Jerome Rothenberg

Poems and poetics

Outsider poems, a mini-anthology in progress (52): Essie Parish in New York

Transcription & reconstruction by George Quasha

It is a test you have to pass.
Then you can learn to heal
with the finger, said Essie
pointing over our heads:
I went thru every test on the way,
that's how come I'm a shaman.
Be careful on the journey, they said,
the journey to heaven. They warned me.
And so I went.
Thru the rolling hills
I walked and walked,
mountains and valleys, and rolling hills,
I walked and walked and walked –
you hear many things there
in those rolling hills and valleys,
and I walked and walked and walked
and walked and walked until
I came to a footbridge,

Charles Stein: 'The Speed of Thought,' part two

(continued from earlier posting on Poems and Poetics)

I wish to suggest a rather subtle shift
in the way we think about our trips,
and indeed, our experience in general.

Of course one can and often does
simply become lost in the colors of the phenomena
that produce themselves for us.
But equally frequently, for many of us,
the trip is fraught with ontological issues.
The matter of the reality of what is going on
and what we are experiencing:
the reality and nature of the entities we encounter;
the nature and reality of the apparent narratives we are the part of.

Rochelle Owens: 'Hermaphropoetics' / 'Desire'

In this story

ripening on the vine so to speak


In this story a warhol-like



a vinyl fruit of desire

teasing femme/homme


bringing millions to their knees


Antonin Artaud: 'The Old Caca Love Box'

A first translation from French by Clayton Eshleman

                                                                 Paris, 27 December 1946
                                                                 To M. Gilbert 


     I did indeed receive your letter urging me to send you the promised text
for your special issue on love. But I did warn you that I could tell you only what I
think. It was you who questioned me, it is to you that I respond.
     For I have had, for a long time, nothing more to say about love. It’s a feeling
that I believed I had and understood, at a time when I was developing false ideas
about life, for in truth I never found any love in it, only in me:

Charles Stein: 'The Speed of Thought,' part one

[The following is text of a talk I gave early this fall at the Philadelphia conference on Psychedemia (C.S.)]

The point is that a thought — any thought —
retards time:
The infinitely rapid rush of transition —
the white susurrus of the immediate movement
from one instant to its successor.
To be possessed of a thought —
it is as if there were a station in time
at which one could have a recess from its passage.
One stops to consider.
One places before oneself
that which a thought contains
in order to elaborate, reflect, develop, associate . . .
while holding the position of the original thought.
Time flies on, but the thought remains...
Sort of.