Saturday, February 27, 2010

Surprise Along the Random Axis

Life has its share of surprises and sometimes they're pleasant. Some even make your day.

Yesterday, Gabriel Ricard, assistant editor of Unlikely 2.0 (, surprised me--- and made my day---with a review of my latest publication, RANDOM AXIS.

I conceived RANDOM AXIS as a sort of literary samizdat. I hand-printed and assembled 66 copies of the book, each with a different sequence of pages. It violated a number of conventions of the publishing business. Since I didn't assign a separate ISBN to each copy, most book distributors and sellers won't consider ordering it. In effect, RANDOM AXIS exists outside the business of selling books. Its random pagination represents my personal effort to destabilize text, as well.

I sent Gabriel Ricard a complimentary copy because I appreciated his deeply perceptive review of EMBLEMATIC MOON ( I didn't ask him to review RANDOM AXIS or expect him to. So yesterday's unsolicited review dropped into my lap as the kind of surprise that can make a writer's day. Here's the link to the review:

I want to thank Gabriel for writing the review and for his deep (and flattering) insight into my work.

And for making my day.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


From 1985 to 1994, I concentrated on fusing poetry with improvised music. I performed throughout New England and in New York as a solo poet-bassist, as a duo with saxophonist Thomas Chapin and led a poetry band. When the demands of performing affected my health, I stopped and concentrated on writing, stepping out about once a year to make a guest appearance with Chapin or Richard McGhee, the saxophonist in my poetry band.

Performing with music affected my writing. Several years after I stopped performing regularly, my poetry began to incorporate multiple voices resembling the instrumental lines that weaved around me during my recitations.

Technological developments have given me the means to return to performing in a way that doesn’t tax my body and presents my work in a format accessible to the part of the general public that listens to poetry with jazz or other musical idioms. The link below will show you my first “live” performance since 2002, when I shared a bill with John Sinclair at the University of Connecticut:

I hope you enjoy it. I plan to do more of them.