Tuesday, June 5, 2018



Olvidos by John M. Bennett
(Luna Bisonte Prods, 2013)

Olvidos = Memories​, but also, as Ivan Argüelles reminds us in his afterword, "things forgotten". On the back cover is a blurb, written by Bennett himself, which reads:

​​Of saudade, the English Oxford Living Dictionary says: (especially with reference to songs or poetry) a feeling of longing, melancholy, or nostalgia that is supposedly characteristic of the Portuguese or Brazilian temperament.

Saudade has been translated into English as "missingness," which barely scratches the surface of the complexity of the word.

A usage graph shows moderate frequency in the 18-teens, with relatively infrequent usage for the next hundred years or so, followed by a jagged upward wave​-​pattern (with frequency of usage in the 1990s approximating that of the 18-teens), with by far the most frequent usage in the history of the word coming at the end of the graph, in 2010 and slightly later. The word has been in use since at least the 13th century.

17th century Portuguese poet Manuel de Melo​ defined saudade as​ "a pleasure you suffer, an ailment you enjoy."

I look​ed​ around a bit using Google, ​and compiled a constellation of words and phrases in an attempt at giving myself a sense of the shape of meanings surrounding saudade:

"the sun on the horizon"
"not enough"
carries, carrying
the presence of an absence
"in the moment" the "volume of the moment" bracketed by solitudes
[solitary craving repressed translation of homesick]
deeply straightforward but twisting with questions
"love in memory without hope"
broken glass held in the palm of the hand
if (ongoing)
what (in its own time and nowhere else)
to (in all directions at once)

[email from JMB: 02.26.2018: saudade - portuguese, mainly brazilian - it's sort of "nostalgia" but a much stronger feeling - and not necessarily for anything specific - an emotional climate in which one lives - a full sadness which is also not sadness but an experience of beauty (or something) - very difficult to define it, everyone who tries says something different​

olvido (pl. olvidos) is a noun here meaning something forgotten but remembered.  olvido is also the verb, first person, for forget (olvidar=to forget) - related to the concept of saudade i would say.​ ​mis olvidos = my forgotten things, my memories - my saudades, perhaps.​]​

​Argüelles has a curious take on the post-snippets Bennett appends to many of these poems​: A large number of  the poems conclude with faux quotes, and some real ones, from many poets, mostly Latin American, which may place this work in the category of literary hoaxes.

Citation is not a river, neither is it a collective. The corners of each allusion project onto ourselves an impersonal unease, else the unease of the impersonal. In reference to the river -- rusting, as it were (rustling as it waves hello, goodbye) -- the work of tar sails the dog, logs forgotten onto the spar, the tides of memory are wide with rhyme. If I am stealing these words, a few of them, from an essay on Citation, (and I am doing exactly that), am I therefore drifting logic, implications of syntax in irregular fragments, also sustaining in discourse the memory of a hoax, this hoax, which I am neither envisioning nor enacting as any hoax at all?

Argüelles: ...the entire text is one immense sequence of enigmatic and puzzling dicta, summed up best in his own portmanteau word "hablacagada".

hablacagada = he talks crap; talking shit.

Argüelles: Olvidos ... is quite possibly his masterpiece.

The word hablacagada appears on page 22, in the following olvido (also published by Mark Young in Otoliths 26, in the Australian winter of 2012):


dot luster nor ,pelted ,came
the sewer ,nipper past
,the “redhead jap” skull
king down the ,alley la
ced with glowing t rash
,soaked the dream net ,b
louse blackened in the fot
o ni sípida es mi cu
spidora shapely like
,a gnewt if ,chasing
,creamed be side the
lagunilla ,redonda y ho
nda como mi bOca

Is this poem coming at us talking trash, demanding to be hacked, issuing itself as a challenge? I don't really think so. Poems in my experience are more likely to send out cryptic, cultic, clever, or chatty invitations. Pre-poem muttering and ranting at 7. Poem begins roughly 8ish. Bring your own beer.

