Category Archives: Online Feature

ONLINE FEATURE: “A Taste of Gin” Issue Three

A TASTE OF GIN: Issue Three

curated by Kat Fossell, Bombay Gin’s Submissions Editor, Prose Co-Editor, 2014

Bgin with Ginsberg Circle no grey

Featuring work by: Francesco Bruno-Bossio, Rob Kelleher, and Shawn McDaniel

A Taste of Gin Online Editorial Feature

Each month (or so) Bombay Gin Literary Journal presents an online feature by one of our editorial board members. We call this: “A Taste of Gin.” These tastes give us, as editors, the opportunity to share our individual artistic and aesthetic visions. We split our Bombay Gin third-mind temporarily in order to show you the nuances, quirks, and concerns we, as an editorial board, comprise. We hope you enjoy these future tastings.


Online Feature- JKS Audio Archive

Ink In The Milk


Andrei Codrescu Lecture on Writing and Publishing, June, 2002

This lecture by Andrei Codrescu was selected for its anecdotal evidence that printing is as nascent as human birth. He begins this gesticulative notion with, “My mother’s womb was the original small press,” and that babies fed on ink milk will outlive, outride. We learn of his origins as the son of the first woman to work in one of Guttenberg’s presses as a color sorter, and his coming of age, flowing from handwriting to “a means of public domain”. The lecture segues into the importance of small presses for cultural appeals and how hyper text may be affecting our consciousness. Andrei Codrescu’s voice is bold and distinct much like its own typeset.

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Somatic Book Review of Sir by HR Hegnauer

HR Hegnauer
Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs (2013)

Dear Mrs. Alice,

May I call you that?  Are you comfortable operating from a space of Mrs., a dear Mrs.?  In increments, I have come to the point where I must flee to your psyche.  I know this is problematic because you have not given me a map to get there, but I cannot read maps now anyhow.  I won’t miss anything.  I promise.  Yet, I am prepared for when we fail, how we fail and when we cannot be just a little more and.

While I know that with each body in this space, we lose a little air, but do not fear, I have protection. Sir left it for me in the form of a jacket or cloak, I cannot clearly remember, but it blankets us, brightens our colors, and it is precious.  With this in mind, let us go there, to this pivot of mirage.  First, know the difference between grief and lamentation or don’t.  Next, give up on the notion that you can emit time.  Learn, to spell Hannah backwards, and be prepared for the sentiment that words go inside books to die.

Now that we have established some ground rules, I feel comfortable moving forward.  Do you?  “I had a flash-back to my mother leaving for work in the morning when/ I was still a little girl, and she would always say to me, kiss me like a fool.”  I know it is too depressing to put this grief on you over and over again.  I know that it gets difficult when a tear is confused and won’t exit the corner of your eye, but I want us to focus on the migration.  That migration of death; not through a grandfather clock, but rather a migration through that little whistle, that little stroke of air that sounds between the teeth and tongue.

If we are to get there, we need to be cancerous. “The cancer.  It / doesn’t care where or how it started, and it doesn’t care where or how / it’s going wherever it’s going, but it knows it will get there.”  Sir, would have wanted it this way.  This cancer does not distinguish between local and foreign bodies, so please be prepared.  Be prepared for this distinction.  Be prepared to be a little more and, and we will be better off.        

Review by: Daniel Cantrick

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Somatic Book Review of The Ants by Sawako Nakayasu

The Ants
Sawako Nakayasu
Les Figues Press (2014)

To read The Ants by Sawako Nakayasu, begin by buying or making Chinese food (noodles or rice, beef, chicken, tofu, or veggies, that is your choice) and a hamburger. You will also want to acquire a timer of some sort and a metronome. Once you have both Chinese food and a hamburger, proceed to dump the purchased or made food onto the ground of your front porch, back porch, balcony, garage floor, kitchen floor, bathroom tiles, bedroom carpet, the grass of your yard, or the strip of grass implanted in the sidewalk outside your apartment. Dump the food anywhere you will walk past at least twice daily. It is preferable that this place will not be disturbed by other humans, or creatures or objects. Once you have chosen an appropriate spot and dumped the food, wait. Wait for the ants to come to you, or rather, to your humble offering.

When the ants begin their steady invasion, lay down on the ground near the food you have dumped. You can lay on your back or on your stomach or on your side, but make sure to open the pages of The Ants and extend the book towards the offering on the ground. Begin the metronome. Watch closely as the ants approach your offering. Take note of their strong legs, and swiveling antennae. Reach out and turn the pages of the book slowly and with great caution. This will allow time and space for the ants to intermingle with their literary counterpart. Make special note of if the ants are marching with or against the rhythm. Try alternating rhythms with the metronome.

