Wednesday, April 30, 2008




Asterisk of the sun-
Struck aerial pageantry, a
Single stationary helicopter dropping
A ladder descend’d by

A man in black
Tights with a knife.
Now he hangs like
A pupa, mouth clamp’d

To blade, turning lazily
Through a series of
Tiny manœuvres that diminish
Slowly and incompletely, a

Lack of finish being
One of the standard
Chores of art’s moment,
Prelude to a carnival

Of late succumbing humbuggery,
The way a fly
Inject’d with the paralytic
‘Spit’ of a minor

Arachnid contorts for all
It’s worth, seeking to
Attract a second dose,
Implacable revision, and gloss.

Cacaphonous bahs all around. It’s a lovely pure cold day, hoar-grimed and desultory, and I am with Emerson: “What a blessed world of snivelling nobodies we live in! There is no benefit like a war or a plague. The poor-smell has overpowered the rose & the aromatic fern. Oil of vitriol must be applied.” I, who’d like to stride out through the high pressure bulge in the hills and woods where the maples got they pale green catkins adangle, nothing to think about beyond thinking itself, that sliding unfixity (Emerson: “Life consists in what a man is thinking of all day.”) Something other, outside the lax sour regions of the quotidian with its slogs and clogs. It isn’t boredom, it is ras le bolism, a species of terminal grinching fed-uppery with no particular target beyond the fripperies of the human race.

Robert Hooke’s Ant, or Pismire, c. 1665