Posts Tagged ‘Mathew Timmons’

Molossus is proud to present an exclusive new poem by Mathew Timmons, to accompany his most recent book, The New Poetics (Les Figues Press, $15). Read our most recent conversation with Timmons here, and our older conversation here.

The New Craft

Hello, I’m the author: Robert David Steele. I write books about Robert David Steele by Robert David Steele on The New Craft of Intelligence: Personal, Public and Political.

I’m here to present a paper where the author, Robert M. Steele, examines books by Robert David Steele as well as two paradigm shifts—one in relation to the threat and a second in relation to intelligence methods for The New Craft and The Future of Voices, at the International Conference, University of Dundee, Scotland, 04-06 July 2007.

I’m here to talk about Intelligence and The New Craft. I am a recovering spy. I’m here to talk about Robert David Steele’s forthcoming book, The New Craft of Intelligence: Personal, Public & Political (The Citizen’s Action Handbook for Fighting Terrorism, Genocide and Disease). Ethics are The New Craft and I’m a recovering spy. Although I was good at it, I was stunned to learn, while creating the Marines, that intelligence and The New Craft is not the operational manifestation of the typical American. The New Craft of intelligence does not burn up its analysts with routine. Its focus would be on teaching policy-makers, acquisition managers, operators, and logisticians the intelligence of The New Craft, and in passing help revive traditional crafts & games with supplies & kits from the Eastern Woodlands and encourage custom Native American style dance regalia, with costumes of porcupine quill & beadwork.

Right out of school and grown over time, The New Craft of intelligence emphasizes hiring analysts with a clean-sheet start on the technical side of The New Craft. The New Craft emphasizes Engineering Skills and the Impact of Innovative Technology on Engineering Practice. Alvin currently lingers for about 5 hours at 2500 meters, for instance. The New Craft will be able to last up to 7 hours at that depth. With The New Craft of intelligence well in hand will come The New Strategy that understands the continuum of personnel skills needed for true homeland defense. Alvin currently lingers for about 5 hours at 2500 meters. The New Craft will last up to 7 hours and The New Buoyancy System will allow his sub to hover in midwater.

Technology Is The New Craft. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but this glass-and-steel house was. Technology may be The New Craft, but it’s not the only one. Ethics are The New Craft.

Boing Boing! Cory Doctorow has written a fantastic editorial for Edinburgh University’s law department on how the tech companies influence The New Craft of Intelligence: Personal, Public, & Political. This monograph is the third in the Strategic Studies Institute’s series. Through The New Craft and the Future Voices’ conference, the PPFCP research seeks to: Identify emergent forms of craft practice. Cory Doctorow wrote a nice editorial in The University of Edinburgh’s SCRIPT-ed online journal. This excerpt will give you a vision of The New Craft from the Future Voices International Conference, including a research exhibition designed to encourage debate surrounding the future of craft.

In The New Craft of Intelligence: Susan Beal, author of The New Night of The New Craft, a freelance writer and jewelry designer in Los Angeles, goes out to Craft Night as often as she can. While The New Craft shared the same, beautiful show facility, she felt it did not attain the instant success that the RV Show had enjoyed back in 1984. Personally, I think the RV Show embodies the direction that The New Craft show should take, at least in our area. Fortunately for us, we happen to have one of the most unique bears from the amazon here at home, an amazonian bear.

Ethics are The New Craft.

The New Craft of Intelligence: Personal, Public & Political. The Citizen’s Action Handbook for Fighting Terrorism, Genocide, Disease and Toxic Bombs. Achieving asymmetric advantage in the face of nontraditional threats (studies in asymmetry).

Ethics are The New Craft.

The truth helps, but only when you listen. With over thirty years of history as its foundation, The New Craft of film production is a research work that deals with the phenomenon of the use of desktop computer technology in film production. The New Craft of Australia, with the support of the tech sector, is poised to write The New Tradition of The New Craft of Intelligence: How “The State” Should Lead. A Nation’s best defense is an educated citizenry.



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Mathew Timmons’ latest book, The New Poetics ($15), published by Les Figues Press as part of their TrenchArt Maneuvers Series, topped the Small Press Distribution bestseller list for poetry in December. As an admirer both of Les Figues’ TrenchArt Series and Timmons’ work, I was excited to read The New Poetics, and because of its unique nature decided an interview might best showcase the work. Following the publication of our below conversation, Molossus will print an exclusive addition to Timmon’s New Poetics, titled “The New Craft.”


What is The New Poetics? How did the project come about, and how does it fit into Les Figues current series?

