Thursday, July 24, 2008

Stimulus & Response

data demonstrate an indirect effect in the absence of a direct effect

afforded by when or

same stimuli responses are manipulate

Thus, stimuli without
[of is of at instructed A of its on an of (task measure) a a effect A of typically (accuracy) of a an (measure) of !direct a task! on at]

Subliminally stimuli stimuli select response.

accelerate response

Lateralized experienced presented same responses.

findings indicate.
Thus, stimuli accelerate response responses.

when manipulate subliminal response.

attitudes without awareness of their without

of antecedents demonstrate
These attitudes afforded

stimuli subliminal stimuli

responses. afforded when or stimuli

are by same manipulate responses.
presented responses presented when different



Subliminally supraliminally

when has been different delay responses

been reported mainly presented or

Evidence or presented activate cognition.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Eternal Feminine

Half Dreaming Louise Bourgeois' Dreams

thin blue mother's milk pours
from the hard kettle morning pools
and sticks to twisted sheets -- Louise is still asleep
in a house ((inside a house )) inside my mind (today modern glass)
Cell # 69

this is meant to be aggressive but wholly feminine like chewing a bottle of aspirin left on the table in the center of the room without swallowing water.


Diary Entry: 07-23-08:

Perhaps the last day of my life, I am so very old.

My legs won't carry me over the dumpster walls anymore. I am thinking about Robert's dead penis entering my body and he comes back to life.

Woman like a white flower devil/angel sacred cunt fecund earth -- Georgia O'Keefe! Where is the photo of us together? Did we ever have one? I only can remember all those sir-really men.

remember unDaughters: Spiral = freedom v. strangle

1. Plant moonflowers in the gray pot on the roof
2. Write a poem about Fear on the blooming petals. I dare you Louise -- be delicate -- show more of yourself.

Confront: I am so old.
C'est la vie!
But please when you find me don't use that bottle of Lysol, I hate the smell! That young artist from Texas left it behind at last Sunday's Salon. How stupid his work and I told him so! But still ... I must be more encouraging next week. ....there is still so much to dream.


//return //

Do you remember Louise, when we cut our palms with our brother's pocketknife?
How they slid warm when we pressed our hands together?
Our shiny red hearts pumping inside our swallowlike chests
for boys we hadn't yet met
and how we giggled about the babies our store of eggs would someday make?
And we hunted for nests.

We will won't we Louise --- always be born into such vulnerable architecture.

Lisa Nickerson

The Advent of a Quantum Poetry

To these I present the composition as an Art-Product alone: -- let us say as a Romance; or, if I be not urging too lofty a claim, as a Poem.

What I here propound is true: -- therefore it cannot die: -- or if by any means it be now trodden down so that it die, it will “rise again to the Life Everlasting.”

Nevertheless it is as a Poem only that I wish this work to be judged after I am dead.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Attitudes in Deportment

Blasted prose is all telly, takes the engine out, no matter, it is what is at hand. All that's left some say. Not much point in disagreeing, since there will be enough of that.

Might be, that by 1930 it was all finished, that is the New--what followed was an interpretation, and elaboration, a thinking through. (yet one would not limit the renaissance to a small span of years, so be not too hasty as yet). Still, the reverberations of those working in those years are still with us, coloring every line of verse whether we acknowledge it or not. It is not even a matter of knowledge in most cases--the sad lot of education being what it is.

Pieces of this or that are taken and declared New, at best there is an evolution--language overtakes the poetry and the poetry itself is forgotten, whatever the genre which one might choose to subscribe to, thus there is dogma and counter-dogma and anti-dogma and the piss blew the ants away and so forth. Somewhere in the center of it all the poetry still remains, and if it is lost who shall we blame, why only the poets who sit in the flame and prefer not to be burnt--

and if they are not burnt dare we call them poets?

Dog poopy. It is worse than Plato thought, lies and evasions; such promises as would make a televangelist blush were one capable of such a thing. There is nothing that would make the axes in the grasses spring forth to strike these poets down, and if one should dare; the ridicule from his brethren would deafen the heedless gods themselves. (That was fun, where was I?)

