Charles Bernstein

Erica Hunt: Jump the Clock

The Poetry Project of St. Mark’s Church, in New York, celebrated Erica Hunt’s new selected poems, Jump the Clock, on May 19, 2021 — the first live event at the Project since the onset of the pandemic. 

'Doubletalking the Homophonic Sublime: Comedy, Appropriation, and the Sounds of One Hand Clapping'

New from Station Hill Press: Doubletalking the Homophonic Sublime: Comedy, Appropriation, and the Sounds of One Hand Clapping. 80pp.

You can order the book from SPD or Bridge Street Books at (and also from other online book sellers)

David Grundy: 'mistish liftings'

N. H. Pritchard manuscript notes

East Village Other, from Pritchard, “The Vein,” 1968

Thanks to David Grundy for this Pritchard update:

After years of neglect, 2021 was an auspicious year for the work of N. H(Norman) Pritchard II,  with the long-awaited reprinting of his two published volumes, The Matrix: Poems 1960–1970 and EECCHHOOEES by Ugly Duckling Presse/Primary Information and DABA Press respectively. In July, Jacket2 published a 1978 interview with Pritchard conducted by Judd Tully, providing an acute insight into Pritchard’s philosophy, and a far more detailed biographical picture than has been previously available. Nonetheless, there are still many gaps to fill in. In particular, Pritchard’s extensive writings and visual artworks remain unpublished. The following note provides a brief outline of these writings based on available evidence in the hope of contributing to our ongoing sense of Pritchard’s legacy. A forthcoming article will expand on some of this in more detail.

The Dada Andrews Sisters — 'Six Jerks in a Jeep'

The Andrews Sisters perform Sid Robin’s zany novelty song, let’s call it zoot-suit Dada for the “bleeps” enlisting in the US Army to fight the Nazis. Not quite Spike Jones’s “Der Fuehrer’s Face,” but even so, Robin pays tribute to the the unheroic “schlemiels” that’re gonna win the war. The jeep weeps for the jerks/wacks/quacks/creeps who are on their way to fight and die. “Six Jerks in a Jeep” combines slang and scat with rhyming abandon. It’s Nude Formalism as comic propaganda. 

At the risk of tarpooing the jouissance, the self-deprecation here is transvaluation. You have to be a jerk to go to war, knowing it’s not only hell but futile; knowing it’s the schmoes who end up on the front line while the privileged stay safe far from the action And yet, three cheers for them (them is us). 

The song was included in the 1942 WWII Army recruitment film, Private Buckaroo. Robin, a private, originally wrote it for a GI review. It didn’t make it onto an Andrews Sister Decca album and so remains one of their lesser known songs. But it’s pure lyric gold.

The transcription is mine: {stanzas bracketed} are in full recording [also YouTube] but not in movie clip. If you have any corrections, let me know. 

Six Jerks In A Jeep

N. H. Pritchard: 1978 interview

Norman Pritchard, September 6, 1978 in his Brooklyn library/study. Photo © George Malave, may not be reproduced without permission.

Judd Tully interviewed N. H. (Norman) Pritchard on Sept. 11, 1978. The ninety-minute conversation is informative and engrossing, offering more information about Pritchard than has been previously available. Pritchard was a poet in the CETA / Cultural Council Foundation Artists Project in New York and Tully, a CETA writer, interviewed him as part of the program. PennSound is happy to make this recording, made as part of the Artists Project, available, thanks to Tully and to Molly Garfinkel of CityLore. Records of Pritchard's CETA assigments are here. For upated information on Pritchard's manuscripts, see David Grundy's report.