After Spicer by Erik Marika-Rich




            I decided to accept the invitation to write this introduction for Mr. Marika-Rich after much thought and debate.  I was flattered that someone would write a piece, which in my estimation attempts a response to some of my poetry, but much of what you are about to read is offensive in my eyes.
            I am not going to say that Mr. Marika-Rich failed to understand my ideas, but he maybe has failed to enact them to their full extent. What I mean to say is that these writings often focus on my own process, an odd subject choice for a poet forty years after I have left to say the least.  Not only that, but the writings that don’t focus on my work and how they were created refer instead to the problems of words.
            Now, I am well aware of what has been called the “Language Movement” and I can see some of the formal delights that come out of such poetry, but you must work with the words and sculpt them.  Diminish them but do not obliterate them with random letters spilled onto a page of nonsense.  To be fair, this collection does not go into some of the overly formal, structural nonsense, which I have seen in the past.  Mr. Marika-Rich has taken it on himself to work within the parameters I, myself, worked in before my demise.
            This young writer has restricted himself in this piece, through his reproduction of my style, and while I myself do not believe that one should have to enact formal rules in order to keep oneself out of their poetry, I do understand that for some it can be a necessary exercise.  In the case of this particular collection, the formal decisions made by Mr. Marika-Rich are his way of keeping himself out of the poetry and thus containing the writings within my own methods, or so the theory goes.
            I am not going to say that the following works are truly successful reproductions of my own work, but I will say that if the reader is able to put the formal exercise of the pieces aside they will be able to experience an interesting collection, even if it does seem unfinished to me.


Jack Spicer                                        
Outside San Francisco, May 2009   







A Translation for Erik Marika-Rich

The abstraction of wind on a peaceful tadpole.
Confused stones smooth the grey-green.
He sees the flowery beast
And the vicious beauty of its presence.

If the word could be lost and leave thought
Without the abstraction of confused letters on grey-green stones.
Beauty could make the stones peaceful despite the vicious wind.
Lost feet shuffle beneath the twilight from which the stones are formed.

But the tadpole is blind to his beauty.
A head full of stones traps the flowery twilight
And the beast becomes an abstraction lost in the grey-green.

He smoothes the stones with shuffling feet
But the beast is lost for the vicious tadpole
In the confused twilight of the grey-green wind

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One Motion Repeats by Erik Marika-Rich

Unintentional mistakes create absurdity of the moon archer prancing through forests of critical questions
Colors become childlike tree hangings to maniacal music and seductive lace muddied
Swirling fabric creates accentuated drama and tangerine waves of dark abstractions
One motion repeats into silhouetted passion and myth in the telling tones of another

/////////s/////////t/////////r/////////u///// ////g/////////g/////////l/////////e///////// by Erik Marika-Rich

The non-existence of true (non)absorption
Only degrees of the (in)voluntary
The absolute is tainted by (knowledge) (participation)
That is an interesting edit
That is a revealing sentence
You deconstruct the construction (of destruction)

You (notice) (accept) the        and departures become clear

That is an interesting spacing cholce
                                                          T         here
                                                            is                                        y
                                                                       t                                p
You fight (me)(you)
You (lose)(win) by fighting
Attempts to escape the grey fail by nature
Grey matter forbids the black and white to be so
Your (un)comfortable with the (lack of) choice
Your participation reveals your conflict

The art is in

Read, Feed by Erik Marika-Rich

I see her fall away you are here. You and I are storytellers. Me, we convey the things that must be, but if the us will fall away, I remain to continue the work and make everything ok. I, the important one, who is expected, relied on, comforting letter holding it together. And what if I become lost what is it.

Letter line sentence wrapping around and around to create meaning without the means. But the means are there though unexpected hidden in curves and lines. Deep within paper is meaning unpolluted. Read, feed on every choice. Without expected letters, take what is there. Imposition fails to gelatinize. Fall swept up enchanted. Look look look stop looking. Universal poetic uncompromising word choice. Mistakes are the most intensional. Read, feed on every creation. Grammatical tactics syntactical practice fuck the narration that drags. Exploration seen.
              word   not
              letters do                                                                   
                                                direction         follow

Read, feed on every destruction.

Tongues & Teeth by Erik Marika-Rich

Logically irrational as video calibrates reality in pursuit of nothing.
Synapses arcing electric massage chair deposited in deep snow-banks.
Westward leftwise clockways message lair.
Study nonsense incredulously ridiculous in backwards starways.
Leastways lasting less lamps computing digits all concrete and concentrated minute nurse eats sensual pulp toothpicks.

Nose again wine games, sticky cereal sprays lovingly.
Strange conveyor meaning lost in capitalist cargo planes, castor oil puddles.
Sports are pixilated under bear flags, catch this sentence as tongues lick paper, everything changes.
Teeth don’t signify maturity, gums chew trees light-circle-light-cone clicking.
Refrigerator grows restless, glass musics pierce young girl-lobes, it is all Hal’s fault.
Memory cards do not remember originality, seeing tells nothing after innovation, monitor hallways seeing no truths feeling no-thing what re-presents gifted intellectual texts.

jumpoffswim by Erik Marika-Rich

jumpoffswim in crystal sealakes
through basements beyond mormon kayaks
eye marvel light shifts

(the sensation of salt won’t come     to me)

reachgrab thinrough woodiamonds
emerge from beneath suburban porches

(the sensation of weight won’t come     to me)

step in(out?)to grass awakened

Response to a Box by Erik Marika-Rich

A box holds a vacuous power. The ensnarement of space creates its object, gnawed on by mischievous mice. But to what end do silver ridges lie parallel over cigarettes, do rough pine guard the peasant, do porous flaps contain leather-bound books.

Eaves are designated by the thick smell of mothballs, closed, taped. The art of sentimentality that comes with an unseen photograph, the paper of a child.  Cryptic designations of black felt dent the mystery. The packed. Slicing with a razor discovers the past.

Potential is cheap and invaluable. Closed doors, to be held back, to be guarded. To be opened, deserted gilded paper darkens. Sprinkled grey attempts to create uniformity. A box will resist with bouncy tactility. A box cannot be resisted.