I began writing The New Poetics in the summer of 2006. At the time it seemed like I was often talking about the new narrative and the new sentence with various writing friends, Harold Abramowitz being one person in particular. It was a very warm summer in L.A., which tends to push me towards insomnia, and that summer I was in the bad habit of driving around downtown Los Angeles in the middle of the night, between say 3 and 5 AM, roughly. I wasn’t sleeping all that much and would come home from driving around and work on various projects in the early hours of the morning. At some point I thought I’d google “The New Narrative” and see what the internet could tell me about the subject. I liked the odd repetition and rephrasing of what came up, so I took the first three pages of google results, put them in a Word document and started moving things around until I liked what I saw on the page. I did the same thing with “The New Sentence” and afterwards I felt like I had actually learned something about both The New Sentence and The New Narrative that normal research wouldn’t offer. Then I started keeping a list of News, things that would come up in conversation or I would overhear, The New Something-or-Other phrases in people’s work. For example, “The New Debility” is dedicated to Will Alexander, because in his play Conduction in the Catacombs—which I worked on for Betalevel here in Los Angeles, ATA in San Francisco, and 21 Grand in Oakland a few years ago—one of the characters uses the phrase “The New Debility.” In the case of “The New Motherfuckers,” I was at Amoeba Music in Hollywood and on one of the end-caps there was a CD by the band The New Motherfuckers. I listened to it and really liked it, so I wrote “The New Motherfuckers” for them, and most of the material is actually about them, which means they had great google presence back in 2006 when I was working on the book.

I sense a sort of poking fun at schools and movements in The New Poetics. Can you comment on that?

It’s true, I’m not so much into writing schools and movements, or I have a healthy skepticism for them. Kurt Schwitters, one of my favorite artists and writers, created his own movement, Merz, after he wasn’t accepted by the Berlin Dadaists. Schwitters was closer to the Zurich Dadaists and dabbled a little with the surrealists. He wasn’t easy to pin down. I myself don’t like to be easy to pin down, and I don’t need to follow the marching orders of the movement at whatever moment some movement wants to get on the move. I also find that movements and schools should be left to the 20th century avant-garde. Movements and schools require a solid identification and tend towards an Us vs. Them mentality. I’d prefer to recognize mutual affinities between artists and writers around me. I’d prefer not to be limited by what may or may not fit into a perceived or constructed regimen of any school or movement. Yet I love manifestos, the typical founding documents of any movement. I love the didactic voice of a manifesto, always ridiculously self-assured. In my aesthetic statement for Les Figues TrenchArt: Maneuvers Series, which I very appropriately titled, “The Old Poetics,” I bloviated on and on for about 5,000 words about the old poetics. It read like a manifesto for the old poetics, while I am of course, obviously all about the new.

What’s happened with the PARROT series and Insert Press since we last talked?

PARROT 4, 5 & 6 came out: But on Geometric by Joseph Mosconi, Loquela by Allyssa Wolf and Viva Miscegenation by Brian Kim Stefans. We sold out of the first three issues during that time and we ran into a bit of a printing snag that caused a few months delay. I’m happy to say that the printing snag has been dealt with and PARROT 7 On the Substance of Disorder by Will Alexander will be out for the new year and we should get back to getting them out in quick succession again after that. In the meantime we published a booklet in collaboration with MATERIAL about artists’ communities, The Futility of Making Salad. The publication includes texts from Harold Abramowitz, Stan Apps,
 Marcus Civin,
 Ginny Cook,
 Dorit Cypis,
 Robin Dicker, Bradney Evans, Nicholas Grider, Dan Hockenson, 
Peter Kirby,
 Elana Mann, Melanie Nakaue, Julie Orser,
 Adam Overton, 
Putting On, 
Declan Rooney,
 Kim Schoen,
 Charlotte Smith, 
Jesper List Thompsen, Mathew Timmons, and
 Jason Underhill.

Looking ahead to 2011 we’ll be continuing with the PARROT series and working on two books, Bruna Mori’s Poetry for Corporations and The Ups & Downs exhibitions catalog as well as issuing the last two volumes of Vanessa Place’s trilogy, Tragodía through our print-on-demand wing, Blanc Press.

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I was fortunate to meet Mathew Timmons at the Silver Lake Jubilee, where he presented me with a review copy of PARROT 2, by Harold Abramowitz. PARROT is a 23-pamphlet series that pays homage to Black Sparrow Books’ SPARROW series while challenging our expectations of literature. The pamphlets cost $6 each, and a subscription is available for $81. A signed and bound limited edition can be pre-ordered from Insert Press for $100.

Abramowitz’ book, A House on a Hill (A House on a Hill, Part 1), is beautiful, melodic, and hauntingly repetitive. During the course of our conversation PARROT 3, All Bodies Are The Same and They Have The Same Reactions, by Allison Carter, was released.


I love the way the series plays off Black Sparrow Press’ monthly single-author magazine SPARROW. The design cues are obvious, but do speak some about them.

