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Je me souviens des nuits aux étangs

nacrés par des lunes pleines

ou noircis par des lunes nouvelles

Je me souviens des balcons à l’aube

près du bois de cerisiers sauvages

où, assis sur des divans moisis

on buvait encore du vodka

parfumé par un grenadier en fleur

Je me souviens du froissement

du papier à cigarettes entre mes doigts

et ensuite la crépitation des tiges grillés

Je me souviens que l’eau faisait moins froid

que le vent contre mon corps ouvert à la nuit

Je me souviens que parmis tous ces amis

tous ces amants, j’étais bafoué, seul, honni

Lutèce, 1993

I remember those nights among the tarns / pearled by the full moon’s reflection / or blackened by the new // I remember those balconies / near where the wild cherries grew / and where, couched on moldy divans / you’d find us still drinking at dawn from a bottle of country hooch / perfumed with pomegranate blossoms // I remember the froissement / of cigarette paper between my fingers as I rolled / and then the crepitation as it burned // I remember that my naked body felt colder / in the wind than in the water // I remember that among all those so-called “friends” / those soi-disant “lovers,” I felt scorned, ashamed, alone.
Sonnet impair d’Owlstain n° 1

Composed during my first Parisian séjour, autumn of 1993, in my chambre de bonne aux combles du numéro 273 de la rue des Pyrénées in that city’s sector surréaliste. You will notice that I’ve deftly managed to refouler my prime specimen of Gallic textwork with l’enjambement of the phenomenological flux des choses revécues dans et par la mémoire (despite the extreme bibulosity and the small groping experiments we conducted in nocturnal naturism, the largely diestral souvenirs I still retain of those nights find it difficult to give a face to, let alone name, “ces amants”) avec the etymological uncertainty of the Flouzianian capital’s nom propre et historique: is it derived, as the flouzophones would have it, from the hearty “aux étangs!” the region’s rowdy coureurs de bois are said to have shouted faute de mieux? or from the more staid “New Owen City” later exiles and immigrants supposedly baptized their utopian coin of the Appalachik ghetto with? Its true derivation, of course, stems from the Sihlaucal (Coast Fukari) olnziiankta, ‘river-mouth big town’, but that is by the by.

Je suis le jus sur lie opale

gisant dans les bulles de raisins

où brûlent les filaments du soleil

Je suis le jeu lié au matin

des brumes où patauge la patte-d’oie

des rues pâtissantes sous la pluie

Je suis je joug liseré des liasses

de cartouches lovées sur les poitrines

des soldats travestis en terre à patin

Je suis les pas du vent lumineux

sur la piste gommable des chemins brisés

où je suis encore le joyau

des joues voilées où volent toujours

la neige le milan et la nuit

Owlstain, 1994

I am the juice on the opal lees / asprawl in the intumescent grapes / where burn the sun’s filaments // I am the morning-bound game / of fog and war where limps the goose-foot / of streets demulcing in the rain // I am the yoke trimmed with wads / of cartridges wound round the chests / of transvestite soldiers slipping in the icy mud // I am the footprints of the luminous wind / on the erasable track of broken trails / where I am still the jewel // of veiled cheeks where always the snow / soars on the kite-wings of night.
Sonnet plaintif n° 1

With divorce proceedings proceeding apace on both sides of the Arathu, I was forced to curtail mes recherches gallofranchichiques and return to Owlstain in the early summer of 1994; there I learned that J (for whom this élégie nonpareille is in memoriam), a fellow former inmate of GWIFA, had been among the hapless Yazdehan, Huerta-Fukari, and Tixputana resistance fighters whose plan to retake Black Yurt from the Intrussyans had failed so pathetically. Just after dawn on the winter solstice, the freedom fighters, disguised as migrant glaneuses, had crossed into the Arist suzerainty simultaneously from the Flouzianian, New Lexican, and Wyoming sides of the border and apparently made their way down through the ancient terraced glebelands of Tulpuyauor, intent on joining up with their distaff comrades-in-arms who had earlier infiltrated several of the dockside lupanares. Treachery and inclement weather, however, put paid to those tactics, as the diligent reader will glean from any of the usual sources whose more intrepid details have informed, naturally, my elegiacal textwork. A fortnight after being wounded and captured during the intense fighting that took place in the northeastern suburbs, my friend died ignominiously from gangrene and repeated exposure in one of the aforementioned taules, which had been converted by Saliba’s Galoots into a cachot de fortune.

D’abord la notion de plan économique

à l’abri de la novation du planning

écotoxique absolument numérique

planté effectivement du même acabit.

Aussitôt la pensée bute contre un obstacle

autant que la pente butte à contresens

obstinément avant la perçante bâcle

en contrevenant l’aveugle obéissance.

Ensuite on met l’accent sur cette théorie

entendue, meublée d’accessoires sûrs

théoriquement, mais entièrement meurtrie

par les accidents tiers de l’autocensure.

Nous voyons poindre à l’horizon un problème:

nous venons de pointer d’horreur un théorème.