Oh yeh! Political correctness masquerading as poetry would be one way of putting it, another would be banal pap best left in secret diaries with the rest of the public secrets that make the housewives titter and gasp--

one wonders if they still do that.

Maybe it is the convergence of science & spirituality--at this crux, this vantage point which we have we are halved by both certainty & uncertainty.---our existence is predicated on the signposts we leave for those who follow; the questions become finer, ethics, consciousness, spirituality--in our hubris we do not wish to be wrong yet cannot escape that destiny even as our artificial society sinks in the mud and we can quite plainly see it. Boogers we say, and argue over the angels on the head of the pin!

Schools they say! Schools of this & that--periwinkles and pop-tarts, pink commas in the hem of the schoolgirls miniskirt, and who's in charge of story time. Techniques is all they are! ways of saying that which must be said. I happily steal from all of them. If I have to--if I don't I putter down whichever road presents itself. If in the before of all that, I absent myself to take a pee you must pardon me.


From Gertrude Stein: "Sources", tender buttons

A little lingering lion and a Chinese chair, all the handsome cheese which is stone, all of it and a choice, a choice of a blotter. If it is difficult to do it one way there is no place of similar trouble. None. The whole arrangement is established. The end of which is that there is a suggestion, a suggestion that there can be a different whiteness to a wall. This was thought.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The possibilities of a postmodernism

Screambly or re-considerations, at least as to titles--labels for the latest millennium and such--pending the outcome on the imminent dissolution of society, which makes "modern" such an unfortunate misnomer.

Happily, some drunken archaeologist may find some dusty disks that can be deciphered in the rubble. I very much doubt that he will scan for meter, Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall and such--"The Age Demands" or
alternatively "we" demand a poem.

A splintered age, the light shining through the facets of a diamond, fragments, bits and pieces left over from the orgy of a mass madness;
an individual pleasure that outweighed the common good? It is a common question. The handbill floating in the wind usually refers you to a deal that will leave you one up on your neighbor in one way or another, that is should it be you that receives the reward. I am told, that democracy referred to the tyranny of the many (Aristotle)--(Bartleby would be unwelcome; all things considered.)

Hence as the spirit moves me, or a condensed heresy until crisis overwhelms the gestation of the stillborn idea--Modern must be realized always as "not yet". A mad conceit to add post- was it not Baudelaire who was modern? Or Catullus, mourning for Lesbia's sparrow? Perhaps we can borrow from the surreal--encase ourselves in plastic and pretend that the overriding sense of the age is not rage; no, not at all, of course, sitting as we are with our chubby hands clasped upon our fat bellies as if we were all Mr. Bloom quite certain that we know the direction of things.

--in that sense, the History of the poem that is not yet. How would we quantify ourselves within its text? Pander surely to our greed, which is the legacy of our philosophy. (Mr. Pound would cause Mr. Adams to frown at this point most unpleasantly in the latest canto, wherein I straighten the pink flamingo while bending without spilling my coffee to retrieve the morning paper, and call it cognito ergo sum, not neglecting the Hero who is me)
"That was a rather long trope," Mr. Bloom exclaimed, widening the scope of his enquiry.--no matter every couple of hours it is archived upon the ever more meaningless pile of words. Frightfully we must all make a record of our "existence". Even me.

Naturally, that makes us all Poets, which makes the poem of "not yet" that much harder to find; quite, tho one is assured that nowhere is just the same as everywhere. Frankly, I am of the opinion, that Mr. Kees is quite dead, tho robinson is peering over our shoulder noting the dismal failure of definition, disregarding of course the painting of bikinis, or the skirts designed for islands.


