Jerome Rothenberg

Poems and poetics

Antonin Artaud: 'The Old Caca Love Box'

A first translation from French by Clayton Eshleman

                                                                 Paris, 27 December 1946
                                                                 To M. Gilbert 


     I did indeed receive your letter urging me to send you the promised text
for your special issue on love. But I did warn you that I could tell you only what I
think. It was you who questioned me, it is to you that I respond.
     For I have had, for a long time, nothing more to say about love. It’s a feeling
that I believed I had and understood, at a time when I was developing false ideas
about life, for in truth I never found any love in it, only in me:

Charles Stein: 'The Speed of Thought,' part one

[The following is text of a talk I gave early this fall at the Philadelphia conference on Psychedemia (C.S.)]

The point is that a thought — any thought —
retards time:
The infinitely rapid rush of transition —
the white susurrus of the immediate movement
from one instant to its successor.
To be possessed of a thought —
it is as if there were a station in time
at which one could have a recess from its passage.
One stops to consider.
One places before oneself
that which a thought contains
in order to elaborate, reflect, develop, associate . . .
while holding the position of the original thought.
Time flies on, but the thought remains...
Sort of.

Jerome Rothenberg: 'A Further Witness,' for Anselm Hollo

All things possess intelligence, and a share of thought.
– Empedocles of Acragas


I who
am dead
call to
the living
how absurd
your walk
& adrift
you run across

Anne Waldman: Excerpts from 'Jaguar Harmonics' [person woven of, of tesserae]

“and I// hear all, the new moon new in all/ the ancient sky”
-- Charles Olson

Mutsuo Takahashi: From 'Twelve Views from the Distance'

Translated from Japanese by Jeffrey Angles

Uncle Ken’ichi, a photo in wartime
Uncle Ken’ichi, a photo in wartime

In every sense, Uncle Ken’ichi seemed to have been born in order to be sacrificed to the war effort. He was born more than a decade after my father, and so the entire process of his personal development coincided with the process of Japan’s descent into conflict. In the end, his young flesh and fragile soul were placed as burnt offerings upon the altar of war.