Commentaries

Visualizing the future tense

Orchid Tierney

Reviews Editor Orchid Tierney returns with capsule reviews of It’s Not Over Once You Figure It Out by Isaac Pickell, Border Wisdom by Ahmad Almallah, and Tung by Robyn Maree Pickens.

Reviews Editor Orchid Tierney returns with capsule reviews of It’s Not Over Once You Figure It Out by Isaac Pickell, Border Wisdom by Ahmad Almallah, and Tung by Robyn Maree Pickens.


 
It’s Not Over Once You Figure It Out, Isaac Pickell (Black Ocean, 2023) 

Basil King’s Tablets

Basil King, Tablet #3, 33x22”, (c) Basil King 2024 Artists Rights Society New York (ARS)

Basil King has shared with us at Jacket2 several of his remarkable new Tablets. We are delighted to present Tablet #3 — the paired poem and panel. The visual was made with chalk, charcoal, and soft moulding paste on prepared birch panel. Its dimensions are 30 x 22”. King's plan is to finish this series, at least for now, as nine poems and panels. The images of the panels, produced by Martha King with her phone, are meant to be part of this preview of the work. Those interested in knowing more, or seeing more (and finer reproductions), of the project, are invited to reach out directly: Bazink3@gmail.com. For now, we present the visual tablet above, and the verse tablet below.

In Memoriam: Jerome Rothenberg (1931–2024)

How do you begin to describe the many lives of Jerry Rothenberg, who passed away on Sunday at the age of ninety-two? His output as poet alone, or translator, or editor, or anthologist would be enough to secure his reputation for the ages, and yet he excelled in all those areas and more with equal brilliance, fervor, and prescience. 

The poetry world we inhabit has been shaped over and over again by Rothenberg's vision, which comprehensively traces an evolution in Western poetics from Romanticism through Modernism to the present, while also inviting a diverse array of marginalized voices to take an equal place at the table. Who else could find profound commonalities that transcended time and space, or trace mercurial ideas into the most obscure corners of expression?

Digital Poetics 2

Not Your Father’s Confessionalism

A blank text field. Oblong. With rounded corners. It is our refuge where we are free to say almost anything. Some treat it as a mail slot to dispatch their most personal thoughts. Others leap across it as a stage where they become a different person. Or a heaving jumble of Pessoa-like heteronyms, or what most people call trolls. Most of us troll without noticing, or we perform for clicks with a keen understanding that what we type (however non-factual) conjures data about what we are. An armchair existentialist might say the space mirrors the void inside us.