21 September 2011

More Wax World

My favorite poem in Mittenthal's Wax World is the very last piece, "Afterword." (which I'm reading as both a "poem" and a statement of poetics). Here it is, in full, to pique yr. interest:

The simple register misplaced whenever forgetting is in ascent. It's a short walk home. The body wants to forget - but becomes a victim of the involuntary. It collects itself as it falls, tumbling forward.

Proprioception of the dash - a pause longer than a comma and
less than a full stop. Don't be fooled by the appearance of prose -
something lurks in the pudding. Remember how the boat in the bottle
stays there.

It's a mystery or betrayal, where stasis partners with the virtual.
Instinct remains a control - as if it were a preserve of the actual, an
internalized contradiction.

Marriage is a machine that talks back - but its revolution was too late.
Each song boils down to one phrase. An algorithm that forced value
into serial form. As if it simply harnessed a blind spot for authority.

No, he is the unstoppable author, the Stephen Spielberg of structural engineering.
No, we can only pray for failure.
Yes, time is deserted in quantified segments - in the modular engines
that debase labor.
Thesis: We need to own our own prosthetics. My hand in relation.

The machine was No's other lover
What was once conveyed is now lost
At the innovation station locusts lift the landscape
A network of exemplars abandoned the family store
Urban planning as fear of Detroit

Ok. Take a brief look at the star structure. A face emerges from
the assembly line. Neither materially grounded nor aloft. What a
beautiful ass it has. Forget you.

Labor produces its own aliens. For example, the Pinkertons were
agoraphobes who voted against themselves. Trenchcoat libertarians
adrift in the flows of capital.

The urge is to worship our own abstraction from labor. Just wait for
the return to lotto tickets, the next round of unfiltered cigarettes.
Realizing the body's capacity to absorb even more savage value, I took
my daily constitutional. Prozac and a single malt.

Sentences because to get inside beneath attention's filter, one must
build a kinescope that holds the scene together, where the viewer enters
lost in wonder as the whiplash of thought carries it to the end.

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