Tuesday, December 23, 2008

“With a Squeak”

Some Reds


The world is pretty much
Stuck with us, so I
Peek into the new Spicer “volume”
And right where he says “The fix
Has the same place in junkie-talk or real talk
It is the position
They’ve got you in,” I think of how Jennifer
Moxley’s got the word “fit” in a similarly dire
Situation and how
I point’d it out with vehemence—
What’s the etymological
Scoop behind
The word vehemence?
I’d like to think
It’s like “abominable” with a man
Hiding within, holding the nose
That turns (ab) away,
“Abhominable” is what one reads in the old
Books. If I could find the Moxley—
Is it call’d The Secret-
? No, it’s call’d The Sense Record
(I had to look it up
Because of my lack of mental
Vehemence): is its etymology
The outcome of a V
Driving its wedge into a man
Hiding within it? Ahem.
It’s only in the vicissitudes of such fit
Composures that one
Notes the way Amen echoes Ahem,
Though the one
Is generally used to elicit
Attention, a rude and semi-
Bestial prompt, and the other makes good
To “sign off,” shutting
Down the open line, all done for now.
Bernadette Mayer reports
“Tumbled down an incline at Bash Bish
Broke many things”—who’d refuse
To agree with that? Why is it
That therefore I think
Of Ernesto Cardenal sitting cross-
Leggedly on a beach, eating turtle
Eggs, saying again and again Nicaragua
Is screw’d, is completely screw’d . . .

The world’s nonesuch is
Within us, we cannot ape a coterie,
We cannot whoop out
Satiety for what’s wrong’d and patch
Together a new tendency—you
Shoot straight or you shoot not.
(I love rhetoric and its sully’d
Copain song, what spews
Out the mouths of les bons
spit-encloister’d melodicks
Of Sunday gummers
Falling to a table of bloody’d meat.)
Rhetoric is capable of saying that
Nature (the world) is so handcuff’d
That its intractable matter comes under
A kind of juridical
Terror, and is thus willing to give up
Evidence (much
Of it false)—and so be it.
Grifting and thieving
Against the day’s sordid boom, we
Muster up
For no coming inspection, prate
And deliver against the tuneless
Deities, mock hardships, finagled purses, Joes.
We live and die like pagans, creedless,
Sucking off the conceptual lie
Whilst the real lurches
Forth against the pin-stuck bias
Of the world’s scant covering,
And shreds it. I think
Of poor Robert Browning, the rose-mesh
Of flesh sloughing into earth—
He is holding a miniature orrery,
A tiny solar system
With a squeak to it, holding it
In the palm of one hand, nudging
It into movement with
One long nicotine-stain’d fingernail.
The weeklies display pages of
Chronological “gear,” doodad-
Encumber’d wristwatches for the time-
Warriors among us—as if the year
Need’d a push to get going
Out into the wild shrubbery of the out-
Back where it’ll snare a few
Rabbits, or make a mash of ground
Nuts and peccary scat to smear
Against itself becoming invisible.
Or it’ll nail a doubloon the size of a dinner-
Plate to one kneecap and bathe
In the gush of rude blood
With a kind of fervency
For its own malign’d historical
“Edge.” It moves us not.
I think, too, of the audacious
Finesse of a starker hubris,
The marketeers of the faux-fires
That burn no man, raw
Grunts of the incorruptible sky,
Implacable star-arrangers, maté-
Sniffers, thieves
Who make a sport of letters—
Against such changeable voracious
Goons I lift the dirty green brass
Horn of my scorn.


Tumbled down an incline at Bash Bish
Broke many things; it was still spring

Clouded over, it was too rainy to walk annually
At Bartholomew’s Cobble; a coneflower appeared

As did a lupin, even some alyssum
Be forewarned: the eternal perennial

Is not immortal, though rooted in the ground
& coming back, it might disappear

In a wild fire, tornado or apocalypse
Or move over in a spring flood

Or earthquake; you move over & you’ll see
The same thing you saw yesterday, maybe

It’s the welcome wagon, here’s
A cherry pie; the cherries are eternal

                                Bernadette Mayer
                                Poetry State Forest (New Directions, 2008)

Back in—gulp—2009. Thanks for reading.

William and Samuel Jones, Hand-crank’d Orrery, 1794