Commentaries

A poem in Arabic, not an Arabic Poem

Unsi al-Hajj (image from alhayat.com)

This is an Arabic prose poem from the Lebanese poet Unsi al-Hajj’s (1935–2014) collection The Severed Head (1963). Many will take issue with calling it a prose poem in the first place. In its form and layout on the page, it does not correspond to what we know the prose poem to be in English or French. Nevertheless, it is an Arabic prose poem for two reasons: it claims and insists on being a “poem” and it is written without any metrical consideration whatsoever.

Rochelle Owens: 'Beloved the Aardvark,' Part Two

[Rochelle Owens has been working over the last several decades on a corpus of poems in-series, while her later work, however refined, has maintained the unique power and pitch ascribed to her earlier poetry by Marjorie Perloff, among others; “Rochelle Owens’ writing ... is sui generis. She is, in many ways, a proto-language poet, her marked ellipses, syntactic oddities, and dense and clashing verbal surfaces recalling the long poems of Bruce Andrews and Ron Silliman.

Sherry Bernstein: Funeral Program

Riverside Memorial Chapel, New York, 11am, Nov. 2, 2018
Charles Bernstein, officiating

Sherry Bernstein (Feb. 2, 1921–Oct. 27, 2017): obituary (Jacket2, October 28, 2018)

Into-an-empty-swimming-pool-diving in love

a photograph of branches twisted into the shape of a person in an alcove
Ana Mendieta, Untitled from Silueta Series, Mexico, 1973-77

I am falling in love with a person. Isn’t falling in love one of the weirdest feelings you’ve ever had? I can’t say that it is pure joy. I mean we say FALLING in love for a reason. And, as you get older, falling is no joke. Forty-two-year-olds fall down and can break their body. But love falling is so much riskier! We really should call it plummeting in love. We really should call it into-an-empty-swimming-pool-diving in love. It feels like my realities are at stake. My sense of self. The view of my life from this angle — forty-two-year-old white mother poet lady.

Segmented audio from performances of Maggie Nelson's 'Bluets'

Thanks to the efforts of PennSound staff editor Luisa Healey, we are now able to make available segmented audio recordings of the numbered sections (propositions) of Bluets as performaed by Maggie Nelson at two readings.

Thanks to the efforts of PennSound staff editor Luisa Healey, we are now able to make available segmented audio recordings of the numbered sections (propositions) of Bluets as performaed by Maggie Nelson at two readings.

I. from LA-Lit #21, March 11, 2007:

  • #52. (1:11): MP3
  • #53. (0:26): MP3
  • #54. (1:17): MP3
  • #55. (0:19): MP3
  • #56. (0:10): MP3
  • #57. (0:30): MP3
  • #58. (0:11): MP3
  • #59. (1:14): MP3