[The following is an early announcement of a work now in progress: the latest expanded & revised edition of Technicians of the Sacred that the University of California Press will be publishing in 2017, almost in time for the fiftieth anniversary of the original publication in 1968. As I launch into the work I’m posting my proposals for the book as an indication of what’s in store & in the hope, as with other assemblages of mine, that others will come forward with suggestions for materials relevant as texts & commentaries that fall along the lines of those in
[The following is a continuation of an interview, the first part of which appeared in Poems and Poetics on December 10. 2014. The full interview, conducted by Resnikoff over a period of several months, was published later in The Wolfmagazine, number 31, edited by James Byrne & Sandeep Parmar.]
PROEM . It was raining when we got to Wroclaw (Breslau), the miles from Auschwitz bringing back the memories of what had happened there. Traveling with our son we had made reservations for a single suite at the Hotel Monopol, but when we pulled in, the hotel could only come up with two separate rooms. After a while, though, the desk clerk said that they had found a suite for us that was free. An elderly bellhop carried our bags up the central flight of stairs, threw the big doors open, put our bags down on the floor, & asked me with a little smile, “And do you know who slept here?” Then he answered his own question: “Hitler!—And he made a speech from that balcony.” After which he turned & closed the doors behind him, leaving us to think again about our fate & theirs.
[Anne Blonstein died much too soon on April 19, 2011. She had by then created a remarkable series of works in which she employed & transformed traditional numerological and hermeneutic procedures (gematria, notarikon) in the composition of radically new experimental & multilingual poems. Too little known, her oeuvre, as I would read it, is in a line that goes from Abulafia to Mallarmé & Mac Low & various poets of Oulipo and Fluxus, among others, while the devotion & precision that she shows throughout are clearly & powerfully her own.
[The excerpts that follow are from a work in progress, A Field on Mars: Poems 2000-2015, scheduled for publication next year by Presses Universitaires de Rouen et du Havre (Jusqu’a/To Books) in simultaneous English & French editions. The note below explains whatever else needs explanation. (J.R.)]