Mimimus Lectures Himself - Pluribus Not Unus, Culpas Minor - Upon American Bards
I pose you you're question:
shall you uncover honey / where maggots are?
- Charles Olson
the intruder, as he was not - Robert Creeley
O great light inward,
which cannot (what can)
be said of America obsessed with manners
no matter the carnage stretched to dry
in a land where, Vonnegut clear here,
'love may fail but politeness shall prevail.'
Blind, yes. As yet can't, perhaps refused,
reconcile the projected landscape, the leaking vessel,
landlocked, of State, Vespucius Vestibulis, Topeka grasping
still, scratching at collective far flung coastal doors
for the 'in between' is no place to be.
All things gray there, politely,
plus visionaries, artists, hog-tied,
flee though are, ironically, there born.
And have not been gripped, me,
'cept by proxy, as were these
'just' poets - justified - trying to true
variant visions into One, no matter
imprecision of facts, imposed muddles they be,
O Topeka ongoingly o're and o're, ore of meanings
which are all spelt 'MESSIAH' - always this begins
and ends such messes entire.
Still we call it a country.
Reading two still continentally
shifting greats, Olson, Pound,
of late full of their breath,
'Of thee I sing' America's over-long exhalation
in Whitman's overlong beard and o're shadowing.
Rest of us in their vacuum
remain, wander, poems
strapped to faces like respirators,
every out breath labored,
ponderous, poised, has their
stench but is a good one what
keeps on giving though ship be
foundered from the start
(see ahead to Odysseus
cyclopean trickstering) .
seek for -
all mining after,
insisting on -
that 'it is only that
the light, o great light,
of the land projected,
was in our eyes and we
could only see our way
to slash, kill toward said projected.'
still, we seek looking back, vision,
killed, or shipped
on good Christian ships,
borders now paced of 'good citizens'
hungry for even more darker blood,
'enough' not a democratic word,
but 'more' (to Boesky asked
how much is enough? He, 'A little more') .
O blinding light.
Odysseus to Polyphemus
the real issue here, entitled marauder,
the unspoken, disavowing thief.
Every shipwrecked citizen located in
Odysseus's answer he to Polyphemus,
one-eyed, mono-visioned shepherd
mourning his lost ones
(lost to Kingly entitled hand) ,
none too bright
who calls out,
Who are you who unsights me,
scatters my sheep?
Odysseus, wily -
cleverness, not faith,
is rewarded, the valued
in this projected land -
not afflicted of conscience,
'I am No Man! '
This the dilemma of all these
our projected land's inhabitants,
Citizens No Man, willfully ignorant
(the greatest sin) or wide-eyed
in sheep skin more the predator,
'No One' lobbing rocks,
pretending to shepherd.
Let's name it true, Empire.
Monet might have seen,
giving darkness in Giverny,
defiant to the last optics fired out inevitably,
nerve light made the more dipped, smeared
on clutched pallet bent to his gaping will.
Some yawping yank,
all sneeze and no hanky,
yelling, 'shut yer mouth ope'd, no manners, '
Claude struggling to 'ope' eyes,
Was failing him the light.
Closing-in world reduced to all horizon.
Tints, brushes, memory
frames these final pieces
canvased, inwardly conformed,
recalled light more light than all raw day.
On the other hand I have only tried
to survive, swollen small, myself,
find ways to be in it at all, appalled
hero shrunk to size, compensation
for grandness, a player 'pon an acre
of God on yon Calvin's hill, ol' John
yawning counts his sins a school
boy his sums, insistent dirt
(because it's there) persistent
cleaning his nails;
but tilled I Bible,
preferred work that,
off at last from
roller holy hill,
a love affair oracular, called,
the Word out-wrung, wrenched,
I always the winch and never the Bride.
Again poetic little feet tracing circles, little breaths that may make a one
I, Minimus, tongue in cheek, creak oar, row out too
into the Homeric sea, not old Greek singer, long of breath,
but as Winslow, local seer, his paints, straw hat consigned
to mistook heroics, pure accident, not to check radio
maritime, ask captain if row boat worthy of even an
American sea, projected too, can go a-row row rowing,
claw oar into wave tips' whitecaps safe perimeters,
smell of earth nasal-yet to keep oriented to dirt.
Have, instead, reaped I redundant whirlwind
play America the Fool again, naively trusting my,
and country's, destiny are one, always good in spite
of Melville's long eloquent 'discantus supra librum' -
above the book - more truing than any, to spoil it,
the projected 'pluribus unum' thing, for Mayflower
folks tripping lightly between the hawthorns,
their imported gardens and God, irritant tomahawks
'can only turn out swell, ' thought they like waves
gathering in sea full of themselves individually,
Destined, they then and do think, to break just for,
O America, thee.
And now come poets each century heavier than
before, heavier than the other few, this new one, too,
only bards, a real few, to bar, board up the big gaps,
O great light gaping torn off, oft thee sung,
slung over shoulder, hauled, the burden,
o the load
it is now become.
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