Friday, October 3, 2008

Cold Shower Press

When you were in nursery school, did you ever turn cream into butter?

Is that a weird question?

When I was in nursery school, our teachers brought in cream (and salt) and an empty babyfood container (those small ones that look like tiny servings of apple sauce- but it's really like ground meatloaf or whatever other gross foods they blend for babies). We all sat in a circle and took turns shaking the glass babyfood container for probably 30 seconds each, and after about 20 minutes it turned into a lump of butter. We strained the lump to get the water out, and then we all got to spread the butter on crackers. I remember being in awe of how we were able to change something from a liquid state to a solid state, all just by shaking a jar.

There was another circle of kids making butter near our carpet and their babyfood container ended up breaking and glass fell into their cream/butter. We gave them our butter to share. I remember looking at their broken cream, glittering with glass.

***

Last night I went to see Joshua Clover, Simone Muench, and Philip Jenks read. Clover read a long poem that was really f*cking stunning. It felt like his poem sucked down all the cities in the world through a secret wind tunnel in the sticky floor of some LA cinema, and funneled them back out, in the form of fir tree seeds, through a prism, into your bicycle's basket. I'm saying it will slap you around. I'd never read Jenks's poetry before but I dug it. I'm going to go out and buy his book now, which has a killer title: My First Painting Will Be "The Accuser."

MY FIRST PAINTING WILL BE “THE ACCUSER”
Philip Jenks
Poetry
ISBN 0-939010-84-4 (paper) $12.95
Buy Now From CCNow
5¼ x 8
60 pages

Interview with Philip Jenks

Inspired speech recording its own fall into dead letter, the poems of Philip Jenks are strange, original, terrifying. A stuttered apocalypse, they affirm our fellowship with all matter while suffering divinity's perpetual departure from our midst.
—Benjamin Friedlander

The second full-length volume from Jenks expands on the blistering lyrics of On the Cave You Live In (Flood Editions), by moving further into equal mixtures of social critique and sonic pattern. Philip Jenks grew up in West Virginia. He completed a Master's degree in creative writing at Boston University, and his ongoing engagement with Appalachian culture and politics led him to the University of Kentucky, where he worked at the Appalachian Center. In 2002, Jenks received his doctorate in Political Science. He currently is an assistant professor at Portland State University.

Visual cue in the title notwithstanding, Jenks's new collection is utterly aural. As he writes in his “poem for U. S. Maple”: “jesus said look no further / it's all in the hearing.” The rhymes and razor-sharp scaffolding of sound that vertically hold each page together do not, however, make for a page-bound poetry. These poems, baffled by boundaries—sea/land, inside the mind/outside the body—are “voiced” in the Joycean sense, muttered in prayer, proclaimed in anger, recording the experience of “being” at sea: “He falls apart / off his bones in the aisle and is a wander / plus a satyr hs vicious logos…” Through ample use of the prefix “hy” Jenks removes both the “his” and “story” from history and leaves us in animal sensation: “hyster,” or womb, the ultimate threshold between land and sea. And thus we have: hydra, hysterated, hysterectomy. This beautiful hermetic work is guided by an exacting craftsman possessed of an ethical mind.
—Jennifer Moxley

***
I'm going to a party for this tonight (I love the used bookstore, Freebird):
Mike Heppner's Talking Man
from Small Anchor Press

Event: Man Talking Release Party
"because it only comes out once"
What: Night of Mayhem
Host: Freebird Books & Goods
Start Time: Friday, October 3 at 7:30pm
End Time: Friday, October 3 at 9:00pm
Where: Freebird Books & Goods

4 comments:

Elisa Gabbert said...

Yes! I too made butter!

what I should have said yesterday: Snails in the Watercress is our generation's Gorillas in the Mist.

No?

Julia Cohen said...

Oh, that is a very sad comparison!


Yes.

Kate said...

i didn't make butter.

and i wouldn't have shared.

Julia Cohen said...

why am i not suprised

i'm going to butter you up good