[email from JMB: 02.26.2018: hablacagada - speakshit - shittingtalk

spanish seems to be a language in which combining words - like hablacagada - is a much more fertile possibility.  that practice is much clumsier, awkward, in english - at least in my experience]

My favorite method of hacking is homophonic translation, or transduction, a process I learned from John in the nineties when he was working on Prime Sway. Here is his definition/description of the term, from ​​SOME OF JOHN M. BENNETT”S POETRY TRICKS, posted on December 9, 2016 at Cathy Bennett's blog, OVER THE SOFA/ UNDER THE SKIN/ INSIDE THE HEAD (with the following note: These “tricks” are from a worksheet written by John M. Bennett, handed out during national poetry month (April 2016), for the occasion of a workshop we were invited to give to members of the Ohio Poetry Association.)

This is a kind of fake translating, in which you “translate” a text from one language to another without regard to what a bilingual dictionary might suggest. It is not necessary to know the language you are transducing from. One way to do this is called “homophonic translation” in which you use words in your language that merely “sound like” the words in the original. You can also transduce by opening your mind to the resonant associations a word in a source language suggest to you. It is also fun to transduce within a language: ie, transduce an English text into a new English text.

Playing with and in the ancient spirit of "the more the merrier" I find that combining all of these transduction processes into one is the most fun of all. Here are the results of one quick foray into the fray, an irresistible ex-ploray into the play:

olive door 22

knot cluster nor, melted, same
the spewing, ripples past,
the "breadcrumb nap" sulking
down rat's alley, lake
seed faced with glowering trash,
soaked in dreams, not
lousy with lack of photos,
nor spiders in the spitoon,
shapely as a gnostic skink,
chasing the creamed corn
B-side moving beast of the
slack lagoon, on Redondo Beach
with my mouth around a Honda,
talking shit

Transduction, whatever else it might be, is not a hoax. Writing-against-itself is not a hoax. It occurs to me as I write this that I may not have ever treated the concept of the hoax with sufficient respect.

When I think of literary hoax I think of Ern Malley and Araki Yasusada. I don't think Bennett is attempting anything along those lines, and I don't think that's what Argüelles is implying. In any case, I am not trying to make too much of this, to be sure. Argüelles is among the closest, most attentive, expansive and knowledgeable readers of Bennett's work. ...and all of this prompts me to remember the quote from Jack A. Withers Smote on the back cover of The Sweating Lake: This is not poetry. And, to remember the anti-blurb for Lost and Found Times, which is attributed (as a deliberate deception, a hoax -- which we are expected to recognize as a hoax) to The Nation: Insults... the past 3,000 years of literature.

medical Definition of transduction. 1 : the action or process of converting something and especially energy or a message into another form.

which reminds me of Charles Olson, in Projective Verse (1950) : A poem is energy transferred from where the poet got it (he will have some several causations), by way of the poem itself to, all the way over to, the reader. Okay. Then the poem itself must, at all points, be a high energy construct and, at all points, an energy-discharge. So: how is the poet to accomplish same energy, how is he, what is the process by which a poet gets in, at all points energy at least the equivalent of the energy which propelled him in the first place, yet an energy which is peculiar to verse alone and which will be, obviously, also different from the energy which the reader, because he is the third term, will take away?
This is the problem which any poet who departs from closed form is specially confronted by.

The poem is always already a transducer. Transduction begins the process of liberating the hidden (silent) poems which inhabit any seemingly singular poem. If a single poem is capable of being many poems as it passes through many readings, then it is also capable of being yet another set of many poems as it undergoes the ongoing reading-as-writing which constitutes its changeling quintessence in any contemporary setting.

