Archive for the ‘book review’ Category

These “tricks” are from a worksheet written by John M. Bennett, handed out during national poetry month (April 2016), for the occasion of a workshop we were invited to give to members of the Ohio Poetry Association:

SOME OF JOHN M. BENNETT”S POETRY TRICKS
Rewrite a poem backwards
This can be done in several ways. Rearrange the poems with the words in
backward order or rearrange the lines in reverse order, for example. Or, for a
special treat, spell each word backward, drawkcab, while leaving the words
themselves in the same order, or rearrange them in reverse order, etc.
Start a poem in the middle
This can be done by rearranging an existing poem by rewriting it starting
from a point in the middle. When you reach the middle of the rewritten
poem, add the title (perhaps in bold), and continue with the “first” part of the
poem. With a little practice, you can write a poem from scratch in this way.
Constantly repeat a word or a phrase
This can create some great rhythmic effects. Don’t worry too much about
proper syntax. You can emphasize the repeated elements with italics, upper
case, etc.
Mix tenses
This can multiply the apparent number of voices and perspectives in a
poem, and have other effects. In general, you can mix syntactical and
grammatical structures to create multiple layers of meaning and resonance.
Misspell words
Use popular misspellings to create multiple voices or perspectives. You can
also create your own misspellings for expressive or performative effects.
Cut-ups and tear-ups
The numbers of ways to do this are only limited by your imagination. By
disassembling and reassembling existing texts you will discover new meanings
and resonances you might not have thought of. With some practice, you will
come to be able to write in this manner skipping the step of cutting or tearing
up. You will have found a whole new dimension of language in which to
express yourself. It is especially thrilling to cut up your own texts in these ways.
Mix languages
If you have any level of knowledge of a foreign language or languages, use
them freely in what you write. If you know no other language than your own,
learn a new one. It is amazing what this does for your ability to express
yourself in general, and to understand how language can work.
Transduction
This is a kind of fake translating, in which you “translate” a text from one
language to another without regard to what a bilingual dictionary might suggest.
It is not necessary to know the language you are transducing from. One way to
do this is called “homophonic translation” in which you use words in your
language that merely “sound like” the words in the original. You can also
transduce by opening your mind to the resonant associations a word in a
source language suggest to you. It is also fun to transduce within a language: ie,
transduce an English text into a new English text.
Create a new form
All poetry has some kind of form, even so-called “free verse”. The
possibilities of creating new forms are infinite. Try writing a “formless” poem,
and then using the result as a form: that is, write more poems in the same
form. You can also modify existing forms: how about a 15-line sonnet in
which the central line is a title? You can imagine forms using any of the
techniques in this list. You can thunk of a form before you write anything, and
then see how it works. Or you can let a form evolve out of something
“formless” that you write.
Asemics
Written language that cannot be “read” because it has no apparent words or
letters in it, but looks like it does. Fake writing, if you will. This is often done
with handwriting, but can also be done typographically. It can be used as a
score for Dada-like sound-poetry performance.
March 2016 – John M. Bennett

More info about John M. Bennett from the back cover of his latest publication, THE WORLD OF BURNING:

John M. Bennett’s poetry encapsulates the chaos characterizing our experience of and in this world, giving it a form and presence in words, phonemes, languages, and metaphor so compact and multi-meaningful, so ambiguous, that his poems glitter in their condensed expressive emotionality. The result is a universe that is gritty, carnal, and at the same time metaphysical and sublime, resonating in multiple worlds, cultures, times, and consciousnesses. Bennett does not “write poetry”, but uses poetry as a means of understanding and creating what cannot be understood and what cannot exist, but does very much exist in these pages. In the over 50 years of his writing, he has published more than 400 books and chapbooks, each quite different, yet distinctly Bennett, and has developed a startling variety of innovative techniques and approaches. His Select Poems appeared in 2016.

Photo of JMB taken in Japan ca. 1949 by Katherine G. Bennett or John W. Bennett

Photo of JMB taken in Japan ca. 1949 by Katherine G. Bennett or John W. Bennett

Sign for Nopalry

Sign for organically certified Nopalry

Incubator for impregnated cochinilla insects

Edgar Jahir Trujillo describes process of raising and harvesting cochinilla insects

Edgar Jahir Trujillo describes process of raising and harvesting cochinilla insects

edgar-jahir-trujillo-cochinilla-painting-using-dried-nepal-paddle-on-wing-sections-2016

