book reviews by basinski -


book reviews with michael basinski

blarrow.gif - 62 Bytesspacer.gif - 807 BytesBeseechers - by Michael Basinski. 2000.
38 pages. $10.00. Available Small Press Distribution or Full Spectrum Editions, Karl Young - Editor, Light and Dust, 7112 27th Ave. Kenosha, Wisconsin, 53143.

Ah Basinski, what a fine book this is and beautiful too. When I wake each morning I run to it and while eating Honey Nut Cheerios. I song/sing this most tasteful, innovative, erotic and erratic, esoteric and exotic and beautiful visual improvisational performance poems in color book. This is a book of performance poems, some of which can be found at the Light and Dust website. A few are old and a few are new. These are performance poems, poems for group performance. Performance poetry is something that Basinski has been interested in for some time and he does perform these poems and others with his performance group: The Buff/Fluxus Project. The Wild Elephant: a at after the - a poem - is the group's Hound Dog, I want to Hold your Hand or Satisfaction. It is good to see it in print. Wild and innovative Basinski's poetry has arrived from the outer reaches of the solar system. These creatures will conquer us. They will destroy what little poetic life lives on planet earth. What will remain after Basinski is planet EARth. Basinski is noted for his sometimes obtuse approach to the poem. He cares little for narration. He cares nothing for those stuck seeking meaning in this meaningless society. He cares nothing for those stuck in the many isms of poetry and poetry's many, and endless, tedious camps. He cares nothing for those sucking their thumbs. Better to be defeated with Hannibal. Alone as Lucifer at war with heaven, Basinski's poems.


blarrow.gif - 62 Bytesspacer.gif - 807 BytesStrange Things Begin to Happen When a Meteor Crashes in the Arizona Desert
- by Michael Basinski
with Illustrations by Wendy Collin Sorin and typography and design by Luigi-Bob Drake. $10.00. Burning Press, PO Box 585, Lakewood, Ohio, 44107 (include $1.00 per order for postage).

This is a most beautiful book. It features a letter press cover and the illustrations of one of Cleveland's best illustrators and artists, namely Wendy Collin Sorin. In addition, Luigi-Bob Drake, editor of Taproot and Taproot reviews and long time Burning Press book publisher, manipulates, enhances, orchestrates Basinski's words. Basinski's text is a long poem called Strange Things Begin to Happens When A Meteor Crashes in the Arizona Desert. The poem combines and contains a relentless onslaught of Shakespearean sexual terminology juxtaposed with slang and colloquial phrases and romantic, memory-bound cryptic messages enjambed with the stark and sometimes dissident alphabetic sound. All of this is countered by long strings of vowels, alphabetic sounds and neologisms. The poem is all sound and not, music and not, full and filled with meaning and not. It is knots and nuts and the Goddess Nut. Wendy Collin Sorin's art illustrates the various interweaving and collagings that occur in the occult of the poem. Her work does not illustrate the poem but in fact is part of the poem it is in fact the poem also, which is unique in the realm of poetry. Luigi-Bob Drake's orchestral enhancements are enchantments and provide passage and twist between the pure words and un-words and the realm of illustrations and un-illustrations. Perhaps this book can be as close to an intermedia poem as possible. It is true a combination of talents and stands forward and above books made by cooperating artist. A special numbered edition with a four-colored waterless lithograph by Wendy Collin Sorin is available.


blarrow.gif - 62 Bytesspacer.gif - 807 BytesThe Word Underneath - by Lake Affect. 2001.
Music/Word Performance. A CD that features the poetry of Michael Basinski, Robert Creeley, Rosemary Kothe, Anna Reckin and Mark Peters. $10.00. Contact Lake Affect at See also their website at:

Lake Affect is an ensemble dedicated to the creation of a unique new sound art evolving from a blend of word, timbre, rhythm, and texture. The aim is to create a new vocabulary that draws on both literary and musical elements, and to invent an artistic vehicle that embraces both music and poetry. Integral to this endeavor has been the ensemble's collaboration with living poets like those featured on this group's new CD called The Word Underneath. The CD features Michael Basinski's City of Webs fragments 1 and 2; Robert Creeley's The Rhythm; Anna Reckin's List of Flowers/Rosa; Rosemary Kothe's Purple Passion and Mark Peters's bucket, bucket. The CD not only features the ensemble versions of the poems by also includes the poet's reading their work. It is quite magical and marvelous. It is a unique moment in literary evolution and any poets in involved with music must hear what Lake Affect has done with these poems and poets. Unlike anything that has been done before, this CD and the art of Lake Affect is destined to alter how we listen to poetry. It is so new and stunning that one has to listen again and again and again and soon it is dawn and the rosy fingered goddess listens also. And then - well, you hear the poets and the ensemble. It is such a blend as to be a new thing, brand new and it so refreshing to hear a new music. Lake Affect is Alejandro Rutty, Lorena Guillen, Thomas McCluskey and Tiffany Nicely. More Basinski can be found at: Mark Peters, who is featured on the CD is a writer, juggler and teacher. He is editor of Deluxe Rubber Chicken a magazine that is available at:


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Michael Basinski
Assistant Curator
Poetry/Rare Books Collection of the University Libraries, SUNY at Buffalo.

     His poems, articles and reviews have appeared in numerous publications including: Proliferation, Terrible Work, Deluxe Rubber Chicken, Boxkite, The Mill Hunk Herald, Yellow Silk, The Village Voice, Object, Oblek, Score, Generator, Juxta, Poetic Briefs, Another Chicago Magazine, Sure: A Charles Bukowski Newsletter, Moody Street Irregulars: A Jack Kerouac Newsletter, Kiosk, Earth's Daughters, Atticus Review, Mallife, Taproot, Transmog, B-City, House Organ, First Intensity, Mirage No.4/Period(ical), Lower Limit Speech, Texture, R/IFT, Chain, Antenym, Bullhead, Poetry New York, First Offence, and many others.
     For more than twenty years he has performed his choral voice collages and sound texts with his intermedia performance ensemble: The Ebma, which has released two Lps: SEA and Enjambment.
     His books include: Idyll (Juxta Press, 1996), Heebee-jeebies (Meow Press, 1996), SleVep (Tailspin Press, 1995), Vessels (Texture Press, 1993), Cnyttan (Meow Press, 1993), Mooon Bok (Leave Books, 1992)and Red Rain Too (1992)and Flight to the Moon (1993) from Run Away Spoon Press.

Send books and magazines for review to:
Michael Basinski
Poetry/Rare Books Collection
420 Capen Hall
SUNY at Buffalo
Bflo. New York 14260

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