" just ran the final proof of Novaless through Word's auto- summarize feature, setting the parameters to 1 percent of the text. 160 pages reduced to 6 lines. This, then, is the machinable vision of a poetic text's integral elements, with no alterations:

black light
affective life . . .life
if dark » . . .
« if

Who said mindless mechanisms are deprived of poetic sensibility?I was dumbstruck . . . "
Posted by Nicholas Manning at 11:21 PM 5 comments
Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Standing Thus on the lip of the chasm--Mr. Bloom, would not I presume understand this ejaculation on the modem preferring this last exclamation to express our own scream, rather than letting our precocious child articulate it for us. How sweet it would be to write our own epitaph, to have at least that modicum of control over our own modern, which is to occur time and time again, in the near future.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008




Aims are best grasped by what the movement opposed: {6}

1. narrative: no story or connecting tissue of viewpoint or argument: poems often incorporate random thoughts, observations and sometimes nonsense. {7}
2. personal expression: not merely detached, the poems accept Barthe's thesis that the author does not exist. {8}
3. organization: poems are based on the line, not the stanza, and often that line is discontinuous or fragmentary: the poems reject any guiding sense of purpose. {9}
4. control: poems take to extremes the open forms advocated by Williams and the Black Mountain School.
5. capitalist politics and/or bourgeoisie values. {10}

1The words of the Preacher,
the son of David,
king in Jerusalem.
2 Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
3 What does man gain by all the toil
at which he toils under the sun?
4A generation goes, and a generation comes,
but the earth remains forever.
5 The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
and hastens to the place where it rises.
6 The wind blows to the south
and goes around to the north;
around and around goes the wind,
and on its circuits the wind returns.
7All streams run to the sea,
but the sea is not full;
to the place where the streams flow,
there they flow again.
8All things are full of weariness;
a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
nor the ear filled with hearing.
9 What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun.
10Is there a thing of which it is said,
"See, this is new"?
It has been already
in the ages before us.
11 There is no remembrance of former things,
nor will there be any remembrance
of later things yet to be
among those who come after.

Ecclesiastes 1


To have evolved into an extreme pro-piety by this point, as at the beginning the refinement of a technique; another inevitable dam built against the onslaught of reality--i.e. the constant creation of the mind.

(Left as we are with a theory of Games within language, another amusement, this time at the expense of the Art, a constant illusion of Now, one sense, a gang of thieves who rush to the grotto in the dark to hack the white goddess into pieces and rush off with bits & pieces to proclaim her death in the cities.

That narration is a foible, yes of course! The procession begins at a certain point and ends at another, the conversation is the buzz of the mob intent as always upon destruction, an underlying morbidity, false trails.

"Nothing But Stars" To annihilate the author, it would seem at least prudent to discover who he is. He is, at the very least, not who he says he is...

and the rest? tired old maxims, reruns of the theories of Beaver Cleaver's Dad, polished up and sold as "New"

Problem is; "Now" is always passe.

(Not that it matters anymore)

Monday, July 14, 2008

The possibilities of a postmodernism.


Flarf poetry can be characterized as an avant garde poetry movement of the late 20th century and the early 21st century. Its first practitioners practiced an aesthetic dedicated to the exploration of “the inappropriate” in all of its guises. Their method was to mine the Internet with odd search terms then distill the results into often hilarious and sometimes disturbing poems, plays, and other texts.--Wiki.

In this instance there is an intrusion of technology to replace the dominance of "I". The author is reduced to the role of clerk, sorting and filing stray bits of information. He becomes slaved to the technology at hand; and the poem depending on the amount of "self" allowed by the clerk is a report on the current state of affairs between the "I" and the available technology. Coherence is mostly often left to the audience. The poem becomes a partnership, a collaboration. Truth becomes a collection of the best available information.

--a central question arises as to the nature of the Muse. In a traditional sense, it may regarded as a sense of the Other, something beyond the self which might be called upon for guidence--in this new modern evolving sense it can be regarded as a reality based source of assembling thought which arise from a variety of sources which is based in the collective mind represented by technology. It is necessary to acknowledge that both are creations, tho the first has long been thought to be outside of Nature and the second has from its inception been a product of specific hardware. Nevertheless, occasionally something happens, either an existing wire gets snipped or a neuron makes a new connection and a poem comes into being.