Edgar experiments with cochinilla color variations

Edgar experiments with cochinilla color variations

A Perfect Red, by Amy Butler Greenfield, Harper Perennial, 2006, was recommended to me after one of our Aldus Society events by paper marbling and calligraphy artist/instructor, Ann Alaia Woods, when I told her about our upcoming visit to Oaxaca MX with the Archeological Conservancy group. The historical research and global perspective of this book illustrates the importance of a red dye [cochinilla granules] developed from a nopal cacti parasite in Oaxaca Mexico, which first came to Europe’s attention by way of the Spanish conquistadors. “Cochinilla” is the Spanish version of the word, and the oft used anglicized version is “cochineal”.  At one time cochineal granules were the least expensive per kilo, and were a more concentrated and color fast dye compared to other European red dyes on the market, so demand for it quickly made it as valuable as gold or silver. Weavers created gorgeous red robes and clothing which the rich and powerful class paid top dollar for. Later on, when synthetic dyes were invented, the competition was too great for the cochineal market to survive, and production in Oaxaca all but disappeared. [In regard to synthetic dyes, Ann recommends a book by Simon Garfield, MAUVE, How one man invented a color that changed the world. The Norton paperback edition came out in 2002. It is about the English scientist, William Perkin, and what developed from an accidental discovery he made when he was only eighteen.]

Today, a special nopalry (an organically certified cacti farm) exists in the state of Oaxaca as a way to bring back the important history of cochinilla in Oaxaca. It also provides many local crafts people with an organic natural source for red dye and other colors that can be obtained with additives. It was a pleasant surprise when a visit to the del Río Dueῆas nopalry was added to our tour group itinerary at the last minute! I even had my book with me to read during the trip, as I was only half finished with A Perfect Red.  A small museum was the beginning of our tour, followed by the nopal paddle green house, and then the studio where artist interns experiment with the dye in their artworks. Our guide was artist and architect, Edgar Jahir Trujillo, and he sold his cochinilla painting of a winged insect to a member of our group. The painting technique he used involved dried nopal paddles, dipped in the red dye, to impress texture onto the wings of a male cochinilla insect.

What follows is a narrative I wrote up from some notes taken during the nopalry tour, where we were able to learn firsthand about this natural dye that was originally produced only in the Oaxaca valley. Also included are my notes about a visit to a famous Oaxacan weaving workshop and a handmade paper co-op, both of which use and appreciate natural and locally produced dyes.

The nopal cacti grown at the nopalry has no needles, and only paddles from the highest quality plants are used in the greenhouse where the cochineal insect is nurtured. These parasitic insects are protected from too much sun, while micro predators are controlled as well as possible, and the cacti are protected from breezes that might blow the tiny insects away. The fertilized eggs of the female insect take 90 days to mature, then the insects on the nopal paddle are carefully removed with a fine bristled brush into a bowl (about 3 grams of insects per paddle). The fat, impregnated females that are best for breeding are separated out by a sieve and put into a woven palm mat tube (approx. 3″ long). Both ends of the tube are blocked with netting to protect the cochineal from predators like spiders. The tube nest is hooked onto a fresh nopal paddle which is control dated with an innoculation date. This date tells the greenhouse workers when the 3 month hatchling development period is up, and when to empty the females from the nest. A small orifice in the mat tube allows male and female baby bugs come out and populate the nopal paddle like the parasites that they are. Each female insect builds a white webbing around itself on the cacti, which helps protect it as it doesn’t move around and has no wings. (An aside: Zapotec mythology about the protective white webbing was that “The Cloud people surrounded blood from the gods with white fuzz.”) The males are tiny white flies with a life span of only three to five days. The male’s probiscus breaks off after coming out of the mother, so it can’t even eat! It’s only goal is to fly around and mate with females within its very short life span.

After 15 days of incubation in the palm mat tubes, the females are removed and added to other insects brushed from the nopal paddles that were not used for breeding. Together, they are set out to dehydrate and die in the sun, or they could also be dried in an oven. The nopal paddle (only used once) is fed to animals or composted. 140,000 of the dried insects equal one kilo of cochinilla. If you squish a cochinilla insect in your palm, its blood reacts with elements in the skin which affects the color. 30% of the cochinilla powder is pure coloring agent (pure pigment) that will last forever, and will not react to the PH of different surfaces. The carminic acid in the insect protects it from viruses, but is also the most important element used for dye. To get the carminic acid from the powder made from the dried insects, water plus alum are added to make a liquid, the liquid is boiled, then it is put through filters. Two chemical additives that achieve color variations are: Citric acid from limes for less scarlet, more pink, and bicarbonate of soda for mauve (dark purple).

