Jerome Rothenberg

Poems and poetics

Julian Talamantez-Brolaski: Three new poems from 'ADVICE FOR LOVERS' with a note from 'Phonosemantics and the Real'

[What follows is a glimpse of Talamantez-Brolaski’s creation of an effusive new poetry that brings together voices & forms over a wide range of experimental & traditional poetries. It is at the same time a hardcore experiment in the laying down of a transgender poetics that puts a number of identities into question & brings still others into a new prominence. All of this is done with an extraordinary & strikingly precise sense of what both identity & expression have been in the past & what they may be in the present. If Wittgenstein correctly spoke of “philosophy, as we use the word, [as] a fight against the fascination which forms of expression exert on us,” the same, as I’ve often argued, might also & usefully be said of poetry. In what Talamantez-Brolaski has started to create & re-create (and in these poems we only touch the surface), I see a mind searching the limits of possibilities, both demotic & elite, current & markedly antiquated, free forms & sonnets, at the practitioner’s disposal. The discussion of “phonosemantics,” below, of which I’m only showing a portion, is a zukofskyan assemblage in itself of multiple & diverse parts & in that sense a true beginning. (J.R.)]  

Fuck Me Harder

Fuck me harder, leave the haters behind
As you know I am a slut for leisure
Arrest me on the mountaintop’s incline,
For I’ve klepted when I ought to please your
Neglected epic skin, and pull your hair.

Itō Hiromi: Cooking, writing poetry

Translation from Japanese by Jeffrey Angles

Itō Hiromi (center) with Jeffrey Angles & Jerome Rothenberg
Itō Hiromi (center) with Jeffrey Angles & Jerome Rothenberg

[On March 11, 2011, northeastern Japan suffered a massive earthquake that left nearly 16,000 people dead or missing and many others injured. Soon afterward, the editors of Gendai shi techo (Japan's foremost magazine of contemporary poetry) and the Asahi Shinbun (one of Japan's largest newspapers) collaborated to commission and publish a series of works about the disaster, all written by Japan's foremost poets. The following poem was Hiromi Itō 's contribution to the project. This translation first appeared in Poetry Kanto, vol. 28 (2012). (J.A.)]

A huge earthquake, a huge tsunami
People die and just moments later
There’s the nuclear meltdown
Drawn-out fear assaults us
Each time I go to Tokyo
It is darker
Hot and humid there
It stings
In Tokyo
Everyone was afraid
Everybody was angry

Outsider poems, a mini-anthology in progress (50): Ernst Herbeck, 'Golden ABCs,' with translation from German by Gary Sullivan

Photo credit: © Privatstiftung–Künstler aus Gugging
Photo credit: © Privatstiftung–Künstler aus Gugging

Golden ABCs

The sequence A-Z
The alphabet in order
The lock
The book order B-Y
The interim result C

1. A beautiful A
as it once was
is—like— an apple star
in—Vien’na (AS N)
2. A beautiful film star
is a prayer
As gladly I’s once staged (in old time VIENNA)
and as beautiful; as it once waS.
3. A A A winter that is there.
Winter, summer, autumn and rain
P l e a s e God—bounty me the apple gain.
A A A spring that is THERE.

B B B to separate does hurt.
always tributary in the crossroads,
the wood falls in whining odes,
B B B to separate does hurt.
B B B to separate does hurt.
Wood disheartened in the holloway,
the wood lies at the crossroads,
B B B to separate does hurt.

Alberto Blanco: 'Three Theories' from 'The Square Root of Heaven'

Translated from Spanish by Gustavo V. Segade & Elise Miller

                                                        Imagination is more important
                                                        than knowledge.