Palm and Wires
TWO POEMS FOR JOGLARS
1. A WALNUT
Hole abrupt dig watt
Razor mute fern.
Perp knack licorice knell
Taw ref rosin prep
Cull’d serf gin did.
2. BOILED CABBAGE
Glancingly if fluvial cup protuberous conic plat
Oceanic rev puckish tab nag butter uvular nick
Constant brow salve paler wan tub against verst.
THREE POEMS FOR A HOLOGRAPH’D FASCICLE SEWN
The gangly Ape—conspicuous
So wrenchingly attuned—
Unvex’d by myriad Attempts
To gussy up its run—
Is devious in Congruity—
Shines back—a feral Gaze
To poke one’s Plexus—soulfully—
And back out of the Maze.
A Mannerist in tendency—
Ironist by Degrees—
I keep mes Faiblesses gaud’d up—
My Weakness is my Fealty—
Armor’d with Iron duds—
Amours I cancel willingly
To random with the Rudes.
The Rumble in my Brainbox—is
Ordnance well forgot—
Ammo for a Gaillard’s Air
When Musick’s gone to pot.
I keep a Biretta handy—
A Derringer or two—
To plug a Hole—unhasp a lid—
Sheer Noisiness unloose.
TWO POEMS FOR J
The impertinent constabulary. Sores on the tongue.
A phoneme is a rock. The gull cuts the air
Of the wharf, mis-
By human vocabulary. You bastard gull.
A phoneme is a rock thrown at the ocean and is
Swallowed up. Oceanic is the heart’s surge. It is
As scarring as syntax. A scorned impertinence,
And syntax. Of.
Long grasses in the canyon, long grasses
Against the sheer rock of the canyon.
Stingy singing, mother-
Fucker. A string up into the air that hangs there.
One string for Orpheus the
Three in a measurable zone of concomitants.
Red Rover, Red Rover, send
Marcel Duchamp right over.
A string is a natural and covers
Doinking around all weekend, with only little red worms left in the bait tin, no lunkers land’d, none hook’d. So, Mr. Vonnegut used to say, it goes. Snatch’d off a few lines, minor conjuncts, imitants. Who’d I write to lately, noting how I’d now entirely stopped (apparemmant) all the glee and grue trappings of the literary life, the sending pieces “out,” that unstoppable round (musical) of submit and accept, re-submit the duds elsewhere, or can the duds, a lot of postal hubbub (what I liked most: getting back the self-address’d, stamp’d envelopes—I made a point of adhering the finer commemoratives to the corner, the dumping of said envelopes in a corrugated cardboard box a way of collecting, philately without the compleatist’s fuss, or book)? The prim goddess Electronica’s put a stop to all that (lovely) ritual, and the ease of the ways of the bonny natives here on Dumpster Island—they welcome my juiciest whims, well: why bother with the busy-work of all that? (The affable crank Bill Knott got there first, PDF’ing up an oeuvre monstreux, sundering ties with that fleet strong-arm maestro Nostalgia, bennie-stuff’d non-stop talker-upper of the book “trade.”) Isn’t, though, there still something insubstantial and niggling about a poem (say, note how coy that “say” is!) existing only as pixels configurable, even if at command ready, even if at command ready, that is, of the least viable Hoosier, or the most rapacious Connecticutter? Is it for that—nous sommes tous les Objectivists—that one still lifts plonk for a book? Something to hoist up against the blue vault to blot the sun, recumbent under the apple tree, a lacewing alighting in the russet sheen of one’s hair? Oh, maybe, though to rush into that, to make that an end in itself may be the very buckboard against which one finds oneself thrown, and stop’d, when one’s out for full-throttle inadmissibles aroaring out along the apple tree studded country roads, in the Bearcat, gin-flask in hand. William Carlos Williams: “I let the imagination have its own way to see if it could save itself” and “(If an error is noted here pay no attention to it.)”
Finish’d The 42nd Parallel, volume the first of U.S.A. and took out in a sweat after volume the twoth, 1919. Dos Passos in one of the parts call’d “The Camera Eye,” aboard the Espagne mid-WWI en route to Bordeaux—for a sense of the fierce and savagely point’d humor:
everybody was very brave except for Colonel and Mrs. Knowlton of the American Red Cross who had waterproof coldproof submarineproof suits like eskimosuits and they wore them and they sat up on deck with the suits all blown up and only their faces showing and there were firstaid kits in the pockets and in the belt there was a waterproof container with milkchocolate and crackers and maltedmilk tabletsAnd talking about Robert “Fighting Bob” La Follette, one of “the little group of willful men expressing no opinion but their own.”
and in the morning you’d walk round the deck and there would be Mr. Knowlton blowing up Mrs. Knowlton
or Mrs. Knowlton blowing up Mr. Knowlton
the Roosevelt boys were very brave in stiff visored new American army caps and sharpshooter medals in the khaki whipcord and they talked all day about We must come in We must come in
as if the war were a swimming pool . . .