Lutèce, 1995

At first the vague notion of an economic / plan safe from innovation’s toxic marplot / to quantify ecology absolutely / and cut all, as it were, from the same cloth. // But as soon as thought butts up against an obstacle, / the slope moils so perversely / obstinate before the sharp strut, / that it contravenes blind obedience. // And then one emphasizes that theory, / sensible, decked out with theoretical / certainty, but entirely eviscerated // by third-party accidents of autocensure. / At the horizon we watch a problem appear: / we recoil from that theorem in horror.
Sonnet volé n° 1

She was one of those choice, fey, insidiously charming creatures inhabiting the entrancingly mirrored medoid among the rosy rookbeds and bewitched bucolic something of an enchanted island a bigger, more respectable, more competent authority on the subject than I has characterized as “nymphic (that is, demoniac).” Although I naively believed the ceremony to be all in good clean sociophysiological fun on the Playground of Taboo, and not legally or morally binding in any known municipality or universe fictive or otherwise, I dutifully, even heartily, consummated our mock vows of love, devotion, and etc. sometime avant la madrugada du St. Sein, tautologue, c’est-à-dire, le jour J de l’année zéro de l’Ère Sociophysiologique même at which Bernard Vighdan, the numero uno of our founding faculty’s sestina of polylexical exiles, authoritatively mantled in a particolored Mountain Fukari Tlaatlata serape of antlion silk, had officiated. Yet the ticklish agate-eyed kitten (her pert rump and smooth ardent mound, I recall, had been swathed in avidly peeled off perhaps even friable cotton fabric printed with a savage ailurian theme that left behind a fulgurous afterimage on her diligent caramel-and-honey-hued hips, and her negligible choli mercifully unlatched in front) had not only the ensanguined evidence of her own deflowered infatuation to back up her carnal claim on me, but the claws of the Owlstain judicatory itself which, when confronted by the summoned minyan with its nonce magus that had been privy to the previous evening’s instaurational débauche, duly ruled the ménage à propos, and incised our mutual cognomina into the city’s matrimonial register, whereupon the town-crier, with a hymeneal yelp, transmuted ex post facto our quondamly undeclaimed banns into the public nuptials of Mr. and Mrs. M. S. and Maryam née Ravigiallo put author’s name here. I found myself, thus, legally obliged to ravish, at an almost ultradian frequency during the dipsomaniacal “peaks” of our passion (dont le lieu, souvent, was precisely that hutch sous le pont El-Achimcria mon édifiant enfant), a wistful, lithe, tawny-coated, raven-haired, exquisite, poignant being whom the clear light of day, despite all the professional wiles she deployed at night (viz. my “Sonnet impair d’Owlstain n° 1”), revealed to be but a child — whose, I’ve never been quite sure of. Nor am I not quite sure anent this diligent rime argile’s originary motivations (ibtida ra), but the need to supplement the many times daily clitalytical divastigations of my novatory novia (an utterly annulled yet still rather fraught Tetrastic memory by the time the Parisian present of the poem's composition, spring 1995, a eu lieu) with some dialectical investigations and, as the title indicates, downright plagiaries (Westermarck, Sirine, Lefebvre, Lassalle, Fraser, Briffault, etc.), of the political economy (PE) of marriage must surely have been one of them.

Je suis l’unique toxophile exilé,

Le prince poldève à l’atout abattu:

Ma seule étoupe est moite, et mon lut huilé

Pose le sol nul sous le mâle pattu.

Dans le nid d’étuve où tu m’as effilé,

Me rendant pause dans la mer Arathu,

La flèche perçait tant à mon coin filé,

Et la trame ouvrait pan au rat courbatu.

Suis-je l’amont de l’El? Ou l’aval de l’Os?

Ma source se rugit encore du bruit:

J’ai ravi la grue, et j’ai nargué le fruit...

Et j’ai, au fond vaincu, travesti l’Éros:

Modelant, tourmenté, le lis de l’oracle,

Son appât d’anse, et ses crins du réceptacle.

Lutèce, 1996

I am the toxophile uniquely exiled, / the Poldevian prince of squandered asset: / my only oakum is damp, and my grume, oiled, / sticks the fool glebe under the megapode pet. // In the brood-nest where you had me stropped, uncoiled, / making me take pause in the Arathu Sea, / the arrow pierced so deep into my engrailed / crotch, that the loose plot snared the insipid beast. // Should I trace the El upstream? Or down, the Os? / My source is still gurgling like a growling stoup: / I ravished the crane, and I flouted the drupe... // And I, seduced at heart, perverted Eros: / molding, tormented, the oracle’s lily, / its antrum’s thrall, its receptacle’s villi.
Nerval Imposture (I) : El Descosido

