New Factory Hollow Press Releases

13 May

In March of this year, Factory Hollow Press, which is the publishing imprint of Flying Object, released Rachel B. Glaser’s Moods and Seth Landman’s Sign You Were Mistaken. Both books are the debut collections for each poet (although Publishing Genius released the short story collection Pee on Water by Glaser a few years ago).

Glaser’s Moods thrives on humor and pop culture references that remind one of the early writing by New York School poets, such as Kenneth Koch and John Ashbery. Take, for instance, the following excerpt from the poem “Thanksgiving didn’t happen”:

we can say Jesus existed
he was he good looking, charismatic
and once did a magic trick

if we still hate the cat tomorrow
let’s tie him to the tracks

when we all smoked catnip together, I lied
I did feel different

something else I didn’t tell you was
when I was in the WNBA
I had a very poor shooting streak and couldn’t admit it
I’d miss a three-point attempt
and pretend it was an ally-oop
“Where were you Swoops?! The ball was there,” I’d say,
“But where the hell were you?” (14)

A bit later in the same poem, after a digression concerning Julia Roberts and a series of humorous observations about but seemingly inane subject matter, Glaser invokes the poem’s title and completes its fragmented syntax:

                    Thanksgiving didn’t happen how they said
all it was, was two Indian boys
who shared some deer meat with two Pilgrim girls
and (big surprise)
their families freaked out
the girls got sent to boarding school
the boys were sent into the woods to “think” (15)

The references and humor, which spares no one, continues throughout the remainder of the collection at a furious pace, making for a quick and enjoyable read.

Landman’s Sign You Were Mistaken works as a counterpoint to Moods, at least to the extent that is a more meditative collection that forces a reader to slow down as they maneuver through the oftentimes irregular (or at least circuitous) syntax. For example, the poem “Story” begins with the following lines:

A very small train in silhouette is
a terrible way to travel is
to go back. (30)

Not only does this brief excerpt ruminate upon the nature of travel, but it does so in a manner that collapses two syntactic units into one another. In other words, the lines concatenate the sentences “A very small train in silhouette is a terrible way to travel” and “A terrible way to travel is to go back,” linking the two through their common phrase.

In other instances, such as in the “Hunt,” the poems produce a sinuous syntax through a series of qualifying phrases offset by excessive comma use:

with this gaze I fix no word
in orbit is given, is gone,
like shape, melting into
twilight. (41)

The poem “Merry Christmas” follows a similar pattern:

                    Say you took it,
a lantern, twinkling once, more,
so long in the night
of spite and thunder.
But there was now, alive
for good, no sign of
spring, and yet there was
a pleasant chance
to think, and I sprang to do it. (48)

These syntactical techniques require readers to examine the relationships between words more closely, thus forcing us to consider more thoroughly the meditations within each poem.

While you wait for your copies of Factory Hollow Press’s new books to arrive in the mail, check out Glaser’s portrait paintings of NBA players and Landman’s musing on Fantasy Basketball.

About these ads

One Response to “New Factory Hollow Press Releases”

  1. Michele D'Acosta May 13, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    Fabulous post. Thank you. I like how you’ve interwoven the poems with your critique. That skill takes a certain refinement — and you have that.

Leave a Reply