July 29, 2008

Chris Rhomberg. "White Nativism and Urban Politics: The 1920s Ku Klux Klan in Oakland, California." Journal of American Ethnic History 17.2 (1998): 39-55.

Rhomberg describes an ascendent white, Protestant middle class in the Oakland of the 1920s. The Klan became a vehicle for this political capital, using Oakland Klan no. 9 to place their candidates in positions of power: mayor, sherriff, jailor, commissioner of streets, until the corruption that marred the previous administrations became just as rampant with them. Their power was such that District Attorney Earl Warren (later of the Supreme Court) had to use the press to change public opinion rather than taking the Klan head-on in the courts because "[e]ven at this time, Klan legitimacy in Oakland was high enough that Warren feared that the Klan members on the Alameda County Grand Jury would refuse to indict fellow Klansmen" (49).


July 24, 2008

Ron's post the other day got me curious about how many other journals might've called themselves simply "Work" over the years (as opposed to say "Work Papers" or somesuch). After scanning the first 3,000 entries out of 12,680 of serial titles conatining the word work on the Worldcat Database, here's what I've found so far:

Work (Detroit, 1965-6). Artist's Workshop.
Work (San Francsco, 1975-?). Edited by Geoff Young & Steve Davis. Possibly only one issue.
Work: A literary journal (San Francisco, 1994-?). From Wagging Tale.

Maybe literary:
Work (Toronto, 1994).
Work (NY, 2004- ).

Work (Jacksonville IL, 1875-?). Jacksonville YMCA.
Work (London, 1889-93). "An illustrated magazine of practice and theory for all workmen, professional and amateur."
Work (NY, 1918). Robert L. Stillson Company.
Work (Washington DC, 1938-40). Workers Alliance of America.
Work (Chicago, 1943-61). Catholic Labor Alliance.
Work (Tel Aviv, 1950-69). General Federation of Labor in Israel.
Work (Boca Raton FL, 1972- ) Social Issues Resource Series.
Work (Goteborg, 1995- ). Something to do with buildings.


July 22, 2008

1. Jeffrey Schrader's piece at Canessa over the weekend was quite good. I hope the audio managed to capture the room.
2A. Sha was in town & now Sha's out of town.
2B. I feel somewhat deflated.
3. Batman was almost as good as the reviews, but Hancock was flat out convoluted & underdeveloped. You get free popcorn at Grand Lake Theater M-Th.
4. I got a new laptop--which was needed. My old one is giving up the ghost.
5. Over the weekend, I prioritized my various projects. I'd spread myself pell-mell. The two writing projects I've decided to finish up by year's end are dousies, you just wait.
6. The A's are kicking ass tonight (8-1 bottom of the 9th). If Houston Street gets a couple more saves, he'll be traded by next week for sure. Who needs a bullpen for a penant race?
7. I need to divest myself of most of the crap I've managed to amass since I moved into this studio apt a year ago. When I came back to Oakland 3 years ago, everything I owned fit into two 50 lbs. suitcases; that included my manual typewriter.
8. I was happy to run into Rebecca van de Voort around Lake Merritt earlier.


July 19, 2008

I picked up Cloud Marauder no. 3 (1968) at Moe's the other day. Oakland-based and edited by David Bullen, Don Cushman, Dennis Koran & Anthony Shonwald. For a zine, this is a nice well-printed object. Someone spent some hours in the book arts studio putting this together, with multiple, colored pressed illustrations & letter-pressing.

From the few hits that came up while attempting to find more about this publication, I found that they also made books, and later some individuals were involved in other small press activities. Although the overall dearth of information makes it seem that this venture hasn't yet received the attention it may well deserve.

Geoffrey Young
gives a sense of their activity within the context of small press activity back-in-the-day:

"The list of that time's significant activity looks generationally gargantuan compared to today's scaled down hopes. There were John McBride and Paul Vangelisti's Red Hill Press, George Mattingly's Blue Wind, Johanna Drucker's involvement with Rebis as well as her own Chaste Press, there was Cushman's and Dave Bullen's Cloud Marauder, Ishmael Reed's various imprimiturs including I. Reed Books, there was Alta's Shameless Hussy, Frances Butler and Alastair Johnston's Poltroon, Jerry Ratch and Mari-Anne Hayden's Sombre Reptiles, Bill Berkson's Big Sky, Barry Watten's This, Bob Perelman's Hills; and there were Jack Shoemaker's Sand Dollar, Michael Wolfe's Tombuctou, David Meltzer's Tree, Robert Hawley's Oyez, Donald Allen's Four Seasons, Curtis Faville's L, Richard Grossinger's North Atlantic Books, Bob Callahan's Turtle Island & Stephen Rodefer's PickPocket, to name some, but by no means all, of the press activity."

