Friday, December 26, 2008

Illustrations by Jeremy Mericle

When I asked him to draw the cover for issue one all I told him was I needed something that would take up the whole cover and not leave too much white space. Not that I dislike voids but I just felt like having something big with a logo feel to it. Jeremy is a versatile illustrator. A graduate of MIAD (Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design) he came to the conclusion that most of the modern art coming from academic institutions relies less on anything put on canvass and more on what the artist puts on paper in mission statements. Illustrators have the luxury of allowing stories to dictate goals. As an illustrator his preference for narrative allows him to work with short fiction but his knack for picking out interesting images enables him to work with poetry as well, in fact, his thesis was drawing illustration for the poetry of Omar Khayyám. Another example of this is his work for Jonathan Lohr’s first chapbook Watertown’s Plank Road. The images Mericle chose from the short manuscript demonstrated his skill as an illustrator as well as the understanding and insight that is required to work with poetry in order to enunciate, but not overshadow, the written word. In addition to these contributions he also drew an excellent illustration for the story "Flying Saucer Nights" by Jim Hazard in Burdock the Two. He is currently at work on his own children's book.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Burdock 5 gets some press!

I'm so lazy with updates but luckily the Shepherd Express is on the ball. Click the blog title for the article. It's a nice write up. Thanks to Aisha for taking the time to do something I should have done! With any luck in a few days I should have some contributor info up.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Contributor information for Burdock 5

Here is the promised contributor info. Some of it is very brief but I had to make do with what was given to me.

Michael S. Begnal Lives in Raleigh N.C. where he is mastering a southern accent. He has written two collections of poetry Lakes of Coma (Six Gallery Press) and Ancestor Worship (Salmon) and a long poem Mercury the Dime (Six Gallery Press)

James Blessington Was a runner up for the Wisconsin Arts Board grant in 2006. He writes novels and short prose (when goaded) He is currently putting the finishing touches on a novel about Joe Delany.

Jim Chapson Lives in Milwaukee and works at UWM. He has a book coming out on Arlen House Press called Daphnis and Ratboy. He is also the author of several chapbooks such as The American Coot, Sentimental Journeys, and is a regular contributor to Burdock.

Tyler Farrell's first book Tethered to the Earth is available on Salmon press. He has poems in issues 3-5 of Burdock. In 2008 he was the featured poet at Milwaukee's Irish Fest which is the largest Irish festival not held in Ireland.

Jennifer Kraft, aside from Burdock 5, has been published in the Portland Review. She lives in Milwaukee and attends UWM.

Thomas Kovacich Lives in Milwaukee and is a member of Gallery 218. His primary mediums are painting and sculpture. His artwork appears inside the pages of Burdock 5.

Dolly Lemke is currently attending Grad school at Columbia in Chicago. She has work in Burdock 4 as well. She rides the train back to Milwaukee though whenever something interesting is happening up here.

Jonathan Lohr's First chapbook, Watertown's Plank Road, came out earlier this year on Teppichfresser Press. He is the editor of B-Squad and fan of Brewer's baseball. He also appears in Burdock 4.

James Liddy (1934-2008) James inspired many people to write their own poetry and to read the work of others with more passion and care. He wrote many books in life and two more are set to be released by Arlen House shortly. He was a regular contributor to Burdock and a great friend.

Kristin Ravel is going for a Master of Fine Arts degree at Columbia Chicago.

Joe Reipenhoff is from Milwaukee and is currently the editor of GreenGallery Press. He works in the legal field but has practiced as a photographer, film and videographer, music composer and producer, and most recently as a writer.

Andrew Terhune is originally from Memphis, Tennessee. He is currently in Chicago seeking his MFA at Columbia College and has previously been published in Columbia Poetry Review, Glass, Reconfigurations, and O Sweet Flowery Roses.

Nathan Theis is a film student at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.

Paul Vogel Published two collaborative books of poetry with James Liddy centered on Osip Mandlestam - Sophias and Death Row. He is currently a grad student at UWM.

Shannon Ward is an instructor of creative writing at North Carolina State University, and from 2005-2007, was assistant editor at Longleaf Press. She has work in The Fifteen Project and the forthcoming Spring 2009 issue of Tar River Poetry.

PS: If I got something wrong or you'd really like to know more about one of the contributors (i.e. address, favorite color, dress size, credit card info) let me know .

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Gabe Spangler, who has poetry in issues 1 and 4 of Burdock, filmed and directed this video for Ifihadahifi.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 3, 2008

5 and 15

There are now enough submissions to fill Burdock 5 so the window is closed.
More info on the release reading will be forthcoming but thanks to all those who submitted.