​memories of 2018

​​this started in the olvido
beginning "wind-germ
empire sand" and then
completely lost the plot

the "round dance" memory
shopping the arras they
dragged foam milk eyes
towards the restless sea.

next he met up with her
just as she passed the
puma, Cuni Raya Vira
Cocha, who bears their
seagulls into the daylight.

identify yourself, she said,
windhisses chasing
shadows, crag-fish the
sea-fork local lightclothes

knowing the sea reality
their blackened events
indeterminate formations
with social memories in
contrast to multiple wars.

because I glitter like a
glacier in the evening,
said Cuni Raya, given
to disappear deeply into
the clearings of the sea.

where did you find the
skunkspoon, divine in
daytime, shining with
a gone blue beauty?

and so he traveled on,
cursing the news,
guarded by snakes
and snail darters, while
Urpayhuachac coiled

his lice in a hearse of
sausage. five eggs
unspoken ephemeral
downspout downspout
rarity. abandoned

interior history. nothing
appeared across the
amplified riots fleeing
the ground fingernails
while dancing poetry.

the restless sea
eats powerful socks.

anonymous: ...​​the gathering
took place at Anchi Cocha.

Jim Leftwich / February 26, 2018


wind-germ empire sand
hisses Urpayhuachac furiosa
lo persiguió includes snow
shadows layer logic una
gran peña hizo crecer marks
fish seen encolerizado los
arrojó todos al mar fork
deluge light travelled tone
clocks huacas locales slippery
business clothes sabiendo
que el mar soon disappears
reality if decisions iba a
desbordar their square
window que se ennegreció
nearby events trajectory las
piedras indeterminate trans
formations se golpearon unas
memories con otras raw
multiplicity no hacían otra
cosa social contrast que
guerrear haphazard time
restric cinco huevos un solo
hombre permax rectional
means effecting unspoken
subió al cerro manifestation
discourse ephemeral structure
allí se adormeció here to
gether downspout una ser
piente vive encima reflect
body rarity cultural artifacts
por haber fingido emblematic
ser dios abandoned se puso
furioso collapses revolutionary
agency interior spiral un
sapo con dos cabezas
homeopathic history la mujer
gritó hears nothing decorated
the cave change space el
viento no había aparecido
delivers a belief room te
echarás a volar across the
privacy la tierra tembló
without amplification laws
never begins al día siguiente
sin sentido such as rots se
convirtió en piedra like a
horse blazing flea re
ligion la colocó boca
abajo en el suelo
sweat and fingernails había
de ser comida rejection
para los hombres poetry
parking mientras bailaban
una cachua memory pro
tocol shopping los arras
traron foam milk eyes
hacia el mar restless
swerve destruction solía
comerse a los hombres
violent absurd cloud
barrage flmuddle sighit
matarte también power
controls changing socks
para regar las chacras
horizontal mi maicita
unimaginable la acequia
bluish fires flux
Huarochirí tactile shoe
convulsion creeds suits
arts vulture a es
condidas una granizada
stem narrative apparatus
phony commitment desire ¿a
dónde vas llorando así?
icon book en el primer
capítulo dimensional
games solía comer
shifts serpes pyramid
carne humana wrapped
el aliento cardboard
salía de su boca

John M. Bennett
May 7, 2012

From Jim Leftwich’s
Six Months Aint No Sentence, Book 20, 2012
Ritos y Tradiciones de Huarochirí, [ca. 1609],
versión [de] Gerald Taylor, Lima: Instituto de
Estudios Peruanos, 1987. 

I started the Six Months Aint No Sentence series on Easter Sunday, in 2011. Before eating, resounding a fastball through no outer destiny. Six Months Aint No Sentence took place every day for as much time as I could muster for five and a half years which is two thousand days at a pace of slightly less than nine and a half pages per day as a way of forcing myself to move mentally from what I had gotten myself into by moving to Roanoke forward to what I had abandoned when I left the cottage in the woods outside of Charlottesville where I had lived for the previous eighteen years. The centuries forge a spell for us no matter how much we hover over their memories and pull in attributes aside our healed and mentionless certainties towards any acknowledgement of a personal-in-public transformation. Six Months Aint No Sentence was a ritual. Not a game and not a practice. A rite of passage as return, though there is no chance or sense of return, there is and was only what we can embody and bear and remember to take with us. Cracking through that egg cracks through everything else as well, the skin around the self, a set of values the fine china of someone else's civilization. Any time you decide to break free or break through or break out or break down even if you actually never decide to break down you have decided all the same to break something, and that is messy and noisy and more asocial than anti-social, but in any and every case you will not be much fun to be around, maybe for a while and maybe forever, who knows and it wouldn't matter anyway, you are doing what you need to do, it really does exist at that kind of edge regardless of cliches and poseurs. Six Months Aint No Sentence, the phrase, comes from an old rhythm and blues song, Junko Partner. I first heard it in the mid-seventies by Dr. John, then a few years later by The Clash:

