"finish line" game in the comments – try your luck

in response to BJR’s “feminine post,” i am going to attempt a more diaristic post today. i am still much interested in the conversation in “can the subaltern blog”, and please check out the “Brazilian Cultural Immersion Program” two posts down.

wednesdays are wonderful – no work and no class until 6. in class tonight at USF (international poetry and poetics taught by paul hoover) we are discussing Vallejo and Neruda and I am very excited by both these poets, particularly by Vallejo’s Trilce. does anyone have insight into Trilce?

it is actually sunny today in the east bay and i’ve been sitting outside on my rocking chair smoking thistle with the sun and working on a serial poem called “aerial roots.” it was a prose poem, i say was because i’ve been trying to write prose poems for months now and by the time they reach draft 3 i can’t seem to resist the impulse for line break and intralinear space and now they are no longer prose poems. their “theme” is, roughly, “horses and colonialism”, or “colonialism and the body” –

according to “historians,” the first horse to arrive on guam was rode by Damian de Esplana, a high ranking member of the spanish army, and his “mission” was to annihilate the resistance and provide a violent military presence to secure the church presence. Damian on his horse burning villages and fruit trees and villagers and taking the orphaned children to be “razed” in the mission schools.

the poems begin with various epigraphs from two sources: 1) Blakes proverbs in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, and 2) Rebecca Solnit’s biography of Muybridge called River of Shadows (she quotes Marx, Emerson, Ulysses Grant all commenting on the “annihilation of space and time.”)

The horse gains a kind of mythic quality on guam (similar to the “introduction” of horses to south america) – and the poems play with that idea and with the deconstructive framing of Muybridge’s photographs of a horse in motion. each poem is made of four “frames” – first there is the name of a body part in Chamoru (the native language of guam) : then what follows is a Steinian “creatiing it without naming it” flow of sentence/fragment sequences. Here is the first frame of the first poem:

[ kalulot : they say “the introduction” of horses —
“they say” half man half beast — parallel captivity, witness — the entire island carved
by a grotto — “that it had wings and could fly” — fissures,


and it goes on…and the spacing is different but i dont yet know how to create space in this format… the pages are grouped by body parts, so this page is “kalulot, konnai, brasu, apaga” which is finger, hand, arm, shoulder… there are five poems all together, the only body parts that are omitted are feet, knees, legs, and thighs…

well, does this seem “diaristic”? maybe not, but this is anyways what im doing/thinking. now i must return to my rocking chair and cigs and sunshine because i need sunshine to grow.

at this exact moment: 50 cent is on the computer “21 questions” (in a class I TA’d for, i did a presentation on how this song illustrates Levertov’s idea of “the horizon note” – because certainly 50 has read Levertov… now on the computer NAS’s “Life’s a Bitch” – could do a reading of this song with Tzara. “life’s a bitch and then you die, that’s why we get high” etc


22 thoughts on “"finish line" game in the comments – try your luck

  1. ka-
    b!ow! you will reach true illmatic status if you finish these next two verses unrelated and not from NAS:

    “two words united states no…….”

    “Ramon Fernandez, tell…”

    and if anyone beats you to them, ka-

  2. My OuKaPo (Ouvroir de KaBLOW! Potentiel) instinct tells me to end the first fragment with “…pasarán” (sorry, I was tempted to write “No pasarán instead of “no love no brakes”) and the second one with “… me if you know” (Wallace Stevens in da house)


  3. francois has true illmatic status. now will someone dethrone him, or will his reign continue. Round two of finish the verse, a new set of quotes, one hiphop, one poetry… good luck:

    “there are places where TB is common….”

    “i thought of the E on the….”

  4. and no googling the lines!!!!! i know it might be hard for you flarfistes to resist, but honor system here.

  5. Damn Francois, I didn’t have internet last night.

    Craig, you have transported me back to the only happy time of my life: Senior Year Quiz Bowl.

    E on the stone is a no brainer. Oslon’s Kingfisher’s.
    (as per Senior Year Quiz Bowl rules, when one knows the answer to a question, one must emphasize how embarrassingly easy that question was, and how idiotic are those who failed.)

    the TB has me stumped.

  6. I don’t know why I put a possessive on Kingfishers.

    Perhaps just making my humble contribution to the giant web of lies which is the internet.

  7. sorry francios, i’ve corrected that.

    ah, quiz bowl. but Ez, no matter how embarrassingly easy the question is, you still have to FINISH THE LINE!!!! no points for you. 😉

  8. and the answers are:

    “there are places where TB is common as TV”

    and, as EZ sez, “I thought of the E on the stone, and of what Mao said” – from Olson’s Kingfishers’.


    hip hop:

    “blacker than the seed in…”


    “picasso made me…”


  9. I think your ‘Picasso made me’ might get several correct responses . . . I’m reading Winterson right now, so here’s one possible answer:

    “Picasso made me put on her jersey and drink dark tea from a fifties flask.”

    From Jeanette Winterson’s short story “The Poetics of Sex”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s