Author Archives: Raphael Rubinstein

Collaborative poem-painting inspired by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy

Painting as a Nonprofessional Experiment (2014, latex on canvas, 8 by 6 feet) is a painting by Heather Bause that revises a poem by Raphael Rubinstein that itself is a slightly edited (“poem” replacing “band”) transcription of an interview with James Murphy about his band LCD Soundsystem.

Painting (not Poetry)_small reproduction printing image copy



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Reading of “A Geniza” in Houston, April 10, 2016



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Poem about The Gun Club’s Jeffrey Lee Pierce

From my unpublished collection Dead Troubadours, this poem (composed exclusively of YouTube comments) about the late Jeffrey Lee Pierce, posted on the 20th anniversary of his death.


Jeffrey Lee Pierce


Who was in the band at this time?

On bass it’s his Japanese girlfriend (or wife?), Nori.

Romi Mori…im not sure if they ever got married..

i heard she broke his heart though..


my band supported them in 1984 here in Adelaide.

Always remember Patricia’s handshake

being firmer than JLP’s.

They had half of the Johnnys in the band

as a couple from Gun Club weren’t let into Oz.

Awesome…and sorely missed.


I meant that I met him in ’86 at Manchester gig

when he was promoting his solo album..

I was hungover for two days afterward!


I met jeffrey at the electric ballroom once,

he was really cool, a gent,

one of the great vocalists without being a real singer

if you know what I mean

all that in tune rubbish you get now,

underrated guitarist by a mile. RIP


Well he didn’t o.d. He died of a brain aneurysm,

and I believe he was trying really hard

to stay away from drugs when he died.

I heard he still drank a lot, but don’t you drink a lot too?

What’s your vice?


This was in 1986….We had access to the ‘rider’.

I mixed spirits that night…Not touched them since!


am sad he’s gone. Thank you for posting this.


they were my favourite favourite band in the eighties.

I used to put their records on at teeny-bopper parties

and clear the dancefloor.

Today’s kids seem a lot more receptive to this kind of stuff,

which is one of the sadder aspects of Pierce bowing out early.

He might have made some money at last.

Meanwhile, his friend Nick Cave

goes on to film scripts, model wife etc.

But he’s a cartoon character by comparison.

Pierce was the true genius, musically and lyrically.


Jeffrey Lee Pierce died of liver failure in the nineties

because of America’s disgrace of a healthcare system.


Jeff was a great guitarist.

I met him at the hammersmith arms

and we talked about the league of nations.

My dad was in a japanese camp and his gal was japanese.

We went to his flat and he talked alot about hendrix,

basically I think he was intrigued with playing off the 3rd or 4th

and looking to tear into all our blues.miss ya jeff…


Jeff is the best i had see the at Rodon club Athens in 1987 great!!!!


I wish I could have seen this band live.


He may not be as great as Ian Curtis but how is that relevant to anything?



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included in Best American Poetry 2015

Poem Begun on a Train” is among the poems chosen by Sherman Alexie in Best American Poetry 2015. The poem previously appeared in Harper’s Magazine.

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Review of “The Miraculous” in Bomb Magazine

The Summer 2015 issue of Bomb Magazine includes a review, both imprint and online, by Anthony Graves of The Miraculous. Graves writes that “the book gestures toward a kind of restitution of the subject of art (the artist) while today so many narratives merely gesture at the transformation of artists into human capital.” You can read the entire review here.

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Granary Books publishes “A Geniza”

Granary Books has just published A Geniza, a fragmented “poem in a box” that delves into the history of the city of Cairo as a multi-ethnic, cosmopolitan and contested site. The presiding presences of the poem are  Edmond Jabès, Uum Kalsoum, Waguih Ghali and Maurice Blanchot. Each copy of the edition, which is limited to 40 copies, includes 108 fragments individually printed letterpress on more than a dozen different papers accompanied by a 36-page pamphlet containing an introduction, which details the context and compositional process of the poem; biographical and bibliographical notes on the sources of the work; and the first printing of a provisional ordering of the poem based on one reading of the fragments.

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The Silo wins award from AICA

On April 25, 2015, the United States chapter of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) announced that The Silo had been awarded 2nd place in the Best Blog category for 2015.

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Reading/Book Signing in Houston at Brazos Bookstore

On April 30th, 7 PM, I will be reading from and signing copies of The Miraculous at Houston’s great independent, Brazos Bookstore.

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Review of The Miraculous at Hyperallergic

A review of The Miraculous by Louis Bury at the always-interesting Hyperallergic. The piece is titled “Fables from Artlandia” and opens with a quote from poet Charles Olson: “There has been, is too much of everything, including knowledge, because it has not been winnowed.”

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Poem Published in Harper’s Magazine

“Poem Begun on a Train” appears in the October, 2014, issue of Harper’s Magazine (accessible only to subscribers). It is also included in Privacy Policy: the Anthology of Surveillance Poetics (Black Ocean). As of October 2015, the poem is accessible on the Harper’s website, no subscription necessary.

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