- Poetry, Reading, Writing

Two Poems, by Andrew Joron


The Contraries

Circle’s motion goes / against all endpoints.

Rare area / roar.

Space, a massless rigidity / / time, a massless flow.

Infinitesimal difference / suffices for Becoming.

If a step / then a stop.

In the mourning evening, I / as spire of I / respire.



Stand before a mirror, & you become
a member of another world.
Stand behind a name, & the world
becomes a member of itself.

So, make a map of all the eyes you’ve ever met.
Find a path through the mirrors of Thine Others.

Continuity is the essence of the abyss.

To radiate, leave it all behind.
To emanate, stay connected to the source.

phantom, the ship of state—
who cares? who carries? who cures?

Write your answer here, on the most
reflective surface.

Dear observer—as space expands, “never”
is misspelled as “nerver.”

So the mind is blinded by perception.
So reading is reanimation of the dead.


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Andrew Joron is the author of several collections of poetry, including The Absolute Letter, Trance Archive: New and Selected Poems, Fathom, and The Sound Mirror. Joron is also the author of The Cry at Zero: Selected Prose and Neo-Surrealism; Or, The Sun at Night: Transformations of Surrealism in American Poetry. His poetry has also been included in the anthologies American Hybrid and Primary Trouble. His translations from the German include surrealist Richard Anders's The Footsteps of One Who Has Not Stepped Forth and philosopher Ernst Bloch's Literary Essays.

Joron is an assistant professor of creative writing at San Francisco State University and plays the theremin in the musical improvisational trio Free Rein. He lives in Berkeley, California.

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