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UNRULY by Elysia Lucinda Smith reviewed in Maudlin House

 

 

This is a confessional collection of prose. Elysia Smith sits her younger self beneath a ghost light and pulls the most arcane questions out from her chest. She looks back on the origins of her own sexual identity, surfacing the candid ugliness that flickers in all instances of coming of age and sex itself. Gritty detail and exquisite retelling crash together to disrupt the orderliness of simplified femininity that comes from a small-town upbringing. Unruly challenges the norm and celebrates what it means to be imperfectly female and naturally sexual.

The mechanics of adolescent girl and boy intimacy turn like broken gears when the discovery of sex begin to spread across the page. Each move is an awkward one. Each encounter leaves a spark of desire behind as she tries to find her footing and fit into her own skin comfortably.

This was the half life

Of teenage desire, the point in which 

I didn’t go down but let boys

Finger me, but never sex, not sex

By a degree of experimentation, Smith grips an understanding that most humans are naturally sexual beings. Although this is a grounding fact, her rooted definition of femininity becomes tenuous during the thick of her personally sobering, sometimes painful experiences. Smith puts a certain urgency into her prose. But simultaneously, she runs her hands over the gritty reality of sexual coming to.

I emerged in a foam

Of PBR, backlit by a Shell sign, lifting

The two slick bodies

With each squishing step, “I am

Sparkly with want, with what

Is to be, with what is” soaked

In the toxic brine of the White River

Pulling trash from my teeth

Read the whole review here 

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Dead Ringer by Charles Borkhuis Now Available!

 


There are no illusions in the world of Charles Borkhuis. This is life without eyelids, and what we see is too disquieting for our own good, yet we can't look away. It's like film noir, whose frisson is a bad dream. Borkhuis’ work, though, is the zero hour. Sure, we can hit the bullseye at the amusement park, ring the bell. But we're just saps. Let’s face it, the real is not for sissies, or tough guys either. As for Borkhuis, his aim is dead on. Dead Ringer beckons us even when we'd better beg off, until we realize we’ve been living in his world without our knowing. Borkhuis’ poems exude their strange beauty.

—Burt Kimmelman

I’m often reminded, while reading Borkhuis’ work, of Derrida’s portmanteau word 
hauntology, a term which embodies the disjunction within being between presence
and absence.

you can’t unfriend us the voices said
we’re already your next thought

it’s true the present
was already a memory

In this darkly introspective poetry, inner and outer, self and other, past and present
bleed together. Dead Ringer is an unforgettable volume of indelible palimpsests.

—Tom Beckett

Charles Borkhuis is a poet, playwright, screenwriter, and essayist. His seven previous collections of poems include: Disappearing Acts [Chax Press 2014], Afterimage [Chax Press 2006], Savoir-fear [Spuyten Duyvil Press 2003], Alpha Ruins [Bucknell University Press 2000], selected by Fanny Howe as a finalist for the William Carlos Williams Book Award. Finely Tuned Static, his book of poems with paintings by John McCluskey is forthcoming from Lunar Chandelier Press. His poems have appeared in 6 anthologies including: Dia Anthology: Readings in Contemporary Poetry 2010-2016 [Dia Art Foundation 2016], An Avec Sampler #2 [Avec Press 1998], Primary Trouble [Talisman House 1996], Writing From The New Coast: Presentation and Technique [o.blek Press 12, 1993]. His essays on contemporary poetics have appeared in two books published by the University of Alabama Press: Telling it Slant [2000] and We Who Love to Be Astonished [2002]. His work has appeared in numerous journals including: American Letters and Commentary, Avec, Big Bridge, Eoagh, First Intensity, Five Fingers, Jacket, New American Writing, o.blek, Ribot, Second Avenue Poetry, Skanky Possum, Talisman, Van Gogh’s Ear, Verse, and The World. He curated poetry readings for the Segue Foundation in NYC for 15 years. He translated New Exercises by Franck André Jamme [Wave Press 2008]. His plays have been presented in NYC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Hartford, and Paris and have been published in Mouth of Shadows [Spuyten Duyvil 2000], The Sound of Fear Clapping [Obscure Press 2003], and Present Tense [Stage This 3, 2009]. His two radio plays The Sound of Fear Clapping and Foreign Bodies were produced for NPR [www.pennsound]. He is the recipient of a Drama-logue Award and the former editor of Theater:Ex [1986-1988], an experimental theater publication. His recent NY Productions include: Present Tense [Alchemical Theater Lab 2013], Barely There, Flipper [Harvest Works 2013], and Foreign Bodies [Center for Performance Research 2014]. He is the author of three feature-length screenplays: Irreparable Damage, Deep Divide, and Phase Change. He lives in New York City and has taught at Touro College and Hofstra University. 


Book Information:

· Paperback: 102 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-235-8

$16

Pre-Orders Welcome

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Dead Ringer by Charles Borkhuis Book Preview

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Inside the Walls of My Own House: The Complete Dark Shadows (of My Childhood) Book 2 by Tony Trigilio reviewed!!

