Wednesday, February 29, 2012

David Miller reading at Birkbeck College, Univ. of London, Nov 2011

David Miller playing clarinet and reading his poetry at Birkbeck College (Uni of London) last November. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Two chap books by James Weil, 1963 and 1965 from Frank's library

From "Sorrow's Spy"

"But ask not Bodies doom'd to die,
To what abode they go;
Since Knowledge is but sorrow's Spy,
It is not safe to know."
Sir William Davenant

Not holy wholly weaned from Plato
I feel bottled here, as though
informed I am informed upon.
Now all that cuddled once turns on
me to a curdle; what I know
is how I watch the world grow
to universe of discourse, cell
small as my own original.
Sour sucker for the tattler's teat,
barbarian again I beat
at metaphysic bars, dare doom,
delivery to workshop's womb.

4 - 3 - 2 - 1 - 0

I HEAR my son
refer to himself
in the third person
and to one
Cape Cannibal--
he doesn't speak well
for four.

Against him is
that blasted Atlas
farting his
way to heaven--a hell
of a way
to get there.

And having eaten
my heart
out, I talk
in a second
person, which
doesn't speak
well for me

on which was inscribed: "Death shall
come on swift wings to him that touches
the tomb of a Pharaoh

So, what does it tell,
the Tut-tut scholars say,
that some who touched this fell
in love with windows?

It's not the falling-out
with legend heaven knows
that hurts me, nor those touched
as the story goes;

but how golden-gone
we are reading words as
a curse, ourselves cursed out
of touch with a touchstone.

From "The Thing Said"


please let me
dig demons

I wrestle
rock like an

angel dug
in & it

gives up hard
what in the

world would
an angel

do that for


Sometimes there
is nothing

further from
a father

than his son
Then though my

son I hold
you closest

for being
beyond me


an empty
day. I don't

hear from my
friends. So I
must fill full

the day with
amaze at

how the birds
quarrel &
the boys sing

And when they
are shushed in
bed, may I

wonder how
the day is

James Weil

Saturday, February 11, 2012

David Miller's Spiritual Letters

David Miller’s Spiritual Letters (Series 1-5) has recently been published by Chax Press (Tucson, Arizona).

Previous selections from the ongoing Spiritual Letters project have appeared from Reality Street Editions (Spiritual Letters (I-II) [i.e. Series 1-2] and other writings) and Stride Publications (Spiritual Letters (Series 3) ) as well as in small, limited edition publications. The present collection is easily the most comprehensive to date, a 104 page book comprising all of the first five series. Spiritual Letters is, for the most part, an exploration of poetry in (as) prose.

The word “spiritual” is, in this volume, ripped away from the New Age and returned to its sources in Kabbalah and early Christian (gnostic) writings. But it carries with it the world as we have it now. A heap of horrors, remnants, a sense of the feminine under assault, and the drive to love. Therefore the dimensions are multiple and unstable. To be human is to be a spiritual entity more aligned with nature than with culture, and therefore to rebel. I am happy to have and to hold this book.

Fanny Howe

If “experiences at the limit of what can be apprehended” be the working definition of “sublime”, then Miller’s is and is not a sublime work, since it hovers within and beyond the limits of what can be apprehended, and in this is a speculative and phenomenological poetry.

Norma Cole

What the text of these Letters suggests, in part, is a meditation on the (im)possibility of a rationally conceived aesthetics of writing which would represent us in our moments of transcendence, in our acts of remembrance, in our experiences of poverty and isolation....

Benjamin Hollander
It takes a strong writer to insist on the prose element in prose poetry. Miller succeeds by enjambing the stylistic signs of prose (direct speech, a narrator, even devices of plot) with parts that are poetry (sometimes lineated as such, more often as images and lines that simply by their referential and unhurried quality are poetry).

Giles Goodland

Spiritual Letters (Series 1-5) is available from the Chax Press website ( – enquiries can be made to the publisher, Charles Alexander ( The book costs US $17.00 and can be ordered from either the Chax Press website or from Small Press Distribution ( ). It can also be purchased from the author for £10.00 (cheque payable to David Miller – please send to 99 Mitre Road, London SE1 8PT).

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Some important posts today by David Miller

Gil Ott was a very considerable poet and an intelligent person. He would not, I believe, have spoken of Frank's "religiosity" ( a regrettable and condescending term). Frank's spirituality and his sense of a "poverty art" drew Gil and I towards Frank and towards each other. Robert Lax was the other contemporary poet I would see in this light, and Frank definitely respected him - as shown by his contribution to 'The ABCs of Robert Lax', which the late Nick Zurbrugg and I edited, and which must have been one of Frank's last publications during his lifetime. I must just say how grateful everyone who admires Frank's work should be to Claudia for continuing to celebrate his work. David Miller

I'll reply to my own remarks. Frank INSISTED on the idea of poetry as SPIRITUAL ART. If you don't agree with this, you can still analyze Frank's work, of course, but you are going against his sense of FUNDAMENTAL ORIENTATION and you are missing the point. Rothko was confronted once by someone who said that all he saw in R's paintings were colour relationships. R said, if that's all you see, you've missed the point. Same with Samperi. Samperi isn't just about minimalism (though minimalism isn't inappropriate), he isn't about Objectivism (possibly not at all).... He is about poetry as SPIRITUAL ART. And there is nothing New Age about this... my God, Frank would have despised the whole notion. (And I can't imagine Gil Ott going along with it.) Frank's poetics were rooted in Aquinas and Dante. I can imagine it otherwise... possibly Vedanta, possibly Mahayana Buddhism... but would Frank? I don't really think so... though I may be wrong, David Miller