I would like to and do think that we are doing an equally bang-up job if not better today, but I wonder if we'd have even a fraction as much small press activity if we were back in the days of presses, mimeographs, or even first generation Xeroxes.

At any rate, this zine has introduced me to David Melnick & James Tate appears after winning the Yale Younger (wd. that happen today?).



July 16, 2008

In case you missed Ron's link to it this morning, Remy's broadside of the Chas. Bernstein poem "Every True Religion is Bound to Fail" featuring the reworkings of Walter Lew, Dillon Westbrook, JD Mitchell-Lumsden, Blake Butler & William Moor has been posted here.


July 16, 2008

Micah Ballard, Jeffrey Schrader, and Chad Sweeney

July 20, 2008

How does where you are from influence your body of work? Please join us as poets Micah Ballard, Jeffrey Schrader, and Chad Sweeney ponder the meaning of “home” and bring the house down in this new edition of the Canessa Gallery reading series.

Micah Ballard was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. From 2000-08 he directed the Humanities Program at New College of California; he is currently the Administrative Director for the MFA in Writing program at the University of San Francisco. Recent books include: Bettina Coffin (Red Ant), Emblematic (Old Gold), Darrell (Blue Press), Evangeline Downs (Ugly Duckling Press), and Parish Krewes (forthcoming from Bootstrap Productions).

Jeffrey Schrader has been involved in the Uglyman Collective, Another Publishing, Cricket Online Review & many other do-it-yourself failures & experiments. To date, the finest job he ever held was as a bicycle messenger for an urban ecology non-profit that successfully reduced the number of single-passenger vehicles driven in various Bay Area communities. He lives with Sherri and Milena at the edge of downtown Oakland's current gentrification project. Chapbooks include Speak at Every Hazard and The Man at the Other End of the Bench; grid/pattern is forthcoming from Erg. He's currently working on a window garden of carnivorous plants and the regular mechanics of 1970s era single-speed bicycles.

Chad Sweeney is co-editor of Parthenon West Review and is the author of An Architecture (BlazeVOX, 2007), Arranging the Blaze (Anhinga, 2009), and A Mirror to Shatter the Hammer (Tarpaulin Sky, 2006). Chosen for Best American Poetry 2008 by Charles Wright, Sweeney’s work has appeared in New American Writing, Verse, Colorado Review, Barrow Street, Crazyhorse, Black Warrior, Denver Qtly, American Letters & Commentary, and others. Sweeney will enter the Ph.D. program in literature/poetry at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo this fall.

Sunday, July 20, 2pm

Canessa Galley
708 Montgomery Street, SF

July 16, 2008

This Sunday, JULY 20th join us in welcoming
Anna Moschovakis and Dennis Somera

LIVE! // 6:30PM
21 Grand
416 25th St
Oakland CA 94612

$3 - $infinity sliding scale

Anna Moschovakis works with the Ugly Duckling Presse collective as an editor, book and web designer, and letterpress printer. She also translates from French, and has published translations of Gautier, Michaux and Cendrars, among others. Her first full length collection, I Have Not Been Able To Get Through To Everyone, was published by Turtle Point Press in 2006. Anna is a doctoral student in Comparative Literature at CUNY's Graduate Center, and currently teaches at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.

denniSoMera writes pokin'wordsPlay/brokenSwordplay/blokeanswerveplywood on the page w/a pinch/punch of performance art collaboratio{s}oughthepage. some of tHis worksplay has been published online at Deep, 2ndAvenuePoetry, Cricket Online Review and off in POMPOM, Bay Poetics, Chain and Tinfish.

& don't forget we've got Michael Nicoloff on that IPOD DJ tip

Bring your listening caps & party pants


July 14, 2008

Chris Stroffolino, Emeryvilification Manifesto, Local Manifesto Series (Art for a Democratic Society, 2007). 7 pages. Free.

I picked this up at Rock Scissors Paper for free. In it, Stroffolino calls for "something sustainable to stand between the frying pan and the fire, Someting between the EXPENSIVE AND DRAB luxury Condos and the SQUALOR of the Ghetto, JUST AS we demand a return to a 'middle class of artists' who are neither 'Mega-stars' nor mere Hobbyists, who can pay their rent from their art!" (2). Stroffolino also calls for more local music played on the radio & in businesses, better relationships between politicians and artists, between the disparate arts communities, and that Oakland artists actually make a commitment to the city, rather than viewing this as a stage before that big move to NYC & a career.

full text available here.

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July 13, 2008

On Saturday, Ron wondered about John Sinclair & the (Detroit) Artists Workshop's short-lived (5 issues) poetry zine Work : "his great magazine Work has had its title appropriated by some folks out in Oakland -- I wonder if they even know the literary heritage of that name."

