The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Fiction from Mexico City

2 Poems Published

By Joseph Quintela, USA (Published in Issue 14)

With/Without

 

with a baby asleep in its perambulator / with a deep emotion / with a final twist / with a flower for her aunt / with a fox-terrier on her knee / with a glass in his hand/ with a little squeak of the hinges / with a lizard’s flickering tongue / with a look of John Burrows / with a melodramatic gesture / with a rush of that enthusiasm / with a shock of delight / with a skin of crumpled leather / with a smattering of culture / with a sniff /with a table knife / with a toss of her head / with a tremor of delight / with a violent anguish / with a wave of the hand / with agony / with agony / with all its capacities / with all their lives before them / with all this going on / with all those people rather inclined / with beauty /with black bulrushes and blue swallows / with broad golden slopes / with buds just tinted / with drawn blinds / with effort / with enthusiastic and professional understanding / with every symptom in an advanced stage / with floods of blood / with hands raised / with hazel eyes which had that look of apprehension / with her cognizance / with her father / with her flowers / with her hair done in the fashionable way / with her hand on the bannisters / with her head against the window / with her horror of death / with her husband / with her in May / with her literary turn / with her oriental bearing / with her perfect manners / with her prominent eyes fixed / with her scissors / with her stick / with her thin hair and meager profile / with her weak eyesight / with her wings spread barring his passage / with his bootlaces trailing on the floor/ with his grey hair and blue eyes / with his hands behind his back / with his hat in his hand /with his little job at Court / with his pencil on a pink card / with his power / with his roll of lead piping round his arm / with his waxed moustache / with horses and dogs / with hot breath / with ideas about everything / with its almost blue-black sky / with its blinds drawn / with its lap full of trifles / with its mounds of reddish chairs and sofas / with its varieties / with large eyes in a sallow pointed face / with nothing but red asters / with nothing of her mother in her / with one gardener in a suburb near Manchester / with people still laughing and shouting in the drawing-room / with relief / with rose-bushes and giant cauliflowers / with scarcely anything left to wish for / with shrubs and trees all round it / with skirts well above the ankles / with some sort of lapse in the tides of the body / with such a command of language / with such nice shoulders and holding herself so straight / with that mixture of amusement and pride / with that quality which / with that violent grudge against the world which had scorned her / with the air of a disciplinarian /with the bees going round and about and the yellow butterflies / with the belief upon him that he was about to have an experience / with the bird-like freshness of the very aged / with the blood-red nostrils / with the car between them / with the eyes of a bird / with the inevitable result that she frittered her time away / with the jar of roses / with the pictures on the wall / with the power and taciturnity of some prehistoric monster / with the pursed lips that women have / with the reputation in those days of great daring / with the rooks flaunting up and down in the pink evening light / with the staring incredible innocence of sculpture / with the stateliness of her grey hair / with the tea-things out / with the tears running down his cheeks / with the telegram in her hand / with their air of false composure / with their children and their horses and their clothes / with their coats blowing open / with their linen cupboards and their old masters and their pillow-cases / with their shawls and bags laid beside them / with things scattered on the floor / with those little artist’s fingers / with three purple ostrich feathers in her hair / with three strokes of a knife / with too much paint / with white apron blowing / with whom it did not matter / with wings 

 

 

without a spark of brilliancy / without a stitch of clothing on her / without a word in the drawing-room that night / without a word / without any resentment / without books / without bringing her in his outstretched hand a bunch of carnations / without daring to move a finger / without friends in England / without heat / without his doing / without his making them / without kindness or grace / without letting Holmes know / without losing one’s independence / without sex or lust / without speaking /without the old bitterness

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Author's note: With/Without was composed entirely of phrases aggregated from Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, using text searching tools to compile every phrase begun with the word "with". This method necessarily elicits long-standing questions of authorship and textuality, as does much of the work in the current Conceptual Poetry movement. Are aggregative techniques such as erasure, re-mix, and mash-up legitimate writing methods or are they merely gussied up thefts (or worse, that dreaded word: Plagiarism)? There is no easy answer to this question, however, it is undeniable that the culture of the internet has created both the resources and the impetus for unprecedented exploration of work in self-consciously "uncreatively creative" modes. For those new to Conceptual Poetry, Kenneth Goldsmith's interview "Against Expression" and the subsequent anthology co-edited by Craig Dworkin are excellent introductions to the movement.

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Joseph A. W. Quintela writes. Poems. Stories. On Post-its. Walls. Envelopes. Cocktail napkins. Twitter. Facebook. YouTube. Anything he gets his hands on, really. He currently actualizes the The Poetry App Project, a collaborative engagement seeking to conceptualize and design applications that facilitate generative poetics. As the curator at Deadly Chaps Press, he publishes several series of chapbooks, a monthly eReview (Short, Fast, and Deadly), and a dark-horse publishing collective (rIgor mort.US). His work at Sarah Lawrence College revolves around integrating the disparate yet rapidly dovetailing fields of Conceptual Poetry and Ecocriticism. Thus he is an acolyte of intra-action, hash tags, and the Oxford comma.  He has been published widely.