Andrew Joron


Trapped among the mirrored leaves
Of his life story
        the time-traveller returns
To drown his infant father

––he enters the farmhouse
        before a family tableau
That circle of elders
Like unhewn blocks

Roof is gone, blown away
In the storm that made the world

Pales to the north
        beyond the badlands
As if a Metropolis were rising there

He wanders through deserted
        rooms, trailing
An army of alternative selves

In his decelerated state
        hearth-flames are icicles
That splinter to the touch

He holds
        one light-shard aloft
Inspects the furniture of bone
& stretched skin

The white larva

Lies curled in its crib
        flicking its tail

The newborn scalp
        feels papery-thin
Construct of Bible & dinosaur

        swept by time-waves
The text devolves
To a tangle of hieroglyphs

A fossil
Sinking through stone



* * *


Andrew Joron is an American writer of experimental poetry. He began by writing science fiction poetry. Joron's later poetry, combining scientific and philosophical ideas with the sonic properties of language, has been compared to the work of the Russian Futurist Velimir Khlebnikov. Joron currently lives in Berkeley, California. During the 1990s, Andrew Joron formed a close friendship with the poet and novelist Gustaf Sobin. Sobin, who died in 2005, designated Joron as his literary co-executor, along with American poet Andrew Zawacki. He has won the Rhysling Award three times: for Best Long Poem in 1980 and 1986, and for Best Short Poem in 1978; and the Gertrude Stein Award twice, in 1996 and 2006. Joron is also the translator of The Perpetual Motion Machine by the German fantasist Paul Scheerbart (Wakefield Press, 2011). Joron is the translator, from the German, of the Marxist-Utopian philosopher Ernst Bloch’s Literary Essays which was published by Stanford University Press in 1998.  Since 2008 he has played theremin in the improv ambient/drone quartet Cloud Shepherd. Joron has written an essay, "The Theremin in My Life," on the relation between his literary and musical activities.


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