It seems evident to me that the central tenet in all these instances of "automatic writing," by which I mean techniques, and not movements--is simply the debate on how to draw the "Not I" into existance, to suppress
"I"--in one interpretation to reduce the poet to Zombie; i.e. an automoton.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Further Exploration on the Cosciousness

Good son, there are three ways of having: first, to have in the future, Secondly, to have at present, and thirdly, to have in the past. All sentient beings will have in future ages the most perfect enlightenment, i.e., the Buddha nature. All sentient beings have at present bonds of defilements, and do not now possess the thirty-two marks and eighty noble characteristics of the Buddha. All sentient beings had in past ages deeds leading to the elimination of defilements and so can now perceive the Buddha nature as their future goal. For such reasons, I always proclaim that all sentient beings have the Buddha nature.

Heng-Ching Shih, "The Significance Of 'Tathagatagarbha' -- A Positive Expression Of 'Sunyata.'"

Sunday, July 6, 2008

the Problem of Consciousness as it relates to the Theory of the annihilation of the Narrator

The "alienation of the subject is displaced by the latter's fragmentation," and indeed by the "death" of the subject itself--the end of the autonomous bourgeois monad or ego or individual." Coupled with that end is the end of a "unique style, along with the accompanying collective ideals of an artistic or political vanguard or avant-garde." The result is the now axiomatic "waning of affect" that manifests itself in an ability to produce satire or even parody, the latter giving way to "blank parody" or pastiche. "As for expression," writes Jameson, ". . . the liberation, in contemporary society, from the older anomie of the centered subject may also mean not merely a liberation from anxiety but a liberation from every other kind of feeling as well, since there is no longer a self present to do the feeling."

Dharmakirti's argument can be formulated as follows: The consciousness of the new born infant comes about from a preceding instance of cognition, which is an instance of consciousness just like the present moment of consciousness.

DalaiLama, The universe in a single atom, The Convergence of Science and Spirituality, P 132.

Central to the Buddha's teaching is the doctrine of anatman: "not-self"." This does not deny that the notion of an "I" works in the everyday world. In fact we need a solid stable ego to function in society. However, "I" is not real in an ultimate sense. It is a "name": a fictional construct that bears no correspondence to what is really the case. Because of this disjunction all kinds of problems ensue. Once our minds have constructed the notion of "I," it becomes our central reference point. We attach to it and identify with it totally. We attempt to advance what appears to be its interests, to defend it against real or apparent threats and menaces. And we look for ego-affirmation at every turn: confirmation that we exist and are valued. The Gordian Knot of preoccupations arising from all this absorbs us exclusively, at times to the point of obsession. This is , however, a narrow and constricted way of being. Though we cannot see it when caught in the convolutions of ego, there is something in us that is larger and deeper: a wholly other way of being.
John Snelling

Jaynes, Julian Canadian Psychology, April 1986, Vol. 27 (2): 128-148 Canadian Psychological Association Symposium on Consciousness (1985, Halifax, Canada) The problem of consciousness and its corollary the mind body problem have been with us at least since Descartes. An approach to a solution to both may be begun by carefully analyzing consciousness into its component features and modes. It will then be seen that consciousness is based on language, in particular its ability to form metaphors and analogies. The result is that consciousness is not a biological genetic giver, but a linguistic skill learned in human history. Previous to that transitional period, human volition consisted of hearing voices called gods, a relationship I am calling the bicameral mind.

3.6. This view is not without precedent. Indeed, even the word for consciousness in English, Russian and the romance languages translates as co-knowledge, those aspects of mental life that are communicated or are potentially communicable. Russian psychology has capitalized on this etymology, emphasizing the enhancement of conscious function that comes from social cooperation and communication (Luria, 1981). Many psychologists from Wundt onward have pointed out the privileged position of language in human awareness.
3.7. The appearance of language as a communicative act generated by the planning mechanism brought with it some immediate and very powerful advantages. Not the least of these is that one also hears one's own speech, so that the plan-monitoring mechanism has immediate access to the plan-executing mechanism's products. In the process of development the loop can become internal, as pointed out by Vygotskii (1962) in his analysis of the importance of internal speech in human thinking. The whole planning process is made recursive, and the enormous power of human thought becomes available with a relatively minor change in a mechanism that all primates share. Again, this process allows quick evolution of a seemingly complex addition to the human brain.
3.8. Needless to say, these advantages created a strong selective pressure in early humans or pre-humans to improve the language faculty. The categorical nature of the components of speech (phonemes and words) made it possible to transfer an idea from one human's brain to another's, under reasonably favorable conditions, without error. The task was accomplished with the communicative advantages of hierarchical digital coding, combining a small set of qualitatively different phonemes to make up distinct words. This does not apply to other animal communication systems.
3.9. Up to this point the operation of the plan-executing function has addressed only narrative consciousness, awareness of one's perceptions and actions. In the current analysis, this sort of consciousness would have to be admitted in animals as well, to the degree that they can separate behavior from environment with a planning mechanism. But language changes everything. If the currently executed plan is a linguistic one, a plan to perform a communicative act rather than a conventional action sequence, one can become aware of one's own ideas; an enhanced self-consciousness becomes possible.

