Thursday, September 21, 2017

CONTENTS


Galatea Resurrects is accepting engagements with poetry projects such as reviews, book introductions (or forewords prefaces or afterwords) not currently online, coverage of poetry events, and other engagements in any form (e.g. letters, poems, art, etc. in response to poetry).

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Eileen Tabios
Editor, Galatea Resurrects

CONTENTS

Click on title-links to be directed to the review or article

SEPTEMBER
Debths by Susan Howe
Reviewed by Judith Roitman (9/12)

Conflict by Angelo V. Suarez
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (9/11)

Rosestrikes and Coffee Grinds, both by Seyhan Erözçelik
Engaged by Peter Valente (9/10)

STORY PROBLEMS by Charles Jensen
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (9/9)

Charm for Survivors, Selected Painted Books & Sequences by Jesse Glass
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (9/8)

The Book of Mutter by Kate Zambreno
Reviewed by Jim McCrary (9/7)

The Moon Is Almost Full by Channa Bloch
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (9/6)

The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho Buson and Issa edited by Robert Hass
Engaged by Victor Hernández Cruz (9/5)

What We Do: Essays for Poets by Michael Gottlieb
Engaged by Tom Beckett (9/4)

Homage to the Pseudo-Avant Garde by Kent Johnson
Reviewed by John Rigney (9/3)

Envelope Poems: Poetry by Emily Dickinson, edited by Jen Bervin and Marta Werner
Engaged by Jesse Glass (9/2)

Spillway 25 edited by Susan Terris
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (9/1)

BLUE by Wesley St. Jo & Reme Grefalda
Reviewed by Carlene Sobrino Bonnivier (9/1)


AUGUST
Selected Poems & Series by Thomas Fink
Engaged by Margaret H. Johnson (8/12)

FEATURED POET: Jean Vengua
(8/11)

Oxygen by Julia Fiedorczuk, Translated by Bill Johnston
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (8/10)

“Romeo and Romeo” by Ahmet Güntan
Engaged by Peter Valente (8/9)

"A Simple Word" by Marc Gaba
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (8/8)

Cat Poems: Wompus Tales & a Play of Despair by Christopher Shipman
Reviewed by Ariel Gratch (8/7)

Taropoetics by Anna McKerrow
Reviewed by Nikki Dudley (8/6)

A Poetry of Elephants, anthology compiled by Rebecca Gethin
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (8/5)

November Odds: Anger Fear and Horror After November 8, 2016 by Gary Hardaway
Reviewed by M. Earl Smith (8/4)


JULY
SANS by G.L. Ford
Reviewed by Katie Hibner (7/31)

What It Is Like: New and Selected Poems by Charles North
Reviewed by Neil Leadbeater (7/30)

THE CRITIC WRITES POEMS: Sheri Reda
(7/29)

Dear Almost by Matthew Thorburn
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (7/28)

Ekstasis with photographs by Peter Valente and poetry by Kevin Killian
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (7/27)

THE HEART'S TRAFFIC: A Novel in Poems by Ching-In Chen
Reviewed by Kyle Henrichs (7/26)

Days and Works by Rachel Blau DuPlessis
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (7/25)

Dead Ringer by Charles Borkhuis and AMINA BARAKA & THE RED MICROPHONE by Amina Baraka & the Red Microphone
Reviewed by Steve Dalachinsky (7/24)

RAYFISH by Mary Hickman
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (7/23)

Contest Results from the Festival de l'Ail de Ste-Anne Garlic Festival
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (7/8)

FACE-POEMS by Aaron Flores
Engaged by Márton Koppány (7/7)

If We Were Birds by Janine Harrison
Reviewed by M. Earl Smith (7/6)

ALPHABET NOIR by Nico Vassilakis
Engaged by Jim Leftwich (7/5)

Small Ceremonies by Cynthia Snow
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (7/4)
Engaged by Jim McCrary (7/3)

the gag reel by Tom Bamford Blake
Reviewed by M. Earl Smith (7/2)
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (7/1)


JUNE
DADA BUDAPEST by John Olson
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (6/27)

Wild Horses, Wild Dreams: New and Selected Poems 1971-2010 by Lindy Hough
Reviewed by Dana Wilde (6/26)

