The Hut (excerpt)

Lisa Robertson

        The day I cried for Baudelai    re I had been drinking a little                       the discovery that th    ere is no orthodoxy —                            it took place in wh    ich hotel room?                                I no longer unde    rstood my face            I did not then know that t    he metaphysical stamina                         which I then discov    ered that I possessed                           would become my    dearest possession.                             I was ambitious a    nd tired. I began       with the assumption that th    e work was already complete                               so anything coul     d be added to it.                       Black ink shall be us    ed on white paper                                            blue ink sh    all be used                         violet ink shall be u    sed on ivory paper                                                  also dul    l pencil      eternal sadness regarding lo    st grand unfinished projects  their belated discovery — this    shall be flaunted inexpertlyI could almost hear the ping of    moths against the streetlamps                 near the public garden.    Now the public garden                                takes the form o    f everyone's kiss.                   Neo-Liberal ideals are    completely non-erotic.

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Lisa Robertson is a Canadian poet and essayist. Born in Toronto in 1961, she was a longtime resident of Vancouver, where in the early 90s she began writing, publishing and collaborating in a community of artists and poets that included Artspeak Gallery and The Kootenay School of Writing. She has continued these activities for 30 years, publishing books, leaflets and posters, translating poetry and linguistics from French, lecturing and teaching internationally, and continuing her ongoing study into the political constitution of lyric voice. In 2017 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Letters by Emily Carr University of Art and Design, and in 2018, the Foundation for the Contemporary Arts in NY awarded her the inaugural CD Wright Award in Poetry. She has taught at Cambridge University, Princeton, UC Berkeley, California College of the Arts, Piet Zwart Institute, Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and American University of Paris, as well as holding research and residency positions at institutions across Canada, the US, and Europe. Lisa currently lives in France.

“Robertson has quietly but surely emerged as one of our most exciting and prolific philosophers—I mean poets. Interested in architecture, weather systems, fashion, autobiography, gender, the classics, and just about everything else, she manages to irradiate her subjects with calm, wit, and astonishing beauty. Robertson’s style is both on splendid display and under fierce interrogation in her latest book, R’s Boat. ”
Kenyon Review

“In R’s Boat, Robertson has penned a post-conceptual, post-lyric, relentlessly self-examining performance of memory and sincerity that manages, remarkably, to be both theoretically concerned and deeply emotive. ”
Harvard Review

R's Boat grapples with form, the constraint of language and tradition, and the challenge to avoid anything that might exist as template. The poems examine feminism, discourse, the body, and poetry itself through sumptuous, seductive language. ”
American Poets

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