The birth of a flower

“[Description of an ancient Greek painting:] Let us ask the youth, my boy, who he is and what is the reason for Apollon’s presence with him, for he will not be afraid to have us, at least, look at him. Well, he says that he is Hyakinthos, the son of Oibalos; and now that we have learned this we must also know the reason for the god’s presence. The son of Leto for love of the youth promises to give him all he possesses for permission to associate with him; for he will teach him the use of the bow, and music, and understanding the art of prophecy, and not to be unskilful with the lure, and to preside over the contest of the palaestra, and he will grant to him that, riding in the chariot drawn by swans, he should visit all the lands dear to Apollon. Here is the god, painted as usual with unshorn locks; he lifts a radiant forehead above eyes that shine like rays of light, and with a sweet smile he encourages Hyakinthos, extending his right hand with the same purpose. The youth keeps his eyes steadfastly on the ground, and they are very thoughtful, for he rejoices at what he hears and tempers with modesty the confidence that is yet to come. He stands there, covering with a purple mantle the left side of his body, which is also drawn back, and he supports his right hand on a spear, the hip being thrown forward and the right side exposed to view, and this bare arm permits us to describe what is visible. He has a slender ankle below the straight lower leg, and above the latter this supple knee-joint; then come thighs not unduly developed and hip-joints which support the rest of the body; his side rounds out a full-lunged chest, his arm swells in a delicate curve, his neck is moderately erect, while the hair is not unkempt nor stiff from grime, but falls over his forehead and blends with the first down of his beard. The discus at his feet [missing text] about himself, and Eros (Love), who is both radiant and at just the same time downcast, and Zephyros who just shows his savage eye from his place of look-out - by all this the painter suggests the death of the youth, and as Apollon makes his cast, Zephyros, by breathing athwart its course, will cause the discus to strike Hyakinthos." - Philostratus the Younger, Imagines 14

Friday, July 4, 2008

Notes on Salutrean/Clovis debate.
But the surprise was that about 3 percent of the Native Americans tested had mtDNA from a different haplogroup, called X. Some populations, such as the Ojibwa from the Great Lakes region, have a high concentration of X - 25 percent.

The name Ojibwa (pronounced oh-JIB-wuh), along with its variations, Ojibway, Ojibwe, Chippewa, and Chippeway, means “puckered up” and probably refers to a puckered seam in the style of moccasins tribal members wore. Their native name Anishinabe (pronounced ah-nish-ih-NAH-bay) means “first people.”

Some hold to the doctrine that Nanabozho created the animals for the food and raiment of man; that he caused those plants and roots to grow whose virtues cure disease and enable the hunter to kill wild animals in order to drive away famine. These plants he confided to the watchful care of his grandmother, the great-grandmother of the human race, Mesakkummikokwi, and lest man should invoke her in vain she was strictly forbidden ever to leave her lodge. So, when collecting plants, roots, and herbs for their natural and magic virtues, an Algonquian Indian faithfully leaves on the ground hard by the place whence he has taken the root or plant a small offering to Mesakkummikokwi.

