Jerome Rothenberg

Poems and poetics

A Gematria poem, as it comes to me, for George Quasha at 70 & myself at 80

Photo circa 1973

100 + 6 + 6 + 1 + 300 + 1 = 414 = 200 + 214 = 300 + 114

Outsider poems, a mini-anthology in progress (41): 'The Song of the Azria'

Adapted by Pierre Joris from Y. Georges Kerhuel's French version

Editorial note: The following is part of Pierre Joris’s ongoing exploration of North African (Maghreb) culture, a work as big & multifaceted as his own sense of the dynamics & far reach of poetic imagination & fancy. Yet the stakes here, as with much real poetry, go well beyond poesis as such, to exemplify & expose an area of religion & sexuality that has been a given in many parts of the world, “from origins to present.” Here the azria (courtesan) asserts the role of the outsider, still not forgotten, to raise new/old powers of body & mind in the service of vision & desire. (J.R.)

A round of Renshi & the poet as other: An experiment in poesis (part three)

[continued from previous postings, here & here]




The thirtieth and final poem of the renshi event fell to me asvisitorand gave me a chance to consider or reconsider the entire processthe experimental side of it at least, as a test of poetry under special circumstances. The moves up to then had been easy enough, a cool kind of writing that I didnt find at all displeasing, and a chance, as Robert Duncan had once put it,to exercise my faculties at large.On top of thatand not to be ignoredI was doing it out in the open and immersed in a language that I barely understood. It seemed to me too that Kaku, writing in the slot before me, had been pushing toward some kind of conclusion, to which I felt an affinity, but had to consider it, along with a specific request from Tanikawa, as an invitation to formulate my own coda here, a kind of capsule poetics as I conceived it.

Rochelle Owens: 'Color Pool in Umbria, in Memoriam Al Held'



First a question

then an outline

is it an anatomical form