Polis 2011 and José Lezama Lima

Polis 2011

Polis is accepting submissions for the summer 2011 -as of yet untitled- edition.

poetry, prose, (non) fiction, essays, eco-poems, field proems,  suburban erotic vampire poems and stories, whatever you think we might be interested in.

Send submissions as word or plain text documents to zmartin78@gmail.com or jcgloucester@hotmail.com, or to the person of a person with who so ever it is you feel most comfortable , but eventually, we have to get them if they are to be considered, so thank you.

In other news:

yesterday, 12/19/10, was the centennial of the birth José Lezama Lima. Arriving as it did with little to no fan fair (at least in the United States) I am willing to bet you missed it. Maybe you were still worn out from the Charles Olson centennial, maybe you think that those people who hail Paradiso as the “Cuban Ulysses” are just a bunch of Latin American Iberian studies hacks who constantly have to justify their esoteric passion in third world art by comparing it to European art, maybe you tried to read Paradiso once but got a headache after the first couple of pages and put it down to reread some essays by Jonathan Franzen, or maybe just maybe, you read the whole damn thing and loved it but still have no clue what happened in the book save that anyone who didn’t have asthma turned into a manatee at some point. Whatever the case, we here at Polis firmly believe in the power of the written word and its literary manifestation in the Latin American Neo Baroque scene and we encourage everyone, wherever you are, to raise a glass, or several glasses, in honor of José Lezama Lima:

I encountered the word potens, which according to Plutarch represented in priestly Tuscan the “if possible,” the infinite possibility we later observe in the virgo potens of Catholicism — or, how to engender a god by supernatural means — and I came to the conclusion that it was that infinite possibility that the image must embody. And since the greatest of infinite possibilities is resurrection, poetry — the image — had to express its most encompassing dimension, which is precisely, resurrection. It was then that I gained the perspective that I set against the Heidggerian theory of man-for-death proposing a concept of poetry that establishes the prodigious causality of being-for resurrection…So, if you asked me to give a definition of poetry…I would have to do it in these terms: it is the image attained by the man of resurrection.

-Translation by James Irby

In Mexico he felt strange and aloof. The gods of light drifted off when they saw that that was a subterranean world, a world of chthonian deities. The Mexican had gone back to the ancient concept of the Greek World: hell was at the center of the earth, and the voices of the dead rose up through fissures in the earth. On his first morning in Mexico, looking into the bathroom mirror he could barely decipher the face on the glass. The mist, locked in a foggy blue from the beginnings of the earth, impeded his image’s advance. He thought himself the victim of a spell. With a towel he wiped the fog off the mirror, but still he could not arrest the image in its reproductive play. He moved the towel from right to left and as soon as he reached the edges the mirror would cloud over again. With that first terror of his first Mexican morning, the land apparently wanted to open up its mystery and its spell to him.

Paradiso; Translation by Gregory Rabassa

From all your friends at Polis:

Happy Holidays

viva la resistencia


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