We’re Back! Episode 18: “When Nothing in the Form of Everything Is at Stake”

May 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

Papers for the Border #18: When Nothing in the Form of Everything Is at Stake

(Click here to listen to the podcast.) Please note that all credits appear after the playlist below.

This is the second PftB poetry episode (see #13 for the first). Alhough PftB usually incorporates poetry to some extent in almost every episode, this one is comprised exclusively of poetry — which isn’t to say there isn’t plenty of music. The poetry here ranges from stark spoken-word performances by the original poets to some pretty outlandish sung interpretations of poems set to music.

There were no Papers for the Borders episodes in 2013 and there’s no good reason for that. There’s no bad reason, either. I was inspired by all the poetry action going on during this past month (April) and decided it would be a good time for PftB to get back on course. But then I thought I should wait until the end of the month so that the podcast didn’t get swallowed up amid all the other fine work being done. My plan was for it to hit on April 30, but we all know how that goes.

I’m only going to put the song titles in the actual playlist below. The full information is too convoluted to fit reasonably in citation format within the playlist, so I’ll put that in the text that follows it.


Episode 18 Playlist

  1. (00:00) “Just When I Thought” / “Kitchen (Intro)” / “Just When I Thought”
  2. (01:08) “Let’s Sit Right Down / The Passing”
  3. (05:09) “In a Landscape V”
  4. (07:46) “Route Doubt”
  5. (08:51) “Live on the Internet: A Diary (April 16)”
  6. (12:18) “TV”
  7. (15:31) “In a Landscape VI”
  8. (18:36) “Today”
  9. (20:52) “In a Landscape IV”
  10. (23:41) “Poem for Gretchen Ruth”
  11. (27:30) “Comes Through in the Call Hold”
  12. (40:27) “On the Way to Elsewhere and Here”
  13. (43:56) “Try to Remember”
  14. (47:17) “In a Landscape XII”
  15. (51:19) “Sweet and Low (the bill has been paid)”
  16. (56:35) “Martyrs”
  17. (61:21) “Ask Me If You Know”
  18. (64:26) “Human Weather Words”
  19. (69:00) “From ‘Decade Zero'”
  20. (71:32) “Laundry, Food, and School Epigrams”
  21. (74:24) “Just When I Thought”
  22. (74:31) “On Stage”
  23. (79:18) “In a Landscape XIII”

This episode focuses largely on the work of four poets: Paul Haines, Karen Alkalay-Gut, John Gallaher, and Becca Klaver, with a few other poets thrown in (Bernadette Mayer, Clark Coolidge, Steve Dalachinsky, and Anne-James Chaton) to round out the episode and provide contrast.

Tracks 1, 4, 12, 17, and 21 come from the album Darn It! (American Clavé, 1993). Darn It! is a tribute to the work of the late Canadian poet, lyricist and music journalist Paul Haines (1933-2003). Haines doesn’t perform on any of the tracks on the album, but all the tracks contain his poems set to music. Paul Haines was best known for the libretto he wrote in his collaboration with jazz composer Carla Bley, Escalator Over the Hill. A posthumous collection of his writing, Secret Carnival Workers (Coach House Press), was published in 2007, but unfortunately has gone out of print.

Tracks 1 and 21 feature a very short poem (made shorter by yours truly in track 1 through careful editing) by Haines read by Michel Contat, a French writer and film director.  Derek Bailey plays guitar and recites Haines’ poem on track 4.  Track 12 features Mary Margaret O’Hara’s vocals, ex-Magic Band member Gary Lucas on dobro, and Steve Swallow on bass. John Tchicai doubles up on sax and vocals, reciting Haines’ poem on track 17.

Further attention to Haines is paid in this podcast episode: tracks 2, 10, and 18 come from the album A Beautiful Western Saddle by Curlew (Cuneiform Records, 1993, remastered and re-released in 2010). Curlew consists of Pippin Barnett on drums, bandleader George Cartwright on alto and tenor sax, Tom Cora on cello, Ann Rupel on bass, and Davey Williams on guitar. Non-member Amy Denio (an old friend of Papers for the Border) contributes vocals, and the entire album consists of songs set to poems by Haines. Finally, track 8 is from the album Hallelujah Anyway – Remembering Tom Cora (Tzadik, 1999). Cora, part of the Curlew recording, died in 1998, and Hallelujah Anyway is a heartfelt tribute to the cellist — not unlike Darn It!, some of the songs are interpretations of Cora’s compositions, but others are recordings made by or with Cora himself. In this case, vocalist/guitarist Chris Cochrane sings Haines’ poem “Today,” and, to the best of my knowledge, is also the pianist.


