Commentaries - December 2013

Toward a poetry and poetics of the Americas (2): Aimé Césaire, from 'The Original 1939 Notebook of a Return to the Native Land'

Translation from French by A. James Arnold and Clayton Eshleman

[J.R.’s note.  Earlier this year I began with Heriberto Yépez the exploration of a possible assemblage of a newly reconsidered “poetry of the Americas.”  The driving idea was to imagine a multilingual/multinational/multipoetic juxtaposition of poetries drawn from the work of poets engaged as natives and strangers in the creation of a new & necessarily experimental poetry & poetics.  Coincident with that has been the publication of Aimé Césaire’s original 1939 version of Notebook of

Outside & subterranean poems, a mini-anthology in progress (60): Empedocles of Akragas, 'On Nature,' Fragments 1–10



Listen, Pausanias,

                        son of Ankhitos the Sage:




Our bodies are tunneled

A word about holes

by elena minor

PALABRA, Image and Design by Randy Nakamura
PALABRA, Image and Design by Randy Nakamura

Language is a tricky business.  A lot of people can’t speak it. - Wilma Ponce

It was timed seven years ago and there was made to exist somewhere on white space a WordHole that got smaller&larger depending on the weather, but it didn’t fully close. Located near to the revolved Universe of Putative Dissimilarity but not overly close, it eschewed xas the normative case and instead offered w, e and pas a locus for the business of its business – UPPER CASE palabra. 

RighteousPeople with “things on their mind” and animals in their souls reached out, took the opportunity to throw words — big and small, common and esoteric — into it.

First reading of Rae Armantrout's 'Spin' (3)

Dee Morris

Dee Morris’s short essay on Rae Armantrout’s “Spin” is the third of five first readings of that poem we will publish in this new series. Jennifer Ashton’s was the first, Katie Price’s the second. The series page can be found here. — Brian Reed, Craig Dworkin, and Al Filreis

Jerome Rothenberg: From 'Eye of Witness': The Table of Contents

[In composing a gathering of my own work over the last half-century or so, I’ve tried to construct it, with the collaboration of Heriberto Yépez, as an assemblage on the model of earlier works of mine like Technicians of the Sacred & Poems for the Millennium.  The experiment in this case was how to turn a “reader” into something more than a chronological work stringing together selections from  previous books of poetry & poetics.  It’s my hope that the table of contents which follows will give some sense of what we were d