Commentaries - October 2013
Vagabond Press Rare Objects book launch, Sydney 2013
One of the best things about talking to people in real life is that they will sometimes say things that can affect you in unpredictable ways. Comments deemed disposable on Twitter or Facebook turn out to have an almost spooky resonance when delivered in person. Conversely, the unexpected turn can take on the hue of the foreseen as Sydney poet Toby Fitch discovered at the launch of Vagabond’s new triptych of ‘rare objects’ chapbooks by John Tranter, Kate Lilley and a. j. carruthers. Vagabond’s chapbooks come in numbered and signed editions of 100 and Fitch, an avid sports fan, almost asked for an alternative when he randomly chose the 87th copy of Tranter’s Ten Sonnets. In Australian cricket, the number 87 is ‘the devil’s number’ because of its 13-run proximity to the sought-after century. If I were to mention via Twitter or Facebook that Fitch decided to live with the omen and that his next randomly selected chapbook – The Tulip Beds by a. j. carruthers – was numbered 13 you might be given to dismiss the entire episode as mere coincidence.
But poets and numbers follow each other around as the first poem in Kate Lilley’s Realia demonstrates. Realia are ‘Real things or actual facts, esp. as distinct from theories about or reactions to them’ and though Lilley’s “GG” is ostensibly a list poem that presents ‘Select items of Property from the Estate’ of Greta Garbo it can be said to work as a compact treatise on the difference between accounting and mathematics. The listing, with its emphasis on the detriti of everyday life elevated through association with the famous actress, rigorously invokes the Real. What is a ‘Stim-U-Lax Jnr Hand-Held’ you want to ask and why did Garbo have one? A ‘yoga onesie matching headband’ discarded by you or I would more likely see out its ends of days in the bin of unsaleables at the local St Vincent de Paul but along with ‘troll dolls’, ‘knit heads’, ‘horsehair toque’ and ‘smoking cessation kit’, the onesie signals here the invention of a new kind of poetic object. As Clemens has noted, for Alain Badiou, ‘mathematics represents nothing – to speak Lacanese, its terms are Real, not Imaginary or Symbolic; furthermore, mathematics is the only possible basis of a rupture of common sense, and is hence genuinely egalitarian and aristocratic at the same time.’
Following the chapbook readings – which included Tranter’s memorable rhyming of babies with rabies and a series of generically engineered metaphors from Carruthers ‘in which a fossilized species deserving of the name Problematica is poeticized by a scientist, who found in the three lines of a stave an image worthy of the poetry of nature’ – I spotted the poet and Forbes scholar Sam Moginie and another man talking to a woman I recognized from her Twitter photo as the poet and editor Elena Gomez. Conversation quickly turned to the escapades of a mutual friend who had once been in a band named after a Rothko painting. By now weary of the rolling fortune of coincidences we almost didn’t notice we were standing in front of a calendar of Rothko reproductions. Gomez’s companion who I failed to recognize as the poet Rory Dufficy even though we’ve exchanged Facebook messages and I’m a fan of his poems remarked via T. J. Clark on the vulgarity of highfalutin ideas in art.
As I later discovered, Clark introduces his notion of vulgarity as a way of evading or as he might have it ‘passing through’ the impasse that rises up out of Hegel’s notoriously pessimistic figuration of art as ‘a thing of the past’. In what at first appears to be an optimistic assessment, Clark remarks that Hegel ‘could never have guessed that the disenchantment of the world would take so long’. What he didn’t account for, according to Clark, was the possibility that ‘the inability to go on giving Idea and World sensuous immediacy … would itself prove a persistent, maybe sufficient subject’ for art. From this perspective, the role of Modernism comes to be that which makes the ‘endlessness of the ending’ bearable through its persistent restaging. As Clark succinctly has it, ‘Every modernism has to have its own proximate Black Square.’
