Nowhere like POKIPSE: Stephen Boyer and Rami Shamir celebrate the release of TRAIN TO POKIPSE

On March 12th, at Dixon Place, 7:30pm (free), Rami Shamir and I will be celebrating the long-awaited release of Rami Shamir’s TRAIN TO POKIPSE, the novel which legendary publisher Barney Rosset calls “a Catcher in the Rye for the new century,” the author will be reading selections from the book.

The historical details behind TRAIN TO POKIPSE’s publication have by now become legendary. Lawsuits, arrests, Corporate censorship, adamant support from leading figures in the American counterculture, all against the backdrop of the unfolding turmoil of its young author’s life, have made this a publication worth celebrating. Immediately after its recent release from the new imprint, Underground Editions, POKIPSE found itself to be the last book that legendary publisher Barney Rosset (the book’s editor and the author’s beloved mentor) would ever work on, excepting his own. (Rosset is the author of a soon-to-be released autobiography, tentatively titled “The Subject Is Left Handed.”)

I will be reading selections from my novel PARASITE and will probably talk about some personal, weird, fucked-up but important going-ons.. Oh, and Rami and I recently talked about his book and the life/death of Barney Rosset. If you haven’t heard it yet, do yourself a favor and click play.


Photo’s From the OWS Poetry Anthology reading at St. Marks!!!

This past Friday night, February 17th, the Poetry Project gave the OWS Poetry Anthology community the honor of taking over St. Marks Church. It was an amazing night of poetry full of the myriad of voices that have joined together to make one of the most diverse politically minded anthologies come together. I shot a bunch of video, and will get the video online soon. For now, I thought I’d post some photo’s that Mickey Z and Puma Pearl posted to facebook. ENJOY!

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As you probably know, Liberty Plaza was raided last night. An hour before the park was raided my friend Jack Nemo, an older man, let me know a Community Affairs Officer of the same age had told him and an older woman, Kathie, that they should take notice of all the cops, press, and sanitation trucks that had taken to the nearby area. Before leaving, the cop ominously warned, “Normandy”. Jack Nemo then relayed the information to me and I relayed the warning, but was met with much skepticism as we’ve heard the cops would raid us just about every night. And then the lights came on, the cops paraded to the edge of the steps in full riot gear and a sound canon fired, announcing our peaceful time protesting in the park for nearly two months had come to a screeching halt. Campers across the park quickly climbed out of their tents screaming, “WAKE UP THE POLICE ARE HERE!” I ran into the library and let the handful of people sleeping in there know what was happening, then unlocked and pulled the OWS POETRY ANTHOLOGY from the shelves and strapped them to my body, then climbed atop a table in the park and read poems from the anthology. Immediately, the people of Liberty Plaza launched into action, a group of about a hundred protesters took to the kitchen and U-Locked/tied themselves down. After reading the third poem, the cops began to enter the park and I realized that I would most likely lose all of my possessions so I quickly grabbed a bag of my personal stuff, ran into the library and dumped a bunch of boxes of books onto the floor to make the cleaning up more difficult for the cops then ran my personal stuff and a few amazing books to a friends house around the corner. I naively thought I could get my stuff to my friends house and then re-enter the park but could only get to the corner of Liberty and Broadway after prepping myself for a long night.

Once on the corner I immediately launched into action and again started reading from the OWS POETRY ANTHOLOGY. Someone in the crowd said the cops wouldn’t respond to the poems but I countered, it’s not about the cops, it’s about making the voices of all those that have sent poems to the anthology heard. A few cops then got in my face and began pushing the crowd I was in up Broadway. I kept reading poems as the waved batons in our faces, and fellow protesters cried as we realized they were forcing all witnesses away from the park. The further we were pushed away, it seemed the louder the park became as the police became increasingly brutal. We watched in horror as the police entered the park swinging billy-clubs and slashing tents, similar to how police in Oakland brutally assaulted the protesters that had taken Oscar Grant Plaza.

A few moments later a man that had been tear gassed on the sidewalk ran in our direction and the group I was with took him to our friends place on Maiden Lane. I looked on in horror as his bloodshot eyes/face/body was directed into her apartment then into her shower. It reminded me of something that would happen in war-torn Eastern European country in the early nineties… I couldn’t believe this was happening in New York City. Simultaneously, we realized the library was being destroyed. Helplessly we watched the news as it showed clips of the entire park being scooped up and thrown into trash trucks. It’s appalling to think that a city with over 40,000 homeless, would allow for a park full of great resources, such as tents, tarps, sleeping bags, clothing, food, electronics, ect. to be thrown into the garbage. And I must reiterate, the police explained upon entering the park that all materials in the park would be available to be picked up later at a police location and the park was being evacuated because it was unsanitary and unsafe for humans to inhabit. The NYPD lied again!

