Johnny Diamond in "The Man Who Threw Poetry at a Raccoon in the Ceiling" answers two questions with one toss: what to do about raccoons (intelligent, fearless, attic-dwelling animals with great family values), and how to manage that feeling of metaphysical impotence raised by the reading of Rilke.
Melissa Weinstein protests the ubiquity of the reader and the surfeit of poets, using inside info, and an extremely surprising technique straight out of Cesanne
Anna Beskin is leaving New York and is sad. The Corpse know how she feels and likes her poetry
Aaron Petrovich has his person say "I am a stutter in the discourse of infinity," a definition arrived at from careful golemic construction using nouns and pronouns
Eric Torgersen manages an entire poet life en pointe (of line) and makes looking back a dubious pleasure
Bill Lavender works at the Poetry Art store and projects his thoughts into shapes that were once called "concrete poetry," but which have lightened up considerably since, and are now made of balsam and shed snakeskin
S. Beth Bishop tracks an "interloper in suburbia" and "the apparent patience of revolution" with poetry
Marthe Reed is in her poetick works "a flower calculus." Just look.
Liviu Georgescu produces what we initiates call "the Georgescu monad."
David Rachels pens an "Adulterous ABC: an Alphabet Primer for Adults," demonstrating to this musical ear that all scat is sex
John-Ivan Palmer, a Corpse reporter since the late 1980s, travels once again on behalf of our monopoly to bring us, this time, a throbbing inside account of the poetry underground today, a seemingly inexhaustible topic; recently we even saw a film on the Sundance Channel about the Australian Lesbian Poetry Underground. This thing has legs!
Daniel Y. Harris in "The Latecomer" redistributes poetick kulchur through hyper-reality gently, like a rain of unpaid bills, and discovers, in the end how to "breathe."
Kit Weinert brings up Rilke too, but instead of bashing raccoons with Rainer, he enlists him in an aphoristic army of advice to poets; from that fearsome line-up, we note the word "spank."
Miranda Joan Howe in "Mohammad X Goes Mex" raps something fierce; we believe -here at Corpse quarters--that Poetick Kulchur should not flee from every slam; stay for this one.
Christopher Robbins, Miranda's standup-poetry brother, asks the perfectly reasonable question, "Who among us will remain in glory after last night's reading?" which reminds the editor of the frightening vision contained in this line by Pat Nolan: "The chairs are on the table." Sooner or later.
Christian Prozak reminds the sophisticated roues of the Corpse that their rebel ancestors, Edward Sanders, J. Kerouac, LF Celine, and Mike Topp, can and will light flames of hellish truth and lyric liberation in every heart, still. (When did Mike Topp turn into an ancestor?)
Jonathan Kiefer reports from San Francisco's "Jack Miceline Place."
Peter Jay Shippy, terse, aphoristic, noh-like.
Dana Wilde notes, eruditely and at length, that Zen is here right now, equally at home in Miranda and in Prozak; he accomplishes this by carefully reading "Horse Medicine" by M.C. Dalley, Zen Rake.
Cye Johan SPECIAL! This is a book-length tour-de-force essay on Tom Bradley and "The Sam Edwine Pentateuch." This may be the longest piece ever published in the Cybercorpse, and the first appearance of a genre so strange we are turning away from naming it (and you know us, we'll name a tricolor bird newspaper hat "Kit," if you let us). Advice: read emphatically.
Raymond Queneau co-signed our Exquisite Corpse lines; here, the cher maitre is englished by Daniela Hurezanu and Stephen Kessler
Olson pays homage to Allen Ginsberg
THE ORACULAR REVIEWER
In which ONE HUNDRED new books answer questions posed by the Corpse:
ANOTHER SOUTH: EXPERIMENTAL WRITING IN THE SOUTH, edited by Bill Lavender; University of Alabama Press, 2003
Q: Will the other southerners dig this stuff?
A: "Who is worthy to open the book?
Bed of the dragon's rage
where lamentation was written"
(from The Bicameralization by Ralph Adamo).
IN THE HUB OF THE FIERY FORCE: COLLECTED POEMS, 1934-2003, by Harold Norse; Thunder's Mouth Press, 2003
Q: What wisdom can we derive from this astonishing life of poetic practice?
A: "Stretched near Scotch purse we lay
talking in til the motors died.
You turned and swore in the grass,
cursing the grandees who killed for gold at the mission trading posts.
You wanted to slay history's ghosts.
On a eucalyptus branch
a pelican sat. A porpoise nosed
the wave. We watched
hibiscus braid the coral wall,
mingling blood-red with bone-white.
Something you said made me keep still:
"Bitter is love words have to prove."
A Plane swooped down, a bayonet
aimed at our hearts. My nerves jammed.
Across the inlet palms shook.
Hunkered down on my haunches
I fondled a cross-barred Venus.
Body language said it all.
(The Bay, Key West, 1942)
SELECTED POEMS 1950-2000, by Nathaniel Tarn; Wesleyan University Press, 2002
Q: What is the anthropology of now?
A: "And I am become a land of ghosts
as a tree full of bird song but no birds
where the mist clings to branches like cotton and the wind drawls mourning
From the other side, it Wada as if we had been calling for this, as if the weight of our need were such that it had magnetized the seas, and called a great pole to ourselves up from the place where the sun sets, and which we had named: the western gate, and had placed all our dreams there, in who knows what hands..." (from La Traviata (11): The Last Illusion, 1975).
MIXED PLATE, NEW & SELECTED POEMS, by Faye Kicknosway; Wesleyan University Press, 2003
Q: How deep do the tangled roots of paradise reach?
A: " Christopher Columbus was a thief,
then he was a beggar.
Florida was a postcard to him.
That's as close as he got.
Jonah climbed in his window.
It was the size of a spoon.
He had a sailor's face,
ll weeds and sticks that wouldn't burn.
He asked Columbus to take it off of him.
But Columbus was made of ashes.
Thistles of light fell
and priests, like fat toys
from coloring books, came to Columbus
to ask him why.
He said it was because their map
had no exit.
But neither did his.
Green flies flooded his heart.
He put it in a biscuit tin
under his bed.
Geometry ate it, spitting in it first."
(Short Take 20)
THE MIDNIGHT, by Susan Howe; New Directions, 2003
Q: How often must the experiment be repeated?
A: "Often you must turn Uncle John's books around and upside down to read the clippings and other insertions pasted and carefully folded inside."
ONE BIRD ONE STONE, 108 AMERICAN ZEN STORIES, by Sean Murphy; Renaissance Books, 2002. (with some drawings by Keith Abbott).
Q: What is the sound of one turtle snapping?
A: "'All right,' I accost Bob,who points his kitchen knife menacingly at mee. 'I'll gladly bring you the temple treasures. But first, if you're such a master thief, show me how to catch one of the koi in this pond without getting your hands wet!'"
TRIP TO BORDEAUX, by Ludwig Harig, 1965, translated from German by Susan Benofsky; Burning Deck, 2003, No. 6 in the Dichten series edited by Rosmarie Waldrop.
Q: Will we have flashbacks?
A: "As we have showed you before, once matters had begun in the accustomed manner, the company clearly and at once saw that our preparing to rouse ourselves was wasted effort, for commonly when we had set our minds to rousing ourselves in the accustomed manner, what ensued thereon was the near immediate conclusion of the said rousing, notwithstanding whatever effort we might give ourselves. An attempt beforehand at rousing ourselves had already resulted in the said rousing's near immediate end, as commonly ensues in the accustomed manner following the attempt at rousing." (from The Hurly Burly) click to continue...