Author Archives: Mark Kerstetter

In the Chemo Room

We who are turned away from the star —Blanchot There’s no one here like the girl in Tarkovsky’s Stalker, left awake in the clear morning after night’s watch. Here, today, everyone is old, floating on feeble cheerfulness, the relief or … Continue reading

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All Roads at Once with Alfred Corn

I usually seek out the books I want, primarily through online shopping. Those books, along with articles and social media connections, suggest other books. But every once in a while a book finds me. Alfred Corn’s first book of poems, … Continue reading

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Yahia Lababidi’s Balancing Acts

The poems of Yahia Lababidi recall some great names: Borges, Pessoa, and Baudelaire. The spirit of Baudelaire looms large in the poems of Balancing Acts. But I think of visual artists too. Striking, novel images are conjured, mysterious and dreamlike, … Continue reading

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Reaching for Roses

Like kissing yourself after fingering a thorn, no need to preach to the choir. Lessons learned and forgotten can be learned again. Like new eyeglasses held up to the flames, scorched timbers can be used to build reminders, to frame … Continue reading

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If There Were a Heaven, It Would Stink with Life

maledicta Paradisus in qua tantum cacatur! —William of Auvergne Blanchot wrote that Nietzsche was the first to teach us that, “if you begin to think, then you can hope for no rest.” [The Writing of the Disaster, p 123] And … Continue reading

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Read, Pig!

Once I saw the title, Think, Pig! I had to have Jean-Michel Rabaté’s book, published last year by Fordham University Press.

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Pierced to a Cry

In the darkness we imagine a brilliant articulation but we don’t yet know who speaks. Will it be us? Agent or reactant, we pause at the crease. Or are we the fold itself, hidden from ourselves that which is exposed … Continue reading

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