Lyre is a collection of poems that attempts to translate more-than-human worlds into different kinds of poetry. As much as my encounter with each animal, plant, and landform produced differences of syntax and vocabulary across the poems, I also wanted to allow the subject to unsettle poetic form itself. In other words, it wasn’t enough just to describe the different worlds or unwelten of these different beings; as nonhuman lives were being translated into human poetry, human poetry also needed to undergo some kind of translation into something else.
[In going recently through old files, both paper and digital, I came across the following, which goes back to early years of friendship with David Antin and has an obvious relation to his great poem “Delusions of the Insane: What They Are Afraid Of.” I never published mine, as far as I can remember, but now that publication comes so easily, through Jacket2 and elsewhere, I’m posting it here, unembellished, as a kind of tribute to my dearest and oldest friend and coworker in poetry. (J.R.)]
[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a further installment of John Bloomberg-Rissman’s ongoing collage epic, composed, as with much of his writing, (almost) entirely from words or sounds appropriated from other writers.
[AUTHOR’S NOTE: The Homeless Library (2014–17) is “the first history of British homelessness. A collection of books handmade by homeless people, reflecting on their lives and how they connect with the wider, previously unwritten heritage of homelessness. The books describe lived experience in interviews, poetry, art.” It was created by poet Philip Davenport and artist Lois Blackburn under their experimental arts organization arthur+martha, based in Manchester, UK.