Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Armand Schwerner

"My favourite 70s poems are those sections of The Tablets that Armand Schwerner wrote during the 70s. I don't know if they would be "classic 70s" because they have nothing to do with the 70s. But I can think of no modern poems that better harness the strangeness of writing from times and cultures which regarded words as things that possessed true power."
-- Jonathan Ball (via email)

Here's a snippet of a poem gleamed from a review by Norman Finkelstein over at Jacket.
Consider the opening lines of Tablet VIII:
go into all the places you're frightened of
and forget why you came, like the dead

what should I look for?
what should I do? where?
aside from you, great Foosh,
who is my friend? a little stone,
a lot of dirt, a terrible headache
and more than enough worry about my grave. Hogs
will swill and shit on me, men
will abuse me (29)
Hear Armand Schwerner read over at Penn Sound.

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