Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Stop Patrolling and Go

Thank you to Matt Henricksen for putting together what was an amazing reading last thursday in Brooklyn. I don't know if there's any hard count floating around, but I'd guess there were anywhere between 200 and 250 poet-tasters at Steal This Reading. So many people, in fact, that East Coast Aliens studio was nearly shut down by fire marshals for exceeding occupancy limits. Thankfully it wasn't and the other readers (save CD Wright, I suspect) and I read in front of the biggest audience of our lives. Even more exciting--I was able to sell out all the copies of VERGE.

But back to Matt H. The new issue of Cannibal is out:

The new issue includes a chapbook, Spring Psalter, by Nate Pritts, as well as new poems by Adam Clay, Jane Gregory, Jordan Davis, Chris Tonelli, Landis Everson and Justin Marks, among many, many others.

". . . The egomania and the self-loathing and the rage of the young poet are all qualities that no artist can afford to completely outgrow . . . I agree with Pascal that "one must have deeper motives and judge everything accordingly, but go on talking like an ordinary person." But I also believe that if the work is to survive it is at the height of accomplishment that one must feel one's failure most intimately, in the depths of self-doubt must burn with ambitions fiercest fires. It's not always pretty."

-Christian Wiman

Currently I'm ankle-deep into Norman Mailer's The Spooky Art. Purportedly it's a book on the art of the novel, but the insights into Lit Biz are candid:

"I was out of fashion and that was the score; that was all the score; the publishing habits of the past were going to be of no help . . . And so, as the language of sentiment would have it, something broke in me, but I do not know if it was so much a loving heart as a cyst of the weak, the unreal, and the needy, and I was finally open to my anger. I turned within my psyche, I can almost believe, for I felt something shift to murder in me. I finally had the simple sense to understand that if I wanted my work to travel further than others, the life of my talent depended on fighting a little more, and looking for help a little less . . . All I felt then was that I was an outlaw, a psychic outlaw, and I liked it, I liked it a good sight better than trying to be a gentleman . . . and for the first time in my life I knew what it was to make your kicks."

--Norman Mailer

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