With the long poem, Atlas, Glenn Bach documents his ongoing investigation of place, meaning, and memory.
Originating with Atlas Peripatetic in 2003, which used the urban sounds of Long Beach, California as a jumping off point, Atlas has expanded to encompass additional texts inspired by significant places in Glenn’s life, such as Brooklyn, Milwaukee, and California’s central coast.
Incorporating a variety of creative techniques, including sampling, remix, erasure, and observation, Atlas illuminates our emotional and mysterious relationships with the landscape in the face of environmental crises. With Atlas, Glenn has consolidated his poetry practice into a single poem that continues to unfold in scope and complexity.
Atlas updates and links may be found here, as well as on Twitter (@AtlasCorpus).
excerpts from Atlas:
Piebald Poems (forthcoming 2019)
8 Poems (forthcoming June 2019)
Crêpe & Penn (forthcoming April 2019)
talking about strawberries all of the time (6 April 2019)
Nightingale & Sparrow (#1, February 2019)
streetcake (#61, January 2019)
Barren Magazine (#1, August 2018)
experiential-experimental literature (11 July 2018)
Sheila-Na-Gig (vol. 2.3, Spring 2018)
experiential-experimental literature (11 July 2013)
On Barcelona (8 July 2013)
experiential-experimental literature (1 December 2012)
On Barcelona (30 November 2012)
“A Peek at Glenn Bach’s Atlas Peripatetic (54),” Night Stream Journey, 10 April 2008.
The selection from Glenn Bach’s Atlas Peripatetic that appears in Pinstripe Fedora 3 begins with piece 54, which is practically buried in amulets of liminality. The first phrase refers us to a “hidden place”; change often occurs in such a locale. Then there is a crow, a living bird associated with death and the transition there. Note as well that the only word capitalized in this poem is “From”– twice, both times as part of a prepositional phrase that implies emergence.
Each of these phrases is followed by a piled-up column of phrases (in the latter case of “of” phrases). First we find a list of actions the deathly bird carries out. For the purposes of establishing the primacy of transition, what each of these acts implies is not as important as the simple fact that a crow does so much. That said, its “call[ing] out a double quality” echoes the double nature of the living bird of death.
In the second case, the column gives us details of what “we” are studying of the courtyard, including “that it hides”. This naturally raises the question of how one can study what is hidden, though perhaps the presence of the details around it, especially the somewhat mysterious “detention” (a nod to the zeitgeist?), may provide a clue. More importantly for this poem’s liminality, all these details lead at last to the study of transformation, though this is not allowed to become our conclusion or resting place, thanks to the interruption (marked with a dash) of “this handsome stroke of crow” as if some artist (let us say Glenn Bach himself) had painted it there to announce our time of transition not to death but to another poem. (I would go too far were I to call this a small death.) In the end, we walk on to another poem in Bach’s sequencing of materials gathered on morning walks– walking as transition from one place to another, morning as a liminal time.
–Elizabeth Kate Switaj
Thanks to the editors of the following journals for agreeing to publish excerpts:
21 Stars Review, 42opus, 8 Poems, 88: A Journal of Contemporary American Poetry, Alba, ‘a-pos-tro-phe, The Argotist Online, Aught, Barren Magazine, Black Robert Journal, Black Zinnias, Big Bridge, Brick and Mortar Review, CAB/NET, Chiron Review, Crêpe & Penn, DIAGRAM, Dusie, experiential-experimental-literature, foam:e, Free Verse, Great Works, Hamilton Stone Review, horse less review, hutt, Idiolexicon, Indefinite Space, jubilat, Konundrum Engine Literary Review, Listenlight, Malleable Jangle, Melancholia’s Tremulous Dreadlocks, Moonlit, mprsnd, Nightingale & Sparrow, On Barcelona, Otoliths, Pearl, pganickz’s journal, Piebald Poems, Pinstripe Fedora, Plumwood Mountain, Pom-Pom-Pomeranian, puppyflowers, Saint Elizabeth Street, Sawbuck, Shampoo, Sheila-Na-Gig, Snorkel, Softblow, stonestone, streetcake, talking about strawberries all of the time, There, The Tiny, Upstairs at Duroc, The Wandering Hermit Review, Whimperbang, Wild Orphan, and Zafusy.