Saturday, July 16, 2011

Desert Island Poets

Portrait of Samuel Taylor Coleridge by Robert Hancock

Co-worker #1: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what poet would you want to be stranded with?

Co-worker #2: A hot one.

Co-worker #1: Like Sylvia Plath.

Co-worker #2: Is that an oven joke? Too soon.

Co-worker #3 (rolling her eyes): Poets are completely impractical. They'd be terrible company on a deserted island.

Co-worker #2: That's true. Imagine being stuck with Emily Dickinson.

Co-worker #3: She'd pray a lot and would not like being outside.

Co-worker #1: Seriously, though... I'd pick Bukowski. He'd be a good time, at least.

Co-worker #2: I feel like he'd try to make some moves.

Co-worker #3: If it's just the two of you on that island there's bound to be some moves.

Co-worker #2: I'd go with Coleridge. Impractical, yes. But the opium!

Co-worker #3: Maybe I'd want to be stranded with William Carlos Williams. He was a doctor.

Co-worker #2: Gary Snyder also wouldn't be a bad choice. He's got backcountry experience. And we could meditate together.

Co-worker #1: I'm sticking with Bukowski. Or Han-shan, for practical reasons.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sweet Fantasy Baby

I'm not gonna lie. We've got a whole mess of Hajime Sorayama books in our used fantasy art section. Of course this includes a number of titles showcasing his internationally famous Gynoids. I highly recommend that you come by and pick up a few copies of these classic masterworks. With technology so rapidly advancing you'll just be staring them (flesh) face to (polished steel) face a few years from now anyway and it's always best to be prepared. In fact, prepping for the Gynoids is only step one. After the Gynoids THIS is lurking somewhere along that dark wormhole called life, and we all know where that tunnel leads... (here)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Left Bank Bohemia: Le bon mot!

The most exciting event of the July is almost upon us, and I have a special bonus for the friends of Green Apple Books and Litquake, so read on!

On Thursday, July 14th Litquake will present Cabaret Bastille at CellSpace Gallery from 8pm - midnight, and you can bet your bottom euro that it's going to be fantastic!

BONUS ALERT: enter the word 'friends' when you purchase advance tickets through Brown Paper Tickets and you will receive advance tickets for only $10.00! CLICK HERE for tickets.

Cabaret Bastille July 14

Litquake celebrates Left Bank Bohemia with authors channeling authors, French wine, tricolor cocktails, absinthe fountain, blue films from the ’20s, exotic dancing, and at least one accordion—flappers and dandies welcome!

Step into the enchanted word of 1920s Paris as your favorite authors read excerpts from their works:

Matt Stewart as Ford Maddox Ford
Alia Volz as Anais Nin
Mac Barnett as F. Scott Fitzgerald
Alan Black as James Joyce
Andrew Dugas as Ernest Hemingway
Sarah Fran Wisby as Djuna Barnes
Joshua Mohr as Henry Miller
Daphne Gottlieb as H.D.

Hosted by Tara Jepsen channeling Gertrude Stein


  • Angus Martin on the accordion, accompanied by the lovely chanteuse Gabrielle Ekedal
  • Enchantress Yvonne Michelle Cordoba weaving her sinuous dance
  • Exquisite corpse, candy ciggies, costume box, make-your-own-Matisse
  • and much, much more….

Alcohol sponsored by Blue Angel Vodka and Black StarBeer. No-host bar.

July 14th, 8pm-midnight
At CELLspace 2050 Bryant, San Francisco, CA 94114
Tickets: $13 advance/ $15 at the door

Monday, July 11, 2011

A coincidental desert

About a month ago, a friend and I watched "Nostalgia for the Light," a documentary on Chile's Atacama Desert, the driest place on earth and, in this film, a poignant metaphor for the ways in which we locate ourselves in the universe.

Director Patrizio Guzman uses the spare facts of the Atacama--it is home to a group of observatories that collectively make up the Very Large Telescope and to a handful of abandoned mining towns that were converted into concentration camps during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet--to create a heart-wrenching portrait of longing and the varying ways we locate ourselves in the universe.

The film has two poles: one terrestrial, in which Guzman chronicles the attempts of a handful of widows, sisters and mothers as they sweep the desert for the remains of their loved ones executed (now almost 30 years ago) as dissidents and political prisoners; the other astronomical, as we follow the discoveries of scientists taking advantage of the lack of humidity in the desert to chart depths of space heretofore undiscovered. The juxtaposition evokes an almost unbearable pathos, but is beautiful on both the human and the universal scale.

The Horsehead Nebula

Coincidentally, a few days after seeing the film and learning of the history of the Atacama I received a call at the store from Bruce McPherson, founder of McPherson & Company, who wanted to inform me of the latest book he's published, Carlos Franz's The Absent Sea.

Franz, a Chilean whose novel arrives draped in praise by Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa and the great Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes, focuses his plot on one of Pinochet's concentration camps in that desert and traces the repercussions felt twenty years later in the lives of a newly returned exile and her daughter. One early reviewer compared The Absent Sea favorably to wunderkind Téa Obreht's The Tiger's Wife and another at Words Without Borders concludes her review by writing that The Absent Sea "is about human nature in its most vast, arid, and uncharted reaches."