April 23, 2022

Michael Lentz (Germany) 1964

Michael Lentz (Germany)

Born in May 15, 1964 in Düren, Germany, Michael Lentz studied German literature and philosophy, first in Aachen and later in Munich. His dissertation was on post-war sound poetry and music, and his poetry reflects those interests. He now lives in Berlin and Leipzig.

     He is the author of numerous books, including poetry, prose, and fiction. His most popular works, published by S. Fischer Verlag, including Neue Anagramme (1998), Oder. Prosa (1998), Ende gut. Sprechakte (2001) (with a CD), Aller Ding. Gedichte (2003) and the novels Liebeserklärung, published in 2003 as a book and CD, and Pazifik. Exil (2007).

     In 2000 edition selene published his critical-documentary research consisting of two volumes: Lautpoesie/-musik nach 1945. Eine kritisch-dokumentarische Bestand-saufnahme, a basic work dedicated to the theory and history of sound poetry since 1945. Alongside the detailed commentary and analysis of existing trends of sound poetry, the book presents samples of creative activities of various authors, interviews, and manifestos. He did his Ph.D. dissertation at the Universität Siegen.

     Lentz is the author of numerous articles on the issues of theory and history of sound poetry and has presented works on radio, in magazines, catalogues, and anthologies. He edited “KLANGZEICHEN.” KLANGZEICHEN 1: Bob Cobbing: VerbiVisiVoco. Collected Poems 1942-2002 (2003, with a CD) and KLANGZEICHEN 2: Franz Mon: Freiflug für Fangfraagen. 106 Alphabetgedichte mit 26 Versalcollagen und eine CD mit Lauttexten.

     Since 1996 he has conducted a number of curatorial projects at SOUNDBOX. Akustische Kunst (Salzberg, München, Berlin), in which representatives of various schools of sound poetry of the world participated. Lentz has participated himself in various festivals, readings and concerts in Europe, the USA, and Asia. Since 1989 he has been performing as a member of Josef Anton Riedl’s ensemble—a group tackling a wide range of experimental music, multimedia compositions and audio-visual environments.

     In 2001 he was a fellow at the Villa Aurora in Los Angeles.

     Lentz is a recipient of various literary rewards and prizes, including the 1. Preis Individual Competition National Poetry Slam (1998), Literaturförderungspreis des Freistaates Bayern (1999), Ingeborg-Bachmann-Preis (2001), Hans-Erich-Nossack-Förderpreis des BDI (2002), Preis der Literaturhäuser (2005). He is president of the Freie Akademie der Künste zu Leipzig. In 2006 he was appointed professor at the University of Leipzig


Frankfurt am Main (Wien: Edition Selene, 1998); Neue Anagramme (Wien: Edition Selene, 1998); Ende Gut (Wien: Edition Selene, 2001); Aller Ding (Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer, 2003); Liebesgedichte (2010); Atmen Ordnung Abgrund. Frankfurter Poetikvorlesungen (Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer Verlag)


selections in Douglas Messerli, ed., The PIP Anthology of World Poetry of the 20th Century, Volume 7: At Villa Aurora—Nine Contemporary Poets Writing in German (Los Angeles: Green Integer, 2006)

For Lenz reading his work in German, click here:


 For Lenz reading his "Offene unruh," click below:





an elder lady a walker crutch

streetside curb and whitish pigeon

there rolls the walker on along old woman

and with her shoe bad on foot

will set to work there

and then turn to the left

and tipped over once on the right

the hollow swallow, and soon

flies are in

oh oh!


nah, really no

over the bridge the trains does race

and then?


Translated from the German by Brian Currid


riddle, cross, a trial


a bop without a bug


who hears what comes from outside I.

could only be a car mount's tone

that no one misses, that comes alone

all on its own from where the heck.


what i am not that feeds on need

so that thinking bites the rounder.

for he courts the miller

with sluggers every hour.


for homeland's sake he bends a rule

look here look here iamb you too

how longer still the über alles

shush, dear country, pressed for dollars.


before I something from without

for none devours the entire hour

about the smock and silence

the judge will want to bend.


and all's questions oven.


Translated from the German by Brian Currid



the cup, the hangman


the mass, the handle

the lacking proportion, the handle's meal

the measured tankard, the hangman's axe

the measure that divides

the cup, the book


Translated from the German by Brian Currid



almost unaltered


The power source of the iron hammer is waterpower.

