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B e y o n d   T i m e

b y   R o b e r t   G i b b o n s

Language having more to do with blood than dictionary, physical as much as cerebral. Spontaneous more than calculated. Rife with sensuousness. As internal as dream, eternal as memory. The insistence of pulse, breath, & bodily fluid. Blood of Love, I wrote once, dripping it repeatedly down the page, Blood of Love, Blood of Love, which could have culminated in a yell, “Stella!” If that were her name. Connections to tree roots. Seven evergreens newly discovered here in the neighborhood at the corner of Hunt & Clinton, or the majestic catalpa a few blocks away at James & Pleasant. Always the feet tracing streets from Paris to Barcelona; a dialogue of the citizenry of self with city & history. Skin & bone & wound. Letter by letter back home documenting experience. The second life of writing, as intense, or more so, than living. Aesthetic based on the tactile. The chew of a word. A certain taste, not always familiar. I’d film words like Godard, if I could, chant like Coltrane, if need be, paint a sign like Kline, however one has to get it down, send it out, make a note. Thrust & parry, the battle & pleasure. My favorite stone in all of Washington used to stand outside, where I worked at the National Gallery of Art: Noguchi’s Great Rock of Inner Seeking, where I’d go to wonder & touch. I have never tried to write about Time, but Time often infiltrates my work. Speed of language counts. Prose speeds. Can I spend Time wondering where, or whether, to a break line? The spark of the erotic starts the language act. Kristeva’s chora drums, not knowing where it is going, until last tap at keyboard. There’s a vibration in the Body called cathexion.
A visceral jolt.

Robert Gibbons read eleven prose poems on Bastille Day (2006) at the Poetry & Politics Conference at the University of Stirling, Scotland. He was introduced by Camelia Elias, who wrote a review of his third full-length book of prose poems, Body of Time, in the French online journal Cercles. In his review of the same book, Jim Feast wrote in Evergreen Review: "In his verse, Gibbons sees things others miss, extracting gains from the ruins of powerlessness in which the average citizen lives, offering, then, a therapeutics for the public sphere." An online chapbook, Time on Water, is archived in The Drunken Boat. His work appears in The Literary Review, as well as Electric Acorn and Exquisite Corpse. He is the Poetry & Fiction Editor of Janus Head.


Anonymity of Time
Blood Marks Time
Here, Just Here
All the Time
Flesh Seems Timeless
Inside of Time
Next to Time
Mouth of Time
Beauty & the Beast Dream
The Time around All Hallows' & All Souls'
Trouble with Time
Dance of Time
When Love Cavorts with Time

Time Guiding Her
Reversal of Time
Born into a Realm without Time
Consonance of Time
The Music of Time’s Disappearance
True Improvisation Refuses to Know Ahead of Time
With Time Threatening to Run Out
Marking Sidewalk, Gutter, & Street with Time
Venus, all Alone
To Other Lands, to Other Times
Time in Fragments
Time in Fragments II
Time in Fragments III

No Time Passed
Time Lands in Florence
Time, Carved Out
Time Allotted Here on Earth
No Time at All was Lost
Wonder Becomes a Dance of Surprise
That Virgin Time of Day
All Past Time
An Unknown Time
Beyond Time
Oracular Time
I Saw Time

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