Anne Waldman Autobiography:
On the Making of Iovis:
Writing began on the long poem somewhere in here , the long ongoing weave in and around and about and beyond male energy. The poem was later to be named Iovis, subtitled All Is Full of Jove: Iovis being the generative of Jove. All is full of Jove, his sperm presumably to people space. Not simply an attack on the patriarch but a celebration of male energy and experience in all its myriad forms. So I would need other languages, voices, descriptions, and words from the other: the male. I began research, I travelled to "get" the work, I let everything speak to me of this theme. Gathered many threads, random strands together. Worked extensively with autobiographical material, memory, journals, with letters, particularly those of my grandfather Waldman, who lived in a different time zone, as I perceived it, between two devastating wars. Drew on descriptions of my father's from World War II, Germany, severed limbs sticking out of the sand at the Maginot line. Travelled to Bali—a country where they have no word for "art" it is so integrated into daily practices—study religion and gamelan with Ambrose and returned with more luminous details, phrases that caught the ear, some in Indonesian. Seized notion there studying music, of cyclical time how different cycles intersect at various pitches, points of intensity and karmic fruition. Bits of Mayan, German, French, eight-year-olds in conversation in the backyard flitted through. Poem developed into an architectonic puzzle filled with chromosomal clusters, charms, spells, incantations. A poem written for the end of the millennium, end of the world? Scribed words of others as I travelled further: an old man on a train in northern Germany who had been intrigued by Nazi uniforms, their shiny gold buttons, a brilliant European transsexual who became an intimate friend. Remembered a camel-driver speaking at Cheops, how many moons ago? I worked my studies in Buddhist Madhyamika philosophy, a process of thinking which deconstructs apparent reality, into a long section of the poem. Dreams of Hegel, Wittgenstein, Allen Ginsberg entered its pages. I honored Robert Creeley and John Cage. Fathers, teachers, brothers, husbands, lovers, friends. As he chanted the various ways to cover up plutonium on a long car ride and I noted them down, my son became the ultimate guide for the poem. This is the most extended piece I've ever written and attempts to catch the vibration, or patterned energy, of one woman on this planet as she collides with all apparent and non-apparent phenomena.
Anne Waldman. "Anne Waldman: 1945-," in Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series. Gale Research Series, Volume 17, 1993: 290-291.