Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Starting to get more of a grip on things. Yesterday made significant progress in revising the Pound chapter, which isn't as good as doing new writing maybe but valuable nonetheless. Need to extract a writing sample from its deepening prolixity. This morning felt the leisure to take the dog to various caffeinated watering holes: first Collegetown Bagels for a chunk of Late Marxism, from which I extract this luminous quotation from Adorno and Horkheimer on philistinism: "To those who spasmodically dominate nature, a tormented nature provocatively reflects back the image of powerless happiness. The thought of happiness without power is unbearable, because only then would it be true happiness." And then at Gimme Coffee to discover just such fragile images of happiness in Jordan's Million Poems Journal. I hope he won't mind:
Copper Beech

The plaster needs fixing
And the grout in the tub is gray
The plants are back from brown
The cheap rose in its third bloom
Dianthus blossoms cluster at a stem
Like geraniums
                        a feather driven
Out through the comforter cover
For the cold summer breeze

Confused the feather goes out
Over the empty dobule candlestick
And the trees are full of light seeds
Someone with a young voice is calling
Someone it's after eleven-thirty.
The dark hair of women in films
And the brown curly hair it's not red.

The police stand fat on Second Avenue
Tic-tac-toe drawn on my heart
Every autumn to ask the question
Of the red-blue air at quarter-turns,
What question? what question?
A purple cardinal whistles it
To a white chickadee.
The geese in the sky are black
Flying off in different directions,
Branches of a copper beech.
Sublime peeking through cracks, that ought to be the name of the genre of such a poem. Now off to the bookstore; if I have time, I'll turn to two chapbooks generously sent to me by Erica Kaufman: her own chapbook from the two coat syndrome (which has this kicker of a Frank O'Hara epigraph: "It is easy to be beautiful; it is difficult to appear so") and Marcella Durand's The Anatomy of Oil, published by Erica's own press (with Rachel Levitsky), Belladonna Books.

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