A vinyl record poetry press! Established in 2016, based out of Portland, Oregon as an arm of Octopus Books.
A collaborative release with the visual artist Shannon Ebner, STRAY: A GRAPHIC TONE features the poems of Susan Howe and Nathaniel Mackey. Produced and collated by Ebner, STRAY: A GRAPHIC TONE juxtaposes historic and recent material from Howe and Mackey between 1991 – 2018. The work brought together specifically examines the two writers’ lifelong preoccupation with subjects adrift in dispossessed narratives both real and imagined.
According to Ebner, “STRAY: A GRAPHIC TONE is the full-length version of what I started in 2016 when I began seeking exchanges with these two poets. I was drawn to their works for their experiments with poetic form – for their politics of poetic form, to be exact – for their poems’ stray figures and stray errant marks.”
1. Extract From A Letter - 1:512. Hope Atherton's Wanderings - 6:103. Loving Friends And Kindred - 0:444. Scattering As Behavior Toward Risk - 6:315. Abide - 1:086. Little Sir Echo - 0:457. An Excerpt From The Foreword To DEBTHS - 1:438. Intro - 3:509. Dogon Eclipse - 2:0110. Song Of The Andoumboulou: 1 - 1:5011. Song Of The Andoumboulou: 50 - 8:4812. An Excerpt From Lone Coast Anacrusis - 3:3813. Parlay Cheval Ou - 0:37
STRAY: A GRAPHIC TONE – Susan Howe & Nathaniel Mackey
"Charles Mingus’s classic 1963 album The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady is swerved into Harmony Holiday’s classic 2018 album The Black Saint and the Sinnerman. The albums are not the same, not at all. But they speak to one and other across time and language, motion and sound.
A man and a woman meet in the marketplace. She is selling her body and he is beating his drum. A man and woman meet in a concert hall. She is thinking the music he spins loose as tantrum. Ah Um and other standards of misused/freedom. A man and woman meet on the radio. He calls her a hoe and she calls him a prince. Jokes are science. She wears white lace and he wears no rubbers. What eagles, also shrugs. Slugs Tavern smells like burnt wheat and hussies. A man and a woman meet there to touch. A man and a woman meet at University. She is studying Frederick Douglass and he is learning to count the bones. Jesus was a geneticist and we are mapping our way home. A man and a woman meet on the way home. He tries to corrupt her as if the sins of the father are being visited in prison. Dial tone. Heart bone. Copper and carbon make electricity. Ringing and spinning into thought. The copper in your pineal gland and the carbon in your cerebral cortex. A man a woman meet in the mind. She is electric and he is legba, the trickster, sluggish under her lucky sun. Not every love story is a fairy tale. In fact the best ones simulate the process of waking up from a nightmare; a man and a woman meet in that glare, fuzzy-hearted almost despair of morning. This is a story about the body. Brown in white lace, disgraced and redeemed. There are no more sour grapes. My teeth glow like a railroad. A man and a woman meet on a train. Your brother and your sister don’t speak to you, and I don’t blame them. Do you blame them? Sin is not as simple as breaking a man made rule. Sainthood is not as simple as being good. This is a story about the body. Sweet grapes. Sweetback. Sweet race. Sweet runner. Sweet earth/rising."
The Black Saint and the Sinnerman was recorded live at Machine Project in Los Angeles, CA on September 9, 2016. The album was mastered and engineered by Gus Elg at Sky Onion in Portland, OR in the Fall of 2017.
THE BLACK SAINT AND THE SINNERMAN – Harmony Holiday
Entirely comprised of poems contained in her latest collection, 2016’s Certain Magical Acts, Live in Seattle elucidates why Alice Notley is one of the world’s most revered poets, the recipient of the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the Griffin Prize, the Shelley Memorial Award, the Lenore Marshall Prize, and the Poetry Foundation’s Ruth Lilly Prize. “I am alive outside written memory” is how one of the speakers of Notley’s poem “Voices” puts it and listening to the poet read her work live, in front of an entranced audience, serves to detail the intangibility of sound vis-à-vis language.
Live in Seattle also includes excerpts of the onstage conversation Notley had with Seattle poets John Marshall, Christine Deavel and Rebecca Hoogs. Among other topics, the talk revolves around concepts of success, what it means to write female poetry circa 2017, and the importance of always creating from a position of disobedience.
As part of Seattle Arts & Lectures’ Poetry Series, 'Live in Seattle' was recorded at McCaw Hall in Seattle, Washington on Wednesday, April 5th, 2017 and mastered and engineered by Gus Elg at Sky Onion in Portland, Oregon in the Summer of 2017.
Live in Seattle – Alice Notley
Featuring poems written over the past 15 years, some of them from her recently published collection Partly: New and Selected Poems 2001-2015 (Wesleyan, 2016) and some of them previously unpublished, Rae Armantrout’s Conflation interrogates the difference between texture and tactile; thing unspoken versus thing unseen. The world largely exists in the interstices and Rae Armantrout’s poetry makes that clear. As she elucidates on “Scumble,” the 15th poem on Conflation:
What if I were turned on by seemingly innocent words
such as “scumble,” “pinky,” or “extrapolate?”
What if I maneuvered conversation in the hope that
others would pronounce these words?
Perhaps the excitement would come from the way the
other person touched them lightly and carelessly with
What if “of” were such a hot button?
“Scumble of bushes.”
What if there were a hidden pleasure
in calling one thing
by another’s name?
A Rae Armantrout poem is a space where no word is safe from speculation. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award for her 2009 collection Versed, Armantrout is the poet for the Twitterified 21st century and Conflation allows its listener to lapse and bathe in her voice’s nuanced measure.
Featuring poems written over the past 15 years, some of them from her recently published collection Partly: New and Selected Poems 2001-2015 (Wesleyan, 2016) and some of them previously unpublished, Rae Armantrout's Conflation interrogates the difference between texture and tactile; thing unspoken versus thing unseen. The world largely exists in the interstices and Rae Armantrout’s poetry -previously awarded the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award - makes that clear.
CONFLATION – Rae Armantrout
"Aloha/irish trees is a collection of new and old poems by Eileen Myles, many of which have never been featured in their previous print collections and all of which have never been featured on a record. Further, unlike the vast majority of poetry records, Aloha/irish trees was recorded live. Live meaning that it encapsulates an experience that every poet is familiar with—an occasional linguistic flub can be heard now and then, as can the sound of the poet clearing her throat, taking a sip of water. “Fuck, this is so hard” is uttered on the first track of Side A. The final sentence heard on the last track of Side B is “I’m gonna catch up, I have to pee.” Listening to Aloha/irish trees is listening to Eileen Myles read their work live, an aural experience easy to hear, hard to escape."
All poems written by Eileen Myles. Recorded by Ambrose Bye and Max Davies at Harry’s House in Boulder, Colorado at The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics/Naropa University in the Summer of 2015 and engineered and mastered by Gus Elg at Sky Onion in Portland, Oregon in the Fall of 2015.
Aloha / irish trees – Eileen Myles