Poetry in Principle — Essays on Poetics, by George Quasha

Foreword by Edward S. Casey

Dispatches Poetics #1

ISBN 978-1-949966-01-5      148 pages        $16.00

“In this highly original text—itself a unique event of original thinking—George Quasha opens not just with paradox but with what appears to be an outright contradiction: poetry/in principle. A contradiction indeed… unless it turns out that poetry is something more than a discrete happening, and if principle itself proves to be other than unmitigatedly gen-eral.”

—Edward S. Casey

“For five decades. Quasha has fearlessly and lucidly in poetry, essays, anthologies and interviews built a poetics of radical utterance, a poetry of the word unleashed from melody, set free from number—into pure saying.”

—Robert Kelly

“What I enjoy and value in George Quasha’s Poetry in Principle is its dialectic of abstract philosophical concepts on thinking in dialogue with the physics of everyday life. Its language is “a feedback medium of released self-perception,” an improvisational intelligence inked in principles that stand against today’s gift-wrapped culture of make America great again preservatives manufacturing lies about mortality and the sustainability of a beautiful and finite planet Earth. Quasha’s writing takes its planetary time to heart. The rhetorical resonance of his prose reveals the complexities of why poetry matters. What are the reasons people search for exits in thought and word, why are exits needed? Why take leave of what has taken so much effort and time to arrive, and to create? Is human consciousness an inevitable contradiction of its existence? Quasha’s principles are tuned to the Anthropocene. Listen carefully, and jump in.”

—Andrew Levy


He We Her / I Am White

by Andrew DuBois

ISBN 978-1-949966-15-2      100 pages        $16.00

 

I Am White is  tale of piracy, privilege, and perversion told from multiple mouths, signifying something obscene and awfully funny about this world, wherein the main character, monikered White, an amorous new Orlando, discovers a diversity of diseases bodily, moral, and political, the price paid of intermingling and of arrogant transgressions now allowed, which finally finds the whole scene lousy with a plenitude that must ultimately overwhelm the simple “man.”

He We Her tells sordid tales of relations between single people coupled with a meditation on the making of families, a critique of cloud-based communities and a deep dive into cum-cloud questions, full of confused desires in total conflict with both the nuclear family option and the fakery of trendy admixtures, whereby finally one must fend for themselves, because darling, oh my darling, everything in this crazy decrepit globe is roundly on our side and against us.

A Dispatches Double Book —

two offensive texts for the price of one.

Available from Spuyten Duyvil Press


Commedia

by I Goldfarb

ISBN 978-1-947980-62-4      92 pages        $18.00

 

“Goldfarb makes the reader into a poetry sensitive nymphette.”

—Andrei Codrescu

“I admire in Goldfarb this copious density, this fecundity of the sonnet form, invented eight centuries ago, and still giving of itself.”

—Michael Deguy

“Goldfarb silhouettes his chosen form with precision and sparkle.”

—Geoffrey Gatza


XIII — Ship Of State

by André Spears

ISBN 978-1-949966-18-3      76 pages        $15.00

A compendium of the dreams of ‘poets’, of the indefinite, surely. Climb aboard the Ship of State, of the condition of being, of ‘transport’ – schipe, sciepe, skepi, skapr, skab, skip, skib, schap, schaft, skap, (s)kep(p). Climb aboard the Ship of State where off falls the head of the Head of State, off fall the arms, legs and penis, the labia reopening to the indefinite and definite loss. Spears is aboard, embowelled, disguised and genuine because prepared to lose his creation, to toss leeward the remote control, to maroon us all.

—MTC Cronin

If this ship has found your shore, you can feed your niche hedonism, elated with the light-flares fired between the nodes of shared libraries, find warmth in the berth of fatal solidarity, or perhaps leap from its gifted plank, to search beyond the downward revolutions of the dealt deck’s fragments.

—David Peter Clark

The Ship of State sets sail in astral waters off the lost land of Mu (no thing, the gate to enlightenment), haunted by the 13th Major Arcana of the Tarot deck, Death. When the ship is marooned, captain and crew see they have resisted “joy, love and laughter,” so “[t]he hope is that by mapping/the Heavens, we will discover/the Guiding Spirit to enlighten us.” Spears knows his capers, and he names his characters accordingly: Cowabunga and Tarzan mix with the ancient and mythical, which coexist with the contemporary hashtag and psychosphere, and are shadowed through it all by the absurdities of the political. Mixing and spilling myriad and sometimes paradoxical sources and images, this continuation of Spears’s dazzling long poem enthralls. Here is a seafarer who not only assimilates what is valuable, but groks what to do with it: play.

