Warren Falcon

Bronze Star - 2,740 Points (04/23/52 - xxxx / Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA)

Design - Fabricate - Install: A Carol On The Difficulty Of Communion With The Ineffable In An Age Of Disbelief, Solitude, And Profound Anxiety - Poem by Warren Falcon

post·mod·ern·ism, noun: postmodernism; noun: post-modernism:
a late-20th-century style and concept in the arts, architecture, and criticism that represents a departure from modernism and has at its heart a general distrust of grand theories and ideologies as well as a problematical relationship with any notion of “art.”


“Poetry, alas, grows more and more distant. What commonly goes by the name of 'culture' forgets the poem [or distorts it into 'popular' dissemblances]. This is because poetry does not easily suffer the demand for clarity, the passive audience, the simple message. The poem is an intransigent exercise. It is devoid of mediation and hostile to media.”

- Alain Badiou, “Language, Thought, Poetry”*1

[Note: numbers following words denotes footnotes at the poem's end]


orphanspeak from
orphanmouth tries


[Rodriguez 13]*2
sandwich done
kneels again
& so seeking
the thick tome
of half century
America

opens
blood & steel

misshapen god
misshapen citizens
miscreant tongues
snort into green
hope in spite of
all that has gone
before in spite
of Christmas
even once a year
other holy days
gone, too,
wild for
gelt “all
melt & maya”

I too
spill into
the covers
the heavy
book

open it up

always now
opens to its
(all our)
broken back

the poem there
at the breach
HOWLs*3 as do
I/we all (just
to remind) when
the blue water
breaks again
to nuclear
flame over an
elegant place
as the faceless
ornaments do
also break
into armaments
& my/our own
burden for blades
still drop fall
hard upon me/us
as does the mid
mad century drop
fall into this
new one

I hear Blaser
sing-song-ing
from the room
of the living
the in-breathing forced
the out breathing stretched
extending into air & irony

“The clown of dignity sits in his tree.
The clown of games hangs there, too.
Which is which or where they go -
the point is to make others see -
that two men in a tree is clearly
the same as poetry” - Robin Blaser*4


...
DESIGN - FABRICATE - INSTALL

the subject matter
is not new

& not the sorrow

old as the first cave
bearing first fire
in human hand the
expiring artist torn
from blank sky to
an expectant wall

a herd there
a declaration

one day we too will
fill the earth as
hooves have done
capture sun & be
doneover/overdone
& so come to such
an edge of ruin


...
Heavy let me pass
...


lets me pass I
limp up 4 steel
steps push in to
the Way of Peace
take my usual place
settle rattled by
icon image & pewter
vision of what
is not any longer
there the wear of
a half century not
to compare that of
20 centuries past
what can last or
come from all that
so sit me hard down
upon the wood get
to the book at hand
the known & the new
mystery which emerges
from the white plastic
sheath carefully
packed in bubble
wrap which is a
double Christmas
any day


orphanspeak from
orphanmouth tries


sorting shattered
ornaments each
Christmas season
before the tree
is trimmed the
grim task to sort
each broken globe
glinting shards
from the survivors
(I AM ONE) so sad
a mystery still
remains how they
do break in darkness
stored in attic high

untouched
by light
my hand
the supple
hold of
green limbs
everly

I cannot toss them
away (pretty all the
more because pitiful
I AM) any-old-way
so take/return them
to the woods where
the tree is yearly
cut/trimmed & so
scatter them upon
the needles

brown
changelings into
sparks

resembling those
the welder makes
just out the door
kneeling now as I
have knelled (once
& do still) a fat
boy betaken by
mysteries' broken
& safe return
to pines though
hard on supposes
& orphan spheres

I adhere to a bard or
two the good few of words
& what of them of absence
be made though presenting
slight-of-palms even
[Rodriquez 13] kneeling
before fire/light

Erotic stance w/
pewter hands the
welder removes his
mask - stands - a
handsome face w/
gold teeth unbroken
as ornaments were
once & forever
broken - eats his
sand-the-world-wich
blankly staring
past his truck I
notice the side
then of it says

