Saturday, January 31, 2009


Pleased to say there's one by me in the new issue of Decomp. Too much excellent stuff to name names but it's very much worth a read. Mine is here.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Sublunary Curse

Constance Stadler has a new chapbook, Sublunary Curse, out with Erbacce. It's on sale here and I can heartily recommend trying it out. My blurb runs thus: Sublunary Curse, Connie Stadler's outstanding new chapbook from erbacce-press, is intensely verbally ambiguous and compelling, and also theoretically complex. A sultry and tropical pile of topical tropes that encompasses subject matter ranging from the crime against morality that is clitoridectomy - combined, by the way, with an inevitable sense of the observer's complicity - to the crime against ethics that is paternal neglect, the absence of the patriarch. The poetic heritage is traceable right from Sharon Olds back to Poe, and even further. Exquisitely crafted poems that are an anthropology and anatomy of postmodern humanity. The book is on sale here

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Black-Listed Magazine

Really pleased to recieve a prompt acceptance of some stuff by Mike Meraz, obviously great in his own write, at Black-Listed, it's a lovely zine and includes tons of superb stuff, it's here and the first by me is here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Richard Wink - Delirium is a Disease of the Night

Richard Wink
Delirium is a Disease of the Night
chapbook from Shadow Archer Press
reviewed by David McLean

Richard Wink's new chapbook is unmistakably English but not restricted in its appeal, not parochial as things English so often are, or were. It's dedicated to Norfolk and the poems manage to give Norfolk a distinctive charm in the depiction, which is clear-eyed too, an amused but tolerant slice of life, a book of poems that uses unabashedly words like “kerfuffle” - a word perversely underlined in red by Open office.

I sit on a train to London
listening to a Grandmother and her Granddaughter
playing a silly word game
as the business man next to me
scoffs down a chicken Caesar salad sandwich.
The journey is delayed twice for line maintenance
apologies are distant from the driver
who remains safe in his air conditioned cabin
People begin to cough in unison
as the air gets stuffy
people twitch, wriggle and mildly complain.
It’s ok I’m not in a hurry
(Norwich to London Liverpool St)

Like the poem's protagonist this chapbook is leisured and uncomplaining, not in your face and self-righteous, not sentimental and cloying either. it balances between perspicuity in observation of human defects and eccentricities and a willingness to let life and its defects happen and observe and learn, a tolerance presumably enabled by the authorial voice's own readiness to confess to the odd eccentricity he may happen to have himself.

Feeling dirty
I switched the bathroom light on
and turned on the taps
the bath rand deep and I sank in
spilling water over the sides.
I submerged myself and explored the tub
finding nothing but pubic hair
knotted around the plug.
I rose to the surface
and began to think
(An Hour in the Life)

Some parts are very entertaining, a weird and surreal feeling as in lines like the following

In the caravan a goblin squealed
abandoned by its owners who gallivanted in the
Kings Arms
Consuming the Seafood Special
and a bottle of red.
When they get back
the goblin will be dead

Some parts are shocking, there is an editorial note telling us that “The Crass” refers to The Crass. Ok, not a Gary Bushell cover then.

And there are parts in which I have to wholeheartedly concur -

Fuck Ginsberg
and those who called themselves ‘beat’
Fuck Leonard Cohen
and all the musician-cum-writers
that claim to be street
buskers, cool hustlers
top hat spinning
always winning
because they make more money than me
(I'm Really Upset)

Wink observes with unwavering accuracy the torpor of the unemployed who don't know how to distribute time and engagement, don't know how to accept their gloriously economically deprived leisure in the new England.

