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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pierre Joris
Pierre Joris
Pierre Joris is the author of over 40 books. As one of the foremost translators of avant-garde poetry into both French and English, he frequently explores the lesser-known works of both major and obscure experimental poets......
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FURTHER READING
Poems about Living
"I'm afraid of death"
by Kathleen Ossip
A Toast
by Ilya Kaminsky
Another Elegy
by Jericho Brown
Ashes of Life
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
August, 1953
by David Wojahn
bonne chance de lycée
by Buck Downs
C'est La Guerre
by Danniel Schoonebeek
Characteristics of Life
by Camille T. Dungy
Corpse Flower, Luna Moth
by Daniel Tobin
Costumes Exchanging Glances
by Mary Jo Bang
Daily Life
by Susan Wood
Difficult Body
by Mark Wunderlich
Elegy in Joy [excerpt]
by Muriel Rukeyser
En Route
by Darcie Dennigan
far memory
by Lucille Clifton
First Things to Hand
by Robert Pinsky
Flowers of Rad
by Sampson Starkweather
Forth Into View, Random Warriors
by Pattiann Rogers
from Oracles for Youth
by Caroline Gilman
from Two Inch Fables
by Marilyn Chin
Frozen
by Natasha Head
How to Uproot a Tree
by Jennifer K. Sweeney
I could suffice for Him, I knew (643)
by Emily Dickinson
I Have a Rendezvous With Life
by Countee Cullen
I Know A Few Things
by Stuart Dischell
In a Landscape: IV
by John Gallaher
Insomnia
by Alicia Suskin Ostriker
Life
by Joe Brainard
Life is Fine
by Langston Hughes
Little Night Prayer
by Péter Kántor
Living in Numbers
by Claire Lee
Lost and Found
by Ron Padgett
Mass for the Day of St. Thomas Didymus [excerpt]
by Denise Levertov
Meaning
by Carl Dennis
Meditation 29
by Philip Pain
Montparnasse
by Ernest Hemingway
My Teacup
by Alli Warren
On Disappearing
by Major Jackson
On Living
by Nazim Hikmet
On the Gallows Once
by Kofi Awoonor
One Train May Hide Another
by Kenneth Koch
Past Inclemency & Present Warmth
by Eryn Green
Poem Excluding Fiction
by Noah Falck
Preparation
by Effie Waller Smith
Primitive State [excerpt]
by Anselm Berrigan
Roar Shack
by Alice Fulton
Samurai Song
by Robert Pinsky
Song for Future Books
by Joanna Fuhrman
Songs of a Girl
by Mary Carolyn Davies
Sonnet
by Bill Knott
Spent
by Mark Doty
sugar is smoking
by Jason Schneiderman
Summer in Winter in Summer
by Noah Eli Gordon
Tear It Down
by Jack Gilbert
The Clouded Morning
by Jones Very
The Layers
by Stanley Kunitz
The Life So Short...
by Eamon Grennan
The Old Stoic
by Emily Brontë
The Pain
by Laura Kasischke
The Secret
by Denise Levertov
This is My Life
by William Stanley Braithwaite
Thoughts
by Walt Whitman
Thrown as if Fierce & Wild
by Dean Young
Variation on a Theme
by W. S. Merwin
Virgil's Hand
by Francesc Parcerisas
What the Living Do
by Marie Howe
What Wild-Eyed Murderer
by Peter Meinke
What's Left (Al-Mutanabbi Street)
by Katrina Roberts
Where I Live
by Maxine Kumin
won't you celebrate with me
by Lucille Clifton
Yellow Beak
by Stephen Dobyns
[I'm not with my]
by Joshua Beckman
Poems about Time
08/22/08
by David Lehman
Figure
by Marjorie Welish
from Oracles for Youth
by Caroline Gilman
Individual Time
by Alice Notley
Manifest Destiny
by Cynthia Lowen
Meeting and Passing
by Robert Frost
Mimosa
by Mary Ruefle
On Time
by John Milton
Paper Swallow
by Stanley Moss
Poem with Lines from Pierre Reverdy
by Sandra Simonds
Real Time
by Charlie Smith
Slur
by Jacek Gutorow
Song of Quietness
by Robinson Jeffers
The Edges of Time
by Kay Ryan
The Moon in Time Lapse
by David Rivard
The Sun-Dial
by Adelaide Crapsey
Thief
by Sally Van Doren
Time does not bring relief (Sonnet II)
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
To a Young Girl at a Window
by Margaret Widdemer
What God Knew
by Marianne Boruch
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In Betweenness

 
by Pierre Joris

is it a good thing to find
two empty pages between the day 
before yesterday & yesterday 
when trying to make room
for the blue opera afternoon 
of today a sunday like any sunday
in may?
            there is no one could tell 
or judge though my own
obsession with the in between 
should dictate the answer
& thus let me rejoice at being able 
to insert today between the
day before yesterday & yesterday 
as if it were the yeast of night 
allowed these spaces to open
(do not say holes to grow)
in the spongy tissue of this
my papery time-space discon- 
tinuum—
            leaven of earth leaven of writing 
of running writing to earth
in these in betweenesses that now 
please as much as the opera in ear 
that asks que dieu vous le rende dans
l’autre monde but the desire is to stay right 
here in this world this in between even as 
the sound changes the radio sings son 
vada o resti intanto non partirai
di qua
            exactly my feeling sheltered on these 
pages now filled and pushing up against 
yesterday
About this poem:
"The concept of the in-between (between languages, places, cultures, states of being or, better, becoming, etc.) has been core to my poetics. The title of my next book, Barzakh, is the Arabic word that describes the realm of 'In-betweenness' (same realm that the Tibetan Bardo Thödol or The Egyptian Book of the Dead explore) & quotes Ibn Arabi, the great Sufi mystic, as saying that finally, actually, 'there’s only in-betweeness.' And thus it is also the pattern or weave of our daily life—an occasion of which the poem tries to explore."

—Pierre Joris






Copyright © 2014 by Pierre Joris. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on January 22, 2014. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.
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