Thursday, July 22, 2010

Barnes & Noble Toys, A Tribute to Tuli, and Steve Stern

Barnes & Noble, once the target of enmity from independent booksellers when it was achieving a strong market position in the bookselling arena at their expense, is now suffering and arousing the sympathies of many of the same audience which had previously turned up its collective nose at them.
This is because,perhaps, the unsuccessful venture with the B&N e-book, the Nook, and the competition for bestsellers from the Wal-Marts and Costcos of the world, which are underselling everyon,including B&N.
Now B&N,in an attempt to improve its margins, has started substituting toys for book space in and about he childrens' section of the store.
This is a truly sad day for book lovers.

Steve Stern, who writes in what Harold Bloom calls the "Yiddish sublime" and has been called the heir to Isaac Singer, has two new books out- Frozen Rabbi,just published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, and The North of God, a fable on the train to an extermination camp.

Suffice it to say that, for someone who spends a great deal of his time reading Joyce,Borges and Calvino and experimental fiction, (but who also appreciates fine traditional writing and finely etched characters,plot development et al), Stern's books are a revelation.
There is in "Frozen Rabbi" a love scene taking place in an immigrant's New York at the beginning of the 20th century between two Jewish immigrants (not sure in one case of the sexuality of one of the characters)that almost seemed to partake of the divine, it was so powerfully and brilliantly rendered.Stern has a mystical joie de vivre that permeates and radiates through his writing like no other English language writer I know.More on these two books later.

Tuli Kupferberg, of the Fugs, the great 60's poets' rock band,died last week. Ed Sanders, the other lead poet who occupied a place in the 60's as owner of the Peace Eye Bookshop in the East Village as well as a chronicler of the Beats and Hippies and continues to write and publish his glorious poetry,eulogized Tuli at a memorial service at St Mark's Church in th East Village on Saturday July 17. One song Sanders and the group sang was "Nothing",Tuli's Buddhist chant.
Here is my Nothing 2, which brings the piece up to date-dedicated to Tuli.

Nothing 2-
C 2010 by E.M.Kabak

TV news nothing
Docudramas nothing
Sitcoms/reality nothing
Rachel Maddow leaves nothing but a shadow
Nothing nothing nothing

Fox News nothing, NPR nothing
CNN and NBC nothing
Beck and Scar- borough
Are just a large Zero
Nothing nothing nothing

Conservatives nothing, liberals nothing
Teaparties and radicals nothing
Right left or any wing
Or Ism is a big NO-thing
Nothing nothing nothing

Faith based nothing, atheists nothing
Praying is saying nothing
The world’s great religions
Are naught but a smidgeon
Of nothing nothing nothing

Money nothing, honey nothing
Iron chefs are all bereft nothing
Prix fixe deals and meals on wheels
All food is rude and nothing

Hollywood nothing,Broadway nothing
Telluride’s a void inside nothing
Festivals at Cannes are one big NON-
Event nothing nothing nothing

Civil law nothing, crimes galore nothing
All courts and judges now nothing
Everyone’s a lifer
Running up a cipher
Nothing nothing nothing

Stocks and bonds nothing, credit swaps nothing
All bank accounts margin amounts nothing
Private equity bought
Adds up up to one big nought
Nothing nothing nothing

Knives and guns nothing
Automatics nothing
IED PTSD nothing
Bombs and shock and awe
Dropped by the drones of war
Why bother they’re nada, just nothing

Mercury Venus Earth and Mars Jupiter Saturn(are they cars)
Alternate worlds are nothing
All of the universe
Is just a multiverse
Of Nothing nothing nothing

No comments:

Post a Comment