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A Valediction Against Eloquence

artillery

         We cannot know how much we learn
         From those who never will return,
         Until a flash of unforeseen
         Remembrance falls on what has been.
          – Edward Arlington Robinson

I find temerity an easy thing,
A second cousin to that bravery
Which soldiers, priests and changeless change
All seem to learn by heart, to hear and see
In each their several works – the deafening
     Of cannons, bells and clocks. Each counts. Each counts for me.

The almanac’s perennial report
Indicts the dates of E. A. Robinson,
Supposed locus for my own mortal tort –
A figure slated: 1869
To 1935. What years are mine?
     These sixty-six, a vectored fix to spec to span

Such integers? Let fire for mine commence
By azimuth with ticking, tolling tongue;
Arrange bouquets of fusillade, bomb blast
And dry percussion; rip a canyon mouth
From mountainside. What bombast can outlast
     Artillery’s timely canon of eloquence?

“I attended a same-sex unionizing ritual but I didn’t inhale…”

inhaling ssm

The Grand Underachieving Pusillanimous Party (GUPPy) is at it again and this time they’re catching hell from Father Marcel Guarnizo.

While we’re at it…

Might as well call a spade a spade – or find out that we have critics in spades – and hearts – and clubs – and… Well.

Korrektiv announces new Latin literary find

1024px-Amphorae_stacking

Long thought to be a fabulous hoax played by Hugh Kenner on Ezra Pound for his 75th birthday, the “Mucorix Manscript,” as it has come to be known, has been baffling scholars for years. But now a Latinist from Finland Boj Neirbo says he has unraveled the mystery of the, until now, untranslatable document, claiming that the late Latin Classical text, a weird hybrid of Latin and Aramaic, can be sourced to a time immediately following the nadir of Roman poetry.

Looking at the subtexts, pretexts, ur-texts and contexts in the manuscript, Professor Selywn Mauberly of Puerto Rico State University and his colleague Johnathan Boy were “immediately struck by the authenticity” of the phrasing, syntax and diction.

“I think the late Mr. Kenner would be pleased to know that his little joke turned out to be something rather spectacular,” Mauberly writes in the official journal of Roman verse, Latin Poetry Yesterday – and, Yes, Today. “He must have known the world would eventually discover what he passed off as his own was in fact a long-lost manuscript from a poet who calls himself Ferrugus Mucorix – an obvious pseudonym.”

Also given the title “Carmina Mucronis” by the 9th century English monastic scholar St. Hubbins of Butterbreadbury, the enigmatic manuscript, which is dated to sometime in late winter A.D. 1-3., is filled with simple yet startling images, erotic themes and quite a bit of immature humor, Mauberly states. The centerpiece of the collection, a long didactic poem which blends epic, satire and scatological humor, is of particular note for the clues it leaves regarding other manuscript mysteries still raging in the heady world of contemporary classical scholarship.

“I’d be telling tales out of school if I said any more,” Neirbo said, speaking without even a whiff of a Swedish accent at a press conference held in the third booth on the left from the rest rooms at a Denny’s in Hoboken, NJ. “You just have to buy the book.”

According to Mauberly, at the same press conference, the work also includes a number of fragments of what appear to be a larger work.

“There are a swarm of theories swirling around the Maypole, much like those pieces of well-chewed meat that swirl around a sink drain but never seem to get to take the final plunge,” Mauberly said as he gave a sideways sneering glance to Neirbo. “But the most popular, and by far the most credible, I might add, is the belief that these fragments were actually part of a larger work attempting to celebrate the glories of the Roman sewer system such as it was at that time.”

While not at the press conference, Mauberly’s assistant, Boy, noted that it sought to do for plumbing what the renowned Roman epic poet Vergil’s Georgics did for farming.

“You might call it ‘The Cloacics’,” he said by phone from what sounded like someplace deep in a well with the constant rumble of large machinery in the background.

Also intriguing Mucorix scholars for years was the identity of Flavia, to whom many of the poems were addressed. From the text, scholars have gleaned that she was an Arabian slave with whom Mucorix has several trysts and who is owned by an individual identified as Calvus.

“As an objet de mon affection Flavia really out-Lesbias Lesbia, truly eclipses Cynthia and, in fact, indeed, decidedly, even, serves as a sort of uber-Kerouac,” Mauberly said at the same press conference between bites of warmed over bacon and cold fried eggs, alluding to Mucorix’s predecessors, the 1st century Roman poets Catullus and Sextus Propertius, and 20th century Beatnik poet Allen Ginsberg.

“But there’s a lack of originality there to Flavia which pretends to something else,” Neirbo said not quite under his breath, fixing Mauberly with a cold stare as he reacted to Mauberly’s tart reminder that Denny’s no longer has a “smoking section” by stabbing his cigarette out in the yolk of Mauberly’s third egg, which Mauberly said he “wasn’t going to eat anyway.”

Mauberly then proceeded to order a strawberry ice cream soda.

Running to a little more than 20 pages, the manuscript has been traced by Mauberly to actor Rudolph Valentino, who it is believed purchased the manuscript back in the early 1920s in Syria as the actor, an early proponent of method acting techniques, was sifting through palimpsests at a book stall in a Damascus market. It then vanished, Mauberly says, before resurfacing at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Washington, D.C., in time for the poet Pound’s 75th birthday. It is now housed in the New Jersey State University Lou Costello Library, Exit 32.