—Ruth Lepson

While Dr. Williams reached a point at which there would be “no one to drive the car,” this Ship of State hurtles through the noosphere manned and womaned by a truly motley crüe. But the printer is off-line and the codes for the remote control remain sealed. Equal parts Rube Goldberg and dystopic Brazil, with touches of Lovecraft, Burroughs, Ed Dorn and so much more, it is exceedingly difficult to fully describe or account for both the utter seriousness and the uproariously madcap qualities of this latest installment to the growing oeuvre of André Spears. Hilarious, terrifying, and exquisitely erudite in its metric and other exegetic manifestations, Ship of State steers poetry on a desperately needed new course.

—Ammiel Alcalay


Status of the Mourned

by Hugh Seidman

ISBN 978-1-947980-99-0        84 pages      $15.00

 

“In Status of the Mourned, the American poet Hugh Seidman pays tribute to poets, love, art, memory, desire, and the legacy of a maimed century. Through this book, in which poems of great gravitas intercut strings of darkly playful lyrics, contemporary readers will learn what poets have long known: Seidman is a master.”

—Susan Wheeler

“He finds the luminosity in the darkest of matter.”

—Michael Heller

“Status of the Mourned, Hugh Seidman’s seventh book, is, like each of his books, a masterpiece. Seidman’s gift of making poems into objects of visionary intensity, fiery intellect, and almost tangible word-sounds, is unparalleled in our poetry. Confronting, at the boundaries of history, the horrors inflicted on the body politic, and presenting, with astonishing fervor and intimate exactness, poems powerful enough in dream power to raise the dead to a life that is forever living, Status of the Mourned is truly radical, deeply set in our oldest karma—that of hope and of love.”

—Lawrence Joseph

“Hugh Seidman’s poetry develops out of the writing of Louis Zukofsky and George Oppen, two “Objectivists,” the first of whom was his teacher. However, Seidman’s poetry is expressionistic, and existential. On one level, Seidman is a New York City poet, closer to Paul Blackburn than to Frank O’Hara: his writing carries the bruise and negative reality of having lived in the city for an entire lifetime. But he is also not a ‘street poet.’ His writing is sophisticated and profound. He has, for example, written extraordinary poems about his aging and ultimately senile parents that are unique in American poetry. There is no insincerity in Seidman’s work. He has earned every poem that he has written.”

—Clayton Eshleman

“Few contemporary American poets, if any, speak for Walter Benjamin’s Angel of History as does Hugh Seidman in Status of the Mourned. As if caught in the storm called progress, pulled backward into the future by the ‘incorrigible, leveraged absolution of witness’ (‘New Year’), Seidman invariably confronts the ‘debris of the universal Kaddish’ (‘Millennial’). What is mourned, in the process, is the status of the child within, abandoned at birth and feeling motherless, become Angelic by virtue of a strong and un-relinquishing grip on the persons and the poems it has loved.”

—André Spears.


Investigative Poetry

by Ed Sanders

Introductory Essay for the New Edition by Don Byrd

ISBN  978-1-947980-42-6      80 pages        $15.00

“Ed Sanders’s great document is generative Ur screed for all investigation. It reclaims power for poets designating  “’istorin”, as  scrappy  yet  sophisticated, timeless, adventure.  Investigate the Abyss! perfect rallying cry for the Kali Yuga mess we’re in. Data as sanity, as earth-touching mudra to awakened mind. Down with cognitive dissonance! Key scripture to Jack Kerouac School Naropa’s pedagogy since early inception, Investigative Poetics holds ground in this elegant new edition with elucidating preface by Don Byrd. Long live the cultural intervention this text already was and continues to be. Facing ethical and ecological crisis and loss of historical memory and  dynastic corporate control and greed,  we needed Sanders’s IP anew and available.  It is powerful apotropaic medicine to the syndicates of samsara, a tool kit for survival, mind and senses in tact. And as brilliant antidote to distraction culture, you can actually wake up in the morning and DO something!”

—Anne Waldman

“. . . one of the most important documents, texts, textbooks, and manifestos or manifestations to come into my hands since—I guess it’s the most important thing for me since “Projective Verse” itself.”

—George Butterick

“Some of us had the fortune of discovering Ed Sanders’ Investigative Poetry at our beginnings. For me it was the birth of the poet after many aborted efforts and has remained a major root. Sanders and the Fugs’ incantation to exorcise and levitate the Pentagon at the height of the Vietnam War, his coverage for the LA Times of the trial of Charles Manson and subsequent, extraordinary book, The Family, and his essay, Investigative Poetry, are the root of a whole generation of poets. With Dispatches’ much needed reprint here it will become a root for generations of poets to come.”

