Wednesday, July 10, 2013

#NYCPOETRYFESTIVAL - UndergroundBooks Invades Governor's Island

Meet us for a weekend of love and books July 27th-28th on Governor's Island. Poetry and good spirits. Wear your fondest expression. 

CHECK OUT THE FULL LINE UP AT :

http://poetrysocietyny.org/new-york-city-poetry-festival/nycpf-2013/1052-2/

We'll be hosting the 11:30 spot at THE WHITE HORSE  on Saturday. Don't be afraid to talk to our poets, have them pose for pictures. Do haggle, if you don't we consider it an insult.

On Saturday at the same hour we'll be taking over The Browning Society's brunch. Nudity, verse, and more.



Underground Books has been making street books since 1997. Trapped in the Subconsicous somewhere downstairs, the printers ink still runs. We aim to aim it. Based in New York City, Houston, Virginia, and Gothenburg, we aim to please,poetry,please,poetry,please,poetry please we say, Publishing Artists on the Fringe, Check out all of our new original poetry manuscripts athttp://www.undergroundbooks.org and join the subterranean poetry scene of your mind 2013.

posponing the apocalypse :)
                                                                                                               you're welcome. 


A review of Thus Virginia Passes

Thus Virginia Passes

by James Browning Kepple (pretend Genius press) 
ISBN 978-0-9852133-2-9 review by Raewyn Alexander


  
The title put me in mind of someone on a train, travelling 
through the state of Virginia and watching it flow by the 
locomotive until that particular landscape was gone.
 Intrigued, but mistaken, I read at first to find out why 
this book was titled this way and also, because I've long 
enjoyed the poetry of this inventive, original and startling 
young writer. We've discussed writing and each others work 
online for many years, as colleagues, and devotees of literature.

Kepple follows in the tradition of language poets, taking English 
or really, American and making of it what he wishes. He reclaims 
language as an individual, to the extent that some readers with 
pedantic leanings may be shocked or horrified. This upset is 
calculated and focussed for the most part, creating a kind of 
blueprint for a new, more hopeful way of life, we could say. 
Kepple's talent is also such that he persuades the reader to 
keep on, entertainment ensues amongst other pleasures as 
rich, engaging and varied as anyone could wish, even if 
sometimes this collection is overwhelming or wildly odd.

The poetry is arranged into three parts. The poems mainly
 flow on one from the other without the end of the page
 being taken up with white space, after each piece. Where 
white page space appears it adds to the meaning or tone 
of the poem, rather than standing as a long-held and 
rather extravagant convention of traditional formatting. 

The introduction by Kim Goransson warns the reader this 
collection could seem like too much at times. But I, for 
the most part, delighted in how Kepple discards an overly 
precious approach to poetry, and instead relishes the 
chance to allow the appearance of the written word to 
work in curious, revolutionary ways, while also paying
 respect to language. Genuine humanity is evident in
 this verse and a startlingly recognisable, flawed appearance, 
without a trace of laziness or pretense. (Although laziness 
and pretense do exist in fact, and these poems do make 
that clear, with much else besides). 

There were times however when I felt lost, disturbed 
and horribly alone, then the writing drew me back to a
 place of relative safety or at least, familiarity so I felt I 
could continue in good heart. Drama and particularly 
tragedy carries many verses well.

Word-play, once a reader realises it's there, is at times 
truly hilarious, or rather thought-provoking and 
undercuts many assumptions, with elan.


'I tell her I'm hungry
ask, or is that to caveman'


                                   - from The Lost Art of Seduction


This maintains a double meaning, a sense of what the 
line would mean with 'too' and continues a persuasive 
thrust, which is quite possibly to get some food from 
this girl, from her 'to caveman', also by the way cleverly 
admitting his bluntness, and negating simplicity. Subtly 
shocking syntax also destroying the idea that people 
who cannot spell 'correctly' or use grammar 'properly' 
are stupid, since he's using those 'errors' to be truly 
clever, subtle and amusing.

Sometimes Kepple uses the word its to show something 
belongs to something else more than it is, could ever 
possibly explain.


'but its cold behind iron, and I need you to forge
for its trivial us in such assertions'


                                      - from I just got out of jail baby


He does this with interchanging 'your' and you're' and also, 
'then' and 'than' as well, along with other small, often 
taken-for-granted words which are sprinkled about, a 
garnish of diversion or a twist to cause reflection; a 
swerve in meaning. But occasionally it seems the mis-spellings 
are to show a kind of a person, a character, there is no subtle 
word play I can figure.


