Friday, September 21, 2007


Speaking of visceral realism, the new issue of Action, Yes is live and includes my own long-delayed "Notes toward the Postmodern Baroque" essay along with fine, highly complementary criticism by Jasper Bernes and James Pate—the latter being a writer new to me whom I got to meet at Danny's Tavern the other night where two of the Action editors, Johannes and Joyelle (and their new auxiliary editor, 7-month-old Sinead) rocked the house along with Greg Purcell with their own highly visceral poetry and fiction. (Joyelle's performance of excerpts from her new novel Flet was especially inspiring for this reporter, who has long contemplated writing fiction but has no desire to give up his day job as a poet.)

Pate's piece mentions Bolano by sheer coincidence, or not—there's something in the air regarding this mysterious Chilean, something which makes him feel like an author I've already read though I haven't yet—a phenomenon I last experienced years ago with W.G. Sebald. In my fourth week as a new professor I'm already phenomenally behind already with marking up assignments, not to mention all the poetry I'd like to be reading and the journals I want to keep up with, but something tells me I must clear the decks for Bolano soon.

Also featured in the issue are some kickass poems that take their first (though not last) inspiration from the TV show LOST by Catherine Meng, poems of Louise Bourgeois, poems by Gabe Gudding, poems by Ariana Reines (whose book The Cow caught hold of my attention last year), and a special section of artwork from an international artists' workshop calling itself Canicola aka Sirius, aka "summer heat."

Everything old (the maudite, excessive body, clogging the arteries by manning the barricades) is new again at Action, Yes. Check it out.

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