Bohr's Spinoza
by Noah Eli Gordon

Perfect Bound, $15.00
Publication Date: May 2017.
5.5 x 8.5 inches, 60 pages

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Bohr’s Spinoza -- an experiment in ambiance, lineation and energy exchange -- is a book-length poem that alternates prose and verse sections. The prose rewrites the opening salvos of Spinoza’s Ethics through a conversation between two people walking around a parking lot and talking about dogs, an actual dog in someone’s yard, and people in a theater watching what turns out to be a film about two people walking around a parking lot and talking about dogs. The verse takes as a formal and procedural model the exchange of electrons to create energy as documented by the writings of Niels Bohr, attempting to replicate this exchange through the redeployment and exchange of the utterance within the poem’s own sonic, rather than atomic, structure.


From Bohr's Spinoza

There will be no intermission. There is a projection booth. There are no two situations able to produce the same outcome. There are many cars. There is a parking lot. There is nothing behind the men. There is nothing in front of the men. There is a camera. There is the crushed abdomen of an ant stuck to one of the dog's paws. There is a dead mouse near the dog. There is night. There are clouds and there is a clear day. There is rain. There is summer and there is winter. There is a mouse in the theater. There is a film of two men talking. Two men are talking. There is a man walking away from the dog. There is a man about to pass the dog. There is a man passing the dog. There is a dog in the front yard. There are three women behind him. There is a man to his right. There is a man in front of him. There is a man watching a movie.

It's the third auditorium on
Your right continued ethical engagement
Of the narrative tradition
Begins momentarily with geraniums to burst
Concise articulation wasn't what
We'd wanted exactly I'm not
So sure the line matters
You don't just get on a motorcycle
And become a kind of historical
Category feeling your solution
To its problems a coherent program
Or extension of power by an expansionist idea
About the world being purely internalized
Through reentry to that which
Holds ardently an intellectual grip
As sun disappears over hilltops
As hilltops disappear with its loss
Inscribing as meaningful the evening in
Which we sense a particular fascination
Clouding our ability to see beyond

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