Tim Kahl Book Release Reading for The Century of Travel

Tim Kahl

The Century of Travel
Book Release Reading

Monday, Nov. 19 at 7:30 PM
1719 25th Street at SPC
Host: Rebecca Moos-Morrison
Wine, refreshments, and other delights
The Century of Travel picks up where recently departed historian Eric Hobsbawm left off. Hobsbawm’s statement serves as epigraph for the book “The 19th Century was a gigantic machine for uprooting countrymen” . . . well, what then of the 20th and now the 21st Century where we are only a click away from some untrammeled hidden tundra, a camera trained on it 24/7? We can travel real time and never leave our seats. The Century of Travel is trained on the migration of things: people, ideas, species, motorists. Especially motorists. Is not the interstate in California really the public square? Wouldn’t the day trip seem like a dream to a farmer standing in a field in 1916? The Century of Travel is a book of excursions, a series of micro-environments of movement that connect node to node, city to city and past to present.

Tim Kahl’s poems are tough and necessary–
      — Joseph Lease

Tim Kahl’s poems are an “open source” for the end of the West. These big, bold poems swerve between history and pop culture, between nineteenth century bull and bear baiting to twenty-first century bull and bear markets.  The Century of Travel records the brainy, mournful, maniacal music of our colony collapse. Kahl discovers in the California Central Valley our new American habitat of foreclosed sub-divisions, dying turtles, homeless encampments, and the residue of all of our striving. Again and again, his poems push back against elegy with energy. In writing about his brother, Kahl may have been describing himself:  “This man has a heart trained for/perilous rhythm.”
— Camille Norton

In The Century of Travel Tim Kahl searches for his California among gold miners, truck drivers and suburbs, the Yahi and Californios, gamblers and senators, the lawless and the Law, a fugitive California on the edge of all or no civilization where Sacramento, “this city built by failures,” is ever “rising from an ancient sea bed.” Demanding all of poetry’s powers, in praise, satire and elegy, there is a sincere effort here to figure it all out for a man and a landscape in crisis. As urban pastorals crossing between centuries, Kahl’s poems travel by train, traffic jam and internet, through space and time—but to where? Having come so far, where is there yet to go? Indeed, with a sense of “something gaining on me,” Kahl answers “everywhere” and “home” and “now!”
— Chad Sweeney

Tim Kahl is the perpetrator of many unacknowledged hoaxes and much chicanery par excellence. He is the author of Possessing Yourself (CW Books, 2009) though many scholars and critics point out that this book is probably the work of Victor Schnickelfritz, Kahl’s arch-villain and ne’er-do-well doppelgänger. Some assert that radiocarbon dating of the first copy of the manuscript would determine its origin. Others say they should just check the date the file was created. He has published many poems and reviews and videos. He has published other people’s poems too. During his days in Ohio he learned to speak fluent grackle, and this has taught him to interpret the ways and means of the Sacramento crows. In Ann Arbor he learned to eat kimchi. In Chicago he held his breath the day he wandered aimlessly into Cabrini Green. He currently houses his father’s entire literary estate — one volume: Robert Gerstmann’s book of photos of Chile, 1932.

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