Thursday, May 08, 2008

Running Cold



Sinuous impetuosity is needling the breach:
Trying to pull back what slid
                off so brusque.

A boy croons an air by
Puccini, some virtuosic encore out of
                Gianni Schicchi, a

Standard heart-wrencher. The rain that
Descended late’s knock’d down the catkins,
                streak’d grainy debris

The color of Mountain Dew all
Across the shiny black hood of
                the car. Mallarmé

Says “Each soul is a melody”—
A complete idiocy. The Mallarmé who,
                busy pulling slippers

Out of a homburg, or flowers
Out of a trilby, with menacing
                peremptory glee maintains

“The marvel of transposing a fact
Of nature into its almost complete
                and vibratory disappearance”

Is achieved through “the play of
The word,” piling up the negatives,
                like a hat

One rashly puts one’s head into
In lieu of wearing. Perfect is
                the piece of

Writing that unveils a flower (with
Fit seizure of lack) nobody perceives
                missing: “the one

Absent every bouquet.” The boy is
Running up and down the A
                major scale, cascades

A long-bow’d gamut and slurry,
Marks off finicky triplets and quadruplets
                in staccato detachment.

A way of gainsaying emptiness, pouring
Out its claims against the contumacious
Abrupt, and the hole into it
                any word is.

Cold morning, cold night. Comforting the air that slides in under the raised window—I keep reading Dos Passos’s U.S.A., drifting off only to stir up late to lights blazing and a book akilter, dropped, smothering. Continuing lack of the prestidigitatory scuttle, no sense of finesse and jump. Smouldering doggedness, thy name is legion. Stray perturbs: what if Walter Benjamin’d got out of the mud of Port Bou and join’d Adorno &c. in Los Angeles? In Los Angeles?

Paul Gauguin, “Portrait de Stéphane Mallarmé,” 1891