An immensely embattled waterwheel transmits

power to the huge hammer shaft.

On this a cam ring sits

that pushes down the tail end of the hammer shaft.


On the other end of the shaft this cases

the pulled back hammer bar to be suspended

The tail of the hammer hits a steel plate

that allows it to bounce back instantly

so that the head of the hammer strikes the anvil.

The process then repeats.


Translated from the German by Brian Currid


English language translations copyright ©2005 by Brian Currid. Reprinted from Douglas Messerli, ed., The PIP Anthology of World Poetry of the 20th Century, Volume 7: At Villa Aurora—Nine Contemporary Poets Writing in German (Los Angeles: Green Integer, 2006). Copyright ©2006 by Douglas Messerli and Green Integer

April 16, 2022

"Standstill" | review / essay by Douglas Messerli (on Hans Faverey's Against the Forgetting: Selected Poems)


by Douglas Messerli

Hans Faverey, Against the Forgetting: Selected Poems, translated by Francis R. Jones (New York: New Directions, 2004) 

Born in 1933 in Paramaribo, Surinam, poet Hans Faverey moved to Amsterdam as a child and lived there until his death in 1990. Faverey was one of those rare individuals who combined the scientific mind—he worked as a clinical psychologist—with music—he played and composed for the harpsichord—and poetry—he published eight volumes of poems and won several of major Dutch literary awards.

     Now, through the good graces of New Directions and translator Francis R. Jones we have a new US edition of his selected poems, Against the Forgetting. Faverey wrote short abstractly modulated lyrics, most often in sequences or cycles. Unfortunately, in this collection we get very few complete sequences, with 28 of the 33 sequences represented being incomplete. It is difficult therefore to get the sense of Faverey’s poetic “pace” in English. It appears the separate sections of each sequence are only tangentially related with regard to images and subject matter, and are generally connected only through formal devices; but it would have helped to have a just a few more complete cycles in translation to see how they function.

     One of my favorite works of the volume presents a complete cycle: “Chrysanthemums, Rowers,” which begins with a seemingly static image: chrysanthemums in a vase on a table, an image Faverey immediately deflates as, with Gertrude Stein-like logic, he reverses himself: “these / are not the chrysanthemums / which are by the window / on the table / in the vase.” Clearly, the words with which he has begun are meant to be understood differently from a still-life in someone’s house or apartment. As he makes clear in the second part of the cycle, these words are like a photograph, an image of something real, a mirror of reality which, like a mirror, reverses its image (just as he has reversed his original image in the second stanza of the poem), making it difficult for the perceiver to recognize that it represents himself and the world in which he stands. As objects, moreover, photograph and mirror cannot recognize anyone. It is only in the human mind, one’s own living hand or “a hand that wants to belong to me” that actually “is” something that, as it covers the eyes, can be understand as a part of the self-coming towards one from space. Objects, like the still-life he has first presented, might be misunderstood as revealing meaning, but it is only as these objects are internalized in thought that their “meaning” can be revealed. The poet perceives “The utter emptiness / in everything, which actually is.” Mind over matter, so to speak, is Faverey’s true subject in this poem; as the rowers row further inland, in their mythology, they row until the water is gone, rowing into the overgrown landscape, a land without rowers, an “over- / rown land.” The final pun closes the argument, as we recognize the poem as a thing of art, an artifice as opposed to mimesis or a representation.

     Even though the translator does not feature many such complete texts, the reader does quickly perceive that this issue is at the heart of most of Faverey’s writing, and the processes of composing and decomposing, building and unbuilding a world of language, are at the heart of his vision. I will present three examples as a kind of random evidence of this pattern in Faverey’s poems:


It is snowing


but is no longer snowing.

When it started to snow

I went to the window;


I went missing.


Sometime then,


just before the snow started

falling again, into great,

ever slower flakes,

it must also have


stopped snowing.



[from “Sur place”]




Now it is here;


now it is not-here.

How it thrusts through itself

takes place between not yet


and nevermore. Once under


way, it moves neither where

it is, nor where it is not.

Given free rein

it keeps slipping from who

stands fast: now from one


now from another….