But Clark’s apparent positivism turns out to be doing a kind of double or even triple-duty melancholia through which he not only joins Hegel in mourning the end of art but goes on to accompany multiple modernisms on their touristic adventures to the various sites of the trauma. Which doesn’t change anything for art and, indeed, only makes things worse by re-enchanting the world ‘With a magic no more and no less powerful … than that of the general conjuror of depth and desirability back into the world we presently inhabit.’ Clark is lamenting the insistence of art as glittering commodity and the abandonment of one of the things that Hegel’s myth made possible – ‘the maintenance of some kind of difference between art’s sensuous immediacy and that of other (stronger) claimants to the same power.’
If Clark doesn’t go as far as someone like, say Badiou, whose “Fifteen Theses on Contemporary Art” urges artists to resist the ‘absolute desire for new forms’ that for him amounts to the ongoing synthesis of formalism and Romanticism, then he is at least on the same unguided tour when he writes ‘I find it hard to believe that the present myth of post-ness will sustain itself much past the year 2000.’ Clark’s way out of the impasse ‘comes from proposing another set of possible descriptions that the paintings in question might “come under”. The idea of ‘vulgarity’ is positioned as a way of thinking again about Abstract Expressionist paintings. One of the advantages of this move, as he writes, is that ‘discursively it points two ways: to the object itself, to some abjectness or absurdity in its very make-up (some tell-tale blemish, some atrociously visual quality which the object will never stop betraying however hard it tries); and the object’s existence in a particular social world, for a set of tastes and styles of individuality which have still to be defined, but are somehow there, in … the possibility of seeing at last, and even being able to describe, the ways they take part in a particular triumph and disaster of the petty bourgeoisie.’
In Handbook of Inaesthetics Badiou remarks that ‘we must above all not conclude that it is philosophy’s task to think art. Instead, a configuration thinks itself in the works that compose it.’ I suspect that Clark’s proposal risks functioning as a philosophical task in this sense. What is vulgarity but an ascription that arises out of morality rather than ethics? Back in Melbourne, I think about Dufficy’s remarks on vulgarity when encountering “Mother with Broom” by
J. S. Harry:
a young mad woman
with a post-natal belly
in great slow circles
to an audience of one: a dead child:
and Rrose Selavy by John Forbes which, published in 1981, can be read through the terms of Clark’s assessment as a spectacular loving list of the desired object’s attributes and/or a lament for the seemingly unavoidable commodification of love and art. At once aristocratic and egalitarian, the poem makes me think of that moment at the end of the Vagabond launch when the Gleebooks staff were gathering the empty wine glasses and Dufficy, Moginie and Gomez were getting ready to leave. Gomez, staring at the ground, said ‘I’m going to be thinking about this conversation for a long time.’ If I’d had more time to prepare I would have replied ‘Julie the hand-made spine of rare first editions sunburns / under the Eiffel Tower’.
for Rex Chirot & Jerome Rothenberg
El Colonel is smiling, writing with his cigarette’s smoke in that great page, the sky . . . that great page, ever open to all, in which all eyes may read---and there, their readings being writings . . . find also the writings of others . . . moving, living, in skies of their own among these sometimes shared skies, these skies sometimes encountering each other . . . these writings, readings readers & writers . . . meeting among these skies . . . so that—
So that—El Colonel has often wondered, often written his own “versions”—of his readings which are writings—of these phrases he found underlined in red among the black letterings of a fire-singed Bible in the basement of a bombed-out bookstore in a small provincial town high in the mountains . . . and which are: “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”—for, had not El Colonel wondered—what, if, indeed, come face to face, that ‘I’ which became known as also it was known—what if indeed, that ’I’—were an Other . . . for had not he also read, among other books found elsewhere, among other demolished sites . . . had he not read that ‘I is an other’ . . . in which case, El Colonel writes with his cigarette in the sky’s pages . . . in which case might not the “I” be also known as an other . . . an other found continuously in this other that is his writing in the sky . . . a writing read by others . . . who in reading in their turn write . . .
