Germ #4

Poetic Research Bloc #4 — Spring 2000
ISSN 1093-6610 / $10.00 / 312 pages.



Much has been done to prepare a continent for the
rejoicings and recriminations of all its possible heirs.
Much has been ill done. There is never enough time to do
more than one thing at a time, and there is always either
too much of one thing or too little.

Virtuosos of the axe, dynamiters and poets, there has
been an excess of military qualities, of the resourcefulness
of thieves, the camaraderie of the irresponsible, and the
accidental beauties of silly songs.

—W. H. Auden, Paul Bunyan

Yes, you can always speak about
the past's eternal ampersands
—Craig Raine, The Electrification of the Soviet Union

In fond loving memory,
Peter (7'6") and Katherine (6'8") the Great


Nadine Maestas, Christine Hume, Rod Smith, Kostas Anagnopoulos, Andrew Maxwell, Cole Swensen, Macgregor Card, Fran Carlen, Kenward Elmslie, Drew Gardner, Candace Pirnak, Elizabeth Robinson, Carol Szamatowicz, Emmanuel Hocquard, John Ashbery, Rachel Mayeri, Karen Weiser, Elizabeth Treadwell, Michael Gushue, Tony Lopez, Brenda Bordofsky, Brandon Downing, John Latta, Jean Day, Gustaf Sobin, Merrill Gilfillan, Clark Coolidge, Beth Anderson, Rae Armantrout, Rosmarie Waldrop, Dominique Fourcade, Jacqueline Waters, Peter Gizzi, Elspeth Healey, Bill Marsh on Instress, Peter Gizzi interviews Keith Waldrop (Part I)

boy with model

I have introduced the Similes that are in all your celebrated operas: The Swallow, the Moth, the Bee, the Ship, the Flower, &c. Besides, I have a prison scene which the ladies always reckon charmingly pathetick.


Nadine MAESTAS: from The February

Christine HUME: Extracted Gravity / Fog Horns / Circumference / Evolving Laws / Old Song Keeps Arriving

Rod SMITH: from The Good House

Kostas ANAGNOPOULOS: from The Same Date

Andrew MAXWELL: Window's Arbor

Cole SWENSEN: October 28, 1449: The Translation of the Relics of St. Jean in Anticipation of the End of the Hundred Years" War / Fortune, The Boccaccio of John the Fearless, 1409-1419 / September 1.618: In Light of Gold

Macgregor CARD: Park near the Calendar Year / Wishes of the Delicate / The Solace of Fierce Landscapes / The Gay Science / Swan Etude

Fran CARLEN: Anna Karenina / Sweet Relief / Vicious Vices of Early Life / Skit I

Kenward ELMSLIE: from Cyberspace, Part I: Rock Bottom

Drew GARDNER: The Clown / There's a Movement of Plants / Interior Demolition / As Is

Candace PIRNAK: Incandescence / Self-Portrait

Elizabeth ROBINSON: Experiments with Gravity

Carol SZAMATOWICZ: Mud Town, Illinois / Supplication to Neptune / Girls Compose / Twin Perks / Nodal Pudding Points / Motley the Goose

Emmanuel HOCQUARD: A Test of Solitude, Book II
(translation by Rosmarie WALDROP)

John ASHBERY: Small City / Over at the Mutts' / The Lady of the Scabiosas

Rachel MAYERI: Natural Object Sequences

Karen WEISER: Splitscreen

Elizabeth TREADWELL: Oona Thompson

Michael GUSHUE: The Miss M / The Widow Gras / A Guide to the Enemy

Tony LOPEZ: Imitation of Life

Brenda BORDOFSKY: Doctor Trochlea / Anterior Surface View I / The Braggart Becomes Hero

Brandon DOWNING: Introduction / Second Introduction / Third Introduction / Introduction (Clear Sister) / Golden Sonnet of Death

John LATTA: My Voice / And Nothing More / The Wag of the Inconsequent / Bright Finish

Jean DAY: Ode in Pencil

Gustaf SOBIN: A Blue-Obliterative / Languedoc / Autumnal

Merrill GILFILLAN: Small Weathers / Rochester Poems / Photo Dropping from an Herbal

Clark COOLIDGE: William Henry Jackson on the Premises

Beth ANDERSON: Pages / Causality with Doctrine / A Balanced Selection

Rae ARMANTROUT: Piecemeal / Middle Men / Visualizations

Rosmarie WALDROP: Letter Box

Dominique FOURCADE: Compact for Claude
(translation by Nicole DESROSIERS & Michael GIZZI)

Jacqueline WATERS: Figure / Being / Matter / Thought / Forest

Peter GIZZI: Edgar Poe / A Parrot for Juan Gris / A Film by Charles Baudelaire / It Was Raining in Delft / In Defense of Nothing

Elspeth HEALEY: R e c e i v e r (Or a Note to Say Goodbye)


Bill MARSH: 4 from Instress

Keith WALDROP interviewed by Peter GIZZI, 1993-1997, Part I

John Barton WOLGAMOT: from In Sara, Mencken, Christ and Beethoven There Were Men and Women (photocopies of first four pages, reduced in size, margins and aspect preserved)


Rachel Mayeri is an artist living in Los Angeles. She recently collaborated on an environmental opera about Biosphere II and curated an exhibit on Baroque machinery for the Museum of Jurassic Technology. She can be contacted about the video through the usual means. —eds.

A craft landed in San Diego in the form of a library. Inside there were guidebooks by tourists and spies who had lived on a faraway red planet, featuring mistinted engravings of their leaders. Using several of these brochures, I channeled Peter the Great, and was transmitted a series of stories about breeding, entitled Chance Monsters of Royalty. Always bureaucratic in tone, the transmissions—when scanned and animated--resembled educational cartoons. And so began the project, "The Anatomical Theater of Peter the Great," a collection of animated stories on videotape (11 minutes, in Russian and English).

In the early 18th century, Peter the Great had assembled a collection of natural and mechanical artifacts garnered on his travels to Europe. With this collection he founded the Kunstkamera, Russia's first museum. It contained the first elements of Russia's art heritage (a girl! later moved to the Hermitage and expanded by Catherine the Great), and the foundation of Russia's Academy of Sciences (—a boy! employing mainly Western scientists and engineers until the 19th century). Now renamed the Museum of Ethnography, the popular collection still displays the anatomical tableaux of the Dutch dissectionist Frederick Ruysch. Ruysch constructed allegorical landscapes from gallstones, arteries and fetal skeletons, decorating disembodied hands with lace, and captioning specimens with messages on the vanity of life. Among these relics, Peter the Great presides as an object in his own cabinet of curiosities.

Rachel Mayeri