Down the road come a Junko Partner
Boy he was loaded as can be
Boy he was knocked out, knocked out loaded
You know he wobbled all over the street

Singing six months ain't no sentence
Lord and one year ain't no time
They got boys up on The Ponderosa
Servin' nine to ninety nine

The concept of six months aint no sentence has to do with commitment (you have my permission to call it obsession if you choose to misunderstand it in that direction). I remember a phrase from my youth, always surrounded in utterance with an aura of menace, a threat from Authority itself, issued by minor but efficacious representatives of that Authority: committed to an institution. Sometimes it was the threat of a mental institution, at other times the even scarier threat (this was while the war on Vietnam was still going on) of a military institution. So, there was that version of commitment, like the boys doing 9 to 99. Another version of commitment entering into my young consciousness around the same time as these threats was the image of the counterculture, as it cultivated an appearance to distinguish itself from the war machine and its minions, and then used that appearance to disseminate its message through television and the weekly news magazines. As a young adolescent boy a couple of things were very clear to me: 1) men with long hair were easy targets (and there were some dangerously ignorant folks around who hated men with long hair); and 2) you can't grow a foot of hair in time for the anti-war march coming up this weekend (these guys were committed to being easy targets!). Every little spark of awareness was enormous. There weren't any immediately obvious escape-routes out of where I was growing up in the late sixties and early seventies. Any step was a big step, and every crack opened onto a cosmos. Nothing has ever convinced me that I should forget how all of that worked.

By the time I got around to writing the Six Months Aint No Sentence books, I had been writing as a serious poet for forty years. Any separation of art (poetry) and life had long since disappeared. Poetry was what I had escaped to. It was my way of knowing, and my way of remembering -- a way of making life new.

This is the second poem in Six Months Aint No Sentence Book 20:

not that

enough circuladder
in the nourth ark
wand-form wind-germ
been-farm we gener
ate made of empire
narrative parallel
mail dart of poetic
style-properties th
twentieth futurists
creave the sand-hiss
cold war incorpor
ate incorpo rat e
in core-po rate by
context nonetheless
of the above


This one follows about 20 poems later... on page 9:

not that

given the practices
of transformations

certain networks
now seem multiple

techniques of multiples


And this is the penultimate poem in the book, found on page 102:

not that

01. time bu
02. people, f
03. beautiful d
04. taro
05. good sa
06. the sta
07. contrx
08. their thed
09. "there is someth
10. anarchy," wh
11. point (listening
12. vier
13. procex
14. reader. it
15. sometimc
16. pos
17. to understand
18. like this'


I include these three poems to offer a sample of what John was reading when he wrote his hacks of my SMANS. For those of you who don't know what a hack is, and for those of you who do know exactly what a hack is but still have no idea why such a thing exists, I refer you to Blaster Al Ackerman, THE COMPLETE WORKS from LOST & FOUND TIMES 1979-2005 (Luna Bisonte, 2013). Vents illusic what leaks from its angular definitions. Hacks peel the cortex from improbable buffaloes on the moon. These transformations introduce the corn as it erupts in cheesy waves upon the apex seeping leg pillows. We steal from our own memories as if embarking upon unequivocal announcements. Brave ladders treacle their forceps in the face of vertiginous sentience. Speaking as pellucid ape grease decerebrated meteoric spider breeeething the flogged logic of poetry, a month of soapy lettuce, furniture dealers and pawnbrokers chewing the gold with locksmiths, butchers, and other dissidents of the entertainment industry, theories of the mind (those sobering vultures), we bolster in camouflage hieroglyphic neuroscientists closing in on the closed circuits of thought. An impressive fallacy, given our meaningfully fruitful abilities as philosophers of the conceptually understark. Who has spun the buzzard from any written hand. The night is attributed to the brain, explored running, neuro-additive therein, coiled against their attacks. Hacks are predominately fire extinguishers and exegetical dismissals: definitions on the whole are defiantly antique with clarity. Free improvisation, paraphrase, incremental, underground wording, interpretation as variation, washes, pairs, socks, found objects collaborating with socialist autonomy, since dozens of poems have been dissatisfied with their day jobs.