[from “My Little Finger”]




Where the apricot tree

stood still then

I stand still now.


Between the gladioli

I know the spot

where she stood then:

she threw me the apricot—

then. Now,


as memory does with itself

what it will, we begin

biting once more, almost

in unison, between


the maize plants; she her

apricot, I my apricot;


while the little foxes still prowl

through the vineyard, and the sea,

whispering: she is not with me;

no, you will not find it here;

she is not in me.



[from “Lightfall”]


In the earliest poems of this collection, this process of evolving and devolving images and language results in a kind of “standstill,” a word repeated in several of Faverey’s poems. The poet alternates between these two actions as he moves from the “real” world (or perhaps we should say the “unreal” world) of space to the world of the mind, the truly “real” world of experience. As each “reality” takes back its own meaning, the reader is left with a sense of emptiness—like a lover who was there but is no longer, like a perceiver who, in lifting a stone, finds in his hand an object that is “no longer a stone,” but a thing of language.

     In later work Faverey recasts this image of a “standstill” into a image of a spider at work on its web, a Penelope-like figure who weaves and unweaves each day, destroying its creation and itself in the very process of creating it:


The dolphin swimming in front of the ship

keeps swimming in front of the ship

until there is definitely no longer

a dolphin swimming in front of a ship.


 Faverey’s work, accordingly, will not be for those who see a poem as a lifesaver of meaning in a world a chaos. Rather, his poems reveal the process of life itself as an ever-shifting, changing force that destroys the perception at the very moment of perceiving the world’s “merciless beauty.”


Los Angeles, September 21, 2005

Reprinted from The Green Integer Review, no. 1

(January–February 2006) and Jacket, no. 31 (2006)

"The Countess of Berkeley" | essay / memoir by Douglas Messerli (on Barbara Guest) [link]

For an essay-memoir on Barbara Guest "The Countess of Berkeley" by Douglas Messerli, click here: http://jacketmagazine.com/29/messerli-guest.html

April 9, 2022

Pierre Martory (France) 1920-1998

Pierre Martory (France) 

Pierre Martory was born in Bayonne, France, on December 1, 1920, of a Basque mother and French father who was an army officer. He spent much of his childhood in Morocco, where his father was posted, and returned there often as an adult. 
     After passing his baccalauréat he enrolled at the École des Sciences Politiques in Paris in the fall of 1939, but was forced to flee the Nazi army in June 1940. He joined the French army and was shipped to North Africa, where he ended up fighting alongside the Allied forces in what had become the Free French Army. 

     After the war he held a number of jobs, first at the unlikely-sounding Biarritz American University, then as an airlines clerk in Bordeaux and Paris, as assistant to the anthropologist Marcel Griaule, reporter at Le Monde Diplomatique, and finally as arts editor of Paris Match, where he remained for twenty-five years. 
     He died in October 1998. 
     His novel Phébus ou le beau Mariage was published by Denoël in 1953 to respectable reviews (a second competed novel, Un jeune Homme attachant, remains unpublished). 
     Meanwhile he wrote poetry almost constantly throughout his life, publishing only a few poems in little magazines when he was briefly part of a group of poets (including Hubert Juin and Pierre-Jean Oswald) who met regularly at a café on the Ile St. Louis to read their work aloud to each other. 
      As his executor, I have been classifying his papers, beginning with a school copybook containing more than one thousand lines of poetry written in Tunisia during the war. Of the poems translated here [that selection does not appear], "Music" is dated 1948. The others are from a typed manuscript titled "La Lyre d'Aloès," which appears to date from the early 1950s. It is dedicated to a friend, Simone Bitterly, with the line "en attendant une édition sérieuse"—until there is a real edition. A handwritten note from the publisher Seghers is inserted in the manuscript. Dated simply "Tuesday," it announced the acceptance of six of the poems for publication, but adds, "Unfortunately we can't give you a date—perhaps in a month, two months, or six months." 
     This seems to have been typical of his dealings with French publishers. He has had better luck in America. Poems of his have appeared in Poetry, New Yorker, American Poetry Review, and a number of smaller publications. A collection, Every Question but One, was published in 1989 by Ground Water Press. Sheep Meadow Press has published two collections: The Landscape Is Behind the Door, translated by me, and Veilleur de Jours, in French. 