Again I hit the streets, this time more librarians and fellow protesters had made it to the area and I went to CVS and picked up anti-acid to aid people that had been teargassed. I ran through the streets reading poems and looking out for wounded. Along the way, a main figure from the finance working group tapped me on the shoulder and demanded I join him on a secret mission, basically he told me that he had a very very large sum of cash in his backpack and needed to safely transport it several blocks away to get it into the hands of OWS lawyers. Michael, a fellow OWS occupier and poet joined us! We were given a number to call incase he was taken and he explained he would pass off the backpack to us so we could continue to run it to the lawyers. Luckily we were able to run it there undeterred. After safely moving the money, Michael and I landed infront of Trinity Church where I read poems to the 40 or so cops present for a half hour, finally screaming at them, “STAND ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF HISTORY! GO INTO THE PARK AND ARREST YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN BLUE THAT ARE TEAR GASSING AND BRUTALLY ASSAULTING PEACEFUL PROTESTERS. WAKE UP! STAND ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF HISTORY. DO NOT STAND FOR THIS BRUTALITY! BE REVOLUTIONARY!” Surprisingly, a few of the cops seemed to really respond and their eyes twinkled as they crept up closer to me… then Victoria, a key figure in the OWS movement, approached us and explained that the entire park had been tear gassed and that nothing was left. With this, I ran back around and down side streets to look for possibly wounded people. Surprisingly, everyone seemed okay. Later I learned that everyone that had been tear gassed had been arrested. We still do not know in what condition they are as they haven’t been heard from.

I then made my way to Foley square to hear the G.A. that had formed, hung out there for an hour, ate some food, discussed the craziness that was the night with folks and then went back to Zucotti Park around 8am to see what it looked like. I heard rumors that bulldozers had run over the entire park, trees and all, luckily they were just rumors… HOWEVER, everything we brought to the park is gone. The beautiful library is gone. Our collection of 5,000 books is gone. Our tent that was donated is gone. All the work we’ve put into making it is gone. I’ve spent the last month and a half there. Currently I’m homeless so I’ve been completely dependent on the community that has sprung up there. I don’t know what is next and I don’t know how these next few steps will play out, however, I know that the one thing no amount of cleaning and bullying and policing can destroy is the tenacity of the human spirit. WE WILL OVERCOME!

I am so incredibly tired. I hope this account reads somewhat okay. I love you and will hopefully be getting you more books soon! Please send love poems to the OWS Poetry Anthology! We need your spirits to keep our spirits ablaze!

Stephen Boyer

Spotlight on Masha Tupitsyn and her new book Laconia

Last night while I was prancing around as Dodie Bellamy at Heather’s celebrating the release of the buddhist, I encountered one of the most obnoxious examples of New York gentrification fascism I have ever dealt with and as if it couldn’t be more dire, it was from the mouth/hands of a “queer” person, a person I want to consider apart of my community, not an enemy… The experience reminded me of a section in the buddist wherein Dodie explains that if she lived next door to one of her friends, they definitely wouldn’t be friends. But Dodie explains the universe has allowed them to meet on grounds accommodating for parties, so they are able to see the good in one another and have a friendship “who, in a slightly different situation, I would hate… Lacan said, that all relationships are about finding the right distance….” I guess the following is a confession of my inability to find the right distance…

I stepped outside for a cigarette break with my girlfriend when outta nowhere a scowling little girl came barging up to us, demanding we relocate to the corner to continue with our cigarette. She was the barback for Heather’s and she cried that the bar’s neighbors would close Heather’s down if we didn’t immediately move up the block… For those unfamiliar with the bar, Heather’s, it’s located on the middle of a block in the bustling Lower East Side area, an area known for its eclectic mix of citizenry and for starting movements like punk rock and heroin chic. It’s a colorful neighborhood that has always welcomed in the weirdo’s that have escaped suburban nihilism. Anyway, I think last night was the first time I have ever been told not to smoke or that I’ve been too loud while standing in the Lower East Side.

The power trippin’ wanna-be trendsetting egomaniacal dyke that attacked me came careening at me with her eyes bulging from her sockets after having just finished harassing a guy for standing in the doorway with a glass of beer. At first I thought she must be best friend’s with the guy she assaulted for having a beer in the doorway because I thought her ferocity had to be sarcastic. But to my dismay I watched her come at me with the same level of anger. I knew I was dealing with a megabitch as soon as she opened her mouth because there was no level of concern in her demand, she simply wanted to be in power and tell me exactly what to do. My girlfriend is not one to backdown so when “megabitch” came at us and demanded we relocate up the street, my girlfriend yelled back. As they argued I cowered up the block, eager to avoid confrontation. I went three buildings up the street thinking that suffice distance to be removed from the bar but was I wrong! Not a moment after I puffed a puff, the little “megabitch-fascist-power-trippin’-wanna-be-trendsetting-egomaniacal-dyke ” reared her fugly little face, this time instead of just insisting I go to the corner she started name calling and threatening that I should be kicked off the block… I tried briefly to insist that being 4 buildings away was enough and besides, it was only 7pm, hardly late enough for neighbors to complain…

