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Empire Burlesque begins with a romp through the Journals of Lewis and Clark and ends with cameo appearances by Ambrose Bierce, Marianne Moore, Ezra Pound (in drag), Andy Warhol, and even King Kong. Mark Svenvold was inspired to this approach, which he describes as that of a “clown lost in the Library of Babel,” by the letters of Jules Laforgue, who believed clowns had achieved true wisdom. With this collection the author shares Ezra Poundian-inflected poems that are funny, that are as serious as they come, and that realign the personal with the historical.

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  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Table of Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Memo: Understanding As I Do That This Little Work . . .
  2. pp. 1-4
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  1. Part 1. Plus Ultra
  2. pp. 5-6
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  1. Jeffersonian
  2. pp. 7-14
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  1. Part 2. Landscape with Man, Ax
  2. pp. 15-16
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  1. I.:Exeunt
  2. p. 17
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  1. II: Memo: from the Platte
  2. p. 18
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  1. III:Voyager, 1804
  2. p. 19
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  1. IV: Memo: To the Assembled Company
  2. p. 20
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  1. Memo: As The State of Mind in Which We Are, Generally, Gives The Colouring To Events, When The Imagination Is Suffered to Wander Into Futurity
  2. pp. 21-23
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  1. A Crossing
  2. p. 24
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  1. Untoward Memo
  2. p. 25
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  1. The Bitterroot
  2. p. 26
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  1. Sacagawea Somniloquy
  2. p. 27
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  1. V: Celestial
  2. p. 28
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  1. VI: Shannon, Lost
  2. p. 29
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  1. VII (When does it begin, this blurring into error?)
  2. p. 30
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  1. VIII (Evening evolves a salad of shadows)
  2. p. 31
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  1. IX: Upper Missouri: In Search of the Shoshone
  2. p. 32
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  1. X: Shannon, Found
  2. p. 33
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  1. XI: Lochsa River Apology
  2. p. 34
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  1. XII: Our Story (So Far) As The Function f(x)
  2. p. 35
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  1. Coda: The Past as Obsolete Gesture
  2. p. 36
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  1. Memo: From The Course of Empire by Bernard DeVoto
  2. pp. 37-38
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  1. Part 3. Let Nothing You Dismay
  2. pp. 39-40
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  1. I Recall Being Beautifully Stoned
  2. pp. 41-43
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  1. The White Pages
  2. pp. 44-45
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  1. Minimalism (After Empire, a film by Andy Warhol)
  2. pp. 46-48
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  1. Pre-Amputee to Reviewers
  2. p. 49
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  1. Catastrophilia: As If Written Somewhere, Say, At A Place Unknown, And, Perhaps, Never To Be Known (To Ambrose Bierce)
  2. pp. 50-52
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  1. Glib
  2. pp. 53-54
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  1. Memo: to Bierce, Crossing the Mississippi
  2. p. 55
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  1. Empire Burlesque
  2. p. 56
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  1. Part 4. News to Pluto
  2. pp. 57-58
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  1. News to Pluto
  2. pp. 59-60
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  1. Helen, the Extra Special
  2. pp. 61-63
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  1. Catastrophilia
  2. p. 64
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  1. Brodsky. Seattle, 1984
  2. p. 65
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  1. Moon Too Easy After Bone
  2. p. 66
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  1. Orpheus, Pt. Townsend, Washington
  2. p. 67
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  1. Catastrophilia: The High Concept
  2. p. 68
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  1. Long Time Traveling Here Below
  2. pp. 69-71
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  1. To an Unknown Poet, Dead at 39
  2. p. 72
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  1. Memo on the Sublime: To Longinus from San Francisco
  2. pp. 73-76
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 77-80
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