A bit of flarf poetry. Of course part of the larger nomadic surrealist project as well.








“There is only seeing and, in order to go to see, one must be
a pirate”

There are mashups with train rides forwards and backwards all around the U.K.

Rides is part of my nomadic surrealist project.





Ordinary Sun, Coeur De Lion, Off Press, Calvert Gallery


The end of week is coming fast. It has been my spring break. I got an HIV test (negative), some blood tests for all sorts of goodies (awaiting), vision test (and a new pair of glasses coming in two weeks), 20 new poems (and revisions). So a health check and writing week.

Got two terrific books in the post today. Matthew Henriksen’s Ordinary Sun (from Black Ocean) and Ariana Reines Coeur De Lion. Last week I got Destroyer and Preserver by Matthew Rohrer (Wave Books).

So when the madness starts next week with 3 hours of daily commuting, I am well armed with mighty fine books!!!

Next week I will be going to a Vispo celebration/exchange with 75 or so poets. SJ Fowler has put it together.

Ewa and I are working on Freudian supermarket comics (from Spanish Fork) for the occasion.

Tomorrow I’m reading some Grzegorz Wroblewski (translated by Adam Zdrodowski) and Yu Jian (translated by Ron Padgett) in East London. Calvert Gallery. Off Press.

I am reading in the second half as part of Steven Fowler’s Maintenant Series. Other British poets reading translations are: Gabi Labi, Patrick Coyle, SJ Fowler, and Tim Atkins.

Here are the details if you around (from the main organiser Marek kazmierski from Off Press):

The event is the culmination of a two-month contemporary arts programme at the Calvert 22 gallery in Shoreditch, and we want to round things off with an intelligent and impassioned bang. 

I will start by screening a tiny clip from a Polish political gangster film, using it to develop a discussion on untranslatability. 

Next, we will have a slot called “Polish literature around the world in 80 seconds”, looking at the myriad of Polish writers who went into exile in the 20th century (and mostly never came back), the literary, historical, gender, ethnic and other aspects of this flood of “lost” writers. 

The following discussion will be led by Dr Ursula Chowaniec from UCL/SSEES, who has written a lovely critique of both Wioletta Grzegorzewska’s book and the introduction in it.

Then we will read some of Wioletta’s poems, 

Then drink some wine, smoke some fags, sell some books…

Then we turn over to Maintenant Series – taking the celebration of translated verse beyond my tiny publishing house and opening it up to new languages, interpretations and possibilities. 

marek kazmierski

Ron Padgett’s Translations of Yu Jian

NY School Poetry

Ron Padgett, like so many great NY School poets, is also a fantastic translator. I love his translations of French poetry. They are so fluid and contemporary. I especially love his translations of Apollinaire and Blaise Cendrars. Blaise Cendrars’ Complete Poems is one of my favourite collections of poetry ever. He is also a nomadic poet par excellence. A great inspiration for my own nomadic surrealist project.
Ron Padgett’s translations of Yu Jian is part of that expansive poetic tradition. And, like Ron Padgett, there is a childlike quality of wonder and curiosity. I naturally gravitate to this kind of playful poetry.
I wonder how much of Ron Padgett is in Yu Jian’s translations. I would imagine they naturally gravitated towards each other with similar aesthetic concerns and so on.
Anyway, these translations of Yu Jian by Ron Padgett are terrific. After reading a selection of them at Jacket 2, I am even more curious. I am definitely ordering the whole book of translated poetry. It is called Flash Cards, from Zephyr Press, 2010.
flash cards.jpg


NY School Poetry

It is the 28th March. The weather, of course, is mostly overcast. But I am mostly inside so that’s OK. I spend over two hours everyday on trains, commuting to work. Sometimes teaching at two different campuses at different parts of London. So reading, well, it is a form of sanity. I can do a lot of reading on the tube/subway. This week I am going to continue for education in NY School Poetry (or poetry at least inspired by what NY School poetry opened up in terms of possibilities for poetry). I have read many. There is never enough. Eventually I will read something else but it always feels good to get sucked into something and disappear. OK. Maybe not always. But often. Can anything be qualified with the word always. I am not sure.

Here are the four NY School Poetry books for this week’s tube commuting. I managed to check them out from The British Poetry Library at the Southbank. A treasure house of all treasure houses.

Memorial Day (Ted Berrigan and Anne Waldman)


The Joe 82 Creation Poems (Rochelle Owens)

New and Selected Padgett (Ron Padgett)

The Collected Kenneth Koch (Kenneth Koch)


What’s in your bag?

copulating and happy with NY School Poetry

NY School Poetry

I just received Joe Brainard’s I Remember in the post today. I am sure many folks have read it. I am late to the game. It is a classic of conceptualism and NY School Poetry. I am sure the French writers have already been influenced by it. It seems NY School Poetry has much more in common with French poetry than anything at all British. British poetry is very isolated. It is stuck in the 19th century with a few early modernists. Agh. Too bad for British poetry.

I just finished the following NY School Poetry books while commuting on the tube/subway. I highly recommend all of them.

Great Ball of Fire (Ron Padgett)

Poetry State Forest (Bernadette Mayer)

How To Be Perfect ( Ron Padgett)

My plans for next week’s tube reading:

Tulsa Kid (Ron Padgett)

I Remember (Joe Brainard)

NY School Poetry is of course a united singular aesthetic. But is seems, without getting into scholarly nit-picky mode, the poets do have some things in common. I especially like how so many of them, Ron Padgett and Joe Brainard especially, use their everyday lives. An attempt to bring art and life closer together. The original avant garde art project.

So here is my everyday life today.

There was a Polish birthday party in Leicester Square, followed by crowd immersion at British museum. Currently, I am experiencing acid reflux.

My friend Joe, just back from living and teaching English in Portugal, brought his own blow up mattress to stay with us in London. Our place is very small. Maybe it can fit a blow up mattress.

I thought about fish and chips tonight but there is no fish and chips tonight. We are trying to eat more healthy.

I also looked at LOOT for place to live with Ewa. If I can keep a job for decent amount of time, it would be nice to have a place, even a small one, but a bit bigger than this small bedroom we share in North London (Wood Green).

And so we tread forward. Nomadic travels await. Ewa has made some green tea.

Tea helps to centre me.

back in the saddle


American surrealism . . .

zachary schomburg

I need to get my hands on some of his books . .. and Cathy Wagner’s My New Job and Matthew Roher’s books . .. haven’t read Matthew Rohrer since 2005 when he came to Greensboro . . .

Just read Maureen Owen’s Zombie Notes and loved it . . .

take the tube for over two hours every day for work.

Tube reading for this week:

Tulsa Kid by Ron Padgett

Great Balls of Fire by Ron Padgett

How to Be Perfect by Ron Padgett

Tarantula by Bob Dylan

Poetry State Forest by Bernadette Mayer