The eye is an arrow of light.
A spark gap sizzles and burns.
Light is white heat.
What comes back is the world.
The eye is the world’s voice.
Trees, rocks, clouds, they all speak.
They take you. Speaking through,
not at. A bridge the whole body walks.
The body wants. Hey baby,
I look, you look, he she it looks.
You raze the landscape. Hot, don’t touch.
Sun, moon, dark slashed with starlight.
What inner, what skull flash.
You are hitting on all 6 as my Grandfather use to say. That, of course, harkens to a time before there were V8s. So I’ll say you’re hitting on all 8. Here you continue in your neo prophet voice, the poems collectively an extended sermon and meditation on the present. As is your style, you nearly always include a register change where the voice is suddenly generic. “Hey Baby!” I wonder about this at times. It certainly doesn’t diminish the poem (s) but does drop me out of what I consider to be a lovely “serious” voice. Ezra Pound did the same thing. He loved to make a language soup out of this poems. Wasn’t it him who described the Queen of England as a “Bitch gone bad in the teeth”?
Hey, Steve! Thanks for your comments. Yeah–I often drop out of the current register and flip the voice. Yeah, Pound has that in that great poem whose name I’ve lost at the moment. He was talking about the waste of WWI–all those kids died “for an old bitch gone bad in the teeth/ for a botched civilization.” Pound was a Fascist fuck, but he was also capable of being a great poet. (I don’t get that.) My main model in these shits is John Berryman. More and more I think “The Dream Songs” is one of the great modern sequences. Truly original, scary stuff. I’m drawn to these shifts of tone and syntax, the explosive surprise of them.
On Tue, Apr 11, 2017 at 2:36 PM, john mann poems wrote: