Peter Gizzi is the author of The Outernationale, Some Values of Landscape and Weather, Artificial Heart, and Periplum and other poems 1987-1992. His editing projects include The House That Jack Built: The Collected Lectures of Jack Spicer, The Exact Change Yearbook, and o-blék: a journal of language arts. He is the recipient of the Lavan Younger Poet Award from the Academy of American Poets and fellowships in poetry from the Howard Foundation, The Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He works for the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Author page at the EPC

Reviews of The Outernationale:
Free Verse
The Boston Review
The Modern Review
Harp & Altar

from The Outernationale by Peter Gizzi


You stand far from the crowd, adjacent to power.
You consider the edge as well as the frame.
You consider beauty, depth of field, lighting
to understand the field, the crowd.
Late into the day, the atmosphere explodes
and revolution, well, revolution is everything.
You begin to see for the first time
everything is just like the last thing
only its opposite and only for a moment.
When a revolution completes its orbit
the objects return only different
for having stayed the same throughout.
To continue is not what you imagined.
But what you imagined was to change
and so you have and so has the crowd.

From a Cinematographer's Letter

Dear Saturday, thank you for the hidden circuitry

these stunning visuals
in sympathetic weather backlit
about the shoulders.

Our talk, malachite flecks vamping the periphery
of everything you were wearing.

Crinoline felt closer to Kino.

Even the highway seemed conspiratorial
in garrulous rain, bleating, sidelong.

One moment a blunt contrast and then
accidentally, out the jeweled windshield

a face of waving poppies.
It's not enough though, accident.

To remember why I came here

and the revolutions of a face
caught outside its frame.