Category Archives: poetry essay

The Sad Cup of Coffee: a note on personification

I’ve had cold coffee and hot coffee, good coffee and lousy coffee, but I’ve never had a sad cup of coffee. —Robert Rauschenberg the spirit of truth must guide us in some sort, even in our enjoyment of fallacy. —John … Continue reading

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Out of the Shadows with Maldoror

Parle, et, puisque, d’après tes vœux les plus chers, l’on ne souffrirait pas, dis en quoi consisterait alors la vertu, idéal que chacun s’efforce d’atteindre, si ta langue est faite comme celle des autres hommes. —Lautréamont, Les Chants de Maldoror … Continue reading

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Bataille on Baudelaire

I belong to a turbulent generation, born to literary life in the tumult of surrealism. In the years after the Great War there was a feeling which was about to overflow. Literature was stifling within its limitations and seemed pregnant … Continue reading

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Writing ‘Down Impassive Rivers I Tried Each Thing’

The poem came about through my interest in a single word: packet. About a week ago I discovered one of my favorite writers—Michael Brodsky—has been writing a blog going by the description “thought packets”. I tried to explain the thrill … Continue reading

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Kenneth Goldsmith User’s Manual Part 2

nobility…. is a violence from within that protects us from a violence without. It is the imagination pressing back against the pressure of reality. —Wallace Stevens, from The Noble Rider and the Sound of Words [page 665 The Library of … Continue reading

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Reading Emily Dickinson’s “Safe in their Alabaster Chambers”

I think of Emily Dickinson going about her daily business: cooking and baking, gardening, cleaning, sometimes entertaining guests and throughout all of it capturing words or phrases, maybe writing them down but most often capturing them in her mind and … Continue reading

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Reading Ashbery’s “Three Poems”

Before I comment on this I’d like to emphasize a passage just read: It becomes plain that we cannot interpret everything, we must be selective, and so the tale we are telling begins little by little to leave reality behind. … Continue reading

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