martes, junio 29, 2010

Seven Poems From Sundin Richards

The Helper Years

by loco
the little
town fumes
in a cradle

It’s the sound
noticed first
full reassuring
threat on skin

         blooms into a
         love of animals
         and small things
         under wheels

Ghetto in the eye
blink of nowhere
the bow
the rifle
the shitpile
and the dog

         The Royal Order
         of the Queen’s
         guts is given
         braving spiders

And if this aint
the end of the world
you sure can see it
from here

Firedamp is feared
up and down the line
and are those your teeth
over there?

         Even for us that’s
         a lot of mountain

Sugar from plastic
was goddamn grace
on credit

Glow yon
aimed at the library
or honkeytonk
counted as the
same well

         Why punch the hero?
         The bucket drops in
         a gurgle night


Where is the smoke
filled room? I’ve got
my ticket somewhere.

Here is this enough to
cover it? Sorry about
the curtains.

How do you figure he
did that? I mean the
whole thing is torn.

Can you believe this
rain? We’ll be trout
fishing on Main.

I’m telling you now
ok? Plain as the
nose on your face.

The thing looks like
ten miles of bad road
and smells worse.

Let loose of it. Just put
it down and look at it
a second.

Away The Vapour Flew

I have a background
in reality but I’m
willing to learn

Shock of sleep
for sight

I drop my brains
along the trail

To find my
way home

When light is
diversion enough

Gems crowd

And you’re a pretty
little thing

What’s your

When it’s drastic
everybody matters

It’s always

That you’re
a favorite

In the deadening
reddening running night

Train Smoke

Guard it
like a one
armed convict

Reset the
to balderdash

When the

To rest
no rest

among rocks

The Good Humor
man got drafted

Then it was
up to us

Soaking the
organism in

Snake oil

Some Ease

Picked up a
mournful thirst

By the slap of
an Aldis lamp

That we lose some
thing by proportion

Clinging to ciphers
or a shared cup

The engagement
is wholly local

Penumbra pierced
straight away

Seen behind

Roll up

The wagons
are uncircled

So let’s

Mjollinar And Me

Heroes remake

Even in
fated air

But catch

They’re always
deaf and dead

Though you

I see the red
the forward

And glow
on my eyes

When open
when shut

Sauce me
no sauce

Oh embrasure
assure aesthesia

The little
sickle moon

Cut into
the face

Of the

Loving The Insane

is a thing to do
after losing the
orders by Dillinger’s
Lake all at sunrise

Falling snow girl gets
said but I think Mithras
with a dash of Hermes

The cradle is cold at
ten thousand feet and
god I love your face
happy or otherwise

Swill leads me
chaldean along but
combat interuptus
for the lights

My head rings
from an accident and
hemorrhage-a-mundo says
the power plug

Dictionaries are a story
are a window are a full
feathered secret

Wolf cry you useless
glissando through rain
or a glow that looks red
but isn’t

Serious Fun

My brain
smooth as
an egg

the shiner

The last
of the morning
in green glass

Fine fortunes
in the general

So a quota gets
filled and we’re off
to the Hesperides

Filled with fun
by the very blade
of the sun

I locate
by feel

Pretty well
my anointed
splash splash

The ultimate
slash letting
light in

My creature
you just barely
got fed

Thus you are my
personal interfer

The first rule of
living is don’t

The rest is play
and sport

Sleeping in
ditches in
church clothes

So it’s palin
genesis from
here on out

I keep trading
cows for
magic beans

And last
election I came
in dead first

Sundin Richards' poems have appeared in Sugar House Review, Girls With Insurance, Colorado Review, Interim, Zone, Volt, Cricket Online Review, Concelebratory Shoehorn Review, and Western Humanities Review, where he took first place in the 1999 Utah Writers' Contest.

Footage of him reading at the Cabaret Voltage reading series is available here. An interview with Richards appeared earlier this month in Zone. Richards' book, The Hurricane Lamp, is forthcoming from ONLS Press. He lives in Salt Lake City.

miércoles, junio 23, 2010

An Interview With Sundin Richards

Sundin Richards in San Francisco in 1993. Photo by Andrea Perkins.