Tracks 1, 6, 13, and 16 come from the album Thin Lips (released in 2003 on the Pookh label), by poet Karen Alkalay-Gut, working with musicians Ishay Sommer and Roy Yarkoni (two members of an avant-garde “progressive rock” band Ahvak, who have, like Curlew, recorded for the Cuneiform label). Alkalay-Gut was born in London, moved to Rochester, NY at an early age, and now lives in Tel Aviv, where she is a retired professor of English from Tel Aviv University. She has published numerous books of poetry in English and Hebrew, translated works of many other writers, and released several other CDs besides Thin Lips.

The tracks titled “In a Landscape…” are poems written and recorded by John Gallaher, author of In a Landscape (obviously the textual source of these tracks and due to be published in October 2014 by BOA Editions). John’s previous books include The Little Book of Guesses  (Four Way Books, 2007), Map of the Folded World (University of Akron Press, 2009). With G. C. Waldrep, he co-authored Your Father on the Train of Ghosts (BOA Editions, 2011).

Tracks 5 and 19 are two works by poet Becca Klaver. The first is, as the title implies, a poetic diary entry recorded as a video and placed, temporarily, on YouTube. The second is a portion of her poem in progress, “Decade Zero,” recorded exclusively for this podcast. Becca’s previous books include Nonstop Pop! (Bloof, 2013), Merrily, Merrily (Lame House Press, 2013), and LA Liminal (Kore Press, 2010).

Track 11 features Clark Coolidge reciting his own poetry over Thurston Moore’s guitar playing. It comes from the eponymous album by Coolidge, Moore, and Anne Waldman (Fast Speaking Music, 2013).

Track 15 comes from the album The Bill Has Been Paid (Dark Tree Records, 2013) by double-bassist Joelle Leandre in collaboration with poet Steve Dalachinsky.

Track 20 is from the album Rattle up a Deer (So You’re a Poet / Farfalla Press, 2004). The CD documents a poetry reading by Anne Waldman and Bernadette Mayer. This track features a series of epigrams written and read by Mayer.

Track 22 is from the combination book + CD Decade (Raster-Noton, 2012). The book is by poet Anne-James Chaton, who also performs on the accompanying CD, which includes a distillation of sections of the book, along with Andy Moor, guitarist from The Ex, and musician Alva Noto (pseudonym of Carsten Nicolai).

Many of the recordings in this episode are interconnected to an extent: Coolidge and Mayer have worked together, co-authoring The Cave (Adventures in Poetry, 2008); both Alkalay-Gut’s collaborators and Curlew have recorded for the Cuneiform label; Amy Denio has worked with Derek Bailey (see the first episode of Papers for the Border). All of these poets and musicians have, to paraphrase Paul Haines, a stake in nothing in the form of everything. So sit right down, and make sure your papers are in order.





April 2, 2014 § Leave a comment

It was the year of no podcasts. But it’s 2014 now!

Papers for the Border #17 is live!

December 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

Click here for the podcast (which can also be found on iTunes).

And here is the program:

  1. Birds to Telephone – R. Stevie Moore
  2. Adjacent Species Like You – R. Stevie Moore
  3. Ill (Worst) – R. Stevie Moore
  4. The Eternal Recurrence Of Mark Ockenbock, A Man Devoted To The Fantastic Real (Parable Of Unforecast Choppy Hair) – Mary Halvorson & Kevin Shea
  5. Symphony No. 163, A Winter Solstice Symphony for Geoff Hendricks – Andantino – Dick Higgins
  6. Symphony No. 163, A Winter Solstice Symphony for Geoff Hendricks – Scherzo Finale – Dick Higgins
  7. Loud Nothing – R. Stevie Moore
  8. Dharmakaya – Sir Richard Bishop and W. David Oliphant
  9. Ajar – Sachiko
  10. The Information Bomb – Paul Lytton and Nate Wooley
  11. Mrs. Wheeler – Reiko Kudo
  12. Mr. Wheeler – Pere Ubu
  13. The Story Of Subjective Experience (Ethan Hawke, The Man Of Men’s Men) – Mary Halvorson & Kevin Shea
  14. Accessories Got Me To Where I Am (Hipsters Clearing The Good Shit Out) – Mary Halvorson & Kevin Shea
  15. Life and Death of an Insect – R. Stevie Moore
  16. Let’s – R. Stevie Moore
  17. Sambhogakaya – Sir Richard Bishop and W. David Oliphant
  18. No Body – R. Stevie Moore
  19. Likelihood of Bang – Mary Halvorson and Kevin Shea
  20. Without Mentioning Any Names – R. Stevie Moore
  21. Eugene’s Record Shop – R. Stevie Moore

Special thanks to Kimberly Terry and Jason Willett!