DESIGN - FABRICATE - INSTALL

I think: the history
of religions is this
just, only the sign
reads MODERN STEEL
not POSTMODERN as it
now should to be precise
true to an age bereft
on Stagg Street thrust
once again into Christmas
- deer & such - though
Celtic too - Cernunnos*5
snorts from forests rough
deeply onto a green where
sits beside a silver stream
an orphaned god abandoned
carved upon stone with bronze
(before steel) but still
(the god is) stone fearing
it is no longer
real yet sentinel to
“an archaic authority” (Julia Kristeva) *6

Let me then work
my poem (all of
them) around in
furtherance of
what can be said
without such drama
of centuries past
& to come

lines ending in Stillness
a suggested Vastness from
which each comes/returns:

Cave - Image - Sky - Expanse - Singular Branch & Many

Plenty Are Stillnesses Advances Even In The Rot The

Dissolve From Clot Toward What It Is Or Was & Always

Proper-Name-Enough-For-Me >>> STILLNESS

I am taken with such
at which I stare
which holds my gaze
with shades of It
& of Itself

that is is a death

or like unto it -

Stillness unbreathed

or in need of It
(Breath)
now having been only
once(Rilke) *7
who (it seems)

becomes (relents)
known form
though (It is)
returned
or re-rested

to Itself beyond Christmas

and yet and yet

the kneeling boy
in the evergreen

the shattered orn-
aments ever gleam

the needles' net
a permanence enough

gold-leafed & trumpeting


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

FOO TNOTES

[NOTE about the title, DESIGN - FABRICATE - INSTALL: As I was writing the poem in a quiet East Village cafe called Via Della Pace (the Way of Peace - which is a street in Rome, Italy near the Vatican) a welder was welding new steel steps to the cafe. The welder's company truck was parked in front of the window, on the side the advertisement for the company read:

MODERN STEEL:

DESIGN - FABRICATE - INSTALL

This struck me as a perfect description of postmodern industry and pragmatism. It also seems to characterize not only a philosophy but also a kind of theology, aesthetic,

and a poetic 'postmoderne':

post·mod·ern·ism ˌpōs(t) ˈmädərnˌizəm/noun
noun: postmodernism; noun: post-modernism

- a late-20th-century style and concept in the arts, architecture, and criticism that represents a departure from modernism and has at its heart a general distrust of grand theories and ideologies as well as a problematical relationship with any notion of “art.”.

To read more about postmodernism you may read Jean Lyotard's book for free online, The Postmodern Condition, A Report On Knowledge, at this link here:

https: //www.abdn.ac.uk/idav/documents/Lyotard_-_Postmod ern_Condition.pdf ]


*1 Alain Badiou (French: [alɛ̃ badju]: born 17 January 1937) is a French philosopher, formerly chair of Philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure (ENS) and founder of the faculty of Philosophy of the Université de Paris VIII with Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault and Jean-François Lyotard. Badiou has written about the concepts of being, truth and the subject in a way that, he claims, is neither postmodern nor simply a repetition of modernity. Politically, Badiou is committed to the far left, and to the communist tradition.

*2 A baseball team NY Yankee's jersey bearing the last name of Alex Rodriquez and his number 13. Alexander Emmanuel 'Alex' Rodriguez (born July 27,1975) , nicknamed 'A-Rod', is an American professional baseball infielder for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB) . He previously played for the Seattle Mariners and the Texas Rangers. Rodriguez was one of the sport's most highly touted prospects and is considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time.[1][2][3] During his 20-year career, Rodriguez has amassed a.297 batting average,687 home runs, over 2000 runs batted in (RBI) , and over 3,000 hits.

The welder in the poem, anonymous, 'everyman', wears this jersey as he works, eats his lunch, etc. I use brackets around the name [Rodriguez 13] to denote a 'mystery in plain clothes, ' a popular athlete's name and number worn by 'no man' to denote the 'cypher' of the individual in mass humanity reduced to anonymous consumerism. I could have used the name 'Odysseus' which can also be interpreted from the ancient Greek as 'No Man' but I want the contemporary reference to a sports superman to convey the same reduction. Of course, the 'I' in the poem is the writer of the poem who, too, is 'everyman' 'No Man' and mystery.