Sundin Richards, whose poems appear in a special double-length feature celebrating Zone's fourth anniversary this month, sat down with Andrew Haley on June 17, 2010 in Salt Lake City. They discussed Richards' penchant for composing on typewriters, bar fights, railroad towns, Walt Whitman's pathological happiness, big shirts, Moby Dick and the poet's first name.

AH: What kind of a name is Sundin?

SUNDIN RICHARDS: It’s a Swedish surname, but I’m not of Swedish derivation. I was born in the early ‘70’s, and my folks were hippies, so I suppose it was their way of being interesting. When I was little, I wanted to be called James T. Kirk, but then, who didn’t?

AH: Where do you come from? How did you get here?

SUNDIN RICHARDS: Those are some pretty loaded questions! I was raised in two small towns, here in the Mountain West, and would ride the train between them several times a year, by myself.

First there was Helper, Utah, which is an old railroad town. It once was known as “The wickedest town in Utah.” Butch Cassidy robbed the bank there, and the last brothel closed in 1977. More saloons than churches, that sort of place. Then there was Glenwood Springs, Colorado, a lovely little mountain town where Doc Holladay died. There are two rivers that go through that place. I hitch-hiked from there to Salt Lake City in 1992.

AH: You studied under Donald Revell. Did you learn more from the man or his poetry?

SUNDIN RICHARDS: You know, both his poems as well as his own great self have been enormously instructive. I feel that I am a better person for having known Don. His example gives me a great deal of hope regarding the possibilities of the art, being an artist, and just plain old how to live in the world, and to care about doing so.

AH: Spicer or O’Hara?

SUNDIN RICHARDS: Huh. I’m a big fan of both, I must say. I find Spicer to be the more challenging poet, so the pleasure I get from reading him is more cerebral, I suppose, than that which I take from O’Hara. Obviously, I’d like very much to have a Coke with Frank.

AH: Melville or Rimbaud?

SUNDIN RICHARDS: Sure. Well, I try and read Moby Dick once a year, and mostly I manage to. It’s an American epic poem. I mean, what can I say that hasn’t already been said, and better, by others? It’s exhilarating and infuriating, divine and profane, visionary and boring. It’s a goddamn masterpiece. In fact, I probably should give this up right now, take up my copy, crawl inside a hollow log and read it! As for Rimbaud, well, just like a lot of folks, I had a steady diet of him from my teens, through my twenties, and even now I still read him frequently. The guy seems human in only a biological sense. Incredible vision and guts. He was steel hardened by genius. Compassionate without sentimentality. He’s just the bratty father of contemporary poetry. The little bastard.

AH: Do you find it at all contradictory to be a hard drinking bar fighter who writes beautiful poetry?

SUNDIN RICHARDS: Not in the least. It’s a major branch of the tradition. A rich vein of bad behavior runs through the collective biographies of our kind, starting with Archilochos and going all the way up. There are too many to mention. Besides, I may enjoy a frosty adult beverage now and again, but those wild days are largely behind me. I haven’t been poked in the nose in years.

AH: If the academy opened its doors to you, would you go in?

SUNDIN RICHARDS: Sure. I hear a lot of griping from other writers about its evils etc. but sometimes it looks like a pretty sweet gig. I mean, you think about poetry all day anyway, and talk about it sometimes, too, so why not get paid to do exactly that? I don’t have any illusions that it’s some sort of Arcadia, but I think about it quite a little bit during conference calls at my corporate job. And who knows, perhaps I could do some good for the art.

AH: You have been known to dismiss Walt Whitman’s poetry. Do you truly dismiss it?

SUNDIN RICHARDS: Nah. It’s not the poems I object to. I recognize and respect their importance and influence. Particularly from a technical standpoint. It’s that carefully cultivated public persona that makes me uncomfortable. I’m just not able to buy that anybody thinks everything is that great without suffering from some pathology. So I guess it seems to me that there’s more than a little bit of the carnival barker in that personae, yawping his own awesomeness. And that makes me uneasy. I know this seems like some pretty heretical stuff, particularly from an American, and I imagine I’ll get some strongly worded letters. Maybe I’m being unfair. I haven’t read him in years, so perhaps I should sit down with him and have another conversation.

AH: Your book, forthcoming from ONLS Press, is called The Hurricane Lamp. Are you the hurricane or the lamp?

