To begin ...

As the twentieth century fades out
the nineteenth begins
it is as if nothing happened
though those who lived it thought
that everything was happening
enough to name a world for & a time
to hold it in your hand
unlimited.......the last delusion
like the perfect mask of death

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Jerome Rothenberg: From EYE OF WITNESS: the Table of Contents

[In composing a gathering of my own work over the last half-century or so, I’ve tried to construct it, with the collaboration of Heriberto Yépez, as an assemblage on the model of earlier works of mine like Technicians of the Sacred & Poems for the Millennium.  The experiment in this case was how to turn a “reader” into something more than a chronological work stringing together selections from  previous books of poetry & poetics.  It’s my hope that the table of contents which follows will give some sense of what we were doing &, without claiming too much I hope, how it can serve as a model for yet another kind of “grand collage,” as Robert Duncan named them, not only for myself but for others whose work has attempted to cross over boundaries & genres.  The proof however is in the work itself, published a couple of months ago by Black Widow Press & currently open for inspection.]

Table of Contents

Introduction by Heriberto Yépez                       

Pre-face by Jerome Rothenberg 

Gallery One: Prolegomena to a Poetics
           “A Little Boy Lost”
                        The Night the Moon Was a Spider
                        Why Deep Image?
                        Invincible Flowers
                        A Poem for the Preident
          A Small Poem
          The Stationmaster's Lament
         The Real Revolution Is Tragic
                        A Conciliation
           Image & Mode: A Letter, 1960, to Robert Creeley
                        The Lightbulb & the Cockeyed Queen of Poland
                        How Tragic It Is To Be a King & Live in a Palace & 
                               Never Have Time To Be Gay
                        A first Manifesto 1960
          A Death Fugue, after Paul Celan
                        Walkin’ Around, after Pablo Neruda
                        A Side of Beef
                        The Counter-Dances of Darkness
                        Image & Melos: A Letter, 1960, to Robert Duncan
                        The Journey Between Summers
                        The Deep Image Is the Threatened Image
                        A Canticle for Suicides
                        Found Poems from “The Emergence Notebooks”
                        From The Seven Hells of the Jigoku Zoshi
                             The First Hell: of Measures
                             The Second Hell: of Thieves
                             The Fifth Hell: of Unclean Food
                             The Seventh Hell: of Smoke
                             A Bodhisattva Undoes Hell
                        From The Gorky Poems
                                    The Pirate (II)
                                    The Diary of a Seducer
                                    The Water of the Flowery Mill (II)
                                    Child of an Idumean Night
                                    Portrait of Myself with Arshile Gorky & Gertrude Stein
                        A Commentary on The Gorky Poems
                        From a Shaman’s Notebook
                                    An Invocation to the Rain
                                    The Seven
                                    Ghosts and Shadows
                                    The Killer
                                    A Poison Arrow
                                    The Dead Hunter Speaks through the Voice of a
                                    The Stars     
         From Sightings
                      Sightings IV                                                                                                                                                       
                                    Sightings V
                                    Sightings VI
                                    Sightings IX
                        A Note on the Measure of Sightings
                        Further Sightings
                                     The Old King
                                     The Witnesses
                        From Conversations: Three Poems
                        A Second Manifesto 1964
                        A Reconsideration 2010 
A Book of Otherings
A Paradise of Poets
              From Pre-Face to Writing Through: Translations &
              Marpa: The Annunciation (Tibet, 11th Century)
From 15 Flower World Variations (Yaqui)
The Flight of Quetzalcoatl (Aztec)
Isaac Luria: A Poem for the Small Face (Aramaic)
Isaac Luria: A Poem for the Shekinah on the Feast
      of the Sabbath (Aramaic)
“The Round Dance of Jesus” (Coptic)
25 Gematria (traditional)
A Commentary on Gematria
From Lorca’s Suites
            Night: A Suite for Piano & Poet’s Voice
            A Newton Suite
From The Lorca Variations: “Newton
A Commentary on Lorca
From 50 Caprichos after Goya
              In Goya’s World
Three Variations on Octavio Paz’s “Blanco”
Pablo Picasso: The Dream & Lie of Franco
A Commentary on Picasso
Tristan Tzara:  Two Dada Poems
              Metal Coughdrops
              Maison Aragon
Tristan Tzara, Dada, & Ethnopoetics
Kurt Schwitters: Five Merz Poems
              The Meadow
              Roses Abloom like Daisy Blossoms
              From the Back & from the Front to Start
A Commentary on Kurt Schwitters
Nakahara Chuya: Two Poems
              “A Bone”
              Poem: Sad Morning
A Commentary on Nakahara Chuya
Vitezslav Nezval: Shirt
A Commentary on Nezval
Eugen Gomringer: Four Concrete Poems
            From a Letter to Eugen Gomringer 9th November 1967
            In Memoriam Jackson Mac Low
            A Commentary on Jackson Mac Low
The First Horse Song of Frank Mitchell (Blue)
From “Je Est un Autre: A Talk & Talk-Poem” 