In one version of the prevailing Algonquian cosmogonic story it is said that, before the formation of the earth, there was only water; that, on the surface of this vast expanse of water, floated a large raft on which were the animals of the various kinds which are on the earth and of which the Great Hare was the chief. They sought a fit and firm place on which to disembark; but as there were in sight only swans and other waterfowl, they began to lose hope, and, having no other, they requested the beaver to dive for the purpose of bringing up some earth from the bottom of the water, assuring him in the name of all the animals present that, should he return with only a single particle, it would produce an earth sufficiently spacious to contain and nourish all. But the beaver sought an excuse for refusal, saying that he had already dived around the raft and had failed to reach the bottom. He was pressed so strongly to make anew so worthy an attempt, however, that he took the hazard and dived. He remained without returning for so long a time that the supplicants believed him drowned. Finally they saw him appear nearly dead and motionless. Then all the animals, seeing that he was in no condition to remount the raft, at once interested themselves to take him into it. After examining carefully his paws and tail, they found nothing. But the little hope left them of being able to save their lives compelled them to address themselves to the otter to ask that he make an attempt to find earth at the bottom of the waters. It was told him that his own safety, as well as theirs, depended on the result of his effort. So the otter yielded to their urging and dived. He remained in the depths of the waters a longer time than did the beaver, but, like him, he came to the surface without success. The impossibility of finding a place to dwell where they could subsist left them nothing more to hope, when the muskrat offered to attempt to find the bottom, and he flattered himself that he would bring back sand. Although the beaver and the otter, much stronger than he, had not been able to accomplish the task, they encouraged him, promising even that, if he succeeded in his attempt, he should be the ruler of the whole world. The muskrat then cast himself into the waters and bravely dived into the depths. After remaining therein nearly an entire day and night he appeared motionless at the aide of the raft, belly uppermost and paws closed. The other animals carefully took him out of the water, opened one of his paws, then a second, then a third, and finally the fourth, where there was a small grain of sand between his claws. The Great Hare, who was encouraged to form a vast and spacious earth, took this grain of sand and let it fall on the raft, which became larger. He took a part and scattered it, which caused the mass to increase more and more. When it was of the size of a mountain he willed it to turn, and as it turned the mass still increased in size. As soon as it appeared quite large he gave orders to the fox to examine his work with power to enlarge it. He obeyed. The fox, having learned that the earth was of such size that he could easily take his prey, returned to the Great Hare to inform him that the earth was large enough to contain and nourish all the animals. After this report the Great Hare went over his work, and, on going around it, found it imperfect. He has since not been disposed to trust any one of all the other animals, and ever keeps on enlarging the earth by ceaselessly going around it. The rumblings heard in the caverns of mountains confirm the Indians in the belief that the Great Hare continues the work of enlarging the earth. He is honoured by them, and they regard him as the god who has formed the land.
Invading countries to seize their natural resources is illegal under the Geneva Conventions. That means that the huge task of rebuilding Iraq's infrastructure -- including its oil infrastructure -- is the financial responsibility of Iraq's invaders. They should be forced to pay reparations. (Recall that Saddam Hussein's regime paid $9 billion to Kuwait in reparations for its 1990 invasion.) Instead, Iraq is being forced to sell 75 percent of its national patrimony to pay the bills for its own illegal invasion and occupation.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Thou Shalt Not Kill

