Sunday, May 28, 2006



GUITAR SMASH, the debut poetry chapbook by Brian Howe.

GUITAR SMASH is what happens when you force-feed language to technology until it vomits!
It’s c r a z y

GUITAR SMASH is available by way of purchase, trade, bully tactics, flattery, comp.
Contact Brian for details.

Thanks to John Lowther for making this possible.


It’s official: everybody’s talking about GUITAR SMASH! Here’s what they’re saying:

an irksome burr on the flank of poetry
worth a couple bucks though"
- Araki Yasusada; fake poet

- An adorable baby rescued from a well

"So I was just rolling the trash to the curb, minding my own business, when suddenly … there it was, plain as day, sitting smack dab on the lawn, not really doing anything, but somehow mocking me, seemed like. Damnedest thing I ever saw."
- An innocent bystander

"At a time when poetry is more marginalized and maligned than ever before, GUITAR SMASH reminds us why this might be the case."
- Ezra Pound (via Ouija board)

"Everyone’s talking about this that and the other … but when are we going to think about what's really important here, the children? Where were the parents in all of this, I’d like to know."
- A concerned citizen

"We are so proud of you for making this bizarre, incomprehensible thing, Brian. Does it come with health insurance?"
- The parents

- A vacuum cleaner

"It’s great; I use mine to thin paint, align crown molding, unclog gutters, repel intruders, and to protect my car’s paint from the elements. Wound up buying the wife one for our anniversary so she'd stop borrowing mine, and they make great stocking stuffers. And when you're done using it, it easily folds into compact size great for people on the go. Dishwasher safe!"
- Paid testimonial

"Sack-ray BLOO! Zee GEETAR SMASH, zhe ees mag-nay-FEEK, non? Oui!"
- An egregious stereotype

"Okay, but can you eat poetry? Can you put it in your gas tank? Can you wear it on your feet? …well yes son okay, I know that you can; but is it going to do you any good? Stop being such a damn smartass; they were rhetorical questions and you know it.”
- A savvy realist; nobody's fool

"What the fuck is GUITAR SMASH?"
- Billy Collins; famous poet

Disclaimer: Some or all quotes may be fake. Except the Yasusada one; it’s totally legit.


I just went to Atlanta to give a reading for the release of GUITAR SMASH, a much mellower trip than my last. I used my sampler to do some live voice manipulation on GUITAR SMASH and read the "SONG" sequence from F7. Here are some pix (some by me, some by the lovely Laura Carter, who refuses to be photographed herself):

Eyedrum, exterior:

The auditorium, pre-reading:

One of many cavernous rooms:


John Lowther, head of the APG and GUITAR SMASH publisher:

Members of the APG perform a "ployphon" of GUITAR SMASH:

Me, preparing to commit violence upon GUITAR SMASH with my sampler:

Look at that boy twiddle them knobs!:

He's getting really into it!:

Get that mic out of my eye! Still twiddling:

OK, you can stop now:


That billowy thing is pretty but I worried it would fall on me:

So I drank my fear away:

That's so me!:

Post-reading; John, Tracey and Allison at Manuel's Tavern:

My Pitchfork colleague Cory Byrom, pensive:

One of my editors at Paste, Jason Killingsworth:

