by Joyelle McSweeney on Sep.13, 2013
[It’s been suggested that I preface this. Well, I think the world is drenched with grief and I think poetry is the map of the grief, continually mapping and remapping itself and saturating and resaturating itself with ink and image and sound and damage and contaminants until something else breaks through. Another viscousness or viciousness. Not necessarily better, but next, or again. I don’t know whether there’s really a way out of the anthropocene with its lethal logics but I do think that Poetry is anthropocenic (though inhuman?) and has a lethal (ill-?)logic and is therefore up to the challenge of going up against the anthropocene, just as a bacterium with a porcine vector can go up against a person with a gun. I guess I do want the world to end and reboot without us. This ars poetica is made from the contaminants that influence my writing: technology, hacking, corpse jewlery, corporate hegemony, environmental degradation, dread, ecstasy, haruscopy and augury, fashion, art, etymology, sacrificial rites and the classical world, those doomed and doomy bastards.]
ARS POETICA, or, I wanted to unlock my phone
I wanted to unlock my phone.
I wanted to unlock the geode. I wanted to press it to my skull. I wanted to go right through the temple. Bedazzle my occipital. Be dazzled like a jeweled vagina or an improved corpse.
Incipio. And you can come in now. Bedazzled like a victim or an improved phone.
Nuncio, you’re fired now go home.
Get back on that fucking U-boat you rowed in on and float.
After I gave birth, an immediate labial tuck.
Cataract surgery, a backing track, and a ticket for checked luggage sutured to my gut.
I took exception.
I woke up a walking garment.
My innards for a pennant, a permanent crest or crown
crimped and crenellated, filleting my brow and my baby for a pigskin clutch. Accouchement.
On a couch, we rowed like dead Etruscans for the afterlife, clutching
thick slick magazines and
the handgrenade named for the pomegranate.
Bon chance, bon chance, shit out of luck, up shit creek on a
leaky horseshoe hung up the wrong way
twin emblems of closeness: horseshoes, handgrenades.
In that pink slick (Grenadine)
rode the drowners
pulled from the Seine with a seine net. With a purse seine.
And set up in the Paris morgue as in a marble parlor
A bejeweled purse, a lime sluice, a pearled vagina, a pullulating designer
dog, in puttees, the puttied vault of the sky, the ovulating
cranial crate which was about to be wider as it
split at its eyeteeth
It was a civic duty to visit them on Sundays
amid the gropeurs and pick pockets
To copiously paw and snuff the nose-wrinckling tissues
To bring them back into the human family.
To try to identify them by face, clothes, or posture
That piece of shit is not my father.
The bodies hit the ground in a fusillade like fuselage
You cannot hear this sound except on a snuff site
You have to go out as shame to hear this report
more like handgrenades than like pomegranates
with their little list of Hadean jewels inside
twisted inventories for the Christies auction
nextbodies texting their nobiles
fifty and two hundred bodies hitting the ground like exploding
I wanted to go live there
I wanted to go live in shame
as blood floods the vaulted chasm
I block the run-off-channels and snuff up the charnel-chum
I wanted to stop the clock
I wanted to give my brain a tuck
I wanted my brain to fold over.
I wanted to close the incision with cat gut and tungsten.
I wanted to hack my own phone.
Edison wanted to make a light bulb.
Franklin wanted to make a kight light up at night.
They both needed a conductor.
Franklin used his son’s arm.
Edison used the groin hair of a sacred goat, later slaughtered.
gh gh gh
you can’t even say it it’s voiceless
you can’t even hear this sound unless you hit the snuff site
so rank it rankles
too rank for superfund
I wanted to defund it
I wanted to give my head a kick.
I wanted my brain to double over, holding its gut.
In the train compartment. Its tank top riding up
to expose its kidneys to a kick
up the luggage compartment.
to stuff it up a suitcase
like a prettier girl I could waste on a snuff site.
The thread of life narrow as a jeweled thong for the bride
disappearing up the crack
reaching through the crack to hug the waist
to find the egress
up the ass of the egret
into the afterlife
the birds we are wasting in Iraq and Iran
know the only route to the afterlife
Bereft of sense
I don’t want to make sense
But I want to make something
as it leaves the body
the cloth of Veronica which wiped the face of Christ
producing the fake known as the Shroud of Turin
Fake like a purse is fake and flashy
and sold on folding tables or a sheet
grab it and run
when the heat comes
it cuts the air above the android in his android suit.
The bull is wearing his bull suit.
To cook what’s inside like a sacrifice.
Oxygen cocktail. Interior force.
I wanted to wear the fake mask of Christ.
I wanted to wipe the face of the crisis with my heat.
I wanted to make a mask of sweat, urine, sucrose, and dopamine.
I wanted to grow chesthair in the mirror.
It’s breezey today and the leaves flash their asses.
Something hangs down under the line of the short shorts.
Something like hell-fruit: lemurian pomegranate.
The puddled cloth, the placket of blood
like a garment for the flagstones
below the smashed skull
sewn on the bias
the seam lies flat
as a cellphone in the street
after it snapped the precious picture
the picture more precious than a skull
that smashed up screen makes a star in the sky like
panties in a vending machine
coolant pools which smirk and leak
an attempt to build a thermonuclear barrier at the beach
going to the beach
catching the fish
under the flagstones
sandals made of a tank tread rubbed with fish guts
a gun firing
a tracer whistling
the house folding
a satellite crashing into the Indian Ocean
as air douses his hand of guilt
stacked flat and veronica-ing
like a hiccupping GIF
a mortgage or flat tummy
a smart fabric tensing infinitely
into the air like the gut of a gull
that’s hauling a plastic reel
so thin it’s not a live anymore
so thin it can slip through the net of the sky
through the purse-seine up the Seine
and become the parenthesis for the next event
so thin it talcs the air with boanmeal
as in a nursery
ashmeal moanmeal veronica powder