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

Thursday, March 26, 2015

John Martone: from "children’s book" 2014

[To describe John Martone as our greatest living miniaturist, as I have in the past, is to go back for me to a time many years ago when Ian Hamilton Finlay & I corresponded about a poetry of small increments (one-word poems & other such concerns).  For Finlay, I believe, some form of minimalism was at the heart of the concrete poetry he was then exploring & developing, & for myself it entered into aspects of ethnopoetics & appeared most clearly in the numerically based poems (gematria) that I was beginning to write.  It’s with someone like John Martone, however, that this approach turns into a life long project, a minimal work like Finlay's of epic proportions, for which the following can serve as a yet another instance & perhaps (as “children’s book”) a new direction for his ongoing practice.  (J.R.)] 

my morning
a mouse nest

a mind
2 joints of yr
little finger
house mouse
house mouse —
my thalamus?
house mouse
its always a childrens book 
two mice dead of fear in yr live trap
feel our way along the wall
mouse & me 
little worms
in the brightness
eyes floaters
out of touch
lie down
in snow 
suddenly feeling the river below the ice 
a puzzle

knocking the snow
from your boots
no one's home

in layers
of winter clothes look up
at night geese

first time
for some
night geese

night geese
a childrens book 


night geese
the horizon
passes overhead 


night geese
someone slips
on black ice

night geese
the old
keep up

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