Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Slick, Languishing

Leaf Against Leaf

Yellow slicker soak’d, and water leaking through the chafe-spots in the rain pants. Bicycling in, a cold downpour, light careening off everything, visible shiny cataracts of light. Caught amongst impulses, think of the stutter-step bobbing squirrel mid-road, to finish the dash, or retreat to the verge. To relate the night’s reading adventures—knowing my limit’d morning limn’ll do it unjustly, or wait, keeping it snug and untouch’d for a fulsome recovery plus tard. (Chancing intervening unforeseen propulsions of new word-hoards, interrupts, rakish intruders, &c.) (Left with no rank weedy overrun to turn my wan attendants to mulching, no nothing to clobber the din of nothingness with—except my own complacent self, ugh.)

And, if not to look back, why not jump about in rascally fulvescent (weaselly) interloper style, sniff the edges of the upcoming. Susan Howe: “Marginal. Belonging to the brink or margent. / / The brink or brim of anything from telepathy to poetry.” Isn’t that a narrow range? Isn’t poetry merely a word-channel’d ablate telepathy, a means of one’s removal “elsewhere”? See the human studies manuals: “The communication of impressions of any kind from one mind to another, independently of the recognized channels of sense.” Got it, maestro. “Looke / How many bludy letters beyn writen in this buke, / Small margente her is.”

The difficulty / exacerbation of course with such lazy fisticuffs with emptiness, with the sparks marking the “margentes” of the thorny abyss: showy substancelessness, that stink. Phyllis Webb: “We disappear in the musk of her coming.” (Here’s where the upcoming emerges, poking up its radical snout. Investigating Phyllis Webb, prepping to read Stephen Collis’s Phyllis Webb and the Common Good: Poetry / Anarchy / Abstraction (Talonbooks, 2007). Webb’s line offsetting the tiny stanza: “Hieratic sounds emerge / from the Priestess of / Motion / a new alphabet / gasps for air.” And, just when one is fretting the continual desire to be consumed, sopped up by a larger water, smear’d into the landscape, auditory or visual, mountainous or oceanic, Emerson ducks out from behind ’s usual “nihilizing”—for Lord knows he hides not in nature, certes, he barely randoms therein, if not to “locate” (measure) the human, see the 1848 Paris note: “The Boulevarts have lost their fine trees, which were all cut down for barricades in February. At the end of a year we shall take account, & see if the Revolution was worth the trees.”—to remind one how “The arts languish now because all their scope is exhibition; when they originated it was to serve the gods. . . . Now they are mere flourishes. Is it strange they perish?”

End of a mere flourish, suck’d up this morning by no god.