Sunday, July 18, 2004

received yesterday from David Larsen:
Freaky If You Got This Far
a collection of texts and images with the title written by hand in red ink.  a highlight is the poem "Charlton Heston Reads the Bible". 
Syrup Hits
another collection of texts and images dedicated to the art, I think, of ingesting codiene and the effects of war on the individual.  many of the images have been borrowed from the old Beetle Bailey comics.  the collection is a surrealistic romp of dread and humor. 
Smokers Die Younger
an anthology of poems by Jim Berhle, Del Ray Cross, Nada Gordon, David Larsen, Cassie Lewis, James Meetze, Catherine Meng, K. Silem Mohammad, Christina Strong, Alli Warren and ed. and introduced by Stephanie Young.   it is based on the theme of smoking with graphic anti-smoking illustrations taken from the packs of Canadian brand cigarettes.   each poet was sent a flattened package with the aim of composing directly on the package, which has been reproduced en face of the poems. 
as a former smoker this book struck a chord.  I miss the ceremony of smoking: the sound of packing a pack of smokes, lighting the cig with my old Zippo, the intake and release to joy.  fuckin' A.  last night, over at my brother's house he produced two cigars.  we went out back to smoke and drink.  first cigar I had in a long time.  it was wonderful, and I enjoyed how my bro took his time unwrapping the cigars (mine, he said, was an Ashton) and then took his lighter from its holder, cut the ends, and lit them against a beautiful dusky sky.  oh yeah!  here's to the lost of art of puffing.
Dogma '01 Manifesto
Larsen's love of self-publishing is detailed in his manifesto, which is modeled  after filmmaker Lars Von Trier's Dogme95 Manifesto on the art of movie making.   brilliant stuff, and I urge every writer/reader to read it and adopt some of the aesthetics/ethics of Dogma '01. 
and but so Larsen's books brings to mind 'zine publishing to this old punk rocker.  his books are wonderful to read and have in the hand.  Jim McCrary also frequently self-publishes, which bypass the regular routes of po-biz, and creates an atmosphere of anarchy and control, much like the old punk labels, such as Alternative Tentacles and SST back in the '80s.  DIY, brothers and sisters.  fuckin' hell.


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