Monday, May 15, 2006

Marta E Davide

In 2002, I was doing my mandatory early-twenties bounce around Europe thing. In Sicily, on one of the gloriously begrimed streets of Catania, two Swedish friends I'd met found a mysterious journal (pictured above). Each left hand page features some variation on the legend MARTA E DAVIDE TIAMO, headed by dates that never quite make sense. Most right hand pages feature the sort of obsessive scrawl you can see above, pages and pages of this, heavily featuring the phrase MARTA E DAVIDE TIAMO and a phone number. Upon registering my excitement over the artifact, the Swedes soon ceded the journal to my care (thanks, Julia and Moa). I showed it to some Sicilians and they couldn't translate much of it - they said it seemed as if it had been written by a child, or a mentally impaired adult, although there was something strange about it that neither of these explanations fully resolved. There was something in it about a motorcycle accident, and much repeated expression of devotion. It seems likely that Davide was the author of the journal - whether or not he actually knew Marta is unclear. Maybe he was obsessed with her from afar. Maybe there wasn't ever a Marta at all. At any rate, after carting the thing around for years, waiting until the time to do something with it was ripe, I've begun work on an at least chapbook-length poetic transformation of the text, using the F7 process I've been developing for the past two years. Since I don't speak Sicilian, and since much of it is just gibberish anyway, I have a lot of leeway when transcribing the text for F7 fodder. I'm keeping the incantatory nature intact, and sticking as close to the original formatting (in terms of font size, spacing and so forth) as I can. As such, the repetitions form a sort of soil bed from which flowers of deviation bloom - one page contains five blood-red circles going down the right margin, for instance, and sometimes, the block format pictured above lets out into what looks like fractured lists, a transformed example of which I posted here a few days ago. This journal has intrigued me for years - I was reading Paul Auster at the time I found it, so I was very open to the possibility of metaphysical mystery heaving into view at any moment. I like working against rigid and logical yet superfically inscructable frameworks, of which this is an ideal example, and the urgent humanity coursing through the text transcends the language barrier and any mutations to which I subject the text. Excerpts from Marta E Davide have already been picked up by two journals and I anticipate spreading it about even more as I make progress, so keep your eyes peeled for more.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Soft Targets

The first issue of Soft Targets, edited by Dan Hoy and Daniel Feinberg, is now available. It includes two very visual poems from F7. Specifications:

For immediate release: the first issue of SOFT TARGETS, a handheld journal of poetry, artwork, criticism, short fiction, found images, sound, and other ephemera. SOFT TARGETS v.1.1 features color and B&W artists from inside and outside the galleries, including Walid Raad, John Tremblay, Whitney Bedford, Jason Fox, Harun Farocki, and musician/artists D.C. Berman and Mick Barr. Interspersed with these artists and others are critical pieces by Jason Smith, Joan Retallack, and Wayne Koestenbaum; short fiction from Benjamin Weissman, Rachel Kushner, and multidisciplinary artists Stanya Kahn and Harriet "Harry" Dodge; and poetry from Dennis Cooper, Linh Dinh, Catherine Wagner, Carla Harryman, Matthew Rohrer, Martha Ronk, Daniil Kharms, and Ben Lerner, among others. Also included are several new translations, found images, contributions from the Office of Force Transformation and the Apocalypse de Saint-Sever, a hand-numbered License to Live mail-in insert, Treaty with France, and a mini-CD by NY sound artist teleseen affixed to the inside back cover.

5.75 x 7.25
288 pp.
50+ contributors
w/color artwork + mini-CD
hand-numbered License to Live

Front Office:
Daniel Feinberg
Dan Hoy

Office of Concrete+ Plastic Studies:
Anthony Allen

Office of Assembly:
Jane Lewis

Office of Special Plans:
Rachel Kushner
Jason Smith

Monday, May 08, 2006

Marta E Davide - a teaser

Ma pushed non be

finical deiform.


mamma ? Come.

fellow &

spumes &

non 20 he.

say ? zoom &

cease, epopee

tomato dolly

maze. Dope in

palazzo ciao &




the tan to grey dandy feet

Enigmatic, no? Stay tuned...

Friday, May 05, 2006


Heads up on Curiobox, which sounds like it's going to be awesome - did I mention that they've picked up one of my short stories, Oubliette? I did? Just now? Sweet. From the website:

curio was created in winter of 2006 as a response to existing media. we sought to produce a publication that would take control away from the editor, putting it in the hands of the artist. the format of the magazine allows poets, artists, and designers to work outside the realm of bound printed matter to create a magazine that defies convention.

for the unfamiliar, this is a quarterly multimedia publication distributed in a large mailing box. the box's dimensions change to meet the needs of the content. contributors are able to specify the dimensions and style of paper their piece is presented on. poets are no longer restricted to 76 lb. perfectbound matte pages, artists dictate bleed or no bleed, specific dimensions, and context.

issues of curio exhibit some of the most exciting in contemporary art and culture. working without a time-sensitive burden, curio ignores the temporal. no type of media is consciously excluded. we're proud to combine music, short films, short fiction, poetry, photography, drawing, architecture, articles and interviews inside.