Draft 109: Wall Newspaper
I. Of the Dead
March was the month when fissures opened.
It was a completely clean hallucination. It all made a kind of sense.
Larger rifts were earth wide. Smaller were local hairline cracks. There were multiple scales
of events, unsorted, uneven.
Who can evaluate the destabilizing, limp paralysis, the thin shim under the everyday, and
then the worse normalization?
She said “the canary in the mine field.” The phrase was totally logical.
“Mann geboren frei ist” had been graffito’d on the train station. The “chains” clause was left
Water poured into the streets, dragging everyone under. Drought became endemic
desertification, humus to dust.
Poetic autonomy never existed. In a few weeks, a dead zone had to be declared.
Any yeast that’s left will take decades to work.
The instruments are ghosts of themselves.
Here include the base and superstructure of me. But of course can’t draw a line, one on one
What is being breathed, when breathing in this air?
The interconnections among things remained unspoken, untraceable, inextinguishable, like
the smell of mold.
Chains are cumbersome, enslaving; links are necessary, and some are irrevocable.
When it gets revealed as jerry-built decisions, poor oversight, technological hubris,
malfeasance and profiteering, then deflect attention.
To what, depends on site-specific calibrations: to claims of your “excessive” anger, to
formally choreographed “apologies,” to crimes of mimesis, to saleable scandals and
titillations. Occasional scapegoating. Scatters of random amulets. Perhaps analysis. The odd
exemplary sentence. Exchanges of experts.
Slowly I leave a much-loved place I probably won’t return to.
What is the target genre? “Stony rubbish”? This is a textbook case. Hold on tight.
The question of bees. The question of bats.
“Nature suddenly appeared like an emptied room.” Pencil marks up the wainscoting, some
child’s sizes, dates. The room, however, was splintered, the child crushed.
“Do you please remember me?” the long-ago asked from her shadow.
This is a collective though partial account, after the detonation of frameworks.
So carefully biting around the meaty pericarp of Apple, she stood there.
That woman is called irksome.
It might even snow, end March, early April.
When Three Mile Island went, everyone stood outside and became an instant expert on the
The surge in the discursive system was so enormous that one could not walk, drink, eat, even
breathe without feeling endangered by its uncontrolled electricity.
What’s in it? What’s in it for them? But these questions eroded, frayed, abraded.
Then the actual system surfaced, with its un-degradable plastic, with “odds and ends in
constant flux manipulated by desire and fear.”
Some have deliberately made the seeds infertile. This is a consequence of profit taking.
The future will wonder “what the fuck were they thinking.”
Three languages, but now she could not speak, a symptom of her dying.
Olfactory hallucination as I wake: the smell of coffee brewing.
Being “born,” as Olson said, “not of the buried but these unburied dead.” “You must change
your life.” Me alone, or who?
Poetry — something “replete with signifiers and gibberish.” Makes a kind of sense.
They are predicting a lot of snow up the East Coast.
But I don’t feel bad. Can’t apologize (too much) for this pock-marked landscape.
Nevertheless, I feel terrible. “Why? April is the coolest month!” Can you say “parallel
Occasional flowering is a normal characteristic. The poem’s not about the baby Christ child
just because the word frankincense is in it.
Severe choices of brilliant play. Temporality happens every day.
Let’s tie the hands of the assholes.
Alternative life: orthopedic surgeon. Hobby: trekking.
Keep your valuable properties with you at all times.
The social world drained back into the work; the dam was over-passed.
Chaos Became a Way of Life.
Canvas bags with a special logo got distributed to the task force.
Meantime, I have other plans. So to speak.
Does anyone here really know why he saw poets as “horses”?
Q. teased that he would write his memoirs and call it My Lie.
The exhibit featured a colonial baroque silver teapot in the shape of a giant turkey. That level
of extraction was almost startling.
A “secular Jewish Pegasus” would be what?
The sheer excess of the untransparent impossible has no verb right now. Sorry.