REVOLUTIONS: a Collaboration by John Matthias, Jean Dibble and Robert Archambeau
Reviewed by Ralph La Charity (6/25)

Codify by Irene Koronas
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (6/24)

Questions of Poetics: Language Writing and Consequences by Barrett Watten
Reviewed by T.C. Marshall (6/23)

Reviewed by M. Earl Smith (6/22)

FUTURES TRADING, Anthology Four, Edited by Caleb Puckett
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (6/21)

THE CRITIC WRITES POEMS: Katie Hibner
(6/20)

FINDING THE RIVER HORSE by Neal Leadbeater
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (6/19)

They Went to the Beach to Play by Wendy Taylor Carlisle
Reviewed by M. Earl Smith (6/18)

Back to the Garden by Clara Hume
Reviewed by Tom Hibbard (6/17)

God got a dog with poems by Cynthia Rylant and illustrations by Marla Frazee
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (6/16)


MAY
FEATURE: Poetry In Response to Alex Tizon's article, "My Family Slave" as regards Eudocia Tomas PulidoThe Atlantic, June 2017. Poems by Jonel Abellanosa, Jim Pascual Agustin, Kimberly Alidio, Michelle Bautista, Aileen Cassinetto, Melinda Luisa de Jesús, Elaine Dolalas, Rose Linda Gonzales, Maileen Hamto, Luisa A. Igloria, Sean Labrador Y Manzano, Agnes Marton, D Hideo Maruyama, Amy Ray Pabalan, Aloysiusi Lionel Polintan, Barbara Jane Reyes, Tony Robles, Irene Suico Soriano, Leny Mendoza Strobel, Eileen R. Tabios, Jean Vengua, and Alfred A. Yuson
(5/29)

"Broken Verse" by Darrell Nettles
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (5/28)

Explanation model for 'Virus' by Freke Räihä
Engaged by Thérèse Bachand (5/27)

Love Song to a Blue God by Sophie Strand
Reviewed by Tamas Panitz (5/26)

Weathered Reports: Trump Surrogate Quotes From the Underground by Amy Bassin and Mark Blickley
Reviewed by M. Earl Smith (5/25)

The Fair Parts of Shadows by Dhiman Chakraborty
Engaged by Runa Bandyopadhyay (5/24)

Stop Armageddon by Howard Yosha
Reviewed by M. Earl Smith (5/23)

“I’m Nobody! Who are you? The Life and Poetry of Emily Dickinson” Exhibition at The Morgan Library & Museum (organized with Amherst College), New York City, Jan. 20-May 28, 2017
Reviewed by Adam DeGraff (5/8)

Driftwood Monster: Haiku for Troubled Times by Kath Abela Wilson
Reviewed by M. Earl Smith (5/8)

B & O Blues by Aileen Cassinetto
Reviewed by M. Earl Smith (5/7)

Ghazals 1-59 And Other Poems by Sheila E. Murphy and Michelle Greenblatt 
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (5/7)

Manifesto of the Moment by mIKEAL aND (1)
Reviewed by Matt Hill (5/6)

Manifesto of the Moment by mIKEAL aND (2)
Reviewed by M. Earl Smith (5/6)

HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT by Olivia Stiffler
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (5/5)

Check & Balance by Luisa A. Igloria
Reviewed by M. Earl Smith (5/5)

FANTASTIC CARYATIDS: A Conversation with Art by Anne Waldman & Vincent Katz
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (5/4)

La Police by Bill Lavender
Reviewed by M. Earl Smith (5/4)

A CAPacious Act by Charles A. Perrone
Reviewed by M. Earl Smith (5/3)

Afterword by Nick Piombino to Text Loses Time by Nico Vassilakis
(5/2)

IMAGINE RENAISSANCE by Naomi Buck Palagi
Reviewed by M. Earl Smith (5/1)

The Owl Still Asking: Tanka for Troubled Times by Kath Abela Wilson
Reviewed by M. Earl Smith (5/1)


APRIL
daughterrarium by Sheila McMullin
Reviewed by Katie Hibner (4/28)

DONALD TRUMP IN  NORTH KOREA by Jared Schickling
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (4/27)

We Denizens by Jen Coleman
Engaged by Sam Lohmann (4/26)

Harpoon by Michael Cavendish
Reviewed by M. Earl Smith (4/25)

