Commentaries

Armand Schwerner: Hall of Mirrors, an Auto-Dialogue, with accompanying tribute

[The following dialogue or auto-conversation was salvaged from Schwerner’s notebooks by Mark Weiss & previously unpublished. The most recent version of The Tablets, mentioned throughout this commentary, was published by the National Poetry Foundation, Orono, Maine, in 1999 – a necessary modern/postmodern work & still readily available.]

 

"Not like normal stars"

Image of brown dwarf star 2M1207 and a companion object, 2M1207b. The image may
Image of brown dwarf star 2M1207 and a companion object, 2M1207b. The image may be "the first extrasolar planetary-mass companion to be directly imaged and is the first discovered orbiting a brown dwarf." Courtesy of ESO and Wikipedia: http://www.eso.org/public/images/26a_big-vlt/

The impulses that inspire poets to think through science span from investigative, speculative, conceptual, documentary, and more to impulses that use science as a form of address to and from the notion of the other. Lila Zemborain, in Mauve Sea-Orchids (Belladonna, 2007, trs.

Tom Weatherly (Nov. 3, 1942 - July 15 , 2014) on PennSound

cover photo by Elsa Dorfman

PennSound has located a rare sound recording of Tom Weathelry, reading in Grand Valley Michigan in July of 1971. 
(21;07): MP3 
Weatherly reads the complete serial poem "MAUMAU AMERICAN CANTOS" for the first ten minutes of the reading (text here); after that he reads various poems, including “Lady Fox” from Thumprint but nothing else from that book or MAUMAU.

Tom Weatherly -- full texs of these powerful, brilliant, often volatile (and distressingly  unacknowledged) books at Eclipse:
MAUMAU  AMERICAN CANTOS  (Corinth Books, 1970, via Eclipse)
Thumbprint (Telgraph Books, 1971, via Eclpise)

Toward and through the "natural"

Rivera's and Russo's elsewheres...

Elena Rivera, On the Nature of Position and Tone (Fields Press, 2012), 35 pp.; Linda Russo, picturing everything closer visible (Projective Industries, 2013), 15 pp.—Rivera and Russo unearth and re-investigate the culture/nature problem in distinct but similar ways. And this has to do with the ways that nature is constructed in these two chapbooks. In both, the natural comes into existence as an object of knowledge (however defined) only in relation to artifice—first and foremost, to their writings but also to their places of residence — and to the artificial structures of culture. Rivera, who lives in New York City, wrote her chapbook as a kind of “sensual response” to her one-month residency at Djerassi, a multi-disciplinary artist commune southeast of San Francisco.

Sasha Steensen's House of Deer & other domestic histories

"At home" is not a container but a site and an event.
—Sasha Steensen, "I Couldn't Stop Watching"

The family is the history of the species. The family is the history of love & place & force & naming. The family is a history of home— & if home is both "a site and an event," then the family is a history of what happens. In physics, an "event" is a single occurence of a process, a point in spacetime. When & where, & also how the family moves through, how it is moved by history & how it moves history. The family is expansive— if "at home" is not a container, then the family need not (can not) be contained. In the poem "Election Day" in Sasha Steensen's new book House of Deer she writes, "There are children to clothe and dishes to do, and it's just not / the kind of poem where everything belongs." What kind of poem is the kind of poem where everything— including the clothing of children & the doing of dishes— belongs? I think House of Deer is exactly the kind of capacious poem where this everything belongs.