Saturday, July 4, 2009


Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled 1984


“the cleavage
is complete”
—William Carlos Williams
Spring and All

How to tell—a story
A non-linear—story
A Fractured—Fairy Tale?

How to cleave—a story
So that it—makes sense
Without—closure voyeur?

How to cleave—myself
Down the middle—from
Clavicle—to bellybutton?

How to deal—with pain
And heartache—cleaving
Myself—together again?


“Are you healing well?
Are you at home yet?”
—Phuoc Tan Diep
The Cleave

Still in—Pain City
My turn—to be Non-Linear
Instead of—just Verbiage
I can feel it—the Cleavage

The Surgeon says—I’ll be
Very uncomfortable—for a
Month—he’s so Ironic
Full of—Understatement
He should be—a Writer

Pain as—Heartache
Like a Black Hole—sucking
Light—Gravity & Everything
Down into—another rather

Pain—as love gone bad
Sprouting snakes—as tho
Hissing and spitting—were
My business—hot runny
Lead tears—Bulletproof

Medusa—all around me
Frozen with—failed logic
Hurting in ways—Betrayed
Knowing now—my heart
An empty—parking lot


“there is something
amazing in the way
your cleaves make
sense in a non-linear
way like unfocusing
and letting the words
soak in”
—Phuoc Tan Diep
The Cleave

Pain—as non-linear
Without closure—in sight
Present tense only—making
Sense in—this House of Pain
Can I rewrite—my Body?

Pain—as Neo-narrative
A different kind of—Storytelling
Told from—Mrs. Lazarus’
Point of view—told from
Medusa’s Third Eye


“The cleavage goes
through phases of
experience. It is the
jump from prose to
the process of imagination
that is the next great leap
of the intelligence—from
the simulations of present
experience to the facts
of the imagination”
—William Carlos Williams
Spring and All

Subverting—Fairy Tales
A discrete—series of
Briefly—sketched beginning
To End—without closure

Fractured—Fairy Tales
Told tongue—in cheek
Like Carol Ann Duffy—
Perverse composition
Gender-fucking—the Past

So that—Cleavage
In detail—and sequence
Ends up—Disjunctive collage
Like Plath’s—surrealist portraits
And Stein’s—surrealist movies

Poetic—permutations and
Each non-linear—Story
A series—of bits & pieces

Disjunct cleavages—
Vignettes—short and
Not ordered—a different
Kind of Narrative--both

No logical—causal
Beginning—middle end
The story-collage—together
Other than—the Now


“This world is not conclusion
A sequel stands beyond
Invisible as Music
But positive as Sound”
—Emily Dickinson

Cleaving—as anti-Epic
No Epic—montage formats
Like Cantos—The Waste Land
Cleaving—depending on

Parataxis—as Performance
Cleaving—different Heartaches
A non-linear—Artform of
Fairy Tales—and Lies

Cleaving—displays an
Uncanny lack—of didacticism
Like Williams—Open & Zukofsky
Cleaving—creates coincidences

Poems—without destinations
Cleaving—as modular poetics
On Nomadic—Lost and Found
Cleaving = “finding as founding”


“I prefer poems
in anthologies to
poems in individual
books. A poem in
an anthology has
forgotten its author.”
—Tan Lin, “ambient stylistics,”
Telling It Aslant: Avant-Garde
Poetics of the 1990s
Cleave me—into fragments
Feeling—both sides closing
Stitches across—my sunken chest
Bride of Frankenstein—coiffure
Elsa Lanchester—Art Deco Drag

What is—camp Cleavage?
The Cleavist—as Designer
Cleavage—as Style & Performance
Cleavage—as Disjunctive Diaspora
Cleavage—as finding the unfound

The Cleavist—designs collages
Like Sylvia Plath—cubist surrealism
Ariel reads—like cleavage collage
How to design—such Simultaneity?
Plath doing it—rather Adroitly:

Early Sapphic Modernists—
Rethinking—Patriarchal Poetry
Designing & Composing—
Different ways—of Cleaving
Like Stein’s—Tender Buttons

Phuoc Tan Diep—performing
At Poetry Café—Covent Garden
Showing how—cleave poetry
Gets to be read—two poems
Into one poem--together


*“finding as founding”—Stanley Cavell
This New yet Unapproachable America

No comments: