A new collection of poetry by Roberto Harrison. Printed in an edition of 500 with layout and design by Sonnenzimmer; special edition of 100 with silkscreen dust jackets also by Sonnenzimmer.
“How do we get from zero to one? ‘let the stories execute themselves, and tell / the digital accretion of its tiny head / the warmth of prehistoric times (inside the bomb)’ spanning climates and continents, tracing countrysides in an eternal present, speaking multiple natural and artificial tongues, Roberto Harrison’s visionary culebra breathes a time-defying saloma panameña into the violence and alienation of the twenty-first century, in a ‘radio permeation’ that writhes and shimmers to vibrations mysterious and uncannily familiar, from the digital to the meteorological and back again in this winding, horizontal, synesthetic text, Harrison constitutes a landscape through a mindful care that recognizes the world’s animacies with its unlimiting recirculations of motifs —knot, rain, ice, fish, weather, lake, beacon, face, dog, worm; but also: Host, cash, erasure, network, series — culebrabecomes a ‘reveal codes’ of Harrison’s Wisconsin and his Panamá (Penonomé, La Chorrera, Darién) that executes, compiles, and redirects, to connect dream with extreme wakefulness, north with south, Atlantic with Pacific here inner-crosses outer-crosses cyberworld in flashes of solid state memory’s delayless capture, as culebra’s ‘bit yoga’ intricates its reader in centroversions (Neumann) of nature and culture : ‘to sift the wilderness / from oceans in a plastic water-fall’ an uroboros of mattering ‘D.e.m.a.t.e.r.i.a.l.i.z.a.t.ion.s’ while ‘behind the language/a river threatens for its music’: these zero-ones spark electric with calypso, son, décima, pindin, even Akita’s Merzbow as Harrison introduces a new kind of ‘open ring’ terza rima, rushing with lush stretches of accretion in repetition, permutation ‘for this in, for this it, in the it together, gone / and then this has it to the other one’ take in this exquisite neo-mola, its design lithe and serpentine, as it leaks colors, numbers, windows for Harrison has released a mind of light into the cells of this book: ‘the intermediate link exists,’ and it’s not the canal — it’s culebra.” — Judith Goldman
“In these strange, open-eyed, open-hearted, beautiful poems, there is nowhere to stand, or there is everywhere specific. I feel as if I am looking at Borges’ aleph: sacred mutating representatives of every category — weather animals language pain geographies software — announce themselves, declare connectednesses I’d never have predicted. This journey, this snake moves through lived experience like breath from the underside of time.” — Catherine Wagner
“In Roberto Harrison’s culebra, world-creation is inseparable from local encounter: both are parts of purposive wandering. All the commas bear down, tractions of the advancing bellyplate; every entity or phenomena met along the way is added to the charter. What’s involved is ’a picture, removed from empire,’ an urgent communiqué, a chronicle as long as the longest serpent. Bound by the intricate rather than held captive by the atomized, these pages propose an ongoing social cosmology, ‘to make what you believe is a link.’” — George Albon