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Posts Tagged ‘Motor City Burning Press’

I’m excited to have a brand new book of   poetry in my hands–THE LINE BETWEEN by Mark C. Durfee, aka The Walking Man.      Mark is my friend.  I’m proud to tell you that, because he is also a poet with a voice that is strong and honest.  Mark’s work comes from a place deep inside the bones.  Always, it is real.

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The Line Between is the second book in Mark Durfee’s trilogy from Motor City Burning Press.  I’m sure many people remember Stink, but on the off chance that you missed it, be sure to check it out, too.  You can read my take on Stink HERE.

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Cover Photo By Justin Harris

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The Line Between is not as dark as Stink, but it is equally as powerful.  While Stink focuses on life in Detroit, The Line Between gives us the human condition–not  necessarily from a specific location, but from the human heart.

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The book has a haunting and beautiful cover by Justin Harris, who is an amazing photographer of abandoned spaces.  The cover is a great complement to Durfee’s poetry, which rises up like an echo of life.

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As Mark Durfee describes on the first page of his book, the line between is that line we all walk from birth to death.  Sometimes the line is a zig zag.  Sometimes, it curves and takes us to places we never dreamed we’d be.  The way we act and the people we touch while we’re on the line is what matters.

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The book is divided into sections, which refer to different stages or “lines,” and logically begins with children.  In the first section, It Might Have Been A Wonderful Life is a small, powerful poem.  It reminds me of the horror in Stink, in that a mother places her baby in a microwave because she

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“…mistook you for the bottle

she was going to feed you,

to shut you up with

so she could go

pass out again.”

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Yet in the same section, we see the beauty of childhood, as in the piece, Small Happiness, where the narrator watches children who are holding hands and spinning:

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“They had just discovered

the loveliness

of being wondrously dizzy.”

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A poignant section of the book deals with the “Lines of Age.”  It contains the title poem, which was inspired by the author’s grandmother and is a gentle portrait of a family matriarch as she reaches the end of her life:

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“Comforted by her cup of tea

half gone, cold now, she dreams.

She has her chair turned towards the sun,

letting it warm her as she dozes,

snoring softly, occasionally smiles,

in her early afternoon sleep.”

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As a poet, I enjoy Mark Durfee’s portraits of people.  I also appreciate his surprising twists of language and phrases.  Eyes In The Back Of My Head contains one such twist.  Instead of just walking an edge, the narrator walks along the knife’s edge, as really, we all do:

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“I walk the knife’s edge,

the honed side, and am still amazed

that my feet are not cut to ribbons

with each step.”

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There’s no way to truly do the book justice here, because Mark Durfee’s work should be read out loud.  In I’ll Have Mine With Chemical Sprinkles, Durfee describes our modern society’s obsession with feel good consumerism and takes us on a wild ride of sound with lines like:

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“Start it with love for the Valium vellum

which allows not for the touching of the feelings

but the excretion of them so we’ll forget

what it was that was wrong that needed our dealing.

Piss on non-prescription pad paper.

Wipe yourself with Prozac then no emotions matter.”

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I would love to hear that poem read out loud!

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The Line Between is an excellent addition to your poetry collection.  My copy is becoming dotted with small smudges and is getting creased where I have turned the pages so many times.  I accidentally left a dog ear on page 57 when I was reading the poem to a friend.  It smells a little like my friend’s cigar.

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Those small marks and scents are the highest compliment I can give any book.  It doesn’t just sit on the shelf.

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For information on ordering The Line Between, click HERE.

The cost for The Line Between by itself is $10.00.

As a special, Stink and The Line Between can be ordered together for $18.00 total.  It’s well worth the low price.

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If you come here and read more than two words, you’re probably a lover of poetry and fiction.  You’ve hit the jackpot this week.

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Here are a few good reads (in no particular order).  I hate to put them all on one post, because they deserve much more attention.  But if I wait until I have time to do them all justice, a year might roll by.

Some are just coming out.  Some I meant to shout out ages ago.  They’re all good.

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….Poiesis #4:   I just ordered a copy.  Woot!

Poiesis #4 is a poetry chapbook (compilation of various authors), edited by leah angstman of Propaganda Press.  I’m not going to wait to read it before I recommend it, because everything leah does is awesome.  I know it is good.  And it’s only four bucks plus shipping!

You can get all of the details about Poiesis #4 and easy ordering  HERE.

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No One Gains Weight In The Shoulders

by leah angstman. Propaganda Press.

 

 

 

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Some Misplaced Joan Of Arc by leah angstman

Propaganda Press

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Yes, leah is an excellent poet, too.  I love her voice and her style.  Some Misplaced Joan Of Arc blew me out of my seat.  It is one of my favorite chaps of all time.  But I love both of these poetry chaps.

Propaganda Press titles are affordable, which is one of the reasons I’m a big fan.  But the MAIN reason I’m a fan is that they are good.

Order No One Gains Weight In The Shoulders HERE.

Order Some Misplaced Joan of Arc HERE.

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The Map of Our Garden by Rebecca Schumejda.

Verve Bath Press.

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……Falling Forward by Rebecca Schumejda.

Sunnyoutside Press.