Claiming Breath by Diane Glancy

Engaged by Eileen Tabios (4/24)

THE CRITIC WRITES POEMS: Naomi Buck Palagi
(4/23)

If They Hadn't Worn White Hoods, 8 Million Would Have Shown Up in the Photographs by John Bloomberg-Rissman and Eileen R. Tabios
Reviewed by M. Earl Smith (4/22)

Introduction by Michael Boughn and Kent Johnson to RESIST MUCH / OBEY LITTLE: Inaugural Poems to the Resistance edited by Michael Boughn, John Bradley, Brenda Cárdenas, Lynne DeSilva-Johnson, Kass Fleisher, Roberto Harrison, Kent Johnson, Andrew Levy, Nathaniel Mackey, Rubén Medina, Philip Metres, Nita Noveno, Julie Patton, Margaret Randall, Michael Rothenberg, Chris Stroffolino,
 Anne Waldman, Marjorie Welish, Tyrone Williams
(4/21)

Egghead, or: You Can't Survive on Ideas Alone by Bo Burnham, with drawings by Chance Bone
Reviewed by M. Earl Smith (4/20)

On Poems On by Sandra Liu
Reviewed by Genevieve Kaplan (4/19)

Madison Hatta's Book of Unrelenting Rhymes, or: Madisonnets, Volume 2 by April Lynn James
Reviewed by M. Earl Smith (4/18)

FEATURED POET: Aileen Cassinetto
(4/17)

A Continuum of Force by Francesco Levato
      and
How to Zing the Government by Travis Macdonald
Reviewed by Andrew Rihn (4/12)

Port Light by William Allegrezza
Reviewed by Sheri Reda (4/10)

Stone by Naomi Buck Palagi
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (4/9)

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell: An Election Cycle by Andrew and Donora A. Rihn
Reviewed by Steve Klepetar (4/8)

HISTORY NOW by Basil King
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (4/7)

Stubborn by Sheri Reda
Reviewed by Naomi Buck Palagi (4/6) 

If We Were Birds by Janine Harrison
     and
Reviewed by Steve Klepetar (4/5)

POROUS BORDERS and FOUR PLUS FOUR by David Giannini
and
RICKSHAW CHASM with poems by David Giannini and collages by John Digby
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (4/3)

To Be An Empire is To Burn! by Eileen R. Tabios
     and
     and
The Prometheus Collage by Mary Kasimor
Reviewed by Freke Räihä (4/2)


MARCH
INTERVIEW: Anne Gorrick interviews John Bloomberg-Rissman
(3/30)

OTREDAD / OTHERNESS by Claribel Alegria, Edited by Fred Whitehead
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (3/30)

Step Below: Selected Poems 2000-2015 by William Allegrezza
Reviewed by Sheri Reda (3/29)

WRITTEN IN THE DARK: FIVE POETS IN THE SIEGE OF LENINGRAD by Gennady Gor, Dmitry Maksimov, Sergey Rudakov, Vladimir Sterligov and Pavel Zaltsman, Edited by Polina Barskova with translations by Anand Dibble, Ben Felker-Quinn, Ainsley Morse, Eugene Ostashevsky, Rebekah Smith, Charles Swank, Jason Wagner and Matvei Yankelevich 
Reviewed by M. Earl Smith (3/28)

We All Saw It Coming by Bill Yarrow
Reviewed by Steve Klepetar (3/28)

A Winged Horse in a Plane by Salah Faik, translated by Maged Zaher
Reviewed by Genevieve Kaplan (3/27)

Let the Games Begin: Five Roman Writers by Peter Valente
Reviewed by Christopher Sawyer-Lauçanno (3/27)

Apocalypse Mix by Jane Satterfield
Reviewed by Neal Leadbeater (3/26)

A FEW GEOGRAPHIES by Mark Young
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (3/25)

THE CRITIC WRITES POEMS: Martha Deed
(3/24)

Imagine Renaissance by Naomi Buck Palagi
Reviewed by Sheri Reda (3/23)

NINE DRAGON ISLAND by Eleanor Goodman
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (3/22)

Data Primer by Marthe Reed
Reviewed by Steve Klepetar (3/22)

THE GILLES POEM: Winter 2006 Collection by Sabrina Calle
Reviewed by M. Earl Smith (3/21)

