Two Poems by Jimmie Durham

BOMB 133 Fall 2015
270319784 08252015 Bomb 133 Cover

The Center of the World
(The Direction of my Thought)
—Direct from my New Home in Eurasia—

    “Here” is a word you might like,
In French:

    IN    VI    SI
    BI    LI    TE


    Drawn by the stone called
“Graphite” across white paper
By your/my hand, it is a pretty word,
And looks like and sounds like “visité.”
It looks to be

(No words look not I look)
(See, if you receive these words
Through the front of your head;
That is “visually,” instead of laterally;
[And I want to be on your side]
You see the nécessité of a, _a comma_
To see: “Words look not, I look”)
It looks to be jumping quietly up,
And only half-way back down: “invisibilité.”

On arrival all my words were already
(All ready [read]) arranged carefully.

I knew what I intended to say.
I had rehearsed well and knew
Rules of poetics and discursive.
Still do; the longer I am away
The more memory can create.

(For example, when I hear your story
It sounds familiar, and the next day
I imagine I had happened in it.)

Surely you must know this rhyme
Is not mine - - - (either):

I might say, “Now we see through a glass, darkly,
But at home I will see my own reflection.”
You will know how long I had planned
To say it.

This happens often on television:
One guy holds a gun, and says, “Give me
One good reason why I should not kill you!”
I always cry, because of course he knows
I know no reason:
He just wants me to watch tomorrow.

In the Orient, I mean, in Portugal;
That is only to say, in the Far East
Of the Atlantic - - -
In the East Atlantic Ocean

Close to the end of the world
At one time, in Portugal;
José Saramago wrote, “Do you say I am lying?”
“No,” he answered, “when precision limits us
We choose words which lie for us.”

Where shall we go, to the netherworld,
Like Orpheus? (Give me one good reason
Why I should not kill you!) No, I mean
Like Gilgamesh; Orpheus is sentimental.

“Don’t look back!” He says. Too silly
(And who was that guy in the labyrinth?
I am at a point where I cannot find
A reason for my words, nor the thread
—Of the discourse of course—)

Suppose I were to say, to write (And you
Know that I have been planning
To say that for several lonely nights)
That I write these strings of old words
In the Netherlands?

Wait. I am writing (saying words
Inside my head so that my hand
Across the page will draw toward
Some other person irrevocably lost
In the future) in the city of Middelburg,
Where the telescope was invented!

Middelburg, The Netherlands
October 1995


The Dragon in Her Cave

Calypso is the leading technology platform for cross-asset trading,
Accounting, processing and enterprise risk management.

Key words:
                              Cross asset


Necessarily hopeful verbosity.

Marco Koch, Luis Varela, Jae Geun Kim, Jung Dae Kim, Francisco Hernández-Nuño, Stephanie Simonds, Carlos Castorena, Claudia Vianna, Joel Elmquist, Yury Morozov, Pasko Rakic, Ingo Bechmann, Michael Cowley, Klara Szigeti-Buck, Marcelo Dietrich, Xiao-Bing Gao, Sabrina Diano & Tamas Horvath

Published an article in which they wrote that,

“Hypothalamic pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons promote satiety.
Cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R) is critical for the central regulation of food intake.
Here we test whether CB1R-controlled feeding in sated mice is paralleled by
Decreased activity of POMC neurons. We show that chemical promotion of CB1R
Activity increases feeding, and notably, CB1R activation also promotes neuronal
Activity of POMC cells. This paradoxical increase in POMC activity was crucial for
CB1R-induced feeding, because designer-receptors-exclusively-activated-by-
Designer-drugs (DREADD)-mediated inhibition of POMC neurons diminishes,
Whereas DREADD-mediated activation of POMC neurons enhances CB1R-driven
Feeding. The POMC gene encodes both the anorexigenic peptide α-melanocyte-
Stimulating hormone, and the opioid peptide β-endorphin. CB1R activation
Selectively increases β-endorphin but not α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone
Release in the hypothalamus, and systemic or hypothalamic administration of the
Opioid receptor antagonist naloxone blocks acute CB1R-induced feeding. These
Processes involve mitochondrial adaptations that, when blocked, abolish CB1R-
Induced cellular responses and feeding. Together, these results uncover a
Previously unsuspected role of POMC neurons in the promotion of feeding by

Key words:


Another guy wrote that,
“Seasonal variation in box-office revenue is a statistical illusion:
If you release blockbusters in July and dogs in January,”

“Box-office” is almost certainly a key word there.
It surely may not refer to an office of boxes.

My feelings are indescribable.
Many of my feelings are indescribable.
The physiotherapist asked me to describe my pain on a scale of one to ten,
And if it was sharp, dull or pulsing.

It seems there may be no way
Of moaning eloquently
Yet many man-made musical instruments
Are capable
In the right hands.

Almost everything in the world is light-years away
From us.
But heavy,
Weightlessly insupportably heavy are the years
Passed and many splinters stay too near.

Every grain of sand
Finds its way to our salad bowls.

Jimmie Durham has been an artist, essayist, and poet since the early 1960s. During the ’70s he was a leading political activist of the American Indian Movement and founder of the International Indian Treaty Council, as well as its representative to the United Nations. Recent solo exhibitions include Venice: Objects, Work and Tourism at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia Carlo Scarpa Area in Venice, Here at the Center at the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein in Berlin, and a show at the Serpentine Gallery in London. His books include Poems That Do Not Go Together (Wiens Verlag and Edition Hansjörg Mayer, 2012) and the volume of collected essays Waiting To Be Interrupted (Mousse Publishing, 2014).

Jimmie Durham by Manuel Cirauqui
Durham 2
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Originally published in

BOMB 133, Fall 2015

Featuring interviews with Nari Ward, Jim O’Rourke, David Diao, Rachel Rose, Tonya Foster and John Keene, Alice Notley, Deana Lawson and Henry Taylor, Annie Baker, and more.

Read the issue
270319784 08252015 Bomb 133 Cover