Monday, December 8, 2008

Cleaving eigner

olson / gloucester / berkeley

—Robert Grenier,
In the American Tree

words do me—they do me in
my eardrums—keep humming
they don’t—shut-up easy
i don’t know—it’s so animal
my ears / mouth—not myself
i hear it—padding like a cat
measured—deliberate, stealthy
one big paw—at a time
like a panther—in the night
a language cat—penetrating deeper
and deeper—a thing ignored
the body poetique—relaxed, elegant
all alone—no hip hegemony
no hen-pecking—hierarchy
the nonlinear—cool cat
slinking—across the porch
claws clicking—on the floor
typography—with teeth
fangs from—another time
pleistocene—sabre-tooth boy
deliberately—padding the porch
impatient—for me to catch on
the “cleave”—to take effect
the “monostitch”—to unravel
the moment—to be mine
language—is an animal

olson / gloucester / berkeley

“Language process, body
process, one. The words
in my mind, hum”
—Robert Grenier,
In the American Tree

words—are mental muscles
stretch them—feel them flex
don’t be bashful—they’re yours
a million years old—maybe longer
all 26 letters—shifting in time
trying to—articulate you
deeper into—ordinary reality
magic reality—lurks there
a coffee cup—a deck of cards
a telephone book—a clock
all disguised—ready to go
no houdini—no séance
we already know—how it works
indented cat paws—across the page
see how the catty—royal yawns
after cid corman—the keys purr
animism—unspoken pride
sketching it—on lascaux walls
dredging it up—crinkly tar-pits
tender claws—he’s a lap cat
how much energy—do i have?
how much—will it take?
how much—is too much?
how much—is needed?

olson / gloucester / berkeley

“How about telepathy,
i.e. dispersing of notion
of form altogether &
no person, just pure
conversing with it”
—Robert Grenier,
In the American Tree

thinking olson—outward
beyond gloucester—maximus
it’s changed—it’s not the same
swampscott—has changed too
parents get old—and die
off to berkeley—with my brother
i dive—like a cormorant
i slink—like a panther
i felt it—the pacific rush
the fog—golden gate bridge
north beach—city lights
but especially—berkeley
immediacy—so immediate
campus—my new home
Berkeley life—full of excitement
young people—into poetry
poetry—lives there
bookworming its way—slowly
sometimes—the house hums
like anything does—nothing is
anything but—itself measured
my life measured—by Duncan
Spicer—and Billy the Kid
Orphée radio—thru liquid mirror
Miss Merrill—her playful planchette
Miss Auden—“Hell is so cozy!!!”
Yeats—in his train compartment
Making love—his lovely wife
Speaking in tongues—in bed
Clickity-clack—the rails below
She whispers—in his ear
Metaphors—for poetry…
Give me a break—will you?
All those gyres—and systems
What a jive-act—as if mapping
Had anything—to do with it

olson / gloucester / berkeley

“I do not
think of Eigner”
—Robert Grenier,
In the American Tree

Neither do I—sd Eigner
I gave up—a long time ago
I ditched his persona—dumped it
I’m a map now—focusing anywhere
Mediating myself—abandoning it
All around me—”is” invisibility
Propositioning it—my immediacy
Nothing romantic—just the facts
A key point—Roethke recognition
Being reflexive—“ready-made”
“Founded”—the Lost & Found Dept
the couch—in his living room
Poet in situ—guilty pleasures
Who else—would want to be
So incongruously—exposed

olson / gloucester / berkeley

“Turn around. What are
the creatures standing
on the wall”
—Robert Grenier,
In the American Tree

I’m like—Poe’s Roderick
Here I am—in the House of Usher
Ushering it in—ushering it out
Roger Corman’s—Vincent Price
I’ve got—Neurasthenia bad, baby
What am I doing here—Baltimore
They got me good—there was a
Gothic prelude—to the civil war
You’d be amazed—how much
Greeley—and the Tribune
Pushed us—into neocon then
How Rufus Griswold—editor
Betrayed me—did me in
Do you hear them—Greeley
And Griswold—midnight dreary
Opining gleefully—my obituary
How they wrote it—afterwards
The rats—in the wainscoting
The screams—in the crypt
The black cat—behind the wall
Love these—premature burials
Lascaux—way down deep
Deep—inside New England
I don’t miss—much at all
The Puritan—Color from Space
The scarlet letter—the Berkshires
Melville & me—under the cliff
Emily knows—I stalk the stacks
The Beinecke Library—moonlight
Down thru the windows—I am alone
Jack Spicer knew—Boston Librarian
He told me—Dickinson a serial poem
Susan Howe—told me the same
Captive narratives—Americana tours
Living lives westward—post Civil war
War steel railroad oil barons—why me?
Old Carnegie libraries—creak & groan
County Historical Museums-
Weaseling—bookworming into

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