Remy de Gourmont, 1858-1915
A bollocks’d up morning, with delays and seeings off. Cold, and sullen with clouds. A solid blanket. Clark Coolidge, out of “White” (Big Sky #3): “as if it / at all / in // out of a / counterbalanced / seal . . .” Or, later: “finicks . . .” In The Botanical Garden, Jean Frémon siphons “swich licour” off Remy de Gourmont’s The Natural Philosophy of Love, wry and regular interspersals. Here:
I note that well-designed genital organs are hardly met save in two great branchings where the intelligence is the most developed: mammifera and arthropods. Would there be a correlation between complete copulation and cerebral development?Frémon is combining (and reversing the order of) two disjoint paragraphs. In Ezra Pound’s version:
The birds which have a penis, or an erectile and retractible tubercle which serves as such, are the ostrich, the cassowary, the duck, the swan, the goose, the bustard, the mandou and certain neighboring species; their hens have a clitoral organ.
With the ostrich, it’s a true prong, five or six inches in length, cut by a groove which serves as a conduit for the seminal liquor. The swan and the duck are equally well endowed with an erectile tubercle suited for copulation. That explains, along with the myth of Leda, the libidinous reputation of the duck, and his exploits in the barnyard.*
If one considers no longer the mode of copulation but the apparatus itself, with the male part, penis, and the female part, vagina, one sees clearly that these extremely particular organs are hardly found well designed save in two great branchings where the intelligence is most developed: mammifera and the arthropodes. There might be, perhaps, a certain correlation between complete and profound copulation and the development of the brain.*And:
The birds which have a penis or an erectile and retractile tubercle which serves, are the ostrich, the cassowary, the duck, the swan, the goose, the bustard, the mandou and certain neighbouring species; their hens have a clitoridian organ. The ostrich has a true prong, five or six inches in length, cut by a groove which serves as conduit for the seminal liquor; it is enormous in erection and tongue-shaped. The ostrich hen has a clitoris and coition occurs exactly as among mammals. The swan and duck are also very well provided with an erectile tubercle suited for copulation, and this explains at once the story of Leda, the libidinous reputation of the duck, and his exploits in the barn-yards, veritable abbeys of Thélème.**—
Accepting what arrives. Exempting nothing. A way of throwing the pointer—or the morning—back at itself, futilely white. Coolidge again:
womanMaking sparser the notational plumage. “Such as haue neede of a fine and attenuating nourishment.” Do what thou wilt. My counterbalance. My starveling. My botch. . . .
I wish I don’t know it will I turn I mean
on believe rust
of as if it
yet there about only