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A2Z Tanta“Gene Tanta comes from a land where the place of words and even of letters was challenged one hundred years ago. Tristan Tzara, born and educated in a very small town of Eastern Romania, Moineşti, as Samuel Rosenstock, and Isidore Isou, pen name of Ioan-Isidor Goldstein, broke the new wood between mimetic language and language as material. Twisting together the spectral traces of the Romanian and North American avant-gardes via the “fronde” (Dada’s sling against illusionist art) and the formal concerns of the Language poets, Tanta continues the path blazed by Tzara and Isou. Pastoral Emergency asks how words or even letters still manage to coexist without colliding after such a cultural and universal “Big Bang”?” – Radu Andriescu

“From “all that glitters” to “catch some Z’s before you zag,” Gene Tanta’s Pastoral Emergency is a vertiginous alphabetical romp. The twenty-six poems deconstruct each letter into a surreal and hypnotic brew of sound, non-meaning and sly signification that conflates the Danube and the Loop, the personal and the poetic, making the fusty fresh, the meta-chaotic a brave new word-cosmos. Tantalizing and triumphant.” – Adam J. Sorkin

“W.H. Auden and John Ashbery have published books in which the poems are arranged alphabetically.  Gene Tanta goes them one better with a book of poems which are themselves alphabetical.  PASTORAL EMERGENCY has a hypnotic feeling of inevitability about it as it demonstrates the way in which language writes our poems and our minds.” – John L. Koethe

“Oulipo meets Simic under the aegis of American elliptical poetry.” – Robert Archambeau

“Gene Tanta’s Pastoral Emergency is emergent alliteration as arrivalist’s dreamsphere molted in the fruit of rich anxiety and tensile love. We are getting there and writing the magic carpet simultaneously holding our coattails and devouring them. Yummy alphabetic alarums in the path of cultural littering; do read.”  – Lisa Samuels

“Gene Tanta is like that amazing stranger you find whispering on a bus. Leaning closer, you understand that he is saying almost more than language holds. His audacity dazzles—“a phantom-limb in actual lust,” “scenic as the hungry gurgle of ground-water say,” until one is overcome by his dream in language flexed to breaking. I admire this poet’s range and vision and ability to spread words in front of this reader’s eyes. He is a pointillist of the imagination.” – Maxine Chernoff

“The title – Pastoral Emergency – suggests that we long for a less complicated time, yet urgent intervention is required before things worsen.  We are pulled between poles, wandering alphabetic territory between constraint and incantation, simple taxonomy giving path to rich passage.” – Lane Hall

  Poems of A-Z with No Beginning (928.4 KiB)

A print version is in the works.

An earlier version of this chapbook can be found here.

Please consider a donation to the author for your copy of this book.


Levi says…

Continues was written in my first couple of years in New York, the only substantial amount of time I had ever been away from my homeland of Wyoming. It was something of a personal challenge to write about Wyoming, as I had expressly avoided home and family as poetic subject matter for a long time. Of course distance and the heart do what they do, and thus was born this loose crown of reversed sonnets.

The theme and the characters are lifted from folks back home but a lot was redacted, adjusted, and obscured, so no single person is in any danger of exposure, hopefully. But I feel that this one of the most fully realized collections of poems I’ve had the pleasure of wrestling with, and they need to really be taken in as a whole to be enjoyed. Maybe I’m wrong, whatever. I hope you enjoy it and feel compelled to share.

cast of characters

Our main mope is Steven Malakova,
light-hearted, lounging in county on his Jesus tattoo,
hours dropped reconnecting with D O’Connor,
tight bros from way back when. D’s in and out of

jail and Wen Island, AKA Ponytail,
who has D’s baby girl but neither know
hail from Mary. Wen, Steven and D thrash
through Wyoming sharing solos and

throwing bottles until Rebbecca (with
Two B’s in her name and under her shirt)
mows through town to strip at the Hive and
move past some scary shit. She often

wakes up under unfamiliar sheets with the
shakes, a stable of young ghosts at her feet.

Download Continues by Levi Rubeck

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You’re in love. The problem is, you haven’t told the girl, and your brain and your heart have different ideas about how to proceed. Brain vs. heartis a dialog between the brain and the heart of one man as he attempts to “make the move.” Both indulgently prosaic and absurdly poetic, with plenty of in-jokes for computer nerds and literature nerds alike, this beautiful chapbook will make you laugh, cry, and/or hate the authors.

LO-RES Chap
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HI-RES Chap: Coming Soon
This book is also available in print here (at cost).

Though this digital chapbook is free, you may want to…

About the authors…

Christopher Robinson is a writer, teacher, and translator (And illustrator? This is his first stab at it) currently living in the wind. He earned his MA in poetry from Boston University and his MFA from Hunter College. His work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Alaska Quarterly Review, Night Train, Kenyon Review, Nimrod, Branch Magazine, Chiron Review, Umbrella Factory, McSweeney’s Online, and elsewhere. He is a recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Sante Fe Art Institute, the Lanesboro Arts Center, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. He has been a finalist for numerous prizes, including the Ruth Lilly Fellowship and the Yale Younger Poets Prize.

Joe Moon is your typical preterite (in Pynchon’s religious sense, not the grammatical one) immigrant combat veteran with a literature degree. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his lovely wife Bev and works for AppFog. He writes about technology and other things on his blog and occasionally contributes to the Atlantic Monthly’s Technology Channel. He is otherwise occupied riding his bicycle and climbing rocks.
thethebooks2

Poet, fiction writer, and critic Alfred Corn applies his special language skills to a comparison of the two dominant versions of the English language. The United States and Britain have been described as “divided by a common language,” but this guide will help speakers from both countries make their way in the other.  Pronunciation, vocabulary, spelling, and punctuation are all discussed, and there is a brief presentation of British and American slang. The result is an accessible and succinct overview appropriate for tourists, for teachers of English as a foreign language, for book and magazine editors, for actors, and for courses on British and American literature.

Available in the following formats:
Kindle
NOOK

 

X

X marked the spot on the blackboard where

xenophobia poured in

xenial as a bullwhip spine or xanthate

printed xylographs in the X rated moonlight

xirself perched on a xenolith

xebec cuts the fleecy waves aft as we approach in xenon traces to

xerox someone else’s wrought iron dreams on Xmas

 

Formerly Excerpt from Pastoral Emergency.

Click here to download the book as a PDF.

PAINTED LADY

The worst part
is how my thumb
could erase her

body but not
the nausea draining
her body down

to a dull hum,
her skin against
bone: the scaffolding

not around her heart
but the movement
of her heart wrapped

in a cocoon, the way
she emerges weeks
later, covered

in butterfly wings
folding and folding
in the kerosene sky,

finally refusing
the kiss, the spark,
the mere possibility

love could move
next door, never cut
the grass, not make

a big deal
when she lets her hair
down, I want her

to tell me I should leave,
tell me loneliness
is a compass needle,

a pencil tip, that
she is just a sketch
I trace with my thumb.

 

Click here to download the book as a PDF.

In his inimitable fashion, Joe Weil treats the pains of life as joy and the joys of life as pain. This diverse collection ranges from Weil’s classics (“Poem with Lamb and Potatoes”, “Cricket Hour”) to a series of haikus dedicated to a dead groundhog (“Dead Groundhog Lust Haiku”). A short run was made available through the short-lived Press Electrrrric! and is now available online.

Click on the book cover for a preview and free download.