Portland, ORINTERVIEW: DANNIEL SCHOONEBEEK
Danniel Schoonebeek’s poems take back roads and veins to an American place filled with secrets in your ear. Where the barn behind you is lit with the most eerie Gregory Crewdson-like light.  
Last Saturday Ace New York hosted Bound by Chance. Danniel wasn’t there, but his words were. People used them to make stories and bound those stories into pamphlets. Tonight, Danniel reads from his book in Portland at Crema Coffee + Bakery before he sails back home to Brooklyn. It’s going to be an after hours poetry party. 
You recently completed a poetry tour in support of your first book, American Barricade (YesYes Books). Independent musicians tour all the time to support themselves. What was the experience like as a poet?
When I was seventeen I left high school and toured in a van with four other guys. We were a band, I was the drummer, and we toured the country for a few months, living in the van with our instruments. What’s startling to me is that I did this again ten years later. This time I was alone, I was reading my poems and not hitting a snare, and I took the trains across America instead of riding in a van. The tours were alike in that they were both these depleting, chaotic bursts in which you learn more about yourself than you knew was possible. You aren’t working hard enough are the words I came away with when I was seventeen. Our last date on that tour was at CBGB’s, and there was this holy feeling like we’d arrived. But nobody gave a shit about our songs, not the bands, not the people. I think that experience taught me that you have to demand to be heard, like a list of demands is heard in a hostage situation, and that list of demands is work. 
The tour I just finished leaves me to this day with jubilee. In some ways it was like playing a chess match against my own life. I’d just been kicked out of my apartment, I’d just been laid off, the love life was in the gutter. I booked the tour myself, no agents, no help from my publisher. I needed to see if a poet could do it alone. Friends came out to read and see me off, let me sleep on their floors. Strangers opened their doors to me, handed me their keys, helped me hunt down venues. These people are part of my life now, and they handed me small tokens along the way, tchotchkes and mementos, a little scratch some nights. The trains are their own crash course in how much American disgust you can tolerate within yourself. If you don’t have the constitution within yourself to wash your hair in the sink on a moving train, or deal with drunks, or fall asleep hungry on a dinner of tic-tacs, don’t get on the trains. But there was something unbelievable about waking up on the train, feeling like shit, drinking a styrofoam cup of coffee, and watching the landscape of America peel away outside while you’re surrounded by all these families and drifters and bulleting your way to a poetry reading in a different city each night. It was like not being a citizen anymore. 
I’m finishing a book about this last tour and that’ll come out soon. I’m working with two editors who are challenging the work and pushing it in directions I’m thrilled about. I can’t say who yet, but it’s coming. It’s called C’est La Guerre. 
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The poems you write have a lovely ability to at once feel very intimate—even small—while also having ragged edges that touch on archetypes that deal with American culture and values. What’s your creative process when you sit down to write? Do you have an agenda? A guiding principal?
I try to always keep myself unsettled. I hate flying, so I work on poems while I’m a mess in the sky. Or sometimes I’ll wear nothing but a blanket and wake up in winter and write in the kitchen. I always write poems if I have a nasty fever, or I like to cast out lines aloud if I’m standing, never longhand if I’m sitting. I write a lot in bed, the classic pose, we all do. I would like to write a poem while hanging upside down from the lintels of a doorway. So my process is to always throw a wrench in my process. I’m opposed to regimens, culturally and artistically, because they fail to do justice to the changing face of what composes them. American ways of life, as our culture defines them, always fail the people who are actually living their lives in America, never nuanced enough and always leaving someone locked outside. In the same way, I think having any guiding principal about poetry is a failure to language, how nuanced language is and how fast it changes and disrupts us. I try to always undermine myself, disrupt myself, refuse myself. The terrifying part for me is that undermining yourself, disrupting yourself, refusing yourself—these are also regimens that need to be undermined, disrupted, and refused.

Portland, OR

INTERVIEW: DANNIEL SCHOONEBEEK

Danniel Schoonebeek’s poems take back roads and veins to an American place filled with secrets in your ear. Where the barn behind you is lit with the most eerie Gregory Crewdson-like light.  

Last Saturday Ace New York hosted Bound by Chance. Danniel wasn’t there, but his words were. People used them to make stories and bound those stories into pamphlets. Tonight, Danniel reads from his book in Portland at Crema Coffee + Bakery before he sails back home to Brooklyn. It’s going to be an after hours poetry party. 

You recently completed a poetry tour in support of your first book, American Barricade (YesYes Books). Independent musicians tour all the time to support themselves. What was the experience like as a poet?

When I was seventeen I left high school and toured in a van with four other guys. We were a band, I was the drummer, and we toured the country for a few months, living in the van with our instruments. What’s startling to me is that I did this again ten years later. This time I was alone, I was reading my poems and not hitting a snare, and I took the trains across America instead of riding in a van. The tours were alike in that they were both these depleting, chaotic bursts in which you learn more about yourself than you knew was possible. You aren’t working hard enough are the words I came away with when I was seventeen. Our last date on that tour was at CBGB’s, and there was this holy feeling like we’d arrived. But nobody gave a shit about our songs, not the bands, not the people. I think that experience taught me that you have to demand to be heard, like a list of demands is heard in a hostage situation, and that list of demands is work. 