Humpty Drumpfty and Other Poems by Melinda Luisa de 
Jesús
Reviewed by Steve Klepetar (3/21)

Moria Books' locofo chap series edited by William Allegrezza
Engaged by Eileen R. Tabios 3/14)
Reviewed by Jim McCrary (3/13)

THE OLFACTIONS: Poems on Perfume by Anne Gorrick
Engaged by Eileen R. Tabios (3/12)

Ice Cream...With a Smile by Swapan Ray
Engaged by Runa Bandyopadhyay (3/11)

WHAT IS POETRY? (JUST KIDDING, I KNOW YOU KNOW): Interviews From the Poetry Project Newsletters (1983-2009) edited by Anselm Berrigan 

Engaged by Eileen R. Tabios (3/10) 

Nevertheless, #She Persisted edited by Barbara Jane Reyes and RESIST MUCH / OBEY LITTLE: Inaugural Poems to the Resistance edited by Michael Boughn, John Bradley, Brenda Cárdenas, Lynne DeSilva-Johnson, Kass Fleisher, Roberto Harrison, Kent Johnson, Andrew Levy, Nathaniel Mackey, Rubén Medina, Philip Metres, Nita Noveno, Julie Patton, Margaret Randall, Michael Rothenberg, Chris Stroffolino, 
Anne Waldman, Marjorie Welish, Tyrone Williams
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (3/5)

Men, Death, Lies by Roy Bentley
Reviewed by Martha Deed (3/4)

FEATURE ESSAY: "Holiness and Jewish Rebellion: 'Questions of Accent,' Twenty Years Afterwards" by Murat Nemet-Nejat (3/4) 

THE SEER by Márton Ko
ppány
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (3/3)

Don't Say His Name by Donna Kuhn
Reviewed by Mary Kasimor (3/2)

Pier by Janine Oshiro
Reviewed by Neal Leadbeater (3/1)



FEBRUARY

Only More So by Millicent Borges Accardi
Reviewed by Jessica Gonzalez (2/27)

The Poetry Deal by Diane Di Prima
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (2/27)

Animals of Dawn by Murat Nemet-Nejat
Reviewed by Runa Bandyopadhyay (2/26)

THE CRITIC WRITES POEMS (2/26): Murat Nemet-Nejat

A CAPacious Act by Charles A. Perrone

Engaged by Francesco Levato (2/25)

The Music Child & The Mahjong Queen by Alfred A. Yuson
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (2/25)


Madison Hatta's Book of Unreasonable Rhymes, or: Madisonnets, Volume 1 by April Lynn James
Reviewed by M. Earl Smith (2/24)

Goat In The Snow by Emily Pettit
Reviewed by Neil Leadbeater (2/20)

The Happy End / All Welcome by Monica de la Torre
Engaged by Eileen R. Tabios (2/19)

INFINITE DIFFERENCE: OTHER POETRIES BY U.K. WOMEN POETS, edited by Carrie Etter
Reviewed by E.E. Nobbs (2/19)

Humpty Drumpfty and Other Poems by Melinda Luisa de Jesús
Engaged by Eileen R. Tabios (2/18)

Clairvoyance by Carlomar Arcangel Daoana
Reviewed by Aloysiusi Lionel Polintan (2/17)

Mayan Letters and Call Me Ishmael, both by Charles Olson
Engaged by Murat Nemet-Nejat (2/16)

Song of the Yukon by Trisha Sugarek
Engaged by Eileen R. Tabios (2/15)


JANUARY

MESSAGE FROM THE MEMOIRIST by Paul Pines
Reviewed by Ralph La Charity (1/31)

Then Go On by Mary Burger
Engaged by Eileen R. Tabios (1/30)

Reviewed by Dana Wilde (1/29)

Heisenberg’s Salon by Susan Lewis
Engaged by Eileen R. Tabios (1/28)

A Continuum of Force by Francesco Levato
Engaged by Joel Chace (1/28)

breakup/breakdown by Charles Jensen
Engaged by Eileen R. Tabios (1/27)

Expect Delays by Bill Berkson
Reviewed by Neal Leadbeater (1/18)

America's Tin by Joel Chace
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (1/18)

THE CRITIC WRITES POEMS (1/17): Judith Roitman

We Used to Be Generals by Sarah Campbell
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (1/17)

