Jerome Rothenberg

Poems and poetics

David Matlin: From 'The Libido for the Ugly' (A work in progress)

“The Libido for the Ugly” is the title of an essay the great American journalist, H.L. Mencken, wrote in the 1920s about the land and city-scapes he felt had been trampled into nightmare and belittling destitution as we, a hundred years later, are being trampled by presidential edicts which are the most invigorated corporate crusades to undo our Constitution and environment we have seen in generations.

Jerome Rothenberg: Five dream poems, recovered

Dream poems by Jerome Rothenberg.

Dream Poem

A Fragment

 

Those who must wait, wait.

 

The machinery attended to,

the sheets turned back,

the steam released into the air,

the dirty particles released.

 

Cecilia Vicuña: 'DISPROSODIES' or 'Saint Visions,' after 'TOCADAS' by Xul Solar

Cecilia Vicuña: 'DISPROSODIES'

 Of this beautifully complex poem Vicuña writes by way of introduction: “The piece comprises three poems and was commissioned by Lila Zemborain for the book-catalog of the exhibition ‘Xul Solar and Borges: The Art of Friendship’ at the Americas Society in New York, 2013.

Translated from Spanish by Christopher Winks

 

I write these lines on the day of Hurricane Sandy, the biggest storm in history, the beginning of the future, lashing Manhattan.

 

Hexagram 25 / Wu Wang / Innocence (The Unexpected)

Amish Trivedi: Excerpt of 'Automata,' from 'FuturePanic,' with a note by the author

NOTE: FuturePanic encompasses macro and micro concerns to transform the reader’s sense of space and time and force them to engage with the present era’s perceptions of death, politics, and the border at which they meet. The opening (presented here and separately titled “Automata”) considers the Von Neumann Machine, an as-yet impossible organic machine designed to replicate itself across the galaxy over the next four hundred thousand years. Conceptual, expensive, and perplexing, the Von Neumann Machine raises questions present throughout FuturePanic — who benefits from the long reach of technology? How do the earth-bound conceive of transformation light years away? And how do mortals deign to simultaneously explore the potential for never-ending life at the cost of killing death for machines, while grappling with their own limitations — corporeal death, political conceit, and economic destruction of the world around them? Is the quest for knowledge that may outlast us all worth stargazing above the screams of others in the here and now and the cries of our own limited bodies and minds?

To keep waking up

missing the suns

beyond our own. The future

is a hard limit, the arc of history

 

long enough that no one here

will ever see enough of it.

Long after humans, maybe

two-hundred thousand years old,