— “News,” Great Guns, Farnoosh Fathi
Migraine of the Souls. June 27th pane of 1964 glasses
Key rows violence in a lost column ovum
right the columns that are dreaming
thunderous for paper;
i have to return, to see if you can’t
with that amphibious march
April with its races isn’t black.
Before that sea Yesterday,
secret dome of three pointy wives
Wherefore, say legs to the abyss;
i have to go
it’s going to love
& i won’t have that gaze to use as key
that would describe itself inside this damned tree.
Columns have to look like me inside the knees
to see if there are crows on my odious
elbow my home my jaws;
i make examination on those molars
& those most ruinous walls
to see if There There, There There little flute.
Little flute let me be a man, brilliant that that cloud
turns tobacco off, know me; there
i mean love me see what’s there behind the curtains;
of the living ceiling mutes his bones
with a half-built Alm ighty & very much besides
with a built for all & i want to ruin his sides the realm
between pastors that voltage sparks the T’s
of their extreme rosters;
leave me to go there, to the other part,
to see if i encounter there the ankle
under which your goodness blesses lost welcome mats.
I am sad right now, this eye’s math
& i want to give him yogurt & an orange.
The autumn leaves eat my yogurt.
I am the Elected
I am the Elected, he touches the flute
& puts in order houses in sporadic bliss;
i am the Elected, my Hoof on the Paragraph,
from the 7th Sunburn,
he that touches tombs turns them to the luminous bird
tracks Go Hawks
i am the Elected, for me the planets
don’t find where to go, libido dust
of bricks behind my ear;
ambulant son on my ear a psalm,
i give him for his turn the garlic
behind & before fair,
while the horse comes in my son, garlic
like kisses, cars & 55 business schools
a company of Hyundais, renaissance inside the Pope
he makes out with, the Gays vote votives
Afterward that i don’t brain i am a mage
The atmosphere to see the
Don’t speak for me little ear
nor of my forty years, (long as ten thousand)
(October 7, 1964)
A celestial day in the earth. November 9, 1964
I i went a day celestial here upon the earth,
a day for my eyes, making burn the tablets,
making contact is the Vulva.
I invent a day of Grack Patruck,
to flyy the various miles of the Disco Ball,
with the titmilk of Laakribi tribe turned lunar.
Because I am the more Powerful of the Key
that has the Disco of Enigma
nailed in the center of the Egg Truck –Ocle.
I am that,) who denigrates me,
who puts in doubt my capillaries
of making brilliant the eye of the mule that dreams?
His stare is here, mortal, to chuck the chuck;
She is here, between the nails of some somber Gabriel,
in the Citi Morsi of Innis Catis & in the little cinch;
He is here, in the foundered lubricant of time,
where certain birds are like, Catatonic
witches enmeshed (eunuched) & of the Black iguanas.
I don’t imagine it: 600,000 neologisms
fleeting UStuaries of the Sun, what tetanus torres:
nor can the cross of this august lamskin
nor with that other, ohsiill sihilllllllllllll.
All of lift fled me in its day,
In its blank hour, in its profile of dew.
Life, that collation that was mind,
I left to its flower & its strew.
She, that tied herself in gentry,
of perfumes aching in my gold palms;
& flies away & gets money. & in oral weeping,
& goes away. & prays a flame of runners’ alphae.
All of life fled me in its Welsh
but, mounted on the mount, some un-Welshmen
abutted the sea that caesura’d me a man’s amen-ascent.
i could lunar her, I touch her spume,
but neither era of flow, er nor era of plume:
Era of origen natural of the ceiling.
Inseminating her I had some minutes
& she was a parochial woman of the piti
Her tongue was gold, it was not salubrious
life breeze of flish make arab flutes.
I was inseminating her, in my guilt
where I would see a something like, unto an envelope;
but I cult some perpetuities, hard antelopes
that played clitoris in hashish.
& i found a rosary seeming
that shadowy, moon & midday
of an abysmal pair, far off & mute.
& I was there, beat constellation
Like a Thursday or a hero’s underwear
lost in judo.
On Rafael José Muñoz
Donde se ríe de las coordenadas telescópicas
are the last “five” lines of Rafael José Muñoz’s puzzling poem, cryptically titled SU ROSTRO KENO. The title would roughly translate to HIS/HER KENO FACE. The sex is never specified, & Keno is a lottery game, so the title is like a reference to a specific version of a game face, or an alternative to a poker face. These guesses are educated, & so probably wrong. Maybe they refer to the poet himself, but then again, psychoanalysis is always tempting for those in passive positions; it allows us the illusion of besting our masters, outsmarting our dealers, purloining the letters from the poet.
