Literature

Manifestos and sodas

Lit Crawl 2008: Joshua Clover wrangles popular poetry and the poetry of pop
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INTERVIEW Joshua Clover is probably just as well known as alter ego jane dark. It's the pseudonym under which s/he writes sugarhigh! (janedark.com), which makes equal space for dialectical thinking, pop and country music, and film. I've spent time talking with friends about his criticism and his two books of poetry, 2006's The Totality for Kids (UC Press, 76 pages, $16.95) and 1997's Madonna anno domini (Louisiana State University Press). Read more »

Bend Sinister

Lit Crawl 2008: Bucky Sinister hits bedrock and breaks the self-help mold with Get Up
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With Litquake fast approaching and his new book hitting the shelves, the time is right to check in with San Francisco writer, comedian, and reluctant self-help guru, Bucky Sinister. Yes, you heard that right: self-help guru. Move over Dr. Phil and Dr. Drew and every other faux-folksy TV platitude-puss. Mr. Sinister has the kind of wisdom — and writing skills — that can only come from experience. Read more »

magazinester

Puking on Palin in a race through the check-this-out aisle
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How about that Sarah Palin? Dude, she micromassages more target markets than a genetically spliced fusion of Oprah, Dr. Phil, and an octopus Smurf. She's ready for the covers of Time, People, and every other rag favored by the They Live set. 'Scuse me while I hurl.

I'm not alone in the vomitorium: pepe, andy, bret, and landwolf all puke in Matt Furie's boy's club #2. That's what a champagne-and-SpaghettiOs diet will do to you. Furie and his fearsome foursome avoid the sophomore slump with face-melting funnies about yoga and Alanis Morissette. Read more »

Preacherless choir

Wave Books compilation State of the Union: 50 Political Poems offers singing, not sermons
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superego@sfbg.com

REVIEW What's wrong with anger? Nothing — it's a perfectly cromulent human emotion. But it sure makes for awful poetry, especially if it's poured undiluted by humor, hope, or reflection into the "frail vessel" of verse, like hydrochloric acid into Tupperware. The poem may be true, the poem may be honest — but honey, the fumes'll kill ya. Read more »

Dot Dash

Dash Shaw's serial Web comic BodyWorld graces the third dimension
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ISBN REAL Exciting news for the tangibility fetishists among us (digital space-children, just hum some binary code for a minute while we grasp at one more straw): Dash Shaw's serial Web comic BodyWorld (dashshaw.com) will be gracing the third dimension in (earth-) bound form some time next year, as a graphic novel published by Pantheon.

BodyWorld, now up to chapter eight of 12, concerns Paulie Panther, a botanist in the not-too-distant future whose job is to update an encyclopedia of hallucinogenic plant life. Read more »

Speed Reading

Faith Evans' Keep the Faith
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KEEP THE FAITH

By Faith Evans with Aliyah S. King

Grand Central Publishing

353 pages

$24.99

She was Biggie's wife. She's still the mother of his son. She was in the middle — stuck on the very fault line — of the Biggie and Tupac saga. She's put up with Sean Combs through all his nicknames. She wrote and sang gorgeous backup for Mary J. Read more »

Gore, no?

High Life surfs waves of bloody "gorno"
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Akashic Books' initial 2002 publication of High Life was not much of a cause célèbre in the larger literary world. But the ultraviolent novel of sex, murder, and scatology in mid-1990s Los Angeles was a definitive moment in the development of the so-called "torture porn" subgenre. As the debut author for Dennis Cooper's Little House on the Bowery imprint, Matthew Stokoe became both a disciple of glorious S-M writers like Cooper, Bret Easton Ellis, and Samuel R. Delany and a centurial groundbreaker. Read more »

Green and red

A bio goes searching for Joschka Fischer — and finds leftist possibilities
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Now that the Iraq War and occupation is accepted as a permanent feature of American life, it seems worthwhile to reflect on how controversial it once was — not just among the millions who filled streets around the world to protest the impending invasion, but also within the governments of some of America's traditional allies. No one better expressed the rift it created in Europe than German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer when he publicly rejected Donald Rumsfeld's appeal for support at the February 2003 Munich security conference. Read more »

Paper weight

The specific matter of Hollywood glamour shots and postcard records
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johnny@sfbg.com

Call me wasteful, call me Luddite, call me nostalgic, call me obsolete. I'm not ashamed to admit it: I like paper. I like it a little too much. These days, when I look at paper, I have a pair of scissors in my mind if not my right hand — I want to take the complete form of detritus that a single sheet or a full book represents, and cut it into a new shape. Maybe it's a visual extension of editing words for a living. Read more »

Notes of a dirty old man.

Or: a portion from a wine-stained notebook. A story
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"YOWWWWWWW!"

I was having visions in those days. They came mostly when I was drying out, not drinking, waiting around for money or something to arrive, and the visions were very real — Technicolor and with music — mostly they flashed across the top of the ceiling while I was on the bed in a half-slumberous state. I had worked in too many factories, had seen too many jails, had drunk too many bottles of cheap wine to maintain any sort of cool and intelligent state toward my visions —

"OH, GO AWAY YOU BASTARDS! I BEG YOU! Read more »