NIGHT SCENES by lisa jarnot


Worn-out woods are invented
We read daylight in brooks.

a true mystic, jarnot writes her poems to some quantum-entangled self light years away. not to us — though we can understand.

her “ditty reel yam” does so dazzle.

the first part (of three) is very jabberwocky, a signifying glossolalia of demented or “touched” or graced neologisms. even there and crystallizing through the rest is a domestic and richly habited circumstance.


O vocages of the dead,
o dead this one
and dead that one,
let me count the ways
that you are dead,
o people I used to know
who are married,
o people I used to know
with their children,
o broken line of
trees and branches
picked at by the squirrels,
o work and sleep
o work and sleep
o lighter fluid,
the cool of grass
in spring,
o forty, o flag, o
fantastic statue
staring back,
o famous historian
with birds upon your head
the sycamores in bud
the brilliance of the others
who are brillianter than I
o page-turning pigeon,
o felicitous husband,
o tourists, go away,
the somber stares of couples
and the somber glow of ties,
o ties of the living dead,
and the businesses of midtown,
all gone, with felicity,
all gone, with grace,
all gone, in this resistance,
erased encobbled space.

rumor just heard the other day says that the poet is taking a year off the internet. when i heard this all i could think was: GO LISA JARNOT. YOU ARE A HERO. YOU ARE A VERY BRAVE HERO… coincidentally i found this book dedicated to three poets, one i haven’t had the pleasure but two i quite have (herehere).

also i think all books designed by jeff clark is my new reading map.

What is something which your peers/colleagues may assume you’ve read but haven’t? Why haven’t you?
I think that people think that I’ve read the Language poets, but I haven’t. Actually Ron Silliman sent me a chapbook recently and I read it and liked it. And I’ve read some Susan Howe and Michael Palmer and Rosmarie Waldrop, but I don’t really think of them as language poets. I’m a sucker for a good story and a lot of emotion. I guess I’m not cool enough for languagepoetry.

from an interview with jarnot here.

here jarnot read, from pennsounds hear.

buy NIGHT SCENES from spd or find it at your library or buy it from the publisher.

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