Pierre Joris

Pierre Joris is a poet, translator, essayist & anthologist who has published more than 50 books, most recently, Meditations on the Stations of Mansur al-Hallaj (poems) from Chax Press and The University of California Book of North African Literature (volume 4 in the Poems for the Millennium series), coedited with Habib Tengour. Exile is My Trade: A Habib Tengour Reader edited & translated by Joris, and Pierre Joris: Cartographies of the In-between, edited by Peter Cockelbergh, came out in 2012. Forthcoming are Barzakh — Poems 2000-2012 (Black Widow Press) & The Collected Later Poems of Paul Celan (FSG).

Two for the Cormorants

the heart of 
the cormorant

is at the head
of its name

it wants more
but no rant

we applaud
the cormorant

even if the fish
slipping down

its gullet

Drift Und Drang

that man-shaped tree trunk
on the rocks at lowtide
borders the narrows,
at hightide the day
before it beat its wooden
semblance on those
same rocks — the twin
branches imitating legs
submerged, the pin-
head angled up, banging
on the rocks at algae
   the twist has stayed
with me these three
days, the anthropos slowly
washed up, washed out.


“you can(’t) go it alone,” the
vagrant, vagabond, give me a
v-sign, double it to go
                   leave the medulla,
slip between pyramid &
            (the letters go
backwards) from jugular
to carotid, down down, afferent all
the way.
to count the shlup of
viscera. Let’s you know
how your gut
gets its
gut feeling.