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Sharon Mesmer

Sharon Mesmer's most recent poetry collection is Greetings From My Girlie Leisure Place (Bloof Books, 2015).


Seven stories and seven essays comprise Firan’s fourth prose collection in English.

Follow the Bunny Trail

Second Acts is a novel about time travel, a hermaphrodite Native American guide named Bunny who invents therapy, the world’s most beautiful labia, and the 19th century version of Oprah. Somebody, please make this movie!

In Conversation


Plantenga’s work has always explored the permeable boundary between illumination and inebriation, and what treasures and treacheries are found there.

This Is Belgian Chocolate: Manifestations of Poetry

As I began composing this review, I typed the word “language” incorrectly as “linguate”: tongue-shaped. According to the glossary of orchid terms—a lexicon based on the taxonomic works of Linnaeus, which I found, of course, online—the word refers to the shape of certain orchids.

The Physics of Bearing Witness

Imagine a novel, written as a series of vignettes, where thirty-three characters come to life over the course of sixteen chapters. Not so out of the ordinary? It’s only eighty-five pages long.

NONFICTION: Raising Poetry

The problem with poetry these days isn’t the literary magazines run by pharmaceutical industry businessmen, or the grants granted by pharmaceutical industry heiresses, or even the grant-granting bodies composed of pharmo-conservo-politicos (and heiresses). And it’s not all the writing about writing, either, or even the writing about the writing about the writing (which, okay, can get annoying).

With New York at Her Feet: Bettye LaVette in the Allen Room, Lincoln Center

There’s a strange magic about the years of toil, heartbreak, and humiliation—but only when you can look back on it all from higher ground.

The Purest One: Iva Bittová with the Bang on a Can All-Stars,

I once received a book of poetry from a fan in Prague after a concert. The book was written by the Czech poet Vˇera Chase…A few years later, I was searching for inspiration for my new music, and I found her poem “Elida.” I was inspired by the provocative and somewhat erotic nature of the poem. Also, I feel there is some humor in the lyrics, which I always like:

Poised to Take Flight Becca Stevens Band: Tea Bye Sea

Becca Stevens is perhaps best known as the vocalist for Travis Sullivan’s Björkestra, the eighteen-piece jazz ensemble dedicated to exploring the work of the well-known Icelandic swan shamaness. And while the voice of Björk can be heard hovering in the background of Stevens’ first CD, Tea Bye Sea (with her band Colin Killalea, Liam Robinson, Chris Tordini, and Tommy Crane), various other forces come together to create a very singular kind of bird.

Kink Goes Pink

Hugh Hefner had his reasons for not “going pink”—showing pussy—in Playboy.

Her Own Hell To Raise

I’m the kind of person Bettye LaVette probably hates: another come-lately fan, brought around to her incredible voice and eclectic repertoire by last year’s I’ve Got My Own Hell to Raise (Anti-, 2005).

Hidden in Plain Sight: Garage Rock "Returns"

I was about to take a bubble bath and wanted to find something good to listen to on commercial radio. That’s right: good on commercial radio.

Maplewood: Not Ashamed to Sound Like Bread

Without a shred of irony—with, in fact, a sometimes embarrassing amount of sincerity—the band purveys an appealing hybrid canyon-rock/driving-with-the-radio-on sound.


And who was I? In the beginning, a eunuch among eunuchs—an academic. Distinguished Professor of Something-or-other (quite often I honestly couldn’t recall) with a complexion like Dresden after the war and a genius for meaningless language: The serial modes of organized mass aggregates capture the pure experience of modulated discourse and flow it through tropes of self-imposed identity structures, the result being the unhinging of secure disciplinary backing and a releasing of the unbounded potential of linguistic form as disruptive and excessive pleasure.

Little Dog at the End of the Rainbow

Sharon Mesmer's most recent poetry collection is Greetings From My Girlie Leisure Place (Bloof Books, 2015).

I Wanted to Compose a Canticle of Exaltation and Praise, Stupid University Job

Thank you for asking me to submit to your magazine,/Dead Fluffy Coyote


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

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