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About this poet

Charles Bernstein was born in New York City in 1950. He received his B.A. from Harvard College. Among his more than twenty books of poetry are Girly Man (University of Chicago Press , 2006), With Strings (2001), Republics of Reality: 1975-1995 (2000), Dark City (1994), Rough Trades (1991), The Nude Formalism (1989), Stigma (1981), Legend (with Bruce Andrews, Steve McCaffery, Ron Silliman, Ray DiPalma, 1980), and Parsing (1976).

He is also the author of three books of essays, My Way: Speeches and Poems (1999), A Poetics (1992), and Content's Dream: Essays 1975-1984 (1986). He has edited many anthologies of poetry and poetics including Close Listening: Poetry and the Performed Word (1998) and The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Book (1984, with Bruce Andrews).

Among his translations from the French are Red, Green, and Black (1990, by Olivier Cadiot) and The Maternal Drape (1984, by Claude Royed-Journoud). In the 1970s, Bernstein co-founded the influential journal L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E. He has also written the librettos for a number of operas with composers such as Ben Yarmolinsky, Brian Ferneyhough, and Dean Drummond.

 

Bernstein serves as the Executive Editor, and co-founder, of The Electronic Poetry Center at SUNY-Buffalo. His honors and awards include the Roy Harvey Pearce/Archive for New Poetry Prize and fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Currently, he is Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania.


Multimedia

From the Image Archive

My/My/My

Charles Bernstein, 1960

          Count these number of things you call mine. This is the distance between
          you and enlightenment
.
                    —Swami Satchidananda.


                        (for Jenny)


my pillow

my shirt

my house

my supper

my tooth

my money

my kite

my job

my bagel

my spatula

my blanket

my arm

my painting

my fountain pen

my desk

my room

my turn

my book

my hopelessness

my wallet

my print

my sock

my toe

my stamp

my introduction

my luggage

my plan

my mistake

my monkey

my friend

my penis

my anger

my expectation

my pencil

my pain

my poster

my fear

my luggage tag

my eyes

my rainment

my wash

my opinion

my fat

my sleeplessness

my love

my basket

my lunch

my game

my box

my drawer

my cup

my longing

my blotter

my distraction

my underpants

my papers

my wish

my despair

my erasure

my plantation

my candy

my thoughtfulness

my forbearance

my gracelessness

my courage

my crying

my hat

my pocket

my dirt

my body

my sex

my scarf

my solidarity

my hope

my spelling

my smile

my gaze

my helplessness

my quilt

my reply

my enemy

my records

my letter

my gait

my struggle

my spirit

my cut

my thorn

my demise

my dream

my plate

my pit

my hollow

my blindness

my clinging

my projection

my teacher

my homework

my housework

my responsibility

my guilt

my relaxation

my boat

my crew

my peanut butter

my mill

my man

my hopelessness

my fooling

my sweet

my terror

my programme

my judgement

my disguise

my distress

my ladle

my soup

my mother

my basin

my pleat

my cheddar

my ownership

my enmity

my thought

my encyclopedia

my property

my formula

my infidelity

my discretion

my decision

my delusion

my deduction

my derision

my destitution

my delinquincy

my belt

my eroica

my junk

my jealousy

my remorse

my strength

my vision

my world

my fantasy

my anger

my determination

my refusal

my commitment

my insanity

my verbosity

my austerity

my androgeny

my defiance

my insistence

my emastication

my arousal

my mystification

my obscuraration

my ejaculation

my prostration

my wontonness

my cigarette

my belief

my uncertainty

my cat

my penetration

my insight

my obsolescence

my sleeping bag

my temptation

my dedication

my ball

my court

my kidney

my razor

my way

my tissue

my inadequacy

my own

my recorder

my song

my knack

my perception

my will

my canoe

my billiard ball

my content

my cassette

my voice

my sight

my knowledge

my bowels

my beard

my child

my lethargy

my nerve

my incredulity

my banana

my ink

my refrigerator

my car

my change

my pupil

my hair

my tongue

my tenderness

my star

my skill

my persona

my popularity

my pickle

my pinto

my window

my remembrance

my munificance

my country

my fragility

my visit

my longevity

my curtness

my incomparability

my sarcasm

my sincerity

my bed

my bed table

my table top

my bar mitzvah

my laughter

my scorn

my heartache

my sandwich

my call

my loss

my wit

my charm

my jest

my undoing

my practice

my piano lesson

my rage

my toe

my tattoo

my turtledove

my fly swatter

my vest

my notebook

my pocketbook

my sketchbook

my repulsion

my tea cup

my taste

my bag

my handbag

my bike

my jay

my roll

my dear

my milk

my closet

my slacks

my hoist

my ennui

my analysis

my language

my fortune

my vagueness

my mint

my limit

my import

my inference

my affectation

my affection

my insolence

my solitude

my memory

my bottle

my history

my ability

my adobe

my mission

my likeness

my misery

my solipsism

my omission

my regression

my opera

my penicillin

my resentment

my future

my understanding

my apricots

my holiday

my umbrella

my favorite

my mood

my side

my seat

my figment

my contour

my sky

my rainbow

my god

my mask

my reflection

my blessing

my light

my time

my epoxy

my drum

my hammer

my grease

my sand

my story

my top

my past

my mark

my depth

my garden

my silence

my speech

my selfishness

my hunger

my allowance

my letter

my massage

my derision

my epoch

my space

my land

my plentitude

my perversity

my poverty

my transgression

my exultation

my lack

my lustre

my beatude

my remission

my encantation

my white

my pulse

my creation

my grace

my object

my sum

my contumely

my gloom

my idea

my chart

my circumference

my gravity

my polarity

my distance

my eyelid

my planting

my separation

my id

my art

my death

my stand

my preparation

my heart

my life

my impression

my grave

my graciousness

my marrow

my heaven

my appearance

my olive oil

my flake

my self

my porridge

my mind

my function

my nakedness

my illumination

my freedom

my charity

my rose

my pallour

my pomp

my pajamas

my pity

my posing

my prayer

my dawn

my ocean

my tide

my underarm

my spectacle

my drifting

my ground

my body

my angels

my worship

my dew

my hobbey horse

my customer

my bread

my faith

my lies

my care

my restlessness

my sunflower

my weariness

my age

my existence

my sense

my backache

my pie

my thanks

my numbness

my sweeping

my inspiration

my token

my pond

my brillo

my squint

my pound

my rock

my critique

my aplomb

my portrait

my view

my rocking chair

my sisters

my demands

my gumdrops

my word

From Asylums, published in 1975 by Asylum's Press. Used by permission of the author.

From Asylums, published in 1975 by Asylum's Press. Used by permission of the author.

Charles Bernstein

Charles Bernstein

Charles Bernstein was born in New York City in 1950. He received

by this poet

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Reality cons me as it spur(n)s me.
This is the road to eternal
Consanguinity, eloping with
Hope and leaving me to pick
Up the proverbial bag.
But that's the argument for.