Monthly Archives: February 2013

The Elements of Creativity – Kirby Ferguson

Want to watch an incredible and well-researched series on how creativity is a system of copying and remixing?

This video is for you. It’s for every creator.

“Creativity requires influence”

“Multiple Discovery”

“Copy, Transform, Combine”

This is part three of a four-part series that explores how we create, why we create, what we aim to create, and the future of creation. The series’ topics are vast: Led Zeppelin, mix tracks, Star Wars, genre films, Macintosh computers, the Internet – and so on for a revealing odyssey that helps us understand the reasoning for our seemingly compulsive and original ideas. We learn, then, that nothing is compulsive and that nothing is original, and how neither truth offends the master status of a truly iconic piece of art.

The director, writer, and producer of the series, Kirby Ferguson, is a filmmaker based in New York who organizes a remarkably informant history of our own time. For more information on Ferguson, click here. To enjoy his other films in this series, enjoy them here. I think after you watch these videos you’ll find that we remix a lot more than we think we do.

Isn’t this post just another remix of ideas?

– Alex

Milk and Honey Siren, Review

If Jeremiah Walton intended to create an anthology that was entirely unified, logical, mainstream, and direct, then he failed. Though I don’t think that’s what he intended when he selected works for Milk and Honey Siren. I think that he knew there’s a certain beauty in chaos, and that as readers we are receptive to such a chaos as to relish it. If that was the objective, then boy, he achieved it.


Brought to you by Nostrovia! Poetry

M+HS is a pick-and-choose medley for differing tastes of readership, from somewhat traditional narrative poems that invoke popular culture and sentiment, to the aesthetically intriguing and bizarre, the abstract works that seize us in delight. Some of the poets that lassoed me wild were Kyle Hemmings, whose monkeys were daunting, Dan Hedges, whose blurbs were a bit dystopian—a flavor I love—and Giuseppi Martino Buonaiuto. His monolithic political and cultural feast, “I’VE SEEN THAT MOVIE, TOO!” zigzags in and out of biting satire and pop potpourri. He presents a maniacal totem that strings characters like Prufrock, Holden Caulfield, and Seinfeld in the same lineage of cultural dystrophy, the degeneration of our own personalities into parasites of media references. It’s an excellent piece among many others that strike the reader with literary brutality.

Walton’s anthology has its flaws, though it accepts them. Not every work identifies with the central themes prescribed. Not every part of the framework is too neat. But M+HS is still a hell of a show. Bottom line: Walton and those anthologized made some spectral and illuminating art. To bastardize a poignant line in the final piece of the collection, “The Festival,” by Samuel McGrath, “there are hearts” behind these pieces…and I’m still reading.

4 out of 5
– Alex Grover, Yorick Magazine

Interested in Milk and Honey Siren? You can download it for free! Click here to do so.

Want us to review your work? Contact us at

Spam! So Much Spam. I Love Spam.


Not exactly what I’m going to be talking about.

Spam! I’ve been getting a lot of spam comments lately. Somehow I’ve invoked the Spam Gods and they’ve sent a Spamsoon unto Yorick Magazine. Wallow! Despair!

Actually, it’s been delightful to see what people like ‘Murat’ and ‘Rafid’ have been wanting to get off their chests. I’d like to take a tour through the Top Five Best Spam Comments I’ve Received This Week (the caps were necessary, dearies.)

5. Vitrine – “Pretend you’re good at it is totally my new marnta. And also commenting on other blogs because Jenny said so. Her book is laugh out loud funny and I’m so glad I got to experience the nuttiness of the SF book signing. Everyone seemed so genuinely happy to be there. (Well, except for the few people who looked like they accidentally wandered in and weren’t sure what to make of the taxidermic Juanita and Copernicus and Unicorn Success Club.)Great to meet you! And great to be one of the misfits taking over the world.”

This spam, in response to a video interview of John Irving, delights me in a few ways. ‘Vitrine’ seems to be advocating for The Bloggess, or Jenny Lawson, a pretty important online writer and humorist, mentioning the ‘taxidermic Juanita’ and the ‘Unicorn Success Club.’ Why does Vitrine refer to Jenny Lawson so much? Is it advertising? Right now it’s strangely entertaining, along with being “one of the misfits taking over the world,” which may be referring to Geek Girls Unite: How Fangirls, Bookworms, Indie Chicks, and Other Misfits Are Taking Over the WorldAnd “because Jenny said so” will soon become my new ‘marnta.’

4. Raphi: “This reminds me of what was in George Orwell’s 1984. In the story, there is a group who goes trughoh the dictionary and removes synonyms; they choose one word saying it should suffice to express that thought. Not quite the same, but it is word police nevertheless. How sad. And to think, when I was in grade school (in the dark ages) we were encouraged to learn a new word (or ten) every day. No restrictions.”

‘Raphi’ makes a great point about one of my favorite books. HOWEVER, he does so in such a grossly inappropriate context that I can’t help but laugh. Raphi, whoever he may be, has decided to add this comment on my post about a literary journal at Santa Fe University in New Mexico. The post is only a Youtube video concerning Glyph and how both writing and graphic design students are teaming up to realize the journal’s dreams. It has no Orwellian context. It is not about ‘word police’ editing our language. In fact, it’s about artists bringing more words into our vision. You’re so silly, Raphi. And I don’t know what the hell a ‘trughoh’ is, but it sounds terrifying.