*3 'HOWLs' refers to 'HOWL', a poem written by Allen Ginsberg in 1955, published as part of his 1956 collection of poetry titled Howl and Other Poems, and dedicated to Carl Solomon...'Howl' is considered to be one of the great works of American literature.[1][2] It came to be associated with the group of writers known as the Beat Generation. It begins thusly:

'I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving, hysterical, naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night...'

*4 Robin Blaser (May 18,1925 – May 7,2009) was an author and poet in both the United States and Canada. He thought much and wrote much on postmodern poetics, aesthetics, and philosophy, often incorporating quotes and phrases from his studies. The verses quoted in the poem are from his early poem, 'Cups', which opens The Holy Forest, Collected Poems of Robin Blaser.


*5 Cernunnos is the conventional name given in Celtic studies to depictions of the 'horned god' (sometimes referred to as Herne the Hunter) of Celtic polytheism. The name itself is only attested once, on the 1st-century Pillar of the Boatmen, but depictions of a horned or antlered figure, often seated cross-legged and often associated with animals and holding or wearing torcs, are known from other instances.

Nothing is known about the god from literary sources, and details about his name, his followers or his significance in Celtic religion are unknown. Speculative interpretations identify him as a god of nature or fertility.

*6 Julia Kristeva (French: [kʁisteva]; Bulgarian: Юлия Кръстева; born 24 June 1941) is a Bulgarian-French philosopher, literary critic, psychoanalyst, feminist, and, most recently, novelist, who has lived in France since the mid-1960s. She is now a professor at the University Paris Diderot.

Kristeva became influential in international critical analysis, cultural theory and feminism after publishing her first book, Semeiotikè, in 1969. Her sizable body of work includes books and essays which address intertextuality, the semiotic, and abjection, in the fields of linguistics, literary theory and criticism, psychoanalysis, biography and autobiography, political and cultural analysis, art and art history. She is among the prominent figures in structuralist thought, while her works have also been recognized as having an important place in post-structuralism.

*7 Rainer Maria Rilke, (4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926) —better known as Rainer Maria Rilke (German: [ˈʁaɪnɐ maˈʁiːa ˈʁɪlkə]) —was a Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist, 'widely recognized as one of the most lyrically intense German-language poets', [1] writing in both verse and highly lyrical prose. Several critics have described Rilke's work as inherently 'mystical'...His writings include one novel, several collections of poetry, and several volumes of correspondence in which he invokes haunting images that focus on the difficulty of communion with the ineffable in an age of disbelief, solitude, and profound anxiety. These deeply existential themes tend to position him as a transitional figure between the traditional and the modernist writers.

My reference to Rilke is to his astounding poems, The Duino Elegies, which have greatly influenced me since I was a young man. I am literally quoting paraphrasing from Elegy Nine which begins thusly:

Why, when this span of life might be fleeted away
as laurel, a little darker than all
the surrounding green, with tiny waves on the border
of every leaf (like the smile of a wind) : —oh, why
have to be human, and, shunning Destiny,
long for Destiny? ...
__________________Not because happiness really
exists, that premature profit of imminent loss.
Not out of curiosity, not just to practise the heart,
that could still be there in laurel.....
But because being here amounts to so much, because all
this Here and Now, so fleeting, seems to require us and strangely
concern us. Us the most fleeting of all. Just once,
everything, only for once. Once and no more. And we, too,
once. And never again. But this
having been once, though only once,
having been once on earth—can it ever be cancelled?

[This is from my favorite and referred translation of The Elegies by Stephen Spender and J.B. Lieshmann. You may read them here:

http: //www.reocities.com/SoHo/1826/duino.pdf

I have used wikipedia in the above footnotes.

Topic(s) of this poem: christmas, poetry

Form: Blues Poem


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Poem Submitted: Saturday, November 21, 2015

Poem Edited: Tuesday, November 24, 2015


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