 —John Ashbery 

 Copyright ©2002 by John Ashbery photograph copyright by John Ashbery 


Veilleur de Jours (Riverdale-on-Hudson, New York: Sheep Meadow Press, 1997) 


Every Question but One (Hudson, New York: Groudwater Press, 1990); The Landscape Is Behind the Door, trans. by John Ashbery (Riverdale-on-Hudson, New York: Sheep Meadow Press, 1994); The Landscapist: Selected Poems, trans. by John Ashbery (Riverdale-on-Hudson, New York: Sheep Meadow Press, 2008) 

For a selection of five poems in English, press here: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/pierre-martory 

For another selection of poems in English, click below: http://germspot.blogspot.com/2005/04/pierre-martory-p4.html 

April 6, 2022

Susan Howe (USA) 1937

from thorow 
Susan Howe (USA) 

Born in Boston in 1937, Susan Howe grew up in Cambridge. Her mother, Mary Manning, of Irish birth, had written plays for and acted with the famed Abbey Theatre. Manning had close relationships with many of the noted Irish authors, including Samuel Beckett, and later would write the screenplay for Mary Ellen Bute's brilliant film, Passages from James Joyce's Finnegans Wake
      Susan's father, Mark DeWolfe Howe, was a professor at Harvard Law School, and her sister is the noted American poet and fiction writer Fanny Howe. 
      Susan graduated from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in 1961, marrying the painter Harvey Quaytman, a marriage which produced a daughter, the artist R. H. Quaytman. The relationship ended in divorce. 
      Howe married sculptor David von Schlegell, living with him until his death in 1992. Together they had a son, Mark von Schlegell, now a writer and filmmaker. 
      Her third husband, Peter Hewitt Hare, a philosopher and Professor at the University of Buffalo, died in 2008. 
     Although Howe began as a artist, in the mid 1970s she turned to poetry, producing a series of small books, Hinge Picture, Secret History of the Dividing Line, The Western Borders, and Cabbage Gardens among them. These works, as well as her later mature writing, were steeped in history and used a somewhat fragmented language, often taken from older literary texts, to create new semiotic possibilities. 
      Although her work perhaps has more resonance with the Objectivists and the continuation of Black Mountain writers, Howe's work was also admired by the "Language" poets, and poems of hers appeared early on in Douglas Messerli's anthology "Language" Poetries (1987) and Ron Silliman's In the American Tree anthology (1986). 
     Her work has also been included in other contexts in Messerli's From the Other Side of the Century: A New American Poetry 1960-1990 (1994) and Paul Hoover's Postmodern American Poetry (1994). 
     In 1990 Sun & Moon Press combined three earlier texts, Pythagorean Silence (1982), Defenestration of Prague (1983), and The Liberties (1983) together in The Europe of Trusts, one of the most beloved of Howe's publications. 
    Since the 1990s Howe has continued to produce exquisitely deconstructed historical and mythical texts in order to reveal hitherto unknown perspectives of the present and past. Another one of Howe's most popular works has been her personal biographical study of the poet Emily Dickinson, My Emily Dickinson, first published in 1985, and reissued in 2007. 
     She also wrote a book of critical studies, The Birth-mark: Unsettling the Wilderness in American Literary History (1993). And in 2015 she published a collections of essays, The Quarry.
     Howe was a professor of literature at New York State University, Buffalo. Howe's work has continued to be highly influential on American poetry and has drawn a wide range of readers. In 2011 she won the prestigious Bollingen Prize in American Poetry, and in 2008 she was the Anna-Maria Kellen Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. In 2017 she won the noted Griffin Poetry Prize.