El Colonel is smoking. Writing in the skies, on the varying hues of blue that shift with their proximities to the horizon . . . writing on the clouds scattered carelessly about . . . his eyes like fingers move, inscribing texts often in no known languages, at times in ones he barely knows from tattered texts come across—languages foreign to him—and, at times, even in the two languages he knows well . . . writing in the skies essaying to convey the dream states that float among memories---involuntary memories called out by the random touching of a shadow at the foot of a tree on the ground next to him—events long forgotten vividly alive—
El Colonel is smoking. These memories & dreams he is inscribing in the sky are not of large events at all. Thank God! No!—No, these are all the small events, happenings, that one is unaware for the most part that one is even noticing as they are passing—
In a room, in some other place, a city—somewhere—she is sitting, smoking, writing in her journal . . . some time ago she had begun to interpret her life in terms of events, of writings, of images, documents—come across in her continual perusal and construction of her own “Kennedy Collection”—comprised primarily of books and old magazines, but including also stacks of Xeroxes of fotos of the JFK Assassination, which she keeps for cutting up and rearranging—into collages—and these slowly through time finding their ways into various scrapbooks she keeps—
This “Kennedy Collection” she periodically pours through, finding each time a differing sequence, a differing set of clues as to the “meanings” she is to interpret from them regarding her own existence.
Increasingly, her own days are intercut, shot through, with those “Days in Dallas”—especially as Autumn advances, inexorably—to the annual return of That Day—among “Those Days”—yet not only “those Days”—but all the Days surrounding them through time—the entire lifetime especially of Lee Harvey Oswald dominates certain areas of her consciousness, including the continually growing storehouse of memories which she associates directly with the Life of Oswald.
Thus, one October, during visits to her sister’s, she became aware that certain patterns in the linoleum were directly related with constellations which must have been embedded in the kitchen, say, of the houses where Marina Oswald had been living with, say, Ruth Paine—and others, perhaps also—where the Oswalds had lived after their New Life in America had begun--and these intersecting patterns and constellations found in linoleums were in fact reconstructions of some other events in consciousness, a consciousness greater than her own—indeed, one comprising, as it were, chunks of the Twentieth Century itself . . . even though now well into the Twenty-first century, she felt that these secrets exuded from expiring linoleums scattered through time and across the “interior landscapes of the late Twentieth Century” . . . yes—she distinctly, most definitely felt!—that these secrets being exuded had traversed the “line between Centuries,” as though transgressing a forbidden, or, at least—forbidding-- border—not unlike, say the border that Oswald crossed from Finland into the Soviet Union during his “defection”---yes!-- she felt, she distinctly felt-- these “secrets” had been, were continually—seeping, invading surreptitiously, as though entering in as soldiers do in moving through ground brush, on their bellies . . . that these secrets were arriving, day by day, night by night, at the very entrance to the battered small house she lived in on a battered small side street in a battered small section of the battered small city which she envisioned always as the one sacred place where these rites could take place, observed and participated in only by herself, their one initiate . . .
One October Sunday . . . as the late afternoon golden glow began to fade from the hallucinatory reds, oranges, dark greens and near-blacks of the heavy leaves—as the first shadows of the suddenly much cooler twilight began to etch their ways across the small battered lawn . . . one October Sunday, she indeed felt more strongly than ever the presence of the seeping secrets exuded by the linoleums of those kitchens Lee Harvey Oswald had entered in, in visiting with his estranged wife and children . . . she felt that these secrets were unfolding before her very eyes there on the shadow etched small battered lawn . . . sounds were reaching her from a neighbor’s TV—set to the NFL football games . . . Oswald she remembered had watched football during his last visits with his family . . . (more likely college football, on Saturdays? . . . some part of her mind registered the question—hanging there in the air—have to look it up, some part of her mind muttered, making a mental note of it—almost certain of it—were after all the pro games on then, before there was more than just the one then much smaller pro league . . . ? an important detail to come back to--)—yes—Oswald had watched football games . . . her eyes moved among the patterns etched by the twilight shadows on the small battered lawn, seeing in them the slow emergence of patterns seeping in from those long ago linoleums . . . as though the “action” of the plans gathering in Oswald’s mind—whether his own or those being planned and planted there by others---as though the action now was moving outdoors . . . from out of those rooms in the cheaply furnished homes, those flimsily constructed rooming houses he moved among . . . was moving outdoors and there, in the gathering twilight, taking form, gathering its thoughts as it were, in the patterns emerging—the very same patterns that had been observed in the linoleum—she now saw quite distinctly etched there, there in the backyard, on the small battered lawn . . .
