some poetry, politics & what have you

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

among my bookshelves are four little publications by jonathan ball. three chapbooks & one folded broadside. they are both individually & collectively interesting. kanada, his first novel may well be something quite apart. the first chapter in which i is silent is recently out from no press in an edition of 40. it concerns i's graduation, mostly. it's exceedingly clear it's a poet's prose with an enormous attention to detail & the workings & (im)possibilities of language & narrative. no wonder it's growing slowly. i do however think it will be worth the wait. the archimedes chapter of pi is a neat little chap from by the skin of me teeth press, as is always the case with that press, in a run of 52. i read this as visual poetry (& so, as he said in an email, does jonathan) although it's made from blocks of letters, which if read/scan them with some attention yield short words in a few languages. on now to to his wolves, it seems there will only be the two parts that are published. wolves (reve(a)led) first published online by yours truly & later printed as a simple folded broadside in 40 copies. & wolves (lone.ly) published as a beautiful little chapbook by bookthug. what he has done is to simply take the the word wolves & run it through existing texts (& formal processes), in the case of (reve(a)led) the book of revelations. the poems coming out of the process are a couple of the most beautiful & challenging i've read in recent years. &, on a tangent, i don't know what the canadian relationship to wolves is, but i do know the average swede hates, fears & despises them. so we have been taught by a large part of our classic fairy-tales. but apart from that, because it may not be relevant, they are worth our attention. now, the total? a lot larger than the sum of the parts. & sometime in a not too distant future bookthug (once again) will release 1% of the king james bible co-authored by jonathan & kevin mcpherson eckhoff. i think i may want to read that


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