Jerome Rothenberg

Poems and poetics

Outsider Poems, a Mini-Anthology in Progress (54): Incantation for Jaguar Macaw Madness

Translation from Mayan by Dennis Tedlock

FOR THE DESIRE THIS MADNESS BRINGS:

 

George Quasha: from “Speaking Animate” (preverbs) with a note on the poetics of preverbs

G. Quasha: Axial Drawing – Dakini Series 2012
G. Quasha: Axial Drawing – Dakini Series 2012

1                                              words under pressure bleed original sense

 

The trouble with paradise is you never want to be away from home.


I make what calls me out.
All gone before you know it.

Aaron McCollough: “Four Preliminary Notes” & “A Stray Note” from Underlight

[Reprinted from Underlight, published 2012 by Ugly Duckling Presse]

 

     In Contact with the Ground (Personal Sun) 

 

I needed to match our feelings, mine and the other living things.

 

May I tell you how this became deadly without polluting you.

 

I reached out for the dog that lay on the downed wire that led to

     the lightning.

 

I put the wrong things in my body till my skin extended to harder

     surfaces. Canals.

 

Practiced the sacrifice. Bought a gun.

Outsider Poems, a Mini-Anthology in Progress (53): Daniel Paul Schreber (1842-1911), from Memoirs of My Nervous Illness

1/

The talking of all free flying birds has persisted without interruption in the past years in which I frequently changed my residence, and it persists to this day … I would now prefer to use the expression “talking bird” to “miraculously created bird” which is used in the text. Earlier on I thought I could not explain the talking of the birds other than by assuming that they were as such created by miracle, that is to say were created anew each time. After what I have observed meantime I consider it more likely that they were birds produced by natural reproduction, into whose bodies the remnants of the “forecourts of heaven,” that is to say erstwhile blessed human souls, had been inserted in some supernatural way or were inserted anew each time. But that these souls [nerves] were actually inside the bodies of these birds [perhaps in addition to the nerves which these birds naturally possess and in any case without awareness of their previous identity] remains as before without any doubt for me for reasons developed in the text.

Celia Dropkin: From “In Her White Wake: The Selected Poems of Celia Dropkin”

Translated from Yiddish by Faith Jones, Jennifer Kronovet, and Samuel Solomon

[From the bilingual book forthcoming from Tebot Bach Press]


MY HANDS

 

My hands, two little bits

of my body I'm never

ashamed to show. With fingers—

the branches of coral,

fingers—two nests

of white serpents,