I originally thought of this series as a joke with Stan Apps who used to co-edit Insert Press with me. I had a couple issues of SPARROW around and in our irreverent way we were joking about the D. H. Lawrence quote that seemed to be on each and every issue: “LIVING, I WANT TO DEPART TO WHERE I AM”–D. H. LAWRENCE and the line in the blurb about SPARROW on the front cover at the bottom claiming that “The poet is prophet.” The D. H. Lawrence quote just seemed perfectly ridiculous and abstract or as Stan would say, “deep,” and the two of us being writers and sometime poets ourselves, we worried about a world of poet prophets. Also, it really seemed like that bird featured on the front of SPARROW was not a sparrow at all… So, it was an inside joke that took a few years of kicking around before the idea came to fruition.

After Stan moved away from Los Angeles I took over the press and through a very good friend of mine, Janne Larsen, met a brilliant printmaker who was game to work on some projects like this. And I truly mean that Maggie White is a brilliant printmaker. Her recent work with artists Emily Joyce and Melissa Thorne is jawdropping to say the least.  The design of PARROT is Maggie White’s redrawing of SPARROW—and really the whole series an effort at re-inscribing the spirit of the SPARROW series here in Southern California. Maggie White was able to contact a printer that used to work with Black Sparrow to get suggestions on the types of paper we should use, and obviously we were somewhat obsessive about various details. For instance, you’ll notice that S – PARRO – W/T shares some letters, and so we always leave room in the masthead for the S in SPARROW on each issue. You may also notice that the quote which appears on each issue of PARROT: “VOMIT A NEW RADIOTELEGRAPH, NITWIT!” attributed to A WELCH NERD, is a perfect anagram of the original quote. And how fitting that A Welch Nerd happens to be a perfect anagram of D. H. Lawrence—it makes you wonder whether or not he realized the coincidence himself. The explanatory text on the front cover of each issue of PARROT was written by editing down a number of “shannonized” (or computer manipulated) versions of the original SPARROW explanatory text. And then there’s the toucan we feature on each issue of PARROT which of course refers to the stylized image of the bird featured on each issue of SPARROW, which looked decidedly more like a mockingbird than a sparrow. In addition, on the back of each issue there are a number of toucans that correspond to the issue number of PARROT. We started printing these on St. Patrick’s Day this year and have gone from PARROT 1 through PARROT 4 each time adding an additional toucan to the back cover. This is the most fun part of the design process and it should only get more and more wacky as we move through all 23 issues over the summer.

PARROT is beautifully produced, tell me about the process.

The design of PARROT is outlined above. The covers are screenprinted by Maggie White, the brilliant printmaker. We mix the inks on site based on a general idea of the colors we want, basically the model for the two tone covers is taken from those retro two tone suede sneakers that became popular when the nineties was reaching back into the seventies for recyclable cultural material. I layout the interiors and print them on a laserjet printer then collate the covers with the interior pages, staple them, fold them and take them to the guillotine and cut them down to size. The author then sits down and signs and numbers 1-50 copies of the 125 print run which are set aside for the bound limited edition copy we will put out at the end of the run.

From there it’s a digital and social networking process of scanning the covers and posting the information and imagery for each issue to Facebook and Twitter and to my blog, General Projects, and of course to the Insert Press site.

Beyond that there is the process of sending out subscription copies and copies for review. I try to work closely with the author to come up with a list of 20-25 people whom we should send a copy of PARROT and who might mention the project on their Twitter feed, or their Facebook, or their blog or website. And then as with any endeavor, the follow through work of trying to get reviews written and printed and setting up readings and working with venues, etc.

The actual production of the books is time consuming, but it’s the PR work that takes up the most time and is actually some of the most important work of the process. If you have a small press and don’t plan on really working to get your titles out there and to promote your authors, why produce the book in the first place?

Tell me more about content. BSP did a lot for the Southern California’s avant-garde community, the writers John Martin called “the outsiders,” and whose lineage he traced from Whitman. Do you hope PARROT will invest in the next generation of outsiders? Is that who you’re focused on publishing?

I have always been committed to printing the work of authors who write amazing work just before everyone else has ever heard of them. In a way that’s the case with this series and in a way it’s not. Allow me to explain. In 2005 I was in a group show, Many Happy Returns, in Chinatown, Los Angeles, curated by Michael Smoler at High Energy Constructs; it was a show that investigated the intersections of poetry/literature/language and the visual/media arts. I presented the work of a fictional author, Robert Darry, alongside various objects and some media work of his, including a chapbook. Blanc Press was the press I invented as the publisher of the chapbook and to make Blanc Press seem real I asked various writers around Los Angeles to give me a title of a work that could have been previously published by this fake press which, of course, I was never intending to actually publish. I received a number of over the top, completely ridiculous titles and many people when they saw the list of authors and titles became highly interested in this press they had never heard of that had published all these crazy titles by some of their favorite authors.