El Colonel is smoking . . . from the stream of involuntary memories which he is writing in the sky with his eyes . . . begin to emerge, at first in clusters, closely clumped, tightly gathered—begin to emerge small constellations of images, images each so sharp, so clearly distinct, that its facets, diamond-like, begin to etch into, cut open, the adjacent images in the constellation---releasing sudden erupting streams—like those lone spraying spumes suddenly sliced open and squirting forth from the sun---those long trails of raging, burning, appallingly beautiful reds and oranges . . . blasting into space---pure Heraclitean fires . . . of being---Being released into the infinite of Space---traveling with such incredible storm-powered speeds that they seem to scream into the eyes . . . and out of these searing images . . . as though they are cooling in an acceleration of “the evolution of Time” —out of these released images emerge suddenly, in single file, as though a slide show being shown in the skies—images, images long forgotten—no longer singular images, but ones which open up—as the mouths of caves are said to open—and reveal within them depths . . .
El Colonel is smoking . . . leaning, leaning into the slight breezes which are now coming up over the edges of the hill . . . leaning the better to see—to see within this opening now so vividly before him—
It is a cinema, its entrance like a cave mouth—embedded in a seeming cliff, which is in actuality as its image becomes more distinct to the hard-peering eyes of El Colonel—which is in actuality the tightly spaced wall of a series of buildings on a street he had once found in a bombed out small city . . . it came to him now in a howling rush of clarity—the entrance to this Cinema of Catharsis as he had thought of it, even before entering into it and finding himself, first, in a lobby entrance, a very long, extended hallway—at the end of which was the glass enclosed small booth where a ticket taker would be standing when a show was in progress—at the start of shows, also—and at all times in between—time now heaving and buckling, in time with the heaving and buckling of the parquet floor of the long hallway leading to the interior entrance where the ticket taker’s booth was standing . . .a heaving and buckling which, nonetheless, did nothing to disturb the immense lobby card images hanging on the roughly painted walls of the long hall of the lobby . . . these images, each one of them belonging apparently to completely different films—gave evidence of the long history of this particular Cinema—as some of them dated back to the era of Silent Films—while others showed more recent productions—most of them cheap B jobs . . . El Colonel finds himself, via the intensity of his gaze, “entering into” the area beyond the ticket taker’s booth—
El Colonel’s figure, leaning into the breezes, leaning into the sky—looks for all the world to those eyes outside himself which he often finds looking at himself—from himself—his own eyes, detached, as it were—and located at some distance—find his leaning figure for all the world to look like some shadow figure, a silhouetted shadow puppet on a wall of infinite space---a wall of pale depths . . .
El Colonel is smiling to himself, smiling as he enters into the area beyond the ticket taker’s booth—an area where the once red plush rug is now worn thread bare—literally thread bare, El Colonel finds himself smiling to himself, smiling to find the time worn phrase, itself not a bit “threadbare”—to be in actuality, there before him, the most vivid illustration he has ever found of that thread bare phrase—and, on this thread bare surface, are scattered the kernels of long ago pop corn, the ashes of ancient cigarettes, the air still redolent with the scents of both—the heavy clinging haze of the popcorn smells intermingled with the ashy tastes, acrid and acrimonious, of the cigarette ashes held in suspension among the interstices of the threadbare rug . . .
