Jack SPICER / Lisa SAMMARCO. Page 3. 3. Da: Jack Spicer, After Lorca aforethought I must admit) by sending Mr. Spicer several poems written after my. Jack Spicer’s After Lorca: translation as decomposition. ‘s theories of translation, as seen in After Lorca, and his conception of the ‘serial poem’, as described in. , Jack Spicer Born Los Angeles Disbandment of the Berkeley Writers Conference, through which Spicer, , After Lorca – SF: White Rabbit Press.

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After Lorca by Jack Spicer. Paperback65 pages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about After Lorcaplease sign up.

Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Oct 10, mwpm rated it it was amazing Shelves: In the introduction, by Federico Garcia Lorca himself more likely written by Spicer, considering Lorca, inhad been dead 21 years, something Spicer, or whomever authored the introduction, alludes to – “The dead are notoriously hard to satisfy” – and offers something in the way of any explanation – “The cartoon showed a gravestone on which were inscribed the words: In even the most literal of them Mr.

Spicer seems to derive pleasure in inserting or substituting one or two words which completely change the mood and often the meaning of the poem as I had written it. More often he takes one of my poems and adjoins to half of it another half of his own, giving rather the effect of an unwilling centaur. In Spicer’s interpretations of Lorca’s poems, there is the same freshness whether I had read them before or not.

Each of the poems is dedicated to someone of note: Donald AllenMarianne Moore One of the poems is even dedicated to Jack Spicer A green boat Fishing in blue water The gulls circle the pier Calling their hunger A wind rises from the west Like the passing of desire Two boys play on the beach Laughing Their gangling legs cast shadows On the wet sand Then, Sprawling in the boat A beautiful black fish. Dear Lorca, These letters are to be as temporary as our poetry is to be permanent.

They will establish the bulk, the wastage that my sour-stomached contemporaries demand to help them swallow and digest the pure word. We will use up our rhetoric here so that it will not appear in our poems.


Let it be consumed paragraph by paragraph, day by day, until nothing of it is left in our poetry and nothing of our poetry is left in it. It is precisely because these letters are unnecessary that they must be written. In my last letter I spoke of the tradition. The fools that read these letters will think by this we mean what tradition seems to have meant lately – an historical patchwork whether made up of Elizabethan quotations, guide books of the poet’s home town, or obscure hints of obscure bits of magic published by Pantheon which is used to cover up the nakedness of the bare word.

Tradition means much more than that. It means telling the same story, writing the same poem, gaining and losing something with each transformation – but, of course, never really losing anything. This has nothing to do with calmness, classicism, temperament, or anything else. Invention is merely the enemy of poetry. See how weak prose is. I invent a word like invention. These paragraphs could be translated, transformed by a chain of fifty poets in fifty languages, and they still would be temporary, untrue, unable to yield the substance of a single image.

Prose invents – poetry discloses. A mad man is talking to himself in the room next to mine. He speaks in prose. Preently I shall go to a bar and there one or two poets will speak to me and I to them and we will try to destroy each other or attract each other or even listen to each other and nothing will happen because we will be speaking in prose. I will go home, drunken and dissatisfied, and sleep – and my dreams will be prose.

Even the subconscious is not patient enough for poetry. You are dead and the dead are very patient. Buster Keaton enters carrying four children in his arms. One, two, three, four. Grabs a bicycle and goes.

Among the old rubber tires and cans of gasoline a Negro eats a straw hat. What a beautiful afternoon! A parrot flutters around in spcier sexless sky. I like riding a bicycle. How beautiful these birds sing! Buster Keaton ineffably crosses the rushes and little fields of rye.

The landscape shortens itself beneath the wheels of his machine. The bicycle has a single dimension.

Jack Spicer’s After Lorca: Translation as Delocalization

It is able to enter books and to expand itself even into operas and coalmines. The bicycle of Buster Keaton does not have a riding seat of caramel or sugar pedals like the bicycle bad men ride. It is a bicycle like all bicycles except for a unique drenching of innocence.


Adam and Eve run by, frightened as if they were carrying a vase full of water and, in passing, aftwr the bicycle of Buster Keaton. Buster Keaton falls to the ground. The bicycle escapes him. It runs behind two enormous gray butterflies. It skims madly half an inch from the ground. I don’t want to talk. Won’d somebody please say something? His eyes, infinite and sad like a newly born animal, dream of lilies and angels and aftee belts.

His eyes which are like the bottom of a vase. His eyes of a mad child. Spcier are most faithful. Which are most beautiful. The eyes of an ostrich. His human eyes with a secure equipoise with melancholy.

Philadelphia is seen in the distance. The inhabitants of that city now know that the old poem of a Singer machine is able to encircle the big roses of the greenhouse but not at all to comprehend the poetic difference between a bowl of hot tea and a bowl of cold tea.

Philadelphia shines in the distance. An American girl with eyes of celluloid comes through the grass. Buster Keaton smiles and looks at the shoes of the girl. We do not have to admire her shoes. It would take a crocodile to wear them. Do you carry a sword decked with myrtle leaves? Buster Keaton shrugs his shoulders and lifts his fight foot. Do you have a ring with a poisoned stone? Buster Keaton twists slowly and lifts an inquiring leg.

Four angels with wings of a heavenly gas balloon piss among the flowers. The ladies of the town play a piano as if they were riding bicycles.

The waltz, a moon, and seventeen Indian canoes rock the precious heart of our friend. As the greatest of surprised of all, autumn has invaded the garden like water explodes a geometrical clump of sugar. I would have liked to have been a swan. But I can’t do what I would have liked.

Jacket # 7 – A Spicer Chronology

Because – What happened to my hat? Where is my collar of little birds and my mohair necktie? A young girl with a wasp waist and a high collar comes in on a bicycle. She has the head of a nightingale.

Whom do I have the honor lorva saluting? The young girl faints and falls off the bicycle. Her legs on the ground tremble like two agonized cobras. A gramophone plays a thousand versions of the same song – “In Philadelphia they have no nightingales”. Darling Miss Eleanor, pardon me!