Author Bill Knott
Soft Cover, 17 illus. (16 color) 6 3/4 x 9", 80 pages
Artwork by Star Black, introduction by Mark Doty
The third in Saturnalia Books Poet/Artist Collaboration Series
Bill Knott has to be the only poet who can claim to have been—for nearly forty years now—at the head of both the avant-garde and the rear-garde of American poetry. Meticulous and formal, yet wildly inventive, Knott is among the very finest poets living today. Paired perfectly with his poems is the surreal and oddly beautiful world of Star Black’s collages. Stigmata Errata Etcetera is a book that brings absurdity and wit into clear focus, reverberating with Knott’s unique blend of heartrending humor and Black’s playful and passionate imagery. As Doty writes, “These two not-so-different sorts of creation together point back to the mystery of origins: the new arises, out of its polyglot beginnings, one unlikely thing rubbing up against another. Found things, assembled with the strange freshness of the ordering eye or ear, bring new and distinct presences into the world.” POEM when the balloon bursts where does all the air that was inside go is it bound together briefly by the moisture of the human mouth that birthed it poor pouch of breath long expulsion of nothing you must dissipate too nor remain intact no matter how pantingly against the outer atmosphere you might try to secure your whoosh-hold and what an effort what heave and heft-work what strain of frame what rib-rift to have to lift to shift around all that oof and uff why strive and huff just to stave off death to survive to be a substance a stuff to live live as a pocket a cluster a cloud to maintain your interior mode I can understand that having once been contained in bouyance you'd want to retain that rare coherence you'd pray to stay a one to remain a unity an entity a whole in this unencased heaven but smatter of ghost how can you persist or save yourself when all us others disperse dissolve in draft little whistlestuff pathetic kisspuff flimsiest flak up into the sky goes two lungs worth of earth unstrung unloosed the exhaled soul of a boy a girl alloonaloft aloftalloon lost
Excellent new poems by prolific surrealist, grouchy comic, underground hero and oddball formal virtuoso Bill Knott ("One of my pores creaks/ when I pass through it/.../ soon for the last time") join haunting, humorous collages by poet and artist Star Black...
Still pure, his new poems are ice—refined, crystalline and sharp.
...Knott is one of the best poets writing in English... The poems here form thoughtful patterns.
This book is not to be read—it’s to be experienced.