An Interview with Ben Lerner

“I think my poems—say in Mean Free Path—are at their most personal when there is simultaneously a sense of the first-person as a node in a system (grammatical, economic, etc) and as a medium of lived experience. I am writing out of my experience most directly when I am writing about my difference from myself in time, which means what’s authentic about my voice has to be discontinuity as much as continuity, right?”

Two Poems

At check-in, a little Indian girl
in a velour jumpsuit – let’s call her Pinky
plays Etch-A-Sketch for hours

AGATHE: Saint of Sleep

“Invent the effects of some creature exceedingly desired by the mind: after spotting it once, it would absorb into its own a splendid fixity every which thought capable to come after it;”

Flaubert and Industry

The bell of the steamship from Le Havre rings so furiously I have to stop working!

Cenere (Ashes)

(trans. Jonathan Galassi)
“I didn’t know ashes don’t change.”

The Animal Imperfect: More, Wells & Miéville

“Now we realize, as we stand victorious over this subdued world, that we never ceased to move. Time’s true arrow did not die but twist; became Time’s helter-skelter. A hurricane grew, blowing a wind more fierce than we had ever known. Many remained impervious, placid in the confines of the gentle centre. But many others were flung into the violent gyre to join those strangers we despised; the world swallowed in Utopia.”

Three Poems

Geoffrey G. O’Brien
Say it was enough
To constitute a vertical hymn
Everybody could almost agree
Hovers over the smallest being…

Two Poems

I’ve given her everything and how does she thank me? She won’t even do me the courtesy of existing..