poetics & polemics 1: toward an ethnopoetics
            The Poetics of the Sacred: A Range of Topics for a
                  Keynote Speech
            On Ethnopoetics: A Collage
            Primitive & Modern: Intersections & Analogies
            Poets & Tricksters: Innovation & Disruption in Ritual
                 & Myth
            Total Translation: An Experiment in the Translation
                  of American Indian Poetry
            From “New Models, New Visions”: The Poetics of
Gallery Two: The World Turned Upside Down
            A Third Manifesto 1968
            A Seneca Memory
            The Dream from A Big Jewish Book
            From Poland/1931
                        Poland/1931: The Wedding
                        The Beadle’s Testimony
                        The Student’s Testimony
                        Portrait of a Jew Old Country Style
                        The Murder Inc. Sutra
                        Esther K. Comes to America: 1931
                        Galician Nights, or a Novel in Progress
            From a Letter to Gary Pacernick 12/14/81
            From A Seneca Journal
                        I became a beaver in 1968
                        Salamanca a Prophecy
                        Seneca Journal 1: A Poem of Beavers
            (Song # 1): Old Man Beaver’s Blessing Song
            Seneca Journal 7: The Dreamers
                        The Others    Hunters in the North    the Cree
            A Pre-Face for María Sabina
            The Little Saint of Huautla
            The Nature Theater of Oklahoma
            From That Dada Strain
                        A Pre-Face
                        That Dada Strain
                        The History of Dada as My Muse
                        A Glass Tube Ecstasy, for Hugo Ball
            A Merz Sonata, for Kurt Schwitters
                        A Poem in Yellow after Tristan Tzara
                        The Holy Words of Tristan Tzara
            Vienna Blood
            A Commentary on Vienna Blood
            The Chicago Poem
From Khurbn
            Pre-face to Khurbn
                        In the Dark Word, Khurbn
                        Dos Oysleydikn (The Emptying)
                        Dos Geshray (The Scream)
                       Dibbukim (Dibbiks)
                       Der Gilgul (The Possessed)
                        Nokh Aushvitz (after Auschwitz)
                        Di toyte Kloles (The Maledictions)
                        Peroration for a Lost Town
A Book of Extensions
From Songs from the Society of the Mystic Animals
“Two Songs about a Dead Person or a Mole –
      Whichever It Was” (with Richard Johnny John
      and Ian Tyson)
The Directions (with Tom Phillips)
From The Burning Babe (with Susan Bee)
           “A Babe Sits Placidly in Schwitters’ Bau”
From 14 Stations (with Arie Galles)
           The Ninth Station: Ravensbruck
From Gematria Complete
           Fourth Gematria: “In the Shadow”
The Leonardo Project 10 + 2
From The Pound Project: Three Poems & Images
Esther K Comes to America: 5 Images (with Larry Fink)
Events & Rituals
                  Lily Events
                  Garbage Event
                  Beard Event
                  Gift Event
                  Naming Events
                  Vision Events, I, II, III
Doings & Happenings: Notes on a Performance of the
      Seneca Indian Eagle Dance, with the Scenario for
      Gift Event III, Based on Its Orders
From That Dada Strain: A Hörspiel
Abraham Abulafia Visits the Pope, a Fragment of a
      Steinian Opera
The Thirteenth Horse Song of Frank Mitchell (White)
A Letter to David McAllester, 1968, on the Beginnings
      of Total Translation
poetics & polemics 2: eye of  witness
Prologomena to a Poetics
From the Sibila Interview: The Poem as an Act of Witness
Khurbn & Holocaust: “After Auschwitz There Is Only
Harold Bloom: The Critic as Exterminating Angel
“Secular Jewish Culture / Radical Poetic Practice”
            The Poet As Native: An Aspect of Contemporary Poetry
                  & Art
            From A Book of Witness: “i-Songs Exist”
            Postscript to A Book of Witness

