Monday, December 29, 2008

This Week at No Tell

Kate Schapira invites the bird of spite to live in your mouth this week at No Tell Motel.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Poems That Make Me Go All Tingly

A few weeks ago, Reb asked me if I would like to go through the No Tell archives and write a little bit about some poems that really got to me. After accepting this “mission”, I began browsing poems that have been published on the website and Bedside guides, and found several that seemed to stick with me as I did my search. As a result, I’ve ended up with a pile of poems that could use a second read.

At the Museum, Molly
By Shann Palmer

This is a tight little poem with an overload of images. Each line builds up to the embrace between two people and the “statue of a faceless women,/Jaipur marble perfectly carved” that seems to watch them. The description of the sun in this poem is another thing that made me like it. How it “slides into the wall, touch behind her ear, treasure her”. The opening two stanzas I liked a lot for their description of the museum and of Molly. The air in the museum that tastes “like fresh peaches” and Molly with “a mouth full of feathers”, humming Dulce Domum.

Copper Harbor
By Mary Biddinger

Here is a poem that I really like for it’s rhythm and sound. Lines like “the dark smudge of fish/ shanties and smokehouses.” and “The seagulls were quick as equinox, Evinrude,/ flypaper lit with a zippo.” make this poem fun to read. The rhythm and images flashing past you with every line keeps you on your toes till the very end. Also, this is another poem I really liked for it’s images; “your body an arrow into the lake.” and “the ether surge of a mower on the parkway slapped us out of reverie.”

By Charles Jensen

This poem is one of my favorites. With it’s simple language, you really get the feeling of closeness the speaker has for his lover, who is laid out in a funeral parlor. With stanzas like “He’s laced your fingers/ incorrectly. Your left handed:/left thumb goes on top. A lover would know/ those little details…”, the feeling of intimacy is cemented in the readers mind. Yet through the mourning, signs of humor can be found as well. “The undertaker is young, attractive-/ your type. Sharp suit. Muted Tie./ The kind of moment where I’d imagine/ you’d make a joke about things that are “stiff”,

These poems can be found in The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel - Second Floor along with plenty of other great ones for you to get lost in. Keep a look out for more poems that make me go all tingly, and if you have any that you think should be brought back from the past, just comment or leave me a message.

Monday, December 22, 2008

This Week at No Tell

Stuart Greenhouse reads from the stone slab at the basin’s head this week at No Tell Motel.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Last Day for Holiday Book Sale

Get any 2 No Tell Books titles for $20 (shipping included within US, complimentary gift wrap on request).

Paypal only -- send payment to

Offer good until December 15.

Please indicate which titles and where you want the books shipped.

Thank you for supporting independent poetry publishing this holiday season!

This Week at No Tell

Laynie Browne is holding something in one hand as you walk away from something else this week at No Tell Motel.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Best Poetry Books 2008 - Bruce Covey

Bruce Covey's choices:

Sandra Beasley, Theories of Falling (New Issues)

Anne Boyer, Romance of Happy Workers (Coffee House)

Brenda Coultas, The Marvelous Bones of Time (Coffee House)

Barbara Guest, Collect Poems (Wesleyan)

Lyn Hejinian Saga/Circus (Omnidawn)

Sueyeun Juliette Lee That Gorgeous Feeling (Coconut)

Bernadette Mayer Poetry State Forest (New Directions)

K. Silem Mohammad Breathalyze (Edge)

Alice Notley, Grave of Light (Wesleyan)

Danielle Pafunda My Zorba (Bloof)

Ariana Reines, Coeur de Lion (Mal-O-Mar)

Aram Saroyan, Complete Minimal Poems (Ugly Duckling)

Leslie Scalapino, It's go in horizontal (U California)

Sandra Simonds, Warsaw Bikini (Bloof)

Jack Spicer, My Vocabulary Did This to Me (Wesleyan)

Jen Tynes, Heron/Girlfriend (Coconut)

* * *

Bruce Covey lives in Atlanta, GA, where he teaches at Emory University and edits Coconut Poetry. His fourth book, Glass Is Really a Liquid, will be published by No Tell Books in 2009.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Poetry Holiday Guide - Scott Abels

Scott Abels' suggestions:

For your neighborhood masturbator: My Vocabulary Did This To Me: The Collected Poetry of Jack Spicer, Edited by Peter Gizzi (Wesleyan, 2008)

For the MBA in your life: Harryette Mullen, Recyclopedia (Graywolf, 2006)

For the honey lover and big oil: The Georgics of Virgil. Any edition that can fit in their pocket.

