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!