In addition to this piece of news I have poems up on the 15 Project. Cast your eyes on yonder links section.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Taking Submissions

The next issue of Burdock is going to be done this fall. In order to avoid the pitfalls of self publishing people are encouraged to submit short fiction (very short, like, half a page to 2 pages short) or short poems (also very short - under 10 lines).

If you have any accompanying illustrations keep in mind that it will be printed in black and white and will most likely appear very small.

I'll stop taking submissions when I'm all done filling pages.

Send what you have via email at or you can do it the old fasioned way and mail it to 2979 N. Bremen apt. B Milwaukee, WI 53212.

No freaks.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Lit World

I’ve never personally met Tim Miller so I can’t make any wise cracks about his personal habits all I can do is review this very excellent book The Lit World. The book is subtitled “Poems from History” to give you some idea of the contents. I’m actually a harsh judge of contemporary poets writing historical poems probably because of my attempt at a History major. And though you can fall out of love with a program you can’t fall out of love with a subject. Here’s a story. In High School anytime we got an exchange student from Europe the first thing he or she’d do is critique the student body for its lack of general historical knowledge until they met the handful of history buffs every high school has. I’d say the fact that anyone with the ability to recall historical data earns the label of “history buff” does a better job illustrating my point. We tend to operate as if we are somehow separate from all that’s happened prior to our existence. (Okay that was more of a blathering but,)Miller is doing something different. The chronological arrangement of the poems coupled with the range of topics, from Creation to WWII, threaded together with scenes of violence and death, demonstrate an attention to craft as well as human nature. Some personal favorites in the book are “Hart Crane”, “The Death of Marcus Licinius Crassus” and “Tecumseh”. The first deals, not with the death of poor Hart, but with one of his last real nights alive banging a drum on the roof of a Cathedral. The second reveals just how superficially humans can live and die and how it is really nothing new at all. The last reports a vow of righteous hatred and intended conflict. Each poem amounts to more than a profile and the add up in the telling directing the reader all the way to the climax in Hitler’s Bunker which is examined in five separate parts.
The language is engaging and the prose style pays off. Were these pieces presented differently they would probably not be as good and the reader would get stuck on the intended delivery of a particular syllable and miss out on the content. It's interesting to think how the author might intend to read these pieces aloud but then the voices here is going over long dead, even ancient subject matter.
How do I describe this book? Try Cormac McCarthy in a time machine writing in the style of Max Jacob for a series of associated press articles. Maybe that’s close…probably not. I’ll stick to the traditional review. Check out Mike Begnal's blog over in yonder links section he has a much better review of this book.
Tim Miller has appeared in Burdock 2 and 4. He lives in Brooklyn New York. He’s got a website too.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The SHOW OF SHOWS: Uncharted Territory

Friday July 25th at the Miramar (located on Milwaukee's fashionable East Side).
This is the first show of its kind. There have been plenty of Wrestling show that feature bands playing music. There have been shows featuring bands and poetry before as well. Even wrestling and poetry are no strangers to each other, who could forget The Genius or the linguistic magnificence of Slick?
My comment on all that: Phooey. This show will be the real thing. Real and genuinely unique to Milwaukee.
Included in the ticket price are free chapbooks of Karl Saffran's Dead Wrestler Poems. Karl wrote a complete cycle of sonnets a few years back in response to learning of just how many childhood icons had passed away since he last paid any mind to the sport of professional wrestling.
Competing in matches are Jason Dukes and Bobby Valentino, The McCoys and The Urban Horsemen, & J.P. and El Vato.
Playing live at the show are Ifihadahifi and Put Her In the Trunk.
Lakefront beer will be available to those with legal ID and good times are there for all no matter the age!
Tickets are just 12 bucks - a steal when you consider what's all included.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A road well traveled but not yet written about

The first Chapbook release by Teppichfresser Press is Jon Lohr's Watertown's Plank Road.
Jon has had poems in Burdock #4 and in the Blue Canary.
Jon also edits B-Squad and is an avid Brewers fan. Never hesitating to drink warm High-life or eat meat that has fallen on the ground. That may sound gross and weird but what may sound grosser and weirder is that I think that these traits somehow apply to his poems. They include the rough stuff without forgetting the movements that happen around that very roughness.
Best example is in the poem Dance The Seven Veils:
Salome danced around and around
her veil held steadily between her eyes
Leading to the conclusion -
The eyes of the head
remained open as she danced

