måndag 28 augusti 2017

An odyssey through The Spectacle

  Ett nytt universitetsmagasin gläntar på dörren. Den här gången utgår jag ifrån The Spectacle som håller till på Washington University i St. Louis. Det är lite fascinerande att merparten av bidragsgivarna arbetar vid andra universitet än utgivaradressen. Men jag gillar deras deklaration, i synnerhet de avslutande raderna om att ge röst åt de som inte får uppmärksamhet.

"We’re a little cracked, and we like it that way. We aim for content that reminds us that our lenses matter—they focus, distort, clarify, conceal. We seek out and publish revelatory writing, while also knowing that there are forms of revelation that come only through distortion or concealment. Aristotle, in his Poetics, isolated six aspects of dramatic art, of which “spectacle” (opsis) was the least important. We disagree.

We like scholars who write great poetry, poets who write incisive monographs, credulous skeptics, wary believers, hidebound experimentalists, radical realists, mystical engineers, analytical mystics, catholic snobs, and modish antiquarians. We have a soft spot for keen amateurs and sincere dilettantes. We actively seek to transgress the border between creative and critical work: see, for example, Dan Beachy-Quick’s essay-poems in our inaugural issue.


The Spectacle is based out of the English, Creative Writing, and Visual Art departments at Washington University in St. Louis. We are committed to publishing work from under-represented voices, including people of color, women, LGBTQ-identified artists/writers, and people who have disabilities. The Spectacle publishes issues twice a year; our blog, The Revue, features a more frequently revolving cast of comics, poems, reviews, and other pieces."
Källa: http://thespectacle.wustl.edu


  Jag har studerat åtta poeters bidrag som nyligen har publicerats. Det är författare med en del meriter, exempelvis Lyn Hejinian och Geoffrey G. O’Brien. 

  Till slut valde jag dikter av två andra författare. Först ut Rodney Gomez. Han är medlem i Macondo Writers Workshop. Hans samling Citizens of the Mausoleum är kommande från Sundress Publications. Hans poesi har dykt upp eller är kommande i Poetry, Rattle, Blackbird, Pleiades, Denver Quarterly, och Puerto del Sol.


How to dismantle a heart, by Rodney Gomez
(Published in The Spectacle, 2017.)

My mother used to say the heart makes music, but I’ve never found the keys. Maybe it’s the way I was brought into the world: dragged across a river in the night’s quiet breathing, trampling through trash and tired runaways as if tearing a window’s curtains. We were barred from entry but repeatedly returned, each time becoming a darker part of a tunnel or a truck bed. The sky was so still the stars flickered like carbide lamps. We told time through the landmarks of the dead like cataphiles—the warren of a little girl’s murder, the wolf’s irrigation pipe. When you see enough unwinding, beating is replaced by the safety of wings. This isn’t goodness. The voiceless are never neutral. Bones sway to elegy. Ebony burrows into the earth as a refugee. I grew up, eventually, but the sun was like a cliff with a false bottom: you’d drop and come out the top again. Enough carcasses draped over the dry brush. Enough water towers empty as busted rattles.

When you’re a child, the heart has a stiff neck and demands to be played. Later, it limps. Before my knees could begin to ache, I crawled to the levee looking for a broken string. Some
wayward zil. I stretched my heart over a manhole and drummed it with broken pliers. It wouldn’t even quaver. It snapped back into a seed, dry and shriveled and impotent.


  Min favorit bland de åtta poeter jag studerade var tveklöst Virginia Konchan. Hon är författare till Vox Populi (Finishing Line Press, 2015) och Anatomical Gift (Noctuary Press, 2017). Hennes dikter har förekommit i The New Yorker, The New Republic, Best New Poets, och i andra publikationer.
  Jag valde ut två av hennes texter. Jag är svag för humoristiska inslag . . .


Odyssey, by Virginia Konchan
(Published in The Spectacle, 2017.)

You are the last vowel
left in the known world,
and I am the placard
saying this table
has been reserved.

A pity, the rain shower never came.
A pity, it lasted so long.
I had hoped to be wafer-thin:
a mere idea, drifting down the hall.
As it stands, I am stolid,
irrefutable but without value,
like an animal. Aren’t we all.
The pastoral’s end is nigh.
Free love is the con of cons.
This is the hour
of the anonymous poet.
Sail on, high ship, sail on.


Earth lyric, by Virginia Konchan
(Published in The Spectacle, 2017.)

Milkweed, thistle.
A plant that grows
only when shunned.
What I want to know is
would a wild animal
force another wild animal
on a gang plank, or to strip
its defenses for show, for fun?

Look around. There’s so few rules
to hang gliding; it’s all about the feel.
There is something droll about the
human endeavor, our damage
to freshwater habitats, then
backpedaling attempts to heal.
Flowers heavy with theology.
Erstwhile prophets of doom.
I know what my problem is:
global thinking, insufficient data.
Let’s you and I be paramours.
Let’s put a woman on the moon.

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