Ryan Manning is a ghost who lives in the tubes of the internet. He interviewed me for his interview site called Thunk. You can read the interview here.

Ryan Manning has interviewed lots of writers I admire. I feel gratified that he interviewed me. Ryan Manning is also a writer and he does a lot of other things that are great to look at/listen to. You can find those things here. He wrote a thing that was published in Lamination Colony that I read a bunch of times and laughed at and felt things about.

Thanks Ryan Manning.




Thanks everyone who came out to hear me read. You are the best.

Have a Good Day,



I have a reading at KGB this Wednesday. There is gonna be music and poetry:

Verse Chorus: A Night of Readings and Music

April 22, 2009
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Brandon Johnson (poet) is the Managing Editor of zingmagazine, a contemporary art publication. Brandon received a BA in English from the University of Denver and an MFA from The New School. His work has appeared in a group exhibition, 8.5x11 / A4, at James Fuentes Gallery in Chinatown, among other places. He grew up in Chicagoland and now resides in the south side of Williamsburg.

Matt Everett (music)—Matt has played every style of music from circus to pop to country to electronica, even doing session work for Will Oldham. His current iteration could be called “chamber folk” or “arty pop” depending on mood, and features himself on guitar & vocals and Anne Damassa playing piano and singing some too. Sneak preview his new album at: www.cdbaby.com/matteverett

Minju Pak (fiction) grew up in Southern California’s Inland Empire. Her fiction has appeared in Sleepingfish and Hex Ed. Journal. She has an MFA from The New School and is currently working on a collection of short stories.

Ben Mirov (poetry) lives in New York. He has some poems in or forthcoming from 3AM, Opium Magazine, Fou, and Lamination Colony. He is editor of paxjournal.com. Sometimes, he blogs at isaghost.blogspot.com. He would like to thank his headphones and tacos for saving his life.



New Poem in elimae...

I have a new thing up at elimae. You can read it here. elimae is a journal I consistently read. elimae stands for ELectronic LIterary MAgazinE. It is one of the oldest electronic journals, maybe the oldest, I can't remember. I like that the editor, Coop Renner, thinks biographical information is irrelevant when considering the quality of the submissions he receives. I also like that each issue has an eclectic range of writing presented in a simple, nice looking format. The thing I wrote is called "Ghost Node" and elimae says it is fiction.

Thank you Coop Renner.




David Lehman was kind enough to post another poem of mine on the Best American Poetry Blog. You can read it here. I'm thrilled because I have never considered myself a part of the Best American anything, except the Best American Taco Eaters Association, which I just created, right now.

Thank you David Lehman.



Chapbooks & Deep Sea Organisms...

I'm impressed by the ability of deep sea organisms to survive in freezing cold water, without light and very little food. I like the way their anatomy is beautiful and functional and durable.

I'm also impressed by the ability of chapbooks to survive in otherwise hostile environments. I like the way they are constructed by hand and the way they are designed for small, particular audiences for little or no financial gain.

Here are some chapbooks and some deep sea creatures that are rad:

Julia Cohen: The History of a Lake Never Drowns

Press: Dancing Girl Press

5.25" by 8"

Pages: 12

This chapbook is only twelve pages long, but all of its poems are filled with dense imagery and mercurial syntax. You will probably want to read them several times, so really, it's like 36 pages long. When I read this chapbook, I feel like each poem is an ostensible mystery, unfolding in front of me. This is a feeling I look for when I read poems, but rarely experience. Here is an example of some idiosyncratic lines that demonstrate what I am talking about:

Come here, balloons
We have business
We have alter-egos so distinguished
Nobody can tell us apart
Nobody can tell us they're sorry

Glowing Sucker Octopus: Stauroteuthis syrtensis

Size: up to 50 cm

Depth: 700-2500 m

The Glowing Sucker Octopus can change its shape at will. It can expand the size of its body, inflate itself or twist itself into a rope-like shape.
Also, it looks like a space alien from a 1950's sci-fi movie called "Attack of the Glowing Brain-Creature".

Zachary Schomburg:
The Pond

Press: Greying Ghost Press

Size: 5.5" by 7.25"

Pages: 28

This is a "classy" chapbook. It has nice, slightly sparkly end-papers and a simple cover and it is set in Sabon. Classy. The Pond is composed of a series of 23 poems. The poems have a lapidary quality that makes them enjoyable to read. I would say that Zachary Schomburg is very good at creating precise images with simple language. I also like the dream-like quality of these poems. Here is a line from poem number 5:

I am sleeping on a chair with very long legs
in the middle of the pond.
I don't have a name.

Spookfish: Winteria telescopa

Size: 20 cm

Depth: 400-2500 m

The Spookfish has very large eyes that enable it to to see in almost total darkness. Its eyes are sensitive enough to distinguish between the bioluminescent glow of potential prey and the glow of predators. And it looks hilarious.

Sampson Starkweather: City of Moths

Press: Rope-a-Dope Press

Size: 6.5" by 6.5"

Pages: 52

This chapbook has a nice linocut cover and a hand-sewn binding that make me feel satisfied when I hold it in my hands. The poems in this chapbook are a discontinuous series of untitled prose poems. One of my favorite things about them are the way they proffer philosophical ideas without pretension and without sacrificing a feeling of intimacy or poetic intent. Here is an example of a section that does those things:

Before we part, there's one more thing I need to know. Does water flow in the city where you live as well? When I was there, I don't remember anything but rinsing your scent off my skin from some sort of sex the night before. But who's to say what's real? Was that what I loved?