In the end the deepest values of the book is that awakens one question about sociology and social psychology. Wink asks the question for the UK but the situation is the same elsewhere probably. i can absolutely recommend this book, it rocks.

the blue cheer of rising veins
the scared existentialist
the glorious innocence
in this one final question

what is the matter with all these people?
(One Final Question)

Toronto Quarterly 2

Now Toronto Quarterly 2 is out and available as a free .pdf or a print book for only $6 at Lulu here. I believe "the willful trees" by me is in it. Their MySpace is here. I've have just read it and can say that it's a great zine and that there are other great people there, like Puma Perl and Craig Sernotti. So check it out.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Exuberant Ashtray

Strange and deranged pervert Rob "Rod" Plath has released the third issue of his Exuberant Ashtray. It's a remarkable collection of poems by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal, Andrew Taylor, me, Frank Reardon, Dan Provost, Misti Rainwater-Lites, Puma Perl, Karl Koweski, James Darman, Zach King-Smith, Mike Meraz, Wolf Carstens, Scott Wannberg and Dan Fante. It's a really exceptional read so check it out, it has fourteen fat butts in the exuberant ass-tray to keep you happy until you can bum some smokes in the morning. 'Tis here.

the thin edge of staring

In a fit of drunkenness or insanity or drunken insanity, Wolfgang Carsters has posted a piece by me in the thin edge of staring. The poem itself is called these fragments and is, in some ways, a tribute to 10 000 Maniac's tribute to de Chirico, pour de Chirico, where they quote Eliot. The poem is here. It's in great company, and I hope it behaves itself. But it probably won't.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Literary Bitch

Very pleased to say that a zine with a wonderful and fetching name, Literary Bitch, have taken a poem by me with a charming name too, the night smells of piss, the issue is live on 30th Jan 2009, and they say, of themselves "Literary Bitch is an electronic forum of short poetry, flash, a smattering of art and lots of reviews and publishing news. Frequency is four times a year, with our premiere issue coming in January 2009!" So do check them out here, sounds excellent, and, though the poem is about piss, it's shit hot.
Literary Bitch is an electronic forum of short poetry, flash, a smattering of art and lots of reviews and publishing news.

Frequency is four times a year, with our premiere issue coming in January 2009!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Instant Pussy

One poem is forthcoming in Instant Pussy, who are doing a special, the blog with details is here. The magazine will be full color and probably insanely expensive. Link later. I think Misti wants subs for the thing. I'm not going to say that she wants people to submit to her Pussy, that would be childish.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Heroin Love Songs

Very pleased that three poems "my hands before you," "anxiety picking clean" and "it is not beating - to my unborn son" - are forthcoming in next HLS, that's going to be online here, though I can't get to that link myself just now, and available at Lulu as a print issue. (It's very nice of me to write a little poem to one of my abortions and tell him why we chucked him away with the rest of the shit. (All these poems women write to the brats festering in their smelly wombs really get on my nerves.))

Here's HLS IV, another excessively unpleasant poem about wombs and mummies by me there too.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Calliope Nerve XVIII

Received just now issue 18 of Calliope Nerve, lots of stuff in that one, both by me and several other people, all first class work there. You can get details of this thing from editor Nobious Black's blog here. They also have The Muse Thing, an online bit here, some poems by me there too, they are here.

Shoots & Vines

Delighted to have two poems, "flowers designed" and "the day is ice and smoke" coming in the print version of Shoots & Vines zine, and two more "and we shall" and "as if in spirit" up online here on the 18th of February. Like I said before Shoots & Vines is a really great zine and Crystal Folz does great work there, really regular postings and a feature every weekend. Mine was here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Three chapbooks by Jack Henry

Three chapbooks by Jack Henry
reviewed by David McLean

the downtown café 40 pp.
buy at Erbacce Press
shipping included

a garden of flies 26 pp.
buy at Scintillating Press
shipping included
(released February 2009)

empty houses
buy at Kendra Steiner Editions
$4.00 domestic
shipping included
$5.00 international
inquire shipping

This is a review of three books recently produced by the prolific LA poet Jack Henry, and is produced as a three in one review, being, taken together, maybe a snapshot of his present development. the downtown café, the obvious centerpiece, is longer, but the other two are excellent productions in their own right, and unities themselves, not mere footnotes to the longer work.

Generally, these poems all came to be relatively recently, and they stay true to the vision Jack has earlier presented in his works. The world is one stamped with anomie and lack of autochthonousness, which is like a feeling of rootedness and belonging. It's the modern malaise that is what Heidegger was among the first to identify, we are not part of a team. It's why he was briefly a Nazi, he thought that offered belonging and identity, though that proved, as we all know, I hope, to be spurious and, fundamentally, a radically evil illusion.

