New Books

Are you aware of Cooper Dillon Books? If not, you should check them out.

Not only are they an upstart, not-in-it-for-the-money small press with serious attitude run by some great folks, they publish some damn fine poems. Last year the published Gary McDowell's They Speak of Fruit, and I just got word this week from Clay Matthews that Cooper Dillon has recently published his latest book, Pretty, Rooster.

Here's how Clay described the new book in his email: "If you like sonnets and love and small towns, roosters, flea-markets and beaters up on blocks, then this thing is built custom for you."

No doubt.

I have yet to purchase my copy and will probably wait to do so until the AWP Bookfair, but if you aren't able to make it to Washington D.C. in February you can get your copy now directly from Cooper Dillon. $14 isn't a lot of money for some new poems by Clay and "fresh comics by Shannon Wheeler (Too Much Coffee Man) and Micah Farritor (White Picket Fences)."

For more on Clay and his previous work, you might check out my review of his collection Superfecta. Also, here's a poem from the new collection:


South-side of town and I drive in for some
pizza, beers to go. They do the dirty
eats right on this end. I don’t know what home
means, exactly. I take it at thirty
to mean people, place, real things, some good food.
Good and home, being relative. Also
relative, being relative. The dude
in the booth with bad teeth wants me to know
he’s been moving, washers and dryers, big
stuff mostly. It’s good sometimes to see that
people are getting on with their lives, dig,
that they’re out there living, wading through what
must sometimes feel like home to them, or must
always, cheese and crust, windows, floors, and dust.

Clay Matthews
from Pretty, Rooster


Click to enlarge! Believe me. It's worth it.
In other book news, Nick Demske, The Poet Laureate of Your Face, has just had his first full-length collection, fittingly titled Nick Demske, published by Fence Books.

I had the joy of getting to know Nick this fall when we both read at University of Alabama ("Roll Tide.") for the Slash Pine Press poetry hikes. He's a great guy, his poems delight and surprise and offend, and so there's really no reason for you not to get this book or check out his poems. Here's a description of the book from Fence's website:
Love poems to the "bad," composed in the idiom of cliché, conceptualized as self-portraits, alive in the historically awesome, presently bankrupt form of the sonnet, these debut poems obsess, as do all dead white men, over big, common social constructs like race, gender, and sexuality. Demske employs himself with yet is repulsed by categorization: Fake and Real. He desensitizes your obscenity-mometer.
Nick's made a video to promote the book's release. It's a kind of book trailer, if you will. So, here's that and a poem. Congratulations, Nick!

Good Touch

            after Walt Disney

This is the most beautiful stool sample I have ever see
N. A stool sampler could search her whole life for a specimen half this perfect.
I can’t taste this food. I can’t feel my legs.
You must feel them for me. You suppository.

The emancipated marionette snips its own strings. This confirms its inab
Ility to move independent. Can you show me on the puppet where
The poetry touched you? Would you like to sample some of our
Finest stool, today? I need an adult. I need an ad

Olescent—a sweater puppeteer shiver me tim
bers. “That poetry touched me,” my virgin ears bleed.
“I was moved by your puppetry,” my bowels fess, ashamed.
The incontinent coprophile wallows in bliss. A pedophile wets the bed. Kiss me like I’m

Still a child, a Real Boy, proclaiming this, the finest stool sample of its kind,
The finest the world has seen since the great sampling of ought nine.

Nick Demske
from Action, Yes, Winter 2010