Posts Tagged ‘Steve Fellner

26
Jan
13

Steve Fellner’s Blind Date with Cavafy (2007)

Over the next few weeks or months, I will post all my reviews (“Tom’s Celebrations”) that appeared in Redactions: Poetry, Poetics, & Prose (formerly Redactions: Poetry & Poetics) up to and including issue 12. After that, my reviews appeared here (The Line Break) before appearing in the journal. This review first appeared in issue 10, which was published circa April 2007.

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Steve Fellner's – Blind Date with Cavafy“How many men are worthy of a memory?” asks Steve Fellner in the poem “Blind Date with Cavafy.” I ask how many men are worthy of a fantasy. At least one – & it is Fellner in Blind Date with Cavafy (Marsh Hawk Press), which was the winner of the 2008 Thom Gunn Award for Gay Male Poetry and the winner of the 2006 Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize.

In these poems, we see how the fantastic thinks in Fellner, Cavafy, Socrates, Fellner’s family members, and more. More specifically, the book is a graph of Fellner’s mind with reality and fantasy as the x- and y-axes and with the poems curving towards the fantasy axis.

I think these fantasies, which are everyday fantasies, & not like dragons and fairies, allow Fellner, to a certain degree, to persist/survive in reality, even when the fantasy isn’t his. Consider his history teacher with Alzheimer’s who misremembers the date of the Spanish Civil War but the students later learn the correct date. Consider how this false date became a reality. A reality so real, more real than the correct date, that Fellner provides the false date as an answer in another class, & everyone believed him, “No one questioned it.” It’s this inaccuracy and how others grasp it that sustains Fellner. The fantasy of sustaining the false date & the memory of it “stopped / me [him] from killing myself [himself] / on at least nine different occasions.”

For Fellner, it’s the fantasy world that provides hope. Consider the lines from “Upon Discussing Whether We Should Condescend to Science-Fiction Writers,” where he is talking about aliens invading Earth.

   Let’s pretend we’ll take their advice
   [. . . ]
   Let’s pretend that on other planets seeing the end of infinity
   is even more common than winning $37,687,324.90 in the state lottery.
   Except you expect it to happen every other day.

And even though Fellner can be a god in these fantasies – he can create, script, and direct how he wants life to move forward – Fellner is still aware of the realities of life:

   Don’t yell
   too hard. You may wake up and realize life
   isn’t like that. It isn’t really like anything.
   But life does like itself and it needs you.

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Fellner, Steve. Blind Date with Cavafy. East Rockaway, NY: Marsh Hawk Press, 2007.//

16
Sep
11

in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day 100 (Altamura Cabernet Sauvignon 2007)

Hurray. Finally, it’s Day 100 in the Pursuit of the Juiciest Wine Tour. I’ve been saving the Altamura Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 for quite some time and for quite some occasion. While tonight is a quiet night, here’s what’s been going in the last couple of weeks. Hmm. How to order them. I thought of listing by order of importance or magnitude, but, hmm, they are all pretty big. So randomly.

Finally, I got new job! Yay. Thanks Gerry Fish. I’m going to be an editor, which is something I love to do. The job begins Monday in St. Louis. I’ll stay there for a week. Then the rest of the gig is working from home.

Working from home on my new laptop. A Toshiba Satellite P705D with an AMD A6-3400M APU with Radeon HD Graphics 1.40 GHz processor, 8 GB of RAM (thank goodness. that’s really what I wanted most), Windows 7 Home 64-bit, and 640 GB hard drive.

What else. Oh, Redactions: Poetry & Poetics issue 14 – The I-90 Poetry Revolution with guest editor, Sean Thomas Dougherty came out and we had a release party reading for it. It was a great reading held at the Alumni House at SUNY Brockport. (Thank English Department for hooking me up with space!)

SUNY Brockport is new thing. I’m teaching Introduction to Creative Writing there one night per week. I just started a few weeks ago. What fun.

I got that job thanks to Ralph Black, Steve Fellner, and Anne Panning and because I’ve a number of published books, including one that just came out two weeks ago. The book is Poems for an Empty Church from Palettes & Quills.

Poems for an Empty Church front cover

I’ve hired The Critic to speak on my behalf for this book.

