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Robert Fernandez
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1) Evan Gruzis The essence of the simile is for me rooted in a kind of naiveté and risk, an innocence that rushes headlong into the impossible pivot of an association that impossibly arrives at something accurate—a pivot and an arrival that highlights the awesome possibility of relation itself. (Consider the poet Heather Tone’s inspiring simile work here.) With the simile, we experience at once the falling away and re-entangling of language, but we also see that we are seeing, we hear the “as” or the “like” and the dissimilarities they imply. We are reminded that our complicity in meaning’s... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
I asked my friend, the artist and scholar Blake Bronson-Bartlett, to write us a little essay about Stephen Crane. Blake and I had been discussing Crane’s curious status and reception in the history of American literature. Crane makes possible Hemmingway and Stevens, Jeffers and even Hart Crane, but how many remember that it was the poet John Berryman’s book, Stephen Crane: A Critical Biography, that, in Robert M. Dowling’s words, “single-handedly ensured Stephen Crane’s reputation as a major American author”? Crane’s poems, which on the whole seem over the top and decidedly “minor,” at their best remain potent imaginative reservoirs,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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MMC Da Click’s sound isn’t easily classifiable. They remind me of the Weeknd or Frank Ocean, which is to say theirs is a somewhat psychedelic, poetic cast of hip-hop and R&B, but they also go toward pop and have elements of funk and even, as one commentator on YouTube notes, dubstep. Their “Philophobia,” linked below, is as haunting an elegy as I’ve heard in a while. MMC Da Click’s sound is also optimistic, celebratory, a bit utopian: they’re after that “universal feel,” that “good sound”; they’re concerned with “Peace and Blessings” (a valediction to their emails echoed by Jinxo’s signature... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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[i] [ii] [iii] [iv] [v] [vi] [i] “Album Zutique” Text: “The Album Zutique was a communal journal for the poets and artists with whom Rimbaud associated while living in Paris....They called themselves Zutistes, a word coined from the French exclamation “zut,” which, depending on context, can mean anything from “golly” to “damn....” Most of [Rimbaud's] poems here are parodies of the work of other poets, and many are ribald in nature.” (Wyatt Mason, from Rimbaud Complete); Image: Grace Jones, from Vamp (1986) [ii] “Blood of a Young Girl Streaks the Altar” Text: Aeschylus, from Agamemnon; Image: Michael Spinks, from Spinks... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
The following interview with film-maker, poet, and editor Nick Twemlow took place in mid-June of 2012 in Iowa City. Nick’s first poetry collection, Palm Trees, is forthcoming (along with the poet Joel Craig’s first book) from Green Lantern press in fall 2012. Nick has generously provided a poem, “The Twenty-four Complications,” from Palm Trees, along with a link to the video piece, Richard Prince, around which part of the discussion below revolves. —RF RF: Can you say a little something about how you work on poems or video? NT: I pretty much work every day on something. Usually, it’s an... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
Ish Klein’s poems are a synthesis of imagination, virtuosity, and feeling the likes of which I’ve never seen before. For this post, I asked Ish to write a poetics statement and asked if I could include her poem “From a Book of Changes.” Ish also sent along her poem “IN THE BEGINNING.” My thanks to Ish for her generosity and her efforts. —RF Dear Robert, I’m writing this for you. I see you as my brother and I like your poetry. Here is an account of how I wrote “From a Book of Changes”. What precipitated the writing of it... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
Please welcome the scholar and translator Diana Thow, who for today’s entry has generously provided poems from her translation of Amelia Rosselli's Serie Ospedaliera (Hospital Series) in addition to some illuminating and insightful Rosselli context and commentary. —RF From Serie Ospedaliera (1963-1965) Amelia Rosselli/translation Diana Thow Lifting of weights and particularities of fate little doves eyed my strength taken from your take-off like candy, the vocation melted into a semantic revision of our quarrels and birds. None of the soldiers who really wanted to remarry was able to tell me who is it that really marches. ….solitary in the didactic... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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Jul 6, 2012