The End of Art (1974); Hinge Picture (New York: Telephone Books, 1974); Chanting at the Crystal Sea (Boston: Fire Exit, 1975); Secret History of the Dividing Line (New York: Telephone Books, 1978); The Western Borders (Willits, California: Tuumba, 1979); Cabbage Gardens (Chicago: Fathom Press, 1979); The Liberties (Guilford, Connecticut: Loon Books, 1980); Pythagorean Silence (New York: Montemora Foundation, 1982); Defenestration of Prague (New York: Kulchur, 1983); Incloser (Santa Fe: Weaselsleeves, 1985); Heliopathy (1986); Articulation of Sound Forms in Time (Awede Press, 1987); A Bibliography of the King's Book, or Eikon Basilike (Providence, Rhode Island: Paradigm Press, 1989); The Europe of Trusts (Los Angeles: Sun & Moon Press, 1990/ reprinted New York: New Directions, 2002); Singularities (Hanover, New Hampshire: Wesleyan University Press, 1990); Silence Wager Stories (Providence, Rhode Island: Paradigm Press, 1992); The Nonconformist's Memorial (New York: New Directions, 1993); Frame Structures (New York: New Directions, 1996); Pierce-Arrow (New York: New Directions, 1999); Bed Hangings I [with Susan Bee] (New York: Granary Books, 2001); Bed Hangings II [with Susan Bee] (New York: Granary Books,2002); Kidnapped (Clonemel, Ireland: Coracle, 2002); The Midnight (New York: New Directions, 2003); Souls of the Labadie Tract (New York: New Directions, 2007); THAT THIS [with photograms by James Welling] (New York: New Directions, 2010); Sorting Facts, or Ninetten Ways of Looking at Marker (New York: New Directions Poetry Pamphlets, 2013); Tom Tit Tom (2013); Debths (New York: New Directions, 2017)

For poetry from Cabbage Gardens, click here: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/172011 

For a selection from The Blibliography of the King's Book, or Eikon Basilike, click below: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/172013 

For a large selection of audio readings by Susan Howe, click here to reach PennSound: http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/Howe.php

April 4, 2022

Itō Hiromi (Japan / lives also in USA) 1955

Itō Hiromi (Japan / lives also in USA) 

Born in Tokyo in 1955, Itō Hiromi is one of the most noted contemporary Japanese women writers, having received numerous literary prizes. 
     Itō first became known in the 1980s for collections of poetry centering on subjects such as sexuality, pregnancy, the erotic desires of females, and other issues, presenting her material in narrative voices that provide the texts with a dramatic urgency. 

     Among her works from this period were Princess (1979), Oume (Green Plumes, 1982), and Territory-Ron 1 & 2 (On Territory, 1985 and 1987). 
     Itō also wrote numerous essays on women's issues, many of which, bearing names such Good Breasts, Bad Breasts; Tummy, Cheek, Bottom and What Did You Eat?, became famous in Japan. 
    The poet had been fascinated with Native American poetry since her earliest writings, and in 1990 met the American poet Jerome Rothenberg, visiting Japan, who had been a major force in re-examining Native American poetry. At Rothernberg's invitation, Itō began making regular trips to the US, finally separating from her Japanese husband, the literary scholar Masahiko Nishi, and marrying the British artist Harold Cohen. 
     The couple now lives in Encinitas, California, with Itō traveling back and forth between their home and Japan. 
     More recently, Itō wrote several novellas, being nominated for an winning several prizes in Japan, including the Noma Literary Prize for New Writers, the Takami Jun Prize, and the Hagiwara Sakutarō Prize. In Japan she is the translator of Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat


Kusaki no Sora (Tokyo: Atelier Publishing Planning, 1978); Princess (Tokyo: Shiyosha, 1979); Collected Poems of Hiromi Itō: New Generation Poets Series (Tokyo: Shichosha, 1980); Oume (Tokyo: 1982); Territory-Ron 2 (Tokyo: Shichosa, 1985); Territory-Ron [co-written with Nobuyoshi Araki] (Tokyo: Shichosha, 1987); Collected Poems of Hiromi Itō: Contemporary Poetry Series (Tokyo: Shichosha, 1988); Noro to Saniwa [co-written with Chizuko Ueno] (Tokyo: Heibonsha, 1991); Watashi wa Anjuhimeko de aru (Tokyo: Shichosha, 1993); Te, Ashi, Niku, Karada [co-written with Miyako Ishiuchi] (Tokyo: Chikuma Shobo, 1995); Kawara Arekusa (Tokyo: Shichosa, 2005) 

ENGLISH LANGUAGE TRANSLATIONS Killing Kanoko: Selected Poems of Hiromi Itō, trans. by Jeffrey Angles (Notre Dame, Indiana: Action Books, 2009) 

For a review of Killing Kanoko and a video of the poet reading in English, click here: http://htmlgiant.com/random/killing-kanoko-by-hiromi-ito/

April 1, 2022

Drawn States of Mind | book by Giuseppe Steiner (full book on pdf film by the Italian Futurist writer) [link]

To view Drawn States of Mind, a book by the Italian Futurist writer Giuseppe Steiner, click below: http://greeninteger.com/pdfs/steiner-drawn-states-of-mind.pdf

"NEW! Review of Douglas Messerli" | review by Richard C. Scheiwe (of Messerli's First Words in Verse magazine)

NEW! Review of Douglas Messerli

First Words by Douglas Messerli. Green Integer, $10.95. 

