Tag Archives: amerikansk poesi

Veckans dikt 109: ”Home.I” av CAConrad

 

ghosts get
ideas bad
ones mostly
caught in a
new average for
boots to the stomach
the moon is not
a favor machine
hope is a fiction we
would be better without
but find hard to live without
I met a spider who
hopes we let the house go to insects
will you roll your
eyes if I call
this spider
my sister
regardless if
you do
she is
my sister

 

”Home.I” from While Standing in Line for Death. Copyright 2017 by CAConrad. Used with permission of the author and Wave Books.

 
Ett varmt tack till CAConrad och Wave Books för att vi fick publicera den här dikten, som är hämtad ur While Standing in Line for Death. Det är en djupt gripande och originell diktbok vars texter utgår från en slags riter och av poeten kallas (soma)tic poetry. Boken kommer ut senare i höst, men jag kan varmt rekommendera ett besök på CAConrads hemsida eller Wave Books hemsida. Förlaget är baserat i Seattle, men det är utåtriktat och har en unik utgivning av samtida amerikansk lyrik.

.

Ola Wihlke

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Veckans dikt 104: ”Teleskop” av Louise Glück

 

Den korta stunden efter att man flyttat blicken
då man glömmer var man befinner sig
eftersom man tycks ha varit
någon annanstans, i natthimlens tystnad.

Man har slutat att vara i världen.
Man är på en annan plats,
en plats där mänskligt liv inte betyder någonting.

Man är inte en varelse i en kropp.
Man finns som stjärnorna finns,
delar deras stillhet, deras ofantlighet.

Sedan är man tillbaka i världen.
Om natten, på en kylig kulle,
man monterar ner teleskopet.

Efteråt inser man,
inte att bilden är falsk,
utan att relationen är falsk.

Man inser ännu en gång hur långt
varje ting befinner sig från varje annat ting.

  

Publicerad med tillstånd av Rámus förlag: © Jonas Brun och Rámus förlag 2017 © 2006. Louise Glück

 
 
 
Ett varmt tack till Thomas Andersson för att vi fick publicera den här dikten, som är hämtad ur Averno (Rámus) av Louise Glück. Hon räknas allmänt som en av den amerikanska samtidspoesins allra främsta. Tidigare har bara enstaka dikter av Glück översatts till svenska, vilket gör Averno, i mycket fin tolkning av Jonas Brun, till något utöver det vanliga.

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Boken avslutas med en initierad och perspektivrik text av Brun, som sätter in Averno i ett större sammanhang. Viktiga element i Glücks diktvärld är grekisk mytologi, begärets omöjlighet och olika existentiella teman, inte minst döden. Brun framhåller att det stränga och det vackra samexisterar på ett intressant sätt i Glücks dikter, men att de också innehåller en förlösande humor. Det kan också vara befriande att läsa henne, eftersom hon inte, vare sig språkligt eller tematiskt, anstränger sig nämnvärt för att framstå som modern eller samtida.

Ola Wihlke

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Veckans dikt 74: ”The Fall” av Russell Edson

 

There was a man who found two leaves and came indoors holding
them out saying to his parents that he was a tree.

To which they said then go into the yard and do not grow in the living-
room as your roots may ruin the carpet.

He said I was fooling I am not a tree and he dropped his leaves.

But his parents said look it is fall.

 

Ett varmt tack till Marco Wilkinson på Oberlin College Press som gett oss tillåtelse att publicera den här prosadikten av Russell Edson (1935-2014), en av den moderna amerikanska litteraturens allra mest egensinniga poeter. Oberlin College Press ger ut en riktigt bra litteraturtidskrift, FIELD, och det senaste numret är ett specialnummer med matnyttiga essäer om Edsons poesi. Essäerna är frukterna av ett Edson-symposium.

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Oberlin College Press har även gett ut en helt fantastisk bok, The Tunnel: Selected Poems, en unik samling med Edsons prosadikter, hämtade från böcker som What a Man Can See (1969), The Intuitive Journey (1976) och The Wounded Breakfast (1985). Russell Edsons böcker är tyvärr svåra att få tag på; något större förlag borde köpa rättigheterna och ge ut samtliga titlar på nytt. På svenska finns, så vitt jag vet, bara En afton på grisarnas teater (Karneval förlag), ett väldigt bra urval prosadikter gjort av Stewe Claeson.

