It will be sufficient to illustrate this by the two following anecdotes. A Servant at Grange, (the seat of J. Lister Kaye, Esq.) going into his master’s room, and seeing a gun unprimed, therefore supposed to be unloaded, aimed it at a portrait; snapping the lock, as thought he would say, “here I have you, and there I have you;” when on the third pull of the trigger, the Gun went off, and gave such a finishing touch to the canvas, as the painter himself had little foreseen. Hogarth had this in mind when he wrote in The Analysis of Beauty, “The eye hath this sort of enjoyment in winding walks AS WELL, and serpentine rivers, and all sorts of objects, whose forms, as we shall see hereafter, are composed principally of what, I call, the waving and serpentine lines. Intricacy in form, therefore, I shall define to be that peculiarity in the lines, which compose it, that leads the eye a wanton kind of chase, and from the pleasure that gives the mind, intitles it to the name of beautiful [...]” & this is a fantasy you live with, magnetic guns, robotic second guess a wristwatch your skin grows over & comes off with embarrassed glares, teenagers start dieting & the whole scuba club had an accident because the sea is also a joke. C tells me that on concluding lunch with her colleague at a reputable restaurant on the Strand she had walked purposefully towards the entrance only to hear his footsteps rushing up behind her and feel his hands pulling her back by her shoulders, as if saving her from an accident. She had been striding into a mirror. And the curious detail: she had not seen herself advancing. At that all her words got replaced by signs → → → So what would the “starling” really be? A baby star? (Cf. Wilkinson’s birdy star, mentioned by Josh Stanley elsewhere this issue). A baby star, AKA an “outburst,” or a nova, which punningly combines death and birth? (Cf. Tycho Brahe’s De Stella Nova, that is, On the New Star). It looks like a star is born, but actually one dies? Looks like a star dies, but actually one is born? (“[...] IT’S A BLUEBERRY, NITWIT; DON’T ALLOW HIM TO CONTINUE!!!”) Or there’s Sophie Robinson, who has worked extensively on tiny dogs being sent on rockets to space, but also writes in a non-confessional mode. Or maybe it could be like stringing an instrument: That cat gut you’ve inserted through my mouth, / It travels down my spine, fires & tugs / With every movement, ‘specially in my loins ~ / It is the fruit of all seasons; a bird / For every journey ~ on each vital organ. / It has a tension you wouldn’t believe, a sssssspiccato / Belonging to the ‘60s. I mean the 1660s. / It is a little heinous corpus when I / Bend under. If you squared it with the up stroke, / You might smooth things over for a while ~ / At least till I [...] I keep watch- / ing movie trailers, much more than I / watch movies, imagining I am to be a / world-renowned movie trailer critic. / It could happen. But why let it, / having already thought it all / the way through? What purpose can it serve us to deny or disavow the incomprehensibility of the machinery from which a disco ball descends every time we do anything of which we are incapable? You will not seek to discredit the sufferings of the unicorn simply by breaking off his horn, or of the angels by pointing out that anyhow they have no hearts. I give you a little fable, said Matthew Arnold as he turned into salt. I mean, Just as some guy / is proposing to / Suzanne Pleshette in a cough / syrup commercial, / I realize / I’ve dozed back off and snap / to, crack my left / eye and see you, / dog formed / by shadows of art / books along the wall. If you want to know where the party is follow the search lights / hey, tread softly for you tread on my / treadmill. And ſo we did, and chatted of many thingvms, adequately lvbricated by Gvinneſs of the fineſt quality, or ſo I’m told, and we diſcvffed thingvms aſtral and earthly, and it turns out the ſoftware “is rilly rilly eaſy & alſo free.” It was late when we both made ovr way into the long night. In my dream that night a keſtrel tongved a perineum, I covld not tell whoſe it was.
[Note: Sources: Sir Thomas Frankland, “Cautions to Young Sportsmen”, via Giles Goodland, FB post, 15 Nov 013; Megan Zword, review of Emily Critchley, Love / All That / & OK, and Critchley herself, at Hix Eros 2;
False Flags, quoted in Stephen Emmerson’s review of same, at Hix Eros 2; Carol Watts, alphabetise, quoted in David Spittle’s review of same, at Hix Eros 2; Del Ray Cross, “mmxxxii”, at Anachronizms, 16 Nov 013; George Barker, “Letter to a Deaf Poet”, in “Two Prose Pieces – George Barker”, at The Fiend, 17 Nov 013; JBR; Ron Padgett, “Sleep Alarm”, quoted in Tom Clark, “Ron Padgett: Sleep Alarm”, at Tom Clark Beyond the Pale, 16 Nov 013; Posie Rider, “lEEDs radio 1xTRA”, in “Poetry Openned - new poem!”, at Posie Rider, Nov 010; Anon, “Animal Crater by Goat Far DT and Papa Boop Ndiop”, at Hix Eros 2]