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The MERCURY POEM by Jared Schickling Now Available!

 THE MERCURY POEM sifts through the aftermath of nuclear meltdown and lets the senses piece us together. A puzzle: in this our time of ever-expanding exclusion zones, how to take cover / take care inside foregone conclusion? What is not forgone? What is poetry inside such disaster? Ear to the ground, eye on the facts, and with heart and subtle humor, Jared Schickling offers a volatile music where “flammable animals cavort / bioplastic / in the bioplast” and the fish choir takes over. Here is poetry that pulses, in search of. Read up.

—Ryan Eckes


Writing from the liver of what he’d call a National Sacrifice Zone, Schickling’s oozy syntax mixes tire fires and shrimp songs, transboundary waste dumping and hungry babies. And against easy, blissed-out landscape poetry, he gives us ecologies as they are: wondrous saturations of life and matter disturbed by floods of mutagenic pollutants in poems like damaged double-helixes that make a jagged sense read forward or backward. This collection is, by turns, playful and ethically rigorous, performing playful flips in language but also never forgetting we live in a world that will remain marked for millennia by acts of corporate and governmental malfeasance. The poems remind us that environmental catastrophe and quotidian life touch each other in intimate, ongoing ways.

—Joe Hall


With THE MERCURY POEM, Jared Schickling brings us an oddly reversible apocalypse—the story of individuals grappling with their own bleak place in history. “A tsunami ruining the beach / during an election season,” “the exclusion zone is breeding,” and as an elegy to television, the poet finds normalcy in the unlivable.

—Jonathan Penton

Jared Schickling is the author of several BlazeVOX books, including the trilogy The Pink + ATBOALGFPOPASASBIFL: Irritations, Excrement and Wipes + Two Books on the Gas: Above the Shale and Achieved by Kissing (2013-15) and Province of Numb Errs (2016), as well as The Paranoid Reader: Essays, 2006-2012 (Furniture Press, 2014); the chapbooks Prospectus for a Stage (LRL Textile Series, 2013) and A Packet of Food (Omnia Vanitas Review, 2013); two Trump Locofo chaps, Donald Trump and the Pocket Oracle and Donald Trump in North Korea (Moria, 2017); and he edited A Lyrebird: Selected Poems of Michael Farrell (BlazeVOX, 2017). He lives in Western New York and edits Delete Press and The Mute Canary, publishers of poetry.

Book Information:

· Paperback: 72 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-300-3

$16

 
 
 
 
 

The MERCURY POEM by Jared Schickling Book Preview 

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Ekstasis by Peter Valente and Kevin Killian Now Available!

 This collaboration between two poets who also work in the visual arts, is a near perfect work of concision. Peter Valente turns the camera into poetry and Kevin Killian entices the poem to work with visual mastery.

—Neeli Cherkovski is currently finishing his new book of poems, Elegy for the Beat Generation


While Valente’s photographs appear coolly intimate, the deeper revelation is individual memory. What, exactly, have we been invited to witness? Is a face and body in the blue light sufficient? Or do we crave more? More tension, more ambivalence in the decision to share: what and how much? Ekstasis is a ménage à trois that rivals anything one could experience on Google+.

—Vanessa Norton is the cofounder and editor of Wasted Books.


Kevin Killian and Peter Valente’s haunting collaboration Ekstasis comes on like one of those dark dreams you can’t seem to shake – it’s memory and sensations still lingering long after you’ve awoken.

—Michael Salerno, artist, filmmaker, and publisher.

Peter Valente is the author of several books, the most recent of which is a translation of Nanni Balestrini’s Blackout (Commune Editions, 2017), and a couple of chapbooks. His poems, essays, and photographs have appeared in journals such as Mirage #4/Periodical, First Intensity, Aufgabe, Talisman, Oyster Boy Review, and spoKe. In 2019, City Lights will publish his co-translation of 33 of Artaud’s late letters (1945-1947) with an introduction by Stephen Barber. Presently, he is at work on a book for Semiotext(e). In addition, he has made 60 short films, 24 of which were shown at Anthology Film Archives.