And then a few years went by and the idea of PARROT came along and it seemed only fitting that I should ask all of those Blanc Press authors to actually sit down and author a work to go along with the title they had originally given me and then I asked a few other new participants in the project to come up with a title for me which they would then sit down to write, people I had met since the original idea in 2005. The result is that most of the writers in the series as it exists in 2010 are now fairly well known and have published widely and been very active. As a nod to the original idea the explanatory note on the Insert Press website and on the colophon in back reads: “The PARROT series was originally issued by Blanc Press (Los Angeles) from 2005-2010. Insert Press is reissuing facsimile editions of each title from the PARROT series… ”  That’s simply not true: Blanc Press never published any of the titles and Insert Press can’t really reissue facsimile editions of something that never existed, and that’s all a part of the fun.

As far as the list of PARROT authors, all are writers who have spent significant time as writers in Los Angeles, most all of them currently live in Los Angeles, and many have lived here for quite a while. In general, the works published by Insert Press have some connection to Los Angeles. This is important to me because I feel that Los Angeles has had a long history of avant-garde or “left of mainstream” writers that are consistently overlooked by communities and presses in the Bay Area and New York City (for example) and it seems to me there are few presses currently in Los Angeles publishing work—work that I find interesting anyway—by Los Angeles authors, besides possibly Les Figues Press, Make Now Press, and Palm Press.

PARROT will print Harold Abramowitz’s A House on a Hill (A House on a Hill, Part One), Amanda Ackerman’s I Fell in Love with a Monster Truck, Will Alexander’s On the Substance of Disorder, Stan Apps’ Politicized Pretty Picture, Amina Cain’s Tramps Everywhere, Teresa Carmody’s I Can Feel, Allison Carter’s All Bodies Are The Same and They Have The Same Reactions, Michelle Detorie’s Fur Birds, Kate Durbin’s Kept Women, K. Lorraine Graham’s My Little Neoliberal Pony, Jen Hofer’s The Missing Link, Maximus Kim’s Break Bloom Burn, Janice Lee’srFried Chicken Dinner, Bruna Mori and George Porcari’s May I take Your Order?, Joseph Mosconi’s But On Geometric, Vanessa Place’s Forcible Oral Copulation, Amaranth Ravva’s Airline Music, Stephanie Rioux’s My Beautiful Beds, Ara Shirinyan’s Erotic in Czech Republic, Michael Smoler’s Pieces of Water, Brian Kim Stefans’ Viva Miscegenation, Mathew Timmons’ Complex Textual Legitimacy Proclamation, and Allyssa Wolf’s Loquela. A list of these authors books, chapbooks, journal publications, essays, plays, exhibitions, and media projects would astound you in terms of how long the list is as well as in terms of the venues these writers are publishing and performing in.

I myself don’t so much believe in carrying over notions of the avant-garde from the 20th to 21st century, whether that be the “kill your fathers,” the death of xyz, the deliberate obscurity assumed, or in the kind of “nothing else came before now and nothing else will come after” spirit that reigned over the 20th century avant-garde. To call any of these writers “outsiders” cheapens the term for the real “outsiders.” These are writers that are highly visible to poetry communities around the country and around the world. Everyone publishing here is well known far beyond the boundaries of Los Angeles and probably isn’t known so much for being from Los Angeles as for just being a good writer andor artist. It think that the avant-garde has been turned inside out and while there is still a place for all the reworkings of the 20th century avant-garde in today’s literary communities possibly one of the best innovations of the avant-garde today has been to pick up the language of the mainstream wholesale and drop the posture of obscurity and alienation, at least to some degree.

In other words, what may be considered outsider work has adopted the framing language of insider work after having noticed that so much about a book or a piece of writing was being determined by the language around that work, the language that framed the work for the reader. So, there was no reason to frame something as necessarily difficult writing or something that could only be understood by an elite. When you present work as something imminently understandable and ultimately enjoyable, then people expect to understand and enjoy it and it’s surprising how often our expectations are similar to self-fulfilling prophecies.

I truly appreciate the work of Black Sparrow Books and the outsider spirit of John Martin. His quote, “There have always been two streams in American literature. First, the ‘insiders,’ the ones who conform to accepted standards. Some of these insiders are very good writers… but their work is of interest only up to a point, [because] they completely satisfy readers’ expectations of what literature should be. On the other hand, there has also been this second, parallel stream of ‘outsiders’—mavericks, beginning with Walt Whitman.” Today, literature is a relatively open field as most people have very little idea of what to expect of literature. The outsiders can use the insider rhetoric to setup the standards and define the expectations of what literature should be and then fulfill those standards, those expectations.

I’m focused then, on writers who, to some degree, shift the definition of literature and revise the standards by which we will hold them accountable.

June 2010

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