Papers for the Border #16 Has Landed

September 9, 2012 § 1 Comment

… and here is the playlist, featuring music by Horsebladder (Elaine Kahn); Emily Hay; Audrey Chen; Cabinet of Natural Curiosities (Jasmine Dreame Wagner)!

1. Pioneer ~ Horsebladder ~ Not I’ll Not (00:00)
2. Lashe ~ Horsebladder ~ Not I’ll Not (04:20)
3. Five Golden Rings ~ Horsebladder ~ Not I’ll Not (09:25)
4. Liturgy of Sound ~ Emily Hay ~ Like Minds (11:40)
5. Call to Unarm ~ Emily Hay ~ Like Minds (17:21)
6. Glacial ~ Audrey Chen ~ Glacial (26:20)
7. Glass ~ Cabinet of Natural Curiosities ~ Searchlight Needles (48:55)
8. Fabulist Decay ~ Cabinet of Natural Curiosities ~ Searchlight Needles (1:00:20)

  • Not I’ll Not was released on the Ecstatic Peace label in Sept 2011; you can click here for more information on the album and here for more information on Elaine Kahn’s writing (Customer, Radiant Bottle Caps) as well as her music.
  • Like Minds was released on the pfMENTUM label in 2005. Click here to find out more about Emily Hay.
  • Glacial was self-released in (or at least recorded in) 2007. Click on her name for more information about Audrey Chen.
  • Searchlight Needles was released on the For Arbors / For Satellites label in 2011. Click here for info on Cabinet of Natural Curiosities. Wagner also has a new book, Listening for Earthquakes, published by Caketrain Press.

Podcast is here: http://dpcoffey46406.podomatic.com/entry/2012-09-07T14_42_52-07_00

And, of course, you can always subscribe to the podcast via iTunes, to make sure you don’t miss any future PFTB episodes!

Papers for the Border #15: The Long Form

August 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

Four tracks clocking in at over 66 minutes! Podcast available in iTunes or by clicking here.

  1. (00:00) “Doo Rain” ~ Aki Onda, Michael Snow, Alan Licht ~ Five A’s, Two C’s, One D, One E, Two H’s, Three I’s, One K, Three L’s, One M, Two N’s, Two O’s, One S, One T, One W (Victo, 2008)
  2. (14:33) “Hwang Chin-Ee” ~ John Zorn* ~ New Traditions in East Asian Bar Bands (Tzadik, 1997)
  3. (30:59) “Sixteen Waltzes in Seventeen Seconds” ~ Paul Flaherty, Chris Corsano, C. Spenser Yeh ~ A Rock in the Snow (Important, 2006)
  4. (43:38) “The Crackle of Forests” ~ Tim Hodgkinson ~  Sang (RER, 2000)


*Though credited to John Zorn, it should be noted that the text was written by Korean-American poet Myung Mi Kim, and narrated in Korean by Jung Hee Shin. Improvisational drumming by Joey Baron and Samm Bennett.


