Soon I will get back to blogging, I promise myself. Finished some projects, had a great party, now, time to get back to these goddamn cds and so forth, In the meantime, a great article by Chris Hedges: http://www.bostonreview.net/us/war-betrayal-chris-hedges?

New Book And Readings

I will be reading from my new book, and will have copies for sale, here: April 25th – Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, 28 Old Falls Street, Niagara Falls, NY. May 9 – Talking Leaves Books, 3158 Main Street, Buffalo, NY. Wahoo! No Tribe, No Tribute poems by Marc Pietrzykowski Print: $13. 82 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1479212637 ISBN-10: 1479212636 Official Publication Date: March 23, 2013 If you would like to read about planes crashing, Cool Hand Luke, numerology, Suleiman the Magnificent, cleaning the cat box, the Tetragrammaton, traffic cones, circuit court judges with bad shoes, and Omaha, Nebraska, then wow, are you in luck. Marc Pietrzykowski’s fifth book of poetry mentions all of those things at least once! Also, No Tribe, No Tribute is inexpensive and completely blurb-free, as we at Pski’s Porch believe blurbs to be the buboes of the publishing world. We hope you find pleasure and value in this, the third book published by Pski’s Porch, and keep your antennae up for news of future releases. Addendum: I can see the end of listening to all my Cds, one at a time. I have a few hundred more to get through, but good god, I can see the end….
Read more

Coevolutionary Fitness

I just started reading Not By Genes Alone, a book about gene–culture coevolution, the idea that human behavior is based on the interaction of biology and culture, that culture affects the evolution of our biological states, of our genes, and not just the other way around. It’s a way of thinking around the nature/nurture debate, which has always seemed a silly debate to me. So, the very first chapter is about how the Southern US is more violent than the North, how men are more likely to kill one another there, and how it relates to the concept of honor. The authors cite studies that show Southerners more likely to be both polite, because of honor, and likely to quickly become violent when they feel their own honor is challenged, accompanied by surges in cortisone and testosterone. It got me thinking about folks who are gun ownership radicals–a group far more prevalent in the South–and how they build these dramatic narratives in which they are protecting something heroically, something they deem a matter of honor, of citizenship: the right to own guns as a means to protect themselves. What they might be protecting themselves from is not so important (the…
Read more

After the Fall

If No Moon is a book of poems by Moira Linehan, published as part of the Crab Orchard Review series in 2006. I read one of her poems online, I can’t remember where, and liked it enough to seek out more, and then to buy the book. I’ve read it through a few times now, and each time I find myself alternately moved and annoyed: moved by the way she treats the subject of caring for her husband as he dies, and annoyed by the way the rest of the poems in the collection make the same kinds of stylistic maneuvers but fail to move me. I feel a bit morbid, and not at all like blaming the poet for failing to push the poems about Ireland or poetics into the same melding of form and function that the dieing spouse poems do, but that’s what happens with this book. Perhaps having the more emotionally immediate poems at the start creates an appetite in the reader the rest of the work cannot satisfy. All the poems are very carefully crafted; some, in the manner of far too much modern poetry, is crafted to the point of sedation, all vigor machined…
Read more

New Book

Oh such a lax blogger I’ve been. And shall continue to be for a few days, stopping now only to advertise a new book I’ve done with an artist friend. Instead of doing the usual reading tour, I’m going to try and upload some videos of images from the book and myself reading them (unless I can get someone with a better voice to do it), we’ll see how the virtual book launch goes… Announcing the publication of Conflagrations: Poems and Images an emblem book by Mary Leary and Marc Pietrzykowski Print: $17. 74 pages. ISBN: 1478159340 / 978-1478159346 Official Book Launch November/December 2012, by Pski’s Porch Publishing. Available soon now from Amazon.com and other retailers. Emblem books were all the rage during the 16th and 17th centuries. Pski’s Porch Publishing sees no good reason why they shouldn’t be all the rage in this young century as well. In an emblem book, image and poem are paired, producing a composite art where each element somehow amplifies or complements the other. This relationship might be comical, didactic, obscure, ambient, or all of these at once–the way each pairing constitutes a single work is left largely up to the reader. That said, there are…
Read more