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The Map Of Our Garden is fantastic–and probably one of the most physically beautiful chapbooks I’ve ever seen.  It even comes with a bookmark in a pocket on the inside back cover.  It’s obvious the editor takes great care with what she presents.

I do love it.  But I wouldn’t mind if Rebecca’s words were written on a paper bag.  She is an amazing poet.  The beautiful presentation just makes it that much more of a pleasure. 

Falling Forward is equally as beautiful.  The poetry is excellent.  I plan on coming back to tell you more about both of these books.  But why wait for me?

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Order The Map Of Our Garden HERE.  Scroll down and take a look at the images of the chap.

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Order Falling Forward HERE.

Take a look at some reviews and information about Falling Forward HERE.

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And read a great review of Falling Forward at

Open A Real Book Reviews.

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You can also see more of Rebecca’s books at her site.   The next must buy on my list is Dream Big, Work Harder.  I love that title!

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Male, Pale and Old:  16 Outstanding Men of the Small Press.

Edited by Jenifer Wills of Literary Mary, this online journal is exactly what it says.  Outstanding.  Powerful work.  And it’s free to read by clicking HERE.  What more do you want?  Great work that’s free!

Be sure to read it all.  And read Jenifer’s introduction, which explains how she came up with the name for the zine.  It’s right on.

I love the cover, too.  The desk sort of looks like mine, but it’s a lot neater than mine is.

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….Blood & Irony by Joaquin Carvel.

Available at LuLu

Joaquin is one of my blog friends and is an awesome writer (both poetry and fiction).  Joaquin has heart and soul.  I dig that.  I love Joaquin’s voice and stories.  We are on opposite ends of the country, but Joaquin feels like kin.

You can order Blood and Irony by clicking HERE.

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You can also read more of Joaquin’s work at Lyrics and Maladies.

Joaquin also has a poem recently published at The Smoking Poet.

And another excellent poem at Deuce Coupe.   Coffee Machine is one of my all-time favorite Joaquin Carvel poems.  Go read it now.  You’ll see what I mean.

And be sure to check out Blood & Irony.

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………..OUT ON A LIMB by Ed Galing

Propaganda Press

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…………..DINER by Ed Galing

Propaganda Press

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Have you ever read a poet’s work and felt as if you would really like that poet as a person?  I don’t know Ed Galing, but I wish I did.  He’s open and honest, and his words always stop me in my tracks.

Ed Galing has been through many things (born in 1917), and his poems tell it all.  I love his work.

Order OUT ON A LIMB HERE.

Order DINER HERE.

OUT ON A LIMB and DINER are also Propaganda Press chaps, and you can find more of Ed Galing’s books in the catalog.

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Now Might As Well Be Then

by Glenda Council Beall

Finishing Line Press

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Glenda Council Beall is one of North Carolina’s finest poets.  I know that’s a big statement to make, but it is true.  She doesn’t waste a word, and her poems are pure music.  Glenda’s poetry touches my soul.

But you don’t have to be a Southern writer or poet to enjoy Glenda’s work.  It reaches across all geographic boundaries and paints a picture of humanity.

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You can read more of Glenda’s work at Writing Life Stories.   Scroll down to Glenda’s October 6, 2010 post and read the poem Tomato Man.  You’ll see why that’s one of my favorites. 

Tomato Man was the winner of the 1997 Clay County Arts Poetry Contest.  It is also included in Now Might As Well Be Then.

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You can also read more about Glenda and read her poem Miracle of Love at Scott Owens’ Musings.  I love how he calls Glenda a “MVP” or “Most Valuable Poet.”   It’s so true!

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Order Now Might As Well Be Then HERE.

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Adopted Behaviors:

Flash Memoir, Short Stories & Flash Fiction by James R. Tomlinson

Motor City Burning Press.

James is another one of my blog friends, and I know him as JR of  JR’s Thumbprints.  Now, before you go thinking I just shout out people because I know them from my blog…take a look at his site.

James Tomlinson works as a teacher in a Michigan prison.  He sees more in one day than many people see in a lifetime.  Week after week, I wonder how he does it.

His words are powerful.  James Tomlinson is one of the best flash fiction writers I have ever read.

And the book is only four bucks!  Motor City Burning Press does a great job of bringing us good reads at low prices.

HERE is one of James’ recent stories at Staccato.

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The first story in Adopted Behaviors is posted at Sleet Magazine.   It is called The Trigger Man and His Accomplice, and you can read it HERE.

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You can also read more by checking out his site.  Click on his link and look on the right sidebar for places where his work has been published.

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Anything Kell Robertson has ever written.  Okay, I just had to mention Kell Robertson again.  You knew I would didn’t you?  He’s the greatest.

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Speaking of Kell, check this out.  Yep, it’s him.  Cool and Dark Inside is his song.  I have the CD, and it’s awesome.   I don’t know who Bob is, but I love him for making this video.  It’ll probably look weird here, because I don’t know what I’m doing.  But take a listen if you can.

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There are many more books I want to tell you about.  But there’s just so much my squeaky wheel can do in a free hour.  I’ll try to be better in the future.

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Be sure to bookmark the links.  I highly recommend it all.

Thanks for reading!

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