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Chapbook Notes

Nerve Bundles | Dan Nielsen & Mark M | Racine, WI: The M Press, 1993 | 24 pgs

A collaborative work by Racine, WI poet/artists Dan Nielsen and Mark M. Black and white art, with poetry on facing pages. Nielsen writes, by way of intro, “NERVE BUNDLES is my stab at ???Experimental Writing’. I have no diea what ???Experimental Writing’ means. Maybe it means having nothing to write about and writing anyway.” Mark M adds: “Yes, your kid could’ve done these.” The poetry cooks with much olive oil–you get the nice popping sound, but cover it fast to avoid painful welts on your forearms. Purported attempts at randomness are anything but. Probably best book ever.

lip fluffed bird squish

honey, your head waggles
like cemetary cake

(such eyebrow commotion!)

give me a thermos lip
chimney kiss

(dog my bullet!)

oh i’m so
CUCUMBERSOME!

(bathroom champagne!)

dashboard aspirin plunks
sudden children

*

2birds | Bob Arnold & John Martone | dogwood & honeysuckle, 2007 | 26 pgs

Another collaborative work, this one bound with electrical tape for extra insulation. Economical works of direct observation and insight, eschewing articles and fusing phrases for compression:

heron picking its way as I wouldn’t through dirty pond

Yes! The one-liners here remind me how Hiroaki Sato’s translates haiku into one line English verses to maintain immediacy. In linebroken poems, Arnold and Martone keep the cut lines short, often unenjambed. Here’s a comprehensive look at greetings, by hand or otherwise:

(greeting)

it rattles
like any
hand

the door
the knob
the chain

all windy
wind

*

Homoem | Steven Zultanski | MA: Radical Readout Press, 2005 | 36 pgs

A long list poem in which words, syllables, and names are given new life and orientation by having “homo” inserted into them. An anthropomorphizing, a making manly of the world, but also a poetic questioning of namecalling. And also very, very funny. Here, a few choice entries:

Calvin Coolhomo

Homo Chi Minh

Homoconomics

Ladies & Homomen

Fool’s Homo

Dunkin’ Homonuts

Kihomo Dragon

Au Homoral

Homobunga

Homolph Guiliani

Homolone