Once the ants are comfortable inside The Ants, turn off the metronome (this step is optional, you can also read to its beat, pounding out a syncopation with the book’s spine each time you turn a page) and begin the timer. You will want to record, as you go along, how long it takes each ant to eventually exit the pages of the book. Do not put the book down at any point until all the ants have clamored out of and off of The Ants. Keep reading while the ants crawl over your fingers and palms and forearms, even after they’ve traversed up to your elbows and shoulders. When you do put the book down, be warned. (There are side-effects. You may find yourself wanting to cover yourself in oil paint, stomp in a freshly calmed puddle, bake a carrot cake, buy an analogue wrist-watch, measure time in apple-speed, walk the Great Wall of China, or super-glue this book to one of your palms.) It is likely that Nakayasu’s rhythmic little soldier words will keep marching through your head for at least as long as it takes to stop feeling the ghost steps of the ants on your skin.

Review by: Kat Fossell

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ONLINE FEATURE: “A Taste of Gin” Issue Two


curated by Roger Gude, Bombay Gin’s Art & Archive Co-Editor, Poetry Co-Editor, 2014

Bgin with Ginsberg Circle no grey

Featuring work by: Dason Anderson, Blake Guffey, Cait Turner, Jeff Hamilton, and Roger Gude

A Taste of Gin Online Editorial Feature

Each month (or so) Bombay Gin Literary Journal presents an online feature by one of our editorial board members. We call this: “A Taste of Gin.” These tastes give us, as editors, the opportunity to share our individual artistic and aesthetic visions. We split our Bombay Gin third-mind temporarily in order to show you the nuances, quirks, and concerns we, as an editorial board, comprise. We hope you enjoy these future tastings.



Micro Review of Haute Surveillance by Johannes Göransson

Haute Surveillance
Johannes Göransson
Tarpaulin Sky Press (2013)

Johannes Göransson’s Haute Surveillance is a textual representation of the horrific and luminous spectacle of a post-modern condition defined by unavoidable participation in (and often a voluntary surrender to) a global war economy. The multi-genre work (a novel in dialogue with prose poetry and punctuated by epistolary and dramatic interludes) embodies a term coined in its own narrative, “atrocity kitsch,” inhabiting bathtubs, war prisons, and a Shining Mansion on the Hill (a dream-like conflation of the White House and the hotel from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining). What makes Haute Surveillance disturbing while ultimately familiar is that such conflations don’t necessarily come across as products of the author’s, or even the narrator’s, twisted imagination, but as products of culture. Doesn’t the office of the Presidency occupy a space in our cultural imagination somewhere between an ideologically and physically oppressive brute force and an institution of ineffectual celebrity perpetuated by its own mythos? This is an American and post-modern novel because American post-modernity is the only existing site where a female soldier, stationed at a war prison, who gleefully photographs horrific, torturous acts and brutalized bodies, can occupy the same imaginary and publicized space as a Hollywood “starlet.” And Haute characterizes her as such. Unspeakable acts are glamourized in Haute because such acts are so unspeakable in our culture that the cloaks we use to cover them have become both specialized and bedazzled; our ability to look away has developed its own technology. We are constantly threatened with and by surveillance and yet are unwilling to turn our gaze onto and against the looming, big bad spectator. Haute Surveillance, like us, is much more willing to costume horror in a thick, nihilistic sheen.

Review by: Ella Longpre

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Anselm Hollo, Haryette Mullen, Renee Gladman, and Eleni Sikelianos reading, June, 2002

In honor of the Jack Kerouc School’s 40th anniversary, Bombay Gin feels it’s necessary to share even more content related to the school, its founders and its alumni. This particular recording contains Anselm Hollo’s poignant rendition of his poetry from his collection, Guests of Space (Coffee House Press 2007), followed by other esteemed writers like Harryette Mullen, Eleni Sikelianos, and Renee Gladman. At the JKS conference in October we had the privilege of listening to Jane Dalrymple-Hollo read from Hollo’s work making his voice a staple of the conference and the Jack Kerouac School even after his passing. Also within this file is the subtly striking voice of Reed Bye who fits snugly between the cynically terse Hollo, the delicious language of Gladman, Event Factory (Dorothy 2010), and the beautiful poetic deliveries of Mullen and Sikelianos. While Harryette Mullen didn’t read from Hollo’s work, her latest Urban Tumbleweed: Notes from a Tanka Diary (Graywolf Press 2013) continues to exemplify her craft. Eleni continues to publish and experiment with her latest You Animal Machine (The Golden Greek) (Coffee House Press 2014), a memoir.

