Feb 25, 2015

M. L. Harrison reviews The Islands over at Queen Mob's Teahouse

check it out like Greta checks out my aura

Feb 23, 2015


walking through China Town with Mosconi on the way to the PRB reading, Los Angeles

Jim Krull reviews The Islands for SPD Staff Picks

 (john.sakkis@gmail.com for review copies)

"John Sakkis "The Islands" Nightboat Books


there is still a prejudice when

the trend-following flying fish of Phylakopi

hide behind ancient stone fortifications

begging to become blue ankle tattoos

    (p. 19)

A set of islands implies saturated areas, and a sea of difference to go

around that surface.

As a symbol an island could be a person, or thoughts, or memory, or

observations: a collection of them where a THIS is found; and

this THIS is surrounded by mysterious contents (the sea), part

floating on top, and whatever vast underneath. Or it could be one

of the bodies of land in the Aegean.


(Going from the book's first section through to the third.) I found both

an inability to successfully grasp and accept the flow of the

rhythms, and a quite deep and nearly sentimental attachment to his

images. I am drawn to a table on which young family members,

cousins, are half forced from play; the play that was equally

engrossing to me then as the memory of the meal is to me now.

I merely highlight one aspect in the variety of images and emotions

we are brought to bear into by the Author's presentation; the

quote picked above comes from some other aspect of youth,

different, but older, still transformed from the table experience.

These examples of the sensations created in reading are not to imply

that the book is one-way exploration of some special sense of

growing up. But the area is set as for what may happen, the ear

arranged for the later sections; there is a vast array that settles on



Only during the second section (or so I thought) did I have some

sense of how to read the rhythms. They become insistent; they

were insistent before, but I did not feel the beat in them, sense the

lines and phrases; they coalesce further than the first section let

allow, in its almost tranquil pace, so that more and more often

that pound and release is heard.

eight years

before the coin-baller

comes and returns

those fixins

that uncrowned

gold coin/ bothersome bluebird

because of you

I'm full of care

and wanting to

smith the stake

while downplaying

"the great indignity

of being kept

in the hospital for

an ingrown toenail"

(p. 89)

Layered on top of these changes in musical structure are other

senses of memory, of ancestors personal and cultural, immediate to

life experience and the experience of life in books of history, all

mixed, with a surveying exactness. But difference and variation

come through again, what is memorial or elegiac becomes

aggressive or abstract.

I do not mean to say that there is any one way to read through this

diverse book. Each section contains a different part of the total

variety of music, sometimes units thrown together in an unmarked

paragraph, sometimes laid out in a line down the page. Mazes of

references are deep-set and piled high, but are ordered as a half-

secret catalogue that gives a capability to the interested to search."

Feb 17, 2015

I'm reading at the PRB in Los Angeles this weekend, Sat, Feb 21, 7:30pm: Ackerman, Detorie & Sakkis

AMANDA ACKERMAN is the author of the chapbooks The Seasons Cemented (Hex Presse), I Fell in Love with a Monster Truck (Insert Press Parrot #8), and Short Stones (Dancing Girl Press). She has co-authored Sin is to Celebration (House Press), the Gauss PDF UNFO Burns a Million Dollars, and the forthcoming novel Man’s Wars And Wickedness (Bon Aire Projects). She is co-publisher and co-editor of the press eohippus labs. She also writes collaboratively as part of the projects SAM OR SAMANTHA YAMS and UNFO. Her book The Book of Feral Flora is forthcoming from Les Figues press.
MICHELLE DETORIE is the author of numerous chapbooks including Fur Birds (Insert Press), How Hate Got Hand (eohippus labs), and Bellum Letters (Dusie). She also makes visual poems, poetry objects, time-based poetry, and curates the public art project, The Poetry Booth. Her first full-length collection, After-Cave, is just out with Ahsahta Press. She recently completed The Sin in Wilderness, a book-length erasure about love, animals, and affective geography. Her current project is a series of swamp poems narrated by dragons and bitchy ghosts.

JOHN SAKKIS is the author of The Islands (Nightboat Books, 2015) and Rude Girl (BlazeVOX Books 2009), as well as numerous chapbooks and ephemera. Since 2005 he has edited BOTH BOTH, a little magazine of poetry and art. With Angelos Sakkis he has translated four books by Athenian poet Demosthenes Agrafiotis: most recently Y'es and Diaeresis (forthcoming Dusie Press, 2015); their translation of Agrafiotis's Maribor (The Post-Apollo Press, 2011) was awarded the 2011 Northern California Book Award for Poetry in Translation. He lives in Oakland.


Saturday, February 21, 2015
Doors 7pm
Reading 7:30pm

Poetic Research Bureau
951 Chung King Rd.
Los Angeles, CA

Feb 13, 2015


thanks for the shout-out The Poetry Foundation!


Feb 12, 2015

HEY GUYS, I was interviewed/ profiled in this week's SF Weekly

Feb 11, 2015

we stayed in and watched Anne Sexton videos instead.

Feb 10, 2015

Logan says "Lil Vonnegut has a new friend," thanks dude!  

Feb 5, 2015

thanks Scott!

The Islands

Atmospheric River

St. Haralambos says "seek shelter on..."

The Islands