Papers for the Border #14 – The Mills Scene

July 25, 2012 § 1 Comment

Papers for the Border #14 ~ The Mills Scene

Podcast URL: http://dpcoffey46406.podomatic.com/entry/2012-07-24T10_51_43-07_00


  1. (00:00) Intro
  2. (00:32) In a Hotel Room ~ Carla Kihlstedt, Matthias Bossi, Shahzad Ismaily ~ Causing a Tiger (Victo, 2010)
  3. (01:44) announcements
  4. (04:49) No Funeral at All ~ Carla Kihlstedt, Matthias Bossi, Shahzad Ismaily ~ Causing a Tiger (Victo, 2010)
  5. (06:42) A Swish of Nylon ~ Carla Kihlstedt, Matthias Bossi, Shahzad Ismaily ~ Causing a Tiger (Victo, 2010)
  6. (13:52) Spells and Incantations ~ Carla Kihlstedt, Matthias Bossi, Shahzad Ismaily ~ Causing a Tiger (Victo, 2010)
  7. (15:57) Pour Albert ~ Cosa Brava ~ Ragged Atlas (Intakt, 2010)
  8. (20:33) The Letter ~ Cosa Brava ~ The Letter (Intakt, 2012)
  9. (24:15) Nobody Told Me ~ Cosa Brava ~ The Letter (Intakt, 2012)
  10. (28:20) Jitters ~ Cosa Brava ~ The Letter (Intakt, 2012)
  11. (33:34) Snake Eating Its Tail ~ Cosa Brava ~ Ragged Atlas (Intakt, 2010)
  12. (35:49) A Song About Love ~ Cosa Brava ~ Ragged Atlas (Intakt, 2010)
  13. (42:15) Postcard from the Back ~ Fred Frith, Carla Kihlstedt, Stevie Wishart ~ The Compass, Log, and Lead (Intakt, 2006)
  14. (46:07) For Nothing: I. — ~ Galax Quartet with Karen Clark ~ On Cold Mountain: Songs on Poems of Gary Snyder (Innova, 2011) {composed by Fred Frith}
  15. (48:00) For Nothing: II. — ~ Galax Quartet with Karen Clark ~ On Cold Mountain: Songs on Poems of Ga ry Snyder (Innova, 2011) {composed by Fred Frith}
  16. (52:24) For Nothing: III. — ~ Galax Quartet with Karen Clark ~ On Cold Mountain: Songs on Poems of Gary Snyder (Innova, 2011) {composed by Fred Frith}
  17. (56:51) “Part Two” ~ MMM Quartet ~ Live at the Metz’ Arsenal (Leo Records, 2012) {Fred Frith, Joelle Leandre, Alvin Curran, and Urs Leimgruber}
  18. (1:02:20) Scrive ~ Joelle Leandre & Barre Phillips ~ A l’improviste (Kadima Collective, 2008)
  19. (1:12:13) Theme ~ Zeena Parkins ~ Double Dupe Down (Tzadik, 2012)
  20. (1:17:14) Selina ~ Zeena Parkins ~ Double Dupe Down (Tzadik, 2012)
  21. (1:18:23) Anthem ~ Zeena Parkins ~ Double Dupe Down (Tzadik, 2012)
  22. (1:21:31) announcements
  23. (1:22:17) Still No Funeral At All ~ Carla Kihlstedt, Matthias Bossi, Shahzad Ismaily ~ Causing a Tiger (Victo, 2010)

Papers for the Border 13 ~ The Poetry Episode

May 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

Papers for the Border Episode #13 ~ The Poetry Episode.

The podcast can be downloaded or streamed from this URL: http://dpcoffey46406.podomatic.com/entry/2012-05-03T13_18_47-07_00

  1. “Ice” ~ Anne Waldman ~Live in Amsterdam 6.2.91 (Soyo Records)
  2. (starts at 02:26) “Herso Mashup 1” ~ Susana Gardner*
  3. (starts at 03:22) “Good Directions” ~ Jen Hofer ~ Snake Hiss: A Transcendental Friend Audio Project (Transcendental Friend, 1999)
  4. (starts at 04:29) “A Pile of Trees and an Actuary” ~ Aaron Belz*
  5. (starts at 05:33) “Song for Asa” ~ Jon Raskin / Carla Harryman ~ Open Box (Tzadik, 2012)
  6. (starts at 11:14) Selections from Snips and War and Pee. ~ Rod Smith ~ Flarf Orchestra (Aerial/Edge, 2012)**
  7.  (starts at 19:54) “I Loved My Father” ~ Katie Degentesh ~ Flarf Orchestra (Aerial/Edge, 2012)**
  8. (starts at 23:12) “The Dog Fox” and selections from “The Gospel of Justin” ~ Michael Magee ~ Flarf Orchestra (Aerial/Edge, 2012)**
  9. (starts at 27:26)  “Drew Gardner” ~ Rodney Koeneke  Flarf Orchestra (Aerial/Edge, 2012)**
  10. (starts at 32:06) “Open Box II” ~ Jon Raskin / Carla Harryman ~ Open Box (Tzadik, 2012)
  11. (starts at 42:54) “Fish Speech” ~ Jon Raskin / Carla Harryman ~ Open Box (Tzadik, 2012)
  12. (starts at 47:58) “from OZ” ~ Ron Silliman
  13. (starts at 53:55) “from Bum Series” ~ Leslie Scalapino
  14. (starts at 58:42) “from Spoke” ~ Hannah Weiner (12-14 from Live at the Ear (Elemenope Productions, 1994)
  15. (starts at 1:04:19) “Excerpt from Phoneme Dance in Memoriam John Cage” ~ Jackson Mac Low & Anne Tardos ~ All Poets Welcome (Univ. of California Press, 2003)
  16. (starts at 1:08:21) “Hunt” ~ Marcella Durand ~ Snake Hiss: A Transcendental Friend Audio Project (Transcendental Friend, 1999)
  17. (starts at 1:10:08) “Who Are My Friends?” ~ David Antin ~ All Poets Welcome (Univ. of California Press, 2003)
  18. (starts at 1:13:16) “from Pieces of an Hour (‘Dear John Cage’)” ~ Anne Waldman with Steve Lacy ~ Battery (Fast Speaking Music, 2003)
  19. (starts at 1:17:46) “Stereo” ~ Anne Waldman ~ Alchemical Elegy (Fast Speaking Music, 2001)
  20. (starts at 1:21:49) “Herso Mashup II” ~ Susana Gardner*
  21. (starts at 1:23:51) “Mine” ~ Alvin Curran with Clark Coolidge ~ Maritime Rites (New World Records, 2004)
  22. (starts at 1:35:00) “Mr. Fibitz” ~ Aaron Belz*
  23. (starts at 1:36:35) “Stricken” ~ Heather Fuller ~ Snake Hiss: A Transcendental Friend Audio Project (Transcendental Friend, 1999)

