Friday, June 29, 2007

Incomplete recently every intention tomorrow

This poem from Kristin Prevallet's altogether extraordinary I, Afterlife:


The lack is consumed with his thoughts.
I now believe that this world is nothing more than a means of being in another.
There is the orchestra, the lawn, and the buzz.
The echo outside of my dreaming that occurs within me but is actually only a projection. An antenna tuning in to the noises of the forest.
Epictetus: play around with the power of moving towards an object and retiring from it.
This gesture of approach is the closest you will get to the other side.

: of which we wanted only a fragment, but couldn't. I hereby transcribe this poem entirely. No kidding, transcribing, I mean it. If you must have a fragment, have this, from Gil Ott's Amputated Toe:

Where is she headed, is she running away, and if so, away from what or whom? Answers to these questions might make an interesting story, but they are not relevant to this one.

And this, from The World We Live In (1982, Larousse):

Grandmother may ride around in her own little helicopter. There will continue to be a family life. People will still cook meals. Committees will meet, people will have friends.... Interestingly, some objects may not change: rolling pins, spoons and shoes. There are no aliens from other planets in the picture.

Jean Jacques Mayoux (tr. John Ashbery), says in Melville (Grove Press, 1960):

No one will ever know exactly how Moby Dick was written. In the book which has come down to us, which is the only one we have, Melville's mixed and conflicting intentions are not easy to unravel: for example, the epic tone (a universally accepted convention) of the temptation to parody (a more dubious convention) and of the idea of the real greatness of modern man (proposition of a new truth).


...and when Queequeg squints at the signs on his own body ("he's found something there in the vicinity of his thigh -- I guess it's Sagittarius, or the Archer," says Ahab) one cannot shut one's eyes to the sexual motivation, or separate it absolutely from Ahab's madness, dissociate from a supreme humiliation that unatonable pain he feels, that suffering which inspires Melville to see "a crucifixion in his face." It is, in any case, a despair of ever existing which leaves intact only the "mechanical humming of the wheels of his vitality in him."

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