Never a More Generous Man

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Never a more generous man have I met than poet and friend, Matthew Rotando. I take great pleasure in singing the praises of his first book of poems, THE COMEBACK’S EXOSKELETON. I wish you could all know him too, as you will find that once you fall in love with this collection, you will long to meet the person who has such zest for life as well as an eye not afraid to behold our evils. It’s really a lovely collection — and I’m not just saying that because I’ve been waiting for years for it to appear. You should throw caution to the wind and take up this EXOSKELETON! Discover how well dresses up your own worldview!

What others are saying:

Incorporating the density of Spanish surrealism and a sprawling Whitmanesque line, this amazing first book finds Rotando engaged in a poetic biathlon which draws equally from maximal and minimal traditions. There are tight, economical poems, free verse forms derived from the sonnet, poems leaping about the page, but my favorites are the wonderful prose poems tumbling over and under themselves toward gnomish statements that feel both didactic and self-parodying. –Tim Peterson, from the Foreword

The rich, exultant writing in Matthew Rotando’s first collection is both comic and cosmic. Lyrics steeped in the Latin American literary tradition disclose what might be called the surreality of reality in contemporary American culture, while cadences of Stein and Barthelme make the prose poems in The Comeback’s Exoskeleton ring with laughter of great philosophical depth. This is a writer unafraid to love and to err, and to do so with irrepressible grace and humour. To read such unapologetically joyous work is a tonic for melancholy and a prescription for wonder. –Srikanth Reddy, Facts for Visitors
And a few short poems from the collection, though there are many longer ones to gleefully sink into:

THE OCTOPUS MAN, TO HIS SON

 

Son, watch the way the eaves bend when you breathe.

They move the way a star would

If you could corral water into spheres.

 

Shadows play in the paint under the floor:

Tentacular spirits!

They will hold your cages and laboratory equipment.

 

Your time as a human is near at hand;

I am repealing all the old regulations

Regarding prostrations and guttural pronouncements.

 

There will be things called Souvenir Shops;

Bring back an “I ♥ Mt. Rushmore” keychain for your mother.

 

~~

 

TOM DEVANEY, LON CHANEY

 

I snave this heaking suspicion

That the poung yoet, Tom Devaney,

Is really the mold oviestar, Lon Chaney.

If lou yisten to the way they laugh,

Or notice their hartling, storror movie eyes,

You’ll sefinitely dee

That they’re both obvious dasters of misguise.

 

 

AMY, I’M GOING TO CALL YOU THE TROUBLE GIRL

 

I like trouble. I like to shoot watermelon seeds at passing barges. I wanna

put Elmer’s Glue in your hair and make it stick straight up. I wanna go

down to the docks and kick some ass! Your shoes small like skunk. And

so do mine. If we were lizards, I bet we would both be geckoes with

sticky round fingers. A friend is someone who decides to find you out.

Let’s have a broken bottle party! A Chinese dude, Shih-Wu, said, “Pine

trees and strange rocks remain unknown to those who look for mind

with mind.” So let’s not bother. Let’s just walk arm in arm through a

crumbling metropolis, clacking castanets.

 

–From THE COMEBACK’S EXOSKELETON by Matthew Rotando

 

 

In the mood for one more? Try this one, complete with a nearly naked pic!

☻☺☻☺☻☺

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I Dig It

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Jennifer Bartlett’s DERIVATIVE OF THE MOVING IMAGE

Jennifer Bartlett’s first book, with its most compelling title, DERIVATIVE OF THE MOVING IMAGE, is somehow not what I imagined it would be. I mean, there is shadow play and fondling of the slippery parts of relationships, but how can a first book reveal the mastery found within? I am envious and happy to have made this tome’s “moving” acquaintance. You would do well to spend a winter night curled around it too. Here’s one and a third to get you started:
 

JOHN, ONCE AGAIN I FALL INTO THE REALM OF UTTER PERIL

The body has its own form of chaos, a solar system
through which it moves. When you touch me you
become a smaller part of this balance and it is
unclear whether it is skin or the idea of skin you are
reaching for. When I shake I can feel your temptation
to wound me, to tack me down like a saved, dead
insect. If my spine were not a question mark. If my
hands were not flutters.

~~~

FROM A PARIS HOTEL ROOM

It was the spring after my sister died that I began to notice
the moths. They would follow me from room to room beating
against the window shades or showing themselves in the one
tiny patch of light as I dressed for the day. Some days, some
hours, I would count as many as twenty and still they held no
significance for me. I saw them as many see the trees that line
the highway, just passing objects.

… [con’t]

–From DERIVATIVE OF THE MOVING IMAGE by Jennifer Bartlett

If you thirst for the rest, you’ll have to go here and do a little dance!

Enjoy!

~~~

  1. Jennifer Bartlett Says:
    February 26th, 2008 at 10:47 pm eAmy,

    Thanks. What a great surprise! I feel like the queen of England!

Small Presses and Big Politics

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1. Go on and support Small Press Distribution if you have money to spare. My most recent is available now.

2. One speculative equation regarding “How Clinton Won“:

“Hillary Clinton won last night by putting together the voting coalition that has held Democratic frontrunners in good stead for 75 years. Take a look at these numbers – all of which come from CNN’s cross-tabulated exit polls. What you’ll see is that Hillary Clinton won many elements of the traditional FDR coalition.”

Click on RealClearPolitics for the numbers.

“Obama, on the other hand, had a very different electorate – one that has a bit in common with the insurgent candidacies of Gary Hart and Bill Bradley.”

Click on RealClearPolitics for that equation too.

3. From Judith Warner’s OpEd at The New York Times:

Could she “relate” to Clinton? Was she likely to find a “friend” in a woman with a camera-ready helmet of hair? Could she learn from Hillary? Could they share beauty tips? Would her gesture toward female bonding be well-received and perhaps met with the kind of positive mirroring of which Best Friendships Forever are made? …

It’s all about how you make voters feel.

Feeling – not thinking – becomes all-important when you have a field of candidates who aren’t really all that different from one another politically…

–Judith Warner, “Emotion Without Thought in New Hampshire

4. Reminds me of my current bedside reading, THE POLITICAL BRAIN, by Drew Westen:

“In politics, when reason and emotion collide, emotion invariably wins. Elections are decided in the marketplace of emotions, a marketplace filled with values, images, analogies, moral sentiments, and moving oratory, in which logic plays only a supporting role. Westen shows, through a whistle-stop journey through the evolution of the passionate brain and a bravura tour through fifty years of American presidential and national elections, why campaigns succeed and fail. The evidence is overwhelming that three things determine how people vote, in this order: their feelings toward the parties and their principles, their feelings toward the candidates, and, if they haven’t decided by then, their feelings toward the candidates’ policy positions.

Westen turns conventional political analyses on their head, suggesting that the question for Democratic politics isn’t so much about moving to the right or the left but about moving the electorate.”

–Drew Westen, THE POLITICAL BRAIN

~~~~

2 Responses to “Small Presses and Big Politics”

  1. T Says:
    January 12th, 2008 at 12:03 am enice little rundown. still can’t get worked up over this election yet though
  2. Jim K. Says:
    January 13th, 2008 at 1:12 am eA factor doesn’t do much unless a lack
    of it was a special problem. Either happy
    or sad would have cracked it. Too logical
    and you are “inhuman”. Too emotional
    and you are “weak”. There is some magical
    ideal nobody knows until it’s stepped on.
    Pundits overdramatize. It’s their job to
    push buttons. The news that the choices
    weren’t disgusting is no news.