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wThursday, October 06, 2005


1753

GOETHE

I apologize for this long letter; I didn’t have time to shorten it.
— Pliny

Today I put my friends in storage, steerage,
Prayed to a miniature device for a signal
To complicate the god failings of my wide late
Innocence of the noise wrappers make coming off.

I put the boxes in the van, aided by
A Hungarian photographer named Sonny.
The morning was cool and hazy, and we both
Admired New Jersey's dirty fog. "The second time

I came to New York I had to buy a suitcase
For all the pictures I took -- 3,000." Film,
He said, is infinite -- with these digital cameras
You may as well be looking at television.

I am not a moralist about narcotics. If you're
Not driving or caring for small children,
Shepherding a democracy or otherwise
Changing life, no harm no foul. I like tv.

I hate it. It's the cell I am filing out of,
Sudden close-ups, contusions, power struggles
The penumbra of effects that halo all our days
Under the hemi-demi-semi-quavering economy.

There is a subject that demands being written.
There is a light that never goes out.
There's a frog on a loose soda.
There there now, that's a good boy.

In what we now call Germany they orient sofas.
Sofabeds must point north; divans go east-west.
These thoughts betray the strange pressure
Of a mind formerly tending to feel bleak.

Good feelings swoop up the god that failed.
The confidence man by Herman Melville.
I have always admired the look of card catalogs,
Perhaps not as much as waterfalls but then.

Why is this good feeling indestructible,
What am I to do with this persistent good luck
That makes a success of every wistful darkness
Pretending to be a ghost rabbit genius locii.

Goethe is not the subject of this poem nor
Do I intend to mock the sufferings of others
Or my own. A person arrives in a distant city,
Stands before a podium, and leaves before

Anyone realizes what a pumpkin pie the mind
Can press charges against. The person has left
The blood book at the employee toss. Giving
Lightning to the keeper of the dream camera

The person returns in time for sleep practice.
A reader, while developing a goatee,
Renders a fair account of the moods and lights
The mental strawberry lends a quiet dance.

"The teacher told me to go see if the nanny
Was drunk. Now none of the nannies speak to me."
We agreed to debate Whorf's hypothesis until sunset;
No more bull sessions in Iceland for me.

When in Iceland, drink cucumber vodka
And pay no attention to the glacier faeries.
Consider taking a ferry to the Faeros Islands.
This video editing software changed my life;

Suddenly everybody dismissed Rilke
As a vacuous oaf. I started wearing a baseball cap.
I took regular inventory of my feelings.
Finally, the counterintuitive genius of undershirts.

Statler to Waldorf: I never understood that
About the Muppets -- they think explosions are funny.
Then Boom! his cigar's a purple flash
And black dust on his face the next shot.

Meanwhile, Goethe riding either into or out of battle
Sees oil shining on the surface of water in a well
And is seized -- possessed -- taken with a subject
That will occupy him through wars, loves, and triumphs.

Though the optics of his theory of color
Are generally discredited, it remains
An entertaining intellectual oddity,
Something more than a violon d'Ingres.

Wittgenstein's theory of color: we cannot speak
Of brown light. Unless we've driven the Turnpike
Between November and April, that is. Americans
Speaking of color ought to blush. Avanti! Into battle!

Greatness is tedious! all these rock bands
Quoting Yeats no I take that back!
All the practitioners of a talky monologic
Kiss-me-I'm-from-the-real-world

Let's not even turn toward those tautologies
We can read by their light at this distance
Listen: "..is the art of the memorable.."
As if they remembered the first thing

About lust sizzling a crease down the heart
Or for that matter a single tender concession
No it's all blustery awkward complications
The only boldness for them is a cool disregard

For everything that could make a woman spit.
When they do set a blaze, it's their hair
Giving awful smoke -- how much they hate it
When their careful efforts at winning attention

Don't somehow obliterate all difference,
Don't automatically negate all other priorities
Or for that matter ways of achieving those goals
Other than their own. Vain vain vain vain vain,

And they announce it as if to deflect
What is in fact a valid reason to ignore them.


posted by Jordan #