Elena Karina Byrne: “Incongruity and the Captive (an interrupted essay)”

                                                                                                Here into presence, there into absence––

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Poetry/Essay: LM Rivera



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Liza Flum reviews Jose Perez Beduya’s Throng

Liza Flum reviews Jose Perez Beduya’s Throng

Jose Perez Beduya
&NOW Books, 2012
ISBN: 9780982315675

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Keith Waldrop: “A Matter of Collage”

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Macaroni Necklace Release Party


What: Macaroni Necklace Release Party
When: April 23rd, 2015
Where: Alley Cat Books 3036 24th Street, San Francisco, CA
Who: MK Chavez, Mg Roberts, Sarah Capp, Stephanie Young, George Phau, and Tom Comitta
Contact: Eric Sneathan at

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Bay Area Lit Scene: Stupid Fucking Bird

What: Stupid Fucking Bird, a play by Aaron Posner
Where: San Francisco Playhouse, 450 Post Street, San Francisco CA
When: show closed on May 2, 2015

Review by Janelle Bonifacio, Feature Writer

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Emily Vogel: Daesin and The Blurred Moment in Rilke’s Poetry

Daesin and The Blurred Moment in Rilke’s Poetry

While much of Rilke’s poetry is set in the tenuous “playing field” of an understanding of incidental existence, Shakespeare’s illustrious line, “all the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players” unequivocally applies. The collection of Rilke’s poems that I have on my bookshelf was actually a library book which was never returned (don’t tell) and I didn’t set about reading it until the summer of 2014—when I sat on my back porch with a glass of wine and my reestablished habit of smoking, beginning my reading with the Duino Elegies, and then moving on into the Sonnets of Orpheus. But there are some uncollected poems and some from The Book of Hours that I believe deserve more attention than has been given by other scholars and critics. Two poems, “Death Experienced” and an untitled one from Venice (July 1912) struck me as being located on a “stage” if you will, similar to that stage of our existences that Heidegger would refer to as the human being “thrown” into the world, inheriting the Daesin which defines most of Heidegger’s work. I believe this theme (or sentiment) pervades all of Rilke’s work—but even more expansively in the aforementioned poems.

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Joe Weil: Toward a more Combative and Passionate Reading of Poems

Toward a more Combative and Passionate Reading of Poems

I am going to use combative here in the sense of Jacob wrestling with the angel. All night, he stands locked in with the angel until the dawn approaches. The angel must depart. Jacob refuses to let the angel go until he has received the full blessing of heaven. The blessing is given, the angel breaks Jacob’s hip before departing as a sort of “sign” of both blessing and combat, and afterwards, nothing is the same. This is true combat, true grappling. I tell you the point of any deep reading is contained both in the idea of not letting go until you have received the blessing, and also, in being marked with the signs of combat—wounded and scarred in the best sense of those words. This is beyond effort. Jacob was naked. He brought no weapons or defensive armor to the match. If he was oiled up, it was only with his own sweat. What do I mean beyond effort? Effort implies forcing yourself, going through the motions, acting as if this was a drag. No man, in a life and death struggle with an angel would consider his combat drudgery: “Oh my Gawd, I have to read this stupid shit, and its wing night at the Happy Pig! Poor me.!” I hate students like this. Fuck understanding them or thinking I was young once too. The young student who thinks this way is already dead—dead to literature, dead to wonder, and alive only to doing the absolute minimum in order to get the A. He knows only what he already understands, already has mastered, whatever his prejudices have tricked him into believing is knowledge. Fuck him with a spoon. I hope he chokes on a fucking mushroom!
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Bay Area Lit Scene: Studio One Reading Series February, 2015


What: Studio One Reading
Where: Studio One Art Center, 365 45th Street, Oakland, CA
When: Doors-7:00, Reading-7:30
Who: Aaron Kunin and Andrew Maxwell
Contact: Casey McAlduff at

Review by Kevin Kvist Peters, Feature Writer

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Liza Flum reviews Hoa Nguyen’s As Long As Trees Last

Hoa Nguyen
As Long As Trees Last
Wave Books, September 4, 2012
ISBN: 9781933517612

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