The time has come to Marathon — zwei full days of poetry and performance held annually by Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee, WI. In years past this is an amazing IRL event that is made for floating and flirting and fawning and finding new incredible voices that deliver themselves to you in little 10 min bursts. Its incredible the number of slots that fit into two 12 hr. days and beyond into the romantic and inevitable drunken overtime of Wisconsin winter. This year – it’ll have to be virtual – but WP has set it up through a platform called CrowdCast that is at least NOT Zoom and promises to attempt something more like a live event. WE SHALL SEE! !’ll have a little vid on the stream for Sun. Jan. 31st at around 9pm —- but baby j there are so many rad things happening throughout the weekend including a close out by Vegetarian Alcohol Press, showcases by Ugly Duckling Presse, Belladonna* , and others, as well as readings by greats such as CA Conrad, Nikki Wallschlaeger, Eileen Myles, Duriel E. Harris, Zack Pieper, TC Tolbert, Maureen Owen,Chelsea Tadeyeske, Gina Tron and on and on and on.
New Poems up at And So Yeah — some of these are rather old but all of them are more in line with the tone of recent production. These were published in the fall, but it was a task trying to get the attention of the editors to change a typo in my name (it read robers for a few months). As an unpaid editor and publisher myself, I totally understand this lapse and hold not a drip of a grudge… just want to offer context to why I’m still calling these “new” a few months late.
Its been complicated figuring out what to do with singular pieces since so much of my work lately is longer form/chapbook length. If you like these — let me hear it/let me know about publications that might be into this sort of queerish/confessional work/solicit if you’d like. I’ve lots of poems like this that need homes while I make books of the longer more encompassing works.
I loved visiting Cincinnati after a few years away, its a beautiful town and eerie in a charming way. I had a reading after the workshop in the price hill neighborhood: a place i had not spent that much time in when i lived in the Queen. Performed with Cleo Meyer and Marlo Salem’s project Slug Death and Robert Inhuman. Chelsea and I will be back for the Cincinnati Art Book Fair tabling for Pitymilk Press next month.
I feel #blessed to have accumulated the experiences so far from home and I love the folks we’ve met along the way, but I am feeling like it might be a while before attempting to head off so far again… that there is a lot of work and love and rage to be had in north america, in the belly of the beast and the heart of the empire. I want to see you again america and canada (would love to see some folx in mexico also some some fine day) — let’s live wildly in these bright and blazing days full of fight and lightness in the fully felt dark swirl of it.
Patience is a powerhouse of kindness and fortitude, a cornerstone of my extended Detroit family and doing lots of good work for themselves and for others. P. Young is wielding a fierceness of embodiment and autonomy and radically soft enveloping care like they haven’t any other mode. Their work is confessional, sexy, punk, and true to their form in all those ways. Libra hearted mama-doll make you feel your living self again like a giddy teen – excited to hurt and heal at soundtrack speed. Come bliss out, get crushed and flushed and kiss the both of us hello/goodnight/good morning in Madison tonight or Minneapolis tomorrow — if you aren’t near for those — find patience on insta @fatfxckingslut and bathe the radiance til the flares reach you in real time.
In late July and early Aug of 2018 I was invited to stay for 2 weeks at the Halls’ Island Artist Residency in the Halliburton Highlands of Ontario. I had committed to finish a text about climate and natural spaces, about how there is no escape, about the encroachment of disaster on those hallowed spaces and our guilt surrounding the public secret. I was trying to trace the guilt that we manifest as individuals about the effects that our collective lifestyle has on the world at large, how powerless we are when we are alone, how to commune with the natural space about the loss of it, about what that loss is for us, about how we often (esp. in the literary sense) project our own safety and timelessness and escapism into these spaces/outside of modernity.
I finished this text and a few others during the two weeks on the island. It was a practice to stay present with the space, and I failed more often than not. The silence was deafening to my ears so accustom to the noise of cities. I relied on a little battery powered radio to play classic rock songs when i was too much in my own noise and needed the background to drown out and into. I was beholden to the chug of a generator to charge my phone and my little ipad at least once a day. I caught only what felt like fleeting minutes of deep quiet with the moss breathing, sitting on a slab in the full moon, the lake slapping calmly, the wind across the water moving through the trees and across me. I was reminded and always pushing against my want for certain forms of stimulation, how the noise of american anxiety demands constant distraction. It took time to settle into the place, each step into it came with a panicked pivot, clutching the sounds of modernity through the radio and occasional motorboats. It has taken me a few months to process this experience in its entirely. I left Haliburton and immediately went to the charged frenzy of Toronto for a few days. I think at the time there was a relief that occluded the sadness of leaving, the walking away from the practice of intention and quiet painful process. I traveled back with my dear friend and we talked about the pleasure and pitfalls of revelutionary violence on a GO BUS with a broken air conditioner in the august heat, and i was hoisted back into the stink of it.
I am thankful for my time on this island, thankful for the time to create and to focus on working through the noise of daily elsewhere. Even though I had the feeling while being there that i was failing to focus myself, and that i was so far from slowing to the pace of the place: Looking back on what i have to hold from this experience… I accomplished more than i set out to and learned more of my process and how the frenetic vertigo of worry works within my art. I am crafting these things into books over the next year or less and hope to share them with you, talk with you about them perhaps. I hope also to try my hand again at intentional time to produce and refine, i hope the end result seems benefitted from the fact.
big thanks to Kathleen, Bill and Jennifer Hughes and to Toronto based writer and curator Vanessa Barnier for spending some time there with me. For more information or to apply visit https://www.hallsisland.ca/
With every intention to keep some noise moving through this channel… so much time and grief passing without a peep. I have been gone and back again to many places and with so much tumbling between. Big thanks to Halls Island Artist’s Residency in Haliburton County Ontario for the weeks I recently spent there working on a pile of projects soon(er than later i hope) come to fruit. Some scary times alone on an island thinking about the impossibility of it all, from climate to gender and sex to suicide and sadness: I’ve come to realize how much I appreciate ppl to bounce off of and into and to move through it alongside. We need one another, we are one another or some dumb shit. Shit on us. Shit on this. I hope to make this make sense to you soon. All my love and quiet rage.