Thursday, March 20, 2014

FANZINE "COCONUT SWAG" / BIG THANK YOUS TO PAUL CUNNINGHAM FOR THE SWEET REV


Friends, whether you choose to wipe the anticipatory drool from your chins or wear it like a badge of honor, theCoconut Books 2014 catalog is upon us. Literally, it’s a lot. There’s a heap of brand new stuff already available and by the time June is here you’ll be able to explode open your eyes all over again with: Jennifer Tamayo’s YOU DA ONE, Natasha Kessler’s Dismantling the Rabbit Altar, and Emily Toder’s Beachy Head. And, thanks to Coconut, you’ll also have the option of spending the later half of this year reading new books by Bernadette Mayer and Danielle Pafunda. I guess the whole perpetual state of anticipatory drooling is what the staff of Coconut Books is all about. I recently had the opportunity to visit the Coconut table this year at the AWP conference in Seattle and instantly found myself overwhelmed by book options, forthcoming book options, and a really impressive collection of author-signed broadsides. (I particularly enjoyed the phantom page that semi-conceals the lines of a poem from Shelly Taylor’s Lions, Remonstrance.)
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LIONS, REMONSTRANCE by Shelly Taylor
“The lion grandly pacing lines running deep the outer edges, barred / to the public, a stallwalker. I have been him & his father, the monsoon bang,” What a gut-wrenchingly heavy backpack trek this was into love and warfare. As I read these chock-full, folk-full poems, Taylor’s unrestricted language—sorrows, travels, joys, dreams, vows, grief, blood, upbringing—Mattie Ross’d all around my head all tumbleweed-like (collecting and motoric more and more gaining here and then) all while I sometimes swear I heard that Norma Jean version of “Tramp on the Street” mutating out of and back into Hank Williams, Sr.’s “Tramp on the Street”. A book of war (“Like a town on fire: so won so lost”) and a book often exploring gender (“& neither do I want a bath or the linear world I’m supposed to / sashay through a lady. We fought the silence, the men inside us—”). A book of duets of wound and animal, Lions, Remonstrance will collision into you with its sprawling geography of memory and its recurring lion surname: a circulation of veterans, of trauma, of loss. “Let’s make these sheep / into horses he’ll blind and astonish as me, the very land / mourns the eye holes of the horses women must gather.”