Mind Words by Serge Gavronsky


These short poems play on people and places, and the life of a young Jewish boy, who must leave Paris for New York. As the title defines, these poems are about words thought, lived and imagined. They remember a poet’s life. Serge Gavronsky sets out to revise and reimagine a number of literary genres—the novel, memoir, autobiography, detective fiction, the hospital narrative, the long poem, the short monologic lyric—while in the process inventing several altogether new genres, modes, and hybrids: the “poemnovel,” “an infiltration of words,” “poems within a poem,” a “book of secrets,” “words in memory,” “mind words.” Employing a potent arsenal of Imagist, Objectivist, and Surrealist techniques sieved through stiff shots of Continental philosophy, Gavronsky effects what might be the most serious and sustained overhaul of the possibilities of literary production since the Révolution Surréaliste of the 1920’s.


  • Kind: Perfectbound
  • Pages: 134
  • Language: English
  • Date Published: May 2024
  • ISBN 978-1-962847-09-4


In MIND WORDS, Serge Gavronsky builds his pages in lines of one, two, and three words, as they might explode bright in the mind of a frightened child sheltering from a bomb assault. Mind Words accumulate into short episodes, avant-garde repetitions, and cries in the night as if no one method of writing could portray the horror of war. —James Sherry


That’s all I
Crawling beasts
Under the
The Kitchen
My father
Killed them
with some kind of
White poison
Somebody told
Not far

Fort Tryon Park
Into a
My mother
Got a position
At the OWI
Andre Breton
Next to mother
So many
All now


Serge GavronskySERGE GAVRONSKY, born in Paris, now lives in New York. He was educated at Columbia University, from where he received his PhD in European History. He subsequently held the position of Professor of French Literature and Poetics, at Barnard College, Columbia University. 

He has published eleven books of poetry in French and in English, in addition to over twenty artist’s books in France. In English, he published poetry, fiction and literary criticism, as well as five books of translation of contemporary French poets: POEMS AND TEXTS, THE POWER OF LANGUAGE, TOWARD A NEW POETICS, SIX CONTEMPORARY FRENCH WOMEN POETS, THE WRITING OF APPOLLINAIRE. His main focus was the poetry /poetics of Francis Ponge. 

His last major publication in French, in 2020, was Louis Zukofsky’s “A”, co-translated with Francois Dominique. 

He is presently writing a new work of poetic fiction.

His more recent publications include: SILENCE OF MEMORY, TRUTH TRUTH TRUTH, MURDEROUS FANTASIES, AND WHAT’S THE TITLE? TITLE, ONCE WRITTEN, published by Dos Madres Press, ANDORTHE, Chax Press, WORDS IN MEMORY, Spuyten Duyvil.

Additional information

Weight 8.7 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .375 in