Fall and What to do With It

The strange, broiling summer has given way to a strange, schizoid fall season, my nose is a-flutter with ragweed, and the blankets on the bed have multiplied. I have no idea how much of the erratic weather of the last few years is due to global climate change, and how much of that is due to human activity, but scientific consensus seems indicate the answer to both questions is, “a lot, maybe less, likely more,” and so another fuzzy layer of anxiety is woven into the zeitgeist, a future of refugees and food shortages, a JG Ballard eventuality seems more and more likely. Or, I’m getting older, and was already cynical to begin with, and all the wonderful potentiality embedded in the future will flower in ways I cannot imagine, let alone anticipate. Perhaps a human life is just long enough to think the whole species is going to shit, and that’s somehow an evolutionary advantage… ah well, doesn’t stop me from wanting to make a spectacle of myself in various ways: I read recently at a local bookstore to launch my first novel and nascent publishing company; I’m having a pub crawl and reading on Saturday, just because; I’ll…
Read more

Another Next Step: Publishing

After publishing three books of poetry with fine, generous small publishers, I’ve decided to start an imprint (Pski’s Porch Publishing–website coming soon) and publish my own writing. Why would I decide to destroy my literary career this way? Well, because “the publishing world is changing,” as they say. And they’re right, but what kinds of changes does this godawful cliché refer to? The rapid spread and corresponding low cost of on-demand printing? The proliferation of eBooks and eReaders? The explosion of internet-based distribution networks? Or the acquisition of big publishing houses by even bigger international conglomerates? The right answer—yes, all of these—begs a further question: are these changes good for us? If “us” means authors who prefer to maintain control of their work, and of everything involved in getting that work to readers, then again, the answer is clearly “yes,” as long as their eyes are clear and their ambitions aligned with what self-publishing can offer. Even the bit about the traditional high cotton publishers getting eaten by media conglomerates affords an opportunity, since they will likely, in pursuit of profit rather than quality, continue alienating readers who want something more, thereby helping increase the audience for more challenging work….
Read more

Publishing Conundrum, Help Requested

A friend and I have been bantering about the state of publishing in general (and literary and young adult publishing in particular), thereby crystallizing, for me, a bundle of questions I need to think through. First among them is, why do I want the books I write to be published? Other questions branch off that one: what do I want a publisher to provide? Who do I want to reach with my writing? Do I care about prestige and awards and recognition? My production and distribution ethos, as distinct from my artistic ethos, is based on the punk/DIY, mimeographed and stapled world of the 1970’s and 80’s. If you wanted to have a concert, you found a room and put on a concert, if you wanted to make a record, you made a record, and so too with magazines, books, and so forth. Quickly enough, sympathetic people began distribution networks, then other people smelled money and co-opted the same, but the premise was always that art was local and anyone could do it. This meant lots of people made bad art, but so what, people always make lots of bad art, some of it just has more slick packaging. So,…
Read more

Describing Utopia

I posted this a while back on Facebook, but I want to have it up here too, so: W. H. Auden included the following questionnaire in his book of essays, The Dyer’s Hand. It’s meant to make potential critics think about what sort of Eden (his term) they envision; I prefer “Utopia,” but the point is the same. So: describe the following characteristics of your Utopia: >>>Landscape A very steep mountainous region sloping downward through a wide plain, leading to the ocean. Marshes on one side of the plain, forest of Redwoods on the other. Plenty of streams and rocky bits throughout. The ocean region should have one pristine beach and one very deep harbor, otherwise cliffs and crags. >>>Climate 2 Months of winter (Dec/Jan), including at least 1 heavy snowstorm that makes everyone have to stay home and drink cocoa. 3 months of summer, including at least 1 blazingly hot day that makes everyone have to snooze and drink lemonade. Spring and Fall should be pleasant, something like the Mid-Atlantic US or southern Europe. The occasional roaring thunderstorm. >>>Ethnic Origin of Inhabitants As varied as possible, including the search for new genetic material in outer space. >>>Language All local…
Read more

Stuffs and Things

I’m exhausted with coverage of the Republican party flaming out in the US, and I don’t even watch TV. It does seem clear we are witnessing the death rattle of the GOP, hence all the coverage of conservative heads discussing what bulbous phoenix will rise from the ashes… and like I said, I don’t even watch TV, or listen to the radio much, but I get enough out of the corner of my ear to put it all together. Then again, I don’t care: not about Republicanism, whether or not there need be such a counterweight to what Democrats and progressives propose is a topic for another day. It’s the coverage I’m sick of, it’s tawdry at best, and downright depressing in a worry-about-the-fate-of-the-species manner. But, it’s in the air, so to speak, and that’s my excuse for thinking about media coverage of the Republican primaries, circa 2012, when reading this tidbit: the motion performed by us in consequence of irritation, are owing to the original constitution of our frame, whence the soul or sentient principle, immediately, and without any previous ratiocination, endeavors by all means, and in the most effectual manner, to avoid and get rid of every disagreeable…
Read more