A long time ago, when things got bad, they’d grind up the inner layer of tree bark — pine
only, a soft wood — and bake it with rye flour. How long ago a time was that?
Here include the dominant, residual and emergent of me.
Here, rhizomic nekuia.
“Let the dead bury their dead” being completely impossible — now what?
Being half-dead — a strained, self-estranged under-acknowledged fear? Particular “end of
world” apocalyptic prophecies get media play.
On the other hand, the radioactive waste and debris will arrive on these shores in about one
year. With the bare hands — plus a few pair of latex gloves to go around. Sea to shining sea.
Our lives are privatized, all except our private lives. This has been reviewed and is legal.
Are there real differences between here and there?
The sand was pocked and garbaged with tar clumps. Will we rupture and pull to shreds the
ribbon of life simply by default?
Even those one wished to idealize were full-scale despoilers.
It would starve you more slowly.
We live here in this time, saturated with a few other times, and some few people. We’re
friends or whatever. The between is where we are.
This is a confused sadness, where you can’t even feel that sadness.
The page, the door, the wall; whatever can be learned, it’s pinholes, although “the word,” she
said, “leads inward into itself.” This is only half the story, although perhaps the more
We’re propelled into linked emergencies with unintended fallout.
My skin imagines lines —
there’s me and him, and
me and it, her, us, you, and the time
we have been together when we’ve
foraged in what is, and
some things got smashed, and
some are rejoined, and
we quote from each other,
sister and brother.
Do not turn away.
Reader, if any! We are a symptom.
We are mirrors of our own corpses.
This is closest to darkness.
Surrender to it.
The stone, as in all Moravian cemeteries, was exactly equal to the others, set flush with the
ground. But I found it by the shells encircling her name. Chatter to fill up time on the death
watch — but what to say? Student: “Why would God make His people suffer such great
deals?” In this colorful escapade, A is for Apple, B is for black hole. One to ten billion in one
fell swoop. These socio-lexical sparklers, these sounds and codes pulse in saturated rhythmic
segments. Makes a lot of sense. Let’s rank the rambles. And together we woke, readjusted
warmly, and fell back asleep. It didn’t seem a stroke of luck at the time — just, like, normal.
Surf-intense danger; buried clots on the mud flats. Alternative life: social geographer. Hobby:
fencing. “Are you keeping up with yourself, or not?”
Jade is extremely refractory by its nature. K. missed his mother, why he wore ambiguous
clothing and his hair long like a girl’s. People kept saying “she” about him. And there was a
time when L. had cropped hair, chose boys’ clothing, and got harassed in ladies rooms
whenever she went to pee. Call the question. I want to bleed this over the margins of every
Ribbons — Green White Violet — Give Women Votes. Makes a kind of sense. I feel I’ve barely
lived my real life. Once the word “feminist” surfaced, all hell broke loose in the comment
stream. The eye zoomed up from underneath as if a lens were buried underground. Men in
work clothes and in suits threw women. Picked them up, threw them, throwing hard with the
intent to break them. Terrible sleep, my heart then racing. Mushy day, with a dank chill under
the surface. Ze — another entrant into the pronoun problem. Hir as a solution for the
possessive? May I pronoun myself — e.g., I, Tiresias, the King Self? We own or own up to
what parts of social gender? Paid on a sliding scale. Then I thought that a number 12 might
be coming, so ran that last half block and finally made it home. And one day in Bethlehem, I
washed H.D.’s grave, cleaning off the lichen with my wet bandana.
Chicken at 40,000 feet, 4 Perrier, 3 Tampex, 2 cabernet, and one movie where it’s a blonde
and a bimbo decoding [irony].™ He had a student who thought “The Oven Bird” was about
Thanksgiving. Makes a kind of sense. “A little doll is the solution.” To what? So women
hold up half the sky — who cares? Fragmentation implies a theory of wholes. But possibly
not. The pencil was invented the year after Shakespeare was born. Wherever did you read
that? The secret to cooking turkey is to turn it off quite early, letting it sit for a long while in
the warm oven. It’s beginning to feel like a serious snow. Those were imitation or decorative
oghams, whose marks, according to experts, actually said nothing.
