ORPHIC CANTOS by Ivan Argüelles



Ivan Argüelles does not mine the general American vein of didactic or “therapeutic” poetry that is supposed to be of use in some way. What he creates is an expansive romantic/surrealist summoning of multiple, swarming worlds and histories. He is thus one of the most authentic poets working in English today, and one of the most beautiful in his use of language. His voice is unique, but each of his books has its own timbre, point of view; its own movement and thematic centers. In Orphic Cantos, those centers revolve around the paradoxes of language and consciousness, which are understood to be at the very marrow of the human. The nature of his engagement over the past 40 years has been far more than a desire to write “poetry”; rather, poetry is the embodiment of a complex psychic need, the air he needs to be in the life form and time he occupies. When you read Argüelles' work, you are immersed in the basic human experience. His work is a great treasure. Includes an Introduction by John M. Bennett.

$15, 250 pages



SELECT POEMS by John M. Bennett

This massive selection of over 40 years of Bennett's poetry and visual poetry includes an in-depth essay on Bennett by Ivan Argüelles. From that introduction:

A critic once said of Lost and Found Times (John M. Bennett’s seminal under-ground press mag, 1975-2005): “Insults...the past 3,000 years of literature.” One could apply that criticism to the whole of Bennett’s dazzlingly varied and maddening output. One could even ask with some justification: Is this poetry? Where to begin analyzing let alone writing about this baffling and certainly most “avant-garde” of all artists/poets living and working in the U.S.A. today? I recommend checking out his short video (one of many he has created) called “Olvido del surr,” in which he reads with Luis Bravo; one gets both the intended oral quality of the poem (which sounds like some eerie Meso-American Indian ritual chant) as well as its visual and typographical effects. For, above all, Bennett’s “poetry” is more like a meta-poetry that requires all the visual and aural senses to appreciate it. His experimentations over the years have encompassed particularly the expanding world of visual poetry (vispo), an extension of what used to be referred to as “concrete poetry”.... The structure of the poem on the page gradually becomes a work of art, divorced from its mere semantic sense (or lack thereof) as it seems to appear to the reader. Bennett employs numerous techniques, not the least of which is his own “polyglottery,” frequently moving in and out of English, Spanish, Portuguese, French or some Mesoamerican language. In the above mentioned video, “Olvido del surr,” all these “techniques” are brought to bear. …. Bennett’s reputation is to some extent international, and he has been published in France and Latin America. His interest in Mesoamerican culture and languages has drawn him frequently to that part of the world where he is a recognized figure. So it is frustrating that, outside of the relatively small avant-garde experimental performance world where Bennett is a prime mover, he is so unknown and unappreciated in his homeland. As with the music of John Cage, what may seem aleatory is in fact more intentional and grounded than is first apparent. Bennett has roots in traditional literatures, those of Siglo de Oro Spain and of Elizabethan England, but he is capable of transducing those literatures, metamorphosing them by way of the radical avant-garde movements of the 20th century, such as Surrealism and Dada, into something utterly innovative and unexhaustingly New, such as few contemporary artists have done. It is the purpose of this essay to hopefully advance a critical awareness of John M. Bennett and his fabulous, multifaceted œuvre.”


444 pp., $28

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The Inexplicaciones of the Dreams of Bibiana Padilla Maltos, Including Bibi's Dreams by Bibiana Padilla Maltos and Several Reinexplicaciones by Ivan Argüelles

Poet John M. Bennett interprets, deinterprets, inexplains, and generally expands upon the dreams of Fluxus artist Bibiana Padilla Maltos. The poems are surreal, resonant, and full of unexpected connections, like dreams themselves, and, in fact, like poetry itself. Bibiana's original dreams are included in a special section. Some of the Dreams, as well as some of the Inexplicaciones, are in Spanish. If you want to know what your dreams “mean”, this is a good place to start figuring them out! Includes some reinexplicaciones of Bennett's poems by Ivan Argüelles.



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THE FLUKE ILLUMINATOR by John M. Bennett & Michael Peters


Full Color, 74 pp.

These Illuminations were created between 2001 to 2015. They could be called Visual Poems or Visual Stories or Art or Totemic Screens, or something else entirely. To create them, something like five “starts”—a few letters or an image or a rubber stamp or some combination thereof—were sent out in the mail (the first nine were done together at an artist's residency), and when these were added to by the receiving collaborator, the same five “Fluke Illuminations” were sent back to the original sender along with five new Fluke “starts.” Materials in this overlapping process include alphabetic stamps, graphite pencils, colored pencils, rubber stamps, typewriters, handwriting, newspaper and magazine images, black ink, magic markers, and both acrylic paint and white exterior house paint. The result is a stunningly beautiful body of work that will repay many revisitings.




COMO VENÍA DICIENDO by Javier Alejandro Robledo

Javier Alejandro Robledo


Poesía y poesía visual



Javier Robledo will never be a poète maudit; that, for sure, is far too easy to do. What is clear is that he has more than just one kind of poetic practice: a metaphysical poetry, prose poetry, visual poetry, object poetry, performative poetry... In short, he is a being engaged in implanting a lightning bolt in the hidden cavity of a sphinx, in order to illuminate the astonishing bottom of the abyss.


Robledo nunca será un poeta maldito, ya sabemos que eso es fácil. En todo caso podemos afirmar que tiene más de dos poéticas: una poesía metafísica, una poesía en prosa, poesía visual, poesía objetual, poesía performática...en fin, un personaje empeñado en plantar un rayo en el hueco oculto de una esfinge, para que alumbre sorpresivamente el fondo del abismo.


-Juan Ángel Italiano



En Español

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