El Colonel smiles, and, pushing on, as he smilingly puts it to himself: “as his actions, reversing Aristotelian Poetics, imitate the words—push on”—pushing through the heavily covered door that opens somewhat unwillingly into the Cinema itself . . . before entering, El Colonel’s eyes take in this dim lit arena—picking out the shadowy tops of the lines of the seats—here and there, like rows of broken teeth—betraying the presence of seats which, due to the excited or angry gestures of some patron, dim, jerky, faraway—some patron’s having pounded on them, beaten them, into a kind of slouching submission—so that the rows of seats are broken up by these gaps, these craggy monuments of remaining teeth-like chairs—jagged and raw—their blank spaces staring at the Cinema screen—gaping from their gaps into the as yet dim presence looming there in the shadows at some distance from El Colonel, who remains for some moments standing at the entrance . . .
[To Be Continued]
[NOTE. Concerning the whole El Colonel series, an evolving “major” work, Chirot, whose work, both verbal & visual, is a great too often hidden resource, has written elsewhere: “it should be noted that El Colonel is not a ‘static’ being—moves through & inbetween as ‘in-beat-we-in’—is rhizomatic—rhythmic—unfolding—in events among Time & ‘consciousnesses’—non-linear-and ‘occurs’ not so much as a ‘character’ ‘by an author’(including himself)---but exists in dimensions which begin to explore the zones which Stephane Mallarme created as ‘poèmes critiques’—& an obsession with El Colonel is a Writing which exists without ‘materializing’—a Journey with the Writing of the No—
“there is thus no particular ‘order’ to the pieces, though the ‘first’ appearance as and in print of El Colonel is the Chapbook ‘El Colonel Smiles’—(also published as a prose poem text w/o images in Otoliths online & print Journal-)—the first presentation of El Colonel’s ‘thoughts, those improvised compositions’ which may serve as a kind of ‘Intro’ in re ‘composition’& re composition as an emergence out of ‘decomposition’--appears in ‘El Ojo de Dios Part the First: Insects & Letters,’ which can be linked to at the Sous Rature site.”
An extensive bibliography of Chirot’s published El Colonel pieces can be found on his blog at http://davidbaptistechirot.blogspot.com/2010/11/chirot-el-colonel-emerges-bibliography.html.]
Some thoughts upon having re-read five of his books
Stephen Collis is an important contemporary poet, with ten books of poems published, at least eight of them as substantive book publications. To the Barricades (Talon, 2013) is one of the books in a trilogy going under the title “The Barricades Project.” Here the poet maintains a shifting or fluid form of social address (“on the run,” is what one reviewer noted), and this is the formal expression of the works’ content. Together, all the work seeks to form cities of words. The compilings of negativities (e.g. in a poem called “Threshold song” [p. 128]) suggest their hopeful opposites – spaces inhabited, or at least occupied, by the very coal ports, containers, parties, societies, and species that seem to have vacated. The project is clear and striking – holds out possibilities even through its negations.
Collis has noted that “The poetry I have written – as is the case with the poetry I have written about, and which I teach – is a poetry derived from extended research and active social engagement.” In several respects, this is the key assertion, the affirmation of which should be, in my view, the main basis on which any overall judgment on the impact of his writing — taken together — thus far rests. The first and most obvious point to make here is that the poetry and the critical writing are one. The poetry and the criticism are being done in parallel. They emerge from the same project and constitute the same investigation of modernism's legacy. I believe this is crucial because so often, otherwise, readers are implicitly asked to have a whole sense of a poet who has “also written criticism,” where the poetry is a lyric project that has little or nothing to do with the poet’s literary history or critical approach. As a matter of content, but of course also as form, Collis’s writing undertakes writing as research about poets who think of writing as a form of research. Collis indirectly refers to this aspect of his career when he describes, in connection with the work on Robert Duncan, “a poetics of ‘commoning.’” (This notion of commoning seems to be the focus on Collis’s newest work.)
