Check out a "sheaf" of new poems from Mark Johnson in the new print issue from BOMB . . .
Also available online [here]
The work comes from his manuscript-in-progress, Sham Refugia. A small sample from the sheaf:
When I back a creature into darkness
I feel I am adorable. Adorable. How else
caricature a grieving beast,
destroy art supplies with snot? Memory
sees the river wend its clarified way
town and expensive farms and on
past a peachtree to marrow, as if to nothing
the marrow of nothing. Yea
loan-stars binge on my kingdom. I am old,
and this dish of vanilla melts,
this dear spoon I can’t remember
buying or stealing or accepting
remains a bent example
of pure invention; particles of rain
blown through the screen contaminate my treat
here on the porch, yet water on my face
wards off the Sleep. I begat
in my dream a biographer-son
guide through the season after winter not spring
before the cut flowers have dried,
dust in the chiseled name blown away.
Mark's back in Montreal for a reading with Divya Victor and Nicole Raziya Fong:
5455 avenue de Gaspé, #109
April 5th, 6:30pm
Event info [here]. Thanks to Dazibao and Michael Nardone for hosting!
The folks at SPD Books have chosen Diana Hamilton's The Awful Truth as one of their "Handpicked" selections for March!
This month, they're all about the REVERIE - what happens when our dreams overtake our waking moments? What can we learn by following the monsters into the closet? Fantasy has much to teach us about the way we live our lives, the way we represent our reality. Let yourself fall into it and see what might come.
Get 20% off your copy until the end of the month, and check out the other three selections [here].
If you'd like to purchase a copy of The Awful Truth direct from our store, click [here].
Marie Buck shares a really wonderful write-up of Diana Hamilton's The Awful Truth and Some Shit Advice (2014, The Physiocrats) over at Harriet. I'm going to append some selections below, but please check out the full essay for yourself and learn more about precarity and our world-historical moment. Buck is the featured writer at Harriet this month, and you can check out the rest of her posts--on Brandon Brown and her "favorite poem"; on pleasure and political despondence--[here].
From Marie Buck:
What I mean to say is: while of course a lot of poetry deals with intimate topics—lyric poetry is classically about love, lust, the self, and so on—Hamilton’s Some Shit Advice and The Awful Truthactively thematize it and create a sort of hyperintimacy, the feeling that the reader is in the role of a close friend or lover or therapist. Except actually, since we’re often reading about close friends and lovers and therapists and their interactions with the speaker: the reader is somewhere even closer, communing with the speaker through the medium of the book.
[. . .]
Hamilton’s work offers a sort of antidote to anxiety by 1) explicitly describing something that is often a public secret and 2) creating a utopian vision in which we all have plenty of people to whom to confess our dreams, our weird shits, our desires, our self-consciousnesses. This is, I think, why there is so much emphasis on documents of various sorts, and why both books are presented as gatherings of other texts (advice column, found manuscript, email, etc.). The books aren’t self-expressive projections of these intimacies into an implicit public sphere of readers. Instead, through doubling personae and through the use of multiple, expanding framing devices, they create scenes in which the reader is a participant. The expanding framing and reframing devices cause us to consider the actual publication of the book as the biggest frame, a frame that includes the reader
[. . .]
We need, they say, “a machine for fighting anxiety” that would allow us to act out of desire rather than fear. Hamilton’s book is a utopia of sharing and listening that exceeds social norms—that reorients our fears about the world into desire for our friends and for our lovers and for a better world for us all.
Purchase a copy of Hamilton's The Awful Truth [here].
Mark Johnson continues his excavation of the Cheap Sub-Heavens with a new full-length--How to Flit--forthcoming soon from Roof Books. Stay tuned for that release, which is part of the same project that brought you Can of Human Heat (available for purchase at SPD and on our site!), as well as the GaussPDF-released Treatise on Luck.
From Can of Human Heat:
Every day, terrified I am late, I leave my plastic shed with
such extraordinary force I melt the frankly meager lip of
the miniature vase, nice because purposeless, that hangs
outside my door. The vase is replaced nightly—or its lip
fixed?—by bosses unknown to me. Why not fix the sag in
my mattress?? Every day, I leave my plastic shed with
extraordinary force and race to the wulfworks against a salt
bog breeze; it moves my shortclothes.
