Commentaries - November 2012

On olfaction and translation

Salmon returning up a creek...

Mi máscara

Estoy alejada en la vida
lejana en la concha
estricta en el modo
yo intento
empezar con jeringas, y limón.
¡si me permitiese llamarle poema!
¡poema en mis sueños!
¡intriga! ¡vocabulario! ¡incienso!
costumbre de vivir, con rosas y con salmones.

Druckworks: 40 Year of Books and Projects by Johanna Drucker (catalog)

cloth, 140pp. full color
to purchase a catalog ($35) or edition

phone: 312.369.6630

Outsider poems, a mini-anthology in progress (48): 'Lord' Timothy Dexter, from 'A Pickle for the Knowing Ones; or Plain Truths in a Homespun Dress' (1848)



To mankind at Large the time is Com at Last the grat day of Regoising what is that whye I will tell you thous three kings is Rased Rased you meane shoued know Rased on the first Royel Arch in the worid olmost Not quite but very hiw up upon thay are good mark to be scene so the womans Lik to see the frount and all peopel Loves to see them as the quakers will Com and peape slyly and say houe the doue frind father Jorge washeton is the senter king Addoms at the Rite hand the prssent king at the Left hand father gorge with his hat on the other hats of the middel king with his sword king Addoms with his Cane in a grand poster Adtetoude turning his fass to wards the first king as if thay was on sum politicks king our present king he is stands hearng being yonger and very deafe in short being one grat felosfer Looks well East & west and North & south deafe & very deafe the god of Nater has dun very much for our present king and all our former ones thay are all good I want them to Live for Ever and I beleave thay will it is hard work to be A king --- I say it is harder than tilling the ground I know it is for I find it is hard work to be A Lord I dont desier the sound but to pleas the peopel at Large Let it gou to brak the way it dus for A sort ment to help a good Lafe to Cour the sick spleney goutey dull frames Lik my selfe with the goute and so on make merry a Chealy Christon is for me only to be onnest No matter what thay worshep son monne or stars or there wife or miss if onnest Live for Ever money wont gitt thous figers so fast as I wish I have senc to Leg horn for many mr bourr is one Amonks many others I sent in the grand Crecham thous 3 kings Are plane white Leead colow at present the Royal Arch & figers cost 39 pounds wate silver the hiest Councaton order in the world so it is sade by the knowing ones I have only 4 Lions & 1 Lam up the spread Eagel has bin up 3 years upon the Coupalay I have 13 billors front in strat Row for 13 states when we begun 3 in Rear 15 foot hie 4 more on the grass see 2 the same hath at the Rite of the grand Arch 2 at the left wing 15 foot hie the Arch 17 foot hie the my hous is 3 sorey upwards of 290 feet Round the hous Nater has formed the ground Eaquel to a Solomun the onerbel Jonathan Jackson one of the first in this Country for tast borne a grat man by Nater then the best of Lurning what sot me fored for my plan having so gran spot the hool of the word Cant Excead this to thous that dont know would think I was Like halfe the world a Lier I have traveled good deale but old steady men sayeth it is the first that it is the first best in this Contry & others Contrey I tell you this the trouth that None of you all great men needent be A frunted at my preseadens & I spare Now Cost in the work I have the tempel of Reason in my garding 3 years past with a toume under it on the Eage of the grass see it cost 98 gineys besids the Coffen panted whit in side & out side touched with green Nobel trimings uncommon Lock so I can tak the kee in side and have fier works in the toume pipes & tobacker & A speaking trumpet and a bibel to read & sum good songs

Eight million natures

Seagulls feed on the Hackensack dump
Seagulls feed on the Hackensack dump

Today I took a bike ride along the East River to the Brooklyn Bridge where there’s a small beach--perhaps the only one in lower Manhattan (and by “lower,” I suspect there may be another beach somewhere or nowhere above the George Washington Bridge). There I watched a drama peculiar to urban ecologies. Several seagulls fought over what looked like a cupcake wrapper, with one finally grasping it in its beak and flying around to escape (without any luck) the other seagulls trying to snatch it back. I wondered how the seagull was going to enjoy his booty when he began gulping the wrapper down, one crinkle at a time, paper along with crumbs. 

Back in the ground action, another seagull busied itself dragging empty plastic bags out of the surf and defending these useless bits of garbage against other seagulls, puffing its feathers up and hunching down. It finally found a bag that had two oranges in it and pecked a bit, but seemed to find the defensive act much more interesting. I looked at the surf to see what else the seagull would find, but I only saw what appeared to be the disintegrated pieces of an entire newspaper floating in and out on the small waves. Of course, in the city, you are never the only witness--a man stood a few feet away from me, snapping photo after photo (he was there when I arrived and stayed after I left) of the scene. (I should mention here that the poet Brenda Coultas once made an amazing film of seagulls eating french fries.)