Gallery Three: A Cruel Nirvana
            Twentieth Century Unlimited
            Pre-face to 14 Stations
            From “14 Stations”
                        The First Station: Auschwitz-Burkina
                        The Third Station: Buchenwald
                        The Sixth Station: Gross-Rosen
                        The Eleventh Station: Maidanek
                        The Twelfth Station: Sobibor
                        The Fourteenth Station: Stutthof
            From The Lorca Variations
                        Lorca’s Spain: A Homage
                        Water Jets
                        The Return
                        Second New York Poem
                        Coda: The Final Lorca Variation
            First Night Poem, for Jackson Mac Low
            Three Paris Elegies
            A Poem for the Cruel Majority
            At Tsukiji Market Tokyo
            From China Notes
                        Tibetan Boogie
                        The Poet at Chin’s Mausoleum
                        The Poet in a Field of Tombs
                        The Treasures of Dunhuang (performance version)
            A Commentary on China Notes
            From An Oracle for Delfi
                        The Stones of Delfi,  I and II
                        At Mykines
                        The Silver Trade
                        Spetses in Winter
            From A Book of Witness
                        The Case for Memory
                        A Cruel Nirvana
                        A Real Man
                        I Can’t Say Who I Am
                        I Come into the New World
                        Eager to Break through Language
                        I Am That I Am
            From 50 Caprichos, after Goya
                        The Sleep of Reason
                        The World a Masquerade
                        The Company of Men
                        Tight Stockings
                        All Who Will Fall
                        To Speak as Who You Are
                        That Which We See in Goya
                        A Donkey & a Monkey
            A Commentary for Concealments & Caprichos
            From A Book of Concealments
                        The Times Are Never Right
                        A Man in Love with Death
                        The Mystery of Evil
                        Oceanside Pier: Among the Fishers
                        The Sorry Mystics
                        A Double Schism
                        A Deep Romantic Chasm
                        Romantic Dadas
                        The Persistence of the Lyric Voice
                        In the Book of Concealments
                        Postscript to A Book of Concealments
poetics & polemics 3: Toward an Omnipoetics
The Book Spiritual Instrument
            The Anthology as a Manifesto & as an Epic Including Poetry
            Poems for the Millennium: A First Pre-Face (with Pierre
            Reconfiguring Romanticism: The Fancy as Duende &
            A Round of Renshi & the Poet as Other: An Experiment in
From The Medusa Interview: Toward an Omnipoetics
New Poems: Divagations & Autovariations
            From Divagations
                        Divagations (I): The Birth of Time
                        Divagations (2): A Field on Mars
                        Divagations (14): The Sound of Water
                        Divagations (16): Where Memory & Dream Are One
                        Divagations (20): The Final Word Is Desecration
            From The Jigoku Zoshi Hells: A Book of Autovariations
                        Variations on the Hell of Measures
                        Variations on the Hell of Thieves
                        Variations on the Hell of Grieving Women
                        Variations on  the Hell of Smoke
                     A Commentary on the Jigoku Zoshi Hells
            A Poem of Miracles 
A Chronology & Memoir 2012

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