At the Musarium [17401 – 17500]

[17401 – 17500]

There was a woodman, a seedy turnkey,
a repository of far-fetched winnings,
all compost, cobweb, kegs, & corduroy,
immune to encumbrance. The Campania
idealized him. A smoker of jerkin,
a gladiator of the fulsome but
tricky recorder, he’d serenade the
tigress before she’d become sententious
& wallow in her own disparaging.
Soon, Mephistopheles, soon, your bated
trellis mete with pineapple, your cocktail
of Sanskrit & globular candelabra
will encompass our flinty optimist
with indubitably vapid asunder.

Composed: 1-31-15

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At the Musarium [25101 – 25200]

[25101 – 25200]
Go-ahead, Mr. Tsar, & flex your overlong
incisor, burnish cockatrice at the
podium, interpolate each millimeter of
oleaginous drugstore, abjuring
unscrupulous Tangiers. Go-ahead
titillation. Go-ahead machination:
As primates, we piss & pulsate all
the while as endwise the Apocalypse
abolishes enfilade that spangle
the fogy waterfront, thereunder
leaving us in heliotropic disrepair.
Go-ahead bing & bijou. Go-ahead
bijou & bing!

Composed: 6-19-11
First published: Post Poetry. SK Kayes, ed.(Autumn 2011). 12. Print.

At the Musarium [12001 – 12100]

[12001 – 12100]

A seething panorama of urges
presides, curving undaunted, yet
unaccommodated. Mythical, transcendent,
lustrous—bashful adjectives all—
sneak westerly past the thrifty shoemaker,
Wayne, alias “Le Chevalier.” Whereupon,
shrewdly, he dupes them home. Under a bog,
whales waken, quieter than the tinklings
of Valencia, & forage for cocoa, for
lilac, for twill, until the meddling
granddaughter of the vizier prays
for her mummy to expel them, to tape
shut the panther in its ire
& on a saucer to sling the scribe.

Composed: 7-8-09

THE WORLD SLUMBERING IN A LIST OF WORDS

Words are a record of living, repositories of the on-going history of human experience. Not in terms of a discursive account: I am thinking of a process of accrual—like a static charge built up from use or barnacles of experience attaching to the hulls of phonemes—as if the handling of waves weathering a beach produced mountains rather than grains of sand. Another way of saying this is that words remember what they hear as well as the contexts of their soundings. “For Emerson,” writes Jacques Rancière in Aisthesis: Scenes from the Aesthetic Regime of Art (2013), “the symbols of the spiritual world can be found everywhere. The task of the poet is to awaken this potentiality of speech, this potential of common experience of a spiritual world slumbering in every list of words. . . . The poet must reunite words and things” (60). For me, Emerson’s intuition of “a spiritual world slumbering in every list of words” is just this capacity of words to resonate with experience, an intuition that comes close to Rancière’s own sense of “the sensible fabric of true life that [becomes] literature” (256).

At the Musarium [9801 – 9900]

[9801 – 9900]

Outright exaltation couples the
executioner to the pitiless
volcano depicted on the illegal
Hungarian passport that presses
stealthily against the speaker’s
sister-in-law, whose pompous whereabouts
dishonor the aggregate respectability
emerging from her manufacturer’s
earnings. Lances bang & grind,
combining cement with commissions,
weaving sullenly through Bavaria,
mountainous & unreal, the vacancy
of their boisterous reproof, & the
lightness its crumbling lookout.

Composed: 1-16-11 (or earlier)
First published: New Writing. UK. 7-12-12. Web.