the press gang

poetry, the go in the between, liminal, press

Monday, September 28, 2009


Dear gangsters,

We wave goodbye to our press. Neither Sara nor I have been able to put in as much work into the press in the past 2 years, due to school, a lot of moving, a lot of teaching, a lot of work.

We've loved working on the press, and though each of us are drifting into our own work, writing, jobs, we hope to engage in other press projects in the future (separate and distinct from ::: the press gang :::).

Our last book will be out soon; it's a short collection of poems by the late kari edwards...I'll post up a notice when that's set to print.

Adios amigos and amigas (( for now )).

Much love,

Sunday, August 5, 2007


the last few days in the city before heading into the deep south. nyc has a lot of washington towards new jersey, brooklyn and manhattan bridges, the bridge to long island, and a bridge that connects manhattan to queens. a friend says that i am going thru my honeymoon period with new york. the city just makes sense to me, this way of being. living amongst a place of so many contradictions: progressive political attitudes to uptight, privileged attitudes; conservative writing to some of the most courageous and experimental writing; the coolness and flexibility of evolved culture to the entrenched social hierarchy of wealth, academia, writing; the laidback and real attitudes of friends to narrow lifestyles formed from enclaved communities. but the beauty of this city is that all of this conglomeration exists within this given space, this given radius, this given...

a friend drove us into the city from park slope this morning, and looking out to see a picture-perfect image of the brooklyn bridge mirroring the manhattan bridge, i said - 'i can't believe how huge this city is.' but physically speaking, it isn't too's expansiveness is its in its occupation, its civilization. for that, i'd like to move least for a few years.

the studio architecture program @ columbia made me excited about writing again...i have a better sense/grasp of what open field poetics is because i worked so much with the physical parameters of paper. in some ways, i can understand the gist of concrete poetry more since i had to study form/structure from a more formal/technical perspective.

marllarme wrote a concise description of what i think is something like visual grid poetry. also justifies printing in a compelling way...

* * *

A page is printed in signature sheets, the most common one being in multiples of four; signatures are then
folded to page size, the largest signature being a folio. Pages appear as verso and recto. Hence, a page is a
fixed framework which delimits the amount of words and lines which it can support. A page may be said to
represent a unity of space, the place for the confrontation of printed elements, but the writer does not own at
any time a whole page because of the dictum of printer space. Printer space is space owned by the printer, not
the writer, to wit the first verso after a title is generally unprinted and each page is surrounded by dead, unus-
able space or printer’s margin. The margin frames or encloses the printed elements. Center margin or gutters
further compromise the integrity of the page and create a columnar effect; as a result, the vertical always
dominates the horizontal although the horizontal does not actually oppose the vertical, but is harmonious in its
subordination to it. The restraints of a page impose spatial ordering. Every page in a given printed work begins
and ends with a predetermined line length, a length further dictated by type selection and margin space, which
is a function of line length.24

Saturday, July 28, 2007


a lot has happened the past month. does it sound like a cliche to say that i have sufficiently fallen in love with new york. i leave for alabama in a week. a part of me is looking forward to it. a part of me is dreading it.

discovered: hannah weiner. it's wonderful to go back to a writer whom you felt indifferent about and seeing the work and understanding it in a different way. (

wrote a poem. im pretty exhausted. little sleep the past month, but still loving the studio program here.

* * *

(from "some firsts" series)

sunset 1

uberlyptic, utter -
dance, in quiet
reckoned, view(s)
a trip of deep plains
unssized, the tires,
kut inside, it feel,
please feel
you dunce. eroded.
what's in my pockets,
what's luck tangential, what's
insight, err
and roof-top
indepedence, or
just busy, the light
thru ropes and branches,
like life at some west-end
but broken,
but conform or fight,
no tiny numbers, what
meaning, right(s)
whats left
whats me, into?