The Trughoh

3. Rafid: “You’re definately right about the pull list, Joe. I setatrd one up after initially missing issue #2 of Locke & Key. So far like Nerak above I’ve only got two titles being held: Dark Tower and L&K. And in just minutes, I’ll be heading to my local bookstore to pick up #4.”

Okay. I feel like I’ve been pulled into a conversation with my timeless bookstore crony ‘Rafid.’ And apparently my name is Joe. Does that mean I’m Joe Hill, author of the Locke and Key series? Wonderful. At least I was right about the pull list. This spam is just fascinating, because it’s actually a stolen comment from a poor guy named Tom Ratchel, who posted in 2008 on Joe Hill’s article called, you guessed it, “The Pull List.” I’ve come to the realization that this delicious spam is just a lazy attempt at creating new content, most likely serviced through a company that posts comments on behalf of a blog. I’m not seeing the benefit here, Rafid. Who are you working for? TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER. We could read Locke and Key #2 together.

2. Abhishek: “Sorry, Big Al. We can’t help you and Jimbo out on this one.We can, however, send over two hands and a faihsllght as long as you both promise to report your findings.”



It’s bizarre coincidence that my name happens to be Alex and that I’ve been called Big Al before. I’m not too concerned about that. I’m really just mesmerized by how completely off-topic this comment is. It’s second favorite of the spam posts because of its surreal edge. I looked this one up, and it’s actually a comment on Alan’s post, “Shanna ain’t anonymoused,” from 2006, reflects on his and ‘Jimbo’s’ witch-hunt for an ‘anonymouser’ (great word) who has been haunting the online poetry community. So now the sentence, “We can, however, send over two hands and a flashlight as long as you both promise to report your findings,” makes a whole load of sense because it’s an absolute joke. Abhishek, you took a joke and made it into a comment on a post about accepting submissions. Congratulations. Want a ‘faihsllght?’

1. Murat: “Thanks for all the recommendations.If I could take 4 20th-century foiergn language poets to a desert island they’d be Seferis, Akhmatova, Herbert and Celan. Paul Celan: a Romanian Jew who wrote mostly in German, survived the 2nd world war (his parents didn’t), and ended up in Paris married to a Frenchwoman; he drowned himself in the Seine in 1970, aged 50. His poems are full of agony, despair, lyricism, mystery; they are often highly imagistic, mostly short, and can be impenetrable – but they ask you to go on trying. They reflect the middle of the 20th century in a very dark way, and push language to the limit, surely as much as anyone has done. (sorry if that’s a cliche, but they do!)…”

And it goes on for three times as long. This spam is glorious, and definitely is my favorite of all the top choices. The original commenter, whose genesis is not apparent on the Interwebz, responds to a poetry review (in this case, my own), and returns with an extensive poetry review of its own. The comment even recommends me to read The Poetry of Survival: Post-war Poets of Central and Eastern Europe, which I just might! Has spam ever been useful to you? No! It’s usually a load of digital gargling! But this comment, which I’ve found posted on several other websites dating back to 2011, is actually somewhat relevant and helpful. It’s so great that I haven’t even pressed the ‘Spam’ button to sequester the big chunk. I’ll keep it. Murat, even though you stole this comment from some poor inhabitant of the blogosphere, just know you did okay here, bud. You did okay.


The Rock approves, Murat

So there they are! And they keep coming. I’ll be back with more some day to showcase the best comments that spammers reprehensibly post with neither couth nor insight.

They are The Great Anonymousers, to steal words of my own from Alan Cordle.

Honestly, I really hope they stop.

For an article on spam sushi, look here.

– Alex, Editor-in-Chief

A Break from the Literary…

…but still a journey into the extraordinary. “Canteloupe Island” by Herbie Hancock. Live rendition of a song originally written in 1964. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Did you know I loved jazz?

– Alex

It’s really inspiring…uh…

…to see the artists of the turf rise together.


Erm, maybe not exactly like this.

I had the glorious opportunity to spend an evening with a photographer, a field botanist, a magazine journalist, an engineering student, an owner of a prominent literary magazine, and a team of managers and interns of a printing press that sprouted in Philadelphia and took roots there and elsewhere.

How do these people find each other?



No! It’s not just that.


It could be.

Listen. Do they go to school imagining these literary and artistic and sophisticated friends that they’ll meet one day and, lo! they appear? Do they gravitate towards one another by some spectral ferocity that animates from the spine and burrows through the flesh? Maybe that’s disgusting. And sure, it could be as simple as sending a tweet to an account that looks especially “literary” and “artistic” and “sophisticated.” I’m dramatizing this, but it should be said that these relationships shouldn’t be taken for granted, and that for artists to meet is a beautiful happening. The energy from last night is stellar–is!

Not was. Is. Still feelin’ it, people.

It remains and thrives until the next meeting of minds. Golly, the pretension of this statement. But how true it is!

Okay, without all the crazy talk, I’d like to thank for the umpteenth time The Head and the Hand for putting on a lovely night with some very lovely people, Nic Esposito and Linda Gallant especially. That, my friends, was a big ol’


Well that was fun!

Have a good morning/afternoon/night/perpetual state!

– Alex