Artist interns working at the nopalry are encouraged to experiment with the cochinilla granules in their art works. A few products like lipstick, dyed T-shirts, and books about the history of cochinilla are sold in a small gift shop. Note: Ignacio del Río Duῆas, the author of Grana Fina Cochinilla (published by the State of Oaxaca), is one of the main shakers and movers to revive the chocinilla industry in Oaxaca, and his book was available in the gift shop. Edgar told us that until the nopalry gets more investors they can’t create huge batches of products to sell. Money would be used for merchandizing efforts needed to move products quickly, but for now the dye is sold to local artists and craftspeople. Edgar pointed out to us that artificial dyes can be health hazards, though I’ve also read that there are some individuals who have bad allergic reactions to cochinilla. Another side note: Cochinilla is too organic for tattoo inks.

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On another day, 0ur group was graciously welcomed into the workshop of Isaac Vásquez Garcia and son, Jeronimo, who are Zapotec weavers from the weaving town of Teotitlán del Valle. They and other family members spin and dye their own wool, using it to weave beautiful rugs on big looms. These rugs sell well to tourists in their shop called “The Bug in the Rug”. When dying wool yarn with cochinilla (the bug!), alum and acacia fruits and freshly squeezed lime juice are added to fix, to darken or lighten or intensify the colors. They also use Tehuantepec indigo, dyes derived from lichens, the acacia tree, and other natural sources. Many of the original natural materials and the resulting dyes were displayed and demonstrated to our group by Mr. Vásquez Garcia. The book, A Perfect Red, especially mentions Isaac Vásquez Garcia as having “helped to breathe new life into Oaxaca’s age-old textile arts, allowing them to pass to a new generation.” And…”when the craft of natural dyeing had almost vanished from Oaxaca, a few artisans like Isaac Vásquez… sought to revive the old techniques. Coloring wool with cochineal…”

One day we visited a paper making co-op with a separate workshop for silkscreen printing, a gallery, and a gift shop. El Taller Arte Papel Oaxaca was begun in 1998 in San Agustín Etla, Oaxaca. Francisco Benjamín López Toledo is a famous Mexican artist who helped establish this paper making co-op and he commissions their paper to use in his art practice. Toledo helped get them a grant to create paper from only renewable sources and materials. It took 8 years of learning and organizing to establish the co-op. Today, artists come from China, Finland, Arab countries, and Japan to give paper workshops. They grow and use natural fibers from the Kapok tree (the green variety, as the black kapok tree is more rare) which is also known as the sacred Ceiba tree (Tree of Life). Also used are the natural fibers of Chichicastle, agave, Majahua, white cotton, Coyuche cotton, and lion’s paw.

fibers-for-papermaking-JMB-photo.jpg

Fibers used for papermaking (Photo credit: John M. Bennett)

These fibers are first boiled with bicarbonate of soda. Mechanized Hollander beaters are used to further break down the fibrous pulp. Lots of water is used for soaking the fibers and water also helps with the swishing of the pulp when it is screened. One of the co-op’s goals is to leave a low footprint, so used water is filtered and strained and treated so it’s fit to consume, then gets delivered to Oaxaca City by tank transport. In addition to only using natural fibers, they don’t use catalyzer agents. Their paper screening technique involves swishing liquid pulp from side to side and then up and down in order to cross stitch the fibers, thereby evening out and strengthening the paper. This workshop has their own watermark embedded in the boxed screen which leaves its mark in either bas or high relief; its design is a heart with a swimmer approaching. After swishing in the screen, the water is pressed out with big sheets of felt (using synthetic/industrial felt as it’s easier to peel off, doesn’t decompose as fast, and gets reused). Then the pressed pulp sheet is turned out onto a zinc tin sheet to dry. The tin sheets are cut from recycled materials like construction siding. Before the paper dries they can press decorative indentations into it, or add decorative leaves or shiny mica bits. In the same work room, hanging to dry, were molded paper portraits of historical Zapotec leaders we’d seen at one of the archeological sites with our tour group.

Tree bark may take up to 5 years to decompose before it’s ready to use, so this paper is pricey. Today’s cost is 300 or 400 pesos for a 2’x3′ sheet of handmade paper, though the strength of the US dollar made it very affordable for us to buy. There is a kind of Japanese seed that is made into gel that uses less fiber and makes a thinner, yet very strong paper. They can’t get it directly from Japan because of customs limits but a seller in Santa Ana (CA) makes it available to them in powder form. That lighter weight paper is the kind I bought from their shop, which I rolled up to pack in my suitcase. Other items in their shop included paper kites and blank paper journals silk screened with designs made by Francisco Toledo, and also jewelry made from rolled paper beads. See photos of their paper making process at: http://www.mexicoartshow.com/artepapel.html

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The Peeps Photo Project book: published 2016
by Jack Lattemann (aka Cascadia Artpost of Olympia, Washington USA) with his co-editor, Colin Scholl (presently living in a California correctional facility, with future plans to live in Washington state). Both are part of the international mailart network.

