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About this poet

Jackson Mac Low was born in Chicago on September 12, 1922. He was a poet and composer, and a writer of performance pieces, essays, plays, and radio works. He was also a painter and multimedia performance artist, and often worked in collaboration with his wife, Anne Tardos. He is the author of twenty-six books, and his works have been published in many anthologies and periodicals as well as read publicly, exhibited, performed, and broadcast in North America, Europe, and New Zealand. Mac Low's publications include Two Plays: The Marrying Maiden and Verdurous Sanguinaria (Green Integer Books, 1999), 20 Forties (Zasterle Press, 1999), Barnesbook (1996), 42 Merzgedichte in Memoriam Kurt Schwitters (1994), Pieces o' Six: Thirty-three Poems in Prose (1992), and Twenties: 100 Poems (1991), as well as the compact disc Open Secrets (1993), comprising eight works performed by Anne Tardos, Mac Low, and seven instrumentalists.

Educated at the University of Chicago and Brooklyn College, he taught at many schools, notably the Mannes School of Music (1966) and New York University (1966-73). In has taught creative writing and lectured at SUNY-Albany, SUNY-Binghamton, Temple, UC-San Diego, Naropa Institute, Schule für Dichtung in Wien (Vienna), Bard College, and Brown University.

His awards include fellowships and grants from the Creative Artists Public Service Program, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, PEN, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. He received the the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets in 1999. Jackson Mac Low lived in New York City with his wife until his death on December 8, 2004.

Call Me Ishmael

Jackson Mac Low, 1922 - 2004
Circulation. And long long
Mind every
Interest Some how mind and every long

Coffin about little little
Money especially
I shore, having money about especially little

Cato a little little
Me extreme
I sail have me an extreme little

Cherish and left, left, 
Myself extremest
It see hypos myself and extremest left,

City a land. Land. 
Mouth; east,
Is spleen, hand mouth; an east, land.

From Stanzas for Iris Lezak, published by Something Else Press, 1971. Copyright © 1972 by Jackson Mac Low. Reprinted with permission.

From Stanzas for Iris Lezak, published by Something Else Press, 1971. Copyright © 1972 by Jackson Mac Low. Reprinted with permission.

Jackson Mac Low

Jackson Mac Low

Jackson Mac Low was born in Chicago on September 12, 1922. He was

by this poet

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Undergone swamp ticket   relative 
whist natural sweep   innate bicker 
flight notion  reach out tinsel reckoning 
bit  straddle  iniquitous ramble stung


Famous furniture instant paschal 
passionate Runnymede licorice 
feature departure   frequency gnash 
lance    sweat lodge rampart crow


Neck Bedlam
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Troelstrup nightmare risen     quiz motivátion-issue tincture reality
twélve-knit tissue crest     nést-modulation excrescence nativity
flý-by-níght trilateral tusk     tenser flagrant rag     mortal
limp insistence ancilla Detroit     tourmaline torque encarceled discography metal 
    alert     turnabout
poem
A feather table: reckless gratitude. 
It is that-there that means best. 

White the green grinding trimming thing! 
The disgrace, like stripes.
More selection, slighter intention. 

Rosewood stationing is use journey: curious dusty empty length. 
Winged cake: the cake, the plan that neglects to make color