Every work of art attests to lived experience and reminds us that another human has been here. Echoes aren’t inherently empty. The emotional encounter — the felt awareness of something other that is essentially a memory, but one emitted, as it were, by another — is crucial for our consciousness of history and a key to the good life. But it is in this way, too, that Death makes its appearance in a work of art. I’ll get to the quandary of the good life later. Inadequately, but that may be for the best. In Goya’s great painting ‘The Third of May 1808,’ we see before us a moment just before an execution.
[Ariel Resnikoff is best known at this point for his translations from the Yiddish poetry of Mikhl Likht & others, but with “Avoidances” he clearly sets out as a composer of poems in his own right & in a line as well with other poets with whom he shares a lineage or name. His Likht translations & his writings on Likht & Zukofsky have appeared several times on Poems and Poetics, & he has been resident since last September in the doctoral program at the University of Pennsylvania, where his good works continue.
POEMS FOR THE MILLENNIUM, VOLUME 5: Barbaric Vast & Wild: An Assemblage of Outside & Subterranean Poetry from Origins to Present Edited with commentaries by Jerome Rothenberg and John Bloomberg-Rissman
[To describe John Martone as our greatest living miniaturist, as I have in the past, is to go back for me to a time many years ago when Ian Hamilton Finlay & I corresponded about a poetry of small increments (one-word poems & other such concerns). For Finlay, I believe, some form of minimalism was at the heart of the concrete poetry he was then exploring & developing, & for myself it entered into aspects of ethnopoetics & appeared most clearly in the numerically based poems (gematria) that I was beginning to write. It’s with someo
[“The following excerpt is from the final novel of a trilogy which includes the previously published How the Night Is Dividedand A HalfMan Dreaming. It is part of an on-going experiment in the Southern California rural dialect I grew up with among not only Jewish ranchers and farmers but a larger community of diverse backgrounds. Much of the narrative includes multiple portraits of land, water, and a world, for the mo