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Me and Sylvia, walkin' down the line (May 2005)


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Disbelief is more resistant than faith because it is sustained by the senses.

Gabriel García Márquez

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Thursday, February 19th, 2015

🦋 Sleepwalker's Lullaby

One nice side benefit of the class I took last spring at la Universidad Desconocida was the chance to meet classmate Isabel Zapata. Today her "Canción de Cuna para Sonámbulos" is online at Limulus along with my translation. Check it out! A beautiful poem.

posted evening of February 19th, 2015: Respond
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Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

🦋 Poetry activity

A couple of things have been happening lately in the world of "poetry by J. Osner"... The chapbook of the Universidad Desconocida workshop was presented at the kickoff event for the workshop's second year. It features three of my poems and lots of beautiful writing from other students -- and I've just finished a translation of Isabel Zapata's "Sleepwalker's Lullaby" from the chapbook. ...Two of my poems (both from Analogies for Time) were published in Issue 5 of Street Voice (I think it is the first time I have ever appeared in a poetry journal), and I'm in touch with the editor about submitting some more work.

posted morning of September 23rd, 2014: Respond
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Friday, May 16th, 2014

🦋 Intenciones extendidas

El poemario es cosa física!

posted afternoon of May 16th, 2014: 2 responses
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Saturday, May third, 2014

🦋 la Universidad Desconocida: week 2

I presented my chapbook of biblical verse, and got good notes. Primarily -- I should keep my poems short and intense, and resonant; anchor the ideas in imagery; and surprise the reader. The favorite was "Esquéleto":


Esto son mis huesos
desnudos; vestilos
en carne, inspirámelo
el Espíritu a mí.
Planteá Vos la sembra espiritual
que crezca y florezca profecía
que sueñe yo los sueños
de iluminación
Readings for next week are Latin American vanguard poems, a beautiful selection (which somehow manages to omit Pasos and Cuadras).

posted morning of May third, 2014: 1 response
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Saturday, April 26th, 2014

🦋 Readings for week 2

I'm finding this week's readings for the Universidad Desconocida much more engaging than last week's. Check it out:

  1. Fernando Pessoa, "Poema de canción sobre la esperanza"
  2. T.S. Eliot, "Burnt Norton"
  3. Anna Akhmatova, "Réquiem"
  4. Eugenio Montale, "Sestear palido y absorto"
  5. Federico García Lorca, "Romance de la luna"
  6. Jacques Prévert, "Para hacer el retrato de un pájaro"
  7. Robert Desnos, "Tanto soñé contigo"
  8. Luis Cernuda, "Si el hombre pudiera decir lo que ama"
  9. W.H. Auden, "Musée des beaux artes" (in a beatiful translation by José Emilio Pacheco)
  10. Miguel Hernández, "El niño yuntero"
  11. Dylan Thomas, "And Death Shall Have No Dominion"
  12. Paul Celan, "Todesfugue"
  13. Philip Larkin, "This Be the Verse" (another quite excellent translation, by Enrique Winter)
  14. Wislawa Szymborska, "Lectura"

posted afternoon of April 26th, 2014: Respond
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Thursday, April 24th, 2014

🦋 la Universidad Desconocida: week 1

Had a little trouble following the discussion of the readings in more than fragments. Read a classmate's beautiful poem "Lullaby for insomniacs," remembering and mourning for her mother. I presented my poem "un ejercicia en la forma pronominal" and got some really valuable notes. The title is not really a title to speak of and the quote from Leiris needs to go -- Enrique Winter recommended I cut a few lines at the end.

But people really seemed to appreciate the poem and find it amusing. Ran out of time before we could read another classmate's poem, I'm going to read that now.

posted evening of April 24th, 2014: Respond

Monday, February third, 2014

🦋 Brooklyn: La Uni. Desconocida

Very exciting: a school of Spanish-language writing and literature is being launched in Brooklyn under the compelling name of Bolaño's book of poetry. Go to their launch party on Saturday! (I can't make it because I'm going to a poetry workshop at Medicine Show Theater, about which more anon.) I am planning to enroll in the poetry workshop led by Isabel Cadenas Cañon, and maybe also the writing workshop led by Lina Meruane. Can't wait!

posted evening of February third, 2014: Respond
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Saturday, July 27th, 2013

🦋 Otras notas breves y crípticas sobre la lluvia

por J Osner


ahora estoy en mi habitation
que se termine de llover
mientras suena
el teléfono.
contesto y me dices
que eres furiosa
pero no se me importa
ni un carajo.

ya largo tiempo
estoy de pie en la calle
enfrente del teatro
esperando que se termine
esta acción tanto larga
pero no apenas
ha empezao.

posted evening of July 27th, 2013: Respond

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

🦋 The Unknown University

Wow! Laura Healy's translation of The Unknown University has been published! Go buy it and read it, everybody!

posted evening of July 10th, 2013: Respond

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

🦋 El pasaje del tiempo es lo que muere

(en que me hago sin objetivo fanfarroneas. Might as well, I don't see anyone else about to give me a rave rev)

Morir al final de un día cualquiera
Imposible escapar de la violencia.
Imposible pensar en otra cosa.

-- La universidad desconocida

I find this statement of Bolaño's strangely comforting, strangely reassuring. Me demasiado preocupo sobre el valor de mi obra, de mis intentos a poesía y a trabajo. El cuento que tengo en progreso, soy convencido de que ese cuento va a hacer una lectura convincente, fascinante, se hace en verdad ya casi completo. Y lo mismo los poemas que componía usando los de Bolaño como provocaciones...

El pasaje del tiempo es lo que muere
se mueren
los amigos de la infancia
envenenados por tiempo en los pueblos y las colinas de Nueva York

posted morning of September 26th, 2012: Respond
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