mike bushnell


Are the generational shifts at work here happening every four years or is that shift speeding up? Probably will speed up?

In the AOL chat room days there was a good long period of time I spent meeting older writers in the poetry nook. They were all in their forties and fifties and they took turns posting poems one line at a time. That seems like an electronic movement that passes with the generation, that technology was never passed down in the way that blogging evolved into microblogging with built in networking. 

I am not sure about the exact time frames at work here or the external forces causing these shifts. I call them generational only because they seem to happen in a way that is more related to peoples ages than technology. 
Technology is most likely accounted for as the rate of increase in how much faster the generational shifts happen. The more developed the tech, the quicker people can dive in, limited ramping up or investment is needed to spread across various platforms in various ways. 

It is all pretty fresh as we have just recently become connected, the literary circles and people in general on the web. 

For literature it appears there is the pre-2000 era where poetics was exchanged on list-serves, chat rooms, websites, message boards and the likes. There was an active electronic poetics community in Buffalo, and it was mostly people who knew each other. 

The the first generation occurred from 2000-2004 on early blogging platforms like livejournal and blogger. Previously established communities begin to migrate at this time, from private exchange to public site. Ron Silliman’s blog started in 2002 and for a long time was the only writing poet with an active website that had good enough SEO to find. They were tough times. 

The next generation happened from 2004-2008. The technological shift at work for this era was Google’s acquisition of Blogger in Oct. 2003. Blogger getting more beThe platform was very popular as Tao Lin, Noah Cicero and others were using the platform and commenting was more powerful through it’s interface. This is when Tao Lin rose to power and was still actively engaged with users of his site in a more personal way. Also enabled by Google, writers moved to Google chat to become friends and start personal exchanges. 

Then the social age that we witnessed emerge and dominate on social media and seemingly ran from 2008-2012. It happened right here, and twitter, tumblr, scribd and anything people could post through. And I will not tell you anything about this, cause you are here so you know all about it first hand. And by your first hand. It is hard to tell if the era ended, as the social loop amplifies the ghosts of all aesthetics loudly, if your stream is curated in such a way. And it is not an important thing to distinguish in real time. But my gut tells me there was a shift starting in 2013, making it the third in a pattern and giving me the thought of generations at all. 

That means, in terms of generation, that there is something brewing right now that people don’t understand yet. It may not even have emerged, as some major generational impacts don’t occur immediately, but brew and grow. I am keeping my eye out for another aesthetic shift as the kids in high school go to college, and the young adults in college go to jobless then maybe work. And every four years those schools and colleges replace the particular makers of their culture, like skin cells or something that sheds often, in waves. 

I mean hell, three generations in and there are probably little early adopter babies ready to blow up our minds with new aesthetic choices. 

Anyways. I’m watching you.

Mike Bushnell reading his new poem “Fracking” on my roof last night. Sorry I missed the first few lines.

fuck fame imma human secret

from Mike Bushnell’s new book ‘OHSO' 

I don’t wanna take the items of your life and pile them up and burn them on a barge floating away from the harbor 

did I brush my teeth yet did I get enough sleep 

I hear drills a dozen eagles carry a duffle bag of money above the water tower 

I am not important I reject mastering fame because water drips from the umbrella 

there are bars on the window there’s bars on these windows bars are on the gotdamn window metal bars while the makeup stays in the shape of a face and the arm reaches into the lamp light suddenly wire hangers sway in the closet 

how many pieces of fuzz must come off the gloves before the gloves come off 

I whistle to the windy I confess I have eaten bubblegums my heart is just a ziplock full of bloodly 

bag in a box in a bag smiles move within these structures made with calm wrists I walk under the scaffold as you build it

A forest of calliopes a forest of churches a forest in the heart of a desert where I drop to one knee and look you in the eyes 

it isn’t all so pretty 

big deal 

I want to go up the escalator toward the illuminated billboard toward the hand holding my dreams I jump for them I wave my arms no luck jewelry dangles from the body into the cold night

inside is epicly and romance and this lifetime is just a forest full of furby it’s okay you mourn your loss I’ll mourn mine and in between we can spin at the top of the hill laughing toward the airplanes circling until they are cleared to lower their gears and land on the runway and hit the breaks and feel the g-force of return in our graceful machines


Mike Bushnell





Featuring writing by Sarah Jean Alexander, Guillaume Morissette, Mike Bushnell, Theo Thimo, LK Shaw, Mallory Whitten, Frank Hinton, Chris Dankland, Beach Sloth & Jesus Moses…


original artwork by 

Emily Horn, Shona MacPherson, Kate Shaw, LK Shaw, Jenn Kucharczyk, Stephen McDowell, Mallory Whitten & Theo Thimo. 

(Click the image to read)



I blurbed this book, but I just read it again a few weeks ago and I kept saying things like this to Julia before we went to bed. I kept saying, "It's the child of Charles Olson’s Maximus Poems; it's Pound’s Cantos, Patterson, and Frank Stanford.  It’s an epic for the internet age.“ It needs to be reviewed everywhere.  Where are the reviews you punks?  It’s full of lines like these:

 "you are my easter bunny at times”

“close your house/the kitties are coming”

“like a kite/ that figures out/ it really had wings/ the whole fucking time”

“you know I’m bleeding all/ over you I need to get to/ the bathroom help me get/ to the bathroom”


AWP 2012 House Party


mike bushnell at the ‘keep this bag away from children’ readin 29/12


Mike Bushnell reading poetry

A Thing Where I Open Up a Book and Write Down 10 Lines From It

OHSO by Mike Bushnell

smoke floats upward as it dissipates like / it’s the last ghost showman going out / with a bang so it can remain haunting / long after


quiet heart / attack in the / ticker on the / fritz I’d like / to meet / head on / what goes on / every second / I’d like / to meet / the lovely / little brains / of chaos in / elastic / giraffe / hats


oh well I lean / forward and take the bullet / of this life and I will die for / my dreams next to the / toothpaste oh well

give me
the oil
I’ll dip
the fries


the world gives so much to worry about / so I will get back to bed to change the / channel / I arch my wrist I angle my elbow / to make things change at will


goodnight sweet / I woke up and you kissed me / then I woke up and told you about it / then I woke up next to boo the dog / then I woke up floating in an escapists tank / of sweat / then I woke up alone tangled in the sheets / I don’t know what will happen if I say your / name / three times / in the mirror / will you appear / and give me a hug

what moves me used to be so rare but now / it is everywhere it is in thousands of retail / stores nationwide I howl at the moon full of / old fashioned lonely

the / caskets they / ask us what is / reversible


blackholes can come out right behind you and gobble you up / and they won’t even bark


no matter what I feel / that hope in the world remains / waiting for me / saying find me motherfucker


buy ‘OHSO’ here

'No Big Deal' by Mike Bushnell

I do not matter it is very important to me that I understand I do not matter

I have aspirations on a scale similar to the mass of worlds

I shit corn into the porcelain I recycle the bottle I press a button that is not connected to anyone

big deal

I’m fine

I’m fine

I’m stacking pizza boxes in the sunset

the chair rotates in the boardroom I dial in to the conference call

what is this life how did I end up here looking through the plate glass

sippin on free coffee in the early afternoon I lean in to listen to you talking

I nod and agree on instinct

act natural

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