Is there a scholarly connection between the artist whose creative art is research on the one hand, and social activism on the other? If readers of Collis can answer that question as a yes, then he has made his overall case. Certainly I, having just re-read the work altogether, say yes.
Reading Duncan Reading (University of Iowa Press, 2012) takes its cue about the importance of recursion or recursiveness from its clever but appropriate title. When we read Robert Duncan, we read a reader reading, notwithstanding that what we read is writing. Collis and Graham Lyons call this “the poetics of derivation,” and the term, obviously, does not have the usual negative connotation (“derivative”) and thus the book can serve a novice to the field as a primer to postmodernity – a postmodern that, to wit, does not break the continuity out of modernism, nor out of romanticism. It is a book – an excellent introductory essay by the editors, and a number of good essays by invited others – that could serve equally well as an entry into several topics: the survival of romanticism into modernism; the construction of authorship; aesthetic “solidarity” among members of poetic communities; and the problem of originality.
Dispatches from the Occupation (Talonbooks, 2012) is a fascinating document, a scholar’s intervention into his own impulse to approach change in a scholarly way. The original goal of providing a history of change across disciplines soon turned toward a rejection of disciplinarity in favor of direct intellectual response to what is or was either an anti-intelligentsia or at least anti-Academy movement. I know no writing about the Occupy movement more productively aligned, as a piece of writing, to the possibilities entailed in that rejection. I'm sure I have missed some work that matches this in its effort of writing occupation, but in any case this book is variously observant, engaged, distant, hyper-subjective, memoiristic, partisan, poetic, local, and theoretical. Further: I have only read one or two other books that might be classified as a scholar’s diary of scholarly engagement. Beyond the academic discipline, in an age of neo-liberal consolidation, is the “beyondery” Collis both describes and seeks himself to inhabit.
Sewing down the Mississippi
Jen Bervin will sew the Mississippi on your ceiling, if your ceiling is big enough. I saw Bervin present on her “Mississippi” project. “Mississippi” is a panoramic scale model of the river that divides east and west in the United States. The scale is one inch to one mile, and the length of the river and gulf measures 230 curvilinear feet. The river is installed on the ceiling; it shows the riverbed mapped from the geocentric perspective, from inside the earth's interior looking up at the riverbed. It is composed of silver sequins; light shifts over the surface of them as you move through the space. The sequins are made of foil stamped on cloth, a rare variety of vintage French sequin that comes strung in clusters. They vary in circumference — some are quite tiny. They are sewn onto a very simple layer of paper, mull, and tyvek. The lower Mississippi, or meander belt, was completed at The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation in August 2009. “During that time,” Bervin writes, “I found that it took me exactly the same amount of time to sew the length of river in sequins that it would have taken me to walk the same section of the river.” She also says: “You know the bulk of that was sewn listening to PennSound files.” Jen Bervin has done a number of projects, including the sewing of Emily Dickinson’s fascicles.
[It was during our transition into the fabled 1960s that it began to feel that everything we wanted for poetry was now becoming possible. I’ve written about much of this before, but a curious moment for me was the one time, in 1965, that I allowed myself to write a whole poem in a language other than English. The occasion was the fourth anniversary issue of El Corno Emplumado (The Plumed Horn), the revolutionary poetry magazine that Margaret Randall & Sergio Mondragón co-founded in 1962 & carried forward for most of the following decade. I was invited to contribute, since I had published often in their previous issues & my fourth book of poems, Poemas Gorky / The Gorky Poems, had been published by them in a bilingual edition. In the spirit of the magazine’s signature bilingualism I set out to write a poem simultaneously in English & in Spanish, with the results that follow (Spanish first & English after). My note on the history of El Corno, with the English version & the opening lines of the Spanish, appeared earlier on the blogger version of Poems and Poetics – here.]