It is more likely, in fact, that the poem shows us the anthropomorphized image of a Keno game. Not a gendered face. So let’s go with “it”
Where it laughs at the telescopic coordinates
One is reminded of odds, of chance, of fate, of Gods, of space, of ungraspable dreams floating in impossible coordinates apparently (parallax-ly) in front of said dreamer’s face
& then we have an anagram split into 4 pairs. I assemble UNA FINCA, & feel I win the game. A finca is an estate, generally with rural connotations, like a plantation. Imagine winning Keno & buying an estate alone dark enough to clear a sky of all the light but stars’ far-reaching light. Maybe the stars are dead. Imagine otherwise looking through a telescope & seeing your dream home. We attempt to observe the universe & instead project our earthly fantasies. Blank space is a screen. We try to leave and are grounded in a desire sphere. We’ll render Mars habitable some year, surely
Odds are, I did not win Rafael José Muñoz’s game. Or, if I think I did, I didn’t. But if I played it, found it gamy, & found much unanswerable, then I’ve read a poem. The translation problems I encountered were not language problems. They were poetry problems
Rafael (after translation, after a nice meeting, one feels the two are on a first-name basis) wrote beautiful, acerbic, learnéd, at times algorithmic but sumptuous & always beautiful, with a capital B, Poems. He wrote neologisms so absurd they seemed more like no-logisms, nonwords, fake clues, sitting duck decoys so patient & well-varnished that they made conspicuous the high-quality of their wood. Arrows targeting themselves. The man/woman behind the Keno Face is named Casini. Its head is made of Cola. The aura is a fizz, the divine is the dealer, the word is Word®. In Rafael’s poetry there is a faithful irreverence for the authoritative, for the numerical, & thereby one detects an obsession with the same subject.
I did not try to solve R’s games, I did not attempt in my translations to reproduce them nor to lay their mechanics bare in English. My translations are exercises in infidelity. That way they remain faithful to this man, whom I do not know. Or better yet to the poet, whose keno face I haven’t bested, though I’d say I profited.
Rafael José Muñoz (1928-1981) was a Venezuelan poet born in the rural town of Guanape, in the State of Anzoategui. He worked as a farmer, grocer and school teacher. In 1945 he left for Caracas and became immersed in political militancy and poetic experimentation. Between 1949 and 1950 he founded the literary group Cantaclaro with poets Jesus Sanoja Hernandez and Miguel Garcia Mackle. In the seventies, he was editor of the influential Venezuelan literary publication Zona Franca. His books incluide Los pasos de la muerte, 1953, and El círculo de los tres soles, 1968.
Photo by Vasco Szinetar
— “Fresh Air,” Kenneth Koch
Amiri Baraka died today. Listen to his powerful reading of his story Rhythm Travel from Tales of the Out and Gone (2007).
photo © Beowulf Sheehan / PEN American Center
[CARRIE LORIG INTERVIEW RESPONSE]
carrie lorig has sent me one of the most raw video responses i’ve received
thank you, carrie
she poetically answers these questions with honesty & excitation
she wrote the book NODS, which is awesome - you should check it out
here are my favorite moments from the interview:
"I’m Carrie Lorig. I’m a name under the sand, or a bowl of pomegranates under the sand. I’m a blue leaf straying from the socket of a beast. I’m a jewel thief born from a light grave. I’m possibly something misread."
"I write every day, but I’m also writing when I am not writing."
"There’s no line between poetry & other kinds of language for me. The line is not buried; it’s not hidden; it’s not an invisible fence. It just doesn’t exist. I use poetry to say hello; I use it to touch you; I use it to talk about weather while eating fries on the forgotten coast […] It is the way I am the most alive as myself, & it is the way I’m most able to love & be with others."
"My approach is to be constant, to be attentive, to always be wide & aware & looking for potential, for possibility. My approach is to never not be a poet."
"There was pineapple beer there, & it was exactly good."
"It was right to touch so many things."
"Poems are capable of going where is necessary & urgent."
"I believe in monsters."
"The internet is one of the most important forces that poetry has behind it. Period."
"Any kind of energy that I have behind me as a poetry comes mostly from the internet."
"The internet can be a place where absuses of power get checked."
"I am laying down on a cliff at the ghost ranch."
— “Introduction to The Weather”, Occasional Work and Seven Walks from the Office of Soft Architecture, Lisa Robertson
The Poet Carries Around Dead Poems