 

Watching in the Dark: Puncture Wounds Left by DARK SHADOWS

trigilio2-cov-lg

Inside the Walls of My Own House: The Complete Dark Shadows (of My Childhood), Book 2, by Tony Trigilio. Buffalo, New York: BlazeVOX books, October 2016. 152 pages. $16.00, paper.

 

Inside the Walls of My Own House

Every shadowy story should invoke the uncanny. Tony Trigilio keeps dreaming (and writing) of his uncanny space, at home with his mother in front of the television screen. Space and time billow and unfold as he remembers watching Dark Shadowsand being transported to gothic Maine:

an electronic portal opened unto
the spirit world, a supernatural

transmitter documenting the undead
life of the 208-year-old creature who

lived inside the walls of my own house;
I took for granted that our TV functioned

as a conduit for a “two-directional exchange
between occultism and technology,” as media

scholar Stefan Andriopoulos describes
the earliest precursors of the television:

19th-century optical devices designed
for remote viewing and clairvoyance,

leading many early 20th-century viewers to
believe that to watch TV was to experience

“the uncanny occurrence of the supernatural
or marvelous in one’s own living room”—

This is a hybrid, vampire text. A hallucination. A story told through the red haze of a fantastical curse. It grows more complex as time stretches, changes, and is infused with information about the show, the past, and the present-day state of the world.

Collinwood becomes an extension of Trigilio’s childhood home. The characters appear like family members with terrible secrets watched from afar. Every detail of the house and the characters is remembered, re-viewed, and obsessed over.

The book begins midway through the show’s run. Previous episodes are sometimes mentioned, but it is not necessary to have read the first book or seen the first episodes of Dark Shadows to immediately become hooked on the story of the Collins family, by way of Trigilio’s childhood fascination.

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Tony Trigilio and the Page 99 test on Heavy Feather

 

The Page 99 Test: Tony Trigilio & INSIDE THE WALLS OF MY OWN HOUSE: THE COMPLETE DARK SHADOWS (OF MY CHILDHOOD), BOOK 2

The Page 99 Test: Tony Trigilio & Inside the Walls of My Own House:
The Complete Dark Shadows (of My Childhood), Book 2

“Open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you.” ―Ford Madox Ford

Page ninety-nine opens the final section of my new book, Inside the Walls of My Own House: The Complete Dark Shadows (of My Childhood), Book 2. This page is a key pivot point for all that has come before and all that will follow in the book’s final fifty pages.

“I plan to call Book 2 of this poem / Inside the Walls of My Own House,” I write on page ninety-nine, “but it’s become The Book of Violence.” Even though The Book of Violence wouldn’t have been the most elegant title, it’s an accurate reflection of the book’s conceptual framework, and this discarded title is central to the volume as a whole.

At this point in the book, page ninety-nine, one of the central principles of the project becomes clearer: the imagination, even in its most powerful form as empathy, can’t easily undo the violence that gestates at its foundation.

First, some background. This is the second book of a multivolume experiment in autobiography. I’m trigilio2-cov-lgwatching all 1,225 episodes of the old vampire soap opera, Dark Shadows, originally broadcast on ABC TV from 1966-1971, and writing one sentence in response to each episode. I shape each sentence into verse. This book, like the first volume, is composed entirely in couplets (Book 3, in progress, is a poetry/prose hybrid).

Each episode functions as a potential trigger for the book’s autobiographical excavations. Proust had his madeleine; I have Barnabas Collins, the show’s main character, a two-centuries-old vampire who haunted my nightmares as a child.

Read the whole piece here 

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Stone by Naomi Buck Palagi Now Available!

In Buck Palagi’s Stone, the words are pulled from the ground, vivid and durable—poetic stones of memory and contemplation. Her poetry shows a connection to the earthen, the bodily, while engaging in contemporary and playful poetic practice. The words in this first book signal a fully formed poet we surely need to follow.

—William Allegrezza


Naomi Buck Palagi’s first book, Stone, reads as a series of glorious poetic projections, in which the boundaries between self and world are subtly called into question. Here the speaker’s inner life shapes her experience of the world around her, as every “stride through clouds” also functions as a meditation on love, loss, and longing. Buck Palagi deftly weaves landscape into dreamscape, the natural world revealing innumerable facets of the speaker’s inner life, all the while beckoning us “as if we should greet it.” This is a memorable debut from a gifted poet.

—Kristina Marie Darling, author of Dark Horse

 
 
 
 


Naomi Buck Palagi grew up in the woods of central Kentucky, and has lived throughout the South and Midwest. Her published poetry ranges from traditional to highly experimental, reflecting a wide range of interests and experiences. Her poems have appeared in Spoon River Poetry Review, BlazeVOX, Masque and Spectacle, Otoliths, Eleven Eleven, and others. She has two chapbooks, silver roof tantrum (dancing girl press) and Darkness in the Tent (Dusie Kollectiv.) More of her poetry can be found at naomibuckpalagi@weebly.com. Stone is her first book.

Book Information:

· Paperback: 74 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-266-2

$16

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Stone by Naomi Buck Palagi Book Preview 

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Extra Pages

Photos on flickr