Wow! Talk about project documentation! This blog entry is my tribute to both of these guys for going above and beyond what I’ve come to expect from participating in a mailart project…. and as a book object, it is truly a labor of love. The day I received it in the mail I almost immediately started reading it to find out how every else had photo-documented their peeps with their own creative take, often letting the miniature PEEPS share in their own life circumstances, and I could not put it down until I’d perused most of it.

Of course, right from the beginning (January 2015) quite a bit of thought and care was taken by Colin and Jack to formulate the PEEPS project: Jack first solicited participants among 30 of his mailart contacts (27 followed through to completion), and he painted hundreds of miniature 1:87 scale plastic people that came in a variety of races, ages, and social classes, etc. He made up 30 packets with 15 to 25 peeps, a toy vehicle, and a little bench or other prop. Jack and Colin created 30 beautiful mailart themed boxes (sized like a cigar box) in which to mail the project elements to us. Examples of complete street scenes in an urban setting were constructed by Colin with little peeps on the set, going about the miniature life as usual, and photographed to give us all inspiration. We were given full reign of how we, ourselves, might choose to pose our peeps; and to construct whatever environment we might conceive, with a September 2015 deadline to submit photos of our scenarios.

Three seasons passed before the September deadline, after which we were to wait for a handmade book documentation of the project. What a surprise it was to me that Jack Lattemann had taken a few classes with aspirations to become a book binder! The long awaited book turned out to be hard bound in gold fabric covered boards (burgundy fabric on the spine), astutely edited (Jack consulted with Colin via mail on editorial decisions), designed and laid out, with fine paper and type choices, full color photographs, etc. all of which makes it a treasure to hold and to have on my book shelf. Using archival quality materials and lots of toner cartridges for the copier, he exceeded $1,000.00 in personal expenses (and didn’t ask us to contribute anything for our book!) So now, Jack Lattemann is truely an experienced book binder after spending over three months on the process: cutting fabric, covers, hinges, and endpapers; hand sewing nine signatures together for each of 35 hand numbered books of the original printing; gluing the block and endpapers onto the cover; and finally placing this block lettered title on each book with a fine sparkling green glitter – “THE PEEPS PHOTO PROJECT”, subtitled, “LIVING THE MINIATURE LIFE”.
The book’s introduction details many of the project details I’ve already mentioned above, and is signed by both editors, Jack Lattemann and Colin Scholl. The book was larger than they both first expected it would be, and perhaps that was why they omitted photo scenarios from their own staging of PEEPS. The editors generously include six chapters by Jennifer Weigel as she had kept a diary about her peeps characters and adventures, submitted as dated entries between January and October 2015. The editorial decision to break up this diary as six chapters interspersed amongst the rest adds a sense of continuity between everyone else’s individual visions, as various peeps story lines string us along until the end, when a kind of collaboration happens between Colin Scholl and Jennifer Weigel.

A special addendum chapter was added after the books had already been bound, due to an unplanned life event with a participant from Lviv, Ukraine. Jack told me he’s considering a small revised edition (a dozen or more) that will incorporate the Lubomyr Tymkiv addendum and a new afterword. He did not receive Lubomyr’s emailed photos until late February, 2016, after Lubomyr had finished almost a year of military service. The peeps traveled with Lubomyr to the front, and were captured in photographs posing with tanks, military tents, machine guns, and the natural elements in the countryside. He included a photo of himself leaning on a camouflaged anti-aircraft weapon. The contrast of the miniature life with the surreality of war, along with Colin Scholl’s sobering account of life in prison, adds a whole other level of substance to The PPP.

International list of mailart pARTicipants:

ARGENTINA: Samuel Montalvetti, CANADA: Reg Cộté, Adrienne Mason, Stewart Charlebois, Mailarta, Carolyn Oord (Kerosene), GERMANY: Eberhard Janke, Jörg Seifert and Jorn Michael, Patrizia (TIC TAC), GREECE: Katerina Nikoltsou, HUNGARY: Torma Cauli, LUXEMBOURG: Fraenz Frisch, UKRAINE: Lubomyr Tymkiv, UNITED KINGDOM: Mail Art Martha, Andrea McNeill, and the U.S.A.: PJM, Gina di Grazia, buZ blurr, Bethany Lee, Jennifer Weigel (including one collaboration with Jonathan Stangroom), Kenneth Brown, Carol Stetser, Sally Wassink, C. Mehrl Bennett, Tallie Jones, Jennifer Utter, John Held Jr., and last but not least, Colin Scholl and Jack Lattemann.

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Deport Dada!

