"Brain, shake out thy water, dog-like." -- Ron Padgett

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Speaking in Many Tongues


Marwa HelalPoem to be Read from Right to Left

http://www.wintertangerine.com/helal-poem-to-be-read/


Safia Elhillo: Quarantine with Abdelhalim Hafez

Video reading and explanation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIjpLJCoioI

http://brittlepaper.com/2015/05/quarantine-abdelhalim-hafez-quirky-african-poem-stop-reading/

Latasha N. Nevada Diggs, Safiya Sinclair, Layli Long Soldier
http://lithub.com/watch-three-recent-whiting-award-winning-poets-read-from-their-work/


Jordan Abel: the Silhouette of a Pole on the shore of the Nass River

http://canlit.ca/article/the-silhouette-of-a-pole-on-the-shore-of-the-nass-river/

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Speaking in Many Tongues: Junot Diaz, Caroline Bergvall

Caroline Bergvall on "Seeing through Languages

https://vimeo.com/65378035



Junot Diaz on unintelligibility: around 1'40"

https://vimeo.com/46306083
"That as a writer you need a much stronger conceptualization of what readers mean and how readers function on the page. Readers are absolutely accustomed to massive unintelligibility. And without the reader workshop, they’re always saying, “Well, I don’t understand this.” Unintelligibility has always been attacked. Where unintelligibility is an absolutely normative condition of the experience of reading. And a lot of times, a bunch of the shit that we do, people are trying to lay it on some ethnic cultural crap. “Are you sure people are going to understand this? Are you positive that this isn’t too much?” For a reader, if they can make sense of sixty percent of what you write, that’s considered a win. The great joys of reading is that most of what you read escapes us and is only learned or approached through rereading and through contact with other readers. If you don’t have an interesting way of how audience works, you’re making about five times more work for yourself as a writer. Audience helps you shape an economy of signification, and the proliferation of some of these fantasies about how art works—and very unrigorous—it’s not helpful for anybody. The writer with an audience is a powerful artist and I think that’s what the best literature is. We’re overhearing comments that were directed to someone that doesn’t even exist anymore. And the very fact that someone was supposed to receive it charges the words with meaning, significance, and with libidinal energies. You know?"

Ocean Vuong, from "A Little Closer to the Edge."


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Three Poems by Aase Berg

Three Poems by Aase Berg

with English translation by Johannes Göransson

    

    Deformationszon

    Viltstängslet har upphört
    fladdermusar fittar sig
    kring krubbet
    Vårt pösmunkfetto slaggar
    i sin goda ro,
    som stötdämpad
    av svallningar
    i knubbet


                            Deformation Zone

                            The wilderness fence has ceased
                            flutterbats cunt
                            around the grub
                            Our doughnut-fatso slops
                            in peace and quiet,
                            as if shock-muffled
                            by ripples
                            in the plump.




    Filt

    Gilla lunk
    simma lugnt
    stilla flyter gråten

    Bråten flottas
    genom tålamodets hjärna

    Hundåren tar hundra år


                            Blanket

                            Like lope
                            swim calmly
                            slowly flow the cries

                            Junk shipped
                            through the patience brain

                            Dog years last a houndred years




    Fotboj

    Hålla sig i skinnet
    spänna vingeskinnet

    Drakläge vidgas
    i stilleståndsdans
    jordbalans


                            Foot Buoy

                            Hold on to one's skin
                            fasten the wing skin

                            Dragon phase unfolds
                            in a standstilldance

                            earthbalance

Lisa Robertson: How to Judge



How to Judge

BY LISA ROBERTSON

To those whose city is taken give glass
pockets. To those whose quiver gapes give queens
and pace their limbs with flutes, ropes, cups of soft
juice. To those whose threshold vacillates give
that bruise the dust astonished. To falling
heroes give raucous sibyls’ polished knees.
To those who sip nectar give teeth. And if
they still sip nectar—give green chips of wood.
To swimmers give clocks or rank their hearts
among new satellites as you would
Garbo’s skint lip. To scholars, give dovecotes
to virgins, targets. Justice has nothing on them.
Virgil, sweetheart, even pretty fops need
justice. If they think not let creditors
flank them and watch their vigour quickly flag.
To exiled brides give tiny knives and beads
of mercury then rob them of prudence
for prudence is defunct. To those who fist
clouds, give powder. And if their sullen
wallets flap, give nothing at all. Still
I have not addressed lambent fops
swathed in honey, the stuttering moon
Martyrs, Spartans, Sirens, Mumblers, Pawns
Ventriloquists—or your sweet ego

The Beloved Ego in the plummy light
is you. When I see you in that light
I desire all that has been kept from me
etcetera. For you. Since your rough shirt
reminds me of the first grass
pressing my hips and seeds heads
fringing the sky and the sky
swaying lightly to your scraped
breath, since I hear
panicked, my sister calling
since the gold leaves have all
been lost, and you are at least
several and variegated
I toss this slight thread back

The beloved ego on cold marble
blurs inscription. Hey Virgil
I think your clocked ardour is stuck
in the blue vein on my wrist. It stops
all judgement


Mark Strand, from Five Dogs



I, the dog they call Spot, was about to sing. Autumn
Had come, the walks were freckled with leaves, and a tarnished
Moonlit emptiness crept over the valley floor.
I wanted to climb the poet’s hill before winter settled in;
I wanted to praise the soul. My neighbor told me
Not to waste my time. Already the frost had deepened
And the north wind, trailing the whip of its own scream,
Pressed against the house, “A dog’s sublimity is never news,”
He said, “what’s another poet in the end?”
And I stood in the midnight valley, watching the great starfields
Flash and flower in the wished-for reaches of heaven.
That’s when I, the dog they call Spot, began to sing.