CORNO EMPLUMADO IMPROVISACION BLUES Y FANTASIA
PLUMED HORN IMPROVISATION BLUES & FANTASY
6 agosto 1965
corno emplumado deliciosa pluma albaricoque y aurora
de inventos enmascarados con corno emplumado
levantándose del mar revelándose corno emplumado
corno emplumado corno emplumado de muerte
corno emplumado de recuerdos corno emplumado de relojes y manzanas
corno iridiscente y emplumado mis muebles de lienzos vacíos
corno emplumado corno abandonado corno deleitable susurrante y desaparecido
es corno emplumado soñando en mí forzando
conocimiento de corno emplumado creciéndole venas y arterias de corno
pulso de corno emplumado que estuve loco por sentir
de corno emplumado empuje del corno emplumado por tu carne
de balas estallando de corno emplumado
de medusa y calamar esperma negra líquido líquido líquido corno emplumado
de corno emplumado substancia substancia en figura
figura de parto submarino corno emplumado
corno emplumado de sexo
corno emplumado del pene firme la vulva dilatada
corno emplumado muerde
se abre a salas vacías la carne es roja y violenta con corno emplumado
blanco a lo largo del corno emplumado
sudor es corno emplumado
vulva sobre lengua es corno emplumado
clítoris es corno emplumado
gorduara de nalgas vello de ano es corno emplumado
corno emplumado pasaje corno emplumado portal portal
aurora es corno emplumado
polvo de calles es corno emplumado
pantano es corno emplumado
legumbre es corno emplumado
ojo de calabaza es corno emplumado
semilla de pluma es corno emplumado
bandera es corno emplumado
alarido del animal moribundo es corno corno emplumado
blanco blanco es corno emplumado
negro es corno emplumado que descubre corno emplumado
corno emplumado aprendiendo todos los colores
corno emplumado todos los líquidos se encuentran y son corno emplumado
corno emplumado mi amor mis amores mis muertes mis recuerdos mi alarido en
oh no muramos nunca nunca corno emplumado emplumado corno emplumado
corno emplumado para enterrarnos y emplumarnos
y convertirnos en corno emplumado
. . . . . . .
plumed horn delicious feather apricot & dawn
rising from the sea revealing plumed horn
of masked invention with plumed horn
plumed horn of memories plumed horn of clocks & apples
iridescent & plumed horn my furniture of empty canvases
plumed horn abandoned horn delightful whispering & vanished horn
is plumed horn dreaming in me forcing
plumed horn’s knowledge growing plumed horn’s veins & arteries
the pulse of plumed horn I was mad to feel
of plumed horn thrust of plumed horn through your flesh
of bullets bursting from plumed horn
of jellyfish & squid black sperm liquid liquid liquid plumed horn mass
of plumed horn substance substance into shape
of birthshape submarine plumed horn
plumed horn of sex
plumed horn of risen penis swollen cunt plumed horn
plumed plumed horn is biting
opens into empty rooms the flesh is red & violent with plumed horn
white along the sides of plumed horn
sweat is plumed horn
cunt on tongue is plumed horn
clitoris is plumed horn
fat of buttocks hair of ass is plumed horn
plumed horn passage plumed horn entry entry
dawn is plumed horn
dust of streets is plumed horn
marsh is plumed horn
vegetable is plumed horn
eye of squash is plumed horn
featherseed is plumed horn
flag is plumed horn
cry of the dying animal is plumed horn
white white is plumed horn
black is plumed horn’s sighting of plumed horn
plumed horn learning all the colors
plumed horn all liquids meet & are plumed horn
plumed horn my love my loves my deaths my memories my cry into your throat
o let us never die plumed horn plumed plumed horn plumed horn
plumed horn to bury us & to be plumed & be plumed horn
[first published in el corno emplumado, number 17, january 1966]