I’ll DING 21 of 35 in 20 dance terms as a parting  token.. that artificial hell issued Washinton D.C.  culture and the ache  surprise, f-fabric landscapes, erotic symbols, Ill eats start to scatter. breaking  adverse  Prosperity, creativity, and BARACK! BARACK!  support The arts!  fundamental  to  beauty, ethnicity, religion, or age performance… For Breton it was out of cabaret and the words are of those eaten OMMMMMMMMMS.  Your  tax NOTICE, Dear  Ms.  NOTHING, and eat  canned beans, that Dada should employ Benefits!  You can request message  I delivered: Breton had fallen on our prom  conTaining obscene drawings: A few months ago  it took  place out  of  cabaret in notice of the adverse beatification, Please state whether you request documents or information: when the reason you believe a nearby cafe to be  Threatening and subversive, dada has conventions to create a new type  of action and review your animation of  our Air, making  moments into a peanut seller, partly because  The  hat and or proxy, he  us  to  her in I t or ork my Education laden Dada group, decanting  the event into a rut through Improved academic  standardized test scores, audience relations, improperly denied comments, … OUT pu-U-zation has an OUT  of  tourism … artist’s actions  would be  imagined better than in a theatre… OW!  ILL you is at we  OK  the  at  of off, here  to end each In a manner  you  can  understand  through This, We,  A hand of tens

C. Mehrl Bennett 9/13/14, revised 1/13/2016

Nothing Wavering

In a house of silences that engage

Two pyromaniac gymnasts,

It might be hard to believe the

Secrets of this man’s work, or the life he lives

In the company of his wife.

Everything projects a

Banal shadow of absence–

Because of the presence of a way of being–

The spectrum of this man and

His wife in a litany of Both.

Wavering lines in the sun – layered by shadows

Are at first possible, but then reproach us as impossible

Do you recognize the girl that first met this man?

She came from especially nowhere, but grew up in

A Since Possessed Dialogue.

An actor claimed to bury

This couple by adopting a lost and found attitude,

For hadn’t we lost the entire collective generation decades earlier?

Mysteriously, whether we believe the story or not

All this says is that 1953 underpins a reality.

In this power play there exists

A fifties world in which was born

The first woman, C. Mehrl Bennett

Who wrote the following poem:

GOING TO MANONG

The WHOLE of St. Louis is, like,

At a LOSS,

Like a LOSER,

Chain smoking

We’ll have

NO CHILI

NO CHOCOLATE

NO NADA tonight!

C. Mehrl Bennett

Note: I performed the original composition from August 2013 at 100,000 Poets for Change” event at Tribes gallery in NYC on October 28, 2013 in NYC;  the “Going to Manong” [poem within the poem] was drastically shortened for this revised version from January 2016… the original unedited version was posted previously in this blog. I edited it for submission to a publication coming out this year.


**Performance for two with audience participation. 
One person, the barker, is responsible for shouting out the BOLD TYPE phrases, 
and the audience repeats whatever the barker shouts out. 
The other person performs the rest of the text and joins with the barker in 
shouting the final series of BOLD TYPE, which the audience will echo, 
and hopefully after both people stomp there feet at the end, 
the audience will also imitate that action! [..which is exactly what happened 
at the performance in August 2016 during Day 3 of MINNEDADA84 at MCBA auditorium]
**DADA LEGS MIRTH
WHY HISTORY? ART HERE

NOW WINDOW LOST

WHY DO COLLAGE? OIL SKY

SALE HOLE LEFT

WHY A EYE? REAL HISTORY

DO DATE LEG

NOW WHY ICE? SKY LOST

EYE STOP WINDOW

WHY A EAR? ART NOW

HEARS LOST FARTS

STOP THE SEA? FOUND LEG

COLLAGE LOST TODAY

YIN A YEAR? REAL YANG

SALE OF EYE

WHY WORDS NOW? FOUR LEGS

FLOAT IN SEA ICE

WHY OIL MIRTH? REAL SKY

FOR SKY YET

DO LEGS MIRTH? SEA LEFT

COLLAGE WAVES A STORY

WHY HISTORY? ART HERE
ART NOW
SEA LEFT
REAL YANG
REAL HISTORY
REAL SKY
OIL SKY
SKY LOST
FOUND LEG
FOUR LEGS
[stomp feet]

C. Mehrl Bennett

Jan. 13, 2016, revised 8/19/2016

SHOPPING LIST

Do Not Buy Fruit

rubber stamps

or a gun

Do Not Buy Olives

dentures

or a photograph

Do Not Buy Fish

shoes

or a hat

Do Not Buy Bread

books

or a cat

Do Not Buy Envelopes

bushes

or a suitcase

Do Not Buy A House

stamps

or a bus ticket

Buy Art Instead.

