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Cluster index: Tom Lowenstein

Getting away.

Tom Lowenstein: ‘Mina Gorji must write fast: her first book appeared in 2020 and this was followed by Scale in 2022. This is a speed which proclaims not hurry, but urgency and the pressure of life-enhancing splinters of vision.’

A kind of hush.

Tom Lowenstein; ‘Brody’s agnostic mother presumably thus experienced an issue that was quintessentially Jewish. But that made it no less painful.’

India Objectified.

Tom Lowenstein: ‘This, in sum, is a book that could not have been written or presented differently. It is bewildering in both its wealth and diversity, and no single “native” devotee could know about or understand so many other traditions.’

Poems from ‘Existence Phenomena’.

Tom Lowenstein: ‘Serenity is the goal. And this requires acceptance.
And there is no reason for assuming that this bundle of selves
should be exempt from the natural process.’

Messages of Bewilderment.

Tom Lowenstein: ‘But I’m pure and whole, aren’t I,
she submitted with childlike sincerity,
nor do I house material of any nature in my subconscious.’

‘Last kind words.’

Peter Riley: ‘The song was recorded in 1930 in a makeshift studio in Grafton, Wisconsin, and issued by Paramount Records as‘ Last Kind Words Blues’ on one side of a 78 rpm shellac disc with the musician’s name given as “Geeshie Wiley”. It’s not a simple lyric. It’s not about slavery, but slavery is there in it. It’s about the victims of war, but forgets that and after verse four goes off into transferable formulae (floating verses).’

To the muses.

Five Poems By TOM LOWENSTEIN.   O MUSE, WHEN I put my cuff to the sugar bowl and you come up smiling, how I love to play hide and seek with you, for aren’t we equally untrustworthy? And when you pretend sometimes to let me win, how charming but unsafe it feels to maintain, at […]

Reading Heine.

Tom Lowenstein: ‘In the bitterness of this self-preoccupation
you have contrived exquisite paradoxes
which are clinched with easily deployed rhymes.’

More delicate, if minor, interconnections.

Tom Lowenstein: ‘Landlocked I remain, balanced uncertainly in the margin,
but still facing outward to some theoretically out of reach infinity.’


Tom Lowenstein: ‘Is it that you have gone back to your tower,
your precinct, the territory you value as your own
and in which I remain a stranger?

‘I’ve arrived in the faltering dialect
of my own solitude.’

After the Snowbird, Comes the Whale Pt 7, Sec 3.

Tom Lowenstein: ‘But the storytelling process also has to do with healing. And I believe that this may have been Asatchaq’s motive in launching the long unipkaaq. The people whom the storyteller might try to heal may have been out of reach. In the past, perhaps, a community that came together might well have achieved the reassurance that life was worth living, that social existence continued.’

After the Snowbird, Comes the Whale Pt 7, Sec 2.

Part 7, Sec 2: ‘As the wind hits the face, one apprehends cautiously the feeling of a double temporality, as though we, too, had labored across the ice: and at the same time as arriving, one were also waiting for the present: the now and the archaic collapsed into a conundrum in which ancient and modern periods were mutually identified: today encapsulated within the archaic and the archaic, like an icy calyx, carrying seeds of the present.’

After the Snowbird, Comes the Whale Pt 7, Sec 1.

Pt 7 Sec 1: ‘Yes. I want the story to continue at least until I’m restless. I get bored quickly. Perhaps this is a fault that marks my generation. Or isn’t it a personal fault? Impatience for a conclusion, like the rhyming couplet with which Shakespeare releases you from obedience to a difficult thought. The constraints, nonetheless, had been healing. I return to those limits. It is, afterall, the writer or the storyteller who does the work. Nothing else matters during the period of domination. It was a question of minutes, that sublime superiority.’

After the Snowbird, Comes the Whale Pt 6, Sec 8.

Tom Lowenstein: ‘I’VE WRITTEN A LOT about culture contact and the changes Asatchaq had seen in Tikigaq. But the word ‘contact’ doesn’t properly or adequately express the process. The word change is also misleading. Even during the traditional period change had been continual. And local culture had always been a slowly evolving phenomenon. Once the Caucasian American presence had been established, these changes in Inupiaq society were bigger and more rapid.’

After the Snowbird, Comes the Whale Pt 6, Sec 7.

After the snowbird, comes the whale pt 6, sec 7: ‘There’s the laugh of the skinboat owner which proclaims modesty and self-deprecation. There’s the laughter of chagrin which acknowledges pain as an unavoidable component of existence. There is laughter that rasps cruelly from the throat like knife blades. Wild, often hysterical, laughter reels out of the chest in great ribbons of ectoplasm.’