This work, she said, is a darting arrow. There is such fervent, obsessive interest in policing
women and in punishing women. Why did these years happen the way they did? What are the
relationships among different margins? The lawyer’s pen was printed “Helping people
preserve their wealth” in small gold letters. “One best-selling book!” (what‘re you a writer
for if you don’t want one?) “you’d make a lot of money — then you could do poetry, or
whatever you want.” Alternatively, low production values. The glue showing. No set level.
And the rips. De-story the book; destroy the page but in the gaps, two-homedness,
Zweiheimigkeit. Mapped “in these labyrinths of terrible differences — the dilemmas of truths.”
she seizes the pages of discarded books
she weeding she shewing she feeling she seeing
pages of the scarred books in which
“the unspeakable words never cease their subversive action.”
Though never quickly.
If not now, when?
“I hold my honey and I store my bread …”
There was an attic
& then a second door into a second attic.
The airports of the living face the airports of the dead.
To run before walking — that’s what she wanted.
The ordained woman remarked categorically: “St. Paul didn’t write that!” But as it’s
canonical, now what? The generic matchbook on the sidewalk was printed “THANKS.”
Despite the delicacy of edelkayt, you must articulate your rascal side. T. is writing on one of
those lost women artists. She told me who, but I forget her name. A man and a woman get
into a taxi. I lost my nice cosmetic bag in that very taxi. Everything is a thread.
Ends up at 28.5 inches. This year’s Philly record, and the third overall. 4181 is the 19th Fibonacci number. It’s the whole nine yards. I’d suggest the word “human” or the word “person.” She wrote a section of her piano trio for toys. They changed the instruments mid-performance, and played toy violin, cello, and piano reflectively, like bits of girlhood thinly pinging. 2000 blackbirds baked in the sky. Is going beyond gender through gender enough? I make action plans. I plan my own loss.
Ze is the sibyl in her fetid bottle. The answer to the question is delusional: “I want to live
again!” I learned today it’s older hens that lay those larger eggs. How about equality of
questioning. Equality of straining. Of struggling. But then — it is not yet equal. So act as if?
The sounds a-blur confuse the statement. Hearing aids don’t clarify when many voices speak
at once. The scherzo is scored as if the whole orchestra were tuning, scratching, randomly
plucking. That’s a tough egg to follow! Another genre: epyllion. Not this one. Or is it? Full
moon sex. Makes a lot of sense. Choose the phrase “female-bodied people.” After her lecture
on women’s post-dictatorship civic status, a man stood up to ask “What about the penis?”
That “best seller” woman didn’t credit that consciousness might follow from such operational
choices. She was far too rich to think that! So much has happened. Quite suddenly. A snake
struck Lady-dog, and I cried “HELP” in the dream. Thus I woke, stunned by the sound of
that desperate interior voice. Anyway, it’s time now. It’s really time.
III. Fire Surf
Thereupon gigantic figures, earth and clay, announced that I stood with my feet only half
planted. But the surface of the earth was in motion. I thought I had constructed these images,
but detritus and its muddy tide had, in fact, made me. With its oil-gritty crescent strips and
nipple-puckered seed buttons, the eucalyptus is a mightily combustible tree. I saw rogue
energy; I saw piles of smashed debris; I saw the ribbon-braided holding place for river, but in
this season being weedy furrowed dust in a wide, flat gully.
I was wood and could be burned.
“We have our marching orders. We will be playing the killed civilians.”
For a while, half sleep, it seemed much better, but given insomniac anxiety, it was not in fact
Bright lights refracted back downward under the blue-black clouds into one of the world’s
tiniest airports. The wheels made their dark ripping sound as the bottom opened. Still, I’m
endlessly making up for lost time.
