Author Archives: Mark Kerstetter

Gombrowicz and Melville: Twilight

I’ve written about the twilight world being the liminal space where poetry flourishes in relation to the poetry of John Ashbery and Alfred Corn and to the novels of Michael Brodsky. Today I’d like to give another example, this time … Continue reading

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Gombrowicz on “Interhumanity”

Once I was explaining to someone that in order to feel the real cosmic significance of man for man, he should imagine the following: I am completely alone in a desert. I have never seen people nor do I imagine … Continue reading

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Gombrowicz on Poets (the good)

Today’s poet ought to be a child, but a cunning, sober, and careful child. Let him write poetry, yet let him be capable of realizing its limitations at all times. Let him be a poet, but a poet prepared at … Continue reading

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Gombrowicz on Poets (the bad)

One suspects that Gombrowicz could be a pain in the ass in mixed company. Not only did he want to strip away illusions when it came to presenting himself, but he was compelled to find ways to strip away what … Continue reading

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Reading the Gombrowicz Diary: an introduction and a warning

One must play with uncovered cards…. Other diaries should be to this one what the words “I am like this” are to “I want to be like this”…. One cannot be nothingness all week and then suddenly expect to exist … Continue reading

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the thing with feathers

Easter 2020 A colander dripping away essentialsno one knew to missbefore ladders propped into empty pocketsprompt memories of mountaineersat the peak nostalgic for valleyswhere workers pine for the breakin six foot segmentsboxed in or end to end. Meanwhile spring’scheerful painting … Continue reading

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Reading Clarel During the Pandemic

Reading Herman Melville’s Clarel, the longest poem written by an American, was a beautiful meditation for me, and did not take long. Melville’s prose is better than his poetry, although one could argue his prose is poetry. But the curious … Continue reading

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