This site is for posting poems, essays about poetry, and thoughts about the art. Francis Picabia: "What I like least about others is myself." W.G. Sebald: "The greater the distance, the clearer the view."
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Beard of Bees
Beard of Bees is a poetry chapbook site published by Jon Trowbridge and edited by Eric Elshstain. It's also headquarters for Gnoetry activity, which includes the use of poetry machines in the manufacture of poems. My chapbook, "At the Sound," has just been mounted there. Take a look at www.beardofbees.com. "At the Sound" is one of four poems I've written that were written in a single day by handwriting into a roughly 3 x 5" Marble Memo notebook. The rules were: Each page had to hold on its own; I could use only one side of the 80 pages, reducing the task to 40 pages; the back side of a sheet could be used if perspiration demanded it; all pages must be filled; and I could discard bad pages and edit while typing it up. In the published version, pages are indicated by asterisks. Excerpts of the poem appeared in Volt 11. A second day poem, "Audience in the Dark," which has a strong film thread, appeared in Parthenon West Review 1.1 (2004) and later in the long poem issue of Verse, 22.2/3 (2006). A third such work, "The Reading," comprises half of Edge and Fold (2006). Mountain at / the window / is what / I should / have written / The e / in speech / eaten.
The Russian conceptualist poet, performance and visual artist Dmitry Prigov died last night in Moscow. Prigov has been in a coma after suffering a massive heart attack on July 6. Born in 1940, Prigov was one of the two poles of Russian poetry of his generation, the other being his cultural antipode Joseph Brodsky, born the same year. As a twentieth-century avant-gardist, Prigov was a figure on the level of Kurt Schwitters, with similar inventiveness, humor, interdisciplinarity, astonishing performance skills and the ability to find beauty and truth in garbage. Prigov became a major fixture in the Moscow art underground in the 1970s, and is recognized under the ironic title of “The Father of Moscow Conceptualism.” A faint taste of his performance style might be had at http://www.soldatkuepper.de/musik/mantra2.mp3, where he recites the first lines of “Eugene Onegin.” Although not a dissident, Prigov managed to get himself interned in a psychiatric institution for handing out his poems to passersby on the street in 1986. His first book to be published in Russia came out in 1990; it was followed by international fame and numerous awards. I had the good luck to work with him in Italy in 1998. He was a kind, funny, engaging person and will be greatly missed.