But it wasn’t enough… the little bitch just had to keep attacking so I demanded she recognize that everyone she was harassing was at Heather’s for an event that was giving her and her coworkers significantly more business than they otherwise would be receiving. Had we not all been there, Heather’s surely would have been dead and the tip jar empty. The little bitch needed her ego popped but it didn’t work… I asked her for her name, “Melissa Plaut” she yelled, “and you should google it because you obviously have no idea who you’re dealing with! You’re really gonna feel like a dooshbag after you google my name… Lemme spell it out for you, M.E.L.I.S.S.A. P.L.A.U.T. now go home and google it…” Then she dashed away… A few moments later the bartender approached me and asked what happened, told me she was there to “reprimand me” on behalf of the barback, we both laughed, acknowledged the absurdity of the situation, then went our merry ways…

Around this time, the fellow party attendees approached me and asked for my experience with the “fucking fascist” (name we gave her…). We all swapped stories and at some point I relayed my story to Masha Tupitsyn… Masha told me Melissa Plaut had just demanded she stop talking on her cellphone. Despite the fact that Heather’s was blaring music, Melissa Plaut thought it was inappropriate for Masha to talk on her cellphone on the sidewalk. After we finished bonding over our recent abuse we introduced ourselves to each other… I had seen Masha read a year or so ago at the RedCat in Los Angeles but never met her. She’s responsible for one of my favorite collections of writing on film, “Life As We Show It.” Once I realized I was sharing abuse stories with Masha, the incident evolved into a positive experience. Thanks Melissa Plaut for providing sucha awkward experience that I was forced to meet someone whose work I’ve admired for quite awhile! And soon I’ll be receiving a copy of her new book Laconia in the mail! Once I devour it, I’ll post a review with an interview with the author!

:::an aside for Melissa Plaut::: in the future I suggest you change your tone and how you approach people, had you been polite and nice and explained why you needed us to move up the street and stay off our cellphones I’m sure we would have been sympathetic to your request, there is no reason to attack paying customers! No reason whatsoever! Nor is there any reason for you to gloat about the things that come up when you google your name… so you made yourself a wiki page to promote your book, no one is impressed because you’re a total hack:::

Masha Tupitsyn
is a writer and cultural critic who lives in New York City. She is the author of LACONIA: 1,200 Tweets on Film (ZerO Books, 2011) Beauty Talk & Monsters, a collection of film-based stories (Semiotext(e) Press, 2007), and co-editor of the anthology Life As We Show It: Writing on Film (City Lights, 2009), which was voted one of the best film books of 2009 by Dennis Cooper, January Magazine, Shelf Awareness, and Chicago’s New City. She is currently working on a new book of essays on film and the star system, Screen to Screen and Star Notes, a book about John Cusack and the politics of acting. Her fiction and criticism has appeared in the anthologies Wreckage of Reason: XXperimental Women Writers Writing in the 21st Century (2008) and the Encyclopedia Project Volume II, F-K (2010) and BOMB, Keyframe, Puerto del Sol, 2nd Floor Projects, Vertebrae Journal, TINA, Venus Magazine, The Rumpus, Animal Shelter, Fanzine, Make/Shift, NYFA Current, Bookforum, Fence, Five Fingers Review, and San Francisco’s KQED’s The Writer’s Block. She regularly contributes video essays on film and culture to Ryeberg Curated Video, which features writers like Mary Gaitskill and Sheila Heti. She teaches writing and is a PhD student at The European Graduate School.

Here’s two reviews for Laconia:

There’s something about the way Masha Tupitsyn’s mind works when she addresses gender and film. It’s different from how pretty much all other contemporary feminist theorists do it. Amid so much detached deconstruction, Tupitsyn’s criticism is refreshingly full of life. Laconia, a document of Tupitsyn’s public thoughts on film, is a stream of intimate, immediate, and specific reflections on movies, as well as a broad and sustained interrogation of things like whether we can any longer truly see corporatized cities like LA and NY other than in old movies, how to understand David Lynch’s women, and whether there is any real possibility for connection in social media, or for that matter, in watching films. (Jessica Hoffman, writer and co editor, Make/Shift Magazine)

The 1200 tweets that constitute Masha Tupitsyn’s LACONIA are, each one, an aphorism in a bottle set adrift into the midst of all the other crisscrossing messages that movies and the media universe have spawned and continually and more or less blindly emit. Everything is happening in real time – not recollected in tranquility but intercepted in passing – even when the messages emanate from the deep past or (perhaps) a future around the next bend. It’s a collage of the present moment, a continuous and unyielding dialogue, open-ended and alert to the barrage of signals that has become our home. (Geoffrey O’Brien, author of The Fall of the House of Walworth: A Tale of Madness and Murder in Gilded Age America, Hardboiled America: Lurid Paperbacks And The Masters Of Noir, The Phantom Empire: Movies in the Mind of the 20th Century.)