Couldn’t launch imaginary products on my pony, sold it. A
distinctive smell clung to me for days afterward; I bottled it
as SOLD PONY, without success.
Thanks to Corina Copp for sharing her thoughts on The Awful Truth over at the Poetry Foundation's round-up of staff picks for 2017!
Copp discusses new work by Aisha Sasha John--in which "knowledge is experiential, and the speaker is not an idea, but almost a physical presence"--and then turns to a lovely, brief description of Diana's book:
[The Awful Truth] quotes, at length, other writers, like Bernadette Mayer, Rindon Johnson, Freud, and Laura Marcus on Freud, interspersing this reading—as well as emails, dream accounts, interviews, dreams of emails and interviews—into an already-chock-full text as if they are (they are) memories. The first section reminds me a bit of Eve Sedgwick's brilliant A Dialogue on Love, not just formally, though that too, but in the way the intelligent voice takes care of "you" and of "we." Both [Aisha Sasha John] and Hamilton are poets who contend naturally with other mediums, genres, and forms, but their shared topic of living as a writer holds so much in itself, and is so finely (and differently) wrought, that I don't really need to read much else right now. Ok? Okay.
Setting up the book table in front of Andrew Durbin's Barbara Hammer show at Company Gallery. At left is the videogame station for playing Diana Hamilton's Dreams, co-written with Alejandro Miguel Justino Crawford.
Our official launch parties in NYC and Montreal this past month were a lot of fun. Thanks are due to Andrew Durbin, New York's Company Gallery, Michael Nardone, and the Godberd alternative school in Montreal for support; all of the friends and fans who came out to enjoy the readings and bring home some books; and especially to Diana and Mark, who really brought the goods and whose work sets a high bar for all of us.
Check out some pictures below, and feel free to follow us on instagram if you'd like to see more.
This Saturday we will be taking a trip up to Montreal for a reading and launch party to celebrate the release of Diana's The Awful Truth and Mark's Can of Human Heat. We will have the books for sale, hot off the presses, as well as some other amusing merch. Please come out and support these two, independent publishing, and your own healthy social life--we're really looking forward to this trip! Events details below and on FB [here].
Diana and Mark will also be joined by Maryse Larivière, an artist and writer based in Montreal. Her most recent exhibitions include Under the Cave of Winds (2017), Echoes from the Bosom (2017), and In Some Far Place (2017). She is the author of ORGAZING (2017), Hummzinger (2016) and Where Wild Flowers Grow (2015), and has contributed writings to a number of journals including C Magazine, Esse Art+Opinions, and the Organism for Poetic Research.
ZUTIQUE is an occasional reading series focused on poetry, poetics, performance, and sound curated by Michael Nardone (http://soundobject.net/).
Godberd | GAMMA
2080 Avenue Joly
*Event page [here]*
Wednesday 11/15. We're finally launching!
After almost a year of planning, editing, and producing, we're happy to be able to present two excellent new books to the adoring public: Diana Hamilton's The Awful Truth and Mark Francis Johnson's Can of Human Heat. Please come out this Wednesday to support these two authors and to support our new big little press! Both authors will be reading from their books, and we will have beautiful new copies of both for sale--along with some other Golias Books-themed merchandise. Please do tell your New-York-area or poetry-interested friends; it should be a great reading by two very talented writers and a generally celebratory night.
Doors at 7:30 and reading at 8pm. The reading will be short and sweet in order to accommodate our generous hosts at the gallery so don't be late! Afterparty and extended hangout location is RPM Bar on Broome.
If you aren't able to make it (or even if you are!) please consider helping to support the press by pre-ordering books from our launch campaign [here].
Header image is by Barbara Hammer from Truant: Photographs, 1970-1979 currently on display at Company Gallery--more info [here]. Just another reason to come hang out...
Details below and RSVP/share on the FB event page [here].
Golias Books NYC Launch
88 Eldridge Street, 5th Floor
New York, New York 10002
Event page [here].
Doors at 7:30PM, readings start promptly at 8pm.