Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Case for Ascension!

I'm happy to announce that my work appears in A Case for Ascension: A collaborative sample reader, published this month by Asinimali Publications in Kansas City, Missouri.  The chapbook also features fine work by Jameson Bayles (Kansas City), Dianne Borsenik (Cleveland, OH), Joan Koromante (Topeka, KS) and Michelle Roberts (Lincoln, NE).  It was launched in preparation for the 2016 Kansas City Poetry Throwdown, and in conjunction with 2015 National Beat Poetry Festival events in Kansas City and Fredonia, NY.  Cover art by Jameson Bayles.  Those who attended our recent BeatStreet Cleveland event may recall that trumpeter Étienne Massicotte and I opened our set with one of my A Case for Ascension poems, "Way Erred Scenes inside a Jazz Mine."

I have a limited number of copies. You can buy one for $5 (plus $2 for postage) by clicking this button.

You may also score a copy by contacting the publisher, Asinimali Publications, directly, or from local book shops like Prospero's Books in Kansas City, Guide to Kulchur in Cleveland and (soon) Mac's Backs in Cleveland Heights and Main Street Books in Mansfield, Ohio.

If by chance you've already read
A Case for Ascension (and especially if you like it), please consider rating or reviewing it at Goodreads.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Poetry at the Lit featuring Caryl Pagel & John Burroughs October 1st

Looking forward to reading with Caryl Pagel at the legendary Literary Cafe in Cleveland this Thursday!  From the Facebook event page:

photo by JB - taken 9/11/2008 at the Literary Cafe
neon sculpture by Jeff Chiplis
Readings by Caryl Pagel and John Burroughs, plus open mic. Hosted by James De Monte.

Caryl Pagel is the author of two full-length collections of poetry, TWICE TOLD (H_NG M_N Books, 2014) and EXPERIMENTS I SHOULD LIKE TRIED AT MY OWN DEATH (Factory Hollow Press, 2012) as well as two chapbooks, MAUSOLEUM (WinterRedpress, 2013) and VISIONS, CRISIS APPARITIONS, AND OTHER EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCES (Factory Hollow Press, 2008). Her poems and essays have appeared in AGNI, Denver Quarterly, The Iowa Review, Jacket2, The Mississippi Review, and Thermos, among other journals, and she is currently at work on a collection of essays. Caryl is the co-founder and editor of Rescue Press, a poetry editor at jubilat, and the Director of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center as well as faculty for the NEOMFA Program in Eastern Ohio. More: http://www.csupoetrycenter.com/

John Burroughs is the author of numerous poetry chapbooks including, most recently, BEAT ATTITUDE (NightBallet Press, 2015), IT TAKES MORE THAN CHANCE TO MAKE CHANGE (The Poet's Haven, 2013), THE EATER OF THE ABSURD (NightBallet, 2012), BARRY MERRY BALONEY (Spare Change Press, 2012), WATER WORKS (recycled karma press, 2012) and the collaborative book OCT TONGUE -1 (with Weems, Swain, Smith, Lady, Chernin and Brightman). He has edited Fuck Poetry, The 2015 Hessler Street Fair Poetry Anthology and Cheap and Easy Magazine. He also co-founded the annual Snoetry: A Winter Wordfest. Since 2008, he has served as founding editor of Crisis Chronicles Press, publishing superb indie writers from around the world. More: http://crisischronicles.com/

Literary Cafe
1031 Literary Road
Cleveland, Ohio 44113

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

My Beat Attitude Chapbook Released by NightBallet

My new book, Beat Attitude, was released on September 17th, my 49th birthday, by NightBallet Press, and made its public debut Saturday the 19th during BeatStreet Cleveland. I'm thrilled with how artfully editor Dianne Borsenik put it together. Beat Attitude is 32 pages and features 23 poems, bound with a pale ivory cover emblazoned with Kevin Eberhardt art and a burnt orange card stock insert. And it's only 5 dollars!

In response to it, Tom Kryss says, "Burroughs takes up the sledgehammer lying at the base of the wall, and like a tray of glassware hurtling down an elevator shaft, centrifugally levitated, romances blown sunflowers forever drawn to the guard rails."

I began a few of these poems as early as 1997, the year William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg passed away. Most were written much more recently. All were either inspired by the Beats and their contemporaries or have a related heartbeat.

I hope you'll order a copy online or see me and pick one up at one of these upcoming events:

10/1/2015 - Caryl Pagel & John Burroughs read at the Literary Cafe in Cleveland.
10/15/2015 - Dianne Borsenik & John Burroughs read at the Root Cafe in Cuyahoga Falls.
10/31/2015 - Poet's Haven Halloween Jubilee at Oak Knoll Park in Massillon.
11/7/2015 - Meet the Presses at the Sigmond Sanger Branch Library in Toledo.

