Friday, June 16, 2006

latenight poetry session...

UPDATED BELOW

lately I've been getting some questions about my good friend Hosho McCreesh, poet. I first read his work back in late 2000 in a magazine called Rattle (no link because I think the poetry editor there, Stellasue Lee, is an idiot and mildly retarded when it comes to the making of a poem), and then again in a magazine called The American Dissident, which published my very first poem in that issue. I was intrigued. I'd not read anyone with such heavy lines outside of Bukowski. I'd been trolling thru the small press for about a year before I started sending out work in 2000 and found it to be relatively thin, one note "reportage" poems, more like broken lined journaling and less like universal poem making. then, as I perused Rattle for the first time, thumbing thru the pages in a Borders or some other giant soul crushing box store, this poem leaped off of the page and kicked me in the balls:

8 Nights & Their Subsequent Sunrises

Christ, it's enough to make you wanna
sit in a lukewarm tub with a
strait razor,
the terror of it all,
the agony, the realization that you'd better
play the game,
get in line,
plug into the grid,
do what they say
or else...

& you think, "Fuck it,
I don't need what they got!"
& you wage yr little war against the
American Dream.

& it costs you,
severely.
You get no ladies.
You get no livable wage for too-hard work.
You only get the food you can afford, the kind that makes you
sick and fat.
& for the brightest, the ones
furthest from the rest of the herd,
it's the crosshairs -
in some form or another.

& if they don't kill you they just
take it all away from you,
keep everything else from you,
make it so damn hard to
live
that you consider not doing it
anymore.

Over a handful of long LONG nights
our tiny little lives can be decided.
I'd say you get about 8.
8 nights that can truly end you,
nights where a decision must be made,
one way or the other,
yes or no,
which will it be...
Nights where you're sure you've walked your last cold mile,
nights where you're convinced that this world
ain't exactly the place for you.

& if you slug through all 8 of them
then maybe you come out
on the other side of a long, dark tunnel &
wake to find yrself
middle aged, or in yr 70s, or maybe yr early 20s
because who's to say when they come, or how.

& in those 8 evenings
you've learned more about life
than in the remaining balance of all yr other tiny little years.
8 nights.
Maybe more, maybe less, but I'd say 8, on average.

& you ain't never seen a sunrise
like the ones you see
the day after
one
of
those
nights.

- Hosho McCreesh



so I rounded up his email from one of his editors, I think G. Tod at Dissident, and wrote asking if he had any books, etc. he replied that his book Something Random & Tragic To Set The Guts Aflame, now out of print, was on the way from Australia where it was published, and that he'd send me a copy. thus began a correspondence between him and I that has lasted for six years and covered some...jesus...maybe 8,000 or more pages of letters, letters that have both inspired me and sustained me thru some of my bleakest "8 nights."

here are a couple from the web:

Virga

& the fucking problem is (scroll down about four poems).

and I'd like to leave you with one more from his second book that may or may not have ever actually appeared (the trouble with a few small press operations is a level of unreliability that often reaches assholery), As The Dust Plumes Rise From The Blood-Spattered Face Down Nostrils.... this poem is one of my many many favorites:

Van Gogh Only Sold 1 Painting

What
for any of us
is there to do
with any of it
but
move
forward?

Safety & immortality
have become
comical
as of late -
people broken up &
twitching,
wondering when it'll
get better,
when it'll
relent,
wondering if there's
anything
anyone
can do.

There isn't.

So laugh as the earth
cracks
under the weight of us,
of our brutality,
laugh as the oceans
boil,
as the forests burn &
the mountains crumble into dust,
the mud of it sliding
into the
sea.

Laugh up to the end
&
through it.

- Hosho McCreesh



his third book Deep Surface Fissures Revealing A Furious Molten Core is still available from McCreesh. if you want a copy, click on my profile and send me an email with the subject line: MCCREESH. he's the real fucking deal, kids, and me and my little poems, my little books, my thin fingers curling over my humming typewriter, we fear for the very structure of the small press when this guy loads up his machinegun and lets loose.

UPDATE: go here and make sure to check out the comments.

more later from The Compound.

22 Comments:

Blogger Luis said...

Outstanding books & poems from a real poet. Hosho is "the real deal" and more. It has been a while since I corresponded with Hosho. I apologize, my friend. But anyone interested in reading poetry that will kick you in the gut should seek out Hosho's poetry.

8:53 AM  
Blogger j.b said...

i concur.

i am blessed (and i truly mean blessed) enough to own all 3 books you mention. Hosho is a great poet, and great friend and an all around cool cat.

once i get things up and running here on my end (house, etc.) i plan to take you guys (luis and chris) and with hosho, take this world by storm. remember what we talked about chris? we'll realize that dream.

i forgot (is it possible to forget) how powerful Hosho is. all my books are in storage and have been a year now. i can't just grab one of his (luckily i have your latest, chris) and just sit back. thanks for posting those poems. i, too, fear the day he comes back.

it'll also require us all to step up our game. if you don't have it, Hosho will step on you, crunching your brittle bones into the pavement, as he laughs up to the end and through it!

9:35 AM  
Blogger BMcG said...

Cheers for posting info and poems Chris. And thanks to yourself and j for assistance thus far in obtaining some printed material - always in need of a strong voice, always need more weapons for the armory.

10:51 AM  
Anonymous MOM C said...

