chapbooks

Rain Taxi not only provides reviews of thought-provoking literature, it seeks to contribute to the publishing of innovative and original works with two chapbook series, the Brainstorm Series and OHM Editions.

You can purchase Rain Taxi chapbooks with a credit card using the secure portals below, or send check or money order to:

RAIN TAXI
P.O. BOX 3840
MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55403

You Are A Complete Disappointment: A Triumphant Memoir of Failed Expectations

youareacompletedisappointmentMike Edison
Sterling Publishing ($17.95)

by Bridget Simpson

The title of Mike Edison's newest memoir, You Are A Complete Disappointment: A Triumphant Memoir of Failed Expectations, is taken from some of the last words his father ever said to him; the very last, moments later, being "I can't believe someone as smart as you likes professional wrestling!" Because it is framed as a comedic memoir, at first glance a reader might expect You Are A Complete Disappointment to be little more than a roast of a mean, old, Jewish father. However, Edison's book unfolds into a heart-wrenching narrative of the author’s journey to make peace with his childhood, forgive his father, and find worth within himself.

Edison's resume includes a stint as a porn novelist, a European tour with his punk-rock band, and an earlier memoir entitled I Have Fun Everywhere I Go—all jobs which further fueled his father's ire. This eclectic history bolsters Edison’s humor, while simultaneously adding to his credibility. In frank prose, he admits to those details of his first memoir which were edited or embellished in one of many attempts to win his father's approval. With Edison now uninhibited by the paternal pressure that defined much of his existence up until this point, his readers become privy to the intimate details of the therapy sessions that helped him come to terms with the contents of this book.

Edison admits that in many ways, You Are a Complete Disappointment was created for personal catharsis, but the result extends beyond himself. As he noted when the book began to take form, "The more I tell the story, the more I realize that there are a lot of fathers out there who somehow along the way were stripped of their kindness and their compassion for their children . . . I remember hearing about one guy who started a war in Iraq to impress his old man." Though Edison may be sure that his own father would not be happy with his latest endeavor, his candor and honesty will no doubt connect with many readers who also feel doomed to fail their fathers. Edison's own demonstration of the long, difficult, but sometimes humorous road toward compassion will pave the way for others to follow in his footsteps.

Click here to purchase this book at your local independent bookstore
indiebound
Rain Taxi Online Edition Summer 2016 | © Rain Taxi, Inc. 2016

Pieces of Sky

by J. Otis Powell

A jazzy mixture of prose and quintets sets this chapbook apart from the rest!
26 pages, perfect bound
$10 includes S&H in the U.S. Shipping costs added for overseas shipping.
Purchase now via Paypal .

Pieces of Sky peeks behind the curtain of a novel in progress titled Bottomless Sky by J. Otis Powell‽, a much lauded master of spoken word poetry and performance. "Stories are everafter and it's all about the story,” says the book's heroine Aquanetta, a poet and performance artist who has struggled every inch of the way to arrive at her ultimate accomplishment to date: herself.

Published in October 2014.

CLICK HERE to read the in-depth interview with J. Otis Powell‽ in our Fall 2014 Online Edition!

Online-Powell-sponsors

Rain Taxi, in partnership with J. Otis Powell‽, is a fiscal year 2013 recipient of a Cultural Community Partnership grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature; and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Clatters

Henri Droguet
Translated from the French by Alexander Dickow

Clatters is the first translation of Henri Droguet's poetry published in the United States. Here the original text appears alongside Alexander Dickow's exquisite translation, in a collection that is at once wonderfully cluttered and strikingly barren. As Dickow puts it in his Afterword, “Never, perhaps, has so pure a litany of despair, vanity, destruction and decay given rise to such vibrant language.”

"In Clatters, Alexander Dickow has beautifully translated the eminent and singular French poet Henri Droguet. Dickow has a lovely feel for idiom and sonic texture, and his poetic intelligence matches Droguet's subtlety. His introductory essay illuminates Droguet's place in French poetry, and meditates more generally about "loner" poetry and the principled refusal to traffic in the literary marketplace. It's a little book, but large, spiritually."
—Rosanna Warren

48 pp., perfect bound
$10 includes S&H in the U.S. Shipping costs added for overseas shipping.
purchase now

Click Here to download a free PDF of four bonus poems!

Published in February 2014


PUBLISHER'S NOTE

Henri Droguet's Clatters is a series of textual 'bricolages,' the poet's accurate description of his own work, appearing in translation here for the first time. At once wonderfully cluttered and strikingly barren; meaning and sound, man and landscape, interiority and exteriority merge together in this collection, as overcast as the landscape of the poet's home of Northern Brittany.

Droguet's characters are unfortunate phantoms, existing outside of time but anchored to a desperately isolated world by crunchy phrases evoking the haggard, the weary and the rusty. Clamorous and unruly textual fragments, disjointed syntax and sonic textures are framed in an atmosphere of playfulness. Wordplay, inversions, 'ellipses, anacolutha, paranomatha, parataxis.' Language unmakes itself, serving as another inconstant in an enchanting and terrifying world. Clatters is a telling title, the eponymous verb indicative of a sonorous contact, friction or conflict, of the mechanical vocabulary and the physicality of the poems.

The work is full of binaries -of editorial production, of the poet's equivocal fame, of the double valence of Droguet's world. As such, Clatters is particularly effective as a bilingual publication. As puppets and phantoms wrestle with new ways of inhabit the stark landscape, “as the paving stone resounds in time with that human stump pummeled lacking forward marching” (Littéralement/Literally,) the translation contributes to new ways of inhabiting the literary landscape. Although Droguet's work is filled with figures that produce crisis, this is certainly not the case with Alexander Dickow's exquisite translation, the result of a highly collaborative process and exceptional relationship between translator and poet.