the glued tooth ¿washed the
floor ...clods of crowds sc
uttle along the baseboard ,l
intcloud ,“rainy pen” the w
atch to the wall nailed ,n
ever chchanged the cor the c
rust occcasion where my
)ass occcludes( the foggged d
oor fills my ears )your win
d( bawling in the saus
age ay my dentition vis
cous my rigid tongue !
---found the lost last dime o

found on page 66 of the book, and posted on THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2012, at the John M. Bennett Poetry blog

a faux-exegetical hack

the glued tooth, despite the moment these inspirations remember a body, grounded in communication cults, referential evenings in the basements of The Other, the anarchic profanity of a pagan literature, burning in the swimming pool, flying in the ocean.

washed the floor, altogether mystical and magical, charms the snakes out of the trees and onto the sidewalk, where the crystalline soul swirls and riots.

clods of crowds, walking into their occult occurrence, the roots of a transcendent tradition, eroticism, "have", the simultaneous impossibilities of a stunning immediacy, poetry remotely the mind-set religion in carbon.

scuttle along the baseboard, leaf, the work of the leaf, leaves us where it find us. pane-been, and window. again a beginning, the house created in a house. the politics of approaching.

lintcloud, surrounds one side of the fire. one name for human is being, two names is human being. be in the human, being human, in the 21st century.

"rainy pen", most clearly a lyricism of suggestion. experience alongside botany. matter opens, pink at the end of its omnipresent situation.

the watch to the wall nailed, boiled incense nose cone sanctuary of the sun. where sleep clamored like a cucumber. the swan moves, scattering Americans before the sword. no cyborgs where the bones of light years.

never chchanged the cor, ever chchanged the cor, every growl is a scurry of words in inches.

the crust occasion, the rust occasion, the acts work from the recall orchestra, scratch archaic those roses from the slimmer skin.

where my ass occludes, happens nor works the memory button who encounters the discount of chance. mere to the eye, but middle in hand. attempts an atmosphere of our sum.

the fogggged door fills my ears, the mattress needle drunk and porous. laments somewhat dazzling the work of the geranium. they vanish into vast literary guarantees. chronological verbs as landscapes gesture with feverish seriousness. the wind reads the poem to prove that the poem is no wind.

your win, your wind, bawling in the sauce age, in the sausage, to have cut the vernacular in half. they will not limit their reticence to space-suits at the carnival.

ay my dentition viscous, the moods of Aphrodite strengthened by sorcery, their elegant forks the entire choir, the hammer crop reassembled. sense. verbal. breaking. batches. among the last crisscrossed sequences...

my rigid tongue, the vowels and messy delusions of a written world, form if language into consciousness is a poem.

found the lost last dime o, ensnared in the ineffable nonsense of our eyes.


​Jettison The Duct Tape
​fast transduction style​

​temporal local infant gun​
​jetty as blue cigarettes em
bodied pour​s​ ​an annex poet
aesthetic​ apartments ​dealer
​scored eyes social centuries
​rejected last sienna the salt
of noise ​the long essence of
​the ill tomb memory ​ajar
mapped horses ​nor cynics
the copies consume ​uncle lice
ground beef ​leers sonnets ​&​
​electromediated machetes​
​luxurious pandas ​packed oblique
wrapped in centers ​leering
​bandleaders blob boom dot
​i have never been a tambourine
catastrophic bare skulls la​b​
bourgeoisie ​deem impoverished
bonetexts platitude ​decides
speech meat ​i donate to the sea​
​an atoll of books masked riots
​​​metabolic grab bag lens our
​numb infinities populated with
​the fictotalized werewolves of
Missouri ersatz hinterlands
​triangulate the bilateral ​Colonel
the​ eggplant chemistry​
hotdogs ​like men on Tuesday

