The Rip Post

       Los Angeles writer and sometimes wronger Rip Rense has released his first book of things that most people consider to be poetry, “Always Not There,” a collection of 71 utterenses published by Rensart Productions.
        “My father, Art, was a poet,” said Rense. “And I’m a work of Art, so. . .”
        Two of the poems in the book, “Always Not There,” and “Homecoming,” were published in Psychological Perspectives, the journal of the C.G. Jung Institute in Los Angeles.
        Among the subjects considered:
        Ravel’s “Bolero,” a portrait of actress Sarah Bernhardt by Alfred Stevens (hanging in the UCLA Hammer Museum), the singer-songwriter Chuck E. Weiss, the fifth symphony of Jean Sibelius, the late comic Jonathan Winters, the deeply diseased state of world culture and tyranny of marketing, kitty-cats, ambivalence, and the late, beloved Los Angeles poet, Scott Wannberg. The book is dedicated to Wannberg, a lifelong friend of Rense.
        The poems also concern:
        A man returning home after his son leaves for college, a terminally ill neighbor, a man's struggle between Jesus and the saxophone, a house in Isla Vista in 1968, a café named after a vagina, guitar notes played by Jerry Garcia, and jackhammers.
        Always Not There also includes in print for the first time a series of epic poetic rants that Rense read to great acclaim annually on Barry Smolin’s “The Music Never Stops” program on KPFK-FM, in the guise of poet “Raj Bavnani.”
        "Rense's style is unshackled by convention and expectation," said Santa Monica writer Cordelia Wong-Rogers. "It exists to serve the subject at hand. There are distilled, elegant ruminations, free-associative flights of fancy, quasi-Elizabethan satire, even a few wildly out-of-fashion rhymes. The commonality is Rense's distinctive, abiding word play."
        Rense is the author of the novels, The Last Byline, The Oaks, The Death Sisters (publication pending) as well as two collections of short stories, Strange Places of the Heart, and Cigars. A former Los Angeles journalist and veteran of the L.A. Herald-Examiner under the fabled editor Jim Bellows, Rense has won four Greater Los Angeles Press Club awards for his on-line Riposte column. He is at work on a new novel, and poetry collection.
        Always Not There and all of Rense's books may be ordered at
        Rense has read his work at Beyond Baroque in Venice. He has been hailed for his readings as "a compelling presence in an ocean of poseurs and self-involved declaimers."
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