Given the handsome proliferation of semen she traduced her endemic noria with, imbibed with her every sphincter and orifice, common sociophysiological sense predicted that all those mucose homunculi would make an emic inroad into her demoniac irrepressibility, and, in time, tame her sensual exuberance with a more gravid, less receptive torpor. Fortunately, some other cunt’s halo (the picturesque Anglo-Saxonic of the construction aspires less to shock than to reek evocatively uncouth) — specifically, that of the ironic dame, the nomadic reine à rance idiome who’d anointed my youthful scepter in Agua Prieta some years prior (vid., e.g., my Ars poetica, my Sonnet n° 2) — emerged from the cyetic shadows to seat, with diligent unrivaled mahout- and mouthcraft, my unrequited thurl’s ache on top of and inside as well as athwart her cuneal troth’s howdah, or something like that. Meanwhile, I was extracting from ce livre exquis écrit par the Poldevian prince Miano Driec (to whom I dedicate this perfectly pair specimen of rime argile), A Dictionary of Okiao, quelque bons mots which schizomythically assembled themselves, along with a brain-wrenching quiver of shrieking memories continuously reenacting the ballochorous gusto with which our depraved bouncing bambino smeared with lochia-clotted vernix caseosa and trailing an alien fourre-tout dehisced my beloved, my estranged, my never-again-to-be-nulliparous darling’s maiden coir, into the textwork in question some years after I’d managed to extricate myself from the dire anomic partouze our triadic nemo de domo sua extrahi debet had devolved into and find asylum in my current serena domicilia at 23 villa Ballu in the city’s barrio literario.

Tu me perces, tu me lèses, docteur Gryx,

Avec ton pavois liant, soit maniable

Même au frottage inouï, clastique, pliable

Des raies saillies avec l’arc de ma cervix!

Dans ma croupe aussi tu avais mis l’hélix

D’analyse de ton ouïe conciliable,

Et m’avais doigté de l’allure oubliable,

Car ta musse m’a fait un enfant du Styx.

Je me sens depuis comme une source ouverte

Où tu me lèches, tu me pinces au strigile

Des sentences ascèses, de la langue verte...

Tu m’avais initié à la rime argile,

Docteur Gryx, afin que mon âpre vigile

Unit le mythe à la phrase découverte!

Lutèce, 1997

You pierce me, you wound me, Dr. I. H. Gryx, / with the lithe and oh so limber bulwark’s cut / across the wondrous, pliable, clastic rut / of your bulging veins and my gaping cervix! // You sounded my nates with the otic helix / of your analytical grace’s gamut, / and effaced with your digits my glum input: / your lacuna made me a child of the Styx. // Since then I feel like a playtoy of remorse / flayed and excoriated by the strigil / of your stern sentences, your spry lingo’s force... / You inducted me into the rhyme argil, / Doctor Gryx, in order that my harsh vigil / bind timorous myth to the found word’s hard source!
Nerval Imposture (II) : La Rime argile

Like a satyr-loined poilu — vert, armé, snobinard — at large in the tropical decadence of the most luxurious of maisons closes, my gallophone textwork tautly tents the ample pleats of the Appalachik plus-fours I more commonly clothe the diligent corps nu of my terse northern âme with. Hence, this author’s reputation for being all too parsimonious in person but utterly prolific, perhaps even profligate, in the preterite tense. Yet passion, as Ouida’s alias Ada says, will not wait. And it’s precisely to the sweaty sessions of heat-erautist anti-therapy (which the sodality’s acronymic parlance more swiftly conveys with the monosyllabic, HEAT) I first engaged in with Dr. I. H. Gryx, rue Brine in the 12th, following my medusal exodus from Owlstain that I owe my ability to engage, not only more spontaneously with the aforementioned bonny binioutiste of Romer’s Samba I’ve recently scrimmaged most marvelously with (par exemple, dans les marges of my prophetic Sun Sulta : Treachery), but also more deftly with the argillaceous muck of myth, memory, et les mots qui les expriment in the pliable verse-pots of the clay-rhyme sonnets after Gérard de Nerval of which this is the second I’ve been able to throw, shape, glaze, and fire in the fantastical ouvroir of my poetastical pouvoir à me mettre dans les bottes et les grottes et les mottes et les crottes et les chiottes et les maillottes et les cocottes et bien sûr les fillottes d’autrui which is the veritable peak-stone (agore bar) of sensate hermeneutics!

Le vieux Paul Klee brandit, peu distrait, le vair

D’Iris, chère à l’oursin sous le pont-levis,

Et, gisant dans les yeux d’un fou cochevis,

Y larde le butoir des fosses vulvaires.

Sa lavure use la déesse larvaire,

Moule la mie de la couche où elle vit,

Tord les stries ailées de la mouche ravie,

Et s’impose, lasse, éteinte, au dur calvaire!

L’égard déjette le prison de l’abeille,

Le lance, le verse au fond de la corbeille...

C’est à l’abri bien, par-delà la lacune.

La défaite a vrillé son conquêt bouclé:

Chats, poissons, oiseaux, filles de monsieur Klee —

Et les poupées qui sautent à travers la lune!

