Monday the 17th
— My friend, you are a barbarian. You paint as if one eye were on the moon and the other on Mars. I don't like your work; but you have made me weep. And tears are the blood of sincerity. Cool -- two publications in a row of Marta Aponte Alsina translations! A story I translated last year is included in the November issue of The Acentos Review -- 1955: Lavender Mist.
Thursday, October 16th
Marta Aponte Alsina's recent novellette Mr. Green is available on Kindle in Spanish; and now you can read the first few pages in my translation, at Tupelo Quarterly.
Tuesday, September 23rd
A couple of things have been happening lately in the world of "poetry by J. Osner"... The chapbook of the Universidad Desconocida workshop was presented at the kickoff event for the workshop's second year. It features three of my poems and lots of beautiful writing from other student's -- and I've just finished a translation of Isabel Zapata's "Sleepwalker's Lullaby" from the chapbook. ...Two of my poems (both from Analogies for Time) were published in Issue 5 of Street Voice (I think it is the first time I have ever appeared in a poetry journal), and I'm in touch with the editor about submitting some more work.
Saturday, September 20th
Here is an idea I am liking, poetry-wise: I think I've hit on this rhythm and voice that will allow me to propel the text, to follow almost blindly the beats and consonants of the text and ultimately even to transcend the text. Here is a piece I wrote in that fashion, following this meter, yesterday -- as I say I like it, and find this a pleasant voice to adopt, cute, (semi blatant) echoes of Poe and of Whitman -- formally of one, excitement-wise of the other. The poem is to a prompt from Describli.
by J. Osner
Read between the lines,
lines marking boundaries that
separate *within* from what's
without. Read behind the
words, the printed words are
only messengers, the poem
that's behind them's what you
need. Read between the lines,
dividing lines between the
text and empty paper. Read
behind the words, read
through the text, it's a distraction from the message
graven deep on every page.
Read behind the page, now
read the emptiness around
you, shining message, read
the tintinnabulation of the
night, the air around you's humming,
breathing, clicking, pounding, every line
of every poem you've ever
read's inscribed there, see it,
read it, listen to the meter of
the poem that's behind the
text you're reading in the
sweet night air, encoded
in the symbols of the lines.
Saturday, September 13th
It's all going down tonight at McNalley-Jackson Books in the city. I'll be reading my poem "Formación" from the book of the Universidad Desconocida from last term, which is being presented.
Plus music and dancing! Come by if you're in the neighborhood.
At first I didn't quite know what I would do with the book, other than read it over and over again.
by J. Osner
The book is just a dream
on ink and paper
bound in rags
it's open on the table
just a book.
The book's an ancient river
dried up on the page
it's just a book.
The book was wilderness
and pulped for paper
standing on the bookshelf
just a book.
The book is just a poem
sound of turning pages
read it by the river
just a book.
The book's a dream transformed
edited and copyrighted
pull it off the shelf and open
read the words and hear the whisper
trace the patterns graven
in the book.
Saturday, July 26th
The moment of the poem, by J. Osner
Poems you read, they shape you – watch the singsong of their syllables chase images of darkness and light down syntactic tunnels. Follow the syllable along the corridor to where it leads;
act out solemn ritual of determination.
The poem (if it's successful) always
functions on some level as a metaphor
for time: the reader's memory will
integrate the poem (if it's successful)
so its meter and its rhyme make up a cauldron through which filters reader's vision of experience: the moment, just off-kilter, just opaque enough to shadow (just concrete enough to straddle) future and the past which bubble up through the poem (if it's successful) and comprise the self you narrate to the world.
There is no calculus of consciousness.
The moment that you dwell in is no delta t,
its kaleidoscopic boundaries recede.
Thursday, July 24th
Seen lately in the READIN family garden --
Friday, July 11th
Working on another chapbook -- this one is tentatively titled "The moment of the poem: Extensions".
Monday, June 16th
"The Cauldron of Verse" by J. Osner,
The poem (if it's successful) always functions on some level
as a metaphor for time: the reader's memory will integrate
the poem (if it's successful) so its meter and its rhyme make up
a cauldron through which filters reader's vision of experience:
the moment, just off-kilter, just opaque enough to shadow
(just concrete enough to straddle) future and the past which bubble
up through the poem (if it's successful)
and comprise the self you narrate to the world.
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