Commentaries

Witness Adrian Piper and Edgar Heap of Birds

Two lines taken

Edgar Heap of Birds, Native Hosts (2008)

In this commentary, I want to contrast two artists’ visual prosody. In previous commentaries I have paired an artist and a poet. In this case, both of the writers are artists and have practically never been called poets. Here I am interested in setting Adrian Piper and Hock-E-Aye-Vi Edgar Heap of Birds side by side, and as an heuristic, specifically, two pieces: Piper’s Concrete Infinity 6” Square (1968) and Heap of Birds’ Vacant (1995).

Witness Mirtha Dermisache

Being recognized by a stranger

The Argentinian artist Mirtha Dermisache (1940-2012) wrote her first book in 1967, 500 pages in length and not a single word. “I started writing,” she said in a 2011 interview, “and the result was something unreadable.” This sounds to me overly modest. Her skill is for distracting the onlooker’s impulse to read.

Jerome Rothenberg: After Gorky’s 'The Betrothal,' poem & autovariation, 1966 & 2014

Arshile Gorky’s “The Betrothal”
Arshile Gorky’s “The Betrothal”

[Using the procedure of “variations” that I began with The Lorca Variations (1993) I turn it here toward my own earlier work & show, below, both a poem from 1966 & the corresponding autovariation from 2014.   In the present instance I’ve gone back to a poem written & published as part of a book called “The Gorky Poems,” and, as in the  “variations” I’ve done from other poets, I systematically remove all nouns from the original & use them as building blocks or what Jackson Mac Low used to call “nuclei” in the const

An Italian biomedical engineer encounters experimental poetry

An interview with Enea Parimbelli about ModPo

I spoke today with Enea Parimbelli, who has fallen accidentally and headlong into contemporary U.S. poetry through the massive open online course called ModPo.  I recorded our conversation. His favorite part of the syllabus is the week on the Language poets.