Thursday, December 20, 2012

All Of The Books I Can Remember Reading So Far This Year And What I Remember About Them

I just finished reading Goat In The Snow by Emily Pettit and I liked it. It reminded me of Heather Christle, but instead of each poem being an imagasm (image after image that don't really add to a whole [this is also based on the three-year-old memory of my reading of The Difficult Farm which was charming and cute, but lacked an intellectual, political, and emotional punch {I did just buy The Trees The Trees and this review of What is Amazing makes the book sound amazing so I'm giving Christle another try}]), there is an accretion of images and ideas and feelings. The accretion takes place across the whole book, poem upon poem. When I first picked up the book and read a poem or two, I was kind of annoyed. It seemed pretty random and I didn't feel anything emotional or beautiful or intellectually engaging from the individual poems. It wasn't until I started reading the whole book that I got a sense of what the poems were doing and how they were doing it. It felt like the poems were asking big questions about life. How can we understand so much about the universe and still know very little about our own desires, impulses, thoughts, and actions. If we can calculate pi to the ten trillionth digit, why are we still so goddamned lonely? These aren't actually in the book, but this was the feeling I got when I read it. It felt like there were a lot of questions and a lot of repetitions of minutiae. I guess I connect obsession with repetition and minutiae with loneliness. If I was going to give this book a subtitle it would be: Goat In The Snow: Poems On Science, Math, And Loneliness.

I just wrote about Selected Unpublished Blogposts Of A Mexican Panda Express Employee. I bought another copy of it today.

I wrote about M Kitchell's Variations On The Sun at HTMLGiant.

I read most of Antwerp by Roberto Bolaño. It's probably my favorite short Bolaño so far. Much better than The Return, a collection of shorts, and a million times better than his poetry. It doesn't compare to The Savage Detectives or to 2666, but it's very very good.

Poetry Is Not A Project. It's so good. I found a copy of it at the Marfa Book Company. I was so so so excited. It's well made, full of beauty, emotion, and intellect. It helps me think about poetry outside of a craft perspective, outside of workshop modes of reading and writing poems.

To The Chapel Of Light by Joshua Young. Beautiful book by Mud Luscious. At once quiet and loud, cold and humid, violent and intimate. I remember being frustrated by its obsession with music a little too much. The over-all tone of the book is religious and apocalyptic. The narrative doesn't exist.

It Chooses You by Miranda July. This book was weird and awesome. I loved how she was so focused on writing/making the movie that she sort of lost sight of the fact that she was creating a beautiful text.

Daniel Fights a Hurricane by Shane Jones kicked my ass. I think I liked it so much and I had such an emotional reaction because I am irrationally afraid of a nervous breakdown. Mix with that a love story and an adventure and you have this beautiful novel. I love everything by Shane and I think I own every book he's ever published except his chapbook by Mud Luscious. If anyone has that, please let me look at it at least...

Pretty Tilt by Carrie Murphy. Loved this book. I can't recommend it enough. I've bought three copies for gifts already.

Partyknife by Dan Magers. Ditto. I interviewed Dan and Carrie at the same time at HTMLGiant.

I wrote about The Roman Letters by Evan Calder Williams a little before. This book kinda changed my life a little. It's at once intense and casual, concise and lyric, serious and fun book. It seems like Zizek would write a book like this is he was a young American. He's writing a really cool serial piece, called Desecration Hardware, for The New Inquiry right now.

I Take Back The Sponge Cake was really good. Choose your own poetry will be a thing in the next few years I think.

I've read a lot of Slow Lightning by Eduardo C. Corral. Seems very prescient and important. Like Crush but with illegal immigration and Latin American culture.

The Collected Fanzines by Harmony Korine inspired me to not worry so much about craft and just make. I made two zines this year and I thank this book for that accomplishment.

I'm most of the way through Mark Leyner's My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist (spelled it right on the first try!) which is pretty fucking amazing. I picked it up because it was mentioned in a DFW essay about televisual culture. I see so much of this book in people like Lara Glenum and Johannes Göransson. It's almost as if he merges disparate discoures and forms this new discourse to the syntax and form of literary fiction. I'm reading it while I workout.

I know there were more, but I can't think of any right now.

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