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Samsara Congeries by mIEKAL aND Now Available!

 from the introduction by Crag Hill:

mIEKAL aND has never hopped on a bandwagon without either seizing the reigns or by reconstituting the wagon and its engine; Samsara Congeries is no exception: he has not jumped on to pound his chest with a long poem. Rather, he has seized the form itself—its thematic unity—and dropped its on his head. This is poetic ambition writ large; no focus group has guided the producer to smooth rough edges, to photoshop blemishes of thought/language, to put a public face to something that has been constructed in an originary privacy.

Impossible to characterize in a few sweeping phrases, Samsara Congeries, an epic in many pieces, channels land-ancestors, land-heirs, langue-ancestors, langue-heirs, all the detritus of material and linguistic (t)ex(t)(ins)istence that insists on itself in cycles of embodied living. A singular congeries conjures a welter of emotions and enunciations across the span of a lifetime, which in turn emblematizes all lives, all samsaric “selves” and their de- and re-constructions. The glorious whole, also an abject hole, is “a kind of red/ yes” that accepts all text as its transient own.

—Maria Damon

Samsara Congeries, mIEKAL aND’s ambidextrous epic of deep time and polyvalent dimension, is written in a “splitting language” where linguistic, visual, and alphabetic architecture meet at an interactive complexity. Throughout this 500-page, 40-year-long serial poem, a propulsive “actual imaginary” undermines superficial, entrenched, and dogmatic conceptions of reality, self, language, identity, and literary form, offering instead an emergent and approximate ecology, at once subterranean and extraterrestrial, everywhere and nowhere. The poem is written in 14 books sculpted by the occult speech acts of different narrators, conceivably the iterations of a reincarnated self in the Samsara cycle of birth and death to which the title refers. The typescripts introducing each book and internal fonts vividly shift, reading like personalities or characters in the incantatory pantheon that has been released here. The scope of forms and characters, and the focus on language as material and mediated through fluid acts of perception, story, and desire, position the text as a trans-human travelogue, one of a traveler outside of space and time or a collective identity inside all times. In this context the poem is a ship of spacetime. The artistic lineage of this work includes many who, like the author, have lived and made art and literature outside the mainstream. Samsara Congeries is an extraordinary contribution to the experimental, an extension of the experimental life of mIEKAL aND, known for his participation and leadership in global DIY and anarchist art and literature networks; his pioneering work in electronic literature; his linguistic, typographical, and translation inventions; his collaborative books of poetry; his innovative publishing initiatives; and his art, hypermedia, and organic-farming community and home at Dreamtime Village. Samsara Congeries cannot be read without engaging in a novel experience with language, where the open and critical mind moves with the poem into previously inaccessible realms, waking up to lucidly dream in its textual village. This book, like the author’s life, itself a poem, is an intervention into dire times.

—Amy Catanzano

mIEKAL aND lives outside the constraints of academia in the most lush and rural part of the unglaciated Driftless area of southwest Wisconsin. Choosing to focus on creating wilderness and abundance surrounded by the perfect setting for limitless imagination his course of action includes demonstrating alternatives to inbred aesthetics, delighting in the play of DIY culture, and making art and writing that is both anarchic and noisy.

aND is the author of numerous books, many available via Xexoxial Editions (http://xexoxial.org). After many years working in the realms of digital poetry and video, he has surrendered his role as author and focused exclusively on interactions that allow the author to be reconfigured by the mysteries of the collaborative process. Anyone wanting to tap into his stream can find him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/miekal.

Book Information:

· Paperback: 532 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-247-1



Samsara Congeries by mIEKAL aND Book Preview

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Those Godawful Streets of Man by Stephen Bett reviewed in Pacific Rim Review of Books (10th Anniversary Edition)


Those Godawful Streets of Man by Stephen Bett
reviewed in Pacific Rim Review of Books (10th Anniversary Edition)
Reviewed by Richard Stevenson

I love what Stephen Bett is doing with language in his latest opus. I call it word jazz: poetry generated as much by sound association as image association; what Charles Olson called Projective Verse—proprioceptive poetry that lives in the moment and leaps playfully through word association nets not so much to create a thing, as to arrest the movement of the mind as it moves through microcosms and macrocosms of the cityscape, reflecting on and refracting what the poet finds.

Let me lay my cards out. I’ve been in a long love affair with English language haikai poetry (haiku, senryu, tanka, kyoka, zappai, renku); Kerouacian “pops” and Ginsberg’s “American Sentences”; trad to avant garde ‘ku; imagism; found poetry; realist and neosurrealist styles. So, after a bout of jazz poetry and performance in homage to Miles Davis, and performing cryptocritter/alien poems at kidlit conferences and local bandshell/gazebos (Frank Zappa for Tweens) with my jazz/rock troupe Sasquatch, I’ve been getting low and digging wit, irony, humour, epiphanies, bumper snicker spam-ku, scifaiku, for a good ten years or more.

