A turn unhinder’d is what
Signals it, a riotous gravitas
Insuperable. To condone, say, officially,
The undoings and unravellings of
Reason’s clerical mischief, that’s what
I’d like to see here.
Off under the burdock’s elephantine
Leaves, a snail is shooting
Forth one “eye,” then th’other.
A veritable nigh-backwash of receivables, and noted:
118 Westerly Terrace, by Susan Howe (Belladonna, 2005) ($4, 458 Lincoln Place, Suite 4B, Brooklyn, NY 11238)
“In 1934 Wallace Stevens bought the house at 118 Westerly Terrace in Hartford, Connecticut, where he lived until his death in 1955.”
In that piecemeal guesswork reading-style one inhabits (rather joyfully) in th’approach to Howe’s works (pages torn or crumpled collaged together, with all the gaps and overlays and obfuscs that entails), “one” makes out fragments of what seems a biographical sketch of Stevens (“Europe but never went there.”), repetition of “a robe painted with tinsel stars,” and what looks like a detailing of marginalia (Stevens’s?) in a book about Samuel Johnson:
138 Johnson’s laugh was as remarkable as any [illegible]Amongst what the agate-sized type over-splays and interrupts: “worlds together on the pag[illegible]” in pica. Th’effect is not unlike that of a Charles Ives piece, “Trio for Violin Violoncello, and Piano,” with its scherzo titled “TSIAJ”—“This scherzo is a joke.” Introduced and play’d by pianist Sarah Bob Saturday night, who made a convincing analogy of walking down a hall of music practice rooms, overhearing impetuous distillates and bribes of Americana song’d amidst the bold uproar, and the troubling intimacy and elegy of the passingly overheard. (Sense now of th’uproar become rote? Lacking th’unholy courage and blast of one’s forebears?)
Growl. Tom Davis described it drolly enough: he laughs like a rhino[illegible]
259 he has bracketed section on Chatterton beginning on 238 ending
J said of C: This is the most extraordinary young man that has encountered my knowledge. It is wonderful
how the whelp has written such things.
First Spontaneous Horizontal Restaurant, by Lisa Robertson (Belladonna, 2005) ($4, 458 Lincoln Place, Suite 4B, Brooklyn, NY 11238)
Part of an opening note:
If we could slow down our needy swerve, offer it—for the instant of hunger—a frame or a dais that includes all that’s unknowable about the earth, it might show us something new about how to resist what is traditionally felt as causation’s law. What precisely is required in the moment? I want to study the refreshing flora within resistance. I want to relax also. I want health and resistance to tarry in synaesthesia. I want to move on. Thus I am thrown headlong into transcendent things.And a few “headlong” lines:
And then to take hold of semblance and call it~
Nothing as dirt is zapped through
With habit and lacking a better verb I promote
This inauthenticity and the earth is a tipping dish
Where chance wears its messed up items
Entirely apart from intention.
Lola, by Lyn Hejinian (Belladonna, 2005) ($4, 458 Lincoln Place, Suite 4B, Brooklyn, NY 11238)
The chapbook Hejinian read out of in late March. What trigger’d me to send a few bucks to Belladonna. I recall Hejinian saying she’d had the task of “writing a circus.”
The dog on its leash knows the secret of freedom.Is how it begins. Chapters volley for attention, no more than three. Three-ring’d circus. And how it ends:
This is promising, says Lola.
Fanfare and ridiculous light.
A novelist is no more a scientist than a snake charmer is a herpetologist or a tightrope walker is an engineer or a cook is a chemist or a voting booth is a sanctuary or a confession is an autobiography or the folding of the nomad’s hammock is a surrender of territory.
A goldfish is no more a guard dog than a divorcée’s guilt is a balancing rod in the hands of the tightrope walker making his or her way from the Arctic to Antarctica or vice versa.
Go, little pebble, go shoe, go accountants in trances, go missionaries distributing rice to saxophone players on tour in the Sierras, go naked.
Befallen I, by Erín Moure (Belladonna, 2005) ($4, 458 Lincoln Place, Suite 4B, Brooklyn, NY 11238)
Part of O Cadoiro, a work in progress. “The raisonnement of my canción’s / ever been lacking.” Strange orthography and seeming translations—Portuguese nuns pining in the New World (hints of), archival love songs in a dead language. A seeming note (signal’d by sans serif) on the final page:
The record of how a language actually breathed in its human (now vanished) correlatesThat (false) sense that everything always arrives out of “elsewhere”—is that the realm of the “befallen”? A piece:
« tout le sens »
venant toujours d’ailleurs
“at my own grief. 7 that of my heart”
What is an archive? (Grief.) What is a book? (Trespass.)Who’d a thunk of the “lex” buried in “apoplexy”? (It’s not “there” the way the “lex” in “dyslexy” is there.) “Sum ar dissoluit suddantlye Be Cattarue or be Poplesye.” says a Lyndesay in th’O.E.D.
A book’s where breath’s seal is broken, breaks. The anatomic
structure of a body is not allowed to occur (but must) . . . .
O que é espectral no concioneiro é o soplo. Ce soufflé, a
respiración non pas entre mais dans les mots. “Cela parle, un
Eq~talhatarda becomes “e quant’ alá tarda”
“e quant’ el tarda”
“e quanta lh atarda”
Visually, she sent herself into apopléxica, desléxica, until
‘do’ and ‘go’ looked identical to her.
I wrote perpetologist. I wrote
Titrope. Saxophone I misspell’d: saxopone.
My walker got writ waker.
Rome for more: a common
Switcheroo’d insufficiency, though room
For more’d be something else.
So goes the daily malleability
Report, a day, if anything
Is, is malleable, correct, spelt.