Before I say anything else, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Chris Newgent for all of the time and energy he has put into our efforts to bring you the next nine words: WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF THE LIT PUB! I’d like to also thank Matt Bell for his excellent advice during the early planning stages, and I especially need to thank my parents, without whose emotional and financial support this would never have been possible. A big round of applause for the guys and gal at Fuzzco, who helped make our website everything I hoped it could be. Many special words of gratitude to Lidia Yuknavitch, for believing in us before we even knew what we really were. And thank you also to Ethel Rohan, Mike Young, and Ofelia Hunt. Of course, gigantic hugs for the entire crew at TLP for all of their hard work and much-needed emotional support during these last few months (Mike Bushnell, thank you for listening, I am so grateful for your energy; Erika Moya, what would I do without you, seriously, my birthday twin!; Elizabeth Taddonio, you are going to manage the hell out of our community, I know it; Kristina Born, Mark Cugini, David Blomenberg, Nicelle Davis, Jacqueline Kari, Corey Beasley, Jordan Blum, M. M. Wittle, and Dave Kiefaber, I thank you for your belief in this; Richard Nash, Adam Robinson, Kevin Sampsell, Dan Wickett, Zach Dodson, and Michael Griffith, let me tell you how grateful I am for your guidance along the way). And thank you again and again and forever to my parents, who are really the unseen heros behind everything that we have accomplished thus far. Without them, I mean it, this would still be just an idea.
A few months ago, in April, to be exact, I started a series of posts entitled “A Sentence About a Sentence I Love” with a sentence about one of Gerard Manley Hopkins’s magnificent sentences. This concentration, or, rather, this obsession with the sentence may have come from my, at the time, recent readings of William Gass’s essays wherein he concentrates much of his attention on the sentence as a primary building block in poetry and prose. Essays by Gass like “The Soul Inside the Sentence,” “The Sentence Seeks Its Form,” “The Architecture of the Sentence,” take as their focus the centrality of the sentence toward the construction of thought, and particularly of thoughts within the parameters of fiction. In “Philosophy and the Form of Fiction,” Gass claims that sentences are “the most elementary instances of what the author has constructed….a moving unity of fact and feeling.” Moreover, sentences
must be sounded, too; it has a rhythm, speed, a tone, a flow, a pattern, shape, length, pitch, conceptual direction. The sentence confers reality upon certain relations, but it also controls our estimation, apprehension, and response to them. Every sentence, in short, takes metaphysical dictation, and it is the sum of these dictations, involving the whole range of the work in which the sentences appear, which accounts for its philosophical quality, and the form of life in the thing that has been made (Fiction and the Figures of Life, 14).
“Suttree could hear the wheels shucking along the rails and he could feel the ground shudder and he could hear the tone of the trucks shift at the crossing and the huffing breath of the boiler and the rattle and clank and wheelclick and couplingclacking and then the last long shunting on the downgrade drawing on toward the distance and the low moan bawling across the sleeping land and fading and the caboose clicking away to final silence.”
–From Cormac McCarthy’s Suttree.
Do you know Seth Landman? If not, you should. I had the pleasure of meeting him a few weeks ago in Denver, thanks to Mike Young. (Do you know Mike Young? If not, you should.) There were burgers, there were pints and $3.00 martinis, and there was a vacuum. And, later, there was a trade. I gave Seth a copy of We Take Me Apart, and he gave me lovely looking copies of the poetry journal he edits, Invisible Ear (Issues 2, 3, and 4), which look like little chapbooks, each with a unique cover, and each printed in limited editions.
Issue 2’s contents looks like this:
Marie Buck, Jessica Fjeld, Brad Flis, Lawrence Giffin, Rachel B. Glaser, Ben Kopel, Lily Ladewig, Emily Pettit, Alex Phillips, Jono Tosch.
Issue 3’s contents looks like this:
Brian Baldi, Ezekiel Black, Jack Christian, Ari Feld, Lewis Freedman, Anjali Khosla Mullany, Mark Leidner, Edward Mullany, Emily Toder, Lesley Yalen.
And Issue 4’s contents looks like this:
David Bartone & Jeff Downey, Eric Baus, Luke Bloomfield, Francesca Chabrier, Phil Cordelli, Loren Goodman, Kim Hagerich, Hailey Higdon, Brian Mihok, Michelle Taransky.
1. Frank Lima
Now my third for a holy trinity of Frank poets (the other two being Frank Stanford and Frank O’Hara, with CA Conrad’s hero in the Book of Frank getting a wink), Frank Lima is a woefully underappreciated poet. He’s got Cedar Tavern cred and chops that melt together an urban sizzle-drip, a bird-on-fire flight of Lorca/early Paz surrealism, and a caramel sensitivity and straightforwardness ala Kenneth Koch. Continue reading