poem index

About this poet

Born in St. Louis, Missouri on June 16, 1959, Robert Fitterman spent his childhood in Creve Coeur, MO. He received his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an M.A. from Temple University.

He is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including Now we are friends (Truck Books, 2011), Rob the Plagiarist, (Roof Books, 2009), Sprawl: Metropolis 30A (2009), The Sun Also Also Rises, (2008), war, the musical (2006), Metropolis 30: The Decline and Fall Of The Roman Empire (2004), Metropolis 16-29 (2002), Metropolis 1-15 (2000), and many more.

With the poet Vanessa Place, he co-authored Notes On Conceptualisms (Ugly Duckling, 2009), a prose exploration of conceptual writing. He also edited the anthology, Collective Task (Patrick Lovelace Editions, 2009), featuring a large-scale collaboration between poets Mónica de la Torre, Stacy Doris, Juliana Spahr, among others.

About his writing practice, Fitterman says "experimental poetry has a long shelf life. Even if the community is small, the conversation could be vital to the future of the art...Beyond the numbers, what's crucial is to articulate, foster, and engage in a conversation that speaks to the dialogues of the day (and there may be many)."

Describing Fitterman's poems, Bruce Andrews writes:

They valorize themselves not so much by vernacular sampling (which is nothing new, even if it still scandalizes the clerisy) as by the rich and risky attentiveness of their prosodic choices. Relation is it.

Currently, he teaches writing and poetry at New York University and at the Bard College, Milton Avery School of Graduate Studies and lives in New York City.

from This Window Makes Me Feel

Robert Fitterman, 1959

This window makes me feel like I'm protected. This window makes me feel like people don't know much about recent history, at least as far as trivia goes. This window makes me feel whole and emotionally satisfied. This window makes me feel like I'm flying all over the place, gliding and swirling down suddenly. This window makes me feel like I count and I enjoy knowing my opinions are heard so that hopefully I can help change the future. This window makes me feel like I'll find the one thing that makes me feel like I want to feel. This window makes me feel like I can tackle any problem anytime. This window makes me feel like I have energy again and it refreshes my brain cells and makes my feet move. This window makes me feel like I'm the only person who can do something as cool as drumming. This window makes me feel like it's better to hear that other people have gone through it—it's like a rainbow at the end of the storm. This window makes me feel good and grounded and peaceful all at the same time. This window makes me feel like the year I spent campaigning was worth it. This window makes me feel like the artist really knows something about the truth. This window makes me feel really good and also makes me feel like it heightens the sex when it finally happens. This window makes...

 

Copyright © 2009 by Robert Fitterman. Used with permission of the author.

Robert Fitterman

Robert Fitterman

About his writing practice, Fitterman says "experimental poetry has a long shelf life. Even if the community is small, the conversation could be vital to the future of the art

by this poet

poem
Alabama

Eagle and egret, woodcock and teal, all birds
gathering to affirm the last gasp of sunset.

Alaska

Maybe I should stay in bed
all day long and read a book
or listen to the news on the radio
but truthfully, I am not meant for that.

Arkansas

Then, as we talked, my personage subdued,
And I became, as
poem
To look and to listen requires the work of attention, selection, reappropriation, a way of making one's own film, one’s own text, one's own installation out of what the artist has presented.
                                                           —Jacques Rancière

Book I