The short answer is yes.

Work and the Artists Workshop's other one-issue title Whe're were republished as a single volume book in 1974 by Arno Press called Work & Whe're: 1965-1966.

This, however, has little direct bearing or influence on the present WORK project.

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July 10, 2008

Sha is back in town
Jorge is leaving town Sunday
I'm strangely super-enjoying teaching ESL again, even if it is just for the summer
Some of the CWS archive sound files I've been working on are now up at PennSound
Jeremy James Thompson has analyzed the design elements of the WORK project as well as the work in no. 6 over at Autotypist
Some blog about Chinese tours has posted a healthy chunk of my Xiamen travel piece without my knowledge or permission (but at least they kept my name on it)

July 9, 2008

Artists' Television Access
992 Valencia @ 21st St., San Francisco

The bill features these writer/performers, taking on clips from the following movies:

Jaime Cortez: "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" (1967)
Cynthia Sailers: "The Passion of Anna" (1969)
David Larsen: "Logan's Run" (1976)
Douglas & Nicole Kearney: "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" (1984)
Rodney Koeneke: "Mary Poppins" (1964)
Clive Worsley: "Jeremiah Johnson" (1972)
Charles Schulz & Erika Staiti: "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" (1966)


July 8, 2008

July 7, 2008

I see that China Radio International has recycled a travel piece I wrote a while back as part of their coverage of the upcoming Olympics.


July 3, 2008

I'm happy to announce the release of WORK no. 6, which features material from William Moor, Rebecca van de Voort, Thierry Brunet, and Tony Perniciaro.

It is available for $3 at Issues (Oakland) and will soon be at Quimby's (Chicago) and Bluestockings (New York).

Available through me directly for trade at dhh / 230 Wayne Avenue #311 / Oakland CA 94606.

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July 3, 2008

Paul Deppler et al., Woke to a Freezing Room (American Book Congress, 2008). 13 pages.

If I'm not mistaken, this is the first physical publication of the American Book Congress. Between ABC members, it's being refered to modestly as "the pamphlet." Mr. Deppler here has assembled 11 solidly written prose poems (or short-shorts, if you prefer fiction's marketability). Each piece stands alone, while working to form a whole, disjointed narrative:

"Still on my walk, I bought a newspaper in a gas station along with a 24 pack of Busch Light and some lip balm. Made eggs, toast, coffee, read the paper, and was surprised to find there an editorial from a former mentor, which concerned, among other things, the idea that homosexuality was selected for at the population level in certain communities of spiders -- interesting -- and it reminded me, or got me thinking, of when I woke up before my alarm the other day . . . Ate hot wings and nachos, finally got around to clipping coupons" (7).
This particluar passage brings up recurring themes (gender ambiguity / sexual orientation, science, food, clocks / time) and uses them to frame an interesting discussion within the text. We are mid-point in the text, and here sexual orientation is being bracketed within the context of the narrator's ill-moderation of baser, physical desires: drunkenness & gluttony--a 24 pack, not a six pack; food at both the beginning and end of the passage / poem; eggs & toast, nachos & hot wings. Homosexuality is shown as a choice, but within a non-human, scientific context. How much can a newspaper reader induce from a study of arachnids to human behavior? And all of this is a preface to a day of the narrator clipping coupons (and presumably drinking a fair amount of Busch Light).
Each poem/short is equally packed with meaning, making this seemingly simple read, very complex.


July 2, 2008

Ariel Goldberg gave one of my favorite introductions of all time at the Kenneth Goldsmith reading.

July 2, 2008

From AK Press:

Thursday, July 3rd
Fuck the Fourth Sale!!

Everything in the AK Press warehouse (thousands of books, dvds, cds, shirts, everything!) 25% off, with some books priced as low as $1–5. For your informational and conversational pleasure, we'll have a room populated by your favorite local community and political groups (we'll fill you in on the RSVPers closer to the time), and of course you'll be able chit chat with the AK Press gang, if that's the sort of thing that appeals to you! Snacks are on us! Bring your friends!

AK Press 674-A 23rd. St Oakland, CA
b/t MLK and San Pablo - near 19th St. BART and West Grand Exit of 80/980
For more info contact:
AK Press at 510.208.1700, or visit
All events at AK Press are wheelchair accessible.


July 1, 2008

Jorge's last show before he goes back to Czech Republic:

Wednesday July 2nd:
Megafaun + Ben Bracken + Discomedusae + Core of the Coalman
21 Grand
8:30 pm


June 30, 2008

I had a video accepted to the 10 Second Film Fest in Minneapolis. It's on 7/4 at the Soap Factory.