Two Poets — Ida Börjel & Amiri Baraka

Ida Börjel is one of the most striking voices in contemporary poetry. Each of her much-praised and awarded collections forms a cohesively and rigoursly composed whole that is always rooted in extensive research and a strong thematic principle. Her collection “Miximum Ca’Canny; the Sabotage Manuals“ appears to be both a practical handbook and a philosophical study of the various ways the language of power and authority can be sabotaged, a recurring theme in Börjel’s poetry.

riots and/or poetics [8/2018]

“he is as a neighborhood beauty queen / lauded with ribbons and canes / and with his lapdogs / who lick at the rottenness / seated at the right side / of mama democracy / he dialogues long / with the mouth of a murderer. / he raises his hand in that sustained and easy style / wiggles his fat ass / and with the boyish brilliance of an ephebe / he shits in the country / with all his soul“ Roberto Jorge Santoro | POETRY IN GENERAL (II)   Manson & Mendoza; Windsuckers & Onsetters: Sonnots for Griffiths Andrea…

Two Poets — Anna Mendelssohn & Miyó Vestrini

  Anna Mendelssohn Anna Mendelssohn, also known as Grace Lake, who has died aged 61 of a brain tumour, was principally a poet, and a poet like no other, but was also a painter, musician, actor and, earlier in her life, a political activist. She came from what she described as “a very strict working-class socialistic Jewish background” in Stockport, Cheshire. But what impelled her throughout her life was a 1960s spirit of radical revolt. At first it was political but, after a great turning point in her life, it was artistic. She was educated at Stockport high school and…

Two Poets — Ed Dorn & Sean Bonney

Ed Dorn “He knew that just to wake up in the morning is to be political.“ Jennifer Dunbar “No poet has been more painfully, movingly, political“, writes Robert Creeley: “the range and explicit register of Ed Dorn’s ability to feel how it actually is to be human, in a given place and time, is phenomenal.“ “Ed Dorn (1929-1999) was born and grew up in Eastern Illinois, on the banks of the river Embarrass (a tributary of the Wabash). He never knew his father. His mother was of French-Canadian ancestry, his maternal grandfather a half-Indian Quebecois railroad man (“master pipefitter in…

Sean Bonney; COMETS & BARRICADES: INSURRECTIONARY IMAGINATION IN EXILE

  Sean Bonney; COMETS & BARRICADES: INSURRECTIONARY IMAGINATION IN EXILE Let every word indicate the most frightening of distances, it would still take billions of centuries, talking at one word per second, to express a distance which is only an insignificance when it comes to infinity. Louis Auguste Blanqui; Eternity by the Stars Imprisoned on the day before the declaration of the Paris Commune, in a cell in the Fort du Taureau, ‘an ellipse-shaped fortified island lying half a mile outside of the rock shores of Morlaix at a place where, after briefly morphing into the English Channel, the Atlantic Ocean finally…

Sean Bonney; Notes on Militant Poetics

  Notes on Militant Poetics 1/3 “There is a zone of nonbeing, an extraordinarily sterile and arid region, an utterly naked declivity when an authentic upheaval can be born . . . . (a) descent into a real hell” (Fanon) “Truth content becomes negative. [Poems] imitate a language beneath the helpless language of human beings: it is that of the dead speaking of stones and stars” (Adorno) The Situationists called poetry the “anti-matter of consumer society”, a fairly questionable claim, but one that is at least expressive of the chasm that operates between official reality’s definitions of poetry and those…

riots and/or poetics [6/2018]

“[…] But here: distillation, composition, narrow-mindedness; and the oppressive summers: the heat isn’t without respite, but given that good weather is in everyone’s interests, and that everyone is a pig, I hate how summer kills me when it appears even briefly. […] The worst is that all of this will bother you as much as it will. It seems for the best that you read and walk as much as possible. Reason enough not to remain confined to offices and homes. Mindlessnesses must be given free reign, far from confinement. I am not about to be selling balm, but I imagine…