Ola Wihlke

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Veckans dikt 70-72: tre dikter från ”Hitlers Mustache” av Peter Davis

 

Hitlers Mustache: A Mustache Confession

I feel like a bad mustache a lot of the time. With no friends, and for good reason, greedy and mean and not worth the time. I recognize this sensation often as the symptom of mental mustache but more often as the truth. Who knows about masks? Not me. I’m moving at the speed of light and the occurrence of seeing light gets mustache, etc. I want to tell something about myself, but, mustache.
And of course you’ll consider me rude and histrionic and mustache, but it’s the truth. For a whole lifetime a person is a human. A person is a person whether they know it or not. And if they do, if they feel as if they have a chance, even Superman can’t see through lead. So they might find it, snuggled as if children under flannel sheets, huddling and gaining strength, jumping out from closed closet doors and yelling “Boo!” It may remind them of their own children or of mustaches they can’t put in their cranium and lull to sleep. The whole time becoming blacker and more like a doorway or trapdoor, removing doubt about devout thoughts. There is a mustache. There is one and we all know it. Call it a black, square magnet, or a black square mustache—still this chalkboard is full of chalk. Some mustache has stood in front of this room for a long time with the back of his shirt un-tucked and sweat in his armpits, jotting some mustache code.

 

Hitlers Mustache: The Mustache Being Creepy on the Bus

The mustache was staring a stake through June,
she could feel the mustache peering, felt stress
creeping from the mustache like a blood moon.
The mustache knew he was prone to obsess.
Once, a young mustache, he watched a snake
for so long the mustache point became moot.
Though he felt his mustache (ice cream to her cake)
melting to a dead mustache, her beauti-
ful discomfort was a mustache Garbo,
mustache mystery on par with foreplay,
the mustache train carrying a hobo
whose mustache name was Mustache Lovely Day.
In Junes sqare eyes, the mustache saw rhinestone.
In her black fear, mustache smelt hair cologne.

 

Hitlers Mustache: The Short Story

Important arrangements were to be made. The party would not plan itself. She sat on her square, black sofa, dreaming about the decorations and imagining the caterer and even some of the clothes her guests might be wearing. It made her happy to think like this. But, soon enough, her grand hopes began to settle like soft snow on the warm floor of the situation. She didn’t have much money. A. would never get behind her on this. Her sister-in-law would drink too much and break her black, square heel and throw her purse in the swimming pool and fall asleep in a lawn chair. There were bills that needed to be paid now. If only she had never met mustache. If only he hadn’t mustached her aunt in a furnace, or
breaded her over an open mustache.
That evening while her husband and children ate the food she had carefully mustached for them, she got an idea. Perhaps, she thought, if I were to mistake something for mustache. It seemed perfect. It covered all the angles. A. would get behind it because he needed that mustache. Her sister-in-law would take care of the bills. The cold snow began to melt. As a metaphor for her mood the cold snow no longer made sense and began to drift upward, out of the story, out of the poem, existing only in the past, in another time, one that seemed much bleaker.
The next morning she packed the children’s lunches and pressed A.’s shirt for him. After the kids were on the bus, and A. kissed her cheek and drove the Volkswagen down the long driveway, she fed the mustache and packed her baggage. She called the mustache. Put a note on the door for the mustache, and left, making sure she left the mustache slightly cracked so the mustache would be able to mustache the mustache.
The day was hot and by the time she reached the airport she was sweating through her shirt. She fanned herself with a mustache and nervously surveyed the situation. There were two guards near the mustache. Each mustache looked like it held mustache. She ordered a cup of mustache from the mustache who worked behind the mustache.
Mustache knew that she couldn’t mustache about this forever. She’d have to make up her mind mustache. She studied the mustache. She thought about all of the mustache in her mustache. All of the mustache. All of the mustache and mustache and must ache and mustache. She thought about the mustaches when her mustache was put in mustache. She took one more mustache of mustache. She mustached. She mustached her mustache and with every mustache of her mustache, mustached.

Peter Davis

© Peter Davis

Many thanks to Peter Davis, poet and musician – and all-around nice guy – for letting us publish three idiosyncratic and deeply original poems, from his seminal debut collection Hitlers Mustache (The Barnwood Press, 2006).