And in the poem See My Blue Collared Hands there is a reflection on the transitions of life that sometimes reflect more than the transitions of the individual with the lines

Sirens cry through the night,
startling dreams of abandoned farms we left behind.
And a comment on the celebration of either self-mutilation or temporary pain (I don't know which) in the The Hunger Artist Retires.
You, biographer, find me at my picnic to write my story
There are some very fine illustrations by Jeremy Mericle and there's even a gesture to Araki Yassusada in the About the Author section that some bookstore employees have deemed controversial. I would have the reader be the judge.
There are about 100 copies printed if you'd like one contact

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Burdock Profiles: Zack Pieper

The more I think about it doing contributor bios might be a little forced and strange so maybe I’ll just ramble about the person or something that that person has published.
I thought I’d begin with Zack Pieper since he will be reading in the Red-letter series at Woodland Pattern. Before I ever met Zack he was described to me as a “very good poet” and, occasionally, when that description is tossed around the word “young” is added as if to imply that he’s unknown and/or hasn’t done anything in terms of publishing and exploring his style. But, he is good. All the little publications I have bearing his name fall into the one of the oldest and rarest genres of poetry: re-readable.

Once, a few years ago, I called him for some reason I can’t recall and he was in the middle of writing something involving names from the Passion and Crucifixion of Jesus. He read a few of them over the phone and since it had nothing to do with why I called him I couldn’t offer much insight other than to say I thought they were funny. Not long after I received from either Zack or James Liddy a half-folded booklet with two staples saddling to make the spine. Called simply “Non-Apocryphal” it’s a collection of lines regarding people and ideas from Catholic history and scripture penned by Zack Pieper and James Liddy. It was marked inside as “A Procession (by 2 altar boys)”.

I’m not a fan of collaborative poetry in general mostly because it’s usually done for the sake of one poem and then it’s done online or in a classroom. But rather than attempt to speak to the collective consciousness, this little pamphlet of slogans, statements, and sneers collaborates to affect conversation. But here I am having typed more words than were in the thing to begin with.

My favorite by Liddy is BarabbasHe won the election.”

and my favorite from Zack is Luthur

Private sin when applicable, public virtue when salable, and possibly a set of modest drive-thru windows for convenience. (if stain glass looks too pricey)”.

Zack Pieper has two poems in Burdock issue one, three in Burdock IV and contributed the special Hazard tribute issue an great piece called “Jim”.
For more info check out the little ditty about him that woodland pattern has up.

Monday, June 9, 2008

What's up and what's next

The Spackle reading was a resounding success. In terms of getting people to show up with little notice and in terms of oatmeal cookies. Jon Lohr's book is out and will shortly be available in local bookstores if you'd like a copy just ask and ye shall receive. There will be a better feature as soon as the cover gets scanned but in the meantime I'm beginning to do make up work for old issues of Burdock in the form of contributor's bios. Not necessarily deep ones with all the accomplishments they've managed to rack up in terms of awards and where they've published, unless that's all I know about them that is. Not gossipy either but just little paragraphs on why I picked them or their poetry. Maybe what they've got coming up on the horizon as far as readings or books coming out or even just the next place they will appear. Granted some folks that contributed have their own blogs for that but the majority of them do not and damn it all this thing needs to start getting hits!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Upcoming Event

On June 6th the Spackle Gallery will be hosting a reading featuring Jim Chapson, John Vanderhoef, Kristin Markowski, and Jon Lohr.

It will also be the official release of Jon Lohr's chapbook Watertown's Plank Road and a few broadsides.
If you live in Milwaukee this is right off the 15 bus line.

Spackle is located at

2674 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue

Milwaukee WI 53207

or check out

Thursday, May 8, 2008


This is the inaugural blog (inblogural) for Teppichfresser Press.

Some background information:
Teppichfresser gets its name from the poem of the same name published in a chapbook by James Liddy and Keith Gaustad in 2004. The title of the chapbook is “Songs on the Plane Carrying Hess From Germany” which is also the title of the long poem by James Liddy. The section by Keith Gaustad (me) was called Teppichfresser and the press was jokingly given the same name.
Then in 2006 I started up a magazine called Burdock. Rather than name the press Burdock Press I thought to keep the name Teppichfresser.
There are as of today 4 issues of Burdock out in the wide world.

This Blog will hopefully serve as a way of getting the word out on things related to the magazine and to other chapbooks in the works.
Until next time, keep chewing things over.