Thou Shalt Not Kill
by Kenneth Rexroth A Memorial for Dylan Thomas
They are murdering all the young men.
For half a century now, every day,
They have hunted them down and killed them.
They are killing them now.
At this minute, all over the world,
They are killing the young men.
They know ten thousand ways to kill them.
Every year they invent new ones.
In the jungles of Africa,
In the marshes of Asia,
In the deserts of Asia,
In the slave pens of Siberia,
In the slums of Europe,
In the nightclubs of America,
The murderers are at work.
They are stoning Stephen,
They are casting him forth from every city in the world.
Under the Welcome sign,
Under the Rotary emblem,
On the highway in the suburbs,
His body lies under the hurling stones.
He was full of faith and power.
He did great wonders among the people.
They could not stand against his wisdom.
They could not bear the spirit with which he spoke.
He cried out in the name
Of the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness.
They were cut to the heart.
They gnashed against him with their teeth.
They cried out with a loud voice.
They stopped their ears.
They ran on him with one accord.
They cast him out of the city and stoned him.
The witnesses laid down their clothes
At the feet of a man whose name was your name—
You are the murderer.
You are killing the young men.
You are broiling Lawrence on his gridiron.
When you demanded he divulge
The hidden treasures of the spirit,
He showed you the poor.
You set your heart against him.
You seized him and bound him with rage.
You roasted him on a slow fire.
His fat dripped and spurted in the flame.
The smell was sweet to your nose.
He cried out,
“I am cooked on this side,
Turn me over and eat,
Eat of my flesh.”
You are murdering the young men.
You are shooting Sebastian with arrows.
He kept the faithful steadfast under persecution.
First you shot him with arrows.
Then you beat him with rods.
Then you threw him in a sewer.
You fear nothing more than courage.
You who turn away your eyes
At the bravery of the young men.
The hyena with polished face and bow tie,
In the office of a billion dollar
Corporation devoted to service;
The vulture dripping with carrion,
Carefully and carelessly robed in imported tweeds,
Lecturing on the Age of Abundance;
The jackal in double-breasted gabardine,
Barking by remote control,
In the United Nations;
The vampire bat seated at the couch head,
Notebook in hand, toying with his decerebrator;
The autonomous, ambulatory cancer,
The Superego in a thousand uniforms;
You, the finger man of behemoth,
The murderer of the young men.
What happened to Robinson,
Who used to stagger down Eighth Street,
Dizzy with solitary gin?
Where is Masters, who crouched in
His law office for ruinous decades?
Where is Leonard who thought he was
A locomotive? And Lindsay,
Wise as a dove, innocent
As a serpent, where is he?
Timor mortis conturbat me.
What became of Jim Oppenheim?
Lola Ridge alone in an
Icy furnished room? Orrick Johns,
Hopping into the surf on his
One leg? Elinor Wylie
Who leaped like Kierkegaard?
Sara Teasdale, where is she?
Timor mortis conturbat me.
Where is George Sterling, that tame fawn?
Phelps Putnam who stole away?
Jack Wheelwright who couldn’t cross the bridge?
Donald Evans with his cane and
Monocle, where is he?
Timor mortis conturbat me.
John Gould Fletcher who could not
Unbreak his powerful heart?
Bodenheim butchered in stinking
Squalor? Edna Millav who took
Her last straight whiskey? Genevieve
Who loved so much; where is she?
Timor mortis conturbat me.
Harry who didn’t care at all?
Hart who went back to the sea?
Timor mortis conturbat me.
Where is Sol Funaroff?
What happened to Potamkin?
Isidor Schneider? Claude McKay?
Countee Cullen? Clarence Weinstock?
Who animates their corpses today?
Timor mortis conturbat me.
Where is Ezra, that noisy man?
Where is Larsson whose poems were prayers?
Where is Charles Snider, that gentle
Bitter boy? Carnevali,
What became of him?
Carol who was so beautiful, where is she?
Timor mortis conturbat me.
Was their end noble and tragic,
Like the mask of a tyrant?
Like Agamemnon’s secret golden face?
Indeed it was not. Up all night
In the fo’c’sle, bemused and beaten,
Bleeding at the rectum, in his
Pocket a review by the one
Colleague he respected, “If he
Really means what these poems
Pretend to say, he has only
One way out—.” Into the
Hot acrid Caribbean sun,
Into the acrid, transparent,
Smoky sea. Or another, lice in his
Armpits and crotch, garbage littered
On the floor, gray greasy rags on
The bed. “I killed them because they
Were dirty, stinking Communists.
I should get a medal.” Again,
Another, Simenon foretold,
His end at a glance. “I dare you
To pull the trigger.” She shut her eyes
And spilled gin over her dress.
