:: Maintenant

Five Poems published 22/01/2012

I read Dante I stripped a man white
A good child I lay down and took stock
My losses great, my gains many, my sins sweet
See how I’m reduced to bushes and brambles
I asked about birds I delved in the forest white
I stripped myself bare and headed out
How great to stop between your shoulder and evening
I looked long at distant mallows
I read Dante I kissed a soldier white
Once like a whole town asleep
I came back the echo of a stone you threw
The world sometimes, sometimes the world is one blood only

By Gonca Özmen.

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Maintenant #84 – Maarja Kangro published 01/01/2012

It depends on a poem, some of them are born with their eyes open and their legs ready to walk. But generally, yes, I do a lot of drafting. I might agree with Allen Ginsberg’s “first thought, best thought” to the extent that it’s the first thought that is often the best, but not always the first wording. Of course, it is a common truth that in poetry form is content and word is thought. You’ve hit the meaning, if you’ve hit the signifier: you cannot really separate them. However, I often first come to an idea, or a connection of ideas, or an analogy between phenomena from different realms, and then I carefully have to find a right mold for it, to avoid dressing it in wrong-sized clothes.

In the 84th of the Maintenant series, SJ Fowler interviews the Estonian poet Maarja Kangro.

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Four Poems published

But I wanted to leave a souvenir on each of them.
Black, white and red. Red, white and black.
Like the flags of some Asian countries.
Then I thought, why not mark the romances,
crime stories, fantasy fiction, too? I had
plenty of blood to give and didn’t feel stingy.
All those intense faces with blood on them.
At one point the saleswoman seemed to mumble.
I remembered I still had to buy a gift,
and I left without asking for any recompense for my blood.
This is the bit of blood I’ve shed for culture.
Perhaps I would have shed more, though, if I had been asked.

By Maarja Kangro.

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Maintenant #83 – Daniele Pantano published 23/12/2011

I no longer write in German, and according to my old notebooks, it was sometime in 1995 that I decided to write exclusively in English. What I remember vividly is the sheer excitement I felt of working with a new language, the elasticity of the English language and its linguistic opportunities. Reading other translingualists, too, gave me the confidence to turn my initial decision to write in English into a full-blown linguistic suicide or, at least, a complete translingual transformation: Conrad, Brodsky, Simic, Nabokov, and many others.

In the 83rd of the Maintenant series, SJ Fowler interviews the Swiss poet Daniele Pantano.

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Four poems from Mass Graves published

Mass Graves XIX-XXII is an excerpt from a new manuscript I’m working on, Mass Graves: A Confession. At least superficially, the book is about the brutal murder of one of Egon Schiele’s girl models. More importantly, the book is an exercise in what I call “Überrogue,” a particularly dark, shocking, and at times perverse artistic response to voyeur culture and a society obsessed with violence and destruction.

By Daniele Pantano.

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Maintenant #82 – João Luís Barreto Guimarães published 12/12/2011

Being a reconstructive surgeon, perhaps the exactness that I put in the search for symmetry, hiding a scar, removing excesses, in precision, drinks from the same well that influences meter, enjambement, the graphic shadow that fills the page, all the revision process. Perhaps writing and operating, like many other arts, both have a certain respect for tradition, with an eye on creativity and originality (at the shoulders of giants). Now that you made me think about it, maybe there is a greater similarity between a page of skin and a wrinkle of paper.

In the 82nd of the Maintenant series, SJ Fowler interviews the Portuguese poet João Luís Barreto Guimarães.

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Five Poems published

I probe what bitter taste may have lingered
to have her wishing to punish
some ten years of her life –
and find myself regretting not being able to delete memories
only wrinkles
and fine lines (slightly
marked ruins). In the pitfalls of time
nobody falls by mistake:
skin can’t be purged by the decade but at best
line by

By João Luís Barreto Guimarães.

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Maintenant #81 – Valerio Magrelli published 03/12/2011

What’s happened is that we are seeing an ever increasing number of texts based on a more or less radical refusal of a referent. However I believe that when significance and signifier come unstuck, writers risk creating not so much a greater expressive freedom as a night of the sign, in which all verses turn out to be one flat gray. Facing this fact, facing up to the evident historic corrosion of the expressive weave, the single, individual solution is all that’s left to us. In my own work I like to stretch the thread of meaning. I want to see how long it resists, when it twists, to reach its breaking point. But what really interests me is the before, the during, not the after.

In the 81st of the Maintenant series, SJ Fowler interviews the Italian poet Valerio Magrelli.

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Four Poems published

And two night-lights are lit
as the flame takes and sleep passes
between us. But as it passes
the boiler in the basement shudders:
down there a fossil nature burns,
down in the depths prehistory’s
sunken fermented peats blaze up
and slither through my radiator.
Wreathed in a dark halo of oil,
the bedroom is a close nest
heated by organic deposits,
by log pyres, leafmash, seething resins…
And we are the wicks, the two tongues
flickering on that single Palaeozoic torch.

By Valerio Magrelli.

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Maintenant #80 – Arnoud van Adrichem published 27/11/2011

Some scholars and critics argue that after 9/11 there is a revival of notions like sincerity, authenticity and genuineness. Even if we are moving beyond postmodernism, its concepts are still present in discussions about literature. These questions were asked in two issues of literary magazine Parmentier: ‘Right’ and ‘Left’. Here we examined the extent of the connection between politics and literature. How do writers respond to the rise to power of a radical right-wing populist party like the Party for Freedom? Do they feel more or less obliged to protest in their writings, or do they hold to a strictly autonomous notion of literature?

In the 80th of the Maintenant series, SJ Fowler interviews the Dutch poet Arnoud van Adrichem.

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