Jerome Rothenberg

Poems and poetics

John Martone: A suite of poems from Molecular Lament

Cecilia Vicuña quipu menstrual 2006
Cecilia Vicuña quipu menstrual 2006

thread
bare

for Cecilia Vicuña

                Their books were loose bundles of string.
                                                -- Charles Mann

just
about
done

here

dressed in
rags


~


story
of

yr life
string

all
balled up


~


in
the end

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.