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...

Slide Rule by Jen Hofer

From Publishers Weekly If “our dear librarian is a devious machine” then “by force of needle not need but able/ do i explain myself,” in Jen Hofer’s debut Slide Rule. Hofer, who has edited an anthology of poetry by Mexican women due next year from the University of Pittsburgh, splits her time between Los Angeles and Mexico City, which may explain how parts of this “vivacious mismatch enclave missive” came to be. Divided into five parts, including two titled “The Denotative Sky” and one titled “Holocaust” (“There is an art museum./ There is a water pipe./ There is no weathervane.”), the book takes readers on a lexically intensive tour of “strategies to make the skeletal stick still.” Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. About the Author Jen Hofer’s books include Lip Wolf, a translation of lobo de labio by Laura Solorzano (Action Books, 2007), Sexopurosexoveloz and Septiembre, a translation of books two and three of Dolores Dorantes by Dolores Dorantes (Counterpath Press and Kenning Editions, 2007), The Route, an epistolary and poetic collaboration with Patrick Durgin (Atelos, 2008), and a book-length series of anti-war-poem-manifestos, titled One (Palm Press, 2008). She lives in Los Angeles, where she is a member of the Little Fakers collective which creates and produces Sunset Chronicles, a neighborhood-based serial episodic drama populated entirely by hand-made marionettes inhabiting lost, abandoned and ghost spaces in Los...