a disguised southern city
squatting in the eastern pass of
colleges cathedrals & cowboys.
philadelphia, a phalanx of parsons
erasing the delirium of death from their shields
while houses burn out of control.
c’mon girl hurry on down to osage st
they’re roasting in the fire
smell the dreadlocks and blk/skins
roasting in the fire.
c’mon newsmen and tvmen
hurryondown to osage st and
when you have chloroformed the city
and after you have stitched up your words
hurry on downtown for sanctuary
in taverns and corporations
and the blood is not yet dry.
how does one scream in thunder?
they are combing the morning for shadows
and screams tongue-tied without faces
look, over there, one eye
escaping from its skin
and our heartbeats slowdown to a drawl
and the kingfisher calls out from his downtown capital
and the pinstriped general reenlists
his tongue for combat
and the police come like twin seasons of drought and flood.
they’re combing the city for life liberty and
the pursuit of happiness.
how does one city scream in thunder?
hide us O lord
deliver us from our nakedness.
exile us from our laughter
give us this day our rest from seduction
peeling us down to our veins.
and the tower was like no other. amen.
and the streets escaped under the
cover of darkness amen.
and the voices called out from
their wounds amen.
and the fire circumcised the city amen.
who anointeth the city with napalm? (i say)
who giveth this city in holy infanticide?
beyond the mornings and afternoons
and deaths detonating the city.
beyond the tourist roadhouses
trading in lobotomies
there is a glimpse of earth
this prodigal earth.
beyond edicts and commandments
commissioned by puritans
there are people navigating the breath of hurricanes.
beyond concerts and football
and mummers strutting their
there is this earth. this country. this city.
collecting skeletons from waiting rooms
lying in wait. for honor and peace.
In the early, morning of 3/21/15, the building behind the warehouse occupied by AK PRESS & neighbors caught fire and two people in that building died. Several units in AK’s building burned but everyone got out safely. AK PRESS and their neighbors at 1984 Printing suffered extensive water and smoke damage.
From the brave, tireless, lovely collective-mates at AK PRESS:
A lot of people have been asking what is the best way to help us recover from our warehouse fire. We still aren’t sure the exact amount of stock that is ruined, or how long our business will be disrupted while we work hard to get back on our feet. But we do know that we’ve lost a lot, and even in the best of times, we always need your support.
But we’re not the only ones in trouble. 1984 Printing and several individual tenants are trying to raise funds as well. We’ve created a web page with links to various people you might want to help out, including us.
Please spread the news, and thanks for all the kind words and support so far. We love you guys. xo.
AK PRESS is a small, worker-run collective that publishes & distributes radical books, visual & audio media, & other mind-altering material. They’re anarchists, which is reflected both in the books they provide & in the way they organize their business. AK’s goal isn’t profit, but supplying radical words & images to as many people as possible. The books & other media they distribute are published by independent presses, not corporate giants. AK makes them widely available to help you make positive, revolutionary changes in your world– & as you know, the material AK carries is less & less available from the corporate publishers & their chain stores.
Support AK Press
Help them continue their important work and the invaluable service they provide.
The lovely folks at The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage asked me about artistic practice & motivation.
You can see/hear, here:
Questions of Practice: Jenn McCreary on Finding Form from Pew Center for Arts & Heritage on Vimeo.
I am tremendously proud to announce the publication of worrywort, a collaboration with fellow Philadelphia poet Pattie McCarthy, now available for purchase, here.
Written over correspondence via text message & email while on (separate) vacations with our respective families during summer 2013, & revised/tidied up upon our return, worrywort should be read while listening to this.
PATTIE MCCARTHY is the author of six books: nulls (forthcoming, Horse Less Press), Quiet Book (forth-coming, Apogee Press), Marybones,Table Alphabetical of Hard Words, Verso, & bk of (h)rs. She is also the author of L&O, a chapbook published by LRL in 2011. A 2011 Pew Fellow in the Arts, she teaches at Temple University.
JENN MCCREARY’s latest full-length collection, & now my feet are maps (December, 2013), is now available from Dusie Press. Other works include The Dark Mouth of Living (Horse Less Press) ab ovo (Dusie Press), a doctrine of signatures (Singing Horse Press), & Odyssey & Oracle (Least Weasel Press). A Pew Fellow in the Arts, she lives in Philadelphia, where she edits ixnay press, & was recently named a 2013 Pew Fellow in the Arts for poetry.
A project of little red leaves, the textile series takes the hand out of “hand-sewn chapbooks.” It’s real work in the age of mechanical reproduction. It’s the little sewing machine that could. It’s ironed and folded and sewn and pulled and the threads stick out.
This spring, Steve Dickison & The Poetry Center at San Francisco State University invited my fellow Pew Fellow-poets to visit & read & talk about poetry. Just prior, Pew filmed us reading samples of our work:
Kelly Writers House invited eight poets, scholars, & fans of CID CORMAN (Al Filreis, Laynie Browne, Thomas Devaney, Gregory Dunne, Pattie McCarthy, Joshua Moses, Frank Sherlock, & me) to read & comment upon selected Corman poems, one poem per person.
You can watch here:
Frank Sherlock & Jenn McCreary
This Thursday, July 17th, 7pm:
Frank Sherlock & I will read at Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop & celebrate his latest collection, Space Between These Lines Not Dedicated (ixnay press, 2014).
You should come.