But the light returns. It rained darkly and the world was an immense lake. In Paris the tower of Saint Jacques careening like a sunflower nearly collides with the Seine. We searched for medicinal herbs in the pampas (limpiaplata and pennyroyal, mint and llantén), for the spider-fairy of the cinders in points of blue and red. Rahue flowed dark without the light of fish. Estranged I went back up the clear trail. And he had been calld to exalt himself with the name of Saint-Yves d’Alveydre. We swam quickly to avoid cramp. Each of us took a bird by the tail or feet and went back to the boat hidden among trees. Men lit their hunting lanterns throwing the wounded prey into sacks. And beneath your face the cone of shadow turns which from the depths of the sea has calld the pearls the eyelids, the lips, inhale the day, lions whose manes consume the chairs, and the octopus in its crystalline retreat gives way in whorls and ringing sounds to the Hebrew alphabet. The little songs go on to die their natural death. I persuade you to put on your hats before going. We marched drunk, feathered in death and pissing in the wind. In the middle of the pampa we fell asleep covered in frost, grass and curses, a star, nothing but a star lost in the fur, i remove i and a colon from two lines above, the green of days barely reach the sill, i remove es from ices keep another i put the c here, the green of days barely reaches the sill, the beachball : dreaming ‘the’ dream, the dreamball we dance on the beach, “So a guy walks into a bar … I mean the ER, no I mean a bar … no I mean ER.” Same difference. PART I. I. Towards the end of November, during a thaw, at nine o’clock one morning, a train on the Warsaw and Petersburg railway was approaching the latter city at full speed. The morning was so damp and misty that it was only with great difficulty that the day succeeded in breaking; and it was impossible to distinguish anything more than a few yards away from the carriage windows. Some of the passengers by this particular train were returning from abroad; but the third-class carriages were the best filled, chiefly with insignificant persons of various occupations and degrees, picked up at the different stations nearer town. All of them seemed weary, and most of them had sleepy eyes and a shivering expression, while their complexions generally appeared to have taken on the colour of the fog outside. When day dawned, two passengers in one of the third-class carriages found themselves opposite each other. Both were young fellows, both were rather poorly dressed, both had remarkable faces, and both were evidently anxious to start a conversation. If they had but known why, at this particular moment, they were both remarkable persons, they would undoubtedly have wondered at the strange chance which had set them down opposite to one another in a third-class carriage of the Warsaw Railway Company. Across Montana, the Dakotas … We read from Vaudeville as well as Dead Cities (see especially “Ecocide in Marlboro Country,” “Preface,” and “White People are Only a Bad Dream”). Naively, I thought I knew what was going on. “Sure, more gritty than Portland, but hey I’ve been there lots of times.” Everything seemed “together.” Little did I know. Should never have listened to Socrates. That said,
A terrible time
Every soul had left
I stayed behind
The city took on a personality
(spidery walk atop young sticks
gut string legs
All this being said, what does “apocalypse” even mean? My dad noted to me as I had been developing an increasing interest in the apocalypse throughout the “anxiety” of the 1890s that apocalypse means to unveil, remove, uncover, reveal. To … Tear off the Veil! (which looks extraordinarily Orientalist in writing it down here, but was in conversation and sounded and seemed different … further research is needed). We are dealing with the monstrous here as the show winds down. The “Animal Show” (a historically accurate reference to how Vaudeville shows often ended) full of mutations, “Octopus-Bird,” “Raccoon-Dog,” “Unicorn-Dog,” “Butterfly-Rabbit”. Yet, how? You will hear the voices. Have you seen the saucers? Remember that song?
Do you know the people out there
Who aren’t happy with the way that we care
For the Earth Mother.
Have you seen the saucers.
There goes the neighborhood
American garbage dumped in space …
[and so on and so forth]
Have you any idea why they’re lying to you?
To your faces
Did they tell you?
Have you seen our saucers?
