copy of the book for more of these

I read about the lives of artists; i say, "my god, it
wasn't worth it!" Well, the rest had it just as bad,
and what did they leave?

Without the touch of another, you walk on air

Overall this book is an instant classic, and one of
the best books of our era. And saying anything short
of that is false.
Finding something this sophisticated and special is
rare. I'm glad I was lucky enough to be one of the
first to read and experience this exhilarating and
insightful work - a marvelous achievement! And our
world should be grateful for this addition to its body
of literature.

Contact Info:
Note: FDW has received his review copy of this-- and Tom is not exaggerating the value and "standing" of this cat's work!-- from the author as of last week. He will besides write a review of "Theory And Practice..." very soon and publish such here on the Critique, feeling the compulsion to do so and to spread the word, etc.
Also it must be sd. that the title as GRAYWYVERN notes likewise on the last back page of the book is the title of THE book in George Orwell's 1984.