Reviewed by Richard C Scheiwe 

Douglas Messerli, the prolific writer of poetry and dramas, anthologizer, and publisher of Green Integer Press, has published a book of poetry that escapes the conventional descriptions of language poetry, a movement with which Messerli has typically been associated. The poems in his recent book, First Words, have the requisite wordplay and syntactical manipulation, but speak in a lyrical tradition, seemingly taking themselves away from the reader’s expectations of Messerli’s earlier work. The overt attention to language and its interaction with the interior/exterior (with what’s going on within the poem and with what’s going on outside the poem in the reader’s mind) is apparent from one’s first experience of the book.

In the book’s epigraph, Messerli illustrates an anecdote that comes to set the tone for the book as a whole: a tone of local ambiguity, and a preference for the poet to stave off his ultimate choice of (what one could assume) his best words, only to realize when the words come that they are not necessarily Messerli’s chosen best words, rather words that come out almost by a thoughtful consideration intermixed with chance. The epigraph shows Messerli as a baby, and his parents in long anticipation for his first words. But, rather than unconsciously taking the prevailing route of “mamma” or “dadda,” the baby Messerli waits until he and his parents are at a drive-in movie, and, upon his father leaving to get some ice-cream cones at intermission, Messerli finally announcing “bring me back a chocolate one.” A sentence at that, and not a mere word. And, conscious or unconscious, this is his first use of language.

The language of First Words comes after the reader is able to absorb the poems and after the slight conflict between the lyrical style balances out with the more language-driven side. As with the first poem of the book “Icarus,” the wordplay at first is jarring, but is shortly resolved as necessarily stylistic. The reader willingly accepts it is the drive of the poem: “the way / sometimes / sometimes / goes forward / the way / silence— / this is what / it is still.” Messerli asks the reader to give him (the poet) leeway with the wordplay/manipulation of “sometimes / sometimes” and also with the breakoff after “the way / silence—.” The two phrases, taken together, could overpower the reader, or confuse, because they are pushing two different syntactical prosodies: on the one hand, “sometimes / sometimes” is a play on the part of speech of the given word; on the other hand, the lack of punctuation before “the way / silence—” and its subsequent dash (mimicking the feel of silence) are manipulations the poet uses as his own freedom, as a writer. If this language and freedom were not so consistent and convincing throughout the book, it would be hard for Messerli to keep his language together. But he is able to keep it together, and simple wordplay becomes not so simple: it becomes its own language. 

A lot of attention has been drawn to the fact that these poems began as exercises, taking the first few words or so from another poet and embedding them in the poems of First Words. But as Messerli began these poems as exercises, they metamorphosed into something very personal, and they became ultimately a reflection of his own despair, as the back cover states. It would be somewhat difficult to find the entrenched words Messerli used as jumping-off points, but it remains difficult because of how much these poems became his own, and how much the words of other poets are so insignificant in lieu of his style and substance in these poems. One poem that is hard to forget, and which most readers will walk away with, is “The Resolved”:


I resolved, found

center, it is

a tree beyond view

the weather reaches


only as wind, deadened

by the insistent

nothing between


something feeling

and the walk to.


In this poem, Messerli is attempting a more lyrical address to his augmented aesthetic. The importance of “a tree beyond view / the weather reaches // only as wind” resounds throughout the book because, if these new poems are words to/out of despair, how can one reach them and the true nature of despair only through poetry? To Messerli, it is beside the point. It is the fact that he can begin to reach them with poetry, and that this is the vehicle (with language not words) he is using to get at “the insistent / nothing between // something feeling / and the walk to.” The “walk to ” is language for Messerli, and he has found that first words come in media res, whether they be his first words ever spoken, or the first words on the way to seeking out despair, and evolving his style.