*Recorded by the poets exclusively for Papers for the Border.

** Tracks 6-9, from the Flarf Orchestra CD, features music written and conducted by Drew Gardner. More information can be found here: http://www.aerialedge.com/DrewGardnerFlarfOrchestraCD.html

  • Anne Waldman’s “Ice,” also known as “You’re Like Ice,” was published in her book Journals and Dreams (Stonehill Press, 1976). It’s part of a larger poem titled “In April.” “Pieces of an Hour” was originally published in IOVIS: All Is Full of Jove (Coffee House Press, 1992) and republished in The Iovis Trilogy: Colors in the Mechanism of Concealment (Coffee House Press, 2011). “Stereo” was published in Marriage: A Sentence (Penguin, 2000).
  • Susana Gardner’s pieces are from her recent book HERSO: An Heirship in Waves (Black Radish Books, 2011).
  • Aaron Belz’s poems “A Pile of Trees and an Actuary” and “Mr. Fibitz” are from his book Lovely, Raspberry (Persea Books, 2010).
  • Carla Harryman had this to say about “Song for Asa”: “Song for Asa” was published as a broadside in a very limited edition for a reading series in New Orleans. I believe it was also published in a very little magazine that came out Naropa, possibly in about 1999. Other than that it makes an appearance, broken up, in Gardener of Stars, a Novel. Harryman’s “Fish Speech” was published in Memory Play (O Books, 1994) and reprinted in 12 x 12: Conversations in 21st-Century Poetry and Poetics (University of Iowa Press, 2009). “Open Box II” is a selection from her book Open Box: Improvisations (Belladonna Books, 2007). The text of “Song for Asa” is sung by Aurora Josephson. Text for “Open Box II” is read by Carla Harryman and Jon Raskin. Text for “Fish Speech” is read by Aurora Josephson, Jon Raskin, and Roham Sheikhani.
  • Rod Smith’s recording is comprised of  selections from two manuscripts: Snips and War and Pee.
  • Katie Degentesh’s poem is from The Anger Scale (Combo Books, 2006).
  • Ron Silliman’s “OZ” is a portion of his long work The Alphabet (University of Alabama Press, 2008).
  • Leslie Scalapino’s “bum series” can be found in her book Way (North Point Press, 1988).
  • Hannah Weiner’s “Spoke” is from the book of the same name (Sun & Moon, 1984).
  • Marcella Durand’s “Hunt” is unpublished.
  • David Antin’s “Who Are My Friends?” was published in Selected Poems, 1963-1973 (Sun & Moon, 1991).
  • “Mine” features Clark Coolidge reading from his book Mine: The One that Enters the Stories (The Figures, 1981; republished, 2004). From the CD liner notes: “Also heard is Arlan Coolidge, retired chairman of the Brown University Music Department, reminiscing about Block Island, Rhode Island, in 1918 and playing a portion of the popular 1917 song “Smiles” on the violin. This material is mixed with the foghorns of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, all three horns on Block Island, and the foghorn on the Block Island Ferry during its crossing.”
  • Heather Fuller’s “Stricken” was published in her book perhaps this is a rescue fantasy (Edge Books, 1997).
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