Bob Perelman, "The Womb of Avant-Garde Reason"

epigraph to Bob Perelman's "The Womb of Avant-Garde Reason" - words from Oscar Williams's anthology, Immortal Poems set in the shape of Grecian urn - page 92 of The Future of Memory
[click on the image for the full view]
In his book The Future of Memory, Bob Perelman offers a kind of visual poem. The first page of "The Womb of Avant-Garde Reason" features an epigraph from popular poetry anthologist Oscar Williams: Williams's words appear in the shape of a Grecian urn, obviously formally suggesting the issue of great poetry, the canon, anthologizing, romanticism, etc.

Click on the small image of the epigraph page for a full-size image.

The poem continues for ten more pages - each page featuring an urn-like arrangement of words, although somewhat decreasingly urn-like.

Here is a passage from p. 99:

Blurb, orbed
hatchery of
the disorder
that is not yet
art and may never be,
so cunning is the indifference
of our enemies, blurb on!
With our neologisms & ye-olde-isms--pray,
theologians and collegians, pray!

...And squinting
into the camera oscura
spread the legs of patriarchal poetry
and begot reason and reason
begot sensibility and sensibility
begot eroticism and eroticism
begot poetics and poetics
begot schools.

Here is an audio file of Bob Perelman reading "Chiam Soutine" and "The Womb of Avant-Garde Reason." Click on the linked titles for a RealAudio recording of the readings: Chiam Soutine and the "The Womb of Avant-Garde Reason".