Poems and Texts

“New Page” by Raphael Rubinstein

New Page

The two most beautiful words
in any writer’s vocabulary,
promising satisfaction
as concisely as the fizzy snap
of a freshly opened bottle of beer.
But immediately the problems
froth up, unstoppable.
Suck it up, so-called poet,
this foam of delicious nothingness,
tasting of the greatness
you can only read about.
This year, you swear,
desk cleared of every scrap
of failure and disappointment,
will witness the grand upsurge,
not of this infinitely replenished insubstantiality
but of a more obdurate substance,
suitable for putting into the hands
of skinny youths facing
other youths, maybe a bit less skinny
certainly bettered armored
and shored-up by phalanxes
of bureaucrats and paymasters
invisible in the streets
like they are invisible in this room.
Is every new page just an old one?
Pushing back against
the insidious cyclical models,
scripting a scenario where new and now
won’t simply be steamrollered
before some impatient cynic
turns the page.

Raphael Rubinstein

Raphael Rubinstein is a New York-based poet and art critic  whose recent books include The Miraculous (Paper Monument, 2014) and A Geniza (Granary Books, 2015). He has collaborated with numerous artists including Enrico Baj, Shirley Jaffe, Jane Hammond, Elena Berriolo and Trevor Winkfield. From 1997 to 2007 he was a senior editor at Art in America, where he continues to be a contributing editor. He is currently Professor of Critical Studies at the University of Houston School of Art. In 2002, the French government presented him with the award of Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters. In 2010, his blog The Silo won a Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation arts writer grant. He was a co-editor of the poetry journal Vanitas and his poems have appeared in Bomb, The Brooklyn Rail, Harpers and Best American Poetry 2015.

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