Poems included in Beat Attitude are:

Divided, We Fall Together
Allen Ginsberg Wants You
Magnetic Repulsion
Inner Expedition
Holy Sheet
Call of Poetry
A Cross Tic
To a Fruit
In Due Season
Aye, Pod
From BS to BA
More, Man
Mastering Ascension
Cannot Believe William S. Burroughs Is Dead


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Video: Burroughs & Massicotte perform "Way Erred Scenes inside a Jazz Mine" at BeatStreet Cleveland, 19 September 2015, Barking Spider Tavern

Thank you, Dianne Borsenik, for putting last night's great event together and recording this clip of us performing! What a pleasure it was to collaborate with Étienne Massicotte and to share a stage and room with so many of my favorite poets, publishers and people.

Video permalink: https://youtu.be/1GfqH5H1NHY

Way Erred Scenes inside a Jazz Mine

Aswirl in creative flux
feel a faux need to squeeze
to get any err out
on screen or page
feeling sage in this smoke
of jasmine incense
hearing a catalyzing muse
sick I can't name and
I can't blame
you or blame me
not sure why we need to lay
it on anyone
as it is what it is
and just is
and what's wrong with that
why do we
always have to find something
wrong with everything
I can sing
without notes or tune
and so
I suspect
can you
whether or not some see it
as cruel or kind
aren't we blind to believe
every song needs sound waves
every lyric needs words
every world needs saved
every who needs heard
every herd needs a who
ain't it just what it is
whatever it is
and I know Dylan
said he not busy being born
is busy dying
but he failed to say
he busy being born is busy dying too
and why can't we say that
it is what it is
and so what
the best jasmine incense burns out
eventually and the worst often lives
in memory just as long and wise
any writer wrong
what's worst or best
scents won't last forever
I think nonsense
won't either
but in some sense might
like night
if one day everything
we think is wrong
passes on
and everything right is left
could anything be right again
without us rewriting it
and when
you or I wonder
why I do or don't talk
may be hear's what you're missing
I'm always listening
and never shut up
sure it's easy to think
at least one of us is
in this walled room
in this sided house
in this incorporated city in this state
of apparent confusion
but Daishonin said
ichinen sanzen
each moment possesses three
thousand realms
and I'm never outside a moment
even when I'm conscious
and your movement pervades
the realms I monitor
even when you don't feel
odd when you don't hear
sometimes we use the wrong ears
wrong might be the wrong word
because in certain uncertain worlds
sound waves are inefficient
often ineffectual
and even oddly misleading
despite their repeated best intent
shuns to be otherwise
so I use them or don't
you too
as inclination dictates or allows
but it's all
evident to me
that we're all ultimately
aswirl in creative flux
out of sight
either way
with or without
foe need
two squeeze
smoke key
jazz mine

[This poem appears in my 2013 chapbook It Takes More Than Chance to Make Change, published by The Poet’s Haven.  It first appeared in print in What I Knew Before I Knew: Poems from the Pudding House Salon-Cleveland and online in The City. I've edited it slightly since then.  It also appears in the newly released collaborative chapbook A Case for Ascension published by Asinimali Publications.]

Friday, September 18, 2015

BeatStreet Cleveland Saturday!

Copied from the BeatStreet website:

On Saturday September 19, 2015, Cleveland, OH will celebrate The National Beat Poetry Festival with the event BeatStreet Cleveland at the Barking Spider Tavern, 11310 Juniper Rd, from 3pm to 7pm, featuring poets and live music, with free admission.

YOU are invited to join us for this historic Happening! 

Confirmed guests:

D.R. Wagner (California)

 D.R. Wagner is an author, visual artist, and musician. He founded press : today : niagara in 1965 and Runcible Spoon in the late 60s, producing over fifty magazines and chapbooks. He co-wrote The Egyptian Stroboscope with d.a. levy and read with Jim Morrison of the Doors in a legendary reading with Morrison and Michael McClure. He also has read with Ferlinghetti, Al Winans, Anne Waldman, and many other poets over the past forty years. Wagner's work is much published. He continues to design interior carpeting and tapestry, as well as write, perform, and publish poetry regularly.

Alex Gildzen
(New Mexico)

Alex Gildzen is a poet and artist who uses film as the basis of his work.  He entered Kent State University in 1961, and while still an undergraduate had poems published in American Weave and Snowy Egret.  He met d.a. levy in 1965; levy published him in the Buddhist Third Class Junkmail Oracle.  Hugh Fox included Gildzen in his 1973 anthology The Living Underground.  Crisis Chronicles Press published his book Ohio Triangle earlier this year to celebrate his 72nd birthday.  Find Gildzen at 
Arroyo Chamisa.

Theresa Göttl Brightman

Theresa Göttl Brightman won first place the first time she competed in a poetry slam.  She has won numerous awards, and has been heard throughout Ohio and points beyond, including Chicago's Vegan Mania, and 89.7 WOSU radio.  Her work has appeared in print and online publications including Pudding Magazine and Rubbertop Review.  Her full length collection of poetry is Stretching the Window (Buffalo ZEF 2007); a new collection is due out in 2016 from Coda Crab Press.  You haven't experienced her poetry until you've seen and heard her perform it!


