[Anne Blonstein died much too soon on April 19, 2011. She had by then created a remarkable series of works in which she employed & transformed traditional numerological and hermeneutic procedures (gematria, notarikon) in the composition of radically new experimental & multilingual poems. Too little known, her oeuvre, as I would read it, is in a line that goes from Abulafia to Mallarmé & Mac Low & various poets of Oulipo and Fluxus, among others, while the devotion & precision that she shows throughout are clearly & powerfully her own.
[The excerpts that follow are from a work in progress, A Field on Mars: Poems 2000-2015, scheduled for publication next year by Presses Universitaires de Rouen et du Havre (Jusqu’a/To Books) in simultaneous English & French editions. The note below explains whatever else needs explanation. (J.R.)]
[As I approach the seven-year mark of Poems and Poetics, I thought it appropriate to re-post the initial offering in the series, first posted herein on June 7, 2008. Published later that year as a small book from a resuscitated Hawk's Well Press (my own first press from the 1960s), two of the images appear here and here on the internet, and copies
[For the record & because I’m feeling some irritation following the recent PEN Center / Charlie Hebdo brouhaha, I’m posting these two pieces on today’s Poems and Poetics. Both Joris & Aridjis have been very close to me over the years, & their pieces, taken together, provide as strong a statement as needed in the present instance. My own sense of the issues goes back to forerunners like the Dada poet Richard Huelsenbeck who spoke out against the “misbelievers” of religion & in favor of the “dis