Chicago Review

An international journal of literature, interviews, and reviews. For academic audiences.

Articles from Vol. 42, No. 3-4, 1996

A Letter from Allen Ginsberg
December 9, 1957 Paris Dear Mr Carroll: Sorry reply so late-I sent your news to Philip Whalen, & he says he's sent you work by him & Gary Snyder. They are important poets & much underplayed with all the SF bullshit-however they had strong...
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A Liturgy of Roses
I. This is for you for whom blood certainly roses This is for you whose reticent temper it is to renounce the want of all things more effete than rooms full of ferms without blooms, as bell-shaped conservatories, for whom a subaqueous green gloom is...
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A Man in the City
In 1957, Donald Hall published New Poets of England and America, an anthology he edited with Robert Pack and Louis Simpson; it has been widely regarded as a defense of the academic poetry of the era. Chicago Review was publishing poetry by many of the...
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Beat Zen, Square Zen, and Zen
It is as difficult for Anglo-Saxons as for the Japanese to absorb anything quite so Chinese as Zen. For though the word "Zen" is Japanese and though Japan is now its home, Zen Buddhism is the creation of T'ang dynasty China. I do not say this as a prelude...
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Catechism
Is it true what they say about Dixie? In time and of the essence, river of tender adolescent tears, as whispered by the ghost, long wind-grieved and not yet laid, it may become true. When old Dixie shakes, when those good ol' boys stop walking down those...
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Document: Convention Coverage
Were you around last night? Yeh, and I want to talk in general about what a lot of quote leadership of a lot of the activities of the convention, mainly Mobilization people have been doing. They've been acting basically, though not in alliance, they've...
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Driving Home in the Breaking Season
There is no need of maps now, the interstate spooling south of Roethke's country gone sour: smokestacks thick as the risen fists of robber barons, the burly smudge of green he sang choked out by the Tonka Toy houses the same mile after mile. Even snow...
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Ego Confession
I want to be known as the most brilliant man in America Introduced to Gyalwa Karmapa heir of the Whispered Transmission Crazy Wisdom Practice Lineage as the secret young wise man who visited him and winked anonymously decade ago in Gangtok Prepared the...
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Excerpt: Naked Lunch
I can feel the heat closing in, feel them out there making their moves, setting up their devil doll stool pigeons, crooning over my spoon and dropper I throw away at Washington Square Station, vault a turnstile and two flights down the iron stairs, catch...
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From an Explanation of America: Braveries
Once, while a famous town lay torn and burning A woman came to childbed, and lay in labor While all around her people cursed and screamed In desperation, and soldiers raged insanelySo that the child came out, the story says, In the loud center of every...
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From Out
Hi. Everything up to here has been a novel. My feeling about it so far is it's serious. But it's going to get even more serious that's also my feeling about myself. What a coincidence. Anyway that's my feeling about it on this page in any case it's my...
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From Sleepers Awake
Kenneth Patchen 's experimentation with narrative technique and his attention to the expressive possibilities of typographical variation anticipate Chicago Review's later interests in metafiction and concrete poetry (while it also contrasts with realist...
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From Street of Stairs
Let me say right off that words-my words at least-are completely inadequate to summon for you even approximate referentials particular to the terror at Notre-Dame. This, in current recall, is what happened: Wednesday morning I got up and got dressed...
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From Zen: The Rocks of Sesshu
What do they think of Where they lean Like ponderous heads, the rocks?In prankish spring, ducks Joggling here And there, brushing tails, Like silly thoughts shared, Passed from head To head? When, gong quavering About a ripened sky, we Up and go, Do...
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Ice
breaks up in obelisks on the river, as I stand beside your grave. I tip my head back. Above me, the same sky you loved, that shawl of cotton wool, frozen around the shoulders of Minnesota. I'm cold and so far from Texas and my father, who gave me to...
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Introduction
As Chicago Review's fiftieth anniversary approached this year, I felt that this milestone could not be passed without remark, despite my reservations about the ways in which such remarks are usually made. Such celebrations are often little more than...
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Letter to Simic from Boulder
Dear Charles: And so we meet once in San Francisco and I learn I bombed you long ago in Belgrade when you were five. I remember. We were after a bridge on the Danube hoping to cut the German armies off as they fled north from Greece. We missed. Not unusual,...
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Letter to the Poetry Editor
Concord, Massachusetts October 7, 1957 Dear Mr. Carroll: I want to call you on that "gray-flannel poets" piece. I didn't see the Western Review anthology (and wasn't in it), so I don't pretend to defend whatever poets were there, nor do I want to wish...
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Literature as a Dead Duck
One of the most pleasant recollections I have of my recent trip to Europe is the number and variety of good books which were everywhere in evidence. What a relief it was to be looking again at paper-backed books whose titles, authors', and publishers'...
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Mainstreaming
Fort Jackson in the twilight and the coal smoke Oddly looks like San Francisco, Tank Hill Being Nob Hill and the mess hall steps I sit on any hill that overlooks. Un-Californian in the extreme, E Company goes smartly by, then G. Night training in the...
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Memoirs: Larzer Ziff (1940S)
My days on the Review, the days of its infancy, were the days of the enormous influx into the university of veterans returning right after the war. So long were the queues that registration took place in Bartlett Gym. You went there, picked up a number,...