John Burroughs
John Burroughs, writer, editor, musician, and composer, is the author of The Eater of the Absurd and numerous poetry chapbooks; his poem "Lens" was nominated for the Pushcart Prize.  His poems include "Cannot Believe William S. Burroughs Is Dead and "Allen Ginsberg Wants You".  Since 2008 he has been editor/publisher for Crisis Chronicles Press.  Burroughs performs his dynamic poetry across the rust and coal belts.  His new book Beat Attitude (from NightBallet Press) will debut at BeatStreet Cleveland.


Joining John Burroughs: musician Étienne Massicotte:

Étienne Massicotte (Montreal)

Étienne Massicotte is a musician newly located to Cleveland, working as a trumpeter, composer, and teacher. He is currently engaged with the Tesla Orchestra of Case Western Reserve University, composing and arranging music for a performance this fall to feature three musicians of the Cleveland Orchestra and a spectacular array of lightning-emitting beacons known as Tesla Coils. Previous engagements include appearances with the Ashland Symphony and four seasons with the Ohio Light Opera Festival Orchestra.

Ingrid Swanberg (Wisconsin)
Ingrid Swanberg is the founder/publisher of Ghost Pony Press, and editor-in-chief of Abraxas Magazine.  She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Garrison Keillor has read her poetry on The Writer's Almanac.  She co-authored  D.A. Levy & the Mimeograph Revolution, and  published a definitive collection of the work of d.a. levy, Zen Concrete & Etc.  Her two new poetry collections are Ariadne & Other Poems (Bottom Dog Press, 2013) and Awake (Green Panda Press, 2014).

Larry Smith (Ohio)

Larry Smith is the biographer of Kenneth Patchen and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. He also has done biographical work with Ingrid Swanberg in d.a. levy & the mimeograph revolution (Bottom Dog Press). He has published numerous books of poetry, and wrote and produced two films on Ohio authors James Wright and Kenneth Patchen. Smith lives on the fringe of Cleveland in Huron, Ohio, where he directs Bottom Dog Press publications.

 Jim Lang (Ohio)

Jim Lang, poet, photographer, artist, in his own words:

born in th 40's died in th 50's thrived in th 60's loved in th 70's coasted in th 80's predicted in th 90's reprised in th 2K's ~ a poet/photographer he published in newspapers magazines and small press books for 40 years ~ he taught at universities high & grades schools free & controlled ~ he hung at galleries from columbus to toronto ~ & he read & showed off & slept on walls & floors & lawns from sea to shining sea ~ "a @ 5 made fotos @ 16 & pots @ 50 a phopopotographer a little of each shows up" 

Steven Smith (Ohio)

Steven Smith--poet, memoirist, photographer, blogger, and collage/assemblage artist--has been writing poetry for nearly five decades. For more than 20 years he published the famed ArtCrimes journal. He created a massive online art/poetry archive at www.agentofchaos.com, and a wide array of his poetry and collages have been published in the critically acclaimed Zen Over Zero: Selected Poems 1964-2008 (The City Poetry Press). Smith makes his home in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio.

aaaaand the Peace, Love, & Music of Zach!

Zach Freidhof (Ohio)

Zach, recently named "Humanitarian of the Year" by Akron Magazine, is a yogi, Kingian Nonviolence Trainer, and World Peace Diet Facilitator. He is also a fantastic musician who believes “We should manifest ourselves in exquisiteness every chance we get.” Zach professes this mantra, his life’s philosophy, on his latest release, The Antidote, his 15th release is as many years. With a friend, he created the Akron Peace Project to spread nonviolence in the self, the home, and the community. Coupled with his Love Initiative movement, his music--naturally very hopeful and optimistic--has been able to lend its voice to the power we all have to change ourselves and the world. Learn more at www.zachmusic.net.

[Thanks to Dianne Borsenik for organizing this fab event!]

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Meet the Presses - November 7th in Toledo

Release from the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library:

Come to Meet the Presses to meet and speak with various small and independent literary presses from the greater northeast Ohio metropolitan area. Speakers from Writing Knights Press (Canton, OH), NightBallet Press (Cleveland, OH), Crisis Chronicles Press (Cleveland, OH), The Poet's Haven (Massillon, OH), and Blood Pudding Press (Medina, OH) will share their works and give advice on how to get published. Refreshments will be provided. All are welcome to attend.

Saturday November 7th
2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Sanger Branch
3030 W. Central Ave.
Toledo, Ohio 43606
Phone: 419.259.5370

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Home Is Where?

Apparently I never posted this photo on my blog - probably because I took it on 9 May 2014, during the month I was figuring out how to save my old blog that GoDaddy had scheduled for deletion, and hadn't begun using this new one in earnest yet.  Anyway, the artwork is based on a selfie I took in response to a gallery's call, and it was exhibited in its own room at House Tremont during Home Is Where? curated by Patsy Kline.  To see a few more photos I took that day, click here.

House Tremont
2338 Scranton Road
Cleveland, Ohio