The tour I just finished leaves me to this day with jubilee. In some ways it was like playing a chess match against my own life. I’d just been kicked out of my apartment, I’d just been laid off, the love life was in the gutter. I booked the tour myself, no agents, no help from my publisher. I needed to see if a poet could do it alone. Friends came out to read and see me off, let me sleep on their floors. Strangers opened their doors to me, handed me their keys, helped me hunt down venues. These people are part of my life now, and they handed me small tokens along the way, tchotchkes and mementos, a little scratch some nights. The trains are their own crash course in how much American disgust you can tolerate within yourself. If you don’t have the constitution within yourself to wash your hair in the sink on a moving train, or deal with drunks, or fall asleep hungry on a dinner of tic-tacs, don’t get on the trains. But there was something unbelievable about waking up on the train, feeling like shit, drinking a styrofoam cup of coffee, and watching the landscape of America peel away outside while you’re surrounded by all these families and drifters and bulleting your way to a poetry reading in a different city each night. It was like not being a citizen anymore. 

I’m finishing a book about this last tour and that’ll come out soon. I’m working with two editors who are challenging the work and pushing it in directions I’m thrilled about. I can’t say who yet, but it’s coming. It’s called C’est La Guerre

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Why we love NY

Wireless network names found on a random Thursday, February 6 while driving down Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn at 9:45 pm:

dustball
Flower Bridge
HARDTIMES
partyhaireverywhere
infosuperhighway
Ham Sandwich
santilolo
Hand Written Guest
bacon
Bill Murray is a Fine Actor
scolding
Eye Love Ewe
Bigcat8240
Slipper Room Airport
suzydacutie
Brooklyn

Collage sorceress Wangechi Mutu presents her latest exhibition now through early March at the Brooklyn Museum.


Ace friend Thomas Callahan is the master builder and founder of Brooklyn’s Horse Cycles. If you’ve stayed with us at Ace New York chances are you’ve cruised the bike-laned blacktop on a steed of his making. He recently Kickstarted his Urban Tour project, a plucky attempt to grow his little corner of the Brooklyn bicycle industry by putting more asses on handbuilt beasts of burden. This Labor Day weekend you can see what Thomas, and a couple dozen other makers, have been up to at Bike Cult, a Hand-Built Bicycle Show at the Warsaw Concert Hall in Williamsburg. It’s something like the Let Me Ride video off The Chronic, but with bikes and more East Coast flavor.

Ace friend Thomas Callahan is the master builder and founder of Brooklyn’s Horse Cycles. If you’ve stayed with us at Ace New York chances are you’ve cruised the bike-laned blacktop on a steed of his making. He recently Kickstarted his Urban Tour project, a plucky attempt to grow his little corner of the Brooklyn bicycle industry by putting more asses on handbuilt beasts of burden. This Labor Day weekend you can see what Thomas, and a couple dozen other makers, have been up to at Bike Cult, a Hand-Built Bicycle Show at the Warsaw Concert Hall in Williamsburg. It’s something like the Let Me Ride video off The Chronic, but with bikes and more East Coast flavor.


Brooklyn’s Black Marble just released “A Different Arrangement” and it’s the new best thing. Listen here.

Brooklyn’s Black Marble just released “A Different Arrangement” and it’s the new best thing. Listen here.


The Obscura Society NYC guides a tour of Brooklyn’s vast and labyrinthine Green-Wood Cemetery this Sunday. It’s a chance for the living to step into the rarely seen catacombs and a mausoleum. Maybe after a Sisters of Mercy session on the Q, R, N.

Photo by Brendan Reynolds

The Obscura Society NYC guides a tour of Brooklyn’s vast and labyrinthine Green-Wood Cemetery this Sunday. It’s a chance for the living to step into the rarely seen catacombs and a mausoleum. Maybe after a Sisters of Mercy session on the Q, R, N.


Photo by Brendan Reynolds


from Mary Szybist’s Incarnadine released in early February of this year from Greywolf Press.
Szybist is a Portland poet who reads tonight at the Brooklyn Public Library with other Greywolf poets Catherine Barnett and Dobby Gibson at 7pm on the Plaza at the Central branch.

from Mary Szybist’s Incarnadine released in early February of this year from Greywolf Press.

Szybist is a Portland poet who reads tonight at the Brooklyn Public Library with other Greywolf poets Catherine Barnett and Dobby Gibson at 7pm on the Plaza at the Central branch.


Jay Shells drops Rap Quotes around the neighborhood.


Rudy’s are good people. They’re our neighbor in Manhattan and Seattle (and elsewhere) and now they have a new outpost in Williamsburg — a mercantile for which 100% of profits are going to support Waves for Water's Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Stop by for a haircut, some Stumptown Coffee and good, upstanding holiday gifts for your loved ones and yourself. If you’re staying with us at Ace, flash your room key for 10% off everything in the shop.









All snapshots from Rudy’s Facebook page.

Rudy’s are good people. They’re our neighbor in Manhattan and Seattle (and elsewhere) and now they have a new outpost in Williamsburg — a mercantile for which 100% of profits are going to support Waves for Water's Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Stop by for a haircut, some Stumptown Coffee and good, upstanding holiday gifts for your loved ones and yourself. If you’re staying with us at Ace, flash your room key for 10% off everything in the shop.

All snapshots from Rudy’s Facebook page.


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