In these poems, the characters and the character who speaks, who is maybe Jack himself, the poems' voice, is himself a modern consciousness who (and this is not unusual in contemporary US poetry) is almost nostalgic for the stupidity of the Christian spirit-seeing and soul-inventing society that tried to destroy him and make him a conformist. But Jack is non-conformist enough to not conform to the other non-conformists, like the Goth kid who refused to refuse to dance for South Park, but Jack writes poetry better than the Goth kid danced.

His poetry balances first the external situation of the characters mentioned, that of agents reacting in a world where the capitalist or neo-liberal dream is confirmed and there is no compassion, no true sense of community, and individuals do not truly relate, but pursue selfish ends, crawling over each other like lizards in a cage, using each others bodies indifferently for leverage or a resting place, but never really touching, as Acton once said.

at noon i eat lunch at a deli
counter in the international
marketplace - no one cared if a
little white kid wanted to buy a meal

Los Angeles never cared about much

(“At Seven”, the downtown café)

It balances this with at the other end of the scale an internal despair and sense of abandonment to match this external desolation and actual abandonment, acts of abandoning. As in a poem to “a starving man” where the repetition of the recurring line “i see him” contrasts the poet's (and hopefully reader's) response with the societal act of rejection. The concluding “which is almost worse than not seeing him at all” maybe suggests that even our treatment of the starving and oppressed is no better, since the individual cannot help every other individual, only the state can do that. Nobody starves where I live unless they are starving themselves for aesthetic effect, and it is chastening to contrast Jack's truths about LA life with the picture America presents of itself to us through the Hollywood and TV ideology machine and the more conventional poetic ideology machine, where the focus is on frozen lakes and nasty animals who may or may not be endangered. The plight of the noble redwood while Jack's poor fucker is rummaging in the trash.

At the other internal end of the balance of abandonment we have the individual who is obliged to accept that the piety and faith which drove his predecessors does not work for him, and a nostalgia for the innocence of church and all that it brought with it, giving up childhood. (All American writers have problems with nostalgia for an innocent childhood and wanting to “go home.” I assume that this is their way of expressing nostalgia for presence and permanence and an ontological sense of continuity. You can't go home again because there is no “home” in the relevant sense.)

Like Sartre says, answering his teacher Heidegger, there is no fundamental we as subject. just so Jack cannot be like his father's generation of baseball and apple pie and innocent kids with bruised knees. the kids blow priests in alleys for coke, as Jack writes elsewhere. But there is an “us object” for the earlier Sartre - we can unite as oppressed and see an identity as victims, maybe, for the later Sartre change things with left politics. But Jack's word (and mine) is one where love and unity is fleeting, an unbearable nostalgia for decency and glimpses of better possibilities in a world where we are lizards in an indifferent cage.

The journey home to a simple world of faith is one you don't want to take, but the ultimate solution that gets the individual through the day is simple physical pleasure

i stand - walk a couple of blocks
drink down my rent money
and pass out in the street

(shift end, the downtown café)

A feeling most people know, I hope, and the old values and faith no longer work for anybody.

alone in my father’s castle
built on Sunday morning
i pray the lord my soul to keep
but that might take too much effort

(Scabbard's Claw, empty houses)

As Jack says in the title poem to this little chapbook empty houses, “i know the shame of living, the/ sorrow of survival”

listless shadows used
to linger outside my
window as sirens chased
phantoms of indiscriminate

There are MANY passages in poems in these chaps that make me, and I am pretty arrogant, desperately envious of Jack's accomplished poetic voice and his startling imagery.

The tone in empty houses, another first rate little chapbook, is one of quiet desperation in the desolation that is any city. The first poem, “Last rites” depicts a suicide who apologizes to “god and his team” before dying in a letter nobody reads - not priest, not god. Here is the earlier mentioned nostalgia, there should be a god up there if the American dream is to be true, not just an ideology of self-righteous self-satisfied complacency. Optimism and all shall be well, all shall be well, at least when the smack comes on Friday. In the end all manner of thing shall suck, but that's just empiricism on my part. Evil empires have, historically speaking, always been a bit evil but the evil American empire will be good.