“...​obscure lips, ​seal-liver, silver pipe,
​taboos in Maryland!” - L. E. Cynge

Jeter le Duct Tape

tempora loca qu’un enfant
jette sa baue cigarettes em
bodied pour un poëte aex
thetics apartments de la
scorie social centuries a
rejeté la sienne the salt
of noise un long essor il
tombe memory au jour
mapped horses ni cynique
the copies consume un cilice
ground beef leurs sonnets à
manchettes electromedia
panda et luxes pachaliques
wrapped in centers leurs
buandières blob boom dot
je n’ai jamais tambouriné
catastrophic bare skulls la
bourgeoisie de ma pauvreté
bonetexts platitude de cette
speech meat je donne ce
livre à toi masked riots
métagraboliser le nour
numl infin une populace
fictiotod la lycanthropie le
Missouri ersatz hinterlands
étranglé the bilateral col de
chemise the aubergine the
hotdogs les hommes tués

“...obsclips, ce livre, silver pipe,
tabac de Maryland!” - L. E. Cynge

Found in Jim Leftwich,
Six Months Aint No Sentence, Book 23, 2012
& Pétrus Borel, Préface a Rhapsodies, 1831.

​found on page 113 of the book, and​ posted to the John M. Bennett Poetry blog on FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2012

ludic & letteral transduction of Pétrus Borel, the first paragraph of Préface a Rhapsodies

It is ttheeh fate one a jettisoned infant who is a brake as brave as departed France; it is sthe fate quest of the poet who has jettisoned his sienna; I am the lamentation jetty: the voice of the lake. If a ffate questions the metal bouillon dancing like tetheh rejected crust of sorcery; the poem is brilliant inside the rejected poultry of the scene: the voice of the lake. Given, cease rhapsodies upon the brave scroll of sorcery? Yes!  Along ttheeh purring quay, a bone is s entient, the snipe hunt against the fowl? What is the past tense of tarrying in animation? Is it that the whispering view romps through its tours with bells; check it out, the prairie is on stilts with me, my view is exposed, enter through the detour on its face; circular queue, scant quorum regards our chosen at, only you reinvent as always, even tetheh rain is detached from you; what is it, to the amusement of your sinuses, the novelty of the date (November 1831), as we pour our serious poems like predilections upon your essence, who is sour now will have a tomb that is just as sour: fat like fate the paint exposed, like fate to the bard's impression.

sentience. the the.
circular queue.
the lamentation jetty.

​​​​​​On page 289 of Olvidos is a hack of Six Months Aint No Sentence Book 28, entitled olvido des serpents de la langue. It was posted to the John M. Bennett Poetry blog on MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2012. In searching for it I also found a poem entitled "Vene Horloge", posted on TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2012. It is a hack of Six Months Aint No Sentence, Book 31. It does not appear in Olvidos Having consulted with John on the matter it seems that it is an orphan, and does not appear in any of his books.
I am including it here based on how it appears on the blog, which is surrounded by poems with "olvidos" in their titles -- and because it is a Six Months Aint No Sentence "hack without a home".

​Vene Horloge

theme theat albe dans
ma mémoire continuum of
beastear vers d’autre plages
special cardboard a une
seule aile early variation
ioina au bord du monde
straight streak groans a
metallic lune blessée
lake lack lok l’ombre
est un morceau summeo
en chantant htleooooenaih
sur le méridien exqgimba!
un nid dans chaque main
no matter wha t you’re
doin tous le mois passé
a foam suffice the
fore sur le chemin
xumine to ads adieu
​​adieu une nouvelle
planète aggregates
constellate the drea
le primier jour les
mers ocean droop fig
clock brth a chaque
son des cloches papare
ant tha poe venoj
oiseaux de métal
nor nox no not note
knot ce feu de

From Jim Leftwich’s
Six Months Aint no Sentence,
Book 31, 2012
Vicente Huidobro’s
Poemas árticos, 1918. 