Shunt the folded twists up and down the synapse; there were questions, but it was simpler
just pointing to that spot.
Plans — big. Follow-thru — compromised.
No blades, awls, large shampoos, or gels. Headquarters miscalculated. We must stick with it.
So much has already been invested.
He responds to the downturn by more intense tactics of marketing. Photoshop satiety.
Brightness, seductive pouting, chiaroscuro — how to trigger someone’s desire.
Mortgage companies began to destabilize, then to fail. Real assets did not match their
The ogham slice and one more notch on the tree-thick stone —
is this a real one, or a fake?
Who knows how to read this language?
All the big firms, Morgan Stanley, Lehman, Bear Stearns, held artful arrangements of debts
and slice-and-dice notes so intricately segmented that it was all finally untrackable.
The attack of the difficult spread sheet.
Whatever was guaranteeing solvency might have been the same thing over and over.
(Ignore buzzer sound.)
All of them making big money, big plunder,
smash and grab, a pretty ugly ferment that foretold the rest,
and impossible to ignore (one would have thought).
What one would have thought got squandered.
There was no lack of telling, and
the operable lexicon
couldn’t turn away
but it couldn’t intervene either.
The houses were broken, the walls fell open.
This is, of course, a pyramid scheme, so the system began to collapse.
They were just rogue soldiers. They were just bad apples. There were unfortunate mis-
calculations. An official apology will be sent.
On this stela, the motif of the handshake with the dead.
Jade cannot be carved with metal tools.
S. is worn down with chemo.
And now she cannot speak. Only by hard mineral abrasive, worked into a paste.
That company’s name was Chimera Capital.
I saw the sign. I was there.
The stylized masculinity of the noir does make a certain sense. Mannered so beautifully
under its scrim of attractive doubt, packing heat, it’s almost comedy.
In life, however, the firewall is discontinuous. It has already become rubble.
Therefore it is good
to have companions
even if those were few
and sometimes unavailable.
If only time had not passed
the way it did, dribbled in bits,
us slogging through, oddly
glad it’s over — but think of that.
It is good also
to feel compassion
inside the dream and out of it.
He just keeled over. It was beyond understanding.
There was an exchange of birds between the living and the dead.
“As they exit, they strike an antique cymbal, which reverberates in unison
with the cello harmonic.”
All those incipits were historiated letters.
This poem has been given a lot of ink.
Prosody: modulations of the void.
I lost one lapis earring.
Singular sadness, far in excess of the object.
What the genre said.
The news was such that I learned the word for slaughter, massacre: la strage.
Fire use in hominids — a benchmark.
Sign at the diner take-out — “ham bagel.”
“Effortlessly” they said, “she effortlessly transmutes the personal into the political.” Oh,
This will be a surgical strike. We have very accurate data where they are.
He etches the places you are not supposed to notice — storage units, airport scanners, rooms
with no windows, shipping containers, concrete barriers.
In their place — all smoke, some luck, but barely, the only thing saving them, three-alarm fire,
was a double brick wall.
Waking at 5, I saw a pink moon setting. Pouring over the numbers and letters of meaning,
one forces the tiniest marks and nets to hold this splay. Inflame, inflamed, inflaming images.
The green hose snakes through the pocky grass, but with a crimp in it. Uncrimp it and get the
backlogged water to pour out.
Turn one’s pockets inside out, push open the corners to find the dust, the grift, the grit and
fuzz of lint we are.
It is frightening, this part of the world’s work — of a technical uselessness (so far as
accounting goes). But the articulation of multiple complexities, the saturations of syntax
within lexicons, the synapses’ unpredictable pulsation
become portal to a hard and puzzling insistence.
“The voices of the children,
singing in the dome above.”
“anxious about the market of everything
About the sound of our voices in the cavernous dome”
Odic abyss and Odos — the pilgrimage. Take the whole as a spirit journey into the real.
My friends and I have come to stay / to visit in another life. This is a powerful place I am
looking to live. Magnetic. Who is it that turns up! You!
