Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Au fond


Loose ends. Bit-off revery-tailings. Cendrars: “À l’aube je suis descendu au fond des machines / J’ai écouté pour une dernière fois la respiration profonde des pistons . . .” Goundlings jeering in the aisles. Everything entails getting up a minor head of steam. Cendrars: “Do not look for a new art formula in these pages, or for a new style of writing, but rather for the expression of tomorrow’s general state of health: man will discard reason.” Hellth, it comes out, a soluble fish of a word. Down out of the ideological supersaturate. Envy: that a man’d see a mild spate of unclamor’d-for days in the offing. Down in the engine-clang of a steamer. Pound: “A fugue a week for a year wd. teach even a bullhead something.” Is it Walker Percy’s “last gentleman” who bumps around Central Park in a “fugue state,” the air full of “ravening particles”? When Poetryland gets ripping-officious or, differently, somniferous-predictable, is it anthropology one “turns” to? On était dans le faux? On a basculé dans le réel. So the acephalous mensch pull’d yelping, a mandrake, out of the historical dirt of centuries: “naked with arms outstretched, a dagger in one hand, a flaming heart like a hand grenade in the other, stars as nipples, and a skull in place of genitalia.” André Masson: “. . . what to do with this cumbersome and doubting head?—Irresistibly it finds itself displaced to the sex, which it masks with a ‘death’s head.’” An honor-bound arrangement, no doubt, outshone only, one thinks, by a purer exchange and replacement, penile and concomitant, a jutting where a head’d “lie.” Just as Tobacco be label’d askew “a Filthy Concomitant to Claret,” its mighty thrall of invention, so . . . and here, dear Reader, one’s got, no doughbt—(it comes out, a yeasty thing)—one’s metaphorickal Panties in a Bunch. Which is—note to the delivery system, that sort of species of Terrestrial Snail, notwithstanding—all the point and rage of proceeding at all, here in the funk’d out pomary shade, surrounded by apples, surrounded by apples.

André Masson, Cover of Acéphale, 1937

Figure d’un monstre femelle sans teste, c. 1585