Editions MSS
Editions MSS
Goldbarg’s Variants
§ 4.
Why should I dwell on profound words? Why should I dwell on indifferent words?

Profound threats make for indifferent servants. That indifferent master dwells in profound shame.

Space the vain name that vain sky’s vain life.

Do me a tight favor.

Power mad the mad hour you mad poet.

Daily me a daily poet powers him at the daily hour.

Strange, the awkward pity. Judgement and compassion, strangely awkward.

Strangely military, if you ask me. Military compassion, military judgement, military pity. Strange.

Flouziana denies its blue towers. Would I deny my blue face?

Her natural visage is in denial of Flouziana’s natural towers.

Might the full-moon course of the D’Laumes veil the full-moon sky of Ostiesa? It could be that it took Dado a full month to get there.

His guests from Tartary are mighty strict. Strict ways of a strict veil. Full moon of winter.

The sleepy osier creeks and shakes beneath the sleepy mode of love we make. The sleepy circle of nature wakes.

Nature wakes, firestung, in a convulsive shock. Love’s firestung mode sings convulsively, sharply vibrating circles within firestung circles that bite the osier, burn it.

Here, my natural inseminator, here. Naturally, for others, a natural schism divides us from them. Naturally, too, no love is without its natural scandal.

Those mean others, those mean disseminators of mean scandal. Perhaps all love is mean in this way. You too are mean, here, to broach love’s mean divide.

More plucking at its horns or hooves than rasping, so it would appear. To scrape, with a real file, real tears from a real bull.

Such a hated lamentation! To pluck the hated bull from the hated file.

I find that I am brown: face, shoulders, breasts, belly, sides, arms. All brown.

I find that I am meaningful: face, shoulders, chest, belly, sides, arms. All meaningful.

The backward image of them, those backward trenches. Everything is backward. Backward master of backward living. Master of living backward.

The master was captured alive by them. The captured likeness of those living in ditches, captured. Everything captured.

On the bloody banks of this bloody place — a bloody sight. It makes no sense.

Nonsense. The view is, in a word, requite. Both edge and plane of this place, bank and trough, you could say, meet in a way that can only be described as — requite.

Of cool air tempered by cool water, foam is the vestige, while smoke is the vestige of cool earth tempered by life.

Choking, in circles of air, the airless smoke of my temper smoulders. On this airless earth without vestige of life, the airless wind will raise no spray from water.

In the roman policier Depreccata by the Poldevian prince Ariel Ebsalai — master of the outside artifice — pain takes protagonist Agisteo outside of death.

A. Ebsalai’s maieutic art in Depreccata, in other words, masters death through the maieutic punishment of Agisteo, himself, like the novel’s author, a Poldevian prince.

In this scene, cinematographer B. Rao lights the surprised actors’ two heads — the two actors’ surprised heads — so as to coalesce their surprised snouts into, as it were, a single word: surprise!

And so, unabated, light illumined that word; and unabated light muzzled, so to speak, those two heads — will B. Rao’s cinematographic talents ever cease to surprise? Or should that be — Never cease to surprise?

Tell the truth, you short old man with short hair in your short boat — Is “soul” short for “spirit”?

In truth, you are a pretentious man with pretentious hair, in a boat you pretentiously call a “bark,” making a pretentious distinction between spirit (“mind’s soul”) and soul (“body’s spirit”).

I will ask myself a liminal question: What do I lack on this liminal journey?

On this broad path, only the broad questions are lacking.

Each fine heart dreams of fine hours and fine food.

Each heart is swaying a swaying dream. Food and hours, swaying.

All those lyrical clerks guiding a lyrical people left me feeling lyrical — lyrical and hateful.

Left me feeling depressed. All those depressed people following a depressed clergy as their master. I hate it too.

Clearing the humorous ivy from that humorous tree might reveal a humorous beast clinging to humorous limbs.

The best limb is a clean limb. The best vine is heliotrope, a sort of clean ivy. The best beast is a monster.

A hybrid of pride and luck installed hybrid King Trevi in this hybrid kingdom.

Pride is cognitive, and so too is a king’s reign. Whatever good fortune it was that put King Trevi on this throne was also cognitive.

According to this black writing, Black Babur was still alive then, though his years, like his life, were black.

Yes, it certainly is worn smooth by the years, and yet the writing, the very script, is still smoothly alive. It was a smooth life Babur had, don’t you think?

But how could he endure them? All those oozing spirits in the oozing depths. Surely their oozing crime —

Surely their slutty crime would have inured him to them. At bottom every guilty spirit is a slut.

Ecstatic, none of you could pierce the ecstatic drawbridge with an ecstatic hook.

All those early hooks of a pontlevis from an early time are certain to pierce.

The most sober vengeance is silence, according to D. I. Swopes. And silent, everyone’s sober eyes —

D. I. Swopes is voiceless — voiceless and detribalized. And your eyes, too — detribalized. What voiceless revenge, without kin or clan, might mutter — I thought we were discussing Depreccata?

I rage against this drab path along a drab river, and the drab moanzy aerie on that slope high above the Arathu.

Still, you must admit that it is foreign: foreign path, foreign river, foreign slopes above a raging Arathu that looks quite foreign. Those moanzies, too, up there, chasing crows with a rage most foreign.

Rather a detailed rage that death’s detailed deceit tricked him with.

As someone, I think F. Maa, said, To rage against death is an unconscious form of self-deceit.

If one more time I catch you trying to catch a glimpse of my upskirt shadows, I’ll poke out your upskirt eyes with this vineslimosa stem.

Vineslimosa in blossom is a rather strange sight, don’t you think? Strange blossoms like strange shadows of eyes in strangely shadowed sockets.

The extraordinary sorrow of your extraordinary cheeks — such extraordinary pain.

You punish me with your pensive cheeks, your pensive sorrow.

This dragoman’s a faulty leader. Did you catch his faulty face when we debarked?

I’ll ask Djuma, a relative of our captain. I mean, being a dragoman’s all relative, right?

I could recite a thousand lurid prayers to our lurid guide, a thousand lurid sparks.

They’re shaky prayers, that much I can tell — a thousand shaky guides are simply that many sparks, shaky in the night, quickly winking out.

We think of man as a continuous evil. That’s why we constantly take steps to master him.

No — we, I mean man, is a warm guide up and down the evil of these warm stairs.

In truth, he’s too strong for me. Strong hands, strong face, strong — things.

These are shameful things — my hands, my face. The shameful truth is me.

He looks for gold in the shimmery lamentation of what I lack. But scarlet Eros doesn’t lack for shimmery handmaidens.

O, my physical queen that I lack physically! My errors are physical, and I have done physical harm to your physical handmaidens.

[ A not-for-profit instantiation of human imagination and human labor ]
Copyright © 2008 Michael Sean Strickland