This is a different kind of counting. Bring me my arrows of desire.
IV. By Water
Food is manipulated, water is manipulated, education is manipulated, ownership, land,
resources, medicine, heavily manipulated. Prisons are a profitable service industry. This is a
double-entry ledger. But you’ll have to gather, prune, and repack this array — the boat is
leaving in twenty minutes! Grab what you need — do you know what that is? Throw it in the
suitcase, stuff it into the plastic trash bag. We have to get on that boat. No, but maybe we
don’t. Maybe we should stay. What ever shall we do? Hard to watch the dithering. The scrum
at the dock. What do we need? It really is a pity. Call it the “whatever.” Whatever bits there
were, folded and crumpled together. Consider this a cultural heritage. Dead yellow-bellied
sapsucker on Pine. I used to be a “Sagittarius” and now am that other one, the new sign. It
was (as they say now) a “mute point.” Just leave the water on the moon alone!
V. Thunderstorm Dawn
I woke to a thunderstorm dawn, a yellow-gray dim with thin rising and polka dots of pinkish
petals driven off the bloomed, blown cherry.
It rained for twenty hours. No more drought for us. At least right now.
Dream of much confusion with suitcases. Could wake to find the same. What a story board!
There’s no particular “elsewhere.”
But this new social subject, neither individual nor collective — isn’t quite me, either. More
pronouns needed? Just saying.
This cup was made by one of the Little Masters.
At South Square Market, when they mist the veggies, a small loudspeaker plays “Singin’ in
All your hard work will soon be paid off.
“It’s plain American that talented cats and dogs could read.”
Making a list — but always missing an item. There was always something else. I couldn’t
identify what, but one felt it there. Blurred. Uncanny.
scrabble across the looped and wayward scroll,
decoding or suffering
overgrown paths and scrub oaks,
and hinging, half-hung, half-off broken doors.
They swing, riding a riffled book.
Who was the third one, and the fourth?
I needed to bring them into focus.
Was that a man or was that a woman?
Interesting to think.
Alternative life: cellist. Hobby: my vegetable plot.
It seems perfectly clear that we will not outlast the on-earth years of the dinosaurs. Though
this was a longish time — is that consolation? or not? Unthinkable?
The works and days, the sediments and glistening minerals, the fuzz and furze — it will make
a thick and blasted palimpsest, yet perhaps only marginally readable. Who will decode it?
Every one of us so stuffed already, yet still trying to fill the void: religion, food, fat, glut,
candy, shopping, stuff. Nothing is what I want. Well, just this.
Au lecteur de l’avenir! Salve! Here it is! I am decorating nothing. I am stating.
The dry stream down the rock side suddenly flowed to flood. An incredible storm.
Afterwards, picked up the unripe tomatoes blown to the ground.
The storm discharged that pent-up electricity. We could all finally sleep. Not the same rain as
yesterday, but a new dripping drupe shape, in droopy drops.
Cf. that second and third beside you, that third and fourth, wandering in cadence. A familiar
cadence of familiar droning. Intensities of keening create humming.
Deiknumena: here are the many mysteries; these are the things shown.
Here they are!
When the ants ate the dead bat, they ate it all the way down, including the bones. There was
no bat skeleton left. There was nothing but sated ants. Which is something after all.
The page, just printed, feels warm to the touch.
To make fried green tomatoes with the falls, use corn meal or polenta for the coating.
There were five military over-flights per day — fighter jets cracking over the top of the hill.
That was right before the newest, freshest war.
“There was a brief break before the beating resumed,
and my first impulse was to cover my ears, but then I thought,
‘If this man is crying, shouldn’t someone hear him?’"
of numbers couldn’t.
A net made only of documents
couldn’t. Nor, curiously,
could the mourners. The tasks:
to listen, to identify & to respond.
Marvel to walk in language within being.
Even cloaked by desperation and by rage.
I can no longer resist
what this is
and what it has become
in all elaboration
and beyond-itself complexity.
