As some of you may know, Neil Alger and I launched a chapbook press called Hooke Press almost a year ago. I am happy to say that we've now gotten our first three books out, and our web site is up, including a modest bit about what we think we're trying to do. We're just now beginning to let folks know about the site & the titles. I hope some of you will come by and check out the books, & even buy them. Online they're $9 each, with a flat rate of $4 to ship in the U.S. regardless of # of books.
The site is: http://www.hookepress.com
For those in or near the Bay Area, we'll have a book launch party on Sunday, December 17th, as part of the New Yipes series. Kevin Killian and Lauren Shufran will be reading, and some of Wayne Smith's music and films will take place.
Our books so far:
.001 >>At All: Tom Raworth & His Collages >> by Norma Cole >> 34pp >> $10.00
>>A poetic consideration of Raworth's collages, as well as a meditation on thought and play in visual art, by one of the great poets & translators of recent decades.<<
>>Prose poems bewitched by walls, holes, pirates, biblical prophesy, and lovers. Includes a Sing-Along! Currently the only easily-available publication of this ingenious, emerging San Francisco poet.<<
+printed in an edition of 150 in July of 2006+
.003 >> Selected Amazon Reviews >> by Kevin Killian >> edited by Brent Cunningham >> 54pp >> $10.00
>>Selections from the 1,000+ reviews that Killian has written for books, movies, and everyday products on Amazon.com. Subversive and delightful modifiations to a pervasive online art form.<<
+printed in an edition of 200 in August of 2006+
Thanks, all...and feel free to email with questions about the press...
A total of 12 astronauts have walked on the moon. They were all part of NASA Apollo missions.
20 Jul 1969 Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin 19 Nov 1969 Charles (Pete) Conrad, Alan Bean 05 Feb 1971 Alan Shepard, Edgar Mitchell 30 Jul 1971 James Irwin, David Scott 21-23 Apr 1972 Charles Duke, John Young 11-13 Dec 1972 Harrison Schmitt, Eugene Cernan
...that you were in the greek mafia and you came and visited me by the beach and we drank cocktails and ran away from the surf and ignored all of the "beach" people and avoided all of the noise... and we ended up at this jewish temple where I lit a candle inside (can you even do that in a synagogue?) and you were kneeling and crying, you looked up and said, "why not?", and then we took a cab to somewhere and I felll asleep on your lap. I think it was night and I was wearing the most billowy blue skirt you ever could imagine.
on the other hand i had one of those epic dreams that lasts on and off the entire night...only my epic dream took place in federal prison...something about the drug trade, corrupt medical staff, a little girl creature attached to my left arm whose mouth was a big as a gardner snakes who would bite my thumb whenever i was close to danger, escape!, prostitutes, traitorous friends, a long car ride in a oldsmobile at dusk, ...
super date-ish last night...super fun kissy-ish last night...totally telling...my mom was like "just be safe"...i was like "mom that's gross"...
recently rediscovered my late 90's/ early 2000's 32 volume mixtape series "The Poolhouse"...the idea behind the project was to mix every first track off of every hip hop record i own in decending chronological order...needless to say, a very big project made up of some very strange mixes (e.g. burnt batch to spice 1 to m.o.s. to fresh prince to shingo2 to some dj swamp breaks to you get the idea)...
as David likes to say, "the moral of the story" is that my car got broken into a couple days ago while i was out running. they shattered my driver's side window with a rock. the dicks left my cd book with 500 cd's on the passenger seat but gaffled my Adidas jacket...the dicks...the stupid dicks (they could've stolen some really good music!)...insurance covers the window but i won't have my car for 7-10 days while it's being fixed. my pappou let me borrow his car. his car doesn't have a cd player. but it has a tape player. did i mention that i recently rediscovered my late 90's/ early 2000's 32 volume mixtape series The Poolhouse"...i'm hella happy...
currently watching the Giants/ Padres game...say hey!
Bharat Jiva- kari edwards Pete Hoffman Days- David Harrison Horton BOTH BOTH- May (Ed. Jessica Smith) Our Cancer Year- Harvey Pekar/ Joyce Brabner Pink Steam- Dodie Bellamy Tout Va Bien- Suzanne Stein On Epistemology and Proposal for the Field of "Ortho-epistemics"- Matthew Arnone
i told Spalding Gray that presently we were in the past and that i really enjoyed the performance he hadn't yet given at the Blue Moon Cafe in Boulder. i then told him we'd meet afterwards at Bobbie Louise Hawkins's house. i thought about telling him that he would eventually suicide by drowning but hesitated thinking it might be in bad taste.