'and I pass her up wishing I wasnt so cheap
I suppose its a matter of money these encounters,'


                                    - from occidental street love


My first impression of the book, after galloping through
 it reading the collection entirely in three days was, 
it was sexy. Not that there is anything much erotic in 
the words themselves to any large degree, even if some 
intimacy is mentioned, but the maturity, strength and 
intelligence inherent in this poetry, along with its wry 
and also blatant humour impressed me so much. Other 
saphiosexual readers could find this work affects them 
the same way, intelligence can be so stirring. 

An exhilarating sense of a real person fully engaged with 
language and what it can do for them also emerges, a man 
revealing himself and risking hurt, then also, Kepple reveals 
so much while he obscures himself in some kind of camouflage 
too. This poetry is a statement about the need to disguise 
one's intelligence in these times, perhaps, but showing off 
to those who 'get it', and also including them? There's some 
camaraderie involved here. 

TVP got to me. Every time I thought I could define it, the 
writing slipped into another gear, or changed its tone and 
diversionary tactics, or just enthralled me. A collection with
 more to it than what appears at first. The alarming last section 
certainly creates various brain storms and mind fevers.
 My eyes wide with something close to terror by the end, 
(which as it happens is not quite the finish at all, another 
surprise appears even there). 

Extreme states are going out of fashion in art, we could say,
 except for extreme price tags on fine art or what we could 
call cheek, (in American they say, sass).We are told in 
everyday life, in countless often banal ways to calm down 
and carry on, to contemplate the intellectual rather than 
indulge the emotional, and to divide ourselves into easily 
recognisable groups for familiarity and comfort. This all 
subtly done through the way art is presented as an elite 
practise, and in its contemporary content being cynically 
clear or ironically observed, often expensive and for only
 the highly educated, and therefore quite exclusionary. 
Some mystery permissible as long as it is so sophisticated 
it has to be accepted as true, without explanations dared 
to be asked for. Thus Virginia Passes as a collection does 
pay some respect to that mindset, it has wisdom and is of
this time, (despite some curiously old-fashioned turns of 
phrase), while the writing also determines we need more 
than coralling or discipline, more than a society of knowing 
winks and nods, more than brutality dressed in the finest 
manner to make it seem acceptable. We need to feel deeply 
and explore our existence fearlessly in order to truly, best
 live and learn, much of Kepple's writing appears to show 
this, convincingly. 

The poetry is not as distancing and obtuse as some other 
recent verse by more traditional or less risky poets, it does
 not pretend it's from somewhere unattainable for most 
people. Although so idiosyncratic at times it does appear 
unfathomable on first reading in places, I later decided it
 was like a wild animal sporting and celebrating itself, 
beautifully, for its own sake, in places which suit the
 particular topic or tone.

I found Kepple eskewing 'the' was often annoying or 
unnecessary, although this telegramesque, truncated 
language suits the break-neck pace of some of his work.
 This device does eventually appear as his genuine voice 
too, but sometimes the omission distracts from some 
beautiful, unexpected line which follows.


'a troubled troubador

lashed about

on train seat

she can walk

like fallen

plastic on my

feet'


                                    - from train poem #43


Possibly however, that's one of his points, beauty exists 
obscured by the furious speed we seem to think we are 
going, time poor and distracted.

Kepple's writing sweeps along with grand gestures and 
surprising, momentous images too, often illustrating 
contemporary issues along with time-tested, vital
concerns. The symbolism in some poetry could take a 
reader many readings and some research to understand, 
while on the surface there's a definite narrative thread 
as well, satisfying to an extent.


'We need incensed sacrifice and summonings to protect us
For the earth has grown weary of our consumptive material
                    identity,

It is past time that its fruits spiritual will go stolen unnoticed,'



                                     - from A Prelude to Ophiuchus


Differently sized type-faces, some tricky word placements, 
three sections called in order of appearance - Book I:
 Thus Virginia Passes, Book II: Harlem Blues, Book III: Herald,
 (the most experimental verse), and no page numbers, 
we're reminded throughout that this is not any usual
 book of poetry. That even if it does echo some other 
writers' allusions and literary times past, in some regard. 

