[For some years now, Rochelle Owens has been a regular contributor to Poems and Poetics and, before that, a key part of the poetry world which many of us have shared with her. Of the power of her work Marjorie Perloff has written: “brilliantly inventive, immensely learned, sophisticated, and witty in its conceits. She is, in many ways, a proto-language poet, her marked ellipses, syntactic oddities, and dense and clashing verbal surfaces.
Jackie and I had already been hanging out a lot during the summer of 2011, when a series of Anticut marches protesting austerity roved through downtown Oakland as one symptom of the roiling discontent in the wake of the Arab Spring that would shortly manifest in Occupy. Police attention had grown more acute with each march, and there was a moment during the last protest where I was sure she had been cordoned off for arrest, as I’d been in 2008. The old panic rose up in me, but thankfully I was mistaken.
[The essay by Yépez following the translation, below, of Jean Louis Battre’s Portuguese poem, “The Cave,” is reposted here as a tribute and acknowledgement of the work and thought of Mexican poet Heriberto Yépez in the development of a future-facing ethnopoetics from a perspective outside the familiar US nexus. It was originally published in the radical magazine R.A.U.L. / Red Anarcho Utopista Libre in May 2012, and a related work by Yépez, “Ethnopoetics.