Commentaries

Michael Davidson: Four Poems from Bleed Through, plus one other

BAD MODERNISM

 

            Suddenly all is / loathing (John Ashbery)

 

and there’s plenty to be unhappy about

if I can just get the reception area festooned

in time for their arrival, paper cups

and those little plastic whatsits so that,

Physics of the impossible

Lorentzian wormhole, courtesy of wikipedia, with text I added to the image.
Lorentzian wormhole, courtesy of wikipedia, with text I added to the image.

If a poem could exist on a rocket ship traveling at the speed of light where, in Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, space compresses, mass increases, and time slows, what kind of poem might it be? According to Einstein’s theory of general relativity, which applies at cosmological scales in contrast to his earlier theory of special relativity that applies at local scales such as the solar system, profound distortions of spacetime would have to occur in a universe where the speed of light is constant.

Geomantic Riposte: The Crow's Vow

Susan Briscoe has been shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award and the CBC Literary Awards, and has won the Lina Chartrand Award. She teaches English at Dawson College in Montreal and divides her time between the city and Quebec's Eastern Townships.

The present is fleet and we never have it anyway

Lawrence Giffin's Ex Tempore

Time. It seems always in deficiency when we catch up with friends. We speak colloquially of needing more of it — “Where has the time gone?” It runs off when we aren’t looking. But what if we were to look at it, relentlessly, with nearly unblinking attention? Could we hold onto it then?  

Lawrence Giffin’s Ex Tempore (TROLLTHREAD 2011) seeks to attend to time by capturing the constantly transient instant of composition. The book begins with a short preface, allegedly identifying the exact moment that Giffin began writing his text.

Samuel R. Delany on Close Listening

Samual R. Delany talks with Charles Bernstein about genres, sex, and dyslexia in this wide-ranging conversation with the polymathic author. Delany addresses the role of fantasy and the bounds of imagination in his works and rebuts assumptions about the nature of genre writing. 

Samuel R. Delany, Chip Delany to his friends, is an American author, professor, and literary critic. His work includes fiction, memoir, criticism, and essays on sexuality and society. After winning four Nebula awards and two Hugo awards over the course of his career, Delany was inducted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2002. Since January 2001, he has been a professor of English and Creative Writing at Temple University in Philadelphia. For a short time before that he was a core faculty member of the UB Poetics Program. 

(38:01): MP3