—Sharon Doubiago


The OBU Manifestos

ISBN 978-1-944682-75-0      130 pages      $15.00

“One Big Union aka Oligarchy Busters United–a serious and radical hoot, a real send-up and a real, passionate intervention–these Blakean manifestos for our pluri-poly-inter-problemantic NOW-TIMES smash and reconfigure the relations between politics (explicit), situationist aspiration (informed), aesthetics (pointed), and aspire to a metamorphic (dada?) democracy—all with a fierce and witty love. Ingest the transformative OBU; readiness is all.”

—Rachel Blau DuPlessis

“I embrace the OBU Manifestos! They imagine a movement that actually moves, and a union that unites. Read these thought experiments not just for the smart allusions to Blake and Conrad, not just for the adrenaline jolt of possibility, but also for the toe-tapping sense of fun that is vitally serious: the belief that our country, and our world, and we ourselves, can all be better. That there is something better than Trump, better than money; that forms of solidarity can be imagined that will help us fight our way out of this political chasm…that there may be something even better than happiness, that will still include happiness, and that the world can still be saved.”

—Mark Oppenheimer, Director, Yale Journalism Initiative, and opinion columnist for The Los Angeles Times


Tramping the Bulrushes, by John Clarke. Preface by Michael Boughn, Introduction by Lisa Jarnot, Afterword by Daniel Zimmerman

ISBN 978-1-944682-86-6       288 pages      $16.00

“John Clarke is among those stand-out poets who are guides of what to do in writing that thinks. So – we may come through. . . . Here we are just plain after the modern (to use Olson’s clear recognition and step around the pile up of positivisms) and at work.”

—Robin Blaser

“John Clarke uses language like a can opener to breach the orders of thought (the essential tautologies of self-Being) that we might get at the meat of the Potentiality locked within.”

—Diane di Prima

“With a depth of humanity and intelligence hardly visible anymore in our culture, Jack Clarke’s work makes possible trajectories of thought that have largely been denigrated, suppressed or foreclosed in the little “public space” we cling to for dear life.”

—Ammiel Alcalay

“Next to Olson’s Projective thesis, Jack Clarke’s From Feathers to Iron: a Concourse of World Poetics, is the best poetics thus far written for the next 100 years to study, for all schools.”

—Vincent Ferrini

“Jack Clarke took it as far beyond Charles Olson as Olson took it beyond Ezra Pound.”

—Albert Cook


Homage to the Pseudo Avant-Garde – One Hundred and Sixty-Five Poems by Kent Johnson

ISBN 978-1-944682-33-0          $15.00        194 pages

“Like the vanguard poets whom he tweaks and honors, [Kent Johnson] is out to clear space for the new by preserving the living energy of the past and clearing away all that is dead…One hears the voice of Whitman transplanted into the national security state: the self now dispersed, furtive, anguished, mocking, at times sadistically cruel. It is not an easy voice to attend to, but…it remains indispensable.”

– John Beer, Chicago Review

“Kent Johnson’s poems astonish me and seem to be a shock for the future. He is simply one of the most original and strange poets of the last decades. His machine poems kill fascists like a guitar.”

– David Shapiro

“A Pointillist portrait of an international poetry scene as exciting as anything found in Beat Literature or the novels of Roberto Bolaño…. What comes across is a life intensely lived, dedicated to poetry, and full of travels and friendships born out of the love of literature and impossible without that love.”

– Eric Gelsinger, Denver Quarterly


Resist Much / Obey Little – Inaugural Poems to the Resistance

Edited by Michael Boughn, John Bradley, Brenda Cardenas, Lynne DeSilva-Johnson,  Kass Fleisher, Roberto Harrison, Kent Johnson, Andrew Levy, Nathaniel Mackey, Ruben Medina, Philip Metres, Nita Noveno, Julie Patton, Margaret Randall, Michael Rothenberg, Chris Stroffolino, Anne Waldman, Marjorie Welish, Tyrone Williams

ISBN 978-1-944682-32-3 (pbk.)       $30.00     738 pages

ISBN 978-1-944682-54-5 (hdc.)       $45.00

50% of all net sales receipts donated to Planned Parenthood

“we can’t build a wall. we can only spout pure water again and again and drown his lies.”

—Eileen Myles

“Racism, xenophobia, misogyny and their related malaises are to the U.S. what whiskey is to an alcoholic. The current occupant of the White House won the election yipping, against possible recovery, “Drinks are on me!” The rich, multitudinous voices in this anthology variously call for—having embarked on—the hard work of sobriety, sanity.”

—Nathaniel Mackey

“Poets are summoned to a stronger imagination of language and humanity in a time of new and radical Weathers. White House Inc. is the last gasp of the dying Confederacy, but its spectacle is dangerous and addictive so hold onto your mind. Fascism loves distraction. Keep the world safe for poetry. Open the book of love and resistance. Don’t tarry!”

—Anne Waldman