The only way to shut him up is to BUY MY BOOK.

So I’ve had a lot going, and I’m not listing some other items, too. That’s enough. So tonight some good wine for the 100th day in pursuit of the juiciest wine.

Tonight’s wine is Altamura Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 from Napa Valley. It was number 5 on the The Wine Spectator Top 100 wines of 2010. So the wine should be perfect for tonight.

I got the wine on hearing its name and its rank. I did not know how it was spelled. I thought it was going to be a Spanish wine from Altamira. I was hooked because I love Spanish wines and I love the Altamira Cave with all the paleolithic cave art of which I’ve been writing poems about.

Altamira Bison

Altamura Cabernet Sauvignon 2007Enough of this. Let’s get to this 96-point wine.

The is an inky wine that’s dark purple in color and 90% opaque. It also has a tall meniscus. Is this wine even ready?

Thinking of tall, the bottle is tall and skinny. Odd.

The nose is smoky with dark berries, cassis, and black pepper. Yet with all that going on, it’s mild. My girlfriend says it smells inky. I get a hint of that, too.

Wow, that’s weird. It almost vanishes on the finish but then resurfaces.

It’s smooth going in like liquid air. And thinner than you’d expect from a cab. It’s actually kinda flowery when it gets in the mouth. But there’s also the counter of the inkiness and cassis. The cassis is on the beginning of the finish.

When you first taste it, it’s kinda like grapes. Like grape jelly but not as sweet but with the same wobbly texture.

My girlfriend picks up mushrooms. She also thinks its weird, but she thinks it’s weird because “It’s juicy, but I can’t define any of the berries.” After some time, she gets blackberries. I agree. That is, I think I can feel and taste those little blackberry hairs that poke out from in between the little blackberry bubbles.

Blackberries with hairs

This is a really mild wine. I quit enjoy. I give it an A.

The longer it sits, the juicier it gets and spicier, too. It gets more and more delicious. I can’t believe how much better it has become in the last 15 minutes. This bottle has been open for about an hour now, and it’s blossoming. It’s slowly becoming an A+. It’s coming alive with juiciness and youthful vitality. I feel like Dr. Frankenstein watching his monster come alive or, more specifically, Young Frankenstein watching his monster come alive.

The Altamura Cabernet Sauvignong 2007 is engaging. It’s flirting with me. It’s seducing me. Mmmmmmmm. I have been seduced.//

29
Jan
11

The World’s Deadliest Readers . . . Coming Soon

Movie’s shouldn’t be the only medium with a trailer. A reading with three wonderful writers should also have a trailer.

Alright, so the reading doesn’t have a budget for its own trailer since it was all spent on wine and tapas for the reading. But imagine if those guys gave a reading, then you’ll know what this reading will be about.

That’s right. Steve Fellner, Tony Leuzzi, and Lindsey Brown will be giving a reading on Saturday, February, 26th at 7:30 p.m. at A Different Path Gallery on 27 Market Street in Brockport, NY.

The Writer Within poster
(To see a larger version of the poster, click the poster. To download a printable PDF, click The Writer Within poster PDF.)

Tony Leuzzi is a poet who teaches literature and composition at Monroe Community College. He is also the author of two books of poems: Tongue-Tied and Singing (FootHills Publishing, 2004) and Radiant Losses (New Sins Press, 2010). His prose and poetry has also appeared in a wide range of journals, such as Arts and Letters, Pinyon, Rhino, Left Curve, and The Kenyon Review.  He is currently completing a book of interviews with American poets and is mid-way through his third book of verse.

Lindsey Brown has studied fiction writing with Pinckney Benedict and Michael Knight at Hollins University and interned at Francis Ford Coppola’s literary magazine Zoetrope: All-Story. She completed her Bachelors degree in Spanish from SUNY Brockport in 2008 and earned her Masters in English at Brockport in 2010. Her work is forthcoming in the anthology, Love Rise Up. Certified in bilingual elementary education, Lindsey now teaches Spanish to seventh, eighth, and ninth graders at Allendale Columbia, an independent day school in Pittsford, NY.

