Jerome Rothenberg

Poems and poetics

Outsider Poems, a Mini-Anthology in Progress (46): The Rogue’s Delight in Praise of his Strolling Mort: A Thieves' Canting Song

Virgil & Dante in the Hell of Thieves (medieval).
Virgil & Dante in the Hell of Thieves (medieval).

Doxy oh! Thy Glaziers shine
As Glymmar by the Salomon,
No Gentry Mort hath prats like thine
No Cove e're wap'd with such a one.

White thy fambles, red thy gan,
And thy quarrons dainty is,
Couch a hogshead with me than,
In the Darkmans clip and kiss.

What though I no Togeman wear,
Nor Commission, Mish, or slate,
Store of strummel wee'l have here.
And i'th' Skipper lib in state.

Wapping thou I know dost love,
Else the Ruffin cly thee Mort,
From thy stampers then remove

Clayton Eshleman: From ERRATICS, Introduction & Sections 1-6

Introduction: Fifteen years ago I discovered a cache of worksheets that I had abandoned in the early 1990s. Going through them, I found fascinating passages and lines in poems that as poems did not work. Rather than losing this material with everything else, I typed it up. I think there must have been a hundred or so entries, one to five or six lines each. Since there was no continuity, I put the cut out pieces in a lettuce dryer, spun it, and ask Caryl to pick them out one by one. Her random pick determined the order in which they appeared.

From Eye of Witness (4): The Nature Theater of Oklahoma (revisited)

[Originally published in Khurbn & Other Poems (New Directions, 1989), “The Nature Theater of Oklahoma” fell out of general circulation when I incorporated the title poems of that book along with Poland/1931 and The Burning Babe, into Triptych (2007). The principal reference points in the present set are a season spent in Oklahoma and the title of a chapter in Kafka’s Amerika, very much in my mind throughout that sojourn.

On the Way: Poems for the Millennium, volume 4, The University of California Book of North African Literature

[Edging toward two decades since the first publication of Poems for the Millennium in 1995, the University of California Press will shortly be publishing volume 4, both expanding & concentrating the focus into a 2000-year (two-millennium) mapping of Maghrebian (North African) literature with a range similar to what P

Norman Finkelstein: From “Inside the Ghost Factory,” Four Poems & a Note on the Forevertron

Instructions for the King
 This is a horse: you may not ride him, nor even look upon him.

This is an armed man: you may not converse with him, nor even look
          upon him.

This is a ring: if it is broken you may wear it, but if it is whole you may
          not do so.

You may not wash your body, but you shall be bathed in the night while