But this chapbook is less concerned with the external desolation than the internal disintegration, strong in its depiction of Jack's character finding himself smaller than his father, especially in the title poem. It's a powerful poem rich and restrainedly competent in its invocation of religious imagery. Religion doesn't work, churches are declining parasitic and extraneous to real life, but hell is here, the devil, who doesn't exist, is here, the soul we do not have is burning.

The theme of garden of flies tends more towards that of the poem “death by increments” - the inevitability of going where flies assemble to take our meat as a tasty little snack. Here, as elsewhere in Jack's work, the only weak link is found in the mercifully few poems, only one here, that strike poses against what the self-so-styled underground identifies as “bad writing” and attacks a “canon of taste” that it regards, maybe rightly, as repressive. This is a boastful and loud-mouthed American thing, but Jack is at any rate able to do it in a way that is not self-contradictory like most people who make these self-refuting assertions of poetic superiority. He is good and better than run of the mill straight poets, I just don't see that that's for him to say, it's for me and others who review him.

In the downtown café, from Erbacce Press, what strikes me is the continued use of the motif of seeing. Jack sees the various victims, the starving and the suicidal, and emphasizes the ineffectiveness of seeing, that he does not, cannot, help them. And this is because it is not a question of everything being alright is enough people want to help "them", it is a question of the larger social whole, not society but the so-called state, helping them, not because it wants to but because that is what states are supposed to do, for fuck's sake. And of course the individual wants to help all the downtrodden, thus the despair and alienation, thus the contemporary popularity of Buddhism, nihilist religion of despair and cowardice, and thus the necessity of political action, but, really, that's probably not going to work, maybe we are fucked in principle, who knows? If we are not fucked in principle, it will be because of the humaneness of humanity, and because of poets like Jack Henry who express that humanity and teach us to remember the humaneness.

All of these books are excellent, start with the chapbook the downtown café, but don't forget to buy the others though. Clink the links above to the publishers, the link highest up or this link to Jack's blog.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Glass: A Journal of Poetry

Very happy to have just received notification that a piece is forthcoming in the excellent Glass. They appear three times a year and I will be appearing in issue one of their second volume with "the rocks on the hill." (I noticed that I write quite a lot about nature now, Sweden has a lot of beautiful nature and the puppy likes to run around and sniff at it, so I get to notice it.) You can read the excellent third part of the first volume here and also read a little about their artistic mission and principles and so forth as well as getting to see a lot of first rate poetry that "enacts the artistic and creative purity of glass."

Friday, January 16, 2009

Seven CirclePress

Delighted to have had three accepted, in very illustrious company, at Seven CirclePress, my three are posted here, they will be forthcoming in CircleShow some time this summer, and details of ordering that will be at the main site here. Seven CirclePress is already a great zine and I believe it will become a quite prestigious sort of place to be published by. Like i say, some really lovely work there. Congratulations are in order to the boss man at SCP, Seth Jani.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Radiant Turnstile

Very pleased that four poems by me are forthcoming in the great zine Radiant Turnstile. March/April some time. For now they have hot stuff through the shining doors here.

Gloom Cupboard 75

There's a thing by me in the 75th issue of Gloom Cupboard. Too many zines come out in maybe three issues and then fold, because the editors are lazy fucks. Not so Richard Wink, his 75th is here. Excellent as always.

Gutter Eloquence

Very pleased to say that "when world turns," which is a slightly Heideggerean poem by me, will be appearing in issue two of Gutter Eloquence. They have a stellar first issue up already here and there's a poem by me there too at this link. Guidelines are here. The great Jack T. Marlowe is the editor and he has this to say:

"Gutter Eloquence is a bi-monthly online journal of free-verse poetry.
The writers featured here will be real, gritty, gutsy, and unafraid to
speak their minds. These poets are not one-dimensional, however.
So, you'll sometimes see their bold individualism tempered by open
vulnerability. We are, after all, human...even here in the gutter."

