Arrangement with Straw
In an unending period of torn attention and shoddy goods slapped together out of perishables, a period of shot memory, the cake dunk’d in tepid coffee “with slightly sour cream” only to dissolve completely, any act of attending, the murtherous slow mechanical seeing of something bestuck in all its surround is consolatory, dunning the age itself, an ethos. The Cooper’s hawk kek-kek-ing in the oak canopy, hid. The dog’s uneasy 4:30 a.m. pawing, distant ten-pin thunder, brief white room lightning, onrush and scurry of rain running up into position, the biggest drops first. Out under the “single gory punctum” of Venus and a Maxfield Parrish sky, tromping the spatter’d dropcloth of earth.
Out under the “single gory punctum”
Of Venus and a Maxfield Parrish
Sky, tromping the spatter’d dropcloth of
Earth. The Cooper’s hawk kek-kek-
Kek in the oak canopy, hid.
The dog’s uneasy 4:30 a.m. pawing,
Distant ten-pin thunder, brief white
Room lightning, onrush and scurry of
Rain running up into position, biggest
Drops first. In an unending period
Of torn attention and shoddy goods
Slapped together out of perishables, a
Period of shot memory, the cake
Dunk’d in tepid coffee “with slightly
Sour cream” only to dissolve completely,
Any act of attending, the murtherous
Slow mechanical seeing of a thing
Bestuck in all its surround is
Consolatory, dunning of the age itself.
Lazy morning, unsustainable. Out of nowhere it occurs that O’Hara’s line “At last you are tired of being single” echoes Apollinaire’s “Zone”-buckler: À la fin tu es las de ce monde ancien, how obvious and predatory, sheer concubinage! Doubt-bitten shrieks that do not befit the day. Nose in a book:
Whenever he read about anything he went down cellar and tried it out.That’s Edison in John Dos Passos’s The 42nd Parallel, a thing I scoop’d up recently thinking: what about Dos Passos? I don’t know if anybody reads Dos Passos these days or not. Somehow the speed of delivery here elided with the slight pitch of hysteria and slapstick reminds me of something like Daniil Kharms, or, later, and less so, the prose poems of Russell Edson. I’d think, browsing, one’d read Dos Passos for formal (“stylistic”) reasons just as much as Big Historical ones.
When he was twelve he needed money to buy books and chemicals; he got a concession as newsbutcher on the daily train from Detroit to Port Huron. In Detroit there was a public library and he read it.
He rigged up a laboratory on the train and whenever he read about anything he tried it out. He rigged up a printing press and printed a paper called The Herald, when the Civil War broke out he organized a newsservice and cashed in on the big battles. Then he dropped a stick of phosphorus and set the car on fire and was thrown off the train.
By that time he had considerable fame in the country as the boy editor of the first newspaper to be published on a moving train. The London Times wrote him up.
In the light of the bad historical innuendoes of some “spokespersons” here and there, that—on the one hand (mark’d “one of the tenets of my imagination”), “all famous writers already knew one another, must secretly hang out together, having fabulous gabfests, the ‘deep gossip’ we associate with poetry,” and on the other (general suspicious whipping post quietudinous shit), there exist’d distinct warring camps separate and unequal—it is instructive to note Levertov and Duncan’s discussing Robert Bly, Duncan writing to Bly, &c. One assigns those who construct history to meet such tawdry delimiting territorial needs to the dustbin, eventually, no? “Fabulous gabfests”? Is that David Bowie talk?
(My weekly spleen.)
Carcinology is the study of crabs.
Cinereous, grey tinged with black, “the color of ashes.”