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Poem of the Week - 'Little Winter Theater' by Nancy Kuhl

Posted on December 29, 2015 by Yen-Yen Lu | 0 comments

Little Winter Theater

January between us perfectly
ordered box, little winter theater,

tiny ambition: violet-blue violets
palm-flat books, silver dollars,

and dolls with lips drawn tight
(don't you find it captivating, this

locking of the jaw?). Narrow
window - sparrows and wind

rising and finaly snow; unlaced
shadows, dread and sensibility

we reach across. Your hands
certain - immediate

flawless wrist, wrist - you lift 
the box's curiosities:

one little book examines the complex
erotics of claustraphobia; one studies

the innocent murmur behind
once-broken, healed-crooked ribs.

With the festive season upon us, I thought this poem would be a great choice with its deeper examination into the complexities that winter brings. From the collection Little Winter Theater which is available to order on our website.  

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Poem of the Week - 'New York City' by Yuko Otomo

Posted on December 08, 2015 by Yen-Yen Lu | 0 comments

New York City

A man is a woman
& a woman is a man.

Only when you hide your face, 
the world reveals itself
clearly to you.

Human hipbones,
harder than those iron fences,
wind swifter, wiser & faster
than fish bones do.

Troubles; pranks; tricks.

A woman is a man
& a man is a woman
& feet are minds
& eyes are feet.

"Where is today's catch?"

There is something about this poem that is quintessentially 'New York', and evokes a strong sense of the city. This poem was published by Ugly Duckling Presse in Yuko Otomo's collection Study. 

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Poem of the Week - ‘TXT’ by Nancy Kuhl

Posted on July 14, 2015 by Pete Hebden | 0 comments

Brooklyn-based publishers Ugly Duckling Presse produce some truly stunning books and pamphlets. Their artisan approach to the publishing process stresses the physicality of the book and the importance of great design, well-chosen materials and interesting binding. You can see some fine examples on our website and theirs, but to truly appreciate the care and expertise that goes into these books, they really have to be held and leafed through in person. Getting a new batch of sample copies to the office is always a treat!

And of course, all this time and effort is invested into the cause of some great literature. And UDP stuff is heavyweight stuff: cutting-edge, experimental, challenging aesthetic and intellectual boundaries - I have to admit a lot of it is a little out of my league. And that includes some of the poetry in Nancy Kuhl’s beautiful 2011 pamphlet  Little Winter Theater, the source of our Poem of the Week. But, like so many UDP titles, the wonderful use of language and the freshness of the ideas pulled me in, had me reading and re-reading until I felt that I had begun to understand a little more of the author’s chaotic and confusing world. 

Anyway, that’s enough rambling from me. Here’s my favourite thus far:

 

TXT

letter by tarnished letter we can’t
say more restless our momentary
messages collecting in phonelight
and the voice braids itself backward
a new silence pushes lexicon
to the brink I satisfy myself with
brevity and broken fingernails
and dusk like a slipknot drawn fades
answers unambiguous
I always
and you always and no and no
and no little pleas diminish glow
faintly my petty resolutions cinder
and I crave shudder and chime
crave hands pulling hair 
loose from its clip think
if I’d left the door propped open
I know longing begins quietly
to collapse not quite spent nearly
gone now let’s admit it there’s no
telling what we might have done.

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