Lutèce, 1998

Paul Klee, old but focused, plies Dame Iris Nun’s / muff, dear to the barbworm beneath the drawbridge, / and, sprawled in the crested lark’s eyes, daubs the hingebolt, / cramming it full of vulvar crevice runs. // His brushwash exhausts the divine sylphish runt, / molds the grume of the stratum where she cringes, / twists the winged striations of the ravished midge, / and swoons haggard upon the cheerless Whitsun! // Esteem would only distort the bee’s prison, / tossing it, spilling it, into the dustbin... / It’s safe and sound now, beyond the lacuna. // Seduction has pierced his rundled legacy: / the cats, fishes, birds, and waifs of Mr. Klee — / and the poppets leaping over Ms. Luna!
Nerval Imposture (III) : L’Aurore

It somehow transpired that my estranged senior wife’s estranged co-wife Maryam was and still is the niece of the former, Renata, and both were and still are cousins of the darling Tixputanita waif, Ada (aka Ouida) Romer, who informed me of all this and who, while only a year younger than the latter, could plausibly pass as the not so elder, though far less teratological, sister of ditto’s, that is, my, misbegotten whelp of a moribund larval cephalopod. Now, while your typical unwashed Dichter is content to excrete a mythic moment of imagistic pabulum, a sessile polyp of crystallized poésie, your true daughters and sons initiated on ISOCPHYS’s Playground of Taboo into the advanced arts of rime argile aim to shatter the insipid myth with the vascular moraine of schizomythology, aerate the parochial moment with the living fibers of sociophysiology, and so arrive at a more muscular structure that pulses and yearns and moans and moves with the most prehensile agility imaginable. I recall that when I first glimpsed her, she was intensely contemplating the incorrupt rondeurs bâties of Roma Antica’s tense “Hermaphrodite endormi.” I had resigned myself to maintaining a safe distance but her flirtatious piercing glance back at me overcame my habitual timorous resort to impotent fantasy, and so I followed this giddy bear cub of a moth-like michette to Auguste Clésinger’s lush, recusant, tangibly writhing “Femme piquée par un serpent,” thence to Alexandre Falguière’s shothole nu, “Tarcisius martyrisé,” and so on to other stations of worship — Jacqueline Bez’s zealous Paffenwerk, “Femme liane;” Pierre Bouret’s uncouth obra regalada, “Figure couchée;” Jan Dambrin’s banal debased ontological “Éveil;” Pablo Gargallo’s otiose “Mujer tumbada en hueco” — with her staying always a few steps ahead of me, keeping up the museum-goer’s pretense of stopping and looking, then glancing back at me and fleeing just as I reached her until we arrived at Alberto Giacometti’s extemporaneous “Femme égorgée” where she sighed volubly and did not move when I accosted her and clutched my hand tight in her hot damp fist and led me into a certain room whose ecstatic walls were drenched with the resplendent works of the artist I’ve incised into my textwork proper même and we stood before said artist’s “Tanz des trauernden Kindes” and she pressed all the trance-inducing sedulousness of her electric body against what by then was a most prominent member of our game little party and elle s’est agenouillée câlinement and devoutly raised her adorable roral eyes où je lisait en avant, as it were, all the tears l’étireuse would later shed in my arms for her mère meurtrie — vlan! — postnatalement and then she lowered them diligently to the task in her dyspneal mains’ étreinte and I tasted the osculatory rapacity, the clinging clay-like epithelium, or “key-skin” as she called the sweet mucosa lining the lips, aurorally dizened, of her contractile bouche.

Tu trompes, ravie, nulle, la rivale nue;

Violée sur les remparts, tu romps l’aventure

Ivre, lésant, promue, ma vile aperture:

O milles petites morts d’une parvenue!

Devrais-je avorter l’affreuse larve menue

Qui veille et pétrit dans cette âpre monture

Dépouillée, gavée par ta morne pature

Que tu as faite avec tes tripes malvenues?

Tu aimes qu’un jour ils verront que tu m’as plu

Dans la manse inerte après qu’il avait plu,

Après que tu m’as lavée avec tes pleurs...

Mais ils ne verront qu’un rêve sans avenir:

La pluie et les larmes ne feront survenir

Qu’une infâme pruine qui ternira tes fleurs.

Beulah, 1999

Blankly ravished, you jilt the rival nude sweetheart; / raped on the ramparts, you break off the drunken / adventure, tearing my vile proferred shrunken / hole: O, the thousand little deaths of the upstart! // Should I abort this horrible little wormscart / spawned in the outworn mount you left your spunk in, / blowzy with the croft-middens of your junk and / inflamed by your deformed ego, your tumid art? // You hope that one day they’ll see how you pleased me / in the inert vicarage after the rain, / after you redeemed me with your elite tears... // But they’ll see that there’s no outlet to your dream: / from that rain and those tears there will only obtain / a foul hoarfrost blighting, in mid-blossom, your years.
Nerval Imposture (IV) : Érartsos, ou, Les rats d’Éros

