Germ #3

Poetic Research Bloc #3 — Spring 1999
ISSN 1093-6610 / $10.00 / 256 pages
Interleave prints by O. Angelica Biddle


Wherein is recorded the tale of
an oldish bird who was good to
look upon but who never
chirped an original tune
in his life

To demand of us truth to nature, excluding philosophy, is really to bid a pumpkin caper... There is a peep show and Punch's at the corner of every street, one magnifying the lace-work of life, another the ventral tumulus, and it is these for you, or dry bones, if you do not open to philosophy... Brainstuff is not lean stuff; the brainstuff of fiction is internal history, and to suppose it dull is the profoundest of errors

—George Meredith, Diana of the Crossways

"All the same," replied Syme patiently, "just at present you only see the tree by the light of the lamp. I wonder when you would ever see the lamp by the light of the tree." Then after a pause he said, "But may I ask if you have been standing out here in the dark only to resume our little argument?"

—G. K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday


Jean Donnelly, Clark Coolidge, John Olson, Carol Szamatowicz, John Latta, Elizabeth Willis, Gustaf Sobin, Ben Watkins & Michael Palmer, Faith Barrett, Mark DuCharme, John Ashbery, Chris Edgar, Marcella Durand, Ray DiPalma, Linda Voris, Leslie Bumstead, Karen Donovan, Michael Gizzi, Anselm Berrigan, Gillian McCain, Kevin Killian, Laura Mullen, Bin Ramke, Shannon Welch, Stephen Cope, George Oppen


The little king says there are guests in every room.


Jean DONNELLY: from Legend (an alphabet for Alex)

Clark COOLIDGE: A Run out of Time

John OLSON: Captain Nemo Serves Professor Aronnax / Babble Apparatus / Trembling Gobbets of Language / Unbridled Papaya / Rosette Brochure

Carol SZAMATOWICZ: Sleepwish / Should Equally Count / One of the Threads—The Canal Thread / Fight Night / She Pockets Things

John LATTA: Off Register / An Abrupt Young Man / Same Window / A Template, Receding

Elizabeth WILLIS: the young Blake / Outer space heater / after Baudelaire / Isle of California [1849] / Little Journeys

Gustaf SOBIN: Reliquiae / Approaching the Millenium: A Little Bouquet / La Charlesse / Libretto

Ben WATKINS & Michael PALMER: First Figure

Faith BARRETT: Viennese Waltz / After That

Mark DUCHARME: from Carmilla 2000

John ASHBERY: from Girls on the Run

Chris EDGAR: In C / Birthday / National Epik

Marcella DURAND: Color Flammeus / Chinatown II

Ray DIPALMA: Le Tombeau de Reverdy

Linda VORIS: Consequences / Consequences / Consequences

Leslie BUMSTEAD: Cipher

Karen DONOVAN: Hypothesis 6 / Aleph Naught / Parsimonious

Michael GIZZI: An Expedition Long Enough to Take Your Picture / Nervy Optic Hobbyist / A Wind of What He Really Means

Anselm BERRIGAN: Pictures for Private Devotion

Gillian MCCAIN: Poetry / Mask / Vertigo / Story / Movie

Kevin KILLIAN: Goblin / Bad Blood / Tracking Shot

Laura MULLEN: The Evidence

Bin RAMKE: Echo

Shannon WELCH: The Better Part of the Day


A lover's cloud 'perhaps too late' nursed to life.


Steven COPE: On George Oppen's working papers

George OPPEN: Daybooks One, Two and Three
[51 pages, edited by Stephen Cope]



But what does it prove? To the unnatural eye, it was a speculative analemmic conceit. A rarity, and very valuable. Research, however, told quite another story. The philosophy was a counterfeit. Faint traces of tampering that were hidden to the unnatural eye were revealed by poetic research. Someone, somewhere, had ingeniously altered the fiction by digitally versioning a surprise. The friction was ruthless. What manner of exotic researchers were these that could "see" the invisible? Who but the P. R. B.


In an age when flashy new models thrust last year's marvels into early obsolescence, the Bloc goes its own way. Planned obsolescence is taboo at The Germ. All but two of our researchers will fit every Germ made since 1996 and every future Germ (excepting the current collection)... The greater part of a year is spent on building each ensemble, much of it crafted by hand. And fully one quarter of the work force devotes its time to quality control. Little wonder, then, that a pre-owned Germ commands such a high price... if its owner can be persuaded to part with it at all. But what does this prove? Our philosophy is all-natural, and all-natural philosophy is just. The Poetic Research Bloc is: John Ashbery, Faith Barrett, Anselm Berrigan, O. A. Biddle, Leslie Bumstead, Clark Coolidge, Stephen Cope, Ray DiPalma, Jean Donnelly, Karen Donovan, Mark DuCharme, Marcella Durand, Chris Edgar, Michael Gizzi, Kevin Killian, John Latta, Gillian McCain, Laura Mullen, John Olson, George Oppen, Michael Palmer, Bin Ramke, Gustaf Sobin, Carol Szamatowicz, Linda Voris, Ben Watkins, Shannon Welch & Elizabeth Willis.


I have told you that her confidence won me
the first night.