Friday, November 10, 2006

Poetry does a far better job of coming to grips with contradiction than the political prose I've been hacking at all morning. To wit: Rick Snyder's exceptionally useful "The New Pandemonium: A Brief Overview of Flarf" that's up at Jacket. His take on Nada Gordon's V. Imp—really, the poetry itself that he reproduces there—moves me deeply. I'm going to reproduce the passage from “Foreword: The End of Greed, Imperialism, Opportunism, and Terrorism" that Snyder quotes here:
Mule and Ostrich took a walk in the vale of tears. Their minds were elsewhere.

“Tread lightly and accurately,” Ostrich reminded Mule. Mule nodded solemnly.

The hoi-polloi stormed around them, rending their garments: Brooks Brothers suits, red suspenders, tallises, green headresses, burkas. Everyone was spewing so much vital fluid that their faces, hands, and chests had gone all viscous.

“No one had a clue,” said Mule, lowering his head and pawing at the rubble, his mane and eyelashes thick with white dust. “I feel so mournful.”

“Don’t you still want to take the language somewhere else?” Ostrich asked, swerving his head around to stare cross-eyed at Mule.

“Of course I do,” sighed Mule, “I’m a beast of burden. That’s all I know how to do. But right now I wish we had hands so we could hold hands.”

“That’s liberal humanism,” said Ostrich, looking ruefully at his leathery talons and Mule’s splayed, yellowing hooves.

“So?” said Mule, his lip quivering.
Yes, Mule. Yes, Ostrich.

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