Cleaving Roberto Bolaño

Bolaño, berlin & baby boomers

“Is Nazi poetry an
oxymoron? Not a bit
of it, posits Bolaño.
On the contrary, it’s
all too possible.”
—Stacey D’Erasmo, “The Sound
and the Führer,” The NYTimes
February 24, 2008

Bolaño invents us—a nazi literary salon
i was a peenemünde poet—snarky like ernst jünger
my heteronymic doubles—hermetically sealed

years later—revisiting new berlin
retracing my days & nights—as a young poet
i had this startling flashback—about my luftzerleger

languishing littérateurs—pimps & belles lettres
“nazi literature in the americas”—wickedly pushing
imaginary fascist poets—into surreal nazi reality

borges as smirking—sardonic SS colonel
meticulously keeping track of me—his hitlerjunge
lover in the stacks—lazy lebensraum nude

buenos aeries streamlined—by far-right littérateurs
pushy purveyors—hitler-esque belles lettres
beauty, truth & luftwaffe jets—how we won the war

it’s all been recorded—cross-referenced
my slipstream sci-fi memoir—long dystopian novels
secondaire literature—“nazi science fiction”

a series of sketches—some cheap scenarios
von braun, messerschmidt—miss borman the fixer
my compressed life story—Vergeltungswaffe lit

i was
leni riefenstahl—busy young neocon director
filming a brand new—world order reich aesthetic
goose-stepping chic—up & own Fifth Avenue

i had the taste for it—classic stuka vulgarity
a dislike for “bourgeoisie”—a lurking sense that
something had gone—terribly wrong with poetry

the muse, for instance—had been “stolen”
perverted” by inferior races—a better poetics
a fourth reich genre, my dear—surely imminent

world war II—a passing reference
substitute “language poetry”—for “fascism”
and bingo—how exquisitely co-contemporary

verses vindicating il duce—aryan literary societies
nazi writers—their postmodern imaginations
riefenstahl reminisces—all those hunky olympic games

nights in rio de janeiro—busy buenos aires
swooping junta helicopters—and bankrupt priests
filigreeing & dissecting—an endless hypocrisy

lost souls and—laughable oeuvres
ratty yellowing pages—aging old nazi queens
ernesto pérez masón—daniela de montecristo

max mirebalais—the ceaseless plagiarist
combining heinous nazism—plus negritude
passports to nowhere—disingenuous disguisings

literature an escape—from history?
literature a post-avant—fabulation?
literature an uncanny—nothingness?

if Hitler won—wouldn’t poetry be different?
chrysler building—with art deco eagle?
congress—just another dumpy Reichstag?

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