This volume’s printer advises me, as we go to press, anent a disparaging word to the effect that this pliable evocation of, not the arts, but rather, the rats of love which I composed in the vortex of the breakdown from which I was recuperating at my father’s house in tropical Beulah early in 1999 bears an uncanny resemblance to a confessional poem, entitled “Vernal Imposture,” published in the Owlstain SCAT around the time (autumn 1998) of its, that is my textwork’s inspiration, by my occasional playtoy and colleague at ISOCPHYS in Owlstain, INTEC in Lutèce, and in drag elsewhere (see, for instance, my Street Acts), D. I. Swopes. Now, whatever superficial resemblances, even identities, that may obtain between her work and mine, the mimicry is more of the innocuous Batesian variety than of the noxious Müllerian; in any case, the spirit of the two cannot be more altarian. To wit: Hers is a topical species of versified ephemera chock full of grandiloquent spite and gynandromorphic jealousy towards a distinguished author, Velasto Prastier, she seduced one evening after he had tippled a bit more than usual at a sociophysiological conference being conducted in the Agore Bar of Glamporium in Owlstain and found himself ripe enough to do a bit of adventurous snorkeling in her coelenterate étangs, but not enamored enough to more soberly scaphander himself so as to thoroughly sound the fimbriate bathystome of her cirripede seas the next morning or therein after. Mine, on the other hand, is a schizomythic tour de force of rime argile imaginatively straddling the stichomythic pathos of space (vid. infra), strabismally imbricating the schizothymic anguish of those aeons of dullness my existence (Dasein) had become after the froward flouzy, the depraved damsel, la chatte chatoyante (have you ever noticed how she appears younger to the hebephile, older to the teleiophile, shorter to the brachyophile, taller to the hypsophile, plus laide to the teratophile, more pulchritudinous to the charistophile, and so on?) one had revealed the whole of one’s faith and optimism to in a blithe blissful complacent missive sketching out, with swinging wire and dangling words hung from a hook in the voûte of my mansarde (see my “What I’m Working On Now”), the whole of one’s life’s work and — and she, sardonic mocking she, with the ridiculous and humiliating way she laid it out in her “small tri-monthly multilingual journal of arts, writing, philosophy, natural history, and sundry cultural stuff,” nº 6, fall 1998she made me pull down and trample the fragile, articulate, ramified, multi-dimensional, and now utterly despised, distorted, unrecognizable structure of it beneath my own bare bleeding feet! You say that no singular being can be the exclusive locus of plural déroulements, myriad Entwicklungen, a gallimaufry of chimerical ontogenies? I say any mother who’s ever felt the tentacled spawn rape her from the inside out during that everted gangbang of wall-eyed (“It’s called albinism, love!”) parturient fists specialists in the field call “schizogamous epitoky” knows exactly what I mean. Which is why, despite all the humiliation and rage I felt anent her and her treachery and her “uncles” lurking menacingly in the hedges of the labyrinth beneath that tall instar of Quinault’s mountain fir (Rhopalotsuga quinaultia Goldbarg, 1925) in the park atop Mount Gimmor that so eerily resembles that hillock dans les Jardin des Plantes où there’s also a labyrinth presided over by a tall conifer (Cedrus libani A. Rich.) except that in Owlstain one has a panoramic view of the treacherous city and a third of the rarefied frame is taken up by snow-capped Mount Spitmarkx looming over Fukariland in the east and from the dazzling western vanishing point in the Arathu Sea there furtively peek the perky twin fumaréoles of the Far Gimmals while in Paris everything is damp and gray and rotting, I readily handed over the extorted parcel of tetrarchic wealth her economic marplot demanded for the embryotoky — at least she’d be spared the horrible brisance that had rent her cousin Maryam; spared the bitter sagesse that a cartilaginous, gilled, parasitic, pycnogonidic thing was still alive and swimming somewhere in a restricted research aquarium — and, naïve cosmopolite that I’d become in my exile, I paid no thought to any probable co-pay schemes the confederated municipalities of Owlstain and environs might have contributed to the amortization of such a procedure. You say that no unique node of space can be the omniphane’s oiketerion, the pantomorph’s habitus, the quiddative runt’s pleroma? I say any epileptic who’s ever insufflated his schizophoric ptilinum with a devout fit of musculomorphic hemolymph and split the cranial puparium’s fontanelle, bursting through into the fantastic ague of that calyptered fugue known as “consciousness” (Bewusstsein), knows exactly what I mean. Reality is manifold, or it is nothing at all.

De cette stupide morale vernie

Par l’enduit vert et aluné de l’ennui,

Romps-tu l’aile ventrue, Dr. E. B. Nwie,

Comme on fend l’ocelle d’une saturnie?

Et cette vertu morne, minée, dégarnie

De suc comme le vide thorax d’un sec paon-de-nuit —

T’empares-tu en comme un luron qui, à huis

clos, se fait violer sa salope ternie?

