Monday, May 4, 2015

The Father of the Arrow is the Thought

On August 25, 2015, Octopus Books will be publishing my second poetry book, The Father of the Arrow is the Thought. Here is some info about the book:

Christopher DeWeese’s second book, The Father of the Arrow is the Thought, re-says the human against the “fucked ecosystem” of the contemporary landscape. Locating themselves in a series of varied physiographic settings, these poems illuminate the tragic reality of our imaginations: that our bodies lag behind our minds; that our physical forms can never go so far as we can think, dream, or say. But this is not simply a book of elegy and woe. Drawing upon Paul Klee’s theory of “creative kinetics,” the idea of art defying physical laws through the use of symbolic, visionary, or transcendent imaginative acts, DeWeese presses past lament, uncovering something strange and complicated amidst "the uncharted lands/ I keep discovering inside/ no, behind me,/ where my bones I throw." Personal, surprising, questing, and ambitious, The Father of the Arrow is the Thought is a wild event, a new myth shot through time and space.

Dara Wier: There's nothing I can say that comes close to representing the precision presence of mind The Father of the Arrow Is the Thought lends us.  How and why human imagination is tragic, mysteriously omnipotent, grievous, triumphant and essential, is the book's story.  It proposes how we are who we are because of where we are, letting ideas about time and place be mythical and heroically proportioned.  DeWeese's poems, a unified collection of stand alone meditations, offer a new myth composed straight out of our 21st Century's hideous beauty.  The poems' heroic chronicle epics our situation and offers us redeeming compassion.  That we're able to imagine our way through, across, over, above, beyond and around just about anything, tempts us, teases us, and lets us see what can't be seen. In other words it brings metaphor to life, it gives imagination its most profound work, it simultaneously gives and takes.  No other recent book does all this with such a modest, kindly, almost chivalrous sense of duty.

Dean Young: The effect of this book reminds me of what we were told in physics class about approaching the speed of light. Fantastic and strange but somehow reasonable, these poems report from a velocity where the familiar seems verging on explosion with unexpected equipoise.  Astronauts, here is our pilot!

Here's a poem from the book:

The River

It is a bad, bad business
to walk to the river
expecting something casually spiritual
to cast aside your skin.
Rocks tongue the bloody light
where I’ve been going,
a cheap motel
on the other side
where the complimentary bibles
have expiration dates
and the danishes reflect my face
in their glacial frosting.
We become magnificent
as they crumple,
bending in the fluorescence
our ancestors left us
to better see
our cruel bodies.
Outside, the evening quickens
into a crooked line
of poorly-built fires,
as if the whole county were neck-deep
in the moral ambiguity
of what anglers do
after taking off their waders.
The mosquito-bit air
darkens into night,
scuttling the distance
into many canoes between us.
There have been times
when I confused the river
for my friend.
I threw starfish
into the wrong water,
mistaking what was potable
for a stronger tide.
I might as well pardon
my own genealogy 
for bringing me here.
I’m sorry, darling,
but where we’ve been
is just no match
for standing on this bank
flexing our muscles
until the sun jumps up
and the angry fish
whip against the leaves,
the whole tableau
uncertainly taking note
of where the river goes
and what it means
as, beside it,
a dozen drunk survivalists
unzip their camouflage
to show us where they are
and what they have been hiding.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

It's March 8, a Saturday

Here is a poem from The Black Forest that features today's date.


No king could break me
with speeches or sweetmeats.
No queen could teach me
how to pray and mean it,
even how to meditate.
Even if she was my mother,
my foot would undulate
like the giant country
all our oceans form,
the horizon outside shrinking
into nervous rhetoric
in solidarity with my interior.
The air turns Slovenian,
the palace smells like cinnamon,
and I’m into it.
As a servant, I understand suburbs:
like mine, their biographies
merely parallel the real story
these wet years write
upon the royal tarmac,
driftwood left behind a fierce storm.
It’s March 8, a Saturday.
I’ve been sleeping in this poem
for several weeks,
a pocket history of neon
tucked inside my jacket,
where hardscrabble frontiers
dissipate into acceptable weather.
In my cat-suit, friend,
I entered manhood
and surveyed all this land

and indeed caused it to be.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

I Live in Ohio Now

It's a nice day in Ohio. I live here now. I spend a lot of time mowing/playing sports in the backyard. Here is a photograph of it that I took because I'm proud to have mowed yesterday:

I live in a town called Yellow Springs. It is very small, quiet, pretty, and friendly. Our cat is now an indoor/outdoor cat. I'm reading a giant history book. I'm getting ready to start teaching at Wright State University, which I am very excited about. That's all for now.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Spring by Charles Olson


The dogwood
lights up the day

The April moon
flakes the night

Birds, suddenly,
are a multitude

The flowers are ravined
by bees, the fruit blossoms

are thrown to the ground, the wind
the rain forces everything. Noise

even the night is drummed
by whippoorwills, and we get

as busy, we plow, we move,
we break out, we love. The secret

which got lost neither hides
nor reveals itself, it shows forth

tokens. And we rush
to catch up. The body

whips the soul. In its great desire
it demands the elixir

In the roar of spring,
transmutations. Envy

drags herself off. The fault of the body and the soul
 that they are not one

the matutinal cock clangs
and singleness: we salute you

season of no bungling

Monday, January 21, 2013

Would you like to know more about The Black Forest? Here are some links to recent reviews of the book, and a few interviews about the book. Oh, and happy 2013! It's going to be a great year.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Flying Object 2nd Anniversary Fundraiser and EPIC RAFFLE

There is this place called Flying Object. It looks like this:
It is located in Hadley, Massachusetts, in the old Firehouse. Amazing things happen there. Events, readings, music, art shows, letterpress classes, lectures, books, and other things. Workshops about pickling. Lectures explaining current linguistic research. Benefits for other local organizations and non-profits. It is a space that makes itself available to support many different communities. Over time, those communities form a larger and more connected community. This is a rare thing.