Let it begin again,
begin against again.
An early poem was called “The War Years.” And it is still.
My right eye’s blurry, filled with something thin, irritating, and folded.
It is a translation without an original.
“They baffle me, too. That’s all I’m painting for.”
Now’s the time when people post their news upon a wall.
Choose talismans to hang above their desks.
Citations. Aphorisms. Gifts of the ever-receding angel.
Museum postcard of a glistening lemon. “Voyage autour de mes cartes postales.”
They look. We look. At it. The full array.
Of metamorphosis, tolerance, curiosity, attentiveness; of humility, conjunctures and
juxtapositions. Of clashes and debates. Of pain.
Write messages, press send.
The journey did not end. I arrived almost nowhere and knew almost nothing. But still it did
not end. So that —
“I would like to be able to write a book that is only an Incipit, that maintains for its whole
duration the potentiality of the beginning, the expectation still not focused on an object.”
Aura. Aurora. Prototype, all being preamble to the first figure,
like a documentary, only different.
Selva oscura meet obscure self,
wandering among itchy plants and between brambles,
with the fact of a question.
To follow there, “discovering new ways of folding.”
But never, luckily, enough.
So that my nudity
and the rumbles of language
in my curly gut morph into
magnetism and polyphonic eros.
And thus or thereupon
one recent summer day,
I found a long pubic hair
growing twisted and wiry
right from my listing ear.
Hum hum humn, hymn and bong,
detritus and vertigo in sentences and lines,
you ethical ecology of vectors: you’ve stunned
me yet again with that incandescent
mix of arousal, illogic and grief I call my time.
And coming to this endless wall of volatility
that thing becomes a name.
Begin with any letter. Swallow and disgorge.
“this rrrr to be a river”
“rien n’aura eu lieu que le lieu”
“She carries a book
of the unwritten volume”
that fills and empties pulse and surge.
Singing the exergue
nmnmnm — going backwards
half-hazardly mn und nm & utterals from
the knotted self, suffused with such a
dirty, yearning light, with such
ungainly lifht, with such
it underscored the toll.
“Wer, wenn ich schriee, hörte mich denn.…”
“We have constructed ruins
to be reborn out of.”
Notes to Draft 109: Wall Newspaper.
As shadow epigraph: “These poems and this poet continue the recognitions of the other poet and his poems.” Robin Blaser on Jack Spicer’s Lorca Poems. See “The Practice of Outside,” The Fire: Collected Essays of Robin Blaser, ed. Miriam Nichols (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006), 144.
Section I: Of the Dead.
March 2011: Japan, 9.0 earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent meltdown and leakage from nuclear reactors run by TEPCO: Tokyo Electric Power Company. Other extreme weather events are present — like the several tornadoes in the United States during 2011 and the earthquake in Haiti. And other ecological disasters caused by malfeasance — such as the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill. “Mann geboren frei ist”: a German translation of the first phrase of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Social Contract (1762). “Stony rubbish” along with a few unmarked phrases throughout: T. S. Eliot, “The Waste Land.” “Nature suddenly appeared like an emptied room”: Wilfred Wiegand, June 19, 2001, now not sure of the source.
“Of odds and ends in constant flux manipulated by desire and fear”: T. S. Eliot, Nation and Athenaeum on Donne, 1923. “Being ‘born,’ as Olson said, ‘not of the buried but these unburied dead’”: Charles Olson, “La Préface.” R. M. Rilke: You must change your life: “Du musst dein Leben ändern” (“Archaic Torso of Apollo”). “Replete with signifiers and gibberish” (a former student). Chaos Becomes a Way of Life, New York Times headline re. Haitian earthquake, February 16, 2004. Eating wood — fact from Seurasaari Open-Air Museum outside of Helsinki, Finland. “Dominant, residual, and emergent” are terms from Raymond Williams, characterizing simultaneous and interactive social formations, in Marxism and Literature. “The word” she said “leads inward into itself,” Susan Handelman, The Slayers of Moses: The Emergence of Rabbinic Interpretation in Modern Literary Theory, 1982, 31.