My Name Is Dodie Bellamy

I’m really excited to announce that the many intense surgeries, the agonizing hours of treatment, and the various new age seminars needed to transform me into a Super-Star-Female-Experimental-New Narrative-Writer have been completed and I am now Dodie Bellamy. Come celebrate with me and the release of my new book the buddist tonight at Heather’s in NYC. My latest book is all about this guy I was fucking – horribly I might add – while I was in transition… the story of my transformation has yet to be told, but it may… For now, I’m more concerned with trying to find a good homeopath in NYC… Any suggestions????

Here’s the party details:

Publication Studio — maker and destroyer of books — will be in New York on Thursday evening, April 28, for a free public event, announcing our Spring Line 2011. You should come.

You might know one of us (Matthew Stadler, Patricia No, and David Knowles) or you might know one of our authors and artists (Matt Keegan, Christine Shan Shan Hou, Lawrence Rinder, Colter Jacobsen, Ruby Sky Stiler, Dodie Bellamy, Carl Skoggard, Carter, Ari Marcopoulos, John Motley, Stacy Doris, Luisa Valenzuela, Joseph Redwood-Martinez, Collassus). If not, come meet us. The evening will be festive, the books robust and lovely, and the drinks delicious.
We meet at Heathers, 506 East 13th Street, New York, NY, between 7 and 9 pm. Authors (or their surrogates) walk the Spring Line runway at 7:30 pm. Music by DJDK. Beautiful books galore available for sale throughout. Bring your friends.
More information about Publication Studio is available online. Our Tumblr is also a good introduction.

Brooklyn Fire Proof Hosts Awesome Art Party!

Tomorrow night Ava Hassinger curates an awesome evening of art and music at the Brooklyn Fire Proof space off the Morgan L train.  Kevin Sheneberger and minorprogression’s own Stephen Boyer will be showing work.

Here’s all the info you need:

More info after the jump!

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Shampoo Poetry #38 the Tenth Anniversary Issue!!!!!!

The past ten years many great poets reached out to SHAMPOO proving just how squeaky clean even the dirtiest poem can be. I’m pleased to announce Shampoo recently released the 10th Anniversary Issue, and the issue contains a couple of my poems from my chapbook GHOSTS put out by BENTBOYBOOKS. It’s the biggest best SHAMPOO ever, with fantastic stuff by Tim Yu, Stephanie Young, Grzegorz Wróblewski (translated by Malcolm Sinclair), Tim Wright, Valerie Witte, Elizabeth Witte, Alli Warren, Dana Ward, Tim Vander Meulen, Joseph Torra, Halie Theoharides, Benmina Taquito, Dawn Sueoka, Louisa Storer, Suzanne Stein, Tim Shaner, Chad Scheel, RussWade, Meg Ronan, Kit Robinson, Mg Roberts, Beni Ransom, Kris Raido, Michael Pontacoloni, Ron Palmer, Billy X. O’Brien, Debrah Morkun, Trey Moody, Scott Metz, Catherine Meng, m.g. martin, Blake Lynch, Emily Liebowitz, D.W. Lichtenberg, Cassie Lewis, Rodney Koeneke, Jack Kimball, Kevin Killian, Larry Kearney, Alexander Jorgensen, Jill Jones, Matthew Johnstone, Becca Jensen, Paolo Javier, Chinedu Jonathan Ichu, Paul Hostovsky, Yuri Hospodar, Kallima Hamilton, Jaimie Gusman, Carolyn Gregory, Robert Glück, Leora Fridman, Andy Fitch & Jon Cotner, Rachel Finkelstein, Thomas Fink, Dion Farquhar, Adam Fagin, Elaine Equi, Melissa Eleftherion, Susie DeFord & Dennis Riley, P. Edward Cunningham, Brent Cunningham, Alex Crowley, Bruce Covey, William Corbett, Sean Cole, Bryan Coffelt, Justin Chin, Joseph Chapman, Otto Chan, Sabrina Calle, Craig Cady, Brandon Brown, Taylor Brady, Stephen Boyer, Bill Berkson, Melissa Benham, Dodie Bellamy, Jim Behrle, Rae Armantrout, and Shane Allison, along with SHAMPOOArt by Beni Ransom and Otto Chan, and a special documentary by Essential Films.

And remember, SHAMPOO is always accepting submissions.