Ring Of Fire / Edition 2

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An expanded version of Ring of Fire, originally published by Zoland Books, Boston, 2001. This full-length collection includes individual lyric poems as well as a previously published chapbook Sea Lyrics and a new collaborative piece "Dumb Duke Death" with illustrations by Jennifer Jarnot.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With a knack for pathos and zeugma, Jarnot brings forth the sure lyric voice her collagist debut, Some Other Kind of Mission, promised. Lifting its title from the gospels, from Johnny Cash's hit and from the sensation some feel before giving birth, Jarnot's winning second collection hypnotically meditates on love, fire, left and right coast flotsam, animals and other detritus of the imagination: "That curiously I miss the sound of rain pounding on the roof and also all of Oakland, that I miss the sounds of sparrows dropping from the sky, that there are sparks behind my eyes, on the radio, and the distant sound of sand blasters, and breakfast, and every second of it, geometric, smoke from the chimney of the trees where I was small." Jarnot is as much a student of the zigzags and category errors of the New York School as of the straightforward collocations of horrors and pleasures of the Beats, and she covers the waterfronts of San Francisco and Oakland with respect for abject populations and a love for gaudiness that recalls everybody from Lou Reed and Bob Dylan to Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Yet the overriding note is a mournful clarity, especially in poems like "Brooklyn Anchorage," "The Age of the Velocipede" and "The Specific Incendiaries of Springtime." Along with Lee Ann Brown, Kristin Prevallet and Eleni Sikelianos, Jarnot is taking the New York of Bernadette Mayer and Eileen Myles further into its future. (Feb.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844710072
  • Publisher: Salt Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/23/2003
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 108
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.26 (d)

Read an Excerpt


As a small south american squirrel
inhabiting mostly mountainous regions
would feed on lizards half-way between
poles of the tropics, I too would fall
heartbreaked in the settlement of feuds
of the fields of kentucky.

When the moss grows high between the
perennials and disordered mimmocks weep,
these dainty fastidious gestating mammals
break for leavened bread and sup between
the rows of trees, lifting like friars
some heavy books in the sunlight’s morning
windows where the mollusks row in scion’s
quadragesimal phyla.

Found Text

The deer mistook their reflections for deer and the
deer mistook their reflections for other deer and the
deer apparently mistook their reflections for sheep
and what the deer mistook their reflections for isn’t
certain and the deer were removed from the scene,
being deer, before being removed and mistaking
reflections of the other deer for the sheep the deer
were removed and the deer deciding to join them
joined the deer having mistaken reflections of sheep
for the deer having mistaken reflections of sheep
for the deer in the plate glass windows.

The New Life

I eat steak and live on the big neon avenue and fear strangers, admire my
neighbors, the drug store, and the bus,

I was an addict live addicted to the avenue, in the dark folds late at night,
addicted to sleep and lavender,

I went into the liquor store to buy a bottle of wine, loving you and the
liquor store, the lavender bottles, the many directions....

Today I am rivets of sails in a log cabin where Jack
London lived in Alaska until they moved his cabin here
where we collect the change to buy our drinks and eat
the free hors d’oeuvres, where the neighbors are
somewhat pleased beside the railroad trains, where the
vague sense of the Union Pacific is with opssums of
freeways and you, where the airplanes fill the plastic sky, where
the fish are brightly colored on the lawn, where an
underwater bird is pummeled on the sidestreet, where we
take hallucinogens and wander through museums, where
the people construct the atificial ponds, where
theosophists arrive on all the hillsides, where I have
been bowling all morning, where we have been airplanes
and also the plastic small birds, where this is the type of
leisure that I am, where these are the largest of fires,
where the highway trembles on the edge of the
waterfront square.

I am barbecuing eucalyptus pigs of hills and brightly
colored housetops, I am waiting for my senses to come
back, I am a cabbalistic moment all in black, I am your
drunken Irish brother and the plantains on the lawn, I
am the tourists hording sharks teeth, I am the empty
grain silos of Bernal Heights and god, and I am you on
the back of a motorcycle crossing Dolores in the
pinapple groves of Elvis Costello, sleeping all night,
inside of the artificialist lagoons, beyond the palm trees,
I am a drag queen named Heather not quite ready for
New York.

Poem Beginning with a Line by Frank Lima

And how terrific it is to write a radio poem
and how terrific it is to stand on the roof and
watch the stars go by and how terrific it is to be
misled inside a hallway, and how terrific it is
to be the hallway as it stands inside the house,
and how terrific it is, shaped like a telephone,
to be filled with scotch and stand out on the street,
and how terrific it is to see the stars inside the radios
and cows, and how terrific the cows are, crossing
at night, in their unjaundiced wayand moving
through the moonlight, and how terrific the night is,
purveyer of the bells and distant planets, and how
terrific it is to write this poem as I sleep, to sleep
in distant planets in my mind and cross at night the
cows I hallways riding stars to radios at night, and
how terrific night you are, across the bridges, into
tunnels, into bars, and how terrific it is that you are
this too, the fields of planetary pull, terrific, living
on the Hudson, inside the months of spring, an
underwater crossing of the cows in dreams, terrific,
like the radios, the songs, the poem and the stars.

From Carlyle

water, in the form of air,
led by fire, back to the earth,
o moon in the western sky,
unfinished poem aged thrity,
blonde, with darkened eyes,
to this large, open, deep-feeling heart
is Nature, an astronaut,
to this wretched god-forgetting doubt
is a self,
balanced on a lake,
frozen, in mid-winter, near a highway
near the contrails in the sky,
you, crimson branches of October
where I was,
a transient feeling,
brooding in its speechless thought and awe,
skating toward a unity of vulpine life
unleashed into itself.

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Table of Contents

The Bridge 3
Dictionary 5
Tell Me Poem 6
Ode 7
Brooklyn Anchorage 8
What in Fire Did I, Firelover, Starter of Fires, Love? 9
Found Text 10
Autobiography 11
Still Life 12
Valley of the Shadow of the Dogs 13
The New Life 14
The Age of the Velocipede 16
Suddenly, Last Summer 53
O Life Force of Supernalness of World 54
Ye White Antarctic Birds 55
Poem Beginning with a Line by Frank Lima 56
O Razorback Clams 57
Moo Is Om Backwards 58
Song of the Chinchilla 59
You, Armadillo 60
On the Lemur 61
Aardvark 62
Song from the Greek 65
Lake of Fire 67
The Song Between 68
Old 69
The Eightfold Path 70
The Specific Incendiaries of Springtime 78
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