* * *

Originally from Nebraska, Scott Abels has an MFA from Boise State University. His poems can be found online at Spooky Boyfriend, Past Simple, Sawbuck, No Tell Motel, Shampoo, and Action Yes. Currently, he lives and teaches in Honolulu.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Best Poetry Books of 2008 - Dora Malech

Dora Malech's choices:

Corinna A-Maying the Apocalypse by Darcie Dennigan (Fordham University Press)

Logotherapy Pant by Crystal Curry (Cosa Nostra Editions)

The Usable Field by Jane Mead (Alice James)

Revolver by Robyn Schiff (University of Iowa Press)

* * *

Dora Malech's poems have appeared most recently in Redivider, Gargoyle, Anti-, La Petite Zine, Columbia Poetry Review and The New Yorker.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Best Poetry Books 2008 - Michael Farrell

Michael Farrell's choices:

πO (or Pi O) - Big Numbers: New and Selected Poems by πO (or Pi O) (Collective Effort Press)

fantastic book by local genius (i.e. melbourne, australia). someone who knows how to sue punctuation for both sound & comic effect. includes greek australian dialogues; concrete poems; number poems .. it might seem a bit expensive at $AUS39.60 but its a fat book full of history, humour and language. theres never been a better time to buy australian poetry - our dollars worth virtually nothing!

Patrick Jones and Peter O'Mara's How To Do Words With Things (Tree-Elbow Publishing) is a post-god, post-genre sandwiching of manifesto and poetry featuring 'freedragging' film stills, conceptual maps, ads-as-vispo, math as emotion.

* * *

Michael Farrell has published 3 books: ode ode (Salt, 2002); BREAK ME OUCH - graphic poems (3 Deep, 2006); and a raiders guide (Giramondo, 2008). He is included in The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry, edited by John Kinsella (Penguin, 2008).

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Best Poetry Books 2008 - Kathleen Jesme

Kathleen Jesme's choices:

Zone : Zero, by Stephanie Strickland (Ahsahta Press). Wonderful both visually and soundwise, and includes a terrific CD of two of the long poems in the book in an electronic version. State-of-the-art!

Flight: New and Selected Poems, by Linda Bierds (Putnam). The quality of language and attention paid to it is amazing in Bierds' work. She writes a lot of historical and persona poems, and they are truly gorgeous, every one of them.

Red Rover, by Susan Stewart (University of Chicago Press). I don't think this is Stewart's best book, but it's really fine, and the sonnet sequence titled "In the Western World" is just stunning.

Night Scenes, by Lisa Jarnot (Flood Editions). What a great, funny, and sly little book! What sound! Jarnot is about the funniest poet around, but the humor shades something else.

* * *
Kathleen Jesme is the author of three books of poems: The Plum-Stone Game, Motherhouse, and Fire Eater.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

No Tell Books Holiday Sale

Get any 2 No Tell Books titles for $20 (shipping included within US, complimentary gift wrap on request).

Paypal only -- send payment to

Offer good until December 15.

Please indicate which titles and where you want the books shipped.

Thank you for supporting independent poetry publishing this holiday season!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Poetry Holiday Guide - Kim Gek Lin Short & Chris Collision

Kim Gek Lin Short & Chris Collision's suggestions:

Our holiday book recommendations are for the nonpoets on your list, as poetry is for all people. Here's just a few great books to consider:

For the classicist/lumberjack: Creation Myths, Mathias Svalina (New Michigan Press, 2007)

For the mystic/romantic/guy who can't afford the therapist he needs: The Real West Marginal Way, Richard Hugo (W.W. Norton & Company, 1992).

For the historian/entomologist who habitually befriends low things: archy and mehitabel, don marquis (Doubleday, 1927)

For the statistician/pragmatist/diviner: The Weather, Lisa Robertson (new star books, 2007)

For the existentialist/Home Depot enthusiast: One Way No Exit, G.C. Waldrep (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2008)

For the spoiled mind who needs a reason to quit/keep drinking: The Dream Songs, John Berryman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1982).

For the vegetarian/activist who also dabbles in voodoo: Ready-to-Eat Individual, Frank Sherlock & Brett Evans (Lavender Ink, 2008)

For the ghost/essentialist who wants to come back as a film: The Marvelous Bones of Time: Excavations and Explanations, Brenda Coultas (Coffee House Press, 2007)

For the mopey excitable youth who forgets that to go for a walk is to fall in love: Leaves of Grass: The Original 1855 Edition (Thrift Edition), Walt Whitman (Dover Publications, 2007).

For the stuffed or haunted or reminisced or sublime: The Exotic Moods of Les Baxter, Paul McCormick (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2008)

For the person you don't know but who is magically familiar: The Autobiography of Red, Anne Carson (Vintage Books, 1998)

* * *

Kim Gek Lin Short lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter. Her chapbook, The Residents, is forthcoming from dancing girl press. Other new work is forthcoming in journals such as Tarpaulin Sky, Drunken Boat, and SoMa.

Chris Collision just moved to Oakland, where he continues to specialize in beer, bikes, brunettes and coffee. He collaborates with KGLS at, with D. D. Tinzeroes at, among others, and makes up for that by cooperating as little as possible with everybody else all the time.

PF Potvin

blogs at If Poetry Journal

Delirious Hem Advent Calendar

is here.

This Week at No Tell

Jill Alexander Essbaum dreams of doors and ceilings this week at No Tell Motel

Monday, December 1, 2008

This Week at No Tell

Rebecca Loudon talks about the dead woman, the movie star as if she never lived, this week at No Tell Motel.