Friday, January 9, 2009

Wartime Reading Notes--January 2009


“Lie dead Hector.
I will face my own fate
When Zeus and all the other gods
Show up to bring it on.”

ILIAD Book XXII trans. Lisa Jarnot

Not since Herzog’s Cobra Verde has action been so great as in Lisa Jarnot’s fantastic translation of THE ILIAD Book XXII. You can find her wonderful version of this wartime staple up North at Book Thug. While you are there pick up her book of poems, REPTILE HOUSE, filled to the brim with pleasure and delight. And if you just can’t get enough of Homer, you should head on over to North Atlantic Books and snap up Charles Stein’s complete translation of the ODYSSEY. Why not complete the roundhouse kick and buy Ryan Gallagher’s translation of CATULLUS from us at the strap.

SECRET DEAL: Get a brand new copy of George Herms’ THE SECRET ARCHIVES for less than half price. I’m surprised there are still copies available since I’ve purchase at least four over the last couple of years. It’s a catalog of his 1992 exhibition at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery and contains loads of ephemera (23 separate objects) in a white cardboard portfolio with a string-and-button tie. I have one on the shelf and one to use in correspondence and for decoration of the home. Herms is an assemblage beast, of whom D. Meltzer said, “ The song is you / dark optimism / retrieving the ruined, the cast-aways (the cast of thousands) / multiplying in trash heaps and dumps), the refuse (the refused, / the exiled)”

THE CHANSONNIERS by Patrick Dunagan arrived via post two days ago and the bell of existence rings deep in its poems. Mr. Dunagan really stole some fire from heaven in these poems of earthly life that swells and breaks. I’m sure you can dig it up over at the ever-badass Blue Press.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t send you to get a copy of Baudelaire’s LITTLE POEMS IN PROSE, still available in a fine edition at Weiser Antiquarian Books. This book is “sure to break the chaos of mud and snow.”

Also reading this week, AGE OF SINATRA (Ohle), SERPENT BOX (Carrella), PORTRAITS/JEFFERSON'S BIRTHDAY (Higgins), & THE VISIONARY STATE (Davis).

Listening to The Gonzo Tapes, Is it the Sea?, Tell Tale Signs, Henry's Dream, and Two Steps from the Blues.


The new John Wieners ms. is coming along nicely. We are in a semi-lengthy pre-press process for this tome, entitled A NEW BOOK FROM ROME. Bootstrap is deep in the red right now, so we’ve slowed production on all titles in queue. One could hope to see this journal out by the spring thaw if sales pick up or another angel swoops in. We’ll get some sneak peaks up here as time permits.

In other news, Bootstrap is hitting the road in February with a visit to Boulder, CO (arriving 2/15 & departing 2/18) and San Francisco, CA (arriving 2/18 & departing 2/21). Give us a shout if you want to shoot a beer or something. We’ll let you know our reading/lecture plans if and when they develop.


"When I think of the dreams
I had as a youth
for the instant’s easy promises

led to wasted effort
and the dream died

What good is there in going on
still the hope remains
that love might come

and memory stays on
to dull the wounds

of time’s easy stabs."

John Wieners (from forthcoming, A NEW BOOK FROM ROME)

Happy belated winter ya’ll…

Colonel DF

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