Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Canto for Sound

Nimrod’s ranting: “Raphèl maì amècche zabì almi.”
mutters Rimbaud in the Ardennes,
a match box for the unbelieved
a torch for little Timmy’s flowered bier.
dogwood and chestnut
should it be May as it was said
sometime in the past.

That was nothing to those who misbehaved,
spitting between breaths
exhaling to be
vibrations between the silent trees
lovers pressed against the rough bark.
It is already Fall on the steppes
the bile is caught in the throat
unwilling to be expelled,
the low guttural
leaves in hiss
against the constant wind.
& that therefore, we know, must be translated
as kiss
in the bottom of a teacup
the entrails of an ox
the flight of raven fleeing

God knows what
God knows what
another sop to a tower leaning

mothers keening at the entrance
to flowershops
others cleaning the underbrush,

“That which is over there”
said the prissy Latin poet
with a sneer

mal odious over and over
confusing alive with saliva
the one tongue splintered by time.

Dante has Nimrod in his hell (Inferno XXXI, 46-81) with the loss of meaningful language as his punishment"

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