4 by Lerner

(poetry diary 24) An artist-friend told me on a walk last Friday that a few of her millennial artist/architect colleagues have been devouring 2015 MacArthur Fellow Ben Lerner’s poetry.  His fiction is said to be excellent (I have not read it yet but plan to) and his book The Hatred of Poetry is getting reviewed in big places like crazy. I told her I’d excerpt and give links to some of his poems here. I think it’s great that people who might not otherwise read poetry are reading his poems because they like his other work, and his persona, so much.

[The bird’s-eye view]

The bird’s-eye view abstracted from the bird. Cover me, says the soldier on the screen, I’m going in. We have the sense of being convinced, but of what? And by whom? The public is a hypothetical hole, a realm of pure disappearance, from which celestial matter explodes.

Read rest of poem at The Poetry Foundation

from The Lichtenberg Figures

In my day, we knew how to drown plausibly,
to renounce the body’s seven claims to buoyancy. In my day,
our fragrances had agency, our exhausted clocks complained
so beautifully
that cause began to shed its calories

DEDICATION

 

For the distances collapsed.

—————-For the figure

failed to humanize

the scale. For the work,

the work did nothing but invite us

to relate it to

————-the wall.

For I was a shopper in a dark

————-aisle.

Read rest of poem at The Poetry Society of America

from «Angle Of Yaw»

THE DARK CROWD CANNOT BE SEEN DIRECTLY, the dark crowd does not interact with light, but the dark crowd can be detected by measuring its gravitational effects on visible crowds. The visible crowd moves toward the dark crowd, as insects toward a black light trap, in

Read rest of poem at Jacket 

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