Jill Magi, Jen Hofer and Paolo Javier

Introductory notes by Jared:


Begin with a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins:

EARNEST, earthless, equal, attuneable, | vaulty, voluminous, . . stupendous

Evening strains to be time's vast, | womb-of-all, home-of-all, hearse-of-all night.

Her fond yellow hornlight wound to the west, | her wild hollow hoarlight hung to the height

Waste; her earliest stars, earl-stars, | stars principal, overbend us,

Fire-featuring heaven. For earth | her being has unbound, her dapple is at an end, as-

tray or aswarm, all throughther, in throngs; | self in self steeped and pashed--quite

Disremembering, dismembering | all now. Heart, you round me right

With: Our evening is over us; our night | whelms, whelms, and will end us.

Only the beak-leaved boughs dragonish | damask the tool-smooth bleak light; black,

Ever so black on it. Our tale, our oracle! | Let life, waned, ah let life wind

Off her once skeined stained veined variety | upon, all on two spools; part, pen, pack

Now her all in two flocks, two folds--black, white; | right, wrong; reckon but, reck but, mind

But these two; ware of a world where but these | two tell, each off the other; of a rack

Where, selfwrung, selfstrung, sheathe-and shelterless, | thoughts against thoughts in groans grind.



I was inspired since Myriam Moscona (translated by Jen Hofer) quotes this poem ‘spelt from sibyl’s leaves” in an epigraph .

I thought it would be interesting to read this apocalyptic vision before presenting these three poets, all of whom seem to me in a notable way to in an oracular way to be  writing a poetry of the future –at least exploring a future I hope for even if in some ways it is a dream and in other ways it is already here: hybrid, polylingual. This future poetry is a poetry of translation and, equally powerfully, leaving things untranslated (untranslation?), a poetry of zones -- “documentary zones” and “contact zones” are some zones that Jill offers in SLOT for instance , and a poetry that is not limited to language: a poetry of image, a poetry of living the world, a skeptical and wounded poetry, a poetry of love.. Something hovering between memorial and dismemberment.

Thrilled to have Jill all the way from abu dhabi. moves through intellect to a kind of mystical space of curiosity,

Jill Magi’s poetry operates as a kind of language architecture. Her words are things, bodies, envelopes  She reminds us that the tiniest element of a place can change you.

 “create a grid – one axis is sentimental the other is real . Chart a worker hero from the archive. This is a portrait. the reader may locate herself

"More than a structure, what do you feel? More than a sentence."

Gathered together her poems are a library of how to be what to do

"If alone, I am even more softened, emptied out, a little lonely, and this feeling makes my desire to learn more intense."

One of my favorite gestures in SLOT are the occasional page devoted to reading list – like a bibliographic appendix scattered into the middle of the text, a gesture of laying her cards on the table, a personal scholarship, quasi-autobiography through sources. I love the juxtaposition of “REGARDING THE PAIN OF OTHERS” and LONELY PLANET USA” – this could be reading list, bookshelf transcription, a bitter quip, .  is this a note of tragic solipsism, or is it hopeful?

Then everything is touched by names, everything is touched by engrave, everything is touched with scar, art, touched with slavery…touched down by disaster, iron, translation on display. The everything touched by reasonable, touched with the lure of words.”

Jen Hofer is also interested in naming and what has to be named “law of supply and supply” she writes, and “to drone is to name and ignore”. So we have a poetry of the drone on one hand and on the other and a poetry exploring justice, caring,  community  

Deep hopefulness in her vision of translation as an expression that is:

Porously self-reflexive, self0-expansive, self-effacing, and a direct manifestation of an impulse toward solidarity=

I see the materials of her collages – the Cartesian graph the handsewn stitch, as a gesture of recuperation. Hofer writes of “a little female library” and I think there’s something in this idea of a gendered archive celebrating its littleness, its stance against from a maximalist collection that would contain everything. She uses newsprint- and news is of course an originator of the whole idea of ideas as content filling the  rectangular space between the ads… She writes about drones and I see the same kind of recoiling from the inhuman. “What is it to be a person’ her poem poses explicitly against drone surveillance and violence.

 I love in her notes to Moscona she writes about ‘writing backwards”, quoting James Copeland “Danger written backwards does nots pell undanger”

How are poets to proceed? “we simply proceed. We proceed complexly.There is no other viable option and within the concept of proceeding there are many many viable options…

The future is positive but not progressive in a ‘ brutally inhuman’ way that merges differences.

The power of a question:

Question shall I listen am I near may I stop listening shall I listen”

Paolo Javier’s poetry is also rooted in questions of language that are questions of self-definition. His poems are windows into polylingual consciousness.

Tiraan mo nitong dura kong sinilbeng A,
a projectile question desires a career.
Apaloosa, Apaloosa B.  Infinity’s escape. 

“mo nitong = I spit like this”

dense, political, engaged poems that are love poems rooted in difference. Identity is always at stake. Channeling the otherness of English. I was reading about the distinction between englog (English grammar) and taglish (english words in tagalog) and I think it’s partly these sorts of linguistic questions that animate what Paolo does.

intense linguistic energy. At times as if he’s trying to bring across the active-passive qualities of tagalog into English.

Jill said something wonderful re Paolo, using helene cixous as a way of understanding his interweaving of love poem and the postcolonial:

the ultimate “other” is the beloved, with whom we are endlessly fascinated, and with whom we want to merge, to know and be known by.

Further dislocation in language.

senility sinabi abalone all ensues Valhalla

Every language is a foreign language and every foreign language can be learned:

why did i always 
use the wrong words
should be other words
that are more suitable