Hence, I love the paradox of the so-called “wordless poem,” erasure, minimalism in all its modes, modern and post-modern. Bett’s his own man here. He’s absorbed the lessons of Donald Allen’s New American poets—the Objectivists, Beats, Black Mountain, New York and San Francisco schools, etc.; the Canadian Tish poets’ experiments with vernacular phonological phrasing in open form; the studious avoidance of the “burnished urn” Modernist reliance on myth, metaphor, and intellectual conceits, dense allusion, tight boxed containers.

Not that Bett’s poems aren’t marvelously allusive; the bric-à-brac of pop culture is all here: movies, cell phones, the Web, selfies, Tweets and all manner of squawks from the Interface. But there is nothing overtly confessional and the stitches and strophes are as comfortable and companionable as a Tetley Tea bag or
new silk pyramid of the latest craft tea. The allusions are to pop culture events: post-modern texts, not obscure texts. The reader is invited in—to squalid coldwater flats of yesteryear newly converted for the addicted and down-and-out of the lower east side of Vancouver, with sparking bare wires spitting between poles, maybe—but, no matter: the urban experience touches everyone and the reader will supply his or her own meta-narratives where the minimalist directive of the poet’s overarching narrative allows.

This is minimalism for readers who like their poems fat: rich, but sans impasto or ornament. A book of raw wire in the city: edgy, tense, sharp, angular, dangerous— in the electrified, computerized grids of cityscape we inhabit, and in the boxes we place each other in and peer out from; pole to pole down the dirty low-rent boulevard, in back alleys, out to suburbia, as we attempt to touch through wires and wireless interfaces, en face, live and in person in an age of celebrity cast-off culture and relationships.

At the heart of the book and appearing late in the accumulating narrative—the overall alienation we 21st-century zombie citizens feel facing globalization and its feral children—is the story of a dissolving relationship, the man too earnest and accepting; the woman raging and fading into madness. But nothing is cloying or mawkish or sentimental, or even confessional; instead we shift easily from a sort of Special Victims Unit episode of macro family skeleton news:

Then there was cousin
Billy (Edinburg)
down the shop for smokes
Wife and baby daughter
at home for five

READ THE WHOLE REVIEW in the Pacific Rim Review of Books (10th Anniversary Edition)

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Nectar of Story: Poems by Tim J. Myers won a 2016 Storytelling World Resource Award


Category 7 

Special Storytelling Resources : Honor

The 2016 Storytelling World Resource Awards

This section features the 2016 winners and honors selected from the numerous nominated stories, books, and recordings. Beneath each award title is a short descriptive phrase about the resource contents. The major evaluative criterion was "story- listener appeal" for the items selected in Categories 1-6, and "usefulness for storytellers" for the resources honored in Category 7. 

Read more here 

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Women and Ghosts is reviewed by Lisa M. Cole


Kristina Marie Darling's s Women and Ghosts

The essential question in Kristina Marie Darling’s hybrid text Women and Ghosts is posed early on: “If a man turns his head in such a way, who or what is shattered?” As the book’s speaker addresses this quandary, we witness a subtle subversion of the patriarchy, and an upheaval of the male-dominated literary canon. I see the push and pull of a woman who “drowns under the weight of her own dress,” her femininity; her very existence. At the same time, she is reaching towards autonomy; an identity completely separate from the men who stifle her. The men portrayed here are violent and manipulative. The offer no trace of love. She is mired in a rape culture; she is being pitted against a society which does not value the female voice. She asks, “Why is there so much language, so many words I didn’t want.” She doubts the efficiency of language, but barrels ahead; embraces bravery, and speaks out regardless.  

She participates in a conversation spanning centuries with both real and imaginary women: the women reading this text, and the women in Shakespeare’s plays: Ophelia, Juliet etc. Especially pleasing for me is the fact that previous exposure to these texts enhances my experience, but the book is so delicately rendered as to be accessible to even those who have not read the plays.  
Read the whole review here
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Aaron Simon's book Rain Check Poems is reviewed in Publishers Weekly!!


Rain Check Poems

Aaron Simon. BlazeVox (SPD, dist.), $12 trade paper (60p) ISBN 978-1-60964-216-7

Simon (Senses Himself) tackles ideas of leaving, longing, and missed opportunity as he creates a sense of urgent questioning in his fourth collection. Owing much to the New York School and displaying hints of Romanticism, Simon's poems are replete with moments of wild juxtaposition that let him reinterpret personal scenes with depth and humor. For example, he combines enjambment and anachronism in the title poem: "O Fates! O Body!/ Rude sirens cause a scene." Simon's formal technique is highly conversational and associative, and the poems are notable for their sparse use of punctuation. Through this mechanism, many lines do double duty as they interact with preceding and succeeding lines. This lends itself to a sense of confusion and a feeling of messy in-between-ness; readers are lost in the fog of existence and the poet's reveling in both how simultaneously maddening and liberating it can be. In "Mendocino," the feeling of love amid ancient redwoods and "cloud banks out of Blake" leads to a sensation of being "an ellipsis/ in a long line of ellipses." Despite the seeming insignificance of the self, what is being experienced still feels vital and important. It's a theme that recurs throughout the collection's mostly brief, occasional poems. Simon manages to be earnest and dreamy while still feeling grounded in the immediate material of life. (Aug.)

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Photos on flickr