Kara Walker: Unsettling narratives

Refracting history/archetypes

[image: Kara Walker, Gone: An Historical Romance of Civil War as it Occurred Bet

If refraction reorients boundaries and shapes that we take for granted, then this literal impulse lies at the center of the well-known cut-paper silhouettes of Kara Walker, which I now examine through the lens of translation and refraction.

Dennis Tedlock: Seven Poems from Alcheringa & Another from a Long Trip through Morocco

[Re-posted from a previous publication in Poems and Poetics, to mark Dennis Tedlock’s  unexpected passing earlier this year.  My admiration & debt to him – & that of so many others – is hardly in need of explanation, though the note below provides some of it. (J.R.)]


Advice Received


Don’t ask too many questions.

Artaud & Theater

Still, The Seashell and the Clergyman, 1928

Artaud’s separation from the Surrealists was not amicable. A rough break was perhaps inevitable considering the Surrealists’ tendency toward confrontation and disruption, a disposition further provoked by the view that Artaud was a sell-out.

Luis Buñuel, who joined the Surrealists after Artaud left, describes this rebellious spirit in his memoir, My Last Breath:

Dennis Tedlock (June 19, 1939 - June 3, 2016)

image: Douglas Levere / UB

It is with great sadness that I learned of the death of Dennis Tedlock on June 3.  I worked closely with Dennis during our time in the Poetics Program at SUNY-Buffalo. I greatly admired Dennis's work and was lucky to get to know him.

Coda: Eight poems in black, after Goya

[N.B. What began for me with 50 Caprichos after Goya & has continued with variations on “The Disasters of War” will end with this Coda, first sketched in Madrid 2007, in the shadow of his darkest works. (J.R.)]



two women watch

a man    his hand

under his cloak

or in his pants    the act