I Am Going To Fly Through Glass: Selected Poems of Harold Norse, ed. Todd Swindell
Reviewed by Neal Leadbeater (1/16)

AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY by Panagiotis A. Tsonis
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (1/16)

BOOKER'S POINT by Megan Grumbling
Reviewed by Dana Wilde (1/4)

REALMS OF THE MOTHERS: The First Decade of Dos Madres Pressedited by Richard Hague
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (1/4)

Dollyland by Claire Hero and Trism by Rebecca Loudon
Engaged by Judith Roitman (1/3)

Reconsolidation: Or, it's the ghosts who will answer you by Janice Lee
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (1/3)

Waters Of by Billie Chernicoff
Reviewed by Michael Boughn (1/2)

Galatea Resurrects' 2016 Poetry Recommendations (1/1)

Galatea Resurrects' 2016 Recommended Publishers  (1/1)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

DEBTHS by SUSAN HOWE

JUDITH ROITMAN Reviews


Debths by Susan Howe
(New Directions, New York, 2017)

We are perhaps as much as we’ve ever been or will be in a Susan Howe moment. Bringing with it the inevitable reductionism. Nicole Lamy, writing as Dear Match Book in the New York Times, recommends Debths: “lyrical mysteries and familiar things — plants and flowers or art and classical literature — seen in new light.” Dan Chiasson, in The New Yorker concludes “The lesson of these poems, equal parts consoling and devastating, is simple: we’re history.” Say what? Really? As Howe writes in My Emily Dickinson: “Perception of an object means loosing and losing it. Quests end in failure, no victory and sham questor. One answer undoes another….”

As the reductiveness of Lamy and Chiasson’s reviews demonstrates, the language with which we usually talk about poetry doesn’t work here. Luckily I don’t want to talk about these pieces. Instead, I want to look at them. (For a more straightforward review, see Stephen Collis’ excellent http://bostonreview.net/poetry/stephen-collis-curating-resurrection.)

Here in its entirety is a piece from the first section of Debths, Titian Air Vent:

Eme ede ege edu elu

Peter Rugg with child, horse, and open chair. “Is this the

way to Boston?”

            Eye piece, prism, Euryscope, Platiscope.

This poem breaks my heart. Without knowing the referents it would break my heart. But since the referents, whether we know them or not, are the structure, I will try to reconstruct them.

I don’t know where Howe found “Eme ede ege edu elu”. Elu, as my husband who has translated Gilgamesh told me, is a Babylonian word for God (cf. the Hebrew elohim). I did a Google search and  found the five words (if that is what they are) of the first line or is it a title scattered in a table of the “names of God of 3 letters” (all beginning with the letter e) in Ken Nunoo’s The Trinity of Lights, a self-published “practical mathematical approach to spiritualism… Hebrew spiritualism is merged with African spiritualism and mathematics…”.  I don’t know if that is Howe’s source.

Howe’s foreword tells us that Peter Rugg is a literary folk character from a short story by William Austin, doomed to wander forever with his small child searching for Boston.

(An aside on the foreword: it is a meticulous wide-ranging piece of prose, combining personal memory and exploration of Howe’s many literary and historical obsessions. It can easily stand alone, but in context provides ballast  — references and hints of technique — for example, Bing Crosby’s song Little Sir Echo  — for the rest of Debths, but it does not tell us everything. For example, in the piece looked at here, it only gives us Peter Rugg.)

“Eye piece, prism, Euryscope, Platiscope” is a list of camera parts, the latter two being specialized lenses of the late 19th century.

Names of God. Doomed father and hence, necessarily, daughter. Camera parts. Each thing illuminating the others. You don’t have to know where the light is coming from to perceive it. In general, this is how Titian Air Vent proceeds, shards illuminating each other, some known to the reader (in particular, those mentioned in the introduction), others not. No matter.

