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In Memory of Jayne Cortez (1936-2012)

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                                                             Jelly madness
                                                       in sAndpaper socks
                                                      put Your hair into the earth
                                                      go iNto the dark meat of a crocodile
       spitting across syncopating roachEs into

                                                   buttoCks of vibrating nostrils
                           we can invent new bOnes
                  a village libating like niagaRa falls
                                              an armpiT of inflammable explosives
                                                         hEad units and gyrating limbs parading
                                                           Zoom

[Source text: Coagulations: New and Selected Poems (1984)]

Michael Leong is the author of the poetry books e.s.p., Cutting Time with a Knife, Who Unfolded My Origami Brain?, and Words on Edge. His creative work has been anthologized in THE &NOW AWARDS 2: The Best Innovative Writing, Best American Experimental Writing 2018, and Bettering American Poetry, Volume 3. His co-translation, with Ignacio Infante, of Vicente Huidobro’s long poem Sky-Quake: Tremor of Heaven is forthcoming from co•im•press in late 2019. His critical monograph Contested Records: The Turn to Documents in Contemporary North American Poetry is forthcoming from the University of Iowa Press in May 2020. He has received grants from the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses and the National Endowment for the Arts. He teaches in the School of Critical Studies at CalArts.

3 thoughts on “In Memory of Jayne Cortez (1936-2012)

  1. “Ms. Cortez’s work was beyond category by virtue of embodying so many categories simultaneously: written verse, African and African-American oral tradition, the discourse of political protest, and jazz and blues. Meant for the ear even more than for the eye, her words combine a hurtling immediacy with an incantatory orality.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/04/arts/jayne-cortez-poet-and-performance-artist-dies-at-78.html?src=rechp&_r=0

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