Jerome Rothenberg

Poems and poetics

Clayton Eshleman

Four new poems from ‘Penetralia’

Note: All of these poems are from a new manuscript called Penetralia that will be published by Black Widow Press in the spring of 2017. In August of 2017, Wesleyan University Press will publish Eshleman’s cotranslation with A. James Arnold of The Complete Poetry of Aimé Césaire, a bilingual 950-page collection. Eshleman’s most recent book publications include Clayton Eshleman: The Essential Poetry 1960–2015 (Black Widow Press) and A Sulfur Anthology (based on the forty-six issues of Sulfur magazine that he edited between 1982 and 2000) from Wesleyan University Press. There are also several chapbooks from BlazeVOX that can be accessed by emailing the editors at

A Half Hour with Basquiat


Skull trash staring through wall splash.

Face skillet with sunny-side-up red eyeballs.

Black heel sprouting splayed white fingers.

We have no Hades,    only fetus graffiti!


Jerome Rothenberg: A poem for the cruel minority

[Written during the Reagan administration as “A Poem for the Cruel Majority” & a counter to talk then about “the silent majority” & its rising place in our national politics. The result of the recent election, in which a minority of the electorate brought Donald J. Trump into office, caused me to rethink & to reword the earlier designation. If further changes are needed (& they will be), I’ll think about it. (J. R.)]


Michael Palmer: 'Tomb of Aimé Césaire' and 'Light Moves (1–6), for Jackson Mac Low'

Editor’s note: I’m using today’s Poems and Poetics to celebrate the publication of Michael Palmer’s new poetry collection, The Laugher of the Sphinx, just out from New Directions.

Gerry Loose: Eight further poems in ogham script with a note on poetics and translation

Church of the 3 Brethren     Lochgoilhead 

little saint of whitethorn

little quencher of wolf spark

welcome to the burial mounds


dear confessor of blood-red berries

sweet dweller of beehive cell

oaks make good gallow-trees


Mohsen Emadi: 'YAMSA, A Tribute to Absence' (from 'Standing on Earth')

In memory of Farzad Kamangar

Translation from Persian by Lyn Coffin


[Farzad Kamangar was a thirty-two-year-old Iranian teacher, poet, journalist, human rights activist, and social worker who was hanged on May 9, 2010. At his execution, he offered chocolates to all the observers.]




I’m sitting at the end of the world