A review of Benjamin Hollander’s “Rituals of Truce and the Other Israeli”
by Khaled Furani
In completing his Rituals of Truce, the Israeli-born poet Ben Hollander, who moved to New York at the age of six, offers both a compelling and a perplexing work. Its seemingly disjointed citations remind one of a parallel work (counterpart would not be quite the right word) on the Palestinian side: Elia Sulaiman’s Divine Intervention. Both works appear driven by a tragic-comic, post-structuralist tenor, which governs the very form of their presentations. Both works refuse to follow linear or realist pronouncements in their respective diagnosis of a treacherous nationalist existence. The viewer/reader of both works is challenged to connect what seems initially disconnected or randomly articulated. This apparent randomness, verbalized perhaps in Hollander’s reference to James Baldwin about “daring to say everything,” leads one to wonder if his work entails a visceral response to a colonial condition closing in on the colonizer as well as the colonized. But the jumpy nature of Hollander’s text does not make it any less worthy of following. In my comments below, I am less interested in the content of political stances that Hollander articulates. I am more interested in how he articulates them and what implications they have on one of his main goals for this work: establishing conditions of truce between Israelis and Palestinians. In unexpected ways, the concerns of Hollander’s work conjure another poetic composition, this time from the classical Arabic poetic tradition: Lamiyat al-‘Arab by al-Shanfarah. In this pre-Islamic ode, which the Prophet Muhammad reportedly recommended teaching to children, the brigand poet documents solitary life outside the tribe. Like al-Shanfarah, Hollander is searching for trust. While al-Shanfarah invested his trust in wolves of the wilderness more than his own tribe, Hollander chose to trust his Palestinian interlocutor more than his own position about a collective version of Jewish identity, history and mythology. It is not irrelevant therefore that Hollander’s work is published by Parrhesia, a Greek phrase connoting truthful and fearless speech. In that sense, Rituals belongs to a tradition of committed, irreverent Jewish works contesting foundational premises and promises of the Zionist project that is Israel. Although Hollander’s oscillates between different audiences of his text, it is safe to assume that he strives for conditions of trust among Jews and between Jews and Arabs and perhaps even among different affiliations within his self. Endorsing Baldwin’s position about the futility of arguing with someone’s experience, belief or position, Hollander conducts in the first part of the book four “rituals,” which are expected to beget conditions of trust. Arguing derived from the Latin arguer used to mean demonstration as well as contestation. Today, it is the latter sense that is more commonly known. It is arguing in the sense of quarrelling and contesting that Hollander is implicitly evoking and explicitly avoiding for the sake of truce. Instead of contesting, he conducts confessions in a series of four rituals. His confessions aim to reveal the limits of both his rhetorical and moral authority. Through the very act of delineating those limits, Hollander hopes to obtain the trust of other Israelis and Jews as well as Palestinians, such as Raja Shehadeh whose writing has significant influence on Hollander’s. To the first two groups the author discloses his abrogated nativity as an Israeli who has no interest in returning to the homeland he left (but never completely so). To Palestinians he confesses Jewish wrongdoing that led to their misery. It is of course possible that in mutual confessions lie the Third Way, which Shehadeh and Hollander identify as a potential release from the prison of animosity between those endowed with and those deprived of national sovereignty. Yet it is also possible that what has been lacking all along in the colonial encounter between both peoples, now more than a century old, is precisely that: an argument in the sense of a contestation driven by just, enlightened, even if conflicting positions. As such, what has supplanted the absence of an argument is a military and financial might necessary for the creation and fabrication of facts on the ground. And it remains within reason to expect that the side that has a state is more efficient at this task than the side that does not. Throughout his rituals and the whole book, Hollander employs a method of interception: history intercepts the present, pain pleasure, facts fiction, seriousness humor, pictures words, and writing meta-writing. These interceptions come from a diverse array of media: novels, e-mail correspondence, poems, film script, dialogues and monologues. This inchoate diversity of sources belies any rituality that Hollander’s presentation may strive for. Save his attention to the rules of English grammar, it is hard to discern