Section II: Gamut
“A little doll is the solution”: a now untrackable citation. “The unspeakable words never cease their subversive action”: Nicolas Abraham and Maria Torok, The Shell and the Kernel: Renewals of Psychoanalysis (1994), 132. The composer Stefan Wolpe spoke of Zweiheimigkeit as well as “labyrinths of terrible differences,” taken from Brigid Cohen’s article about his political work in music, Berlin Journal 19 (fall 2010): 36–39. “I hold my honey and I store my bread …”: Gwendolyn Brooks, from “Gay Chaps at the Bar,” the sonnet “my dreams my works, must wait till after hell,” Selected Poems (1963), 23.
Section III: Fire Surf
“We have our marching orders. We will be playing the killed civilians”: Slobodan Simic, Serb aphorist, New York Times, 2 December 2007, modified. “As they exit, they strike an antique cymbal, which reverberates in unison with the cello harmonic”: George Crumb, about “Night of the Four Moons” (1969), his composition to texts by Frederico Garcia Lorca. “He etches the places you are not supposed to notice”: the work of printmaker Amze Emmons. The citation “And O / the voices of the children, / singing in the dome above” is from Robert Duncan’s “Parsifal (After Wagner and Verlaine)” in Bending the Bow, 57, translating a line from T. S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land,” “Et O ces voix d’enfants, chantant dans la coupole,” line 202 of “The Fire Sermon,” itself being the final line of Paul Verlaine’s sonnet “Parsifal.” The next lines from Stephen Collis: “We were anxious about the market of everything / About the sound of our voices in the cavernous dome” from “Let Me Speak Clearly,” in On the Material (Talonbooks, 2010), 14.
V. Thunderstorm Dawn
“My writing is a kind of American that talented cats and dogs could read,” John Ashbery, riffing on a line from Marianne Moore’s poem “England”: “plain American which cats and dogs can read”; Ashbery in an interview with Michael Glover published in The New Statesman, 23 May 2005. “You see, I look at my paintings, speculate about them. They baffle me, too. That’s all I’m painting for”: Philip Guston, at the University of Minnesota, March 1978. The citation “There was a brief break before the beating …,” Dorothy Parvas, journalist for Al Jazeera, about her being held in detention in Syrian prisons, from the important account that she wrote after her release, May 2011.
“Voyage autour de mes cartes postales” is the title of a poem by James Schuyler. The sentence beginning “Of metamorphosis …” is a muted citation from my note on the Marianne Moore plaque at the New York Public Library. PMLA 126.1 (January 2011): 20–21. “I would like to be able to write a book that is only an Incipit”: from Italo Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler, trans. William Weaver (1981), 177. “Discovering new ways of folding,” Gilles Deleuze, The Fold (1988/1993), 137. “This rrrr to be a river”: Robert Duncan, Bending the Bow, “The Collage, Passages 6,” 20. “Rien n’aura eu lieu que le lieu” (Nothing has taken place except the place): Stéphane Mallarmé, Un Coup de Dés. “She carries a book / of the unwritten volume”: modified from H.D., Trilogy. “Wer, wenn ich schriee, hörte mich denn.…” is the first line of Rainer Maria Rilke, Duino Elegies, I (Who, were I to cry out, would then hear me.…). “We have constructed ruins / to be reborn out of”: Lorenzo Thomas, “Like a Tree,” Dancing on Main Street, Coffee House Press, 2004.
Thanks to Aldon Nielsen for help with a specific reference and to both Peter and Meredith Quartermain for their responses. This poem was written before I saw the film Inside Job (dir. Charles Ferguson), 2011, but it now should be noted as a parallel source.
The first part of “Draft 109” also appears in 100 Thousand Poets for Change: An Anthology, edited by Anny Ballardini and Obododimma Oha in collaboration with Michael Rothenberg.