Jerome Rothenberg

Poems and poetics

From 'Technicians of the Sacred Expanded' (a work in progress): 'The Khanty Prayer of the Bear' by Leonty Taragupta, poem, & commentary

O Father of the Seven Skies –

I too have been a God-spirit,

descendant of the bright ancestor,

descendant of the all-hearing ancestor,

though set upon the firmament

of the Earth!

But the Son of the Master of Towns –

is he your Father’s heir?

the son of the Master of the Hamlets –

Dennis Tedlock: Seven poems from Alcheringa & another from a long trip through Morocco

[Re-posted from a previous publication in Poems and Poetics, to mark Dennis Tedlock’s  unexpected passing earlier this year.  My admiration & debt to him – & that of so many others – is hardly in need of explanation, though the note below provides some of it. (J.R.)]


Advice Received


Don’t ask too many questions.

Norman Finkelstein: 'Oppen at Altamont'

From N. Finkelstein, The Ratio of Reason to Magic: New & Selected Poems, Dos Mad
From N. Finkelstein, The Ratio of Reason to Magic: New & Selected Poems, Dos Madres Press, 2016


Thrownness he calls it

And indeed “everyone

turned very sharply

into himself or herself.

Kind of a masturbatory



And the music—

something we had never

Coda: Eight poems in black, after Goya

[N.B. What began for me with 50 Caprichos after Goya & has continued with variations on “The Disasters of War” will end with this Coda, first sketched in Madrid 2007, in the shadow of his darkest works. (J.R.)]



two women watch

a man    his hand

under his cloak

or in his pants    the act

Mohsen Emadi: Two poems from 'Standing on Earth'

Translation from Persian by Lyn Coffin


laws of gravity



On your planet, an apple falls from the tree

and Newtown discovers the laws of gravity.