OHM Editions

The ohm is a measure of resistance.
“The poem must resist the intelligence / Almost successfully.”

Clatters

Henri Droguet
Translated from the French by Alexander Dickow

Clatters is the first translation of Henri Droguet's poetry published in the United States. Here the original text appears alongside Alexander Dickow's exquisite translation, in a collection that is at once wonderfully cluttered and strikingly barren. As Dickow puts it in his Afterword, “Never, perhaps, has so pure a litany of despair, vanity, destruction and decay given rise to such vibrant language.”

"In Clatters, Alexander Dickow has beautifully translated the eminent and singular French poet Henri Droguet. Dickow has a lovely feel for idiom and sonic texture, and his poetic intelligence matches Droguet's subtlety. His introductory essay illuminates Droguet's place in French poetry, and meditates more generally about "loner" poetry and the principled refusal to traffic in the literary marketplace. It's a little book, but large, spiritually."
—Rosanna Warren

48 pp., perfect bound
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Click Here to download a free PDF of four bonus poems!

Published in February 2014


PUBLISHER'S NOTE

Henri Droguet's Clatters is a series of textual 'bricolages,' the poet's accurate description of his own work, appearing in translation here for the first time. At once wonderfully cluttered and strikingly barren; meaning and sound, man and landscape, interiority and exteriority merge together in this collection, as overcast as the landscape of the poet's home of Northern Brittany.

Droguet's characters are unfortunate phantoms, existing outside of time but anchored to a desperately isolated world by crunchy phrases evoking the haggard, the weary and the rusty. Clamorous and unruly textual fragments, disjointed syntax and sonic textures are framed in an atmosphere of playfulness. Wordplay, inversions, 'ellipses, anacolutha, paranomatha, parataxis.' Language unmakes itself, serving as another inconstant in an enchanting and terrifying world. Clatters is a telling title, the eponymous verb indicative of a sonorous contact, friction or conflict, of the mechanical vocabulary and the physicality of the poems.

The work is full of binaries -of editorial production, of the poet's equivocal fame, of the double valence of Droguet's world. As such, Clatters is particularly effective as a bilingual publication. As puppets and phantoms wrestle with new ways of inhabit the stark landscape, “as the paving stone resounds in time with that human stump pummeled lacking forward marching” (Littéralement/Literally,) the translation contributes to new ways of inhabiting the literary landscape. Although Droguet's work is filled with figures that produce crisis, this is certainly not the case with Alexander Dickow's exquisite translation, the result of a highly collaborative process and exceptional relationship between translator and poet.

Both translation and poetry are language-led means of approaching a truth. In this instance, Dickow was faced with the challenge of using his own words to redo the author's work of undoing, to retell the cyclical story mapped onto the pages; of the rise and fall of tides, of desolation and regrowth, of splendor and desolation; to wonder at ruin.

—Aoife Roberts, for Rain Taxi

OBJECT WITH MAN'S FACE

Jay Besemer

A chance dream of Max Ernst and Jindrich Heisler leads to a pack of playing cards bearing a message; shuffled randomly, the message changes. Such is the experience of Object with Man’s Face, twenty-seven collage poems that beckon, question, challenge, and portend. Rain Taxi and the author invite you to add your own collage poems to the mix!

46 cards, shrink-wrapped in a plastic case.
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Published in July 2013.

THREE BLIND POEMS

Ron Padgett and Yu Jian

A unique collaboration unites East and West. From the Preface by Ron Padgett: “In the summer of 2010, the Chinese poet Yu Jian and I took a cable car to near the top of Mount Mansfield (altitude 4,393 feet) in Vermont and wrote three poems together. Using a method similar to that of the exquisite corpse of the Surrealists, we wrote alternating parts, but in our case we did not have to conceal our words, since in effect they were automatically concealed: Yu Jian cannot read English and I cannot read Chinese.”

22 pp, perfect bound, with color photographs
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Published in October 2012.

WHY I AM NOT A TODDLER AND OTHER POEMS

by Cooper Bennett Burt
(age one)

As budding young poet Cooper Bennett Burt (age one) puts it so eloquently, “I am not a toddler, I am a baby. / Why? I think I would rather be / a toddler, but I am not.” And so begins a poetic journey through the trials and triumphs of babyhood: teething, drooling, strollers, Cheerios, and bedtime. Cooper taps into the voices of the great poets to bring his unique perspective to bear on the age-old question: Where’s pirates? Cooper lives in Boston with his parents Jessie Bennett and Stephen Burt, who might have helped him here and there with the wording of these poems.

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Published in November 2011.

DAYDREAM

by Bei Dao

A 23-poem sequence, Bei Dao's "Daydream" was written in 1986 and was among the haunting poems of despair that led the acclaimed Chinese poet to international renown. This riveting version, newly translated by Clayton Eshleman and Lucas Klein, are included in the duo's book Endure: Poems by Bei Dao (Black Widow Press, 2011).

32 pp, perfect bound,
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Published in December 2010.

TRACES

by Nor Hall

In verse and prose, Nor Hall's Traces imagines the life of a Catholic nun who travels through Europe during the war-torn 1940s. Nor Hall is a Jungian psychoanalyst, noted playwright, imaginal dramaturge, and conducts classes in initiation psychology for a variety of audiences: literary, Jungian, feminist, artistic, theological, and academic. Her publications include The Moon and the VirginThose Women, Reflections on the Archetypal Feminine, Broodmales, and The End of the Iron Age.

36pp, perfect bound,
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Published in August 2010.

SEAMLESS MATTER: THIRTY STILLS

by Ravi Shankar
cover art by Sol LeWitt

Tightly organized and orchestrated, these nut-like poems take a microscope to nature, opening it up then opening it further until the reader is lost amid rich minutia, among once-familiar objects now made strange. It’s the language itself that does the trick—Shankar has a marvelous way of getting sound and phrasing to say both something and themselves.       —Cole Swensen

The sound-work of these poems is meticulous and impressive. Their field-guide knowledge runs deep. And the book, when read as a whole, becomes nothing less than a praise song of our shared physicality, and of existence known, as it must be, under the scepter of time.        —Jane Hirshfield

Ravi Shankar edits Drunken Boat. His books include Instrumentality and Wanton Textiles, and he co-edited the anthology Language for a New Century.

30pp, perfect bound,
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Published in April 2010.