Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Journalist

I've acquired some new journals over the last few weeks. Here's the rundown:

Jubilat Twelve contains facsimile reproductions of the typewritten "X-Lax" poems of Ronald Johnson (one-word poems, in which the word—knit—is manipulated typographically, a whimsical experiment in the limits of meaning; these were done in enigmatic parody of Robert Lax), an essay about the illustrations of Stevie Smith, a few stunning prose excerpts (called "Three Poems"!) by Dizzyhead Sarah, an excerpt from The Book of the Lover and the Beloved by (Borges and Frances Yates fave) Ramon Llull, and much more.

The Canary, #6, co-edited by my friend Nick, has work by Jalal Toufic, Eileen Myles, Ange Mlinko, and more; it's a must for any admirer of Stone Reader, because it features SR subject Dow Mossman's Joycean poetry—fascinating.

A Public Space, No. 3, has a nifty short essay by Dizzyhead Ben, "When Animals Conspire"; an extract from the new Lethem novel; an Anne Carson poem; a Peru portfolio; Nora Krug's five-page graphic feature (what's the right term? "comic-book story"? No.) "Never Give Up! Fukutsu: The Life of Hiro Onoda, Soldier," about a WWII combatant who lived for decades on an island in the Philippines, disbelieving that the war was over; and a terrific poem ("Lustron: America's Prefabricated Home") by Robyn Schiff, which inventively recycles the name (and certain other words: "future") in a manner appropriate to a mass-produced (yet roomy) product:
Lustron has a no-nonsense Westchester model house, which I like to think of as a Winchester Mansion* for a Western destiny already won. See how fast the past lips into the future; it's a matter of a few letters and a notary public to change your/spent cartridge and you're ready to aim again[...]

*I think Winchester Mansion must be a reference to the Winchester Mystery House, which was being built for decades but was never finished.

* * *

Speaking of poems: Check out Cathy Park Hong's "O Light, Red Light," a new sestina (from her upcoming book, which I'm excited about) up at McSweeney's. Look what she does with the sestina form, invigorating it with her meticulous mongrel tongue:

Girls! Girls! Girls! Batted molas eyelashes at boned molish chap,
But lika Greco Frieze, him stood in cold puddle o red light,
Spite One Girl! Curdling she finga, 'Come bwoy, Come, don' G'won.'
Toto sum Girls! curdled dim fingas attim but he maki no choice.
Only browsed 'till sighed 'nut'a day.' Went back, spillim seeds
onto hotel carpet, lone, wit only zuzzing cable, a suite nocturne.

Ai fife, he warbled, Ai la lune triste nocturne.
'E capered down to karaoke lounge to singsong, a sloshing chap,
At hotel, quaffing Singapore Slings wit pomegranate seeds.
Next day, 'E kem back to de Girls! ta fes de garnet light.
Fished outtim haisimap pinga, but brined bine choice
E sterilized, and de Girls! chortled 'G'won home, batty bwoy, g'won.'

* * *

Finally: Jane Dark on Baudrillard.

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