Review of Try Never, by "Mark Clemens"

for Full Stop.


Teaser quote: “Kiṣkindhākāṇḍa” makes a series of intolerable dad-puns on “didgeridoo” whose grating unfunniness must have amused their author but is not contagious.

[originally posted Tuesday 3 October 2017]

Mother Grogan’s Unpunctuated Rigmarole of Numerical Spangablasm

In the Paris Review Daily.


Teaser quote: “Bill, sir? she said, halting. Well it’s seven mornings a pint at twopence is seven twos is a shilling and twopence over and these three mornings a quart at fourpence is three quarts is a shilling. That’s a shilling and one and two is two and two, sir.”


[originally posted Wednesday 27 September 2017]

A review of Try Never in Chicago Review. The only way I was ever going to get in that magazine.

Chicago Review


Teaser quote: “With so much happening at the level of pure form, the technical aspects would be tedious to parse. But if you think of the way Celtic designs carry curving lines from one quadrant of the visual field to another while maintaining qualities of symmetry and balanced value, tracing exquisitely detailed involutions and mandala-like circularities, then you’ll have some sense of Madrid’s analogous acoustic embroideries.”


[originally posted Wednesday 20 September 2017]

Quick takes on a couple of recent biographies: one of Czesław Miłosz and one of Kathy Acker

In Tourniquet Review.


Teaser quote: “Did you know Fanny Howe started her writing career producing soft-porn romance crap for Avon Books—? Out there in the world somewhere is a paperback from 1964 called West Coast Nurse. It was, I learned, part of a popular “nurse” series. There’s a copy online for $40 (original price: 32¢). Somebody needs to buy that and review it for the Agni blog.”


[originally posted Wednesday 13 September 2017]

H.D. Notebook, Part 2

In The Paris Review Daily.


Teaser quote: Reminds me of a joke Samuel Johnson alludes to in the preface of his edition of a certain Very Big Poet, whose greatness was (Johnson asserts) not to be found in particular passages but in the overall effect. The joke was: “He who tries to recommend him by select quotations, will succeed like the pedant in Hierocles, who, when he offered his house for sale, carried a brick in his pocket as a specimen.”

[originally posted Wednesday 9 August 2017]

“Would You Like to Write Something for My Magazine?”

In the Paris Review Daily.


Teaser quote: “The people of France have made it no secret that those of England, as a general thing, are, to their perception, an inexpressive and speechless race, perpendicular and unsociable, unaddicted to enriching any bareness of contact with verbal or other embroidery.”

[originally posted Wednesday 26 July 2017]

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Interview with the Neanderthal

In The Paris Review Daily.


Teaser quote




But let’s not get distracted. You’re essentially saying you can access memories from past lives. Is that correct?




Yes. I mean, that’s misleading to put it that way, because these “past lives” were not me. It’s not like my personality existed forty thousand years ago. But I can access, I’m convinced, personalities and events that occurred at the time when the Neanderthal species—as a distinct thing—ceased to exist.


[originally posted Wednesday 14 May 2017]

Five limericks with pictures by Mark Fletcher

In the Paris Review Daily.


Teaser quote: “Some days I made four or five limericks, or four or five versions of the same limerick, texting every one of ’em to the people in my life who, in my judgment, did not then and do not now deserve God’s mercy.”

[originally posted Wednesday 17 May 2017]

“H.D. Notebook”

On The Paris Review Daily.


Teaser quote: “I don’t like biographies wherein the subject has no stupid ideas, is never self-deceived, and is never a source of legitimate grievance to anyone. To watch a biographer protect her subject from all negative interpretations, and even from the other characters in the story—this is a most unedifying spectacle…”


[originally posted Wednesday 3 May 2017]

A poem called “Siebenundvierzig”

The Iowa Review is posting a new poem every day, all through April.


Teaser quote: “This is that mind-reading, I’m-sicking-demons-on-my-enemies style of Buddhism.”


[originally posted Saturday 1 April 2017]