Jerome Rothenberg

Poems and poetics

Jake Marmer: A new poem, 'The Law of Returning Lost Objects'

After Talmud Bava Metzia, 21A


On seeing Roman Vishniac’s ‘Vanished World’ exhibit


when is an object considered lost?

when it has been disassembled, crumbled, or scattered

so that it can no longer be described

as a sum total of itself

Amish Trivedi: From 'FuturePanic': 'What We Remembered Before'

What We Remembered Before


A face climbing

atop an old       

starter motor,    

buried down

and spit-taken

ahead of slender


white ether gloves and

Aimé Césaire: From 'Ferrements,' 'Tombeau de Paul Eluard' (1960)

Translation from French by A. James Arnold and Clayton Eshleman


Blazon of blows on the shattered body of dreams

                         first snowy morning

Takahashi Mutsuo: 'This World, or the Man of the Boxes,' dedicated to Joseph Cornell

Translation from Japanese by Jeffrey Angles


Pilgrim on earth, thy name is heaven,
Stranger, thou art the guest of God.

—Mary Baker Eddy


The shade of sooty quince

The bloom of dusty roses

——And beyond that

From 'Technicians of the Sacred Expanded': 'The Age of Wild Ghosts' (Lolop'o [Yi], China)

Translated from Yi & Mandarin by Erik Mueggler


[I have recently added the following to the revised & expanded edition of Technicians of the Sacred, still in progress.  Its place is in a new section of the book called “Survivals & Revivals,” as an instance of old rituals of mourning & healing incorporating the threatening ghosts of those killed by political & social violence in a very real & contemporary local & national setting (Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution, etc.).  The work from which I’m drawing, The Age of Wild Ghosts by Erik Mueggler (University of California Press, 2001), is a still more complex & detailed report on what’s at stake here. (J.R.)]