Steve Fellner’s first book of poems Blind Date with Cavafy (Marsh Hawk Press, 2007) won the Thom Gunn Gay Male Poetry Award. His memoir, All Screwed Up (Benu Press, 2008), focuses on his relationship with his ex-trampoline champion mother.//

19
Jan
11

The Oldest Stone in the World Flier for Downtown Brockport

Some new reviews are coming in about my newest collection of poems, The Oldest Stone in the World (Amsterdam Press). You can read them in the flier that will be hung about town.
The Oldest Stone in the World flier

If you can’t make it to the Lift Bridge Book Shop, you can order a copy here: The Oldest Stone in the World from Amsterdam Press on sale at Etsy.//

01
Jan
11

The Oldest Stone in the World

The Oldest Stone in the World by Tom Holmes and released by Amsterdam Press on 1-1-11 is the first book release of 2011.

The Oldest Stone in the World

Tom Holmes wrote this book almost 11 years ago. It was his bridge from his heady, intellectual poems into the poems of everyday speech, images, and much closer to humanity. In this collection, you can see the blossoming of Holmes’ imagination while maintaining a loose grip on formalism.

Wanda Schubmehl says of the book:

Tom Holmes has given us a Stone for the ages, a physical metaphor for the tension between our anxiety about death and our fierce compulsion to live fully. The language is simple, but the electric effect of its surprising associations and vision propels us into vast new landscapes of possibility. Almost Jungian in its effect, the work vibrates with mystery and significance, and readers will find that the Stone has a tendency to speak quietly to them long after the book is put away.

Steve Fellner says:

What a tremendously generous gift! Written about ten years ago, Tom Holmes shares some of his vital early work. Imagine a collection with a literary conceit rivaling Louise Gluck’s in The Wild Iris and with the influence of Donald Revell’s more spare lyrics. By reading Holmes’ past work, I can’t imagine what the future will bring. All I know is this: I can’t wait to read it.

Here’s the introduction to the collection of poems:

The Oldest Stone in the World came out of an experiment to write a poem at the rate of one word per day. Because of this slow pace, I believed I would be able to meditate upon that word all day & explore rhythms & undertones that could attach to & build from the word-of-the-day. In addition, I would also use the word-of-the-day in another poem. Thus, each day I would write a word, which contributed to a slowly developing poem, & I would write a completely different poem that included the word-of-the-day. The experiment ceased after 30days. In practice, the experiment did not work as well as anticipated. However, there was a nineteen-day run of poems that resulted in this book.

I first learned of the stone in Guy Davenport’s essay “Olson” in his book The Geography of the Imagination. I then researched & read what I could find that was written in English of the stone. The most helpfulplace was Rev. T. Dempsey’s The Delphic Oracle. Though he had good information, he didn’t have much information. Thus, I was left to fragments of information & my imagination & meditations.

This stone, however, actually exists. According to Davenport’s essay,“Olson,” “In September 1913, the French archaeologist FrançoisCourby unearthed this ‘omphalos’ at Delphi.” In addition, Plutarch has written about it, but I have failed to find that writing translated into English.

Nonetheless, I give you The Oldest Stone in the World.

This is Tom Holmes’ fifth collection of poems.

This beautifully handmade book from Cindy Kelly and all the good people at Amsterdam Press is currently available for sale at Etsy. To get your copy, click here. Soon it will be available at Amazon, too. But Etsy is a cool place to get it. It’s like going to the local book store.

It will also soon be available at the wonderful Lift Bridge Books in Brockport.

The cover art is a drawing by Guy Davenport, which appears in the “Olson” essay. The image is reproduced with the permission of the Guy Davenport Estate.

The book is dedicated to Charles Olson, Guy Davenport, and Pat Meanor.

Charles Olson the great poet, Guy Davenport the wonderful essayist, and Pat Meanor the professor from SUNY Oneonta who first brought my full attention to poetry.

Enjoy the read!!//




The Cave (Winner of The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award for 2013.)

The Cave

Poems for an Empty Church

Poems for an Empty Church

The Oldest Stone in the World

The Oldest Stone in the Wolrd

Henri, Sophie, & The Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound: Poems Blasted from the Vortex

Henri, Sophie, & The Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound: Poems Blasted from the Vortex

Pre-Dew Poems

Pre-Dew Poems

Negative Time

Negative Time

After Malagueña

After Malagueña

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