Geoffrey G. O'Brien

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Spenser coined blatant to show us the scandal
Of truth can only be invented. The same
Holds true for you, in whom subject and object
Sound alike a common depth, “the never other
Than lost continuity” Grossman defines
As present wherever poems are present.
Stein says “They will not nearly know”
As if she were one of the Romantics
But is not talking about a ruin or frieze.
What is she talking about? The etymology
Of blatant, which has caused speculation
Precisely because it was coined. The fact
That Spenser used it to modify “beast”
Makes its kinship with blaitand, “bleating”
In 16th c. Scots, appealing, but the Latin
Blatire, “to babble,” also makes sense
In context. Stein is blatant, especially
In Stanzas in Meditation, from which
The quotation above comes, as does
“You should never be pleased with anything.”
Both quotes address the you of poetry
At a point where knowing and pleasing
Lose their hold. This is the faith
Behind the wager of the 18th century
Actor Richard Daly, who believed the mind
Of the Irish to be so perfectly athwart
The subjective and objective states
That he was willing to bet “A word
Of no meaning should be the common talk
And puzzle of the city in twenty-four hours;
In the course of this time the letters Q, U

I, and Z were chalked or pasted on all the walls
Of Dublin with an effect that won the wager.”
The etymology of quiz is blatant, that
Of blatant quizzical, which is not the case
With stanza, clearly from dwelling or room
In the Romance languages but really
From stãre, to stand. So when Stevens
Writes “stanza my stone” he is asking
That Stein be made into a place to stand
For poetry, but of whom does he ask this?
For Grossman the answer is staring you
In the face while for Spenser it’s under
The dragonskin of community.
It must be relentlessly tested, even
Forgotten then resurrected, haunting
Poems like the floating face of Absalom!,
that accompanies Sutpen down
Off the mountain into an understanding
Of class. “Dragon Skin” is also the name
For a type of flexible body armor produced
By Pinnacle, made of high tensile ceramic
Discs arranged in an imbricated overlapping
Configuration then encased in an aramid
Textile cover. There’s a Level V variant
Not available to the general public,
But the public needs no protection
So long as it stays general. Not that it does,
Unfortunately, especially in Stein,
Where “in changing it inside out nobody
Is stout.” Her poem babbles on
Until you live in the rooms of Grossman’s account
Of Crane’s “The Broken Tower,” a poem
He argues is about vocation, another calling.
Here is a wall and some chalk.


ART: Jenn Brehm, Jason Polan,
Grant Willing

FICTION: Kirby Johnson, Anjali Sachdeva, Chad Simpson, S. E. Smith

NONFICTION: Laura E. Davis, Aaron Gilbreath, Alexandra Kimball, Elena Passarello, Alison Stine

POETRY:Samuel Amadon, Will Arbery, Elizabeth Arnold, Melissa Broder, Kara Candito, John Lee Clark, Graham Foust, Kit Frick, Paul Killebrew, Kyle McCord, Shane McCrae, Geoffrey G. O'Brien, Sandra Simonds, Bruce Smith

ET CETERA: Flannery O'Connor Soundboard, Poetry Bingo