There's nothing like holding a new issue of jubilat for the first time. Until that moment, the issue -- and all the work that goes into it, from selecting poems to conducting and revising interviews to ordering and proofreading -- seems unfinished. But what a feeling, to see and touch the end result! This week I had such an experience, with jubilat 16. It was a thrill to see how well the cover, by poet and jubilat editor-at-large Terrance Hayes, turned out -- it was based on a hand-out he gave for a panel presentation on Wallace Stevens, and ties in well with both Srikanth Reddy's piece on Stevens and digression and our first-ever forum, on African-American Experimental Poetry (which we'd been talking about doing for years -- so exciting to see it in print). j16 also includes many poets I've admired, published in our pages for the first time -- poets like Brenda Ijima, Ange Mlinko, Alice Notley, and Ed Roberson. We managed to include some wonderful found pieces/reprints, too, like a selection from 20th Century visionary Buckminster Fuller's book I Seem to Be a Verb and selected aphorisms from the 13th Century German philosopher Albertus Magnus.
Contributing editor Brett Fletcher Lauer (who is my co-worker at the Poetry Society of America, and a poetry editor at A Public Space -- he's a brilliant poet, too) was responsible for the latter reprint, as well as another new section for the magazine: a trio of responses to Jack Spicer's "Magic Workshop" questionnaire (which the famed Bay Area poet used to select students for his private classes). As Spicer wrote by way of explanation/instruction, "This questionnaire is in no sense designed to indicate whether you can write poetry . . . [but] I must have some guide as to which of you would most benefit from a workshop of this particular content. Some of the questions will seem bizarre or pointless, but it would be useful if you would answer them all as precisely as possible." Christian Hawkey and Matthew Rohrer both contributed their precise, and delightful, answers, as did Lisa Jarnot -- the below is by Jarnot, whose work I have admired for years, and it is also her first time in the magazine!
Jack Spicer Magic Workshop Questionnaire
With the gums gone marching
are they gone. And though the nose is next to nothing,
the eye is marching gone.
And now the downside
Of the radiator on the downside of the floor
is it, the even row of it
fit to raise
a din of children.
You will count the teeth of mongoose
You will stay in the midst of them,
You will know the mongoose, you will hear them
in the narrow mongoose dawn.
In the snow endlessness
Snow, and sea salt
He lost his sounding snow.
The color white. He walks
Over an antelope skin carpet made
Without eyes or thumbs
He suffers all the snow
But the snow flakes quiver
In the snow and in the endlessness
How is it that a wound
His snow is left.
Snow, and sea salt and snow
In the snow blown endlessness.
Blue-rooted heron, spring lake
frog song, like me no traveler
Taking buoyed rest, loose-winged water-bird
And dumb with music cheeping.
I stand upon the waterfront, like him no traveler
traveling, dangling on traveled wings.
I caw and take my rest.
They will not hunt us for
The flesh of the hunter is hunted and is dumb.
The sound of an arrow, the sight of a hunter
is hunting a life without wings.
So let us die for death alone is motion
And death alone will make these herons fly.
Dead wingless flycatching ocean
hybridized to die.
-- Lisa Jarnot