Silky Medusa: Colobonema sericeum

Size: 5 cm

Depth: 500-1500 m

This jellyfish is easily recognized by its white tipped tentacles which are able to detach from its body. They are also able to light up when it is attacked, thereby confusing predators and allowing the Silky Medusa to escape. Badass.

Justin Taylor: More Perfect Depictions of Noise

Press: X-ing Press

Size: 5" by 7.75"

Pages: 48

This chapbook has a unique feel because it is perfect bound, but it has a hand-drawn cover. Also, in place of a title and author name on its cover, it has a tag attached to it that tells you who it's by and the press and title. It has nice graphic flourishes inside, too. This chapbook is full of good poems that I would call "urban," if it did not sound grossly diminutive. I like the way the poems include people and places in New York. I also like the way they express intellectuality without seeming pretentious. Here is a line I like a lot:

(...) I am going
to stare out the dirty window of this apartment
overlooking East 3rd street and think about being
the kind of man who listens to a song
and makes a decision, but not actually be that man
or decide anything.

If you send me your chapbook or your deep sea organism, I will study it with great care in its natural environment and make sure that all five of the people who read my blog know about it. You can email me (benmirov@hotmail.com). Together, we will ensure that chapbooks and sea creatures will survive so future generations of human beings can enjoy them.



Paul Violi is rad...

I wrote something for the Best American Poetry blog on Paul Violi's reading at the New School. It was one of the best readings I've been to this year. You can read what I wrote here. The spacing is kind of messed up on the quote towards the end, but you get the idea.


New Review...

I have a new review at the Brooklyn Rail. It is on Susan Wheeler's new book and Ron Slate's new book. You can read it here.

I've been reading lots of criticism lately. I'm reading John Yau's new book on Jasper Johns, "A Thing Among Things". I'm slowly working my way through John Ashbery's Collected art criticisms, "Reported Sightings". I also read Joshua Clover's long essay on the Matrix, which is my favorite non-poetry thing I've read in 2009. Also, I read and have been thinking about an essay by DJ Dolack on the Dickman brothers and an essay on criticism by Matthew Zapruder.

Matthew's essay made me want to write better criticism. This is something I've been thinking about for the past year. I think Matthew is right that there is room for lots of good criticism right now. Criticism that values the integrity of its genre as much as it values its own opinion. I began to read more criticism because I was bored with writing it. I made me feel shitty, even though I always find it interesting to write about poetry. Lately, I've been feeling like there are ways to write good criticism. Or, that criticism can be incisive, ethical, and entertaining at the same time. I've written a few pieces of criticism I feel good about. I wrote one on an anthology of Chinese poetry edited by David Hinton (here) and another for the Brooklyn Rail on a book of Wangechi Mutu's art (here). I also feel I've written some good stuff for Coldfront.

Thank you John Reed.




Another poem of mine was posted on the Best American Poetry Blog. You can read it here. I feel pretty good. I'm gonna buy some coffee and a donut and write a poem.

Thank You David Lehman.


Brandi Wells Review

Brandi Wells published something I wrote in her honor on her review, the Brandi Wells Review. You can read it here.

Thank You Brandi Wells.


pax americana on HTMLGIANT

pax americana got a shout-out from Justin Taylor at HTMLGIANT. You can read it here.

Thank you Justin Taylor.



pax americana #10

There's a new issue of pax americana up. You can read it here. We have been alive for more than two years.



Michael Kimbal is a good editor...

I have a new story up at Lamination Colony. You can read it here. I love to read Lamination Colony. Whenever a new issue comes out, I read it and feel like I am experiencing the "cutting edge" of literature.

This issue is guest edited by Michael Kimball. I sent Michael some writing when I was in SF this January staying on my brother's couch. I sent him a story called "Leftover Horses" that was 404 words long, and some other stuff. He wrote me back and said he would like to use "Leftover Horses," but just the first line and I was like Whhhaaaa?

It was an interesting moment. At first, I felt it called my "artistic integrity" into question, but then I looked at my story and drank some coffee and realized Michael Kimball is a good editor. I like his version better. It is 40 words long. If you want to read the rest of the story, it's down below.

Thank you Michael Kimball and Blake Butler.

Have a Good Day,

(Leftover Horses Con't)

...They look pretty anxious, I can tell you that much. One of them, a black mare, keeps running full speed to either end of the corral, back and forth, all the time. You heard me. I've got them penned up in a corral. What did you expect? Like I was going to let them run wild all over the place. What do I do if they start to mate? It's not like I can have a bunch of foals stumbling around. Talk about a mess.

Now, I have to find something to do with them. They can't just hang out in the corral forever. Besides, I'm pretty sure the grey one is wild. He keeps looking me in the eye and won't break his stare. It's not natural.

Ugh. I spend so much time tending to them. I barely have a moment for myself. I had to write a whole other story that began with some cowboys who got left out. Now, at least someone can watch the horses while I sleep. Still, I don't get much rest.

Just the other day the cowboys were pissed. They were saying that they couldn't be expected to take care of so many horses without any women around. I said, forget about it fellas. I'm not about to write another story just so you can get some action. But then I started thinking about it and I felt kind of bad. If I put myself in their shoes, I'd probably feel the same way.

So, I wrote another story. This one started with a bunch of cheerleaders who go on a road trip to loose their virginity, but then get left out of the story altogether. So now the cowboys are happy and the cheerleaders are happy, too. They've coupled off and built little homes for themselves. Even the horses seem happier. They're much calmer than before and some of them can even be ridden. Except for the grey one. He's as scary as ever. I think he wants to be put in a story. You know how he feels. You're left out of things too.