Kevin Killian, one of the original “New Narrative” writers, has written three novels, a book of memoirs, four books of stories, and three books of poetry. For the San Francisco Poets Theater Killian has written forty-five plays, and the anthology he compiled with David Brazil—The Kenning Anthology of Poets Theater 1945-1985—has become the standard text on the subject. Recent projects include Tagged, Killian’s nude photographs of poets, artists, writers, musicians, filmmakers and intellectuals; and forthcoming, with Dodie Bellamy, The Nightboat Anthology of New Narrative Writing 1977-1997.


Book Information:

· Paperback: 102 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-292-1


$22

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Ekstasis Images by Peter Valente - Text by Kevin Killian Book Preview 

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Excentrica: Notes on the Text by Steven Reese Now Available!

It’s a rare poet who can look the muse in the eye and speak through or with her as Reese has done in this fragmentary and insightful collection, which reads both as a form of exegesis, literary criticism and dialogue, as well as a love poem to literature. It is at once a beautiful composition in its own right, and an illumination of the magic and mystery of composing verse, addressing the poets’ many sources of influence and inspiration. Reading it, I envisioned a stone skipping across the surface of our literary history, leaving ever-expanding circles behind it before sinking into the water. And while the muse, Renate Ștefan perhaps the alter-ego of Steven Reese, or the reborn Reese as the name suggests, might be like the skipping stone, it is the circles left in her wake that the writer is left with, that he delineates and celebrates in this remarkable text.

—Nin Andrews


Steven Reese’s poem/essay/disquisition on/history of poetry stretches the boundaries of not only our definitions of poetry, but also the limits of language and its ongoing challenge to loosen itself from its leashes. True to its thesis, this work itself extends our definition of what a poem, as well as a poet, should be. His argument describes that quality of poetry that (similar to what Robert Bly says) “leaps” beyond the strictures of inhibiting poetic form, away from the ethno-, ego-, concentric, to the ex-centric. He brings along for the tour some of the greatest voices in poetry—not only in English, but in many other languages—including Yeats, Emerson, Rilke, Sappho, Dickinson, Paz, Mallarme, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and others who describe poetry’s out-bound force. Someone once said a great poet should think as well as sing, and Reese proves it can be done by taking us on a breathtaking poetic/aesthetic ride. And don’t even think about fastening your seat belt.

— William Greenway


Exhilarating. Expansive. Two margins charging the space between with eros.

—Caroline Longstreet

Steven Reese is the author of two previous volumes of poetry, Enough Light to Steer By (Cleveland State) and American Dervish (Salmon), as well as two volumes of translation, Synergos (selected poems of Roberto Manzano; Etruscan) and Womanlands (selected poems of Diana María Ivizate González; Verbum, Spain). He teaches literature and poetry writing at Youngstown State University in Ohio, where he currently directs the Northeast Ohio MFA in Creative Writing. Visit him at screeseonline.com.


Book Information:

· Paperback: 110 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-279-2


$16

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Excentrica- Notes on the Text by Steven C Reese Book Preview 

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pickles and Jams by cris cheek Now Available!

In Pickles & Jams, cris cheek exposes the very membranes that lie between the sensed-real of the culturally dominant and the barely-sensed hyper-real of the culturally emergent. His poetics (initially spawned and tested in Briton) isn’t of an “epiphany” variety, but rather is borne of a sabre-ready constructivist process, whereby the jettisoning of American Capitalist values is at a premium. And though History’s objects (“nation”, “family”, “self-hood”, “city”, “work-world”) no longer have the capture energy they once did, they are still malignant, and push us around. It is these ghosted objects/identities that cheek takes aim at. Acutely sensible to the post-occupy dilemma of “value the crash / crash the value,” his aesthetic tactics intend on having us both view and act on the spectacle from within. cheek's ever-increasing readership will once again be delighted to take much needed cultural cues from the most significant Anglo-American poet of our time.

