Friday, March 17, 2006

more editorial faves of the week

following up on santa's list of editorial favorites, i want to mention a few things i'm digging right now:

the amalgamation polka, by stephen wright. i cannot express how excited i was to find this in the new book section at moe's in berkeley. i've been waiting on this since wright's last novel, going native, and that was, like, the mid 90s. the book is great so far (p 192 of 323), and the author photo in the back is still funny. in his last author photo, he was wearing a joy division shirt. now he looks like a character from dhalgren.

richard pryor stand-up. my buddy nick came over last night with a box set, and in between slurping beers and schooling him on can and pavement, i ripped several of the disks. richard don't care if i rip his disks. i've been listening to his stand-up all day, amazed. he has this routine about bringing a buddy who's been hexed to a hoodoo lady, which i listened to in my car on the way to work today and laughed my little ass off.

povel, by geraldine kim. i have an instant crush on geraldine kim. i read about this book somewhere and have been looking for it, which should not have been as fruitless as it was before today, since it came out last year. on the other hand, it is (sort of) poetry. i shouldn't bother trying to describe the book, but it's like confessional prose poetry, broken into short stanzas, and it's one more or less continuous, like 10 pt font thing that goes on for 113 pages. it has df wallace-ian footnotes. she forges an intro by lyn hejinian, and starts off by presenting the book's real title, which is even longer than that one fiona apple album title. her project seems (so far: i'm on p 14) to be to transcribe or represent her thought process, or more accurately, to follow her thoughts. in other words, she pretty much seems to be sitting at a computer typing away, but it's way too interesting and intelligent to be off-hand or (omigod!) bloggery. incidentally, my neighbor across the hall said "oh my god!" 8 or 9 times in 4 minutes the other day. i could hear her through two walls. geraldine kim, geraldine kim, you remind me of this girl named lisa pau, whom i met in a poetry workshop and with whom i was secretly in love (just like everyone else in the class was). i'm not saying this because they're both asian, or because geraldine kim looks a teeny bit like lisa pau (she is reminiscent of lisa pau in her (geraldine kim's) author photo), but because there's something about geraldine kim's slightly suicidal and sorta wise-guyish sense of humor that reminds me of lisa pau. incidentally, i am not now mimicking geraldine kim's style. the other night i hung out with tragic matt and watched the importance of being morrissey, and tragic kept saying "i want to have his babies." i wish geraldine kim was my friend.

(i'm) stranded, the saints. i had this album on my ipod, and today i bought it on vinyl (in celebration of being slightly less broke than i've been all year, since october really, when uncle sam took all my drug money). i love song titles with parentheticals, and this is probably the best one i've ever seen.

wild strawberries, ingman bergman. saw it for the first time this week. it's good. also good is the 1998 interview with bergman on the special features (criterion collection), which is about as long as the movie. i especially like when he talks about the paper pads and special pen he uses to write brilliant movies. the interviewer asks him if he ever tried to use a typewriter or computer, and bergman says, "i can't write with a machine." i heart ingmar! and human interaction is just trying to analyse one another's personalities. mostly. no, maybe i don't believe that. whatever.

rip it up and start again: postpunk 1978-1984, by simon reynolds. good music, good writing.

letters to wendy's, by joe wenderoth. i must apologize to my friend jlox for not reading this on his long-ago recommendation. i just saw jw read in the city, accompanied as i was by santa and the rogue reporter and claymond, and i was pretty convinced that tw is a genius. this guy gave a funny intro to the first reader, then came back to announce joe wenderoth, then started reading poems, and i was all, man, it's tacky for the emcee to read his poems as an introduction to another poet, and then i thought, man, i hope that isn't joe wenderoth, because then i can steal that technique, but then it became evident that it was joe wenderoth. i'll possibly steal the intro thing anyway, if i'm feeling 4 selves away sometime. after the reading, as noted elsewhere, it sort of hailed on us, which is cool now, cold then.

ray gonne


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