Charles Bernstein


A Test of Poetry

What do you mean by rashes of ash? Is industry
systematic work, assiduous activity, or ownership
of factories? Is ripple agitate lightly? Are
we tossed in tune when we write poems? And
what or who emboss with gloss insignias of air?

Is the Fabric about which you write in the epigraph
of your poem an edifice, a symbol of heaven?

In a Restless World Like This Is

Not long ago, or maybe I dreamt it
Or made it up, or have suddenly lost
Track of its train in the hocus pocus
Of the dissolving days; no, if I bend
The turn around the corner, come at it
From all three sides at once, or bounce the ball
Against all manner of bleary-eyed fortune
Tellers — well, you can see for yourselves there’ s
Nothing up my sleeves, or notice even
Rocks occasionally break if enough
Pressure is applied. As far as you go
In one direction, all the further you’ ll


Directions: For each pair of sentences, circle the letter, a or b, that best
expresses your viewpoint. Make a selection from each pair. Do not omit
any items.

1. a) The body and the material things of the world are the key to any
knowledge we can possess.
b) Knowledge is only possible by means of the mind or psyche.

2. a) My life is largely controlled by luck and chance.
b) I can determine the basic course of my life.

thinking i think i think

What are aesthetic values and why do
there appear to be lesser & fewer of
them? Quick: define the difference
between arpeggio & Armani. The baby
cries because the baby likes crying.
The baby cries because a pin is
sticking into the baby. The baby
is not crying but it is called
crying. Who’ s on first, what’ s
shortstop. The man the man declined
to be, appraised at auction at
eighty percent of surface volume.
Cube steak on rye amusing twist
on lay demo cells, absolutely no