Commentaries - March 2012

Yellow Pages Ads

Jeff Preiss & Charles Bernstein

Filmed in Hollywood, November 14, 1998
conceived and directed by Jeff Preiss
PennSound has now made these video recordings avaiable in full screen version.
Yellow Pages ads PennSound page
radio ads

The Critic (0:31):
A discussion of the literary significance of Jon Lovitz's great contemporary epic, The Yellow Pages.

1960 materials at UbuWeb

I didn’t need any reminding of the deep richness and capaciousness of UbuWeb, Kenneth Goldsmith's archive of texts, sound art, films, audio recordings, and concrete poetry, most of which is unavailable elsewhere. Yet this depth amazed me yet again, when (with thanks to Kristen Martin) we located all of the materials in UbuWeb dated 1960. The list and links are below. Today, too, Goldsmith features this selection on UbuWeb itself.

Ern Malley feature

From Jacket #17 (2002)

Edited by John Tranter, introduced by David Lehman.

1. Ethel MalleyLetter to Max Harris, 28 October 1943
2. David Lehman — The Ern Malley Hoax — Introduction
3. Max Harris
Introduction [his original Introduction to the Ern Malley poems in Angry Penguins magazine, Autumn 1944]
4. Ern Malley
The Complete Poems
5. Ern Malley’s recently discovered Last Will and Testament
6. Max Harris
Two pieces [immediately following the Ern Malley poems in Angry Penguins magazine, Autumn 1944]
7. David Lehman
A Note on Harold Stewart [written after a visit with ‘Uncle Harold’ Stewart in Kyoto in 1990]
8. John ThompsonThe Ern Malley Story: audio — the 1-hour radio documentary in RealAudio, with the voices of all those involved in the hoax, made by the Australian Broadcasting Commission in 1959. [You can download the free basic model of the RealAudio plug-in for your browser here:]
9. John Thompson
The Ern Malley Story: transcript — the full transcript of the radio documentary above; first published as an Appendix to Clement Semmler, For the Uncanny Man — Essays, Mainly Literary, 1963.

'What if all I can see is a mountain?'

Poetic meditations on place in Hawai`i

No`u Revilla, Aiko Yamashiro, Jaimie Gusman, Lyz Soto


     an architecture of choice.


     clutched to bone.

     — Aiko Yamashiro


This past Thursday, March 1, 2012, I attended two poetry events in Honolulu. The first was an English department colloquium presented by four University of Hawai`i at Mānoa graduate students, Lyz Soto, No`u Revilla, Aiko Yamashiro, and Jaimie Gusman, entitled “Place, Space, and Performance in Poetry.” The second was “A Conversation with W.S. Merwin” at Kennedy Theater on the UHM campus. As luck would have it, Merwin also wanted to talk about place. After receiving an honorary doctorate and the gift of a poi pounder, he noted that the honor was especially meaningful to him because it came from the place he'd “adopted as [his] homeland.” Throughout both presentations, the conflict between home as a chosen place and home as a place “clutched to bone” resonated; it resonated very close to that bone.


Jaimie Gusman opened the afternoon colloquium by reading part of an essay on “white space” in poetry. She began a meditation with the word “open,” which is one meaning of white space.  But another meaning of “white space” came quickly after in Aiko Yamashiro's singing of the hapa haole song “Haole Hula,” which you can listen to here.