Jerome Rothenberg

Poems and poetics

Rochelle Owens: 'Hermaphropoetics' / 'Ice Water'

[The fifth installment published in Poems and Poetics of Owens’s work in progress, Hermaphropoetics.]


A master photographer

focusing her lens  

a figure trussed and lying down


A glass of ice water sparkles

and shines under  jagged trees  

blinking in and out


A strange rain

vertical/horizontal   altering perception

a camera flash   an image


A round white tent

a little girl in harem pants

 fickle he saunters by


Her elbows winging out   moving

in circles   blowing kisses

his long pale eyelashes


And gazes upwards smiling     

beautiful the face of a child

teasing femme/homme


Her legs collapsing under him

his hands and feet dangling

out of the frame

Outside & subterranean poems, a mini-anthology in progress (61): Harry Smith, 'American Folk Music: A Collage'

[In the final stages of preparing Barbaric Vast & Wild: An Assemblage of Outside & Subterranean Poetry with John Bloomberg-Rissman, I’m continuing to post excerpts on Poems and Poetics.  Publication of the full volume is scheduled later this year from Black Widow Press as the de facto fifth installment of Poems for the Millennium.  Earlier excerpts continue to be available in these spaces, most of them prior to final editing & recomposition. (J.R.)]

'Toward a Poetry & Poetics of the Americas' (6): Charles Bernstein's 'Our Americas: New Worlds Still in Progress' Revisited

W. Blaeu, Americae Nova Tabula. Amsterdam, 1645
W. Blaeu, Americae Nova Tabula. Amsterdam, 1645

[Published previously in Poems and Poetics (blogger version) but revisited here in the context of a new project undertaken by me & Heriberto Yépez toward an experimental grand assemblage of poetry across all of the Americas & with consideration of the multiplicity of languages & poetries now native to those places.  In the construction of such an assemblage Charles Bernstein has been & remains a close friend & collaborator.  (J.R.)]

Cyprian Norwid: 'Chopin’s Piano' (redux), with commentary

Translation from Polish by Jerome Rothenberg & Arie Galles


La musique est une chose étrange! -- Byron
L'art? ... c'est l'art - et puis, Voilà tout. -- Béranger

Bound to your place those penultimate days
Whose plot was impenetrable –
– Myth-full,
Dawn-pallid …
– Life’s end a whisper summons its start:
“I will not render you – no! I will raise you! …”

Bound to your place, those days so penultimate
Once when you mirrored – each moment, each moment –
That lyre that Orpheus lent us,

Outsider poems, a mini-anthology in progress (36): Drukpa Kunley's 'Sutra of Sex' (redux)

Translation from Bhutanese by Keith Dowman and Sonam Paljor

[In the course of a recent conversation with George Quasha & Charles Stein, the idea of “crazy wisdom” came up, as it often does, & led to a consideration of how it might or might not relate to the construction of a book of outside/outsider poetry & its relation to the art brut discourse of an earlier modernism.  The figure on whom we focused was the Tibetan/Buthanese lama & poet Drukpa Kunley (1455 - 1529