Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Lines from Bruce Andrews’s Ex Why Zee:
Body = society, we think of punishment as refinement, and yet: nothing is natural, body just another android fun machine. Genres are fucked; disturb the creature – we need our own spanking rhetorical body.

I used to be a radical formalist, but now / I’m a derivative spiritual humanist / with better funding opportunities.
John Evelyn’s description of the aftermath of the Great Fire of London, 1666:
The fountaines dried up & ruind, whilst the very waters remained boiling; the Voragos of subterranean Cellars Wells & Dungeons, formerly Warehouses, still burning in stench & dark clowds of smoke like hell, so as in five or six miles traversing about, I did not see one loade of timber unconsum’d, nor many stones but what were calcind white as snow, so as the people who now walked about the ruines, appeard like men in some dismal desart, or rather in some greate Citty, lay’d wast by an impetuous & cruel Enemy, to which was added the stench that came from some poore Creaturs bodys, beds, & other combustible goods.
(Vorago, “an abyss, gulf, or chasm.”)
Oliver Cromwell (for Steven Moore)

He read of children tossed
at a pike’s end, of cannons
with “God Is Love” scribed round
their barrels. He read of a snake
with garnet eyes, of golden
ringlets curling round the hemp
of a hangman’s noose.
He read of green fields
and mines, of foundries
and factory floors. Pleasures
and game diversions. The tree
which bursts into pink blossoms
of enthusiasm. The trees huddle
suspiciously in the wind, rustle
in green whispers. A village mashed
and shattered under the sun, not one
stone left upon another. Bombers
and fighter jets darkening the sun,
the shop clerk whose weekend sends
him – in militiaman’s uniform –
to take stock – with a bayonet– of a
tentful of refugees. Great men,
whose brows line with the effort
of shaping destiny. Who read old books,
and find their faces there.

(in progress)

1 comment:

Norman Finkelstein said...

Bravo, Mark. Strong lines--give us more when you're ready. Maybe it's not the time to mention it since you're writing about Cromwell (then again, your readers may be interested), but I strongly recommend Don Revell's "To the Lord Protector," originally in There Are Three and since reprinted in his selected, Pennyweight Windows.