C.Mehrl Bennett

Jan. 3, 2013 (Revised Jan. 13, 2016)

n i e z h f p l t s u

(the following poem uses only these eleven letters)

zip in zen she felt

i feel hip

zine lists fine snips

slit pine tile peel

senile penis hit flies

isle sent file

lets help teens fit the line

he is feet fuzz

pile hen pelt lept

his hell left this

puzzle lit flute pen

hi ’tis shit nuts

tin huts fizz sez she

C. Mehrl Bennett  – March 2, 2015

 

 

Two Montevideo Cinquains

MUSIC

Piano sounds

Chicken crossing the road

The documentation is a

Seed trail

Cone shaped

Trees on a line

“From ear to ear” means that

Possibly you will sleep before

Xmas

C. Mehrl Bennett – Nov. 11, 2013

 THE BELL

 

The bell

Gland drizzling out

On a greasy bongo

Floating far out on the drunk bay

Window

 

John M. Bennett and C. Mehrl Bennett

Feb.23, 2013

 

 

  

Six Collaborative Cinquains

Corn tome

Inside the boat

Kayaking in circles

Shoulder banging against the wind

Popcorn

Reboot

The hammered foot

A dulcimer shoe bag

Toeing the line lining the toes

Hot sock

Off shirt

Loose in empty

And butt barely hairy

Shaving backwards toward the drain

target

Saunter

Solder soldier

Sweating in the bathroom

After finding grapes and gravel

Gritty

Darvon

So dart it off

The loopy poolside

Super fooling slowly folding

Your neck

Just lick

Your salty lips

Salt licks where blind hunters

Smoulder in the tent with hamsters

Sleeping

Edward Lense, John M. Bennett, C. Mehrl Bennett – Sept. 21, 2013 – These cinquains were published as a TLP [tacky little pamphlet] by LBP [Luna Bisonte Prods]

Six (more) Collaborative Cinquains

Trailing

Sipping quincunx

Floating head mice ladder

Walk the talking titmouse to the

Iced hat

Dead saints

In the buckets

Well placed in a circle

Multi-red-spin fulminating

Cheese root

Swoll drut

Tear the finger

Drum the forkѐd link bit

Bit the hot lint sausage hymn

Doldrums

Pink ink

The throne swallowed

All the people at once

Crinkling post-haste wanton twice the

Suit Shot

Same wurst

Dance the knocking

Turnip nipped the frog spawn

Locker dripping through the keyhole

Drip Drip

East West

Reft lightning trips

The looter sign shining

Muskrat tunnels under the bank

Of weft

Camille Martin, John M. Bennett, C. Mehrl Bennett – November 2012 – These cinquains were published as a TLP by LBP


RINGER

Ringer

Tones developed

Inside the red phone booth

Of superman with snail toes

Burping

Ample

Coffee toffee

Lays on the car hood as

She breaks all the LP’s from the

Trailer

I sit

On a tree stump

In the beauty parlor

As balls of lint float in the pink

Hair dye

Paisley

Bow tie on foot

Where’s yer before shrieker?

Inside a box under the dock’s

Big toe

Who’s yer

Worldly wisened

Anguished pal; Is he a

Hip duck diode with no dick to

Paddle?

Paddle

On the other

Side of this sandbox full

Of silver cats as a dead dog

Lingers

C. Mehrl Bennett 2015

* RINGER was first published in THE INAPPROPRIATED PRESS, Issue# 1, editor: Olchar Lindsann, Monocle Lash anti-Press, Nov. 2015, Roanoke, VA

COMPOSITION FOR NINE VOICES WITH TWO INCIDENTAL SECTIONS

is a score for Sound Poetry integrating image, vowel sounds, wind chimes, and two “incidents”.

Click HERE to watch a video on YouTube of a performance of this score. The link is to a video by Paul Baker of a 2010 performance by Be Blank Consort (BBC) members. These were volunteers from writers/performers gathered together for The Ohio State University Library’s [Special Collecions Dept.] Intnl. Avant Writing Symposium, and most of them had performed previously in other venues in the USA as BBC members.

At my direction and with copies of the score, nine of them performed using vowel sounds and windchimes, while another person counted to twelve, and two others performed “incidents”.  I was able to enlist Keith Buchholz and Reed Altemus to perform short Fluxus events for the incidents. The score is based on linear shadows in my photo of a public bathroom wall, digitally manipulated with ten and a half measures indicated.

C. Mehrl Bennett 2009

This poem is titled “6500 Machine Diagram” & comes screaming behind me

In front of me is a diagram fished out of a box now back in sentence form which rolls against a hat of snow

Yellow, magenta, and cyan cartridges are attached but are dysfunctional right now

The transfer roll is spooled with paper from the Pope

Something called a fuser is part of the action with a black and white headshot of a transfer role – on a stamp

It is 4:30a.m. and fresh snow is going to close the door to the hallway

The heater is about two feet from my two feet

The air is beginning to warm up around my fingers through my own hoard of books and is worth reading before my husband

I should copy this diagram over various add & pass into another attitude

Print out this page and cut it into four, yellow, magenta, something that bends into envelopes with collaborations

After a xerox is processed the paper heads out

Does the Xerox company still make copy machines?

