Sunday, August 19, 2007

Massacre @ Bridge Street Books

Today, for the first time in my life, I visited Bridge Street Books, which is located in Washington, DC. The store is affiliated with Rod Smith, who the clerk said was the manager; Rod is no doubt responsible for what is probably the best poetry section in any new book store I've ever seen. Not surprisingly many of the best finds feature DC-affiliated poets & publishers such as Mark Wallace, Buck Downs, Tom Orange, a super Greg Fuchs find, & Smith himself, along with an entire shelf dedicated to Edge books.

Tho it took longer to checkout than to pull the books off the shelves (they practically jumped), the experience on the whole was supremely pleasant in every way. From new things like the spanking Torres title that marks the 29th volume in the Atelos series to 2 massive subpress titles to random unforeseen fun gem-items like a pair of titles from Object Editions/poetscoop from the mid 90s--much fun was had by all. Special thank to my shopping companion, whose first day of school is tomorrow.

A photo of the bounty:

Some closer-ups:

& the list:

Xing Ron Silliman, Meow Press, 1996 [1st printing]
Technology/art: 20 Brief Proposals for Seminars on Art & Technology
Andrews, Bernstein & Sherry, July 1984, Factory School, 2001 [reprint]
Agreement Peter Seaton, Asylum's Press, 1978
The Weather Kenneth Goldsmith, Make Now, 2005 [signed]
A Self-Guided Walk Kimberly J. Rosenfield, Object Editions/poetscoop, 1996
Adversities of Outerlife Judith Goldman, Object Editions, poetscoop, 1996
The 60s and 70s from 'The Theory of Subjectivity in Moby Dick' Deborah Meadows, Tinfish Press, 2003
Portraits and Maps Diane Ward & Michal C McMillen, NLF editions, 2000 [signed]
Black Dog Songs Lisa Jarnot, Flood Editions, 2003
Memory Play Carla Harryman, O Books, 1994
Reptile House Lisa Jarnot, Bookthug, 2005 [first edition]
Libretto marin Lisa Jarnot, Format Americain, 2000 [signed]
c.c. Tyrone Williams, krupskaya, 2002
25 poems Tom Orange, interrupting the cow, 2004 [100 signed copies]
The Monstrous Failure of Contemplation/Aquifer Mark Wallace & Kaia Sand, "a subpoetics project", 2001
The Lawless Man Mark Wallace, UPPER LIMIT MUSIC lower limit speech, 1996 [signed]
Cipher/Civilian Leslie Bumstead, Edge Books, 2005
Let's Eat Red for Fun/Pax Americana Hoa Nguyen & Dale Smith, Boog Literature, 2000 [100 copies]
Uma Ternura/nuno pontes Greg Fuchs, Canvas & Companhia, ???? [600 copies]
Complications From Standing In A Circle
Mark Wallace, leavebooks, 1993 [signed]
Day Poems Mel Nichols, Edge Books, 2005
Nothing Happened and Besides I Wasn't There Mark Wallace, Edge Books, 1997 [signed]
Once Upon a Neoliberal Rocket Badge Jules Boykoff, Edge Books, 2006
Every Day Is Most of My Time Mark Wallace, Texture Chapbook Series #15, 1994 [signed]
Crow ed Leslie Bumstead & Rod Smith, Edge Books, 20001
on your knees citizen: a collection of prayers for the public [schools] ed Rod Smith, Lee Ann Brown, & Mark Wallace, Edge Books, 1996
Tinfish 14 ed Susan M Schultz, 2004
fear the sky Rod Smith, Narrow House Recordings, 2005 [CD]
Poems from Ring of Fire Lisa Jarnot, 136-32 Productions/Bootstrap Productions, 2001 [CD]
The 3:15 Experiment Bernadette Mayer, Danika Dinsmore, Jen Hofer, Lee Anne Brown, The Owl Press, 2001
Give Em Enough Rope Bruce Andrews, Sun & Moon, 1987
Moebius Bruce Andrews, GENERATOR Press, 1993
Ex Why Zee Bruce Andrews, Roof, 1995
The Champagne of Concrete Kit Robinson, Potes & Poets, 1991
Furtherance JH Prynne, The Figures, 2004
Ted Berrigan On the Level Everyday: selected talks on poetry and the art of living ed Joel Lewis, Talisman, 1997
A Certain Slant of Sunlight, Ted Berrigan, O Books, 1988
A Poetics Charles Bernstein, Harvard, 1992 [signed]
World on Fire Charles Bernstein, Nomados, 2004 [signed]
With Strings Charles Bernstein, U of Chicago P, 2001 [signed]
Islets/Irritations Charles Bernstein, Roof, 1992 [signed]
The Church--The School--The Beer Cris Cheek, Critical Documents, 2007
Office for Soft Architecture Lisa Robertson, Clear Cut Press, 2003
Temporary Worker Rides a Subway Mark Wallace, Green Integer, 2004
My Year 2005: Terrifying Times Douglas Messerli, Green Integer, 2006
Shadowtime Charles Bernstein, Green Integer, 2005 [signed]
Threadsuns Paul Celan, Green Integer, 2005
the PoPedology of an Ambient Language Edwin Torres, Atelos, 2007
Deer Head Nation K Silem Mohammad, tougher disguises, 2003
Zygal bpNichol, Coach House, 1985
The Middle Room Jennifer Moxley, subpress, 2007
Of Poems & their antecedents Sherry Brennan, subpress, 2004
Loss Benjamin Friedlander, Pressed Wafer, 2003
Down Time Jeff Derkson, Talonbooks, 1990


Of course the proliferation of signed books is especially pleasant, the Wallace & Bernstein titles in particular, but for me the fact that I was able to pick up several first editions of books that I know to be in later editions now, for example Silliman's Xing from Meow, was the best perk of a fine shopping experience. Lisa Jarnot's Reptile House is another example of this. In each case, there were several copies of each title available, only one of which was a first. Several of the signed copies were of the same good fortune...there being multiple copies in normal state. My companion purchased an issue of Model Homes magazine, the first I have seen in a retail store (they had at least one other copy). It was fun to see a copy out in the world.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

A Death

So I have just now heard that on the same day Ingmar Bergman died, so went Antonioni. Though I am not all that familiar with the entirety of either director's work, Antonioni's BlowUp has always been interesting for me, given my early & formative interest in Julio Cortazar. The film purports itself to be based on a story in Cortazar's volume End of the Game and other stories (which was later renamed to Blow Up and other stories following the success of the film), but in reality the two works have very little in common. There is a basic thematic concurrance, & the two stories do contain the physical act of enlarging a photograph in order to more acutely contemplate its contents, but on the whole they have as much in common as The Bourne Identity & any James Bond picture of your choice. On the one hand, the lack of a more faithful film representation of Cortazar's masterpiece is regretful. But, thinking about it a few day's after Antonioni's death at 94 (the film was released in '66), it is an encouraging example of one work inspiring an entirely, conclusively separate other-genre work; also, Cortazar's story is so beyond perfect that it needs no film counterpart: it transcends genre, language, civilization. It indicates a mountain of speculative horror without offering an ounce of certainty or solid ground. In a handful of pages, the world crumbles. In Antonioni's film, the outcome is far less apocalyptic, yet entirely as metaphysical. The world appears to crumble, yet the protagonist adjusts. Still, the film is no less of a masterpiece, regardless of the fact that it might take several viewings for die-hard fans of Cortazar's story to appreciate, given the fundamental difference between the two works. Though it is perhaps cliche to do so whenever someone dies, it is time to head to the movie store, or netflix, & catch up.