what is ritualistic about his rituals. However, if one takes rituals as that which steps into the beyond, into the extra-ordinary, then perhaps the title and the content of Hollander’s text would seem more compatible. This invocation of rituals appears especially applicable to the second part of the book where Hollander strives to tell a story outside the order of the day, outside history as we know it. He is obviously troubled by the ramification of the Jewish State on Jews and by the proposition of two states for two peoples. Neither state, Hollander seems to believe, is capable of ridding the two peoples from their existence as questions: the “Jewish Question” and the “Palestinian Question.” What Hollander strives for is a state of being for both peoples where they can talk to each other from histories that do not pit them against each other by commonly recognizing the limits of their respective historical claims. I am not exactly sure what premises about history Hollander is working with, yet I wonder in what ways are they predicated by the foundational modern condition that Nietzsche diagnosed as the death of God? Would what we know today as history figure as it did in Hollander’s work were it not for this death? In other words, it remains to be seen, if it is the shedding of “history” and certain “historical” claim as opposed to other forces that would prove to be the necessary requisite for the arrival of a new Israeli or a truce between Israelis and Palestinians. Whatever one takes the subject of that monumental modern death to be — god, God, history, language, nature, ideology — it is clear that Hollander is proposing that Israelis/Jews face the limits of their moral authority and historical positions. And it is as though in reaching these limits would they be able to reach the Other who is necessary for a truce, whether that other is located inside the self or outside it. Taken to its logical limits, his strategy of lowering defenses by mistrusting one’s historical claims opens the possibility that in Hollander’s there lies the work of more than the Other Israeli that is in him but also the Other Palestinian that a Jew could be. Such blasphemous redrawing of nationalist boundaries and the resultant admissibility of one’s Palestinianess rests, of course, on a perilous and daring excavation into what Palestine or Israel was, is, and could be about. Towards such a daring excavation of the place and the self, Hollander’s is a welcome initiation.
i've decided to bow out as co-editor of the forthcoming Outside Voices anthology project. just to be clear, my decision has nothing to do with any personal animus between jessica and i but everything to do with my current hectic post-Naropa situation. i still believe the OV anthology is a worthy project and that jessica's dedication to this community is admirable. i wish her the best of luck with the anthology and myriad other projects she has her fingers in.
if any of the people i recruited as board memebers have questions backchannel me...i've already written a few of you.
1. A book that changed my life? Benjamin Hollander's Vigilance
2. A book I've read more than once? C.D. Payne's Youth In Revolt
3. What is a book I'd want with me on a desert island? 60GB solar powered ipod
4. What is a book that made me giddy? Curb Your Enthusiasm or Arrested Development
5. What is a book that has made me sad? Sean Hannity
6. What is a book I wish had been written? Jon Bon Jovi's autobiography
7. A book I wish had never been written? the book of love
8. What is a book I'm currently reading? N.K.'s The Last Temptation of Christ, Bombay Gin #32, a bunch of Taxt chapbooks, some Neil Gaiman Sandman stuff
9. One book I've been meaning to read? western philosophy
10 Now tag five bloggers. fuck you i'm a chef (won't do it), white male poet (not really into calling her that and she won't do it anyway), francois (he alreay did it), Cunningham (he only does awesome drawings), hairflip (wouldn't really want them to do it)
saw Murat read last night over at Moe's... ...Steve D. says i look more Greek with long hair... Murat says "i didn't know you were so tall"... ...Steve D. shows me his Leonard Cohen... didn't stay for M. Rothenberg to which David says "that's why i love you"... ...went to David's, had grapes...
come see Murat read with Standard tomorrow at Cafe Royale...
"I was SHOCKED to see a giant breast on the cover of your magazine," one woman from Kansas wrote in reaction to the picture in Babytalk, a free magazine that caters to young mothers. "I was offended and it made my husband very uncomfortable when I left the magazine on the coffee table."
The Islands (Nightboat Books), "now, 1/3" and thepoem (BlazeVOX Books) Chinese Notebook (Ugly Duckling Presse)
Maribor (The Post-Apollo Press)
Rude Girl (BlazeVOX Books)
Rave On! (Lew Gallery)
Gary Gygax (Cy Gist Press)
Rude Girl (Duration Press)
The Moveable Ones (Transmission Press)
Benthos (Silas Press). Lives in Oakland. Works for Small Press Distribution.