Vein Clock ​("O Clock Come To Me"​)​
augmented transduction

theme theat albe in [theater of albumin?] [threat albeit in?]
my continuum of memory 
beastear [beast ear, beast tear] to other beaches [pages]
special cardboard has a [soul?] [sole ally?]
single wing early variation
ioina [tiny ions?] on the edge of the world [in a borderline world]
straight streak groans
metallic injured moon [moonblessing?]
lake lack lok [lock?] [blocks?] the shadow
is a summeo piece [in summary morsels?]
singing htleooooenaih [hootenanny?]
on the meridian exqgimba! [ex- egg-marimba?]
a nest in each hand [a nod to the dancing claquers?]
no matter wha t [what at; what hat at] you're
all the past month [what you're doing to the moist passage]
a foam suffice the
drills on the way  [foreclosure leech-mink?]
xumine to ads farewell [zoo-mine?]
goodbye a new [adieu to the new?]
planet [plan eat; plants eat; planets eat; plants eat planets] aggregates
constellate the drea ["the broken dream"]
the first day [the premier journey less?]
seas [murmurs] ocean droop fig
clock brth [birth; breath?] has each [a hatchet?]
its papare bells [the sun of clocks prepares bells? paper bells?]
ant tha [ant-that? ant-than] poe venoj [poem vein nose?]
metal birds [wash o the metal?]
nor nox no not note [nor nox know knot gnote]
knot [knot] this fire of


John M. Bennett & Jim Leftwich email exchange 02.28.2018

JMB: whew, just read yr Olvidos text, and love it.  great that you included some autobio passages, that seems completely appropriate and contextualizing

and i'm glad VENE HORLOGE is no longer orphaned.  (I may have left it out because it didn't have olvido in the title - I very like liked, and still like, the idea of all the poems have basically the same title)

a couple notas:

The "redheaded jap" is a name given to me around 1951 after we returned from Japan: across the alley from our house was an old guy who had a workshop in his garage, a friendly guy who my father often talked with.  He called me the Redheaded Jap (I had flaming red hair back in them days).

The quote from The Nation is not a hoax, believe it or not.  LAFT was reviewed in The Nation - I forget the reviewer's name, but he was a regular there.  The quote is one of the things he said about LAFT.  Life is stranger than fiction...

I really like the transducive exegesis of olvido/the glued tooth; you have laid out one of the best ways to read/hear such a poem.

Yes, "speech meat i donate to the sea"  !!!

thank you, Jim, it's wonderful you're doing this,  And i see in my inbox something about Vertical Sleep - onword

JL: the autobiographical stuff has been unavoidable, once i got the idea of "poem as mirror" in my head -- which i have had for a while now, but i am only now getting around to writing from/through/in. sometimes i fall into the mirror and surrender to the fact of being there.

i like Vene Horloge, and like the results of working with it. i think it might have been written just after you finished with the olvidos, judging from the sequence of SMANS hacks. also, a lot of the olvidos were posted to your blog in the summer, and Vene Horloge was posted in the fall.

you must have told me the readheaded jap story, because i knew that it referred to you as a kid.

your comment on The Nation quote completely destroys my understanding of how the world works. all of my mirrors are broken... incredible...

i might have to include some of this exchange as a postscript.

JMB: yes, by all means add whatever of it in

i've always thought of myself, that is, my consciousness or something like it, as a mirror - since i was quite young, i felt i didn't exist, except as a reflection in a mirror.  so of course a poem is also a mirror to the person reading it ti gnidaer nosrep eht

JL: you have mentioned your notion of poem as mirror. it's a useful way of thinking about it, for reader and for writer.

February 2018


Jim Leftwich is a poet who lives in Roanoke, Virginia. Recent publications include  Volumes 1 , 2  &  3  of  Rascible & Kempt (Luna Bisonte 2016, 2017, edited by John M. and C. Mehrl Bennett), Tres tresss trisss trieesss tril trilssss: Transmutations of César Vallejo (Luna Bisonte, 2018) and Sound Rituals, collaborative poems by jim leftwich & billy bob beamer (mOnocle-Lash, 2018, edited by Olchar Lindsann).