SUNDIN RICHARDS: That’s an easy one. The world is the hurricane and the poem is my lamp.

AH: You still write by typewriter. Are you a romantic?

SUNDIN RICHARDS: Well, I don’t wander around Italy in a big shirt, trying to get laid or anything, so no, I’m not a romantic. I’ve been using manual typewriters for 20 years or so, and I like the direct physical cause and effect of the things. Their only function is writing, and I enjoy that simplicity. Obviously I own and use a computer. I just prefer to go through the process of making poems the other way. Plus they’re darn pretty to look at.

AH: What do you love?

SUNDIN RICHARDS: Umm… train whistles at midnight, snowfall, good Scotch, good food, fine friends, animals, come on, the list is endless.

AH: What do you hate?

SUNDIN RICHARDS: Questions like that.

viernes, junio 18, 2010

Happy Birthday

Zone was founded in the dead of Austral winter in a small apartment in Buenos Aires four years ago this month. Its purpose was and remains to create a magazine of poems and short fiction freed from the geographic, economic and linguistic politics that tarnish so much of today's literary syndicates. Zone's founders believe that writers have always crossed borders, whether as immigrants or explorers, for the wild and the uncontained, and that a true servant of poetry helps poems and poets across the divide.

To that end, Zone has always been committed to bringing together writers from a plurality of backgrounds, locations, and languages. The magazine sees itself as a focal point that is no where, a utopian common open to all. Operating on a threadbare budget, with a staff of volunteers operating according to the logic of the cooperative, Zone has published in its first four years 68 poets and writers from nearly 30 countries.

Our New Russian Poetry feature which ran in December 2006 published some of the first English and Spanish translations of Danila Davydov, Julia Idlis and Viktor Ivaniv to appear outside of Russia. Translator and poet Peter Golub, who came to Buenos Aires to unveil his translations of these great contemporary poets, has in the intervening years been widely published to critical and academic acclaim. The extraordinary Australian magazine Jacket commissioned him to edit a special New Russian Poetry feature; he has been accepted to Columbia University's PhD program in Slavic Studies; and his translation of a collection of short fiction by Linor Goralik was awarded a grant from the PEN Translation Fund three weeks ago.

In June 2008, Zone published the first chapter of the then-unpublished English translation of Indian writer Sarojini Sahoo's controversial novel, Gambhiri Ghara (The Dark Abode). The novel was a bestseller in Bangladesh and sparked controversy across India for its explicit treatment of sexual, religious and political themes. Through the story of an adulterous affair between a Hindu house-wife from India and a Muslim painter from Pakistan, Gambhiri Ghara examines the roll of women in contemporary India. Written in Oriya, Gambhiri Ghara has been translated and published in Bengali, Malayalam and English. Mahendra Kumar Dash's English translation, titled The Dark Abode, was published later that year by Indian AGE Communications.

The following April, poems by George Moore forming part of an installation with award-winning Icelandic textile artist Hrafnhildur Sigurðardóttir appeared for the first time in Zone. Sigurðardóttir, whose work has been exhibited internationally, and Moore, whose poems have appeared in Poetry, The Atlantic Monthly, Nimrod and other magazines, collaborated across media to create a site specific installation in the Nes galleries, in Skagaströnd, on Iceland's north coast.

Golub, Sahoo and Moore are only three of the 68 poets, writers and translators who have appeared in our pages during our first four years. Zone maintains a complete archive of everything we have published since our inception. If you browse through our archives you will find a wealth of interesting, new, brushed-off, under appreciated and later lauded work from the 8th through 21st centuries, in languages as diverse as Chinese and Catalan, written in countries, and cultures, as far afield from one another as Nigeria, Siberia, Colorado and The Philippians, some original, some in translation, all of it free, and all of it worth while.

To celebrate our birthday, Zone is featuring a special feature on poet Sundin Richards, whose book of poems The Hurricane Lamp is due out from ONLS Press later this year. A double-length selection of Richard's poetry and an interview will be appearing shortly.

A final word of thanks to our readers, contributors, volunteers, fans and followers: without you Zone would be unable to continue. Thank you for your attention.

-Henri Beauregard

José Saramago

16 November 1922 - 18 June 2010

martes, junio 01, 2010

Andrei Voznesensky

12 May 1933 - 1 June 2010