The unexpected in a tailor-made, avant-garde suit, if I had
 to explain Thus Virginia Passes in an image. Daring, 
considered, gloriously individual and with many twists,
 turns and puzzles, this first major collection by 
James Browning Kepple is recommended. I must admire 
his bravery, quite apart from his obvious talent and labour. 
We need more writers prepared to register publicly who 
they really are along with a plea for privacy and respect, 
while at the same time saying something else entirely. 
Then we remember what matters and grow inspired to
 stretch ourselves to trust in our own experience and
 intelligence, our own feelings.


Words carefully chosen in the best order, indeed.



I'm happiest most when
starving unconcerned
and building fires, do not
monitor me please 


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

september set list leak - Thus Virginia Passes (soonest)

from the upcoming pretend genius poembomb Thus Virginia Passes by James Browning Kepple with an Introduction by Kim G√∂ransson, hes got his sticky fingers all over this I bet! preorder now (before the price of oil goes up! :) 


Contents



Book I: Thus Virginia Passes



Paraplegic Marine
Wake
after midafternoon gin
old rusty parts
will the humble poet stand
Down the Foibe
paper table poem
The beach, he returneth
To die under a big sun
Farewell Roanoke
train poem #43
The outside of my
the lost art of seduction
I stole a piss in the
graveyard
Deer hit by truck survives
carly
hilary
occidental street love
shake it off
we've been left for dead
blue
Out of the Woods
jump passaic
I wish to indulge in the acts of gods,
Thus Virginia Passes



Book II: Harlem Blues



concrete flower sagas
Saturday stench in small room in bed Indian style with laptop #14
I just got out of jail baby
I am the kill to save
the subway springs forth
The Fall of New York
In then quiet of afternoon rain
The simple things
stoop politics
its 5 in the morning and all we have is blues
Death in Brooklyn
a primitive sojourn
central park
tired romeo not
Confessional
put on your suit face
nonesuch poehouse
upstairs theirs flowers
tip pressure
there is no time for dead cat poems
jesus
history tells
beard growin
Italian women are notorious
love and ambitions
,Injung
ZanZibar blues
Awww
notebook poem #42
The soft hum of the keyboard on the oven
little one: went to church
tuesday
left
Snow in your hair
A Great Love Dies
ruined work
fair warning
Harlem Blues (I)
Harlem Blues (II)



Book III: Herald



dialogue for a movie
CATCH ME ARTAUD 
Phone conversation w/sj watching a poem
if you dont write
drink
stayalert on station platforms
I want (again)
a small one
drone cattle rapture
The Jupiter Gates of Babylon
I'm happiest most when
A prelude to Ophiuchus
a gay tale
EVERYBODIES ANTI WAR
ballet of the restaurant
Lamont off to work
lets gamble I say,
Welcome home America
Lenny no,
If all else fails, write the review

cooking for two
Erin my rhododendron of satellite
from the stix
Terrestrial doubts
Herald
epilogue/rocketdiary







Tuesday, May 29, 2012

kite FULL OF WHISKEY - LIVE AT OTTO'S THIS SUNDAY JUNE 3rd 6PM

kite FULL OF WHISKEY - LIVE AT OTTO'S THIS SUNDAY JUNE 3rd 6PM

Back from the Ashes,
The FIRST Show IN AGES
FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!
We Hope to See YOU,
Bring Your Friends,
We've got Business To Take Care of
A FUN SHOW
kite FULL OF WHISKEY
LIVE AT OTTO'S
6PM 14th St Btwn Ave A and Ave B

We Bring the Fire One More Time

Friday, October 28, 2011

EAST HARLEM RIVIERA's 1st ANNUAL HALLOWEEN BLOCK COSTUME PARTY!

POETRY - Some of the finest in the profession, Dahu Alla, Matt Moseman, James Browning Kepple, can't get much better then that lineup if you want your brain occupied by something other then media, parasites, hippies, bullshit and lies, this my friends is the TRUTH, and we are moving, nigh forgin ahead quite deliberately to sanction the words still left, for yes they have narrowed their lens of control and are harboring in such few sentences and diatribes that it gives us double agents the ability to finally throw that fucking fork into the cogs and LIBERATE SPEECH, WE DONT NEED TENTS, WE'LL TENT YOUR HEADS WITH LIBERATING WORDS

COSTUME CONTEST - WIN CASHOLA! WERE TALKING GREENBACKS PEOPLE
50 for kids, 100 for adults

MUSIC - Opening up the Set we have the beautiful as always KJ Mitchell kickin out some of the fresh beats from her road worn and worthy guitar, were gonna back her up ladies and gents and I think you're gonna find a truly exceptional evening!