Mail crosses my desk and stuff

I wonder if that address still exists?

Meanwhile, my fingers are still getting cold, covering for the dull grayness of mid-February outside my window

I will need go through a bag of books to type these sentences out of the house

I will also need to winnow out the lemons – on a stamp

So of course I get distracted by Facebook!

I also need to organize my studio space upstairs into a xerographic drum which rolls against a hat of snow, and has been that way for months on end, but a tray will catch hold

The post office recently issued first class stamps that follow into attaching to paper by a young Elvis Presley, with his signature reproduced, but onto mail from the mid-1980’s

I had a dentist appointment this morning, though to a receiving tray

I had a full set of xrays taken six months ago while he stuck a camera in there

This new young dentist had me hold my mouth open and took digital photos

The images appeared on a screen in Xerox Square, Rochester, New York

My mouth is tired

My Dad is dead

So why don’t quarters rearranged themselves?

Whatever happens can playfully manipulate the wind and wear a hat of snow

A hat of snow           A hat of snow

A hat of snow           A hat of snow

C. Mehrl Bennett February 2016

  • Stefan Brand Stifter will be using my audio recording of “6500 Machine Diagram” (and my image that goes with it) as part of his ANTIPODES ZINE SAMPLER with a sound CD… CLICK HERE to see diagram & hear audio

P O P  SONG (performed in Columbus OH in 2015 and 2016)

admit one                       light a match

backup admit                 enter backwards

admission rate               welcome canned words

discounted rate             a radio announcer

preview films                  feet in cement shoes

advance to present      [insert today’s date and time]

presentation mode       write a song / sing it:

 

PRETTY PENCILS [1981]

 

Pretty pencils, sticking in my hair

Pretty pencils, sticking right at me

I’ve got pretty pencils… sticking 

Out my nose

fast mode to the  future                      question  effectiveness !

rafting off the roof                               answer all charges

please take your seat mam!

I  will now perform the event, titled: “NoBody’s Surprise”:

                                                                    Blow up a balloon until it POPS

 

5x7 Bathroom Song with all verses.jpg

5x7 well she had and pretty pencils.jpgCLICK HERE to hear an audio of me singing these three nonsense songs.

(Copyright: C. Mehrl Bennett)

*NOTE: Earlier versions of some of these poems  were published on this blog before.

MetaDada No. 1, THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF DADA MINING,  editor H. Michael Sanders, was published on May 15, 2016 by Elena Press, Cincinnati Ohio. May 15th, 2016, was the 100th anniversary of the publication of the first Dada journal, Cabaret Voltaire, editor Hugo Ball, Zurich, Switzerland, May 15, 1916. Two of the above poems (Shopping List and niezhfpltsu) appeared in MetaDada No. 1, in addition to two of my visual poems: Croatian Glyphs DADA and Forbidden Planet.

NOW GO TO THE METADADA WORDPRESS SITE by clicking HERE – C. Mehrl Bennett

           

ADDENDUM: See below for two more songs that I added to those above when I performed during Day Two of the MinneDaDa84 Fest in Minneapolis MN in August 2016. I had the privilege of being accompanied by Cassia Harding, a very accomplished violinist!Cassia-Harder-and-CMB-at-Black-Forest-Inn-Day-2-MinneDada84.jpg

If You Try and You Mess Up with ukele chord tabs 4x6 N o t   Y e t 4x6

The first edition of la M al was published in 2006 by Blue Lion Books, and because it is such a classic stand out, a revised 2nd edition has consequently evolved; published by both Luna Bisonte Prods and by gradient books. 

From the opening poem, “…mumbling in the/attic “roof” out there, mud beyond my head…”, this revised and definitive 2nd edition of John M. Bennett’s classic la M al confirms its position as one of the poet’s best works. Bennett has created a unique language to express the depth and complexity (or the complexity has created the language), of thought and emotion, or emotional thought that are the core of human experience:

…“drain”

a laundry think .but think re diction think a congeries

of faucets faucets like yr “running-sore” a window to a

moon .“a moon all” right a tab le o yr “lips were draped…

The language swarms, swells and ebbs, shatters and recoheres, turns and returns, in patterns that resonate with all the currents, hidden and visible, of the self or selves that inhabit us. An essential book that fully realizes the possibilities of language to contain and know what is.

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/lunabisonteprods

la M al

Cover by Jukka Pekka Kervinen and C. Mehrl Bennett

These works were created for one side of a collaborative accordian book. The other side involved one long horizontal collaborative work.

