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This is Jacket 14 - July 2001   |   # 14  Contents   |   Homepage   |

This issue of JACKET is a co-production with SALT magazine

Robert Creeley

Scholar's Rocks

for Jim Dine


Jim Dine imageWhat has been long pondered,
become encrusted,
grown into itself —

colored by world, by echoed
independence from world,
by all that it wasn't —

what had been thought,
what had been felt,
what was it?


As in a forest
as if    as if
one had come to

as in a forest
to a wall of the heart

a wall
of the heart

Jim Dine image3

enclosing including

stuck into
these insistent



Ghosts of
another wall

childhood's —
all hung

in order
elegant and particular

hands    handed
hand tools

Jim Dine image5

What happens when
the house is at last
quiet and the lights
lowered, go finally out?

Then is it all silent?
Are the echoes still,
the reflections faded,
the places left alone?


As fingers round a stick,
as a pen's held,
a thumb can help grip,
so a wrench's extension,

a hammer's force,
meticulous cutting clippers,
hatchet's sharpened edge
one could not cut without.

Jim Dine image7

I love the long wrench,
whose gears permit a tension
'twixt objects fixed
tight between its iron teeth.

So locked, one can twist
and so the object turns,
loosens, at last comes out.
This is life's bliss!



Jim Dine imageDo you recognize
the culprit,
is your own heart


Sometimes it's like looking at orphans —
and no one will come.

No one seems to want them.
There's a patience, which seems awful —

inhuman to be left,
to have no place on earth?

The heart alone holds them.
Minds made them.


Seeing's believing. Beyond eyes, beyond the edges of things. The face of what's out there is an adamant skin. One touches it, feels it. Coming, going, through the looking glass... Leaving marks, making a trail for the way back. One writes on the surface, sensing all that's under it. Oceans of a common history. Things of the past.

Jim Dine image

This poem was written for an exhibition catalog of Jim Dine glass sculptures due for display in Chicago in October 2000. All images are from the "Scholar's Rock" series, 2000, and are used by permission of the artist and the Richard Gray Gallery.

Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago ¶ Directors: Richard Gray and Paul Gray ¶ — "Jim Dine" Recent drawings and sculpture, October 26 through December 31
   875 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 2503, John Hancock Center
   Chicago, Illinois 60611 ¶ Telephone 312 642-8877, Fax 312 642-8488
    — e-mail
    — Website:

Richard Gray Gallery, New York ¶ Director: Andrew Fabricant
   1018 Madison Avenue, 4th floor
   New York, NY 10021 ¶ Telephone 212 472-8787, fax 212 472-2552
    — e-mail
    — Website:

Descriptions of the first four pieces shown on this page from top to bottom:
   Scholar's Rock, 2000, Glass with found object, 17½ x 5 x 4½ inches
   Scholar's Rock, 2000, Glass with found object, 17½ x 16 x 5 inches
   Scholar's Rock, 2000, Glass with found objects, 20 x 9½ x 2½ inches
   Scholar's Rock, 2000, Glass with found object, 23 x 6¾ x 4¼ inches
The fifth and sixth images are not in the Richard Gray Gallery show.

Jim Dine image, smallImages courtesy Pace Wildenstein Gallery. Pace Wildenstein is Jim Dine's primary gallery, and you can visit the gallery's Internet site at, and view material relating to Jim Dine's work at

For further information as to what a "scholar's rock" is, visit the Internet site of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City:

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Copyright Notice: Please respect the fact that this material is copyright. It is made available here without charge for personal use only. It may not be stored, displayed, published, reproduced, or used for any other purpose

This issue of Jacket is a co-production with SALT magazine,
an international journal of poetry and poetics, edited by John Kinsella
PO Box 937, Great Wilbraham, Cambridge PDO, CB1 5JX United Kingdom ISSN 1324-7131

This material is copyright © Robert Creeley and Jim Dine
and Jacket magazine and SALT magazine 2001
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