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Puddles of an Open by Paige Melin Now Available!

 Charles Bernstein once argued that in a well-crafted poem, form acts as an extension of content, particularly as the subject of the work is enacted through the behavior of the language itself. Paige Melin’s writing not only utilizes hybrid forms to mirror content, but rather, form and content become seamlessly intertwined as the book unfolds. We as readers are invited into the heroine’s psyche, made to experience the beauty and terror of thought itself. Through her provocative syntactic ruptures and stream-of-consciousess narrative style, Melin subtly and gracefully interrogates the boundaries between interior and exterior, subject and object, self and world. Puddles of an Open is a stunning debut, as innovative in its technique as it is in its philosophical assertions.

—Kristina Marie Darling

Paige Melin’s literary laboratorial imaginations, Puddles of an Open, moves to expose the sociological prejudice and the political capacity inherent in dictionary words as they, these things of letters, are casually exchanged between us. Her assemblages are ensembles of a harmonious breach with the quotidian and sublime suburban poem of our time. In Melin’s ruptured poetry, compliant poetry becomes poetry of applied use, and with hope, a poetic tool for reassignment.

—Michael Basinski

[cant enter or move out of away from]  Puddles of an Open occurs in a suggestively uncomfortable space between entrance and exit that is never fully within. about to be said and already retracted, Melin’s suspended [story] remains untold: as it resists coherence as representation of events, it captures instead a self-fragmenting fugitiveness in articulation. raising awareness around speaking and narration as decision – precisely by refusing this decision – Melin plays on the slipperiness of memory and the language of telling [eyes] [ice] while lingering on aporias of consent, admission, desire, and feeling besetting the underlying matters spoken of. is this a trauma or a dream (or both)? whose words are in whose mouth? [funny to awaken when youve never been sleeping] come skim with Melin along this uneven surface: seduction is a text that doesn’t give up (its secrets)…

—Judith Goldman

Poet, editor, and intersectional feminist Paige Melin is currently pursuing her M.A. in English at the University of Maine. Her writing has been published in NAME, Yellowfield, and Stolen Island, and has won awards through the Academy of American Poets and the Albert Cook, Mac Hammond, and John Logan Prize for Poetry. Along with her partner, Vincent, she co-founded and edits steel bellow: a purely Buffalo literary magazine, and she is currently the Editorial Assistant for Paideuma: Modern and Contemporary Poetry and Poetics.

Book Information:

· Paperback: 36 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-236-5



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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



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Ghost | Landscape by Kristina Marie Darling and John Gallaher Now Available!

 When Henry David Thoreau wrote “The stars are the apexes to what triangles,” I’m not so sure he had poetry collaborations in mind. And yet, when Kristina Marie Darling and John Gallaher say—though which one says it, or both, or none, I don’t know—“Soon we wonder why we’re both thinking about astronomy, and at exactly the same time,” I begin to see by a sidereal light that collaboration at its best may be no more than two poets far apart gazing up at the same star’s height, and what fills the triangle is the poem, otherwise known as art. These poems of “shared consciousness” make of individual life a jointly lived thing, so much so, that “we” hides in every “I” and “you.” These collaborative poems gather us into their intimate community, and once within these pages, we glimpse what poetry might long have tried to teach us: how it is we go about learning to think, learning to see, learning to feel together.

—Dan Beachy-Quick

One measure of the potency of literature is that its strangeness forces the reader to change her world to incorporate it, or to leave her world and join the one the writer has created. In this case, Kristina Marie Darling and John Gallaher's extraordinary domestic noir, GHOST / LANDSCAPE, creates both responses in me: transformation and relocation. Part of this book's wonderful strangeness, of course, arises from the nature of the collaboration between Darling and Gallaher, as their voices transform and relocate, blend and electrify into a single speaker (I, you, we) that longs for conversation: "I tried to phone you, but the snow went on for miles." This ache for articulation, for communion, is further complicated by the middle-class American ennui, dark humor, and matter-of-fact violence of the book. I finished GHOST / LANDSCAPE with the certainty that I have at least two voices, and one murder, inside me. This book will stay with me for a very long time.

—Allison Benis White

Too often coauthored poetry books feel more like exercises than true, vital collections. Not so with Kristina Marie Darling and John Gallaher’s GHOST / LANDSCAPE. These startling poems push against the boundaries of daily living through sustained attention and quiet articulation. “I’m busy looking at everything I’m looking at,” Darling and Gallaher assert in one poem; in another they say of the suburban landscape in which many of these poems are set, “We can lift it up from the edges and look underneath. It’s like looking into a mirror.” Often the worlds of these poems feel dreamlike, populated at the perimeter with the ghosts of past and present as we eavesdrop on the only living voices merging, ultimately, into one human voice. And though the poems can be playful and self-reflexive—as one would expect from these two terrific postmodern poets—ultimately this is an intimate and surprisingly unified book of big ideas: “We all think we’re having different lives, when really there’s only one life and we’re sharing it.”

—Wayne Miller

GHOST / LANDSCAPE reads like an intimate chat, except not the kind people have over tea. Maybe it's whiskey causing these emotional flare-ups ("They warned me about you"), these bouts of nostalgia ("You wake wondering where the antique chickens are"), these lamentations about lost love (count the number of missed phone calls throughout), these discomfiting confessions ("...I had always thought unhappiness would be easy"). The chemistry between these poets is electric; it lights up the page.