JMB CMB accordian side two (Click image to view large)

Only six copies of this book exist right now. 3.5″ ht. x 17″ length unfolded.

Xray-Vision-collaborative-accordian-book  JMB CMB accordian cover

Alphabetap is a collaboration between Thomas M. Cassidy (Minnesota USA) and Marilyn R. Rosenberg (New York USA), just out this month (February 2014) from publisher Luna Bisonte Prods (Ohio USA). Bio info from the book reads:

“Tom Cassidy’s written and drawn works have appeared in hundreds of smallpress and mainstream publications, and in galleries and museums around the world. With John Bennett and Scott Helmes, he co-edited Vispoeology, an international anthology of visual literature for the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, where he most recently exhibited 50 Years / 50 Objects from his vast collection of oddities and what-would-without-benefit-of-exhibition-be-called ephemera. Tom (aka Musicmaster) co-founded the Portland performance poetry troupe The Impossibilists, who were reunited in 2008 for a series of shows by the Oregon Heritage Commission. He is a board member and occasional performer with Cheap Theatre and Patrick’s Cabaret, often confusing shows with board meetings. All of which sounds far more sane and sober than he’ll ever be. His two recent chapbooks (juiced up walnut and give up art) are commonly avoided.”

“Marilyn R. Rosenberg’s most recent visual poetry in artists’ books editions are NOISE (2012, Redfoxpress, Ireland); The Book of Soles (Souls), collaboration with C. Mehrl Bennett, (2011, 2013 Luna Bisonte Prods, Columbus OH, USA.); and RED (2008, 2013 Otoliths) and also many poems published in various Otoliths, Australia. One of a kind bookworks are available at Vamp and Tramp Birmingham AL and Central Booking NYC. MRR’s newest visual poem/drawings are at http://halvard-johnson.blogspot.com/2013/04/marilyn-r-rosenberg.html; an old one recently appeared on http://www.thevolta.org/ewc33-mrosenberg-p1.html. See MRR’s older and newer works, with images- http://scriptjr.nl/issues/2.2/marilyn-r-rosenberg-2-2.php and http://local-artists.org/users/marilyn-r-rosenberg. Images of works are in print publications: LAST VISPO ANTHOLOGY: Visual Poetry 1998 – 2008; 1000 ARTISTS’ BOOKS; EXPLORING THE BOOK AS ART; and WOMEN IN THE ARTISTAMP SPOTLIGHT. Also, MRR is expecting a group of surprises.”

Per Luna Bisonte Prods (LBP) editor, John M. Bennett, “ALPHABETAP is a lively visual collaboration using intense graphics, colors, text, book design, and collage to create a unique and compelling artists’ book that is playfully based on the alphabet. The authors are masters in the fields of visual poetry and the book arts, and this collaboration is a treat for the eye and mind.”

This full color, 80 pp. book will eventually be available via Small Press Distribution – but do watch NOW for the often posted discount codes that arrive via your email if you have signed up for a Lulu.com account; Lulu does an excellent job on color printing, better than their competitors, but it’s pricey. LBP makes only a miniscule profit via SPD compared to Lulu sales, but SPD does manage to get more sales than what happens at the Lulu site at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/lunabisonteprods

For a direct link to ALPHABETAP (and to preview pages selected from front, mid-section, and end of book) please click HERE.

Alphabatep

Additional LBP notice from C. Mehrl Bennett:

I am technical facilitator and associate editor for the Lulu site LBP publications, and this is probably one of LBP’s last color books due to the high cost of color vs. black & white printing. We’ve published two other full color collaborative books involving both of these authors: THE BOOK OF SOLES (SOULS) by Marilyn R. Rosenberg and myself, and ONDA by Thomas M. Cassidy and John M. Bennett. AND We have one more collaborative color book currently in the pipeline. Even after three rounds of editing down selections from a huge volume of collaborations that have resulted over years of snail mail exchanges between Sheila E. Murphy (AZ, USA) and John M. Bennett (OH, USA), there remains a high number of excellent images/pages that are planned for our next publication***; so LBP’s final color book will be among the even higher priced books at its Lulu P.O.D. site. We’ve also published a full color collaborative book involving Sheila E. Murphy and K.S. Ernst in gorgeous color square format; that is PERMUTORIA

So please stay tuned for the NEXT collaborative color LBP book, as it will be one of our last truely beautiful and astounding full color productions. But who knows, perhaps the ethereal PDF or E-book will appear in LBP’s future in regards more color publications. But that’s up to LBP editor, John M. Bennett, who really loves to turn the physical pages of a book. Don’t you?

***UPDATE: JMB and SEM’s collaborative full color book, YES IT IS, is now available via this LINK