Alcheringa, New Series, 1975, vol.1 no. 2   

Edition Year Editors Pages Download
Volume One, Issue Two New Series, 1975 Dennis Tedlock & Jerome Rothenberg 136 PDF, 5.2 MB
    Editorial Assistant: Paul Kahn
  Contributing Editors: David Antin, Kofi Awoonor, Ulli Beier,
  Stanley Diamond, Charles Doria, Harris Lenowitz, Dell Hymes,
  David P. McAllester, William Mullen, Simon Ortiz, Gary Snyder,
  Nathaniel Tarn

IMAGE 136 OF 136


Side 1, MP3, 8.4 MB  
Side 2, MP3, 8.6 MB  

(both sides) Anne Waldman, "Fast-Speaking Woman", recorded at New Wilderness Event #20, Washington Square Church, New York City, May 19, 1975

Surprised by Sign (Notes on Nine)

Ron Silliman, "Dwelling Place: 9 Poets" Editorial

1. What connects these writers beyond my impression of a connection is what I take to be a community of concern for language as the center of whatever activity poems might be, and for poetry itself as the "perfection of new forms as additions to nature." Which raises questions, problems, answers, solutions, recalls old modes (half-forgotten modernists such as Arensberg, say, or the work of certain Russian Futurists) and reflects concerns that have not previously been so extensively explored in the context of American poetry (e.g., for the work of such as Lacan or Barthes). Some have come to this more or less isolately, while others have found use in the work of their peers. Inevitably, present correspondences will fade as each body of work follows the trajectory of its own logic; others may develop. What this is, then, is a fix-in-time of writing which bears a family resemblance.

2. Any poem's a language: a vocabulary plus a set of rules by which to process it. For example, English terms which are aural equivalents to words and word-parts of Latin + the structure of the poems of Catullus. More commonly: the usual vocabulary ofthe writer + a stylized conception of speech. But if what one goes after is a direct confrontation with language, words (Grenier: "What now I want ... is the word way back in the head"; or as Charles Bernstein, a younger, Stein-impacted writer, puts it: "wordness") or beyond (Tom Clark, prefacing Big Sky 3, implies that for Coolidge words are a surface intended to reveal "Neural activity ... a multiplicity of simultaneous operations func- tioning in a continuum. The basis for the system is frequency modulation"), what vocabulary, what set of rules? First, nei- ther the words nor the processes of the poem must point out or away from the poem itself, a literal reading of Creeley's "poems are not referential, or at least not importantly so," must not carry the reader's attention away from the fact of what's at hand. Even the use of the line to describe speech (Grenier again: "Why imitate 'speech' ... ? (I)t is only such. To me, all speeches say the same thing"). What it finally becomes, as Grenier so clearly saw in "On Speech" (This 1) is "First question: where are the words most themselves?"