Turtle Point Press

Punk Rock is Cool for the End of the World by David Trinidad by Ed Smith

The irreverent, tweetable, ludicrous, painful, wondrous work of the L.A. punk poet—widely available for the first time.

In Punk Rock Is Cool for the End of the World, David Trinidad brings together a comprehensive selection of Ed Smith’s work: his published books; unpublished poems; excerpts from his extensive notebooks; photos and ephemera; and his timely “cry for civilization,” “Return to Lesbos”: put down that gun / stop electing Presidents.

Ed Smith blazed onto the Los Angeles poetry scene in the early 1980s from out of the hardcore punk scene. The charismatic, nerdy young man hit home with his funny/scary off-the-cuff-sounding poems, like “Fishing”: This is a good line. / This is a bad line. This is a fishing line.

Ed’s vibrant “gang” of writer and artist friends—among them Amy Gerstler, Dennis Cooper, Bob Flanagan, Mike Kelley, and David Trinidad—congregated at Beyond Baroque in Venice, on LA’s west side. They read and partied and performed together, and shared and published each others’ work.

Ed was more than bright and versatile: he worked as a math tutor, an animator, and a typesetter. In the mid-1990s, he fell in love with Japanese artist Mio Shirai; they married and moved to New York City. Despite productive years and joyful times, Ed was plagued by mood disorders and drug problems, and at the age of forty-eight, he took his own life.

Ed Smith’s poems speak to living in an increasingly dehumanizing consumer society and corrupt political system. This “punk Dorothy Parker” is more relevant than ever for our ADD, technology-distracted times.

The Marble Bed by Grace Schulman

Grace Schulman rises to new heights in these poems of lament and praise. In The Marble Bed, a couple dances on a shore that is at once a shining turf and a graveyard of sea toss, of cracked shells, a skull-like carapace, and emerald weed. Here things sparkle with newness: an orchid come alive when rescued from a trash bin; the new year hidden in an egret’s wing; Coltrane’s ecstatic flight; a seductive, come-hither angel; a meteor’s arc; a rainbow’s painted ribbons; a glacial rock that glowers in moonlight. Even the tomb sculptures in an Italian cemetery sparkle with vitality. Schulman, grieving for her late husband, believes passionately in the power of art to redeem human transience. Her faith in art enables her to move from mourning to joyful wonder of existence as she meditates on an injured world and concludes: “Because I cannot lose the injured world / without losing the world, / I’ll have to praise it.”

Diving Poets: Dickinson by David Trinidad by Emily Dickinson

Turtle Point Press is pleased to introduce the Divining Poets Quotable Deck Series. These elegant, boxed sets of seventy-eight cards à la tarot decks feature short quotes meant to inspire, provoke, and guide users—to contemplate, memorize, or answer life questions. Here is the ever-astonishing Emily Dickinson.

David Trinidad was struck by the Magic 8 Ball sound in his favorite bits from Emily Dickinson’s poems—mystical answers to questions one might ask about life and death. He chose seventy-eight, the number of cards in a tarot deck, and found they worked. This is a superlative selection of indelible gems to guide, ponder, and quote.

The set includes a display stand, plus an instruction card with tips on how to use the deck. This is pocket-sized wisdom to give and to keep, here in perfect time for the holiday season.

Divining Poets: Rumi by Jalal Al-Din Rumi by Brad Gooch by Maryam Mortaz (Translator)

Turtle Point Press is pleased to introduce the Divining Poets Quotable Deck Series. These elegant, boxed sets of seventy-eight cards à la tarot decks feature short quotes meant to inspire, provoke, and guide users—to contemplate, memorize, or answer life questions. We begin with the great Rumi, in fresh and wonderfully accessible translations.

Persian speakers often tell their fortunes and seek life advice by randomly choosing lines from their classical poets. Brad Gooch discovered why as he worked on Rumi’s Secret, his biography of the wisest poet of all, as well as his forthcoming Everyman’s Library collaborative book of translations, Rumi: Unseen Poems, and his popular Twitter feed, @RumiSecrets. Speaking soul-to-soul, with cosmic intimacy, Rumi is always urgently telling us what we need to know on the journey of our lives in haunting, divine, radiant words.

The set includes a display stand, plus an instruction card with tips on how to use the deck. This is pocket-sized wisdom to give and to keep, here in perfect time for the holiday season.

Island of the Innocent: A Consideration of the Book of Job by Diane Glancy

There is much mystery surrounding the Book of Job. Who was he? Where was he? What prompts Job’s “comforters” to accuse him of wrong-doing as the cause of his suffering? When were Job’s words written? How did Job’s wife endure her husband’s ordeals? And who is innocent among us?

Island of the Innocent‘s narrative dramatizes how the way one looks at something shapes and changes what is seen. Voices of the trials of the Native American interject themselves into the text. There is Custer riding toward the Little Bighorn. There is a Native American doll in a museum, taken from a battlefield in western Nebraska after the massacre of Ash Hollow. There is Job, sitting in his yard chair in discomfort, among the falling leaves and his three friends.

And finally, Jehorah. Only Diane Glancy could create the missing story of Job’s wife, unsilencing this biblical character and endowing her suffering with meaning. Here is Jehorah in “Job’s Wife”:

 

What next? What next?—I wrote
in my book of sorrows. I keep a journal asking
God what he is doing. Once I start it’s hard to stop.
I was expecting more boils on Job. More death—
more ever-ready friendly visits. But after them—
who was left?— I ask you. where is my broom?
My head? My battle-ax?

Swinging on a Star by David Trinidad

This two-part collection by the beloved, award-winning poet looks at mortality, celebrity, pop culture, poetry, dreams, and otherworldliness in often disarming ways.

“Bedrock at Night” (think The Flintstones) is the title poem of the first section, with tributes to Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Hollywood idols, and more. The second part is an extended Neruda-esque ode to a life cut short: that of singer Buddy Holly.

Taliban Beach Party by Eric Howard

Eric Howard’s debut poetry collection reveals the secrets that bind office work to war, Gidget to the damned, the Bible to popular song, mythology to fact, and Los Angeles to Ovid. On a bicycle ride through heavy traffic, it versifies the last days of a failed pimp, gives a tarot reading to warplanes, and deciphers the hieroglyphics of lost empire.

Nomadologies by Erdağ Göknar

The poems in Nomadologies connect moments of separation and union in a life lived between Turkey and America. Taking its organizing principle from the grammar of nomadic life, Nomadologies reveals that mobility is the most efficient strategy for sustaining contradictory existences. Here, we learn that poetry is a landscape of inhabitation, and perpetual exile is one’s home.

The Late Show by David Trinidad

“Deeply personal, yet cooly postmodern, no other writer besides David Trinidad makes the interface between our private memories and our cultural ones appear so seemless. At times, variously giddy, gossipy, melancholy, obsessive, and euphoric, his voice has an amazing plasicity as he slips between genres and forms, tradition and invention,with assurance and grace. The Late Show is a unique collection of interlocking facets: art literary memoir, part film encyclopedia, part shrine and momento mori—and always undeniably, pure poem.”
—Elaine Equi

Plasticville by David Trinidad

Plasticville is a book about a special kind of bliss, the bliss of invention, and collecting, and above all valuing the bits and pieces of popular detritus that constitute our lives…. Trinidad’s warm intelligence makes poetry that is deft but true, dazzling but vulnerable, and plastic but classic.”
—Molly Peacock