#Assisi : a #poem by #PaulCelan
Posts tagged poem
A great “episode in description” from the #AnnLauterbach #poem “Constellation in Chalk.”
—Wallace Stevens, Poetry, October 1921
From The Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Years of Poetry Magazine (University of Chicago Press, October 2012). Find some of Christian Wiman’s favorite discoveries from the past 100 years of Poetry—the introduction to the centennial anthology is available here.
Today, on what would’ve been Guest’s 92nd birthday, take some time to revisit Peter Gizzi’s “Barbara Guest: Fair Realist” — an excellent piece of writing about the work of an amazing poet.
John Ashbery’s long poem “The Skaters,” from Rivers and Mountains (1966), has been described by one critic as the quintessential postmodern long poem. Incorporating techniques such as pastiche and moments of ars poetic meditation, the text is a series of juxtapositions; it’s hard to know if the poem is even about skaters. And thus it is a good example of what many readers consider Ashbery’s difficulty.
And when the poet Martín Espada discusses his own poetic relationship to Walt Whitman in “A Branch on the Tree of Whitman,” he laments the prevalence in the poetry world of what he considers a move away from communication. For Espada, Ashbery’s difficulty is evidence of contemporary poetry’s cynical disengagement with the world of experience:Look at the movement toward obscurity…where the goal is to adopt a pose of detached, hip cynicism and not to engage with the world. Whitman is so deeply engaged with the world; you get that sense that he’s so involved. …We see, in a lot of ways, especially in the MFA world, people fleeing from the Whitman model, running in the opposite direction, toward what I don’t know. Toward Ashbery? Toward Stevens in some way? (29)
Espada continues, claiming this move toward “obscurity” is “a flight from anything that could move people, anything that could change people. It is, in some ways, profoundly dishonest” (29). In contrast, Espada claims that the poetry of the political imagination is often “clear, concrete” and “urgently direct.”
Apparently, Brilburn Logue is Alan Moore.
This is for when the slats of the night slam shut on you, for when the radio is broken and crackles like uranium orchids. For when the föhn-wind rattles the telegraph wires like a handful of bones, and for when dream ambulances skitter through the streets at midnight. In the amusement arcade a sailor whose muscles writhe with tattoos and pornography, doubled up, his vomiting emeralds. Elsewhere a black man with brass teeth and a swallow skin tie is laughing and laughing and offering poisoning candy floss to the children. This is for when your cuff gets caught in the cogs of an urban evening, for when your vision is frayed and you don’t have any more lust. This is for the wasp-woman. This is for the torturers’ wives with their thumbs blue as billiard chalk. This is for all the mathematicians who got mixed up in the dream gang. This is for when you get caught in a sleep-riot, this is for when your jism turns to platinum, for when the television is full of murder, for when the sky is out of order, for when your room is crawling with cheap poetry. This is for when your veins are singing with indigo for when the radiator is full of ever. For when your sex is full of voodoo, for when your clothes are imaginary, for when your kitchen is dead. This is for when your flesh creeps and never comes back.
ONE SASHAY IN JENNIFER
Jaded are my souvenirs, for they swell beyond the festivals where I tout them.
Um, soiled assassins are beautiful wearing the genocide they traveled to find me, but that’s love.
My arm is a contra for justice that injures the poor.
I mail sorcerers earfuls of misery, of hate—who value the confinement of my monocle!
You fashionable perverts fair well at the spirit crap because no wife is humane. I’ve dipped a stranger’s sores in my fat; they require brute force because I love them.
Not playing lacrosse indicates you must shine apples using Jesus or be forced to renounce the glorious suckle crime brings. Jesus sucked the crime from apples.
And the prime idiot resides on your tax form under sign here.
Or the deer will drive suave tractors and point and you will know their reach beyond any chef’s ability to fester your resplendent, pickled gums.
I am cleft of the charities that birthed me. Any whiff of rape inspires.
Your restored hyenas, etc…, they pivot like demons without ego, captain.
Ah! The trollop has a pencil. Conjure some attendance for my tiny itch, mister Satan, or I’ll quiz your beard. I am a civilian with paraplegic instructions yelling hard-ons back down, so sayeth this damn humble carny.