Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Next Big Thing

So I've been tagged by my dear Sarah Fox to participate in The Next Big Thing, which is a kind of self-interview project for writers that's filtering through the internets. I get tagged, write responses to a series of standard questions, then tag a gang of writers to keep the ball in the air. Seemed like a good reason to dust off the blog and dive in.


1. What is the working title of the book?

I'm just wrapping up a book of poems I've called "World of Claws." 

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

I guess the idea or the inspiration for the book came from a constellation of occurrences and circumstances over a relatively concentrated period of time. In February 2012 my parents visited Germany. They had been to Kassel a few times, so we chose to spend a week in Berlin. One day, after a long walk, we tucked into a beer hall to unwind. My father is recently retired and he has been taking up various projects (gardening, etc.) to occupy his time. One of these projects includes investigating his family history. This led he and my mother into a long series of stories about my family and my parents which I had never heard. I'm not a very nostalgic person, but the light in this room and the kind of unscripted outpouring from my folks really got to me. These stories collided with questions and concerns about my own family, how families are constituted, by whom, and so on. I went home and took notes. I revisited a series of loose sonnets exploring domesticity, and they seemed to resonate with the family poems.  At the time I was also keeping a dream journal, elements of which became part of the book. I guess the central event of the book is a long sequence (a daybook) composed around the art exhibition documenta 13, which was held in Kassel from June-September 2012. Between the visitors, the art itself, my wife's time traveling and my own time taking the exhibition in almost daily, I was able to build a construct of responses, thefts, implosions, ignorances, misinterpretations, etc. Once I had these different elements, it all came together rather quickly.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Poetry, I would say. It definitely falls under.

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

I think using unknown actors would achieve the desired effect, which is to render an unknowable life.

5. What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

"I would like to wander / amid the heavens’ explosions / a mountainous country’s / nomadic art immaterial / if learned by heart"

or maybe:

"Boy meets art."

6. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Once I had all the notes, it took me two months to draft it and sequence it. This book flew together in a flurry, as if it wrote itself. I barely knew what happened. By comparison, my last book took about five years. 

7. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Who? well, my parents (see question #1 above). my wife and all our kids. All the people who visited during documenta (Sarah Fox, John Colburn, Donna Stonecipher, Joao Enxuto, Erica Love, Susan Bernofsky, Laja Field, Christian Hawkey, Uljana Wolf, Madeline Stillwell, Marleen Knipping, Bärbel Tischleder, Jason Jacobs, Ekaterine Giorgadze, Jose Marin, Eva Mohn, Emily Dreyfus, Rachel Levitsky, et. al.).

What? getting older. my bicycle. the weather. stress. documenta. 

8. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

There are no lies to be found in it, but it might be fun to look for them.

9. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Neither.  The Documenta Daybook section will be published as a chapbook in March. The manuscript itself is making the rounds. My first book, Some Animals, comes out from JackLeg Press in spring 2014.

I've tagged Gregg Wagner, Jenny Browne, Chris Hosea, and Michael Meier.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sunday, August 7, 2011

mystical summer of 2011 mixtape

...for the summer the bats flew in the house, the summer you did kung fu in the yugoslavian hills,  drove the new vw van to croatia, scaled the factory wall untethered.  crowns were everywhere, graffitied on walls and tattooed on arms, on the heads of models and dangling from the mirror in your  borrowed apartment next to the sticker that said OHNE FETT. 
it was the summer Istanbul kept coming up.  first your visit to the jail on your birthday to see if the revolutionaries would be freed,  later the tales of tea shop back room mobster bosses.  istanbul and therapists - and therapies, and the conditions that preempted them.  
so when the results of the summer of 2011 roll in, here's your soundtrack.   for when the needle's in the bone, when the high-resolution photos are interpreted, for peeing into cups and the five minutes it takes to move the IV from the crook of your elbow to the back of your hand.  the soundtrack for when the grades are sent out and blood work comes in and more weights are added to the machine.  for the exact hour, minute and second the doctor calls with results you've waited two years for and for what your heart does when you walk to the window and she rounds the corner.  

beastie boyes feat. santigold - don't play no game that i don't win
jamie xx - far nearer
robyn - hang with me

hayes carll - beaumont
elite gymnastics - so close to paradise
ghostnotez - FACT
mount kimbie - would know
domain - bright lights
bonobo - we could forever
deerhunter - he would have laughed
gil scott heron + jamie XX - NY is killin me
chemical brothers - container park (hanna soundtrack)

st etinne - only love can break your heart
baby d  - i need your lovin
lewis taylor - send me an angel

whole albums:
james blake

bon iver
thom yorke / burial / fourtet

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Recurring Structures

On Sunday Roland gave me a coffee bonbon which he cleaned up on an art handling job from an exhibit of a Felix Gonzalez-Torres work...

last night I moved apartments, to a place with a great view...

and a lot of books...

including a FG-T catalog with two candies atop...

and this Gordon Matta-Clark catalog...

today the sun returned to Berlin after a long absence. Time to get out into it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

walls and the sky

swimming pool on the spree

tempelhof airport

  olafur eliasson's studio 


remains of berlin wall @ bernauerstrasse

poetry reading at SIN

jens komossa's studio

park by the spree behind the reichstag

humboldt university lecture hall 

mica moca gallery

back at the park, sunset