Videos Now online for 2014 Small Press Traffic White & Victor Scalapino Memorial Lectures

Simone White & Divya Victor

Now you can listen to and watch these two amazing Leslie Scalapino Memorial Lectures online at PennSound:




Just a Few Reasons Poetry Matters--from my bookshelf

P O E T R Y   M A T T E R S
Chris Tysh
Ronaldo Wilson
Emily Dickinson
Lisa Robertson
Simone White
Anne Carson
Fred Moten

photo by Alex Tremblay-McGaw

"Among cries and girly giggles.

Divinaria, D's saga, will be the tale

I trace in the starless subterranean sky

Switching genders as if passing under

 A nightclub's scarlet awning where I steal

A glance at some elfin gypsy with hair

Covered in dew and river marsh"

--from Chris Tysh's  Our Lady of the Flowers, Echoic (16)



    I will kneel to him.

It passes, from head spin
to spun Cotton. Pink, rosacea excess,

the skin waits to glut. Oil.        I whisper
when I choose.

In that hiss: [                                                     ]

Not Caliban, but alley born.     Rotate.
Strike: [      ] Floor work, not shufflin'

                Kick: Cull the skull

 from Ronaldo Wilson's Poems of the Black Object (34)

Ourself behind ourself, concealed--
Should startle most--
from #670 Emily Dickinson

At times the sound of the vocable is
The vocable of the men. It sits, it
Emits, it leaves the solemn limit
Beneath a tent of lilac
I want a simple book too, I want those
Fabulous testimonies in the style
Of toile de jouy, I wnt them to bestir
For the duration of a diminutive
To inhabit this voice:


The sidewalks in light are the sidewalks of childhood
with the men walking on them past the trees of
childhood also and the sky flattened with light as in
the childhood of the men. Memory stands up in slow
motion and moves in their light. Being the men involves


I speak to them now in all my categories.



Men, we are already people.

from Lisa Robertson's The Men (47-48)


Before I was a woman and in this place,
I was real. The ages pressed their pattern
on the air I breathed. I was colorless,
bound in one dimension by the idea of mountains,
in another by crude desire; the nearness of my thoughts
(O my thoughts!) moorings to all that was human,
and all the world was flesh and mind.

from Simone White's House Envy of all the World (17).


Somehow Geryon made it to adolescence.


Then he met Herakles and the kingdoms of his life all shifted down a few notches.

They were two superior eels

at the bottom of the tank and they recognized each other like italics.

from Anne Carson's Autobiography of Red (39)


barbara lee

[The poetics of political form]

Ever since Plato, some poets remain surprised that they don't run shit,
that they ain't even citizens. But black poetry suffers its politics of non-exclusion. Abide with this distress for the deformative and reformative stress, the non-normative benefits, the improper property of the ones who have been owned, who are without interests, who are feared, who disappear in plain, excaped, unfree.

Counterinsurgency only ever offs the possibility completely. A state of race ward has existed with its immense poetry of tread water, worked ground, houses sawed in half. Tht's where the socially off hold on, try to enjoy themselves.

There is a history of the embrace of degraded pleasure. Poetry responds, cantedly, to the slander of motivation. Poetically man dwells, amped, right next to the buried market, at the club underneath teh quay, changing the repeat, thrown like a new thing, planning to refuse until the next jam, at a time to be determined and fled.

Poetry investigates new ways for people to get together and do stuff in the open, in secret. Poetry enacts and tells the open secret. Getting together and doing stuff is a technical term that means X. Something going one at the sight and sound center of sweet political form.

from Fred Moten's B Jenkins (84)