In View of Summer Reading

We have been holed up in our Pyrenean mountain retreat — which, given French incompetence, has also meant being most of time without internet or telephone, & thus it has been impossible to post regularly except with great effort. During the summer months I like to post what I think of as “summer readings” — not beach novels, for certain, but longer sequences of writings, as I did a couple years ago with Claude Pélieu’s Kali Yug Express. Two such sequences were foreseen for this summer, but I have not yet gotten around to posting given the internet problems experienced under French Capitalist Bolshevism (as Nicole christened & we have come to call the local system), but also because the horrors of Gaza have demanded that whenever I was able to post, I speak to that man-made disaster.

But in a day or two I will start posting Robert Kelly’s Alchemic Journal in about 10 installments. This text from the early seventies has always been one of my favorite of Kelly’s works after I first read it in the IO Alchemy issue. Although Peter Cockelbergh & I couldn’t integrate this piece into our volume A Voice Full of Cities: The Collected Essays of Robert Kelly, to be published by Contra Mundum Press later this fall, I feel that having this text available at this point offers a lovely way of approaching Kelly’s work — the poetry & the poetics, if these two can in effect be separated.

Meanwhile, here are a few photos taken on our hikes around our hide-out. Enjoy.

In the distance, on the top of the mountain: those are not white stones, those are vultures waiting for something, a sheep's carcass probably.
In the distance, on the top of the mountain: those are not white stones, those are vultures waiting for something, a sheep’s carcass probably.
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Less harsh, further down to earth, a butterfly at work.
Nicole inspecting what we can only identitfy as an alien mushroom.
Nicole inspecting what we can only identitfy as an alien mushroom.
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Pierre Joris

Pierre Joris is a poet, translator, essayist & anthologist who has published more than 50 books, most recently, Meditations on the Stations of Mansur al-Hallaj (poems) from Chax Press and The University of California Book of North African Literature (volume 4 in the Poems for the Millennium series), coedited with Habib Tengour. Exile is My Trade: A Habib Tengour Reader edited & translated by Joris, and Pierre Joris: Cartographies of the In-between, essays on Joris’ work edited by Peter Cockelbergh, came out in 2012. Forthcoming are Barzakh — Poems 2000-2012 (Black Widow Press) & Breathturn Into Timestead:The Collected Later Poems of Paul Celan (FSG).

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