Three poems at Dream Pop

I’m delighted that three of my experimental poems went live at Dream Pop today.

The poems are ‘2600 hertz’, ‘Lamplighter variance (2)’ and ‘Lamplighter variance (3)’.

You can read them at Dream Pop.

Many thanks to the editors Isobel O’Hare and Carleen Tibbetts!

A poem in Perverse

Delighted to end the year with a poem in Perverse.

You may begin‘ started with two lines I had cut from a different poem but still wanted to explore. I was interested in the idea of trying, and failing, to give up on writing about a landscape.

You can read the poem here: You may begin

Many thanks to editor ChrissyWillisams!

Robert Lowell on the raw and the cooked

Two poetries are now competing, a cooked and a raw. The cooked, marvelously expert, often seems laboriously concocted to be tasted and digested by a graduate seminar. The raw, huge blood-dripping gobbets of unseasoned experience are dished up for midnight listeners. There is a poetry that can only be studied, and a poetry that can only be declaimed, a poetry of pedantry, and a poetry of scandal. I exaggerate, of course.

— Robert Lowell, National Book Award acceptance speech, November 1960

The award was for Life Studies.

Mary Ruefle on re-reading books

Rail: Before I turned on the tape for this interview, you were talking about your personal library and how you are at a stage in your life where your desire to re-read certain texts means you will not have time to read new things. I think of the final two lines of “Thirteen”: “I read three thousand books, / and then I died.”

Ruefle: I recently unpacked 17 boxes of books that I haven’t seen in 22 years. Many of the books were texts I first read in college. I thought I would easily be able to get rid of them. I found myself extremely attached to them. An example would be my old Penguin edition of Ulysses. I know I will never read it again because I don’t have time but I couldn’t part from it. I realized that my wanting to re-read so many of these books again was actually a desire to live my life all over again.

— Mary Ruefle, interview in The Brooklyn Rail,  July 2014

‘The Cooler’ in The Interpreter’s House

Delighted to say that The Interpreter’s House issue 68 is out, the final issue edited by Martin Malone and assistant Charles Lauder Jnr. I’m delighted my poem ‘The Cooler’ is included, my second appearance in TIH after two of my poems appeared in issue 58. Thanks to Martin and Charles.

It’s a great journal, 130 pages of always interesting poetry and reviews, and I look forward to seeing the next issues from editor Georgi Gill and assistant Andrew Wells.

James Wright on the Olympian syndicate

In 1958, in July, [Wright] wrote me a letter (I’m sure similar letters went to others) in which he announced that he was through writing poems. […] The first issue of Robert Bly’s magazine, The Fifties, which he read at this crucial point, arrived like a reproach. (He did not yet know Bly.) He told me: “So I quit. I have been betraying whatever was true and courageous […] in myself and in everyone else for so long, that I am still fairly convinced that I have killed it. So I quit.” In the letter he called himself “a literary operator (and one of the slickest, cleverest, most ‘charming’ concoctors of the do-it-yourself New Yorker verse among all current failures) […]”

A day later he wrote again, admitting that “I can’t quit and go straight. I’m too deep in debt to the Olympian syndicate. They’d rub me out.” (This is Roethke talk, who during mania often alluded to The Mob.)

— from Donald Hall, introduction to James Wright, Above the River (1992), p. 29-30