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Every poem has the title ”Hitlers Mustache [something]”. Each and every one of the poems are about Hitlers mustache, or maybe, none of them really are about Hitlers mustache? Read three poems from Davis collection, hugely entertaining and thought provoking Poetry! Poetry! Poetry! (Bloof Books, 2010). Visit Peter Davis homepage, for more poems, interviews, amongst other things.

Ola Wihlke

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Berl’s in Brooklyn, passionate about chapbooks and small press poetry

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In the autumn of 2013 a new bookstore opened in New York. The name of the store is Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop and it’s unique – it’s the only bookstore in New York that only sells books of poetry. And if that’s not extraordinary enough – the store focus almost entirely on chapbooks and books from micro- and small presses. Presses like Ugly Duckling, Birds, LLC and Future Tense.

Berl’s is a family business and is run by the married couple Farrah Field and Jared White. They met when they studied poetry writing at Columbia University. Both are published poets. They soon married – even the marriage was a bit literary – and 2011 they started to sell chapbooks and books of poetry from small presses at Brooklyn Flea.

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At Brooklyn Flea they learned everything about selling beautiful but somewhat obscure books to people who might not be the obvious audience for contemporary and alternative poetry. When Field and White had a baby, Rome, they put their Flea market venture on hold while tending for him.

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Field and White had always dreamed of opening a proper bookstore, a space where they could arrange events and exhibit art, but it’s not easy to find affordable and suitable spaces in New York. But by a stroke of luck they found a space in DUMBO, Brooklyn, right below Manhattan Bridge, which is brilliant. There are several publishers, other bookshops and journals in the neighborhood as well – Verso, Melville House, powerHouse Books, P.S. Bookshop, n+1 just to mention a few.

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And quite a few residents in DUMBO and the environs both write and read poetry and attend readings, and European tourists find their way to Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop as well, where they can buy colorful, hand printed, rare, playful and thought provoking chapbooks and books, most of them by American poets.

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The books at Berl’s are meticulously curated and they are displayed as pieces of art, despite the fact that a chapbook might cost as little as $10. At Berl’s poetry is all and we had the opportunity to ask co-founder and owner Jared White a few questions.

You are specialized in chapbooks and books from small presses. Can you explain what makes them so appealing and desirable?

– For us, discovering the vibrant ecosystem of small/micro publishers making chapbooks and books in an independent, do-it-yourself spirit was hugely inspirational to opening the shop. Here is a huge body of really exciting poetry writing being published for the most part under the radar, too diffuse, vast and rapid-paced for most bookstores to keep up with. It seemed a field in which we could really do something valuable and different than other bookshops in bringing a lot of these publications together, making them available and giving them a significant platform (and shelf real estate in our space).

– We struggle to do justice to the enormity of what is published and of course what we have in our shop is only a slice of what is out there and it is always a huge challenge to keep our inventory updated but we do the best we can to rise to the challenge of making a home for this kind of work.

Chapbooks appeal to me because:

– they represent an attempt to create a more personal means of production and to make gatekeepers less exclusionary

– they allow poets to present work in ways that reimagine what books can be or accomplish

– they are handmade, often very beautiful art objects in and of themselves

– they are approachable in that they are often much shorter than a full book-length so they can often be read in a single sitting

– they offer younger or less institutionally supported writers a way of getting their work out there and also a way for people by inventing presses to be able to participate in a conversation about poetry and to connect with writers they admire

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When you begin to explore this part of the poetry scene, it seem rather small, but when you take a closer look, you get the impressions that it’s large and very vital. Could you please tell us a little bit about how the scene have changed and developed? Is it altogether different from the rest of the poetry scene / book market?

– It certainly feels as if there has been an explosion in terms of the number of presses making chapbooks, probably partly fueled by the growth of MFA programs graduating classes of poets every year, and partly by the internet/social media turning local conversations about poetry into national and international communities. My research remains hugely word of mouth driven since so many publications happen in small editions announced only inside networks online though I’m always trying to find new outlets to include in our shop (such as our budget and our limited bookshelf space can allow). I would not describe chapbook publishing as a scene exactly, and certainly poets have been making and distributing their work in chapbooks for ages, but more like the work of many overlapping communities.