Elles ne reviennent plus. La chaleur s’éteint

Que tu croyais éprise; la psyché geint,

S’évanouit sous la pression de tes caresses...

Et malgré les soins de ta cure, la douceur

De tes paroles, tu n’es qu’un ravisseur —

Et moi, phalène au soleil, ébloui(e) par la paresse...

Lutèce, 2000

You’d break the bloated wing, Dr. E. B. Nwie, / of this obtuse thing called moral conscience, / greased with the livid lube of ennui, / like a saturniid’s eyespots torn by some meanie? // And rusty virtue, dog-eared and emptied / of sap, like the drained belly of a Viennese / Emperor pinned and spread — you’d bonnie / her shiny like a dried-up old grannie? // No. They won’t come again. Nor will I, hot / though you thought me, a sad psycho-sexpot / whimpering under your verbal caresses... // My pangs, perhaps, yielded to your therapist’s wish, / but my mind, all you did was ravish it — / a peacock moth that, in sunlight, deliquesces…
Nerval Imposture (V) : Ditrysia

Many authors (Firbank springs immediately to mind, as does Roussel) have exploited the butterfly trope; some, the moth ditto (Roussel again); none until I, however, has enrolled both moths and butterflies into his or her army of lepidopteran metaphors. Yes, I ken the apparent contradiction. Roussel’s, you see, was a literal gambit (“Les vers de la doublure dans la pièce du fort pantalon rouge” indeed!) driving a linear plot; mine, pure litotes more slantly evoking the cymophanous subjectivity of the heat-erautist anti-therapy I later enlisted, following the spell with Dr. Gryx, the services of Dr. E. B. Nwie, rue Bicarrée, 14ème arrondissement, to tide me over with. And none, furthermore, has invoked the natural clade of the twain in such a graphic manner as I, wrapping morphological ambiguity with a veil of gender ditto, such that, as it were, one would be forced to enculer l’autre à fin qu’elle puisse enfanter plus tard à travers the more usual stomata, but that is a matter for the anatomists to decide. Meanwhile, there is rime argile.

La Trevi pulsa... Les Monera jaillirent

Dans l’écume qui pleuvait sur la seule Rome

De nos souvenirs, souvenirs qui cueillirent

De la bergerie de l’avenir, l’arome

Des microbes pourris des moments qui faillirent

Avoir été emportés par le maëlstrom

Du présent où les loups du temps tressaillirent

Dans la forêt dense de l’Être qui est le prodrome

Du Devenir qui n’est pas encor devenu,

Du Devenir qui va redevenir toujours!

C’est un lapsus de mémoire retenu

Par l’ardeur spectrale du corps saugrenu,

L’infinie spirale où l’âme tient son séjour,

Or — c’est ce que j’aime — l’abyssal esprit malvenu!

Lutèce, 2001

Trevi Fountain pulsed... Myriad protists spewed / out in the foam raining down on the only Rome / we knew, recalled — memories plucked from the lewd / sheepfold of the future, imbued with the momentary // fetor of putrid microbes that skewed / almost into the whirlpool of the polychrome / present where time-drenched wolves howled and shivered, thewed / and hackled in the dense bosk of Being, prodrome // to the Be(com)ing that has not yet become, / the Be(com)ing that will rebecome always! / It’s a lapse of memory, mettlesome // despite the spectral body’s arduous essays, / the infinite spiral where the soul’s at home, / Or — my favorite — the mangled mind’s tangled pathways!
Nerval Imposture (VI) : Ariel