Monday, July 9, 2007

shadows, 1 Uptown, the weather

blogging mite be sporadic this next month. im currently in nyc, participating in a studio architecture program @ columbia.

update on spahr's chapbook: the folios were boxed. val at one heart will ship in late july, so i'll have time to finish up the folios (hopefully) before orientation (boot camp) back in alabama.

currently reading: sporadically, a book on the objectivists. i need a small break from poetic theory.

michael ondaatje's _running in the family_. his one-worded sentences and sense of timing is impeccable.

peter eisenman (for those of you who don't know, he's an established architect, known more for his conceptual theories than his work) said last week: "all sustainable development architects are bad architects." mark wigley said (another architect taking part in an ongoing discussion series between himself and eisenman): "sustainable development architects are irresponsible, because they're not pushing the boundaries of beauty and structure." what world do these architects live in? do we even have a choice these days in not taking a somewhat sustainable route??? it clearly established that both are working within very specific parameters of "beauty" and "architecture."

we finished posting up broadsides for the RAT project. unfortunately, the NYPD caught on and was on the brink of charging the folks who started the cool project thousands of buckaroos for illegally posting up fliers. the trouble was really posting up the broadsides in certain parts of manhattan ( = $$$$ + prissy).

our first studio project was to construct a 3-dimensional object that expressed the relationships between light, time, and a specific site. part of my studio critic's assignment was for each of us to build a tool to make the 3-dimensional object, and we could only use this tool to construct the object. the 3-dimensional object then also became a drawing tool - the shadow patterns was supposed to reflect our observations.

i realized at the end of the project, my model was really about a dead track on the 1. the center track at 116th isn't in use. yet, it's a track. the only time when one realizes that it's day underneath is seeing the reflection of the light around the pools of water on the dead track.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


happy independence day - whatever that truly means ( i.e. the celebratory what in indepedence??)

it's about to rain in the city. i ran into an old high school friend in prospect park, out of all places! ivan is finishing up his phD in philosophy at univ of michigan. i see him sporadically, but he is honestly and truly one of the nicest, good-hearted human beings i know. im headed out in a bit to catch up and eat some veggie burgers (im guessing) with him and some of his friends.

anyhow. a poem.

* * *


i. first dream

A clear blue day, height of a wood-post fence. A fist, a riff, waking
to remember, at a slower speed of auditory. Hissssss, split, riff.
Listening, if patiently. If it was another time, another prevailing
weather. A clear blue day, spray-paint inscriptions of names and
holidays, territorial to laid thick. Fade like the fate of a letter
written by a skywriting plane, fog, a crowd. A smoke machine, as well
as a visual recording machine. A balcony, a boulevard, open, arrivals.
A small room with portraits of icicles. Desolate and sculpture, a
feel of incidental, the panhandle of Texas, Nevada. A clear blue day,
the sight of telegraphic poles, when it rains, a stir of adolescent

Monday, July 2, 2007


peeps. things are happening in philadelphia...

Sunday, July 1, 2007

nyc, ahhh

just arrived about a couple of hours ago. nyc has this expansive feel to it. so different from sf.

currently reading:::

_the objectivist nexus_ edited by rachel blau duplessis and peter quartermain.
press: university of alabama press (hank lazer and charles bernstein edit some pretty amazing books - check out the series sometime).

reading about louis zukofksy, in general, makes me very happy.

what was objectivism - i havent read too much of the historical proponent of it. zukofsky is fucking amazing. i like some niedecker stuff ("i'm going off the page..."). george oppen is ok. i am into basil bunting, or what ive read so far of his work.

objectivism was a movement of poetics (and yes, objectivism was a kind of lyric, for those who disagree...) that was distinct from modernism (pound, eliot, altho those two poets were also very different), with much of the nexus formulated between 1927-1935. the poets most often recognized as the main core are basil bunting, lorine niedecker, george oppen, carl rakosi, charles reznikoff, and louis zukofsky. objectivism suggests exactly what it implies - objectivist poetics wrote and saw a poem as an object. most of the time, they were suspicious of metaphysical, metaphorical writing, and rejected symbols. the literal sufficed.

apologies if that was dry. i often have to re-articulate and re-define things to prove that ive digested it.

a warm and lovely night in brooklyn...