I got invited to a meeting about a month ago to help plan a party/fundraiser/raffle to help celebrate Flying Object's second anniversary. There's going to be a great party on Oct. 13, and everybody is invited. Information about said party is here and here. CA Conrad, Dorothea Lasky, and Ben Hersey are going to be reading/performing/fortune-telling. I have every confidence that it will be a wonderful event. At the meeting to plan this party, I volunteered to help out with the Raffle portion of the event, because I love raffles.

Raffle Donation from Flood Editions

Raffle Donation from Knopf/ Everyman's Library
Along with other raffle committee members, I started emailing presses to see if they might donate books, broadsides, chapbooks, ephemera, or anything else for this raffle. The response really amazed and surprised me: many of the presses I got in touch with responded enthusiastically and wonderfully. Presses both small and large were thrilled that a place like Flying Object exists, and wanted to help out. Soon, I began receiving 4 or 5 boxes of books a day. Presses have been sending rare things, beautiful things, surprising things.

Raffle Donation from Octopus Books

Raffle Donation from BOA Editions

Raffle Donation from Visual Editions (UK)
And I guess that brings me to the other part of this post that I wanted to write about, which is this larger community that also exists, the community of publishers and poets and artists and bookmakers and photographers. People are up to some really wonderful, smart, beautiful things, and their enthusiasm and generosity has reminded me how lucky I am to be a reader and writer and participant in this large, wild community.

Raffle Donation from Twin Palms

Raffle Donation from Cabinet Magazine

Raffle Donation from Anchorite Press
The local community has also stepped up to support Flying Object. We have received raffle donations from local organizations and businesses like Mass MoCA, Hungry Ghost Bread, Jackson & Connor, The Claw Foot Tub, Popcorn Noir, Hill Farmstead Brewery, Amherst Books, Pale Circus, and Green River Ambrosia. High & Mighty is donating beer for the event. If you live anywhere remotely close to Western Massachusetts, I hope you'll join us on Saturday, October 13 to celebrate and to get some amazing things from the EPIC RAFFLE. Even if you can't make it in person, you can still donate and have raffle tickets entered in your name to win prizes! Please go here to find out more.

Here follows a (still growing) list of the amazing publishers and organizations who have given us EPIC PRIZES to raffle in support of this event. A huge thank you to all of them!

1913, 2-UP, 2HB, 5X7, Action Books, Agnes Fox, Ahsahta, Alice James Books, Amherst Books, Amherst Cinema, Anchorite Press, Birds LLC, Black Ocean Books, BOA, Burning Deck, Cabinet Magazine, Canarium Press, Chelsea Editions, Coach House Books, Coconut Books, Coffee House Press, Content, Cuneiform Press, Denver Quarterly, Dexter Sinister, DoubleCross Press, Elk Books, Europa Editions, Factory Hollow Press, FC2, Flood Editions, Flying Guillotine, Forklift Ohio, Four Way Books, Futurepoem, Green Lantern Press, Greying Ghost Press, Green River Ambrosia, Grove/Atlantic, High & Mighty, Hill Farmstead, Hungry Ghost Bakery, Institute of Cultural Inquiry, Jackson & Connor, Jubilat, Kat Ran Press, Knopf/Everyman’s Library, Lay Flat, Loosestrife Editions, MASS MoCA, McSweeney’s, Mud Luscious Press, Noemi Press, O-Blek, O’Clock Press, Octopus Books, Otis Books/Seismicity Editions, Owl Press, Pale Circus, PEN America, Popcorn Noir, Propolis Press, Publishing Genius, Rescue Press, River Valley Market, Sarabande, Schematic Quarterly, Siglio Press, Slope Editions, Small Anchor Press, Sona Books, Spork Press, Tarpaulin Sky, Telephone, Thames & Hudson, The Caseroom Press, The Claw Foot Tub, The Physiocrats, The Sienese Shredder, Springtide Press, Tibor de Nagy, True Panther Sounds, Twin Palms Publishing, Typecast Publishing/The Lumberyard, Ugly Duckling Presse, Unit Editions, University of Chicago Press, University of Iowa Press, Visual Editions, Wakefield Books, Wave Books, Wesleyan University Press, Wonder


Monday, May 21, 2012

Poem Beginning With a Line by Lionel Messi

So, there's this great thing that happened called The Knox Writers' House Recording Project, in which these three Knox College students traveled around the country recording writers reading their work and talking about it. Last year, they found us in Atlanta and sat in our cold dining room with us and encouraged us read to them. Now they have this amazing website where you can listen to all sorts of interesting people read their work. It's great! This week, poet Chris Tonelli has picked a poem of mine as the weekly featured poem, which is really nice, and what is even nicer is that he calls me "the Lionel Messi of poetry," which is the best compliment possible. Here is the text of the poem, just in case you can't understand my weird voice.


It’s true I still have a thorn inside me,
a little personal weather.
Pace blossoms when I am running.
Districts unfold cement picnics
and spells for athletics
between the arable suburbs.
My calories propagate them
like strange, tiny stars.
I close my eyes.
I cry “Oh cryptic murmurs
listing within my Doppler!”
I slow down, find a great hotel
for my wind to get wasted in.
I go poolside
and ash there a while.
My friend, when it comes to the sweaters,
you are not the wool:
you are the insane gigantic bear design.
I will think of you if I ever see a bear.
I mean, whenever.