APOSTROPHE BOOKS has a new website: apostrophebooks.org. We’ll continue to use this site (apostrophebooks.wordpress.com) as our blog and for posting announcements, reading events, links to reviews, and maintaining our archive. However, our primary website and new digital home is HERE.
“Carlos Lara’s The Green Record erupts from prior time into the future. The spell of the language is cast by density, not unlike a blizzard of kelp magically seeded by an oneiric diver.”
— Will Alexander
Redefining and invigorating Surrealism for our current milieu, Carlos Lara’s book length poem explores the way in which language is always a kind of misprision, paradoxically ineffable and overdetermined, impenetrable yet luminous:
“I drag myself with amnesia through Dutch pastures
Compelling hunger and suffocation to swordfight with crystals
I am as alive as a mountain doused with goodness
a malady of owls in a Roman pantheon spraying angelic urine
an animal may find itself at the wrong end of the godspear or Oscar Wilde
translated into Farsi like an axiomatic snake the opposite sides of the mirror burn in the head”
Now available for purchase at SPD!
Apostrophe Books is pleased to announce the book chosen from our 2015 reading period: The Green Record, by Carlos Lara, sections of which have previously appeared in NOÖ Weekly, Lana Turner, and Entropy. Lara describes the book as a project of “metavocal English,” “allowing common words to mutate, hybridize, disintegrate… to fill up each page entirely with audiographic data via intentional mishearing.” Recalling Lautreamont’s famous “chance meeting on a dissecting table of a sewing machine and umbrella,” this book-length poem enlivens the Surreal tradition for our self-absorbed, apprehensive moment. Lara reads our everyday reality as a relentless sequence of misprision which at times, in our most adaptive naïveté, we accept as self-affirmation: “a plain begging for more tomorrows and tomorrow’s skin for the sake of more skin.” Or, in other moments, the concealment, erosion or even disappearance of what is known or can be known is irrevocable and complete: “I didn’t think about the office or god for a month / which was actually a cradle or maybe a Manchurian mirror / it was all whalebone electronic / the stars’ manifesto.”
Author Bio: Carlos Lara is the co-author, with Will Alexander, of The Audiographic As Data (Oyster Moon, 2016). His poems and translations have appeared in numerous journals, including Lana Turner, Lana Turner, and Lana Turner. As an original member of the Fam School, he cut his teeth on desire, sleeplessness, and excess. Stephen Yenser convinced him not to drop out of UCLA. CD Wright convinced him not to drop out of Brown. He owes everything to his friends. After all the waves, after all the facts on facts, he is silently disappearing, for now, in Brooklyn. Sites: carlosrichardlara.com & anonymousenergy.com.
“. . . . poetry, no matter how badly it aspires to philosophy (or a systematic secular theology), can never completely unclutter itself. Language, if it is really language, has to be crowded with things. And by “things” I don’t mean phenomena. I mean thing-ly things possessed of mass, and texture, and corners that we can’t help but bump into even as we perceive that bumping into those corners might injure us. However, in the case of The Habiliments, I might actually invoke the objective project of Romanticism more so than that of Modernism, inasmuch as they are different projects. . . ” CONTINUE READING
If you live in the Dallas area, please join us for Joe Milazzo’s reading and launch party at The Wild Detectives Coffee Shop on Tuesday, June 28th. Joe will read from The Habiliments and participate in a conversation moderated by Paul Koniecki.
Details hear: https://www.facebook.com/events/1200068016670252/.
An odd paradox underlies all of the poems in THE HABILIMENTS: the ‘habiliments’ or ‘clothing’ of the title refers simultaneously to dressing and stripping bare. The accouterments, costumes, objects, and trappings in which we construct identity are woven into a tapestry of memory, dream, forgetting, and, ultimately, grief. Milazzo uses allusion, antimeria, neologisms, conversions, and logical disruptions
as well as a deep attention to the elusive uncertainties of language to explore how words simultaneously succeed and fail to express emotion, describe reality, or make sense of our relationship with others. Quotidian reality wears a new syntactical and semantic garb as each poem seems to unravel language and a circadian rotation of “dreams”: ambiguously of sleep, of aspiration, of nonsense, of the fantastic, or of the banal. If Milazzo’s poems are a kind of ‘dream song,’ they are constructed in radically different ways than John Berryman’s (though there are formal echoes of that poet’s phantasmagoric layers). In these dream songs, Berryman’s angst and sorrow collide with John Ashbery’s metaphysics of erosion, Rosmarie Waldrop’s semantic drifting, and John Yau’s surreal atmospherics.
Have a look at this preview of the brilliant work forthcoming from Apostrophe Books by Joe Milazzo in the London quarterly magazine “Don’t Do It”:
Join us at &NOW 2015:
California Institute of the Arts
March 25-28, 2015
Apostrophe Reading & Discussion: Thursday, March 26 • 2:30pm – 3:45pm
Although Apostrophe Books has defined itself as a publisher of “innovative poetry,” our authors have transgressed even this label by making all generic categories of writing somewhat suspect. From Tony Trigilio’s conceptual deformation of Don DeLillo’s White Noise to Joe Milazzo’s bizarre and haunting palimpsests to Gina Abelkop’s sinister and surreal mock romances, Apostrophe writers don’t simply perform “interventions on movements, canons, timelines, and other gatekeepers of the status quo,” they eschew whatever’s on the other side of those gates all together.
The mantra at Apostrophe is not simply innovation, but pataphysical innovation. This means the philosophy of the absurd, the ecology of hypothetical experience, the science of imaginary solutions. Our authors challenge categories and genre distinctions most often associated with literature and poetry via discourse that intersects philosophy, cultural studies, theory, and, especially, pataphysics. By investigating language and consciousness through conceptual operations, parody & pastiche, Oulipo-like methods, surrealist conceits, and cross-genre experiments, these writers expand potential definitions of literature. The intersection of poetic discourse with pataphysics involves an “anti-metaphysical” trajectory that delights in the uncertain and indeterminate nature of human experience; a kind of postmodern negative capability. Our writers subvert the idea of a “well-crafted” poem by disclosing its own operations and undermining presumptions about what constitutes a poem.
After a short introduction from the editors (Mark Tursi and Richard Greenfield), five APOSTROPHE authors (Tony Trigilio, Joe Milazzo, Catherine Meng, Gina Abelkop and Johannes Göransson) will read their work. A panel discussion with the writers and editors concerning the characteristics of our aesthetic followed by questions from the audience.
Thanks everyone for submitting to the 2014 reading period. If you had any technical difficulties or have any queries about the process, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We expect it will take between three and six months to read through the submissions and make our decision.