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Issue 13 :: July 2012


Judith Goldman is the author of Vocoder (Roof 2001), DeathStar/rico-chet (O Books 2006), and l.b.; or, catenaries (Krupskaya 2011). She co-edited the annual journal War and Peace with Leslie Scalapino from 2005-2009 and is currently poetry features editor for the online journal Postmodern Culture. She joins the faculty of the Poetics Program at SUNY Buffalo in fall 2012.

Liner Notes from Judith Goldman

"Stress Positions" responds to a 2010 commission from the Poetry Foundation to create a poem in relation to a Mexican loteria card. I was given the card "El Soldado." The piece is based on dactylic and trochaic meters traditional in military verse in English (e.g. Tennyson's "The Charge of the Light Brigade"); some dactylic-patterned language is drawn from a manual on "stress positions," non-lethal (sic) forms of torture. Along with a sample of Fox talkshow host Bill O'Reilly's notorious "Shut up!," the piece uses the catchy phrase -- "International Burn a Quran Day" -- of the Dove World Outreach Center of Gainesville, Florida, which planned to burn copies of the Quran on the 9th anniversary of 9/11. The piece presumes the listener will connect this proposal with the US Army's physical abuse of the Quran, as well as with the concern over how the Quran-burning would affect US troops in the Arab world.

"Shock & Awe" appropriates a BBC broadcast recorded in the midst of the US "shock and awe" (rapid dominance) bombing of Baghdad, among other Iraqi cities, in March 2003. Bombing included over 500 cruise missiles, and was meant, in planning, to be on par with Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Weapons used throughout the war with Iraq and still being used in Afghanistan contain depleted uranium, a radioactive, heavy metal byproduct of nuclear power (the metal can be obtained by arms manufacturers for free). This material produces a permanent ecological and human holocaust wherever it has been exploded. Even handling DU weapons -- for instance, machine gun artillery -- involves high radiation exposure.

Michael Gould is an Associate Professor of Music at the University of Michigan, and has received international recognition as a performer and scholar in the field of drumset, contemporary percussion performance and pedagogy. He has performed and given clinics around the world.

Ish Klein is the author of the poetry books Moving Day and Union! and a video collection entitled Success Window. She lives in Amherst where she and Greg Purcell produce the No Slander Poetry Podcast.

Liner Notes from Ish Klein

"Sun on Facades" was written in Philadelphia. I was feeling down and looked up (it was around 4 pm in March) and I noticed the light on the buildings. It was very beautiful so I thought I would note it.

"Lock Down" was in response to a dream I had that took place in a prison. This was also written during a blue period in Philadelphia.

I started writing "People Come and Stay" when I was visiting Chicago. I finished it in West Philly. I was imagining the world as a hospital because it allowed for there to be some sort of merciful context to things.

Ken Mikolowski ran The Alternative Press for over thirty years. He is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Big Enigmas. He teaches poetry writing at the Residential College of The University of Michigan.

Joe Sacksteder teaches creative writing at Eastern Michigan University and menaces the local hockey bar leagues. Recent and forthcoming publications include Booth, Rio Grande Review, Big Muddy, Mississippi Review, Hawaii Review, and Midwestern Gothic. Other Herzog sound pieces have appeared in Sleeping Fish (with video!), The Collagist, and Queen Vic Knives.

Liner Notes from Joe Sacksteder

It's hard to feel lukewarm about filmmaker Werner Herzog. His six-decade-spanning body of work has granted him messianic status in the lore of cinema, but his on-set misadventures have often drawn criticism from humanitarians and from people who just like to see animals treated decently. My album Fugitive Traces, which culls bits of audio commentary from a dozen of Herzog's films, gave me the fun opportunity to work with a voice that has entranced me since I first watched Grizzly Man, while simultaneously allowing me to critique his sometimes questionable way of going about things. "A Sense of Irony" combines Even Dwarves Started Small and Aguirre: the Wrath of God, "The Last Poetry of Capitalism" involves Herzog auctioning off his own words from Stroszek, and "The Power of Suggestion" rearranges a hypnotic induction he used on actors in Heart of Glass.

We Are Your Friends is a collaborative, community-based choral project founded in 2009 by Laura Vitale and writer/musician Rick Moody. Membership is open to anyone who wants to join and shows up. We Are Your Friends specializes in untrained voices and extended vocal technique, and its particular interest is in rendering electronica and space-themed music in live and unaccompanied settings. We Are Your Friends is presently at work on its first album, a full-length cover of COMPUTER WORLD by the Beatles of the electronic music world, Germany’s own Kraftwerk. Find their website here.

Audra Wolowiec is an interdisciplinary artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Through sculpture, sound, text and performance, she explores the idea of a fading connection to create an elusive but shared experience. Her work leans on materiality and process to explore both the physical and ephemeral nature of communication, allowing experiences that merge the sensory with the conceptual. Her website is here.

Liner Notes from Audra Wolowiec

In "private space in a public time," a condensed series of vocal sounds attempt to communicate through fragmentation. Words were removed from the reading of Vito Acconci's text "Public Space in a Private Time," leaving a series of stops and starts, where a slippery language of faintly recognizable utterances draws intimate attention to the material qualities of voice without language.