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Somatic Review of How Phenomena Appear to Unfold by Leslie Scalapino

How Phenomena Appear to Unfold
Leslie Scalapino
Litmus Press (2011)

As you open the Cover to How Phenomena Appear to Unfold, take your time. Observe the pheasant, hanging as though being let of blood. Observe the peacocks witnessing the butchering process. (Let this say something to you about art and writing before reading a single word inside the cover.) OKAY. NOW. Proceed to the table of contents, skip over the praise from big-wigs. Form your own opinions. Look over the headings, but don’t think too hard about them. Pick a place to begin or not to begin, but be sure to start with the first word. Maybe flip back to the author’s headshot so you can see her beautiful smiling face and get a sense of her happiness at your happiness (hopefully you are happy as you read this book—MAKE A CONSCIOUS DECSION TO BE HAPPY). This book is about phenomena, discovery, alteration. Find yourself within the pages. Read an essay and make that home. Read a play and make that home too. Occupy each bubble of words like it was your last breath, and notice how this phenomena makes your body feel. When you get to the art, imagine yourself in the image. You could read nothing but the images, or read them first or read them last. As reader, you are collaborator. Between each new page, concept, essay, orwhathaveyou, take a break. Allow the information to stick in your short-term memory. Sleep on it if it helps. Literally, under your pillow. This is about you. You’ll want to remember as much of this as possible. This is the ‘Division of Fact and Experience’, ‘to reinstate (restate) experiencing in space, the mind/eye making estimations/approximations as concepts that are the same as being in space:” let the reading takeover your mind, let your mind take over your body. How does this phenomena make you feel? MAKE A CONSCIOUS DECISION TO BE HAPPY.

Is this a “relational state”? Consider how you abstracted, abducted or absconded this book. This is phenomena, too and if you know anything about coincidence, is it coincidence that I should be writing this and you should be reading it? Turn to page 66. Read the little paragraph beginning, “The actual” this is my message to you, the reader, from me, the reviewer. Why? Because this book is not fiction or news. BUT the ideas are NEW. Enough.


Review by: Caroline Swanson

Online Feature–Micro Book Review of Great Guns

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Micro Review of Great Guns by Farnoosh Fathi

Great Guns
Farnoosh Fathi
Canarium Books (2013)

Great Guns is Farnoosh Fathi’s first poetry collection. The book is divided into three sections, and each poem contains coherent and lyrical language that alternately amuses, intrigues, and activates. Her background in poetry, translation, and critical analysis clearly informs her work here. In particular, her connection to Emily Dickinson’s poems shows clear strength here, with each poem subtly addressed to an intended reader or recipient. The opening lines of “Lady Fool” contain this delicate connection to the traditional past while creating a new present and future: “This helium—a fighting voice—promise this— / the old lady said, wires doubling wildly overhead.” Fathi’s collection stands on its own merits but it also belongs in the tradition of important American poets continuing to innovate and expand poetic meaning.


Review by: Travis Klempan

Online Feature–Micro Book Review of Texture Notes


Micro Review of Texture Notes by Sawako Nakayasu

Texture Notes
Sawako Nakayasu
Letter Machine Editions (2010)

Texture Notes by Sawako Nakayasu was published in 2010 by small press, Letter Machine Editions. It is Nakayasu’s 4th book of poetry (most recently Hurry Home Honey, Burning Deck, 2009) and mimicks the form of both diary and prose poetry. Each prose poem is entitled after a date ranging from May of 2003 to September of 2004. The book uses both command and manual-style to invoke the reader’s thought process into a world of dreamscape and memory. For instance, “7.9.2003” catalogs “ant-sized objects, in the order received,” with everything from “microchip” to the “hour hand of my watch.” It lists both the absurd (“the pinky nail of a 5-month-old baby”) to the mundane (“the back to an earring”). But, what Nakayasu really invokes are instances of deep observation, whether it be of a dream, a vision, or an ethical play on human nature. Andre Crodescu once said that the poet’s most useful tool is observation: the ability to overhear, people-watch, and the subsequent creation of images and stories for each of these observations. Nakayasu takes these sightings and spins into them a fantastical “field of umbrellas.”

Review by: Jennifer van Alstyne