“Can I get some more coffee?” Neirbo said, lifting his cup as he attempted to gain the attention of the waitress, who said she didn’t “have time for his shit.”

“That was the best ice cream soda I ever tasted,” added Mauberly looking up from the bits of strawberry seed collecting at the bottom of his glass.
*******
Editor’s Note: Add another first to Korrektiv’s long list of accomplishments! After consulting with Boj Neirbo and pushing enough alcohol and tobacco in his direction, Korrektiv has acquired the first North American rights to his translation of the Mucorix Manuscript. Beginning with the introductory poem (which appears below), Korrektiv will be periodically publishing the collected works of Mucorix over the next month. I’m sure you will all be excited as the Korrektiv Kollektiv in seeing this important literary figure virtually resurrected before your eyes here at Korrektiv, where yesterday’s poets are and always remain yesterday’s poets today.

Carmina Mucronis: I

Stride on, my strident little book,
and tell the days of love and war;
stride on from noisy city avenues
to farms that lie in peaceful sunlight,
up the fields flush with wine
awaiting harvest vats and jars –
and tell Mars of your conquests,
all the while dedicated to Venus
who alone holds your shaft and shield,
mixing love and war in her bowl.
Stride on, my strident little book,
and tell the days of love and war
to the fortunate Gaius Laternium;
o, for he shall have you at last
when in his cups, clattering full
with mirthy bubbled blood
of love, that heady mixture of wine
and mellowing honey. For you,
famous scribbler of time and place,
here are some accounts of battle
given in softer measures than yours.
May Venus grant me a good vintage
in polished jars of posterity!

Burrito

burritoBurrito, bolus in my belly, fire in my breast. My dinner, my doom. Boo-rree-toh: the trill of the tongue wrapped before and behind by the osculating opening of the lips. Boo. Rree. Toh. It was lengua, stewed lengua, in the middle, morsels melting from meat to stock. It was beans and rice below. It was salsa de tomate on top. But in the tortilla it was all a Burrito.

Not so fast, Mr. Broderick “Bugs Bunny” Barker….

famiglia-numerosa2

“Large families are the most splendid flower-beds in the garden of the Church; happiness flowers in them and sanctity ripens in favorable soil. Every family group, even the smallest, was meant by God to be an oasis of spiritual peace. But there is a tremendous difference: where the number of children is not much more than one, that serene intimacy that gives value to life has a touch of melancholy or of pallor about it; it does not last as long, it may be more uncertain, it is often clouded by secret fears and remorse.” – Pius XII.

And more here.

 

 

Joe Cocker, RIP

 

God bless and rest his soul – at the very least for doing more with this song than it deserved.

Joe_cocker_1970

 

Existential Dissonance III

Doing heroin with my dad
http://www.salon.com/2014/11/24/doing_heroin_with_my_dad/

Marsh Pennywort*

marsh pennywort

Marsh pennywort repays in dividends
As it multiplies interest, its coin-
Rounded leaves, dangling thin purse-strings for fronds,
Supports inflation of its foreign green –
Hard currency in wetland’s liquid time,
Precious specie preponderating pond-
Economies with toad-spawned tadpole slime,
Necessarily blessed because so fecund.

Now too, the marsh will pay what seasons played,
Yet holds interest in soil across the board
While reed and rush enriched by fluid coins
Of marshy realms devalue winter’s trade.
Resplendence sees pennywort well-prepared
To issue species: nature’s greener groynes.

*Thus begins an overhauling of my Carlos Linnaeus sonnet cycle, this time in the quatrain, alas, changing out the meditations on Genesis, which ended the old versions, for a more rounded, satisfying poem. In the revision here I attempt to stay true to the poem’s own interior logic, rather than attempting to impose an arbitrary logic on the poem based on a meditations which organically has nothing to do with the plant involved. At any rate, it continues to be a work in progress…

A few things to know about the Marsh Pennywort – while mildly invasive, it also does a good job of preserving marshlands by strengthening the soil with its root systems. Also, a groyne, as you may or mayn’t know, is a man-made jetty-like structure used to control shore erosion. Suffice it to say that the pun on the word proved irresistible.

Charity Case

cancun-poverty-4

 

Yucca in Yucatan lances the wind
And faded fuchsia shacks litter the beach.
The days reel out like fishing lines in the surf.

And the sea waves rush on in like the blink
Of an autistic child who sees between
The folds of time, unable to make mistakes.

Outside my bungalow, the sun is white
Like the eyes of children wanting to pour
Into one’s pockets, saying, “Take me with.”

Thick with a hangover, the hunt begins
For a half-cold beer from the late model
Frigidaire. It’s bone-rattling sound

Made me think affection part of the plan;
But love is like most things in this country,
Better for the bargain the more one has . . .

So to be honest, I came down to serve
My lust first and the poor, who of course can
Afford American lust least, last.

We met at a party for professors,
Your husband among them, and my wife. You said
“You must come see my Mexican orphanage!

“You die just to feel good about these kids!”
And then some noise about core values and
Transcending parochial perspectives.

The first time we slept together I blamed
“The emotional moment.” The second time,
You reasoned sense into it, convenient

In equation. But the last time, as you
Put your clothes back on, I reached out to you
And, sitting up in bed, I said, “I love-”

You worked at your make up and fixed your hair,
The mirror hid your frigid smile, and surf
Grew silent at my door – which slammed so hard

Loose change rattled on the room’s one nightstand.