Image-Nations 1-12 & The Stadium of the Mirror – Robin Blaser (1972)

“… At stake is the embrace of a public world, a world-image that persists in salvaging an expanding narrative not just of the self, composing itself through languages, but of the multiplying discourses in conversation and negotiation with reading the world. Blaser’s self-reflexive writing practices find him on the interstices of a labor that attempts to reposition his network of learning to include textual companions, philosophical discourses, and the folds and interruptions of multiple selves to induct an act of thought. The challenge is in reading Blaser not as a signatory of uninterrupted authorship, but as informed by a multiplicity of tongues, a resonant and spiritual data mining that recovers the voices of history often lost inside the technological reinforcements of simulated imagery flashed back to the public realm as if navigating through a homogenous body politic. … In his essay ‘The Stadium of the Mirror,’ Blaser says the ‘serial poem constantly circumscribes an absence that brings its presences to life’. It is in this indeterminate space that polarities of self and order can be played out and tested, though they may be completely incongruous to each other as discourses. The intermittent poems, ‘Image-Nations,’ which surface then fade out into other worlds of thought, perform a narrative without an ‘imposed story line’. Blaser draws on Ovid’s carmen perpetuum, or ‘continuous song’ to describe his sense of seriality as it folds and unfolds throughout his work. In ‘Image-Nation 2 (roaming’ Blaser says: ‘then we, the apparatus, burned by a night / light, are traveling in company with the messenger’. As the ‘Image-Nation’ builds through a continuum of utterance, the messenger or messengers become exceptionally dense and parlay any sense of finding home. …”
Jacket Magazine: Matthew Gagnon – Carmen Perpetuum, Robin Blaser’s Continuous Song
Jacket Magazine: Meredith Quartermain – Lyric Capability: the Syntax of Robin Blaser
UPenn: Image Nation 5 (erasure, Poetry Foundation: Image-Nation 9 (half and half
UCPress: The Holy Forest – Collected Poems of Robin Blaser

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