Tag Archives: The Volta

The Best Thing I’ve Read Today: Jane Lewty at They Will Sew The Blue Sail

21 Jun

One of them many goodness tentacles of The Volta, called They Will Sew The Blue Sail, publishes in bitty bunches (single poem by three poets) monthly, on that day the month kicks into gear. I showed up a tad late this month, disarrayed as is, but was happy happy at what I found.

Sandwiched between two great poems by Andrew Joron and Rob Schlegel, Jane Lewty is a bright candle. Her poem, “Dead Man’s Curve (Original Edit),” puts us there, fearful and squalling, the “we” together turning over and toppling. There’s an imbalance that this poem paints; it chomps my breath into ripped-apart car-shaped pieces, and I shutter, intensity it is.

Here’s the beginning:

LewtyGo here and see how the rest goes.

“An Outside Abandoned to Smokers and Solitary Speakers”–a poem-video by Wendy Burk (The Volta: Medium)

9 Apr

I never guessed a video of a poem being composed would be enthralling. But it is! Wendy Burk here lets us see the hatching of this poem, through the expansion, the shifting, and the pruning. In the end, we’re even thanked. I want to say, THANK YOU, to Wendy Burk, right back at you!, for letting us be a part of this moment, a surprising little unraveling.

Be sure to check out the archives of The Volta: Medium, a weekly journal of a single poem-video, featuring rad folks like Brian Foley, Amber Nelson, Oliver de la Paz, and many more.

The Volta! The Volta! The Volta!

31 Oct

Can you tell that I’m really stoked about The Volta? Oh man, that big wonderful stack of literary goodness founded at the beginning of 2012 by Joshua Marie Wilkinson and Sara Renee Marshall (read a stellar interview with Wilkinson about the project here)! Somehow, I missed this sexy thing (I’m sorry I’m sorry), but now that I know, wow, I’m not going anywhere.

The Volta has so much to offer–new poems, interviews, reviews, videos, manifestos, etc.–all under one hottttt jacket. I spent the entire second half of my Sunday poking around the site. Man, coming at it late was a little overwhelming (major thx to their About page for explaining what the different sections are/the site’s smooth design for making browsing the archives so easy). Below, I’ve plopped some of my favorite pieces from my glorious evening with The Volta. Please, once you’re hooked, as I know is bound to happen, let me know in the comments what your favorite sections or pieces are.

In a Word, A World by C.D. Wright

My relationship to the word is anything but scientific, it is a matter of faith on my part, that the word endows material substance, by setting the thing named apart from all else. Horse, then, unhorses what is not horse.

The Neighborhood by Chris Martin

I was partly human partly
waves breaking quiet
on wide tarmacs of conversation
that surged or dimmed
thwack thwack
retuning the neighborhood solemn
each tree nodding
off before jolting into readiness
I was holding my neighbors
like deep green
swaths of virgin grain
holding the neighborhood
by fear
of whatever new malevolence
might be thwack


An Interview with Sarah Gridley by Joshua Marie Wilkinson

I do not experience a natural world as distinct from any other world. Natural—social—symbolic worlds are to my mind expansions and contractions in the same place at the same time, in the moment’s movement from the perceptual to the conceptual. Charles Simic says, “One is neither world, nor language, nor self.” I am one sensing being among a diversity of sensing beings—not all exclusively human. My vagrant subjectivity is given contour, or as Hopkins would say, “instressed,” through its insufficiencies, its searches for reciprocities. I experience these backwards and forwards movements not as checkmarks in a quest for coherence or self-assertion—I experience them as tenuous affirmations of my momentary inherence, of being “kind” in the literal sense of kindred, of belonging to something far beyond my ability to know or name. As Paul Crowther writes in Art and Embodiment,

Otherness is radically transcendent. We can take some hold of it, but there is always more than can be contained in any present moment of perception or sequence of actions…our most fundamental relation to this world is not that of an inner ‘thinking subject’ gazing out upon and ‘external world.’ Rather, we inhere in the sensible.