Jerome Rothenberg

Poems and poetics

From 'Technicians of the Sacred, Expanded': 'The Shaman of the Yellowknives, A Chipewyan Talk-Poem' (by François Mandeville)



There was a man called Sinew Water.


     He was a shaman.

     This is what they say.


     He dreamed about what was good

David Antin

Eleven ‘games for eleanor’ (previously unpublished) with a republished note on David Antin

(“games for eleanor” was a set of two-person games composed between 1965 and 1966 as a deck of twenty-three cards intended for reading in subsets of six to thirteen cards selected at random. D. A.)



you come into a strange room

as always you are afraid

Clayton Eshleman

Four new poems from ‘Penetralia’

Note: All of these poems are from a new manuscript called Penetralia that will be published by Black Widow Press in the spring of 2017. In August of 2017, Wesleyan University Press will publish Eshleman’s cotranslation with A. James Arnold of The Complete Poetry of Aimé Césaire, a bilingual 950-page collection. Eshleman’s most recent book publications include Clayton Eshleman: The Essential Poetry 1960–2015 (Black Widow Press) and A Sulfur Anthology (based on the forty-six issues of Sulfur magazine that he edited between 1982 and 2000) from Wesleyan University Press. There are also several chapbooks from BlazeVOX that can be accessed by emailing the editors at

A Half Hour with Basquiat


Skull trash staring through wall splash.

Face skillet with sunny-side-up red eyeballs.

Black heel sprouting splayed white fingers.

We have no Hades,    only fetus graffiti!


Jerome Rothenberg: A poem for the cruel minority

[Written during the Reagan administration as “A Poem for the Cruel Majority” & a counter to talk then about “the silent majority” & its rising place in our national politics. The result of the recent election, in which a minority of the electorate brought Donald J. Trump into office, caused me to rethink & to reword the earlier designation. If further changes are needed (& they will be), I’ll think about it. (J. R.)]


Michael Palmer: 'Tomb of Aimé Césaire' and 'Light Moves (1–6), for Jackson Mac Low'

Editor’s note: I’m using today’s Poems and Poetics to celebrate the publication of Michael Palmer’s new poetry collection, The Laugher of the Sphinx, just out from New Directions.