WOW! Hosho has some powerful words. I can understand why my favorite poet speaks so highly of him. I forsee some of Hosho's poems in my library of one poet's poems because his words leaped out at me too. Who would have thought I would have more than one poet's poems in my now growing library - who's next I wonder! Look out "my favorite poet"!

11:12 AM  
Blogger christopher cunningham said...

thanks mom, indeed, I will watch my back. I always do.

oh yes, j.b you can bet I remember. it won't be long.

2:59 PM  
Blogger j.b said...

i'm excited man. we'll do to the small press what's been needed for quite awhile now.

we'll weaken the struts, powderblast the stanchions and just hammer away until the whole fucking things falls.

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tommy here:

I got some thermite cutting charges left over from Operation Terror Illusion/Confusion, 2001. they'll bring a structure right the fuck down like it's in freefall. of course you gotta go in and set some squibs, blow the central steel core and shoot missles into it, but that bastard will drop like Boss Cheney drops an old man hunting.

wait, the small press? is that a government building? is that a foreign banana republic?

just kidding. we know exactly what it is. if any of you need any serious demolition help, you can always trust the NSA.

just speak into the air directly in front of you.

end transmission

3:28 PM  
Blogger christopher cunningham said...

Tommy, I don't think that'll be necessary. we got McCreesh's cutting charges blowing up lines, we got my diamond drill bits coring out the soul, we got j.b's sharp mind to cut out the fat, we got LCB's gentle heart to help us comfort the victims as they lay bleeding on the pages of their sorry ass fold and staple wacky color covered shitpiles, on the floors of their ivory towers.

the revolution will be poetized, bitches.

3:30 PM  
Blogger j.b said...

the revolution will be poetized.

now that's a fucking battle call!

i like it. the four horsemen of the motherfucking apocalypse. but only better, because if there ain't no goddamn apocalypse, we'll create our own.

11:44 PM  
Blogger cat said...

Hosho...
touches me to the core (much like "my favorite poet" does as well).

Thanks for turning me on, tuning me in, and validating the struggles in my life/mind.
Sometimes, that's all we need.

I look forward to the revolution!

1:08 AM  
Blogger christopher cunningham said...

HEY CAT!

how's things? great to hear from you. yep, McCreesh is a motherfucker, and I'm glad to spread his madness as far as I can.

thanks for reading as always.

1:14 AM  
Blogger cat said...

I'm reading, as always. Things are just as to be expected here in God's Country, Utah! (JB must surely understand)

A quick comment to JB and Luis... I look forward to the posts/poems you both produce. Thank you!

This site is a nice respite from the brainwashed madness of "Pleasantville".

1:29 AM  
Blogger christopher cunningham said...

yep cat, jb knows PLEASANTVILLE all too well, being in SLC as he is. how far is that from you guys?

2:03 AM  
Blogger cat said...

about 40 miles south...just beyond the Zion Curtain!

2:11 AM  
Blogger j.b said...

cat,
hello and welcome. thank you for the kind words. you live up in northern Utah, huh? Ogden area? it's crazy out here, huh? people are strange, smells are strange, customs are really strange. hell, even thunder sounds strange.

anyway, glad you like what Chris is doing here and happy to hear that Luis and i are contributing successfully.

3:17 PM  
Blogger Luis said...

Cat, thanks for tuning in.
Hope the soccer does not bore you.
At least there are lots of interesting links to poets from all over the world in my two posts.

5:25 PM  
Blogger cat said...

JB-Pleasant Grove, actually. Just south of SLC. Strange, curious, etc. Yet I've been here 10 yrs... so there must be something (mtns, snow, peace & quiet!)

Luis-Me? Bored w/ soccer? NEVER!! Todays (SAT) games were something, huh? Ghana? are you kidding me? Awesome! US v. Italy... never thought it'd be that exciting (kill the ref)! Love the links... thanks for the late night reads!

Chris-Don't want to leave you out. You know I've always been a fan.

9:27 PM  
Blogger Luis said...

Ghana was great. I can't wait to talk to my co-worker from Ghana on Monday. I bet he was excited. The two players who scored for Ghana are disqualified for their third game against the U.S. There might still be a slim chance for the US if they win that game and Italy beats Czech Republic. But that would be hard.

2:43 PM  
Blogger christopher cunningham said...

fingers crossed for the US, hope they get lucky like they did against Italy.

maybe the US needs to draft that italian player that scored for us...

ha

4:28 PM  
Blogger j.b said...

Cat,
ah, yes, Pleasant Grove. I work with a woman who lives there.
It is beautiful down there. But, it's gotta be difficult being one of the few sane ones in that county!

10 years? wow. the wife and i are in our 7th. There is something about Utah, huh? Seems to just suck you in. It would be a paradise if it weren't for certain ridiculous people and laws.


Now, onto soccer. What a game. I hope we can pull out the win over Ghana. Just survive and advance.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Luis said...

I really want the U.S. to win. But I'd rather see my co-worker from Ghana high-fiving me and celebrating Ghana's win. Hope Agent .45Freedom doesn't get pissed at this. But that would be something to see. Ghana plays some beautiful soccer. But I'll be happy with the U.S. advancing.

9:28 PM  
Anonymous MOM C said...

I know I'm a little late in commenting on this - but - what's all this crazy talk about Utah being a paradise??? Paradise is being with a loving, caring, wonderful family who happens to live in Georgia - CAT - get your butt back here and bring those grandkids back to their grandma and grandpa - then we can talk about soccer, poets, The Compound, NSA (whatever that is), politics, religion, & whatever else you want to talk about.

12:05 PM  

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