Brokedown Palace by Maggie Dubris

Brokedown Palace by Maggie Dubris. $22.00. ISBN: 978-1-7341300-0-3 Available from Small Press Distribution or Amazon Brokedown Palace is Maggie Dubris’s ode to St. Clare’s, the Hell’s Kitchen hospital where she worked as an EMT for more than 25 years, until it closed. She weaves together prose and verse, memory and reportage, documents and testimonies into an epic ride that takes in the crumbling Times Square of the ’80s, the parade of odd characters that passed through, the ad hoc expedients demanded by a hospital without funds, and then the crushing onslaught of AIDS. Her book is absorbing, funny, lyrical, and transcendentally sad, a stunning poetic monument to a New York City that no longer exists. —Luc Sante In any great work—one that fuses the imagination with memories—there is something deeper to be discovered about yourself and the time you live. Brokedown Palace is in that tradition if you allow it to be—it’s painfully alive about something that appears to be dead but if you just tilt your head a bit, glance out of the corner of your eye, step to one side, you will see it’s all there. It has jagged edges that feel punk with spaces in between that are like an invocation, a prayer, a reflection. It’s not easy but it’s rewarding, reminding us of our relationship to hope and fate. These tight, beautifully clear life sketches open in your mind as you read, less as settings but more as airy plunging ambiences in dreams. Dubris knows that you can’t show the whole world, but born of a fleeting moment like a snapshot, you can find the...

If This Is Paradise Why Are We Still Driving

If This is Paradise Why are We Still Driving Brendan Lorber “Brendan Lorber sits at an ancient East Village window sill–a time traveler adept at the patterns of emotional cataclysm, a Chesire Cat mediator between science and what air believes in…’the world’s, not flat, it’s bubbly.’ To eavesdrop in the petri dish of New York City, is to be presented with a million stories that want some privacy…’the whatsit, and the hole, in the bag, it falls through.’ In these concise poems beamed into focus by wickedly honed undercurrents, Lorber captures our cities of concrete and happenstance in koan after koan, bundled by catchfalls we barely remember, there, at the turn of the page, containing keys to other portals. Lorber gives us continual nightfalls that keep us primed in the embers of morning. This book is a love song, to the timelessly urbane minutae and its gathered appendages masquerading as you, out there…’I see you humanity / and raise you.’ Indeed, shift your rise, paradise, and find me.” —Edwin Torres “I’m psyched on Brendan Lorber’s use of a line that’s broken into phrases/feet, leading to unexpected syntactical twists. You get set up for one meaning, then taken around another corner. One hears O’Hara across the spaces between phrases/feet and sometimes the Williams of the variable foot. Sometimes shorter phrases sculpt exact tone-of-voice and meaning, and the line is also great as a philosophical reasoning method. Technique aside, the poems are playful, pained, deep, erudite, vernacular of now, and funny. Lorber himself remains mysterious. What happened? you say, then, Maybe I don’t need to know. ‘We don’t address the origins...

Spider Drop by Daniel Bouchard

Daniel Bouchard constructs poems by meticulous accretion— and, before we know it, has made the world blooming, decaying, and blooming again. Here is a concentrated poetics of the everyday: the almost-forgotten town and the American highway, the snowstorm and the indisputable spring, the baby’s crying, the cycles that confirm we’re alive. —Danielle Legros Georges There is a sonic sensorium at work in Daniel Bouchard’s new book Spider Drop. There’s also a love of diction, of words and their histories, of things, and things as words. This is a highly crafted and hammered work artfully deployed. It is a terrific book. —Peter Gizzi In Daniel Bouchard’s Spider Drop, lush words for junk herbage evoke the humid thickets of New England summer, where “[a] thing to see / but never look at must be worship-worthy.” A commitment to cataloging the most immediate content, memorious of the moment, is rooted in seeing “…like an alien eye, probing a scene / just opened.” It’s the sense of sound, though—“leafy spurge” and “liverwort”—that holds the world here, holds it in, even as in one man’s and collective human time, it’s quickly ticking out. —Kate Colby An interview with City Plants on “Poem Ending with Clotbur” (p. 19). Other books by Daniel Bouchard Art & Nature (Ugly Duckling Presse) The Filaments (Zasterle Press) Some Mountains Removed  Diminutive...

a kiss to the land by Denizé Lauture

  poems selected and introduced by Antonino D’Ambrosio Invoking the dreams of his Haitian ancestors, who now haunt his memories, Denizé Lauture’s poetry is imbued with a sense of never forgetting, reminding us all that the story of enduring must continue to be written, spoken, and dreamt. Writing and performing in Creole, French, and English, it’s impossible to turn away from Lauture’s moving and delightful poetry, which reverberates with all that he has experienced. At once a meaningful protest through the medium of words and sounds as well as a celebration of bearing witness, Lauture’s poetry retains an indefatigable spirit. There is something in Lauture’s work that emanates a quiet insurgency. It may come from his country’s history. Haiti defeated not one but three European powers—Britain, France, and Spain—on its way to securing independence after a successful slaves revolt. Lauture’s life’s work ensures that history doesn’t evaporate into the mist sprayed by those who want to tell a different story, one made unreal by spectacle and corrupted by the complicity of silence. We should read, see, and listen to Lauture who knows it’s the poet that shows us that it’s not about if we can but that we must —and will—prevail.   Other Subpress books by Denizé Lauture: The Black Warrior and Other Poems ...

Wherewithal by Adam DeGraff

“In the eary 90’s hordes of gifted young experimental writers met and gathered in the San Francisco Bay Area to participate in a few years of making work that, were I more given to hyperbole, I would term a veritable galvanic, miraculous, reinvention of poetry! And Adam DeGraff, then a Berkeley grad student, was among the principal players. Hard to believe, but this volume of selected poems is his very first book. It’s been long in the making, yet will please fans old and new, overflowing as it does with linguistic and musical invention, and an elliptical, hard-earned wisdom. Reading the poems of Wherewithal one can’t help realizing that all those years ago DeGraff started writing for tomorrow, a moment that’s almost upon us now; he has prepared us for eventuality, for event, not for beauty alone, but for tears as well.”— Kevin Killian Adam DeGraff is a poet, musician, teacher and author of All This Will Become Dust In Just Three Minutes, from We Have A Fax Machine Press, and from Shark Books. Wherewithal is his first full-length book and collects work written between 1994 and...