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Is it relevant to compare this niche market with vinyl records?

– I sometimes, especially with non-poets, might mention vinyl records or EPs as a loose comparison, in terms of the idea of B-sides or work-in-progress being made available. But obviously the big differences are a) presses are much looser, more DIY operations than most indie record labels b) handmaking a chapbook is a pretty different relationship to materials than sending off a record to be pressed c) the market is so much more about fellow poets in a shared, porous economy of reading and writing than with regards to music where listeners are not so often fellow musicians. They’re both related to passion but I think maybe there’s a bit less value in poetry placed on collecting.

 Farrah cutting a stencil for our banner

You know this ecosystem exceptionally well. Could you recommend a few recent books and a few publishers to follow? Are there any current trends that are particularly interesting?

– Off the top of my head, some great US-based include doublecross, dancing girl, graying ghost, horse less, the song cave, ugly duckling presse and so many others. Not sure if I see trends so much as a constant surge of new presses, many coming from other parts of the world. Recently we bought some great new books from Metatron in Canada and Vagabond Press in Australia for instance. And my list of presses that I intend to contact is humongous – the main limitation, even more than budget, is time since we are a small operation and right now I’m working pretty much single-handedly on most of this. Way too many books coming out all the time to make any more than a totally random listing – hope the list I sent in my last email might flag some good writing that I personally enjoyed especially:

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Anne Boyer’s GARMENTS AGAINST WOMEN

Orlando White’s LETTERRS
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Jackqueline Frost’s THE ANTIDOTE
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Carrie Lorig’s THE PULP VS. THE THRONE
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Monica McClure’s TENDER DATA

Could you please tell us a little bit about what you can find and do at Berl’s except from buying chapbooks and poetry from small presses?

– At Berl’s acquiring new chapbooks is an important part of our mission but in general we also have been growing a very expansive collection of poetry from all sorts of presses, including university presses and some large publishers as well. We aim to have a curated collection of books that is diverse and full of compelling writing generally. We have been hosting a lot of events in our shop as well, mostly readings, about 2-3 a week on average, so that is a huge part of our work.

Ola Wihlke

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Knäckande text av Claudia Rankine om våldet mot svarta

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”Though the white liberal imagination likes to feel temporarily bad about black suffering, there really is no mode of empathy that can replicate the daily strain of knowing that as a black person you can be killed for simply being black: no hands in your pockets, no playing music, no sudden movements, no driving your car, no walking at night, no walking in the day, no turning onto this street, no entering this building, no standing your ground, no standing here, no standing there, no talking back, no playing with toy guns, no living while black.”

Citerat ur ”The Condition of Black Life Is One of Mourning” av Claudia Rankine i The New York Times, 22 juni 2015. Rankine blandar ursinne och skarp analys i denna text om våldet mot svarta. De nio dödade i Charleston nämns i ingressen, men det här är en lång och välskriven text, som både i text och bild även riktar blicken bakåt i historien.

Mer läsning:

Recension: ”Citizen, an American Lyric” av Claudia Rankine

New York Times: Intervju med Claudia Rankine

Ola Wihlke

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Veckans dikt 38: ”ANAIS NIИ” av Ben Fama

 

My 1L is falling apart
is that a good wig
or an iPhone app?
the decade is pixels
endless scrolling
everything before
was glitter
the internet is one of my
major erogenous zones
false eyelashes, nail art
I just licensed
someone else’s art
to Forever 21
in this virtual open world
I’ll never work again

 

Ben Fama

© Ben Fama

Ett stort tack till Ben Fama för att vi fick publicera en av hans dikter, den här är hämtad ur Fantasy (Ugly Duckling Presse), som är hans första diktsamling i det längre formatet.

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Tidigare har Fama skrivit flera så kallade chapbooks, som konstboken Mall Witch (Wonder), Cool Memories (Spork), Odalisque (Bloof) och Aquarius Rising (UDP). Hans texter har publicerats i bland andra The Believer, Denver Quarterly, Boston Review, Jubilat, Lit och The Brooklyn Rail. Han är en av grundarna av Wonder och bor i New York City.

Intervju med Fama på The Believer Logger. Fama i samtal med Sarah GerardLiterary Hub.

Ola Wihlke

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