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Memoirs: Molly McQuade(Late 1970s-Early 1980s)
I was lucky enough to show up at the University of Chicago and to work for the Review while and after I was a student in the College. CR was one reason for my appearance on campus: I realized that by working for the Review, I might be able to decide...
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Memoirs: Savkar Altinel (Early 1970s)
When I arrived in Chicago from my native Turkey in 1972 I was nineteen, had literary aspirations and intended to major in English. It wasn't long before If found myself on the fiction staff of the Chicago Review. Office technology of the time was still...
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Memoirs: Timothy Erwin (Middle 1970s)
Most of my memories of Chicago Review are of good and lasting friends now scattered to the academic winds but there is one story I sometimes tell about those days. I came to the poetry staff of the magazine during the mid1970s, long after the Big Table...
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My Penis
Ed Ochester, poet and professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh, published "My Penis" in the Summer 1973 issue of Chicago Review (along with another poem, "My Teeth "). OCHESTER explains: "My Penis" was one of a series of "body parts" poems...
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Notes on Some Young Poets
I am looking at an old snapshot of Robert Desnos in his youth. Head propped on a morocco rug, eyes tightly shut, mouth agape, he looks like a death mask for Manolete. He is not sleeping. Hypnotized or drugged instead, perhaps he is spouting automatic...
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Poems for Salome
I. What does a black cat see when it closes its eyes It sees the langours of its hashish childhood Where the gate is closed And a ring is sinking slowly into a pillow Where the winestains prepare themselves for the journey Into the lighthouse of salt...
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Positive Thinking on Pennsylvania Avenue
...He [Congressman Walter Judd of Minnesota] told me this fascinating story about President Eisenhower. Mrs. Judd had been having a visit with Mrs. Eisenhower who told her, "Ike gets into bed, lies back on the pillow, and prays out loud, something like...
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Reality Theater in Chicago
A true theater is a fix, a mainline shot that infuses itself into reality, turning reality upside down, producing alterations in the structure and in the elements of the real. A grandiose claim. But is this not precisely what we have always been assured...
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Sabina
The brain of man is filled with passageways like the contours and multiple crossroads of the labyrinth. In its curved folds lie the imprint of thousands of images, recordings of millions of words. Certain cities of the orient were designed to baffle...
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Semi-Gross: Thoughts on the U.S. Open, 1978
These poems and this essay by Edward Dorn appeared in the Spring 1979 issue of Chicago Review, which was devoted to the topic "Black Mountain and Since: Objectivist Writing in America " The issue included new work by writers associated with Black Mountain...
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Staying Alive in a Clear-Cut Forest
David Wagoner teaches at the University of Washington and edits Poetry Northwest. His poetry is noted for its attention to the culture and landscape of the Pacific Northwest. Some of his poems recast Native American mythologies into poetry, as in "The...
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Street Play 1: 10 Minutes
Musicians-one flute, one harmonica, walking side-by-side and playing different songs, the flute something Renaissance-like and polyphonic, the harmonica something more like jazz or German atonal. They proceed to where a small group is gathered, stop...
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The Cave
I think most people are relieved the first time they actually know someone who goes crazy. It doesn't happen the way you hear about it where the person gibbers and sticks to you like an insect: mostly there's crying, a lot of silence, sometimes someone...
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The Five Stages of Grief
The night I lost you someone pointed me towards the Five Stages of Grief. Go that way, they said, it's easy, like learning to climb stairs after the amputation. And so I climbed. Denial was first. I sat down at breakfast carefully setting the table for...
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The Hallucination
Her husband's voice lifted through the floorboards of the old house. She was awake, suddenly. She couldn't remember having fallen asleepwhat time was it?-she sat up, shivering, and heard now the voice from downstairs, familiar, but too loud, as if Alan...
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The Journey
Immediately cries were heard. These were the loud wailing of infant souls weeping at the very entrance way, never had they had their share of life's sweetness for the dark day had stolen them from their mothers' breasts and plunged them to a death before...
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The Meadow
The Meadow Reassembling a meadow The Meadow Categorically he would have us believe that this isn't a language after all that's been decoded but something fixed in the purpose of its telling The Meadow A message so to speak limited to its function The...
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The Postcards: A Triptych
The Minoan Snake Goddess is flanked by a Chardin still-life, somber and tranquil, and by Mahommedan angels brilliantly clothed and with multicolored lings, who throng round a fleshcolored horse with a man's face on whose back rides a whiteturbaned being...
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They're Not Your Husband
Earl Ober was between jobs as a salesman but Doreen, his wife, had gone to work nights as a waitress at a twenty-four hour coffee shop at the edge of town. One night when he was drinking Earl decided to stop by the coffee shop and have something to eat....
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Vietnam-Superfiction
(May 9-August 9) 1970 "Thus an essential property of language is that it provides the means for expressing indefinitely many thoughts and for reacting appropriately in an indefinite range of new situations. The grammar of a particular language, then,...
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Volumes
He thought of how the word 'volume' might refer to a book, say, or to a level of sound. She was asking him if they had ever really watched each other. He could not imagine what she was talking about. They could not assimilate everything that was happening...
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