To begin ...

As the twentieth century fades out
the nineteenth begins
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

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Andrei Codrescu: Two New Poems, “Facebook Redux” and “The Gulf of Mexico (Social Realism)”


Facebook didn’t depose Mubarak
  the army deposed Mubarak
    with the help of unarmed people

Facebook doesn’t depose
  it poses
but in Egypt it was better than the telephone
  and it still is in countries
   where the police isn’t on Facebook yet
     (there is no such country: Facebook is the police)

in the U.S. where everybody is on Facebook
  pretending to be just hanging out
    discussing the quirks of their dogs
       their tastes in music and what they want in a mate
         Facebook is just pixel puff off a virtual dog
           its data bots eat your brain and make you buy stuff
and if you make a move that looks vaguely human Facebook arrests you
   and connects you to Twitter LinkedIn and other social groups
    where communication will rehabilitate you

for a writer Facebook is especially deadly
  a novelist mining for stories will run only into lies
    there are no smells and no skin
a poet is quickly bored by the nanitudes mouthed there
  an essayist meets there only herm public face
    and whatever looked real in reality
      (which wasn't much)
is secretly spirited away from your soul and made into zuckerbergs

mr zuckerberg laughs all the way to the bank as he eats them
  it’s always sunny on sugar mountain

I quit Facebook
  I felt lighter already
    I looked for my friends at the bar
      couldn't find them
but look: a real dog is falling in love with a fire hydrant!


these giants
        behind the scenes at night
           they are working for you
even when they look like they are making money
             for someone else
                 (they do)

the only thing that hurts these giants is the umbilical cords
  they are attached with
      to you
that one just dangling with a puddle on the end
        is the gulf of mexico
          it used to be rich

all you need is a nice pair of scissors
   then it will be esthetic
     you won't even know it was there
        like a shrimp in reduction sauce

wind air water fire when drafted say ok
  then they attach themselves
    to you
      with new umbilicums
yummy it feels yummy

migratory birds know
  where to go
    something outside of them tells them
       where to go
something inside them says yes
  and then it's off to mexico
    but never again to the gulf of mexico

that's voided pedagogy
    dead verbs nouned
           derivative was once to derive
 and so the body was derived from the need to feed
              and the puddle dried up

adjectives too had a hard time
   but everything is fast now
      don't bet on language
         to be on your side
                  it's not
       not because it's venal
                    but because it's in constant use

      if we gave our language a break for let's say a century
          and kept quiet with our needs at a minimum
we might turn into finer animals horses let's say

            evolution used to work that way
               now volition does

teacher teacher what does my soul look like?
                     a duck
                        I hate ducks
                        I like birds
                    I hate ducks
                    will they make a difference to my grade?

no but you're now in charge of bodies in area 51

                        they are morphing

How does language shape physiognomy?
                                    why do the french look french?
                                    do the people of the 20th century look different?
                                    do plumbers?
                                    do ideas?
                                    what makes them look like they do?
tolerance is important

anybody who's ever made a fire knows why synergy's important
the hard thing to know is when there is too much of it

                        people your actions are ridiculous
                          the consequences tragic
                              where is the gulf of mexico

pinata in a buffet
see last will and testament
  by caligula jr
     innocence is hard look at me
       all these years

whose dream are we
our own
which is the next question

                                    why are most things round?
and the next:
                                    we ever
                                    be safe
                                    from the
                                    interior monologue?

and the next:

                         does anyone know how to get lost anymore?

and the one after:

                        what disarms the reader?

                        what weapon must he be relieved of?

there will be always the exact same amount of god

        vomit is the price of liberty
                I for instance feign amnesia during the daytime

                     to hide from my own shadow

NOTE.  Codrescu’s voice as a poet & commentator has enriched and informed us since his arrival on American grounds in 1966.  Editor & founder of the ever bountiful Exquisite Corpse, his work continues “without check, with original energy” into the present.  His recent books include Whatever Gets You through the Night: A Story of Sheherezade and the Arabian Nights (2011) & The Poetry Lesson (2010), both from Princeton University Press.  The Posthuman Dada Guide: Tzara and Lenin Play Chess (2009) is a touchstone of contemporary/historical poetry & poetics.  More in his own voice & with generous quotes from others can be found at  (J.R.)


Ed Baker said...

been meaning for yrs now to delve into
see what of there-in occupies Andrei Codrescu's


as soon as I finish "eating alive" Charles Bukowski

(whose 'my comrades' just tickled my phunnie's bode)
thanks for the "giggle" & introduction
here to a 'snippette' of AC's "stuff"

think I will open with his A BAR IN BROOKLYN and then (his) The Post Human DADA Guide

as we used to oft-en say it "da da" and often wonder(ed) what EVER be
came of

"ma ma" ?

me thinks "she" become a significant "eros (woman)" ?

(pee est ... I had Facebook for about 3 weeks ... of course,
I only used it to put up images of my unexpurgated

drivel ! I dropped Facebook as being contrary to anything any-which-way !

thanks for the link to.... too


Anonymous said...

a poet who doesn't take himself too seriously - refreshing

i used to live in new orleans, and i regret to report that a friend who participated in an interview with mr. cod. said he wasn't a pleasant fellow

the gulf of mexico is important in n.o. area - my father-in-law works on a rig there...

facebook - even the cognomen is unintentionally is the first step, i suspect, into a new cyber territory where angels will fear to tread