—Diana Spechler

Kristina Marie Darling is the author of over twenty collections of poetry and hybrid prose, including Scorched Altar: Selected Poems & Stories 2007-2014. Her awards include two Yaddo residencies, a Hawthornden Castle Fellowship, and a Visiting Artist Fellowship from the American Academy in Rome, as well as grants from the Kittredge Fund, the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Ora Lerman Trust, and the Rockefeller Archive Center. She is currently working toward both a Ph.D. in Literature at S.U.N.Y.-Buffalo and an M.F.A. in Poetry at New York University.

John Gallaher is the author of five books of poetry, Gentlemen in Turbans, Ladies in Cauls (2001), The Little Book of Guesses (2007), winner of the Levis Poetry Prize, Map of the Folded World (2009), Your Father on the Train of Ghosts (with G.C. Waldrep, 2011), and In a Landscape (2014), as well as two chapbooks, and two edited collections, The Monkey and the Wrench (with Mary Biddinger) and Time Is a Toy: the Selected Poems of Michael Benedikt (with Laura Boss). His poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry, Poetry, Boston Review, Chicago Review, and elsewhere. He lives in rural Missouri where he teaches and co-edits The Laurel Review.

Book Information:

· Paperback: 102 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-240-2



Ghost : Landscape by Kristina Marie Darling & John Gallaher Book Preview

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One of 100 by David Trinidad featured in Poem-of-the-Day by the Academy of American Poets



One of 100

David Trinidad

About This Poem


“This poem is based on a friend’s account of attending Out magazine’s ‘star-studded’ Out 100 party.  Hint: the Oscar winner won in 1973.”
—David Trinidad


David Trinidad is the author of Notes on a Past Life (BlazeVOX [books], 2016). He teaches at Columbia College Chicago.


Photo credit: Alyssa Lynee


Poetry by Trinidad


Notes on a Past Life

(BlazeVOX [books], 2016)

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Six Short Plays by John Matthias Now Available!

 The poetry, essays, and fiction of John Matthias are widely known. Less known are the plays and performance texts that he has been writing and adapting from his longer poems in the course of the last several years. This book contains six of these texts, only one of which has been performed. However, the success of staged versions of “Automystifstical Plaice” suggests that performances of the other texts would be equally exciting. Both by the reader and the hypothetical producer of these plays, this book will be warmly welcomed.

“The ironies [of “Automystifstical Plaice”] are multiple: an avant-gardism exploiting the distinctiveness of specific media and insisting on its antinomian freedom from representation becomes the technological basis for the primary form of electronic mass communication, and serves the militarized state. The sexual association of screen divas with missiles may be old hat, but the starlet as computer geek contriving systems of destruction and exchange might send Dr. Strangelove himself into unstoppable spasm.”

—John Wilkinson

“Well! I asked the girls and learned that this Mr. Matthias was no fly-by-night Johnny, no film flam man on the lam from the clink or the Studebaker plant at South Bend, Indiana, but the real thing, a prime mover and a shaker, too, top drawer, top dollar, the dropped banana, the silk drawers, the smoking jacket, the clinamen, the Paralete, the parakeet and the parachute.”

—Joyelle McSweeney

“Matthias is one of the great originals”

—John Kinsella

“One of the best poets in the USA.”

—Guy Davenport

“John Matthias is a kind of mid-Atlantic treasure.”

—Ian Pople, Manchester Review

“Matthias’s challenging poetry makes clear that what is needed today is a larger, more capacious conception of postmodern poetics, one that avoids the usual classifications so as to redraw the boundaries of the field”

—Marjorie Perloff

John Matthias is the author of some thirty-five books – poetry, fiction, memoir, literary essays, scholarly editions, translations, and drama. He taught literature and creative writing at Notre Dame for forty years, and he is a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge. His recent publications include three volumes of collected poems: Collected Shorter Poems, vol. 1; Collected Shorter Poems, vol. 2; and Collected Longer Poems, all published by Shearsman Books. Shearsman has also published Trigons, a long poem; Who Was Cousin Alice? And Other Questions, a volume of essays; and Different Kinds of Music, a novel. Matthias has also been active as a translator, working with Göran Printz-Påhlson on the anthology Contemporary Swedish Poetry (Swallow Press) and with Lars-Håkan Svensson on Three-toed Gull: Selected Poems of Jesper Svenbro (Northwestern). His own poetry has been translated into many languages. Editorially, his advocacy of the Anglo-Welsh modernist, David Jones, has been advanced in Introducing David Jones (Faber and Faber) and David Jones: Man and Poet (National Poetry Foundation). Two volumes of essays have been published on Matthias’s work: Word Play Place: Essays on the Poetry of John Matthias, ed. Robert Archambeau (Swallow Press) and The Salt Companion to John Matthias, ed. Joe Francis Doerr (Salt Publishing). For twenty years John Matthias was poetry editor of Notre Dame Review, and he is currently Editor at Large.

Book Information:

· Paperback: 144 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-210-5


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