Distribution Automatique

Thursday, May 31

On My Desk

Selected Letters of Stephane Mallarme, edited and translated by Rosemary LLoyd, Univ of Chicago, 1988

"Leo d'Orfer 27 June, 1884

It's a real punch, momentarily blinding, that abrupt demand of yours: "Define Poetry." Bruised,I stutter:

*Poetry is the expression, in human language restored to its essential rhythm, of the mysterious meaning of the aspects of existence: in this way it confers authenticity on our time on earth and constitutes the only perpetual task there is.*

Farewell, but you owe me an apology."

"Paul Verlaine 8 December 1884

Of course. [Verlaine had written Mallarme apologizing for not sending a free copy of his book of poems,* Jadis et naguere*, but explaining that the publisher opposed such a move on the grounds that even for a poet the cost was not too high. Verlaine asked Mallarme to explain this to their mutural friends]. Basically the poet has no other choice; and his destiny becomes too ironic by far if he has to provide free copies to the hundred readers who would otherwise allow him- I won't say to live!- but to have bread or cigars. In future this will have to become standard practice between colleagues, and, something that's tacitly understood".


George Burns, *Gracie, A Love Story*, GP PUtnam's Sons, 1988

"Sex is certainly a very important part of any marriage. Gracie and I had a wonderful life together, and a wonderful marriage, and sex was part of it, but not the major part. Probably the most important thing about sex is that it helps sell a lot of books. I have to be honest. I was a lousy lover. Fortunately Gracie married me for laughs, not for sex. Of course she got both of them- when we had sex, she laughed.

Gracie and I always had a nice time together, but after we'd made love she never gave me a standing ovation. In our marriage- I suspect in every marriage- the really important things became, "How do you feel?" "Is the soup hot?" "Want to see a movie tonight?" These are the things that keep a marriage together."


Poetry on You Tube by Nico Vassilakis from the

Continental Review


DIPTYCHS a book of visual poetry is out from Otoliths.

New poem by Ray DiPalma from The Harvard Review