Remains poetry, that is the account of man and his various vital situations and poetry to-day being purely and simply the pastime of licensed apes or laggards purple in the face, the fine flowers of bilge, the hoist to politics, the scramble for applause, etc. I will be an apoet the Apoet too no doubt, consigning with care to poetry’s galvanic zone no man’s land and subterraneans, even as it oxygenated ever. “Apoem 4.” Henri Pichette. Translated by Samuel Beckett.
Beginning with the account of man; rather than to justify the ways of God to man, the account of man which I have in my own way provided from a minuscule perch in a miniscule place. A poeticule, if you will, in the forms of both prose in the traditional sense and verse prose I modelled after writers I admire however much I may have come up short on this last account, the failings are my own even if the attempts were sincere. In fragments and short bursts which I justify after the fact with still other examples from literature and poetry when in fact the fragment form comes to me primarily out of a complete inability to finish something once it is started. Laziness and self-doubt, really. Nevertheless, there are ample examples from the greats, from the account of man.
The account of man as poetry. Poets who take account of man. The narrative account that is man. Man as narrative. The ontology of man and man as phenomenon and the account provided over the centuries by poets with man, his narrative, his ontological presence being the chief concern of poets through the ages even unto today. Today, here, where everything is nowhere.
Sprawling desert of four and even six lanes, interchanges to more deserts of four and six lanes. All dotted with Starbuck’s, McDonald’s, Autozone, Speedway, fuel zones, food zones, feeding zones, parking zones, speeding zones. Everything moves in all directions. Vast parking areas, oases in the desert for caravans of sows, boars, and piglets chaotic free for alls even with directional arrows and dotted lines painted on the blacktop. A giant Ikea and a giant Golf center, Walmart, Target anchors infinite fallout zones on either side. Where roads end, they never end, dead grass, piled up gravel, fences and signs, no access. It—that—no land beyond the signs and the gravel and the fences. A void to be dammed up beyond the boulevards named after a town and a center for a town which has no center with name transformed into a Towne Centre. Off, away in the pre-fab houses formed in a circle, encircled by more pre-fab houses attached to four and six lanes; access roads and rectangular parcels fenced and green, accessible to the Towne Centre Boulevard named after a dead Indian; nothing underneath, no road ahead, nothing but sky above. A geographical bull’s eye where every microscopic instance of earth is itself the bull’s eye everyone hits with their God-given dreams “sacrificing all intellect, all aesthetics in a process of literal transcription into the real.”
One hour and ten minutes from one end of the trip to the other, the bus winds through the city from the square, its point of origin at least on the map, on the schedule, though it makes something of a circle; if not a circle, a cycle which would necessarily mean that there is no origin other than an arbitrary mark made by just about anyone. It would not matter who made the mark of origin since the cycle of the bus is effectively infinite. Up the main boulevard out of the city and toward… We become increasingly cramped; people standing, clutching the straps to steady themselves with one hand and filing through electronic devices with the other hand, staring down in any case, avoiding the other at all costs; jostling each other around with the sway and bump of the bus moving up the hill out of the city proper; into the outlying neighborhoods, each named for something no one knows anything about and through wealth, decay, indifference, renewal, schools, universities, hospitals, old and new—up and to the left then immediately to the right and down a hill and to the left and down another hill, more people get on the bus; only a few get off the bus. We head up a hill. Heading north, I climb out of my seat to find more space, more freedom in the back of the bus; heading north, I head south. The span of the bus an expanse of freedom moving south as the bus heads north. Now into where the world becomes open and a great desert of life opens up in all directions, but mostly north. “…the screaming silence of no’s knife in yes’s wound” north until it stops and I gain that moment of movement from there to here, a space of spaces I look around for a place to piss.