11 September 2010

John Bloomberg-Rissman

Here’s a poem by John Bloomberg-Rissman:

Chick welders rule
the [true and] false
Einheit continuum.

Here’s a comment by Alan Baker about his poetry:

“The Californian poet John Bloomberg-Rissman has a substantial body of work behind him: several collections, a Selected Poems and a large-scale, unpublished work, Travels to Capitals, which draws on the poetry of Michael Palmer and the artwork of Donald Evans. Most of this work is self-published in limited editions and on his website. Bloomberg-Rissman’s early work has the American virtues of plain speech and direct statement, with conventional first-person narration. A quiet, humane and humorous voice. More recently however, he has adopted techniques such as random word-generation, and has blended his more conventional voice with alternative forms of discourse. Incorporations from other writers, snatches of news reports, overheard conversations and other ‘found’ language all appear in a single poem. The result is a fascinating and at times powerful mix.”

Found poetry has been around for quite a while.  Part of what makes it fascinating and powerful is its multilingual character, since real people today do not speak in only one language, particularly in California.  Multilingual literary criticism, perhaps like every other type of literary criticism, is a descendant of Plato and Aristotle, who – despite disagreeing on what exactly reality is – both agreed that literature’s main appeal is mimesis.

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