I still kinda love that shit. Kathy would get into bed, I would turn off all the lights in the living room but one 15-watt bulb, pile a mound of weed onto a copy of Zap 6 or somesuch, and hit the bong til I couldn’t not cough. Then, into the music and the revelations. But can we talk a little about “Four Colors for the Based God?” Oh yes, the Based God. It was a big white blank square book and I used four highlighters in a set sequence to write whatever came to me and I’d try to stick with it for say ten pages at a time, cycle through all four colors at least once, etc. and the process was sorta disinhibiting for me, I mean I’ve been writing and posting loony gnomic things on walls forever but I’d never set to it with such a point before, the handwriting thing, which ended up being a pretext for writing this poem while at the time I was so sure the change of handwriting was super important important important. And Lil B. He’s got some good ideas and a good practice, the based god; he is among the muses of this poem and the dedication is not ironic. A friend of mine told me he’d heard a fair amount of Lil B on YouTube and couldn’t fathom why anyone would listen to any of his tunes more than once, and I thought yes but isn’t that part of what’s so right about his work? We are all mutants in our own gaze / relapsing into false memory syndrome / symptomatic of the urge to become / a thing destroyed a trumpet / another plastic / object or hi there, i don’t control my own metaphors, those late nights dancing salsa in the bathroom, watching your teeth fall out. So, one of the times I feel the most cathected to the book, and feel more typical catharsis, which is not exactly the main emotion I feel while reading Titanic (but do) is in the poem where you take on that crazy scene from Buffy (The Vampire Slayer) where she’s about to jump off the thing and dawn is there … (In the final scene of the fifth season Hell opens up and Buffy realizes that only her or her sister Dawn’s blood can close the fiery portal so the only way to save earth and Dawn is to sacrifice herself. Then she does a dramatic run and jumps off this really high tower into the portal.) YEAH. YEAH. And you’re playing her in that scene, and that scene is like very personal, I think probably to a lot of people. I remember watching it and crying when I was little. Oh, that scene, I can hardly watch it now and not cry. That was like such a huge moment. I do. I really think that it kind of cuts both ways where you should avoid any extreme restrictiveness or extreme indulgence — I guess I’m kind of Epicurean or Lucretian in that way — uhh maybe cause I’m in my late twenties now I’m striving towards balance.
[Note: Sources: a mashup of André Breton, “Dreams” (tr. Robert Duncan), “Vigilance” (tr. David Antin), “Windward” (tr. Robert Duncan), quoted in Jerome Rothenberg, “Translating André Breton: Robert Duncan & David Antin”, at Jacket2, and Maribel Mora Curriao, “Flight”, and Jaime Huenún, “Rauquemó Swans”, quoted in Steve Brock and Juan Garrido-Salgado, “Trilingual Visibility in Our Transpacific: Three Mapuche Poets”, at Cordite, 16 Dec 012 (“These […] poems were originally written in Spanish … and are infused with a bi-cultural sensibility as they travel between the ‘traditional’ and the ‘mainstream’, drawing on Mapundugun terminology and cultural references. The poems have then been translated into Mapudungun by Víctor Cifuentes Palacios in Chile, and from Spanish into English by the team of Juan Garrido-Salgado, Steve Brock and Sergio Holas in Adelaide.”); Tom Raworth, “The Moon Upon the Waters”, quoted in Pierre Joris, “Tom Raworth’s ‘As When: A Selection’”, at Nomadics, 24 Apr 015; Amber Dawn, “Amber Dawn: from Where the words end and my body begins”, at Lemon Hound, 27 Apr 015; Tom Comitta, The Idiot, at GAUSS PDF; Philp Jenks, “On Allyssa Wolf’s Vaudeville or My Altamont Blues, II”, at Harriet, 27 Apr 015; Paul Kantner, “Have You Seen the Saucers?”; JBR; John Sakkis, and Paul Ebencamp, quoted in Sakkis’ “‘here are some possible resonances of these colors’: An Interview w/ Paul Ebenkamp, Part II”, at Harriet, 27 Apr 015; erica kaufman, Instant Classic, quoted in “Geneviève Robichaud on erica kaufman: INSTANT CLASSIC”, at Lemon Hound, 27 Apr 015; Susan M Schultz, “64”, at Tinfish Editor’s Blog, 27 Apr 015; JBR; Cornelia Barber, Cecilia Corrigan quoted in Barber’s “Cornelia Barber in Conversation with Cecilia Corrigan”, at Lemon Hound, 27 Apr 015]