Certain gelded marplots, shunned by all, loved by none (not even, contra Stephen Daedalus, their mothers), and iagier even than the iagiest Iago, seem always to be lurking, like a demented freemartin of the seven seas surreptitiously ejaculating the corrosive slime mold of its thwarted lust into the minutest interstices some scurvy-dazed sailor unlyrically cobbles his skewed vision of landlocked domesticity out of, at the periphery of whatever potential or actual dyad of heterosexual attraction I find myself embarked upon. At those fragile moments, for instance, when the larval couple must needs part, however briefly, to heed the baser compulsions of material reality, or to impetuously refresh the drinks, it — I call the aquatic hyena it, for its gender is as indeterminate as its sex is indiscriminate — it is ready, like a crafty trichechid pollard of the littoral zone, to pounce, and the sly manatee’d spin its envenomed confabulations into the ears of whichever partner it deemed most vulnerable, most susceptible to its smutty innuendos. These latter infect and fester, molder and pullulate until, one day, the lithe lovely being whom one had sworn undying physical love to announces, most unexpectedly, that she has been, not collaborating on some abstruse theory of time and tense she wants to somehow “perform” (interpréter) in her next piece, but rather “sleeping with” (coucher avec) the deviant, devious, cicuta-spewing cetacean in question and that I, ever the ingenuous romantic, must vacate the premises pronto. And as I limp betrayed into the flayed void of forlorn depravity that is les bas de la Butte Montmartre, the pawky beast reappears to — console me! Yet though the ungulate liar takes care to hide its real intentions — to poison, seduce, destroy — behind a mask of benevolent concern, on occasion the obese lamantin dysphemizes so vilely — one night, for instance, as we stumbled out of une boîte and along les berges de la Seine and fumbled with crémaillère and crochets, the creature burst out, enigmatic and sing-songily obscene, “But the other cunt’s halo is free to do just about any sly stunt that would please you!” — that it gives the game away, and so thus begins another cycle of shunning and cunning and running off with first her, then me, then Moéu again, and so on, but never the twain of us in a more imaginatively sociophysiological ménage (vid., soit El Descosido, soit Érartsos, ou Les rats d’Éros, supra). As it was, I recall that my first flirt avec the iconic installationneuse, Moéu Noäu Nin, took place over cocktails chez Nobé Arinami during the 1996 INTEC, and quand je me suis trouvé que je devais céder to her passing need to consult briefly with the latter (an old friend) on a pressing though rather dull matter of business (the logistics or funding or something of her next happening or performance or whatnot) and I stepped into the courtyard to contemplate the waxing moon, I found attached to my elbow the tethytherian tentacles of a certain D. I. Swopes who claimed, if I parsed the flatulent submarine mammal’s garbled patois correctly, that several years earlier we had been engaged in promiscuously textual shenanigans on Glamporium’s Playground of Taboo pendant l’instauration de l’ISOCPHYS in Owlstain and that I had not only acquiesced to, but had “downright wallowed in” (the animal’s words, not mine) the situation of biune dialexicalia in, by, for, or with which its pinnipederastic dugong thumbs had palpated my tenderest parole, its bristly prehensile sirenian snout had beslobbered my fluent langue. “Je pense que vous vous trompez, meussieudame. Cette nuit-là, je vous assure, je fêtais mes noces avec une personne beaucoup plus jolie, beaucoup plus jeune, et beaucoup plus fille, que vous,” and I deplocked its probiscoid suckers from my flesh and rushed, urticarious welts blossoming in every commissure the beast had dared muzzle and grope, back to the shelter of Moéu’s winsome, impish, glabrous mirth. Later, returning from a spell dans les waters, I came again upon the spayed mernightmare called Swopes idly chatting up my Moéu, her (the Maori lady’s, not the mad capon’s) vulpine ears erect, her (ditto) manner strangely distant after it, the mephitic sea ox, had espied me and swam just out of striking range where it continued, throughout what by then had become an undersea charade of courtship and conquest, to chew its noxious cud in the ametropic murk. She held out for almost a week, and I, who in my bibulous diligence am not used to more than a few hours d’affilée d’abstinence (a defining quirk of perhaps all workers in the field, who employ these brief bouts of enforced, sober celibacy to generate those sorts of textwork the sheer charm of which is sure to entice stray hierodules to imbibe and recite such palpable incantations as cannot but fail to evince the desired theophany), was forced to seek recourse in any number (preferably a Sophie Germain prime) of game lycéennes (cf. L’Aurore) the streets of Lutèce literally formicate at all hours of the day or night with, mais je divague. We also went, before the triangle became so obtuse as to be untenable in any known or hypothesized geometry, to Barcelona, where we stayed in her father’s vast flat on the rambla de Catalunya, and, apparently, according to the poem, which I wrote mostly in a place near place Clichy on the rue de Rome called “Café Bar Tabac l’Ariel” (hence the title), Rome. But haven’t I mentioned the dugongid Swopes slightly less acerbically elsewhere? Indeed I have (cf. op. cit.). But that was post Gryx and avant Nwie, the sequelae of HEAT sessions with the former consisting largely of a sort of thesmophoric somnolence of the sense of, surtout, ressentiment; of the latter, a more oschophoric arousal of the same. You will also notice that I have worked into the very texture of the diligent rime argile, starting with the intrasouvenereal caesura and ending with the “toujours” verlainien, une petite allusion to the rather grave notions of la poetica imposible concocted by an author born, according to the vulgate calendar, exactly seventy-two years and three days avant mine own coming into the light, said notions being something along the lines of how the so-called “true poet” (poeta de verdad) should be “braced” by la poetica imposible, rather than discouraged by it, and kept “continually on the move, always trying (probando siempre) to make hoy catch up with mañana by a rapid casting back (retiro rápido) of said hoys into ayer” (Gervais Trober, El Asfodelo Dudoso, p. viii).

