Ether Sea Projects

About the Book

PearsonCatenary Odes

Ted Pearson

1987 • 48 pp. • $10.00
ISBN: 9780917588174
Poetry

Out of Print

A series of short lyrics, each complex in the sense of shape or density of tunes and also with the characteristic of sweet ballads: “in the hum of parallel signs that sing, the first insinuation was, amorous”; “opposites entice the deforming flame and lost estate of play.”

 

 

About the Author

Ted Pearson (born 1948 in Palo Alto, California) is an American poet. He is often associated with the Language poets. Pearson was born in 1948 in Palo Alto, California. He began studying liturgical music in 1960, instrumental music in 1962 (with Harvey Samuels, Lee Konitz, Modesto Briseno, and others), and began writing poetry in 1964 after Paul Desmond gave him a copy of Robert Creeley’s For Love. He subsequently attended VanderCook College of Music (Chicago), Foothill College (Los Altos Hills), and San Francisco State University (BA English, 1971). In 1977, Pearson began his long association with the poets who were then actively involved in creating Language poetry, a new school of innovative writing that emerged in San Francisco, New York, and other places during this period. Among these poets were Rae Armantrout, Steve Benson, Alan Bernheimer, Carla Harryman, Lyn Hejinian, Tom Mandel, Bob Perelman, Kit Robinson, Ron Silliman, and Barrett Watten. In 1988, Pearson left the Bay Area, and has lived in Ithaca (1988-94), Buffalo (1994-97), and Detroit (1997-2006). He now lives in Redlands, California, where he is adjunct faculty in the Departments of English and Race & Ethnic Studies at the University of Redlands.

Excerpt

at home, and not in paradise,
purview : the wild iris§hardpan pipes a pygmy forest,
believe I’ll dust my broom

§

the art of poverty could boast broad dominions,
esteemed colors, scarce glory

§

beating time to the goon ictus
onyx (mamboid) eschatology

§

presumption suckles fact from matrix,
the cleft path to free will

§

anechoic, the (devouring din) the
(technology exists) to record

§

half carrion, half spectre : the catalogue
raisonn_ , the lives of the poets

§

lies splintered from perjured heaven, speak
to the whole (the figures mend) in us

§

the affairs of infinite tradition elate
rare strains of fictitious blossoms

§

nude, under all that stitchery, reascends
a stairway to the stars, hips’
syncopation, fatback drums du temps§sleep’s surrogate scrolls the continuum
memory vamps to, unpretending time

§

scarce laid in adjoining nights, skunked
alterity varies by the dream

§

symmetries of the innate sentence
the trial by error the period ends

§

blameless seed of endowed tropics,
uncertain transit, essential oils

§

who most mistake the real, forgive it
(crosstown traffic, island life)

§

each thing equal to the shape of its ‘moment’,
dressing edenic meat

§

only that which we ourselves construct
can we foresee