Pierre Joris has published some 40 books of poems, essays and translations. Forthcoming in 2008 are Aljibar II (poems, a bilingual edition with French translation by Eric Sarner, Editions PHI) and Justifying the Margins: Essays 1990-2006 (SALT Publishing). His 2007 publications include the CD Routes, not Roots (with Munir Beken, oud; Mike Bisio, bass; Ben Chadabe, percussion; & Mitch Elrod, guitar) issued by Anchorite Press, Albany). Other recent books include Poasis: Selected Poems 1986-1999, and A Nomad Poetics (essays), both from Wesleyan University Press. Among recent translations are Paul Celan: Selections, and Lightduress by Paul Celan, which received the 2005 PEN Poetry Translation Award. 4x1: Work by Tristan Tzara, Rainer Maria Rilke, Jean-Pierre Duprey & Habib Tengour translated by Pierre Joris came out in 2002 from Inconundrum Press; Basic Books published his translation (with Ann Reid) of Abdelwahab Meddebís The Malady of Islam in 2003. With Jerome Rothenberg he edited Poems for the Millennium, vol. 1 & 2: The University of California Book of Modern & Postmodern Poetry and most recently, Pablo Picasso, The Burial of the Count of Orgaz & Other Poems.

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Two poems from Meditations on the 40 Stations of Mansour Al-Hallaj by Pierre Joris

28. Circumspection (hiyata)

looks all around us.
The inspector cometh,

doffs his head carefully,
the brainstem shows a hiatus:

signs of overexposure.
Morocco is brought up

but not as a place. A
first wave of paranoia

boils the lobster half
a careful red. Come back

an hour later. When
the cows come home

Iíll act with circumspection.
Swivel-eye on stalks

stalk the intruder. A
half-baked lobster

bites through its leash
despite the (poetís)

vigilance. But you canít
lead another one

through hell without
paying the price. Thatís

the curse of coherence,
a thatched roofs

monomania. You canít
look upon straw

& find the dividend.
Eager-beaver frees

the silly association
of straw & law.

But it was something
else a minute ago.

Minute drift makes
the eye tear. Despite

trying hard I am
out of circumspection.

Thereís a hiatus
between. There is

a between. There is
is and eyes. Closed.

Watch your step.
You are a magnac,

better than cognac
not as fond as pinot

white, grey or red—
Áa coule de source,

the sauce, pour it on,
more the sin & tax

the seller—a deal
is a deal unless you know

a route to the moon. I do.
Say good-bye to Paris.

29. Regrets for things lost (iftiqad)

but regret will not bring it back.
nothing left to do but turn your

back on it. tell yourself when you
know where something is

then it is not lost, even though
that something lie at the

bottom of the ocean. Nothing
ever is lost, & that may be

the only thing that is
real cause for regret.