To begin ...

As the twentieth century fades out
the nineteenth begins
.......................................again
it is as if nothing happened
though those who lived it thought
that everything was happening
enough to name a world for & a time
to hold it in your hand
unlimited.......the last delusion
like the perfect mask of death

Sunday, June 15, 2008

15 Antiphonals: for Haroldo de Campos

(1)

burnt by asthma

curs’d miasma


(2)

a blind nail
oiling
sun’s axis

a kind whale
spoiling
nun’s praxis


(3)

the malice of the mastery

the chalice of her chastity


(4)

the crux of the incredible

the flux of the inedible


(5)

mirrormoon in the mirage

silver spoon for persiflage


(6)

from muse to medusa all hot

when accused the accuser will rot


(7)

the fire became
water the water
a body of vapor

the tiger proclaimed
slaughter the slaughter
modified nature


(8)

weary weary weary
and a fury

dreary dreary dreary
in missouri


(9)

mirror of the self, mature

silver on my shelf, secure


(10)

Sitar of the tongue, how does one hear?

Guitar once unstrung is never clear


(11)

Unlike the bird
according to nature
but as a god


Hiding his word
under their strictures
rebuff’d with a nod


(12)

in front of a greater king
a king lesser great

unsung who will later sing
will more sing still late


(13)

minute
commentaries


hirsute
dromedaries


(14)

secure a cut
a sure shot
on the bull's eye

skewer a cunt
the whore hot
on the driveby


(15)

against
the unflinching
light
the eye
turns
emerald


beneath
the diminished
night
the sky
burns
unheralded

[N.B. The preceding poems were part of a commission from Francesco Conz, for work to be added to a series of large colored photo portraits of Haroldo de Campos. As my contribution to what was conceived as a group tribute, I took phrases & lines from English translations of Haroldo’s poetry & responded to them with loosely rhymed soundings of my own. I then handwrote the poems pair by pair onto a black left margin on each of the photographs. In the typographical version above, Haroldo’s words appear in italics, while mine are shown in roman type. For me at least, the resultant work has the feel of translation/transcreation – as still another instance of othering.]

2 comments:

Larry Sawyer said...

I love the tension in this sequence. There are some interesting sound combinations that had me rolling through it all repeatedly.

Especially:


mirrormoon in the mirage
silver spoon for persiflage

Julie said...

Thanks for sharing...
___________________
Julie
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