Jerome Rothenberg

Poems and poetics

Amish Trivedi: opening strophes from “Untitled Project”

At an edge of my severed sense, the only overwhelming
breath is not mine. Another sentence to cover this one and
another eye that

begins to heal. Normal is erasing but with
no dust left to trace through, fingers make

no more arcs. In the debutante’s crying room,

the body revolts against its housing, unwelcome
wherever it exists. There are memories of stoplights
in the places
we used to go.                I didn’t know

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