Commentaries

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 omplete serial poem "Maumau American Cantos" (text here)

Tom Weatherly -- full texs of these powerful, brilliant, distressingly  unacknowleged books at Eclipse:
Mau Mau 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.

The negative, risk and responsibility

Jack Frost on actvism

Jackqueline Frost, The Antidote (Compline), 81 pp.—The spelling of the author’s name is “right,” that is, editorially, [sic], a disavowal of an intervention into the current norms governing given names. And the given is, in this articulation of a participant in the Oakland/San Francisco commune, a pre- Nonsite Collective, post-Occupy coalition of activists, compulsion and responsibility.

Avrom Sutzkever: “Green Aquarium,” a poem newly translated from Yiddish by Zackary Sholem Berger

(l. to r.): Avrom Sutzkever, Abba Kover and Gershon Abramowicz in the Vilna Ghet
(l. to r.): Avrom Sutzkever, Abba Kover and Gershon Abramowicz in the Vilna Ghetto, 1942.

[The post-Holocaust fate of Yiddish writing is something that’s troubled my mind since the murders of the last century appeared to have decimated both language & culture.  Avrom Sutzkever (1913-2010), who fought as a partisan during the years of the khurbn, was one of the outstanding survivors with many kudos & honors in his later years, but the secular mysticism & near surrealism/realism of some of his work wasn’t easy to grasp as he came over to us largely in that more ethnic context & in a translated language not his own.  W