Jerome Rothenberg

Poems and poetics

Two Occitan poets, Bernat Manciet & Marcela Delpastre, from an Assemblage in Progress

Translated with commentaries by Pierre Joris & Nicole Peyrafitte

Bernat Manciet & Marcela Delpastre
Bernat Manciet & Marcela Delpastre

[What follows is part of a new gathering of written & oral Occitan literatures, conceived  as a sixth volume of Poems for the Millennium under the title A Millennium of Occitan Writing.  The time span goes from the earliest surviving examples of Occitan poetry — that of the 11th century trobadors, the inventors of European lyric poetry — to the work of the current generation of Occitan writers, concerned with rehabilitating their language in both daily & literary modes in an epoch which one could describe as somewhat “post-colonial.” 

'Poems for the Millennium, Volume 5': A first announcement by Black Widow Press of the forthcoming publication

Adolf Wölfli: The Dragon Rock-Trimbach Railway Foot & Traffic Bridge (from From
Adolf Wölfli: The Dragon Rock-Trimbach Railway Foot & Traffic Bridge (from From the Cradle to the Graave [1909])

For release October 2014                                                                                                                                  

Black Widow Press                                                                                                                                                

ISBN: 978-0-9960079-9-3                                                                                                                              

650 pages. $35.00


POEMS FOR THE MILLENNIUM, VOLUME 5: Barbaric Vast & Wild: An Assemblage of Outside & Subterranean Poetry from Origins to Present

Edited with commentaries by Jerome Rothenberg and John Bloomberg-Rissman


Barbaric Vast & Wild is a continuation and a possible culmination of the project that began with Jerome Rothenberg's Technicians of the Sacred in 1968 and led to the first four volumes of Poems for the Millennium in the 1990s and 2000s. In this new and equally groundbreaking volume, Rothenberg and John Bloomberg-Rissman have assembled a wide-ranging gathering of poems and related language works, whose outside/outsider and subterranean/subversive positions challenge some of the boundaries to where poetry has been or may be practiced, as well as the form and substance of the poetry itself. It also extends the time frame of the preceding volumes in Poems for the Millennium, hoping to show that, in all places and times, what the dominant culture has taken as poetry has only been part of the story.

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