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chris cheek and Leonard Schwartz

Been reading coductors of Chaos for a while (an anthology of outsider/experimental poetry from the U.K.).

I am really digging Chris Cheek. His poem "Stranger" got the engine roaring tonight. It's not reproducable in parts. it's the total effect of its music.

Also finished Leonard Schwartz's The Tower of Diverse Shores. Amazing book. Especially the last poem "The New Babel" "about" 9/11 and the world trade center towers. For me, it's political and elegiac and encyclopedic and spiritual. An amazing weave.

"If architecture is frozen music, then these melted smoking shards / are its melodies, its incandescent burial grounds-- Babel become / what begs you to sing it."


"Babel was Mesopotamia, its era's only superpower: redound of / Gilgamesh, modern day Iraq."


"Babel is Baghdad, Babel is Belgrade, Babels our backyard, a World / that incessantly trades names with itself."

For some reason I keep trying to Peter Gizzi's _Some Values of Landscape and Weather and cannot get into it. Maybe one day. I won't trade it yet.


Anonymous said…
I take poetry classes from Leonard at Evergreen State College. He's a quirky fellow. Tends to pee in odd places. He also did all his graduate studies in philosophy as opposed to poetry, which I find interesting.

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