Both translation and poetry are language-led means of approaching a truth. In this instance, Dickow was faced with the challenge of using his own words to redo the author's work of undoing, to retell the cyclical story mapped onto the pages; of the rise and fall of tides, of desolation and regrowth, of splendor and desolation; to wonder at ruin.

—Aoife Roberts, for Rain Taxi

Bridge: A Gathering

Poems by Steve Healey, Deborah Keenan, Jim Moore, Jude Nutter, Matt Rasmussen, Joyce Sutphen, and Katrina Vandenberg. Cover photo and internal photos by Vance Gellert.

Bridge: A Gathering is published by Rain Taxi Review of Books in an edition of 500 copies on the fifth anniversary of the 35W Bridge collapse to accompany the commemorative event held on August 1, 2012, the fifth anniversary of the I-35W bridge collapse, at the Mill City Museum.

24 pp., perfect bound. Edition of 500 copies.
$10 includes S&H in the U.S. Shipping costs added for overseas shipping.
purchase now

Published in August 2012
This chapbook is funded through a partnership grant from the Minnesota Historical Society through support provided by the Legacy Amendment.

Police Story

by James Tate

Twenty-one poems of small town life gone berserk from the Pulitzer-prize winning poet.

32 pp., saddle-stitched: Sorry, this chapbook is SOLD OUT.

26 copies were lettered and signed by the author and were accompanied by a handset broadside of an additional poem, "Torture." This special edition is SOLD OUT.

Published in December 1999.

Indivisible

Indivisible by Fanny HoweFanny Howe
Semiotext(e) / Native Agents Series ($11.95)

by Christopher Martin

. . . the history of a head is unavoidable being everywhere

This is the history of the head of Henny: estranged wife, surrogate mother, and mothering friend. If you add to this list her intensely religious brand of atheism, it appears, clear as ether, Henny is very much on her own. She is an invisible energy that suffuses the life of (and lives in) the book. Paradoxically, what is invisible here is also indivisible—"unavoidable being everywhere." As a character, Henny lingers submissively behind a backdrop of silent concern. Her function as a narrator, however, is to hoist the entire structure of the novel onto her brittle, uneven shoulders and deliver all the embarrassing facts directly to us, her reader/God. In order to insure the honesty of this confession, Henny pledges to tell an inclusive story without the emotional duplicity of what she calls "sequence":

Sometimes I think that God witnesses events sideways and doesn't stop because it all goes by so fast, and God can't believe what God just saw. So it is important to tell you everything, God.

Where there is "everything" there is certain contradiction, and Howe delights in using it to her advantage. Henny is a poor, pale character of little personality in an alternatively rich, flamboyant, and colorful world. Although she describes her prose as employing a "forced lack of style," she often lapses into hauntingly lyrical stretches: "Sitting outside at night was like passing around a razor to shave a zebra down to its first shape. The black sky is really a weight, can hurt, so heavy a dump of stars, some falling all turning together bare naked between them. God planted the glass that grew language." Finally, after nearly 300 pages of fragment, quandary, and moral debate, the action returns right back to where it began: the story of a woman, her mostly unconsummated love, and the children (young and old) that she has protected and preserved. Only then do we realize the full breadth and beauty of the narrative Howe has surreptitiously constructed all along.

Click here to purchase this book at your local independent bookstore
Purchase this book at your local independent bookstore.

Rain Taxi Online Edition, Summer 2001 | © Rain Taxi, Inc. 2001

A Pound of Steam

Dessa

Acclaimed as a songwriter, performer, and recording artist, the whirlwind force known as Dessa wears one moniker with particular pride: writer. A Pound of Steam presents seven poems exploring identity and alienation, a philosophical bent that can be found in her song lyrics, but here goes further to unearth truths about the human condition.

Dessa, born and raised in Minneapolis, is a poet, essayist, and musician. She studied philosophy at the University of Minnesota. Before earning her living in the arts, Dessa wrote pacemaker manuals, waited tables, painted faces, and sold knives. In her early twenties, Dessa joined the Doomtree collective. With that group, Dessa published her first literary collection, Spiral Bound, and released more than a dozen recorded projects. She now splits her time between a Minneapolis apartment and an Econoline tour van.

23 pp., perfect bound.
only $10
Includes S&H in the U.S. Shipping costs added for overseas shipping.
purchase now

msab_logo_colorPrintRain Taxi, in partnership with Dessa, is a fiscal year 2013 recipient of a Cultural Community Partnership grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature; and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

OBJECT WITH MAN'S FACE

Jay Besemer

A chance dream of Max Ernst and Jindrich Heisler leads to a pack of playing cards bearing a message; shuffled randomly, the message changes. Such is the experience of Object with Man’s Face, twenty-seven collage poems that beckon, question, challenge, and portend. Rain Taxi and the author invite you to add your own collage poems to the mix!

46 cards, shrink-wrapped in a plastic case.
SOLD OUT. Sorry, we are sold out of this item.

Published in July 2013.

THREE BLIND POEMS

Ron Padgett and Yu Jian

A unique collaboration unites East and West. From the Preface by Ron Padgett: “In the summer of 2010, the Chinese poet Yu Jian and I took a cable car to near the top of Mount Mansfield (altitude 4,393 feet) in Vermont and wrote three poems together. Using a method similar to that of the exquisite corpse of the Surrealists, we wrote alternating parts, but in our case we did not have to conceal our words, since in effect they were automatically concealed: Yu Jian cannot read English and I cannot read Chinese.”

22 pp, perfect bound, with color photographs
$10 includes S&H in the U.S. Shipping costs added for overseas shipping.
purchase now

Published in October 2012.