The Poetry Warrior

Very happy to say that a poem by me called velle non discitur is forthcoming at Poetry Warrior ezine in February's issue. Their site is here. It's a great place to be so check them out now.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Flash Fire 500

Very pleased to say that a poem by me called "heretics" will be forthcoming in a new zine called Flashfire 500. I like the poem and the stuff in FF 500 already is great. They are here, so check them out.

Instant edit: Not forthcoming, but up already here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Monkey Bite

Misti Rainwater-Lites
Monkey Bite
8 Octocoocoo by Koko Loko
@ 2022 by Jungle Jane Press

Monkey Bite is a book at Lulu by Misti Rainwater-Lites, who produces probably as many poems as anyone. And they are all good, she doesn't write crap, not even poo poo, I write just as much as Misti does, I suppose, but some of it is faintly scented poop. This book costs only $4.92, which is basically not free, but might as well be. It is on sale here and, if you don't buy it, then you, sir, are a dildo.

I introduce my review of it thus, it is a book of Octocoocoos. These are poems composed of eight eight syllable lines. Monkeys need that sort of structure special. Koko Loko is a schizophrenic monkey and a friend of god, a sort of primate pope. He is pretty peeved sometimes. He takes drugs too, they make him fuck for days and be happy. He's just precisely like me and you.

Here's one of his kick ass apeshit poems

A Chimp’s Complaint

I want to speak to Manager.
Manager better explain things.
How come big fucking hole in sky?
Why cars like ants all over place?
Trees torn down for tall ugly things
no sensible monkey would climb!
Masses of humans dying, fine.
Whole planet dying? FUCK THAT SHIT!

Buy this book or Misti will make more of a monkey out of you motherfucker. We all need a monkey on out backs, a monkey to pull down the sky and jump into the schizophrenic cracks in the moon and between the stars, so get hooked on monkeypoetics and monkeyphonics today at Lulu, the place for trendy apes.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Seven CirclePress

Delighted to say that there are going to be three poems by me forthcoming in the quality new venue Seven CirclePress. There are a lot of well-known names among the poets featured here, and the poems will appear in CircleShow round this summer.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Exuberant Ashtray

Happy to say that a poem by me "ethics and aesthetics" which says that ethics isn't important, aesthetics is, is coming in The Exuberant Ashtray, Rob Plath's great new zine here. Do check out isssue two there, devoted to James Darman, an excellent poet. Also one poem by me in the 1st issue.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Audience Magazine

Now I had no idea about this, I was going through some saved submitted files and, as I went to World Audience Publishers to withdraw some stuff I had submitted many moons ago, I found that four of the five poems were actually featured in their tenth and current issue, and I'm delighted to say they were just next to work by Dylan Garcia-Wahl. Lots more quality work in it too, some by editor M Stefan Strozier. Anyway, it can be purchased or downloaded free here. You can subscibe too. It's a big magazine, 312 pp. A good buy. $17.99.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Clockwise Cat XII

Delighted to be able to say Clockwise Cat XII is up, there are five poems by me here and there's a review of my pushing lemmings by Pablo Vision here, see previous blog for details of how to buy it.

There are also some reviews by me, one a magazine review of Sein und Werden here, one of Puma Perl's great and very deserving of purchase new chapbook Belinda And Her Friends here, one of AJ Kauffman's Pilgrims and Indians here, one of George Andersson's Dancing on thin ice here, and, last but definitely not least, one of Misti Rainwater-Lites' brilliant collection The Kitchen is Closed here. That one is also eminently buyable and will decrapify your poetry collection to a certain extent. Pushing lemmings will also make you a better person (the book not the activity.)

The link to buy lemmings is below

Gloom Cupboard

There'll be a thing by me in Gloom Cupboard 75, coming in February. They have loads of things to read, including several things by me already, one of which is a feature and interview with me, in Out of the Cupboard number three and it's here.

