Archive for the ‘4×1’ Category



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A Robe of White Roses

The red window open upon her beauty,
Do I conceive love thus?
Crimes of tears at the blood-painted stones,
Olive trees, in a horrible old age, become younger.

And my weapons are the color of marble
Which, by the length of a whole world,
Overtakes the forgotten street
Where my steps do and undo regrets.

Round about I want myself faithful,
In the white bewilderment, dragging behind my fairies
And let the seasons come to me
To weep and die my bodies and my bodies undone.

-Jean-Pierre Duprey, from 4X1: Works by Tristan Tzara, Rainer Maria Rilke, Jean-Pierre Duprey, and Habib Tengour

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Of Hands and Moons

From nothing that cheats and twists
To nothing of me that falls asleep
Of me that falls asleep, the tidying of pain
Folded in the shadow of my fear;
is it here that I dream of the dead?

A hand in the sunset from which I fall asleep
From which I fall asleep,
will take the time of a full journey of terrors
That will pay the price of a tissue of heat
Thrown at the feet of the thieves
To wrap myself in what I dream of the dead.

-Jean-Pierre Duprey, from 4×1. Buy 4×1 today.

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Artist, do not believe that your test lies in the work. You are not what you pretend to be, and what this or that one, not knowing any better, may take you for, until the work has become your very nature to such an extent that you cannot do otherwise than prove yourself in it. Working thus, you are the masterly thrown spear: laws from Her throwing hand receive you, and together you hit the target: what could be more certain than your flight?

Your test, however, is that you are not always thrown. That the spear-player Loneliness does not choose you for the longest time, that She forgets you. This is the time of temptation, when you feel unused, incapable. (As if being reading as not work enough!) Then, when you do not lie there very heavily, diversions exercise you and try to see to what other uses you can be put. As a blind man’s staff, as one of the rods in a grating, or as the balancing pole of a tight-rope walker. Or else they are capable of planting you in the soil of fate, for the miracle of the seasons to happen to you and for you perhaps to sprout small green leaves of happiness….

-Rainer Maria Rilke, from 4X1: Works by Tristan Tzara, Rainer Maria Rilke, Jean-Pierre Duprey, and Habib Tengour

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If I did not resist the lover, it was because of all the takeovers of one person by anothers, hers alone, unstoppable, seemed to me to be right. Exposed as I am, I did not want to avoid it either; but I yearned to pierce her! That she be a window for me into the expanded cosmos of Being…(not mirror.)

-Ranier Maria Rilke, from 4X1: Works by Tristan Tzara, Rainer Maria Rilke, Jean-Pierre Duprey, and Habib Tengour

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There is a book of poetry so unique  that it contains four very different poets who come together to form a metaphorical map of the last 150 years of poetry, taking us through Dadaism, Surrealism, Modernism, and Postmodernism.
4X1: Works by Tristan Tzara, Rainer Maria Rilke, Jean-Pierre Duprey, and Habib Tengour

It includes Ranier Maria Rilke, whose popularity and importance grows more every year; Tristan Tzara, a polemicist of the Dada movement putting Africa oral poetry to paper; Jean-Pierre Duprey, the French surrealist whose poetry is so evocative, (so moving that I made a one-minute poem about it that you can watch below); and Habib Tengour, an Algerian Muslim master of the postmodern story, meandering through the landscape of a fertile, troubled modern mind.

This book of poetry is called 4×1, since it contains first English translations of 4 poets all translated by the award-winning translator and poet, Pierre Joris. It was published by Inconundrum Press in 2002, but has received little distribution because of the common travails of the small press…mostly the difficulty in getting a wide distribution for a rather small first print run.

History of the Press

Inconundrum Press (now Inconnue) was founded by three smart English major types in Albany, NY who happened to be good friends of mine. When they were ready to move on to other things, I took over the press and became its executive editor. That was in 2005.

But publishing companies need our support. Mine, as well as others. And I’ve parted with $11.95 for two La Fin Du Mondes (the Belgian tripple ale I love) and gone to bed with a headache and no book. I try to buy books as often as I can and to support small and independent presses. Independent presses pretty much exist solely on your direct purchases (what you buy on amazon.com leaves them with only a couple of dollars per sale).

Thanks for your time and for supporting ninaalvarez.net, Inconnue Press, and most of all, thanks for continually supporting the life of poetry.



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Only about 20 more hits to go and then the “You send me a poem/I’ll send you a book” celebration is over. If you wanted in on the free book, I suggest getting a poem and a “why” over to me today. Click on the widget to the right for details.

Thanks to Erez, Michelle, and Jason for “Lucifer,” “The Wintered Soul Among Wisteria,” and “Songbird Still”… and thanks to many others for great comments.

So much more poetry to come…Thanks for visiting. 

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Many thanks to those people who are sending in poetry they love and expressing why they love it. From the intellectual to the emotional or anything in between, I’m just looking for sincerity. In other words, don’t be daunted if you aren’t Susan Sontag.

To enter, click on the hand in the post below.

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