Friday, August 29, 2008

Sensing the Future

The future tastes like ice-cold artesian well water, like copper, like blood on your tongue, like the tang of a nine-volt battery.

The future smells like ozone, like burning rubber, like plastic water bottles, like snow.

The future sounds like white noise, like train whistles in the distance, like doorbells, like the staticky space that shifts and sits between radio stations.

The future looks like daybreak, like sunset, like early-afternoon sunlight, like cellophane, like lightbulbs.

The future feels like polyester, like velour, like Tupperware, like bubblewrap and packing foam, like cold steel.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Opuntia #65.5

Dale Spiers, Box 6830, Calgary, AB, Canada T2P 2E7
($3 16S)

This edition of Opuntia is a perzine and contains correspondence from and with readers (Spiers responds within brackets in the text of the letters), an item on this year's World Wide Party -- I've not heard of this previously and will suitably recognize the next June 21! -- and offers journal entries covering roughly four months. This is the way I'll learn more about Spiers, for sure.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Wakeup Call

A review I wrote of Kevin Prufer's poetry collection, National Anthem, was published in the July-August 2008 edition of Small Press Review. Here's the review draft I sent editor Len Fulton:

National Anthem
By Kevin Prufer
2008; 82pp; Pa; Four Way Books, P.O. Box 535, Village Station, New
York, NY 10014. $15.95

"There is nothing so lonely as an empire detached from its people," writes Prufer in his poem "What We Did with the Empire." If anything, that line could well serve as the thesis statement for this collection of more than 40 poems by the English professor at the University of Central Missouri and editor of Pleiades: A Journal of New Writing. In two sections, the slim book collects poems that consider the failings and foibles of politics and government, urban life and consumerism -- belated wakeup calls for citizens of a police state that's constantly at war with other nations (and itself). The tenor and tone is largely one of careful but unavoidable and perhaps understandable neutrality and distance -- reminding me slightly of the prose of Ben Marcus and the comic books of Peter Milligan -- and Prufer's imagery is strong but subtle: birds and boats, coins and coffins, snow and soot. This is a poetry of decay and decline, and there's little hope in the book outside of the occasional lines like, "and the office towers bending down to us as if they'd cup us in their hands and warm us, / as if they'd lift us from the streets before we froze." ("We Wanted to Find America") Too little, too late, for now, and for that, I am thankful.

If you'd like me to consider any small-press poetry or prose books for review in SPR, please email me.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Products I Love XXVI

One tool I can't live without is a real lifesaver, and it serves a dual purpose. Keynamics makes a nifty little device that's super simple -- and super useful.

The Aviator Laptop Stand is intended to be used on planes, so you can rest your laptop on a seat tray and not have to hunch forward to work. But I've found it to be the best laptop stand for everyday desk use bar none.

It keeps your laptop off the surface of your desk, which increases airflow around the computer and aids in cooling. It also tilts the laptop forward gently for a more ergonomic approach to the keyboard.

And at $20, it's super inexpensive. Just three pieces of plastic you can snap together. I've used other laptop stands -- metal, padded, all much more expensive -- and this one's the best.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

My First Poetry Reading

I read several of my poems at a Google talent show in New York several months ago. They video taped it. Here's what it was like:

Monday, August 04, 2008

Brooklyn! #61

Fred Argoff, Penthouse L, 1170 Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11230
($3 24S)

Another theme issue of this long-running Brooklyn-based zine, this edition focuses on industrial neighborhoods. Areas explored and depicted include Industry City, the Gowanus Canal, the English Kills, and Greenpoint.