By the way, the pound is pretty fucked, which makes it a great time to buy my pushing lemmings, which is priced in pounds, very brightly, on PayPal. Swedish postage has gone up though, at least to the USA and UK.

Polluto IV

It's now possible to purchase Polluto IV, including "the day hermeneutics died," a small collection of poems by me. The issue is called Queer and Loathing in Wonderland, and the full line-up is: 'Alice in the Palace' by Dave Migman, 'Parasol Clerks' by Rhys Hughes, 'Jeanne' by Steve Redwood, 'Mouse Diary' by Daniel Wilson, 'Queer & Loathing on the Yellow Brick Road' by Deb Hoag, 'A Shade of Yellow' by Alex MacFarlane, 'Beta Child, Gamma Child' by Malon Edwards, 'Paint the Town' by Anne Pinckard, 'Sweet Adult Cell' by Ray Succre, 'Beauty and the Beast' by Micci Oaten, 'Heart of Cement' by Lawrence Dagstine, 'The Bears in the Wood' by Jim Steel, 'The Androidgenous Zone' by Andrew Hook & Allen Ashley, 'Velcro Hurt' by Ernesto Sarezale, 'The Day Hermeneutics Died' by David McLean, 'Willow Within' by D. W. Green, 'A Long Hard Look' by Rhian Waller, 'On Biting Roy' by Janis Butler Holm, 'Live Without a Net' by RC Edrington, 'Mona and the Machine' by Matthew Longo, 'Backseat Ballet' by Mark Howard Jones, 'Voom and Bloom' by Frank Burton, 'Alice in Agony Pink' by Michelle Mead, 'ADD' by Chris Patton, 'Shedding' by Rhian Waller.

So this issue is subversive and worth reading. The poems by me are pretty damn offensive, including irrational attacks on almost everything that people hold true and decent. This magazine will enlighten you and it is only $7.99, 10 Euros, or $12 with free surface shipping to the rest of the world and USA. Order it here.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Very pleased to say that three things by me will be in the February issue of LiteralMinded. There's a few by me in their current issue which is up here, and, like I said before, is absolutely first rate, a really great new zine. So read it.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Cerulean rain

Very pleased indeed to have just had two poems accepted and forthcoming in Issue Three of Cerulean Rain. It's a magazine that takes darker subject matter by preference. It is here, and there are some excellent issues up there already to read.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Poetry Cemetery

Also very pleased that three poems by me have just been posted in the excellent Poetry Cemetery. These poems are here and it's a great issue as usual. Lot's been happening today. Damn.

The The

Happy to see that the theme issue of The The about dreams is up, One by me here, and lots of other first class stuff, such as poems by Puma Perl, Craig Sernotti, and Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal, so do read.

Flutter Poetry Journal

Pleased to say that Flutter is up for January 2009 with a poem by me here. As always, Sandy has put together a first rate issue, really fabulous stuff.

Ophelia Street

Very pleased to say that there's a thing up at Ophelia Street, "they said the dead," and it's here. It's a great zine, I'm happy to be there, so read it.


Pleased to say that a poem by me is forthcoming in tinfoildresses. Great place to be, for now they are here. Oddly enough I am wearing a frock made of tinfoil as I write.

Breadcrumb Scabs

Happy to say that the first issue of the evocatively titeld Breadcrumb Scabs is now available. At Lulu it may be downloaded for free or purchased as a print issue here. The website is here. There's poetry in it by myself, three poems, and by Misti Raiwnater-Lites and by many others.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Gutter Eloquence

A poem by me in Gutter Eloquence is here, in the same issue is worl by Puma Perl, David Blaine, Crag Sernotti, Misti Rainwater-Lites, Robplath, Matt Finney, and many more. Great zine.


LiteralMinded is one of those zines that actually states a first issue release date and then appears on that date and AT THE TIME STATED. My god, it can be done. Anyway, congratulations Dan Fearnley and gang for a first class and prompt production. Five poems by me there, there are no drugs for free, the beast, under the stones, the earth is, and, on the front page, there seem to be screams. A lot of other excellent work too. One of the best of many great new zines popping up in a veritable explosion of poems.

So do read it, the front page is here.