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,
Editors: looks like 4 or 5 who did a great job! 15.00 US
136pp, perfect bound, folio soft cover. Review by FDW, ULA, DDD.com
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!
“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!"
FROM WWC OPEN MIC MYSPACE SITE:
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
"saw Charles from The Pixies (Black Francis/Frank Black) do a concert at The Crepe Place garden full of bamboo and hanging vines"
.... CITY NEWS (same paoper that set-up and published the Allen Ginsberg interview that can be heard and read on www.literaryrevolution.com ) by Andrew Lovatt, of www.deaddrunkdublin.com, 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
FOR YOUR FIX OF ZEN BABY'S HAND CUT AND ROLLED
FOR YOUR OWN GOODIES
Donnelley backing the giant sequoias