Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Phenomenon

There is a new publication, of particular merit, out of Northampton, MA: the first volume of The Physical Poets series, helmed by Lawrence Giffin. This first volume is titled "The Neo-liberal American Poetry" & it is a total & complete success. Given the price of the item, of a mere $5, it could justly be described as perfect. The singular, handsome booklet features the work of Steve Zultanski, Marie Buck, Brad Flis, & Lawrence Giffin. Some discussion of the luscious contents may be found here, which mentions the lovely Suri Cruise piece in Marie Buck's section, which opens the book. The poem in its entirety can be read at the above physpo link. Also mentioned at the Pioneer Valley link are Brad Flis' Digital Underground riffs, which, along with his other work, are equally not to be missed. Steve Zultanski's piece, "Previously on the O.C." is worth noting as well. It is an unbroken nine-page juggernaut featuring bits such as:

"What do you think about Newport?"
"I think I could get in less trouble where I'm from."
"You have no idea."
"Shouldn't her boyfriend be doing this?"
"Sure they're not doing anything we didn't do, heh huh."
"My dad's not here."
"It's just a thing with a client."
"Put him down!"
"Hey Ryan."
"Welcome to the OC, bitch."

Which leaves us with the editor & helmsman Lawrence Giffin. His "A Bourgeois Interior" is a multifarious, pleasurable prose work. The section "The Touch, the Feel, of Cotton" begins thusly:

The valuables cramming the homes of the very rich cry out helplessly for the museum; yet there the meaning of sculpture and paintings, as Valery perceived, is destroyed, only architecture, their mother, showing them their rightful place. But kept by force in the houses of people with whom they have no ties, they are an open affront to the mode of existence which private property has now adopted.

The section ends, about a page later, with a nice bit of song-verse, which I will not spoil. The excerpt is indicative of the quasi-informational inexhaustable Giffinesque style that will be well known & imitated in the coming years. I highly recommend getting on board now with this excellent, highly various new item, which is one of my favorite new books, despite all the high-dollar stuff I tend to buy.

1 comment:

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