SWEETERBLEND - Harlem's up and coming Calypso band will knock your socks off with that fire you can only bring from the Caribbeans and chicken bones under your pillows, come one come all to hear the soul soothing sounds of some of the best crooners this side of Haiti!


and introducing

The East Harlem Swingers - This band is a what we would like to call a east harlem super band, bring together the forces of nature that is James Browning Kepple (Jimbo Brown, Mustard Bastard, Black Lung Bandits) Paul Cooper Cobra (The Prudes), P Noodles Bin Laden (Black Rob) and Dahu Alla (Welfare Poets) on trumpet, sure to kick you into overdrive, another time, another sip of some of that lemonade in the shade, they bring the beast and love that just won't stop, if you want a trick, check out what we got on the block

if you want a treat

SWEETERBLEND, KJ MITCHELL, EAST HARLEM SWINGERS
shall rot your teeth

Monday 4pm oct 31st, BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

POETRY 8-9 at THE HART CRANE BLACK BOX 2163 1st AVENUE

and MUSIC 10-12 At

THE GRAND REOPENING
OF CHASERS INTERNATIONAL JUICE BAR AND LOUNGE 112 and 1st Avenue


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

OCCUPY *OPEN STAGE* THE RISE AND FALL OF THE BLACK LUNG BANDITS




OCCUPY SPANISH HARLEM - *OPEN STAGE* - THE RISE AND FALL OF THE
BLACK LUNG BANDITS OCT 6th 2011 9pm

Out of the Ashes we bring you an OPEN STAGE
Come on down to Chasers International Juice Bar and Lounge
at 112th st and 1st Avenue in Lovely Spanish Harlem
For the GRAND REOPENING of our UPTOWN *OPEN STAGE*

MUSIC COMEDY MAGIC POETRY TRAGEDY

This stage is for you!! If you are a musician and would like to
perform without any of the pressures of bigger stages, this
is a great place for beginners and collaborations, anything
can and will happen on the Open Stage.

Comedians, try out your new stuff here, get the time you need
to polish off what you wish to spin for those more posh downtown
clubs, we want the edgy stuff here, bring the wild.

Poets, NOW IS THE TIME, SHOUT TO THE ROOFTOPS
Bring us your words, and spread them this world over.

Come on down and join us for the most open stage in New York
Hosted by James Browning Kepple

Featured Musicians:

9:45pm
Shepard's Check - one of New York's most
agile poets brings together his new duo to show the masses
what sorta of lyrics can be achieved by the mastery of verse,
this group will blow you away.

10:20pm
KJ Mitchell (http://www.reverbnation.com/kjmitchell) - A talented
beauty on the way up and actually has the voice to match, with
a great selection of original material her take on some classics
and pop favorites will really have you going, a must see.

After Hours Ash Gray and Nina!
(http://ashgrayandthegirls.com/)

***SPECIAL ONE NIGHT ONLY APPEARANCE :

THE BLACK LUNG BANDITS

This east harlem band has been through it all
ALL NEW SONGS ALL NEW MATERIAL
ONE NIGHT ONLY
you shall partake in the hottest band never meant to be,

James Browning Kepple on Vocals, Anthony Swindell on drums
Dave "The Dakota Kid" on Guitar"

This is the First Show and Farewell Show for Anthony Swindell
COME EARLY AND ENJOY LIBATIONS
GIVE THIS ONE OF A KIND HEPCAT A SEND OFF FOR THE AGES
This is a one shot pony, Come and See what all the critics are referring
to as "the only american hope for the return of Rock and Roll"

The Post Apocalyptic Hillbilly Sensation is sweeping the nation
The Black Lung Bandits will fill your soul with purpose, they'll
change your day to day plans, and search deep within oneself
to stay and wonder the day away.

So come on down for the 1st Thursday at Chaser's
and see some of the best talent uptown all in one venue.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hurricane Party Warning - Jimbo Brown will die. 8-25-11 9pm BE THERE!



Hurricane Party Warning TONIGHT Hart Crane Black Box 9pm
Jimbo Brown will die. Live. Bring on the earthquakes!
Bring on the Tremors, Your force of wind!

Tonight Ladies and Gentleman

Ol' Mr. Brown will die. New Music, Good People, Let's kick off
an ol' fashion hurricane party!!!

2163 1st Avenue The Hart Crane Black Box - No Cover - BYOB
9pm It's Official
www.hartcraneblackbox.com