The pistol wobbled in his hand.
It took them hours to die.
Another threw herself downstairs,
And broke her back. It took her years.
Two put their heads under water
In the bath and filled their lungs.
Another threw himself under
The traffic of a crowded bridge.
Another, drunk, jumped from a
Balcony and broke her neck.
Another soaked herself in
Gasoline and ran blazing
Into the street and lived on
In custody. One made love
Only once with a beggar woman.
He died years later of syphilis
Of the brain and spine. Fifteen
Years of pain and poverty,
While his mind leaked away.
One tried three times in twenty years
To drown himself. The last time
He succeeded. One turned on the gas
When she had no more food, no more
Money, and only half a lung.
One went up to Harlem, took on
Thirty men, came home and
Cut her throat. One sat up all night
Talking to H. L. Mencken and
Drowned himself in the morning.
How many stopped writing at thirty?
How many went to work for Time?
How many died of prefrontal
Lobotomies in the Communist Party?
How many arc lost in the back wards
Of provincial madhouses?
How many on the advice of
Their psychoanalysts, decided
A business career was best after all?
How many are hopeless alcoholics?
Ren� Crevel!
Jacques Rigaud!
Antonin Artaud!
Robert Desnos!
Saint Pol Roux!
Max Jacob!
All over the world
The same disembodied hand
Strikes us down.
Here is a mountain of death.
A hill of heads like the Khans piled up.
The first-born of a century
Slaughtered by Herod.
Three generations of infants
Stuffed down the maw of Moloch.
He is dead.
The bird of Rhiannon.
He is dead.
In the winter of the heart.
He is Dead.
In the canyons of death,
They found him dumb at last,
In the blizzard of lies.
He never spoke again.
He died.
He is dead.
In their antiseptic hands,
He is dead.
The little spellbinder of Cader Idris.
He is dead.
The sparrow of Cardiff.
He is dead.
The canary of Swansea.
Who killed him?
Who killed the bright-headed bird?
You did, you son of a bitch.
You drowned him in your cocktail brain.
He fell down and died in your synthetic heart.
You killed him,
Oppenheimer the Million-Killer,
You killed him,
Einstein the Gray Eminence.
You killed him,
Havanahavana, with your Nobel Prize.
You killed him, General,
Through the proper channels.
You strangled him, Le Mouton,
With your mains �tendues.
He confessed in open court to a pince-nezed skull.
You shot him in the back of the head
As he stumbled in the last cellar.
You killed him,
Benign Lady on the postage stamp.
He was found dead at a Liberal Weekly luncheon.
He was found dead on the cutting room floor.
He was found dead at a Time policy conference.
Henry Luce killed him with a telegram to the Pope.
Mademoiselle strangled him with a padded brassiere.
Old Possum sprinkled him with a tea ball.
After the wolves were done, the vaticides
Crawled off with his bowels to their classrooms and quarterlies.
When the news came over the radio
You personally rose up shouting, “Give us Barabbas!”
In your lonely crowd you swept over him.
Your custom-built brogans and your ballet slippers
Pummeled him to death in the gritty street.
You hit him with an album of Hindemith.
You stabbed him with stainless steel by Isamu Noguchi,
He is dead.
He is Dead.
Like Ignacio the bullfighter,
At four o’clock in the afternoon.
At precisely four o’clock.
I too do not want to hear it.
I too do not want to know it.
I want to run into the street,
Shouting, “Remember Vanzetti!”
I want to pour gasoline down your chimneys.
I want to blow up your galleries.
I want to burn down your editorial offices.
I want to slit the bellies of your frigid women.
I want to sink your sailboats and launches.
I want to strangle your children at their finger paintings.
I want to poison your Afghans and poodles.
He is dead, the little drunken cherub.
He is dead,
The effulgent tub thumper.
He is Dead.
The ever living birds are not singing
To the head of Bran.
The sea birds are still
Over Bardsey of Ten Thousand Saints.
The underground men are not singing
On their way to work.
There is a smell of blood
In the smell of the turf smoke.
They have struck him down,
The son of David ap Gwilym.
They have murdered him,
The Baby of Taliessin.
There he lies dead,
By the Iceberg of the United Nations.
There he lies sandbagged,
At the foot of the Statue of Liberty.
The Gulf Stream smells of blood
As it breaks on the sand of Iona
And the blue rocks of Canarvon.
And all the birds of the deep sea rise up
Over the luxury liners and scream,
“You killed him! You killed him.
In your God damned Brooks Brothers suit,
You son of a bitch.”
Kenneth Rexroth, “Thou Shalt Not Kill” from The Collected Shorter Poems. Copyright © 1966 by Kenneth Rexroth. Reprinted with the permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation,