Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I sent over the final (?) manuscript of my book to Narrow House yesterday at the same time as I received the final (?) manuscript for a 200-page poetry collection PG is releasing in January. I'm really excited about both things, but now I'd like to talk about my book.

It's called Adam Robison and other poems. "Robison" is spelled wrong intentionally. Or, it's not spelled wrong at all -- Adam Robison (Roe-bih-sun) is sort of an alter-ego. However, not being big into dualism, I don't recognize a definitive split between myself and Robison. It's not as if I'm the responsible one and Robison is the one who breakdances on the sidewalk. My second self overlaps infinitely with my named self. There is a purposeful ambiguity to that sentence.

The book is in four sections. The first section (I) is an introductory essay that outlines my influences including Anne Carson, Blaise Cendrars, Kurt Vonnegut and more. You can read it here, at Otoliths. The second section (II) is a collection of biographical poems, though most of these "biographies" actually reflect mostly onto me. The third section (III) is more ostensibly about me, though the work there is less personal. The fourth section (IIII) is a single poem called "Super Introduction" and is all about why I think art is the highest modality for existence.

Here is a poem from (II), at Keyhole. It is intensely personal. I read it to my family at a campfire and it sparked a 2-hour conversation.

Michael Kimball caught on video a poem from (III) having a fight with Blake Butler and some flowers. This video also features Shane Jones and the voice of Molly Gaudry.

(IIII) begins with an epigraph that I translated from Stefan George's German poem, "Das Wort":

“So I surrendered and sadly learned
There can’t be a thing where there is no word”
There are four other epigraph's in the book, from Cormac McCarthy, Gertrude Stein, Luce Irigaray and Johannes Göransson.

I'm pretty excited about this book. I am not allowed to tell you about the cover yet, but it is amazing. I mean, it's really flabbergastingly good.

I think people who don't like poetry will like Adam Robison and other poems. I also think people who DO like poetry will like it, which is a bigger accomplishment. One thing that is important to me is that people who don't care about writing one way or the other should like writing at least sometimes -- and I think this will be one of those times. I'm not afraid to ask athletes or politicians to read this book. Dudes studying econ at USC will read this book and talk to their girlfriends about it at wineries.

DUDE: I don't know, it's just different somehow.

Please let me know if you have any questions.


Ken Baumann said...


I've been anticipating Adam Robison & Other Poems greatly. Very excited.

Adam R said...

Yay -- oh actually, I think you're the only person who won't like it.

No, jk.

Justin Sirois said...

Yeah, Ken's going to hate it.

Ken Baumann said...

Oh, I already hate it!


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