File et plie le dur canevas

éparpillé de carrefours filants

dont tu te paies la fiole plurielle

en faufilant les dingues anges

qui déploient leurs ailes éffilées

de l’orée confuse au fond limpide

sur la feuille que tu filètes

avec ta plume canulaire

que tu filoutes aux griffes

filoniennes où filtrent les traits

nodaux des multiples visages affolés

des lichéneuses voyelles délabrées:

filoches des bouches, cicatrices des voix

filigranes des yeux, noyaux des doigts

Owlstain, 2002

File and fold the hard canvas / spread out in flashing street corners / you mocked so often // as you ambled amidst crazy angels / spreading their slivered wings / at the confused edge of the limpid abyss // on the leaf you fillet / with the canular nib / you filch from the veined talons // where the nodal traits / of myriad distraught faces / filter the lichenous dilapidated vowels: // mouth-net, voice-scar / eye-lace, thumb-stone
Sonnet plaintif n° 2

Seven years after my former fellow inmate at GWIFA, J, died, I return again to Owlstain on sociophysiological business and learn that D, whom I had known since our time together at TBS in Tixpu, had also recently died — like J, exactly a fortnight after the winter solstice! He had been living and working as a caricaturist in Agua Prieta for both Tiliar Tracks!, a humorous bi-weekly, as well as that city’s more satirical hebdomadaire, La Piste. Sources say he was on the verge of a creative breakthrough that would have transformed his incisive pen-on-paper technique into a more polychromatic oleo, egg tempera, acrylic, and mixed media on canvas and secured his fame and fortune at a well-known gallery in the Porto Vecho district when he was laid low by — I cannot bring myself to name his ailment, his assassin. I expect any day now to read the news that it was all a cruel hoax... Okay! Enough already! Your disappearing act to make yourself famous and raise the prices of your paintings has worked! Come back! Just as I wandered then the frost-rimed streets of Owlstain, dazed by the senseless irreparable gash that had been torn in the fabric of the universe, today I wander the chestnut-and-prune-blossom-strewn streets of Lutèce and see his wire-rimmed avatars in the most unexpected places: the tawny corpulent tavil player on the mandapam of a temple in the 13th; the Senegalese proprietor of a quincaillerie on rue Poulet in the 18th; the transvestite albino driver of the numéro 69 bus that I caught at Père Lachaise and which I have taken only once because I was exhausted and late for a rendez-vous with a puny blond Slave (a true Intrussyan sloimčik!) in a café near la place des Vosges... I did not attend his funeral, though I very well could have afforded passage across the Arathu — why should I? The only person I would have wanted to see would not be there... Come back! I want to hear again the crazy-angel laugh that signals another brilliant idea, admire again the precise emphatic gestures of your ink-and-nicotine-stained fingers as you roll and light and smoke a cigarette and incise your slapstick portraits with thousands of formicating cross-hatched microglyphs that overrun, split, emasculate, and yet somehow always enhance and redeem the dog-eared page: the mordant deflation of a bloated politician, the absurd maniacal ego of an undeservedly famous author, the bittersweet nue that alternates between poignant pornstar and paphian plèbe depending on which angle you look at her from...

Nacré par la périlune de mars

un crâne de loutre brille

par la lucarne percée dans l’écran

de ronces brûlées par la lune rousse

de la saison du crénage

faisant caner le cancre

contre la marée de l’équinoxe

dans la carne croupissante des étangs

Et l’arc-en-ciel ancré à l’horizon

par la lune rance du solstice d’hiver

encra la bruine du matin qui cernait la ville

créna les nids de grues qui râlent à la lune

creva l’oeil craintif qui discerne

l’écran des lunaisons

dans la caverne des années de chagrin

Lutèce, 2003

Pearled by March’s lunar nimbus / an otter’s skull glistens / within the dormer window pierced // through the bramble screen burnt by the rusty moon / of the kerning season / making the crab retract / against the equinoctial tide / in the stagnant meat of the tarns // And the rainbow fixed to the horizon / by the winter solstice’s rancid moon / inked the morning drizzle encircling the city // kerned the sluts in their bunks grumbling at the moon / punctured the timorous eye discerning // the screen of lunations / in the cave of my years of sadness
Sonnet impair d’Owlstain n° 2

I have not shied away from worshipping at Ishtar’s altar, as more than one of my consorts would attest (cf. my Ars poetica, my Ariel, my cockatrice Kiko, my menteuse Gennifleur, my senior wife Renata, at least), a maturer womaninity, yet my record, if too casually scanned, bespeaks a spectrum rooted in the modes and harmonics more potamid, more epimelid, even, of the hebephiliac range of sensation. But records, as we all know, lie. And so I allowed a certain managing editor (ME) of the Owlstain SCAT to polish, with the chamois-skin straitjacket of word-transcending orality she unswaddled me out of and which lay sodden and rumpled at the foot of the printing press, this utterly textual vision of a world seen as if through the barred windows of grammar, paradoxically rendering it, the vision, more articulate and hence more timeless, more supple and yet more enduring, distinctive features of what, if you’ve come this far with me, clearly coalesce to form the diligent rime argile en hommage de la dame d’un certain âge who put out ditto in op. cit. vid. id., and then served me a steaming infusion of fleurs de tilleul before packing me home (a rented nid de grue in Glamporium, actually, where I refreshed myself, avant de dormir, with a rejuvenating philtre which, while not plus vierge, was au moins plus vivace, plus mince et plus joli(e)) in her personal, and all too adult, calèche, even though I had insisted on walking.

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Copyright © 2003 M. S. Strickland