In Rude Girl, light "scrime[s]", a girl secretly "places a button under her tongue," and a tide is a "pseudonym" both for not speaking (right then) and for what comes after: the start of seeing "the things [in front of]" (my brackets), which in fact "were always [in front of]." There's an attention too, in John Sakkis's beautiful book, to the "frequency and occurence" with which these things happened. Are happening. Like "years or color." Loved these poems. Hope you will too.
-- Bhanu Kapil
A three-part song for the unaccompanied and at times accompanied voice(s): "a word of it / set to walk". Like a sailor with sharp knives for ears and a psaltery made maybe of skateboards in his head, Sakkis travels across time, space, meaning, rule, principle, mode, listening acutely and carving away all excess: "Whenever particles spoken / into my nerves / I hear outer voices/ and Love" --He brings us to hear it too: "peeling away hunger." Rather than write about it, all I want to do is quote this whole exquisite book whose "fatty sheets of rainbow" speak for themselves.
I read Rude Girl as a Herodotean geography in that it reports the ecological and psychosocial terrains of an “other country.” The “country” in Rude Girl, however, is a landscape of broken economies: burned houses, the 1990’s, worn out coins, the shadowy “M.” (money itself? a Langian villain? whatever—an “ox by no means”). The lyricism of this book is suspended on a threshold of surplus and excess--terms which cue the melancholy of its unique version of human loss and the fragility of whoever’s left to report. This book disturbs me—it disturbs my participation in the dissipating, breakable ecologies I participate in: the woods, tunnels, streets; the “reified house” with its “barking economy.”
Sensual but sensible, the thoughtful lyrics of Rude Girl maintain, explore and suspend meaning. They don't describe but combine -- well, okay, sometimes they describe. "the house is like business/and doesn't sing/ the air is women." Everyday life and the sublime appear “walking hand in hand.” These poems are surreal, cerebral and celebratory. They sing and swoon. Read them and weep!
last Saturday, after drinking vodka tonics all day with Logan i went to Little Chihuahua and ordered a big plate of nachos...and then i went home and poured honey all over them and watched Lost Season 3 until i fell asleep...this has been another installment of COOKING WITH JOHN!
for dinner last night i heated up a can of delicious tortilla soup and then poured a bunch of honey mustard salad dressing in it! viola! a sweet and savory feast for one!!! this has been another installment of COOKING WITH JOHN!
you know how every now and then you'll meet a new poet and you're familiar with the poet's name but don't really know much about their work or if they're going to be cool or whatever? and then somewhere through that semi-awkward conversation (though not always) you're having with said poet you find out they're like one of those "John Wieners'ophiles"...that they are just totally all about Wieners arcana and gossip and totally OWN the original 8mm reel of the Wieners NET OUTTAKES (stolen from Kathleen Fraser's closet or whatever)...and then for some reason the conversation gets a little LESS awkward because for some reason you inherently TRUST Wieners'ophiles? like, in your own estimation you've never ever ever met a douchy-awkward Wieners fan? it's a weird po-scene phenomenon, Wieners fans are chill...well...i'm kind of thinking that i'm turning into a George Oppen'ophile...i'm seriously thinking that i've found my poetry-daddy, my big-po-poppa, my avant-astral guide...i'm not sure i've met any George Oppen freaks in my life, i know i certainly don't hang out with any...i know KK gave a lecture on Oppen at the Unitarian a few years ago (i boot-legged it while working as an intern at The Poetry Center, natch)...i own that Susan Thackery book but haven't cracked it yet (about 6 books down the line in THE ORDER), Buzanski gave me a first edition copy of Of Being Numerous for my birthday 5 years ago (that i didn't read until this week)...me and Brent and Laura had a semi-confusing conversation about Oppen the other day here at SPD...but yeah, that was the extent of my Oppen experience until this week when i finished The Collected Poems (and freaked the fuck out)...all i'm saying is if you're into Oppen i kind of want to know you and inherently trust you and absolutely want to grab drinks with you...it won't be awkward, it CAN'T be awkward, we're both into GEORGE "say damn" OPPEN!!! didn't you know? Oppen negates awkwardness...so let's just chill together and be super-folks...let's be the opposite of Conceptual Poetics! ZING!
"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.