Thursday, July 6, 2017

Homage to Lee Chapman

Steve Clay published my homage to Lee Chapman & her First Intensity Magazine and Press in his interweb series From a Secret Location which acknowledges and documents the small and even micro presses and journals that keep poetry vibrant. You can find it here.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

not poetry

I have a piece in the spring 2017 Buddhadharma. Its title: There Is No Author. Roland Barthes, Kanye West, and So Sahn. It might take awhile (maybe a long while) to get up on their internet site Lion's Roar. But thought I'd mention it.

And thank you to Koun Franz and the other BD staff people.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Surfing the web I found this wonderful review of No Face that Dale Smith put up on Bookslut back in July 2008. Original URL is http://www.bookslut.com/marsupial_inquirer/2008_07_013233.php but who knows how long it will be there...

No Face, by poet and mathematician Judith Roitman, maximizes the strategies of techniques of serial poetry to create brief narratives. Rather than relying on an expressive rhetoric of personality or the objective deployments of plot and character, these poems trace an experience of the world. Each page questions accumulated details of one’s life, from phenomenal objects to personal “thoughts,” appetite, and desire. Roitman uses language to discover environments rather than determining them, and the experience of reading these serial works gives readers an opportunity to reflect on their own habits of mind and attention by way of her compelling example.
Formally, Roitman’s writing puts the serial poem to work in different ways. The opening poem, for instance, is written in long lines. It organizes the space of the rhetorical situation to inquire about relations between poet, words, and an outside world. She writes:
The mystery of the inhabitants. The mystery of the staircase,
            of the rug, of the refrigerator left shining, of the random
            lamp still plugged in.
The lie of saying what you are expected to say
and the lie of hewing to ideology.
The lie of saying what you have been taught
and the lie of trying to please everyone.
The lie of categorizing
and the lie of defying categories.
The lie of saying you eat matzo
and the lie of eating it.
The lie of telling the family they will not be killed,
and the lie of the woman as she strapped her husband in.
These lies subvert common assumptions about how we are socialized, opening awareness of an uneasy relation to others through the categories we use to describe the world, even as those categories are imposed distillations of our own projected disorder.
Elsewhere, the nameless narrator and characters are revealed through a rhetorically strategic language that de-emphasizes the role of the poet in order for the poem to apprehend a common world.
Because everything depends on the body.
Because my word isn’t your word.
Because it is so hard to remember.
Because he moved restlessly through the house at night.
Because she convinced herself she could see through walls.
Because she was in two places at once.
The questions and answers in this book are distributed incongruently, leading a reader to reflect on the process of questioning and answering -- that they share essential goals in language, to unhinge stuck modes of thought.
Other poems turn to a floating, broken-line verse while some are composed as prose. In one, “Cosmogonies,” Roitman opens, rather than narrates, a reflective field through which she meditates on cosmic relation. She examines the contribution of quotidian form to how we understand cosmos. “As a lizard waits in the sun,” she writes, “so taste starting as light on tongue expanding into more light & color spreading like cloth in winter.” With this she notes, “[t]he origin is lost we have not found it but coolness, every year another disease and the seduction of etymology to believe we can understand it.”
Roitman’s writing examines the process of thinking and feeling, but in ways that remind us language, more than thought and sensation, is at stake in our apprehension of the world. There are directions and paths in these serial narratives through which we find the unexpected.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Not sure what this is but it's part of yet another series because that's how I roll, in series:


One day they jumped into the water. They lowered themselves in boxes. They were surrounded by ladders. Everywhere you looked there were ladders and boxes filled with water. This is no way to live. So they dried themselves off and turned into ducklings.



Tuesday, January 19, 2016

#9 in a series of 44


One thing and another it came out
crooked it came out best
eyes delayed I am surrounded
his breath delayed so long
to get there the door delayed
roof finished and floor.



Thursday, August 13, 2015

More Roswell


[scenario in which aliens move among us undetected]

projecting image into mind fluid unrelenting what seen expected deviation unnoticed as in mall so even jostled unnoticed such small feet unnoticed what reached for what currency on elevator reaching seen as wished for never more than never recognized seen as what expected exactly what

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Roswell project


[the surviving alien remembers nourishment]

how it would sit in the mouth absorbed through membranes
held against digestive membrane the slow pleasure of it
seeping across digestive membrane

one substance used again and again
so many to nourish such satisfaction seeping inward
shared among such multiple beings all aspects of each other

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I've been working on poems centered on whatever did or didn't happen in/near Roswell NM in June/July 1947. This poem is from the (if any) surviving alien (if any).