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Scrying in Shin Urayasu

Jesse Glass interviewed by David F. Hoenigman.


Jesse Glass, an American poet in exile in Japan, says of his chapbook
Gaha (babes) Noas (of the abyss) Zorge (become friendly):

“This project was initially begun as a collaboration with the British poet Alan Halsey. Both of us began with copies of A True & Faithful Relation of What Passed for Many Years Between Dr. John Dee and Some Spirits by Meric Casaubon (1659), as our common source. This wonderful volume is an edited version of the scrying sessions held in England and in continental Europe by John Dee and the infamous Edward Kelley between 1583 and 1607. Kelley would gaze into a black, table-tennis paddle-shaped piece of obsidian, or into a smoky crystal ball and relate the visions he saw to Dee, who would write them down. Among proto-surrealistic landscapes and symbolic acts of poppets and monsters, a genuine language called Enochian was dictated to Dee via Kelley…I used a small crystal skull (large enough to lay within my left eye socket), and a crystal ball, and attempted to replicate the conditions of the scrying session and thereby touch the Enochian well-springs, as it were, of the text.”

David F. Hoenigman visited Jesse Glass at his home in Shin Urayasu, Japan and conducted this video interview on August 29th, 2010. The footage also features readings from Gaha (babes) Noas (of the abyss) Zorge (become friendly).

Jesse Glass (1954- ), a writer, artist, and editor, is Professor of American literature and history and of comparative literature at Meikai University in Chiba, Japan. Raised outside Westminster, Maryland, he holds degrees from Western Maryland College (B.A., 1979), Johns Hopkins University (M.A., 1980), and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Ph.D., 1988). He was closely associated with avant-garde periodicals, Goethe’s Notes (1976-1980), Cream City Review (1982-1988), and Die Young (1991-1996). After moving to Japan in 1992, he became involved with the Abiko Quarterly. In 1998, he established Ahadada Books, which publishes both online and in print. Ahadada Books began publishing Ekleksographia, a journal of digital text-work on its website in January 2009. Published works of Glass’ poetry include The Passion of Phineas Gage & Selected Poems (2006), The Life and Death of Peter Stubbe (1995) and Lexical Obelisk (1983, 1990, 1996). He has also written on the history and folklore of Carroll County, Maryland, in The Witness: Slavery in 19th century Carroll County, Maryland (2004), Carroll County Newspaper Wars: Know-Nothings, Alms House Scandals and the Death of a Civil-War Editor (2004), and Ghosts and Legends of Carroll County (1982; revised, 1998). His papers include correspondence with such notable poets as Cid Corman, Leo Connellan, Robert Peters, Rod Summers, David Ray and Armand Schwerner. Also in the collection are photographs, artwork, clippings, background material for books, visual and sound poetry, monographs, serials, chapbooks, manuscripts and poetry publications documenting the careers of Glass and of others. The collection includes both English and Japanese language materials and documents Glass’ interest in Japanese poetry and folklore.


David F. Hoenigman was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but has lived in Tokyo, Japan since 1998. He is the author of the novel Burn Your Belongings and the organizer of the bimonthly PAINT YOUR TEETH event held in Tokyo, a celebration of experimental music, literature and dance. He is currently working on his second novel, Squeal For Joy.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Wednesday, September 8th, 2010.