Jerome Rothenberg

Poems and poetics

David Antin: 10 for George

[The following is a new work by David Antin, commissioned for The Oppens Remembered: Poetry, Politics, Friendship, edited by Rachel Blau Du Plessis & scheduled for publication in a new & important series from University of New Mexico Press.  The over-all series, titled Recencies: Research and Recovery in Twentieth-Century American Poetics & under the directorship of Matthew Hofer, began last year with the publication of the collected letters of Amiri Baraka and Ed Dorn & promises more contemporary & modernist work in & out of series.  David Antin’s selected talk poems, How Long Is the Present, edited by Steve Fredman, will also be published by New Mexico, scheduled for later this year.]



A young man has written a slim book of poems. He has sent the manuscript to an older poet whose poetry he admires. The older poet approves of the work and allows his approval to be printed in the book as a kind of preface. His name is Ezra Pound.  

Outside & subterranean poems, a mini-anthology in progress (62): James Tilly Matthews, with John Haslam, 'The Air-Loom Machine'

James Tilly Matthews, Engraving of the Air Loom, from John Haslam’s “Illustratio
James Tilly Matthews, Engraving of the Air Loom, from John Haslam’s “Illustrations of Madness”, 1810. Ink on paper, 15 3/5″ x 10 1/3″

[As John Bloomberg-Rissman and I draw to the end of our new assemblage of outside & subterranean poetry, I plan to post in advance a number of additional excerpts from the work in progress.  Scheduled publication is later this year from Black Widow Press under the working title, Barbaric Vast & Wild, a gathering that will serve as well as the fifth volume of Poems for the Millennium. Earlier selections going back several years can be found elsewhere on Poems and Poetics.  (J.R.)]

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.)]