On My Desk
John Ashbery, *Chinese Whispers*, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002
""If living is a hate crime, so be it.
But, hey- I was around when they invented the Cardiff giant.
I kid you not. God wanted you to know,
so you'd remember to love him..." (LITTLE SICK POEM)
Thomas Alan Brown, *The Aesthetics of Robert Schumann*, Greenwood, 1968
"The power of imagination is the prose of creative power [*Bildungkraft*] or fantasy. It is nothing but a highly intensified, brightly colored memory which animals also possess, since they dream and fear....but fantasy or creative power is something higher; it is the World-Soul of all souls and the elementary spirit of the remaining powers." (Schumann)
Ray DiPalma & Paul Vangelisti, *Uptown Vaunt*, Otis Laboratory Press, March 2007
"Elegaic in name only, there is no signature to accomodate the surcease of whatever future was lost in those years. Mornings there is the winter wren's 2-5 notes, followed by a trill, even when there may be no warning because finally you will blunder into dying as you've done about everything else. Just like the other night with one of those innumerable beautiful young women who approach you, the old master, even in spite of your caution, because she has a boyfriend who's building in his room a model of the Danube- until she will later understand."
Eli Drabman, *Daylight on the Wires* Vigilance Society
"[There was a wild place of limitation]/every kind of beast learned by heart/to fear it, to gallop full-throttle into/houses made/made from infinity's/nearness (because)her hair falls/into mud, becoming hoofprint, her gallop widens out, finding/voice (because) the fantasies/of gender, threnody, loose us /back upon the margins"
Patrick F.Durgin, *Imitation Poems*, ATTICUS/FINCH, 2007
"Is there anything to drink? Who am I speaking/with? Can I come home? Will you have me as I am?/How am I? How are you? Who built this ship? Is it/improper to ask? You're procrastinating, now. So kiss me."
Mitch Highfill, Rebis, Openmouth Press,2007
"Grind the brain with strong/vinegar or the urine of a young/boy until it turns black./Black as the heart consumed by hatred"
Mitch Highfill, United Artists Books, 1995
"COMFORTABLE BOMBING AUTHORIZATION
Civilian media damage crew formats
sagacious long face press return.
Conversation strategy needing public
casualities maimed massive children.
Well-fed suicide orchestrated
short plot provocation jaunty hours
opined death attitude"
Joseph Kanon, *Los Alamos*, Dell, 1997
"Santa Fe, however, was pretty. The adobes, which Connolly had never seen, seemed to draw in the sun, holding its light and color like dull penumbras of a flame."
Michael Lally, *Of*, Quiet Lion, 1999
"so here I am,back in LA
looking forward to reading
Elaine Equi's book & already
wondering why she doesn't
mention *me* in it- oh
wow- what is I'm still so
....& it's good, Elaine's book-
so direct & elusive at once
& the poems look like
poems so narrow & short"
Primo Levi, *The Drowned and the Saved*, Vintage, 1989
"Compassion and brutality can coexist in the same individual and in the same moment, despite all the logic; and for all that, compassion itself chides logic. There is no proportion between the pity we feel and the extent of the pain by which the pity is aroused: a single Anne Frank excites more emotion than the myriads who suffered as she did but whose image has remained in the shadows. Perhaps it is necessary that it be so. If we had to and were able to suffer the sufferings of everyone, we could not live."
C. J. Martin, *City*, Vigilance
"So CITY was mourning & they missed it,
mourning but not really answering.
A toy, a doll's eyes, for I have
a head now, too, were all manner--
instead they live upon have until now.
Not a dozen mourn on the road to Carna."
K. Silem Mohammad, Anne Boyer eds., *Abraham Lincoln#1* Spring/Summer 2007 (16 poets)
..."other people leave astral imprints, dead or alive in buildings
you can feel the bad energy from that person's thoughts
tasteless to refer too closely to a person's contact with the Reich/
I feel the rising nausea once again, faced with the appropriation of this terrifying muzzle/
bend down & touch lightly with my iips the white face in the coffin/
The Internet puts me in touch with thousands of them who act as my scouts" (Gary Sullivan)
Mode A, The Grand Piano, Part 3, 2007 (10 poets)
"The dilemma of memory, the demand of remembering to fix meaning has always troubled me. This has at times made me reluctant to continue with this project: when I was a child I threw away my diaries after I filled them up." (Carla Harryman)
Peter Ostwald, *Schumann: The Inner Voices of a Musical Genius", Northeastern University, 1985
"Geniality, getting high, and originality are very closely elated concepts, generally speaking, at least all three are volcanoes, spewing lava, from which one or the other boldly goes forward. Geniality likes to erefct its temples in wine cellars, and getting high is like a handyman, or finally even the left hand itself. Originality is the foot. Besides, a youth wants to understand geniality differently than a man; genial men even hate genial youths for the most part, because both look at each other through reducing lenses. The logical, calcified blockhead would very much like to be genial, but he wheezes away like a fox with sour grapes....In other words, beauty may be (in mimicry of the sisters Grace and Charity), amost essential covering that entices us to geniality. Available for everything but fit for nothing- now like butterflies, flimsy, flitting, fluttering, flying, and fondling- now like elephants, sullen, slow, trampling, and crushing- now soft and gentle like virgins- now strong and wild like a lion woken from its slumber. Female delicacy and frivolity, male brutality and destructiveness- like a chameleon that assumes every color and shading-" (Schumann, June 1828)
Phyllis Rosenzweig, editor, Primary Writing 5/07 (2 poets)
"We can barely see what's out there
Overwhelmed as we are by repetition
Though I depend on it for what sense
Of continuity remains to me when
I see you I know I'm at work....
My skin is made of your decision
We write with paint on old newsprint
There are poets in the debris by the door
What comes in goes out
Hello name we say
What do you want?" (Laura Moriarty)
Wolfgang Schivelbusch, *The Culture of Defeat: On National Trauma, Mourning and Recovery*, Metropolitan, 2001
"The Frondists, who opposed French absolutism and, after their defeat, traded the sword for the pen, were typical "losers" of this reflective sort. The memoirs, and aphorisms of Saint-Simon and La Rochefoucauld were ultimately both a sublimated form of revenge and a social critque that led directly to the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. In the twentieth century, Russell Jacoby made a similar point about West European Marxism. Stumbling from one political defeat to the next, it retained a crucial potential- a flexibility, an openness, and a humanity- that Soviet Marxism, its twin brother, lost while triumphantly marching foward."
Mark Young, editor, Otoliths, issue five, part two; Southern Autumn, 2007 (15 poets)
"VANISHED INTO TIME THEORY
HAS MELTED POISONED METAPHOR
& TRANSPLANTED CRANIAL LIGHT" (Andrew Topel)
Envy would not be such a bad thing, except that we always envy the wrong ones.
To know how to begin things, and mostly see them through, yet still enjoy the suspense between, is a secret shared by few.
simulated direct from--