The second section, Tom Tit Tot, was first commissioned as an art exhibit of letterpress prints. A perceptive review (from which I stole the My Emily Dickinson quote) of the 2013 exhibit can be found at http://yaleunion.org/susan-howe/ (the author might be Edward Foster; attribution isn’t clear). The link has the added bonus of a mid-1990’s interview of Howe by Lynn Keller. From the exhibit came a complex meticulous letterpress publication, reviewed by W. Scott Howard:  https://dulibraries.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/tangible-things-out-of-a-stark-oblivion-spellbinding-tom-tit-tot/. The letterpress publication in turn became the second section in Debths, but without the illustrations, and only a flat copy of the letterpress, not the letterpress itself. This section is, as Howard says, “splicing of typesets” from innumerable sources, including and especially Edward Clodd’s 1898 Tom Tit Tot: An Essay on Savage Philosophy (Tom Tit Tot is a variant of Rumpelstiltskin; traces of Clodd’s book appear in all sections). In the dedicated letterpress volume the sources are acknowledged. In this volume they are not. This section is, as the Yale Union review of the original art exhibit puts it, “structured the way a piece of glass is when dropped from a great height.” A sample:




The upper passage is a direct quote from Clodd’s book (Google quickly found this). But if you look at this passage in Clodd (easily accessible online), it is flat and lacks power. Howe restores the power. And then, underneath, rotated by 90 degrees, she puts a narrow vertical slice of some text (what text?) where parts of letters, parts of words, are missing.

A few pages earlier, Howe’s technique proclaims itself in what seems to be a slice from another work(s) (from what source?): “A document, the parasitic/nvolve a structure of layer/age placed on top of anoth/om its other, as if to infinit.” Followed by a slice of a list of numbers, rotated sideways. Followed by right-side up: “PORTABLE OCEAN” (the title of a work by the artist Paul Thek, whose retrospective Diver at the Gardner Museum is a major thread in this book as is the Gardner Museum itself). Followed by another sideways rotated slice of numbers (or is PORTABLE OCEAN pasted on top of a single list?)

As Howe says in the Keller interview, about her earlier work: “First I would type some lines. Then cut them apart. Paste one on top of another, move them around until they looked right. Then I’d xerox that version, getting several copies, and then cut and paste again until I had it right. The getting it right has to do with how it’s structured on the page as well as how it sounds—this is the meaning. I suppose the real answer to your question ‘Did you stop doing any visual art?’ is ‘No.’ I’m still doing it, but I’m doing it on pages with words.”

In the third section, Periscope, we are back to standard type. Poems recognizable as poems. References not so much quoted or named as absorbed, the poems more personal (or perhaps only seeming so).

Come lie down on my shadow

Being infinitely self-conscious

I sold your shadow for you too



Let’s let bygones be bygones

Dust to dust we barely reach.

                                   
The fourth and last section is Debths, which, as Howe says in her introduction, is, with Tom Tit Tot, “collaged essays on the last poems of William Butler Yeats, the poet I loved first.”



More than collaged. Slashed, crumpled, obscured, shattered. In the sample above some traces are visible: “dwarf will there await the countess who shall” (appearing and then, after a gap, echoed); “stood an ancient fir-tree, it is bargained that the” — these again are from Clodd (thank you, Dr. Google, who successfully searched a part allowing me to restore the whole, for example, fir.). The rest is for us to surrender to; not simply suggestive, but more suggestive than suggestive would suggest.

[And by cropping, by losing the white space in which it floats, I have effectively destroyed this piece. One medium to another, transformed or lost.]

Finally, a quote from the Keller interview that illuminates the obsessive power Howe’s works have: “You don’t hear voices, but yes, you’re hearing something. You’re hearing something you see. And there’s the mystery of the eye-hand connection: when it’s your work, it’s your hand writing. Your hand is receiving orders from somewhere. Yes, it could be your brain, your superego giving orders; on the other hand, they are orders. I guess it must seem strange that I say poetry is free when I also say I’m getting orders. It can become very frightening. That’s what Melville’s so good on in Pierre and Moby Dick and elsewhere, that once you’re driven onto this hunt, you can’t stop until you’re told to stop.”

Howe is 80. Apparently she has said this might be her last book. Any poet’s most recent book might be her last book. She will go until told to stop. I hope she hasn’t been told yet.


*****


Judith Roitman’s poems have appeared in a number of journals (most recently Rogue Agent, E.Ratio, Galataea Resurrects, The Writing Disorder, YEW, Otoliths, Eleven Eleven, Talisman, Horse Less Review); she has a book No Face and several chapbooks, most recently Slackline, Two: (ghazals); Ku: a thumb book; and Furnace Mountain Poems. She lives in Lawrence KS.