nyc new orleans blues (traditional)

-- from 9 Underwor(l)d 0: "desolation paradise"

 

I drop below street level to catch a train downtown. still funky around the tracks. there's a suit and tie at the toll booth mouthing off about a metro card that won't work. behind him a woman with a fur hat, mid-summer, is counting the cracks on the ceiling -- out loud. she wants the mouth to fuck off, already, so she can buy a card and not miss her train. I got a card so I hit the turnstile and bounce down the stairs to the platform. the invasion may be breathing in my ears, but there's still a hint of the old nyc charm. ten feet from me a guy carrying a bag of cans is talking to himself. that's standard -- a nyc cliché -- but still good to see in these final days. further away's a real treat. teenagers fucking, or nearly so, against the wall. she's all "oh! not here! not here!" I can't figure if she means the subway or that he's poking the wrong zone. he's just going at it. damn, I remember testosterone. it not only jacked you up on a dime, it also got you gooey sentimental, romantically depressed -- love stuff like that

I don't know why, but suddenly I'm thinking Paul Valéry. in particular his brainstorm that in poetry, form and content should be so perfectly balanced that it's impossible to segregate one from the other. I'm sure he wanted to give critics the fits. of course Charles Olson says pretty much the same thing, taking the next rather obvious step of erasing Valéry's ersatz divisions so there's nothing to balance, though with Olson's work it's a bit easier to forget that. his stuff is generally more colloquial. I'm ignoring his Beloit Lectures on Poetry and Truth. anyone who can follow that ramble needs to be put to rest, pronto

II guess it's these kids humping the wall. I mean, I can tell one from the other, who's the fork and who's the dish. but every few minutes that all seems to fade, or merge, or something. like their skin phases right through their clothes and they get head to toe siamese. I guess that always happens to some degree -- maybe what we imply by "sucking face." anyway, I can't decide if what I'm looking at is beautiful or a portent of what's to come. after the invasion it'll be front to back clone world. "hey you!" I call out to them. "put a little space between you. there's old folks present"

***

the best poem about an out of body experience is Keats' "Ode to a Nightingale." imagination is the fuel that splits him in two, frees his ethereal self to sail the clouds. of course Keats' never really gets off the ground. it's the poem that soars. still, he had the right idea, I think -- "My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains/ My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,/ Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains . . . ." hell, my heart aches, and I can get my hands on plenty of opium, or even better in the same vein, pardon the punjab. anyway, Keats' connects the dots. poison or dope. enough dope to poison. enough dope to meet the reaper, shake his hand, cop a little trip together, and come back with poetry on the table

what Keats' couldn't have known is that by the 21st century out of body experiences would become the norm. truth is, the body no longer functions as point of departure for anything. it's been erased, out of sight and most certainly out of mind. a little john the apostle mixed with genesis and the picture's nearly complete. here's johnny: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." cue genesis: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth . . . And the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep . . . and God said, 'Let there be . . ." h o l l y w o o d

it's all hollywood, man. because out there integrity doesn't matter. it's the look that matters, the look of matter. image is everything. the body vanishes behind its own performance. or rather into its performance. consider fame. there is no longer any value to day to day life. that's all been replaced by hero worship, and the famous movie hero is merely an affect whose purpose is to conceal the hero's non-existence. truth being no one is famous, no man or woman, no person. images are famous, the photo image, screen image. what gives us the idea that these replicas reference anything real? they don't. take your average nut job. we assume he maintains an image of himself, in order to know himself, for the purpose of what? self-esteem? but hasn't he folded his life into the mockup? if image is both the vehicle for, and countenance of, self-knowledge, if all he knows is reproduction, then what separates the original from the copy? replica replicating replica? the thing's as hermetic as year old cheese. this flesh and blood doohickey merely an exhibition, its thinking always in service to effigy, to facsimile of/as itself, to the real's own failure to exist

***d

rains thump the bible belt, in a place of creole, dandy pants and slave quarters. feral winds shred every blockage. six feet of water on the streets of old town

cable news says the planet's hung a hard left and is jigging away from the sun, or else diving at it -- a saloon television I pass garbles some of the details. lots of water damage. whatever, our shiftless globe is now on the run. hot and cold reversals. modern day noahs two-fisted with hammers, and nails in their teeth

government stooges slit open what's left of human integrity. "is that your heart, dear? that muscle mush clogged with wedding love, lifelong compañeros, and grandchildren -- all those fragile memories? there's a hole in the dike, dear"

who gets it in the ass? mostly poor bastards reaching for sky, plucked from rooftops. helicopter fallen angels. chopper pilots. snakes in the water

where does it all go? kant's nou-maniacal nightmare, dementia of no-thing sucking blood into god's bones

spin the earth a half-turn and it's war. the wetwork of desire.
the savage of us wherever mouths open to be fed

news flash -- media bomb

television says two thousand american bodies turned to salt.
cast alien eyes upon forbidden cities.
islamic terror. christian panic.
cradle child
sliced down the middle.
severed
left hand, right hand.
the politics of deviance.
it's about fundamentals --
whose word
made flesh?
blood boiled in sand.
language
detonated

what do we know? what of the why do we know? it's all so contaminated, the swindles backyard and global -- bastards born to bastards. what I do know is that the poor slob get poorer, always. what I do know is that no matter who's driving, the gold train never takes a hit. if shit needs fixing and nothing happens, it's because some rich fuck is making a bundle the way things are. that's not much to know

but it's a start

 

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