—Rodrigo Toscano


The flarfy titles of these lush and brazen poems belie the intensity of their love and outrage, their puns tart and savory, acidic and sweet, and the preserving properties of poesie. The minor obstructions and dilemmas of these “pickles” and “jams” contribute to the texture of life in a neoliberal (though rapidly fascistifying) world, so much so that were life easier, “were you to get just what you wanted every time you read me/ as a bolt of white lightning striking a muddy brain repeatedly/… /
I would cry out please, I can’t stand it anymore, let me go.” cris cheek is one of my poetry heroes and he should be one of yours too.

—Maria Damon


Creative mishearings, extemporized speech, pattern/algorithm/procedure, typos (“Your typos / leak wisdom”), phonemic salad, technological fuckery… this is the stuff that cris’ work seems made of to me. Often he retains a certain syntax—a syntax of official “English,” and of past (official) English poets—deterritorializing it by bringing the arbitrariness of the phrase to a saturation point—and by this means breaking into “englishes.” Yet, when these poems stop playing they become deadly serious, arresting us with their melancholic romance and/or rants against racial capital and/or precise indictments of the (white male cis) liberal subject. Pickles & Jams offers a sustained and multi-modal demonstration of an anti-authoritarian language practice where the poet seeks “not a plain language but / a poetry advocating on behalf of resistance to external authority.” It extends cris’ ongoing investigation into and manifestation of a late-Antinomian tradition.

—Thom Donovan


How to taste impasse. Sniff (out) conundrum. Here is a myriad—cris cheek’s marble-mouthed, sardonic, homages to and parodies of pop and literary cultures. Pickles & Jams offers itself as a cornucopia of whimsy, satire, mimicry and, sandwiched between, moments of lyrical tenderness. Here then is a book of poems that track a human thinking more than planning, feeling more than plotting. Here are bursts of tactics (not strategies), wobbly selves running roughshod over British and American niceties (aesthetic, cultural, social, etc.), brandishing aphoristic wit (““As in framers of wonder but/ farmers of convention.”) and a Joycean delight in linguistic fidelity to experience (coat-tails flapping at the grubby hands of convention). In brief, no wrong notes need app here.

—Tyrone Williams


A Londoner in southwestern Ohio, poet, musician, performance artist cris cheek surveys 21st century life in the wake of Fukushima and Occupy. Channeling the buzz in the air, he stages a shimmering sequence of linguistic action. Pickles, as in difficulties. Jams likewise, but also music, a dense, sensual, wild-ass, shredding music. Burlesque humor of the dysfunctional body politic. Quick verbal combinations demonstrating subtle substitutions with a flick of the writ. Torque, twist, spin, mickey, body English. An antidote to normalization, colonialism, authority, exclusion, boredom. Check out these vibrant works and find out what’s really really real.

—Kit Robinson

The pickles are formal, riddles and riffs, the jams maybe cultural and political. Originally out of London cheek is now in his second decade in Ohio, but I hear his title as English. It refers to homegrown stanzas inventively shaped and occasionally rhymed, as if those clever origins had been run into the “designer chickens” of William Carlos Williams while Lewis Carroll caught the bus trying to escape the scene. cheek has always worked with the demotic and the found, with the surround sound of the everyday, so it’s no surprise that his new poems are more American than earlier work in their frames of reference. Indeed one poem wonders about the difference between framers and farmers, “at the convention.” Another appears to make passing reference to Descartes and then Bo Diddley in just a few lines. Dispersed subjectivities include those critical of what’s at hand and many others more tender or playful. The kind of memorable turns of phrase that experimental poetry too often avoids pass by pretty frequently: "beautiful lounge of the damned / in which i got the good peppermint.” I thought I had a handle on cheek’s practice as a performance writer and documentary poet given to expansive poems and sequences, but these little poems have left me upside down beside the fountain of post-post-objectivist lyric.

—Keith Tuma


cris cheek is a postpunk transatlantis maker and framer of playful marks with alphabetic language, with sound, with voice, with light and with the body

growing up in London is hard-wired through his circuitry:

early influences were with the Consortium of London Presses, working alongside Bob Cobbing and Bill Griffiths in the COLP printshop, and performing multi-voice pieces with PC Fencott, Lawrence Upton, and sometimes Jeremy Adler with jgjgjgjgjgjgjgjgjg (. . . as long as you can say it that’s our name)

with Marshall Reese, Kirby Malone, Patty Karl, Nora Ligorano, Chris Mason and others for the festival of disappearings arts in Baltimore

with Mary Prestidge, Kirstie Simson, Sue MacLennan, Philip Jeck, Jacky Lansley and Fergus Early at Chisenhale Dance Space in London’s east end, with book-maker poets Allen Fisher and Ulli Freer

with poet-theareticians Carla Harryman and Steve Benson

with soundart as John and Mary Outchan on Balsam Flex, with Philip Jeck and Sianed Jones, Ansuman Biswas, and Samia Malik as Slant, with Kirsten Lavers as tnwk (things not worth keeping)

with cloven

for the past dozen years cris has lived and worked in south-west ohio at miami (myaamia) university and lives in cincinnati

Book Information:

· Paperback: 114 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-273-0

$16

 
 
 

Pickles & Jams by cris cheek Book Preview  

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The Hole in the Den by Michael Martrich Now Available!

When Tory Spry’s hallucinations become more frequent - what start out as a “pinpoint,” extend into an “arc,” and eventually become the blunted but flashing “Fingerprint” - he reluctantly but necessarily retreats inward into the well of himself. Swimming through the blackholed remnants of his outside world - high school, church, diners, home, in the car with his friends - Spry can only find comfort in sleep, the cold, the woods, and in his best friend John, who has a deep internal secret himself. And within our haunting and untouchable loneliness, we are separate but not alone.

 
 
 
 

Vision is all radiance and irritation for a sentimental educator and teenagers alike in a depressed Pennsylvania suburb. Tory is an apt (and entangled) observer of phenomena related to conservancies, pools, schools; he thrives in twilight, traversing a topography of headaches, "flows and hang-ups." Friends and environments are obscured by smoke, so texture is most reliable, here rendered as "the Eternal Fingerprint," or "the wrapping touch.” Floating between the arcs and pinpoints of a migrainous ocean floor, briars and chain-linked fences are an analogue to the helplessness of relationships, the transparency of leftovers through which John, Min, Lucas, and others only fade. "The secrets between us are not so dissimilar.” More than that: they're bonded.

—J. Gordon Faylor, Gauss PDF


The Hole in the Den brings us directly into the tender, shifting stream of adolescence and childhood, and under the water too, with prose that is precise and haunting and like a map leading in circles, drawing us into the indistinguishable place between emotion and intellect, the soft and membranous divisions between self and other, and the halfway majesty of the woods just off the highway.

—Emily Kiernan, author of Great Divide


"All-American alchemy! With The Hole in the Den, Michael Martrich manages the miraculous transfiguration of youthful suburban memories into something far more mysterious and wise. Incantatory sentences swirl and spin, piling on secrets, smells, glances, rocks and cigarettes, names carved in bark and flashes of jarring erudition. Loss and longing, caught in the gravity well of time and language, cast a spell that imbues hard truths with uncertainty and dreams with the lucid texture of the real."


—Jürgen Fauth, author of Kino and Head Cases


Michael Martrich is a writer and musician from Eastern Pennsylvania. He released A Night I Could Have Sworn Was an Ocean Floor (2016) with his band, Sports for Kin, and is the author of “Like a Sewn-up Skin with Salt” Near-Recognizing the Sea: An Idiot Body Without Organs Threatened and Tempted by Becoming (Listening, Whispering) Sea-Ghost (2014). The Hole in the Den is his first novel. He lives in Dakar, Senegal.


Book Information:

· Paperback: 238 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-277-8

$18

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Hole in the Den by Michael Martrich Book Preview 

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