after gombrich

Art is made by artists and by the critics who recognize it in all its itness.


pointed texts

Documentary poetics: Utilizing found poetry for its political aspect.


more is less

What does it mean that after about five books you’ve not published a Selected? Then there was the poet who touted her twelve books of poems…by now shouldn’t you be announcing a New & Selected or a Collected?


vigilant elite

Always the literati must call out the lappers-up of the light popular.


art is

It is changing.

It has order.

It has variety.

It affects other things.

It is affected by other things.

It doesn’t have a specific place.

It doesn’t have a specific time.

Its boundaries are not fixed.

It may go unnoticed.

Part of it may also be part of something else.

Some of it is familiar.

Some of it is strange.

Some of it is unknown.

Knowing of it changes it.

To know of it is to be part of it.

Robert Barry 1970

[Robert Barry: An artist book (Karl Kerber Verlag – Bielfeld, 1986), edited by Erich Franz. Image: a typewritten single sheet of paper.]


literary collaborators

A manifesto makes room for the aphorism. The aphorism is made for a manifesto.


poem-eating contest

Nothing wrong with preferring bite-sized poetry, but you must test the limits of your appetite from time to time with long poems.


hearse chaser

I’m sorry that I only read your work when you were dead.


first to mine

In the course of one's reading, it's nice to think, even if it’s not true, that I’ve been first to mine this gemstone quotation.


single motion

He composed a line in a single motion, like an archer taking an arrow from a quiver.


floated promiscuously along

The difference, then, between the poetry of a poet, and the poetry of a cultivated but not naturally poetical mind is that in the latter, with however bright a halo of feeling the thought may be surrounded and glorified, the thought itself is still the conspicuous object; while the poetry of a poet is Feeling itself, employing Thought only as the medium of its utterance. In the one feeling waits upon thought; in the other, thought upon feeling. The one writer has a distinct aim, common to him with any other didactic author; he desires to convey the thought and he conveys it clothed in the feelings which it excites in himself, or which he deems most appropriate to it. The other merely pours forth the overflowing of his feelings; and all the thoughts which those feelings suggest are floated promiscuously along the stream.

J. S. Mill, “The Two Kinds of Poetry,” Essays on Poetry (U. of South Carolina Press, 1976), edited by F. Parvin Sharpless


midden of broken things

A fragment gathers with others of its kind.


words as medium

Not so much a poet as a text artist.


hard back

Reader, be a breaker of books.


prison argot

The critics of that school feared they’d invented a prison argot.


reading series guideline

The organizer of the reading series posted on his website one guideline under the heading “Requirement to be a scheduled Reader”: 1. Do you attend these readings? If ‘No’, go away. If ‘Yes', tell me about yourself and what you’ve been writing.


sentences comment

34. When an artist learns his craft too well he makes slick art.

35. These sentences comment on art, but are not art.

—Sol Lewitt, Sentences on Conceptual Art"

[First published in 0-9 (New York), 1969, and Art-Language (England), May 1969]


resist the list

Don’t allow your reading list to be dictated: Hunt it, find it, make it your own.


acrostic composed



situational awareness

A poet recognizes immediately the ‘con’ in lexicon.


beauty blinded

This light, this landscape (Poros, Greece), these days start to threaten me seriously. I close the shutters so I can work. I must protect myself from beauty...You feel your brain emptying and lightening; the long day absorbs it. Today I understood why Homer was blind; if he had had eyes he wouldn't have written anything.

—George Seferis, A Poet’s Journal: Days of 1945-1951 (The Belknap Press, Harvard U. Press, 1974), translated by Athan Anagnostopoulos.


figure of speech fugue

A poem that throbs with its tropes.