Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chapbook Back Cover

I always liked this picture, taken not quite 20 years ago, when I first moved to Jersey City. I went for angst, still aping the punk rock imagery. The Black & White photograph was quite striking, this was totally posed for, I wish I could find the original film since I went through a few expressions. The stuble beard, the silver cross on the black t-shirt. I tried to create an image, a persona that was in keeping with the issues of identity most of the prose poems in the collection explored. For a few years I read poetry on the spoken word circuit. I read at St. Marks, Carpos and even CBGBs. It was great fun, although as a guy with an inferiority complex coming from New Jersey, it depressed me how ill-read contemporary New York poets were. I have been part of MFA writing programs and journalism, and the same holds true for those practitoners. Nobody cares about being ill-read. Most are proud of it, which still shocks, however slightly. I’ve gotten over it. I always hated that term, spoken word. God forbid people admit to appreciating literature. I spent most of the 80s and early 90s working on prose poems. I was quite obsessed with the form. Paris Spleen, A Season in Hell, and the World Doesn’t End are some of the collections that inspired me. And the Beats and related writers of course… a shout out to Philip Lamantia. The result was a chapbook around 1991, I is Another (I was quite Rimbaud obsessed until I outlived him. He died at age 37, hard to believe how it easy it seemed to outlive him was once I was in my 30s). This is a scan of the back cover. I’m putting together a website that will feature a portfolio of my writings, and I’m going to include this image somehow. Right now the site is a work in progress. Consider this flashback a preview.

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