AUTHOR'S NOTE. With a small Saltonstall poetry grant, I visited Auschwitz in 2004-05 during all the seasons. I had to get the sense of the place on my skin and know at least that reality as it was felt by the inmates. It was hard to find a way into the overwhelming “pity and terror” of the Auschwitz tragedy, and many poems took on a surreal cast. I welcomed the variety of approaches that presented themselves. Some poems, like “Birken, Place of Birches” and “The Carp Feeders,” are based on where and when events occurred.
[On September 23rd 43 students of the teacher's college in Ayotzinapa, in the state of Guerrero, Mexico, were detained by the police on the way to a protest, and handed over to a local drug cartel. They were tortured and killed, their bodies dismembered, dumped in a pit and incinerated. Mexico has been in turmoil since.
David Huerta is one of Mexico's most important poets. This poem is his reaction. (M.W.)]
[The death of James Koller in December brought with it the memory of his vigorous presence in the years we knew him — at first in Santa Fe, New Mexico, during the initial heady days of ethnopoetics & later with the Franco Beltrametti circle in Switzerland & in his own home & hideaway in the woods of Maine.
[note. Looking at the 27th Light Poem in retrospect it’s now evident that its composition went over a period of some five or six years, nor can I recall at what stage in the writing Jackson first passed it along to me. Whenever it was I must have had a copy of some sort & must have misplaced or buried it along with other manuscripts & notes accumulated in the intervening years. I don’t recall anyway that it was ever published, and it has only come back to me recently through the kind offices of Anne Tardos & Michael O’Driscoll during their compilation of Mac Low’s Complete Light Poems, published for the start of 2015 by Charles Alexander’s Chax Press. So it’s in celebration of that major & long awaited work that I’m announcing the book & (re)posting the 27th Light Poem here. Its relevance to Poems and Poetics goes almost without saying. (J.R.)]
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26
[As we come into the fifteenth year of the new century, I would like to call attention to the publication, present & forthcoming, of a number of books of mine in the process of translation into a range of foreign languages. This is of some special importance to me since I’ve been exploring over many years the possibilities as well as the limits of poetry as an international enterprise. My own entry into poetry coincided with the awakening of a “new American poetry” in the 1950s & 60s, a series of discoveries & recoveries in which I shared, but which sometimes seemed to push back too strongly against the international or global in favor of the regional & local.