Jerome Rothenberg

J
Jerome Rothenberg
A Paradise of Poets
1
He takes a book down from his shelf & scribbles across a
page of text: I am the final one. This means the world will
end when he does.

2
In the Inferno, Dante conceives a Paradise of Poets & calls
it Limbo.

Foolishly he thinks his place is elsewhere.
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Der Gilgul (The Possessed)
1

he picks a coin up
from the ground

it burns his hand
like ashes it is red

& marks him as it marks
the othershidden

he is hidden in the forest
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38
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Dreamwork Three
a trembling old man dreams of a chinese garden
a comical old man dreams of newspapers under his rabbi's hat



a simple tavernkeeper dreams of icicles & fisheyes
a sinister tavernkeeper dreams of puddles with an angel of the law in every drop



the furrier's plump daughter is dreaming of a patch of old vanilla
the furrier's foreign daughter is dreaming of a hat from which a marten hangs



the proud accountant dreams of a trolleycar over the frozen river
the reluctant accountant dreams of his feet sleep in a fresh pair of red socks
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I Am the President of Regulation
I am the Giant Goliath,
I digest goat cheese.
I am a mammoth's calf. (H. Ball)
I know your pinnacles by name.
My fingers close around
your fingers. I grow pale.
I become your executioner.
I come forth fat & bloody.
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46
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I Fail As a Celibate
Despair leaves
a dry spot
the passage of light
through my veins.
I fail as a celibate.
The smell of honey
fills my throat.
I lose touch with
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I Will Not Save the World
I like to cross
these borders. They take place
between the dead & dead.
I make my mind up
to be honest
only I fail to meet
their expectations.
I will not save the world.
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